Category: Cosy Mystery

Audiobook Review | “Lost in the Light” (Book One: The Dori O Paranormal Mysteries) written and narrated by the author Mary Castillo

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Lost in the Light” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions in exchange for an honest review. This complimentary copy I received is part of the ‘Adopt an Audiobook’ programme where reviewers are given a 90 day window to listen and review the book. I received this audiobook in December, 2018 wherein I had planned to listen to this before the close of the year, however, with a five week virus I had to wait til I recovered my energies to hear the story this January, 2019. This differs from a blog tour which has a more set schedule of posting. The audiobooks are offered to ‘adopt’ for review consideration and are given to readers to gauge their opinions, impressions and insight into how the audiobook is resonating with listeners. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What drew me to listening to this particular audiobook:

I’ve been seeking out different kinds of Mysteries for most of [2018] – including at tailend of the year, wherein I scouted out such lovelies as Joy Avon’s In Peppermint Peril; David Rosenfelt’s Deck the Hounds; Maia Chance’s Naughty on Ice; as well as the latest Claire Chase Thriller Death on the River, M.B. Shaw’s Murder at the Mill and Vivian Conroy’s The Butterfly Conspiracy – of which I am still continuing to listen and/or read as I lost the hours to enjoy them fully due to being ill before, during and after Christmas! 

I love Mysteries, Thrillers and novels of Suspense but what made each of these quite uniquely lovely is how uniquely individual they are as ‘stories within their own series’. I had hoped by January I could dig back inside my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense novels – those lovely page-turners I share a passion of reading with my Mum but suffice it to say, most of January was either spent recovering my energy and stamina lost during the virus to end all viruses; transitioning through two migraines (blessedly one low grade and one slightly supernova) and at least three severe allergy attacks – to the brink that January just felt muddled.

I had such a lovely outline of what I wanted to accomplish via LibraryThing and I was adding to that revolving list of #nextreads with what I wanted to be listening too throughout the month as I am still attempting to offset what I read in print with what I listen to as an #AudioReads as I’m striving towards a spilt of 70/40 between both formats. I finally had to realise somewhere along the route of the month, resting and being offline was just a better course of action for my own self-care than to attempt to read the stories which were keenly interesting me to seek out. Thereby, it became one of the least read months I’ve had as a book blogger but the stories I was able to listen to or read were rather enjoyable.

Which brings me to this adopted audiobook – I was dearly curious about what I would inside as I do have a particular eye on serial fiction – especially when it comes to Crime Fiction as there is something intriguing about getting to re-visit a series vs reading a one-off. Since this one is a merger of the Paranormal with the Investigative – it was a story I was curiously happy to finally get a chance to settle inside and soak in the story-line!

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Audiobook Review | “Lost in the Light” (Book One: The Dori O Paranormal Mysteries) written and narrated by the author Mary CastilloLost in the Light
by Mary Castillo
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Mary Castillo

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B01N37B8CH

Genres: Amateur Detective, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction


Published by Reina Books

on 27th January, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 8 hours, 52 minutes (unabridged)

Published By: Reina Books

Mary Castillo | Site | LibraryThing | GoodReads | @MCastilloWrites

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Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2019 by jorielov in Amateur Detective, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction

A #cloakanddaggerchristmas Book Review | “In Peppermint Peril” (Book One: A Tea and Read Mysteries) by Joy Avon

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I often cross paths with writers in the twitterverse, as I’m a social reader who likes to engage directly with fellow book bloggers, readers, reviewers and writers. I talk with writers who are in the process of launching their writing careers inasmuch as established writers who have quite a few releases out for us to discover. The blissitude of finding this author is the fact she writes under two separate names (Vivian Conroy for Cosy Historical Mysteries; Joy Avon for the Book Tea Shop Mysteries) whilst she hosts a weekly Historical Fiction Twitter Chat I am in love with attending inasmuch as the quarterly #HistoricalFix; as you see, #HistFicChat brings all of us together who love devouring Historical stories across genres and eras of interest. It is a conversational meet-up featuring today’s Historical authors – from all gambits of the umbrella in which you could find a writer writing a Historical novel!

