Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Featuring A Fatal Yarn (A Knit & Nibble Mystery) by Peggy Ehrhart #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to feature A Fatal Yarn by Peggy Ehrhart today!


A Fatal Yarn (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (March 31, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723643
ISBN-13: 978-1496723642
Kindle ASIN: B07R4Q58WM

Pamela Paterson and her Knit and Nibble club must clear the name of one of their knitters when he’s accused of murdering the mayor . . .

 

The trees in Arborville, New Jersey, have started sporting sweaters. Part of the trend of public knitting art? Not exactly. An anonymous activist has been wrapping trunks in yarn to cover red X’s that mark certain trees for removal by the town so they don’t interfere with power lines. When the town’s mayor—who supports cutting down the trees—is murdered, Pamela wonders if the tree hugger committed homicide to prevent arborcide. A knitter is arrested, but it’s one of Knit and Nibble’s own—the harmless Rolland DeCamp, who was seen arguing with the mayor. Pamela is sure the police are barking up the wrong tree. With the help of her reporter friend Bettina, she branches off on her own investigation to root out the real killer . . .

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The Knit and Nibblers are back and trying to figure out who is wrapping tree trunks in knit scarves to cover up the red x’s designated the trees to be destroyed to protect the power lines above. The town’s mayor supports the project and when he is murdered Pamela wonders if the tree hugger is responsible. But the police arrest fellow knitter Rolland DeCamp because he was witnessed arguing with the mayor. Pamela and Bettina cast on a wider net of suspects and do their best to knit together the clues to purl the right culprit behind bars.


We follow Pamela through her daily life as she works from home as an editor for “Fiber Craft Magazine,” and does a little sleuthing on the side with friend, neighbor, and yarn and nibbler Bettina.  Bettina is very pushy trying to get Pamela to date another neighbor but Pamela keeps putting her off. She is just not interested. I am surprised it hasn’t caused more strain in their friendship. It seems that issue has wrapped in this installment and that makes me very happy.

I do enjoy Ms. Ehrhart’s descriptive writing style. She tells the story in a way that brings the reader right into each scene, from her home office with her working on such interesting sounding articles, to the items being knit and the food being eaten. I love the camaraderie between the characters and the way they support each other. The conversations are realistic and you can tell they truly care about each other.

The mystery is on the light side and I did figure it out early in the story but all the drama and daily life kept me entertained right up to the final word. These are characters I love visiting and am looking forward to the next book.

A Fatal Yarn is a great addition to this series. Fix yourself something to nibble on and enjoy.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can read my review of Murder, She Knit here, Died in the Wool here, Knit One Die Two here, and Silent Knit, Deadly Knit here.

PEGGY

About the Author

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a doctorate in Medieval Literature, and her publications include a prize-winning book dealing with classical mythology in the Middle Ages. Her Maxx Maxwell mysteries, Sweet Man Is Gone (2008) and Got No Friend Anyhow (2011), feature a blues-singer sleuth.
Peggy is currently writing the Knit and Nibble mystery series for Kensington Books. Set in the charming (fictional) town of Arborville, New Jersey, it features amateur sleuth Pamela Paterson, founder and mainstay of the town’s knitting club. Peggy is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She plays guitar with the Still Standing Band. (From Amazon)

Find out more about Peggy on her website here.


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a U.S. 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.
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Contest Will End April 15, 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Who’s Dead, Doc? (A Jules & Bun Mystery) by J.M. Griffin #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Who's Dead, Doc?
Who’s Dead, Doc? (A Jules & Bun Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New Hampshire
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 149672058X
ISBN-13: 978-1496720580
Kindle ASIN: B07TT4FFZ1

Things get pretty hare-y when rabbit rescue and rehab expert Jules Bridge and her brilliant bunny go undercover to catch a murderer hiding in plain sight . . .

 

When Juliette “Jules” Bridge began caring for rabbits on her beloved Fur Bridge Farm in rural New Hampshire, she never imagined she’d be solving murders with one of them. Not only can her black-and-white rabbit, Bun, communicate with her telepathically, he happens to be a pretty sharp sleuth. Bun comes along as part of a petting pen for a birthday celebration—but for one of the guests, the fun is soon over. Evelyn Montgomery is found lying in the bushes with a knife in her chest, and the distraught hostess begs Jules to help . . .

 

To her surprise, so does Sheriff Jack Carver—who usually discourages Jules from getting involved in criminal investigations. But now she’s drafted at the last minute to fill in for Evelyn as a judge at a rabbit show, and Jack wants her to go undercover. Yet as she and Bun expose the dark—albeit fluffy—underbelly of the world of rabbit competition, a killer is ready to act as judge, jury, and executioner . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Juliette “Jules” Bridge and her very special rabbit, Bun, are back and are hopping right into another murder case.

Jules brings her bunnies to a child’s birthday party but before the cake is even served one of the adult guests is found dead in the bushes.  Evelyn Montgomery was well known in the rabbit world and Jules had met her when she inquired about having one of her rabbits, Petra, participating in an upcoming contest. With Evelyn out of the picture, Jules has been asked to take her place as a judge for the event. Sheriff Jack Carver is thrilled to have her on the scene with most of his suspects and actually asks her to keep her eyes and ears open and report back to him. Little does he know it will be Bun going undercover in places Jules can’t. His special talents put him in unique places where he uncovers some vital clues.


When I started Left Fur Dead a rabbit sidekick took a little getting used to but starting Who’s Dead, Doc? it seemed absolutely normal. Bun communicates with Jules telepathically but can do so much more. He is also one smart bunny, with clever ideas. Bun does find himself in a perilous situation the hikes up the suspense nicely. His rescuer Jules clearly loves all her rabbits and takes such good care of them but Bun is her special pet. Fur Bridge Farm is quite a place with a vet on-site and a wonderful yarn shop. Veterinarian Jess and Jules have become great friends. In fact, there share some delicious sounding meals quite often. Jules also has a couple of young helpers with fantastic ideas. The characters have all grown since the first book and continue to evolve. The dialogue is realistic, but the interactions between Jules and Bun are priceless.

