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

#FlashbackFriday – Death and Daisies: A Magic Garden Mystery by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks

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.

Death and Daisies: A Magic Garden Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Scotland
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683317815
ISBN-13: 978-1683317814
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (June 30, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback
ISBN-10: 1643851896
ISBN-13: 978-1643851891
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)
Kindle ASIN: B078M3K4VN

Florist Fiona Knox left behind her gloomy life for a magical garden in Scotland, but a murder on her shop’s opening day spells doom.

 

Fiona Knox thought she was pulling her life back together when she inherited her godfather’s cottage in Duncreigan, Scotland—complete with a magical walled garden. But the erstwhile Tennessee flower shop owner promptly found herself puddle boot-deep in danger when she found a dead body among the glimmering blossoms. One police investigation later (made a trifle less unpleasant by the presence of handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig), and Fiona’s life is getting back on a steady, though bewitched, track. Her sister Isla has just moved in with her, and the grand opening of her new spellbound venture, the Climbing Rose Flower Shop in Aberdeenshire, is imminent.

 

But dark, ensorcelled clouds are gathering to douse Fiona’s newly sunny outlook. First, imperious parish minister Quaid MacCullen makes it undeniably clear that he would be happy to send Fiona back to Tennessee. Then, a horrific lightning storm, rife with terribly omen, threatens to tear apart the elderly cottage and sends Fi and Isla cowering under their beds. The storm passes, but then, Fi is called away from the Climbing Rose’s opening soiree when Kipling, the tiny village’s weak-kneed volunteer police chief, finds a dead body on the beach.

 

The body proves difficult to identify, but Kipling is certain it’s that of the parish minister. Which makes Fiona, MacCullen’s new nemesis, a suspect. And what’s worse, Isla has seemed bewitched as of late…did she do something unspeakable to protect her sister? The last thing Fiona wanted to do was play detective again. But now, the rosy future she’d envisioned is going to seed, and if she and Craig can’t clear her name, her idyllic life will wilt away in Death and Daisies, national bestselling author Amanda Flower’s second enchanting Magic Garden mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Fiona Knox is super excited to be opening her new flower shop, the Climbing Rose with her sister Isla by her side. But everyone is not happy about Fiona’s shop or her continuing to stay in the cottage she inherited from her godfather. Parish Minister Quaid MacCullen has gotten up close and personal to warn Fiona she doesn’t belong in Duncreigan, Scotland tending a garden or opening a flower shop.

The sisters face a terrible lightning storm that rocks their little cottage mightily but when the storm passes everything seems okay until they learn a dead body has been found on the beach. Kipling, the volunteer police chief believes the body is none other but the parish minister who was threatening Fiona. So again she is up to her ears in another police investigation with handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig, But Isla is acting strange. Could she be involved in the minister’s death or know someone who is?

______

I loved the first book in this series and don’t know why it took me so long to get to this one.

I really enjoy the Scottish setting and the magical garden. This time the garden took a little bit of a backseat as Fiona worked hard to open her new flower shop. There were a couple interesting garden scenes though, I just wish there were more as Fiona continues to learn her caretaker status and all the magical mysteries the garden holds.

The character development continues with the inclusion of Fiona’s sister Isla. Typical sibling rivalry erupts as the sisters find their way as Isla plans to stay in Scotland. With the opening of her shop, the sisters meet many more residents Aberdeenshire and previous relationships continue to grow. With this character increase the suspect options expand as well. The author takes her time introducing each character too, so they are all very easy to keep straight.

The mystery was very well-plotted with twists, turns, secrets,  and misdirection. While the main mystery is wrapped up well there are several strings that carry over into the next book. One that could really turn Fiona’s life upside down.

Death and Daisies is a fine addition to this series. I was entertained the entire way. Daisies are my favorite flower and I love seeing fields of them. This story gave me a wonderful virtual view.

I am super excited to read Mums and Mayhem. It will be released on July 7, 2020. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Flowers and Foul Play here.

About This Author

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

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest



Also by Amanda Flower





Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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

To Fetch a Scoundrel, Four Fun “Tails” of Scandal and Murder (Mutt Mysteries) by Heather Weidner, Jayne Ormerod, Rosemary Shomaker, Teresa Inge

To Fetch a Scoundrel, Four Fun “Tails” of Scandal and Murder (Mutt Mysteries)
by Heather Weidner, Jayne Ormerod, Rosemary Shomaker, Teresa Inge

 

About To Fetch a Scoundrel


To Fetch a Scoundrel,
Four Fun “Tails” of Scandal and Murder
(Mutt Mysteries)

Cozy Mysteries
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Bay Breeze Publishing, LLC (March 2, 2020)

Print Length: 232 pages
Digital ASIN: B085BY9GXS

The mystery-solving mutts are back! To Fetch a Scoundrel, the second in the Mutt Mysteries collection, features four tail-wagging novellas. Each story puts pups’ noses to the ground, as scandals are unleashed and killers are collared. Once you’ve finished reading these tall “tails,” you’ll no longer wonder, “Who let the dogs out?” You’ll just be glad somebody did!

 

“The Fast and the Furriest”

by Heather Weidner

Cassidy Green just wants to keep her racetrack business from crashing. When an altercation breaks out between two race teams at the driver meeting, it adds one more problem to her already full plate. Cassidy gets more than she bargains for when Oliver, her Rottweiler, finds one of the star drivers dead in her garage. She hopes her fuzzy director of security will help uncover clues to reveal the killer before the bad publicity drives business into the wall.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a quick fast and entertaining read. I love the racetrack setting and that Rottweiler Oliver plays a key role.

I have enjoyed everything I have read by Ms. Weidner including her Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries. She does both full length and short stories very well.

