Jan 232020
 

SEALED OFF
Sealed Off (A Maine Clambake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Publisher: Kensington (December 31, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1496717953
ISBN-13: 978-1496717955
Kindle ASIN: B07Q7X57MG

Early October is “winding down” time in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, but there’s nothing relaxing about it for Julia Snowden. Between busloads of weekend leaf peepers at the Snowden Family Clambake and a gut renovation of the old mansion on Morrow Island, she’s keeping it all together with a potentially volatile skeleton crew—until one of them turns up dead under the firewood.

When the Russian demo team clearing out the mansion discovers a room that’s been sealed off for decades, Julia’s baffled as to its purpose and what secrets it might have held. Tensions are already simmering with the crew, but when one of the workers is found murdered, things come to a boil. With the discovery of another body—and a mysterious diary with Cyrillic text in the hidden room—the pressure’s on Julia to dig up a real killer fast. But she’ll have to sort through a pile of suspects, including ex-spouses, a spurned lover, and a recently released prisoner, to fish out one clammed-up killer.

Dollycas Thoughts

We are back in Busman’s Harbor, Maine in the final days of the clambake season. Julia is so excited because when the clambakes end the demolition of the inside of the island mansion, Windsholme, can really get going. Hopes are to get as much done as possible before the weather shuts work down. The really cool thing is a Morrow relative that spent summers in the mansion has come to take a final look. Marguerite remembers her time there as a child and wanted to see the place one more time before the renovations. While not necessary for Marguerite to approve their plans Julia and her mother feel that it would nice to have her blessing. A surprising discovery is made right before Marguerite’s visit that sends the family on a quest to get answers. Another find may answer some of their questions.

With Snowden Family Clambake working with a skeleton crew to finish out the year there is clear there is some tension between two members of the team. The tension escalates to a fistfight that is broken up only to find one of them dead the next day under the woodpile of the island. Later Julia finds another body. Why is all this happening on her family’s island? Could the deaths be related to the discovery in the mansion or is there something else going on?

______

I really loved this story. The historic part was fascinating and it comes with its own mystery. The family mansion has been vacant since 1929, so it was wonderful to hear an account of a family member from her little girl’s perspective. A discovery that has been Sealed Off in the mansion opens the door to another piece of history dating back to the late 1800s. I was completely captivated by this part of the book. The descriptions of the mansion are always very detailed, With each book in the series, the images in my mind become more vivid. I really am looking forward to reading more about the incredible renovation.

The current murders are a second mystery to solve. Julia has a vested interest because they took place on her family’s island and the prime suspect is not only her employee but the brother of her boyfriend Chris who has checkered past. It is a mystery full of red herrings. Julia found other suspects and works her way through the plethora of twists and turns. But by the end of the book, while the known mysteries are wrapped up, the author throws another one at readers leading to the next book.

Ms. Ross is a stellar storyteller. She has created characters that are easy to get invested in. The recurring characters continue to grow and the new characters get fleshed out quickly and have a true purpose to the story. Every time I open a book by Barbara Ross I know I am in for a real treat and that is just what Sealed Off was. Autumn in Busman’s Harbor was absolutely delightful. Leaf peepers and murder went together nicely but the history portions were my absolute favorite.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent


About The Author

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries, including the Agatha-nominated Best Contemporary Novel Clammed Up, as well as Boiled OverMusseled OutFogged Inn, Iced Under and Stowed Away Steamed Open is the latest book in this series. Her story “Nogged Off” appears in the holiday novella collection Eggnog Murder along with stories by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis. Barbara blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors and Maine Crime Writers. In the summer, she writes on her big front porch overlooking the water in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. You can visit her website at http://www.maineclambakemysteries.com


 

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Sign Up for Barbara’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries!

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

Contest Will End February 6, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Jan 222020
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to feature Careless Whiskers today! 

 


Careless Whiskers (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
12th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
Publisher: Berkley (January 21, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0451491157
ISBN-13: 978-0451491152
Kindle ASIN: B07R7M3RJZ

When librarian Charlie Harris’ daughter is falsely accused of murder, he and his faithful feline Diesel must leap forward to crack the case in this all-new installment in the New York Times bestselling series.

Charlie Harris has sworn off investigating murder and mayhem after a recent close call. Instead, he’s delighted to cheer on his daughter, Laura, who’s starring in a production of Careless Whispers. The theater department at Athena College is debuting the play written by a fledgling playwright with local connections and Charlie’s son-in-law, Frank Salisbury, will be calling the directorial shots.

Laura is upset to learn that Luke Lombardi, an overbearing actor she knew from her time in Hollywood will also be taking part in the production as a guest artist. Lombardi arrives with an entourage in tow and promptly proceeds to annoy everyone involved with the production. When he collapses and dies on stage, after drinking from a glass Laura handed him, she becomes the chief suspect in his murder.

Charlie knows his daughter is innocent, and he’s not going to let anyone railroad his little girl. So, despite his intentions to put his amateur sleuthing days behind him, Charlie has to take center stage, and with Diesel’s help, shine a spotlight on the real killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Charlie Harris is enjoying his life and is excited that his daughter, Laura, has a starring role in a local play at Athena College. Careless Whispers is a new play written by a young man with a local connection, Finn Zwake. Laura’s husband, Frank is directing the play. The college has brought in an actor of some fame to boost sales for the event. Laura has worked with Luke Lombardi before and she is not looking forward to playing opposite him in this play. He along with his entourage rub almost everyone involved in the production the wrong way.

