Nov 302016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am over the moon excited to have Vicki Delany visit today! 

vicki-delany

Is There a Grinch in Christmas Town?

By Vicki Delany

(Post provided by publicist.)

If I were to describe the cozy mysteries I write in one word it would be fun.

I have a lot of fun writing them, and I hope readers have a lot of fun reading them.

I particularly enjoyed creating the town of Rudolph, New York, self-described as America’s Christmas Town.  The town of Rudolph is all about Christmas, 365 days of the year. And thus, so are the inhabitants of the town.  Non-Christmas lovers don’t last long in Rudolph.

Rudolph sits on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, not far from Rochester.  The perfect location for a winter-wonderland atmosphere.

we-wish-you-a-murderous-christmasNow that I had my town, so I had to fill it with something.  Mrs. Claus’s Treasures sells everything you need for decorating your home, as well as toys and jewelry, and many of the goods are locally made.  Victoria’s Bake Shoppe is famous for its gingerbread.  There’s Candy Cane Sweets, the North Pole Ice Cream Parlour, The Elves Lunchbox, Cranberries Coffee Bar, Touch of Holly Restaurant, The Yuletide Inn, the Carolers Motel. The possibilities are endless.  (Looking at this list it seems as though the residents and visitors to Rudolph like to eat a lot.)

Then we need people.  Merry Wilkinson is the owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures.  Merry’s father, Noel, is the town’s Santa Claus. Merry knows her dad isn’t really Santa, but sometimes she does wonder how he knows what people want before they so much as say so.  Merry’s best friend, Vicky, owns the bakery.

As the second book in the series, We Wish You A Murderous Christmas, begins Christmas Town itself might be in danger. The owner of the popular Yuletide Inn has suffered a heart attack and his son Gord has arrived to take over the business. Before long the townsfolk start noticing men in construction boots studying blueprints at the Inn’s famous gardens, and other men in ties and business suits browsing binders stuffed full of legal documents over lunch.

And, to make matters worse, Gord discontinues Vicky Casey and Victoria’s Bake Shoppe as his bread and dessert supplier!  He is, he tells her, “implementing efficiencies.”

The whole town is in an uproar and things are looking bad. But they are get a lot worse when Gord is  murdered and the police’s chief suspect is none other than the town’s official Santa Claus, Noel Wilkinson.

Can Merry Wilkinson and the residents of Rudolph solve the murder and save the reputation of their town as the place to find that real Christmas magic?

~Vicki

we-wish-you-a-murderous-christmas
We Wish You a Murderous Christmas
(A Year-Round Christmas Mystery)

Cozy Mystery

2nd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Julia Green
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280812
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0WS8U
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A Grinch is spoiling the holiday cheer and causing fear in the latest from the author of Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen

It’s Christmastime three hundred sixty-five days a year in Rudolph, New York, and as Christmas Day approaches, shop owner Merry Wilkinson is enjoying a rare evening off at the Yuletide Inn when she runs into owners Grace and Jack Olsen. With Jack’s health failing, Merry is relieved to hear that his son Gord will be taking over the day-to-day running of the Inn.

But then Gord reveals that his new plans have no room for Christmas at the Inn, and Merry and the other shopkeepers start to fret about the effect a bland franchise hotel could have on their livelihoods.

When Gord is found stabbed to death, there’s an entire town of potential suspects—and it’s up to Merry to find whoever brought homicide home for the holidays…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Again the wonderful cover drew me right into this book and the story held me tight.

Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, and the rest of the town of Rudolph is getting ready for Christmas. The Yuletide Inn is a popular place to gather and Merry’s parents are best friends with  the owners, Grace and Jack Olsen. After having dinner together Jack is rushed to the hospital for what looks to be a heart attack. With Jack out of commission for awhile and it being the busiest time of year, his son Gord and his wife come to Rudolph to help. But Gord is not happy just running the hotel. He has big plans that will not only change things at the inn but could change things for all of Rudolph. When Gord it found dead, there are plenty of suspects, even Santa Claus. Merry wants Christmas to shine without a murder overshadowing everyone’s festivities so sets out to catch this Grinch herself.

I love this town and I love these characters.

I want to visit Rudolph right now. What a special place to celebrate the holidays.

Vicki Delany’s characters are so well developed they leap right off the pages and into your heart. Her dad, former mayor, and resident Santa Claus leads the town in a special way. Everyone loves him and wants to work with him to keep the town a happy place even when there is a murderer on the loose. I should say everyone, but the current mayor. She does get her nose out of joint when people defer to him instead of her. With daughter’s named Merry, Eve, and Carol, there is no doubting Noel Wilkerson loves Christmas. Guess when his birthday is?  One of the characters, Jackie, Merry’s employee, is a bit Scrooge-ish, in the way she treats Merry, but Merry does leave her on her own quite a bit as she sleuths out the killer.

Delany balances the Christmas theme with a magnificent mystery. With pretzel like twists and turns the reader is really kept on their stocking footed toes.  I was so surprised at who the culprit actually was, I had no inkling at all. Love, love, love when that happens.

The author also adds just the right amount of romantic and humorous elements to the story.

This story checks all my cozy boxes and having it set at Christmas time in a wondrous Christmas village/town puts it over the top from A Perfect Escape to Paradise. Thank you Vicki Delaney, you have kicked started my Christmas Season in a grand way!

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers. Most recently, she is the author of the Year Round Christmas cozy mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime and (writing under the pen name of Eva Gates) the Lighthouse Library mysteries also from Berkley. Find out more about Vicki Delany on her webpage here


New Series Coming in March from Crooked Lane Books


Written as Eva Gates

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher 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.

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

Leave a comment for Vicki 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 December 14, 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.”

Nov 252016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review when they were first released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
A major organizing feat unearthed this book from my To-Be-Read shelf.
It also reminded me of how many books I want to read
and it doesn’t included what is on my Kindle.
So I hope you have enjoyed Flashback Friday because I will be continuing it in 2017.

one-hot-murder
One Hot Murder (Victoria Square Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 5, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251904
Digital Ebook – ASIN: B0095ZMRA2
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Where there’s smoke…

Katie Bonner, the reluctant manager of Artisans Alley in the quaint shopping district of Victoria Square, is no stranger to ambivalence. Things have been going hot and heavy with pizza maker Andy Rust—so much so that Katie has moved in over his pizza parlor. But now that summer’s ushered in a heat wave, an apartment above pizza ovens without an air conditioner is making Katie hot and bothered.

At the height of the heat wave, a tragic fire strikes Victoria Square. Wood U, a small store selling wooden gifts and small furniture, is destroyed. But the fire may just be a smoke screen—for murder. A body is found among the charred wreckage, and the victim didn’t die from smoke inhalation. He was shot. Now—despite making Detective Ray Davenport hot under the collar—Katie is determined to smoke out a coldhearted killer…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As the temperatures around here were dropping the temperatures at the Artisans Alley were heating up. It’s summertime at the Victoria Square and the air conditioning at the Artisans Alley can’t cool off the entire building. Katie also doesn’t have air conditioning in her apartment above the pizza place either. With only open windows and a fan to help her cool off she is shocked to notice a fire out her window at Victoria Square. She calls 911 and rushes over there to find Wood U totally engulfed and when the fire in extinguished the firefighters find a dead body. Everyone is distraught that the owner of the shop has died but then they find out, the person was killed before not during the fire. Because of the status of the body they know he was murdered by they can’t make conclusive identification. Detective Ray Davenport is on the case but that doesn’t mean Katie isn’t hotfooting it all over town to find the killer.

This is a hot, Hot, HOT! murder mystery. I sat down on Sunday afternoon to read and read it all in one sitting.

