Posted in 2023 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Of Mushrooms and Matrimony (A Tish Tarragon Mystery) by Amy Patricia Meade #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Of Mushrooms and Matrimony (A Tish Tarragon Mystery)
by Amy Patricia Meade

About Of Mushrooms and Matrimony 

Of Mushrooms and Matrimony (A Tish Tarragon Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Severn House; Main edition (January 3, 2023)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 144830654X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1448306541
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B8ZMBLCL

Tish Tarragon is catering for a wedding, but the weekend goes from sweet to sour when a guest at the venue is poisoned.

Literary caterer and owner of Cookin’ the Books cafe Tish Tarragon is pushing thoughts of her impending eviction aside to prepare an appetizing welcome buffet for a wedding weekend at Abbingdon Green Bed and Breakfast. While there, Tish witnesses one of the guests, controversial TV chef, and restaurant critic, Gunner Randall, threatening staff after missing breakfast and making do with a mushroom omelet.

When Randall is found dead the following day, it soon becomes clear that poisoned mushrooms were behind his demise. With no shortage of potential suspects and motives, can Tish and her new beau, Sheriff Clemson Reade, uncover who was enraged enough with the unsavory star to silence him for good?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Literary caterer and owner of Cookin’ the Books cafe Tish Tarragon has lost her lease on her home and her business but she has one last catering job. A wedding weekend Abbingdon Green Bed and Breakfast. While setting up a fabulous welcome buffet she sees one of the guests complaining that the B&B’s breakfast hours end too early and demanding to be served. With him being a tv chef and restaurant critic the last thing she needs is a bad review so the owner quickly whips up a mushroom omelet to placate the man.

The next day the controversial critic is found dead. It appears he ingested some poisonous mushrooms, so the owner of the B&B finds herself high on the suspect list, but others could have fed him the deadly mushrooms too. Sheriff Clemson Reade and Tish are on the case but she still needs to be sure her catering gig goes off without a hitch.


This is the first book in the series that I have read but the author did an excellent job of making me feel right at home. I really like that Tish is a consultant for the police and that after spending so much time with Sheriff Clemson Reade a romance between them has blossomed. They do seem like a perfect match. Her friend Jules is a real treasure. I loved him! Her other friend Mary Jo appears to have gone through her own drama but has come through it strong with the help of her friends. Celestine works with Tish and has opened her home to Mary Jo and her daughter. There is a very strong bond between Tish, Jules, Mary Jo, and Celestine that I am sure was built over the course of the series. All the characters felt true to life and I enjoyed meeting them.

A strong subplot throughout the story is about Tish being evicted from her home and business which included a cafe due to breaking up with her landlord. I don’t know a lot about Schuyler but he appears to not excel at being a boyfriend, landlord, or mayor. Tish is better off without him but he has put her in a terrible position. So in addition to hunting down a killer, she is trying to find a place to live and a new home for her businesses.

The mystery is very complicated because Chef Gunner Randall ate a heck of a lot of mushrooms within the right timeframe. Tish and Reade visit every place the deceased critic visited but were unable to eliminate anyone. It was quite entertaining to ferret through the clues right along with them. I was not totally surprised though when the killer was revealed. I had a little inkling during the story that this person needed a closer look.

The final chapter was fantastic and filled with feel-good moments. I really enjoy it when an author leaves their characters in a good place with a notion of exciting things to come.

Of Mushrooms and Matrimony intrigued me from the start. The characters were genuine and engaging. The mystery was not only interesting but educational. There are many kinds of mushrooms, many are poisonous but Death Cap mushrooms are the deadliest. Thankfully I am not a fan of any kind of mushroom but I bet after reading this book I could identify the deadly fungi in an instant.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Amy Patricia Meade 

Author of the critically acclaimed Marjorie McClelland Mysteries, Vermont Country Living Mysteries, and Tish Tarragon Mysteries, Amy Patricia Meade is a native of Long Island, NY, where she cut her teeth on classic films and books featuring Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown.

After stints as an Operations Manager for a document imaging company and as a freelance technical writer, Amy left the bright lights of New York City and headed north to pursue her creative writing career amidst the idyllic beauty of Vermont’s Green Mountains.

After five years living in Bristol, England, Amy now resides in upstate New York.

When not writing, Amy spends her time working for her musician husband, watching classic films, testing new recipes, belly dancing, and cleaning cat hair from her lap.

Author Links: 

Website – Facebook – Instagram

Purchase Links

AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound – 

The Rest of the Series

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 4 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
January 4 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
January 5 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 5 – Ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT
January 6 – Books to the Ceiling – SPOTLIGHT*
January 6 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 – Bootsie’s Book Nook – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – RECIPE
January 11 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 13 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 14 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST
January 15 – I’m Into Books – RECIPE
January 16 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
January 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?
Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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 2023 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Dial M for Meow (Bookshop Kitties Mysteries) by Ruth J. Hartman #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @ruthjhartman


Dial M for Meow (Bookshop Kitties Mysteries)
by Ruth J. Hartman

About Dial M for Meow


Dial M for Meow (Bookshop Kitties Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st In Series
Setting – Green Meadow, Indiana
Gemma Halliday Publishing (January 10, 2023)
Number of Pages 153
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BKHF9T7K

When children’s book author, Christy Bailey, receives a call from her aunt Betty to help out at her bookshop, she drops everything to go. Christy packs up her two cats—Milton and Pearl, the stars of her children’s mystery books—and leaves busy Philadelphia for tiny Green Meadow, Indiana. The timing of the call is perfect, as Christy’s letch of an ex-boyfriend has just cleaned out her savings, leaving Christy with a pile of unpaid bills and a desire to start over. And what better place to do that than a charming small town in Middle America?

But when Christy reaches her aunt’s bookshop, instead of small-town hospitality she finds a dead body! Even worse, her aunt is passed out in the corner, hands covered in blood. The dead woman is an old frenemy of her Aunt Betty, and while Christy knows her aunt is innocent, the local detective isn’t so sure. With Milton and Pearl prowling for clues, Christy is determined to find the real killer and clear her aunt’s name… before her story ends in tragedy!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Children’s author Christy Bailey has always loved books and her visits to see her Aunt Betty and her wonderful bookstore, Words to Read By. So when her aunt calls and says she needs help at the store just as she finds out her ex-boyfriend helped himself to her bank account leaving her unable to pay her bills she doesn’t think twice. She throws everything she can in her vehicle including her two favorite felines, the stars of her children’s mystery series, Milton and Pearl, and heads out of Philadelphia for Green Meadow, Indiana.

She arrives to find the bookshop closed and her aunt nowhere in sight. An old friend shows up though and they are both concerned. Using her key to get in Christy is shocked to find a dead woman in her aunt’s recliner and her aunt unconscious nearby with blood on her hands. There is no way her aunt could hurt anyone but of course, she is the number one suspect. To make matters worse Betty has no memory of what happened. Anxious to find the real killer, Christy with a little assistance from her inquisitive kitties starts her own investigation. She came to Green Meadow to help her aunt but she never thought it would be to help keep her out of prison.


I have to start this review by saying how much I love Milton and Pearl. I love that they are the stars of a series of children’s mysteries and that they love the attention of their adoring public. That they can help solve mysteries like their fictional counterparts is just icing on the cake. It is very apparent that the author loves cats and that she has some around her to inspire her. They really shine in this story.

Christy is a fabulous cat mom and appears to be a successful author. Her boyfriend must have been quite a snake to get away with stealing from her. I hope when she gets settled she sics the law on him. Her Aunt Betty is a real treasure and I love the way they work together. My mom’s name was Betty and she also owned her own business in a small town so it was someone like my mom that I pictured when reading about Betty. I am looking forward to seeing more development with both of these ladies to see if I am envisioning them properly.

Christy reconnects with her old friend Janie. Janie is a grabber and a hugger and they seem to pick up right where they left off as kids. There is also a young doctor in town. Easy on the eyes, does his job well, and perfect to be the new man in Christy’s life. I was not too impressed with the other residents we met in Green Meadow. I grew up in a small midwestern town and I know there are always a few quirky individuals and grumpy old men but this town seems to be overflowing with people with poor dispositions. I hope we meet some cheerier residents as the series continues to offset the curmudgeons.

The author did a fine job of plotting out the mystery. I was really surprised by the motive for the murder but not totally surprised who the killer turned out to be. There was a limited number of suspects and clues were nicely dropped along the way. I appreciated the exciting showdown where those lovable cats played a role in how everything turned out. There was one thing in the book not resolved though. It was intriguing so I look forward to it hopefully playing out in the next book.

Dial M for Meow was a fun read and while Christy’s cats aren’t necessarily as magical as Sofie Kelly‘s Hercules and Owen, I think her readers would enjoy meeting Milton and Pearl. I can’t wait to visit Words to Read By, and the Bookshop Kitties again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Ruth J. Hartman

Ruth J. Hartman spends her days herding cats and her nights spinning mysterious tales. She, her husband, and their cats love to spend time curled up in their recliners watching old Cary Grant movies. Well, the cats sit in the people’s recliners. Not that the cats couldn’t get their own furniture. They just choose to shed on someone else’s.

Ruth, a left-handed, cat-herding, farmhouse-dwelling writer uses her sense of humor as she writes tales of lovable, klutzy women who seem to find trouble without even trying.

Ruth’s husband and best friend, Garry, reads her manuscripts, rolls his eyes at her weird story ideas, and loves her despite her insistence all of her books have at least one cat in them.

Author Links

Facebook     Website     Twitter      GoodReads

Purchase Link

Amazon 

Also by Ruth J. Hartman

Find More Books by Ruth J. Hartman Here.

Great Escapes Praise for Dial M for Meow (Bookshop Kitties Mysteries)
by Ruth J. Hartman

DIAL M FOR MEOW combines clever cats, cantankerous characters, and bookish interests with murder in a new cozy series.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Dial M for Meow takes readers to the Midwest where there is a mysterious murder, clever kitties, a beloved bookstore, a childhood companion, a kindhearted relative, and sleuthing…
~The Avid Reader

Clever cats, likable characters, a bookshop, and a well-written mystery all add up to a five-star read for me!
~The Plain-Spoken Pen

A purrfect cat cozy that will leave readers meowing for more!
~Mochas Mysteries & Meows

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 10 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 10 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
January 10 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Bootsie’s Book Nook. – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – Elza Reads – REVIEW
January 11 – The Plain-Spoken Pen – REVIEW
January 11 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 11 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
January 12 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
January 13 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW
January 13 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 13 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 13 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
January 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 14 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 14 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
January 14 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
January 15 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
January 15 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTIGHT
January 15 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
January 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
January 16 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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 2023 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday Featuring A Streetcar Named Murder (New Orleans Mystery, A) by T. G. Herren #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

Today I am featuring
A Streetcar Named Murder today by T. G. Herren today!


A Streetcar Named Murder (New Orleans Mystery, A)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Crooked Lane Books (December 6, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639101322
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1639101320
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09TZNPL69

Blackmail in the Big Easy turns to cold-blooded murder in this debut cozy mystery perfect for fans of Jane K. Cleland.

When the mysterious letter arrives by courier, Valerie Cooper doesn’t know what to make of it. She’s become the beneficiary of her late husband’s estranged uncle’s will—a man she never knew—and inherited a majority partnership in the family’s company, New Orleans Fine Antiques. Valerie knows nothing about antiques, but she decides to learn the business and become an active partner. She’s also got her hands full fending off Collette, a woman who wants to sell the huge old house in the Irish Channel neighborhood Valerie and her husband painstakingly renovated.

Valerie isn’t interested in selling—but when her best friend Lorna, drags her to a costume party for the women’s Mardi Gras club, the Krewe of Athena, she stumbles over Collette’s body, a jeweled dagger sticking out of her chest. In a rush of panic, Valerie recognizes the dagger from her shop—and before she knows it, she’s become murder suspect number one.

Egged on by Lorna, she starts digging into Collette’s business dealings, and the deeper she digs, the dirtier it gets. Now all fingers are pointing at Valerie. In a desperate bid to clear her name, Valerie frantically tries to find who could have gotten hold of the dagger. But among a cadre of guests in full costume, it could be impossible to find the thief—and unmask the real killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Valerie Cooper lost her husband, Tony, the love of her life, in an on-the-job accident as a fireman a few years ago leaving her to raise their twin sons alone. She was very involved in activities when the boys were in school but they have now gone away to college and Valerie is dealing with an empty nest and looking for ways to fill her days. Thankfully she has a great friend and next-door neighbor, Lorna who does her best to keep Valerie busy.

Then Valerie receives a puzzling letter from an attorney telling her she has been named in Tony’s uncle Arthur’s will. She didn’t even know Tony had an uncle, Arthur. After meeting with the lawyer she learns he had quite an estate. A trust has been set up for her sons and she has inherited a majority interest in an antique store, New Orleans Fine Antiques. Not knowing much about antiques she is excited to learn and looks forward to working there. But everyone is not happy about her inheritance.

Collette, a real estate agent has been after Valerie to sell her house claiming she has a perfect buyer. Valerie and Collette’s sons all attended the same school and while they worked together, they were definitely not friends. And she really does not want to sell her house.

After several tries to dissuade Collette, someone else takes care of the problem. When Valerie attends a Mardi Gras Masquerade party with Lorna she finds Collette’s dead body outside of the event. A jeweled dagger stuck in her chest. A dagger from New Orleans Fine Antiques, Valerie’s new inheritance.

Now high on the suspect list Valerie must do everything she can to clear her name and reveal the real killer before she becomes their next victim.


I really loved the way this story started.

The first rule of life in New Orleans is Any time you leave your house not looking your best, you’ll run into your nemesis.

What a great first line. You just know this has happened before to main character Valerie Cooper and it is about to happen again. I could tell immediately I was going to enjoy this author’s sense of humor and was looking forward to a story full of it. Sadly that was not the case. I liked Valerie but the humor wasn’t at the level I had expected. She spent a lot of time lamenting about her life and things her husband didn’t tell her or things she didn’t care to know at the time but he really should have told her anyway. I also hated that she picked up on phrase from Collette and carried it and repeated it over and over again. A lot of this was set up by the premise of the story, which I loved, an unexpected inheritance that was going to change her life and connections to the people involved. It was just offputting the way it was dwelled on over and over again.

I did love Valerie’s friend Lorna. (Not Lauren as stated on the book cover text and the online synopsis.) A well-known author that loved to live life to the fullest even with a mother that drove her crazy with her daily calls. Lorna is a confident woman who doesn’t care what other people think. She is funny, kind, has no trouble speaking her mind, and is a great friend to Valerie. At the masquerade party, she was drinking bad wine and out on the dance floor having a great time while Valerie was a wallflower, sitting in a corner complaining about her sore feet and eavesdropping on other guests. Okay, what she heard started the ball rolling to finding a dead body but the girl needs to learn how to have some fun.

Surprisingly that ball rolling didn’t happen until more than halfway through the book. This story had a clear case of first story in the series – itis. The author had to introduce all the characters, set up their connections, and give enough of a backstory for the story to go in the direction he wanted. Then he had to get to the murder and its aftermath. Because of that, it is really hard to plot out a complex mystery within the pages allowed. This one was really easy to solve. We knew early who the victim would be and what weapon would be used. I found myself just waiting for it to happen. Then as suspects were revealed and questions were asked the twists turned out to be very minor leaving the Whodunit factor a little lacking.

I did enjoy the setting of the Big Easy, a place filled with possibilities of murder and mayhem. The information about the Krewes was very interesting. The descriptions of all the places were nice but sometimes the minute details got to be a little much.

All that being said, there are some good bones here. We now know the characters and there is plenty of room for development. This gives the author the opportunity to give readers a slam-bang mystery with a lot of depth and twists in book two. I would like to visit these characters again to see what happens next. I do hope the humor found at the beginning of this book shines all the way through the next one and that there is less repetition and detail of known things.

A Streetcar Named Murder is a satisfactory start for this series. I hope the author pulls everything together for the next installment and the publisher fixes Lorna’s name in the synopsis of this one soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Credit-Jeremy-Beckford3001

About T.G. Herren

T. G. Herren is the pen name of an award-winning author who has published over thirty-six books and over fifty short stories under various names. Herren is a long-time resident of New Orleans, where every day is Anything Can Happen Day. Herren has also worked as a sports/fitness journalist, an editor, and spent far too many years working in the airline industry.

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 Following 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.

The contest Will End on JANUARY 25, 2023, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2023 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Word to the Wise (A Library Lover’s Mystery) by Jenn McKinlay #Review / #Giveaway

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

The book I am featuring this week had been on the shelf right next to my desk staring at me for too long! 🙄


Word to the Wise (A Library Lover’s Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Berkley (September 3, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593100042
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593100042
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07L7TDZ3K

Lindsey Norris is finally getting married to the man of her dreams–but it’s not all roses for Briar Creek’s beloved library director, as gardening enthusiast and town newcomer Aaron Grady gives the term “book lover” a whole new meaning. Inappropriate looks and unwelcome late-night visits to Lindsey’s house have everyone from the crafternooners to Lindsey’s fiancé, Sully, on edge.

When Grady’s dead body is found staged outside the library and all the clues point to Sully, Lindsey knows it’s up to her to dig through the hidden chapters of Grady’s previous life to find the real culprit and clear Sully’s name. But becoming a thorn in the killer’s side is not without its consequences, and the closer Lindsey gets to the truth, the more determined the murderer is to make her just a footnote.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Library Director Lindsey Norris loves her job but one of her patrons is making her very uncomfortable. After helping him find some gardening information he brings her flowers to the library, plants himself in a chair there, and just stares at her, then he shows up at her home with more flowers. No matter what she says to him he just won’t stop. Her friends and her fiancé, Sully are concerned about this unwanted attention too.

When the man is found dead, his body staged outside the library, all the evidence puts Sully in the hot seat. Lindsey knows she should concentrate on her wedding plans and leave the investigation to her friend, police chief Emma Plewicki but she just can’t do that. She needs to do all she can to help clear Sully and reveal the real killer. She can’t have her wedding without her groom. Getting in the killer’s way is dangerous though. She can’t have her wedding without a bride either!


All the characters in this series continue to grow and evolve. Lindsey and Sully’s relationship has developed very realistically and that relationship continues to make Lindsey stronger in each book. Beth, the children’s librarian is just so darn sweet and a true friend to Lindsey. Even Mrs. Cole is softening just a little bit. Emma has grown too, but she still doesn’t really want her friend investigating another murder. I love that the cast is very diverse and all their interactions are genuine. The canine characters, Heathcliff and now Duke who visits the library once a week with his person Laura are great too and always give me the warm fuzzies.

Now let me tell you the stalker theme of this book was a mind grabber with plenty of suspense. Ms. McKinlay added plenty of twists but the killer caught my focus right away. There was another nice twist though that made things even more dire.

I felt for Lindsey as she tried her best to deal with Aaron Grady. He was new in town and she gave him so many chances even when his actions really started to scare her. Her patience at first shows just how much she has grown. I really enjoyed Lindsey’s determination to find the true guilty party.

Setting a quick pace Jenn McKinlay has written a book that was almost impossible to put down. Word to the Wise is a wonderful addition to the Library Lover’s Mystery Series. I do love these characters and the way the author tells their stories.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Jenn McKinlay

Jenn is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of several mystery and romance series. She is also the winner of the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for romantic comedy and the Fresh Fiction award for best cozy mystery. A TEDx speaker, she is always happy to talk books, writing, reading, and the creative process to anyone who cares to listen. She lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets, and her husband’s guitars.

Library Lover’s Mysteries

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries

The Hat Shop Mysteries

Also by Jenn McKinlay



 

I am giving away my hardcover 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 Following 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.

The Contest Will End on January 20, 2023, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

 

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

Posted in 2023 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Dark and Snowy Night (Seaside Knitters Society) by Sally Goldenbaum #Review @BerkleyMystery @sallygoldenbaum


A Dark and Snowy Night (Seaside Knitters Society)
Cozy Mystery
5th in the Series (with the publisher)
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (September 27, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496729404
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496729408
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08Y687LFH

The Christmas trees are up, the Seaside Knitters are crafting warm and beautiful gifts for the holidays, and friends and families are gathering in picturesque Sea Harbor, Massachusetts—a place where traditions run deep, but so do some treacherous family secrets . . .

Winter in Sea Harbor is a feast for the senses—crackling bonfires, the scent of snow in the salty air, and carols ringing out on the village green. This year, the Seaside Knitters have a sackful of obligations in addition to their usual Christmas preparations. Izzy is so overloaded with knitting classes that she hires an extra salesperson, but the new addition has trouble fitting into the yarn shop’s holiday spirit. Cass, juggling the stresses of running her lobster fishery, has finally found a nanny for her active toddler. Molly Flanigan seems practically perfect in every way—until she suddenly disappears, taking Cass’s beloved rescue mutt with her . . .

Meanwhile, the holidays are kicking off in style at Mayor Beatrice Scaglia’s holiday party, where a well-dressed crowd admires the mayor’s sumptuous new home and the celebrity chef catering the event. An additional treat for Ben and Nell Endicott at the festive affair is reconnecting with a dear college friend, Oliver Bishop. But it’s not just reunions and the appetizers that are to-die-for. Before the party-goers can toast the beginning of Sea Harbor’s festive season, the chef—and young wife of the Endicott’s old Harvard friend—is found dead beneath the mistletoe . . .

Izzy, Birdie, Nell, and Cass must uncover the pattern to these mysteries to remove suspicion from those they love, bring a murderer to justice—and keep Sea Harbor’s holiday magic from vanishing into the chill winter air . . .

  • Includes a knitting pattern *

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am delighted to be back in Sea Harbor with Izzy, Nell, Birdie, and Cass just in time for the holidays and a big party at the mayor’s new house. The Seaside Knitters have been busy but a holiday party may just be what they need. Nell and Ben are excited because the celebrity chef catering the party is married to their old college friend Oliver Bishop. The food is delicious and catching up with their old friend is fun until the dark and snowy night turns to murder. The celebrity chef won’t be ringing in the new year. Nell finds the woman’s body buried in a snow drift with what she assumes is the murder weapon nearby.

If that isn’t enough excitement there is an “ogler” peeping into windows and Cass’s new nanny has disappeared and taken the family dog with her.

It is time for the Seaside Knitters to knit and purl the clues together to unmask the ogler, find the nanny and the dog, and catch a killer before everyone’s Christmas is ruined.


I selfishly held this book to read the week of Christmas because the characters in this story always give me the heartwarming feels that their friendships provide. No matter what is going on these ladies have each other’s back. They lend a listening ear, a hearty hug, and then leap into action if necessary. The men in their lives are the same, always ready with a helping hand or some notes of wisdom. Their weekly gatherings at Ben and Nell’s for fantastic food and fellowship always make me wish I could be right there with them.

I loved meeting Luna. She is a woman with many layers who reveals her true self over the course of the story. It is the introduction of characters like her that keep this series fresh for 16 books. I hope we see Luna again in future stories.

The mystery was complicated but if readers catch all the clues the killer will be revealed to them before it unfolds on the pages. I really enjoyed the way the author mixes the mystery with daily everyday life. The ladies may be knitting but all the drama around them is never far from their thoughts. And when all the mysteries are solved everyone gathers for a meal to rehash the case and answer any questions anyone, including those reading the book, may have.

Ms. Goldenbaum’s writing style is detailed and her stories unfold at a very comfortable place. My only issue is when I turn the last page it always seems too soon. I am never ready to leave Sea Harbor and the delightful scenes and its friendly residents.

A Dark and Snowy Night is a wonderful addition to this series. Until next year . . . . . .

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Sally Goldenbaum

Sally Goldenbaum is the author of over three-dozen novels, including the Queen Bees Quilt Shop Mysteries and the nationally bestselling Seaside Knitters Society Mystery Series, set in the fictional town of Sea Harbor, Massachusetts. Born in Manitowoc,  Wisconsin, Sally now lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts with her husband, Don. In addition to writing mysteries, Sally has taught philosophy, Latin, and creative writing, edited bioethics, and veterinary healthcare journals, and worked in public television at WQED Pittsburgh (then home to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood).

Follow Sally
Webpage
Twitter    Facebook 



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 2023 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies You Read How Many Books Challenge

Muffin But the Truth: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review @StMartinsPress @BakeshopMystery


Muffin But the Truth: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Oregon
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 27, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250854237
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250854230
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09XL6LGNL

Ashland is known for its Elizabethan charm and touches of Shakespeare around every corner, but the surrounding Rogue Valley draws adventure enthusiasts to its outdoor wonderland of high alpine lakes, mountain ranges, and pristine rivers.

Jules Capshaw and the team at Torte have been hired to cater a weekend getaway on the mighty Rogue River. Jules is going to have to put her culinary skills to the test while baking gooey chocolate chip skillet cookies over an open flame and preparing extravagant feasts under a canopy of stars. The executive team at a big city firm will be rafting the Rogue’s rapids and gathering around the campfire for spooky stories, but their dysfunction quickly begins to show. Between constant bickering and heavy drinking, Jules wonders how the team can accomplish anything.

She’s happy for a brief reprieve when they zip up their lifejackets and head out in their boats, but the serenity of the scene quickly vanishes when Jules discovers one of the execs floating face down in the water. She’s going to have to uncover the truth before she gets pulled under.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jules Capshaw and her team at Torte are preparing for a group of business professionals coming for a weekend retreat in the Rogue Valley. Torte has been hired to cater a welcome dinner and then Jules, Carlos, Jules’ mom and her husband Doug, aka The Professor, and Carlos’ son Ramiro will join the group in the woods to prepare campsite food as their retreat continues with glamping, rafting, ghost stories, and team building.

While Jules had worked out all the details with the CEO’s assistant, Miller, when his boss arrives on the scene she micromanages everything. Then as the welcome dinner is served Jules sees huge cracks in the team. When they arrive in the woods the dysfunction is magnified especially when the wine and liquor start to flow.

Jules is a happy camper when the group hits the rapids for an afternoon of rafting. She learns that trip was filled with drama too but she was totally shocked when she finds one of the executives dead in the water the next morning. Thankfully The Professor is quickly on the scene because the death was NOT an accident . . . It Was MURDER!


I get excited every time I start a new book in this series. It is like visiting old friends. As I have said time and time again, Ms. Alexander’s characters are genuine and their dialogues are true to life. Jules is so supportive of her employees and they are growing by leaps and bounds. They are so proficient at their jobs that she knows they will go out on their own someday but so far they have been able to take part in new opportunities while keeping their positions at Torte. They truly are like family. And speaking of family, Carlos’ son Ramiro has come to the states and is attending school as an exchange student. Jules loves having him in her home and attending her school.

The new characters introduced, members are the Bamboo executive team are quite a group. The CEO is way beyond unlikeable. If she were my boss I think I would run screaming from the building. The rest of the crew seems to be very talented but poorly utilized. It was no surprise that one of them didn’t survive the retreat.

In this story, we are taken away from Ashland to explore more of the Rogue Valley. Venturing into the woods and out onto the Rogue River sounds like such a good time. Glamping would be more my style these days and of course, we can skip the dead body. And just because we are outside of his Shakespeare realm doesn’t mean Jules’s friend Lance doesn’t make an appearance. He is around and more than ready to start an investigation with Jules into the murder.

Part of the mystery was an easy solve for me but some of the details were a bit foggy. I knew the who but not the why. Every one of the Bamboo team was suspect and there were some true red herrings. I always have fun tagging along with Jules as she tries to put the clues in order. I enjoy the way she uses Lance as a sounding board and more. But this time there was a difference in how all was revealed. A nice twist!

Muffin But the Truth comes alive with Ms. Alexander’s descriptive writing style. I love when she describes what’s baking in the kitchen. She always tempts my tastebuds.

While I am a stickler about reading a series in order the author writes the stories to stand on their own. But if you really want to get to know these fabulous characters start at the beginning and enjoy!


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads



Coming August 22, 2023
Also by Ellie Alexander


Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

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 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies You Read How Many Books Challenge

Antique Tragedy: A British Cozy Murder Mystery (A Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery) by Victoria Tait #Review

Have to squeeze in one more review before the new year.

Antique Tragedy: A British Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Cotswolds, England
Kanga Press (December 17, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 228 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1915413168
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1915413161
Kindle (December 26, 2022)
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BJLF8G4Y

An antique fair. A dead stallholder. Can an amateur sleuth both bag a bargain and identify a killer?

Trainee antique expert, Dotty Sayers, is feeling vulnerable after being framed for art trafficking by a trusted friend. She welcomes the distraction of visiting a vintage sale but is alarmed when an exhibitor is found dead.

The police’s resources are stretched when a valuable antiquity is stolen at the same event. As Dotty conducts her own enquiries, this amateur detective can’t help thinking there is more at stake than one man’s death.

Can Dotty scratch off the varnish and expose the truth?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Back to work after being framed for art trafficking by someone she trusted, antique expert trainee, Dotty Sayers is excited to keep learning more about antiques by attending a vintage sale. To make things fun her friend Keya goes along. But before the day is over Keya is pushed into service when one of the exhibitors is found dead. In a crime that may be related a valuable copper jug was stolen from another exhibitor’s booth. As Dotty tries to put clues together, she attends another event with her police friends tagging along, and again Dotty finds a dead body. Can she appraise all the evidence and find who is killing off people at the vintage sales? Or will she find herself in peril?


Dotty continues to surprise me as she grows more independent in each story. What happened in the previous book shook her but she didn’t let it hold her back for long. I love the way her friendship with Sergeant Keya Varma has evolved. They spend a lot of time together and have fun though they keep finding dead bodies. All the while, Beanie is adjusting to Cliff being in a care home but his struggles still affect her greatly. The author continues to develop all her characters in realistic and genuine ways. It is not hard to identify with at least one of them.

Dotty is turning into quite an amateur sleuth. She is very observant and sometimes it takes her some time to pull a memory she needs forward but she doesn’t give up. In this story, there are several suspects, some of who seem to have great alibis but you can tell she loves trying to find things to poke holes in those alibis even if she has to do some fancy footwork to get there. She does find herself in some hot water before all the pieces come together.

What was a little puzzling was that all the mysteries were not solved by the final page. I tried desperately to make my Kindle find more pages. Ms. Tait leaves us with several questions and this first line of the next book’s synopsis:

A victim who dies twice. A web of deceit. With the help of her friends, can an amateur sleuth crack the case, or will she pay the ultimate price?

Priceless Betrayal is scheduled to be released on March 24, 2023!

Antique Tragedy kept me entertained from beginning to end and left me with great anticipation for the next installment of the Dotty Sayers Antique Mysteries. The series is best read in order so if this is a new series for you I recommend starting the new year right with Fake Death, and continuing on so that you are all set when Priceless Betrayal is ready to be delivered to your device.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Victoria Tait 

I was born and raised in Yorkshire, UK, and never expected to travel the world.  But I fell for an Army Officer, and I’ve followed him from Northern Ireland, up to the Scottish Highlands, across to Africa and the Kenyan Savannah, back to the British Cotswolds, and we are now living in Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Southern Europe.

I never expected to be an author, but all this moving is not ideal for holding down a job.  Instead, I’ve taken the experiences of the places I’ve lived to write vivid and evocative cozy mystery books with determined female sleuths.

I have two fast-growing teenage boys, and together we’ve learnt to ski on the Bosnian mountains.  I also enjoy horse riding, mountain biking and I’ve started running as a way to improve my physical fitness, mental well-being and shed some excess pounds.

Author Links

BookBub   Instagram     Website    Pinterest    Goodreads

For access to exclusive content, giveaways and freebies, sign up for my newsletter at my website: VictoriaTait.com

The Rest of the Series


Coming March 24, 2023

Also by Victoria Tait

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 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways You Read How Many Books Challenge

Death by Chocolate Chip Cupcake (A Death by Chocolate Mystery) by Sarah Graves #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @SarahGraves2011


Death by Chocolate Chip Cupcake (A Death by Chocolate Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington Cozies (March 29, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496729226
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496729224
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B098KPSC5N

In the quaint island village of Eastport, Maine, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and Ellie White run the Chocolate Moose bakery, where delicious treats take the spotlight—but murder sometimes gets a walk-on role . . .

Jake and Ellie are taking a break from perfecting their chocolate pizza recipe to cater a housewarming party hosted by movie icon Ingrid Merryfield. Miss Merryfield is famous for her old-Hollywood glamour. Her new home, Cliff House, has a reputation too—for being haunted. But she isn’t concerned, and some of her guests even try to summon a spirit during the party, using an Ouija board. What arrives instead is a freak autumn storm that downs an ancient tree, trapping everyone on the property and setting the stage for a killer’s planned spree.

Though Jake and Ellie don’t intend to get stirred into the mix, there’s no avoiding it—especially when they witness one of the guests being shoved over the very precipice that gave Cliff House its forbidding name.

Jake and Ellie begin sifting through suspects and motives, a search that takes them from a long-lost family graveyard to a wise old herbalist’s deceptively-sweet cottage and finally to Cliff House’s overgrown gardens. Is there some ghostly presence involved—or a flesh-and-blood villain? And either way, can they ensure that they avoid meeting their very own, very permanent Hollywood ending?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Movie icon Ingrid Merryfield has come to Eastport, Maine and her first stop is the Chocolate Moose Bakery. Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and Ellie White are a little starstruck and surprised when the actress says she has come “home” to Eastport and purchased Cliff House, a house known for being haunted. She asks Jake and Ellie to cater the desserts for her upcoming party and will pay them handsomely to stay overnight to cater to the guests food needs as requested. Needing money to keep the bakery open they just can’t refuse.

The party starts off okay but soon the Ouija board is pulled out to try to lure some ghosts. The only thing that they seem to conjure up is a terrific storm that brings down a huge tree that blocks the only exit by road from the property leaving Ellie, Jake, Bella, and Mika trapped. Soon thereafter bodies start dropping like flies. One, off the cliff, another in the basement, and more to come. Ellie and Jake want out and go to great lengths to try to do that as soon as they realize there is a killer in their midst or a very angry ghost.


Jake and Ellie find themselves in trouble again and have taken Bella and Mika along for the ride. Mika’s husband Sam tries to help and even Jake’s dad gets in on the action. We see the supporting characters differently in this story. Everyone played an exciting role and I loved that. A surprising new character stole my heart and attention immediately. Igor, an Irish Wolfhound found himself in danger too and it made my heart skip a beat during a very tense scene.

This story unfolds at breakneck speed so readers have to hold on tight.  Jake and Ellie took a lot of risks to free their family and friends from the Cliff House property. The killer was not their only worry. They had to battle a horrendous storm, high tides and big waves, earthquakes, falling trees, missing ladders, and more. They traveled through tunnels, spooky rooms, and hallways at Cliff House trying to find answers. They were in constant motion the entire story. I was exhausted for them and with them by the time I turned the final page.

Ms. Graves plotted out a whirlwind mystery and kept the pedal to the metal from start to finish. I was so caught up in the story I didn’t really form my own list of suspects and the actual reveal of the killer was a bit of a surprise. The pieces start to fall into place for me later in the book. This plot really kept me on my toes.

Ms. Graves took her characters on quite an adventure in Death by Chocolate Chip Cupcake and in turn her readers. I really enjoyed this book a lot.

I am excited about the upcoming Death by Chocolate Marshmallow Pie set to hit shelves on April 25, 2023. I think both the characters and myself need a little time to catch our breath before we can handle whatever Ms. Sarah Graves dreams up next. We will all be ready by April.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Sarah Graves lives in Eastport, Maine, in a 200-year-old house much like Jake Tiptree’s. After 20 years of home repair – and yes, it really does make you think about murder! – she has handed in her toolbox and returned to her first love: chocolate. When she’s not cooking or baking something delectable, or writing about it, she tends a huge garden or shovels snow, depending upon the season.

Coming April 25, 2023

Also by Sarah Graves

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 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.

The contest Will End on January 5, 2023, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The Entry Form

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

                                  

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Heather Day Gilbert – Author of Roast Date (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery) #Review / #Giveaway @heatherdgilbert #GreatEscapesBookTour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!


It is my pleasure to welcome Heather Day Gilbert
to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Heather.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a West Virginia born-and-bred author, and I set my Barks & Beans Cafe series in the nearby city of Lewisburg. I’ve been married for 25 years to a handsome redhead, which is why you’ll see redheads popping up in all of my books. 😉

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

-I’m one of those scary Enneagram 8s. (We’re not as bad as we seem–just protective!)

-Besides mysteries, I also write Viking historical novels, since I’m allegedly related to Eirik the Red. I was actually interviewed about my main Viking character (based on a real Viking woman) on the upcoming Templars show (Episode 4) that will be streaming next year on Amazon Prime. This is so cool!

-One of my fave foods is Jimmy John’s subs, and I can put them away, let me tell you.

What books/authors have most inspired you?

Hands down, it would have to be Agatha Christie. I named my dog Agatha. 😉 She’s my fave comfort-read author, and I love her wit.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I spend 1-2 days plotting my entire mystery in a synopsis format, but that doesn’t mean I’ll strictly stick to it. I look up terminology and details as I go along, since I write contemporary mysteries (trust me, you do NOT want to see my Google search bar!)

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

I feel like I don’t have time for it, because I’m always on a deadline. I’m the kind of person who just sits down and writes while I watch the story come to life in my head.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

I’ve been published since 2013, and I’ve had 5 agents along the way. It takes a lot of resilience and the ability to get back to your feet even when you feel your dreams have been repeatedly smashed to the ground. Being strong-willed certainly doesn’t hurt, but you also have to know your goals and pursue them relentlessly.

I always tell new writers they have to believe in their writing more than anyone else, enough to wholeheartedly pursue it and promote it, because sometimes even the people who are supposed to be in your corner will let you down (and you’ll have to say no to projects that don’t line up with your values). You have to believe your writing will bring value into the world.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

I enjoy playing video games, speed walking, reading twisty books, and hanging out with my husband and four children.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Norway and Iceland, to see the Viking museums

What is next on the horizon for you?

Editing book 2 in my co-written Christian Viking historical series (releasing in June 2023), writing a secret project under a pen name, and working on a Christian YA novel later this year. Then I’ll return to my Barks & Beans Cafe series, and book 8 will likely release by the end of 2023. For those wondering, I have ten books planned in the series (unless sales skyrocket, at which point I’d consider more. LOL!). I bolded that, not Heather 🙂 

Thank you Heather for visiting today. 

Now keep reading for my thoughts about Roast Date.

 

About Roast Date


Roast Date (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – West Virginia
WoodHaven Press (December 20, 2022)
Number of Pages ~250
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09Z8NYHX9

BOOK SEVEN in the bestselling BARKS & BEANS CAFE cozy mystery series!!

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java…and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

After much cajoling, Macy gives in to her neighbor, Vera, and agrees to come to her book club’s Christmas party so she can share about the cafe. While public speaking isn’t Macy’s thing, she wants to brighten Vera’s lonely holiday season…and she can sell a little house blend on the side.

When a lively book discussion spirals into a public roast of the mayor—who happens to be sitting in their midst—things get uncomfortable. Soon afterward, the mayor shows up dead in Vera’s bathroom, and no amount of gingerbread cookies or eggnog can restore Vera to the club’s good graces. ‘Tis the season for Macy to find the murderer, or else Vera might be taking a long winter’s nap in a jail cell.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown…with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Macy and her brother Bo Hatfield own and operate the Barks & Beans Cafe and are decking it out for the holidays. It is a place where you can stop in for a cup of coffee and fall in love with a dog from the local shelter and have a new pet just in time for Christmas. You may also catch a glimpse of Macy’s lovable Great Dane, Coal.

Vera has wanted to have Macy speak at her book club for a while and Macy has finally agreed to attend the club’s Christmas party. A little nervous Macy knows it is important to Vera that she be there and Bo will be happy if she sells some of their house blend.

Macy’s part of the evening goes well but the book discussion gets out of hand with people turning it into a roast of the mayor. Mayor Goldie Keaton was leading the discussion but left the room rather than engage with the group’s innuendos. Sadly she is later found dead in the bathroom. The police arrive and Macy is shocked that Vera is at the top of their list of suspects.  She is not going to let her go down for someone else’s crime. She intends to find the merry murderer before Santa Claus comes to town.


I really enjoy the relationship Macy has built with her neighbor Vera. Bo is right there to help her out too which is good because she is going to need both of them in her corner to get her out of this mess. We learn a lot more about Vera in this story. I liked that she became the central character but not that she was the prime suspect. I was unsure about one thing Macy was doing but was so happy when it worked out.

Bo and Summer’s relationship is moving along nicely as is the relationship between Macy and Titan. These core characters are so well-crafted and continue to develop in each new installment of this series. They are surrounded by great secondary characters like Vera, baristas Milo and Bristol, and Bristol’s mom Della. We meet some quirky new characters as well. And I can’t forget Macy’s Great Dane Coal, Bo’s kitty, Stormy, and Vera’s dog Waffles.

The murder investigation had epic twists and the story had a very rapid pace. I started reading and just couldn’t stop. I always enjoy tagging along with Macy as she follows each clue and tries to make all the clues fit together. A second death turned things a little inside out but Macy stuck with it until she literally faced the killer. I was startled at this reveal and lost my breath for a moment as the exciting saga played out.

