Feb 182017

The last book in this series, Drawing Blood,
received my Paradise Rating last year.

This one is just as good, maybe even better!

The Drawing Game (A Sketch in Crime Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Gatekeeper Press (February 6, 2017)
Paperback: 300 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1619845725
Kindle ASIN: B01N3CM6P1



A lover of all things green, CeCe Prentice is not impressed when a fully-sustainable development, Green Acres, pops up next to her family’s homestead. It’s not so much the ridiculous price tag of the million dollar homes built entirely from re-usable materials and powered by the sun, but rather the new neighbors who think they can simply buy a green lifestyle.

To make matters worse, one homeowner turns out to be CeCe’s high school nemesis, Phoebe Purcell, a hair-tossing vamp who tried to break up CeCe and her long-time boyfriend, Charlie.

Already disillusioned by the so-called eco-friendly development, CeCe’s family home is threatened when a series of power-outages at Green Acres kicks off a rash of home invasions. When neighbors start showing up dead, the mood at Green Acres turns south. But when Charlie, CeCe’s on-again, off-again love interest is implicated in the murders, CeCe springs into action when she discovers the only clue – a portrait she painted years ago.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

CeCe Prentice and her friends, Charlie, and Katrina have a unique lifestyle, they are “freegans“. The grow their own food, dumpster dive for things they don’t grow, and visit thrift stores for other things they need. They try to lives their lives as green as possible. Which is one of the reason they are in her mother’s basement during a power outage. Katrina recently gave birth to baby boy Roon, but all they have are girl clothes, so they head to the basement to find some boy clothes. Before they find what they are looking for the lights go out. This is not the first time that has happened. Since the new eco-development was built next door, it is happening a lot. Ten homes costing over a million dollars each that are supposed to be powered by the sun should not be draining power from other houses. As Cece soon learns, the houses in Green Acres are having the same blackouts and there have even been some home invasions. When a neighbor is found dead things get even darker. When Charlie is pinned as the prime suspect in the murder Cece gets caught between helping her friend or standing by her man, Detective Frank DeRosa. She finds herself trying to help them both.

First, the title to the book is beyond perfect and even the cover has a clue, at least for me.

Simon Fletcher is the developer of Green Acres and he has built the homes with all the latest technology for his fully-sustainable subdivision. Unfortunately all that technology did not keep someone from killing him.

The author gives us a great bunch of suspects. People who were unhappy with the things going wrong in their new homes, his wife, his employees, a bunch of neighborhood kids and even Charlie who was working on a new high tech application with him.

CeCe also knew the man because she had painted a portrait of his wife. She may have even seen the killer from the basement window, but she can’t picture the face good enough to actually draw it. When another witness comes forward Frank asks CeCe to work with them to come up with a sketch both because of her unique talent and because it may spark hew own memory. She has a hyper sense of observation that enables her to catch clues even the good detective missed.

Deirdre Verne takes these characters and intertwines their lives together to give us an outstanding and complex mystery. One that had me paying close attention and glued to the pages. I tried to read it all in one evening but my eyes just would not cooperate. I woke up the next morning mad that I had to work and could not finish it right away. I did grab it as soon as I could and was surprised and delighted with the way the book ended. That is when I realized, yes, the title and cover were absolutely perfect.

To get the most out of this story and the wonderful characters you really should read the three stories in order, but just knowing about “Freeganism” gives you a good start. The characters have grown quite a bit from the first book and are still evolving.

Suspense, drama, a little romance and a touch humor all come together to make this escape Paradise.


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About The Author

Deirdre Verne is the author of Drawing Conclusions (2015), Drawing Blood (Feb 2016) and The Drawing Game (Dec 2017). Deirdre’s interest in green living inspired her to create an off-the-grid character, CeCe Prentice, who Dumpster dives her way through the Sketch in Crime mystery series. “Verne’s mystery is a winner…” Kirkus Reviews.  A member of Sisters in Crime, Deirdre’s stories appear in all three NY chapter anthologies – Murder New York Style, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices and Family Matters.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook  – Twitter – GoodReads

Praise for The Drawing Game
by Deirdre Verne

This is a fun series that makes me wonder about the characters and their lifestyles almost as much as I wonder about the mystery itself.
~Michelle’s Romantic Tangle

I really loved reading this book. It’s a great mystery.
~Books, Dreams, Life

This is a really interesting mystery with lots of twists and turns! It is well written with a brisk pace and lots of interesting characters.
~View from the Birdhouse

This was a unique read from the start. CeCe is interesting and complex as a character, and her voice is strong …
~Christa Reads and Writes

Purchase Links

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Tour Participants

February 8 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 9 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
February 11 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
February 12 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
February 13 – Mythical Books – GUEST POST
February 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 15 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
February 16 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
February 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 19 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
February 20 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – 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.”

