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

Silenced in Sequins (A Resale Boutique Mystery) by Debra Sennefelder #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour – @lyricalpress

Silenced in Sequins (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder

 

About Silenced in Sequins


Silenced in Sequins (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Lyrical Press (January 7, 2020)
Paperback: 201 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108973
ISBN-13: 978-1516108978
Kindle Print Length 256 Pages
ASIN: B07QGPF4KF

Former Manhattan fashion buyer Kelly Quinn is turning her grandmother’s outdated consignment shop into her quaint hometown’s hot spot for upscale style—until her second-hand couture makes the scene of an ice-cold crime . . .

With her bottom line looking a little threadbare, Kelly is going all out to promote the Lucky Cove Resale Boutique. She’s counting on Black Friday to recover her start-up expenses—including a website and an advertising blitz. But the publicity is overkill when two warring divas, and one sparkly evening dress, thrust Kelly and her fledgling business into a scandal she can’t afford.

The gorgeous garment came to Kelly from the walk-in closets of Wendy Johnson, one of reality TV’s Long Island Ladies. When Wendy’s former co-star, Diana Delacourte, graces a Christmas gala in the dress that was once her rival’s, a very public catfight ensues. But is Wendy to blame when sequin-clad Diana turns up dead? Dodging the show’s ever-present cameras—and a detective’s stern warnings—Kelly hunts for a killer before the powerful celebrity-suspect makes good on her threats and rips her to shreds . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Reality television comes to Lucky Cove with the Long Island Ladies, but the location wasn’t very lucky.  Long Island Lady Wendy Johnson consigned some of her gowns to Kelly to sell at her boutique. Kelly was so excited because she knew her commission would really help her bottom line. One sparkly gown sold quickly and to a walk-in, not through her online store. Little did she know that the purchaser was another Long Island Lady, Diana Delacourte. She found out quickly when the women came face to face at a Christmas gala where the claws immediately came out and the women had to be separated.

Later, while Kelly is trying to clean up the mess her sale created she finds Diana dead. Where were those darn cameras when she needed them? Could Wendy have killed Diana over a dress? Warned to stay out of the case Kelly still feels she has to uncover the killer to save her store. Saving the Lucky Cove Resale Boutique won’t do any good though if she ends up dead and Kelly is clearly in the killer’s sights.

____________

The holidays are right around the corner and Kelly Quinn had made some changes to the shop she inherited from her grandmother. Pepper, her employee and her grandmother’s best friend has been warming up to most of the changes but is upset that Kelly has fallen way behind on the holiday decorating.  Her uncle is still hoping the store fails so he can sell the property and line his pockets. Kelly’s friend Liv still helps at the store when she is not working at her family’s bakery. Breena is a marketing student with lots of ideas and has become very important to the business. Pepper, Breena, and Liv keep the shop running while Kelly does her sleuthing.

I really liked the reality show theme. It brings in some volatile characters and even touches Kelly’s family in an interesting way. All the characters are very well written and really drive the story. They are diverse and realistic. The fashion references are fun and I love the way Kelly is making the shop her own.

The mystery was well crafted with a variety of suspects with believable motives. Ms. Sennefelder fills this story with twist after twist, One that could change everything about the life Kelly is trying to build for herself. Like many amateur sleuths, Kelly sometimes leaps into situations without a firm plan making for some tense moments. Her impulsiveness also leads up to a surprising and suspenseful ending. I thought I was following all the clues closely but I was caught pretty much off guard when the murderer was revealed. The person was on my radar but at the bottom of my list.

Silenced in Sequins is an entertaining read with great characters and a fun whodunit. I am excited for book #3.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Murder Wears A Little Black Dress here.

About Debra Sennefelder

Debra Sennefelder, the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series, is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in pre-hospital care, retail and publishing. Her writing companions are her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih-Tzus, Susie and Billy.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Women’s Fiction Writers Association and Romance Writers of America.

Author Links:

Website – Facebook – Goodreads 

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N   Kobo    Google Play
Also by Debra Sennefelder

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

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

Cozy Wednesday featuring Theater Nights Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery) by Libby Klein – #Review / #Giveaway – @KensingtonBooks @LibbyKleinBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to feature Theater Nights Are Murder
for out 1st Cozy Wednesday of the year. 

Theater Nights Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (December 31, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723376
ISBN-13: 978-1496723376
Kindle ASIN: B07Q7WHQ3H

Theater Nights Are Murder – The last thing gluten-free baker Poppy McAllister needs in her life is more drama—or more murder . . .

Poppy thought her toughest challenge this winter would be sticking to her Paleo diet and filling all her orders for her gluten-free goodies, but now she has to choose between two suitors. She’s not the only one with boyfriend drama. Aunt Ginny’s long-ago high-school beau, Royce Hanson, a retired Broadway actor, has returned to Cape May, New Jersey, to star in a Senior Center staging of Mamma Mia. Leaving Aunt Ginny to wonder: What’s his motivation?

Slated to open February 13th, the problem-plagued production seems to be cursed—with stolen props, sabotage, and even a death threat. But when a cast member plunges to his death from a catwalk, it soon becomes clear a murderer is waiting in the wings. Now Poppy, Aunt Ginny, and a supporting cast must take center stage to catch the killer—before it’s curtains for someone else . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Libby Klein has penned another terrific mystery filled with laugh-out-loud humor that makes this book impossible to put down.

