Book Review: Deadly News by Jody Holford

Title: Deadly News
Series: Britton Bay
Author: Jody Holford
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Format: Kindle
Pages: 239
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★★

Former Army brat Molly Owens is ready to put down roots, and the picturesque seaside town of Britton Bay on the Oregon Coast seems like the perfect place for it. Especially when she lands a job as editor of the local paper. But she’s got one colleague who’s very bad news . . .

As an experienced journalist, Molly is eager to bring the struggling Britton Bay Bulletin up to speed. But when she pushes Vernon, one of her less welcoming reporters, to dig a little deeper into the story of a prominent local family, the man ends up dead. The fact that he wasn’t well-liked makes finding the killer extra complicated. The lists of suspects range from his ex-wife to his own son to Molly’s boss, who has a secret of his own. But when Molly’s attempts to sleuth out the truth result in her receiving frightening threats, the trouble is just beginning . . .

The one bright spot is Molly’s newfound flirtation with Sam Alderich. The sexy mechanic is used to taking things apart and piecing them back together, and between the two of them they just might be able to solve this deadly puzzle—if Molly can survive peaceful small-town life long enough . . .

Cozy mysteries are a relatively new found love of mine. Deadly News by Jody Holford fits the bill perfectly.

A murder in a sleepy Oregon town and a complete mystery, with twists that aren’t telegraphed six chapters before they happen, are what you’ll find with this book. Quaint touches, such as referring to a Coke or Pepsi as a cola, are found throughout the book.

The hint of danger that pervades the book and the sleepy little town, despite it being your typical small town, keep you on you toes and the edge of your seat. The budding romance between Molly and Sam – which was telegraphed immediately – is sweet but not overly sweet. The book is also not steamy, which is nice as well.

The book is quite well written and can be read in a single night if the reader is of a mind to do so. It’s a fast paced book and will have you wanting to keep reading more. I that my Kindle App said it was about 3.5 hours to read the whole book, although that’s at my reading speed. Your results may vary.

I gave this one 5 out of 5 stars. I definitely recommend this book for cozy mystery lovers or anyone looking to get started in the cozy mystery genre.

I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Book Review: The Centaur’s Last Breath by April Fernsby

Title: The Centaur’s Last Breath
Series: Brimstone Witch Mysteries
Author: April Fernsby
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Mystery, Paranormal, Fantasy
Release Date: July 03, 2017
Format: Kindle
Pages: 149
Source: BookSprout
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Cassia Winter is a witch. With the help of her cat, Stanley, she investigates crime in the magical town of Brimstone.

A centaur has died while out on a run. His death is confirmed as heart failure by a doctor. But the centaur’s father is adamant that his son was murdered and asks for Cassia’s help.

Cassia starts to investigate the centaur’s death and is soon convinced it was murder. Furthermore, she discovers the centaur had made many enemies in the lead-up to his death.

As Cassia and Stanley get deeper into the investigation, a stranger comes into their lives. This stranger is welcome, but things quickly take a turn for the worse and Cassia realises someone is out to cause her a great deal of harm.

I’ll be honest, this book wasn’t a favorite of mine. It just didn’t capture and keep my attention like I would have liked it to. I found it all too easy to put this one down and not pick it back up. I had to remind myself that I needed to read it for the review just to get through it.

For one thing, I took the book under the guise that it was a brand new, yet-to-be-released book. It’s not. It was released over a year ago and there are actually twelve books in the series so far. Another issue is that this book is actually book number three in the series so I came into it without any knowledge of what had transpired in the first two books. There’s just enough background that you won’t necessarily need to read the first two, but I really dislike reading books out of order.

Honestly, the characters were rather… meh. I could take or leave any of them – although I can really leave Astrid. But the unrequited love between Luca and Cassia is less stiff and forced, making it painful to read scenes between the two. Astrid’s burning hatred for Cassia is clear throughout the book and it seems to be a far more prevalent point than it should have been. The only character I truly enjoyed was Stanley and that’s probably because he’s a talking cat.

I gave this one 3 stars because it’s not horrible, but it’s not great either. It’s just kind of meh. Maybe it just wasn’t the book for me.

I received a copy of this book free from BookSprout in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Book Review: A Witchy Business by Danica Britton

Title: A Witchy Business
Series: Harper Grant Mysteries
Author: Danica Britton
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Mystery, Paranormal, Fantasy
Release Date: November 17, 2016
Format: Kindle
Pages: 256
Source: BookSprout
Rating: ★★★★☆

The small town of Abbott Cove holds a secret…

It’s home to the Grant family of witches!
Harper Grant is happy working at Archie’s Diner as she tries her best to avoid the attentions of the town’s gossips.
However, when a body turns up during Abbott Cove’s annual festival, she begins to understand her family isn’t the only one hiding secrets.
With the help of the new swoon-worthy police officer, Joe McGrady, Harper finds herself on the trail of the perpetrator. Will Harper uncover the killer’s identity before it’s too late?

