Posted in 2021 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bitterroot Lake: A Novel by Alicia Beckman #Review @LeslieBudewitz


Bitterroot Lake: A Novel
Mystery/Suspense
Setting – Montana
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (April 13, 2021)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1643855808
ISBN-13: 978-1643855806
Kindle ASIN: B08D8J49DP

When four women separated by tragedy reunite at a lakeside Montana lodge, murder forces them to confront everything they thought they knew about the terrifying accident that tore them apart, in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman’s suspense debut

Twenty-five years ago, during a celebratory weekend at historic Whitetail Lodge, Sarah McCaskill had a vision. A dream. A nightmare. When a young man was killed, Sarah’s guilt over having ignored the warning in her dreams devastated her. Her friendships with her closest friends, and her sister, fell apart as she worked to build a new life in a new city. But she never stopped loving Whitetail Lodge on the shores of Bitterroot Lake.

Now that she’s a young widow, her mother urges her to return to the lodge for healing. But when she arrives, she’s greeted by an old friend–and by news of a murder that’s clearly tied to that tragic day she’ll never forget.

And the dreams are back, too. What dangers are they warning of this time? As Sarah and her friends dig into the history of the lodge and the McCaskill family, they uncover a legacy of secrets and make a discovery that gives a chilling new meaning to the dreams. Now, they can no longer ignore the ominous portents from the past that point to a danger more present than any of them could know.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah lost her husband to cancer and her mother encourages her to come home to the lodge to help her make some decisions. The lodge holds a lot of heartbreaking history. Twenty-five years ago a weekend turned deadly and ripped Sarah and her closest friends including her sister apart. The fact that Sarah had a dream that could have changed the weekend’s outcome still haunts her today.

Sarah does return to the lodge and the dreams along with her friends are back too. Another person connected to that weekend is killed and one of the friends becomes a prime suspect. While trying to prove her innocence the group of women delve into the history of the lodge and the family that owns it. What they uncover changes everything. Danger lurks nearby as they try to make sense of everything they learn.


What a fabulous cover, it drew me to the book before I ever read the synopsis of the story. Learning that the author was one of my cozy mystery faves made my desire to read it even stronger.

This is a very complex mystery with a lot of threads that entwine in and out with each other. I enjoyed the bit of paranormal included within the pages as it really enhanced the story and gave it some new depth. I liked the lodge setting and all the treasures found within.

Sarah is dealing with so much and this reunion truly tests her but she needs answers. She is grieving, counting the days since her husband’s death but her visions need to be explained along with learning what she may have missed all those years ago. I was drawn to Sarah, she was very relatable and felt genuine to me. All the characters she interacted with developed nicely over the course of the story too. They all have their flaws which make them believable.

This is a story you can not just plow through to find the killer, in fact, that turns out to be a minor part of the story. There is a lot of nuance in these pages. There are situations that could be called chilling and there are situations that really drive the story forward. I found the way the author blended history with modern-day incredible and the part secrets play through both periods very intriguing. From an attempted rape to the loss of a loved one and broken friendships this book will hit readers on many levels. There were a couple of areas where I thought the text needed to be tightened up because the flow seemed a little off but these instances were few and far between.

Bitterroot Lake lets the author explore a darker mystery than she can in the cozy realm and she excelled at it. As this is a stand-alone title we will not meet these characters again but I am very interested in where Ms. Beckman takes us in the future.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Alicia Beckman adored living in Seattle as a college student and young lawyer, but is happiest back home in her native Montana, where she lives with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their full-figured gray tuxedo cat. As Leslie Budewitz, she’s the bestselling author of the Seattle Spice Shop and Food Lovers’ Village mysteries. A three-time Agatha Award winner, for Best Short Story (2018), Best First Novel (2013), and Best Nonfiction (2011), she is a past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America.


Written as Leslie Budewitz

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Win by Harlan Coben #Review


Win
Suspense Thriller
Setting – New York
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 16, 2021)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1538748215
ISBN-13: 978-1538748213
Kindle ASIN: B089Q37QPL

Over twenty years ago, the heiress Patricia Lockwood was abducted during a robbery of her family’s estate, then locked inside an isolated cabin for months. Patricia escaped, but so did her captors — and the items stolen from her family were never recovered.

Until now. On the Upper West Side, a recluse is found murdered in his penthouse apartment, alongside two objects of note: a stolen Vermeer painting and a leather suitcase bearing the initials WHL3. For the first time in years, the authorities have a lead — not only on Patricia’s kidnapping but also on another FBI cold case — with the suitcase and painting both pointing them toward one man.

Windsor Horne Lockwood III — or Win, as his few friends call him — doesn’t know how his suitcase and his family’s stolen painting ended up with a dead man. But his interest is piqued, especially when the FBI tells him that the man who kidnapped his cousin was also behind an act of domestic terrorism — and that the conspirators may still be at large. The two cases have baffled the FBI for decades, but Win has three things the FBI doesn’t: a personal connection to the case; an ungodly fortune; and his own unique brand of justice.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We originally met Windsor Horne Lockwood III as a character in Coben’s Myron Boltar series. “Win”, Bolitar’s best friend now stars in his own story and what looks to be his own series if he survives to the end of this thriller.

A murder has occurred on the Upper West Side and the FBI picks up Win because there is evidence in the recluse’s penthouse that points directly at Mr. Windsor Horne Lockwood III. The death may also be connected to a cold case close to Win. His cousin, Patricia was kidnapped over 20 years ago. She escaped but her captors were never caught. Now, with these new clues, Win decides it is time he starts his own investigation. It is past time to dole out a bit of justice and Win is just the man to deliver it.


“Articulate”. Windsor Horne Lockwood III is a flawed character with way too much money and a sense of privilege because of it. He gets away with everything because he has the money and connections to insolate him from any repercussions for things he has done. He has a full-time assistant, a private plane, a keen sense to right wrongs as he sees them in any way he can. An expert fighter he believes he is invincible. His money also gains him membership in an exclusive dating/sex club which enables him to take part in “no strings attached” one-night stands. The man is clearly driven to get to the truth in a case that goes back to the 1970s but there are people out there whose mission it is to make sure he doesn’t get it. But Win likes violence and isn’t afraid to use it. He does have a softer side brought out by only one person and his love and admiration for Myron Bolitar shines within these pages. He also has a troubled soul and some insecurities to deal with. Win is a complicated character and exactly the kind of character I expect to find from this author.

Mr. Coben has written such a complex suspense-filled story. He introduces readers to several diverse characters and entangles them in a multitude of ways throughout the book. At first, I thought I was going to have trouble keeping them all straight but they are dynamically crafted to stand out as the two mysteries evolve. The story is very fast-paced but it is not a book to rush through. There are twists on top of twists and surprises almost around every corner. The final twist brought me to a full stop. It was classic Coben and I should have been prepared. I know to expect the unexpected when I pick up any Harlan Coben book. There is a reason he is my favorite suspense author and I look forward to each new title.

As a fan, I have been waiting for Windsor Horne Lockwood III to have his own story for years and was absolutely giddy when the book went up for pre-order. I have been counting down the days to today, its release date to share my thoughts with you. Don’t panic if you have not read the Bolitar series because this book works perfectly as a stand-alone. If this is your first experience with this author I encourage you to read any and all of his previous titles as they are all excellent.

WIN has set this series off to a fantastic start. Definitely a must-read for suspense lovers.  I can’t wait to see what Harlan Coben has in store for Windsor Horne Lockwood III next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Harlan Coben and his book on his webpage here.



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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

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


Gone Astray
by Terry Korth Fischer

About Gone Astray

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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


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

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

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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Terry Korth Fischer

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

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Leave No Stone: A Faith McClellan Novel by LynDee Walker #Review / #Giveaway @LynDeeWalker

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.


Leave No Stone: A Faith McClellan Novel
Suspense/Thriller/Women Sleuths
2nd in Series
Setting – Texas
Publisher: Severn River Publishing (November 19, 2019)
Hardcover: 284 pages
ISBN-10: 195124902X
ISBN-13: 978-1951249021
Paperback: 334 pages
ISBN-10: 1951249062
ISBN-13: 978-1951249069
Kindle ASIN: B07WW17LG9

A MISSING WOMAN.

A SADISTIC SERIAL KILLER.

AND A TEXAS RANGER RUNNING OUT OF TIME…

Shortly after a young mother mysteriously disappears, a serial killer begins leaving corpses and clues across the Texas Hill Country. Texas Ranger Faith McClellan and her mentor, veteran Ranger Archie Baxter, are assigned to the case.

