Friday, October 13, 2023

Friday Fives - Five Short Reviews for Series I've Been Reading Recently

I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much.  I'm working on catching up on series and decided to put a few reviews of them all together here.

1.  Murder's No Votive Confidence (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery by Cristin Brecher - While I have read a later book in this series about a Nantucket Candlemaker I somehow missed the first few books.  For the most part I enjoyed this mystery involving  murder by unity candle at a candle themed wedding.  There's an interesting mix of side characters, the main character, Stella, is likable and there's a rather entertaining and persistent cat who appears on the scene.  I had two issues that kept this from being a full win for me.  Because Stella is old friends with the detective and one of the first on the scene of the murder she somehow becomes involved in the official investigation.  I'm willing to do some serious suspension of belief but when she's interfering with interrogations and yelling at suspects I had a bit of trouble with that.  As well her kind of insta love connection with one of the characters was a bit much.  Despite these issues I did enjoy this book enough to finish the series and I'm curious to see how the series develops.  My Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)

2.  Trouble on the Books by Essie Lang -
Who can resist a castle on an island and especially one with a nefarious history and a modern murder investigation?   I really loved the setting of a small town in the Thousand Islands region of New York.  The murder investigation has some twists and turns and main character Shelby Cox puts herself right in the middle of everything.  There are a lot of characters that I had a bit of trouble keeping everyone straight.  As well while I enjoyed this read it wasn't one that will really stick in my memory long after I've closed the book.  My Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)

3.  The Cure For What Ales You by Ellie Alexander -
I have really enjoyed this series.  I love Sloan and her family, the crew at Nitro, the town of Leavenworth and the behind the scenes at a brewery.  One of the things I have really loved has been the mystery of Sloan's past.  This was the book that answered most of the questions I had.  A murder at the local inn and a late night knock on the door really get things going and pulled me into the story.  I really enjoyed this book and I always love visiting Sloan's Leavenworth but it did leave me wanting a bit more.  I wanted more answers and more explanations and didn't quite feel like I got everything I wanted.  That said, this was a fun read from a series and an author I always enjoy and I look forward to reading the next book.  My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)

4.  Cinco de Murder by Rebecca Adler - 
This is the third book in a three book series involving Josie Callahan and her quirky family and everything surrounds the family owned Mexican restaurant in Broken Boot, Texas.  I really enjoy Josie's family and the mystery was an intriguing one.  An unlikable chili cook is killed right before the start of a chili cook-off.  However,  while I liked this better than the first book in the series it still wasn't a winner for me.  I never warmed to Josie or felt like she ever really had a good handle on the actual investigation.  As well, it also seems that the details of the investigation tend to get lost in the details leaving me questioning how certain important aspects develop but giving me too much information about things that aren't super important.  If you love the idea of this setting this is definitely a series worth reading but otherwise I think there are better foodie cozies out there.  My Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)

5.  Be Careful What You Witch For by Dawn Eastman -
This is the second book in a four book series involving a small town in Michigan famous for its psychics.  Clyde is still rebelling from her family and the abilities that she doesn't want to acknowledge.  Her nephew, Seth, is back under somewhat shadowy circumstances but before Clyde can deal with that she is swept into the murder investigation of local coven leader Rafe as she tries to help her friend, Diana.  This is a fun series.  Clyde's family is definitely a collection of characters though I absolutely adore her dad.  The mystery kept me guessing and it was a fun conclusion.  This is an entertaining light cozy mystery series with a bit of psychic fun.  While this is only the 2nd book in the series I have read the last 2 books so this is my last visit to Crystal Haven.  My Rating: Liked It! (3.5 Stars)


  1. I love the cover of Be Careful What You Witch For...and it has psychics, too? Fun! :D

  2. They all sound like fun cozy books, you sure get through them. I like the look of The cure for what Ales you, first of all the title and then the author!

  3. These all look good and I have them on my TBR.