—Duffy Brown on Bearly Departed
As autumn air settles into the quaint small town of Silver Hollow, there’s nothing more popular than Sasha’s teddy bears—and murder in cold blood . . .
Silver Bear Shop and Factory manager Sasha Silverman is cozying up to the fall season by hosting Silver Hollow’s Cranbeary Tea Party, the opening event of the village’s Oktobear Fest—a too-cute celebration themed around teddy bears. She barely has a moment to agonize over the return of her former high school rival, Holly Parker, whose new toy and bookstore in town could spell big trouble for the Silver Bear Shop and her cousin’s small bookstore . . .
But when Sasha discovers Holly’s shop assistant dead with a knife plunged in her body, the unpleasant woman suddenly looks like a real backstabber. So does Sasha’s ex-husband, rumored to have rekindled the fiery extramarital affair he once had with the victim. Now, before a gruesome homicide case takes the fun out of both the Fest and her personal life, Sasha must identify the true culprit from a daunting suspect list—or risk becoming as lifeless as one of her stuffed bears . . .
Praise for BEARLY DEPARTED
“You’ll fall in love with this delightful debut mystery.”
—Victoria Thompson, bestselling author of Murder in Morningside Heights
“The first in a new series features a complex plot awash in red herrings, a perky heroine . . . and everything you ever wanted to know about teddy bears.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The appealing, impulsive amateur sleuth, dedicated to the family business, will appeal to fans of character-driven cozies.” —Library Journal
“Entertaining . . . inhabited by quirky, fully developed characters and good dogs and cats.” —Publishers Weekly
About the Author
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"She's so furry! I love her." The little girl hugged the brown bear dressed in a striped orange sweater. "Can I keep her, Mom? Please?"
"We'll see," the woman said with a smile. "You have plenty of stuffed animals at home, remember, and a few teddy bears. Why do you want another one?"
"She told me she wants to come home." The child lifted the bear from its high chair and held it near her ear. "Her name is Daisy. She wants to play with my other teddies."
"Then Daddy will buy Daisy as an early birthday present."
I set a plate of cranberry scones on their table with a smile. Kids and their imaginations could be so precious. "I'll update my list," I said. "Daisy the tan bear to the young lady in the flowered blue dress, table five."
"Thank you, Ms. Silverman," the mom said. "My husband will be picking us up at four o'clock and he can pay you then."
"Of course. And please. Call me Sasha."
"Everyone's friendly here in Silver Hollow. It's wonderful, so charming."
I thanked her and delivered scones to the next table. Thank goodness I'd brought several teddies to sell from the Silver Bear Shop & Factory — which my parents owned, and I managed over the last seven years. My sister, Maddie, who staffed the office, figured a few kids might forget to bring one to the tea party. I checked the list at the front register. Five had sold, a nice bonus. Maddie had also left coupons for fifteen percent off any bear and accessories at each place setting. People seemed to appreciate that.
Things were going well for a busy Saturday on October's first weekend, when people could be attending football games or doing yard work instead. Our event was the kickoff for the village's Oktobear Fest, and we'd been worried. The committee insisted on changing the name to the First Annual Cran-beary Tea Party, despite the flyers we'd passed out last month, but no matter. Tickets sold out within a week. And everyone seemed to enjoy the new Queen Bess Tea Room, housed in the former Silver Leaf Bed and Breakfast.
Owners Arthur and Trina Wentworth, newly arrived from England, had set up tables in the parlors and the adjoining library. Laughter and chatter echoed in each redecorated room. Many of the mothers wore hats along with their daughters; at several tables, dads and little brothers joined in the fun. The children paid more attention to the teddy bears, however, than eating the quiche, salads, scones, and savory sandwiches. Maddie and I poured tea — Lady Grey, Cinnamon Spice, Black Currant, or Cranberry herbal — and waited tables.
Despite my killer sinus headache due to fall allergy season, I was thrilled the tea party was a smashing success. I sneezed into the crook of my elbow. Thank goodness I'd worn the lavender cardigan over a sleeveless dress with butterflies on the skirt. Maddie wore a pale blue cardigan over her floral dress — our makeshift uniforms as temporary waitstaff at the tea room. The Wentworths had yet to hire anyone besides the cook, a young woman from Ann Arbor, who'd prepared the creamy butternut squash soup, sandwiches, and scones.