 

“Pawsitively Scandalous”

by Jayne Ormerod

Pilar Pruitt and her black Lab Natti live in a community that has not had so much of a whisper of a crime in over 60 years. So, it’s disconcerting when a neighbor is hauled off in handcuffs by the police for crimes unknown. But it’s downright alarming when another dear friend is found dead. Pilar and Natti start digging deeper into residents’ pasts, and the things they find are pawsitively scandalous!

 

 

“Ruff Goodbye”

by Rosemary Shomaker

Bar owner Len Hayes’ frenemy Perry Lambert brings misery to all. Len finds himself strong-armed into shady business dealing by Winks family human attack dog Rocco Moretti, compliments of Perry. Len’s grief over his best friend Curt’s cancer death imbalances him and everything unravels at Curt’s funeral home visitation. The bar’s stoic black Lab and Curt’s miniature poodle have Len’s back and resolve the mayhem.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

This is my first time reading Ms. Shomaker’s work. She gives us a wonderfully detailed short story about how one man can really upset the applecart with his careless actions with a group. He pushes too far getting bar owner Len Hayes into something illegal. The final twist is so good and I love the parts dog’s play.

I look forward to reading more by this author.

“A Doggone Scandal”

by Teresa Inge

Catt Ramsey, owner of the Woof-Pack Dog Walkers, is back on the case when she receives a mysterious note in her pet supply order. Convinced the sender’s motive is scandalous, Catt packs up her SUV and heads to the Outer Banks with her sister Em, family friend Jonathan Ray, and pups Cagney and Lacey to solve the mystery. 

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Authors

Heather Weidner

Originally from Virginia Beach, HEATHER WEIDNER has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, and Deadly Southern Charm. Secret Lives and Private Eyes, The Tulip Shirt Murders, and Glitter, Glam, and Contraband are her novels in the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, and her novellas appear in the Mutt Mysteries. She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, James River Writers, and International Thriller Writers. Through the years, she has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager.

 

Jayne Ormerod

JAYNE ORMEROD grew up in a small Ohio town then went on to a small-town Ohio college. Upon earning her degree in accountancy, she became a CIA (that’s not a sexy spy thing, but a Certified Internal Auditor). She married a naval officer and off they sailed to see the world. After nineteen moves, they, along with their two rescue dogs Tiller and Scout, have settled into a cozy cottage by the sea. Jayne is the author of over a dozen published stories, from novel length to short-short.

Rosemary Shomaker

ROSEMARY SHOMAKER writes about the unexpected in everyday life. She’s the woman you don’t notice in the grocery store or at church but whom you do notice at estate sales and wandering vacant lots. In all these places she’s collecting story ideas. Rosemary writes mystery, women’s fiction, and paranormal short stories. Stay tuned as she takes her first steps toward longer fiction.

Teresa Inge

TERESA INGE grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Combining her love of reading mysteries and writing professional articles led to writing short fiction and novellas. Today, she juggles assisting two busy executives and is the president of the Sisters in Crime, Mystery by the Sea chapter. Teresa is the author of the Virginia is Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, and the Mutt Mysteries series.

MUTT MYSTERIES 

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

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

Murder in the Secret Maze (A Tory Benning Mystery) by Judith Gonda #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @JudithGonda

murder in the secret maze

Murder in the Secret Maze (A Tory Benning Mystery)
by Judith Gonda

About Murder in the Secret Maze

nurder in the secret maze

Murder in the Secret Maze (A Tory Benning Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Beyond the Publishing (February 26, 2020)
Paperback: 273 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461386
ISBN-13: 978-1950461387
Digital ASIN: B084HNMVGV

First in a new series featuring California landscape architect Tory Benning!

 

Landscape architect Tory Benning knows the lay of the land, but she’ll have to dig through the clues to unearth a killer . . .

 

After a whirlwind romance and a glorious wedding at the luxurious Hotel Santa Sofia, Tory Benning is ready to let down her hair, slip into her dancing shoes, and celebrate—until she discovers that her newly minted husband has vanished. The police suspect cold feet and second thoughts are behind Milo’s disappearance, but Tory’s certain he’s met with foul play. And since she designed the plush resort, she knows every nook and cranny of the grounds and adjoining secret maze, and wastes no time delving into her search.

 

As clues begin to emerge that Milo may have taken his last breath in the maze, Tory steps up her sleuthing, even as she learns she’s the prime suspect of a cop with a chip on his shoulder and is squarely in the sights of a menacing stalker. And when a second body is found on the grounds, Tory fears she’s up against a killer determined to silence any and all who get in the way. .

 

Not to be deterred, Tory forges ahead, navigating a case with more twists and turns than the maze itself, until the labyrinth of clues leads her to shocking revelations about her husband, her family, and the identity of a killer who’s dead set on making her the next victim . . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Shortly after the wedding in the idyllic garden at the Hotel Santa Sofia that was designed by the bride, her groom goes missing. Many suspect the had second thoughts but bride Tory Benning knows it is something more nefarious. The wonderful garden grounds of the hotel also include a secret maze and that is where Tory begins her search. Clues appear to show her husband may have lost his life there. When a second body is found Tory knows she is on the right track but she may lose her own life as she continues down the deadly path.

_________

This story starts immediately with the missing groom and tells us Milo’s and Tory had a whirlwind romance. I really wish we could have gotten to know more about Milo in advance so we could have been more invested in his life. I had issues with Tory as well. Her reactions just seemed off to me. Yes, she was upset, but not upset in a way that she lost the love of her life. She didn’t rush into the reception and ask for help or even explain what was going on. Instead,  she grabs her best friend and starts her own investigation. She makes some scary discoveries and still hesitated to call the police. I wish it would have been her best friend as the lead sleuth, so I immediately had to suspend reality to continue reading because Tory’s actions and reactions were just so off for a woman’s who just lost her husband and her father just a couple of weeks earlier.

