Nov 122019
 


Penny for Your Secrets (A Verity Kent Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – England
Publisher: Kensington (October 29, 2019)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713192
ISBN-13: 978-1496713193
Kindle ASIN: B07NCN3L74

England, 1919. In Anna Lee Huber’s latest mystery, former Secret Service agent Verity Kent is finding that life after wartime offers its own share of danger . . .

The Great War may be over, but for many, there are still obstacles on the home front. Reconciling with her estranged husband makes Verity sympathetic to her friend Ada’s marital difficulties. Bourgeois-bred Ada, recently married to the Marquess of Rockham, is overwhelmed trying to navigate the ways of the aristocracy. And when Lord Rockham is discovered shot through the heart with a bullet from Ada’s revolver, Verity fears her friend has made a fatal blunder.

While striving to prove Ada’s innocence, Verity is called upon for another favor. The sister of a former Secret Service colleague has been killed in what authorities believe was a home invasion gone wrong. The victim’s war work—censoring letters sent by soldiers from the front—exposed her to sensitive, disturbing material. Verity begins to suspect these two unlikely cases may be linked. But as the connections deepen, the consequences—not just for Verity, but for Britain—grow more menacing than she could have imagined.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Verity Kent and husband Sidney attend a party at the home of the Marquess of Rockham. There is clearly tension between Lord Rockham and his wife, Ada but when she pulls out a gun at the dinner table and makes a joke about killing her husband Verity knows there could be trouble ahead. When she receives a frantic call from Ada saying the Lord was dead, Verity fears her friend followed through on her statement.

Verity is also called on by a woman she met working with the Secret Service to investigate the death of her sister. Verity can’t say no, but as both investigations continue she sees her two cases may be connected and may have more deadly consequences.

___

What I really enjoy about this series in the depth of the characters. The war had profound effects on everyone, but we get a personal look at Verity and Sidney as they try to deal with his return and the PTSD and guilt he is fighting while dealing with the Verity’s independence has gained while he was gone. The struggle is real and told in a very believable way. They are surrounded by a cast of characters all dealing with issues of their own and again Ms. Huber gives them depth and their circumstances real.

I found both mysteries to be very interesting. I was more drawn to the Marquess of Rockham’s murder. It was a different time and marriages were made for stature and wealth instead of love.  Ada really had trouble adjusting to the aristocratic ways and clearly isn’t happy. I didn’t condone her behavior but understood part of where she was coming from. Verity has to see something in this woman and I was trying to find some redeeming qualities.

The other death drew Verity back to her Secret Service sources. The victim had a tough job during the war which opened the case which was first classified as a bungled home invasion to so much more. Verity was pulled in several directions and I enjoyed following alongside her as she did her best to find answers, even putting herself in the line of fire.

Anna Lee Huber has a very detailed writing style. You know she has well researched this time in history and does a great job fictionalizing the time period and giving readers a story filled with imagery to bring the story alive. People and places were easy to see in my mind’s eye.

Each book in this series can be read on its own but I recommend reading them in order to really get to know Verity Kent.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can read my review for This Side of Murder here and Treacherous Is the Night here.

About the Author

Anna Lee Huber is the author of the historical mystery series. She received the Daphne du Maurier Award for her national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries. She is a summa cum laude graduate from Lipscomb University in Nashville. To find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.

Also by this Author


GIVEAWAY

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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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Nov 072019
 

To Be Released Tuesday, November 9, 2019

A Woman of Two Minds
Medical Thriller/Suspense
Setting – Nevada
Black Opal Books (November 9, 2019)
Paperback: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 1644371677
ISBN-13: 978-1644371671
Kindle ASIN: B07WDD56PL

Kit Mackenzie, a brilliant young CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation, is on trial for the murder of her mother. Was it self-defense or homicide? After the prosecutor discovers a secret brain operation in her past, he believes Kit has a strong motive for murder. His discovery begins one of the most unusual trials in American history. Media from all over the world descend on the courtroom to cover a story they find too astonishing to believe. Mackenzie must depend on her renowned attorney and the insights of a skilled neuro-scientist in the fight to prove her innocence and gain the acceptance of a man she has always wanted.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a powerful read. I am going to try to write this review carefully not to give too much away because to enjoy this story you need to read and discover all the bits and pieces on your own.

Kit Mackenzie was in a dark place, dark enough that she tried to take her own life. She did survive but her life is dramatically changed forever. A change the prosecutor believes led her to kill her mother. Her fate plays out over the pages of this story.

