Jul 212017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I was scheduled to read this book last year when a cold through a bump in my reading schedule. With the next book in the series, Dressed to Confess, coming out August 1 I had to get this one read asap. 


Masking for Trouble (A Costume Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Nevada
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery(October 4, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

ISBN-13: 978-0425278291
E-Book ASIN: B01AHKXIHY
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Halloween conjures up big business for Margo Tamblyn’s costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, but this year, the holiday comes knocking with serious trouble. Venture capitalist Paul Haverford plans to rezone historic downtown into a glitzy commercial area which would push out local business. Margo is set on saving her family’s store, especially after a nasty run-in with the chain-store tycoon, but after Haverford’s body is discovered during a spooky party at the derelict Alexandria Hotel, Margo finds herself dressed as the police’s prime suspect.

Anxious to clear her name, Margo begins hunting down anyone who might have wanted Haverford dead. Between all of his malicious maneuverings, the murdered mogul had buckets of people anxious to see him gone. Now, Margo will have to use every trick in the book to find a cloaked killer—before someone else winds up wearing a death shroud…

Dollycas’s  Thoughts

Halloween in Proper City, Nevada is a huge deal. It is a week long event all leading up to a big party. This year Proper City has its own version of the Grim Reaper. Paul Haverford has come to town and has been buying up land, homes and businesses all to put his grand plan in motion to kill all of the downtown shops. He wants everything rezoned so he can bring in chain stories, restaurants and gambling. Something the founder of the town and most of the current residents are against.

Margo becomes involved when she learns Haverford is buying the Alexandria Hotel that has been uninhabited for years and the place where the Halloween festivities are scheduled to take place. He also informs her that the costumes from Disguise DeLimit are not allowed in the costume contest. This could majorly affect her bottom line.  She doesn’t allow this man to ruin her plans to attend the first night party. She shows up the Alexandria Hotel in costume, but she should have stayed home. She is the one that finds Haverford’s dead body and becomes the prime suspect in his murder.

We were introduced to Margo, her dad, her cat, Soot, Ebony and her dog Ivory, Tak Hoshiyama, Bobbie Kay and Kirby in A Disguise To Die For. They are all back in this story and I grew to love them even more. Margo always makes me smile with her daily attire. The woman is most comfortable in a costume almost 365 days a year. Kirby plays a major role in this story as he gets his whole swim team, in costume, to help at the store at the busiest time of the year. One costume involving sheets had me laughing out loud and telling my family all about it. Margo depends on him so she can check things out to find a better suspect than herself. There turns out to be quite a few.

Diane Vallere has whipped up quite a mystery. Red herrings galore led me way astray. I was completely off when it came to pinning down the real killer.

I enjoyed realistic dialogue and relationships. The relationship between Margo and her dad really warms my heart. They have been through a lot over the years and it has made them and their relationship strong. I was concerned about the relationship between Margo and Tak but by the end they and I came around.

If you like you cozies to tickle your funny bone, this is a story for you. Ms. Vallere has balanced the mystery with plenty of humor.  A Perfect Escape Read!

I can’t wait for Dressed to Confess, to visit all these characters again.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 

DianeVallereAuthorPhoto_color_croppedAbout The Author

I’m a former fashion buyer turned mystery writer, trading fashion accessories for accessories to murder. I was bit by the mystery bug as a kid reading Trixie Belden, Connie Blair, and The Three Investigators. Now I’m writing three series: the Style & Error Mysteries, the Mad for Mod Mysteries, and the Material Witness Mysteries.

The Costume Shop mysteries debuted with A DISGUISE TO DIE FOR, which introduces Margo Tamblyn, costume shop owner, who helps solve a murder after one of her clients is found dead at his own costume party (dressed as Sherlock!). MASKING FOR TROUBLE, the second in the series, will be out in October 2016, just in time for Halloween.

The Material Witness mysteries feature Polyester Monroe, who inherits the fabric shop where she was born. Books include SUEDE TO REST  and CRUSHED VELVET . The third, SILK STALKINGS,  was just released.

The Style & Error Series features former fashion buyer turned amateur sleuth Samantha Kidd. Books in that series include DESIGNER DIRTY LAUNDRYBUYER, BEWARETHE BRIM REAPER ; and SOME LIKE IT HAUTE . (A short story, “Just Kidding ,” tells the story of how Samantha first met shoe designer Nick Taylor). Book 5, GRAND THEFT RETRO, will be out in 2016.

