Toxic Toffee
July 2nd, 2019 by diane92345

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: , , ,

Paranoid
June 28th, 2019 by diane92345

Rachel has PTSD after a teenage game of tag turns deadly for her half-brother, Luke. Twenty years and a divorce later, she feels people are following her and that objects are being moved in her house by intruders. Is it real or is she just being Paranoid?

Luke’s death was ruled an accident but many in the town, including Rachel, believe Rachel pulled the trigger. Was she found not at fault because of manipulation of the evidence by her detective father? Who is terrorizing her now and why?

Rachel is annoying so I’m glad she isn’t my mother or sister. However, I loved the multiple twists at the end of this unpredictable read. Paranoid is an excellent thriller with a multitude of both suspects and crimes. It is highly recommended for all thriller readers but especially for those who try to solve the crime before the final resolution. 4 stars!

Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with:

Hangry
June 27th, 2019 by diane92345

Hangry is an empowering read letting woman get back their mojo by using a personalized diet and exercise plan.

No one wants to be an Hangry B*tch. This book will describe why woman feel tired all the time, have sleep issues, and feel overwhelmed. Spoiler partial answer: we are overwhelmed because we try to do too much for others instead of ourselves.

Hangry gives a comprehensive explanation of how and why hormones, poor eating and either over or under exercising is causing our problems. It gives a solution of five pillars and five habits. The five pillars are:

  1. Find and commit to what works for you
  2. Opt out of overwhelm
  3. Full-engagement living
  4. Be your best friend
  5. Be who you are

The five habits are:

  • 5 walks per week plus 5 minutes of breathing per day
  • 4 meals per day
  • 3 strength training sessions per week
  • 2 liters or more of water per day
  • 1 commitment to rest, recovery and real-self care

Each week of the four-week plan works on at least one of the pillars and builds one or more of the habits. The diet incorporates a combination of paleo and Mediterranean diets (lean proteins, avocado-type oils, limited fruits & starchy veggies as carbs, and a required one pound of non-starchy veggies per day). The exercise plan encourages strength training leading up to heavier weights than usually used by women and walking while practicing breathing, meditation and mindfulness.

This is one of the better diet books I’ve read lately. I like that it doesn’t talk down to its reader. It also combines science and advice I’ve seen in a bunch of other books, which will save the reader from reading all of them and trying to merge them together by herself. Of course, I love quizzes so the quiz to determine potential hormone issues is perfect. Plus it picked out one hormone issue that my doctor had already found to be true through blood tests. Overall, if you are looking to commit to a diet/exercise plan now that it is bikini season, this is a good place to start. 4 stars!

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: , , ,

Black Jersey
June 26th, 2019 by diane92345

You are racing on a bicycle in the Tour de France. It’s your first race as a professional earning 50 euros a week (or almost $57 American). Not enough to support this expensive sport but enough to enter the race. If you win the yellow jersey (first place) in even one of the twenty-one stages of the race, you will get some sweet endorsement deals. Unfortunately, you are a domestique destined to help others win but never win yourself. When a series of mishaps befall some of the top racers, the French police ask you to help with their inquiries from within. You agree. What you find will rock your world…

I don’t follow professional cycling and have only occasionally watched it during the Olympics. So I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading Black Jersey. In addition to determining the saboteur, it was exciting to feel a part of the races riding first person as Frenchman Marc, the domestique of American Steve both with team Fonar. The author effortlessly weaves the racing into the mystery and the mystery into the racing. The road and the mystery are extremely twisty. The suspects are many. The conclusion was unexpected even though all the clues were in place.

Black Jersey is highly recommended for thriller readers. 5 stars!

26Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Diane's Favorites, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with:

Left Fur Dead
June 25th, 2019 by diane92345

The author of Left Fur Dead had me at “telepathic rabbit”.

Jules runs a rabbit rescue on her farm in rural New Hampshire with a yarn store on the premises. Walking with Jules one snowy morning, her pet rabbit, Bun, finds a dead body. The body is Arty, the local mime. Later, a break-in at Jule’s farm brings a warning that the rabbits must be released as Arty wanted. What is the connection between Arty’s death and the perpetrator? Jules and Bun investigate to find out.

I was grateful to read a cozy mystery that wasn’t about needlework, cats, or dogs for a change. A telepathic rabbit at a rabbit rescue seemed like a fun idea. Unfortunately, Left Fur Dead also dumps the traditional light romance and the placing of clues to follow to identify the murderer. I missed the romance. The only person that Jules seems attracted to is the married sheriff and her bunny. Seriously…really? By the end, I was hoping she would hook up with the female vet. Now that would be innovative! For me the biggest problem is that there is literally no way to determine the murderer’s identity (or at least I never saw it) before his reveal at the end of the book. As an armchair detective, I expect the author to play fair and this one appeared not to. I realize J.M. Miller has written many other cozy series so I may try one of those before investing any more time in this one—though I will miss Bun. 2 stars.

Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,