Parrots Prove Deadly by Clea Simon

Pru has a gift with animals. She “senses” things they think- and through this they can communicate back and forth. When Pru is called out for a “life or death” emergency, she’s not sure what she will find. But a frazzled woman and an African-Grey who hurls insults was probably not it.

Randolph, the parrot, caretaker, Polly Larkin, has recently passed away and the family is hoping that Pru can perform some behavior modification on Randolph. This would enable Randolph to be able to have a new nice and happy home life. Pru takes the job, but is unsure of her ability to help modify the parrots behavior. Then Randolph begins repeating phrases that lead Pru to think the parrot may have witnessed the event that took Polly Larkin’s life. And that it was murder!

Pru teams up with Wallis the cat, a raccoon, and other animals to find out what Randolph the parrot really saw. One of the animals lets Pru know that “no likes a blabbermouth” which makes Pru worry about Randolph’s safety. To complicate matters further, Pru’s boyfriend, Jim Creighton, is trying to find out how drugs are getting around town so easily.  Between the drugs and the murder, Pru has her hands filled trying to find out what happened to Polly Larkin and if there is more to the story than meets the eye. Pru may not know the answers yet, but she knows she needs to find out for her sake as well as the animals.

Clea Simon writes a cute book filled with funny animal characters (especially Wallis) and a mystery that is enjoyable. While I enjoyed the book and the characters, I’m still on the fence about whether I’ll visit Pru’s world again- it’s very different from my normal cozy picks. However, I found the world that Clea Simon created for Pru and Wallis to be a fun place- and one that many cozy readers will enjoy.

** Blogger note: I don’t read cozy books for the plausibility factor- I read for the enjoyment. This book does have some enjoyable moments- however, I theorize that I’m  too used to the type of cozy books I read (the cupcake, coffee making, bakery type of books that also solve crime) to fully appreciate the cozy where a woman can communicate with the animals. I did, however, give it a fair review on Goodreads and my blog- because while it may not have been a 5 star for me- for another fellow cozy reader, it may very well be!

Sweet Tea Revenge by Laura Childs

It is Delanie’s wedding day- and she’s a nervous wreck. Trying to help calm Delaine, Theodosia is going above and beyond bridesmaid duty- but a happy Delanie is better than an unhappy one. However, no matter how hard Theo is trying to make this day perfect- nothing can bring the groom back to life.

Delanie begs Theo to find out who did this to her beau, and Theo readily agrees. Was it murder or an accident? Clues at the scene point to either conclusion. While Theo’s gathering clues, 2 ghosthunters come to town, and are interested in going back to the scene of the crime to communicate with the spirit.

With suspects being added daily to Theo’s list- was it the ex-girlfriend? The law partner? The step-son? Or someone else? Theo’s days are busy. Throw in an attractive ATF agent is interested in tracking down Cuban cigars and seems to like to keep an eye on Theo, it’s a wonder that Theo can remember how to steep tea!

Is Theo able to help solve the murder? Or was it an accident? Read Sweet Tea Revenge to find out!

Agony of the Leaves by Laura Child

With a new aquarium opening in Charleston, everyone is excited. The opening should be a smashing success- between the food and Charleston’s elite. Everything is going great, until Theodosia discovers a body. Not just any body either- the body of Parker Scully, her former love. While most are willing to write it off as a tragic accident- Theodosia will not.

As she begins to search for more clues about Parker’s life over the past year or so- Theodosia learns the restaturant business is similar to Hollywood- talk is cheap. Did one of the restaurant owners set out to kill Parker- either to be able to buy his place or to keep him from opening another successful place?

While Theodosia is searching for clues, Delanie is brow-beating her to help out a charity called Tuesday’s Child. Theo makes time for the charity, all the while wondering exactly what Parker must have stumbled upon to cause someone to kill him. With Theo crossing off suspects and adding more- she doesn’t realize that she’s skating awfully close to the truth of why Parker was murdered.

Will Theodosia be able to solve the murder? Or will the killer get the best of her?

Going Going Ganache by Jenn McKinlay

Going, Going Ganache is book 5 in Jenn McKinlay’s Cupcake series- and the series is still going strong!

Mel and Angie, owners of Fairy Tale Cupcakes, are in trouble. After the cupcake photo shoot goes south (thanks to help from a certain busybody); the magazine owner and Tate are not happy. As part of Mel and Angie’s punishment, Ian Hannigan, SWS magazine owner, decides that his team needs a project to help foster team spirit. And Mel and Angie are the perfect people to teach the magazine team how to make cupcakes.

While Mel and Angie are not happy to be teaching a workshop on making cupcakes, compared to some of the others, they look thrilled. With each day presenting it’s own unique set of challenges, the final straw is when Mel discovers a body. Now Mel must discover the who, what, and why of the murder- and wonders if someone in the kitchen is the killer. Mel’s got her hands full with cupcakes and killers- and  her secret engagement with Joe. With a good-looking cop paying equal attention the crime and Mel, does Joe have some competetion?

As the charity event draws closer, Tate’s acting weird, Angie’s worried, and Mel’s got her hands full. Will the 3 friends be able to solve the crime and get the cupcakes to the charity event in one edible piece? Read Going, Going Ganache to find out!

Nickled- and Dimed to Death: A Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery by Denise Swanson

Dev is back in the second book in Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery series.

Dev has a hot date planned with the hot US Marshal Jake- until he gets the last minute call that he’s able to go back to duty and on a hot case. Dev’s disappointed( who wouldn’t be after buying a new dress?), but when Dr. Noah Underwood calls asking her to accompany him to an event and saying he has a business connection she needs to make, she decides not to waste the dress!

While at the event, she gets a phone call from Boone, one of her best friends. He’s at the police station and a suspect in the Elise Whitmore murder. Dev and Poppy know Boone could not murder someone- so with the help of Noah, they start digging into Elise Whitmore’s murder. Between the 3 of them- they find some interesting suspects- but do they find the murderer?

To top off Dev’s days- she’s got 2 hunky men wanting to be with her- Jake and Noah. And neither one looks like they are willing to throw in the towel when it comes to Dev.

Funny. Enjoyable. Great little cozy series. While it is different than Denise Swanson’s other series (Scumble River) this series defintely stands on it’s own. Cozy readers, sit back and enjoy Dev’s world.

Red Velvet Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Hannah bakes. Hannah talks with her family. Moishe. Hannah finds another body.

If you’ve read any of Joanne Fluke’s books before- you know how the book goes. This installment consists of Dr.Bev coming back with a new look, a new man, and some expensive toys. While still needling Hannah about many things, Dr. Bev let’s it be known that she wants Norman back- and that she’ll use her feminine powers to get him back.

Hannah is upset- as well as her mother and sisters. But then, Dr. Bev becomes the dead body that Hannah finds in this book. So, did Hannah kill Dr.Bev? And would anyone blame her if she did?

Hannah sets out to find out who killed Dr.Bev- and relatively easy finds out the information. And all is well with Lake Eden- and there’s even some good news at the end of the book.

If you like Hannah Swensen books- then you’ll probably like this. However, if you’ve been reading for awhile- and you are tired of the lack of character development and the “triangle”- then, it’s the same happenings.