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


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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 192017
 


Kate Parker is touring with Great Escapes right now and is visiting several blogs with guest posts. Check out the schedule below my review to visit them.

The Detecting Duchess (Victorian Bookshop Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – London, England
JDP Press (May 18, 2017)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0996483162
E-Book ASIN: B071J129MG

 

 

The only thing standing between Georgia and her fairy-tale wedding is a murder. Or two.

When a young woman pleads for help from Georgia Fenchurch in locating a missing Crown investigator, Georgia resists. Her wedding is only a week away. Before she can say no, she’s knocked to the ground by an assailant attempting to kill the young woman.

Georgia now feels she must help. She soon finds herself up to her wedding veil in stolen treasure and coded letters. With the Duke of Blackford’s help, Georgia follows a trail of missing men and dead bodies. Every victim had one thing in common – a desire to possess a fortune in gold.

In between the society balls and social calls of late Victorian London, Georgia works on her last case before the big day. Will she stop a ruthless killer in time? Or will Georgia find getting to the altar on time is going to be murder?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When I reviewed The Conspiring Woman at the end of 2015 I thought that was the final book in this fantastic series but author Kate Parker wasn’t quite done with these characters. As a reader I was thrilled to receive this book and visit these characters one last time.

Georgia Fenchurch should be concentrating on her wedding plans as it is just 8 days away but when a young woman is attacked right before her eyes she can’t say no to one last investigation before she says “I Do”.

Her friends are not happy but her groom, the Duke of Blackford, offers his assistance in hopes to wrap the investigation as quickly as possible. Instead people go missing and more bodies pile up.  A missing treasure trove of gold seems to be what all the victims have in common. Can Georgia stay safe and find the killer and gold and still make it to the church on time??

As expected the author has given us quite an intriguing mystery. It starts in Egypt with a trunk that was supposed to be filled with gold coins, payment owed by Egyptian government to various European banks, turns out to be filled with nails. The gold had been stolen, Eugenie Munroe’s uncle has been killed, the man she traveled to London with, Mr. Burke, has gone missing, and another man has been murdered. Eugenie wants the man who killed her uncle brought to justice and it seems all the suspects have left Egypt for the cooler Summer of England. So Georgia and The Archivist Society are on the case.

Ms. Parker takes us back in time as only she can. Her words paint wonderful pictures in your mind of Victorian England as we follow Georgia as she goes to society balls and social calls and investigates. I totally escaped into this one. I felt like I was on Georgia’s shoulder from the first page to the last.

In addition to the characters we have come to love from the previous stories we are introduced a whole new contingent that arrives from Egypt, all the suspects. Some are eliminated because they are killed and Georgia is warned to stop asking questions. She doesn’t give up and as the story continues the tension ramps up to a scary and surprising conclusion.

Do Georgia and Blackford tie the knot?? You are going to have to read the story yourself to find out.

I have loved every book in this series.  I recommend reading this series in order to follow the progression but they each can be read on their own. Kudos Kate, this is my favorite book in the series!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Kate began reading Agatha Christie mysteries and the Nancy Drew books while her classmates were reading Dick and Jane. She particularly likes historical mysteries and the feeling of time travel a good historical book can give the reader. Combined with her love of late Victorian to World War II architecture and fashions, she found an outlet for the stories and characters that fill her head by writing The Victorian Bookshop Mysteries and The Deadly series, as well as taking part in the Christmas Revels anthologies.

 

Author Links:

Website          Facebook              Twitter     Goodreads

Also by Kate Parker


Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

July 12 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
July 13 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
July 14 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
July 15 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
July 17 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
July 17 – Student of Opinions – REVIEW
July 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW
July 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
July 20 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY  
July 21 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT
July 21 – Teresa Trent Author Site – SPOTLIGHT
July 22 – Varietats – REVIEW
July 23 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
July 24 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
July 24 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
July 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 25 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, 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

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.”

 

 

Jul 122017
 


I love it when Peg Cochran drops by for a visit!

The Mysteries of the Writing Process
By Peg Cochran

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

Readers have expressed an interest in the “writing process.” Each writer’s process is probably as unique as his or her fingerprints, but this is mine.

