The Agatha Award–winning author of Wreath Between the Lines returns to the Cookbook Nook, where culinary mysteries are giving everyone food for thought . . .
Book clubs from all over have descended on Crystal Cove to celebrate the library’s Book Club Bonanza week, and Jenna Hart has packed the Cookbook Nook with juicy reads and tasty cookbooks. But she’s most excited about spending an evening with the Mystery Mavens and their moveable feast, when they will go from house to house to share different culinary treats and discuss the whodunit they’re all reading. It’s all good food and fun for the savvy armchair detectives, until one of the members of the group is found murdered at the last stop on the tour.
As if that weren’t enough to spoil her appetite, Jenna discovers that all the evidence points to her friend Pepper as being the guilty party. And with Pepper’s chief-of-police daughter too close to the case to be impartial, Jenna knows she’ll have to step in to help clear her friend’s name before a bitter injustice sends her to jail. Sifting through the clues, Jenna unearths any number of possible culprits, but she’ll have to cook up a new way to catch the killer before Pepper’s goose is cooked . . .
Includes tasty sweet and savory recipes!
About the Author
Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!
Sifting through Clues by Daryl Wood Gerber is the eighth A Cookbook Nook Mystery.Jenna Hart co-owns the Cookbook Nook and Nook Café in Crystal Cove.Jenna, Aunt Vera and the store staff are busy preparing for Book Club Bonanza week (another creation by their esteemed mayor).Book clubs will be descending upon the town and the Crystal Cove Mystery Mavens to which Jenna belongs will be hosting a progressive dinner where they will discuss The Diva Serves High Tea (by Krista Davis).After a busy day at the Cookbook Nook, Jenna is ready to enjoy good friend and companionship with her friends at the progressive dinner.The group enjoys their first three courses and then depart for dessert at Ivy’s.Upon arrival they find the door ajar, music playing, desserts ready to eat and Ivy dead on the kitchen floor with a rose quartz shard protruding from her chest.Chief Cinnamon Pritchett and Deputy Marlon Appleby quickly arrive to contain the scene and question the ladies.Unfortunately, Pepper Pritchett, Cinnamon’s mother, quickly rises to the top of the suspect list.A distraught Pepper asks for Jenna’s assistance in clearing her name.Jenna soon finds that Ivy had upset numerous townspeople, many did not like her business practices and Ivy had a penchant for spreading people’s secrets.Jenna examines the clues and narrows down the list of culprits by confirming their alibis.Jenna needs to catch the killer before Pepper ends up behind bars.
Sifting through Clues is the eighth delightful installment in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series.It can be read as a standalone, but why would you not want to read to.I recommend reading all the books in this charming culinary mystery series.I thought Sifting through Clues was well-written and it progresses at a steady clip.The author provides descriptions that allowed me to visualize the characters, their shops and the tourist friendly town (I would love to visit this town).The characters are friendly and developed.There is also a quirky character or two (like Aunt Vera) which is guaranteed to provide humor.Tigger, Jenna’s cat, is back with his feline antics and to provide cuddles when needed.I like that the author provides a cast of characters at the beginning of the book which helped to refresh my memory.There is plenty going on in our characters lives.Bailey is expecting her first baby, Tina is having boyfriend trouble, Cinnamon’s father whom she has never met has come to town, Crusibella wants to buy Ivy’s shop, Pepper is having trust issues regarding her male suitor, the town is flooded with tourists for the Book Club bonanza plus Jenna and Rhett cannot decide on a wedding date or venue (I told you it was busy).I enjoyed the references to cookbooks and other cozy mysteries.I had to laugh when Jenna noticed To Brie or Not to Brie (by our esteemed author) in the window of the local cheese shop. I liked the unique mystery.It starts with a rose quartz crystal sticking out of the victim’s chest.There are other items with unique symbolism (you will have to read the book to find out more).It was interesting to learn about crystals and what they represent. There are good clues to aid readers in solving the crime plus a red herring or two and plenty of suspects.Jenna wore some book themed t-shirts with cute sayings on them.Two of my favorites were “Good things come to those who read” and “There is no friend as loyal as a book”.There are recipes at the end of the book for the tasty sweet and savory items featured (Katie created some sumptuous offerings for the Nook Café).I look forward to the next A Cookbook Nook Mystery to learn if Jenna and Rhett pick a wedding venue (great opportunity for an out of town mystery).Sifting through Clues is one of those books that you want to read quickly to find out what happens, but you also do not want it to end.
