Category Archives: Cozy Mystery

The Bitter Taste of Betrayal by CeeCee James

The Bitter Taste of Betrayal by CeeCee James

The Bitter Taste of Betrayal is a pleasant cozy mystery. The story is engaging. I’m not sure how she figured out where the (not) dead guy was being held. That was kind of sudden, but if you just go with it and don’t think too hard it’s fine. There are a lot of characters, some who are important but not mentioned for long periods of time so you have to try to remember who is meant when they pop back up. Overall, it’s a nice bit of brain candy. I recommend The Bitter Taste of Betrayal to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2023: 6
Pages Read in 2023: 1988

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Marriage Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo

Marriage Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo

Carol is back at trying to solve yet another too-close-to-home murder. There is a lot in this book that is ridiculous (such as the reasons for having basically no one at the wedding) and those things often took me out of the story while I rolled my eyes. The writing is mediocre. The formatting on the Kindle makes it very hard to enjoy reading. The big reveal pretty much came out of left field. Marriage Can Be Murder is not a book to go out of your way to read.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 115
Pages Read in 2022: 39,843
Graphic Novels: 4

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The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Some of the characters in The Thursday Murder Club are absolutely hysterical. I instantly fell in love with both Elizabeth and Joyce. But there are way too many characters. It’s very hard to keep them straight, especially since some are mentioned and then not again for several chapters. The British wit is fabulous. While the elderly group figures everything out, and in fact are the only ones who know the whole truth in the end, the police are not portrayed as completely inept. I certainly didn’t have it all figured out before the end, but it did all fit together in a way that made sense. This is a good book, but not one I’d go out of my way to read.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 103
Pages Read in 2022: 35,989
Graphic Novels: 3

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Class Reunions Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo

Class Reunions Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo

I’ve read some fabulous cozy mysteries. And I’ve read some pretty terrible ones. Class Reunions Can Be Murder definitely belongs in the latter category. Supposedly the characters are in their late 50s, but they act like they are in their 20s. They are kind of insufferable, immature, and never got over things from high school. But lest you forget that they are not in their 20s, the author continually makes references to their age and aging. The main character is extremely annoying. She’s just plain unlikable. The story is both predictable and ridiculous. The book is in bad need of an editor. There are so many editing errors. The author does not seem to know what a scene change symbol is for. They are inserted randomly right in the middle of scenes. Generally they are put in places where the main character begins to think about something else or do whatever she said she was going to do. But the scene is still the same so the symbols just ended up being irritating. The whole book was about a 40-year reunion being planned, but the author doesn’t really give any time to the actual reunion activities. The book would’ve been way better if she did (though she included lots of recipes, including how the food was made then and how it’s made now, and reunion ideas in the back which was basically useless fluff). As they are planning the reunion they make a decision to include significant others in the pre-union mixer, but then suddenly significant others aren’t allowed and this becomes a whole scene with the main character’s (equally annoying) husband because he can’t go. So she says he can walk through but he doesn’t want to actually do that, he just wanted to be invited and then later it turns out he did walk through the mixer briefly. Several of the women spent the night in their old school (which is now an active construction zone), but it was literally show up, go to bed. Why in the world would you have a slumber party which only involved sleeping in a different location? Maybe she thought that would show that these women are SO OLD that they couldn’t stay up late which, if they were real people in their late 50s, they absolutely would have. The reunion itself is barely mentioned at all. While the book had its moments that weren’t horrible, overall this is just a poorly written, not very entertaining book. Definitely one to skip.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 96
Pages Read in 2022: 33,834
Graphic Novels: 3

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Murder by the Slice by Mary Maxwell

Murder by the Slice by Mary Maxwell

This book is one of the most poorly edited books I’ve ever read. It was revealed that one character was not who he presented himself to be and was using an assumed name and then the author seemed to forget that whole part and had the main character google (with no luck) the name and position as he had given it. There were many editing errors, both missing words and extra words. They were usually small ones like in and the, but it made it annoying to read.

The characters were very flat and they were pretty much all rather stupid. The main character is supposed to be really smart and a great PI, but she missed pretty much every clue and while investigating she left things to much later instead of actually trying to figure things out. For example, if I got a thumb drive from my dead boss – who inexplicably sent it to a previous address requiring the post office to forward it twice – I wouldn’t just copy the files to my computer, I’d figure out the passwords right away and open the files. Speaking of the thumb drive, why were the files password protected using passwords her dead boss used but he apparently was given the thumb drive by someone else and sent it to her the day before he died just in case? She seemed shocked that a knife used in a murder a few miles away could possibly also be planted at her home as a warning to her, though she had made the connection about that earlier (the author made sure to mention it was totally her excellent PI skills figuring that out of course). Over and over how tired she was and how little sleep she was getting was mentioned, to the point it got downright irritating.

When her fingerprints were found all over the knife – because it was HER knife someone had stolen – the police acted like that meant she killed the guy. Nevermind it was her knife that she used all the time so of course her prints would be on it.

The whole book was incredibly predictable which made it quite boring. I found myself finding every reason not to read it and ended up taking almost two weeks to read a book the length of one I’d typically read in a couple days. Usually I like cozy mysteries, but Murder by the Slice is one to skip.

1 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 76
Pages Read in 2022: 27,497
Graphic Novels: 1

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Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett

Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett

Hollywood Homicide is a fun cozy mystery. Day gets the murderer wrong so many times it’s just hilarious. There’s a lot of humor and a side story I want to know how it turns out that clearly will continue in the subsequent books in the series. It’s a quick read and a great little mind vacation. I recommend it to anyone who likes cozy mysteries.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 22
Pages Read in 2022: 7864
Graphic Novels: 1

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The Case of the Not-So-Fair Trader by Jim Stevens

The Case of the Not-So-Fair Trader by Jim Stevens

This book is kind of forgettable and mindless. Perfect for when your brain doesn’t have enough bandwidth for a more complicated book. The sum-up was pretty much perfection and reminded me of Shawn on Psych (in fact I read it in Shawn’s voice in my head). If you want an easy crime novel, The Case of the Not-So-Fair Trader is a good choice.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 9
Pages Read in 2022: 3065

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The Curse of the Holy Pail by Sue Ann Jaffarian

The Curse of the Holy Pail by Sue Ann Jaffarian

The Curse of the Holy Pail is a great mind vacation sort of book. It’s kind of silly, lots of fun, and had a little bump (not quite a twist) at the end that I did not see coming. I enjoyed reading it very much. It’s the second book in The Odelia Gray Mysteries series and while I have not read the first book that did not matter at all. Odelia is a big woman who is very secure in taking up space in the world. I recommend this book to adults who enjoy cozy mysteries.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 85
Pages Read in 2021: 27,521

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Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott

Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott

While slow to get started, Murder by the Book is full of unexpected twists and turns I mostly did not see coming. By the middle I was sucked in and had no idea where it was going to go. The wrap up was a bit confusing just because so many characters were involved, but the explanation ultimately made sense and while highly unlikely, it was still totally plausible. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries, especially ones centered around books.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 23
Pages Read in 2021: 6298

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Murder in Christmas River by Meg Muldoon

I found Murder in Christmas River to be entertaining but also very predictable. The end dragged on. I felt like it could have been wrapped up much quicker. There were quite a few minor typos throughout the book. As far as a mind vacation, like most cozy mysteries, it was very pleasant. If you really want a Christmas-themed cozy mystery, this one is good enough.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2020: 56
Pages Read in 2020: 15,565
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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