This is the 3rd book in the series and it has been awhile since I had read book 2, The Walled Flower, but Ms. Bartlett creates very memorable characters so I was all caught up by the end of Chapter 1. Katie Bonner inherited ownership of the Alley and she has been working hard to make it work for all her crafters and turn a profit for herself so she can invest in some upgrades like a new air conditioning system.  Her tenants are an eclectic bunch, some pitch in to help all the time, some need to be reminded and one is there all the time and is getting on Katie’s last nerve. Detective Ray Davenport is retiring from the force and this murder investigation is his last. Andy and Katie are still working opposite hours but are trying so hard to spend more time together.

These wonderful characters are surrounded by quite a mystery. Until the body is properly identified Katie and Ray are assuming they know who it is and proceeding in their investigations accordingly, but the clues they uncover twists things in a way that just don’t fit together. Plus there are a few subplots that tie in to the main mystery in several ways.

One of the subplots deals with Katie’s dream of purchasing a big Victorian home to turn it into a B&B. Her money is all tied up in the Alley and the inventory she has been stashing away for when her dream becomes a reality. Her dream goes up in smoke when she learns someone else has purchased the home. It was how she handled this situation that I as a reader could see how much this character has evolved from the first book in this series. I found it very refreshing to read. I am still unsure about her relationship with Andy so I am looking forward to seeing how this is addressed in the next book. Yes, the next book! It has been awhile but Dead, Bath, and Beyond is being released next month.

To me this author is one of the best at writing cozies mysteries. You can’t go wrong with anything she writes!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 About The Author

The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorraine Bartlett‘s pen name Lorna Barrett on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it’s her talent — whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett — that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s). Check out the links to all her works here: http://www.lorrainebartlett.com

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 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.”

Nov 022016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always excited when Susannah Hardy
drops by for a visit!

Susannah
Thanks so much for hosting me for Cozy Wednesday, Dollycas! I’m thrilled that the third book in my Greek to Me Mysteries, A KILLER KEBAB, released yesterday. It’s full of mystery, intrigue, and adventure on the high seas—okay, maybe not the high seas. But definitely adventure on the St. Lawrence River, LOL!

Doesn’t it seem like every day is National (Insert Interest Here) Day? Well, I checked www.nationaldaycalendar.com, and here’s what I learned about today, November 2. It is National Traffic Directors Day. And by this they do not mean people who wear a whistle and direct vehicular traffic, although I think it would be nice to honor them today anyway by slowing down and giving a friendly wave as you pass. Apparently a Traffic Director is also someone who works in scheduling of programs and announcements for radio and television stations. Who knew? So thank you, traffic directors of all kinds.

Yesterday, November 1, was National Calzone Day, National Deep Fried Clams Day, National Vinegar Day (I’m sensing a theme here), National Cook For Your Pets Day, National Brush Day, National Family Literacy Day, and National Authors Day (another theme). Now these are some days I can get behind!

killer-kebabBut back to today, November 2. It’s also (drum roll please) National Deviled Egg Day. And since Thanksgiving is just around the corner and deviled eggs are a must-have at Hardy family celebrations, I thought I’d give you my recipe for deviled eggs. Nothing too Cordon Bleu here, but I do have some tips and variations you might enjoy.

1 dozen medium eggs*
About ¼ cup Hellman’s Olive Oil Mayonnaise
1 T. yellow mustard
3 T. pickle relish, drained
Pinch of ground white pepper

*Note regarding eggs: I find that medium eggs make a nicer size appetizer than large or jumbo. And buy your eggs a week in advance. Fresh eggs are harder to peel, and the shell often sticks to the white, pulling away little chunks. Very ugly. Older eggs work beautifully.

Place eggs in large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil uncovered, and boil for exactly 4 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let eggs sit in hot water for exactly 5 more minutes. Seriously, set a timer. Move eggs to a bowl filled with lots of ice and water. Keep them there for at least 20 minutes. Then, you can drain them and transfer them to the fridge until you’re ready to finish. They’ll keep a couple of days in the fridge, so you can do this step ahead of time.

Once the eggs are good and cold, rap an egg on the counter, then roll it around with your hand to break the shell (not so hard you crush the egg inside). Then peel, rinse, and set aside to dry. Slice eggs in half lengthwise with a sharp knife, wiping the blade in between eggs. Pop yolks into a small mixing bowl. Break up yolks with a fork into fine crumbs, then add mayo, mustard, relish, and pinch of white pepper (looks nicer than black). Doesn’t usually need salt. Spoon or pipe into the whites. Refrigerate until time to eat and for best results serve within a couple of hours. Garnish with a slice of gherkin or olive, a few drained capers, chives chopped fine or about an inch long and made into an “X,” a small slice of pimiento or other roasted red pepper, or with the traditional light sprinkling of paprika. If you are traveling with them, take the filling in a separate container and assemble when you get there (of course, keep cold!).

For variations, you could substitute 1 tsp. good curry powder for the relish (use the chive garnish); 3 T. drained salsa instead of mustard and relish (garnish with a slice of pickled jalapeno); or Greek style: substitute 3 T. drained, crumbled feta cheese instead of mustard and relish, add 1 tsp. dried oregano, and garnish with a slice of Kalamata olive.

Enjoy!

I’m thinking about proposing National Cozy Mystery Day. When should it be?

~Susannah

killer-kebabA Killer Kebab (A Greek to Me Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Berkley (November 1, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425271674
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0XCBW
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The Bonaparte House is closed for the season, and Georgie Nikolopatos looks forward to fixing up the Greek restaurant and historic landmark—until her renovation plans hit a fatal snag.

With her divorce underway, her mother-in-law returning to Greece, and the tourists gone, Georgie finally has life under control—and the Bonaparte House to herself. She quickly hires a contractor for some much-needed renovations to reopen in time for a special Greek-style Thanksgiving meal. Georgie is suspicious though when former dishwasher Russ Riley arrives with the construction crew. He still has an axe to grind with the Nikolopatos family—but is it sharp enough to kill?

When Georgie finds the body of her divorce lawyer amid the construction debris and Russ is quickly arrested for murder, something about the case doesn’t add up. While Georgie is no fan of Russ, even a bad egg deserves a crack at justice.

Includes delicious Greek recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another mouth watering mystery from Susannah Hardy.

Even with the tourists gone and The Bonaparte House closed for the season Georgie Nikolopatos still finds herself with a mystery to solve. Georgie has contracted to have the bathrooms of the restaurant updated before Thanksgiving when she hopes to have a huge feast for friends and neighbors and local patrons. She can’t believe after just one day of demolition the remodeling comes to a screeching halt when she finds a dead body with the rubble. The fact that it is her divorce attorney just adds to the urgency to catch the killer. Could it be an old employee seeking revenge? or another one of the lawyers clients? Before she can serve her planned dinner she has to find out for cooked the turkey in the suit!

I love this series! Some of characters were away because of the off season but Hardy introduced new ones to whet my appetite. We also visit Georgie’s mom, Melanie, at “the Spa” with a mysterious illness. Georgie is trying keep their search for additional heirs on track especially now that the lawyer handling Melanie’s affairs has been murdered.  Her love interest, Jack, is away on assignment with the Coast Guard and I missed him too but Georgie was so busy I don’t think they would have been able to spend much time together.

What I truly enjoyed was Georgie’s quest to find the original recipe for Thousand Island dressing. There are probably more than a thousand different recipes for it and every one has their own twist or special ingredient. I had never really thought about where is originated or that it referred to a popular destination located along the border between Northern New York State (United States) and Southeastern Ontario (Canada). To me it was just a choice of what to put on salad. I love learning new things.

The author has packed a lot of drama and action into the pages of this book. Again she kept me up late reading. The story starts at a nice pace and builds to the point where you need to read just one more chapter, and then another and another. I was totally in the dark on the actual killer until Georgie and I shared our huge “Aha Moment”.