When I accepted this book for review I was not aware of the suicide element to the story, but I became so engrossed in Kit’s story there was no way I was going to put this book down. For this gripping story, I pushed down the uncomfortable moments.

The trial takes place in 2018 but we travel back in time to follow Kit’s journey before she tried to take her life and then through the trial date to get her perspective and the perspective of those around her.

The medical aspect of this story was profound and very interesting. New medical discoveries are made every day but it takes some true bravery and sacrifice to submit to the operation in this story.

The author set a perfect pace. As it got later into the evening I was saying to myself, just one more chapter and continued to read two or three more and then repeated the process. I finally had to stop because my eyes just wouldn’t stay open. Speaking of eyes, I went to the optometrist the next morning and my Kindle went with me. Even after my eyes were dilated for the exam, I just increased the font size so I could keep reading while my husband had his exam. I quickly finished the book after we got home.

Ms. Morris does keep her readers on their toes too, right up until the very last page . . . what a moment!

Well-written and plotted, this story blew me away. If medical thrillers or bold thought-provoking stories are your thing you will enjoy A Woman of Two Minds.  This book has earned a place on my Best Reads of 2019 list!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

  Bourne Morris is also the author of the Red Solaris Mysteries. You can read my review of The Red Queen’s Run here, The Rise of the Red Queen here, and The Red Queen Rules here

Find out more about Bourne Morris and her books on her website here, Facebook and Twitter too.



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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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Oct 182019
 


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.


Malice in Maggody (The Arly Hanks Mysteries)
Humorous Mystery (Explicit Language)
1st in Series
Setting – Arkansas
Originally Released (February 5, 1991)
MysteriousPress.com/Open Road – Reprint edition (February 14, 2017)
Print Length: 260 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01N4RHNLC

After a crossbow killing at a cheap roadside motel, Ozarks police chief Arly Hanks finds herself investigating her first murder case.

Her marriage over and career gone bust, Arly Hanks flees Manhattan for her hometown: Maggody, Arkansas. In a town this size, nothing much ever happens, so Arly figures she’s safe as the town’s first female chief of police—until the husband of one of the local barmaids escapes from state prison and heads for town. And that’s not all. An EPA official with ties to polluting the local fishing hole has suddenly vanished off the face of the earth.

As if two manhunts aren’t enough to contend with, a body has been discovered at the pay-by-the-hour Flamingo Motel, shot clean through the neck with an arrow. For some reason, Maggody’s residents—all 755 of them—have gone tight-lipped, stonewalling Arly’s investigations, and Arly hasn’t a soul to trust but her half-wit deputy. Now, as Maggody’s finest, she’ll have to show a little muscle and a lot of cunning to curtail the inhospitable mountain malice that’s overtaken her town. And she’ll have to watch her own back every step of the way.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Arly Hanks returns to Maggody, Arkansas, population 755, after her career and marriage blows up and lands the job of Chief of Police. The crime in Maggody is virtually non-existent and writing traffic tickets is the major concern. But then a prison escape puts everyone on guard. The man who escaped is the husband of Jaylee Withers, a barmaid at Ruby Dee’s Bar and Grill. The residents of Maggody are also dealing with the EPA who has given the go-ahead for a sewage treatment plant that will feed into the beloved Boone Creek. The man sent to get all the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed made it to town but hasn’t been seen since.

So the crime rate in Maggody has taken a huge spike with two manhunts. But that’s not all … Arly now has to add a murder to her list when a body outside the pay-by-the-hour Flamingo Motel and she isn’t getting any help anyone in town, not even her mother. Thankfully Arly isn’t on her own and I don’t mean her Barney Fife deputy, she gets a much-needed assist from the State Police even though she isn’t happy to accept it.

___

This book is listed on many sites as a “cozy mystery” so I was completely caught off guard when the first line of the book is “It’s sh*t – pure and simple sh*t, no matter what they call it in those g*ddamn reports” (asterisks added by me.) While the language may be authentic and I have no problem with that language in almost any other genre, I just don’t believe it should be found in a cozy mystery.  I did keep reading and did enjoy the book but I refuse to classify it as a cozy mystery.

Joan Hess has created larger than life characters and placed them in a quirky small town. Almost everyone we meet is hiding something or keeping a secret or involved in nefarious activities and sometimes all three. While I found most of them to be pretty stereotypical and could be offensive to some readers I did find them entertaining.

