Book Review Double Feature (and a Giveaway!): Slay in Character & Sconed to Death by Lynn Cahoon

Posted June 2, 2019 by Carrie in contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, Lynn Cahoon, mystery/suspense / 11 Comments


Today I have TWO reviews for the price of one – the latest two Cat Latimer cozy mysteries (because I’m hopelessly behind on reviews) by Lynn Cahoon, one of my fave cozy authors!

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about the book

SERIES: Cat Latimer #4
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Kensington
RELEASE DATE: November 27, 2018
PAGES: 320

Staying in character can be murder when Cat Latimer and the members of her writers’ retreat head for a ghost town . . .

Cat and the members of her writers’ retreat have just arrived in Outlaw, Colorado, an “Old West” tourist town complete with inhabitants dressed up as famous figures from history. But this authentic slice of Americana takes a murderous turn when a college student masquerading as a 19th-century saloon girl becomes history herself.

Was she the intended target? Or did she take a hit meant for someone else? With a cast of suspects to choose from–including some notorious gunslingers and the sleazy town founders–Cat must unhorse the real culprit before a real-life ghost story is given a killer twist . . .

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Slay in Character is a really fun addition to the Cat Latimer series while also being sweet and sincere.

Another reviewer said that one of the draws of this series is the combination of the delightful ‘regular’ cast of both main and secondary characters & the rotating cast of additional secondary characters that are new in each book – and I completely agree! We get more layers in the lives & back-stories of Cat, her boyfriend Seth, her best friend Shauna, and her Uncle Pete (as well as some of the townspeople who play a role in each retreat) but we also get to meet a new cast of retreaters in each book. The writers who have booked the retreat for the week in Slay in Character are hilariously fun friends who are part of a regularly-meeting writers group, so their bond is really enjoyable to read about, as is the way they ‘adopt’ the Covington College student into their dynamic. Which mostly translates into getting into trouble with her, trying to solve the murder on their own lol. There is a very sweet side theme as well, as Cat’s bestie (and resident chef) Shauna is still dealing with grief from a tragedy in book #3 – and how she begins to heal.

Speaking of the murder, I was 99% sure I knew whodunit (I was right) but I had NO IDEA why. This kept me fully engaged in the story from beginning to end – along with several red herrings that almost made my certainty waver – and the sub-setting of the Old West tourist town added additional elements of possibilities to the mix. (Plus it was another fun aspect to the story too.)

Bottom Line: This fourth installment in the Cat Latimer mysteries is brimming with all the elements that make it such a great series – with a few additional bonuses that are the icing on the cake. It’s easy to read as a stand-alone if you need to, but you’ll want to catch up on the series, especially Of Murder and Men after reading Slay in Character. Every retreat where we get to tag along is sure to contain yummy food, delightful characters, and a masterfully-plotted mystery … and Slay in Character is no exception.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 stars / Fun & layered!

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about the book

SERIES: Cat Latimer #5
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Kensington
RELEASE DATE: May 28, 2019
PAGES: 288

Cat Latimer pursues a scone-cold killer who iced a top chef in a local bakery . . .

Cat has a full plate at her Aspen Hills Warm Springs Resort, as a group of aspiring cozy mystery authors arrives for a writers retreat. So when baker Dee Dee Meyer stirs up trouble by filing a false complaint with the health inspector against the B&B–all because she insists Cat’s best friend Shauna stole her recipes–Cat marches into the shop to confront her.

But Dee Dee’s about to have her own batch of trouble. Greyson Finn–a celebrity chef and, until today, one of Denver’s most eligible bachelors–has been found dead in her bakery. Cat’s uncle Pete, who happens to be the chief of police, warns her not to engage in any half-baked sleuthing. But as her curiosity rises, Cat’s determined to discover who served the chef his just desserts–before the killer takes a powder . . .

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It’s clear the author loves these characters & therefore they feel like dear friends to us too every we open the pages of a new book in the series. In Sconed to Death I feel like we get different aspects to each of these main characters (Cat, Shauna, Seth, Uncle Pete), giving them even more dimension than we’ve seen so far in the series.

The mystery is, as always, well plotted and while I was right again in guessing whodunit I wasn’t completely sure this time. I felt like all the suspects were equally plausible, and I wouldn’t have been surprised at being wrong when the villain was finally revealed. This again kept my sleuthing radar at full attention during the entire read, and I felt at times like I was following close behind Cat & peeking over her shoulder as she put clues together.

The nods & winks to the cozy mystery genre & its authors (thanks to the current group of retreaters) made this story even more delightful than it already was. This might be my favorite group of retreat-goers so far, simply because they collectively write in this genre so the scenes with them felt like an appreciation of cozy mysteries and the reasons we love them.

Bottom Line: Sconed to Death will have you heading to the nearest source of delicious scones to eat while you read, as well as hunting down some yummy apples for snacking & baking & caramel apple waffles. (YUM! My mouth is watering again.) So yeah fair warning – don’t read this book hungry or you’ll be in trouble haha! Tensions are running high in several different areas in this mystery, and the well-crafted plot will keep you guessing at every turn. Based on the way this book ended, I’m even more looking forward to book #6 than I already was!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 stars / delicious!

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about the author

Lynn Cahoon is the award-winning author of several NYT and USA Today best-selling cozy mystery series. The Tourist Trap series is set in central coastal California with six holiday novellas releasing in 2018-2019. She also pens the Cat Latimer series available in mass market paperback. Her newest series, the Farm to Fork mystery series, released in 2018. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com

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Lynn Cahoon is offering a signed copy of Slay In Character to one of my readers! (US/CAN only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? Why do you love cozy mysteries?

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11 responses to “Book Review Double Feature (and a Giveaway!): Slay in Character & Sconed to Death by Lynn Cahoon

  1. Dianne Casey

    I like reading cozy mysteries because they are good, clean reads with relatable characters.

  2. Rachel Taylor

    I don’t think I’ve read a lot of cozy mysteries. It seems like there isn’t as much danger and it’s not nearly as complicated. It’s also usually set in a place that just makes you think of a kitchen with the stove on and some delicious aromas drifting through the air.

  3. Kay Garrett

    I love everything there is about cozy mysteries! I love that they are a clean read. I love that there isn’t explicit sex, foul language or excessive violence. I know when I pick up a cozy that someone is going to be found dead, but it’s fun to try to figure out who, why and whodunit before the reveal. I love that there is usually a craft or skill that helps me learn about new things. I love it when there is a pet involved because I have found animals to be as smart as most people (and smarter than some). I love the colorful covers and how they relate to the storyline. And I love that most cozy author’s seem to have a mind that works like mine (that’s a good thing by the way 🙂 ).

    Always enjoy reading Lynn Cahoon’s books. They never disappoint. I would love the opportunity to read “Slay In Character” which is on my TBR list. Having it signed would make it a great treasure and proudly added to my collection to read, reread and to share with friends and family.

  4. Merry

    I love cozy mysteries because they have many fun and quirky characters and I enjoy trying to figure out the killer.

  5. Julie Waldron

    I’m pretty new to cozy mysteries and I’m hooked. I think they’re such fun reads and they keep you guessing til the end.

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