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The Game is a Footnote (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery) by Vicki Delany #Review / #Giveaway @vickidelany @crookedlanebks


The Game is a Footnote (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Crooked Lane Books (January 10, 2023)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639101454
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1639101450
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09XM5M8SC

Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are back on the case when a body is discovered in a haunted museum in bestselling author Vicki Delany’s eighth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Scarlet House, now a historical re-enactment museum, is the oldest building in West London, Massachusetts. When things start moving around on their own, board members suggest that Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, might be able to get to the bottom of it. Gemma doesn’t believe in ghosts, but she agrees to ‘eliminate the impossible’. But when Gemma and Jayne stumble across a dead body on the property, they’re forced to consider an all too physical threat.

Gemma and Jayne suspect foul play as they start to uncover more secrets about the museum. With the museum being a revolving door for potential killers, they have plenty of options for who might be the actual culprit.

Despite Gemma’s determination not to get further involved, it would appear that once again, and much to the displeasure of Detective Ryan Ashburton, the game is afoot.

Will Gemma and Jayne be able to solve the mystery behind the haunted museum, or will they be the next to haunt it?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A ghost appears to be haunting the historical reenactment site Scarlet House in West London, Massachusetts in the latest Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery. The museum board asks bookshop owner Gemma Doyle to give her input on the problem. While she doesn’t believe in ghosts she reluctantly agrees to spend the night in the home with her friend Jayne and Jayne’s fiancé Andy. Two others camp out in the barn to observe things there. A big storm blew in, they all heard some weird noises, and something upset the barn animals but Gemma had no explanation for any of it. She assumes someone is playing some practical jokes. Then the next day, following a meeting to report on their sleepover Gemma and Jayne find a dead body in the barn.

Involved in another murder investigation, Gemma and Jayne delve into the site’s history, its board, and volunteers in hopes to uncover who is behind the murder and the mischief at Scarlet House.

Add to that Gemma’s sister Pippa arrives from England for a surprise visit and Ashleigh, Gemma’s unique employee, left in the middle of her shift and is now missing. Oh, and bookshop cat Moriaty has a medical emergency.

_____

Ms. Delany has packed a lot of mayhem into this book and I wouldn’t ever expect anything different.

The characters in this series are strong and well-developed. I did enjoy that it was Jayne’s mother, Leslie, that got Jayne and Gemma mixed up with the people at Scarlet House.  I also enjoyed Pippa’s surprise visit. Readers are able to see a different side of both Gemma and Jayne. Another character is introduced which brings havoc to the story regarding Ashleigh. I questioned some of the behavior but it worked as a distraction as intended. I was drawn into all the character’s interactions easily.

The main mystery was pretty straightforward with clues nicely dropped in all the right places. The darn Gemma is a brave soul traveling around the drafty old house by herself while a thunderstorm was booming outside. I wouldn’t have done it. She also goes to do some investigating without Jayne by her side and she lands herself in a real fix that she eventually got herself out of. I love this woman. Her keen way of observing things everyone else misses and the way she brings the clues all together are always fun to observe. I want to be just like her in my next life. She pulled this mystery together for a fantastic reveal. While I was on the right track there was a nice little twist that I really enjoyed. She also kept at it to solve the mystery of the missing Ashleigh too.

I love the way Ms. Delany tells a story. Her descriptive style paints wonderful pictures of time and place and brings her characters to life. It was so easy to escape into this story.

The Game is a Footnote is a marvelous addition to this series. It truly was A Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

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

Author Links

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



Also by this Author

Find more books by Vicki Delaney here.

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

Posted in 2023 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Canter with a Killer (A Horse Rescue Mystery) by Amber Camp #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @ambercatcamp @crookedlanebks


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I am happy  to feature
Canter with a Killer (A Horse Rescue Mystery)

by Amber Camp

About Canter with A Killer


Canter with a Killer (A Horse Rescue Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Arkansas
Crooked Lane Books (October 11, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639101802
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1639101801
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09S3G8PDD

Perfect for fans of Amanda Flower and Mollie Cox Bryan, Amber Camp’s debut novel will have you galloping through the pages, as a horse rescue owner races to find a killer and clear her name.

Mallory Martin left her marriage and her unfulfilling job to move back to her hometown of Hillspring, Arkansas, and start a horse rescue. It’s everything she’s been missing, with paddocks of happy horses and one very quirky donkey. But when her cantankerous neighbor and longtime critic, Albert Cunningham, is found murdered in his fancy show barn, Mallory becomes suspect number one. Since Sheriff Grady Sullivan is ignoring all good sense and focusing only on Mallory, she decides to take matters into her own hands.

Aided by her best friend, Lanie, and rescue volunteer Tanner, Mallory races headlong into the investigation in search of the real killer. But horses and murder aren’t the only thing on her mind when she meets Albert’s handsome son, Braydon. Sparks fly, and soon she’s got a new boyfriend. But there’s a case to be solved, and she redoubles her efforts to learn the truth.

The suspects mount quickly. There’s Albert’s girlfriend, Kathleen, who was on the farm when he was murdered; organic farmer Heather Rogers, who accused Albert of contaminating her creek; and Philip Atwood, who’d been trying for a right-of-way across Albert’s farm. None of the evidence is holding up though, and Mallory learns that she’ll need to take the reins on this investigation if she’s going to clear her own name.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Not happy in her marriage or her job Mallory Martin divorces her spouse and moves back to her hometown of Hillspring, Arkansas to take care of her ailing father and open up a horse rescue. Her obsession with horses goes way back as does wanting to make a difference in the world so opening up a rescue on the family farm was an easy choice. But money is not rolling in so Mallory decides to add riding lessons to the rescue. This angers her neighbor Albert Cummings, who owns Champion Performance Horses, a horse breeding and training farm uphill from Mallory’s rescue. He called to voice his displeasure the day before he was killed and found in his fourteen-stall show barn. A witness to the conversation and Mallory’s iffy alibi make her the prime suspect.