For my mystery series, I already have some characters in place—protagonist, detective and other regular cast members. But what I need is a victim and a murderer! I start with the victim—the person can seem like the last person anyone would want to murder or they can be very unlikeable. But whichever way I go, I need to surround them with characters who have specific reasons for wanting them dead.

To come up with the victim, motive and suspects, I usually “think out loud” on paper. On the computer—writing longhand always ends up making my shoulder hurt because I tend to grip the pen too tightly! Always have.

I write down all my thoughts just as they occur to me—no censoring my thoughts or backspacing to erase them. Here is an example from my notes—some plot musings that never made it into the book…or at least not that book!

He’s receiving stolen goods—saffron or caviar or something. Why would he be a victim? Maybe this isn’t the real reason he’s killed. Just another red herring. Maybe the goods are meant to be passed to someone else and he double crosses them. He’s a partner with somebody. Or someone paid him to move the goods and he steals them instead. Has to be someone local.

It’s probably hard to believe, but those ramblings eventually coalesce into a plot!

I try to outline…I want to outline…but often I am so excited to get started on the story that I don’t. I don’t sail off blindly though, I have to have my “plot points” – what happens at the end of the first act, at the midpoint (big dramatic happening that changes everything), end of second act, black moment (all is lost!) and the ending.

At some point, I end up with a completed book! And it seems like a miracle each time!

~Peg

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 is available now.





Written as Meg London

Just Click on Covers to order from Amazon. 


Sowed to Death (Farmer’s Daughter Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – Michigan
Berkley (July 4, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282038
Kindle ASIN: B01M22OR6W

 

 

The county fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan—especially for food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer’s Daughter. She’s submitting jams and jellies she’s created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon.

But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby’s neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of Life. The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

You just can’t go wrong with a book by Peg Cochran. I have read almost all of them and doing my best to catch up on those I have missed.

In Sowed to Death  farmer/blogger Shelby McDonald is getting ready for the county fair. She is entering her jams and jellies and her son is participating in the an horse riding event. Both are hoping to come home with blue ribbons. The firemen are also demonstrating the Jaws of Life, something I am very familiar with as it was that device the extracted me from my van after my accident.  Their demonstration takes a foul turn when it is discovered that there is a real body in the car, not the dummy the firefighters had placed there. The body turns out to be Zeke Barnstable. Because Shelby’s neighbor, Jake, is a fireman and he and Zeke had a disagreement the police decide he is the prime suspect. Shelby knows she is going to dig up every suspect she can to prove her friend’s innocence even if that puts her in the line of fire.

This was a delightful read. These characters are people I would be friends with in real life. Shelby is a single mom raising 2 children but she has help from her deceased husband’s brother and several other friends, including fireman Jake. Two men that what to be as close to Shelby as possible but understand she is still getting over her husband’s death. I also love that she is a blogger and the way the author includes her posts right along with the story allowing Shelby to communicate directly with us, her “readers”.

The story really flows well and Shelby’s children, Billy and Amelia, play crucial roles in the mystery. One makes a dreadful discovery and one is danger as the story climaxes. As a mom, I would have totally freaked out and Shelby does but she turns into one hell of a fighter.

I enjoy the way Ms. Cochran writes. She is very descriptive making the story easy to visualize without going to far. She lets her characters continue to evolve naturally and realistically.  The mystery is filled plenty of twists and has not only drama/action but humor and a bit of romance too. Everything I love about cozy mysteries is found within these pages. A Must Read!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
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with a US or Canadian mailing address.

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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 112017
 

Bring Her Home
Crime Suspense Thriller
Setting – Kentucky
Berkley (July 11, 2017)
Paperback: 464 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399584442
Kindle ASIN: B01MAY1TSV

 

 

Just a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

As Bill holds vigil over Summer’s bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

When troubling new questions about Summer’s life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He’ll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Each year I wait very impatiently for the new David Bell thriller. This year was no different and it was well worth the wait except I didn’t think so as I read Part One. Let me explain.

