Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Farm to Trouble (Farm to Table Mysteries) by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @aflowerwriter

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to share my thoughts about Farm to Trouble by Amanda Flower today! 


Farm to Trouble (Farm to Table Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1492699918
ISBN-13: 978-1492699910
Kindle ASIN: B089N1KFLV

Coming home to a run-down farm, gossipy neighbors, and a shady investor is a lot to handle… but a murderer on the loose is the final straw!

Shiloh Bellamy cashed in her big city job and 401K to return home to Michigan to save the family farm, but turning Bellamy Farms into a sustainable, organic operation—complete with a farm-to-table café—is no small feat. Especially when her new investor is found dead among the flowers just hours after the contract is signed. Everyone knows her father had a grudge against the investor, and word travels fast in a small town…

Now, Shiloh must clear her family’s name and track down the real killer before her organic farm dreams wilt before her very eyes. But with her father trying to stop any progress on his land, her cousin belittling her every effort, the farmhouse falling down around her, and the whole town believing her family at fault, Shiloh’s small-town troubles are growing much faster than her crops. She’ll have to trust her own investigation or risk all her dreams drying up before they begin.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

After a traumatic event, Shiloh Bellamy hit the road for California landing herself a dream job. A job that enabled her to send money home to keep the family farm afloat. But her father’s health is failing and so is the farm so she heads home to Michigan with high hopes of making Bellamy Farms a totally organic operation. She also plans to add a farm-to-table café to increase the farm’s bottom line.  She knows to enact her plans she is going to need an influx of cash so she makes a contract with an investor right there in her hometown. When she arrives home she sees the farm is in much worse shape than she thought and her father is outraged to find out his daughter has agreed to take money from Jefferson Crocker.

The next day Shiloh arrives at the local farmer’s market to meet with her new investor but when she finds him she knows there will be no meeting. The man has been murdered and thanks to a loudmouth vendor almost everyone believes Shiloh is a cold-blooded killer. Others believe her father committed the crime. So now Shiloh has her work cut out for her. Her investor is dead, the farm still needs to be revived and now she has to find a killer to clear her dad and herself of murder.


Amanda Flower is a prolific cozy author who never disappoints. As soon as I heard about this series I booked a date on my calendar for Farm to Trouble. In this new series, we meet Shiloh Bellamy, her father, Sully, her cousin Stacey, her lovable pug, Huckleberry, along with assorted neighbors, friends, and other residents of Cherry Glen. While she has passed we also hear plenty about Shiloh’s grandmother. She was a hard-working woman who kept her family on track. She left behind quite a legacy as Shiloh recalls several times things her grandmother said and did. The author took her time and allowed her characters to develop over the course of the story while leaving plenty of room to grow as the series continues.

Ms. Flower captured the attitudes of small-town life perfectly. The cliques, the mean girls, the gossips, the hoity-toity, but a couple of good souls as well. Cherry Glen is a typical midwest town striving to find its footing in the progressing world. Change isn’t easy and many Cherry Glen residents are doing their best to avoid it.

The mystery was very well done featuring a victim who had plenty of enemies. The man liked flexing his financial muscles without a care about the people he left in his wake. Shiloh and Sully just happened to be his current mark. Being gone for so many years made it hard for Shiloh to know who to trust and she didn’t receive a hardy welcome home from many people but she still delves into an investigation to catch a killer. I was totally spinning my wheels until the actual guilty party was revealed. I at least had the person on my list but they were nowhere near the top. Ms. Flower penned a story with excellent twists. I did question some of Shiloh’s behavior with so much on the line but every person has their own way of processing actions and information.

Farm to Trouble has set this series off to a marvelous start. All the mysteries exposed within the book are not wrapped up by the final page. I am really looking forward to Shiloh solving the puzzle her grandmother left behind. I also feel there are some other things Shiloh needs to deal with from her past so she can truly move forward.

Ms. Flower has planted some wonderful seeds that I project will bloom into a very entertaining series. The story has a real true-to-life feel. There is some real family drama and there is a lot of hard work ahead for Shiloh to get close to realizing her dream plans. I think it is going to be very interesting to see the paths the author sets for these characters.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

Amanda Flower, a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author of over twenty-five cozy mystery novels, 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. In addition to being an author, Amanda is a former librarian with fifteen years of experience in Northeast Ohio.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest

 

Also by Amanda Flower


Coming April 27, 2021




Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)
I am giving away my review 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.
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Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive 5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 10, 2021, 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 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Furbidden Fatality (A Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery) by Deborah Blake #Review @BerkleyMystery


Furbidden Fatality (A Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Berkley (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0593201507
ISBN-13: 978-0593201503
Kindle ASIN: B08BYTZGW9

A lottery winner uses her good fortune to save a local pet sanctuary, but when a body is discovered on the property, she just might be in the doghouse in this first book in a new, charming cozy mystery series from author Deborah Blake.

Kari Stuart’s life is going nowhere—until she unexpectedly wins the lottery. The twenty-nine-year-old instant multimillionaire is still mulling plans for her winnings when rescuing a bossy black kitten leads her to a semi-abandoned animal shelter. They need the cash—Kari needs a purpose.

But the dilapidated rescue is literally going to the dogs with a pending lawsuit, hard to adopt animals and too much-unwanted attention from the town’s dog warden. When the warden turns up dead outside the shelter’s dog kennels, Kari finds herself up a creek without a pooper-scooper.

With the help of some dedicated volunteers, a cute vet, and a kitten who mysteriously shows up just when she needs it, Kari must prove her innocence all while trying to save a dog on death row. Now she just needs to hope that her string of unexpected luck isn’t about to run out.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

So exciting! Kari Stuart has won millions in the lottery but she has no idea what she wants with her life let alone the money. Then she finds a stray little black kitten that changes her life. An animal shelter on its last legs needs a benefactor and Kari has the funds to get the place updated and open again. It also gives her life some direction as she buys and takes over the shelter and the farmhouse on the property.

Then she learns one of the shelter dogs is part of a pending lawsuit and the dog warden seems to really have something against the shelter. When Kari hears the dogs making a ruckus in the middle of the night she runs from her new farmhouse to the shelter and finds the local dog catcher dead. She and all her volunteers because suspects in his death, especially Kari and the shelter’s former manager. Plagued by vandalism and other suspicious activity Kari worries she has invested in a project she will never get off the ground. She also sees there is a real possibility that even with all her cash she could end up behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit.

