Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Murder Lo Mein (A Noodle Shop Mystery) by Vivien Chien #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress

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

I am on a mission to get caught up on this series!


Murder Lo Mein (A Noodle Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (March 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250129192
ISBN-13: 978-1250129192
Kindle ASIN: B07F138TSZ

Everyone agrees that the food at Ho-Lee Noodle House is delicious—unless it happens to be deadly.

 

Lana Lee’s stake in her family’s Chinese restaurant is higher than ever now that she’s been made manager. So when she enters Ho-Lee into Cleveland’s Best Noodle Contest, Lana makes it her business to win—at all costs. But when a local food critic receives a threatening note in a fortune cookie and is later found dead, face-down in a bowl of lo mein, all bets are off. . .

 

Now, along with her sweet-and-sour boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana decides to take matters into her own hands and dig into the lives of everyone involved in the contest. But when she receives an ill-fated fortune, Lana realizes that in order to save the reputation of her restaurant, she needs to save herself first. . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

For Murder Lo Mein we are back at the Asia Village for the annual Cleveland’s Best Noodle Contest. Lana is banking on her chef Peter Huang to win the contest to show her parents they made the right choice making her manager of Ho Lee Noodle House. Winning will also bring in more customers.

Unfortunately, after the first round one of the judges in found dead, face-down in a bowl of low mein, no less. Then another judge bites the dust. Lana’s boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau begs her to leave the investigating to him but she just can’t stop herself from snooping. She knows she is getting close when she discovers something in her purse. Will she survive to see the end of the contest or will the killer get to her first?

_____

I have enjoyed these characters from the start. Lana is funny, smart and a little bit awkward, but she is excelling as manager of the family business. Her parents have returned from Taiwan with Lana’s grandmother in tow. Surprisingly her overpowering mother doesn’t try to return to running the restaurant, but she still has opinions about Lana’s life from how she dresses to her relationship with the good detective. Happily, Lana and Adam’s relationship is making progress. Grandma doesn’t speak English and Lana doesn’t speak her grandmother’s dialect but they do find a way to communicate. Lana’s best friend/roommate Megan is usually available to help Lana with her sleuthing. And they both have the lovable black pug named Kikko to come home to. If Megan isn’t available, friend Kimmy is eager to help out. With the Best Noodle Contest, there are a lot of secondary characters, some become very viable suspects, one would like to get to know Lana much better.

The mystery unfolds nicely with plenty of suspects. Again, people just open up and talk to Lana. Her friendly nature really suits her sleuthing endeavors much to Adam’s dismay at times. Adam opens up to Lana more in this story too. I have not read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War but it is cleverly brought into the mystery. Solving the mystery was not easy. The author really twists things up. I thought I was smart and had it all figured out until I was proven wrong. It was a lot of fun following the clues and being surprised at the big reveal.

I have stated in previous reviews for books in this series that Chinese food is not really my thing but in this book, we learned that Lana loves donuts and so do I. Both are fully described within these pages. Lana is worried about her waistline now that a bakery has taken over the shop next door. I worried about my waistline because those descriptions really cranked up my cravings 😆

Vivien Chien has a real hit on her hands with this series. Murder Lo Mein is an excellent addition. With engaging characters and a great mystery spiced up with the perfect amounts of humor and romance, she has served up a real treat.

The next book in this series, Wonton Terror is on my To-Be-Read shelf and I will be reading and reviewing it soon! Egg Drop Dead is being released on February 25th and Killer Kung Pao will be out on August 25th.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here and Dim Sum of All Fears here

About the Author

VIVIEN CHIEN was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – featuring Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris (Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series) by Jennifer S. Alderson – @JSAauthor – Great Escapes Book Tour

death by baguette

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to share my thoughts on Death by Baguette by Jennifer S. Alderson today!

death by baguette

Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)
by Jennifer S. Alderson

About Death By Baguette:
A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris

death by baguette
Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – France
Publisher: Traveling Life Press (February 7, 2020)
Print Length: 178 Pages
Digital ASIN: B0819YNSJL

Paris—the city of love, lights … and murder? Join tour guide Lana Hansen as she escorts five couples on an unforgettable Valentine-themed vacation to France! Unfortunately it will be the last trip for one passenger…

 

Lana Hansen’s future is looking bright. She has money in her bank account, a babysitter for her cat, and even a boyfriend. Regrettably she won’t get to celebrate Valentine’s Day with her new beau, Chad. Instead, she will be leading a lovers-only tour in France. Luckily for Lana, her best friend, Willow, and her partner, Jane, will be joining her.

 

Things go downhill when Lana’s new boyfriend shows up in Paris for her tour—with his wife. Chad is not the website developer he claimed to be, but a famous restaurant critic whose love of women rivals his passion for food.

After Chad drops dead during a picnic under the Eiffel Tower, a persistent French detective becomes convinced that he was poisoned. And the inspector’s sights are set on several members of the tour—including Lana!

 

While escorting her group through the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, the grand gardens of Versailles, and the historic Marché des Enfants Rouges market, Lana must figure out who really killed Chad before she has to say bonjour to prison and adieu to her freedom.

 

Introducing Lana Hansen, tour guide, reluctant amateur sleuth, and star of the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series. Join Lana as she leads tourists and readers to fascinating cities around the globe on intriguing adventures that, unfortunately for Lana, often turn deadly.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What could be better than Valentine’s Day in Paris?