What brings me the most joy when reading books in this series is the relationship between Macy and Bo. Working with family doesn’t always work out but Macy and Bo make it work and it seems almost effortless. They have family traditions that I love. They share secrets and have each other’s back at all times. They have a strong bond that can’t be broken. I really appreciate the way the author has written these characters and the situations she puts them in and am excited to see what she has in store for them next.

Roast Date is the seventh book in this wonderful series. We are left with a bit of a cliffhanger at the end and there are some exciting things set to happen too. I really wish the next book was right around the corner but it, Shade Grown, won’t be released until next December. I have trust and faith in Heather Day Gilbert that the wait will be worth it. But I am going to miss these characters, human, canine, and feline.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Heather Day Gilbert

Award-winning novelist Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing mysteries and Viking historicals. She brings authentic family relationships to the page, and she particularly delights in heroines who take a stand to protect those they love. Avid readers say Heather’s realistic characters—no matter what century—feel like best friends. When she’s not plotting stories, this native West Virginian can often be found hanging out with her husband and four children, playing video games, or reading Agatha Christie novels.

Author Links – Website – Facebook Author Page  – Bookbub  – Goodreads

Twitter@heatherdgilbert    Instagram: @heatherdaygilbert

Purchase Link –

Amazon 

The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series in order:
Book 1: No Filter
Book 2: Iced Over
Book 3: Fair Trade
Book 4: Spilled Milk
Book 5: Trouble Brewing
Book 6: Cold Drip
Book 7: Roast Date



Coming December 11, 2023

 

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 19 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
December 19 – Reading Is My SuperPower – SPOTLIGHT
December 20 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 20 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 20 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 20 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
December 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
December 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 21 – Lady Hawkeye – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 22 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 22 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 22 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 22 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
December 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
December 23 – The Book Diva’s Reads – AUTHOR GUEST POST
December 23 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 23 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead Even (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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.

Dead Even (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Cozy/Hard-Boiled Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington; First Edition (March 30, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496722574
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496722577
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08CBMX13V

In Sorenson, Wisconsin, a local bigshot is found with a pool cue through the heart—and Mattie Winston must untangle a web of lies to sink a killer . . .
 
In her previous career as a nurse, Mattie Winston’s job was to keep death at bay. Now, as a medicolegal investigator, she’s required to study death intimately—to figure out causes and timing, and help deduce whether it was natural or suspicious.

In the case of Montgomery “Monty” Dixon, a well-to-do Realtor, there can be little doubt: Broken pool cues do not embed themselves. Monty’s body is found in the game room of his lavish house, the walls adorned with photos of Monty and various celebrities. But as Mattie and husband Steve Hurley, a homicide detective, both know, money and connections can’t protect anyone from a killer.

The first suspect is Monty’s wife, Summer, who claims to have been at a cooking class at the time. When that alibi is served up as a fake, Summer moves to the top of the suspects list, but is soon joined by Monty’s ne’er-do-well son, Sawyer, who has racked up gambling debts he hoped his dad would pay off. Monty’s twin brother is engaging in shady financial deals. An affair, a Ponzi scheme, a disputed inheritance . . . there are as many motives as suspects, and soon Mattie and Hurley have turned up other, possibly related deaths.

Balancing a high-profile case with the demands of their increasingly stressful household isn’t easy. It’ll take all of Mattie’s skill—along with a lucky break or two—to stop a killer from racking up another victim . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Death by Pool Cue! You don’t see that every day. But that is the case medicolegal investigator, Mattie Winston and her husband Detective Steve Hurley are tasked with. Prominent Realtor, Montgomery “Monty” Dixon has been taken down by someone he had to have known. Was it his wife, Summer? His son, Sawyer? His twin brother? A disgruntled employee? A client not happy with their real estate deal? Or was someone else trying to get Dead Even? Hurley and Mattie are hot on the case as they juggle their hectic home life. Will Mattie catch the killer? Or will she be the next victim?


I love this series and these characters.

The author has created such fantastic genuine characters. Mattie has grown leaps and bounds over these 12 books. She is still the same clutzy self she has been since Book 1 and I love that. She has always made me laugh out loud and is truly my favorite fictional character of all time. Hurley is her perfect man. They have worked through so much over the years and always come out stronger. Their son Matthew is such a cool kid. He immediately stole my heart. His big sister Emily has been through some tough things but has emerged as such a strong young woman. Dom and Iggy are the best supporting characters. They always have Mattie’s back. Her sister, Desi, and her husband Lucien keep things interesting, especially with the girl’s Dad back in town and Lucien representing the suspects in Mattie’s cases.

Again, Ms. Ryan has wrapped her characters in a complicated mystery with a lot of moving parts. Mattie knows all the suspects are lying and she just keeps tugging one thread after another while Hurley works the case on his end. I love the trust they have in each other. They come up with theories and dig some more. They have no problem bringing suspects into “The Hole” to try to get to the truth. It is so much fun to follow all the breadcrumbs with them right up to the big reveal. I truly was at the edge of my seat. I was so impressed with Mattie. I was cheering and crying. Knowing this is probably the last book in the series, I was afraid about how the book was going to end.

The author uses the final chapter to put a lid on the mystery answering all the questions and presenting the motives and how they snowballed. She also leaves the characters in a very good place. The one thing she doesn’t do is slam the door completely shut on future stories. I hope someday down the road Mattie jumps into Annelise’s brain and pokes at her a lot to pick up the saga of Mattie and Hurley again. As I said, I love these characters, they are like old friends that I could make a short trip up the highway and visit again and again.

Thank you, Ms. Ryan. I found this series late in the game but once I started I was hooked. I really enjoy the humor you infuse into each story while giving us a fabulous mystery to escape into. I have now read everything you have written as Annelise Ryan and Allyson K. Abbott and am anxiously awaiting the release of Death in the Dark Woods, the second Monster Hunter Mystery. As long as you keep writing I will keep reading!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent


About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Coming September 12, 2023

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 HARDCOVER Copy of Dead of Winter.

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

The contest Will End on December 30, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The 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.”