_____

I really enjoyed meeting the characters in this new cozy mystery series. Kari Stuart is a lucky woman and uses her fortune in a surprising way. I mean if you won 5 million dollars would your first thought of your first major purchase. especially when you know really nothing about animals or running a business? But Kari makes it work because there is already a super group of volunteers working at the shelter. The volunteers are a diverse group dedicating to saving the sanctuary and mostly are on board helping Kari make that happen. One volunteer is a little prickly and vocal at times but Kari just rolls with the verbal punches. The author has given us a nice introduction to these characters. I was engaged and invested in their lives quickly.

Ms. Blake also delivers a well-plotted mystery with a wide variety of suspects and surprises. A tangled-up web of deception kept this reader on her toes.  I loved the fast pace and the liberal use of humor throughout. The subplots are really strong and brought real depth to the entire story.

What I loved most of all was the animals. Buster, the dog accused of getting out of a fence and biting someone leading to the pending lawsuit just stole my heart. The stray little black kitten, Queenie, brings something special to the story and warmed my heart too. It was the animals on the cover that caught my eye and made me what to read this book. Kudos to the artist.

I found Furbidden Fatality to be a delightful debut for this pet-filled series. Light-hearted and entertaining, it was just a fun book to read.  I am excited to see where the author takes these characters. Doggone Deadly is set to be released on November 2. I will be impatiently waiting. 🙂 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Deborah Blake is the author of multiple romance series, including the Baba Yaga series, as well as over a dozen nonfiction titles. When not writing, Deborah runs The Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and also works as a jewelry maker, tarot reader, and energy healer. She lives in a 130-year-old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with numerous cats who supervise all her activities, both magical and mundane.


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 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Murder with a Twist (Mack’s Bar Mysteries) by Allyson K. Abbott #Review / #Giveaway

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


Murder with a Twist (Mack’s Bar Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington (August 5, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 9780758280176
Kindle ASIN: B00IKOTTYG

The regulars at Mack’s Bar love putting their heads together to solve a good mystery. But Mack is learning there’s a big difference between barroom brain teasers and real-life murder. . .

Milwaukee bar owner Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton has a unique neurological condition that gives her extra perceptive senses, and police detective Duncan Albright is convinced Mack’s abilities can be used to help catch crooks. Mack may be a pro at mixing drinks, but she’s still an amateur when it comes to solving crimes–and she’s not sure she should mix business with pleasure by working with a man who stirs up such strong feelings in her. At her first crime scene–a suspicious suicide–she experiences a heady cocktail of mixed sensations and emotions that make her question whether police work is right for her. But when Duncan asks her to help find a kidnapped child, she knows she has to give it a shot. . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I found this series a few years ago and loved the first book in the series Murder on the Rocks. Then I picked up this book, Murder with a Twist but I immediately had to stop reading. I knew from reading the synopsis there was a suicide element but I hadn’t expected it to be so similar to the way my son took his life back in March of 2015. I put the book back on my To-Be-Read bookshelf but I kept passing over it until last week when I decided I should be able to handle the subject matter by now. Well, I was partly right. I still had to skip or skim some triggering passages but soon the suicide part of the book wrapped up and I was able to enjoy the rest of the story. I am glad I waited and didn’t just skip the book or forget about the series. 

Mack is such an interesting character. She has Synaesthesia which means she experiences everything differently. Over the years she has learned to control it or she would continually be suffering from an overload of her unique senses. While trying to help Detective Duncan Albright solve her father’s murder (in Murder on the Rocks) they realize her unique extra perceptive senses can be helpful in solving his cases. So this time Mack tags along as he investigates a suspicious suicide and a murder with a missing child.

What I really enjoyed was The Capone Club. A bunch of bar regulars that love to solve puzzles and mysteries, both real cases and those dreamed up by members of the group. Some have special talents that become very helpful in closing Duncan’s cases. The investigations take on a real community feel as they sort through clues and dig up new ones. I usually try to solve the mystery before the protagonist but this time I felt like I had a place at the Capone Club table and we were all working it out together. I did like that there were two completely separate mysteries within the book. One wrapped up and another began which is easy to believe for a city like Milwaukee.

There are a wide variety of characters, regulars, and employees of the bar. Even one from “up Nort'”. I love the way the author brings the uniqueness of Wisconsin to the story. It is so comfortable. I was drawn to this series because Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton and I have some things in common. We both grew up in Wisconsin living above and working in our family’s taverns. Walking into Mack’s Bar virtually brings back so many memories. Unlike Mack, thankfully I never had to deal with a dead body.

I have the next book in this series, In The Drink, waiting on my TBR shelf. I hope to visit Mack’s Bar again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About The Author

Allyson K. Abbott is a pseudonym used by suspense writer Beth Amos. Beth has enjoyed a varied writing career that included a stint as a book reviewer and several years of nonfiction freelancing. Now she writes only fiction, and in stark contrast to her “day job” as an ER nurse, where she gets to save lives, the one common factor in her fiction, no matter what name it’s written under, is that someone always dies. Allyson K. Abbott is my little insider joke at having to pick yet another pseudonym. It’s not a coincidence the initials are what they are.  Check out her webpage here and on Facebook here.

I am giving away my copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 5, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

This book was from my private collection.

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Jodi Linton – Author of The Hiker’s Guide To Murder – #Interview | #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @JodiLinton1

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Jodi Linton
to Escape With Dollycas today!


The Hiker’s Guide To Murder (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
by Jodi Linton


Hi Jodi,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in Texas with my husband, two kids, one dog, and two cats. When I’m not writing my next cozy mystery, I’m working the day job at the family business my husband and I run together.

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

Give me a recipe and I’ll cook it. I love to cook, and try new foods.

I recently discovered my love for home decoration. Since we’ve been staying home, because of 2020 and 2021, we started to remodel our house, and I realized I really do a décor taste. Lol. I’ve enjoyed putting various styles together to find my own.

And third, I’ve traveled to several countries before I was married. My hope is once it’s safe to travel again, I can take my husband to see some of the countries I visited in my youth.

What is the first book you remember reading?

R.L Stein books.

What are you reading now?

I just finished It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time by Kyle Scott. It was my first time reading her, and I adored it. Her dialogue is so witty and sharp, and fast.

What books have most inspired you?

Sookie Stackhouse books and Stephanie Plum. After reading both series, I knew I had an itch to write my own mystery series.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I started out in romance. I sold my first series back in 2014. It was a mystery, that after the sell, I beefed up the romance in edits. I guess I’ve always enjoyed writing a book with a case as the plotline.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Not really. I have an office set up in my bedroom.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Life. Travels. My latest series, A Southwest Exposure Mystery Series, I gathered my ideas from our regular family trips to Red River, New Mexico and Salida Colorado. We went rafting, mountain bike riding, hiking, and even fed chipmunks in a ghost town. The only thing we didn’t find was a dead body like my heroine, Andie Sullivan. Thank goodness.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

The whole thing. I’m not kidding. I’m writing my 12th book, and each book has its own challenges. Sometimes it’s that little imposter syndrome voice echoing in my ear. Other times, it’s finding time to write as well as do mom duties and day work stuff.

