Book Review

ARC Book Review: Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun (Finlay Donovan #3) by Elle Cosimano

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Mystery
Length: 304 pages
Author: Elle Cosimano
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: January 31st, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Author and single mom Finlay Donovan has been in messes before―after all, she’s a pro at removing bloodstains for various unexpected reasons―but none quite like this. When Finlay and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero accidentally destroyed a luxury car that they had “borrowed” in the process of saving the life of Finlay’s ex-husband, the Russian mob did her a favor and bought the car for her. And now Finlay owes them.

Mob boss Feliks is still running the show from behind bars, and he has a task for Finlay: find and identify a contract killer before the cops do. The problem is, the killer might be an officer themself.

Luckily, hot cop Nick has just been tasked with starting up a citizen’s police academy, and combined pressure from Finlay’s looming book deadline and Feliks is enough to convince Finlay and Vero to get involved. Through firearm training and forensic classes (and some hands-on research with a tempting detective), Finlay and Vero use their time in police academy to sleuth out the real contract killer to free themselves from the mob’s clutches―all the while dodging spies, confronting Vero’s past, and juggling the daily trials of parenthood.

From USA Today bestseller and Edgar-Award nominee Elle Cosimano, comes Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun—the highly anticipated, hilarious, and heart-pounding next installment in the beloved Finlay Donovan series…

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC.

NEW FAVORITE OF THE SERIES.

I really liked this one y’all!! I think with the second I was expecting a different kind of story, but with this one, I changed my mindset and enjoyed it all the more. This is very much like a cozy mystery but with pizazz. There’s a bit more drama, a bit more high stakes, and even a bit more romance. All things I am here for in the Finlay Donovan world.

This was another fun installment that had me bursting with laughter and definitely swooning. YES THE ROMANCE I’VE BEEN AFTER FINALLY MOVES SOMEWHERE. The slow burn has been real but I have known where my loyalties lie from day one and I am currently a happy camper.

I still don’t know if I like Vero? I don’t have any solid reasons why y’all. It remains to be seen if she’s a great friend and sidekick or someone I gotta watch out for.

There’s a bit of predictability with the plot, yet it’s an enjoyable comfort in the wildness that is the plot in general. I like the writing style and the quirky characters and many others things about this series. I look forward to seeing where Finlay ends up next!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Mystery
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: one fade to black
  • Violence: med-high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: murder, attempted murder, gun violence

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Book Review

Book Review: Shiver Me Witches (Riddler’s Edge #4) by A.A. Albright

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Cozy Paranormal Mystery
Length: 287 pages
Author: A.A. Albright
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: October 3rd, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

It’s Halloween in Riddler’s Edge, and everyone is having a wonderful time. So wonderful that they don’t seem to care when two women are murdered on Pirates’ Pier.

There’s a strange new magic affecting everyone. Everyone, that is, except Aisling Smith. But without the help of her friends, will she be able to find the killer in time?

Dealing with murder, magically-altered friends, and a fair few ghosts and pirates is going to make for a busy Halloween. But even if Aisling gets through all of that, there will be one more mystery left to solve. A mystery that means more to her than anything.

Will she finally discover what happened to her parents?

SPOOKY.

Reading this around Halloween was a perfect decision if you ask me. Another great read for this series!!

I love how Aisling really got to shine in this book while the rest of the town was under a curse. Using her wiles and ingenuity, Aisling cracked the case and saved her friends. It was an interesting story line that worked into the bigger plot and I’m always impressed at how that happens.

It was also great getting more about Aisling’s family!! I don’t want to discuss too much because spoilers, but things are progressing well. A quick, delightful read. On to the next!

Overall audience notes:

  • Paranormal cozy mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: murder, kidnapping, attempted murder

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Book Review

Book Review: Fudge and Jury (A Bakeshop Mystery #5) by Ellie Alexander

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Cozy Mystery
Length: 304 pages
Author: Ellie Alexander
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release Date: January 3rd, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bakery where the pastries are delicious…and, now, suspicious.

It’s almost spring in Ashland, Oregon, and the town is preparing for the Shakespeare and the annual Chocolate Festival. Business is cookin’ at Torte, and the store is expanding as Jules’ team whips up crèpes filled with mascarpone cheese and dark chocolate. Torte stands a chance of being this year’s confectionery belle of the ball! Life couldn’t be sweeter—unless murder taints the batter.

Evan Rowe, of Confections Couture, makes a chocolate fountain that would put Willy Wonka to shame, and his truffles are to die for—literally? Yes, the world-renowned chocolatier has just turned up dead…right after sampling a slice of Jules’ decadent four-layer chocolate cake. Now all eyes are on Jules as she tries to find the mysterious ingredient in her own recipe. Can she sift out the truth before another contestant bites the buttercream?

ALL THE CHOCOLATE.

This book made me intensely crave everything related to chocolate. I need to find a local chocolatier and get some because YUM. Still one of my favorite things getting all of the recipes at the end!

I liked this one (even if the 3 stars may appear otherwise). It was a good mystery, I really wasn’t sure who the murderer was until closer to the end. I think Alexander does a solid job on keeping the reader enough in the dark to keep pursuing the story.

Am I the only one who loves Thomas more than Carlos?! I think if Carlos can’t bother to stay, then why not let things move on? I feel like that’s where the plot is going, and I know it’s a long series, but I do wish the pace for this moved a little quicker. A couple can work together to solve mysteries too!!

The other sides plots are charming and I can’t wait to see how those further develop too. With her Mom’s story, and Jules’ friendship with Lance, the new additions to the bakery and more. I really love this series as a palate cleanser between denser books. They’re well written and incredibly charming.

Overall audience notes:

  • Cozy mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: death by anaphylactic shock, attempted kidnapping, assault

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Book Review

Book Review: Caught Bread Handed (A Bakeshop Mystery #4) by Ellie Alexander

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Cozy Mystery
Length: 320 pages
Author: Ellie Alexander
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the oven is heating up as high as the body count…

Jules Capshaw is still chewing over her husband Carlos’s return to Ashland, Oregon. Could there be too many cooks in the kitchen? Whatever is stirring between those two will have to wait. Despite the Oregon Shakespeare Festival being dark for the winter, the bakeshop is bustling, the dough is rolling, and there’s no rest for the weary…especially when murder is thrown into the mix.

When Mindy Nolan, the owner of a new restaurant in town, turns up dead, the batter at hand thickens. Jules knows that there was bad blood between Mindy and others in town, and tracking down the killer could prove to be an unwelcome treat. And to top it all off, there’s Carlos, who is pleading—with those delicious dark eyes and sexy Spanish accent—for Jules to take him back. Is home where the heart is or will she make a fresh start…and risk getting burned?

COZY FAV.

I haven’t picked up the next book in a hot minute because I wasn’t smitten with book three. Grateful that book four brought it back and I’m here for being back in Ashland at Torte. Someone let me own a bakery too please?!?

Another great mystery that kept me on my toes. I spent most of the book trying to figure out who was the murderer and loved how it all went down in the end. I wish more of the plot was focused on the mystery (as the middle of the book dragged a bit), but it peaked my interest enough.

I really enjoyed the recipes for this book and forever love that all of the recipes are kept at the end for use in the future. It’s such a fun tidbit and I just love that this is all set at a bakery.

Jules plot line moved well this time around. I love the conversation and moments she had with Carlos and I’m still very curious where that story line will go. I’m on the fence myself, so I’m just moving along with what the author decides for them and Thomas!!)

Overall audience notes:

  • Cozy mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: murder (main character walks in on a body)

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