Oct 262016
 

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Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to have Kate Parker visiting today! 

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Planning for a Getaway
by Kate Parker

I love running away to London. It’s the exact opposite of where I live. Big city. Good public transportation. Cool weather eight or nine months of the year. Ancient buildings made of stone. I live in a small town with no public transportation. We have warm weather eleven months of the year. While we have older buildings, there isn’t a stone in the entire county.

By the time you read this, I’ll be back from my newest trip to London. So this may not be my itinerary, and we may have adventures I’ve not dreamed of yet, but here is what I’m looking  forward to between now and when I join you on Escape with Dollycas.

www.thetravelmentor.comThe British Library. The new building, near King’s Cross, is four stories of researchers, students, and tourists in a mix of business and silence. Since I already have a British Library card, with a photo that is every bit as bad as my driver’s license photo, I head straight to the basement to get a locker. No coats, hats, purses, pens, umbrellas, bottled water or cameras are permitted. All I take with me is my reader’s pass, a couple of pencils, my steno notebook, my wallet, and the key to my locker in one of the clear plastic bags they provide. The locker costs me a pound coin, but I’ll get it back at the end of my session.

The newsroom, with old newspapers on microfilm, is on the second floor. I’m looking particularly for fashion news from Paris in autumn, 1938, for Olivia’s next story. When I drag myself away, which I’d better do because I’m supposed to meet my daughter in the courtyard or lobby, there is always a chance we’ll browse through the shop on the first floor for reprints and clever oddities. Then it’s off for a pub lunch across Euston Road. I admit to a fondness for fish, chips, and mushy peas. My daughter shudders at the peas.

Wagamama. My older daughter lived in London for a while, and she introduced us to the original Wagamama. There are 12 in London now, plus in the US, Denmark, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Malta, Sweden, and a bunch more places. It’s inexpensive, no frills, and not the place to take a meat and potatoes guy. I can’t wait.

bbc.co.ukCourtauld Gallery. It’s a gallery devoted to French Impressionism, which I love, and is situated in Somerset House, where sleuths of Miss Marple’s generation would go to discover who was secretly married to whom and the name and gender of heirs on whom a plot rests. I’ve never been there, but I know I’ll have to take a few pictures of the outside to stoke my imagination if I send someone there after a clue.

KateParker_DeadlyWedding800St. Luke’s Anglican Church. Built when the Duke of Wellington’s brother was the rector, I plan to use the building, moved to the right area, for the site of Georgia and the Duke’s wedding.  That story, finishing the Victorian Bookshop Mysteries, will come out next year along with another pre-WWII story chronicling Olivia’s adventures as a society reporter that is sending me to the British Library.

Windsor Castle. I was last there in 1989 with my daughters. The daughter I’m meeting in London wants to see it again, and I think it will be great fun. Another reason to pack my camera. This time, I hope to cross the bridge and see the town of Eton as well.

By Matt Mayuploaded and derivative work: MrPanyGoff - http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattmay/2678769535/in/set-72157606229507513, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19188699West End Theatres. Every time I go over, I see a play, and I’ve never seen a bad one. Some have been popular and some have been surprisingly – different, but they’ve all been enjoyable. I have no idea what we’ll see until we go.

And that leads me to the variety of restaurants in London. Something you don’t find in a small town in the South. We ate at a tapas restaurant the last time we went to a play in London.  My daughter, who used to live in Manchester and loves Indian foods, will get me to at least one, where I will explain I need the blandest dish they have. There are also a lot of good Chinese restaurants in London, which I enjoy. My daughter always finds the ones where I am the only person in the restaurant using a fork, which I had to ask for.

We usually do at least one walk, which has taken us all over London and shown us many things we never would have seen otherwise. Who knows where we’ll end up this time. That’s also true of Bletchley Park, the various war museums, the British Museum, the Museum of London, and a huge collection of other places to visit.

We won’t be over there for long, so I hope we find time to do at least most of these things. And when you read this, my daughter and I will once again be across the country from each other with pleasant memories of our trip and great relief at being home.

~Kate

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Deadly Wedding (The Deadly Series)
2nd in Series
Cozy Historical Mystery 
Setting – England
JDP Press (October 17, 2016)
Paperback: 318 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0996483148
E-Book 266 pages
ASIN: B01LW0HO5L

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Synopsis:

Why murder a dying man?

Olivia Denis is hesitant to help an old family friend get ready for her wedding outside London. The so-called friend is a master at using people. As a young widow trying to find her way through a new romantic relationship, Olivia would rather avoid the large party.

She definitely didn’t plan to find the bride’s grandfather stabbed to death. The cruel, enormously rich aristocrat had changed his will only the day before, angering all his children.

As Olivia is forced to investigate the murder, she’s called away by her employer, the owner of an influential London daily newspaper. She must carry out another secret assignment, one that will take her to Vienna, now part of Nazi Germany.

With war on the horizon and attacks on the old man’s family increasing, can Olivia find a way to save lives in two countries?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is another fabulous story from Kate Parker.

Olivia Denis is back and getting ready for a wedding of an old family friend. The problem is this friend is treating her more like a servant than a life long friend and Olivia just goes along with it to keep the peace just to get through a wedding that had already been postponed more than once. When the bride goes to her grandfather’s room before the service Olivia is dragged along. What they find is the man dead with a knife in his chest and the bride tells her to keep it mum until after the wedding. Thankfully one of the real servants notifies the authorities. The bride begs Olivia to find the killer and we readers are off on another investigation with Olivia Denis.

The main plot is strong and compelling, the subplots are excellent and just as compelling. Kate Parker sets the scene, introduces the characters and draws us right in from the very first page. Olivia also makes a very dangerous journey for her employer and that part had me holding my breath. That coupled with the death and subsequent drama made for a book that was impossible to put down.

I discovered Kate Parker through her Victorian Mystery Series where she kept topping herself in each new book and now with this Deadly Series she is doing the exact same thing. I loved the historical aspects to the story along with the great mystery. The characters are colorful, unique and realistic for the time period. I love what a strong woman Olivia Denis is and the way she takes on whatever is asked of her. She doesn’t do anything halfway.

