Aug 302014
 

paws for murderPaws For Murder:
A Pet Boutique Mystery

First in Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (January 7, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451239501
E-Book File Size: 1643 KB
ASIN: B00DGZIB2A
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Izzy McHale wants her new Trendy Tails Pet Boutique in Merryville, Minnesota, to be the height of canine couture and feline fashions. But at the store’s opening, it turns out it’s a human who’s dressed to kill…

Izzy’s own beloved pets are dressed to the nines for the grand opening of Trendy Tails. Feisty feline Jinx is large and in charge, and happy mutt Packer is lapping up the attention. Izzy and her best friend Rena have their hands full meeting Merryville’s menagerie and serving tasty pupcakes and kitty canapes from their “barkery.” The last thing they need is the town’s local activist, Sherry Harper, scaring off customers and getting tongues wagging by picketing the event.

The two manage to stop Sherry’s protest in its tracks, but the trouble for Trendy Tails is just beginning. Sherry is found murdered in back of the shop, and Rena is immediately named as the lead suspect. Now Izzy and her furry friends have a new pet project—collaring a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story was a fun start to the Pet Boutique Mystery series. We have tried costumes on our pets over the years. None of them were ever too happy about it but it is a very cute idea and practical for those pets that venture outdoors in the cold winter months.

I enjoyed the way the author tied the story to my home state of Wisconsin too, with a dog named Packer, and characters that went to college or moved from Madison.

All he characters both two legged and four legged were introduced to us quite well in this first installment. I have a soft spot for Aunt Dolly, of course, us Dolly’s need to stick together. I love the way she supports Izzy both with helping her open Trendy Tails and in any other way she can. She even dons 4 inch platform sandals and “dresses up” to catch the eye of a crotchety store owner trying to make trouble for Izzy. Aunt Dolly is a hoot!!

Izzy is a strong protagonist too. Her life was turned upside down by a man. They had their whole future planned but just when they were supposed to be a making the move to New York, he changed his plans and left her behind and took another woman with him! She had to pick herself up, dust herself off and get on with her life.  She does that with Trendy Tails. At least she was in her hometown surrounded by friends and family. Going into business with her best friend Rena was the perfect choice. Hopefully she can patch thing up with her old friend Sean too. Their friendship had added rather abruptly but now that they are both back in Merryville she are going to constantly bumping into each other.

There are many more interesting characters who reside in Merryville. It is one of those small towns where everyone knows everyone or they have heard gossip about each other. A perfect setting for this cozy mystery series.

I did see the writing on the wall a bit before the guilty party was revealed, but this still a wonderful mystery. I enjoyed the story so much I have already started reading Groomed For Murder. It hits store shelves next week!

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Annie Knox and her books on her webpage here.

I am giving my review 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.

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

Contest Will End September 13, 2014 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

 

Be sure to stop back next week when
Annie Knox will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday!

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 272014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I am super excited to welcome Penny Pike!

Her new Food Festival Mystery debuted this month with Death of a Crabby Cook.

Photograph (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)

Photograph (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)

DEATH OF A CRABBY COOK
by Penny Pike Warner

Do you munch while you read mysteries? How could you not, when reading one of the many wonderful food-related series on the market today, everything from cupcakes and pies to bacon and fries. I think the reason these culinary mysteries are so popular is simple: they make you hungry, you eat while you read, and they come with recipes.

I got the idea for writing a food truck mystery a couple of years ago before the “meals on wheels” phenomenon swept the country. I was in Napa, CA, doing research for another book (AKA drinking a lot of wine), and spotted a circle of colorful trucks offering intriguing specialties. I decided to try some plein air dining and ordered a little of everything from trucks Kung Fu Tacos, Happy Dumplings, The Boneyard, Fins on the Hoof, Me So Hungry, and Naked Chorizo. Yum. I was hooked.

crabbycookREVISECombining my love of both food and fiction, I began writing the first book in the food truck/food festival series, Death of a Crabby Cook. I created Darcy Burnett, a total foodie who loves to eat, but barely knows how to heat a frozen dinner in the microwave. To complicate things, I made her a restaurant reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle, suddenly downsized, and desperately in need of a job. While eating a therapeutic Caramel Espresso Cream Puff whipped up by Jake Miller from the Dream Puff Truck—and recognizing a hot food trend when she sees one—she’s inspired to write a cookbook full of food truck recipes.

