Saturday, March 15, 2014

The March 2014 Report

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Welcome to Dru's Cozy Report: March 2014. Below are musings from five cozies for your reading pleasure, and highlights from some recent releases. Enjoy!

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Pearls and Poison by Duffy Brown is the third book in the "Consignment Shop" mystery series.
It’s election time in Savannah, Georgia, and Judge Guillotine Gloria—aka Reagan Summerside’s mom—is neck and neck in the polls with Kip “Scummy” Seymour. But the already dirty campaign is about to get downright filthy—with one candidate getting buried six feet under.

With her strong opinions and knack for getting into trouble, Reagan is not an ideal volunteer for her mother’s alderman campaign. Plus, she’d rather be running her consignment shop, the Prissy Fox, and eating doughnuts with her dog, Bruce Willis. But when her mother’s opponent, Kip, is found poisoned and her mother is pegged as a suspect, Reagan nominates herself as lead murder investigator.

Reagan is intent on finding Kip’s killer and clearing her mother’s good name, but she soon finds herself on the bad side of Kip’s enemies-turned-suspects. This time, no amount of costumes and makeup can keep her inconspicuous and out of danger. Because the closer Reagan gets to the truth, the hotter things get.
This was a fun and humorous read that I could not put down. When Reagan's mother becomes the prime suspect in the murder of her political rival, Reagan is determined to find a killer and clear her mother's name. What she discovers is fraud and deception running amok in her small town. This book embarks on madcap escapades that Reagan, Kiki and her Mamma finds themselves in. The mystery was good as it kept me tuned to the pages in this fast paced and light fare that tickled my funny bone. Ever present was Walter Boone who I see having a closer friendship with Reagan and we also met a few quirky residents that inhabits the space that is Reagan. I enjoyed this book and I look forward to more amusing antics with Reagan and her friends in this delightfully entertaining series.

Visit Duffy at

Keeping Mum by Alyse Carlson is the third book in the "Garden Society" mystery series.
Cam and her best friend, Annie, are planning a gala for a local Senate candidate—a murder mystery themed silent auction where the guests bid on who will be the night’s “victim.” Coordinating a beautiful display of fall flowers and planning the perfect fake crime is hard enough, but with a guest list that is a “who’s who” of the Roanoke elite, Cam has her hands full navigating the egos and grudges of her high society guests.

When local financial tycoon Derrick Windermere is found dead next to a shattered pot of chrysanthemums, the night’s fun and games quickly turn serious. Half the guests had good reason to want Windermere dead, but only one is suspiciously missing in action—Annie’s father. Now Cam will not only have to figure out which partygoer is a killer, but find her friend’s father before all their reputations end up dragged through the mud
I enjoyed this book, which was hard to put down. Once again, Cam gets involved in a murder investigation and with the support of her friends, she is able to bring justice to all involved. The tone of this book is very comfortable and the flow is easy to follow the plot that will get you to the end in this delightfully charming light fare. I enjoyed all the scenes in the book, especially the closeness of Cam and Annie. Cam is very likeable, as are her friends and I look forward to more adventures with them in this terrific read that boast a beautiful setting, a great secondary cast in this well-written drama.

Visit Alyse at

Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs is the 15th book in the "Tea Shop" mystery series.
Theodosia Browning has never considered herself a wine connoisseur—tea has always been her forte. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to pass up an invitation to a fancy wine-tasting party at the upscale Knighthall Winery, just outside of Charleston, South Carolina.

But a sweet evening takes on a bitter aftertaste when a dead body is discovered in one of the wine barrels. The son of proprietor Jordan Knight has been murdered.

Dissatisfied with the police investigation, Knight turns to Theo for help. She’s heard through the grapevine that there are both family and business problems at Knighthall. They say in vino veritas, but everyone at the winery seems to be lying through their teeth. Sorting through the guest list as well as family and staff, Theo has her pick of suspects. It may look like the killer has her over a barrel, but cracking tough cases is vintage Theodosia Browning.
I like it. How could I have missed this series? This is the first book that I’m reading in this charming series and it was very enjoyable. Theo is a wonderful character and I like how she gathered all the clues that resulted in the apprehension of a killer. This evenly paced tome hit the right spot giving us enough intrigue to keep me drawn to the story. The suspects were plenty and every time I thought I had a handle on the culprit, the author had some tricks up her sleeve to point me in another direction and boy was I surprised when the killer was revealed. This was a well-written whodunit that put me in the middle of all the action and I look forward to more teas with Theo and her friends.

Visit Laura at

Inherit the Word by Daryl Wood Gerber is the second book in the "Cookbook Nook" mystery series.
The Cookbook Nook is set to host the town's upcoming Grill Fest, a tasty tradition which pits local amateur chefs against one another to concoct the most delicious dishes. This year's challenge: grilled cheese. But with competing chefs bearing grudges from past years, more mouths are running off than savoring the fare.

The expression "too many cooks" proves all too true when the eight-time champ is found murdered in the alley behind the café. Soon a local diner owner (and Jenna's "second mother") is suspected of bumping off the competition, and Jenna has to douse the flames before the wrong person gets burned.
I like it. Not only does Jenna look for clues to clear her BFF’s mother of murder, but suddenly another mystery impacts her life for which she’ll have to find the answers. The comfortable tone and the easy-going flow of this light-hearted whodunit was hard to put down as I had to know what happens next. The author did a good job in keeping me in suspense with the list of suspects and some intriguing twists that I didn’t see coming, especially when the killer was revealed. You can count of the supporting cast that surrounds Jenna to provide some comic relief, especially her BFF Bailey and her aunt Vera in this character-driven drama. Murder, betrayal, and a grilled cheese contest are found between the pages of this wonderfully prepared drama and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the residents of Crystal Cove in this delectably appetizingly series.