“Aunt Ginny was somewhere in her  eighties, but somehow the feisty redhead got into more trouble than a five-year-old on a sugar binge.”

Yes, Poppy has her hands full again this time. The Senior Center is doing its version of Mamma Mia and all of “the biddies” including Aunt Ginny are involved. The director has persuaded Ginny’s high school flame, now a retired Broadway actor, to play a leading role. Why a successful man would lower himself to a local musical is unknown but everyone is excited to take part or see the show.

Opening night has been set for Friday, February 13 and it does seem the production is truly cursed. Props have gone missing, scenery panels have been vandalized and a death threat has been issued. The director tries to keep the play on course but when a cast member dies suspiciously – did he fall or was he pushed from the catwalk? the players get justifiably nervous. With a “the show must go on” attitude Poppy, Ginny and their friends push ahead while at the same time trying to reel in the killer before another murder brings down the house.

I fell hard for Poppy and Ginny reading the first book in this series, Class Reunions Are Murder, and every subsequent book just cements my feelings. Poppy is getting stronger and stronger. She is trying to get the B & B up and running amidst someone fraudulently posting bad reviews, doing some gluten-free baking on the side to bring in some cash, dealing with feelings for two men, (my mind is already made up) all while trying to keep Ginny and “the biddies” out of trouble and trying to do the job she was roped into for the play. The last thing she needed was a dead body! But she takes it all on.

The supporting cast is also stellar. All Aunt Ginny’s friends, Tim and Gia, Amber and even one very pretty Persian named Figaro. They are all very fleshed out and realistic. Their dialogues are true and sometimes pretty funny. The personalities of the new characters introduced in this story evolve as the drama unfolds.  Blanche aka Moira also grew up in Cape May and she has a history with Ginny. I loved the passive way Ginny stuck it to Moira on a daily basis. There are two very quirky/creepy characters too. While not my faves, they sure did add to the story.

The murder mystery was very well plotted and all the subplots flowed well within it. The victim was someone beloved by many and his death was hard to take, His death was misunderstood at first which was a little maddening for everyone involved. As the story unfolds the suspect list expands and the motive gets murky. Several red herrings really twist things up. Having more than one mystery to solve is always fun.  I loved all the secrets uncovered and the big reveals.

The Mamma Mia theme was a delight. The Abba music was playing in my head at every rehearsal. Senior citizens playing the parts was a hoot!!

Ooh, you can dance, you can jive
Having the time of your life
Ooh, see that girl, watch that scene
Digging the dancing queen…

We are also treated to seven of Poppy’s recipes at the end of the book!

Theater Nights are Murder is a Perfect Escape. I have loved this entire series! Be prepared to have your funny bone seriously tickled and enjoy. I sure did!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Midnight Snacks Are Murder here. 

You can read my review of Restaurant Weeks Are Murder here

Libby Klein dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets, and taking out the trash. She writes culinary cozy mysteries from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard.
Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest  – Cozy Mystery Crew  – GoodReads –  BookBub – Instagram –  Amazon 

 

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.

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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 January 22, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”

theater nights

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways You Read How Many Books Challenge

Sell Low, Sweet Harriet (A Sarah W. Garage Sale Mystery) by Sherry Harris #Review / #Giveaway


Sell Low, Sweet Harriet (A Sarah W. Garage Sale Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Kensington (December 31, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496722515
ISBN-13: 978-1496722515
Kindle ASIN: B07NX1WXLN

ONE WOMAN’S TRASH . . .
Sarah Winston’s garage sale business has a new client: the daughter of a couple who recently died in a tragic accident while away on a trip to Africa. Their house is full of exotic items from around the world that need to be sold off. When Sarah learns that the deceased were retired CIA agents, the job becomes more intriguing—but when an intruder breaks in and a hidden camera is found, it also becomes more dangerous. And Sarah has enough on her plate right now since she’s investigating a murder on the side at the nearby Air Force base, where her status as a former military spouse gives her a special kind of access.

. . . IS ANOTHER WOMAN’S TROUBLE
With so much work piling up, Sarah decides to hire some help. But her assistant, Harriet—a former FBI hostage negotiator—has a rare talent for salesmanship. Which is good, because Sarah may have to haggle for her life with Harriet’s assistance . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah Winston’s business is slow during the colder blustery months but an estate sale is the perfect thing to keep her garage sale business in the black. A couple recently died while in Africa and their daughter has hired Sarah to liquidate the couple’s belongings. As retired CIA agents the couple traveled the world and collected a vast number of exotic items. The house is full of treasures. Treasures others seem to be interested in because there is a break-in, a suspicious visitor, and a hidden camera placed in the house. Sarah is nervous being the house alone and because it is a huge job she hires a couple of ladies from the nearby Air Force Base to assist her hoping there is safety in numbers.  That is when she meets Harriet, a former FBI hostage negotiator with a flair for sales. She also has other talents that may come in handy.

Sarah has also been tasked to keep her eyes and ears open when on the base to help the authorities wrap up a murder that took place there. So instead of telling her to butt out of the investigation Sarah now feels she has permission to snoop.

Ms. Harris weaves two strong mysteries together this time to give her readers a real treat.

