Monday, May 2, 2016

Seams Like Murder (Crochet Mystery #10) by Betty Hechtman

The Crochet Mystery series by Betty Hechtman was the series that lured me into the world of cozy mysteries. I have never looked back since. It also remains my favorite series, by my favorite author. If you haven't started this series, do so, now, you won't regret it.


From the back of the book:

The national bestselling author of Knot Guilty is back, as Molly Pink and the Tarzana Hookers get a dangerous lesson on crafty criminals...

Knitting and crocheting books are selling like crazy at the bookstore where Molly works, so to keep the customers coming, she sets up a series of classes where the Tarzana Hookers can pass on their skills to others: a Yarn University. The only problem is the teacher of the most popular seminar—Sheila—is getting a massive case of stage fright about being in front of a crowd.

To ease Sheila’s nerves, the Hookers plan a practice class at crocheter CeeCee’s mansion. But before the lesson begins, Molly and the gang stumble upon a dead body in the apartment above CeeCee’s garage. Now, Molly must unravel the clues to find a killer quickly—or school might be out forever...

My thoughts:

As I mentioned, I adore this series, I have read every single part and loved them all. At part ten, it still holds my interest and still reads new, fresh, and exciting. If you are just joining in you can start at this part. The characters still feel like friends, they are quirky, fun, and work together even thought they are vastly different, just like in real life. It is that real life feeling that sets this apart from other books. 

The mystery was a fun one that I didn't guess correctly, but had a blast thinking about. As usual there were some tense moments, some hilarious moments, and some romantic moments. All of my favorites were back, all of them had their own development going on, and all of then still pulled me to them in a way that involved me, and made me care. I still need to read more. After part ten that is some accomplishment.

In the back of the book, you will find delicious recipes and patterns, and even a teaser for the next Yarn Retreat mystery series, which I also highly recommend.

Take some time to browse the other great mysteries available from Berkley Prime Crime. While you are there, you can sign up for the newsletter so you never miss a new release. I must warn you though, after browsing my wish list is longer than I could probably read. You can also connect with them on Twitter where you can happen across a fun giveaway as well. 

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spring Collection from Louet

My lovely knitters, I have something fabulous to tell you about. You know I love to create shawls and I am always looking the next level. When I saw the Spring Collection from Louet, which is filled with beautiful patterns, I had to make a shawl.

Louet generously sent me the Zambra pattern and my choice of Euroflax colors to knit the pattern. I selected Angelfish Blue, Orchid and Cream. Zambra is two shawl patterns by Susanna IC.  The first is a crescent shawl that is knit using three colors, three skeins, one of each color. The second is a rectangular stole knit using similar pattern stitches and two skeins of one color.  

I decided to knit the beautiful crescent version. Since things are warming up here, I was looking for a unique and light shawl and this one is just perfect. However, after how much I enjoyed working with the yarn and the pattern, I will also be making the stole. It's stunning as well; all of the patterns in the collection are.

The pattern itself is very easy to follow with a mix of written instructions and charts. It was my very first time making wrap and turn short rows but it wasn't hard at all and the result was stunning. I am also not a pro at lace, but the pattern was written so well that I was able to easily make the beautiful, lacy edges.

Speaking of firsts, this was also my first experience with linen. It was a dream to work with. It is a little stiff which actually served to help me manage the stitches. I didn't have any issues at all working with it. It felt good in my hands, good across my fingers and moved effortlessly across my needles. I found it didn't have any splitting issues either. After a wash and dry it has a beautiful drape and is much softer.

You can find the collection on Ravelry HERE, and on the Louet site HERE. There are 12 patterns in the collection. 11 are knit, and one is crochet.

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Fatal Chapter (Booktown Mystery #9) by Lorna Barrett

Yay! A new part in the Booktown Mystery series will be available in paperback May 3rd, A Fatal Chapter (Booktown Mystery #9) by Lorna Barrett. I can hardly believe I am nine parts into this series. I honestly adore every part.

From the back of the book:

New York Times bestselling author Lorna Barrett presents another page-turning chapter in her Booktown Mystery series. This time mystery bookshop owner Tricia Miles is about to find out murder is no walk in the park… 

While out walking Sarge, her sister’s bichon frise, Tricia is led by the agitated dog to a man lying in a gazebo. She’s startled when she recognizes Pete Renquist, the president of the Stoneham Historical Society, who appears to be suffering from cardiac arrest. When Pete later dies in the hospital, the discovery of a suspicious bruise and a puncture mark on his arm suggests he may have been murdered.

