Quinn Bellandini is minding her own business, living life and wishing she were back at the B & B she runs with her sister, Delilah, and her grandfather, instead of trying to pull off a fundraising gala—and keep the high society guests from sniping at each other and causing a ruckus. Then Quinn gets a call from her friend Pepper, working for the event’s caterer. Pepper tells her the hostess—and owner of the mansion hosting the gala—has been found dead.
Soon enough, Pepper’s brother has been charged with murder and Pepper insists the Bellandini sisters clear his name. Quinn’s questions only lead to more questions. The victim had more frenemies than you can shake a stick at. The catering company’s employees are shady at best. And then there are the rumors about the victim and her ex-husband’s rekindled relationship. Quinn isn’t sure where to start, but with her boyfriend Tucker’s help and the irrepressible Delilah on the case, she gives it her best shot.
I enjoyed this entry into the Southern B & B Mystery series (it looks to be the last, too). The writing is solid. Savannah, Georgia comes to life—as does the high society crowd that populates the pages. I’ve enjoyed watching Quinn and Tucker’s relationship grow, and the sisters are fun to read as well.
Caroline Fardig is a bestselling author. Southern Double Cross is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of Random House/Alibi in exchange for an honest review.)
Love’s Curiosities Inc. is a small shop full of odds and ends and curiosities that most people overlook. Temerity Love and her sister Tilda grew up there and now own it. Things have changed a bit since their parents owned the shop but magic still happens there. Tilda is a witch and Temerity is renowned for her ability to touch objects and see where they came from.
When a local schoolteacher is murdered by a poisoned cup of tea, an antique hand mirror is found nearby, and the local investigator asks for Temerity’s help finding the murder. Too bad his new protegee, grumpy out-of-towner Angus isn’t so open-minded. As Temerity starts asking questions, she’s determined to find out who killed the schoolteacher—with or without the help of the townspeople.
I really enjoyed this cozy mystery mixed with magic! The characters are unique and quirky, and the town was vibrantly alive, filled with a sense of history and stories lurking around every corner. The writing is solid, and I just sort of settled into this novel and enjoyed it.
Kennedy Kerr is an author with a love of all things Scottish. A Spell of Murder, the first book in the Lost Maidens Loch Mysteries, is her new novel.
(Galley courtesy of Bookouture via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)
Quinn Bellandini runs a B&B with her grandfather, her sister Delilah, and the ghost of her late uncle Frank—whom everyone but Quinn believes in. She bakes scones, keeps the B&B running smoothly, and plays guitar in a band with her friends. She doesn’t even have time to date.
Her friend Drew runs a restaurant down the street with his brother, Jason, a surly, argumentative guy who fights with everyone—including his wife. When Quinn finds Jason’s body one night, she’s horrified—but not really surprised, considering how everyone disliked Jason.
What does surprise her is her presence near the top of the list of suspects, along with Drew. When Drew suggests they try to uncover a more-likely suspect to save their own necks, Quinn reluctantly agrees. She’s more suited to baking than investigating, but she finds her talent for killing people with kindness to thinly disguise her pointed remarks comes in handy. And she’ll need every trick she has to stay out of jail while she searches for a murderer.
I thoroughly enjoyed Southern Discomfort. I’ve never been to Savannah, but as a born-and-raised Southern girl, I found the setting believable and familiar (especially the popularity of sweet tea). Quinn and Delilah’s relationship was fantastic, and their interactions made the book even better! A great read for cozy mystery fans and anyone who loves Southern fiction.
Caroline Fardig is the author of the Lizzie Hart series, the Java Jive series, and the Ellie Matthews series. Southern Discomfortis her newest novel, the first in the Southern B&B mystery series.
(Galley provided by Alibi in exchange for an honest review.)
After a love affair gone wrong, Amy Webber flees to the small Virginia town where her aunt lives and becomes the librarian. It’s not what she had in mind for her life, but she takes quiet satisfaction in helping the town’s residents. Until one of them turns up dead in the library, and Amy is thrust into a mystery that goes back almost one hundred years.
Amy’s neighbor, Richard, inherited the house that belonged to his great-uncle. The town believes the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife—who vanished after her trial—and who Richard’s great-uncle was in love with. Determined to find out the truth, Richard convinces Amy to help him solve the case, revealing chilling details that the town’s founders would like to keep secret.
A Murder for the Books is more than a cozy mystery. It’s a comfy, enjoyable read in a small-town full of quirky, memorable characters. The town feels like home—complete with the family member no one wants to claim, the town grapevine, and people like Amy and Richard you’d really like to spend time with. A light read that you can sink into, without getting bogged down into weighty matters.
Victoria Gilbert has worked as a librarian and writes cozy mysteries. A Murder for the Books is the first book in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series.
(Galley provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)