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)

Buy Assaulted Caramel:

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Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below! If you enjoyed this post, please share it around.

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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:

AMAZON

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Yage (Tom Regan Thrillers Book 2) By Aidan J. Reid [Book Review]

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Book Review: Yage by Aidan J Reid | Tom Regan Thrillers | Mystery | Suspense | Book Blogger | ARC | RachelPoli.com

I received an ARC from the author.

Summary:

An ancient jungle medicine.

A lost backpacker.

Evil has found a new home.

In a small town on the border of the Amazon rainforest, a series of accidental deaths devastate the tourist economy. The victims, backpackers on the gringo trail, all share the experience of having recently taken the hallucinogenic medicine, Yage.

Fr Tom Regan is in Peru for missionary work. His niece is backpacking through the country. Their paths are on course to meet. At least, that was the plan…

In his second outing, Tom Regan returns in this race against time thriller, where he has to use all his sleuthing experience to piece together the clues before the jungle claims another victim.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThe cover is dark and mysterious, just like the book itself. I enjoyed the colors and I felt the placing of the title, it’s font and size, worked well. Plus, it matches the cover of the first book, Sigil. This is a well designed cover.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI had read the first book in this series and enjoyed it, so I’ve been looking forward to this one.

Plot | RachelPoli.comYage takes the Tom Regan series up a notch. This story really raises the stakes for Father Regan and the people he loves. This was a page-turner and I found the retreat and the Yage drug to be great plot fodder. My only complaint would be that I felt the beginning of the story took a little while to get into the actual plot.

Characters | RachelPoli.comIt was great to read another story with Father Regan again. He’s a great protagonist and all the supporting cast – Father Gonzales, Chrissie, Louise, and the like – were all great as well. There wasn’t anyone who I felt was out of place or got annoying to the point where I didn’t enjoy them.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

I enjoy the way Aidan J. Reid writes his books. The description isn’t overwhelming but it’s informative and the dialogue flows and is realistic. The plot carries throughout the book. Once the beginning picked up, the book flowed really well and I enjoy reading the words as they’re written.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis was another great read from Reid. I enjoyed reading about Tom Regan again and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Yage (Tom Regan Thrillers Book 2) by Aidan J. Reid gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“All paths lead nowhere. Ultimately. But if you want to live a life worth living, choose the path with a heart. The path that is fulfilling. The path that connects with an inner part of your being.” -Aidan J. Reid, Yage

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Grave Errors (Witch City Mystery 5) By Carol J. Perry [Book Review]

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Book Review: Grave Errors (Witch City Mystery 5) by Carol J. Perry | Cozy Mystery | Paranormal | Reading | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

I received a free paperback copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Whose funeral will be next?

For residents of Salem, Massachusetts, the day after Halloween brings empty candy wrappers, sagging pumpkins, and a community-wide identity crisis. That is, until Lee Barrett s TV production class suggests extending the spooky season with the traditional Mexican celebration Dia de Los Muertos. But when the students discover not all of Salem s dead are resting in peace, the post-October blues don t seem so bad after all . . .

As if a series of haunting graveyard visits isn t disturbing enough, Lee and her policeman boyfriend connect the crime to an unsolved missing person case. Driven by a series of chilling psychic visions, Lee calls on her cleverest allies including her shrewd cat, O Ryan to go underground and dig up the evidence needed to put a lid on a cold case forever . . . before the latest headstone in town has her name on it!

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I’m a fan of the cover. It really conveys what happens in the book and showcases some important points of the plot.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve spent the summer reading through this series and happily picked up this next book right away.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

This plot is certainly unique from the stories in the rest of the series. It’s a paranormal story so having a plot based on Day of the Dead and a cemetery is great. I loved every minute of it. While this kind of setting is a bit cliche, it certainly found a way to twist the cliche upside down.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I feel like I’ve talked about the characters so much lately since I’m reading and reviewing these books pretty much all at once. So, it’s no surprise that I enjoy the main characters still. It was great to get back to seeing Lee’s students again. They’re a great cast and Dorothy was a great addition.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book is easy to read. You think you know the answer but things end up getting turned upside down. Still, it’s easy to follow along with. This is the type of mystery that intrigues you from the very beginning and you don’t want to put the book down until it’s over… yet, you want to savor it. The dialogue and description go hand in hand and is very well done.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

As always, this was another great mystery from Carol Perry. I’m eager to read on with the series.

Grave Errors (Witch City Mystery 5) by Carol J. Perry gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“The empty candy wrappers have been swept from the streets, the carved pumpkins have gone soft, their jagged-toothed sagging crookedly.” -Carol J. Perry, Grave Errors

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Sigil By Aidan J. Reid [Book Review]

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Book Review: Sigil by Aidan J. Reid | Mystery | Suspense | Reading | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

I received a free digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

– EVERY VILLAGE HAS ITS SECRETS –

The sleepy Irish village of Ballygorm is shocked one bright summer morning by the tragic news that one of their own, a successful young builder and devoted family man has been found dead, hanging in an apparent suicide.

But Parish Priest, Father Tom Regan is sceptical. Inspired by his TV detective hero, Fr Regan uses his twin role as confessional confidante and the village’s religious figurehead to investigate the mysterious death and he suspects foul play.

Piecing the clues together, he finds that his outwardly pious and tight-knit community has been harbouring a murderer in a village where everyone is a suspect.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I do like the cover. I think the colors are pretty, despite the dark aura. It looks mysterious which is what this book is all about.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve read a few things from Aidan before and enjoy his books. Mystery is my favorite as well so I was eager to jump on this.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

I found the plot unique in the sense that a priest is solving the murder – well, he’s taken it upon himself to follow the clues while everyone else brushes the murder off as a suicide.

This was certainly an interesting way to do things, however it wasn’t as believable as I thought it would be. The victim was hung with his hands tied behind his back, which should have been a red flag to everyone in town. Still, it was interesting all the same to watch Father Regan piece it together.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed following Father Regan around though I didn’t feel as though I could get close to him or anyone else in the story. All the characters were well written and had unique personalities, which was great. Though the book is told in third person omniscient, which it’s my favorite POV to read. It was hard to guess what people were feeling when it was told to me through the narrative or Father Regan “assuming” how they felt.

With that said, the characters were good, but I was able to see right through them.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The book is well written. The POV is not a personal preference of mine so it was harder for me to read, but it was still done well. Some chapters were told seeing other characters – such as the culprits – which was interesting. One chapter in particular was strictly dialogue. It wasn’t long, but I enjoyed that bit.

The story was easy to follow along – for the most part. There are a lot of twists, but that’s a good thing and it was done well.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a good read. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was written in a different POV, though that’s just my personal preference. Definitely give this a read if it sounds enticing to you and if you enjoy a good murder mystery.

Sigil by Aidan J. Reid gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“He was used to people changing their behavior when he entered the room. They seemed to quickly become the best possible version of themselves.” -Aidan J. Reid, Sigil

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Be sure to check out other books I’ve read and reviewed by Aidan J. Reid such as his ROT series!

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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