Sifting through Clues comes out on April 23 and can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Google Play. There is a nice prize package for the giveaway (two books of winners choice, recipes cards, cat apron, and more). You can click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below. Good Luck! Please take the time to visit the other stops on the tour for guest posts, reviews, spotlights, recipes, character interviews, and individual giveaway (see schedule below). Thank you for joining me today. I hope everyone has a very Happy Easter! I will be reviewing The Memory House by Rachel Hauck on Monday as part of the Celebrate Lit Tour (there is a giveaway). Take care and Happy Reading!
On a remote Scottish island, American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton wrestles with her own past while sleuthing a brutal killing, staged to recreate a two-hundred-year-old unsolved murder.
Autumn has come and gone on Scotland’s Isle of Glenroth, and the islanders gather for the Tartan Ball, the annual end-of-tourist-season gala. Spirits are high. A recently published novel about island history has brought hordes of tourists to the small Hebridean resort community. On the guest list is American antiques dealer Kate Hamilton. Kate returns reluctantly to the island where her husband died, determined to repair her relationship with his sister, proprietor of the island’s luxe country house hotel, famous for its connection with Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Kate has hardly unpacked when the next morning a body is found, murdered in a reenactment of an infamous unsolved murder described in the novel—and the only clue to the killer’s identity lies in a curiously embellished antique casket. The Scottish police discount the historical connection, but when a much-loved local handyman is arrested, Kate teams up with a vacationing detective inspector from Suffolk, England, to unmask a killer determined to rewrite island history—and Kate’s future.
About the Author
Like her main character, Connie Berry was raised by charmingly eccentric antique collectors who opened a shop, not because they wanted to sell antiques but because they needed a plausible excuse to keep buying them. Connie adores history, off-season foreign travel, cute animals, and all things British. She lives in Ohio with her husband and adorable Shih Tzu, Millie.
A Dream of Death by Connie Berry is the first book in A Kelly Hamilton Mystery series.It is late October when Kate Hamilton arrives on the Isle of Glenroth in Scotland. She received a call from her sister-in-law, Elenor Spurgeon asking her to come because she was in trouble and needs Kate’s assistance.Kate arrives the day of the Tenth Annual Tartan Ball without a dress since the airline lost her luggage.The island is the last place Kate wishes to be since it is the scene of her husband’s death three years earlier, but she made a promise to her husband.Elenor is unable to talk with Kate when she arrives.She does show Kate, who is an antiques dealer, a beautiful antique casket with marquetry that gives Kate a killer message and Elenor promises to tell her the full story after the ball.At the Tartan Ball, Elenor makes two announcements that upset the attendees.The next morning, Elenor is found dead.She was murdered in a fashion to a two hundred year old unsolved crime which was featured in a book that Elenor left for Kate to read.When Bo Duff, an old friend of Bill’s, is accused of Elenor’s murder, Kate sets out to solve the crime with the aid of vacationing Detective Inspector Tom Mallory.There is no shortage of suspects since Elenor was not well liked and extremely self-centered.Kate believes the key to solving the whodunit lies in the past.The killer seems determined to thwart Kate’s attempts at solving the crime, but Kate has no intention of giving up her quest.Will Kate be able to pinpoint the killer or will become the killer’s next target?
