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Miso Cozy Mysteries #2

The Daydreamer Detective Braves The Winter

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She’s got her head in the clouds and a taste for solving crime…

December has set in and just when the rural town of Chikata is recovering from one murder, Mei and her new boyfriend, Yasahiro, find their friend, Etsuko, dead in her apartment. Etsuko was sweet and talented, and now everyone suspects her longtime boyfriend killed her. Mei doesn’t believe it, though, and she vows to help solve the crime.

But Mei has more to think about than murder. With the barn gone and their vegetable stores destroyed, she and her mother are down to their last canned goods and no money for heat. Mei’s mom is fortunate to find work, but Mei must fend for herself, get a job, and keep their financial situation a secret from Yasahiro. In pursuit of paying work, she stumbles onto a new witness to the crime, and before long, the dead woman’s secret life unravels before everyone’s eyes.

Half-starving and out of her element, Mei is on thin ice, and it’s going to take a whole lot of ingenuity and quick thinking to solve the crime before the killer gets to her as well…

The Daydreamer Detective Braves The Winter is the delightful second course to the Miso Cozy series of cozy mystery novels.

Kindle Edition

Published July 7, 2016

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About the author

Steph Gennaro

7 books4 followers
Steph Gennaro is a long-time Japanophile, and she’s been studying Japanese culture and language for over 20 years. She loves dreaming of far-off places, going for walks with her dog, Lulu Ninja Assassin, hanging out with her family, and reading outside in the summertime. There is no better season than summer. She’s a Capricorn, mother, knitter, and web developer, and pasta is her favorite meal. Steph Gennaro is her pen name for cozy mysteries, but she also writes science fiction romance.

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Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews
Profile Image for Trish at Between My Lines.
1,070 reviews292 followers
November 9, 2016
This review was originally posted on Between My Lines

The Daydreamer Detective Braves Winter by S. J. Pajonas ticked all the boxes for an entertaining cosy read.  It hooked me in with the fabulous setting and kept me entertained all the way through.

First Line of The Daydreamer Detective by S. J. Pajonas

"I wished I could've erased the last two months and lived in that moment forever."

My Thoughts on The Daydreamer Detective Braves Winter by S. J. Pajonas

I ADORE the location of this series.  It's set in Japan, in a rural town and I just can't get enough of this setting.  I've learnt about Japanese customs, food and beliefs from this series and it has given a serious case of wanderlust.

First up this is book 2 in The Miso Cozy Mysteries and they need to be read in order.  So if you haven't read The Daydreamer Detective, stop now!  Instead go read that review and then the book instead.  Then come back!

I care about Mei as a character.  She is brave, resilient and proud but not unbelievably so.  I enjoy the glimpses into her flaws as they really flesh her out and make her life-like.

In this book, there is another murder to solve.  But there is also a winter to get through.  A winter where money is too tight to mention.  Literally.  Mei and her mother are broker than broke, but her mother doesn't want any one to know.  Mei's mother is proud and resourceful.  They will just have to make do on limited means and rations and struggle on.  I really enjoyed this storyline as tight budgeting is reality for so many but isn't talked about much in books.

But it's not all murder and money worries.  There is a sweet romance to lighten and lift.  I loved watching the couple grow closer, learn more about each other and fall further in love.

Highlights of The Daydreamer Detective by S. J. Pajonas

Fascinating Japanese culture to be absorbed
A puzzling murder
Interesting family dynamics
An emotionally satisfying romance

What more could you want? I loved it!

Who should read The Daydreamer Detective by S. J. Pajonas

I'd highly recommend this series to all those who love cosy mysteries and/or Japanese settings.  If you enjoyed the first book, The Daydreamer Detective, then I think you will be just as happy with this one.  In fact I'd recommend any of S.J. Pajonas books to you as I've loved them all and feel she is very underrated as an author.
Profile Image for Lola.
1,567 reviews246 followers
June 26, 2016
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

I really enjoyed the first book in this series and started this book as soon as I received my copy. The Daydreamer Detective Braves the Winter is even better than the first book. The mystery is very well done in this book and the continuity in this series is great to see. We clearly see the results of the events that happened in book 1 and this book nicely builds upon that. So I would definitely recommend to read this series in order to maximum enjoyment. And with every book Pajonas writes, it just feels comforting when I read one of her books, her writing style just works for me and even while I had little time to read I instantly got sucked into the book again when I picked it up.