Ms. Gonda did offer a vast variety of suspects including Tory. There were plenty of twists with two officers running their own investigations. Sergeant Adrian Ramirez is working with Tory while Sergeant Ernie Gomez thinks Tory is the guilty party. There is also a Private Investigator involved which adds to the diversion and drama. Romantic tension between him and Tory was evident but also felt off to me, just too soon. The investigations play out over a longer period of time than I am used to but a push by Tory starts to things moving again.

I think Tory would be a great protagonist and I liked the way she teamed up with her friend Ashley. This time the case was just too close and too personal. Had they been guests at the wedding or bridesmaids I think this story would have worked much better.

I do love that Tory is a Landscape Architect and the garden she created at Hotel Santa Sofia sounds like a marvelous venue. She is very creative and smart which will play very well in upcoming stories and investigations. I also loved that Tory has a Pomeranian, Iris that was even included in her wedding.

This story, in my opinion, has a few missteps, but it has good bones and it is well written with a lot of good ideas, maybe just too many for the first book in the series. I am interested to see where Ms. Gorda takes her characters next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Judith Gonda

murder in the secret maze jusdith gonda

Judith Gonda is a mystery writer and Ph.D. psychologist with a penchant for Pomeranians and puns, so it’s not surprising that psychology, Poms, and puns pop up in her amateur sleuth mysteries featuring California landscape architect Tory Benning.

Author Links:   Website Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram GoodReads Pinterest – 

Purchase Links – AmazonBarnes and Noble  –  Kobo  – SmashwordsGoogle Play – 

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Great Escapes Praise for Murder in the Secret Maze (A Tory Benning Mystery)
by Judith Gonda

It doesn’t seem to take Tory long to get back on her feet and with help from her friend Ashley, to try to figure out what’s going on. The pair are great fun to read about, and they are actually cautious and careful in their sleuthing, which is something you don’t always find in mysteries.
~The Book’s the Thing

Murder in the Secret Maze is a multidimensional cozy mystery with wedding woes, a mysterious maze, curious clues, a perky Pomeranian, lush landscapes and a perplexing puzzle.
~The Avid Reader

This story is well developed with many twists that eventually come together in a believable, yet surprising, way.
~Christa Reads and Writes

Judith Gonda clearly knows how to write a story that is compelling, entertaining and fun, with characters that were not necessarily easy to love but fitted with the story really well.
~Brianne’s Book Reviews

“Murder in the Secret Maze” was ultimately entertaining and a good start to a new series.
~Bea’s Book Nook

Murder in the Secret Maze by Judith Gonda is a story filled with so much mystery that makes it seem like Tory’s life is a soap opera coming to life.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

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

This Magick Marmot (An Abracadabra Mystery) by Sharon Pape #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @sbpape @lyricalpress

This Magick Marmot (An Abracadabra Mystery)
by Sharon Pape

About This Magick Marmot


This Magick Marmot (An Abracadabra Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Lyrical Press (April 7, 2020)
Paperback: Pages: 200
ISBN-10: 1516108752
ISBN-13: 978-1516108756
Digital ASIN: B083TXHJLH

A fatal case of school spirit . . .

 

Kailyn Wilde, owner of the Abracadabra potion shop, feels some dread anticipating her ten-year high school reunion at the new hotel in New Camel—but it turns out even worse than she feared. Running into her very first boyfriend is pleasant enough. Chatting with Ashley—who still can’t let go of a tragedy that happened on prom night—is a bit more uncomfortable. But the worst part comes when one of Kailyn’s oldest friends is found dead in the ladies’ room.

 

Soon this upstate New York town is in an uproar. And with some help from time-traveling wizard Merlin—who has adopted an unusual and alluring creature as his familiar—it’s up to Kailyn to identify the alumnus most likely to commit murder . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

It’s time for Kailyn’s 10-year class reunion. While excited to see her friends she knows a prom night tragedy is sure to be on everyone’s mind. The evening is well underway when a scream splits the air. Kailyn rushes toward the scream and finds one of her friends in shock at finding another friend dead. She quickly wonders if this death is connected to the one on prom night.  Another eerie “accident” tells Kailyn that it is and she finds herself quickly absorbed in finding answers and catching a killer.

Along with the murder mystery, Kailyn and Tillie are also caught up with Merlin and his wizardry and his strange selection for a familiar.


The past revisits the future in this latest Abracadabra Mystery. A prom night accident has driven someone to commit murder and attempt another. Was it really an accident? Who all was involved? Why is someone now retaliating?

Ms. Pape has penned quite a mystery that is filled with plot twists galore. Thankfully Kailyn has a little magick to help her investigate this one along with a terrific boyfriend by her side. Aunt Tilly and Merlin help out too. Kailyn’s deceased mother and grandmother “pop in” a couple of times too.  The final twists were surprising. This was a whodunit that kept me guessing the whole way.

I love the characters in this series. They are well developed and have really grown over the course of the series. Kailyn is still trying to get a handle on all of her powers and time is running out on her learning everything she needs to know. Her romantic life is in a comfortable place now that she has shared her secret with Travis. Tillie is a wonderful support and very wise. Then there is Merlin, he is my favorite. He always brings the funny and this time he almost brings the house down when he tries to conjure up a MARMOT!!!

 

Oh! my stars! I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time! I started reading and read the entire book in one sitting.

This Magick Marmot took on something that had been brewing for 10 years and was written in a fun and entertaining way. Sharon Pape uses humor with such precision. I do believe this is the funniest book in this series yet and they have all been filled with humor.

