Aug 012019
 

Laurie Gelman

You’ve Been Volunteered: A Class Mom Novel
by Laurie Gelman

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About the Book 

Laurie Gelman
You’ve Been Volunteered: A Class Mom Novel
Humorous Fiction
2nd in Series
Setting – Kansas
Henry Holt and Co. (July 23, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1250301858
ISBN-13: 978-1250301857
Digital ASIN: B07HLZH7BH

In the eagerly anticipated follow-up to Laurie Gelman’s “irreverent and hilarious” (The New York Post) hit Class Mom, brash, lovable Jen Dixon is back with a new class and her work cut out for her

If you’ve ever been a room parent or school volunteer, Jen Dixon is your hero. She says what every class mom is really thinking, whether in her notoriously frank emails or standup-worthy interactions with the micromanaging PTA President and the gamut of difficult parents. Luckily, she has the charm and wit to get away with it—most of the time. Jen is sassier than ever but dealing with a whole new set of challenges, in the world of parental politics and at home.

She’s been roped into room-parenting yet again, for her son Max’s third grade class, but as her husband buries himself in work, her older daughters navigate adulthood, and Jen’s own aging parents start to need some parenting themselves, Jen gets pulled in more directions than any one mom, or superhero, can handle.

Refreshingly down-to-earth and brimming with warmth, Dixon’s next chapter will keep you turning the pages to find out what’s really going on under the veneer of polite parent interactions, and have you laughing along with her the whole way.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As a last resort, Jen Dixon is again the Class Mom for her son Max’s class. The kids are now in 3rd grade and except for 1 new family, the parents are familiar with the way Jen handles things and her crazy sense of humor.

Her first email starts with: Yes, I’m back despite swearing they would have to drag my cold dead body back to the PTA. She includes a questionnaire from teacher Mrs. Randozzo. Jen’s responses regarding Max and the teacher’s responses back truly had me laughing out loud.  And that was just Chapter One!

With a new PTA President and the retirement of the current crossing guard, Jen also finds herself in charge of the 5th-grade Safety Patrol Program. That means many more delightful  – NOT – things for her to handle. She also has to deal with her husband, a daughter working at Jenny Craig, a daughter traveling abroad with a band and her aging parents.

Jen Dixon is my idol. She is everything I wish I was while shepherding 4 children through school. Of course, back then we were just exploring all the joys the internet had to offer. I was also part of the 5th-grade Safety Patrol back when dinosaurs roamed the earth so that whole subplot made me smile too. As far as dealing with adult children and aging parents, I have been there, done that too. In fact, I am still dealing with the adult children stuff but their trials and tribulations are not as funny as Jen’s, at least not yet, some never will be amusing but maybe someday I could write a book, fictional of course with the names changed to protect the not so innocent.

Until then, you have to read this book! Laurie Gelman has written a fantastic story. She has taken on some light and heavy issues and allowed Jen to keep her spirit and find the funny. Sometimes that’s what moms have to do to get up and keep going each and every day. I laughed from beginning to end and found a bit of wisdom too.

This book has everything I look for in A PERFECT ESCAPE! A lead character I can believe and identify with, a story that holds my attention, and a book I can’t wait to tell all my friends about.  The lighthearted feeling and the off the charts hilarity was just the icing on the top of the cake.

I have not read the first book in this series, Class Mom but I added it to my wish list as soon as I completed this book. I can’t wait to read it or any book by this author.  She truly has tickled my funny bone and I want more!

Totally entertaining – a must-read for all moms! Add this book to your Back-to-School lists today!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Laurie Gelman

Laurie Gelman

Laurie Gelman was born and raised in the Great White North. She spent twenty-five years as a broadcaster in both Canada and the United States before trying her hand at writing novels. The author of Class Mom, Laurie has appeared on Live With Ryan and Kelly, Watch What Happens Live, and The Talk, among others. She lives in New York City with her husband, Michael Gelman, and two teenage daughters.

Author Links – Twitter: @lauriemgelman     Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lauriegelman/

Purchase Links –

AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboIndieBoundGoogle Play 

Praise for You’ve Been Volunteered: A Class Mom Novel
by Laurie Gelman

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick easy read. The author is witty, sassy, irreverent (in the best way) and she had me laughing throughout the entire book.
~MJB Reviewers

Laugh your way through the trials of third grade, and creating a fifth-grade safety patrol system when the school crossing guard retires.
~Laura’s Interests

Oh My Stars! Guess I expected a good read when I saw the title as well as the book cover and it definitely exceeded my expectations!
~Rosepoint Publishing

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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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Jul 312019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to feature Let’s Fake A Deal today by Sherry Harris! 


Let’s Fake a Deal (A Sarah W. Garage Sale Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (July 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716981
ISBN-13: 978-1496716989
Kindle ASIN: B07K5ZMBZB

SHE’S GOT THE GOODS . . .
As a former military spouse, Sarah Winston’s learned a little about organizing, packing, and moving. Her latest project sounds promising: a couple of tech-industry hipsters, newly arrived in her Massachusetts town, who need to downsize. Unfortunately, when Sarah tries to sell their stuff, she discovers it’s all stolen—and she’s the unwitting fence.

BUT SARAH’S PROBLEMS ARE JUST BEGINNING
Michelle, an old friend of Sarah’s from the Air Force base, is in line for a promotion—but not everyone is happy about it, and she’s been hit with an anonymous discrimination complaint. When one of the men she suspects is behind the accusations turns up dead in Michelle’s car, Sarah needs to clear Michelle’s name—as well as her own for selling hot merchandise. And she’ll have to do it while also organizing a cat lady’s gigantic collection of feline memorabilia, or they’ll be making room for Sarah in a jail cell . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah Winston barely opens a garage sale for a couple wanting to downsize when the police show up. The couple is nowhere to be found and everything she was trying to sell for them appears to be stolen. Before she knows it she is on the ground and under arrest. As she tries to find the couple that set her up she is also trying to clear her friend Michelle from murder charges. Michelle was up for a promotion with the Air Force when someone files a complaint against her. One of the men she had pegged for the discrimination report turns up dead in HER car! Sarah is also working on a fabulous feline garage sale too. That is if she stays out of jail long enough for the Cat-tastic Garage Sale to take place.

