May 192016
 

special guest blue

I am so excited to welcome Carolyn Haines back to Escape With Dollycas!

Her Rock-a-Bye Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery came out on Tuesday! 

Carolyn Haines

 

A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN
by Carolyn Haines

As some of you may know, my sleuth in the Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series has several horses. Three to be exact. Reveler, Miss Scrapiron, and Lucifer. They’re all based on my own horses or horses I’ve known and cared about.

rock-a-bye bones jacket - USA TodayTwenty-six years ago, I moved to a small farm in lower Alabama (I was a professor at a local university in the area) and as it happens out in the country in a state without any spay/neuter laws, starving animals began to wander up. I have always been an animal lover, and I can’t stand to see hungry or ill animals.

In 2010, with the help of my very generous and smart friend Aleta Boudreaux, I filed to create Good Fortune Farm Refuge as a 501c3 animal rescue. At the time I had nearly 30 animals I took care of on a daily basis, plus teaching full time, and writing at least two books a year. I don’t know if any of you have ever done rescue work, but it is often heartbreaking and always labor intensive. But the joy of seeing animals who are in hopeless situations revive and become fun-loving pets is worth all the effort.

Animals have taught me many, many lessons. The value of unconditional love. The art of forgiveness. The willingness to play and show joy even when ill. The value of a friend. And also the pain of loss.

sunset sky

Sunset Sky

I’ve had a horse with one eye, and now a one-eyed cat and a one-eyed dog. The vets all told me that an animal doesn’t wake up and miss what has been taken. They wake up and enjoy what they have. That’s very true. Baby, my one-eyed dog, can’t judge distance like she could when she had two eyes, but I think it upsets me a lot more than her. I never knew the horse or cat before they lost the vision in one eye. They lived a full and normal life.

I’ve had sick cats that would cuddle and purr. They taught me how to accept illness with as much grace as I can muster. I do not have the courage of my kitties.

Foggy rainbow at Casa Carolyn

Foggy rainbow at Casa Carolyn

But mostly they have taught me about love.

Some of the hardest things I’ve ever done is rehome a dog or cat or horse that I’ve grown attached to. I have to believe that the new owners will love and care for them as well as or better than I can. That is often the case.

In 2014, some of my loyal friends and readers of the Bones books helped me put together a cookbook based on the Bones characters. It’s called Bonefied Delicious—Recipes from some of Zinnia’s finest chefs. The huge tome is 500 pages and over 700 recipes and my friends collected, organized, and wrote commentary as 13 of the characters in my mystery series. We sold out, reprinted, and sold out again. We have plans for another edition sometime in the future. You can check at www.carolynhaines.com for any updates on when we reprint.

We raised money to spay and neuter dogs and cats and we helped a lot of animals and folks who couldn’t afford this very necessary surgery.

Carolyn and Cojar

Carolyn and Cojar

When Lori Caswell suggested that I might want to write about where I go for a retreat or a vacation, I had to laugh. Because of the animal rescue, I don’t often get away from the farm. But what I do is ride Cogar, my Connemara/TB cross, in the woods where I enjoy nature all around me. The natural world is the place where I replenish myself.

I was riding recently and saw a bald eagle, some wild turkeys, a turtle, three deer, a rabbit, squirrels, and of course the multitude of songbirds. The oak trees are budding out, and when the wind whips through the pines, it makes a sound like a deep sigh.

When I’m focused on Cogar running down a sandy trail, seven of the dogs all coursing beside me, I can let go of the annoying problems of the day and take in the smell of the pine and sunshine. This is my version of Heaven, I guess.

I don’t ride as long as I once did. I have too much to do. Time compresses as we age, or maybe I’m slower. I think back to the days when my friend Gloria and I would ride 14 miles in a loop to Merrill, Mississippi, where the Chickasawhay and Leaf Rivers come together to form the Pascagoula. The singing river. Where legend has it that the Pascagoula tribe of Native Americans, rather than being taken as slaves by a rival tribe, walked into the river holding hands and singing their death chant.

Winter Sunset

Winter Sunset

It’s said on quiet, still nights that you can still hear that sad song, rising from the depth of the water. My grandmother heard it. She told me all about it.

