Aug 092019
 


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.
Checking off the “U” this week to complete my Alphabet Soup Challenge.


Under My Skin
Psychological Thrillers
Setting – New York
Park Row (October 2, 2018)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 9780778308409
ISBN-13: 978-0778308409
Mass Market Paperback – August 20, 2019
ISBN-10: 0778309568
ISBN-13: 978-0778309567
Kindle ASIN: B0777JZ62P

What if the nightmares are actually memories?

It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run through Manhattan’s Riverside Park. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spiraled into an oblivion of grief, disappearing for several days only to turn up ragged and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn’t recognize. What happened to Poppy during those lost days? And more importantly, what happened to Jack?

The case was never solved, and Poppy has finally begun to move on. But those lost days have never stopped haunting her. Poppy starts having nightmares and blackouts—there are periods of time she can’t remember, and she’s unable to tell the difference between what is real and what she’s imagining. When she begins to sense that someone is following her, Poppy is plunged into a game of cat and mouse, determined to unravel the mystery around her husband’s death. But can she handle the truth about what really happened?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Living in opulence or squalor, under the skin people are just the same. Everyone suffers. Everyone struggles. It just looks different from the outside.

Grief can be all-consuming and no one knows that better than Poppy Lang. Her husband, Jack was murdered in Manhattan’s Riverside Park a year ago. His death sent Poppy over the edge, she can’t account for several days after she received the shocking news. When she comes back to the land of the living she is wearing clothes she has never seen with very little memory of what happened. She is also devastated that Jack’s killer was never caught, the case is still open but stagnant.

Then she starts to have nightmares and blackouts. She feels like she is being followed and she is missing vast periods of time.  She needs to remember what happened to her because she thinks it will lead straight to Jack’s killer.  The question is – Can she survive her quest and handle what she finds?

___

The synopsis and prologue captured my interest. I wanted to know what happened to both Jack and Poppy, but there were a lot of confusing moments. I think that is just what the author intended. Poppy’s path certainly wasn’t a straight one so much so it was sometimes hard to know what was really real and what was not. There is also quite a bit of repetition that was oft putting at first until I noticed a minuscule change in the event.  Poppy’s fears are palpable and continued to pull me further into the story.

I really didn’t care for her therapist who seemed to be missing the big picture. Her goal seemed to be getting Poppy “a good night’s sleep” while not realizing her client was mixing pills with alcohol, mixing sleeping pills of different dosages with alcohol, mixing sleeping pills with other pills and alcohol, making her hallucinate, have nightmares and blackouts.

Poppy’s best friend Layla was a mother hen over her. She was so traumatized when her friend went missing she wants to be sure it doesn’t happen again. She comes across a very controlling person. The lead detective on her husband’s case is also very involved following up each little clue that is uncovered.

Ms. Unger takes us an emotional roller coaster with almost everyone Poppy interacts with a suspect. Through her words, we see what Poppy sees, and most of it is downright frightening. I am glad I don’t live in New York, I would probably never leave the house again. I was so engrossed in my reading that when a child entered the room and surprised me I actually jumped and my Kindle went flying into the air. This book has exciting twists and some terrifying turns. I did have a very hard time putting it down and stayed up late in the night to finish. Then I was too keyed up to sleep.

The story is so well written and immersed in this psychological mystery there is some food for thought regarding death and losing a loved one. I may have only caught this because I continue to grieve for a loved one myself.

This is the first book I have read by Lisa Unger but it won’t be my last.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Lisa Unger is a NYT and international bestselling, award-winning author. Her books are published in 26 languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies, and have been named “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, and the Sun-Sentinel, among others. Her essays have appeared in the NYT, the Wall Street Journal, NPR and Travel + Leisuremagazine. Lisa lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with her husband, daughter, and labradoodle.


Also by this Author


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Jul 122019
 


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.

This book takes care of the “X” on my Alphabet Soup – Author Edition Challenge!


On Her Own Two Wheels
Contemporary Literature & Fiction
Setting – Illinois
Independently Published (November 5, 2012)
Paperback: 160 pages
ISBN-10: 1478339780
ISBN-13: 978-1478339786
Kindle ASIN: B00AAQL97C

Just three years out of college and Cassie Wright has hit a dead end. Still living at home with her mom and dad and dating the same writer masked as a waiter, Devon, for just as long, she knows she wants more out of life. Motorcycle lessons seem like a fun idea and the perfect escape. Cassie soon finds herself breaking away from her dull life and starts on a journey to self-confidence as she learns how to make each day extraordinary.

While driving home from visiting her grandmother in Wisconsin, she drags a reluctant Devon to a local biker event at a motorcycle dealership. From there, she becomes inspired to take riding lessons for some much-needed fun and adventure. In time, she meets Marcus, the part-time riding instructor, and full-time college administrator. He is drawn to Cassie’s ambition and adventurous spirit, and a romance quickly blossoms, forcing Cassie to realize she deserves better than what Devon chooses to give.

Becoming more confident in her everyday life through her riding, Cassie quits the electronics shop to become the motorcycle dealership’s new marketing director, opening herself up to an entirely new set of professional and personal obstacles. Cassie must learn to approach her issues in a whole new way while striving to be the type of woman she herself would want to emulate.

An inspirational coming-of-age novel for any woman who has ever settled for less, romantically or professionally, On Her Own Two Wheels tells the moving tale of a young woman finding the courage to challenge herself, break the mold, seek adventure, and make the ordinary in her life extraordinary as she truly comes into her own.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Cassie Wright is trying to find her way in life and makes a spur of the moment decision to take a motorcycle riding lessons. Her parents are very supportive, her boyfriend not so much. Three years out of college she is realizing her relationship with Devon is going nowhere and her life is not heading where she wants.  She decides to have a fun escape that helps her grow more in one week than she has in years. There were bumps along the way and I know this is just a short snippet in her life. Who knows what happened after the last page.

This was a fun quick read! Part self-awareness and part romance this book is a feel-good novel for women young like Cassie and old like me. I enjoyed following Cassie on her short journey. I liked the way her confidence bloomed. The ending was as expected, but it as a nice little distraction from real life.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Stacy Xavier

I am an attorney living and working in Illinois. My great loves include God, books, my friends, my family, animals, good food, good drink, and motorcycles. I also love learning about how people achieve success, collecting inspirational quotes, and pretending I’ve won the lottery. I enjoy going to the gym; I enjoy not going to the gym even more. I believe in Ben Franklin’s words: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
Facebook  – Blog – Twitter:

Available for Kindle for $0.99


Since I know this book isn’t a cozy I am giving away
1 Kindle Copy of a Cozy of your choice
priced at $2.99 or lower.
You can choose this book if you would like or need a “x” author too 😛 

It will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Contest Will End July 26, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Jun 132019
 

A Crafter Hooks a Killer:
A Handcrafted Mystery
by Holly Quinn

 

About the Book


A Crafter Hooks a Killer: A Handcrafted Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Crooked Lane Books (June 11, 2019)
Hardcover 274 Pages
ISBN-10: 1643850121
ISBN-13: 978-1643850122
Digital ASIN: B07MGS1XDW

Community Craft proprietor Sammy Kane suspects that a tantalizing thread links the deaths of her best friend and a bestselling author. But can she weave together the clues?

