Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Open for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery) by Mary Angela #Review


Open for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – South Dakota
Publisher: Lyrical Press (November 24, 2020)
Paperback: 207 pages
ISBN-10: 1516110722
ISBN-13: 978-1516110728
Digital ASIN: B085LTP1XH

Deep in the heart of touristy small-town Spirit Canyon, South Dakota, former journalist Zo Jones runs the Happy Camper gift shop, where she sells everything from locally made souvenirs to memorabilia. She even rents out mountain bikes, and dabbles in the adventure industry—and sleuthing . . .

It’s Memorial Day weekend in Spirit Canyon, and for Zo that means the return of summer shoppers. It also means the return of her good friend Beth, who’s moved back to the area to reopen her family’s premier hotel, Spirit Canyon Lodge. Beth and Zo spent many childhood summers there and Zo can’t wait to reconnect and celebrate the Grand Opening. But the festivities go from bad to worse when a power outage knocks out the lights—and morning reveals a competitor’s dead body found on the premises . . .

Soon enough, Beth is the prime suspect in the suspicious death. Fortunately, Zo isn’t afraid to put her investigative skills to work and prove her friend’s innocence. To start digging for information, she appeals to Max Harrington, a local Forest Ranger and unlikely ally. Though they’ve argued about Happy Camper’s tours, in this case they agree on one thing: Beth isn’t a murderer. Stranger things have happened than their collaboration. After all, this is Spirit Canyon. But as the list of suspects grows, Zo will have to keep her guard up if she doesn’t want to be the next lodge guest to check out . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Summer means tourists in Spirit Canyon, South Dakota. For Zo Jones and her friend Beth it means business. Zo is excited about Beth reopening the family’s hotel and can’t wait to attend the grand opening. But there is one person who wants Beth to fail and the person is found dead in her room at the hotel the morning after the grand opening event. The deceased is Beth’s competition so she is pegged as the prime suspect in the suspicious death. Zo is not a Happy Camper, she knows Beth is innocent and she is going to prove it unless the killer ends Zo’s summer early.


After a somewhat slow start Open for Murder takes off as we meet several characters including the victim. With her crotchety disposition, you just knew she was not going to be around long so her death wasn’t a surprise. What was a surprise was the number of suspects. I enjoyed the way Zo delved into the investigation and that she enlisted Forest Ranger Max Harrington to help her. I found the chief of police very offputting and lackadaisical about the entire situation. While some suspect’s motives were minor there were some that definitely should have been higher on the list than Beth. I loved that Beth kept going with her plans even with the murder being held over her head. The core characters of Beth, Zo, and Max were very likable but I want to know them better. The author has left plenty of room for them to grow and develop. I did find that Zo’s cat just tolerated her made me laugh. It is above and beyond the usual independence of a cat.

The mystery was very well-plotted. I had my own shortlist and was pleased that I followed the clues correctly and solved the mystery just before the characters. The reveal was great!

As with the author’s previous series, this series is set in South Dakota and she does a fantastic job bringing the area to life. It has been several years since I have traveled to the state and her descriptions invoked some nice memories and make me want to plan a return trip soon.

Open for Murder has set this series off to a grand start. As I said these characters have so much room to grow. I can’t wait to see where the author takes them in the future. I  am excited about the continuation of this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Mary Angela is the author of the Professor Prather and Happy Camper cozy mystery series. When Mary isn’t penning heartwarming whodunits, she’s teaching, reading, traveling, or spending time with her family. She lives in South Dakota with her husband, daughters, and spoiled pets. You can find out more about her loves, including her writing, at MaryAngelaBooks.com.

Author Links 

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Coming July 13, 2021

Also by Mary Angela

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Shots in the Dark (Mack’s Bar Mysteries) by Allyson K. Abbott #Review / #Giveaway

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.


Shots in the Dark (Mack’s Bar Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (July 26, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496701704
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496701701
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B017G7HDZE

For Mack and her barfly allies, solving homicides calls for equal parts instinct and wit. To strain out a crafty criminal, the mixture has got to be absolutely perfect . . .

It’s a week before Christmas, but Milwaukee bar owner Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton is hardly in good spirits. Chilled to the core by the murder of bouncer Gary Gunderson, Mack is determined to use her extra perceptive senses to identify the gunman responsible. Did Gary’s patchy past brew up some fatal trouble, or could his death be linked to a series of cryptic letters concocted by Mack’s anonymous adversary? With a second case to crack, innocent lives at stake, and a media frenzy in their midst, Mack and her barstool detectives have little time to mull over the grim details—especially when clues lead dangerously close to home . . .

Includes drink recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mack’s holiday is not going to be happy until she ends the letter writer’s reign of terror and they are held responsible for the death of her employee Gary Gunderson. While she awaits the next letter and nurses her broken leg she and her fellow barstool detectives agree to look into another case where an innocent man may be serving time for a crime he didn’t commit. Can her unique gift of Synaesthesia help break the case wide open?


