Apr 242014
 

cat and caboodleThe Whole Cat and Caboodle:
Second Chance Cat Mystery

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451419941
E-Book File Size: 2017 KB
ASIN: B00F9EZBG0
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Welcome to the oceanfront town of North Harbor, Maine. Sarah Grayson owns and operates Second Chance, a shop that sells used items that have be given makeovers and some have been totally repurposed.  She even holds classes so people can transform their own pieces.

Sarah’s grandmother holds the mortgage and several of her grandmother’s friends work at Second Chance. Sarah has known them most of her life and they are her friends as well as her grandmother’s. Mac, a retired financial planner, is Sarah right hand. Together they turn some people’s junk into beautiful treasures. Elvis is the store mascot and not your typical cat. Elvis has used up his nine lives but was rescued by Sarah. The big black cat with the scar on his nose from one of his battles goes everywhere with Sarah and seems to understand every word she says and humans in general.

When one of Sarah’s elderly friends fails to show up for a class everyone gets worried. Maddie would never miss a class. When they find her she is in her garden with a man who is very dead. Maddie is the prime suspect, of course, but Sarah and all her friends know she could never hurt anyone. Before the murderer has a second chance to kill someone else they need to clear Maddie and find the real killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

An excellent debut!

This cozy has a really great twist. While Sarah is the main character (with Elvis coming in at a very close second) she is not the one doing the investigating at least at the start. She is more a wrangler of the group who has set up an office in the store and started calling themselves Charlie’s Angels. Senior citizens, Liz, Rose and Charlotte along with a little help from Mr. P. (Bosley) are trying to track back through dead man’s past to see who could have killed him. They happen to turn up plenty of suspects. They also add a whole caboodle of humor to this story too. Elvis also becomes quite an asset as the story plays out.

Added to the character mix is Nick, Sarah’s “old high school flame” who works for the coroner’s office and Michelle Andrews, she and Sarah used to be best friends but not anymore and she is the detective that caught the case. Can old flames reignite? Can old friends come back together and be friends again?

If you have read the Magical Cat Mysteries by Sofie Kelly you will quickly realize the Sofie Ryan is the same author. She has a unique way of writing especially for her feline characters. They jump right off the page and into your heart.

This is a wonderful start to a new series with group of characters I already love. I am looking forward to book #2.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Sofie Ryan on her webpage here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Apr 232014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am happy to welcome Connie Archer to Escapes With Dollycas.
She has just finished her Great Escapes Book Tour and
was gracious to make a stop here today!

Connie.Archer.2

Special thanks to Lori for inviting me to her blog today to spread the word about the third book in the souplover’s mystery series — A Roux of Revenge.

Cover.A_Roux_of_RevengeWhen a band of travelers arrives in the village of Snowflake, Vermont and a dead stranger is found by the side of the road, the past returns with a vengeance. Long kept secrets will be revealed, lost loves will be found and the lives of many in the village will be irrevocably altered.

Since today is April 23rd, I thought it only fitting to wish a happy birthday to the Bard. April 23rd is the assumed birth date of William Shakespeare, based on the fact that his baptism took place three days later on April 26, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.

BindingConsidered the greatest playwright of all time and known for some of the most beautiful romances in literature, Shakespeare certainly knew how to let his dark side out to play. He would have made any thriller writer proud! He managed to kill off countless characters in unique, brutal and gory fashion, and in his time, his most popular plays were the most violent.

Here are a few highlights. (This is not for the faint-hearted.) Get ready for an orgy of poison, stabbing, suicide, bludgeoning, beheading and general rollicking mayhem.

In a jealous rage, Othello smothers his Desdemona. Overcome with guilt when he learns she had been faithful after all, he kills himself with a dagger. But don’t forget Emilia who is stabbed by her husband, Iago, when he learns of her part in the plot against Desdemona and Cassio. Oh, Rodrigo is stabbed to death too.

In The Winter’s Tale, King Leontes orders the death of his wife Hermione and their two children. Antigonus, ordered to take the King’s infant to the beach to be left to die, is dispatched by a bear! A bear? Say what?