My best friend, Elle Cooper, smothered a wide grin from where she sat at a nearby table with her young daughters. "I wish Mary Kate could see you as a waitress. The baby got sick this morning, and she feels terrible missing this."
"I wish I could refund her ticket money."
"She won't care. Your nose is all red, Sasha." Elle searched her dress pockets. "I've got an allergy pill. Somewhere."
"I took one. An hour ago." I sneezed again. "Could be the eucalyptus in the vases. Or the goldenrod. But I'm glad the Wentworths bought this bed-and-breakfast. Converting it into a tea room was a fabulous idea."
"I always thought it was too small as an inn anyway, with only four bedrooms upstairs." Elle hooked a thumb toward the back. "I hear they're almost done converting that back closet into a second restroom with handicap access."
"I'm shocked they turned this place into a showpiece so fast."
So much had changed in the short time since "Will's Folly." That's what Silver Hollow residents now called the murder of the Silver Bear Shop & Factory's sales rep, Will Taylor, before Labor Day. Few were sad; Will hadn't been popular with our workers. Still, others had been affected in the aftermath. Murder was a nasty business. Sales at the shop boomed from all the publicity, good and bad, and visitors to the area tripled. But I wasn't proud of nearly getting myself killed by sleuthing. I'd learned my lesson.
In record time, the Wentworths had hired a crew to clear out and clean the entire Queen Anne–style house from top to bottom. Then they brought in a massive black walnut sideboard for the front parlor, plus square tables and chintz-covered chairs in a pink, green, and gold rose pattern. They'd installed teacup chandeliers, four in each parlor and two in the library. Crisp linen cloths in pastel pink or green draped the tables with white lace overlays. Place settings in an eclectic array of teacups, saucers, plates, and flatware added to the charm. Gold-framed landscapes of the English countryside and castles hung on the walls.
I had to admit the tea room was an improvement over the dowdy bed-and-breakfast.
"Celia! Stop that," Elle hissed to her younger daughter, who was dunking a shabby teddy bear's nose into her full teacup.
"Mom, she spilled all over the tablecloth," said her older daughter, Cara.
"I've got it." I mopped the liquid with extra napkins. Both girls wore party dresses and hair ribbons, and I recognized Elle's pale blue dress from a shopping trip we'd taken last spring. "Which of the sandwiches did you like best, girls?"
"The strawberry cream cheese," Celia sang out.
"I like the peanut butter ones," Cara said, "but they need more jelly."
"Jam, not jelly. And no, teddies can't eat or drink," Elle said. The girls giggled at the wet smear on Celia's bear. "Now behave, or we won't be able to come next year."
"I'd better get back to work. Of course I'll bring more scones," I said when the woman at the next table waved me over. "I hope you're enjoying the tea party."
"Yes, indeed. We're planning on a visit to the new toy and bookstore, too."
When she turned to speak to her friends, I noted Elle's discomfort. Maddie, Mary Kate, and I were all worried sick for her and my cousin Matt. Bad enough that people ordered books online instead of visiting small bookstores like The Cat's Cradle. But the competition from Holly Parker's new toy and bookshop, Through the Looking Glass, would draw customers away and cut into their profits. I knew full well that Matt and Elle were barely surviving.
I glanced at the large corner table where Holly sat with a red-haired woman. Holly and I shared a bitter rivalry long ago in high school; she hadn't changed her hairstyle, still wearing it straight and long, although her tortoiseshell glasses looked modern. I tried to keep an open mind about her return to Silver Hollow, although I had to wonder why she chose to open a shop two weeks ago in direct competition. That didn't set well with my family.
Holly looked like an ingénue in a white dress with a row of sparkly rhinestones along the neckline. She'd always favored white, from what I recalled, which set off the natural olive hue of her complexion and tanned limbs. A bright pink jacket with silver bling spelling out THINK PINK was draped behind her chair. That reminded me of her extensive collection of Pink Panther memorabilia. Or perhaps "obsession" was more apropos.
To each their own.
