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Search tags: Cozy-Mysteries
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review 2019-01-18 05:41
The Spirit in Question (Lila MacLean Mystery, #3)
The Spirit in Question - Cynthia Kuhn

I enjoy this series a lot - it's cozy without being twee, and the mysteries are reasonably well plotted most of the time.  I also love that Kuhn shows way more than she tells; this might be the only reason I'd tell someone to read these in order.  The stories don't require it at all, but the author doesn't waste her established readers' time by going over all the backstory.  New readers might feel lost if they started with book 3 instead of book 1.


The Spirit in Question isn't anything I can rave about, it was just an enjoyable story.  My first inclination was to give it 3.5 stars, but that's more a reflection of my bias against mysteries that take place in the theatre.  It's a haunted theatre though, so that gave it an edge for me.


The plotting was solid; I had no idea who the killer was.  But on the other hand, the motive for the killer felt a little weak.  Possibly, maybe, one that unconsciously falls back on an old stereotype that feminists would grind their teeth over.  It didn't bother me, but I did notice it.


My only complaint about the series overall is that she doesn't write them faster.  I need more solid, dependable cozy/traditional series in my life like this one.

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review 2019-01-15 17:40
Cappucinos, Cupcakes and a Corpse
Cappuccinos, Cupcakes, and a Corpse (A Cape Bay Cafe Mystery) (Volume 1) - Harper Lin

Book one of the series and Fran has moved back to her home town in MA from NY to take over her grandparents coffee shop, after the death of her mother. She has moved into her grandparent's home and is just trying to get her life together. In NY, she lost her fiancee when he came home and said he was going to move in with another and didn't want to marry her. She is making friends and just carrying on with her life. One day, her assistant, Sammy, sends her home to enjoy the day when she finds her neighbor dead on his back porch. She then helps her old friend, Matty, and the victim's son, find out who would murder him. 


The book was very interesting and I really did enjoy the story and learning some of the back story. I know that I will probably read other stories in this series. 

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review 2019-01-14 06:11
Bird, Bath and Beyond (Paws to the Stars, #2)
Bird, Bath, and Beyond - E.J. Copperman

I think I liked the first one better, though this one was good.  The premise, and series name, sound more twee and cutesy than the stories themselves are, though it's definitely cozy fare.  Kay is an agent to animals used in the entertainment industry, mostly because she's from an acting family, loves animals and couldn't stomach being a vet.


The plot of this one was ... out there.  But here's the thing, and I don't know if I'm going to explain this correctly:  the premise was one that could have been believable, just.  


A famous TV actor hires a hitman to kill ... himself.  He's depressed, battling addictions, hates his job, his life, etc. but either doesn't have the courage to do the killing himself, or wants to go out making a statement about the need for gun control - the book never really cleared that up.

(spoiler show)


I mean, stranger things have happened.  But Copperman further complicated what was already a weird plot by adding layers of crimes and criminals.  It's my feeling that he took an already weird plot and twisted it up to make it weirder when it didn't need to be.


And now what will look like something of a non sequitur but will make sense in a second, when I was at Bouchercon, my sister and I sat in on a panel that E.J. Copperman was on, and he kept talking about how he writes humorous cozies, like Donna Andrews.  My sister and I were sitting at the back, so we could swap comments, sotto voce, and I said to her that I'd read most of his books and I didn't remember any of them being funny.  Not that the jokes fell flat, but that I didn't remember there being any attempt at all to make them.


This is the first of his books I've read since Bouchercon, and now I see what he's talking about, and now I can say they're there, they just (mostly) fall flat.  In fact, he seems to be going for a wiseass voice throughout most of the book, and it's either too heavy, or it's a NYC style of humor I fail to get, in a way that is similar to some people not getting British humor.  It didn't ruin the book at all, but it became cloying at times.


I wouldn't say 'no' to a third book - I like the parts of the story where Kay is interacting with clients and their owners, and the scenes at her office feel balanced and witty.  But I'm not sure if I'll rush out to get it - and it'll probably be in paperback.

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review 2019-01-13 23:21
Crime and Punctuation
Crime & Punctuation - Kaitlyn Dunnett

Book #1 of the new series, "Deadly Edits" and I found it on the shelf at the library and was intrigued. I borrowed it and my daughter ran off with it and read it. I had to borrow it again in Kindle format since I ran out of time to read it in the book format. I then borrowed it as an audio, so I could listen as I drove my kids around. 


Mikki has moved back to Lenape Hollow after the death of her husband. She moves into her family's old home and has to spend a small fortune to fix it up and has to figure out a way to make money to pay for all the repairs since her nest egg could not continue to take such hits. She goes back as an editor of people's manuscripts to help them get published. She gets a manuscript from an aspiring author who pays a huge fee up front for Mikki to review her manuscript. She is then found murdered and has Mikki's card in her pants pocket. When things don't add for her, she starts looking into things and finds out the truth.


I really enjoyed this story and wish I had had more time to sit and read it, but was glad to have the audio to listen to. I am looking forward to Book 2. 


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text 2019-01-09 14:40
Nancy Drew Christmas

I could not locate this book in the titles and I just don't have time to put it on, so I will just review. 


I loved Nancy Drew mysteries when I was a kid and kept all my copies and gave them to my girls. They were not as thrilled with them, but that is okay. I found this one and it fit categories that I was reading - It is set in Montana (didn't have that state yet) and it was a Christmas setting. 


Nancy and her dad were invited to a new resort in Montana for Christmas, but her father didn't get to go at the same time as Nancy, but she goes and is dreaming of getting better at skiing. She is asked by one of the owners to help with an opening ceremony that they have planned and when she hits ice that wasn't marked, she breaks her leg. She is put in a cast and confined to bed and a wheelchair. This doesn't stop her from investigating strange happenings at the resort. She solves the mystery of the contaminated napkins and damage to the chef's herbs, she also works with the Hardy Boys to find the truth of what is happening with the part-owner who is a public official. 


The story took some time to get into and once I was in, I was hooked. 

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