May 19, 2023 – Book Review – Mango Murder by Angela K. Ryan

On May 19, 2023, Angela K. Ryan released her highly anticipated novel, Mango Murder. It is the 7th book in the Seaside Ice Cream Shop Mysteries. When Anna, the owner of Bella’s Dream ice cream parlor in Seagull Cove, decides to hold a tropical-themed ice cream party to help the community make it through the rest of the cold winter, she doesn’t anticipate murder.

After the Tropical Ice Cream Party, a local teacher is found murdered. Anna needs to find out who killed her after leaving her ice cream shop. Was it the rival teacher vying for the same vice principle job, the two teachers who are bending the rules by dating each other, the principle, or another community member with a grudge?

While trying to find out who done it, Anna is also trying to help woman, Heather, who has amnesia after a car accident. Is Heather a victim or a criminal?

Anna is also trying to help her sister, Bella, try to figure out the mystery she is involved in that has her in hiding.

The captivating story, plot, and strong relatable characters make this book a must-read. If you are looking for a clean, lighthearted mystery, then Mango Murder is the perfect choice. It is sure to keep you turning pages until the satisfying end.

You can order your copy at Amazon or from your local independent book store. Don’t forget to check the authors other books as well.

Thanks for reading.


Silent Came the Monster by Amy Hill Hearth

I get really excited when I find out that a new book is being released by an author I enjoy. Imagine my great joy when I heard that Amy Hill Hearth had a historical fiction book coming out about the 1916 shark attacks that occurred at the Jersey shore. I was lucky enough to obtain an advanced reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Amy Hill Hearth’s upcoming historical fiction

I devoured the book in two days. Yes, I said devoured- like a shark.

I grew up in New Jersey and had never heard of these shark attacks. I spent many days “down the shore” in my youth. I don’t think I would have been as keen to get in the water had I known about these attacks.

This is a fictionalized retelling of the events that occurred during the Summer of 1916, through the eyes of the surgeon who treated the victims, Dr. Halsey,

Told with urgency, as the doctor tries to convince the authorities, as well as the public, to take safety measures, things go from bad to worse. No one wants to shut the beaches and lose money, so they dismiss Dr. Halsey’s alarm. The consequences are disastrous, leaving four dead.

I really enjoyed how the author highlighted the humanity of those involved as well as the heroism shown once the people accepted that there was a shark, or sharks, attacking.

Silent Came the Monster will be released on May, 16, 2023. Why not preorder a copy from your local independent bookstore, or wherever you buy your books?

Thanks for reading.

FeelingShelfish – my 5 minute book podcast

I started a 5 minute book podcast using Swell. Here is the link to the podcast about the books that got me started with my love of reading.

I hope you like it.

Thanks for reading.

How is everyone?

So, it has been a while since my last blog post. I guess you could say things have been a little busy here in Southwest Florida. I hope you all are well.

It has been 49 days since Hurricane Ian smashed into Florida causing major damage and 114 deaths from Lee County north into Charlotte and Sarasota Counties. Because the storm was so huge, it caused problems all over the state and then headed to the Carolinas for some more havoc.

Mike and I were very lucky. Although there is damage to the house, we can live in it. There are many people in our surrounding communities that weren’t so lucky.

Just when we thought hurricane season was about over – here comes Nicole. Oy! We had a rainy, breezy day. Those on the East coast of Florida weren’t so lucky. Did you all see the pictures of the homes washed into the Atlantic Ocean. So sad.

So, now that things are back to “normal” (really – you CAN see the normal if you look over the giant piles of debris everywhere) I plan to get back to reading and reviewing good books and talking about eating healthy and being good to your body.

After 46 days of erratic eating, I’m back to eating more fruits and veggies, lean protein, and fewer carbs. I’m looking for healthier recipes for Thanksgiving- including apple pie croissants!! Now that stores here have milk, eggs, butter, and fresh veggies – we no longer have to go on our evening grub crawl to find food trucks so we can eat. Next time you see a food truck, stop and buy something. If it weren’t for them a lot of people wouldn’t have eaten anything in the days after the storm. That is how bad things were.

So, hug your loved ones and enjoy every day with a smile on your face. Remember to be kind, especially to those who are in helping jobs. (Keep in mind, if you are dealing with storm aftermath, your local grocery checkout person, receptionist, public works staff are working to help YOU when they should be home getting their own situation fixed).

