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Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Death in Eden: A Novel (A Sean Stranahan Mystery) by Keith McCafferty #Review / #Giveaway @penguinusa

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


A Death in Eden: A Novel (A Sean Stranahan Mystery)
Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Montana
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Books (July 3, 2018)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 317 pages
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B077CTG2B5

When scarecrows appear in the cliffs above Montana’s famous Smith River and a little girl reports being chased by one in the night, state investigator Harold Little Feather is brought in to find the culprit.  Are the menacing effigies related to a copper-mining project that threatens the purity of the Smith? That’s Harold’s initial suspicion, but his investigation takes an ominous turn when a decapitated body is found in the river.

As Harold’s search leads him back in time through the canyon’s history, Sean Stranahan launches his raft upriver. He has been hired to guide a floating party that includes Clint McCaine, the manager of the mine project; Bart Trueblood, the president of “Save The Smith,” a grassroots organization devoted to stopping the project; and the documentarian filming their arguments. McCaine and Trueblood grew up on the Smith on neighboring ranches, and as they travel downstream, it’s revealed that the two share a past that runs much deeper and darker than their opposing viewpoints.

The currents of the seemingly unrelated trips will soon flow together, and Stranahan’s long-time love Sheriff Martha Ettinger will enter the fray as the boats hurtle toward a date with danger at a place called Table Rock.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is something strange happening along the Smith River in Montana. Several scarecrows have been erected on the cliffs above the endangered waterway. Is someone putting them up to protest the proposed copper-mining project or is there something else going on. After a little girl claims to have been chased by one of the scarecrows State Investigator Harold Little Feather is brought in to put the matter to rest. Instead, his investigation turns up a headless body floating in the river.

While Investigator Little Feather digs deep into the canyon’s history to find answers, our protagonist Sean Stranahan is hired to guide a floating party down the river. The party includes the manager of the mine project, Clint McCaine, and the president of “Save the Smith”, Bart Trueblood, his group is trying everything to stop the mine project. They are joined by a documentarian who is filming their journey down the river and their arguments about the project.

Soon Sean’s group and Harold Little Feather come together and Sheriff Martha Ettinger joins them as they set up for a dangerous showdown.


I have enjoyed this series from the start and am a huge fan of the author’s laid-back writing style. From casting a line in the water to the characters traversing up, down, and around the river and its cliffs everything just comes to life. You can almost hear the rush of the water, smell the smoke from the campfires, and reach out and touch the cliffs.  Mr. McCafferty does this better than many other authors that I have read. He really takes his readers on the journey.

This time our characters are a ways away from home and we meet several new characters with their own agendas. Harold Little Feather really shares the spotlight with Sean and Martha this time. He had expected a pretty low-key investigation so he invited the son he barely knows to meet up with him for the trip for a bit of bonding. I enjoyed getting to know him better and meeting his son very much. The acidic documentarian, Lillian Cartwright, brings her own drama to the situation. Anything to make a name for herself as she tees up “discussions” between McCaine and Trueblood. But there is a dark underbelly to this story. Someone has a score to settle and will go to any lengths to get what they want.

I was really drawn into this book by so many things. The fact that the scarecrows were located by ancient petroglyphs left by Native Americans. The history of it all was very captivating along with the mystery of Why? The Smith River itself and that people wait years for their names to be drawn in a lottery for the opportunity to float down the famous river. The dangers faced when you stop to camp like wild animals and rattlesnakes and other humans as well. All the character’s interactions were so enjoyable to observe.

The author’s keen wit can be felt throughout the story. Especially when it comes to Sean and Martha. Where will their relationship lead? I wonder if we will ever know but until then they do this unique dance throughout each story. One thing I do know is that they have each other’s back. When the bullets start to fly or a threatening menace arrives on the scene they will pull out all the stops to rescue each other and save the good people caught in the chaos. This time I was right up to the very edge of my seat and I am surprised there wasn’t smoke pouring out of my Kindle as everything came to a head.

A Death in Eden has become my favorite book in the series so far. Keith McCafferty is a superb storyteller. So much happens within the pages of this book it is almost impossible to put down while you are reading and it is a story that will stick with you long after you reach the end.

*Note the story does contain some explicit language.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Keith McCafferty is the Survival and Outdoor Skills Editor of Field & Stream. He has written articles for publications as diverse as Fly Fisherman Magazine, Mother Earth News, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and the Chicago Tribune, and on subjects ranging from mosquitoes to wolves to mercenaries and exorcism. Based in Montana and working on assignment around the globe–he recently spent a month in India trekking the Himalayas, fishing for golden mahseer, and studying tigers–Keith has won numerous awards, including the Robert Traver Award for angling literature. He has twice been a finalist for a National Magazine Award. Find out more about Keith and his books on his webpage here.



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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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Tuesday Night Survivors’ Club (A Survivors’ Book Club) by Lynn Cahoon #Review @LynnCahoon


The Tuesday Night Survivors’ Club (A Survivors’ Book Club)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Arizona
Lyrical Underground (June 14, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 175 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1516111141
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1516111145
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09GL6K4J5

The New York Times bestselling author of the Tourist Trap mysteries launches a new series perfect for fans of The Thursday Murder Club. New-age Sedona, Arizona seemed like the perfect place to open up a bookstore devoted to healing. But when a member of a local cancer survivor support book club goes missing, will this group’s sleuthing skills be enough to find her?

Two things got Rarity Cole through her breast cancer treatments: friends and books. Now cancer-free, Rarity is devoting her life to helping others find their way through the maze to healing. She’s opened a bookstore focusing on the power of healing—Eastern medicine, Western medicine, the healing power of food, the power of meditation, and the importance of developing a support community. To that end, she’s also started the Tuesday Night Survivors book club. With its openness to new-age communities, Sedona, Arizona, is the perfect fit for Rarity’s bookstore and the tightly knit group.