Deadly Wedding can be read as a stand alone but I strongly suggest you read Deadly Scandal first.  I can’t wait for book #3.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kate Parker has wanted to travel to 1930s England since she read her mother’s Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers mysteries when she was a schoolgirl. After many years of studying science, she decided a time travel machine was out of the question so she found herself limited to reading about the period and visiting historic sites. Her love of this fascinating and challenging period led her to the research from which the Deadly series grew. Eventually, she found it necessary to spend several days in the British Library reading old newspapers, which meant another trip to England. Near Christmas. A sacrifice she’d gladly make every year.

The first story in the series is Deadly Scandal, released January 14, 2016.

Author Links:      Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads
Purchase Links:

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my review copy and the author is giving 1 away too!!
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.

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

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.

 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 November 9, 2016 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

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

October 17 – Back Porchervations – Review
October 18 – A Holland Reads – Review, Giveaway
October 19 – Books, Dreams, Life – Review, Spotlight
October 20 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway
October 21 – The Power of Words – Review
October 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – Spotlight, Giveaway
October 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review
October 23 – Brooke Blogs – Guest Post, Spotlight, Giveaway
October 23 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & sissy, Too! – Spotlight, Giveaway
October 24 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review
October 25 – Island Confidential – Interview, Giveaway
October 26 – Deal Sharing Aunt – Review, Giveaway
October 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Cozy Wednesday

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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.”

Mar 032016
 

I am excited to be part of this tour.
Back Porchervations also hosts a stop today so be sure to stop there for her review too!
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Deadly Scandal
by Kate Parker

 

Cover may change

Deadly Scandal
Deadly Series
New Series
Genre – Cozy Historical Mystery
Setting – London
JDP Press (January 14, 2016)
Paperback: 338 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0996483124
E-Book ASIN: B01AU0KC8E
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An exciting new series from the author of The Victorian Bookshop Mysteries.

Synopsis:

Olivia Denis is a contented young wife with a carefree life in late 1930’s London. Then her world is shattered with the violent death of her husband, Reggie. The police want to call it a suicide and close the case, but Olivia knows Reggie couldn’t possibly have fired the fatal shot.

Further mysteries surface surrounding her husband’s death. Did the trustworthy Foreign Office employee betray government secrets? Was his murder linked to the death of a German embassy clerk the same night? And who searched their flat?

Her desire for answers and her need to support herself cause her to break away from the pampered life she’s known and take a job. But with the much-needed paycheck as a society reporter for a newspaper comes a secret secondary assignment—one that involves her in the increasingly dangerous world of European politics as the continent slides toward war.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is a fantastic debut for this new series! Olivia Denis is one strong woman and I really admire the way she sticks to something when she starts it. She knew her husband could not have taken his own life but the path she takes to find out who really killed him opens doors and reveals more secrets than she ever could have imagined.

I loved Kate Parker’s Victorian Mystery Series. She has a great writing style and her stories feature strong women. I knew I would enjoy this book before I even started reading, but she exceeded all of my expectations.

She takes us back to the 1930’s in London. Olivia’s husband, Reggie, works in the Foreign Office and handles documents and diplomatic credentials. They had traveled to Germany a few times for his work.  Could he have seen something to get him killed?  As she tries to determine why he was killed we meet his boss and co-workers. We also meet a friend of Olivia’s who helps her get a job at a newspaper covering the society page. She is also doing some work on the side for the owner of the paper. This story takes place at the cusp before World War 2, where everyone seems to be spying on someone. Everyone is scared about what Hitler has planned. Many Jewish people are leaving Germany and others are holding firm. Parker really gives us a human side to these situations by introducing to some interesting characters and even takes our protagonist on a quick trip to Berlin. All of the characters we meet are richly detailed.

This author really knows how to set the scene. It is so easy to “see” all the places this story takes us. The details just form perfect pictures from the streets to the homes with their opulent parties and Olivia’s flat. Olivia quickly sketches what the ladies are wearing so she can describe them in her articles so those take vivid form as well.

She also knows how to plot a story that pulls us in and doesn’t let go. There are so many clues but they all have to come together in the right way to solve the mystery. I  really enjoyed following in Olivia’s footsteps and having that “AHA” Moment almost simultaneously.

Parker has penned an excellent story that all historical mystery lovers will absolutely love. In addition to this fine story, the next best thing is that this is a series so we are going to be meeting some of these characters again and I am really excited about that.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Kate Parker

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kate Parker has wanted to travel to 1930s England since she read her mother’s Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers mysteries when she was a schoolgirl. After many years of studying science, she decided a time travel machine was out of the question so she found herself limited to reading about the period and visiting historic sites. Her love of this fascinating and challenging period led her to the research from which the Deadly series grew. Eventually, she found it necessary to spend several days in the British Library reading old newspapers, which meant another trip to England. Near Christmas. A sacrifice she’d gladly make every year.

The first story in the series is Deadly Scandal, and she is hard at work on the sequel.

Author Links:

Website           Facebook           Twittter       Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon B&N

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.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 17, 2016 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 check out the rest of the tour!

Tour Participants

February 29 – Deal Sharing Aunt – Review, Interview
March 1 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
March 2 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
March 3 – Back Porchervations – Review, Giveaway
March 4 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review  
March 5 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – Review, Giveaway
March 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Interview
March 7 – Student of Opinions – Review
March 8 – Girl Lost In a Book – Review, Giveaway
March 9 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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.”

Dec 082015
 

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I am so excited to have Kate Parker drop by today for a visit to tell us about The Conspiring Woman.

kateparkerHi Everyone,

The Conspiring Woman, Book #4 of the Victorian Bookshop Mystery series, begins a few months after The Royal Assassin ends in the deepest part of winter. Georgia gets a new case from a father about his missing son. The child is only seven. Georgia is terrified for the child until the father adds the boy was last seen with his mother. The father doesn’t want his wife returned.

As Georgia begins to investigate, she learns about other well-to-do women who have vanished into the London fog. How she wishes she had the help of her closest confidants, but Emma is on her honeymoon, Aunt Phyllida is nursing a friend through a serious illness, and the Duke of Blackford is in the States checking out his investments.

