Review: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder ClubThe Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Thursday Murder Club is a bloody brilliant start to a Cozy Mystery series. I’m in, hook, line and sinker.

This one features an interesting mystery, fantastic characters and the audibook narration was perfection.

I feel like one of the last remaining people on Earth to have read this delightful Mystery, but I’m so happy to be joining the party, late or not.

I really wanted to listen to the audio, because I had heard great things about the narration by Marian Keyes and Lesley Manville. They weren’t wrong. It was well worth the over year wait for my library hold to come through.

If you aren’t aware, this book follows a charming group of septuagenarians, mainly Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, who live in a retirement village known as Cooper’s Chase.

This fearsome-foursome meet up once a week to discuss and dig into cold cases. They also have a local DS they befriend and consult regarding their cases of interest.

In this book specifically, a property developer involved in the creation of Cooper’s Chase is found murdered. A case of utmost interest to our friends.

The mystery was cleverly-plotted. I enjoyed the many people of interest we came across along the way. There’s a lot of drama going on surrounding this little community.

The members of the Murder Club all got on so well. I loved their moments together and witty dialogue. The narration had me giggling many times, picturing everything perfectly.

There were some great suspects and lots of motives for potentially killing our victim. Not much got past the Murder Club though. They were on it.

In addition to the great mystery, there was also some thoughtful and emotional moments reflecting on aging and issues that may arise later in life.

In fact, there was one scene that had me in tears. It took me by surprise how much I was moved by many of these characters personal journeys.

I’m really looking forward to continuing on with this series. I’ve heard it just keeps getting better and better.

I’m already attached to these characters and am so excited to join in the investigations and solve some more cases!

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Review: Blackmail and Bibingka (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery #3) by Mia P. Manansala

Blackmail and Bibingka (Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #3)Blackmail and Bibingka by Mia P. Manansala
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

When her estranged cousin, Tita Rosie’s son, Ronnie, returns to town, Lila anticipates that trouble will be close behind. It’s shocking how right she is in that assessment.

Ronnie has purchased the local Shady Grove Winery along with a his best friends, Izzy and Pete, and some other investors, most notable being, Denise Sutton.

It literally feels like Ronnie has been back in Shady Grove for mere moments before the first body suspiciously drops.

Then the blackmail begins, stating that they know what Ronnie did in Florida and that he’s up to his old tricks again. The blackmailer threatens to bring evidence against him unless they are paid a large sum of money by Tita Rosie.

This threatening message coinciding with Ronnie now being suspected of murder does not shine a positive light on her cousin, but Lila feels like she has to do whatever she can to clear Ronnie’s name.

This requires Lila putting her mistrust of Ronnie behind her, at least temporarily, in order to help him. Family is complicated after all, but Lila feels obligated to help.

As Lila digs into Ronnie’s partners and investors, she discovers they’ve actually woven themselves quite a twisted web. The dynamics amongst them are all over the place.

Will Lila be able to figure out the who done it before it’s too late? And what if it actually is her cousin? How does this play out for her family?

Blackmail and Bibingka is the third installment of the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series. I had so much fun with the first two books in this series and this one was no different.

I have loved getting to know the Macapagal family over the course of these books. I was also stoked when Manansala mentioned in her Author’s Note at the conclusion of this, that we will be getting three more books in the series.

Personally, I never want them to end!

These books are full of food and family. If you aren’t hungry by the time you are done one these of books, you have no soul. I’m sort of kidding, but not really.

I love Lila as a character and her friend group. She has surrounded herself with a great group of women and I love how supportive they are of one another. We love to see those types of strong female friendships in our stories.

This book is marketed as taking place during Christmas time, but honestly, if it wasn’t for the food, I would have no clue this was supposed to be set during the holiday season.

It didn’t bother me as such, I only mention it because I know how strongly people feel about their holiday stories and I don’t want anyone to be disappointed.

Overall, I found this to be an engaging mystery. At times, I did get a little confused trying to keep track of all the bad actors Ronnie had surrounded himself with, but that totally could have been my headspace at the time of reading and not the story itself.

I think if you have enjoyed other books in this series, or if you enjoy Cozy Mysteries that incorporate a solid food element, you should definitely check this one out.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’m very excited to continue on with this series!!

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The Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher (Murder, She Wrote #44) by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain

Murder, She Wrote: The Ghost and Mrs. FletcherMurder, She Wrote: The Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher by Jessica Fletcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher is the 44th-book in the long-running and very beloved Murder, She Wrote mystery series.

