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
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

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
goodreads-badge-add-plus

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
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

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


Click on covers to order from Amazon.

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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.”

Feb 162016
 

special guest blue
I am so happy Mary Ellen Hughes could stop by for a visit today!
Let’s give her a great welcome!

Mary Ellen Hughes author pic

Hi Everyone,

WHAT’S IN A NAME?
by Mary Ellen Hughes

When I talk to people about my books, there’s one question I can count on being asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” But a question I rarely hear is, “How do you come up with names for your characters?”

I suppose that’s because most people take character names for granted. A reader makes note of them in order to keep everybody in the story straight but mostly doesn’t think much about them. For me, though, and I suspect most authors, character names are very important. Margaret Mitchell, for example, changed Scarlett O’Hara’s first name several times before settling on one, calling her star character Pansy for a while. I think we can all be glad Ms. Mitchell moved on from that one.

pickled piper

When I started putting ideas together for THE PICKLED PIPER, the first book of my Pickled and Preserved mystery series, I had no problem coming up with a name for my main character. Since she was a young woman who would be making and selling all things pickle-related, what could be better than Piper?

But Piper wasn’t the only character in the book. She has an aunt and uncle living nearby, a shop assistant, neighboring store owners and other townspeople, along with, of course, the victim and murderer. All these characters needed names, and ones that fit. I wouldn’t, for example, name Piper’s aunt, who is around sixty years old, Britny. And for Piper’s twenty year-old helper, Gladys would be all wrong but Amy was right.

A novelist has to come with more names than you might realize, sometimes just for walk-on characters who need a name simply to avoid being continually referred to as “elderly gentleman,” or “her.” Where do we get them all? When I first started writing and needed a name for an older person, I’d flip through the obituary section of my newspaper. If the obituaries had photos attached, all the better. Mixing and matching first and last names kept me out of lawsuit territory.

Younger characters were a little tougher. A copy of a baby-naming book helped there—though it did startle my family at first until I explained why I needed it. Then I discovered the Social Security website, which lists baby names that were popular in each decade. That was—and is–so helpful! I also found a few random name generator websites, which come up with combinations of first and last names, sorted by gender or ethnicity, as well as “common” or “rare.” A great time saver!

Until I settle on a character’s name, I often can’t completely picture him or her. Martin will look and act differently from Matt, and, though close, Patsy won’t be quite the same as Patty, at least to my mind. If, farther down the road, I see the need to change a character’s name, I’ll often go back and tweak their description to go with the new moniker.

scene of the brineIn SCENE OF THE BRINE, my latest and third Pickled and Preserved Mystery book, I needed a name for a character new to the series, a forty-something, female caterer. “Sugar” popped into my head, and with it I immediately knew what she looked like: attractive, silver-blond, and with a Rubenesque figure. Her personality grew from that, and I was soon good to go.

Sugar had a college-aged son, and it didn’t take me long to name him Zach, a popular name of his generation. Zach majored in botany and, while bright, also had a bit of a temper. It was that last thing that got him into a pile of trouble in my story. Would that have happened if I’d named him Nigel or Preston? Doubtful. But we’ll never know because a mother called Sugar would never give her son either of those names, would she?

Family names, for me, at least, are off-limits, as are close friends, since the image that comes with them is too strong to shape into the character I want to write. Also in that “don’t touch” category are one-of-a-kind celebrity monikers and names already famous in fiction such as Scarlett, Kinsey, or Reacher.

It tends to narrow the choices, which makes me sometimes envy science fiction and fantasy writers. If they need a name, they can just scramble a few letters or make it vaguely middle-earth-ish. So much simpler. And they don’t have to worry about age, either.

But then, I’d have a hard time picturing a Ruavu Flagmatag.

Wouldn’t you?
~Mary Ellen

Thank you so much for visiting today Mary Ellen! Feel free to add a Lori or a Dolly to your stories anytime 🙂

scene of the brineScene of the Brine:
Pickled and Preserved Mystery

3rd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
Release Date: February 2, 2016
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Chris O’Leary
Cover Design by Karen Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425262474
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKQ9Q
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The national bestselling author of License to Dill returns with a dilly of a pickle.