But their therapeutic unity is disrupted when one of their members suddenly goes missing. Martha has always kept to herself, never opening up much of her personal life to the group. Now she’s nowhere to be found. With her car abandoned on a trail and her dog left with a friend, Rarity is sure something terrible had happened—but will she be able to uncover Martha’s secrets before it’s too late?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Breast Cancer survivor Rarity Cole has moved to Sedona, Arizona, and opened a bookstore but her real mission is to support survivors of breast cancer and the after-effects. Friends and books are what got her through her treatments so soon after opening she set up the Tuesday Night Survivor’s Book Club. After a slow start, the group grew to include several women in different stages in their cancer journeys.

Martha seemed like a reluctant member of the group only attending one meeting. But then the group is shocked to find out the woman is missing and has left her dog, Killer, behind. Rarity quickly decides to foster the dog until Martha is found. The Tuesday Night group soon adds Sleuther’s to their name when they just can’t help themselves from doing their own investigation. Soon they have notebooks with lists and are setting up a murder board all in their efforts to find out what happened to Martha and why?

Will they be able to pull together to solve the case or will they find themselves in peril when they question the wrong person or push someone too far? Time will tell . . .


Being diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the start of the pandemic was really hard. While I had a great team of doctors, nurses, technicians, and counselors and a lot of support from my family, in-person support groups were shut down really quick. Groups that were already formed did their best with emails and Zoom meetings but none were accepting new members. I tried several online options but just couldn’t find the right fit but I got through it so maybe support groups just weren’t for me.

As soon as I started reading this book I realized The Tuesday Night Survivor’s Club would have been perfect for me now. Like Rarity, I find solace in books and after my diagnosis, I ordered a bunch of books to learn about what I was facing but after you get through your treatments you need something different. Rarity selected some great books for her group. She chose fiction books, cozy mysteries, women’s fiction, and books where women struggled with other things besides cancer. Books that would open up great discussions. I hope in future books she includes a list of the books.

Rarity Cole is an excellent protagonist I identified with her right away. I loved that she took in Martha’s dog. She has a great friend in Sam Aarons. Sam convinced Rarity to come to Sedona and she pushes and pulls Rarity is such a supportive way. Through Sam Rarity meets Archer Ender. He runs Enders Tours and leads several hikes in the area. We also meet Drew Anderson of the Sedona Police Department. He comes into the picture when Martha goes missing but his parents are also in town and playing matchmaker. They think Sam is perfect for their son. And of course, the members of the book club, Shirley, Holly, Malia, Kim, and Martha who goes missing. All Ms. Cahoon’s characters are well crafted for this first book in the series. We get to know them well enough to get invested in their lives but she has left plenty of room for growth.

The mystery was very well-plotted with serious and humorous happenings as the amateur sleuths do their best to figure out who killed Martha. Sedona is a place open to a lot of places offering “new age” or “alternative healing” cures so that part of the story was very interesting. I did have a couple of suspects firmly at the top of my list but wavered a bit as the story continued. I was happy to say I pulled myself back in line to hone in on the right person before all was revealed.

What really captured me about this story was that the author drew from her own cancer journey. Because of that, I felt like a kindred spirit especially when she stated in her dedication that a nurse gave her a bag of cozy mysteries to read during her cancer treatments and that “made all the difference”. Cozy mysteries have always been my favorites so I always made sure my Kindle was fully charged before each chemo treatment. In fact, I know I read more than one book by Lynn Cahoon during my cancer journey.

We are now both survivors but like most survivors that fear of cancer returning is always there. That is why for me escaping into a good book is so important and The Tuesday Night Survivor’s Club was a Perfect Escape. A real-life issue teamed up with an excellent mystery. I am excited to see when the author takes these characters next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

ABOUT LYNN CAHOON

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small-town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and two fur babies.

Author Links

Goodreads – Twitter –Facebook Website –Amazon Author Page

 


Also by Lynn Cahoon




I may have missed some books so be sure to
check out Lynn’s Amazon Pages 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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Debra H. Goldstein – Author of Five Belles Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Five Belles Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

It is my delight to welcome Debra to Escape With Dollycas today!!

Storytelling, the Ides of March, and Reality TV
by Debra H. Goldstein

When I was in high school and read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, it sparked an interest in the Ides of March. Originally a day to settle debts, it became a day or notoriety because of it being the date Julius Caesar was killed. Its significance is that it is believed to have changed the fate of the Romans.

As a writer of mysteries, I often think about how lives and plot lines change when there is a murder.

There is the act and whodunit. Based upon the Shakespeare play and movies, I always thought it was Brutus, but (accordingly to Wikipedia), at least sixty senators were party to the conspiracy and act of stabbing Julius Caesar to death. They hoped to overturn his policies, but they didn’t succeed. Instead, the Roman empire imploded.

In my books, murder is never random. It ties to a social issue, conflict between people, or a means to an end. As I create the details of the murder, I embrace its importance in setting the tone and establishing the movement of the story.

The murder also is a catalyst for how the characters behave. Some hide from its brutality, others dive into the why behind the crime, and of course, the protagonist tries to find out who did the dastardly deed and what the character’s motivation was. In the moment, there are characters who go into shock at the loss, individuals who have unkind things to say about the dead body, and those who observe the details for what’s out of place and find their minds filled with questions.

Some of the reactions are genuine, some fake, but all add to the characterization and move the plot along. Reality TV works the same way. For being unscripted, it has scenes that are well thought out in advance or edited to paint individuals as heroes or villains. In Five Belles Too Many, five finalists, including protagonist Sarah Blair’s mother, Maybelle, are vying for the perfect Southern wedding. The competition is being filmed for a New York television show. While there is spontaneity, there also are many pre-planned moments.

For example, there is a sequence where a tug of war will take place in a water filled land crater or mud bowl. Rather than wearing jeans, the female characters are dressed as hoop skirted Southern belles. The director encourages them to have certain reactions when they see the mud. Their speech, mannerisms, and even how each walks is semi-scripted, but when a character goes off script, it changes the outcome of the moment. From every character’s specific reaction, we learn new things about all of them, and we have a stimulus for a plot shift.

Whether you are learning secrets from behind the scenes of a television show or how Caesar died, you as a reader are being set up for both your own mood shift and that of each character. So, now that you know the way Caesar died, how do you think Cleopatra reacted? How would you write her next chapter-the one that began the day after the Ides of March?

