Member Reviews

"Kill or Bee Killed" by Jennie Marts is a delightful and entertaining cozy mystery set in the charming small town of Humble Hills, Colorado. With its quirky characters, humorous dialogue, and a murder mystery that keeps readers guessing, this book is a perfect blend of suspense and lightheartedness.
The murder mystery is intriguing, with enough twists and turns to keep readers guessing until the end. Kill or Bee Killed" is an enjoyable and engaging cozy mystery that will appeal to everyone. If you are looking for a light-hearted mystery with a touch of romance and plenty of laughs.

Was this review helpful?

This series is so much fun! I love Marts’s liberal use of bee puns throughout and how fun the characters are; though really, that’s where it ended???? Come for the small town vibe, stay for the mystery writer solving mysteries.
4.5 stars

Was this review helpful?

Kill or Bee Killed by Jennie Marts
A Bee Keeping Mystery series #2. Can be read as a stand-alone but better in series order.
The small town of Humble Hills, Colorado, is abuzz with excitement over the annual Bee Festival. Activities include a beauty pageant, a “bear” run, and a bake-off that brings a television crew from California. Unfortunately, the celebrity host is found dead and Bailey, Granny, and their bookclub friends play amateur sleuths to try to clear Evie, one of Bailey’s friends.

Once again, Sheriff Sawyer Dunn seems to be late to the investigation as the amateurs run circles around him. Bailey and the Bee senior crew create more havoc than imaginable.
“ They say you get more flies with honey, but in this case, more honey may mean you end up dead. And a little competition never hurt anyone—unless it ends up killing you.”

Plenty of Bee puns as group combs through the clues at the Bee Festival. Ha! We see and hear a little bit more of the sheriff now that Bailey and her daughter are staying but it’s definitely the females in charge.
Cute and unlikely, but fun all the same.
Honey infused Recipes included at the end of the ebook.

I received a copy of this from NetGalley.

Was this review helpful?

Dollycas's Thoughts

Bailey’s Granny Bee and the Honeybuzz Mountain Ranch are gearing up for the weeklong annual Bee Festival. The highlight of the event is the local restaurant bake-off, but there are beekeeping demonstrations, a beauty pageant, and a 3K Bear Run too. Several vendor booths are set up on the grounds as well, selling everything from food to hot tubs.

The bake-off has drawn interest all the way from California with Rex Rafferty of the Wake Up With Rex and Rachel show agreeing to be the celebrity host for the event. He has brought a film crew to Humble Hills to film content to use on his show. But the California star is a real creep and isn't long before the man is found dead. Sadly Bailey's best friend Evie, a contestant in the bake-off, has a very public squabble with Rex and that lands her on the list of suspects.

Soon Bailey, Granny Bee, and her Hive are working together to save the festival and Evie by catching the real killer and Sheriff Sawyer Dunn is pretty buzzed off about them messing with his case. It would be a honey of a deal if they can pull it off but they may just end up getting stung.


Mystery author Bailey Briggs is back and busy as a bee. Her Granny Bee has her and her 12-year-old daughter, Daisy helping out all over the festival. Granny Bee's sisters, Aster and Marigold are involved too but they have the most fun being contestants in the beauty pageant. They really impressed me the way they went all in on the experience. Evie is one of 3 final contestants from local restaurants chosen to compete in the 3-day bakeoff event and is working on creating just the right recipes. Romantic tension blooms whenever Bailey gets close to Sheriff Sawyer Dunn and he knows it and doesn't shy aaway. All the women in this story have a real sassiness about them, including the women of The Hive, Granny Bee's book club where not much time is focused on books especially when there is a murder afoot. All of Ms. Mart's core characters feel genuine and their banter is fantastic. It is very easy to feel you are visiting old friends when you open the book.

Humor blooms throughout this story starting from page one as Bailey and Evie, find themselves in a zany situation. And it doesn't stop there, Bailey sometimes assisted by Evie get into all kinds of hilarious trouble. Granny Bee, Aster, and Marigold bring the funny too.

Amongst all the humor is a very plotted mystery. Bailey worked hard to follow clues while helping out at the festival. I loved the way she said she was "researching for her next book" when she was trying to get the information she needed to try to solve the case. Getting some key info from a surprising source started making the clues start to fall into place. This set up a terrifying showdown that truly had me on the edge of my seat.

The final chapter wrapped everything up nicely and the last few paragraphs were pure honey!

