Category Archives: Cozy

Review of Cozy Mysteries on Tuesday!

I had the best weekend of reading!! Three super good cozies that you “OTTER” be reading:

Turkeys, Tuxes, and Tabbies by Kathi Daley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zoe Donovan is one of my favorite cozy series.  Kathi Daley does such a good job with the characters and all the little details that make them seem like real people instead of just characters in a book.  In this one, Zoe has to contend with the death of the local cat lady who may have had some big secrets!! Zoe must also keep her new fiance’ out of the clutches of the ladies at the charity bachelor auction! If all that’s not enough, there are rescue animals and bears in the dumpsters; I like the way Zoe deals with these things in a believable way.   The mystery fooled me (as usual!!) and I was enthralled til the very last page.  I was given a copy of this book-the review is my own opinion.

 

 

Pumpkins in Paradise by Kathi Daley

TJ Jensen is a new series for Kathi Daley.  In this one, TJ finds the body of her elderly friend and then must untangle a mystery that stretches back decades.  There are quite a few characters but they are sorted out quickly with not much confusion about who is who.  The town is so inviting-lots of quirky as we expect from Kathi!  I liked TJ as a character and the way she was so believable in the way she approached the mystery while still grieving for her friend and dealing with own home life.  The hunky Deputy could have been just another pretty face but he has some depth and a back story that was unexpected-I can’t wait to see how this romance plays out.  As always, Kathi gives the reader well written characters, realistic situations and a good little puzzle of a murder mystery.  I’m looking forward to many more with TJ!!

Beyond Belief by Helen Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, what to say about this one!!  Emily Castles is one of the best cozy series I have read this year.  I know I say that about a lot of books 😉 but this book blew me away!  It wasn’t overwrought or violent/gory or even funny ha ha hysterical.  It was all so civilized and low-key and the psychic dogs were perfect!!  The human characters were eccentric in the best possible ways and Emily was a treat.

She is called upon to act as a “future crimes investigator” at a scientific/paranormal Belief and Beyond conference.  The twist is a famous magician is offering a $50,000 prize to anyone who can prove the paranormal exists.  When a vision of a drowning at the conference becomes a real possibility, Emily tries to put the clues together before it’s too late.  Add in several very engrossing sub plots and I was up way too late reading this book!

 

 

 

 

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Cozy Mystery Monday

Welcome to Cozy Mystery Monday!! There are so many books coming out all the time, it’s easy to miss something good.  So, instead of pounding out more NEW NEW NEW books, this week I thought we should revisit some cozies you don’t want to miss.

 

Number 10 in the Zoe Donovan series has been released.  I was given a copy by the AWESOME author, Kathi Daley, and I am now elbow deep in the antics of Zoe and a bachelor auction and a ‘cat lady’ and a murder!!!!  This is one of the best cozy series out there-the characters are so well written and ‘real’, the mysteries are interesting and there are dogs & cats!!  You cannot resist this book!!

 

Bless Her Dead Little Heart by Miranda James

Oh, my!!  Get your pre-orders in!!!  Bless Her Dead Little Heart comes out TOMORROW!!!  This is the first in a new series and it is popping up all over the internet.  It seems like all the cozy bloggers are going crazy for this book.  The plot is two sisters are cat sitting when their old sorority sister shows up and is then murdered!  Need more?  There is also a family & a will!!  We’ve read enough cozies to know where this is going and I can hardly stand to wait to get started reading!!

 

Groomed For Murder (Pet Boutique #2)

Groomed for Murder by Annie Knox

 

Nightmares Can Be Murder

Nightmares Can Be Murder by Mary Kennedy

Groomed for Murder and Nightmares Can Be Murder were released last month and they have 22 5-star reviews on Amazon!!  Everyone is talking about these books and how good they are-plots, characters and the various mysteries to be solved.  Don’t let great books get lost in the shuffle!!  These are all super good cozies that you “OTTER” be reading!!

 

Cozy Mystery Monday

OOOH!!! Some great new Cozy Mystery books this week. You “OTTER” be reading these!!!

