Aug 162019
 


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.


Snoop to Nuts (Nut House Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Texas
Berkley (January 6, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0425261417
ISBN-13: 978-0425261415
Kindle ASIN: B00KWG5U52

Lindy Blanchard’s family pecan farm is known county-wide, but it’s the goodies her grandmother sells at their store, the Nut House, that really bring in the crowds—until someone turns one of her tasty treats deadly…

The “Most Original Pecan Treat” contest at the Ag Fair is the talk of Riverville, Texas, especially when it’s clear that Miss Amelia Blanchard’s Heavenly Texas Pecan Caviar will take home a blue ribbon. Which is why everyone is amazed when her dish doesn’t even place—and even more shocked when one of the judges, Pastor Jenkins, keels over dead, right after taking a second taste of Miss Amelia’s food.

No one in town truly believes that Amelia would even hurt a fly, but all the evidence points to poor Pastor Jenkins’ death being caused by poison in the caviar. Now, unless Lindy figures out who wanted to frame Amelia for murder, her meemaw may have baked her last famous pecan pie…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

We’re back in Riverville, Texas just in time for the Ag Fair and the judging of the “Most Original Pecan Treat”. Everyone is sure Miss Amelia Blanchard will win the prize since she is responsible for all the delicious treats sold at The Nut House. The crowd is shocked when her Heavenly Texas Pecan Caviar doesn’t even receive an honorable mention award. She really wasn’t that upset and even takes her bowl over to one of the judges to get him to try it again.  She is absolutely aghast when the judge, Pastor Jenkins, has some sort of attack and dies just a few minutes later.  While it is crazy to think Miss Amelia would hurt anyone the police have no choice but to name her their top suspect. Her granddaughter Lindy will not stand for that. She is determined to find out who is framing her meemaw and why.

___

Something nutty is going on in Riverville and I am not talking pecan recipes. First, a wild hog gets out of its pen at the fair. Then, Miss Amelia loses a blue ribbon and the woman who wins is plum crazy. All while the church in town is planning a grand expansion for all the “new members” that will be coming to town – A group of parishioners has invested money for the project with the promise of a huge reward after the groundbreaking ceremony. And Miss Amelia and Ethelred Tomroy have some kind of secret and Ethelred is looking at brochures for new cars and fancy vacations.

If you like quirky characters this cozy mystery has quite a few. Even Lindy has her quirks especially when he comes to her long-time friend, Deputy Hunter Austen. The romantic tension vibrates between them but bringing her grandmother for questioning for a murder sure didn’t earn him any points. Lindy is pushy, even convincing him to let her help him with the case. Thankfully Hunter is a very patient man with a very thick skin.

Author Elizabeth Lee has caught up these extraordinary characters in a delightful whodunit. While not difficult to solve I was very entertained as each secret was uncovered and each little turn shined more light on who was guilty.

I really enjoyed the author’s descriptive writing style. She brought the town of Riverville to life from the fair to the homes and shops and even a spectacular garden. She also clearly depicts her characters making each one unique and easy to envision.

Snoop to Nuts was a very entertaining read. Nuts and Buried in waiting on my TBR Shelf and I will be escaping right into it soon!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of A Tough Nut To Kill here


Elizabeth Lee also writes as Eliabeth Kane Buzzelli

 


I am giving away my review copy!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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 August 30, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Aug 152019
 


A Killer Edition (A Booktown Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
13th in Series
Setting – New Hampshire
Berkley (August 13, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1984802720
ISBN-13: 978-1984802729
Kindle ASIN: B07KNSSZCG

With her assistant, Pixie, picking up more responsibility around the shop, Tricia Miles suddenly has a lot more time on her hands. Tricia decides to join the local animal-rescue board and enter the Great Stoneham Bake-Off, but neither pans out as smoothly as she’d hoped.

Balancing a bake-off that’s heating up with a frosty reception from the board, Tricia stops by Joyce Whitman’s romance bookstore looking for a book to get her fired up. She stumbles on something hot, but it’s an argument between Joyce and her neighbor Vera Olson instead of a steamy read. When Vera turns up dead in Joyce’s garden hours later, Tricia has to wonder—could Joyce be the killer? Or is the culprit still lurking in town?

One thing is for sure, someone in Stoneham is stirring up something more sinister than sweet. Tricia is determined to win the cutthroat cooking contest, but first she will have to make sure no one else is in danger of getting burned….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Business is better than ever at Haven’t Got A Clue Bookstore. Pixie Poe’s is an excellent assistant manager and Mr. Everett is an excellent clerk. That means it isn’t necessary for Tricia to spend much time in her store. To fill her time she wants to become a board member for a local animal rescue shelter. Since she has almost been baking the snacks for the store she also decides to enter the Great Stoneham Bake-Off going up against her star baker sister Angelica.

Also in her efforts to move on and fill her time she follows her therapist’s advice to pick up a steamy romance novel. Instead, when she enters the romance bookstore she finds her friend Joyce Whitman in an argument with her neighbor Vera Olson. Thoughts of a romance novel are quickly forgotten when Vera leaves as she starts discussing garden options for her balcony with Joyce. Joyce invites her to come to her home to see her gardens. They are both surprised to find Vera in the garden, dead.