Who’s Dead, Doc? takes us into the world of Rabbit Shows. I didn’t even know these were a thing but shouldn’t really have been so surprised. The victim crossed paths with many in the rabbit world that really weren’t melancholy about her being dead.  The plot twisted around revealing several suspects. There were also some “hare-raising” moments that turned things in a new direction. I loved that the sheriff and Jules worked together for the most part. His wife seemed to influence him to see Jules in a new light and that was refreshing.

Ms. Griffin has written a very entertaining story with charming characters. Who Dead, Doc? is a fine addition to this series and I am looking forward to my next visit with Jules and Bun.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent 

About the Author

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

Author Links – Website – Facebook – Blog


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.

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

Contest Will End April 14, 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Revenge Is Sweet (Vintage Sweets Mysteries) by Kaye George #Review / #Giveaway @lyricalpress

Welcome to Cozy Mystery!

I am happy to feature Revenge Is Sweet by Kaye George today! 

revenge is sweet
Revenge Is Sweet (Vintage Sweets Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Texas
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (March 10, 2020)
Paperback: 193 pages
ISBN-10: 1516105435
ISBN-13: 978-1516105434
Kindle ASIN: B07TS1KJ4T

In the picturesque tourist town of Fredericksburg, Texas, Tally Holt has opened a new candy store with a vintage twist . . .but there’s no sugar-coating a nasty case of murder . . .

 

Tally Holt has poured her heart, soul, and bank account into Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets, specializing in her grandmother’s delicious recipes. Tally’s homemade Mallomars, Twinkies, fudges, and taffy are a hit with visiting tourists—and with Yolanda Bella, the flamboyant owner of Bella’s Baskets next door. But both shops encounter a sour surprise when local handyman Gene Faust is found dead in Tally’s kitchen, stabbed with Yolanda’s scissors.

 

The mayor’s adopted son, Gene was a handsome Casanova with a bad habit of borrowing money from the women he wooed. It’s a sticky situation for Yolanda, who was one of his marks. There are plenty of other likely culprits among Fredericksburg’s female population, and even among Gene’s family. But unless Tally can figure out who finally had their fill of Gene’s sweet-talking ways, Yolanda—and both their fledgling businesses—may be destined for a bitter end . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Newly opened Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets in Fredericksburg, Texas is a popular place. The vintage shop uses Tally’s grandmother’s recipes to make treats from the past like Mallomars, Clark Bars, and Twinkies along with taffy and fudges. Her friend Yolanda Bella owns Bella’s Baskets right next door. They are in and out of each other’s shops several times each day. Tally has two part-time workers Mart and Andrea who tend to customers while Tally creates her delicious goodies. When the women need and handyman, Gene Faust is the man they call. Gene is the adopted son of the mayor. He is a real ladies’ man who has a penchant for borrowing money his girlfriends, usually right before he dumps them.

Tally left Gene repairing her refrigeration unit in the kitchen while she served customers at the front of the store. When she closed up and went into the kitchen she found Gene dead on the floor from an apparent stabbing. She’s confused because several people went through the kitchen before she did. There is no way they missed his body. Could one of them be the killer or did the murderer come and go through the back door without her knowing? Yolanda, Andrea, and Mart all seemed to have their issues with Gene, but she can’t believe they would kill him. How many other women has Gene hurt? Or could it be someone else he pushed too far?


The cover of this book grabbed me as soon as I saw it. I love the vintage candy store theme. It is always so much fun to visit one. The author has a nice descriptive writing style so it was very easy to visualize everything, especially Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets Shop and all the yummy treats.

Ms. George introduces a vast cast of characters. It was easy to keep everyone straight but we don’t get to know them well enough to truly get invested in them. Gene had quite a checkered past and by the end, it was pretty fleshed out but the rest of the characters are still one-dimensional for me.  Since this is a series, I know we will learn more in future stories but wished they were more developed in this story. One character I did fall hard for is a big Maine Coon cat named Nigel. I do have a soft spot for those big kitties.

The mystery was well-plotted with plenty of suspects. I did hone in on the culprit early but the motive wasn’t clear until the end. I did enjoy that the story swapped points-of-view between Yolanda and Tally. Sometimes it was confusing because it switches mid-chapter, but I think my problem may be attributed to the digital advanced copy I was reading. I am hoping in the finished book there was better spacing without the paragraphs running together.

I was excited that the Twinkie recipe was included at the end of the story.

Ms. George has laid a nice foundation for her series in Revenge Is Sweet. I am looking to Deadly Sweet Tooth, which will be released on June 2, 2020.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Kaye George is a novelist, and a short story writer whose story, HANDBASKETS, DRAWERS, AND A KILLER COLD, was nominated for a 2010 Agatha Best Short Story award. It can be found in the collection, A PATCHWORK OF STORIES, available on Amazon and Smashwords as an ebook, and Amazon and Createspace in trade paperback.  She is agented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency LLC.

The first mystery novel in the Imogene Duckworthy series, CHOKE, received a nomination for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2011. It was followed by SMOKE and BROKE. EINE KLEINE MURDER, the first in the Cressa Carraway Musical Mysteries was published by Barking Rain Press in the spring of 2013. It was a Silver Falchion Finalist and was followed by REQUIEM IN RED. DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE, the first in the People of the Wind Neanderthal Mysteries, is published by Untreed Reads. It received an Agatha nomination for Best Historical. The sequel is DEATH ON THE TREK. The Fat Cat cozy series, set in Minneapolis and featuring a pudgy but adorable cat named Quincy, achieved Barnes & Noble’s best-seller status with all three books. Her new Vintage Sweets cozy series is set in Fredericksburg, TX.