Sheriff Grady Sullivan has known Mallory forever so you would think he would know she couldn’t be responsible for the crime but he still is going all out to prove her guilty. Heck, she can think of several others with more motive and even Albert’s son believes she is innocent.  So with a little help from her friends, she is bound and determined to find the real killer.

______

Mallory Martin is a strong woman intent on making her dreams come true but she is a bit gruff at times. She tries to use her knowledge learned as a forensic nurse to ferret out the killer but at times she leaps into action before thinking things through and that just gives the sheriff more ammunition against her. He clearly had tunnel vision when it came to Mallory. He also had a problem in his department he failed to address. I was not a fan.

Mallory has two college-age volunteers to help her take care of her rescues. Tanner and Ashley are knowledgeable about horses and love their jobs. They can’t believe their “boss” is even considered a suspect. With her daughter away at college these kids help her deal with her empty nest feelings. Her friend Lanie along with her husband Bill truly have Mallory’s back and fully support her throughout the whole ordeal. I loved the way Bill stepped up when a supplier was treating Mallory so poorly. It gave her the strength to take the man on too. Mallory’s lawyer Andy was great too.

I loved the unique setting of a horse farm with rescues. The horses and a crazy lovable donkey tugged at my heart. Mallory also has a wonderful blue heeler. We have a loveable red heeler and they are great dogs.

The mystery was filled with some nice twists. There were some clear suspects and a couple more that I added to my personal list. I was focused on the wrong person for quite a while so I was surprised when the actual culprit was revealed. I was not sure how Mallory was going to save herself but then her rescuer took care of it in an awesome way.

Canter with a Killer was a strong debut and a very enjoyable read. A fine mystery with a brisk pace and a smashing ending that was very entertaining. I look forward to getting to know these characters better as the series continues.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Amber Camp

Amber has lived in Northwest Arkansas for twenty+ years, working as an RN at a rural hospital in the area. She has a menagerie of animals that includes dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and what has been described as the Mule from Hell, which may or may not be a slight exaggeration. Writing has always been a focus in Amber’s life, something she describes as “food for my soul.” An avid reader since grade school, she enjoys multiple genres and is always looking for new authors to add to her favorites. Amber is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Social media links:

Website – Facebook  – Twitter   –  Instagram

Purchase Links:

Amazon>> Barnes & Noble>> Books-a-Million>> Bookshop.org>> Hudson Booksellers>> Target>> Walmart>> Penguin Random House>> Apple Books>> Google Play>> Audible>>

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 23 – Jane Reads – AUTHOR GUEST POST  
January 23 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
January 24 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 24 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
January 25 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 26 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
January 26 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – AUTHOR GUEST POST
January 27 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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January 28 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews -SPOTLIGHT
January 29 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 30 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 31 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 1 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW
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February 3 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
February 4 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2023 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Against the Currant: A Spice Isle Bakery Mystery by Olivia Matthews #Review


Against the Currant: A Spice Isle Bakery Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (January 24, 2023)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250839041
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250839046
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09XL7LK9C

In Olivia Matthews’s Against the Currant, the first Spice Isle Bakery Mystery, investigating a murder was never supposed to be on the menu…

Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York: Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. The West Indian bakery is her way to give back to the community she loves, stay connected to her Grenadian roots, and work side-by-side with her family. The only thing getting a rise out of Lyndsay is Claudio Fabrizi, a disgruntled fellow bakery owner who does not want any competition.

On opening day, he comes into the bakery threatening to shut them down. Fed up, Lyndsay takes him to task in front of what seems to be the whole neighborhood. So when Claudio turns up dead a day later—murdered—Lyndsay is, unfortunately, the prime suspect. To get the scent of suspicion off her and her bakery, Lyndsay has to prove she’s innocent—under the watchful eyes of her overprotective brother, anxious parents, and meddlesome extended family—what could go wrong?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The first book in the Spice Isle Bakery Mysteries introduces readers to Lyndsay Murray. Her lifelong dream has been to open a West Indian bakery featuring food and using recipes from her Grenadian history. The bakery is set to open in the Little Caribbean neighborhood, of Brooklyn, New York. She is so excited to be working alongside her parents, grandmother, and even her brother who is helping out with the opening.

The bakery’s opening day arrives and is very well received by everyone in the area except Claudio Fabrizi, who owns and operates another bakery a few blocks away. He doesn’t want any competition even though the new bakery is offering very different choices from what he serves at his place. He barges into the Spice Isle Bakery spewing threats and just being nasty. Lyndsay has been dealing with the man for weeks and has had enough. She comes around the counter and has a serious verbal altercation with him in front of a room full of her customers. So when Claudio is found murdered the next day, Lyndsey finds herself at the top of the suspect list, Before her lifelong dream goes up in smoke she has to find the real killer and fast.

______

I love that this story features a tight closely knit family. Lyndsay starts out pretty meek and mild but over the course of the book her self confidence grows exponentially. It was a pleasure to see this happen. Her grandmother is also a treasure. Sitting at a table crocheting, ready to jump in and help in any way possible. She is not afraid to speak her mind or give a push or a shove to get anyone moving in the right direction. Her parents are hard workers who love their daughter and want to help her succeed. Her father is in charge of the Caribbean music played at the bakery and Lyndsay knows his emotions through the songs he plays. Her brother Dev, a junior partner of an international law firm has taken time off to help during the opening week. Family always comes first and they back it up in both their words and actions. All are cleverly written and evolve nicely throughout the story, leaving plenty of room for growth as the series continues.

The mystery was complex with more suspects than I first imagined. Claudio Fabrizi was not a nice man. He was cantankerous and rude. No wonder his business was going down the tubes. Filled with twists and turns Lyndsay followed the clues, asked some great questions, and did her best to solve the mystery. Like me, she was surprised when the guilty party revealed themselves, but her actions in the showdown were absolutely epic and had me cheering.

