Death By Eggnog (Bookstore Cafe Mystery, 5) By Alex Erickson [Book Review]

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I bought a paperback copy of this book at my local Barnes & Noble. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review: Death By Eggnog By Alex Erickson

Book Review: Death By Eggnog by Alex Erickson | Bookstore Cafe Mystery 5 | Cozy Mystery | Fiction | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

Title: Death By Eggnog
Author: Alex Erickson
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Fiction

Series: Bookstore Cafe Mystery
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Publication Date: September 26, 2017

Summary – Death By Eggnog

Krissy Hancock is staying in her adopted hometown of Pine Hills, Ohio, for Christmas this year–and she even has a whole week off from her combination bookstore-cafe. But a killer is about to dampen her spirits . . .

Unfortunately, Krissy’s been roped into filling in for a sick elf in the local holiday musical extravaganza. With a demanding director, backstage gossip, and two men in fierce competition for the starring role, it isn’t all sweetness and Christmas lights. Then a murder puts a stop to the production, and Krissy is faced with a pageant of suspects.

Could her ex-boyfriend, a fellow elf, really be the culprit as the police are claiming? Or will the actor playing Santa be trading his red suit for an orange jumpsuit? When her behind-the-scenes investigation starts getting dangerous, the only thing Krissy really wants is to make it to Christmas dinner alive. But first she’ll have to finish wrapping up this case . . .

First Thoughts

I’ve read the first four books in the series and enjoyed them. Besides, who doesn’t want a Christmas murder story in July?

Book Cover

I always enjoy the book covers in this series that slightly hints at the mystery but showcasing the cat.

Plot

Krissy is thrown into helping the local community theatre with their play when one of the elves gets sick. Not too long after she joins, the man who plays Santa in the play is murdered. Her ex, Robert, is the accused and Krissy is sure he’s not the real killer.

I thought this plot was well done with an interesting group of people. I enjoyed the theatre setting as well as the wintery themes. I had my guess of who the real killer was and then it turned out I was wrong. Which has a nice twist, but the twist seemed anticlimactic to me.

We spent so much time with so many different suspects – even having conversations with characters that didn’t really matter – that when the real killer was revealed, it seemed out of left field. Plus, I didn’t care too much for the motive. That also felt out of left field. Other than that, I did enjoy the overall plot.

Characters

There were a lot of characters in this one to the point that we don’t see Paul, Rita, Will, or Vicki that often. In fact, we didn’t see Death By Coffee, their bookstore cafe, much at all. Krissy was on a winter break from work, but still. I missed that setting as well as her co-workers, Lena and Jeff.

The theatre group was cool though. I enjoyed all the new characters that were introduced for the purpose of the plot. However, I still missed the older characters.

Writing Style

This is an easy book to read, quick at 285 pages, and an easy cozy mystery to follow along with. My personal list of suspects changed and the ending was a surprise, even if I didn’t care too much for it.

Death By Eggnog By Alex Erickson

Rating

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

Death By Eggnog is a good read. I think it’s a great addition to the Bookstore Cafe series and I’m looking forward to the next book.

4

Favorite Quote

“I took back every nice thing I ever said about him, limited as they may be.”

Alex Erickson, Death By Eggnog (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 5)

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Book Review: Death By Eggnog by Alex Erickson | Bookstore Cafe Mystery 5 | Cozy Mystery | Fiction | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com
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Peter Green And The Unliving Academy By Angelina Allsop

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I received a free ebook copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review: Peter Green And The Unliving Academy By Angelina Allsop

Peter Green And The Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop | Middle Grade | Fantasy | Book Review | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

Title: Peter Green And The Unliving Academy: This Book Is Full Of Dead People
Author: Angelina Allsop
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade

Series: The Unliving Chronicles (Book 1)
Publisher: TCK Publishing
Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Summary – Peter Green And The Unliving Academy

Fourteen-year-old Peter Green can’t remember how he died. 
All he has are his pajamas, a silk tie, and a one-way bus ticket to Mrs. Battisworth’s Academy and Haven for Unliving Boys and Girls, a strange and spooky school for dead orphans like himself. But that’s all he needs: the Unliving Academy has everything, from vampires in the hallways, to monsters in the cafeteria, to ghosts in the basement. 