She reviews for “Suspense Magazine” and writes a column for “Mysterical-E Magazine.” Other articles occasionally appear in newsletters and online. Her short stories appear in several anthologies and around and about. She is a member of Sisters in Crime (including the Guppies Chapter and the Smoking Guns chapter), Short Mystery Fiction Society, Authors Guild of Tennessee, and Knoxville Writers Group.

She lives in Knoxville, TN.

Visit her webpage, KayeGeorge.com for more information. Or catch her at TravelsWithKaye.blogspot.com, her solo blog. She also joins other writers at http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com/ and https://writerswhokill.blogspot.com/.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Revenge Is Sweet!
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 Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 8, 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Easter Hair Hunt (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries) by Nancy J. Cohen – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @nancyjcohen

Easter Hair Hunt (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
by Nancy J. Cohen

About Easter Hair Hunt


Easter Hair Hunt (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Orange Grove Press (March 10, 2020)
Print Length: 233 pages
Digital ASIN: B083TZ78G1

Hare today, dead tomorrow… Can a stylish sleuth pull a rabbit out of her hat to solve an Easter murder in this to-dye-for cozy mystery?

 

When hairstylist Marla Vail attends an Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor, she’s only there to fix hair for a client, Bonnie “Blinky” Morris. But when she’s asked to comb the grounds for leftover goodies, Marla discovers more than just a few dyed eggs. The dead body in the bunny costume is definitely not having a good hare day. And Blinky seems to have disappeared down a rabbit hole.

 

When trying to solve a murder, everyone needs a friend who’s all ears. For Marla, that’s her husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail. They make an eggcellent team. Dalton isn’t the kind to leap to conclusions, but with his wife seven months pregnant, and knowing Marla finds crime-solving to be irresistible, he worries about her running off on another hare-raising adventure.

 

Marla’s peeps are hoping for a happy ending, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can she crack the case before Blinky becomes the next victim?

 

Recipes Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Who stabbed the Easter Bunny?? That is exactly what hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Vail intends to find out.

Marla was at an Easter event at Tremayne Manor to fix Bonnie “Blinky” Morris’ hair but while helping clear the grounds of any eggs missed by the searching children she finds a dead bunny, a human in a bunny suit. Seven months pregnant the last thing she needs is another murder investigation but hubby and homicide detective, Dalton Vail knows they make a great team because people open up to Marla. He just hopes all those baby kicks she is receiving help her to make careful choices. The case gets pretty egg-citing and she best “bee” careful or she may find herself just a “hare” out of the killer’s sights.

Oh, and while everyone is focused on the dead bunny, Blinky Morris has disappeared. Her car is still in the lot, but she is nowhere to be found, She can’t be the killer or can she???


I love the way these characters have grown over the course of this series. Marla is not letting this pregnancy hold her back from anything she wants to do. She is keeping normal hours at her salon and now she is delving into another murder. Baby things, like the nursery, name and numerous other things were getting put off until her family starts laying on the pressure. She is already a great mom to her stepdaughter Brianna, but a new baby is really going to change her life. Dalton is pretty laid back about the whole thing but their religious differences may add a little bit of drama. They are also going to be dealing with Brianna heading to college soon.

The setting for this story was unique. Tremayne Manor is an old family home filled with prized possessions including Faberge eggs, valuable stamps, Russian Matryoshka dolls, and many other historical artifacts. The estate has been opened for public tours and now has a gift shop, a cafe, and beehives. The author incorporates all these features and more into this story so well. All the little tidbits I learned were very interesting.

In Easter Hair Hunt, Ms. Cohen has written a complex mystery, hunting down this killer is far from easy. The motive is unclear but Marla has many theories. She doesn’t believe Blinky could commit murder so she is also on the hunt for her friend. There are plenty of twists and turns before any of the clues start to fall into place. I had an inkling about a major aspect of the mystery but was still surprised by the final reveal.

I have truly enjoyed the books in this series. The characters are well-developed and the dialogue is snappy. There is the perfect balance between family life and mystery along with a good dose of humor along the way. There is a big event coming soon for Marla and Dalton. I am excited to see how the author handles this in future books.

This book reads well on its own but to fully enjoy these characters you should start the series from the beginning.

Easter Hair Hunt is a fun holiday cozy. Hop on over and get your copy today.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Nancy J. Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have been named Best Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine, won a Readers’ Favorite gold medal and a RONE Award, earned first place in the Chanticleer International Book Awards and third place in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy’s instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery, was nominated for an Agatha Award, earned first place in the Royal Palm Literary Awards and the TopShelf Magazine Book Awards, and won a gold medal in the President’s Book Awards. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is a past president of  Florida Romance Writers and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter. She is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys cooking, fine dining, cruising, and visiting Disney World.

Author Links:

Website Blog Twitter Facebook Goodreads Pinterest LinkedIn Instagram BookBub

Purchase Links – Amazon Kindle –  Amazon Print –  B&N –  KoboApple – Books2Read IndieBoundGoodreads BookBubWebsite



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Great Escapes Praise for Easter Hair Hunt (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
by Nancy J. Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen is on my “auto-buy” list. Her writing is crisp, fresh and captivating. This is one of my favorite series and I do hope it continues for a long time to come.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

This cozy mystery beautifully blends together important key elements – rich characterization, vivid setting, historical tidbits, and a mystery that keeps you guessing.
~The Power of Words

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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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Tina Kashian – Author of On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery) #GuestPost / #Recipe / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks @TinaKashian1


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to have Tina Kashian visit today!

Hi Tina!

Hi Lori!

Thank you for featuring me as a guest on the Escape with Dollycas Blog to celebrate the release of “On the Lamb”!

I love to cook all types of cuisine. I grew up in a family-owned restaurant in New Jersey, and my Kebab Kitchen Mystery Series is set in a Mediterranean restaurant at the Jersey shore.

