Feb 162018
 

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 Good Day to Buy (A Sarah W. Garage Sale Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (April 25, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496707512
Kindle ASIN: B01JEJCA4G

 

 

HER BROTHER IS NO BARGAIN
When Sarah Winston’s estranged brother Luke shows up on her doorstep, asking her not to tell anyone he’s in town—especially her ex, the chief of police—the timing is strange, to say the least. Hours earlier, Sarah’s latest garage sale was taped off as a crime scene following the discovery of a murdered Vietnam vet and his gravely injured wife—her clients, the Spencers.
 
BUT IS HE A KILLER?
All Luke will tell Sarah is that he’s undercover, investigating a story. Before she can learn more, he vanishes as suddenly as he appeared. Rummaging through his things for a clue to his whereabouts, Sarah comes upon a list of veterans and realizes that to find her brother, she’ll have to figure out who killed Mr. Spencer. And all without telling her ex . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah Winston is helping the Spencers, a Vietnam vet and his wife, downsize with a garage sale. The sale is going well until the couple is found in a closed off area in the garage. The husband is dead but the wife is hanging on. Sarah is beside herself, how could this happen at one of her sales? Especially with so many people around. To her, that means plenty of suspects.

She is also surprised when her brother knocks on her door. She hasn’t seen him in years. He says he is working undercover on a story and begs her to keep his visit a secret. Even from her ex, who she is dating again and is around all the time. She discovers some of his notes, a list of veterans. Could his investigation have something to do with what happened at the garage sale? She is definitely going to find out.

I read this book all in one afternoon. The action started early and I just couldn’t put it down.

I was intrigued by the introduction of Sarah’s brother Luke. Had he crossed over to the dark side? Had his years in the service changed him. I went back and forth about him the entire story.

Sarah, now dating only C. J. but Seth is waiting in the wings really had her hands full. She is trying to solve the murder, trying to find out what her brother is up to, trying to help the Spencer’s son sell the things that were left over when the sale abruptly ended and trying to move her relationship with C.J. in the right direction. There were many nights she was exhausted and for good reason. All these characters are complex, real and entertaining. I am probably the only one but I am still on Team Seth.

The story has many layers and is very well plotted. Twist and turns and plenty of action kept the pages turning rapidly. The mystery centered on a topic I had never really given a lot of thought and I learned something. That always makes a story better.

I do enjoy Ms. Harris’ writing style. Her books are very easy to escape right into leaving the stressors of real life behind. A quick pace, plenty of suspects and a very entertaining mystery make this a good day to buy, A Good Day To Buy. 🙂

There is a cliffhanger at the end of this one. In a way, I am glad I was late to the party for this series because I don’t have to wait a year for the next book. I Know What You Bid Last Summer will be out February 27.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha Award-nominated author, Sherry Harris, started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series.

Find out more about Sherry on her webpage here.


I am giving 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.

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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 2, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Feb 152018
 

The Queen of Hearts
Women’s Fiction/Friendship/Medical
Setting – Kentucky/North Carolina
Berkley (February 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399585050
Kindle ASIN: B071NYSR9W

 

 

A debut novel set against a background of hospital rounds and life-or-death decisions that pulses with humor and empathy and explores the heart’s capacity for forgiveness…

Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they’re happily married wives and mothers with successful careers–Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years.

As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie’s life–both professionally and personally–throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick’s unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kimmery Martin takes us into the lives of best friends Zadie Anson and Emma Colley. She alternates between their points of view and the present and the past. Emma, a trauma surgeon, and Zadie, a pediatric cardiologist, have faced grueling schedules to get to where they are in their lives, married with families and successful careers. Then Nick Xenokostas, Dr. X,  transfers to North Carolina and turns their lives upside down. That third year of medical school comes back to haunt them and when secrets are revealed it could rip these two best friends apart.