And that’s just the teachers; the students are far stranger.

As Pete learns to fit in with his new supernatural schoolmates, he starts to discover his own uniquely undead abilities, and even begins enjoying his life after death…but he just can’t shake the feeling that he’s forgotten something (or somebody!) important. 

Somebody he left behind in the land of the living. 

Somebody he loved very much. 

Somebody who’s in terrible danger. 

First Thoughts

I was approached by the author’s publicist through her publisher about reading and reviewing this book. The blurb sounded intriguing so I decided to give it a try.

Book Cover

I like the colors of the book cover. It’s a cartoon-like design, though the building in the background looks more “real” and ominous.

Plot

Peter Green is dead. How he died and why is a mystery to him. However, he’s young and is not allowed to have his memories until he graduates Mrs. Battisworth’s academy. Peter adjusts quite well but he can’t shake the feeling that he’s forgetting something important from his life when he was alive.

Unfortunately, the plot wasn’t as interesting as it sounds. Some parts of the story seemed to drag on for no reason while some parts were too quick. I honestly didn’t get into the story until the end. There was a lot of build up for the last handful of chapters.

It was an interesting concept though. The world was well done and I enjoy the idea of living after you die. Peter wasn’t able to get his memories until after he graduated, which is explained with good reasoning. However, at the same time, I felt like that was just put into place to make the plot more intense or suspenseful, but it didn’t work for me.

Characters

I enjoyed all the characters in this book. Peter had a great group of friends and they were diverse with unique personalities and tones. It was easy to tell them all apart and I enjoyed going on the adventure with them.

However, Peter is 14 though he acts much younger in the story. I actually forgot he was 14, which is mentioned in the summary, and went through the whole story thinking he was about ten. It wasn’t until I started writing this review that I realized my mistake.

Writing Style

This is a quick read. It’s not too long, though there are some parts that tend to drag on. The ending was really well done and that was when I started to get into the book. Before I knew it, it was over.

The world building was great and the characters, even though Peter was portrayed much younger than he actually is, were done well too. On the other hand, it was tough to read at times because there were a lot of typos and grammatical errors. Normally, I don’t mention that in my reviews, but there was more than just a handful which made it hard to read at times.

Peter Green And The Unliving Academy By Angelina Allsop

Rating

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

Peter Green And The Unliving Academy isn’t a bad read. It’s worth it to give it a try if you enjoy fantastical worlds with some paranormal sprinkled in.

3.3

Favorite Quote

“Did you know that the root of most hate is love?”

Angelina Allsop, Peter Green and The Unliving Academy: This Book Is Full of Dead People (The Unliving Chronicles, Book 1)

Buy Peter Green And The Unliving Academy By Angelina Allsop

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About The Author

Angelina Allsop | Book Review | Peter Green and the Unliving Academy | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

Angelina Allsop lives with her husband, Bryce (and a very old and quite fat bulldog called Roree) in San Tan Valley, Arizona. Allsop enjoys reading, rainy days, and (of course) writing all about the many adventures that take place in her imagination. Peter Green and the Unliving Academy is her first book, and while she’s never personally been to AfterLife, Allsop supposes she will visit one day. As will we all.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Angelina Allsop’s Facebook

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Book Review: Peter Green and The Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop | Middle Grade | Fantasy | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

Death By Vanilla Latte (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 4) By Alex Erickson [Book Review]

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Death By Vanilla Latte by Alex Erickson | Book Review | Cozy Mystery | Mystery Month | Mystery | Fiction | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.comEver since café owner Krissy Hancock settled into a relationship and—mostly—forgot about old flames, life has become surprisingly serene. Too bad her father, famed mystery writer James Hancock, had to pay an unexpected visit to Death by Coffee and brew up a batch of trouble…