The Madison Night Mysteries feature a modern day interior decorator who specializes in midcentury design (studying Doris Day movies to get the look right). Books are PILLOW STALK ,THAT TOUCH OF INK , and WITH VICS YOU GET EGGROLL . A prequel novella, “Midnight Ice,” can be found in OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE .

Author Links

 Webpage           Facebook      Twitter          GoodReads

Purchase Links


GIVEAWAY
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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 142017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

This author contacted me about her series and is was new to me so I asked her if I could start at the beginning. She happily sent me a copy and it seemed like a perfect fit for Flashback Friday because it debuted in 2005.


Unzipped (Chrissy McMullen Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery/Chick Lit – Adult Situations
1st in Series
Setting – California
Dell (May 31, 2005)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0440242628
Kindle ASIN: B000FCK5S0

 

 

ANALYZE THIS.…

Chrissy McMullen has made a career leap, all the way from slinging drinks at Chicago’s most notorious nightclub to dispensing psychotherapy from her sleek new practice in L.A. Even if she can’t quite shed her too-loud, too-curvy alter ego–or the brawling family that insists on claiming kinship. So when her most famous client, buff football star “Bomber” Bomstad, starts chasing her around her desk and getting, well…unzipped…Christina gets just a little miffed–until Bomber has the bad manners to drop dead at her feet.

Enter Jack Rivera, a no-nonsense detective with a grim attitude and a great butt, who’s determined to prove this cocktail-waitress-turned-shrink was engaging in some very unethical behavior. Persuading Rivera that she’s not a murderer isn’t going to be easy. Plunging headfirst into a city full of people in need of some serious therapy, Chrissy will have to use all her street smarts, a good deal of sex appeal, and a little love to clear her name–and cancel an appointment with a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When I started reading this book I immediately thought of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum. She and Chrissy both have the worst luck. Imagine being a psychologist treating a football hunk for a certain dysfunction and have him say he is cured and gives you very private visual evidence as he chases you around the office. Yup, that happened to Chrissy, and then the guy keels over dead at her feet.  A quick 911 call should bring help but instead brings Detective Jack Rivera, also a hunk, but he think Chrissy murdered her patient and nothing she says seems to change his mind. She is on her own to prove she did not kill her almost rapist.

While classified as a cozy type mystery it has a strong chick lit feel with adult scenes and language.

It is a zany story, Chrissy is a hilarious protagonist. Cocktail waitress turned psychologist, with a mother that just wants her to come back home, gets herself into some dicey and comical predicaments. Her friend and assistant Laney tries to keep her friend out of trouble. She also has a geeky friend Solberg, he can hack anything and has a high tech job that allows him to drive one sweet ride. Chrissy also checks in regularly with her mentor Dr. David, more now with the dead body in her office. The relationship with Detective Rutabaga, I mean Rivera, Chrissy never uses his real name, was the most enjoyable part of this book.

While the plot is far fetched it was an entertaining read. The investigation by the police wasn’t too intense and there was no real evidence. Chrissy was trying to clear her name rather than find the actual killer. Her queries did make the murderer worry she was actually going to figure out the truth and that did put her in imminent danger. I was surprised totally by the reveal as was Chrissy.  I wish there had been more clues throughout the story rather than the explanation at the end.

As the first book in this series it is a good start. I am not completely sold on these characters yet but being the first book there is plenty of room for development. The dialogue between characters was good and the quotes the begin each chapter were quite humorous and gives us just a peek at others in Chrissy’s life. I definitely want to see where the author takes these characters as the series continues.

A lighthearted read for a lazy afternoon.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out all about Lois Grieman on her webpage here.

There are 9 books in this series.

WINNER’S CHOICE
1 Kindle Copy of any book in this series
Book will be sent directly from Amazon

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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.”

 

 

Jul 072017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

This is a series I have wanted to start for a long time.

Murder on the Rocks
(Mack’s Bar Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (August 6, 2013)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758280152
Kindle ASIN: B00BPYGR0M

 

 

Mack’s Bar is one of those nice, friendly places where everybody knows your name. That’s great when someone’s buying you a round, but not so hot when you find yourself atop a list of murder suspects–with your fingerprints on the bloody knife!

Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton is a Milwaukee bar owner with a nose for trouble–literally. A neurological glitch has left her with extra perceptive senses. So when she stumbles upon a dead body in the alley behind the bar–the same spot where her own father was shot eight months earlier–she can tell right away there’s something fishy in the air. The lead detective thinks there’s a link between the two deaths, and he’ll need Mack’s help to sniff out the murderer amid the crowd of eccentric regulars. But when all the evidence points to her as the most likely culprit, it could be an early last call for Mack–and celebratory cocktails for a killer.

Includes drink recipes

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Growing up in Wisconsin my parents owned and operated a tavern, much like Mack’s Bar. Drinks, food, pool table, dart boards, regular patrons and visitors from out of town. Thankfully we never found a dead body in the back alley.

Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton has taken over her father’s bar after he was murdered. That case is still open but without any real clues as to the killer. When Mack finds another body in almost the exact same place and she is one of the suspects she tries to stay calm and cool. She knows she didn’t kill anyone. But since the murder weapon did belong to the bar the suspects could be anyone of her staff or customers. When she explains to the lead detective about a neurological issue she was born with he actually doesn’t think she is crazy. He thinks maybe her hyper senses may aid in the capture of the killer. A killer that he thinks took her dad’s life as well. When he wants to go undercover and work at the bar she just can’t say no.

These characters are so likable. Mack loves what she does and in a business like hers you have to. Days are quickly consumed by the work it takes to keep the place up and running. She does have a boyfriend who is a paramedic, but they don’t have much time to spend together. Detective Duncan Albright seems more Mack’s type and they do have chemistry. In fact, when they are together is sends quite a rush to Mack’s senses. Most of the regulars remind me of customers who became friends with my parents over the years. All their reactions and actions rang true to life. Even the part where they gathered together trying to solve the crime themselves with the facts available to the public.

Learning about Mack’s Synaesthesia was very engrossing. When Mack explains the condition to Duncan the author is explaining it to the readers as well. It is a rare  and complicated condition that at first thought must be awful but Mack has adjusted to it so well, it absolutely amazed me.

I really enjoyed that the author brought some Milwaukee history to the story. Yes, Al Capone once owned a bar in Milwaukee complete with some interesting basement activity. It is not much of a stretch of the imagination to think Mack’s Bar just might be the place. To spin the mystery to include part of this history was a fun plot line to follow with a twist that brings the whole story together.  A little different from a normal cozy, Mack works hand in hand with the police and they appreciate her input. The police also love the coffee she serves so they were stopping by often, even ones not involved in the case.

This is a well written story with characters I want to know more about. Murder with a Twist has moved way up on my To-Be-Read stack. I am excited about this series. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Allyson K. Abbott is a pseudonym used by suspense writer Beth Amos. Beth has enjoyed a varied writing career that included a stint as a book reviewer and several years of nonfiction freelancing. Now she writes only fiction, and in stark contrast to her “day job” as an ER nurse, where she gets to save lives, the one common factor in her fiction, no matter what name it’s written under, is that someone always dies. Allyson K. Abbott is my little insider joke at having to pick yet another pseudonym. It’s not coincidence the initials are what they are.  Check out her webpage here and on Facebook here.

My review copy is a retired library copy.
If the winner would rather have an e-copy of the book that is o.k. with me.

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address for the print copy.
International if you choose an e-copy.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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Click Here For Entry Form

This book was from my private collection.

Jun 302017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Iced to Death
(A Gourmet De-Lite Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
Release Date – March 4, 2014
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252543
Kindle ASIN: B00EOAS0E0

 

 

Gigi Fitzgerald, owner of Gigi’s Gourmet De-Lite, knows how to put her clients’ cravings on ice. But catching a slippery killer is more of a challenge…

Gigi’s business may be hot, but her home life is leaving her cold. Her sister, Pia, has dropped in for an unannounced visit and, much to Gigi’s chagrin, has immediately fallen for handsome bar owner Declan McQuaid. So when Declan asks Gigi to help him prep for a big engagement party, she’s not only dealing with the heat of the kitchen and her own feelings for Declan, but Pia’s jealousy.

