Sep 132019
 


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.


Two to Mango (The Tiki Goddess Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Hawaii
Bell Bridge Books (June 20, 2012)
Hardcover: 218 pages
ISBN-10: 1611948096
ISBN-13: 978-1611948097
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-10: 1611941318
ISBN-13: 978-1611941319
Kindle ASIN: B007RQV6NK

Forget the grass skirts. Some of the Island’s top hula dancers are pushing up daisies.

Everyone at Em Johnson’s famous North Shore Kauai hang-out, The Tiki Goddess Bar, knows that the bar’s irrepressible Hula Maidens take their hula dancing seriously. So when famed hula instructors from a rival dance troop start dropping like over-ripe passion fruit, Em and the Hula Maidens go undercover at the Kukui Nut Festival Hula Competition to uncover the killer. Em is once again up to her okole in danger and mystery, not to mention the seductive challenge of working with hunky detective Roland Sharpe, who moonlights as one of the island’s sexiest fire dancers.

The hula is lively, the luau is smoking, the mai tais are delicious, and a killer is looking to get away with murder in paradise.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Hula Maidens are back and are as hilarious as ever. The senior ladies take their hula dancing very seriously and are afraid that after their latest incident at an old folks home their dancing days may be over. They get a reprieve when Em Johnson’s detective Roland asks for Em’s help. Heads of another local dance group have died suddenly. Roland doesn’t have any proof but he thinks their deaths were not from natural causes. He asks Em to convince the Hula Maidens to enter the Kukui Nut Festival Hula Competition so that she can go undercover and keep her eyes and ears open. He will be there too in his dual roles of law enforcement and fire dancer. Em just can’t say no.

First, I appreciated the author’s refresher on the Hawaiian language and the meaning of the Hawaiian words when they first appear as a comfortable part of the narrative.

Next, Ms. Landis has created the epitome of quirky characters that are what every great cozy mystery series needs. The Hula Maidens are a group of “not-so-talented-over-the-hill dancers”. They have recently lost one member to another group and gained a dancer who hails from Iowa. They dance at events and places for free but their “gigs” are rare because people expect “lovely young Polynesian dancers, not a bunch of wrinkled old haoles (not Native Hawaiian) with underarm bat wings.” In the first book in this series, they convinced Em Johnson to come to Kauai to save her uncle’s Tiki Goddess Bar that was going under mostly because her uncle loans anyone money and never gets repaid. The bar also has a taste testing parrot named David Letterman. Uncle Louie likes to come up with new exotic drink recipes that aren’t revealed to the public without the bird’s okay. And then there is bartender Sophie, who tries to help the maidens with their choreography and hunky fire dancer detective Roland Sharpe. Roland does have feelings for Em and she has feelings for him but they are taking things S .  . . L . . . O . . . W.

The author wraps these characters in a puzzling mystery. Who is killing the Kumu? and How? and Why? It is not easily apparent but Em has her suspects. What ensues is a wacky, wild and at times laugh out loud funny journey to find the truth.

I read the first book in this series because I needed to read a book set in Hawaii for a reading challenge. I came back for this one because there are very few authors that can make me laugh so much from the beginning to the end of a story. The bonus is the mystery is fun to follow and solve too.

If you like cozies with a generous dose of humor and larger than life characters, grab this book, flip to the back for Uncle Louie’s Booze Bible, mix yourself a drink or two, and sit back and enjoy Jill Marie Landis’ Two to Mango!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Mai Tai One On here.

Find out more about Jill Marie Landis on her webpage here.

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!

Book Will Be Sent Directly From Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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 September 27, 2019, 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. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Sep 112019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to feature The House on Hallowed Ground by Nancy Cole Silverman today!

The House on Hallowed Ground (A Misty Dawn Mystery)
by Nancy Cole Silverman

 

About the Book


The House on Hallowed Ground (A Misty Dawn Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Henery Press (September 10, 2019)
Hardcover: 260 pages
ISBN-10: 163511554X
ISBN-13: 978-1635115543
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115515
ISBN-13: 978-1635115512
Digital ASIN: B07TKNGZ2Z

When Misty Dawn, a former Hollywood Psychic to the Stars, moves into an old craftsman house, she encounters the former owner, the recently deceased Hollywood set designer, Wilson Thorne.

Wilson is unaware of his circumstances, and when Misty explains the particulars of his limbo state, and how he might help himself if he helps her, he’s not at all happy. That is until young actress Zoey Chamberlain comes to Misty’s door for help.

Zoey has recently purchased The Pink Mansion, a historic Hollywood Hills home, and believes it’s haunted. But when Misty arrives to search the house, it’s not a ghost she finds, but a dead body.

The police are quick to suspect Zoey of murdering her best friend. Zoey maintains her innocence and fears her friend’s death may have been a result of the ghost…and a long-time family curse.

Together Misty and Wilson must untangle the secrets of The Pink Mansion or submit to the powers of the family curse.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This new series from Nancy Cole Silverman is off to an excellent start.

Psychic Misty Dawn has foretold many events for the Hollywood elite, but she is now at a crossroads in her life, broke and living in her VW van with her cat. When her client Denise Thorne comes up with a win-win for both of them it is hard to refuse. Misty can move into her deceased brother’s house until she decides what to do with it as long as Denise can receive readings whenever she wants. Misty excepts but quickly realizes she got a little more than she bargained for. Denise’s brother Wilson is still occupying the house, well at least his ghost is.