In this book we see Mei struggle with what happened in book 1 in more ways than one. The personal effect to her and how the events hit her, but also the situation Mei and her mom are in now. They really struggle and I felt so bad for them for what they had to go through, but I also got why they didn't want to ask other for help. I could relate to that. The focus on this book is pretty much on the murder mystery and then Mei her personal life and situation next to that and I thought Pajonas did an amazing job combining the two. And all the plot lines where so interesting. There is one scene towards the end that bothered me and made me feel uncomfortable and I had hoped that part would play out differently. But besides that I really enjoyed this book.

I really liked the mystery in this book. This is one of the best mysteries I've read so far in a book. Pajonas took a risk and made the murder victim someone who was nice and likeable. In most cozies the murder victim is an unlikeable character, so I really liked the twist. And she was so nice and sweet, who would've wanted her dead? Slowly we find out more about Etsuko her life and it was so interesting to have the mystery slowly unravel like that. There was one part towards the end which seemed a tad too easy, but then again it would make sense the character would do that in her situation, so I thought it was realistic. I liked how complicated the mystery was, with some twists and turns and then I thought I had figured it out and it turned out to be something different. It was really well done and I loved how the mystery was written and developed.

Mei is in a tough situation at the start of this book and we see her deal with personal issues next to the murder mystery. She's looking for a job, dealing with the aftermath of the events in book 1 and still coming to terms with her relationship with Yasahiro. We really see Mei her personality in this book, with how she keeps going even though the situation is hard. I could relate to her and really liked her as a character. She changed and develops a lot in this book. I really liked her job development in this book and I am pretty sure I like where that plot line is going with how things end at the end of this book. I had expected that plot point earlier in this book already, but it was done well and I can't wait to see how this develops in the next book. I am also happy how we still see her daydreaming ways in the story as it really gives a feel for her character and how she thinks. I also liked how Mei got involved into the mystery and how she's friends with Goro the police officer and he allows her to help the investigation.

The focus in this book seems to be more on Mei, although two of my favourite characters Yasahiro and Mei her mom still play an important part as well. We also see Mei her friends who run the bathhouse and ofcourse we learn more about Etsuko through the murder investigation. We also meet some new side character that I hope we'll see more in later books.

Then there is the romance, while in most cozies the romance stays a minor plot line, that's true here as well, but I also feel like it gets more focus as in other cozies. And that really works for me. I love seeing Mei and Yasahiro together. The really grow as a couple in this book and learn a lot about each other and get more comfortable around each other. There are some issues they have to deal with and I liked seeing them work through them. This is another thing I like about Pajonas her books how she writes her romances. these two are great together and we see them get together and also see the issues that pop up after they are a couple. I was just talking to another blogger while reading this book about how rare it is to see that in a romance and it's one of the things I really like seeing in a book. It did bother me a bit about how Mei had to lie to Yasahiro about something at the start of the book, but I liked how it got resolved eventually. I also was a bit sad the sex scene was mostly behind closed doors though as I would've liked to read the whole scene.

To summarize: this was an amazing sequel! It nicely build upon the events of the the first book, while also introducing a new mystery and new plot lines. The mystery was really well done, with a likeable character as murder victim and a mystery with a lot of layers. I enjoyed figuring out what happened alongside Mei and there were a few twists I definitely didn't see coming. I enjoyed seeing Mei develop in this book. I like her as a main character and I could relate to her as I've been through some things she deals with as well. I also liked how the romance was handled, Yasahiro and Mei are now a couple and have some things they have to deal with together and I loved seeing their relationship dynamic change and develop. I love them together and think they make a great couple. All in all this was an amazing book and I wish the next book was already released!
Profile Image for Laura.
723 reviews105 followers
July 18, 2016
Thank you to the author, S.J. Pajonas, and to Lola @ Lola's Blog Tours for gifting me with an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review!

This is the second book in the Miso Cozy Mysteries series. The first book, The Daydreamer Detective (my review HERE), has definitely met it's equal with the newest installment. Let me tell you why!

1. The setting. Once again, S.J. Pajonas has rendered me amazed at the atmosphere that is woven in this book. It takes place in most of the same places as the last book so we're able to get a much deeper view and explore some new places. I loved how the author is able to make the setting so vivid and real without writing pages of descriptions. I've never been to Japan (where this takes place) but I feel as though I know more about the general atmosphere there than I did before reading this series.

