A relaxing setting, if not for the crime, Cocktails & Casualties is an entertaining whodunnit with lots of clues, vivid descriptions, and food and drinks that immersed me in this cozy mystery from the first page to the last.


The Description

Crooked Cove Mysteries: Book 1
Publication Date: July 1, 2023

Teddy Aarons is a nomad, using her bartending skills as an excuse to move to a new luxury resort with each change of the season. But when she finds herself stuck on the remote island of Mahina Cay, she finds refuge in the quirky little Township of Crooked Cove.

Crooked Cove is a village of expatriates from various countries, and the people are welcoming, but she only intends to stay long enough to make the money to get off the island and back to her real life.. However, when one of the village’s most distinguished citizens turns up dead, it’s up to her to either solve the case or become a permanent resident of the slammer!

With her new friend Jasmine at her side, Teddy will do whatever it takes to shake out the truth and stir up the real killer to clear her name. Will she manage to keep herself out of lockup, or will she end up under the influence of the Mahina Cay Prison?

ExcerptPDF-imgThe Review

Cocktails & Casualties is the first book in the Crooked Cove Mysteries series by author Carly Wayne, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

This cozy mystery is set in the Caribbean, in the village of Crooked Cove, which is populated with ex-pats. Teddy makes her way there when she hitches a ride after getting lost when her ATV breaks down. The cruise ship she was on left without her when she didn’t make it back to the ship from her solo excursion in time. The story takes off from there.

Teddy meets Hawk when she’s taken to town. Although much older, he seems taken with her. Hawk owns the restaurant and bar, along with other properties and businesses. He offers her a job as a bartender since she’s a freelance bartender and had planned to head to her next gig in the States after the cruise. He also rents her a guest room and is hoping she stays. She meets the customers and employees at the bar and has a successful night showing Hawk her skills behind the bar.

There’s quite the cast of characters, and many with depth to them. We get to know Teddy a little at a time, and she becomes quick friends with one of the waitresses, Jasmine, also known as Jazz. She seems to fit right in and agrees to stay on until the end of the summer.

When Hawk is murdered, she and Jazz become amateur sleuths to try and find the murderer, especially when Teddy is the only suspect and even spends a night in jail. Their sleuthing takes them all over the island, and they also solve some other crimes. Of course, this doesn’t sit well with the police chief. There are clues galore, an evidence board created by Teddy and Jazz, lots of food and drink, crimes committed, arrests, anger, fear, hurt, secrets, and even some romance. There are vivid descriptions that made me feel like I was there.

The story has twists and turns as suspects are eliminated and more evidence is collected. The story jumps at times and doesn’t always have a good flow. There is closure with the arrest of the person whodunnit and the reading of Hawk’s will. I love the vibe of the cover, the title, and the playful and descriptive chapter titles. There were even a couple of drink recipes in the back of the book.

Ms. Wayne is a new-to-me-author, and I can’t wait to return to Crooked Cove and see what Teddy and Jazz get up to next.

A relaxing setting, if not for the crime, Cocktails & Casualties is an entertaining whodunnit with lots of clues, vivid descriptions, and food and drinks that immersed me in this cozy mystery from the first page to the last.Buy Links

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About The Author

Carly Wayne first discovered her love of storytelling as a child when she would create alternate endings for all of her favorite fairy tales. As she grew, her fascination developed into a passion for writing about the characters and worlds she imagined.

Now, Carly has returned to her ancestral home deep in the woods of Jacksonville, Florida, not too far from the ocean. She fills her days pursuing her bliss by writing, creating, and exploring nature.

Carly holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology.


Blog Tour ScheduleAugust 14

1: Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Love
2: Iron Canuck Reviews & More
3: The Faerie Review
4: Literary Gold
5: The Avid Reader
6: Kenyan Poet
7: Author Deb Bailey

August 15

1: D.S.
2: Two Ends of the Pen
3: Guatemala Paula Loves to Read review
4: Paws.Read.Repeat
5: fundinmental
6: Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
7: Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

August 16

1: Fabulous and Brunette
2: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
3: Read Your Writes Book Reviews
5: Our Town Book Reviews
6: Straight From the Library

August 17

1: Locks, Hooks and Books
2: Dawn’s Reading Nook
3: Novels Alive review
4: Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! review
5: So Many Books
6: Long and Short Reviews

August 18

1: Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
2: Cassidy’s Bookshelves
3: Eye-Rolling Demigod’s Book Blog
4: Westveil Publishing
5: travel the ages
6: Beyond Romance
7: Kit ‘n Kabookle
8: Sandra’s Book Club


JoAnne Weiss, nee Montalbano, was born and raised in NYC until moving to CT with her family when she was 16 and she's never left. Married for 41 years with one grown son, she works in an elementary school office where she's been since it opened in 2003. Prior to that, she was an accountant in several corporations before becoming a stay at home mom for 12 years. JoAnne enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her family, and extended family as well as with friends. She enjoys cooking and rarely uses a recipe the way it was intended but instead uses them and cooking shows to give her new ideas and suggestions. JoAnne has a huge bucket list of places she'd like to visit but has been lucky enough to travel to England, Italy, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, and many states in the U.S. including Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine among others. Some of JoAnne's favorite genres include contemporary romance, chick-lit, romantic suspense, and historical romances including regency and those set in the west. JoAnne is on several author's street teams and enjoys interacting with many of them on Facebook as well as reading their newsletters. She has been lucky enough to meet some of her favorite authors among them Susan Mallery, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Meg Tilly, Beatriz Williams, and Marie Bostwick. JoAnne took a road trip with her sister in the fall of 2019 and visited Nora Roberts' bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland for an authors' signing. She hopes to do more of this in the future. JoAnne leaves reviews for all books she reads on Goodreads and her reviews can be found at JoAnne currently reviews for - and which is on hiatus. Previously she reviewed for which has since closed. Payment is in the form of receiving free books to read and review. Her mantra is too many books and not enough time!



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A relaxing setting, if not for the crime, Cocktails & Casualties is an entertaining whodunnit with lots of clues, vivid descriptions, and food and drinks that immersed me in this cozy mystery from the first page to the last.4-STAR REVIEW: COCKTAILS & CASUALTIES by Carly Wayne