Haunted by Pete’s enigmatic last words to her, Tricia begins to consider who had a motive to kill her friend. Did Pete take his flirting too far, only to have a jealous husband teach him a lesson? Or did he discover something in the town’s historical records that his killer wanted kept secret? Tricia is determined to get to the bottom of things before someone else becomes history…

My thoughts:

If you are just starting, you can jump in here but with all that has happened, I would recommend you start back at least a few books. Seriously, you will love them and might as well start at the beginning! I really do love the characters in this story. They continue to grow and I continue to deepen my attachment to them.

While this had a few surprises and some lovely twists, I was able to solve it. Even having figured it out, the ending still held a surprise and was both awesome and heartbreaking. If you haven't started this series yet, I recommend you do now. It's filled with crisply plotted mysteries and wonderful characters in a fun setting.

Take some time to browse the other great mysteries available from Berkley Prime Crime. While you are there, you can sign up for the newsletter so you never miss a new release. I must warn you though, after browsing my wish list is longer than I could probably read. You can also connect with them on Twitter where you can happen across a fun giveaway as well. 

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Fat Cat Takes the Cake (A Fat Cat Mystery #3) by Janet Cantrell

When I first started the Fat Cat series, it was the cat that drew me to the cover. As a fat cat owner, I will a weak spot for a big, fluffy kitty. Quincy stole my heart and I am sure he will win yours too. Fat Cat Takes the Cake (A Fat Cat Mystery #3) by Janet Cantrell was an absolute pleasure to read.

From the back of the book:

Quincy the butterscotch tabby has a talent for sniffing out sweets—and uncovering crimes—in this Fat Cat mystery from the national bestselling author of Fat Cat Spreads Out.

When former classmate Rich “Dickie” Byrd throws a high school reunion to gather support for his mayoral campaign, it drums up some not so sweet memories for dessert shop proprietor Chase Oliver and her friend Julie Larson. Julie would rather not reconnect with Ron North, the creepy kid who had a crush on her back in the day. His social graces haven’t exactly improved with age, but is he creepy enough to kill?

The next day, Chase is in the park testing a new cat harness for Quincy—who quickly proves he cannot be leashed. But when his escape leads Chase to Ron’s body, the police wonder who else got away. Now, with Julie suspected, Chase must prove her innocence before the real killer plans another fatal reunion.

My thoughts:

From start to finish, I loved every second of this story. The way Quincy and his appetite lead him and Chase into these mysteries is always so much fun. It wasn't so much fun for Chase and Julie this time. I loved the way the case really built against Julie making Chase have to work hard to make anyone even consider another suspect.

There are also plenty of subplots to consider while you try to follow the clues. The action level and pacing worked in perfect harmony to keep me flipping pages well into the night. The mystery was one I solved relatively quickly but the story was packed with development and held my full attention. I will continue to seek out this series and look forward to more musing from Quincy. Recipes can be found in the back of the book.

Take some time to browse the other great mysteries available from Berkley Prime Crime. While you are there, you can sign up for the newsletter so you never miss a new release. I must warn you though, after browsing my wish list is longer than I could probably read. You can also connect with them on Twitter where you can happen across a fun giveaway as well. 

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Ripped From the Pages (Bibliophile Mystery #9) by Kate Carlisle

Sometimes when I read the premise of a book, I just have to drop everything and start reading! That was the case with Ripped From the Pages (Bibliophile Mystery #9) by Kate Carlisle. I mean seriously, I love a good mystery but when you add books and buried secrets, I'm sold.

From the back of the book:

When book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright temporarily relocates to her parents’ place in Northern California, she finds that wooden barrels aren’t the only things buried in the wine caves of Sonoma….

Excited to explore the secrets of wine country, Brooklyn attends an excavation of the caves hidden deep under her parents’ commune—and the findings are explosive. A room is unearthed, and it contains a treasure trove of artwork, rare books, a chest of jewelry…and a perfectly mummified body.