I do recommend reading the series in order for maximum enjoyment but they can all be read on their own. I believe once you have read one you will want to read them all.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Sharon Pape describes her writing career as having two stages. Back in the dark ages, before computers were in every household, she had three paranormal books published. The first one was condensed by Redbook Magazine, the first paperback original they had ever condensed. Around the same time, Redbook published her first short story.

Then life brought her an unexpected challenge that went by the name of breast cancer. When her treatment was over, she became a volunteer for the American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery Program and went on to be the program’s coordinator for Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. Several years later, with the help of her surgical oncologist and two other survivors, she started her own not-for-profit organization to provide information and peer support to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.

Once the organization was running smoothly and didn’t require as much of her time, she returned to her first love – writing. During this second stage of her career, she’s been writing cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist and a splash of humor.

Author Links – Website – Facebook –  Pinterest – Twitter – GoodReads

Purchase Links – Amazon  –  B & N

Also by Sharon Pape

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Great Escapes Praise for This Magick Marmot (An Abracadabra Mystery)
by Sharon Pape

Welcome to another fabulously funny adventure with Kailyn, Tilly, and Merlin . . . Total must read! I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Wonderful characters and interesting plot twists will keep you entertained for hours, as well as Merlin’s new familiar. I recommend you read the entire series but pick up this book NOW and enjoy the magical ride.
~Laura’s Interests

The characters are well rounded, well developed and three dimensional. The relationship between Kailyn and Aunt Tilly is very heartfelt and you can tell how much they mean to each other.
~MJB Reviewers

This Magick Marmot by Sharon Pape is the funniest cozy mystery series I have read. Merlin is the comedy relief, but the mystery is what gets the reader involved, you know, trying to beat the sleuth to solve the mystery.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

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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 E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge Thoughts You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Small Town Can Be #Murder (Whistle Stop Mysteries) by Julie Seedorf #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @julieseedorf

A Small Town Can Be #Murder (Whistle Stop Mysteries)
by Julie Seedorf

About A Small Town Can Be #Murder


A Small Town Can Be #Murder (Whistle Stop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Skye Bridge Publishing (December 21, 2019)
Paperback: 196 pages
ISBN-10: 0578605481
ISBN-13: 978-0578605487
Digital ASIN: B082YLDW43

You have all heard the story: big-city girl moves to small town and lives happily ever after. That’s not the forever-after Angel Delaight found when she moved to Whistle Stop, Minnesota. First her realtor is found dead in her new house, which is also rumored to be haunted. Then homeless animals began showing up at her door, along with a bevy of townspeople who seem to know what she is doing at all times. Not to mention a secret journal turning up during renovation, revealing more secrets hidden in this small community.

Will those secrets from the past put Angel’s life and those of her friends and family in danger? When the big-city girl meets a small town, it can be murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Life is a small town, there is nothing like it. Angel Delaight is about to learn all about it when she moves from Chicago to Whistle Stop, Minnesota. When her realtor is found dead in her new home not only the police arrive. Nope, a cacophony of Whistle Stop residents, a homeless pet or two or three, maybe even a ghost or two all find their way to Angel’s door. She is also surprised when her daddy shows up in town. When another dead body is found she becomes a firm believer that A Small Town Can Be #Murder!


Wow! Wow! Wow! I am used to and love Ms. Seedorf’s humorous cozy mysteries. While there is some humor in this story, this is truly a different fare from this author and as expected she truly excels.

Readers are introduced to a vast number of characters. They are all rich, unique and for the most part genuine and the dialogue fits the locale. What I really love is that Angel Delaight is a strong heroine that worked for her father’s construction firm before leaving Chicago. Having worked in the field myself I know how hard that can be. She is also a woman with a plan, and a vision and now finds herself wrapped in a murder investigation. The author has left plenty of room for character growth but her character development for this first book in a series is top-notch.

Also rare for the first book in a cozy series is a complex mystery but she has delivered that as well. Is the house haunted? You will have to read the story for yourself. Seedorf fills the book with action and twists. The story never lags, the pacing is absolutely perfect. I had a little niggling about the guilty party but how the story played out was a total surprise.

Whistle Stop is a great setting as is Angel’s Victorian home with all its nooks and crannies. I have always wanted to live in one of those unique painted ladies. It seems Angel has made a wonderful find. The author describes the home, yard, carriage house, and every place we visit in Whistle Stop “brilliantly”. I felt like I was on the scene with a bird’s eye view of all the happenings. This history of the town and places was fascinating. I really enjoyed the extra author’s notes.

A Small Town Can Be #Murder was so much more than I imagined when I read the synopsis. I truly escaped totally into this story. I already miss the characters and I am so excited about the continuation of this series. Thank you, Julie Seedorf! This is one of my Best Reads of 2020!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Julie Seedorf

A Bit About Me As An Impassioned Writer

As human beings, we are always a work in progress. From birth to death we live, hurt, laugh, cry, feel, and with all of those emotions we grow as people, as family members, and as friends. I am a dreamer and feel blessed to have the opportunity in my writing to pass those dreams on to others. I believe you are never too old to dream and to turn those dreams into a creative endeavor. I live in rural Minnesota and I am a wife, mother, and grandmother.

I have worn many hats throughout my life such as working as a waitress, nursing home activities person, office manager and finally a computer repair person eventually owning my own computer sales and repair business. I never forgot my love of writing and quit my computer business in 2012 after signing a contract with Cozy Cat Press for Granny Hooks A Crook, the first book in my Fuchsia, Minnesota Series.

Adding five more books to the Fuchsia Series, adding a Brilliant, Minnesota Series and writing a column for local newspapers feeds my writing creativity. This year the Whistle Stop series was born. Small towns have my heart and I hoped to convey that in my new series.

I also dabble a bit in watercolor painting and hope to eventually add pictures to my children’s book series, Granny’s In Trouble.

Oh, and did I tell you I like to be a little bit silly.

Author Links – Website – Facebook  –  Twitter  – Instagram –  Pinterest – Amazon –  YouTube –  Goodreads 

Purchase Links –

Amazon – KoboBarnesandNoble.comSmashwordsApple – Skye Bridge Publishing
Also by This Author



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Great Escapes Praise for A Small Town Can Be #Murder (Whistle Stop Mysteries)
by Julie Seedorf

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the story right from the very beginning. The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.
~MJB Reviewers

This book is not light on mysteries to solve! . . . I really enjoyed the complexities of this story. I never felt like there were lulls in the story and while I didn’t guess the killer, I did have some suspicions about a few of the town residents.
~Storeybook Reviews

This was a fabulous beginning to a brand new series! . . . I loved this fascinating mystery! Julie Seedorf’s pacing was perfect and there was never a dull moment, with plenty going on.
~Brianne’s Book Reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please Visit All The Stops.
March 31 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 31 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 1 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
April 2 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 3 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
April 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
April 4 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 5 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 6 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 7 – I’d Rather Be At The Beach –  REVIEW
April 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 9 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 10 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
April 11 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 12 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 13 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

 

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

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

Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery) by Grace Topping – Author Interview / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @gtoppingauthor


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am thrilled to feature Staging Wars by Grace Topping today!

Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
by Grace Topping

About Staging Wars 


Staging Wars (A Laura Bishop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Henery Press (April 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 254 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115949
ISBN-13: 978-1635115949
Paperback: 254 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115914
ISBN-13: 978-1635115918
Digital ASIN: B084BT29GG

Laura Bishop’s new home staging business is growing in popularity, though not with her nemesis. Laura has long suspected established interior designer Monica Heller of sabotaging her fledgling company—and having an affair with her late husband.

 

When the ultra-chic Monica is caught at the scene of a murder, Laura is plenty happy to imagine her languishing in a prison cell with bedsheets far from her normal 600-thread Egyptian cotton. But her delight is short-lived.

 

When Laura’s friends land on the police’s radar, Laura must overcome her dislike of Monica to help solve the crime. Not an easy task since Laura and Monica have been at war since the second grade.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Laura Bishop’s new business, staging homes is really taking off, but it seems interior designer Monica Heller would like to stop that, going so far as doing a little sabotage. Then Monica has other concerns on her hands when Laura and 3 other witnesses walk in on her killing her new client. She claims she didn’t do it, it’s all a mistake but the woman is spending some quality time behind bars while a mutual friend begs Laura to clear Monica of the crime.

Grace Topping continues to bring strong characters to her mysteries. Laura, Nita, and all their friends continue to evolve. One has a great amount of power over this certain group of people and knows how to use it to their advantage. I love the real teamwork feel of these amateur sleuths. Even Aunt Kit helps out and takes a new look at her niece’s choices.

The mystery gets off fast with first one body and then another, both killed in the same manner but no other apparent connection.  I was surprised by how much time and effort Laura puts into not only helping Monica regarding the murders but in keeping her business afloat too. Laura is a much better person than me. I would have held a grudge. These women have been foes FOREVER!

The romantic aspect of this book is kinda cute. Laura is completely oblivious that Detective Spangler has feelings for her. I am happy that the author is taking the time to lay a firm foundation for this relationship. I think it will make it so much stronger in the long run.

I really enjoy the home staging theme of this series. It is creative and feels very fulfilling to help homeowners sell their homes faster and usually for a better price. It is like playing with full-size dollhouses. I love that Laura is building her wares enough to have more choices and the need for a large warehouse storage space. Each chapter starts with a staging tip. They could be useful for more than just staging a home. The tips are great to give your own home a little freshening.

Staging Wars is filled with great characters and a substantial mystery that kept me engaged and entertained from beginning to end. I am excited to see what Laura stages next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Staging Is Murder here

 

Hi Grace, welcome to Escape With Dollycas!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a recovering technical writer and IT project manager, accustomed to writing lean, boring documents. Now that I’ve retired, I am creating murder mysteries and killing off characters who remind me of some of the people I dealt with during my career. Fictional revenge is sweet. I’m using some of the experience I gained helping friends stage their homes for sale as the inspiration for my Laura Bishop mystery series. I’m a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, SINC Guppies, and Mystery Writers of America. I live with my husband in Northern Virginia.

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

  • I was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • I served in the Navy as a WAVE for seven years
  • While stationed in England, I married an Englishman who calls himself a GI War Bride

What is the first book you remember reading?

My mother had a book of Bible stories that she had brought to Pennsylvania from the farm she grew up on in George. The book was falling apart, but I loved to leaf through the pages looking at the black and white illustrations. I’m embarrassed to say that I colored some of the illustrations with crayons. As I got a little older, I was able to read the stories that went with the illustrations—which had been nicely enhanced by me.

What are you reading now?

I usually have several books going at one time, depending on what mood I’m in. Right now I’m reading One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski, Game of Scones by Mary Lee Ashford, and Fields Guide to Abduction by Julie Mulhern. Different types of stories to fit different moods.

I’m also a huge audiobook fan, so I listen to audiobooks while driving, cooking, or when I can’t sleep. I’m currently listening to An Artless Demise by Anna Lee Huber.

What books have most inspired you?

I especially enjoy books that have characters who are wise and make wise observations—the kind of book that makes you want to underline passages. I find characters like that in books by Jacqueline Winspear and Anne Perry. They often inspire me to be a better person or have a better outlook on life.

