The Murder of a Queen Bee by Meera Lester. Published by Kensington

Former cop Abigail Mackenzie is much happier in her new life as a farmer and beekeeper in small town California, but it turns out there’s plenty of crime on her new home. Shortly after having lunch with pal Fiona Mary Ryan, owner of Ancient Wisdom Botanicals, Fiona is found dead in a burning car. Accident? At first it would seem so, but the coroner determines Fiona was dead before the car caught fire. Abby will have to set aside her beekeeping and farm chores until she finds out who and why Fiona was killed. A great series for those of us who dream of living a simpler life (without the murders anyway)


The Semi-Sweet Hereafter by Colette London. Published by Kensington

Hayden Mundy Moore has traveled to London to help a local chocolate/pastry shop owner. Things go along swimmingly, until a murder puts Hayden in the hot seat. A detective constable identifies the murder weapon as a stone metlapil, a device used to crush cacao beans, and to kill someone in Hayden’s digs. There are plenty of suspects and plenty of danger served up with a healthy dose of chocolate. Yummy

Gaining Visibility by Pamela Hearon. Published by Kensington

Julia Beckwith is a forty something woman facing a future on her own; her daughter’s moved far away, her mother in law is in a care home and her ex husband is in Hawaii with his new wife. Julia is determined to celebrate her victory over breast cancer and won’t let a little thing like no travel companion stop her from heading to Cinque Terre in Italy. Julia hits her stride in Italy and things are going extremely well, until she’s hit by a rock, a rock belonging to stone mason Vitale DeLuca. He insists Julia stay with him while she recovers from her injury, and while there she can’t help but be impressed by both her host’s hot good looks and his talent. And Vitale sees something in Julia too, something he can’t let go of. A lovely story about second chances


Death of an Avid Reader by Frances Brody. Published by St. Martin’s

It’s 1925 when Kate Shackleton is called upon to help the very well to do friend of her aunt. It seems the woman had an affair over two decades before and fell pregnant, the child that was the result of that affair was put up for adoption, and now the woman wants Kate to track the child down. At the same time, Kate is dealing with murders and a ghost at the local library. This is the first book I have read in this series and I really liked it. There were some unanswered questions that I think could be answered by reading the earlier books


Death by Pumpkin Spice by Alex Erickson. Published by Kensington

Bookstore/cafe owner Krissy Hancock is supposed to be serving pumpkin flavored goodies to the town’s wealthiest members on Halloween at Yarborough Mansion. Instead, she’s fending off an ex and a marriage proposal, and even worse, she’s stumbled across the body of a strangled woman in a room filled with suoer creepy Jack o lanterns. It appears at first to be a crime of passion soon becomes something else when expensive jewelry disappears. With the mansion locked down and a killer roaming the halls, Krissy will help officer Paul Dalton track the murderer before he strike again. A delightful Halloween cozy mystery


Human Rites by JJ Marsh. Published by Cameron

Do the break ins and thefts from London wine merchant Adrian Harvey’s home and shop have anything to do with the series of art thefts in Germany? He decides to join next door neighbor and friend, DI Beatrice Stubb in Germany to find out


Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington. Published by HarperCollins UK

Karen Finch has plenty of problems with her 17 year old daughter Sophie, who’s been escorted home by the cops after she gets drunk. Sophie’s friend Amy is missing, but Sophie claims to remember nothing. Time passes and teen doesn’t come home. Then a body is found. Karen is sure her daughter knows more than she’s saying. Is it because she’s afraid or because she was involved in the crime. Is her daughter a killer or the next victim? Hair raising reading for all the mom’s out there