Lori C. (dollycas) - Reviews

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An Act of Murder (Professor Prather Mystery)
An Act of Murder (Professor Prather Mystery)
Author: Mary Angela
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 10/31/2016


Dollycas's Thoughts
Set in South Dakota in a small college town, big city drama arrives with a murder of a freshmen in the theater. Emmeline Prather was his English professor and she felt like she was just getting to know this young man but can't imagine why anyone would want him dead. With the help of another professor, Lenny Jenkins, she is determined to find the killer while putting herself in danger.
I had sympathy for the victim, his life had been the family farm and his small high school. Away from home and at college is a huge change for everyone, but he was having trouble finding his place. Em knew he was trying to join a fraternity and her first thought was a hazing incident gone wrong may have been how the student met his demise. The more she and Lenny dug into the case more possibilities and suspects came to light.

As for Em, she impressed me as an amateur sleuth. She is a smart woman and doesn't back down. She followed the clues through several twists very realistically. I was totally surprised where the clues led and the drama that ensued in pursuit of justice.

I like her relationship with Lenny, it brings a little levity to the story. They work well together and exchange a few barbs along the way. I am excited to see where the author takes these characters in the future.

This series is off to a great start. The mystery is complicated and believable. The characters are real with plenty of room to evolve. The setting is intriguing with a huge pool of people to draw into future stories. Mary Angela is an author to watch. I am excited about upcoming installments to this story.


All Fudged Up (Candy-Coated, Bk 1)
All Fudged Up (Candy-Coated, Bk 1)
Author: Nancy Coco
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 53
Review Date: 5/19/2014
Helpful Score: 1


Allie McMurphy is taking over the family business but first she has to do some major renovations and make sure her plans for the grand Victorian meet the approval of the Historical Committee. You see this place is one of Mackinac Islands most beloved landmarks.

Before she barely get started she finds a dead body. The deceased is Joe Jessup, a man who had a feud going with Allies grandfather forever and everyone knew it. The police think this makes Allie a prime suspect and that fudges up all of her plans. Instead of getting ready for the grand reopening she has to clear her name and catch the real killer.

Dollycass Thoughts

Wow, what an awesome debut!!

Allie is a terrific protagonist and a very determined woman. She is focused on her task and no one is going to stop her. Even those on the island that call her a fudgie, meaning she isnt one of them because she only spent summers there growing up. She needs to earn everyones trust and respect so they know she is there for the long haul to bring the McMurphy back to the way is was in its heyday.

The author adds a great supporting cast starting with Charlene, the crazy emergency dispatcher, to Frances Wentworth, who worked for Allies grandfather for years and came along with the business, to a fluffy white puppy named Mal. There are also a group of local that are the most unwelcoming group I people I have ever read about. Thankfully I have been to Mackinac Island and know that is just for the story or maybe there are only super nice to tourists. :) We will see as the series continues if Allie can continue to win them over.

As I said the story takes place on Mackinac Island, a truly beautiful place. It is also a place rich in history and the perfect setting for a cozy mystery series.

The mystery plot was very interesting with a plethora of suspects in addition to Allie. I suspected the whole cranky bunch.

Warning: Yummy fudge recipes are interspersed throughout the book. I hope Nancy puts them all up on her webpage. Thats the problem with foodie cozies. I dont know if I should keep them on my regular bookshelf or in the kitchen with the cookbooks.


All You Need is Fudge (Candy-Coated, Bk 4)
All You Need is Fudge (Candy-Coated, Bk 4)
Author: Nancy Coco
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 7/31/2016


Dollycas's Thoughts

We are back on Mackinac Island for the annual yacht race celebration. This brings tourists to the place in droves but one thing that could drive them away is a dead body. That is just what Mal, Allie's pup finds on their early morning walk. When the body is identified Trent's sister becomes the prime suspect and his family completely shuts Allie out. That is no way to keep at relationship going. She wants to be there for him and his sister. So this fudge maker extraordinaire decided to do some investigating of her own. But she also is dipping herself into trouble.