Due to her encouragement, I reached out to her publisher Crooked Lane Books to see if I could receive two of her novels for review – “The Butterfly Conspiracy” and “In Peppermint Peril”. I was happily surprised to receive both and this marks the first of two reviews featuring my first introductions to her characters. I elected to share both during my personal readathon within the hours of the #cloakanddaggerchristmas readathon happening between #booktube and the book blogosphere! I was unfortunately delayed until Christmas Week to begin my readings due to a bad Winter virus and am overjoyed I can finally read the stories I’ve been keenly interested in discovering!

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “In Peppermint Peril” direct from the publisher Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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The reasons why I was dearly keen on discovering

this new Cosy Mystery series:

(as much as an explanation of how I’m connected to the author)

It might not be a very well known fact – as throughout the past five years as a book blogger, I’ve been focusing on so many different genres of entrance, I am never quite sure if any of my dear hearted visitors & readers know what my top favourite genres are to explore? Ever since I met Miss Marple I have had a penchant for Cosy Mysteries; from that day forward, I also adopted a British affinity for writing them in the Brit fashion rather than the American. It felt only right being that Dame Christie is who endeavoured to inspire a lifelong passion for the genre!

Over the years, I am thankful if I can find a new author (singular) or a new series (if they prefer a serial over a one-off) within the Cosy umbrella of stories. It is a hard call really – how to find an author who is writing the kind of stories I want to be seeking out & which series therein are being written in a style that I can sink my literary teeth into with the cosy comforting joy of feeling as if I’ve entered a world I would love to reside inside for quite a long time afterwards!

Reading Cosy Mysteries has been quite a luxury – a pleasurable exploration of Crime Fiction due to how soft & gentle the writers take us into the minds of their criminals & their sleuths. It is a lighter & fluffier side to Mysteries, Suspense & Thrillers – for the most part – as sometimes Cosies can broker a fine line between Noir, Cosy & Hard-Boiled.

I have such an attachment to Cosy Historical Mysteries that I oft-time have to remind myself to seek out a Contemporary Cosy – as a book blogger I sort of side-lined my adventures into the Lady Emily series, the Mary Russell series & the Aunt Diminty series – all of which are part of my #beatthebacklist for 2019 reading challenge – however, prior to sorting out where I am traversing in Cosies for 2019, I was thankful I crossed paths with Ms Conroy (Avon) as through the conversations we’ve shared on Twitter during her chat #HistFicChat I found a like-minded spirit – someone who is as giddy happy over these Cosies as I am myself – and her readerly habits are a mirror of my own, dear hearts!

We oft find ourselves musefully talking about the same takeaways & insights into the Mysteries & Historical stories we are discussing – in that regard, it has been a benefit of minds to have met each other in the twitterverse! As how lovely is it when you find a fellow bookish soul who reads the stories you want to be seeking out yourself to read?

So, imagine my joyfulness in being able to read two of her lovely releases as typically her stories are *not released!* into print – their Digital First. I am thankful to have found an author out there who appreciates what I do in Crime Fiction and I couldn’t wait to get invested into her stories – seeing how she set the tone for her series & which of her characters would win me over the most!

Truly though – it boiled down to this: I drink copious amounts of tea, I’m in love with chai and I could literally spend a lifetime inside a library and a book shoppe without the need to exit! Combing a love of books and the art of tea into a Cosy series? The premise of that potential surely secured my interest! 

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A #cloakanddaggerchristmas Book Review | “In Peppermint Peril” (Book One: A Tea and Read Mysteries) by Joy AvonIn Peppermint Peril
Subtitle: A Book Tea Shop Mystery
by Joy Avon
Source: Direct from Publisher

This Christmas, Callie Aspen returns to her childhood hideout Heart's Harbour, Maine, where her great-aunt runs Book Tea, a vintage tearoom where every sweet treat contains a bookish clue. Upon arrival in the fairy-tale snowy town, Callie is drawn into the preparations for a special tea party at Haywood Hall, the rambling house of Heart's Harbour's oldest resident, rich but lonely widow Dorothea Finster, who invited her estranged relatives, old friends, and the elite of the town to make a mysterious announcement about her will.