Unsure as to why he hasn’t moved on, Misty explains his limbo status and tells him if they work together she may be able to help him crossover. His services are needed almost immediately when Zoey Chamberlain, a young actress and a descendent of Hollywood royalty comes knocking on the door. She has purchased “The Pink Mansion” down the street from Wilson’s house. She believes the mansion is haunted and wants Misty’s help. As Misty arrives to check the place out she sees the police coming in and out of the mansion. A dead body has been found in the backyard. The deceased worked as Zoey’s body double and amidst Zoey’s cries of innocence, the police have named her as their top suspect.

Misty decides with Wilson’s help she can solve the case by finding the real killer and saving her new friend Zoey. She also explains his help may curry favor to help him move forward to his quest to get to the great beyond.

___

Over the years I have become more comfortable reading stories like this which I call paranormal light. Thank you, Joyce Lavene! An author, we lost much too soon. What I mean is that for the most part the ghosts are friendly and stay within the cozy mystery norms.

In this story, we encounter more than one ghost, and like the characters still living the author takes the time to develop them so well. I really like Misty. She is comfortable in her own skin and she knows her job and its limits. The relationship that evolves between her and Wilson is genuine, a  friendship really blooms between them. Some of their dialogues are laugh out loud funny and eventually they start work together so well. I have to say the way Wilson evolves over the course of the story was extraordinary and delightful to read. Denise is pushy and she and her brother clearly never saw eye to eye. Zoey is a very interesting character. Her life continues to pull her in different directions and the world’s eyes are watching everything she does.

The settings in this story, both Wilson’s craftsman and Zoey’s Pink Mansion really caught my interest. The Pink Mansion has a history and is what imagine would be perfect for a movie star. Wilson was a set designer and his home fits him and is filled with treasures he has accumulated. It is easy for Misty to move comfortably through both places and even make herself at home at Wilson’s.

The mystery uncovers so much and I don’t want to spoil anything so I am just going to say I loved every little twist the author puts into this story. I was totally consumed by it. The ending was priceless.

Well-written and plotted with great characters. I found the story to be very entertaining and I am anxious to see where Ms. Cole Silverman takes this series and the characters next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Nancy Cole Silverman 

Nancy Cole Silverman’s realization that she and Edgar Allen Poe shared the same birthday sparked her lifelong interest in mystery fiction. After a very successful career in the radio industry, she turned to writing, and her crime-focused novels and short stories have attracted readers throughout America. Her Carol Childs Mysteries series (Henery Press) features a single-mom whose “day job” as a reporter at a busy Los Angeles radio station often leads to long nights as a crime-solver. Silverman lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a thoroughly pampered standard poodle.

Author Links –
Facebook – GoodReads – Twitter: @NancyColeSilve1

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo 

Also by Nancy Cole Silverman

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September 12 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
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September 14 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 15 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
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September 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
September 22 – Hearts & Scribbles – 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.”

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Sep 102019
 

A Curio Killing
(A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
by Mary Ellen Hughes

 

About A Curio Killing

A Curio Killing (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Maryland
Midnight Ink (September 8, 2019)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 0738752266
ISBN-13: 978-0738752266
Digital ASIN: B07KMX5QY4

Callie finds treble in Keepsake Cove when her ex-boyfriend is framed for murder . . . 

Callie Reed is looking forward to her first Keepsake Cove spring festival. But her excitement dims considerably when she learns that her ex-boyfriend, Hank, will be performing with one of the hired country-western bands. Callie vows to keep her distance, but that changes when the band’s manager, Bobby Linville, is found dead, killed with the music box Hank bought at Callie’s shop.

Hank is soon singing a sad tune in a detention center with Callie his only lifeline. Though thoroughly aware of his many faults, she knows violence and murder aren’t in his blood. But that means one of her fellow Keepsake Cove residents must be hiding a dark secret—something Callie desperately needs to uncover.

Dollycas’s  Thoughts

In this 3rd Keepsake Cove Mystery House of Melody owner Callie Reed is excited about the upcoming Spring Festival. She is totally caught off guard when her ex-boyfriend Hank walks into her shop and informs her his band will be headlining the entertainment for the festival. She is even more shocked when he purchases a pricey music box. She plans to enjoy the festival with new boyfriend Brian, keeping any contact with Hank to a minimum.

Then the band’s manager is murdered and the murder weapon happens to be the music box Hank purchased the day before. Like a familiar country song, Hank finds himself behind bars pleading his innocence and begging a woman (Callie) for her help. She believes he didn’t do it but she has no idea who would have killed the man. It could be someone who calls Keepsake Cove home.

__

The core characters in this series are an eclectic group and they are joined this time some great new characters, some who make very good suspects. Keepsake Cove residents, Hank and the members of his band. Delia’s costume photographer friend Jill, and Callie’s mom who is reaching out by phone for Callie’s help too. I am glad Brian is such a fantastic boyfriend. He was patient and didn’t get too freaked out by Callie’s determination to help her ex, but it was easy to see he was not happy. She also leaves the music box shop in her assistant’s hands a lot while she is “investigating”. She is blessed by the people in her life that stood by her side as she helped a man that had really hurt her in the past.

The mystery had its share of twists and turns. There turned out to be more suspects than originally perceived. Secrets revealed really took the case in a different direction. I was surprised by the way everything played out.