Piper Lamb has to take a break from jarring her delicious pickles and preserves to blow the lid off a poisoner….

Business is booming at Piper’s Picklings in Cloverdale, New York. But not all is sweet in the life of Piper’s number one customer and friend, local caterer Sugar Heywood. Sugar is dating wealthy realtor Jeremy Porter, but his family doesn’t approve. After their unscrupulous accountant finds some dirt on Sugar, the family quickly urges Jeremy to throw her out like rotten fruit.

Things are further spoiled after the accountant is found poisoned, and all evidence points to Sugar’s son, Zach. With the Porter family determined to avoid scandal, it won’t be easy for Piper to preserve Zach’s innocence. And after someone falls victim to a poisoned jar of some of her brandied cherries, Piper’s got a peck of trouble to deal with herself…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Check out that cover and the new door to Piper’s Picklings! Handcrafted and a true work of art. Piper has a party to celebrate her new entrance and it seems almost everyone from Cloverdale attends. Thankfully new resident, Jeremy Porter and his right hand man,  Dirk Unger skipped the festivities. Unger has been making life difficult for some people in town, like Piper’s friend, Sugar Heywood. Dirk, the jerk, dug up some dirt and Sugar was terribly hurt. She lost her boyfriend and a huge catering gig. When “the jerk” is murdered, Sugar’s son becomes the prime suspect but before the murder is solved, others are hurt and Piper finds herself in hot water.

Trips to Cloverdale are never dull, that is for sure. Hughes introduces us to the Porter family. I hated the whole snobby bunch and that was just awesome. These characters like all my favorites were wonderfully written and totally believable. I wasn’t surprised when Dirk Unger was killed. He was a nasty man. What surprised me was the twists and turns we took to find the murderer. Just when I thought “I know who it is!”, something happened to prove me wrong. It sure was a fun as I kept trying.

There is a bit of romance as Will remains patient while Scott still tries to worm his way back into Piper’s life. The man has been trouble since he showed up in Cloverdale. I think Piper may be on the verge of making a decision.

Mary Ellen Hughes has written a really smart mystery delightfully flavored with some of the best cozy characters. I have liked each of these stories more than the last. The characters continue to evolve and even the mysteries get better and better and each were great already.

For someone that doesn’t like pickles I sure do love these pickled and preserved mysteries.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 About This Author

Mary Ellen Hughes may live in Maryland today but she started out right here in Wisconsin!!! Find out more about Mary Ellen and her books here on her webpage.



Just click on book covers for more information or to order.

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

Leave a comment for Mary Ellen 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 March 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.”

Feb 122016
 

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.

MACARONI AND FREEZE
Macaroni and Freeze:
A Comfort Food Mystery

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
An Obsidian Mystery (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451474087
E-Book ASIN: B00PT4J1UW
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When the library roof collapses from the harsh winter weather, diner owner and comfort food chef Trixie Matkowski decides to organize a mac-and-cheese cook-off to raise funds for repairs. Priscilla Finch-Smythe, famous TV chef and former Sandy Harbor resident, is not only available to judge the contest—she’s offering an appearance on her show as the grand prize.

Trixie hopes that winning first place in the cook-off will help boost publicity for her Silver Bullet Diner. But when another winner is announced, and Priscilla is later found frozen in a snowbank, Trixie starts getting attention from the police instead. Now she’ll have to noodle over this mystery before everything really goes to pot….

Includes Delicious Home-Style Recipes

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Never a dull moment when Trixie is around. That woman get herself into all kinds of predicaments. This time too much snow collapses the roof of the local library. Everyone got out safe but it is going to take a lot of money to repair the building and replace the damaged books and equipment. Trixie’s mouth gets ahead of her brain and before she knows it she is planning a Macaroni and Cheese cook-off fundraiser. Things snowball and soon famous chef, Priscilla Finch-Smythe is on her way to Sandy Harbor to judge the competition and offering the winner a guest spot on her tv show. Trixie had no idea the woman was from Sandy Harbor. The woman has all kinds of demands and a big motor home. She also has her staff of two, one is her stepson, along for the ride and they sure don’t see eye to eye on anything. Trixie just hopes they can make enough money for the library and get a little bit of publicity for the diner.