In On the Lamb, Lucy Berberian is a recovering lawyer who returns to Ocean Crest, NJ and her family’s restaurant, Kebab Kitchen. When Lucy is invited to a beach bonfire with friends, she’s excited for a night out. But when a disliked, local landlord shows up on the beach and gets in a screaming match with one of Lucy’s friends, Melanie Haven, owner of Haven Candies on the boardwalk, a fun evening turns stressful. And when the same landlord is found dead on the beach after choking on a piece of saltwater taffy, Melanie is in a sticky mess of trouble. It’s up to Lucy to solve the case before her friend gets skewered for a crime she didn’t commit.

Winter is the perfect time to experiment with soups. One of my favorite soup recipes is lentil soup with swiss chard. As a parent, it can be difficult to get my kids to eat certain vegetables, like swiss chard. Surprisingly, if it’s incorporated into soup, they eat it and even like it. I’m sharing a recipe we served at my family’s restaurant.

 

on the lamb Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup by Tina Kashian

This Mediterranean soup is super healthy and full of fiber. The swiss chard adds flavor without overpowering the dish.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Ingredients:

½ lb dry Lentils

2 tbsp olive Oil

1 tbsp butter

1 small onion finely chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 carrot chopped

1stalk celery chopped

3 cups swiss chard, washed, stemmed and chopped.

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

1 tsp salt or to taste

1 tbsp lemon or to taste

Put dry lentils in a bowl and check for small stones that can naturally occur.

In a soup pot, heat oil, and butter. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Stir and sauté over medium heat for 15 minutes or until onions are transparent. Add chicken broth, water, and lentils. Simmer for ½ hour. Add swiss chard, salt, and lemon. Simmer for another fifteen minutes or until lentils and swiss chard are tender. Add hot water if you prefer a thinner soup.

Thank you again and enjoy the soup!

~Tina

Thank you, Tina, for dropping by. 

Keep reading for my thoughts on Tina’s new book, On The Lamb. 

 

About On The Lamb


On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496726057
ISBN-13: 978-1496726056
Kindle ASIN: B07R8WVPMX

Lucy Berberian is busy preparing her family’s Mediterranean restaurant for Easter on the Jersey Shore—but a batch of sweets is to die for . . .

 

Bikers are thundering into the seaside town of Ocean Crest for the annual Bikers on the Beach gathering that raises funds for injured veterans. It’s a big boost for the Kebab Kitchen, as well as for local businesses like Melanie Haven’s candy shop. But Melanie is about to find herself in a sticky situation.

 

When Melanie and Lucy attend a beach bonfire, a local landlord is found dead after apparently choking on a piece of salt water taffy. Melanie, who was known to have a contentious relationship with the victim, is quickly skewered as the prime suspect. But Lucy is determined to prove her friend’s innocence before the real killer coasts free . . .

 

Recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s almost Easter in Ocean Crest and Lucy is excited about getting her family together. She is also busy with the family restaurant and business has picked up for most of the businesses in town with the annual Bikers on the Beach event that raising money for injured vets. Part of the event is a huge bonfire on the beach. Lucy was invited by her friend Michael who is the manager of the bike shop next to her family’s restaurant. She takes along her BFF Katie and their friend Melanie.  Gilbert Lubinski, local landlord of many apartments and businesses tries to ruin the party when he barges in to remind Melanie that her rent is due and to remember it has been increased.

A short time later someone screams. People rush to the sound and find Melanie standing over Gilbert’s dead body. With the earlier public altercation, a piece of taffy found in the victim’s throat, and the one finding the body, Melanie finds herself at the top of the suspect list. Lucy knows her friend is innocent and she is going to prove it.


This is such an entertaining series!

Lucy’s parents have decided to take a step back from the family business, The Kebab Kitchen,  and leave the day to day management in her hands. Her mom still pops in to keep up with Lucy’s cooking lessons and to approve the head chef Azad Zakarian menus. Her dad likes to keep his hand in with the inventory and other office tasks. Lucy knows change is hard for them but she has had a few minor victories so she is fine with them taking their time. She also takes a big step within these pages that coincides nicely with the murder investigation she and Katie have got themselves wrapped up in.  Ms. Kashian has created such genuine characters. I am always excited to see what they are all up to.

Kashian has also introduced some great new characters this time which include Eloisa Lubinski and her Shih Tzu, Cupid. Eloisa stole my heart immediately. I wish I had half her spunk and energy. Her nephew Gilbert is our victim and with his death, all his secrets were revealed leading to many more suspects. including a couple of bikers, his business partner, and his almost ex-wife. A few more come out of the woodwork when Lucy uncovers his little side business. All these characters evolve as the story continues some in very meaningful ways.

Talk about red herrings, this story is full of them. I loved it even though I fell for most of them and was caught totally by surprise at the reveal.  I really enjoy the way Lucy and Katie sleuth together. When one drops the ball the other can pick it up and weave a tale like a pro. They also don’t give up. The author sets a brisk pace and gives us plenty of drama and action. There are also some truly funny moments too.

So much of the story takes place on the boardwalk. Lucy’s daily runs helped her sort through the clues and she also gets a little advice when she stops to visit psychic Madame Vega and learns something when she finds herself at the tattoo parlor. All this goes on with a loudspeaker blaring ” Watch the tramcar please!” as the tramcar goes up and down the boardwalk. Ms. Kashian really sets the scene wonderfully, not only on the boardwalk but at the Kebab Kitchen, the beach, Melanie’s candy shop, and all around Ocean Crest.

On The Lamb has everything I look for in a cozy mystery, engaging and entertaining characters, a mystery I can sink my teeth into, and just a little romance and humor to balance everything out.

Speaking of sinking my teeth into, there are several recipes in the back of the book. I have never eaten Armenian, Lebanese, or Greek food with the exception of a gyro back in my college days. The descriptions of the food in this series do make my mouth water. This small-town girl may have to step out of her comfort zone and give these recipes a try.

I am already looking forward to my next visit to the Jersey Shore because they are always some really great things happening there along with a little bit of murder.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Hummus and Homicide here
and Stabbed in the Baklava here and One Feta In The Grave here

 

About Tina Kashian

Tina Kashian is a bestselling author, an attorney, and a mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and the first book in her Kebab Kitchen Mediterranean mystery series, Hummus and Homicide, spent six weeks on the B&N bestseller list. Please visit her website at www.tinakashian.com to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!

