“Essentials of Murder” – A Book Review

Essentials of Murder by [Kim Davis, Kindred Ink Press]

Do I have a treat for you! Kim Davis has published a delightful new cozy mystery series! Read a little blurb about it below from Amazon:

“Following a scandal that chased her from San Francisco, Carissa Carmichael struggles to find acceptance in her small Southern California hometown as she opens her aromatherapy and reflexology shop.

When she finds a man murdered in her distilling room, Carissa becomes the main suspect, especially when her fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. Despite her father’s position as Oak Creek Valley’s chief of police, most townspeople assume she’s guilty—including the new leading detective.

Refusing to run again, Carissa knows she must prove her innocence to save her shop and her family’s reputation. With suspects acting as slippery as the essential oils she distills, it’s up to Carissa to apply pressure and sniff out the truth before it’s too late.

If you like your cozies with quirky hometown characters, small-town California charm, recipes, and essential oil and reflexology tips, Book 1 in the Aromatherapy Apothecary cozy mystery series is for you. Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language.

To say that I enjoyed this book was an understatement. I LOVED it. It was new and innovative as far as the main character’s career and cast of characters, but still followed the cozy mystery formula and felt familiar. This book made me want to track down the town’s setting and go for a visit. It felt as warm as a cozy fleece and just eccentric enough to interest me. I can’t wait for book two in the series!

Don’t miss out, order your book and start reading. Available at amazon, Barnes and Noble and wherever great books are sold.

Kim Davis

The lovely author, Kim Davis.

‘Outside the Box’ Wedding Photo Props

What is one way to make your wedding photos a ‘stand out’?

  1. Use props that are unique to the venue. I just love this refurbish old Ford truck, and it makes a delightful backdrop.

2. How about a photo of the bride and groom through this gorgeous window complete with antique glass bottles? It makes for a romantic, whimsical rendering.

3. “What is this?” you may ask. It’s a bird house. Even if these bird houses weren’t in the field, the green space alone would be gorgeous to showcase a bride’s beautiful white dress.

4. Don’t take for granted the special wedding implements at your wedding such as this violin from the delightful string quartet which played the ceremony music.

5. It’s also fun, and a good idea, to document the entire wedding prep process, for example the waiting bouquets photographed above.

So use what you have and make the most of your wedding photos!

All photos from the delightful Smith Farm Gardens venue, East Haddam, CT.

A Book Review… “Cat’s Meow”

I had the good fortune to read the delightful new installment in the ‘Two Sisters Pet Valet Mystery’ series, Cat’s Meow. Please read below for a quick synopsis from amazon:

Gwen’s calendar has been filling up ever since she was hounded by her best friend, Nora, into starting 2 Sisters Pet Valet Services. Now they’ve been invited to attend the annual Clear the Shelter event, hosted by Portland’s very own blonde bombshell newscaster, Babs Prescott. Babs is convinced she’s top dog among local celebrities, but it’s clear that someone disagrees when Babs’ body is found following a downtown press conference.

A story this juicy would be headline news at any time, but especially once local crime reporter Shelby Tucker is arrested for the murder. Gwen was Shelby’s high school teacher, and she’s sure her former pupil is innocent. But in that case, who was itching to take Babs out of the spotlight for good? As Nora and Gwen investigate, they find personal mysteries at odds with Babs’ public persona, all leading to a killer who’s not pussyfooting around . . .

If you like a good mystery, who doesn’t?, you’re going to LOVE this book. The way McCaslin goes from clue to clue is impressive. She gives the reader just enough to figure out ‘who dunnit,’ while still keeping a card up her sleeve. I admit, I didn’t figure out who was responsible the for dastardly deed, but all the clues were there…

I can’t wait for the next in the series. There’s nothing like a light read that will keep you guessing and hold your attention long into the night. Write faster, Dane -I can’t wait for book number four!


If you’d like your own copy of this ‘must read’ just click on the link above!

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Above, the beautiful author, Dane McCaslin.

Fatal Family Ties… A Book Review

July 20, 2021…that’s when one of my favorite cozy mystery series is going to release its next installment. That’s right…Lucy is back, and she’s at it again, solving murders and tracking down ancestral mysteries. Is there a better combination? Read below for a quick blurb from amazon on this exciting new installment from the very talented S.C. Perkins.

“Lucy is just about to tuck into a plate of tacos at her favorite Austin joint, Big Flaco’s, when she gets an unexpected visit from her former—and least-favorite—co-worker. Camilla Braithwaite hasn’t gotten much friendlier since the last time Lucy saw her, but that doesn’t stop her from asking a favor. In her hand is a newspaper feature on an ancestor, a civil war corporal—and a liar, according to the article. Charles Braithwaite is depicted as a phony and a deserter, and Camilla wants Lucy’s help clearing his name.

Lucy would prefer to spend her free time with her new beau, special agent Ben Turner, but takes the case, making no promises that Camilla will like the outcome of her investigation. Camilla leads Lucy to the Texas History Museum, where their first clue is a triptych painting, passed down in the Braithwaite family for generations, one panel of which has disappeared. But before Lucy can get much further, a member of the Braithwaite family is murdered in his own bed, and another panel of the painting found missing.

There are no shortage of suspects among the Braithwaite clan—including Camilla herself. This case will take Lucy to Houston and back again as she works to find the truth, and catch an elusive killer.”

Fatal Family Ties: An Ancestry Detective Mystery by [S. C. Perkins]

Do you want to get your own copy? No problem, just click on the links below to visit your favorite bookseller.


Barnes and Noble

I loved this book, and was lucky enough to read an advanced copy…the only downside? I’m going to have to wait until the next book in the series comes out. I think this may be Perkins’ best yet. Perkins’ writing and her characters just keep getting better! Below, the lovely S.C. Perkins.

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