Believing they can touch a part of her fortune, everybody is determined to come, despite not liking each other or even their hostess. And Callie's old friend Sheila complicates things by using the tea party to announce her daughter's engagement, even though her daughter isn't sure she's in love with the young lawyer her mother thinks is so perfect for her.

Catering to people who each have their own agenda isn't easy for the Book Tea crew, especially once the valuable engagement ring goes missing and a dead body turns up in the conservatory. Can Callie and her great-aunt use their love of clues to dig into the crimes and show their unhappy hostess and squabbling guests the true Christmas spirit?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781683317937

Genres: Amateur Detective, Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Cookery, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction


Setting: Heart's Harbour, Maine


Published by Crooked Lane Books

on 13th November, 2018

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 288

Christmas Cosy Mystery Book Icon made by Jorie in Canva.ARC Review Icon made by Jorie in Canva.Amateur Detective Icon made by Jorie in Canva.

Published By: Crooked Lane Books (@crookedlanebks)

A Tea and Read Mysteries:

(I was rather partial to the original title of the series “A Book Tea Shop Mystery”)

In Peppermint Peril (book one)

→ Sweet Tea & Secrets (book two) *forthcoming, 11th June, 2019!

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #Conroy10, #CosyMystery + #TeaAndReadMysteries

About Joy Avon

Having spent many afternoons as a teen on the Nile with Poirot or confronting sinister spinsters in sleepy English towns with Miss Marple, it was only natural Joy Avon would start writing mysteries of her own. Besides writing, Joy enjoys hiking, collecting stationery, and trying new desserts, especially if chocolate is involved.

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Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Amateur Detective, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cookery, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Lady Detective Fiction, Modern Day, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

A #cloakanddaggerchristmas Book Review | “Naughty On Ice” (Book Four of The Discreet Retrieval Agency) by Maia Chance

Posted Monday, 24 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was approached by Minotaur Books this Winter about reading a selection of their upcoming Mysteries and Suspense novels. I was hoping to read them in the weeks leading into Christmas until I came down with a serious Winter virus which disrupted my plans. Therefore, it became a proper #cloakanddaggerchristmas celebration for me as I settled into these Cosies as the holiday was arriving giving me a comfortable joy of reading the kind of stories I love to discover during this time of the year. Cosies are wonderful all year round but there is something special about the ones that take-on a holiday vibe!

I received a complimentary copy of “Naughty On Ice” direct from the publisher Minotaur Books (an imprint of St. Martin’s Press) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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The reason reading ‘Naughty On Ice’ appealled to me:

This one felt like a smashing good fit as I personally was seriously attached to the tv series “Miss Fisher” – I love the whole era this is set behind and of course, I can imagine the kind of folly which might follow suit as well. I saw the first in the series is at my local library so I wouldn’t feel guilty this is a series already in-progress!

I have been aching to find a new Cosy series which was representative of what I *adore!* in the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries but which could exist separate from #MissFisher all the same! I haven’t ever read one of those mysteries due to how attached I became to the television adaptations – something didn’t seem quite right to me to back-read a series I knew would ultimately disappoint me as the series on air and the series in print are two birds of different feathers! It would have been different of course, if I had found the book series prior to the tv series but since I hadn’t, I was ready to find another Cosy Historical Mystery series which had the essence of Miss Fisher but was a wholly new adventure all the same!

I had a feeling I’d adore reading this series – I had it in mind to fetch the first of the series as I spied it at my local library but as I struggled with my health this Autumn & Winter, I elected to read it out of sequence, keeping true to how sometimes you can read a festive Cosy and gather a good notion about a series already in-progress. It didn’t take long for me to recognise I would love these stories and I happily added the first three to my #BeatTheBacklist reading challenge to see what I’ve been missing out from not having found this series sooner!

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Naughty On Ice
by Maia Chance
Source: Direct from Publisher

Marvelously charming Lola Woodby and her stoic Swedish cook Berta return for a dazzingly fun holiday adventure in Naught On Ice, Maia Chance's latest addition to the Discreet Retrieval Agency series.