Lana Hansen has guided a few tours since New Year’s Day in Hungary. She is also dating again but Dotty Thompson, her landlord and the owner of Wanderlust Tours has scheduled her to take a group of five married couples to Paris for Valentine’s Day and train a new guide. Boyfriend Chad also has to be out of town on business anyway. She is thrilled that her friend Willow will be on the tour. Willow surprised her partner, Jane by booking them on the trip.

After the long flight, Lana can’t wait to see the sights. She is shocked though to see Chad in the hotel lobby . . . with his wife . . . and they are one of the couples on HER tour!

Cursing the online dating app she decides to let the other guide handle Chad but finds it is impossible to steer clear of him with such a small group. She also learns he is a restaurant critic, not a website developer as he had led her to believe, and has left a lot of women in his wake. He also quickly rubs many in the group the wrong way with his critiques and pronouncements.

Soon after the tour group sits down for a picnic near the Eiffel Tower, Chad keels over dead, poisoned. Texts on his phone reveal his relationship with Lana and land her at the lop of the suspect list. She is joined by a few other members of the group.

Until they try to lock her up, the tour must go on. While visiting some breathtaking museums and gardens Lana is on high alert to find the real killer . . . but the killer has her in their sights. Can she survive this trip to the city of lights or will this be her final Wanderlust tour?

____

Just like in the first book of this series the author takes her readers on a wonderful literary vacay with a great mystery to solve. She creates such imagery with her words. I have never been to Paris but I could easily visualize every step the characters took and every place they visited. Imagining the food was so easy too.

Lana is a terrific amateur sleuth, she is savvy and smart and has mastered the art of eavesdropping very well. She also doesn’t give up. Because she was an investigative reporter she has friends in the right places and the skills needed to ferret out a killer. She also has the trust of her boss to do the right thing, Dotty also has the right connections when trouble arises for her employees and guests.

Ms. Alderson also knows how to serve up a terrific story in less than 200 pages. Because the murder takes place later in the story we have time to get to know her characters. They are very well-developed for a novel of this length.  Sadly all the couples were dealing with something and had come on the trip for a chance to set things right. I really liked the way Lana tuned into each couple to make the experience special for each of them, especially after the murder with a killer in their midst.

Death By Baguette features a beautiful city, decadent meals, interesting characters, and a fun mystery. I was captivated by the entire story. With the “Travel Can Be Murder” theme, the possibilities are endless. I hope this series continues for a long time.

The third book in the series, Death by Windmill, will take readers to the Netherlands. It will be released on May 22, 2020. My virtual bags are already packed.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death on the Danube here

 

About Jennifer S. Alderson

death by baguette Jennifer S. Alderson

Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before settling in the Netherlands. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

Jennifer’s love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning mystery series—the Zelda Richardson Mysteries and Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries—and standalone stories.

Author Links

Website – Goodreads  –Facebook – Twitter  –LinkedIn – BookBub

Purchase Link – Amazon

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death by baguette
Praise for Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)
by Jennifer S. Alderson

This was such a great read and one I can see becoming cozy mystery movies.
~TBR Book Blog

Death By Baguette by Jennifer S. Alderson is a magnificent mystery. Ms. Alderson continually surprises me with motives and means of murder.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 

February 17 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW
February 17 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
February 18 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
February 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 18 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
February 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 19 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
February 19 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
February 20 – eBook addicts – REVIEW
February 20 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 21 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 22 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW  
February 23 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
February 23 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

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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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Under the Radar (A Zoe Chambers Mystery) by Annette Dashofy #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour – @Annette_Dashofy @HeneryPress

Under the Radar (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
by Annette Dashofy

About Under the Radar


Under the Radar (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Henery Press (February 25, 2020)
Trade Paperback – 288 pages
ISBN-13: 9781635115758
ISBN-10: 1635115752
Digital ASIN: B08289PJ97

Paramedic and deputy coroner Zoe Chambers responds to a shooting and discovers her longtime friend, Horace Pavelka, has gunned down a man who’d bullied him mercilessly for decades. Ruled self-defense, no charges are filed. When another of his tormentors turns up dead in Horace’s kitchen, Police Chief Pete Adams questions the man’s innocence in both cases…especially after Horace and his girlfriend go into hiding.

 

While fighting to clear her friend, Zoe is handed the opportunity to finally learn what really happened to her long-lost sibling. What starts out as a quick road trip on a quest for answers leads her to an unfamiliar city in the middle of a November blizzard, where she finds way more trouble than she bargained for.

 

Pete’s own search for his missing fiancée and a missing murderer ultimately traps him in a web of deception. Face-to-face with one of the most cunning and deadly killers of his law enforcement career, Pete realizes too late that this confrontation may well be his last.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have enjoyed this series from the start and each book is better than the last and they are all great.

This time there is a lot happening in Zoe’s life.

Zoe and Pete are now engaged and Zoe’s mother is determined to take over all the wedding plans. She is also not pleased that the farmhouse she gave to her daughter is not further along in its renovations.

The highly contested Coroner’s race is just a few days away. If the current coroner is not reelected Zoe will lose her part-time job.

An old friend has come to town with news about a brother Zoe recently found out she has.

