SILENCE OF THE JAMS by Gayle Leeson


Series: A Down South Café Mystery, #2
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★


In the latest Southern cozy from the author of The Calamity Café, small-town chef Amy Flowers can’t take her freedom for granted when she’s served up as a murder suspect…

It’s Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site.

When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it’s a heart attack—until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost.


One thing about reading this book: it had my stomach growling from cover to cover. All of the Southern comfort food Amy Flowers was cooking up made me so hungry.

Winter Garden, Virginia, is a charming small town, and Amy owns the popular Down South Café there. Once again, Amy is thrown into a murder mystery when another suspicious death occurs in the restaurant, and this time the victim is her adversary George Lincoln, director of the Chamber of Commerce.

This delightful cozy is part mystery, part family drama, and even a little romance, though luckily the investigation never gets lost in the drama — instead, they compliment each other. The mystery was well plotted and introduced several possible anti-George suspects.

SILENCE OF THE JAMS is a fun summer-themed cozy mystery full of yummy food and great characters. Enjoyed!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

PROSE AND CONS by Amanda Flower

prosecons
Series: Magical Bookshop, #2
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: December 6, 2016
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★★


Magic, books, and cats collide in a village near Niagara Falls in the latest mystery from the author of Crime and Poetry…

In Cascade Springs, New York, Violet Waverly and her grandma, Daisy, are the proprietors of Charming Books, where the power of the written word is positively enchanting.

October in Cascade Springs means tourists are pouring in for the annual Food and Wine Festival, and Daisy hopes to draw those crowds to the store. She asks Violet and the local writing group, the Red Inkers, to give a reading of the works of Edgar Allan Poe on the shop’s front porch to entertain the revelers. Everyone eagerly agrees.

Yet their enthusiasm is soon extinguished when Violet discovers one of the writers dead in the shop moments before the event. After the shop magically tells Violet she’ll need to rely on Poe’s works to solve the murder, she enlists the help of her trusty tuxedo cat, Emerson, and the shop’s crow, Faulkner. But they must act fast before someone else’s heart beats nevermore…


Loved this book, LOVE this series! PROSE AND CONS continues the story of Violet Waverly as the caretaker of a magical bookstore in Upstate New York. Charming Books is an amazing shop where the books choose you, the customer. The story also uses the books from its shelves to help Violet solve mysteries, or at least nudge her in the right direction. In this case, it was all about Edgar Allan Poe, whom I adore. ♥

The mystery is intriguing and twisty, and the setting – a chilly Autumn festival – was perfect. Plus, a little paranormal and Poe! I enjoyed the Gothic atmosphere the elements created. I highly recommend this series, and look forward to more.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

CrimeAndPoetry

Click cover to see my review of book one in the series!

THE READAHOLICS AND THE GOTHIC GALA by Laura DiSilverio

The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala (Book Club Mystery, #3)
THE READAHOLICS AND THE GOTHIC GALA by Laura DiSilverio
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun cozy mystery starring amateur sleuth Amy-Faye Johnson and the members of her Readaholics book club. Amy-Faye is an event planner, and she’s organized the Celebration of Gothic Novels for the local bookstore. It appears to be a smashing success, until one of the guests is murdered. Who was he? Why was he there? The book club has their work cut out for them to solve the complex mystery.

I enjoyed the characters and murder mystery, though once again we have the protagonist in a relationship with the police detective. Not my favorite cozy element, after reading so many. At least they had a good relationship, and Amy-Faye never stepped over the line in her investigation.

Of course, one of my favorite things about the book was all the Gothic novel talk. If only the Celebration of Gothic Novels was real! I’d be there, for sure. This is the third book in the Book Club Mystery series, and I’d love to take a look at the first two.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.