Posted in Cozy Wednesday Crafty Cozy Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – One Hot Murder by Lorraine Bartlett – #Review / #Giveaway

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

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 About The Author

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

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 9, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Dangling by a Thread by Lea Wait – #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

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Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

With the holiday tomorrow there is no guest post today but there is my review and a FANTASTIC Giveaway! 

dangling-by-a-thread
Dangling by a Thread
(A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (October 25, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496706263
Digital Ebook ASIN: B01BAYWZHU
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The Mainely Needlepointers are about to learn that no man is an island—especially when greedy developers want his land . . .
 
Hermit Jesse Lockhart lives alone on King’s Island, three miles east of Haven Harbor, Maine, where he’s created a private sanctuary for the endangered Great Cormorants. But when a wealthy family wants to buy the island and Jesse’s cousin Simon petitions for power of attorney to force him to sell, Jesse is the one who becomes endangered.

Mainely Needlepointer Dave Perry, who befriended Jesse in the VA hospital, rallies the group to his defense. Angie Curtis and the ravelers stitch “Save the King’s Island Cormorants” pillows and sell T-shirts to pay for Jesse’s legal counsel. But tragically, on a visit to the island, Angie finds Jesse dead. Now the search is on for a common thread that can tie the murdered man to his killer .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

grco_nigelvoadenterathopiusI am always excited when Lea Wait has a new book released. This time we are drawn right into the story as we travel to King’s Island, one of the many islands off the coast of Maine. This one is a nesting ground for some Great Cormorants and it is inhabited by just one person, Jesse Lockhart. He travels across the water 3 miles to Haven Harbor for his mail and supplies. He leads a solitary life and will do anything to protect “his” birds. When a well to do visitor to Haven Harbor decides he wants to purchase the island and build an enormous house, Jesse refuses to sell. But Jesse owns the island jointly with his cousin and the man is not giving up. Jesse asks his friend Dave Perry for help in halting the sale. Dave, one of Angie’s needlepointers asks her for her assistance but before they can even get a plan together Jesse, not his birds become the hunted. Now they need to find a way to save Jesse’s birds and find his killer.

I became invested in Jesse and his cause right away. I was sad that he became the victim. I love bird watching and even with all the great descriptions and information the author provided about Great Cormorants I wanted to know more. She also includes sampler sayings and information at the beginning of each chapter.

Angie is a wonderful main character. Her relationship with her grandmother always touches my heart. Dave Perry plays a major role in this story. Through him we also meet 3 new furry baby characters.  Patrick and his mother have returned to town but he is still recovering from his injuries. There was also a real sense of community in all of Haven Harbor about the island and the birds.

The author’s writing style starts slow and builds so we get a chance to engage with the characters before they become a victim or a suspect.  The needlepointing took a bit of a backseat to the mystery but the Mainely Needlepointers were helpful as Angie tried to eliminate suspects. Her friends make great sounding boards, but Angie’s best friend, Sarah Byrne, is involved in a new relationship that has her a little distracted.  About half way through the book the pace picks up and the book becomes very hard to put down.

Lea Wait definitely brings Maine and her characters to life in each and every one of these stories. To fully enjoy them and realize the way the characters evolve I encourage you to read them all and in order. Each contains a wonderful mystery too!

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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About The Author

Lea Wait lives on the coast of Maine. A fourth generation antique dealer, and author of the Agatha-nominated Shadows Antique Print mystery series, she loves all things antiques and Maine, and she’s learning to do needlepoint. She also writes historical novels for young people set in (where else?) nineteenth-century Maine. Lea adopted her four daughters when she was single; she’s now the grandmother of eight, and married to artist Bob Thomas.

Author Links

 Webpage     GoodReads 

 

Purchase Links


Click on cover to order from Amazon.

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 5 copies to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 7, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

 

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

Posted in Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review – Christmas Morning by Roma Brooks

I reviewed the 2nd book in this series back in September and loved it so I jumped at the chance when the author asked me to review this one.

christmas-morning
Christmas Morning: A Cape Harriet Novel
Women’s Fiction – Romance- Holiday
Setting – Virginia
Self Published
Print Length: 334 pages
ASIN: B01M3U4FBO
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A cozy, heartwarming Christmas Story, full of holiday cheer – Christmas Morning will make you believe in the power of true love

Christmas has come to Cape Harriet, and this year, it’s all about second chances! Christmas Morning is an emotionally gripping novel that will light a fire in your heart and make you want to fall in love again.

James & Sandhya have found unexpected love, but their future will be decided by a tormented child. A newly married couple find their vows tested to the limit. A wounded vet finds himself in a Christmas nightmare.

