Monday, August 8, 2016

Cozy Reviews: Murder in the Secret Garden and Caught Bread Handed

Title: Murder in the Secret Garden
Author: Ellery Adams
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Recommended If You Like: books about books, mysteries, romance, nature facts, inn settings

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

Jane Steward runs a book-themed resort called Storyton Hall. She is hosting a group called The Medieval Herbalists, as well as a wedding, when one of the Herbalists turns up dead. Jane must also contend with the return of a man she loves, but feels betrayed by.

What I Liked:

The setting! I desperately want to go stay at Storyton Hall now, and roam around their book-themed rooms. It is absolutely the perfect place for someone who just wants to read, relax, and drink tea.

The mystery had a lot of good twists and turns. This was an ending I wasn't able to predict.

The protagonist, Jane, is a strong, more than capable heroine, surrounded by a great cast of supporting characters. The romance she finds herself involved in is nicely written as well.

Anything I Didn't Like?

I felt like there were too many characters, especially when it came to the visitors to the inn. I had a hard time keeping everyone straight.


If you are looking for a quick, fun, cozy mystery read, I would definitely say pick this book up. I do think I might have benefited some from having started this series at the beginning, as it might have made the characters easier to remember and differentiate from the start.

Title: Caught Bread Handed
Author: Ellie Alexander
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Recommend If You Like: mysteries, small town settings, romance, baked goods, food in general

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book, or my review itself.

Juliet Capshaw has left her work on a cruise ship and moved back to Ashland, where she is happy working with her mother at Torte, their bakery and cafe. She is loving the small-town life, but is unsure how to manage her feelings for Carlos, her husband, who hid a secret from her, and is now spending a week off the ship visiting Ashland.

When the owner of a much-disputed new restaurant turns up dead, Juliet must figure out who among the many suspects hated Mindy the most.

What I Liked:

This is another cozy with a great setting. I love mysteries set in small towns, and having this town be Shakespeare-themed just made it even better.

The food descriptions had me drooling! It made me want to rush right out to a cafe, and get some soup and bread and cake and coffee.

The characters in this were great. They were all individuals, with their own motivations and emotions. I really liked Jules, the main female protagonist, and her romance with Carlos had me rooting for them from beginning to end.

I enjoyed the mystery as well. It had some good twists and turns, red herrings, and tense moments (especially the ending).

Anything I Didn't Like?

Honestly, there wasn't really much I didn't like. The book did start out a little slow, but this may not have held true if I had started this series from the beginning and was already invested in the characters.


Alexander is a really excellent writer in this genre. I already feel invested in these characters, and I've only read one book in the series.


  1. I've been looking forward to Secret garden as I did like the first two books in this series. Ellery adams is sort of becoming a go-to author for me when it comes to cozies... I'm glad to hear this was good. And yes Storyton Hall sounds very nice!

    1. I would definitely like to read the other books in the Storyton Hall series :)

      Thanks so much for your comment!