Samantha “Sammy” Kane is settling into her new life in idyllic Heartsford, Wisconsin, running her late friend Kate Allen’s craft shop, Community Craft when one early June day, bestselling crochet author Jane Johnson visits Heartsford. Captivated by Community Craft, Jane devotes a chapter in her new book, Behind the Seams, to the store. Sammy is honored, though satisfaction quickly turns to shock when she finds Jane strangled to death—her cold hands clutching a copy of her most recently published book, with the words “THE END” raggedly scratched into the cover.

Heavens to Etsy! Not only must Sammy contend with the author’s inauspicious demise, she has to untie some knotty details from her own past. It turns out Kate’s death was not what it seemed, and instead somehow hooked to Jane Johnson’s demise. Handsome Detective Liam Nash is on the “skein”, more than happy to see the shop owner again, if less than enamored by her sleuthing interventions. But this was Sammy’s best friend—she has to know.

Fortunately, Sammy has a “lace” in the hole. As a child, she formed the S.H.E. detective team with her cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie. Having already reconstituted their partnership, the S.H.E. team searches for a pattern behind the latest death. As the case starts to unravel, will Sammy and team be able to sidestep Liam quick enough to stitch together the clues?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Heartsford, Wisconsin, and it’s summertime. Sammy Kane is planning for a big event at Community Craft. A book signing with Jane Johnson, The Queen of Crafts. Jane is also writing a new book that will include one chapter about Community Craft and its original owner, Sammy’s best friend, Kate Allen.

The author surprises Sammy by arriving in town early and requesting a private meeting with her. They agree to meet on a bench by the river. Sammy arrives a short time after Jane, but she is waaayyyy too late. The author is dead and holding her last book. The killer has scratched a deadly message too, “THE END” on the book.  Sammy knows the author wanted to talk to her about Kate and the store, but why would anyone kill her over that?

The death brings Sammy back together with Detective Liam Nash which seems to make them both very happy. But Liam tells her to let him handle the case.  There is no way Sammy can do that. This case has something to do with Kate and she can’t just back away. She quickly assembles the S.H.E. team (Sammy, her cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie) to help her untangle the clues. Together they are going to chain the information together to find the killer and get to the truth they all seek.

___

I was so excited to get back to Heartsford. I really enjoy the part the community plays in Holly Quinn’s stories. This time when the murder ruins Sammy’s big plans, she starts to plan another event that will benefit the town.

The core characters in this series are strong and realistic. Sammy’s mother gets on my nerves a little bit but in ways reminds me of my own mother in certain ways. I was surprised that the relationship between Sammy and Liam didn’t progress at all, while Heidi and Officer Tim’s relationship is progressing nicely. Ellie is taking advantage of her parents being in town to get a little bit of “me time” while they babysit their grandson Tyler. Even if that “me time” means manning the store so Sammy can investigate. When Ellie can’t step in employee/crafter/friend Deborah takes over and keeps the shop running.  Of course, Sammy’s lovable golden retriever returns. That dog just steals my heart. Like my dogs, Bara is usually by Sammy’s side or very close by.

I really appreciate the way Ms. Quinn has laid out this mystery. She gives her protagonist a gift of “seeking and finding the truth” and gives us a detective that is man enough to know her information is important. He does his best to rein her in and keep her safe at the same time but Sammy is pretty headstrong. She may have her S.H.E. team to help, but she and Liam make a good team too.

The plot is full of twists, and I loved the way the author crocheted everything together but I did figure this one out before Sammy. Even with that, I was entertained reading and following along as all the clues fell into place right up to the exciting ending. Holding back saying more but Sammy rocked!

Fun characters, a great theme, not 1 but 2 mysteries all set in my neck of the woods. Books like this one are what first pulled me into the cozy mystery genre. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Crafter Knits A ClueHere

 

About Author 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

Praise for A Crafter Hooks a Killer: A Handcrafted Mystery
by Holly Quinn

This one was a quick read for me – once I got started it was very hard to put down!
~The Book’s the Thing

A Crafter Hooks a Killer has three curious ladies, two complex crimes, one disgruntled detective and a delightful doggie.
~The Avid Reader

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

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May 282019
 

This book was released TODAY!!

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings (Marygene Brown Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Georgia
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721454
ISBN-13: 978-1496721457
Digital ASIN: B07H1VWGBS

Life has always been sweet on Georgia’s Peach Cove Island, but a case of murder has Marygene Brown down in the pits . . .

For generations, the women of the Brown family on Peach Cove Island have been known for their Southern sass and sweet homemade desserts at their beloved Peach Diner. Since their mother’s passing two years ago, Marygene has been stuck in Atlanta while her sister Jena Lynn has been running the family business. Now Marygene has left her husband and returned to her hometown, where she can almost feel Mama’s presence.

But all is not peachy back home. Marygene has barely tied on an apron when a diner regular drops dead at the counter. When it turns out the old man’s been poisoned, Jena Lynn is led away in handcuffs and the family eatery is closed. Now, to save her sister and the diner, Marygene must find the real killer. With some startling assistance from her Mama’s spirit, Marygene will be serving up a special order of just desserts . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Everything is not peachy on Peach Cove Island. Marygene Brown has left her abusive marriage behind and returned home just in time to witness one of the customers at her family’s Peach Diner keel over dead. When it is determined the man was poisoned, Marygene’s sister Jena Lynn is arrested and the diner is closed. Knowing she has no choice, Marygene sets out to find the real killer to save her sister and reopen the family legacy. She gets an unusual assist from her Mama, who just happens to be dead! All while the sheriff tells her to butt out ‘cuz he’s got it covered. Well, he and that detective from Atlanta brought into the case by the victim’s son.

There is so much I loved about this story!

The author introduces us to Marygene, a survivor of domestic violence. I felt she dealt with the issue realistically while keeping within cozy mystery parameters. Marygene makes a huge step, filing for divorce and moving home, while her husband still tries to keep her under his thumb. She arrives back on Peach Cove Island with the process started, knowing it isn’t going to be easy.