While caught off-guard by her dad’s presence, Krissy never dreamed he’d become the biggest murder suspect in town. But that’s exactly what happens when James’s boorish agent—a man he allegedly fired just hours earlier—is found cold and lifeless, a still-warm vanilla latte resting by his hand…

With Pine Hills divided over her father’s innocence and a fanatical fan keen on locking the author away for safe keeping, Krissy must end the madness and identify the real criminal—even if that means meeting an ex or two along the way. But as her social life becomes increasingly chaotic, Krissy may be caught in a case that’s far too hot to handle…

Author: Alex Erickson
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Fiction
Series: Bookstore Cafe Mystery
Publisher: Kensington
Published Date: May 30, 2017
How I got the book: I got a paperback copy as a gift from my parents for Christmas.

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comAs always, I enjoy the book cover. It sticks with the theme for the rest of the series and I always love seeing a cat on the front.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI’ve read and reviewed the first three books of the series and I’ve wanted to keep going, so here we are with book number four.

Plot | RachelPoli.comKrissy isn’t in so much hot water this time around, but her father is. When her best-selling author dad’s agrent kicks the bucket, Krissy’s dad is a suspect. Now it’s up to Krissy to find the real killer and save her father’s reputation.

I think this plot is my favorite so far of the series. All the characters are well established and familiar. It was nice to see more of Krissy’s dad in this one as well. Plus, the plot was interesting as it was more personal than the rest.

Characters | RachelPoli.comI’ve always liked Krissy’s dad from what we’ve heard of him through phone calls on Krissy’s part. I was glad for him to play a major role in this one. Overall, I still enjoy the characters. Krissy still isn’t my favorite protagonist, but she’s eased up througout the series.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

Like the rest of the books in the series, this is an easy to read. The book is a decent length, the ending is wrapped up nicely, and it’s fun to follow along the characters and figure out the mystery yourself.

Overall | RachelPoli.comAs I said earlier, I think this was my favorite of the series so far. I don’t suggest starting at this particular book so you can get a feel for the characters, but it’s a great one to read nonetheless.

Death By Vanilla Latte (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 4) by Alex Erickson gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

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Assaulted Caramel (Amish Candy Shop Mystery 1) By Amanda Flower [Book Review]

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Sometimes you need a sweet tooth to take a bite out of crime…

Bailey King is living the sweet life as assistant chocolatier at world-famous JP Chocolates in New York City. But just when Bailey’s up for a life-changing promotion, her grandmother calls with news that her grandfather’s heart condition has worsened. Bailey rushes to Harvest, Ohio, where her grandparents still run Swissmen Sweets, the Amish candy shop where she was first introduced to delicious fudge, truffles, and other assorted delights.

She finds her grandfather is doing better than she feared. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for a local Englisch developer, whom Bailey finds dead in the candy shop kitchen—with Jebediah King’s chocolate knife buried in his chest. Now the police are sweet on her grandfather as the prime suspect. Despite the sincere efforts of a yummy deputy with chocolate-brown eyes, Bailey takes it on herself to clear Jebediah. But as a cunning killer tries to fudge the truth, Bailey may be headed straight into a whole batch of trouble…

Author: Amanda Flower
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Fiction
Series: Amish Candy Shop
Publisher: Kensington
Published Date: August 29, 2017
How I got the book: I bought a paperback copy of this book at Barnes & Noble.

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThe book cover is nice. It shows the shop where the setting takes place, as well as the murder. However, looking at the cover, it doesn’t tell us too much about the book. It looks nice, though.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI searched the entire wall of cozy mysteries at my local Barnes & Noble. This was the first in a series I haven’t read before, so I decided to give it a try.

Plot | RachelPoli.comThis plot follows Bailey King, a chocolatier who is just about to get a promotion at work when her grandfather becomes ill. She visits her grandparents, possibly messing up her promotion, and ends up staying longer than intended – her grandfather is fine, but a murder occurs in their candy shop.

Thus, begins Bailey attempting to figure out the murder. This book is like more cozies where the protagonist, who is not a detective, plays as one and sticks their nose in other people’s business. Needless to say, the plot is similar to what I’ve seen before. But it was well done nonetheless.