And on top of all that a high school friend, Horace Pavelka, fatally shot a man that had been bullying him for years. That was ruled self-defense but when another bully is found dead in Pavelka’s kitchen authorities including Pete believe they may have ruled on the first death too quickly and Horace is getting revenge taking down both men. The fact that both Horace and his girlfriend are missing sure doesn’t help his case.

So with all that on her plate, some that take her away from Pete, things get interesting. And before the story wraps up both Pete and Zoe find themselves in danger. Could this be the end for both of them?

_____

Twists, twists, and more twists! One that almost gave me whiplash!

These characters continue to evolve and get stronger in every book. Ms. Dashofy has created such wonderful characters and gives them all purpose and believable, realistic events and tasks to handle within each story. In Under the Radar, she really turns things inside out and tests the characters we have come to love.  It is an emotional roller coaster ride for Zoe but another character has a surprising awakening.

The pace of this story is incredibly quick with plenty of action and suspense that takes the characters traveling around Pennsylvania to get answers. Dashofy is an expert at running right up to the line between cozy mystery and thriller. She gives readers an exciting story while keeping the small-town feel and the amateur sleuth Zoe trying to save her friend while keeping the local law in the loop, at least most of the time. Readers are truly kept on their toes from the start to the finish and then wishing the next book in the series was already out so we could stick with the characters we are not ready to leave.

Under the Radar is an excellent addition to this series. Well-written and skillfully plotted. Once I started reading it was impossible to put down.

The author gives new readers plenty of background to read this book on its own, but to experience that vast character development and drama over the series you really need to start from the beginning.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my reviews for previous books in this series.
Circle of Influence
Lost Legacy
Bridges Burned
With A Vengeance
No Way Home
Uneasy Prey
Cry Wolf
Fair Game

About Annette Dashofy

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural southwestern Pennsylvania. A former EMT and lifelong resident of the area about which she writes, Annette lives with her husband and one very spoiled cat on what was once her grandfather’s dairy farm. UNDER THE RADAR (February 2020) is the ninth in her series.

Author Links

Website – Blog –  Facebook – 

Twitter– @Annette_Dashofy 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKobo

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
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February 17 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
February 17 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
February 18 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
February 18 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 19 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
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February 20 – Celticlady’s 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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Plum Tea Crazy (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery


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.
plum tea crazy
Plum Tea Crazy (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Publisher: Berkley (March 6, 2018)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 9780451489609
ISBN-13: 978-0451489609
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489616
ISBN-13: 978-0451489616
Kindle ASIN: B071K4DPRH

Theodosia Browning investigates a Charleston steeped in tradition and treachery in Plum Tea Crazy from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

 

While viewing the harbor’s Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion, local banker Carson Lanier seemingly tumbles over a narrow railing, then plunges three stories to his death. But a tragic accident becomes something much more sinister when it’s discovered that the victim was first shot with a bolt from a crossbow.

 

At the request of the mansion owner, Theodosia investigates the tragedy and is soon neck deep in suspects. An almost ex-wife, a coworker, a real estate partner–all had motives for killing the luckless banker, but one resorted to murder to settle accounts.

 

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Theodosia “Theo” Browning is enjoying the Gaslights and Galleons Parade with her friend/employee/tea sommelier Drayton Connelly. They are getting a bird’s eye view up on the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion. There is a ruckus when local banker Carson Lanier falls over the railing finally dying when his body is impaled on the top of a fence below. All the watchers hurry to the grounds and due to some keen observation, Theo sees the fall wasn’t an accident, it was caused by the man being shot by a bolt from a crossbow.

Knowing Theo’s reputation, Timothy Neville asks that she investigate the death. Many suspects quickly come to light. With the assistance of Drayton, they try to winnow down that list and identify who killed Lanier. They also have a lot of tea to serve in the coming days but Theo juggles everything like a pro.

_____

I had gotten behind on this series and with the new one set to be released March 3, I knew it was time to get caught up with the two on my shelf.

The Indigo Tea Shop is one of those great cozy places. This time along with the daily business, the place has many events coming up – a black-tie affair, a fashion show, a Japanese art gallery opening, and a Plum Blossom Tea. I really love all the teas Drayton creates and all the delicious treats  Haley bakes up. (Some of the recipes are included at the end of the book.) Even with all this going on Theo has murder in her own crosshairs. When Detective Tidwell shockingly asks for help she is thrilled and jumps right in. Her boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley is far from thrilled.

Ms. Childs creates diverse and memorable characters. Theo, Drayton, and Haley are engaging and fun. The dialogues are crisp and sometimes pretty funny. I really enjoy the banter between them. The supporting cast is top-notch too. They all are realistic and believable.  The suspects have layers that are peeled away throughout the story. Every character is thoughtfully developed.

The murder occurs early in the story and the drama continues at a constant pace making this book almost impossible to put down. I read into the early morning, playing that “just one more chapter” game until my eyes were slamming shut. Thankfully the next day was Saturday so after a few chores, I could get back to it. It was very entertaining to follow along with Theo and all involved in the sleuthing. There were some scary moments but Theo was on a mission . . . and so was I. I was just a few steps ahead of her . . . and Yes! I was right.