Thank you, Debra, for visiting today!

Now keep reading for my thoughts about Five Belles Too Many.

 

About Five Belles Too Many

Five Belles Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in the Series
Setting – Alabama
Kensington Cozies (June 28, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496732235
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496732231
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09HRCV4TN

When Sarah Blair’s mother participates in a reality show competition for brides in Wheaton, Alabama, things get a little too real as a murderer crashes the wedding party . . .

Sometimes Sarah’s mother, Maybelle, can be higher maintenance than her Siamese cat RahRah. Maybelle and her friend, Mr. George Rogers, have been chosen to be one of five couples competing for a small-town “perfect” wedding and dream honeymoon on a Southern Belles reality show—and guess who has to be chaperone. Even more vexing, the producers have decided to put up the crew and participants at the restaurant/bed and breakfast owned by Sarah’s nemesis Jane Clark.

But when someone turns up dead with Jane kneeling by the body with blood on her hands, she goes from being Sarah’s chief rival to the police’s chief suspect. Neither Sarah nor her twin, Chef Emily Johnson, can stand Jane—still, they don’t think she’s a murderer. The producers vow the show must go on, but to protect their mother and the other contestants, Sarah vows to find the true killer before someone else gets eliminated . . .

Includes quick and easy recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah’s mother, Maybelle is a gem handled in small doses. In this fifth installment of the Sarah Blair Mystery Series, Maybelle and her friend George will be participants in a reality television show to win the “perfect” wedding and honeymoon of their dreams. They are the eldest of the five competing couples but they still need a chaperone and Sarah has been chosen for that task. To make matters worse, the crew, the contestants, and the chaperones have been booked to stay at Jane Clark’s B&B meaning Sarah will be spending a lot of time with her nemesis.

The reality show takes a devastating turn when Jane is found kneeling next to the dead body of the show’s director, her hands covered in blood. While Sarah does not trust Jane farther than she can throw her she doesn’t believe she is a murderer. The show becomes somewhat of a free for all as the producers try to keep filming. Sarah uses that to her advantage as she tries to protect everyone and catch the real killer before someone else gets voted off the island permanently, I mean gets killed.


Again Ms. Goldstein has packed these pages with a story that grabs a hold and hangs on tight.

Her characters and their continued development is so strong. Sarah seems to be almost in constant motion except for the little bit of time she takes to give her Siamese cat RahRah and her rescue dog, Fluffy a little bit of love. Her boss, Harlan has a big legal case coming up so he needs her in the office. She wants to help out at the restaurants she owns with her sister too. But the reality show and her job of chaperoning her mother is much more time-consuming than she could even imagine and that was before the murder happened. Maybelle is high maintenance but it seems George knows how to take care of her. They do make a cute couple. I was thrilled to see Emily, Marcus, and Southwinds get the recognition they deserved and that restaurant was used much more than originally contracted. Harlan also steps in to help anywhere he can and Cliff is back as the show’s general contractor. All these characters feel so genuine and their interactions and dialogues read very true to life.

We meet several new characters in the contestants and crew of the reality show. All these new characters are cleverly crafted. Many are pretty sketchy or hiding something which is great for a reality show. Drama drives up those ratings, which is why some of the drama is totally scripted but I really loved when anyone went off-script.

The plot was very interesting and not just because of the murder mysteries. The behind-the-scenes look at a reality show was entertaining with the crazy competitions and the decisions made that weren’t usually on the up and up. The method of death was unexpected but I was surprised because I had recently seen it used on a television show. I think the author implemented it better than the tv show did because I was kept guessing right up until the very end. Ms. Goldstein did an excellent job of twisting things up so the reveal was very dramatic.

After the case was wrapped up there was a very heartwarming ending.

Every trip to Alabama to visit Sarah, her family, and her friends has been a Perfect Escape and all seem to end too soon. As soon as I turn the final page I can’t wait to return. So while I know Six _________ Too Many will probably not be released for a year, this girl can hope. Thank you, Deborah J. Goldstein. Five Belles Too Many was a delightfully entertaining story that I totally enjoyed.

To get maximum enjoyment I do recommend reading this series in order but the author has written this story to stand on its own.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Debra H. Goldstein

Many, Four Cuts Too Many, Three Treats Too Many, Two Bites Too Many, and One Taste Too Many). Her novels and short stories received an IPPY award and have been named Agatha, Anthony, Derringer, and Silver Falchion finalists. Debra served on the national boards of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and was president of the Guppy and SEMWA chapters. Find out more about Debra at https://www.DebraHGoldstein.com

Author Links

Website    Blog    Facebook    Linked In

Twitter @DebraHGoldstein    GoodReads   BookBub

Purchase Links –

Amazon KindleAmazon PaperbackNookB&N

Great Escapes Praise for Five Belles Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

I enjoyed Five Belles Too Many. Sarah Blair is one of those really nice, shy people that takes a bit to warm up to you. Sarah makes an excellent sleuth as people talk to her. Ms. Goldstein has a way of sucking you into the Wheaton community.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

FIVE BELLES TOO MANY is a fun look at reality TV, Southern manners, and murder. A colorful cast of characters combined with an intricately plotted story and an ending full of surprises make for a delightful mystery.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Full of a wide range of characters we get a mystery that will keep you guessing as they try to figure it out in time making for quite the fun read. A great choice for fans of cozies. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I love this cozy mystery series for its genuine characters and relationships. Who wouldn’t want to be at Sarah’s side as she investigates a murder and hurdles family, friend and romantic relationship issues? Five Belles Too Many is highly recommended to both cozy mystery and reality television fans. 5 stars and a favorite!
~Diane Reviews Books

Skillful writing, great plot, and recipes too! Whether you’re a fan of reality tv or not, you will be a fan of FIVE BELLS TOO MANY
~Lisa K’s Book Review

This is, in a sense, a very cerebral series, so it’s a good read for those who like their sleuths to reason through the clues to eventually unmask the killer.
~Mysteries with Character

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
June 17 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW
June 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
June 18 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 18 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 19 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
June 19 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 21 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 22 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
June 22 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
June 23 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
June 23 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 25 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 26 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
June 27 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 28 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 28 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
June 29 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE  
June 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 30 – Girl with Pen – SPOTLIGHT
June 30 – Celticlady’s Reviews – 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.”