I so enjoy my trips to Mackinac Island with Allie, Jenn, Frances, Mr. Devaney, Trent, Shane, and all the rest of its residents. All the characters are very relateable and there is always something happening at the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop. The whole gang is so dedicated in growing the business and helping the island to shine.

This time we meet several new characters from the yacht club for all the festivities. Allie also visits the Senior Citizen Center for information for not only her investigation but for another surprise.

The main plot and subplots flow as smooth a newly made fudge onto that cool slab of marble. Just like the nuts and fruit Allie adds to her fudge, Nancy Coco blends twists and surprises into her mystery. She writes in a very descriptive way that bring people, places and situations to life.

Take my word for it, you will want to have some fudge on hand while reading this story. Thankfully there are recipes included throughout the book.

I call this a perfect summer read. Sit back, relax and enjoy a literary escape to Mackinac Island.


And Then There Were Nuns (League of Literary Ladies, Bk 4)
And Then There Were Nuns (League of Literary Ladies, Bk 4)
Author: Kylie Logan
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 3/10/2016


Dollycas's Thoughts

It has been almost a year since the Ladies were court ordered to form a book club. The League of Literary Ladies quickly turned into more than a book club and even with all their differences these women have managed to become good friends. In this installment Bea has been asked to provide meals for 10 nuns who have come to South Bass Island for a retreat. Chandra, Kate, and Luella are pitching in to help. They also want to get inside the Water's Edge Center and see what is behind the gates of a place the used to be off limits. When one of the nuns is murdered shortly after the retreat starts and another dies in quick succession the place becomes anything but restful. Now with only eight nuns the Ladies start to think about the similarities to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. They are hoping the similarities have ended but they again "assist" the police is catching the killer just to be sure.

This is my favorite book in the series so far. I love the ladies and they sure do land themselves in the middle of one murder after another. Don't think the other residents of South Bass haven't noticed. This time the author adds a very diverse group of nuns to the mix and brought us a super mystery. That may seem like a lot of characters but they are each unique and easy to keep track of We also lose two of them in the early chapters.

The story really does parallel the Christie classic in so many ways, but whether a Christie fan or not, you will totally enjoy this book. Logan liberally spreads the twists and turns throughout and truthfully I figured it out at the same time as Bea. Excellent writing!

I also loved the setting. A grand place with several suites overlooking the water. All the renovations have not yet been completed but will be soon. It would be a lovely place to spend a week or two.

The subplot with Chandra's major plans for her yard, swimming pool and a huge lamppost added a whole element I didn't expect but totally understood as this part of the story played out. She really was pushing the other's buttons and I was surprised by how long it took for one of them to let her have it.

Fun, entertaining, a great way to spend an afternoon. I hope this is not our last visit to South Bass Island. I really want to solve another mystery with the League of Literary Ladies Book Club.


Angel of Death (Sean Dillon, Bk 4)
Angel of Death (Sean Dillon, Bk 4)
Author: Jack Higgins
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 56
Review Date: 8/13/2005


From my husband's stash. He said it was a very good read.


The Apprentice (Rizzoli & Isles, Bk 2)
The Apprentice (Rizzoli & Isles, Bk 2)
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 530
Review Date: 2/1/2006


A REAL THRILLER


The Arrivals: A Novel
The Arrivals: A Novel
Author: Meg Mitchell Moore
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 5/24/2011


Ginny and William Owens have grown comfortable in their "empty nest". Their youngest child moved out 5 years ago. They enjoy their quiet times, Ginny volunteering at church, William reading his newspapers and working in the gardens. A nice relaxing life.

Then their daughter Lillian arrives for an unexpected "visit" with newborn baby Phillip and 3-year old Olivia in tow. Husband Tom is "home, buried in work."