Everyone is going to be buzzing about Kill or Bee Killed! A complicated mystery, delightful characters, a touch of romance, and heaps of humor come together in this captivating cozy mystery. I promise you will be entertained from the first word until the last. I can't wait for the next Bee Keeping Mystery. Buzz! Buzz!

Recipes are included at the end of the book too!

Was this review helpful?

Kill Or Bee Killed is the second book in the A Bee Keeping Mystery series by Jennie Marts.

Bailey Briggs, her grandmother, and Bailey’s daughter Daisy are busy preparing for Humble Hills, Colorado's annual Bee Festival. This year, they have gone all out and are bringing in Rex Rafferty, a famous TV personality. It doesn’t take long for people to realize that Rex isn’t the charming person he appears to be on TV. A festival highlight is a cook-off featuring three Humble Hills eateries. Evie, Bailey’s best friend, is a contestant in the cook-off, has a heated argument with Rex, and threatens his life. Before that day’s competition is over, Rex Rafferty is found dead in a closet. With Evie having issued a threat to Rex that was heard by many of the attendees, she will become the main suspect in the murder of Rex. Much to the chagrin of Bailey’s high school boyfriend and current Sheriff Sawyer Dunn, Bailey will begin her investigation to clear Evie.

This book and series are well-written, plotted, and realistic. The characters are well-developed, enjoyable, and believable. I love all the main characters, especially the great aunts; they bring the reader many smiles and laughs. The best example is when the beauty contest needs more contestants, they enter the competition. And, of course, Daisy continues to be her adorable self. There were plenty of twists and turns that I kept guessing until the end about the killer's identity.

Delicious-sounding recipes are also included in the book.

I’m looking forward to the next book in this excellent series.

Was this review helpful?

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ NetGalley ARC

The small town of Humble Hills, Colorado, is abuzz with excitement over the upcoming annual Bee Festival, sponsored by Bailey’s Granny Bee and the Honeybuzz Mountain Ranch. The long weekend of festivities includes a beauty pageant, beekeeping demonstrations, a local restaurant bake-off, and a 3K Bear Run where all the participants are dressed as bears. The bake-off brings in a television crew from California to film, so it’s the most drama-filled part of the weekend, especially when the famous celebrity host winds up dead.☠️


This is book #2 in the A Bee Keeping Mystery series. I don’t usually read books over, but I would definitely read this again. It had an interesting mystery, some romance, character development, and ended in a cliffhanger. This small town story was big on everything you’d expect from a good mystery. Highly recommended!!

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane books for the chance to read this book in exchange for a honest review.

Was this review helpful?

It's rare that I like book 2 more than the first. Kill or Bee Killed was one of those rare books. I absolutely loved it! It has a contemporary feel. I love the romance aspects of the book and the growing relationships. I think this series would be great for a romance reader looking to branch out to cozy mysteries. Definitely recommend.

Thank you, NetGalley, for providing me a review copy.

Was this review helpful?

Kill or Bee Killed is the second book in Jennie Marts’ Bee Keeping Cozy Mystery series featuring mystery author Bailey Briggs, her daughter Daisy, and her grandmother Granny Bee, owner of Honeybuzz Mountain Ranch in Humble Hills, Colorado. This story is set around the annual Bee Festival that celebrates everything bees and honey including a bake off, pageant, numerous demonstrations, and an area for local vendors.

In an effort to bring in tourism and boost their small town’s economy the committee has gone all out this year and is bringing in celebrity morning host from LA Rex Rafferty. Although he has fame and is quite handsome, Rex is an ugly person in the way he treats others, especially women. Bailey’s best friend Evie Espinoza has been selected as one of the bake off finalists, as have roadhouse owner Spike Larsen and cafe owner Charlotte Shine. Of the three, it is young and pretty Evie who garners Rex’s unwanted attention. And when Rex is found murdered, Evie becomes the primary suspect. With her best friend in peril, there is no way that amateur detective Bailey, along with Evie, will not be investigating. However, the turns the investigation takes are unexpected.

While this is a fun story with an intricate plot, the thing that really came forefront for me is the message around bullying, cruelty, and the actuality that hurt people hurt people. The characters are endearing, the setting lovely to imagine, and the story surprising. I very much enjoyed this book and do recommend it.

Was this review helpful?

Kill or Bee Killed is the second bee keeping cozy by Jennie Marts. Released 4th June 2024 by Crooked Lane Books, it's 336 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout.