Hold on tight, Sherry Harris has twisted together a terrific mystery that is impossible to put down!

The first scene grabbed my attention with a premise I never would have thought of and turns Sarah’s business inside out. Then we move to Michelle’s issue which is too prevalent in the military today sans the murder of course. This author doesn’t shy away from hot topics. She gives a wonderful fictional spin that makes her readers aware and informed.

These characters stole my heart back in the first book Tagged for Death and they continue to impress me book after book. Sarah continues to grow after her divorce while trying to start her new relationship with Seth. Sarah does have a huge heart and is very trusting, which was a big flaw this time. Small towns just aren’t what they used to be anymore.

I love the way recurring characters pop up even in small ways in each story. Whenever Mike “Big Cheese” Titone appears on the scene it always makes me smile. He is not your typical mobster when Sarah is involved. The dialogues between all the characters are excellent and laced with the perfect amount of humor.

This mystery is carefully plotted and develops in a surprising way. Ms. Harris faked me out more than once. Every twist and turn had my mind spinning. I was in the dark right up to the fantastic final reveal and perfectly delighted to be so.

This is a brilliant addition to this series. It is my new favorite! In fact, it will be the next book on my Bests Reads list for 2019! I absolutely loved it from beginning to end!

I do want to say each book can be read all on its own, but Sarah Winston is an extraordinary protagonist and to truly understand her and where she is in her life now I recommend reading all the books in order. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha Award-nominated author, Sherry Harris, started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series.

Find out more about Sherry on her webpage here.


Coming December 31, 2019


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 Print Copy to giveaway! 
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.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Contest Will End August 14, 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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Jul 302019
 

Available Today!!


Murder at Crossways (A Gilded Newport Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Rhode Island
Kensington (July 30, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496720725
ISBN-13: 978-1496720726
Kindle ASIN: B07K5ZXLJ8

Murder at Crossways – In late August 1898, reporter Emma Cross attends the final fête of the Newport social season and discovers the party’s over for a visiting prince . . .

The days are getting shorter as summer’s end approaches, which means it’s time for the Harvest Festival, the last big event of the season, held by Mamie Fish, wife of millionaire railroad tycoon Stuyvesant Fish, at their grand “cottage,” Crossways. The neocolonial mansion is decked out in artificial autumn splendor, and an extravagant scavenger hunt will be held. But the crowning jewel of the evening will be the guest of honor, Prince Otto of Austria.

As acting editor-in-chief of the Newport Messenger, Emma had hoped to leave her days as a society reporter behind her. But at the last moment, she must fill in and attend the Harvest Festival. With nearly every eligible daughter of Newport high society in attendance, Emma can almost hear romantic dreams shattering like glass slippers when the prince fails to appear. The next morning, he is found dead in the side garden at Crossways, making it clear a murderer crashed the party.

The prince has been stabbed in the same manner as another man, recently found on nearby Bailey’s Beach—who strongly resembles Emma’s half-brother Brady’s father, presumed dead for nearly thirty years after a yachting mishap. As Emma investigates a connection between the two victims, she is joined on the hunt by Mamie Fish herself. But they must hurry—before the killer slips away like the fading summer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A dead body can really ruin a day at the beach. Emma Cross had hoped for a relaxing day, but first, a prominent lady almost drowns and then a short time later a man is found dead. A man who looks remarkably like the father of her half-brother Brady.

With that case on her mind, Emma attends the Harvest Festival at the home of Mamie and Stuyvesant Fish to cover the affair for the Newport Messenger. The “cottage” is full of the elite and almost all the area’s eligible daughters hoping to catch the eye of the guest of honor, Prince Otto of Austria. The festival goes late into the night but the Prince never arrives. While cleaning up the estate Prince Otto’s body is found in the garden. The wound appears to be the same as the man found on the beach.

Again Emma finds herself embroiled in another murder mystery. With the family connection, she feels she has no choice.

_____________________

Alyssa Maxwell again draws readers back in time to Newport, Rhode Island 1898. This time we visit Crossways, An American “cottage” owned by Marion Graves Anthon Fish a.k.a. “Mamie” and her husband  Stuyvesant “Stuyvie” Fish. What this author does so well is blending history with her fictional tale. She describes everything so well but I still find myself wanting to see the people and places with my own eyes after I finish the story to learn more about the characters and settings that kept me captivated for 288 pages. I love The Gilded Age Era site for all things Newport.

The thing I enjoyed most about this book was that Alyssa found herself with an unexpected sidekick. Maimie Fish was determined to apprehend the person that used her party and property as the backdrop for murder. She glued herself to Emma’s side and even offered to hire someone to handle Emma’s real job at the paper until the case was solved. Emma is a smart woman and realized Maimie could be a real asset. Maimie was a grand character, not your typical rich socialite. She is very down to earth and very opinionated and doesn’t hold back expressing her thoughts or wishes. She was a complete treasure and together with Emma, they made a wonderful team. I love the way this author focuses on strong and independent women.

The mystery was multifaceted as connections between the murders needed to be delved into as the confirmed identity of the first victim was totally up in the air. Emma and Maimie tracked down each clue and checked out each twist no matter where the led. Emma’s brother Brady was not handling all the news well so he was a constant concern.  She was also dealing with a mystery at the newspaper but she was clearly able to juggle everything thrown at her. I enjoyed following along with all the developments and was pleased that all the clues dropped into place for me at the same time as Emma.