Keepsake Cove, a collector shopper’s dream come true, is an ideal place for cozy mysteries to take place. I would love to visit all the unique shops at any time of year. The author’s words also bring another area to life. She does an excellent job laying out the festival grounds too, making it very easy for readers to visualize.

There was something missing from this book that I loved about the others. That being Tabitha’s surprising over-the-top clothing and accessory choices that would surprise Callie and visitors to House of Melody, i.e. a new character each day. This time she was so focused on building her jewelry business and filling in for Callie, her uniqueness took a backseat. With a more serious Tabitha, some of the humor found in previous books was lost.

That being said A Curio Killing is a fine addition to this series. With the publisher closing its doors I hope the author finds a way to continue it because I sure would love to visit Keepsake Cove and these characters again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Fatal Collection here, and A Vintage Death here.

About Mary Ellen Hughes

Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries, the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. The Keepsake Cove series begins with A Fatal Collection and continues with A VINTAGE DEATH and A CURIO KILLING.

Visit her at www.MaryEllenHughes.com.

Author Links – Facebook – Pinterest – Twitter  – GoodReads

Purchase Links 

 
Amazon    B&N  Midnight Ink     Mystery Love Company Booksellers    BAM    IndieBound

Also by Mary Ellen Hughes



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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 6 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
September 7 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 7 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
September 7 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 8 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
September 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 9 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
September 9 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
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September 11 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 12 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
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September 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 13 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW, RECIPE
September 14 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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September 16 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST
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September 19 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

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

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Sep 062019
 


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.


The Final Arrangement: A Cozy Flower Shop Mystery
Amateur Sleuths (Adult Language)
1st in Series
Setting – Utah
Self Published
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1482314487
ISBN-13: 978-1482314489
Kindle ASIN: B00AF2HXGC

The Vulture is dead.

The body of Quincy McKay’s nemesis and biggest competitor in the floral business has just been discovered in a casket at the mortuary, complete with flowers on the lid.

Derrick Gibbons, aka The Vulture, stole all of Quincy’s funeral business, and now she’s on a mission to get it back. But there’s a problem—Quincy is now the main suspect in The Vulture’s murder.

Armed with only her Zombie delivery van, good intentions, and the business card of a handsome cop named Alex, she must find the killer, save the flower shop, and keep from ending up in the next casket. If she can dodge burning bushes, the plague of a polygamist ex, and her mother’s Mormon Mafia Spy Network, her life with Alex and her shop could become the perfect arrangement.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Quinella/Quincy McKay has taken over her aunt’s florist shop, Rosie’s Posies. Business was good until Derrick Gibbons, aka The Vulture, took over all funeral business in the area. It is only fitting he should meet his demise and be found laid out in a casket complete with flowers ready for his own funeral. Because of an altercation with the deceased right before he was killed Quincy lands firmly at the top of the suspect list.

She meets another police officer who tells her she has nothing to worry about. Andy is easy on the eyes and there are immediate vibes between them, but Quincy isn’t sure if she can trust him. She knows she needs to clear her name while avoiding her mother’s Mormon Mafia Spy Network all while dealing with the fallout of her polygamist ex, her sister’s abusive boyfriend, an employee that is getting on her last nerve, and another who she knows she needs to fire. She also needs to stay out of the killer’s way or she could be pushing up daisies next to the Vulture.

Set in Utah, Quincy’s mother wants her daughters to settle down with nice Mormon men, both tried but the men were not who they appeared to be. Qunicy gets out of her relationship and she is determined to help her sister get out of hers even with their mother putting up roadblocks.

We also meet a quirky group of supporting characters. Quincy’s employees, other florists, funeral home staff, and of course members of the local police department. The characters all have their own amount of baggage and the author does a good job fleshing them out. Quincy doesn’t always make the best moves but in her mind, they make sense. She is evolving and that is always a good thing.

Ms. Adams wraps these characters not only in a murder mystery but several subplots. She takes on some hot button issues but keeps them from getting too heavy with well-timed humor. The main mystery was a twisted up puzzle with a variety of suspects in addition to our protagonist. It was fun to follow all the clues to a suspenseful satisfying conclusion.

I love flowers so I loved the descriptions of the floral creations. It was easy to picture every one.

With the perfect amount of humor and romance, The Final Arrangement was an enjoyable mystery, with one caution, this story includes explicit language that for me takes it out of the cozy mystery genre. That being said I am excited to read the next book in the series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author 

Annie Adams is the author of The Flower Shop Mystery Series and the Rosie McKay Mystery Series. She lives with her husband, two giant dogs, and two, too giant cats in Northern Utah at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains. When not writing she can be found arranging flowers or delivering them in her own Zombie Delivery Van.

Website  – FacebookTwitter  


You can get a copy of this book at Amazon for just 99 cents
but I am giving away 1 Kindle copy.
It will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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

Contest Will End September 20, 2019, 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 personal collection. 

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Sep 052019
 

Bark If It’s Murder
(A Dog Club Mystery)
by V.M. Burns

About Bark If It’s Murder 


Bark If It’s Murder (A Dog Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Lyrical Underground (August 27, 2019)
Paperback: 162 pages
ISBN-10: 1516107926
ISBN-13: 978-1516107926
Digital ASIN: B07L2G3DJ1

Lilly Echosby just witnessed a murder on a pet cam. Or did she?