Romeo upon hearing of Juliet’s (untrue) death, drinks the poison at the Capulet crypt When Juliet wakes to find Romeo dead beside her, she ends her own life by stabbing herself with a dagger. Oh, and let’s see, Mercutio, Tybalt, and Paris are stabbed, while Lady Montague dies of a broken heart.

Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth

Macbeth kills Duncan, King of Scotland, while Duncan sleeps during a visit to Macbeth’s castle. Our protagonist is a busy man, dispatching Macduff’s wife and children, Duncan’s guards, Banquo and Seward. Macduff of course avenges himself by beheading the reckless Macbeth, and Lady Macbeth dies from . . . not really sure, maybe suicide, maybe lack of sleep.

Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it.
Macbeth, Act I, scene 4

Hamlet learns from his father’s ghost that he was killed by poison poured into his ear while he slept, causing scabs over his entire body. Hebenon? What is that? Must have been henbane, also known as black nightshade or Jupiter’s bean. Ophelia, driven mad, falls from a tree branch and drowns. Okay, that’s a suicide. Queen Gertrude drinks from the poisoned chalice of wine intended for Hamlet. She dies exclaiming, “The drink, the drink! I am poison’d.”

Hamlet stabs Claudius with the poisoned rapier and then forces him to drink from the poisoned goblet. Polonius, acting as a spy for King Claudius, dies when Hamlet strikes through the curtain and kills the eavesdropper. Before this piece of fluff is over, both Laertes and Hamlet are dead from sword wounds and poison.

King Lear and his daughters

King Lear and his daughters

In King Lear, Cornwall and Oswald are stabbed. Gloucester is blinded and dies of shock.. Regan is poisoned by her sister, Goneril, after she sets her sights on Goneril’s lover. Cordelia is jailed and hanged in her cell. Finally, Goneril commits suicide when her plots are exposed and Lear dies of grief.

Golden lads and girls all must
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.
Cymbeline, Act IV, scene 2

For sheer blood and guts Titus Andronicus tops them all. Lavinia is raped by Demetrius and Chiron who then cut out her tongue and cut off her hands. When Titus, her father, learns of the rape, he murders her by breaking her neck and kills the two men. He hangs them upside down to drain their blood and bakes them in a pie which he feeds to their mother. Shades of Sweeney Todd! Titus then stabs her in the face before being brought down by Saturninus, who in turn is also stabbed to death. A veritable feast of gore (if you’ll pardon the pun).

The body count is rising. Midsomer Parva can’t hold a candle to the seacoast of Bohemia in this play. Alarbus’s arms and legs are cut off and he is thrown into the fire, the nurse is stabbed, Tamora dies of indigestion, Mutius and Bassanius are stabbed, Martius and Quintus are beheaded, the clown is hanged and Aaron, is buried up to his neck in the sand and starves to death.

Woe, destruction, ruin, and decay;
The worst is death, and death will have his day.
Richard II, Act III, scene 2

ShakespeareShakespeare died on his (probable) birthday, April 23, 1616.
Happy Birthday, Will – you’ve entertained us for centuries!

~Connie

About This Author

Connie Archer is the author of A Spoonful of Murder, A Broth of Betrayal and just released, A Roux of Revenge.
You can visit Connie at www.conniearchermysteries.com
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ConnieArcherMysteries
Twitter: @SnowflakeVT

Cover.A_Roux_of_RevengeA Roux of Revenge
(A Soup Lover’s Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Cathy Gendron
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252420
E-Book File Size: 1846 KB
ASIN: B00F9F0T0M
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It’s time for the Harvest Festival just outside of Snowflake, Vermont. Lucky’s By The Spoonful Soup Shop is busy with not only tourists coming to town for the festival but a group of travelers that have come to work at the festival. One of the travelers seems to be particularly interested into one of Lucky’s waitresses. Does Janie have a stalker?

An unidentified man has also been found murdered in a van just outside of town and the travelers seem to be the prime suspects.  When Janie’s life is put in danger Lucky has no choice but try to help her even if it means working together with the travelers under suspicion.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

From A Spoonful of Murder to A Broth of Betrayal and now in A Roux of Revenge, Snowflake, Vermont is a hotbed of mystery.