The mystery plotlines were interesting even with readers knowing many things Arly didn’t. The story was well-plotted and the final reveal was surprising but made perfect sense. The author leans heavily on humor and some scenes were pretty hilarious.

Colorful characters in a Southern small-town, Malice in Maggody was an unusual and stirring mystery. I do plan to read more of this series.

One note: I think formatting this book for digital devices made transitions hard to follow at times. Storyline transitions were blurred due to the flow of the text. Spaces for setting changes or time changes within the chapters would be appreciated.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

I was sad to learn while researching this series that the author passed away in November 2017. Joan Hess was an American mystery writer, a member of Sisters in Crime, and a former president of the American Crime Writers League. She wrote two popular mystery series: The Claire Malloy Mysteries and The Maggody Mysteries (also called The Arly Hanks Mysteries), and has contributed to multiple anthologies and book series, including: Crosswinds, Deadly Allies, Malice Domestic, Sisters in Crime, and The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. She also wrote the Theo Bloomer mystery series, under the pseudonym Joan Hadley.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
It 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
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Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

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Sep 172019
 


The Vanished Bride (Brontë Sisters Mystery)
Biographical Historical Fiction/Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Yorkshire, England
Berkley (September 10, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0593099052
ISBN-13: 978-0593099056
Kindle ASIN: B07PF6T82G

Before they became legendary writers, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë were detectors in this charming historical mystery…

Yorkshire, 1845. A young wife and mother has gone missing from her home, leaving behind two small children and a large pool of blood. Just a few miles away, a humble parson’s daughters—the Brontë sisters—learn of the crime. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are horrified and intrigued by the mysterious disappearance.

These three creative, energetic, and resourceful women quickly realize that they have all the skills required to make for excellent “lady detectors.” Not yet published novelists, they have well-honed imaginations and are expert readers. And, as Charlotte remarks, “detecting is reading between the lines—it’s seeing what is not there.”

As they investigate, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne are confronted with a society that believes a woman’s place is in the home, not scouring the countryside looking for clues. But nothing will stop the sisters from discovering what happened to the vanished bride, even as they find their own lives are in great peril…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When I pull out my list of favorite books, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is always near the top of the list so when I learned of this book I knew I just had to read it.

Bella Ellis writes a story where the Brontë sisters with a couple of assists from their brother become amateur detectors when they learn of a young bride missing from her home with a gruesome scene left behind. The sisters spend their days trying to write but have been bored and in need of some fresh ideas. They soon realize they know the governess caring for the missing woman’s children. Charlotte feels this gives them the in they need to investigate. The sisters are very independent but their father worries about their excursions. They feed him stories so he doesn’t worry but he knows his daughters. He prays each day that they come home safe.

This story takes place before any of the Brontë works have been published. The author captures their knowledge, imagination, uniqueness, and perseverance in an excellent way.  She immerses them in a complex and compelling mystery. The girls travel “hither and thither” is their quest to find the vanished bride. The clues started to fall into place for me a bit before the sisters but I was totally entertained by the journey I was taken on. The author’s descriptive talents brought each setting and the characters place in it to life. In a time where women are usually seen and not heard and treated like property, the feminist slant to the story was refreshing.

What I really enjoyed was the story being told by each of the sister’s point of view alternating chapter by chapter.  It really gives insight into their lives and thought processes allowing readers to get to know each in a more personal way. Ms. Ellis has done her research and presented it in an interesting way.

Intriguing and entertaining, The Vanished Bride, is a fascinating historical mystery that fans of this genre will enjoy whether they have read Brontë sisters work or not. It does make me want to go back and reread some of their stories and poetry which I haven’t done for years.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Bella Ellis is the Brontë-esque pseudonym of Rowan Coleman, an acclaimed author of numerous novels for adults and children. She first visited the former home of the Brontë sisters when she was ten years old. From the moment she stepped over the threshold she was hooked and embarked on a lifelong love affair with Charlotte, Emily, and Anne; their life; their literature; and their remarkable legacy.


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Follow Berkley Mystery on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 1, 2019, 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.”

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Aug 292019
 

Singapore Sapphire (A Harriet Gordon Mystery)
Historial Mystery/ Amateur Sleuth
1st in Series
Setting – Singapore
Berkley (August 6, 2019)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 198480264X
ISBN-13: 978-1984802644
Kindle ASIN: B07KDW7YKS

Early twentieth-century Singapore is a place where a person can disappear, and Harriet Gordon hopes to make a new life for herself there, leaving her tragic memories behind her–but murder gets in the way.