Georgia finds the forward thinking daughter of the aristocracy who has been hiding the woman and her son. When the wealthy mother’s body is fished out of the Thames, Georgia returns to take the child to his father, only to discover the boy, her heir, is missing. And then the weather worsens.

As a bonus, the first chapter of the first book in a new series, Deadly Scandal, set in London in the late 1930’s is included.

About The Author

Kate Parker grew up reading her mother’s collection of mystery novels, and now she can’t write a story without someone being murdered in some fiendish way. It’s taken her years to convince her husband she hasn’t poisoned dinner; that funny taste is because she can’t cook. Her children have grown up to be surprisingly normal, but two of them are developing their own love of literary mayhem, so the term “normal” may have to be revised.

Her love of history has led her to write the Victorian Bookshop Mystery series, Regency novellas in Christmas Revels and Christmas Revels II, and a new series next year she’s calling the Deadly series. In all cases, bodies drop, clues are followed, and an intrepid lady sleuth saves the day. She can be reached at www.kateparkerbooks.com and on Facebook.

the conspiring womanThe Conspiring Woman
(Victorian Bookshop Mysteries)

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – London – UK
JDP Press (October 4, 2015)
Paperback: 302 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0996483100
E-Book ASIN: B015RZOK30
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The fourth in the Victorian Bookshop Mystery series. Georgia Fenchurch must find a missing boy and his mother. When the mother is found dead, the race is on to find the child. Georgia searches to learn who was behind the mother’s murder and the disappearance of not only this woman, but several more well-to-do women in late Victorian London. Meanwhile, Georgia is counting the days until the Duke of Blackford returns from his business trip to America. As much as she wants to see him, she fears he will return with a rich American bride like so many other British aristocrats. Can she rescue the young boy and win the duke?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

I am so sorry to see this series ending. It truly is one of my favorites. Kate has wrapped things up with a magnificent bow.

The Archivist Society has a new case. A woman and her son are missing and strangely the husband only wants his son found. This raises many flags for Georgia especially when the mother is murdered. Sir Edward becomes her prime suspect. She travels all over London to find the boy and when she finds him she has huge reservations about reuniting him with his father.

The Duke of Blackford is traveling about America and Georgia can’t wait until he returns. She is afraid he may have found a bride while he was gone. His letters don’t ease her fears.

Kate Parker transports us to Victorian England. The imagery is superb. I don’t think I could ever live in England with all that rain but the cover of the book looks so inviting at this time of year.

The characters in the series are some of the most enjoyable I have known. Georgia seems to have no fear and her inquisitive nature makes her a top-notch sleuth. Blackford is quite a gentleman and needs a woman like Georgia. Sir Broderick deals with a disability on a daily basis but leads The Archivist Society and negotiates the sales of treasured books better than anyone else could. As a disabled person myself it is so good to read about a man like him. All of the characters are wonderfully created and so full of depth.

In addition to the missing boy mystery, the author also wraps up the mystery of Georgia Fenchurch parent’s death and the incident that left Sir Broderick in a wheelchair. I was very surprised with the way this played out. What people would do for a rare book is just astounding.

Things do wrap up quickly because the author did not want to leave her readers hanging. When a publisher ends a series the author often doesn’t know until the last book has been released. I applaud Kate Parker for self publishing this last book. I would love to read more about these characters but am excited to know she has a new series in the works. She shares the first chapter of Deadly Scandal with us and it looks very promising.

I have loved every book in this series. The trips back in time are so captivating. I recommend reading this series in order to follow the progression but they each can be read on their own. Thank you Kate for sharing Georgia and her friends with us.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.

Leave a comment for Kate for 5 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 December 22, 2015 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 242015
 

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I am over the moon to have D.E. Ireland visit today. Before I started reading Move Your Blooming Corpse the whole My Fair Lady movie with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison ran through my head so I was hearing their voices loud and clear as I escaped right into this book. I may have to use this line in my review 🙂

 

Eliza’s Escape

Move-Your-Blooming-Corpse 500 copyWhen Eliza and Professor Higgins aren’t solving crime, they spend much of the week teaching their pupils how to properly speak the King’s English. On their days off, Higgins spends his free time wandering about London, notebook in hand, jotting down every interesting turn of speech he overhears. Eliza, however, prefers shopping, visiting sweet shops, and going to the cinema. Here are a few places where Eliza is certain to be found when she’s not correcting a student’s poor diction at 27A Wimpole Street.

whiteleysWHITELEYS – While the popular PBS series has made Selfridges a recognizable name to Americans, it is Whiteleys that is mentioned in Shaw’s Pygmalion. Indeed, after Eliza moves to Wimpole Street, Colonel Pickering replaces her few raggedy clothes with a lovely new wardrobe from Whiteleys, as this exchange from the play proves.

HIGGINS: Where does one buy a lady’s gown?
PICKERING: Whiteleys of course.
HIGGINS: How do you know that?
PICKERING: Common knowledge.

And why shouldn’t Pickering know that? After all, Whiteleys was the first department store in London. By 1913 it had been in operation for decades. Due to a series of fires, Whiteleys was rebuilt four times; following the fourth fire, the business was moved to Queens Road, reopening in 1912. The new Whiteleys was the world’s largest British store, as well as the most luxurious building in London. It even boasted a roof-top golf course, elevators, and a theater. When Eliza shopped there, she would be greeted by a tiered atrium, glass domes, a splendid sweeping staircase, and marble floors. Taking up an entire city block, Whiteleys offered Eliza the pleasure of shopping for everything from the latest lingerie to furniture. In fact, the elegant department store was such a retail prize that Selfridges, their greatest rival, purchased Whiteleys in 1927.

1913-Picturedrome-programmeTHE ELECTRIC CINEMA & PICTUREDROME – Perhaps even more than shopping, Eliza loves going to the cinema. Pictures of her favorite silent screen performers decorate her bedroom walls, and she is an avid reader of Photoplay. In 1913, the two most famous movie palaces in London were the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill and the East Finchley Picturedrome, which boasted a café and full orchestra. Eliza would have been thrilled not just by the movie, newsreel, and live music which accompanied the screenings, but by the impressive Art Deco architecture of both theatres.