Murder at Crossways is unique and entertaining. Maxwell’s characters are so strong and believable. I totally enjoyed my visit to Newport and am looking forward to returning again soon. For me, this was A Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Alyssa outside (2)

About the Author

Alyssa Maxwell is the author of the Gilded Newport Mysteries and A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mysteries. She lives in South Florida in the current year but confesses to spending most of her time in the Victorian and post WWI eras, as well as other periods of history. In addition to fantasizing about wearing Worth gowns and strolling the gardens of her manor house, she loves to watch BBC and other period productions and sip tea in the afternoons. And each year, she and her husband take a trip up to Newport to visit family, and so Alyssa can “shop” for the next mansion to be featured in her Newport series.

Author Links
Twitter  Facebook Webpage GoodReads 

Also by Alyssa Maxwell

GIVEAWAY
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.

Subscribe to Allyssa Maxwell’s newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

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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 August 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

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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Jul 262019
 

The House on Xenia
(A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
by Rita Moreau

 

About the Book 


The House on Xenia (A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
Paranormal Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Independently Published (May 8, 2019)
Paperback: 332 pages
ISBN-10: 1096120712
ISBN-13: 978-1096120711
Digital Print Length: 209 pages
ASIN: B07R9Q682Y

A government conspiracy. A life-threatening secret. Can a psychic accountant balance the books of justice?

Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney prefers numbers to her supernatural powers. But when a cold-case corpse shows up under her cousin’s family home, the only calculations that add up are paranormal. And deep within the floorboards of the house on Xenia, MC and her madcap Greek family uncover evidence pointing to visitors from another planet…

Pursued by military agents intent on keeping the secrets buried, MC will have to play by the house’s rules to expose the alien mystery. And there’s only one member of the family who can get to the hidden truth…

Can MC reveal the cover-up, or will a dangerous hush job close her books forever?

The House on Xenia is a standalone novel in the Mary Catherine Mahoney cozy mystery series. If you like psychic female sleuths, crazy family antics, and long lost aliens, then you’ll love Rita Moreau’s quirky tale.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

While there are recurring characters the author states each book in this series can be read on its own. Intrigued by the synopsis I decided to read this book without reading the prior books. What I found was a very bizarre mystery. You see for me the main character was not Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney or any of the other human characters. For me, the main character was the House on Xenia. Generations of Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney’s family have lived in the House. A House that vowed to protect the family from anything. In the book, it is described as a YaYa (Greek grandmother), nurturing, caring, with a huge heart and protective qualities. Also, unusual is that no one is living in the house and keeping up with the maintenance. The house is said to be dying, but it still holds some important secrets.

Several characters have psychic abilities, some are in Ohio where the house is and others are in Florida. When a body is found under the family home everyone’s focus is the House. Not just the family but the military too and talk turns to aliens and secrets that need to be kept. But the House wants to talk and to only one person. MC is caught in the middle. Does she reveal all or does she keep her mouth shut and move on?

The author has presented a very interesting mystery. One that kept my attention even though it was very unique from most mysteries I read. The House has answers so the investigation evolves in an unconventional way. Several people gave input and there were those acting in an underhanded way to keep people from finding out the truth. That deception put people in danger.

Using a real place in this fictional story added extra credence. The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is where UFO investigations dating from the 1940s to the 1960s with all the conspiracy theories. Theories that people still talk about today like Area 51.

This story was not what I had expected it to be but I was entertained from the first page to the last. I found The House on Xenia to be an enjoyable read and a nice escape.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Rita Moreau is the author of the Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery series.

A workaholic by nature, upon retirement, Rita Moreau began work on her bucket list, writing a book. Traveling the national parks with her husband George in a vintage Bluebird motor home, (on George’s list), Rita completed her first novel Bribing Saint Anthony. Back home she completed Nuns! Psychics! & Gypsies! OH! NO, Feisty Nuns, The Russian & Aunt Sophia and The House on Xenia. Rita and her husband live in a postcard called Florida where he has fun telling everyone he is the author’s husband. When not writing she joins PatZi Gil on the Joy on Paper radio program with Book Buzz Mysteries or you can find her teaching fitness classes and doing her best to keep busy. She loves connecting with readers.

Praise for The House on Xenia
(A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
by Rita Moreau

The House on Xenia, a full-sized YaYa (Greek grandmother). It’s also very much extraordinary . . .
~INTO THE ABYSS

This was just so much fun to read. There are fun, zany characters, house included, and more than one mystery to figure out. Made me grin enough my face hurt.
~ fuonlyknew

Author Links

Website Facebook Blog GoodReads 

Purchase Links – Amazon 

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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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Jul 252019
 


Toxic Toffee (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496722027
ISBN-13: 978-1496722027
Kindle ASIN: B07HVYLW18

A sweet tooth for murder . . .

Bailey King’s in New York wrapping up a six-week shoot on her first cable TV show, Bailey’s Amish Sweets, when she gets a call from her Ohio town’s resident busybody. With Easter around the corner, Bailey’s been recruited to create a giant toffee bunny for the weeklong springtime festival that will also feature live white rabbits. But back home in Harvest, death becomes the main attraction when Stephen Raber keels over from an apparent heart attack—with Bailey and Raber’s pet bunny as witnesses.
.
Except it wasn’t Raber’s heart that suddenly gave out—a lethal dose of lily of the valley was mixed into a tasty piece of toffee. Who’d want to poison a jovial rabbit farmer who reminded Bailey of an Amish Santa Claus? To solve the murder, she and her sheriff deputy boyfriend Aiden must uncover a twenty-year-old secret. She’ll need to pull a rabbit out of a hat to keep a healthy distance from toxic people, including one venomous killer . . .

