Charms and Chocolate Chips – Bailey Cates

Having skipped book 2 (because my library didn’t have it) I jumped right into book 3 and loved this one as well. There were obviously some details in the first couple of chapters referencing things that happened in book 2, but it didn’t make the book difficult to read. Which is one of my favorite thing about cozy mysteries!

Charms and Chocolate Chips cover image

Katie Lightfoot is still working with her Aunt and Uncle at Honeybee’s Bakery, dating Declan, and now volunteering at a wildlife foundation. It is this foundation where a friend is found murdered, and the threat now seems to be on Katie. An area of swampland is of interest to a few different individuals, and the foundation is trying to protect it, and the wildlife that lives there.

A surprise visit from Katie’s mother also lets us see that relationship mend, as well as the relationship between her Mom and her Aunt.

We learn a bit more about magic in this story, and Katie is much more comfortable with who she truly is. She is beginning to realize how powerful she really is, and her friends and family are realizing it as well.

And I am on to book 4! Also going to the library today to see what other books I can pick up 😊 What are your favorite cozy mysteries?

Brownies and Broomsticks – Bailey Cates

Another weekly trip to my library to trade in books for new ones, and I found 4 cozy mysteries from the Magical Bakery Mystery by Bailey Cates. I finished this first installment in less than a day, and have already started book 3. They did not have book 2, so I figured I would just wing it anyhow and grab all of them that they had.

Brownies and Broomsticks cover image

I was not sure how I felt about a cozy mystery that included Witches, but I was quickly sucked in by the great characters and descriptive writing.

Katie Lightfoot moves from Ohio to Savannah, Georgia to open a bakery with her Aunt Lucy and Uncle Ben. Little does she know that her Aunt Lucy has much to share with her about the fact that she is a Witch, as well as her parents, who chose to not let her know about that side of her life.

Her first week in Savannah has her reeling from that revelation, confused about the intense anger between two handsome men who are both showing an interest in her, and the woman murdered in her car outside of Honeybee’s Bakery.

Unwilling to let her Uncle Ben take the wrap when he is pegged as a suspect, Katie is quickly on the trail of the murderer, much to the chagrin of Detective Quinn. It’s Katie’s persistence, and Quinn’s finally acceptance of what she is learning before he does, that gets Uncle Ben off the hook.

There were two recipes at the end of the story, one for Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies, and one for Cheddar-Sage Scones. A quick scan let me know I had all the ingredients for the Scones, so I whipped up a quick batch. I only had a couple bites of one as I am sure it’s not approved Weight Watchers food 😊 It was savory, and would definitely be a great addition to any meal or for an afternoon snack. The only thing I substituted was instead of dried sage, I only had ground sage. I should have doubled the ground sage, as it didn’t have quite enough sage flavor for my liking!

Cheddar-Sage Scones

Cheddar-Sage Scones

2 ¼ C all purpose flour

1 Tbs baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 tsp dried sage

6 Tbs butter, cut into 1-inch pieces and chilled in the freezer for 15 minutes

2/3 C grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 egg

½ C milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Set aside ¼ C of flour in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, combine 2 C flour, baking powder, salt, and sage. Add chilled butter and cut into flour by rubbing with your fingers or using a pastry blender until the consistency of rough cornmeal.

Add the grated cheddar to the ¼ C flour and toss to coat. Shake to remove extra flour and add to pastry mixture, tossing with your hands to evenly distribute the cheese.

Whisk together the egg and milk. Add to flour mixture, stirring lightly with a fork until ingredients are moistened and just hold together.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead 20 times. Add more flour to the surface if needed. Pat into an 8 inch circle, slightly higher in the center than on the edges. Using a very sharp knife, cut 8 equal wedges. Place scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, slightly apart from one another. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown.

Button Holed – Kylie Logan

Another great first installment in the cozy mystery genre by Kylie Logan! Josie Giancola has just opened her button shop, being a leading expert in the country on buttons. Finding the hottest actress in the industry dead in her shop, along with a couple odd break-ins, and Josie is working the case.

Button Holed cover image

There are any number of suspects, and Detective Nevin Riley needs the help only Josie can provide; tracking down the origin of a rare button found under the body of the deceased. Dodging her ex-husband, as well as the thugs who seem to be following her, has Josie racing against the clock to find the murderer, before they finish her off for good.

