Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tortie Shorties on Tuesday

Meows from Mudpie!

We're still playing catch up with our book reviews, which is why we have three for you again this week. We hope you enjoy our choices!

From the publisher: First in the Farmer’s Daughter mystery series set on a picturesque farm in Michigan, where Shelby McDonald runs a popular lifestyle and cooking blog, from the national bestselling author of the Cranberry Cove Mysteries. 

On her blog, The Farmer’s Daughter, Shelby McDonald is growing her audience as she posts recipes, gardening tips, and her experiences raising two kids and running Love Blossom Farm in the small western Michigan town of Lovett.

Working the farm is demanding but peaceful—until that peace is shattered when the minister’s wife is murdered on Shelby’s property during a fund-raiser for a local church. But the manure really hits the fan when Shelby’s good friend veterinarian Kelly Thacker emerges as the prime suspect. Shelby decides to dig in and find the murderer by herself. As more suspects crop up, she’ll have to move fast—before someone else buys the farm. . . .

Tortie Shorties Review: Step aside, Pioneer Woman! There's a new farm girl in the food blogosphere...and she solves mysteries too!

Shelby McDonald works hard to build a stable life for her two young children left devastated by the tragic death of their father. From gardening to animal care to making cheese for the local general store there's always work to be done. When the church decides to hold a potluck fundraiser for a new roof Shelby is more than happy to host it at Love Blossom Farm, but the day goes tragically wrong when the new minister's wife is found dead in the mudroom...strangled by the cord from a crock pot! It seems prim Prudence had a nasty habit of spreading lies about good people, making more than her fair share of enemies. Shelby's best friend, local vet Kelly, even has reason that her very own fiance might be the killer and begs Shelby to prove her wrong. In a rare occurrence I correctly fingered the culprit early on, but the motive remained a mystery until the final page-turning scenes. 

As a wanna-be country girl myself I thoroughly enjoyed a glimpse inside Shelby's life. Not a huge fan of kids in cozies I was a bit ambivalent towards Amelia and Billy, although I will say Amelia needs a serious attitude adjustment. Shelby's pups, a Westie and mastiff, are her constant companions and even help out when she's cornered by a killer. (While Patches the calico barn cat was wisely MIA!) Shelby's love life has interesting possibilities, from the general store owner to the farmer next door to her very own brother-in-law, recently separated from his wife. I'm definitely looking forward to spending more time in her cozy little world.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

From the publisher: Newly jobless and recently dumped by her fiancé, Eleanora Pacelli moves back to her childhood hometown to take care of her grandmother after her grandfather’s unexpected death. What was supposed to be a temporary stay becomes permanent when she takes over her grandparents’ old pizzeria. Determined to turn her life around, Ellie sets out to bring the old restaurant to life while also putting the pieces of her own life back together. Things seem to be going well until a body is found outside the pizzeria, under very suspicious circumstances. Ellie has to work against the clock to find out who the killer is in order to keep from losing everything that she’s worked to rebuild.

Tortie Shorties Review: Excellent beginning to a series set in a pizza parlor starring Ellie Pacelli, back home to help her elderly grandmother run the local institution following the sudden death of her grandfather. She arrives to find the place deteriorating and a staff who just doesn't care. The one bright spot is a date with her old friend Ben, but then the next morning he's found dead at the restaurant's back door! Ellie sure has a lot of work to do to pick up the pieces. I look forward to more visits with Ellie, her Nonna, Bunny the pup and Marlowe the parrot.

From the publisher: With seasonal crowds flocking to its sandy beaches, lively downtown shops, and the Berry Basket, a berry emporium with something for everyone, the lakeshore village of Oriole Point is ripe for summer fun—and murder. 

Much has changed for Marlee Jacob since she returned to Oriole Point, Michigan, three years ago. Between running the Berry Basket, dodging local gossip, and whipping up strawberry muffins, smoothies, and margaritas to celebrate the town’s first annual Strawberry Moon Bash, the twenty-nine-year-old hardly has time for her fiancé, let alone grim memories of her old life in New York.

But unfortunately for Marlee, Oriole Point is muddled with secrets of its own. First her friend Natasha disappears after an ominous dream. Next the seediest man in town threatens to crush her business. Then an unknown person nearly kills her on the night of the Bash. When she discovers a dead body while searching for Natasha, Marlee realizes she’ll have to foil a killer’s plot herself—before the past permanently stains her future.

Tortie Shorties Review: Poor Marlee returned home to Michigan to escape her involvement in a murder back in NYC, only to find herself plunged into yet another one involving her good friend Natasha, an abused wife. When Natasha goes missing following a vicious fight with her husband Cole, Marlee is very worried about her friend's safety and goes to her house to look for clues. Cole unexpectedly arrives home and is bashed over the head with a muddler from Marlee's Berry Basket shop. The missing wife is of course the prime suspect, but Marlee had involvement with the victim herself as he was threatening her business.

This is a book I wanted to love but just couldn't get pulled into the story. Too many characters with very little introduction, and I particularly disliked Marlee's fiance. The next book takes place at the Blackberry Road Rally so maybe that one will tickle my fancy a little more.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

More good books to add to the list!
ps - "Hi, Mudpie!!!" ~Bear Cat

Unknown said...

Thanks for the honest review - it's always important to say when a book doesn't capture your attention!

The Menagerie Mom said...

I always love coming here to see that you've posted more book reviews! You always choose such fun and intriguing books to share with us. And I appreciate that you're always honest. You and I have very similar tastes (you asked the other day on my blog if we're twins, and I'm starting to have my suspicions...), and so I always feel that I can base whether I'd be interested in a book on whether you like it. Thank you again for sharing these wonderful reviews with us!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa and Mudpie! I look forward to your reviews.

Three Chatty Cats said...

It's hard to to like a book when you really dislike a character (if you're supposed to like them anyway). Thanks for the honest review!

Nancy said...

Looks like some good reads, Mudpie!

pilch92 said...

You have been busy reading.