Jan 032016
 

g-gif-update (2)
AND GOOD RIDDANCE!

We all know personally 2015 was the worst year of my whole life, but I threw myself into this blog and the book tours.

In 2015, I read 196 books, 54165 pages, gave away 282 books, organized 168 book tours, and completed all but 1 of my challenges. It was a fantastic year in my virtual world.

Since I need this to qualify as my Challenge Wrap Up Post, this is how I did:

 

2015 Challenges

2015RC HowManyBooks-hostingI signed up at Level 2 – 150 books

My list is on GoodReads shelf here.

my read-2015 shelf:
LORI CASWELL's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read-2015 shelf)

alphabet 2015A. All The President’s Menus by Julie Hyzy
B. BIG MOJO by Jack Getze
C. Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner
D. Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker
E. An Early Wake by Sheila Connolly
F. Feta Attraction by Susannah Hardy
G. Garden of Death by Chrystle Fiedler
H. How to Catch A Cat by Rebecca M. Hale
I. In Hot Water by J.J. Cook
J. The Jesus Cow by Michael Perry
K. A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber
L. Lie of the Needle by Cate Price
M. Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifr Chiaverini
N. New Uses For Old Boyfriends by Beth Kendrick
O. One Garish Ghost & Blueberry Peach Jam by Jennifer Fischetto
P. Passing Through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby
Q. To Quiet in Brooklyn by Susan Russo Anderson
R. A Root Awakening by Kate Collins
S. A Seamless Murder by Melissa Bourbon
T. Tales From Suburbia by Brandi Haas
U. Under the Cajun Moon by Mindy Starns Clark
V. Visions of Sugarplums by Jennifer Blake
W. Wedding Duress by Elizabeth Lynn Casey
X. X Out of Wonderland by David Allan Cates
Y. Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell
Z. The Alpine Zen by Mary Daheim

just for fun 2015JanuaryApple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke
February – Book Fair and Foul by Erika Chase
March – The Body in the Boudoir by Katherine Page Hall
April – Almost Always by Bobbi Reed
May – The Body in the Piazza
June – Devil’s Food Cake Murder by Joanna Fluke
July – Death is Like A Box of Chocolates by Kathy Aarons
August – The Corpse With the Platinum Hair by Cathy Ace
September – For Whom The Blue Bell Tolls by Beverly Allen
October – Farewell, Dorothy Parker by Ellen Meister
November – Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger
December – Snow Way Out by Christine Husom

ANIMAL READING CHALLENGE

 1. A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber
2. Kill ’em With Cayenne by Gail Oust
3. Kelly’s Koffee Shop by Dianne Harman
4. Fry Another Day by J.J. Cook
5. Romeow and Juliet by Kathi Daley
6. Lie of the Needle by Cate Price
7. Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James
8. License to Dill by Mary Ellen Hughes
9. The Mad Catter by Kathi Daley
10. How to Catch A Cat by Rebecca M. Hale
11. Denim in Demise by Duffy Brown
12. Hot Fudge Frame Up by Christine DeSmet
13. Seven Threadly Sins by Janet Bolin
or more.

Challenge Completed April 22, 2015

Cruisinchatting cozies
1. In Hot Water by J.J. Cook
2. Feta Attraction by Susannah Hardy
3. All The President’s Menus by Julie Hyzy
4. A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber
5. Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker
6. Kill ’em With Cayenne by Gail Oust
7. One Garish Ghost & Blueberry Peach Jam by Jennifer Fischetto
8. A Seamless Murder by Melissa Bourban
9. As Gouda As Dead by Avery Aames
10. Kelly’s Koffee Shop by Dianne Harman
11. Cunning Cruise Ship Caper by Sally Carpenter
12. Fry Another Day by J.J. Cook
13. Dead Man Walker by Duffy Brown
14. A Root Awakening by Kate Collins
15. Criminal Confections by Colette London
16. Death and The Redheaded Woman by Loretta Ross
17. This Old Homicide by Kate Carlisle
18. Romeow and Juliet by Kathi Daley
19. Lie of the Needle by Cate Price
20. Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James

21. Drawing Conclusions by Deirdre Verne
22. The Deep End By Julie Mulhern
23. License to Dill by Mary Ellen Hughes
24. Dang Near Dead by Nancy G. West
25. An Early Wake by Sheila Connolly
26. A Suspendered Sentence by Laura Bradford
27. Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles by A.L. Herbert
28. Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities by Mary McHugh
29. Deadlines by E. Hepner
30. The Mad Catter by Kathi Daley
31. Too Cute To Kill by Linda Crowder
32. Main Street Murder by Linda Crowder
33. How to Catch A Cat by Rebecca M. Hale
34. Garden of Death by Chrystle Fiedler
35. Denim in Demise by Duffy Brown
36. Wedding Duress by Elizabeth Lynn Casey
37. Ladle to the Grave by Connie Archer
38. Bridges Burned By Annette Dashofy
39. Hot Fudge Frame Up by Christine DeSmet
40. Dark Chocolate Demise by Jenn McKinlay
41. Seven Threadly Sins by Janet Bolin
42. Lemon Pies and Little White Lies by Ellery Adams
43. Slayed on the Slopes by Kate Dyer Seeley
44. Musseled Out by Barbara Ross
45. Oh Say You Can Your Fudge by Nancy Coco
46. The Final Reveille by Annette Dashofy
47. Deadly Desires at Homey Church Hall by Hannah Dennison
48. The Body in the Birches by Katherine Hall Page
49. Bite the Biscuit by Linda O. Johnston
50.  The Alpine Zen by Mary Daheim
51. The Diva Steals a Chocolate Kiss by Krista Davis

