Sep 222017
 


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 Murder of a Queen Bee
(A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (September 27, 2016)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617739132
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617739156
Kindle ASIN: B01A4APJ9M

 

 

Former police officer Abigail Mackenzie has made a fresh start as a beekeeper and farmer in picturesque Las Flores, California—but she never suspected her new hometown would prove to be abuzz with murder . . .

Only hours after Abby’s free-spirited friend, Fiona Mary Ryan, owner of Ancient Wisdom Botanicals, missed their lunch date, her body is found in a burning car—a tragic accident until the coroner’s report points to murder. Driven by her loyalty to her friend, and her deeply ingrained skills as a trained investigator, Abby sorts through suspects who seem to be sprouting up everywhere. Luckily, Abby isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to smoke out a killer . . .

Includes farming tips and delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am excited to travel back to Las Flores, California for my second visit to the Henny Penny Farmette owned by Abigail Mackenzie.

After leaving the police force Abby has become a farmer/beekeeper but she still does private investigations on the side.  She is also remodeling her farmhouse as time and money permits. When her friend Fiona fails to show up for lunch at Abby’s farm, first she get a little testy but then she gets worried. Kat, her former partner, was at the farm for lunch too, but she is called away for a car fire, their friend Fiona appears to be the victim. Abby can’t help but get involved. When the investigation leads to a commune outside of town Abby get caught in a very dangerous situation. As if she doesn’t have enough bees in her bonnet her ex boyfriend, Clay has strolled back into town and expects to pick their relationship up right where they off. Bee-leive me she really doesn’t need to deal with this guy especially because she may have feelings for a couple of other men around town.

I have become a huge fan of Abigail Mackenzie. She knows everyone on the police force and they really don’t seem to mind too much when she helps them clear their cases. She is very observant and insightful but she sometimes forgets she no longer has a gun to protect herself. Nothing seems to hold her back. Back in the day, she would have been called a “gutsy broad”. Her love life is a bit of a mess but she really in too busy to evaluate that right now. Her growth throughout the story was a pleasure to see. I also am head over heals crazy about her dog.

All the other characters are very fleshed out and bee-lievable. Good or bad I had a good grasp of who they were and how they fit seamlessly into the story.

Meera Lester writes in a way the makes you almost feel as you are watching the mystery play out on television. Visualization was super easy. I was engaged in the story from the beginning to the end. The mystery was well conceived and there were plenty of suspects. Some of the clues were of the red herring variety but I enjoyed following all the clues very much. The pace was perfect for me.

I appreciated  the farming tips and recipes that started each chapter as well. In the e-book advance review copy they fell into place a bit clumsily, but I am sure they shine in the print editions.

I found  The Murder of a Queen Bee  to “bee” a first-class mystery, full of interesting characters, tempered with humor and just a little romance.

I am really excited to read the next book in this series. A Hive of Homicides hits store later this month. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out about Meera Lester and her books on her webpage here.


I am giving away 1 Kindle copy sent directly 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 October 6, 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.”

Sep 152017
 


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.


Mai Tai One On (The Tiki Goddess Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Hawaii
Bell Bridge Books (July 3, 2011)
Hardcover: 228 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1611947939
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1611940442
Kindle ASIN: B005CD2RC4

 

 

Six months ago, if anyone would have told Em Johnson she’d end up divorced, broke, and running the dilapidated Tiki Goddess Bar on the magical North Shore of Kauai she would have told them to shove a swizzle stick up their okole. As if all that isn’t bad enough, when an obnoxious neighbor with a grudge is found dead in the Goddess luau pit, suspicion falls on Em and the rest of the Goddess staff. With the help of a quirky dance troupe of over-the-hill Hula Maidens, Em and the cast of characters must ban together to find the killer and solve the mystery before the next pupu party.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Doesn’t that cover just scream fun! and murder!

Em Johnson’s uncle owns Tiki Goddess Bar on the North Shore of Kauai. The Hula Maidens, a group of seniors who dance at the joint have written to Em and asked her to come because they are worried about her uncle’s memory, plus the place is losing money fast. With nothing to hold her on the mainland she hops a plane. She has been there are 6 months and some of her ideas have started to turn the place around. The jury is still out on her uncle.  But when one of the bar’s neighbors is found dead, in the Imu, (the pit where they cook the pigs for the luaus) Uncle Louie is the police’s prime suspect.