The contest brings a slew of cooks to town including a couple of professional chefs looking to win and gain or regain a little fame with the grand prize. Soon after the winner is named, a stiff is found in the parking lot. Priscilla Finch-Smythe’s life has come to a chilly end and there are plenty of suspects. Who killed the tv cook and left her out in the cold? Trixie plans to find out but she may end up getting a deep freeze herself.

Reading this book during a cold snap here in Wisconsin I was literary feeling the “freeze” in this story and it was funny, my hubby had whipped up a batch of his homemade mac and cheese for supper. He saw the cover of the book and we had a little chuckle.

The cover of the book is wonderful but the Sandy Harbor Library sounds like it was a truly beautiful place, complete with some stained glass. I loved the way the town rallied together to make this fundraiser happen even when it was snowing and blowing and travel was a bit treacherous at times.

This time Trixie is one of the suspects, of course, hunky Sheriff Ty Briscoe doesn’t think she had anything to do with it but he basically puts her under house/diner arrest with Antoinette Chloe Brown (ACB) as her gatekeeper. He really just wants to keep Trixie safe and out of his investigation, like that is going to happen.

Christine Wenger has the perfect recipe for an absolutely delightful cozy mystery. The residents of Sandy Harbor are like old friends and the welcome us in with open arms and delicious food. The new characters make a nice offset to the gang we have come to love. The plot is tight and the twists are plentiful. The romantic tension is palpable. I can’t be the only one that wants to see Trixie grab Ty and just kiss him already 🙂 I also want to get ACB a pair of boots with flips flops painted on them. Flip flops in the snow?? Girl you are going to lose some toes!!

This was a fun read from start to finish. I am glad I had some Mac & Cheese to snack because damn, a girl can get hungry when reading these stories!

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 February 26, 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 112016
 

DRAWING BLOOD large banner640

Drawing Blood
by Deirdre Verne

drawing blood
Drawing Blood
(A Sketch in Crime Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
Publisher: Midnight Ink (February 8, 2016)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738742281
E-Book ASIN: B019KKTX0I
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Synopsis

CeCe Prentice returns with her band of Dumpster-diving pals in this fast-paced mystery that puts the eco-friendly heroine back on top—of a pile of trash.

When Big Bob, manager of the town dump, goes missing, CeCe is worried about more than where she’ll score her next salvaged car. First at the scene when Bob’s body is recovered from under the weekly recycling haul, CeCe is quick to identify potential witnesses and provide crucial scene sketches. But when CeCe is uncharacteristically startled by an unidentified woman at Bob’s abandoned house, her artistic talents are challenged, and her drawings, much to her frustration, come up short.

With CeCe’s observational talents on the fritz, Detective Frank DeRosa, CeCe, and her network of Freegans are forced to recreate Big Bob’s life from the garbage up. The team is soon thrust into the underworld of recycling where what appears to be junk could actually be the clue that saves a life.


Dollycas’s Thoughts

As I ended my review of Drawing Conclusions, the first book in this series, I was wondering how this author was going to keep up to the excellence she reached in that story. I just finished Drawing Blood and let me tell you she a drawn up another story that will keep you totally entertained.

Cece and her friends are “freegans“, a unique lifestyle. They dumpster dive for food, have a huge garden, and visit the local recycling center and thrift stores for most of their needs. In this installment Cece’s friend and housemate Katrina is due to have her baby any day, her friend, Big Bob, manager of the local recycling center in missing, and Cece is looking for a child that could be hers that would have been carried by a surrogate. And that is just how the story starts, there is so much more. The synopsis tells you Big Bob’s body is found under a pile of garbage and that Detective Frank DeRosa in on the case but when Cece and her friends join the investigation it all leads to something you have just have to read for yourself. I really enjoyed that Frank knows he can ask for and get help from Cece and the others.

