Monday, October 26, 2020

Mini Reviews - 2 Cozies and a Historical Mystery

 Goodreads:  Apple Cider Slaying by Julie Anne Lindsey 

Premise:  Winnie Montgomery is desperately trying to get her grandmother's (known to the world as Granny Smythe) orchard back in the black and get a loan to get her cider shop up and running. The last thing she needs is to find the body of Granny's nemesis dead in the apple press.  She must work fast to save her grandmother from arrest and maybe to save her own life.

My Thoughts:  Oh this was fun!  Poor Winnie can just not catch a break between money troubles at the orchard and straight up sabotage wreaking havoc and putting her financial situation even more in jeopardy.  While Winnie's nosiness can be a bit over the top I really liked her and the rest of the residents of Blossom Valley.  It's a fun community and Smythe Orchard sounds like a delightful place to visit.  I really enjoyed the mystery on this one and actually didn't guess the bad guy until right before Winnie did.  I'm so sad I missed this one when it came out but so glad I finally read it.  I can't wait to dive into the next book.  If you're looking for a fun Christmas-y cozy you can't go wrong with this one.  My Rating:  Really Liked It.

Goodreads:  This Side of Murder (Verity Kent #1) by Anna Lee Huber

Premise:  Lured to a house party she didn't want to go to by a mysterious letter War Widow Verity Kent finds herself surrounded by her late husband's fellow officers, tension, and lots of deeply rooted secrets.

My Thoughts: I absolutely adore Huber's Lady Darby series and had enjoyed the 3rd book in this series though at the time felt like I was missing a bit from reading them out of order.  This was a delight!  I love Verity and her honesty about the difficulties for the soldiers coming back home and the wives and family they're coming home too.  This wasn't the fastest paced mystery but I enjoyed spending time with the characters and soaking up the atmosphere that I didn't really even notice.  There's a lot of setup information here but it never felt like a massive info dump.  If you enjoy a historical mystery this is a strong beginning to a solidly entertaining series.  My Rating: Really Liked It!

Goodreads:  Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery #6) by J.C. Eaton

Premise:  A murdered man with no one seemingly wanting him dead and lots of hijinks in Sun City West mostly surrounding a dog costume contest make for a crazy holiday season for Phee, Marshall, and Nate.

My Thoughts:  This is such a fun series and while I am seriously glad Phee's mother is not my mother her antics continuously entertain me! Sun City West is jammed full of action this holiday season with a dog costume contest taking top billing and a murder and a few other things filling in the rest.  Phee and the PI firm she works for is mostly interested in the murder but they can't help but get sucked into the rest of the drama.  I found the mystery solid and well done even if it did feel a touch convoluted at times.  I really enjoyed seeing Phee and Marshall's relationship in this next stage and I really enjoyed that mystery unravels over the course of months.  While St. Patrick's Day does feature at the very tail end of the book there's also quite a bit of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas - and you do not want to miss Thanksgiving in Sun City West!  This is a well done and thoroughly entertaining series and I can't wait to find out what happens next!  While this is the 6th book in the series I think this can be read as a stand alone though you are missing 5 other really entertaining mysteries if you go that route.  My Rating:  Really Liked It!


  1. Hi Katherine! I've enjoyed The Fraterfest Read-a-thon so much, I think I will do a Christmassy read-a-thon as well. Just need to find one that only starts in December! So thanks for this share, I will mark it as a possible read.

    I've listed the Verity Kent series. Most probably after you've shared it before... LOL!! But still didn't get to read it yet.

    Hope you will have a good week and that your boy is good. Will have a look at your Sunday Post now. Here's mine so long The Sunday Post #16

  2. I'm behind in the Lady Darby series, so I haven't even started on the Verity Kent one. I need to get caught up on both. Huber is a great writer.

  3. I have all three of these series on my list to read. I just need to make time for them. They all sound wonderful.

  4. I have been meaning to read both of Anna Lee Huber's series for a while now. Good to know you have enjoyed them both! The other two books sound like fun, too.

  5. The description of Dressed Up 4 Murder made me smile. My parents used to live part of the year in SCW and I visited them several times. A great area and now I want to read this mystery. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Great to see three Really Liked Its. Going to check up a bit more on the first two.

  7. I've been meaning to read the Verity Kent series. Thanks for the reminder.

  8. I'm in the mood to read a cozy. I've been trying to finish up books first. I have Virgin River up next.

  9. I love Verity too. :-) I need to get to the rest of the series and start on Lady Darby! The other two cozies sound like a lot of fun! I'll have to give those a try. Thank you for sharing, Katherine!