Incidentally, this is the 40th-book that I have read from this series and with the 56th-book set to release in January of 2023, I still have quite a few more to go!

Suffice it to say, a lot of people love solving mysteries with Jessica Fletcher. These books are such a comforting place for me. I have been reading these books since I was kid, when I also watched the television program with my parents.

Angela Lansbury is a goddess.

In this installment, set completely in Jessica’s hometown of Cabot Cove we have a large, recently vacated home with a potential ghost and a thousand books. Are you intrigued yet?

When fellow Cabot Cover, Cliff Cooper, passes away, Jessica agrees to help local realtor, Eve Simpson, prepare his former home, the historic Spencer Perry house, to sell.

According to Cliff’s final wishes, relayed to Jessica herself, the proceeds of the sale are then to go to his last remaining heir, his grandson, Elliot.

Cliff raised Elliot on his own after the mysterious disappearance of Elliot’s parents, Cliff’s son and daughter-in-law. It’s rumored the couple left their newborn baby with the elder Mr. Cooper so they could travel to South America on an anthropological expedition.

Jessica’s main contribution will be sorting through Cliff’s thousands of books to prepare them for sale. Her motivation is that the proceeds will be donated to the Cabot Cove library.

The house is literally packed to the gills with stuff. Jessica can hardly believe the state of it, but she promptly gets to work even amidst the circling rumors that the house is haunted. The rumors are so prevalent that Eve has had a hard time finding people to work at the property.

Therefore she resorts to hiring an unknown handyman, an apparent drifter to handle the repairs, as well as a medium to help chase away the ghosts.

Jessica just wants to quietly sort books, but the chaos Eve has created with all these unknown people makes the whole process completely uncomfortable for her. The last thing she needs is some medium including her on a ghost hunters YouTube series.

When it turns out that the late Cliff Cooper didn’t die of natural causes, however, Jessica can hardly extricate herself from the scene. She can’t help but dive into a mystery.

Thus, Jessica begins an investigation into the Cooper family, their home and who could have possibly wanted Mr. Cooper dead. It’s a real puzzle and the deeper she digs, the more confounding it gets.

As with all MSW mysteries, I had a lot of fun with this. It’s always so nostalgic to crack a spine of another Jessica Fletcher story.

Since this one is set in Cabot Cove, all Jessica’s friends and regular acquaintances make an appearance here. I will say, just for me, I tend to enjoy the stories where Jessica is traveling just a little bit more, but that is 100% personal taste.

Either way, this is a solid, fun mystery, with great twists, turns and reveals. I am so happy that I finally got a chance to read this one and look forward to my next Murder, She Wrote story.

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Review: A Cornish Recipe for Murder (Nosey Parker #5) by Fiona Leitch

A Cornish Recipe for Murder (The Nosey Parker Mysteries #5)A Cornish Recipe for Murder by Fiona Leitch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Cornish Recipe for Murder is the 5th-book in the Nosey Parker Mystery series.

I had so much fun with Murder on the Menu and A Cornish Christmas Murder, Books 1 and 4 in this series, and was super pumped to return to this setting, as well as this fabulous group of characters!!

In this installment, thanks to a nomination from her family, Jodie finds herself competing on the hugely popular The Best of British Baking Roadshow.

The show is currently running their regional competitions and Jodie will be going up against some of the most talented bakers in all of Cornwall.

As to be expected, there’s a bit of drama on set, including a spat between one of the long-time hosts, a well-loved drag queen, and a new man on the crew. That’s not all though, it is a competition after all. Tensions run high.

When a body is found on the grounds where the filming is taking place, the Roadshow becomes an active crime scene, allowing Jodie to combine her two favorite pastimes: cooking and homicide investigation.

Along with her now boyfriend, DCI Nathan Withers, Jodie dives deep into the backgrounds of everyone involved in the show. Is the killer still lurking amongst them?

Somehow Jodie is able to keep it all straight, perfectly executing her bakes while also compiling and scrutinizing a long-list of suspects.

After being initially unsure with this one, it turned out to be so much fun. As with the earlier books in the series, I loved Jodie and following along with her investigation.

Jodie is not your typical amateur sleuth. In fact, she’s not an amateur at all. Jodie worked for the Met in London for decades. Thus, she does have the experience to back up all her poking around.

The conclusion of this was fantastic. I was left squealing with delight over the ending and CANNOT wait to continue on with the series.