Then a few days later Stephen arrives with his pregnant wife Jane for a short weekend visit. Stephen is going to be the stay-at-home Dad when the baby arrives and Jane will return to her high pressure, high paying job just 3 short weeks after the baby is born.

Daughter Rachel is not far behind, her life is crashing around her both financially and emotionally as her boyfriend leaves her. She needs some time at home to sort things out.

Ginny and William's empty nest is soon overflowing with family and their entire summer will be disrupted as their children are all facing very difficult issues. The days of a kiss, a hug, and a band-aid are long over. They have put the parenthood hats back on the help their children as only parents can.


Life as a parent never ends, whether your kids are 2 or 62, until of course the parent is no longer alive. Part of being a parent is to always be there for your children, no matter what they are facing.

I LIKED IT!!!!

This is a wonderful debut novel depicting modern family life and problems, bringing a family together to cope, learning responsibility and forgiveness and how to survive life today in this fast-paced world.

I must say William and Ginny showed so much patience as their home was overtaken by their children but I can say that is what parents do today. A lot of children are living at home longer or moving home just because with this economy they can't make it on their own. It doesn't even have to be the problems this family faced. It is hard for young people to make it on their own today and a lot of them stay longer than a summer.

This story was nicely paced, the characters were very relate-able, and I really liked the dialogue between all the characters, very well written. The story is interspersed with humor and wit that makes the story even more real and enjoyable.

This would be a great summer beach read. Another perfect "escape" story.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Hachette Book Group.. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


As Death Draws Near (Lady Darby, Bk 5)
As Death Draws Near (Lady Darby, Bk 5)
Author: Anna Lee Huber
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 23
Review Date: 7/23/2016


Dollycas's Thoughts

It seems Kiera and Gage can't even have a honeymoon. Lord Gage sends them a message to travel to Dublin to investigate a nun that has been killed at an Abbey. He provides no details so the newly married couple find transport and get to Ireland as quickly as possible. The people of the surrounding area are not quick to provide much more information, even the other nuns at the abbey and the local Constable seems to holding back. Kiera and Gage have their work cut out for them to solve this case. It also tests their new married life as these two very independent people learn to trust their place now as man and wife.

Kiera has grown so much since this series began, much of the thanks to Gage, but now that she is his wife will he fall into the ways of most men in this time and curtail her independence and freedom when it comes to their investigations. The author has shown us both sides and not everything is resolved by the end of this book.

Huber's stories are very character driven. Servants Anderley and Bree also play major roles in this mystery. Kiera has always been extremely close to Bree and we see Gage and Anderley are very close and trusting as well. We are also introduced to a wide variety of characters and a character from a past story reappears, much to Lady Darby's dismay.

This mystery includes a lot of history and the murder takes a very interesting turn as we learn more about how that history impacts the nun's death. I felt it was pretty complex and just a little hard to keep straight at times. There were so many players, secondary and minor characters that all played a part.

As I have come to expect from this author she paints amazing pictures with her words. The areas around the Abbey formed immediately in my mind. The portion of the story that takes place on the ship almost had me weaving with the motion of the waves.

As I have said in previous reviews to get the most out of these series the stories should be read from the start but this one does read well as a stand alone as the author gives us plenty of background.

I love that as the 5th book in this series that characters are fresh and engaging and the mystery is excellent. The author gives us a little tease for book number six and that made me so happy. I really want to go on more adventures with Mr. & Mrs. Gage.


As Gouda as Dead (Cheese Shop, Bk 6)
As Gouda as Dead (Cheese Shop, Bk 6)
Author: Avery Aames
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 1/31/2015


Dollycass Thoughts

Providence, Ohio is the place for lovers in this 6th installment of the spectacular series.

But murder plays havoc with a certain couples plans and they are not taking it laying down. Charlotte is very determined to catch the killer and get her plans back on track!