What I love about this series is the cast of characters the author has created. Everyone has Mack’s back. Her employees keep the bar running while she sleuths out killers. Her relationship with Detective Duncan Albright is in flux because of a case they worked together and the letter-writing criminal has forbidden her to be in contact with the police specifically Detective Albright but they still manage a few meetings. Undercover cop Mal is posing as her boyfriend to help her with both cases but they are clearly developing feelings for each other. The Capone Club, a group of patrons that love to solve mysteries work so well together even when this time a new person is added to the group. Every character is distinct and has a purpose in the story. Their unique talents are used in many ways. They are also very believable and you could find people like them in any Wisconsin bar. They may not all have a group like the one at Mack’s bar but gossip, crime, and current news can all be topics mused over with a shot and a beer.

The mysteries included in this story are gripping. I was really taken in by the Capone Club’s case because I could poke holes in the police investigation immediately. Investigating a crime that takes place during a Wisconsin blizzard is tough but anyone could see they jumped to several conclusions not supported by the evidence. Right alongside that case, Mack is working tirelessly to solve the case she is personally involved in so another one of her friends doesn’t end up dead. This case has unfolded over the course of the series so it is good to read the prior books in order to understand everything but the author does a great job of recapping the highlights in each new book.

Having the series set nearby is an absolute delight especially when my current place of residence is mentioned several times in the story due to the correctional facility just down the road. It is easy to imagine Mack there visiting one or more of the residents using her personal method of lie detection.

Shots in the Dark was a gripping story but only one mystery is solved by the final page. There are also some romantic issues up in the air and I am starting to support one cop over the other so I am very interested in what will happen next. I am thankful that the next book in this series is on my To-Be-Read shelf and I will be jumping into A Toast to Murder soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Allyson K. Abbott is a pseudonym used by suspense writer Beth Amos. Beth has enjoyed a varied writing career that included a stint as a book reviewer and several years of nonfiction freelancing. Now she writes only fiction, and in stark contrast to her “day job” as an ER nurse, where she gets to save lives, the one common factor in her fiction, no matter what name it’s written under, is that someone always dies. Allyson K. Abbott is my little insider joke at having to pick yet another pseudonym. It’s not a coincidence the initials are what they are.  Check out her webpage here and on Facebook here.

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Raiders Of The Campsite (A Southwest Exposure Mystery) by Jodi Linton #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to feature Raiders of the Campsite by Jodi Linton today!

 


Raiders Of The Campsite (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
by Jodi Linton

About Raiders of the Campsite


Raiders Of The Campsite (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New Mexico
Independently Published (May 13, 2021)
Print length: ~200 pages
Digital ASIN: B08D2P3SB6

Welcome to Bushwhack, New Mexico: home to tourists, the great outdoors, and murder…

 

Camping for spring break should be a piece of cake for outdoor guide Andie Sullivan. She has her best friend and the sheriff tagging along as chaperones for the Wilderness Explorers. It should be all S’mores and ghost stories…but then Vivian is attacked and they discover a corpse.

 

Dang. The campsite went up in smoke.

 

With everything at stake, Andie must find answers about the attack—she has to dig deep into a community she’s called home since birth by asking all the right questions, sometimes at not the right time. As she tracks down clues to a suspect, Andie stumbles on a secretive treasure hunting group in Bushwhack. But one wrong move and Andie could become her own buried treasure.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Andie Sullivan is taking the Wilderness Explorers camping and Sheriff Zac Mars and her BFF Vivian have come along as chaperones. The fun barely begins and Vivian is attacked. While trying to rescue her they discover a dead body. Thankfully Vivian will survive but there is something fishy going on in Bushwhack. Her brother Kyle cuts his Spring Break short to come back and help her catch a killer who seems to have ties to Vivian’s husband and a group he belongs to. Did he attack his own wife? Andie needs to dig up all the clues before someone else ends up dead.


Jodi Linton has created a great group of characters for her readers to love. Andie is a wonderful friend and a capable amateur sleuth. I love the dance and banter between her and the good sheriff. Will they or won’t they become a couple? They do make a good investigative team when they share information. This time they are truly tested. With each book in this series, I fall a little harder for these characters. They are fun, likable, and realistic. The dialog can be full of snark and make me laugh out loud or downright serious as need be.

Ms. Linton takes her readers on quite an adventure and Andie strives to find the motive for the suspects on her list. She makes a couple of wrong assumptions and gets herself into some dire straights where some bullets fly. I did love all the action but was nervous for Andie. That girl is darn lucky!

This story is only about 150 pages and it takes off at a good clip and doesn’t let up. It is easily read all in one sitting which is good because it would be darn hard to put down.

Raiders of the Campsite is an excellent addition to this series. I felt like it ended much too soon, I was not quite ready to wrap up my visit so I am really looking forward to the next Southwest Exposure Mystery. Nightmare On The Bike Trail will hit shelves in October and I can’t wait.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Jodi Linton

Jodi Linton is an author of several romance novels and cozy mysteries. She pens funny, romantic, whodunnits during her days in between being a carpool mom. She lives in Texas with her husband, with who she runs the family day business with and two kids. When she isn’t writing her next page turner, she likes to delve into her hobby of finding all the cool, new makeup products to buy.

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Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Guilt is Midnight Blue: A Hazel Dean Mystery by Josalyn McAllister #Review / #Giveaway

Guilt is Midnight Blue
by Josalyn McAllister

About Guilt Is Midnight Blue


Guilt is Midnight Blue: A Hazel Dean Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Eburnean Books (May 6, 2021)
Paperback: 290 pages
ISBN-10: 1734971045
ISBN-13: 978-1734971040

Digital ASIN : B0949QG9H1

Hazel Dean can see other’s emotions in color.