I was delighted to catch up with this group of special characters. Sarah’s life continues to unfold after her divorce from CJ. I really enjoy the relationship she is building with Seth. An old neighbor returns to rent the apartment next door and landlady/friend Stella’s relationship with Nathan Bossom (Awesome) may have hit a snag. Carol Carson, friend, and owner of Paint and Wine and Angelo and Rosalie DiNapoli are around to serve up advice and be sounding boards. The DiNapoli’ also serve up some mouthwatering Italian dishes that will make your mouth water.  We are also introduced to several new characters. The dialogues between the characters in realistic and relationships make sense. Several subplots immerge allowing all the characters to really shine.

The mysteries are very well-plotted. I really liked the police asking Sarah for help even though she does go beyond their instructions just like they had to know she would. I enjoyed the twists and turns that played out with the estate sale mystery. The author really impressed me with the way both mysteries developed side by side to keep Sarah on her toes. Frankly, I was on my toes as well, completely drawn in but still putting clues together until all was revealed. Sherry Harris is also an expert at adding humor in all the right places. She had me truly giggling in places. I loved the ending too!

Entertaining and filled with wonderful characters Sell Low, Sweet Harriet, is an excellent addition to this series. The entire series are must-reads for all cozy lovers.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Click the links below to read my reviews of previous books in the series.

Tagged for Death    The Longest Yard Sale     All Murders Final     A Good Day to Buy
I Know What You Bid Last Summer     The Gun Also Rises   Let’s Fake A Deal

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.


AVAILABLE NOW!

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.

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!

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 January 16, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2019 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Wedding Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries) by Joanne Fluke #Review

I have gotten way behind on this series.
I always try to read at least one at the end of the year when I have fewer reviewing commitments.
Hopefully, I will catch up soon.


Wedding Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Setting – Minneapolis
Publisher: Kensington (February 23, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1617732168
ISBN-13: 978-1617732164
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1617732184
ISBN-13: 978-1617732188
Kindle ASIN: B00Y6RB46W

Everyone in Lake Eden, Minnesota, may have had their doubts, but at long last, Hannah Swensen is getting married!

Hannah is thrilled to be marrying Ross Barton, her college crush. And her excitement only grows when she learns he’ll be able to join her on her trip to New York City for the Food Channel’s dessert chef contest. They get a taste of the Big Apple before Hannah wins the Hometown Challenge and the producers bring all the contestants to Lake Eden to tape the remainder of the show. It’s nerve-wracking enough being judged by Alain Duquesne, a celebrity chef with a nasty reputation. But it’s even more chilling to find him stabbed to death in the Lake Eden Inn’s walk-in cooler—before he’s even had a chance to taste Hannah’s Butterscotch Sugar Cookies! Now Hannah has not only lost her advantage, she’ll have to solve a mystery with more layers than a five-tiered wedding cake…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The last book in this series, Double Fudge Brownie Murder, was a little off for me, so I was a little nervous about reading this one, but I love these characters so I dove right in. Sadly, Hannah has cast both Mike and Norman aside and it really going to marry Ross. Shockingly, both her past loves vow to remain friends and even become part of the wedding party. I have always been Team Mike so I was heartbroken. Truthfully, Ross seems shady, I was hoping he was the victim or the killer.

Aside from the wedding, Hannah and Michelle are participating in the Food Channel’s Dessert Chef Contest and Ross is going along to New York to film interviews and background for the hometown station. He uses his clout to upgrade the group’s flights and hotel rooms. When Hannah wins the first round, the contest moves back to Lake Eden, a big event for the entire town. That is until one of the judges is found dead in the walk-in cooler at the Lake Eden Inn. With the other judges and contestants on the suspect list, Hannah is sleuthing out a killer, while trying to win the biggest cooking contest of her life and still be standing to take her vows.

__________

The first half of the book is introducing the chefs and the judges, prep through the first round of the contest, and Hannah’s mother and grandmother taking over the wedding planning. All Hannah had to do was pick out her dress and show up for the wedding. Of course, she did have her hands full with other things. I did enjoy several of the new characters. The judges were not as realistic as on the actual cooking shows we see on television but they fit in well with the plot as did the other contestants. The cast regulars continue to gather to go over evidence and theories, but there still seems to be a strong connection between Hannah and her former loves.

The mystery portion is well-plotted with several twists have and after this many cases, everyone knows Hannah is investigating. She does continue to leap into situations without a clear plan, which brings some tense moments. I did not sleuth out the killer myself until Hannah did, and it was kinds a surprise for both of us. 🙂

About a third of the book is yummy recipes for cookies and desserts that are featured in the story. The author includes them at the end of chapters and I sometimes feel they should all be at the end to not mess with the flow of the story but I have become accustomed after this many books to skipping them over and reviewing them when I complete the book when I can scan the ones I want to try into my recipe folder on my computer.

This series continues to be one of my faves. I am anxious to get caught up and see what Hannah gets herself mixed up in next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

JOANNE FLUKE is the New York Times bestselling author of the Hannah Swensen mysteries, which include Double Fudge Brownie Murder, Blackberry Pie MurderCinnamon Roll Murder, and the book that started it all, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. That first installment in the series premiered as Murder, She Baked:  A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel. Like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke was born and raised in a small town in rural Minnesota but now lives in Southern California. Please visit her online at www.JoanneFluke.com.
*This book was from my private collection.
Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Purrfect Reading Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Krista Davis- Author of The Dog Who Knew Too Much (A Paws & Claws Mystery) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to welcome Krista Davis
back to Escape With Dollycas today!

