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!
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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 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

I am giving away my copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
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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.

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

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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.

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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.”

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.”

Mar 172017
 


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.


Grilled For Murder (A Country Store Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Indiana
Kensington (May 31, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617739279
Kindle ASIN: B01501H4MK

 

 

Robbie Jordan may have had reservations about the murder victim, but she still needs to turn up the heat on a killer if she wants to keep her new restaurant open for business…

In the charming small town of , Robbie has transformed a rundown country store into the runaway hit Pans ‘N Pancakes. But the most popular destination for miles around can also invite trouble. Erica Shermer may be the widow of handsome local lawyer Jim Shermer’s brother, but she doesn’t appear to be in mourning. At a homecoming party held in Robbie’s store, Erica is alternately obnoxious and flirtatious–even batting her eyelashes at Jim. When Erica turns up dead in the store the next morning, apparently clobbered with cookware, the police suspect Robbie’s friend Phil, who closed up after the party. To clear Phil and calm her customers, Robbie needs to step out from behind the counter and find the real killer in short order…

Includes Recipes for You to Try!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It is getting close to Christmastime in South Lick, Indiana. Robbie Jordan has a welcome home party booked at Pans ‘N Pancakes before she can start decorating.  Erica Shermer is back in South Lick after the death of her husband, but she sure doesn’t seem to be grieving. I completely understand we all grieve in our own way but flirting with her departed husband’s brother and every other man in the room seems just a bit off. When Robbie finds Erica’s very dead body spread out on the floor next to the pickle barrel the next morning she knows right away there could be plenty of suspects. She just never imagined the police would hone in on her friend Phil. It is up to her to find the clues that will send them in another direction or Christmas in South Lick will be far from Merry.

This second installment to this series was a very fast read for me. Ms. Day’s well crafted mystery drew me right in and didn’t let go.

I really like Robbie Jordan and the place she has created with Pans ‘N Pancakes. A gathering place for the community and great comfort cooking too. Robbie is quick and smart and so friendly. She can easily question several people with simple conversation over breakfast. She also passes along what she knows to the police, although she is putting herself in the line of fire when the real murderer sees she is getting to close to the truth. I enjoyed the dialogue between the characters and the bit Indiana – ish way of speaking added a true local feeling.

This mystery moves along at a good clip. Several twists had me truly wondering if the person I wanted to be the guilty party would actually be the guilty party. You will have to read the story to see if I was right.

There was some unexpected drama on the romantic front too. I am anxious to see how it continues to play out in future stories, regarding both parties.

Grilled For Murder is a down home kind of cozy with colorful characters, a comfortable setting and a fun mystery.

I do suggest starting with Flipped for Murder, but the author gives plenty of detail if you start with this one. The 3rd book in the series When the Grits Hit the Fan will be released March 28. I have added it to my reading schedule. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a PhD in linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-nominated author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction. She lives with her beau and three cats in Massachusetts.

As Edith Maxwell, she write the Local Foods Mysteries (Kensington Publishing) and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink).

You can find all Maddie’s/Edith’s identities at www.edithmaxwell.com. She blogs every week day with the other Wicked Cozy Authors at wickedcozyauthors.com. Look for her as Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day on Facebook and @edithmaxwell and @maddiedayauthor on Twitter.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of this book.
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

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.

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

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Contest Will End March 31, 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.”

Mar 032017
 


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.


A Bead in the Hand
(Glass Bead Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Oregon
Vetrai Press (June 4, 2016)
Paperback: 234 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0990570561
Kindle ASIN: B01GGV8418

 

 

A bead bazaar turns bizarre when jewelry designer and glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell discovers a dead body beneath her sales table. Suspected of murder, Jax and her friend Tessa scramble to find the killer among the fanatic shoppers and eccentric vendors. They have their hands full dealing with a scumbag show promoter, hipsters in love, and a security guard who wants to do more than protect Jax from harm. Adding to the chaos, Jax’s quirky neighbor Val arrives unexpectedly with trouble in tow. Can Jax untangle the clues before she’s arrested for murder?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jax and Tessa are off for a weekend of fun. They are excited to be attend a bead filled bazaar in Portland. Jax plans to sell, sell, sell, and Tessa plans to buy, buy, buy. Just after the event starts the room in plunged into darkness and the first night is cancelled. Hoping things are a go the next day Jax hurries to get her booth ready but instead she finds a very famous beader under her table and she has been there a while. Jax’s screams for help are answered by a hunky security guard and both of them know there is no hope, the woman is clearly dead and because she is under Jax’s table she becomes a prime suspect. For the rest of the weekend Tessa spends her time selling beads for Jax while she tries to figure out who really killed the bead diva. Val arrives just in time to “help” and brings her own chaos to the weekend.