However, Gigi’s rising temperature quickly chills when the host of the party is found stabbed to death with an ice pick in back of the pub. Now, as Gigi’s beau, Detective Mertz, hones in on Declan as a possible murderer, Gigi will have to shave down the growing list of suspects quickly, before Pia’s newfound love interest finds himself locked in the cooler…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS—AND HEALTHY—RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Gigi’s Gourmet De-Lite has added several new customers but it is helping out Declan McQuaid with an engagement party at his bar that gets Gigi in hot water this time. Leaving the bar after the party and a drink with the hunky Declan, she finds the the father of the groom dead in the parking lot. She has to call her boyfriend Detective Mertz to report the body and when he arrives she is going to have to explain why she was still at the bar. To make matters worse the murder weapon was from the bar and Declan is the police’s prime suspect.

Gigi also has a house guest. Her sister Pia has unexpectedly come to town and has no definite plans on when she is leaving. But Pia met this handsome bar owner (Declan) and thinks he just may be Mr. Right.

Gigi starts investigating to help Declan and her sister’s heart. She has many more suspects than Mertz, she just needs to grill the right one.

I really like these characters. Gigi is all about healthy eating but even she breaks down to share a pizza with her sister (using a paper towel to remove as much of the grease as possible). Declan, the local tavern owner would love to get much closer to Gigi, not Pia, but her heart right now belongs to the good detective. Mertz and Gigi are taking things slow. Even when things start to move a little faster they are always interrupted by something. It was fun seeing how this romantic triangle progresses. Pia is an artist and never stays in one place for long and there is usually a man involved when she decides to hit the road. All these relationships are very believable.  Ms. Cochran’s character building is top-notch, including the new characters brought together for the mystery in this book.

The author has cooked up a way to not only keep readers on our toes but gives us an outcome that made perfect sense.  The plots and subplots in Iced to Death blend together very naturally. Most of the suspects are either Gigi’s clients or connected to one of them. This enables her to conduct her “investigation” through her normal activities. I don’t know how she juggled everything and never missed a meal or a delivery but she did. The woman does have a lot on her plate.

Another tasty mystery from Peg Cochran. I loved it!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her book’s stats on Amazon.

A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series and now the Cranberry Cove series. Her newest series, the Farmer’s Daughter, debuted with No Farm, No Foul in September 2016. Sowed to Death was released July 4, 2017.

Find all of Peg’s books on Amazon here.


I am giving away my review copy.
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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 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 July 14, 2017 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.”

May 262017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I can’t believe I missed my trip to Montana last year courtesy of author Keith McCafferty.
So glad I was able to catch up before the next adventure with Sean Stranahan and Martha Ettinger.

Cold Hearted River will be released in July.

Buffalo Jump Blues: A Sean Stranahan Mystery
Mystery/Western/Crime
5th in Series
Setting – Montana
Viking (June 28, 2016)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525429593
Paperback: 336 pages (June 6, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0525429593
Kindle ASIN: B018RVBUHK

 

 

In the wake of Fourth of July fireworks in Montana’s Madison Valley, Hyalite County sheriff Martha Ettinger and Deputy Sheriff Harold Little Feather investigate a horrific scene at the Palisades cliffs, where a herd of bison have fallen to their deaths. Victims of blind panic caused by the pyrotechnics, or a ritualistic hunting practice dating back thousands of years? The person who would know is beyond asking, an Indian man found dead among the bison, his leg pierced by an arrow.

Farther up the valley, fly fisherman, painter, and sometime private detective Sean Stranahan has been hired by the beautiful Ida Evening Star, a Chippewa Cree woman who moonlights as a mermaid at the Trout Tails Bar & Grill, to find her old flame, John Running Boy. The cases seem unrelated—until Sean’s search leads him right to the brink of the buffalo jump.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Our visit to Montana starts right after the Independence Day celebration. Sheriff Martha Ettinger and Deputy Sheriff Harold Little Feather are called in to investigate a murder and massacre. A herd of buffalo have plummeted off the edge of a cliff and a man is found dead nearby. When they notice the man has an arrow in his leg they have to assume it wasn’t the fireworks that started the stampede.

We find Sean Stranahan taking it easy painting and finishing until he is approached to help Ida Evening Star find a man she hasn’t seen in years. While performing as a mermaid in the local tavern she noticed him watching her. Could it really have been her old boyfriend, John Running Boy? Sean agrees to help her and it isn’t long before his investigation runs right into Martha’s. They have parted ways but he is hoping they can still work together.

