Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Ukulele Murder: A Nani Johnson Aloha Lagoon Mystery by Leslie Langtry #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.


Ukulele Murder: A Nani Johnson Aloha Lagoon Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Hawaii
Gemma Halliday Publishing (June 30, 2016)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1533594740
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1533594747
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01HU7401A

Nani Johnson thought she had it made when she moved from Kansas to the resort town of Aloha Lagoon, Kauai. In spite of her certifiably crazy mom, Nani is determined that nothing will stop her from becoming a ukulele virtuoso! Unfortunately, her Julliard training doesn’t help her break into the local music scene due to some heavy competition from the Terrible Trio—three hostile, local musicians. The only work she finds is a few bar mitzvahs and gigs at the kitschy Blue Hawaii Wedding Chapel.

But when one of Nani’s competitors drops dead right after a public feud, Nani becomes the police’s main suspect. A missing murder weapon, mysterious threats, and a heck of a frame-up job all have Nani worrying she’ll be trading in her flowery muumuus for prison orange. Enter hunky local botanist Nick Woodfield, who just might be able to help her clear her name…that is if he doesn’t have secrets of his own. With the bodies stacking up, the danger closing in, and the authorities circling, Nani must track down a killer…before she ends up the latest victim of the Ukulele Murderer!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to Aloha Lagoon, Kauai. Nani Johnson and her “crazy” mother have recently moved here from Kansas and Nani’s dream is to be a ukulele virtuoso. Being a graduate of Julliard means nothing here and she has some stiff competition in the Terrible Trio, 3 local ukelele masters. Needing a job she plays her ukelele at the Blue Hawaii Wedding Chapel and picks up any other gigs she can like birthday parties and bar mitzvahs.

When one of the Terrible Trio is killed Nani becomes the main suspect under the theory that killing them would enable her to get more high-profile jobs. When she learns one of her ukeleles is missing and it could very well be the murder weapon she realizes someone is setting her up just when her personal life seemed to be looking up. One of her mother’s fix-ups actually brought a great guy into her life. She is surprised when he actually wants to help her clear her name. Is this local botanist too good to be true? He seems to have some secrets of his own.

When another virtuoso is killed Nani starts to fear she may be next or sent to prison for crimes she didn’t commit. She has no choice but to hunt down the killer herself and hope she lives long enough to play her beloved ukelele again.


I needed to read a light fun cozy mystery and this book delivered that nicely.

I really enjoyed meeting Nani and her mother with her silly decorating themes. She does drink to excess and does depend heavily on Nani. In fact, she planned a dinner party with a new friend and her son and failed to tell Nani until the last minute which meant Nani getting dinner from a nearby restaurant and plating it up as if she had prepared it herself. She did forgive her mother this time because she and Nick really hit it off.

Nick is a botanist working at a local resort in charge of their grounds and gardens. His family is very well-known on the island and Nani is surprised his mother is so down to earth and befriended her mother.

Nani does have a lot of stacked against her, first, she is not Hawaiian and she didn’t even grow up on the islands. Then she has the competition of Alohalani, Kua, and Leilani, the Terrible Trio who tolerate her presence but would be happy if she just went away. Thankfully, other natives and locals have welcomed her with open arms, In fact, her best friend Binny comes from generations of Hawaiians and has her back whenever needed. Like clearing her of a murder charge. All the characters feel true to life and genuine. The supporting cast all had meaningful parts in the story and were very well crafted.

The author’s descriptive writing style taken readers to the island with ease. Everywhere the characters traveled was easy to see in my mind’s eye from Nani’s home to the palatial Woodfield estate and the Blue Hawaiian Wedding Chapel.  It was a nice virtual vacay to a place I would love to visit. It is high up on my bucket list.

The mystery was well plotted but I pinned the guilty party pretty early in the story and my selection was reinforced in several places as the book continued. It was fun watching Nani, Nick, and Binny follow the clues. The inept police detective was frustrating as he tried to make the case fit his assumption instead of doing any real investigating but that is part of what makes cozy mystery stories so entertaining to read.

Ukulele Murder is part of a long-running series written by several authors. Leslie Langtry has started this series out wonderfully and I look forward to reading more books in the series. I see we can revisit Nani, her mom, and Nick again in Ukelele Deadly, the 7th book in the series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Leslie Langtry is the USA Today bestselling author of the Greatest Hits Mysteries, the Merry Wrath Mysteries, Sex, Lies, & Family Vacations, and several books she hasn’t finished yet, because she’s very lazy. Leslie loves puppies and cake (but she will not share her cake with puppies) and lives with her family and assorted animals in the Midwest.
The Aloha Lagoon 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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes paradise rating You Read How Many Books Challenge

What the Cat Dragged In (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) by Miranda James #Review @BerkleyMystery


What the Cat Dragged In (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (August 31, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593199464
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593199466
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08CTFV6VW

Librarian Charlie Harris and his faithful feline companion, Diesel, have inherited Charlie’s grandfather’s house, along with a deadly legacy: a decades-old crime scene, in this all-new mystery in the New York Times bestselling Cat in the Stacks series.