Similar one in Glenroth Historical Society in book
A Dream of Death has an interesting premise and setting. Kate travels from Ohio to the Isle of Glenroth. If she had not promised her deceased husband, Bill that she would take care of Elenor if anything ever happened to him (I bet she is regretting it now) she would never set foot on remote island again since it is where her husband died in a sailing accident. Kate owns an antique shop in Jackson Falls, Ohio that her mother is currently watching while she is away. DI Tom Mallory is the only other guest at Elenor’s Glenroth House Hotel and Kate finds herself attracted to him. Elenor’s murder gives the pair the opportunity to spend more time together since Kate is determined to investigate despite being told several times to leave the case to the professionals. I admit to having a hard time liking our main character, but I am hopeful for improvement. Her behavior was off-putting at times as she jumped to conclusions and make sudden decisions based on little evidence or facts. Kate’s behavior reminds me of a younger woman instead of someone in their 40s (now, I am assuming she is in her 40s since she has two children in college. We are never really told her age). There are some lovely secondary characters that I liked, and I felt bad for Bo (such a sweet man). The Isle of Glenroth is a unique and beautiful setting. I loved the descriptions of this Scottish island. I found this sentence compelling “Isle of Glenroth rose before me like Brigadoon materializing in the Highland mist”. The mystery was clever and thought out with misdirection that will send readers down the rabbit hole. There is a lack of clues to help readers in solving the crime. I like how the two hundred year old unsolved murders were worked into the story. It added depth to A Dream of Death. I appreciated that all threads of the whodunit were wrapped up at the end of the book. The paranormal element was miniscule. I wanted more of it and I did not like how Kate wrote it off (disappointing). The “romance” between Kate and Tom was lacking. It needed more development or build up earlier in the book so what happened at the end would make more sense. The author was overly descriptive of food, clothing and mundane details (like washing hair, drying it with towel, combing it behind ears, putting on lotion, etc.). My favorite phrase from A Dream of Death is “don’t let your yesterdays define you”. A Dream of Death is a good beginning to A Kate Hamilton Mystery series. A Dream of Death has an intriguing mystery, quaint Scottish isle, disappearing antiques, a dashing inspector and a determined antiques dealer.
My image of Isle of Glenroth
A Dream of Death is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Indiebound. There is a giveaway of one signed copy of A Dream of Death (US Only). Please click here to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below. I hope you take the time to visit the other stops on the tour for guest posts, author interviews, reviews and character interviews (schedule below). Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you have a spellbinding day. Tomorrow I will share my thoughts on Sifting through Clues by Daryl Wood Gerber. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis takes
readers to Hickory Hollow, Pennsylvania.Sylvia Miller has always been curious about the brass tinderbox in her
father’s clock shop.She knows that it
is a family heirloom, but her father, Earnest keeps the box locked which peaks
her curiosity.One day Sylvia is dusting
the clock shop and finds the key to the box.She opens the it and is surprised by what she finds inside the box.Sylvia is puzzled by one of the items and
reluctant to discuss it with her father.When Earnest realizes that Sylvia looked in the tinderbox, he feels he
must tell his wife, Rhoda the truth about his past. This long held secret distresses
Rhoda and it endangers his marriage just before their twentieth
anniversary.When Sylvia sees that Rhoda
is distraught, she presses her father for answers.His revelation stuns Sylvia and upsets their
once close relationship.The ramifications
of Earnest’s confession are just being felt.If word gets out, it can disrupt Sylvia’s engagement to the preacher’s
son as well as their standing within their community.Can the Miller family recover from Earnest’s
The Tinderbox is different from
other Amish novels.It addresses unique
issues.Sylvia is eighteen years old and has been courting
Titus Kauffman, the preacher’s son.She
is sure that he will propose soon.Sylvia has always been close to her father, but she does not understand
why he is reluctant to discuss his past. When Sylvia gets the opportunity to look
inside her father’s tinderbox, she cannot resist.Little did she know that her snooping would unleash
a host of problems.In The Tinderbox we
see what happens when an old secret is revealed and its repercussions.There is quite a bit going on in the
story.Besides the secret, we have
Sylvia’s relationship with Titus, Rhoda’s sister has suffered a miscarriage, and
Preacher Mahlon Zook is dying.Mahlon
Zook has cancer and he is the man who welcomed Earnest into the community.They have always been close, and his death is
upsetting to Earnest.He needs to be there
for the Zook family while dealing with his own problems.Titus is one individual I was not fond of in
the story. As the story progresses, Titus’s
disposition is revealed (I do not want to give anything away).The Tinderbox is well-written (as are all of
Beverly Lewis’s novels) and the story progresses at a gentle pace (a little
slow for my taste).The characters are
developed and realistic. What I call Christian elements (prayer, faith,
Scripture) are an intrinsic part of the story and the characters’ lives. We see
how this secret causes issues of trust and creates a division.Is it possible to forgive and move forward?I like this phrase from The Tinderbox that
addresses this issue “forgiveness is one of the greatest forms of love”. My favorite phrase from the book is “Remember,
we’re connected to our heavenly Father by threads of love we can’t always see.”
The ending will astonish readers and have you eager to read The Timepiece.The Tinderbox is a moving and intriguing
The Timepiece will be available on September 17, 2019 (my birthday--I hit a milestone this year). Thank you for visiting my blog today. Tomorrow I am sharing my review of A Dream of Death by Connie Berry. The first book in A Kate Hamilton Mystery series. There will be a giveaway! I hope you have a blissful day. Take care and Happy Reading!
She’s got to solve this—or her friends are sunk . . .
Kelly Jackson, manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast, is fond of the Doblinsky brothers, Ivan and Rudy, members of the Silver Sentinels, a crew of crime-solving senior citizens in their Northern California seaside hamlet. After she discovers a jewel-encrusted dagger—with what appears to be dried blood on the blade—on their fishing boat, they share their family history with Kelly, and she learns that the knife may be part of a set from their long-ago childhood in Russia. Its sudden reappearance is eerie, but the mystery grows much more serious when a body is found on the boat. The victim was staying at Kelly’s inn, in town for a Russian Heritage Festival, and some of the organizers were clearly harboring some bitterness. But the story behind this murder seems as layered as a nesting doll—and Kelly’s feeling completely at sea . . .
About the Author
Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs–Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, was released on June 7, 2016. Book 3, MURDER AT THE FORTUNE TELLER’S TABLE was released on March 14, 2017.
Murder at the Marina by Janet
Finsilver is the fifth A Kelly Jackson Mystery.
Kelly Jackson is the manager of Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast in
Redwood Cove, California. The B&B
along with the other inn’s in town are booked for the upcoming Russian Heritage
Festival. Kelly has been invited to tour
the Doblinsky brother’s boat, Nadia.
Kelly has gotten to know Rudy and Ivan Doblinsky through the Silver
Sentinels—the crime solving senior citizens who have helped Kelly solve several
mysteries. She arrives at the boat and
discovers a jeweled dagger with blood on it.
Rudy says the knife is similar to one he owns that he inherited from his
father that is part of a three piece set.
Over tea, Ivan and Rudy share their surprising ancestry with Kelly along
with a secret. Then Alexander Koskov, who
owns Russian Treasures and one of the organizers for the Russian Heritage Festival,
is found dead on the Nadia. With Rudy
and Ivan suspects in the crime, Kelly assembles the Silver Sentinels to help disseminate
the clues. Kelly delves into the case
looking for clues and questioning suspects.
Matters take a downward turn when another body is found on the Doblinsky’s
boat. Can Kelly solve the crime before
the killer strikes again?
Murder at the Marina may be the
fifth A Kelly Jackson Mystery, but it can be read as a standalone. The author provides the necessary background
information for new readers. Kelly
Jackson loves her job as the manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and
Breakfast. She has made some good
friends and has a budding romance with Scott Thompson who manages the Redwood
Cove Community Center. Kelly is a friendly
character who continues to develop in each story. She is trying to get over her trust issues
with men and she is learning how to cook.
Scott decides to give her a baking lesson which gave me the giggles. After an incident with flour, she tells Scott
that he “would make a very distinguished Silver Sentinel”. The Silver Sentinels are a diverse group of older
men and women who each bring a different talent to the group. I hope we get to learn more about each member
as the series progresses. I thought
Murder at the Marina was well-written with steady pacing which made for an easy
to read story. I enjoyed getting to know
more about Rudy and Ivan Doblinsky. I
believe readers will be surprised at their heritage. I found the Russian aspects of the story very
interesting. I delighted in the
descriptions of the Cossack riders and their demonstration. I
thought the mystery in this edition was more complex. The conclusion of the
whodunit was just fabulous and had me quickly flipping the pages of my e-reader. It is an action packed reveal which I just
loved. Helen, Tommy, Allie and the dogs
add to this charming cozy mystery. Gus
and Fred, the two dogs, are adorable and clever. I could have done without the case details
being repeated (seems like Kelly would get information, share with Deputy Bill
Stanton, then with Silver Sentinels). Murder
at the Marina combines murder, a Russian dagger, senior sleuths, a nosy B&B
manager, Cossack riders and a helpful hound into one diverting cozy mystery.
Here is an excerpt for your reading pleasure:
From Chapter 2
I straightened my back. “Not any ordinary knife.”
“I agree. If those are real jewels, it’s worth a fortune.”
“Bill, while I was waiting for you on the deck, I thought about how someone would be able to see the knife. It wasn’t easy from the window I used, and you can’t see it from the window next to it because it’s blocked.
You could see it from the windows on the other side of the galley, but that would mean someone walked around the boat.”
“Good thinking, Kelly. Our anonymous caller is a trespasser.”
A tooting horn I’d become familiar with announced the arrival of the Redwood Cove/Fort Peter bus.
“I’m guessing Ivan and Rudy just arrived,” I said.
We climbed the ladder and stood on the deck. The brothers were walking toward us. There was never a concern about confusing Rudy and Ivan, even at a distance. Ivan towered over his brother.
For every one of Ivan’s rough edges, Rudy had a neat line. Ivan’s coarse gray hair had a life of its own. I’d seen him brush it, only to have it spring back up in every direction. Rudy’s silver hair, on the other hand, had a soft sheen and seemed to be happy to stay in place, each hair having found a permanent home.
Ivan’s mustache was a mate for his hair. He’d tried to train it once, only to declare defeat with loud grumbles. Rudy’s didn’t have a hair out of place, and military precision would describe the perfect line of his cut. Ivan’s loud voice boomed despite his efforts to control it, and his Russian accent was more pronounced than his brother’s. Rudy was a quiet man and spoke almost perfect English unless he was flustered.
“Hi, Kelly. You beat us here.” Ivan stood a little straighter and puffed out his chest. “What you think of our Nadia?”
“She’s beautiful, Ivan.” I looked atthe dazzling white boat and the sparkling brass. “Your love for her shows with the great care you’ve given her.”
“Yah. She’s our Nadia.” He beamed affectionately atthe boat.
Rudy looked at Deputy Stanton quizzically. “Deputy Stanton, to what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?”
Stanton got right to the point. “Got a call about a dagger possibly covered in blood on a table on your boat.”
“What?” Rudy’s shocked tone matched the stunned look on Ivan’s face.
The deputy inclined his head toward the boat’s cabin. “Come see.”
They climbed on the boat, then descended into the main quarters. Rudy walked to the table and stopped, his eyes glued to the jeweled weapon.
“Is that your knife?” Stanton asked.
“What do you mean, maybe?”
“I have one like it a home, or at least the last I knew, that’s where it was. I haven’t looked at it in a while.”
“You have a knife just like this…jewels and all?” Stanton asked.
Rudy nodded. “Yes. So…that one’s mine…or one identical to it.”
Murder at the Marina is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Google Play. You can find a complete list of the books in A Kelly Jackson Mystery series here. Thank you for stopping by today. I hope I have helped you to find a new book to read. Please take the time to visit the other stops on the tour for spotlights, character interviews, characters guest posts, reviews, author interviews and other excerpts. I am going to share my thoughts of The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis tomorrow. I hope you have a spectacular day. Take care and Happy Reading!