Avery Aames continues to make this series better and better. We have Charlottes crazy bachelorette party, all the shops are doing something special for Lovers Trail Festival, the Providence Players are performing Love Letters, and there are several weddings planned. Nothing in the planned events included a murder! But before Charlottes party ends a phone message changes everyones plans.

All our favorite characters are back and they are all busy as can be. Charlottes assistant, Rebecca, is even trying out for the play as is Deputy Devon OShea. The mayor, Charlottes grandmother, is directing the play and heading up all the festival plans. Fromagerie Bessette is hosting a special wine and cheese tasting. There is also a crazy woman filing complaints about noise pollution and running around town threatening people. Through it all Charlotte and Jordan just wanted a happy wedding day and then they went and found that dead body.

Readers like me have been looking forward to this wedding too so I really wanted this culprit caught so the happy couple could start their years of wedded bliss together without a murder investigation to hold them back. I was amazed at the number of suspects and as each one was crossed off the list I was wondering what we were missing right along with Charlotte. The pages of this book were flying.

The author has a gift. She blends her vivid descriptions of the most yummy cheeses, seriously you can almost taste them, with a mystery that is so vivid it almost jumps off the page. The chapters are like potato chips, you cant read/eat just one. I gobbled up As Gouda as Dead and now I am ready for some more please!


Ask Me No Questions (Lady Dunbridge, Bk 1)
Ask Me No Questions (Lady Dunbridge, Bk 1)
Author: Shelley Noble
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 12/1/2018


Dollycas's Thoughts

We meet Lady Dunbridge after mourning her husband's death for two years. She and her âmaidâ and butler journey to Manhattan in 1907 where her friend Bev Reynolds will introduce her to all her high society friends. Right after they get off the ship gunshots ring out, she hears Bev scream, and chaos ensues. Getting through the crowd they find Bev's husband dead in the arms of a floradora girl crying that he killed himself. The evidence doesn't support that claim and the police set their sights on Bev as their main suspect. Lady Dunbridge may have just arrived but she knows her friend is not a killer. While making her introduction at all the dinners and balls she vows to keep her eyes and ears open to prove her friend's innocence. Of course, she will do a bit of snooping too.

Ms. Noble has created an impressive amateur sleuth in Lady Dunbridge and teamed her up with excellent assistants in her âmaidâ Lily, and butler Preswick. Lily has many talents and Preswick does all he can to keep the both of them safe. All three are strong characters. The supporting cast includes Bev Reynolds, her staff, her husband's staff, and their friends. They are a very eclectic group. Bev's husband Reggie ran with a horse racing set and he seems to have owed everyone money. Bev friends are the elite set and the spouses of the men her husband seems indebted too. The author has really fleshed out these characters by the end of the story.

Solving the mystery takes us all around New York to the dinners and parties and out to the Reynold's stable at Holly Farm where their horses are kept and trained. There is twist after twist after twist. I had my focus drawn to one character and then away and back again, yet the climax was surprising and exciting.

The author gives us so much detail throughout the whole story that every place came alive in my mind, The same with the people. Her words generated some wonderful imagery. She also kept true to the language of the time which I liked.

This series is off to an excellent start. The author has left doors open for future installments. I am excited to learn more about Lily and Lady Dunbridge and her life as she continues to live in New York.


Assault and Beadery (A Cora Crafts Mystery)
Assault and Beadery (A Cora Crafts Mystery)
Author: Mollie Cox Bryan
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 10/7/2018


Dollycas's Thoughts

We return back to Indigo Gap just in time for the Crafty Mom's Escape Weekend. In addition to getting ready for the event, Cora is helping with scenery for the upcoming play at the local theater. But before the curtain goes up for the production, the curtain comes down on its director, Stan Herald. Cora's friend Zee is found near his body and becomes the prime murder suspect. Cora, Jane, and Ruby know their friend is innocent. They commit to finding the real killer to free their friend all while handling the Mom's who have escaped for a fun and crafty weekend. Hopefully, the weekend will be a beading success on both counts.