Charlie has always believed that his grandfather had sold his house to his longtime tenant, Martin Hale. So when Martin dies, Charlie is surprised to discover the house was not left to Martin but instead belongs to Charlie. As he and Diesel check out the house he remembers fondly from his childhood, he is pleasantly surprised that it is in better condition than expected. That is, until they find a literal skeleton in a closet.

While the sheriff’s department investigates the mysterious remains, Charlie digs deeper into the past for clues to the identity of the bones and why they are there. But the cold case heats up quickly when Martin’s grandson is found dead on the farm.

As Charlie delves into his own family history, he encounters many people who might have been motivated to take a life. But Charlie and Diesel know that things are not always what they seem and that secrets seemingly lost to time have a way of finding their way back to haunt the present.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this latest Cats in the Stacks Mystery Charlie gets a big surprise. He inherits the family farmhouse outside of town. He had always thought his grandfather had sold the property but instead he gave the tenant Martin Hale, a lifelong lease. When Mr. Hale passed away the property reverted back to the Harris family, Charlie. His son Sean, a lawyer, is helping him wade through all the paperwork and necessary actions. Not having been in the house in years Charlie is anxious to take a tour of the place with Diesel by his side. The place will need a little work but is in better shape than he expected. While checking out the attic, Diesel makes a scary discovery  . . . a human skeleton in an old wardrobe. This puts any plans for the place on hold.

Charlie reports Diesel’s find to the sheriff’s office who calls in a specialist to try to identify the skeleton. Charlie realizes he doesn’t know or remember much about his family history so he takes the opportunity to investigate his family tree. He may even be able to identify the remains before the sheriff.

A huge storm moves through the area leaving downed trees at the family homestead and a body is found under a downed limb. It is quickly identified to be Hale’s grandson who thought he would be inheriting the property. When the limb is removed evidence shows the man was killed before the storm and it wasn’t any accident. The investigation into the skeleton turns into a current murder investigation and Charlie uncovers many reasons for the death and many other secrets as well.


I loved this story. Charlie’s deep dive into his family’s history drew my interest. I have a niece that has been researching our family history, something I have wanted to do for years but haven’t been able to do. I realized too late that I should have sat down with my mother who had vast knowledge of our family on both her and my father’s sides and his was very complicated. She would always know how everyone fit together and had wonderful stories that I should have listened to more carefully. When she passed away much of that knowledge passed away with her, knowledge I would have loved to pass on to my children and grandchildren. So you see, I was very excited to see Charlie take on this project. Keeping track of a family’s history is so important.

The mysteries Charlie was entangled in, the murder, and the skeleton were just a jumping-off point. There was another case the Athena Sheriff’s Office had been trying to solve that was really unknown to Charlie that he was able to solve as part of a terrifying incident at the end of the story. It was totally off his radar as he struggled with decisions about his family homestead and the deaths that had occurred.

I really enjoyed the author’s description of the Harris Family Homestead. I know the layout of Charlie’s current home, Helen Louise’s Bistro, (she on a girls getaway with her friends during this story), the college, his office, and the layout of the small town of Athena quite well after the 13 previous books in this series. She gives good concise details of this new to us property and I was able to follow along through each room and even into the neighboring woods.

Ms. James plotted such an excellent story with intrigue, secrets, drama, and action while allowing us to catch up on the regular daily news with Charlie, his family, his tenants, Melba, Kanesha, Azalea, plus Ramses and Diesel too. All of these characters are charming in their own ways and while I know there is going to be a stellar mystery or two in each book it is those characters that bring me back for each new installment of this wonderful series.

What the Cat Dragged In is now my favorite book in this series. It has everything I look for in a  cozy mystery and more.

You will find What the Cat Dragged In on my Best Reads of 2021 list because in my opinion it deserves more than 5 stars and receives my Paradise Rating.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

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

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

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


The Rest of the Series




Also by Miranda James

Click on the covers for more information or to order by Amazon.

Due to COVID-19, the publisher is unable to offer a giveaway at this time.

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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

X Marks the Murder: A Wendy Grace Mystery by Pam Stucky #Review @pamstuckyauthor


X Marks the Murder: A Wendy Grace Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Oregon
Independently Published (April 2, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 273 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1940800285
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1940800288
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B091MQ9YR1

She went looking for buried treasure. What she found was far more sinister.

Discover your new favorite amateur sleuth!

Wendy Grace has just retired after thirty years of teaching grade school. She and her second husband, James, have moved to the tiny town of Wandering Cove on the idyllic Oregon coast and are looking forward to filling the second half of their lives with new adventures. But Wendy did not expect that those new adventures would include murder!