Tricia just can help herself, she just keeps finding bodies, maybe she truly is jinxed.

Stoneham/Booktown is a true small town with its hosts of small-town problems. Empty storefronts, chamber of commerce issues, and of course small-town feuds and gossip. It also has more than its share of murders. Murders Tricia always finds herself in the middle of. Ms. Barrett has created an extraordinary town with dynamic characters. Tricia has grown so much over the course of this series. Angelica too, but in totally different ways. I love this sister relationship.

This time we meet several unique characters and the story twists in ways that I totally didn’t expect. Although that is what I should expect from Lorna Barrett, she always has great plot twists up her sleeve.  As always, the story was well-written and the mystery was well-plotted. A mystery that kept me guessing right up to the end.

Engaging characters, a little bit of sibling rivalry and a fun mystery to solve. You will find it all in A Killer Edition and more. There are cupcakes too!

This is one of my favorite series. The character development over the series is stellar which is why I always recommend this series be read from the beginning. The author does a great job to make each book stand on it own, but you are really missing all the trials and tribulations that Tricia and Angelica have endured bringing them to where they are today if you don’t read about them from the start.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Lorna and her books on her webpage here.


GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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.

Sign up for Lorna’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will Ends August 29, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

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Aug 142019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled today to feature Needled to Death
by Wisconsin Author Annelise Ryan!

Needled to Death (A Helping Hands Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (July 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719433
ISBN-13: 978-1496719430
Kindle ASIN: B07K5Y2PCS

As a colleague of deputy coroner Mattie Winston, social worker Clothilde “Hildy” Schneider is no stranger to unsolved murders at Sorenson General Hospital. Except this time, it’s up to her to crack the case . . .

Motivated by her own difficult past, Hildy has an unparalleled commitment to supporting troubled clients through grief and addiction in Sorenson, Wisconsin. But when a distraught group therapy member reveals disturbing details about her late son’s potential murder, Hildy goes from dedicated mental health professional to in-over-her-head amateur sleuth . . .

Alongside her loyal therapy Golden Retriever, Hildy stumbles through incriminating clues—and an unlikely partnership with Detective Bob Richmond, the irresistibly headstrong cop who shares her passion for helping others. With signs of foul play surfacing all over town, can Hildy and Detective Richmond pinpoint the deadly traits of a sharp-witted killer before another seat gets filled at grief therapy?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Still dealing with my own grief for a loved one I was a little nervous about reading this book but I really wanted to support the author from my home state. An author whose own books have brightened some of my dark days I decided to push ahead knowing that if it got to be too much I could always stop. I am so glad I started reading because a few uncomfortable moments at the beginning of the story were clearly outweighed by the rest of the story. 

Clothilde “Hildy” Schneider works as a social worker at the Sorenson General Hospital. She also leads a grief and addiction support group at the hospital.  It is there she meets Sharon Cochran, a mom who lost her son to what the police have ruled a suicide. Sharon doesn’t believe her son took his own life and she begs Hildy and the support group to help her prove it. She feels her son was murdered and no one is paying attention.

First, Hildy checks in with the Medical Examiner’s office and finds some inconsistencies.  She then visits Sharon’s home and finds some interesting drawings and the young man’s computer. Armed with both she confronts Detective Bob Richmond in hopes he will share information and reopen the case. He realizes she may be onto something and agrees to work with her to find out what really happened to Toby Cochran.

I immediately liked Hildy and her open heart. She has great instincts and she doesn’t back down. She also has a wonderful golden retriever named Roscoe, who works as a comfort animal when needed. We also meet Hildy’s neighbor P.J., a very adult 11-year-old who walks Roscoe several times a day and even gives Hildy relationship advice and fashion tips. The author also sets up a prospective love triangle with Hildy, Detective Richmond, and evidence technician Jonas Kriedeman. Jonas is raising his 7-year-old daughter on his own. She is also very smart and independent for her young age.

But I really identified with Sharon Cochran. I could feel her pain. No matter how your child died the grief is with you the rest of your life. Life is never normal again. Ms. Ryan portrayed that very well in this character.

All the recurring characters are complex and I am excited to see them evolve as this series continues. Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston from the author’s other series does make a cameo appearance but this series stands completely on its own.

I really enjoyed the way Bob and Hildy worked together and the premise of this series means it is not just a one-time thing. This murder investigation was not an easy solve and had some truly surprising moments that had me holding my breath. My focus was in the right ballpark but I struck out putting everything together until it was clearly spelled out for me.

The icing on the cake was that this series takes place in my home state not too far from where I live. I loved recognizing all the landmarks as we followed along with Hildy and Bob as they chased down clues.

The Helping Hands Mystery series is off to a champion start! Needled to Death was a Perfect Escape and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the pseudonym for the author of the Mattie Winston Mysteries and the Mac’s Bar Mysteries (written as Allyson K. Abbott). She has written more than 200 published articles, worked as a book reviewer for Barnes & Noble, and is an active member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.

Needled to Death is her first book in a new mystery series, A Helping Hands Mystery, featuring a social worker at the Sorenson Hospital who solves mysteries.