What do you think makes a good story?

For me, it’s the character’s relationship and dialogue. I’m big on dialogue. – You are going to like my review 🙂

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

Andie Sullivan. I protect the people in my circle, but also strive to be the best person I can be for myself, and make sure I’m fulfilled in life as much as my kids are. I’m also quiet nosy. So, I’d probably make a good cozy mystery sleuth.

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

They’re set in a unique setting, open with action, and I try to blend my case plot with a romantic arc so the reader roots for both outcomes. Having written romance for so many years, the romantic angle is ingrained in me, and I knew I wanted a strong romance plot to play second fiddle to the mystery solving. I felt it grounded the characters in reality.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Writing book three in A Southwest Exposure Mystery Series, RAIDERS OF THE CAMPSITE.

Thank you so much, Jodi, for visiting today. 

More About Jodi Linton

Hey Y’all,

I’m just a girl from Texas, minus the big hair…and oh, yeah, a horse. My crew consists of two kiddos, one which inherited my makeup addiction, and a husband still living out his garage band dreams, but in our closet next to my shoe collection.

I love to hang out with my readers, discussing books, recipes, and just everyday shenanigans. I got started in the romance community, which you might know a few of my books from there. Now, I’m all about the cozies…and the coffee. Yeah, can’t forget that.

I’d love for you to come and join my reader group, Jodi’s Book Corner, or come like me on Facebook to discover my books. And chat. Naturally.

Author Links 

Facebook     Website   Twitter    BookBub

Youtube   Instagram  Jodi’s Book Corner   Newsletter

About The Hiker’s Guide to Murder


The Hiker’s Guide To Murder (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New Mexico
Independently Published (February 1, 2021)
Print length: ~200 pages
Digital ASIN: B08D28ZCMB

Hiking the Kindling National Forest is a birthday tradition for the Sullivan siblings—pitching camp, roasting s’mores… a dead body? Not exactly the fun party outdoor guide Andie Sullivan planned for her brother, Kyle. Welp.

 

When the body is identified as a local who worked at the parks department, Andie decides to put her clue-solving skills to use. Winter tourism is at stake, and if word gets out that Bushwhack has another killer on the loose, she can kiss that sweet revenue goodbye.

 

Easier said than done. Meanwhile, Sheriff Zac Mars is neck and neck with her on uncovering clues, proving solving the latest murder in town is harder than powering through a mountain bike tour on an energy bar breakfast. Racing against the clock, Andie must uncover evidence to make her mountain community safe for ski bunnies. But as one new plot twist turns into another dead body, Andie learns not everyone likes meddling civilian sleuths. If she’s not fast enough, the killer may find her before she finds them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Andie Sullivan and her brother Kyle hike the Kindling National Forest every year for Kyle’s birthday. A day for just the two of them usually. This year three people truly is a crowd especially when the third person is dead. The woman found in a cave was an employee of the Parks Department and her death could really affect Andie’s bottom line. Sullivan’s Adventure Company depends on tourists coming to Bushwack and dead bodies tend to deter their visits to the area.

So Andie starts some sleuthing on her own much to the dismay of Sheriff Zac Mars. Despite their age difference and the fact that Andie used to babysit Zac, you could cut the romantic tension with a knife. He knows she is not going to back away from the case so they make a friendly wager as to who will solve the case first. Then Andie finds another body and realizes she could be next. She may have taken her last hike.


After reading The Killer Outdoors I couldn’t wait to return to Bushwhack, New Mexico to see how Andie was fairing and what kind of adventure she, Zac, and Kyle would take us on next. I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

I really enjoy these characters. Andie is such a strong protagonist. She is independent and smart with a drive to succeed in her business and in life. She isn’t sure about starting a relationship with Zac but he is making it very clear that he wants to be more than friends. She feels the attraction, she just needs to be sure she isn’t making a mistake. Of course, Kyle isn’t shy about adding his two cents. And neither is Vivian, Andie’s friend who is always up for a little amateur sleuthing.  Ms. Linton has created a splendid cast of characters. Their relationships feel natural and the dialogue is superior.

The author also treats her readers to another fast-paced mystery. Trailing along with Andie was so much fun. I was totally caught up in trying to solve the mystery. I thought I was on the right track but then came that twist that jumbled by thinking and made perfect sense. The second book in the series, the second time I was surprised at the reveal.

What I really liked was the romantic vibes between Zac and Andie blended effortlessly with the mystery bringing some comedy to several situations while never detracting from the main story.  Sometimes it is hard to hit that balance but Ms. Linton does it very well.

Great characters and a first-rate story. I read The Hiker’s Guide To Murder incredibly fast, all in one sitting. I never once thought of putting it down. I am very excited about the continuation of this series. Raiders Of The Campsite hits shelves April 13. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of The Killer Outdoors here.


Purchase Link – Amazon –

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes for The Hiker’s Guide To Murder (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
by Jodi Linton

I enjoyed the plot. It was a fun ride along with Andie as she looked for clues and annoyed the Sheriff.
~My Reading Journeys

This was a quick and easy read with a fun storyline. I loved the interaction between the characters. Once I started reading, I had a difficult time putting the book down.
~Literary Gold

A light, quick read good for around a campfire or safe in your own home.
~Laura’s Interests

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
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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 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Hiss H for Homicide (A Nick and Nora Mystery) by T. C. LoTempio #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Hiss H for Homicide (A Nick and Nora Mystery)
by T. C. LoTempio

About Hiss H For Homicide


Hiss H for Homicide (A Nick and Nora Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series – 1st with this publisher
Setting – California
Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing (February 9, 2021)
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461947
ISBN-13: 978-1950461943
Digital ASIN: B08QW7Z25S

Nick and Nora are back in a tantalizing new mystery that’s far more dangerous than a game of cat and mouse . . .

 

Never one to turn away from a challenge—even when it goes against her better judgment—Nora Charles can hardly say no when an old friend of her mother’s comes to town seeking her help. The author of steamy romances has learned that her writing partner is severing their relationship and threatening to reveal dark and dirty secrets in a tell-all, and she pleads with Nora to intervene. Reluctantly agreeing to help, Nora pays a visit to the writing partner, ready to make her case—right up until the moment she discovers the woman’s lifeless body.