Singapore, 1910–Desperate for a fresh start, Harriet Gordon finds herself living with her brother, a reverend and headmaster of a school for boys, in Singapore at the height of colonial rule. Hoping to gain some financial independence, she advertises her services as a personal secretary. It is unfortunate that she should discover her first client, Sir Oswald Newbold–explorer, mine magnate and president of the exclusive Explorers and Geographers Club–dead with a knife in his throat.

When Inspector Robert Curran is put on the case, he realizes that he has an unusual witness in Harriet. Harriet’s keen eye for detail and strong sense of duty interests him, as does her distrust of the police and her traumatic past, which she is at pains to keep secret from the gossips of Singapore society.

When another body is dragged from the canal, Harriet feels compelled to help with the case. She and Curran are soon drawn into a murderous web of treachery and deceit and find themselves face-to-face with a ruthless cabal that has no qualms about killing again to protect its secrets.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was a little hesitant when I opened the book to a glossary and a cast of characters. I was afraid the different dialects were going to mess with the flow and I like to get to know the characters myself as I read the story, especially for the first book of a series. So I skimmed the glossary and ignored the cast list and jumped right in. What I found was a unique mystery with very interesting characters in a fascinating setting.

Harriet Gordon lost both her husband and child to Typhus in India. She returned to England and became involved in the Suffragette Movement and got into a bit of trouble. She then decided to join her brother, a minister, and headmaster of a school in Singapore. There was work there for her to do but with no pay. To earn money she placed an ad to be a personal secretary. Her first client was Sir Oswald Newbold, a man well known for his exploration and a mining magnate. He was also president of the exclusive Explorers and Geographers Club. He had hired Harriet to transcribe his memoirs to get them ready for publication. Her employment ends abruptly when she finds the man dead in his home.

Inspector Robert Curran arrives on the scene and sees Harriet is a formidable woman with a keen sense of observation. He also feels she is hiding something. Something not pertaining to the death but something that is holding her back. Inspector Curran is holding something personal back from her as well, but beyond that, he believes she can help him with his case.

These characters are very well-developed for the first book in a series, but the author has left them plenty of room to grow. I enjoyed the way a friendship was built between them. The author also surrounds these characters with a diverse cast. Young students from the school, the staff, her brother to everyone we meet as we follow along with the investigation. All the characters are strong even those with minor parts to play. There are a lot of characters but I had no trouble keeping them straight.

The descriptions of Singapore, 1910, are vivid and I could tell the author was familiar with the setting and had researched it greatly.  It was no surprise when her biography stated she had lived there. Her words definitely transported this reader back in time to a place I knew very little about. She even captured the weather and makes her readers feel it. I was sweating in sympathy for the characters.

The mystery was an imaginative jewel. Precisely plotted, with culture and time are clearly portrayed. The pace had a slow build but really picked up about halfway in. The story was complex with twist after twist. The ending was suspenseful and kept me on my toes until everything was revealed.

Singapore Sapphire was an extraordinary read and I am looking forward to my next adventure with Harri and the good inspector. This series is off to an excellent start.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About A.M. Stuart 

Australian author, A.M. Stuart, learned her passion for history from her father and began her writing career halfway up a tree in the school playground where she wrote her first (unpublished) historical romance.

There have been many published, and multi award-nominated, historical romances (writing as Alison Stuart) since then but her first love has always been historical mystery.

Born in Kenya, her family came to Australia when she was ten years old. As an adult, she lived in Singapore for a number of years, where the idea for the Harriet Gordon Mysteries first crystallized.

In her life outside writing, she enjoyed a varied career as a lawyer in a wide number of fields including the military (where she held the rank of Major) and as a senior executive in the fire services.

The first of The Harriet Gordon Mysteries, SINGAPORE SAPPHIRE, was published by Berkley in August 2019.

Readers can connect with A.M. Stuart at her Facebook page, Twitter or subscribe to her newsletter.


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Follow Berkley Mystery on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End September 12, 2019, 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.”

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Aug 132019
 

I was thrilled to receive this book from the author
for an early review! 


Thin Ice: A Mystery
Suspense/Mystery – Some Explicit Language
1st in New Series
Setting – Alaska
Minotaur Books (December 3, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1250295211
ISBN-13: 978-1250295217
Kindle ASIN: B07P9LQD41

Thin Ice will chill your bones.

