Cover Image: Death of a Blueberry Tart

Death of a Blueberry Tart

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Member Reviews

If you like murders and good food, you'll enjoy this book.  Although this is part of a series which I've only read a few and it works well as a 'stand-alone'.

I found the book well-written and kept me engaged until the end.  I would love to hang-out with these characters and eat some of the amazing food that is described in this book..  Don't read this book on an empty tummy!

I'm looking forward to the next one!
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Death of a Blueberry Tart is the 12th instalment in the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery series written by Lee Hollis. The mystery is absorbing, the well plotted story moves along at a comfortable pace, and the appealing characters are well fleshed out. There are lots of comedic moments and a plentiful supply of twists keep the reader guessing.

Food and drinks columnist Hayley Powell writes for the Island Times in Bar Harbor, Maine, and her articles include humorous anecdotes of events and tasty recipes in her column. Hayley, mum to daughter Gemma, and son Dustin, has recently married Bruce Linney, an Island Times crime reporter. She also has one brother, Randy. Randy owns a bar, Drinks Like a Fish, and is married to Sergio Alvares, Bar Harbor’s police chief.

Just before Bruce and Hayley are due to leave on a week long cruise to the Bahamas for their belated honeymoon, Sheila, Hayley’s mum, rocks up unannounced having broken up with her long-time partner. Hayley and her best friends, Liddy Crawford and Mona Barnes, decide to organise a high school reunion for their mothers, who are also best friends, and Randy offers to hold it at Drinks Like A Fish. When a schoolmate of the elder group of friends, Caskie Lemon-Hogg, is murdered, Sheila becomes the prime suspect. Bruce and Hayley are forced to postpone their honeymoon whilst Hayley attempts to clear Sheila’s name, aided by her chums. Liddy’s mum, Celeste, and Mona’s mum, Jane, team up with Sheila, hoping to do the same with their own sleuthing. While all this is going on, Bruce happens upon another dead body... this time, Caskie Lemon-Hogg's best friend.

Overall, although I arrived extremely late to the party with this particular series, I thoroughly enjoyed Death of a Blueberry Tart. For me, the book worked extremely well as an individual read as the mystery within was self-contained, though I appreciate that I have probably missed out on some of the backstories and nuances, coming in so late. Even so, I certainly have not been deterred from reading the other instalments, and I look forward to finding out what Lee Hollis has in store for Hayley, next!

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my request, from Kensington Books via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.
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Hailey Powell is all set to go on her much anticipated honeymoon when her mother surprises her with a visit. Her mother than becomes a suspect in the murder of her high school nemesis. Hilarity ensues as Hailey and her two best friends Liddy and Mona try to find the guilty party, while their mothers, who are also besties, do the same thing. I love the relationship between the girls. Lee Hollis is always funny and a great read. The cocktails and recipes included are always fun to try. I really like how the author ties in the food aspect with stories from the mail character in her newspaper column. I highly recommend this book and author.
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I enjoyed this book as much as the rest of the series. The mothers kept getting on my nerves, but I suppose that was the point. I really loved the fights in the hairdressing salon. I laughed at the pictures in my head with everyone fighting with beauty products. The recipes didn't appeal to me as much in this book because I'm not too fond of blueberries. But you can't please everyone, and if that's the only problem, I would call it good.
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I jumped at the chance for a visit with Hayley, Mona, and those gals.  Now I can include Bruce (the former butthead) to the mix of excited to see lol.  Hayley invited me to come and help take care of Leroy and Blueberry while Bruce and her finally got their long awaited honeymoon.  It wasn’t long after I arrived that Hurricane Sheila (otherwise known as Hayley’s mom) called to say that she was coming for a visit.  Ok...ya’ll when I say coming for a visit...I mean she called from the plane (actually a layover but you get my point).  Anyways she was in a hissy because her and her long time beau Lenny had broken up, and she wanted to escape Florida and lick her wounds.  At that point Hayley just resigned herself, Bruce, and myself that her mother was coming. 
Hurricane Sheila is a hoot! I love her theatrics and drama, but of course she is not my mother lol.  She is even better when you put her with Liddy, and Mona’s mothers who were all classmates and friends.  They are great, but quite the handful!  They decide it’s the perfect time to form an impromptu class reunion.  The reunion is going great except for one thing….their nemesis Caskie Lemon-Hogg (aka the blueberry tart) shows up.   According to Celeste, Jane, and Sheila….the only time Caskie shows up is to flirt with other peoples husbands or cheat.  A heated exchange between the three and Caskie occurs, and she takes out a restraining order on the ladies...claiming she was in fear for her life.  Which at the time seemed ridiculous until she winds up dead shortly after the incident.  Of course this already makes the ladies a prime make matters worse she is found in the adjourning room of the b and b where Sheila is staying.  
Hayley (dispute my best efforts) cancelled her honeymoon cruise to help find the real killer before her mother ends up in the slammer.   Of course I was already supposed to be staying for a I offered to help in any way I could!