Her first source is the upcoming San Francisco Seafood Festival. Darcy plans to use her journalistic skills to gather recipes for everything from Crab Mac and Cheese from her aunt’s Big Yellow School Bus food truck, to Hangtown Oyster Omelets from the Bacon is the New Black truck.

But her plans are interrupted by a loud commotion in the Ft. Mason food truck area. Chef Oliver Jameson is arguing with a petite woman wielding a large knife. The woman happens to be Darcy’s sixty-something Aunt Abby, a former school cafeteria cook who now owns her own tricked-out school bus and serves comfort food to hungry diners. Abby accuses Jameson of harassing the food truckers in the area—competition for his brick-and-mortar Bones ‘n’ Brew restaurant—which he denies. Did he really plant a rat in her bus to get her in trouble with the Health Department?

When the chef is suddenly poisoned by his own crab bisque—and Aunt Abby becomes a suspect—Darcy smells a rat. Together with Aunt Abby’s hacker son Dillon and dream puff Jake Miller, she discovers something rotten in the food truck world. But it’s not the recipes…they’re to die for!

I just finished DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER, and I have to admit, the research was more fun than the writing. I think I’ll include a warning label inside the book: Read with chocolate. And there will be plenty of recipes to help.

~Penny

About Penny Warner/Penny Pike

Penny Warner has published over 60 books for both adults and children. Her first mystery series, beginning with DEAD BODY LANGUAGE, features Connor Westphal, a deaf reporter living in the California Gold Country. The book won a Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, and was nominated for an Agatha and an Anthony Award.

Her second mystery series, beginning with How to Host a Killer Party, features event planner, Presley Parker, and is set in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presley solves mysteries on Alcatraz, at the de Young Museum, at the Winchester Mystery House, in Colma, the City of Souls, and in the Napa wine country.

Her newest series, Death of a Crabby Cook, features Darcy Burnett, a former restaurant critic who now works in her Aunt Abby’s food truck and lives in an Airstream RV. The book is set among food trucks and food festivals in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Seafood Festival. DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER, set at the Chocolate Festival, will be out next year, followed by DEATH OF AN APPLE FEST PEST.

Her middle-grade mystery series, The Code Busters Club, won the Agatha Award for Best Children’s Mystery, and has been nominated for the World Mystery Anthony Award for Best Children’s Mystery. The series features four kids who solve mysteries by cracking codes in each chapter. The books are set in Berkeley, on Alcatraz, at the Carmel Mission, at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, and the International Spy Museum in Washington DC. Her non-fiction book, The Official Nancy Drew Handbook,was nominated for an Agatha Award.

She writes a column for the local newspaper on family life in the Valley, creates fund-raising murder mystery events for libraries across the country, and teaches child development at Diablo Valley College. She can be reached at http://www.pennywarner.com or pennywarnerink@yahoo.com.

crabbycookREVISEDeath of a Crabby Cook:
A Food Festival Mystery

Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
An Obsidian Mystery (August 5, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451467812
E-Book File Size: 1307 KB
ASIN: B00HZ1E3OQ
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At the San Francisco Seafood Festival, someone is steamed enough to kill a cook….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I absolutely loved Penny’s Party Planning Mysteries so I am so glad she has returned with this Death of a Crabby Cook: – A Food Festival Mystery Series.

We meet Darcy Burnett who wrote restaurant reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle, I use the past tense because she was laid off as the story began. She quickly starts helping her Aunt Abby with her food truck with hopes of writing a cookbook based on recipes from food fests in the Bay Area.

Penny Pike has written quite a mystery and for most of the book I thought I knew whodunit and happily was so wrong. She had twisted me into quite a pretzel. No pretzel food truck in the story though but there is The Coffee Witch, Dream Puffs, The Yankee Doodle Noodle Truck, Road Grill, The Big Yellow School Bus and more.

Darcy’s aunt worked in a school cafeteria until she retired and opened The Big Yellow School Bus where she serves comfort food like Crabby Cheerleader Mac and Cheese and Science Experiment Spaghetti.

There is a local chef, Oliver Jameson, who owns a restaurant adjacent to where the food trucks park daily and he is sure they are the reason his restaurant is going broke.  He has had very public arguments with most of the food truck owners but he had a huge one today with Aunt Abby. So when his dead body is found she is the number one suspect.