What really makes this book sing or I should say dance is its cast of quirky characters. Their antics had me in stitches from the first page until the last. The Hula Maidens are a hoot and Detective Roland is a fire dancer when he isn’t trying to put Uncle Louis or their new bartender behind bars. A new neighbor is quite flamboyant and the dead neighbor took obnoxious to a whole new level. There is also parrot named David Letterman, who is the taste tester for Uncle Louie’s new creations and he is a big fan on the television show Survivor. The ringmaster trying to hold this whole circus together is Em Johnson and while trying to protect the people she cares for she doesn’t always make the best decisions.

This series gets off to a nice start with not only a murder or two but also a kidnapping and a human femur bone found on a shelf. Everyone seems to be holding something back and those secrets lead in many different directions. Detective Roland seems to be around often but in addition to asking questions the Hula Maidens think he has romantic ideas about Em. She feels a little spark too, but until the case is solved she has no interest in the fire dancer, no matter how good he looks in that loin cloth.

I have never been to Hawaii and probably will never get there so I really enjoyed this little virtual escape. I will be back when I read book #2, Two to Mango.

If you like your cozy mysteries to include a nice slice of humor, fix yourself a mai tai and enjoy!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Jill Marie Landis on her webpage here.

I read this book on my Kindle but when I was longing it into my Reading Diary
I saw I had a trade paperback copy of my PaperBackSwap shelf,
so I giving that copy away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 September 29, 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

*This book was from my private collection. The opinions I have expressed are my own

Aug 252017
 


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

Tagged for Death
(Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Release Date – December 2, 2014
Kensington
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617730177
Kindle ASIN: B00KFP7YSG

 

 

Starting your life over at age thirty-eight isn’t easy, but that’s what Sarah Winston finds herself facing when her husband CJ runs off with a 19-year-old temptress named Tiffany. Sarah’s self-prescribed therapy happily involves hitting all the garage and tag sales in and around her small town of Ellington, Massachusetts. If only she could turn her love for bargain hunting into a full-time career.

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure

But after returning from a particularly successful day searching for yard sale treasures, Sarah finds a grisly surprise in one of her bags: a freshly bloodied shirt. . .that undoubtedly belongs to her ex, CJ, who now happens to be Ellington’s chief of police. If that’s not bad enough, it seems Tiffany has gone missing. Now it’s up to Sarah to prove that her cold-hearted ex is not a cold-blooded killer. . .

But finding that treasure can be murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah Winston may be starting her life over after her husband, CJ cheated on her but she is still connected to several places and people from before her divorce. She stills spends time on the Fitch Air Force Base working at the thrift store. A perfect job because she loves hunting for bargains at garage sales and she donates several of her finds to the store. But one of her recent bargains, a bag of clothes, included a bloody shirt and she recognizes it. It is belongs to her ex, the new chief of police of Ellington. His “girlfriend” also happens to be missing and more blood has been found in her dorm room.  The investigation includes the security at the base too and CJ is their prime suspect. As mad as she is at CJ, Sarah knows he is not a killer and she is going to prove it.

What a fantastic story and introduction to these characters. You can tell the author is drawing from personal experiences, sans the murder/s of course 🙂

Sarah comes across as so genuine and I loved her almost obsession with garage sales. It is all about the negotiating and the deal she can get. When she took her friend with her and tried to teach her “the art of the deal”, it was hilarious. That friend could have been me. All the characters grew over the course of the story and there is so much more room for them to grow in this series.

The plot is very strong and filled with surprising twists. The connection to the Air Force Base was very appealing and the details of the workings of such a place was appreciated by this reader. I enjoyed solving the mystery right along with Sarah.

The garage sale tips were a nice addition and food for thought.

I am super exited to get caught up on this series.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha award nominated author, Sherry Harris, started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series.

Find out more about Sherry on her webpage here.


I am giving away my paperback 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 September 6, 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

*This book was from my personal collection.

 

Aug 112017
 


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.


Without a Doubt (A Carol Childs Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Henery Press (May 24, 2016)
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635110289
Paperback: 258 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635110258
Kindle ASIN: B01C4LEFTE

 

 

As radio reporter Carol Childs investigates a series of Beverly Hills jewelry heists, she realizes her FBI boyfriend, Eric, is working the same case. Even worse, she may have inadvertently helped the suspect escape. The situation intensifies when the suspect calls the radio station during a live broadcast, baiting Carol deeper into the investigation.

