Tag Archives: cozy mystery

Dead Cereus by Kira Kanani Seamon ​(Book Review)

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Holy holly berries! “Hurricane Holly” creates shenanigans on the Olympic level. This mischievous charmer has found herself in many strange messes, but this one takes the carrot cake!

With her college scholarship already on frost alert, when Holly accidentally douses the college’s most distinguished donors, she sees her degree and her relationship with the hot Master Gardener quickly wilting.

Her only chance of remaining in Shellesby is to win a vaunted internship with a famous chocolatier. The only problem? The other candidate is Holly’s biggest rival, a stuck-up queen bee-and she just might have her sights set on Holly’s swoon-worthy boyfriend as well!

With a a chance to win over the prestigious chocolatier when the rare night-blooming cereus plant is scheduled to open its petals at the Night Lights Gala, Holly is there-and so is a killer. Events unfold that not only place her scholarship on the line, but also her life…and that of her rival.

Holly finds herself racing the clock to save her arch nemesis, secure her scholarship, and catch a murderer, if she can!

Enjoy this lighthearted romp with its plethora of plants and wonderful characters by picking up a copy of Dead Cereus today! Can Holly stand the heat in the hothouse or is she headed for a spectacular meltdown?

This is an epic romance and a fantastic, unique mystery rolled into one hilarious story. With all the feels, this novel can’t help but implant itself in your heart and grow into one of your favorite reads. Put your petal to the metal and see what all the buzz is about. Dead Cereus is to die for!

Come for the mystery, stay for the food. Chocolate plays a big role in this book; you will ‘chocolate’ as you’ve never ‘chocolated’ before! Hot new debut author Kira Seamon makes botany cool again, one plant at a time.

Buy the Book:
Amazon
 
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
For some students, drama and college life go hand-in-hand. There was oodles of drama unfolding in Dead Cereus by Kira Kanani Seamon. 


Holly and Ivy have a rivalry. They are both after the same internship. Plus, Ivy won’t stop flirting with Holly’s boyfriend, William. William has an exceptional green thumb, is nice to look at, is sweet, and can whip up a yummy veggie lasagna with ease. 


Holly has a knack for causing mischief and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Her mischievous actions caused quite a show at the Night Lights Ball. (being vague on purpose, read the story to find out what happened *smiley face*) Her timing issues led her to be a witness to a crime. Things quickly spiraled out of control. 


Shellesby College had more than a crazed criminal on the loose; it was home to several gardens. What I wouldn’t give to spend a day walking around the Butterfly Garden, Tropical Forest Room, and the Papyrus Room. I can’t grow anything, but I do appreciate those who can. I was especially amazed by Keifer Jamison’s gardening skills. He had a pumpkin that weighed in at 2500lbs! Just wow!!!!! 


Heads up: There are no explicit love scenes. However, there is an occasional curse word (b****) by the villain. Holly, the heroine, does not curse. Instead, she uses phrases like blistering bluebells, raging roses, and sizzling sunflowers. There is a murder, but it’s not overly graphic. I would be comfortable allowing my teen to read it. 
 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Kira Kanani Seamon was born and raised in Hawaii. She attended the prestigious Punahou School as an award-winning honor student.

A polymath, Kira is a gold medal/state winner in piano performance and a national and two-time regional dance champion. In ten years of competing in dance competitions, she won 18 awards, including special awards from the judges and platinum awards. Additionally, she’s an award-winning photographer and has had her art accepted and sold in national and regional juried shows. She’s had over fifty newspaper cover stories about her art and is a fourteen-time grant recipient from cultural councils. She celebrated her first solo museum exhibit of her work in 2020.

Now living in Massachusetts, she was recently the inaugural artist-in-residence in Natick, Massachusetts. She received a personal letter from the Massachusetts Senate President and a Certificate of Recognition from the Massachusetts State Legislation in recognition of her grant from Framingham, Massachusetts. All of this culminated in her receiving the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, for which she appeared in the Wall Street Journal in 2020.