I dove right into this story thinking it would be a combination of Grey’s Anatomy and other medical television dramas, but it was so much more. You know immediately the author is a physician by all the details she brings to this story. From medical terms to the struggle medical school, residency and beyond can be. I drank it all in and was riveted by Zadie and Emma’s stories. These characters were very realistic in both the bond they have and the lives they have created for themselves.

The underlying drama and tension runs throughout the story with little humorous breaks usually by Zadie’s 3-year-old Delaney. Her “Hi, beloved dear!” always broke through and made me smile. I was following along closely knowing something major had taken place in these women’s lives. Something they had tried to forget about. But when the event was revealed I became totally overwhelmed. Not exactly the same as an event that rocked my life but close enough that I had to stop reading for some time before I could pick it back up again. I still had to skip or just skim a few pages but I had to see how the story ended. I am so glad I did because there was yet another shocking twist that I didn’t see coming.

I was moved by this novel. I can’t believe it is the author’s debut. She is an excellent writer, she carries off the switching points of view and times, along with all the medical jargon so well. Her descriptive style puts readers right into each moment. Except for the one point I mentioned above I totally enjoyed the story, and that is on me. If you haven’t dealt with a similar traumatic event, you will absolutely love this story.

I am excited by this author and can’t wait to see what she writes next.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Kimmery Martin is a doctor, book reviewer, author interviewer, traveler, and obsessive reader. Her debut novel, The Queen of Hearts, was a huge hit among three of her friends before being picked up by Penguin Random House. Kimmery lives in North Carolina with her husband, three children, and the world’s most obstinate dog. You can read more of her writing, including travelogues, book reviews, and social commentary at www.kimmerymartin.com.

 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 1, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Feb 092018
 

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 am catching up on the series in excitement for the 5th book in the series
I Know What You Bid Last Summer being released February 27!


All Murders Final! (A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd book in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (April 26, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617730214
Kindle ASIN: B0138NHERM

 

 

Her Next Sale

When Sarah Winston started the virtual garage sale, it seemed like a keystroke of genius and the next logical step in her business. No more collapsing card tables and rainy-day washouts. But what began as a fun way to run garage sales during the long New England winter has become a nightmare of managing people and putting out fires. Online, she can avoid the crowds–but not the crazies.

May Be Her Last

She certainly never bargained on dealing with frightening threats. And when a client is murdered, it’s time for Sarah to swallow her pride and seek the help of her ex–C.J. Hooker, chief of police. Forging a tense alliance, they search–online and off–for the killer. But solving this crime before someone else gets tagged seems virtually impossible…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Sarah Winston sees virtual garage sales as a way to keep her business flourishing during the winter months but she never imagined they could lead to murder. There are some crazy people online so to join her garage sale group you have to be added by someone already a member. Should be safe right? Nope, the crazies get in and one of her clients ends up dead.  At loose ends about both the murder and her love life, she ends of working with both her ex, the man she is also dating, and a very interesting next door neighbor to put the real killer in the slammer.

I am loving this series and I love that this one takes place during the winter months because it shows Sarah can get creative to keep her business growing. The author also continues to include the Air Force connection running throughout the series. Sarah has friends on and off the base allowing her to be part of both worlds. Her ex-husband is out of the military and now the police chief of Ellington. With each murder, the couple struggles with their relationship. She is also dating the local district attorney. Her friends have their opinions on who she should be with and so do I. 🙂 Not much of a cook, Sarah spends a lot of time at DiNapoli’s restaurant, she is like family to the Italian owners. I get a warm feeling whenever they sit down to share a meal and a little wine. Her landlord and downstairs neighbor and Carol owner of the Paint and Wine are also 2 constants in her new non-military life.

The main plot is complex. It seems to be tied to Sarah’s virtual garage sales but it takes time to find all the connections. Sarah also learns she has a stalker and that is scary because she doesn’t know if they are the murderer or if this has no connection to the case. I loved the way one part of the mystery was solved, but as the last part was falling into place I felt like when I watch a scary movie and you are peering through your fingers shouting “DON’T GO IN THERE!!” Thank you, Ms. Harris, my pulse was racing!