Laura Childs is a phenomenal storyteller. Plum Tea Crazy was well-plotted and written. Ms. Childs brings Charleston to life with spot-on descriptions. Her characters practically leap off the page. She also gives plenty of background for new readers, so don’t be afraid to jump into this series.  I will be reading and reviewing Broken Bone China soon. It is yelling at me from my To-Be-Read shelf. Then I will be ready when Lavender Blue Murder debuts.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:   Website – Facebook 

 

Thanks to the people at Berkley I have 1 copy of Plum Tea Crazy 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.

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Contest Will End February 27, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Laura Childs will be touring with Great Escapes Book Tours in March!

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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Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bitter Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Returns) by Mary Daheim – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @readalibi

Bitter Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery
(Emma Lord Returns)
by Mary Daheim

About Bitter Alpine 


Bitter Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Returns)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington
Publisher: Alibi (February 4, 2020)
~Print Length: 235 pages
ASIN: B01LZU2W7N

New year, new murder . . . Emma Lord is on the case when death finds its way back to the wintry mountain town of Alpine.

After a relatively calm and cozy holiday season, neither Emma Lord, editor and publisher of The Alpine Advocate, nor her husband, Sheriff Milo Dodge, are surprised when their new year gets off to a rocky start. A woman’s body has been found in a squalid motel. Her driver’s license shows that Dawn Purvis was in her late thirties and lived in Weaverville, California—and the only connection between that town and Alpine is their gold-mining and logging origins. When they discover that Dawn’s room reservation was open-ended, Emma, Milo, and the ever-inquisitive Advocate receptionist, Alison Lindahl, are more than mildly curious. And never mind that the youthful Alison is a bit distracted by the new county extension agent’s virile good looks. She can still sleuth while she stalks her newest crush.

But that’s not all the news that’s unfit to print. There’s something strange about the older couple who have moved into the cabin down the road that was once owned by a murder victim. The elderly wife seems anti-social. There’s got to be a reason, which Emma, Milo, and Alison intend to find out—even if it puts them in deadly danger.’

Dollycas’ Thoughts

This series continues as we enter 2007. The Alpine Advocate editor Emma Lord and her new husband Sheriff Milo Dodge ring in the new year only to find themselves embroiled in another investigation. A women’s body is found in a local hotel and they can’t find any connection between her and Alpine. The new Advocate receptionist even does a little sleuthing. All three are also concerned about an older couple the have moved in down the road. Needless to say, all their snooping could be dangerous.

I have enjoyed all the previous 27 books in the series. This time Emma and Milo are even more cantankerous than usual and I felt Emma has lost some of her conviction and that detracted from the joy I usually feel when visiting Alpine. Emma also uses a derogatory term to describe her son that almost had me putting the book down for good. I know the story is set 13 years ago and the author probably used it as a reference for the time, but it is a term I believe was even seldom used even then. I was also taken aback by the way domestic abuse was handled. In fact, that word, that abuse, and some of Emma’s actions ring more from the ’50s instead of the early 2000s. As I kept reading I understood why the author handled the abuse as she did, but it was hard to read in places. Vida also has her share of troubles within these pages.

The mysteries were hit and miss for me. One of the problems with a long-running series is giving new readers background on the town and its inhabitants. It is important to learn the small-town dynamics like everyone is related to Scene Around Town columnist, Vida Runkel and that Ed Bronsky is going to drop by the Advocate office with some new scheme. Ms. Daheim did that almost too much this time. The asides messed with the flow at times. Emma seemed to be off her game with these investigations. I did think it was hilarious near the end of the book when Milo locked Emma in the car and warned her not to try to get any closer. What was sad was that she actually did it.  Not all the loose ends are tied up at the end. Emma’s son Adam has been transferred from Alaska to Michigan and Vida’s replacement as she retires looks to be ad man Leo’s wife Liza.

The author continues to capture the weather and atmosphere of Alpine, Washington. January there can be brutal.

I am hoping the stumbles in this story are just a blip in the life of this series. Writing 28 books featuring the same characters and keeping things new and fresh has to be incredibly hard. I will be looking forward to the next installment because I do want to see what happens next for the residents of Alpine.


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About Mary Daheim

About the Author

Mary Daheim is the author of the Alpine mystery series. A Seattle native with a degree in communication from the University of Washington, she realized at an early age that getting a book published might elude her for years, so she began her writing career working on daily newspapers. The mother of three daughters, she lives in a century-old house in her hometown.
Purchase Links – Amazon  –   B&N   –   Kobo

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Praise for Bitter Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery
(Emma Lord Returns)
by Mary Daheim

I’m not sure how I missed this series, but I am glad to have found it now (and as there is a recap at various points you are not left sidelined for information!)
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

Milo is called out to the apparent murder of a woman at the motel on the fringe of town and sets off the investigation leading to some red herrings which will definitely throw you off track in this cold, heavily snow-laden mountain community.
~Rosepoint Publishing

. . . it was a fun read and I enjoyed the wintry feel of it.
~Gimme The Scoop Reviews

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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 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Book of Candlelight (Secret, Book, & Scone Society) by Ellery Adams #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I am featuring The Book of Candlelight by Ellery Adams!