A strong group of friends shines within these pages. Cora, Ruby, Jane, Cashel, come together to help their friend Zee. Cashel handles the legal stuff. Cora and Jane do the sleuthing. Ruby does whatever is needed so the others can do their thing. In this story, that means keeping the moms entertained and she does is well. These characters are a lively group and people I would love to be friends with, tagging along crafting and sleuthing would be a blast.

It does take a group of people to handle everything happening within these pages. Mollie Cox Bryan has crafted a clever mystery to go along with the crafting theme. Twists and turns really kept me guessing. Even after a confession, the case is not solved. This was a good one that kept me guessing right up until the end.

It is stories like these that make me love cozy mysteries. Before an accident left my right side paralyzed I was quite the crafter. Books in this series have not only brought back great memories but allowed me to vicariously do some arts and crafts. In fact, I think I could make some of the beads described with one hand and just a little bit of help with the cutting.

Wonderful characters, a great mystery, and fun crafts make this story A Perfect Escape! I am ready to book my next trip to Indigo Gap!


Assault and Pepper (Spice Shop, Bk 1)
Assault and Pepper (Spice Shop, Bk 1)
Author: Leslie Budewitz
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 34
Review Date: 3/17/2019


Dollycas's Thoughts

Pepper Reece's life was in flux, her job eliminated and her marriage over. She took a gigantic leap and bought the Seattle Spice Shop in the Pike Place Market. She is working at making the place her own while keeping all the current customers and gaining new ones too. It is a popular place where tourists, fellow shopkeepers, and local market customers stop by for a cup of spice tea to get their day started.

One morning when Pepper arrives to open the shop she finds a body blocking her path with one of her stamped cups in his hand. Doc, was a panhandler that had recently shown up on her corner. He hadn't been dead for long and Pepper is surprised to find out one of her employees was already in her shop. Tory Finch works for Pepper but she is also an artist. She tells Pepper she came in early to work on some sketches. The police take her presence to mean something else. They have made her their prime suspect and have placed her under arrest and thrown away the key. Pepper wants to help as does the rest of her staff but Tory just wants to be left alone. Pepper will not let her employee be railroaded. She is going to spice things up by finding the killer herself.

I have never been to Seattle but when I think about the city, I think of rain and coffee. After reading this book I will also think of the Pike Place Market and Pepper's fantastic shop. She and her staff make their own spice blends depending on the month and the season. They also create and sell their own spiced tea. I could almost smell the aromas right through the pages and I learned some interesting things too. The market is a real place and also very unique, on the waterfront with views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. There are many levels, passages and nooks, and crannies. The author's descriptions draw a clear picture but I still had to look it up online to satisfy my curiosity. I would love to enjoy it in person someday.

Pepper is a caring individual. She watches out for her friends and staff, and she takes an active role with the homeless that spend their time at the marketplace. When 2 panhandlers had a disagreement about her corner she went out to help them find a suitable answer when others may have just called the police. Her ex-husband just happens to be one of the officers that patrols the area on his bicycle and she tries to involve him as little as possible in her life. The staff is a quirky group that works well together.

I enjoyed the mystery in this story. The connections that were revealed opened up a realm of possibilities. With some original twists, the story evolved in a satisfactory fashion. I was caught up in the whodunit right away, but with Pepper's background in Human Resources, a couple of things had me shaking my head. I appreciated how the homeless issues were addressed and the part they played in the story.

As the first book in the series, this story gave me everything I was looking for, intelligent and engaging characters, a spectacular setting, and a mystery that made me think. I look forward to reading the next book in this series soon.


The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society
The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society
Author: Darien Gee
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 2/2/2013


Darien Gee, the author of Friendship Bread takes us back to Avalon, Illinois, population 4243.

Madelines Tea Salon is the place residents meet and catch up and even occasionally get together as a group like the members of The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society founded by Bettie Shelton. Under Betties guidance, even the most reluctant of Avalons residents come to terms with their past and make bold decisions about their future.