Beth Rivers is on the run – she’s doing the only thing she could think of to keep herself safe. Known to the world as thriller author Elizabeth Fairchild, she had become the subject of a fanatic’s obsession. After being held in a van for three days by her kidnapper, Levi Brooks, Beth managed to escape, and until he is captured, she’s got to get away. Cold and remote, Alaska seems tailor-made for her to hideout.

Beth’s new home in Alaska is sparsely populated with people who all seem to be running or hiding from something, and though she accidentally booked a room at a halfway house, she feels safer than she’s felt since Levi took her. That is, until she’s told about a local death that’s a suspected murder. Could the death of Linda Rafferty have anything to do with her horror at the hands of Levi Brooks?

As Beth navigates her way through the wilds of her new home, her memories of her time in the van are coming back, replaying the terror and the fear—and threatening to keep her from healing, from reclaiming her old life again. Can she get back to normal, will she ever truly feel safe, and can she help solve the local mystery, if only so she doesn’t have to think about her own?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Beth Rivers is a successful thriller author using the pseudonym of Elizabeth Fairchild. She has many fans but one fanatic took things way too far. Kidnapped and held in a van for 3 days, she manages to escape as the van was going down the road. Recovering in the hospital from her injuries her captor is still on the loose and she knows she is not safe. With a little help, she unexpectedly leaves the hospital to go to an undisclosed location.

Beth soon touches down in Benedict, Alaska with only her typewriter and a backpack full of paper and clothes.  She has booked a room at the Benedict House, not knowing it is a halfway house for women who committed non-violent crimes. With lodging options at a minimum, she sets that aside because she feels safe, or at least safer than she felt before. That is until she learns a woman was killed shortly before she arrived. Could the death be connected to her? Had she been found already?

The police chief was contacted by the detective overseeing Beth’s case and he has vowed to keep her safe. She has come up with a cover story to explain her injuries and reasons for her travel for the rest of the town. She continues to have memories of those three days making it hard to move on but after learning more about her the police chief consents to let her help with his current case and even finds her a job to pass her time. She may never get back to normal but for the moment she is safe.

____

Paige Shelton gives readers a cozy-ish protagonist but she turns up the suspense as she deals with her kidnapper on the loose and her escape to Alaska. Beth’s injuries were serious, her head is scarred and she has a brain injury. She finds herself enmeshed in Benedict, getting used to the weather, getting to know the people and finding a killer.  She is also striving to remember anything that would bring her kidnapper to justice. The severe headaches, mini seizures, and flashbacks really resonated with me. I also identified with her funky haircut. After my accident in 2001, I dealt with the same, thankfully no kidnapper was involved.

All the characters within this story have layers and I believe we have just started to peel them away. Benedict seems to be a place where everyone has come to escape from something and we really don’t find out too much about any of them except for the deceased and people directly connected to her. That means the author has plenty of material for this series going forward.

I really enjoyed the way Ms. Shelton described her settings. From the airplane and the images out the windows, the airport, the town, Benedict house, the forests, everywhere Beth traveled was brought to life and easily imagined. Readers are taken to the wilds of Alaska and yes, there is wildlife too.

The plot weaves Beth’s trauma together with the death in Alaska but only one is wrapped up by the final page. I really enjoyed the author’s approach to the entire story. The pace was quick and there were several happenings that could have turned the situations in different directions. You could feel that Beth was on edge the entire time.

I read this book incredibly fast and I want more! I was a little disappointed that both mysteries were not completed because I hate waiting for the other shoe to drop and I imagine and hope there are going to be many more suspenseful moments ahead before that other mystery will be wrapped up.  I can’t wait!!

This book will be released on December 3rd and I highly recommend you pre-order your copy. I am very excited for this series to continue.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood as her father’s job as a football coach took the family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City where she thought she’d only stay a few years, but she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After a couple of decades in Utah, she and her family recently moved to Arizona. She writes the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series, which begins with The Cracked SpineThin Ice is the first in a new series.

Paige Shelton is also the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com

Also by Paige Shelton


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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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Aug 092019
 


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.
Checking off the “U” this week to complete my Alphabet Soup Challenge.


Under My Skin
Psychological Thrillers
Setting – New York
Park Row (October 2, 2018)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 9780778308409
ISBN-13: 978-0778308409
Mass Market Paperback – August 20, 2019
ISBN-10: 0778309568
ISBN-13: 978-0778309567
Kindle ASIN: B0777JZ62P

What if the nightmares are actually memories?