52. Bubba Done It by Maggie Toussaint
53. A Wee Murder in my Shop by Fran Stewart
54. The Book Stops Here by Kate Carisle
55. Purl Up and Die by Maggie Sefton
56. Death at Timberly by Maithili Pradhan
57. Smothered, Covered and Dead by Liz Lipperman
58. A Fatal Chapter by Lorna Barrett
59. A Bushel Full of Murder by Paige Shelton
60. A Finely Knit Murder by Sally Goldenbaum
61. Dressed to Kill by Lynn Cahoon
62. Justice For Katie by Linda Crowder
63. A Season for Killing Blondes by Joanne Guidoccio
64. Murder at Beechwood by Alyssa Maxwell
65. Fatal Reservations by Lucy Burdette
66. Grace Cries Uncle by Julie Hyzy
67. Butter Off Dead by Leslie Budewitz
68. Fatal Fairies by Joyce and Jim Lavene
69. The Royal Assassin by Kate Parker
70. Peaches and Screams by Susan Furlong
72. Hooked on Ewe by Hannah Reed
73. Death by Didgeridoo by Barbara Venkataraman
74. The Case of the Killer Divorce by Barbara Venkataraman
75. Peril in the Park by Barbara Venkataraman
76. Caught Read-Handed by Terrie Farley Moran
77. Trawling For Trouble by Shelley Freydont
78. The Karma of King Harald by Richard Audry
79. King Harald’s Heist by Richard Audry
80. Fudging the Books by Daryl Wood Gerber
81. The Musubi Murder by Frankie Bow
82. Give Em Pumpkin To Talk About by Joyce and Jim Lavene
83. Fool Me Once by Steven Hockensmith
85. Seniors Sleuth by J.J. Chow
86. Dream A Little Scram by Mary Kennedy
87. Murder in the Paperback Parlor by Ellery Adams
88. Under the Cajun Moon by Mindy Starns Clark
89. Better Homes and Corpses by Kathleen Bridge
90. A Desperate Homecoming by Anna Loan Wilsey
91. Under the Cajun Moon by Mindy Starns Clark
92. Better Homes and Corpses by Kathleen Bridge
93. A Deceptive Homecoming By Anna Loan Wilsey
94. Revenge of the Chili Queens by Kylie Logan
95. Murder on the Horizon by M.L. Rowland
96. If Onions Could Spring Leeks by Paige Shelton
97. Basket Case by Nancy Haddock
98. Truffled to Death by Kathy Aarons
99. Black Cat Crossing by Kay Finch
100. Cancans, Croissants and Caskets by Mary McHugh
Challenge Completed 9/16/2015
101. Law and Author by Erika Chase
102. Threads of Evidence by Lea Wait
103. Move Your Blooming Corpse by D.E. Ireland
104. – The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton
105. Mission to Kill by Lizbeth Lipperman
106. Looking for Mr. Good Witch by Joyce and Jim Lavene
107. Plantation Shudders by Ellen Bryon
108. Floral Depravity by Beverly Allen
109. Mission Impastable by Sharon Arthur Moore
110. Guaranteed to Bleed by Julie Mulhern
111. Heroes and Hooligans by Amy Metz
112. Murder Plainly Read by Isabella Alan
113. The Skeleton Haunts the House by Leigh Perry
114. Trick or Deadly Treat by Livia J. Washburn
115. The Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes by Cathy Ace
116. Florist Grump by Kate Collins
117. Short and Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz
118. Flipped for Murder by Maddie Day
119. Olive and Let Die by Sussanah Hardy
120. Death Changes Everything by Linda Crowder
121. Trimmed for Murder by Sally Goldenbaum
122. Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything by Nancy Martin
123. Stabbing in the Senate by Colleen J. Shogun
124. Dead Tease by Victoria Houston
125. Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger
126. A Pain in the Tuchis by Mark Reutlinger
127. Dead to the Last Drop by Cleo Coyle
128. Sweetheart Deal by Linda Joffe Hull
129. Writing All Wrongs by Ellery Adams
130. Cover Shot by LynDee Walker
131. Murder Most Howl by Krista Davis
132. Smart, But Dead by Nancy G. West
133. Bun For Your Life by Karoline Barrett
134. To Brew or Not To Brew by Joyce Tremel
135. Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell
136. Murder Fir Christmas by Joyce and Jim Lavene
137. The Conspiring Woman by Kate Parker
138. Dorothy Parker Drank Here by Ellen Meister
139. Engaged in Murder by Barbara Venkataraman
140. Here Today, Gone Tamale by Rebecca Adler
141. A Christmas Mourning by Laura Bradford
142. Rest Ye Murdered Gentkeman by Vicki Delany
Finishing the Series
1. The Body in the Boudior  – The Body in the PiazzaThe Body in the Birches by Katherine Hall Page
2. Too Cute to Kill and Main Street Murder – Justice for Katie – Death Changes Everything by Linda Crowder

