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

Cozy Wednesday featuring Death at the Salon (A Daisy Thorne Mystery) by Louise R. Innes #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @LouiseRoseInnes

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to feature Death at the Salon by Louise R. Innes today!


Death at the Salon (A Daisy Thorne Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Surrey, England
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (March 30, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 149672982X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496729828
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08CBM34BZ

After hairdresser Daisy Thorne finds her missing scissors in a customer’s back, she becomes the prime suspect in a murder . . .

When Ooh La La regular Mel Haverstock left the hair salon that morning, no one expected it would be her final parting. But when Daisy closes shop Saturday night, she finds her client dead as the mullet cut. Homicide is back in style in the quiet village of Edgemead in Surrey, England. But who would want to harm a hair on poor Mel’s head?

Suspicions higher than a beehive pile on Daisy when it’s revealed that she and Mel had tangled back in high school, and DNA evidence seems to color her guilty. Handsome DCI Paul McGuinness gives the hairstylist new accessories—a lovely pair of silver handcuffs. To clear her name, Daisy must highlight the real backstabber, or she’ll end up shaving heads in the prison barbershop.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Finding a dead client is harrowing. Finding a dead client with YOUR scissors in their back is murder! And you become the prime suspect! That is exactly what happened to hairdresser Daisy Thorne. The victim, Mel Haverstock, and Daisy have some old history that some people think gives her motive. That and some questionable DNA findings earn her a pair of shiny new bracelets. But Daisy is determined to wash DCI McGuinness right out of her hair and style the real killer off to prison herself or dye trying!


Daisy Thorne is an admirable protagonist. She is intelligent and can think on her feet. She took clearing her name seriously and she came up with a list of suspects and worked her way through them. Ms. Innes also surrounds her with a nice supporting cast. Her friends/employees all have their own little quirks and histories. The banter between them is fun and true to life. What I loved was the way they pulled together and followed Daisy’s lead. The bit of romantic tension between Daisy and Detective McGuiness is interesting and entertaining especially when he has to do his job. All the characters are cleverly written with plenty of room for growth.

The mystery was well-plotted, filled with twists, and set a very comfortable pace. The murder happens early in the story giving plenty of time for a thorough inquiry. I love the way it came to an end. Daisy came up with a great idea to flush out a killer and the good detective was on board and present as her plan played out.

The salon setting really works. It is something relatable to everyone here or across the pond. My son’s girlfriend is working to complete her cosmetology degree and I recently went to the salon attached to the school. My first haircut since the pandemic and my cancer treatments. It was almost exactly what Ms. Innes describes in this book, as were other salons I have visited over the years.

This second Daisy Thore Mystery was very entertaining. I am excited that the third, Death at Holly Lodge has been released. With its Christmas theme, it is perfect reading for this time of year. I hope to read and review it soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Louise R. Innis writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. She lives in leafy Surrey in the United Kingdom with her family, and when she’s not writing, she can be found traipsing through the countryside or kayaking on the River Thames. Visit her on Facebook or Twitter or at louiseroseinnes.com.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

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

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Let Her Be (Hush Collection) by Lisa Unger #Review / #PrimeFree

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.


Let Her Be (Hush Collection)
Thriller & Suspense Short Reads
1 of 6 Books in This Series (Book 6 0f 6)
Setting – New York
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Amazon Original Stories (July 30, 2020)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 56 pages
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08BTZT8HS

A writer’s misguided suspicions ruined his life once before. This time he plans to prove he’s right in a New York Times bestselling author’s haunting short story of what happens when seeing is not believing.

Will, an aspiring novelist, can’t stop parsing his ex-girlfriend’s popular social media accounts for clues that her ideal new rural life with the perfect man has a dark side. After all, nobody he knows has actually seen the blissful blogger in the flesh for nearly a year. When Will draws a wary friend into his “investigation,” the real question becomes who’s truly in danger.

Lisa Unger’s Let Her Be is part of Hush, a collection of six stories, ranging from political mysteries to psychological thrillers, in which deception can be a matter of life and death. Each piece can be read or listened to in one truly chilling sitting.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Will is an aspiring author who recently survived a suicide attempt following the breakup with her girlfriend. He just can’t stop checking her social media accounts and blog showing she is living her best life with the perfect man. She not only left him behind but her friends and family behind. He meets up with one of her friends and they decide to try to find her but this investigation doesn’t go the way he thought it would.


I had a book by Lisa Unger a couple of years ago that I really enjoyed so when this book popped up in my Amazon feed as a “book you may like” I added it to my wish list and recently saw I could read it for free with my Amazon Prime I decided to use it for my “U” author for my Alphabet Soup – Author Edition Challenge. Due to the suicide element, I had to prepare myself to read it and was finally able to do the last week. I am so glad I did!

This is a short story of just 56 pages and wow, the author packed a lot into those pages. After getting through the first few pages I was totally engrossed in this story.