Recipe Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Rabbits! Rabbits! Rabbits!

Bailey King returns from New York just in time for “Easter Days”. A new festival created to bring more tourists to Harvest, Ohio. While there will be plenty of live rabbits hopping around, Bailey has been asked to make a huge sweet bunny featuring tons of toffee. While trying to get all the details Bailey meets rabbit keeper Stephen Raber and his special bunny, Puff. In the middle of the conversation, Mr. Raber falls to the ground. Bailey shouts for help, but the man is dead. Everyone assumes he had a heart attack, but the coroner finds evidence Stephen Raber was poisoned.

Bailey finds Mr. Raber was very well-liked in the community, why would anyone want to kill him? The victim’s son begged Bailey to find the killer as she had before for others. Then when she learns the murder weapon was a piece of toffee she feels she has no choice and pushes Aiden, her boyfriend/Deputy Sheriff to let her in on his investigation. He knows the Amish will open up with her more than they would with him so he agrees. They may go down a few rabbit holes to solve the case of the Toxic Toffee, but as long as they solve the case, it’s worth it.

I love these characters. Even with a murderer in their midst, they still know what’s important. Keeping a special bunny safe, constructing a giant toffee rabbit, keeping the sweet shop’s shelves full for customers, and in Juliet Brody’s case, getting Aidan and Bailey hitched in a summer wedding. (They have barely started dating and are definitely not engaged.) 🙂 All the characters are fleshed out and believable. The interactions and dialogues are true to life. The animals are absolutely delightful too. The author also sweetens the story with plenty of humor in all the right places.

The mystery is a real puzzler. Stephen Raber’s is new to us readers but has been a resident of the Harvest area for a long time as part of the Amish community. Bailey and Aiden could ask almost anyone in town about his life and how it has changed since he lost his wife. The fact that Bailey has become the caretaker of the victim’s pet rabbit named Puff is an interesting twist and felt like it gave Bailey an added push to solve the crime. Unfortunately she also on the killer’s radar and she finds herself in some very dangerous situations. Ms. Flower plotted out this story so well. There is always something happening and there are some fantastic twists. I had no idea “whodunit” until Bailey did.

I really enjoy the way Amanda Flower uses her Amish knowledge to build stories that show the two cultures coming together in so many ways. Bailey and her Amish grandmother have such a wonderful relationship. She also has an amazing relationship with Charlotte who has not yet been baptized into the faith. It is truly heartwarming the way the entire community comes together in good times and in bad.

Each visit the Harvest is unique and they always end too soon. I can’t wait to return in December for the premiere of Amish Matchmaker Mystery Series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of Assaulted Caramel here and Lethal Licorice here
Premeditated Peppermint here, and Criminally Cocoa 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

Coming December 31, 2019!
A New Series Also Set in Harvest, Ohio.

Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

Thanks 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.

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 August 8, 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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Jul 242019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to have Miranda James stop by today! 

For Old Times’ Sake
by Miranda James

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

I love old movies. Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, Barbara Stanwyck, Fred McMurray, Rosalind Russell, Carole Lombard, Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – these were the great stars of Hollywood’s Golden Era (and yes I know I’ve left off a lot of names, so you can add your own favorites to the list). My favorite genre of movies from this period is screwball comedy. I love the fast-paced stories, the rapid-fire dialogue, and the subtle ways that sexual attraction is handled.

My favorite screwball comedies, you ask? Well, Bringing Up Baby tops the list, but close to the top are gems like The Awful Truth and Ball of Fire. I have seen my favorites numerous times. I like to re-watch my favorites for the same reasons that I like to re-read favorite books. It’s simply spending time with old friends, particularly old friends whom you can trust not to disappoint you.

There is at least one screwball murder mystery, The Mad Miss Manton, with Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda. It’s actually a fairly clever plot, and it’s well worth seeking out. So is The Lady Eve with the same two stars; it has crime as part of the plot, and Stanwyck and Fonda are superb in it.

When I was trying to come up with a title for the latest “Cat in the Stacks” novel, I found a list of movies titles that had been changed so that each had some kind of cat reference. The one that immediately attracted my attention was The Pawful Truth. It’s obviously a take-off on one of my favorites, named above, and that set me thinking.

What if? These are the two most useful words for a mystery writer. What if I took elements from the comic movie and used them in the plot of a murder mystery? How would that turn out?

The result was the latest book in the series, The Pawful Truth. If you’ve seen the movie, I hope you will enjoy some of the in-jokes in the story. If you haven’t seen it, I hope you’ll watch it at some point. It’s enormous fun, and I hope you also have fun with the story I have told.

~Miranda

Oh, Miranda, I love old movies too! I haven’t seen The Awful Truth in years. I may have to rectify that soon 🙂

Thank you, for visiting today!

_______________________________________

Keep reading for my thoughts about A Pawful Truth.

 


The Pawful Truth (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
Berkley (July 16, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0451491122
ISBN-13: 978-0451491121
Kindle ASIN: B07JLMQHRF

In addition to his library duties and his role as doting grandad, Charlie has enrolled in an early medieval history course offered by young, charismatic professor Carey Warriner. Charlie feels a bit out of place- his fellow classmates are half his age- except for Dixie Bell Compton, another ‘mature’ student. When Charlie hears an angry exchange between her and their professor, his interest in piqued. He’s even more intrigued when she shows up at his office asking for a study partner. Charlie turns her down and is saddened to learn just a few days later that Dixie has been killed.

Charlie wonders if Professor Warriner had anything to do with Dixie’s death. Warriner is married to a fellow professor who happens to be a successful author. There are rumors on campus that their marriage was on the rocks. Was Dixie’s death the result of a lovers’ triangle gone bad? Charlie soon discovers that the professor’s wife may have some secrets of her own and his suspect list is only getting longer.