It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run through Manhattan’s Riverside Park. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spiraled into an oblivion of grief, disappearing for several days only to turn up ragged and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn’t recognize. What happened to Poppy during those lost days? And more importantly, what happened to Jack?

The case was never solved, and Poppy has finally begun to move on. But those lost days have never stopped haunting her. Poppy starts having nightmares and blackouts—there are periods of time she can’t remember, and she’s unable to tell the difference between what is real and what she’s imagining. When she begins to sense that someone is following her, Poppy is plunged into a game of cat and mouse, determined to unravel the mystery around her husband’s death. But can she handle the truth about what really happened?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Living in opulence or squalor, under the skin people are just the same. Everyone suffers. Everyone struggles. It just looks different from the outside.

Grief can be all-consuming and no one knows that better than Poppy Lang. Her husband, Jack was murdered in Manhattan’s Riverside Park a year ago. His death sent Poppy over the edge, she can’t account for several days after she received the shocking news. When she comes back to the land of the living she is wearing clothes she has never seen with very little memory of what happened. She is also devastated that Jack’s killer was never caught, the case is still open but stagnant.

Then she starts to have nightmares and blackouts. She feels like she is being followed and she is missing vast periods of time.  She needs to remember what happened to her because she thinks it will lead straight to Jack’s killer.  The question is – Can she survive her quest and handle what she finds?

___

The synopsis and prologue captured my interest. I wanted to know what happened to both Jack and Poppy, but there were a lot of confusing moments. I think that is just what the author intended. Poppy’s path certainly wasn’t a straight one so much so it was sometimes hard to know what was really real and what was not. There is also quite a bit of repetition that was oft putting at first until I noticed a minuscule change in the event.  Poppy’s fears are palpable and continued to pull me further into the story.

I really didn’t care for her therapist who seemed to be missing the big picture. Her goal seemed to be getting Poppy “a good night’s sleep” while not realizing her client was mixing pills with alcohol, mixing sleeping pills of different dosages with alcohol, mixing sleeping pills with other pills and alcohol, making her hallucinate, have nightmares and blackouts.

Poppy’s best friend Layla was a mother hen over her. She was so traumatized when her friend went missing she wants to be sure it doesn’t happen again. She comes across a very controlling person. The lead detective on her husband’s case is also very involved following up each little clue that is uncovered.

Ms. Unger takes us an emotional roller coaster with almost everyone Poppy interacts with a suspect. Through her words, we see what Poppy sees, and most of it is downright frightening. I am glad I don’t live in New York, I would probably never leave the house again. I was so engrossed in my reading that when a child entered the room and surprised me I actually jumped and my Kindle went flying into the air. This book has exciting twists and some terrifying turns. I did have a very hard time putting it down and stayed up late in the night to finish. Then I was too keyed up to sleep.

The story is so well written and immersed in this psychological mystery there is some food for thought regarding death and losing a loved one. I may have only caught this because I continue to grieve for a loved one myself.

This is the first book I have read by Lisa Unger but it won’t be my last.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Lisa Unger is a NYT and international bestselling, award-winning author. Her books are published in 26 languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies, and have been named “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, and the Sun-Sentinel, among others. Her essays have appeared in the NYT, the Wall Street Journal, NPR and Travel + Leisuremagazine. Lisa lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with her husband, daughter, and labradoodle.


Also by this Author


I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
It will be sent directly from Amazon.
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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something you like here and become a follower.

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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.

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Aug 022019
 


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.
Checking off the “Q” this week on my Alphabet Soup Challenge.


Queen of the Trailer Park (Rosie Maldonne’s World)
Amateur Sleuths/Humorous Fiction
1st in Series
Setting – France
Translated from French
Amazon Crossing (June 1, 2015)
Paperback: 334 pages
ISBN-10: 1477827560
ISBN-13: 978-1477827567
Kindle ASIN: B00Q74VXMC

Rosie Maldonne is outspoken and sexy. She’s also unemployed, and, with three children and a cat, life is a little tough. The four of them—well, five, if you count the cat—live in the South of France, in a run-down trailer near a vacant lot. They make do, living off her part-time waitressing job and a little help from the state.