My thoughts: 
I have loved all the books in this series! The setting, characters, her food column “island food and spirits, blueberry and leroy….love it all!!! I didn’t think this series was missing anything, but I was wrong...bringing Hayley, Liddy, and Mona’s mothers together was genius!!!  
The mystery was good as usual.   Hollis’s books are always nicely paced and packed with laughs! 

You need to mix up one of the fabulous cocktail recipes included in this book ( I would suggest the blueberry cosmo), find a comfy spot and settle in because once you start this latest installment you won’t want to put it down! 
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Netgalley, the author Lee Hollis, and the publisher for this opportunity.
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This is book 12 in the favorite cozy series " Haley Powell  Food and Cocktails Mysteries by author Lee Hollis. I have read most of the series and always enjoy returning to Haley's world . This book can be read as a stand alone. I highly recommend this series. 
Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. My review opinions are my own. 

As we return to Island Times food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell she is now married to  crime reporter Bruce Linney. They newlywed bliss of their upcoming honeymoon is interrupted when Haley's Mom is accused of murder. of her old high school rival after a heated exchange during a arrange  reunion.   Soon their honeymoon is cancelled and Hayley and friends are investigating to save her Mom. 

I love returning to this series. Haley is a likable charcter with tenacity in always solving clues. The setting is fun and the supporting charcters all add depth to the stories. A very enjoyably fun  read.
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This was a new author for me. The plot and storyline were very well done.  the author kept me guessing. Such a wonderful story. I would definitely try another book by This author.
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Death of a Blueberry Tart is book twelve in the Haley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery series by Lee Hollis. This is the second in the series I have read but have been able to get current quickly.
Haley and her new husband, Bruce, are ready to leave for their much needed honeymoon when her mother, Shelia, arrives from Florida not only with her luggage but a broken heart.   A party/reunion is threw together and is going great until Caskie Lemon-Hogg shows up and old rivalries flare up involving Haley and Shelia. When Caskie is found murdered by Shelia, all signs point to Shelia so it's up to Haley to find the real guilty person.
This easy to read cozy has it all! Enough suspects to have you guessing until the end, friendship, family, and humor to have you laughing out loud. There are also plenty of yummy blueberry recipes included.
I was given an ARC by NetGalley and Kensington Books for an honest review.
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One of my favorite series! Each book is better than the last! Funny, well plotted, and an amazing setting. Great cozy!
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Moms can be a friend and/or foe and sometimes both at the same time. Take Sheila for instance, Hayley Powell, food columnist and amateur sleuth. There are times when Hayley would very much like for someone to take her Mom, especially when she makes an impromptu visit on the eve of Sheila and Bruce's honeymoon. In the last book, which you didn't have to read to be able to follow along with this latest murder, Hayley and Bruce said "I do" out of the blue and most unexpectedly.  Having missed the wedding which technically  no one was invited to, Sheila shows up at the Bangor airport nursing a broken heart. Sheila's arrival sparks interest in a quick class reunion of anyone who is still in the area of Bar Harbor. Which is where the murder comes in. I think that the best part of this story is the friendships between mothers and daughters. Not one on one, but as a group. Hayley, Liddy, and Mona are set and their Moms are apparently the best of friends as well. So you can imagine how this is going to go when the class "tart" known for her blueberries is found strangled in the hotel room next to Sheila, and shortly after Sheila and her posse confront Caskie Lemon-Hogg about her wild ways from way back when to her current day tart-like behavior as well. Rumors are flying as both sets of trios are hot on the trail of the a series of clues and often stepping on each other's toes. As if it was a race or a competition the Moms and the Daughters are in the thick of it. It can be the best of times or the worst of times and Hayley both loves and sometimes loathes her Mom and her knit picking comments. But no one can stay mad at their mother forever, right? Highly entertaining hijinks from both groups and the recipes are amazing. I didn't realize there were so many yummy ways to enjoy fresh or frozen blueberries either as a baked good or as beverage. I look forward to following up my review with the blueberry tart recipe.
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This is the first book that I have read in this series. I’ve been reading another series by Lee Hollis and this book was exactly what I would’ve expected from this author team.

