Friday, April 19, 2024

Book Review and Giveaway - A Twinkle of Trouble (A Fairy Garden Mystery) by Daryl Wood Gerber

My Review

Courtney Kelly owns a fairy garden shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.  She also can see fairies - and has a little fairy friend named Fiona.  When one of her gardening group friends is murdered, and then another dies the same way, she immediately works - with a little fairy help - to solve the mystery.

I wanted to read this book because I love cozy mysteries and I find the Fairy Garden Mystery series delightful!

There is so much to like about this book.  Carmel-by-the-Sea is a charming setting, combining small town charm and a beach.  Courtney is a likable protagonist, and I also liked her relationships with her friends, father, boyfriend, cat Pixie, and fairy friends.

Courtney, the daughter of a retired police detective, is a natural amateur detective.  I especially enjoyed reading about her deductive process which includes using a white board to list clues.  The mystery is well paced with quite a few strong suspects.  

I recommend A Twinkle of Trouble for fans of cozy mysteries ... and especially for readers who enjoy a little whimsy like the fairy storyline in this series.  Gardening enthusiasts will also love the garden details!

Book Synopsis

Carmel-by-the-Sea garden shop owner Courtney Kelly sees things others can’t—like fairies, and hidden motives for murder . . .

Courtney is delighted when her tiny friend Fiona returns from the fairy realm, appearing at the base of a Cypress tree. When her Ragdoll cat, Pixie, emerges from her own portal—aka the cat door—the three set off for a busy day. Busier than usual, since Courtney has rented a small plot of land at the Flower Farm, where she hopes to grow her own supplies for her fairy-garden business. Plus, the annual Summer Blooms Festival is coming up, and Courtney has booked a booth . . .

But the murder of Courtney’s friend, Genevieve, casts a pall over the festival. Ever since Genevieve sold her floral business, she’d been building a career as an influencer. She was perennially opinionated—but in her new role she’d become surprisingly vicious, dissing local entrepreneurs with nasty posts and unwarranted bad reviews. That’s landed a couple of Courtney’s other friends on the suspect list—including Flower Farm owner Daphne Flores. And when a second victim is discovered, seeds of doubt about Daphne’s innocence sprout in Courtney’s mind. With only a germ of a clue, Courtney will have to overturn every rock to get the dirt on the real killer . . .

Author Bio

Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling mysteries, including the Fairy Garden Mysteries and Cookbook Nook Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she penned the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. In addition, Daryl writes suspense including the well received The Son’s SecretGirl on the Run, and the popular Aspen Adams series. Recently Daryl, who loves a challenge, published a Christmas romance, Hope for the Holidays. Fun Tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, garden, read, and walk her frisky Goldendoodle. Also she has been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. You can learn more on her website:

Author Links


Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Bookshop –


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Friday, April 5, 2024

Book Review and Giveaway - Murder, She Wrote: Murder Backstage by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran

My Review

Jessica Fletcher travels to Edmonton, Canada with some of her Cabot Cove friends.  Her lookalike cousin, Emma MacGill, has traveled from Great Britain to Edmonton to appear in a play there, and Jessica looks forward to a leisurely vacation catching up with her cousin.  When they stumble upon a murder at the theater, Jessica decides to solve the mystery.

I wanted to read Murder, She Wrote: Murder Backstage because I love Murder, She Wrote (both the classic TV series and the wonderful series of mystery novels).  I also was intrigued by the theater setting.

This was such a fun read!  It has a lot going for it: Jessica and friends visiting a new place and exploring the history and culture of Edmonton, a theater setting, lively scenes with Jessica and her cousin Emma, and of course, an interesting mystery to solve.

The mystery aspects of this novel were well done, with events and clues popping up at a lively pace.  The characters were interesting and well rounded.  Jessica and her friends were like old friends - exactly as expected.  The answer to this mystery surprised me, which was fun as well.

I recommend Murder, She Wrote: Murder Backstage - and this entire series - for fans of the Murder, She Wrote TV series, and for anyone who enjoys well written cozy mysteries.

Book Synopsis

The newest entry in the USA Today bestselling Murder, She Wrote series.

Jessica Fletcher’s British cousin, Emma MacGill, will be traveling to Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, to perform with internationally famous star of stage, screen, and television Derek Braverman in an old-fashioned musical review. Emma would love for Jessica to join her there and suggests she bring along some friends. Having just finished her latest book, Jessica is ready for a vacation and is delighted to agree. Dr. Seth Hazlitt and Sheriff Mort Metzger are huge fans of Braverman, so they are eager to tag along, and their fanboy behavior gives Jessica and Mort’s wife, Maureen, more than occasional cause to roll their eyes.

Upon arrival in Edmonton, Jessica is quickly outed as mystery writer J. B. Fletcher, and despite numerous protests, a hotel staffer arranges a book signing for her. This and touristy adventures arranged for the group make for a much busier trip than Jessica was expecting. When a hotel bartender, who also happens to be a stagehand for Emma’s play, turns up dead backstage at the theater, Jessica’s fun and relaxing vacation quickly becomes anything but.

Author Bio

Along with Jessica FletcherTerrie Farley Moran co-writes the Murder She Wrote mystery series including  Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court. She is the author of the Read ‘Em and Eat cozy mystery series and also co-writes the Scrapbooking Mysteries with Laura Childs. Recipient of both the Agatha and the Derringer Awards, Moran has published numerous mystery short stories. The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is hanging out with any or all of her seven grandchildren.

Author Links – Webpage   Facebook 

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – – PenguinRandomHouse – 


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Thursday, April 4, 2024

Book Review - Just for the Summer by Melody Carlson

My Review

Just for the Summer is a beach read about two very different women.  Ginny Masters has a high pressure job managing a boutique hotel in Seattle.  Jacqueline Potter manages her grandfather's rustic fishing lodge in Idaho.  Both are unhappy with their lives and sign up at a job swap site.  They swap jobs for the summer - and find a new perspective on life as a result.

I wanted to read this novel because I enjoy Melody Carlson's books.  They never disappoint!

Ginny is a very sympathetic character, hard working and sincere.  She learns to relax and enjoy life more when she goes to work at the fishing lodge that needs a lot of freshening up and new energy.  She also meets a handsome river guide and romantic sparks fly!   Jacqueline is much less sympathetic.  She is someone who loves the finer things in life and she has not wanted to really work for those things in the past.  She is challenged when she goes to work in Seattle at the always busy hotel - with a very demanding boss.  She also encounters a possible romantic match.

This was a fun novel and a fast read.  It would be perfect for a weekend read or as a true beach read.

Book Synopsis

If you lived in a different place and had a different job, couldn't you have a different life?

Ginny Masters manages a popular boutique hotel in Seattle and manages it with aplomb. But the daily challenges and irritations of a fast-paced job and a demanding boss are starting to get to her.

Jacqueline Potter manages her grandfather's fishing lodge in Idaho because it was the only job she could find after graduating with her hospitality degree. She's grateful for the work but longs for a more sophisticated and cosmopolitan life she's just not going to find in this backwoods town.

The solution to both their problems seems obvious. Just for the summer, they'll swap jobs and lifestyles--and even love interests. But they'll soon find that there's more to finding happiness than just switching up the scenery.

Author Bio

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than 250 books with sales of more than 7.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, her novel All Summer Long has been made into a Hallmark movie, and the movie based on her novel The Happy Camper premiered on UPtv in 2023. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at