It wasn’t all as fancy as it sounds however. Many movie palaces initially did not have rest rooms, which was problematic when children attended the shows. And because many male patrons brought cigarettes and cigars to the showing, Eliza would often watch the film through a cloud of tobacco smoke. This may have been why many cinemas of that era were rather odiferous, requiring theatre attendants to regularly spray the air with disinfectant fluid. Still Eliza tries to attend the cinema every Friday, where she sits gazing up at the screen, riveted by such stars as Dorothy and Lillian Gish and matinee idol Max Linder.

Fry's_Chocolate_adBAYSWATER CONFECTIONERY  – Given how much Eliza loves sweets, she usually stops in at Bayswater Confectionery during her day off. Unfortunately, Eliza can no longer go to another favorite spot – the tea pavilion at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens – which was burned down in early March by the suffragettes. That caused an even greater uproar than when they trashed the orchid house. While Eliza supports the cause, she finds it puzzling that suffragettes targeted the tea pavilion. After all, most of the patrons were women. Luckily, London boasts more than enough tea rooms and confectioneries to satisfy Eliza’s sweet tooth.

When Eliza is done shopping at Whiteley’s, she heads for Bayswater Confectionery, only a stone’s throw away from the famous department store. Here she buys her favorite chocolates, particularly Fry’s chocolate creams – dark chocolate with a fondant center, plain, peppermint, and orange. Fry’s were first produced in 1866, and are now made by Cadbury’s. In fact, Cadbury’s milk chocolate bars were introduced in 1913.

SELFRIDGES – Eliza is an Edwardian shopaholic, and retail therapy takes up much of her free time. Although she received her first fashionable wardrobe from Whiteleys, Selfridges might be Eliza’s favorite store. She especially loves their celebrated first floor window displays! Curtains hide the workers whenever a new display design is expected, and patrons eagerly await each unveiling.

www.fanpop.com

www.fanpop.com

She always checks out the millinery department’s latest hats and the perfume counter’s numerous cases filled with lovely atomizers and unique bottles of fragrance. But Eliza – along with other ladies of 1913 – is most excited to visit the cosmetics counter. Queen Victoria believed cosmetics were vulgar and should be used only by creatures such as actresses and streetwalkers. But Gordon Selfridge began selling cosmetics in 1909, believing that once women were able to sample them, they would soon buy. He was right! Powder kept the face pale, and Edwardian ladies applied a touch of rouge on the cheeks to give them a youthful glow. However makeup did not become standard for most women until after WWI.

Of course, Eliza also keeps up with 1913 fashion by visiting the department store displays of dresses, skirts, and jackets. Selfridges offers both “off the rack” clothing and custom made ensembles. They often host “fashion parades” for customers to show off the newest designs. Many well-born ladies of the era still prefer private dressmakers, and the upper class flock to Maison Lucile to see Lady Duff Gordon’s exclusive designs. Selfridges, however, catered to all the social classes; their bargain basement was extremely popular. As a Cockney flower girl turned lady, Eliza bridged the social classes just as Selfridges did. That may be why she views Selfridges as the perfect store.


This is oFinal Meg Sharon V1nly one stop on the MOVE YOUR BLOOMING CORPSE Mystery Virtual Book Tour. For other stops on this tour, CLICK HERE.

You can also read more about Eliza and Higgins in WOULDN’T IT BE DEADLY, the first book in the St. Martin’s Minotaur mystery series.

 

About the authors –

D.E. Ireland is a team of award-winning authors, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta. Long time friends, they decided to collaborate on this unique series based on George Bernard Shaw’s wonderfully witty play, Pygmalion, using the beloved characters from Eliza to Higgins to Pickering, Mrs. Pearce, Freddy Eynsford Hill and his family, while adding a slew of new characters. They both live in Michigan, have patient husbands, brilliant daughters and share a love of good books, tea and history.

For more information, check out their website.

 

www.deireland.com/blog
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Move-Your-Blooming-Corpse 500 copyMove Your Blooming Corpse:
An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery

2nd Book in Series
Mystery
Setting – London, England
Minotaur Books (September 22, 2015)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250049360
E-Book ASIN: B00V39P99E
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In the second book from talented writing team D.E. Ireland, famous literary characters Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins once again come to life as a hilarious investigative team.  Move Your Blooming Corpse explores the Edwardian racing world and the fascinating characters who people, from jockeys to duchesses, in this delightful traditional mystery that will appeal to fans of British mysteries.

Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins are at the posh Royal Ascot, the biggest horse racing event of the season. Eliza’s father is the new co-owner of a champion racehorse, and Eliza and Henry are excited to cheer the Donegal Dancer on to victory. However, their idyllic outing takes a serious turn when a victim is trampled during the Gold Cup race and someone is found murdered in the stables.

With time running out before the upcoming Eclipse Stakes, she and Higgins investigate jealous spouses, suffragettes and the colorful co-owners of the Donegal Dancer. But can they outrace the murderer, or will there be another blooming corpse at the finish line?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was chomping at the bit waiting for this book to come out. (A little horse humor ?) But I really was excited to read this. I loved the first book in and the series. My Fair Lady is one of my all time favorite movies, in fact the whole thing played in my head before I started reading so Eliza and Higgins voices were very present in my mind which got me off and running at the starting gate. (too much, sorry.)

As you can tell the story revolves around horse racing and things were “loverly” until people starting dying. Then Eliza and Higgins were right in the thick of things much to dear Freddie’s dismay.

These characters are so superb, I love them all, even the guilty ones. They go above and beyond the movie and my expectations. They jump right off the page. The dialogue is absolutely delightful. The exchanges between Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins are so blooming funny.

This author team has whipped up quite a mystery too. We go behind the scenes of horse ownership and racing and we also travel to a few suffragette rallies and Eliza gains a new skill. It comes in quite handy too and she and Henry come down the stretch to catch a killer. (sorry, I just can’t help myself.) There were a few pretty suspenseful moments that made by heart race pretty quickly.