I was impressed with the character growth of the core characters over the course of the story, realizing this is the first book in the series, the author has left plenty of room for growth. The family dynamic is unique and fluid. When her mother passed the family home was left to Marygene, and the Peach Diner was left to both daughters. With Marygene stuck in her marriage, Jena Lynn has been running the diner with their brother handling the kitchen. Marygene also just recently found out that Sheriff Eddie Carter is her biological father. Her return means rebuilding and defining relationships.

The murder takes place early in the story giving Marygene something else to focus on. It also gives her a way to reconnect with family and friends and gives her the opportunity to connect with those who had reason to want Mr. Ledbetter six feet under.

The mystery was cleverly plotted and the addition of Mama’s ghost was fantastic!! Friend and waitress Betsy also assists Marygene in her investigation. (Betsy is a hoot and a half!) There were more suspects than I at first imagined and plenty of twists.  A lot is happening on this island. Marygene does her best to piece everything together, even putting herself in the line of fire. More than once she had me holding my breath.

Kate Young has what I would call a comfortable writing style. The dialogue is free flowing full of just the right amount of Southern Sass. I am not a fan of curse words in a cozy mystery but it fits within this dialogue and was rare. Her descriptive style sets the time and the scene without ever going over the top. The characters are easily visualized along with everything that is taking place.

Like a true cozy mystery, this book has its fair share of humor and just a touch of romance. Marygene is just out of a bad relationship and not ready to jump into another, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any men on the horizon. I hope with all the woman has been through the author takes things slowly and gives out protagonist the time she needs to heal and trust. Jena Lynn romantic relationship has a fun milestone.

Full of Southern charm and a grand mystery along with delectable recipes that may give you some Killer Cravings this series is off to a wonderful start! I can’t wait for book two!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Kate Young writes humorous southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.

Author Links – Website Facebook – Twitter GoodReads  BookBub

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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.

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Contest Will End June 11, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Mar 262019
 

This book was released today!! 


Leave No Scone Unturned (Chef-to-Go Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Illinois
Sourcebooks Landmark (March 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1492648418
ISBN-13: 978-1492648413
Kindle ASIN: B07JN63J8X

Another deadly fun Chef-to-Go mystery from New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson!

The back-to-school season can be murder

It’s the beginning of the university’s fall semester and Dani can’t wait for the college students to return to Normalton, Illinois—after all, without them, there is no one to support her Lunch-to-Go service, which is a vital part of her Chef-to-Go business. But Normalton University’s orientation week is marred by a mysterious murder, along with a series of car-jackings and sightings of a mysterious creature in a pond on campus. And with the whole town feeling unsettled, Dani finds herself dealing once again with the infuriatingly handsome Spencer Drake, the head of security at the university.

Although Dani vowed that her life would never again be boring and routine after she quit her stifling corporate job, she had no idea that she’d end up dealing with such strange happenings—not to mention murder. But as the trouble in Normalton draw worryingly close to home, Dani realizes that if the killer isn’t caught soon, she may be the next one who is found scone cold dead.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

It’s Orientation Week at the university and freshman are flocking to take part. Dani Sloan is hoping to draw new students to her Lunch-To-Go business in addition to getting the word out about her catering and personal chef services to keep Chef-To-Go going strong. Unfortunately, the area is also dealing with several car-jackings, of which one of Dani’s tenants is a victim, and an eerie creature appearing at twilight in the pond on campus. Ivy’s uncle Spencer is the head of security and he has his hands full.

Dani also finds out the Ivy has been giving food left over from their catering events to the homeless who are camped out near the university. At first, Dani thinks this is a wonderful idea, but then they find Ivy’s contact person dead in his tent. Dani wants to do anything she can to help find the killer so she teams up with Spencer AND the new hunky detective, Gray Christensen. Spencer is not pleased with her new alliance at all.

Dani, Ivy, Tippi, and Starr are still figuring out their living/working situation but Chef-To-Go is off to a great start. While Dani is like a big sister and friend to the girls she is learning that sometimes she must put the boss hat on as well. Dani’s relationship with Spencer is moving very slowly because they are both so busy and are getting over past relationships, but a new man entering Dani’s life has Spencer rethinking things. Some people don’t but I enjoy the beginning of a romantic triangle. Gray can really shake things up and shake things out for Dani. I am excited to see how the author continues the romantic side of Dani’s life.

Ms. Swanson has entangled these wonderful characters in complicated mystery too. With each turn of the page, I became deeper ensconced into this mystery. Twist after twist truly kept me guessing. The ending was super exciting.

I was really drawn in by the homeless plight that was featured. Homeless veterans, families, teens. It has become so prevalent in this nation and two sides were clearly portrayed with this story.

Again, the college setting opens up so many possibilities. All the core characters are involved in college life in different ways giving the story different views of all the happenings. The author has described the layout so well that I could easily picture the events happening all over and around the campus.

There is also plenty of food being made, sold, and passed around throughout the whole story. Enticingly described, I could easily whip up some of the tasty treats from those descriptions, but I was surprised there were no recipes at the end of the book.

A complex mystery featuring likable and interesting characters set at a fine school of knowledge featuring delectable food.  This book checks all my boxes for a fabulous cozy mystery. I highly recommend Leave No Scone Unturned to all foodie cozy lovers!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review for Tart of Darkness, the 1st book in this series here.

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.

 





I want to share my advance review copy with you!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Sign Up For Denise Swanson’s Newsletter for 5 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 April 9, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Mar 052019
 

One Feta in the Grave
(A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

About the Book


One Feta in the Grave (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Kensington (February 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713516
ISBN-13: 978-1496713513
Digital ASIN: B07DBPQQFJ

As summer comes to an end in her Jersey Shore town, Lucy Berberian continues to manage her family’s Mediterranean restaurant. The Kebab Kitchen also has a food tent at this year’s beach festival. But now a local businessman is under the boardwalk—dead by the sea …

With a sand castle contest and live music, Ocean Crest bids a bittersweet farewell to tourist season. Summer will return next year … but Archie Kincaid won’t. The full-of-himself store owner has been fatally shot, soon after a screaming match with Lucy’s best friend. Katie’s far from the only suspect, though, since Archie had some bitter rivals—as well as some relationships no one knew about. It’s up to Lucy to look into some seedy characters and solve the case before the wrong person gets skewered …

Recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tourist season is wrapping up in Ocean Crest and the beach festival is underway with music, contests, and plenty of food. Things get a little heated when Archie Kincaid was forced to step down as a judge of the sand castles because his nephew was participating in the contest. After Lucy finishes her judging duties and makes sure all the food vendors have everything they need she takes a walk on the beach. She notices something under the boardwalk. That something turns out to be a dead Archie Kincaid. The man wasn’t well liked and have public arguments with several people, including the one with her best friend Katie, when she eliminated him as a judge.