Will is a totally flawed individual. He is still extremely upset that he drove his girlfriend away. After the breakup, he moved into a stalker phase so much so that he received a restraining order. He was clearly struggling, hence the suicide attempt but now he is seeing a counselor and trying to get his life in order but that girlfriend is always filling his thoughts.

Ms. Unger rachets it up the suspense when Will wonders if Anise is really safe? Is she living her ideal life? Let me just say there should have been steam coming out of my Kindle because of how fast I was reading to get those answers.

Wow, all I can say is the ending was awesome.

Let Her Be is a fast read made faster by the content. It was a Perfect Mini Escape. I need to read the other five short stories in the Hush Collection as well as some longer content by Lisa Unger.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

If you have Amazon Prime you can read or listen to this story and the whole Hush Collection for FREE! If you don’t have Amazon Prime you can buy this book and others in the collection for$1.99 each. 

About the Author

Lisa Unger is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions on the 7:45 and the Edgar Award–nominated short story The Sleep Tight Motel. Her books have been published in twenty-six languages and her essays have appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and on NPR.

*This book was from my private collection. Received using Amazon’s Prime Free Program.
Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Read The Printed Word Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Eighteen Acres: A Novel by Nicolle Wallace #Review / #Giveaway

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

After our recent move, I took a hard look at my To-Be-Read bookshelves and moved this book way up. It is a book I have wanted to read for a long time. 


Eighteen Acres: A Novel
Political Fiction
1st in Series
Setting – Washinton D.C./Afghanistan
Atria Book (October 19, 2010)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1439194823
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1439194829
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1439195935
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1439195932
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B003VPWYNC

From the former Communications Director for the White House and current political media strategist comes a suspenseful and smart commercial novel about the first female president and all dramas and deceptions she faces both in politics and in love.

Eighteen Acresa description used by political insiders when referring to the White House complex, follows the first female President of the United States, Charlotte Kramer, and her staff as they take on dangerous threats from abroad and within her very own cabinet.

Charlotte Kramer, the 45th US President, Melanie Kingston, the White House chief of staff, and Dale Smith, a White House correspondent for one of the networks are all working tirelessly on Charlotte’s campaign for re-election. At the very moment when they should have been securing success, though, Kramer’s White House implodes under rumors of her husband’s infidelity and grave errors of judgment on the part of her closest national security advisor.  In an upheaval that threatens not only the presidency but the safety of the American people, Charlotte must fight to regain her footing and protect the country she has given her life to serving.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The 45th President of The United States, Charlotte Kramer, the first woman to hold the office is dealing with many issues while campaigning for reelection. Her Chief-of-Staff, Melanie Kingston, has worked a long time in D.C. and knows all the ins and outs to keep the office of the President running smoothly. When she receives a tip that the press is going to run a story about infidelity she knows she has to squash the rumor. At the same time, President Kramer travels to visit the Afghan region with her closest national security advisor. At a time of crisis that advisor makes a decision that could have been deadly and could cost Kramer the presidency. Melanie is juggling all the events to try to assure her boss’s success while protecting the country and its people. It just may be more than she can handle.


Written by a former White House insider, this story focuses on three women, Charlotte Kramer, the President of the United States, Melanie Kingston, the White House Chief of Staff, and Dale Smith, a White House Correspondent for one of the networks. Each chapter is from a different women’s point of view with a behind-the-scenes look at each of their jobs. All three are ambitious and put their jobs first above anything which means they either have no personal life to speak of or their personal lives are in trouble. These characters are very well developed and continue to grow over the course of the story.

The story is very well written with a very probable pretense. Written years before the 45th President was elected we did almost have a woman elected to that office. I felt the story depicted this part of Charlotte Kramer’s presidency realistically. Wallace’s history enabled her to give readers a true look at what can happen in The White House. The short chapters gave the book a comfortable flow and kept the focus on the character’s lives more than the political climate around them. This is not a heavy political novel, although there are some tense moments. It does shine a light on some of the double standards women face in a fictional and entertaining way. Written more than ten years ago it still stands up over time. I will say the Republican Party in this book is totally different than the Republican Party today and I loved the choice and decisions President Kramer made when it came to her reelection and her campaign. It was refreshing and civil and something we may never see in real life.

With the shakeups and the way this book ended I am very interested in book 2, It’s Classified. I hope I get a chance to read it soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

https://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/confidential/nicolle-wallace-write-stuff-women-white-house-article-1.2201105
Daily News

About Nicolle Wallace 

Nicolle Wallace is an American television host and author. She is known for her work as the anchor of the MSNBC news and politics program Deadline: White House and a former co-host of the ABC daytime talk show The View. As a political analyst for MSNBC and NBC News, she is a frequent on-air contributor to the programs TodayThe 11th Hour with Brian Williams, and Morning Joe.

In her former political career, Wallace served as the White House Communications Director during the presidency of George W. Bush and in his 2004 re-election campaign. Wallace also served as a senior advisor for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. In addition, she is the author of the contemporary political novels Eighteen AcresIt’s Classified, and Madam President.