The Book of Candlelight (Secret, Book, & Scone Society)
3rd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Publisher: Kensington (January 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496712439
ISBN-13: 978-1496712431
Kindle ASIN: B07R4K4DMR

In the new Secret, Book, and Scone Society novel from New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams, the rain in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, has been relentless—and a flood of trouble is about to be unleashed . . .

 

As the owner of Miracle Books, Nora Pennington figures all the wet weather this spring is at least good for business. The local inns are packed with stranded travelers, and among them Nora finds both new customers and a new friend, the sixtysomething Sheldon, who starts helping out at the store.

 

Since a little rain never hurt anyone, Nora rides her bike over to the flea market one sodden day and buys a bowl from Danny, a Cherokee potter. It’ll make a great present for Nora’s EMT boyfriend, but the next day, a little rain turns into a lot of rain, and the Miracle River overflows it banks. Amid the wreckage of a collapsed footbridge, a body lies within the churning water.

 

Nora and the sheriff both doubt the ruling of accidental drowning, and Nora decides it’s time for the Secret, Book, and Scone Society to spring into action. When another body turns up, it becomes clearer that Danny’s death can’t be blamed on a natural disaster. A crucial clue may lie within the stone walls of the Inn of Mist and Roses: a diary, over a century old and spattered with candle wax, that leads Nora and her friends through a maze of intrigue—and onto the trail of a murderer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Secret, Book, and Scone Society Members

Nora, the owner of Miracle Books, tries to heal people woes with a unique set of books she personally selects for them.

Hester runs the Gingerbread House bakery. Customers tell her a little bit about their lives and what brought them to Miracle Springs. Then she bakes them up a “comfort scone”.

June works at the hot springs spa where people come to rejuvenate themselves.

Estella is a beautician who tries to help her clients find their true selves.

The rain keeps falling in Miracle Springs and it is putting a damper on everything, but customers are searching for refuge in the shops, like Miracle Books.

Nora tries to keep up with her errands but the weather sure isn’t conducive to someone with only a bicycle to get her around. I really have to give Nora props through. She dons her rain gear and heads to the local flea market to purchase shelf enhancers. The current crush of buyers is clearing them as well as books from her shelves. There she meets Cherokee Danny, a phenomenal potter and snaps up a bowl that will make a fine present for her boyfriend. She also fills her backpack with a few shelf enhancers too.  Sadly she takes a tumble on the way home and the bowl gets chipped. She heads back to the flea market the next day but the potter is absent. On her way home, she travels near a footbridge that has collapsed due to the heavy rains. She peers over the side and finds the missing potter among the footbridge wreckage.

Accident or murder? The Secret, Book, and Scone Society decides to find out. When another body is found there is no doubt the deaths are connected and definitely not accidental. Then an interesting clue is found in a surprising place and the Society steps up their game to solve the mystery before any more bodies spring up.

____

The woman of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society all have their own strengths and come together not only to support each other but to help others too. Ms. Adams has given these women so much depth while allowing the room to grow not only within the book but over the series. They are flawed and realistic. Their friendship and compassion are things to envy. Readers, like me, quickly get invested in their lives and cheer and hope their trials can be conquered. The way they take on trying to find a killer at that same time just shows all the strengths.

I do have to mention a new character, Sheldon Silverstein Vega. He just kinda popped up in this story and stole my heart. He has his own trials, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, but he is a jovial man and a perfect addition to this series. I hope we see much more of him in future stories.

In The Book of Candlelight, Native American lore plays a huge part and part of that folklore has become part of my everyday life not knowing where it originated. Cardinals have always been my favorite bird and that is quite evident to anyone looking around our home. I have collected prints, plates, figurines, magnets, etc. my entire adult life. We even had a live pair nest in a tree in the backyard of one of our homes and we have always put out seed to welcome them to our yard wherever that may be. When my son died I was told that the red cardinal is believed to bring messages from our loved one in the spirit world, so I always watch for them. Now I know that belief came from Native American folklore.

The red bird is very important to potter, Cherokee Danny and it plays a significant part in finding his killer. The clues are placed liberally throughout the book but there are also many red herrings too. Like Nora and her friends, I was spinning my wheels for most of the story. There are many events that need to fit into a theory and it wasn’t until an important clue is revealed that things started to fall into place. I really enjoyed the way the author plotted this story in a way that kept me guessing until the very end. Her vivid descriptions really brought the people, times, and places to life.

I loved everything about The Book of Candlelight. Engaging characters and a marvelous mystery. I was anxious to get to the end to find out the guilty party but at the same time didn’t want the story to end. Even with the rain Miracle Springs, North Carolina is a fantastic place to visit.

This is the first book of 2020 to receive my Paradise Rating because I think it deserves more than 5 stars!

Read my review of The Secret, Book & Scone Society here and The Whispered Word here.

About the Author

 

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery: A Cozy Potluck Paradise Cafe Mystery by Rae Katherine Eighmey #Review / #Giveaway

The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery:
A Cozy Potluck Paradise Cafe Mystery
by Rae Katherine Eighmey

About The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery

The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery:
A Cozy Potluck Paradise Cafe Mystery

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Iowa
Publisher: Independently published (October 31, 2019)
Paperback: 160 pages
ISBN-10: 170047538X
ISBN-13: 978-1700475381
Digital ASIN: B07ZTSMP5S

The Iowa Presidential Caucus is a casserole of finest ingredients—policy ideas, active candidates, determined local politicians dedicated political activists, and hard-working Iowans. Every four years citizens across the state meet to hash out their differences and make a selection. Seldom is one candidate an overwhelming caucus choice. Instead, several winning candidates combine into a single dish of patriotic participation, ready to share with the rest of the nation.