When a last-minute opportunity arises to accompany her boss to an art auction in Atlanta, Lilly throws some money at the problem of where to board her toy poodle Aggie (short for Agatha Christie). Posh Pet Haven offers the most luxurious canine accommodations in all of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The place even provides pet cams so anxious owners can check in on their pampered pooches.

But when Lilly tries to take a peek at her poodle, she gets a terrible shock—she witnesses what she’s sure is a murder. She thinks the victim may be the wealthy co-owner of Pet Haven. The police follow her lead but find no body, no evidence of a crime, and no video record. Starting to feel like the dog owner who cried wolf, Lilly decides to go undercover to catch a killer who may be hiding in plain sight …

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lilly Echosby has been enjoying her temporary accounting job at the art museum. She jumps at the chance to go with her boss to Atlanta for an art auction. She just needs to find someone to care for Aggie, her toy poodle. After a friend recommends Pet Haven Lilly decides to give the place a try. On arrival, she sees it is an elite pet care facility with themed rooms and pet cams that can be accessed by the pet’s families.

Relaxing in her hotel room, almost as nice as Aggie’s accommodations, Lily decides to check up on her pooch. Instead what she sees is something that looks like murder. She places a call to “Red” Olson, a Tennessee Bureau of Investigations Officer, a man she has been spending quite a bit of time with, to report what she saw. When he arrives at her hotel the next morning he informs her there was no body or evidence that anything bad had happened at the post pet hotel. She can’t believe it. With her boss’ blessing, she returns to Chattanooga to find the truth. Offering her accounting services she goes undercover to do just that.

This was an extremely fast read, more novella length than a full-length mystery and Ms. Burns packs those pages full. In addition to the murder, Lilly’s son, David, the actor comes to visit, her daughter’s boyfriend also drops in for a day, Aggie continues her puppy training, Lilly volunteers at a dog show for the job no one really wants, her co-worker Jacob is suffering from a broken ankle and is at his mom’s mercy, and Lilly is finally moving out of the residential hotel and into a home of her own.

I really enjoyed this story. As always the characters are well developed and pulled me right into the story. The friendship between Dixie and Lilly continues to shine. We meet some new characters this time and get to know some recurring characters better. I was very happy to have Lilly’s son come to town. It is great that we have now got to know both her children. Of course, the canine characters always steal my heart.

The author blends the mystery with all the happenings in Lilly’s daily life very well and Lilly’s life is very complicated even before you throw a probable murder into the mix. Thankfully she is a strong independent woman and knows just who to call for help when needed.  For me, part of the whodunit was clear very early, but as the story continued to play out there was a huge twist I didn’t see coming. Excellently played Ms. Burns!

Bark If It’s Murder is a great addition to this series. V.M. Burns gives readers a page-turning mystery full of wonderful characters, humor, Southern charm, and just a little bit of romance. I highly recommend the entire series and can’t wait for the next installment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Check out my review of In The Dog House here and The Puppy Who Knew Too Much here.

More Praise forBark If It’s Murder
(A Dog Club Mystery)
by V.M. Burns

The mystery was well plotted and had enough clues to sift through and suspects to consider. There was enough intrigue to keep me engaged and the mystery was not easily solved. That’s my kind of mystery.
~MJB Reviewers

The friendly character dynamics and relationships are also a delight to follow, “cozy” vibe was definitely oozing off the pages throughout.
~Diary of a Book Fiend

A mystery with a surprising outcome, BARK IF IT’S MURDER is the perfect installment into the Dog Club Mysteries. Once you’ve read it, you’ll be begging for more!
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

I so love this series!! . . . Full of fascinating details that will keep you guessing about what is going on all mixed up with some of the most fun dogs ever throughout the whole book.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

About V.M. Burns

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:  Website   Facebook  Twitter:  @vmburns

Purchase Links – Amazon –  Barnes & Noble  – Kobo



Also by V.M. Burns

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
August 27 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 27 – Mythical Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – no post
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August 28 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
August 29 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
August 29 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
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August 30 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
August 31 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
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September 1 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW*
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September 2 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
September 3 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
September 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
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September 4 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST
September 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
September 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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

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Sep 042019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to welcome Kathleen Ernst back to Escape with Dollycas!

Reaching a Milestone

By Kathleen Ernst

 

As Chloe Ellefson walked from 1982 into 1870s Wisconsin, a white frame church emerged from the trees, prettily framed against a cloud-studded blue sky. The view alone was enough to make most visitors pause, appreciate the simple elegance of the restored church, perhaps even wonder about the lives of those women and men and children who had first worshiped within its walls. For Chloe, the historic site’s newest employee, the scene represented a fresh start.

I wrote those words seventeen years ago, hoping they might one day become the beginning of an adult mystery novel.

At the time I was busy writing historical fiction for young readers and working as a project director and scriptwriter for instructional videos broadcast on Wisconsin Public Television. I had little spare time.

Still, writing a series about an outdoor museum curator was something I truly wanted to do. I had once worked for a large historic site myself, and I missed that world. Writing “on spec,” with no promise of publication, I began work on the first Chloe Ellefson mystery, Old World Murder.

Because I had to fit writing Chloe’s story around contract work, it took me seven years to finish that first book. The delays actually served me well, I think, for they gave me lots of time to think about not only the first mystery, but my goals for the series.

Old World Murder was published by Midnight Ink in 2010. Astonishingly, I’m now celebrating publication of the 10th book in the series, Fiddling With Fate.

