Alphabetical Index of Mystery Reviews

The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco

As soon as I heard the premise for this first in a cozy mystery series, I knew it was for me. The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco revolves around a mystery-reading book club organized by event planner Amy-Faye Johnson. She lives in a small Colorado town, where the other club members are her best friend, Brooke, a society wife; Lola, who runs a plant nursery and mothers her younger sister; the older Maud, a web designer, hunting guide, and conspiracy […]

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Decanting a Murder

In Decanting a Murder, sommelier-in-training Katie Stillwell investigates a mystery in California wine country. Her outgoing childhood friend Tessa is working at a secretive winery whose products are much in demand, and Tessa invites Katie to a private party there. The owner is found murdered in one of the fermentation tanks, and the cast of suspects includes his wife, the businessman owner of the neighboring vineyard, the bitchy assistant, the flirty vineyard manager, and Tessa. Katie gets involved in figuring […]

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The Final Tap

The Final Tap is a sequel to The Final Reveille, a murder mystery set at a living history museum, a reconstructed farm in Ohio, but it works perfectly well as a starting point if you haven’t read the previous. This time, instead of a Civil War reenactor getting killed, it’s a despicable, unliked expert on maple sugaring in this mystery by Amanda Flower. It’s spring at the farm, although the winter weather keeps hanging around. Kelsey, manager of the farm […]

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Death and the Lit Chick

If you’re interested in the world of publishing and the outsize personalities some authors portray themselves to be, you’ll enjoy the mystery Death and the Lit Chick. This is the second mystery by G.M. Malliet to feature Detective Chief Inspector St. Just, and it’s juicy. (The first, Death of a Cozy Writer, was one of those family sagas where the imperious father, in this case a famous author, has a flock of ne’er-do-well kids. They all gather to talk him […]

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Death on a Starry Night

Death on a Starry Night is the third and latest Nora Barnes & Toby Sandler mystery in the series written by Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden. As with the other volumes, it’s full of art and travel knowledge in a place it sounds wonderful to visit. Nora Barnes is an art historian who travels to amazing locations with her husband, Toby, where they find murders. In the first book, Murder in Lascaux, Nora and Toby are two of only six […]

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All Murders Final!

All Murders Final! is the third and latest in the “Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery” series by Sherry Harris. It’s one of those books I think of as a “modern cozy”. “Cozies” are mysteries in the tradition of Agatha Christie, set amongst a small community and contrasted with thrillers or hardboiled detective stories. The detective is usually an amateur, and these days, there’s a strong second hook, some kind of hobby (such as quilting or gardening) or profession (caterer, veterinarian) […]

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Killer Cocktail

The modern-day Nick-and-Nora-style couple mystery Murder With a Twist has a sequel coming out in early May. Tracy Kiely’s Killer Cocktail sends playboy Nigel and ex-homicide detective Nicole to Hollywood, accompanied by their giant dog Skippy. As with the previous volume, it’s a breezy, light-hearted read. Scenes alternate between now and the 1996 events on set while making a film where the lead, former child star Melanie Summers, unfortunately passed away, presumably from a drug overdose. She was co-starring with […]

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Friday Barnes, Girl Detective

Friday Barnes, Girl Detective by R.A. Spratt is an amusing blend of boarding school antics and mystery-solving. Friday, as the overlooked daughter of supersmart academics having to find her own way, reminded me a bit of Meg, from A Wrinkle in Time. Only instead of science fiction, this series is based in detection, starring a pint-size Sherlock. Friday “largely raised herself” and “found it was best to go unnoticed as much as possible.” She reads widely, including detective fiction, and […]

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