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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Review: Homicide and Halo-Halo (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery #2) by Mia P. Manansala

Homicide and Halo-Halo (Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #2)Homicide and Halo-Halo by Mia P. Manansala
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Homicide and Halo-Halo is the second installment of Mia P. Manansala’s new Cozy Mystery series, Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mysteries.

I really enjoyed the first book, Arsenic and Adobo, so was quite excited to join back up with our feisty protagonist, Lila Macapagal, to solve another case!

Picking up a few months after the conclusion of the first book, Lila is still recovering from the horrifying events that occurred at her aunt’s Filipino restaurant, Tita Rosie’s Kitchen.

She is continuing to work with her best friend to get their new cafe up and running, but Lila is feeling a little blocked with regards to creating new recipes. She hasn’t really been talking about it to anyone, but it’s starting to weigh on her.

She needs to get out of her own head for a while, so when the town officials decide to resurrect the Miss Teen Shady Palms Beauty Pageant, it seems like just the distraction she needs.

Lila, who actually won the pageant years ago, is asked to participate this time around as a judge.

Lila has some mixed feelings on the pageant, but she knows it means so much to the girls that participate, so she agrees to help out.

As the pageant kicks into high gear, Lila is forced to work closely with the other judges, pageant contestants and their often overly-involved mothers.

When the head judge ends up dead, Lila’s frenemy-slash-cousin, Bernadette, is considered the number one suspect. As much as Bernadette irritates Lila, she knows Bernie is no killer.

Therefore, Lila must dig deep into another mystery in order to clear her cousin’s name before it’s too late.

I had a ton of fun reading this. I was so happy to be back with these characters; Lila and her large, boisterous family, are a blast to read about.

I liked getting to know Lila more in this one. Her backstory is filled in a bit in regards to her complicated relationship with her mother and I felt like that really added depth to her character. I began to understand more about her insecurities, which helped me to relate to her.

There are still two very eligible bachelors flitting about Lila’s periphery, but I like how that is not a main focus of the book.

Lila has expressed that she isn’t ready to start anything with anyone yet and I like how she is sticking to her guns a bit on that. Instalove haters have no fear, you won’t find that here.

Overall, this is a fun, fast-paced, deliciously cute Cozy Mystery that you can really sink your teeth into. I loved the pageant activities and setting; the contestant and judge drama never let up.

If you are looking for a new Cozy series to start, or maybe you are just looking to get into Cozy Mysteries as a genre, you cannot go wrong with the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mysteries. Pure fun on the page!

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

This is one of my most anticipated sequels of 2022 and I was beyond thrilled by the fact that I got to read it early. I hope this series runs for a long, long, long time!!


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Review: Murder, She Wrote: Debonair in Death (Murder, She Wrote #54) by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran

Murder, She Wrote: Debonair in DeathMurder, She Wrote: Debonair in Death by Jessica Fletcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Murder, She Wrote: Debonair in Death is the 54th-installment of the beloved Murder, She Wrote Cozy Mystery series.

I was so excited when I learned that Terrie Farley Moran was going to be continuing writing this series. It seems to be a great fit.

She did a fantastic job with Murder, She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond, really capturing the spirit of Jessica and the feel of the earlier books.

With Debonair in Death we return to Jessica’s hometown of Cabot Cove. It was a true delight being back there with Jessica and her dynamic group of friends and neighbors.

While I love when Jessica travels, which she does a lot, it always feels good to go home.

The good vibes don’t last for long though after Nelson Panzell, a local art store owner and rumored womanizer, is murdered and a young nail tech at Jessica’s favorite salon, Coreen, is fingered as the number one suspect.

Jessica and her friend, Loretta, the salon’s owner and Coreen’s boss, know the meek girl would be completely incapable of killing Panzell, but how will they be able to convince Sheriff Metzger of that?

The two women pair up and luckily are able to secure a very capable attorney for Coreen. Then just as you would expect, Jessica begins a little investigation of her own.

She’s thrown for a bit of a loop, however, when an old acquaintance, Agent Michael Haggerty, a member of MI6, gets caught red-handed bumbling around the victim’s home. He claims to be on an important investigation of his own. Could the two issues possibly be related?