On a seemingly bucolic Saturday afternoon, Wendy heads out with a local metal detector and shipwreck historian to try her hand at metal detecting on the beach right by her new home. As the historian regales Wendy with stories of the local shipwreck and its legendary lost treasure, Wendy is prepared to find the ubiquitous bottle caps, dropped coins, and maybe a lost bit of jewelry. What she ultimately discovers, however, is far more sinister.

While working on the challenge of identifying the victim, Wendy quickly digs up more long-buried secrets than anyone expected.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Back in April this book was offered for free on Amazon and knowing I needed an “X” book for my Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge I snapped it up and I am so happy that I did.

In X Marks the Murder we meet retired schoolteacher, Wendy Grace and her husband documentary filmmaker, James. They have just moved to Wandering Cove on the Oregon Coast. James can work from anywhere and he just wanted Wendy to be happy, plus they are now closer to his children and Wendy hopes maybe her kids will visit and fall in love with the place too. As you can tell both have been married before.

They had just moved and have been getting settled but James needs to make a quick day trip to Los Angeles so Wendy decides to scope out the town herself and finds herself at the Community Center and attending a lecture about local shipwrecks. There she meets Chester Edwards. A very active elderly man who has a passion for metal detecting along the beach and in the caves and coves. Wendy admits she is looking for some new hobbies so he offers to take her metal detecting that afternoon. He brings her a top-of-the-line detector and has an even better one for himself. A quick lesson and both are methodically sweeping back on forth and as he shares with her some shipwreck stories. But after finding several pull tabs from cans of soda Wendy makes some deadly discoveries. First a bullet, then a metal bracelet still attached to a very dead body.


I really enjoyed this story. The characters were very well developed for the first book in a series. I got to know them quickly, their backstories, their children, several residents of Wandering Cove, and how they fit together. I was totally invested in their lives just halfway through the book. Ms. Stucky did a great job. All the characters are relatable and seem very genuine

I love Wendy’s confident independence. She struck out to get to know people, she kept her eyes and ears open and openly tried to get to the bottom of the murder. After teaching children for 30 years she has a keen sense about people.  She is an excellent protagonist.

The investigation was different because the small town of Wandering Cove does not have a police force. they have a Community Officer, Trish, who coordinates whatever services made be needed for any situation. Wendy got to know her very well as she kept uncovering relevant clues sometimes with an assist from James and his family. His sons’ have a unique business that ended up being all tangled up in the investigation. The mystery had some great twists and secrets revealed. I felt it was different from the customary cozy mystery where the amateur sleuth is always the ire of the local police.

The author does an excellent job of setting the scene. I could easily imagine every place Wendy Grace went from her beachside home, the local bar, the cove where the body was found, and Coveside Farm, “the family business”. It was a complete pleasure to travel all around Wandering Cove.

The story does have some typos and a few unusual passages where the wording just doesn’t work. I would love it if the author would just do one more read-through and clean up these issues so they don’t ruin the flow of the story.

I feel the main job of a book is to entertain and this story did that. It also tested my mind as I followed the clues with Wendy. I am very excited to see what the author has planned for these characters. I had planned to give this book a 4-star rating because of the errors I mentioned above but writing this review was really easy because I couldn’t wait to share my thoughts with you so I am not holding back. This book was a Perfect Escape and deserves this rating.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Once, when Pam was quite young, she went to the library looking for books on magic. The librarian directed her to a different kind of books than those she was used to. She was used to books with pictures, or at the very least with a drawing at the beginning of each chapter. (She was very, very young.) These books about magic had a lot of words, and were written in a very small font, compared to what she was used to. She was skeptical.

Nonetheless, she took the books home and started reading. Until, with disgust, she realized these books weren’t about *magic*; they were about magic *tricks*. She had wanted to do real magic. Disillusioned, she returned the books to the library.

Then one day, she realized it is booked themselves that are magic.

In books, everything is possible.

Find out more about Pam at www.pamstucky.com.


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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Uncle and Ants: A Silicon Valley Mystery by Marc Jedel – #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.

I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing the first book in Marc Jedel’s new series Fish Out of Water earlier this year and enjoyed it so much I purchased this whole series. 

Uncle and Ants: A Silicon Valley Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
BGM Press (October 11, 2018)
Paperback: 287 pages
ISBN-10: 1732716404
ISBN-13: 978-1732716407
Digital: ASIN: B07H68L6XR

Mysterious attacks. Mischievous nieces. Can a clueless uncle catch a tech-savvy killer … and be home before bedtime?

When a freak accident hospitalizes Marty Golden’s sister and condemns him to babysitter duty, he thinks it’s just another case of hardwired bad luck in Silicon Valley. Until a suspicious murder suggests the mishap was no mere coincidence. Something must be done.

Too bad this quirky, fashion-backward uncle isn’t exactly hero material.

Convinced his sister is in mortal danger, this amateur sleuth follows clues to an oddball array of suspects. Armed with nothing but an eye for detail and powers of self-delusion, Marty tangles with gangsters, a cantankerous school secretary, and a perplexing woman he can’t help but fall for. Glitches in his investigation seem like a piece of cake compared to dinner-prep and bedtime stories with his two precocious, pre-teen nieces.

Can Marty catch the culprit, save his sister, and get his life back in order before he gets unplugged?

Uncle and Ants is the first novel in a refreshingly modern mystery series set in Silicon Valley. If you like clever humor, sassy side characters, and average Joes facing extraordinary circumstances, then you’ll love this twisty mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We meet Marty Golden when he is notified his sister has been injured in a scary car accident. She will be in the hospital for a while and Marty needs to step up and take care of her daughters. The man isn’t really equipped to be an all-star uncle but with a little help from his neighbor, Mrs. Kim, he is able to take care of the girls.

Back at the hospital, a mislabeled room leads to the death of one of the patients. Marty knows right away the woman was murdered and that his sister was the real target but with her unconscious, he is grasping at straws to figure out why. He finds a couple of clues on his sister’s calendar and decides to investigate on his own. He isn’t any better equipped for that task either but he soldiers on to get answers and protect his sister. Hopefully, he survives the endeavor.


Oh, my stars! Marty Golden is a hoot and half. Self-proclaimed computer nerd, Marty is a software engineer who writes code for Rover, a company that features a driverless car service. Just use their app to order your car and it shows up to take you wherever you want to go. With the right command, it will even wait for you and take you to another destination.

He works with Raj, who is from India who is learning American idioms. Their dialogues cracked me up. His sister Laney recently moved to town and is an HR consultant. She has two daughters, Skye is “twelve going on thirty” and Megan is “nine or eight, or possibly a mature seven”. Skye has a very interesting science fair project, the effectiveness of different feeding regimens of Dorymyrmex insanus, which translates to “crazy ants”. Megan tells her uncle her project is studying milkshakes and that is more up his alley.

These core characters are all cleverly written and genuine. The school secretary though is quite a character. She takes her job very seriously and that makes her a thorn in Marty’s side. I loved it! The police detective, a former underwear model, also takes his job seriously but doesn’t take Marty seriously at all.

The story moves along at a good clip as Marty travels to try to figure out what kind of trouble his sister is in. Sometimes he even shows up at work to do his actual job. His excursions even take him to a dream employer but before he leaves there he kills any option of ever actually working there. Another laugh-out-loud moment. I will say solving the mystery was not easy, Mr. Jedel twisted the clues up nicely.

I really enjoyed this story and the characters. Marty is an unusual protagonist and I was totally entertained by his antics. Uncle and Ants is a great debut for this author and I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the series.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Marc Jedel writes humorous murder mysteries. He credits his years of marketing leadership positions in Silicon Valley for honing his writing skills and sense of humor. While his high-tech marketing roles involved crafting plenty of fiction, these were just called emails, ads, and marketing collateral.

For most of Marc’s life, he’s been inventing stories. As he’s gotten older, he’s encountered more funny and odd people and situations. This has made it even easier for him to write what he knows and make up the rest. It’s a skill that’s served him well, both as an author and marketer.

The publication of Marc’s first novel, UNCLE AND ANTS, gave him permission to claim “author” as his job. This leads to much more interesting conversations with people than answering, “marketing.” Becoming an Amazon best-selling author has only made him more insufferable.

 Visit his website, marcjedel.com, for free chapters of novels, special offers, and more.

I am giving away 1 KINDLE Copy!

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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This was from my private collection.

 

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Question Is Murder by Mark Willen #Review


The Question Is Murder
Mystery
Setting – Washington D.C.
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pen-L Publishing (May 14, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 322 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1683132246
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1683132240
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B091RNCRQ7

Washington D.C. newspaper columnist Sam Turner, known to his readers as Mr. Ethics, faces his toughest moral dilemma yet: Can murder ever be justified?

That’s the question posed to him by a mysterious young woman who says she is being stalked and harassed by an ex-lover too powerful to be stopped any other way. Sam knows that journalists should never get personally involved in a story, but he finds he is being drawn deeper and deeper into this one whether he wants it or not.

So when Senator Wade Morgan turns up murdered, Sam fears the worst. Worried about his own involvement, the man who normally has all the answers is now the one making questionable decisions.

As his investigation into the Senator’s death begins to spin out of control, Sam finds he can’t let go—even as the case grows more complicated and the threats against his life become more immediate. With the fate of a young woman at stake and his own life in jeopardy, Sam can’t back down until the killer—whoever that may be—is brought to justice.

But this is D.C., and justice can be in short supply.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Can murder ever be justified? That is the question Sam Turner aka Mr. Ethics, a Washington D.C. newspaper columnist is asked in an email from “Truly Desperate”. He feels compelled to learn the mystery woman’s story even though he shouldn’t get personally involved. She tells him the man harassing her is a powerful Washington insider and she believes the only way to stop him is to kill him. No names are revealed but when Senator Wade Morgan is murdered he has a bad feeling that he was the man referred to in the email and his involvement may come back to bite him big time. Instead of backing off, he jumps all in on his own investigation putting his job, his life, and the mysterious woman’s life in danger.