Stirring The Plot by Daryl Wood Gerber

This is the 3rd in the Cookbook Nook series. I’m still 4th in line at the library for the first book in this series so it will be a while before I get to read this one. It looks SO good!! Jenna moves back home to open the Cookbook Nook and of course cozy mystery ‘stuff’ starts to happen! This is being released tomorrow 9/30.

 

 

Death Is Like a Box Of Chocolates by Kathy Aarons

I am seeing this book EVERYWHERE! Every blog, every newsletter, some serious buzz is being generated for this book. It was released 9/2 and is the debut novel for author Kathy Aarons. The plot is super: Michelle & Erica are best friends who open a Bookstore/Chocolate shop-can there be anything more perfect 😉 Things go awry as they usually do in cozies and a local photographer is dead of possible CANDY poisoning!! OH, NO!! Whatever will our heroines do? Why, solve the mystery of course! It will no doubt be wrapped up before they lose their store and ruin the Memorial Day Arts Festival. I’ve put this at the top of my to-read list.

These Haunts Are Made For Walking by Rose Pressey

A librarian by day and ghost tour guide by night-what a combination! Ripley (Rip) discovers a dead body, then a ghost who communicates via text messaging. Add in a cute cop who is also a ghost hunter and you have another great Rose Pressey book; the first in a new series. It was just released on 9/22 and has all 5-star reviews on Amazon. Pressey is always an enjoyable read with quirky characters in zany situations. Another top of the pile book!

 

Caught Dead Handed by Carol J. Perry

Another cozy/paranormal mix. Lee returns to Salem, Massachusetts to interview for a TV reporter job. When the call-in psychic for the late horror movie show is murdered, Lee takes the job. Is she becoming psychic for real? What is she really seeing in her crystal ball? Will she solve the murder? There is a cat on the book cover so I’m already a fan of the series before I even read it!!

 

Two new cozies and two new cozy/paranormal for this week.  They are all at the top of my to-read list, I need to study some physics or at least watch more episodes of the Big Bang Theory-maybe Sheldon could explain how ALL my books are #1 on my list!!

REVIEW: Malled to Death by Laura DiSilverio

Malled to Death A Mall Cop Mystery by Laura DiSilverio

This is book 3 in the series and I enjoyed it quite a bit. EJ is a likable character and her family is a total hoot! Grandpa is back in this one and up to his usual mysterious shenanigans. He is helping EJ solve yet another Fernglen Galleria murder-this has to be the worst place to shop ever! Also on scene is EJ’s movie star dad, filming an action movie in the mall. When the props master is found murdered, EJ must figure out who wanted her dead and why-before her family become the next targets.

The mystery in this one totally fooled me! I was sure about 1/3 of the way in that I knew the answer, I kept telling the book why doesn’t EJ know that it’s *, then I got to the end and wow, I did NOT see that coming!! So good!!

There are some interesting subplots including one that deal with FINALLY a love connection for EJ-this is book three, it’s about time! That’s really my only criticism of this series-it moves sloooooowly.
The writing is very good, the characters are fully developed and believable, there is even a cat! But at times it’s like molasses wading through all the extra angst & scenery chewing to get to the meat of the story.

I do like the inclusion of EJ’s injury from Afghanistan and how she is dealing with not just the physical but also her mental recovery. She is such a believable character and her disability is part of the character: her leg gets tired and her knee gives out etc. EJ also acts like a mall cop most of the time-staying out of the way, calling the regular cops in when something happens and not snooping too much. There is a tantalizing thread left dangling that has to do with super secret spy type stuff that I can’t wait to read about in the next book. I recommend this series.

REVIEW: Real Elves by Helen Smith

Real Elves by Helen Smith

What a wonderful story-a great introduction to the Emily Castles world. As the book opens, Emily is helping at a Santa’s Christmas Forest set up in a department store. When they invite Sophie and her grandfather to take a pre-opening tour to test the display, Sophie goes missing. But she is still standing beside her grandfather. What has happened? Is it magic or something more sinister? Will Emily get to the bottom of it before the police arrive?

This is one of those stories that make readers say “wow, I MUST read every other book this author has written!” It’s a cozy mystery in every sense of the genre. Nothing vulgar, no blood, no violence; just a cracking good little mystery with quirky characters and so well written it was as if I was right there with them!

Helen Smith graciously gave me a copy of the book, this review is my own opinion. 5 stars, read this book and the entire series!