Detective Clemmons arrives on the scene and is not surprised that Lucy has found another body, but everyone is surprised when Katie lands on his list of suspects. This means her husband, Officer Bill Watson is unable to be part of the case. He knows Lucy’s reputation for solving cases and asks her to keep her ears open and ask a few questions to help clear Katie’s name. Lucy takes the request and runs with it, sometimes with Katie by her side, going much further than Bill intended. Now they just need to catch the killer before anyone else ends up dead.

Lucy Berberian is a fun protagonist and I like it when Katie tags along. This time Katie’s is the one who needs to be cleared. These ladies go to some dangerous lengths to do just that. Lucy is also learning to cook traditional Armenian dishes while taking over managing duties at the restaurant. At the same time, she is trying to rekindle her romance with chef Azad Zakarian while having a friendship with Michael, who runs the bike shop next to the restaurant. Michael and Lucy seem to make a better pair right now, at least in my opinion. With each story, the characters become more fleshed out and relatable.

Ms. Kashian has cooked up a great mystery. A first I thought the arguments between Archie and others were typical business things but as we get deeper in the story we see that isn’t the case. The author sets a nice pace and I enjoyed the way Lucy didn’t give up. There was a point where any amateur sleuth would have quit but not Lucy. It is pointed out to her more than once that she is not a cop and needs to back off, but she will run herself ragged to catch the killer. I had honed in the right party a bit before Lucy but the ending was both exciting and funny. I wish I had half of Lucy’s energy.

I do love the Jersey shore setting. The boardwalk, shops, and restaurants. All the touristy places and food. Yes, the food, again my mouth was watering.

Another fun and entertaining story from Tina Kashian. I look forward to visiting Ocean Crest again soon!

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You can read my review of Hummus and Homicide here and Stabbed in the Baklava here.

 

About the Author

Tina Kashian spent her childhood summers at the New Jersey shore, building sand castles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business where her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. She worked almost every job—rolling silverware and wiping down tables as a tween, to hosting and waitressing as a teenager.

After college, Tina worked as a NJ Deputy Attorney General, a patent attorney, and a mechanical engineer. Her law cases inspired an inquiring mind of crime, and since then, Tina has been hooked on mysteries. The Kebab Kitchen Cozy Mystery series launches with Hummus and Homicide, followed by Stabbed in the Baklava and One Feta in the Grave by Kensington Books. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two young daughters. Please visit www.tinakashian.com and join her Newsletter to enter free contests to win books, get delicious recipes, and to learn when her books will be released.

Author Links  Website   Facebook  Twitter  Instagram   Goodreads

Praise for One Feta in the Grave
(A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

Hot men, dangerous liaisons, and a town in trouble when their main money making event is canceled due to murder, all contribute to a fast-paced and twisty murder investigation.
~Laura’s Interests

One Feta in the Grave is a fun, light cozy mystery that will have you longing for a sunny day at the beach.
~The Avid Reader

One Feta in the Grave will have you craving the Berberian family recipes so make sure you have a Mediterranean restaurant close by ? The plot is well-layered and it’s not readily apparent whodunit . . .
~Reading Is My SuperPower

ONE FETA IN THE GRAVE is great fun keeping me not only entertained but filled with happiness from this big happy Kebab Kitchen family.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I love the way Ms. Kashian uses words to paint vivid pictures of both her settings and her characters. She wraps the theme of family and friendship into the story with heartwarming results.
~Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder

From the characters to the tantalizing dishes, everything falls into place and makes this a fantastic read.
~Storeybook Reviews

ONE FETA IN THE GRAVE, it was top notch! There were plenty of suspects to keep me twisted like a boardwalk funnel cake in my guessing.
~Lisa Ks Book 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.”

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Feb 152019
 

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.


The Killing at Kaldaire House

(The Milliner Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – England
Self-Published
Release Date – April 2, 2018
Paperback: 318 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997663716
Digital ASIN: B079ZBJ935

A dying man. The painting within her reach. What’s a thief to do?

Talented London milliner Emily Gates creates amazing hats for Society ladies, but to collect from those who don’t pay her bill, she burglarizes their homes. She needs every penny to send her deaf brother to school. Late one night, she sneaks in to find Lord Kaldaire badly injured in his study. Unwilling to abandon him, she calls for help.

When Kaldaire dies without revealing who attacked him, his widow agrees to keep Emily’s secrets ― if Emily will help find her husband’s killer. A bigger danger is a Scotland Yard inspector who threatens to arrest Emily — unless she spies on her father’s family of swindlers and conmen. Worst of all are the attacks from an unknown assailant. What will Emily face first, jail or death?

This cozy mystery is set in the era of My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins, of early automobiles and aeroplanes, and of King Edward VII and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. If you enjoyed the Victorian Bookshop Mysteries, you’ll like Emily Gates and the collection of aristocrats and thieves in her world as they step into the 20th century.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Emily Gates learned to make fabulous hats as a girl from her Mum and she is now a top London milliner in London. Her hats are in demand by all the Society Ladies and she does enjoy running her shop with her uncle and her deaf brother. She is not happy when the ladies or their husbands fail to pay her for her work. She has learned a few tricks from the shadier side of her family and is not beyond burglarizing their homes and holding their prized possessions hostage until her bill is paid.

She has made some beautiful hats for Lady Kaldaire but Lord Kaldaire has not paid her. She knows there is a painting that hangs in his study that he holds very dear. She decides to sneak in late one night to abscond with the portrait but instead finds Lord Kildaire on the floor. When he moans she realizes he is still alive and she has to call for help. Unfortunately, his injuries were severe and he dies before naming his attacker. Emily gains the trust of Lady Kaldaire who vows to keep the break in a secret if Emily agrees to find the killer. That isn’t going to be easy especially with an inspector from Scotland on her tail with some demands of his own.

I am a big fan of Kate Parker. I have enjoyed both her Victorian Bookshop Mysteries and her Deadly Series, So I escaped right into this story and was taken back in time with Emily Gates. A commoner who is drawn into the world of Ladies and Lords, Princes and Princesses. To help Lady Kaldaire gets the answers she needs Emily finds herself rubbing elbows with the elite, riding in motorcars, and attending parties. Detective Inspector Russell knows her truth as well and thinks she may be working with her father and his family. The family he believes are responsible for many of the thefts on his docket.