I wasn't pleased reading Dave Fox's Silver Hollow Herald, which quoted Holly as saying "Our shop is already number one in sales here in Silver Hollow." That seemed a stretch. Maddie had witnessed her double-parking in the middle of Theodore Lane and getting ticketed by the local police for it, over the weekend when she'd moved into the former Holly Jolly Christmas shop. That reminded me. I needed to ask about some lost merchandise.
"Are you both enjoying the party?" I asked. Holly beamed at me.
"Oh, yes! I'm so glad we got tickets. It's so sweet, seeing all the little kids with their teddy bears. I hope you don't mind that I passed out a few flyers for my shop."
Since she'd already done so, I figured it was useless to object. "Gina Lawson," the red-haired woman said, and gave me a firm handshake. "I'm Holly's shop assistant, marketing guru, and publicity person."
"Nice to meet you, Gina." I eyed her short tomato-red pixie haircut, gelled up in a curved ridge, rocker-style, and heart-shaped face. "Sounds like you know your promo stuff. I've seen a lot of your social media lately. Tweets and Facebook posts about the new store."
Gina smiled, a bit slyly I thought, so I addressed Holly. "I should have asked you long before now, but did you come across any of our silver or white teddy bears? Among all the items left behind in the Holly Jolly shop, I mean. We had half a dozen bears displayed there."
Holly looked sorrowful. "No. We tossed broken ornaments, scads of nonworking fairy lights, and empty boxes. It was such a mess cleaning up."
"Well, thanks anyway."
I headed toward my sister, who stood near the front entrance. Maddie snapped photos of various guests. She'd already taken multiple shots of the table settings before anyone arrived. "Isn't Flynn coming?" she asked. "I thought I saw his name —"
"On the guest list? I hope not. I'm shocked Mayor Bloom showed up," I said.
Across the room from Holly and Gina's table, Cal Bloom sat with his wife and ninety-year-old mother-in-law. The Blooms were old friends with my parents. While the mayor's presence in a roomful of mostly women and little girls seemed odd, he appeared to be enjoying himself. His booming laugh caused others around them to join in.
"Mom and Mrs. Davison seem to be having a good time," my sister said.
Barbara Davison, in a bright orange dress and wide-brimmed straw hat, sat with our mother, Judith Silverman, whose teal outfit and fascinator clashed with her friend. The way they giggled like schoolgirls made me wonder if Mom hadn't topped their teacups with a nip of something else. She did love brandy. Barbara clapped a hand over her mouth to stifle a huge guffaw, in fact, which brought on a glare from Mayor Bloom.
"What are they talking about?" I muttered.
"— and I paid a fortune. The restorer used an old fur worn by Alex's mother to fashion a teddy bear," Mom was saying. "And then someone snatched Minky Bear! Right out of the house, under our very noses. I have no idea how."
"Must have been one of the maids," Barbara said. "Did you report it stolen?"
"Yes, but nothing ever came of it."
I noted how both Holly and Gina seemed to be enraptured by their conversation. "What a tragedy," Holly said. "A real mink bear. That must have been precious."
"Yes. And I wouldn't let my girls play with it, ever."
That was certainly true. Not that Maddie or I ever wanted to touch it. Grandma Helen Silverman never let us do anything except sit quiet when we visited her house as children. A teddy bear made of her mink stole didn't appeal to me, especially with its staring beady eyes and those tiny dangling paws. Minky Bear was incredibly soft, but ugh. Bad memories.
After stacking soiled plates, I headed to the kitchen and almost collided with Maddie. She sailed past with a presumably empty teapot in each hand. Skirts swirling, her high heels muted by the carpet, she looked fresh and vibrant. My feet were killing me in flats, and although I spent most of my days standing behind the shop counter, I was exhausted. Maybe I needed to start working out more often. Instead I snitched a crab tartlet.
"Uh-oh. Speak of the devil," Maddie said, and nodded toward the front door.
I peeked around the doorway to see my ex-husband, Flynn Hanson, waltz into the parlor. He made a beeline for Holly's table. Gina Lawson must have been expecting him, since she rose to her feet, arms folded over her ample chest. They exchanged heated words, from what little I could see after taking a tray of fresh scones across the room. But everyone witnessed Gina and Flynn marching over to the mayor's table before handing him a sheet of paper.
