Friday, November 10, 2023

Friday Fives - Five Short Reviews for Series I'm Reading

I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  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.  Crowned and Moldering by Kate Carlisle - I really enjoy this series and this was no exception.  Shannon has finally started working on renovating Mac's home when she and her crew find an unpleasant surprise in the dumb waiter - skeletal remains.  This hits close to home for one of Shannon's employees.  Sean's older sister, Lily, went missing when they were all in high school never to be heard from again.  As the police and Shannon dig into Lily's disappearance and life old secrets come to life.  While I usually am not a fan of adults living in high school drama other than Shannon and Whitney's arch nemesis relationship (not my favorite part of the series) this is more digging back into old memories which worked well.  I did find a teacher/student relationship to be a bit of an ick but it was pretty minor.  My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)

2.  Dolled Up for Murder by Jane K. Cleland - I've really enjoyed the last couple of books in this series.  The first few books weren't the strongest but the last few have been really delightful cozies.  Josie is appraising a doll collection which is complicated by the fact that one of the people who wants to buy the collection is under investigation for running a Ponzi scheme.  When the woman is shot in the parking lot right in front of Josie and one of Josie's employees is kidnapped the investigation is on.  I really enjoyed the investigation and was fascinated by history of the dolls and how the author tied them into the investigation.  I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series! My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)

3.  Beer and Loathing by Ellie Alexander - I enjoyed this latest Sloan Kraus book.  This was kind of a surprise book as the series technically ended on the previous book but the author got so many requests from fans that she brought it back and self-published this new entry into the series.  Why the previous books have focused on Sloan's family and her past this book focuses more on Garrett's.  We meet his family and get to know a bit more about his life back in Seattle.  The mystery involves the local hospital which isn't an element of Leavenworth that we've seen much of in previous books.  While this wasn't my favorite in the series I did really enjoy it.  Alexander's writing is well paced and never fails to pull me in to the story.  My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)

4.  Lethal Treasure by Jane K. Cleland - I enjoyed the previous book in the series so much that I couldn't wait very long to pick up the next book.  This book was just as enjoyable with Josie bidding on storage units and discovering a mystery and a murder along the way.  I found the investigation of the silent movie posters and other contents of the storage locker almost as fascinating as the murder investigation though both kept me hooked.  I was a bit meh on this series at the beginning but I've really enjoyed these most recent books and am already looking forward to the next one.  If you enjoy cozy mysteries and like a bit of history this is a great series to try. My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)

5.  Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz - I've read all of this author's Food Village mystery series and really enjoyed them so I was super excited to start this series involving a Seattle Spice Shop.  I did love the Seattle setting which was really worked into the feel of the book and not just window dressing and I loved all the spice talk.  The mystery was intriguing with lots of possible suspects and motives and did keep me guessing especially for the why until the very end.  My only real issue is that there were a lot of side characters from those in Pepper's life to the fixtures at Pike Place Market to those in the victim's life and a few others.  At times and especially at the end I had a hard time remembering who everyone was though this didn't impact my understanding of how the mystery itself played out.  My Rating: Liked It! (3.5 Stars)


  1. Thanks for taking the trip to Seattle with me, on the page!

  2. Well they all sound like they were really good cozy mysteries. How interesting that Ellie Alexander added a book to a finished series. Must be popular.

  3. All series are on my TBR. I haven't had a chance to start them yet but they look good.

  4. I love this post! These all sound like great cozies--and none of them are ones I have tried yet. I do want to though!