where are you reading

1. Tennessee
2. New York
3. Alabama
4. District of Columbia
5. New Jersey
6. Washington
7. New Hampshire
8. Virginia
9. Georgia
10. Minnesota
11. Texas
12. Ohio
13. Oregon
14. Missouri
15. Delaware
16. Indiana
17. Mississippi
18. Pennsylvania
19. Maryland
20. California
21. Wyoming
22. South Carolina
23. Vermont
24. Wisconsin
25. Arizona
26. Connecticut
27. Maine
28. Michigan
29. Iowa
30. Colorado
31. Montana
32. Kentucky
33. Massachusetts
34. Rhode Island
35. Florida
36. Hawaii
37. Louisiana
38. North Carolina
39. Nevada
40. Arkansas
41. South Dakota

Abroad
1. Ireland
2. Spain
3. Italy
4. Amazon Rainforest
5. England
6. Ontario, Canada
7. France
8. Scotland
9. Wales
10. Mexico

literary road trip 2012
1. Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer Chiaverini (Wisconsin Author)
2. License to Dill by Mary Ellen Hughes  (Wisconsin Author)
3. Hot Fudge Frame Up by Christine DeSmet (Wisconsin Author & Setting)
4. The Jesus Cow by Michael Perry (Wisconsin Author & Setting)
5. Hooked on Ewe by Hannah Reed (Wisconsin Author)
6. Lost in America by Laura Fitzferald (Wisconsin Author)
7. Death on the Prairie by Kathleen Ernst (Wisconsin Author)
8. Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini (Wisconsin Author) 
9. Trimmed for Murder by Sally Goldenbaum (Wisconsin Author)
10. Dead Tease by Victoria Houston (Wisconsin Author) (Wisconsin Setting)

ebookreadingchallenge
1. Tales From Suburbia by Brandi Haas
2. BIG MOJO by Jack Getze
3. A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber
4. Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner
5. Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker
6. One Garish Ghost & Blueberry Peach Jam by Jennifer Fischetto
7. Kelly’s Koffee Shop by Dianne Harman
8. Cunning Cruise Ship Caper by Sally Carpenter
9. Dead Man Walker by Duffy Brown
10. Criminal Confections by Colette London
11. Death and The Redheaded Woman by Loretta Ross
12. Drawing Conclusions by Deirdre Verne
13. The Deep End By Julie Mulhern
14. Dang Near Dead by Nancy G. West
15. Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities by Mary McHugh
16. Too Cute To Kill by Linda Crowder
17. Main Street Murder by Linda Crowder
18. The Glassblower’s Wife by Joanna Campbell Slan
19. Bridges Burned By Annette Dashofy
20. The Denim Blue Sea by Joanne DeMaio
21. The Body in the Birches by Katherine Hall Page
22. Deadly Desires at Homey Church Hall by Hannah Dennison
23. A Far Gone Night by John Carnen
24. Dying Brand by Wendy Tyson
25. Bite the Biscuit by Linda O. Johnston
Challenge Complete May 13, 2015 but going to try for the next level of 50.
26. To Quiet in Brooklyn by Susan Russo Anderson  
27. Southern Heat by David Burnsworth
28. When the Balls Drop by Brad Garrett
29. Death at Timberly by Maithili Pradhan
30. Let Me Die In His Footsteps by Lori Roy
31. Smothered, Covered and Dead by Liz Lipperman
32. Dressed to Kill by Lynn Cahoon
33. Justice For Katie by Linda Crowder
34. A Season for Killing Blondes by Joanne Guidoccio
35. Somebody I Used to Know by David Bell
36. Fatal Fairies by Joyce and Jim Lavene
37. Death by Didgeridoo by Barbara Venkataraman
38. The Case of the Killer Divorce by Barbara Venkataraman
39. Peril in the Park by Barbara Venkataraman
40. Trawling For Trouble by Shelley Freydont
41. The Musubi Murder by Frankie Bow
42. Give Em Pumpkin To Talk About by Joyce and Jim Lavene
43. Fool Me Once by Steven Hockensmith
44. Zachary’s Choice by Susie Labonte
45. The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell
46. The Reckoning Stones by Laura DiSilverio
47. Cancans, Croissants and Caskets by Mary McHugh
48. Lost in America by Laura Fitzferald
49. The Brooklyn Drop by Susan Russo Anderson
50. Move Your Blooming Corpse by D.E. Ireland
Challenge Completed 9/24/2015
51. Mission to Kill by Lizbeth Lipperman
52. Death on the Prairie by Kathleen Ernst
53. Guaranteed to Bleed by Julie Mulhern
54. Heroes and Hooligans by Amy Metz
55. The Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes by Cathy Ace
56. Short and Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz
57. Death Changes Everything by Linda Crowder
58. Dead Tease by Victoria Houston
59. Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger
60. A Pain in the Tuchis by Mark Reutlinger
61. Sweetheart Deal by Linda Joffe Hull
62. Cover Shot by LynDee Walker
63. Snow Deer and Cocoa Cheer by Joanne DeMaio
64. Smart, But Dead by Nancy G. West
65. Bun For Your Life by Karoline Barrett
66. Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell
67. Murder Fir Christmas by Joyce and Jim Lavene
68. The Rise of The Red Queen by Borne Morris
69. Dorothy Parker Drank Here by Ellen Meister70. Engaged in Murder by Barbara Venkataraman
70. Revenge of the Sea by Jesse Giles Christiansen
71. A Christmas Mourning by Laura Bradford
72. Tis the Season by Sharon Pape
72. Visions of Sugarplums by Jennifer Blake

Wow, that is a lot of books! Most are linked to my reviews. I completed all but the Where Are You Reading? Challenge. 41 states, not too bad, maybe in 2016 I will visit them all.