I am giving away my paperback copy!

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 9, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

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

Cozy Wednesday – Southern Sass and a Battered Bride (A Marygene Brown Mystery) by Kate Young – #Review / #Giveaway @KAYoungBooks @KensingtonBooks – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to share with you my thoughts today about
Southern Sass and a Battered Bride.


Southern Sass and a Battered Bride (A Marygene Brown Mystery)
by Kate Young

 

About Southern Sass and a Battered Bride


Southern Sass and a Battered Bride (A Marygene Brown Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Kensington (April 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721497
ISBN-13: 978-1496721495
Digital ASIN : B08F2WNNPQ

At a murder mystery–themed wedding reception on Georgia’s picturesque Peach Cove Island, the bride is doing an awfully good job playing dead . . .

 

Marygene Brown always figured she’d marry her childhood sweetheart, Alex Myers, not cater his wedding. But the Peach Diner could use the exposure. Most of the island is showing up—although more for the role-playing murder game at the reception than for the widely loathed bridezilla, Lucy Carmichael. Marygene may have to smile through the festivities, but Mama doesn’t have to hold her peace—especially since only Marygene can hear her mother’s ghost. Mama says she sees an aura of darkness around the wedding.

 

So when Marygene finds Lucy lying beside the wedding cake, buried in batter, with no pulse, it looks like Mama called it. This is no game. And when the bride’s body simply vanishes, it’s up to Marygene and her best friend Betsy (cousin to the groom and no fan of the bride) to solve a real-life mystery—with a little help from Mama’s sassy spirit . . .

 

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Alex Myers is getting married but not to his childhood sweetheart Marygene Brown. No, he is marrying Lucy Carmichael and no one is really happy about it. Marygene has consented to cater the event because it is good business, especially because most of the island is attending. They aren’t really coming to support the nuptials, they are coming to take part in the murder mystery reception. Marygene is surprised the bridezilla has consented to be the victim but when she sees the woman on the ground covered in batter she realizes the woman will do anything to be the center of attention.

Looking closely Marygene thinks the woman is doing an excellent job, she really looks dead. OMG! She is dead! Her mama’s ghost had warned her to be careful because there is an aura of darkness around the wedding. Well, she was right and things get even eerier when Lucy’s body disappears. Was she really dead or was it all just an act? Who would have taken a dead body? and how did they do it without being seen? Marygene knows she has to find out because she and her best friend Betsy are high up on the suspect list. She just hopes her mother will be able to see something Marygene is missing because this is no longer a game, it’s murder and other lives are on the line.


Kate Young has created such strong characters with a fantastic family dynamic. Marygene has grown so much since this series began. She is Southern through and through always trying to see the best in everyone even when they are clearly at their worse. She will bend over backward to help, again when people don’t deserve it. This time we saw the worse of Alex and it really shakes Marygene to her core but she remains open to help him even when others have backed away. Betsy and her Aunt Vi are really hurt by his words and actions but they are still able to bring plenty of funny to this story. I just love Marygene’s mother. Her ghostly presence is always interesting. She is still learning about what she can and can’t do but she always shows up when Marygene needs her most. A tragic event within the story shows that even a ghost can grow and evolve. Marygene’s siblings also play a large role in the story. I became invested in these characters early in this series and they continue to warm my heart and surprise me too. This family is close and that is what drives this series.

The story starts out of the gate fast with so much going on. This author excels at blending real-life happenings with the murder mystery. Marygene is pulled in several directions it seems all at the same time. A complicated mystery unfolds with several twists and exciting moments. Marygene takes a wild ride literally this time and it had me holding my breath imagining what could have been and that was just the first time it happened. The pages were flying as each clue dropped and my theories took flight. I did have someone pretty well pinned to the top of my suspect list but there were twists that really surprised me and I was pretty shocked when all was revealed.

As I have said before, the books in this series are so much more than cozy mysteries. Kate Young gives her readers a story full of Southern charm and sass and characters that are realistic and true. The dialogues are cleverly written and the humor is spot-on.  Southern Sass and a Battered Bride is a very entertaining story. I definitely need more Marygene, Betsy, and Aunt Vi in my life. I hope to return to Peach Cove Island soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Kate Young

Kate Young writes 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

 Purchase Links  – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – IndieBound

Also by Kate Young

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April 26 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 26 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
April 26 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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April 27 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
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April 27 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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April 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
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April 29 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
April 29 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT
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May 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
May 2 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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

Cozy Wednesday featuring Fresh Brewed Murder (A Ground Rules Mystery) by Emmeline Duncan #Review / #Giveaway @DuncanEmmeline

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to share with you my thoughts about
Fresh Brewed Murder today! 


Fresh Brewed Murder (A Ground Rules Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: Kensington (March 30, 2021)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-10: 1496733398
ISBN-13: 978-1496733399
Kindle ASIN: B08CBP43VZ

Master barista Sage Caplin is opening a new coffee cart in Portland, Oregon, but a killer is brewing up a world of trouble. . . .

Portland is famous for its rain, hipsters, craft beers . . . and coffee. Sage Caplin has high hopes for her coffee cart, Ground Rules, which she runs with her business partner, Harley—a genius at roasting beans and devising new blends. That’s essential in a city where locals have intensely strong opinions about cappuccino versus macchiato—especially in the case of one of Sage’s very first customers. . . .

Sage finds the man’s body in front of her cart, a fatal slash across his neck. There’s been plenty of anger in the air, from longtime vendors annoyed at Ground Rules taking a coveted spot in the food truck lot, to protesters demonstrating against a new high-rise. But who was mad enough to commit murder? Sage is already fending off trouble in the form of her estranged, con-artist mother, who’s trying to trickle back into her life. But when Sage’s very own box cutter is discovered to be the murder weapon, she needs to focus on finding the killer fast—before her business, and her life, come to a bitter end. . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sage Caplin and her partner Harley have opened a coffee food truck in a local lot. Sage is a people person and Harley is a master coffee bean roaster. Together they are hoping their business takes off and that they will soon move from their food cart to a brick-and-mortar store. The food truck lot is not without drama. There are protestors walking in opposition to a new high rise and some of the other food truck vendors wonder how Sage and Harley got such a coveted spot especially when other vendors lost their spots due to the proposed construction of the high rise.

After just a couple of days serving coffee savvy customers, Sage finds one of those customers dead right in front of her cart and the murder weapon appears to be the box cutter she borrowed from one of the other vendors. The detective assigned to the case believes Sage is guilty especially when he finds out who her mother is. Strange this is happening right after her mother reaches out to her after years of absence. Sage doesn’t have time to worry about her mother, she needs to find the real killer now and get the detective off her back before she ends up behind bars.


In this first Ground Rules Mystery, we meet barista Sage Caplin. She has had a very interesting life which gives her a unique perspective regarding some of the people she meets over the course of this story. I was intrigued by the way she handled the homeless population camping out nearby. She was very empathic and willing to help even volunteering to hand out hygiene and food packages to them.  As this is the first book in the series I feel we have just scratched the surface of this character. We are also introduced to her partner Harley, her great uncle Jimmy, her police detective dad, her lawyer brother Jackson and her cousin Miles. Her mother makes an appearance via a phone call. All the characters are cleverly written with plenty of room left for growth.

The author sets the scene of Portland and everywhere Sage visits very well. I could easily see each location come to life. We are also given quite an education about coffee beans and their brewing. I am not much of a coffee drinker but thought I knew every way it could be brewed but I was wrong. I learned some new things from Sage. I loved the way they came up with original custom drinks, some with alcohol for one of their new customers.

This time the protagonist isn’t actively searching full boar for the killer. She keeps her eyes and ears open and has some keen observations. There are several suspects and surprising ties between the deceased and another character. I am pleased to say the guilty party was on my list of top three suspects early on in the story but I was still surprised at the big reveal as to the true motive. Ms. Duncan served up some nice twists to divert the reader’s attention but I held strong to my own theories.  I was concerned about the relaxed pacing of the book and while the ending was exciting I would have liked a faster pace. I was engaged by the characters and that did keep the pages turning.

The author has set off this series to a fine start with Fresh Brewed Murder. I am looking forward to the next installment to see these characters evolve and to get to know them better. Coffee connoisseurs will love the drink descriptions and may want to brew a cup or two to enjoy while reading the book.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Emmeline Duncan is a mystery writer based out of Portland, Oregon. Her novels include the Ground Rules series, starting with 2021’s Fresh Brewed Murder.

Emmeline also writes YA novels as Kelly Garrett. Her debut YA, The Last To Die, was an Oregon Book Awards finalist and was re-issued by Sourcebooks Fire in November 2019. Kelly is also a 2020 Oregon Literary Fellow.

Emmeline/Kelly is a board member of the Northwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and co-organizes Friends of Mystery’s Bloody Thursday lecture series. She’s also a member of Sisters-In-Crime, Willamette Writers, and SCBWI.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram – 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 28, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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

The Case at Barton Manor: A 1920s Murder Mystery (Mrs. Lillywhite Investigates) by Emily Queen #Review

I found this book by accident. It just appeared in my Amazon feed as a FREE book and I noticed the author’s name would fill a spot on my Alphabet Soup Author Edition Reading Challenge so I snapped it right up. It is no longer free but is available on Kindle Unlimited. 


The Case at Barton Manor: A 1920s Murder Mystery (Mrs. Lillywhite Investigates)
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – England
Independently published (April 15, 2019)
Paperback: 155 pages
ISBN-10: 1094741566
ISBN-13: 978-1094741567
Kindle ASIN: B07MM2PY74

1920’s London

Rosemary Lillywhite only wanted to be left alone to mourn her dead husband in peace, but when a desperate woman knocks on the door of her dead husband’s investigative office, she’s forced to make a choice: come out of hiding or turn Grace Barton away. Working cases with Andrew had been fulfilling, but she couldn’t solve this case by herself—or could she?

When Rosemary discovers that Grace is from the same village where her family lives and that they’re all invited to a party at Barton Manor, she knows it’s a proposition she can’t refuse. With her best friend, bright young thing Vera Blackburn at her side, Rosemary heads to the country and finds herself embroiled in a murder investigation.

The plot thickens when she’s forced to defend her brother Frederick’s good name and is confronted with romantic feelings towards handsome CID detective and old friend Max Whittington. Will Rosemary solve the crime before the murderer strikes again?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Still in mourning after the death of her husband, Rosemary Lillywhite is ready to make some changes. She had decided to close down her husband Andrew’s investigation office. She enjoyed helping him with his cases but can’t imagine solving a case on her own. Then Grace Barton arrives at her door seeking help. After hearing her story and realizing their families have a connection Rosemary agrees to attend an upcoming party at Barton Manor to see if she can assist Grace in some way.

Rosemary and her friend Vera Blackburn head to the country never imaging a little investigating would turn into a full-blown murder mystery with her very own brother Fredick as a primary suspect. The CID detective assigned to the case is Max Whittington, a friend of both Rosemary and her now deceased husband. It feels good to have him on the scene but she is not going to let him cart her brother away even if he does make her heart race just a bit. She will ferret out every clue to catch the real killer.


I did enjoy meeting both Rosemary and Vera. The characters are as different as can be but are best friends who have each other’s back. Due to the short length of the book, these characters were not as developed as I had hoped the main characters would be by the end of the story. We also don’t get to know any of the vast number of other characters in the book at all below the surface. It is hard to get engaged in character’s lives without more development. One thing we do know about Rosemary is that she adored her husband so I was surprised to have a romantic element introduced so quickly. I just can’t see Rosemary being interested in a relationship with Max but the set-up is there.

The murder mystery started out great with several suspects. Rosemary has many theories. Then a big clue unexpectedly falls into place setting up the reveal of the killer which just felt off. The whole thing wrapped up too quickly for me.

This story doesn’t read as a real 1920’s English mystery. I guess I expected more pomp, more splendor, more high-brow characters. That aside I was entertained by the story and the theme of a woman detective set in that timeframe is intriguing. It was a nice light-hearted little story. I may give the second book in the series a chance to see if the author ironed out any of the issues I had.



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About Emily Queen

Emily Queen is a writer of historical fiction, including the Mrs. Lillywhite Investigates cozy mystery series. She lives in Maine, USA with her husband, two children, three cats, two dogs, and too many books to count. (from Facebook)

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This book is from my private collection.

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Gone Astray by Terry Korth Fischer #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @terryiswriting


Gone Astray
by Terry Korth Fischer

About Gone Astray

Gone Astray
Mystery/Suspense
Setting – Nebraska
Publisher: Wild Rose Press (February 15, 2021)
Paperback: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 1509235256
ISBN-13: 978-1509235254
Digital ASIN: B08SQCWXBG

A heart attack sends detective Rory Naysmith reeling. Too young to retire, he accepts a position in small-town Winterset, Nebraska. Handed an unsolved truck hijacking case, with the assistance of a rookie, Rory sets out to prove he is still able to go toe-to-toe with younger men. When the body of a Vietnam veteran turns up, he dons his fedora and spit-shines his shoes. But before he can solve the murder, an older woman disappears, followed closely by a second hijacking. He doggedly works the cases, following a thread that ties the two crimes together. But can Rory find the mental and physical strength to up his game and bring the criminals to justice before disaster strikes and he loses his job?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Leaving a job in the city following a heart attack, Rory Naysmith settles in Winterset, Nebraska, a small town in need of a detective. The chief expects big things like clearing a cold case involving a truck hijacking. Not familiar with people and places in his new home he requests a little help and the chief assigns a young rookie. The cold case gets pushed aside when a Vietnam Vet is murdered quickly followed by a missing person. Then there is another truck hijacked.  A crime wave has hit the little midwest town and the chief expects his new detective to handle it all. While working hard he starts to believe at least two of the crimes could be connected, could the third be connected as well? In an effort to prove himself he needs answers.


Rory Naysmith is a very interesting character with a fascinating new hobby trying to reduce stress while still keeping his presence vital. A complicated character that I immediately found intriguing. I enjoyed his keen sense of humor and that he grew over the course of the story.  The author surrounds him with an eclectic supporting cast including a rookie that is eager to please so much so it could get him in a lot of trouble, the daughters of the missing woman, the chief of police, and other residents of Winterset. All are cleverly written and feel true to small-town life.

Solving the cases was not easy and I really enjoyed Rory’s process. As the plot started to come together the suspense ratcheted up nicely. The detective’s decisions were a little iffy in places but felt true to his nature. What I loved what the surprising reveal. My heart took a hit too before the book drew to a close.

Gone Astray piqued my interest from the first page. Quality characters with an exciting whodunit held on tight to the very end. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Rory Naysmith and the fine people of Winterset.

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About Terry Korth Fischer

Terry Korth Fischer writes mystery and memoir. Her memoir, Omaha to Ogallala, was released in 2019, S&H Publishing, Inc. Her short stories have appeared in The Write Place at the Write Time, Spies & Heroes, Voices from the Plains, and numerous anthologies. Transplanted from the Midwest, Terry lives in Houston with her husband and their two guard cats. She enjoys a good mystery, the heat and humidity, and long summer days.

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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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A Side of Murder (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery) by Amy Pershing #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


A Side of Murder (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
by Amy Pershing

About A Side of Murder 


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

Beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is known for seafood, sand, surf and now … murder.

 

Samantha Barnes was always a foodie.  And when the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) came calling, she happily traded in Cape Cod for the Big Apple.  But then the rising young chef’s clash with another chef (her ex!) boils over and goes viral. So when Sam inherits a house on the Cape and lands a job writing restaurant reviews, it seems like the perfect pairing. What could go wrong? Well, as it turns out, a lot.

 

The dilapidated house comes with an enormous puppy. Her new boss is, well, bossy.  And the town’s harbor master is none other than her first love.  Nonetheless, Sam’s looking forward to reviewing the Bayview Grill—and indeed the seafood chowder is divine. But the body in the pond outside the eatery was not on the menu. Sam is certain this is murder. But as she begins to stir the pot, is she creating a recipe for her own untimely demise?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Amy Pershing gets the credit for my first book hangover of 2021.
I started reading and just couldn’t stop.

Samantha Barnes was a rising star in the New York food scene but one little pesky argument, okay, one big argument that was caught on video and uploaded on YouTube with her ex, also a notable chef has left her without a job.

Then her Aunt Ida passes away and leaves her a home on the Cape. The home also comes with a very large puppy dog named Dioge (D-O-G). A friend has taken over the editor position at the local paper, once held by Sam’s father. She gives Sam a job reviewing local restaurants. Sam also gets back in contact with some old friends. She almost doesn’t have time to miss her life in New York, but she does. She steps outside of a restaurant she is reviewing, one where she used to work, to contemplate her life when she notices a body floating in the water. An accidental drowning? Sam sure doesn’t think so. She may land herself in hot water but it can’t hurt to ask a few questions, can it?


I loved everything about this story starting with protagonist Samantha Barnes. She shows immediately she is not a woman to be messed with. She is tall, (very tall), smart, brave, and caring and she is not only fun but funny with a fantastic sense of humor. The author surrounds her with a stellar supporting cast including her first love, Jason, who now happens to be the harbormaster, her aunt’s friend and neighbor who quickly becomes a true friend of Sam’s, her friends she has known forever, and one huge, lovable dog. Her parents have retired to Florida but they are just a phone call away. These characters have so much depth for the first book in the series. I felt like I personally knew every one of them. All are very realistic, their dialogues ring true, including Sam’s inner dialogues which I really enjoyed.

I also fell in love with Aunt Ida’s home with a spectacular view. I loved that when the house got too big for Ida to handle she added an ell to the main home. A little mother’s cottage or aunt’s cottage in Ida’s case. Space for everything she needed and perfect for one person and their dog. Perfect for Sam now too because she can use space in the main house for when she wants to entertain like for her traditional Sunday meal with friends. I wish I had a place like Aunt Ida’s, it would be perfect for me too.

The mystery was so well-plotted and written. Filled with an abundance of twists and turns there was always something happening. The author really shows her writing chops. For example, I have never been in a sailboat but her dramatic detailed account of Sam’s heart-pounding adventure transported me out of my chair and onto that lake, moving my feet, stretching my body, and tilting side to side as I participated from my easy chair. The entire book was like that. I really felt like I was there for each and every scene.

The food prepared, eaten, and delightfully described tempted my taste buds the entire story. The author’s tips included added a nice touch.

Amy Pershing has written a spectacular cozy mystery. I was totally captivated and entertained from the first page to the last. So much so I want to shout about it from the rooftops! Daily life, suspense, comedy, and a touch of romance come together to make A Side of Murder a must-read for all cozy lovers!! Since I am in no shape to get my butt up on the rooftops I will do the best I can do and give it my Paradise Rating making it the first book on my Best Reads of 2021 list and post my review everywhere.

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About Amy Pershing

Amy Pershing is a lifelong mystery lover and wordsmith who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod. In her previous incarnations she was an assistant editor at Viking Penguin, a restaurant reviewer for Playbill magazine’s Restaurant Reporter, and a journalist at the Rome (Italy) Daily American before eventually going on to lead employee communications at a global bank. A few years ago (with the final college tuition bill paid), she waved goodbye to Wall Street in order to write full time (and spend more time sailing on Cape Cod!). A Side of Murder is the first book in the Cape Cod Foodie mystery series featuring Samantha Barnes, a disgraced but resilient ex-chef and the world’s most reluctant YouTube star. While Sam tries to balance her new job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie” with her complicated love life, a posse of just-slightly-odd friends, a falling-down house, and a ginormous puppy, she also discovers a new talent – a propensity for falling over dead bodies … and for solving crime.

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Other people loved it too!

“Cape Cod provides a stunning background for a debut that offers the ideal combination of mystery, romance, and recipes.” Kirkus Reviews

“An exquisite Cape Cod setting, a shamed but resilient chef, murderous secrets, and a long-buried but still steaming romance… Amy Pershing’s debut mystery will leave you longing for a seaside vacation, complete with fried clams and the next book in her charming series.” Lucy Burdette, national bestselling author of THE KEY LIME CRIME

“This is one of the freshest, funniest murder mysteries I’ve ever read. I fell absolutely in love with Samantha Barnes — the brave, sarcastic, crime-solving, relatable heroine we’ve all been waiting for. A Side of Murder is a rich, satisfying meal that delights from beginning to end, and Amy Pershing is a wonderful and clever author.” Elizabeth Gilbert, #1 New York Times bestselling author of EAT PRAY LOVE and CITY OF GIRLS

“A delicious mystery lovingly set in Cape Cod featuring a cast of charming characters. Amy Pershing writes with a fresh fun voice that will delight cozy fans. Chef turned restaurant critic Samantha Barnes proves a clever sleuth whose helpful cooking tips will be a big hit with culinary readers.” Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the DOMESTIC DIVA mysteries

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Farm to Trouble (Farm to Table Mysteries) by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @aflowerwriter

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to share my thoughts about Farm to Trouble by Amanda Flower today! 


Farm to Trouble (Farm to Table Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1492699918
ISBN-13: 978-1492699910
Kindle ASIN: B089N1KFLV

Coming home to a run-down farm, gossipy neighbors, and a shady investor is a lot to handle… but a murderer on the loose is the final straw!

Shiloh Bellamy cashed in her big city job and 401K to return home to Michigan to save the family farm, but turning Bellamy Farms into a sustainable, organic operation—complete with a farm-to-table café—is no small feat. Especially when her new investor is found dead among the flowers just hours after the contract is signed. Everyone knows her father had a grudge against the investor, and word travels fast in a small town…

Now, Shiloh must clear her family’s name and track down the real killer before her organic farm dreams wilt before her very eyes. But with her father trying to stop any progress on his land, her cousin belittling her every effort, the farmhouse falling down around her, and the whole town believing her family at fault, Shiloh’s small-town troubles are growing much faster than her crops. She’ll have to trust her own investigation or risk all her dreams drying up before they begin.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

After a traumatic event, Shiloh Bellamy hit the road for California landing herself a dream job. A job that enabled her to send money home to keep the family farm afloat. But her father’s health is failing and so is the farm so she heads home to Michigan with high hopes of making Bellamy Farms a totally organic operation. She also plans to add a farm-to-table café to increase the farm’s bottom line.  She knows to enact her plans she is going to need an influx of cash so she makes a contract with an investor right there in her hometown. When she arrives home she sees the farm is in much worse shape than she thought and her father is outraged to find out his daughter has agreed to take money from Jefferson Crocker.

The next day Shiloh arrives at the local farmer’s market to meet with her new investor but when she finds him she knows there will be no meeting. The man has been murdered and thanks to a loudmouth vendor almost everyone believes Shiloh is a cold-blooded killer. Others believe her father committed the crime. So now Shiloh has her work cut out for her. Her investor is dead, the farm still needs to be revived and now she has to find a killer to clear her dad and herself of murder.


Amanda Flower is a prolific cozy author who never disappoints. As soon as I heard about this series I booked a date on my calendar for Farm to Trouble. In this new series, we meet Shiloh Bellamy, her father, Sully, her cousin Stacey, her lovable pug, Huckleberry, along with assorted neighbors, friends, and other residents of Cherry Glen. While she has passed we also hear plenty about Shiloh’s grandmother. She was a hard-working woman who kept her family on track. She left behind quite a legacy as Shiloh recalls several times things her grandmother said and did. The author took her time and allowed her characters to develop over the course of the story while leaving plenty of room to grow as the series continues.

Ms. Flower captured the attitudes of small-town life perfectly. The cliques, the mean girls, the gossips, the hoity-toity, but a couple of good souls as well. Cherry Glen is a typical midwest town striving to find its footing in the progressing world. Change isn’t easy and many Cherry Glen residents are doing their best to avoid it.

The mystery was very well done featuring a victim who had plenty of enemies. The man liked flexing his financial muscles without a care about the people he left in his wake. Shiloh and Sully just happened to be his current mark. Being gone for so many years made it hard for Shiloh to know who to trust and she didn’t receive a hardy welcome home from many people but she still delves into an investigation to catch a killer. I was totally spinning my wheels until the actual guilty party was revealed. I at least had the person on my list but they were nowhere near the top. Ms. Flower penned a story with excellent twists. I did question some of Shiloh’s behavior with so much on the line but every person has their own way of processing actions and information.

Farm to Trouble has set this series off to a marvelous start. All the mysteries exposed within the book are not wrapped up by the final page. I am really looking forward to Shiloh solving the puzzle her grandmother left behind. I also feel there are some other things Shiloh needs to deal with from her past so she can truly move forward.

Ms. Flower has planted some wonderful seeds that I project will bloom into a very entertaining series. The story has a real true-to-life feel. There is some real family drama and there is a lot of hard work ahead for Shiloh to get close to realizing her dream plans. I think it is going to be very interesting to see the paths the author sets for these characters.

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About the Author

Amanda Flower, a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author of over twenty-five cozy mystery novels, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. In addition to being an author, Amanda is a former librarian with fifteen years of experience in Northeast Ohio.

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Coming April 27, 2021




Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)
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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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Furbidden Fatality (A Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery) by Deborah Blake #Review @BerkleyMystery


Furbidden Fatality (A Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Berkley (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0593201507
ISBN-13: 978-0593201503
Kindle ASIN: B08BYTZGW9

A lottery winner uses her good fortune to save a local pet sanctuary, but when a body is discovered on the property, she just might be in the doghouse in this first book in a new, charming cozy mystery series from author Deborah Blake.

Kari Stuart’s life is going nowhere—until she unexpectedly wins the lottery. The twenty-nine-year-old instant multimillionaire is still mulling plans for her winnings when rescuing a bossy black kitten leads her to a semi-abandoned animal shelter. They need the cash—Kari needs a purpose.

But the dilapidated rescue is literally going to the dogs with a pending lawsuit, hard to adopt animals and too much-unwanted attention from the town’s dog warden. When the warden turns up dead outside the shelter’s dog kennels, Kari finds herself up a creek without a pooper-scooper.

With the help of some dedicated volunteers, a cute vet, and a kitten who mysteriously shows up just when she needs it, Kari must prove her innocence all while trying to save a dog on death row. Now she just needs to hope that her string of unexpected luck isn’t about to run out.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

So exciting! Kari Stuart has won millions in the lottery but she has no idea what she wants with her life let alone the money. Then she finds a stray little black kitten that changes her life. An animal shelter on its last legs needs a benefactor and Kari has the funds to get the place updated and open again. It also gives her life some direction as she buys and takes over the shelter and the farmhouse on the property.

Then she learns one of the shelter dogs is part of a pending lawsuit and the dog warden seems to really have something against the shelter. When Kari hears the dogs making a ruckus in the middle of the night she runs from her new farmhouse to the shelter and finds the local dog catcher dead. She and all her volunteers because suspects in his death, especially Kari and the shelter’s former manager. Plagued by vandalism and other suspicious activity Kari worries she has invested in a project she will never get off the ground. She also sees there is a real possibility that even with all her cash she could end up behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit.

_____

I really enjoyed meeting the characters in this new cozy mystery series. Kari Stuart is a lucky woman and uses her fortune in a surprising way. I mean if you won 5 million dollars would your first thought of your first major purchase. especially when you know really nothing about animals or running a business? But Kari makes it work because there is already a super group of volunteers working at the shelter. The volunteers are a diverse group dedicating to saving the sanctuary and mostly are on board helping Kari make that happen. One volunteer is a little prickly and vocal at times but Kari just rolls with the verbal punches. The author has given us a nice introduction to these characters. I was engaged and invested in their lives quickly.

Ms. Blake also delivers a well-plotted mystery with a wide variety of suspects and surprises. A tangled-up web of deception kept this reader on her toes.  I loved the fast pace and the liberal use of humor throughout. The subplots are really strong and brought real depth to the entire story.

What I loved most of all was the animals. Buster, the dog accused of getting out of a fence and biting someone leading to the pending lawsuit just stole my heart. The stray little black kitten, Queenie, brings something special to the story and warmed my heart too. It was the animals on the cover that caught my eye and made me what to read this book. Kudos to the artist.

I found Furbidden Fatality to be a delightful debut for this pet-filled series. Light-hearted and entertaining, it was just a fun book to read.  I am excited to see where the author takes these characters. Doggone Deadly is set to be released on November 2. I will be impatiently waiting. 🙂 

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About the Author

Deborah Blake is the author of multiple romance series, including the Baba Yaga series, as well as over a dozen nonfiction titles. When not writing, Deborah runs The Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and also works as a jewelry maker, tarot reader, and energy healer. She lives in a 130-year-old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with numerous cats who supervise all her activities, both magical and mundane.


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.”