Rosie thinks things are finally turning around when she meets handsome police officer Jérôme—until she realizes that his appearance coincides with her friend Véro’s disappearance. Then, something even stranger happens: Rosie finds a package with a crazy amount of money in the trash can of a fast-food joint. With so much going on, Rosie has some big questions: Where is Véro? Is Jérôme too good to be true? Who put all that cash in the trash? And what happens when they want it back?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Single mom Rosie Maldonne lives in a trailer that had seen better days with her three children and their cat. Mostly unemployed she depends on government assistance to keep food on the table.  She waitresses at a nearby restaurant and begs loans from friends when the money runs out. That is until she makes a bizarre discovery in a trash can on her way home – A huge amount of money in several envelopes.

During this time her friend Vero and her son go missing and the police come to Rosie for answers she just doesn’t have. One police officer Jérôme is particularly nice and starts to be around wherever she goes. She also meets a very nice older man that wants to take care of her and the children.

While Rosie tries to find her friend and tries to decide what to do with the found money, she also has to deal with a new development that would evict her from her home. Finding help in unique places she fights to keep what’s hers and save Vero and her son.

____

I was looking for a book to fill the “Q” spot for a reading challenge. The synopsis sounding interesting and felt close to the cozy genre I love so I quickly snapped it up.  I was a little nervous when I realized it was a French story translated to English, but after reading the first few pages I knew that was not going to be a problem at all. The book cannot be classified as a cozy though due to the explicit language used throughout the story.

The lead character Rosie, who would rather be called “CriCri” is a very interesting character. She is very open about her life and has a huge heart.  She takes in one child of a friend quickly and is ready to welcome in another even when she is as poor as can be. She doesn’t let it get her down. She gets her children to school each day and tries to have as much fun with them as possible. The kids are happy and well cared for. Rosie has a quick mind and can put anyone in their place immediately, even men who have come to hurt her. She is always one to two steps ahead of everyone and really can think on her feet. She also has a continuous inner dialogue that is absolutely priceless. She uses unique terminology, calling her children lovingly “crib lizards” and “chickadees” along with other phrases that may only be unique because of the translation from French. She also appears to be a very sexy woman.

The flow of the story has a few issues but I know that is due to the translations. There are a few mysteries to solve and some twist together while others don’t. While most are solved by the end of the book they are things unresolved that will have me reading the next book in the series.

The Queen of the Trailer Park is an entertaining/hilarious story.  Rosie’s antics will have you in stitches and shaking your head. I enjoyed following her exploits all around town. I am so glad I was looking for a “Q” book and found this author and this series. This was a great little escape to France.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Alice Quinn has worked many jobs, from theater hostess to waitress, and has traveled the world, often relying on her wits to make ends meet. After the success of her first novel, Queen of the Trailer Park, in her native French, she quit her day jobs and now makes her living writing full-time. She lives in the South of France with her two teenage children and several cats.


I am giving away 1 Kindle copy of this book!  

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.

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

Contest Will End August 16, 2019, 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 This book was from my private collection. 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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Jul 262019
 

The House on Xenia
(A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
by Rita Moreau

 

About the Book 


The House on Xenia (A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
Paranormal Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Independently Published (May 8, 2019)
Paperback: 332 pages
ISBN-10: 1096120712
ISBN-13: 978-1096120711
Digital Print Length: 209 pages
ASIN: B07R9Q682Y

A government conspiracy. A life-threatening secret. Can a psychic accountant balance the books of justice?

Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney prefers numbers to her supernatural powers. But when a cold-case corpse shows up under her cousin’s family home, the only calculations that add up are paranormal. And deep within the floorboards of the house on Xenia, MC and her madcap Greek family uncover evidence pointing to visitors from another planet…

Pursued by military agents intent on keeping the secrets buried, MC will have to play by the house’s rules to expose the alien mystery. And there’s only one member of the family who can get to the hidden truth…

Can MC reveal the cover-up, or will a dangerous hush job close her books forever?

The House on Xenia is a standalone novel in the Mary Catherine Mahoney cozy mystery series. If you like psychic female sleuths, crazy family antics, and long lost aliens, then you’ll love Rita Moreau’s quirky tale.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

While there are recurring characters the author states each book in this series can be read on its own. Intrigued by the synopsis I decided to read this book without reading the prior books. What I found was a very bizarre mystery. You see for me the main character was not Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney or any of the other human characters. For me, the main character was the House on Xenia. Generations of Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney’s family have lived in the House. A House that vowed to protect the family from anything. In the book, it is described as a YaYa (Greek grandmother), nurturing, caring, with a huge heart and protective qualities. Also, unusual is that no one is living in the house and keeping up with the maintenance. The house is said to be dying, but it still holds some important secrets.