 

With the police convinced that Nora’s friend is the culprit, she and Nick begin delving into the dead woman’s past and her provocative tell-all. It soon becomes apparent that the woman had a knack for digging up dirt and wasn’t shy about exposing skeletons in closets, and before long Nora has a seemingly endless list of suspects who were at risk of having their darkest secrets revealed. With a police force intent on throwing the book at Nora’s friend and time running out, she and Nick must outwit a dangerous killer before they take their own secrets to the grave . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Handsome tuxedo cool cat Nick is back with his person, Nora Charles finding dead bodies and sleuthing out criminals in this long-awaited 4th installment of the Nick and Nora mysteries by T. C. LoTempio, This time Nora comes to the aid of an old friend of her mother, Desiree Sanders, one half of the writing team of Tiffany Blake.

It seems the other half of the team, Marlene McCambridge, wants to sever their partnership. Marlene has hinted she has a tell-all book revealing the secrets of several people, including Desiree. Desiree begs Nora to meet with Marlene and get to the truth about why she wants to dissolve their partnership. After trying to talk Desiree into several other options Nora agrees to try to meet with Marlene. Not sure what she can really do she sets off to visit the author.

Instead, when she and Nick arrive at the home the woman is renting they are too late. Marlene McCambridge is dead. Before calling the police Nick and Nora do a little snooping. But before she even makes the call law enforcement arrives in the form of Leroy Samms and he soon decides Desiree is his prime suspect prompting Nora to start her own investigation to clear her new friend’s name putting her right in the sights of the real killer.


I love the author’s twist on The Thin Man as the theme for her mysteries.  In this case, Nora is joined by a lovable cat named Nick.  Nick is a very special cat. He is very savvy in figuring out clues and presenting them in very clear ways for Nora to understand. I am so glad this series has returned and I was able to quickly reconnect with all the characters I had come to love. FBI Agent Daniel and FBI Agent on loan to the local police department Samms are both sweet on Nora. Nora and Daniel are dating as his workload allows but she can’t deny she has feelings for Samms too. They would both like her to stay out of the case and sell her sandwiches but know that is never going to happen. All of the characters in this story are very well developed and engaging but the author has left room for them to grow and stay fresh in their relationships.

Ms. LoTempio has crafted a superior mystery for this series return. Very quickly the plot opens up revealing quite a few suspects. Filled with twists and turns our protagonists are pulled in many different directions. Just when Nora thinks she has everything figured out another dead body shakes everything up. I love the way Nick and Nora communicate and the important role Nick plays throughout the entire story. He comes to Nora’s aid in a crucial moment and it had me cheering. The clever writing by this author always makes me smile.

Hiss H for Homicide is a great comeback for this series. I hope with this new publisher we will have many more Nick and Nora mysteries to enjoy. I highly recommend the entire series but the author has made it super easy to jump into the series with this book. Though I bet you will want to read them all.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About T. C. LoTempio 

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She and her cat pen the Nick and Nora mystery series originally from Berkley Prime Crime and now with Beyond the Page Publishing.  They also write the Cat Rescue series from Crooked Lane and the Pet Shop series, originally published by Midnight Ink and continued in 2021 with book two, KILLERS OF A FEATHER, from Beyond the Page. Catch up with them at ROCCO’s blog, catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com or her website, www.tclotempio.net or on Facebook.

Purchase Links –

AmazonB&NKOBOGoogle Play – 

The Rest of This Series

Also by This Author

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 10 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST. INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
February 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
February 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
February 13 – FUONLYKNEW -SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 15 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 16 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
February 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 18 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 19 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 20 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

 

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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 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Rhino Charge (A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Rhino Charge (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
by Victoria Tait

About Rhino Charge

Rhino Charge (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Kanga Press (February 5, 2021)
Print Length: 265 pages
Digital ASIN: B08PV45HYJ

A treacherous race to stop an extinction. A mysterious death linked to the past. Can a silver-haired sleuth track down the clues in time to save a life?

 

‘Mama Rose’ Hardie has always fought to conserve Kenya’s precious wildlife. Officiating at an off-road fundraising race in the iconic Maasai Mara, she’s shocked when a vehicle crash claims the life of a friend. And worse still, this was no accident…

 

When another friend is accused of plotting a deadly sabotage, the clever amateur sleuth vows to clear his name. But with motives between teams reaching deep into an unfortunate past, the determined woman must work fast to track down the wily killer. .

 

Can Rose catch the culprit before more lives are endangered?

 

Rhino Charge is the thrilling third tale in the Kenya Kanga cozy mystery series. If you like sharp heroines, suspenseful reveals, and iconic African settings, then you’ll love Victoria Tait’s breathtaking story.

 

Buy Rhino Charge to set a trap for a callous murderer today!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

‘Mama Rose’ Hardie is back and she is an official for a wild offroad race to raise money to protect the rhinos of Kenya. Teams run a vehicle obstacle course in the iconic Maasai Mara. The team that completes the course in the shortest distance wins. This has them traveling some scary routes in their quest to take the prize.

When a piece of equipment fails one of the vehicles flips, trapping the driver inside with a variety of injuries but death isn’t imminent until someones takes things into their own hands. When the driver is found dead Mama Rose takes it upon herself to track down the killer. She finds that until she gets to the truth about a past accident she can’t close in on the killer in the present. Can she pull all the clues together before someone else ends up hurt or dead? She sure hopes so.


Victoria Tait takes readers on a wonderful virtual trip to Maasai Mara, a game reserve in Kenya. Her words take us away to the place where we can find the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, Cape buffalo, black and white rhinos), one of the most famous safari destinations in Africa for the Rhino Charge, an annual event that hosts over 60 teams. And the perfect setting for a murder.

Our heroine, Mama Rose has been involved for years with her husband Craig as checkpoint officials. This year Craig is unable to attend but Chloe, Thabiti, and Sam are involved this year. Chloe helping Rose at the checkpoint and Thabiti and Sam as members of a team competing. They all play key roles especially when it comes to investigating and solving a murder. I really enjoy tagging along with Mama Rose. She is a smart, independent, inquisitive woman with the drive to right wrongs and get to the truth. Thabiti has grown quite a bit in this story and his sister is making strides as well. We are introduced to a variety of new characters but they all have a uniqueness about them and it makes it easy to keep everyone straight. It also gives readers a peek at the different cultures you find in Kenya.