"Mr. Mayor, this is a copy of the court summons I filed on behalf of my client, Ms. Gina Lawson," Flynn said. "This serves as notice of a debt collection complaint against you —"
"And I shall answer with a countersuit," Bloom interrupted. "If Ms. Lawson continues this ridiculous claim, she will lose. I owe her nothing, Mr. Hanson. You could have served this at any time, but here? At a teddy bear party with children present? That's a bit dramatic."
"Whoa," Maddie whispered to me. "Didn't expect fireworks here of all places."
I noticed the very pregnant Lisa Blake, who'd been sitting at a nearby table with her two little boys, rise unsteadily to her feet. She herded the kids toward the door; they clutched their bears, restless and fidgety, ready to leave early. Holly cut off their retreat, however. I kept an eye on them while also watching the exchange between Flynn, Gina, and Mayor Bloom, whose voices had dropped. Cal Bloom snatched the paper from Flynn in disgust and departed without a backward glance. His wife followed, pushing her mother's wheelchair.
Gina and Flynn headed for the farthest corner of the back room. Now that Lisa Blake had departed, Holly waved a hand toward Gina and Flynn. "Hard to believe she's going after the mayor, huh?" she asked me before I could escape. "I've seen the new television commercials, the ones with 'Flynn Wins,' pretty much every morning. He's a pistol, all right. I've heard Hanson's the star of the Legal Eagles team, and they're going gangbusters since he joined them."
"Uh. Yeah," I said and glanced at my sister, now busy chatting with a friend in the back parlor. Maddie was out of range to rescue me. "Yeah, I know all about the Legal Eagles. Excuse me, but we've got to bring out the desserts."
I retreated to the kitchen. Maddie beat me to the doorway, however. Gina and Flynn still had their heads together, and Holly soon joined them. My sister pulled me out of sight beyond the swinging doors. She waved her cell phone in triumph.
"That red-haired woman, Gina Lawson? She's trouble. Mark my words."
"I'll explain later, okay? We've got work to do."
Inside the kitchen, we found Trina Wentworth at the prep table arranging the last plate of iced cookies from Fresh Grounds. She placed a row of chocolate tarts around the outer edge and then waved to the cook who headed out the back door.
"Here I thought you were getting tea cakes from the village bakery," she said. "Pretty in Pink, isn't it? I adore their striped awning."
"The owner's son died several weeks ago." I chose not to go into the details, given how that was all tied in to Will's Folly. "At the funeral, Vivian Grant told us she couldn't handle a special order. Plus she's short-staffed. But we promised to use her bakery for our next teddy bear–themed event. In November."
"I must say, these cookies are brilliant!" Trina bit into an extra. "Scrummy, too."
"Aren't they sweet?" I was pleased with Mary Kate's iced cookie design, shaped as plump tan teddy bears popping from orange pumpkins. "I love these little leaf hats on the bears, too. So adorable."
Trina wore an apron over her rose-print skirt. Her blond bob swooped with every move when she hurried to set cookie plates on all the tables in the tea room. Her tall, silver-haired husband followed behind with two more plates. My sister poked my shoulder.
"Quit sneaking the crumbs and help deliver the desserts."
I crammed the rest of the broken cookie — fewer calories than eating a whole one, of course — and rushed to help. Then I tracked Maddie down in a corner of the library. "What did you mean by Gina Lawson being trouble?"
"Shh! She might hear you."
I grabbed the empty teapot she handed to me and headed to the kitchen again. Everyone oohed and aahed over the tarts and cookies. Relieved, I watched Gina, Holly, and Flynn return to their table, heads together. No doubt they were discussing Gina's lawsuit against Mayor Bloom. What was that all about anyway? My curiosity mounted higher when Flynn stood and headed my way. Uh-oh. I ran for the kitchen and ducked out of sight.
Flynn Hanson had recently moved back to Michigan from Florida. Why had he come today? I knew he hated tea. He also disliked kids of any age — which was the second reason I filed for divorce. Number one? His cheating ways. Flynn actually admitted that he hoped I'd "get over" my desire for a family. As if! I loved kids. The biggest draw to working at the Silver Bear Shop was seeing their joy among all the teddy bears.