It's always fun to watch a new series develop. This is the second installment of this small town cozy featuring a family friendly cast of characters and an appealing, honest, and engaging young female amateur sleuth whose day job is writing cozy mysteries. It also includes an eccentric collection of small town characters, a handsome sheriff with whom the MC has some history, some snark, and the requisite honey themed recipes at the back of the book as a bonus.

Although it's not at all derivative, fans of Nancy Coco and Amanda Flower will likely find a lot to like here. There's a lot of humor, small town atmosphere, a well constructed mystery (featuring a repulsive unlamented murder victim), and sympathetic characters. The bonus recipes at the back of the book are offered as written by characters appearing in the book. They're not overly fussy or complicated, and all seem appetizing. They include recipes for French toast, baked vanilla pears, honey latte, pecan praline honey butter, and a couple more.

Four stars. The denouement and resolution were a trifle outlandish, but not overly so for the subgenre. It's a simple clean read without bad language or on page violence. It would make a lovely summer beach or mini binge/buddy read.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

Was this review helpful?

A sophomore series entry that didn't let down the freshmen entry! I was prepared for a weaker second novel but instead, this was a delight. Character growth continued, the town expanded, the side characters grew, and the romance began to blossom. Looking forward to book 3!

Was this review helpful?

So we’re back with Bailey and Sawyer, the writer and the sheriff. In the previous book, we learned the two had been high school sweethearts, then Bailey left and came back with a 12-year-old daughter. Daisy’s father is still a mystery. I’m hoping we get some answers in the third one. In this book, there’s a murder during the festival, and because of this persons identity, there’s an awful lot of suspects. This is definitely one of those cute, cozy mysteries, where the heroine sticks her nose, where doesn’t belong and solves the case. But she has a lot of fun doing it with her best friend, Evie, and boyfriend. It’s a cute little town with fun traditions, and some great family values. I’ve enjoyed reading the series, it’s perfect for any age, if you don’t mind murder scenes. I got to read an advanced copy and have left this review voluntarily.

Was this review helpful?

I seem to be in the minority with this series but I find it just OK. It might be that Bailey annoys me, or that there’s a few attempts at humor that come off as slapstick (not a fan), or the TSTL moments; it’s probably a combination of all of this. That’s not to say it wasn’t an interesting mystery or that there weren’t plenty of clues. Sometimes an author’s writing style is just not for me. The book does end with a cliffhanger, though, so I will probably read the next in the series to see how it is resolved.

Was this review helpful?

Oh my gosh, if you love a good book hangover, this is the book that can provide it! It’s got funny moments, tense moments, sweet romantic moments, well it’s got all those moments I love in the mysteries I read. I couldn’t’ve hoped for a better ending! And the very ending was something I never saw coming. Now I really can’t wait for the next book!

I really enjoy all these key characters! Those great-aunts and Granny crack me up and how hilarious and fun when the two aunties decided to enter the festival pageant. Evie’s probably one of the best besties a girl could ever have, and Daisy’s just about the best kid anyone could want. Bailey’s lucky to have both these ladies in her life, and her handsome Sawyer! I love how Evie and Griff kinda got together. She’s been so good for him because he’s really different (in a good way) from before. Wishing the next book could come sooner than a year from now!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

This story takes place just a few weeks after the events in Take the Honey and Run, and it’s told entirely from the point of view of Bailey Briggs, single mother and mystery books writer newly returned to her hometown in Colorado.

There are a couple of plot threads running through the book; the obvious one follows the murder of one Rex Rafferty, host of a television morning show who’s been lured by the town to be the master of ceremonies for a cooking contest that’s being organized as part of this year’s town festival.

The second one is about the paternity of Daisy, Bailey’s twelve-year-old daughter–which is really not a mystery, as the hints dropped in the first book were pretty heavy.

Last summer I read the first in the Bee Keeping cozy mystery series, and while it was a somewhat bumpy ride, I enjoyed it enough to want to read the next one, and was happy when I got this ARC. Sadly, this book didn’t work for me on any level.

Beware: copaganda; fatphobia; bad Spanish; attempted sexual assault; maternal abandonment; parental abuse; panic attacks.

Nothing in this book worked for me.

The writing voice, which last year I described as “humor working almost against my will”, was just annoying this time around; there is too much camp to take anything seriously, and Bailey, who is a thirty year old single mother, behaves like a feckless with impulse control issues.