These days I ride closer to home and only for an hour or so. But I still find the peace, the connection to nature and to the power of story. Some wouldn’t think it much of a vacation, but it works for me. And it tires out the dogs, which is another benefit. When they’re asleep I can get a lot of work done.

Next time you read about Sarah Booth going for a ride on Reveler, or Miss Scrapiron, or that black devil Lucifer, you’ll know that the author is hankering to get out of the house and pretend, at least for an hour or so, that she’s free.

Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of the Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series. The latest book, Rock-A-Bye Bones, is out today. A native of Mississippi, Haines often writes about the South. She’s an animal advocate and urges everyone to spay and neuter.

~Carolyn

rock-a-bye bones jacket - USA Today

Rock-a-Bye Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery
Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
Minotaur Books (May 17, 2016)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250085160
E-Book ASIN: B01772VVVK
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

Sarah Booth Delaney knows the perfect way to begin recovering from both the recent attack on Scott Hampton’s blues club and her broken heart. She’s going to host a Thanksgiving feast for all of her friends at her ancestral home in Zinnia, Mississippi. But one bitterly cold night with the holiday just around the corner, Sarah Booth awakens to the insistent ring of her doorbell. She opens the door to find a newborn baby in a basket sitting on her front porch…and a pool of blood slowly seeping out from the basket. Before she can respond, an engine guns and a dark vehicle takes off.

After the police and a doctor ensure the baby is otherwise safe and healthy, Sarah Booth calls Tinkie Richmond, her partner at the Delaney Detective Agency. They know they need to do everything they can to find the baby’s mother…even if they are starting to fall in love with the baby themselves. But as they track the baby’s mother, Sarah Booth soon begins to suspect the woman might have been in danger; in fact, she might have been running for her life. And following in the woman’s footsteps, Sarah Booth might find her own life on the line next.

To learn more about Carolyn or to sign up for her newsletter, please go to www.carolynhaines.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram………


Click on book covers for more info or to order from Amazon.

GIVEAWAY
The author is giving away A HARDCOVER COPY!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Carolyn for 5 Bonus Entries.
Sign Up For Her Newsletter for 5 More Bonus Entries!
http://www.carolynhaines.com/newsletter.aspx

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 June 2, 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

Feb 242016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

This is one of my very favorite series and I am so happy to feature it today! 

no cats allowed
No Cats Allowed:
A Cat in the Stacks Mystery

Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
Release Date: February 23, 2016
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277744
E-Book ASIN: B00X593CO4
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

Springtime in Mississippi is abloom with beauty, but the library’s employees are too busy worrying to stop and smell the flowers. The new library director, Oscar Reilly, is a brash, unfriendly Yankee who’s on a mission to cut costs—and his first targets are the archive and the rare book collection.

As annoying as a long-overdue book, Reilly quickly raises the hackles of everyone on staff, including Charlie’s fiery friend Melba—whom Dillard wants to replace with someone younger. But his biggest offense is declaring all four-legged creatures banned from the stacks.

With enemies aplenty, the suspect list is long when Reilly’s body is discovered in the library. But things take a turn for the worse when a threatening e-mail throws suspicion on Melba.

Charlie is convinced that his friend is no murderer, especially when he catches sight of a menacing stranger lurking around the library. Now he and Diesel will have to read between the lines, before Melba is shelved under “G” for guilty…

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Every time these books arrive I look at the cover and see my cat, Wiley. He is now living with my daughter because we can’t have cats here and I miss him so much. He is just a little bit smaller than Diesel but not by much.

In this installment Charlie’s new boss, Oscar Reilly has decided he is allergic to cats and wants to ban Diesel from coming to the library. He also has the rest of the staff ticked off by some of his other actions. He is a human resources nightmare.  I was not surprised to find someone had put him out of everyone’s misery, but when the police arrested Melba I knew the had they wrong person. Charlie knows it too, and he is going to get her out of jail and get the right person booked as soon as possible.