Every book in this series is excellent and every one has left me wanting more. The Bonaparte House is a unique setting, the characters are vibrant, and the mystery deserves all 5 stars and maybe more.

A Must Read for foodie cozy lovers!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Susannah

About This Author

Susannah Hardy thinks she has the best job in the world: making up stories and inventing recipes to go along with them. A native of northern New York, where she attended St. Lawrence University, Susannah now lives in Connecticut with her husband, teenaged son, and Elvira the Wonder Cat.

Author Links

Webpage  Facebook Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher 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.

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

Leave a comment for Susannah 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 16, 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.”

Oct 212016
 
x-dames
X Dames: A Lucy Ripken Mystery
International Mystery & Crime
*2nd in Series
Self Published
Setting – California/Mexico/New York
Paperback: 148 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1533562982
E-Book ASIN: B015YOQZUA
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

An old friend calls Lucy Ripken out of the blue to offer her a job writing for a new reality TV show: The X-Dames, an all-female extreme sports competition, starting with a surfing contest. Lucy jumps at the chance—the pay is great and means she gets to travel down to the colorful little beach town of Sayulita and get out on the waves again.

While scouting the talent, Lucy makes a friend, an impulsively charismatic young surfer with a gift for both painting and self-destruction named Marcia. Winning the competition means she might be able to pay for art school… or rehab. Either way, it’s a win.

But things take a sudden, nasty turn, when one of the contestants turns up dead. It looks like an accident, but Lucy’s seen that movie before and suspects it was only made to look that way. One drugged drink later, and Lucy’s not only sure it was murder, she’s pretty sure she’s gonna be next.

With her reality show suddenly skewing less X-Games and more X-Files, Lucy and Marcia hit the beach to save lives, stop bad guys, and maybe work on a tan.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

While Lucy is an amateur sleuth, this is not a cozy mystery. The book has explicit language and adult themes.

Lucy Ripken heads back to Mexico after a brief stop in California with the crew of a new television reality show featuring female extreme sports competitors. The first episode covers some extreme surfing, and when one contestants dies the first day of filming Lucy knows it wasn’t any accident. With a little help from her friends she is going to prove that. While she is in Mexico, her landlord is trying to get her booted from her rent control apartment and her boyfriend is in Florida on his own adventure.

I know some sites show this as the 3rd book in the series and others show it as the 2nd. The first book was not available so I jumped in with Mexican Booty last week and this one this week. They do read well as stand alone but in this installment there were more references to things I assume happened in book 1 but the author gives us plenty of background to keep us in the loop, but it does make me wish I could read book 1.

Again J.J. Henderson pack a lot into these 150 pages. We are getting to know Lucy Ripken a little better but I think we have just scratched the surface. I love that she gets a call and goes where the job is and this time it sounds like a great opportunity and very well paying.  I also liked the reality show aspect, you know when you bring a group of people together vying for a prize there is going to be drama. Unfortunately this time the drama included murder and the more Lucy digs the more suspects come to light. I was totally caught by surprise how everything connected.

I have started to get invested in these characters and the author surrounds them in a good mystery. I like that we meet new characters too in each installment. I also enjoy the way he describes the setting and action. Excellent for the reader to visualize without getting too wordy.

 I originally grabbed this book when it was free and I needed n “X” book for my Alphabet Soup Challenge. I am glad I decided to read the one before this one because now I want to read them all. I have added the rest of the series to my wish list.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about author J.J. Henderson on his webpage here.

*The book was from my private collection.

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away 1 e-copy of your choice in this series,
delivered directly from Amazon! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 4, 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

Oct 142016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I had purchased the 2nd book in this series X-Dames, for my Alphabet Soup Challenge. Since I recently read a series starting with the 2nd book and regretted it I decided to purchase this one to read first. There was another book listed as 1st in the series on Amazon and GoodReads from several years ago but that title has been taken down.

mexican-booty

Mexican Booty: A Lucy Ripken Mystery
1st in Series
International Mystery & Crime
Explicit Language
Setting – New York/New Mexico/Mexico
Self Published (September 10, 2015)
Paperback: 156 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1533562760
E-Book ASIN: B0157QLY06
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Lucy Ripken is 30-something, single, and struggling to make it as a photographer in New York City.

Desperate to keep the roof over her head and caffeine in her cup, she takes a job on the Upper East Side, photographing some mind-bogglingly expensive pre-Colombian sculptures. But something is off about the woman she’s working for, and something is off with the pieces she’s photographing.

Overpaid and under stimulated, Lucy decides to bite the suspicious hand that feeds, travelling first to Santa Fe, and then to Mexico to unravel the mystery. Her part time paramour Harold Ipswich might have been able to help, but he’s fallen off the wagon and into a bottle, and much like his drink of choice, he and Lucy are on the rocks.

No man, no problem, though, as Lucy relies on her best friend, the recently engaged (but always up for adventure) Rosa. They’ve got spunk, and they’ve got style, but spunk and style only take you so far when you’re neck deep in shark infested waters, metaphorically… and literally, too. Can Lucy and Rosa make it through the choppy seas of conspiracy, betrayal, and apex aquatic predators?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I like Lucy Ripken, she is down but she is not out when she gets the call to photograph some Pre-Colombian pieces for a gallery catalog. When a friend she brings along to the shoot tells her the pieces are fake and the gallery owner assures her they are not she feels there is a story there. She pitches the story and gets funding to research the pieces. She jets off to Santa Fe and Mexico to find the truth never realizing the danger she has put herself in.

The author gives in depth and colorful descriptions of every place Lucy travels. It was so easy to picture them vividly. From beauty to ruins, each was crystal clear.

Lucy does have a friend in Santa Fe, Rosa, in fact Rosa’s fiancee recommended Lucy for the job at the gallery. Rosa along with a pre-Columbian collector go with Lucy to Mexico where we are introduced to more interesting characters. All these characters seem to be portrayed realistically, or at least realistic enough for fiction or television. The dialog between the characters is very well written.

This is a novella at 156 pages and an extremely fast read. The plot is intense but but there is a bit of humor in places too. The pages were turning very rapidly and I was surprised at how quickly we reached the end. I am ready for another Lucy Ripken adventure and I already have the next book ready to go on my Kindle.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about author J.J. Henderson on his webpage here.

Watch for a giveaway next week when I review book #2.

*The book was from my private collection.

Sep 222016
 

I wasn’t ready to read this when it arrived in February as the holidays had been hard. Then I learned the the series had been cancelled by the publisher and felt horrible that I didn’t do as much promotion as I could have. After reading it this past weekend I feel the publisher made a huge mistake publishing it in February. A December or even January release could have changed the sales for this book immensely and could have saved this series from the chopping block.  

its-a-wonderful-knife

It’s a Wonderful Knife (Comfort Food)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New York
An Obsidian Mystery (February 2, 2016)
New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451474094
E-Book – ASIN: B00X59360Y
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Comfort food and murder are on the holiday menu in the latest mystery from the national bestselling author of Macaroni and Freeze . . .

All Trixie Matkowski wants for Christmas is a break—just not the broken leg she got after slipping on some ice. With Sandy Harbor alive in the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s the busiest time of the year at Trixie’s Silver Bullet Diner. There are millions of things to do, including cater the town’s annual Christmas pageant and community dinner with some delicious holiday comfort food.

But the festivities turn into a bit of a turkey after Liz Fellows, the director of the pageant, is found with Trixie’s butcher knife in her back. Now Trixie must help the police arrest the scary gentleman—or lady—guilty of the crime if she hopes to get herself off the naughty list.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This book is set at Christmas time in Sandy Harbor, but I read this book at the perfect time for me. I needed to laugh and laugh hard and Christine Wenger delivered just the right package to allow me to do just that.