 

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts

Death at Fair Havens by Maria Mankin & Maren C. Tirabassi #CharacterGuestPost / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @marenandmankin


Death at Fair Havens
by Maria Mankin & Maren C. Tirabassi

About Death at Fair Havens

Death at Fair Havens
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Brain Mill Press (April 26, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 318 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 194855965X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1948559652
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09NCJDRCS

Wanda Duff is an unconventional New England clergywoman, addicted to chicken wings, high-octane ice cream, and saying yes to anyone in need of a prayer, even the folks her town might think don’t deserve one.

When parishioner Niels Pond dies unexpectedly at the Fair Havens assisted living facility, Wanda’s duty to minister to his family is beset by her suspicions about the circumstances of his abrupt passing. Wanda finds an unexpected co-detective in high school vice principal Prudence Rye, who fled town on graduation night a decade ago and returned only recently.

Rye puts her job on the line to investigate the mourning Ponds with the surprisingly edgy Wanda. As they expose difficult family truths and uncover a dangerous conspiracy operating out of Fair Havens, Rye and Wanda discover curiosity has an unanticipated cost.

Comfortably gossipy, with a fresh take on the characters and ethos cozy mystery fans will love, Maria Mankin and Maren C. Tirabassi’s Death at Fair Havens launches a series that celebrates intergenerational women’s friendship and the power of inclusion, curiosity, and love.

“Here’s small town life portrayed with humor and affection, peopled with quirky characters you’ll care about.”
—James Patrick Kelly, winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards


A Visit from Pastor Wanda Duff

It’s June already, if you can believe it! There are months when time drags, but this spring flew by, in no small part due to the investigation of a murder – a first for Rye and for me. Rye’s the vice principal over at Stoneridge High School, you know, and I’m Wanda Duff, pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ.

As a minister, I’ve seen more than my fair share of death, but I’ve never investigated one before – not even a few years ago, when I had my suspicions – well, that’s a story for another day. It might not have happened this time without Rye. She’s fearless, that one. Between the two of us, we wouldn’t let this death at Fair Havens Assisted Living Facility go, even if everyone, including law enforcement, thought it was “natural causes.”

I won’t spoil the surprises for you, although I suppose you know now that I survived. Rye and I may or may not have a future as sleuths, but we have a future. And we discovered the strangest thing … solving a mystery needs to be “crowd-sourced,’ and we have a pretty wonderful “crowd.” Unusual, yes. But this sunny June day I want to introduce you to our “team” and give a pat on the back to the friends who had our backs.

Dear Jenny, of course, wasn’t about to let her Parkinson’s keep her from being my eyes and ears on the ground inside Fair Havens. She’s a character, always ready with a new Norwegian joke – a pleasure of our shared heritage – and in the courage department she’s a Viking. I’m not sure I’d have been as brave in her vulnerable position, but she got the job done.

Then there’s Hardy, Rye’s father, the former sheriff. I thought he would oppose our investigation and tell us to leave it to the professionals (like Sheriff Ryan, my ex-boyfriend, did) but Hardy believed we were capable of making the call for ourselves. He even gave me a summer reading list of self-defense books and investigation procedures, so the next malefactors we meet had better look out. Rye says I should think twice before Hardy teaches me any of his “techniques.” She does have a lifetime of his unusual teaching methods to back her up!

And there’s Tony, my best friend, and world-class gossiper, who kept us in the loop. He jumps between his roles as the church musician, high school adjunct music staff, and gig musician, so he knows everything about everybody. His best gift? He doesn’t mind when I need to talk (although he likes to spoil our special moments by saying it’s better than hearing me sing!).

Then there’s Lisa, the church admin and her three-year-old daughter Lily, who deserve full honors; Andy Soucek, Rye’s childhood best friend she hadn’t seen in ten years, who gave us grace and courage; Luke Fairchild, a colleague who’s far too attractive for his role as funeral director; and Pieter Pond, blond and handsome and deaf, with hands so skilled you don’t need to Sign to understand him.

A few months ago, if you had told me a woman I barely knew from yoga class and a few fuzzy New Year’s Eve parties would be one of the people I most rely on, trust, and care for, I’m not sure I would have believed you. How much could Prudence Rye (do not call her Prudence or Pru or Priddy and hope to survive) and I have in common? Even being single is different two decades (and divorces) apart!

But Rye’s the best. Every once in a while, you get lucky and find a person who’s easy like Sunday mornings (joke’s on her, of course, because Sunday mornings are never easy in my line of work!). I didn’t realize how much I missed having someone who believed in me without question, and who didn’t need me to be the rock all the time. If I could go back in time to prevent this death, I would. No question. But since time travel is impossible, I can only sit here in the early summer sun and be grateful that we faced down this challenge side by side. I, for one, am ready for another. She says, “no way” … but I can be persuasive.

Thank you for visiting Wanda!

About the Authors

After teaching and working in early education for a decade, Maria Mankin has published six books with Pilgrim Press and has contributed to several anthologies. She is also a co-author of Circ, a mystery set in Skegness England, published by Pigeon Park Press, and Pitching Our Tents: Poetry of Hospitality. She is a regular contributor to Living Psalms, a collection in which the Psalms are reinterpreted in poetry and art as a reflection of God’s work of justice and compassion. She is currently working on a book of poetry and the third novel in the Rev and Rye Cozy Mysteries.

After trouping the country in the 70s as assistant manager of theatrical tours for choreographer Agnes de Mille, The National Theatre of Great Britain, The Royal Shakespeare Company and the Black Broadway production of ‘Guys and Dolls,’ Maren Tirabassi changed careers, to the surprise of everyone, to study at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and later Harvard Divinity School. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, she served as a bi-vocational pastor to seven churches in Massachusetts and New Hampshire while developing her writing career. Maren is the author of twenty-two books, fiction, non-fiction and poetry, the majority published by The Pilgrim Press.

A former Poet Laureate of Portsmouth, NH, and LAMDA Prize nominee for Transgendering Faith, Identity, Sexuality and Spirituality she currently facilitates programs for the NH Humanities Council with New Americans and people with cognitive difference and leads poetry and memoir workshops in prisons, recovery groups, churches and synagogues, hospice and survivor groups. She blogs at giftsinopenhands@wordpress.com.

With frequent writing collaborator, Maria Mankin, she is currently editing Death in the Woods, the sequel to Death at Fair Havens, as well as plotting the third novel.

Author Links

Website    Facebook     Twitter

Purchase Links

Brian Mill Press – Powell’s – Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Indiebound – Indigo 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
June 21 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy -AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 22 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
June 22 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 23 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER GUEST POST  
June 23 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
June 24 – Readeropolis – GUEST POST
June 25 – Baroness Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 26 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT  
June 26 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 27 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 27 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 28 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 29 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
June 30 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
June 30 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #26 – 2022

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Oregon and Minnesota!

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

Escapes Completed


Five Belles Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein
Release Date – June 28, 2022
Setting – Alabama
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this week for Cozy Wednesday!


The Tuesday Night Survivors’ Club (A Survivors’ Book Club Mystery)
by Lynn Cahoon
Release Date – June 14, 2022
Setting – Arizona
My Review will be up Thursday!


A Death in Eden: A Novel (A Sean Stranahan Mystery)
by Keith McCafferty
Release Date – July 3, 2018
Setting – Montana
My Flashback Friday Read!

Scheduled Escapes


Donut Disturb: A Bakeshop Mystery
by Ellie Alexander
Release Date – June 28, 2022
Setting – Oregon
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!


A Case of Cat and Mouse (Magical Cats)
by Sofie Kelly
Release Date – September 1, 2020
Setting – Minnesota
For Review

Hope my reading time gets back on track!
Then I will pick a Flashback Friday Book.

Future Escapes

June 26 – July 2, 2022


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Sunday Salon / Sunday Post

Sunday Salon / Sunday Post – A Week in the Life of Dollycas – Weekly Rewind – New Arrivals

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The Sunday Salon is a Facebook group that has become an
informal week in review gathering place for bloggers.

It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.
You can also link up weekly on Readerbuzz.

SUNDAY POST The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
~ It’s a chance to share news~
A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

HAPPY SUNDAY EVERYONE!

A Week in the Life of Dollycas

Well, it was quite a week not only in my life but for the whole United States. So instead of whining about the cold and cough I am still fighting, I am going to go on a bit of a rant. Feel free to scroll down to Weekly Rewind.

While waiting for the Congress to finally pass some kind of gun safety legislation the Supreme Court decided that everyone can carry a gun wherever they want. Subways, sporting events, Time Square. Several cities and states had their own gun laws but now with this federal declaration, all those laws are out. Yes, legislation was passed and is on its way to the President but so much more needs to be done. The legislation also does nothing about the Supreme Cort ruling.

And if that wasn’t enough, I am sure you all heard of  Friday’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. We knew it was coming but hoped it wouldn’t. By stealing the naming of a Supreme Court Justice from President Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death, Trump was able to seat 3 justices all chosen for their willingness to overturn the law. They weren’t qualified for those seats and they lied during their hearings but Mitch McConnell and his cronies had an agenda and this week it came to fruition. And Clarence Thomas, whose wife was part of the January 6 coup attempt and he of Anita Hill fame, stated in his opinion that the Court is not done yet. Contraception and Gay Marriage are both in his sights. He probably would be after interracial marriage too but seeing as that would affect his own life, he will probably hold back on that.

My biggest question is who is going to be responsible for all the women who die either giving birth or from a back alley abortion or other complications. Not everyone has the money to travel to a state that allows abortion. You notice the Court made no provisions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother. They also didn’t provide for daycare or extra healthcare for children born with disabilities or birth defects. They are all for telling women to have those babies but after they are born they don’t give a damn. They value guns more than they those children’s lives.

The only recourse we have our voices heard through the ballot box and at peaceful protests. We need to elect members to Congress that will codify Roe vs. Wade and will take gun safety seriously and pass laws that will protect everyone. Members who are not backed by the NRA or in bed with the Federalist Society. Vet your candidates and vote wisely and get your friends and neighbors to do the same.

I am heartened to see that many businesses will pay for the employees to travel to states still performing abortions but it shouldn’t be that way. Women’s health decisions should be made with her doctor and her family privately. My standard line for years has been, “If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one.” Don’t press your beliefs on another person because you have not walked in their shoes and don’t know what they are facing. Sending this back to the states is ludicrous and sets women back over 50 years.

End of rant.

How was your week?


Weekly Rewind – June 20 -25, 2022

Monday – My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #25 – 2022

Tuesday – When We Return: A Novel by Eliana Tobias #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Wednesday – Cozy Wednesday featuring The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady: A Buttercup Bend Mystery by Debbie De Louise #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @Deblibrarian

Thursday – Special Guest – Patrick Kelly – Author of The Overlook Murder: A Wintergreen Mystery #AuthorInterview #Review / #Giveaway @pkfiction Great Escapes Book Tour

Friday – Special Giveaway – Barbara Ross @KensingtonBooks

Saturday – A Hint of Mischief (A Fairy Garden Mystery) by Daryl Wood Gerber #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @darylwoodgerber

Escape Into A Good Book This Week! 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

A Hint of Mischief (A Fairy Garden Mystery) by Daryl Wood Gerber #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @darylwoodgerber


A Hint of Mischief (A Fairy Garden Mystery)
by Daryl Wood Gerber

It is my pleasure to shine my spotlights on A Hint of Mischief today!

About A Hint of Mischief 

A Hint of Mischief (A Fairy Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington Cozies(June 28, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496736044
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496736048
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09HRDQZH5

The proprietor of a fairy garden and tea shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Courtney Kelly has an occasional side gig as a sleuth—with a sprinkling of magical assistance. . . .