As he and Diesel step further into the tangled web of relationships, someone else is viciously killed. Whose jealousy finally erupted into murderous rage? Was it a crime of passion or is there another more sinister motive? Charlie races to unravel this mystery: and to draw out the culprit, he may just have to put his own life on the line…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Grandpa, Dad, Archive Librarian, Landlord, Student, and Diesel’s person, Charlie Harris has a very full life. Being a student is new as he is auditing an early medieval history course at the college taught by Professor Carey Warriner. Charlie is not the only “mature student” taking the class. Nowhere close to his age but older than the rest in the class Dixie Bell Compton is taking the class for credit and offers to be his study partner. Since he is just auditing the class he turns her down. Charlie is very impressed with Warriner’s lecture skills but after overhearing the professor’s after-class conversation with Dixie and the rumors he has heard about him and his wife, Irene, another professor, he is concerned about his other qualities. When Dixie is killed a few days later he truly wonders if Warriner is involved.

Charlie also takes in a new boarder, a man Stewart and Haskell met at the gym. He also has ties to the college. Dan Bellamy teaches history with a focus on Regency England. He is close to Irene Warriner who is also an author with books set in the time Bellamy specializes in.

All the rest of the cast we have come to love over the course of this series return including Dante, Stewart’s poodle, my favorite fictional feline, Diesel, and the new kitten in residence, Ramses. We are also introduced to a large number of people as the story proceeds in Charlie’s effort to investigate. I was thrilled to see Miss Dickce Ducote make more than a cameo appearance.

The first part of the book gives background for new readers and introduces some of the new characters all before the murder occurs. Since Charlie is now known for his investigations people seem to come out of the woodwork to offer their assistance. There are plenty of suspects and Charlie works hard to pare those down as quickly as possible. Diesel also offers his opinions with a variety of chirps and head bumps. Fans of the series realize his talents and in this installment, he gave a clear indication of who he had his sights on earlier than usual.

I do enjoy the way Ms. James constructs her stories. We get to drop in on the entire Harris family and catch up with them. His daughter-in-law was having a hard time in a previous book and we learn that she is still working through something many women deal with and that there is no quick fix. I appreciate the way all the family storylines continue to evolve and are allowed to run their course. She entangles the murder mystery in key and meaningful ways. The pace she sets is very comfortable at first but as we get deeper into the story and clues start to fall into place the pace picks up until we get to the big reveal. At that point, pages can’t flip fast enough and the reader’s heartrates increase.

This entire series is wonderful. Miranda James is an excellent author. Her characters are some of my cozy favorites. Seeing that cat on the cover always brings a huge smile to my face. You truly can’t go wrong with any book by this author.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Find out more about Miranda James and her books on her webpage here.

Use the search feature to find my reviews for all of the Cats in the Stacks Mysteries.



Coming January 2020

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin 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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something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End August 7, 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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Jul 232019
 

A Genuine Fix
(An Allie Cobb Mystery)
by J.C. Kenney

 

About the Book


A Genuine Fix (An Allie Cobb Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Indiana
Lyrical Underground (July 16, 2019)
Paperback: 194 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108604
ISBN-13: 978-1516108602
Digital ASIN: B07KDWV2RX

Murder takes a page out of a killer’s playbook when literary agent Allie Cobb becomes her Indiana town’s number-one bestselling suspect …

Running the family literary business while preparing for her best friend’s wedding, chairing a park planning committee, and getting her rescue cat to bond with her boyfriend’s golden retriever doesn’t leave Allie Cobb much time for crime-solving. But when the guy who stood her up the night of her high school senior prom is killed and dumped in a pile of mulch, Allie’s suddenly the prime suspect.

It’s insulting enough that gambler, drunk, and all-around lowlife Georgie Alonso was found on the site of the memorial park honoring Allie’s deceased father. Now she’s fighting to clear her name and hold off a rush to judgment. But politics, decades-old secrets, and a slew of high-profile suspects make dangerous bedfellows as the eve of the park’s grand opening draws nearer. She’ll have to nab a killer soon, before her storybook life gets a bad ending …

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Allie has found another body, with an assist by her cat Ursi . . . the guy who ditched her years ago on prom night . . . yup, dead under a pile of mulch in the park Allie is in charge of that will be a memorial to her dad and the author he championed.  First on the scene, first on the suspect list. What Allie knows is that she wouldn’t give Georgie Alonso the time of day let alone kill him. She also knows he had a lot of skeletons in his closet and she is focused on shaking all of them to find the killer and throw the book at them.

Ellie a.k.a the Kickboxing Crusader is a fun character. She is getting comfortable back home in Indiana and taking over her father’s business. I love the traditions she has started when sells a book and when the books are published. It shows so much about how invested she is in her authors. In this installment, she is also in charge of keeping the construction of Winchester-Cobb Memorial Park and be sure is it ready for the grand opening. It was during her weekly progress checks that the body is discovered.

Mr. Kenney has written a complicated mystery. The police are having trouble solving it and so is Allie. She had a preliminary list of suspects but each clue she uncovers switches up that list and brings new suspects to light. With her ex-brother-in-law as the Chief of Police, he goes to great lengths to show she could have not committed the crime but that doesn’t stop her from poking and prodding to find the killer. As we moved toward the ending the pace of the story really ratchets up. The killer reveal was so entertaining and the takedown was something that I had never seen in a cozy mystery.

I love the literary agent theme and Allie carrying on in the family business. I really enjoy that the series is set in Indiana and that all the residents feel genuine. There is a real community feel. Kenney sets a scene very well and gives readers a great bird’s eye view. He mixes the real-life and the mystery plotlines nicely.