This killer is more clever—and sadistic—than any they’ve ever encountered, and the list of seemingly unrelated female victims is growing by the day—an attorney, a pastor, a stay-at-home mom. The murders feature similar injuries, with a cryptic message carved into each corpse. But these gruesome calling cards provide more questions than answers, and with the best coroner in the state unable to identify the murder weapon, investigators are flying blind.

With the young mother still missing and a mounting body count, it’s up to Faith and Archie to solve the mystery. Before the killer strikes again…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Faith McClellan is used to dealing with murder investigations but this time she is assigned to a missing person case. When she hits a dead-end she teams up again with her mentor, veteran Ranger Archie Baxter to assist on a serial killer investigation as bodies start to pile up. Female victims all with similar injuries and messages carved right into their skin. They have a lot of speculation but are unable to come up with a true suspect. Faith also can’t keep her mind off her missing person, could she somehow be connected to the serial case. It’s going to take some hard detective work to catch the killer, a killer who appears to be escalating. Are Faith and Archie up for the task?


Faith Mc Clellan is a tough-as-nails Texas Ranger with some unique talents that in this installment are finally being recognized. I was cheering for her to quickly solve her missing person case just to show some people in her sphere her true abilities. Unfortunately, that wasn’t meant to be. Instead, she starts to work on another case and she does it with a furor. The woman does not give up or back down. She faces fear with her eyes wide open and a brain busy calculating every option. She also has some flaws that can hold her back but that makes her human. This character has grown since book one but still has room to evolve. The author has surrounded her with a group of interesting characters most with major flaws themselves. I hope they continue to evolve as well.

The missing woman mystery really tugged at my heartstrings, just as it did Faith. The serial murder case was intense, gripping, and scary. The author includes a few chapters from the point of view of an unknown person. Those chapters really drew me in and made me think as to how everything was going to connect. I want to say the book had a fast pace but I tried hard to slow it down so I didn’t miss a clue or an aside that would prove to be important down the road. “Down the road” takes on an eerie sense within this story.

Ms. Walker does not write stories with easy mysteries for her characters or readers to solve. Faith tries so hard but there are twists upon twists and a few surprises thrown in working up to an exciting big reveal. The big reveal that was also a huge surprise.

Faith McCellen literally Leave(s) No Stone – Unturned. LynDee Walker takes her readers on a gritty ride. Full of suspense and complex characters this is a story that will stick with you.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

LynDee Walker is the national bestselling author of two crime fiction series featuring strong heroines and twisty, absorbing mysteries. Her first Nichelle Clarke crime thriller, FRONT PAGE FATALITY, was nominated for the Agatha Award for best first novel, and in 2018, she introduced readers to Texas Ranger Faith McClellan in FEAR NO TRUTH. 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 and worked closely with the various law enforcement agencies that she reported on. 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.


Also by LynDee Walker


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
It will be sent directly from Amazon.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf
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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 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.”

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – The Cupid Caper (A Finley Goodhart Crime Caper) by Larissa Reinhart #Review / #Giveaway

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


The Cupid Caper (A Finley Goodhart Crime Caper)
Sassy Southern Suspense
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Past Perfect Press (April 16, 2018)
Paperback: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 0998548499
ISBN-13: 978-0998548494
Kindle ASIN: B07C12W8WB

She uses her criminal past to catch crooks. He wants her back. In the grift. And in his life. Can Finley Goodhart convince Lex that doing good is the greatest hustle of all?

Ex-grifter Finley Goodhart may try to stay on the straight and narrow, but walking that thin line becomes wobbly when she believes her friend Penny was murdered. The last thing she wants is to work with her ex-partner (and ex-boyfriend), the brilliant (brilliantly frustrating) British con artist, Lex Leopold. However, when it appears Penny’s demise might be related to an exclusive matchmaking service for millionaires, Fin needs Lex’s help to pull a long con to get the goods on Penny.

Romance is in the air for hustlers, gangsters, and their marks. Unfortunately for Fin and Lex, infiltrating the racket doesn’t make for a match made in heaven. This Valentine swindle could stop their hearts for good.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Finley Goodhart has lived an interesting life as a con artist/hustler who really wants to leave that life behind but when she learns her fellow con artist/friend Penny Forbes has died she knows there is much more to the story. There is no way her death went down as reported. Fin knows Penny was murdered and she is going to find out who did it and why. Teaming up with her ex-partner/boyfriend Lex Leopold and all the entourage he brings may be the only way to get Penny justice. Her first lead ties Penny to an exclusive matchmaking service and she is hoping she and Lex can figure out the scheme they were running to get Penny killed and just maybe avenge her death.

_____

The Cupid Caper is a complicated story with a lot of moving parts and players. At times I thought a scorecard would be helpful to keep everyone straight. Fin and Lex donned different personas throughout the book to access different groups and places and traveled the entire Atlanta Georgia area as they tried to piece together what happened to Penny and who was responsible for her death. An elaborate sting is constructed to take down the believed responsible party/s but nothing is straight forward and there are several epic twists before we reach the final page. Not everything is nicely wrapped by the end leaving an opening for future books featuring Finley Goodhart.

Ms. Reinhart has created unique and interesting characters. Finley really has no idea who she can trust.  Lex wants Finley back in his life in a permanent meaningful way and he is hard to resist. Through them, readers are introduced to the elite and members of the Atlanta underworld. Some were downright creepy, all were flawed and all were compelling.

The Cupid Caper is a gritty suspense-filled story with several cat and mouse escapades taking readers on a wild ride. I enjoyed reading it very much. I am surprised the author hasn’t released more books with these intriguing characters but it looks there may be sequels in the works.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Visit Larissa’s website to join her VIP Readers email group and get the free prequel to The Cupid Caper plus other exclusive bonus content! www.larissareinhart.com

A Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Larissa writes the award-winning Cherry Tucker Mystery, Maizie Albright Star Detective, and Finley Goodhart Crime Caper series. She loves to tell funny stories about women, looking for love (and dead bodies) in all the wrong places.

Larissa, her family, and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, lived in Nagoya, Japan, but have returned to Peachtree City, Georgia. You can see them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Larissa loves books, food, and traveling with her family. You can often see her adventures on Instagram (and her little dog, too).

Social Media Links:

Website    VIP Readers:     Official Facebook    Facebook    Fan group     Bookbub    Goodreads    Pinterest


Finley Goodhart Crime Caper series:
Pig’N a Poke (for newsletter subscribers only)
THE CUPID CAPER
THE PONY PREDICAMENT
THE HEIR AFFAIR

The Cherry Tucker Mystery Series in reading order:

A CHRISTMAS QUICK SKETCH (prequel novella)
PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY
STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW
HIJACK IN ABSTRACT
THE VIGILANTE VIGNETTE (Halloween novella)
DEATH IN PERSPECTIVE
THE BODY IN THE LANDSCAPE
A VIEW TO A CHILL
A COMPOSITION IN MURDER
A MOTHERLODE OF TROUBLE (in YEAR-LONG TROUBLE anthology)

The Maizie Albright Star Detective series in reading order:

15 MINUTES –First in series (15 MINUTES) is free during COVID. 

16 MILLIMETERS
NC-17
A VIEW TO A CHILL
17.5 CARTRIDGES IN A PEAR TREE
18 CALIBER (2020)
19 CRIMINALS (2021)

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 February 26, 2021, 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.”

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Mystery Bones Murders (Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas) by Karen Randau #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Mystery Bones Murders:
A gripping story of love, deceit, and redemption
(Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas) by Karen Randau

 

My Positive Change From COVID-19
by Karen Randau

When I was a kid and visited my dad’s parents, I never could figure out who were all those ginger-haired people who hung out there all the time. Sure, I knew their names, and their last name didn’t match mine or my grandparents. The whole family of five had a carrot top, and young me thought it was really strange.

After I joined a genealogy website, I learned those were relatives on my grandmother’s side—a tiny bit of Viking in me to explain how someone with a quiet, gentle spirit can write murder mysteries and thrillers. Or maybe it explains why I love Celtic music so much. Who knows?

But as a result of my new discovery (and the explanation of why my dark hair had a red tint until recently), I’ve wanted to go to Ireland. I had heritage to discover, after all. I wanted to witness the country’s green rolling hills, rugged seaside cliffs, and windswept rock formations. Experience the lively culture. Visit some of the 30,000 castles. Sip some Irish whiskey (did you know only whisky from Scotland, Canada, and Japan isn’t spelled with an “e” in it?).

