Posted in 2021 Reviews Thoughts

Dollycas’s Best Reads of 2021

Dollycas’s Best Reads of 2021

I reviewed so many wonderful books this year and many were classified as “Perfect Escapes” by me, but this list contains the books that received a “Paradise Rating”, those that I enjoyed so much I thought they deserved more than 5 star-fish.

They are in no particular order. 

Congratulations to all the authors!


A Side of Murder (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Berkley (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0593199146
ISBN-13: 978-0593199145
Digital ASIN: B087PL9HHF

You Can Read My Review Here

Win
Suspense Thriller
Setting – New York
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 16, 2021)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1538748215
ISBN-13: 978-1538748213
Kindle ASIN: B089Q37QPL

You Can Read My Review Here

Dial A for Aunties
Humorous American Literature
Asian American Literature & Fiction
Setting – California
Publisher: Berkley (April 27, 2021)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0593336739
ISBN-13: 978-0593336731
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0593333039
ISBN-13: 978-0593333037
Kindle ASIN: B08JKM7JCC

You Can Read My Review Here

Framed and Frosted (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Cinnamon & Sugar Press (June 22, 2021)
Number of Pages: 323
Digital ASIN: B092W8TKCC

You Can Read My Review Here

Jackal & Hide:
A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Kenya
Publisher: Kanga Press (May 14, 2021)
Number of Pages 290
Digital ASIN: B08V9DFG1F

You Can Read My Review Here

The Cider Shop Rules (A Cider Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – West Virginia
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (July 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496723511
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496723512
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MBD78KS

You Can Read My Review Here

What the Cat Dragged In (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (August 31, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593199464
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593199466
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08CTFV6VW

You Can Read My Review Here

Dark Night: A Mystery (Alaska Wild Series)
Suspense/Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Alaska
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Minotaur Books (December 7, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 125079627X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250796271
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08R2KMM3M

You Can Read My Review Here

The Girl You Killed
Psychological Thriller, Domestic, Legal
Stand-Alone Novel
Setting – Texas
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Italics Publishing (October 5, 2021)
Number of Pages – 302
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09CN54114

You Can Read My Review Here

Nightmare On The Bike Trail (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – New Mexico
Independently Published (November 9, 2021)
~158 Pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08L2JFWDW

You Can Read My Review Here

Frosted Yuletide Murder (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Cinnamon & Sugar Press (December 17, 2021)
Digital ~300 Pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09M939WKD

You Can Be My Review Here

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

I am so excited about the books being released in 2022.
There is no way I will be able to read them all.

I have started a list of 2022 Recommendations, they are mostly cozy mysteries. I will continue to add to the page all year through and announce future escapes on My Monday Reading Itinerary posts.

2022 Recommendations

I hope you have enjoyed my reviews, recommendations, and giveaways. It has been a pleasure to be your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent again this year. I hope we have even more fun in 2022.

Be sure to come back tomorrow when my Blogoversary Celebration begins!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Your Eight O’Clock is Dead (The River City Mysteries) by Kat Jorgensen #Review / #Giveaway #AlphabetSoupChallenge


Your Eight O’Clock is Dead (The River City Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Virginia
Maralan Press (August 14, 2020)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 404 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1952659051
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1952659058
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0892V43P5

Becca Reynolds is having a bad day. Her grandfather’s lecture (#405: Eat a Healthy Diet or Die Not Trying) makes her late for her job at Daley & Palmer, the psychiatric group where she works as office manager – her title not theirs. But she knows her day has taken a really bad turn when she finds the firm’s eight o’clock patient dead with Dr. Daley’s letter opener opening the patient instead of the mail.

With the fledgling firm in danger of an early demise, Becca appoints herself the unofficial investigator since the police seem to be looking in all the wrong places.

The case takes Becca from the sordid depths of the Russian mafia to the upscale West End of Richmond, Virginia (known locally as River City) and even to her own backyard. In the course of the investigation, she finds herself in hot water, hot danger, and with dreams of hot men.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Finding a dead body is no way to start your day but that is just what happens to Becca Reynolds when she arrives albeit late for her job at Daley & Palmer. She is still in her probationary period as “office manager” at the psychiatric firm so she is very unsettled when she sees the murder weapon is Dr. Daley’s letter opener. The doctor’s “clients” also don’t take the news well. All the cancellations could close the business and put Becca out of a much-needed job. In Becca’s opinion the police are not investigating the right people so she decides it is up to her to find the killer, save the business and save her job. But Becca has no idea what she is getting herself into . . . she may not just lose her job . . . she could lose her life.


It took me a chapter or three to start to understand this author’s humor. At first, Becca was driving me crazy but then I got that the author really meant to give as a protagonist with all the TSTL (too stupid to live) qualities. Becca is a nice as can be and has a huge heart and truly wants to help but she is young, gullible, naive, clumsy, and has absolutely no sleuthing skills whatsoever. Truthfully I am surprised she survived past chapter 12.

Ms. Jorgensen surrounded her mumbling sleuth with a variety of interesting characters. Her grandfather with his daily lectures on how she should be living her life and who l think may love his cat more than his granddaughter at times. Two hunky men who were potential love interests at least in Becca’s mind. Her bosses, Dr. Daley and Dr. Palmer, psychiatrists with issues of their own. An apparently shy young woman who stops into the office several times for no reason but tugs on Becca’s heart. All dysfunctional and all suspects. Becca also has some other suspects in mind as well. None of them are compellingly likable but all are cleverly written and have a purpose within the story.

The murder mystery itself was truly a twisted-up mess. I had a scenario worked out in my mind about part of the mystery but I was nowhere close to pinning the murder on anyone. I think I suspected everyone at one time or another. After all the twists and turns the author plotted out an exciting edge of your seat reveal that had me totally surprised. I was also surprised by our girl Becca as the reveal played out.

Your Eight O’Clock is Dead is a lighthearted story with a complicated mystery and a protagonist that grew on me eventually. I just hope Becca’s learned a few things in her first excursion into the world of amateur sleuths. Maybe her grandfather can give her a few more life lessons or introduce her to Nancy Drew.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Kat Jorgensen
A notorious daydreamer, Kat knew it was only a matter of time before she became a writer. She learned to read by age four and had her first library card before her fifth birthday. To this day, she can lose herself for hours among the books at her local library or neighborhood bookstore. We won’t even talk about the time she spends online browsing and buying books.

Making the leap from reading to making up stories, Kat has entertained friends and family almost all of her life with the stories and characters that play in her mind.

For over a decade Kat worked in mental health in various capacities including office manager, crisis interventionist, and public relations liaison.

Her passion is writing and telling stories to entertain and make people laugh. For relaxation, she loves to knit and can be found on Ravelry as KatJ when she’s not writing.

Kat lives in Richmond, VA with her two handsome black cats, Sam and Milo.

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I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 11, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*The book is part of my private collection.

 

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Arrivals and Arrests (An Isle of Man Ghostly Cozy) by Diana Xarissa #Review / #Giveaway @AuthorDXDunn

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I came across this author while searching for X authors for my Alphabet Soup – Author Edition Challenge and am so glad I did.


Arrivals and Arrests (An Isle of Man Ghostly Cozy)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Isle of Man
Independently Published (November 17, 2016)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 230 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1537699547
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1537699547
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01KQWEU2U

The first book in a new series by the author of the Aunt Bessie – Isle of Man Cozy Mystery series.

Fenella Woods has only met a few people during the twenty-four hours she’s been in Douglas, the capital city of the Isle of Man. She’s shocked when she discovers one of them dead in an alley behind her apartment building.

Struggling to adapt to her new life in a foreign country seems easy compared to coping with finding herself in the middle of a murder investigation.

Nearly fifty and newly single, Fenella meets a handsome police inspector, a dashing new neighbor, and a sophisticated businessman, all of whom have her questioning her determination to remain unattached.

Having a ghost for a roommate and a kitten as an uninvited houseguest has her questioning her decision to start a new life on the small island in the Irish Sea after all.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fenella Woods has inherited her Aunt Mona’s apartment and has just arrived in the capital city of Isle of Man. This is her chance to start over and write the book she has been dreaming about. It also gets her far away from the ex she left behind in the states.

Coming home after a trip to the nearby grocery store she finds a dead body in the alley behind her new home. The man seems familiar but with him lying on his stomach she can’t see his face, plus she has not met many people in Douglas yet. But following this death, she does meet a few people, like a very easy on the eyes police inspector, a neighbor who is also pretty good looking, and a hunky businessman too. She also becomes fast friends with her quirky aunt’s friend and neighbor. It is because of her that Fenella finds a wonderful pub just down the street from the Promenade View Apartments.

Fenella also finds she has inherited a roommate, the ghost of her aunt who is not quite ready to start her afterlife. A kitten zips into her apartment and life too. The kitten she is fine with but her aunt not so much, especially when she tries to coax her into investigating the murders.

Her life on the island is nothing like she ever imagined. She just hopes she lives long enough to enjoy it.


This is the first book I have read by this author but it won’t be the last.

I enjoyed my introduction to Fenella and Isle of Man. I love that Fenella is an older protagonist and an American. She is still learning about her new hometown and I really enjoyed her daily walks as I could grasp the locale that was new to me as well. The friendly pub full of books and reading nooks made my heart sing. Like Fenella, I could spend a lot of time there.

I found the people she met to be the classic people you meet in a cozy mystery. The quirky friend, the promising romantic interest/s, in the case there are three, and all the people that fill the suspect list. We get to know them well for the first book in the series.

And then we have the ghostly Aunty Mona. That woman is a hoot and a half. Not entirely happy in her current form she is on hand to give Fenella clothing and romantic advice and quick to encourage her to investigate the murder and pushes even harder when Fenella finds another body. Mona does have some insight into the people involved but she seems to disregard the danger her niece could face.

The murder mystery was well-plotted. Fenella does have some bad luck finding not one but two dead bodies very soon after the crime has been committed. She also knows nothing about the suspects but she is a pro at eavesdropping. She is also not very good at putting the clues together and that could have her running for her life.

Arrivals and Arrests is a lighthearted mystery with an exciting climax. I enjoyed the way Ms. Xarissa told this story so I am looking forward to reading book two, Boats and Bad Guys to see what kind of mystery Fenella gets involved in next. This being an alphabet series it appears Fenella has all kinds of adventures ahead and I have a bunch of catching up to do.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Diana has lived in several US states, the north of England and the Isle of Man. While she is currently in the US, she still misses the stunning scenery, wonderful people, and fascinating history that make the Isle of Man so unique.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodReads

Find more books by Diana Xarissa here.

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 January 5, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book is part of my personal collection.

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

Claret and Present Danger (A Literary Pub Mystery) by Sarah Fox #Review @TheWriteFox @KensingtonBooks


Claret and Present Danger (A Literary Pub Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Vermont
Kensington (November 30, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496734025
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496734020
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08Y65YDJM

In this thrilling mystery by USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox, deadly happenings stick around like red wine stains on white tunics when the Renaissance faire visits Shady Creek, Vermont.
 

The Trueheart Renaissance Faire and Circus has rolled into town, attracting locals who can’t wait to spend a few summer days lost in a whimsical world of all-knowing fortune-tellers and daring acrobats. Well-read pub owner Sadie Coleman is swept up in the magic herself when she serves drinks to the faire’s resident wizard, the shamelessly brazen illusionist Ozzie Stone, and scores two tickets to his dazzling performance.

Sadie has no complaints about indulging in a free show with her new beau, craft brewery owner Grayson Blake. But while Ozzie is an instant crowd-pleaser, the real surprise comes when he collapses in the middle of his set. It’s not part of the act—Ozzie is dead, seemingly poisoned by someone who wasn’t clowning around about writing the roguish showman’s final chapter.

The terrifying situation intensifies when the police eye one of Sadie’s employees, last seen caught in a suspicious fistfight at the fairgrounds. With so much at stake, Sadie must strain through a suspect list longer than her cocktail menu to find the real knave of a killer. But when another performer is murdered, it becomes clear that bringing the mixed-up murderer to justice will be about as dangerous as walking the high wire after happy hour . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Readers arrive in Shady Creek, Vermont just in time to visit the Trueheart Renaissance Faire and Circus. Not your typical Faire or Circus but a nice mix-up of the two. Under the big top, you will find aerial acrobats and an illusionist. Around the grounds, you will find a fortune teller and mermaids in a pool as well as several little shops selling food and faire attire. Literary Pub owner, Sadie Coleman, is happy about all the business the event has brought in. She is excited when illusionist Ozzie Stone gives her two tickets to his sold-out performance.

Sadie has visited the park to check out the faire with a friend but it is her beau, Craft brewery owner, Grayson Blake who she takes to see Ozzie Stone. The show starts out with some interesting illusions but after a fantastic trick, Mr. Stone collapses on the stage. Soon thereafter we learn that Ozzie Stone is dead. Some black magic must have taken place because the man was definitely murdered and the method of death is poison.

The park is full of suspects but when one of Sadie’s employees is arrested she knows she has to get involved. When another performer is killed she presses even harder to find the killer. The killer soon has Sadie in their sights too.


I said in a previous review that the Inkwell Pub run by Sadie Coleman would be my “happy place” and with each installment of this series that becomes more cemented in my mind. In fact the whole town of Shady Creek sounds like a wonderful place to live, sans the murders, of course. Ms. Fox has painted vivid pictures in my mind of every place Sadie goes since this series began. They are images that stick with me the whole year through so when I open the new book it feels so comfortable.

Sadie and Grayson finally get to spend more time together so there is a little more romance in this book and I loved it. They do seem to be the perfect couple and I really enjoyed how they worked together when Sadie had an idea she just had to follow.

With Damien in jail and Sadie needing to investigate a new employee is added and she fits right in. Again, Aunt Gilda keeps her ears open at the beauty shop and is around to give Sadie advice especially when she learns of someone coming for a visit.

All the core characters are nicely developed. The supporting cast of friends, employees and customers bring so much to the story and they really fill the pub up for special events.

Ms. Fox also introduces a bunch of new characters with the faire and circus in town but meet some new residents of Shady Creek too. I really enjoyed the mural painting subplot and the mystery it presented.

The author really put forth a complicated mystery. There are a ton of clues to work through and suspects to eliminate because the victim turned out to be quite a rogue. I must say I was totally shocked by the reveal of the killer and the motive because l was totally focused on the wrong things. I do love when I am surprised because that means the author plotted out a great mystery and I fell for every twist she wanted me to and some of them pushed me right to the edge of my seat.

Claret and Present Danger took me back to a place I love with characters I would want to be friends with. It has not one but two mysteries, a blooming romance, and the perfect amount of humor. Every book in this series has been a Perfect Escape and this one is no exception. I was delightfully entertained from page one. One of the subplots started in this book has built up my anticipation for the next book even more the normal so I truly can’t wait for book #5.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Wine and Punishment here
and An Ale of Two Cities here and The Malt in Our Stars here

About the Author

Sarah Fox is the author of the Literary Pub Mystery series, as wellas the Music Lover’s Mystery series and the USA Today bestselling Pancake House Mystery series. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she can often be found reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel. Sarah lives in British Columbia and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada. Visit her online at AuthorSarahFox.com.



Also by Sarah Fox

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 TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Deep Flakes Christmas: A Nisse Visit (Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery Series) by Joy Ann Ribar #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.


Deep Flakes Christmas: A Nisse Visit
(Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
Prequel – Holiday
Ten16 Press (October 18, 2020)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 230 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1645381854
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1645381853
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08KW9PX4C

Baker/vintner Frankie Champagne is named coordinator for the Deep Lakes Holiday Festival in the unexpected absences of the town officials. What should be a piece of cake for the confident multi-tasker is a half-baked fiasco when the town is buried by snowstorms, and the official Christmas tree and its delivery truck driver go missing. With the help of an enchanting stranger, can Frankie and her cohorts save the holiday season for everyone?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I read and enjoyed the other books in this series so I had to read this holiday story (Which is a prequel for the entire series.). In this book, Frankie finds herself in charge of the Deep Lakes Holiday Festival. As a native Wisconsinite, I know scheduling any winter event comes with plenty of risks, the biggest one being the weather. You never know what you are going to get blizzards or balmy temperatures. Earlier this week we hit over 50 degrees here and have yet to have any measurable snow. Frankie has the opposite problem when heavy snows put all her festival plans in jeopardy. A special traveler also visits Frankie. Could that visitor help Frankie save Christmas?


Deep Flakes Christmas was a delightful holiday interlude. No murder to upset the festivities but tons of snow and a missing truck driver shake up what should have been a festive time for the town. Frankie does have a few unusual occurrences. First, she finds a cat in the alley almost frozen stiff, then she finds a dog left out in the cold in the alley as well. But the most unusual is a unique tourist who seems to have a hand in several incidents around town.

Reading this after reading the other books did not hinder my enjoyment one bit. It was nice to read the lead-up to what happens in the future stories and it was fun to escape into the bit of magic the story provides. As always the author lets Wisconsin and some of its traditions shine. Be sure you get your Christmas Kringle and all the other holiday wines and treats for sale at Carmen’s Frankie’s Bubble and Bake.

I can remember when Wisconsin received several feet of snow all in a day and the way the community came together to clear and play in the snow. Sometimes the plowed piles almost reached the phone lines. Those were the days before the internet and cell phones when children and even teenagers donned their snow pants and parkas and turned the mountains of snow into playgrounds for sleds and toboggans and played for hours. I was one of those kids! This story gave me the same feelings I felt then and even made me think maybe a Nisse or two played among us.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Joy Ann Ribar lives in central Wisconsin with her business partner-husband, John. She writes the Deep Lakes Mystery Series, starring baker/vinter and all-around spitfire, Frankie Champagne. Joy’s writing is inspired by Wisconsin’s four distinct seasons and local flavors, which she hopes to promote for all to enjoy.

Joy is a member of Sisters in Crime, Midwest Independent Booksellers, and Wisconsin Writers Association.  She enjoys researching viticulture at area wineries, birding, hiking, and chatting with readers.  Joy and her husband, John, someday plan to sell their house, buy an RV and travel around the U.S. spreading good cheer and hygge! Joy is a little proud to have two bestsellers with Orange Hat Publishing: Deep Dark Secrets (2019) and Deep Bitter Roots (2020), under the Ten16 Press imprint of Orange Hat.

Author Links 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&N

 

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 24, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book is part of my personal collection. 

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Murder at Kingscote (A Gilded Newport Mystery) by Alyssa Maxwell #Review @KensingtonBooks @Alyssa__Maxwell


Murder at Kingscote (A Gilded Newport Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Rhode Island
Kensington (August 25, 2020)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496720733
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496720733
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496720768
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496720764
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B082WQVX6D

In late nineteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, journalist Emma Cross discovers the newest form of transportation has become the newest type of murder weapon . . .

On a clear July day in 1899, the salty ocean breeze along Bellevue Avenue carries new smells of gasoline and exhaust as Emma, now editor-in-chief of the Newport Messenger covers Newport’s first-ever automobile parade. But the festive atmosphere soon turns to shock as young Philip King drunkenly swerves his motorcar into a wooden figure of a nanny pushing a pram on the obstacle course.

That evening, at a dinner party hosted by Ella King at her magnificent Gothic-inspired “cottage,” Kingscote, Emma and her beau Derrick Andrews are enjoying the food and the company when Ella’s son staggers in, obviously still inebriated. But the disruption is nothing compared to the urgent shouts of the coachman. Rushing out, they find the family’s butler pinned against a tree beneath the front wheels of Philip’s motorcar, close to death.

When Emma later receives a message informing her that the butler bullied his staff and took advantage of young maids, she steers the police toward a murder investigation. While Emma investigates the connections between a competing heir for the King fortune, a mysterious child, an inmate of an insane asylum, and the brutal boxing rings of Providence, a killer remains at large—with unfinished business to attend to . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A beautiful day in 1899 Newport brings everyone out to watch the first-ever automobile parade.  A little accident mars the day for the King family but that doesn’t stop Ella King’s plan for her dinner party at the “magnificent Gothic-inspired “cottage,” Kingscote”. Journalist Emma Cross and her beau Derrick Andrews are delighted to attend. Mrs. King is upset that her son has not arrived when dinner is served but she is furious when he staggers in drunk as dessert is being served. Soon after shouts are heard from outside. The fog has set in making it almost impossible to see what is causing the ruckus but as they get closer they see the family’s butler smashed between a tree and the drunken Phillip’s car. He dies soon after being freed and the death was no accident.

Emma is drawn into the case when she receives a message about the butler’s past. There is also plenty of other drama involving the King family so Emma is running herself ragged to fit all the pieces together and find a killer.


I really enjoy this series. Allyssa Maxwell takes us back in times so effortlessly.  This time we were treated to Kingscote, a Gothic-inspired “cottage” and other Newport places.  The book cover starts us off with a vision and then the author’s writing paints the perfect picture of each and every scene.

The character descriptions are also detailed and developed. Emma is an independent free-thinking woman and an excellent sleuth. Her quest to get the truth has no bounds. Phillip King claims he did not drive the car into the butler and the tree and her investigation seems to point in that direction as well. It is so much fun to tag along with her as pursues each clue and theory.

Her relationship with newspaper owner Derrick Andrews is progressing nicely. His mother is still not happy about their courting but he seems to be gaining more independence in each story. They also make a great investigative team.

The entire supporting cast comes truly alive. I envisioned each and every one so clearly. From the clothes they were wearing, the tone of their voices, how they moved, where they went, and everything around them. Ms. Maxwell’s descriptive writing style really is a gift.

The author has written a complex mystery that takes Emma and Derrick beyond the confines of Newport. They make visits to a boxing ring and an insane asylum trying to find the answers they need. The story twists and turns in very interesting ways. Secrets and family connections were revealed. It brought out emotions I don’t usually feel when reading a mystery.  I was on the right track solving the mystery but I was surprised at part of the reveal. The twist at the end was very unexpected.

Murder at Kingscote was a very engaging read. The characters were extraordinary, the mystery was so richly plotted and written, and the setting was ideal. I love stories set in the Gilded Era. Each book in this series has been a pleasure to read. Emma has had some amazing adventures. I am a stickler for reading books in order but each of the books reads very well on its own.

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 knew from a young age that she wanted to write novels. Growing up in New England and traveling to Great Britain fueled a passion for history, while a love of puzzles of all kinds drew her to the mystery genre. She and her husband reside in Florida, where she loves to watch BBC productions, sip tea in the afternoons, and delve into the past.

Author Links
Twitter  Facebook Webpage GoodReads 

Also by Alyssa Maxwell

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 How to Book a Murder (A Starlit Bookshop Mystery) by Cynthia Kuhn #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @cynthiakuhn @crookedlanebks


How to Book a Murder (A Starlit Bookshop Mystery)
by Cynthia Kuhn

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It is my pleasure to share my thoughts today about
How to Book A Murder by Cynthia Kuhn!

About How to Book a Murder

How to Book a Murder (A Starlit Bookshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Colorado
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Crooked Lane Books (December 7, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643858599
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643858593
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08QVJFZZK

Perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Kate Carlisle, in award-winning author Cynthia Kuhn’s series debut, small-town bookseller and literary event planner Emma Starrs is out to close the book on a killer intent on crashing the party.

To help save her family’s floundering Colorado bookstore, Starlit Bookshop, newly minted Ph.D. Emma Starrs agrees to plan a mystery-themed dinner party for her wealthy, well-connected high school classmate Tabitha Baxter. It’s a delightful evening of cocktails and conjecture until Tabitha’s husband, Tip—hosting the affair in the guise of Edgar Allan Poe’s detective C. Auguste Dupin—winds up murdered.

In a heartbeat, Emma and her aunt Nora, a famous mystery writer, become suspects. Emma is sure the party’s over for Starlit events, until celebrated author Calliope Nightfall, whose gothic sensibilities are intrigued by the circumstances, implores the bookseller to create a Poe-themed launch event for her latest tome. Throwing a bash to die for while searching for additional clues is already enough to drive Emma stark raven mad, but another shocking crime soon reveals that Silvercrest has not yet reached the final chapter of the puzzling case.

Someone in this charming artistic community has murder on the mind, and if Emma cannot outwit the killer, she and her beloved aunt will land behind bars, to walk free nevermore.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Colorado’s Starlit Bookshop may be on its last legs so Emma Starrs comes home hoping to save the family store. To help line the store’s coffers Emma agrees to step in to plan a mystery-themed party for one of her high school classmates when the original planner quits. Tabitha Baxter has the kind of friends and acquaintances that may want to host similar events and that would be good for the shop’s bottom line. The hostess’s husband is really into the works of Edwin Allan Poe, so he will be playing Detective C. Auguste Dupin in the game. But he soon finds himself playing the role of the deceased when he is found dead and the murder in the game goes unsolved,  This is definitely not good for the host, it could also mean the end of the Starlit Bookshop when Tabitha accuses both Emma and her aunt, a famous author and college professor, of the murder to anyone who will listen. Of course, everyone at the event is on the suspect list including Tabitha Baxter.

While trying to book the real killer, gothic author and colleague of Emma’s aunt, Calliope Nightfall requests a book signing at the Starlit Bookshop to launch her new book that also has a Poe connection. Knowing this may be her chance to pin down a few suspects Emma can’t refuse. But will she push someone too far in her quest to book the murderer? Will the killer have the last word?


In How To Book A Murder we meet Emma Starrs, her sister Lucy and their aunt Nora. All three are trying to save the bookshop but Nora also teaches at the local college. I found all three to be likable and genuine.

Beyond the main characters, readers will find a large supporting cast. What I came to think of Tabitha and her posse – Her 3 BFFs and their husbands. Tabitha calls the shots and they fall in line. We also meet Nora’s college colleagues. They were all at the party when their host was killed so they are suspects. Even the catering team is called into question.

The author has basically written a closed room mystery unless someone snuck onto the patio to do the deed and Emma has to take that into account. She does have a hard time getting anyone to talk. because Tabitha and her friends just keep accusing Emma and Nora even going so far as saying since Nora wrote a cozy mystery with a similar crime she must be guilty. This theory had me giggling. Look out, my cozy author friends!!

I did enjoy the way Ms. Kuhn plotted out this mystery. I had a lot of fun following the clues right along with Emma. My original theory was found false early and I found myself caught up in the whole story and was totally surprised when all was revealed.

I have to tell you that I have come across a few bookstores in my cozy mystery reading history that I would love to visit in real life if that was actually possible. Well, I have added the Starlit Bookshop to that list. The way the place was transformed for Calliope Nightfall’s reading and signing as well as the wonderful shopkeepers really piqued my interest.

There is so much to entertain readers in How To Book A Murder. Unique characters, a marvelous setting and a really stirring mystery all come together for a very intriguing read. I am excited to see where the author takes these characters next after this enjoyable debut.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Cynthia Kuhn

Cynthia Kuhn is an English professor and author of the Starlit Bookshop Mysteries and the Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries. Her work has also appeared in Mystery Most Edible, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD, and other publications. Honors include an Agatha Award, a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant, and Lefty Award nominations. Originally from upstate New York, she lives in Colorado with her family. For more information, please visit cynthiakuhn.net.

Author Links

Website      Twitter    Facebook    Bookbub    Goodreads    Blog    Newsletter 

Purchase Links –

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Also by Cynthia Kuhn

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Great Escapes Praise for How to Book a Murder (A Starlit Bookshop Mystery)
by Cynthia Kuhn

This was a very promising start to a new series – great characters, interesting writing, and a wonderful setting. I wasn’t a big fan of Tabitha, but I do think that was the point! I really enjoyed this mystery and can’t wait for more of this series.
~The Book’s the Thing

HOW TO BOOK A MURDER is written in true cozy mystery fashion, which means it’s perfect for fans of all ages. I’m highly looking forward to the next book in this series!
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

How to Book a Murder is a blithe cozy mystery with a bewitching bookstore, office obstruction, multiple murders, a Poe party, malicious mean females, exquisite culinary cuisine, academic afflictions, and a raven reveal.
~The Avid Reader

HOW TO BOOK A MURDER takes on mean girls and murder in a solid start to a new series.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Set in an adorable small town we get a wide variety of characters to keep your interest while also falling in love with Emma and her bookshop. Sure to delight cozy fans. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

The book is full of twists, turns, double-crosses, and deceit. I was surprised at the reveal of the murderer, but not at all surprised about who the person hung around with. There was a lot going on and sorting out what was part of the murder plot and what wasn’t, kept me on my toes. I look forward to the next book in the series.
~Sapphyria’s Books

This first book in the Starlit Bookshop mystery series is a delightful read. It nicely plants the seeds for future developments between characters and the reader’s interest in upcoming installments. The next book can’t come soon enough.
~Book Club Librarian

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please Visit All The Stops. 
December 6 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
December 7 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 7 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 8 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
December 11 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 12 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 14 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 14 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
December 15 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 16 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
December 16 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  
December 17 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 17 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST
December 18 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – REVIEW
December 19 – BookishKelly2020 – 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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge paradise rating You Read How Many Books Challenge

Frosted Yuletide Murder (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series) by Kim Davis #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @Kookiesandbooks

Frosted Yuletide Murder (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series)
by Kim Davis

About Frosted Yuletide Murder


Frosted Yuletide Murder (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Cinnamon & Sugar Press (December 17, 2021)
Digital ~300 Pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09M939WKD

Set against the holiday cheer of twinkling lights, costumed carolers, and a festive line of extravagantly decorated boats participating in the annual Christmas boat parade in Newport Beach, California, cupcake caterer Emory Martinez finds that the grinch has crashed the party. Together with her sister Carrie, Emory is catering a delectable feast of holiday cupcakes and cookies aboard a luxury yacht for the new Mrs. Blair Villman and her guests.

Sparks fly when Carrie comes face-to-face with the hostess, who just happens to be Carrie’s high school frenemy, and old grievances are dredged up. Adding fuel to the fire, Blair’s stepson brings his mother, the former Mrs. Villman, to the party. Instead of celebrating holiday cheer, someone seems intent on channeling the Burgermeister Meisterburger and shutting down Blair’s party permanently. When Emory finds a body aboard the yacht, she needs to discover who iced the victim before the Scrooge ruins not only her livelihood but her freedom as well.

Includes delicious holiday recipes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I absolutely love this series! 

Christmas time in California is so different from what I am used to here in the midwest so I escaped right into this book looking for sun, warmth, holiday cheer, and a lively mystery and Ms. Davis gave me a wonderful holiday gift.

Emory Martinez is excited to serve up cookies and cupcakes at a party her sister Carrie is catering for a mystery client on a luxury yacht. That is until she learns the hostess of the party is a bully from Carrie’s high school days. Emory quickly learns Mrs. Blair Villman now has a glamorous lifestyle but she is still a bully and maybe even worse than she was in high school. Both Carrie and Emory do their best to keep their cool as Blair hurls her insults but they are not the only ones receiving the gift of Blair’s rath. Her stepson brought his mother to the party and Blair is livid.

Carrie’s catering contract also required she serve brunch the next day again on the yacht. She and Em arrive early to get the dishes baked and ready. Everything was going as planned until Emory opens the freezer and finds a body. This job has just been a nightmare and now they are sure to be on the suspect list. So she has to find the killer before she or her sister get frosted for a murder they didn’t commit.


The author has created such a sensational cast of realistic characters. Emory is a great protagonist with a lot on her plate even before the murder. Carrie is still struggling with a new baby in the house. Tillie is always on the go but always ready to help Emory sleuth out a killer. The supporting cast is diverse and interesting. Their interactions are all believable and the dialogue is crisp. Tillie is my hand-down favorite. She has a huge heart and loves to be surrounded by family and friends. She also always knows the right people to visit to get answers to move the case along. She is a spunky woman who knows what she wants and knows how to get it and she is a very good soul.

I found the mystery to be pretty complex. Emory worked hard to speak to everyone on her suspect list. Emory knowing the detective on the case, another strong woman, brings a nice element to this story. Detective Natasha Tran is open-minded and didn’t believe Emory and Carrie killed anyone but she always does things by the book. So of course she didn’t want Emory involving herself in her case. I really enjoyed the back and forth between these characters. In the end, Emory makes a mistake that leads up to a very exciting ending. Again, the author frosted my cookies with the way everything played out.  I have become invested in these characters and when one or more of them are in peril it moves me to the edge of my seat.

The reason I have become invested in these characters is that they are well developed and we get an in-depth look into their lives. This time a visitor arrives from across the pond and there is an interesting turn of events for another character. Throughout the book, there are plenty of family moments and times away from the murder investigation. All these moments flowed seamlessly with the mystery.

Ms. Davis is such an outstanding storyteller. Everyone has known or dealt with a bully in our lives so it is so easy to identify with Carrie and Emory and what they felt dealing with Blair, so that draws you into the story right away. After that, the author pulls you in even tighter with the murder and then you find you just can’t put this book down. You just have to know what happens next. And along with all that Emory continues to bake cupcakes. So now your mind isn’t just engaged with the story, your taste buds are tickled too, just wanting a taste, a bite, or alright, the whole darn cupcake.  I have learned my lesson from reading the previous books in this series. I made sure there were cupcakes in the house before I started reading. They weren’t homemade but they did the trick. Just don’t ask how many I ate by the end. That is a secret I will never reveal.

Every book in the Cupcake Catering Mystery Series is fantastic. You can jump right into this holiday read but they are best read in order to get to know these superb characters. This is the third book in this series to make my yearly Best Reads List. I can’t wait to return to Newport Beach to see what these ladies get into next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Kim Davis

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband. When she’s not chasing her new puppy or spending time with her granddaughters she can be found either writing stories or working on her blog, Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder or in the kitchen baking up yummy treats.  She has published the suspense novel, A GAME OF DECEIT, and cozy mystery, SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION, CAKE POPPED OFF, and FRAMED AND FROSTED. She also has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Author Links – Website  – Facebook  – Twitter: – Goodreads  – Pinterest – Blog

Purchase Link – Amazon 
The Rest of the Series

Also by this author 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 14 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 14 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW
December 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 15 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – Our Holiday Journey – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
December 16 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW
December 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
December 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 17 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT
December 18 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 18 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
December 19 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
December 20 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
December 20 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
December 20 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Class Mom: A Novel by Laurie Gelman #Review / #Giveaway @lauriemgelman

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.

While cozy mysteries are my favorites to read, once in a while I need a little break. A couple of years ago I read the second book in this series and really enjoyed it. I recently snapped up the first in this series and wouldn’t you know it, it has a little mystery of its own. 

class mom
Class Mom: A Novel
Women’s Humorous Fiction
1st in Series
Setting – Kansas
Henry Holt and Co. (August 1, 2017)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250124697
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250124692
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages (July 24, 2018)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250192560
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250192561
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01N20LVGD

Laurie Gelman’s clever debut novel about a year in the life of a kindergarten class mom—a brilliant send-up of the petty and surprisingly cutthroat terrain of parent politics.

Jen Dixon is not your typical Kansas City kindergarten class mom—or mom in general. Jen already has two college-age daughters by two different (probably) musicians, and it’s her second time around the class mom block with five-year-old Max—this time with a husband and father by her side. Though her best friend and PTA President sees her as the “wisest” candidate for the job (or oldest), not all of the other parents agree.

From recording parents’ response times to her emails about helping in the classroom to requesting contributions of “special” brownies for curriculum night, not all of Jen’s methods win approval from the other moms. Throw in an old flame from Jen’s past, a hyper-sensitive “allergy mom,” a surprisingly sexy kindergarten teacher, and an impossible-to-please Real Housewife-wannabe, causing problems at every turn, and the job really becomes much more than she signed up for.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I read the second book of this series first and am so glad I went back to read this one instead of skipping it and moving on to book three. Class Mom has Jen Dixon taking a job most parents run away from as fast as they can. She had held the job before when her now college-age daughters were in elementary school and the position hasn’t changed a lot since then. Her son Max is in kindergarten and her best friend is the president of the P.T.A. so there was no way she is getting out of the job.

Jen has quite a sense of humor that comes out in her emails to the parents in Max’s class. Some understand but a few just don’t get her sarcasm and wit, at least at first. Also one of the parents is a guy she had a huge crush on in high school. She also has to deal with a very interesting teacher and more than 13 other parent personalities that run the gambit including a stay-at-home student whose mother she only knows from her “out of the office” email responses.


This book was just what I needed to read. Jen Dixon just cracks me up and if we met in real life we would be fast friends.

Now you need to know this is not a book just filled with funny emails and snippets of kindergarten life. It is a great fictional story that drops into Jen’s life during Max’s kindergarten year and she tells us about it all. Her daughters at college and their boyfriend drama, her best friend struggling through an upsetting event, Jen’s interactions with her own crush, her workout schedule as she prepares for a major event, life with her “1st husband”, a little mid-life crisis, plus all the drama that comes with being a class mom and more. Ms. Gelman tells it like it is. Parenting isn’t easy but most of us wouldn’t trade it for any other job in the world. The things she focuses on are things I dealt with my own kids, the youngest of which just turned 29 that still take place today even though things are much harder at schools now for a variety of reasons.

Jen really comes to life within these pages and so do all the other characters. I felt like a butterfly on the wall observing each and every minute of this book.

What this author does expertly is bring the funny. I giggled, I guffawed, I laughed out loud, more times than I can count. I had an appointment the next day and I had to tell the woman I met with all about this book and I learned later she ordered the book as soon as she got home. She said she doesn’t read as fast as I do but is so happy I told her about it and plans to share it with her friends. She said she hasn’t laughed that hard in a long time.

Class Mom is a hilarious book! The second book, You’ve Been Volunteered, was too. The next time I need to destress I plan to pick up the third book, Yoga Pant Nation. And book four, Smells Like Tween Spirit is set to be released on August 2, 2022.

I highly recommend this book to all the moms and grandmothers out there. You will be truly entertained.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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 and You’ve Been Volunteered, Laurie has appeared on Live with Kelly and RyanWatch What Happens Live, and The Talk, among others. She lives in New York City with her husband, Michael Gelman, and their two teenage daughters.

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

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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

Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery) by Meg Macy #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks


Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery)
by Meg Macy

About Bear A Wee Grudge


Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (November 30, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 149672917X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496729170
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08Y69JKKM

Teddy bear shop manager Sasha Silverman must step fast to find a murderer before an upcoming Scottish festival . . .

It’s springtime in Silver Hollow, Michigan, and Sasha is looking forward to the village’s inaugural Highland Fling weekend. Plans are underway for a Kilted 5K, athletic competitions, dancing, live music, and even a Hurl-the-Haggis contest. Meanwhile, Sasha’s staff is busy crafting custom teddy bears in kilts for the Silver Bear Shop’s vendor booth. But trouble’s brewing behind the scenes, as the obnoxious Teddy Hartman, former owner of a rival teddy bear company, sows seeds of discord about town, targeting Sasha’s family and their business.

Things go from plaid to worse when—just a week before the festival kicks-off—the disgruntled gossip is found murdered with an ax buried in his back. Sasha’s dad is arrested since he’s a champion ax-thrower. But she doesn’t give a dram what it looks like—Sasha knows that despite the old business rivalry with Hartman, her father is innocent. So with a spot of help from her friends, Sasha must bag the real killer before her first Fling also becomes her last.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Such a happy place! Spring in Silver Hollow, Michigan with a visit to the Silver Bear Shop. A Highland Fling Weekend makes the visit even better. Men in kilts throwing axes, poles, and hammers, along with music, dancing, food, and vendor booths including a Silver Bear booth featuring bears all decked out in the tartan finery.

Most of the men in Sasha’s life are taking part in the athletic events and are in the park practicing when Teddy Hartman arrives on the scene. He has a bad history with the Silverman family and sure has an ax to grind. His wife is even more obnoxious than he is. Don’t even get me started their evil demon dog. It seems their purpose in life is to make the Silverman’s life as un-bear-able as possible. It is not surprising that the man ends up dead – found with an ax in his back. An ax just like Sasha’s dad was throwing at targets earlier.  Because of the drama between the two men, the inept Detective Hunter arrests her dad without an iota of real evidence.

Sasha is not going to sit still for one minute and come mud or high water she with a wee bit of help from her friends is going to clear her father’s name and fling the real killer behind bars as quickly as possible.


I really enjoy catching up with the Silverman family. Ms. Macy has created such a wonderful family. One can be cantankerous at times, another can be a wee bit pushy, a few are very creative, but they are all hard workers and strive to make trips to their teddy bear shop as awesome as possible. Their interactions feel pretty typical for a family the works together, that is until a murder is thrown into the mix.

I will admit my inner voice was cheering when I found out who the victim was, he was an awful man. His wife is a piece of work too and sadly their dog was poorly trained and seemed to always be in attack mode. These unlikable characters were cleverly written too. They drew no sympathy from me or any of the other characters in the book.

The bumbling Detective Hunter really irritated me this time so I was happy when Sasha drew another detective into the web of the investigation. There were more suspects than I first imagined and I should have known better because when he was first introduced in this series I wanted to knock the stuffing out of Teddy Hartman a time or two myself. I thought Sasha did a great job sorting out clues until she didn’t. That little misstep led up to a very exciting ending.

While Bear A Wee Grudge had a little more family fluff than previous books in this series I didn’t think it took anything away from the mystery. I do love the teddy bear theme of the series and was excited by the Scottish theme in this book. The springtime setting was delightful too as the days turn frigid here in the midwest. As always, Meg Macy has written a very entertaining story for readers to escape right into. I had a great time in Silver Hollow!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Meg Macy

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close enough to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the setting of her “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mysteries for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries; two books, Wouldn’t It Be Deadly and Get Me to the Grave On Time were Agatha Award finalists for Best Historical. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. Meg loves reading historical and cozy mysteries, gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

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Great Escapes Praise for Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery)
by Meg Macy

Bear a Wee Grudge is a craicing good time with Highland Fling fun, tartan teddy bears, an axed antagonist, an indolent detective, a frustrated family, cruel chatter, a mean Morkie, and a sleuthing Sasha.
~The Avid Reader

I enjoyed Bear a Wee Grudge, found the mystery interesting, the characters likable, and the story’s pacing to be on target. I love the Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery series by Meg Macy and I look forward to the next book!
~Sapphyria’s Books

BEAR A WEE GRUDGE is an anxiety-laced mystery with a sweet little surprise at the end. I wish I could actually visit Silver Hollow, take a tour of the factory, get myself a wee bear in a kilt, some mead, and more of Bonnie’s chocolate-covered shortbread.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I enjoyed the story and mystery. It was nice seeing Sasha’s character grow. Her relationship with Jay is adorable, and I love the way that he proposes to her. My rating for Bear a Wee Grudge by Meg Macy is four stars. If you love teddy bears and mysteries, you will like this book.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

I recommend this series and this installment was GOOD. It would help if you read the series from the beginning, but it’s not absolutely necessary. You can read this book as a stand-alone.
~Valerie’s Musings

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
November 30 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 1 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 2 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 5 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW
December 6 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
December 6 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
December 7 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 7 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
December 9 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
December 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 10 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – BookishKelly2020 – 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.”