She took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Machu Picchu, Peru with the Punahou Alumni Association and her travel tale about that expedition is published in the 2021 September/October edition of the Writers and Readers Magazine. Additionally, her Peru photography is the editorial feature in the 2021 fall edition of DRIFT Travel magazine.

DRIFT Travel is an upscale travel and lifestyle magazine with each issue being emailed to 4+ million digital magazine readers worldwide. Additionally, DRIFT is also part of the PressReader magazine/newspaper digital platform that puts DRIFT in thousands of hotels, cruise ships, resorts and airlines around the world, opening the door to an additional 300 million users annually.

Kira has never met a story from Greek mythology that she didn’t love and has kept a daily journal since her teens. Dead Cereus is her first novel.

 
connect with the author: 
website facebook ~ instagram
 
 
 
 
 

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The Christmas Cameo:  A Fiona Quinn Quick Mystery by C.S. McDonald (Book Review)

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​A lovely cameo brooch is discovered in Fiona’s late Uncle Wilbur’s house two days before Christmas. The pin bears a romantic Christmas message from Wilbur for his new wife with the initials, D.A.S.

How very strange! To the family’s knowledge, Uncle Wilbur had never been married. So, who is this mysterious woman? Now, Fiona is on a holiday mission to locate D.A.S. and deliver the belated gift. 

Question is, what happened to the marriage? Is D.A.S. still alive after all these years? And if so, can Fiona find her before Christmas?

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~  
Audible
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Fiona is not the only person in town who loves a good mystery. Ted Welton, his wife, and Detective Tavia are also eager to solve who’s the mysterious person behind the initials of D.A.S. on a cameo brooch discovered in Fiona’s dead uncle’s house.
 
The investigation leads to a sweet moment between Fiona and D.A.S. They are tears of joy for a man, long gone but never forgotten.


While Fiona is on the hunt for D.A.S., Nathan is on his quest as well. He’s looking for a pickpocket whose slick fingers nabbed the cameo. This perp does not wear all black when he’s looking to unburden a person of their belongings. Nope, he wears a Santa suit.


Since it’s the time of the year for peace on Earth, I don’t think I’m overstepping by saying everyone will receive a Christmas miracle. Yes, even fake Santa. I would encourage fake Santa to get a real job. He doesn’t seem to have any luck with pickpocketing.

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤1/2

Amazon ~  Audible

 

 

About the Author:
For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.
 
 
Connect with the author:  
Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Harriet’s Heist: A Fiona Quinn Quick Mystery by C.S. McDonald (Book Review)

Harriet's Heist (A Fiona Quinn Quick Mystery) by C.S. McDonald

Fiona Quinn arrives at her parent’s home in Daytona, Florida for a short visit only to be informed that their usually quiet retirement community has been besieged with robberies—cash, jewelry, and more. Her mom told all the neighbors Fiona is a wiz at catching bad guys.

Yikes!

Can Fiona crack the case? Hopefully, but what’s an amateur sleuth supposed to do when her Maltese, Harriet, shows up decked out in the stolen goods?

Double yikes!

Join Fiona, her parents, Harriet, and some pretty crazy old ladies for a real jewel of a quick mystery!

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~  
Audible
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Okay, robbery is not a laughable crime; however, C.S. McDonald brought cuteness to a serious situation. She also brought a hearty amount of comedic moments thanks to the Sea Wash Retirement Village residents.

For example: Imagine your granny, dressed all in black, grease on her face, hiding out to catch a thief in the wee hours of the morning. Now, imagine multiple grannies doing the same. That’s what happened.

Don’t worry, the brave women of Sea Wash Retirement Village will not be serving time.

As for who stole the puppies, well, it’ll be difficult to be mad at the person. CUTENESS overload!

As for who burglarized the village, the culprit is not cute. Greed was all the motive they needed.