Feb 162017

Where the Lost Girls Go: A Laura Mori Mystery
Thriller/Suspense/ Women Sleuths
1st in Series
Setting – Oregon
Crooked Lane Books
(February 7, 2017)

Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1629538051
Kindle ASIN: B01KGD6JV4
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Rookie cop Laura Mori catches her first investigation when the fiery crash of a sports car lights up the night sky. The fire burns the body beyond recognition, but the police are able to identify the car as that of Kent Jameson, celebrity author and benefactor of Sunrise Lake. And Jameson fears that the unidentified body is his seventeen-year-old daughter Lucy, who stormed out of the house that night after an argument.

When lab reports reveal that the body was not Lucy, but a teen runaway named Kyra whose disappearance has been linked with other missing persons–more than half a dozen “lost girls” who disappeared while living on the streets of Portland–the investigation takes a drastic turn. How did Kyra come to land at the Jameson estate in rural Oregon, and what was she doing driving their car? And who cut the brake lines on the vehicle?

Just when Laura is making progress in the case, she comes across a suspicious lane in the forest that uncovers new evidence that will once again alter the course of the investigation and rock Sunrise Lake to its core.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A serial killer in Portland?? That may be the case. When Rookie Officer Laura Mori arrives at an inferno of a car on fire with her partner, she had no idea what was going to develop. What seemed to be a tragic traffic accident turns into a homicide investigation. Since her partner is due to leave for vacation Mori is assigned the case. The girl in the car turns out not to be who they thought but someone linked to a missing persons case involved several “lost girls”. What evolves will have you unable to put this book down.

R.J. Noonan has written a riveting mystery full of suspense. This story is played out in Portland, Oregon but could take place anywhere.

Laura Mori is a Japanese American whose parents think her job is just a phase she is going through. Because of her gentle demeanor they thought she would become a psychologist to help people, but college didn’t quite go as planned. They don’t really understand it, in fact, she is still living with her parents and her mother was upset the night of the accident that she didn’t call home and tell them she was going to be late. Her natural compassion is a double edged sword in her being a cop. She seems to get people, witnesses and suspects, to talk to her easily, but she does take the job home with her. She has a few issues of her own, but when working on the case, she works through her own problems the best she can. She is a complex main character.

The case focuses on the Jameson family. He is a rich author, his wife, number 2, works for charities and helps him organize his complicated life, his daughter, 17 year old Lucy, is a rebellious teenager that has her dad wrapped right around her little finger. The car in the accident belonged to them and the girl killed in the crash was Lucy’s friend. They live on a huge estate with stables and guest houses and they raise alpacas. Of course, they don’t do the work, they have a crew of hired hands.

The author twists and tangles the Jameson family together with their staff and a group of people living in the woods near their estate. There is also a corruption aspect in the police force. Readers follow Laura through her investigation. While trying to prove to everyone she can handle her job she does take some real risks. I wanted to jump into the book a few times to stop her, like when you scream at the characters in horror movies,  telling them not to go into the dark scary places, same kind of thing here.

I am not going to say I was totally caught off guard by the way the story ended because I was in the ballpark as to the right suspect. I just needed the how and why to be definitely determined. It was even more twisted than I imagined.

Knowing this book is the start to a series is exciting for me. I found our protagonist to be very engaging and interesting. The other characters that I assume will be returning in future installments were also strong in this story. I am interested to see what the author has in store for all of them.

As this is the first story I have read by this author I now know I need to find out more about her and her other works.


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

  You can find out more about R.L. Noonan on her webpage here.

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

Jan 142017

Wings of Mayhem (The Mayhem Series Book 1)
Thriller/Crime/Serial Killer
1st in Series
Crossroad Press (November 13, 2016)
Paperback – 300 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1941408902
Kindle ASIN: B01G9P1JGS


Cat burglar Shawnee Daniels always believed her “fearlessness rules” mantra would keep her on top and out of jail. When she hacks a confiscated hard drive at the Revere P.D., she focuses on a white-collar criminal accused of embezzlement. To teach him a lesson and recoup the funds she breaks into his massive contemporary in Bear Clave Estates. Jack has even more secrets, deadly secrets, secrets worth killing over.


