A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest


Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. If you love mysteries — explore Mysteryrat’s Maze — and check out our sister site on Blogger for bonus articles.


Food Fun

by Lorie Lewis Ham


I always look forward to a new Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle–not only does it promise great characters and a well plotted mystery, but I feel like I’m walking into my favorite coffeehouse, enjoying the heavenly smell of coffee brewing, and spending some time with old friends. Dead Cold Brew is the latest book in this series and was as worth the wait as a great cappuccino.

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by Amy M. Reade



I am, in general, not one of those people who gets sentimental over Valentine’s Day. I remind my husband every year not to get flowers for me because the cats eat them, and I get stuck cleaning up their vomit. We do not buy gifts for each other because—why? We have the things we need, and the last thing we need are more things.

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by Sandra Murphy
& Cynthia Chow



This week we have reviews & giveaways of 2 food related mysteries perfect for your Valentine’s Day reading-A Measure of Murder: A Sally Solari Mystery by Leslie Karst, and War and Peach: A Georgia Peach Mystery by Susan Furlong. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy both books, along with links you can use to purchase them.

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by Terrance Mc Arthur


Tamales—friendly little bundles of cornmeal and good stuff, wrapped and steamed in corn husks. Yummy stuff, and that is the subject of this Great Food Search. I go out to restaurants and other food venues, reporting what is best and what’s the rest.

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by Kathleen Costa


Alooooha! Welcome to the Aloha Lagoon Resort Mystery series…
Gemma Halliday Publishing has provided ‘cozy’ fanatics a marvelous multi-author book series. Each story, penned by several well-received authors, is set at the same tropical destination, Aloha Lagoon Resort, a resort where it seems murder has come to vacation.

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by Kathleen Costa


I know it’s not recommended, but I am guilty of ‘judging a book by its cover.’ Bright, colorful graphics, clever puns, and unique fonts always catch my eye, as well as my interest. Callie’s Kitchen Mysteries have ‘eye catching’ covers, but it doesn’t end there…the stories are exciting, the characters entertaining, the mystery is engaging, and the Greek recipes are appetizing.

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by Cynthia Chow


February is when Maine’s Busman’s Harbor closes up for the winter, with snowbirds fleeing and many residents departing for warmer climates. Even Julia Snowden’s winter restaurant has closed up for the season, as her boyfriend Chris takes advantage of an opportunity to help friends sail to Key West. This slow period allows Julia to spend a little more time with her mother, resulting in a routine errand to pick up mail opening up a maelstrom of family secrets, scandals, and indiscretions.

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by Cynthia Chow


Even before Antoine Belanger fled for his life and abandoned Rebecca Anderson to face down a murderer on her own, she was not exactly thrilled to have her ex-husband back in her life. In an attempt to get back in Rebecca’s good graces, the host of Cooking the Belanger Way is featuring her Grand Lake, Ohio, POPS popcorn shop’s breakfast bars and fudge on his television show. Before the segment can be filmed, Rebecca discovers his assistant Melanie—essentially Rebecca’s younger, prettier, doppelgänger —electrocuted to death in a hotel bathtub.

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by Evelyne Vivies


“Wow, this shop is amazing, it’s a hidden gem,” said a customer sampling early navel orange ice cream.
From behind the counter I chuckled and pointed to the two newspapers articles on the wall, both of which describe Orange Valley Cafe with the very words “hidden gem.” But what is so gem-like about Orange Valley Cafe? What’s really between the bread? And what is in that mystifying orange ice cream?

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by Cynthia Chow


Despite being the second choice, after the first caterers closed down, Nora Charles was delighted to have her Hot Bread sandwich shop catering the Cruz Museum fundraiser. The pressure of catering an annual gala for over two hundred at short notice was worth being able to help the museum and its curators. Just in time for Halloween, Sir Rodney Meecham has agreed to exhibit for the first time in America the grimoire of Morgan le Fay, despite previous attempts of its theft.

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by Cynthia Chow


Thanksgiving may be fast approaching, but the residents of Brandywine Creek, Georgia, are far more concerned with their Opera House’s local production of Steel Magnolias. Director Sandy Granger is proving to be a ruthless dictator over their time and efforts, and Piper Prescott’s best friend Reba Mae Johnson just found herself fired from the much-coveted role of Truvy Jones.

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What a Difference a Year Makes!

IN THE December 17 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andMysteryrat's Maze
SECTIONS

by Amy M. Reade



I’m one of those people who always has her Christmas shopping done in September, who has half the gifts wrapped and handed out by Thanksgiving, who has the house completely decorated by the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and who is staying up late by this time every year baking, washing dishes, baking more, and washing more dishes. And making lists. Lots of lists.

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by Cynthia Chow
& Sandra Balzo


Uncommon Grounds coffee shop owner Maggy Thorsen thought that she was being responsible by reporting to the authorities the nearly fifty-thousand dollars in cash hidden in a trunk left for her by her late brother. It was why she was meeting with financial planner Lynne Swope, sister of the town librarian and a new resident of Brookhills, Wisconsin. The news that Lynne’s husband has just joined Maggy’s ex-husband’s dental practice is a complication, but not a conflict of interest.

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by Kathleen Costa


This week we have a review of Burned to a Crisp, the latest Cookies & Chance mystery by Catherine Bruns, along with a look at the previous books in the series, and an interview with Catherine. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of Burned to a Crisp, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

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