Krista DavisIs Your Dog Training You?
by Krista Davis
(Provided by Publicist)

 

There’s so much emphasis on training our dogs. And for good reason. We need their cooperation for their own safety. So I was fascinated when I heard that speech pathologist Christina Hunger flipped things around and set up a talking-board for her dog to speak with her!  He steps on buttons to communicate with her.

That started me thinking about how much our cats and dogs train us. While we’re busy teaching them “sit” and “stay,” our dogs are giving us cues, too. My dog, Baron, leads me to the location of the treat he wants. He knows they’re in different cupboards. If I follow him, he will stop and stare at the cabinet or drawer where the desired treats are stashed. He doesn’t let me forget, either. He knows he gets to clean his teeth after dinner. He doesn’t care how comfy I might have gotten on the couch. He must have his brushing chew!

And my cat, Sunny, learned to bang her empty food dish on the counter when she’s hungry.  Naturally, the sound gets an immediate reaction from me because I don’t want anything to crash to the floor. She’s feeling pretty good about teaching me that little trick.

The animals in Wagtail, where the Paws & Claws Mysteries are set, aren’t always perfectly behaved by human standards. When Jack Russell Terrier, Trixie, gets a whiff of a corpse, there’s no stopping her. She’s off to locate it. I read once that Bassett Hounds often get lost because they follow scents with their noses and when they finally look up, they’re not sure where they are! Trixie is like that when she’s on the trail of a deadly smell. No amount of calling or coaxing can drag her away from tracking down a corpse.

In The Dog Who Knew Too Much Trixie has company. America’s favorite dog is taking a much-deserved vacation in Wagtail. He’s thrilled to be hanging out with other dogs instead of making commercials and quickly becomes friends with Trixie. There’s trouble afoot, though, as dogs go missing. Only one dog knows too much and is able to put the right scents together, exposing the killer.

What has your dog or cat trained you to do?

~Krista

Thank you, Krista, for visiting today!

Keep reading for my thoughts about The Dog Who Knew Too Much

 


The Dog Who Knew Too Much (A Paws & Claws Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Berkley (November 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0451491688
ISBN-13: 978-0451491688
Kindle ASIN: B07GD32C7T

When a famous pooch comes to Wagtail for some downtime, inn owner Holly Miller learns that murder never rests in this all-new Paws & Claws mystery in the New York Times bestselling series.

America’s favorite dog comes to pet-friendly Wagtail for some rest and relaxation, but Holly quickly discovers that this perfect pup is a total scamp who takes every opportunity to run off and misbehave. During an outdoor treasure-hunting game, the star dog and Trixie, Holly’s beloved Jack Russell terrier, stumble across a dead body.

Holly has more than murder to worry about, though, when a man shows up after reading an article featuring Trixie in a magazine and claims that he is the dog’s rightful owner. Holly will need to prove that she is her pup’s only parent and catch a killer to restore peace to her pet-loving happy place.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

After a brief hiatus Holly, Oma Liesel, Zelda, Mr. Huckle, Gingersnap, Twinkletoes, and Trixie are back and I am thrilled!

Wagtail welcomes America’s favorite dog, Pippin, his co-stars, and entourage for a bit of a vacation before they start filming. The community has set up a treasure hunting game as an event for people to meet the star of the show but Trixie’s nose has other ideas. Yup, she has found another dead body and the death may be linked to the town’s newest visitors.

The town is also up in arms as dogs disappearing, two so far. Plus a man claiming to be Trixie’s rightful owner tries to take the dog away from Holly.

It is all paws on deck as Holly tries to find the missing pups and a killer before Wagtail is no longer safe for man, woman, or their lovable beasts.

The entire concept of Wagtail is absolutely delightful. Imagine an entire town dedicated to serving pets and their people. When you go on vacation leaving your pets in a kennel or with friends checking in on them can be heartbreaking for everyone. Wagtail is the perfect locale for all.

Krista Davis has created such wonderful characters, both humans and their pets. They are all well-developed and practically leap off the page. I have to say all of the dogs quickly worked their way into my heart. Twinkletoes too in her own standoffish way.  The core set of characters continues to grow and we learn a few secrets along the way. The new characters this time were a quirky group with some secrets of their own.

One dog, Stella loses her person and everyone looks out for her. Even the dogs. I loved the way the author dealt with her feelings throughout the entire story. At first, it brought a tear to my eye, but soon my heart was warmed by all the love and care Stella received.

In addition to the great world-building of Wagtail and its residents and visitors, Ms. Davis gives readers a marvelous mystery to sink our teeth into. All the subplots blend in seamlessly with the mystery plot. The author sets a fast but comfortable pace.  Clues are dropped amongst several twists to keep our tails wagging as we are in hot pursuit to solve the mystery. The murder’s weapon of choice was interesting and scary, something you would never think would be found in the small town of Wagtail, but it shines a light on a real problem in the world today. So much happens within the pages of this book I was impressed with the way everything came together in the end.

I really didn’t want this story to end though. I love hanging out with these characters and I truly wish Wagtail was a real place to visit. I would pack my bags and move there as soon as possible. I hope we get to visit again soon.

The Dog Who Knew Too Much is an entertaining and heartwarming story full of wonderful characters set in an idyllic place for pet lovers far and wide. I highly recommend the entire Paws & Claws Mystery Series! Check out all the covers, they are adorable.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author 

New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries set on fictional Wagtail Mountain, a resort where people vacation with their pets. The first book in the series is the New York Times Bestselling Murder, She Barked. Krista also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with dogs, cats, and a hidden stash of chocolate.

You can read more about Trixie in THE DOG WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, the sixth book in the “Paws and Claws” mystery series, published by Berkley.

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Mystery Lovers Kitchen    Twitter    Killer Characters



Coming April 28, 2020

GIVEAWAY
 Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or 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.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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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 January 2, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

An Ale of Two Cities (A Literary Pub Mystery) by Sarah Fox #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @TheWriteFox


An Ale of Two Cities (A Literary Pub Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Vermont
Publisher: Kensington (November 26, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718690
ISBN-13: 978-1496718693
Kindle ASIN: B07PBS7F63

The Winter Carnival always brings holiday cheer, Christmas joy—and tourists with cash—to picturesque Shady Creek, Vermont. At the center of the glittering decorations and twinkling lights is booklover and pub owner Sadie Coleman, creating original cocktails, hosting a literary trivia evening, and cheering on her loyal employee Melanie “Mel” Costas as she competes in the ice carving competition.

But holiday cheer can’t compete with former resident and renowned chef Freddy Mancini, who arrives with his nose in the air, showing off his ice-sculpting skills like a modern-day Michelangelo. During the artists’ break in the night-long contest, Mel’s tools disappear . . . and Freddy is found dead with her missing pick in his chest.

Although the police turn their attention to Mel, it seems everyone in town had a grudge against Freddy, including his assistant, his mentor, his former flame, and even his half-brother.

Faster than she can fling a Huckleberry Gin, Sadie finds herself racing to make sure the police don’t arrest the wrong suspect—all while sharing a flirtation with local brewery owner Grayson Blake. Their chemistry leads to a heated rivalry at the hockey rink—and to the hot pursuit of a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Shady Creek, Vermont just in time for the Winter Festival. An overnight ice carving competition is the big event but there are hockey games, sleigh rides, a chili supper, and the Inkwell, Sadie Coleman’s literary-themed pub, is holding a trivia contest. Tourists are pouring in along with the Shady Creek residents to enjoy the fun. A former resident has even come home to participate in the ice carving contest.

Freddy Mancini is now a chef who has a pretty high opinion of himself. He assumes he will grab the big $5000 prize while rubbing his fame in everyone’s faces. Sadie is cheering on her friend and employee Melanie “Mel” Costas who has won the last few years. Mel isn’t intimidated by Frankie, but while on her lunch break someone steals all ger tools. She vows to soldier on as a friend returns to the park with her backup tools. That is until she hears Sadie screaming and finds her outside of the community hall, not far from the dead body of Chef Frankie Mancini, with Mel’s missing ice pick protruding from his chest.

Turns out the chef had plenty of enemies but the evidence points clearly at Mel. Sadie is determined not to let her friend get iced for the crime, even if it means some pain before the final gain.

____

I have been excited about this book since I finished the first one! I love the setting so much. A pub full of books, a menu full of literary-themed foods and drink, all reached by going over a little footbridge above Shady Creek. The town park is nearby as are all the businesses and the community hall. The snow would be a little iffy for me but everyone there loves it and takes it in stride.  If I could go back in time I would have said yes when asked to take over my parent’s tavern and turned it into a pub like the Inkwell. Now, I am delighted to escape to Sadie’s pub within the pages of her books.

Okay, the setting is ideal but so are the characters. I really like Sadie and she is surrounded by family and friends that support and love her.  She dealt with some really heavy stuff in the last book but she is moving forward the best she can. She and the other characters continue to evolve in exciting ways. Mel is in the hot seat this time. The people who know her, know she had nothing to do with the murder, but there are some shaky times for her.

Meanwhile, Sadie thinks the pub needs to have a team in the upcoming hockey tournament and she puts a motley crew together.  Grayson is still hanging around and definitely has something on his mind besides an upcoming hockey game. Aunt Gilda and her friends are wrapped up in the chili supper but she is always there for Sadie. All the characters are genuine and people I would love to hang out with.

The mystery is very well done too. Chef Freddy is a real jerk and as such there are plenty of suspects. Sadie is one of those sleuths that has good instincts but she doesn’t always think things through before she opens her mouth or jumps into a situation. Of course, that adds to the drama and the fun. The author has plotted out a story with a plethora of twists that kept me guessing right up to the very end.

An Ale of Two Cities is a very entertaining read. Set in the holiday season it is a perfect book to curl up with in front of a fire on a wintery afternoon or evening. Skip to the end of the book for a cocktail recipe and fix yourself a Count Dracula or Evil Stepmother cocktail to enjoy while you’re reading.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Wine and Punishment here

About the Author

Sarah Fox is the author of the Music Lover’s Mystery series and the USA Today bestselling Pancake House Mystery series. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she can often be found reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel. Sarah lives in British Columbia and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada. Visit her online at AuthorSarahFox.com.


Also by Sarah Fox


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!

Sign Up for Sarah Fox’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 share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End December 31, 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.”

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2019 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Murder Casts the Ballot (A Jake and Emma Mystery) by Linda Crowder #Review / #Giveaway @LJCrowder


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

This book is also the last book needed to complete by Literary Escapes Challenge!

murder casts the ballot
Murder Casts the Ballot (A Jake and Emma Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Wyoming
Publisher: 307 Publishing LLC (December 15, 2016)
Print Length: 301 pages
ASIN: B01M5K42EA

Jealousy, hatred and domestic terrorism — how can one little primary in one little town pack such a big punch? By the time election day comes, there may be more than one body on this ballot.

Jake Rand is running for County Attorney in Casper, Wyoming, but someone seems determined to keep him out of office. There’s only a week before voters head to the polls, and it’s shaping up to be a very bad one. Protesters, punches, stabbings and shootings – politics isn’t just personal in Casper, it’s downright deadly!

It isn’t long before the police make an arrest, but Jake isn’t sure they’ve got the right man. He wants to win the election, but sending an innocent man to prison isn’t part of his campaign plan.

Fifth book in The Jake and Emma Mystery Series. Previously released as Body on the Ballot.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I read the previous books in this series back in 2015 and had this one waiting on my Kindle for too long. To prove that this book and those before it now have new titles and covers. I am glad to get back to this series and happy to see the author recently released another book in the series.

Casper, Wyoming is holding a primary election in the County Attorney race. Jake Rand is running against Clint Taylor. While they are taking part in an intense debate the doors open and 2 men rush in with shots fired and Jake is hit. The police arrive and more shots ring out winging one of the gunmen. As the scene calms down Jake realizes hit was hit by a paintball not a bullet. The police on the scene also find that Detective Mortimer (Mort) Brugnick who was working security the event was shot and killed by a BULLET!

There is a shake-up at the police station that places Detective Matt Joyner on administrative leave right after State Investigator arrives to assist in the case. He can’t just sit on his hands, with a little help from his friends he does some investigating. Was Mort a target? or was Taylor the target? or was it just random? The case leads them to the college but some crazy and dangerous events really twist things up.

All the characters are well-developed and realistic. All the relationships are strong. I really enjoyed the camaraderie of the core characters and the empathy shown throughout the story. Characters fight with emotions and daily life issues along with the effects the murder has on their lives.

I really enjoyed the politics theme in this book.  A current topic complete with protests and rallies. While on a local scale it still escalates to a scary level.

The murder mystery is filled with drama and the author sets a brisk pace. The case is difficult to solve. The police make an arrest but there are so many holes in the case. Thankfully Jake and Matt stuck with it and some surprising secrets are revealed.

Murder Casts the Ballot is a fine addition to this series. I am looking forward to reading Murder Is Forever soon!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Agent

linda crowder Linda grew up in Loveland, Colorado, the youngest of six children. She moved with her parents to California when she was 16 and spent the next 16 years of her life in the Bay Area before moving home to Colorado and finally to Wyoming.

In her writing, Linda draws from her vast and varied experience with people facing domestic violence, hunger, homelessness, mental illness and suicide. Her nonfiction is full of practical strategies and her fictional characters leap off the page with all the nuances, strengths and frailties that draw readers to her work.

Her current projects include the third Jake and Emma Mystery, “Justice for Katie,” now out and a new edition of “Life Isn’t Just Luck” to give readers even more real-world advice and activities. Linda is also working on a series of inspirational short stories and exploring a humorous new series called “It’s a Gift” about a young woman determined to make the most of every day of her life.

Follow Linda on Twitter https://twitter.com/LJCrowder

Check out her Author Site www.lindajcrowder.com for news and snippets of upcoming books.

Find her on Facebookwww.facebook.com/lindajcrowderauthor


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 December 27, 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.”

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Sauvigone for Good (The Wine Trail Mysteries) by J.C. Eaton #Review @lyricalpress


Sauvigone for Good (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Press (December 10, 2019)
Print Length: 221 pages
ASIN: B07PG9Y55M

Can Norrie stop a murderer’s reign of terroir?

The descent of winter on the Finger Lakes means it’s time for the Wine Trail Association’s Chocolate and Wine Extravaganza. Unfortunately, for screenwriter-turned-reluctant vintner, Norrie Ellington, her Two Witches Winery is co-hosting the festivities. Norrie’s duties include wrangling the three international chocolatiers featured at the event—bitter rivals and industry influencers who can make or break Two Witches.

But the heated competition among the celebrity confectioners soon spills out of the professional arena, and before the Extravaganza is over, one of the cocoa pros is dead, last seen sipping a Two Witches’ Cabernet Sauvignon. With spirits souring at the Extravaganza and her winery on the line, Norrie must hustle to find the uncorked killer before Two Witches’ reputation is crushed once and for all.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Winter weather has hit the Finger Lakes and so has the Wine Trail Association’s Chocolate and Wine Extravaganza. Norrie Ellington is on the planning committee and the Two Witches Winery is hosting one of the chocolatiers for some chocolate demos and wine pairings before the big competition which will bring in tons of people.  She is also dealing with a moved-up deadline for her latest screenplay. So to say the woman has her hands full is an understatement. The last thing she needs is another murder. But that is just what she gets and it is pivotal she puts on her sleuthing hat because the deceased was last seen with a glass of  Cabernet Sauvignon from her winery!

J.C. Eaton has bottled a wonderful mystery within these pages. Norrie teams up again with Theo and Don to try to make sense of what is happening at the participating wineries and the international chocolatiers. The event starts with dinner at Geneva on the Lake and all the wineries have provided wines for the event. The meet and greet went well but no one was truly surprised when the chocolatier ends up dead. There are plenty of rumors flying and secrets being held. Norrie has plenty of theories, some pretty far-fetched. Don and Theo do their best to try to reel her in but with threats found carved into the chocolate blocks and other crazy happenings everyone is interested in catching the killer as quickly as possible. While Norrie’s adventures aren’t always rooted in reality, she is so much fun to follow. The ending was unexpected and I loved it!!

All the characters continue to evolve. Norrie has made herself at home and she is getting a little more involved in the winery. Her sister and brother-in-law have hired a crew of knowledgeable people so she is able to keep up with her screenwriting commitments. The employees are an eclectic group but they know their jobs and have no problem with Norrie’s hit and run management style. There is the start of a romantic triangle that I hope resolves soon although I don’t know for sure which man I want Norrie to pick 😉

I love the setting of this series. The author has described Two Witches Winery so well, it is easy to picture everything from the wine tasting room, the goat outside, the family home, the dog mostly inside, and the roads to all the wineries in the area. I could also imagine the cold and snow. The chocolate demos had me drooling, I almost broke out the Christmas candy (meant for others) here.

Sauvigone for Good is funny and entertaining. So well-written I was in the dark about a lot of things right up to the final reveal. I am looking forward to my next visit!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Riesling to Die – just click here.

Read my review of Chardonnayed to Rest – just click here.

Read my review of Pinot Red or Dead? along with an author interview – just click here. 

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington) set for release in June 2017. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp

When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. His first novel, Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) is set for release in June 2017. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching.

Visit their website at www.jceatonauthor.com and Like and follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JCEatonauthor/


Just Released

Also by J.C. Eaton


Coming February 25, 2020

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 Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday Featuring Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop) by V.M. Burns #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @vmburns @KensingtonBooks


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am thrilled to feature Bookmarked for Murder by V.M. Burns today!

About Bookmarked for Murder


Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (November 26, 2019)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718313
ISBN-13: 978-1496718310
Digital ASIN: B07P9MR138

Amateur sleuth Samantha Washington’s shopping trip to Chicago takes a deadly detour when a man is murdered on her bus . . .

After some post-Christmas retail therapy in the Windy City, mystery bookshop owner and historical whodunit novelist Sam Washington is returning home to North Harbor, Michigan, on a chartered bus. With Nana Jo and her gal pals Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae from Shady Acres Retirement Village along for the ride, it’s a lively trip. But one passenger is not so lively—a gentleman Irma befriended is found dead in his seat after an unscheduled stop. The ladies immediately shift gears to find out who punched his ticket, while Sam slips into the driver’s seat to make sure Nana Jo and her crew steer clear of fatal conclusions . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I just can’t get enough of this series!

This time Sam takes a trip to Chicago with Nana Jo and her friends from Shady Acres for a little post-holiday fun on a chartered bus trip. They all had a good time and as usual, Irma found herself a man. He is so taken with her he joins her on the bus home to North Harbor. When the bus makes an unscheduled courtesy stop it seems her new friend is not snoozing in his seat. No, the man is dead. Before the police can arrive, Nana Jo, Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae decide Sam will lead them in their own investigation in the death. She tries to put the brakes on their ideas but soon realizes she has give in before they swerve off on their own and one of them ends up dead.

Ms. Burns has created quite a crew of entertaining characters. Sam, her lovable poodles, her nephews who man the bookshop while she in off following clues, and all the residents of Shady Acres including Nana Jo come together in a story that is hard to put down. Irma gets a bigger role this time and I liked that. All the ladies bring a huge dose of humor to all the situations they face. As always, Snickers and Oreo put a big smile on my face.

The main mystery is clever. A closed room, I mean bus mystery, limits the suspects but that doesn’t make this whodunit an easy solve, especially because there were people on the bus’s return trip that did not make the trip with the group to Chicago. The death actually happened out of North Harbor’s jurisdiction which adds some unique situations. They aren’t able to get answers from the detective in charge of the case like they do with the local detective. The victim’s true identity also twists things up a bit.

Our amateur sleuth is also an aspiring author so readers are treated to a second mystery story that she is writing. A historical mystery featuring Lady Elizabeth and her niece, Lady Penelope. They witnessed a woman fall to her death and have reason to believe she was pushed.  Sam uses her writing to help clarify the clues for the murder she is trying to solve in real life. Both mysteries are filled with twists and fun to try and solve before their big reveals. Sam even asks the detective if she can do a big reveal like Hercule Poirot and what follows was positively delightful for this cozy mystery lover.