Isabel Kidd is fixing up her ramshackle house while sorting through the complications of her late husbands affair. Ava Catalina is mourning the love of her life and helping her young son grow up without his father. Local plumber Yvonne Tate is smart, beautiful, and new to Avalon, but finds that despite a decade of living life on her own terms, the past has a way of catching upno matter where she goes. And Frances Latham, mother to a boisterous brood of boys, eagerly anticipates the arrival of a little girl from Chinaunprepared for the emotional roller coaster of foreign adoption.

Bettie has helped so many people and now she is facing a trial of her own. Everyone needs to come together and create something truly memorable just for her.

Dollycass Thoughts

Darien Gee writes about friendship and she does it masterfully. I was actually sad when I reached the last page. Bettie may not be adored by everyone in Avalon but she sure is the glue that holds the town together. She believes the answer to every problem is scrapbooking and saving memories. It is also the community of scrapbookers and their families that gather together to share their projects and support each other through good times and bad.

While Bettie is the main character of this story, the supporting characters are written just as well. A few characters return from Gees first story but we are introduced to new ones as well. There are several prominent supporting characters. You need to take your time, this is not a book to rush through, so you can really get to know these fabulous. characters and their stories. I said in my review of Friendship Bread that is was a story to be savored and the same is true with this story. The characters are rich and their stories feel real. One story line reminds me of similar circumstances in the Miss Julia Series by Ann B. Ross.

Gee has written another heartwarming and inspiring story that you will want to share with all your friends. I can only hope that this is not our last trip to Avalon. Both books are fabulous and can be read as stand alone but you will want to read both and then you will want to bake bread, start scrapbooking and get together with all your friends and family. The recipes and scrapbooking tips are a real added bonus.


Back on the Market
Back on the Market
Author: L.A. Frazier
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 7/12/2013


Thrilled to have any job with a paycheck, Vicky heads out to host an open house for Davis Realty. The last thing she expects to find is her boss naked and dead in one of the bedrooms.

As she tries to come to grips with finding him and wondering if she still has a job her house is mysteriously vandalized. Are the two incidents connected? Vicky thinks they are and besides she thinks Detective Nick Carson just may have feelings for her as she discovers she may have some for him. He is doing his best to keep her safe and keeps pumping him for information about the case so that she can help catch the killer before the killer catches her.

Dollycass Thoughts
A great debut for this series! The author has given us very believable characters in Vicky and Nick and added a couple of lovable canine characters as well. I love that her ex-husband hates dogs and these dogs dont like him much either. Zip and Titan are priceless. You may find yourself laughing out loud at Vicky and the way she is trying to deal with her life. These characters have so much potential for growth in this series.

This is a very quick read with a lot of humor, just a bit of romance and a clever mystery. The book cover says Evanovich fans will love Vicky and they are right. This fan enjoyed Vicky and this story. I am excited to see whether a real romance develops for Nick and Vicky. I have a feeling they will hit many bumps in the road as she finds herself in the middle of future investigations.


Bailey's Day
Bailey's Day
Author: Robert Haggerty
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 3/27/2010


ILLUSTRATED BY BOBBI SWITZER
This week I was given the pleasure of reviewing my first children's book and it was so much fun. My 2 year old grandson and I sat down and read the book. Then he had everyone reading to him about Bailey's Day and he even sat quietly and "read it" himself several times.

Bailey's Day is about a dog who truly "owns" his owner. Bailey's owner is a mailman and when he sets off to work that's when Bailey's fun begins. He meets his friend, Frankie the wiener dog, and their travels start, the swimming pool, the park, the taco stand. Bailey has to keep watching for his "Dad" the mailman, so his isn't caught on his adventures.

Bailey is a real dog and is really owned by author/mailman Robert Haggerty. The book includes several pictures of the real Bailey enjoying his day. This part of the book was a real hit at our house, owning 2 dogs ourselves, some of the pictures look a little familiar.

