Cozies for Your Quarantine –

This is a time like no other; a time that no one (nearly no one) alive today has experienced before. Depending where you live, you could be deep into this, or it is just starting to hit your area. Michigan has shut down all kindergarten through 12th grade schools, nearly all colleges are doing online classes with campuses and dorms being closed. State and City businesses are closed as well.

I, however, still get to go to work every day. It would take a Presidential order for that to change! 😊 My teenager will be home for the next 3-4 weeks, and I already have a list of things in my mind that she can do around the house once her schoolwork is done. I’m not holding my breath (no pun intended), but hopefully she can help me out!

What doesn’t help is that my 3 local libraries are also closed. I have 3 books checked out right now (a cozy series) that I have to read yet, but I was hoping to get more picked up. I have many different books downloaded on my Nook, so I will be happy to start getting those read instead.

Some of my favorite cozy series are listed below!

Sherry Harris – Sarah Winston Garage Sale Series

Julianna Deering – Drew Farthering Mysteries

Maddie Day (Edith Mawell) – Country Store Mystery Series 

Kelly Lane – Olive Grove Mysteries

Bailey Cates – Magical Bakery Mystery Series

Kylie Logan – Ethnic Eats Mystery Series

What are you reading? Are you quarantined? Sick? Caring for someone who is sick? How are you handling this new Normal we have for at least the next few weeks?

One of My Favorite Series

I have been reading cozy mysteries pretty heavily for the past year, but still pick up another type of book from the library every visit. I seem to always find the best books from just randomly wandering through the aisles and looking at different books that the title or cover grabs my attention.

One of those great finds was the Flavia DeLuce series, written by Alan Bradley. Whenever I find a new series that I adore, I always wish I had found it sooner. But sooner I was reading a different great series I loved and thought the same thing about.

Flavia is an 11 year old girl with two older sisters who love to torment her, a father who is aloof, and a housekeeper whom she seems to adore as much as she dislikes. Her father’s friend, Dogger, seems to be the anchor for Flavia in a family that frustrates her. Dogger is the groundkeeper, chauffeur, and basic man-of-many trades who lives on the estate with the family.

Flavia’s skill with chemistry, and her own extensive lab, has her solving murders in her village that seem to give the police force a run for their money. With Dogger’s help, Flavia seems to stay one step ahead of the police, and the murderers, and each new story builds upon the last, giving you a picture of the dynamics of this broken family, this motherless child, and the friendships she forms from solving mysteries.

There are only two books in the series I have not read yet, and hopefully I can get them from my library soon!

What is the last great read that you discovered?

And The Winners Are…

…Lisa and Janine! I have sent you an email with further instructions so I can get your gifts shipped to you.

I will be having another drawing shortly for ebooks for my international followers, as they were not able to participate in this giveaway…again, very sorry, and I am looking for a way to resolve this issue in the future for printed books!

More to come on the next giveaway, as well as some more book reviews!

Thank you to everyone who participated, as well as Julianna Deering for helping me out with this! This has definitely become my favorite cozy mystery series! I love being able to give these types of gifts to readers 😊

The Drew Farthering Mystery Series – Julianna Deering

I am almost finished with the sixth, and currently last, book in the Drew Farthering Mystery series. I posted book reviews on the first two books, then quickly read the 3rd and 4th books so I could get them back to my library. I bought the 5th and 6th books in eBook versions for my Nook, and am truly sad that I am almost done with the 6th installment, and there are no more books to read. Hopefully this is not truly the end of Drew, Madeline, Nick, and Carrie and their wonderful adventures.

I am hoping to be holding a drawing for the first book in this series very soon, so stay tuned!

You can learn more about these books and Ms. Deering here: The Drew Farthering Mystery Series

Death by the Book – Julianna Deering

Book 2 in the Drew Farthering Mystery series was everything I hoped it would be, and so much more! It’s the Summer of 1932, and if Drew was planning on a quiet go of it so he could spend time with Ms. Madeline Parker, he was mistaken. Add in Madeline’s dear Aunt Ruth, and Drew has definitely got his hands full.

Death by the Book Cover Image
I absolutely love this cover!

The first murder happens to be the Farthering family solicitor whom Drew had a meeting with. The hatpin and Shakespearian note stuck in his chest has Drew, Madeline, and Nick scrambling to figure out what the meaning, and motive might be. As the bodies start stacking up in what the townspeople begin calling the Hatpin Murders, Drew is doing his best to win over Aunt Ruth, before she manages to get Madeline on a plane and take her from Drew forever.