I have been a fan of Keith McCafferty since I read the first book in this series. I just love the way he writes. The main character, Sean Stranahan, is so genuine, laid back, calm, and easy going in almost everything he does. That is the way the author writes. He includes very graphic details of people, time and place. As with all the other books in this series I was hooked from page 1.

That is not to say the book is not full of suspense because it is. There are surprises around every turn of this complex mystery. Sean has his way of investigating and Martha has hers. Harold Little Feather helps out when they need to involve and talk to the people on the reservation. They do make a good team even though there is romantic tension now that Martha is no longer with Sean and seeing Harold. The modes of investigation are credible and the dialogue is stellar. The characters themselves and their relationships continue to evolve and remain engaging. The mystery ebbs and flows. The final twist was absolutely fantastic.

I did not know much about these “buffalo jumps” prior to reading this story. The author weaves the history of such feats into the story to give a reader like me plenty of background and understanding about the American buffalo and their dwindling numbers. The political spin and the public/private land quandary was very topical and interesting.  McCafferty takes on a serious issue in a fictional way that can create and raise awareness. I applaud him for doing this.

Mr. McCafferty is a true storyteller. I can picture a group of us all around a campfire and him telling us this story of Sean, Martha, the Native Americans, the law, and the buffalo. Escape west and enjoy. I truly did.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Keith McCafferty is the Survival and Outdoor Skills Editor of Field & Stream. He has written articles for publications as diverse as Fly Fisherman Magazine, Mother Earth News, Gray’s Sporting Journal and the Chicago Tribune, and on subjects ranging from mosquitoes to wolves to mercenaries and exorcism. Based in Montana and working on assignment around the globe–he recently spent a month in India trekking the Himalayas, fishing for golden mahseer and studying tigers–Keith has won numerous awards, including the Robert Traver Award for angling literature. He has twice been a finalist for a National Magazine Award. Find out more about Keith and his books on his webpage here.


And Coming July 4, 2017


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 paperback copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US 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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 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 June 9, 2017 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.”

May 192017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Murder Gone A-Rye (A Baker’s Treat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Kansas
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
Release Date – May 6, 2014
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252444
Kindle – ASIN: B00FX7R8O6

 

 

Toni Holmes is the best gluten-free baker in Oiltop, Kansas—okay, she’s the only one—but when her grandmother becomes a murder suspect, she’s more concerned with keeping Grandma free…

When Toni’s beloved—and eccentric—grandma Ruth is arrested for the murder of her archenemy, Lois Striker, it’s time for a senior moment of truth. Telltale tracks from a scooter like the one Grandma Ruth rides lead the police to suspect the outspoken oldster, but Toni knows her grandmother wouldn’t burn a cookie, let alone extinguish a life.

In fact, the case has Grandma more revved up than her infamous scooter. A former investigative journalist, she decides to solve the murder herself—with help from Toni—by digging up long-buried town secrets. But as Grandma scoots in where others fear to tread, Toni needs to make sure she not only stays out of jail but out of harm’s way…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another delightful treat from this author.

Toni Holmes bakes up gluten free tarts, scones, breads and other goodies when she isn’t trying to keep her grandma Ruth out of trouble. I envy Ruth’s scooter myself but she can cause a commotion. Apparently the local police have given her several tickets but that doesn’t seem to slow her down. When the police find her archenemy, Lois Striker, dead in the park surrounded by tracks made by a scooter Ruth finds herself in a bunch of hot water. Her scooter is confiscated as evidence and Toni may not be able to keep her out of jail. Ruth used to be an investigative reporter so she thinks with Toni’s assistance they should be able to solve the case themselves. Needless to say their plans go very A-Rye!

It has been awhile since my last literary trip to Oiltop, Kansas but within a few pages these characters snapped right back in my memory. Again, Grandma Ruth was my favorite character. She is pushy, opinionated, “smart as a whip, but deaf in one ear”. Local Police Chief Hank Blaylock is not a big fan. Tori runs interference as best as she can.  Ruth’s antics will have you shaking your head and laughing out loud. We also meet Aunt Phyllis who brings her own hilarity to the story. Tori has sworn off dating but she still has not one but two men vying for her affection. They are all terrific characters.