Author Links  Website   Facebook  Twitter  Instagram   Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble –  Kobo –   Google BooksiBooks

Praise for On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

An intricate mystery, an abundance of motives, a large dollop of intriguing characters, and a pinch of romance blended with a hint of salt from the Jersey Shore blend together to make ON THE LAMB a fun heartwarming story.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Ms. Kashin did a fantastic job of stumping me that I just had to give this book five stars. I loved every minute of reading this book.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

On the Lamb is a charming cozy mystery that will have you wanting to visit the Jersey shore.
~The Avid Reader

A family-centric crime series with lots of delicious food and plenty of twists, turns, and red herrings.
~Laura’s Interests

Another great cozy with likable relatable to me characters but what I enjoyed most was the closeness of family and also that the “who did it” wasn’t so easily recognized because almost everybody was a suspect!
~Gimme the Scoop Reviews

Well plotted with many twists and turns, this strong, superbly written mystery gave me the run around as I tried in vain to help protagonist, Lucy Berberian, solve the case and clear her friend.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

The author combined the perfect amount of mystery, humor, and romance to create a great addition to the series. As always, I love the author’s personal touches, such as her family recipes and the fact that she took some of her favorite memories and included them in the book.
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

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On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please Visit All the Stops. 
February 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
February 25 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
February 26 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
February 26 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
February 26 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 27 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 27 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 28 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
February 28 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
February 29 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
February 29 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 1 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
March 1 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
March 2 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
March 2 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 3 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 3 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
March 4 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
March 6 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
March 7 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 7 – 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – featuring – Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery) by Maria DiRico #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to share my thoughts with you today about
Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico!

Note there are several recipes in this book and
you can find a few of them being shared on other tour stops! 

Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

About Here Comes the Body


Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 page
ISBN-10: 1496725344
ISBN-13: 978-1496725349
Digital ASIN: B07R8WYLSC

After her philandering husband’s boat went down, newly single Mia Carina went back to Astoria, the bustling Queens neighborhood of her youth. Living with her Nonna and her oversized cat, Doorstop, she’s got a whole new life—including some amateur sleuthing . . .

 

Mia is starting work at Belle View, her father’s catering hall, a popular spot for weddings, office parties, and more—despite the planes that occasionally roar overhead on their way to LaGuardia and rattle the crystal chandelier. Soon she’s planning a bachelor party for a less-than-gentlemanly groom. But it goes awry when the gigantic cake is wheeled in and a deadly surprise is revealed . . .

 

Since some of her family’s associates are on the shady side, the NYPD wastes no time in casting suspicion on Mia’s father. Now, Mia’s going to have to use all her street smarts to keep him out of Rikers Island . . .

Italian recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Readers are introduced to Mia Carina and her family. She has come home to Queens after her being cleared in her husband’s suspicious death with her cat lovingly named Doorstop. They have moved into her Nonna’s upper apartment. She will be working with her father, former mob enforcer, Ravello Carina, at a business he recently acquired. Belle View is a hot spot for weddings, bachelor parties, and family reunions. Even local support groups meet there.

Mia’s first event is a bachelor party complete with a stripper popping out of a cake. But the woman inside the cake does not “pop” as planned, in fact, the woman inside the cake is not the woman hired for the party but someone who accused Ravello of not paying his debt to her the day before and she won’t be “popping” anywhere. Someone left her dead body along with a check for a million dollars signed by Ravello inside the cake.

The police think the case is a slam-dunk but Mia is determined to prove her dad’s innocence. When a second body is found behind Belle View Mia knows she has to pull out all the stops to keep her dad safe and the business running, even if she needs to reach out to her extended “family”.

______

The underlying theme of this series is the mob and its connections to Mia’s family. I thought this may be too heavy of a topic for a cozy mystery but Maria DiRico makes it work with a light tone and a lot of humor, although some of the innuendo does tip over the line just a bit.

The author brings us an Italian family with connections. Mia, glad to be home but not totally sure if her New York family took care of her creep of a husband, Adam Grosso, or not. She was cleared to leave Florida and she did. Working for her father isn’t going to be easy, not because of the mob, but because of the over the top clients and their loony requests. Mia showed more patience than I ever could. She comes up with some great ideas too.

Moving in with her grandmother Elisabetta feels right even though most of her furniture looks like it came from a bordello. Her dad has spent enough time behind bars and promises the Belle View is a legit business. Mia’s brother Posi, is still behind bars but is able to give her some advice as she investigates. She reconnects with her old friend Jamie and old feelings start to immerge until she learns he has a girlfriend. Jaime’s dad is high up in the “organization” though and she just may need his help.

Being the first book in a new series, we get to know the main characters pretty well, but there is a lot of room for growth. My favorite being Nonna Elisabetta. A true Italian believing food can solve any problem. She makes sure Mia is always well fed. She had me grinning ear to ear.

I was captivated by Mia and Jamie’s relationship and am looking forward to how it develops. Will, there be a real romance or will they commit to the “friend zone”? Jamie does remind me a little bit of my son, same name, different spelling 😉

Mia is a smart sleuth. It was fun to tag along with her as she dealt with twist after twist. Sometimes the debut book in a series has a less complex mystery to solve while taking time to fully introduce the cast of characters. That is not the case here at all. The mystery was complex. Every time I thought I had everything all figured out there was a twist that proved me wrong.

The subplots were blended wonderfully into the story. I really appreciated Mia’s huge heart as she dealt with a real estate predator. Nonna’s neighborhood sounded delightful and close-knit and the realtor was really ticking off both me and Mia. Some of Mia’s comebacks were just priceless.  The author descriptions of the area painted clear pictures of the homes, right down to the sculptures in the yards and their holiday decorations.