2. The characters. Again, there are mostly the same characters in this book (with, of course, a new one here and there) so we're able to delve a bit deeper. I'm glad that the author didn't squander the opportunity to make the reader more aware of Mei and her mother's mindset and morals (as well as Yasahiro and Giro's!) and values. It was interesting to see the separation of the generations between Mei and her mother and how that affected their mindset on life. I also enjoyed seeing the dynamic between Mei and Yasahiro change and develop as they both have different upbringings and have different experiences when it comes to traveling to places outside of Japan. The characters felt real, personable, and relatable.

3. The mystery. One of the main plot lines in this book is the mystery of Etsuko's death. Just like the first book, I enjoyed how Mei was able to assist and we, as readers, are able to follow along in the mystery and figure it out as well without the book taking on a darker air. I'm rather new to the genre of cozy mysteries and I'm enjoying them! The one thing I do have to say about the mystery is that while I loved how it was revealed and how the clues were laid, I felt it was resolved rather quickly at the end. The actual arrest and apprehension was there but then the book just ended. Perhaps the next book will pick up where this one left off!

4. The rest of the plot lines. Another thing I love about this series is how the author manages to combine multiple plot lines into one book seamlessly. While Mei is figuring out the mystery, she is also working through her relationship with Yasahiro and his ex, trying to find another job, working, and developing her dream. This really helps cement the 'real-life' feel of the book as this is how the rest of our lives work as well. We all have multiple things going on at once in our lives and we deal with them in turn.

The Final Verdict:
Quite honestly, I loved this book. It perfectly weaves together the natural stresses of daily life. Combined with the impeccable settings and characters that jumped off the page, this book is perfect for reading on a cozy winter night. The idea that one can write a mystery book without it being dark or creepy is intriguing to me and I want to read more!
Profile Image for Patricia Hamill.
Author 16 books98 followers
June 25, 2016
The Daydreamer Detective is back, and plunging temperatures and finances have thrown her and her mom into dire straits. Add to that a shocking murder, a promise to get to the truth, and a drive to also make enough money to get through the winter, and Mei has her work cut out for her.

This was another delightful cozy mystery/romance. Mei’s a sweet girl, but tough. I love how she strives to be self-sufficient, but still caves enough when needed. I also enjoy how she’s just a regular girl trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life and how she just happens to be caught up in solving a crime. And what an ending! The danger builds and builds as the story progresses, ending in a satisfying and thrilling finale.

As for the romance, it seems realistic, but in a good way. It left me with warm fuzzy feelings and high hopes, but there’s still room for further developments in the coming books. The romance isn’t really the focus of the story, but it’s important to it.

The length of the book is also a plus here, at least for me. It’s a nice sized book, but it doesn’t feel like a long book.

Overall, I loved this book. It’s a fun read with a good dose of romance, mystery and danger. Folks who love cozy mysteries in far off places will likely enjoy this story.

I received an advanced review copy of this book from the author via Lola’s Blog Tours in order to provide this review. This review was written for the I read too much! blog.
Profile Image for Tracy.
Author 36 books203 followers
May 21, 2016
I read an early version of this book and when it releases in July you are in for a treat! I love Mei and in this installment of The Daydreamer Detective series we see Mei grow quite a bit. Her interactions with her boyfriend are sweet, and I adore the "job" she has found and she does a great job at it. Of course, her sleuth skills are top-notch and it's fun to watch her figure out the latest crime. In this book we see sides of Mei we didn't see in the previous book -- a stronger, more assertive Mei -- and you're going to love her.
Profile Image for Andrew.
677 reviews10 followers
November 26, 2016
In “The Daydream Detective”, author S. J. Pajonas introduced us to Mei Yamagawa and her friends and neighbors (and a few folks that aren't nearly as friendly) in Chikata, Japan. Mei-chan (more friendly form of Mr. or Ms.) may have identified the murderer in that initial novel, but it ended with a lot of her life in a state of flux.

“The Daydream Detective Braves the Winter” is the follow-up to that initial novel. Like any good cozy mystery, there is a dead body and a mystery as to who killed him. However, in this book, the mystery takes a back seat to telling the story of Mei-chan (I feel like we're friends now; after all, I know so much about her life by now!)'s attempts to not only get her feet back on the ground again, BUT to start them moving in a new and positive direction.