Annelise currently works as a registered nurse in an ER. She can be reached at www.mattiewinston.com. Her books have garnered numerous accolades, most recently she has been honored by the Wisconsin Library Association as a Wisconsin.

Author Links – FacebookGoodReadsAmazon

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.

Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End August 28, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Aug 102019
 

The Great Jewel Robbery (A Front Page Mystery)
by Elizabeth McKenna

About the Book 


The Great Jewel Robbery (A Front Page Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Independently Published (June 3, 2019)
Paperback: 204 pages
ISBN-10: 0578503018
ISBN-13: 978-0578503011
Digital ASIN: B07SKB5YX7

Mystery with a splash of romance…

Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. When Grace is assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a lakeside mansion and her boyfriend bails on her, she brings Emma as her plus one. The night is going smoothly until Emma finds the host’s brother unconscious in the study. Though at first it is thought he was tipsy and stumbled, it soon becomes clear more is afoot, as the wall safe is empty and a three-million-dollar diamond necklace is missing. With visions of becoming ace investigative journalists, Emma and Grace set out to solve the mystery, much to the chagrin of the handsome local detective.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tribune Lifestyle reporter Grace Warner is assigned to cover a charity ball at a Lake Geneva mansion owned by Ivy and Edward Braun and she drags along best friend Emma Moore who also works for the Trib as a sports reporter.  Grace is friends with the Brauns so she feels right at home. But it is Emma who finds a man knocked out in the study. More investigation finds the wall safe empty. A three-million-dollar necklace that was there before the event started is now missing.

Grace has dreams of becoming an investigative reporter and knows solving this case could be her big break. Enter Detective Ryan O’Mara who may have chemistry with Emma, but doesn’t like her and her friend butting into his case.

First, I have to mention the setting.  Lake Geneva is a beautiful place for a vacation and it sounds like Ivy and Edward Braun live in one of the palatial estates complete with a pool on the roof. Most of the summer residents have Chicago ties but Wisconsinites love to visit and know it’s rich history. It is the perfect place to set a mystery series.

Ms. McKenna has crafted strong and engaging characters. Emma and Grace’s friendship shines in this story. They couldn’t be more different but over the years they have grown so close those differences don’t matter. They make a great investigative team too. The author also introduces us to Detective Ryan O’Mara. He is a cop’s cop. An Irish Jamaican who is attracted to Emma almost immediately. They all feel genuine and the dialogue is spot-on.

It was refreshing to not have a dead body to start off the story. Instead, we have a thief and a mansion full of suspects. Detective O’Mara is on the case but Emma and Grace seem to have the inside advantage. This, of course, puts them in danger. The author lays things out in a logical way but she throws in twists that really sent by deliberations of the guilty party in several different directions.

Well plotted, paced and written, this series is off to a grand start I want to delve into these characters deeper and get to know them better. For her first foray into the cozy mystery genre, Elizabeth McKenna done herself proud.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, where her tastes ranged from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King’s horror stories. She had never read a romance novel until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She combined her love of history, romance, and a happy ending to write Cera’s Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, is loosely based on her life during her teens and twenties. The Great Jewel Robbery is her debut cozy mystery, and she hopes readers will like it as much as they have enjoyed her romances.

Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.

Author Links     Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads     Instagram

Purchase Links –

Amazon  –   Barnes & Noble –   Kobo  – Scribd  –  Apple  

Also by this Author

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Praise for The Great Jewel Robbery (A Front Page Mystery)
by Elizabeth McKenna

The Great Jewel Robbery by Elizabeth McKenna is a fantastic book. I loved it from the first page of the book until the end.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

A fun friendship book with an interesting cozy mystery and a hint of romance.
~Laura’s Interests

I liked this book. Emma and Grace are likable, well-developed characters . . . A great start to a new mystery series.
~Cassidy’s Bookshelves

I enjoyed this cozy mystery. It was a quick read and once I started the book, I didn’t want to stop until I figured out who the thief was. I definitely recommend this story to cozy mystery lovers . . .
~Carla Loves To Read

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
August 4 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT  
August 4 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
August 5 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
August 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
August 6 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 6 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
August 7 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
August 8 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 9 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
August 9 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – GUEST POST
August 10 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
August 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
August 11 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
August 12 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
August 12 – Reading Authors – REVIEW
August 13 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
August 14 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
August 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
August 15 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
August 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 17 – The Book Decoder – 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.”

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Aug 082019
 

The Time for Murder is Meow
(A Purr N Bark Pet Shop Mystery)
by T. C. LoTempio

 

About the Book


The Time for Murder is Meow (A Purr N Bark Pet Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Midnight Ink (August 8, 2019
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-10: 0738760366
ISBN-13: 978-0738760360
Digital ASIN: B07HL4F1Z6

Shell and her two furry sidekicks must cat-ch a killer to save their pet shop

Crishell “Shell” McMillan sees the cancellation of her TV series as a blessing in disguise. The former actress can now take over her late aunt’s pet shop, the Purr N’ Bark, and do something she loves.

While getting the shop ready for re-opening, Shell is asked to loan her aunt’s Cary Grant posters to the local museum for an exhibit. She finds the prospect exciting—until a museum board member, who had a long-standing feud with Shell’s aunt, votes against it. When she discovers the board member dead in the museum, Shell becomes suspect number one. Can she, her Siamese cat Kahlua, and her new sidekick—her aunt’s Persian Purrday—find the real culprit, or will her latest career go up in kitty litter?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Cat lovers rejoice! T. C. LoTempio is penning a new series!

The Time for Murder is Meow introduces readers to Crishell “Shell” McMillan who has retired from acting to move to Fox Hollow, Connecticut to reopen the pet shop her aunt left her when she passed away. Not everyone is happy or understands how she could leave Hollywood behind but she knows this is where she is meant to be.

Aunt Tillie was a true old movie buff with a vast collection of memorabilia. With a Cary Grant festival coming up Shell is asked by the local museum to loan them her aunt’s Cary Grant movie posters, some them signed by the actor! But one member of the board rallies her cronies to vote against the display. Shell learns that member had been in a feud with her aunt for years.

When the woman calls Shell to set up a meeting she is surprised but agrees to meet if it gets her aunt’s posters displayed. When she arrives at the museum she finds her aunt’s nemesis dead and finds herself at the top of the suspect list almost as soon as the police arrive.

Putting the reopening of Purr N’ Bark, on the back burner, she delves into an investigation of her own to cat-ch the killer like a dog with a bone.

___

Ms. LoTempio brings together a great group of characters that band together to help find the culprit that took down Amelia Witherspoon. The woman didn’t have a lot of friends but Shell didn’t know her at all. That brings in the group that welcomed Shell to town, Olivia, Rita, and Ron. When her former co-star Gary Presser calls to check in with her, he knows something is up and it isn’t long before he pulls into town.  Together the group is determined to solve the case. Detective Josh Bloodgood admits that while Shell had motive and opportunity he really doesn’t think she did it, but isn’t happy she and her friends are snooping. All these characters are believable and fleshed out nicely for the first book in a new series.

The human characters shine but so do the pets. Shell’s cat Kahlua soon meets Tillie’s cat Purrday. Will they get along?? Together due to their instincts and actions they play a key role in solving the mystery. I love when animals in cozy mysteries are involved and more than just pets.

The author has constructed a nice whodunit too with plenty of suspects and surprises. I did solve the murder a bit before the reveal but totally enjoyed the story right up to the last page.

As a fan of classic movies, I loved those references and would love to see Aunt Tillie’s collection in person. I hope we delve into other parts of it as the series continues.

Lighthearted, fun, and entertaining. This series is off to an excellent start! I hope Gary sticks around Fox Hollow! He turned out to be my favorite non-feline character 🙂

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

 

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She and her cat pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime and the Cat Rescue series from Crooked Lane.  Her latest, the Pet Shop Mysteries, makes its debut August 8 with The Time for Murder is Meow.

You can cat-ch up with them at ROCCO’s blog, www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com or her website, www.tclotempio.net

Where to find them:

ROCCO’s blog:   www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

Website:    www.tclotempio.net

Purchase Links:

Amazon   B&N   IndieBound 

Also by T.C. LoTempio

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
August 8 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
August 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
August 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
August 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
August 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
August 9 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 9 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW
August 9 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
August 10 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
August 10 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
August 10 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
August 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
August 11 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
August 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 12 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
August 12 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 13 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 13 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
August 13 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
August 14 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
August 14 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
August 14 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 15 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW
August 15 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
August 15 – The Book Decoder – 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.”

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Aug 072019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to welcome Julia Buckley today!

My Hungarian Grandma

By Julia Buckley

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

The author with her Grandma in the 1980s

One character in my new mystery, DEATH IN A BUDAPEST BUTTERFLY, has garnered some attention because she is interesting and possibly psychic. She is a Hungarian immigrant who raised her family in America and adapted to a new way of life despite spending all of her formative years in her home country.

Parts of this character, Juliana Horvath, were based on memories I have of my own grandmother, Julia Vig, who came to this country right around 1920 to keep house for her father, who had traveled to America before her. She traveled by ship, alone, to a country she knew nothing of, and a father she had not seen in years. She was seventeen years old.

I only knew my grandmother in her later life, and my fictional Juliana, too, is an old woman.

My grandmother was full of personality. She was loving, sometimes strict, religious but also superstitious, and extremely talented in the areas of needlework and cooking.

I have not tasted my grandmother’s food in close to forty years, but I have FOOD MEMORY—that thing which allows you to recall the best foods of your childhood as though the flavor is still on your tongue. I remember the smell of her kitchen, the taste of her cooking, the wonderful blend of onions and paprika and chicken stock and pastry.

My grandma did not use recipes, at least not ones that she would write down for us. She had a magical sense of what was needed, and she threw it all into a pot and created delicious things. One of my favorite memories of her involves the sleep-overs my sister and I would have at her house (we were the two youngest and probably the only ones not in school at this point). We would sleep in her “hotel” and we got a room to ourselves, known as the “purple room” because of its purple bedspread. We got to unpack our things in the big old dresser, and it felt quite cosmopolitan to us little girls who pretended we were in some Ginger Rogers movie.

In the morning we would go down the solid wood staircase and travel to my grandmother’s kitchen on a wave of some heavenly aroma. She would have cereal for us, but she would be at work, even in the early hours, making noodles. All of her noodles were homemade, rolled out from dough and cut into tiny pieces, then dried so that they could be used in various recipes. She would have a huge pot of chicken soup going; this became our lunch. It was filled with vegetables from her garden, healthy doses of chicken, and her little noodles. (In her early Chicago days, she even killed and plucked the chicken herself).

The book details all of my favorite foods (they become the favorites of Hana, my narrator) and they will make you hungry.

It’s hard to find a good Hungarian restaurant these days, but even if I could locate one near me, the chef would have a very tough act to follow. The reality is that no one cooks like Grandma did, and the best way I can pay homage to her food is to write about it.

~Julia

Thank you so much, Julia, for visiting today!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Death in a Budapest Butterfly.


Death in a Budapest Butterfly (A Hungarian Tea House Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Illinois
Berkley (July 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1984804820
ISBN-13: 978-1984804822
Kindle ASIN: B07K5ZJ2QL

Hana Keller serves up European-style cakes and teas in her family-owned tea house, but when a customer keels over from a poisoned cuppa, Hana and her tea-leaf reading grandmother will have to help catch a killer in the first Hungarian Tea House Mystery from Julia Buckley.

Hana Keller and her family run Maggie’s Tea House, an establishment heavily influenced by the family’s Hungarian heritage and specializing in a European-style traditional tea service. But one of the shop’s largest draws is Hana’s eccentric grandmother, Juliana, renowned for her ability to read the future in the leaves at the bottom of customers’ cups. Lately, however, her readings have become alarmingly ominous and seemingly related to old Hungarian legends…

When a guest is poisoned at a tea event, Juliana’s dire predictions appear to have come true. Things are brought to a boil when Hana’s beloved Anna Weatherley butterfly teacup becomes the center of the murder investigation as it carried the poisoned tea. The cup is claimed as evidence by a handsome police detective, and the pretty Tea House is suddenly endangered. Hana and her family must catch the killer to save their business and bring the beautiful Budapest Butterfly back home where it belongs.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to Maggie’s Tea House where Hana, her mother Maggie, and grandmother Juliana, serve cakes and tea focused on the family’s Hungarian heritage. A real treat is that Juliana can read tea leaves and predict the future. The ladies have a vast tea service collection for their customers and Hana has a private collection too. She just added a beautiful butterfly cup, one that she has put on display at their latest event.

With the event well underway Maggie notices her cup is not where she left, but on a table being used by a woman, she doesn’t recognize. Her grandmother is busy reading leaves and Hana overhears some ominous predictions. She looks back to see the woman who was using her cup hurrying off to the bathroom. After a few minutes, Hana heads that way to find the woman dead.

Detective Erik Wolf arrives on the scene, the butterfly cup is bagged as evidence and he and his partner start getting everyone’s information. When he does start questioning witnesses he asks for Hana, Maggie, and Juliana’s help because they are familiar with the woman and the Hungarian language. With their business labeled as a crime scene, they agree but that doesn’t stop them from doing some snooping on their own.

This series is off to a fine start!

Hana Keller is 26 years old and still single much to her mother and grandmother’s dismay. She lives with her cats Anthony & Cleopatra and she has a passion for promoting her family’s Hungarian culture. Her mother Maggie is the force behind the tea house, but her grandmother is also very involved. I really enjoyed getting to know them, but feel we have just scratched the surface of who they are. There is a thread that purposed that Hana may have a gift similar to her grandmother that seems to have skipped her mother’s generation. I am interested to see how this is featured in future stories.

We are also meet several women/suspects from the neighborhood, the hunky Detective Wolf and his partner. Detective Benton. We are also introduced to pastry chef Francois, Hana’s brother Domo, and her dad too. It is a large cast but the author takes time to make each unique and has left plenty of room for growth. There are some sparks between Hana and Detective Wolf but it is very early in the series and hard to classify as a relationship YET, but we know where they are headed. 🙂

The mystery was filled with intrigue. I did like that Hana and Detective Wolf stayed in constant communication and she passed on everything she uncovered. I was also pleased that the family was not automatically pegged as suspects and were treated with respect whenever they needed to answer questions. There were twists and turns too and clues were released in unique ways. The author’s detailed writing style played well for this type of plot.

The Hungarian theme and language continued throughout the story. I had known a little about the culture and was happy to learn more. When Detective Wolf was around it was necessary for words to be translated and as a reader, not familiar with the language that was appreciated. I love that recipes are included in the back of the book. To learn that Grandma Juliana is partly based on the author’s grandmother brought me even more joy about this book. What a wonderful to pay tribute to someone important in her life.

I found Death in a Budapest Butterfly to be delightfully entertaining. I want to get to know these characters better and visit the tea room again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Julia Buckley is the author of the Undercover Dish mysteries and the Writer’s Apprentice mysteries. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the Chicago Writer’s Association. She has taught high school English for twenty-nine years.

Also By Julia Buckley


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

 

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Aug 062019
 

Risky Biscuits
(A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
by Mary Lee Ashford

 

About the Book


Risky Biscuits (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Iowa
Lyrical Underground (July 9, 2019)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-10: 1516105079
ISBN-13: 978-1516105076
Digital ASIN: B07JDXFM7G

Former magazine editor “Sugar” Calloway’s life has taken a delicious twist since she launched a community cookbook publishing business with blue-ribbon baker Dixie Spicer. Now these amateur sleuths must solve a small-town murder—without getting burned . .