This story was a Perfect Escape for me and I highly recommend adding it to your summer reading lists. It can be read on its own but treat yourself and read both to learn the story of Allie coming back to Indiana.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of A Literal Mess here.

 

About the Author

J.C. Kenney grew up in a household filled with books by legends Agatha Christie and Lilian Jackson Braun, among many others, so it was no surprise when he found himself writing mystery stories. When he’s not writing, you can find him following IndyCar racing or listening to music. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, two sons, and a cat who is the inspiration for Ursula in the Allie Cobb Mysteries.

Praise for A Genuine Fix (An Allie Cobb Mystery)
by J.C. Kenney

J.C. Kenney has crafted a masterpiece of misdirection with this second outing for Allie Cobb.
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

A Genuine Fix is a lighthearted cozy mystery with a cunning cat, a disagreeable victim, a mound of mulch, a tolerant police chief, and one determined bicycle riding literary agent.
~The Avid Reader

Author Links    – Website –    Twitter –    Facebook –  Goodreads –   Instagram

Click on covers to order from Amazon.
Purchase linksAmazon   – B&N  – Kobo

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops 
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July 19 – 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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Jul 192019
 

Gore in the Garden
(A Washington Whodunit)
by Colleen Shogan

I am very excited to have Colleen Shogan visit today!! 

Hi Colleen, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a political scientist and senior executive at the Library of Congress. I live outside Washington, D.C. with my husband and beagle mutt, Conan. My favorite pastime is reading by the pool.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

  1. Most people think I’m an extrovert, but I also like spending time by myself.
  2. I’m a morning person and do my best work then.
  3.  I was the valedictorian of my high school.

What is the first book you remember reading?

An Encyclopedia Brown book.

What are you reading now?

There Will Be No Miracles Here” by Casey Gerald

What books have most inspired you?

Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs” inspired me so much, I read it twice.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I’ve always read mysteries for leisure and relaxation. One day, I took a walk in my neighborhood and came up with the plot for “Stabbing in the Senate,” the first book in my series. I decided to take a shot at writing my own mystery novel, and I haven’t stopped since.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

In the spring, summer, and fall, I write outside in my backyard on our deck next to our pool.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

I work on Capitol Hill and there’s no shortage of intrigue. I’m observant and I pay attention to conflict, adversity, and behavior. Paying attention ensures that I have an unlimited supply of ideas for future books.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

It can be difficult finding the time to write. Since I have a full-time job that sometimes extends into the evening hours, it’s hard to squeeze in time each day for writing.

What do you think makes a good story?

I start with the characters and the setting. Once I have those ingredients, the plot comes together in support of them.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Most people assume that my main character, Kit Marshall, is based on me. She’s really not. There may be similarities, but I would likely never take the risks that Kit does. In some ways, Kit is aspirational for me.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Most cozies are set in a small town, and my series takes place in Washington, D.C., an urban setting. My books aren’t about politics, but they do reveal some of the inner workings of our nation’s capital. That affords them a slightly higher level of seriousness than other amateur sleuth mysteries. I also think my characters are more modern in their mannerisms, conduct, and behavior than most other books in the genre.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m currently writing the sixth book in the series, tentatively titled “Larceny at the Library.”  I think it will be a real fan favorite in 2020.

Thank you, Colleen, for dropping by today!

Keep reading for my thoughts about Colleen’s new book, Gore in the Garden.

About Gore in the Garden

Gore in the Garden (A Washington Whodunit)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Camel Press (July 16, 2019)
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1603817239
ISBN-13: 978-1603817233
ASIN: B07S4F8XZZ

After her boss narrowly escaped political defeat, Kit Marshall is settling into life as a busy congressional staffer. While attending an evening reception at the United States Botanic Garden, Kit’s best friend stumbles upon the body of a high-ranking government official. The chairwoman of a congressional committee asks Kit to investigate, and she finds herself once again in the thick of a murder investigation. The complications keep coming with the unexpected arrival of Kit’s younger brother Sebastian, a hippie protestor who seems more concerned about corporate greed than the professional problems he causes for his sister. To make matters even worse, the romantic lives of Kit’s closest friends are driving her crazy, diverting her attention from the mystery she’s been tasked to solve. The search for the killer requires her to tussle with an investigative journalist right out of a noir novel, a congresswoman fixated on getting a statue of James Madison installed on the Capitol grounds and a bossy botanist who would do anything to protect the plants he loves. When the murderer sends a threatening message to Kit via a highly unusual delivery mechanism, Kit knows she must find the killer or risk the lives of her friends and loved ones.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kit Marshall attends a reception with her boss, Congresswoman Maeve Dixon, best friend Meg, hubby Doug, and her brother Sebastian, at the United States Botanic Garden, just in time to witness the corpse flower bloom. As the group leaves the Garden Meg makes a quick stop to the bathroom. Her screams alert them back into the building where they find the Architect of the Capitol dead. Kit is quickly pegged to be the liaison between the police and Congress and conduct her own investigation. She also has to run interference when her brother becomes part of protests on the hill, reduce conflicts between her staff, and keep on top of her real job as Chief of Staff Dixon. All this plus she has to stay one step ahead of the killer or she will be their next victim.

________________________

This is another fabulous addition to this series. I loved the way the corpse flower played into the story. The University of Wisconsin had one and whenever it bloomed it was big news around here.

All the characters I have come to love return, including Kit’s pepperoni loving pup. We also meet Kit’s brother that was too busy along with her parents to attend Kit and Doug’s wedding. I have to say Kit is more forgiving than I would be but then again there is a murderer on the loose. I enjoyed that Doug is now working close enough that he can assist her in her investigation.

