🎧 Just a Few Cozy Mysteries #COYER #review

Posted June 30, 2021 by Berls in Just a Few Books I Read, Review / 3 Comments

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This feature is for short reviews, reviews of books in a series where it might feel repetitive, or (as Michelle suggested) books I was too lazy to write a “real” review for. Today’s books are all cozy mysteries I listened to recently and enjoyed.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

🎧 Just a Few Cozy Mysteries #COYER #reviewSprinkles and Sea Serpents by Danielle Garrett
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Sugar Shack Witch Mysteries #1
Published by Tantor Audio on February 9, 2021
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Length: 6 hours 56 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars

They say you can't go home again. . .oh, if only that were true.
Thanks to a series of unfortunate events - and one backstabbing frenemy - home is exactly where I'm headed. back to Winterspell Lake, the small community in Eastern Washington where magic runs rampant and humans are outlawed.
Faster than you can say hocus pocus I'm unpacking my bags and settling into the guest room of my parents' house, trying to ignore the creeping sensation that I'll never break free again.
The one thing Winterspell has going for it is the sweets shop in the center of town, a bakery filled with magical creations designed to enchant the taste buds and charm even the pickiest of connoisseurs. Luckily for me, I get the friends and family discount since my parents own the famous Sugar Shack. If I want room and board, I have to frost cupcakes and sling macaroons with the rest of the fam.
Unfortunately, things in Winterspell aren't all sugar cookies and rainbows. According to the local news, a dangerous sea serpent has claimed the lives to three missing girls. The journalist in me has to have a look for myself, and what I find is something far more deadly.
Something that makes me wish I'd stayed in the bakery.
Running Time => 8hrs.
©2020 Danielle Garrett (P)2021 Tantor

As always with the Danielle Garrett – Amanda Ronconi duo, I had a great time and lots of laughs with Sprinkles and Sea Serpents. I had been waiting to read it for the 2nd book to come out, but I guess it’s delayed so I decided to just go for it. And of course, I wish the 2nd book was out so I could keep reading!

I love Rosella (or Ella) and her special ability only endears me further. However, that she considers it a curse and that it’s made her a pariah in the magical community seems a bit much. Unless the rumors of it’s potential reach are real – in which case, she’d be pretty bad ass. I don’t see any signs of that thus far though and she’s really one of the weakest in terms of magical ability around actually. I don’t want to spoil what her “curse” is, but she’s got a soft spot for animals and I love the role animals played in this book.

I also got a kick out of her family – most especially her romance novel reading grandmother. She frequently says slightly inappropriate or unexpected things and is a real hoot. And then there’s the love interest(s). No actual romance has happened yet, but you’ve got an ex-fiance, a first love and the new guy (Orian) each having their moments (to be be fair, I don’t expect the ex-fiance to show up in the future) – so there’s potential as the series progresses.

The mystery is solid – I did guess it, but in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way that surprised me when it turned to out to be correct. And, perhaps more importantly, I enjoyed the getting to that moment. A small, nosy, magical town is a great setting for sleuthing.

As I mentioned, Amanda Ronconi narrated this book and she’s one of my all-time favorite narrators, so it’s no surprise that I enjoyed every moment of this listen. I look forward to more.

3.5 stars pretty good

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

🎧 Just a Few Cozy Mysteries #COYER #reviewGrimoires and Gingerbread by Danielle Garrett
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Sugar Shack Witch Mysteries #1.5
Published by Tantor Audio on March 9, 2021
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Length: 1 hour 39 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Christmas in Winterspell means ice skating, hot cocoa by the barrel, and frosted gingerbread houses. I was almost looking forward to it.

The merriment screeches to a halt when two elves show up, claiming to have been sent by Santa himself, on a mission to track down an ancient grimoire.

I enjoyed this quite a bit and the story advanced a decent amount considering that it’s a short story. And if you’re looking for a dose of magical, slightly silly Christmas fun, it delivered that as well.