Two 15 year old girls disappear. Summer and Haley were just like sisters, they did everything together. Bill Price just thought his daughter Summer was pushing her limits by missing her curfew until the police call. The girls were found in a park. Haley is declared dead immediately but Summer is rushed to the hospital badly beaten in grave condition. Bill and his sister, Paige, remain by the bedside rubbing her arm and talking to her. Then Paige starts to wonder if the girl in the bed is really Summer at all. Something I thought very early in the story.

Then we get to Part Two and the classic David Bell twists start to evolve. Different suspects, different scenarios, and a father driven to find the truth. I am treading lightly here so as to not tell you anymore than what the synopsis of the book provides. When I reached Part Two of this book I could not put it down.

Having experienced the loss of a child albeit in a very different way, I felt Bill Price’s pain. It ripped right into my heart. This man wanted answers and he was going to do anything to get them. The police told him to let them do their job, he tried, but he couldn’t. I understood his passion, even when the outcome could be the worst thing he could imagine he couldn’t stop. As the story continues so do the twists and surprises and Bill never quits or backs down.

Bell knows how to tell a story with strong characters. His stories have many layers. There is drama from start to finish. The pacing is absolutely perfect and the way he writes pulls the reader deeper and deeper into the story. He also uses short chapters so even late at night the “I just read one more” overtakes you and before you know it you are finishing the story. Mr. Bell is responsible for my latest book hangover 🙂

Like everything else this man has written this is an excellent story, one that will stick with you beyond the final page. For suspense fans, this is a must read.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can find out more about David and his books visit his webpage here



GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 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 July 25, 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.”

Jul 072017
 

30 Second Death (A Tobi Tobias Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Missouri
Lyrical Underground (July 11, 2017)
Paperback: 220 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516102099
Kindle ASIN: B01MDN324Z

 

 

To help an old friend, Tobi Tobias gets a third-rate thespian a part in a commercial, and learns that in the advertising business, bad acting can lead to murder . . .

When Tobi Tobias opened her own advertising agency, Carter McDade was there for her every step of the way. A brilliant hairdresser, Carter has just landed his dream project: doing hair and makeup for a theatrical production of Rapunzel. But the dream turns into a nightmare when he runs into Fiona Renoir, a cruel, talentless starlet who won’t let Carter touch a hair on her head.

To get Fiona out of Carter’s hair, Tobi hires the difficult actress for a bit part in her latest commercial. But true to character, Fiona is a terror on set, and Tobi is starting to think she’s made the biggest mistake of her life. But things get even worse when Fiona drops dead in the hairdresser’s chair, and the only suspect is the man left holding the tainted hair dye, Carter McDade. And unless Tobi can prove his innocence, he’ll never do hair in this town again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

All Tobi wants is to help her friend Carter, she never knew what a can of worms she was opening. Fiona was making hairdresser Carter McDade’s life miserable. She thinks she is a talented actress and he doesn’t agree and let’s her know it which gets him in hot water at the theater. Tobi decides to hire Fiona for a commercial to try and smooth the waters much to the displeasure of the person she had already promised the part. Fiona arrives on set and makes a horrible impression. When the actress is found dead after a break everyone on the shoot quickly becomes a suspect but Carter is the prime suspect especially when they learn the hair dye he was applying may be the murder weapon.

I was excited to visit again with my literary friend Tobi Tobias, she and I have a couple of things in common, like an unusual laugh and our diets. She has a huge heart and went way beyond the limits to help Carter this time. Not sure I would have done the same thing. Alive Fiona was a ticking time bomb that started to explode immediately when she tried to tell everyone how to do their jobs. Even if she hadn’t died she could have ruined the commercial and the reputation of Tobi’s firm.

On the romantic front for Tobi, what started looking hopeful in the first book really hit the skids in this one. Mary Fran is also having problems at her pet shop with a neighbor and she ends up with a huge surprise. So murder, romance drama and an upset neighbor. Tobi has her hands full. But my favorite part was Grandpa Stu returns to help clear everything up. These are a superb group of characters. It is so easy to become invested in their lives.

Ms Bradford presents a wonderful plot with an unusual murder weapon and one that hits very close to home for me. Had I been in Fiona’s position I would have been dead too. She gave a a plethora of suspects and they all had the means and after spending time with Fiona motive was spread around liberally. I was totally surprised when the real culprit was revealed.

