BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: A Fatal Collection by Mary Ellen Hughes (Cozy Mystery)

Greetings Friends!

Today I have a review for the new cozy mystery A Fatal Collection by Mary Ellen Hughes, the first book in the Keepsake Cove mystery series.

A Fatal Collection (A Keepsake Cove Mystery) by [Hughes, Mary Ellen]


Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publication Date:  November 2017


Callie Reed pays a long overdue visit to her aunt, Melodie, at her fairy-tale cottage in quaint Keepsake Cove, which is home to a bevy of collectible shops on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Just as they’re beginning to reconnect, Callie discovers her aunt’s body on the floor of the music box shop she owns. Grief-stricken, Callie finds she can’t accept Melodie’s death being ruled accidental. How could her strong and healthy aunt take such a fatal fall? And why was she in the shop in the middle of the night? 

As Callie searches for the truth, signs seem to come from her late aunt through a favorite music box, urging Callie on. Or are they warnings? If Callie isn’t careful, she could meet a similar deadly fate amid Melodie’s collection. 

Pick up your copy on Amazon HERE.


I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.
This was a delightful cozy that was really enhanced by how charming the community of Keepsake Cove was. Because Callie is new to the locale as well, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know everyone and everything right along with her. I absolutely love these small towns with locally owned businesses that individually specialize in a certain niche, and Keepsake Cove is full of collectible shops that thrive on the tourist market. Selling a wide variety of unique gifts, this is definitely a welcoming place to visit and explore. The author’s vivid descriptions certainly created an inviting atmosphere that I could picture myself strolling through for a sweet shopping experience. 

With a quirky yet highly likeable cast of secondary characters, there is no shortage of suspicious suspects or motives. And while I was able to accurately determine who the culprit was very early on, this in no way detracted from the story for me. I enjoyed developing several ideas on the motive, which ultimately did turn out to be a slight surprise, but completely believable.

There is a total lack of law enforcement involvement in solving the mystery, so the story loses that more traditional antagonistic relationship between the amateur and the expert. I appreciated this aspect and thought it worked well in connection with the hints of paranormal activity Callie was using as her guide. She never overtly goes out of her way to put herself or others in danger nor is she even sure there is a mystery to be solved. Her instincts suggest something isn’t right, and in the end, she is just as surprised as the reader when the answers are revealed. In many ways, this made the story so much more refreshing and engaging to read.

Overall, this was a great, solid start to yet another lovely cozy mystery series and I am very interested to see how quite a few interactions between characters play out as the story continues.


Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is her debut with Midnight Ink. A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she’s set many of her stories. 

You can connect with her on:


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Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours and Mary Ellen Hughes. It was a pleasure providing a review! And be sure to check out the other blog tour participants for more!


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