When an anonymous Christmas card from Maple Hill, Vermont beckons the Discreet Retrieval Agency to recover an antique ring at a family gathering, of course Lola and Berta jump at the chance - after all, holiday business hasn't been such exhilarating work, and their sweethearts Ralph and Jimmy have been on the back burner.

But no sooner do they find the ring on Great-Aunt Daphne Goddard's arthritic finger than Mrs Goddard drops dead from a poisoned glass of Negroni on ice - and the police show up to find Lola and Berta red-handed with the ring. It's an obvious set-up, and now the duo must uncover the secrets of Maple Hill in order to clear their name... or be thrown in the slammer.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781250109071

Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Minotaur Books

on 13th November, 2018

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 288

 Published By: Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks)
{imprint of} St. Martin’s Press (@StMartinsPress)

The Discreet Retrieval Agency series:

Come Hell or High Ball (book one)

Teetotaled (book two)

Gin and Panic (book three)

→ Naughty on Ice (book four) *where I begin the series!

Converse via: #DiscreetRetrievalAgency, #LolaAndBerta, #MaiaChance

and #CosyHistoricalMystery, #CosyMystery or #HistMys

Available Formats: Hardcover and Ebook

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About Maia Chance

Maia Chance was a finalist for the 2004 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award and is a Ph.D candidate at the University of Washington. She is writing her dissertation on nineteenth-century American literature. She is also the author of the Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery series.

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Posted Monday, 24 December, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), British Literature, Cosy Historical Mystery, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, Historical Fiction, Lady Detective Fiction, Modern British Author, the Roaring Twenties

A #cloakanddaggerchristmas Book Review | “Deck the Hounds” (Book Eighteen of the Andy Carpenter Mysteries) by David Rosenfelt

Posted Sunday, 23 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , 2 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was approached by Minotaur Books this Winter about reading a selection of their upcoming Mysteries and Suspense novels. I was hoping to read them in the weeks leading into Christmas until I came down with a serious Winter virus which disrupted my plans. Therefore, it became a proper #cloakanddaggerchristmas celebration for me as I settled into these Cosies as the holiday was arriving giving me a comfortable joy of reading the kind of stories I love to discover during this time of the year. Cosies are wonderful all year round but there is something special about the ones that take-on a holiday vibe!

I received a complimentary copy of “Deck the Hounds” direct from the publisher Minotaur Books (an imprint of St. Martin’s Press) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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The reason reading ‘Deck the Hounds’ appealled to me:

I used to read quite a lot of legal dramas and legal mysteries – it has been awhile since a plot inspired me and this one, as it is set at Christmastime felt rather charming!

As a rule, I do love to read series in-progress start to finish; however, there is one small luxury I haven’t had the pleasure of engaging in for a few years, which is to seek out new Mystery series to read by way of reading a ‘holiday’ release within a series and to gauge if I would enjoy reading the rest of the series after entering through the holiday story! I did this previously with “Holiday Grind” for the Coffeehouse Mysteries – which gave me a strong impression of the series at large and I am still working my way back through the series start to finish as a result.

This year, when I was offered the chance to select some books to review for Minotaur Books, I decided to take a chance to see if I could find new series to become engaged inside. One of the descriptions which stood out to me was this one “Deck the Hounds” – as I knew the cover art might be misleading a bit, as it looks like a cute Cosy but something told me to prepare for a hearty story-line inside the cute & fluffy cover!

From what I gathered via their current catalogues of new releases for Cosy Mysteries, Historical Mysteries & Thrillers or Suspense – I have found a new publisher to keep a ready eye out for #newtomeauthors & serials! I’ve selected quite a few I want to seek out in New Year, as a few of my libraries are carrying their authors! I’d love to get to know these new series and see which of the authors I’ve recently discovered by Minotaur Books will become my new beloved favourites of the coming year!

