Jun 192018
 

About the Book

This book has now been released in Trade Paperback and
at the time of this posting, you can get the Kindle version for just $1.20!!!

A Deadly Éclair: A French Bistro Mystery
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – California
Crooked Lane Books (June 12, 2018)
Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683316046
Kindle ASIN: B06XWDWRLF

It’s always been Mimi Rousseau’s dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she’s been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband’s tremendous debt. Until her best friend Jorianne James introduces her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker who invests in promising prospects. Now, working the bistro and inn until she’s able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn’s first wedding ever.

The wedding will be the talk of the town, as famous talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan’s half-brother, Edison, has chosen the inn as her perfect venue. Anxious, Mimi is sure things are going to turn south, especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners’ dinner, but by the evening, things begin to look up again. That is until six AM rolls around, and Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth. And the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven in Bryan’s will.

Now it’s up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Éclair, the scrumptious series debut by Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to a magnificent (magnifique) start! Mimi Rousseau is living her dream of owning her own inn and bistro. She has collaborated with Bryan Baker for the financial backing needed for the purchase and the vast remodeling effort to get both places open. In fact, the story opens with Mimi and her staff getting reading to host its first wedding. Bryan’s niece, talk show host, Angelica Edmonton and her fiancé are excited to be married at the inn. Things start to go awry with Angelica’s father, Edison, arrives at the out-of-towners’ dinner, but when Bryan is found dead the next morning at the bistro with an éclair in his month, Mimi doesn’t think things can get any worse. Now her mentor is dead and she is the prime suspect.

I have been looking forward to the book since I first saw the cover pop up on Facebook and it certainly exceeded my expectations. As a fan of the author’s Cheese Shop Mysteries and Cookbook Nook Mysteries, I knew the characters would be strong and the food descriptions would have my mouth watering and I was right.

Mimi Rousseau has a lot on her plate but I knew right away she could handle it. She is strong and savvy and has hired a top-notch staff. Chef C. and sous chef Stefan keep the kitchen under control while Heather runs the dining room. The inn, a fancy bed, and breakfast is managed by Mimi’s BFF, Jorianne. Mimi oversees everything from the menus and wine to all the events happening at the inn and bistro. All of the characters are very well defined for the first book in a series but there is plenty of room for them to grow. The secondary cast, the wedding party, family, and friends, are also very well crafted. I was drawn right into all of their drama.

The story was very fast paced with some corkscrew twists and more suspects than I at first set my sites on.  This author knows how to set the scene and have readers nibbling on each little clue as we follow Mimi in her investigation. The mystery is well plotted and so entertaining. I was enthralled from the first page until the last and then I wanted more.

Now let me talk about the food. Oh, my! Thanks to the tantalizing descriptions I could almost taste and smell so many delightful dishes and even the unique flavors of the wine served.  I love onion soup so every time it was mentioned my cravings stepped up another notch. Daryl Wood Gerber does share some recipes in the back of the book including recipes for Chocolate Éclairs and Onion Soup Gratinée. Both have been copied into my recipes file.

I am really excited about this new series and can’t wait for book #2, A Soufflé of Suspicion, coming in July 2018.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES, which she pens as Avery Aames. She will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAYS OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Praise for A Deadly Éclair: A French Bistro Mystery
by Daryl Wood Gerber

Great cozy mystery filled with all the things I love…great characters, great storyline, great food, and a dash of romance!
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

What a wonderful start to a new cozy mystery series . . . This really is a must-read for fans of the genre and food. I just loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

My vocabulary also got a workout, which I enjoy. Reading a good cozy should expand your world and this does that very well.
~Laura’s Interests

A DEADLY ECLAIR serves up a delicious blend of characters, setting, and mystery in the first French Bistro Mystery.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through most of the book, I felt like I was right there watching all of the action taking place. And the descriptions of the foods had me salivating.
~MJB Reviewers

Setting, characterization and plot all come together beautifully in A Deadly Éclair, book #1 in Daryl Wood Gerber’s entertaining new French Bistro series.
~The Power of Words

This was a great new series which leads us to another food cozy mystery . . . I love reading how Mimi clears her name.
~Community Bookstop

The setting descriptions were great, which I’ve come to expect from this author. She usually has a good balance of details and leaving some things to the imagination. I’m totally in love with the fact that the inn and gardens are based on Monet’s house in Giverny.
~Valerie’s Musings

A Deadly Éclair is well-written, contains good characters, and luscious food descriptions. Daryl Wood Gerber sets up a lovely backdrop for A French Bistro Mystery series.
~The Avid Reader

I loved the story and plot. I loved the characters.
~My Reading Journeys

What a wonderful start to a new series. The author has mesmerized me with her exquisite meals served at the beautiful restaurant our main character runs.
~Texas Book-aholic

A fun read with a wonderful setting, a blossoming relationship, and a perplexing murder.
~Mysteries with Character

The fictional setting of Nouvelle Vie, including the inn and bistro, will have you seriously considering a vacation to Napa Valley, and the food mentioned throughout the novel will leave your mouth watering!
~Reading is My SuperPower

The author’s descriptive style beautifully captures the setting and paints a lush and inviting place you would want to visit on your next holiday.
~That’s What She’s Reading

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog – Avery’s Blog – Mystery Lover’s Kitchen – Killer Characters –

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N     Kobo    BookBub
Coming July 10

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Click on covers to view details on Amazon.

Tour Participants

June 6 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE – GUEST POST
June 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews– REVIEW
June 7 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
June 7 – Ruff Drafts – RECIPE – GUEST POST
June 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW*, RECIPE – GUEST POST
June 9 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
June 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW*
June 10 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
June 11 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW*, RECIPE – GUEST POST
June 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW*
June 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 12 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW*
June 13 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
June 14 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW*, RECIPE – GUEST POST
June 14 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW*
June 15 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
June 16 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
June 16 – Lisa Ks Book Review – REVIEW*
June 17 –   The Cozy Pages – REVIEW
June 18 – The Montana Bookaholic –  REVIEW, RECIPE – GUEST POST
June 18 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW*
June 19 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
June 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW*

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May 032018
 

Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller)
by Gerry Schmitt

About the Book


Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller)

Suspense/Thriller
2nd in Series
Setting – Minnesota
Berkley

Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281789
Paperback: 320 pages (May 1, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-0425281796
Kindle ASIN: B01MXHV6CL

The brutal murder of a business tycoon leaves Afton Tangler and the Twin Cities reeling, but that’s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree…

Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can’t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.

Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case. As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again—and succeeds—in a brazen hospital room attack.

The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person—and she’s not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage…

I was privileged to read and review the hardcover edition of this book!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this follow up to Little Girl Gone we find Afton Tangler tangled up in another police investigation. Something she loves as she hopes to become a full-fledged detective instead of a family liaison officer.