Darcy knows her aunt would never hurt a soul, she may yell at someone but kill them, no way!! All the clues keep pointing to Abby so Darcy knows she is being framed. With a little help from her techie cousin Dillon, Darcy is going to catch the killer one way or another.

All these mobile restaurant owners are truly unique and most have some kind of secret. I was really surprised at how much we found out about these characters in this first book. My mother ran a restaurant/cafe for years in our small town. Aunt Abby reminds me a lot of my mom. She cooked comfort food too. She was also very independent just like Aunt Abby. Darcy is a little like I was back then, I couldn’t cook worth a darn and sometimes was a little too nosy for my own good. Thankfully my life was never in danger.

This story is a lot like the food Aunt Abby served, comfortable with a few surprises to keep those pages turning at a pretty speedy pace.  My only problem with the story is that it didn’t come with food samples. I know there are recipes included but I sure could go for a Dreamy Cream Puff or 2 or 3, any flavor drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar right now and the whole time I was reading this story!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Penny for 5 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 10, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners 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 242014
 
undertaking irene large banner 640Today I am thrilled to host the stop for Undertaking Irene on
the Great Escapes Book Tour!

undertaking-ireneUndertaking Irene
(Jane Delaney Mysteries Book 1)

Cozy Mystery
Self Published
E-Book File Size: 821 KB
Print Length: 260 pages
ASIN: B00MD5VDNS
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Jane Delaney does things her paying customers can’t do, don’t want to do, don’t want to be seen doing, can’t bring themselves to do, and/or don’t want it to be known they’d paid someone to do. To dead people.

Life gets complicated for Jane and her Death Diva business when she’s hired to liberate a gaudy mermaid brooch from the corpse during a wake. Well, a girl’s got to make a living, and this assignment pays better than scattering ashes, placing flowers on graves, or bawling her eyes out as a hired mourner.

Unfortunately for Jane, someone else is just as eager to get his hands on that brooch, and he’s even sneakier than she is. Just when she thinks her biggest problem is grand theft mermaid, things take a murderous turn.

But hey, when you’ve teamed up with a neurotic seven-pound poodle named Sexy Beast, how can you go wrong?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There are so many things I liked about this book. Quirky characters, an intriguing mystery, and snappy dialogue all drew me in to this story.

Jane Delaney is quite a character and she has a very interesting job. She is a Death Diva. I had heard of hiring mourners to cry at funerals but never a Death Diva. She has quite a vast array of services that she offers, like stealing a brooch off of a dead lady during the wake. She has one client that keeps her quite busy or has in the past. If you think these are unusual characters there are more, a “priest” who is very easy on the eyes, a concierge doctor named Jonah, Patrick O’Rourke, son of the deceased who happens to have a huge secret, his daughter, his wife and let’s not forget Sexy Beast, a tiny apricot poodle who needs a trip to a groomer and soon.

The mystery starts when Jane finds a dead body that is ruled as a death from natural causes, but Jane just can’t accept that and decides if the police are not going to investigate she will. The plot is full of twists and diversions. At times I wasn’t sure if  it was really a murder or not, but Jane kept digging and then the chase was on to figure out just which suspect was guilty.

This was a quick read, told from Jane’s point of view, and I enjoyed very much! The author has laid a firm foundation for the series to unfold. I look forward to the next  job Jane undertakes!

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

pam-burford

About This Author

Pamela Burford is the best-selling author of 15 works of mystery, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. She has received four RITA and Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award nominations and is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences and workshops. Her books have sold millions of copies, received outstanding reviews, and been translated into more than a dozen languages. Pamela is the founder and past president of Long Island Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America. Fun fact: her twin sister Patricia Ryan, a.k.a. P.B. Ryan, is also a published novelist

Author Links

http://www.pamelaburford.com

http://www.facebook.com/pamelaburford

https://twitter.com/PamelaBurford

https://www.goodreads.com/PamelaBurford

http://pinterest.com/pamelaburford

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Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!!
Tour Participants

August 18 – readalot blog - Review
August 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy - Interview
August 20 – Queen of All She Reads - Review
August 21 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
August 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
August 23 – Mystery Playground – Interview
August 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
August 25 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – Interview
August 26 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
August 27 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review
August 28 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Interview
August 29 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Interview
August 30 – deal sharing aunt – Spotlight
August 31 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review

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 232014
 

just for fun 2014This is a challenge to help us get some of those books on out To-Be Read stacks read without the pressure of a review (unless we want to) or meeting any other challenge. These books are read totally Just For Fun.  I have given just a brief review because I read the book JUST FOR FUN!!