Trixie Matkowski loves Christmas, the decorating, the food and the traditions. She has rituals she follows every year. This year just as she is getting read to start her decorating routine. she falls and falls hard on the ice. Instead of hanging all the bright and shiny holiday things, she is in the blinding light of the emergency room getting a huge cast on her leg.

Her friends Antoinette Chloe Brown (ACB) and Deputy Ty Brisco call in reinforcements to not only handle the decorating but Trixie’s Silver Bullet Diner and all the catering jobs she has scheduled. Everything seems to be under control until Christmas Pageant Director Liz Fellows is found in the church kitchen with Trixie’s knife in her back. At least the fine deputy doesn’t suspect Trixie but he knows a pair of crutches isn’t going to keep her from meddling in his investigation.

Hilarity ensues in this fantastic addition to this series. I found myself reading out loud several passages to anyone that would listen. When Trixie and ACB make up their mind to do something, snow, wind, or a measly broken leg will not stop them from doing exactly what Ty told them not to do.

This story is my favorite one in this series. The plot was not only full of surprising mystery twists it brings us many surprising characters. It also brings a moment that I have been waiting  for since book one!

I loved, loved, LOVED! this story! I cannot believe the publisher pulled the plug on this series. The characters are fabulous, the mysteries are fun and well developed. Sandy Harbor is the perfect small town. Please Christine, don’t leave us hanging! I hope you have the option to self publish more in this series or find a new publisher to see what a treasure they are.

You can read Christmas stories any time of year, winter, summer, spring or fall. And you will fall hard for the characters and want to read all 5 of these books. Then you will be with me hoping and praying for book #6!!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Christine and her books on her webpage here.

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 October 6, 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.”

Jul 232016
 

special guest blue

I am pleased to welcome Victoria Laurie to Escape With Dollycas today! 

Her new book A Grave Prediction will be released July 26! 

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

Victoria Laurie Author PhotoLately, I’ve been feeling a lot of “Stop the world, I wanna get off!” You know what I mean? It seems the world—an already mad-mad-mad place to begin with—has gone from being like that crazy drunk uncle no one wants to sit next to at Thanksgiving to full-on Freddy Krueger. We seem to be living in a time of nightmares instead of dreams, and it’s had me so down. Which is why I’m doing what I always do when I can’t take one more tragic, horrific, terrible news story or politically charged hyperbolic speech. I’m diving deep into a manuscript, and I’m not coming out till the end of November! Or when the book is finished. Whichever comes first.

The voice I always seem to revert to when seeking some comfort is my favorite protagonist: Abby Cooper. And, oddly, when I’m feeling the most blue is usually when she becomes her most clever, snarky, and fun.

It helps to laugh. It helps a lot. It’s a tiny, sweet high when I come up with the perfect zinger for Abs to either give or receive. (Full disclosure: It also helps the book sales, *wink* *wink*.) 🙂

This past December, I was in such a terrible funk; two months earlier I’d learned that someone I dearly, dearly love—a member of my own family—has a very rare terminal illness that there is neither a cure nor a protocol for. It was a blow that was completely unexpected for psychic me. Here’s the part where I confess that I didn’t see the diagnosis coming; although, now, looking back, I can also see that there were so many clues in the ether. I think I just couldn’t face even the thought of losing him.

I still can’t.

a grave predictionAnyway, during that time in December, my mood went dark—like dark—and I dove into a funk that literally took months to come out of. The thing that got me through was writing A Grave Prediction. Irony of ironies—it’s the funniest book I’ve written. In fact, it’s the only book I’ve read six times (throughout the editing process) and didn’t get sick of by the fourth pass. Seriously, I can honestly say that I’d totally read it again, and I don’t ever say that about any of my books, mostly because if you read a book six or seven times, especially one that you’ve written, you’re so, “Been there, read that. Next!”

But this little gem is different. A Grave Prediction is just light, and funny; it made me laugh and laugh during a time when that seemed impossible. And the fact that it’s release date is coming up here in the next few weeks (July 26, to be exact) makes me so happy. I think it might be exactly what most of my fans need right now. A good laugh. A good escape. A few hours’ reprieve from all the madness.

I sorta can’t wait for it to hit the shelves and do a little healing for anyone who could really use a moment of levity. My fondest wish this summer is for Abby to either get someone else through a tough time, or bring as many readers as possible a little giggle, or even just a few smiles. I’d die a happy woman if all of my efforts to bring her to life on the page resulted in just a couple of chuckles, knowing head shakes, and one or two grins. It would fill my heart with pride and gratitude.

Truly.

Huge, supportive hugs, my friends,

Victoria

a grave prediction

A Grave Prediction (Psychic Eye Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Release Date July 26, 2016
14th in Series
An Obsidian Mystery
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473882
E-Book ASIN: B016JPTNIY
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In Victoria Laurie’s new Psychic Eye mystery, Abby Cooper learns that following the money often leads to murder . . .

Professional psychics learn to deal with skeptics, but Abby has to prepare herself for one steep uphill battle when she’s sent to San Diego to help train FBI officers to use their intuition. Her first challenge: a series of bank robberies in which the thieves made off with loads of cash but left no clues.

Abby’s sixth sense leads her team to a tract of land recently cleared for development. But instead of finding clues to the cash, Abby gets a vision of four buried bodies. A site search turns up some bones and pottery from an American Indian tribe, but that’s still enough to delay construction for years.

With a furious developer and dubious FBI agents on her back, Abby is losing credibility fast. But unlike the best laid plans, Abby’s talent rarely leads her astray. And if the bodies aren’t there yet, that means that four deaths can still be stopped. She’ll just have to dig a little deeper . . .

You can find out more about Victoria and her books on her webpage here. Join her fan group on Facebook here.


Also by Victoria Laurie

GIVEAWAY

The publisher is giving 1 Hardcover copy away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Victoria 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 August 6, 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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

May 282016
 

special guest blue
I am excited to welcome Victoria Thompson back to Escape With Dollycas!

victoria thompson 2MURDER IN MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS
By Victoria Thompson

(Guest Post provided by publicist.)

Have you ever heard of a Boston Marriage? In Nineteenth Century America, unmarried professional women (teachers, social workers) often shared living quarters. Part of this was an economic necessity because, just like today, women were paid less than men. The other part of it was social. Women developed close friendships with their peers and enjoyed each other’s company. The author Henry James (you probably studied him in high school) wrote about one of these relationships in his classic novel The Bostonians. Although the phrase “Boston Marriage” never appears in his novel, people started calling these relationships between professional women who lived together Boston Marriages, no matter what city they lived in. This is the part I love most about writing historical—learning all this trivia!

murder at morningside

In MURDER IN MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, my protagonists Frank and Sarah Malloy have just opened a private detective agency. They are hired to find out who killed a young woman who taught at a women’s college and lived with two of the female professors who had a Boston Marriage. They learn all kinds of fascinating things about life in a women’s college. They also learn some dangerous secrets, one of which got an unfortunate young woman murdered.

My fans have been thrilled that Frank and Sarah are finally married (after 18 books!), although one fan expressed concern that starting a detective agency would mean Sarah couldn’t participate in solving the crimes anymore. Don’t worry about that! Sarah is thoroughly involved in this investigation, along with Gino and even Maeve. And, as always, you’ll learn things you didn’t know about Old New York.

You can find Victoria at www.victoriathompson.com. Follow her on Facebook at Victoria Thompson.Author or on Twitter @gaslightvt.

About Victoria Thompson
Edgar® and Agatha Nominated author Victoria Thompson writes the Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. Her latest, MURDER IN MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, is a May 2016 release from Berkley Prime Crime. She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook MANY GENRES/ONE CRAFT. Victoria teaches in the Seton Hill University master’s program in writing popular fiction. She lives in Indiana with her husband and a very spoiled little dog.


