carolyn dean

Book Review: Pumpkin Pie & Poison by Carolyn L. Dean

Posted on Updated on

PUMPKIN PIE and POISON: A Ravenwood Cove Cozy Mystery (book 11)PUMPKIN PIE and POISON: A Ravenwood Cove Cozy Mystery by Carolyn L. Dean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Autumn is my favorite season. I’m not much of a pumpkin pie guy, but I do love the flavor. When you add a little poison into it, the book is bound to be good. The eleventh tale, Pumpkin Pie and Poison, in the Ravenwood Cove Cozy mystery series by Carolyn L. Dean is a wonderful seasonal addition. It’s been a perfect read as I look forward to the arrival of fall. But since this was a fairly current release, I’ll have to wait months before the next book in this series.

Amanda runs a small inn on the Oregon Coast. She’s 8.5 months pregnant and prepping for the baby’s arrival. She never expected a lunatic from her husband’s past to try to kill them. Husband James is a cop and put a nasty man in prison a long time ago. The guy wants revenge, and he’s been paroled finally. First, the trouble is small… letting Amanda get through her last-minute moving plans… then things get very bad very quickly. I was shocked at the turn this little cozy took, but it still ended in a good place. Be prepared for a soft punch to the gut followed by a bigger one. As the overview says… small mistakes lead to huge problems.

Carolyn Dean is a fun writer. Her characters and stories are sweet, easy-to-read, and fast. I enjoy curling up with one for 90 minutes after work and before dinner to relax and experience someone else’s drama and kindness. Amanda’s relationship with Gran is remarkably caring, and the budding friendships she’s made since moving to Ravenwood Cove are strong. A nice light read with amusing and quirky characters.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Advertisements

Book Review: Jam, Jellies & Just Desserts by Carolyn Dean

Posted on Updated on

JAM, JELLIES, and JUST DESSERTS: A Ravenwood Cove Cozy MysteryJAM, JELLIES, and JUST DESSERTS: A Ravenwood Cove Cozy Mystery by Carolyn L. Dean
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can’t believe I’m almost current on another series. This time it’s the ‘Ravenwood Cove Cozy Mysteries” written by Carolyn Dean. Number 10, Jam, Jellies and Just Desserts, has us taking a big step forward, and worried me that we might be ending soon, but I’ve just learned #11 has been released. The stories take place in Oregon, and they’re meant as light tales (under 100 pages) but full of great characters.

In this caper, a man who left town years ago returns. Citizens are angry at this guy for what he’s done to them in the past. He would buy land and homes out from under people to make a profit, then run them out of town. A perfect setup for murder, right? Guess what happens… he’s murdered! Poor Amanda finds the body again. She was the one person to give him a chance since she’s relatively new to Ravenwood Cove. Except, he tries to put her out of business too, right before he’s killed by a mysterious mineral. Could it be from the house repairs he’s having done on the place he bought to restore to former grandeur? Who has it in for him most of all and took it way too far?

We get to know more about Amanda’s husband’s family in this book. Gable has also come home, and everyone thinks he did something bad. We learn the truth and why he looks guilty. Is he? Perhaps… you’ll have to read to find out. We also get a lovely surprise in the end with Amanda’s future, as well as a bad one when someone decided to leave town. Her best friend? Employee? Pseudo-grandmother? New parent she just found in the last book? What’s gonna happen!!! 3.5 stars for this one.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Tea, Treats & Terror by Carolyn Dean

Posted on

Tea, Treats & Terror (Ravenwood Cove Mystery #9)Tea, Treats & Terror by Carolyn L. Dean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you’re new to the Ravenwood Cove Mysteries, there are currently 10 published by Carolyn Dean. They are usually ~100 pages each, considered novellas, and are very lighthearted and simple whodunits. The books are more often about the relationships between the characters, the lovely Oregon setting, and the everyday things people go through in life.

In this caper, a new tea shop opens in town. Will it take over the current coffee shop? A few residents are worried, especially when the owner begins to spread bad news about his competition. Who dares move to a new town and tries to hurt the citizen? Amanda will figure it out… except the poor guy dies from an allergy attack even while trying to get his epi pen to work. What happened?

I enjoy seeing Amanda’s marriage and relationship with her husband. She is also getting close to a new person in her life that has ties to her past. I won’t spoil it, but it was a bit of a shock to see where this story went! It’s been over a year since I read the first few books, so I can’t be sure if history was changed a little. Either way, it makes for good tale, and I look forward to the next one. Light, simple, and fun… you can read them in an hour and just have a relaxing adventure.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Fruit, Flower & Flames by Carolyn Dean

Posted on

Fruit, Flower & Flames, the 8th book in the Ravenwood Cozy Mystery series written by Carolyn L. Dean, was published just last year. I had purchased all the remaining books in her series around Christmas but just got around to finishing them this week. Now she’s published books 9 and 10… which I’ll be reading at some point. Kudos to her for growing a fine series of short, light and easy-to-digest mystery and small-town-happenings books where it’s more about the characters than the plots.