Excerpted from "Bear Witness to Murder"
Copyright © 2018 Meg Macy.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I so enjoyed book one in this series, BEARLY DEPARTED, that I couldn’t wait for the next book. BEAR WITNESS TO MURDER did not disappoint! From the opening of the book set at a tea party, the autumn setting, adorable teddy bears, wonderful characters, and a whodunit that had me completely fooled, BEAR WITNESS TO MURDER certainly put the “cozy” in cozy mystery! Author Meg Macy has created in her, Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery series, a feeling of warmth and family. Even if these weren’t mysteries, I’d still read them. Keep in mind, I don’t often venture out of the mystery genre. No worries. That warmth I mentioned above didn’t in any way take away from the great mystery element of BEAR WITHNESS TO MURDER. Each time I knew I was on the right track to the killer, the author would throw in a roadblock that had me scrambling in a new direction, looking for a different suspect. Not only was I surprised by details that kept coming to light, I was completely shocked during the reveal. BEAR WITNESS TO MURDER is a book you’ll want to add to your TBR.
Sasha Silverman has things in full swing for the fall season including Silver Hollow’s Cranbeary Tea Party, the opening event of the Oktobear Fest in town. Sasha's rivalry with her high school nemesis, Holly Parker, is heating up as the temperatures fall - Holly's new toy shop could cut into the profits of the Teddy bear factory. The murder of Holly's assistant throw things even further off kilter and it doesn't help that Sasha's ex is rumored to have been having an affair with the victim. But was the victim the intended target? Sasha has a lot to clear up before things will quiet down. I love teddy bears so I can't help but love these stories. I do feel that the characters need a bit more fleshing out but hopefully that is in the future plans.
It is fall in Silver Hollow and time for the Cranbeary Tea Party and the Oktobear Feast. While hosting the Cranbeary Tea Party Sasha is surprised to see her long time rival Holly Parker has moved back into town and opened a toy store and book store. But if that was not enough, Sasha’s ex is with Holly and they make a huge scene. Later that night, Sasha and Maddie discover Holly’s shop assistant, Gina has been stabbed. Gina was wearing some of Holly’s clothes. The question is who killed Gina and if they meant to kill her or Holly. Sasha jumps into investigating the murderer before someone else turns up dead. This is a great cozy mystery and second in the series. I loved coming back to Silver Hollow and the Silver Bear Shop and Factory. Sasha seems to be getting her life back on track until the appearance of Holly and Flynn. Of course Sasha is concerned because Holly’s business spells danger for Sasha and her cousin’s book store. Gina had a past so of course we don’t really know who the killer was going after. I was kept on my toes and was completely surprised by the ending. I loved this book and think anyone that enjoys a cozy mystery should check this series out. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
A fun, and satisfying read!
“BEAR WITNESS TO MURDER” by Meg Macy is the second book in the Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery series. Sasha Silverman is the manager of the Silver Bear Shop and Factory in Spring Hallow, MI. As such, she is hosting Silver Hollow’s Cranbeary Tea Party, the opening event of the village’s Oktobear Fest, which is a celebration themed around teddy bears. Holly Parker has moved back to town and opened up a toy and book store in direct competition with both Sasha and her cousin’s book store. It seems the rivalry from high school continues. However, that rivalry turns to suspect when Sasha and her dog finds Holly’s employee, Gina, murdered. Not only Holly, but also Sasha’s cheating ex-husband, Flynn, who seemed to be rekindling an affair with victim, and the mayor of Spring Hallow, who had been served legal papers at the tea by Gina and Flynn, are tops on the suspect list for this back stabbing crime. Sasha is determined that the festival is going to on without a hitch and juggles her time between working the events, tending to her store and trying to clear some of the murder by finding out who the real killer is. Along the way, it seems she herself is in danger by getting too close to the truth. This book is delightful and fun to read with plenty mystery and intrigue to keep you flipping the pages. If like me, you won’t figure out the killer, but when it’s revealed it all makes perfectly good sense. I can’t wait for book #3 in this series. Meg Macy’s books are as well written and fun to read as the covers are adorably cute.