I needed this challenge so bad this month. So many books are screaming from my shelves and this one has been on the top of my Kindle List for too long. It kept getting passed over for review deadlines. Last Sunday I decided it was a “ME” day and I was going to read what I wanted to read, review reading could let me let me have this one day!!!

THE CORPSE WITH THE EMERALD THUMB jpegThe Corpse with the Emerald Thumb
(A Cait Morgan Mystery)

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: TouchWood Editions (April 22, 2014)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1771510639
E-Book File Size: 797 KB
ASIN: B00HUBWC5S
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A dream vacation at a Mexican beach resort swiftly dissolves into a nightmare for criminologist and foodie Cait Morgan when her significant other, Bud Anderson, is wrongly arrested for the murder of the local florist, a gifted plantswoman.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Again Cathy Ace channels Agatha Christie to bring us another fantastic mystery.

In this 3rd Cait Morgan Mystery, Bud and Cate head to Mexico for a vacation to take their relationship to the next level. A simple trip for some snacks lands Bud in jail accused for murder before they even unpack their bags. Cait is in a place where she doesn’t know a soul. Not knowing who she can trust Cait has to keep her relationship with Bud a secret, and she soon discovers she’s not the only one with something to hide. Worried about Bud she follows where the clues lead putting herself in danger. She knows time is not her friend as the Federales can show up at any minute to take Bud away. It is up to her to save him and herself too!!

Cait and Bud make a great team but this time Cait shows she can solve a mystery on her own, well almost. Her eidetic memory and wakeful dreaming technique are her best resources even if she doesn’t understand how all the parts of the puzzle fit together at first.

I love following the clues along with Cait but never figure it out who the killer is until she gathers all the suspects for her big reveal. Then everything makes perfect sense.  That in addition to the fleshed out characters make these stories so much fun to read.

The location was a small tourist town in Mexico and I really enjoy learning about how tequila is made and the different versions. All I knew before this story was tequila was the main ingredient in my margaritas :)

I have enjoyed all 3 books in this series. The Corpse with the Platinum Hair is coming out soon, I can’t wait.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent



Cathy Ace’s The Corpse with the Platinum Hair (A Cait Morgan Mystery) Great Escapes Book Tour starts September 1.

Aug 212014
 

death by devil Death by Devil’s Breath
(A Chili Cook-Off Mystery)

2nd Book in Series
Cozy MYSTERY
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 5, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Miles Hyman
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262429
E-Book File Size: 2093 KB
ASIN: B00I3N5Q9Q
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Cold-blooded murder can be hot as hell…

In Las Vegas, the stakes are high—and so is the Scoville scale. Maxie Pierce and the Chili Showdown are in town for a very heated contest devoted to judging the legendary and notorious-for-being-self-combustible Devil’s Breath chili. The guest judges are casino performers with a taste for chili and an eye for publicity.

Maxie is already going mad organizing the event, dealing with her snide half sister, Sylvia, and trying to figure out her hothead of security, Nick. But when a local hack comedian drops dead in the middle of the Showdown, it isn’t the spicy dish—it’s poison. And Maxie is going to have to shuffle through a full deck of suspects to pick out the culprit.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas but this Chili Showdown almost gave Maxie more than even she could handle. She even gets a blast from her past!

Maxie is a smart protag with just the right amount of spice.  She and her half sister Sylvia are supposed to be running their dad’s business, Jack Pierce’s Hot-Cha Chili Seasoning Palace, together since he has disappeared without a trace, but it is not going well. The Showdown has been assigned to the Deadeye, a Western town set up in a section in the hotel/casino. Their booth assignment happens to be the bordello, well it is the “biggest” and “nicest” place in Deadeye but Sylvia is not amused at all.  She is also not happy by all the things keeping Maxie from working at the booth. Besides trying to find a killer she keep having costume issues and the Chili Chick is not doing much dancing.

Logan has not only taken us to Las Vegas she has introduced us to some of the performing “headliners” at the Casino. Sadly one of them dies and the mystery begins. These people are not all who they appear to be and have some secrets needed in a story like this. They are all vying to assist in breaking a world’s record as Reverend Linda Love officiates the largest mass wedding ever to be performed on a Sunday afternoon in Nevada at a Western themed hotel.