Rehearsals have had their up and downs with Laura trying to keep Luke in his place. There have also been some incidents/pranks against the Hollywood actor. With a “show must go on” attitude the show opens to a full house. All the actors hit their marks until Luke drinks from a glass at the beginning of the second act and he collapses and dies. The glass was filled and handed to him by Laura. Charlie rushes to the stage to be sure his daughter is okay. It is then that he realizes she is going to be the prime suspect.

Charlie had a close call recently with a case and vowed to let the police handle any future investigations but that was before his daughter was in the middle of a case. He knows she had nothing to do with Lombardi’s death. So he flips the script and dives right into another murder investigation with his loyal sidekick, Diesel in the quest to catch a killer.

_______

One of the best things about this series is the genuine characters. They are strong in their values, have huge hearts, and are full of southern charm. I could easily imagine sharing a glass of sweet tea and catching up on all that is happening in their lives. Having Diesel and his new buddy Ramses chirping right along is just icing on the cake. Ms. James’s characters continue to grow and evolve. Their dialogues are realistic and crisp. I love the way Azalea keeps everyone in line and their stomachs filled. As always Diesel is my fave. I just can’t get enough of that Main Coon Cat!

I really enjoyed that Laura and Frank were featured in this story. It gave the perfect excuse for Charlie to jump into another investigation. It was a twisted investigation too. Mr. Lombardi’s entourage, his dresser, and his lover, formerly husband and wife, really made things very interesting. A playwright conundrum also adds to the mystery.

With a perfect pace, this story unfolds with the mysteries entangled with everyday life. The family dinners, Charlie spending time with his grandchildren every week to give their moms a little break, Helen Louise and Charlie’s late-night calls as they try to keep their romance going while she devotes so much time to her bistro, all give the story definition and keep it based in reality. While the number of murders and mysteries pushes the reality the Harris family and friends are always up to the task of solving them. This time Melba, Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce are along for the ride.

Careless Whisker is an excellent addition to this series. The author takes the time to add background so new readers can jump into the series at any time. It is one of my favorite series and I highly recommend all 12 books.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Miranda James is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries, including The Pawful Truth, Six Cats a Slayin’, and Claws for Concern, as well as the Southern Ladies Mysteries, including Fixing to Die, Digging Up the Dirt, and Dead with the Wind. James lives in Mississippi.

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

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



GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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 February 5, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Jan 212020
 

Dead Week (A Cassandra Sato Mystery)
by Kelly Brakenhoff

About Dead Week


Dead Week (A Cassandra Sato Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Nebraska
Publisher: Emerald Prairie Press (December 7, 2019)
Paperback: 322 pages
ISBN-10: 1733742425
ISBN-13: 978-1733742429
Digital ASIN: B07ZHN2SMS

>

Will Dead Week kill Cassandra’s career?

VP of Student Affairs Cassandra Sato has a desk full of problems and it’s not even Thanksgiving break.

A student’s injury and a deaf advocacy project brings national media attention to underfunded Morton College.

Cassandra’s new boss talks to her dead husband. Cassandra’s mentor thinks he’s a superhero in a senior citizen’s body. And Cassandra, recently moved from Hawai’i, can’t crack the code of what to wear during November in Nebraska.

Is there more to the Vietnam-era story of a student’s death? Cassandra’s search for the long-buried truth stirs up the wrath of those who want to keep the past forgotten.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Dead Week – The last full week of classes before final exams, a period of substantial and predictable quiet study time for undergraduate students.  

With Dead Week quickly approaching Student Affairs VP Cassandra Sato is juggling student issues, a deaf advocacy project, a new college President, and a Nebraska Winter. Her Diversity Council is barely underway when a student is injured. A student that had a mission of her own. When her injury gets national media attention her story gets out drawing unwanted attention to Morton College and the new President may pull the plug on Cassandra’s project completely. There is something going on with her mentor so she is unsure how much help he will be but Cassandra delves in to try to find the truth bringing the ire of even more people.

As with the first book in this series, Death by Dissertation, Ms. Brakenhoff gives readers a wonderfully detailed story featuring characters that are rich and unique.

Cassandra Sato knows some basic American Sign Language to converse with the deaf students at the college, some who work for her.  Her friend Meg is an ASL interpreter at Morton College and helps Cassandra when needed. Be it signing and interpreting or helping Cassandra with her clothing and footwear choices, dating advice or just being a sounding board Meg is a great friend. Cassandra also pitches in to help Meg and her family too. It is hard being so far away from her family but slowly she is feeling more at home in Nebraska. Something happens at the end of the story that just may make that easier.

The author is an ASL interpreter herself, so she is writing what she knows and she does an excellent job. She has opened my eyes to so many things regarding the struggles hearing impaired people face not only at college but in daily life. Within this story, we see two sides, the things the deaf students need, which would also benefit hearing students and the college side dealing with budget constraints.

The author also delivers a mystery the not only deals with who hurt the student and continues to torment them but an incident that happened several years ago at the college. The incidents are definitely connected, it is just a matter of splicing all the clues together and a little bit of digging. I did find myself drawn to the right person early in the story but as the story evolved and more information came out it my theory was firmed up in an almost heartbreaking way. There was also a very interesting twist.