How did you do this year? Books read? Challenges completed? Please share!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Dec 222015
 

just for fun 2015
My December Just For Fun Read
This is the last year of this challenge.

snow way outSnow Way Out (A Snow Globe Shop Mystery)
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Minnesota
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (January 6, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Julia Green
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270806
E-Book ASIN: B00KWG5RM8
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Curio shop manager Camryn Brooks thought she’d seen every kind of snow globe—until she saw one depicting a crime scene…

Ever since she was a child, Cami has loved the sparkling beauty of snow globes, and now, she sells them.  In fact, they’re so popular, Cami and her friend—coffee shop owner Alice “Pinky” Nelson—are hosting a snow globe making class.

After the flurry of activity has ended and everyone has gone off with their own handmade snow globes, Cami spots a new globe left behind on a shelf, featuring an odd tableau—a man sleeping on a park bench.

On her way home, she drifts through the town park and is shaken to come upon the scene from the globe—a man sitting on a bench. But he isn’t sleeping—he has a knife in his back. When the police arrive, it’s clear they consider Cami a little flaky and possibly a suspect. After her friends also come under suspicion, Cami starts plowing through clues to find the cold-blooded backstabber—before someone else gets iced…

Snow globe making projects and tips included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I wish we had a store like this nearby. I would buy, buy, buy!!

Camryn Brooks has taken over running her parents store, Curio Finds, after returning in despair from her job in Washington D.C.. Her mother is going through chemo and her dad wants to be close by to take care of her. Her friend,   Alice “Pinky” Nelson, runs the connected coffee shop, Brew Ha Ha. Together they decided to host a snow globe making class. After the class is over Cami notices a new snow globe on a shelf in the store. A man in a park sleeping on a bench. Strange, who would have left that there? Cami starts her walk home through the park and notices a scene much like the scene in the new snow globe. She nudges the man and finds out he is not asleep, HE IS DEAD! This has to be connected to the snow globe and only the people in the class could have left it in the store. Could one of Cami’s friends or customers be a killer?

I like these characters. Cami, “my name  is Camryn”, has a chip on her shoulder after being forced out of Washington by circumstances she tried to control. But I like that she is back home, her parents, especially her mom needs her to be close by. The love this family shares is so evident. They also love their snow globe store and going on little trips to find new items to sell. I look forward to getting to know this family better. Erin, a school teacher, and Mark a police officer, round out the group that has been friends for most of their lives.  Clint, the assistant police chief, was ahead of them in school, but with this case tends to be around a lot. Clint does have one very annoying habit that drives Cami crazy. There is a lot of room for these characters to develop, but we have been given a  fine introduction.

The build up of the mystery was good but I had a hard time believing the way it played out. It also made me sad.  Cami doesn’t really investigate or solve the case but she does not know who to trust. Her friends are up to something she just hopes it isn’t murder.

It is the characters that will being me back to read The Iced Princess. They are quite a bunch.

still at the beach but not as tranquil

3 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Christine Husom 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.”

 

Nov 172015
 

pain in the tuchis large banner 640

mrs. kaplanMrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death:
A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Alibi (November 18, 2014)
Random House LLC
Print Length: 171 pages
ASIN: B00KK0PJJ2
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Move over, Miss Marple—Mark Reutlinger’s charming cozy debut, the short novel Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death, introduces readers to the unforgettable amateur sleuth Rose Kaplan and her loyal sidekick, Ida.

Everyone knows that Rose Kaplan makes the best matzoh ball soup around—she’s a regular matzoh ball maven—so it’s no surprise at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors when, once again, Mrs. K wins the honor of preparing the beloved dish for the Home’s seder on the first night of Passover.

But when Bertha Finkelstein is discovered facedown in her bowl of soup, her death puts a bit of a pall on the rest of the seder. And things go really meshugge when it comes out that Bertha choked on a diamond earring earlier stolen from resident Daisy Goldfarb. Suddenly Mrs. K is the prime suspect in the police investigation of both theft and murder. Oy vey—it’s a recipe for disaster, unless Rose and her dear friend Ida can summon up the chutzpah to face down the police and solve the mystery themselves.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is my November Just For Fun Read. Rose Kaplan knows her matzoh balls and when she is accused of adding something extra to her soup to kill another resident at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors she appalled. Together with her friend Ida they decide to solve the case themselves.

Ida tells the story of Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death. Her tale includes details about Jewish holidays and tradition plus is peppered with plenty of Yiddish words. I knew some but thankfully the author includes translation.

