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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 4 star ratings
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    Comfort Food Cozy

    Daisy Swanson’s and her family run Daisy’s Tea Garden in Pennsylvania Dutch country. As the family prepare’s for Daisy’s oldest daughter, Vi, to marry, Daisy finds herself helping a homeless single father and his daughter. When the young father is accused of murdering a business associate, Daisy does her best to help the father and child out. Coming from a Pennsylvania Dutch family, this book was like comfort food for my soul. It make me feel closer to my grandmothers who are both gone. A solid whodunit that kept me guessing until the very end. I was shocked when the killer was revealed, but going back and connecting the dots, it was easy to see the trail had been laid. This was the first book in the series that I have read and it reads fine as a standalone. I can’t wait to read the first three in this series!
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    A lighthearted cozy mystery!

    Murder with Cherry Tarts by Karen Rose Smith has Daisy Swanson preparing for her eldest daughter’s wedding in Willow Creek, Pennsylvania. She cannot help but notice that that something seems to be going on with Karina Post, one of her employees at Daisy’s Tea Garden. Since Karina will not open up to Daisy, she is left with only one choice. Daisy and Jonas follow Karina one evening to discover that she is helping Keith Robert and his daughter, Mandy who are living in a van. Keith’s deceased wife has ovarian cancer which led to a number of medical bills and time missed from work. Keith lost his wife, his job and his home. The father and daughter duo have been living in the van with Karina providing food that she purchased from the tea shop and Keith earning money by selling antiques to Pirated Treasures. Jonas moves Keith and Mandy into his home while Keith works at getting back on his feet financially. Then Otis Murdock, owner of Pirated Treasures, is found bludgeoned to death with a marble rolling pin. Keith’s fingerprints are on it which makes him a prime suspect. Daisy and Jonas need to clear Keith’s name or Mandy will end up without her only parent. Murder with Cherry Tarts is the fourth novel in A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery series. It can be read on its own for those new to the series. Daisy is busy helping her daughter, Violet plan her wedding to Foster Cranshaw. She has an apartment created for them and they will be moving in after the nuptials. Violet is going to need her mother to get through the wedding and what lays ahead with the baby. Jazzi, Daisy’s sixteen years old adopted daughter, wants to invite her birth mother and her husband to the wedding. Jazzi wants to get to know her bio mom. As if Daisy does not have enough going on in her life, Karina has been acting odd. I like that Daisy was concerned about her employee and wanted to help her. In the real world, though, I have a feeling that following her would not fly. The characters are kind, thoughtful and relatable. The mystery was straightforward and those who read cozy mysteries frequently will have no problem fingering the guilty party. There were some clever developments in this whodunit that I enjoyed. I am not a fan of Detective Zeke Willet. I would like to see him replaced in the series. I thought the pacing was mild with it picking up near the end. Murder with Cherry Tarts focuses on the people. Daisy cares about her family and friends. She will go out of her way to help those in need. When it is time for a discussion, the food comes out. Cherry tarts and chicken soup were the two items featured in this cozy mystery. My favorite lines from Murder with Cherry Tarts is, “Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.” Murder with Cherry Tarts is a lighthearted cozy mystery with tempting treats, wedding worry, mom melodrama, antique artifacts, and a disagreeable detective.
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