Zadie’s dishing up special Christmas treats, and the town is decked up for the holidays. As the mercury dips, everyone eagerly awaits Christmas Morning.

Stoke up the fire, have a warm drink at hand, and snuggle up to enjoy this sweet contemporary romance, spiced up with a dash of intrigue.

*includes festive recipes from Zadie’s kitchen

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story brings back together the couple the met at the Rising Tides Inn in the novella that started the series, Clipper Beach. (A story I intended to read before I jumped into this one but completely forgot to do. I caught up pretty fast.) James & Sandhya return to Cape Harriet to celebrate the holidays with owners Pete and Zadie Strathmore. The Inn has a few other guests too including a young couple with a baby and a man recovering from some injuries. Sandhya’s 12 year old daughter also comes to the cape for the holidays. Zadie and Pete try to give them all the best Christmas they can including them in some Cape Harriet traditions.

This is one of those stories perfect for the Hallmark Network. A new romance with some bumps to endure that can bring a couple even closer. A man with a traumatic event in his past trying to recover not only from his physical injuries but his emotional ones as well. A young family with a secret that could tear them apart or bring them together. Pete and Zadie standing by with comfort, advice and so much delicious food.

Roma Brooks brings her characters to life in such a realistic way. They are all engaging and people I wanted to get to know better. Pete and Zadie seem to be salt of the earth type people who take everything in stride. So warm and welcoming, Pete spends a lot of time with Leena, Sandhya’s daughter who had been living with her grandmother while single mom Sandhya focused on her career. The Strathmore’s know her coming to Virginia is stressful on not only her and her mother but James as he wants them to all be a family. Zadie and Pete also try to get Dylan to open up about his pain and maybe open his heart just a little bit. They don’t butt in to what Trey and Muffy are struggling with but let them proceed at their own pace and be available to them if needed, well maybe just a little push here and there. We get to know these characters on such a personal level thanks to some excellent writing by Ms. Brooks.

In addition to the wonderful people at at inn, the story focuses on the food they are eating. Whether Zadie is cooking up something delicious or they stop by a local eatery, the descriptions had my mouth watering. There are recipes included in the book but like Sandhya cooking is not my strongest talent so I probably wouldn’t do them justice.  Zadie does have some interesting foodie ideas for Christmas too.

It seems the Rising Tides Inn is a wonderful getaway no matter what time of the year. It is a place I would love to visit in reality but these little virtual excursions will have to do. I am ready to pack my things and head there right now. I am sure Thanksgiving is a great time in Cape Harriet, but I am willing to travel there at anytime. I hope the author doesn’t make us wait too long for our next escape to the cape!

Fantastic location, believable characters, and food, glorious food! If you need a story to get you in the holiday spirit this one is absolutely perfect!

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author
Roma Brooks writes stories featuring real life characters, the kind you would come across in your own family. Her books will make you laugh, cry, love, hate and bite your nails. She dreams of retiring to a seaside town like Cape Harriet where the gentle waves of the ocean lull you into sweet dreams.


Click the covers to order from Amazon.
Christmas Morning is just 99 cents!

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 Cloak and Dagger Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Dead Insider by Victoria Houston – #Review / #Giveaway

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On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Did a little rearranging on my bookshelves last week and was so excited I found this book I read it before I read the book for yesterday’s post. 🙂

dead-insider
Dead Insider (Loon Lake Mystery)
13th in Series
Mystery
Setting – Wisconsin
Tyrus Books (June 18, 2013)
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1440533563
E-Book ASIN: B00CA9DKE2
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In the midst of a catastrophic August rainstorm, a grisly discovery shatters the serenity of a summer evening in northern Wisconsin. Moving quickly to prevent a panic among tourists, Loon Lake Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris enlists the forensic and interrogation skills of her close friend and fellow fly fisherman, the retired dentist “Doc” Osborne. Within hours of launching their investigation, they find themselves faced with a national media circus as Loon Lake becomes the focus of a murderous scenario that links the murder to the race for the U.S. Senate by a woman who is heir to a Northwoods fortune and other, less savory, family traditions.

In the meantime, Doc Osborne’s eldest daughter, Mallory, enters into a relationship that may put her life at risk–unless her father and Chief Ferris can find the killer stalking the residents of Loon Lake.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Reading this after the crazy political season we just experienced seemed fitting.

It is raining cats and dogs in Look Lake. Roads and fields are flooding and while blocking vehicles from traveling through the water something awful is found floating now a new rainfall river. The findings lead to a woman running for the U.S. Senate. Loon Lake Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris has her hands full. Thankfully her friends and officers are there to help her pull all the pieces of this terrible murder investigation together.