I also enjoy books that teach me something new. Cozy mysteries where the main character has a business or interest frequently teach me new things. For example, I learned a lot about clocks reading Julienne Holmes’ Clock Shop Mystery Series.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

Like most mystery writers, I chose to write mysteries because that is what I read. I enjoy the puzzle a traditional mystery presents. How I decided to write one is one of those strange quirks of fate. A friend asked me to go with her to Malice Domestic, a mystery conference for fans of traditional or cozy mysteries. I had never heard of Malice Domestic, but when I discovered it involved mysteries and that some of my favorite authors would be there, I couldn’t sign up fast enough. I went as a fan but found it so inspiring I left as a wannabe mystery writer. Lots of years later, I am attending Malice in May as a nominee for an Agatha Award for Best First Mystery. Anything can happen when you are inspired.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Most of the time I write in my office, which is a bedroom I inherited from one of my daughters when she left home. But when the weather is good, I love to work on our screened porch that looks out over woods. There is something about being out in nature, feeling a fresh breeze, hearing the birds chirping and the squirrels scurrying up trees, that helps me relax and lets my imagination take over.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

I had a friend who used to say that she got her ideas from the Idea Store. I haven’t been lucky enough to find that place, so I have to look around me for ideas. In my first book, Staging is Murder I had watched so many episodes of home staging shows on HGTV, I felt I had learned enough about home staging to have my main character start her own home staging business. I got the idea for the 19th century home she stages and the setting for the murder from a historic home in my hometown. In Staging Wars, I set the story in a small town arts group, based on the stories my sister told me about heading her arts group—dealing with everything except murder.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

I enjoy writing. I even enjoy rewriting. What I find challenging is proofreading my own work. After reading it numerous times, I begin to see what I expect to see, and I miss mistakes. That’s where beta readers are helpful. The story is fresh to them, so mistakes jump out at them more easily. One beta reader for Staging Wars noted that I had used the wrong name for a character in one place. I had totally missed catching that after reading my manuscript multiple times. It’s also a challenge keeping things straight from one book to another. In my second book, I referred to Laura selling her Lexus in the first book to help fund her business when she had actually sold her Volvo.

What do you think makes a good story?

One thing I look for in a good story is character growth. I want to see the characters evolve and come out of the story better people than they were in the opening chapters. Romance writer Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a master of this. In each of her books she has her main characters facing their demons or recognizing their flaws and dealing with them. One of the first things I learned about writing was to give characters a flaw that they would have to deal with during the story. Nobody likes a main character who is perfect. One of Laura’s flaws is that she has an aversion to good-looking men. Anytime someone hurt or embarrassed her, took credit for her work, or generally made her life a misery, a handsome man was usually involved. It was enough to have her avoiding them.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

When I first started writing, I felt a bit awkward and self-conscious creating my main character because I felt people would think I was writing about myself. To compensate, I made my main character tall, I’m not; thin, I’m not; and a lot younger. But saying all that, I guess my main character, Laura Bishop, is the most like me. On the other hand, I made Laura’s mother sound so awful that I felt I should add a disclosure at the beginning of the book, saying that Laura’s mother was not based on my mother, who is wonderful.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

The one thing that might be different from other cozy mysteries is that Laura Bishop is not only an amateur sleuth, she is also an extremely reluctant one. In Staging is Murder when her young assistant is accused of murder and his grandmother beseeches Laura to help find the killer, Laura acknowledges that she doesn’t have any skill in identifying killers and that she would do the grandmother a disservice if she agreed to help and then couldn’t do anything. She does not want to be looking for a killer. Another flaw is that she can’t say no to people who come to her for help, and she is drawn into the case—but reluctantly.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

After I spend a fair amount of time this spring promoting Staging Wars, I will begin working on the third book in the series, continuing the adventures of Laura Bishop and her best friend, Nita Martino. In May, I will be attending the Malice Domestic mystery conference, where I’ll find out if Staging is Murder won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Exciting times.

Thank you, Grace, so much for visiting today!

More About Grace Topping

Grace Topping is a recovering technical writer and IT project manager, accustomed to writing lean, boring documents. Let loose to write fiction, she is now creating murder mysteries and killing off characters who remind her of some of the people she dealt with during her career. Fictional revenge is sweet. She’s using her experience helping friends stage their homes for sale as inspiration for her Laura Bishop mystery series. The series is about a woman starting a new career midlife as a home stager. The first book in the series, Staging is Murder, is a 2019 Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel. Grace is the former vice president of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the SINC Guppies and Mystery Writers of America. She lives with her husband in Northern Virginia.

Author Links –  Website – Twitter – Facebook – GoodReadsBookBub – 

Purchase Links – Amazon  B&N   Kobo  

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
April 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 5 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
April 6 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 7 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
April 7 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
April 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 9 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
April 10 – The Book Decoder – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 20 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
April 21 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
April 23 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 24 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW
April 25 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

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

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

Deep Fried Revenge (A Farm-to-Fork Mystery) by Lynn Cahoon #Review @LynnCahoon @lyricalpress

Available Today!

Deep Fried Revenge
Deep Fried Revenge (A Farm-to-Fork Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Idaho
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (April 7, 2020)
Paperback: 184 pages
ISBN-10: 1516109902
ISBN-13: 978-1516109906
Kindle ASIN: B07Z5NFN5T

Angie Turner is all prepped to face Boise’s culinary best when she enters her restaurant, The County Seat, into a big State Fair challenge. Instead, she gets dunked into a new murder investigation after a killer starts scrapping her competition . . .