As a glowing eagle taunts her Skype screen, Jack tells her she stole his precious trophy box — and he wants it back!


When her “helpful” best friend convinces her to date charismatic Detective Levaughn Samuels, her two worlds threaten to implode. Ordinarily Shawnee keeps a firm line between her professions, but dating Levaughn might help her get this psycho off her tail.


In this lightning-fast-paced psychological thriller of secrets and lies, Shawnee juggles being stalked by a serial killer, dating the lead detective on the case, and tap dancing around her librarian best friend. If she doesn’t find the trophy box, the killer’s coming for her. If she doesn’t expose her secret life, more will die. And if she does, she could lose her freedom and everyone she holds dear.

If you’re a fan of Lisa Jackson, Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter thrillers, crime fiction with an edge, or psychological thrillers, mystery, and suspense, then Wings of Mayhem is for you.

The Rendering: Collection of Dark Flash Fiction & Short Stories
File Size: 1271 KB
Print Length: 79 pages
Publisher: Sue Coletta (July 9, 2016)
Publication Date: July 9, 2016
ASIN: B01I8L9602

Flash fiction with a bonus short story thrown in to lighten an otherwise dark collection of tales.

Haunting Memories – Sometimes the one you seek isn’t who you’d imagined.

Emerging Evil – When that tiny voice inside your head leads you down a dark path.

Gut Instinct – Do we always trust our gut instinct?

K9 Christmas – A light, comical tale…some dogs have all the luck.

A Fighting Chance – Karma’s a bitch.

One Regret – Or maybe, it’s just what the doctor ordered.

Sweet Revenge – He who laughs last…

This collection is available for FREE at Amazon at time of this posting.

Visit Sue Coletta’s webpage here to find out more about her and her books.


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Jan 122017

She Stopped for Death: A Little Library Mystery
by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Crooked Lane Books (January 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683310136
Kindle ASIN: B01IRS85CG



Jenny Weston and her mother, Dora, have been receiving strange midnight visits. Bear Falls’s own elusive and highly secretive poet, Emily Sutton, has lived her life cloistered away with her sister in a house at the edge of Pewee Swamp. But now, Emily’s started leaving scraps of poetry in Dora’s Little Library, and Dora makes it her mission to befriend the sheltered woman.

Meanwhile Zoe Zola, almost famous author, Little Person, and the Weston’s quirky next-door neighbor, is hard at work on a new book, this one about the inner life of Emily Dickinson. And once again, Zoe’s literary work starts making uncanny connections with the events in her own world as Emily Sutton reemerges into society. But Zoe begins to suspect things aren’t anywhere near normal at Emily’s swamp house or in the lives of the people she claims have abandoned her…until looking further into the poet’s half-truths leads Zoe and Jenny to a horrible murder.

The chaos surrounding the ensuing investigation grows even more hectic with Emily’s increasingly erratic behavior, the arrival of a young woman searching for her missing poet uncle, and yet another betrayal in Jenny’s love life.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Like the first book in the series, Murder Most Curious, this mystery was curious. A reclusive poet, Emily Sutton has left her home in the Pewee Swamp to visit Dora’s Little Library and left some of her new poetry. Meanwhile another town resident is planning an event to honor the poet and is thrilled to learn that Emily wants to attend and do a reading. Dora with the help of Zoe and Jenny is determined to help the poet get out in the world again but Zoe has a bad feeling about her. She starts to do a little investigating and she and Jenny make a horrific discovery.

I really like the relationship between Jenny and her mom and love the way they have included Zoe in their little family group. Zoe doesn’t always make that easy. They were also very accepting of Emily and even welcome another visitor into their home midway through the story. They seem to be genuine individuals with the ability to truly empathize with others around them.

A twisted tangle of events take place in the story. This author has a real unique imagination that turned this story upside down. I was drawn deeper and and deeper into the mystery as I swiped each page. Such great writing, a complex mystery that brings a real psychological element to what otherwise is considered a cozy mystery. There are some very suspenseful moments that had me on the edge of my seat.

I can’t wait for the next installment. Watch this author, I expect many fantastic stories are headed our way.


