Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review: Brownies And Broomsticks By Bailey Cates

Series: A Magical Bakery Mystery Book #1
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Signet; Original edition
Release Date: May 1, 2012
ISBN-10: 0451236637
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Brownies and Broomsticks (A Magical Bakery Mystery #1)
Book Description:
Katie Lightfoot's tired of loafing around as the assistant manager of an Ohio bakery. So when her aunt Lucy and uncle Ben open a bakery in Savannah's quaint downtown district and ask Katie to join them, she enthusiastically agrees.

While working at the Honeybee Bakery—named after Lucy's cat—Katie notices that her aunt is adding mysterious herbs to her recipes. Turns out these herbal enhancements aren't just tasty—Aunt Lucy is a witch and her recipes are actually spells!

When a curmudgeonly customer is murdered outside the Honeybee Bakery, Uncle Ben becomes the prime suspect. With the help of handsome journalist Steve Dawes, charming firefighter Declan McCarthy, and a few spells, Katie and Aunt Lucy stir up some toil and trouble to clear Ben's name and find the real killer..

My Review:
With endearing characters and a well-developed plot, this debut novel in Bailey Cate's new Magical Bakery Mystery series is sure to delight cozy mystery fans! Katie Lightfoot has spent her entire life feeling as though she never truly belonged....anywhere. Following a break-up and a need for a fresh start, Katie leaves behind her bakery job in Akron, Ohio to join her aunt and uncle in a Savannah, Georgia where they establish the Honeybee Bakery. Just as Katie begins to feel a sense of belonging not only is a town's prominent figure murdered outside the Honeybee prior to its grand opening, but also Katie's Aunt proceeds to explain that Katie is a descendent of a long line of witches...really? With assistance from her Aunt's "Book Club" members, Katie sets out to uncover the true identity of the murderer and clear her Uncle of any further suspicion. Filled with twists and turns, and a wide array of possible suspects, Brownies and Broomsticks, was such a fun read! The characters were very well-developed and I just love the Book Club members, particularly Mimsy and her array of colors! And, the unpredictability of the plot itself kept me reading in anticipation of the next page. Very well done and I easily give this a FIVE! I'm now looking forward to reading the second book in this new series, Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Winner Announced: Freedom To Read Giveaway Hop

Thank you all for such an amazing turnout for the Freedom To Read Giveaway Hop!  And a very special thank you to Mary at Book Hounds for hosting this incredible event.  And, the winner of the Amazon Gift Card is....

Jennifer C. from Pensacola, Florida

Congratulations Jennifer and enjoy choosing your new books!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Review: Farm Fresh Murder By Paige Shelton

Series:  A Farmer's Market Mystery Book #1
Length:  304 pages
Publisher:  Berkley; First Edition edition
Publication Date: April 6, 2010
ISBN-10 0425233871
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Farm Fresh Murder (A Farmers' Market Mystery, #1)
Book Description:
First in the Farmer's Market Mystery Series.

Becca Robins leads a simple life, making jams and preserves on her very own farm. But when there's a murder in her quaint little town, she puts herself in the line of fire to defend her friend's innocence-and goes from making jam to being in one.

My Review:
Life at Bailey's Farmer's Market is about to change when a local peach grower is found murdered and one of the old-timers tops the list of suspects.  But local berry farmer and jam maker, Becca Robinson is convinced that her friend and market mentor, Abner, may be a cranky old man at times and a bit secretive, but he is no murderer.  Filled with captivating characters and plenty of red herrings throughout, this first installment of the Farmer's Market Mystery series is simply a very enjoyable read!  I absolutely love the setting and concept for this series, and of course the inclusion of recipes makes for a sweet added bonus.  Paige Shelton has created an outstanding cozy mystery with so many twists and turns that I was left guessing until the very end.  Becca's character is very well-developed and although a bit tenacious and bold, she comes across the pages as very real... and very likable.  Of course, as an avid jam maker and home canning enthusiast myself, I may be a bit biased but I found this to be a perfect summer read...a country setting, farmers, fresh fruits and vegetables, canning recipes, and of course a murder..what more could you ask for?  Certainly one of the best cozy mysteries that I have read yet and I can't wait to read the next installment in this wonderfully fresh series and once again meet up with the farmers at Bailey's.  FIVE stars.