James continues to impress me with this series. This time the method of murder was something off the wall and totally unexpected and I had to read it twice to fully grasp the situation. One big ouch let me tell you. But before the crime he takes his time introducing us to Mr. Oscar Reilly, and I disliked him immediately and praise the employees for their restraint. I may not have killed him but probably would have been fired for telling him off and probably slapping him across the face and stomping out. What a first class jerk! The mystery has quite a few twists and turns and several suspects, I would guess anyone the man ever met could be a suspect.

In addition to the murder there are a couple of little subplots that fans of this series will enjoy. I hesitate to say more because I do not want to spoil anything.

I love this series has a male protagonist. A fine Southern gentleman who stays calm but takes action. He opens his home and his heart and draws us right into to these stories. All the characters are wonderfully developed and so real.

 The pages pass quickly and as always my visit to Athena comes to an end much too soon. This was a delightful way to spend an afternoon but I need a few more warbles from Diesel and more time with Charlie and his friends and family. Next year…

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Miranda James and her books on her webpage here.



GIVEAWAY

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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

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 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

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 172015
 

arsenic and old booksArsenic and Old Books
(Cat in the Stacks Mystery)

6th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Mississippi
Release Date: January 27, 2015
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425257296
E-Book ASIN: B00KWG611O
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

In Athena, Mississippi, librarian Charlie Harris is known for his good nature—and for his Maine coon cat Diesel that he walks on a leash. Charlie returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but taking the plunge into a recent acquisition will have him in over his head…

Lucinda Beckwith Long, the mayor of Athena, has donated a set of Civil War-era diaries to the archives of Athena College. The books were recently discovered among the personal effects of an ancestor of Mrs. Long’s husband. The mayor would like Charlie to preserve and to substantiate them as a part of the Long family legacy—something that could benefit her son, Beck, as he prepares to campaign for the state senate.

Beck’s biggest rival is Jasper Singletary. His Southern roots are as deep as Beck’s, and their families have been bitter enemies since the Civil War. Jasper claims the Long clan has a history of underhanded behavior at the expense of the Singletarys. He’d like to get a look at the diaries in an attempt to expose the Long family’s past sins. Meanwhile, a history professor at the college is also determined to get her hands on the books in a last-ditch bid for tenure. But their interest suddenly turns deadly…

Now Charlie is left with a catalog of questions. The diaries seem worth killing for, and one thing is certain: Charlie will need to be careful, because the more he reads, the closer he could be coming to his final chapter…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

History and politics clash as 4 diaries dating back to the Civil War are donated to Athena College. As soon as word gets out of the acquisition people are banging down Charlie’s door to get their hands on them. Before Charlie can even get a good look at the books they are stolen from his office and a woman ends up dead. Just what is written in these diaries? Charlie feels obligated to find out but has to be careful because if the information has already gotten on person killed Charlie could be next!

These are some of my favorite characters. Charlie Harris is a true Southern gentleman with a huge heart. His constant companion is a Maine Coon cat named Diesel. This cat stole my heart when I met him in the first Cat in the Stacks Mystery, Murder Past Due. He reminded me so much of my own cat that I just fell in love.

The Civil War diaries were a fantastic element. I did figure out one part of the mystery a little early due to some knowledge I acquired several years ago but that truly didn’t take away from this story.

Charlie was so busy solving the mystery this time that with the exception of Diesel many of the supporting characters we have grown to love really just had cameo roles in this story. Most of the new characters introduced were suspects and spent a lot of time on the pages and everyone of them was playing an angle and were pretty selfish types. Good for the story but I missed seeing my old friends more.

James writing flows so easily making the pages fly and our visit to Athena ends much too soon. There is a fun short story included that tells us how Charlie came to be Diesel person and part of the family.

I love this series and look forward to each new installment. I can’t wait to escape to Athena, Mississippi next year!

just you and a friend5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Miranda James and her books on her webpage here.

I am giving away my review copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Contest Will End March 3, 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.”

Oct 102014
 

special guest blue
I am really excited to have Miranda (Dean) James here today
talking about these wonderful Southern Ladies and their new cozy series!

miranda deanBelles of Steel
By Miranda James

Every small Southern town has them – those indomitable women who run all kinds of organizations, from garden and bridge clubs to charitable agencies. Often they come from the town’s oldest families, generation after generation of club women who oil the wheels of the social engine. These were exactly the women I needed when I was working on Out of Circulation, the fourth book in my “Cat in the Stacks” series.