Coming up tomorrow, another first installment by a new author, along with the recipe I tested out from the story!

French Fried – Kylie Logan

I finished the second book in the Ethnic Eats Mystery series rather quickly, and am hoping that the 3rd book is available at my library.

French Fried cover image

This time around the theme for the Terminal restaurant is French food, and along with that is the murder of a very close friend of Laurel and her Aunt Sophie. There are too many suspects, and not enough clues, but with Laurel’s determination, the help of her boyfriend Declan, and asking the right questions, Laurel again helps solve the case.

I liked this book better than the first, Irish Stewed, but that may be because I am now familiar with the characters, and the writing style of the author.

I know I have a cozy mystery series in my library that I had started quite some time ago, with a couple books I have not finished, so I think instead of getting too many books from the library today (yeah, right!), I will go to my own library and see what is there to read!

 

Irish Stewed – Kylie Logan

This is the first book in the Ethnic Eats Mystery cozy series. Laurel Inwood, a professional chef, moves from California to Hubbard, Ohio to help manage her Aunt Sophie’s restaurant while she has and recovers from knee surgery.

Irish Stewed cover image

Sophie has lied to Laurel about the type of restaurant she owns, and instead of finding a luxurious restaurant, she finds The Terminal, a run-down restaurant that most would refer to as a “greasy Spoon” restaurant. Not happy with her Aunt’s deceit, Laurel ends up staying to help out.

The dead body of the famous local reporter that is found in the dining room on the night of her arrival may have peaked her interest as well.

Laurel has no idea who to trust, as well as her own list of suspects, including the handsome owner of the Irish gift shop, Declan Fury, and her own Aunt Sophie. Laurel has plenty to keep her busy as she tries to bring the Terminal back to life, and figure out which one of her new acquaintances’ is a murderer.

Initially the patrons are slow to take to the idea of a new menu, but with the help of Declan, soon Laurel has an idea to get the Terminal packed with customers. Featuring ethnic foods for one or two weeks at a time, the customers are loving it, but Laurel now needs to let Sophie in on what she has done.

This is a quick read with lots of action and a great storyline! I am already reading the second book in the series, French Fried.

What are your current cozy mystery favorites?

Wicked Weaves – Joyce and Jim Lavene

This is the first book in the Renaissance Faire Mystery cozy series. I picked up the first 3 books at my library last weekend. It took me longer than it should have to read this first story, and I will get through the next two much quicker!

Wicked Weaves cover image

I really liked the story-line here, as well as the characters. Jessie works at the Renaissance Faire (their spelling, not mine) every summer in her town, and is apprenticing with local craft artists for her dissertation for her PhD. This summer she is working with Mary Shift, a basket weaver who has quite the storied past.

After Mary’s husband, who she has not seen in 10 years, is found dead outside her shop, Jessie and her new boyfriend Chase work to help Mary and untangle the mess that she seems to have gotten herself into.

This story was a lot of fun, and typical of the cozy mystery genre. There wasn’t anything here I didn’t like, and I am excited to get started on the next book, where Jessie apprentices with the local glassblower.

Do you read cozy mysteries? I would love to hear what some of your favorites are!

Dipped to Death – Kelly Lane

This was book #3 in the Olive Grove Mystery cozy series. I had read the first two quickly after finding them on a sorting shelf at one of my local libraries; this one I had to wait to be released.

Dipped to Death cover image

As with the first two, I loved this story, and had it read in less than 24 hours. (Yes; I am still not working due to the broke-my-ankle-in-3-places, more about that in another post!)

Eva Knox is still working at her family’s Olive Plantation in Georgia, and tripping over dead bodies left-and-right. This time it is an ex-fiance from Boston that no one in her family knew existed. Her other ex-fiance, sheriff Buck Tanner is of course on the case, both frustrating and frustrated by Eva at every turn.

I try to avoid the spoilers, but I have to say I hope this is a series that goes on for several more books! I am definitely anxious for the next book…there is a next book, right??? It isn’t often I will purchase cozy mysteries, as they are so readily available at my libraries, but this is certainly one I want in my personal library to read over and again!

You can find it here: Dipped to Death

Have you tried this series yet? I would love to here what you thought of it; and if you haven’t, I highly recommend it.