Several characters have psychic abilities, some are in Ohio where the house is and others are in Florida. When a body is found under the family home everyone’s focus is the House. Not just the family but the military too and talk turns to aliens and secrets that need to be kept. But the House wants to talk and to only one person. MC is caught in the middle. Does she reveal all or does she keep her mouth shut and move on?

The author has presented a very interesting mystery. One that kept my attention even though it was very unique from most mysteries I read. The House has answers so the investigation evolves in an unconventional way. Several people gave input and there were those acting in an underhanded way to keep people from finding out the truth. That deception put people in danger.

Using a real place in this fictional story added extra credence. The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is where UFO investigations dating from the 1940s to the 1960s with all the conspiracy theories. Theories that people still talk about today like Area 51.

This story was not what I had expected it to be but I was entertained from the first page to the last. I found The House on Xenia to be an enjoyable read and a nice escape.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Rita Moreau is the author of the Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery series.

A workaholic by nature, upon retirement, Rita Moreau began work on her bucket list, writing a book. Traveling the national parks with her husband George in a vintage Bluebird motor home, (on George’s list), Rita completed her first novel Bribing Saint Anthony. Back home she completed Nuns! Psychics! & Gypsies! OH! NO, Feisty Nuns, The Russian & Aunt Sophia and The House on Xenia. Rita and her husband live in a postcard called Florida where he has fun telling everyone he is the author’s husband. When not writing she joins PatZi Gil on the Joy on Paper radio program with Book Buzz Mysteries or you can find her teaching fitness classes and doing her best to keep busy. She loves connecting with readers.

Praise for The House on Xenia
(A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
by Rita Moreau

The House on Xenia, a full-sized YaYa (Greek grandmother). It’s also very much extraordinary . . .
~INTO THE ABYSS

This was just so much fun to read. There are fun, zany characters, house included, and more than one mystery to figure out. Made me grin enough my face hurt.
~ fuonlyknew

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Purchase Links – Amazon 

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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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Jul 052019
 


Layover
Psychological Thrillers
Setting – Kentucky
Berkley (July 2, 2019)
Hardcover: 416 pages
ISBN-10: 0440000866
ISBN-13: 978-0440000860
Kindle ASIN: B07J47PGXN

Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work, his life a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, he meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it’s time for their respective flights, Morgan kisses Joshua passionately, lamenting that they’ll never see each other again.

As soon as Morgan disappears in the crowd, Joshua is shocked to see her face on a nearby TV. The reason: Morgan is a missing person.

What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets as Joshua tries to discover why Morgan has vanished from her own life. Every time he thinks one mystery is solved, another rears its head—and his worst enemy might be his own assumptions about those around him.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A chance meeting at an airport. Joshua feels an instant connection to Morgan. She gives him a killer kiss good-bye, but he can’t just let her go. He chucks his plan to meet his father to close a business deal and follows Morgan. He knows she is on the run and hiding something huge but he just can’t leave her behind. Joshua is soon mentally trapped into Morgan’s web and he could end up making the ultimate sacrifice all the be with a girl he met on a LAYOVER.

David Bell is one of my favorite authors but this one didn’t blow me away as others have.

Joshua Fields appears to be a very intelligent young man who may need a vacation from work but he keeps making bad decisions. I understand being in a rut and wanting change but I had a hard time believing the lengths he went to for a woman he just met and knew for all of a few minutes. He is a good guy but his first move was almost stalkerish. After that, though I realized Morgan was a master manipulator who knew just how to pull Joshua’s strings as soon as he continued to follow wherever she led.

I realize the premise of this book from an encounter the author actually witnessed but I just couldn’t get on board with it all. Maybe if the woman was a someone from his past, that he hadn’t seen in years I would have found it believable because they would have had a smidgen of history to build on.

Putting their meeting aside the story itself was complicated as Morgan’s story was revealed piece by piece from several viewpoints. The key was learning the true story and for that to come out there were several twists. Readers are treated to some suspenseful moments as the chase of Morgan and now Joshua continues. The author’s writing style of short chapters with mini-cliffhangers and alternate points of view worked very well. Those little teasers had me doing the just one more chapter thing over and over again. For me, the ending was unexpected and made me glad I had kept reading.

Aside from wanting to jump into the book several times to try to stop Joshua making stupid choices, this was a largely entertaining read.

Of course, I am looking forward to David Bell’s next thriller.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about David Bell and his books visit his webpage here



GIVEAWAY

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.

Sign Up for David Bell’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

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 July 19, 2019, 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.”

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