The college community gives the book a small-town feel. While Cassandra is new to the college many people on staff have been there for years. All the interactions between the characters felt very realistic.

I really enjoyed Cassandra’s reaction to snow and the November Nebraska weather. Coming from Hawaii it is quite an adjustment. It provided a few giggles. I also enjoyed her unique Hawaiian phrases of speech thrown in here and there. You can take the girl out of Hawaii but you can’t take Hawaii out of the girl.

Dead Week is a strong follow up to Death by Dissertation. I am looking forward to the next semester at Morton College. You know Cassandra will be in the middle of another mystery or two.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dissertation here

 

About Kelly Brakenhoff

KELLY BRAKENHOFF is an American Sign Language Interpreter whose motivation for learning ASL began in high school when she wanted to converse with her deaf friends. Her first novel, Death by Dissertation, kicked off the Cassandra Sato Mystery Series. She also wrote Never Mind, first in a children’s picture book series featuring Duke the Deaf Dog. She serves on the Board of Editors for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf publication, VIEWs. The mother of four young adults and two dogs, Kelly and her husband call Nebraska home.

Her first mystery, Death by Dissertation, released April 22, 2019.

Author Links

Website Amazon Twitter BookBub GoodReads

Instagram –  @kellybrak

Purchase Link – Amazon 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 20 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 20 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
January 21 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 22 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
January 22 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 22 – The Layaway Dragon – REVIEW
January 23 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 23 – Brooke Blogs– SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
January 23 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
January 24 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 24 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
January 25 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
January 25 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
January 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
January 26 – Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
January 27 – Laura`s Interests  – SPOTLIGHT
January 28 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
January 28 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 29 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
January 29 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE  
January 29 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
January 29 – Reading Authors Network – REVIEW

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

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Jan 172020
 


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.

Death on the Danube: A New Year’s Murder in Budapest
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Hungary
Traveling Life Press (November 28, 2019)
Paperback: 172 pages
ISBN-10: 9083001148
ISBN-13: 978-9083001142
Kindle ASIN: B07XLF95SN

Who knew a New Year’s trip to Budapest could be so deadly? The tour must go on – even with a killer in their midst…

Recent divorcee Lana Hansen needs a break. Her luck has run sour for going on a decade, ever since she got fired from her favorite job as an investigative reporter. When her fresh start in Seattle doesn’t work out as planned, Lana ends up unemployed and penniless on Christmas Eve.

Dotty Thompson, her landlord and the owner of Wanderlust Tours, is also in a tight spot after one of her tour guides ends up in the hospital, leaving her a guide short on Christmas Day.

When Dotty offers her a job leading the tour group through Budapest, Hungary, Lana jumps at the chance. It’s the perfect way to ring in the new year and pay her rent!

What starts off as the adventure of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare when Carl, her fellow tour guide, is found floating in the Danube River. Was it murder or accidental death? Suspects abound when Lana discovers almost everyone on the tour had a bone to pick with Carl.

But Dotty insists the tour must go on, so Lana finds herself trapped with nine murder suspects. When another guest turns up dead, Lana has to figure out who the killer is before she too ends up floating in the Danube…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

It’s Christmas Eve, she’s behind on her rent, has no real worthwhile job in her future, and she is still stinging from her divorce. Then landlord Dotty Thompson makes Lana Hansen an offer she just can’t refuse. Dotty owns Wanderlust Tours and one of her tour guides has ended up in the hospital. She needs Lana to jump on a plane to Budapest, Hungary to ring in the New Year and lead the tour group through the remaining days of the tour.

Lana takes to the job like a fish to water until her fellow tour guide Carl ends swimming with the fishes in the Danube. Accident? Murder? In just her few days with the group, Lana has learned that Carl has a good share of enemies, some right within their group. When a second life is lost and the police eyeing the wrong individual Lana realizes it is up to her to find the real killer.

I had read several reviews praising this book that I knew it had to be one of the first books I read in the new year.

Ms. Alderson not only takes us on an outstanding virtual escape to Hungary but she gives us a fun mystery to solve as well.

Lana Hansen is an excellent protagonist. She is smart, has a great sense of everything around her and I found her to have a very positive outlook even after all the bumps she has had in her life.  As a former investigative reporter, she knows how to dig deep and use her research skills to point her in the right direction. She knows how to link the clues together, take good notes and allow time to think over all the details she has found so that after several twists and a few extra clues she can actually prove whodunit and why.

The suspects included all the members of the tour but Carl had rubbed some people in Budapest the wrong way too. I really liked the “Fabulous Five” a group of mature women who were a whole lotta fun. I quickly eliminated them from my suspect list as did Lana. This is a group of ladies I would love to travel with, they have become great friends who really look after each other. The other members of the group all remain viable suspects. I hope they show up on a future tour.

The author has fully fleshed out all the characters. They truly came to life on the pages. Because this book is only 172 pages I am very impressed at how well she did this. The dialogue between the characters was crisp and realistic as well.

The other thing she did so well was to bring Budapest to life. Everywhere the group traveled was fully described and created wonderful pictures in my mind. She made us feel the cold and the wind too. It was a great trip.