A helicopter bringing a donor heart from Madison, Wisconsin is shot down out of the sky crashing down on a college campus. Afton and Detective Max Montgomery were nearby for a neighborhood meeting so they become some of the first responders.  Deputy Chief Gerald Thacker assigns Afton to work with Max on this difficult case.

Mom Chao Cherry ordered the hit on the helicopter. She is out for revenge but the police know nothing about her or even that she and her team plan to keep terrorizing the victims she chooses.

Ms. Schmitt takes us into the story from various characters points of view to drag us deep into the gritty and at times terrifying story.  This story involves many more people than the first book but I had no trouble following. I really enjoyed following the investigation to its conclusion. It grabbed my attention right away and held it to the very end.

I found both Afton and Max to be very engaging in the first book and they have grown to be very comfortable working together in this one. All the officers working on the case and the Deputy Chief realize Afton has talents to bring to the table. She doesn’t always follow Max’s orders but when she doesn’t she seems to have a good reason.

The content of the story was very well written and researched. This series brings a totally different type of story than I have seen from her alter ego Laura Childs. The language and events are raw and rough at times but ring true for these characters in this setting. It is fun to see this author bring us this thrilling story and a darker side of life while still giving us characters to root for.

Warning  – do not start this book late in the day. The author writes in a short chapter format that will have you saying “just one more chapter” several times until you realize you have read the whole darn book.

This book is part of a series but can be read on its own. To really know Afton and Max you should start with Little Girl Gone. I am already looking forward to the next Afton Tangler Thriller.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author

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

Author Links –
Website – Facebook 

To find books written as Laura Childs click here.

 

Praise for Shadow Girl

I enjoyed the characters a lot. Max and Afton seem to play off of each other well as far as figuring things out.
~Valerie’s Musings

This is one of those books where the bad men are really bad, and everyone in the case is hiding something to have a money profit…
~Varietats

Afton was a likable character for me. She seemed in tune with some of the other characters. She is good at her job.
~A. Holland Reads

Shadow Girl by Gerry Schmitt is one of the most gripping and chilling books I’ve read this year.
~Back Porchervations

The mystery and suspense aspect of this book was great. This was a definite page-turner.
~Bookworm Cafe

Can I just say Wow! It’s been awhile since I sat and read a book that terrified me with precision action that intrigued me so much it was impossible to put the book down.
~Texas Book-aholic

It starts off with a bang (literally) and the suspense never lets up. I love stories that grip you right from the start and this thriller fits the bill.
~Brooke Blogs

This is a serious thriller with a lot going on. There’s surface to air missiles, conspiracies to kill no matter who gets hurt and what has to be done, and characters with some seriously shady backstories.
~I Wish I Lived In a Library

From page 1 I was engaged in a thrilling and suspenseful ride!
~My Reading Journeys

As the chapters unfold we get a good look at things from both the good guys’ and the bad guys’ perspectives. This gives you a first-hand understanding of the killer’s motives, but in no way takes away from the suspense or the desire to see Afton and Max bring her to justice.
~The Book’s the Thing

A page turner like you never read before, Shadow Girl is a deeply rooted thriller in the art of murder, mystery, and revenge.
~Bibliophile Reviews

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BOOK BLAST PARTICIPANTS

May 1 –

Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

Rosepoint Publishing – SPOTLIGHT

Varietats – SPOTLIGHT 

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!– SPOTLIGHT

Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 2 –

Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT          

Community Bookstop – REVIEW           

Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW REPOST  

FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

Mysteries with Character – SPOTLIGHT

May 3 –

Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT       

Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT            

Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW REPOST 

Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW REPOST     

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The Montana Bookaholic – 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.”

Mar 032018
 

The Mass Market Paperback Edition of Dead Cold Brew by Cleo Coyle
will be released on Tuesday! 

dead-cold-brew
Dead Cold Brew
(A Coffeehouse Mystery)
16th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
Publisher: Berkley (January 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425276112
Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages (March 6, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-0425276129
E-Book ASIN: B01CZCW3BO
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Synopsis

From Cleo Coyle, the New York Times bestselling author of Dead to the Last Drop, comes a gripping new entry in the “highly satisfying”* Coffeehouse Mystery series. (*Publishers Weekly)

THE PERFECT PROPOSAL LEADS TO A CHILLING COLD CASE…

Coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi sheds tears of joy when her NYPD detective boyfriend surprises her with an engagement ring. But her bridal bliss is put on hold when a chilling mystery brings a wave of deadly danger to those she holds dear…

After everything Clare and Mike have been through, they deserve a little bit of happily ever after. So when Mike decides to put a ring on Clare’s finger, Clare’s eccentric octogenarian employer is there to help. She donates the perfect coffee-colored diamonds to include in the setting and the name of a world-famous jeweler who happens to be an old family friend. But while the engagement is steeped in perfection, the celebration is not long lived.

First, a grim-faced attorney interrupts their party with a mysterious letter bequeathing a strange, hidden treasure to Clare’s daughter. Next, the renowned jeweler who designed Clare’s ring is found poisoned in his shop. Both events appear to be connected to a cold case murder involving a sunken ship, an Italian curse, a suspiciously charming jewel thief, and a shocking family secret. With deadly trouble brewing, Clare must track down clues in some of New York’s most secret places before an old vendetta starts producing fresh corpses.

With recipes to die for, including how to make cold-brew coffee at home!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series just keeps getting better and better!

In this installment, the authors take us back in time to connect a present mystery to a very old mystery.  A jeweler is found unconscious and a letter is delivered that brings family secrets to light. What does a sunken ship and a precious jewel that supposedly went down with it have to do with the happenings today? All this just as Mike finally pops to question to Clare.  Congratulations are definitely in order but first Clare is on the trail trying to determine what it all means before more people end up dead.

Dead Cold Brew is the 16th installment in this long-running series and it is still brewing at a fevered pitch. These characters are so strong, current and real. The drama starts with an event that could be ripped from real-life headlines. There is a sniper gunning down cops, thankfully only wounding them, but Mike’s unit is one of the group’s being targeted. Clare is also working with her ex Matt find on who targeted his godfather after he is found poisoned in his home. Clare fears the cases may be related.

The story is very fast paced, so many things are happening but these authors are pros, the drama does not overwhelm the reader.  We are drawn in as clues are solved and twists take us in different directions. I loved the way the history of Matt’s family is integral the story. Clare is so close to her ex-mother-in-law and the woman has been so generous to Clare it was wonderful to get some of her back story. There is also part of the story the reminds me of my son and that made the book extra special for me. All this together makes this an extremely hard book to put down.

I now have a new book that is my favorite in this series.

The special thing is that the authors give us plenty of details so no matter whether you have read this series from the start, or missed a couple in the middle or if this is your first time visiting with Clare and her friends you won’t be lost or feel like you have missed something. I can’t promise that you won’t want to go back and read this series from the start after reading this one. In fact, I am almost positive you will. I think you will love these characters and want to read everything that you can about them.

Oh and don’t forget the recipes. The fantastic recipes.

Brew yourself a nice cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy Dead Cold Brew!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

This was my first Paradise Rating of 2017!

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 Mass Market Paperback copy to give away!

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

Dec 292017
 


2017 was a fantastic year for readers. As I write this post I have read 210 books this year. The majority were cozy mysteries, but suspense/thrillers and woman’s fiction were also in the mix. Those genres are all represented on this list. Congratulations to Paige Shelton and Vicki Delany, they each had 2 books make my list this year. 

Bookman Dead Style (A Dangerous Type Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Utah
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 7, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277263
Kindle ASIN: B01E4WAFNG
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A movie star is typecast as a killer in the second Dangerous Type Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of To Helvetica and Back.
 
It’s January, and the Star City Film Festival has taken the Utah ski resort town by storm. Movie stars are everywhere, carving fresh powder on the slopes and crossing the thresholds of Bygone Alley’s charming boutique shops—including The Rescued Word, where Clare Henry and her grandfather restore old typewriters and beloved books. When cinema’s hottest superhero, Matt Bane, enters their store to buy some personalized note cards, it’s hard not to be starstruck.

But when Clare sees the police leading Matt out of The Fountain hotel in handcuffs only a few hours later, she can’t believe her eyes. The affable actor is accused of killing his sister, but Clare’s convinced he’s wrong for that role. Now it’s open call for suspects as Clare tries to reel in the killer before another victim fades to black…

MY REVIEW



The Drawing Game (A Sketch in Crime Mystery)

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

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

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

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

MY REVIEW

No Way Home (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania/New Mexico
Henery Press (March 14, 2017)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635111774
Kindle 9781635111798

A relaxing trail ride turns tragic when Paramedic and Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers discovers the body of a popular county commissioner in her Pennsylvania woods. Inconsistencies surround the horrible accident, but before she can investigate further, she’s pried away by a plea for help from her best friend whose son has been deemed a person of interest in a homicide over a thousand miles away. When he vanishes without a trace, his mother begs Zoe to help clear him and bring him safely home. The task takes Zoe out of her comfort zone in a frantic trip to the desolate canyons and bluffs of New Mexico where she joins forces with the missing boy’s sister and a mysterious young Navajo.

Back at home, Vance Township’s Chief of Police Pete Adams must deal not only with the commissioner’s homicide but with an influx of meth and a subsequent rash of drug overdoses in his rural community. Bodies keep turning up while suspects keep disappearing. However little else matters when he learns that half a continent away, a brutal killer has Zoe in his sights.

MY REVIEW


Elementary, She Read: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (March 14, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683310969
Kindle ASIN: B01MT6H7O1

Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop–located at 222 Baker Street–specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.

The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman’s suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it’s a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

MY REVIEW


Of Books and Bagpipes: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – Scotland
Minotaur Books (April 4, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250057495
Kindle ASIN: B01LZ3VIQ9

Delaney Nichols has settled so comfortably into her new life in Edinburgh that she truly feels it’s become more home than her once beloved Kansas. Her job at the Cracked Spine, a bookshop that specializes in rare manuscripts as well as other sundry valuable historical objects, is everything she had dreamed, with her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, entrusting her more and more with bigger jobs. Her latest task includes a trip to Castle Doune, a castle not far out of Edinburgh, to retrieve a hard-to-find edition of an old Scottish comic, an “Oor Wullie,” in a cloak and dagger transaction that Edwin has orchestrated.

While taking in the sights of the distant Highlands from the castle’s ramparts, Delaney is startled when she spots a sandal-clad foot at the other end of the roof. Unfortunately, the foot’s owner is very much dead and, based on the William Wallace costume he’s wearing, perfectly matches the description of the man who was supposed to bring the Oor Wullie. As Delaney rushes to call off some approaching tourists and find the police, she comes across the Oor Wullie, its pages torn and fluttering around a side wall of the castle. Instinct tells her to take the pages and hide them under her jacket. It’s not until she returns to the Cracked Spine that she realizes just how complicated this story is and endeavors to untangle the tricky plot of why someone wanted this man dead, all before getting herself booked for murder.

MY REVIEW


The Simplicity of Cider: A Novel
Women’s Fiction
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (May 16, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1501179723
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1501154928
Kindle ASIN: B01HMXRVKO

Fall in love with The Simplicity of Cider, the charming new novel about a prickly but gifted cider-maker whose quiet life is interrupted by the arrival of a handsome man and his young son at her family’s careworn orchard by the author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.

Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family’s apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother’s attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land.

Single dad Isaac Banks has spent years trying to shield his son Sebastian from his troubled mother. Fleeing heartbreak at home, Isaac packed up their lives and the two headed out on an adventure, driving across the country. Chance—or fate—led them straight to Sanna’s orchard.

Isaac’s helping hands are much appreciated at the apple farm, even more when Sanna’s father is injured in an accident. As Sanna’s formerly simple life becomes increasingly complicated, she finds solace in unexpected places—friendship with young Sebastian and something more deliciously complex with Isaac—until an outside threat infiltrates the farm.

MY REVIEW

No Turning Back: A Novel
Women Sleuths/Suspense Thriller
Setting – United Kingdom
Crooked Lane Books (June 13, 2017)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683311638
E-Book ASIN: B01N4FP1AR

Anna Graves’s whole life has recently been turned upside down. A new mother, she’s just gone back to her job as a radio presenter and is busy navigating a new schedule of late night feeding and early morning wake ups while also dealing with her newly separated husband. Then the worst happens. While Anna is walking on the beach with her daughter, she’s attacked by a crazed teenager. Terrified, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her baby.

But her life falls apart when the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister. A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt. Her precarious mental state is further threatened when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the “Ophelia Killer,” a serial killer who preyed on the town twenty years ago—and who abruptly stopped when Anna’s father committed suicide.

Is Anna as innocent as she claims? And is murder forgivable, if committed to save your child’s life? Internationally bestselling author Tracy Buchanan takes readers on an emotional roller coaster ride filled with heart-stopping secrets and hairpin turns in No Turning Back, her US debut.

MY REVIEW

The Detecting Duchess (Victorian Bookshop Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – London, England
JDP Press (May 18, 2017)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0996483162
E-Book ASIN: B071J129MG

The only thing standing between Georgia and her fairy-tale wedding is a murder. Or two.

When a young woman pleads for help from Georgia Fenchurch in locating a missing Crown investigator, Georgia resists. Her wedding is only a week away. Before she can say no, she’s knocked to the ground by an assailant attempting to kill the young woman.

Georgia now feels she must help. She soon finds herself up to her wedding veil in stolen treasure and coded letters. With the Duke of Blackford’s help, Georgia follows a trail of missing men and dead bodies. Every victim had one thing in common – a desire to possess a fortune in gold.

In between the society balls and social calls of late Victorian London, Georgia works on her last case before the big day. Will she stop a ruthless killer in time? Or will Georgia find getting to the altar on time is going to be murder?

MY REVIEW

Deadly Choices (Rim Country Mysteries)
3rd in Series
Setting – Arizona
Suspense Thriller
3rd in Series
Short on Time Books (July 17, 2017)
Kindle – ASIN: B074187YT7

An elderly woman with an arrow in her chest. A murdered journalist. A decades-old cover-up. In Deadly Choices (Rim Country Mysteries Volume 3), Rita and Cliff Avery team up again to solve a spate of murders in their picturesque Arizona mountain town of Rim Vista. Rita’s mother Willow delivers gun-wrenching news while falling for the man who could be responsible for four deaths. And Rita must escape a string of life-threatening predicaments thrown at her by an assailant willing to do anything to scare Cliff off the case.

MY REVIEW


Death Distilled: A Whisky Business Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Scotland
Alibi (September 5, 2017)
Print Length 240 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01N6FSSUX

Photojournalist by trade, distillery owner by blood, and amateur sleuth by necessity, Abigail Logan learns that murder can’t stay bottled up forever in this charming Whisky Business Mystery.

It’s been three months since Abi Logan last checked in on Abbey Glen, the celebrated whisky distillery she inherited. With her oversize wheaten terrier, Liam, by her side, Abi returns to the quaint Scottish village of Balfour. But her relaxing Highland homecoming takes a stressful turn when she unearths an unseemly bit of village history, welcomes a group of Japanese whisky enthusiasts, and becomes shepherdess to an unexpected flock of sheep—all within the first twenty-four hours. Still, nothing’s more stressful than murder. . . .

Local celebrity Rory Hendricks is the hotheaded, hard-rocking former frontman of the Rebels—and Abi’s girlhood crush. After meeting him in person, Abi can’t say no to anything he asks, like photographing his upcoming show . . . or figuring out who’s trying to kill him. Turns out someone’s been bumping off his old bandmates, with the drummer dead under mysterious circumstances and the keyboardist in a coma following a hit-and-run. Now a series of threatening messages leads Rory to think he’s next on the chopping block. And the band has a devil’s share of broken hearts and bitter disputes in their past, leaving Abi a huge batch of suspects to sift through—all before the killer takes another shot.

MY REVIEW


Assaulted Caramel (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Ohio
Kensington (August 29, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496706393
Kindle ASIN: B01MQSAI6E

Sometimes you need a sweet tooth to take a bite out of crime . . .

Bailey King is living the sweet life as assistant chocolatier at world-famous JP Chocolates in New York City. But just when Bailey’s up for a life-changing promotion, her grandmother calls with news that her grandfather’s heart condition has worsened. Bailey rushes to Harvest, Ohio, where her grandparents still run Swissmen Sweets, the Amish candy shop where she was first introduced to delicious fudge, truffles, and other assorted delights.

She finds her grandfather is doing better than she feared. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for a local Englisch developer, whom Bailey finds dead in the candy shop kitchen—with Jebediah King’s chocolate knife buried in his chest. Now the police are sweet on her grandfather as the prime suspect. Despite the sincere efforts of a yummy deputy with chocolate-brown eyes, Bailey takes it on herself to clear Jebediah. But as a cunning killer tries to fudge the truth, Bailey may be headed straight into a whole batch of trouble . . .

Recipe Included!
MY REVIEW

Protocol (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
Medical Thriller/Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Midwest U.S.
Henery Press (September 5, 2017)
Paperback: 276 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635112399
E-Book ASIN: B072JZK43D

Freshly minted college graduate Maggie O’Malley embarks on a career fueled by professional ambition and a desire to escape the past. As a pharmaceutical researcher, she’s determined to save lives from the shelter of her lab. But on her very first day she’s pulled into a world of uncertainty. Reminders appear on her phone for meetings she’s never scheduled with people she’s never met. People who end up dead.

With help from her best friend, Maggie discovers the victims on her phone are connected to each other and her new employer. She soon unearths a treacherous plot that threatens her mission—and her life. Maggie must unlock deadly secrets to stop horrific abuses of power before death comes calling for her.

MY REVIEW

Hair Brained (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Setting – Florida
Orange Grove Press (September 12, 2017)
Paperback: 278 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997003888

E-Book ASIN: B072XVHPPH

 

 

Was the car crash an accident or a deliberate attempt to run Marla’s friends off the road?

When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend is hurt in a suspicious car accident, Marla assumes guardianship of her infant son. No sooner does Marla say, “Baby want a bottle?” than she’s embroiled in another murder investigation. Her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, determines the crash may not have been an accident after all. But then, who would want Tally–or Ken in the car with her–out of the way? As Marla digs deeper into her friends’ lives, she realizes she didn’t know them as well as she’d thought. Nonetheless, it’s her duty as their son’s guardian to ensure his safety, even if it means putting her own life at risk. Can she protect the baby and find the culprit before someone else ends up as roadkill?

MY REVIEW


Mining for Justice (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Midnight Ink (October 8, 2017)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738753348
E-Book ASIN: B01N7UGNZB

Chloe Ellefson is excited to be learning about Wisconsin’s Cornish immigrants and mining history while on temporary assignment at Pendarvis, a historic site in charming Mineral Point. But when her boyfriend, police officer Roelke McKenna, discovers long-buried human remains in the root cellar of an old Cornish cottage, Chloe reluctantly agrees to mine the historical record for answers.

She soon finds herself in the center of a heated and deadly controversy that threatens to close Pendarvis. While struggling to help the historic site, Chloe must unearth dark secrets, past and present . . . before a killer comes to bury her.

MY REVIEW


The Secret, Book & Scone Society
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – North Carolina
Kensington (October 31, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496718563
Kindle ASIN: B01N4W09GF
Audio CD ISBN-13: 978-1520079691

From New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams comes the first in an intriguing new series set within a quirky small-town club where the key to happiness, friendship—or solving a murder—can all be found within the pages of the right book . . . 

Miracle Springs, North Carolina, is a place of healing. Strangers flock here hoping the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. If none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked “comfort” scone from the Gingerbread House bakery, they exchange their stories with owner Nora Pennington in return for a carefully chosen book. That’s Nora’s special talent—prescribing the perfect novel to ease a person’s deepest pain and lighten their heaviest burden.

When a visiting businessman reaches out to Nora for guidance, she knows exactly which novels will help. But before he can keep their appointment at Miracle Books, he’s found dead on the train tracks.

Stunned, Nora forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, a group of damaged souls yearning to gain trust and earn redemption by helping others. To join the society, members must divulge their darkest secret—the terrible truth that brought each of them to Miracle Springs in the first place.

Determined to uncover the truth behind the businessman’s demise, the women meet in Nora’s cramped and cozy bookstore to share stories and trade support. And as they untangle a web of corruption, they also discover their own courage, purpose, and a sisterhood that will carry them through every challenge—proving it’s never too late to turn the page and start over . . .

MY REVIEW


Seeds of Revenge (A Greenhouse Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Henery Press (November 14, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635112757
Kindle ASIN: B07519T827

It’s time to cuddle up with a holiday whodunit. Smell the crisp pines and baking cranberries as you sip your hot apple cider. It may be the season, but the mood in Winsome is anything but jolly.

Megan Sawyer is determined to farm year-round. So much so that she braves a December snowstorm to pitch her fresh greenhouse greens to Philadelphia chefs.

And then she sees a stranger stranded on the side of the road.

But this woman is no stranger to Winsome. It’s Becca Fox. A love chemist (you read that right). She’s headed to her aunt’s house to sell her love potions at holiday events.

Or so Becca thinks.

Her sneaky aunt only invited Becca home to reunite her with her estranged father. It sounds noble and kind-hearted until the man ends up dead.

Megan soon finds herself in the middle. She realizes Becca’s not the only one getting iced over. Megan’s own aunt, the famous mystery author, is dragged into the drama. Her novels implicate her and she’s in trouble.

Now it’s personal. Our Megan must follow a cryptic trail of literary clues, all while sifting through the victim’s sordid past. She gets closer to the truth as the murderer gets closer to her.

How’s that for a ho ho ho? Don’t let your fresh apple crisp burn in the oven because you’re lost in this holiday homicide.

MY REVIEW


Hark the Herald Angels Slay (A Year-Round Christmas Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 28, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280829
Kindle ASIN: B06XFFNS2M

The town of Rudolph, New York, has the Christmas spirit all year long—but when homicide heats up a summer holiday, it’s up to shop owner Merry Wilkinson to wrap up the case.

In Rudolph, Christmas in July heralds Santa’s arrival by boat to begin his summer vacation at the lake, and Merry Wilkinson, the owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, is looking forward to a busy weekend. But she’s caught off guard when her ex-fiancé, Max Folger, unexpectedly arrives with a team from a lifestyle magazine wanting to do a feature on the July festivities.

It’s clear that Max’s visit has less to do with business and more to do with winning back Merry’s heart. Merry has too much on her plate to deal with an old flame, but when Max is found strangled to death in Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, she must find out who wanted him dead—and stop a killer from ruining the summer holiday cheer.

MY REVIEW

What were your favorite books this year? Please share them in the comment section below so we can all see them and add them to our wish lists!

I am excited looking forward to 2018. Authors have continuing great series and starting new ones. Some have moved to new publishers and several are self-publishing. I have started making my wish list, you can find coming titles on the 2018 Book Recommendations Page here. It only goes through April right now but I will add covers throughout the year. 

I hope you have enjoyed my reviews, recommendations, and giveaways. It has been a pleasure to be your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent this year. I am excited about the new year as I start my 9th year blogging! I hope to book many more literary escapes for you all to enjoy!

 Reminder – My BLOGOVERSARY Giveaways will start tomorrow!! 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Dec 272017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am featuring Paige Shelton’s Comic Sans Murder today! 

Comic Sans Murder (A Dangerous Type Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Utah
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (December 5, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277270
Kindle ASIN: B06XK4TTSZ

 

 

SOMETHING’S AFOOT…
 
The visit of quirky world-famous horror author Nathan Grimes to Star City is especially thrilling for Clare Henry and her grandfather Chester. As the owners of The Rescued Word, a charming boutique shop in town, Clare, and Chester specialize in restoring old typewriters and repairing beloved books. They’ve invited Nathan to their shop to use their equipment for his next book.

But all plans to work on the book take a step in the wrong direction when a tourist discovers an abandoned ski boot on the slopes—and the only sign of the owner is the dismembered foot he left inside! Nathan’s writer’s curiosity for all things horror is further piqued after the body of Clare’s high school friend Lloyd Gavin is discovered sans one foot. When all toes point to a class reunion gone wrong, Nathan can’t help but join Clare and her best friend, police officer Jodie Wentworth, as they hurry to track down the killer before more former classmates become Most Likely to Be Killed.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A gruesome discovery on the slopes, a visit to Star City by horror author Nathan Grimes, and the arrival of a unique gift from an old high school classmate have Clare and Jodie very busy in this Dangerous Type Mystery.

The staff as the Rescued Word is joined by Nathan Grimes. He is using the shop’s Gutenberg press to publish a book of poetry, taking self-publishing to its limits by placing the type in the press himself. Clare, Chester, Marion, and Adal are all excited about this project. Clare’s relationship with Seth is going strong and I love the way the are will each other.  We also meet some of Clare’s high school classmates and a few tourists as well. In each story, we get to know the main characters better and the new characters bring the drama to the Utah town. The relationships Clare has with every single character feel real and true. She is a wonderful protagonist, friendly and likable.

This time the main mystery has to do with a mini-reunion of men who attended high school in Star City. A connection between them is clear with the exception of Clare’s ex and police deputy Creighton. He just seems so out of place in the group. After the first man is found dead Jodie and Clare pull out all the stops to find the killer. There is also a minor mystery when one of the characters goes missing.

I really enjoy the typewriter theme. Learning about the Hooven typewriters was very interesting. I am surprised there is enough business to keep The Rescued Word a viable business in this electronic age but with customers like Nathan Grimes, it seems to stay open.

This is one of my favorite series. I just love these characters and the situations they find themselves in. The writing is crisp and very well plotted. I have fun following the clues and figuring out the killer. I was a couple of steps ahead of Clare this time but I enjoyed every minute of this story.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Paige Shelton is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com


GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 January 10, 2018, 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.”

Dec 262017
 

Full Bodied Murder (Rose Avenue Wine Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (November 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496712103
Kindle ASIN: B06XFKNJ2S

 

 

As the newest member of the Rose Avenue Wine Club, Halsey wants to expand her palate—not solve murders. But when a neighbor is found dead, it’s up to her to pair the culprit with a deadly crime . . .

Leaving behind a failed marriage, New Yorker Annie “Halsey” Hall is ready to begin the next phase of her life in coastal Southern California. From the moment she arrives at her new digs on cozy Rose Avenue, she looks forward to joining the neighborhood ladies for their weekly Wine Club gathering. With only a rambunctious yellow lab puppy to keep her company, Halsey could really use a confidant—and a glass or two of her favorite white wine . . .

Unfortunately, she finds nothing but red at the Wine Club meeting—and judging by the dead woman lying face down in the backyard, it’s not spilled Merlot. Halsey accidentally stumbled into the wrong address at the wrong time, and with suspicions about her past on the rise, she must prove that she isn’t a killer. Enlisting the eclectic talents of the Wine Club ladies, Halsey searches for the true criminal at large. But separating friends from foes isn’t easy on Rose Avenue, and as she racks up a suspect list, Halsey can’t shake the feeling that someone in her inner circle has a taste for murder . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Annie “Halsey” Hall has moved to California and landed on Rose Avenue. She realizes immediately how different it will be from her life in New York. Here she has neighbors that she wants to get to know, so she is excited to be asked to join the Rose Avenue Wine Club. She sets off with her puppy to attend the first club meeting but when she arrives her dog drags her through the house where she discovers a dead woman. Not the welcome she had expected at all, especially when the police arrive and consider her their prime suspect.

She soon learns she was at the wrong address and meets up with the women of the wine club. They promise to help her clear her name and they start their own investigation. Halsey wants to get to know these ladies better as she fears one of them may actually be the killer.

We meet a lot of characters in this first book of the series. The wine club ladies all live on the same street and all of them seems to have a secret. The one thing they all have in common is their love of wine. They consume a bottle or two or more every time they meet. I am not sure if the helped or hindered their investigation 🙂 They do put themselves in some dangerous situations and more than one of them end up in the hospital.

I did enjoy the introduction of Halsey’s love interest. Jack, dog trainer/dog whisperer has been hired by Halsey to help her train her loveable Labrador puppy. Their relationship had a spark from their first meeting and continues to grow throughout the story.

The plot has a fever pitch as so much happens. In addition to the murder, there are drug dealers, middle of the night car deals, rats invading a business, theft, hidden security cameras, angry and nosy neighbors, illegal aliens,  and general shady deals all over the place. It all comes together to make a darn good mystery.

Everyone would enjoy this story but wine lovers will find details about all the wine mentioned in the story and a Glossary of Wine Terms and the end of the story.

I feel as if we have just gotten a good sip into the lives of these characters. The author has left them plenty of room to grow. I am excited to see what she decants about them in the next book. Murder Most Fermented will be ready to pour April 24, 2018. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Christine E. Blum was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio. At the age of seven, her parents moved to Europe and luckily took her with them. Christine grew up in Paris, Brussels, and finally London, and along the way developed her unique brand of humor. She lives in Southern California where she’s allowed to share a house and pool with her famous yellow Lab, Bardot, who just happens to be able to dive 10’ underwater, has appeared on Animal Planet, and was featured in the New York Times bestseller, Underwater Dogs. When not signing paw-tographs, she can be found lounging by the pool and solving murders. Readers can visit Christine’s website at christineeblum.com.


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.

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 January 9, 2018, 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.”

Dec 222017
 

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.

This is the last Flashback Friday of 2017, next week I will be posting my list of the
Best Books of 2017!
Flashback Friday will return January 5, 2018

I purchased this book last year at Christmas time and saved it to read this year to help me get into the Christmas spirit.

Mischief in Moonstone Series: When Rudolph was Kidnapped
Contemporary Fiction/Romance/Mystery 
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Writers Exchange E-Publishing (December 2, 2016)
Print Length: 177 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01N6CLT6M

 

 

This delightful series focuses on the humorous mystery and romantic adventures of the kind folks who live in the environs of a small village nestled on Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin. Along the way in the series, silkie chickens, a giant prehistoric beaver skeleton, a kidnapped reindeer, and other flora and fauna contribute to the amusing mischief and mayhem.

When her pet reindeer, Rudolph, is stolen from the live animal holiday display, first-grade teacher Crystal Hagan has a big problem on her hands. Her students fear that Christmas will be canceled. Ironically, the prime suspect is a man who lives in a mansion known as the “North Pole”. And to her shock, Peter LeBarron admits to kidnapping Rudolph and he won’t give him back without some romantic “negotiations”.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Superior, Wisconsin may feel like the North Pole, so the residents of this little town led my first-grade teacher, Crystal Hagan, do all they can to celebrate Christmas in a big way. It starts with a live nativity featuring Crystal’s own reindeer named Rudolph. It takes place in front of a huge mansion, which the children believe is the “North Pole”. But this year Rudolph is stolen from its spot in the manger.  The children are upset because Santa can’t come without Rudolph. Crystal believes the owner of the mansion has stolen her pet, and his son admits it! He promises the reindeer will be returned if his father’s demands are met. This leads to some interesting negotiations and activities including Crystal’s first graders.

This story is perfect for a Hallmark holiday movie.

Mayhem and toe-curling romance abound in this little town on chilly Lake Superior.

The characters span all generations. Crystal meets Peter while looking for her missing reindeer. She can’t believe his father, a man who used to dress up as Santa, would take her reindeer, but the man has changed over the years, and even more just over the past few weeks. Peter has left the warmth of his Arizona home to try to figure out why his dad is selling his home and his business. All the characters are realistic and with being a novella we need to get to know them fast. The author does a wonderful job of bringing them to life.

A missing reindeer is a cute little mystery. The mayhem that takes place leading up to getting him back is heartwarming and at times really funny.

The romance, again because of the length of the story also happens quickly but not easily.

Ms. DeSmet has crafted a wonderful Christmas story. It helped to get me into the Christmas spirit and may become an annual read. Seriously Hallmark…movie, I am just saying. 🙂

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Christine DeSmet author picAbout The Author
Christine DeSmet writes the Fudge Shop Mystery Series (Penguin Random House/NAL/Obsidian). She’s also an award-winning scriptwriter and teaches writing at University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies where she directs the annual June Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Workshop & Retreat. You can find her on Facebook or at her website, www.ChristineDeSmet.com.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away 1 Kindle copy sent directly from Amazon!

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.

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

Contest Will End December 29, 2017, 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

*Book was purchased from Amazon for my private collection.

Dec 212017
 


Stowed Away (A Maine Clambake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (December 26, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback 280 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496700414
E-Book ASIN: B06XZSXYQ6

 

 

It’s June in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and Julia Snowden and her family are working hard to get their authentic Maine clambake business ready for summer. Preparations must be put on hold, however, when a mysterious yacht drops anchor in the harbor—and delivers an unexpected dose of murder . . .

When Julia’s old prep school rival Wyatt Jayne invites her to dinner on board her billionaire fiancé’s decked-out yacht, Julia arrives to find a sumptuous table set for two—and the yachtsman dead in his chair. Suspicion quickly falls on Wyatt, and Julia’s quest to dredge up the truth leads her into the murky private world of a mega-rich recluse who may not have been all that he seemed . . .