The mystery is fun and full of humor and drama. Rose and Ida go to great lengths to find the guilty parties and take much delight explaining to the police officers their findings and how the police missed obvious clues.

The Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors is quite a place with a variety of interesting residents. A great setting for a whole slew of mysteries.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas

pain in the tuchisA Pain in the Tuchis:
A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Alibi (November 17, 2015)
Random House LLC
Print Length: 174 pages
ASIN: B00TWE4FHO
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Combining the classic charms of Agatha Christie with the delightful humor of M. C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin novels, Mark Reutlinger’s Mrs. Kaplan mystery series returns as a notorious crank meets an untimely fate.

Yom Kippur is a day of reflection and soul searching. But at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors, Vera Gold misses this opportunity to atone for her many sins when she up and dies. Indeed, Vera was such a pain in the tuchis to all those around her that when her sister claims Vera was deliberately poisoned, the tough question isn’t who would want to kill her—but who wouldn’t?

Having already solved one murder with her dear friend Ida, Rose Kaplan has a sleuthing reputation that precedes her. It’s only natural that Vera’s sister turns to Mrs. K for help. So do the police, but when her conclusions conflict with theirs, they tell her to butt out! This case has more twists than a loaf of challah. And with a homicidal scoundrel on the loose, Mrs. K has to act fast—or she might be the guest of honor at the Home’s next memorial service.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return to the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors for another adventure with Rose and Ida. The Pain in the Tuchis happens to be Vera Gold, she was very nice so the suspects of those wanting to get rid of her could be many. At first her death appeared accidental but her sister begs Rose to investigate. Even after the police tell her to butt out Rose just can’t let go and again she schools the officers.

Rose just has a way of figuring things out and she holds her cards close to her chest. Ida is just along for the ride and acts as Rose’s sounding board. She does tell a good story or as much as Rose allows her to tell.

Again the story as plenty of Yiddish idioms and a good bit of humor.  The mystery itself had its fair share of twists but I had an inkling of where we were headed and I was right.

A quick entertaining read.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH
Dollycas

mark-reutlinger-author-pic-225x300

About This Author

Mark Reutlinger is the author of the novels Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death and Made in China. A professor of law emeritus at Seattle University, Reutlinger was born in San Francisco, graduated from UC Berkeley, and now lives with his wife, Analee, in University Place, Washington.

 Author Links

Twitter             Goodreads              Website

 

Purchase Links:

Penguin Random House: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/246840/a-pain-in-the-tuchis-by-mark-reutlinger/

Amazon B&N  Google Play
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the rest of the tour.
Tour Participants
November 10 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
November 10 – View from the Birdhouse – Interview
November 11 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight
November 12 – Jane Reads – Review, Guest Post
November 13 – Cuppa Tea With G – Review
November 13 – Frankie Bow – Interview
November 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
November 15 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
November 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight
November 17 – Musings and Ramblings – Guest Post
November 18 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
November 18 – Michele Lynn Seigfried’s Blog – Guest Post
November 19 – off
November 20 – Community Bookstop – Review
November 20 – Bubble Bath Books – Review
November 21 – Laura’s Interests – Review
November 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
November 23 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post
November 23 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK – Spotlight

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.”

Oct 302015
 

just for fun 2015

Earlier this month I received an invite to review Ellen Meister’s new book, Dorothy Parker Drank Here. I read the synopsis and thought it sounded like one I would enjoy. Later that evening I was straightening my jam packed  To Be Read bookshelf and I found a hard cover copy of Meister’s Farewell Dorothy Parker with a Post-it note on the cover saying MUST READ ASAP. The only thing I can think of is it was put on the wrong shelf and then buried by books that arrived after.

Moral of the story: It’s not such a bad thing for your grandkids to rearrange your books so that you need to put things back in order after they go home.

I found several books I forgot I even had and my TBR spreadsheet is all updated! This book was an easy choice to read JUST FOR FUN!

FAREWELL DOROTHY PARKER

Hardcover Edition

Farewell, Dorothy Parker
G.P. Putnam’s Sons (February 21, 2013)
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Setting – New York
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399159077
Paperback: 356 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425264713
E-Book ASIN: B008ON45LA
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What if inspiration came to visit…and wouldn’t leave?

When it comes to movie reviews, critic Violet Epps is a powerhouse voice. But that’s only because she’s learned to channel her literary hero, Dorothy Parker, the most celebrated and scathing wit of the 20th century.

If only Violet could summon that kind of courage in her personal life.

Determined to defeat her social anxiety, Violet visits the Algonquin Hotel to pull strength from the hallowed dining room, where Dorothy Parker and so many other famous writers of the 1920s traded barbs. But she gets more than she bargained for when Dorothy Parker’s feisty spirit rematerializes from an ancient guestbook and hitches a ride onto her life.

Violet is shocked and thrilled to be face-to-face with her idol, but when the gin-swilling writer takes up residence in her home and grows pricklier and more outspoken by the day, the timid movie critic is pushed to her limit. With her job threatened, her new relationship in tatters, and the custody fight for her orphaned niece in jeopardy, Violet is forced to face her fears …and she makes sure Mrs. Parker does the same.