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I received this book for review from NetGalley and I am sorry I do not have a copy to giveaway.

About The Author

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli (aka Elizabeth Lee) is a Michigan based novelist whose 12th book is due out in 2016. She teaches fiction writing at Northern Michigan College and has written for the NORTHERN EXPRESS, the ROMEO OBSERVER, the DETROIT NEWS, and the RECORD-EAGLE. She is a member of the Author’s Guild, International Association of crime Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers’ of America, Michigan Writers, and Detroit Working Writers and has three mystery series out, or about to be published.

In the Emily Kincaid series her novel DEAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN was chosen one of the best mysteries of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews. A new series (written as Elizabeth Lee) is now out with the third: NUTS AND BURIED (based in Texas)  released in November from Berkley Publishers. Another series, beginning with A MOST CURIOUS MURDER, (Crooked Lane Publishers) and now SHE STOPPED FOR DEATH.

Written as Elizabeth Lee


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher on NetGalley. 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 262016

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Hosted by Book Date

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Happy Monday Everyone!!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.


Death of a Toy Soldier: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery
Release Date – October 11, 2016
For Review
Review will be up tomorrow!

Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum)
Release Date – June 17, 2014
Read Just For Fun!

Tick Tock (Michael Bennett)
Release Date – January 24, 2011
Read Just For Fun!


Third Time’s a Crime (A Love or Money Mystery) Diana will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday January 4!

Plus a couple more books JUST FOR FUN!!

Don’t forget my blogoversary is December 31! Watch for giveaways!!

escapeClick Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Dec 062016
The Red Queen Rules
(A Red Solaris Mystery)

Setting – Nevada
3rd in Series
Henery Press (December 6, 2016)
Paperback: 246 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635111217



Free speech or hate? When a white supremacist schedules an event on campus, Red Solaris must confront her own feelings about an issue that challenges the very core of American education: campus safety versus freedom of speech. Amidst escalating tension, Red meets with the editor of the student newspaper—who also confides in Red that her young cousin is missing, probably a victim of local sex traffickers.

Agreeing to rescue the girl, Red solicits help from her beloved Detective Joe Morgan. But when Joe goes undercover into the dangerous world of human trafficking, he disappears without a trace. Red must balance her fears for Joe with her worries that a campus riot may soon break out.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This has become one of my favorite series.

Bourne Morris takes on a hot topic in America right now. I know she wrote this book during the presidential election but she shines her focus on something in the news right now.

Red Solaris is the Dean of Journalism at a college in Nevada and recognizes how important the First Amendment is regarding Freedom of Speech, even when it comes to a group of white supremacists attending the college. They have asked a very controversial speaker to the college for a rally.  Red just wants it to take place without violence but to pull that off is not going to be easy. Joe is off on a special assignment working undercover to find a victim of human trafficking so she is worried about him as well. Especially because it was one of her students that put the case on his radar.

I was immersed in the story from the very first word and didn’t put the book down until I reached the end and was surprised at how quickly I read the book. To me this was like watching a movie or a prime time drama. The author sets the tone and scene so well giving the reader plenty of information. The pace was fast with something new always happening but not overwhelming at all. I pictured everything so vividly. Several times I found myself sitting up straight almost trying to actually escape right into the book.

Red and Joe are fantastic characters and in reality Red would not be able to go the places or do some of the things she did but that is why they call it fiction, you have to suspend that type of thinking and just let the story take you away. If you do that you will enjoy it as much as I did.

I do wish the way the students at the college dealt with the situation presented to them was reality. An easy solution that sadly does not happen enough or at all.

Every book in this series has been excellent and the topics are very current. The stories have an edge and while Red is an amateur sleuth I do not categorize these stories as cozy, they are suspenseful and wonderful mysteries. I highly recommend them all!

perfect 2016


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About TheBourne 2014 Author

After Bennington College, I worked at McCall’s Magazine and then went to Ogilvy&Mather, New York during the “Mad Men “ era. David Ogilvy and his colleagues treated me wonderfully, promoted me several times and then sent me west to become head of their agency in Los Angeles. I had a splendid run in advertising.

In 1983, I joined the University of Nevada Reno as a full professor in Journalism where I taught until 2009. I learned about campus politics when I served as chair of the faculty senate. I retired to write mysteries in 2009 after a wonderful teaching career.