This is a truly wonderful children's book. It is a book that will grow with my grandson as we continue to read it to him and when truly learns to read himself. This book earns a top rating from Grandma but more importantly it is GRANDSON APPROVED!!

This is Robert Haggerty's first children's book.


http://dollycas.blogspot.com/


Basket Case (Silver Six, Bk 1)
Basket Case (Silver Six, Bk 1)
Author: Nancy Haddock
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 9/9/2015
Helpful Score: 2


Dollycas's Thoughts

Leslee Stanton "Nixy" Nix arrives in Lilyvale for a quick trip to find out what is happening with her aunt, Ms. Sherry Mae Stanton Cutler, and her housemates (The Silver Six) but the stay gets extended when a land developer is found dead and Ms. Sherry is a prime suspect.

Nancy Haddock introduces us to Nixy and the Silver Six, Ms. Sherry, Dwight Aloysius Baxter, Maisie Holcomb and her sister Aster Parsons, Eleanor Wainwright and Fred Fishner. A group of crafty seniors that all live together in Ms. Sherry's farmhouse. They all have their strengths and weaknesses but stand by each other no matter what. Even during a murder investigation. She does an excellent job of of giving the reader time to get to know them all before the main mystery begins and I really appreciate that.

But when "Hellspawn"(love this nickname) Jill Elsman is killed and Nixy starts to dig into her background and investigate her business we soon have several suspects and the story's pace picks up. Then we are caught up in solving the mystery right along with Nixy. Detective Eric Shoar at times wishes he never called the nosy niece to town but she seems to be growing on him.

I love the Silver Six and would love to be friends with them in real life. The entire community of Lilydale sounds like a great group of people. It is nice to see just a glimmer of romance on the horizon for Nixy.

I truly enjoyed my first visit to Lilyvale from the folk art festival to the beautiful town itself. Haddock has laid a great foundation for this series and given us a great mystery to boot. She also tempts us with a preview of GOODBYE GOURDEOUS, the next book in the series, and a craft tip and recipes too. What a fantastic start!


Beach Blues
Beach Blues
Author: Joanne DeMaio
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 7/15/2016


Dollycas's Thoughts

Joanne Demaio has topped herself. This story just blew me away.

The tourist season is about to start and the Hammer Law will go into effect. No construction is allowed as it would disturb the visiting families. This means the noisy renovations on Elsa DeLuca's inn project are stopped but quiet ones like painting and cooking can continue.

Celia Gray is house sitting in Stony Point and she is quickly introduced to the rest of the group we have come to love in these stories. Sal DeLuca also shows up in Stony Point from New York and surprises his mother. She can't believe he is there for the entire summer. He meets Celia and a summer romance seems to be blossoming.

Tradition says you will leave Stoney Point with a ring, a baby, or a broken heart. What does this summer have in store for its residents?

This book continues where The Denim Blue Sea leaves off. Characters like Maris and Jason are starting their married life, with Maris on the road for work. All their friends pitch in to make sure Jason takes care of himself as he is still mourning his brother's death. Elsa has bought their teenage hangout and is remodeling the house as an inn, with the exception of the back room where the kids used to meet. Celia is staging houses that are for sale and Elsa convinces her to help her decorate the place. Lauren also adds her special touch to the project.

This story, this entire series, is about friendship. The friendships that started long ago that continue to grow each and every day. They come together in times of joy and sorrow. They build each other up and never tear each other down. Secrets are revealed and handled almost delicately. Every one of these character shine brightly and are wonderfully written. They are strong, yet vulnerable, engaging and real, thoughtful and fun, and all of them are memorable.

The author has written an amazing and powerful story that made me laugh and made me cry. Several different story lines all converge and blend together effortlessly. Memories of years gone by are restored for others and kept in wonderful ways. Life moves forward along new and interesting paths. Changes happen just like the ebb of the sea. Some good, some sad, including one that just broke my heart.