A Witchy Business is the first book in the Harper Grant Mystery series.

I chose to read A Witchy Business because I like books about witches and because, well, it said it was a cozy mystery and I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what a cozy mystery actually is. Well, I finally figured out that cozy mysteries are basically mysteries with a little bit of romance sprinkled in and that they’re not very detailed or bloody. They just have a murder that isn’t too gory and some amateur detective who has one reason or another to help the police along.

I was a bit startled to see that for the most part, there isn’t a whole lot of magic involved in this book. Yes, there are a couple of spells cast and a potion or two, but for the most part, the only magic you’ll really see is Harper talking to ghosts. Which is interesting and funny in its own right, but doesn’t make for a particularly magical book. Honestly, Harper could have been a medium and not connected to a long line of witches and the book would still have made sense from her perspective. Being that A Witchy Business is the first in a series, I’m hoping that further books explore the magical possibilities because what fun is a series about witches that doesn’t really have magic in it?

As far as the characters are concerned, even though I know that the new deputy, Joe McGrady, is supposed to be something of a love interest for Harper, I wasn’t impressed with him. He irked me and I just can’t see those two together. Harper is sweet and lovable, talking to ghosts and only wanting to be of some help to them, even if it gets her into some sticky situations. I’m still not sure what to think of Grandma Grant or Jess.

I gave this book 4 stars because it’s a quick read, it’s funny, and it’s cute. I would suggest this one to fans of cozy mysteries as you’ll definitely enjoy it. It would also make a great introduction to the world of cozy mysteries.

I received a copy of this book free from BookSprout in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Book Review: Destiny’s a Witch by Lucy May

Title: Destiny’s a Witch
Series: Wicked Good Mysteries
Author: Lucy May
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mystery
Release Date: August 21, 2018
Format: Kindle
Pages: 178
Source: BookSprout
Rating: ★★★★★

Welcome to Charm Cove, Maine – where the Good are Wicked, and the Wicked are Good… or maybe not.

Nothing is ever as it seems, at least not in Charm Cove, Maine. Moira Wicked—yes, that’s actually her name—moves away in the hopes she can escape her fate, or destiny, or something along those lines. She yearns to lead a normal life.

A few years away teaches her one glaring lesson. It’s incredibly difficult to be normal when your first name means destiny, your last name is Wicked, and you actually do come from a family legendary for its witchy ways.

Trying to keep her powers under wraps in the real world is a tad tricky. A love spell gone sideways sets in motion her return to Charm Cove for a spell. As bad luck would have it, or fate if you’d rather, she’s home for one single day when a body turns up floating in the town fountain. The oh-so-charming Charm Cove is turned upside down. Meanwhile, tourists are crowding its picturesque streets, and magic is being bottled up and sold as health remedies.

Moira finds herself in the thick of the murder investigation, all the while trying to hold her nosy family and destiny at bay. Destiny comes in the form of Liam Good. A Wicked is fated to fall in love with a Good once every century. No pressure or anything.

Take a visit to Charm Cove, where Wicked meets Good and where you just might find there’s almost always more than meets the eye.

Destiny’s a Witch is a cute, cozy, kitschy mystery involving a town full of witches, warlocks, and humans. Throw in a bit of romance and you have this adorable story. This is what a cute, cozy mystery should be.

I chose to read this book based on two things – the cute cover and the title. I figured the book would be cute and I wasn’t disappointed in the least. For someone who normally reads books that are either sexually charged, horror, fantasy, or YA, this was a refreshing change from the normal. Lucy May did an excellent job of spinning a tale of murder, romance, and fun without all the cursing and dark themes that normally pervade the books I read.

Moira is a sweet, lovable woman who might have made a magical mistake in the past – one that it seems she can’t let go of as she mentions is multiple times in the book. Liam is the dashing ex-flame who might be an ex but is still a flame and frankly, I agree with the idea that they’re fated to be together, but I’m just the reader, so what do I know? You’ll get a big kick out of the antics of the twins and all the meddling and gossiping about Moira and Liam.

I loved that the background of the town itself was given as opposed to just making the town the place they live and nothing more. It gave the story, and I’ll dare say the series, more depth to have the town itself have a background besides just giving the characters a background. I love the little town and I can’t wait to read more about it.

I did find that there were a few places in this book where the spelling or grammar was off – sometimes words were misspelled, sometimes words were missing, and sometimes the wrong words were in place. If this is something that bothers you a lot, you’ll want to keep this in mind. However, as I did have an uncorrected ARC of the book, it is possible that these issues may be fixed by the time this is properly published.

I gave this book 5 stars for the absolute joy it was to read and how utterly cute this book was. I can’t wait to read the second book which is due out in October 2018.

I received a copy of this book free from BookSprout in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.