Characters | RachelPoli.comBailey and her grandparents were great. I enjoyed going through the motions of the murder with them. Bailey’s boss wasn’t too bad of a character, though I didn’t care too much for her friend. These characters, overall, weren’t too bad to read from.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is an easy book to follow along with. The chapters are on the shorter side and the evidence, setting, and characters are all laid out for the reader. It was a tough case to crack, but it was enjoyable all the same.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis was a nice introduction to a new series. I think I’ll be getting the next book.

Assaulted Caramel (Amish Candy Shop Mystery 1) by Amanda Flower gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

I didn’t see anything wrong with hoping for kindness in the world.Amanda Flower, Assaulted Caramel (Amish Candy Shop Mystery 1)

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Death By Tea (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 2) By Alex Erickson [Book Review]

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Book Review: Death By Tea (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 2) by Alex Erickson | Creative Writing | Cozy Mystery | Fiction | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

A bought a paperback copy at Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

Mystery lovers have descended on Pine Hills for this year’s book club competition, to be held at Krissy Hancock’s bookstore cafe. But the killer in their midst seems determined to outwit all the armchair sleuths and send Krissy to the remainder bin forever. Just before two dueling book clubs are set to square off at Death by Coffee, one of the competitors turns up dead bludgeoned with the silver teapot that was to serve as the prize. Suspicion immediately falls on Krissy, who was seen skulking around town in dark clothes on the night of the murder. To clear her name and find the real killer, Krissy turns to an old flame, Officer Paul Dalton. But even Paul can’t ignore the trail of evidence that seems to point in her direction. And with Krissy’s personal nemesis, Officer John Buchannan, working overtime to pin the murder on her, it will take an amazing feat of detective work to close the book for good on an elusive killer. . .

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThe cover is similar to the rest of the series. Trouble, the cat, is present as is the silver teapot, which connects closely to the plot as well as the title.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI enjoyed the first book of the series, so I went out and bought this one.

Plot | RachelPoli.comKrissy’s bookstore cafe, Death By Coffee, has picked up quite a bit to the point where she and her friend/co-owner can hire two new people to work at the store with them. That doesn’t mean their work hours are any shorter though… still, they don’t have to been there all day long.

I enjoyed the plot of this book a lot better than I did the first book. A man is killed with a silver teapot in Death By Coffee. Krissy is the main suspect. The plot itself held a lot of stakes and tensions were high, which made it great.

Characters | RachelPoli.comKrissy, on the other hand, did not make it great. I always enjoy cozy mysteries to have the main character be a suspect in the murder mystery at some point. It’s cliche, but fun to read about nonetheless. Krissy just kind of ruined it though. She was annoying in the first book, but I was able to tolerate her. Despite her being a murder suspect, she was ten times more annoying. She was trying to clear her name, of course, but she stole evidence, lied and told people she worked with the police, made a fool of herself and everyone around her… it just didn’t end with her. She got arrested a couple of times, but I don’t know why they let her out in the first place… she should still be in jail for tampering with a police murder investigation.

Another person who should be in jail is one of the officers, John. He harassed Krissy to no end. He either should have been locked up himself or at least taken off the case. I understand it’s a cozy mystery, it’s fiction. But there were too many unrealistic things going on in this one.

The supporting characters were great, especially the two new hires for Death By Coffee. I only wish we got to know them a little more.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

Death By Tea is an easy and quick read at about 300 pages. Despite the annoyances, it is a page-turner. The mystery was a twister. I was able to guess who the culprit was before it was revealed, but it did take a while to get there.

Overall | RachelPoli.comDeath By Tea was just an okay read to me. If the characters were a little more developed and had more common sense, it would have been more enjoyable.

Death By Tea (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 2) by Alex Erickson gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“My vocabulary suddenly took a break and left me sitting there like a dope, mouth opening and closing while I thought of something to say.” – Alex Erickson, Death By Tea (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 2)

Buy the book:

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