I love the feel of these stories. They’re so comfortable and nostalgic for me, as I’ve been reading them, quite literally, for most of my life.

After the passing of the original series author, Donald Bain, I was obviously concerned about the future of my favorite comfort read series. Now with Terrie Farley Moran at the helm, I can relax with confidence, knowing some quality content will be still be released.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I am looking forward to more. Please keep ’em coming!!!

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Review: In the Company of Witches (Evenfall Witches B&B Mystery #1) by Auralee Wallace

In the Company of Witches (Evenfall Witches B&B Mystery #1)In the Company of Witches by Auralee Wallace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

In the Company of Witches, the first book in Auralee Wallace’s new Evenfall Witches series, is the Practical Magic of Cozy Mysteries. A delightful series starter!!

After the tragic loss of her husband, Brynn Warren moves into the B&B owned by her Aunts, Nora and Izzy, ostensibly to help them run the place.

Warren women have been a staple of the small town of Evenfall for over four hundred years. Although there are whisperings of them being witches, the townsfolk don’t actually have any proof of that.

When a local woman, staying at the B&B while her home undergoes some renovations, is found dead, the Warren women are thrown for a loop.

Not only is it upsetting that Constance Graves died inside their home, but it seems Nora is now the authorities number one suspect. That’s right, they suspect foul play. Constance was murdered.

Further, you know those suspicions the townsfolk have about the Warrens? Yeah, they’re true.

Brynn is a witch of the dead, meaning she can commune with ghosts. In order to clear her Aunt’s name, she may need to contact Constance’s ghost and find out what really happened to her.

Unfortunately, since her husband passed, Brynn has had a really hard time using her powers. Thus, a bit of old fashioned investigation will have to be incorporated into her mission to help Nora.

Brynn discovers a whole host of family secrets and drama as she dives into Constance’s past in order to figure out who would have had the motive to kill her.

Y’all, this was a great start to an all new Cozy series. I really enjoyed getting to know Brynn, Nora, Izzy, Gideon and all the other citizens of Evenfall.

I find with Cozies, the longer the series goes on, the more attached you get to the characters and place. I have no doubt this series will be the same.

The next book, When the Crow’s Away, is expected to be published in April 2022. I cannot wait to get my hands on it. Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

If you love Cozy Mysteries, or Witchy stories, you absolutely should check this one out. Pure fun from beginning to end.

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Review: Arsenic and Adobo (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mysteries #1) by Mia P. Manansala

Arsenic and Adobo (Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery, #1)Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Arsenic and Adobo is a great start to a new Cozy Mystery series. After reading this, I can confidently say, I’m here for the long haul.

Keep ’em coming, please, Mia P. Manansala!!!

Following a bad breakup, Lila Macapagal moves back home to lick her wounds and try to put the pieces of her life back together.

Additionally, her family needs some help. Her Aunt’s restaurant is floundering. Even though the food is incredible, the business-side is tanking. Her Auntie never focuses on those details. Lila knows she can turn it around.

When Lila’s ex-boyfriend, Derek, a local food critic with a terrible reputation, shows up for dinner with their landlord, who also happens to be Derek’s step-father, Lila knows stuff is about to hit the fan.

However, she would never expect Derek to fall face first into his dessert. Dead, apparently poisoned. Now the police consider Lila to be their number one suspect.

As it seems all local law enforcement are wasting their time investigating Lila and her family, Lila knows she needs to get to the bottom of what happened to Derek herself. Her family had nothing to do with it, which means a killer is still out there.

Thus begins a super fun and witty amateur sleuthing trope. It’s no secret that I love Cozy Mysteries. I’ve read a few Culinary Cozy books in the past and this one definitely fits right in!

It’s silly, it’s over the top, fast-paced, funny and there’s a lot of delicious food on page.

I thought this was an excellent start to a new series. Manansala made me care for Lila and her loved ones. Cozy Mystery series tend to get better and better with time, as each one builds out the characters you come to adore. Trust me when I say, you can become quite attached.

I’m invested and already anticipating the next release in this series. That makes me a happy girl!

If you are Cozy fan, especially Culinary Cozies, you should absolutely give this one a shot. I’m so interested to see what crazy hijinks the Macapagal family gets up to next!!

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