Kylie Logan writes such great stories. I am excited every time I hear about a new one coming out. Death by Devil’s Breath is just so funny. Don’t get me wrong, the mystery is very well plotted and the characters and settings are fantastic, but I have some pictures in my head of Maxie in the Chili Chick costume that will be with me forever. I have not laughed this much while reading a book in a long time.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Kylie and her book here on her webpage and her alter ego Casey Daniels here.

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

Aug 202014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

I am excited to welcome Kate Parker today!

I stayed up late into the night finishing The Counterfeit Lady!

Summertime Heat
By Kate Parker

The_Counterfeit_LadyIn The Counterfeit Lady, my heroine, Georgia Fenchurch, experiences a summertime heat wave. She lives in late Victorian London, before air conditioning, electrically run refrigerators, and swimming pools. Cooking or lighting a fire is going to give off lots of heat. What is Georgia going to do?

_DSF0008Open windows. Stay out of the sun. Enjoy summer fruits, including those brought from the Mediterranean countries on refrigerated steam ships that made a favorite summertime drink, lemonade, possible. Anyone who could afford it would travel out of London to the seaside or the countryside, looking for relief everywhere from the Isle of Wight to Scotland. This era began beach vacations in England with the arrival of inexpensive train tickets and the building of summer resorts along the coast.

Georgia is a bookshop owner. She expects to continue to suffer through the London heat wave selling books and magazines to people too hot to do anything but read. She and her assistant Emma are busy in the shop, leaving the front and back doors open to catch any breeze. She isn’t about to lay a fire or have Phyllida cook anything but the lightest meals. And since this story is told about late-Victorian times, all three women are working in the heat while wearing corsets!

Then the Duke of Blackford returns to Georgia’s life, asking her to help him with a case of murder and espionage. A set of blueprints for Britain’s revolutionary new warship have been stolen from the study of the ship’s designer and his wife has been murdered. The designer’s wife was a cousin of Lady Phyllida, and when Phyllida learns of the killing, she wants Georgia to find the person responsible.

The duke also wants Georgia’s help because Scotland Yard believes the designer killed his wife and burned the blueprints to give himself an alibi. Why else have a fire in the fireplace on the hottest day of the year?

Georgia has another theory. The windows to the study were wide open and the killer could have left that way with the ship drawings. But why did the dead woman order the fire?

The duke believes the theft was engineered by the spies of a nation embroiled with Britain in the naval arms race of the 1890s. And no one had a better spy network or had invested more in the warship-building race than the Germans. The duke believes a German diplomat is their master spy and is waiting for receipt of the ship plans.

First Book in this Series

The Archivist Society, the organization of sleuths that Georgia belongs to, is called in to help locate the plans and the killer. Georgia is assigned the task of entering aristocratic society as a newly-arrived widow from the British Empire. With the help of Lady Phyllida who enters the upper-crust society she’s been hiding from for many years, Georgia begins the role of the duke’s paramour. Emma serves as their lady’s maid while passing messages to the Archivist Society and questioning the servants.

Now Georgia learns how the other half beat the heat. Sleep during the day and attend soirees at night with all the windows open, or travel away from London to country house parties. But there’s no rest for Georgia, who works in her bookshop while society women sleep and plays her roll tracking the spy through high society in the cool of the evening.

My interest in how people beat the heat in Georgia’s time comes from stories I’ve heard. When I was young, an elderly relative told me about a heat wave in the city she lived in. People brought out blankets each night and slept under the stars in the city parks. The police had to increase their patrols to prevent burglaries in all these empty households. And this was from a very proper relative who never went camping!

DIGITAL CAMERAIf you were in late-Victorian London, how would you have survived a summer heat wave?

~Kate
The first books Kate Parker read as a child were Nancy Drew mysteries and her mother’s Agatha Christie novels, and now she can’t write a story without someone dropping dead by chapter five. After years living in the Nation’s Capital, Kate moved to the South and began crafting historical mysteries. The first of the Victorian Bookshop mysteries, The Vanishing Thief, came out in December 2013 with the next, The Counterfeit Lady, arrived this August.

Visit her at www.KateParkerbooks.com or www.Facebook.com/Author.Kate.Parker.