As with the first story, this author’s distinct writing  style shines. The plots and subplots twist all together throughout the story and each twist has its own little “wow” factor.  Cece’s  unique ability to see people in her mind so clearly and pick up their nuances and put the images down on paper is key to solving the case. She has trouble with the facial details for one person that she knows is so important. She works so hard to try to grasp that image. The investigation seems to be turning up more questions than answers but Frank, Cece, Charlie and even a very pregnant Katrina each help to put things together and details start to fall into place. This sets up a very suspenseful and dramatic ending that had me sitting up straight in my chair.

Excellent from start to finish. A story that deserves more than 5 stars!

This story does build on the first book so I do recommend reading that one first. In fact a perfect winter weekend curled up with both books is something I recommend wholeheartedly.

I will not wonder about Verne’s next book because I just know if will be as amazing as the first two. I just hate that we will probably have to wait a year for it.

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


 

deidre

About This Author

Deirdre Verne (Lower Westchester, NY) is a mystery writer, college professor, and an active college blogger. Deirdre’s interest in green living inspired her to create an off-the-grid character who Dumpster dives her way through the “Sketch in Crime” mystery series. Verne’s second book, Drawing Blood, is available in February 2016. “A dysfunctional functional family to die for…[CeCe Prentice’s] second case is every bit as twisty and surprising.”-Kirkus Reviews.

A member of Sisters in Crime, Deirdre’s short stories appear in all three New York chapter anthologies – Murder New York Style, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices and Family Matters. Visit her online at DeirdreVerne.com.

 

Author Links

Webpage   Blog 

Twitter – @deirdreverne         GoodReads 

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February 8 – Babs Book Bistro – Guest Post
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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.”

Jan 292016
 

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 have wanted to catch up on this series for awhile!

diners driveins and death
Diners, Drive-Ins, and Death:
A Comfort Food Mystery

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
An Obsidian Mystery (January 6, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415103
E-Book ASIN: B00KWFZ73S
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For Sandy Harbor’s tastiest comfort food, venture to the Silver Bullet Diner. But head next door to the new drive-in theater if you have an appetite for murder….

Trixie Matkowski has a tall order to fill this fall. Aside from dishing out delicious fare at the Silver Bullet during peak fishing season, she’s helping her friend—Antoinette Chloe Brown, or ACB for short—open a drive-in movie theater in the vacant lot beside her diner. It’s just the thing to take ACB’s mind off Nick, her missing biker beau.

But their plans are fried after Nick’s body is discovered during the groundbreaking for the drive-in. And when the police connect the murder weapon to ACB, she becomes the prime suspect in eighty-sixing Nick. With the fate of her innocent friend and her business on the line, Trixie must make the guilty party pay up before someone else gets stiffed….

Includes Delicious Home-Style Recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Trixie Matkowski owns the Silver Bullet Diner and summer rental cottages. She also has a bit of land that came in handy when her friend’s significant other is found in a shallow grave. Antoinette Chloe Brown, or ACB for short, owns a restaurant in town and she wants to build a drive-in on land next to Trixie’s. Her biker boyfriend, Nick, has taken off without a word to anyone, her ex-husband, the boyfriend’s brother, is rotting in jail, and she is organizing a beauty pageant, so why not jump in with both feet to another venture. She is so worried about Nick she asks Trixie to help her find him but he turns up before they do much looking. His body is discovered during the groundbreaking for the drive-in and there is enough evidence at the scene to arrest ACB and haul her off to jail.

What follows next is a nifty mystery served up with a bowlful of humor. ACB and her colorful mumus and fascinations just crack me up. Seeing her in a motorcycle sidecar must be a hoot! She and Trixie are the best of friends. Trixie even put up the bail to get her out of jail. She also let her move right into her house. The antics of these two are absolutely hilarious but Trixie does keep them on track as they try to find the real killer.

I have grown comfortable with these characters and I appreciate the comfort food served at the Silver Bullet. I don’t know how I got behind on this series but that will be remedied soon. I am so glad I started Flashback Friday to help me catch up on great series like this one. Macaroni and Freeze has moved to the top of the To-Be-Read stack and It’s A Wonderful Knife comes out February 2.

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 February 12, 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.”