I really enjoy this series because it gives me everything I want in a cozy mystery. She also includes those moments that make me laugh out loud and would have Tobi snorting as well.

This story is fast paced and a quick read. I do recommend that if you haven’t read Death in Advertising, start with that one first as this one picks up where that one left off.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend’s house more than thirty years ago, Laura Bradford (a.k.a. Elizabeth Lynn Casey) fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do anything else.

Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, and the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey). A new cozy mystery series was added to the mix in 2016 with the release of The Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries. and now she brings us the Tobi Tobias Mystery Series. Laura is a former Agatha nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, traveling, baking, and visiting the sea lions at the Central Park Zoo. For more information and all the latest book news, visit her website at www.laurabradford.com.

Author Links

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Coming in December

Also by Laura Bradford


Click here for more books by Laura Bradford.

Click Here for books written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey.

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.

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.
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Contest Will End July 21, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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Click Here For Entry Form

This book was from my private collection.

Jul 062017
 

Cold Hearted River: A Sean Stranahan Mystery
Mystery
6th in Series
Setting Montana/Wyoming/Michigan
Viking (July 4, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525429609
Kindle ASIN: B01N3L0Z8U

 

 

When a woman goes missing in a spring snowstorm and is found dead in a bear’s den, Sheriff Martha Ettinger reunites with her once-again lover Sean Stranahan to investigate. In a pannier of the dead woman’s horse, they find a wallet of old trout flies, the leather engraved with the initials EH. Only a few days before, Patrick Willoughby, the president of the Madison River Liars and Fly Tiers Club, had been approached by a man selling fishing gear that he claimed once belonged to Ernest Hemingway. A coincidence? Sean doesn’t think so, and he soon finds himself on the trail of a stolen trunk rumored to contain not only the famous writer’s valuable fly fishing gear but priceless pages of unpublished work.

The investigation will take Sean through extraordinary chapters in Hemingway’s life. Inspired by a true story, Cold Hearted River is a thrilling adventure, moving from Montana to Michigan, where a woman grapples with the secrets in her heart, to a cabin in Wyoming under the Froze To Death Plateau, and finally to the ruins in Havana, where an old man struggles to complete his life’s mission one true sentence at a time.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Again the author draws on history for the theme of this story.  Apparently Ernest Hemingway was quite the fisherman and had a trunk of tackle go missing when traveling West. When a wallet of fishing flies with EH engraved on it is found near a suspicious death and the president of the Madison River Liars and Fly Tiers Club is contacted about fishing gear said to belong to Hemingway Sean seems to think the events are connected. He is then hired to track down the items rumored to belong to the author. This takes him not only around the Montana/Wyoming area but all the way to Michigan and beyond. All to find the truth.

I love these characters, they are very believable and have become like dear friends. Sean and Martha have found their way back to each other which doesn’t make his former girlfriend very happy. I think the relationship may continue to be in flux as they are both very independent people, with Martha being very opinionated and strong willed while Sean seems to go with the flow.  I love their dialogue with each other. I am anxious to see their story pan out.

The book starts with a heart-wrenching telling of 2 people trapped in a storm that brings a search party out. I was captivated immediately.  I really enjoyed this story and the way Mr. McCafferty weaves Hemingway’s history right into this current day story. It takes many twists and turns as each new clue is uncovered. I do love the way this author writes, his laid back style, he is a very descriptive writer. This time I felt we were covering the same places more than once with the same details so it dragged just a little bit for me in places but enough to ever stop reading. I was totally taken by surprise at the ending. Hook, Line, and Sinker, put me in the net. The last twist, priceless. I was right there with Martha as Sean told her what happened.

A mystery, some history, drama, and romance makes this an enjoyable escape.

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.


Now Available

 

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End JULY 20, 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.”

Jul 052017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to welcome Paige Sleuth to Escape With Dollycas today!