As with the first book once I started reading I just couldn’t stop and I was sad that it ended. A marvelous read! Completely captivating! Another one that will be on my Best Reads list for 2015. I will barely be holding my horses until next year for the next installment to the fantastic series. (o.k. I’ll stop now.)

paradise

5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAYThe authors are giving away 3 Hardcover Copies!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Leave a Comment for the Authors for 5 Bonus Entries!!!!

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 October 8, 2015 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 152015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Kate Parker is my guest today and she is here to tell us about her favorite escape and her new book, The Royal Assassin, that was released July 7.

kateparker

Thank you, Lori, for asking me to talk about my favorite escape.

I’ve always been a fan of French Impressionist painting, and several years ago I had the opportunity to visit Paris. One of the first places I had to see was the Musee d’Orsay. In a gallery on the top floor was a display of Renoir’s paintings. I walked around a corner and BAM! I saw Dance at The Moulin De La Galette in person for the first time.

Dance-At-The-Moulin-De-La-Galette

To say I was struck by the power of that painting is an understatement. I felt as if at any second, I’d be able to hear the music and the laughter and see these people start to move. All this from paint daubed on a 4 foot by 6 foot canvas.

At that moment, I knew I wanted the words in my stories to come alive like the people in that painting.

Dance-In-The-CountryAlso on display that day was Dance in the Country, the most erotic painting I’ve ever seen despite the fact both characters are fully clothed. From the expression on his face and the positioning of his body, you just know what’s on his mind.

Julie-ManetAnd then there was the painting of Julie Manet. When I first saw it, I thought she didn’t like Renoir, perhaps was even afraid of him, and he captured that in the painting. Later I learned her father had just died and her mother was dying when this portrait was painted. Renoir caught her sadness and fear perfectly.

The_Royal_AssassinWhen I wrote The Royal Assassin, I knew my Russian Princess Kira would be a talented painter with knowledge of French Impressionism and skill in painting in that style. I made painting an important part of her makeup and her desire to paint influences much of what happens in the story. Painting is her passion and her escape.

In that, Princess Kira and I have something in common. The three paintings mentioned above could well have been viewed when she traveled to Paris before the start of The Royal Assassin and are still as powerful today. Unlike me, the princess could have met Renoir and not just admired his legacy.

Berkley wisely used Princess Kira’s talent for painting on the cover of The Royal Assassin. I find it one of the most beautiful book covers I’ve ever seen. Take a look and see if you don’t think so too.

Escape with Princess Kira and the Russians in late Victorian London as an assassin follows their trail, and Georgia, the duke, and the rest of the Archivist Society try to stop the killing. so curl up in your favorite easy chair with The Royal Assassin and raise your cup of tea to the giant talent that was Pierre Auguste Renoir.

~Kate

Kate Parker is the author of the Victorian Bookshop Mysteries and a lover of all things late Victorian, including French Impressionist art.
www.KateParkerbooks.com
www.Facebook.com/Author.Kate.Parker/

The_Royal_AssassinThe Royal Assassin
(A Victorian Bookshop Mystery)

3rd in Series
Historical Cozy Mystery
Setting – England
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Ilustration by George Long
Cover Design by Teresa Fasolino
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425266625
E-Book ASIN: B00OQS4EV8
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

From the author of The Vanishing Thief and The Counterfeit Lady comes an all-new Victorian mystery featuring antiquarian bookseller Georgia Fenchurch, who doubles as a private investigator for the secret Archivist Society…

When the Duke of Blackford enters her bookstore, Georgia knows the Archivist Society is in need of her services. The Tsar of Russia and his family are visiting Queen Victoria on the auspices of the engagement of the Russian princess Kira to the son of the Queen’s cousin. When Kira’s bodyguard is found dead on a train returning from Scotland, the Queen calls on Blackford to discreetly protect the princess and prevent an international incident.

The Russian royalty refuses help in finding the murderer, suspecting anarchists and demanding every extremist in London be hanged. But that is far from the English way. To get the job done, Georgia must go undercover as Kira’s English secretary. She soon discovers that anarchy isn’t the only motive in the case—and that someone is determined to turn royal wedding bells into a funeral dirge.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Russians are coming in this 3rd Victorian Bookshop Mystery and the Archivist Society puts Georgia Fenchurch right into the middle of the chaos. Russian Princess Kira is engaged to the Queen’s cousin and she has come to town to spend some time getting to know him better. Or has she? It seems the princess may have another mission in mind. Her bodyguard has been killed and the Queen is worried for her safety. Georgia is placed in the home undercover to protect her and to try and find out who is behind the recent murder. She is also trying to figure out Princess Kira’s real reason for her visit.

Kate Parker does it again. I stayed up late to finish this story because I could not put it down. I absolutely love Georgia. She goes wherever she is asked putting herself in danger time and time again. He relationship with the Duke of Blackford is very complicated and frustrating. Georgia is a commoner meaning she cannot marry the Duke if he wants to keep his title. Her dear friend Emma is also a brave soul and is in a complicated relationship herself with the Duke’s right hand man. Lady Phyllida Monthalf  is worried about all of them.

The Archivist Society is quite a group. The devise a plan and follow through with excellent results. The Duke of Blackford is a key member and even Sir Broderick in his disabled state is a force to be reckoned with. His logistics are a big part of their success.

This author does an excellent job blending the history and the mystery. She peppers it with just the right amount of romance and humor too. I felt like a birdie on Georgia’s shoulder traveling about London, from her home, to her shop, to the East End, and everywhere in between.

I am anxiously awaiting and very excited about the next book in this series. I am truly hoping that the next adventure shows the Duke that he can’t live without Georgia and the author finds some way for them to be together.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAYThanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
1 from them and 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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Kate for 5 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 29, 2015 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.”

Sep 242014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so excited, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta are here today as D.E. Ireland.
Their mystery Wouldn’t It Be Deadly: An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery
was released yesterday and it is fantastic!