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

murder at morningside

Murder in Morningside Heights
(A Gaslight Mystery)

19th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 3, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101987087
E-Book ASIN: B013Q70C4C
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In the latest from the bestselling author of Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue, former police sergeant Frank Malloy and his wife adjust to life in New York high society as they investigate a death in the field of higher learning…

After spending his first few weeks as a private detective by investigating infidelities of the wealthy, Frank has a more serious case at hand.

Abigail Northrup of Tarrytown, New York, was her parents’ pride and joy. After graduating from a prestigious women’s college in Morningside Heights, she took a job there as an instructor. She also joined the ranks of the New Women, ladies planning for a life without a husband in which they make their own decisions and make a difference in the world. Unfortunately, her murder ended all that.

When the police declare the incident a random attack and refuse to investigate further, Abigail’s parents request Frank’s help. Of course, he’ll need Sarah’s assistance as she’s more familiar with the world of academia, and it will be far easier for her to interview the lady professors. Yet difficulties arise as they learn that although Miss Northrup may have been an exemplary student and teacher, she lived in a world of secrets and lies…

GIVEAWAY
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 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 Victoria for 5 Bonus Entries.

Like Victoria on Facebook 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 June 11, 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

Dollycas

May 262016
 
the girl from home
The Girl From Home: A Thriller
Setting – New York/New Jersey
Gallery Books (April 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Simon and Schuster Inc.
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1476764283
E-Book ASIN: B010MHAB2W
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Jonathan Caine is a true master of the universe—a currency wizard with a trophy wife, a penthouse condo with a view of the Statue of Liberty, and the desire for more—when his world comes crashing down, spiraling him into a relentless fall from grace. Devastated, Jonathan returns to his hometown to care for his ailing father and attend his twenty-fifth high school reunion, where he becomes reacquainted with former prom queen Jacqueline Williams. Back in the day, Jackie didn’t even know Jonathan existed. Now she is intrigued by the man he has become. But their budding relationship has problems, not the least of which is Jackie’s jealous and abusive husband. Jonathan is determined to learn from his mistakes, but is he capable of complete transformation? Or will a shocking temptation test his desire for redemption beyond anything he could have imagined?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

“I want what I what” says Jonathan Caine several times throughout this book. He has a wife that he doesn’t love, but she looks good on his arm, and she is only there for the money. He has a giant penthouse and wants a house in the Hamptons right on the ocean and won’t settle for less. He has expensive clothes, expensive shoes, and eats at the elite restaurants. His mother has died, his father is sick, but he makes rare trips home. All he wants is more and more money and he takes too many risks to get it. It was just a matter of time before everything falls apart.

Jacqueline Williams was popular in high school. She married the top player on the football, had two children, a boy and a girl. Her life is perfect, NOT! Her husband is abusive and she is afraid he is going to kill her.

As Jonathan life is in a downward spiral, he goes home to check on his dad and try to escape what is happening in New York. He goes to his high school reunion and meets Jackie. He always admired her from afar in school but now they seem to have a real connection. A connection that could get them killed.

I will start off my saying Jonathan Caine is very unlikable character, his wife is no better. That being said they will draw you right into the story. A story of greed and the price you can pay. I felt so sorry for Jackie Williams and her kids. Her husband is drunk who was cheats on her but is super possessive of her. She better be at home and answer the phone when he calls. Treat him nice in front of his friends and cater to his every need. Because if she didn’t she met his wrath. When Jonathan and Jackie meet we see a different side and Jonathan’s wants change.

The prologue tells us where we will end up. Then the story starts in the past, but every other chapter jumps months into the future. Then in Part 2 we are in present time.  Written this way we are given a chance to get to know the characters and I liked that.

The plot then takes a twist that I thought may be coming but it wasn’t playing out in the way I imagined. The twists continue until the final one that I thought was startling. I went back and read a few pages again to see if I read it correctly. Yes, I did! I love those kind of endings.

A very gripping read. This is a story that will keep you up late into the night reading until the very end.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Adam Mitzner and his books on his webpage here.

Click the covers for more information or to order from Amazon.
GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my hardcover 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 June 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.”

May 252016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to Kathleen Bridge back to Escape With Dollycas! 

kathleen

Montauk – Separating Fact from Fiction…

by Kathleen Bridge

 

I chose Montauk to be the main setting for my Hamptons Home and Garden Mysteries because it fulfills all the prerequisites readers look for in a cozy or traditional mystery. As an author, I have used poetic license in creating Meg Barrett’s Montauk, while not veering too far from reality.

The Montauk Point Lighthouse is an amazing structure that sits on the easternmost tip of Long Island and was commissioned by George Washington. Montauk’s nickname, THE END, refers to the piece of land jutting into the Atlantic, where the lighthouse sits. How cozy is that?

pic 1

The hamlet of Montauk is nestled between the ocean and the Long Island Sound. On the ocean side you have white sandy beaches and one of the top surfing destinations in the country–Ditch Plains Beach. During the summer season you can find a fantastic gourmet food truck parked at the entrance to the beach. The ocean cottages I talk about in my books are real. They are perched on cliffs overlooking the ocean, sometimes referred to as the Montauk Moors and during hurricane and nor’easter season you might think you were in Cornwall, England.

pic 2

On the northern part of Montauk, lies a thriving fishing community. Montauk boosts more saltwater fishing records than any other port in the world–not just the U.S.–the world!

pic3

Because of its beauty and closeness to Manhattan (116 miles due west) and East Hampton (16 miles due west), it has had its share of celebrity residents: Andy Warhol, Dick Cavett, Ralph Lauren, Annie Leibovitz, Billy Joel and Julianne Moore just to name a few. Montauk has been the setting of the television series, Royal Pains, Revenge, and The Affair. Also filmed in Montauk, are the movies, Still Alice and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a short story that takes place in Montauk, The Unspeakable Egg, and James Patterson uses Montauk as the setting in some of his novels. The Rolling Stones really did hang out in Montauk, and the Memory Motel, a title of one of their songs, still sits on Main Street.

In my second book, Hearse and Gardens, I talk about the “Montauk Monster.” The Montauk Monster was real. In my first book, Better Homes and Corpses, I told about German spies who swam to shore during WWII and were apprehended by the local Coast Guard–also true. Theodore Roosevelt spent time in Montauk with his troops after the Spanish American War as they recovered from yellow fever. Teddy also hung out at Deep Hollow Ranch, the oldest working cattle ranch in the United States. I try to weave all of Montauk’s’ rich history into my books.

horses

Now for fact vs. fiction: A Tale of Two Sisters Books in Montauk is a thinly disguised The Old Man and the Sea Books in my series.

pic 5

In my books, I based the vintage store Rockin’ Retro, on a real shop I used to visit every time I came to Montauk, called Whoa Nellie.

pic 6

Mickey’s Chowder Shack is my fictitious amalgamation of The Clam Bar, Lunch, and The Dock Bar and Grill. And Paddy’s Pancake House is my version of Mr. John’s Pancake House on Main Street.

pic 7

Another fact is: I LOVE MONTAUK! If you are interested in seeing photos or learning more about the “real” Montauk, please check out my “Montauk–The End” board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KathleenBridgeG/montauk-the-end/ .

~Kathleen

What a great post! Love to have a reference when I am reading to clearly form pictures in my mind. 

Thank you Kathleen for being my guest today! 

About The Author

Kathleen Bridge started her writing career working at the Michigan State University News in East Lansing, Michigan. She is the author and photographer of an antique reference guide,  Lithographed Paper Toys, Books, and Games, and the author of Revenge of the Sports Widows—How to Cope with a Sports Fanatic. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and has taught creative writing classes at the William Cullen Bryant Library in Roslyn, New York. Kathleen is also an antiques dealer in Long Island, New York, and has contributed to Country Living magazine.

