Book Review: A Deadly Inside Scoop

Happy Monday! I’m delighted today to share my review of the recently-released cozy mystery A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette!

ABOUT THE BOOK

A DEADLY INSIDE SCOOPSERIES: An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Berkley Books
RELEASE DATE: May 12, 2020
PAGES: 384

This book kicks off a charming cozy mystery series set in an ice cream shop–with a fabulous cast of quirky characters.

Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family’s ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she’s going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors—many from her grandmother’s original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on the village and keeps the customers away.

To make matters worse, that evening, Win finds a body in the snow, and it turns out the dead man was a grifter with an old feud with the Crewse family. Soon, Win’s father is implicated in his death. It’s not easy to juggle a new-to-her business while solving a crime, but Win is determined to do it. With the help of her quirky best friends and her tight-knit family, she’ll catch the ice cold killer before she has a meltdown…


MY THOUGHTS

I always love starting a new cozy mystery series, particularly if it’s by an author I haven’t read yet. A Deadly Inside Scoop is one of the better series debuts I’ve read recently, and I’m so delighted to have discovered a new-to-me author that I’ll definitely keep following!

Bronwyn “Win” Crewse has a lot at stake as the book begins. She’s putting the final touches on restoring her family’s ice cream parlor (re-opening in the middle of a blizzard) and preparing to follow her beloved late grandmother’s footsteps, under the loving watchful eye of her Pop-Pop and with the help of her friends & family. Win is instantly likable, if a bit scattered (which is excusable, given how much she’s trying to juggle at the moment. Restart a community favorite business, carry on a family legacy, solve a murder… you know, the usual lol). Her ice cream flavors sound really yummy & I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up – and how she uses her grandmother’s cherished recipes – as the seasons & series progress.

Win comes from a tight-knit family who make up the majority of the 0.4 % African American population of their tiny town just outside Cleveland, and I loved the diverse characters that make up the supporting cast as well. (Her Pop-Pop has my heart!) Including Win’s two best friends – Riya (half-Sicilian & half-Indian) & Maisie (whose Jewish grandmother owns & operates the town’s Chinese restaurant). Riya is the hotheaded protector; Maisie is the impetuous free spirit. And while we don’t spend much time with Riya in this book, the trio of friends is a formidable force to be sure.

The mystery is nicely layered and moves at a steady pace throughout the story. Poor Win and Maisie aren’t the most seasoned of investigators, opting for a rather madcap hodgepodge of ideas and stakeouts and interrogations, but it’s highly entertaining. A host of suspects cross their paths, along with some motives that range from fairly weak to pretty strong. You sorta get the feeling that, if Win and her crew had just been patient, Detective Beverley would have figured it out before too much longer but goodness it would have been a lot less fun!

Bottom Line: A Deadly Inside Scoop is a fun start to a new series with diverse characters, a strong sense of family & community, and – of course – yummy ice cream! Win is a heroine readers will quickly embrace, and her relatable struggles make her a sympathetic character. Best friend Maisie is the Lucy to Win’s Ethel – if that infamous comedic duo had also solved crimes – and, while you’re tempted to groan at her ideas, her infectious personality & loyalty to Win keeps her likable too. I loved the ethnic & age diversity of this small community & the unique perspective each brought to the book. A well-plotted mystery rounds out the mix, and I’m ready for another visit with the Crewse family & their ice cream parlor!

Reviewer’s note: Readers may want to be aware that there is some casual usage of “God” in this book. It is otherwise a clean book & free from curse words.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher.
All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
This review originally appeared on Reading Is My SuperPower

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ABBY VANDIVERWall Street Journal Bestselling Author Abby Collette loves a good mystery. Born and raised in Cleveland, it’s even a mystery to her why she has yet to move to a warmer place. Author of the two Southern cozy mystery series Logan Dickerson Mysteries featuring a second-generation archaeologist and a nonagenarian who is always digging up trouble, and the Romaine Wilder Mysteries, set in East Texas, it pairs a medical examiner and her feisty auntie who owns a funeral home and is always ready to solve a whodunnit. Abby spends her time writing, facilitating writing workshops at local libraries and spending time with her grandchildren, each of which are her favorite.

website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


What about you?
What makes you want to read A Deadly Inside Scoop?
What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Book Revew: Her Cowboy Sweetheart by Cathy McDavid

Happy Monday!

Today I’m pleased to bring you a review of Her Cowboy Sweetheart by Cathy McDavid, the 4th book in the author’s Sweetheart Ranch series and part of the Harlequin Heartwarming imprint of ‘clean, wholesome romances’.

ABOUT THE BOOK

her cowboy sweetheartSERIES: The Sweetheart Ranch #4
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Clean)
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Heartwarming
RELEASE DATE: May 1, 2020

He’s been a good friend

But can he be her sweetheart?

At Sweetheart Ranch, single mom Carly Leighton finds a fresh start, and a friendly neighbor in former bull rider JD Moreno. Neither are looking for love—Carly must think first of her son, Rickie, while JD is recovering from a career-ending balance disorder. But when her former in-laws demand access to Rickie, Carly turns to JD for support and finds he is becoming more than a friend in need…

Goodreads| Amazon | B&N | Book Depository |IndieBound


MY THOUGHTS

First of all – don’t you just love the cover? That little cowboy is stinkin’ adorable! And both he and the dog steal every scene they’re in at some point. So cute!