She mostly uses it to help people find the perfect book in her shop, Books and Chocolate. But, when one of her customers is murdered, the police point to an old feud. Only Hazel can tell that the accused is innocent. She must navigate around her district attorney husband, and her surrogate uncle, the police captain, to find out what really happened.

Hazel drives, hikes and snoops all over her small Appalachian town in an attempt to bring peace to the victim’s family and prevent her community from being torn apart by old grudges.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Cash McCleary needed to escape. His brother’s plan was dangerous and could get them in serious trouble. Driving around the old mill catches his eye. Someone has fixed it up. Beneath the ancient Red Gao Mill sign, there is a new sign, Chocolate and Books. Not much of a reader it is not a place he would usually visit and the last place his brother would look. He enters and sees books are stacked everywhere, four aisles, ten bookcases, and books were stacked almost to the ceiling. There seems to be no method of organization. He keeps walking through an almost tunnel of books until he reaches a bright open space. The entire back wall is glass with an amazing view of the North Georgia Mountains. He also notices the bakery counter and all the chocolates treats it holds. The place feels downright magical.

Hazel Randolph Dean is the owner of the place and she surprises Cash with her presence. Introductions are made and she immediately serves him a huge cup of her special hot chocolate. He admits he isn’t a reader and she replied, “Nonsense, you just haven’t found the right book yet.” She disappears among the stacks and returns with To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Again she disappears and he quickly finds himself immersed in the world of Jem and Scout. Later he has to leave and Hazel makes him a deal and he agrees to take the book with him.

You see Hazel Dean has a gift. She sees other people’s emotions in color and that helps her to match the right book to the right person.

Time passes and a little boy comes into her shop. A boy she sees is full of emotions. She then realizes this boy is Cash’s little brother. Blackness is filling in the space all around him. She knows something is terribly wrong. He has Cash’s book and says he wanted her to have it back. He then goes on to tell her Cash is dead. He was shot, two days ago. She hugs the boy and he leaves but she just can’t let it go, she has to know what happened. The police say it was the old feud between the McCleary’s and Trudgeon’s but that doesn’t fit with what she sees and is feeling. With a district attorney husband and her “Uncle” John, the police captain she feels she can get to the bottom of what really happened never imagining what the next days were going to bring or the danger she would be in.


I escaped into this book the same way Cash escaped into To Kill A Mockingbird.

Hazel Dean was a determined woman with a fascinating gift. She believes the man accused of Cash’s murder is innocent because the color around him is not the midnight blue she sees around a guilty party. She just can’t let an innocent man go to prison. Her husband is a smart man and trusts her gift but he wants to keep her safe. She also has two teenage sons to keep her busy and they know Cash’s brother which makes the case more personal for the family. Aside from Hazel’s gift and money she received after her parent’s death the Dean’s are your typical American family. The characters develop very realistically throughout the story.

The murder mystery is super intriguing and Hazel finds clues in very interesting places. It also leads her to meet a very unique person that has ties to several would-be suspects. Hazel goes to great lengths to get answers and she puts herself and later her husband too into precarious situations. My eyes were glued to the pages as they were flying by.  Ms. McAllister really drew me in and if Hazel could have seen me I would have been surrounded by several colors as my emotions ran the gambit while I was reading. Gosh, it was truly impossible to put this book down. Hazel had her theories and I was on board with her until we were both surprised by a twist. The big reveal did not just encompass one moment either. I was on the edge of my seat from Chapter Eighteen until Chapter Twenty-Three and then that was replaced by some tears because something I had suspected and dismissed played out.

Guilt is Midnight Blue was such a compelling and powerful read. I am now fully invested in Hazel and her family so I am excited that this is just book one of the series and not a stand-alone mystery. Hazel has a unique ability and her Chocolate and Books is a great place to bring new people into her life. I can’t imagine what the author has in store for Hazel but I am anxious to find out.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Josalyn McAllister

Josalyn McAllister is a cozy fiction author whose most recent works include Love Over Easy and Guilt is Midnight Blue. Josalyn started writing character descriptions at the tender age of seven, inspired by the works of LM Montgomery. In her teenage years, she moved on to Newsies fan fiction. Inspired by National Novel Writing Month, she wrote her first novel about a child she mentored in college. She has never stopped writing. Josalyn taught middle school history before deciding she would rather spend time with her own children than other peoples. A restless soul, she has moved all over the country and collected an eclectic array of hobbies. Her writing has a relatable quality that will charm and entertain you.

Author Links

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Great Escapes Praise for Guilt is Midnight Blue
by Josalyn McAllister

Hazel Dean is a firecracker. Her superpower is being able to read people’s emotions and more importantly to fit the right book to the perfect reader. Color me jealous (the pun is unintended, but I will enjoy it anyway)
~I Read What You Write!

I fell in love with this town in Appalachia and the people. I especially liked the take on the feud between the Trudgeon’s and McCleary’s much like the Hatfield and the McCoys . . . This may be a new favorite series and I can’t wait to see what happens next for Hazel. We give it 5 paws up.
~Storeybook Reviews

I was caught up in the story right away, meeting Hazel’s family . . . and learning of her determination to free an innocent man despite the risks she has to take . . . You will totally enjoy this book, have your heart-strings pulled by the characters, and hold your breath in the suspense scenes.
~Here’s How It Happened

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting

Deadly Delights: A Bookish Baker Mystery by Laura Jensen Walker #Review (Includes Spoilers)


Deadly Delights: A Bookish Baker Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (June 8, 2021)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643855921
ISBN-13: 978-1643855929
Kindle ASIN: B08HYFYFC6

In Laura Jensen Walker’s second Bookish Baker mystery, Teddie St. John enters a pie-baking contest. But her chances of winning plummet when she’s suspected of killing one of the judges!

August in Lake Potawatomi, Wisconsin, always means one thing: the annual baking contest. Picture The Great British Baking Show, writ Midwestern. It’s a huge draw for the upper crust of Wisconsin pastry aficionados. And, of course, bon vivant baker-turned-mystery writer Teddie St. John has a pie in the ring. The white vinyl baking tent boasts an array of folding tables housing each entrant’s daily baked good. And at one of those tables sits the corpse of the head judge, his face half-buried in a delectable coconut cream pie.

The body in question belonged to notorious Les Morris. Les may have been getting on in years, but he hadn’t outgrown his well-earned reputation for lechery. Now, Les is no more. But unfortunately, by his side lies Teddie’s distinctive embossed rolling pin…covered with blood.

It’s out of the baking pan, into the oven.

Dollycas’s Thoughts – Note there are SPOILERS below.

It’s time for the annual baking contest in Lake Potawatomi, Wisconsin, and illustrious baker Teddie St. John is one of the contestants. Sadly Lester Morris is one of the judges. He’s a man who can’t keep his hands to himself and he preys on young woman and even pinched Teddy’s butt while judging her baked goods. She gets him back with a whack from her rolling pin but that doesn’t even slow him down. He just makes a crude comment and moves along.

Day 2 means it’s time for pies but it looks like Lester has gotten a head start on his judging with his face buried deep in a coconut cream pie when Teddy arrives. She quickly realizes something is amiss because as she moves closes she sees Lester, “the molester” is dead and her rolling pin appears to be the murder weapon. The man has more than a few enemies and Teddy knows she didn’t kill him, she just needs to find who did.


I have been excited to read this book since I turned the last page of Murder Most Sweet. I love Teddie St. John. She is a confident strong woman who is also a breast cancer survivor. She made a huge decision I am not sure I could have made. I admired her immediately. The characters the author surrounds her with were just icing on the cake.

I also enjoy that the story is set in my home state. The author loves the kringles Wisconsin named the official state pastry in 2013. They are a big thing in Racine near where the story is set. They weren’t a family tradition for me like they are for the author and Teddie but they are delicious and I would never walk away from a slice of apple or strawberry kringle.

So I was reading along, dead guy, Teddy’s long-distance relationship, twists, clues, turns, then SPOILER ALERT – there was a suicide, I paused, took a couple of deep breaths, and kept reading. Then SPOILER ALERT – there was another suicide and this time it was way too similar to the way my son took his life. It stopped me dead in my tracks. I closed my Kindle and had a good cry. After more than six years I still can’t read about a death like that. It was hard to move on.

I wasn’t sure I would be able to go back and finish the book but I had committed myself to review this book. So several days later I went back to the story and skipped ahead a bit and let’s just say there was another twist that changed some things from their original appearance. It was still hard to read but I pressed on and I am glad I did because there is a very special event that takes place on the final page. I loved it and it allowed me to close the book with a smile on my face.

Had I known about the subject matter of the book I would have passed on this book even though I loved the characters because I need to protect my heart and I apologize for the spoilers in my review but I needed to explain myself. I am not sure how to rate the book so I won’t here. A person without my history will love this book and while this book didn’t work for me I am looking forward to the next one which I think will be taking Teddy across the pond.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Laura Jensen Walker has loved mysteries ever since she read Trixie Belden in the fourth grade in her Danish-founded hometown of Racine, Wisconsin–America’s kringle capital. A former journalist and the author of several novels and humorous non-fiction books, including Thanks for the Mammogram! Laura, like her main character, chose to go flat after her second mastectomy and is grateful to be a longtime breast cancer survivor. She lives in California with her Renaissance-man husband and their canine-daughter Mellie. (from Amazon)

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries: A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series by Tonya Kappes #Review / #Giveaway

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.


Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries: A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Publisher: Independently published (May 25, 2018)
Hardcover: 206 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8714027734
Paperback: 210 pages
ISBN-10: 1721977740
ISBN-13: 978-1721977741
Kindle ASIN: B07C4NT6BS

Welcome to Normal, Kentucky where NOTHING is normal.

Mae West, a far cry from the Hollywood actress, has been thrown for a loop. Her plush lifestyle in the big city of New York comes to a screeching halt after the FBI raids her mansion and arrests her husband, Paul West, for a Ponzi scheme that rips people out of millions of dollars.

Mae finds herself homeless, friendless, and penniless. All hope isn’t lost. . .the only thing Mae got to keep that the government didn’t seize is a tourist campground, Happy Trails, in Normal, Kentucky, and an RV to live in. One problem, Mae’s idea of camping has room service.

By the look of the brochure, Happy Trails has plush Kentucky Bluegrass, a crystal clear lake, a beach chair with her name on it, and thoughts of how much money it could bring her after she sells it. Mae figures she’ll take a couple of weeks’ vacation with her toes dipped in the lake. Things aren’t always as they appear. The Kentucky Bluegrass is nothing but dirt and the crystal clue lake is murky with green slime on top.

Mae quickly finds out that Happy Trails and the citizens of Normal were also victims of Paul’s schemes, making her lower than the lake scum in the residents’ eyes. Mae doesn’t think things could get much worse, but as luck would have it, Paul West has escaped from prison and is found dead, murdered, floating in the Happy Trails mucky green lake.

Mae is the number one suspect on Detective Hank Sharp’s shortlist. After all, Mae has the perfect motive as a kept wife who has been scorned to ashes, embarrassed to death and seeking revenge.

Time is running out for Mae to prove that she’s innocent and nothing like her husband. If only she could get someone to believe her and talk Detective Sharp into looking at other residents who’ve lost all their savings to Paul’s Ponzi scheme before the curtain is closed on this Hollywood namesake.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Mae West has had her life turned inside out. You see her husband was scum, scamming hard-working people and senior citizens out of their hard-earned cash and the FBI has finally caught up with him. Sadly Mae had no clue what he was up to and is now broke and homeless and without a motor vehicle. Then she meets with her lawyer where she finds herself the new owner of a used RV and a campground in Normal, Kentucky that was somehow in her name only. Seeing the brochure she immediately sees dollar signs, thinking how much can she sell it for. In the meantime, a little beach vacay sounds pretty good.

When she arrives at the Happy Trails Campground she thinks there must be some kind of mistake. The place looks nothing like the brochure. The sights are rundown, the lake is full of green slime and algae, and the beach is far from blissful. She learns her husband has struck here as well. Not taking care of upkeep and maintenance, not paying his manager, and worst of all he scammed the people here as well. She is not totally surprised to find his body in the slimy lake following his escape from prison. As the scorned wife she becomes the prime suspect. Sadly she needs to build a little trust with the people of Normal while she proves she did not murder anyone and had nothing to do with his schemes. Maybe then she will be able to get her life back on track.


I really enjoyed my first visit to Normal, Kentucky. The residents are some really quirky characters but most of them have huge hearts and are full of Southern hospitality. Mae is just 30 years old, Paul was 61, she thought she had a good life and never imagined things would turn out this way. I did come to admire the way she handled herself after her little pity party. She makes a real transformation over the course of these pages. I enjoyed the development of all the characters although I did have a few issues with the behavior of a certain FBI agent. It just felt off for that position. He seemed more a folksy small-town sheriff instead of a serious Special Agent for the FBI.

The mystery was pretty straight forward and I ferreted out the guilty party quite quickly but I continued to read the story all in one sitting and was very entertained. I did enjoy how the killer was revealed, it had an exciting few moments.

For me, Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries was a fresh, light read and a great way to spend a couple of hours.

Tonya Kappes is a writing machine. I have wanted to read this story/series since it was released but got discouraged as more and more books came out and I kept getting further behind. It will probably take me forever to catch up but I was very excited when a mini reading challenge gave me the opportunity to read this book and get started. Now I want to keep reading them all but with my reading commitments that is going to take time. I really want to delve deeper into the craziness of Normal so I am going to squeeze them in when I can.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has published numerous mystery and romance titles. Known for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, she has earned thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.


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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Death in Bloom: A Flower House Mystery by Jess Dylan #Review


Death in Bloom: A Flower House Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (May 25, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250769515
ISBN-13: 978-1250769510
Kindle ASIN: B08FZ8Y79B

The first in a sweet and colorful cozy mystery series from Jess Dylan, Death in Bloom introduces flower shop owner Sierra Ravenswood.

At the Flower House, every rose has its thorn . . .

Sierra Ravenswood is the new part-time employee of the Flower House, a flower shop in Aerieville, Tennessee. It’s true she didn’t expect to be back in her hometown at twenty-eight years old, but after her dream of making it as a singer in Nashville crashed and burned, she’s just grateful to have found a soft place to land.

Because, after all, Sierra firmly believes in being optimistic and positive about life, so she’s sure she won’t have to work at the Flower House forever. But things take a decidedly negative turn when a customer drops dead in the middle of her new bouquet-arranging workshop at the store. When it’s discovered he was poisoned by a snack at the event, everyone at the workshop, including Sierra, is on the suspect list. To make matters worse, her boss has gone AWOL and left the store to her for the cost of one dollar, leaving Sierra in charge of both his store and his high-energy Corgi puppy, Gus.

The town is on edge, and Sierra knows that murder is something that an upbeat attitude and a bouquet of sweet-smelling roses can’t fix. She’s determined to figure out whodunit before anyone else in town meets an untimely reason for needing funeral flowers.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sierra Ravenswood had hopes of being a singer known across the country but that didn’t happen so she is back home in Aerieville working part-time at The Flower House as she decides what she wants to do with her life next. The eccentric owner of the place has taken off to places unknown and left her the ownership of the shop just as he was scheduled to lead a workshop on flower arranging. Sierra decides to go ahead with the class and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves until one of the participants keels over dead. Sierra assumes the man had a heart attack but soon learns he was poisoned by one of the treats on the snack table. This means everyone at the workshop is a suspect including Sierra.

Trying to decide what she wants to do with The Flower House takes a backseat to finding a killer especially after the store and its greenhouse are vandalized. She is also the new owner of her boss’s Corgi puppy named Gus. Her life is not taking an expected turn but her optimistic nature will not let her back down while Death is in Bloom.


As soon as I saw the cover of this book I wanted to read it. My grandmother had a garden that encompassed most of her lawn with just grass walkways. This cover made me think of her and just brought back so many wonderful memories are spending time in those gardens and learning about flowers from my grandmother.

I really enjoyed meeting Sierra. Many people would have fallen apart by everything she had to handle in this story but she is a strong woman who took it all in stride with only some minor breaks. Her daily affirmations were uplighting both for her and this reader.

Sierra’s family was mostly supportive She really drew strength from Granny Mae. That woman is extraordinary in many ways and a great resource for Sierra. I enjoyed that she reconnected with an old friend, Deena, and made a new friend in Calvin. All the characters felt true to life. Everyone really worked together to keep the shop going and sleuth out clues. I am anxious to see how the characters and their relationships develop as this series continues.

I was taken in by the history of The Flower House and the town of Aerieville. The author added some nice depth to the story with the backgrounds she provided readers and her descriptions of each place she took us within the pages of this book.

The mystery was well done especially for the first book in a series. I always say the first book in a series is a heavy life because the author needs to give readers a great mystery while introducing core characters with enough background to get us invested in their lives. Ms. Dylan did an admirable job at both. I do wish we had gotten to know some of the suspects better so motives would have been more evident.  I was able to solve the mystery way before the reveal but I was totally entertained by the entire story.

Death in Bloom has set this series off to a blooming start. I want to visit Sierra, her friends, family, and The Flower House again soon.


About the Author

JESS DYLAN is an environmental attorney by day and author by night. As Jennifer David Hesse, she wrote the Wiccan Wheel Mysteries, a cozy series, with Kensington Publishing. Born and raised in Central Illinois, Jess now makes her home in Chicago with her musician husband, college-bound teen, and high-spirited Corgi. In her spare time, Jess enjoys yoga, hiking, reading, and movie night with her family.

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – There’s A Murder Afoot: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery by Vicki Delany #Review / #Giveaway @vickidelany

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.


There’s A Murder Afoot: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (January 7, 2020)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1643850342
ISBN-13: 978-1643850344
Mass Market Paperback (November 24, 2020): 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1643855735
ISBN-13: 978-1643855738
Kindle ASIN: B07NKR3F3N

Just in time for Sherlock Holmes’s 166th birthday, the fifth installment in national bestselling author Vicki Delany’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery takes Sherlockania to the max with a Holmes convention and historic 221 Baker Street.

Gemma Doyle and her friends travel to London for a Sherlock Holmes convention–but will Gemma’s father take the fall for a felonious forger’s fatality?

The 6th of January is Sherlock Holmes’s birthday, and lucky for Gemma Doyle, January is also the slowest time of the year at both the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, and Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. It’s a good time for Gemma and her friends to travel to England for a Holmes Convention. For Gemma, the trip provides an opportunity to visit her parents, Jayne Wilson is excited about seeing all the sites London has to offer, and Ryan Ashburton just wants to spend some time with Gemma. But the trip is immediately derailed when Gemma’s father Henry recognizes his brother-in-law Randolph Denhaugh, who disappeared more than thirty years ago on the night he stole a valuable painting from his own parents.

Henry, a retired detective with Scotland Yard, has been keeping tabs on the man’s career as a forger of Old Masters and he warns Randy to stay away from his family. It’s up to Gemma, with the help of her friends, to plunge into the “lowest and vilest alleys” of London to save her father from prison.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Gemma, Jayne, Ryan, Donald, and Grant have traveled across the pond for a Sherlock Holmes Convention where Gemma is a featured speaker and she will accept an award on her Uncle Arthur’s behalf. She will also get to spend some time with her parents and her sister Pippa.

She also meets another member of her family, her mother’s brother, Randolph Denhaugh. The black sheep of the family, he disappeared 30 plus years ago after a valuable painting was stolen from her parent’s house. Gemma’s father, Henry, a retired Scotland Yard detective tried to keep tabs on the man who is said to be an art forger of the Old Masters. He wanted Denhough to stay away from his family but he never imagined he would be killed and that Henry himself would be the prime suspect.

Gemma has had a little experience as an amateur sleuth and she sees she is going to have to find the real killer herself because the lead detective has already decided Henry is guilty. Thankfully she has her friends along to help her and maybe her sister Pippa too. They are all committed to keeping Henry out of prison and won’t be flying back to the states until the real culprit is caught.


I loved that these characters traveled to London and that we were able to meet Gemma’s parents and sister. Gemma really traveled around to follow each clue to prove her father’s innocence. I found it quite funny the lengths she went to to keep her friends occupied when they weren’t helping her with the case. Donald was in his glory checking out the Sherlock Holmes sights and Grant became quite smitten with Pippa. It was nice to have Henry and Ryan hit it off and also that Jayne and Gemma’s mother Anne became quite close. Ryan didn’t like that Gemma was off investigating but he knew he couldn’t stop her. Pippa really pushed for Gemma to take on the case and she really couldn’t refuse.

The people back in the states were not forgotten. Gemma and Ashleigh checked in regularly with each call bringing more worry to Gemma. Arthur was definitely not the right person to leave in charge but one of the mishaps made me laugh out loud.

The mystery was a complicated one. Randolph Denhaugh was a man with few friends and plenty of enemies. Pippa was a woman of mystery herself which added some very intriguing twists to the story.  She quickly became my favorite character in this book.

As a reader, I donned by virtual deerstalker cap to try to solve the whodunit before Gemma could but I failed miserably. Ms. Delany plotted this story out beautifully and totally surprised me with the big exciting reveal. The whiplash twist was great and pulled me to the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed the brisk pace of the story, there was always something happening.

There’s A Murder Afoot is now my favorite book in this series. I loved the realistic characters and the way Gemma’s friends really supported her throughout the whole adventure with only a few minor complaints. Their vacations definitely didn’t go as planned and I believe all the relationships grew stronger because of that.

Ms. Delany’s vivid descriptions of time and place really made me feel like I was tagging along with the characters the entire way. I do hope Ryan and Gemma get a real vacation soon and that this is not the last we see of Anne, Henry, and Pippa.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Vicki Delany is a bestselling author of more than twenty novels/novellas in several mystery subgenres. Born in Manitoba and raised in Ontario, she is the former president of the Crime Writers of Canada, a member of Capital Crime Writers, and a member of Sisters in Crime.

Author Links

Website – Facebook – Twitter:  @vickidelany and@evagatesauthor – Instagramvickidelany


Also by this Author

Find more books by Vicki Delaney here.

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Four Cuts Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery) by Debra H. Goldstein #Review / #Giveaway Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks


Four Cuts Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

About Four Cuts Too Many

Four Cuts Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Alabama
Publisher: Kensington (May 25, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496732219
ISBN-13: 978-1496732217
Digital ASIN: B08GY52GS6

Sarah Blair gets an education in slicing and dicing when someone in culinary school serves up a main corpse in Wheaton, Alabama . . .

 

Between working as a law firm receptionist, reluctantly pitching in as co-owner of her twin sister’s restaurant, and caretaking for her regal Siamese RahRah and rescue dog Fluffy, Sarah has no time to enjoy life’s finer things. Divorced and sort-of dating, she’s considering going back to school. But as a somewhat competent sleuth, Sarah’s more suited for criminal justice than learning how many ways she can burn a meal.

 

Although she wouldn’t mind learning some knife skills from her sous chef, Grace Winston. An adjunct instructor who teaches cutlery expertise in cooking college, Grace is considering accepting an executive chef’s position offered by Jane Clark, Sarah’s business rival—and her late ex-husband’s lover. But Grace’s future lands in hot water when the school’s director is found dead with one of her knives in his back. To clear her friend’s name, Sarah must sharpen her own skills at uncovering an elusive killer . . .

 

Includes quick and easy recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Southwind’s sous chef Grace Winston is teaching a class on knives as part of the culinary program at the local college. The first class is going well until the program’s director interrupts the class leading to Grace getting hurt. The director and Grace have an argument heard by many witnesses until she walks out to meet Sarah and cool down. When Grace and Sarah return to the classroom to clean up and ready the room for the next instructor they are barred from the room. Inside the program director is dead and one of Grace’s knives is the murder weapon. Sarah immediately calls her boss to come to represent Grace and she sharpens her senses to learn what all the gawkers in the hallway are saying. She is going to need all the information she can get to clear her friend’s name and cut through every clue to catch the real killer.


So much happens within the pages of this book it is virtually impossible to put down. In addition to Sarah working her day job at Harlan’s legal office, walking dogs at the local animal shelter, and helping to organize their fundraisers, she helps out at the restaurants she owns with her twin sister, fends off whatever plans her nemesis and business rival, Jane Clark has to steal business from Southwinds, has dinner with at least once a week with her mother and her gentleman friend, tries to have a personal life that may include a date or two and still have time to spend with her rescue dog, Fluffy and Siamese cat RahRah. Add to that a murder investigation and maybe some college classes. I wish I had half her energy.

The character interactions and development are what draws me into these stories. Everything feels true to life and the dialogues are realistic. I was especially taken with Harlen this time and his selflessness, he has a huge heart.  I love the way the pets are presented in the story. They have real personalities and are important in the scenes.

The murder mystery is seamlessly blended with a variety of subplots. I was surprised by the number of suspects that were brought to light. Many were not even on my radar and I did not have anyone pinned down before Sarah revealed all. Her quest to prove her theory was dangerous and exciting to read. Some things really surprised me as the story was brought to a close.

Four Cuts Too Many is a Great Escape and wonderful addition to this character-driven series. The author crafted a clever whodunit that kept me guessing until the very end. I am very curious about where she plans to take her characters next. She never disappoints so I am excited for Five _______ Too Many.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Debra H. Goldstein

Judge Debra H. Goldstein writes Kensington’s Sarah Blair mystery series (Three Treats Too Many, Two Bites Too Many, One Taste Too Many). She also authored Should Have Played Poker and IPPY Award-winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories have been named Agatha, Anthony, Derringer finalists. Debra serves on the national boards of Mystery Writers of America and is president of SEMWA. She previously was on Sisters in Crime’s national board and president of SinC’s Guppy Chapter.

Author Links

Website    Blog    Facebook    Linked In

Twitter @DebraHGoldstein    GoodReads   BookBub

Purchase Links:

AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound – 

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Great Escapes Praise for Four Cuts Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

Another great character-driven smooth Southern cozy mystery. See if you can beat Sarah to solve the crime!
~Diane Reviews Books

I love this series! Author Debra H. Goldstein gives the reader wonderful characters, plots, and food!
~My Reading Journeys

There are positive relationships, conflicts, twists, and turns, and a surprise reveal of the killer. I really liked the relationship of Wanda with Kait and the way Kait’s mild dementia was handled.
~Christa Reads and Writes

FOUR CUTS TOO MANY is a delicious mystery dealing with ambition and greed delectable for both foodies and those inept, or at least not too adept, in the kitchen.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Sarah is back and just and as fun as ever . . . a satisfying ending that will leave the reader happy. Makes for a great read for cozy fans. The adorable critters ate just an added bonus.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I really liked this one and got pulled into the story right away . . . I loved every minute of this mystery.
~Moonlight Rendezvous

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
May 23 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 23 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 24 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 24 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 25 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
May 25 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
May 26 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
May 26 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 27 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
May 27 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
May 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, RECIPE
May 28 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 28 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
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June 2 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
June 3 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
June 3 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
June 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
June 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 6 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
June 6 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit (A Domestic Diva Mystery) by Krista Davis #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @KristaDavis

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to share my thoughts about The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit today!


The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit (A Domestic Diva Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Kensington (May 25, 2021)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496732731
ISBN-13: 978-1496732736
Kindle ASIN: B08GYF9WLN

In the latest Domestic Diva mystery from New York Times bestselling author, Krista Davis, entertaining maven Sophie Winston must cut to the core of another murder investigation when members of an international tour group begin dropping like flies all over Old Town, Virginia . . .

With Old Town’s DIY Home Decorating Festival in full swing, Sophie’s swamped, juggling a bumper crop of artisans, antique dealers, and decorators for the busy street fair. Still, when her best friend Nina suddenly needs a ride from the airport, Sophie is happy to help . . . until she sees Nina disembarking in a state of disarray. It’s obvious the trip to Portugal soured somewhere along the way. But after one of Nina’s traveling companions turns up murdered the following day, Sophie knows something is truly rotten . . .

Though the crime scene is staged to look like an accident, Sophie isn’t fooled and peels off to conduct her own investigation. Her only clue is a strange image the victim scratched into the soil before dying. Could it point to a cryptic killer in Old Town? A bitter travel adversary? Or a cursed artifact smuggled back from the trip? As the mystery grows, so does the body count, and if Sophie doesn’t pluck the murderer soon, her best friend may be the next to fall . . .

Includes delicious recipes and fabulous DIY decorating tips!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sophie Winston has organized a DIY Home Decorating Street Fair and it looks to be a rousing success until a dead body is found in one of the backyards. Lark Bickford had just returned from a trip to Portugal. Sophie’s best friend Nina was on the same trip so she knew the trip did not go totally smoothly but could it have led to Lark’s murder? The victim did leave a clue to the killer’s identity but Sophie just can’t figure it out. When another woman from the trip is killed Sophie knows she has to step up her investigation or Nina could be next.


This series is so much fun. I love the way the characters have grown over the course of this series. In this story, Natasha is still dealing with the aftermath of her divorce from Mars but she does have some family around for support. Sophie is really on firm footing and happy with her life which is a good thing because Nina really needs her best friend right now. I love the way Mars and Bernie jump on board to help too. Sophie’s home again becomes the gathering spot to compare notes while noshing on whatever food she has whipped together. Sophie’s dog Daisy again steals my heart as does Mochie, her cat.

We are introduced to a new family, Paisley and Frank Eames, and their 6, yes 6! rambunctious boys. Paisley has some beautiful painted furniture for sale and was hoping her husband and her mother Lark would help with her tent and the boys but her mother’s death throws a real monkey wrench into her plans. Officer Wong and Detective Wolf Fleishman are on the case along with the new medical examiner Dr. Peter Chryssos who was also on the Portugal trip. These characters really came to life over the span of the story both for the good and for the bad. All the characters are very realistic. A certain little boy really tugged on my heartstrings while one of his brothers was just a little devil.

The mystery was complicated with a variety of subplots weaving in and out of the main plot. Several suspects came to light with different motives. I had several theories of my own and by the end, I learned I was partially right in one aspect and totally wrong in every other. I loved the twists that started to unfold from almost the beginning of the book. The author is a real expert in dropping clues while misdirecting her readers at the same time.

Krista Davis is an excellent storyteller. She has kept this series fresh and by the time I flipped the last page I was already excited for book 15. These characters are like old friends that I can’t wait to meet up with again. There is always a top-notch mystery that I can escape right into. I love the question/answers at the beginning of each chapter. Sophie’s answers are more my style but Natasha’s answers always crack me up.

The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit is an entertaining whodunit that can be read all on its own but I strongly suggest the series be read in order to really get to know Sophie, Natasha, and all their friends.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries, the Paws & Claws Mysteries, and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Several of her books have been nominated for the Agatha Award. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two cats and a brood of dogs. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices they keep coming back for more.

Author Links:
Website   Facebook   Pinterest Mystery Lovers Kitchen    Twitter




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Contest Will End June 16, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
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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.”