Find out more on her webpage here.

hearse and gardens
Hearse and Gardens (Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 3, 2016)
The Berkley Publishing Group
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425276594
E-Book ASIN: B013Q70DGY
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

A Hamptons interior designer deals with skeletons in the closet in the new mystery from the national bestselling author of Better Homes and Corpses.

To keep her mind off the legal battle over the oceanfront cottage she’s trying to buy, Meg agrees to help her friend inventory and clear out furniture from the massive Montauk estate of wealthy art broker Harrison Falks. But the job takes a terrifying turn when Meg discovers a skeleton in a hidden room in one of the estate’s many bungalows. The remains turn out to be those of Harrison’s son, who went missing nearly twenty years ago—along with one of his father’s Warhol paintings.

As Meg delves into the Hamptons’ pop art past, she gets drawn into the sketchy goings-on and family drama at the estate. But when Meg makes no bones about solving the crime, she just might become the subject of the killer’s next installation.

INCLUDES RECIPES AND DECORATING TIPS

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Escape to Montauk with interior designer Meg Barrett. She is excited to help her friend Elle Warner inventory and move the furnishings of some bungalows on the Harrison Falks estate. They end finding more than they bargained for when they find a skeleton in a secret room. It isn’t long before the remains are identified as the son of Harrison Falks. Rumor had him leaving the area 20 years ago in possession of a well known piece of art created by Andy Warhol. Meg just can’t help but to insert herself into the investigation and the family drama. Her bones may be the next ones found as she is installing herself right on the killer’s radar.

I really like Meg. She may be hearing impaired but she knows how to deal with that and most of the time the disability doesn’t present any problems…but, of course…there are those times…where it gets her into a bunch of trouble. I like the way she works together with Elle and that they each know their strengths and weaknesses and really balance each other. The house that Meg is working on sounded wonderful before she decorated it but amazing after so worked her magic on the place.

We meet Harrison Falk, his family, caretaker and staff. Eclectic is a great way to describe this bunch. Old money, a huge estate, with so many secrets. Great descriptions by this author make is so easy to visualize the vast estate and these characters.

I really like the way the author weaves history into this story and introduces us to Montauk residents of the past and their stories. This time I found the information about pop art and artists very interesting.

The plot has some nice twists and the pacing is absolutely perfect.  There is a good dose of humor and a bit of romance sprinkled throughout the story too.

This was a fun read and I can’t wait to return to Montauk.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher 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 Kathleen 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 June 8, 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.”

May 182016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to welcome Jeanne back to Escapes With Dollycas!

All_Things_Murder_-_Jeanne_Quigley

Thank you, Lori, for the opportunity to share the second Veronica Walsh Mystery, Murder, by George, with your readers. Happy Cozy Wednesday, everyone!

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. The hope held in the adage has many spending their weekends scouring yard sales and flea markets for great deals. Shoppers leave with their arms filled with used clothing, books, toys, and other assorted goods that cost a small fraction of their original price. Usually, the treasure is in the eye of the buyer, to paraphrase another expression. Occasionally, though, someone will spend a few dollars on an item whose true value is in the thousands or even millions. Unsuspecting buyers have walked away from rummage sales with such priceless bounty as a 1,000-year-old Chinese bowl, Coca Cola stock shares, Andy Warhol sketches, and an original copy of the Declaration of Independence. These amazing real-life stories served as inspiration for Murder, by George.

The fictional million-dollar object is a painting by a renowned artist; its lucky new owner is Scott Culverson, a young architect who pays ten dollars for a vintage wood box at a flea market in the village of Barton, New York. Scott discovers the painting in a hidden drawer when the box is knocked from his grasp. According to an enclosed letter written by the artist, George Bradshaw, the painting is a wedding present to his unrequited love.

murder by georgeIt’s a spectacular find and Scott is soon making plans on how to spend his good fortune. He has student loans to pay off and a blueprint for a dream house. He’d love to start a collection of expensive wines and contribute a chunk of money to Barton, his new hometown. His girlfriend also wants a treat in the form of a Tiffany diamond ring.

It all sounds swell, doesn’t it? Remember, though, this is a cozy mystery, not a romance or feel-good story. There must be tension, sinister characters, and murder.
The conflict starts at the flea market, with the man who sold Scott the box and the family of the antique’s original owner arguing and threatening lawsuits as they stake their claims to the painting. The artist’s daughter and grandchildren join the fight that evening at a local restaurant, demanding Scott hand over the canvas, now!

Retired soap opera actress and amateur sleuth Veronica Walsh witnesses the scenes at the flea market and Hearth. That’s helpful when Scott is stabbed to death two nights later and the painting is stolen. Veronica has a ready-made list of suspects, including Scott’s adversary, the contractor who provided the shove that broke the box and revealed the painting, and Regina Quinn, a Barton newcomer and great-niece of two of Veronica’s dear friends. Veronica must also contend with a feisty hairdresser, sassy employees, and a conspiracy theorist septuagenarian as she tracks down Scott’s killer.

In a bit of foreshadowing, when leaving the flea market Veronica murmurs how glad she is she didn’t buy the vintage box. At least in fiction, the trash-to-treasure fantasy is best left to daydreams.

~Jeanne

About The Author

Jeanne Quigley grew up reading mysteries, watching soap operas, and vacationing in the Adirondacks, never imagining these pleasures would inspire the Veronica Walsh cozy mystery series. Jeanne’s love of characters—real and fictional—led her to study Sociology and English at the University of Notre Dame. Jeanne has never been a soap star, but she has worked in the music industry and for an education publisher. She resides in Rockland County, New York and is a member of the Sisters in Crime.

Find out more about Jeanne on her website here.

Follow her on GoodReads and Like her page on Facebook.

murder by george
Murder, By George
(A Veronica Walsh Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Five Star Publishing (May 18, 2016)
Hardcover: 268 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1432831431
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Retired soap opera actress Veronica Walsh leads a fulfilling second act in her Adirondack hometown of Barton. Her boutique, All Things, is thriving and she enjoys a romance with Professor Mark Burke. She has neither the time nor the desire to be an amateur sleuth.

Trouble finds her when architect Scott Culverson buys a vintage box at the village’s annual flea market and discovers a valuable painting and love letter inside a locked drawer. The awe over the masterpiece, a 1920’s portrait of Barton’s main street, turns to rage when a fierce argument ensues. The box’s seller insists the painting was not included in the sale, while Ella and Madeline Griffin, whose mother received the painting as a wedding present, demand that Scott return the painting to their family. The artist’s daughter, the formidable Leona Bradshaw Kendall, later joins the battle over Orchard Street.

When Scott is stabbed to death and the painting and letter stolen, the Griffin sisters ask Veronica to help clear suspicion from their hot-tempered great-niece, Regina. Despite a vow to stay out of the investigation, Veronica’s loyalty to her friends draws her into the case.

Veronica crosses paths with a shady contractor, brassy hairdresser, overwrought lawyer, and adoring Czech housekeeper as she searches for both killer and work of art. Whom can Veronica trust, and who will lead her to the brink of death?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this follow up to All Things Murder, Veronica finds herself caught up in another fine mystery. A relaxing day at a local flea market get very interesting when a masterpiece is found in a vintage box. Things go from interesting to scary when the box buyer is found dead and the box contents missing. When Veronica is asked to investigate and rule out one of the suspects, she tries to find someone with more to gain by the death, but she soon has way to many suspects. Just who actually killed to get their prize? Veronica is determined to find out but she may not survive the challenge.

There are a lot of characters in this story and it first it was hard to keep track of them all. This did get easier as the story continued. The characters all had different ways they were connected to the painting. Some were very brusque in their demeanor and others weren’t quite as blunt. They all believed they were entitled to the painting and/or the letter.  I seriously had a hard time figuring out the killer. In my mind they all could have done it.