In this installment tension is as hot as the soups. The travelers are sometimes referred to as gypsies as they travel around from place to place taking jobs like working at festivals like the one taking place in Snowflake. When one of them appears to be watching the soup shop and especially Janie, Lucky senses something is up right away.

Archer has crafted a very interesting mystery with very unexpected twists.  She also mixes in Lucky relationship with Elias that seems to be ending its course unless something changes in a hurry. I will admit I found Elias’ actions or lack there of very frustrating myself so I was feeling heartbroken for Lucky.

I really enjoy the way all the characters meet and check in at By The Spoonful and the way Lucky and her grandfather, Jack, interact with everyone. If you want to know what is happening in Snowflake this is the place to be. It reminds me so much of the cafe my mother used to run.

The author continues to top herself and has left me anxiously awaiting my next visit to By The Spoonful.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Connie for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End May 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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Apr 222014
 

sugar and icedSugar and Iced
(Cupcake Bakery Mystery)

6th Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (April 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Jeff Fitz-Maurice
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258927
E-Book File Size: 1991 KB
ASIN: B00F9F0UV0
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Sugar and spice and murderous vice.
That’s what pageants are made of…

Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are back in this sixth cupcake mystery and their cupcakes are donning tiaras! As a favor to her mom Mel agrees to provide cupcakes for the seventy-fifth annual Sweet Tiara Beauty Pageant.  It is great publicity for Fairy Tale Cupcakes and when their young friend Lupe decides to enter the pageant Mel’s mother is smiling ear to ear. She takes Lupe under her wing to help her prepare for the competition.

Not everyone is thrilled with this new face on the pageant circuit. One high strung judge scores her very low on the  first day. When that judge ends up dead, fingers are quickly pointed at Lupe as the prime suspect. The whole Fairy Tale Cupcake crew comes together to prove her innocence so she can continue in the competition and not end up behind bars before she gets to strut her stuff.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jenn McKinlay has whipped up another great story with SPRINKLES on top!!!!

I love this series and I love these characters!!

Mel and Angie are best friends, as close as sisters and may actually be related in the not too distant future, unless something goes terribly wrong.  She now has three man in her “man club”  Joe is #1, Manny is #2 and Steve is #3 and each man knows and understands their rating but that doesn’t stop them from trying to win her over to their side. They all also try to keep her out of trouble.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Tate is also part of team that makes up Fairy Tale Cupcakes and he is very interested in another part of the team, he just needs to get out of his funk and do something about it.

Oz and Marty round out the crew and are a different as night and day but they part of the reason this series is so great. They really add the humor!!! We get to know Lupe, Oz’s skateboarding friend, and Oz finally sees her as a girl instead of just his buddy. I absolutely loved it!!!!

I was in a pageant eons ago, first runner-up, thank you very much, and the girls and their mothers could be a bit catty but killing a judge, oh my!! What a splendid idea for a mystery! There are plenty of suspects with means, motive and opportunity.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that it left us hanging about a very important person and I have to wait until the next book comes out to find out more. Next year? That is just too long!! :)

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thankfully Jenn has other series for us to read while we wait for the next Cupcake Bakery Mystery!!

Check out her webpage here too!!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Apr 202014
 

This great meme is hosted by Sheila at
Book Journey”.
It’s a great way to start the week and
find out what other bloggers are reading.
My To-Be-Read pile has grown to an
unbelievable number thanks to this meme.

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend!!

Now here’s my recap of last week’s reading and what I am planning this week.
*All books are linked to Amazon

FINISHED

Sugar and Iced (Cupcake Bakery Mystery)

Review Will Be Up Tomorrow!

A Roux of Revenge (A Soup Lover’s Mystery)

Connie Will Be Here For Cozy Wednesday This  Week!!

The Whole Cat and Caboodle: Second Chance Cat Mystery

Review Will Be Up Thursday!

Come Home

My Just For Fun Read For April
I stayed up late to finish this one!

ON DECK THIS WEEK

Dyed and Gone (Azalea March Mystery)

The Great Escapes Book Tour For This Book Stops Here Next Week!

Then I am going to do a little catch up on books
I didn’t get to read when they first came out.