Ms. Parker’s characters are quite dynamic. Very fleshed out with vivid detail. The clothing and especially the hats are thoroughly described as are the estates, Emily’s shop, home, and workshop, and the automobiles including the dusty roads they travel on. I could picture every place and person perfectly. Emily is a very strong independent woman, but she did bend to Lady Kaldaire’s elaborate schemes sometimes to her own peril. I enjoyed their interactions though very much. I also find Emily’s dedication to caring for her deaf brother heartwarming. Her main goal is to have enough money to send him to a special school and that is what drives her through the story.

The mystery is a bugger to solve. Emily finds herself going to her grandfather for help, something she has shunned before. She feels she is in danger of losing her business if she can’t put all the pieces together and find the killer all while trying to stay out of her family’s shenanigans. She literally travels far and wide to get answers.

As stated in the synopsis this story does have a My Fair Lady mashed with a little Mary Poppins with a dash of Sherlock Holmes feel. The author has great world building skills and has created very memorable characters.  I found the story to be delightfully entertaining and a perfect escape.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kate Parker has wanted to travel to 1930s England since she read her mother’s Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers mysteries when she was a schoolgirl. After many years of studying science, she decided a time travel machine was out of the question so she found herself limited to reading about the period and visiting historic sites. Her love of this fascinating and challenging period led her to the research from which the Deadly series grew. Eventually, she found it necessary to spend several days in the British Library reading old newspapers, which meant another trip to England. Near Christmas. A sacrifice she’d gladly make every year.

Author Links:

Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads

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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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Feb 142019
 

Back in 2013 LynDee Walker released the first Nichelle Clarke Mystery, Front Page Fatality, and I loved it. She went on to release 5 more books in this series.

In July of 2018, she unveiled brand new covers that fit the stories so much better, with a new publisher. They will also be available soon as audio books.

In January she released a novella that takes place between books five and six, Cover Shot and Lethal Lifestyles as we wait for the next book to be released. Last week, she revealed the cover of the new book on Facebook and told us it was “coming soon”. 

Today I am not only going to share my review of the novella Fatal Features but my reviews of the first six books in the series too. Note they are no longer classified as “cozies with an edge”. They are hard boiled with a fantastic female amateur sleuth. If you haven’t started this series or are behind, there is no better time than now to get caught up. 

Front Page Fatality: A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller
Severn River Publishing (June 17, 2018)
1st in Series
Print Length: 276 pages
ASIN: B07DV4PLKF


Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke’s days can flip from macabre to comical with a beep of her police scanner. Then an ordinary accident story turns extraordinary when evidence goes missing, a prosecutor vanishes, and a sexy Mafia boss shows up with the headline tip of a lifetime. As Nichelle gets closer to the truth, her story gets more dangerous. Armed with a notebook, a hunch, and her favorite stilettos, Nichelle races to splash these shady dealings across the front page before this deadline becomes her last.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Exciting from the first page to the last!!

This story is packed with drama and strong vibrant characters. Nichelle is a powerful, feisty woman. Her boss, Bob, is her father figure and the interplay between them is just heartwarming. The other supporting characters just leap off the pages and part of the mystery is which of them are the “good guys” and which are the “bad guys”.

The dialogue is terrific, the pace is perfect, and the humor is well placed. Then there are those moments that rival a scary movie and you can’t seem to read fast enough. And don’t forget the shoes….heels to be exact… Carrie Bradford look out!!

This is a wonderful debut. Buried Leads is on deck. I can’t wait! If you like your cozies with just a bit of an edge pick this one up today!!


Buried Leads: A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller
Severn River Publishing (June 19, 2018)
2nd in Series
Print Length: 272 pages
ASIN: B07DWDF5WC

When an Armani-clad corpse turns up in the woods, crime reporter Nichelle Clarke smells a scoop. A little digging, and Nichelle uncovers a web of corruption that stretches all the way to Washington, D.C. Politics. Murder. And a dead lobbyist. It’s everything Nichelle’s ever dreamed of.

The cops are playing it close, the feds even closer, and Nichelle’s afraid her boss will assign the story to the political desk any day. Richmond’s new ATF SuperCop makes an arrest before she can say “Louboutin,” but Nichelle’s gut says he’s got the wrong guy.

Her sexy Mafia boss friend warns her off the case, her TV rival is hot on her designer heels, an ambitious copy editor wants her beat, and victims are piling up faster than she can track them down. As Nichelle zeroes in on the truth, it’ll take some fancy footwork to nab this headline before the killer nabs her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
She did it again. I started reading and just couldn’t stop. The rest of the world just fell away as I chased down the clues with Nichelle.

She is juggling at least 4 headlines for the Richmond Telegraph while trying to keep a co-worker who is sleeping with the managing editor from stealing her job and still scoop a television reporter. Her ex has shown up in town as the area’s newest ATF agent and wants them to give their relationship another chance. But her new “friend” Joey has plans of his own romantically speaking and his contacts in the criminal world have him doing everything he can to keep her safe. Nichelle’s police contacts are telling her nothing. Then her investigation shows a couple of her stories seem to be connected, it is time for her inner Lois Lane to shine as she plans to scoop everyone unless someone scoops her up first.

This is fast paced with fantastic characters, the supporting ones are really growing too! There is political corruption, murder, mayhem, bullets flying, romantic tension, and a tough heroine in high heels.  Hang on tight! Lyndee Walker takes us on us a wild ride with a few surprises and even a couple laugh out loud moments. She is definitely an author to keeps our eyes on!


Small Town Spin: A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller
Severn River Publishing (June 19, 2018)
3rd in Series
Print Length: 314 pages
ASIN: B07DWGQZRZ

When a superstar athlete’s son turns up dead in a tiny town on the Virginia coast, crime reporter Nichelle Clarke gets the inside scoop. But she quickly spies a gaping hole her inner Lois Lane cannot ignore.

Determined to unravel the mystery, Nichelle fights off paparazzi cameras and an unexpected rival. She uncovers an illegal moonshine operation, a string of copycat suicides, and a slew of closets stacked with more skeletons than slingbacks. Chasing a killer who’s a breath from getting away with murder, Nichelle realizes too late the culprit has her number—and it might be up.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

LynDee Walker is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and Nichelle Clarke one of my favorite protagonists. I started this story and just couldn’t put it down.

