Bailey, Aiden, and the rest of the village of Harvest Ohio return in Toxic Toffee, the fourth in the Amish Candy Shop cozy mystery series.
It’s a week before Easter when the village’s self-appointed marketer, Margot, convinces chocolatier Bailey to make a six foot toffee bunny for the town square. Margot had also arranged for Stephen Raber to bring several rabbits to form a petting zoo. Stephen has a pet bunny named Puff that he treats like a child. When Stephen drops dead on the square, most assume it was his weak heart. However, the coroner determines he was poisoned by a piece of toffee that contained Lily of the Valley. When Stephen’s son Eli asks for Bailey to investigate, he also drops off Puff. How can she refuse either request?
It always seems like I’m catching up with old friends when I’m reading a book in this series. In Toxic Toffee, Bailey reaches even deeper into Amish culture by attending a quilting circle, talking to a matchmaker, and discovering how people who leave the faith survive in the modern world.
The mystery was great. The murderer’s identity was a complete surprise to me. Overall, another great book in an excellent series. 4.5 stars!
Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: amish candy shop, cats, Jun 25 2019, series
It’s just a matter of rebranding. Repeat several times, “I’m not a Crazy Cat Lady. I’m a Cat Enthusiast.”
A humorous graphic look at what it means to be in love with your cat(s). The book is filled with cute illustrations and witty You Know You’re a Crazy Cat Lady When asides. There are also useful quizzes such as when your cat should get their own Instagram page, how to select your cat’s name, and how to make the perfect cat toy using common household objects. There are wise sayings regarding cats like “it’s not drinking alone when the cats are home.”
It’s nice to know that even in the Netherlands there are still crazy cat ladies. Crazy Cat Lady is the perfect gift for a cat owner—crazy or not. All owners will see themselves and their cats in these pages. 4 stars!
Thanks to Workman Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Posted in Graphic Novel, Humor, New Books Tagged with: Apr 2 2019, cats
With over 95.5 million domestic cats in the US alone, there is a real need for cat owners to learn the Secret Language of Cats.
The author is a cat-lover with five cats of her own. She is also a phonetician at a Swedish university. This gives her the exact skills necessary to determine what cats are saying. There are three different types of cat sounds: murmurs like purrs and trilling, meows, and defensive sounds such as growling and snarling. The book provides a look at what each sound means by looking at when it is used by real cats.
If you love and own cats, the Secret Language of Cats verifies what you already thought your cat was saying. It is a good weapon against a spouse or friend that doubts your interpretation of your cat’s sounds.
The book would be a perfect gift for the cat fancier in your life. Though the phonetic symbols were somewhat confusing, the author provided a website, meowsic.info, that has videos of the author’s cats making the sounds. It is fun to see if the interpretations in the book match what you see with your own furry children. 3 stars.
Thanks to Hanover Square Press and NetGalley for an advance copy.
Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: cats, Nov 6 2018
Claw the System: Poems from the Cat Uprising is a short book filled with luscious cat photos and poems written by extremely upset cats.
Cats have a four stage plan for their uprising: recognize, resist, revolt and rebuild. Each stage has a chapter filled with at least ten poems and an equal amount of cat photos. Most of the photos relate directly to their neighboring poem. The photos are, of course, cute. The poems have the snarky feeling that I get off my cats right after I have fed them.
Claw the System: Poems from the Cat Uprising is the perfect gift for the cat person in your life. If you want to scare a first-time cat owner, this would also be a good pick. I think this book is only funny to those who are allowed to live in their house by their furry and purry master. 4 stars!
Thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Humor Tagged with: cats, Oct 16 2018, photography, poetry
Probable Claws continues the 18th century tale from the previous book along with a modern day mystery.
Harry, her Corgi Tucker, fat cat Pewter and even tempered cat Mrs. Murphy are hunting a killer again in the 27th entry in the long-running series. When a motorcycler shoots Harry’s architect, Gary, dead right next to her, she decides to investigate. In alternating chapters, the story of slave holders in early Virginia is also told.
The animals always have the best lines in this series. This one is no exception. Pewter has an ongoing feud with a “dinosaur spider”. New Irish Wolfhound puppy, Pirate, is perplexed by Pewter’s dislike of anything that doesn’t bow down at her feet.
I liked the modern story best. In the 1780s story, there were a multitude of characters and French history to wade through. If I lived in Virginia, it would have been more interesting. The modern plot had a few surprising twists and the killer wasn’t easy to determine even though the clues were fairly presented. Probable Claws is recommended to both cozy mystery and historical mystery fans. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Bantam Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: cats, cozy mystery, May 29 2018
Good solid cozy with authentic characters.
Kate owns a yoga studio. Michael, her live-in boyfriend, owns a pet store. Together they are renovating the house they live in that Kate inherited in Seattle.
After not getting the engagement ring she was expecting, Kate asks Michael why they aren’t moving forward in their relationship. Michael tells Kate that he is already married to Gabriella who is still living in his hometown in Oregon. He insists that it is a sham marriage to get her a green card but agrees to ask her for a divorce. Kate, Michael and their dog go to Oregon though Kate has not forgiven Michael for his deception. Michael stays with his sister Shannon. Kate stays with her best friend Rene with husband Sam, 3 month old twin daughters and two labradoodle puppies.
Kate, Michael and their 100 pound German Shepherd, Bella, confront Gabriella, who is reluctant to speak to Michael. During a doggy beach run the next day, Bella finds Gabriella dead. Kate and Rene have solved four murders in the past two years. To clear Michael’s name, they begin investigating the crime.
Kate, Rene and Shannon are delightful characters. Each have their own quirks and personalities. Kate and her dog Bella suffer from pogonophobia, the irrational fear of beards. Bella also has a stomach disorder, which is how Kate and Michael met. Shannon is a hoot and is the perfect person to have at Michael’s back. Rene is the perfect partner in detection. Even though she calls herself Watson to Kate’s Sherlock, she can hold her own when interrogating suspects or investigating clues.
Overall, Pre-meditated Murder is a good choice for cozy mystery fans. It would especially appeal to dog fans. The yoga is minimized and all terms are explained so even readers that are not into yoga will enjoy this book. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
Thanks to the publisher, Midnight Ink, and NetGalley for an advance copy.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: cats, cozy mystery, dogs, Jan 8 2018, series, yoga
Great last minute gift for cat fans!
Catakism is the faith of all humans who bow to their cat rulers. All cat owners, not just crazy cat ladies, will see much that is familiar in this pun-filled book. Broken down into chapters like The Book of Knead and The Book of Cat Posts, Catakism explains why cats are cool and how we are compelled to serve them.
While not laugh-out-loud funny, there are many parts readers will be driven to share with other cat owners at home, at work and on the Internet. The puns get to be a bit much by the end but the cat photographs are funny and gorgeous. While ostensively a book worshipping cats, the author does highlight some of the silliness of cat ownership. Some examples are extensive purr-aphernia and “kitty litter cakes” (Google it!). Overall, this is a great gift for cat lovers and those living with them. 4 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Skyhorse Publishing, and NetGalley for a review copy.
Posted in Humor Tagged with: cats