The sheriff–and her love interest–tells her not to meddle in the investigation? She breaks into the victim’s trailer, interviews everyone in the suspect list, and spills the beans on details of the investigation she’s not cleared to share–right after she’s sworn up and down she’ll keep her mouth shut.

There is a lot of repetition which all the more noticeable because it’s all in Bailey’s inner dialogue. So as she’s talking about the festival committee, she muses about how the mayor is new because the previous one was murdered recently and how, and a few chapters later she remembers again how the previous mayor was murdered, and a few chapters after that, she notes how the publicity from the previous mayor’s murder increased the sales of her grandmother’s honey, because of how he had been killed.

So that was pretty tiresome.

Then there’s the appalling Spanish, and boy, let us talk about unenforced errors: there is very little Spanish in the book, and it’s all bad. If it’s that important to have a Latino character whose first language is Spanish, wouldn’t it make sense to have someone who is either a native speaker or fully-fluent in the language, check those few phrases for spelling, grammar, and just plain usage?

Because they way it comes across is that it’s such a minor detail, it wasn’t worth any effort to make sure it was correct, and therefore, if feels that making that character and her family Latinx is just for the sake of checking a diversity box.

Despite all that, I kept reading because at least the mystery seemed to be working. There were plenty of red herrings, and both Bailey and her best friend get into some absurd scrapes, but for a good two thirds of the book, it felt like it was going to be a proper, fair play mystery. Then, well into the last third of the book, the author drops a Deus Ex Machina which completely upends the whole thing, and a character that’s been on the page once turns out to be the killer.

Which is bad enough, but two chapters of exposition as they monologue about the hows and whys, followed by a contrived rescue complete with comedic relief is just too much for this mystery reader.

As to the other thread of the story, the one thing I remembered clearly about the first book (as I have read over a hundred books since then), was that it was obvious who Daisy’s father is, and that it makes no sense for Bailey not to address it, both with him and her. After all, “he was a detective, he could do math” (chapter 31), and “The great thing about living in a small town was that you knew everyone. But the bad thing about living in a small town was that they all knew you.” (Chapter 2)

Beyond which, someone is certain to spill the beans about her paternity to Daisy–did I mention it’s obvious to everyone?–and that would be plenty of trauma for a twelve year old to deal with, on top of a new town, no friend, eccentric grandmother and great aunts, etc.

So the author teases the big revelation as well as the renewal of Bailey’s and Sawyer’s relationship over the course of the book, and then…ends the book with a cliffhanger about Bailey’s long-missing father.

And I’m done; I have zero incentive to keep reading the series, and at this point I’m not sure I would pick up another title by the author.

Kill or Bee Killed gets a 6.00 out of 10

Was this review helpful?

Kill or Bee Killed 🐝

I really enjoyed this next instalment to the Bee Keeping Mystery series. Bailey and her family and friends are once again involved in a murder in their small town of Humble Hills. Unfortunately, the person murdered is a celebrity who is helping with their Bee Festival that Granny Bee is putting on and hosting the Bake-off🥧

Sawyer has the patience of a saint, while Evie and Bailey continue to investigate and seems to show up at the most opportune moments, either to help them out or witness embarrassing moments🙈

I’m hoping for more of these characters and getting to know them all better❣️I received an advanced copy via Netgalley and leave my honest opinion in regards to this book.

Was this review helpful?

Kill or Bee Killed is book #2 in the Bee Keeping Mystery series by Jennie Marts.

I enjoyed this as much as the first book. Bailey and her friends and family are entertaining, somewhat quirky characters. Bailey gets involved in the investigation to clear her friend, Evie’s, name. This has all the things I enjoy in a cozy mystery - great characters, humor, a little bit of romance, and a mystery that has enough twists to keep me guessing until the end. There are several recipes at the end. I can’t wait for the next book!

Thank you to the author, Crooked Lane Books, and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) copy of this book and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The second in the Bee Keeping Mystery series and for me it was better than the first, maybe because the characters and their relationships are developing so nicely.

In this book the town is celebrating the Annual Bee Festival. One of the major events is a bake off which becomes the setting for a murder. Bailey, Grandma Bee, the Great Aunts, Daisy and even the dog are all involved in solving the crime, along with the Sheriff. It is a good mystery with lots of clues and possible guilty parties.