Even when she is sick Nichelle keeps going. Those darn allergies have to take a back seat when her co-worker asks her to check out a story. His friend’s son is dead and the cops say it’s suicide. The boy’s parents just don’t believe it and want Nichelle to investigate and find out what really happened. Let me say Nichelle works better sick than most of us work healthy. She puts on Manolos, channels her inner Lois Lane, and starts digging and following clues. She is bound and determined to get her exclusive story and leave TV reporter Charlie in the dust. She also wants to give the boy’s parents some kind of closure.

Walker has written quite a mystery with some corkscrew turns and twists and fabulous characters. She also adds the perfect amount of romance and humor. I really love “bad guy” Joey. He has it Nicey bad and he is always there just when he needs her most.  But Kyle is still fighting to have her give their relationship another chance. Stay tuned I think things will heat up even more in the next installment.


Devil in the Deadline: A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller
Severn River Publishing (June 21, 2018)
4th in Series
Print Length: 332 pages
ASIN: B07DY7VJJP

When the Richmond police offer an exclusive in exchange for help with a case, nothing—not even a costume party—stops crime reporter Nichelle Clarke from making Manolo tracks to the crime scene. The hunt leads her to a televangelist’s compound in the Virginia countryside where the Reverend may be more interested in fat stacks of cash than he is saving wayward souls.

With two sexy guys tangled up in Nichelle’s story—and in her heart—work and love are on a crash course for disaster. Pressure pours in from every corner, including a faceless new competitor that means the deadline is always five minutes ago. As secrets threaten and the truth becomes her lifeline, Nichelle must unmask the killer and nail down the story before she’s snared in the carefully-constructed web.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Nichelle Clarke is a crime reporter with excellent taste in fine footwear and she doesn’t let those high heels hold her back when she needs to climb to the latest crime scene. The scene she finds is just ghastly and almost beyond words. But her new competition, a blogger, has no problem putting all the gruesome details out there. The big question is where is she getting her information. Nichelle is supposed to have an exclusive agreement with the cops! for her help in the investigation. That investigation puts Nichelle’s life in danger but she will do anything to get the story and catch a killer. It doesn’t hurt that she has her old high school boyfriend, now ATF Agent Kyle and a hunk like Joey with his questionable underworld ties watching her back, but can they keep her safe this time?

This entire series is absolutely awesome. Each story is just full of action, thrills, romance and humor too! LynDee Walker just keeps topping herself!

I love the characters! Nicey is such a strong woman and she is always on a deadline. This time she receives help from a very unlikely person. She also never knows when bad-boy Joey (no last name) will appear but his kisses never fail to curl her toes. Kyle is still interested in rekindling their romance and while she knows his last name and he would offer her a more stable life there is just no toe curling. But he isn’t giving up. I also like her editor at the paper. He seems like a man with common sense in an industry that is changing on a daily basis. He fights hard for his job and for Nichelle and makes an excellent sounding board for her.

The plot is fantastic. The crime seems to be pure evil and the twists really add to the suspense. We also learn more about Nichelle and the story ends with quite a cliffhanger. LynDee Walker’s journalist’s skills shine and have made her an excellent mystery writer.


Cover Shot: A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller
Severn River Publishing (June 23, 2018)
5th in Series
Print Length: 360 pages
ASIN: B07DZKP2D6

It’s been a slow news month in Richmond, and crime reporter Nichelle Clarke is enjoying the downtime when ominous messages and a dead body kick things into high gear. And that’s before the guy with the rifle takes a hospital full of people hostage.

Up to the top of her knee-high Prada boots in leads, Nichelle finds her favorite detectives under pressure to make an arrest, but it doesn’t add up—and ignoring the “why” of this story could cost Nichelle the most important person in her life.

With too much to lose, a shot at the story of a lifetime, and a missing bullet that might be the key, landing this headline could save the day, but can Nichelle dig up the truth before the killer buries her with it?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Book #5 in this series starts out with Nicey lamenting about no news to her rushing in her high heels to a hospital on lockdown because a man has a gun. It makes the strange text messages she has been receiving pretty mundane. She knows she needs to investigate them but they will have to wait because a gun trumps a text every time. LynDee Walker has us on the edge of seats with this one.

It’s all about the “WHY”. Why would a man bring a loaded rifle into a hospital? Nichelle Clarke needs to find the “Why” to this story and in doing so investigates the medical treatments and research, the test trials, and the money. The money made by drug companies, insurance companies, and health professionals. The scary question  – Would cures be held back because more money is made treating the disease instead of curing it? Walker puts a personal face to this and puts her protagonist in danger as she tries to find the truth.

I love this series. Nicey is a top-notch reporter that gets to the heart of the matter. She also cares about the people she works with including her editor who is trying to be forced into retirement. There is no way she is going to let that happen. She also loves Joey even though she knows nothing of his past and isn’t sure she wants to. Her ex, Kyle, thinks Joey is trouble and does all he can to shake Nicey’s confidence.

This is such a good story. The characters continue to impress me and the plot has a true ripped from the headlines feel. So well written.

Each of the stories in this series has been fantastic but this is the best one yet. I hope we are chasing down another story in our virtual high heels with Nicey soon. Oh, and a little more Joey would be awfully nice too!


Lethal Lifestyles: A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller
Severn River Publishing (June 26, 2018)
6th in Series
Print Length: 290 pages
ASIN: B07F2PQPGJ

Wedding bells are ringing at the Richmond Telegraph, and maid of honor Nichelle Clarke is determined to give her friends the perfect fairytale beginning to their happily ever after. So when a corpse crashes rehearsal weekend, Nichelle ditches her wedding coordinator shoes for her crime reporter ones, and a little poking around turns up a big problem: the victim and the groom have a history, and it’s not a pretty one.

Evidence against groom Grant Parker piles up, leaving Nichelle wishing a hostile bridesmaid was still her biggest worry as she tries to fend off Richmond’s favorite TV reporter—and her own scheming publisher. At odds with the cops, her beloved editor, and the ticking clock, Nichelle races to uncover the truth and save the day before this perfect wedding turns into a funeral.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Our star reporter has been bustin’ her tail to give Grant and Mel the wedding of their dreams. We are just one week from the big day when a dead guy is found at the wedding venue right before the rehearsal festivities are about to start, and the dead guy has a connection to the groom. HOLY MANOLOS!! Nicey’s heels hit the ground running as she tries to save the wedding, keep Charlie, her arch nemesis, off the trail, keep her and her boss employed and pull off this wedding on time. Hold on tight, this is one story that will knock your high heels right off.

Why do I love this series so much? The author writes a fantastic mystery filled with drama but filled with humor too. She always tops herself and leaves me wanting more.