Sam Turner receives many emails for his Mr. Ethics newspaper column but this one draws him in and he makes some terrible decisions which he tries to justify throughout the entire story. Told from multiple points of view the author takes the reader on quite a journey as Sam gets deeper and deeper into the case. The suspect’s first-person accounts really give the story depth but there is some repetition that messed with the flow.

The author brings many ethical questions to light as his characters try to validate what was done. All the characters have flaws and I did have sympathy for their plight. Sam really is at a crossroads in his life and the email plus the suspects are a challenge to him.  Truly Desperate is also struggling but is she guilty?  Is the Senator’s wife involved? What other enemies did the Senator have? I did enjoy the chase. Sam involves his co-workers and other contacts to try to find answers but the entire investigation was a little fuzzy. For that reason, I felt the ending was a little abrupt. Questions were answered but after the ride we had been taken on I just expected more. I felt like the author noticed his word/page count and felt like he just needed to wrap things up.

The theme of The Question is Murder is fantastic, ethics in D.C. is always a slippery slope. I was just very disappointed in the ending. I am open to reading more by this author because this story had a great start but the author seems to have lost his way heading into the conclusion. For me, this is a 3-Star book which is a conundrum because my rating system states those are a Satisfactory Excursion but I was not satisfied with the way the story played out at all.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Mark Willen has been a reporter, editor, producer, columnist, and blogger at The Voice of America, National Public Radio, Congressional Quarterly, Bloomberg News, and Kiplinger. He has published and broadcast hundreds of nonfiction articles from datelines as varied as New York, Concord, N.H., Moscow, Jerusalem, Cairo, Beijing, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, and Cape Town, South Africa.

Mark retired from full-time journalism in December 2010 to devote his energies to writing fiction. His short stories have been published in The Rusty Nail, Corner Club Press, and The Boiler Review. The Question Is Murder is his fourth novel.

Mark also leads a writer’s workshop for teenagers and serves as a volunteer tax preparer for elderly and low-income clients. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife, Janet.

Visit Mark’s Website here.


Also by Mark Willen

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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries: A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series by Tonya Kappes #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.


Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries: A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Publisher: Independently published (May 25, 2018)
Hardcover: 206 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8714027734
Paperback: 210 pages
ISBN-10: 1721977740
ISBN-13: 978-1721977741
Kindle ASIN: B07C4NT6BS

Welcome to Normal, Kentucky where NOTHING is normal.

Mae West, a far cry from the Hollywood actress, has been thrown for a loop. Her plush lifestyle in the big city of New York comes to a screeching halt after the FBI raids her mansion and arrests her husband, Paul West, for a Ponzi scheme that rips people out of millions of dollars.

Mae finds herself homeless, friendless, and penniless. All hope isn’t lost. . .the only thing Mae got to keep that the government didn’t seize is a tourist campground, Happy Trails, in Normal, Kentucky, and an RV to live in. One problem, Mae’s idea of camping has room service.

By the look of the brochure, Happy Trails has plush Kentucky Bluegrass, a crystal clear lake, a beach chair with her name on it, and thoughts of how much money it could bring her after she sells it. Mae figures she’ll take a couple of weeks’ vacation with her toes dipped in the lake. Things aren’t always as they appear. The Kentucky Bluegrass is nothing but dirt and the crystal clue lake is murky with green slime on top.

Mae quickly finds out that Happy Trails and the citizens of Normal were also victims of Paul’s schemes, making her lower than the lake scum in the residents’ eyes. Mae doesn’t think things could get much worse, but as luck would have it, Paul West has escaped from prison and is found dead, murdered, floating in the Happy Trails mucky green lake.

Mae is the number one suspect on Detective Hank Sharp’s shortlist. After all, Mae has the perfect motive as a kept wife who has been scorned to ashes, embarrassed to death and seeking revenge.

Time is running out for Mae to prove that she’s innocent and nothing like her husband. If only she could get someone to believe her and talk Detective Sharp into looking at other residents who’ve lost all their savings to Paul’s Ponzi scheme before the curtain is closed on this Hollywood namesake.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Mae West has had her life turned inside out. You see her husband was scum, scamming hard-working people and senior citizens out of their hard-earned cash and the FBI has finally caught up with him. Sadly Mae had no clue what he was up to and is now broke and homeless and without a motor vehicle. Then she meets with her lawyer where she finds herself the new owner of a used RV and a campground in Normal, Kentucky that was somehow in her name only. Seeing the brochure she immediately sees dollar signs, thinking how much can she sell it for. In the meantime, a little beach vacay sounds pretty good.

When she arrives at the Happy Trails Campground she thinks there must be some kind of mistake. The place looks nothing like the brochure. The sights are rundown, the lake is full of green slime and algae, and the beach is far from blissful. She learns her husband has struck here as well. Not taking care of upkeep and maintenance, not paying his manager, and worst of all he scammed the people here as well. She is not totally surprised to find his body in the slimy lake following his escape from prison. As the scorned wife she becomes the prime suspect. Sadly she needs to build a little trust with the people of Normal while she proves she did not murder anyone and had nothing to do with his schemes. Maybe then she will be able to get her life back on track.


I really enjoyed my first visit to Normal, Kentucky. The residents are some really quirky characters but most of them have huge hearts and are full of Southern hospitality. Mae is just 30 years old, Paul was 61, she thought she had a good life and never imagined things would turn out this way. I did come to admire the way she handled herself after her little pity party. She makes a real transformation over the course of these pages. I enjoyed the development of all the characters although I did have a few issues with the behavior of a certain FBI agent. It just felt off for that position. He seemed more a folksy small-town sheriff instead of a serious Special Agent for the FBI.

The mystery was pretty straight forward and I ferreted out the guilty party quite quickly but I continued to read the story all in one sitting and was very entertained. I did enjoy how the killer was revealed, it had an exciting few moments.

For me, Beaches, Bungalows, & Burglaries was a fresh, light read and a great way to spend a couple of hours.

Tonya Kappes is a writing machine. I have wanted to read this story/series since it was released but got discouraged as more and more books came out and I kept getting further behind. It will probably take me forever to catch up but I was very excited when a mini reading challenge gave me the opportunity to read this book and get started. Now I want to keep reading them all but with my reading commitments that is going to take time. I really want to delve deeper into the craziness of Normal so I am going to squeeze them in when I can.

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About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has published numerous mystery and romance titles. Known for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, she has earned thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.


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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Jackal & Hide: A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery (A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Jackal & Hide: A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait

About Jackal & Hide

Jackal & Hide:
A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Kenya
Publisher: Kanga Press (May 14, 2021)
Number of Pages 290
Digital ASIN: B08V9DFG1F

Limited time. A murderer hiding in plain sight. Can she crack the deadly puzzle without breaking her own heart?

 

‛Mama Rose’ Hardie just wants to make her ailing husband comfortable. So she puts aside her dedication to wildlife and community and whisks him off to a luxury lodge for a breathtaking getaway. But when a guest enters the bush and never returns, Rose is torn between remaining at her partner’s side and her fears for the woman’s plight.

 

Shocked when the missing person is found strangled to death, Rose struggles to balance her priorities when her husband takes a serious fall and ends up in the hospital. And with her estranged son demanding she stay by her husband’s bedside, the anxious investigator worries the killer may escape into the grassland…

 

Can Mama Rose solve the murder before time is cut short?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Lewa Marathon is just a few days away and Mama Rose and Craig’s son Chris is coming to participate in the event with some of his pals. Mama Rose and Craig have been offered a stay at a luxury lodge near the run and hope Chris will find time to spend with them there too. He and Craig had a falling out and with Craig’s failing health Rose knows it is important these men have some time together. Their daughter Rebecca is not coming for the race but is planning to visit at the end of June. Rose is excited to try out Craig’s new wheelchair to get him a prime location to watch the race because in addition to their son several friends are also participating.

It was a great race but the adventure tired Craig out and Mama Rose has a few wildlife issues to check out while he gets some rest. But her duties are cast aside when she learns a young woman also staying at the lodge has disappeared. A massive search gets underway and the woman’s body is found in the bush. Rose feels a responsibility to help find her killer but Craig takes a terrible fall and is admitted to the hospital. Craig understands her need to help but their son demands she stay with her husband. Rose does her best to juggle everything going on around her. Can she help solve a murder and give her husband the care he needs?


This was a very emotional story. Personally, I have been disabled and dependent on others for over 20 years. While not in as bad of shape as Craig I really identify with this character. His distress and condition are a huge subplot in this book and for me, it became my main interest. Over the previous 3 books, I truly became invested in this character. Rose is an excellent protagonist. She is smart and has her fingers in almost everything that goes on in the area. They have help to look after Craig while she is out on her rounds taking care of the animals far and wide or following mysterious clues to solve a case. Friends also drop by to chat or do crossword puzzles with him which he really enjoys. The supporting cast continues to develop in believable ways. In this story, a couple took some pretty big leaps.

Ms. Tait has embroiled her characters in a very interesting mystery this time. I really enjoy the way Mama Rose ruminates on the clues sometimes for a long time before she has that wonderful a-ha moment that starts to snap all the clues into place so that she can set up the big reveal. I was excited because I was on the totally right track and even a few steps ahead of her this time.

What I really love about Ms. Tait’s stories is her descriptive writing style. She brings the wilds of Kenya to life. In addition to the Lewa Marathon, Rose helped release four jackals back into the wild and took care of two baby ostriches that had a rough start to their lives. Everywhere these characters travel is vividly described and so easy to see in my mind’s eye. The Conservancy, the luxury lodge, the treacherous roads, and waterholes are all so clear. I almost felt like I was right there in each and every scene.

Jackal and Hide tugged at my heartstrings and I shed a few tears. Rose is an amazing woman but I feel she has some struggles ahead. I truly can’t wait until August 6 when Grevy Danger will be released. You will find Jackal and Hide on my Best Reads of 2021. It deserves more than 5 stars. I loved this story!


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Victoria Tait

Victoria Tait is the author of the enchanting Kenya Kanga Mystery series.  She’s drawn on 8 years of experience living in rural Kenya, with her family, to write vivid and evocative descriptions.  Her readers feel the heat, taste the dryness and smell the dust of Africa.  Her elderly amateur sleuth, “Mama Rose” Hardie is Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple reincarnated and living in Kenya.

Like all good military wives, Victoria follows the beat of the drum and currently lives in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  She has two fast growing teenage boys and enjoys horse riding and mountain biking.

You can find Victoria at VictoriaTait.com, at Bookbub, and her readers Facebook group, Victoria’s Voracious Readers (with her cat Izzy)

Website  –  Facebook  – Blog/News  – GoodReads – Pinterest

Purchase Links

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Coming August 6, 2021

Great Escapes Praise for Jackal & Hide: A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait

The author does an amazing job of describing the locations and environments. The lush forests and the dry plains, the magnificent wildlife that play major roles in this series . . . Take your time and appreciate all the nuances and details. This is a series to get lost in and find your way home.
~Laura’s Interests

Welcome to another fantastic African adventure with Mama Rose . . . I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Oh, my gosh! Oh, my gosh! Wow! I just finished Victoria Tait’s, “Jackal & Hide, A Kenya Kanga Mystery” and I am bowled over. It’s so good! . . . I loved this book. It touches your heart and punches you in the gut. When you read the last words, it’s just like crossing the finish line in a Marathon!
~Here’s How It Happened

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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – A Scandal in Scarlet (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery) by Vicki Delany #Review / #Giveaway @vickidelany

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.


A Scandal in Scarlet (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1683317904
ISBN-13: 978-1683317906
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 164385027X
ISBN-13: 978-1643850276
Kindle ASIN: B079DWNBV7

Gemma and Jayne donate their time to raise money for the rebuilding of a burned-out museum—but a killer wants a piece of the auction—in this fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Walking her dog Violet late one night, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop, acts quickly when she smells smoke outside the West London Museum. Fortunately, no one is inside, but it’s too late to save the museum’s priceless collection of furniture, and damage to the historic house is extensive. Baker Street’s shop owners come together to hold an afternoon auction tea to raise funds to rebuild, and Great Uncle Arthur Doyle offers a signed first edition of The Valley of Fear.

Cape Cod’s cognoscenti files into Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room, owned by Gemma’s best friend, Jayne Wilson. Excitement fills the air (along with the aromas of Jayne’s delightful scones, of course). But the auction never happens. Before the gavel can fall, museum board chair Kathy Lamb is found dead in the back room. Wrapped tightly around her neck is a long rope of decorative knotted tea cups—a gift item that Jayne sells at Mrs. Hudson’s. Gemma’s boyfriend in blue, Ryan Ashburton, arrives on the scene with Detective Louise Estrada. But the suspect list is long, and the case far from elementary. Does Kathy’s killing have any relation to a mysterious death of seven years ago?

Gemma has no intention of getting involved in the investigation, but when fellow shopkeeper Maureen finds herself the prime suspect she begs Gemma for her help. Ryan knows Gemma’s methods and he isn’t happy when she gets entangled in another mystery. But with so many suspects and so few clues, her deductive prowess will prove invaluable in A Scandal in Scarlet, Vicki Delany’s shrewdly plotted fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Gemma Doyle owns the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop on Baker Street in West London Massachusetts. While out walking her dog, Violet one evening outside of the West London Museum she smells smoke. The fire department arrives and saves most of the house but the furnishings and collectibles are destroyed. To rebuild and refurnish the Scarlet House an auction and tea is held at Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room with prizes donated by the Baker’s Street shopkeepers and other friends of the museum.

After the tea service ends the auction is set to start everything comes to a halt when museum board chair and auctioneer Kathy Lamb is found dead in the storeroom. Police arrive to an entire room of suspects including the deceased ex-husband and his new wife. One of the shopkeepers, Maureen MacGregor, is pegged as the prime suspect though because of a verbal altercation with Kathy prior to the start of the tea that was witnessed by everyone. She has asked Gemma to help prove her innocence. This doesn’t make her boyfriend, Detective Ryan Ashburton, or his partner Detective Louise Estrada happy but with the vast array of suspects, her insights could be helpful.


Gemma Doyle is a fantastic protagonist. She has a keen sense of observation, is smart and independent, and speaks her mind, sometimes to her own detriment. She may be viewed as a little harsh but by this fourth book in the series, she is softening a bit.  I think we have the good detective to thank for that. He has learned she can be helpful in solving his cases because she sees and picks up on things other people don’t. Her friend Jayne is the perfect Watson to her Sherlock. Gemma sometimes forges ahead quickly while Jayne does her best to keep Gemma out of trouble. Gemma has a unique assistant in Ashleigh that frees her up and gives her plenty of time to sleuth out clue after clue.

The author has written a very complicated mystery. The deceased wasn’t well-liked and at times was as subtle as a bulldozer when it came to the changes she wanted to make at Scarlet House. Hence, the plethora of suspects. The investigation takes Gemma and Jayne from one end of Baker Street to the other and visiting not one but two yacht clubs. The current mystery may have ties to an old cold case which brings even more intrigue to the story. I was totally kept guessing until the very end and then wanted to kick myself. The K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) theory totally applied in this case and I missed the clues completely.

The Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium and the attached Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room sounds like a fabulous place to visit for Sherlock Holmes lovers. Gemma carries several book titles and all types of memorabilia related to all the versions that have evolved over the years. Someone is always taking a new twist on the famous fictional detective and his sidekick.

A Scandal in Scarlet is an excellent addition to this series. As a fan of the Basil Rathbone Holmes portrayal and a fan of Vicki Delany, I don’t know how I got so far behind on this series but I am working to rectify that now. I hope to read and review There’s A Murder Afoot and A Curious Incident soon.

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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.

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!

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

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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 Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – In the Drink (Mack’s Bar Mysteries) by Allyson K. Abbott #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.


In the Drink (Mack’s Bar Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington (July 28, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 075828019X
ISBN-13: 978-0758280190
Kindle ASIN: B00P53BX30

Mack’s Bar and its crime-solving clientele are quickly gaining notoriety for helping solve some high-profile cases. But Mack is learning the hard way that not all press is good press . . .

By day, Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton is the proprietress of a popular Milwaukee watering hole. But after last call, she uses her unique cocktail of extra perceptive senses to help solve some of the city’s most grisly homicides. Now, Mack and her barstool detectives are happy to help when Tiny, one of the bar’s newest patrons, asks them to look into his sister’s murder. Though the case has gone cold, Mack’s heightened senses quickly put her on the killer’s trail. But when a throng of reporters intrigued by her talents descends on Mack’s Bar, her efforts are muddled as a real-life Moriarty begins putting her infamous skills to the test, leaving Mack feeling shaken and stirred . . .

Includes drink recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mack and Detective Duncan Albright’s relationship hits a huge bump in the road just when Mack needs him most. But he comes up with a plan to keep her safe as they try to figure out who is tormenting her with a mindboggling game of cat and mouse with deadly consequences.

The Capone Club is working on the cold case for one member of the group, Tiny. His sister was murdered and the cops never caught the killer. A few members are helping with Mack’s case too on the down-low. Both cases keep Mack and her friends busy while the bar is crowded with many new customers loving the new expansion. Hopefully soon Mack will get to enjoy the fruits of her labor too.


“Fail it and I will leave a body for you somewhere here in the city…It will be someone you know, someone who is close to you…”

This author knows how to grab her readers and hold on tight. Again there are two mysteries within the book, this time running concurrently. They are twisted together the entire way but only one is solved by the final page. At first, I was like NOOOO! Then I was thankful that I am reading this series now when the next book and each book in the rest of the series is in my TBR stacks, so I don’t have to wait months or a year for the next book to be released.

I really enjoy Mack’s unique gift of Synaesthesia and the way she deals with it. The fact that she now what to really use it to help others so much that she is having her reactions cataloged says so much about her as a person. She is still learning and understanding about her extra perceptive senses but is opening up more about them to people she trusts. She is an amazing character.

Ms. Abbott surrounds Mack with a great cast of supporting characters, regulars, and employees of the bar. This time she introduces us to Mal, an undercover cop who steps in to help Mack when Duncan can’t. This sets up a nice romantic triangle. It is too early to choose sides but Mal has definitely drawn my attention. M & M – Mack & Mal just may become a real thing.

Ms. Abbott is an interesting storyteller. She writes her mysteries in a fascinating way. In The Drink is a fine example of that. She has me hooked with engaging characters that I want to know more about and she has set her stories not far from where I live which adds an extra measure of delight. I am so excited for the next book in this series, Shots in the Dark. I will be grabbing a seat at Mack’s Bar again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Allyson K. Abbott is a pseudonym used by suspense writer Beth Amos. Beth has enjoyed a varied writing career that included a stint as a book reviewer and several years of nonfiction freelancing. Now she writes only fiction, and in stark contrast to her “day job” as an ER nurse, where she gets to save lives, the one common factor in her fiction, no matter what name it’s written under, is that someone always dies. Allyson K. Abbott is my little insider joke at having to pick yet another pseudonym. It’s not a coincidence the initials are what they are.  Check out her webpage here and on Facebook here.

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!

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This book was 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.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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.

Author Links –  Website    Twitter   Facebook   Amazon Author Page   Goodreads   BLOG Website

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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.”