Courtney has thrown a few fairy garden parties—for kids. But if a local socialite is willing to dip into her trust fund for an old sorority sister’s fortieth birthday bash, Courtney will be there with bells on. To make the job even more appealing, a famous actress, Farrah Lawson, is flying in for the occasion, and there’s nothing like a celebrity cameo to raise a business’s profile.

Now Courtney has less than two weeks to paint a mural, hang up tinkling windchimes, plan party games, and conjure up all the details. While she works her magic, the hostess and her girlfriends head off for an indulgent spa day—which leads to a fateful facial for Farrah, followed by her mysterious death. Could the kindhearted eyebrow waxer who Farrah berated in public really be the killer, as the police suspect? Courtney thinks otherwise, and with the help of her imaginative sleuth fairy, sets out to dig up the truth behind this puzzling murder . . .

Great Escapes Praise for A Hint of Mischief (A Fairy Garden Mystery)
by Daryl Wood Gerber

What could Gerber have in store for us in this wonderful collection? I’ll eagerly await the next book and encourage other readers to give this one a chance… until it’s ready and I can find out for myself!
~This is My Truth Now

I was hooked from page one and unable to stop until I hit the very end. I can not wait to see what happens next time. A truly magical must-read for cozy fans. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

A HINT OF MISCHIEF is a fairy good mystery. It will put a smile on your face, a spring in your step, and have you looking in the greenery for fairies.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I am giving A Hint of Mischief by Daryl Wood Gerber five stars and a huge recommendation to anyone that loves a good cozy culinary paranormal mystery.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

About Daryl Wood Gerber

Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Fairy Garden Mysteries, Cookbook Nook Mysteries, and French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she penned the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. In addition, Daryl writes the Aspen Adams Novels of Suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Daryl loves to cook, fairy garden, and read. She has a frisky Goldendoodle who keeps her in line. And she has been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and hitch-hike around Ireland alone. You can learn more on her website: httsp://darylwoodgerber.com

Author Links

WEBSITE    FACEBOOK    TWITTER    BOOKBUB      YOUTUBE    INSTAGRAM     PINTEREST     GOODREADS     AMAZON    NEWSLETTER

Purchase Links 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboBookshopMurder by Book –  Mysterious Galaxy – 

Also by Daryl Wood Gerber





Click on covers to view details on Amazon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
June 21 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – GUEST POST WITH RECIPE
June 21 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 22 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
June 22 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 22 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – SPOTLIGHT, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
June 23 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 23 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 23 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 24 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST WITH RECIPE
June 24 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW 
June 24 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
June 25 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
June 25 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
June 25 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
June 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 26 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  
June 27 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
June 27 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 27 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
June 28 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 28 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
June 28 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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Posted in Giveaways

Special Giveaway – Barbara Ross @KensingtonBooks

Today we have another giveaway sponsored by the terrific people at Kennsington Cozies!

There will be 2 Winners! 

Each will receive: 

1 Copy of SEALED OFF by Barbara Ross

1 Copy of MUDDLED THROUGH by Barbara Ross

1 Copy of JANE DARROWFIELD AND THE MADWOMAN NEXT DOOR by Barbara Ross

Sealed Off (A Maine Clambake Mystery)
by Barbara Ross
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series

Early October is “winding down” time in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, but there’s nothing relaxing about it for Julia Snowden. Between busloads of weekend leaf peepers at the Snowden Family Clambake and a gut renovation of the old mansion on Morrow Island, she’s keeping it all together with a potentially volatile skeleton crew—until one of them turns up dead under the firewood.

When the Russian demo team clearing out the mansion discovers a room that’s been sealed off for decades, Julia’s baffled as to its purpose and what secrets it might have held. Tensions are already simmering with the crew, but when one of the workers is found murdered, things come to a boil. With the discovery of another body—and a mysterious diary with Cyrillic text in the hidden room—the pressure’s on Julia to dig up a real killer fast. But she’ll have to sort through a pile of suspects, including ex-spouses, a spurned lover, and a recently released prisoner, to fish out one clammed-up killer.


Muddled Through (A Maine Clambake Mystery)
by Barbara Ross
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series

Mud season takes on a whole new meaning in the coastal town of Busman’s Harbor, Maine, when local business owners sling dirt at one another in a heated feud over a proposed pedestrian mall. Vandalism is one thing, but murder means Julia Snowden of the Snowden Family Clambake steps in to clean up the case . . .

When Julia spots police cars in front of Lupine Design, she races over. Her sister Livvie works there as a potter. Livvie is unharmed but surrounded by smashed up pottery. The police find the owner Zoey Butterfield digging clay by a nearby bay, but she has no idea who would target her store. Zoey is a vocal advocate for turning four blocks of Main Street into a pedestrian mall on summer weekends. Other shop owners, including her next-door neighbor, are vehemently opposed. Could a small-town fight provoke such destruction? When a murder follows the break-in, it’s up to Julia to dig through the secrets and lies to uncover the truth . . .


Jane Darrowfield and the Madwoman Next Door (A Jane Darrowfield Mystery)
by Barbara Ross
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series

Jane Darrowfield is using her retirement years to work as a professional busybody, with most of her business coming from her West Cambridge, Massachusetts, community. This time her client is right next door . . .

JANE DARROWFIELD AND THE MADWOMAN NEXT DOOR

Megan, who’s purchased the house next to Jane’s, needs some help from her snooping neighbor. Megan’s been having blackouts, hearing voices—and feeling like someone’s following her. Are these symptoms of an illness—or signs that she’s in danger?

Considering the extensive security system in Megan’s house, it seems like she should be safe—yet she soon vanishes into thin air. Some think she’s run away, but would this ambitious young lawyer on the partner track really miss a meeting with an important client? And where’s Megan’s cat?

The mystery is about to deepen when the cat is finally located in a hidden panic room—and as Jane and the police look into Megan’s friends, family, and past, it may be time to sound the alarm . . .