Fly fisherwoman Lew Ferris has caught a huge case and relies on the resources available to her to solve it. I had my main suspect but the twisted plot made the conclusion and the motive totally surprising.  What followed was a tragic tale that left me almost visibly shaking. The pain felt by the killer’s mother just broke my heart.

Ms. Houston dug deep for this one. The laid back community of Loon Lake was not only rocked by the flooding but a terrible murder. People came together to help with the case and handle the media because tourism in the bread and butter of this community. I felt a plethora of emotions as the story continued. How could something so awful happen in this little town?

I enjoy these characters and admire the soothing calm they find standing in a lake or river casting their line time and time again. Sometimes never catching a thing. It’s in those places Lew and Doc can order their thoughts and break away from the stress and trauma of the case. I can see their faces so clearly. My grandfather was a fisherman and his perfect place to relax was in his little boat out on the water with a fishing pole in his hands. He never had the stress of a murder to solve but his life wasn’t easy. I loved going out in his boat with him. Some days we caught a lot of fish and some days we just caught some sun and had good conversation, me the youngster not even in my teens and him sharing his life’s stories with me. The look on his face was just peaceful out on the water. Times I will never forget. The stories in this series touch my heart because of my relationship with him. Doc Osbourne’s thinking and temperament remind me so much of the wonderful fisherman in my life. Lew is a strong woman in a top position and she takes her job seriously. Together they make a great team.

Sadly, these little vacations north to Loon Lake are way too short. I hope to return again soon. Not so much for the mysteries, although those are good, but for the serenity outside of the drama. Both grab a hold and don’t let go.

perfect 2016

 

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

To find out more bout Victoria Houston visit her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my signed copy!
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 2, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

This book was from my private collection.

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Special Guest Jenn McKinlay – Author of Better Late Than Never – #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

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It is always a fun day when Jenn drops by for a visit! 

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Better Late Than Never by Jenn McKinlay
(Post provided by Publicist)

Twenty years ago, The Catcher in the Rye was checked out to Candice Whitley, a teacher, on the day she was murdered. When the book is returned to the Briar Creek Public Library during its fine amnesty day, librarian and amateur sleuth Lindsey Norris can’t help but think it might be a clue to the cold case that has haunted the small coastal town for decades. And so starts BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, the seventh title in my library lover’s mystery series.

Why The Catcher in the Rye? This has probably been the question I’ve been asked the most since I wrote the book. It’s a really good question. I wish I had a really good answer. But I don’t. Frankly, my relationship with the novel has been a love hate relationship over the years. I first read Salinger’s story about Holden Caulfield when I was in high school. Full disclosure, I hated it. I thought Holden was a whiner and his ceaseless complaining about everyone being a phony grated on my nerves. Of course, in high school, I was heavily into genre fiction (that has never changed) so I wasn’t really enjoying any of the literature I was reading. Faulkner gave me fits!

better-late-than-neverLike a bad penny, Catcher showed up again in my college years. I hated it less as I was feeling rather anti-establishment myself and Holden’s angst and confusion, as I dipped my toe into adulthood, made more sense to me. He seemed to be able to read people with a clear-eyed gaze and was frequently disappointed in them and their lack. By that time, I had met a few disappointments myself. We were not friends but I felt less animosity towards the book.

Then I began my library career. Reader’s advisory was my jam so I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. I was lucky enough to be the fiction selector for three years in my first library job in Cromwell, CT, so I read every issue of the New York Times Book Review, Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, etc., all in my quest for the best the fiction world had to offer. (Side note: some of these publications could be very harsh to authors and the fact that Publisher’s Weekly gave me a starred review for one of my first mysteries still makes me Snoopy dance). In addition to keeping up with the latest and greatest, I also encouraged my patrons to read the classics and as a librarian I became a big promoter of encouraging people to read banned books. Well, guess which book in the twentieth century is one of the most frequently challenged and banned? Yes, you got it – The Catcher in the Rye.

Why was it banned? Vulgar language, drinking, promiscuity, not fit for children, yada yada, the same old noise that is always made when something challenges preconceived notions of appropriateness. As I look at my own journey with the book, I realize it was not a novel I could appreciate as a teen but when I read it again before writing BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, I actually fell a little in love with the damaged Holden Caulfield. I had finally lived enough life, known pure joy and tremendous sorrow, to understand him and his desire to be “the catcher in the rye” the keeper of children’s innocence. So, that’s why I chose to use The Catcher in the Rye as the book that was checked out to the victim in BETTER LATE THAN NEVER.

Now the only question is, does the book help Lindsey solve the case of who murdered high school English teacher Candice Whitley?