In order for her to uncover the truth, Carol must choose between her job and her personal relationships. What started out as coincidence between Carol and Eric becomes a race for the facts—pitting them against one another—before the thieves can pull off a daring escape, leaving a trail of dead bodies behind, and taking the jewels with them.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Carol Childs in on assignment when she sees Eric, her FBI boyfriend, leave a jewelry store with another woman on his arm. Seconds later there is an explosion. Carol rushes to the scene to report on the situation for her radio station, KCHC Talk Radio. Her reports draws even more interest as a suspect calls the station during a live broadcast. The type of news has been frowned on my the station’s owners but Carol can’t let the story drop, especially when she learns Eric is working on the case. Their relationship takes a hit as they both dry to catch the criminals.

In this installment we meet the owner’s wife, Bunny, the one that only wants happy news on the station. She even takes over one of the programs. The manager tells Carol to stick right by Bunny’s side but Bunny informs Carol her help is not needed. But Bunny may have bitten off more that she can chew.

Again the author has introduced some interesting characters into Carol’s world. With each story we get to know Carol a little better and I find myself liking her more and more.  She is a strong character driven by her job or the job she is striving to get but still takes time when her son needs her. She is smart and savvy and just reckless enough to get herself into trouble. Her relationship with Eric is a little rocky because well the other woman and she wants to know things about the investigation he just can’t reveal.

This was an amazing fast read due the pacing of the plot. Driven by jewel thefts and dead bodies the pages were just flying. The behind the scenes look at the radio station and virtual tours around Beverly Hills added nicely to the story. I read it all in one sitting, I wanted to figure things out almost as much as Carol.

A very entertaining book!

I will be reviewing the next book Room For Doubt soon.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

nancy cole silverman

About The Author –

Nancy Cole Silverman credits her twenty-five years in radio for helping her to develop an ear for storytelling. In 2001, Silverman retired from news and copywriting to write fiction full time. In 2014, Silverman signed with Henery Press for her new mystery series, The Carol Childs’ Mysteries. The first of the series, Shadow of Doubt, debuted in December 2014 and the second, Beyond a Doubt, was July 2015. The third, Without A Doubt, was released May 24, 2016. Room for Doubt was released on July 18, 2017 For more information visit www.nancycolesilverman.com

 

Author Links
Facebook – GoodReads Twitter: @NancyColeSilve1

Click on book cover for more inform or to order from Amazon.

GIVEAWAY
I will give away 1 E-copy sent direct 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.

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 August 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.”

Aug 042017
 


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.


Peril by Ponytail (A Bad Hair Day Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
12th in Series
Setting – Arizona
Five Star Publishing (September 16, 2015)
Hardcover: 285 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1432830984
Kindle ASIN: B015ESSHV6

 

 

Hoping for a romantic honeymoon at an Arizona dude ranch, hairstylist Marla Vail and her husband Dalton arrive to find a series of mishaps plaguing the resort. A nearby ghost town is suffering similar problems. Is it mere coincidence that Dalton’s Uncle Raymond owns both properties? When Raymond asks for their help in finding the culprit, Marla and Dalton eagerly accept. Then news of a local forest ranger’s death raises the stakes. With sleuthing more natural to Marla than horseback riding, she delves into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she discovers skeletons in the family closet. Someone means to drive Raymond out of business, and the reason may be linked to his past misdeeds. Raymond isn’t the only one with secrets. The trail leads Marla from an environmental activist group to saguaro poachers to water rights proponents to an abandoned copper mine beneath the ghost town. She’d better saddle up, rein in the clues, and find the killer before she becomes the next spirit inhabiting the haunted hillside.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Finding time in their busy lives for a honeymoon wasn’t easy but Marla and Dalton head to an Arizona dude ranch when his cousin asks for help promising them a wonderful honeymoon getaway. They arrive to learn the ranch and a nearby ghost town renovation have had a run of bad luck, at least that is what everyone hopes. Both properties are owned by Dalton’s Uncle Raymond. Just as Marla and Dalton arrive they learn a local forest ranger’s body has been found just off a trail he was very familiar with. Accident, maybe but added to all the other mishaps Marla and Dalton start to investigate and decide to follow wherever the trail may lead, even underground if necessary.

Experiencing this trip to a dude ranch with Marla and Dalton was a lot of fun. I am glad it was a virtual trip or I would have been completely exhausted 🙂 The dude ranch has plenty of things to do including horseback riding and hiking trails. The distance from the main lodge to the cabins is also a good walk. Plus they followed leads to the ghost town and several other places like Scottsdale. It would have made a great honeymoon sans the dead bodies, the explosion and the fire. Maybe not as good as the tropical vacation  Marla would have liked by maybe next time.