Jan 212016
 

death of a brooklyn landlord large banner640

Death of a Brooklyn Landlord
by Susan Russo Anderson

death of a brooklyn landlord
Death of a Brooklyn Landlord:
A Lorraine McDuffy Mystery

Suspense – Woman Sleuths
Setting – New York
Self Published
Publication Date: December 23, 2015
Print Length: 319 pages
ASIN: B017KORLJG

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A Mystery, A Kidnapping, A Missing Mom … The First Book in a NEW Spinoff Series!

Synopsis

When newly widowed Lorraine McDuffy gets a call in the middle of the night, it’s not the ghost of her dead husband on the line, but the trembling voice of an old flame, Frank Rizzo, a local butcher. He’s found the battered body of rent-gouging Brooklyn landlord Viktor Charnov. Felled by blunt trauma to the back of his head, the victim lies in the fetal position in the back of Frank’s shop, a pork chop clenched between his teeth. The distraught butcher asks Lorraine to investigate.

As the story moves through the entangled web left behind by the landlord’s evil dealings, Lorraine searches for Viktor’s estranged wife as well as a missing teen with ties to the landlord, believed to have jumped in despair from the Brooklyn Bridge two months earlier. Along the way, Lorraine spars with Detective First Grade Jane Templeton and cares for the victim’s ten-year-old son, baseball-loving Joey Charnov, while she searches for his mother. And despite her guilt, Lorraine and Frank deepen their relationship in fits and starts.

If you’re a fan of Fina Fitzgibbons and her crew, you’ll recognize the main characters in this new series—Lorraine McDuffy, Fina’s mother-in-law and protagonist in charge of the Fina Fitzgibbons Detective Agency while Fina and Denny are on their honeymoon; detectives Jane Templeton and Willoughby, her partner Minnie, admin assistant at Lucy’s and now taking on a greater role in the agency; Cookie and her husband, Clancy; and a newcomer, Fina’s estranged father, Paddy Fitzgibbons, who creates his own boozy havoc as he tangles with Lorraine and Cookie.

Dollycas’s Thouughts

Fina and Denny are on their honeymoon so Lorraine takes over the business until they get back. Her first case hits close to home when she gets a call Frank Rizzo, a local butcher and an old flame. He has a dead body in his shop and it happens to be his landlord who just doubled his rent. Lorraine rushes to his side to check things out for herself, and then she calls him a lawyer, and then she calls detective Jane Templeton. Fina’s detective agency begins to work side by side with the police due to a shortage of man hours. They find this case may also tie in to a case of a missing teenager.

I am just amazed at how many stories contain a thread about suicide. Since my son took his life last March it seems to pop up in so many of the stories I read. Maybe it was there before but I am hypersensitive to it now. In this story it was minor enough not to make me put the book down and walk away but it still gave me pause.

I like Lorraine, she is moving on with her life after her husband’s passing and throws herself into this investigation. She stands up to the power that be and is able to care for the victims 10 year old son while she tries to find his mother. The case takes her in many directions but she is able to stay focused. Fina’s father plays a major role in the story and for me the jury is still out on him. I am not sure if his intentions are true and he still has a lot to work out to get his life on track. Like in the main series the police detectives drive me crazy.  The relationship between Lorraine and Frank surprised me as things heat up pretty quickly.

I am not sure if a story like this could take place in real life. The police are basically led around by the nose by the private investigators, but it sure does make for some entertaining reading. I am also concerned about the overlap in characters from the main series and this spin off. It will be interesting to see how this set of stories moves forward.

The story can read as a stand alone but reading the original stories will help you keep track of the vast number of characters.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

susan

About The Author

Susan Russo Anderson is a writer, a mother, a member of Sisters in Crime, a graduate of Marquette University. She’s taught language arts and creative writing, worked for a publisher, an airline, an opera company. Like Faulkner’s Dilsey, she’s seen the best and the worst, the first and the last. Through it all, and to understand it somewhat, she writes. Too Quiet in Brooklyn, the first book in the Fina Fitzgibbons Brooklyn mystery series, published December 2013. The second book in the series, Missing Brandy, about a missing teen, published September 2014, and Whiskey’s Gone, about the abduction of a single mom, completes a trilogy.  Fina’s fourth book, THE BROOKLYN DROP, published August 2015.