Recipes Included

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Summer in Busman’s Harbor means a lot of work for the Snowden Family. Preparations for the summer clambakes are underway and a decision needs to be made about Windsholme, the home on Morrow Island that been empty since the 1920’s and that suffered additional damage in last summer’s fire. Do they update and renovate, restore the historic home to its glory or do they tear it down? Everyone has their own opinions but the decision is up to Julia’s mom. After her financial windfall last year she can afford to take on this huge project but a family friend, Quentin Tupper has brought in an expert to look over the home. Julia is shocked when she see’s the expert is her old roommate from prep school, Susan Wyatt Jayne, she just goes by Wyatt Jayne now. She is even more shocked to learn that the huge yacht docked in the harbor belongs to the woman’s “boyfriend”. When invited to meet the wealthy yacht owner Julia reluctantly accepts and finds she knows his chef too.

The next day Julia receives a frantic call from Wyatt begging her to come to the yacht. When she arrives, she finds a table set for a romantic dinner and the billionaire dead at the head of the table. Everyone living aboard the yacht has become a suspect. Quentin asks Julia to investigate to help Wyatt but what she discovers is the most shocking thing of all.

I eagerly picked up this book excited to return to Busman’s Harbor and I enjoyed every single minute of this trip.

Chris and Julia are transitioning away from their winter restaurant and to their summer jobs. Julia managing her family’s clambake business and Chris back to his landscaping and bartending, meaning they are not going to see each other much. The whole Snowden family returns including baby Jack. Sonny, Livvie, and their kids will be moving to the island for the summer. Julia and Livvie’s mom will be taking a leave from her current job to return to work at the island gift shop, We meet several new characters including the crew aboard the Garbo and a mother and daughter that have moved to the area.

This story takes place before the Snowden family clambakes begin giving Julia plenty of time to investigate. She has a bit of a vested interest to part of the mystery that adds a really cool element to the story. There is also a mind-bending twist that turn that turns the whole mystery on its ear.

I really enjoyed when Julia paired up with someone unexpectedly as she started to form a theory about the murder. I also enjoyed that when she had more details Lieutenant Binder was willing to listen and then included her as they got closer to solving the case.

The subplots fit nicely into the main mystery. Some secrets are revealed and decisions are made that may change some relationships. I am excited to see how they are addressed in upcoming installments of this fantastic series.

A cozy escape to Maine always proves to be a good time. Great characters and the drama they create and that is created around them will grab you and hold on tight. The story is so well written and the dialogue realistic. Barbara Ross knows how to set the scene too. I was ready to dish up my plate at the friends and family clambake and relax on Morrow Island.

The author does a wonderful job so that all her books can be read on their own, but I encourage you to read the series from the beginning. Be sure to check out the recipes too!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About The Author

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries, including the Agatha-nominated Best Contemporary Novel Clammed Up, as well as Boiled Over, Musseled Out, Fogged Inn, and Iced Under. Her story “Nogged Off” appears in the holiday novella collection Eggnog Murder along with stories by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis. Barbara blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors and Maine Crime Writers. In the summer, she writes on her big front porch overlooking the water in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. You can visit her website at http://www.maineclambakemysteries.com

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

Dec 202017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to welcome Clover Tate to Escape With Dollycas!


Guest Post
by Clover Tate
(Provided by publicist.)

Readers sometimes tilt their heads at me and ask, “How much of you is Emmy Adler?”

Emmy is the heroine of my kite shop mysteries, including the second in the series, Live and Let Fly. Emmy is in her early 30s, an artist-kitemaker, and a bit confused about her romantic life. Since the series is written in Emmy’s point of view, it’s natural for readers to wonder how similar we are. Am I like her? Not a bit! And, yet, of course, I am.

First for the “not a bit” part. Without getting specific, I’m, well, a bit older than Emmy. I’ve never crafted a kite. I live in a city, not a tiny beach town like Rock Point. While Emmy has Bear, an Australian Shepherd, I have two cats. Unlike Emmy, my romantic life is firmly under control.

At the same time, Emmy and I have a lot in common. First is our shared sense of humor. Emmy wouldn’t have parents who take part in a Watergate reenactment club if it didn’t crack me up. Emmy laughs at it, too, and she, like I, think it’s hilarious that the National Bloodhound reporter in Live and Let Fly is named Nicky Byrd the third, and that the murder victim, Jasmine Normand, was on a reality TV dating safari show called Bag That Babe.

Plus, Emmy and I also both like food. I didn’t intend it to happen, but when Emmy fetches a cup of coffee or a tuna melt at her best friend Avery’s café, the Brew House, we both luxuriate in its fragrance and taste. I know authors who dread that their characters have to eat from time to time, but I enjoy describing meals, from Rock Point’s Tidal Basin’s glass of pinot noir to its sautéed morel mushrooms and salmon steak.

Finally, Emmy and I both share a soft spot for misfits. While in Live and Let Fly the rest of the town dismisses cranky Marcus Salek as just another sourpuss, Emmy recognizes the hurt beneath his sarcasm. She’s also willing to understand the eloquent but clumsy Nicky Byrd as someone needing direction for his talent.

I feel that way, too. It’s the offbeat people around me who have inspired me to break off from corporate America. I can’t help but embrace dreamers and explorers, and I guess that’s why I write mysteries and why quirky folks will always earn a central place in what I write.

Really, the best people are just a hair off kilter. Emmy is, and so am I. Maybe you are, too?

~Clover

Thank you, Clover, so much for visiting today!


Live and Let Fly (A Kite Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Oregon
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Release Date – December 5, 2017
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425283554
Kindle ASIN: B06XK3ZS7Z

 

 

Kite shop owner Emmy Adler becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation that could send her dreams crashing to the ground…

With summer drawing to a close in Rock Point, Oregon, Emmy Adler hopes to beat the seasonal drop in business by winning the annual kite festival. What better way to garner publicity for the handmade kites sold in her shop, Strings Attached? In the days leading up to the festival, Emmy’s ambitions are soaring. Even an argument with reality TV star and contest judge Jasmine Normand can’t bring her down. But when Jasmine is found dead the morning after their altercation, Emmy’s no longer flying high.

When the police open an investigation into Jasmine’s death and deem it a murder, Emmy falls under suspicion. With a national tabloid reporter convinced that she is guilty and business at her shop at a standstill, Emmy has to trade kite making for crime solving—or find all of her ambitions blown off course.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The song from Mary Poppins “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” started playing in my head as soon as I saw this book cover. But kite flying is not all fun and games in Rock Point, Oregon, especially when Emmy is getting ready for the annual kite festival. Her shop’s future could depend on whether she wins or loses. A celebrity has been brought in to judge the event but she and Emmy get off to a terrible start with an argument in front of in front of a bunch of people. When the judge is killed soon after she becomes a prime suspect. She may have information to clear herself but a member of the paparazzi is not letting her off the hook. To save Strings Attached? she is really going to have to fly around to prove her innocence or all her dreams may go “Up, Up, and Away”.