I recently read and reviewed the first book in this series, High Strung, and then pushed this one to the top of of my To-Be-Read list and the author sure did not disappoint.

I loved trailing around with Jax, Tessa and Val. Since they were away from home Detective Grant had a much smaller role. Instead we met Ryan, a security guard that really catches Jax’s attention and Detective Tiffany Houston, who methods of investigation are completely different than Detective Grant, and not in a good way. Some of the bead makers from book one return and they are joined by several more. They make a very eclectic group and to Jax every one of them is a suspect.

The pace of this one is pretty brisk from the start. The author has strung together a web that has almost the entire cast connected in some way to the victim, Saundra Jameson. She was a woman very full of herself and treated many people terribly. The plots and subplots blended together naturally and kept my attention to the very last word.

Again the author’s knowledge of bead making and creating jewelry was very evident and with her descriptions I could easily envision each bead, necklace and earring.

I did enjoy the bit of romance that started to bud in the story and am anxious to see how it plays out in future installments.

Jax, Tessa, and Val are treasures and this story was so much fun to read. I need to squeeze in Be Still My Beading Heart: A Glass Bead Mini-Mystery soon because Off the Beadin’ Path (Glass Bead Mystery Series Book 3) will be out March 11 and I want to be ready for it.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Janice Peacock decided to write her first mystery novel after working in a glass studio full of colorful artists who didn’t always get along. They reminded her of the odd, and often humorous, characters in the murder mystery books she loved to read. Inspired by that experience, she combined her two passions and wrote High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery, launching a new cozy mystery series featuring glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell.

When Janice isn’t writing about glass artists-turned-amateur-detectives, she makes glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry, and makes sculptures using hot glass. An award-winning artist, her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Glass Museum of Tacoma, WA, and in private collections worldwide.

Janice lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and twelve chickens. She has a studio full of beads…lots and lots of beads.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook – GoodReads 

I am giving away 1 e-copy of A Bead in the Hand.
It will be sent directly to your email from Amazon.

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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 March 17, 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.”

Feb 172017
 


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.
Clearing a book by Janice Peacock from my Kindle shelf today!

High Strung (Glass Bead Mystery Series)
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Washington
Vetrai Press (June 3, 2016)
Paperback: 222 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0990570547
Kindle ASIN: B01GIBQTFY

 

 

After inheriting a house in Seattle, Jax O’Connell is living the life of her dreams as a glass beadmaker and jewelry designer. When she gets an offer to display her work during a bead shop’s opening festivities, it’s an opportunity Jax can’t resist—even though the store’s owner is the surliest person Jax has ever met.

The weekend’s events become a tangled mess when a young beadmaker is found dead nearby and several oddball bead enthusiasts are suspects. Jax must string together the clues to clear her friend Tessa’s name—and do it before the killer strikes again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jax O’Connell gets the chance to follow her dreams when she inherits a house and a bit of money from her aunt. She packs as much as much as her new VW Bug can hold including her cat and leaves Florida behind and heads for Seattle.  The house has been converted into a duplex but needs a little TLC. Jax fixes up a few things so she can work on her beads and jewelry from home and makes some friends in the bead-making world. She is excited when she is invited teach a class and show her work at a bead-making event. The store’s owner is not the nicest person on the planet but Jax knows she can work with her. When the owner is injured during the event and another young beadmaker is found dead in a dumpster the next day things get a little heated. Especially when the police are convinced one of Jax’s friends is the killer. Jax knows she must work fast stringing together the clues to not only clear her friend but catch the killer before anyone else is strung up.

This was a fun read. You know right away that Janice Peacock is a beading enthusiast. She describes that processes of bead making and making jewelry with those beads so well that it is very easy to picture. The beads sound just beautiful and making them sounds so unique. I have heard about glass blowing, but glass bead making is brand new to me. I have seen them everywhere but never thought much about how they were actually made. Her enthusiasm is also apparent in most of the book’s characters.