In Lake Livonia, with holiday season fast approaching and the Iowa Presidential Caucus soon to follow, Susan Stewart’s fledgling Potluck Paradise Cafe is humming with the creation of new and delicious dishes to please the appetites of her community.

But then, a mysterious note included in a Christmas card from her friend and mentor, Hazel Romer, who skipped town in the middle of a July night, raises important questions. What was the skeleton in Hazel’s closet that caused her to run away from the town she loved? And why had she left the restaurant to Susan?

When a blizzard traps strangers in town overnight, the stage is set for a series of life-changing events for Susan, her teenaged children, and her friends, as the Presidential Caucus brings Iowa and Lake Livonia into national prominence.

With 30 Family and Potluck Pleasing recipes for main dishes, vegetables and desserts.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A very timely read and things go much smoother than real life. 🙂

I really loved this book and the way Lake Livonia was educated about the caucus system. The cold winter in Iowa can really get a person down but the people of Potluck Paradise Cafe come up with a great idea for several community events. Meanwhile, we learn why the previous owner of the cafe left town and left her business to Susan Stewart.

The author introduces us to a nice group of characters. We met several residents of Lake Livonia and a few visitors who live elsewhere but spend quite of bit of time in the town. We also meet representatives from both parties who are in town to prepare for the caucus. All the characters have surprising depth for a novella.

Ms. Eighmey delivers up an untraditional cozy mystery, that was interesting and refreshing. The story is only about half of the book so it unfolds at a quick pace and is easy to read in one evening. The rest of the book is filled with 30 recipes for everything from cookies to Polar Vortex Potato Pie.

The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery addresses a political process in a totally unbiased way. I found it to be entertaining and informative. The characters are some I would be delighted to visit with again. The recipes are great too.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Rae Katherine Eighmey

Rae Katherine Eighmey is an award-winning author and cook with blue ribbons from both the Iowa and Minnesota State Fair cooking contests. She is the author of a dozen books about food and history including Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen and Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin.

She has written two other novels. Current events inspired this cozy mystery. A north Iowa resident, she is familiar with the Iowa presidential caucus and wanted to tell the tale of the caucus through the friendly story of three strong women who meet challenges in their lives and cook great food.

Purchase Link – Amazon

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Praise for The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery:
A Cozy Potluck Paradise Cafe Mystery
by Rae Katherine Eighmey

The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery by Rae Katherine Eighmey is a quick and fun read for several reasons. There is a “puzzle” mystery right off; the main characters are likable and real; the whole Iowa Caucus event is very interesting to learn about, and the recipes….
~Here’s How It Happened

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dim Sum of All Fears: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress

 

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

This book has been patiently waiting on my Kindle and I decided before the end
of last year that this was one series I would get all caught up on this year. 

dim sum of all fears
Dim Sum of All Fears: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (August 28, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250129176
ISBN-13: 978-1250129178
Kindle ASIN: B079DVYJKB

Lana Lee is a dutiful daughter, waiting tables at her family’s Chinese restaurant even though she’d rather be doing just about anything else. Then, just when she has a chance for a “real” job, her parents take off to Taiwan, leaving Lana in charge. Surprising everyone—including herself—she turns out to be quite capable of running the place. Unfortunately, the newlyweds who just opened the souvenir store next door to Ho-Lee have turned up dead. . .and soon Lana finds herself in the midst of an Asia Village mystery.

Between running the Ho-Lee and trying to figure out whether the rock-solid Detective Adam Trudeau is actually her boyfriend, Lana knows she shouldn’t pry into the case. But the more she learns about the dead husband, his ex-wives, and all the murky details of the couple’s past, the more Lana thinks that this so-called murder/suicide is a straight-up order of murder. . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Just when Lana Lee is about to make a huge life change and take a chance on a job outside of the family business, her parents announce they are going to Taiwan and leave her in charge of Ho Lee Noodle House. She is not happy but takes on the job and realizes she is darn good at it. The one thing she couldn’t control though was the double murder that took place at the souvenir store next door. She had become good friends with Isabelle Yeoh who spent the day running the shop while her husband Brandon was off “running errands”.

Lana is in a new relationship with Detective Adam Trudeau and knows he can handle the case but she still finds herself investigating. So with a busy restaurant, especially with the Chinese New Year only days away, Lana loads up her plate to find out who killed her friend and why.

____

I am not a fan of Chinese food but I am a fan of this author and these characters.

Ho Lee Noodle House is open for breakfast when the Mahjong Matrons arrive through the evening. It is a family-run restaurant supplemented by long term employees. Lana usually works as a waitress/hostess daily while her sister attends college and works around her classes. Their mother is very intense and their father is pretty laid back. I think Lana did an excellent job stepping in as manager and her sister came across as petty and demanding, upset that her sister was left in charge. They did have a view arguments in front of customers and growing up around a family-run restaurant know that is a big no-no, but it happens. The restaurant is in a mall full of Asian shops and that adds its own stress and drama as Lana has to deal with management and the murder site right next door. Lana’s relationship with Detective Adam Trudeau is new and moving at a snail’s pace but it evolving. I feel all the characters are realistically written and loved where the humor was added.

The mystery itself was very interesting. At first, thought to be a murder/suicide which was quickly disproven. When classified as murders people came out of the woodwork to land on the suspect list each with motive and opportunity. The author served up a nice contingent of red herrings. Lana was a fun amateur sleuth the follow around. People really opened up to her, some even asking for her help. My thinking was twisted up several times. I enjoyed the part Lana’s roommate/best friend Megan Riley played both in helping in the investigation and pushing the romance between Lana and Adam.

Again, an animal stole my heart, Lana has a black pug named Kikko. So lovable and the perfect pet to come home to.

Dim Sum of All Fears was a marvelous cozy mystery. I was discouraged at first that Lana’s plans were all messed up by her parent’s sudden trip but by the middle of the story, I was happy to see she excelled at her tasks and was where she was meant to be.

The next book in this series, Murder Lo Mein is on my To-Be-Read shelf and I will be reading and reviewing it soon! 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here

About the Author

VIVIEN CHIEN was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From Amazon)

I do not have a copy of this book to give away
so I am giving away a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card!

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*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bonbon with the Wind (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery) by Dorothy St. James #Review / #Giveaway @dorothywrites


Bonbon with the Wind (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery)
by Dorothy St. James

About Bonbon With the Wind


Bonbon with the Wind (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Publisher: Barking Dog Press (December 9, 2019)
Print Length: 251 pages
ASIN: B082L528GS

Join Penn and Stella on their latest adventure!

There’s a legend in the Sea Islands that before a hurricane hits the Gray Lady can be seen walking down the beach warning of doom. Penn doesn’t believe in such silly stories, but she does believe weather forecasters. A powerful hurricane is heading their way. Everyone on the island of Camellia Beach is busy boarding up windows and securing valuables to upper levels of buildings. Joe Davies, a local treasure hunter with an unquenchable sweet tooth, claims to have seen the Gray Lady walking toward him just that morning and is terrified for his life.

After the storm passes everyone returns to survey the damage. As Penn walks her little dog Stella on the beach, she finds Joe Davies’ body washed up onshore. Not only that, it looks as if an exploding transformer caused Joe’s seaside shack to burn to the ground. Did the Gray Lady claim another victim? Many on the island believe that is exactly what happened.

Penn is sure there’s another explanation. She follows the clues and hints of lost gold to discover that the truth behind the treasure hunter’s death is as much of a maze as the boating channels winding their way through the local marshes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A hurricane is headed for the island of Camellia Beach and everyone is battening down the hatches and getting ready to evacuate. As Penn looks out over the beach she sees local treasure hunter Joe Davies in the distance talking to a woman. He approaches Penn and tells her he is afraid for his life and hurries away. Everyone, except Penn, thinks the woman was the Gray Lady of legend who is known to walk the beach before a storm. Meeting her could mean tragedy is headed to your life.  Penn doesn’t believe in the legend or the stories people are sharing.

Penn and her papillon Stella return to Camilla Beach after the storm passes to assess the damages. Stella runs off and when Penn catches up with her she sees her dog has made a gruesome discovery. Joe Davies’ body has been washed up on the shore and has been mostly covered with sand. She later learns his seaside home had burned to the ground during the storm. Was it the Gray Lady that crossed his path and delivered all this calamity or is there a human to blame. Penn has been asked to find out. Hopefully, that won’t bring death and destruction to her door.

____

After a short hiatus, the Southern Chocolate Shop Mysteries are back and I am so happy they are!

Charity Penn ‘Penn’, Bertie, Harley, Althea, and Stella return in a rich story with a folklore twist. I really enjoyed the bit a paranormal legend that was twisted throughout this story. Hurricanes are scary enough without ghosts predicted doom. It also brought a slew of ghosthunters to Camellia Beach all in hopes to witness the phenomenon which meant more business for Penn’s shop but a lot more craziness.

Character development was key in this story as well. Penn’s candy-making skills are improving but her interpersonal relationships take a real hit. That opens her eyes in many ways. She is still on the outs with her family but she is getting strong enough to deal with them now.  A friend from Harley’s past makes an appearance and that opens his eyes too. Penn and Harley make a great team but Bertie and Althea definitely add their talents to the mix.

The devastation of the hurricane was described vividly.  I appreciated the resident’s perseverance and the way the town pulled together after the storm. Finding displaced people places to live, sign up sheets for those who needed help and volunteers willing to help, locating material and contactors, and for Penn ingredient supplies to keep her shop filled with goodies.

The mystery was quite complex. Along with the Gray Lady and that drama, there was a buried treasure and a murder to solve. There were hurricane twists and turns and clues that really had to be dug up to find. I was totally captivated by the entire story.

Bonbon with the Wind is an excellent addition to this series.  You can’t go wrong when you combine mystery with chocolate. Oh, I almost forgot, the Pumpkin Seed Bonbons had my mouth watering. It is one of the recipes included at the end of the book.

I can’t wait for my next visit to Camella Beach!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Asking for Truffle here
Playing with Bonbon Fire hereIn Cold Chocolate here.