I adore it. A true Cozy, full of humor, drama-filled crimes and lovable characters. Before the release of the next installment, I definitely plan to read books 2 and 3.

Thank you so much to the publisher, One More Chapter, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’m definitely in for the long haul with this series. Keep ’em coming!

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Review: Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court by Terrie Farley Moran

Killer on the Court (Murder She Wrote, #55)Killer on the Court by Jessica Fletcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Another successful, murdery romp with Jessica Fletcher!

Killer on the Court is the 55th-installment of the long-running and much loved Murder, She Wrote series.

To say I am huge fan of this series would not be an exaggeration. This is actually the 39th-book that I have read in this series and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

Jessica Fletcher and Murder, She Wrote both are super nostalgic for me; bringing back great memories from my childhood. It makes me happy every time I pick up one up.

Terrie Farley Moran, the latest author to contribute to this series, has absolutely nailed the tone and feel of what comprises a MSW story.

In this latest mystery, Jessica travels from Cabot Cove to Rockaway Beach in New York for a holiday with her nephew, Grady, his wife, Donna and their son, Frank.

The Fletchers secured their beachside bungalow through Donna’s work, as her boss’s family owns multiple properties in the area.

On the very first full day of Jessica’s stay, as is known to happen, Donna discovers the dead body of her boss on the property’s tennis court.

The local police initially believe it was some sort of accident, a malfunctioning ball machine to blame, but Jessica’s not buying it.

She can’t help it. Her mind doesn’t like inconsistencies, so of course she gets involved. Jessica will get to the bottom of it.

I enjoyed this. I always love when Jessica travels and the beachside setting of this was rather relaxing, even with the murder.

I also always enjoy Grady and Donna. Frank on the other hand drives me a bit batty and I found his dialogue in this one a little far-fetched, but I digress.

Learning about the company that Donna works for and the family at the helm of that company was interesting. There were quite a few red herrings and I think Farley Moran did a great job building up the suspense.

I am really loving Farley Moran at the helm of this series and hoping she continues on for further installments. If you haven’t read any of the books in this series before, and love a Cozy Mystery, you can start anywhere, they do not need to be read in order.

If you see a synopsis that jumps out at you, give it a go. If you enjoy it, you have 54 more to try after that. Who knows, maybe you’ll catch up with me!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy to read and review. Keep ’em coming please!!!

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Review: The Marlow Murder Club (Marlow Murder Club #1) by Robert Thorogood

The Marlow Murder Club (Marlow Murder Club #1)The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Marlow Murder Club follows 77-year old Judith Potts, a crossword setter, who lives in a slightly fading mansion on the banks of the river Thames.

Judith’s mansion lies on the outskirts of the little town of Marlow and one thing her prestigious property offers is plenty of privacy. Therefore, Judith skinny dipping on a hot summer night generally goes unnoticed.

On one particular evening, as Judith is quietly swimming and enjoying the beauty of nature surrounding her, she hears a gunshot and sounds of distress come from her neighbor’s property across the river.

She’s stunned and has no idea how to react. Did someone just murder Stefan Dunwoody? Judith alerts the police and watches their hasty search of the property. Rolling her eyes, Judith knows they’ll find nothing.

So, she decides she needs to take matters into her own hands. As you do.

Along the way she teams up with the vicar’s wife, Becks Starling, as well as a free-wheeling local dog walker, Suzie Harris. Together the trio digs into not just Stefan’s murder, but others that pop up along the way. Does Marlow have a real life serial killer on their hands?

The Marlow Murder Club gave me all the Cozy Mystery vibes I cherish, with a charming group of main characters to follow. I had so much fun reading this.

This group of characters, Judith, Becks and Suzie, were well fleshed out, relatable and likable as heck. They’re the type of people you can root for no matter how crazy their hijinks get. I am so looking forward to more in this series!!

There’s not much more I can say about this. It’s a ton of fun. It’s a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a breath of fresh air.

Seriously, when can I expect more?

Thank you so much to the publisher, Poisoned Pen Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I had an absolute blast. Judith Potts is definitely a new favorite heroine for me. I basically want to be her when I grow up; whiskey, skinny dipping, a mansion to herself and amateur murder investigation…sign me up!!!

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Review: When the Crow’s Away (Evenfall Witches B&B #2) by Auralee Wallace

When the Crow's Away (Evenfall Witches B&B Mystery #2)When the Crow’s Away by Auralee Wallace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When the Crow’s Away is the second book in Auralee Wallace’s bewitching Cozy Mystery series, Evenfall Witches B&B.