The 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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

 Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 1, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The Entry Form

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Special Guest – Patrick Kelly – Author of The Overlook Murder: A Wintergreen Mystery #AuthorInterview #Review / #Giveaway @pkfiction Great Escapes Book Tour


The Overlook Murder: A Wintergreen Mystery
by Patrick Kelly


It is my pleasure to welcome Patrick Kelly
to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Patrick! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in Virginia and wrote my first short story in the second grade. After a long career in finance, I began writing popular fiction in my fifties. My wife and I live in Austin, Texas, but spend our summers in Wintergreen, Virginia. Wintergreen is the setting for The Overlook Murder. We have a terrier-mix rescue dog named Sebastian who often appears in my Instagram posts.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Before sitting down to write a new book, I’ll ruminate on the basic plot idea for six months or longer. During that time, I will take notes now and again and also do some casual background research. When constructing the outline for the story, I’ll keep a list of open items that need further research. The actual research process—which happens largely online—will take two or three days. For my current work-in-progress—Murder in White—I’ve learned a lot about drones and the hiking trails around Wintergreen, Virginia.

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

Not yet. On days when I don’t feel like writing, I force myself to sit at the computer and construct sentences until I’ve reached my daily word target. This works well for me. Occasionally, I’ll hit a stretch where I crank out page after page of entertaining prose, but I can never forecast when that will happen. If I skip the days where I start off feeling blah, I’ll lose unexpected spurts of productivity.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

Spend some time thinking about your goal for writing and publishing a book. Is this a bucket list item? Are you one and done? If so, read some books and blog posts about writing a novel and have at it. Be prepared to invest a thousand hours, and perhaps many more, to finish a novel you are proud to share with your friends and family.

However, if you want to write a book that makes money, spend a lot of time studying the business of publishing before you write your novel. This could take six months or longer. As a part of that process, carefully select your sub-genre (preferably a hot one with tons of voracious readers), read the most popular books in that sub-genre, and plan how you will write a novel that is similar to the others but better.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

Travel. My wife and I have driven across the continental US twice in the last ten years. We take the dog with us. The US is a beautiful country and best enjoyed on foot or from a car. If I’m at home in Wintergreen, I enjoy nature hikes and visiting local antique stores and wineries. Nelson County, Virginia, is absolutely gorgeous.

Did the COVID pandemic affect you and your writing?

We stopped traveling during the first year of COVID, which led to an increase in my productivity; however, once things began to open up again, we wanted to go out all the time, which reduced my daily word count. All in all, the pandemic has not had a significant impact on the number of books I’ve published. We’ve been lucky so far in not contracting the virus. Some folks say we’ll all get it sooner or later. I’ll take later, thank you.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Paris. I went through a Hemingway phase in college and visited the City of Lights soon thereafter. Now, many years older, I would love to return. My dream is to live in Paris for four months and write a mystery featuring an American sleuth. Perhaps Bill O’Shea should win the lottery and move to Paris to take a French immersion course.

What is next on the horizon for you?

I’ve begun writing the third novel in the Wintergreen Mystery Series. In Murder in White, Bill O’Shea and his friends must try to solve a mystery in the middle of a raging snowstorm. The release date is scheduled for November 15, 2022.

Oh! That sounds like it is going to be a great read! 

Thank you Patrick for stopping by today!

Now keep reading for my thoughts about The Overlook Murder.

About The Overlook Murder 

The Overlook Murder: A Wintergreen Mystery
Cozy Mystery/Police Procedural 
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Chaparral Press LLC (May 14, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1734239247
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1734239249
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09ZSTSWCD

It’s a short walk to the overlook but a long way down.

The rich entrepreneur Damian Susskind has recently survived a heart attack and quintuple bypass surgery. Suddenly aware of his own mortality, Damian summons his family and friends to Wintergreen to share the latest plans for his will. Unfortunately for Damian, one of those in attendance bears him malicious intent, and by the end of the day, Damian is dead.

Retired police detective Bill O’Shea is asked to help the short-staffed Wintergreen police department investigate an accidental death. Forensic evidence soon convinces Bill that this was no accident. There is plenty of motive to go around and more than a few suspects–the difficulty is tying a single killer to the crime. Will Bill and his friends solve the case, or will a Wintergreen murderer go free?

If you love beautiful mountain settings, a charming cast, and intriguing plot twists, you’re going to love the Wintergreen Mystery Series!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Wintergreen, Virginia where retired police detective Bill O’Shea is called in to assist in another investigation. Did the owner of the Fair Game sporting goods Damian Susskind fall to his death at the overlook on the Old Appalachian Trail? Or was he pushed? Is there more to the story? The rich entrepreneur had ticked several people off when he gathered his family and friends for a day-long retreat to convey his plan for the company and a big change to his will.

Following the evidence, Bill believes the man’s death was no accident. Working with the team he will have to work hard to catch the killer, especially because everyone including the caterers could have means, motive, and opportunity. Oh, and Cindy, Bill’s girlfriend’s company is the caterer for the retreat and Bill was assisting her that day.


As in the first book of this series, The Mountain View Murder, Bill O’Shea is a strong protagonist. He has the skills needed to solve a murder case, but he is also such a nice man. He never has an agenda and genuinely wants to help by following the evidence to get to the truth. Alex Sharp, the interim chief of police really has to lean on Bill because he is a real estate guy with no police experience. The small force includes Wintergreen Police Officer Mitch Gentry who is new to the force and Krista Jackson, the communications officer is new as well. Bill is a great mentor for these young people. Bill also helps his girlfriend Cindy with her catering crew. Cindy’s son Justin also is helping out until he leaves to join the Coast Guard and Cindy has recently hired an assistant Maddie Katz. Maddie and Justin may be starting a relationship. Again, Bill gets along with everyone. All these characters feel true to life.

We are also introduced the Damian Susskind and his staff. Prior to suffering a heart attack and recovering from quintuple bypass surgery the man was very involved in his business and his staff’s business including their personal lives. He only had one living relative, his stepdaughter, Lacey. She attended the retreat but she works for the Charlotte Department of Social Services.  So he felt she and his staff were his family. He butted into their lives whenever he wished and he lauded his money over them. Threatening to change his will at any time. These characters had a real edge. They are smart and out for themselves.

There was one character though that really turned me off this time. I know Cindy was dealing with some things in this story with her son leaving and her staff being questioned about their client’s death but she came off as a first-class witch and mean. She was extremely short with Bill several times and was degrading to him and the Coast Guard in one instance so much that I was absolutely shocked. She was then surprised that Bill walked out. I wanted him to run and never look back. She is not the right woman for him and never will be. I hope she is absent from any future books in this series.