Her Cowboy Sweetheart continues the Sweetheart Ranch series with another enjoyable installment. I’ve loved each book so far and this one was a perfect fit with the rest. The sweet friendship between JD and Carly makes a believable foundation for their romance. JD’s Latino roots make him one swoony cowboy, while Carly’s genuine heart makes her instantly likable for readers. Add in her super cute son and JD’s energetic puppy, and you have a feel-good story that will leave you smiling. Of course, we have to deal with some pesky people who aren’t as likable, but this just gives JD and Carly more ways to be protective of each other. Win-win. 🙂

JD’s struggles with Ménière’s disease and Carly’s custody battle with her former in-laws (and parents of her abusive ex-husband) add emotional layers to the plot that give the story further depth and dimension. The author does a great job of increasing awareness for both of these issues through Her Cowboy Sweetheart while also not bogging down or overpowering the story.

Bottom Line: Cathy McDavid delivers another sweet & swoony romance set at the Sweetheart Ranch. Engaging characters and compelling subplots immediately draw readers’ interest and keep it for the duration of the novel. Hombre the dog and toddler Rickie add notes of comedy and warmth to break up the more serious undertones that threaten JD and Carly’s budding romance, and you’ll quickly fall in love with both of them. Another great visit to the Sweetheart Ranch – ready for the next!

Reviewer’s Note:
Readers may want to be aware that there are several casual uses of ‘God’ throughout this novel.
This book is otherwise clean.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Review originally appeared on Reading Is My SuperPower.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cathy McDavidAs a sophomore in high school, NY TimesUSA Today, and Amazon bestselling author Cathy McDavid won a local writing competition with her self-illustrated children’s book. Who knew that small triumph would eventually lead to a career writing contemporary romances with over 1.3 million books sold? With forty-seven titles to date, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll. This “almost” Arizona native and mother of grown twins recently married her own real-life sweetheart. After leaving the corporate world four years ago, she now spends her days penning stories about good looking men who ride the range or fight fires or hunt creatures all while sweeping the girl off her feet. It’s a tough job but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Amazon


What about you?
What makes you want to read Her Cowboy Sweetheart?

Some Of My Favorite Diverse Reads (Part 2)

Happy Wednesday again, friends!

Today, I’m picking up where I left off last week in my spotlight of several of my favorite diverse reads, specifically with ethnically diverse characters & blended cultures.

Set against the stunning landscape of Kenya, the multi-generational From Kenya, With Love series by Rula Sinara is a feast for the senses.

every serengeti sunrise

In This Courageous Journey by Misty M. Beller, we meet Daniel, a complex character wrestling with the many dimensions & nuances of his heritage.

this courageous journey

Sydney Tooman Betts’ People of the Book series will make God’s Word come alive for you in fresh ways, seeing His Story from the Native American’s perspective with new eyes.

a river too deep

Terri J. Haynes’ “Legacy of Love” in The Runaway Brides Collection is a sweet romance & also gives insight into a different perspective on the Reconstruction era than what we’re normally taught in history class.

The Runaway Brides story collection

Speaking of history not really taught in schools, the Creek Country Saga from April Gardner is powerful and emotional as it highlights a period of history we don’t often read about

The Red Feather by April W. Gardner

In Camy Tang’s Protection for Hire series, we get well-defined & layered (sometimes hilarious) characters, romance, humor, faith, cultural diversity & smartly-plotted suspense (with martial arts!)

protection for hire

Randy Alcorn’s Safely Home, a compelling inside look at the underground Chinese church, quite simply changed my life.

safely home

Pick up any book by Lori Benton for an emotional and compelling story of blended cultures that will linger long in your heart

the woods edge

Pick up the Secrets of Rios Azules suspense series by Alexa Verde and meet a diverse group of friends & multicultural relationships

color of danger

I love the biracial characters – and relationships – in Ruth Logan Herne’s Shepherd’s Crossing series from Love Inspired

her cowboy reunion

The Long Highway Home by Elizabeth Musser is a multicultural, multi-continent story that will open your eyes

the long highway home

What about you? Have you read any of these diverse reads yet?

Book Spotlight: Some Of My Favorite Diverse Reads (Part 1)

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Today, I want to look at more than one book – in fact, several of my favorite diverse reads, specifically with ethnically diverse characters & blended cultures. But there’s …. uh… a lot… so I’m breaking this into more than one post 😀

First up – visit the Maple Run series by Toni Shiloh for mouthwatering food, compelling characters and touching romance!

buyinglove

Still hungry after visiting Maple Run? Hungry for a good cozy mystery? Definitely check out the Noodle Shop Mysteries by Vivien Chien.

death by dumpling

And if you’re still hungry… Plan a trip to the Kebab Kitchen Mysteries by Tina Kashian

Hummus and Homicide - Final Cover

I love Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings, a retelling of the biblical story of Ruth & Naomi, with a young Mexican widow learning to navigate the ways of the American West.

sixtyacresandabride

And prepare to fall in love with Red Shirt in Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz!

courting morrow little

Speaking of falling in love… Karim. The Esther Paradigm (and swoony Karim) by Sarah Monzon is bravely unique to Christian fiction but it is here ‘for such a time as this’.

theestherparadigm

Millie may only have a supporting role in The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide, but I adore her character. Not to mention the unforgettable side plot involving racial oppression and how it directly affects her.

the memoir of johnny devine new

What about you? Have you read any of these diverse reads yet? (Stay tuned for the rest of my list next week!