As a soap opera fan I really enjoy the character of Veronica Walsh. She is very successful in her retirement. Her store seems to be doing well and her relationship with Professor Mark Burke is moving in the right direction. I really liked the way their romance was written. Not too much to take away from the mystery, a perfect amount so we get to know these characters better.

The flow of the story was not as smooth in couple of places but I think that was because so many characters being suspect in my mind as well as Veronica’s. We both seemed to be second guessing ourselves and not ruling anyone out. This made the mystery plot good but just a little stilted a times.

I love the setting, Barton sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I hope to travel there again soon.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

The author is giving away an Advance Reader Copy and I will give away my copy 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.

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 Jeanne 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 June 1, 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.”

May 132016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I snapped this book up from NetGalley last year and never was able to read it. The author is now touring with Great Escapes and I wanted to be part of the tour. This is why I started Flashback Fridays, I was missing too many books I really wanted to read.

murder with a twist
Murder with a Twist (A Nic & Nigel Mystery)
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
Midnight Ink
Release Date – May 8, 2015
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738743721
E-Book ASIN: B00VXK6DWK
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Visiting New York to attend a cousin’s birthday gala, Nic and Nigel Martini are looking forward to cocktails with old friends and a pampered stay at the Ritz. But when the birthday girl’s gold-digging cad of a husband goes missing, the Martini family worries that the social event of the season may turn into a story for the scandal sheets.

Nigel’s condescending aunt begs former detective Nic to find sleazy Leo, despite the fact that it would be better for everyone if he just stayed lost. Trailing a “married bachelor” with a penchant for trouble isn’t pretty; in fact it’s downright deadly. Assisted by Nigel and their newly adopted Bullmastiff, Nic must tangle with her old underworld connections if she hopes to hunt down the dirtiest Martini.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

reelz.com

reelz.com

I love old movies, movies that were made before I was even born. As soon as I saw the synopsis for this book I knew the author’s inspiration had to be Dashiell Hammett’s Nick and Nora Charles. Yup, I was right. I dove right into this book and was absolutely thrilled about her “updated twist”.

The characters are reversed from Hammett’s version. Nic is a retired police detective married to Nigel Martini. His family and him by extension, are ultra wealthy. They have come to New York for the holidays and his cousin’s birthday party but she is overwrought because her husband, Leo, has gone missing. Something he has done before, but with the big birthday bash in just a few days, he must be found so the family is not scandalized in the press by his absence. Nigel’s aunt basically tells Nic to use her police training to find Leo as quickly as possible. The first thing her training tells her is that the guy is a low class jerk and that the family would be better off if he just stayed gone. But with some help from Nigel and their new puppy she will find him and then let the family decide what to do with him.

bullmastiff

I immediately pictured Nic and Nigel like Nick and Nora updated to present day, but let me tell you Skippy is no Asta. Skippy is a small horse of a dog, a Bullmastiff, and he makes everything Nic and Nigel do more interesting because he goes with them everywhere.

Just like the movie these characters are terrific. The dialogue is fast and full of wit. The Martini’s also partake plenty of martini’s, the dirtier the better. They stay at the Ritz and travel the city trying to find the missing husband. Doing so they met a few unsavory characters. None of Nigel’s family thinks much of Nic, just what see can do for them, but they are a snobby bunch so that is just fine with her.

This is a light mystery, full of humor and I loved every word. I hated for it to end. The good thing is I was able to start reading Killer Cocktail, book 2 in this series. It was released on May 8. Stay tuned I will be posting my review next Tuesday!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

tracyportrait

About The Author –

Tracy Kiely is a self-proclaimed Anglophile (a fact which distresses certain members of her Irish Catholic family). She grew up reading Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and watching Hitchcock movies. She fell in love with Austen’s wit, Christie’s clever plots, and Hitchcock’s recurrent theme of “the average man caught in extraordinary circumstances.”

After spending years of trying to find a proper job that would enable her to use her skills garnered as an English major, she decided to write a book. It would, of course, have to be a mystery; it would have to be funny; and it would have to feature an average person caught up in extraordinary circumstances. She began to wonder how the characters in Pride and Prejudice might fit into a mystery. What, if after years of living with unbearably rude and condescending behavior, old Mrs. Jenkins up and strangled Lady Catherine? What if Charlotte snapped one day and poisoned Mr. Collins’ toast and jam? Skip ahead several years, and several different plot ideas, and you have her first mystery Murder at Longbourn.

While she does not claim to be Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, or Hitchcock (one big reason being that they’re all dead), she has tried to combine the elements of all three in her books.

 

Author Links:

Webpage    Facebook    Twitter   Blog


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 262016
 

Excited to be part of this tour!
raisin the dead large banner640

Raisin the Dead
by Karoline Barrett

raisin the dead
Raisin the Dead:
A Bread and Batter Mystery

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
Publisher: InterMix (April 19, 2016)
ASIN: B00PHV81AS
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Synopsis

The author of Bun for Your Life returns to Destiny, New York, where bakery owners and amateur sleuths Molly Tyler and Olivia Williams never crumble under pressure…

While the rest of Destiny is focused on the arrival of an upper crust perfume mogul, Molly is more concerned about what’s on the front page of the newspaper: her mother. Library director Anne Tyler was photographed at the most romantic restaurant in town having a cozy dinner with library advisory board member Philip Baldelli. But there’s more for Molly to worry about after Philip is found dead a few days later.

When Detective Sean Corsino zeroes in on Anne as a person of interest in the case, it turns down the heat on his budding romance with Molly. But after he’s injured during the course of his investigation, Molly and Olivia must step in to sift through the clues and clear Anne’s name.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

If you look at the front page of the local newspaper you would think there was more than library business going on between Molly’s mom, Anne, and board member Philip Baldelli. Anne assures Molly there is nothing to worry about, but then the man is found dead and Anne is being questioned by Detective Sean Corsino. Yes, new Molly’s boyfriend. Before he can wrap up the case and clear Anne he finds himself in the hospital. Another detective takes over the case but Molly decides she needs to track down the real killer herself.

I really enjoy Molly and Sean together with their basset hounds. Their romance is building, but it is not without a few bumps along the way. One huge bump happens when a person from his past comes to Destiny with only 1 thing on her mind. So Molly definitely has her hands full. One drawback to her character is how upset she gets when Sean doesn’t share his investigation findings with her. I understand her mother is a suspect but he is just doing his job and trying to avoid get kicked off the case because he is dating the main suspect’s daughter.

The romance was a little bit more prominent than the mystery this time but I was pleased with both plots lines separately and when they converged. There was always something happening, never a dull moment in Destiny. I was charmed by the characters and Destiny sounds like a wonderful place.

I read this book easily in one sitting. I was anxious to see how everything turned out.

I hope to take a trip to Destiny again soon and reconnect with this fun group of characters.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

CAROL 1

About The Author –

I live in a small Connecticut town with my husband. When I’m not writing, I’m either reading, spending time by the water, taking pictures, traveling, indulging in social media, accompanying above-mentioned husband to New York Yankees games, or doing anything that does not involve math..