The mystery put forth was handled very methodically but in an interesting way. Waiting for word from the medical examiner and several test results, Bill talked to everyone involved in the case, some tangentially. Some several times. He even sent up a reenactment to work through what the suspects had said. He let Mitch and Krista do their part with gentle guidance. Because of this, the story had a very even pace. The author plotted out this story so well. I was totally entertained by the pursuit of the truth and everything it took to get there. His descriptive writing style is excellent for this type of book. I enjoyed the way his words take us right out on the trails and inside the investigation.

As a side note, there is a cute little subplot involving Bill and Mr. Chips, the neighborhood groundhog that I absolutely loved. It also involved an encounter with another animal that was scary but so funny too!

The Overlook Murder was a fine addition to this series. I hope to travel to Wintergreen again in November and catch up with Bill O’Shea in Murder in White.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Patrick Kelly

Pat Kelly was raised in Yorktown, Virginia, graduated from UVA, and left the state to pursue a corporate career. After settling in Texas, Pat married Susie, and together they raised two daughters in the awesome city of Austin. With the girls now grown and gone, Pat has pursued a lifelong love of writing stories.

Pat has written eight novels–books one and two in the Wintergreen Mystery Series, the Joe Robbins Series of five suspense thrillers, and one standalone novel of historical fiction (The Sheila Stories)

Pat is the winner of a Beverly Hills Book Award and a silver medalist for the Wishing Shelf Book Awards for adult fiction. He serves as Membership Chair of the Heart of Texas Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Author Links

Webpage      Facebook    Twitter     Goodreads   Instagram

Purchase Links –

AmazonKoboB&N 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
June 15 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 15 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 16 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 16 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
June 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
June 17 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
June 18 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
June 18 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
June 20 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
June 21 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
June 22 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 23 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

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Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady: A Buttercup Bend Mystery by Debbie De Louise #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @Deblibrarian

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am pleased to share my thoughts with you today about The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady!

The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady: A Buttercup Bend Mystery
by Debbie De Louise

About The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady

The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady: A Buttercup Bend Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Buttercup Bend, a fictional town in the Catskills, New York State
Next Chapter (May 15, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 298 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8828540501
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B1HCG5M3

After Buttercup Bend’s “Cat Crazy Lady,” Maggie Broom, is smothered to death in her home, Cathy Carter is stunned to learn that the animal shelter and pet cemetery she co-owns with her brother Doug is the recipient of the bulk of Maggie’s estate.

When Maggie’s estranged brother and sister come to town and are upset with the terms of their sister’s will, Sheriff Leroy Miller is convinced one of them killed Maggie.

At a baby shower, Cathy’s grandmother holds for Doug’s wife, one of the guests turns up dead, and Cathy and her reporter friend, Nancy Meyers, set out to solve the murders.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Maggie Broom loved her cats more than she loved people and would do anything for them but someone decided to end Maggie’s life prematurely. If that person was planning on inheriting a bundle from Maggie they will soon learn of their big mistake. While Maggie left a small amount to her estranged brother and sister, the bulk of the estate has been bequeathed to Cathy Carter and her brother Doug for their animal shelter and pet cemetery. They will also be inheriting all of the Cat Crazy Lady’s cats.

Sheriff Leroy Miller has placed Maggie’s siblings high on his suspect list but when someone else dies in the middle of a baby shower his investigation has to go in a new direction. Can Cathy help him catch a killer? With a little help from her reporter friend Nancy, they aim to try.


Ms. De Louise has introduced some very likable characters in her first Buttercup Bend Mystery. Cathy Carter and her brother Doug, along with their grandmother and Doug’s wife run the local animal shelter and pet cemetery. Doug also works for the post office and Cathy takes photos for the local paper, the Buttercup Bugle. Her friend Pauline is the editor of the paper and her friend Nancy is a reporter. Pauline lived next door to the Cat Crazy Lady and had several complaints about the woman’s clowder of cats. She is also dating Sheriff Leroy Miller. We also meet Steve, a gardener who works for Cathy and is sweet on her too. Cathy and Doug have a tragic past that seems to have made them stronger. All the characters are well developed for the first book in the series. There is still plenty of room for growth as the series continues.

The author has penned a great mystery filled with some nice twists and turns. One key item shuffles everything up and throws all my own theories out of the water. It also sets up a very tense surprising ending. An interesting identity is revealed too.

The town of Buttercup Bend is a typical quiet small town that never imagines murder will darken their doors. In fact, according to the sheriff, the worst crime he had to investigate since he has been sheriff was a bike stolen by a kid’s brother. Setting her mystery series there Debbie De Louise is sure to shake things up.

The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady has set this series off to a very enjoyable start. I am excited to see what the author has planned for her characters next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Debbie De Louise

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writers’ Association. Her novels include the five books and four stories of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, a comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, and the standalone mysteries; Reason to Die, Sea Scope, and Memory Makers. Debbie has also written a time-travel novel, Time’s Relative, and a non-fiction cat book, Pet Posts: The Cat Chats, written from the points of view of four of her cats and has also published articles in online and print pet magazines including Catster.com. Her latest book, Meows and Purrs, is a poetry collection of cat poems that includes photos and notes about her cats.

Debbie’s stories and poetry appear in the Red Penguin Collections, What Lies Beyond, ‘Tis the Season, Stand Out, Volumes I and II, Until Dawn, Treat or Trick, and Pets on the Prowl. Her poems are also featured in the Nassau County Voices In Verse 2020 anthology and the 2020 and 2021 Bards Annual. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

Author Links

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Debbie’s Character’s Chat Group
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Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog

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The Universal purchase link is: https://books2read.com/u/bOzPdN
Also by Debbie De Louise

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
June 14 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 15 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – GUEST POST
June 16 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 16 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
June 18 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
June 19 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT  
June 20 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 22 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 23 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
June 24 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 25 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 26 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
June 27 – BookishKelly2020 – 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.”