I enjoyed the family interactions – especially the sister’s working in the family’s Sugar Shack decorating Christmas Cookies – as well as the repeat appearance of Orian. I’m hoping to see a real romance develop eventually with him and Ella. The mystery – surrounding Santa’s missing grimoire – brings in some hilarity with North Pole Elves, not to mention Santa himself.

It’s short but worth the time, especially with Amanda Ronconi narrating. Now if the next book could just be available soon!

3.5 stars pretty good

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

🎧 Just a Few Cozy Mysteries #COYER #reviewOne Corpse Open Slay by Dakota Cassidy
Narrator: Hollie Jackson
Series: Marshmallow Hollow Mysteries #3
Published by Tantor Audio on March 23, 2021
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Length: 5 hours 10 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Welcome to Marshmallow Hollow, Maine, a holiday mystery, where it's all Christmas all the time and murder is hung by the chimney with care...
Halliday Valentine here! It’s a week before Christmas, and my quaint holiday town, Marshmallow Hollow, is chock-a-block with seasonal activities. Some less fun than others…like the ice sculpting competition my bestie, Stiles, has talked me into. Let’s just say, as a pair, Michelangelo we ain’t. I’m secretly relieved when our epically awful ice display gets damaged. It gives me a chance to watch my new beau, Hobbs, compete in the sled race.
But not five seconds in, and Hobbs’s sled-loving dog, Stephen King, escapes my grip to get in on the action—and boy, does he. He even manages to find himself a sled to ride. Too bad it’s already occupied. With the corpse of a renowned ice sculpting judge.
True-crime lovers that we are, Hobbs and I jump right into the investigation. It’s not nosiness, I swear. A little kitten’s fate is on the line, after all (long story)!
Only problem? A bajillion suspects. The victim was nothing if not an equal-opportunity jerk, universally hated by everyone he’d ever met. And every suspect has an air-tight alibi. Not to mention, the murder weapon is a giant mystery the police can’t solve.
All this sleuthing would be a heck of a lot easier if I could just use my magic. But can I trust Hobbs with that reveal? Or more accurately, is he ready for that reveal?

Another cute cozy mystery from Dakota Cassidy. I always enjoy these books as a quick, light escape to a place where it feels like Christmas all the time and there’s all sorts of wonderful animal friends (not to mention real ones).

The characters are what keep bringing me back to this series (and others by Dakota Cassidy). They’re just so lovable. I think what I loved most about Hal in this book is her unapologetic honesty about herself. She and her best friend Stiles created an ice sculpture that was really awful and Hal pokes fun about it the entire book. And then she and her crime solving / romantic interest partner Hobb’s are once again working to solve a mystery and this time her involvement really doesn’t make sense. Well, Hal very matter-of-factly states that she’s just nosy (and also wants to be helpful. there also is a kitten to save as a side-excuse). I love that about her.

The mystery is always fun and interesting as well. This one had me kind of guessing back and forth to the end. And when the person killed is such an awful human being, it’s hard to peg down exactly who finally did them in. It all came together really well, with a bit of help from Hal’s visions and magic. Which is another part I enjoy about this series – the magic, which gives us not just visions and wonky spells (Hal isn’t always accurate in her spell casting lol) but also some hilarious animal sidekicks.

Hollie Jackson really does a great job narrating this series and I’m really glad I’ve been able to listen. She’s brings the characters to life really well, especially those animal sidekicks. Looking forward to listening to more in the series as soon as another book is released!

3.5 stars pretty good

About Berls

Michelle adopted me as part of her blog when I decided to close down my blog, Fantasy is More Fun. The blog was dying, but my love of reading and the blogosphere was still strong as ever - so I found my new home here at Because Reading!

I'm not just a book lover, but a one time author (that hopes to be more in the future), wife, mom to the cutest, happiest, best 1 year old and step-mom to the craziest, sweetest 20 year old on the planet. My family mean everything to me and they appear frequently in the Sunday Post with Berls. So grab a glass of wine and chat books, blogging, and family with me!

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