Eggs in a Casket (A Cackleberry Club Mystery)

This one also helps my A-Z Alphabet Soup Challenge

Cat Nap (A Sunny & Shadow Mystery)

For Review

Drizzled with Death (A Sugar Grove Mystery)

For Review

escape

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Apr 202014
 

The Sunday Salon.com

The Sunday Salon used to be a meme but was getting so huge it became unmanageable, so it is now a Facebook group that has become an informal week in review
gathering place for bloggers.

It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.

SUNDAY POSTThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
~ It’s a chance to share news~
A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

happy easter
The Easter Bunny stopped by Nana and Papa’s house and left baskets for the grandkids. We are off today to spend Easter with our family at my daughter Katy’s and to deliver the goodies. I hope you all have a wonderful day!!

 

weekly rewind credited235Weekly Rewind – April 14 – 19, 2014

Monday -It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Tuesday -Review: Guidebook to Murder by Lynn Cahoon

Wednesday -Cozy Wednesday with Beverly Allen – Author of Bloom and Doom (Giveaway too!)

PLUS:   Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway

Thursday -Review/Giveaway: Never Come Back by David Bell

Friday -Review: Marriage Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo

Saturday -Murder in the Dog Park & Dog Spelled Backwards Great Excapes Book Tour Stop

mail call314

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Apr 192014
 

great escape tour banner large dog mysteries large banner640

Murder in the Dog Park/Dog Spelled Backwards
by Jill Yesko

Dog Park coverMurder in the Dog Park
Mystery
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Baxter World Publishing (May 28, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-0985485207
File Size: 242 KB
Print Length: 128 pages
ASIN: B00A10IU7O
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Synopsis

Discovering a brutally murdered boy in a rainy dog park sends misanthropic private detective Jane Ronson on a journey through Baltimore’s gritty underbelly. Aided by a sexy cop, a bad-ass bull terrier, and an only-in-Baltimore cast of characters, Jane must use her computer-hacking and street-fighting skills to save her only family member from being framed as the killer.

 

DogSpelledBackwards
Dog Spelled Backwards: An Unholy Mystery
Mystery
Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Baxter World Publishing (August 17, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-0985485214
File Size: 1355 KB
Print Length: 118 pages
ASIN: B00FDXQVO8
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Synopsis

Private investigator Jane Ronson suffers from oppositional defiant disorder, the uncontrollable urge to punch first then ask questions later. When a rabbi with a shady past offers her a bag of cash to spy on a rival rabbi, Jane jumps at the chance to make what think will be easy money. To get her cash, Jane impersonates an Orthodox Jewish woman and infiltrates a black market kidney ring in Baltimore’s Orthodox community. Between Russian gangsters and double crosses, Jane is number one on everyone’s hit list. To save her life, she forms an alliance with a religious woman and confronts a family.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jill Yesko has created a wonderful protagonist. Jane lives by her rules, she is tough and gritty and really doesn’t care what other people think about her at all. She loves her dog and she loves her man and she puts herself right in the middle of some very dicey situations. I like her and am engaged by her story.

My problem is with the content of the stories. The first novella lays the groundwork, introduces us to the characters, but the mystery falls short. It is more a series of coincidences.  The second novella has a great mystery and the characters continue to evolve a bit but it is a little disjointed. I wish the author would have melded these two novellas into just one book. The coincidences in the first would make a great subplot when meshed together with the second. The characters would flow better as well.

Separately I would give the first story 3 stars and the second 4 stars but together they would make “A Perfect Escape” and receive 5 stars.

3 STARFISH4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

Jill Yesko HeadshotAbout This Author

Jill Yesko’s 20+ year writing career has included stints as a sport writer, NPR commentator and investigative reporter. She’s written about everything from body piercing to human pyramids in Spain. After a solo trek around the world, Jill was profiled as an “adventurous traveler” in O, the Oprah magazine. Before becoming a writer, Jill was a national-class cyclist and graduate and cartographer. A New Jersey native, Jill now patrols Baltimore’s dog parks with her basset hound.

 

Author Links

www.murderinthedogpark.com
http://murderinthedogpark.blogspot.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Check out the rest of the tour!!