My goals for the series haven’t changed. First, I strive to give readers a satisfying armchair adventure and complex characters to root for. In addition, I want to feature real historic sites and museums in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest. I want to celebrate this region’s diverse ethnic heritage by focusing on different groups. And I want to spotlight the stories that artifacts and old buildings can tell.

I’m writing about stories and places I feel passionately about, and I hope it shows. I love hearing that the mysteries have inspired readers to visit a museum, try a traditional craft, or delve deeper into their own family history.

The very best part of writing ten Chloe Ellefson mysteries? Making so many friends along the way—sites staff and volunteers, folk artists, reenactors, bloggers, and other authors, and most especially the many readers who care about Chloe (and her fiancé, Roelke McKenna) as much as I do.

To celebrate this milestone, Chloe and Roelke travel a bit farther afield in Fiddling With Fate. Chloe accepts a grant that sends them to Norway to research folk dance and fiddle music. While there, she hopes to unravel the mystery of her own ancestry. Of course, all does not go smoothly! Nonetheless, Chloe and Roelke manage to celebrate a milestone of their own.

Heartfelt thanks to Dollycas for her years of support, and to the wonderful readers who have made it possible for me to hold the 10th Chloe Ellefson Mystery in my hand. Happy reading!

Thank you, Kathleen, for visiting and writing such wonderful stories!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Fiddling with Fate.


Fiddling with Fate (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin/Norway
Midnight Ink (September 8, 2019)
Paperback: 360 pages
ISBN-10: 0738760900
ISBN-13: 978-0738760902
Kindle ASIN: B07KN76WMH

Chloe has a devil of a time unraveling the mysteries of Norway’s fiddle and dance traditions

After her mother’s unexpected death, curator Chloe Ellefson discovers hidden antiques that hint at family secrets. Determined to find answers, Chloe accepts a consultant job in Norway, her ancestors’ homeland. She’s thrilled with the opportunity to explore Hardanger fiddle and dance traditions . . . and her own heritage.

Once their plane lands, however, Chloe and her fiancé, cop Roelke McKenna, encounter only disharmony. Chloe’s research reveals strong women and the importance of fiddle music in their lives. But folklore warns against “the devil’s instrument” and old evils may yet linger among the fjords and mountains. As Chloe fine-tunes her search for the truth, a killer’s desire to stop her builds to a deadly crescendo.

 Dollycas’s Thoughts

Chloe was dealing with some information she found out about her mother when her mother unexpectedly passed away. While going through her mother’s belongings she finds some unique heirlooms hidden away. These objects raise more questions than providing answers. Her mother was getting ready to travel to Norway to study Hardanger fiddle and dance traditions. With her death, Chloe is given the opportunity to take her place and her fiancé Roelke McKenna agrees to go along.

Their trip gets off to a rocky start when someone tries to steal the backpack Chloe is carrying at the airport soon after they landed. Able to hang on to her belongs, they try to concentrate on Chloe’s research with the added opportunity to research her mother’s background. The fiddle has a rich heritage, both good and bad and Chloe is anxious to learn all she can. But when a young woman is murdered Chloe enlists Roelke police instincts to help her solve all the mysteries. When they realize Chloe is the killer’s target things get really intense.

___

What I have loved about every book in this series is the way Kathleen Ernst melds her character’s lives with an extraordinary mystery while tying in a historic story too. This time she takes us to Norway to learn about immigrants that had migrated to Wisconsin in the 1920s. She takes her readers along with lead character Chloe on an adventure to learn about Norwegian history and the many facets like music and fiddling played in that history. The author’s research shines but it is all fictionalized in a way that is a pure joy to read.

Her words also permit readers to visualize clearly every place her characters travel. The outside museum, the trails, the hotel, the waterfalls, and to a spectacular place where Chloe learns so much. All the people they meet too are richly described and developed.

Chloe’s life takes place in the 1980s, no cell phones, no GPS, no Wikipedia, no internet, but she does have what I call “spidey sense”, certain places and things affect her physically. She learns much through her travels and experiences. I found myself fully immersed in this story wanting the learn right along with her. Both the present time and historic period had its own suspenseful mystery and some terrifying moments building to an unexpected ending.

Ms. Ernst is an amazing storyteller. Her imagination weaves a story filled with real history to take her readers on a delightful literary trip. The main characters are genuine, real and very engaging. It seems each book in this series becomes my new favorite because the author continues to top herself.

Fiddling with Fate takes two characters I care about on quite a journey. I loved every minute of it! Look for this book on my Best Reads List of 2019.

Each story is written to stand on its own but for maximum enjoyment, you should read them all.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and author. Her Chloe Ellefson mysteries reflect the decade she spent as a curator at a large outdoor museum, and feature historic sites in the Upper Midwest. Library Journal says, “Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series.” Kathleen has also written many mysteries for young readers. Honors for her work include a LOVEY Award and Agatha and Edgar nominations. Kathleen lives and writes in Wisconsin.

 Author Links – Website    Blog       Facebook

Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Sign up for Kathleen’s Mailing List for 5 Bonus Entries.

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 September 18, 2019, 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.”

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Sep 032019
 

Silent Night, Deadly Night
(A Year-Round Christmas Mystery)
by Vicki Delany

 

About the Book

Silent Night, Deadly Night (A Year-Round Christmas Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Berkley (August 27, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0440000300
ISBN-13: 978-0440000303
Digital ASIN: B07L7TWTZX

Residents of Rudolph keep the spirit of Christmas alive year-round—but their joy is threatened when a group of grinches visits the town, in the charming fourth installment of the Year-Round Christmas series.

It’s the week before Thanksgiving, and Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, is preparing for a weekend reunion of her mother’s college friends. But when the group of women comes into Merry’s shop, Merry is met with frosty attitudes and cold hearts.

The women argue amongst themselves constantly, and the bickering only intensifies after one of the friends is poisoned. With her father’s role as Santa in danger due to his proximity to the crime, Merry will need to use all of her investigative gifts to wrap this mystery up and save Santa and her favorite holiday.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We’re back in Rudolph, New York just before Thanksgiving and just in time for Aline’s college friends arrive for a little college reunion. When the group arrives at Mrs. Claus’s Treasures Merry is struck by how different her mother’s friends are. They all attended a performance college but is clear their lives have gone in different directions. They really don’t act like friends either as they throw barbs at each other left and right. Merry is happy her father is out of town because the house is going to be full of stress and bickering.

During a group dinner which included Merry one of the alumni dies from a cause to be determined, but Merry is pretty sure she knows what happened. She is just unclear of which college chum did the deed. And with the murder happening at the home of the town’s resident Santa, a Rudolph newcomer sets himself up to take over the job. Merry is not about to let that happen. She is going to check her suspect list twice and but the naughty murderer in their place.

I was thrilled to see this series return, it has been one of my favorites. Rudolph is full of Christmas spirit year-round and I have loved each visit.

Merry Wilkerson owns Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, her mother Aline is a retired opera diva and her Father Noel is the former mayor and performs all Santa Claus duties needed all year long. Jackie works for Merry, her best friend Vicki helps out when she can and also makes a great Watson to Merry’s Sherlock when there is murder afoot. Merry also has wonderful St, Bernard named Mattie. I love the way the Wilkerson family sticks together and sticks up for each other.

This time Ms. Daleny introduces not only Aline’s friends, Constance, Genevieve, Barbara, Karla, and Ruth, but a new couple in town Wayne and Norma Fitzroy who want to get very active around town.

Ms. Delany excels at character development. These characters are rich, those we love, those who rub the wrong way, and even those we come to absolutely hate by the end of the story.

She wraps those characters in a great mystery plot with fun subplot offshoots that keep a reader engaged until the final page. While the manner of death is evident immediately it is not easy to pin the crime on any suspect. Aline’s guests wear out their welcome quickly and to save her mother’s sanity Merry knows she needs to help solve the case as soon as possible. Clues are dropped liberally. I love Ruth, one of the “suspects” is an avid mystery reader and wanted to solve the case herself, just like me trying to beat the big reveal in the cozies I read.

Fun and Entertaining! This is a great addition to this series. You truly can’t go wrong with any title by Vicki Delany. This book stands well on its own but the entire series is fabulous. Treat yourself to the whole bunch!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen hereWe Wish You a Murderous Christmas here, Hark the Herald Angels Slay here,

About the Author

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty books:  clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea By The Sea mysteries, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, the Year Round Christmas mysteries and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series.

Author Links

WebsiteFacebookTwitter:  @vickidelany and@evagatesauthorInstagram: vickidelany

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound


Written as Eva Gates

Praise for Silent Night, Deadly Night
(A Year-Round Christmas Mystery)
by Vicki Delany

I always enjoy a holiday-themed mystery – it makes for a nice (although temporary) escape from the August heat . . . The Christmas themed town sounds so quaint and inviting, I would love to visit Rudolph for a little shopping and dinner.
~The Book’s the Thing

Silent Night, Deadly Night was a satisfying cozy mystery that will put you in the Christmas spirit . . . (it) has catty college chums, deadly delicacies, a sly Santa stealer, dangerous secrets, old-fashioned ornaments, and one elf investigator.
~The Avid Reader

From setting to characters and storyline, Silent Night, Deadly Night by Vicki Delany is a cozy mystery lover’s delight.
~The Power of Words

Silent Night, Deadly Night by Vicki Delany is marvelously written story with compelling characters, a stunning setting and a perfectly plotted mystery.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

I just love this series!! Delany has created an adorable town when it comes to Rudolph. A small town dedicated to Christmas year-round. The details are astounding really bringing everything to life as you read.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Silent Night, Deadly Night by Vicki Delany is delightful and engaging from start to finish. Well-written and steadily paced, this story offers the reader an infusion of the holiday spirit as well as a layered plot that keeps you on alert.
~Reading Is My SuperPower

 

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August 28 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
August 28 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – 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.”

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Aug 302019
 


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.

I have really enjoyed the books by this author written at Kate Dyer-Seeley
but I am late to the party with this series, but I hope to rectify that soon.


Meet Your Baker: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Oregon
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 30, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250054230
ISBN-13: 978-1250054234
Kindle ASIN: B00JI0RSFS

Welcome to Torte-a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the treats are so good that, sometimes, it’s criminal…

After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte’s customers turns up dead, there’s much ado about murder…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Juliet Capshaw has been working on a cruise ship for years, but when she finds her Chef husband kept a huge secret from her she flees home to Ashland, Oregon, and her family’s bakery, Torte. Working beside her mother they find their rhythm and Jules knows she made the right decision even though she is not sure how long she will stay.

She arrives for her second day at Torte to find one of their customers dead. A woman that was very involved with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival who has accumulated her fair share of enemies. When one of the bakery’s employees is pegged for the crime, She decides to “Go wisely and slowly,” because “Those who rush stumble and fall” and do her best find the real killer.

Typical of the first book in a series that author has jam-packed these pages. Jules is a likable character with a lot going on. Her mother is a wonderful woman and excellent baker but she is hiding something. Jules is not sure what to make of her mother’s young employees but one can sure make a great cup of coffee or any derivative of the caffeine drink. The other seems to have her own issues. All these characters develop well within these pages, but I feel we have much to learn about our protagonist, Juliet Montague Capshaw.

Torte seems to be a popular gathering place especially because of its connection with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival which made it the perfect place for a murder. It was easy to come up with a list of suspects and the secondary characters really came alive. Secrets, falsehoods, and just their general demeanor made it hard to eliminate anyone outright. I followed right along and didn’t put all the clues together until shortly before the villain reveal.

I did enjoy reading about the day to day life of running a bakery and the delectable descriptions of the treats had my stomach growling. There is more than one recipe at the end of the story I can’t wait to try. I have a weakness for anything wrapped in puff pastry 🙂

I have some catching up to do on this series, but with a debut like this, I am looking forward to the next book, A Batter of Life and Death and more!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving my copy away!
The 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 share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 13, 2019, 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 personal collection. 

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Aug 292019
 

Singapore Sapphire (A Harriet Gordon Mystery)
Historial Mystery/ Amateur Sleuth
1st in Series
Setting – Singapore
Berkley (August 6, 2019)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 198480264X
ISBN-13: 978-1984802644
Kindle ASIN: B07KDW7YKS

Early twentieth-century Singapore is a place where a person can disappear, and Harriet Gordon hopes to make a new life for herself there, leaving her tragic memories behind her–but murder gets in the way.

Singapore, 1910–Desperate for a fresh start, Harriet Gordon finds herself living with her brother, a reverend and headmaster of a school for boys, in Singapore at the height of colonial rule. Hoping to gain some financial independence, she advertises her services as a personal secretary. It is unfortunate that she should discover her first client, Sir Oswald Newbold–explorer, mine magnate and president of the exclusive Explorers and Geographers Club–dead with a knife in his throat.

When Inspector Robert Curran is put on the case, he realizes that he has an unusual witness in Harriet. Harriet’s keen eye for detail and strong sense of duty interests him, as does her distrust of the police and her traumatic past, which she is at pains to keep secret from the gossips of Singapore society.

When another body is dragged from the canal, Harriet feels compelled to help with the case. She and Curran are soon drawn into a murderous web of treachery and deceit and find themselves face-to-face with a ruthless cabal that has no qualms about killing again to protect its secrets.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was a little hesitant when I opened the book to a glossary and a cast of characters. I was afraid the different dialects were going to mess with the flow and I like to get to know the characters myself as I read the story, especially for the first book of a series. So I skimmed the glossary and ignored the cast list and jumped right in. What I found was a unique mystery with very interesting characters in a fascinating setting.

Harriet Gordon lost both her husband and child to Typhus in India. She returned to England and became involved in the Suffragette Movement and got into a bit of trouble. She then decided to join her brother, a minister, and headmaster of a school in Singapore. There was work there for her to do but with no pay. To earn money she placed an ad to be a personal secretary. Her first client was Sir Oswald Newbold, a man well known for his exploration and a mining magnate. He was also president of the exclusive Explorers and Geographers Club. He had hired Harriet to transcribe his memoirs to get them ready for publication. Her employment ends abruptly when she finds the man dead in his home.

Inspector Robert Curran arrives on the scene and sees Harriet is a formidable woman with a keen sense of observation. He also feels she is hiding something. Something not pertaining to the death but something that is holding her back. Inspector Curran is holding something personal back from her as well, but beyond that, he believes she can help him with his case.

These characters are very well-developed for the first book in a series, but the author has left them plenty of room to grow. I enjoyed the way a friendship was built between them. The author also surrounds these characters with a diverse cast. Young students from the school, the staff, her brother to everyone we meet as we follow along with the investigation. All the characters are strong even those with minor parts to play. There are a lot of characters but I had no trouble keeping them straight.

The descriptions of Singapore, 1910, are vivid and I could tell the author was familiar with the setting and had researched it greatly.  It was no surprise when her biography stated she had lived there. Her words definitely transported this reader back in time to a place I knew very little about. She even captured the weather and makes her readers feel it. I was sweating in sympathy for the characters.

The mystery was an imaginative jewel. Precisely plotted, with culture and time are clearly portrayed. The pace had a slow build but really picked up about halfway in. The story was complex with twist after twist. The ending was suspenseful and kept me on my toes until everything was revealed.

Singapore Sapphire was an extraordinary read and I am looking forward to my next adventure with Harri and the good inspector. This series is off to an excellent start.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About A.M. Stuart 

Australian author, A.M. Stuart, learned her passion for history from her father and began her writing career halfway up a tree in the school playground where she wrote her first (unpublished) historical romance.

There have been many published, and multi award-nominated, historical romances (writing as Alison Stuart) since then but her first love has always been historical mystery.

Born in Kenya, her family came to Australia when she was ten years old. As an adult, she lived in Singapore for a number of years, where the idea for the Harriet Gordon Mysteries first crystallized.

In her life outside writing, she enjoyed a varied career as a lawyer in a wide number of fields including the military (where she held the rank of Major) and as a senior executive in the fire services.

The first of The Harriet Gordon Mysteries, SINGAPORE SAPPHIRE, was published by Berkley in August 2019.

Readers can connect with A.M. Stuart at her Facebook page, Twitter or subscribe to her newsletter.


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The 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.

Follow Berkley Mystery on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Contest Will End September 12, 2019, 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.”

Share
Aug 282019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am delighted to feature Gayle Leeson’s latest Down South Cafe Mystery Today!

Apples and Alibis (A Down South Cafe Mystery Book)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Grace Abraham Publishing (August 13, 2019)
Print Length: 188 pages
ASIN: B07V1X8SW3

That’s the last time Amy agrees to do a favor for a stranger…

Down South Cafe owner, Amy Flowers is in over her head. Operating a cafe while hosting the first Farmers’ Market in Winter Garden has her swimming in apples. And when an elderly woman calls the cafe, pleading for a delivery for her upcoming party, Amy relents, feeling compelled to help the desperate customer.

But when she arrives, the woman is slumped over her kitchen table, and Amy is catapulted into the middle of a small town crime. Guilt-ridden for not arriving earlier to save the woman, she sets out to unravel the mystery surrounding the woman. Now, between running the cafe and dealing with the chaos of the farmers’ market, Amy is squeezing in a murder investigation, a run-in with her boyfriend’s mom, and her own mother’s quirky life decisions. Life can’t get any worse…or can it? This cafe owner needs a break–in the case.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Amy Flowers has an amazing idea for the community of Winter Garden and to bring more business to her Down South Cafe – A Farmer’s Market. She just didn’t realize how much added work it would be for her.

Then she receives a phone call for a food delivery, something the cafe doesn’t have enough staff to offer. The woman sounded desperate so Amy agrees to this one-time delivery. She also persuades her cousin Jackie to come along. But when they arrive they find the woman unconscious at the kitchen table.  The police arrive but Amy can’t leave the investigation to them. She feels responsible, in that she hadn’t arrived in time to save Gladys Pridemore.

So she has the Farmer’s Market on her plate where a special vendor gets her nose out of joint, plus a murder case. Add to that a new man in town she thinks is perfect for her mom, an AWOL employee, her Aunt Bess trying to add more pictures to her Crime Board on Pinterest, and dinner with her boyfriend’s parents.

A girl can only juggle so many things . . . good thing Amy is becoming an expert juggler.

Amy Flowers is just so darn nice which is important when you own a customer-driven business. This time her kindness lands her right in the middle of a murder case. She is surrounded by great friends and a few off-the-wall patrons and family members. They are all wonderfully developed and it is easy to get invested in their lives. Homer’s Heroes of the day always make me smile and most times I learn something too.  He is a quirky character that has shined in every book in this series.

The mystery had quite a few suspects, twists and complex clues. Like Amy, I try to see the best in people and I think that muddled my thinking. Thankfully, it didn’t muddle Amy’s. I was totally surprised when all was revealed. The author plotted this one out so well.

Oh, I can’t forget to mention the food, so deliciously described, it always leads to at least one dish in an upcoming meal at our house.

I zoomed right through this book. It had a fantastic flow and was totally entertained beginning to end!

This series is a must-read for culinary cozy lovers.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my reviews of The Calamity Cafe here, of Silence of the Jams here,
and of Honey Baked Homicide here.

About Gayle Leeson

About the Author

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.

The Cake Decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The heroine, Daphne, has returned to her hometown of Brea Ridge to open a cake baking and decorating business and is wrestling with the question of whether or not one can go home again. She enjoys spending time with her sister, nephew, and niece, but she and her mother have a complicated relationship that isn’t always pleasant. Daphne has also reconnected with her high school sweetheart and is pursuing a rekindled romance while desperately trying to put her past behind her.

Kerry Vincent, Hall of Fame Sugar Artist, Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show Director, and Television Personality says the series is “a must read for cake bakers and anyone who has ever spent creative time in the kitchen!”

Says Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author, “One day I found myself happily reading . . . mysteries by Gayle Trent. If she can win me over . . . she’s got a great future.”

The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. Marcy Singer left her home in San Francisco, along with the humiliation of being left at the altar, in order to move to Tallulah Falls and realize her dream of owning her own shop. She takes along her faithful companion, a one-year-old Irish wolfhound named Angus O’Ruff. She makes many new friends in Tallulah Falls, but she also makes a few enemies. Thankfully, her best friend Sadie MacKenzie and her husband Blake run the coffeehouse right down the street from Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch; and Detective Ted Nash always has her back.

Publishers Weekly says, “Fans of the genre will take kindly to Marcy, her Irish wolfhound, Angus O’Ruff, and Tallulah Falls. This is a fast, pleasant read with prose full of pop culture references and, of course, sharp needlework puns.”

Pat Cooper of RT Book Reviews says, “If her debut here is any indication, Lee’s new series is going to be fun, spunky and educational. She smoothly interweaves plot with her character’s personality and charm, while dropping tantalizing hints of stitching projects and their history. Marcy Singer is young, fun, sharp and likable. Readers will be looking forward to her future adventures.” (RT Book Reviews nominated The Quick and the Thread for a 2010 Book Reviewers’ Choice Award in the Amateur Sleuth category)

I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Author Links – Webpage      Facebook      Twitter     Pinterest    Instagram

Purchase Links – Amazon      B&N    Kobo


Also by Gayle Leeson

Writing as Gayle Trent



Writing as Amanda Lee



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