The Emerald Isle (made up of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom) is known for its friendly people, lively atmosphere, and lots of festivals. I wanted to go to one of their world-famous festivals.

Since the days of the Celts, Ireland has had a strong tradition of storytelling, and I hear the people love to chat for hours on end. It’s no wonder there are so many famous writers from Ireland. In fact, there’s a whole museum in Dublin dedicated to Irish writers!

Writers like James Joyce (best known for his book, Ulysses, but also the author of a collection of short stories about life in Dublin), the witty and fun Oscar Wilde, the poet W.B Yeats, Bram Stoker (famous for Dracula), Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels), and many more.

In that tradition, there’s an annual international writers’ festival in Dublin that I’ve wanted to attend, but the cost of both the festival and travel was prohibitive. That is, until COVID-19 took everything virtual. While I didn’t get hands-on experience with a tiny bit of my heritage, I went to Ireland virtually to attend the excellent 2020 writers’ festival.

In fact, I attended several writers’ conferences virtually—so many that I never would have been able to afford it if everything hadn’t been locked down. And as an introvert, there was less stress attending virtually than trying to network amongst strangers (I’m so not into that).

So, there you go. I like to find the positive in every negative, and attending the Dublin International Writers’ Festival virtually was my positive that happened because of the COVID-19 lockdowns.

I hope you’ve experienced at least one positive from this negative pandemic. If not, I hope you’ll look for one.

And if you’re still hunkering down (or not), I hope you’ll enjoy my new novella about a feisty ginger-haired woman named Frankie who in Mystery Bones Murders digs deep down inside to finally overcome unimaginable heartbreak through love and redemption.

 

About Mystery Bones Murders


Mystery Bones Murders (Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas)
Mystery – Thriller
1st in Series
Setting – Wyoming
Independently Published (November 30, 2020)
Print length: 131 pages
ASIN: B08PDGPJT6

Frankie Shep is still mourning the deaths of her husband and young son when she finds a bone in the far corner of her Wyoming cattle ranch.

 

Excited to think she may have discovered an ancient Native American village, she takes the bone to a lifelong friend who is now a forensic anthropologist on contract with her county.

 

After a cursory inspection, he turns a blood-chilling stare at Frankie. The bone isn’t ancient. Worse, the victim could be the remains of Frankie’s mother. She disappeared from her own bed more than a decade ago.

 

And now her retired father is missing.

 

As Frankie digs deeper, she discovers the terrifying truth that a serial killer is using her land to bury his victims, all members of her family and inner circle.

 

And now he’s watching her.

 

Mystery Bones Murders is a story of love, heart-wrenching deception, and finding redemption.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Frankie Shep has isolated herself following the recent deaths of her husband and son and her mother’s disappearance several years ago.. She is only close to the family that helps her work the ranch.

There were several Native American villages in the area and when she finds a human bone by a tree in a corner of the ranch she thinks she thinks she may have found evidence of one. But a forensic anthropologist friend tells her the bone is not old enough to have come from a Native American. He believes it could belong to her mother. With that revelation, she knows she needs to contact her father but he is not answering his cell phone and is not where he was supposed to be. She then learns that there were 3 bodies buried under that tree. She also feels like she is being watched. Could a serial killer still be in the area?

______

Something unusual happened when I started this book. A few pages into the story I started to hear background music in my head. It ebbed and flowed with what was happening on the page, reached a high crescendo when the killer was revealed and the story wrapped up with a classic Law & Order, dun-dun. The story had a real movie or episodic television feel.

Ms. Randau introduces her readers to a relatively small cast of characters but with plenty of options for suspects. I really felt for Frankie as she had an overload of sorrow before the story even started. To deal with it all and things she encountered within these pages we know she is a strong woman. The other characters play important parts in her life. There may even be a little romance in her future.

At just 131 pages this was a fast read made even faster by the author’s writing style and the suspense that unfolded. It was impossible to put down.

Mystery Bones Murder is an entertaining novella with an engaging protagonist you want to root for. As this is just book one in this series I am very interested to see where she takes Frankie next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent 

About Karen Randau

Karen Randau authors fast-paced stories with intricate plots, lots of action, and a dash of romance told from the point of view of a female amateur sleuth. Mystery Bones Murders is her sixth book and the first book in a new series of novellas. She lives in the mountains of Arizona with her multi-generational family.

Author Links – 

Webpage  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads  BookBub

Purchase Links – Amazon 

Also by Karen Randau

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for Mystery Bones Murders:
A gripping story of love, deceit, and redemption
(Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas) by Karen Randau

The pace of the story is perfect, with just enough suspense from page to page that you don’t want to put the book down. I liked that Frankie searched for clues but was smart enough to call in the police when things were out of her depth.
~Storeybook Reviews

Although the fast-paced tale does feature an abundance of corpses, it’s (thankfully) not the stuff that nightmares are made of – making for a short, lightweight thriller with many a twist along the way.
~Cassidy’s Bookshelves

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
January 18 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 19 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
January 22 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 23 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 24 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
January 25 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 27 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 28 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
January 29 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 29 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
January 30 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 31 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

 

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

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Challenges Cloak and Dagger Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge What's In A Name Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

2020 Reading Challenges – Year End Wrap Up


2020 Reading Challenges – Year End Wrap Up

Breast Cancer and COVID 19 dealt some whammies to my reading and reading challenges in 2020.

I was able to complete my GoodReads Reading Challenge because it is the only challenge that allowed me to lower my goal. Something I did after my first week of chemotherapy when I realized my late-night reading would not be happening and that chemo brain would be setting in.

2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
LORI has
read 162 books toward
her goal of
160 books.
hide

I was also able to complete the Purrfect Reading Challenge.

The Purrfect Reading Challenge 2020
Hosted by Socrates’ Book Reviews…

I am signing up at the Kneading – Read 11-20 cat mysteries 

    1. Hems & Homicide by Elizabeth Penney
      2.Careless Whiskers by Miranda James 
      3. Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico
      4. Murder Makes Scents by Christin Brecher
      5. On The Lamb by Tina Kashian
      6. Mimi Lee Gets A Clue by Jennifer J. Chow
      7. Revenge is Sweet by Kaye George
      8. A Small Town Can Be Murder by Julie Seedorf
      9. This Magick Marmot by Sharon Pape
      10. Death and Daisies by Amanda Flower
      11. Six Cloves Under by Gin Jones
      12. Seas the Day by Maggie Toussaint
      13. Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan
      14. A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette
      15. A Call for Kelp by Bree Baker
      16. The Key Lime Crime by Lucy Burdette
      17. Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian
      18. Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines by Jennifer J. Chow
      19. Boston Scream Murder by Ginger Bolton
      20. Fishing for Trouble by Elizabeth Logan
      21. Wine Tastings Are Murder by Libby Klein

The Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge


Hosted by Take a walk down Gregory Road

This is a new challenge for me but looks like fun. I am signing up at the Baker’s Dozen Level with hopes of more. 

Baker’s Dozen  |  13 books
Choose one category from any 13 of the topics provided except for the wildcard books

 

DATE FINISHED CATEGORIES BOOK  (READ OR PLANNED)
1 Making Stuff Up
A book with the word “maker” in the title
A book featuring a fictional language
A book about crafts or handiwork Hems & Homicide by Elizabeth Penney
A book about lies
2 Dark Genres
A cult classic book
A dark fantasy book
A gothic horror book
A speculative fiction book
3 Seconds
A book you find in a second hand store
The second book by an author Dead Week by Kelly Brakenhoff
A book with a clock or stopwatch on the cover
A book about eating
4 Quick Decisions
A book based solely on the title or cover
A book you buy on impulse
A book by an author you always read The Book of Candlelight by Ellery Adams
A book about living with consequences
5 Birds Of A Feather
A book with a feather or wings on the cover
A book about differences
A book about community A Small Town Can Be Murder by Julie Seedorf
A book about twins
6 Where We Live
A book about an apartment building
A book with a mansion on the cover Murder at a Country Mansion by Louise R. Innes
A book about nomads
A book about moving to the country
7 Careers
A book written by a current/former journalist
A book about doctors/nurses/health care professionals The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin
A book about a teacher
A book about blue collar workers
8 Body Parts
A book with feet on the cover
A book with “hand” in the title
A book about heads
A book with a nose on the cover
9 Reading Cliches
A book someone called a “page turner” The Request by David Bell
A “beach read”
A book by an author “everyone has read”
A “best seller” you’ve never heard of
# Music Genres
A book whose title could be a Country song
A book with “opera” in the title
A book whose cover makes you think about Heavy Metal
A book you think should have a Jazz soundtrack
# Recovery
A book about recovering from an accident or illness
A book about dealing with death In An Instant by Suzanne Redfearn
A book about a missing person
A book that has been re-issued with a new cover
# Next Door
A book with the word “neighbor” in the title
A book with binoculars on the cover
A book by a local author
A book about the creepy old house in the neighborhood
# Brought To You By The Letter N
A book with the word “novice” in the title
A book that takes place in a country that begins with N Netherlands – Death by Windmill by Jennifer S. Alderson
A book with the word “name” in the title
A book by an author whose name starts with N
# Inspirations
A book that inspires you to go for a walk
A book about improving self image
A book about a place you hope to visit this year
A book by or about a person you admire
# Diversity
A book by an author from a different culture
A book about gender identity
A folk/fairy tale retelling in a non-western setting
A book about a character with a disability
# Check Out Those Lists
A book from NPRs Top 100 Books list
A book from the NY Times Best Sellers list The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben
A book inspired by your shopping list this week
A book from a recommended list you find on the internet
# Singles
A story about a widow or widower
A book with a single word title
A standalone book
A book with a single figure on the cover Glitter, Glam, and Contraband by Heather Weidner 
# Animal Kingdom
An author whose name includes an animal (ie:CATherine)
A non-fiction book about animals
A book with a talking animal
A book with an animal on the cover Mimi Lee Gets A Clue by Jennifer J. Chow
# Hidden
A book with a mask on the cover
A book written by an author who uses a pseudonym Careless Whiskers by Miranda James
A book with the word “hidden” in the title
A book about a treasure hunt
# TBR Crushers
A book from your bookshelves you have to dust off
A book you’ve been meaning to read forever
Anything you want Cold Wind by Paige Shelton
The first book you see on your bookshelf
# Shorts
A book less than 100 pages Botched Butterscotch by Amanda Flower 
A book by an author with fewer than 10 letters in their name
A book with character being “towered over” on the cover
A book of short stories
# Movie Quotes
I see dead people. – a ghost story
I coulda been a contender. – a book about sports
There’s no place like home. – a book about going home
I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way. – a graphic novel
# Places
A book with a place name in the title Death on the Danube by Jennifer S. Alderson
A book with a map on the cover
A book set in the mountains
A book about traveling
# Selfies
A memoir
A book written in first person
A book with a narcissistic character
A self improvement book
# How Old?
A book with obsolete technology on the cover
A contemporary book written by an author older than you
A book about your parents’ generation
A book written before you were born
# Reading Women
A non-fiction book about a famous woman
A book by a woman of color Paw and Order by V.M. Burns
A book with a kick-ass woman on the cover
A children’s book with a strong female lead
WILD- CARD BOOKS Wildcards
A manga book
A book that includes an ocean journey
A book about geeks
A book about Zodiac signs or astrology
A book that centers around a group of friends A Crime of a Different Stripe by Sally Goldenbaum

The 2020 New Release Challenge

2020 New Release Challenge
Hosted by (un)Conventional Bookworms

61-100 books per year – New Release Veteran level. #2020NewReleaseChallenge

      1. Glitter, Glam, and Contraband by Heather Weidner 
        2. Silenced in Sequins by Debra Sennefelder
        3. Come Homicide or High Water by Denise Swanson
        4. Bound for Murder by Victoria Gilbert
        5. Murder Ink by Lorraine Bartlett and Gayle Leeson 
        6. Hems & Homicide by Elizabeth Penney
        7. Careless Whiskers by Miranda James
        8. Sealed Off by Barbara Ross
        9. A View To A Kilt by Kaitlyn Dunnett
        10. A Field Guide to Homicide by Lynn Cahoon
        11. Fatal Roots by Sheila Connolly
        12. Statue of Limitations by Kate Collins
        13. A Crafter Quilts A Crime by Holly Quinn
        14. Bonbon With The Wind by Dorothy St. James
        15. The Book of Candlelight by Ellery Adams
        16.Bitter Alpine by Mary Daheim
        17. Under the Radar by Annette Dashofy
        18. Death by Baguette by Jennifer S. Alderson
        19. The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin
        20. Stayin’ Alive by Julie Mulhern
        21. Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico
        22.In An Instant by Suzanne Redfearn 
        23. Murder Makes Scents by Christin Brecher
        24. On The Lamb by Tina Kashian
        25. Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail by Jodi Rath
        26. The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben
        27. Dressed Up 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton
        28. Al Dente’s Inferno by Stephanie Cole
        29. Sleuth on Safari by A. R. Kennedy
        30. Easter Hair Hunt by Nancy J. Cohen
        31. Lavender Blue Murder by Laura Childs
        32. Mimi Lee Gets A Clue by Jennifer J. Chow
        33. The Evil Men Do by John McMahon
        34. Who Rescued Who by Victoria Schade
        35. Revenge is Sweet by Kaye George
        36. Frozen Stiff Drink by James J. Cudney
        37. Who’s Dead Doc? by J.M. Griffin
        38. A Fatal Yarn by Peggy Ehrhart
        39. The Stolen Letter by Paige Shelton
        40. Deep Fried Revenge by Lynn Cahoon
        41. Staging Wars by Grace Topping
        52. A Small Town Can Be Murder by Julie Seedorf
        43. This Magick Marmot by Sharon Pape
        44. Murder in the Secret Maze by Judith Gonda
        45. To Fetch a Scoundrel, by Heather Weidner, Jayne Ormerod, Rosemary Shomaker, Teresa Inge
        46. Old Friends and New, Another Murder by Christa Nardi
        47. The Dive Spices It Up by Krista Davis
        48. Six Cloves Under by Gin Jones
        49. Seas the Day by Maggie Toussaint
        50. Secrets of the Treasure King by Terry Ambrose
        51. Botched Butterscotch by Amanda Flower
        52. The Secret Life of Bones by Kylie Logan
        53. R.I.P. in Reykjavík by A R Kennedy
        54. Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan
        55. Pulp Friction by Julie Anne Lindsey
        56. A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette
        57. A Murderous Misconception by Lorraine Bartlett and Gayle Leeson
        58. A Call for Kelp by Bree Baker
        59. The House That Vanity Built by Nancy Cole Silverman
        60. Red Hot by Dana Dratch
        61. Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse by Kate Young
        62. No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert
        63. Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower
        64. Sprinkles of Suspicion by Kim Davis
        65.  Murder with Clotted Cream by Karen Rose Smith
        66. Lady Rosamund and the Poison Pen by Barbara Monajem
        67. Booked for Death by Victoria Gilbert
        68. An Exquisite Corpse by Helen A. Harrison
        69. A Fatal Fiction by Kaitlyn Dunnett
        70. Divide and Concord by J.C. Eaton
        71. Death by Windmill by Jennifer S. Alderson
        72. Larceny at the Library by Colleen J. Shogan
        73. Game of Dog Bones by Laurien Berenson
        74.From Beer to Eternity by Sherry Harris
        75.Quiche of Death by Mary Lee Ashford
        76.Little Tea by Claire Fullerton
        77.Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake by R.L. Syme
        78.The Corpse with the Crystal Skull by Cathy Ace
        79.The Key Lime Crime by Lucy Burdette
        80.Dash Away All by Christina Freeburn 

        81.The Request by David Bell
        82.Killer Queen by Julie Mulhern 
        83.Eddy and Julia by William Zink
        84.15 Minutes of Flame by Christin Brecher
        85.Paw and Order by V.M. Burns
        86.Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron
        87.Winner Cake All by Denise Swanson
        88. For Letter or Worse by Vivian Conroy
        89.Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian
        90.Cake Popped Off by Kim Davis
        91.Tusk Justice by Victoria Tait
        92. The Solace of Bay Leaves by Leslie Budewitz
        93. Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs by Julie Mulhern
        94. Fields Guide to Dirty Money by Julie Mulhern
        95. Nacho Average Murder by Maddie Day
        96. Egg Drop Dead by Vivian Chien
        97. Iced Over by Heather Day Gilbert
        98. Saddled with Murder by Eileen Brady
        99. Broadcast 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton
        100.Fair Trade by Heather Day Gilbert
        101. Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines by Jennifer J. Chow
        102. Spawning Suspicion by Maggie Toussaint
        103. Boston Scream Murder by Ginger Bolton
        104. Murder Most Sweet by Laura Jensen Walker 
        105. A Crime of a Different Stripe by Sally Goldenbaum
        106. Cold Wind by Paige Shelton
        107. Fishing for Trouble by Elizabeth Logan
        108. Premeditated Mortar by Kate Carlisle
        109. Murder at a Country Mansion by Louise R. Innes
        110. Wine Tastings Are Murder by Libby Klein
        111.Grounds for Murder by Tara Lush
        112. A Deadly Edition by Victoria Gilbert
        113. Varnished Without A Trace by Misty Simon
        114. Mums and Mayhem by Amanda Flower
        115. Killer Kung Pao by Vivien Chien
        116.Candy Cane Caper by Amanda Flower
        117.Closely Harbored Secrets by Bree Baker
        118.The Malt in Our Stars by Sarah Fox
        119. Undone in Uluru by A.R. Kennedy
        120. Absence of Alice by Sherry Harris
        121.Nothing Bundt Trouble by Ellie Alexander
        122. Chilled to the Cone by Ellie Alexander

The NetGalley and Edelweiss Challenge

NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge
Hosted by Reading Between the Pages

I am signing up at the Bronze Level – 10 Books. 

1. Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien
2. Wonton Terror by Vivien Chein 
3. Death and Daisies by Amanda Flower
4. Living the Vida Lola by Melissa Bourbon
5. Murder with Cherry Tarts by Karen Rose Smith
6. Grounds for Remorse by Misty Simon
7. Designed to Death by Christina Freeburn
8. Fatal Cajun Festival by Ellen Byron
9. Deceased and Desist by Misty Simon
10. Another One Bites the Crust by Ellie Alexander
11. Live and Let Pie by Ellie Alexander
12. Carpet Diem by Misty Simon
13.A Cup of Holiday Fear by Ellie Alexander
14. Stiff Penalty by Annelise Ryan 
15.Banana Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke

16. Better Off Read by Nora Page

The For The Love of Books Challenge

FOR THE LOVE OF EBOOKS 2020 READING CHALLENGE
Hosted by As Told by Tina

Just read as many ebooks as you can throughout 2020!

1. Glitter, Glam, and Contraband by Heather Weidner 
2. Silenced in Sequins by Debra Sennefelder
3. Bound for Murder by Victoria Gilbert
4. Hems & Homicide by Elizabeth Penney
5. Death on the Danube by Jennifer S. Alderson
6. Dead Week by Kelly Brakenhoff
7. Sealed Off by Barbara Ross
8. Be Still My Bleating Heart by Hannah Reed
9. Fatal Roots by Sheila Connolly
10. Statue of Limitations by Kate Collins
11. A Crafter Quilts A Crime by Holly Quinn
12. Bonbon With The Wind by Dorothy St. James
13. Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien Chien
14. The Book of Candlelight by Ellery Adams
15. Bitter Alpine by Mary Daheim
16. Under the Radar by Annette Dashofy
17. Death by Baguette by Jennifer S. Alderson
18. The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin
19. Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien
20. Stayin’ Alive by Julie Mulhern
21. Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico
22. In An Instant by Suzanne Redfearn
23. Murder Makes Scents by Christin Brecher
24. On The Lamb by Tina Kashian
25. Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail by Jodi Rath
26. The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben
27. Dressed Up 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton
28. Sleuth on Safari by A. R. Kennedy
29. Easter Hair Hunt by Nancy J. Cohen
30. Revenge is Sweet by Kaye George
31. Frozen Stiff Drink by James J. Cudney
32. Who’s Dead Doc? by J.M. Griffin
33. A Fatal Yarn by Peggy Ehrhart
34.The Stolen Letter by Paige Shelton
35. Wonton Terror by Vivien Chein 
36. Deep Fried Revenge by Lynn Cahoon
37. Staging Wars by Grace Topping
38. A Small Town Can Be Murder by Julie Seedorf
39. This Magick Marmot by Sharon Pape
40. Murder in the Secret Maze by Judith Gonda
41. To Fetch a Scoundrel, by Heather Weidner, Jayne Ormerod, Rosemary Shomaker, Teresa Inge
42. Death and Daisies by Amanda Flower
43. Old Friends and New, Another Murder by Christa Nardi
44. Six Cloves Under by Gin Jones
45. Seas the Day by Maggie Toussaint
46. Secrets of the Treasure King by Terry Ambrose
47. Botched Butterscotch by Amanda Flower 
48. On Thin Icing by Ellie Alexander
49. The Secret Life of Bones by Kylie Logan
50. R.I.P. in Reykjavík by A R Kennedy
51. Living the Vida Lola by Melissa Bourbon
52. Mousse and Murder by Elizabeth Logan
53. Pulp Friction by Julie Anne Lindsey
54. A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette
55. A Murderous Misconception by Lorraine Bartlett and Gayle Leeson
56. The House That Vanity Built by Nancy Cole Silverman
57. A Catered Wedding by Isis Crawford
58. Red Hot by Dana Dratch
59. Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse by Kate Young
60. No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert
61. Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower
62. Sprinkles of Suspicion by Kim Davis
63. Murder with Cherry Tarts by Karen Rose Smith
64. Murder with Clotted Cream by Karen Rose Smith
65. Lady Rosamund and the Poison Pen by Barbara Monajem
66. Booked for Death by Victoria Gilbert
67. Board Stiff by Annelise Ryan
68. A Fatal Fiction by Kaitlyn Dunnett
69. Divide and Concord by J.C. Eaton
70. Grounds for Remorse by Misty Simon
71. Death by Windmill by Jennifer S. Alderson
72. Larceny at the Library by Colleen J. Shogan
73.From Beer to Eternity by Sherry Harris
74.Quiche of Death by Mary Lee Ashford
75. Little Tea by Claire Fullerton
76. Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake by R.L. Syme
77. The Corpse with the Crystal Skull by Cathy Ace
78. The Key Lime Crime by Lucy Burdette
79. Dash Away All by Christina Freeburn 
80. The Request by David Bell
81. Killer Queen by Julie Mulhern
82. Designed to Death by Christina Freeburn
83.15 Minutes of Flame by Christin Brecher
84. Paw and Order by V.M. Burns
85. A Crime of Passion Fruit by Ellie Alexander
86. Fatal Cajun Festival by Ellen Byron
87. Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron
88. Deceased and Desist by Misty Simon
89.Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian
90. Cake Popped Off by Kim Davis
91.Tusk Justice by Victoria Tait
92. The Solace of Bay Leaves by Leslie Budewitz
93. Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs by Julie Mulhern
94. Fields Guide to Dirty Money by Julie Mulhern
95. Nacho Average Murder by Maddie Day
96. Mischief in Maggody by Joan Hess
97. Egg Drop Dead by Vivian Chien
98. Iced Over by Heather Day Gilbert
99. Saddled with Murder by Eileen Brady
100.Another One Bites the Crust by Ellie Alexander
101. Broadcast 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton
102. Fair Trade by Heather Day Gilbert
103. Till Death Do Us Tart by Ellie Alexander
104. Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines by Jennifer J. Chow
105. Spawning Suspicion by Maggie Toussaint
106. Live and Let Pie by Ellie Alexander
107. Boston Scream Murder by Ginger Bolton
108. Murder Most Sweet by Laura Jensen Walker
109. Carpet Diem by Misty Simon
110. A Crime of a Different Stripe by Sally Goldenbaum
111. Cold Wind by Paige Shelton
112. Fishing for Trouble by Elizabeth Logan
113. Ladies of the Lake by Ken Corday
114. Premeditated Mortar by Kate Carlisle
115. Murder at a Country Mansion by Louise R. Innes
116. A Cup of Holiday Fear by Ellie Alexander
117. Stiff Penalty by Annelise Ryan 
118. Wine Tastings Are Murder by Libby Klein
119.Grounds for Murder by Tara Lush
120. Much Ado About Murder by Joan Hess

121. A Deadly Edition by Victoria Gilbert
122.Much Ado in Maggody by Joan Hess
123. Varnished Without A Trace by Misty Simon
124. Mums and Mayhem by Amanda Flower
125.Killer Kung Pao by Vivien Chien
126.The Worst Noel by Amy M. Reade
127.Candy Cane Caper by Amanda Flower
128.Closely Harbored Secrets by Bree Baker
129,The Malt in Our Stars by Sarah Fox
130.Banana Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke
131. Undone in Uluru by A.R. Kennedy
132. Absence of Alice by Sherry Harris
133.Nothing Bundt Trouble by Ellie Alexander
134. Better Off Read by Nora Page
135. Chilled to the Cone by Ellie Alexander

and the Finish the Series Challenge


2020 FINISHING THE SERIES READING CHALLENGE
Hosted by Celebrity Readers

This series gives me the push I need and help me clear my TBR stacks. I am again signing up at the B-LIST SERIES FINISHER ⇒ COMPLETE 5-8 SERIES. 