Because of Ms. Shogan’s experience, she gives what feels like a believable picture of life behind the scenes in a Congressperson’s office. With the current climate in Washington politics, a book like this is very current but not as divisive. The murder is Kit’s main focus and other things on her plate are the staff’s summer picnic, their love lives and trying to keep her brother out of trouble and may even stay in D.C. Shogan brings all the subplots together seamlessly and the story maintains a great flow until we get near the end, then the pace spikes as the killer is revealed. I was holding my breath for more than a few moments.

The author did an excellent job of describing Kit’s surroundings. It has been a long time since I have been to Washington and she introduced a few new sites I didn’t know existed but her words took me right where I needed to be.

While taking place in a big town, Colleen keeps things pretty cozy. Engaging characters, a captivating story, set in an awesome place, will have readers rapidly flipping the pages. The twists are exquisite and our protag has guts, knows how to think on her feet and doesn’t back down.

I highly recommend this entire series, but each book can be read on its own.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Colleen J. Shogan

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. She conceived of the plot of her first mystery, “Stabbing in the Senate,” one morning while taking a walk in her suburban Washington, D.C. neighborhood. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at Yale, George Mason University, Georgetown, and Penn. She previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as the Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service. She is currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress who works on great initiatives such as the National Book Festival. Colleen lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan. Colleen’s first book won the Next Generation Indie Prize for Best Mystery. Her books have been RONE and Killer Nashville finalists in the mystery category.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter –  GoodReads 

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Amazon Paperback     Kindle   B&N         Kobo      Smashwords

More Books In This Series

 

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July 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 21 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
July 21 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 22 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 23 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 24 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
July 24 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
July 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 26 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
July 27 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
July 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
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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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Jul 172019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am pleased to feature Devon Delany’s Guilty as Charred today! 

Guilty as Charred
(A Cook-Off Mystery)
by Devon Delaney

 

About the Book 


Guilty as Charred (A Cook-Off Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496714474
ISBN-13: 978-1496714473
Digital ASIN: B07HVYY7KN

Sherry Oliveri has attained celebrity status after winning the America’s Good Taste Recipe Contest with her delectable New England Crab Cake Sliders. But now that she’s back home in Connecticut, she’s got to deal with something else fishy . . .

Sherry’s making a guest appearance on a local radio show when the news comes in: Poppy Robinson has been found dead in the town’s community garden. Sherry was supposed to be taking questions about her win in the national cooking competition, but instead the callers start dishing dirt.

Poppy and Sherry were both involved in the vegetable garden, and while Poppy may have been a bit priggish, it wasn’t anything that called for a shovel to the back of the head. There was already trouble brewing, with the owner of the land threatening to renege on their agreement, and this murder has taken tensions to a new level. Now while Sherry’s organizing a Fourth of July cook-off event, she’s also got a murder investigation on her plate . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sherry Oliveri is back with a major win under her belt and another murder to solve. She won the America’s Good Taste Recipe Contest beating out cooks from the other 49 states. While talking about her win for a local radio station breaking news informs listeners that Poppy Robinson has been killed and that her body was found at Augustin’s community garden. Poppy and her family owned the land the community garden was on, she was on its board and ruled with an iron fist. She was also running for mayor.

The current mayor thought a 4th of July cookoff would be a great way to bring tourists to town and thought Sherry would be the perfect person to organize it.  He also wants the murder case wrapped up asap! So Sherri is planning a cookoff, preparing for her next cooking contest, working with her dad at the Ruggery and has now added catching a killer to her already long to-do-list. She is going to need the perfect recipe to solve the murder and get on with her life. Hopefully, she can save the community garden too.

_____________

Protag Sherry Oliveri continues to grow and evolve as do all her relationships with a great cast of core characters. I continue to admire her relationship with her father. Detective Ray Bease also returns and tries to keep her out of his investigation but we all know that is not going to happen. I love when her sister comes to visit and the friendship she has built with Amber.

Ms. Delaney has cooked up quite a mystery this time complete with the red herrings cozy readers love. Twists, turns, surprises fill the pages. Sherri now has a reputation for solving murder mysteries and so many people were pressing her for answers. The deceased had an off-putting demeanor but was that enough for someone to want her dead?

I enjoyed the way Sherri handled her investigation, she really didn’t know Poppy well, but the killer is on her tail so she must be on the right track. Her current challenge is to live through her investigation. I must have totally missed a major clue because the killer reveal caught me off-guard.

I was very entertained by this great story. It was well-written and plotted which was key because there were several subplots that all needed to come together at the end. I will say all of Sherry’s activity exhausted me.  But her recipes though delighted me. I hope she gets a few months off before the next case comes along. She needs to recharge her batteries and have time for doing what she loves, finding the perfect recipe to win another challenge.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Devon Delaney is a wife, mother of three, accomplished cooking contester, recent empty nester, and lifelong resident of the Northeast. She has been handsomely rewarded for her recipe innovation over the last twenty-plus years, including a full kitchen of major appliances, top cash prizes, and four trips to Disney World. She has also won the Grand Prize in a national writing contest for her “foodie” poem “Ode to Pork Passion.”

Check out Devon’s Website and find her on Instagram 

Praise for Guilty as Charred (A Cook-Off Mystery)
by Devon Delaney

Guilty as Charred has appetizing cuisine, a technologically challenged detective, a panicked populace, toxic threats, a canine named Chutney, and one prying protagonist.
~The Avid Reader

This book has well-written characters. I love how the author’s writing just flows through the pages. This is a cute cozy mystery.
~Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting

A great mystery full of quirky characters and mouth-watering food that will keep you hooked until the very end. Perfect for fans of culinary-themed cozies.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Cook-off competitions can be crazy, engaging and engrossing but small time life can be hectic and homicidal!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

Guilty as Charred by Devon Delaney is a delightful mystery with wonderful characters and a lovely small town setting. It has food, murder, and everything that leads us to a great whodunit.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

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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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Jul 162019
 

Left Fur Dead
(A Jules & Bun Mystery)
by J.M. Griffin

 

About Left Fur Dead


Left Fur Dead (A Jules & Bun Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New Hampshire
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496720571
ISBN-13: 978-1496720573
Digital ASIN: B07HVS38YB

On Fur Bridge Farm, Jules cares for rescued rabbits. But when a killer strikes, she’ll need a rabbit to rescue her . . .