 

The Idaho State Fair is in full swing and chefs are lining up to enter Boise’s Best Restaurant contest, including Angie and her County Seat crew. They might be the hometown favorite, but the competition is steeper than a funhouse floor. And when a top contender is felled following a heated confrontation over a corn dog recipe, winning suddenly becomes a matter of life or death. With a foul foodie on the prowl, it’s up to Angie to dig into the case and put a murderer on ice.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love a state fair, don’t you? At the Idaho State Fair, they are holding a culinary competition and Angie Turner has entered her team from The County Seat to participate. The Boise’s Best Restaurant contest has several rounds with restaurants being eliminated after each round. One contestant, a top contender, is eliminated permanently shortly after the first round. Another is rushed to the hospital after the next round. Winning now has become a matter of life or death and Angie and Felicia rally their troops while Angie, Ian, and others get deep into the case to catch a killer. Ian also brings a new person in to join The County Seat crew and she has an interesting story.

________

Again Lynn Cahoon gives readers a great mystery to sink our teeth into. I really enjoyed this one because of the way the plot and subplots blended together so seamlessly. Thankfully while the revenge may be deep friend, none of the victims are, poison is the method of death and it is tough to ascertain where it actually came from. It was also hard to pare down the suspects. I found myself circling back around a couple of times.

The characters are this series have become some of my faves, both the humans and the animals. I absolutely love Angie’s, Saint Bernard Dom. I was also happy to have Mrs. Potter return in this book but she may be leaving the canvas again and that is okay knowing what she may be facing. The addition of a homeless teenager was a pleasant surprise. I loved the way everyone rallied around to protect her and take her under their wings. These characters truly have a family feel as close friends and co-workers tend to evolve into giving the story a very realistic feel.

At just 184  pages, Miss Cahoon packs in a lot of details and wonderfully descriptive writing. For me, the pace was measured to start with but picked up nicely about halfway through the story. The carnival food had my mouth watering and making me think that with the tragic virus in the world today most of our summer fun and yummy treats will be missed this year.

Deep Fried Revenge is a nice treat as this fun series continues. I recommend this whole series for foodie cozy mystery lovers.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

ABOUT LYNN CAHOON:

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small-town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and two fur babies.

Author Links

Goodreads – Twitter –Facebook Website –Amazon Author Page

 

Also by Lynn Cahoon


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

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

#FlashbackFriday – Wonton Terror: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress

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

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

wonton terror
Wonton Terror: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (August 27, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250228344
ISBN-13: 978-1250228345
Kindle ASIN: B07NCWBQRQ

Wonton Terror, the fourth in Vivien Chien’s Noodle Shop delicious mystery series, Ho-Lee Noodle House is ready to take the Cleveland night market by storm—until a brand-new food venue literally explodes onto the scene.

 

Lana Lee is all smiles when the first evening of Cleveland’s Asian Night Market kicks off the summer. The weekly festival is always good for business, packed with locals and tourists, and this year, some stiff new food-truck competition. Wonton on Wheels, run by old friends of Lana’s parents, promises to have customers lining up for their delicately wrapped delights—until the truck blows up at evening’s end.

 

Lana’s boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau, had been planning a birthday getaway for the two of them but, lo and behold, Lana must assume the role of amateur sleuth yet again. With one proprietor of Wonton on Wheels dead, it’s beginning to look more like murder and less like an unfortunate accident. And as they begin to unwrap layers of disturbing secrets, Lana’s own family erupts into new drama. Will Lana be able to solve this crime—or has she jumped from the wok right into the fire?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It is time for the Cleveland Night Market and Lana Lee is thrilled her Ho-Lee Noodle House will be serving up its delicious Chinese food. The first night goes very well but wraps up with a huge KABOOM! A food truck belonging to some old friends of her parents explodes killing the husband Ronnie Chow and injuring the wife, Sandra.

On top of that Lana’s mother’s sister, Grace arrives in town for a visit and her boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau is planning a romantic trip for her birthday.

So there is plenty of family drama and some undercover sleuthing going on, but Lana better tread carefully or she may be the next one getting burned.


Lana continues to grow in each book and this time she really doesn’t back away from the challenge of finding who blew up that food truck. She goes back time and time again questioning suspects and anyone that may have any information. From the elderly Mahjong Matrons to reconnecting with her childhood friend, Calvin Chow, who may be her number 1 suspect, or his uncle Gene. She really came across as brave this time. She is also learning that to avoid some of the family drama is to take a pass on the family dinners once in a while, but her overbearing mother won’t let that happen often. This tight-knit family is what really sets this series apart. With all the drama you can see the love behind it all. This time grandma has some wise words for her daughters, making Lana and her sister Anna Mae have a bit of an awakening too.

Ms. Chien has served up a very twisted mystery here. It was a challenging mystery to solve, in fact, there is a huge twist at the end that turned all my theories inside out. The pace felt a lot faster this time than in the previous books, my pages were flying.

I have enjoyed every book in this series so far. Egg Drop Dead is waiting not so patiently on my Kindle and Killer Kung Pao will be released on August 25.

Wonton Terror is a wonderful addition to this series! I would encourage you to start the series from the beginning but the author does a great job at including enough background to read each story on its own.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here,  Dim Sum of All Fears here
and Murder Lo Mein here

About the Author

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

 

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

 

 

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

The Stolen Letter: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by Paige Shelton #Review @MinotaurBooks


The Stolen Letter: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Scotland
Publisher: Minotaur Books (April 7, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250203872
ISBN-13: 978-1250203878
Kindle ASIN: B07XX1JBJS

Delaney Nichols is confident she’s doing what she loves—case in point, just one day after returning from her fabulous European honeymoon, she’s eager to get back to the Cracked Spine, the bookstore where she works. But as she disembarks her bus and hurries toward the shop she and another woman collide, sending a stack of books the woman is carrying to the ground.