I live with my husband of 34 years in a ranch house with a view of tall trees and mountains. We have four children and eight grandchildren. Life is good.


Author Links

Webpage    Twitter    Facebook   Goodreads

Purchase Links

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.”

#Review – Girl Underwater by Claire Kells

 Reviews 2016, You Read How Many Books Challenge  Comments Off on #Review – Girl Underwater by Claire Kells
Sep 272016


Girl Underwater: A Novel
Women’s Fiction/ Suspense/Romance
Setting – Colorado
Dutton – First Edition edition (March 31, 2015)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525954934
Dutton; Reprint edition (August 16, 2016)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101983980



An adventurous debut novel that cross cuts between a competitive college swimmer’s harrowing days in the Rocky Mountains after a major airline disaster and her recovery supported by the two men who love her—only one of whom knows what really happened in the wilderness.

Nineteen-year-old Avery Delacorte loves the water. Growing up in Brookline, Massachusetts, she took swim lessons at her community pool and captained the local team; in high school, she raced across bays and sprawling North American lakes. Now a sophomore on her university’s nationally ranked team, she struggles under the weight of new expectations but life is otherwise pretty good. Perfect, really.

That all changes when Avery’s red-eye home for Thanksgiving makes a ditch landing in a mountain lake in the Colorado Rockies. She is one of only five survivors, which includes three little boys and Colin Shea, who happens to be her teammate. Colin is also the only person in Avery’s college life who challenged her to swim her own events, to be her own person—something she refused to do. Instead she’s avoided him since the first day of freshman year. But now, faced with sub-zero temperatures, minimal supplies, and the dangers of a forbidding nowhere, Avery and Colin must rely on each other in ways they never could’ve imagined.

In the wilderness, the concept of survival is clear-cut. Simple. In the real world, it’s anything but.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is a little different from what I usually read of late but when I saw the praise even from Oprah, I knew I needed to read this book. I have read several of her recommendations over the years.

Avery Delacorte and Colin Shea are on their college swim team, acquaintances not friends. They and one other team member are on a plane heading to Massachusetts from California for their holiday break. Shortly after takeoff the plane starts to malfunction and crash lands in a lake in the Rocky Mountains. Surviving the crash using their athleticism and swimming talents they are able to rescue a woman and 3 little boys. They know they are going to have to work together to survive until help can come.

The story rotates back and forth in time, after the crash and after the rescue with Avery telling the story so readers know she does survive. It is an extraordinary story about what it took to survive, but recovering after they are rescued is much harder on Avery even though Colin was the one more physically injured. As the story continues we finally find out why.

This is an adventure novel in that is was adventure to survive the crash and persevere until they are rescued but it a gripping suspense novel and an emotional roller coaster read as well.  A life changing experience that will keep you up reading late into the night.

The characters are so realistic. Avery matures from a young college co-ed unsure of herself to a confident young woman when faced with a do or die situation and then reverts back to the young adult she truly is as she tries to understand and deal with the trauma. Her father was tough on her while growing up and the skills he taught her proved to be very valuable. After he needs to be tough with her again so she can find her way back to the life she was meant to live.

It is classified by some as a coming of age/young adult story, Kells has kept the romantic and traumatic situations age appropriate for that, but older adult readers like me will find this a compelling read as well. That is why I classify it more Women’s Fiction with Suspense/Romance as sub-genres.

I have to mention this is Claire Kells debut novel so she is an author to watch. This story was incredible and she has a clear voice. I hope she has another story coming out soon.

perfect 2016


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About The Author

Claire Kells was born outside Philadelphia and has lived in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco since graduating from Princeton University in 2005. An English major, she didn’t start writing fiction until her first year of medical school. Now a third-year resident physician in the Bay Area, she spends her free time writing stories about love, loss, and adventure.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Powell’s | Indiebound | Target | Walmart | iBooks

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

Sep 202016

I have been waiting for this book! No matter what I am doing when I get my hands on a Harlan Coben novel time stops and I must read it immediately. When the story features Myron Bolitar I am even more excited! I originally picked up Deal Breaker, the first book in the series at Paperback Swap  several years ago for my husband to read, but was so intrigued by the synopsis I read it myself first and then hunted the rest down to get caught up on the series. When I started blogging I tried desperately to get his books to review. As my following grew I received that first email offering me one of books to review I was absolutely chair dancing. Then he re-tweeted one of my tweets about a review I wrote and was jumping up and down as much as a woman with one side paralyzed can do. Yes, I am a fan, A HUGE FAN! Heaven forbid I ever actually meet him in person!

Myron Bolitar Book 11
Dutton (September 20, 2016) TODAY!
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525955108
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Ten years after the high-profile kidnapping of two young boys, only one returns home in Harlan Coben’s gripping thriller.

A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: What can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend? Drawing on his singular talent, Harlan Coben delivers an explosive and deeply moving thriller about friendship, family, and the meaning of home.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First let me state this book can easily read as a stand-a-lone, but the main characters have a history and after reading this book you will want to know that history.

The story starts with Myron getting a call from Win. Ten years ago two boys went missing and for Win it is personal because one of the boys was family. After all this time Win receives information that puts him back on the trail and he needs Myron’s help. These two are like the dynamic duo only while Myron is the star of these books he is more often Robin to Win’s Batman.

While Myron does make appearances in Coben’s young adult series, Live Wire, the last Myron Bolitar thriller was published in 2011, so at first I was worried first about my memory of everything Bolitar but also if during the years away the characters wouldn’t live up to my hopes.  Coben has written some stellar thrillers since we last visited these characters so the bar was set really high. Well, I need not have worried, my memories picked up like I has read the previous book the day before  and Coben hits this one out of the park!

Myron, Win (Windsor Lockhorne III), Esperanza and Big Cindi are all back. Mickey, Myron’s nephew and his girlfriend and friend Spoon (Young Adult Series) along with Myron’s parents are all involved in this book. We meet more of Win’s family and the other missing boy’s family too. Plus the criminals who play a part in this story. They are all vital and spring from the pages.

The entire plot starts and ends with gripping and astounding twists, exactly what I expect from this author. The story has tons of drama, action, and mystery along with several edge of your seat moments. Family interactions and deep psychological matters are revealed that had me absolutely stunned. There are some moments of humor too that fans of Myron and Win will truly appreciate. These two are a pair like no other.

The pace is so fast. I wanted to savor this story I had been waiting so long for but with points of view continually switching between Myron and Win that was impossible.  I did the just one more chapter thing so many times I just gave up and stayed up and finished the whole thing and again at the end I exclaimed “WOW!” His books tend to have that effect on me.

In recent years my reading has been more on the cozy side but if I had to choose my all time favorite author my answer has been and will be Harlan Coben. His writing grabs me by the collar and doesn’t let go. I anxiously await each new book. As I finished this one I thought is this the last Bolitar novel? The characters seem to be in a good place so it could be but I sure hope it is not. I do know that whatever this author writes I am going to want to read it immediately so I can’t wait to see where he takes me next.

paradise 2016


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


To find out more about Harlan Coben and his books visit his webpage here.

Myron and Mickey Bolitar Series’

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher via NetGalley. 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 052016

little girl gone

Little Girl Gone (An Afton Tangler Thriller)
Setting – Minnesota/Wisconsin
An Imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC
Release Date – July 5, 2016
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281765
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In the first Afton Tangler thriller, the unforgiving cold of a Minnesota winter hides the truth behind an even more chilling crime…
On a frozen night in an affluent neighborhood of Minneapolis, a baby is abducted from her home after her teenage babysitter is violently assaulted. The parents are frantic, the police are baffled, and, with the perpetrator already in the wind, the trail is getting colder by the second.

As family liaison officer with the Minneapolis P.D., it’s Afton Tangler’s job to deal with the emotional aftermath of terrible crimes—but she’s never faced a case quite as brutal as this. Each development is more heartbreaking than the last and the only lead is a collection of seemingly unrelated clues.

But, most disturbing of all, Afton begins to suspect that this case is not isolated.  Whoever did this has taken babies before—and if Afton doesn’t solve this crime soon, more children are sure to go missing . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Author Gerry Schmitt is also known as cozy mystery writer, Laura Childs. Warning – this is not a cozy mystery! 

The story opens with Marjorie Sorenson at a doll show selling her “reborn dolls” (definitely not something I would buy). When Susan Darden shows her interest in the dolls she never could have imagined the terror that would follow.

Afton Tangler is a family liaison officer. She is assigned to a child abduction case, Susan and Richard Darden’s case. It turns out to be a difficult case and she works very closely with Detective  Max Montgomery and the FBI to find the baby and the kidnapper/s.