Final Meg Sharon V1

ESCAPE TO BRITAIN
by
D.E. Ireland

WIBD orig sizeWriting under the pen name D.E. Ireland, award-winning authors Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta have teamed up to write the Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery Series for St. Martin’s Minotaur. Their debut book Wouldn’t It Be Deadly hit the shelves Sept. 23, 2014. They based their series on George Bernard Shaw’s 1912 play Pygmalion. Long-time Anglophiles, both Meg and Sharon have escaped to England in the past, and are dying to go there again!

Hi, I’m Meg and my first trip overseas occurred in 1983. My younger brother, serving in the USAF in Spain, had the brilliant idea to meet my older sister and me in London. Needless to say, we jumped at the idea. I spent a month researching spots to visit, bed-and-breakfasts, train routes and schedules, castles, houses, etc. We bought airfare, booked a car for the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, and the B&B plan. And then my brother couldn’t get leave. So my sister and I flew to England for eleven days. I did get jet lag, unfortunately, and fell asleep on the double-decker bus tour of all the lovely London city highlights.

Tower_of_london_from_swissreBut we visited the Tower, saw the crown jewels, the chopping block, plus the British Museum and Reading Room. Ate at the Sherlock Holmes pub, saw the portraits at the National Gallery, and the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Then we headed off by train for the rest of England. Windsor Castle, Warwick Castle, Oxford (I would live there, definitely!), Stratford-on-Avon, Stonehenge… we loved it all.

My sister took the wheel in the Lake District. We were scared silly by the sheep ambling over the hilly roads in the Yorkshire Dales, which is green, remote and just gorgeous. York was also a highlight, walking along the wall of the old city, and seeing the meandering narrow alleyways.

Yorkshire_Country_Views_(15)

I stopped at a small shop before we took the train back to southern England. I didn’t say a word, only placed the items I wanted to buy on the counter. The woman looked up at me and handed me a coin. ‘Take it, we can’t use it here,’ she told me. I stared at the silver dime in shock. ‘How did you know I’m an American?’ I asked her. She laughed. ‘You’re so tall, and you’re wearing trousers!’”

I also noticed how much people walk everywhere. My sister and I almost got lost in the maze at Hampton Court – that was quite scary, and while she ate every type of fish imaginable, I was so ready for an old-fashioned American hamburger once I got home again. Teatime was definitely something we loved! I passed that tradition on to my friends and my daughter, who collects teapots and teacups.

I intend to go “on holiday” to England with my daughter, hopefully next year in time for Royal Ascot. I’d love to see all those wonderful hats in person!

~Meg

Hi, this is Sharon, and I’ve been lucky to visit Britain twice. The first time I was a jet lagged teenager in London for three days on a foreign study trip, and couldn’t begin to do it justice. However 17-year-old Sharon did love a few things about that stay, namely the Tower of London, and the cute British guys who flirted with my friend and me. As I said, I was a teenager.

My best escape ever occurred in 1987 during a six-week trip to Britain. After a blissful week in Ireland, I moved on to England, Scotland, and Wales. Being a writer, my backpack was filled with paperback books. I had ample opportunity to read as I traveled primarily by rail, which made for many relaxing hours spent gazing out train windows at the Yorkshire dales, western Highlands and Welsh countryside. Some of my best memories revolve around me, a book, and one of those plastic wrapped sandwiches sold on BritRail trains.

Sea_cliffs_at_Dunstanburgh_Castle_-_geograph.org.uk_-_410729

Because I was a graduate student in archaeology, I worked at a Roman fort in Northumberland for a week. Lodged at a boarding house along the Northern Sea, I often hiked after dinner atop the cliffs that overlooked the sea. When I found a spot sheltered from the wind, I’d settle back with a book, accompanied by the haunting sounds of crashing waves and gull cries.

Only later did I learn it wasn’t safe for a woman to be there close to dusk. The lady who ran the boarding house was appalled I’d been walking there alone in the evenings. The rugged coastline was once a haven for smugglers, and dangerous men still frequented the area. Luckily the few people I met during my hikes were quite cordial. And not a smuggler seemed to be among them.

A week later I headed up to Scotland. One afternoon, I climbed to the top of Arthur’s Seat, a hill overlooking Edinburgh. Afterwards, I couldn’t bring myself to leave the natural beauty I’d discovered just outside the city. So I pulled a book out of my backpack and plopped down among the grassy hillocks. There wasn’t a sound to be heard until a Scotsman finally appeared walking his terrier. I would not have been surprised at that moment to learn I’d been transported – Outlander style – to another time. And if that gray-haired Scotsman had looked more like the novel’s Jamie, I might still be there!

I also remember a wondrous day spent at Kew Gardens outside London. Toward the end of my visit, I sat beside a pond with a book of poetry. I had just finished reading a haiku about geese when I looked up. No more than two feet away were a line of geese silently walking past me, as if reluctant to disturb my reading. Some may call this a coincidence. I think of it as a moment of serendipity and magic – much like my entire trip to Britain.

~Sharon

About The Author/s

D.E. Ireland is a team of award-winning authors, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta. Long time friends, they decided to collaborate on this unique series based on George Bernard Shaw’s wonderfully witty play, Pygmalion. While they admit the lovely film My Fair Lady and its soundtrack proved to be inspiration, they are careful to stick to Shaw’s vision of the beloved characters from Eliza to Higgins to Pickering, Mrs. Pearce, Freddy Eynsford Hill and his family, while adding a slew of new characters they’ve dreamed up to flesh out their own version of events post-Pygmalion.

www.deireland.com
www.deireland.com/blog
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

B&N

 

WIBD orig sizeWouldn’t It Be Deadly:
An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery

New Historical Cozy Mystery Series
Minotaur Books (September 23, 2014)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250049353
E-Book File Size: 903 KB
ASIN: B00IQOJDZ0
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins make an incomparable pair of sleuths in the start of a delightful new series…

Following her successful appearance at an Embassy Ball—where Eliza Doolittle won Professor Henry Higgins’ bet that he could pass off a Cockney flower girl as a duchess—Eliza becomes an assistant to his chief rival Emil Nepommuck.