Bear Witness to Murder by Meg Macy is the second book in A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery series. Sasha Silverman manages her family’s Silver Bear Shop & Factory. Silver Hollow is kicking off their Octobear Fest with the Cranbeary Tea Party hosted by the Silver Bear Shop at the new Queen Bess Tea Room. Sasha is surprised that Holly Parker (her old high school nemesis) is attending the event with her shop assistant and publicity guru, Gina Lawson. Holly has opened Through the Looking Glass which sells Alice in Wonderland themed items along with teddy bears and storybooks. For the Octobear Fest Bears on Parade event, Maddie is creating an adorable Polka Bear and is assisting her new boyfriend, Kip O’Sullivan with his Hippie Bear. Kip keeps trying to perfect his creation and he might not get it completed on time (Maddie has her hands full with this one). Sasha is out walking Rosie early the next morning and stumbles across an individual with a knife sticking out of their back in the alley behind Fresh Grounds. At first Sasha believes it is Holly because of the jacket. The victim is later identified as Gina Lawson. When Mayor Cal Bloom on the suspect list, Judith Silverman wants Sasha to clear his name. The suspect list is lengthy due to Gina’s attitude and it includes Sasha’s ex-husband, Flynn Hanson. Can Sasha identify the killer before she becomes the next victim? I thought Bear Witness to Murder was well-written and engaging. It has a steady pace and a conversational writing style which made the story easy to read. While this is the second tale in the series, it can be read alone. I like the Silverman family, though, I am puzzled by Sasha’s mother, Judith. I do not understand why she keeps trying to push Sasha and Flynn back together and it was never explained. Sasha is lucky to have escaped the cheating louse. She is fortunate to have a supportive father and sister. I enjoyed the humor provided by Eve and Ross. There are delightful descriptions of teddy bears (stuffed and resin) in Bear Witness to Murder along with teddy bear related facts. I thought it was clever to have Oktobear Fest (a great play on words). Silver Hollow would attract families with their theme. Silver Hollow is a charming small town with, for the most part, friendly residents and cute shops. Gossip spreads like wild fire in Silver Hollow which is helpful in gathering information on the suspects. The mystery was well-crafted, and I believe many readers will be surprised by the killer’s identity. There are several suspects, red herrings, and well-placed clues. While Sasha looks into the murder, she does not let it consume her like some amateur sleuths. There is some romance sprinkled through the story as Sasha gets to know Jay Kirby. I found Bear Witness to Murder more enjoyable than Bearly Departed (first book in the series). My rating for Bear Witness to Murder is 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). Join in on the Oktobear Fest festivities in Bear Witness to Murder.
This was an easy read with engaging characters.
Sasha Silverman enjoys her job at the family business, the Silver Bear Shop & Factory. But she's a bit frazzled. Autumn is the start of their busy season...the Cranbeary Tea Party and the Oktobear Fest get the holiday season started. This year there's a bit more stress because an old high school rival has returned to town and opened a gift and book shop, directly competing with the Silver Bear Shop and the local bookstore. Holly Parker seems to want to cause as much drama as possible, at least where Sasha is concerned. Old high school rivalries never die? When Holly's shop assistant is found dead with a knife in her back, Sasha tries to resist doing any sleuthing. It only gets her into trouble. But as other incidents start happening around town, she realizes this is more than old high school problems or jealous business owners. Sasha wants to solve the case before anyone else is killed and Oktobear Fest is ruined. I love this series. I'm not sure if it's the teddy bear theme (I have collected teddy bears since I was 6 years old), or the mix of humor and mystery...or maybe both? Bear Witness to Murder is the second book in the Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery series. This book was just as enjoyable as the first book in the series. I like Sasha as a main character. She's getting her life back together following a divorce and works hard at the family business. She has a good relationship with her sister Maddie who also works for the teddy bear factory. However, I don't really care for her relationship with her parents. Her mother is always trying to push her into going back to her ex-husband, who was a womanizing jerk. Why would any mother do that? And her father never sticks up for her. Just seems like a weird family dynamic. I liked the Oktobear Fest theme. The teddy bear theme didn't over power the mystery, but just added some flavor to the story. The mystery kept my attention and had some interesting twists and clues. There is a little bit of romance sprinkled in amongst the sleuthing and fall festival-ing...just enough to round out the characters. All in all, a "beary'' enjoyable cozy mystery! I'm definitely going to keep reading this series. :) **I voluntarily read an advance readers copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