The first book, In the Company of Witches, was a great series starter and definitely left me wanting more.

These books follow Brynn Warren, who after the death of her husband, moves back into the B&B run by her Aunts, Nora and Izzy. The stated purpose is to help them run the place, but everyone quietly acknowledges that Brynn needs some time to heal surrounded by loved ones.

The Warren family have been a part of Evenfall for hundreds of years. There are whisperings around town, of course, that they are witches, but the Warrens do try hard to hide their true powers from the general public.

Brynn’s powers faded after she lost her husband, but have slowly been coming back to her. Brynn’s special power is that she can converse with the dead.

In this installment, Brynn is visited by the recently departed soul of local chocolatier, Mortimer Sweete. Mortimer insists he was murdered and he wants Brynn to find out who did it and help bring them to justice.

Mort has a suspect in mind, but as Brynn digs in, she discovers even more potential suspects. It appears Evenfall’s business community isn’t as quaint and peaceful as it first appears.

Auralee Wallace definitely knows how to write a Cozy. This was so fun, intriguing and cute. I loved getting to know more about Brynn’s family in this one. I am even more attached to this cast of characters now.

I absolutely love an amateur sleuth trope and this one is well done. Having Brynn’s Aunts help her out definitely added the perfect amount of light humor to this murder mystery.

The ending was so intriguing, setting us up perfectly for another installment. I sense a romance on the horizon. I can’t wait for the next book!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I am completely hooked on this series and plan to read any that are published!!

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Review: Murder on the Menu (Nosey Parker Mystery #1) by Fiona Leitch

Murder on the Menu (Nosey Parker Mysteries, #1)Murder on the Menu by Fiona Leitch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read the 4th-book in the Nosey Parker Mystery series, A Cornish Christmas Murder, back in November of 2021.

I was looking for something cozy, comfortable and holiday-themed. As luck would have it, ACCM checked all of those boxes and many more.

I knew as soon as I finished it that I wanted to go back and read the previous three books.

The main reason, I loved the characters. They’re basically my new squad.

In this first book of the series, we follow our main, Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker, after she has recently left her position at the Metropolitan Police in London, returning to the small Cornish village in which she grew up.

Jodie needs to make a new life for herself and her tween daughter, Daisey. Brainstorming ideas as to what she would like to do in lieu of policing, the only thing she can think of that she really loves is cooking. With that in mind, she decides to start her own catering company.

Soon after returning, Jodie runs into one of her closest friends from childhood, Tony Penhaligon. As they are catching up, Tony’s issue with the caterer for his upcoming wedding comes to light.

And by issue, I mean he no longer has one. Jodie, although hesitant with the date so close, agrees to take on the job. It sounds like just the kind of posh event she needs to get her new business off the ground.

On the night before the blessed event, Jodie and her sous-chefs, also known as her mother and child, are setting up in the kitchen of the hotel where the event will take place, when a disruption is heard coming from the lobby.

Jodie finds the bride-to-be, Cheryl, in an all out tussle with Tony’s ex-wife, Mel. Being the only person brave enough to jump in and separate the two, Jodie eventually breaks it up.

Speaking with Mel after the fight, all Jodie can determine is that Mel seems to think that Cheryl is after Tony for his money. Whether or not that is true, the show must go on.

The rest of the Friday night cocktail party seems to go okay, but upon returning to the venue the following morning, Jodie finds all heck hath broken loose.

A body has been found on the grounds of the hotel, foul play a definite, and the future-Mrs. Penhaligon is missing. When local authorities seem to have eyes only for Tony, Jodie decides to launch an investigation of her own.

Murder on the Menu was just as delightful, cozy and murdery as A Cornish Christmas Murder. I am beyond happy that I made the time to start at the beginning of this series.

I loved learning more of Jodie’s back story, watching as she transitions from her life in London, meets DCI Withers, and adopts her adorable dog, Germaine.

As with any Cozy, there’s a certain formula at play here that is just so comforting and nostalgic. I feel like you always know what you are going to get with a Cozy Mystery, but the humor and heart of these stories rarely ever disappoint.

Leitch has created such a great cast of characters here. I love that while Jodie is an independent sleuth, she still has the background of a police officer.

Additionally, having her mother and daughter along for the ride makes it all that much more fun. I mean as fun as investigating random murders can be!

Thank you so much to the publisher, One More Chapter, for providing me a copy of this to read and review.