Fair warnings: Do NOT read this book before you've read the first book in the series – there are a number of references to events and characters from that book that are necessary for the reader to appreciate and understand them. In fact, it is likely that the reader who jumps into Book 2 will be disappointed in it unless they have the background provided by Book 1. Further, as implied earlier, this book is more “cozy” than “mystery” - if you're more interested in the crime than in the community in which it occurs or the people affected by it and those attempting to solve it, you may want to give this a pass.

Otherwise – pick up the book, and dive in. You should enjoy it.

RATING: 4 stars.

NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this anthology in return for an honest (and hopefully prompt) review.
1,412 reviews30 followers
March 6, 2018
Things are not going good for Mei and her mother since the barn burned down. They are struggling to stay warm or even have enough to eat. Needless to say, when Yasahiro discovers the conditions they are living in, he is less than displeased.

After a date at a restaurant, Yasahiro and Mei are asked to check on their normal waitress who did not show up for work. She is the owners daughter. Upon arriving at Etsuko's apartment, they discover her door has been broken into, and her body on the floor.

Mei takes it upon herself to help the local police in another case as she does not believe Takahara could be the murderer of the woman he professed to love.

This is another fun story from S. J. Pojanas, we learn a little more about Yasa's past, and Mei learns what it is that she wants to do for a career.

Profile Image for Linda Chance.
66 reviews5 followers
August 16, 2018
I love this series! I like “cozy” mysteries set in foreign lands where it feels like you are really getting a taste of the locale (almost literally, as the descriptions of the food make you want to head out to the nearest ramen joint!). Mei is a flawed person who is working toward many life changes. I like the many reoccurring characters in her small town, too. I don’t know how long S.J. Pajones can continue to find ways for Mei to stumble across murder victims, but, it will be a fun series to recommend for a while.
26 reviews2 followers
September 22, 2020
Sweet Cozy Mystery

I had a lot of fun reading this book. I bought it because I truly enjoyed the first in the series. Did I figure it out ahead of time? Yes, a little. Thankfully I am a little obsessed with the book and the series. On to the next ! You will fall in love with Me I as I have.
Profile Image for Gerri Alexander.
52 reviews2 followers
March 5, 2020
Great book!

I like being in this small town, learning about the people there and seeing the different way they handle things.
Profile Image for Stacia Ahlfeld.
55 reviews1 follower
January 12, 2021
This was cute. Chikata was really clear in my mind (autocorrect hates that word though when I review the book). Mei was fun. The other characters were nice too. It was a nice escape.
Profile Image for Sandra Olson.
Author 23 books28 followers
July 21, 2023

Another wonderful story about Mei. I almost feel like I’m in Japan when I read about the customs and characters.
Profile Image for Nicole M. M..
Author 1 book290 followers
March 17, 2017
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

This book starts out with Mei and her mother suffering the consequences of everything that happened at the end of book one (which I won’t spoil here—I’ll just say that it didn’t go well for poor Mei and some of her worst fears were dragged to the surface). They’re trying to get their lives back together, but the loss of their barn and farming equipment has put them in a very tight spot. Mei’s mother does not want to bring dishonor to her family, so she refuses to ask for help, and Mei does not want to disrespect her mother by bringing attention to their problems against her mother’s wishes. These concepts of honor and respect are more important in Japan than they are in the US, so they play into the story relatively heavily—Mei and her mother deal with having little food and no heat for far longer than the reader might think they should!

When Mei’s friend Etsuko ends up dead, Mei feels compelled to try and find the killer without dragging Etsuko’s name through the mud. But the more she learns about Etsuko’s tangled relationships, the more complicated that becomes. It seems that Etsuko had some unsavory ties and got herself involved with dangerous people. Mei just needs to figure out which people might have gone so far as to murder Etsuko—there are quite a few possibilities.

If I have one criticism, it’s that Mei held on to her insecurities about her relatively new relationship with Yasahiro a little too tightly for mu liking. I understood why she didn’t quite feel like she could measure up, but it seemed like too much of a focus (and why everyone else seemed so surprised that she was dating him was beyond me). I just got tired of Mei’s insecurities before she did.