Here Comes the Body has this series off to a fine start. The characters are memorable and feel very true to life. The mystery was well-plotted and interesting with a large dose of humor. There are also some yummy sounding Italian recipes at the back of the book. It truly was an enjoyable getaway!


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico

 

Maria DiRico was born in Queens, New York, and raised in Queens and Westchester County. She is a first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side. On her father’s side, her grandfather was a low-level Jewish mobster who disappeared in 1933 under mysterious circumstances. She also writes the award-winning, bestselling Cajun Country Mystery series under the name Ellen Byron.

Author Links – WebsiteFacebook Twitter

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 24 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT
February 24 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 24 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 25 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST  
February 25 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
February 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 26 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 27 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
February 27 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 27 – Jane Reads– GUEST POST
February 28 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 28 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
February 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 29 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW  
March 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
March 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
March 2 – That’s What She’s Reading – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
March 2 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW, EXCERPT
March 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, RECIPE
March 3 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 4 – 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyPub #NetGalley

The Antidote for Everything
The Antidote for Everything
Women’s Fiction/Friendship/Medical
Publisher: Berkley (February 18, 2020)
Hardcover: 384 pages
Setting – South Carolina / Amsterdam
ISBN-10: 1984802836
ISBN-13: 978-1984802835
Kindle ASIN: B07RYHMRTZ

In this whip-smart and timely novel from acclaimed author Kimmery Martin, two doctors travel a surprising path when they must choose between treating their patients and keeping their jobs.

 

Georgia Brown’s profession as a urologist requires her to interact with plenty of naked men, but her romantic prospects have fizzled. The most important person in her life is her friend Jonah Tsukada, a funny, empathetic family medicine doctor who works at the same hospital in Charleston, South Carolina and who has become as close as family to her.

 

Just after Georgia leaves the country for a medical conference, Jonah shares startling news. The hospital is instructing doctors to stop providing medical care for transgender patients. Jonah, a gay man, is the first to be fired when he refuses to abandon his patients. Stunned by the predicament of her closest friend, Georgia’s natural instinct is to fight alongside him. But when her attempts to address the situation result in incalculable harm, both Georgia and Jonah find themselves facing the loss of much more than their careers.

Dollycas’s Interests

In The Antidote for Everything, we meet Georgia Brown, yes like the song. She is unique in her profession as a urologist which means she sees a lot of naked men and takes care of some of their very important parts. Jonah Tsukada is her best friend, a family medicine doctor and a gay man that provides care for transgender and others of the LBGTQ community. Some of his patients are Georgia’s patients as well. Jonah was disowned by his family when he came out. Georgia was raised by her father, her mother left them behind when she was just 5 years old. Her father has since passed away. Georgia and Jonah are now each other’s family.

Georgia and Jonah work at a hospital founded by a fundamentalist megachurch. That hospital has now decided to stop their doctors from providing care for their LBGTQ patients and Jonah fears he will soon be fired. All this unfolds just as Georgia is set to leave for a conference in Amsterdam.

Mid-flight there is a page for a doctor to help a passenger in distress. She reaches back to her med school training to diagnose and treat the man. Mark McInnis, an American working in Amsterdam is very grateful and offers to buy her a drink when the plane lands. She is immediately attracted to Mark and the feelings are mutual. Her time is then spent between her conference, time with Mark, and worrying about what is happening with Jonah back in the States.  Rumors are flying and there is even talk of missing drugs. Georgia is pulled between her new romance and helping her best friend.

_____

Ms. Martin has taken on a hot topic in the world today. That line between religious beliefs and a doctor’s oath to do no harm. Working at a hospital founded by a megachurch I don’t think the doctors should have been surprised by the decisions made but the author uses the actions as a vehicle to tell a great story of the lengths people will go to for their friends.

The characters Martin has created are genuine and the dialogue is snappy and true to life. Sometimes it is pretty funny too. Georgia is a strong, fiery redhead who doesn’t back down from a challenge. Mark really came to life within these pages. He understood Georgia and Jonah’s relationship and wanted to help. Jonah becomes a fan of Mark’s too.

Martin pursues a very creative plotline that I completely escaped right into. The pacing is perfect with twists that bring out a true mystery element as Gloria stands by her friend through thick and thin. The romance subplot becomes much more as the story moves forward. There were several emotional moments throughout the story. The way patients were treated first made me sad but then quickly made me angry, I felt the same for the way Jonah was treated. Again sadness and anger raised is head as more of what was actually going on was revealed.

A bonus to the book is that we traveled to Amsterdam and there was a hugely hilarious scene that truly had me laughing out loud. We also were able to do a little virtual sightseeing which is always fun.

Kimmery Martin brings all these elements together to give readers a very powerful story. Well-written and plotted the story left me thinking about how important our voices are in this world and the lengths can go to for our friends. The actions the hospital took are happening more than we know and Martin presents the issues in an entertaining way without going too far or in a preachy way. I will get a little preachy myself. Equality is something we should all want and discrimination is not okay.

The Antidote for Everything is a compelling read and I recommend it highly. I reviewed Martin’s debut novel, The Queen of Hearts in 2018 and the last line of my review was “I am excited by this author and can’t wait to see what she writes next.” Well her second novel is even better. She even has characters from that book make a cameo appearance in this one. Again, I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of The Queen of Hearts here

The Antidote for Everything Kimmery MartinAbout the Author
Kimmery Martin is an emergency medicine doctor, born and raised in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. A lifelong literary nerd, she reviews books, interviews authors, and works extensively with the library foundation in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she resides with her husband and three young children.

 

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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 March 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Plum Tea Crazy (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery


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.
plum tea crazy
Plum Tea Crazy (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Publisher: Berkley (March 6, 2018)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 9780451489609
ISBN-13: 978-0451489609
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489616
ISBN-13: 978-0451489616
Kindle ASIN: B071K4DPRH

Theodosia Browning investigates a Charleston steeped in tradition and treachery in Plum Tea Crazy from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

 

While viewing the harbor’s Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion, local banker Carson Lanier seemingly tumbles over a narrow railing, then plunges three stories to his death. But a tragic accident becomes something much more sinister when it’s discovered that the victim was first shot with a bolt from a crossbow.