I really enjoyed my literary trip to Rock Point. Kites in the air, waves crashing on the beach, the wind in my hair and murder to solve.

As in Blown Away, the first book in this series, the story starts out at a good clip. Emmy’s sister Sunny drops in for an unexpected and what could be a lengthy visit, and she has not informed her parents where she is. If Emmy keeps Sunny’s whereabouts a secret from her mom she knows it is going to come back and bite her, but she is too stressed out about the kite she is creating to enter in the festival and all the tourists coming to town. I admire Emmy’s patience with her sister. I wanted to jump into the pages more than once and pummel the girl myself.

Avery’s busy too at the Brew House, so Sunny moving in is no big deal for her.  Emmy has gotten close to Jack Sullivan, the owner of the other kit store in town. They are competing against each other in the Best Kite division, and she is looking forward to taking him down. 🙂 Other characters from book one have returned, including a certain Australian Shepherd,  and we are introduced to a few new ones too, Hollywood types and the entourage that follows them. All were highly entertaining.

Midway through the story, the pace levels out just a bit but then as the clues start to fall into place and the suspect/s start to feel the pressure the pace heats up again. My pages were flying. The plot was well thought through with surprising twists. The subplots were interesting and I am excited about the next book to see some of them continue.

I love that Emmy creates one-of-kind kites. I was really into sewing and quilting before my accident and she uses several techniques I am very familiar with. It is nice to read about something I used to love to do so much. The author described it all so well. I could almost feel like it was my hand pushing the needle through the fabric. The colors described were so bright and appealing too.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Clover Tate is a former congressional investigator and the author of the Kite Shop Mysteries, including Blown Away and Live and Let Fly.


Coming in September 2018

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End January 3, 2018, 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.”

Dec 192017
 


A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series

Setting – Virginia
Crooked Lane Books (December 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683314394
E-Book ASIN: B072396C2L

 

 

Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. She quickly busies herself with managing a charming public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and overabundance of eccentric patrons. The last thing she needs is a new, available neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.

Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door from his great-uncle, Paul Dassin. But town folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife, who was an outsider. It quickly became water under the bridge, until she vanished after her sensational 1925 murder trial. Determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, Richard implores Amy to help him investigate the case. Amy is skeptical until their research raises questions about the culpability of the town’s leading families… including her own.

When inexplicable murders plunge the quiet town into chaos, Amy and Richard must crack open the books to reveal a cruel conspiracy and lay a turbulent past to rest in A Murder for the Books, the first installment of Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library mysteries.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Oh, I am excited about this series. It is off to a wonderful start.

Amy Webber has left her job as a college librarian and moved to her aunt’s home in Taylorsford, Virginia. She manages the town’s library which is quite different from her previous job. The residents of Taylorsford are an eclectic bunch. She is thankful her predecessor left her plenty of notes about her new patrons. Sadly, one of those patrons is murdered early in the story. Found on library property Amy finds herself in the middle of the investigation. Some are even pointing their fingers at her.

She also meets her new neighbor Richard Muir, a dancer/teacher/choreographer. He has been renovating the house next door that he inherited from his uncle. He is very interested in his family’s history, especially a murder and a disappearance. He turns to Amy for help researching the archives to find answers. Maybe together they can solve the current case while finding answers in a cold one too.

Ms. Gilbert has created such rich main characters. I felt drawn to them immediately. I wanted to know their family histories and get to know them better as themselves. There is a romantic spark between Richard and Amy. Amy tries to stop or ignore her feelings because it was a broken romantic entanglement that made her quit her last job. Richard is a patient man and is not giving up. Their interplay is touching and real. Amy’s aunt also likes Richard very much and is not beyond a little matchmaking between the two.

There are two mysteries to solve in this story and they are seriously tangled up together.  I did have an inkling about the 1925 case early on in the book, but that did not deter my enjoyment of following each and every clue. The current mystery was total surprising from start to finish. Several suspects had means, motive, and opportunity. The climactic reveal stunned me. It was exciting and action-packed. The suspense was at a high level.

Victoria Gilbert walks that fine line keeping this cozy from jumping into the thriller lane. She has created a mystery story with great substance, tempered it with the beginnings of a romance and the exact right amount of humor. The characters are genuine and really shine throughout the entire book.

I loved this story and wish I had Shelved Under Murder in my hot little hands right now. My escape to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains ended much too soon. I have my virtual bags packed for a return trip mid-July 2018. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 


About the Author

Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.

When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.

Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. This is her first Blue Ridge Library mystery.

 

Author Links
Website/Blog    Facebook   Twitter  Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon     B&N         Books-A-Million      Indie Bound 

Praise for A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

What really got me about this one, was how different this book is from a normal cozy. Librarian, Amy, is trying to clear the name of a woman who went missing back in 1925 for her neighbor, Richard. (Is that a potential love interest I see?)

Right there you have something totally unique. It makes this a cold case cozy!
~A Chick Who Reads

Excellent writing with some great new characters all set to make you want to read some more.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I found this to be a very entertaining mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat. The author does a really good job of keeping the action going throughout the telling of the story.
~Author Teresa Trent

I liked the multiple storylines in A Murder for the Books. Besides the modern day mystery, Amy and Richard are trying to solve a murder that happened years ago.
~The Book’s the Thing

Murder By The Books is a bit of a thriller in that it is about a cold case. And it fits all those things I and most people enjoy about a cozy.
~My Reading Journeys

Full of family history and drama, star-crossed lovers and would-be lovers, secrets, and conspiracies, mysterious deaths and murders, surprises and predictability, greed and hope, ignorance and bigotry, humor and quirkiness, “A Murder for the Books” delivers an entertaining story that began several generations ago and continues to this day.
~Bea’s Book Nook

There are several mysteries and multiple storylines going on as everything unfolds . . . I did enjoy the aspect of the town’s archives being used as a means of finding out information to help solve much of what is going on, especially in regards to a very cold case.
~That’s What She’s Reading

The mystery is well plotted and pairing the current murder with a mystery from the past, along with family secrets, provides an added depth.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

December 11 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
December 11 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT unable to post
December 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 12 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW
December 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
December 14 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
December 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
December 14 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW
December 15 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 15 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
December 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
December 16 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
December 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 17 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT
December 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
December 18 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 19 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
December 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 19 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 20 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
December 20 – Curling up by the Fire – REVIEW
December 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
December 21 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – REVIEW
December 21 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT
December 21 – Girl with Book Lungs – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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

A Soufflé of Suspicion: A French Bistro Mystery by Daryl Wood Gerber (7/10)Pre - Order Your Copy Today!
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