 

The_Counterfeit_Lady
The Counterfeit Lady
(A Victorian Bookshop Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 5, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by George Long
Trade Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425266618
E-Book File Size: 1466 KB
ASIN: B00G3L16G2
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Who would suspect antiquarian bookseller Georgia Fenchurch of leading a double life—as a private investigator for the clandestine Archivist Society in Victorian London? When England’s national security is compromised, Georgia must pose as a titled lady to root out a spy…

Georgia, Lady Phyllida Monthalf and Emma return in this second Victorian Bookshop Mystery, as do the members of the Archivist Society and The Duke of Blackford. This time of Lady Monthalf’s cousin Clara has been killed and a set of very important blueprints stolen.  Clara’s husband has been arrested for treason and his wife’s murder. The Duke of Blackford enlists Georgia, Emma and Lady Phyllida’s help to catch the real killer. The fun begins when Georgia learns she will be playing the part of the duke’s new paramour, as if she doesn’t already get nervous enough around him. Georgia, a middle class bookshop owner posing as a titled Lady, what could go wrong? Well as we have learned with Georgia anything and everything.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Georgia is an extraordinary character and she is doing double duty trying to keep her bookshop afloat with a little help from her Archivist Society members while dashing off to party after party on the arm of the Duke, all in an effort to find the missing plans and the person responsible for a very brutal murder. She is a very intelligent woman but at times the clues take both her and the reader in circles. Plus she finds herself more and more drawn to the Duke of Blackford. Her mind knows a relationship between classes is highly unlikely but her heart is full of hope.

I thought the story had a real Cinderella vibe. From the moment the plan was put together both Georgia and Emma, who is acting at “Lady Georgina’s” maid, are treated to new clothes and all the accessories. Georgia attends fancy balls and dinners with the Duke arriving in the most beautiful carriages.

The mystery was quite good too as it appears that only Clara and her husband Kenneth were in a locked room when the robbery and murder took place. There are several suspects but placing them in that room is tough. Remember this story is set in Victorian times, no CSI techs checking for fingerprints and DNA.

I started reading this book on a beach during our recent Family Fun Day and I quickly noticed this was a book that needed my full attention, so I put it away and picked it back up as soon as I could the next evening and finished it at 2:14 a.m. the next morning. Once I started reading I just could not stop.

Parker takes us back in time and keeps us on our toes with very interesting characters, history and mystery. She adds a nice balance of humor and romance too. The dialogues were very entertaining. Anxious for book #3.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Kate for 5 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 3, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners 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 192014
 

IF CATFISHIf Catfish Had Nine Lives
(Country Cooking School Mystery)

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 5, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Phil Parks
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425269282
E-Book File Size: 1325 KB
ASIN: B00I3N5QKU
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Betts Winston has inherited more than her cooking skills from her grandmother—she can also see and talk to ghosts of people that once roamed the streets of Broken Rope, Missouri, in the days of the Old West…

With Gram’s Country Cooking School on spring break, Betts and Gram are taking part in this year’s cowboy poetry convention, offering lessons on frying catfish over an open campfire. But when a staged gunfight ends in real death and her brother Teddy becomes a prime suspect, Betts may be the one to jump from the frying pan into the fire.

After her ghostly guardian Jerome appears to watch her back and a spectral Pony Express rider gallops into town with some unfinished business, Broken Rope starts to seem more like a cowboy ghost convention. With trouble on both sides of this mortal coil, it’s up to Betts to clear her brother, put the spirits to rest, and make sure the true killer doesn’t become the one who got away.

Includes Recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Paige Shelton has given us another top notch cozy mystery. She blends cooking with mystery, history, and ghosts. She also adds in a spoonful of romance that may surprise you.

Betts and Gram are fantastic characters but Jerome always steals my heart. He is always there when Betts needs him and this time she really needed him to help unlock all the mysteries she was trying to solve.

Broken Rope is a very special place. It takes us back to the Wild West and I appreciate the way Jake tries to keep all the history straight.  An enormous task and he continues to receive more and more information and treasures for his collection. I loved learning more about the Pony Express.

Shelton continues to amaze me with her imaginative stories. The characters are unique and engaging, the main plots and subplots mesh together perfectly. The history and the mystery draws the reader in and hangs on tight. Then she adds some killer recipes to boot!

Paige you had me with this one – hook, line and sinker! This book is quite a catch!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Paige Shelton and her books visit her webpage here.

I am giving my review 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.