About Dorothy St. Janes

Dorothy St. James is the author of the White House Gardener mysteries. For the past twenty years she made her home on Folly Beach, an artsy island community in South Carolina with her sculptor husband. Dorothy is a member of Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Sisters in Crime (SiNC), and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). This is her fourth Southern Chocolate Shop mystery.

Author Links – Website Facebook Twitter BookBub

Praise for Bonbon with the Wind (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery)
by Dorothy St. James

Bonbon with the Wind is a fascinating, character-driven mystery . . . The Southern Chocolate Shop is one of my favorite series and I look forward to my next visit to Camellia Beach.
~The Power of Words

I liked how the characters have grown within this series. The scene is wonderfully described. We feel the emotions and struggles and have to pay close attention to gather all the clues subtly salted on each page.
~Laura’s Interests

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Also by Dorothy St. James

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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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Crafter Quilts a Crime: A Handcrafted Mystery by Holly Quinn #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to feature Holly Quinn’s A Crafter Quilts A Crime today! 

About A Crafter Quilts A Crime

quilter quilts a crime

A Crafter Quilts a Crime: A Handcrafted Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (February 11, 2020)
Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1643852906
ISBN-13: 978-1643852904
Kindle ASIN: B07RTMXRK8

Perfect for fans of Betty Hechtman and Maggie Sefton, Holly Quinn’s third Handcrafted mystery aspires to wrap you in its warmth.

Community Craft proprietor Sammy Kane must piece together a patchwork of clues when a “live” mannequin ends up stone-cold dead.

Snowcapped pines and glittery dusted sidewalks adorn tranquil Heartsford, Wisconsin, while residents cuddle beneath heirloom quilts in front of cozy wood fires. But come the next day, the below-zero temperatures won’t keep the locals away from Heartsford’s annual Fire & Ice event. To boost customer traffic at Community Craft’s one-night-only sale, Samantha “Sammy” Kane persuades a few of the craftspeople who sell their wares at the store to participate in a live mannequin window display contest.

Local quilter Wanda Wadsworth emerges as a favorite to win the contest, as she manages to not move a muscle for an unusual amount of time. Onlookers outside the window try everything to get her to crack–tapping on the glass and making funny faces–but nothing disrupts Wanda’s stillness. When the eagle-eyed spectators realize Wanda isn’t breathing, a blanket of grief and fear descends upon the wintry town.

Detective Liam Nash can’t seem to piece the clues together. Fortunately, Sammy’s cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie, are on hand to reconvene their detective team, S.H.E. They set out to solve Wanda’s untimely death before the case grows as icy as a sub-zero Wisconsin winter. But they are all too aware that the killer is too close for comfort.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Welcome to winter in Wisconsin and the fictional town of Heartford where the residents are celebrating with the annual Fire & Ice event. The shops are open late and the evening will conclude with a giant bonfire.  Sammy Kane wants her shop Community Craft to really stand out and bring in the customers so she has asked a few of her crafters to take part in a “live” mannequin contest. The front window is all decked out and ready for the crafters to take a starring role.

Wanda Wadsworth is ready to shine, she even brought one of her quilts to feature. She immediately captures the attention of the audience as she remains completely frozen in her pose as people do their darndest to disrupt her performance. When someone suddenly notices Wanda’s lips turning blue people jump into action but it is too late. Then when police try to notify the husband of her passing they find the man is missing.

Detective Liam Nash warns Sammy to stay out of the case but soon she, her cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie, the ladies of S.H.E. are bustling around in the cold and snow trying to find the killer. Things start to heat up as the killer is close on their tail.

_____

This is such a fun series. I have come to think of the main characters as friends and they have their share of strife this time as they don their Nancy Drew hats to try to find who killed their friend. These characters are relatable and believable and continue to evolve over the course of the story. I do like the way the girls work together and that they each have their own strengths. All the characters presented in the story are well crafted but again the four-legged one steals my heart.

The story is very fast-paced with plenty of twists. Sammy’s drive for the truth gets her in trouble making for some very tense moments. There is a nice blend of daily life with the mystery and a real community feel over the whole book. I liked the way the crafting group came together with an idea to remember and honor the friend they had lost. What I really enjoyed most was something people see all over the state of Wisconsin have a new purpose when it comes to solving the mystery.

As a Wisconsin resident, Holly Quinn really brought a real Wisconsin winter to this story. The frigid cold, the blowing, and drifting snow. Waiting for the roads to get plowed noting that for some it can be a long wait. Also showing that snow is not the be-all and end-all. After being cooped up with kids after a snow day, moms will plow through the snow themselves to get to a craft meeting to converse with adults, drink hot chocolate that may include alcohol, and nosh on homemade treats for a few hours before heading back to fray at home ready for anything.

I do love the way this author tells a story. A Crafter Quilts a Crime is quite entertaining and checks all my cozy boxes. I truly can’t for the next book!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Crafter Knits A Clue – Here

Read my review of A Crafter Hooks A KillerHere

 

About Holly Quinn

holly quinn

Holly Quinn has published two stand-alone fiction novels in another persona. She graduated from Carroll University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in business and a minor in marketing. This is her second Handcrafted mystery. Visit her @ www.authorhollyquinn.com

Author Links – Website – Facebook – GoodReads 

Purchase Links –

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – BAM – IndieBound – Powell’s Books – Walmart 

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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.”