It is Thanksgiving to the rest of the country but in Oiltop it is Homer Everett Day. There is a parade and a carnival to honor the local war hero and pro football player. He was also Mayor of the town back in the 50’s. There are also a couple of mysteries in his past and that may be what got Lois Striker killed. Toni just needs to look back in time for suspects other than her grandmother.

This was a twisty turvy plot that diverted us and Toni is several different direction and it put a target on Tori and Ruth’s backs. It also led them to break a few laws themselves. We do spend plenty of time in the bakery too as Tori had to bake a boatload of pies for her customer’s Thanksgiving dinners.

This was a super fun whodunit that had be grinning ear to ear through most of it. Whether or not you need your treats gluten free, you will love this story.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Nancy J. Parra/Nancy Coco and her books on her webpage here

Written as Nancy Coco

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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.”

May 122017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

The hardcover and e-book editions of this book were released May 3, 2016.
The Mass Market Paperback Edition was just released on May 2.


The Art of Murder (Dead-End Job Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
15th in Series
Setting – Florida
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476135
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476142
Kindle ASIN: B013Q70G1G

 

 

The art world is a happening place—but a brush with death shouldn’t be in the picture. Unfortunately that’s just what happens to Helen Hawthorne and her friend Margery. While touring gorgeous Bonnet House, a mansion-turned-museum, they observe a painting class and note an up-and-coming artist. When they later see her deadly end, Helen is hired to canvas the crime scene—undercover, of course.

Sketchy suspects lurk in the victim’s bohemian past. Was the promising painter killed by her jealous husband? Her best friend? A rival using her artful wiles? With her husband Phil busy setting a trap for a gold thief, it’s up to Helen to paint this killer into a corner . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What should have been a quiet and relaxing day for Helen Hawthorne and her friend Margery quickly turns deadly. The were touring Bonnet House, a Fort Lauderdale museum, and when the left they were witness to a woman falling down and convulsing in a parking lot. She later died and her death was very suspicious, but was it murder or suicide?  Helen is asked to investigate her death and goes undercover to do so.  Phil has his own case. He is trying to catch a thief that has been burglarizing high rises. Busy with their own cases they don’t have much time for each other. Hopefully they can wrap things up before their marriage starts to suffer.

Fifteen books in and Elaine Viets still delivers a timely mystery we can escape right into.

Helen has come a long way from the dead end jobs as she takes on another case all by herself and she ends up helping Phil with his case too. Phil ends up the one with the dead end job in this installment. I did figure out the whodunit in her case quite easily and some of the facets of Phil’s case too but both had a suspenseful endings.

All our favorite characters and their “sunset salutes” are back.  I did enjoy Markos helping the PI’s again. The new characters were interesting and well developed. Their dialogue was well written too and real.

This was not my favorite book in the series but it was an entertaining read . I think I miss Helen being chased by her ex but as with all series I understand the characters have to evolve. The bit of marital tension between Helen and Phil did help, but truly we all know they are just so darn happy together. 🙂

The Art of Murder is a light, fast, enjoyable cozy. A nice addition to this series.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Elaine writes her novels with the help of Harry, a striped cat who sleeps by her computer and lashes the keyboard with his tail. He whips her into a writing frenzy. Harry collaborates on two series, the Dead-End Job Mysteries and the Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series. She’s won the Anthony, Agatha and Lefty awards.

For more about Elaine check out her web site here.


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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.”

 

Apr 282017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I discovered this series last year when looking for a “Z” book for my
Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge.

This book, the 2nd in the series was released in 1995 by Avon Books.
It was released as an e-book in 2010. My copy is an original that I found on PaperbackSwap so it the cover does not match the one shown below.

Miss Zukas and the Island Murders (Miss Zukas Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington State / San Juan Islands
Originally published by Avon/HarperCollins in 1995
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0380770311
E-Book ASIN: B003AYF3NC

 

 

The ever-conscientious Miss Helma Zukas of Bellehaven, Washington, is not one to renege on a promise—even one made hastily . . . and too long ago to possibly remember! So when an anonymous note in the morning mail reminds her of her vow to bring her high school classmates together for a twenty-year reunion, Miss Zukas hops to and begins organizing the perfect celebration . . . despite some vague and mysterious warnings about dire consequences.