I loved the quick pace and the short chapters. Death on the Danube was a totally entertaining read and I am really looking forward to reading Death By Baguette which will be released February 14, 2020. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before settling in the Netherlands. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

Jennifer’s love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning mystery series—the Zelda Richardson Mysteries and Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries—and standalone stories.

Author Links

Website – Goodreads  –Facebook – Twitter  –LinkedIn – BookBub

Coming February 14, 2020

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Death on the Danube!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 31, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Jan 162020
 

Hems & Homicide (Apron Shop Series)
by Elizabeth Penney

About Hems & Homicide 


Hems & Homicide (Apron Shop Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Maine
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 31, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1250257948
ISBN-13: 978-1250257949
Digital ASIN: B07SBQ9Y2Z

Welcome to the first in the Apron Shop mystery series by Elizabeth Penney, set in the quaint village of Blueberry Cove, Maine where an expert seamstress turned amateur sleuth is getting measured for murder. . .

Iris Buckley is sew ready for a change. After the death of her beloved grandfather, Iris decides to stay in her Maine hometown to help out her widowed grandmother, Anne—and bring her online hand-made apron designs to real-time retail life. Her and Anne’s shop, Ruffles & Bows, is set to include all the latest and vintage linen fashions, a studio for sewing groups and classes, and a friendly orange cat. The only thing that they were not planning to have on the property? A skeleton in the basement

Anne recognizes the remains of an old friend, and when a second body shows up in the apron shop—this time their corrupt landlord, whom Anne had been feuding with for decades—she becomes a prime suspect. Now, it’s up to Iris to help clear her name. Enlisting the help of her old high-school crush Ian Stewart who, like certain fabrics, has only gotten better-looking with age and her plucky BFF Madison Morris, Iris must piece together an investigation to find out who the real killer is. . .and find a way to keep her brand-new business from being scrapped in the process.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a delightful read!

Iris Buckley and her grandmother Anne are excited to be opening their new shop in Blueberry Cove, Maine, selling their hand made aprons and other vintage items. Ruffles & Bows is supposed to open Memorial Day but the building they are renting needs a lot of work before they can open the doors to customers.

Ready to jump right into the renovations they meet with their contractor and Iris’ old crush, Ian Stewart on-site to go over the plans. A trip to the basement leads to a gruesome discovery. A skeleton complete with a very identifiable headscarf. Anne thinks she knows the deceased, a friend she last saw over 40 years ago.

The police are working the case when another dead body is found in the shop. Their landlord is the new victim and he and Anne have been fighting over a piece of property for years.  With their history and the location of the body, she becomes the #1 suspect.

Not knowing if they will ever be able to open Ruffles & Bows Iris along with her friend Madison try to clear Anne’s name, no matter where the clues may lead. And they lead to some unusual places. . .

_____

Reading this book and learning about Blueberry Cove and the future home of Ruffles & Bows reminded me so much of my hometown here in Wisconsin. Many years ago my parents had a dream to open their own business and from the hardwood floors, tin ceiling, plaster walls and old fixtures along with getting everything just right brought back many fond and humorous memories, complete with my own cobweb entanglement and fall, no skeleton for me though. Also before my accident, I loved to sew and I had a dream similar to Iris and Anne’s, to open a craft and fabric shop. Since that is no longer possible I read books like this one and revel in the characters’ success and adventures.

I really enjoyed meeting Anne (Grammie), Iris, Madison, Ian. They came across as very genuine. Anne is a new widow and has always been close to her granddaughter. It is such a wonderful thing that they are embarking on this new venture together. Madison and Iris are a great pair. They both push each other in different ways like true friends really do. Iris had a huge crush on Ian in high school and those feelings are still there. Madison also has someone interested in her. Miss Penney has created a terrific cast of core characters.

So with the skeleton and the dead landlord, there are two mysteries to solve. Are they connected? The author has plotted a very clever and complex plot full of twists including some scary and funny episodes that made this book absolutely impossible to put down. I really enjoyed learning about the 60’s history that Anne participated in. Pulling out her old journals and pictures brought reality to the story and fueled her memories. I was totally captivated.

Hems & Homicide was a story I hated to see end because I wasn’t ready to leave these characters behind. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series.

A Perfect Escape for Cozy Lovers!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Elizabeth Penney

Elizabeth Penney is an author, entrepreneur, and local food advocate living in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In addition to writing full-time, she operates a small farm. Elements that often appear in her novels include vintage summer cottages, past/present mysteries, and the arts. She is represented by the fabulous Elizabeth Bewley at Sterling Lord Literistic.

Elizabeth’s writing credits include over twenty mysteries, short stories, and hundreds of business articles. A former consultant and nonprofit executive, she holds a BS and an MBA. She’s also written screenplays with her musician husband.

She loves walking in the woods, kayaking on quiet ponds, trying new recipes, and feeding family and friends.