First Chapter Friday

A new type of post starts today on Big Otter Books.  We are calling it First Chapter Friday and it’s just what it sounds like:  I’ll read the first chapters of some great books and let you know what I think! Easy, peasy, right?  Might be …meh… might be …WOW… , you just don’t know what you’ll find in the first chapter of a book.  Today it’s two Cozy Mysteries–let’s take a look and hopefully they will be just what we “Otter” be reading!

Murder Al Dente by Jennifer L. Hart

Oh, my goodness-the first chapter of this book is GOOD!  There is an introduction that gives us the background on Andy (short for Andrea) and her short-lived TV cooking show.  Then the first chapter sets up the plot with Andy’s family, her life after the TV fiasco, some hard decisions to be made at the family pasta shop and a hunka hunka potential love interest.  Jennifer Hart writes like I think she probably talks-if you know what I mean!  I’ve read several of her books and this goes to the top of my must read now list.

 

By Kathi Daley TJ Jensen Paradise Lake Mystery #1

I always enjoy spending time in the worlds of Kathi Daley!  She writes these great books that are all about small towns/extended family/close-knit communities with a twist that always includes a super mystery to be solved by our intrepid heroine!  This one is the first in a series so there is some scene setting & character introductions at the beginning but it just whets your appetite to read more.  TJ is a very likeable lead character with some secrets & back story that I can’t wait to explore; she seems like a girl we all could have known in high school!  The first chapter doesn’t get to the mystery/murder part of the plot but I know it’s coming up!  Another #1 on my must read list.

What do you think of First Chapter Friday?  I enjoyed it taking a quick look at these books and adding to my ever lengthening “Otter” read list!  Have a great reading weekend and join me for Cozy Mystery Monday!!

REVIEW: Halloween Hijinks by Kathi Daley

Halloween Hijinks by Kathi Daley

This was such a good book! I loved Zoe and her friends. There was a some scene setting and character introductions that went on a bit long but this is the first in the series so we need to know who is who.

The plot is that Zoe is active in her little town as the animal control officer and serves on various committees for fundraisers etc. I especially liked the parts of the plot involving overcrowded shelters and animal rescue. Really nice to see this issue as a major part of the book.

There is an old nemesis who may be a new love interest and her best friends from high school could possibly/maybe be more than friends. Zoe has an intriguing family history that will no doubt play out in the next books. The murder mystery was a little confusing but Kathi wrapped it all up in the end in a nice neat package. This plot ties into the plot for the #9 in the series.

This is a new series for me and I’m glad I picked it up. I like the characters and the town. Very well done and I have added the series to my to-read list!

Cozy Mystery Monday

Oh, dreary Monday is here again. There is nothing dreary about these great new cozy mysteries being released soon. All of them are part of a series and should be on your “Otter” read list!!


Double Strike by Gwen Archer

Book 3 of the hilarious Davis Way series. Super funny and perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich. Davis is a sort of spy for a casino. She used to be a cop so there isn’t as much ineptitude as you would think but there is still quite a bit of slapstick and wild predicaments. Oh, and her family is nuts! Lots of fun stuff happens in the series and Archer gives tons of behind the scenes casino details. I really like this series! Release day is October 21st.


Turkeys, Tuxes and Tabbies by Kathi Daley

Zoe Donovan is at it again in book 10! Another great series that just keeps getting better and better. This one has a bachelor auction and a dead “cat lady”!! That’s all I need to know-I’m ready to read!! Releases on October 1st.


A Plain Malice by Amanda Flower

Amanda Flower wrote one of my boys’ favorite books: Andi Unexpected. We all read it and it was so good that when I found out this book was coming out I couldn’t wait to read it. Then I realized it’s #4 in the Appleseed Creek series!! Oops, I haven’t been paying attention-there are three other Amish mysteries out with the same characters. This book deals with an old-fashioned milking demonstration on an Amish family dairy farm that leads to death and some good old fashioned undercover investigation. From what I’ve read about the series it’s pretty wholesome and Christian so I need to get these on my to-read pile right away! A Plain Malice will be released on September 16th.

 

Three new books in great cozy mystery series you really “Otter” be reading!!

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