But when a secret saboteur disrupts her well-planned reunion—stranding Helma and her old classmates on a fogbound island with a murderer in their midst—the intrepid librarian-sleuth takes charge once again. With a dubious assist from her raffish friend Ruth, Miss Zukas is determined to close the books on crimes both current and overdue for solution . . . before the killer takes the alumni out of circulation permanently.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Twenty years ago Helma agreed to organize her high school classmate 20th reunion. She had completely forgotten about it until a strange anonymous note arrives to remind her of that commitment. With her friend Ruth’s help they decide to invite everyone to Washington to celebrate. She does receive another anonymous warning to cancel but they decide to push ahead with their plans. Their guests start to arrive but when they get off the ferry to go to the resort on one of the San Juan Islands they find someone had cancelled their reservation. This added to the warning has both Helma and Ruth a little more than worried. They are able to continue with the party but a death in the past may be connected to the problems they are having today. The ladies commit to do everything they can to just get through the weekend but one of their guests may have a deadlier plan.

Miss Helma Zukas is a bit of a trial to those around her but she was more approachable in this story. She does like to have things done her own way and in her time frame but when there may be a murderer in her midst things are beyond her control. Her critical thinking, keen observations and sense of order do make her an excellent sleuth. With Ruth by her side they do get in some crazy predicaments. Polar opposites they are the perfect team.

I enjoyed this story very much. There were several unique twists. Tying a death in high school that was thought to be an accident to another death and threats 20 years later made for an interesting plot. Like any class reunion, especially one as small as this, there are some secrets to be revealed. From jobs not as exactly as glorious as they seem to people who have completely changed. There are also those who remain exactly the same and would be recognized anywhere. I did enjoy meeting everyone and loved that even a few teachers joined in on the fun.

This book was originally released in 1995 so cell phones are new and very rare. No internet and no social media to find out what people are up to. Being stuck on a foggy island with no police or ambulance service can make a weekend stay like this very interesting.

A nice mystery with bits of humor and very interesting characters. I look forward to the next installment.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I am giving my used copy of the 1995 mass market paperback edition away.

My copy has this cover.

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*This book was from my personal collection. 

Apr 072017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

This is one of favorite series.
I have no idea how I got a book behind.

Moss Hysteria (Flower Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
18th in Series
Setting – Indiana
An Obsidian Mystery (April 5, 2016)
New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473448
Kindle – ASIN: B011IVP5UY

 

 

 
Flower shop owner Abby Knight and her husband, Marco, are ecstatic to finally be moving into their new home, despite the prospect of unpacking a seemingly infinite number of boxes. After all, Brandywine—their new subdivision—seems like an oasis with its welcoming neighbors and beautifully manicured lawns.

But their idyllic community is suddenly uprooted when a body is found floating in a nearby pond. The police think Abby and Marco’s helpful next door neighbor is the culprit, but the newlyweds aren’t convinced.

Meanwhile, Marco distrusts his mother’s slick new boyfriend, and Abby’s cousin Jillian has agreed to decorate their new home, resulting in comic chaos. Even worse, as Abby and Marco dig through Brandywine’s secrets in search of a killer, they discover that some flowers come from very bad seeds…and danger stalks even the sunniest small-town streets.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abby and Marco Salvare are getting all moved in to their new Brandywine home. The neighbors is the subdivision show up at their door with food and invitations to join their book clubs, Their next door neighbor, Theda, has been quite helpful since they started construction. Theda is 60ish and seems to know all about the area and the neighbors. While taking Abby, Marco and of course their dog Seedy on a stroll through the neighborhood they find themselves near the pond that backs up to their lots. Seedy’s snifter is working overtime and he tugs them right over to body floating in the mossy water. Not again! At least the police and the Salvares have worked together before. The problem is the police think their helpful neighbor is the murderer, seems she has a history with the dead man. But Abby’s gut is telling her they are barking up the wrong tree. She is out to dig up the real killer and learn a lot more about her new neighbors.

I love this series. A trip to Bloomers or Down the Hatch is like meeting up with old friends. Abby, Lottie, Grace and Rosa will pull together a fabulous floral arrangement all while you enjoy a cup of tea and a scone. Need something a little harder to drink and a bigger bite to eat, head down the street to Down the Hatch and Marco, Rafe and Gert will serve you up the perfect meal.

Of course, we also have to check in on Abby’s parents, her mom is working on a new project. Marco’s mom is giving him fits because she has a new gentleman friend and Marco just doesn’t like the man. Abby even asks Jillian for help decorating their new home.