Be kind. Be patient. Be respectful.

Thanks for reading.

Juicy Jersey by Lizz Lund

Juicy Jersey book cover

Full of humorous New Jersey stereotypes, Juicy Jersey is a crazy murder mystery. From the opulent home of a family of questionable means to the fun of the Jersey shore, you will enjoy following Mina Kitchen as she tries to figure out who killed the woman her dog-sitting charge found at a highway rest stop. An entertaining, light read – especially for this old Jersey girl.

Thanks for reading.

Fredrik Backman’s Beartown series

If you want to read a series about a hockey town that has seen better days set in the forests of Northern Sweden, Frederik Backman has got you covered.

In the first book, Beartown, a sexual assault by beloved hockey player, Kevin, causes unexpected consequences in the hockey obsessed down. It turns out that the victim of the assault is Maya, the daughter of the General Manager of the hockey team, Peter Anderson. Even though Maya knows the rape accusation with tear the town apart, she finally decides to tell her parents a week after it occurred. They are furious and go to the police. The repercussions are wide spread and, to me, infuriating. To find out what happens, you will have to read the book.

Us Against You continues the story of the hockey town rocked by controversy. After the events in Beartown, it looks like the hockey team is going to fold. This makes the former Beartown hockey players who now play for the rival team in Head, very happy.

When a new arrival gives the team hope. With their fastest player, Amat, their lone wolf, Benji, trouble maker, Vidar, and the eager to please Bobo, the team begins to rally. As the final game approaches, not-so-innocent pranks between the two rival town come to a head and a tragedy occurs. The two communities begin to wonder if hockey will ever be the same.

The Winners (due for release in the US on October 4, 2022) is the third and final book. A terrible storm hits both Beartown and Hed, causing the destruction of Hed’s hockey rink. Those in charge of the Beartown hockey rink, offer to let the Hed teams practice at their rink. Of course, the town of Hed takes this as an insult. When a beloved barkeep dies during the storm, her loved ones come together for the funeral. This includes Maya, who went off to music college, Benji, who left town broken, and Amat, the former NHL hopeful who returned a humiliated recluse.

A journalist tries to get to the bottom of corruption within the hockey board of directors, a couple tries to save their marriage, and an angry young boy wants to avenge his sister’s death.

Both towns in this series are filled with interesting and unforgettable characters.

I hope you will read the series, as well as the rest of Mr. Backman’s wonderful books.

Thanks for reading!

I’ve been feeling uninspired lately.

It’s been over a month since I posted anything. I’ve had ideas for reviews of both books and healthy food, I just haven’t had the motivation. I need to get back on track.

Here are some highlights from life in the past month +:

  1. Swimming – Mike and I have started going to the pool at our local recreation center on Saturday mornings. It has been wonderful for our joints. We didn’t go last week when I had the flu. This week we went to a comic book show instead. Next week we plan to go to North Port Aquatic Center to check out their pool and lazy river. Can’t wait.
  2. The Winners by Frederik Backman – I had the pleasure to read the upcoming third book in the Beartown series. I am a a big fan of Mr. Backman. His books are wonderful. A review of the book is in the works and will be posted closer to the expected publishing date of September 27, 2022.
  3. Cozy mysteries – I’m on a cozy mystery reading kick. I love to go on Amazon and find the first book in a cozy mystery series to see if I want to read the whole series.
  4. Crafts – I haven’t been crafting as much. I’ve been craft brainstorming but haven’t done much more. I’m starting to feel a little inspiration to get ready for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas crafts. Stay tuned, there may be a how-to video or two in the works.
  5. Trying to stay cool – I’ve not been successful. It is has been pretty freakin’ hot since what feels like forever. Can’t wait for “cool” weather.

So, what have you been up to this Summer?

Thanks for reading.

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens

I have been a fan of Chevy Stevens’ psychological thrillers ever since I read That Night. She has a way of keeping you guessing who did it right up until the end. Dark Roads has the added distinction of being based on a true and tragic mystery, The Highway of Tears. Since the 1970s, a stretch of isolated highway in British Columbia has been rife with missing and murdered women. Most of these women have been indigenous people also known as First Nations. The author chose to highlight the Highway of Tears to bring attention to these tragedies. For more information on the 725 km/467 mile stretch of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, read Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference, and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls by Jessica McDiarmid or visit

After the death of her father, 17-year-old Hailey goes to live with her Aunt and her cruel, controlling Uncle, Vaughn. While trying to process the loss of her father, Hailey also has to deal with Vaughn controlling who she sees, where she goes, and even if she can get a job. He says it is to keep her safe from the kidnappers/murderers who have been victimizing young girls/women along desolate Highway 16. When Hailey discovers information implicating her uncle in some of the nefarious happenings in town, she is in fear for her life and decides to disappear into the wilderness. With the help of her friends Johnny and Amber, she gathers supplies and prepares to flee. When she does it is assumed to be the latest victim of the Highway of Tears but Hailey is living in a cabin deep in the woods with a stray dog she calls Wolf.