Thanks for letting me visit!
Happy Reading,
Jenn

better-late-than-never

Better Late Than Never (A Library Lover’s Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399583735
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0SQ90
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In the latest Library Lover’s Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Likely Story, a decades overdue book puts library director Lindsey Norris hot on the trail of a cold case…
 
When the Briar Creek Public Library holds its first overdue book amnesty day—no fines for late returns—the volume of incoming materials is more than Lindsey and her staff can handle. In a bind, Lindsey drafts the crafternoon ladies to help check in and sort the stacks of books.

But one tardy tome catches her attention—a copy of J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, twenty years past due. When Lindsey looks up the borrower, she’s shocked to discover it was a murdered teacher named Candice Whitley, whose killer was never found.

Candice checked out the novel on the day she was murdered. Now Lindsey wonders if it could provide a clue to the decades-old cold case. No one noticed who brought the book back in, but could it be Candice’s killer? Lindsey is determined to catch the culprit one way or another, because justice for Candice Whitley is long overdue…

INCLUDES READING GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s a cold case this time for Lindsey as a book is returned to the library 20 years after it was checked out. Imagine the fine if it wasn’t Overdue Book Amnesty Day! I know they wouldn’t charge more than it cost to restock the book but think of all those days adding up, right around 7300. The creepy part comes when we learn that the book was checked out by a teacher that was murdered on the same day as she checked out the book. Who had the book? Why did they return it to the library? Lindsey just can’t let it go. She turns over the book to the police but like an awesome research librarian she starts investigating on her own. She wants justice for the victim but she may find herself checked out permanently.

This was a super mystery. Lindsey wasn’t in Briar Creek 20 years ago so she needed to reach out to people that were. The former police chief, the victim’s friends, students and even her boss, who is still principal at the school today. It meant digging into the archives for newspaper articles and year books. I really enjoyed this because I used to spend a lot of time in the old stacks and basement of our community library during high school and college. I loved the hunt and finding out about things long forgotten. I never had to search out a killer but some of the old history did include a few mysteries, some still unsolved 🙂

Due to the little cliffhanger at the end of A Likely Story this installment had a little more romance than previous books in the series. Jenn and Sully are finally realizing what we readers and the people of Briar Creek have know for awhile. Robbie is not handling it well but with him working as Watson to Lindsey’s Sherlock he is starting to see it too. This reader was thrilled with this development.

The author blends the romance with the mystery with a very even hand. One does not overshadow the other. The characters have evolved naturally and the mystery was perfectly suited to what needed to happen in the character’s lives.

I laughed when I saw The Catcher in the Rye was the book the teacher had checked out. I hated that book when we forced to read it in high school. I have been told by many I need to reread it now as an adult but I have made it this far in my life without it so it is not one of those books screaming from my TO-BE-READ shelf.

Have you heard of OMC Syndrome? Jenn McKinley mentions it in this book. It stands for One More Chapter. I had it with this book, one more, then one more, that continued until I reached the end of the book at just before 2 a.m. Yes, I had a book hangover the next day but it was well worth it for this fabulous story. That makes it a Paradise Escape!

paradise 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out all about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.

Library Lover’s Mysteries

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries


Hat Shop Mysteries

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 2 hardcover copies to give away! 

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for Jenn and earn 5 Bonus Giveaway Entries!

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 1, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with D.E. Ireland – Author of Get Me To The Grave On Time – #Review / #Giveaway

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am super excited to have D.E. Ireland here today!!

Final Meg Sharon V1Escape with D.E. Ireland

Anglophiles and award winning authors, the team of D.E. IrelandMeg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta – write the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins cozy mystery series set in 1913 England. In addition, they each pen a contemporary mystery series; coincidentally both series were acquired by Kensington. It seems these two friends are fated to do everything in tandem. Having so many books to write and promote in the course of a year is exciting, but it can also be stressful and tiring. So where do they escape to when they need a break? It’s complicated.

First, they both live in Michigan, albeit on opposite sides of the state. Meg lives near Detroit and prefers to write, laptop on her outstretched legs, in the “Sheldon spot” on the sofa in her living room, right beside the window where she can watch the finches flutter around the hanging feeder. An early morning riser, Meg reminds herself to take tiny “escapes” during her writing day: e.g., letting the dog out, stretching, or exercising. She also takes a break at lunch and at bedtime by reading. Her favorites are cozy mysteries, celebrity biographies, historical mysteries, thrillers, and fantasy. Meg has stacks and stacks of books, plus a staggering number on her Kindle and iPad.