Then we meet the new characters. The residents of the Brandywine subdivision and the construction workers and land developer or as I like to call them “the suspects”.

Kate Collins never disappoints. Each new story is as good or better than the last. After 18 books this series is still as fresh as a daisy and going strong. The characters are always genuine, the have flaws and strengths. Some are a little quirkier than others. They all blend together nicely to draw us in to their stories. She gave us another strong mystery to follow which leads to a very exciting ending. Even Marco was doubting Abby’s gut, but she stuck to her convictions.

Awesome characters, a beautiful setting, and a fantastic and well written plot make this a must read!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Kate Collins is the author of the national best-selling Flower Shop Mystery series and historical romance novels. For her mystery plots, Kate draws upon her own love of flowers and intrigue, and an intimate knowledge of life in a small college town. She states firmly for the benefit of all who live near her that none of the zany characters that populate the fictional town of New Chapel are based on people she knows. Honest. Find out more about Kate on her webpage here.

Coming May 30, 2017

Kate’s Historical Romance Novels

GIVEAWAY

I am giving my 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.

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Contest Will End April 21, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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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.”

Mar 312017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I have to admit I put off reading this one because I knew it was the last book in the series and I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters.
Have you ever done that?


Long Upon the Land (A Deborah Knott Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
20th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Grand Central Publishing (August 11, 2015)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1455545322
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1455545315
Kindle ASIN: B00WF8IJVC

 

 

LONG UPON THE LAND

On a quiet August morning, Judge Deborah Knott’s father Kezzie makes a shocking discovery on a remote corner of his farm: the body of a man bludgeoned to death. Investigating this crime, Deborah’s husband, Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Bryant, soon uncovers a long-simmering hostility between Kezzie and the slain man over a land dispute. The local newspaper implies that Deborah’s family may have had something to do with the murder-and that Dwight is dragging his feet on the case.

Meanwhile, Deborah is given a cigarette lighter that once belonged to her mother. The cryptic inscription inside rekindles Deborah’s curiosity about her parents’ past, and how they met. For years she has wondered how the daughter of a wealthy attorney could have married a widowed, semi-illiterate bootlegger, and this time she’s determined to find the answer.

But why are Deborah’s brothers so reluctant to talk about the dead man? Is the murder linked to Kezzie’s illegal whiskey business? And could his courtship of Deborah’s mother have something to do with the bad blood between the two families? Despite Deborah’s promise not to interfere in Dwight’s work, she cannot stop herself from doing everything she can to help clear her brothers and her father from suspicion . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A current mystery and a very old mystery come together in the final installment to this long running series.

A dead man is found on the Knott property by Judge Deborah Knott’s father Kezzie. The man’s family and Kezzie have had a feud over the that part of the land for years. Many people including the local paper think one of that Knotts, most likely Kezzie, is the one responsible for the man’s death. Deorah and her husband, Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Bryant, are working hard to find the real killer and claim the family of any wrong doing.

The old mystery started way back, even before the first book of the series, Bootlegger’s Daughter. How did a daughter of a wealthy attorney end of married to Kezzie Knott, a widowed bootlegger? This time Deborah is going to get to the bottom of her family’s history. 

Both mysteries are excellently written and draw you into the story, but for me and most likely other fans of this series, it was the part about Deborah’s parents that I truly latched onto. The author rotates between each story separately the chapters with the present and the past. We see through the flashbacks Susan entered Kezzie’s life just when he needed her most although he needed to be convinced of that. I am so happy we were able to tie this all together.

As for the new mystery, it ties into the old one as one family benefited from another’s downfall. A long time grudge has been carried and the entire Knott family could be on the suspect list but Dwight knows they are innocent. Small town life and family relationships come into play as the real killer is sought.

I am sorry that this series has ended but Ms. Maron has ended it in a way that pleased me. She is continuing her other series and there is a tie in to this one so maybe Deborah and Dwight will have some cameo appearances there. Either way I have enjoyed this entire series and recommend them all.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Margaret Maron and her books on her webpage here.

I am giving away a hardcover copy!
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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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

Contest Will End April 14, 2017 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.”

Death on West End Road (Hamptons Murder Mysteries) by Carrie DoyleBUY TODAY
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