When Amber is murdered in the same manner as many other women along Highway 16, her sister Beth comes to town to try and figure out what happened. Her reliance on alcohol and drugs to deal with Amber’s death puts her in danger from bad cops and predators alike.

This edge-of-your-seat conclusion is very effective and when the actual killer is revealed I was surprised.

Another great thriller by this author.

Thanks for reading.

28 Disastrous Dates by Poppy Mortimer

When I think back on those magical dating years, I either get nostalgic or horrified, depending on the dating scenario I am remembering. Luckily, my dating life was nothing like Poppy Mortimer’s. The 28 dating stories she has written about range from laugh-out-loud funny to down-right scary.

28 Disastrous Dates made me laugh and feel so happy I am not dating any longer. If you want a good laugh, read the book. Just a warning, even though the author doesn’t swear and has kept the stories rather tame, some of the situations are for mature audiences only.

Have a laugh. Reminisce about dating. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading.

The author and her publisher provided me with a copy of the book through Book Sirens in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sapphire Beach Mysteries – Angela K. Ryan

I love reading books set in fictional towns near where I live. Angela K. Ryan’s Sapphire Beach mysteries are just that. Cozy mysteries set in Southwest Florida. I have been to many of the towns and cities mentioned in the books, which makes them even more interesting. I just finished the last book in the series and I am sad that it is over. There is a “spin-off” – the Seaside Ice Cream Shop Mysteries – which continues the story of Anna, the cousin of the main character in the Sapphire Beach Cozy Mysteries.

The main character is Connie. Other regular characters in the series are: Grace – Aunt Concetta’s best friend and employee at Connie’s jewelry store, Stephanie – Grace’s daughter, Elyse – the local realtor, Josh – Elyse’s husband and Sapphire Beach police officer, Zach – Josh’s friend, police officer, and eventually Connie’s love interest, Gertrude – a friend of Aunt Concetta’s and great aunt to Elyse, Abby – employee at Connie’s jewelry store, Ruby – a fellow Sapphire Beach shop owner, Gallagher – the owner of the restaurant across from Connie’s store… and more.

1. Condos and Corpses – Connie must find out who killed a man in Grace’s condo

2. Surf, Sand, and Skeletons – Connie gets to the bottom of what happened to the previous owner of her shop

3. Piers, Pliers, and Problems – A student in her first jewelry class is murdered with Connie’s pliers and she must figure out who did it.

4. Candy Canes and Cadavers – During her family’s visit to Sapphire Beach, she must find out who murdered a local theater actor.

5. Snowbirds and Suspects – When her friend, Ruby’s niece is accused of murder, she asks Connie to help clear her name.

6. Bridesmaids and Bodies – When the best man of one of her jewelry clients is murdered, Connie needs to find the killer so the wedding can go on.

7. Hurricanes and Homicides – While hunkered down during a hurricane, Connie finds the body of a fellow condo owner and must find the murderer among those sheltering in place.

8. Kayaks and Killers – When a kayak floats near shore with a body in it, Connie and friends investigate.

9. Friends, Foes, and Felonies – Connie’s former boss and mentor, Sam, is visiting for two weeks. When the head of a local non-profit is murdered, Connie and Sam investigate.

10. Passion and Poison – When a former tennis pro is murdered at Connie’s friend, Gallagher’s restaurant, he turns to Connie to help solve the murder.

11. Daffodils and Death – Connie’s visit to the botanical garden with her mother and sister turns into a murder investigation.

12. Marriage and Mischief – Connie and Zack are getting ready for their wedding. As friends and family gather, the wedding officiant, Fr. Paul goes missing. Will Connie be able to solve his disappearance in time to prevent a tragedy and a ruined wedding?

Give these light and refreshing mysteries a try.

Thanks for reading.