I am in love with this series and have already bought the next book, A Brush With Death. I can’t wait to start!

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Review: Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead (Finlay Donovan #2) by Elle Cosimano

Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead (Finlay Donovan, #2)Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead by Elle Cosimano
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead is the second book in Elle Cosimano’s ultra-modern and uber-witty Finlay Donovan Cozy Mystery series.

I fell in love with Finlay and her best friend/nanny, Vero, when I read Finlay Donovan Is Killing It last year.

The humor was spot on for me and the storyline entertaining from beginning-to-end. Going into this installment, I didn’t even read the synopsis.

Frankly, I didn’t care what they were up to, I just wanted to be back with these characters.

Unsurprisingly, I found this second book to be just as fun as the first. I also feel even more attached to Finlay and Vero now. We’ve been through so much together.

After the contract killer fiasco of book one, you would think that horrendous and dangerous chapter in Finlay’s life would be ancient history. Alas, it is not.

Now she fears someone may have put a hit out on her ex-husband, Steven. Granted, he’s pretty terrible, but her children are with him a lot and they love him. She needs to keep him safe.

As if that weren’t stressful enough, she also has her literary agent breathing down her neck wanting her next book, as well as two handsome, eligible-men circling her like sharks.

Finlay’s life is non-stop chaos and I’m telling you, it is so much fun to go along for the ride!

Reading through Finlay’s perspective is hilarious. She has such a dry, matter of fact way of relaying what’s on her mind. You can tell she is a Mom who is juggling a lot. She doesn’t have time to beat around the bush.

I love her relationship with Vero. Even though they were sort of thrust together, they’re committed to one another and I love that type of unconditional friendship.

I have no idea how many books are currently slated to be in this series, but you better believe I will be picking up every single one.

I am personally hoping for maybe ten or twenty…

Thank you so much to the publisher, Minotaur Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I love this series with my whole heart. If you haven’t picked the first book up yet, now is the time to do so. Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead releases this Tuesday, February 2nd!!

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Review: A Cornish Christmas Murder (Nosey Parker Mystery #4) by Fiona Leitch

A Cornish Christmas Murder: A gripping and hilarious murder mystery perfect for fans of Richard Osman (A Nosey Parker Cozy Mystery, Book 4)A Cornish Christmas Murder: A gripping and hilarious murder mystery perfect for fans of Richard Osman by Fiona Leitch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

When Jodie Parker’s old school chum, Lily, invites her to cater a charity event for children hosted by a notorious millionaire, she graciously accepts.

The event is set to be held just three days before Christmas at an old abbey on Bodmin Moor. The location is remote and the property is currently being transformed by Lily and her employer into a boutique hotel.

As Jodie arrives on the night of the event, with her mother, daughter, best friend and dog in tow, the snow begins to fall in earnest.

Over the course of the night, with all the festivities going on, Jodie is too busy to notice that it never really stops. By the time things are wrapped up and Jodie and friends have cleaned and packed, it’s too messy to leave.

Although communication with the outside world is spotty, they do receive word that the roads through the Moors are blocked. They have no choice but to stay the night.

There are plenty of rooms, heat and food to accommodate the group left over, which includes, in addition to the caterer and her staff, Lily, her employer, the millionaire, his son and assistant, a Santa impersonator, a small group of Japanese eco-tourists and a stranded couple trying to travel home from a dinner party.

Early the next morning, one of the guests is discovered dead in his room. From the looks of the scene, it wasn’t a natural death.

Luckily, Jodie Parker, isn’t your standard caterer. She’s recently resigned from the Metropolitan Police and this isn’t the first murder she’s investigated.

Able to briefly contact her DCI boyfriend, Nathan, Jodie explains the situation and has Nathan call help for them.

Now she just has to keep the scene under control until the police force is able to arrive. Easier said than done.

I had so much fun reading this. It has a classic set-up and likable, hilarious characters.

Further, it featured some of my favorite Mystery tropes. This Cornish Cozy gave me exactly the vibe I was hoping for rolling into the holiday season.

I know the more books that I read in this series, the more attached I am going to get to these characters. Rest assured, I will definitely be reading the other books in this series.

The investigation was a hoot. The dynamic between Jodie and her family had me giggling throughout. The narrative is wacky, wild and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Leitch has got quite a sense of humor.

Thank you so much to the publisher, One More Chapter, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I recommend picking this one up over the holiday season. Give yourself an escape for a bit. Sit back, put your feet up and have a laugh!

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