Tour Participants

April 14 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review
April 15 – Mommasez… – Review, Guest Post
April 16 – readalot blog – Review
April 17 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
April 18 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Guest Post
April 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
April 21- deal sharing aunt – Guest Post
April 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
April 22 – fuonlyknew ~ Laura’s Ramblins and Reviews – Review
April 23 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers  – Review
April 24 – fundinmental – Guest Post
April 25 – Thoughts in Progress – Review, Interview
April 26 – Chloe Gets a Clue  – Interview
April 27 – Melina Book Blog – Guest Post
April 28 – Teena in Toronto – Review
April 29 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Review
April 30 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Apr 182014
 

Marriage Can Be Murder, Every Wife Has A Story
3rd Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Baby Boomer Mysteries Press (July 1, 2012)
Mass Market Paperback: 237 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0985779900
E-Book File Size: 455 KB
ASIN: B008LC1OK4
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Empty-nester Carol Andrews is thrilled when daughter Jenny announces her engagement. She’s dreamed of planning her daughter’s wedding since the day Jenny was born. But with only two months to pull together a destination wedding on Nantucket, Jenny insists on hiring Cinderella Weddings to organize the event. Father-of-the-bride Jim objects to the cost, and Carol objects to having her opinion ignored. When Carol finds the wedding planner dead at the bottom of a creepy staircase at a Nantucket inn, and the cheating husband of Carol’s BFF Nancy is accused of her death, Carol has more to worry about than getting to the church on time!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have really enjoyed the Baby Boomer Mystery Series. I really enjoyed this one until the last few chapters too.

Carol Andrews is a great character and her “Beloved” Jim wasn’t even driving me crazy this time as he had in previous installments.  I enjoy that the story is told from Carol’s point of view and the reader is even treated to what she is thinking. She also converses directly with the reader at times. This really makes her sense of humor shine and makes us chuckle as well.

I love the idea of a destination wedding and Nantucket sounds like an ideal place to have one.

Santangelo crafted a great murder too and was very clever to connect the current murder to another death that happened  in the exact same place many years ago. The book was well written and was flowing perfectly.

Then suddenly the topic of cyber-bullying is introduced and the whole thing started to fall apart for me. I just didn’t believe the final outcome of the mystery. This theme needed to be developed more and sooner in the story to make it credible for me.

But the thing that really turned me off was the way two very important parts of the story, events that were building throughout  the entire book are wrapped up in the final chapter with Carol basically telling us what happened or what her “beloved” allowed her share with us. I really felt cheated. Like I was one of the wedding guests cut from the final list of invitations but was invited over to look at the pictures months after the event happened. This isn’t meant to be a spoiler but it really fits one of the two important things that happened.

I have the next book in the series, Class Reunions Can Be Murder, coming up in my reading schedule soon and I sure hope it doesn’t end like this one. I really like Carol and her family including her canine kids.

still at the beach but not as tranquil3 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Apr 172014
 

never come backNever Come Back
New American Library (October 1, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Trade Paperback: 448 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451417510
E-Book File Size: 2151 KB
ASIN: B00BDQ3A20
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Leslie Hampton’s life revolves around the care of her special needs son.  Her daughter, Elizabeth,  is going to college for her Master’s Degree and that keeps her quite busy. When her mother asks her to make a commitment to take care of Ronnie if she passes away they get into a huge fight.

Weeks go by and Leslie passes away very unexpectedly. The police believe her son Ronnie killed her in a fit of temper. Elizabeth can’t believe her brother would hurt their mother. In fact she can’t think of anyone that would want to hurt Leslie Hampton.  Her mother’s death catapults  “Elizabeth into a world of danger and double lives that undoes everything she thought she knew….”

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am kicking myself for waiting so long to read this book! Once I started it I couldn’t put it down. David Bell owes me a good night sleep because even as I finished the book I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Ronnie has Down’s Syndrome but you could tell his mother and his therapists really had done a good job with  him. He was rocked by his mother’s death and all the aftermath. That would have been extremely hard on anyone let alone a young man with his disorder.

I really felt compassion for Elizabeth as well. We have all had disagreements with our parents and we never think that could be the last conversation we have with them. She also is a very closed off person, afraid to let anyone in to help her, much like her mother. I think she had a really hard time growing up with her mother devoting all her time to Ronnie and even saying to Elizabeth that the reason she was born was that there needed to be someone to take care of Ronnie when she was gone. Then after her mother passes away she has to deal with Ronnie plus all the secrets her mother kept from her. It was heartbreaking.