The twists and turns in the story will keep you turning pages until the killer is revealed. This story was a great follow-up to the first book, Rules of Murder. I am halfway through book number 3, and these books are definitely going to be added to my home library!

You can find Julianna’s web page here: Julianna Deering

You can purchase these fantastic stories here: Julianna on Amazon

Rules of Murder – Julianna Deering

This is the first book in the Drew Farthering Mystery Series. I randomly came across these books doing what I so often do at my local library; walk down random aisles looking at titles and book covers until something grabs my attention. This book cover definitely grabbed my attention. I knew as soon as I saw it that I was looking at a classic mystery novel such as the ones I would find at yard sales growing up and make my Mom buy for me.

Rules of Murder cover image
How amazing is this cover?!

This book was found in the Christian Fiction section of my library, but it is in no way overtly religious (not that I would mind, I like those books as well!), but there is mention of God, and going to Church, and the like. It is set in the 1930’s in Britain (another bonus for me!) and the story as a whole was just good, clean, fun!

Drew Farthering lives at the Farthering Estate, the house that controls the town, if-you-will. Think Downton Abbey. He lives with his mother and step-father, their Butler Dennison, and Mrs. Devon, the head maid, amongst other staff. Nick Dennison, son of butler Dennison, is the best friend of Drew, and a frequent visitor of the estate.

When Drew’s step-father, Mr. Parker, announces that his niece and 2 of her friends will be arriving for a stay from America, Drew is excited for some new company. Madeline Parker and her friends arrive at the estate, and the adventure begins. Two murders need to be solved, Drew is doing his best to focus on the cases at hand, all while wooing Ms. Madeline.

This is a clean written story, like you would expect in cozy mysteries set in today’s timeframe. It is great fun, taking you back to a time when things were simpler, except for solving a murder, that is. That was not simpler. There were no cell phones, no internet, no ballistics studies, and the like.

I’m skipping the spoilers as I always do; but I cannot recommend this book enough! I am almost done with book two and will be reviewing that soon!

What cozy are you enjoying right now?

What I’m Reading…

… I had to order 3 books from a library two hours away, since my library got rid of all of these books😔 How did I miss that sale?

These books are what got me started on my book obsession. And Encyclopedia Brown, of course.

This book is stamped 1974; I was two years old.

There are not too many books I will read over and again; but it has been so long since I read this story that everything is brand new and like I am reading it for the first time.

Please tell me you have read these stories!

Double Fudge Brownie Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery– Joanne Fluke

It has been quite a while since I have read one of the Hannah Swensen mysteries by Joanne Fluke. They are all titled with fun food references, such as Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (book 1), Carrot Cake Murder (book 10), and Raspberry Danish Murder (book 22). I am currently reading book 19, The Wedding Cake Murder. The Double Fudge Brownie Murder that I am reviewing here is book 18.

Double Fudge Brownie Cover Image

Although I know I have not read all of the books up to book 19 that I am on now, I would say by looking at all of the covers and titles, I have read about 14 or 15 over the years. Hannah Swensen owns a bakery, and is the classic cozy-mystery heroine whom solves the murder case in each story. These books are significantly longer than most cozy mysteries, and they also contain several wonderful recipes throughout the story.

Hannah has her mother and two sisters in her life, a fluffy orange and white tomcat, as well as her assistant at her bakery; Lisa. She has two men in her life throughout this series, Norman and Mike. Both love her, she loves them, and they are obviously aware of the other being in Hannah’s life. Traditional to a cozy mystery, there is no swearing, graphic murder scenes, or sexual innuendos or unbearable scenes to read through.

I will not go into too many details on this story, in order to avoid spoilers, but Hannah and her sisters are helping their mother get married, and they all enjoy a trip to Las Vegas for the nuptials. What Hannah does not know, is that she is in for her own surprise in Las Vegas. This helps to keep her in positive spirits as she knows when she returns home she has to go to trial for an involuntary manslaughter charge from an accident she had (I am guessing in the book immediately before this, that I have not read). Finding the Judge who is going to try the case bludgeoned to death with his own gavel gives Hannah a lot more to worry about!

You can find all of the book titles here: Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke

I highly recommend all of the Hannah Swensen mysteries! Have you read any of the Hannah Swensen mysteries?