I really enjoy Ms. Matthews’s descriptive writing style. She sets a scene so well without getting overly wordy. I could easily imagine each place Lyndsay went. I could hear the music and smell the food. All the food served at the Spice Isle Bakery was new to me but everything sounded so good. Recipes for the popular Currant Rolls and Coconut Bread are included at the back of the book.

The Spice Isle Bakery Mysteries are off to a great start with Against the Currant. The characters are unique and interesting as is the setting of the Little Caribbean neighborhood in Brooklyn. I am excited to see the series continuing with Hard Dough Homicide which will be released in May. I am eager to see what drama Lyndsay Murray and her family get into next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

OLIVIA MATTHEWS, pen name for romance author Patricia Sargeant, is a national bestselling and award-winning author. The Spice Isle Bakery mysteries are inspired by the author’s family history and the history of her birthplace. As Olivia Matthews, she is also the author of the Sister Lou mysteries and Peach Coast Library mysteries, and writes romance as Patricia Sargeant and Regina Hart.


Coming May 23, 2023

Also by Olivia Matthews

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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#FlashbackFriday – Dogged by Death: A Furry Friends Mystery by Laura Scott #Review / #Giveaway @laurascottbooks @crookedlanebks

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.


Dogged by Death: A Furry Friends Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Crooked Lane Books (July 13, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 164385657X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643856575
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08L5TPW4C

In Laura Scott’s Furry Friends series debut, veterinarian Ally Winter must collar the killer of a shifty lawyer. Does the dead man’s dog know who committed the arf-ul crime?

Ally Winter is going through a ruff patch. The thirty-something veterinarian lost her fiancé, her clinic, and her savings in rapid succession. So when Ally’s grandfather undergoes hip replacement surgery, she moves back to Willow Bluff, Wisconsin, to care for him. She arrives home, tail between her legs, only to find sleazy lawyer Marty Shawlin murdered in his home office. And the only witness was Marty’s faithful boxer, Roxy.

Quick as a greyhound, Noah Jorgensen is on the case. The good news is, he’s the best detective around. The bad news, at least the way Ally sees it, is that Noah is still just as fetching as he was back in high school. He also just happens to have witnessed every embarrassing incident that befell accident-prone Ally–including the fire-ant attack that set tongues wagging and won her the unshakable nickname Hot Pants.

Meanwhile, true-crime aficionado Gramps fancies himself a sleuth, and he is doggedly determined to sniff out the culprit himself…with Ally’s reluctant help, of course. Ally has no choice but to team up with Noah–and the irrepressible Roxy–to solve the case while keeping Gramps on a short leash.

Ally had better learn some new tricks, lickety-split. Because if she can’t bring the killer to heel, she won’t just be playing dead.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Veterinarian Ally Winter has returned to Willow Bluff, Wisconsin to care for her grandfather after hip replacement surgery and to hit the restart button on her life following a bad breakup. She has bought the clinic of a retiring vet and is working hard to build her client list. Her Grandpa Oscar is recovering in an assisted living home along with three widows who all would like to be more than friends with Oscar. Oscar is more into true crime books and television shows but he eats up all the women’s attention with a smile.

One of Ally’s first clients is a boxer named Roxy, owned by lawyer Marty Shawlin. He has hired her to walk Roxy daily. When she arrives to take Roxy on her walk she makes a gruesome discovery. Martin Shawlin stretched out on the floor, eyes staring vacantly into space, his head matted with blood, and no pulse. Roxy is barking like mad. Marty Shawlin has been murdered and the only witness seems to be his beautiful boxer.


Ally Winter is a wonderful protagonist. She’d been knocked down and she got back up and is slowly succeeding at getting her life back on track after leaving her cheating fiancé in the dust. She has a great bond with her grandfather. Oscar thinks it will be easy to catch a killer and encourages Ally to investigate with his help, of course. Harriet, Lydia, and Tillie reside with Oscar at the Willow Bluff Legacy House, a small assisted-living facility. The “Willow Widows” are all trying to outdo each other for Oscar’s attention. We also meet Detective Noah Jorgensen. He went to school with Ally and knows all of her embarrassing history. And then there is Roxy. She immediately stole Ally’s heart and mine as well. All of Ms. Scott’s core characters are very well developed for the first book in the series. They are genuine and for the most part, engaging. Noah hit me wrong from the start so I haven’t made up my mind about him yet.

The mystery was very well-plotted. The victim had angered several people which meant a nice pool of suspects. I got a real kick of Grandpa Oscar. He doesn’t let a little thing like a hip replacement slow him down especially when the police have him on their suspect list. Ally tries hard to reel him in but when the threats hit close to home she knows she needs his help. I enjoyed tagging along with them as they followed the clues and came up with theories.

The author adds a whole bunch of humor to the story too. The Willow Widows bring their share but Gramps and Allie have their moments too.

Dogged by Death has set this series off to an excellent start. Tailing Trouble is impatiently waiting on my Kindle. I can’t wait for my next trip up the road to Willow Bluff.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Laura Scott 

Laura Scott is a registered nurse by day and an author by night. She has written over sixty books and has more ideas than time to write. She lives with her husband and a variety of pets, including a beautiful chocolate lab named Moose, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

Author Links – Website FacebookTwitter

Laura also writes Christian Romance. Find those books here.

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

Posted in 2023 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Rivalry Gone Wrong: A Cheer Moms Mystery by L.C. Turner #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @laina_turner


Rivalry Gone Wrong: A Cheer Moms Mystery
by L.C. Turner

About Rivalry Gone Wrong


Rivalry Gone Wrong: A Cheer Moms Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Seris
Setting – Southern Illinois
Independently Published (January 10, 2023)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 105 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BNQWW6LM

These cheer moms are not content to sit on the sidelines.