On a side note, C.S. McDonald had me craving a lemon meringue pie, something fierce. Next time I go to the store, I’ll be buying one. Unless I can convince my mom to make one as Nancy did for Fiona.

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.
 
 
Connect with the author:  
Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook
 
 

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Banking on a Murder:  A Fiona Quinn Quick Mystery by C.S. McDonald (Book Review)

Fiona’s old college chum, Priscilla Conroy, has recently moved back to the Pittsburgh area after a most unpleasant divorce. Fiona was looking forward to reconnecting with her friend to help cheer her up and the two had made plans to meet at the bank where her friend worked after it closed—only Priscilla never shows up for the lunch date. Thinking the worse, Fiona is beside herself and spends the entire Memorial Day weekend searching for her friend. Did her ex-husband abduct her? Has she been murdered? Somehow Fiona knows that the key to Priscilla Conroy’s disappearance lies within the bank. But how can that be?

Join Fiona Quinn for a quick mystery that’s sure to keep you guessing!

 
Buy the Book:
Amazon
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
Banking on a Murder: A Fiona Quinn Quick Mystery by C.S. McDonald is a cozy mystery with ZERO foul language or suggestive scenes. It’s the perfect read for adults and teens. What’s even better, it’s only 30 pages long, so it won’t take all afternoon or day to read. 


I know many parents are choosing the homeschool route. If you’re one of these people, Banking on a Murder: A Fiona Quinn Quick Mystery would be an excellent story to include during their ELA studies. Students can predict the outcome and then help write the review to share online. 🙂 


I made my prediction regarding Priscilla’s whereabouts, and I was wrong. 


C.S. McDonald’s creations ALWAYS keep me entertained, and this time was no different. This was yet another story with an exciting plot and characters. Speaking of characters, Vivien Leigh cracked me up. Her attitude reminded me of my Nana. Maybe when you read this story, she’ll remind you of yours. 🙂

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.
 
 
Connect with the author:  
Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook
 
 

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Matrimony. Mayhem, and Murder (A Fiona Quinn Mystery) by C.S. McDonald (Book Review)

Matimony Mayhem and Murder (A Fiona Quinn Mystery) by C.S. McDonald

 
The venue is set, invitations sent, and the flowers ordered. It’s almost time for Fiona and Nathan to get married…again. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing…well, until the wedding planner is found dead.
Then the woman Fiona has never met shows up–Nathan’s enigmatic mom, Rita Landry. And she’s wearing a gorgeous but mysterious necklace. Worse, Rita is being followed by two sinister-looking men, forcing her to flee the country. And who gets dragged along? None other than the bride-to be! How does a girl prepare for all of that? Looks like Fiona’s perfectly planned matrimony has morphed into mayhem and murder!

You’re formally invited to Fiona and Nathan’s wedding. Question is: Will the wedding happen?
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon 
add to goodreads
 
 
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
It’s very common for some hiccups to occur in preparation for a wedding or even during the big event. However, no one could have foreseen the details unfolding before Nathan and Fiona got married for a second time.


First off, their wedding planner gets whacked, and Fiona’s brother is the prime suspect. You’d think that’s the worst event to happen, but that is just the beginning of the drama. A very important and expensive necklace has gone missing, two persistent Russian agents are following Nat’s mom around, and yet that’s still not all the drama. 


C.S. McDonald has named this book appropriately because there was Matrimony. Mayhem, and Murder. There was also a meddlesome mom, aka Nancy, Fiona’s mom. If I’m ever in trouble, I want her in my corner. I want Rita (Nat’s mom) as well! 


While the story does contain a murder, which is not a funny crime, C.S. McDonald included much humor in this story. I found Rita’s interaction with the Russian agents quite amusing. Fiona’s retelling of Chad’s “band performance” was also quite comical. 


From beginning to end, I was entertained by Matrimony. Mayhem, and Murder. It’s a story I would proudly recommend others to read. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤
 
 
Amazon 
add to goodreads
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author: 
For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.
 
 
Connect with the author:  
Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook
 
 
 

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