Monday, January 29, 2018

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday: Foodie Edition

Welcome to this week's edition of Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday!

We hope you enjoy our choices.

From the publisher: In an old Victorian in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country, Daisy Swanson and her aunt Iris serve soups, scones, and soothing teas to tourists and locals—but a murder in their garden has them in hot water...

Daisy, a widowed mom of two teenagers, is used to feeling protective—so when Iris started dating the wealthy and not-quite-divorced Harvey Fitz, she worried . . . especially after his bitter ex stormed in and caused a scene at the party Daisy’s Tea Garden was catering. Then there was the gossip she overheard about Harvey’s grown children being cut out of his will. Daisy didn’t want her aunt to wind up with a broken heart—but she never expected Iris to wind up a suspect in Harvey’s murder.

Now the apple bread and orange pekoe is on the back burner while the cops treat the shop like a crime scene—and Daisy hopes that Jonas Groft, a former detective from Philadelphia, can help her clear her aunt’s name and bag the real killer before things boil over . . .

Tortie Shorties Review: From the very first scene Daisy’s Tea Garden, owned by Daisy Swanson and her aunt Iris in an old Victorian in Willow Creek, Pennsylvania, came alive for me. Preparations are underway for the tea shop to cater a party honoring the 25th anniversary of Men's Trends, a shop owned by Iris's beau Harvey. The event is going off without a hitch until Harvey's soon-to-be ex Monica crashes the party, making accusations that Harvey is hiding assets in their divorce negotiations. Before long Harvey is found dead in the herb garden, whacked over the head with a statue, and Iris finds herself at the top of the suspect list. Daisy gets involved in clearing her aunt's name and it doesn't take long to discover that Harvey had a knack for angering people both in his personal and business lives, and the list of possible suspects isn't short. I liked that the resolution is tied up neatly at the end with no unanswered questions or confusion.

Secondary story lines feature Daisy's adopted daughter Jazzi who has decided to track down her birth mother, and the sparks of a romance between Daisy and Jonas, furniture store owner and former detective from Philadelphia. Oh, there are cats too! Marjoram the tortie and Pepper the tuxie don't play a large role in the story, but it's obvious they are Daisy's beloved companions. With mouth-watering recipes at the end, don't read this book while you're hungry!

From the publisher: Allie Larkin was living her dream as a ballet dancer when a bad fall put her out of business. Now she’s back home in Mystic Bay to heal a broken ankle while also helping her dear Aunt Gully get her Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack off the ground. Nothing would help Gully more than winning the local food festival’s Best Lobster Roll contest. The competition is sure to be killer—especially after one of the contest judges dies after eating a roll from one of Gully’s biggest rivals.

Soon, all eyes fall on Gully as the prime suspect. Allie may only have one good leg to stand on, but she’s not going to let her aunt go down for a crime she never could have cooked up. Can Allie, along with her devoted crew of friends, family, and customers, find a way to trap the killer and claw herself out of this hard-boiled murder case?

Tortie Shorties Review: I'm not sure why I've been looking forward to this book so much since I've never eaten anything lobster-related in my life and find myself kind of creeped out by the little guys while feeling sorry for them at the same time. (I'd probably be a "Lobster Libber" as this book refers to lobster liberation activists!) Anyways, I fell in love with the cover and couldn't wait to dive in. The descriptions of the various lobster rolls actually made me quite hungry in spite of the fact that one of the recipes ended up causing the death of actress Contessa Wells. I enjoyed following along as protagonist Allie and her eccentric Aunt Gully hunted for a killer while trying to keep their business afloat, especially the scenes at the murder victim's mansion with her disturbed sister. I suspected the twist at the end but was still quite surprised when it was revealed. My only complaint is that this is the rare cozy without a pet :( Fun mystery that will transport you to the ocean on a cold winter day!

Disclaimer: I received free copies of these books from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. As members of the Amazon Associates affiliate program, if you click on our links and buy something Mudpie gets a little money for her piggy bank!


  1. My human got a card from the vendors with all the Maneki Neko, but they don't even have a website. :-( They are called Greenheart Gifts B.A.D. Kitty Teasers, and you can find an email on them at the vendor page for the cat show:

  2. Thanks, Melissa and Mudpie. I loved Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes!

  3. These both sound like delicious reads! I'm like you, and I have never eaten lobster. But this does indeed still sound like such a fun book. Thank you for sharing more wonderful reviews with us!

  4. I was surprised that there were no cats on either cover- glad there are cats in Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes.

  5. Ooh, I think the first one sounds like one that Mom & I would be interested in reading. I'm interested 'cause it includes pussy cats and Mom thinks the plot sounds interesting. Purrs! -Valentine (& Mom) of Noir Kitty Mews