 

At the request of the mansion owner, Theodosia investigates the tragedy and is soon neck deep in suspects. An almost ex-wife, a coworker, a real estate partner–all had motives for killing the luckless banker, but one resorted to murder to settle accounts.

 

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Theodosia “Theo” Browning is enjoying the Gaslights and Galleons Parade with her friend/employee/tea sommelier Drayton Connelly. They are getting a bird’s eye view up on the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion. There is a ruckus when local banker Carson Lanier falls over the railing finally dying when his body is impaled on the top of a fence below. All the watchers hurry to the grounds and due to some keen observation, Theo sees the fall wasn’t an accident, it was caused by the man being shot by a bolt from a crossbow.

Knowing Theo’s reputation, Timothy Neville asks that she investigate the death. Many suspects quickly come to light. With the assistance of Drayton, they try to winnow down that list and identify who killed Lanier. They also have a lot of tea to serve in the coming days but Theo juggles everything like a pro.

_____

I had gotten behind on this series and with the new one set to be released March 3, I knew it was time to get caught up with the two on my shelf.

The Indigo Tea Shop is one of those great cozy places. This time along with the daily business, the place has many events coming up – a black-tie affair, a fashion show, a Japanese art gallery opening, and a Plum Blossom Tea. I really love all the teas Drayton creates and all the delicious treats  Haley bakes up. (Some of the recipes are included at the end of the book.) Even with all this going on Theo has murder in her own crosshairs. When Detective Tidwell shockingly asks for help she is thrilled and jumps right in. Her boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley is far from thrilled.

Ms. Childs creates diverse and memorable characters. Theo, Drayton, and Haley are engaging and fun. The dialogues are crisp and sometimes pretty funny. I really enjoy the banter between them. The supporting cast is top-notch too. They all are realistic and believable.  The suspects have layers that are peeled away throughout the story. Every character is thoughtfully developed.

The murder occurs early in the story and the drama continues at a constant pace making this book almost impossible to put down. I read into the early morning, playing that “just one more chapter” game until my eyes were slamming shut. Thankfully the next day was Saturday so after a few chores, I could get back to it. It was very entertaining to follow along with Theo and all involved in the sleuthing. There were some scary moments but Theo was on a mission . . . and so was I. I was just a few steps ahead of her . . . and Yes! I was right.

Laura Childs is a phenomenal storyteller. Plum Tea Crazy was well-plotted and written. Ms. Childs brings Charleston to life with spot-on descriptions. Her characters practically leap off the page. She also gives plenty of background for new readers, so don’t be afraid to jump into this series.  I will be reading and reviewing Broken Bone China soon. It is yelling at me from my To-Be-Read shelf. Then I will be ready when Lavender Blue Murder debuts.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:   Website – Facebook 

 

Thanks to the people at Berkley I have 1 copy of Plum Tea Crazy 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.

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

Contest Will End February 27, 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

Laura Childs will be touring with Great Escapes Book Tours in March!

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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Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bitter Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Returns) by Mary Daheim – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @readalibi

Bitter Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery
(Emma Lord Returns)
by Mary Daheim

About Bitter Alpine 


Bitter Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Returns)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington
Publisher: Alibi (February 4, 2020)
~Print Length: 235 pages
ASIN: B01LZU2W7N

New year, new murder . . . Emma Lord is on the case when death finds its way back to the wintry mountain town of Alpine.

After a relatively calm and cozy holiday season, neither Emma Lord, editor and publisher of The Alpine Advocate, nor her husband, Sheriff Milo Dodge, are surprised when their new year gets off to a rocky start. A woman’s body has been found in a squalid motel. Her driver’s license shows that Dawn Purvis was in her late thirties and lived in Weaverville, California—and the only connection between that town and Alpine is their gold-mining and logging origins. When they discover that Dawn’s room reservation was open-ended, Emma, Milo, and the ever-inquisitive Advocate receptionist, Alison Lindahl, are more than mildly curious. And never mind that the youthful Alison is a bit distracted by the new county extension agent’s virile good looks. She can still sleuth while she stalks her newest crush.

But that’s not all the news that’s unfit to print. There’s something strange about the older couple who have moved into the cabin down the road that was once owned by a murder victim. The elderly wife seems anti-social. There’s got to be a reason, which Emma, Milo, and Alison intend to find out—even if it puts them in deadly danger.’

Dollycas’ Thoughts

This series continues as we enter 2007. The Alpine Advocate editor Emma Lord and her new husband Sheriff Milo Dodge ring in the new year only to find themselves embroiled in another investigation. A women’s body is found in a local hotel and they can’t find any connection between her and Alpine. The new Advocate receptionist even does a little sleuthing. All three are also concerned about an older couple the have moved in down the road. Needless to say, all their snooping could be dangerous.

I have enjoyed all the previous 27 books in the series. This time Emma and Milo are even more cantankerous than usual and I felt Emma has lost some of her conviction and that detracted from the joy I usually feel when visiting Alpine. Emma also uses a derogatory term to describe her son that almost had me putting the book down for good. I know the story is set 13 years ago and the author probably used it as a reference for the time, but it is a term I believe was even seldom used even then. I was also taken aback by the way domestic abuse was handled. In fact, that word, that abuse, and some of Emma’s actions ring more from the ’50s instead of the early 2000s. As I kept reading I understood why the author handled the abuse as she did, but it was hard to read in places. Vida also has her share of troubles within these pages.

The mysteries were hit and miss for me. One of the problems with a long-running series is giving new readers background on the town and its inhabitants. It is important to learn the small-town dynamics like everyone is related to Scene Around Town columnist, Vida Runkel and that Ed Bronsky is going to drop by the Advocate office with some new scheme. Ms. Daheim did that almost too much this time. The asides messed with the flow at times. Emma seemed to be off her game with these investigations. I did think it was hilarious near the end of the book when Milo locked Emma in the car and warned her not to try to get any closer. What was sad was that she actually did it.  Not all the loose ends are tied up at the end. Emma’s son Adam has been transferred from Alaska to Michigan and Vida’s replacement as she retires looks to be ad man Leo’s wife Liza.