I really like the relationship between Bailey and Daisy, who does the usual amount of young girl's eye rolling, but still takes notice of what her mother says. She is a sensible girl who still manages to get into trouble but acknowledges it when it does happen. I am less comfortable with the weird situation Bailey is creating regarding Daisy's father but I expect that will be cleared up soon.

A pleasant easy read which I am giving four stars

Was this review helpful?

Kill or Bee Killed is book two in A Bee Keeping Mystery series by Jennie Marts. I fell in love with Bailey Briggs and her crazy family plus the zany residents of Humble Hills, Colorado, in the first book, Take the Honey and Run so I’ve been so excited to get this newest book. I loved it so much!

Bailey Briggs is thirty years old and is a single mom to her twelve year old daughter, Daisy. Bailey is a mystery author. She and Daisy have returned home to Humble Hills and are living with her grandmother on Honeybuzz Mountain Ranch. Bailey has loved being back home and raising her daughter here.

It’s time for the annual Bee Festival which is sponsored by her grandmother. The festival includes a baking competition. The finalists will be three local chefs from three local restaurants. One of which is Bailey’s best friend since they were eight years old, Evie Delgado Espinoza. Shockingly, they were able to bring in a famous TV personality from California, Rex Rafferty, to host and televise the event. Only, when Rex arrives, it doesn’t take long to realize that Rex isn’t the person he pretends to be on television! And when Rex turns up un-alive, all eyes look to Evie since she was heard threatening him after he tried to do something unwanted! So, our Bailey along with her granny, aunts and their zany friends, are on the job, looking for the person responsible so they can clear Evie’s name.

First, I just HAVE to mention the swoony town sheriff, Sawyer Dunn, who was Bailey’s high school sweetheart and potential current love interest. Poor Sawyer tries to be patient with all the intrusive investigators, trying to keep everyone safe. I don’t know how he does it but he always seems to show up just when Bailey and Evie need him. I also just have to mention the town medical examiner. You might be raising your eyebrows right now but he is hilarious with all his jokes. I laughed out loud. He is just so adorable. Also, Bailey’s two great aunts were just a hoot!!! One more I loved is Spike, the local big, burly bartender and owner of Hog Wild. He was also one of the three contestants of the competition and he literally is not who you think he would be. He made me melt!!

Just as in the first book, this kept me turning the pages, both to see what trouble Evie and Bailey were getting themselves in to and also to try to figure out who did it. And I have to say, I didn’t figure it out until the author chose to let me know. This is silly and fun and swoony and sweet. And don’t even get me started with all the yummy food described. I loved every page of this and can’t wait to see what trouble Bailey gets herself in to next!

Was this review helpful?

Kill or Bee Killed by Jennie Marts is a highly entertaining cozy mystery featuring Bailey Briggs and her sidekick, Evie. As always when the two were together, something unlikely was going to happen. This time it was Bailey getting stuck as she was trying to escape a biker bar through a bathroom window. It might have been the glass in her pocket. They were rescued by the bartender/owner, who was not as scary as he looked. In fact he was down right good looking when it turned out he was one of the finalists in the cook-off that was part of the upcoming Bee Festival. The current problem was that they didn’t have enough contestants for the beauty pageant. The cook-off was all set, though, with Rex Rafferty, a morning show host as emcee, it would be interesting to see how things went. Then Rex ended up dead.

This is the funniest cozy series ever. Every person in the book is imbued with strong personalities, even the old ladies. The only thing keeping Bailey out of jail is Sawyer, the county sheriff, who had been her high school boyfriend, and around whom she’d been circling. He was circling back. He HATED that Bailey got involved with murder, but was always there to pull her back from the edge. It will be fun to watch this relationship grow in the coming books. Rex’s murder, it turned out, was rooted in the past, as so many are. The clues were hard to come by, it being in the middle of the festival and all, but Bailey kept trying, as did Sawyer, and they finally worked it out. Very fun, very entertaining series. Thanks Jennie Marts!

I was invited to read Kill or Bee Killed by Crooked Lane Books. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #Netgalley #CrookedLaneBooks #JennieMarts #KillOrBeeKilled

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley for this arc!
This was such a fun read!
In the small town of Humble Hills, Colorado hosts a bee festival which consists of a bunch of different activities including a bake off run by Baileys grandma. One of the hosts winds up dead, and the implications are that Baileys best friend had something to do with it.

Was this review helpful?