The author has embedded these characters into a captivating mystery that ties into an event to the past while focusing on the reality of protecting the area’s wildlife. I was pulled into the story from the first page. The entire premise was fascinating and fresh making the book very hard to put down. I was all in and couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

I have enjoyed every book in this series. Ms. Tait shines a light on the challenges facing the people and animals will giving her readers an interesting mystery to escape right into. She really hits the right tone with the perfect amount of suspense. Rhino Charge is an excellent addition to this series. I am so happy to see the next book in this series Jackal & Hide will be released on May 14th.  Mama Rose looks to be off on quite a getaway and I am excited to virtually go along. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Victoria Tait

Victoria Tait is the author of the enchanting Kenya Kanga Mystery series.  She’s drawn on her 8 years of experience living in rural Kenya, with her family, to write vivid and evocative descriptions.  Her readers feel the heat, taste the dryness, and smell the dust of Africa.  Her elderly amateur sleuth, “Mama Rose” Hardie is Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple reincarnated and living in Kenya.

Like all good military wives, Victoria follows the beat of the drum and has recently moved to war-scarred Sarajevo in Bosnia. She has two fast growing teenage boys.  She enjoys horse riding and mountain biking but is apprehensive about learning to ski.  Victoria is looking forward to the sun, sand, and seafood of neighbouring Croatia when the world returns to normal.

Author Links

Website  –  Facebook  – Blog/News  – GoodReads – Pinterest

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – 

Coming May 14, 2021


TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 4 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 4 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
February 5 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 6 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
February 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 10 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
February 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 12 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
February 12 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

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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 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways Interviews New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Alexis Morgan – Author of Death by Intermission (An Abby McCree Mystery) #Interview / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @Alexis_Morgan @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Alexis Morgan
to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Alexis,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up near St. Louis and attended college there. My husband and I decided we would like to live near the mountains and jumped at the chance when a job offer made it possible for us to move to the Pacific Northwest. That where we’ve made our home for the past forty-plus years. I’ve published close to fifty

books, novellas, and short stories across different varieties of romances and most recently I’ve been writing cozy mysteries.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

I’ve always been interested in dinosaurs and once took my family all the way to Bozeman, Montana, to visit the paleontology museum there.

When I was in high school, I got to interview movie director Otto Preminger (Exodus, Anatomy of a Murder) for my school paper.

My favorite musical is The Lion King.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I’m sure I read other books before this one, but I loved BLACK BEAUTY and read it numerous times when I was a young reader.

What are you reading now?

Molly Harper’s ALWAYS BE MY BANSHEE.

What books have most inspired you?

I read across multiple genres and have learned a lot from a wide variety of authors. Early in my career, Linda Howard’s MIDNIGHT RAINBOW brought into sharp focus what kind of heroes I wanted to write in my own books. In WRITTEN IN RED, Anne Bishop amazes me with her complex world building. It makes me more conscious of how the setting in my books needs to be three dimensional and real enough to thoroughly ground the reader in the story.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I’ve always loved reading mysteries—Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Dick Francis, Ellis Peters, and so many more. I found myself wanting to create my own amateur sleuth and watch her adventures solving murders.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Yes, I love to write in my office especially since I need to have music on to concentrate. I go into my office close the door, and crank up the volume while I get lost in the flow of whatever story I’m working on.

 Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Most often, my stories start with a specific image and the story spins out from there. For example, my newest release, DEATH BY INTERMISSION, all started with me “seeing” someone sitting on a lawn chair just inside the tree line in a park. He appears to have simply dozed off, but he’s actually a murder victim. From that single image, I had to figure what he was doing there in the first place and who would have risked killing him in such a public place.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

I think threading in all the clues, red herrings, and possible suspects in just the right mix to draw the reader along for the ride without revealing too much too soon.

What do you think makes a good story?

For me, it’s all the elements in the story that come together to make me as the reader really care about the characters and what happens to them. I can always tell I’m reading a great book when I reach the end and I really wish I could spend more time in that world and with the people in it.

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

I’d like to think there’s a little of me in Abby McCree, the amateur sleuth in my cozy series. While I don’t really want to solve murders myself, I like how she does her best to take care of the people she cares about. I also love her relationship with Zeke, her mastiff-mix roommate. He’s loosely based on the two bulldogs in my life.

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

Since moving to Snowberry Creek, Abby McCree gets drawn into serving on various committees and community projects around town. This allows me to have Abby encounter people from all different walks of life—the quilting guild, the veterans group, bikers, bar owners, local police, homicide detectives, etc.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

The fifth Abby McCree Mystery, DEATH BY THE FINISH LINE, will be out later this year. In the meantime, I’m working on possible new adventures for Abby to see what other kind of trouble she can get into.

More About Alexis Morgan

Alexis Morgan is the USA Today bestselling author of over forty-five novels, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; contemporary romances; and cozy mysteries. A RITA® Award-finalist, Alexis Morgan is a member of RWA and Sisters in Crime. She lives in Washington State and can be found online at AlexisMorgan.com.

Author Links –Website –  Facebook – Twitter –   Blog

About Death by Intermission 


Death by Intermission (An Abby McCree Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Kensington (January 26, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496731255
ISBN-13: 978-1496731258
Digital ASIN: B087Z9CVW8

Abby McCree spends a summer showing family films under the stars—only to end the season with an unexpected slasher flick . . .

 

Ushered once again onto another committee by the mayor of Snowberry Creek, Washington, Abby is tasked with keeping the box office receipts of the town’s Movies in the Park nights. Cut to the director’s chair from where she’s suddenly organizing the summer’s last feature. From the opening scene through the final credits, Abby feels she’s earned nominations for best volunteer, best movie date with her tenant Tripp Blackston—and best daughter for ignoring her mother Phoebe’s own movie date with Owen Quinn.

 

Unfortunately, Abby and the others are treated to a post-credits scene: the body of local insurance agent Mitchell Anders. This discovery is followed by a plot twist revealing that the murder weapon comes from Owen’s food truck. With her mother’s boyfriend suspected of murder, Abby starts her own investigation determined to shine a spotlight on the real killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abby McCree finds herself in charge of another Snowberry Creek event. This time it’s a family film in the park. Everyone seems to have enjoyed the movie, especially Abby who took in the movie with Tripp Blackston, and Abby’s mother, Phoebe who attended the show with her new boyfriend, restauranteur, and food truck owner, Owen Quinn but they didn’t watch most of the movie because they were making out like teenagers and making Abby cringe.

When the movie was over and the park cleared out Abby, Phoebe, Tripp, and Owen took on the tasks of putting equipment and tables away and picking up any litter left behind. They also found a man who appears to have had too many adult beverages and is sleeping it off. But as Abby gets closer she realizes the man isn’t sleeping, he’s dead. He is identified as Mitchell Anders, the new insurance agent in town, and we quickly learn that he has been stabbed. Stabbed with a chef knife belonging to Owen.  Abby doesn’t know much about Owen but when her mother asks her to help clear his name she can’t say no. She also sees the tension between Phoebe and police chief Gage Logan so to keep the peace she needs to get involved. Hopefully, she isn’t making a huge mistake.


The characters I have come to love return, and they are joined by Abby’s mother Phoebe visiting from Seattle, Owen Quinn, who has come to town to open a restaurant and food truck, and his employee, Jada. Abby and Tripp’s relationship is moving along nicely. I love the two of them together but her mother doesn’t. In fact, her mother found issue with almost everything Abby did and all of her friends. She was a cantankerous woman throughout most of the story and Abby really did try to keep her cool but finally blew. I found Abby’s reactions to be very realistic. Her mother’s attitude and actions were a little over the top but the relationship challenges did add a unique slant to the book. Again the lovable mastiff Zeke stole my heart.

The mystery was very well constructed. Owen is holding something back and there are a wide variety of clues that open up the suspect pool. One glaring clue was found in an intriguing place and when discovered broke the case wide open. I really enjoyed this twist and the manner in which it was handled. The way all the subplots entwined with the main plot really kept those pages turning.

Death by Intermission is a superb addition to this series. Ms. Morgan knows how to give her readers a stellar mystery to solve laced with a nice amount of humor and the perfect amount of romance. She has placed her characters in an interesting small town that always has an event or two for them to get believably involved in.

I was smiling as the book drew to a close. I can’t wait to see what these characters are up to next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Committee here
and Death by Jack-o-Lantern here and Death by Auction here


Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N –  Kobo – GooglePlay  –  IndieBound 

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Great Escapes Parise for Death by Intermission (An Abby McCree Mystery)
by Alexis Morgan

The combination of the murder mystery, the family dynamics, and small town interactions keep the story moving and the reader engaged. Cozy mystery fans will not be disappointed with this one.
~Christa Reads and Writes

I liked the protagonist and her approach to the crime. Dialogue felt realistic. Her motivation for investigating was also believable.
~Mysteries With Character

Intelligent, well-developed characters, a smart well-plotted mystery, a spark of romance, a sweet big dog, and laugh out loud moments make DEATH BY INTERMISSION a fantastic book that shouldn’t be missed.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

This was a fun, fast-paced cozy mystery. I liked the small-town setting, the characters (especially Abby and her boyfriend/tenant, Tripp), and her lovable, protective Mastiff dog, Zeke.
~View from the Birdhouse

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 1 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 2 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 2 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
February 2 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 3 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST
February 4 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
February 4 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW
February 5 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
February 5 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 6 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 7 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 8 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 8 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
February 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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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 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Death by Bagpipes: A Summer Murder in Edinburgh (Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series) by Jennifer S. Alderson #Review / #Giveaway

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


Death by Bagpipes: A Summer Murder in Edinburgh
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Scotland
Independently published (September 14, 2020)
Paperback: 262 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8684013119
Kindle ASIN: B087RMBK7B

When a trip to Scotland ends in tragedy, travel guide Lana Hansen must sleuth out who murdered her guest before she ends up paying the piper.

Lana hasn’t seen her ex-husband, Ron, since their divorce was finalized eight months earlier. So when they bump into each on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, she is not exactly jumping for joy.

To make matters worse, Ron threatens a member of her tour group—a beloved and respected magician named Presto the Amazing. Ron is convinced Presto stole one of his magic tricks—the same act that propelled the famous magician into stardom—and swears he will get his revenge.

After Presto is scared to death by a group of well-meaning bagpipers, the police suspect he was first poisoned—and that Ron is the culprit!

As much as Lana would love to let her ex-husband rot in prison, she soon discovers that he is not the only one who would prefer to have Presto vanish.

Did Ron poison the magician? Or did one of several family members accompanying Presto on the trip use this vacation to knock off the domineering patriarch?

When another guest is murdered, Lana must decide how far she is willing to go to save the man who broke her heart.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What should have been an idyllic trip to Scotland is ruined by first one murder and then another.

Magician Presto has arranged a tour to Scotland for his family. Lana soon learns the family is highly dysfunctional but she never imagined their patriarch would be killed and that her ex-husband Ron, who she hasn’t seen in months, would be tapped as the prime suspect. Ron does have a history with the deceased by Lana can’t believe he would resort to murder.

Then another member of the family group is killed. With Ron in custody, Lana fears she is traveling with a killer.


Lana’s patience is really tried in this Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery. The family is a bunch of spoiled brats expecting their father/grandfather to dole out cash for their every need and want. Ms. Alderson has created a wonderful group of unlikable characters. They are each unique with their own issues and easily envisioned from the author’s descriptions. Lana and Presto’s personal secretary are the only ones besides one of the deceased that have any redeeming qualities.

The roots of evil in this mystery are money and greed and Lana has a plethora of suspects including her ex. The author has put her protagonist in a difficult situation. She sees and overhears things, things that make her realize she is in a prime spot to do some investigating. She uncovers many secrets and lies and in doing so she puts her own life in danger. I found the mystery to be very well-plotted with a nice pace and an exciting reveal.

Again Ms. Alderson takes her readers on a great virtual vacation. Her descriptive voice brings all the landmarks her characters visit to life. I just wish Presto’s family would have appreciated the extraordinary places they were visiting.

Death by Bagpipes was another Perfect Escape. I really am enjoying this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Jennifer S. Alderson

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

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

Author Links

Website – Goodreads  –Facebook – Twitter  –LinkedIn – BookBub


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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 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Dead Man’s Hand (Victoria Square Mystery) by Lorraine Bartlett and Gayle Leeson #Review

Release Date – February 5, 2021


Dead Man’s Hand (Victoria Square Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Polaris Press (February 5, 2021)
Paperback: 294 pages
ISBN-10: 1940801672
ISBN-13: 978-1940801674
Kindle – ASIN: B08NW5DJHW

Katie’s been dealt the Dead Man’s Hand …

It’s all fun and games when Katie Bonner and her friends play poker for chocolate-covered peanuts, but the very next day Jamie Seifert collapses and dies after visiting Katie’s tearoom on Victoria Square.

Katie’s business is on the line and she needs to prove Jamie wasn’t poisoned at Tealicious. Her first order of business is to locate the mysterious woman he was dining with, and her next step is to go undercover at a nearby poker club where Jamie won big just a week before. It seems everyone there might have had a motive to rub Jamie out…and if they learn Katie has been lying to them, she might be next!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Katie Bonner continues to get her life on track after her bad breakup with Andy. She has thrown herself into her work at Artisan’s Alley and Tealicious while also leading the committee investigating buildings near the Alley for sale. She is already feeling a bit overwhelmed when her friend Jamie Seifert keels over dead just after leaving her tea shop. Now her main job is saving her shop by proving nothing he ate or drank at Tealicious caused his death.

Jamie’s death wasn’t accidental. He was targeted and poisoned. Could his death be connected to his big poker win last week? Or is there another reason he was killed? Katie decides going undercover may be the only way to find out. It may also get her killed!


To say Katie’s life is in flux is a huge understatement. In addition to the recent murder of her friend, there are issues to be handled at the Alley, and her mother-in-law is coming to town to help save Tealicious but is the fact that her ex Andy seems to have a new woman in his life that really pushes her buttons. I am going to be frank, I didn’t like Katie’s deportment in this story. She has a short temper and is alienating people in her life that have stood by her through thick and thin. Friendships become strained and she may not be able to get them back. While I didn’t like her behavior it made her more real and true to life. We all have days when we say or do the wrong thing. We hurt people with words and actions and need to work hard to make up for it. I am glad the authors presented a less than perfect protagonist.

Another character exhibited some bad behavior too while many others were dealing with losing a friend or helping Jamie’s partner Seth and Jamie’s mother deal with their grief. It was heartwarming to see the group rally together to support where needed and assist in trying to find the killer. The authors also presented an eclectic group of suspects to investigate. All the characters in the story were well-crafted and the regulars continued to evolve in interesting ways.

The mystery was a puzzler to solve. Katie going undercover seemed a little off to me as she is a prominent member of the community and thinking she wouldn’t be recognized was pretty wishful thinking. It did set up some intriguing elements to the story. Combined with plenty of twists and turns it was difficult to truly pare down the suspects. I had my theories but when the real culprit was revealed I was totally wrong.

Ms. Bartlett and Ms. Leeson have dealt their readers a fast-paced mystery in Dead Man’s Hand. I applaud the realistic characters and situations. I enjoyed a lighthearted event that seemed to set everything back on the right track too. These authors are cozy pros and their stories never disappoint.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Authors

Lorraine Bartlett

The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorraine Bartlett‘s pen name Lorna Barrett on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it’s her talent — whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett — that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s). Check out the links to all her works here: http://www.lorrainebartlett.com

Gayle Leeson

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. Gayle has also written as Amanda Lee. She is currently writing the Kinsey Falls chick-lit/women’s fiction series, the Down South Cafe cozy mystery series, and the Ghostly Fashionista cozy mystery series. Her book KILLER WEDDING CAKE won the Bronze Medal in the 20th Anniversary IPPY Awards. Gayle lives in Southwest Virginia with her family and enjoys hearing from readers. Find her books on Amazon 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.”

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Marc Jedel – Author of fISh OUt of WaTER – An Ozarks Lake Mystery #AuthorInterview / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am delighted to welcome Marc Jedel to Escapes With Dollycas today!


Hi Marc, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

After years of working in high-tech marketing, I decided to try writing novels. I figured I had plenty of experience crafting fiction. It was just called emails, ads, and marketing collateral in my day job. Like my character, Marty, in the Silicon Valley Mystery series, I now live in Silicon Valley, work in high-tech, and enjoy bad puns. Like my characters Jonas and Elizabeth, in the Ozarks Lake Mystery series, I grew up in the South and spent plenty of time in and around Arkansas.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

1) Played professional soccer while completing my year as a Rhodes Scholar,

2) Nominated for both Pulitzer and Nobel prizes for my previous novels,

3) Likes to make up answers when asked questions for which he doesn’t have a good response. LOL, Good one.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I’d have to say it’s a tie between Go Dog Go and The Cat in the Hat. This might also explain my love for puns and entertaining word choices. What’s not to love about a story that has great wordplay and shows off awesome party hats?

What are you reading now?

I’m reading a variety of cozy mysteries to catch up on what’s popular as I try to avoid reading them while I’m in the middle of writing one. I tend to bounce back and forth between cozies, sci-fi, non-fiction history, and fantasy books.

What books have most inspired you?

I wasn’t originally planning to write mysteries. However, a few years ago, I picked up my wife’s copy of a Janet Evanovich novel. She got mad when I didn’t return it until I’d finished. My wife that is, not Janet. Janet would probably be happy because I’ve purchased a number of her other books and even consulted her How I Write book when I started my first book. I wouldn’t even mind if Janet decided to tell all her readers that they should try my books too (in case you’re reading this, Hi Janet!) Since then, I’ve read many other mysteries and cozy mysteries and enjoy the good ones for a light, humorous read.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I’ve wanted to write a book since I was young. For the longest time, it seemed I couldn’t come up with a good plot. Yet, my writing research clearly demonstrated that having a plot is critical to a book’s success.

One day, I received this awesome birthday drawing from my nieces. And my kids, or nieces, or one of our friends’ kids had done some crazy things. Probably all of the above. One thing led to another and the idea formed to loosely base a mystery with a self-absorbed, fashion-backward software engineer, his sister, and his nieces on my life. It’s clearly fiction. I mean, I’m not a software engineer.

With my novel, Fish Out of Water, I started a completely different series with very different characters, different humor, and different style of sleuthing. This seemed to be a way to keep things fresh for me and my readers. But I’ll continue writing stories in both series.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I guess my “special place” would be in front of my computer. I have been known to jot down ideas, fragments of conversations, and funny lines on my phone. Typically I write at a sit-stand desk with an extra wide monitor. The original concept was I would have my writing open on one side of the display and my notes or outline on the other. All too often, it seems like the writing is on one side but the other side has my internet browser or email open and distracting me.

 

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Most of the ideas came initially from some strange news article that I stumble across. Unfortunately, I can’t explain this because these often wind up serving as inspiration for the ending of the story. For Fish Out of Water, I wanted to write a more typical cozy mystery but illustrate the different perspectives of someone new to an area versus someone who grew up there. As my wife had grandparents who owned a small ranch in Arkansas and I spent time in and around Arkansas growing up, I thought it would be interesting to show both sides.

 

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Figuring out new, interesting, and plausible ways to kill someone is actually way more challenging than one might think. Especially when you’re trying to do it in such a way that an amateur detective can figure it out without involving any help from the police and I don’t want the readers to guess whodunnit. I’m very gratified when readers tell me they couldn’t guess who was the killer and why until the reveal. Yet all this requires some very unusual internet searches. I’m just glad no law enforcement officer has knocked on my door yet to ask why I was looking up something unusual.

What do you think makes a good story?

1) Great characters that people will care about. 2) Interesting plot that excites them to turn the pages faster. 3) Reasonable actions. I hate stories where the entire thing could be resolved if only the characters would call each other or ask someone an obvious question.