After Nepommuck publicly takes credit for transforming Eliza into a lady, an enraged Higgins submits proof to a London newspaper that Nepommuck is a fraud. When Nepommuck is found with a dagger in his back, Henry Higgins becomes Scotland Yard’s prime suspect.

However, Eliza learns that most of Nepommuck’s pupils had a reason to murder their blackmailing teacher. As another suspect turns up dead and evidence goes missing, Eliza and Higgins realize the only way to clear the Professor’s name is to discover which of Nepommuck’s many enemies is the real killer. When all the suspects attend a performance of Hamlet at Drury Lane, Eliza and Higgins don their theatre best and race to upstage a murderer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

My Fair Lady is one of my all time favorite movies! This story picks up after the Embassy Ball and I absolutely loved it! I immediately heard the voices of Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Wilfrid Hyde-White and Mona Washbourne.

A “loverly” idea to turn Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins into sleuths. They make a wonderful team. The barbs they throw at each other are hilarious and so true to their characters. Colonel Pickering is still the voice of reason and Mrs. Pearce is there to soothe flustered feathers and keep everyone’s belly full.

The author has us travel all over London even back to where Higgins found Eliza selling flowers. With Higgins as the prime suspect Eliza is determined to prove his innocence. While doing  so she puts herself in danger and still there is no one that is able to give Higgins an alibi. It seems Mr. Henry Higgins has a secret and even though revealing it would prove his innocence he is unwilling to give any details to anyone. I was very surprised by this secret and it is the one thing that left me a conflicted about the story, but as with all stories the reader just has to follow where the author leads.

This is a fantastic story. It is suspenseful but tempered with a good bit of humor. I may not have been dancing but I stayed up all night to finish reading this delightful mystery. I was laughing at loud in places which disturbed Mr. Dollycas but I couldn’t put this book down.  Charming, captivating, engaging, and a must read.  “Where the devil are my slippers?” I am ready to read the next installment of this series right now!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I am giving away my Advance Review Copy!

Plus the publisher is giving away 2 Hardcover Copies!!!!!!!!!!!!

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.

Leave a Comment for the Authors for 5 Bonus Entries!!!!

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 October 8, 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 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
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

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.”

Feb 262014
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!
I am excited to have Carol here today! Technically her books are not cozies as India is an agent of Her Majesty’s Government but these mysteries are full of humor, romantic tension and fantastic characters. If you like your cozies that take you back in time or across the pond you will love India Black.

Carol GB

KEEPING IT FRESH
by Carol K. Carr

            I’m four novels into the India Black series, and I’m not tired of her yet. Or of Lachlan French, Vincent, the Marchioness or any other of the series characters I’ve introduced. That may seem like an odd thing to say, but authors do grow weary of their creations. Arthur Conan Doyle famously killed off Sherlock Holmes only to bring him back several years later, in part because Doyle got tired of being harassed about Sherlock’s untimely demise by fans of the detective.india black and the gentleman thief

            But just because I say I’m not tired of India doesn’t mean that I think she should never change. We all grow and develop, even as adults, and while India would declare that she is perfect just as she is, she must also stretch her wings a little or we’ll all get bored.

            So, how to keep India interesting? Some things are easy. I’ll send her off to South Africa with French, posing as missionaries. The very idea tickles me. The comedic possibilities boggle the mind. My mind, anyway. Because what could be more amusing than a, ahem, brothel owner masquerading as a daughter of the church?

            I can also put India in circumstances that make her uncomfortable. She’s my character, after all, and I can do what I like. India claims she doesn’t possess the emotions typically sported by the average human, so why not put that premise to the test? Will she admit to a growing fondness for the Marchioness, or mistake that unsettling feeling for indigestion?

            And then there’s the painful, even tortured, relationship India shares with French. That has to move along soon. I don’t want the readers to get restless. Has the tease gone on long enough? Probably. But don’t anticipate a future of white picket fences and (shudder) children for the two of them. India wouldn’t be India if she meekly accepted the role of Victorian wife. I almost feel sorry for poor French.

Well, there are a few ideas for keeping India fresh. I hope you’ll all be around for future installments.

Thank you, Lori, for the opportunity to appear as a guest on your blog.

You can read all about India, French and the gang at www.carolkcarr.com

~Carol

Thank you Carol for visiting today!! I hope you will visit again soon!!


india black and the gentleman thief
India Black and the Gentleman Thief
(A Madam of Espionage Mystery)

4th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (February 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Alan Ayers
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Trade Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262481
E-Book File Size: 1262 KB
ASIN: B00DMCV1PQ
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India Black’s double life operating a high-class brothel and running high-stakes espionage for Her Majesty’s government can take its toll. But there’s no rest for the weary—particularly when an international conspiracy comes knocking…

India Black is one of Victorian London’s most respected madams—not a bloody postmistress. So when Colonel Francis Mayhew forwards a seemingly innocuous shipping bill to her address, she’s puzzled. And when three thugs bust down her door, steal the envelope, and rough up both her and fellow agent French…well, that’s enough to make India Black see red.

The veteran spies soon discover that Mayhew has been butchered in his own bedroom. An impromptu investigation leads them to London’s docks, where India makes a startling discovery she can’t bear to tell the rakish French—she has a history with their chief suspect, the gentleman thief who once stole her heart…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Each story is better than the last and Carr’s writing and her characters continue to evolve. India is the madam of Lotus House, a London brothel, where gentleman of of very high rank in government and military are welcomed daily.  She has grown from just a madam to work as an agent for Her Majesty’s Government with full approval of the prime minister while maintaining the brothel. It makes a great cover.  I have loved India Black since the start but the India in this story starts to let her guard down just a bit. The tension both romantic and in general between India and French is reaching a peak. We also learn more about India’s past and French’s too. Having the Marchioness of Tullibardine and her entourage underfoot at Lotus House gives the story a whole new dimension and even makes Vincent shine.

The  story is full of action as India, French and Vincent travel from the War Office to the dirty, gritty docks and around the English countryside trying to catch a killer and stop a international smuggling ring.  They find themselves in some quite precarious situations.