Wickedly funny and surprisingly poignant, Farewell, Dorothy Parker perfectly re-imagines one of America’s most iconic voices in a captivating and unforgettable tale.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Algonquin Round Table Mysteries by J.J. Murphy published a few years ago rekindled my love for Dorothy Parker so I knew this would be a perfect read for me. 

Violet Epps has no problem voicing her opinions in print but she is much more timid face to face. Very unlike her hero Dorthy Parker. Violet wishes she could be as feisty and brash as dear Dorothy. Hoping a little Dorothy Parker will rub off on her she visits Algonquin Hotel, the place Parker and the Vicious Circle used to meet daily.  While there the manager shares an treasured guest book with her. Inside were the signatures like Robert BenchleyGeorge S. KaufmanDorothy Parker and more.  Violet unintentionally ends up leaving with the guest book in her purse. Little did she know she had Dorothy’s spirit as well.

This truly was a fun and entertaining read but it had some sobering moments as well. Violet’s sister and her husband were killed in a car accident and she is fighting to gain custody of her niece. Violet needs to be on her very best behavior and follow the judges orders and that isn’t always easy but having an outspoken and sometimes overly friendly ghost nearby makes things even more difficult. It also creates havoc at work and in Violet’s romantic life.

Ellen Meister has brought the Vanity Fair writer to life in a very interesting way. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next and cringing when Dorothy really crossed the line. The relationship between these two ladies had me laughing out loud and crying a little too, forgetting that while she could be seen by others, Dorothy was just a spirit and they couldn’t stay together forever. A spirit the helped Violet find her own voice and exceed her own expectations.

Farewell Dorothy Parker is a well researched fiction story and the author admits she has taken some liberties to write the book she had been dreaming of writing. Meister has captured Parker’s wit and sense of humor perfectly.

I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true.

~Dorothy Parker

I think she would love this book!!

 

a perfect escape5 STARFISHDollycas

You can find out all about Ellen and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY

I am giving my hardcover copy 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.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 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 November 13, 2015 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

~This book was from my personal collection.

Sep 292015
 

just for fun 2015

I have found this challenge is good when I need to play catch-up on a series. When I realized that Floral Depravity, the next Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery was being released next month and I had not read this one yet I was scrambling to find room in my Reading Schedule. Fortunately I hadn’t chosen my JUST FOR FUN book yet so this one fell right into that spot. 

for whom the bluebells toll
For Whom the Bluebell Tolls
(A Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery)

2nd Book in the Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Virginia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (January 6, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425264980
E-Book ASIN: B00KWG64IY
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Deadly thorns lurk among the roses in this Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery…

Florist Audrey Bloom, co-owner of the Rose in Bloom, creates fragrant bouquets for brides. But when a wedding goes fatally wrong, it’s up to Audrey to sniff out a killer . . .

Everything is coming up roses for Audrey when her dazzling creations are picked to be featured on a wedding reality show. The hot series is filming an episode about a bride who’s bonkers for bells, and Audrey’s bouquets of campanulas, calla lilies, and Bells-of-Ireland are perfect for the bridal theme.

But Audrey’s debut quickly becomes a hothouse of trouble. Her ex, Brad, shows up as a crew member on the show, threatening her blossoming relationship with Nick the baker. To make matters worse, when one of the show’s hosts is found dead in the bell tower of a historic church, all the evidence points toward Brad.

Now Audrey needs to weed out the real killer before someone else’s chance at stardom is permanently nipped in the bud . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts – short and sweet since this was read Just For Fun

A reality show, Fix My Wedding, comes to Ramble and thanks to her ex, Brad, Audrey Bloom’s bouquets and centerpieces will be featured on the show. That is if there is a show. One of the show’s hosts is killed as the segments just start taping and Brad becomes the prime suspect. Audrey finds herself tracking everyone’s movements as she tries to catch the killer before the show and all the flowers she ordered wither and die.

The author delivers a winning cast and a sweet mystery that will have cozy readers entertained from the first pages to the last. It was fun to parry down the suspects along with Audrey and I think I figured everything out just before she did.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 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 October 13, 2015 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.”

Aug 282015
 

just for fun 2015
I found some extra reading time on Sunday so I quickly decided this is a series I need to catch up on. Perfect for August’s spot on my Just for Fun Challenge.

CorpsePlatinumHair_cvr_cat-1The Corpse with the Platinum Hair
(A Cait Morgan Mystery)

4th in Series
Classic Mystery
Setting – Nevada
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: TouchWood Editions (October 14, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1771510875
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Welsh Canadian foodie and criminologist Cait Morgan takes off on a short break to the fabulous Tsar! Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas with her significant other, retired cop Bud Anderson. But before they can start celebrating Bud’s birthday in style at the casino owners’ exclusive private dining room, the death of Miss Shirley — a woman with a colorful background and the acknowledged Queen of the Strip — results in a security lockdown. Cait, Bud, a corpse, and ten possible murderers are trapped in the luxurious restaurant for twelve deadly hours. The bodies pile up, the tension mounts, the list of suspects dwindles — and Cait knows she has to work out who within the group is an audacious killer because there’s no telling who might be next to die.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Cathy Ace has given us a fabulous closed room mystery in our 4th episode with Cait and Bud. Trapped in a dining room high above the Las Vegas Strip with a body and a roomful of suspects. Cait and Bud can only trust each other and the body count keeps rising.