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

Contest Will End September 2, 2014 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 162014
 

class reunionsClass Reunions Can Be Murder -
Every Wife Has A Story. A Carol and Jim Andrews Baby Boomer Mystery

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Baby Boomer Mysteries Press (June 30, 2013)
Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0985779917
E-Book File Size: 2947 KB
ASIN: B00DVLLK0Y
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Class Reunions Can Be Murder — Every Wife Has A Story continues the humorous Baby Boomer mystery series featuring Carol Andrews and her beloved husband, Jim, as they navigate their way along life’s rocky highway toward their twilight years. In this fourth book, Carol has no interest in her upcoming fortieth high school reunion. Her memories of days at Mount Saint Francis Academy are mixed, to put it mildly. But BFF Nancy convinces her to join the reunion planning committee, so she’ll have some say in how the event is organized. All is going smoothly until the dead body of one of their classmates is found the night before the reunion — in Carol and Nancy’s room!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I recently attended my 35th Class Reunion so it was easy to relate to this story. Thankfully no dead bodies were found at our party so it was much more fun than Carol’s.

Satangelo tells the story from Carol’s point of view, in fact Carol talks directly to reader throughout the story.

Jim and Carol are finding their way through retirement. They each sort of do their own thing, but Jim is a little put out when he finds spouses are not invited to the reunion. It was an all girl’s school but he did know one of Carol’s classmates, he even dated her for awhile, so he kind of wanted to see her, and there must be other husbands that wanted to attend too. When the reunion starts with a dead body Jim is more concerned with keeping Carol from sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong.

Santangelo tells a fine story. We have gotten to know these characters quite well over the span of the series. I really didn’t like Jim at first but he has grown on me.  Carol doesn’t seem to call him her “Beloved” as often and that really helps. I really enjoy Sister Rose. She reminds me of Sister Paulette that I knew during my teenage years. Those sisters can lay on guilt and get us to do almost anything. I have almost forgiven Carol for not letting us share in her daughter’s wedding in Marriage Can Be Murder. She was a little more forthcoming this time about the reunion.

This has been an entertaining series, I think baby boomers will enjoy all four books.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Susan Santangelo on her webpage here.

I am giving away my review copies of
Marriage Can Be Murder and Class Reunions Can Be Murder.

There will be 2 Winners!!

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.

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

Contest Will End August 30, 2014 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 author. 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 142014
 

bewitching boots large banner640I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS SERIES!!

BEWITCHING BOOTSBewitching Boots
(Renaissance Faire Mystery)
(Volume 8)

Paperback: 222 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1500683412
E-Book File Size: 381 KB
ASIN: B00M9NZN4E
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Jessie Morton is thrilled when she finds Bill Warren, an old fashioned shoemaker, and he agrees to come back to Renaissance Faire Village with her. She’s not so thrilled when claims to have elf magic, and he falls for Princess Isabelle. The dancing slippers Bill makes for Isabelle make him a suspect when the princess takes a leap from the castle terrace. Now, Jessie must find the lady or lord who helped the princess with her last dance before she loses her star attraction.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Do you believe in magic? Bill Warren believes and after this story you may believe magic really happens at the Renaissance Faire.

This is one of my favorite cozy series. I love visiting Adventureland’s Ren Faire because there is always fun mixed in with the mystery.

This story starts out after Jessie and Chase’s wedding and already rumors are spreading that they are breaking up. Chase is training new knights and Jessie is wrapped up with the museum but as soon as they find time they are going to nip those rumors in the bud.  When Princess Isabelle is found dead catching the killer becomes their #1 priority. Detective Almond is trying to catch a killer with Chase’s assistance but Jessie is doing her own investigation.

All our favorite characters are back including Wanda, the blue ghost, and they are joined by some great new characters too! It is that time of year when new people are auditioning to became actors or acts at the faire and there are some very unusual “creatures” roaming the cobblestones.

The story is so well written and contains such vivid detail that you feel like you are right there and all the drama is happening right around you. You can almost taste the jumbo turkey legs and ale,  hear the minstrels playing all over the grounds and smell the bread the monks are baking.   I can clearly see the jousting matches and the secret tunnels in the castle. There are also some things that only certain people can see like a certain dragon and we get to see them all through Jessie’s eyes.

The Lavenes are excellent storytellers. Mystery, humor, romance, with a bit a paranormal are all blended together perfectly. This entire series has been pure pleasure to read.