A closer examination of the murdered man’s possessions reveals a valuable first edition of Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Center of the Earth. Hidden in the book is a secret map that unveils an even greater hoard of treasures brought to California by French winemakers fleeing the Nazi invasion with the commune leader’s grandfather, Anton, among them.

As reporters and art appraisers flock to Sonoma to see the precious bounty, questions begin to rise—did Anton hide these items to protect them, or did he steal them for himself? Who is the mysterious man left for dead inside the cave? But not all crime is buried in the past. When a new presence threatens the town’s peace, Brooklyn decides to do a little excavating of her own and solve the mystery of the treasure before anyone else is written off

My thoughts:

You know I am a sucker for well written characters. This series has them in spades. They are so rich and have grown so beautifully together across the parts. I'm still adoring Derick (he's so swoony) and their relationship too. Speaking of rich, I love the details as they find the treasures.

There were twists and turns that made it a fun mystery and with the story being what it was, the layers of mystery were deeper and intriguing. I didn't solve this one, but I was totally satisfied with the conclusion. If you are new to the series, you can start here and enjoy the mystery but I recommend starting at the beginning because of the way the characters developed have together.

Take some time to browse the other great mysteries available from Berkley Prime Crime. While you are there, you can sign up for the newsletter so you never miss a new release. I must warn you though, after browsing my wish list is longer than I could probably read. You can also connect with them on Twitter where you can happen across a fun giveaway as well. 

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Don't Go Home (Death On Demand #25) by Carolyn Hart

Have you read any of the Death on Demand series yet? You really should! Don't Go Home (Death On Demand #25) by Carolyn Hart will be available in paperback on May 3rd and is a great place to start.

From the back of the book:

Annie Darling, owner of the Death on Demand mystery bookstore, is hosting a party to celebrate successful Southern literary icon—and former Broward’s Rock resident—Alex Griffith and his bestselling new novel, Don’t Go Home. But after the local paper announces that Griffith aims to reveal the real-life inspirations behind his characters, perhaps the author should take his own advice. Not everyone in town is ready to give him a glowing review.

As Annie attempts damage control, her friend Marian Kenyon gets in a heated argument with Griffith. It’s a fight Annie won’t soon forget—especially after the author turns up dead.

Despite an array of suspects to match Griffith’s cast of characters—and a promise to her husband, Max, to steer clear of sleuthing—Annie’s not about to let the police throw the book at her friend when the real killer remains at large

My Thoughts:

As you might have guessed from the description and cover, this was a little more traditional mystery than cozy but as a mystery lover, I found it perfect! Max and Annie are some of my favorite characters. I am always happy to visit with Annie again. This series not only has rich characters, but the setting is also delightful and easy to envision.

The mystery was well plotted and paced for an engrossing, one-sitting read. I really could not put it down. The end was crafted divinely! It really stands up to classics in the genre. I can't wait to read more by Carolyn Hart, she has a wonderful gift with words and storytelling. I highly recommend this series.

Take some time to browse the other great mysteries available from Berkley Prime Crime. While you are there, you can sign up for the newsletter so you never miss a new release. I must warn you though, after browsing my wish list is longer than I could probably read. You can also connect with them on Twitter where you can happen across a fun giveaway as well. 

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Willow & Everett Glass Teapot Tea Infuser


Everyone in my household drinks tea. Hot, cold, black, or green; we are definitely tea lovers! That being said, when we all sit down for a cup of hot tea, we usually make our cups individually. This isn't an excruciating process by any means, but I've always wanted a teapot for a faster experience! Enter now: Willow & Everett's Glass Teapot Tea Infuser.


This teapot has five parts: the glass teapot, stainless steel basket holder, tea basket, and lid as well as a cute little teapot cozy. This is a 40 ounce teapot so you can get about 4 to 5 cups out of one pot. The little mesh tea infuser has very small holes which is great so you don't end up with tea leaves in your cup. I also like that the infuser has a handle on it so you don't burn yourself when removing it after your tea has steeped.


Everything comes apart easily so it is very easy to use and clean. I also think that when it is all put together it looks very sleek. Also, since it is microwaveable, you can boil water very fast! Plus, look how cute that custom cozy is! Not only is it super cute, but it keeps your tea nice and warm for quite a while.

If you would like to own your own Willow & Everett's Glass Teapot Tea Infuser, you can purchase one on Amazon!

Disclosure: I received this product at a discount in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.