Although Sharon was born and raised in Detroit, she now lives in one of the charming villages and resort towns that dot the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. Surrounded by such scenic natural beauty, it’s easy for her to walk along the beach or go hiking in one of the nearby state forests whenever she feels the need for an “escape”. However a great deal of her day is spent writing on her laptop: in the morning she can be found at her dining room table, in the afternoon, she moves her work station to a comfy leather club chair by the window.

get-me-to-the-grave-on-timeWhen she needs a break – and a vanilla latte – she heads for the village coffee house. There is something about the combination of espresso, the aroma of pastry and coffee beans, and the cozy environs that help Sharon solve any plotting problems. Sometimes, she brings a book to the coffee house, yet another way to escape from the constant pressure of deadlines. While Sharon enjoys reading a wide variety of genres, she prefers mysteries, (especially Louise Penny), sci-fi and dystopian YA, and urban fantasy. As a former history major, she also reads history for both research and pleasure.

Another frequent escape from the daily writing routine occurs when Sharon and Meg chat on the phone to plot out their next DE Ireland book, discuss the progress of the mysteries they write on their own, and gossip about the latest news from the publishing world. Conversation doesn’t always happen on the phone. Since Sharon moved to the lakeshore, Meg has made more than one visit to her house, allowing the two of them to brainstorm new plot ideas . . . and enjoy a few lake perch dinners.

As for vacation fun, Meg prefers to escape to Mackinac Island with her family. She loves walking along the downtown Main Street, people watching while bicycling around the island, and shopping in the small boutiques that line the streets. Next summer she plans to visit the Butterfly House there, enjoy planked whitefish at one of the restaurants, and perhaps stay at one of the bed and breakfasts on the island.

Because Sharon already lives in a lakeshore resort, she prefers big city vacations in NYC and Chicago. If she had the time and the money, she’d head back to Britain, the site of her all-time favorite vacation, especially Dublin and Edinburgh. But she hasn’t had much time for a vacation lately. In addition to writing two mystery series, she also works at one of the gallery shops in town.

Luckily, there are writing conferences. Sharon and Meg both escape to Malice Domestic every spring, where they love chatting with fellow mystery authors. It’s so relaxing to share what they’re writing, to meet readers, and appear on workshop panels. Malice has a special place in their hearts not only because of the warm and welcoming community who gather there each year. But they were thrilled when their Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mystery, Wouldn’t It Be Deadly, was a finalist for Best Historical of 2014.

Next year, both authors will not only be attending Malice, but are looking forward to traveling to Toronto for Bouchercon. While at Malice and Bouchercon, Sharon and Meg will be discussing – and signing – their respective new cozies: Dying for Strawberries and Bearly Departed written under the pen names Sharon Farrow and Meg Macy.  Of course, they are already plotting out the fourth book in the Eliza Doolittle/Henry Higgins series, along with writing the next installment of their cozies. No wonder they need a vacation.

~D.E. Ireland

get-me-to-the-grave-on-timeGet Me To The Grave On Time
(The Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mysteries)
Historical Cozy Mystery Series
Setting –  London, England

Publisher: Grainger Press (November 15, 2016)
Print Length: 274 pages
ASIN: B01MDQEG27
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Synopsis

Although Eliza still refuses to marry Freddy Eynsford Hill, everyone around her seems headed for the altar. Not only is her cousin Inspector Jack Shaw about to wed his sweetheart, but Freddy’s younger sister Clara is engaged, along with the niece of Henry Higgins. Another blushing bride is the sixty-year-old Duchess of Carbrey, who plans to marry a handsome fellow half her age. But when the groom is found dead, a jealous mistress is blamed for the murder. However, the death may also be connected to the stolen treasure of an Indian temple.

Disaster strikes next at Jack and Sybil’s wedding. Soon after, the wedding reception of Higgins’s niece takes a lethal turn. Someone is targeting bridegrooms, and the wedding of Freddy’s sister is next. Before another bridal bouquet is tossed, Higgins and Eliza must track down the killer. Otherwise, Clara’s bridegroom – and perhaps the bride herself – may be murdered before they can get to the church on time.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Love this series and am so happy the authors have found a way to continue it.

Eliza Doolittle is not heading to the alter with Freddy Eynsford Hill, but she and Henry Higgins will be attanding several weddings throughout the story. Sadly all of the nuptuals have disaster hit them in some way. Someone seems to be targeting these weddings and Eliza and Higgins are doing their best to find out why and still get to the church on time.

The wonderful thing about this story is that if you are familiar with the George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion or the movie My Fair Lady, you know these characters and can jump into this series anywhere. Of course, I believe you should start at the beginning 🙂

This writing team captures these characters wonderfully. The dialogue is spectacular, especially between Higgins and Eliza, but all the others too. I hear the voices from the movie so clearly in my head. The story comes alive for me in the voices of Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Wilfrid Hyde-White and Mona Washbourne. To have the characters sleuthing around London, even the East End in just brilliant. 