Abby Winters is not your typical cheer mom. She doesn’t have time to micromanage her daughter’s competitive cheer group. She’s got her business, Scoops Ice Cream Shop, to run.

But when a rival team’s coach turns up dead and all signs point to murder, Abby wants to make sure her daughter is safe.

Can she catch the killer before they strike again or is the culprit going to murder the competition?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Competitive cheerleading can be deadly!

Abby Winters’ daughter Ashley is on a cheer team and unlike some other cheer moms, Abby had only been attending the competition meets and very few practices. That is until a coach from a rival team is murdered. Now Abby is attending every practice, even a practice of the team that lost their coach. With a killer on the loose, she wants to be sure Ashley, her friends, and all the other girls are safe. So maybe by sitting with the other moms, listening carefully, and asking the right questions she may able to get a line on the killer before anyone else ends up dead.


This is a very fast read at just over 100 pages. Ms. Turner sets the scenes well and gives readers an insight into the world of competitive cheerleading. While it is not a big sport around here I have seen the movie Bring It On more than once and the reality show Cheer, so I know the girls work hard and the competition is fierce. I also know the moms can get crazy. I love that Ms. Turner has used it for the theme of this series.

Her characters seem very realistic too, Abby is a great mom juggling her business, an ice cream shop, and trying to be there for everything her daughter needs. Ashley is a typical teenager involved in a sport that takes a lot of dedication.  They have s strong bond. Detective Barrett is in charge of the case. He also loves ice cream and appears to be sweet on Abby. These main characters were pretty well developed for the first book in a new series and for the length of this book. I am intrigued to get to know them better.

The supporting characters didn’t have as much depth but I hope they evolve more over the course of the series.

I believe the novella length also forced the mystery to be wrapped up pretty quickly but it was a satisfying end. Abby was very determined and I liked that.

Rivalry Gone Wrong has me cheering for this series. The characters have my attention and I am excited to see what the author has in store for them next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About L.C. Turner 

As a child, L.C. thought she would either be a truck driver (thanks to Jerry Reed in Smokey and the Bandit) or work at Taco Bell (her favorite restaurant as a child). As she grew older, she realized her talents lay in other areas, and for the last several years has been a college professor teaching business and English.

Through all her career choices, she has continued to have a passion for writing stemming from childhood, where, as an only child, she developed a vivid imagination.

She is proud of her vast experiences in life from barrel racing, to being on the dance team for a semi-pro basketball team, to being a mom of 2 amazing kids.

She decided to follow her dream as an author in 2009 and has worked her way up to having 5 fans (maybe 6 now). She often tells her family and friends that no one is safe from his or her ventures slipping into her books. She lives in Indiana with her husband, kids and two very spoiled dogs.

Author Links

Facebook   Twitter    Amazon    Instagram    Website

Purchase Link

Amazon 
The Rest of the Series – Coming Soon

Great Escapes Praise for Rivalry Gone Wrong: A Cheer Moms Mystery by L.C. Turner

This is a fast, and enjoyable read! The author has first-hand experience with Cheering, and we learn how intensive this sport is!
~Maureen’s Musings

Rivalry Gone Wrong is the first book in the Cheer Moms Mystery series. As a former cheerleader and “cheer watcher”, I enjoyed reading Rivalry Gone Wrong and think you should give this quick mystery a read.
~Christy’s Cozy Corners

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 10 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
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January 13 – Lady Hawkeye – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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January 14 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
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January 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
January 16 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 17 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
January 18 – Diana’s Book Journal – SPOTLIGHT
January 19 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – 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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Cozy Wednesday featuring Bookclubbed to Death (Mystery Bookshop) by V.M. Burns #Review / #Giveaway @vmburns

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

Today I am featuring Bookclubbed to Death by V.M. Burns.


Bookclubbed to Death (Mystery Bookshop)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Michigan
‎Kensington Cozies (December 27, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 240 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496739469
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496739469
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09YL6DB6Y

When the bookshop she owns becomes a crime scene, mystery writer Samantha Washington discovers there is such a thing as bad publicity . . .

After the local library in North Harbor, Michigan, is flooded in a storm, Sam offers her bookstore as a new venue for the Mystery Mavens Book Club. Unfortunately, she immediately runs afoul of the club leader, Delia Marshall, a book reviewer who can make or break careers—something Sam can ill afford with her debut historical mystery soon to be published.

But the next morning, Sam opens her shop to find the unpleasant woman dead on the floor, bashed with a heavy—apparently lethal—tome: the Complete Works of Agatha Christie. While Sam is busy writing her latest British historical mystery in which the queen mother is suspected in the murder of a London Times correspondent, a pair of ambitious cops suspect Sam of the real-life crime. When she gathers Nano Jo and their friends from the Shady Acres Retirement Village to review the case, they discover every one of the Mavens had a motive. With her novel about to hit the stores, Sam must find out who clubbed Delia before a judge throws the book at her . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

North Harbor, Michigan is hit by a huge storm that downed trees and power lines and flooded the local library. Mystery bookshop owner Samantha Washington wanted to help so she opened her doors for the Mystery Mavens Book Club until the library could be reopened. Club leader Delia Matthews walked into the shop like she owned the place and started making demands for food to be served during the meeting and complaining that the meeting room was too small. Delia is a well-known book reviewer and the last thing Sam wants to do with her debut historical mystery about to be released is to ruffle the woman’s feathers so that while she can’t do anything about the space, she can provide food for the group.

The next morning Nana Jo wakes up Sam telling her that Delia Marshall was downstairs, dead. “Someone clubbed her to death with that book.” That book happens to be The Complete Works of Agatha Christie which was ordered by the now-deceased reviewer.

Sam has been busy working on her next mystery but now she has to add a real murder investigation to her duties as the police are ready to book her for Delia Marshall’s murder. She is glad she will have her Nana Jo and her friends from Shady Acres to help because it looks like every member of the Mystery Mavens Book Club had a reason to club the woman to death.