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Deck the Hounds
Subtitle: An Andy Carpenter Mystery
by David Rosenfelt
Source: Direct from Publisher

Reluctant lawyer Andy Carpenter and his faithful golden retriever are back again in David Rosenfelt's dog-centric Christmas mystery Deck the Hounds. A rare act of kindness on Andy's art leads him into a perplexing mystery requiring all of his sleuthing skills, and a little help from his loyal pet.

When Andy sees a dog next to a homeless man, he's inspired o give the pair some money to help. It's just Andy's luck that things don't end there. A little while later, the man and his dog are attacked on the street. The dog defends its new owner, and the erstwhile attacker is bitten but escapes. But the dog is quarantined and the man, Don Carrigan, is heartbroken.

Andy's wife Laurie can't resist helping the duo after learning Andy has met them before... it's the Christmas season after all. In a matter of days Don and his dog Zoey are living above Andy's garage and become two new additions to the family. It's not until Andy accidentally gives away his guest's name during an interview that things go awry; Don, as it turns out is wanted for a murder that happened two years ago. Don not only claim he's innocent, but that he has no idea that he was wanted for a crime he has no knowledge of in the first place. Andy has to exonerate his new friend, if he doesn't get pulled into the quagmire first.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781250198488

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Legal Thriller


Published by Minotaur Books

on 16th October, 2018

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 336

 Published By: Minotaur Books (@MinotaurBooks)
{imprint of} St. Martin’s Press (@StMartinsPress)

The Andy Carpenter Mysteries:

Open and Shut (book one) | First Degree (book two) | Bury the Lead (book three)

Sudden Death (book four) | Dead Center (book five) | Play Dead (book six)

New Tricks (book seven) | Dog Tags (book eight) | One Dog Night (book nine)

Leader of the Pack (book ten) | Unleashed (book eleven) | Hounded (book twelve)

Who Let the Dog Out? (book thirteen) | Outfoxed (book fourteen)

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas (book fifteen) | Collared (book sixteen)

Rescued (book seventeen)

→ Deck the Hounds (book eighteen) *where I begin the series!

Converse via: #AndyCarpenter, #CosyMystery, #LegalThriller & Holiday Humour
Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

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I sometimes enjoy listening to audiobook samplers whilst I’m about to read an author for the first time. Especially in this instance, as this is a series well into its rhythm of releases – wherein, I found the character’s voice & tone of delivery to be uniquely different than what I had pre-imagined Andy Carpenter might sound like as a narrated character! Which of course, proves that sometimes what we think a character might be about and who they really are could be two different impressions!

The narrator is Grover Gardner and his voice reminds me of Andy Rooney from “Sixty Minutes” which of course is dating myself but that is okay! If you know of Rooney’s voice, you can imagine how surprised I was that a similar tone of delivery is being used for Andy Carpenter! I guess I hadn’t quite envisioned him the same way but then again, I didn’t have a lot to go on and as this is the 18th book, clearly I am missing a few of his personality quirks! Laughs.

The sampler skips over a pivotal scene with a homeless man & his dog, inserting us directly after the encounter where Andy, his wife Laurie and their son Ricky are discussing the situation shortly after dinner. I could have listened to more of this to gather a bit more insight into Andy & his family but I was thankful to have the sampler available as a precursor to my readings!

One interesting thing to note is that it would appear most if not all of the stories are available via Scribd for those who subscribe to their audiobooks.

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About David Rosenfelt

Rosenfelt is the Edgar and Shamus Award-nominated author of eight stand-alone thrillers and seventeen previous Andy Carpenter novels. A New Jersey native, now living in Maine, he and his wife recently moved with the twenty-five golden retrievers that they've rescued.

After a long and successful career as the President of Marketing for Tri-Star Pictures, he began the Tara Foundation (the basis of Andy Carpenter's foundation) to help find a home for sick or injured dogs. The foundation has rescued over 4,000 dogs from shelters; experiences he relates in his non-fiction books Dogtripping and Lessons from Tara.

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Posted Sunday, 23 December, 2018 by jorielov in #cloakanddaggerchristmas, 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Dogs and Puppies, Homeless Residents, Legal Drama, Legal Drama | Courtroom Drama, Legal Thriller, Men's Fiction, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Rescue & Adoption of Animals, Vulgarity in Literature