 

1. Dim Sum of All Fears by Vivien ChienMurder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien  – Wonton Terror by Vivien Chein Egg Drop Dead by Vivian ChienKiller Kung Pao by Vivien Chien
2. Plum Tea Crazy by Laura ChildsBroken Bone China by Laura ChildsLavender Blue Murder by Laura Childs
3. Death and Daisies by Amanda Flower – Mums and Mayhem by Amanda Flower
4. On Thin Icing by Ellie AlexanderCaught Bread Handed by Ellie AlexanderFudge and Jury by Ellie AlexanderA Crime of Passion Fruit by Ellie AlexanderAnother One Bites the Crust by Ellie AlexanderTill Death Do Us Tart by Ellie Alexander Live and Let Pie by Ellie AlexanderA Cup of Holiday Fear by Ellie AlexanderNothing Bundt Trouble by Ellie AlexanderChilled to the Cone by Ellie Alexander
5. Murder with Cherry Tarts by Karen Rose SmithMurder with Clotted Cream by Karen Rose Smith
6. Fatal Cajun Festival by Ellen Byron  – Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron
7. Grounds for Remorse by Misty SimonDeceased and Desist by Misty Simon Carpet Diem by Misty Simon Varnished Without A Trace by Misty Simon
8. Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs by Julie MulhernFields Guide to Dirty Money by Julie Mulhern

So that makes 7 out of 19 Challenges Completed. 

I was unable to complete the Alphabet Soup Challenge, the Alphabet Soup- Author Edition Challenge, the Literary Escapes Challenge, the Craving for Cozies Challenge, the Crusin’ Thru the Cozies Challenge, the What’s In A Name Challenge, the Backlist Reading Challenge, the Mount TBR Challenge, the Cloak and Dagger Challenge, the Print Only Challenge, the Literary Road Trip Challenge, the Pages Read Challenge, and the Reading Challenge Addicts Challenge. You can find the lists of the books I did read for these challenges here.

I hope to do much better this year.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2021 Reading Challenges Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge New Release Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

2021 Reading Challenges I Will Be Participating In


In addition to the four challenges, I am hosting.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will be participating in these challenges.

The 2021 GoodReads Reading Challenge 

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Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge

Hosted by CAROL’S NOTEBOOK

Challenge Rules:

  • You can read any book that is from the mystery/suspense/thriller/crime genres. Any sub-genres are welcome as long as they incorporate one of these genres.
  • You don’t need a blog to participate but you do need a place to post your reviews to link up. (blog, Goodreads, Instagram, etc.)
  • Make a goal post and link it back here with your goal for this challenge.
  • Books need to at least 100 pages long. Please no short stories.
  • Crossovers with other challenges are fine.
  • The Challenge will run from Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st. (Sign up ends March 15th)

We still have our Facebook group so if you haven’t joined we would love for you too! Here’s the group’s link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/350512171977943/. It’s a closed group so just ask to join and we’ll let you in.

There will be a monthly link-up so we can see what everyone’s reading – and probably add some to our own tbr lists. At the halfway mark and at the end we will have a giveaway for those participating.

We’ll continue to use the hashtag #CloakDaggerChal.

Levels:

5-15 books – Amateur Sleuth – This is my goal for the year.

16-25 books – Detective

26-35 books – Inspector

36 – 55 – Special agent 

56+ books – Sherlock Holmes

Sign Up Here

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2021 New Release Challenge

Hosted by (un)Conventional Bookworms

The rules for the 2021 New Release Challenge are simple:

  • Books have to be released and reviewed in 2021.
  • Other challenges can be used as well, if you are participating in the Netgalley / Edelweiss challenge or in the COYER challenge, books can count towards more than one challenge, as long as the ones you use for the 2021 New Release Reading Challenge qualify to the other rules.
  • The minimum length for a book to qualify is 100 pages, it can be in any format though, physical, e-book, ARC or audiobook.
  • The New Release Challenge is open from January 1st through December 31st 2021, and sign-ups are open until September 1st 2021.
  • You don’t have to be a blogger to participate, you can link to your review on Goodreads or Booklikes instead – so don’t be shy!
  • If you want to spread the love, please use #2021NewReleaseChallenge on Twitter 😉

There are five levels  in the 2021 New Release Challenge:

  1. 1-30 books per year – New Release Newbie
  2. 31-60 books per year – New Release Pro
  3. 61-100 books per year – New Release Veteran – This is my goal for 2021 
  4. 101-200 books per year – New Release Enthusiast
  5. 200+ books per year – New Release Obsessed

There is a Facebook Group for the New Release Challenge, to have a place where we can keep up with each other, cheer each other on, and get to know each other better. It is also a place where we can help each other find even more new releases.

Sign Up Here

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2021 FINISHING THE SERIES READING CHALLENGE

Hosted by Celebrity Readers 

guidelines:

While we’re pretty lax about how you wish to set up this challenge for yourself, we do have a few guidelines to follow.

  • The challenge will run from January 1st, 2021 to December 31st, 2021.  Books must be read during this time frame to count.  Sign up is open from now until December 1st, 2021, so you may join even just for the last month of the year.
  • Series can be already completed as well as still ongoing.  For ongoing series, the goal is to catch up to the most recent book published by the end of 2021.
  • We don’t care if you have only 1 book or 10 books to read in order to finish your series, as long as you’ve started the series before 2021 (ie read at least one book in the series), it counts.  Re-reads are not required.
  • Any format and length of book counts – print, ebook, audio, ARC, etc.
  • Series can be any length (even if it’s just a Duet).
  • Crossovers from other challenges are totally acceptable!
  • Reviews are not required but highly encouraged.

how to play:

  • Declare your intentions to participate in this challenge somewhere on the internet!!  You do not need to be a blogger to participate, there are many ways to declare.  You could write a blog post, create a reading challenge page, create a Goodreads shelf containing series you hope to finish, post about it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Some things you could include (but that aren’t required):
    • A link to this page so that others may find us and join the fun as well (feel free to download the button at the top to use in your posts).
    • A list of series you hope to read for this challenge.  You could even get fancy and list the length of the series, or the books you’ve already read, etc.
    • The level you are aiming for.
  • Sign up for the challenge using the link up below, and link directly to where you’ve declared your intentions (ie to the specific blog post, the goodreads shelf, the facebook post, etc).
  • We will be posting quarterly link-ups for you to add links to your reviews or any wrap-up/overview posts you wish to share.
  • Go forth and READ!!  And have fun!!
  • Use the hashtag #FinishingTheSeries2021 on any social media to keep up with other participants!

the reward:

Uh…your own sense of pride in achieving a goal?  Sorry folks, we’re not actually that motivated by prizes ourselves, so we’re just offering bragging rights.  But we can offer you some pretty graphics to either declare your goal or to use as a badge once achieved!

the levels:

We offer you 3 different “Celebrity” levels of achievement for this reading challenge:

C-LIST SERIES FINISHER ⇒ COMPLETE 1-4 SERIES.

B-LIST SERIES FINISHER ⇒ COMPLETE 5-8 SERIES. – This Is my goal for 2021.

A-LIST SERIES FINISHER ⇒ COMPLETE 9+ SERIES.

Sign Up Here

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Cruisin’ thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2021

Hosted by Socrates’ Book Reviews…

This year’s cozy mystery reading challenge has two ways to participate and you can choose whichever suits you the best:

A) Read only cozy mysteries of your choice.

Or

B) Read one book from these sub-genres:

– One from culinary (anything dealing with food: restaurants, baked goods, etc.)
– One from animal-related (cats, dogs, birds, etc.)
– One from craft-related (any kind of hobbies – knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, etc.)
– One from paranormal (witches, vampires, etc.)
– One from cozy mysteries based outside the US (example: Belinda Lawrence series (British))
– One career-based cozy mystery (housekeeping, wedding planner, etc.)
– One holiday based (set during any holiday – Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines, etc.)
– One travel mystery (character could be on a cruise, touring another area, etc.)
– One historical mystery (any mystery not set in the present)
– One is your choice! (freebie!)

Here are the levels you can join for either A or B…

Level one (Snoop) –
A) Read 10 cozy mysteries of your choice.
B) Read one book in each of the above cozy sub-genres (total of 10 books)

Level two (Investigator) 
A) Read 20 cozy mysteries of your choice.
B) Read all the books in level one plus an additional 10 cozy books of your choice (total of 20)

Level three (Super Sleuth) –
A) Read 30 cozy mysteries of your choice.
B) Read two books from each sub-genre in level one plus an additional 10 cozy books of your choice (total of 30 books)

Level four (Sleuth Extraordinaire) – My goal for 2021 
A)Read 40 cozy mysteries of your choice.
B)Read two books from each sub-genre in level one plus an additional 20 cozy books of your choice (total of 40 books)

Here are the rules…

1. The challenge runs from January 1, 2021 and ends December 31, 2021.

2. You don’t have to choose your books in advance. If you do, you can change your list at any time during the year. Books can overlap with other challenges.

3. Books can be in any format – paper, audio, ebooks…it all counts!

4. You don’t have to post a review, but I’m sure others would love to know about the books you are reading and may even want to add it to their reading lists.

NOTE: If you don’t have a blog and want to participate, that’s fine. You don’t have to have a blog, just post in the comments section as you finish books. If you belong to a site like Goodreads and review the books there, that’s fine too. Just leave us the link. I also have a group for this challenge on Goodreads and you can sign up here.

5. If you do have a blog, take the button above, put it on your blog, and post about the challenge. Then add your name to Mr. Linky below. Please use the link of your challenge post, not the link to your home page.

6. I’m going to have one link for signing up, one link for completed reviews, and one link for your wrap up posts. I won’t be having a monthly link, just one for all reviews read for this challenge

Sign Up Here

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Mount TBR Challenge 2021

Hosted by MY READER’S BLOCK

Challenge Levels:

Pike’s Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
Mont Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancouver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s – My goal for 2021
Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro*: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s (*aka Cerro El Toro in South America)
Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s

The Rules:
*Once you choose your challenge level, you are locked in for at least that many books. You are welcome to voyage further and conquer taller mountains after your commitment is met. All books from lower mountains carry over towards the next peak.

*Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2021

*You may sign up at any time–no matter when you see this challenge. All qualifying books read after January 1st count.

*Books must be owned by you prior to January 1, 2021–items requested or ordered prior to January 1, may count even if they arrive in the new year. No library books~. If you’re looking for a library book challenge or one that counts books on your non-owned TBR list, then please see Mount TBR’s sister challenge: the Virtual Mount TBR Challenge.
~The ONLY exception to the library rule: If you own the book in any form and have a reason to check out a version from the library instead, then you may count it. For example–if you own a hard copy, but are planning on taking a trip where listening to the audio version would be a great way to knock out a book while you drive, then by all means check out the audio version and have a wonderful trip! Please check with me if you have questions.

*Rules for Rereads: Any reread may count, regardless of how long you’ve owned it, provided you have not counted it for a previous Mount TBR Challenge.

*Audiobooks and E-books may count provided they are yours prior to January 1. ARCs are also fine.

*You may count any “currently reading” book that you begin prior to January 1–provided you had 50% or more of the book left to finish when January 1 rolled around. I will trust you all on that. The only exception is if you have participated in Mount TBR in 2020 and were unable to finish the book in time for the final Check-in Post. Then–if you finish the book post-January 1, you may count it as your first step of the new challenge.

*You may count “Did Not Finish” books provided they meet your own standard for such things, you do not plan to ever finish it, and you move it off your mountain [give it away, sell it, remove from e-resources, etc.]. For example, my personal rule (unless it’s a very short book) is to give it 100 pages. If I decide I just can’t finish it and won’t ever, then off the mountain it goes and I count it as a victory–the stack is smaller!

*Books may be used to count for other challenges as well.

*Feel free to submit your list in advance or to tally them as you climb.

*A blog and reviews are not necessary to participate. If you have a blog, then please post about the challenge and link that post (not your home page) in the form below. My link provider has limited the number of link “parties” I can have open at a time–so I will be using Google forms for all my sign-up links this year. Non-bloggers may enter their names only without a blog link OR members of Goodreads are welcome to join the Goodreads group HERE.

*If you post on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media to log a book, please use #MountTBR2021.

* As I have in the past, I will have a headquarters link in the left hand side-bar which will offer links to this original post, monthly review links, and the final wrap-up. I will update it at the beginning of the new year The Headquarters will also have a link to a list of our climbing crew with their commitments.

Happy climbing!

Sign Up Here 

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The Backlist Reader Challenge 2021

Hosted by The Bookwyrm’s Hoard

I am combining this challenge will the Mount TBR Challenge with a goal of 36 books.

 

The Backlist Reader Challenge (#BacklistReader) encourages us to read all those older books that have been piling up on our TBR piles or lists. And by “older,” I mean books that came out before 2020 (so, in 2019 or earlier.)

The challenge runs from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021. It ends at midnight in whatever timezone you’re in. You can still post reviews, and link them, up until January 5, 2022, but only for books you finished reading in 2021.

The Rules

Rule #1: To count for the challenge, books have to be published before 2020 AND already be on your TBR list or pile. 

In other words, you don’t have to own the book. If it was on your want-to-read list when you signed up for the challenge, and it came out in 2019 or earlier, it counts… regardless of format (ebook, print book, audiobook) and regardless how or where or when you acquired it. Library books totally count, as long as you had the book on your want-to-read list before you signed up for the challenge.

What does”TBR list” or “to-read” list” mean, exactly? It means whatever you use to keep track of the books you want to read. If that’s a shelf or a pile of physical books, great. If it’s the “to-read” shelf on Goodreads, also fine. If you keep a spreadsheet on your computer or a list in a notebook or a “for later” list in your library account, those work too. Just as long as you have something to keep track of what you want to read, but haven’t read yet. (In my experience, most book-lovers have a to-read list of some sort, somewhere.)

Do rereads count? Personally, I love rereading familiar books, and in any given year, at least a third of my reading is rereads. But back when I first created this challenge, the goal was to encourage myself to read books I hadn’t ever gotten around to reading. On the other hand, there are some books on my TBR list that I read a long time ago but want to reread, because I can barely remember them. So here’s the compromise I came up with: you can only count a book you have read before IF (a) you haven’t read the book in the last 10 years, and (b) you can’t remember much about it.

Rule #2: Create a goal or sign-up post on your blog

…or wherever you usually post your reviews or your thoughts about a book (e.g., Goodreads, LibraryThing, Instagram, Facebook.) Please link back to this post! Then link your sign-up post below, where you see the “Add your link” button. (Please link your actual goals/sign-up post, not your home page.)  You can set your own goal, and you can list the books you want to read this year, or leave it up to your mood at the time—as long as they are already on your TBR list when you sign up! You can sign up through December 1, 2021; after that, the sign-up link will be closed.

Rule #3 (optional): Review the books you read for the challenge, and post your links on the review linky

 After Jan. 1, 2021, I’ll post a page with the review linky widget and link it here; you’ll also be able to get to it from the top menu bar. You can certainly do the challenge without writing reviews, but the review links are your entries for the year-end giveaway. Reviews don’t have to be long; a few sentences is fine. If you don’t have a blog, you can post them on Goodreads or LibraryThing or even on your Facebook or Instagram. Please link to your review itself (not to your blog’s main page, your profile, or the book’s main Goodreads or LibraryThing page.) If you’re not sure how to find that link, email me and I’ll walk you through it.

Rule #4: Before January 5, 2022, create and link a wrap-up post

Let us know how you did! I’ll create a link-up post like this one for the wrap-up posts, so you can share your achievement with others who are participating!

Show your support for other participants

Please support other members of The Backlist Reader Challenge by reading and commenting on their reviews, found in the review linky. This isn’t a rule, and you don’t have to check out every review on the list, but please try to visit a few every time you post a review of your own. Your fellow readers will appreciate it!

What else you need to know

There will be at least one giveaway: a $15 Amazon gift certificate (US), or up to that amount in books from Book Depository (as long as they deliver to your country.)  The winner will be chosen from the review links at the end of the year, using a random number generator.