I was drawn into this book immediately. The story is told from multiple points of view and for me this made the story exciting and fast paced.

I liked our introduction to Afton. She is a divorced mom, raising her two daughters, who just happened to receive some impressive vehicles as part of her settlement. She is an intelligent woman with a stick to it attitude. She and Detective Montgomery work so well together. Afton hopes to be a detective someday and working with Max may be help speed up the process. I really enjoyed the way the investigated this case and followed the leads. Sometimes into very dangerous situations. The chief of police did give them a lot of leeway in this case leading me to think he knows more about Afton that we readers do at this point. I am anxious to see where these characters go in the future and excited to learn about their families and any past they may have.

The story does have a very creepy start and Marjorie is a really creepy person and so is her son. They really did make my skin crawl. After the first chapters it turns into more of a police procedural story but they are revisited throughout the whole book.

All of the characters are well written and realistic from the Dardens to their teenage babysitter and the other officers and agents. Even the over the top, pushy reporter, seemed just like a Fox broadcaster.

I loved that the story starts in Minnesota and that clues lead them to Wisconsin, and the way the law enforcement agencies worked together.

The author is off to a great start for this series. The main characters are engaging and the story was interesting with a edge of your seat ending.  I am looking forward to book #2.

enjoyable 2016


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Gerry Schmitt is the author of the Afton Tangler Thrillers, and, writing under the pseudonym Laura Childs, the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty-five novels, the Tea Shop, Scrapbooking, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. She is the former CEO of her own marketing firm, has won TV and radio awards, and produced two reality TV shows. She and her professor husband enjoy collecting art, travel, and their two Shar-Pei dogs.

Written as Laura Childs

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Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.”

Jun 232016

secret lives large banner640

secret lives private eyes cover

Secret Lives and Private Eyes
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Koehler Books (June 20, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1633932562


Business has been slow for Private Investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, but her luck seems to change when a tell-all author hires her to find rock star Johnny Velvet. Could the singer—whose career purportedly ended in a fiery crash almost thirty years ago—still be alive?

As if sifting through dead ends in a cold case isn’t bad enough, Delanie is hired by loud-mouth strip club owner Chaz Wellington Smith, III, to uncover information about the mayor’s secret life. When the mayor is murdered, Chaz becomes the key suspect, and Delanie must clear his name. She also has to figure out why a landscaper keeps popping up in her other investigation. Can the private investigator find the connection between the two cases before another murder—possibly her own—takes place?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Private Investigator Delanie Fitzgerald goes to great lengths to get her clients what they need. She puts herself out there even wearing several different disguises, changing her voice as needed. Her partner, Duncan Reynolds handles any needed computer research. He is quite an internet master. Duncan’s bulldog, Margaret, is the office mascot/rug, unless treats are involved. Delanie’s current cases involve a strip club owner and a rock star that supposedly died years ago.  For one case she jumps in with her whole heart and the other investigation could end up costing her her life.

I loved this story. Delanie is a fabulous protagonist. She reminded me a little bit of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, but even better. A fiery redhead focused on her cases.  She is smart but she puts herself in harm’s way to get the answers she needs. She was awfully lucky on several occasions.  Duncan reminded me of my son. He is into video games and even has game nights. Delanie knows she must be in dire straits to interrupt one of those. Unlike my son at least that I know of, Duncan is also quite the internet hacker and can usually find things to move their cases forward. Which may be the reason he disappears when the police show up.

Our Private Eye really digs into many Secret Lives making the entire story is very fast paced. We travel around with Delanie as she follows clues to several cases at the same time. We meet several interesting characters in addition to the strip club owner and the man that may be Johnny Velvet. The mayor, a bouncer, a landscaper, Delanie’s brothers, 2 alpacas, assorted dogs and more.   Woven within this suspenseful story in plenty of humor and the expected Southern charm too.

This was a story I started and just couldn’t put down. I tried the just one more chapter thing several times, but ended up reading it all in one sitting.

A strong plot with impressive characters set in Richmond, Virginia. I call this one a perfect escape!

perfect 2016


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent



Heather’s short stories appear in Virginia is for Mysteries and Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II. Her debut novel, Secret Lives and Private Eyes, will be published on June 20, 2016.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She currently lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers. She is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Guppies, and Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia. She is currently President of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia.


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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.”

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