Bookmarked for Murder mixes marvelously fun mysteries with realistic characters and a couple of lovable pups to bring us a book filled with humor and the perfect amount of romance. The entire Mystery Bookshop Series is not to be missed by cozy lovers!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About V.M. Burns

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:     Website  Facebook   Twitter:  @vmburns

Purchase Links – Amazon –  Barnes & Noble – IndieBound  – Books-A-Million –  Hudson BooksellersKobo


Also by V.M. Burns

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Praise for Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop)

by V.M. Burns

This is a solid addition to the cozy mystery genre, with a touch of romance (but delightfully free of excessive angst about that romance). Nab it for a quick, fun holiday read.
~The Ninja Librarian

Bookmarked For Murder is a fast-paced, enjoyable cozy mystery with a touch of humor, a great cast of fun, quirky characters, and a clever murder mystery.
~Carla Loves To Read

Bookmarked for Murder by V.M. Burns is another fascinating tale of finding out whodunit with Ms. Burns. Sam, Nana Jo, and their quirky group of people are back to try and solve another mystery.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Bookmarked for Murder will be a hilarious addition to your library with its witty takes on old mystery tropes and two intriguing mysteries to solve along with the heroines.
~Diane Reviews Books

Characters you feel as close to as your own best friends, with probably more laughs than you expect in a murder scenario, this is a series to add to the top of your must enjoy list.
~Laura’s Interests

I really enjoyed this book. There’s a mystery bookshop, a writer, and a great cast of characters that I wish I could jump in the book and meet for coffee.
~The Book’s the Thing

I love Nana Jo and the crowd from Shady Acres . . . There were several times I laughed out loud while reading this book.
~Author Teresa Trent

The mystery is one that will keep you guessing, as will the story inside of the story’s mystery! . . . I love that! It’s like two books in one.
~CHRISTY’S COZY CORNERS

The Mystery Bookshop series is quickly becoming one of my fave cozy series, and the latest installment – Bookmarked for Murder – reminds me why. Witty, sweet, clean, and smartly written, it’s also lots of fun!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

A fun cozy mystery that will keep you hooked as the story evolves especially as we get two mysteries in one as well follow Sam on her writing journey. The contrasts between the two parts is quite enjoyable . . .
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
December 2 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – The Ninja Librarian -REVIEW
December 2 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 3 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
December 3 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
December 4 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
December 4 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
December 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
December 6 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW
December 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
December 8 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
December 9 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 10 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
December 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 11 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Book Club Librarian– REVIEW  
December 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019 TBR Pile Challenge What's In A Name Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – A Batter of Life and Death: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway @BakeshopMystery


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.


A Batter of Life and Death: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 30, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250054249
ISBN-13: 978-1250054241
Kindle ASIN: B00QQ1GKRE

Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the coffee is hot, the muffins are fresh, and the cakes are definitely to die for…

It’s autumn in Ashland, Oregon-’tis the season for a spiced hot apple cider with a serving (or two) of Torte’s famous peach cobbler. It’s also the perfect time for Jules Capshaw to promote her family’s beloved bake shop by competing in The Pastry Channel’s reality show, Take the Cake. The prize is $25,000. But as Jules quickly learns, some people would kill for that kind of dough. Literally.

Then, just as Jules dusts off her Bavarian Chocolate Cake recipe and cinches up her apron, the corpse of a fellow contestant is discovered-death by buttercream. What began as a fun, tasteful televised adventure has morphed into something of a true-crime detective show for Jules and everybody else on set. Who could have killed Chef Marco, and why? Can Jules sift out the killer before someone else gets burned?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Can Jules Capshaw Take the Cake? The Pastry Channel’s show has come to Ashland, Oregon and she is representing the family’s bakeshop, Torte, as a contestant against four other pastry chefs. Her family sure could use the $25000 prize to continue their improvements to their business.

Jules has baked a Bavarian Chocolate Cake for the day’s challenge but when she arrives on the set she finds one of the competing chefs dead. The powers that be commit to continuing the show as soon as the police release the set, but Jules wants to know – Who killed the chef? Are the rest of the chefs in danger? and most importantly – Is one of the chefs the killer? She starts doing a little snooping on her own to find answers before another chef gets frosted.

___

Ms. Alexander’s characters are so likable. Jules, her mom, their employees, Thomas, the Professor, and more all make me wish I could visit Torte and meet them all. All are genuine and believable. They are joined this time by a group of pastry chefs that are diverse in their specialties along with the small crew from The Pastry Channel who each have something to prove. All these new visitors are viable suspects and seem to have secrets. I liked that some of the chefs ended using Torte’s kitchen to create their show entries. It allowed both Jules and us readers to get to know them better. It also made clear how patient  Jules and mom, Helen could be with strangers in their kitchen. They also handled a little strife between two employees with time and patience.

Readers are treated to a little romance too, as relationships evolve through normal everyday life. Jules is still trying to sort things through will Carlos as the clock ticks down on their break.

I love watching shows like Take the Cake so I was thrilled with this theme. The author created a marvelous whodunit around that theme giving Jules plenty of opportunity to sift through the clues and follow them as need be. Several twists spin to keep everyone guessing. With Helen and Jules’ tight connection to the chief of police, aka, The Professor and Detective-In-Training, Thomas, they keep them informed in everything they find and don’t hesitate to call for help when needed. I like that.

I can’t forget to mention the food. Most of the luscious pastries and desserts. I say most because there are a couple that clearly were not baked by the chef that presented them. Daily life at the bakeshop also adds more delightful treats and morning breakfast ideas. The schedule and the workings of the shop are also interesting. The realistic fact it is a hard business on a tight budget is also appreciated and grounds the whole series in reality.

Awesome characters, a fantastic setting, and a wonderful mystery all make A Batter of Life and Death a delectable cozy mystery and A Perfect Escape. The sample taste of On Thin Icing included at the end of the story has whet my appetite to read more of this series soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Meet Your Baker here. 

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

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

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