The mystery is very well plotted and it has to be because there are so many characters to keep straight. The classes of people all come together for wedding, funerals and everything in between. The adventure of following our sleuths is so much fun. Eliza seems to have no fear and such keen insight for a young woman. Higgins is forced to follow her lead and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! So much happens within these pages. It becomes impossible to put down.

Laced with a high degree of humor this is a story I highly recommend.

Which tune will these authors take on next? I Could Have Danced All Night? or I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face? I can’t wait to find out?

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Final Meg Sharon V1

About The Authors

D.E. Ireland is a team of award-winning authors, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta. Long time friends, they decided to collaborate on this unique series based on George Bernard Shaw’s wonderfully witty play, Pygmalion. While they admit the lovely film My Fair Lady and its soundtrack proved to be inspiring, they are careful to stick to Shaw’s vision of the beloved characters from Eliza to Higgins to Pickering and Freddy Eynsford Hill. They’ve also added a cast of new characters to flesh out their own version of events post-Pygmalion. They both have patient husbands, brilliant daughters, and share a love of good books, tea and history.

Website     Facebook   Twitter     Pinterest

Purchase Links


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GIVEAWAY

The authors are giving away 1 e-copy of the book!
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha by JoAnna Carl

the-chocolate-bunny-brouhaha
The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha
(Chocoholic Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Michigan
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by Berkley (November 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473820
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0SQEU
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From the national bestselling author of The Chocolate Falcon Fraud comes an Easter candy caper featuring chocolatiers Lee Woodyard and her Aunt Nettie, and a killer who’s hopping mad…

The approach of Easter means a rush of business at TenHuis Chocolade, and Lee  and her Aunt Nettie need all the help they can get to make their famous chocolate bunnies. Unfortunately, new hire Bunny Birdsong is a clutzy basketcase dropping everything she picks up. But to Lee’s surprise, she’s a whiz with computers and fixing the store’s website so they decide to keep her.

However, Bunny receives a few visitors they could do without: her soon to be ex-husband Beau, his wealthy aunt Abigail, and his new girlfriend and her brother all descend on the shop one day and have a bitter argument. Lee hopes they can find a peaceful way to settle their dispute and not bring any more trouble to TenHuis. But when Abigail’s body is discovered in the vacant store next door, it’s clear to Lee there’s a bad egg in her midst. Now she’s on the hunt to find out who it is…

Includes tasty chocolate trivia! 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s all about the BUNNIES! TenHuis Chocolade is getting ready for Easter with plenty of bunnies on order. The also have a Bunny on the staff, Bunny Birdsong. She seems to be an accident looking for a place to happen, but she does have her talents and Lee finally finds out what those are. Both are surprised when her ex’s aunt shows up at the shop, soon followed by the ex himself with his new girlfriend. A little drama in the sales area that Lee quickly tries to handle. When the aunt becomes the latest murder victim in Warner Pier it isn’t good for “anybunny”. Disruption in the shop has everyone on edge and Bunny on the top of the suspect list means Lee has a basket full of trouble. She is hopping into the investigation to find the real killer so everyone can get back to making all those tasty holiday chocolates we all love.

This is a perfect “EGGSCAPE”. My senses skipped right over Christmas to spring and Easter the minute I started reading. The expansion of TenHuis Chocolade continues with just a little pause for the police to collect their evidence. Lee and her Aunt Nettie are doing their best to keep all the workers and employees focused on their jobs while they and Police Chief Hogan focus on the murder.

JoAnna Carl’s stories never disappoint. I jump right in and they brighten my day. I love the characters, I love the setting and I love the chocolate! Don’t let the number of pages in this book fool you. It is a fantastic cozy mystery that will have you laughing out loud and then on the edge of your seat. So well written and plotted precisely, it has an excellent flow. Family, romance, humor, mystery, everything in the right proportions. Ms. Carl tells a top-notch story. I also enjoy the trivia she includes throughout the book.

Think this series is too far along to jump into, it’s not. The author gives you enough detail without revealing or spoiling anything from previous books in the series. Try one and you are going to want to read them all. You just may want to have some chocolate in the house because this book will have you craving a truffle or 2.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about JoAnna Carl visit her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
Thank to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Crowned and Moldering by Kate Carlisle – #Review / #Giveaway – @BerkleyMystery

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

When I say “screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf” the one actually fell right off the shelf and into my hand last weekend. I am glad it did.

crowned-and-moldering
Crowned and Moldering: A Fixer-Upper Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting- California
An Obsidian Mystery (November 3, 2015)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451469212

E-Book – ASIN: B00S75OLAA
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In the New York Times bestselling Fixer-Upper mysteries, contractor Shannon Hammer can repair even the most distressed building. But clearing out the cobwebs from her current project may distress her… to death.