The mystery in this book was compelling and kept me guessing, and I liked seeing Mei at her sleuthing best! This was a highly enjoyable addition to the series and I give it 4/5 Stars.
Profile Image for Kelsey Cretcher.
159 reviews21 followers
August 3, 2016
My hand is out of it's cast so time for a super late review! I recieved an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was a little mixed on this one, I thoroughly enjoyed the first book and was super excited to read this one, but this one was a little less inspired than the first. The book is still a quick, fun read, and some points were improved upon from the last book but others weren't. I'll break it down a little.

This book follow the same main character as the first, directly after the events of the first book. We follow Mei and her mother as they struggle to make it through the winter after their barn burned down in the last book. They are short on money, supplies and are struggling. Mei is now officially with Yasahiro, and together they get wrapped up in yet another murder, this time a close friend. Mei tries to balance her new relationship, her new side job and this mystery and make it through the winter.

Pretty solid concept, unfortunately not balanced, it was 70-80% Boyfriend 10% job 5-10% winter 5-10% mystery. Being a cozy mystery, I was a little bummed at how little was focused on the mystery, and while I felt the mystery was a little forced in the first book, I still really enjoyed it. This mystery was completely forced, and I was unsatisfied with the result of it, there was no suspense, drama, and no-one acted like real people. (Bad people don't just give up cause you tell them to...)

The book also just suffered from some unneeded exposition. Every time Mei talked/ thought about her scars, the author reexplained the finale of the last book. Every time. The book was not long enough to warrant this, borderline every other chapter the last book was re-explained. Once in the beginning and never again is how it should be, or find a way to subtly do it (she felt her scars under her shirt and shuddered at the memories, rather than, she felt her scars and remembered how blah blah her ex boyfriend held her captive and tried to murder her by burning down her barn with her in it, explained EVERY TIME).

There was both improvement and not improvement in my main complaint for the last book. I disliked the use of Japanese honorifics and random words. I speak some Japanese, and I've read a lot of translated books from Japan, I'm an anime fan and more, but nothing screams otaku more than the use of honorifics and random japanese in english writing. In all the translated novels I've read, the translators dropped the honorifics, because it's now in English and they aren't required anymore. Unless it's a food, or item that is Japanese, so you don't need to translate Hanafuda to Flower Cards, because it's name is Hanafuda. So she improved in that she did this less, but didn't improve in that she still did it occasionally, and when it was done so few times, the times stood out like sore thumbs. The author either needs to do it consistently, or not all, preferably not at all.

Mei's character has a habit of repeating herself, cause my other issue is how much she kept going "I can't believe he's my boyfriend". We get it, he's hot, rich, and you're insecure, but he is your boyfriend and that's cool, please stop saying that over and over again. Or let that insecurity manifest in other ways?

Overall, It was enjoyable, just weaker than the first and less satisfying. I look forward to the next one, I enjoy Mei's character and am hopeful for a better mystery. I think with some editing and balancing the author has a great story concept that could make for a great series.

Author 5 books43 followers
July 14, 2016
*I’d like to thank the author for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*

About two months ago, I was given the chance to read book one of this series, which I really liked. It was my first cozy mystery book, and I really wanted to try more. Well, TBR piles being what they are, I ended up getting distracted by other books. Therefore, this second novel in the Miso Cozy Mystery series was my second experience with this genre, which is a good thing. This book was just as strong as book one, and maybe even better in some ways.

I really liked Mei in this story. Due to the traumatic events of book one, she became a lot more cautious of people. She still would do anything for anyone, which is a huge part of why I liked her, but you could definitely tell Mei was more paranoid about things. I found that to be very realistic. Another aspect of Mei’s character I appreciated was that she was willing to admit when she was being overly jealous, or things like that. Plus, I found her very relatable, as once again, Mei struggled to find work while solving a murder mystery, and dreaming up a possible new future.

The side characters were as great as they were in book one, and in some cases, even better. Yasahiro was someone I definitely liked a lot in this book. I mean, he was a super-sensitive guy who knew Mei’s thoughts almost before she spoke them. It made for some amazing romance, because these two rarely had communication issues. Plus, Yasahiro was just a great guy, and only wanted the best for Mei. I loved Mei’s mom too, although she was a little irritating at the beginning of the book. She did end up learning from it, though. I got quite attached to Goro, a police officer and friend to Mei. Goro was a really fun character who also cared about the community and his family. I was intrigued at seeing his decency compete with his wanting to uphold the law.