Author Links – Webpage  – Goodreads
Twitter: @liz2penney

Praise for Hems & Homicide (Apron Shop Series)
by Elizabeth Penney

I love the characters.
This was a fun read for me.
~My Reading Journeys

A strong introduction to a community and the complicated relationships of Blueberry Cove.
~Laura’s Interests

I enjoyed Hems & Homicide so much and am glad to start on the ground floor of what promises to be a highly entertaining new series.
~The Power of Words

Purchase Links  –

Amazon  Barnes & Noble   IndieBound

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 13 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 13 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
January 13 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
January 13 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
January 13 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
January 14 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
January 14 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 14 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 14 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
January 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
January 15 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
January 16 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
January 16 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
January 16 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
January 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
January 16 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
January 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
January 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 17 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW
January 17 – That’s What She’s Reading – GUEST POST
January 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
January 18 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
January 18 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
January 18 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
January 19 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 19 – Lisa Ks Book Review – REVIEW
January 19 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
January 19 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

 

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

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Jan 152020
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to feature Murder Ink by Lorraine Bartlett & Gayle Leeson today! 


Murder Ink (Victoria Square Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Berkley (December 31, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 042526601X
ISBN-13: 978-0425266014
Kindle ASIN: B07QDK2DL8

The charm of Victoria Square may prove to be only skin deep when murder follows the arrival of a tattoo parlor in town in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

A tattoo parlor on Victoria Square? Some of the merchants get hot under the collar at the proposal, but could they be driven to kill to stop it? That’s what the sheriff’s office and Katie Bonner want to know when the building’s owner is electrocuted with his own saw.

Meanwhile, tensions rise when a hot chef takes over the square’s tea shop. Will Katie have three men vying for her affections, or will her rival take the tea cake?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Many members of the Victoria Square Merchants Association are up in arms when they learn a tattoo parlor is opening on the square. They try to convince the proprietor that his business would do better at another location but when that fails they approach the owner of the building to try to have him rescind the rental contract. When Katie, now the president of the association goes to make another plea, she witnessed the building owner’s electrocution and she is injured as well.   After that, many members of the association find themselves on the suspect list.

Katie is also juggling a little vendor drama at Artisan’s Alley and dealing with employee turnover at her new tea shop. The young manager quits and is replaced by a hunky and truly overqualified chef. Andy is having a staff issue as well. All this starts to cause a little chaos in Katie’s romantic life.

___

Katie Bonner really has her hands full in the 6th installment of this very popular series. She manages the Artisan’s Alley and is responsible for staffing and vendors. She recently opened her tea shop Teaolicious where she and enjoys doing the baking each morning. And she is President of the Victoria Square Merchants Association and all that entails. She is also trying to have a relationship with pizza parlor owner Andy Rust and is now in the middle of another murder investigation. Sometimes her activities just exhaust me and I think she is finally starting to realize she is reaching her limit. However,  she is a great protagonist with a huge heart and motivated to stay on top of everything on her plate. She does make a big decision that I am really enthused about because it is a change that I felt was needed.  I hope it opens her life up in new and exciting ways.

All the other characters we have come to love over the course of the series return and are involved in little subplots that mesh well with the main plot and theme. The new characters bring some freshness to the story as they interact with our faves, both in good and bad ways.

As I have come to expect from these authors they pack a lot of drama within these pages. There is always something happening which for me sets a brisk pace. This time I had to slow down a little bit and reread a couple of things to try to catch all the clues and follow all the twists. It was fun to follow along with Katie as all the clues fell into place.

These characters are very well-crafted and are featured in an entertaining story with strong mysteries. My only criticism was the snarkiness of the square shopkeepers had with the new business prospect although I realize it was needed to set up the story that followed.

Murder Ink is a great addition to the series. I am excited about the next book, I am very interested to see what Ms. Bartlett and Ms. Leeson have in store for Katie.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Yule Be Dead here

 

About The Authors

Lorraine Bartlett

The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorraine Bartlett‘s pen name Lorna Barrett on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it’s her talent — whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett — that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s). Check out the links to all her works here: http://www.lorrainebartlett.com

Gayle Leeson

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. Gayle has also written as Amanda Lee. She is currently writing the Kinsey Falls chick-lit/women’s fiction series, the Down South Cafe cozy mystery series, and the Ghostly Fashionista cozy mystery series. Her book KILLER WEDDING CAKE won the Bronze Medal in the 20th Anniversary IPPY Awards. Gayle lives in Southwest Virginia with her family and enjoys hearing from readers. Find her books on Amazon here.    Website     Facebook    Twitter    Pinterest     Instagram

I am giving away my review copy of Murder Ink!

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with a US or Canadian mailing address.

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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Jan 142020
 

Bound for Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

 

About Bound for Murder 


Bound for Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (January 7, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1643852434
ISBN-13: 978-1643852430
Digital ASIN: B07QGNNNXP

Blue Ridge library director Amy Webber learns it wasn’t all peace and love among the “flower children” when a corpse is unearthed on the grounds of a 1960s commune.

Taylorsford Public Library director Amy Webber’s friend “Sunny” Fields is running for mayor. But nothing puts a damper on a campaign like an actual skeleton in a candidate’s closet. Sunny’s grandparents ran a commune back in the 1960s on their organic farm. But these former hippies face criminal charges when human remains are found in their fields–and a forensic examination reveals that the death was neither natural nor accidental.

With Sunny’s mayoral hopes fading, Amy sets her wedding plans aside, says “not yet” to the dress, and uses her research skills to clear her best friend’s family. Any of the now-elderly commune members could have been the culprit. As former hippies perish one by one, Amy and her friends Richard, Aunt Lydia, and Hugh Chen pursue every lead. But if Amy can’t find whoever killed these “flower children,” someone may soon be placing flowers on her grave.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Library Director Amy Webber finds herself in the middle of another murder mystery, this time one that happened sometime in the 1960s.

Amy’s friend Sunny Fields needs her help. A skeleton has been found on her grandparent’s farm. A farm with a colorful past. Her grandparents,  Carol & P.J. Fields,  ran a commune there back in the days of free love and enlightenment. The skeleton is soon identified as a member of the commune who was thought to have followed his dream and headed West. The investigation also shows the man had been murdered. With Sunny running for mayor she needs to get to the truth as soon as possible. Amy uses her stellar research skills to track down and meet with former members of the commune knowing any one of them could be the killer.

Sheriff Investigator Brad Tucker asked her to help with the case by doing a little research. He isn’t happy when she actually starts pursuing leads on her own. He tries to rein her in when she receives several warnings to back off on her snooping, including vandalism at the library but she doesn’t back down.

Amy is also getting pressure on the homefront to start planning her wedding especially from her future mother-in-law Fiona, who has some grand plans.

___

Again, Victoria Gilbert has her characters digging into the past and through that, we meet an eclectic group of former “hippies” all to catch a killer.  In the guise of notifying them about the skeleton being found and “warning” them that the police may be contacting them as Sunny’s grandparents had asked, Amy gets up close and personal with the suspects. This approach was a nice twist. I really enjoyed the way Amy fulfilled her promise while still getting information.

All of Ms. Gilbert’s characters are well defined and easily visualized. The core character’s stories continue to evolve realistically. Amy is very dedicated to her job as is Richard when it comes to anything related to dance and movement. Sunny like Amy is very determined and independent. It is to see why they are friends and how well they work together. Fiona is over the top, turning her nose up at almost everything, but Amy and Richard are learning how to deal with her.  I like that Sheriff Investigator Brad Tucker knows what a great resource he has in Amy and that he is realizing she just can’t help but to get involved in his cases.

The mystery this time was a tricky one because of the amount of time that has passed since the death, the age of the suspects, another murder, and twist upon twist upon twist. I truly thought I was on the right course to solving this mystery then suddenly there was a twist that turned all my theories inside out but got Amy on the right track. There was some edge of seat moments to raise our blood pressure as we got close to the end of the book. Nicely done Ms. Gilbert, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

Bound for Murder has engaging characters paired with some shady ones that keep both readers and our protagonist on our toes. A very well-written mystery with a true romance and just a bit of humor to lighten things up. A strong addition to this series. I do recommend reading them in order but this one can stand on its own.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Murder for the Books here.

Read my review of Shelved Under Murder here.

Read my review of Past Due For Murder here. 

 

About Virginia Gilbert

Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. Victoria has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers and lives in North Carolina. This is her fourth Blue Ridge Library mystery.

Author Links:

Website/Blog   Facebook Author Page    Twitter   Goodreads   Instagram  YouTube  

Purchase Links:

Amazon     B&N    Kobo    Indie Bound   

BUY LINKS: 

BOOKED FOR DEATH (preorder)

Praise for Bound for Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

Victoria Gilbert writes entrancing and engrossing stories that pull you win and leave you wanting more!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

Bound for Murder is the fourth book in the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series. I’ve read them all and they just keep getting better. Maybe it is because the characters feel like old friends.
~Diane Reviews Books

Bound for Murder is a charming cozy mystery with a dredging disaster, misplaced persons, a charismatic journalist, a hippie homicide, campaign commotion, and revealing research.
~The Avid Reader

Bound for Murder by Victoria Gilbert is an excellent story with a couple of murders that keep you guessing.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

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January 6 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jan 102020
 


Come Homicide or High Water (Welcome Back to Scumble River)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Illinois
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (December 31, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1492685976
ISBN-13: 978-1492685975
Kindle ASIN: B07Y5NJ48Z

There’s something fishy just below the surface of Scumble River…

School psychologist Skye Denison-Boyd is getting ready to return to work from her maternity leave and hoping for a peaceful year in her job as a school psychologist. But when an elderly woman disappears on her first day back and a disgruntled parent threatens to sue the school, Skye realizes that her return will be anything but quiet.

When the parent suing Skye’s school is found dead and with the missing woman’s case is still unsolved, Skye suspects the crimes are somehow linked. With her chief of police husband, Wally, at her side, Skye dives into the investigations. But as tensions rise and Skye and Wally’s suspect list lengthens, they start to wonder whether a member of their own tight-knit community could be behind it all…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

We return to Scumble River as work is almost complete on Wally and Skye’s new home. They are both looking forward to moving out of the RV and having plenty of room to spread out. Skye is also nearing the end of her maternity leave which means they have to hire a new nanny soon.  During her leave, she has been going into the school when her intern replacement needs help dealing with school staff or parents. Right now she is trying to explain to a mother than her child is not as gifted as she thinks. The meeting takes a huge left turn that results in the mother threatening to sue the school. Oh boy, does Skye really want to return to all this drama?

Later the woman threatening to sue is found dead and Skye learns she was her contractor’s wife. Skye gets nervous that someone from the school could be responsible. She also worries that the death will halt construction on her home.

Wally has also asked Skye to assist him in the case of a missing woman. Could the two cases be connected? Could the killer be someone they know? Skye and Wally are determined to find out.

______

Denise Swanson is a remarkable storyteller. Her characters have become old friends and I couldn’t wait to get into the pages to see what they were up to this time.

I love the way Skye and Wally really compliment each other. They are excelling at parenting and working together too. Wally asks for Skye’s help and trusts her theories and opinions. They make a great team and I love that we get to see things from both Skye and Wally’s point of review. It is very refreshing to have a cozy mystery written in this way.

The main characters are surrounded by a great supporting cast as well. There is family to pitch in to help with the babies and to give their opinions on just about everything. Oh, May, you are such a treasure but there are times I want to reach in the book and tape your mouth shut 🙂

We have some quirky characters too. The Dooziers are doozies but always make me smile and sometimes laugh out loud. Friends, school staff and town residents round out the wonderful cast. The dialogues are crisp with a lot of humor. Very realistic for the midwest setting.

The main and subplots are very well-written and have a comfortable flow. The author packed the pages full of daily life and drama along with a nice bit of humor too. Twists, turns, red herrings, this story has them all. Ms. Swanson has given us quite an intriguing story. One of the mysteries wraps up in a delightful way. The other kept me guessing to the very end.

Come Homicide or High Water is a marvelous addition to this series. Entertaining characters wrapped in a delightful story that includes mysteries that are interesting and fun to try to solve. I can’t wait for my next trip to Scumble River.

This is the third book in the continuation of Denise Swanson’s Scumble Murder Mysteries. The change happened when the series was picked up by the new publisher. I had gotten behind on the series but was thrilled to jump back in with this new start. I love these characters and do plan to go back with the books I missed. Ms. Swanson has done an excellent job providing background so readers like me with a few books in arrears can pick up books in the continuation without feeling lost. I recommend new readers start with the first book in the continuation, Dead in the Water for maximum enjoyment. You will probably want to go back and read them all.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Dead in the Water here.
You can read my review of Die Me A River here.

About the Author

Denise Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Scumble River Mysteries, the Devereaux’s Dime Store Mysteries, the Change of Heart romances, and the Delicious romances She worked as a school psychologist for twenty-two years before quitting to write full-time. She lives in Illinois with her husband, classical music composer David Stybr.

Check out the publisher’s book page with a list of characters and a Scumble River map here.

 






I am giving away my review copy!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted.
Void where prohibited.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jan 092020
 

Silenced in Sequins (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder

 

About Silenced in Sequins


Silenced in Sequins (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Lyrical Press (January 7, 2020)
Paperback: 201 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108973
ISBN-13: 978-1516108978
Kindle Print Length 256 Pages
ASIN: B07QGPF4KF

Former Manhattan fashion buyer Kelly Quinn is turning her grandmother’s outdated consignment shop into her quaint hometown’s hot spot for upscale style—until her second-hand couture makes the scene of an ice-cold crime . . .

With her bottom line looking a little threadbare, Kelly is going all out to promote the Lucky Cove Resale Boutique. She’s counting on Black Friday to recover her start-up expenses—including a website and an advertising blitz. But the publicity is overkill when two warring divas, and one sparkly evening dress, thrust Kelly and her fledgling business into a scandal she can’t afford.

The gorgeous garment came to Kelly from the walk-in closets of Wendy Johnson, one of reality TV’s Long Island Ladies. When Wendy’s former co-star, Diana Delacourte, graces a Christmas gala in the dress that was once her rival’s, a very public catfight ensues. But is Wendy to blame when sequin-clad Diana turns up dead? Dodging the show’s ever-present cameras—and a detective’s stern warnings—Kelly hunts for a killer before the powerful celebrity-suspect makes good on her threats and rips her to shreds . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Reality television comes to Lucky Cove with the Long Island Ladies, but the location wasn’t very lucky.  Long Island Lady Wendy Johnson consigned some of her gowns to Kelly to sell at her boutique. Kelly was so excited because she knew her commission would really help her bottom line. One sparkly gown sold quickly and to a walk-in, not through her online store. Little did she know that the purchaser was another Long Island Lady, Diana Delacourte. She found out quickly when the women came face to face at a Christmas gala where the claws immediately came out and the women had to be separated.

Later, while Kelly is trying to clean up the mess her sale created she finds Diana dead. Where were those darn cameras when she needed them? Could Wendy have killed Diana over a dress? Warned to stay out of the case Kelly still feels she has to uncover the killer to save her store. Saving the Lucky Cove Resale Boutique won’t do any good though if she ends up dead and Kelly is clearly in the killer’s sights.

____________

The holidays are right around the corner and Kelly Quinn had made some changes to the shop she inherited from her grandmother. Pepper, her employee and her grandmother’s best friend has been warming up to most of the changes but is upset that Kelly has fallen way behind on the holiday decorating.  Her uncle is still hoping the store fails so he can sell the property and line his pockets. Kelly’s friend Liv still helps at the store when she is not working at her family’s bakery. Breena is a marketing student with lots of ideas and has become very important to the business. Pepper, Breena, and Liv keep the shop running while Kelly does her sleuthing.

I really liked the reality show theme. It brings in some volatile characters and even touches Kelly’s family in an interesting way. All the characters are very well written and really drive the story. They are diverse and realistic. The fashion references are fun and I love the way Kelly is making the shop her own.