Dollycas’s Thoughts It is time for Oktobear Fest in Silver Hollow, Michigan. The event starts with a Cranbeary Tea Party. Silver Bear Shop has several bears in attendance and Sasha and her sister Maddie are waiting tables. Sasha is surprised to see her high school rival and owner of the new toy shop in town, Holly along with her assistant Gina at one of the tables and even more surprised to see her ex, Flynn arrive and he and Gina rush over to the mayor’s table. They make a huge scene. It wasn’t bad enough the new store was stealing business, now they had to try to ruin this wonderful event too. The ultimate surprise was Sasha and her dog discovering Gina’s body outside a local eatery early the next morning. At first, she thought it was Holly, because of the clothing. Was the killer confused too? Who was the real target? Gina? or Holly? And is Flynn involved? or heaven forbid the mayor? Sasha finds herself in a beary dangerous place as she tries to catch the killer and save the festival. There is so much to love in this story. I really loved the idea about the Bears on Parade. You see in Madison, Wisconsin, and Dane County this summer they have a Bucky’s on Parade art event with 85 Bucky Badger statues transformed by 64 artists. People are having so much fun hunting them all down. In this story there are about a dozen bears, Maddie is transforming one and so is her boyfriend Kip. Sasha is also helping to transform another bear. The bear statues have sponsors and both parades will auction off the statues at the end of their events. I hope to see a few before summer is over. All the characters I enjoyed in the first book are back. I have to say I am not a fan of Sasha’s mother though. She bugged me a bit in the first story, but I think by now she needs to realize Flynn and Sasha are through, finished, kaput! The man cheated on her and his suggestion of marriage in name only to Sasha almost made me lose my mind. For some reason her mom likes Flynn, I can’t imagine how any mom would want her daughter with a man like him. I just hope in the next story she really sees the light and supports her daughter and the man she wants to be with. Oh, the author has given us a clever mystery. The victim has a past – meaning plenty of suspects, with different motives for wanting her gone. I was “beary” confused at first but soon I had an inkling as to who the culprit could be but then I read further and thought I was totally wrong. Those pages were really flying and so much was happening, there was no way I was going to put this book down until I reached the end. By the way, I was wrong and surprised by the ending. I loved it! Both books in this series have been excellent reads. I do recommend reading them in order to get to know the characters and the setting. Bring on Book #3, Ms. Macy! I can hardly wait!
an engaging mystery with enough danger and malice to counteract the shamelessly adorable setting BEAR WITNESS TO MURDER by Meg Macy The Second Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery With the town gearing up for Oktobearfest and the Parade of Bears Sasha Silverman and her family have a lot on their plate. They certainly don't need the drama Sasha's high school nemesis brings. But Holly seems to make it her mission to strike out against Sasha by returning to town and opening a store in direct competition with Sasha and her cousin as well as spreading rumors, and generally being nasty. When Holly's assistant is murdered Holly's vindictiveness seems to increase. Sasha also finds herself in the midst of relationship issues between her sister and her new boyfriend, starting a relationship of her own, and her mother's unbelievable attempts to get her back with her cheating ex! Confident that Detective Mason will solve the murder, Sasha nonetheless feels Holly is the catalyst for most of the town's problems and if she has to do some sleuthing of her own to prove it-so be it. The Second Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery is an enjoyable read. More family creates more drama as Sasha's parents have moved in and appear to be moving back to town. Sparks are flying in multiple directions as Sasha's mom seems determined to get Sasha back with her cheating ex, her divorced aunt and uncle continue to bicker, her sister is continually fighting and making up with her new boyfriend, and Sasha herself is contemplating life as Jay's girlfriend. Plus the sparks that the new nasty villain, Holly, creates are even more dangerous. Meg Macy creates a delightful world with a close knit family and plenty of adorable stuffed animals. I enjoy the details she provides about the bears and, in this entry, the Bears on Parade. My town has horses and I know several towns with other animals on parade. It was nice to see an artist view of a bit of the process. BEAR WITNESS TO MURDER is an engaging mystery with enough danger and malice to counteract the shamelessly adorable setting! FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
Who does not love a good mystery and a cuddly teddy bear? This was a very good addition to this series. I loved the idea of a cranberry tea party what a fun way to celebrate the fall season. Right up until the murder that is. While trying to figure out the murder alongside Sasha I would think maybe I got a good clue then the author would so kindly through in a twist and have me rethinking who did the murder. I enjoy the author's writing style as her words just flow off the page. You don't want to put the book down as she keeps the story moving right along. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
It’s October, and the town of Silver Hollow is getting ready for their Oktobearfest, a teddy bear themed Oktoberfest event for the entire family. Things are kicking off with a kid and teddy bear friendly tea that Sasha Silverman is helping with. She’s trying to avoid her high school nemesis, Holly Parker, when Holly’s assistant Gina interrupts the tea to announce she is suing the mayor. The next morning, Sasha finds a dead body. Despite vowing to stay out of it, she finds herself pulled into the investigation. Will she learn the truth? There is a lot going on here, and it really pulled me into the story. I finished the book in just a couple of days, in fact. I kept switching what I thought was going on, but when we reached the climax, everything made perfect sense. I did catch a major timeline issue, however, something that always annoys me. The main characters, both series regulars and suspects, are strong and really drew me into the story as well.
I loved everything about this book! The cover is vibrant and I loved the pumpkin teddy falling down the stairs. The characters were fantastic in this book, they were witty and smart with just the right touch of sarcasm included. Sasha is a strong, likeable character who works well with her sister Maddie. Fall is my favorite time of year, so that made the book even more appealing. An old high school nemesis, Holly Parker, is back on the scene and causing even more trouble as an adult. I really disliked Holly and found myself yelling at her as I was reading. That is how I know it is a great book. For an author to create such a magical world, filled with teddy bear tea parties and murder, is a special talent and this book really outdid itself. I volunteered to read and review an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.
I thought Bear Witness To Murder was a good read. It took me a little while to get interested but once I did putting it down was hard. I wanted to see how it all turned out. There was lots I really enjoyed about the book. I enjoyed the story taking place around Halloween and the Oktobear Fest was a cute way to incorporate the theme. I loved the idea of the children hunting for bear in the woods. A play on Teddy Bears Picnic. I kind of felt like the author struggled a little in introducing people and some of plot. There were alot of descriptions like what people were wearing, where they were or going and what they were doing that seemed a little overboard. It just didn't seem to flow for me. Bear Witness To Murder is book 2 in the series and there were alot of references back to book 1. (which I have not had the pleasure to read). Book 2 is a stand alone and reads as one. The author does include the references to book 1 which kind of seemed like teasers to me to draw me into reading book 1. I was a little curious as to why Sasha's mom keep pushing her to forgive her cheating ex and try again. I won't give anything away but he's a real piece of work. So what is up with mom? The ending is left with a bit of a cliff hanger in the romance department because Sasha's new boyfriend leaves town for a few months. He's hoping to re-kindle their budding romance in the New Year. I am left wondering hmm. With all the sniffing around the scoundrel of an ex is doing. Hurry home Jay! The story/plot around the murder made the book a page turner. I kind of had an idea of who was involved just by the way a couple of the characters were acting but there was a twist at the end that threw everyone the townspeople and this reader off kilter. As I turned the last pages I thought two things. I need to go back and read book 1. And how long do I have to wait for book 3? Bear Witness To Murder was a good cozy read. I received a complimentary copy
Kids love them! Adults love them! Pets Love them! Teddy Bears❣️ Sasha Silverman is surrounded by adorable handmade teddy bears at the Silver Bear Shop & Factory she manages for her parents. Her sister, Maddie, keeps the office running smoothly. Oktobear Fest has arrived and the townspeople and tourists are excited about the many events taking place, such as Bears on Parade (which I loved), Hide the Bears in the Apple Orchard, the Haunted Maze, and More! To Sasha’s horror, she and her dog, Rosie, stumble across a dead body that Sasha mistakenly identifies as her long-time nemesis. The deceased is correctly ID’d soon, but it’s a race against time for Sasha and friends to piece together the patterns that will lead to the perpetrator before they kill again. This story has the ‘wow factor’! The splendid entertainment makes the pages fly by. I had suspicions about a couple of the characters behavior, but motive was unclear until the malice was explained. The mystery and all the backstory revealed will keep you on the edge of your seat through the final showdown! Ms. Macy continues to build great characters and an appealing world for them to live and work in. I enjoyed this second story even more than I did the first, and eagerly look forward to book three. I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Kensington.