Never-ending TBR, Part Nine

I read three cozy mysteries and a romance this month. Here are my thoughts. I enjoyed them all, so maybe you’ll find something that interests you!

Love Letters from Home by Melissa MacKinnon
Melissa is a busy mom, military wife, and cancer survivor. We “met” as authors with a now closed publishing house. This is a new release, a short, sweet story about a Abby, a fifth grade teacher in North Carolina, who gets to know Captain Noah Miller through letters that she and her class exchange with him while he’s on duty overseas. Captain Miller has gotten in the habit of writing two return letters, one to the class and one to Abby personally, and through those letters they’ve fallen for each other. When Noah gets orders to return home, he makes arrangements to meet her at the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day, and Abby agrees. Unfortunately, the east coast is hit with a paralyzing blizzard that day. The measures they both take result in hilarious situations and kept me reading to the end. 

Round up the Usual Peacocks by Donna Andrews
Meg Langslow Mysteries, Book 31
The college town of Caerphilly is filled with Meg’s numerous relatives who’ve come for her brother’s wedding. Of course the mothers of both the bride and groom have an endless list of things for Meg to do, but Kevin, Meg’s nephew, needs her help. He and his friend Casey have started a True Crime podcast featuring unsolved murder mysteries that have taken place in their home state of Virginia. Shortly after one of those podcasts, Casey is nearly run down while walking home. Kevin and Casey fear that someone connected to one of the cases they covered wants them to be silenced. Meg convinces her mother that she needs to find the culprit in order to prevent anything from dampening the wedding plans. As usual, I was hooked into the story. I love Meg’s resourcefulness, and her family and friends are so entertaining!

Pork Pie Pandemonium by Steve Higgs
Albert Smith’s Culinary Capers, Book 1
I’d heard about this book online, but decided to check it out from my local library to give my eyes a rest from reading on a screen. Steve Higgs is a new-to-me author, and while parts of the book were a disappointment, the story itself was delightful, and I’ve already placed a hold on Book 2 through my local library. Albert Smith is a retired police detective who decides to go on a culinary tour of England after his wife passes away. He has the itinerary for his solitary trip all planned, despite the objections from his three adult children. But at his first stop in Melton Mowbray, he attends a class learning to make pork pies when one of the participants finds a human thumb among her supplies, and Albert is immediately intrigued. He is drawn into the mystery by the shop owner’s daughter, who’s temporarily running the show while her mother is hospitalized. The mystery is well told, but there were a few editing problems, and the print layout is not great. There are no page numbers and the chapter titles are in light gray and hard to read. Still, I want to find out what happens at Albert’s next stop, where he’ll learn how to bake tarts.

Collard Greens and Catfishing by Kelsey Browning and Nancy Naigle
A Seasoned Southern Sleuths Mystery, Book 2
In Book 1, we met Lillian, owner of Summer Haven, a historic but crumbling estate, and her friend Maggie. Maggie is taking care of the state while Lillian is in jail serving time for fraud (I’m not certain that her actual crime was ever explained) along with Sera and Abby Ruth. The septic system at the estate has gone haywire, and there’s not enough money or woman power to fix it. Martha, one of the queen bees at the prison finds out and makes Lillian an offer: Lillian’s friends need to find out who’s romancing her niece online, and she’ll pull strings to get the work done at Summer Haven. Like Book 1, this story had me laughing out loud as they solve the mystery, while keeping the home at the Historic Society’s standards. I was all set to purchase #3, but a note on the series description says that in order to follow events chronologically I need to read #6 next, so that’s what I’ll do.


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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6 Responses to Never-ending TBR, Part Nine

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    In the Seasoned Sleuth’s Book 1, as best I could figure it out, the “crime” — attributed to the old lady — was actually perpetuated by the funeral home director, who somehow kept the social security checks coming even after the passing of the people whose bodies he “processed.” What was never clear to me was why that old lady (whose name escapes me) couldn’t prove that she’d submitted the appropriate forms and info… and was therefore NOT criminally liable. That said, I really enjoyed Vol. 1 and I’m sure I’d also like Vol. 2, which you mention here.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Yes, I never understood why Lillian had to stay in jail, especially after it came to light that the funeral director was behind it. Although I remember something about her wanting to keep up appearances – so maybe she was complicit.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your choices generally get me interested, and I would bet that anyone familiar with me would think that Book#2 would be the one to hook me, yet that would be the one that I would be least likely to pick up.
    The other two are truly intriguing to me.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      The Meg Langslow series is always entertaining, and I always read them in two or three late late evenings. The Albert Smith series might be – it’s definitely got the dry British wit. I had Book 2 of that series on hold at the library, but forgot to pick it up. I’m interested to see where it goes!


  3. Elaine Cantrell says:

    The books all do look good. I enjoy the selections you pick for us.


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