Visit Daryl at

Dead Between the Lines by Denise Swanson is the third book in the "Devereaux's Dime Store" mystery series.
To keep her new business in the black, Dev opens up her shop to local clubs. But in the first meeting of the Stepping Out Book Club, the speaker storms out after members attack his poetry’s sexism and scorn for small towns. Later that night, the poet’s body is found outside Dev’s store.

Dev can’t afford for the murder to close her down, so she does a little stepping out of her own to investigate, with help from her two sexy suitors, Dr. Noah Underwood and Deputy U.S. Marshal Jake Del Vecchio. But when the killer threatens Dev, they will have to use every trick in the book to solve the case before she becomes the final chapter in this murder mystery.
This was a good read that was hard to put down. A dead body, two suitors, and a murder investigation is what you’ll find in between the pages of this fabulous book. How will it end? You’ll have to pick up a copy of this fast-paced and action filled light whodunit. The author does a great job of pulling you into every nook and cranny of this well-written drama. Dev is at her best trying to solve this mystery and I was taken by surprise with the revelation of the killer, which I did not see coming. Another fine job by the author and I do hope that Dev makes her decision soon (Jake!). With a great cast of quirky residents and good conversations, I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Dev and the possibilities in the next book in this fabulous series.

Visit Denise at

Other books released this month:

Shunned and Dangerous by Laura Bradford
Series: Amish #3

Claire has always been game for a good puzzle, so when she hears that Mose Fisher has made one of his famous corn mazes, she can’t wait to walk the paths and test her skill. But she’ll have a much more serious puzzle to solve when, deep inside the maze, she discovers the body of Amish dairy farmer Harley Zook.

It won’t be easy for Detective Jakob Fisher to investigate a murder on his own father’s farm—not after being shunned by the man for leaving the Amish community and becoming a cop. With Mose himself as a suspect, and old family secrets cropping up, it’s up to Claire to help catch the killer before she finds herself at a dead end.

Iced To Death by Peg Cochran
Series: Gourmet De-Lite #3

Gigi’s business may be hot, but her home life is leaving her cold. Her sister, Pia, has dropped in for an unannounced visit and, much to Gigi’s chagrin, has immediately fallen for handsome bar owner Declan McQuaid. So when Declan asks Gigi to help him prep for a big engagement party, she’s not only dealing with the heat of the kitchen and her own feelings for Declan, but Pia’s jealousy.

However, Gigi’s rising temperature quickly chills when the host of the party is found stabbed to death with an ice pick in back of the pub. Now, as Gigi’s beau, Detective Mertz, hones in on Declan as a possible murderer, Gigi will have to shave down the growing list of suspects quickly, before Pia’s newfound love interest finds himself locked in the cooler…

How to Paint a Cat by Rebecca M. Hale
Series: Cats and Curios Series #5

San Francisco isn’t the biggest city in the country, but it feels pretty vast when you’re canvassing its neighborhoods looking for clues to your missing uncle’s hidden location. Aided by my two cats, Rupert and Isabella, I try to follow Uncle Oscar’s painted clues on a trail that leads from Coit Tower’s famous murals through San Francisco’s New Deal art—all while hoping my uncle’s sudden disappearance is unrelated to the murdered intern at City Hall.

Just when it seems our search has hit a wall, we receive some surprising help from beyond. But will it be enough to save us from our own brushes with death? Here’s hoping we don’t paint ourselves into a corner...

Spinning in Her Grave by Molly MacRae
Series: Haunted Yarn Shop #3

It’s time for Blue Plum’s annual historical festival, and everyone—including Kath and her spunky fiber and needlework group, TGIF—is getting in on the action. Expert spinners are being gathered, and a businessman has approached Kath about using the second-floor windows of her store for part of a reenactment. But the reenactment ends in real-life bloodshed when local baker Reva Louise Snapp is shot—with a bullet from a modern-day gun.

Kath has her theories about who wanted to end Reva Louise’s life. But there’s also talk of a sniper stalking Blue Plum, and Kath’s shop is suspected to be the murderer’s hideout. Now Kath, her TGIF pals, and the gloomy ghost, Geneva, must unravel the mystery quickly, or someone else might be left hanging by a thread....

My website is located at dru's book musing


Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

A great line-up, Dru-- I can see I have some happy reading ahead!.

Linda said...

I've enjoyed Laura Child's tea shop mysteries since the first book in the series. Thank you for the review of her latest.

Hart Johnson said...

You're fabulous, Dru! Thank you so much for your kind review!!!
-aka- Alyse

Dru said...

Thanks for the shout-out.

Dru said...

Thanks for the comment Linda. Looking forward to reading the previous books in the series.

Dru said...

Thanks for writing a wonderful story.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Dru! This is such a wonderful help to cozy readers. Thanks for everything you do to get the word out. March is a great month.



Dru said...

Thanks MJ!

Aurian said...

Great list Dru! I do have the Duffy Brown book on my shelves, and I love everything Laura Childs. She was the first cozy mystery author whose books I bought in English.

Duffy Brown said...

Thanks tons, Aurian, for picking up Pearls and Poison. Have fun with Auntie KiKi and the other Savannah regulars. Hugs, Duffy.

Duffy Brown said...

Thanks for the terrific review, Dru Ann Love. I really appreciate it. So glad you had a good time in Savannah with Reagan, Auntie KiKi, Walker Boone and the Savannah suspects. Never dull moment with a martini in one hand and sprinkle doughnut in the other. Thanks, again! Hugs, Duffy.

Aurian said...

Thank you Duffy, I still love and use the totebag you send me daily.