I love the way Cait uses her special talents to figure out the killer just in the nick of time. Eccentric characters from an opera singer to a sous chef, which one skewered the  Queen of the Strip?

Awesome story and a very fast read.

I enjoyed it immensely and need to read The Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes soon because The Corpse with the Diamond Hand comes out October 13.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out about Cathy Ace and her books on her webpage here.

Aug 082015
 

just for fun 2015I had an excellent reading week last week so I decided to catch up on one of my favorite series and on my Just For Fun Reading. So this book will take the February slot on my Just For Fun Reading Challenge.

book fair and foulBook Fair and Foul
(Ashton Corners Book Club)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Alabama
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 5, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425271490
E-Book ASIN: B00I3N62FS
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For the mystery book lovers of Ashton Corners,
burial plots tell the most intriguing stories.

The members of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society are all chipping in as Molly Mathews, now owner of the bookstore the Book Nook, prepares the first annual Mystery Book Fair. While gossip circulates about the guest authors, club member Lizzie Turner is unpleasantly surprised to see a certain book publicist make an appearance. It seems Lizzie has a history with Ashley Dixon—a chapter of her life she’d rather leave closed.

But when someone gives Ashley a death sentence, Lizzie becomes the prime suspect in a murder mystery she can’t put down. Now Lizzie and her fellow book buffs have to read between the lines of the publicist’s past and catch the real killer before Lizzie is written off for good.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I knew I had to hurry up and read this book because Law and Author comes out September 1.

This is the 4th book in the series and the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society is helping the Book Nook hold a book fair. They hope it will become an annual event. The fair brings an unexpected guest, someone from Lizzie’s past. Ashley Dixon is now a publicist working with the book fair authors but she seems to have another reason for being in town. Before Lizzie can find out what it is Ashley is dead and Lizzie is even a suspect!

The was a lighthearted read that found Molly, Lizzie, and their friends trying to keep the guest authors entertained while they try to close the book on the murder. At first I thought I knew exactly who killed Ashley but I was so wrong. Erica Chase threw in a bunch of twists and those pages kept turning and turning and turning and then the true culprit was revealed and it made perfect sense.

This series is full of great characters and I am so looking forward to visiting them again soon. Erika Chase will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday on September 16!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out all about Erika Chase and her books 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.”

Jul 232015
 

just for fun 2015This month I pulled a book from the shelf that I have wanting to read for months. The day I picked it up to read the author emailed me to ask if she could visit the blog. She will be stopping by on September 3. That means I have the perfect reason to read the next book in the series that I couldn’t squeeze in last month 🙂

death is like a box of chocolatesDeath Is Like a Box of Chocolates
(A Chocolate Covered Mystery)

1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Maryland
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (September 2, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by George Long
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425267233
E-Book ASIN: B00IOE4K5U
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Whether it’s to satisfy a craving for chocolate or pick up the hottest new bestseller, the locals in charming West Riverdale, Maryland, are heading to Chocolates and Chapters, where everything sold is to die for…

Best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell are celebrating the sweet rewards of their combined bookstore and chocolate shop by hosting the Great Fudge Cook-off during the town’s Memorial Day weekend Arts Festival. But success turns bittersweet when Main Street’s portrait photographer is found dead in their store, poisoned by Michelle’s signature truffles.

As suspicion mounts against Michelle, her sales begin to crumble and her career seems whipped. With Erica by her side, Michelle must pick through an assortment of suspects before the future of their dream store melts away…

Includes Scrumptious Chocolate-Making Recipes!

The rules for Just For Fun Reads say no review necessary but I really liked this one and want to tell you about it.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Note – Make sure you have chocolate handy while reading!

This series blend two of my most favorite things – BOOKS! and CHOCOLATE!! Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell have opened Chocolates and Chapters combining a bookstore with a chocolate shoppe. What could be better?

West Riverdale, Maryland is the place to be for Memorial Day Weekend. The town is hosting an Arts Festival and a Fudge Cook-off. Michelle and Erica have been basically volunteered by the mayor to run the entire cook-off and they are on the general planning committee for the Arts Festival as well. Their friend Denise, a photographer, is also involved. She is waiting for her big break. She hopes to have a gallery showing of her work in D.C. soon.

Her dreams turn to dust when she is found dead, apparently poisoned by Michelle’s chocolate truffles. Michelle is obviously the first suspect but the evidence quickly starts to point to Erica’s brother-in-law. Faced with having their store shutdown until the killer is found Michelle and Erica start their own investigation not just to save their shop but to save the Memorial Day celebration too.

Kathy Aarons does a great job introducing us to all the characters for this new series. There are quite a few and fleshing them out enough for the reader to become engaged is not an easy task. There is plenty of room for them to evolve is future installments.

She has also whipped up quite a mystery sprinkled with plenty of diversions to keep us readers guessing. I was speechless as I reached the end.

I am truly looking forward to getting to know these characters much better. The next book in this series, Truffled to Death, is screaming at me from the shelf so I will be reading it very soon!

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

*This book was from my private collection.