Nicey is an unforgettable heroine not only because she is independent, smart, and wears some of the best footwear in the world but because she is a true friend. She will fight for her friends until she gets to the whole truth and she refuses to publish anything sketchy even when the publisher is holding her beautiful feet to the fire. She also tries to hold her temper in the toughest of times. She has integrity and in today’s world, it is sometimes hard to find reporters like her. She has the right connections and because of the woman, she is they will step up to help her whenever they can. Even her ex. She also is learning to listen to her heart just a bit more in this installment too and they made this reader very happy.

LynDee Walker gives us a story the flows quickly with plenty of twists to keep us on our heels. The mystery is complex, the characters continue to evolve and the new characters are memorable and all seem to be hiding something.

This series is best if you start with Front Page Fatality and read the series in order to understand the characters and their history. Also for me each one is better than the last and becomes my new favorite in the series.

_______________________________________________________

Keep reading for my new review of Fatal Features.


Fatal Features: A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller Novella
Crime Thriller
5.5 in Series
Setting – Virginia
Severn River Publishing (January 18, 2019)
Print Length: 76 pages
ASIN: B07MQ6QHRJ

Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke prefers chasing headlines to relaxing.

Even injured and on doctor-ordered bed rest.

When her editor offers her a feature assignment thinking that will silence her requests to return to work early, Nichelle jumps at it. Her editor sends reinforcements to keep Nichelle from overdoing it, venturing to an abandoned renaissance fairground to interview a ghost-hunting reality TV show’s producers and staff.

But a fresh dead body and a nearby tragedy leave Nichelle and her friends on their own to figure out who they can trust on the set—and who might be a killer.

Can Nichelle uncover the truth before someone she loves becomes the next victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

You can’t keep Nichelle Clarke down. Settling for a feature story until she is cleared to return to work and her crime beat, Nichelle thought it would be an easy day. She has Parker & Mel tagging along, her editors idea not hers. But soon after she arrives at the isolated set for a ghost-hunting reality show she finds a dead body. She doesn’t know who on the crew to trust but fears that if she doesn’t catch the killer she and her friends could be the next victims.

Even limited to just 76 pages LynDee Walker writes a story that packs a punch. The pages flew with twists and turns. It wasn’t long until we reached the exciting climax and I was stunned by the culprit and sad because I wanted more Nichelle.

A wonderful short story to whet our appetites as we wait for the next full-length feature with Nichelle Clarke, our high heeled heroine.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

LynDee Walker is the author of six national bestselling novels of suspense, beginning with the Agatha Award-nominated FRONT PAGE FATALITY. Reviews have praised her work as “well-crafted, compelling, and fast-paced,” and “an edge-of-your-seat ride” with “a spider web of twists and turns that will keep you reading until the end.”

Before she started writing fiction, LynDee was an award-winning journalist who covered everything from ribbon cuttings to high-level police corruption. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the U.S.

Aside from books, LynDee loves her family, her readers, travel, and coffee. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is working on her next novel when she’s not juggling laundry and children’s sports schedules.

You can find her online at www.lyndeewalker.com, and connect with her on Facebook at lyndeewalkerbooks or Twitter @LynDeeWalker.

The full-length books are also available in Paperback and Boxed Sets.

Now we wait 🙂

From LynDee Walker’s Facebook Page

Be sure to check out LynDee’s new Faith McClellan Series.
Click here to read my review of Fear No Truth.

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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Feb 122019
 


Past Due for Murder:
A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

About the Book 


Past Due for Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Crooked Lane Books (February 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318749
ISBN-13: 978-1683318743
Digital ASIN: B07D2GYM25

Has a curse fallen on the small town of Taylorsford, Virginia? After a young woman goes missing during a spring bonfire, library director Amy Webber must wade through the web of lies only to find a truth that she may not want to untangle.

Spring has sprung in quaint Taylorsford, Virginia, and the mayor has revived the town’s long-defunct May Day celebration to boost tourism. As part of the festivities, library director Amy Webber is helping to organize a research project and presentation by a local folklore expert. All seems well at first—but spring takes on a sudden chill when a university student inexplicably vanishes during a bonfire.

The local police cast a wide net to find the missing woman, but in a shocking turn of events, Amy’s swoon-worthy neighbor Richard Muir becomes a person of interest in the case. Not only is Richard the woman’s dance instructor, he also doesn’t have an alibi for the night the student vanished—or at least not one he’ll divulge, even to Amy.

When the missing student is finally discovered lost in the mountains, with no memory of recent events—and a dead body lying nearby—an already disturbing mystery takes on a sinister new hue. Blessed with her innate curiosity and a librarian’s gift for research, Amy may be the only one who can learn the truth.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Past Due for Murder takes us to Taylorsford, Virginia just in time for Spring and the town’s May Day celebration. Our protagonist Amy Webber has opened up the library archives for a professor and her students to research the local folklore. The will be making a presentation at the celebration. One of these students disappears during a bonfire event and police have organized a search. They also question the man in Amy’s life, Richard Muir. He was the woman’s dance instructor and may have been the last person to see her before she went missing. The student is later found, next to a dead body. She is dazed and confused. Amy has been trying to use her talents first to find the student and now the murderer. She meets an elderly woman with stories to tell of the area that just may point her in the direction of the killer. It also could make her their next victim.

Ms. Gilbert has written a story that links the present to the past in a very interesting way. The area folklore includes a story of two missing women, but what parts of the story are true and which are pure fabrication and how does it pertain to the current event of a missing woman and a murder? It is a twisted journey that captivated me right away.

I loved the way the author brought in a woman who is basically a hermit now. I found this woman to be genuine and heartwarming. Having Amy visit to record her stories for the library’s archives was a brilliant idea. Many towns and libraries are doing this now. It makes me wish I had done the same with my parents and grandparents. Our history, our stories, fade due to poor memories and these records would be priceless. If these options are available to you jump on them while you can.

The author also brings a man into the story, a neighbor to the woman, also someone who shuns society for his own reasons. He has a wonderful gift that he has mostly kept to himself but could he be a murderer?

Sticking with new characters, Richard’s parents come to visit and it was quite the experience. No spoiler here, but answers to some of the questions I had about the man are answered.

With great characters and plenty of twists and turns, this story takes us on quite a ride. The blend of folklore with a smidgen of fairies and magic was a delight. The ending was an ultimate surprise. This story is a wonderful addition to this series!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Murder for the Books here.

Read my review of Shelved Under Murder here.

About  the Author

Raised in a historic small town in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian.

Victoria’s first cozy mystery series, the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, garnered her a three-book deal with Crooked Lane Books, which has since been expanded to five books. The first two books in the series have been optioned by Sony Pictures Television, and the first three were or will be produced in audiobook by Tantor Media.