 

Author Links

Webpage      http://www.karolinebarrett.com/

Blog                http://www.karolinebarrett.com/category/blog/

Facebook      https://www.facebook.com/KarolineBarrettBooks

Twitter          https://twitter.com/KarolineBarrett

Goodreads   http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3315555.Karoline_Barrett


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

April 20 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
April 21 – Book Babble – REVIEW
April 21 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 22 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 22 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, GUEST POST
April 23 – Community Bookstop –  REVIEW
April 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 25 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
April 26 – Booth Talks Books – REVIEW
April 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 27 – Tea and A Book – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
April 28 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 29 – A Cozy Girl Reads – REVIEW
April 30 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
May 1 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

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

Apr 052016
 

Last year 2 of my favorite things came together. I have watched Days Of Our Lives for as long as I can remember. You already know my favorite books to read are cozy mysteries. Last year Alison Sweeney, Sami Brady, on Days of Our Lives entered the cozy world when she portrayed Hannah Swenson in Murder She Baked: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder on the Hallmark Movie Channel. This movie is based on Joanne  Fluke’s  Hannah Swenson Mystery Series.  The 2nd movie, Murder She Baked: A Plum Pudding Murder Mystery and  the 3rd movie Murder She Baked: A Peach Cobbler Mystery soon followed. In addition to being an actress and a director, producer, and former host of The Biggest Loser, Alison Sweeney is an author. This is her 3rd fiction novel and while not a cozy I have to tell you all about it.  

opportunity knocks
Opportunity Knocks: A Novel
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Hachette Books (April 5, 2016)
Paperback: 206 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0316261609
E-Book ASIN: B013CATULY
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Alex Cleary has careened from one dead-end position to another. But suddenly the ingenious makeup artist finds her distinct talents are valued by none other than lifestyle-empire mogul Hillary P.–renowned for her golden touch in broadcast and print media, as well as for her hair-trigger temper. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join the daytime television scene that Alex is determined not to screw up.

Then a frank word in the wrong ear puts Alex’s job on the line. Alex anticipates Hillary’s rage, but she can’t believe that this multimillionaire is holding her newest staffer to a nondisclosure agreement that demands reparation of 5 million dollars.

Alex has only 48 hours to repair the damage. And with a vengeful Hillary P. watching the clock, the devil will have her due…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Again Alison Sweeney takes us behind the scenes, this time we follow make-up artist Alex Cleary as she tries to kick start her career. She is in the right place at the right time and lands a job with Hillary P.  (I would say her empire is striving to be live Oprah Winfrey.) Hillary is not an easy woman to work for, she has a quick temper, demands a lot from her employees and has no problem raging at you when others are present. These traits can cause trouble not only for Hillary but everyone that works for her. Alex is called on the carpet for breaking the terms of her non-disclosure agreement and is on the hook for 5 million dollars! How is Alex going to come up with that kind of money? Is there another way out of this mess?

This was a fast entertaining read. Alex is very personable and very engaging. Her parents had different plans for her life but she is following her dream. Hillary P., is a woman with a rising career and quite a dictator. She rules her life and her employees with an iron fist and steps on or over anyone to advance her career. So of course we readers are rooting for Alex from the get go.

Sweeney has created several other great characters in this story. Alex’s best friend Emma, Billy Fox, an actor Alex meets when he guests on Hillary’s show, her boyfriend, Sean, and her family, plus others Alex meets when she follows Hillary’s show to New York. One who ends up turning Alex’s life inside out.

I enjoyed the way the author brings the madness of Hollywood/New York to life within these pages. I also liked seeing New York through Alex’s eyes. I have never been there myself and think my reactions would be quite the same.

Great characters, a flowing plot, romance, and humor all come together to make this a perfect escape!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

alison sweeney2

Alison Sweeney is an award-winning actress, producer, director, TV host, and author of four previous books including the two novels: Scared Scriptless and The Star Attraction. She makes time to give back to the community, serving as the Fitness Ambassador to City of Hope and an Ambassador to Stand Up 2 Cancer. Sweeney lives in Los Angeles with her family.

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 252016
 

speakers of the deadSpeakers of the Dead: A Walt Whitman Mystery
1st in Series
Historical Mystery
Setting – New York
A Plume Book
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Release Date – March 1, 2016
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0143128717
E-Book ASIN: B010N18IKO
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Speakers of the Dead is a mystery novel centering around the investigative exploits of a young Walt Whitman, in which the reporter-cum-poet navigates the seedy underbelly of New York City’s body-snatching industry in an attempt to exonerate his friend of a wrongful murder charge.

The year is 1843; the place: New York City. Aurora reporter Walt Whitman arrives at the Tombs prison yard where his friend Lena Stowe is scheduled to hang for the murder of her husband, Abraham. Walt intends to present evidence on Lena’s behalf, but Sheriff Harris turns him away. Lena drops to her death, and Walt vows to posthumously exonerate her.

Walt’s estranged boyfriend, Henry Saunders, returns to New York, and the two men uncover a link between body-snatching and Abraham’s murder: a man named Samuel Clement. To get to Clement, Walt and Henry descend into a dangerous underworld where resurrection men steal the bodies of the recently deceased and sell them to medical colleges. With no legal means to acquire cadavers, medical students rely on these criminals, and Abraham’s involvement with the Bone Bill—legislation that would put the resurrection men out of business—seems to have led to his and Lena’s deaths.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

J. Aaron Sanders takes a tragic time in history, bodies being snatched from their graves, and twists it just right with a young Walt Whitman on a quest for justice. Lena Stowe has been accused of killing her husband with not much evidence. Her friend Walt Whitman tries to plead her case but is unsuccessful the Lena is hanged in the prison yard. You need to know about Lena and her husband Abraham. They have opened the Woman’s Medical College of Manhattan. Scandalous because women are not allowed to be doctors and because the students dissect corpses to learn about the workings of the body. These corpses may have been donated to the college or stolen from graves and sold to the school. In those days people believed their loved one could only ascend to heaven if their bodies and organs were intact. There were rallies and demonstrations to close the school and to stop the body snatchers. There was also a bill, the Bone Bill, something the Stowe’s supported, in the works that put an end to the body’s snatchers altogether.

This was a truly riveting story. Organ donation and cadavers used for study is common place today, but in 1843 it was a sin and illegal. Walt knows his friend Lena, did not kill her husband and knows there is some deep dark secrets behind the story. He uses the resources he has available writing for the newspaper to ask questions and print articles that will incite the public and help him find the truth. This truth comes at a very high cost.

This is a work of fiction but some of the things that happen actually occurred which can lead you to almost forget it is fiction. Whitman is joined by Edgar Allan Poe at one point in the story too. This is had my scratching my head and trying to remember their writings for things that may have been inspired from these incidents. I must say here you do not have to have read Whitman’s work to enjoy this story. Without the background, you have a young man on a mission, a dangerous mission. The author surrounds him with amazing characters, like his estranged boyfriend, Henry, and Elizabeth Blackwell, a young woman studying to become a doctor who takes over the college when her mentors are killed just to name two. There are also the public officials, students, and the men stealing the bodies and so many more.

This story reminded me a bit of Death of a Schoolgirl by Joanna Campbell Slan. In that story she turned Jane Eyre into an amateur sleuth, just as Sanders does with Whitman here. The story also reminds me of the Lady Darby Mysteries by Anna Lee Huber, as women in this story buck tradition to take on something only males are allowed to pursue.

This mystery gets quite intense and has some wonderful twists so that at times we don’t know the good guys from the bad ones and neither does Walt.  Throughout the story we have political corruption, fights between religion and science, and some organized crime.

This author takes us a quite an adventure. He also gives us a man that goes to great lengths to prove his friends innocence and redeem their names and show the importance of their work. Work he wasn’t totally supportive of when they were alive but came to understand very quickly after their death.

I am excited that this book is the beginning of a series. I really want to see where the author takes this character. He is off to an excellent start. Did I mention this is the author’s first novel? He is a wonderful storyteller.

 perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

*There were a couple of parts of this story that were difficult for me to read due to how my son died last year but I don’t feel that impacted my review in any way.

 

About This Author

Aaron Sanders is Associate Professor of English at Columbus State University where he teaches literature and creative writing. He holds a PhD in American Literature from The University of Connecticut and an MFA in Fiction from The University of Utah. His stories have appeared in Carolina Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Quarterly West, and Beloit Fiction Journal, among others.


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 10, 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.”

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