 

Cat Rescue and “Buy in July”

 

Like many cozy mystery writers and readers, I’m a huge animal lover. My two cats came to me five years ago now, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Anna Belle and Molly not only engage in daily antics to inspire some of the scenes in my Cozy Cat Caper Mystery series, but they’re also the books’ cover models. This is one of my favorite pictures of Anna Belle (left) and Molly. I think you’ll agree they’re both cuties!

 

 

Anna Belle and Molly celebrated their birthday/adoption anniversary last week. They were both rescue cats, and now that they have their own series they like to give back during the month of July. So, this month, $1 from every Paige Sleuth book purchase (for books priced above $0.99) will be donated to the Community Cat Coalition of Clark County (C5) as part of Paige Sleuth’s second annual “Buy in July” event. C5 is a volunteer-powered organization that seeks to reduce the number of cats euthanized every year by trapping and spay/neutering feral cats in the Las Vegas area before releasing them back into their communities. Have you ever seen a cat with a tipped ear, where the top sliver of one ear has been surgically removed? That’s an indication the cat has been fixed, and he or she probably is or was a stray at some point. If you look closely at the Cozy Cat Caper Mystery book covers, you might be able to tell that both Anna Belle and Molly have tipped ears.

If you’re eager to support your own local animal rescue, there are many ways to help. Of course, the biggest thing you can do is adopt your next furry friend from one of these rescues or a local shelter. Besides dogs and cats, many shelters have other small animals looking for homes—rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, you name it! If you’re not ready to make a lifelong commitment but enjoy the company of animals, foster parents are always in demand, especially around this time of year, which is sometimes known as “kitten season.” Foster programs differ by organization, but in most cases you simply have to provide the space, love, and basic needs of the animal until they find their forever home. Anna Belle and Molly actually started off as foster cats, but you know how cats are. After a few days they demanded I adopt them permanently. If fostering isn’t an option, you can still help! Many rescues have wishlists for items in need, so before you throw out those old towels and bedsheets, check to see if your local shelter or rescue can put them to good use. Even just spending some time with the homeless animals is appreciated, and it can benefit you as much as them.

Anna Belle, Molly, and I would love to hear about your own four-legged family members, past or present, and whether you’re involved with animal rescue in your own community. Leave us a comment below. Then we hope you’ll enter our July giveaway for a chance to win one Paige Sleuth book plus a surprise mystery book as selected by Anna Belle (Molly lost the coin toss on that one). And, if you haven’t already, you can check out the Cozy Cat Caper Mystery series for free right now. Details for downloading your free copy of book one, Murder in Cherry Hills, are in the Rafflecopter below. Good luck, and may your July be filled with happiness and love!

 

~Marla (aka Paige)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About The Author

Paige Sleuth is a pseudonym for mystery author Marla Bradeen. She plots murder during the day and fights for mattress space with her two rescue cats at night. When not attending to her cats’ demands, she writes. She loves to hear from readers, and welcomes emails at paige.sleuth@yahoo.com.

Website     Cozy Cat Caper Mystery books     Goodreads      Amazon author page

Murder in Cherry Hills (Cozy Cat Caper Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Washington
Self Published (August 8, 2015)
Paperback: 130 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1518798207
E-Book ASIN: B013M8PMG8

 

 

 

Kat Harper has only just returned to her small hometown of Cherry Hills, Washington when she discovers the dead body of her neighbor, Mrs. Tinsdale. Matilda, Mrs. Tinsdale’s orphaned rescue cat, just might be the only eyewitness to the murder. But how do you convince a cat to reveal “whodunit”?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We meet Kat Harper just when she notices Matilda in the hallway. Her neighbor’s door is ajar so that explains how the cat got out. When Kat goes to return the cat, she find her neighbor has been murdered. Kat soon realizes Matilda witnessed her person’s death. Now how can Kat get the cat to help her find the killer?

This series is off to a great start. We just scratch the surface on our lead characters, Kat and Matilda. I would have liked a little more depth and a little more drawn out plot but this is just the first story in a series where there are now 16 books so I am sure as the series continues the characters are more fleshed out.

This was a fun, light cozy that I enjoyed very much. A fast read too. I will be returning to Cherry Hills soon to visit with Kat and Matilda again.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

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.”

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