Demaio writes stories that invoke so many emotions.

Stoney Point is an incredible place to spend the summer for all the characters and I love being able to tag along for the ride.

paradise 2016


Beeline to Trouble (Queen Bee, Bk 4)
Beeline to Trouble (Queen Bee, Bk 4)
Author: Hannah Reed
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 12/14/2012


Story's sister Holly needs help. Her husband has invited some of his employees to their house to relax for the weekend. Now she not only has to find ways to entertain them but also feed them. The kitchen in Holly's house is state or the art but it is foreign territory as she can't cook at all. With Story's help they pull off breakfast and then Story takes them on a tour of her hives. They are enjoying themselves until one of the guests drops dead and Story becomes the prime suspect. It seems the carrot juice she served at breakfast contained poison.

This is the last thing Story needs. Johnny Jay can't stand her and he will try to pin this on her for sure. Plus her hunky boyfriend Hunter just moved into her house with her and a dead body can tend to take away that romantic feeling. She has no choice but to comb through the clues and close the case herself.

Dollycas's Thoughts

The Queen Bee of the cozy is back again with another tale that is as sweet as honey! I love it!

If this fictional town were real it would be about a 45 minute drive from my house. I love the way Wisconsin shines in these stories from our crazy names of our "tongue twisting burgs"

Oconomowoc (Og-con-uh-ma-walk)
Waukesha (Walk-ee-shaw)
Kaukauna (Ka-caw-nah)
Chenequa (Sha-ni-qua)
to the beautiful scenery and the caring people. Each and every character is unique, real and believable, even the bad ones. Pity Party Patty just cracks me up and she was in the middle of it this time. Even with her unusual past, deep down we all have a P.P. Patty in our lives.

Hannah Reed writes a smart mystery with the perfect amount of humor set is a place that is a beehive of activity.

Bee smart and buzz over to the bookstore and pick this one up today. You will Bee thanking me!!! BUZZ! BUZZ! BUZZ!


Berry the Hatchet (Cranberry Cove, Bk 2)
Berry the Hatchet (Cranberry Cove, Bk 2)
Author: Peg Cochran
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 5/16/2016


Dollycas's Thoughts

I ate this mystery right up!

We are back in Cranberry Cove just in time for the Winter Walk. The mayor had this grand idea to bring tourists to town during the off season. Sadly he didn't get to see the fruits of his labor. As the parade is ready to start the horse drawn sleigh carrying him takes off. When the horses are reined in the mayor's body is found. In a unique twist both Monica's mother and step mother are at the top of the list of suspects. It doesn't help that a key piece of evidence is found on the family's cranberry farm. Monica finds herself trying to clear both women of the crime, landing herself right in the killer's sites.

You wouldn't think there would be much to be done to a cranberry bog in the winter but there is plenty to keep Monica's brother Jeff busy. Monica is baking everyday, the farm store is still open and she is selling things at the Winter Walk as well. When her mother makes a surprise visit and there are no rooms available at the motel or B&B's Monica finds herself with a house guest. She has been getting along with her stepmother but her mother's visit may mess up that relationship.

This was a fast paced mystery. The story never gets "bogged down", the pages were turning pretty rapidly as we reached the climatic end.

I really like these characters. They are engaging and believable. I love the relationship Monica has with Detective Stevens. They actually share information. Having both her stepmom and mom in town could really have gone wrong but the author really wrote the story is a wonderful way, even when another visitor came to town.

This is another delightful cozy from Peg Cochran. She even makes winter in Michigan sound like fun, with the wind blowing and the chill in the air. Bundle up and enjoy this trip to Cranberry Cove.


Best Served Cold (Trailer Park,  Bk 3)
Best Served Cold (Trailer Park, Bk 3)
Author: Jimmie Ruth Evans
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 69
Review Date: 3/17/2007
Helpful Score: 2


loved it


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