What I love about these stories is these fantastic characters are all unique and even facing serious danger their personalities continue shine through. India is a very stubborn woman, French puts up with her and does his best to keep her safe. Their dialogue is full of sarcasm and wit and at times had me laughing out loud.

We met the marchioness in India Black and the Widow of Windsor and the gentleman thief connects to the short story India Black and the Rajah’s Ruby,which is a prequel to the series. The stories take place in pretty quick succession. We are given just a hint as to what India and French will be up to in the next installment as this story ends. To truly enjoy this series it should be read in order.

A truly great series I recommend highly.

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 Erika 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 March 12, 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.”

Dec 132013
 

vanishng thief
The Vanishing Thief
(A Victorian Bookshop Mystery)

Brand New Cozy Series
The Berkley Publishing Group (December 3, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by George Long
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425266601
E-Book File Size: 1592 KB
ASIN: B00BDQ39I0
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Georgia Fenchurch appears to be an unassuming antiquarian bookseller in Victorian London, but the life she leads is as exciting as any adventure novel. For Georgia is a member of the Archivist Society, a secret association of private investigators led by the mysterious Sir Broderick.

When a frantic woman comes to Georgia claiming that her neighbor, Nicholas Drake, has been abducted by the notorious Duke of Blackford, Georgia and the Archivist Society agree to take the case. But Drake is no innocent—he is a thief who has been blackmailing many of the leading members of London society. To find Drake and discover who is behind his abduction, Georgia and her beautiful assistant, Emma, will have to leave the cozy confines of their bookshop and infiltrate the inner circles of the upper crust—with the help of the dashing but dubious Duke of Blackford himself.

But the missing thief and his abductor are not the only ones to elude Georgia Fenchurch. When she spies the man who killed her parents years ago, she vows to bring him to justice once and for all…at any cost.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is a lot happening in this debut. A man is missing, a cold case (the murder of our protag’s parents) is brought to the forefront when the killer may have been spotted out and about in London and a death of a young woman is being questioned.

There are also a slew of characters from Georgia Fenchurch, to her employee and best friend Emma, Phyllida, their “aunt”, who all live together.  The members of the Archivist Society including Sir Broderick, Lady Westover and her grandson Inspector Grantham. Add to that Drake, the missing man, the frantic woman searching for him and all the members of the upper crust who could be responsible for his disappearance including the Duke of Blackford. There are many more supporting characters too.

At first all of this was a little hard to follow but then the story hits a rhythm where all 3 stories and all the characters come together.

I really like several characters. The dialogue at a formal dinner party between Georgia and her table mates was quite humorous. The Duke and Georgia are quite suitable despite of their different classes. Seeing her rub shoulders with the Lords and Ladies shows she is very intelligent  and resourceful and not just a woman who inherited a bookshop. 

The story has more than the expected number of twists and turns for a book of this type, keeping the reader on their toes.

I enjoyed this trip back to Victorian times. A time before phones, cars, and many things we take for granted. When a trip to the country took days and to call the authorities you had to send a person with a message or find a bobbie on the street.

This is my first Kate Parker novel but according to her website she started out writing Romantic Suspense.  She has made a fine transition to cozy mysteries by combining all her strengths  – history, suspense, humor and romance. The Vanishing Thief is a nice blend of all four. I anxiously await the next Victorian Bookshop Mystery.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Kate Parker check out her webpage here.
Like her on Facebook here.
Become her Fan on GoodReads here.

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 copy to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Contest Will End December 27, 2013 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.”

WIN6

Nov 212013
 

death overdueDeath Overdue
(Librarian Mysteries)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Gallery Books (November 5, 2013)
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc
Trade Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1451684667
E-Book File Size: 2471 KB
ASIN: B00BSB2C2Y
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Librarian Karen Nash has returned to London with B & B owner Caldwell Perkins to pursue both their relationship but also the feasibility of opening a bookstore. They are barely back when Caldwell’s old girlfriend and business partner, Sally, shows up with her new boyfriend, Alfredo. She left him in the lurch 7 years ago and after all this time she wants to reclaim her half of the business or have Caldwell buy her out. She seems to have forgotten emptying their bank account and leaving him on his own to run the Bed & Breakfast all these years.

That night Karen is jolted out of bed by a loud crash. She rushes into the hallway to find Caldwell standing there in the doorway of the library with a horrific look on his face. Karen peers in the door and all she can see is one of the huge bookcases has toppled. That’s when she notices a woman’s hand under the enormous pile of books. She soon realizes it is Sally and that she is dead. This has to have been an accident, right? The detective thinks it was murder and Caldwell is his prime suspect.

Karen is determined to find the real culprit that caused this bump in the night because she knows Caldwell is definitely not going to be booked for this murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
In this followup to Killer Librarian, we find Karen back in London. I admit I wish the characters would have spent a little more time in Minnesota but hopefully they will in a future installment.

This reads like an old fashioned mystery, like a game of Clue where we know the weapon and the room we just need to determine the killer.  It seems all it takes is a “cuppa” tea to get people talk. Do they really drink this much tea in England? 🙂

The main characters continue to emerge and there is the expected twist in this genre. The story does flow nicely. It was a fun read but it was just missing that little something. Karen is a very intelligent woman and her relationship with Caldwell just seems a little whirlwind for me. She just came across very pragmatic in the first book. It was her first trip abroad and she was reeling from her broken relationship. I realize she is in her 40’s and the start of the romance between her and Caldwell was a large part of the first book but they are already so familiar with each other and making huge future plans. I just feel like we missed out on the courtship building between them.  They haven’t even had much of a disagreement on anything. I hope the author slows things down and adds a little real life conflict that happens in all relationships as I am sure they will be working together to not only open a bookstore but solve another mystery or two or many.

The author has a handle on the mystery aspects. There is plenty of room for character growth and development in this new series.  I will be watching for book 3.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author
Mary Lou Kirwin has lived in France, Belgium, England, and New York City. She now lives a quiet life in the wilds of Minnesota and Wisconsin. She feels she owes a great deal to all the librarians in her life—for handing her the right book at the right time. Find out more about this author 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.”

literary road trip 2012

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