The story revolved around fund-raising efforts for the local public library – in this case, the fictional Athena (Mississippi) Public Library. I needed strong characters for the Friends of the Library Board of Directors, and I counted on disagreements among the members. Has there ever been a committee when members didn’t butt heads over even the most minute of details? Perfect starting point for conflict in a murder mystery, I thought.

BLESS HER DEADLITTLE HEART OCTOBERIn the spring of 2011 I attended the first-ever Daddy’s Girls Weekend, an event put together by my friend and fellow writer, Carolyn Haines, author of the Sarah Booth Delaney series. There I met two sisters, An’gel Ducote Molpus and Dickce Ducote Little, who inspired me to create their fictional counterparts, Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce Ducote.

The fictional sisters are several decades older, unmarried, and childless, yet their characters owe much to their real-life inspirations. The Ducote sisters are the true grandes dames of Athena society, intelligent, hard-working, and intolerant of pretention and snobbery. The conflict between them and the character of Vera Cassity was an essential element of the story, and I had great fun with the scenes involving these characters.

Not long after I finished Out of Circulation I was working on ideas for a second series, one that would feature two older women characters. After discussion with my agent and my editor, we settled on making the Ducote sisters the main characters. I loved them, my editor loved them, and evidently so did my readers. Thus was the new series born.

The first book in the “Southern Ladies” mysteries, Bless Her Dead Little Heart, was released on October 7th.

The Ducote sisters are on their own as amateur detectives, because Charlie Harris and his family are in France on vacation. They do have the assistance of Diesel, the Maine Coon cat, who makes a cameo appearance in the book. An old sorority sister, Rosabelle Sultan, turns up on the sisters’ doorstep one August afternoon and claims that someone in her family is trying to murder her. Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce know that Rosabelle loves being the center of attention, but this sounds a bit over-the-top even for this self-absorbed socialite. When Rosabelle’s family members follow her to Athena, however, the sisters quickly discover that one of them does have murder in mind.

I had great fun writing this book, letting the sisters have their way. I hope readers will have fun, too, getting to know Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce.

~Miranda

Find out more about Miranda (Dean) James and their books on their webpage here.

BLESS HER DEADLITTLE HEART OCTOBERBless Her Dead Little Heart
(A Southern Ladies Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
Brand New Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (October 7, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig – IT IS GORGEOUS!
Cover Design by Lesley Worrel
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425273043
E-Book File Size: 2067 KB
ASIN: B00ISEOMQS
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

An all-new mystery featuring Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce Ducote, two snoopy sisters who are always ready to lend a helping hand. But when a stressed socialite brings murder right to their doorstep, even they have trouble maintaining their Southern hospitality…

With the Mississippi sun beating down, An’gel and Dickce are taking a break to cool off and pet sit their friend Charlie Harris’s cat, Diesel, when their former sorority sister, Rosabelle Sultan, shows up at their door unexpectedly, with her ne’er-do-well adult children not far behind.

Rosabelle’s selfish offspring are desperate to discover what’s in her will, and it soon becomes clear that one of them would kill to get their hands on the inheritance. Suddenly caught up in a deadly tangle of duplicitous suspects and deep-fried motives, it will take all of the sisters’ Southern charm to catch a decidedly ill-mannered killer…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

These Ducote sisters are as sweet as the tea they serve. Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce were introduced to us in Out of Circulation the 4th Cat in the Stacks Mystery. I loved them then and am thrilled that they have been spun off into their own series. My favorite cat Diesel even makes a guest appearance in this first installment along with Chief Deputy Kanesha Berry.

Let’s just say these two sisters have the patience of saints as their former society sister and her whole crazy family show up at their door without so much as a phone call. These people have no manners let alone any of the Southern variety. There was only one that I liked, the rest were deplorable house guests and so very selfish. But Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce take it in stride and with the help of their housekeeper, Clementine and her granddaughter, Antoinette make the entire bunch as comfortable as possible.  Even when one of them ends up dead, these charming Southern ladies stay calm and in control and do whatever then can to catch the killer so that they can get the rest of this horrible family out of their house.