The story picks up shortly after Haley has married. She and her husband are about to embark on their delayed honeymoon when her mother shows up out of the blue. They are still planning on going on their cruise but have worked out having her mother stay and take care of their pets.

While in town, Haley‘s mother attends a high school reunion and lambasts the town floozy. When the floozy shows up dead, mom is a suspect. Haley and her two best friends jump into action to try and solve the murder before her mother is blamed for the crime.

What was kind of fun was not only were the three best friends investigating the crime but, at the same time, Haley’s mom and her two best friends start to investigate as well . The question is, who will solve the crime first, the daughters or the mothers?

I was provided a digital advance reader copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley.
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his is the twelfth in the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mysteries by Lee Hollis.  I enjoyed the mystery, the new to me relationship between Bruce and Haley, as I have not been diligent in reading these.  I also liked the tie-in to the first book in the series.  I knew immediately the character the author was referring to near the end of the book.

I could empathize with Haley’s character.  It is hard for many mother and daughters to get along after a prolonged stay.  I think each knows what buttons to push.

Adding the remainder of the series to my reading list.

All of the recipes seem fabulous and I can’t wait for blueberry season to give them a try.
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If you like blueberries, you will love all the recipes in this book.  The story line is great too.  I loved the characters.  I was continually giggling at the antics of both sets of best friends.  You have the mom best friends and the daughter best friends.  That in in-self is pretty cool, in my opinion.  Who will be the first to crack the case?  The mom’s or the daughter’s?  Go along with Hayley, Liddy, Mona, Shelia, Celeste, and Jane as they work through the clues and process what they learn.  I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did.  I hope I can hang with these folks again sometime.  I received this book from NetGalley, but my opinion is my own.
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I received A copy of this book from netgalley.
I never read this author book before and I was able to get in to it with out reading the rest of the series. I need to now cause I really liked this book.
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A well-written, entertaining mystery that kept me guessing from start to finish! I really enjoy this series, reading about Hayley and her daily life, and the investigations she gets herself involved in. In Death of a Blueberry Tart, Hayley's mother Sheila is visiting and ends finds herself a person of interest in a crime. She launches her own amateur investigation with the help of her two best friends, which Hayley objects to, concerned her mother will get herself in trouble... or worse! So Hayley runs a tandem investigation and keeps bumping into her mother being nosy and giving Hayley a taste of how others see her own investigating.

The books in this series are interspersed with Hayley's newspaper columns, telling stories from her life and sharing recipes for snacks, beverages, and other tasty dishes, which are a lot of fun and provide some side stories and a great way to share the recipes.

As always, I look forward to the next book in the series, even though this one hasn't officially been released yet. I received an advance copy of this book. This review contains my honest thoughts and opinions.
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This is a funny series of cosy mysteries. 

Hayley just wants to go on her honeymoon with her husband Bruce. Instead, she gets an unexpected visit from her Mother who becomes a suspect in the murder of her old nemesis Caskie Lemon Hogg. Hayley's relationship with her friends is mirrored by that of her Mother Sheilas and which set of friends can solve the murder first? 