When Mac Sullivan—famous thriller writer and Shannon’s new beau—first moved to Lighthouse Cove, California, he bought the historic lighthouse mansion that the town is named after. Mac needs help cleaning up the place, and Shannon is more than happy to get her handywoman hands on the run-down Victorian.

But during demolition, a grisly discovery is made among the debris—the bones of a teenage girl who went missing fifteen years ago. Locals had always assumed Lily Brogan ran away from her difficult life, but it seems her troubles followed her to the grave. If Shannon has any chance of getting her renovation back on track, she’ll need to tackle the cold case. But with new suspects coming out of the woodwork every day, she’ll have to be careful to pry the right secrets and clues from the poor girl’s problematic past…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kate Carlisle has laid out the blueprint for another perfect escape.

Mac Sullivan has purchased what I would call my dream home. The many rooms, the hiding holes, the staircase, and the view. I would love to own a home like that. I would even take finding the dead body as long as it was someone I didn’t know 🙂 The author’s attention to detail is just amazing. She knows how to set the scene with words so we can see everything so clearly.

The plot is very clever, a teenage girl who everyone thought had run away, found in a house so nearby. Her brother never gave up trying to find her and it was heartbreaking to read his feelings and thoughts when she is found. Shannon, our fantastic protag really wants to get at her renovation but first she needs to know what happened in this house 15 years age. There seems to be suspects galore.

Mac and Shannon are growing closer but she still is holding back. A visitor to Lighthouse Cove sheds new light on Mac’s life and his family. Another former resident returns to drum up trouble and Shannon is blessed to have Mac, her friends and family to lean on.

Ms. Carlisle has built a wonderful series, in her Fixer-Upper Mysteries. I have loved everyone and look forward to reading Deck the Hallways as I get ready for the holiday season.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read more about Kate and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries at www.KateCarlisle.com!


Also by Kate Carlisle

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I am giving away my review copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End November 25, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Reviews 2016

#Review / #Giveaway – The Good, The Bad and the Guacamole by Rebecca Adler

good bad guacamole_layouts.indd

The Good, the Bad and the Guacamole
(A Taste of Texas Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Texas
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425275948
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0SQ72
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Synopsis

Tex-Mex waitress and part-time reporter Josie Callahan is about to serve up some Lone Star justice in this spicy Taste of Texas Mystery from the author of Here Today, Gone Tamale.

Tourists are pouring into the town of Broken Boot for the annual Homestead Days Music Festival. Opening the celebration at Two Boots dance hall is smooth-talking country singer Jeff Clark, the ex-boyfriend of Josie’s best friend, Patti Perez. When the charming Clark woos Patti onstage in an attempt to rekindle some sparks with his old flame, Josie fears her friend will end up as just one more notch on the singer’s guitar strap.

To impress her editor at the Broken Boot Bugle, Josie and her Chihuahua, Lenny, pursue the singer to Patti’s house, hoping for an interview. Instead, they discover Clark facedown in a bowl of guacamole with a bloodied guitar at his side. With Patti suddenly a murder suspect, Josie must use her reporter skills to find out who had a chip on their shoulder—before the killer double dips….

INCLUDES TEX-MEX RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Broken Boot, Texas, just in time for the Homestead Days Music Festival and this year it is personal for Patti Perez. Her ex-boyfriend is the star of the show. He seems to be winning her back and that has Josie worried. Josie has been trying to interview the country singer and when she finds out he is at Patty’s house she rushes right over. But no interview for Josie. Instead she finds the man face first into a bowl of guacamole and the murder weapon right next to him. This makes Patti the prime suspect and Josie on the  trail to find the real killer.

This was a fun story. I love Josie’s Chihuahua, Lenny. He has his own blog and that is something I can relate to. The blog is Josie’s way to share with others her opinions and viewpoints all from Lenny’s point of view. Maybe one of my dogs need a blog 🙂

While I enjoyed the book very much there were a few places at the beginning that I felt were a little muddled and that interrupted the flow for me. The story was strong and had all the right elements, but found myself not with a complete picture of what was happening a time of two. After the story got rolling everything fell into place.

The plot was full of some really nice twists and turns. The characters were very well written, unique and realistic. There may be a romance budding but Josie’s true companion is the lovable Lenny.

All in all, this was a very entertaining read and I am looking forward to book #3.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

gina-lee-nelsonAbout The Author 

Rebecca Adler grew up on the sugar beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast. Drawn to the Big Apple by the sweet smell of wishful thinking, she studied acting on Broadway until a dark-eyed cowboy flung her over his saddle and hightailed it to the Southwest.