Delaney’s hapless victim’s name is Mary, and the two women can’t help but notice that they bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. According to Mary, they both also look like the long-beheaded Mary Queen of Scots. Even stranger, Mary believes she is the reincarnation of the Scottish queen. But peculiar as Delaney’s doppelganger is, she doesn’t have time to dwell on it: on her arrival to the bookshop, she learns the Edinburgh city council wants to close the Cracked Spine, citing code violations, and she’s determined to stop them.

But when Mary’s husband dies in a car explosion—and Delaney learns he was the very member of city council who proposed that the city take a closer look at the bookshop’s construction—she starts to wonder if her meeting with Mary wasn’t an accident. Edinburgh has become as filled with intrigue and deception as any European court, and Delaney is determined to get to the bottom of this royal mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Delaney Nichols has returned from her honeymoon and can’t wait to get back to work at The Cracked Spine. But she is waylaid and she collides with a woman carrying a large stack of books. As she helps the woman. Mary, pick up the books she realizes the woman could be her doppelganger. Their resemblance is remarkable and the woman was also on her way to The Cracked Spine. Mary tells Delaney that they both resemble Mary Queen of Scots and that she firmly believes she is a reincarnation of the Scottish queen. Delaney is totally confused and taken aback by this but she is in for another even bigger shock when she arrives at her beloved bookshop. It seems the city council of Edinburgh is closing down the shop for unknown code violations. No one can even remember an inspector coming into the shop or receiving notification of any violations. Delaney jumps right into action trying to save the store.

She does accept a dinner invitation from Mary where she meets her husband, Henry. The next day he dies in a car explosion and Delaney finds out he was the member of the council behind the pressure to close The Cracked Spine.  This leads her to believe her meeting with Mary was not coincidental at all. She is going to do everything to save the bookshop and be sure the right person is booked for murder too!

______

I do love the way Paige Shelton tells a story. They are so easy to escape right into.

This time we see Delaney get fierce when her dream job is in jeopardy, in fact, all of the characters really step up.  Owner of the shop, Edwin MacAlister, is a little overwhelmed at first but does rally when Delaney makes it clear his help is truly needed and he pulls in a big gun. It was truly cool the way the story played out.

This author’s descriptive writing is just wonderful. Vivid images overtake my mind and take me right to Scotland allowing me to follow right in Delaney’s footsteps. From her amateur sleuthing to settling into to married life and getting ready to move into their new home. She is always able to give her stories a unique twist making it stand out in this genre.

The Stolen Letter is a great addition to this series. The characters are engaging and genuine. The mystery is twisty and entertaining. It checks all my cozy boxes to make it a Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 

About The Author

Paige Shelton is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com



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 Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Featuring A Fatal Yarn (A Knit & Nibble Mystery) by Peggy Ehrhart #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to feature A Fatal Yarn by Peggy Ehrhart today!


A Fatal Yarn (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (March 31, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723643
ISBN-13: 978-1496723642
Kindle ASIN: B07R4Q58WM

Pamela Paterson and her Knit and Nibble club must clear the name of one of their knitters when he’s accused of murdering the mayor . . .

 

The trees in Arborville, New Jersey, have started sporting sweaters. Part of the trend of public knitting art? Not exactly. An anonymous activist has been wrapping trunks in yarn to cover red X’s that mark certain trees for removal by the town so they don’t interfere with power lines. When the town’s mayor—who supports cutting down the trees—is murdered, Pamela wonders if the tree hugger committed homicide to prevent arborcide. A knitter is arrested, but it’s one of Knit and Nibble’s own—the harmless Rolland DeCamp, who was seen arguing with the mayor. Pamela is sure the police are barking up the wrong tree. With the help of her reporter friend Bettina, she branches off on her own investigation to root out the real killer . . .

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The Knit and Nibblers are back and trying to figure out who is wrapping tree trunks in knit scarves to cover up the red x’s designated the trees to be destroyed to protect the power lines above. The town’s mayor supports the project and when he is murdered Pamela wonders if the tree hugger is responsible. But the police arrest fellow knitter Rolland DeCamp because he was witnessed arguing with the mayor. Pamela and Bettina cast on a wider net of suspects and do their best to knit together the clues to purl the right culprit behind bars.


We follow Pamela through her daily life as she works from home as an editor for “Fiber Craft Magazine,” and does a little sleuthing on the side with friend, neighbor, and yarn and nibbler Bettina.  Bettina is very pushy trying to get Pamela to date another neighbor but Pamela keeps putting her off. She is just not interested. I am surprised it hasn’t caused more strain in their friendship. It seems that issue has wrapped in this installment and that makes me very happy.

I do enjoy Ms. Ehrhart’s descriptive writing style. She tells the story in a way that brings the reader right into each scene, from her home office with her working on such interesting sounding articles, to the items being knit and the food being eaten. I love the camaraderie between the characters and the way they support each other. The conversations are realistic and you can tell they truly care about each other.

The mystery is on the light side and I did figure it out early in the story but all the drama and daily life kept me entertained right up to the final word. These are characters I love visiting and am looking forward to the next book.

A Fatal Yarn is a great addition to this series. Fix yourself something to nibble on and enjoy.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can read my review of Murder, She Knit here, Died in the Wool here, Knit One Die Two here, and Silent Knit, Deadly Knit here.

PEGGY

About the Author

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a doctorate in Medieval Literature, and her publications include a prize-winning book dealing with classical mythology in the Middle Ages. Her Maxx Maxwell mysteries, Sweet Man Is Gone (2008) and Got No Friend Anyhow (2011), feature a blues-singer sleuth.
Peggy is currently writing the Knit and Nibble mystery series for Kensington Books. Set in the charming (fictional) town of Arborville, New Jersey, it features amateur sleuth Pamela Paterson, founder and mainstay of the town’s knitting club. Peggy is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She plays guitar with the Still Standing Band. (From Amazon)

Find out more about Peggy on her website here.


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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.”