Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Take the Honey and Run by Jennie Marts

Posted August 9, 2023 by meezcarrie in Book Review, clean, contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, Jennie Marts, mystery/suspense / 10 Comments

Take the Honey and Run book review

Take the Honey and Run by Jennie MartsTAKE THE HONEY AND RUN by Jennie Marts
A Bee Keeping Mystery #1

GENRE: Cozy Mystery (Clean with mild amt of language)
PUBLISHER: Crooked Lane Books
RELEASE DATE: July 18, 2023
PAGES: 336

The town is all abuzz when a murder occurs in Jennie Marts’ debut cozy mystery, perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Amanda Flower.

As a successful mystery author, Bailey Briggs writes about murder, but nothing prepares her for actually discovering the dead body of the founder of her hometown of Humble Hills, Colorado. Bailey grew up at Honeybuzz Mountain Ranch and was raised by her beekeeping grandmother, Blossom Briggs, aka Granny Bee, and her two eccentric sisters, Aster and Marigold—which is why she drops everything to come home and help Granny Bee after a bad fall.

A broken foot doesn’t stop her grandmother from ruling The Hive, her granny’s book club, or continuing to prepare and package her bee-inspired products. But when Bailey’s grandmother’s infamous “Honey I’m Home” hot spiced honey turns out to “bee” the murder weapon and her granny is now the prime suspect, Bailey has no choice but to use her fictional detective skills to help solve the murder and “smoke out” the real culprit.

With the help of Bailey’s witty bestie, a pair of meddling aunts, the feisty members of The Hive, and her computer-savvy daughter, this amateur sleuth is determined to solve the case. A malicious attack and an ominous threat reveal that someone wants Bailey to butt out of the investigation, but there’s no way she’s backing down. She must use her skills to uncover the truth and catch the clever culprit before her grandmother ends up bee-hind bars.

Oh goodness, this is a fun book and a great start to a new series!

Bailey Briggs may be a successful mystery author but she’s also a good friend, a loving granddaughter, and a single mom to a tween girl. Bailey and her daughter Daisy are a dynamic duo, and Cooper the dog is just adorable. She also surrounds herself with swoony men – some are just friends, and others are maybe more. And one in particular has me rooting for a second chance romance as the series continues! Bailey’s best friend Evie, Granny Bee, aunts, and the other members of The Hive (Granny Bee’s close knit circle of friends) are hoots, all of them. And I laughed out loud frequently at their antics. Like when Evie and Bailey break into… well, I don’t want to spoil it for you. Or the scene where The Hive tackles… oops. Don’t want to give that away either. You’ll just have to read it for yourself, but prepare to be entertained!

As far as the mystery goes, it’s a bit of a sticky situation that gets stickier by the chapter. The victim is extremely unlikable and gets even more so as the story progresses, so there are a plethora of potential suspects – including Bailey’s Granny Bee. I thought the author did a great job of plotting the twists and red herrings and taking me by surprise on more than one occasion. Bailey’s high school sweetheart Sawyer would definitely prefer she stay out of the investigation but he also respects her intuition and I’m pretty sure he’s still in love with her… which makes my KissingBooks heart very happy, as I’m sure you guessed. I loved the easy chemistry between them, and I just really loved Sawyer’s character in general. For that matter, I loved nearly all of the characters in Take the Honey and Run (except, of course, for the ones I wasn’t supposed to like).

Bottom Line: Take the Honey and Run by Jennie Marts is full of honey, homicide, hilarity, and hunks! (Okay, maybe not FULL of hunks but there are at least three who add a bit of swoon factor to this mystery.) Bailey, her best friend, her grandmother, and her aunts – as well as several other supporting characters –  are hysterical and had me chuckling more than once, and I loved the ‘Murder She Wrote’ vibes that Bailey channeled as a mystery-writer-turned-amateur-sleuth herself. Bailey’s daughter Daisy is an amateur sleuth in the making, too, and the chemistry between Bailey and her ex-boyfriend is also lots of fun. And while there are some delightful romcom vibes in this book, it is still very much a cozy mystery (complete with endearing dog Cooper) and a well-plotted one at that. Just about the time I thought I had the culprit figured out, another twist proved me wrong … right up until the end. An ending with a heck of a hook for the next installment of the series, too, because I’m not sure that certain secrets are as secret as Bailey thinks they are!

Reviewer’s Note: Readers of this blog may want to be aware that there are a couple of instances of a stronger curse word and a handful of mild cursing, as well as some innuendo, in this book.

(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 stars / loved it!

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Jennie Marts

Jennie Marts is the USA TODAY Best-selling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. Readers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and the “perfect mix of romance, humor, and steam.” Fic Central claimed one of her books was “the most fun I’ve had reading in years.”

She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet who loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends.

Her books range from Western romance to cozy mysteries, but they all have the charm and appeal of quirky small-town life. She loves genre-mashups like adding romance to her Page Turners cozy mysteries and creating the hockey-playing cowboys in the Cowboys of Creedence. The same small-town community comes to life with more animal antics in her latest Creedence Horse Rescue series. And her sassy heroines and hunky heroes carry over in her heartwarming, feel good romances from Hallmark Publishing. Her newest cozy mystery, Take the Honey and Run: A Bee Keeping Mystery, debuts this July.

Jennie loves to hear from readers. Follow her on Facebook at Jennie Marts Books, Twitter at @JennieMarts, and at jenniemartswriter on Instagram. Visit her at and sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest news and releases.

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