This story followed Mei as she attempted to find work and solve a murder mystery. The fact that the victim was a friend of hers made things that much more sad and tense. I didn’t guess everything about the mystery, but I figured out who the key player was a little while before Mei did. What helped to make this book so fun for me was watching Mei come up with a part-time job. She ended up working with the elderly, charging them for her aid with things like cleaning, running errands, and ensuring that they got to appointments and other places they wanted to go. All of this definitely made me like her character even more. It helped that she really grew in this story. Mei started out this book a bit depressed, but ended it with some more scars and also hope for the future. I liked watching that growth.

If you can’t guess from my thoughts above, I’m definitely recommending this story. I think I liked this just a tiny bit better than book one, what with all the character growth that went on here. The mystery was intriguing, though like I said, I did guess the key player. I didn’t mind, however, as watching Mei’s journey was just so intriguing. With the way the novel ended, I’m now eagerly awaiting more books in this series.
Profile Image for J. d'Merricksson.
Author 8 books46 followers
July 14, 2016
***This book was reviewed for Lola’s Blog Tours***

The Daydreamer Detective Braves the Winter is the second of Pajonas’ Miso Cozy Mystery series. It has only been a handful of weeks since Mei’s first harrowing adventure, working to solve the murder of her best friend’s father. Those events strained her relationship with Akiko, but Mei has found a new circle of friends since returning to her childhood home of Chikata, and she has a wonderfully caring new boyfriend.

Unfortunately, disaster is soon to strike again. Thanks to the fire that nearly cost her life, Mei and her ma have lost their winter stores of root vegetables, and all of Mei’s painting supplies. With these sources of income lost, they have fallen into near destitution. One by one, they begin to make do with things… including basic necessities like adequate food and heat. As winter descends, things grow harsh indeed. Then she and Yasahiro discover the body of one of their friends, and our daydreamer detective is drawn into yet another investigation.

At first too stubborn to ask for help, she and her ma must finally face reality. They must be honest with their friends or they will freeze to death in their unforgivingly cold house. (I was very alarmed that they'd left the cat behind til I learned Mimoji-chan was safe and sound. Kitty cats love heat after all!) Throughout all of this, Mei finds a job she loves. She begins running errands for the elderly in Chikata, and helping them with chores. More than once, this proves a boon in her investigation into Etsuko’s death.

Like the first in the series, there are dark undertones masterfully woven into this little cozy mystery. From blackmail and money laundering to murder and hints of BDSM, Mei certainly has a lot to contend with! This tiny village is certainly becoming terrifying to live in.

I was very conflicted over Mei’s treatment of Akiko following the events of the last book. On one hand, I can understand it, given Mei’s past. On the other, I feel such compassion for Akiko. She had no idea her psychopath of a brother would up the ante, and she nearly died in the barn fire as well. She’s being avoided by the people who could offer her the strongest support.

This story played on my fears of not having enough, of being so poor as to be homeless or near to it. And it reminded me of the ice storms of my youth that would knock the power out for days on end, and leave us shivering around the fireplace. One time in particular, I had three blankets and all of our cats would burrow under the covers with me so I couldn't roll over or move much. Heh. But we kept each other warm.

I also feel a strong kinship with Mei, and her feelings of not being good enough, especially over her physical scarring. Though I am too cynical to believe such things happen in 'real’ life, I love that she has found such acceptance with Yasahiro. I hope she continues to bloom, and her hopes for the future are fully realised.

Profile Image for Rebecca.
352 reviews4 followers
June 22, 2016
I received this arc in exchange for review.

After the events of book 1, December has set in and it's cold. Mei is recovering from the barn fire and so is her mum and their financial troubles. Mei s mum is fortunate enough to find work but it isn't enough. As Mei wastes away in front of her new boyfriend Yasahiro, she is helping to find the murderer of her sweet friend Etsuko who they were on a group date with the night before.

As the events unfold we find out that there is more to Etsuko s life then met the eye, and Mei does eventually find work which eventually helps her to find more evidence but will the killer get to her first before she finds out all the facts?