Victoria also just inked a 2-book deal with Crooked Lane for a new cozy series, the Booklovers B & B series, set in historic Beaufort, NC.

A member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime, Victoria is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel.

Author Links:

Website/blog   Facebook author page    Twitter   Goodreads   Instagram 

Purchase Links:

Amazon     B&N    Kobo    Indie Bound   GooglePlay

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
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February 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 12 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
February 12 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
February 14 – Rae’s Books and Recipes – SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT
February 15 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
February 15 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 16 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
February 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 16 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
February 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – Curling Up by the Fire – REVIEW
February 18 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 19 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 19 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 20 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 20 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
February 21 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 22 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
February 22 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

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

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Feb 072019
 


Death by Committee (An Abby McCree Mystery)
by Alexis Morgan

 

About the Book


Death by Committee (An Abby McCree Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (January 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719530
ISBN-13: 978-1496719539
Digital ASIN: B07CWF6QBL

When Abby McCree suddenly inherits her favorite relative’s property in small town Snowberry Creek, Washington, she soon realizes that the ramshackle home comes with strings attached—one of which is tied to a dead body!

After a rough divorce, Abby McCree only wants to stitch up her life and move on. But other loose ends appear after her elderly Aunt Sybil passes away, leaving Abby to tend to a rundown estate, complete with a slobbery Mastiff of questionable pedigree and a sexy tenant who growls more than the dog. As Abby gets drawn into a tight-knit quilting guild, she makes a twisted discovery—Aunt Sybil’s only known rival is buried in her backyard!

Despite what local detectives say, Abby refuses to accept that her beloved aunt had anything to do with the murder. While navigating a busy social calendar and rediscovering the art of quilting, she launches an investigation of her own to clear Aunt Sybil’s name and catch the true culprit. The incriminating clues roll in, yet Abby can’t help but wonder—can she survive her new responsibilities in Snowberry Creek and still manage to patch together a killer’s deadly pattern without becoming the next victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abby McCree hasn’t spent much time in Snowberry Creek, Washington of late but she remembers all the good times she had with her Aunt Sybil as a child. She especially remembers a quilt they were working on. Aunt Sybil finished it by herself as Abby’s visits became shorter and less frequent. Now her aunt has passed away and left her home to Abby and her aunt’s friends have already volunteered her to take over some of the committees Sybil was leading including the quilting guild.

Her aunt also left her a couple of other surprises. a bull mastiff named Zeke and a cantankerous but very easy on the eyes tenant named Tripp Blackston. Abby also uncovers another surprise among the blueberries, Dolly Cayhill’s body. Dolly was a snowbird who usually takes flight during the winter months, so sadly no one even knew the woman was unaccounted for. Dolly and Sybil were rivals in almost everything they did. Finding her body in Sybil’s yard wrapped in one of Sybil’s quilts lands Sybil square at the top of the suspect list. Abby believes there is no way her aunt could have committed such a heinous crime but the rumors are flying and evidence is stacking up. Is there any way to clear her aunt’s good name? There may be if she can live long enough to stitch all the clues together.

I like Abby McCree, but she needs to learn to say no! Those elderly ladies really ran roughshod over her. By the end of the story, she was getting her bearings and getting stronger, which I was very happy to see. Those ladies reminded me so much of some of the older ladies I have known in my life. A little pushy, but with huge hearts and kind souls. Tripp Blackstone, on the other hand, was a tough nut to crack, ex-military tough, and a little closed off. He starts to soften as he finds himself in the role of protector to Abby as digs into Dolly’s death and right into the line of fire. Tripp and Abby grow a lot for this being the first book in the series. I liked the way the author has started them on their journey. My favorite character of all was Zeke. A big dog who is a gentle giant, at least most of the time. The only time he leaves Abby’s side is when he is with Tripp. He is truly my kind of canine, even with all the drool 🙂

The plot was complex with two real mysteries. The first, the murder, had its share of suspects, but one after another are eliminated and Abby becomes a target. The second deals with 13 missing quilts the quilt had hoped to use for a calendar fundraiser. Given to a new member to photograph who then abruptly leaves town without returning the quilts or the pictures to the guild. As the new president of the guild, Abby tries her best to locate them. I used to love to quilt so this subplot really interested me.  The two mysteries mesh together so well. The story had some really exciting events and I was on the edge of my seat for the nail-biting ending.

Ms. Morgan has taken the time to fully describe each person and place so clearly that I could picture every element of the story. The people came alive. Abby’s home, the yard, the garage, and all the places around town were easily pictured in my mind. I was in each moment right along with Abby.

What I love most about this story was that it is written for the long haul of a series. The main characters evolved a great deal in this book but there is still so much to know about them. I am definitely invested in their lives and want to know more about them. The secondary characters are fun and entertaining too and have plenty of room to grow.

Ms. Morgan has sewn together a wonderful treat for her readers. Death by Committee was a perfect escape for me and I know fans of this genre will enjoy it too!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

USA Today Best-selling author Alexis Morgan has always loved reading and now spends her days imagining worlds filled with strong alpha heroes and gutsy heroines. She is the author of over forty-five novels, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; and contemporary romances. She is excited to say that next year will also see the release of her first cozy mystery series. Alexis has been nominated for several industry awards, including the RITA, the top award in the romance genre.

Author Links –

Website     Facebook Twitter    Blog  

Purchase Links –

AmazonB&N –  KoboGooglePlay  –  IndieBound 

Praise for Death by Committee (An Abby McCree Mystery)
by Alexis Morgan

Death by Committee was a charming debut and I absolutely adored Abby and her trusty sidekick, Zeke,
~Moonlight Rendezvous

Death by Committee is a light-hearted cozy mystery with a charming Victorian home, a cute mastiff mix, beautifully crafted quilts, three busy older ladies and killer on the loose.
~The Avid Reader

With likable protagonist and support characters both, gentle humor, a precious dog, and even a little romance, this story has all that I look for in a tradition cozy and I enjoyed it very much.
~The Power of Words

I enjoyed Abby’s reflections on who might have wanted to kill Dolly. Her interactions are realistic and humourous.
~Nadaness In Motion

Wow, just wow! What an amazing start to a new series!
~The Montana Bookaholic

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
February 1 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 2 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
February 2 – The Power of Words – REVIEW *
February 3 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 4 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
February 4 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT  
February 5 – Jody’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 6 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 7 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
February 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 8 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
February 9 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 10 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
February 11 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 12 – That’s What She’s Reading – GUEST POST
February 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 14 – Melina’s Book Blog – 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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Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series) by Jodi Rath Get Your Copy Today!
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