High Strung is populated with eclectic group of characters you expect to find in a cozy mystery. Jax is a strong woman, on her own after leaving her less than stellar boyfriend in Florida. Her tenant and friend Val is a hairdresser, aspiring baker and quite the spitfire.  Her best friend since kindergarten, Tessa, has her own studio, where she gives classes. Rosie, the owner of Aztec Beads, where the event is taking place, is pretty cantankerous and a little odd. Marta is a fellow beader that Jax met at a beadmakers’ conference. She is staying with Jax so she can take part in the weekend event. She also brought her “animal companion”, Stanley, along without even asking Jax if that was o.k. Gumdrop is Jax’s kitty, addicted to catnip, maybe a little physic, and definitely not a Stanley fan. The are also a couple of young bead makers that sell their wares on the street. We also meet Jax’s other friends and of course the local police, Detective Grant.

As is the case with most books that are the first of a series the mystery starts to happen several chapters in to give readers time to get to know the players. But when it starts the pace picks right up and continues on to the end. There are really 2 mysteries to solve because we don’t know if the cases are connected. In fact, the police believe one was either self inflicted or just an accident. Jax has other ideas.

At just 222 pages this cozy is a bit shorter than normal but they are jam packed with detail, deception and more than a few twists and surprises. The characters are very believable and their dialogue is very well written. I also enjoyed a few laugh out loud moments.

A fast read for a cozy afternoon. I have moved the next book in this series to the top of my To-Be-Read list on my Kindle.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Janice Peacock decided to write her first mystery novel after working in a glass studio full of colorful artists who didn’t always get along. They reminded her of the odd, and often humorous, characters in the murder mystery books she loved to read. Inspired by that experience, she combined her two passions and wrote High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery, launching a new cozy mystery series featuring glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell.

When Janice isn’t writing about glass artists-turned-amateur-detectives, she makes glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry, and makes sculptures using hot glass. An award-winning artist, her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Glass Museum of Tacoma, WA, and in private collections worldwide.

Janice lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and twelve chickens. She has a studio full of beads…lots and lots of beads.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook – GoodReads 

I am giving away 1 e-copy of High Strung.
It will be sent directly to your email from Amazon.

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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 March 3, 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.”

Feb 102017
 


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.


A Wee Dose of Death (A ScotShop Mystery Book)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Vermont
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (January 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270325
Kindle ASIN: B00W2ZKSLC

While business is booming at the ScotShop in Hamelin, Vermont, proprietor Peggy Winn doesn’t have time to toast her good fortune thanks to her hot-tempered, fourteenth-century Scottish companion. Being thrust into the modern world hasn’t been easy for Dirk, but Peggy is at her wit’s end trying to keep the ghostie galoot in line.

But when the local police chief finds the body of Peggy’s friend Karaline’s college professor in a deserted mountain cabin, everyone is thrown for a loop. It seems the secretive professor may have been killed over his ecological work, an idea that’s only reinforced when Karaline herself is shot. Now Peggy and Dirk must set aside their differences to put the cold-blooded killer under loch and key…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Peggy and Dirk are back and have their hands full, well as much as a ghost can have his hands full.  If you haven’t read the previous story you need to know that Dirk came home to Vermont after a trip Peggy took to England. She purchased a shawl and never knew it came with a ghost as a bonus item.

Cross country skiing is a big thing in Hamelin, Vermont, even the chief of police straps on his skis and grabs his poles every once in a while. His first trip of the season goes horribly wrong when he falls and breaks his leg. With no way to call for help and no one around, he uses his ski to splint his leg and crawls to a nearby cabin. He never expected to find a dead body there. Sadly the guy isn’t missed right away but when he is found he tries to wrap the case before he has all the information. Peggy and her friend Karaline along with a certain cranky 14th century Scotsman try to find out what really happened. When Karaline gets shot things get more than a wee bit serious but Peggy isn’t giving up.

I love that Dirk and Peggy are at odds through most of the story. It has to be hard having him around all the time and answering all his questions. The author keeps the Dirk’s way of speaking genuine to his time period and his reactions to modern day things may me laugh out loud several times.  When he gets on her nerves Peggy just folds up the shawl and he disappears. We don’t know where he goes but he doesn’t appreciate being dismissed in that way at all, but it gives Peggy a bit of a breather.

The rest of the characters are fleshed out well and each holds their own in a twisted mystery that will keep the readers on their toes. We also meet a wonderful Scottish terrier named Scamp who seems to make himself right at home in the ScotShop. We are provided with plenty of suspects and several red herrings. I was kept guessing the whole way and figured it all out right along with Peggy.

Fran Stewart has given us a captivating cozy, with witty characters and top notch mystery. I look forward to the next installment,  A Wee Homicide in the Hotel was released this month and I will be reading it soon. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Fran Stewart and her books on her webpage 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.

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 February 24, 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.”

Silence of the Jams (A Down South Café Mystery) by Gayle LeesonBUY TODAY
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