A  truly terrific story with the perfect amount of murder and mayhem and of course the perfect amount of southern charm.  I was amazed at what wonderful amateur sleuths these grande dames made. They had a plethora of suspects under their roof and with just a bit of innocent snooping they had some excellent leads. They cut things pretty close though and I was afraid this first book in the series was going to be their last. James plotted a fabulous mystery that kept me guessing until the very end.

I also was so happy to have Diesel visit, he is quite a cat,  but as you can see from the cover there are some new pets in town. I am ready for the next installment right now but see that Arsenic and Old Books (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) hits stores January 27, 2015 so I will be returning Athena, Mississippi very soon!

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 Miranda 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 October 24, 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.”

Apr 042014
 

I forgot to add that I am able to give 1 Kindle copy away! Just leave a comment below with your email and I will choose 1 winner next Friday!

retarded girl
Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen:
Authorities Say Girl Witness to Murder

Psychological Mystery
Published by Sartoris Literary Group (March 13, 2014)
Print Length: 250 pages
File Size: 574 KB
ASIN: B00J0GU4EW
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

Baby is every adoptive parent’s nightmare—blind, paralyzed from the waist down, unable to speak, and diagnosed with developmental and intellectual disabilities. For the first 10 years of her life she is raised outside in a dog pen by a cruel adoptive father, a Mississippi deputy sheriff who values his bird dogs more than his daughter.

Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen is the story of Baby’s placement in a Mississippi mental institution for individuals with profound retardation after the brutal murder of her father and the arrest of her mother, and her desperate attempt to escape the institution.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have to start this review by saying I absolutely hate the title of this book!! After reading it I came up with several alternatives but the one I like best is Baby’s Story. The synopsis posted with the book on Amazon and GoodReads is too long and gives away too much of the mystery. I feel the synopsis should spark a reader’s interest to read the book, not give away most of the story. That being said, it was the synopsis that actually made me say yes to this review request. When I first read the title the request was headed for the trash. But I think what I included above is really all that is needed.

Baby was born without eyes or vocal cords and her treatment by her father just made me sick. Her mother did try to help her but her husband was abusive of her as well. The thing that I couldn’t believe was that the father was a Deputy Sheriff and no one even questioned him about the daughter that was never seen, or in school,  or that no one ever stopped by their house and noticed the girl.

Putting that aside I continued reading. My daughter works for a state run center that works with the developmentally, physically and emotionally challenged. I wanted to see if this part of the story rang true with stories she shares about her clients. For the most part it did. Baby was an extraordinary client and turned out to be totally different from what was expected by her caregivers. I have loaned my copy to my daughter to get her thoughts.

This was story that had me crying and I figured out the mystery part quite quickly, but it was well written and paced well too.  I can’t say I enjoyed the book because of the horrific theme but it is a story that will stick with me for awhile. I think people need to look past the title and get to the story. I hold out hope the author will decide to change it because then I think this story would be read by a larger audience.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Lauren Leigh is a mental health professional who has devoted her life to working with individuals with intellectual disabilities. This is her first novel.

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 082013
 

Out Of Circulation

Out of Circulation (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (January 29, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425257272
E-Book File Size: 580 KB
ASIN: B0095ZP1AU
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell

Out of Circulation (Cat in the Stacks Mystery, #4)

Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows Charlie Harris, the librarian with a rescued Maine coon cat named Diesel. He’s returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books.

Charlie has found himself on the committee to plan this year’s library fundraiser gala. Mainly that means staying out of the way as barbs fly between Vera Cassity and Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce Ducote. It seems no one really cares for Vera, even Charlie’s housekeeper, Azalea, seems to have it out for her. At the gala Charlie starts to understand why. Apparently no one ever taught Vera that “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.” She had a verbal jab for almost everyone that night. And these bitter words happened to be her last. Yes, while Vera was not the life of the party her death turned the party upside down.  She was found dead and Azalea was standing over her body. Charlie knows there is much more to the story so with a bit of help from his sidekick Diesel he sets out to catch the killer before his last chapter is finished.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This 4th installment is the best one so far. The female characters are the shining stars this time. Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce are wonderful characters. Full of Southern charm and feisty. These are not women to mess with. We get to know Azalea better in this story too, a little blast from her past. She is another strong opinionated woman and I loved her speaking out – finally. Her daughter, Kanesha,  gets her spunk from her mother. I see her taking over that police force in the near future. 