Juliette “Jules” Bridge prides herself on the tender rehabilitation she provides for injured or abused rabbits on her New Hampshire rescue farm, but she has a very special relationship with one bunny in particular. Bun is a black-and-white rabbit who happens to have the ability to communicate through mental telepathy. Once she got over the shock, Jules found her furry friend had a lot to say.

One frigid March morning on their walk together, Bun spots a body. The police identify the frozen stiff as Arthur Freeman, aka Arty the Mime. Jules and Arty knew each other on the children’s party circuit, where he’d perform magic tricks and she had an educational rabbit petting pen. With Bun egging her on, Jules decides it’s time they hop to it and put their heads together to discover who silenced the mime. But their investigation leads them down a rabbit hole of more suspects and lies, while a killer sets a trap for them . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A rabbit is an unusual character to find in a cozy mystery. The only series I can think of that included a bunny was The Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries by Elizabeth Lynn Casey. The bunny, Paris, in those stories, added a lot of humor but wasn’t one of the leading characters like Bun, the bunny is in Left Fur Dead.

We meet Jules Bridge, owner of the Fur Bridge Farm where she cares for Bun and several other rescued rabbits. Bun is a very special bunny, he can communicate with Jules, using mental telepathy. He is one opinionated rabbit who rarely takes a break. This makes their relationship very interesting. Jules has to be careful because people would never understand the way the two of them “talk” but she does value his intuitive input. Together they work children’s parties and other events to raise awareness about rabbits and what Jules does on her farm. The farm also has a wonderful yarn shop I would love to visit!

On one of their morning walks Bun discovers the body of Author Freeman/Arty the Mime. Jules and Arty sometimes worked the same events. With Bun giving her a big push she decides maybe they can pull a rabbit out of a hat and catch the killer, but chances are they just may find themselves ensnared in the murderer’s trap.

After I got into the rhythm of Bun and Jules dialogues this was a very entertaining read. The author took time to introduce not only Bun and Jules but Jess Plain, a veterinary student almost ready to take the exam for her license. When Jess learns that Jules and the rabbits could be in danger due to her snooping, she moves right into Jules farmhouse. I really like the bond that has formed between these very independent women.

The murder mystery drew out over a longer period of time than the usual form for books in this genre, but in addition to a killer, we were also trying to catch an intruder that was created havoc on the Fur Bridge Farm and trying to ascertain whether both were connected. We also meet a mystery man that unexpectedly shows up, he may help answer some of Jules questions. I did feel Bun and Jules did not give Sheriff Jack Carver much of a chance but he was a patient man while still telling Jules to stay out of his investigation. His wife is a real peach too. I think we could be fast friends.

I feel this series is off to a grand start. I was totally surprised by the ending. The characters are very appealing and the setting is superb.  I do love rabbits, we have wild rabbits often hopping through our yard even here in town. In fact, I can see one out my window right now.

I am looking forward to the next Jules & Bun Mystery!

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About the Author

J. M. Griffin is the bestselling cozy mystery author of sixteen novels, including the Vinnie Esposito series. She lives in rural Rhode Island with her husband and two very mysterious cats. Visit her at jm-griffin.com.

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Coming February 25, 2020

Praise for Left Fur Dead (A Jules & Bun Mystery)
by J.M. Griffin

An excellent start to a new series, I love the fact that one of the protagonists is a rabbit! It is certainly a change from the usual cats and dogs 😀
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

This was a fun read, and as someone who supports various animal rescue groups, I enjoyed the discussion of the educational and rescue aspects.
~Christa Reads and Writes

I think the highest compliment I can give to this book is that after reading it I want to go out and adopt a rabbit!
~Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows

This was a new twist on the normal cat or dog partners you find in a lot of cozy mysteries . . . If you enjoy cozy mysteries with animal companions, you’ll definitely want to give this new series a try.
~The Book’s the Thing

This is a fun story, tender and emotional, with lots of light-hearted moments; impossible to read without smiling much of the time.
~The Power of Words

A fantastic start to an adorable new cozy mystery series . . . Well written mystery solved by an unlikely duo that will steal your heart as they keep you entertained. Perfect for cozy fans.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Left Fur Dead was a delightful mystery with a likable heroine and a furry cast of characters.
~Moonlight Rendezvous

Bolstered by a charming rabbit LEFT FUR DEAD provides a unique mystery. With room to grow the first Jules and Bun Mystery is a promising start to a new series.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I loved the premise of the telepathic talking bunny rabbit – that really put a new spin on things and made this story unique and stand out.
~eBook Addicts

Left Fur Dead is a cute cozy mystery featuring even cuter rabbits as part of the narrative and one special bunny as a lead detective.
~The Cozy Pages

The mystery in this book was four star for me. It was well thought out by author J. M. Griffin. I was close to solving it, but not until the reveal did it all really make sense.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

An entertaining story, Left Fur Dead is an easy read filled with wonderful characters. The world building is done well and I was able to visualize every scene and felt like I was there.
~Sapphyria’s Books

All of the characters created by the author, J. M. Griffin, were fascinating in themselves and I could see some opportunities for character progression.
~Brianne’s Book Reviews

Left Fur Dead is an upbeat cozy mystery with a dead mime, an inquisitive rabbit, a cunning killer, and a worried rabbit rescuer ready to hop to it to find the mime’s killer.
~The Avid Reader

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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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