This is one of my favorite series. I really enjoy that our protagonist Samantha Washington is an author as well as a bookshop owner and that Ms. Burns gives us two mysteries within each book. The one Samantha is writing and the other that she ends up investigating to clear herself or someone near and dear to her. She is a darn good amateur sleuth and Nana Jo, Irma, Dorothy, Ruby Mae, and this time Detective Bradley Pitt—aka “Stinky Pitt” do their best to help. All these characters are very well-developed and those ladies from Shady Acres sure will tickle your funny bone. “Irma!” is heard often. She is a hoot and a half. I love her reports to the group. But she isn’t the only one to bring the humor. These lines really cracked me up. This is Nana Jo to Sam on their way to the basement with a scared Oreo and hard-of-hearing Snickers.

“We don’t have time for this, Dorothy. That tornado is almost on top of us, and I left my magic wand and shiny red shoes at the dry cleaners.”

Sam’s stories are also filled with great characters. The Queen Mother is a suspect this time and Lady Elizabeth is searching for clues. It is fun that Sam uses her writing to escape the drama happening in her real life but that it also helps her see what she is missing in her very real investigation. She rarely travels without her laptop so can write anywhere, even at a crowded casino.

Both mysteries are very well plotted with twists and turns. I really felt for Sam because her huge heart put her in Delia Marshall’s path. It is great that she has a supportive man by her side in her fiancee’ Frank. Frank has a mysterious past that gives him some fabulous connections. She also had a wonderful sister who Sam hates to ask for help but this time she really needs her. Interesting evidence paved the way for Sam but it involved some hard work to figure everything out. Lady Elizabeth has great support too.  It is always fun to have a mystery involving the royals.  Both mysteries kept me guessing.

Oreo and Snickers are a spunky pair and they always add to the story but they are getting up there in age. Our girls lasted for 17 years. I hope these two continue to frolic through the pages for a good long time.

Bookclubbed to Death is an excellent addition to this series. I was entertained totally by these wonderful characters and the situations they found themselves in. While this book can be read all on its own I truly recommend you read the series in order to enjoy the characters and their antics from the start.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

V.M. Burns was born and raised in the Midwestern United States. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Dog Writers Association of America, Thriller Writers International, is on the national board for Sisters in Crime. She currently resides in the warmer area of the U.S. with her two poodles. Readers can visit her website at http://www.vmburns.com

Author Links:     Website   Facebook   Twitter:  @vmburns    Goodreads     BookBub    Instagram

Purchase Links

Amazon

The Rest of the Series


Also by V.M. Burns

Writing as Valerie Burns

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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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Of Mushrooms and Matrimony (A Tish Tarragon Mystery) by Amy Patricia Meade #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Of Mushrooms and Matrimony (A Tish Tarragon Mystery)
by Amy Patricia Meade

About Of Mushrooms and Matrimony 

Of Mushrooms and Matrimony (A Tish Tarragon Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Severn House; Main edition (January 3, 2023)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 144830654X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1448306541
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B8ZMBLCL

Tish Tarragon is catering for a wedding, but the weekend goes from sweet to sour when a guest at the venue is poisoned.

Literary caterer and owner of Cookin’ the Books cafe Tish Tarragon is pushing thoughts of her impending eviction aside to prepare an appetizing welcome buffet for a wedding weekend at Abbingdon Green Bed and Breakfast. While there, Tish witnesses one of the guests, controversial TV chef, and restaurant critic, Gunner Randall, threatening staff after missing breakfast and making do with a mushroom omelet.

When Randall is found dead the following day, it soon becomes clear that poisoned mushrooms were behind his demise. With no shortage of potential suspects and motives, can Tish and her new beau, Sheriff Clemson Reade, uncover who was enraged enough with the unsavory star to silence him for good?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Literary caterer and owner of Cookin’ the Books cafe Tish Tarragon has lost her lease on her home and her business but she has one last catering job. A wedding weekend Abbingdon Green Bed and Breakfast. While setting up a fabulous welcome buffet she sees one of the guests complaining that the B&B’s breakfast hours end too early and demanding to be served. With him being a tv chef and restaurant critic the last thing she needs is a bad review so the owner quickly whips up a mushroom omelet to placate the man.

The next day the controversial critic is found dead. It appears he ingested some poisonous mushrooms, so the owner of the B&B finds herself high on the suspect list, but others could have fed him the deadly mushrooms too. Sheriff Clemson Reade and Tish are on the case but she still needs to be sure her catering gig goes off without a hitch.


This is the first book in the series that I have read but the author did an excellent job of making me feel right at home. I really like that Tish is a consultant for the police and that after spending so much time with Sheriff Clemson Reade a romance between them has blossomed. They do seem like a perfect match. Her friend Jules is a real treasure. I loved him! Her other friend Mary Jo appears to have gone through her own drama but has come through it strong with the help of her friends. Celestine works with Tish and has opened her home to Mary Jo and her daughter. There is a very strong bond between Tish, Jules, Mary Jo, and Celestine that I am sure was built over the course of the series. All the characters felt true to life and I enjoyed meeting them.

A strong subplot throughout the story is about Tish being evicted from her home and business which included a cafe due to breaking up with her landlord. I don’t know a lot about Schuyler but he appears to not excel at being a boyfriend, landlord, or mayor. Tish is better off without him but he has put her in a terrible position. So in addition to hunting down a killer, she is trying to find a place to live and a new home for her businesses.

The mystery is very complicated because Chef Gunner Randall ate a heck of a lot of mushrooms within the right timeframe. Tish and Reade visit every place the deceased critic visited but were unable to eliminate anyone. It was quite entertaining to ferret through the clues right along with them. I was not totally surprised though when the killer was revealed. I had a little inkling during the story that this person needed a closer look.

The final chapter was fantastic and filled with feel-good moments. I really enjoy it when an author leaves their characters in a good place with a notion of exciting things to come.

Of Mushrooms and Matrimony intrigued me from the start. The characters were genuine and engaging. The mystery was not only interesting but educational. There are many kinds of mushrooms, many are poisonous but Death Cap mushrooms are the deadliest. Thankfully I am not a fan of any kind of mushroom but I bet after reading this book I could identify the deadly fungi in an instant.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Amy Patricia Meade 

Author of the critically acclaimed Marjorie McClelland Mysteries, Vermont Country Living Mysteries, and Tish Tarragon Mysteries, Amy Patricia Meade is a native of Long Island, NY, where she cut her teeth on classic films and books featuring Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown.

After stints as an Operations Manager for a document imaging company and as a freelance technical writer, Amy left the bright lights of New York City and headed north to pursue her creative writing career amidst the idyllic beauty of Vermont’s Green Mountains.

After five years living in Bristol, England, Amy now resides in upstate New York.

When not writing, Amy spends her time working for her musician husband, watching classic films, testing new recipes, belly dancing, and cleaning cat hair from her lap.

Author Links: 

Website – Facebook – Instagram

Purchase Links

AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound – 

The Rest of the Series

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 4 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
January 4 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
January 5 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 5 – Ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT
January 6 – Books to the Ceiling – SPOTLIGHT*
January 6 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 – Bootsie’s Book Nook – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – RECIPE
January 11 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 13 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 14 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST
January 15 – I’m Into Books – RECIPE
January 16 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
January 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

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

Posted in 2023 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Dial M for Meow (Bookshop Kitties Mysteries) by Ruth J. Hartman #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @ruthjhartman


Dial M for Meow (Bookshop Kitties Mysteries)
by Ruth J. Hartman

About Dial M for Meow


Dial M for Meow (Bookshop Kitties Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st In Series
Setting – Green Meadow, Indiana
Gemma Halliday Publishing (January 10, 2023)
Number of Pages 153
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BKHF9T7K

When children’s book author, Christy Bailey, receives a call from her aunt Betty to help out at her bookshop, she drops everything to go. Christy packs up her two cats—Milton and Pearl, the stars of her children’s mystery books—and leaves busy Philadelphia for tiny Green Meadow, Indiana. The timing of the call is perfect, as Christy’s letch of an ex-boyfriend has just cleaned out her savings, leaving Christy with a pile of unpaid bills and a desire to start over. And what better place to do that than a charming small town in Middle America?

But when Christy reaches her aunt’s bookshop, instead of small-town hospitality she finds a dead body! Even worse, her aunt is passed out in the corner, hands covered in blood. The dead woman is an old frenemy of her Aunt Betty, and while Christy knows her aunt is innocent, the local detective isn’t so sure. With Milton and Pearl prowling for clues, Christy is determined to find the real killer and clear her aunt’s name… before her story ends in tragedy!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Children’s author Christy Bailey has always loved books and her visits to see her Aunt Betty and her wonderful bookstore, Words to Read By. So when her aunt calls and says she needs help at the store just as she finds out her ex-boyfriend helped himself to her bank account leaving her unable to pay her bills she doesn’t think twice. She throws everything she can in her vehicle including her two favorite felines, the stars of her children’s mystery series, Milton and Pearl, and heads out of Philadelphia for Green Meadow, Indiana.

She arrives to find the bookshop closed and her aunt nowhere in sight. An old friend shows up though and they are both concerned. Using her key to get in Christy is shocked to find a dead woman in her aunt’s recliner and her aunt unconscious nearby with blood on her hands. There is no way her aunt could hurt anyone but of course, she is the number one suspect. To make matters worse Betty has no memory of what happened. Anxious to find the real killer, Christy with a little assistance from her inquisitive kitties starts her own investigation. She came to Green Meadow to help her aunt but she never thought it would be to help keep her out of prison.


I have to start this review by saying how much I love Milton and Pearl. I love that they are the stars of a series of children’s mysteries and that they love the attention of their adoring public. That they can help solve mysteries like their fictional counterparts is just icing on the cake. It is very apparent that the author loves cats and that she has some around her to inspire her. They really shine in this story.

Christy is a fabulous cat mom and appears to be a successful author. Her boyfriend must have been quite a snake to get away with stealing from her. I hope when she gets settled she sics the law on him. Her Aunt Betty is a real treasure and I love the way they work together. My mom’s name was Betty and she also owned her own business in a small town so it was someone like my mom that I pictured when reading about Betty. I am looking forward to seeing more development with both of these ladies to see if I am envisioning them properly.

Christy reconnects with her old friend Janie. Janie is a grabber and a hugger and they seem to pick up right where they left off as kids. There is also a young doctor in town. Easy on the eyes, does his job well, and perfect to be the new man in Christy’s life. I was not too impressed with the other residents we met in Green Meadow. I grew up in a small midwestern town and I know there are always a few quirky individuals and grumpy old men but this town seems to be overflowing with people with poor dispositions. I hope we meet some cheerier residents as the series continues to offset the curmudgeons.

The author did a fine job of plotting out the mystery. I was really surprised by the motive for the murder but not totally surprised who the killer turned out to be. There was a limited number of suspects and clues were nicely dropped along the way. I appreciated the exciting showdown where those lovable cats played a role in how everything turned out. There was one thing in the book not resolved though. It was intriguing so I look forward to it hopefully playing out in the next book.

Dial M for Meow was a fun read and while Christy’s cats aren’t necessarily as magical as Sofie Kelly‘s Hercules and Owen, I think her readers would enjoy meeting Milton and Pearl. I can’t wait to visit Words to Read By, and the Bookshop Kitties again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Ruth J. Hartman

Ruth J. Hartman spends her days herding cats and her nights spinning mysterious tales. She, her husband, and their cats love to spend time curled up in their recliners watching old Cary Grant movies. Well, the cats sit in the people’s recliners. Not that the cats couldn’t get their own furniture. They just choose to shed on someone else’s.

Ruth, a left-handed, cat-herding, farmhouse-dwelling writer uses her sense of humor as she writes tales of lovable, klutzy women who seem to find trouble without even trying.

Ruth’s husband and best friend, Garry, reads her manuscripts, rolls his eyes at her weird story ideas, and loves her despite her insistence all of her books have at least one cat in them.

Author Links

Facebook     Website     Twitter      GoodReads

Purchase Link

Amazon 

Also by Ruth J. Hartman

Find More Books by Ruth J. Hartman Here.

Great Escapes Praise for Dial M for Meow (Bookshop Kitties Mysteries)
by Ruth J. Hartman

DIAL M FOR MEOW combines clever cats, cantankerous characters, and bookish interests with murder in a new cozy series.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Dial M for Meow takes readers to the Midwest where there is a mysterious murder, clever kitties, a beloved bookstore, a childhood companion, a kindhearted relative, and sleuthing…
~The Avid Reader

Clever cats, likable characters, a bookshop, and a well-written mystery all add up to a five-star read for me!
~The Plain-Spoken Pen

A purrfect cat cozy that will leave readers meowing for more!
~Mochas Mysteries & Meows

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 10 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 10 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
January 10 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Bootsie’s Book Nook. – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – Elza Reads – REVIEW
January 11 – The Plain-Spoken Pen – REVIEW
January 11 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 11 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
January 12 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
January 13 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW
January 13 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 13 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 13 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
January 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 14 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 14 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
January 14 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
January 15 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
January 15 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTIGHT
January 15 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
January 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
January 16 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

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

Posted in 2023 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday Featuring A Streetcar Named Murder (New Orleans Mystery, A) by T. G. Herren #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

Today I am featuring
A Streetcar Named Murder today by T. G. Herren today!


A Streetcar Named Murder (New Orleans Mystery, A)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Crooked Lane Books (December 6, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639101322
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1639101320
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09TZNPL69

Blackmail in the Big Easy turns to cold-blooded murder in this debut cozy mystery perfect for fans of Jane K. Cleland.

When the mysterious letter arrives by courier, Valerie Cooper doesn’t know what to make of it. She’s become the beneficiary of her late husband’s estranged uncle’s will—a man she never knew—and inherited a majority partnership in the family’s company, New Orleans Fine Antiques. Valerie knows nothing about antiques, but she decides to learn the business and become an active partner. She’s also got her hands full fending off Collette, a woman who wants to sell the huge old house in the Irish Channel neighborhood Valerie and her husband painstakingly renovated.

Valerie isn’t interested in selling—but when her best friend Lorna, drags her to a costume party for the women’s Mardi Gras club, the Krewe of Athena, she stumbles over Collette’s body, a jeweled dagger sticking out of her chest. In a rush of panic, Valerie recognizes the dagger from her shop—and before she knows it, she’s become murder suspect number one.

Egged on by Lorna, she starts digging into Collette’s business dealings, and the deeper she digs, the dirtier it gets. Now all fingers are pointing at Valerie. In a desperate bid to clear her name, Valerie frantically tries to find who could have gotten hold of the dagger. But among a cadre of guests in full costume, it could be impossible to find the thief—and unmask the real killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Valerie Cooper lost her husband, Tony, the love of her life, in an on-the-job accident as a fireman a few years ago leaving her to raise their twin sons alone. She was very involved in activities when the boys were in school but they have now gone away to college and Valerie is dealing with an empty nest and looking for ways to fill her days. Thankfully she has a great friend and next-door neighbor, Lorna who does her best to keep Valerie busy.

Then Valerie receives a puzzling letter from an attorney telling her she has been named in Tony’s uncle Arthur’s will. She didn’t even know Tony had an uncle, Arthur. After meeting with the lawyer she learns he had quite an estate. A trust has been set up for her sons and she has inherited a majority interest in an antique store, New Orleans Fine Antiques. Not knowing much about antiques she is excited to learn and looks forward to working there. But everyone is not happy about her inheritance.

Collette, a real estate agent has been after Valerie to sell her house claiming she has a perfect buyer. Valerie and Collette’s sons all attended the same school and while they worked together, they were definitely not friends. And she really does not want to sell her house.

After several tries to dissuade Collette, someone else takes care of the problem. When Valerie attends a Mardi Gras Masquerade party with Lorna she finds Collette’s dead body outside of the event. A jeweled dagger stuck in her chest. A dagger from New Orleans Fine Antiques, Valerie’s new inheritance.

Now high on the suspect list Valerie must do everything she can to clear her name and reveal the real killer before she becomes their next victim.


I really loved the way this story started.

The first rule of life in New Orleans is Any time you leave your house not looking your best, you’ll run into your nemesis.

What a great first line. You just know this has happened before to main character Valerie Cooper and it is about to happen again. I could tell immediately I was going to enjoy this author’s sense of humor and was looking forward to a story full of it. Sadly that was not the case. I liked Valerie but the humor wasn’t at the level I had expected. She spent a lot of time lamenting about her life and things her husband didn’t tell her or things she didn’t care to know at the time but he really should have told her anyway. I also hated that she picked up on phrase from Collette and carried it and repeated it over and over again. A lot of this was set up by the premise of the story, which I loved, an unexpected inheritance that was going to change her life and connections to the people involved. It was just offputting the way it was dwelled on over and over again.

I did love Valerie’s friend Lorna. (Not Lauren as stated on the book cover text and the online synopsis.) A well-known author that loved to live life to the fullest even with a mother that drove her crazy with her daily calls. Lorna is a confident woman who doesn’t care what other people think. She is funny, kind, has no trouble speaking her mind, and is a great friend to Valerie. At the masquerade party, she was drinking bad wine and out on the dance floor having a great time while Valerie was a wallflower, sitting in a corner complaining about her sore feet and eavesdropping on other guests. Okay, what she heard started the ball rolling to finding a dead body but the girl needs to learn how to have some fun.

Surprisingly that ball rolling didn’t happen until more than halfway through the book. This story had a clear case of first story in the series – itis. The author had to introduce all the characters, set up their connections, and give enough of a backstory for the story to go in the direction he wanted. Then he had to get to the murder and its aftermath. Because of that, it is really hard to plot out a complex mystery within the pages allowed. This one was really easy to solve. We knew early who the victim would be and what weapon would be used. I found myself just waiting for it to happen. Then as suspects were revealed and questions were asked the twists turned out to be very minor leaving the Whodunit factor a little lacking.

I did enjoy the setting of the Big Easy, a place filled with possibilities of murder and mayhem. The information about the Krewes was very interesting. The descriptions of all the places were nice but sometimes the minute details got to be a little much.

All that being said, there are some good bones here. We now know the characters and there is plenty of room for development. This gives the author the opportunity to give readers a slam-bang mystery with a lot of depth and twists in book two. I would like to visit these characters again to see what happens next. I do hope the humor found at the beginning of this book shines all the way through the next one and that there is less repetition and detail of known things.

A Streetcar Named Murder is a satisfactory start for this series. I hope the author pulls everything together for the next installment and the publisher fixes Lorna’s name in the synopsis of this one soon.

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About T.G. Herren

T. G. Herren is the pen name of an award-winning author who has published over thirty-six books and over fifty short stories under various names. Herren is a long-time resident of New Orleans, where every day is Anything Can Happen Day. Herren has also worked as a sports/fitness journalist, an editor, and spent far too many years working in the airline industry.

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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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Winter’s End: A Mystery (Alaska Wild) by Paige Shelton #Review @MinotaurBooks @AuthorPaige


Winter’s End: A Mystery (Alaska Wild)
Suspense/Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Alaska
Minotaur Books (December 6, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250846595
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250846594
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09NTK1KVJ

The fourth installment in the gripping, atmospheric Alaska Wild series, Paige Shelton’s Winter’s End.

It’s springtime in Benedict, Alaska, and with the warmer weather comes an unseasonably somber local tradition…the annual Death Walk. At the end of each brutal winter, citizens gather downtown and then break into groups to search the community for those who might have somehow gotten stuck at home. Beth Rivers sets off with her friend Orin and dog Gus, toward the cabin of an elderly resident, intending to check on him.

When they reach the cabin, the old man is alive, but not in the best shape. Beth stays with him while Orin hurries to town for help, but it’s not Orin who returns. Gril comes back with shocking news, and it soon becomes clear that Orin has also vanished. When they discover that their friend has been doing some top-secret research, they start to worry he’s been exposed, or worse.

Meanwhile, Beth continues on her own search, for her father, who allegedly is alive in Mexico, but won’t return her calls. Still, she’s making progress in healing from her own trauma, though can’t quite shake the feeling she’s being followed…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Benedict, Alaska has a unique tradition due to the vastness of the area and the savage winter months. When the warmer weather of spring returns the annual Death Walk commences. Each citizen must check in downtown. Failure to do so means a visit from members of the community to check if they are still among the living. Newcomer Beth Rivers takes part in her first Death Walk and after checking in travels with her friend Orin and dog Gus to visit an elderly resident who has not appeared in town. They arrive to find the man alive but in a pretty bad state. While Orin leaves to arrange for him to be transferred to the doctor in town Beth stays to try to get some fluids into the man who is clearly dehydrated.

Sometime later Police Chief Gril returns to help Beth and tells her Orin has disappeared. When they return to town she also learns another of her new friends is missing too. Just what Beth needs in her life, more missing persons. She has been searching for her dad and her mother came to Alaska for a visit and took off without saying where she was going. She is also still recovering from her own traumatic event involving another missing man that needs to be caught. Beth also has the eerie feeling someone is watching her. On the upside, there is a new tenant at Benedict House, and boy can they cook!


Beth Rivers is a wonderful protagonist. She moved to Alaska to escape, to hide, from a man who kidnapped her and kept her locked in a van for 3 days before she was able to free herself. She was injured and hospitalized and with a little help, she left the lower 48 and touched down in Alaska to check in to Benedict House until her kidnapper could be caught. As a successful thriller author, using the pseudonym of Elizabeth Fairchild, she can write anywhere. Even in the wilderness of Alaska. Now with this 4th book, Beth is more settled. She has a routine and has made friends. Just a few know her true story but she has fit right into this unique town that is mostly made up of misfits, each with their own distinct story. Ms. Shelton has created a whole group of multifaceted characters including several new characters for this book. They all have layers that are slowly peeled away as the story/series continues. They are all intriguing in their own way and really draw you into the story.

There are several lines of mystery entwined together. A family feud, missing persons, a dead body, a mysterious individual, a weird landmark, and more all come together within these pages. The author has written a fast-paced riveting novel full of mystery and suspense. The location is almost a character in itself. I was able to clearly visualize every place our protagonist traveled. From where she lives at Benedict House, to the shed where she writes, the nearby library, the compounds at each end of town, and even the airport.

Winter’s End is another fascinating read from Paige Shelton. I escaped right into it and had a great time with the residents of Benedict, Alaska.

I have enjoyed every book in this series. I do recommend that you read them all in order to fully appreciate the character growth and development. Plus they are all fantastic reads. The best thing is that Beth’s story continues . . . but we have to wait until December when Lost Hours will be released. Ms. Shelton, can you see me tapping my foot? I am excited and impatiently waiting until that day.

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About The Author

PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood, as her father’s job as a football coach took her family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City. She thought she’d only stay a couple of years, but instead, she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After many decades in Utah, she and her family moved to Arizona. She writes the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series and the Alaska Wild series. Her other series include the Farmers’ Market, Cooking School, and Dangerous Type mystery series.

The Rest of the Series

Coming December 5, 2023



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.”