James writes fun and entertaining mysteries with characters fleshed out making them real and identifiable. Writing strong women that have to relate with each other and relate to the reader can be a difficult task especially when the protagonist is a male. The author, yes also a male,  has become a master with this latest story. 

I will admit it. I absolutely love Diesel!! He is such a special cat that is tuned in to the humans around him. His meows, warbles, chirrups, and head bumps are priceless. No magical powers just a real cat acting like a cat. I live with one that could be Diesel’s brother who looks and acts exactly the same way. 

All of these characters are part of a terrific mystery with a very important and surprising twist.  Cozy readers will love this story!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Miranda James on her webpage 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.”

2013where are you readingCruisin 2013WAARCreadalattechallenge_zps01d248d0

Feb 012012
 


This book caught me a little off guard because of its release date. Usually all my cozies are released on the first Tuesday of the month and this one came out yesterday, the last Tuesday of the month. I am sure the publisher’s know what they are doing, but it messed with my routine 🙂 so I didn’t ask Miranda to guest post today, but we can have fun just the same because File M for Murder just like the other two Cats In The Stacks Mysteries it is another purr-fect escape!!

File M for Murder
A Cat In The Stacks Mystery
3rd book in the Series


A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Available Now!


This series features Charlie Harris who has returned home to Athena, Mississippi to work as a librarian. He also has a sidekick that goes almost everywhere he goes, a rescued Maine coon cat named Diesel. Diesel is happy to don a harness and leash and travel around town with Charlie. Most of the people of Athena have adjusted to this huge cat and realize how friendly he is, they always have pats and treats ready for Diesel.

In File M for Murder, Charlie is surprised when his daughter, Laura, returns home from Hollywood to fill in for another professor at the local college. Charlie, Sean and Diesel are thrilled to have her home.

He then learns that her old boyfriend, Connor Lawton, a playwright,  is also at the college as a writer-in-residence, working on his new play and helped her get the job. Charlie in not at all impressed with the man who is just plain rude. Connor is also followed to Athena by an old girlfriend who believes she is the only woman good enough for Connor.

Before the sharp tongued writer can finish his play he is murdered and Charlie’s daughter becomes the prime suspect. Charlie and Diesel are on the case. He soon finds many other viable suspects but can he find the real killer before any of his family or friends end up filed under M for murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Yes, Diesel is one of the shining stars of this series. His meows, warbles, chirrups, and head bumps are priceless. He is so in tune to human’s feelings. If you are a cat person like me you will truly understand. But without Charlie there is no story so together they make a great team of shining stars. We also know that Charlie is not the only human who talks to their pets like they understand exactly what we are saying. I know Azalea is shaking her head at me.

This story touched my heart because of the relationship Charlie has with his daughter. I found myself missing the talks I used to have with my dad. Like Charlie, he was there for me through thick and thin until his death, although he definitely was not a cat person. 🙂 Charlie was definitely Laura’s hero in this story, just like a dad should be. James creates a wonderful family dynamic that reaches out to Justin and Stewart, Charlie’s boarders. All the characters are strong, real and jump right off the page.

This mystery was complex and following the tidbits and putting them all together was very entertaining. It will change the way you look at your local librarian because contrary to what we think we can’t find everything we need to know on the internet. Sometimes we need to dig a little deeper and go through those old musty files, especially when trying to solve a murder, be it a new one or a very old one.

File M for Murder is full of Southern Charm and the residents of Athena will work their way right into your heart, especially one huge Maine coon cat! Love ya Diesel! 

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

For the giveaway today I am giving my gently read copy of

File M for Murder (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)

plus 2 BRAND NEW COPIES FROM PENGUIN!!

Just Fill Out The Form Below!
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***Remember GFC is going away March 1, 2012
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Contest Will End February 15, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted 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.”

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