These are characters I have grown to love, this being the 12th book in the series. They have sure come a long way since Permed to Death. Newly married they are still figuring things out like Dalton not talking to Marla about honeymooning in Arizona until after he told his cousin they would be delighted to come. They both enjoyed getting to know these long lost family members better and I did too. 

The mystery was tricky but I did figure out the guilty parties a bit before Marla and Dalton. I still enjoyed following along to find out if I was right and to get all the details straight. I lost count of all the twists and turns that tried to divert my attention. The ending was very suspenseful. Learning some of the history of the area and copper mines was a great bonus.

If you are new to this series, this book can be read on it’s own. The author provides a cast of characters at the beginning of the book.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazineas best cozy mystery. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

 Author Links:

Website  Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads Pinterest Linked In  Booklover’s Bench Newsletter Sign-Up


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.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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 August 18, 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 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.

When this book first arrived back in 2015 and I saw the word suicide on the back cover this book went straight to the bottom of my To-Be-Read stacks. Now I realize the second book in this series is waiting on my Kindle, The Murder of a Queen Bee and the third book, A Hive of Homicides, comes out September 26. So I decided to say a little prayer, put a little armor around my heart, and start reading. I almost stopped immediately because the way the victim died was so similar to how my son took his life but I could swear I hear Kris saying “You got this, Mom.” I am glad I kept reading.


A Beeline to Murder
(A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery)

1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – California
Kensington (September 29, 2015)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617739095
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617739118
Kindle ASIN: B00RRT32FW

 

 

Ex-cop Abigail Mackenzie has started a second career–as a farmer. Raising chickens, keeping bees, and growing heirloom vegetables on her farmette in the Bay Area, Abby has a peaceful life. Yet trouble just seems to make a beeline for her. . .

When Abby attempts to deliver her artisanal honey to local pastry chef Jean-Louis Bonheur and finds him dead in his shop, her investigative instincts kick in. After the chef’s handsome brother insists on hiring Abby to find out who killed Jean-Louis, she must sort through a swarm of suspects. But as she closes in on the truth, she’ll need more than her beekeeper suit to protect her from a killer’s sting. . .

Includes farming tips and delicious recipes!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abigail Mackenzie has left the police force for life on a farm. Her new life includes chickens, bees and growing veggies and fruits. She also does a little investigating on her own to help pay the bills. While delivering a new batch of honey to a local restaurant she finds chef Jean-Louis Bonheur dead in his kitchen.  The police quickly rule his death as a suicide and close the case. When the chef’s brother comes to town he finds the ruling unacceptable and get a bee in his bonnet to hire Abby to investigate.  She would just as soon make a beeline in the other direction but she has a hard time bee-lieving the chef would take his own life too. Together they try to find out if he was really murdered but they could both get stung before they get all the answers they need.

I liked Abigail Mackenzie from the very first page. She left the police force due to an injury but she still helps out when she can. Shocked to find a man she knows dead her training kicks right in. She checks the body and the scene and gives a thorough report when the officers reach the scene and she continues to theorize what may have happened. She even jumps in to help the medical examiner’s assistant, new and on his first call, get the body on the gurney and in the body bag. All the while searching for more clues. She is respected in the community and that helps as she takes on the investigation herself. She is patient and wise and sees things other people miss. She is my kind of amateur sleuth.

Ms. Lester’s writes with a very even flow. She introduces us to all the characters and their relationships. Some are more fluid and some are just developing. I found all of the characters very interesting and want to get to know them even better in future stories. Her pacing is perfect. The mystery has a few red herrings to divert us from detecting the true killer. I was kept guessing right to the end.

I also enjoyed the recipes and tips following each chapter.

This is a fine start for this series. I am looking forward to the next installment.

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out about Meera Lester 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.

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 Augusr 11, 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 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
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 
 
 
 
 

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

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

Dollycas’s  Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 

DianeVallereAuthorPhoto_color_croppedAbout The Author

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

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

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

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

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

Author Links

 Webpage           Facebook      Twitter          GoodReads

Purchase Links


GIVEAWAY
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 August 4, 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 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.

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 28, 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
 


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.
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 21, 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

This book was from my private collection.

Jun 302017
 


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


Iced to Death
(A Gourmet De-Lite Mystery)

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

 

 

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

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

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

INCLUDES DELICIOUS—AND HEALTHY—RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

Another tasty mystery from Peg Cochran. I loved it!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

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

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

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

Find all of Peg’s books on Amazon here.


I am giving away my review copy.
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 14, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

New Sins for Old Scores by Tj O'Connor Get Your Copy Today!
%d bloggers like this: