Mar 222019
 


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.


Lighthouse Beach: A Novel
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Setting – Maine
William Morrow Paperbacks (May 29, 2018)
Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN-10: 0062675966
ISBN-13: 978-0062675965
Kindle ASIN: B0719PCC87

What was supposed to be an idyllic wedding leads to an unexpected journey of self-discovery…

When Lillo Gray pulls up to Kennebunkport’s most exclusive hotel wearing a borrowed dress and driving a borrowed VW van, she knows she’s made a big mistake. She’s not even sure why Jessica Parker invited her to her posh wedding. They haven’t seen each other since they were unhappy fourteen-year-old girls at fat camp. And now they’re from two completely different worlds. There’s no way Lillo fits in the rarefied circles Jessica travels in.

Jess isn’t sure she’s ready to go through with this wedding, but she’s been too busy making everyone else happy to think about what she wants. But when she and her two closest friends, Allie and Diana, along with Lillo, discover her fiancé with his pants down in the hotel parking lot, she’s humiliated…and slightly relieved. In a rush to escape her crumbling life, Jess, Allie, and Diana pile into Lillo’s beat-up old van and head up the coast to Lighthouse Island. Once there, she hopes to figure out the next chapter in her life.

Nursing broken hearts and broken dreams, four lost women embark on a journey to find their way back into happiness with new love, friendship, and the healing power of Lighthouse Beach.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lillo Gray arrives at the fancy wedding of a childhood friend Jess in a borrowed old VW van and a dress she borrowed from another friend. She knows she shouldn’t have come, she is never going to fit in with these people. She is totally surprised when the bride welcomes her with open arms and drags her off to meet 2 more friends avoiding the festivities planned by her parents.

When they meet Allie and Diana for a few drinks Lillo learns that Jess really doesn’t want to get married and that she is just doing it to make her parents happy. When the group returns to the hotel they see the groom in the parking lot in a very comprising position. Broken and humiliated Jess has had enough. The girls quickly hatch a plan to save their friend. A girl’s road trip! The pack a few things and climb into the VW and take off up the coast. Back to the place where Lillo and Jess met, somewhere they hope no one will find them, Lighthouse Beach.

Books like this one give me a  glorious “Calgon take me away” escape.

This story is about four women and Lighthouse Beach and those that inhabit or visit it. They thought taking Jess there she would rediscover the strong woman she was in college but it did so much more. The discovered something about themselves and their visit changed the lives of others too.

Lighthouse Beach is a small coastal town that has basically been forgotten since the lighthouse was retired. The former tourist town is just hanging on. People have to travel to larger towns and work two or three jobs just to survive. This leaves some children mostly unsupervised and free to cause trouble. The residents try to help each other out but the needed resources just aren’t available. There is a visiting group of doctor’s and handyman that comes to town periodically. This group becomes part of the fabric of Lighthouse Beach. A fabric that stretches to welcome Allie and Diana and welcome back Jess almost effortlessly.

This story takes place over the course of a week. It seems longer because so much happens. The pacing is perfect. It is a very hard book to put down. The characters lives unfold comfortably allowing the readers to become completely engaged and feel for them. While there is a romantic undertone this story is so much more. Friendship, support, understanding, bring these characters together. Little by little secrets are revealed, wounds are opened and soothed. A true community spirit can be felt.

Ms. Noble has written a story I won’t soon forget. She hasn’t tied things up all nicely with a bow at the end either leaving the reader to wonder a bit about the future at Lighthouse Beach and the people we met there. A breath of fresh air, energizing, hopeful story that I really and truly enjoyed. It was most certainly a Perfect Escape!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

ShelleyNoble FinalV3 copyAbout The Author

SHELLEY NOBLE is the NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling Author of the women’s fiction novel BEACH COLORS, a #1 Nook bestseller, STARGAZEY POINT three novellas, Holidays at Crescent Cove, Stargazey Nights, BREAKWATER BAY and WHISPER BEACH.

As SHELLEY FREYDONT she is the author of the CELEBRATION BAY FESTIVAL MYSTERIES (Berkley Prime Crime) as well and two other mystery series, and the upcoming Gilded Age Newport Mystery series. Her mysteries have been translated into ten languages.

A former professional dancer and choreographer, she most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. Shelley lives near the New Jersey shore where she loves to discover new beaches and indulge her passion for lighthouses and vintage carousels.

 

Writing as Shelley Noble


Coming June 25, 2019

Also by Shelley Noble

Coming November 5, 2019

Writing as Shelley Freydont

Find more books by Shelley Freydont Here.

I am giving away my review copy of Lighthouse Beach!

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 April 5, 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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Mar 212019
 


Criminally Cocoa (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3.5 in Series
Setting – New York
Kensington (February 26, 2019)
Print Length: 86 pages
ASIN: B07KNT89SN

A taste for trouble . . .

As if being in New York City for Easter isn’t exciting enough, Charlotte Weaver has another reason to be thrilled. She’s helping her cousin, Bailey, on the set of her first cable TV show, Bailey’s Amish Sweets. Bailey will even be re-creating the delectable hand-woven chocolate Easter baskets she once crafted for the city’s world-famous JP Chocolates. But once things start rolling, Charlotte starts to notice odd things happening—things that seem intended to make Bailey look bad . . .

With Bailey feeling extra nervous about being on camera, Charlotte decides to keep her suspicion of sabotage to herself. But she knows that among Bailey’s fans at the Gourmet Television network lurks a dangerously jealous rival. Now Charlotte will have to find out who that person is—before sour grapes turns one of the sweetest times of the year fatally bitter . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This delightful novella picks up where the last book leaves off, Bailey and Charlotte travel to New York to film Bailey’s Amish Sweets. Both are thrilled to be part of the Gourmet Television Network. Anxious and nervous for everything to go smoothly Bailey tries to do her best but a bunch of freaky things happen. It seems the show may never get off the ground. Charlotte makes some keen observations proving the mishaps are not accidents and she is determined to find out who is trying to keep Bailey off the air. She just needs to keep herself safe in the process.

I loved that this story was told from Charlotte’s point of view. She has a huge decision to make soon and spending part of her rumspringa in New York may help her to make her decision. Seeing New York through her eyes was wonderful, that city is awestriking whether you are Amish or English. I am sure I would have reactions similar to hers.

I enjoyed that Juliet Brody and her comfort pig, Jethro make a surprise appearance to help Bailey out. That Jethro shakes things up wherever he goes.

For a book of this length, there was a good number of suspects and Ms. Flower twisted the clues up nicely. There were some tense moments as everything came to a head. I was partially right in my deductions, I just didn’t get the extra little skewering twist.  Well-plotted Ms. Flower.

This was a nice little interlude as fans wait for Toxic Toffee to be released June 25.

Oh, and there are recipes too!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of Assaulted Caramel here and Lethal Licorice here
and Premeditated Peppermint here.

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest

Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Criminally Cocoa!
The 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.

Subscribe to Amanda’s Newsletter 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 April 4, 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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Mar 202019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to welcome Cheryl F. Taylor back to Escape With Dollycas today!

The Brain of the Writer
by Cheryl Taylor

Writers have sponges in place of their brains. We absorb everything we’re around and then squeeze it out over the page. At least that’s the way it feels to me at times, and probably to many of the people who have wound up the target of my constant questioning.

It has been pointed out to me that I can ask more questions than the average 3-year-old… and just like a toddler, my questions usually start with “why.” In some areas of my life that habit has benefitted me. For many years I worked with students with severe emotional disabilities, autism or behavioral issues. My students always liked that I listened to their side of the story, even when I didn’t approve of their actions. My parapros, not so much, as they at times wanted me to see their sides and none other.

The long term effects of this habit, however, has been to fill my brain with all these snippets of human behavior and thinking. Not necessarily “normal” human behavior and thinking, but still human. I’m not really into trivia, although I know some writers who are. When it comes to the actions of people, however, I can’t seem to get enough, and it’s been that way as long as I can remember. I want to know why. Why did you choose to treat your friend that way? Why did you choose to shred your paper into a million pieces? Why did you react in a certain way? Why? Why? Why?

I unconsciously seek out random bits of information, like a sponge being wiped over a dirty counter, and once those gobbets of data fall into my brain, they never leave. They might be covered up, obscured or hidden for a period of time, but then I’m writing, and those bits and pieces float back out again to color my characters.

Just yesterday the ongoing presence of this strange habit was brought home. I was visiting a friend of mine, Suzanne Morrison, at a local rock show where she was a vendor. (She’s actually mentioned in the new book.) We were discussing the change in a nearby river due to a fire a few years ago. I’d finished explaining why I thought I’d seen the changes I had, then finished with, “Well, you were a firefighter, you know this.” She looked at me in shock and asked how I knew she’d been a firefighter, that almost no one these days knew that. All I could say was that at some point she’d mentioned she’d been a wildland firefighter, among other things. It stuck and has been floating in there for years. Who knows when it might get squeezed back out again.

The great thing about cozy mysteries is that I’ve got time to learn all the whys behind their actions. As the series develops, we all learn more about the characters, and what motivates them to make the choices they do. I learn about the characters in the same way that the readers do… in other words, the characters tell me about themselves. I’m not the type of writer who plots out a character beforehand. Instead, I put those characters into situations, and they then “tell” me who they are.

For example, in Murder on the Wind, the second in the Rock Shop Cozy Mystery series, we start to learn more about “why Jackson is as caring as he is of others.” The answer is because he has been taking care of his sister since their parents were killed. (I really admire that guy). In my “cozy apocalyptic” I had to learn the whys a bit faster. Still, I couldn’t stand to write something without knowing the whys.

I have no doubt that every writer who creates characters who live, breath and jump off the page has a similar raging curiosity to know the whys behind their characters. Other writers must have sponge brains, which absorb the spirits of people they know and then leak out into their characters. It’s part of our anatomy, but it sometimes gets crowded in here.

Thank you, Cheryl, for visiting today!

Keep reading for my thoughts of Murder on the Wind.


Murder on the Wind (Rock Shop Cozy Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Arizona
CT Communications (February 3, 2019)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 0998212245
ISBN-13: 978-0998212241
Kindle ASIN: B07NCNZ688

Amy Stone has recently returned to Copper Springs, a small town on Historic Route 66 in Arizona, in order to run her family’s rock shop, Stone’s Gems and Minerals. In a horrific welcome home, however, she was faced with the murder of the shop’s employee, and forced to defend herself against the actual murder, with the help of the shop’s new assistant, Jackson Wolf.

Now that things have settled into a more peaceful way of life, Amy and Jackson are looking forward to things returning to normal.

Unfortunately, a fun field trip to a local mine, organized by the local rock club and the Copper Springs Historical Society, throws their new found peace into turmoil as one member of the field trip is assaulted and the body of a miner who disappeared over thirty years ago is discovered.

Amy and Jackson are determined to clear their friend Pete Martin’s name. That proves to be a difficult task, as Pete has been witnessed arguing violently with the assault victim not long before he was pushed into a mine shaft and left to die. Along the way, the duo find themselves faced with the older mystery… why was the miner killed, and who will he kill next?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It has been a while since we visited with Amy (Amethyst) Stone but the story picks up shortly after the end of the first book. Amy is managing the family’s rock shop while her father recovers from a broken leg. She and Jackson Wolf, the shop’s assistant, had recently solved a murder and are about to be tied up in another one.

Traveling with a group of people from the rock club and the local historical society they visit a nearby mine that is now run by two sisters. While searching for some prizes among the spoils a scream rings out. People rush to find one person has fallen down a shaft. His wife is claiming he was pushed by Amy and Jackson’s friend Pete Martin. Pete claims he was nowhere near the man. To get to the bottom of the story the first must get injured man out of the mine. While doing so they make an eerie discovery, a skeleton of a man thought to have left the area over 30 years ago. Now Amy and Jackson have two mysteries to solve.

What really drew me into the first mystery was the Stone family,  Nick, his wife Crystal, Amy, who also has a brother named Jasper Onyx Stone and a sister named Opal Jewel Stone Amethyst’s middle name is Gem. They along with Jackson Wolf were all characters I wanted to know better. This time Amy and Jackson take center stage as the family remains in the background. They again make an excellent team of amateur sleuths. I love their relaxed and easy dialogue.

I really enjoyed the way the author blended an old murder in with a new mystery. She surprised me with a twist that sent the story in a whole new direction. It was very well-plotted and there were plenty of clues to mine before the real jewel is revealed.

Ms. Taylor’s descriptions of the tunnels in the mine really took me there. So much that my slight case of claustrophobia reared its ugly head. Darkness, water, bullets, and more. I was worried for those characters so much it had my heart racing. Closed in places have always been a problem I tackle one issue at a time. I don’t think mines will ever be a place I will conquer.

Cleverly written with very engaging characters. I found this book to be very entertaining and hope to visit the characters again. I just hope we don’t have to wait as long.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Book #1 Stone’s Gems and Murder here.

About the Author

Cheryl Taylor was raised in northeastern Michigan and pursued a degree in agriculture communications from Michigan State University. In 1986, Taylor moved to Arizona where she worked in publishing and advertising in the livestock industry, then eventually moving into teaching in 1998 after receiving a masters in education from Northern Arizona University.

In addition to her publishing endeavors, Taylor also creates wire tree sculptures and sun catchers under the business name, Ugly Rock Beautification Project, and loves to create locker hooked projects.

Taylor currently resides in northern Arizona with her family of horses, cattle, dogs, and birds.

Visit her Amazon Author Page here.


Also by this Author


The author is giving away a signed copy of the book
and 3 Blank Greeting Cards as shown.

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.

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 April 3, 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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Mar 192019
 

An Au Pair to Remember:
A Male Housekeeper Mystery
by Stephen Kaminski

About the Book


An Au Pair to Remember: A Male Housekeeper Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
Cozy Cat Press (January 27, 2019)
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-10: 1946063703
ISBN-13: 978-1946063700
Digital ASIN: B07NCBZ23L

From the author of the award-winning Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective series comes the Male Housekeeper Mysteries, focusing on charming characters, snappy dialogue, eclectic murders, and cunning confidence schemes. To his mind, Cam Reddick has failed—as a husband, as a father, and as a professional. After recognizing that his vanilla credentials didn’t stack up in a big city brimming with overachievers and toiling in drudgery for half of a decade, an emotionally raw Cam returns to his childhood hometown—the quaint and quirky village of Rusted Bonnet, Michigan. He’s determined to resuscitate relationships marred by youthful immaturity, most importantly those with his ex-wife Kacey Gingerfield (who doubles as the village’s Deputy Chief of Police) and their first grader, Emma. Armed with striking looks and an endearing proclivity for mixing metaphors, but saddled by “momma’s boy” tendencies, Cam takes the helm of his mother’s housekeeping business—Peachy Kleen. Access to homes across the village facilitates Cam’s penchant for amateur sleuthing as Kacey’s aide-de-camp. Surrounded by Kacey, his sophisticated mother Darby, garrulous senior housekeeper Samantha, and recuse fish cum confidant Bait, Cam’s circuitous journeys to solving murders and unravelling complex cons hasten his struggle down the path of self-healing to self-respect. And there’s hope that—just maybe—he can rekindle the romance he once had with Kacey.

In An Au Pair to Remember, Cam’s plan for a quiet return to Rusted Bonnet is dashed when a beautiful German au pair, Greta Astor, is found dead in Dutch McRae’s foyer with all signs pointing to a hastily disassembled trip wire at the top of the stairs. When Kacey learns that Cam was cleaning the McRae home the previous afternoon, she confides to him that Chief Bernie Leftwich is set on arresting Dutch for the murder—either alone or in tandem with Greta’s bartender boyfriend. But she worries that Bernie’s been duped. And later, when his mother Darby becomes a suspect, Cam inserts himself into the investigation and stumbles through a series of ostensible incongruities—a thief swallowing a cache of stolen diamonds, a snack food distributor laundering money, and a Cash-for-Gold scam. Meanwhile, Peachy Kleen’s young African housekeeper has disappeared with one of the company vans. All the while, Cam finds himself flirting with his new neighbor and struggling with his complicated feelings for Kacey.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Cam Reddick has returned to Rusted Bonnet, Michigan to take over his mother’s housecleaning business, Peachy Kleen. But he has an ulterior motive. He hopes to have a real relationship with his daughter Emma and repair the relationship with his ex-wife Kacey Gingerfield, that blew up when he ran away and headed off to the big city. Kacey has moved on with her life working as the Deputy Chief of Police and taking care of her 6-year-old daughter. Cam’s mother, Darby is also very involved in the child’s life.

Cam is taking a hands-on approach at Peachy Kleen. He is part of the team sent to clean the McRae home where he meets Greta Astor, the McRae’s au pair. He is shocked to learn that the woman was found dead in the home the next morning. Chief Bernie Leftwich has already solved the case to his satisfaction. He deduces a trip wire was placed on the staircase and removed after Greta’s fall. He decides the children’s father, Dutch McRae is the murderer, but Kacey has her doubts. Then due to some “evidence”, he has determined that Cam’s mother Darby did it or is at least an accomplice. Cam can’t take the news sitting down so he starts doing a little sleuthing on his own. His ex-wife isn’t happy about it but at least he is keeping her in the loop with his findings.

I didn’t like Cam from the first sweep but he grew on me more as the story continued. He uses his immaturity as a reason for leaving his family behind and I just wasn’t having it. I pegged him as selfish and conceded.  I do believe in second chances though so I was willing to give him a chance and I am glad I did. I really liked Kacey. A strong woman in a tough job being the best single mom that she can. She does open her life to Cam and allows him to see his daughter a lot without a whole lot of custody craziness. He steps up too with Emma when Kacey needs to work overtime to solve the case.  Darby brings some levity to the story. I was stunned though by the Chief’s stupidity when he actually pulled her in as a suspect.

The mystery is a twisted one with plenty of theories but not a lot of actual evidence making it difficult to solve. The subplot featuring one of Peachy Kleen’s employees was very interesting and I was anxious to see how that played out and how and if it had anything to do with the au pair’s death. I did have an inkling about the murderer early on but can’t point to one thing that took me in their direction, it was just an overall thing until the final clues fell into place.

I hope in the next story we learn much more about the characters. Cam appears to have Celiac Disease and should adhere to a gluten-free diet. His good and bad food choices run throughout the story. I feel we have just scratched the surface on Kacey and Darby and I really want to see more of Emma. Of course, Cam’s fish Bait, yes he named his fish Bait, already plays a crucial role as Cam’s sounding board. I just hope he has a life longer than a typical fish 🙂

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Stephen Kaminski is the author of An Au Pair to Remember, the first installment of the Male Housekeeper Mystery series.  He also writes the award-winning Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective books.  Stephen is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Law School and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the trade association representing the United States’ poison control system and its fifty-five centers.  He lives with his daughter and rescue kitty in the Washington, DC area.

Author Links – GoodReads Facebook

Purchase Links – Amazon KindleAmazon Paperback 

Also by this Author

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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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Mar 152019
 


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.


Assault and Pepper (A Spice Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Washington State
Berkley (March 3, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0425271781
ISBN-13: 978-0425271780
Kindle ASIN: B00LMGK51A

The Agatha Award-winning author of Crime Rib is proud to introduce Pepper Reece, the owner of the Seattle Spice Shop who thinks she can handle any kind of salty customer—until a murderer ends up in the mix…

After leaving a dicey marriage and losing a beloved job in a corporate crash, Pepper Reece has found a new zest for life running a busy spice and tea shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Her aromatic creations are the talk of the town, and everyone stops by for a cup of her refreshing spice tea, even other shopkeepers and Market regulars. But when a panhandler named Doc shows up dead on the store’s doorstep, a Seattle Spice Shop cup in his hand, the local gossip gets too hot for Pepper to handle—especially after the police arrest one of Pepper’s staffers, Tory Finch, for murder.

Tory seems to know why she’s a suspect, but she refuses to do anything to curry favor with the cops. Convinced her reticent employee is innocent, Pepper takes it on herself to sniff out some clues. Only, if she’s not careful, Pepper’s nosy ways might make her next on the killer’s list…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Pepper Reece’s life was in flux, her job eliminated and her marriage over. She took a gigantic leap and bought the Seattle Spice Shop in the Pike Place Market. She is working at making the place her own while keeping all the current customers and gaining new ones too. It is a popular place where tourists, fellow shopkeepers, and local market customers stop by for a cup of spice tea to get their day started.

One morning when Pepper arrives to open the shop she finds a body blocking her path with one of her stamped cups in his hand. Doc, was a panhandler that had recently shown up on her corner. He hadn’t been dead for long and Pepper is surprised to find out one of her employees was already in her shop. Tory Finch works for Pepper but she is also an artist. She tells Pepper she came in early to work on some sketches. The police take her presence to mean something else. They have made her their prime suspect and have placed her under arrest and thrown away the key. Pepper wants to help as does the rest of her staff but Tory just wants to be left alone. Pepper will not let her employee be railroaded. She is going to spice things up by finding the killer herself.

I have never been to Seattle but when I think about the city, I think of rain and coffee. After reading this book I will also think of the Pike Place Market and Pepper’s fantastic shop. She and her staff make their own spice blends depending on the month and the season. They also create and sell their own spiced tea. I could almost smell the aromas right through the pages and I learned some interesting things too. The market is a real place and also very unique, on the waterfront with views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. There are many levels, passages and nooks, and crannies. The author’s descriptions draw a clear picture but I still had to look it up online to satisfy my curiosity. I would love to enjoy it in person someday.

Pepper is a caring individual. She watches out for her friends and staff, and she takes an active role with the homeless that spend their time at the marketplace. When 2 panhandlers had a disagreement about her corner she went out to help them find a suitable answer when others may have just called the police. Her ex-husband just happens to be one of the officers that patrols the area on his bicycle and she tries to involve him as little as possible in her life. The staff is a quirky group that works well together.

I enjoyed the mystery in this story. The connections that were revealed opened up a realm of possibilities. With some original twists, the story evolved in a satisfactory fashion. I was caught up in the whodunit right away, but with Pepper’s background in Human Resources, a couple of things had me shaking my head. I appreciated how the homeless issues were addressed and the part they played in the story.

As the first book in the series, this story gave me everything I was looking for, intelligent and engaging characters, a spectacular setting, and a mystery that made me think. I look forward to reading the next book in this series soon.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model, and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


Also by this Author


I am giving away my review copy!

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.

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Contest Will End March 29, 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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Mar 142019
 


Cat Got Your Crown: A Kitty Couture Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Crooked Lane Books (March 13, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683319567
ISBN-13: 978-1683319566
Kindle ASIN: B07H7RVB6N

With a pet pageant around the corner and a killer unleashed, Lacy will have to collar the culprit before the claws come out.

Lacy Marie Crocker can hardly believe it’s been a year since her return home to New Orleans. There hasn’t been a dull moment since opening her pet boutique last summer, and thanks to the popularity of Lacy’s organic pet treats, and the arrival of the National Pet Pageant, Lacy desperately needs some help before she is overrun by the demand for pupcakes and crinolines.

The entire Garden District seems to be counting the minutes until opening night of the pet pageant and everything is going spectacularly until Viktor Petrov, the pageant emcee takes a spill from the balcony during dress rehearsal. All signs points to murder and homicide detective Jack Oliver sets his eyes on Eva Little, one of Lacy’s committee sisters and the only other person on the balcony at the time of the fall, as the killer. But when it comes out that Viktor was notoriously rude, the doors blow wide open with potential suspects who could’ve wanted him dead.

Lacy’s determined to find the killer and exonerate Eva, but when Lacy receives a mysterious warning—a plush kitty from Lacy’s shop with its mouth crudely stitched over—it’s clear that she’s been found first. Full with killer recipes for your pet too!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The National Pet Pageant has finally come to New Orleans and Lacy Marie Crocker is right in the middle of everything. She is on hand to help with all the pets apparel with her trusty pink toolbox filled with fabric, thread, lace, sequins and even a tiara or two. She is also working on a new recipe that pets and their owners can share and baking pupcakes and pet couture to keep the shelves and racks full at her pet boutique, The Furry Grandmother.

Rehearsals at the pageant are barking right along and then the emcee takes a header right off the balcony. Viktor Petrov didn’t fall though, he was pushed. Detective Jack Oliver and Lacy were side by side and witnessed the entire thing. Lacy also noticed a woman on the balcony. Eva Little, one of Lacy’s mother’s friends. She becomes the prime suspect but it isn’t long before more suspects come to light. With a firm nudge from her mother and to the frustration of Jack, Lacy starts snooping. But the killer is on her trail warning her to back-off or else.

These characters are so much fun. Everyone is engaging and fleshed out. Again Lacy has a lot of weight on her shoulders. She has had two men vying for her attention, but in this one, Jack seems to be the one winning her heart which makes me super happy. I have been Team Jack for a while. But attorney Chase Hawthorne is also at the pageant. He has found many pet owners need lawyers in times of divorce to set up ownership and visitation of those furry loved ones. The client that brought him to the event has a very interesting doggie that keeps Chase on his toes.

Lacy’s over the top mother is in charge of making the National Pet Pageant run smoothly along with her committee. She expects perfection not only in the event but right down to what her committee members are wearing. Lacy isn’t always on the same page but she does her best to cater to her mother’s every whim. He father is the calming force that is needed a time or two. Lacy’s former nanny, Imogene, tries to stay on top of everything at the boutique but she is running herself ragged with all the extra business from the pageant. We are introduced to a new character, Willow, she seems to fit right in. I really enjoy the dialogue between the characters. There are serious conversations but some are laugh out loud funny.

There is so much happening in this story but it never seems overwhelming. The pace is quick. The mystery has many twists and turns and is very well plotted. I was totally all over the place when it came to the murderer. The red herrings throughout definitely worked on me.

I loved this story and the animal antics never fail to grab me. Lacy’s cat Penelope riding around on her Roomba always cracks me up. This time a dog had me almost rolling on the floor laughing. The humans are funny too. There is a bit of magic this time, I mean they are in New Orleans, but I not sure how I feel about that yet. I have to see where the author takes this idea.

I encourage you to read the series from the start in order if it is new to you. They have all been perfect escapes for me.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Cat Got Your Diamonds here and  Cat Got Your Cash here and
Cat Got Your Secrets here.

About The Author

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie Anne Lindsey here.

Facebook     Twitter     Website    Goodreads

Written as Julie Anne Lindsey

GIVEAWAYThanks to the publisher 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.

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Contest Will End March 28, 2019, 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.”

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Mar 132019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am very happy to feature Eva Gates’ new book today!! 


Something Read, Something Dead: A Lighthouse Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (March 13, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683319508
ISBN-13: 978-1683319504
Kindle ASIN: B07H7Q5L1C

Dark deeds in the Lighthouse Library threaten to send Lucy Richardson’s soon-to-be-wed cousin Josie to an early ‘til-death-do-us-part.

Winter falls on North Carolina’s Outer Banks as Lucy Richardson and her friends joyfully help her favorite cousin, Josie O’Malley, plan her wedding. The owner and head baker of Josie’s Cozy Bakery and her fiancé, chef Jake Greenblatt, want a small, simple wedding.

But to their horror, Josie’s imperious grandmother, Gloria, descends with the “Louisiana Mafia”: a gaggle of aunts and cousins who intend to take control of the wedding plans. Gloria doesn’t do small and simple, and cousin Mirabelle has her own ideas for Josie’s wedding, something grand and lavish—and paid for by Josie’s parents, of course—that will kickstart her fledgling event planning business and get her work shown on the covers of wedding magazines. To make matters worse, Mirabelle focuses her full Southern charm on the prospective groom…and Jake doesn’t seem entirely adverse to her attentions.

To smooth the waters, Lucy hosts a bridal shower at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. But it turns deadly when Mirabelle collapses—soon after eating the gluten-free treats Josie prepared specifically for her. Now, to save her favorite cousin from prison, Lucy will have to bring a crook to book in this fifth festive Lighthouse Library mystery from national bestselling author Eva Gates.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in North Carolina just in time for Josie and Jake’s wedding. Jake and Josie have plenty of love but very little time. Josie owns the local bakery and Jakes owns a restaurant. All they want is a simple wedding with no big fuss and one that is within their budget. As the date draws near Josie’s grandmother has real concerns about this wedding. Email invitations and people left off the guest list have her in a real tizzy. She will not stand for small and simple. Like a hurricane, she blows into town with the “Louisiana Mafia” (aunts and cousins). She has tasked cousins Florence Fanshaw and Mirabelle Henkel with planning the most over the top wedding possible. She also decides the simple shower at the lighthouse library and reception at Jake’s restaurant will never do and Gloria takes over those plans too. Unfortunately, Mirabelle is also searching for a new husband herself and she seems to have set her sights on JAKE!

Things kick off with Lucy’s shower with a few Louisiana adjustments. But it doesn’t end well. Mirabelle dies shortly after eating the gluten-free goodies Jodie had made just for her. The police decide Josie had the motive, means, and opportunity to pull it off. Lucy knows she didn’t do it. Seriously, first Josie would never kill anyone. And second, Josie would not be stupid enough to kill her cousin and have all the evidence pointed right at her. Clearly a set up, Lucy is on the case and she intends to catch the real killer and throw the book at them so that Josie and Jake can start the next chapter of their lives without Josie behind bars.

I absolutely love the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library on the Outer Banks. The author takes poetic license with the place for it to house all the wonderful things it does. Readers imaginations are easily stretched to believe it too. All the books and rooms and Lucy Aerie apartment on the 4th floor reached by climbing all those steps. I can envision it all perfectly. The structure itself has a little trouble in this installment and I was drawn right into the process and cost of handling the issue.

The characters Ms. Gates has created have become old friends. I was taken aback by the way Grandma Gloria took over everything, not caring at all about Josie’s wishes, but I had to deal with something similar when I was married 36 years ago. Instead of a grandmother, it was my mother driving me crazy for opposite reasons though. Gloria wanted things grander, my mother was very budget oriented. Both were determined to have their way.  My mother didn’t like the colors I had chosen for the bridesmaid’s dresses or the style. She thought they were too expensive and our trip to buy dresses turned into a trip to buy fabric and not in peach but lilac. The pattern silhouette chosen was nowhere near what I wanted either and they ended up costing more because we had to pay a seamstress to make them. Both she and I loved to sew and she really thought we could make the six dresses ourselves.  And that was just the bridesmaid dresses, I won’t go into my dress or the food or the other things she tried to take over. Thankfully like Josie, I had great friends, family, and a wonderful man that help me pick my battles. Can you tell I really identified with this part of the story? Of course, no one died at my shower 🙂 but there were a few stressful moments.

All the subplots flowed into the main plot very nicely. I truly enjoyed the way the mystery unfolded and the way the library’s monthly book club selection Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy Sayers played into the story. Several more suspects were noted and I had a delightful time following all the clues and detours right along with Lucy. The killer was on my radar but I couldn’t fully commit until the very end.

This is a wonderful addition to this series. The characters are genuine, the setting ideal, and the mystery kept me guessing. This book can be read on its own but I recommend them all.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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 twenty-five books:  clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing three cozy mystery series: the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House and, under the pen name of Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series, for Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.  Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com. On Facebook at www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor. Twitter @vickidelany@evagatesauthor

Written as Vicki Delany

GIVEAWAYThanks to the publisher 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.

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

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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 March 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

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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Mar 122019
 

This book will be released 1 week from today!
March 19, 2019


Run Away
Suspense/Thriller
Setting – New York
Grand Central Publishing (March 19, 2019)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1538748460
ISBN-13: 978-1538748466
Kindle ASIN: B07F67CXPW

You’ve lost your daughter.

She’s addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she’s made it clear that she doesn’t want to be found.

Then, by chance, you see her playing guitar in Central Park. But she’s not the girl you remember. This woman is living on the edge, frightened, and clearly in trouble.

You don’t stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home.

She runs.

And you do the only thing a parent can do: you follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never knew existed. Before you know it, both your family and your life are on the line. And in order to protect your daughter from the evils of that world, you must face them head on.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I absolutely devoured this book! When I had to put it down I couldn’t get it off my mind. Days later it has stuck with me.

Simon Greene and his wife Ingrid have three beautiful children. They are extremely successful in their careers and are living the good life in Manhattan. Then their daughter Paige goes to college where something happens that leads her down the path of destruction. She drops out of school and becomes addicted to drugs. Simon and Ingrid try to help her but she doesn’t want to be helped.

Now they have no idea where she is. They decide to back off their search but when a friend tells Simon he saw her in Central Park he just has to try one more time. He finds her there in the area called Strawberry Fields performing, but when he tries to get close she runs off and her boyfriend physically stops Simon from following. Their altercation brings the police and there are tons of witnesses taping on their phones. It doesn’t look good for Simon. It looks like some rich guy beating up a homeless man.

Three months later Paige is still missing and Simon thinks the assault case is behind him but then the boyfriend is murdered. Simon, his wife, and even Paige are now suspects. Plus Paige could be in danger. The Greene’s now know they have to find their daughter even if it means risking their own lives.

There are two subplots that at first seem unrelated but it soon becomes clear that everything is connected. I can’t say more without spoiling this amazing story.

The characters in this story are believable and so well written. Coben gives them all genuine feel, the good guys and the bad. I felt there was a real hero in this story too. I grew to care about several characters and was very invested to see how their journeys played out.

This story had surprises at almost every turn. I dropped my Kindle at one point, shocked by what had just happened. Mr. Coben takes us to the gritty streets where bad things happen to people with good intentions. As the book continues we are shocked again and again. But whoa, the ending just blew me away. An extremely gripping and powerful story.

Coben is my favorite author when it comes to mind-bending suspense. I have loved every one of his books. As soon as this book arrived I dropped everything to read it and am so happy I did. Previous to this one my favorite was Caught, but this is my new fave. Harlan Coben takes us on a wild ride as Simon Greene follows a dangerous path to find his daughter and get to the truth and for me, he has topped himself. It deserves way more than 5 stars. This is a Run Away hit!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Harlan Coben and his book on his webpage here.






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

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Mar 072019
 

As Directed
(A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
by Kathleen Valenti

About the Book


As Directed (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Midwest, United States
Henery Press (March 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114705
ISBN-13: 978-1635114706
Digital ASIN: B07LB6N22B

In the shadow of a past fraught with danger and tainted by loss, former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is rebuilding her life, trading test tubes for pill bottles as she embarks on a new career at the corner drugstore.

But as she spreads her wings, things begin to go terribly wrong. A customer falls ill in the store. Followed by another. And then more.

The specter of poisoning arises, conjuring old grudges, past sins, buried secrets and new suspicions from which no one is immune.

As Maggie and her best friend Constantine begin to investigate, they discover that some of the deadliest doses come from the most unexpected places.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Customers are dropping like flies and Maggie O’Malley is always the one to find them. She thought things would be calm and routine at the local drug store where she is working as a pharmacy technician, but instead, murder victims are falling at her feet. They have been poisoned and both Mallory and her boss have been questioned. Her boss has closed down his store until the answers are found and the person responsible is in custody. Without having to work every day, Mallory and Constantine (Gus) have plenty of time to investigate but the path is twisted and secrets are uncovered.

Maggie is still recovering from an injury that occurred in an earlier book, but she doesn’t let the headaches and memory lapses keep her down. Also on her plate in her wedding to Constantine. No date yet but his aunt and hers are bulldozing as many plans forward as they can, even inviting themselves to a cake tasting Mallory hoped she and Gus could handle on their own. An old foe is stalking her and she has acquired a new one. A “TWO-FER” as Gus calls it. She also brings home a four-legged furry friend who worms his way into her heart. She drives a 1962 Studebaker Lark too. I like everything about Miss Maggie O’Malley.

As with the previous stories in this series, the author has put forth a very complex mystery with tangents going in several directions. The deaths are scary, was there tampering? Did Maggie or her boss make a mistake? When another customer is found dead at home, the local news guy is pointing fingers, trying to get the scoop, and being a real pain. That presses Maggie to work harder and faster to get answers. Nothing is really clear and the case has a lot of moving parts. At times it feels like she is going in circles but I was captivated every step of the way.

The story has a real ripped from the headlines feel (remember the Tylenol murders) and the ending packs a real punch. Action, danger, drama, are tempered with just a little bit of humor in the proper places. The book is balanced with Mallory’s real-life experiences. I really love the way Ms. Valenti tells a story. It’s not straight forward in your face. There are layers that need to be peeled and each little reveal moves the story along at just the right pace until everything tragically falls into place.

For me, this story was just what the doctor ordered, a Perfect Escape!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Kathleen Valenti is the author of the Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series, which includes her Agatha- and Lefty-nominated debut novel, Protocol. When Kathleen isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. She lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running. Learn more at www.kathleenvalenti.com.

Author Links – Website – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReadsBookBubInstagram 

Purchase Links – Amazon Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo

Protocol is on sale for $1.99 right now.

Thanks to the author I have 1 digital copy to give away! 

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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Contest Will End March 15, 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.”

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 1 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST  
March 1 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
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March 3 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 4 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 6 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – GUEST POST
March 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 9 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST  
March 10 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 11 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR 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.”

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Mar 062019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to feature Pie Hard by Kirsten Weiss this week!


Pie Hard (A Pie Town Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (February 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496708989
ISBN-13: 978-1496708984
Kindle ASIN: B07DBR4SRF

Will Val pie hard on national TV?

Business at the bakery may have slowed down, but Val Harris isn’t about to eat humble pie—not until a reality cooking show decides to whip the struggling Pie Town into shape. If Val can tolerate criticism from an abrasive pastry chef during filming, the free publicity might turn the unusual opportunity into the sweetest deal she didn’t know she needed.

Except no one in San Nicholas has an appetite for dessert once murder steals the spotlight. When the show’s bossy producer gets pushed to her death, Val and her flaky, septuagenarian pie crust expert, Charlene, follow crumbs in hopes of finding the killer. But with cameras still rolling and the shocking identity of the victim’s replacement a guaranteed recipe for disaster, Val needs to stay cool long enough to solve the crime and keep Pie Town from falling apart—or else she just might go up in smoke before she ever graces the small screen.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pie Hard, a reality cooking show has come to Pie Town courtesy of Charlene and as a complete surprise to Val. The camera and crew arrive along with Regina Katz, the show’s producer. Val is nervous because she knows what type of show this is. They will bash her shop and everything she does to get the high ratings. The show’s pastry chef, Ilsa Fueder, is already muttering “don’t like” about every pie she looks at.

After the first day of taping Val gets a call from Ray, one of the gaming regulars telling her that show’s producer has died in an “accident” he sees more like murder. Soon the Baker Street Bakers are into a full-blown investigation with Ray as an associate member, (he is not a baker). Shocked that show is continuing Val uses the opportunity to get to know all the suspects on her list. She also has a connection to the show’s new producer. The death has again slowed Pie Town’s business to a crawl. Hard to be a success when Val keeps finding dead bodies. She just knows she needs to find the killer before she is bankrupt and baked to a crisp.

This is a fun series and this is a great addition. Murder with a lot of mayhem fills these pages. Charlene is quite the instigator and to start with Val just has to go with the flow. Right from the beginning when a yurt is dropped within feet of Val’s tiny storage container house and the “goddesses” arrive for their yearly retreat. Something Charlene forgot to mention to Val. Then continuing when Val arrives at Pie Town to see her shop filled with strangers, holding cameras and tacking a microphone to her shirt. And on to Charlene’s several unbelievable and impossible theories about who killed the producer and why. It takes a little time, but Val gets her bearings and juggles all these balls in the air while trying to find out more about a certain new member of the crew. The author has done so well developing the recurring characters and introducing the new batch as well. Charlene’s cat, Frederick continues to make his appearances and is always good for a giggle.

I really enjoyed all the facets of the mysteries within this story. Val has plenty of clues to sift through along with plenty of suspects. The story is expertly plotted in a way that had me guessing right up until the big reveal. The family dynamic that was woven into the murder part of the story really added depth. It will be interesting to see how it impacts future stories. I was intrigued about how the goddesses were going to evolve into the story. I will say I was surprised at the role one of them played, but it was absolutely perfect.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of The Quiche and the Dead here and Bleeding Tarts here.

About the Author

Based in San Mateo, California, Kirsten Weiss writes genre-blending novels: urban fantasy/mystery, steampunk/suspense, and cozy mysteries. Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer reruns and drinking red wine.
Visit her at kirstenweiss.com.


Also by this Author


Find more books by Kirsten Weiss here.

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to giveaway

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.

Sign up for Kirsten’s newsletter 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.

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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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