Tag Archive for Book Review

Libby Klein – Midnight Snacks Are Murder

Libby Klein

Midnight Snacks are Murder – A Poppy McAllister Mystery

General Introduction

Libby Klein has done it again, with Midnight Snacks are Murder. This story was totally different from the last book. That is a good thing. That means this was not a cookie cutter book. Nor was it based on a formula. I don’t like that there is always a love interest in a cozy, but at least in this series it’s not a cop! There is a thief going around in the middle of the night stealing knick-knacks and snacks from peoples’ houses. Then Aunt Ginny is accused of something much worse than this simple crime. Murder! It’s up to Poppy to prove Aunt Ginny is innocent, while fighting the police and her mother-in-law, who seemed to be trying to destroy the renovation of the B&B the gals are trying to open.

The Characters

These characters are fully developed. There were some very unique descriptions of the characters, such as “he was round and pink and looked to have the muscle mass of a canned ham”. You can picture what this man looked like, without having any actual pictorial description. 

There weren’t so many characters that you can’t keep track of them. I liked the fact that they seemed real to me. The old ladies were a hoot. I loved the scene where they kept growing in number as they were looking for Aunt Ginny. I loved how they all wanted to help. And I want to know what was in those cookies! Read more

Kate Carlisle – Deck The Hallways – A Fixer Upper Mystery

Kate Carlisle

General Information

Kate Carlisle has written several books in her fixer-upper series. This one is called Deck The Hallways. It’s about a charity fixing up a mansion to house those down on their luck, trying to get back on their feet. What an inspiring story in the first place. This is the 4th in the series, but the first one I’ve read. If you want any of my other reviews by other others, check here. FYI, a couple of these have been made into Hallmark movies!


There was a lot of different personalities in this story. And there were descriptions on the majority of the characters, so you could get a feel for them. Nothing cookie cutter here. But there was a LOT of characters. I did have a bit of trouble keeping track of all of them.


Most of the story took place in one building and the grounds, and we got a good idea of what it was like. Even though it was going through a renovation throughout the book. And there was lots of setting descriptions, which I thought was key to this kind of story, a fixer upper.

The Dialogue

There was a lot of dialogue in the story, but it wasn’t too overwhelming. You didn’t have a lot of problems understanding who was saying what. But since there was a lot of people in the story, the dialogue was predominant in the story. But like I said, it wasn’t overwhelming, because it wasn’t monologues, it was chatting.

The Plot

It did take 9 chapters to get to the murder, which seemed a little long to me. But at least the author kept showing scenes to add potential suspects before the actual murder happened.

And the indications in the books seemed to point this was an amateur sleuth, but I didn’t see too much of that going on in the story. Maybe I was reading it wrong?

The subplots were interesting, but I felt I should have started at the beginning of the series here. Some series you can jump in wherever, but I didn’t feel I could with this one.

The Pace

But, that being said, Kate Carlisle did a good ratio of dialogue, setting, exposition, and action.

Even though this didn’t seem like the typical cozy, the pace was pretty good. It didn’t drag at any one point in the story.

The one think I thought was neat was there was no normal hints like in other cozies. No lists at the end of tips on how search for antiques in those cozies. No fake ‘newsletters’ thrown at the end of some chapters like in fashion cozies. This was done totally different. The fixer upper tips were listed right in the story. When Shannon was discussing with Blake about drywall, they discussed the reason why it was hung horizontal instead of vertical. When she patched cracks with putty, Kate Carlisle (or the character) explained the process. How cool is that!

Kate Carlisle Author Information

You can find out more information about Kate Carlisle here.

Here is a list of the mysteries in her fixer-upper series:

  • A High End Finish – November 2014 (have, but haven’t read yet)
  • This Old Homicide – January 2015 (have, but haven’t read yet)
  • Crowned and Moldering – November 2015 (have, but haven’t read yet)
  • Deck the Hallways – November 2016
  • Eaves of Destruction – November 2017
  • A Wrench in the Works – Coming November 2018

She also has a bibliophile series that I haven’t reviewed yet.

The Verdict

All in all, not a bad one, and I do have other ones in the series I will be reading.

4 Stars

Do you have any of her books? What did you think?




Leslie Budewitz – Killing Thyme (A Spice Shop Mystery)

Leslie BudewitzLeslie Budewitz – Killing Thyme (A Spice Shop Mystery)

Leslie Budewitz wrote Killing Thyme. It is the third book in the Spice Shop Mystery series. The is a series after this diyhomegoddess’s own heart.  I hope to get to read more. It’s a unique place, a unique sleuth, and loads of fun.

The Characters

I like the idea of the repeating cast introductions at the beginning of the book. That way you have an idea of who is in the story except for the murderers, victims and suspects. The characters are described pretty well, so you can imagine what they look like.

Pepper Reece (no, that is not her real name, but only her BFF, and probably her ex know what her real name is) is a great character. She is struggling with her spice shop she purchased after leaving the corporate world. She stumbles through the mysteries, finding clues and red herrings by accident and on purpose. Just like a true amateur sleuth should. I like that she is not “perfect”, she fails all over the place. 

Tag Buhner is the cop you love to hate. He’s Pepper’s ex. He’s a hottie who seems to be obsessed with her. Why is it the ex-husbands are always falling over the wives. It is happening a lot lately; I think it is getting overdone.

The other cops (yes, there are more than one!) Spencer and Tracy are the annoying cops we love in this kind of mystery. They have different personalities, and their emotions are definitely shown.

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Sherry Harris – Tagged for Death (A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery)


Sherry Harris ‘Tagged for Death’ is the first in a new mystery series, based on the garage sale angle. Something I had not seen done before, and I liked the concept. A total stranger at Barnes and Noble pointed out the series when I was looking for something new to check out.


The characters were fully developed. I felt like I knew them, or wanted to get to know them. Sarah was fun. Going from a military wife to a civilian without the military status connection is hard to do. She had to become strong rather quickly, and used her friends (both military and civilian) to get grounded. 

CJ was an interesting character. Putting the military and police persona together was extremely strong. I liked the interactions between him and Sarah. 

The base characters were your standard military, which may set you off, but believe me, the way these characters were portrayed is on point. The actual military and the spouse sector are totally different, and it was portrayed well.


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