Sugar and Spice Cookbooks’ newest project is a fundraiser organized by the St. Ignatius Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club, famous for their all-you-can-eat biscuits and gravy events. But when a group member is found dead, Sugar and Spice’s priorities change from raising dough to figuring out who put murder on the menu.

The return of former badboy Nick Marchant has stirred the town’s gossips too. Add a few grudges and some old-fashioned greed over a land deal into the mix, and it’s a recipe for mayhem. And when someone serves up a second helping of murder, Sugar and Spice need to sift the guilty from the blameless, or their next breakfast may be their last . . .

* Includes delicious recipes! *

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Biscuits and Gravy cooks from the St. Ignatius Crack of Dawn Breakfast Club have been hosting breakfast events to raise money for the park shelter where they hold their events. The decide to bind their recipes together in a cookbook put together by Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway and Dixie Spicer aka “Sugar” and “Spice”. When the de facto leader of the Breakfast Club goes missing and is later found killed, Sugar’s landlord, a member of the group begs Sugar to look into the tragic death. Sugar does have an in as she needs to attend meetings and contact members to keep the fundraising cookbook on track. Plus the gossip chain has ratcheted up with the return of Nick Marchant to town. He and “Spicy” have some kind of a past that Sugar knows nothing about but keeping her ears open and putting a little pressure on her friend she just might find out. The good sheriff is sure not thrilled the man is back in town either.

After reading Game of Scones recently I could wait to sink my teeth into Risky Biscuits. Author Mary Lee Ashford sure didn’t disappoint. She has written strong characters and enveloped them in a stellar mystery.

Sugar & Spice Publishing is getting more clients and Sugar is using her organizational skills while Spice refines a bunch of recipes all to make their next cookbook publication a huge success. Photographer Max Windsor wasn’t as present at the beginning of the story as I had hoped but he doesn’t let the ladies down when it is time to take the food photos needed for the book. We also meet several residents from Greer’s retirement community. While mourning their friend they are still a fun and feisty group.

Ms. Ashford takes a bit of time introducing the new characters and showing readers how they fit with those we had already met. But then Sugar gets hot on the trail to find the killer. Red herrings, yes there were a few. I made the mistake of thinking I had the culprit pinned down early only to be shown the error of my ways. Twists and turns led to a shocking reveal.

Aside from the murder, this little town in Iowa is a fun place to visit. I love all the friendships that are blooming.

I can’t finish this review without mentioning the food. Spice is always baking up something good. Even things she considers flops are downright tasty. She always seems to have plenty of people dropping by their shop for samples too. I wish she could pass them out from the pages, especially the Better Than Robert Redford/George Clooney cake. The author does include recipes in the back of the book but I don’t have the skills Spice has. Then again the recipe of the above mentioned doesn’t look too complicated 🙂

Culinary cozies readers will love this story.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Game of Scones here.

About Mary Lee Ashford

 

Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, and avid reader, and supporter of public libraries. In addition to writing the Sugar & Spice mystery series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books.

Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest.

She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a current board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies.

Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity. She loves encouraging other writers and is a frequent presenter on a variety of topics at workshops, conferences, and writers’ groups.

In her day job, Mary Lee is a Deputy Chief Information Officer. She currently resides in the Midwest with her husband, Tim, and Sparkle, the rescue cat namesake of the Sparkle Abbey pseudonym. Her delights are reading and enjoying her family and especially her six grandchildren.

For more information, visit her website at www.MaryLeeAshford.com

Find her on  –  Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Pinterest – GoodReads 

Purchase Links
Amazon    Barnes & Noble     Kobo    iBooks


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

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Jul 312019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to feature Let’s Fake A Deal today by Sherry Harris! 


Let’s Fake a Deal (A Sarah W. Garage Sale Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (July 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716981
ISBN-13: 978-1496716989
Kindle ASIN: B07K5ZMBZB

SHE’S GOT THE GOODS . . .
As a former military spouse, Sarah Winston’s learned a little about organizing, packing, and moving. Her latest project sounds promising: a couple of tech-industry hipsters, newly arrived in her Massachusetts town, who need to downsize. Unfortunately, when Sarah tries to sell their stuff, she discovers it’s all stolen—and she’s the unwitting fence.

BUT SARAH’S PROBLEMS ARE JUST BEGINNING
Michelle, an old friend of Sarah’s from the Air Force base, is in line for a promotion—but not everyone is happy about it, and she’s been hit with an anonymous discrimination complaint. When one of the men she suspects is behind the accusations turns up dead in Michelle’s car, Sarah needs to clear Michelle’s name—as well as her own for selling hot merchandise. And she’ll have to do it while also organizing a cat lady’s gigantic collection of feline memorabilia, or they’ll be making room for Sarah in a jail cell . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah Winston barely opens a garage sale for a couple wanting to downsize when the police show up. The couple is nowhere to be found and everything she was trying to sell for them appears to be stolen. Before she knows it she is on the ground and under arrest. As she tries to find the couple that set her up she is also trying to clear her friend Michelle from murder charges. Michelle was up for a promotion with the Air Force when someone files a complaint against her. One of the men she had pegged for the discrimination report turns up dead in HER car! Sarah is also working on a fabulous feline garage sale too. That is if she stays out of jail long enough for the Cat-tastic Garage Sale to take place.

Hold on tight, Sherry Harris has twisted together a terrific mystery that is impossible to put down!

The first scene grabbed my attention with a premise I never would have thought of and turns Sarah’s business inside out. Then we move to Michelle’s issue which is too prevalent in the military today sans the murder of course. This author doesn’t shy away from hot topics. She gives a wonderful fictional spin that makes her readers aware and informed.

These characters stole my heart back in the first book Tagged for Death and they continue to impress me book after book. Sarah continues to grow after her divorce while trying to start her new relationship with Seth. Sarah does have a huge heart and is very trusting, which was a big flaw this time. Small towns just aren’t what they used to be anymore.

I love the way recurring characters pop up even in small ways in each story. Whenever Mike “Big Cheese” Titone appears on the scene it always makes me smile. He is not your typical mobster when Sarah is involved. The dialogues between all the characters are excellent and laced with the perfect amount of humor.

This mystery is carefully plotted and develops in a surprising way. Ms. Harris faked me out more than once. Every twist and turn had my mind spinning. I was in the dark right up to the fantastic final reveal and perfectly delighted to be so.

This is a brilliant addition to this series. It is my new favorite! In fact, it will be the next book on my Bests Reads list for 2019! I absolutely loved it from beginning to end!

I do want to say each book can be read all on its own, but Sarah Winston is an extraordinary protagonist and to truly understand her and where she is in her life now I recommend reading all the books in order. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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

Find out more about Sherry on her webpage here.


Coming December 31, 2019


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 Print Copy to giveaway! 
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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Jul 302019
 

Available Today!!


Murder at Crossways (A Gilded Newport Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Rhode Island
Kensington (July 30, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496720725
ISBN-13: 978-1496720726
Kindle ASIN: B07K5ZXLJ8

Murder at Crossways – In late August 1898, reporter Emma Cross attends the final fête of the Newport social season and discovers the party’s over for a visiting prince . . .

The days are getting shorter as summer’s end approaches, which means it’s time for the Harvest Festival, the last big event of the season, held by Mamie Fish, wife of millionaire railroad tycoon Stuyvesant Fish, at their grand “cottage,” Crossways. The neocolonial mansion is decked out in artificial autumn splendor, and an extravagant scavenger hunt will be held. But the crowning jewel of the evening will be the guest of honor, Prince Otto of Austria.

As acting editor-in-chief of the Newport Messenger, Emma had hoped to leave her days as a society reporter behind her. But at the last moment, she must fill in and attend the Harvest Festival. With nearly every eligible daughter of Newport high society in attendance, Emma can almost hear romantic dreams shattering like glass slippers when the prince fails to appear. The next morning, he is found dead in the side garden at Crossways, making it clear a murderer crashed the party.

The prince has been stabbed in the same manner as another man, recently found on nearby Bailey’s Beach—who strongly resembles Emma’s half-brother Brady’s father, presumed dead for nearly thirty years after a yachting mishap. As Emma investigates a connection between the two victims, she is joined on the hunt by Mamie Fish herself. But they must hurry—before the killer slips away like the fading summer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A dead body can really ruin a day at the beach. Emma Cross had hoped for a relaxing day, but first, a prominent lady almost drowns and then a short time later a man is found dead. A man who looks remarkably like the father of her half-brother Brady.

With that case on her mind, Emma attends the Harvest Festival at the home of Mamie and Stuyvesant Fish to cover the affair for the Newport Messenger. The “cottage” is full of the elite and almost all the area’s eligible daughters hoping to catch the eye of the guest of honor, Prince Otto of Austria. The festival goes late into the night but the Prince never arrives. While cleaning up the estate Prince Otto’s body is found in the garden. The wound appears to be the same as the man found on the beach.

Again Emma finds herself embroiled in another murder mystery. With the family connection, she feels she has no choice.

_____________________

Alyssa Maxwell again draws readers back in time to Newport, Rhode Island 1898. This time we visit Crossways, An American “cottage” owned by Marion Graves Anthon Fish a.k.a. “Mamie” and her husband  Stuyvesant “Stuyvie” Fish. What this author does so well is blending history with her fictional tale. She describes everything so well but I still find myself wanting to see the people and places with my own eyes after I finish the story to learn more about the characters and settings that kept me captivated for 288 pages. I love The Gilded Age Era site for all things Newport.

The thing I enjoyed most about this book was that Alyssa found herself with an unexpected sidekick. Maimie Fish was determined to apprehend the person that used her party and property as the backdrop for murder. She glued herself to Emma’s side and even offered to hire someone to handle Emma’s real job at the paper until the case was solved. Emma is a smart woman and realized Maimie could be a real asset. Maimie was a grand character, not your typical rich socialite. She is very down to earth and very opinionated and doesn’t hold back expressing her thoughts or wishes. She was a complete treasure and together with Emma, they made a wonderful team. I love the way this author focuses on strong and independent women.