Mei and Yasahiro relationship builds in this book, I love how they are with each other and how Mei can't believe her luck. It's really humbling to read a book with a relationship that slowly builds and they don't take each other for granted. The story line is really well written to intertwine their relationship with the other stories in the book. The murder and how Mei finds work. We see the other characters being developed to such as Guro and Kumi which really gives the book more depth.

The book ends setting up a great idea and story line for book 3, I can't wait!

If you enjoyed the first book, your ll love this one.
Profile Image for Laura.
2,557 reviews
July 12, 2016
This is a great book; this is the second book in the Miso Cozy Mystery series written by S.J. Pajonas. This book can be read as a standalone, but once you read this one you will want to go back and read the other books in this series. Mei and her new boyfriend, Yasahiro, find their friend, Etsuko, dead in her apartment. Etsuko was sweet and talented, and now everyone suspects her longtime boyfriend killed her. Mei doesn’t believe it, though, and she vows to help solve the crime. This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading long into the night. If you are looking for a great book, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
Profile Image for Karen Gibbons.
46 reviews
July 15, 2016
Love All Things Japanese

Well written mystery. This story was full of intrigue while enhancing the romance. The mother's willingness to live without heat and enough food and the daughters respect for her mother's desire not to tell their friends were profoundly acts of saving faith in this culture.. ( The Japanese people I knew while living there were generous giving people. ) I'd recommend this and the previous to anyone who wants to expose their reading into a bit of a learning g
experience. I enjoy e reading on my Kindle because I can highlight
a word and lookup the meaning. Really helpful with the Japanese words. Needles to say, I've found a new author and genre.
Profile Image for Silvie.
13 reviews1 follower
June 21, 2016
The second sequel of Miso Cosy Mysteries is about Mei, almost recovered from her physical and psychical injuries related to attempt to her murder, is devastated by the tragic death of her friend. Mei is involved in the investigation, but has to solve another serious problem: how to survive the winter. Together with her mum they are running low on money, so they try to cut off all expenses to minimum, but is it really a good idea? How could Mei herself help their situation when she’s unemployed?

Full review: http://iwannaread.com/s-j-pajonas-the...

Note: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Diane Burton.
Author 17 books247 followers
August 17, 2016
Loved this book. Mei is maturing in this 2nd book of the series. From the self-centered girl in the 1st book, she's starting to think of others. I love this progression. Of course, the real point of the book is solving the mystery of her friend's death. Mei's sleuthing skills help her help the police. The more she discovers about her friend, the more she realizes she didn't know her very well. Ms. Pajonas again gives the reader a more in-depth look into every day life in rural Japan. I'll be first in line for the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Anne G. Kasaba.
1,516 reviews6 followers
June 1, 2016
Sometimes a book or series captures my imagination and draws me into the pages of a book I am reading. This was the case with both Daydream Detective books. I love all the characters who interact with so much caring and compassion with each other. Taking a peek into another culture is always interesting but the author goes beyond that small glimpse and readers are treated to a full view of the Japanese culture and shows readers what it is like to be Japanese.
Profile Image for Caroline.
Author 36 books210 followers
February 7, 2017
I enjoyed the first book in this series so much that I was leery of starting the second in case I was disappointed. I needn't have worried. Not only is this second book as good as the first, it's probably even better. Reading 'The Daydreamer Detective Braves the Winter' is like taking a trip to Japan without leaving your living room. I'm impressed by the author's ability to make japan come to life in my mind - wow. I just hope the wait for the third installment isn't going to be long!
Profile Image for Babydoclaz.
224 reviews
July 16, 2016
I read the first book and enjoyed the characters immensely, although I felt the plot was a bit predictable. This book continued the character development and had a more interesting plot with some twists. I enjoy SJ Pajonas' writing, and love the immersion into the Japanese culture. This was an enjoyable fun read for me, and I look forward to more books in this series
Profile Image for Ani Gonzalez.
Author 30 books485 followers
July 25, 2016
This series gets better and better. The mysteries get more complicated, the romance gets stronger (A lot of cozies are light on the romance and I love that this one is different), and the stakes get higher (the victim is one of Mei's friends, which adds poignancy to the puzzle). The fact that Mei is in a tough financial situations adds to the tension. Great follow-up to The Daydreamer Detective!
Profile Image for Stacy.
22 reviews1 follower
July 21, 2016
Great seies

Love this series. Hope it continues a long time. Great heroine and enjoying Japanese culture throughout the story. Will order more.
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