Bell has written a psychological mystery with more twists than a corkscrew and the last one really threw me. His writing always has layers, some are written out there right on the page and for others you need to read between the lines. He also writes in such a way that the reader is so drawn in that it is very hard to put the book down.

The one drawback that I have found with all 3 David Bell novels is that the book synopses on the back of the book and used for promotion gives too much away. That is why I don’t read more than the first line or two of a synopsis. If it draws me in I’ll read the book. I definitely don’t want to know any of the twists or crucial parts of the mysteries. A synopsis shouldn’t be a spoiler it should be a teaser to make you want to read the story.

This was my favorite Bell mystery so far. I am really looking forward to the next one.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

To find out more about David Bell check out his webpage here.

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End May 1, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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Apr 162014
 

Hoppy-Easter-2014

4th Annual Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop
April 17th to 24th
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Read Now Sleep Later

CLICK TO HOP TO OVER 100 MORE GIVEAWAYS!!

Are You Ready For Some Mysteries??

Escape #1


A Rendezvous to Die For

Cozy Mystery
Self Published (June 14, 2012)
Trade Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1257931323
E-Book File Size: 408 KB
ASIN: B007JZT0MS

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Exciting action on the Rez! A brand new sleuth sorts out clues from an 1830s world!

Photographer Cassandra Cassidy has left her big city life behind in New York and is just getting settled in a small town in Minnesota.

She wasn’t really sure what she would find at the Prairie River Trappers’ Rendezvous but was hoping to take enough good pictures to sell so she could pay her rent. The last thing she expected to find was a dead body. A body of someone she knew and really hated. Then to find herself as one of the suspects really put things in a new light. She decided it was up to her to track down the killer before she found herself totally out of the picture.

My Review

Escape #2

Truth Kills:
An Angelina Bonaparte Mystery

New Series
Cozy Mystery
Published by Cozy Cat Press (July 26, 2013)’
Trade Paperback: 250 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1939816139
E-Book File Size: 485 KB
ASIN: B00E7XIKRG

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Librarian-turned-private-investigator Angelina Bonaparte is a woman on a mission: to uncover deception.

Angie has plenty of experience with lying, cheating and cover-ups – and not just because of her former husband. Working as a P.I. means tracking down deadbeats and exposing unfaithful spouses. Now she’s been asked by a betrayed wife to prove her cheating husband innocent of the murder of his lover. Angie’s heart tells her to let the skunk rot in prison, but her head convinces her that adultery is not grounds for incarceration.

The investigation introduces Angie to police detective Ted Wukowski. He is a cop that has come to believe woman have no place near a murder investigation so of course sparks of all kinds fly between the two. Maybe together they can not only catch the killer but work out a few of their own personal issues as well.

My Review

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Good Luck and Happy Hopping!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Apr 162014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

I am super excited to Welcome Cozy Author Beverly Allen
to Escape With Dollycas Today!!

Barbara Early1

 

It’s time to shake off the doldrums of a long winter and escape to a leisurely stroll in a flower garden. Just for your visit, we’ve even removed the bees. Our guide through the garden is Audrey Bloom.

bloom and doomWhat? Never heard of her? Maybe it’s because she’s a new kid on the block. Bloom and Doom, the first book in the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries, just released April 1st.

Audrey Bloom has a gift, it seems. Yes, she’s a talented florist who designs and creates gorgeous bridal bouquets, most based on the language of flowers. But at the beginning of Bloom and Doom, she learns that all of the brides who have carried one of her bouquets down the aisle are still happily together with their spouses.

Foxglove_insincerity

Foxglove ~Insincerity

That’s quite a record. And the book begins as a local reporter wants to learn the secret of her marriage success rate.

“Marriage success rate?” Audrey says. “Ha!”

Lily of the Valley ~Return of Happiness

Lily of the Valley ~Return of Happiness

Parts of the book grew naturally out of my own life. Audrey grew up spending summers with her beloved Grandma Mae and her cousin Liv. (I have a Grandma Bea–she just turned 90– and a cousin Lisa.) Audrey has had more than one career: dropping out of nursing school to become a florist. I went to school for engineering, but travelled a circuitous route to become a writer.