I recommend highly everything written by these authors. You just can’t go wrong with a Joyce and Jim Lavene mystery. (Or a J.J. Cook or an Ellie Grant, yep, that’s them too!)

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the authors:
Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, best-selling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family. Visit them at www.joyceandjimlavene.com.
Plus
Website: http://www.renaissancefairemysteries.com/
Blog: www.romanceofmystery.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene
Twitter: @authorjlavene
Amazon : amazon.com/author/jlavene

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Tour Participants

August 5 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Guest Post
August 6 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review
August 7 – readalot blog - Review
August 8 – deal sharing aunt – Interview, Giveaway
August 9 – a chick who reads – Review
August 10 – Books-n-Kisses - Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
August 11 – Bea’s Book Nook – Review
August 12 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
August 13 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
August 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
August 14 – Victoria’s Pages of Romance – Guest Post
August 15 – Back Porchervations – Review
August 15 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Guest Post
August 16 – Brooke Blogs – Review
August 17 – Teresa Trent Author Site – Interview
August 18 – Community Bookstop – Review
August 19 – Cicero’s Children – Interview
August 20 – dru’s book musings – Guest Post

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 122014
 

sex lies snickerdoodles large banner640
I am so excited to be kicking off this tour!!
Be sure to visit all the other stops too as the tour continues!

SexLiesSnickerdoodles-CoverSex, Lies, and Snickerdoodles
(Working Stiffs Mystery Series Book 2)

Corvallis Press (July 22, 2014)
E-Book File Size: 2040 KB
Print Length: 247 pages
ASIN: B00M7ILJQW
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SYNOPSIS:
Everybody’s got a secret.

A secret crush. A secret liaison. A secret recipe. And for a deadly few, a secret murder.

Port Merritt’s favorite bad boy, Russell Falco, was a seasoned veteran of secret liaisons. But after his body washes up on the shore of Merritt Bay, Deputy Coroner and human lie detector, Charmaine Digby, suspects one of those liaisons got Russell killed.

Secrets. Lies. Cookie-baking rivals. And a dead guy. Char’s on the case and is determined to find the killer . . . if the killer doesn’t find her first!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was such a funny story, I would say the word hilarious fits nicely.

Charmaine Digby uses her job as a Deputy Coroner to put herself right into the center of a police investigation. A police investigation that doesn’t even really exist because the Coroner has not classified it as a homicide, yet. Her “friend with benefits”,  Detective Steve Sixkiller, appreciates all of her talents but is not revealing any details he may have on the case that isn’t a case.  Char’s mother is also back in town and has more on her mind than a certain teacher. Her grandmother is concentrating on her cookie recipe to enter at the fair, but she is no fool, she knows exactly what her daughter and granddaughter are up to.

Char’s job confuses me a bit, she doesn’t spend as much time in the office as the others. She is off “investigating” for most of the day which includes stops to local parks and her uncle’s diner. But her investigations do bear fruit.

The characters are very engaging and it is the dialogue between the characters is what makes the story really shine. The author keeps a nice balance between the mystery and romance. The humor fills the story from the beginning to the end.

I liked this story even more than Trudy, Madly, Deeply. I recommend them both for some light and entertaining summer reading.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Delaney_blue1

About This Author

Wendy Delaney writes fun-filled cozy mysteries and is the author of Sex, Lies & Snickerdoodles, the second book in her Working Stiffs Mystery series. A long-time member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America, she’s a Food Network addict and pastry chef wannabe. When she’s not killing off story people she can be found on her treadmill, working off the calories from her latest culinary adventure. Wendy makes her home in the Seattle area with her husband and has two grown sons. You can connect with Wendy on Facebook and via her website: www.wendydelaney.com.

 

Author Links
Webpage: http://www.wendydelaney.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Wendy-Delaney/1122544009
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/7191068.Wendy_Delaney

I have 1 e-copy to give away. Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a Print Copy!!

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.

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

Contest Will End August 26, 2014 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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!

Tour Participants

August 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Giveaway
August 13 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
August 14 – readalot blog – Review, Giveaway
August 15 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway
August 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Guest Post
August 18 – Traci Andrighett’s blog – Review
August 19 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review, Giveaway
August 20 – A Chick Who Reads – Review
August 21 – Omnimystery News – Interview
August 24 – Author Michele Lynn Seigfried’s Blog – Review, Interview
August 25 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Guest Post, Giveaway
August 26 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review, Giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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.”