 

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

Marty Golden, my protagonist in the Silicon Valley Mystery series, is the most like me. Family and friends would tell you that he isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination for me to write, but I’m comfortable with that. Of course, Marty is the younger, funnier, cooler, and more handsome version of myself that I imagine I see in the mirror each morning. But Elizabeth and Jonas Trout in Fish Out of Water also have a disturbing number of similarities to me. I don’t know that I could write a first-person point-of-view novel and not have at least some resemblance to the protagonist.

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

I’ve become bored by cozies where the protagonist runs a bakery, bookstore, or bed & breakfast and this supposedly amateur sleuth gets extensive help from the police. So I made sure my characters don’t work with the police and have different jobs. Having both a male and female protagonist with different point-of-view chapters in Fish Out of Water also allows me to show very different takes on suspects and other characters and go to different places.

My Silicon Valley Mystery series is especially unique with its male protagonist who’s not particularly competent, nor especially brave, as the amateur sleuth. Setting it in Silicon Valley is also unusual for cozies but worked well. Despite finding himself thrust into challenging situations, Marty isn’t exactly hero material. He has a wonderful combination of wit, irreverent humor, and sarcasm mixed in with nerdy insecurities, absent-mindedness, and fumbling but effective amateur sleuthing skills. He’s got an active inner voice and doesn’t do a lot of advance planning. Instead, he throws himself into solving problems. Sometimes, he even succeeds.

Whats next on the horizon for you?

I’m continuing to write in both series. My next two books will be book 2 in the Ozarks Lake Mystery series, titled: Swimming with the Fishes, and I’m also working on book 5 in the Silicon Valley Mystery series, titled: Huh? Why? and Punch (say it aloud fast a few times). More novels in both series are planned.

Thank you Marc for visiting today! I loved your answers!

More About Marc Jedel

 

For most of my life, I’ve been inventing stories. Living in many places around the United States, including a lot of time in the South, has given me a particularly keen appreciation for those who feel like a “fish out of water” sometimes.

My writing skills were honed in years of marketing leadership positions in Silicon Valley. While my high tech marketing roles involved crafting plenty of fiction, we called these marketing collateral, emails and ads.

The publication of my first novel, Uncle and Ants in the Silicon Valley Mystery series, gave me permission to claim “author” as my job. And achieving Amazon Best Seller status gave me even better adjectives to use in front of “author.” This has led to way more interesting discussions than answering “marketing.”

Telling the stories in the Ozarks Lake Mystery series has given me an enjoyable opportunity to spend time with characters that somewhat resemble people I’ve known. Writing alternating chapters from the perspective of each spouse of the newlywed Trout couple allowed me to experience multiple personalities without getting a visit from mental health professionals.

Author Links – Website    BookBub     FaceBook     LinkedIn    GoodReads 

About fISh OUt of WaTER


fISh OUt of WaTER – An Ozarks Lake Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Arkansas
Publisher: BGM Press (January 8, 2021)
Number of Pages: 275

A small-town homicide. A community swamped in secrets. Can married amateur sleuths bait and capture the killer before the truth slips away?

 

Elizabeth Trout had escaped her rural Arkansas hometown. Compelled to sort through her deceased grandmother’s belongings, she and her new husband Jonas make an unexpected trip to the family ranch. But when the property manager turns up dead, Elizabeth is rocked when her ex-boyfriend-turned-deputy arrests her for the murder.

 

With incriminating evidence and the sheriff convinced he’s got the right suspect, Elizabeth and Jonas must fish for clues on their own. But with a multitude of potential culprits and her husband’s contrasting personality, Elizabeth fears she may be left dangling on the hook for a crime she didn’t commit.

 

Can these newlyweds net the real killer before Elizabeth is jailed for murder?

 

Fish Out of Water is the charming first book in the Ozarks Lake Mystery series. If you like quirky characters, clever twists and turns, and puzzling whodunits, then you’ll love Marc Jedel’s humorous tale.

Buy Fish Out of Water to reel in a slippery catch today!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Elizabeth and Jonas Trout have traveled from Portland to her home town of Jenkins, Arkansas to deal with her inheritance from her grandmother. Along with her mother, a local doctor, they are sorting through furniture. artwork, photographs, and more to get ready for an estate sale and future sale of her grandmother’s home. Before they can even get started on the project Elizabeth is arrested by her former boyfriend, for the murder of Duncan Fowler. Fowler was a schoolteacher, and property manager hired to help Elizabeth’s grandmother with her ranch. Elizabeth did have a public altercation with the man over some property damage but she didn’t kill the man. The Sheriff thinks he has more than enough evidence to convict her of the crime so it’s time for the Trout’s to do a little fishing for some better suspects. There are not many secrets in this little town but they reel in a whopper that should catch the real killer and land them behind bars.


The Trout’s are a very likable couple with excellent taste in dogs and their names. The puppy on the cover looks just like our recently deceased dog and we have named our new 10-week old pup, Daisy Mae, so you know the canine character immediately stole my heart. Elizabeth’s mom is a doctor and sometimes the medical examiner. She seems to be in non-stop motion tending to her patients or another cause. Because of Elizabeth’s arrest, she can’t have anything to do with the body but that doesn’t mean she can’t get information to clear her child’s name. The victim, Duncan Fowler had a lot of irons in the fire and at one point or another, it seemed like the entire town of Jenkins had a reason to kill the man. I enjoyed the small-town atmosphere and all the residents we met in this first Ozarks Lake Mystery. The characters developed nicely over the course of the story but there is plenty of room for growth as the series continues.

Keeping with the fishy theme, the mystery was filled with red herrings. The Trouts needed a huge net to hold all the suspects and patience as they tried to weed out those with a motive but clearly not the killer. With some nice twists, I was in the dark as to who the guilty party was until near the very end. I did figure out some other aspects as to how the story would play out though. One part didn’t completely fall into place by the end of this story but probably will in the next installment. The ending was exciting and surprising as all the clues fell into place.

This is the first book I have read by Marc Jedel after seeing so many wonderful reviews of his Silicon Valley Mysteries. What always caught my attention was his liberal use of humor so I jumped at the chance to read and review Fish Out of Water. I was thrilled to see his sense of humor shined in this book as well. He also filled this story with plenty of Southern charm.

Fish Out of Water was a delightful whodunit with truly engaging characters and a complicated mystery that I found to be completely entertaining. I am anxious to read the next book in this series, Swimming with the Fishes, I have also added all the Silicon Valley Mysteries to my wish list.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Purchase Links: Amazon

Also by Marc Jedel


TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
February 1 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 1 – My Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 2 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW   
February 3 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
February 4 – Literary Gold  – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 4 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
February 6 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
February 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 8 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
February 8 – Adventures Of A Travelers Wife – GUEST POST
February 9 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 10 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 11 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
February 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

 

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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.”