The relationship between the friends is lovely. There are red herrings and plenty of suspects. 

I look forward to the next book in the series.
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This series is always funny, but with Hayley, Mona and Liddy's mothers all together (since they were longtime friends like their girls were), it was extra hilarious. I absolutely loved the showdown which was just too good.

I've been reading the series from the beginning but had honestly started it by reading ARCs of the later books. Reading the older books is really funny too, and it's a wonder that Bruce and Hayley ever got together. Now married, they were dealing with Hayley's mom who moved in temporarily due to a romantic breakup. Sheila ended up with a sweet ending as did everyone else. I'm anxious to get back to the early books and eventually get caught up, but I'm not holding my breath to be finished before the next book comes out in July lol.

I voluntarily read and reviewed this ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.
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When Hayley Powell's overly critical  mother, Sheila, makes a surprise visit things go from bad to worse and after a fight her mom leaves to stay in a bed and breakfast. That is where her mother stumbles across a body and then becomes a murder suspect. The fight is forgotten and now the focus is on finding the murderer so that Sheila is off the hook. 

I give 5 stars to the first chapter. What a great twist! The story as a whole had a good flow and the relationships between Hayley and her friends with their moms added to the story. There are also some great sounding recipes included in the book. Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an ARC. The opinions expressed are my own.
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Death of a Blueberry Tart: A Hayley Powell Mystery
By Lee Hollis
March 2020

Review by Cynthia Chow

All Hayley Powell was looking forward to was spending a honeymoon cruise to the Bahamas with her new hubby and Island Times coworker Bruce Linney.  Not even the very unexpected arrival of her mother – master of the arts of judgmental non-judgmental observations – could rain on her parade.  Flying in from Florida after breaking up with her longtime bingo boyfriend, Sheila has landed on her daughter’s doorstep in Bar Harbor, Maine to recooperate and even petsit while the couple is away.  It’s also an opportunity for Sheila to reunite with her high school besties Celeste and Jane, who just happen to be the mothers of Hayley’s own two best friends.  Unfortunately, the last-minute Class of 1968 reunion reignites their hatred for Caskie Lemon-Hogg, the “Blueberry Tart” whom they accuse of being a boyfriend-stealer and test-taking-cheater.  Caskie taking out a restraining order against Sheila (after some not-very-veiled threats) places her very high on the suspect list when she finds Caskie strangled to death in the next room of their B & B.

While Hayley can’t believe that her brother-in-law, Police Chief Sergio Alvarez would arrest his own mother-in-law, Hayley’s not about to sit on the sidelines of the investigation.  She enlists her usual co-conspirators Liddy and Mona, only to find that their mothers have already beaten them to the punch and organized their own Golden Girls Detective Trio.  With the two teams of women battling out their mother-daughter issues while attempting to discover who took out the possibly unjustly-demonized Caskie, the challenge will be if they can survive without being taken out by a ruthless killer or one another.

The plot twists of this 12th of the series dodge and swerve so unexpectedly that it should be impossible for readers to nail down the killer before our intrepid BFF detectives.  The real fun of this mystery is spending time with the mothers and daughters, whose issues are as relatable as they are hilarious.  Seeing Hayley and Sheila passive-aggressively interact is a delight, as no one knows how to push one’s buttons like a mother.  The love they have for one another is unquestionable, but so are the decades of resentment and irritations.  Reliably entertaining are Hayley’s Islands Food & Spirits columns, which not only provide heart-warming and laugh-out-loud reminiscence scenes from her life, they include genuinely delicious blueberry drinks and treats.   The brother-sister writing duo who are Lee Hollis serve up the perfect antidote to a world gone crazy with their sparkling dialogue, engaging characters, and ingenious shenanigans of a beloved heroine.
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Lee Hollis has done it again!
In this installment of the series I laughed, I rapidly turned the pages and I felt like I was visiting old friends.
The mystery in this one was a guessing game till the end.
The more I read of this series, the more impatient I become for the next book!
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