 

Author Links:

Website

Facebook
Twitter @SusanRussoAnder

Purchase Links

Tour Participants

January 18 – StoreyBook Reviews– Spotlight
January 19 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – Review
January 20 – Back Porchervations – Review
January 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
January 22 – Island Confidential – Interview
January 23 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight
January 24 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
January 25 – Lori’s Reading Corner – Guest Post
January 26 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – Spotlight
January 27 – Babs Book Bistro – Spotlight

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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.”

Dec 182015
 

It has been a rough year and I will admit that when this book came for review I took one look at the cover and decided to wait to read it. I usually watch all he Christmas movies and really get into the Christmas Spirit. This year I am just dreading it without Kris.  Losing a child at any age is hard but losing your oldest child, an adult, who leaves behind a child, to suicide has really shaken me to my core. Last Friday evening I needed a book to read and this one was right there on the shelf and I thought, O.K. let’s try it. I made it through and thank you Vicki Delany for a wonderful story. Read below for my review.

rest ye murdered gentleman 2Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen:
A Year-Round Christmas Mystery

Brand New Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 3, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Julia Green
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280805
E-Book ASIN: B00SI0B5R6
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In Rudolph, New York, it’s Christmastime all year long. But this December, while the snow-lined streets seem merry and bright, a murder is about to ruin everyone’s holiday cheer…

As the owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, Merry Wilkinson knows how to decorate homes for the holidays. That’s why she thinks her float in the semi-annual Santa Claus parade is a shoe-in for best in show. But when the tractor pulling Merry’s float is sabotaged, she has to face facts: there’s a Scrooge in Christmas Town.

Merry isn’t ready to point fingers, especially with a journalist in town writing a puff piece about Rudolph’s Christmas spirit. But when she stumbles upon the reporter’s body on a late night dog walk—and police suspect he was poisoned by a gingerbread cookie crafted by her best friend, Vicky—Merry will have to put down the jingle bells and figure out who’s really been grinching about town, before Vicky ends up on Santa’s naughty list…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First things first, look at that gorgeous cover. I like to mention the artist and cover designers because the cozy covers are so incredible. This time Sarah Oberrender has taken my breath away. From the snow lined window to the puppy in the front, I don’t know how anyone could resist buying this paperback even before thinking about the fantastic story inside.

Vicki Delany takes us to Rudolph, New York. A year round Christmas Town that is such a joy to visit. That is until a dead body is found and word gets out. The cancellations to the local hotels, inns and B&B’s start before you can say Jack Frost. A series of troubling events takes place and Merry knows there will be no Merry Christmas in Rudolph until the Grinch is caught.

Merry Wilkerson, who happens to have sisters named Eve and Carol is a marvelous protagonist. Her shop Mrs. Claus’s Treasures is right in the heart of Rudolph so she is right on top of everything happening. Her dad being the former mayor and the local Santa Claus has his connections too. She knows her friend Vicky had nothing to do with the murder, she just has to prove it.  She is strong, smart, and feisty.

What I really like about this story is the way the town pulls together with the exception of whoever is trying to destroy the reputation and credibility of this great tourist attraction. Even Betty than owns the store next to Vicky.  She may not be the nicest person but would she sabotage the whole town? A new resident to Rudolph, Detective Diane Simmonds, is one of my favorite characters. I think and hope that she and Merry will become good friends.  All the residents of Rudolph are very real and engaging, each in their own way, including Merry’s adorable St.Bernard pup named Mattie.

Delaney has given us a story full of holiday cheer, an exciting mystery, wondrous characters all in a place I would love to really visit. It’s charm just lit up my day. This is one mystery you shouldn’t miss this holiday season.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Vicki Delany 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 January 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

Sorry that this contest ends after the holiday but it is on sale on Amazon and can arrive just in time for Christmas. 

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.”

The Calamity Café (A Down South Café Mystery) by Gayle LeesonBuy Today
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