The author continues to capture the weather and atmosphere of Alpine, Washington. January there can be brutal.

I am hoping the stumbles in this story are just a blip in the life of this series. Writing 28 books featuring the same characters and keeping things new and fresh has to be incredibly hard. I will be looking forward to the next installment because I do want to see what happens next for the residents of Alpine.


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About Mary Daheim

About the Author

Mary Daheim is the author of the Alpine mystery series. A Seattle native with a degree in communication from the University of Washington, she realized at an early age that getting a book published might elude her for years, so she began her writing career working on daily newspapers. The mother of three daughters, she lives in a century-old house in her hometown.
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Praise for Bitter Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery
(Emma Lord Returns)
by Mary Daheim

I’m not sure how I missed this series, but I am glad to have found it now (and as there is a recap at various points you are not left sidelined for information!)
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

Milo is called out to the apparent murder of a woman at the motel on the fringe of town and sets off the investigation leading to some red herrings which will definitely throw you off track in this cold, heavily snow-laden mountain community.
~Rosepoint Publishing

. . . it was a fun read and I enjoyed the wintry feel of it.
~Gimme The Scoop Reviews

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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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Crafter Quilts a Crime: A Handcrafted Mystery by Holly Quinn #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to feature Holly Quinn’s A Crafter Quilts A Crime today! 

About A Crafter Quilts A Crime

quilter quilts a crime

A Crafter Quilts a Crime: A Handcrafted Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (February 11, 2020)
Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1643852906
ISBN-13: 978-1643852904
Kindle ASIN: B07RTMXRK8

Perfect for fans of Betty Hechtman and Maggie Sefton, Holly Quinn’s third Handcrafted mystery aspires to wrap you in its warmth.

Community Craft proprietor Sammy Kane must piece together a patchwork of clues when a “live” mannequin ends up stone-cold dead.

Snowcapped pines and glittery dusted sidewalks adorn tranquil Heartsford, Wisconsin, while residents cuddle beneath heirloom quilts in front of cozy wood fires. But come the next day, the below-zero temperatures won’t keep the locals away from Heartsford’s annual Fire & Ice event. To boost customer traffic at Community Craft’s one-night-only sale, Samantha “Sammy” Kane persuades a few of the craftspeople who sell their wares at the store to participate in a live mannequin window display contest.

Local quilter Wanda Wadsworth emerges as a favorite to win the contest, as she manages to not move a muscle for an unusual amount of time. Onlookers outside the window try everything to get her to crack–tapping on the glass and making funny faces–but nothing disrupts Wanda’s stillness. When the eagle-eyed spectators realize Wanda isn’t breathing, a blanket of grief and fear descends upon the wintry town.

Detective Liam Nash can’t seem to piece the clues together. Fortunately, Sammy’s cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie, are on hand to reconvene their detective team, S.H.E. They set out to solve Wanda’s untimely death before the case grows as icy as a sub-zero Wisconsin winter. But they are all too aware that the killer is too close for comfort.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Welcome to winter in Wisconsin and the fictional town of Heartford where the residents are celebrating with the annual Fire & Ice event. The shops are open late and the evening will conclude with a giant bonfire.  Sammy Kane wants her shop Community Craft to really stand out and bring in the customers so she has asked a few of her crafters to take part in a “live” mannequin contest. The front window is all decked out and ready for the crafters to take a starring role.

Wanda Wadsworth is ready to shine, she even brought one of her quilts to feature. She immediately captures the attention of the audience as she remains completely frozen in her pose as people do their darndest to disrupt her performance. When someone suddenly notices Wanda’s lips turning blue people jump into action but it is too late. Then when police try to notify the husband of her passing they find the man is missing.

Detective Liam Nash warns Sammy to stay out of the case but soon she, her cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie, the ladies of S.H.E. are bustling around in the cold and snow trying to find the killer. Things start to heat up as the killer is close on their tail.

_____

This is such a fun series. I have come to think of the main characters as friends and they have their share of strife this time as they don their Nancy Drew hats to try to find who killed their friend. These characters are relatable and believable and continue to evolve over the course of the story. I do like the way the girls work together and that they each have their own strengths. All the characters presented in the story are well crafted but again the four-legged one steals my heart.

The story is very fast-paced with plenty of twists. Sammy’s drive for the truth gets her in trouble making for some very tense moments. There is a nice blend of daily life with the mystery and a real community feel over the whole book. I liked the way the crafting group came together with an idea to remember and honor the friend they had lost. What I really enjoyed most was something people see all over the state of Wisconsin have a new purpose when it comes to solving the mystery.

As a Wisconsin resident, Holly Quinn really brought a real Wisconsin winter to this story. The frigid cold, the blowing, and drifting snow. Waiting for the roads to get plowed noting that for some it can be a long wait. Also showing that snow is not the be-all and end-all. After being cooped up with kids after a snow day, moms will plow through the snow themselves to get to a craft meeting to converse with adults, drink hot chocolate that may include alcohol, and nosh on homemade treats for a few hours before heading back to fray at home ready for anything.

I do love the way this author tells a story. A Crafter Quilts a Crime is quite entertaining and checks all my cozy boxes. I truly can’t for the next book!

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Read my review of A Crafter Knits A Clue – Here

Read my review of A Crafter Hooks A KillerHere

 

About Holly Quinn

holly quinn

Holly Quinn has published two stand-alone fiction novels in another persona. She graduated from Carroll University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in business and a minor in marketing. This is her second Handcrafted mystery. Visit her @ www.authorhollyquinn.com

Author Links – Website – Facebook – GoodReads 

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Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – BAM – IndieBound – Powell’s Books – Walmart 

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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.”