The mystery was multifaceted as connections between the murders needed to be delved into as the confirmed identity of the first victim was totally up in the air. Emma and Maimie tracked down each clue and checked out each twist no matter where the led. Emma’s brother Brady was not handling all the news well so he was a constant concern.  She was also dealing with a mystery at the newspaper but she was clearly able to juggle everything thrown at her. I enjoyed following along with all the developments and was pleased that all the clues dropped into place for me at the same time as Emma.

Murder at Crossways is unique and entertaining. Maxwell’s characters are so strong and believable. I totally enjoyed my visit to Newport and am looking forward to returning again soon. For me, this was A Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Alyssa outside (2)

About the Author

Alyssa Maxwell is the author of the Gilded Newport Mysteries and A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mysteries. She lives in South Florida in the current year but confesses to spending most of her time in the Victorian and post WWI eras, as well as other periods of history. In addition to fantasizing about wearing Worth gowns and strolling the gardens of her manor house, she loves to watch BBC and other period productions and sip tea in the afternoons. And each year, she and her husband take a trip up to Newport to visit family, and so Alyssa can “shop” for the next mansion to be featured in her Newport series.

Author Links
Twitter  Facebook Webpage GoodReads 

Also by Alyssa Maxwell

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Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
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Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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Jul 252019
 


Toxic Toffee (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496722027
ISBN-13: 978-1496722027
Kindle ASIN: B07HVYLW18

A sweet tooth for murder . . .

Bailey King’s in New York wrapping up a six-week shoot on her first cable TV show, Bailey’s Amish Sweets, when she gets a call from her Ohio town’s resident busybody. With Easter around the corner, Bailey’s been recruited to create a giant toffee bunny for the weeklong springtime festival that will also feature live white rabbits. But back home in Harvest, death becomes the main attraction when Stephen Raber keels over from an apparent heart attack—with Bailey and Raber’s pet bunny as witnesses.
.
Except it wasn’t Raber’s heart that suddenly gave out—a lethal dose of lily of the valley was mixed into a tasty piece of toffee. Who’d want to poison a jovial rabbit farmer who reminded Bailey of an Amish Santa Claus? To solve the murder, she and her sheriff deputy boyfriend Aiden must uncover a twenty-year-old secret. She’ll need to pull a rabbit out of a hat to keep a healthy distance from toxic people, including one venomous killer . . .

Recipe Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Rabbits! Rabbits! Rabbits!

Bailey King returns from New York just in time for “Easter Days”. A new festival created to bring more tourists to Harvest, Ohio. While there will be plenty of live rabbits hopping around, Bailey has been asked to make a huge sweet bunny featuring tons of toffee. While trying to get all the details Bailey meets rabbit keeper Stephen Raber and his special bunny, Puff. In the middle of the conversation, Mr. Raber falls to the ground. Bailey shouts for help, but the man is dead. Everyone assumes he had a heart attack, but the coroner finds evidence Stephen Raber was poisoned.

Bailey finds Mr. Raber was very well-liked in the community, why would anyone want to kill him? The victim’s son begged Bailey to find the killer as she had before for others. Then when she learns the murder weapon was a piece of toffee she feels she has no choice and pushes Aiden, her boyfriend/Deputy Sheriff to let her in on his investigation. He knows the Amish will open up with her more than they would with him so he agrees. They may go down a few rabbit holes to solve the case of the Toxic Toffee, but as long as they solve the case, it’s worth it.

I love these characters. Even with a murderer in their midst, they still know what’s important. Keeping a special bunny safe, constructing a giant toffee rabbit, keeping the sweet shop’s shelves full for customers, and in Juliet Brody’s case, getting Aidan and Bailey hitched in a summer wedding. (They have barely started dating and are definitely not engaged.) 🙂 All the characters are fleshed out and believable. The interactions and dialogues are true to life. The animals are absolutely delightful too. The author also sweetens the story with plenty of humor in all the right places.

The mystery is a real puzzler. Stephen Raber’s is new to us readers but has been a resident of the Harvest area for a long time as part of the Amish community. Bailey and Aiden could ask almost anyone in town about his life and how it has changed since he lost his wife. The fact that Bailey has become the caretaker of the victim’s pet rabbit named Puff is an interesting twist and felt like it gave Bailey an added push to solve the crime. Unfortunately she also on the killer’s radar and she finds herself in some very dangerous situations. Ms. Flower plotted out this story so well. There is always something happening and there are some fantastic twists. I had no idea “whodunit” until Bailey did.

I really enjoy the way Amanda Flower uses her Amish knowledge to build stories that show the two cultures coming together in so many ways. Bailey and her Amish grandmother have such a wonderful relationship. She also has an amazing relationship with Charlotte who has not yet been baptized into the faith. It is truly heartwarming the way the entire community comes together in good times and in bad.

Each visit the Harvest is unique and they always end too soon. I can’t wait to return in December for the premiere of Amish Matchmaker Mystery Series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of Assaulted Caramel here and Lethal Licorice here
Premeditated Peppermint here, and Criminally Cocoa here.

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest

Coming December 31, 2019!
A New Series Also Set in Harvest, Ohio.

Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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

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.

Subscribe to Amanda’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End August 8, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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