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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Killed on Blueberry Hill

Publish Date10/30/2018
Format Paperback

*Cover pic and blurbs from

It’s peak tourist season in Oriole Point, Michigan—the blueberry buckle of the fruit belt. Nothing draws the crowds quite like their annual carnival. And nothing turns it sour faster than murder . . .

The Blueberry Blow Out festival has begun and it’s time for Marlee Jacob, owner of The Berry Basket, to shine. Unfortunately it’s also bringing out the worst in her fiancé Ryan Zeller. Ryan’s rivalry with Porter Gale, owner of Blueberry Hill Farm, spills over into a very public and very ugly fight. And after they compete in the pie-eating contest and a raucous tug of war, their orchard blood feud takes a deadly turn . . .

The death of the king of Blueberry Hill is a shock but not too surprising—he was a diabetic whose last pig out meal was deliciously fatal. But when authorities discover that someone tampered with Porter’s insulin, a tragic accident is looking like murder—and Ryan is the key ingredient. Now Marlee’s investigation to clear his name is taking her deep into the Gale family secrets, and she’s being shadowed every step of the way by a killer whose sweet revenge is just beginning . . .

Includes Berry Recipes!

What I Thought:

This is the third installment in the Betty Basket Mystery Series by Sharon Farrow and it is the second that I have read in the series.  I read the first Dying for Strawberries and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I enjoyed this one even more.  In this book, the town of Oriole Point is celebrating the Blueberry Blowout.  During the tug of war between the fruit growers in the area, Marlee's fiancé, Ryan, gets into an altercation with another local grower, Porter.  Porter is a diabetic and later that night, Porter is on the ride that his family’s farm has sponsored, when he passes away, from what everyone thinks it was just a result of his drinking and being diabetic, but it turns out his insulin had been tampered with.  Ryan becomes the prime suspect.  Marlee wants to believe in Ryan, but she is finding out more and more lies that Ryan is telling her and things he is keeping from her. 


This was a very well written book that kept my attention from the start of the book to the last page.  I really like Marlee and she is a very well-rounded character.  Her fiancé, on the other hand is a little hard to like.  The setting of this series is charming and seems like a place I would like to visit.  I enjoyed the relationship elements in this book.  There were several returning townsfolk to this story and we are also introduced to many new characters in this story.  It was hard to figure out who the killer was, there were some suspects but there were many twists and turns that made me guess as to who the culprit was.  Marlee wants to stay out of the investigation, but when all clues point to Ryan and makes her reassess their relationship, she can't help but become involved.  She also learns more secrets that Ryan has been keeping, that make her question his innocence even more.  She also has a possible new love interest that also muddies the waters for her and Ryan.  The ending of this book was pretty explosive with many things happening and I was honestly shocked by the reveal of the killer. I highly recommend this series.


I received a complimentary copy of this book.



Sharon Farrow is also the co-author of the Agatha nominated Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mysteries written under the joint pseudonym D.E. Ireland. A freelance writer since her twenties, she has been published in mystery, fantasy, and romance; one of her short stories has been optioned for film. Sharon currently lives along the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline where the Berry Basket series is set. Visit her online at, on Facebook @SharonFarrowAuthor, or Twitter @SharonFarrowBB.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

A Crafter Knits a Clue

A Crafter Knits a Clue: A Handcrafted Mystery
by Holly Quinn

About the Book

A Crafter Knits a Clue: A Handcrafted Mystery
Crooked Lane Books (October 9, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1683317718
ISBN-13: 978-1683317715
Digital ASIN: B078LZ5ZM5

For fans of Betty Hechtman and Maggie Sefton, the latest craft frenzy is Holly Quinn’s Handcrafted series debut.
Sammy Kane just moved back to her hometown to run a craft store. But when the owner of a nearby yarn shop is murdered, Sammy will needle little help finding the killer.
When a heartbroken Samantha “Sammy” Kane returns to her hometown of Heartsford, WI, for her best friend Kate’s funeral, she learns that Kate’s much-loved craft store is in danger of perishing with its owner. Confounding all her expectations of the life she would live, Sammy moves back home with her golden retriever and takes over Community Craft. A few doors down Main Street, fellow new arrival Ingrid Wilson has just opened the Yarn Barn, a real “purl” of a shop. But when Sammy strolls over to see if Ingrid could use a little help, she finds Ingrid’s dead body—with a green aluminum knitting needle lodged in her throat.
Detective Liam Nash is thrown for a loop as every single citizen of Heartsford seems to have a theory about Ingrid’s murder. And nearly everyone in town seems to be a suspect. But the last time Sammy did any sleuthing was as a little moppet. And this is not fun and games. Sammy is eager to help the handsome Liam—who seems to be endlessly inventive in finding reasons to talk with her—and when Liam arrests affable woodworker Miles Danbury, Sammy puts everything on the line to help clear Miles.
As the case comes dangerously close to unraveling, Sammy must stitch the clues together. But the killer has other plans—and if Sammy’s not careful, she may wind up in a perilous knot in A Crafter Knits a Clue, the first warm and woolly yarn of Holly Quinn’s new Handcrafted mysteries.

What I Thought :

I enjoyed this book which is the first in the Handcrafted Mystery series.  Holly Quinn is a new to me author and I enjoyed her writing style.  In this one, Samantha "Sammy" has come returned home to attend the funeral of her best friend.  She then takes over her friend's craft store.  One day, she goes to a rival craft shop and finds the owner murdered with a knitting needle.  Sammy then becomes a sleuth to solve the murder.  I thought the plot of this book was well thought.  Like I mentioned earlier, the writing style of the author was good and I felt it helped the book to flow well.  The setting was also charming and the authors descriptions of it made me feel that I was very familiar with the town.  The mystery was enhanced by the romantic tension between Sammy and the lead detective in the case, Liam.  There were a lot of twists and turns in this mystery that kept me guessing.  The story finished with a cliffhanger, which makes me really want to read the next book in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

About the Author

Holly Quinn is both an avid reader and crafter. Holly sells her artistic creations locally and dreamed of one day opening a gift shop to sell local artist’s handiwork. Instead, she began writing about it and thus her journey of the Handcrafted Mystery series was born. Visit her @

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Very Merry Murder

A Very Merry Murder (A Professor Prather Mystery)
by Mary Angela

About the Book

A Very Merry Murder (A Professor Prather Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Camel Press (October 1, 2018)
Paperback: 258 pages
ISBN-10: 1603816550
ISBN-13: 978-1603816557
Digital ASIN: B07G2VLLCV

It’s December in Copper Bluff, and from hillside to hallowed hall, everyone is merry—or will be as soon as semester break arrives. Students are studying, professors are grading, and Emmeline Prather is anticipating the university-sponsored holiday concert. Friend and colleague Lenny Jenkins will be accompanying the visiting quartet, Jazz Underground, and Em can’t think of a better way to kick-start the holiday season.
But before she can say “Jingle Bell Rock,” trouble arrives at Candlelight Inn, the bed and breakfast where the quartet is staying. One of the band members dies unexpectedly, and suspicion falls on Em, whose altercation with the man ends with him on the floor. He never recovers, and now she’s worried her reputation might not either. When Emmeline starts to see parallels between an Agatha Christie novel she’s teaching and the victim, Lenny claims she’s read one too many mysteries.
As the clues unravel, so does the murderer’s patience. Em is close to finding the truth, but will the truth—or the murderer—push her over the edge? It will take a Christmas miracle to solve this case, but if there’s one thing in surplus this time of year, it’s faith.

What I Thought:

This is the third book in the Professor Prather series that I have read.  While it can be read as a stand-alone, I wish I had read the other two in the series.  Emmeline Prather is a professor of a local university and is looking forward to a holiday concert by the Jazz Underground.  One of the band members makes a pass at Emmeline and she pushes him away, he falls to the floor dead.  Emmeline is the prime suspect and needs to clear her name before the holidays.  I thought this was a well written story that kept my attention through-out.  I liked the protagonist and found myself rooting for her all through the book.  I was surprised by the ending, which is what I like in a cozy mystery.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

About the Author

[caption id="attachment_102470" align="aligncenter" width="200"] © Julie Prairie Photography 2016[/caption]
Mary Angela is the author of the Professor Prather academic mystery series, which has been called “enjoyable” and “clever” by Publishers Weekly. She is also an educator and has taught English and humanities at South Dakota’s public and private universities for over ten years. When Mary isn’t writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.
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Friday, October 5, 2018

Threads of Grace

Grace’s beauty almost cost her everything. This new start is all she has left.
When Grace Beiler was only a girl, she was married off to an older Amish man in order to save her family’s farm. Years later, she finds herself newly widowed and a mother to a young son. She has finally fled her sad past and plans to settle into a quiet life in Pennsylvania.
As soon as she arrives, she captures the attention of Seth Wyse, the most eligible bachelor in Pine Creek. Seth is candid about his feelings for her, and for her son Abel, but Grace is determined to protect her heart. Her determination falters when her brother-in-law reveals the troubling contents of her late husband’s will.
Seth offers Grace his hand in marriage, and thus a means of escape. But despite his having saved her from another loveless marriage, Grace is slow to trust her new husband. And as the months wear on, Seth wonders if he has made a mistake. But God is quietly at work in their hearts, and Seth and Grace soon discover that threads of grace bind them together in a tapestry rich in hope and love.

What I Thought:

I enjoyed reading the story of Grace and her son Abel who is autistic.  Grace was married off to save her family farm to a much older man.  He was not good to her, so when he passes, she moves to a small Pennsylvania town.  When her widow’s brother shows up trying to force Grace to marry him, her neighbor Seth, offers to marry her.  This is a story of a marriage of convenience turning into a story of love.  It was well written and the author did a very good job making your help melt over Abel.  The plot was good, but the conflict between the two men in the story ended kind of weirdly.  Overall this was a good read. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book.