But other parts of the book took research. I’m a crafty person, but flower arranging was one of the few crafts that was never on my radar, due to some rather severe allergies. Even though I scouted out some wonderful “flower people” to help me with Audrey’s arrangements, I decided that I needed some hands-on training. So I enrolled in a course with a local florist.

Marigolds - Grief and Pain

Marigolds – Grief and Pain

Eyes burning and nose running, I wore gloves to protect my skin from the sap and managed to muddle through enough to be able to write the scenes at the florist shop. But it also gave me an idea for a character. The highly allergic Kane Bixby, police chief of Ramble, Virginia, gets more than a little touchy when all his crime scenes are suddenly filled with flowers!

Variegated Tulip ~ Beautiful Eyes

Variegated Tulip ~ Beautiful Eyes

Audrey’s arrangements have an interesting twist. She’s not just concerned about the color, size, and shape of flowers, but also their meaning in the old Victorian language of flowers. Determining flower meanings can be difficult, since modern florists have assigned positive meanings to all the flowers–something the Victorians never did. Probably because they want to sell flowers! But I was able to come upon a lovely reprint which I use extensively. In her attempt to find flowers with the perfect meaning for a given arrangement, Audrey on occasion will use flowers that many modern florists might not. Good thing they have a great local supplier.

Peony ~Anger --~Bashfulness or Shame

Peony ~Anger –~Bashfulness or Shame

Wisteria ~Welcome Fair Stranger

Wisteria ~Welcome Fair Stranger

All the wedding research went double-duty. At the same time I’ve planned at least one wedding for each book in this series, we’ve also been planning for a wedding in our family: our daughter will be married this June. Together, we’ve scoured through Pinterest and watched hours of reality shows from Four Weddings to Bridezillas to Say Yes to the Dress (and more), gleaning ideas of what to do–and in many cases, what not to do. The difference is that she’s having a lovely, tasteful wedding, while Audrey’s brides seem to plan over-the-top events where things could go awry.

And I love giving it that little push.

My daughter doesn’t want to use any of Audrey’s bouquets, though. Maybe it’s because someone keeps showing up dead?

~Beverly

To find out more about Beverly Allen visit her webpage here.

 

bloom and doomBloom and Doom
(A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery)

Brand New Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (April 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425264973
E-Book File Size: 2818 KB
ASIN: B00F9F0SXU
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As the co-owner of The Rose in Bloom, Audrey Bloom creates magnificent flower arrangements for brides to be. Though helping to plan a wedding can be stressful, it’s nothing compared to the groom turning up dead.

Audrey’s creations are inspired by the language of flowers – their Victorian meanings.  She is stunned to realize that every couple married with her flowers is still happily married, not one divorce in the bunch.

Unfortunately her childhood friend Jenny Whitney may break that record. She is set to marry the most eligible bacjelor in town but before she can even walk down the aisle with what Audrey calls a “floral disaster” (a blend of anemone, scabious, and pussy willow) the groom is found dead and Jenny is the prime suspect. Audrey decides to do a little digging on her own hoping her co-workers won’t be making floral arrangements for her funeral next.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

“Marriages and murder…flowers and felonies…cake and catastrophe”…what FUN!!!

Audrey is a treasure as is her cousin Olivia. The rest of the supporting cast is great too. I especially like Kane Bixby, police chief of Ramble, who like me is allergic to flowers, although I must say as I have aged my allergy has lessened so maybe there is hope for Kane. It was quite comical that he had to be surrounded by flowers for the entire investigation. Audrey’s interest in the Victorian meanings of the flowers was very appealing and added that little extra touch to the story.

Throughout the story The Rose in Bloom staff works extra hard to make the many flower arrangements for the funeral of groom who comes from a very important family and  another high profile wedding. They even had to call in some extra reinforcements to help get everything done and delivered on time. It was crazy and I loved it!!

Allen also developed a strong mystery with plenty of suspects and twists that kept me guessing right up to the end.

Beverly Allen has found her cozy voice and this story is blooming awesome!! She has laid a great foundation for the series going forward.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 copy to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Beverly for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End April 30, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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