Prior to writing women’s fiction, Gina always found a way to add a touch of the dramatic to her life: dinner theatre in Mississippi, can-can club in Florida, and playing a giant Furskin in the New York Toy Fair, plus the occasional play and musical.

She’s currently content to pour her melodramatic tendencies into writing her Taste of Texas culinary mystery series. Set in far West Texas, her humorous stories are filled with delicious suspense and scrumptious Tex-Mex recipes. Her alter ego, Gina Lee Nelson, writes sweet contemporary romances with a sweet, Southern-fried flavor.

Author Links

Webpage     Facebook    Twitter: @CozyTxMysteries    GoodReads

Purchase Links

Amazon   Barnes and Noble
KOBO      Apple
GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 25, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2016 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Body on the Bayou by Ellen Byron

BODY ON THE BAYOU
Body on the Bayou by Ellen Bryon

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Crooked Lane Books (September 13, 2016)
Hardcover: 320 pages 
ISBN-13: 978-1629537689
E-Book – ASIN: B01H082DPY
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Synopsis:

The Crozats feared that past murders at Crozat Plantation B&B might spell the death of their beloved estate, but they’ve managed to survive the scandal. Now there’s a très bigger story in Pelican, Louisiana: the upcoming nuptials between Maggie Crozat’s nemesis, Police Chief Rufus Durand, and her co-worker, Vanessa Fleer.

When everyone else refuses the job of being Vanessa’s Maid of Honor, Maggie reluctantly takes up the title and finds herself tasked with a long list of duties–the most important of which is entertaining Vanessa’s cousin, Ginger Fleer-Starke. But just days before the wedding, Ginger’s lifeless body is found on the bayou and the Pelican PD, as well as the Crozats, have another murder mystery on their hands.

There’s a gumbo-potful of suspects, including an ex-Marine with PTSD, an annoying local newspaper reporter, and Vanessa’s own sparkplug of a mother. But when it looks like the investigation is zeroing in on Vanessa as the prime suspect, Maggie reluctantly adds keeping the bride-to-be out of jail to her list of Maid of Honor responsibilities in Body on the Bayou.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return to Pelican, Louisiana and the Crozat Plantation B&B. Our protagonist Maggie Crozat has become maid of honor for Vanessa, one of her coworkers, because everyone else ran away from the job. With Vanessa due to deliver a baby soon, she has heaped most of the wedding plans on Maggie’s shoulders. Vanessa and her mom both expect Maggie to just do everything they ask and do it immediately.  She also has Vanessa’s cousin Ginger and her entourage staying at the family B&B. When the cousin is found dead just a couple of days before the wedding and the police suspect list keeps growing it looks like Maggie will be adding “find the killer” to her long list of duties.

First let me say, Maggie has the patience of a saint. Dealing with Vanessa, her mom and the groom, Police Chief Rufus Durand, would have most people throwing in the towel before they completed the first task.

Ellen Byron has created some very multidimensional characters and their growth from the first book is very clear. The undercover romance of Maggie and Bo continues and hits some bumps as his ex-wife comes to town. His autistic son is excelling in his art lessons with Maggie though and she enjoys their time together.  Her family pulls together in the story not only to help Maggie but they also take in some new kittens and puppies that were found by the bayou. These little guys stole everyone’s heart.

She took all the characters and wrapped them into a complex mystery. The ending caught me completely by surprise due to some very intricate twists and turns. As I eliminated suspects in my mind a twist had me seeing things differently.

The covers of both the books in this series are beautiful and made me want to escape right into these stories. I have never been to Louisiana but the covers and author descriptions make me feel like I have been there. She also describes the glorious Cajun cuisine in the most mouthwatering way. Yes, there are recipes at the end of the story.

Love this series and hope to return to Pelican soon!

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

ellem byronAbout The Author –

Ellen’s debut novel, PLANTATION SHUDDERS: A Cajun Country Mystery, has been nominated for an Agatha Best First Novel award, a Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery, and a Daphne Award for Best Mainstream Mystery. The second Cajun Country Mystery, BODY ON THE BAYOU, will be available in September 2016. Ellen’s TV credits include Wings and Just Shoot Me; she’s written over 200 magazine articles; her published plays include the award-winning Graceland and Asleep on the Wind. Ellen Byron is a native New Yorker who lives in Los Angeles and attributes her fascination with Louisiana to her college years at New Orleans’ Tulane University.

Webpage – Blog – Twitter – Facebook – GoodReads

Purchase Links:

Amazon  B&N

GIVEAWAY

I have 1 hardcover copy of the first book in this series to giveaway! 

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End November 22, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

To win a copy of Plantation Shudders
Click Here For Entry Form

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