You will find the review linky on the top menu bar in early January, with a link from the sidebar as well. The review linky will stay open through 11 p.m. EST on January 5, 2021, to give you a couple of days to review any books you finished on December 31.

Social media: Please use #BacklistReader on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else hashtags are useful!

Sign Up Here

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2021 Netgalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge 

Hosted by Socrates’ Book Reviews…

What the challenge is all about…

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the number of NetGalley/Edelweiss books sitting on your shelf to be read?
Have you lost your 80% rating and would love to get it back?
Do you want to challenge yourself to read more NetGalley/Edelweiss books?
Do you need extra inspiration to achieve that next badge?

If the answer is “YES” to any of these questions then this is the challenge for you!

Challenge guidelines…

  • The challenge runs from January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021. There is no deadline to sign up.
  • Everyone is welcome to participate – you do not need to have a blog.
  • Any genre, release date, length, etc. counts – it just needs to be a book from NetGalley or Edelweiss.
  • Books can count for more than one challenge that you are participating in.
  • The first day of each month I will post a monthly “link-up” for you to link your reviews. If you forget one month, no worries, just catch up the next month.
  • Questions: Feel free to leave a comment below.

The Levels…

Bronze – 10 Books – My goal for 2021

Silver – 25 Books

Gold – 50 Books

Platinum – 75 Books

Diamond – 100 Books

To sign-up…

  • Make a blog post stating the level you intend to read in 2020 and link that blog post to Mr. Linky below.  The first Link should be your name, the url should be the direct link to that blog post, not your main blog page.
  • If you do not have a blog then state your reading level in the comments below and how you will be sharing your book reviews.
  • Last but not least, be sure to come back every month and link in those reviews. This is really the hardest part – remember to do the monthly “link-ups”!

Sign Up Here

My Personal Challenges

Wisconsin Authors or Settings

My goal is to read at least 10 books by Wisconsin Authors or Wisconsin Settings.

 

Pages Read

via GIPHY

My goal is 48,000 Pages for 2021.

I am participating in 14 Challenges!

I hope you will join me and challenge yourself.

Share:
Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Much Ado in Maggody (The Arly Hanks Mysteries) by Joan Hess #Review / #Giveaway

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


Much Ado in Maggody (The Arly Hanks Mysteries)
Humorous Mystery (Explicit Language)
2nd in Series
Setting – Arkansas
Publisher: MysteriousPress.com/Open Road;
Reprint edition (June 7, 2016)
Originally Published January 1, 1989
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 0312029527
ISBN-13: 978-0312029524
Kindle ASIN: B01ENRHKVC

A hilarious police procedural set in the strangest town in the Ozarks, where whip-smart sheriff Arly Hanks does everything she can to keep the peace.

 

Nothing ever happens in Maggody, Arkansas, population 755. Aside from handling the occasional barroom brawl or exploding still, Chief of Police Arly Hanks spends her days sipping coffee and squashing flies. She returned to Maggody two years ago, licking her wounds after a bad Manhattan divorce, and she fell backward into the role of sheriff. From Hizzoner the Moron—also know as Jim Bob Buchanon, the pettily corrupt mayor—to Ruby Bee Hanks—Arly’s mother and the town’s foremost gossip—the people of Maggody are all crazy in their own ways, and that craziness is about to turn deadly.

 

When Joanna Mae Nookim returns to work after giving birth, the bank manager bumps her down to minimum wage as punishment for taking time off. It’s outrageous, but there’s nothing Arly can do. But when the bank burns to the ground and the head teller is found dead, Maggody threatens to burst into an all-out revolution for the sake of women’s rights.

 

Fans of comic mysteries have known for years that no small town is quite like Maggody. With its wild cast of characters and its no-nonsense female detective, Much Ado in Maggody is evidence of master of cozy mysteries Joan Hess at her best.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Back in Maggody where mayhem is in rare form. Joanna Mae Nookim returns to her job at the bank after having a baby to find she has been demoted and been replaced by a wet behind the ears Brandon Bernswallow. Well, she is not going to take it sitting down. Arly can’t help her but tells her she may be able to get a lawyer to take her case, which she does. Soon there is a protest march and a crowd of women set up for the long haul in the parking lot across the street. But then someone sets fire to the bank and Brandon Bernswallow is found dead inside creating Much Ado in Maggody! Can Arly get to the bottom of it or will mayhem reign?


I have continued to read this series for the pure comic delight. The explicit language still gives me a cringe or two, but I can set that aside when a few sentences later I am laughing my head off. I have to remind myself this book was originally released back in 1989, but equal rights for women is still a current topic although we have come a long way.

Maggody is full of quirky characters and Arly has her hands full as the men and women of the town face-off over the way Joanna Mae Nookim was treated at the bank. It opens up a whole can of worms as the wives in town decide their husbands could be treating them better too. All the characters are colorful but stereotypical in many ways. That said, they are funny.

Again, the murder mystery part of the story is pretty simplistic but entertaining. Some will classify this story as a cozy mystery, and the mystery is set up the way, the f-bombs and other explicit language take it out of that genre for me. If you love funny stories and are not offended by the language you will enjoy this book and series. I will be grabbing the next book in the series when I need to get carried away by the humor and craziness only found in Maggody.

Your Escape With 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
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
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End December 25, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Ladies of the Lake by Ken Corday #Review / #Giveaway

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

Ladies of the Lake
Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Beaufort Books (July 22, 2015)
Hardcover: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 0825307848
ISBN-13: 978-0825307843
Kindle ASIN: B084JLGJSP

Getting away with murder. Seems unlikely, but in the gated community of Avalon it’s what’s in style.

 

It all starts with Hudson’s accidental decapitation. It was a terrible accident. He was drunk and in the middle of a fight with his second wife. They both pressed the garage door button at the same time. The LAPD didn’t give it a second thought. Instead of grieving, his wife breathes free air again. She is a rich woman with freedom. The other wives secretly envy her.

 

From the outside, Avalon seems like the ideal place to live; full of rich men and beautiful women. Six couples form a close-knit friendship; the men all golf together, the women all shop together, and their six children all skip school together. But the wives begin to resent feeling like possessions and realize that the men become crueler every day.

 

When more husbands start dying, the so-called “Ladies of the Lake” find themselves under suspicion from the LAPD and their own children.

 

The six children try to uncover their parents’ secrets before the handsome Detective Daniels can discover what is truly going on behind closed gates.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I watch Days of Our Lives every day but I just recently found this book on my Kindle. I can’t believe I didn’t read it sooner. It has a real soap opera feel which should be no surprise based on the author.

The rich and beautiful people of Los Angeles have their own set of issues but the “Ladies of the Lake” take things to the extreme as their husbands start to die off one by one. Granted the husbands weren’t real prizes beyond their money but how many freak accidents are the police going to believe. Even the “Ladies” children are asking questions.

_____________

Told from multiple points of view this story introduces six elite women and the detective trying to get to the bottom of their husband’s deaths. Like a true soap opera, he even gets involved with one of them. This method allows readers to meet all the characters and enables them to get to know the woman enough to see their tormented sides behind their socialite facades.

I found this book to be a fun escape filled with drama and some romance too. The author’s soapy writing style is very apparent as he twists murder up with some humor. There isn’t really a mystery because the readers know most of what is going on. It is just the community, the good detective, and the children who are in the dark. I did like the surprise ending.

The book was made into a short 4 episode series with some of my favorite Days of Our Lives stars. I hope to watch it soon.

Ladies of the Lake is a great read for soap opera fans and those who like a fast, entertaining read with some twists.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Ken Corday was only a teenager when his parents, Ted and Betty Corday, first created NBC’s daytime drama Days of our Lives in 1965. A year after the show’s inception, Ted passed away, and it was up to Betty to carry on the show. Ken became his mother’s support system as she taught him everything he would need to know to continue the family legacy.

Ken received his bachelor of arts in music from the University of California, Santa Cruz, before receiving a master’s degree in music from San Jose State University.

Prior to taking over Days of our Lives as executive producer in 1985, Ken worked on the show for almost ten years, first as a composer, then as an assistant producer, and finally as a producer.

He has received two Emmy Awards for Music. He has also received eight nominations for an Emmy Award for Best Daytime Drama. Days of our Lives won the Emmy Award for Best Daytime Drama in 1978 and 2013, and Ted and Betty Corday received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award in 1995.

Ken Corday lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.

I am giving 1 Kindle copy away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
Book will be sent 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 5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End December 11, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.