The mystery was well crafted with a variety of suspects with believable motives. Ms. Sennefelder fills this story with twist after twist, One that could change everything about the life Kelly is trying to build for herself. Like many amateur sleuths, Kelly sometimes leaps into situations without a firm plan making for some tense moments. Her impulsiveness also leads up to a surprising and suspenseful ending. I thought I was following all the clues closely but I was caught pretty much off guard when the murderer was revealed. The person was on my radar but at the bottom of my list.

Silenced in Sequins is an entertaining read with great characters and a fun whodunit. I am excited for book #3.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Murder Wears A Little Black Dress here.

About Debra Sennefelder

Debra Sennefelder, the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series, is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in pre-hospital care, retail and publishing. Her writing companions are her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih-Tzus, Susie and Billy.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Women’s Fiction Writers Association and Romance Writers of America.

Author Links:

Website – Facebook – Goodreads 

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N   Kobo    Google Play
Also by Debra Sennefelder

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 7 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
January 7 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW
January 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 9 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
January 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
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January 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 13 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT 
January 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
January 14 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – My Journey Back – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 16 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
January 17 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
January 18 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
January 19 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
January 19 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
January 20 – Laura’s interests – REVIEW

 

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

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Jan 082020
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to feature Theater Nights Are Murder
for out 1st Cozy Wednesday of the year. 

Theater Nights Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (December 31, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723376
ISBN-13: 978-1496723376
Kindle ASIN: B07Q7WHQ3H

Theater Nights Are Murder – The last thing gluten-free baker Poppy McAllister needs in her life is more drama—or more murder . . .

Poppy thought her toughest challenge this winter would be sticking to her Paleo diet and filling all her orders for her gluten-free goodies, but now she has to choose between two suitors. She’s not the only one with boyfriend drama. Aunt Ginny’s long-ago high-school beau, Royce Hanson, a retired Broadway actor, has returned to Cape May, New Jersey, to star in a Senior Center staging of Mamma Mia. Leaving Aunt Ginny to wonder: What’s his motivation?

Slated to open February 13th, the problem-plagued production seems to be cursed—with stolen props, sabotage, and even a death threat. But when a cast member plunges to his death from a catwalk, it soon becomes clear a murderer is waiting in the wings. Now Poppy, Aunt Ginny, and a supporting cast must take center stage to catch the killer—before it’s curtains for someone else . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Libby Klein has penned another terrific mystery filled with laugh-out-loud humor that makes this book impossible to put down.

“Aunt Ginny was somewhere in her  eighties, but somehow the feisty redhead got into more trouble than a five-year-old on a sugar binge.”

Yes, Poppy has her hands full again this time. The Senior Center is doing its version of Mamma Mia and all of “the biddies” including Aunt Ginny are involved. The director has persuaded Ginny’s high school flame, now a retired Broadway actor, to play a leading role. Why a successful man would lower himself to a local musical is unknown but everyone is excited to take part or see the show.

Opening night has been set for Friday, February 13 and it does seem the production is truly cursed. Props have gone missing, scenery panels have been vandalized and a death threat has been issued. The director tries to keep the play on course but when a cast member dies suspiciously – did he fall or was he pushed from the catwalk? the players get justifiably nervous. With a “the show must go on” attitude Poppy, Ginny and their friends push ahead while at the same time trying to reel in the killer before another murder brings down the house.

I fell hard for Poppy and Ginny reading the first book in this series, Class Reunions Are Murder, and every subsequent book just cements my feelings. Poppy is getting stronger and stronger. She is trying to get the B & B up and running amidst someone fraudulently posting bad reviews, doing some gluten-free baking on the side to bring in some cash, dealing with feelings for two men, (my mind is already made up) all while trying to keep Ginny and “the biddies” out of trouble and trying to do the job she was roped into for the play. The last thing she needed was a dead body! But she takes it all on.

The supporting cast is also stellar. All Aunt Ginny’s friends, Tim and Gia, Amber and even one very pretty Persian named Figaro. They are all very fleshed out and realistic. Their dialogues are true and sometimes pretty funny. The personalities of the new characters introduced in this story evolve as the drama unfolds.  Blanche aka Moira also grew up in Cape May and she has a history with Ginny. I loved the passive way Ginny stuck it to Moira on a daily basis. There are two very quirky/creepy characters too. While not my faves, they sure did add to the story.

The murder mystery was very well plotted and all the subplots flowed well within it. The victim was someone beloved by many and his death was hard to take, His death was misunderstood at first which was a little maddening for everyone involved. As the story unfolds the suspect list expands and the motive gets murky. Several red herrings really twist things up. Having more than one mystery to solve is always fun.  I loved all the secrets uncovered and the big reveals.

The Mamma Mia theme was a delight. The Abba music was playing in my head at every rehearsal. Senior citizens playing the parts was a hoot!!

Ooh, you can dance, you can jive
Having the time of your life
Ooh, see that girl, watch that scene
Digging the dancing queen…

We are also treated to seven of Poppy’s recipes at the end of the book!

Theater Nights are Murder is a Perfect Escape. I have loved this entire series! Be prepared to have your funny bone seriously tickled and enjoy. I sure did!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Midnight Snacks Are Murder here. 

You can read my review of Restaurant Weeks Are Murder here

Libby Klein dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets, and taking out the trash. She writes culinary cozy mysteries from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard.
Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest  – Cozy Mystery Crew  – GoodReads –  BookBub – Instagram –  Amazon 

 

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

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