I have really enjoyed the first 3 books in this series. Each one tops the one before. I am excited for book 4, A Good Day to Buy and book 5, I Know What You Bid Last Summer when it makes its debut on February 27!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha Award-nominated author, Sherry Harris, started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series.

Find out more about Sherry on her webpage here.


I am giving 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.

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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 23, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

Feb 022018
 

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.


Vangie Vale and the Corpseless Custard (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Montana
Hummingbird Books (September 18, 2017)
Paperback: 364 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1977524669
Kindle ASIN: B074RP5CHZ

 

 

Mystery, murder, missing people, and Bunco. Who could ask for anything more? 

When Vangie brings a few fancy custard tarts to her Bunco group, she’s hoping to impress the guest of honor with her pastry skills. But when the guest of honor never shows up and her body is discovered, everyone at the Bunco group is a murder suspect. Wrong place at the wrong time.

Vangie Vale finds herself in another predicament trying to solve a murder in a neighboring small town before her mugshot shows up in the local anonymous gossip blog. And just when she hoped her Sherlocking days were done. No rest for the wicked…or the clergy.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Book 2 in the Matchbaker series finds Baker/Pastor Vangie Vale joining a Bunco group. She really wants to show off her baking skills to one of the members. Sadly that member missed the meeting, but she did learn how to play Bunco. Everyone gets a little worried when Fenna doesn’t show up to play but she did send a weird text message to everyone saying she is leaving town. Vangie thinks there is more to the story. Days later when a dead body is found the whole group of Bunco players finds themselves suspects in the murder. Sheriff Malcolm tells Vangie to stay out of the investigation because it is out of his jurisdiction and he can’t protect her, but again she finds herself right in the middle of it.  The church council is not going to like her involvement either especially with her review just a few days away.

The characters continue to evolve in this story. We find out more about the event that led Vangie to move to Montana from North Carolina. We get to know the good sheriff much better too. I was totally surprised by something very important in his life. Derek also returns and he and Vangie get closer. The romance and romantic tension ramps up and I loved it.

The mystery was so entertaining. Missing persons, murders, and mayhem as several suspects had motive and opportunity. A questionable police force also kept things very interesting. This book was impossible to put down. I had to know whodunit as soon as possible and the final twist caught me completely off guard.

R. L. Syme has created a cozy mystery chick lit mashup and she has done it so well. Mystery, romance, humor, delectable desserts, with characters that endearing and engaging. This was a “perfect escape”.

This is a fun series. I am reading the 3rd book, Vangie Vale and the Strangled Strudel, right now, so stay tuned for that review.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

R.L. Syme will be my guest next week for Cozy Wednesday!
She is also touring
Vangie Vale and the Strangled Strudel
with Great Escapes Book Tours.

About The Author

Rebecca Syme writes small town romance as Becca Boyd and cozy mystery as R.L. Syme. She is a long-time foodie and loves fancy cheese. Becca calls the mountains of Montana her home and draws inspiration from the beautiful vistas and heartwarming people. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Line of Fire series of sweet romances and part of the Chick Tales series set in Somewhere, TX. You can find her on Twitter talking #fancycheese or #Chopped, and on Facebook with her fans in Becca Nation.

I am giving away a Kindle copy!

Winner’s Choice of the 3 books in this series. 

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will February 16, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

Jan 302018
 

Killer Choice
Berkley (January 30, 2018)
Suspense Thriller
Setting – Michigan
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399586408
Kindle ASIN: B0722TJD9G

 

 

The electrifying debut thriller that asks the question: To save the one you love, is there any price you wouldn’t pay?
 
His wife is sick.
He needs $200,000 to save her.
A mysterious man offers to give him the money with just one catch: He has to murder someone to get it.
 
Gary Foster’s life is finally heading in the right direction. After years of trying, his wife, Beth, is pregnant, and he recently opened a business with his brother. But one phone call changes everything…

After collapsing suddenly, Beth has been rushed to the hospital. Tests reveal a devastating diagnosis: an inoperable brain tumor. Their only hope is an expensive experimental treatment available abroad, with a cost that’s out of their reach. And Beth’s time is running out…

Then a strange man approaches Gary and offers the money he needs, on one condition: that he kill someone, no questions asked. End one life to save another.

In this nail-biting debut novel of domestic suspense, one man makes a choice that forces him to confront the darkest reaches of his soul and betray those closest to him. As he’s swept up in a nightmare of escalating violence, he must question his own morality—and determine just how far he’s willing to go to save the woman he loves.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Beth has glioblastoma, the same kind of cancer as John McCain has and Beau Biden had. But for Beth there is a cure, she just needs to have her baby, fly to Germany and have $200,000 to pay for the clinical trial care and other expenses. Beth and her friends start a funding page and calling friends and family. Her husband Gary receives a phone call offering him the full amount but he has to kill someone. Yes, it is a Killer Choice, but he decides to do it.

There was something just really off to me about Gary. Yes, he wanted to do anything to save his wife, and clearly, he was not thinking straight, but the way he accepted the offer and carried the act out just didn’t hold water for me. He came across to me as a very weak individual. He rubbed me the wrong way from the start and by the finish I really disliked this character.

The plot follows the murder and the aftermath.  The viewpoint shifts between Gary and Otto, the drug dealer. After a slow start, the story picks up the pace but to me, some of it was pretty predictable. There was one moment I was totally shocked by an occurrence and near the end, things got pretty exciting.

Beth’s part is the story was minimal and never really delved into her treatment or the birth of her child. There could have been added drama here. She never became real to me. Maybe as a woman reading this story I need more of this to become engaged by her character.

Hunt has been compared to Harlan Coben, I am a huge fan of Harlan Coben, so I truly expected to love this story, but for me, it just missed the mark.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.”

Jan 252018
 

Scone Cold Killer (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
by Lena Gregory

 

Scone Cold Killer (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Florida
Lyrical Underground (January 23, 2018)
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516104659
E-Book ASIN: B06Y52XG4B

 

 

For Florida diner owner Gia Morelli, there’s no such thing as too much breakfast—unless it kills you . . .

When Gia Morelli’s marriage falls apart, she knows it’s time to get out of New York. Her husband was a scam artist who swindled half the millionaires in town, and she doesn’t want to be there when they decide to take revenge. On the spur of the moment, she follows her best friend to a small town in Central Florida, where she braves snakes, bears, and giant spiders to open a cheery little diner called the All-Day Breakfast Café. Owning a restaurant has been her lifelong dream, but it turns into a nightmare the morning she opens her dumpster and finds her ex-husband crammed inside. As the suspect du jour, Gia will have to scramble fast to prove her innocence before a killer orders another cup of murder . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Divorced from her scam artist husband Gia moves to Florida to reboot her life by opening the All-Day Breakfast Café. She has been working on the project for weeks with her old college roommate and best friend Savannah and is excited about her grand opening. The opening wasn’t very smooth, first Gia didn’t have grits on her menu and her fry cook was way out of her depth when she has to cook more than one meal at the same time. Gia can get grits and she can fire the cook but finding the body of her ex-husband in the café’s dumpster is not something she can fix. In fact, most of the town thinks she committed the murder. When another body is found she starts thinking she may have been safer in New York. Before she can pack up her pots and pans Detective Hunter Quinn tells her he knows she is not guilty and will do everything to protect her. But Gia and Savannah decide to investigate on their own and the good detective may not be able to save them this time.

Ms. Gregory has created such wonderful characters for her All Day Breakfast Cafe Mysteries. Gia thought she left her troubles behind but they have followed right behind her. Her diner should be pretty successful after she handles a couple issues with her staff. She is not your typical cozy protagonist because she fears almost everything around her and Florida has many things to be scared of in addition to a murderer, you know, like snakes, spiders, and bears, oh my!

Savannah is a wonderful best friend. She tries to be supportive and find something positive about all the big and little bumps in the toad that rise up to meet Gia. I love the way she decided Gia needed a dog and Thor seems to be the perfect fit. Detective Hunter Quin “Hunt” and Gia have a little romantic spark, but after her past experience, Gia is a little gun shy about dating or having a man in her life.

My favorite supporting character though is Earl. Gia’s first customer who is shocked there are no grits on the menu. But he quickly becomes a regular customer and Gia is thrilled about that. Earl reminds me of an elderly gentleman that frequented my mother’s restaurant many years ago. It is that man’s image that pops into my head as I read about Earl.

This story ebbs and flows at a perfect pace. The author has a nice descriptive writing style that brings the characters and each scene to life. The mystery is complex with plenty of suspects. Filled with twists and some scary turns, this was not an easy mystery to solve and I didn’t figure out until the reveal.

I enjoyed the touches of humor and romance that are expected in a cozy mystery. There is so much for the author to build on as the series continues.

Kudos, Ms. Gregory, this series is off to a terrific start.  Cozy lovers, you will love this story!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

Author Links:

WebsiteFacebook –  Facebook Fan Page –  Twitter – Goodreads –  Pinterest

Purchase Links

Also by Lena Gregory

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

January 23 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
January 24 – Bea’s Book Nook – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 24 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 25 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
January 26 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
January 27 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
January 29 – Ruff Drafts -INTERVIEW
January 30 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
January 31 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
February 1 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
February 2 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
February 2 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
February 3 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 3 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
February 4 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
February 5 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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.”

Jan 192018
 

Changing things up a little bit today.
I received this book for an early review and couldn’t wait to read it,
so I stuck in a Flashback Friday spot.
That means we are having a FlashForward Friday

so I could tell you about it right away.


Tart of Darkness (Chef-to-Go Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Illinois
Sourcebooks Landmark (April 3, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1492648383
Kindle ASIN: B0748MXMSZ

 

 

Right when Dani thinks she’s hit a dead-end in her career, she unexpectedly inherits an enormous old house in a quaint college town. This gives her the perfect opportunity to pursue her true passion―cooking! So Dani opens Chef-to-Go, preparing delicious, ready-made meals for hungry students attending the nearby university, as well as providing personal chef services and catering events for the local community. To help support her new business, she opens her home to a few students, renting them rooms and becoming almost like a big sister figure in their lives.

But just as Dani is relishing her sweet new life, the friend of one of her boarders is murdered, and Dani becomes one of the primary suspects! She’ll have to scramble to clear her name and save her business before the killer reappears―perhaps to silence the new chef forever.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to an amazing start!

Danielle (Dani) Sloan quit her job, dropped her “Dr. McCreepy” and is cooking up a storm, watching Hell’s Kitchen and Cupcake Wars, as she sends out her resumé. She is usually joined by Ivy Drake, an 18-year old college junior that lives across the hall. Not a typical friendship, more of a big sister/little sister thing, but it works for them. One day she receives a letter telling her she has inherited a mansion, an old Victorian that was being remodeled into a B&B. After the shock wears off she realizes this inheritance could make her dreams come true. So while the lawyer gets the paperwork done she makes plans for her new business, Chef-to-Go. She will be doing catering, providing meals on the go for the college students and hiring herself out as a personal chef. She gets help with the business from her new tenants, Ivy and her friends that used to live across the hall. They were evicted for some major infractions of the landlord’s rules. Their parents have agreed to pay for them to live with Dani as long as Dani watches over them and Ivy’s Uncle Spencer checks on them weekly. Spencer, the head of college security is glad to help the girls any way he can, especially after he meets Dani.

Things are going great until one of Ivy’s college friends is murdered, shortly after Dani caters a party for her. The investigating detective decides quickly that Dani is the killer. She could lose everything. She needs to clear her name and fast or the only place she will cooking will be the state penitentiary.

The first book in a series is a huge undertaking because you have to introduce the characters, give them each a back story, connect them together and then wrap them in a mystery that keeps readers flipping those pages while leaving them wanting for more. Ms. Swanson more than met this challenge.

I liked Dani immediately. She left her job for a very good reason and I was excited that she could follow her passion. Her business plan makes sense and her new living arrangement is unique and fun. Ivy being so young is a bit naive and needs to have someone looking out for her. Her friends Tippi and Starr do what they can, but she needs Dani and Spencer in her life too. Tippi and Starr are typical college students and Dani likes having them live with her, but one tends to shirk her responsibilities to Danni quite a bit. Spencer is a former FBI agent who spent most of his career undercover. Now retired he enjoys the slower pace of running the security division for the college. These core characters are engaging and interesting. The author has left plenty of room to grow as the series continues.

There are some crazy characters too. Detective Mikeloff is off the rails and the victim and her family have their issues too.

The plot and subplots of this story are very well developed. The mystery itself had plenty of suspects with motive. The victim had done some really terrible things. Dani is a great investigator, people opened up to her so easily. She tries to help everyone she talks to, even when she was facing the murderer. This blends in with the romantic tension Dani and Spencer have every time they are in the vicinity with each other and Dani having to deal with a request from her ex.

I do enjoy the college campus setting. There are tons of possibilities for future stories.

I did have a couple of minor concerns. The author mentions her Scumble River series and ties a couple of characters to characters in that series. This may be likable for fans of that series but may be off-putting to those who have not yet read that series. Also, while the Epilogue wraps up this story,  Dani comes off just a little bit preachy at the end.

I am excited to see where Ms. Swanson takes this series. I am invested in the characters and can’t wait for the next story.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Denise Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Scumble River Mysteries, the Devereaux’s Dime Store Mysteries, the Change of Heart romances, and the Delicious romances She worked as a school psychologist for twenty-two years before quitting to write full-time. She lives in Illinois with her husband, classical music composer David Stybr.

 




I want to share my advance review copy with you!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted.
Void where prohibited.
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.

Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End February 2, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

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

Jan 182018
 

Escape Claws (A Cat Lady Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New Hampshire
Lyrical Underground (December 26, 2017)
Paperback: 202 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516104192
Kindle ASIN: B06XJZ6HWX

 

 

Here, killer, killer, killer . . .
 
For the first time in sixteen years, Lara Caphart has returned to her hometown of Whisker Jog, New Hampshire. She wants to reconnect with her estranged Aunt Fran, who’s having some difficulty looking after herself—and her eleven cats. Taking care of a clowder of kitties is easy, but keeping Fran from being harassed by local bully Theo Barnes is hard. The wealthy builder has his sights set on Fran’s property and is determined to make her an offer she doesn’t dare refuse.

Then Lara spots a blue-eyed ragdoll cat that she swears is the reincarnation of her beloved Blue, her childhood pet. Pursuing the feline to the edge of Fran’s yard, she stumbles upon the body of Theo Barnes, clearly a victim of foul play. To get her and Fran off the suspect list, Lara finds herself following the cat’s clues in search of a killer. Is Blue’s ghost really trying to help her solve a murder, or has Lara inhaled too much catnip?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lara hasn’t been home in quite a while, but when one of her friends contacts her about her Aunt Fran and her house full of cats she knows she needs to head back and reconnect with her aunt.  She finds her aunt does not only need help with her felines but she has some medical issues to attend to as well. Fran is also being harassed by one of her neighbors who is determined to have a portion of her land. It seems Lara has arrived just in time. Just in time to find the bully, Theo Barnes dead on her aunt’s property and it wasn’t a natural death. She and her aunt quickly become the prime suspects so Lara adds “find the real killer” to her already long to do list. She may have an unlikely partner helping her solve the crime that makes her pursuit very interesting.

Aunt Fran, aka “the crazy cat lady” and Lara and all the feline companions have pawed their way right into my heart. Heck, if I had a place like Fran’s I would be a crazy cat lady too. Her genuine desire to care for these rescue kitties drew me into the story. Lara’s devotion to caring for her aunt and the cats was heartwarming. These are two formidable women and make a great team.

I like the way the author took time to introduce us to the characters, including the kittens. The first page of the story introduces the “Cast of Feline Characters” including Blue, a very important feline in this story. They are all unique with different personalities, just like real cats.

We also meet several other residents of Whisker Jog, friends and suspects. The victim was not well liked so many people should have been on the list of suspects but Police Chief Jerry Whitley set his sights on Fran and Lara immediately.

I am a big fan of Linda Reilly, all of her Deep Fried Mysteries were Perfect Escapes for me. I love the way she tells a story and sets the scenes. She has a very descriptive style that makes you feel you are right there with the characters. Again in Escape Claws, the mystery unfolds at a very comfortable pace. It was not an easy mystery to solve and it is offset by the inner turmoil Lara is facing. Her aunt needs her but she has to go back to her job. The storylines are woven together very skillfully.

You don’t need to love or even like cats to enjoy this story, but if you do you will absolutely love this book.

This series is off to a fabulous start! I cant’ wait to return to Whisker Jog!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out all about Linda Reilly on her Webpage here. Find her on Facebook and GoodReads too!  


I am giving away a Kindle Copy of Escape Claws.
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.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 1, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Jan 162018
 

Many a Twist: A County Cork Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Ireland
Crooked Lane Books (January 9, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683314530
Kindle ASIN: B072LTRZXS

 

 

Pub owner Maura Donovan hasn’t seen her mother for over twenty years, so when she suddenly shows up in Maura’s pub, Maura’s not sure what to expect. Her mother is trying to find a life for herself back home and has taken up a position working with the new owners of the Crann Mor hotel just outside Skibbereen. Until her new boss is found dead in the gardens, dumped down the hillside behind the hotel.

Now, trying to rekindle the relationship they’ve lost, Maura must investigate in order to clear her mother’s name. It’s not so easy though, as long-time residents of County Cork, including the families of her employee Mick, and the family of the deceased hotel owner, have bottled deep dark family secrets not meant to be uncorked. And someone will kill to keep them that way.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a story! Maura Donovan’s mother left her with her grandmother when she was just 2 years old. Now after all these years she shows up in Ireland working on the acquisition of a local hotel. When the head of the company ends up dead Maura’s mother has to tell her who she is before she reveals it to the police. The death has yet to be labeled as a murder but after Maura’s previous relationship with the local garda, she is looped right into the investigation.  She also has her hands full helping her best friend get ready for the birth of her baby, and Mick reveals something about his past that Maura never expected. Family secrets play a major part in this book and as they are revealed things could get dangerous.

Many A Twist is the perfect title for this story. There were twists on top of twists and a few turns thrown in as well. The main plot and the subplots twist up to create a very entertaining story. One that is very hard to put down.

The character development over the span of this series is excellent. Just a year ago Maura arrived in Leap unsure of herself and unsure if she was going to stay in Ireland. Since that time she has made many friends, has expanded her business, and helped out with several police investigations.  She has made herself at home in her little cottage too and learns more about the area every day.

The supporting cast has also grown and changed since the beginning. Their relationships with Maura are stronger but they are also dealing with their own issues. A marriage pending, a young woman looking toward her future, a couple learning all about raising their son, and a man coming to terms with his past. Several more characters round out the cast too.

I have never been to Ireland but the way this author describes the setting of the stories in this series, I can picture it very clearly. The pub, Maura’s cottage, the countryside, a bog or two, and added in this story the Crann Mor hotel and its garden paths.

I have enjoyed this series from the start. I am excited when a new story comes out and sad when it ends much too soon. These literary trips to Ireland remind me of my own little bit of Irish heritage and I can’t wait for my next visit.

You can’t go wrong with a story penned by Sheila Connolly. She is an awesome storyteller.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Note – The first four of this series were published by Berkley Prime Crime.
The series continues with books 5 and 6 published by Crooked Lane Books.

 About The Author

Sheila is the author of many fantastic reads. She not only writes County Cork Mysteries but the Orchard Mysteries and the Museum Mysteries too. Visit Sheila’s webpage here to find out more about her and her books.

 


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.”

Jan 122018
 

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

This is a series I am going to try to catch up on before the next book in the series, I Know What You Bid Last Summer comes out at the end of February.


The Longest Yard Sale (A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (June 30, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617730191
Kindle ASIN: B00ONTS4UM

 

 

ONE MAN’S CLUTTER

When Sarah Winston turns Ellington, Massachusetts, into New England’s largest garage sale for a day, it’s the small town’s biggest event since the start of the Revolutionary War—but without the bloodshed. That is, until a valuable painting goes missing…and the lifeless body of an Air Force officer is found in Carol Carson’s painting studio, his face perfectly framed with the murder weapon—a metal picture frame.

IS ANOTHER MAN’S CLOVER

Sarah is mad as heck that someone used her town-wide garage sale to commit a crime—and frame her good friend Carol. She is definitely on this case…but it’s not easy rummaging through increasingly strange clues that point to cheating spouses, downright dirty investment schemes—even the mob. And Sarah will have to be very careful if she wants to live to bargain another day…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Book #2 of this series has Sarah Winston organizing a huge garage sale, the largest in New England. The day arrives with crowds of people, traffic jams, happy customers, and a very happy town manager. The tourists would come for the sale and spend money and then she hoped would come back again and again. But then, a man is found murdered at the Paint and Wine studio and a painting is missing. Then another valuable painting is stolen from the library.  Sarah’s ex, C. J. Hooker is ready to pin the crimes on Carol Carson, the owner of the studio and Sarah’s friend. With the town’s garage sale over Sarah has some time on her hands and she is going to use it bag the real culprit. The clues have her chasing all over town and the Air Force base. She may solve more than one mystery before she wraps up her investigation.

I love Sarah Winston. Between her garage sale business, dating two men, her ex, and Seth, the local district attorney, and volunteering a the base thrift store, she is one busy woman. But she uses all of it to try to catch a killer. People open up to her very easily and she can do a little snooping under the guise of garage sale business. Her friends are great sources too. She also has no problem asking C.J. and Seth for information either. Every character that the author has created comes off realistically. They have grown since the first book. I enjoyed getting to know all of them a little better.

The mystery this time has several tangents with twists galore. The story starts a little slow but then the pace picks up as more clues are revealed and the motive becomes more clear. There is a lot of ground covered in this story, but by the end, the plot and subplots come together nicely with just a little romantic cliffhanger that has me excited to read book #3.

I love the author’s writing style, the way she shares life on an Air Force Base and it’s neighboring town. The way she picks up that Boston accent and the way real people talk. The dialogue in this story is excellent. Her descriptions of time and place clearly enabled me to picture everything that was happening. The mystery was well plotted and real life was portrayed honestly. The romance was depicted well and made me laugh more than a few times.

I am late to the party for this series but hope to catch up before I Know What You Bid Last Summer comes out at the end of February.

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha award-nominated author, Sherry Harris, started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series.

Find out more about Sherry on her webpage here.


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 26, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

Ginger Snapped: A Spice Shop Mystery by Gail Oust Buy Today!
%d bloggers like this: