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Have a Deadly New Year–Christie-inspired plot

Have a Deadly New Year

by Lynn Cahoon

Have a Deadly New YearToday was a great day to read a novella—short and complete in one sitting. Lynn Cahoon’s Have a Deadly New Year found Angie Turner and her staff of chefs at The County Seat restaurant offsite at a combination catering event and retreat. After providing a fancy multi-course meal to kick off a famous band’s reunion, the chefs were looking forward to a week’s working vacation in the huge, glamorous mansion. Complications arise when one of the band leaders is murdered and no one can go anywhere. The house is in a remote area, a blizzard strikes, and they are mandated to stay until the police return from another emergency. Are they under lockdown with a murderer and who might it be? 

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: This is a Farm to Fork novella. I love this series, and I normally find Lynn Cahoon’s books effective as standalones. I would not recommend it for this novella, however. It is just too short to comprehensively make all of the connections necessary for full enjoyment.

Publication:   December 3, 2019—Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press)

Memorable Lines: 

“I have a personal motto that it’s all about me.” “You’re the leading man in your own play.”

“I suppose you’ll be doing New Year’s resolutions during your week? Make sure they’re about you and not what others think you should do.”

“Negative energy never produces a positive outlook.”

A Very Mummy Holiday–runaway bride

A Very Mummy Holiday

by Lynn Cahoon

A Very Mummy HolidayJill, a passionate reader and the owner of Coffee, Books, and More in a small, coastal, tourist town in central California, takes off for Thanksgiving week with her boyfriend Greg who is a very capable detective. They go with another couple to stay at a large cabin on the Oregon Coast. A Very Mummy Holiday by Lynn Cahoon is a little novella packed with action and mystery as the focus turns to the case of a runaway bride. Things turn from sad to deadly as a corpse is found. Danger seems to surround the visitors in the subtle form of threats from the Devil Riders motorcycle gang. Jill and Greg work with the local police to bring justice to the fiancee and avert a kidnapping—all before more friends arrive to celebrate with a big dinner.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: A Tourist Trap novella, but it works well as a standalone.

Publication:   October 28, 2019—Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press)

Memorable Lines:

“Everything okay?” Blake called out. “Just wondering if you locked the cabin.” Greg lied. And he did it so calmly. I was beginning to see a new side of my boyfriend. I wasn’t sure I liked it.

“You know this isn’t your investigation.” Sheriff Anderson’s eyes went flat and hard. “I’ve been looking for that girl for years and for what it’s worth, only one man had motive and opportunity to kill. And he’s sitting on that porch.”

Some days the best conversations I had were with my dog.

Criminally Cocoa–disappointing

Criminally Cocoa

by Amanda Flowers

Criminally CocoaI have read books in two different series by Amanda Flowers and generally find her plots intriguing, her characters interesting, and her writing style excellent. Criminally Cocoa, except for the kitschy title, was disappointing. Normally I like the rare cozy mystery that doesn’t revolve around a murder. No murder here, but no plot success either. Flowers and her characters kept strolling through the same territory with two themes (Amish girl in the big city and the success or failure of a new cooking show) over and over again. Fortunately this book is a novella. Otherwise, I would have broken my own rule for my book world and not finished the book. I did complete it, but only so I could write a proper review.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 2/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: Novella in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series

Recipe for Bailey’s Easy Easter Birds’ Nests included.

Publication:   February 26, 2019—Kensington Press

Santa Puppy–sweet Christmas tale with a little mystery

Santa Puppy

by Lynn Cahoon Santa Puppy

Santa Puppy

A short and sweet novella

With a Christmas-grumpy Jill

And her handsome, supportive boyfriend Greg.

Live Christmas trees

Family and friends

A cookie exchange

Older rescue dogs needing a new forever home

Christmas party in support of the animal shelter

A homeless man’s search for the woman of his dreams

And a magical Santa flitting in and out of Jill’s vision.

Merry Christmas to all!


I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: A Tourist Trap Novella with recipe for Russian Tea Cakes appended

Publication: November 6, 2018—Kensington Press (Lyrical Underground)

Memorable Lines:

I reached out and ran my hand over a tree’s needles. They were soft, and the smell that covered my hand was Christmas in a bottle.

For a lot of years, celebrating the holidays just brought on memories of a past we couldn’t recreate. This year, with the addition of friends and loved ones it felt like the holidays again.

“Regrets are just a way of not dealing with today. You can’t change the past, now, can you?”

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