Jun 252015
 

just for fun 2015
I am continuing my quest to get caught up the Hannah Swenson Mysteries.devil food

Devil’s Food Cake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)
14th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Minnesora
Publisher: Kensington
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages (February 1, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-0758234926
E-Book ASIN: B006QOTOQA
Hannah Swensen has to admit life is pretty sweet. Things are going well in the romance department and her bakery’s delectable confections are selling as fast as she can bake them. Even her good friend Claire is head over heels with her new husband, Reverend Bob Knudson. If only they could find time to take their honeymoon!

When Bob’s childhood friend, Matthew Walters, comes to town, it seems like divine intervention. Matthew, like Bob, is a Lutheran minister with a stubborn sweet tooth. Since he’s on sabbatical, Matthew is happy to fill in for Bob while he and Claire take that long-awaited honeymoon. It sounds like the perfect plan–until Hannah finds Matthew face-down in a plate full of Devil’s Food Cake, a single bullet in his head. It will take some sleuthing to sift out the killer, but Hannah is sure of one thing: even the most half-baked murder plot can be oh so deadly. . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was so excited to start this book because the author left us with a bit of a cliffhanger last time. We start with Reverend Bob and Claire off on their honeymoon since they have found another minister to fill in. Matthew just happens to a childhood friend of Bob’s so he feels his church is in good hands. He was doing a fantastic job until Hannah finds him dead, with a single bullet wound and in a mess of Devil’s Food Cake.

I love the series and all the characters. Hannah has two men vying for her attention but they also have another woman on their radar now and that is very upsetting to Hannah. I have a bit of a problem with this. Hannah has been stringing both men along for quite some time while she decides which one she wants to settle down with. This time it seems maybe she does not feel strongly enough about either of them. I like that she is getting a little dose of her own medicine and that was fun to read. I wouldn’t mind her giving both of them the boot.  Again there is a bit of a shocker at the end of this story as this romantic triangle takes a very surprising turn.

The mystery was good but not overly complex and I did figure it out a little early. That being said I did enjoy the time Hannah spent with Grandma Knudson. She seems like quite a woman and we quickly learn not much gets by her.

This is one of my favorite series but this wasn’t by favorite story in the series. The book is filled with a bunch of tempting recipes and it is always good to visit Lake Eden.

I am looking forward to the next book Cinnamon Roll Murder  and the next movie too! Plum Pudding Murder is coming to the Hallmark Movie Channel this holiday season.

still at the beach but not as tranquil

3 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Joanne Fluke and her books on her webpage here.


*This book was from my private collection.

May 152015
 

just for fun 2015I am behind on this challenge as this is only my 3rd Just For Fun Read this year. I have loved this series from the start and it was one I had to catch up on especially when I was asked to organize a Great Escapes Book Tour for The Body in the Birches that was released on Tuesday. I will be reviewing that one next week as part of the tour.

bodu piazza
The Body in the Piazza:
A Faith Fairchild Mystery
(Book 21 in Series)

Publisher: William Morrow (April 30, 2013)
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0062065506
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0062068569
E-Book ASIN: B009NG24RO
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Faith Fairchild and her husband are celebrating a big anniversary with a trip to Italy, filled with exquisite indulgences—the art, the Chianti, the food, the Ferragamos! After a weekend in Rome, they’ll travel to Tuscany, where Faith’s former assistant Francesca has opened a cooking school.

But, along with pecorino, panna cotta, and prosecco, it looks like murder and mayhem are also on the menu! On their fist night in the Eternal City, the Fairchilds stumble upon a dying man in the Piazza Farnese. Mysterious characters from Rome resurface in Tuscany. And somebody is intent on sabotaging Francesca’s new business. It’s up to Faith to put everything right—and still whip up a mean Spaghetti a la Foriana, of course!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The last book in this series, The Body in the Boudoir, was Faith remembering how her life with minister husband started as she was traveling on a plane to Italy. In this installment the plane has landed and Faith takes us quite a tour of Italy from the foods to the amazing architecture. She also meets up with her old friend, Francesca who is opening a cooking school.

I have loved this series since it started but this was not one of my faves. The author went way overboard with the lengthy descriptions of everything Faith saw, did, cooked and ate that is really took away from the mystery. There was more than one time I stopped reading wondering if I wanted to continue. But the mystery was good and I wanted to see how it played out so I kept reading. I enjoyed how the killer could be someone they were traveling with and trying to figure out if that was true then who could it be. Taking the series out of the New England area was  a nice change as well if only the focus had been more on solving them crime than the settings.

I truly thought this was the last book in the series so I was pleasantly surprised to learn about The Body in the Birches. I hope that we get back to the kind of story I expect from this author, but I do admit if I was lucky enough to travel to Italy I would want to tell everyone I could all about it. I think that is what happened here. The author had a fabulous trip and she just wanted to share it with her readers.

still at the beach but not as tranquil3 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

kathy083About This Author

Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-two previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story “The Would-Be Widower.” In addition, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Massachusetts and Maine with her husband.

Author Links:

http://www.katherine-hall-page.org/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21167.Katherine_Hall_Page

*This book was from my personal collection.

Murder on the Toy Town Express: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery by Barbara Early Get Your Copy Today!
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