Monday, January 28, 2013

Cozy Mysteries And Giveaways

When it comes to cozy murder mysteries, Berkley Prime Crime and Obsidian always have a vast array of new books out each month featuring just about any theme you can image.

This month a favorite series of mine dealing with a White House Chef returns with the sixth installment and three new fun series I’ve discovered are returning with second installments dealing with bargain hunting, a magical bakery, and a souvenir shop. To make the mysteries even more enjoyable, thanks to the charming Kayleigh at Berkley I have a copy of each of the books below to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for the guidelines. Now for the reviews.


White House Executive Chef Olivia Paras has always believed her9780425251812 father was an honorable man. He died was she was young and is buried in Arlington Cemetery. When a trip to visit her mother reveals unsettling information about her father, Ollie is determined to find out the truth.

As she searches, Ollie learns her father was brutally murdered and accused of selling corporate secrets. With the help of her boyfriend, Special Agent Leonard ‘Gav’ Gavin, Ollie soon finds her father may have been more of a hero than she ever imaged. However, the new found information could cost Ollie her life and threaten national security.

Author Julie Hyzy continues to create intriguing plots blended with the zany characters fans of the series have come to love. While FONDUING FATHERS doesn’t focus as much on Ollie’s duties as White House Chef, it gives readers a closer look at Ollie the person. Hyzy has created a protagonist who has been undaunting in her previous quest for justice and now it’s her turn for answers. Readers are given a glimpse at a side of Ollie not seen in the previous installments.

The story moves at a fast pace with twists and turns holding you spellbound until the end. Hyzy weaves in a mix of intrigue, humor and romance for a well-balanced read. A number of delicious recipes fit a presidential meal are included as an added bonus.

FONDUING FATHERS is the sixth installment in the White House Chef Mystery series. Others books in the series include: State of the Onion (January 2008), Hail to the Chef (December 2008), Eggescutive Orders (January 2010), Buffalo West Wing (January 2011) and Affairs of Steak (January 2012). While each book is a stand alone read, I would recommend reading the series in order to have more background on the various characters and how they have evolved with each new story.

Author Julie Hyzy’s website is

Fonduing Fathers by Julie Hyzy, A White House Chef Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime, @2013, ISBN: 978-0425251812, Paperback, 304 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
A DEAL TO DIE FOR by Josie Belle

In today’s hard economical times, the Good Buy Girls are always on9780425251850 the lookout for bargains. Wealthy widow Vera Madison is selling her vintage clothes at the St. Stanley flea market and they are ready to shop.

My Sister’s Closet owner Maggie Gerber knows the widow’s wardrobe will give her shop the upper-hand over Summer Phillips, who’s opened her own second-hand shop just across the street.

It seems the widow collected more than vintage clothes, when she’s found dead and the list of enemies is long. Instead of bargain hunting, Maggie and the Good Buy Girls have to sort through the skeletons in Vera’s closet to find the killer.

Author Josie Belle has created well-developed characters that are quirky and lovable. A DEAL TO DIE FOR moves at a fast pace and keeps you guessing right up until the end. Belle blends murder, romance, humor and everyday life into a delightful mystery. As an added bonus, bargain hunting tips are included.

A DEAL TO DIE FOR is the second installment in the Good Buy Girls Mystery series. The first installment is 50% OFF MURDER (April 2012).

Author Josie Belle is the pseudonym for Jenn McKinlay. Her website is

A Deal to Die For by Josie Belle, A Good Buy Girls Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime, @2013, ISBN: 978-0425251850, Paperback, 272 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

9780451238986Katie Lightfoot is a new witch still trying to master her magical powers and operate Savannah’s most enchanting bakery. She does, however, take time off to enjoy a picnic with firefighter Declan McCarthy only to stumble upon a corpse.    

It turns out the dead man was a member of a secret society and an object that is very important to the group is now missing. It seems the killer was after more than just the man’s life. Katie is are hot on the trail of the killer, but has to be careful she doesn’t get burned.

Author Bailey Cates has blended magical elements with mystery and mayhem for a delightful story. The characters are well-balanced, the plot moves smoothly and the intrigue keeps you guessing. Cates even weaves in a bit of romance with not one, but two sexy guys.

BEWITCHED, BOTHERED, AND BISCOTTI is the second installment in the Magical Bakery Mystery series. The first installment is BROWNIES AND BROOMSTICKS (May 2012).

Author Bailey Cates also writes the Home Crafting Mysteries as Cricket McRae. Her website is

Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti by Bailey Cates, A Magical Bakery Mystery, Obsidian, @2013, ISBN: 978-0451238986, Paperback, 336 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review


When Glory Martine inherited her great-uncle Louis’ bayside souvenir9780425251843 shop, Southern Treasures, she thought life would be easy. But she didn’t take Bluebeard, a possessed parrot, into account.

However, Glory’s best friend Karen has even more problems since her ex still has a hold on her heart and his brother is about to be arrested. When a diver is found with a gaff hook in his chest, Karen’s brother-in-law is the prime suspect. She turns to Glory for help in clearing him. Searching for the real killer, Glory and Bluebeard discover Keyhole Bay holds deep, dark secrets.

Author Christy Fifield has done it again. This charming murder mystery features a protagonist with spirit and an entertaining parrot. The story flows smoothly and at a steady pace. The characters are zany and the mystery will having you guessing until the end.

After reading MURDER HOOKS A MERMAID, it might just change how you browse souvenir shops or your thoughts of parrots at the very least. 

MURDER HOOKS A MERMAID is the second installment in the Haunted Souvenir Mystery series. The first installment is MURDER BUYS A T-SHIRT (March 2012).

Author Christy Fifield is the pseudonym for Christy Evans, which is a mystery pseudonym used by northwest writer Christina F. York. Her website is

Murder Hooks A Mermaid by Christy Fifield, A Haunted Souvenir Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime, @2013, ISBN: 978-0425251843, Paperback, 304 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Now for the giveaway guidelines. To enter this giveaway, send me an e-mail ( with the subject line, “Win Berkley Mysteries.” Your message should include your name, mailing address, and which book you’d like to win. If you’d like to win any of them, just say ‘enter me for all the books’. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. And, just so you know, I don’t share this information with anyone other than the publisher nor use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win one of these four tantalizing mysteries is 8 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Thanks so stopping by and good luck to those entering the giveaway. Do you have a favorite theme you enjoy reading about?


  1. Mason - Thanks for sharing this news about these releases! I like the Ollie Paras series very much and the others look like fun stories too. You're right that Penguin/Obsidian really do have a lot to offer the cosy mystery fan.

  2. These all sound fun - I like mysteries too. I tend to go through trends with my reading so I like pretty much everything :)

  3. I love love love these titles. They made me laugh. I'll enter promptly.


  4. Some great new titles, thanks for the news!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.