36346357

In this caper, Lisa announces she’s dating the son of a wealthy family who’s returned to Ravenwood Cove after abandoning the town years ago when their business went bust. It all seems to fast and shady for most of the friendly inhabitants, but Amanda wants to support her bestie. With more free time on her hands, as James, her new husband, is out of town, Amanda befriends the family only to watch a tragic fire impact them. But when someone turns up dead and it’s definitely arson, what’s the real scoop? Throw in some friendly flower competition, renovations from a new contractor, and some lingering doubts about who to trust, and you’ve got a fun little read.

I’m enjoying the development in the series. I wish they were about 20% longer just to give us a bit more meat to pull apart when trying to decide the culprit, but I always enjoy the banter and camaraderie of the various families and friends. While not the best in the series, it’s got a good story and brings new people to the town. Dean is successful in moving the plot along while continuing to build a town we’d all like to visit — minus the rather large amount of murders that happen in a single place, of course.

 

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Rocks, Roses & Riptides by Carolyn Dean

Posted on

After reading a few books in the Ravenwood Cozy Mystery series last year, I purchased the rest from Amazon last fall. I’m closing out all books on my TBR that I currently own so on July 1st, I have nothing in my owned queue and can begin picking out new reads for the second half of the year. Don’t worry, I have plenty in line… 1200+ on my TBR and about 20 I’ve agreed to read at some point this year! This week I’m focusing on Carolyn L. Dean and the 7th book in her series, Rocks, Roses, & Riptides.

rocks.jpgI find Dean’s style charming and easy-to-read — usually in less than 90 minutes. Her books are light and fluffy with a bit of fun sentiment, romance, and small-town investigation. While I thought the last book I read in the series was a little too simple, this one stepped it back up… I was very happy with the mystery, investigation and outsiders coming to town for a TV reporting segment. Add in a few TV on-air reporters, camera guys, assistants and other staff, you’ve got tons of suspects when the not-so-nice female reporter suddenly falls face first into a cake she’s sampling as part of the segment. Poor Ruby, Amanda’s friend, who’s trying to win the competition — did she suddenly turn bad? Was it someone in town with connections to the TV reporting crew? Or was it someone in the crew backstabbing their leader?

Amanda tries to stay out of it, but she’s smack in the middle, especially when she’s almost kidnapped to help cover up the crime. She’s too good for that, but she has to find a way to escape. Her wedding is about to happen in the next few days… she can’t be a corpse bride, right? Of course she makes it, but the story keeps you guessing until the end. Kudos to Dean for making this one of the shiners in the series so far. Although it covers more outsiders than insiders of Ravenwood, there are lots of other side stories to keep our favorite townies in the mix. I can’t wait to start the the next one and see if married life will agree with Amanda.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Sun, Sand & Secrets by Carolyn Dean

Posted on

In the 6th book, Sun, Sand, & Secrets, of the Ravenwood Cozy Mystery series published in 2017 by Carolyn L. Dean, Amanda ponders the question of what it will mean to marry her sweetheart, James, a local police detective. In the course of her analysis, Madeline Wu, a local shopkeeper we’ve met before, goes missing, then someone turns up dead. Along the path, a neighboring town’s mayor gets involved, and some new romances might be brewing around the lovely little Oregon town.

dean.jpg

I enjoy reading about the comings and goings of Amanda’s renovated bed and breakfast / inn. This book felt more like a mini-edition, prepping us for Amanda’s upcoming nuptials, rather than a full-on mystery. While it was fun, cute, and cozy, the mystery was very light – much more than usual. I enjoy light mysteries, but the crime didn’t happen until about 50% into the book, and there wasn’t a lot of investigating in the second half. It was a good read, but not a standout in the series. Still worth taking on, as it’s under 2 hours… and I really do love the interactions Meg, Truman, Gram, and all the other wonderful characters.

I like inserting these types of books into bigger thrillers so I get a break from major analytical thinking, but I still have some puzzles to solve and the comfort of a fun, warm and interesting setting. It’s not a complete week unless I’ve sneaked in a cozy of some sort. Two more reviews to write, then I officially shut down and begin vacation mode!

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Time, Tide, & Trouble by Carolyn Dean

Posted on

Author Carolyn L. Dean created the Ravenwood Cove Cozy mystery series just a few years ago and has been publishing 2 or 3 books each year. I enjoy the setting, characters, and lighthearted romance and mystery stories. I am trying to catch up over the next month so I’m current on the series. In this fifth book, Time, Tide, and Trouble, main character Amanda Graham, owner of an Oregon bed and breakfast inn, takes a step forward in her relationship with local cop, James. Two reasons I enjoy these stories… the handsome cop and I share a name, and Amanda’s last name is one of my own family names (and the name in my second book) just spelled differently (mine is Graeme).

tide

These books are shorter than the typical cozy by about 15% and focus both on the romance and mystery angles of the story. In some ways, they’re less about the plot and more about what’s going on in the life of some cool characters you enjoy getting to know. It took me about 90 minutes to read last night, curled up in bed just before going to sleep. I like the evolution of the inn and how the backstories come out on the characters throughout the novel — not just in the beginning to setup the crime. The crime is often less important in these books, but still helps push the overall story along. In this one, Amanda makes stronger connections to a few people in the town and learns how to build roots in her new home. I look forward to picking up the next few books to read in April. I can easily picture everyone in my head as I’m reading, but there’s not an overwhelming amount of detail – a good balance. Between 3.5 and 4 stars… rounded up to 4 as I would recommend the series.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin.