Apr 182019
 


The Egyptian Antiquities Murder (High Society Lady Detective)
Historical Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – England
McGuffin Ink (April 12, 2019)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 0998843180
ISBN-13: 978-0998843186
Kindle ASIN: B07MTTXRYC

An opulent London townhouse, a mummy curse . . .

. . . and a plucky lady detective. It’s October, 1923, and Olive Belgrave has a new case. Her client, Lady Agnes doesn’t believe in curses, and she hires Olive to prove her Egyptologist uncle wasn’t the victim of a malevolent mummy. Olive investigates and discovers the truth is much worse—it’s murder.

Can Olive debunk the curse and reveal the true culprit before the supposed curse claims another victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The 3rd book in this series takes us to Mulvern House where Olive Belgrave meets with Lady Agnes about her uncle’s death. A death that has been ruled a suicide. Lady Agnes is sure her uncle would never take his own life. This is where I need to encase my heart in virtual steel to keep reading because as the mother of a suicide victim, families rarely think our loved ones would take their own lives. Knowing stories like this I know that Lord Mulvern death was not by his own hand, I can keep reading. Many think an old curse struck Lord Mulvern down but Olive starts to investigate and believes Lady Agnes is right, the old boy was murdered. Now Olive just needs to figure out whodunit and why.

I loved the setting for this story. Lord Mulvern was an eminent Egyptologist with a vast collection and his niece shared his passion. There was a major renovation to the building, a grand gallery, in order to store and showcase the collection. Ms. Rosett vividly describes the places and several of the magnificent pieces. I was never really been interested in Egyptian antiquities or mummies and the like until my kids got me to watch The Mummy movies with Brendan Fraser a few years ago. It was fun to read about this collection.

The author again introduces us to several new characters. Lady Agnes wants to keep her uncles vision alive, unlike the other heirs. Her brother Gilbert and his wife Nora care mainly about the money and themselves making them suspects on Olive’s list. The Lord’s valet/butler received a generous bequest and retired so he too lands on her list. There are several others interested in obtaining the collection and the digging location that comes with it. There is also a collection manager and a new butler. Olive must speak to them all. All these characters take center stage with Olive but Jasper and Essie do pop into the picture now and again.

I knew from the start this would be a hard mystery for Olive to solve. So much time has passed, no real evidence was left behind. She found one piece of evidence and really ran with it and all the clues that subsequently followed. I enjoyed following along with Olive and her process. With all the twists I didn’t solve this one at all.

Another Perfect Escape from Sara Rosett. An engaging protagonist and a great mystery. I anxiously await Olive’s next case.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Murder at Archly Manor here.

 

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Sara Rosett writes light-hearted escapes for readers who enjoy puzzling mysteries, interesting settings, and quirky characters.

She is the author of the Murder on Location series, the Ellie Avery series, the On the Run series, and the High Society Lady Detective series. Sara also teaches an online course, How to Outline A Cozy Mystery.

Publishers Weekly called Sara’s books, “satisfying,” “well-executed,” and “sparkling.” Sara loves to get new stamps in her passport and considers dark chocolate a daily requirement. Find out more at SaraRosett.com.

Author Links:

Website     Patreon     Instagram      Facebook     Twitter: @SaraRosett    Pinterest  GoodReads  LibraryThing

Amazon Author Page Bookbub Author Page    Newsletter sign-up

Also by Sara Rosett


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

 

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Mar 282019
 


Trouble on the Books: A Castle Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (March 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1683319818
ISBN-13: 978-1683319818
Kindle ASIN: B07H7R7GVP

Rookie bookstore owner Shelby Cox must hit the books to learn the ropes before she loses a killer in the stacks.

Shelby Cox never intended to become a bookseller, so when the former editor returns to her hometown of Alexandria Bay, nestled in upstate New York’s breathtaking Thousand Islands region, to take over her aunt’s bookstore, she has no idea what to expect. To her amazement, she discovers that she now owns a fifty-percent share in Bayside Books, and will also run the store’s second location in the majestic castle on nearby Blye Island.

But just as Shelby is gearing up for the start of the tourist season, the Castle volunteer coordinator is found murdered in the nearby Grotto. Castle caretaker Matthew Kessler is suspect number one, but Shelby thinks the killing may be connected to an earlier era, when violence among Prohibition-era smugglers was rampant in the region. As Shelby launches her own investigation, handsome and unnerving Special Agent Zack Griffin of the Coast Guard Investigative Services tries to quell her smuggling theory and keep her safe. But Shelby is determined to summon all her savvy as a book editor to plot the murder—and find the killer before he strikes again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Her aunt has just had knee surgery so Shelby Cox arrives in Alexandria Bay to help manage her aunt’s bookstore and open a satellite store in the castle on Blye Island. She is surprised when her aunt informs her that she, in fact, owns fifty-percent of Bayside Books. She has a lot to learn but she is surrounded by a great staff. The island is a popular tourist attraction so her main focus is getting the castle bookshop open as before the tourists start arriving by the busload.

After a busy grand opening Shelby is excited about her new life as a bookseller. That is until she finds a dead body floating in the Grotto. She knows immediately that it is the prickly volunteer coordinator for the Castle. The police quickly peg Matthew Kessler, the Castle caretaker as their prime suspect. When the Coast Guard gets involved Shelby starts to think the murder may be linked to smuggling, something the island was used for during Prohibition. She can’t stop herself from sticking her nose into the investigation much to the dismay of Coast Guard Special Agent Zack Griffin. She is determined to solve the case and Zack is determined to keep her safe.

The setting of this story grabbed my attention right away. A bookshop in a castle on one island that is part of the Thousand Islands area off New York. A truly perfect setting for a cozy mystery series.

Shelby Cox is an interesting protagonist. She has her work cut out for her. She admits she isn’t a people person and knows that has to change if she is going to be a success in her new profession. She is curious, a trait every amateur must have. She is also intelligent and detail oriented so I know she is going to succeed in both of these endeavors. In addition to trying to solve a murder, Shelby hopes to learn more about her mother. She was quite young when she lost her and has so many questions.

Ms. Lang has surrounded Shelby with a great supporting cast. Aunt Edie was my fave. She is a strong woman too who hates being still and away from her shop. Her recovery is moving quickly and I am excited to get to know her better when she isn’t hindered at all.  Romance is two-fold in this story. Caretaker Matthew Kessler is very important to Edie and Agent Zack appears to be very interested in Shelby.

The murder happens early in the story. Shelby’s first investigation is a bit clunky as to be expected, it is her first, but it messed with the story flow in places. When she found her rhythm so did the story. Clues fell into her path and the twists and turns kept her and the reader guessing.

The subplot of Shelby’s mother blended in nicely, but I must confess I was almost more interested in it than murder. I feel this is a credit to the author because I was invested in her main character and cared about her and her feelings very early in this first book. She has left so much room for all the characters to grow.

This is a fine start for this series. Endearing characters drew me in and their lives and the mysteries thrown into their paths kept those pages turning. I am excited to learn more about these characters and to see what the author has in store for them next.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Essie Lang has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel and has also been short-listed for an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada for Best Short Story under other pen names. She is a former mystery bookstore owner and still loves reading all the mysteries she can get her hands on. She also loves choral singing, which is not always so pleasant for her Siamese cat, Keesha, who must endure hours of practice. This is her first Castle Bookshop mystery.

Written as Linda Wiken

Written as Erika Chase

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

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Mar 052019
 

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

About the Book


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

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

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

Recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

 

About the Author

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

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

Author Links  Website   Facebook  Twitter  Instagram   Goodreads

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Purchase Links

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

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Feb 222019
 


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 Riesling to Die (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (March 27, 2018)
Paperback: 220 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108019
ISBN-13: 978-1516108015
Kindle ASIN: B073NP1VDY

A deadly search for sour grapes . . .

Norrie Ellington is a successful screenwriter living in New York City. She’s also been a silent partner for her family’s winery upstate—until her sister and brother-in-law take a year-long sabbatical. With an experienced staff doing the work, Norrie figures Two Witches Winery will run itself while she enjoys the countryside and writes in peace and quiet.

Unfortunately, there’s a sour grape in the town of Penn Yan who doesn’t care for vineyards. Bed and breakfast owner Elsbeth Waters complains to everyone who’ll listen that the local wineries are bad for her business. But when Elsbeth’s body is found on Norrie’s property, the victim of foul play, the screenwriter-turned-vintner dons a sleuthing cap to uncover the identity of a killer who told the B&B proprietress to put a cork in it—permanently . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive at the Two Witches Winery in upstate New York with Norrie Ellington. A family-owned winery that her sister, Francine, and brother-in-law, Jason, run as she is a very silent partner. Her brother-in-law has been given a research grant that will take the couple out of the country for a year and they have asked Norrie to take over while they are gone. Norrie has a job, a full-time job, as a screenwriter and really doesn’t want to step in, but her sister assures her the staff handles most everything. She just needs Norrie to oversee things, attend a few meetings, and handle any emergencies that arise. There will be plenty of time to work on her screenplays and make her deadlines.

Before Francine and Jason even arrive at their, no cell signal, out in the sticks, Costa Rican destination one of those rare emergencies arises in the form of a dead body among the Riesling vines. A woman Norrie had the displeasure of meeting upon her arrival. Elsbeth Waters was the owner of the nearby bed & breakfast and constant complainer of almost everything that happened in the town of Penn Yan and all the surrounding wineries. Let’s just say there is no shortage of suspects.  There is also a couple of businessmen trying to buy up all the Penn Yan wineries so that they can open their own mega-winery business. Not really an emergency, because there is no way they are selling, unless they have something to do with Elsbeth’s death.

Norrie feels like she is in the middle of one her drama filled movies. With the body found on her land, and the police are eyeing her as a suspect, she has a vested interest in seeing the killer brought to justice and she doesn’t have a lot of faith in the local law enforcement. She hasn’t been around in a long time so as she gets to know everyone she decides to do a little snooping too.

I am late to the party on this series and am upset with myself. I have been enjoying the author’s Sophie Kimball Mysteries while this one was screaming from my Kindle. I am determined to get Chardonnayed to Rest read too before Pinot Red or Dead? hits stores.

I liked Norrie immediately and Francine too for the short time we got to spend with her. We are also introduced to a large cast of characters that make up the staff at Two Witches Winery, the other local winery owners, the victim, and her niece, and the businessmen that could crush not only grapes but the dreams of everyone in the area. The author’s do a great job of making each character unique so it is very easy to keep everyone straight. Cammy runs the tasting room and she and Norrie become fast friends, as do the men that own the nearby winery. Theo and Don are good friends with Francine and Jason and Norrie knows she can trust them. They really have her back and help her in many ways. I truly enjoyed the way so many rallied around to help Norrie get her feet under herself with the winery and in her mission to catch a murderer.

Two characters I can’t fail to mention and they need their own paragraph is the dog and the goat on the cover. Charlie is a Brindle Plott Hound and Alvin is a Nigerian Dwarf goat. Charlie stole my heart, even if he does need a bath almost every day. Alvin and Norrie don’t get off to a good start but he played a major part when he needed to.

The mystery itself was a real treat. Plenty of suspects and some crazy theories kept me guessing the entire story. I was kinda on the right trail, but some red herrings diverted my attention more than once. Norrie took some huge risks and while scary, the authors added some comic relief at the perfect times and in the perfect amounts.

I probably will never travel to Finger Lakes Wine Country in upstate New York and their 3 Wine Trails, but I sure had fun on my first literary trip there. J.C. Eaton gave us a bird’s eye view and I am excited about my next visit. Chardonnayed to Rest is queued up as one of the next books on my Kindle, just waiting for me to get started. Stay tuned for my review.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington) set for release in June 2017. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp

When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. His first novel, Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) is set for release in June 2017. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching.

Visit their website at www.jceatonauthor.com and Like and Follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JCEatonauthor/


Coming March 26, 2019

Also by J.C. Eaton

Coming August 27, 2019


Are you new to this series?
I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.
It 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.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Feb 192019
 

Hot Fudge Murder (A Lickety Splits Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd Book in Series
Setting – New York
Kensington (January 29, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496714156
ISBN-13: 978-1496714152
Kindle ASIN: B07CWDT76Q

Just six weeks after the grand opening of Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe, owner Kate McKay has been enlisted to whip up sundaes at the most decadent soiree in the Hudson Valley. If only Kate knew how deadly sticky her sweet deal will turn out . . .

Once Kate arrives at a glamorous gala hosted by world-famous fashion designer Omar DeVane, she’s instantly intimidated by the mogul’s luxurious mansion and the frosty personalities of his handlers. But the party completely loses its flavor when guests follow screams to a room that’s eerily empty—except for Omar’s freshly murdered body . . .

While the headline-grabbing crime brings a steady stream of journalists to the sleepy village of Wolfert’s Roost, Kate knows things won’t return to normal until Omar’s killer is brought to justice. And with the scandalous case driving customers away from Lickety Splits, she has no choice but to put down the ice cream scooper and expose the culprit on her own . . .

As Kate crashes high-profile photo shoots and mingles with fashion’s biggest influencers in search of clues, the puzzling truth about Omar’s fame and fortune rises to the surface—and with it, the key to his killer’s twisted motive. Kate will have to navigate the celebrity lifestyle to save her fledgling business, but her attempts to freeze cold-hearted criminals in their tracks could lead to a double scoop of deadly trouble . . .

Includes mouthwatering ice cream recipes from the Lickety Splits Ice Cream Shoppe!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kate McKay is thrilled that after only being in business a short time people are booking her to cater ice cream desserts for their parties. She can’t believe she has been asked to serve sundaes at Omar DeVane’s gala. The prominent fashion designer will have many celebrities at his event and she hopes they will love the sweet treats she will be serving. She has been told Mr. DeVane loves hot fudge sundae’s, she hopes his guests will too.

When she arrives at the mansion with her best friend, Willow, her niece Emma, and Emma’s boyfriend Ethan, they are awed by the place but set up their Lickety Split Ice Cream Shoppe station and get ready to serve the guests. Things get really sticky when the housekeeper screams and Omar Devane’s body is found. Murdered by one of his guests? That has to be the answer, but who?

Sadly, the public draws the line between the murder and Kate’s shop. The press has camped out in front of her shop and isn’t there for the ice cream. Could this murder thaw her right out of business? Leaving her shop in Emma’s care she embarks down the path to find the killer herself, making Wolfert’s Roost’s Detective Stoltz very unhappy.

Cindy Baxter delivers another delicious mystery for her readers to enjoy.

Our protagonist Kate McKay is one busy woman. Running her shop, developing new and unique flavors, and tracking down a murderer. Her old high-school boyfriend Jake seems to be quite jealous when Hudson Valley Adventure Tours opens across the street from Lickety Splits and its owner seems to be interested in Kate. A good old fashioned romantic triangle in the making. Kate’s grandmother is getting a little restless at home and has started visiting the Senior Center and having some grand ideas. I really enjoy the way Kate and her Grams evolved from the first story and throughout this one. It is a natural progression and not forced.

The murderer has to be someone at the party which could mean a lot of suspects but the focus quickly narrows down to just a few. There were some wonderful twists but I made my decision of whodunit early on, I just needed the motivation to fall better into place. I did enjoy all the work Kate put in to investigate and had fun following along.

As in the first book in this series, Ms. Baxter’s descriptive writing style drew me in. Not only the people and the places but the ice cream. Being allergic to nuts I was sad to see all the recipes with almonds but love the direction she is going with Lickety Lite. If you don’t have ice cream in the freezer when you start reading this book, put the book down and go get some. You will be wanting a scoop or two before you get through the first couple of chapters.

I really enjoyed this story. I am excited about the next story with both Kate and Grams having some bright ideas.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Murder with a Cherry On Top here. 

About the Author

Cynthia Baxter is the author of fifty-three novels. Her books have been translated into German, Swedish, and Danish. Born and raised on Long Island, she currently resides there. Her favorite ice cream flavors are peach, coconut, and chocolate hazelnut. For more information, visit www.cynthiabaxter.com.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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.

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

Contest Will End March 5, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Feb 152019
 

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


The Killing at Kaldaire House

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

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

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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

Author Links:

Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads

Purchase Links – Amazon Kindle   Amazon Paperback  B&N    Kobo  BookBub


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

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Feb 142019
 

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

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

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

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

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


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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Exciting from the first page to the last!!

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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


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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

_______________________________________________________

Keep reading for my new review of Fatal Features.


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

Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke prefers chasing headlines to relaxing.

Even injured and on doctor-ordered bed rest.

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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

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

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

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

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

Now we wait 🙂

From LynDee Walker’s Facebook Page

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

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

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Feb 132019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

V.M. Burns has become one of my favorite authors.
I am so excited to share with you this second Dog Club Mystery today
as part of her Great Escapes Tour!

 

About the Book


The Puppy Who Knew Too Much (A Dog Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (February 12, 2019)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-10: 1516107918
ISBN-13: 978-1516107919
Digital ASIN: B07D233MVK

Lilly Echosby and her toy poodle Aggie find a fresh start in Chattanooga, Tennessee, spoiled by the scent of murder . . .

Having solved the shooting death of her cheating husband, Lilly’s left behind the drama of Lighthouse Dunes, Indiana, to start over in the hometown of her best friend, Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson. As she gets settled in her new rented house, Lilly gives Aggie, short for Agatha Christie, her own fresh start by enrolling her in the Eastern Tennessee Dog Club, where Dixie is a trainer.

But drama seems to hound Lilly like a persistent stray. Her cranky new neighbor appears unfamiliar with Southern hospitality and complains that Aggie barks too much and digs up his prized tulips. But what the poodle actually unearths is the buried body of a mysterious man who claimed ownership of the lost golden retriever Lilly recently rescued. Now it’s up to Lilly and Dixie to try to muzzle another murderer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lilly Echosby has left Indiana behind and followed her best friend Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson to Tennessee. It took a while but a chance encounter helped Lilly finds not only a job but a house to rent that was in her budget and allowed her adorable toy poodle, Aggie. She is excited her daughter Stephanie is coming to visit to help her get settled. Lilly finds it refreshing how friendly everyone is until she meets her new neighbor. He is not happy about having another dog in the neighborhood. Her daughter also falls hard for a golden retriever found under Lilly’s deck. After rushing it to the vet and getting its injuries cared for she declares she won’t be giving it up without a fight.

When dear sweet Aggie digs up a body instead of a bone the neighbor is apoplectic and Lilly finds herself back on a suspect list. Stephanie calls in the cavalry, aka Joe, her new boyfriend, the one that helped clear her mom in Lighthouse Dunes. He, in turn, calls in a friend and they along with Dixie are all determined to find the real killer, especially after another body is found.

First, the cover is a little deceiving. The two standard poodles owned by Dixie and Lilly’s Aggie return in this story where they all make a new friend. Aggie does start obedience classes with Dixie where a variety of dogs come together.

Lilly can’t catch a break but she has the perseverance to keep moving forward. New house, new job, new people in her life, and another murderer on the loose. She quickly finds new friends at her job and they are so supportive. I loved her new boss, Linda Kay, and love that we have something in common. The author does such an excellent job with all the characters. They have depth and something about them that draws the reader in and pushes us to want to know them better. Even the cantankerous neighbor and the man that used to have Lilly’s job.

Moving Lilly to Tennessee adds a very interesting twist. She was used to the flatlands of Indiana and Dixie lives on a mountain top with a fantastic view. The road to get there was winding and narrow and made Lily very nervous with its huge dropoffs. She is also very unfamiliar with the area and dependent on her GPS. Each place was nicely described as we readers saw it through Lilly’s eyes for the first time right along with her.

The mystery was not easy to solve with the requisite twists and turns. What I love and what makes this story unique in the part the canines play in solving it all. The motives were very unclear and the clues weren’t falling into place either until the wonderful, surprising, and exciting ending.

Well-plotted and written this story was hard to put down. A complex mystery with its share of Southern charm and humor. Right in Chapter 1 Lilly experiences her first “Bless Your Heart” which she learned was “Southern-speak for “You’re an idiot.” I really enjoy the way V.M. Burns tells a story. The care she takes with her characters is commendable and her love of dogs glows within the pages.

I highly recommend this series. I can’t wait for book #3!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of In The Dog House here.

 

About the Author

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:  Website   Facebook  Twitter:  @vmburns

Purchase Links – Amazon –  Barnes & Noble – IndieBound:  – Books-A-Million – Kobo


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

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Feb 122019
 


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

About the Book 


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

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

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Read my review of Murder for the Books here.

Read my review of Shelved Under Murder here.

About  the Author

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

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

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

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

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

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Feb 082019
 

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.

Technically, this book was released last year but it was not screaming at me from my TBR shelf. It was screaming at me from Amazon and then my email inbox. The author had sent me a copy for review and I couldn’t get it to load on my Kindle. We recently straightened that out and I wanted to read/review it asap so I scheduled it for today.  😉


A Stew to a Kill (A Callie’s Kitchen Cozy Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Independently published (October 11, 2018)
Paperback: 267 pages
ISBN-10: 1724191233
ISBN-13: 978-1724191236
Kindle ASIN: B07H74PRZX

The Halloween season is serving up more tricks than treats for thirty-something Greek-American foodie and business owner Calliope “Callie” Costas.

When a new employee at a neighboring business, Tea for Two, is found dead, Callie is drawn into a murky brew of motives and murder suspects. It turns out that the seemingly mild-mannered victim might have a few skeletons in his closet. What’s more, the timing of the murder, just a day before Crystal Bay’s first annual Halloween Walk, has threatened to derail the town’s festive fall events, including a Halloween Gala benefiting the local food pantry, one of Callie’s favorite causes.

Callie’s already full plate is set to overflowing with the return of an old boyfriend who has his eye on developing a mall that will compete with and possibly destroy Crystal Bay’s small business scene. Could there be a tie between the mall and the murder?

Somebody has been stewing. Will Callie help find the unsavory killer before things reach the boiling point?

Includes delicious recipes from Callie’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Plans are underway for Crystal Bay’s first Halloween Walk. All sorts of fun activities are planned and they will wrap up with a huge gala all to support the local food pantry. The shop owners are excited to participate and have placed unique skeletons in their businesses for a #selfie challenge for prizes to bring more customers in. Callie has her hands full with Callie’s Kitchen, but she is also helping with the gala. Having an ex-boyfriend show up touting the idea of a shopping mall on the outskirts of town is the last thing she needed. But the entire town is thrown for a loop when Henry, who works at Tea for Two across the street is murdered. The tragic death is sure to dampen the festivities especially when the police start looking at the shop owners as suspects. With Sands out of the country, Callie tries to stay out of the investigation but again finds herself right in the middle of another murder case.

This is another delightful cozy mystery from Jenny Kales.

Callie is on her own this time. Detective Sands is away, Sam is buried in work, Hugh and Raine are expecting a baby. Her father steps in to help with 11-year-old Olivia when needed, but he and his lady friend seem to be getting serious. The wonderful thing about these characters is that they are relatable and believable. The Greek heritage shines within the pages. I love the relationship Callie has with her dad and how she has taken what he started and ran with it.

The mystery was intriguing. Henry was a quiet man and no one knew much about his past. Callie’s ex Ben is in town pushing hard for a new mall that scares all the business owners. Can the murder and the mall be connected? When another person is attacked more questions arise? The officer in charge of the case has not impressed Callie or the other merchants. I understood Callie’s need to keep asking questions and was really surprised when the real culprit was revealed. Ms. Kales really twisted my thinking with some great red herrings.

Of course, I love the Wisconsin setting, and it is truly portrayed. All the nuances and places felt like home. The author really brings out the small town life of Crystal Bay.

The bonus is the authentic Greek recipes at the end of the story. My mouth was watering throughout the whole book. The stews, the cookies, everything made in Callie’s Kitchen sounded good to me.

A terrific addition to this series!

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About the Author

Sign up for a FREE author newsletter filled with author news like upcoming releases and author events, exclusive recipes, giveaways, price events, author interviews and more: http://tinyurl.com/huv5pof

Jenny Kales is the author of The Callie’s Kitchen Mystery Series, featuring Greek-American Calliope Costas, feisty food business owner and amateur sleuth, who lives in a scenic Wisconsin town with colorful characters — and a high murder rate! Each book contains several delicious recipes, both Greek and American.

ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK is the debut book in the series, followed by SPICED AND ICED (A Christmas cozy mystery), SECRETS AND PIES, and a NEW BOXED SET. The Callie’s Kitchen Cozy Mystery Series Boxed Set, which includes Books 1 – 3, is now available and free to read on Kindle Unlimited!

LATEST RELEASE: A STEW TO A KILL, Book 4 in the Callie’s Kitchen Mystery series! This Halloween mystery is available for the Kindle and in paperback.

Jenny is an avid reader, cook, and baker and she’s addicted to reading and mystery TV, especially anything on Masterpiece Mystery or Acorn TV. She lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, two daughters and one cute but demanding Yorkshire terrier. She’s hard at work on additional writing projects including more Callie’s Kitchen Mysteries and a new series.

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

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