Nov 162017
 

Cremains of the Day (A Tallie Graver Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (October 31, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 293 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496712219
Kindle ASIN: B01N4VUGWR

 

 

There’s no reverse on the hearse . . .

For Tallulah Graver, marrying wealthy Waldo Phillips seemed like the best way out of the family business, the Graver Funeral Home. But when her marriage falls apart and Tallie is left with next to nothing, she turns to cleaning houses to make ends meet. As humbling as it is to tidy the mansions of the snobby socialites she used to call friends, at least she doesn’t have to be around dead bodies. Until . . .

She discovers one of her employers lying in a closet with a knife sticking out of her chest. This unpleasant shock seems to be part of a web of weird experiences: Tallie’s friend Gina’s shop is broken into, her ex is stun-gunned where it hurts the most, and now she’s receiving flowers from the dead woman. Granted the deliveryman is handsome, but seriously, that’s enough to cast a pall over anyone’s day. Now Tallie needs to dig deep to clean up this mess—before she finds herself in a grave situation.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Graver family business is funerals, how appropriate, but Tallulah Graver wanted out so she married Waldo Phillips III. While staying married to him kept her in a nice lifestyle and away from dead people she could stand Waldo one more minute and left him with almost everything and moved into the apartment over her family’s funeral home. To survive on her own she works there part time and now cleans houses like the one she used to live in. That is until she finds one of her clients stabbed to death. Add to that she finds her ex tasered behind her friend Gina’s shop and there is a flower delivery man following her everywhere. Tallie has not had a good week. The bumbling police have her at the top of their suspect list for both Waldo’s attack and the murder. The only way to prove them wrong is sweep the clues together herself and hand them to the police on a silver platter or in an open casket, whichever works best.

Misty Simon has given readers a great mystery to start off this series. Tallulah Graver (Tallie) is a strong protagonist. She does her best to shake off her old life and get on with her new one. How she ever stayed with that jerk of a husband as long as she did is beyond me. He deserved to be tasered or worse. His actions put Tallie in a very precarious situation. A first class jackass! Yes, there is a bit of course language in the book and considering where Waldo was tasered an adult theme. It didn’t bother me a bit because the language fits the situations and the other added some timeless humor.

The primary and secondary characters were well written and there is plenty of room for growth in the main characters. The dialogue was realistic and engaging. The flower delivery man was such a clever twist to the story and I will not say more because I do not want to ruin the story for you. I really liked it.

The book sets a nice pace and the mystery unfolds very nicely with some exciting twists. There were several suspects and some very interesting discoveries. I was very entertained by the way it all played out.

For the first book in the series I was very impressed. I could easily picture the funeral home and Tallie’s apartment as well as the mansion where the murder took place. I hope to see more development in the setting, getting to know the town and more of its residents better in future installments. The ending left me very happy and looking forward to the next book in the series. Grounds of Remorse is “coming soon” according to the final page of my e-copy.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Laughter and Love are two main components of any story I write. Laughter really is the best medicine and my heroines always figure that out at some point, though perhaps some later than others. I live in Central Pennsylvania with my family and two rambunctious dogs in a house that is about to celebrate its two hundredth birthday. You can find Misty Simon on Facebook here.

 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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 November 30, 2017 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.”

Nov 152017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to have Wendy Tyson here to visit today!
Her latest book Seeds of Revenge was released yesterday!

Escape with Dollycas

By Wendy Tyson

 

One of my earliest memories as a child involved a trip to the Pennsylvania countryside. I was about three or four years old, and my parents took me and my brother to visit friends in the mountains. We drove to their farmhouse in the evening, and when we arrived it was late. I remember a collage of sensations: cold air against my skin, an endless sky, a cozy bedroom, the soft fur of their cat, and a warm bed with a thick quilt and coverlet. I can’t tell you much else about that visit beyond how it made me feel, but for some reason the experience stayed with me.

It was only recently that I realized I’d recreated some of that feeling in our new home, a chalet in Vermont’s Green Mountains. The house is tiny by today’s standards, but cozy, and the living room looks out on a deck and the mountains beyond. We keep the house cool, but I’ve dressed the beds with heavy quilts—the weight of the blankets is somehow a comfort. At night when I walk the dogs, my senses are assaulted by the scents and sounds of the surrounding woods.

In the spring, the peeper frogs chirp in an amphibian chorus, and coyotes, owls, turkeys, and bullfrogs are often heard in the summer and fall through our open windows. Winter is dead quiet, except for the wind and occasional freezing rain/sleet pelting the metal roof—but the view of the snow carpeting the countryside? Breathtaking. The biggest delight of all may be the night sky. We’re treated to a blanket of stars on clear nights, and sometimes my family and I will spend hours outside, identifying constellations and enjoying the peace.

The house is a favorite place to write. When it’s cold outside (or buggy), I pull the table in front of the window and write on my laptop, but in the summer (once the black flies are gone), I write outside, either on the deck or at a table under a tree in the woods. I prefer a view when I write. Maybe it’s the series I’m working on, but the connection to nature helps me think.

In some way I’ve created a similar retreat with my Greenhouse mysteries—Washington Acres Farm. Megan and her grandmother Bibi—along with two dogs, two goats, a barn cat, and a brood of chickens—live in the Pennsylvania countryside, in an old farmhouse, surrounded by woods. The kitchen is an amalgamation of the kitchens I grew up in, especially those of my grandmothers. It’s not modern or flashy. The cabinets are old, built by Megan’s grandfather in his workshop. There’s no island or high-end appliances. Instead, a beat-up farm table functions as workspace and an eating area. The gas stove is old but reliable, and the double farmhouse sink is often filled with fresh vegetables from the farm waiting to be simmered or stewed or steamed.

The Washington Acres farm kitchen is a place to congregate and talk. Tough discussions are had there. And often it’s the place the pieces of a mystery come together.

Megan, a military widow and former Chicago environmental lawyer, returns to the fictional town of Winsome and her grandmother’s farm when in her early thirties, at the behest of her father, who needed Megan to stay with her grandmother. But as with many homecomings, Megan’s return to Winsome is as much a salve to her own emotional wounds as it is a help to Bibi. Megan finds healing in that kitchen, in the drafty bedrooms, within the walls of the old barn, and along the forest trails.

My mother and I discussed my early childhood memory recently. She was surprised the trip made such an impression. We only stayed at the farmhouse for one night, and by the time we arrived it was late, so she and my father put my baby brother and me to bed. It was cold outside, she said, and the house was drafty and large. She didn’t recall a cat. I slept in a room with a handmade quilt, and the next morning we had pancakes in the big working kitchen.

“You may be transferring some of your experiences from your grandmothers’ houses onto that trip,” my mom suggested. “You always like to spend time with your grandparents.”

Maybe she’s right. Maybe it was the elusive nature of such an early memory that had an indelible effect on me. Or maybe it was reinforced by the trips I would take later in life. Regardless of the why, now that I’m older and have lost so many people who were dear to me, I’m grateful I could recreate that sense of cozy in my Vermont home, and equally grateful to spend time in Washington Acres with Megan and Bibi.

I hope readers enjoy it there, too.

~Wendy

Thanks for visiting Wendy, I love this post! 

Now let me tell you what I think of her new book. It is a Fantastic Escape!


Seeds of Revenge (A Greenhouse Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Henery Press (November 14, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635112757
Kindle ASIN: B07519T827

 

 

 

It’s time to cuddle up with a holiday whodunit. Smell the crisp pines and baking cranberries as you sip your hot apple cider. It may be the season, but the mood in Winsome is anything but jolly.

Megan Sawyer is determined to farm year-round. So much so that she braves a December snowstorm to pitch her fresh greenhouse greens to Philadelphia chefs.

And then she sees a stranger stranded on the side of the road.

But this woman is no stranger to Winsome. It’s Becca Fox. A love chemist (you read that right). She’s headed to her aunt’s house to sell her love potions at holiday events.

Or so Becca thinks.

Her sneaky aunt only invited Becca home to reunite her with her estranged father. It sounds noble and kind-hearted, until the man ends up dead.

Megan soon finds herself in the middle. She realizes Becca’s not the only one getting iced over. Megan’s own aunt, the famous mystery author, is dragged into the drama. Her novels implicate her and she’s in trouble.

Now it’s personal. Our Megan must follow a cryptic trail of literary clues, all while sifting through the victim’s sordid past. She gets closer to the truth as the murderer gets closer to her.

How’s that for a ho ho ho? Don’t let your fresh apple crisp burn in the oven because you’re lost in this holiday homicide.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The “seeds of revenge” are planted deep within this mystery. Megan Sawyer, being the good person she is rescues a stranded motorist in the middle of a blizzard. She delivers Becca Fox right to her aunt’s door. Becca plans to sell her “love potions” at her aunt’s nursery over the holidays. Things are frosty upon her arrival as she meets her father, the man she holds responsible for her mother’s death, on her aunt’s front porch. Becca is upset about the collusion between the two. Megan finds herself in icy straights when the man is found dead. Not only is Becca a suspect but in a remarkable twist so is her own aunt, the famous mystery author. Megan has no choice but the dig in to the investigation putting herself on the killer’s hit list. It doesn’t matter if she has been naughty or nice, this could be her last Christmas in Winsome.

I have heard of love potions including the famous Love Potion #9, but I had never heard of a Love Chemist. Becca Fox has an interesting little business but she has hasn’t had it easy since her mother died. She believes her father killed her mother and she has not had anything to do with him since. She has a brother but he does not hold the same beliefs about their father. Megan is drawn to her and so was I. Becca is a complicated character and Ms. Tyson has really brought her to life in this story.

Bibi, Megan’s grandmother, reminds me so much of my own grandmother and mother. A hard working woman determined to get to the truth no matter what. She is also one to not hold her tongue. She will tell you her opinions and thoughts on virtually any subject as woman of that generation tends to do. She warms my heart.

I also love Scottish vet, Daniel “Denver” Finn and the direction of his relationship with Megan. It is fun to see this relationship grow.

The pacing of this book is different. I felt the story was unfolding at a comfortable pace, the clues were being uncovered and I was right there with Megan the entire way, engaged and captivated. The ending was a total surprise. Then I looked up and realized I had read the entire book in one sitting and faster than I had read a book in a very long time. Truly is was a fast pace story but not once did anything feel rushed or glossed over. The author delivered a truly fantastic read.  I never once looked for a stopping place or even thought about putting the book down.

The characters are well defined and the mystery was exceptional. A cozy mystery with a bit of an edge and I loved it!! It was a trip to Paradise, a chilly escape in the winter but Paradise nonetheless.

You will want to start this series from the beginning and get to know the characters from the start. I am anxiously awaiting and excited for my next trip to Winsome.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

wendy

About The Author

Wendy Tyson is an author, lawyer and former therapist whose background has inspired her mysteries and thrillers. Wendy’s latest novel, DYING BRAND, the third Allison Campbell mystery, was released in May 2015. The first Campbell novel, KILLER IMAGE, was named a best mystery for book clubs in 2014 by Examiner.com. Wendy is also the author of The Greenhouse Mystery Series, the first, A MUDDIED MURDER, was released last year, Bitter Harvest was released today. Wendy and her husband are passionate organic gardeners. They live with their three boys and three dogs on a micro-farm just outside of Philadelphia.

 

Author Links

Author website    Facebook     Goodreads 

Twitter: @WendyTyson    Pinterest: Greenhouse Mystery Series


Also by Wendy Tyson

I am giving away Paperback Copy.
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for the Wendy for 5 Bonus Entries.

Sign up for Book Alerts from Henery Press and earn 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 29, 2017 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.”

Nov 142017
 

Death in the Stacks (A Library Lover’s Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 14, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399583759
Kindle ASIN: B06WD7NVBQ

 

 

Lindsey Norris and her staff are gearing up for the Briar Creek Library’s annual Dinner in the Stacks fund-raiser. The night of dinner and dancing is not only a booklover’s dream—it’s the library’s biggest moneymaker of the year. But instead of raising funds, the new library board president is busy raising a stink and making the staff miserable.

Although Olive Boyle acts like a storybook villain, Lindsey is determined to work with her and make the event a success. But when Olive publicly threatens the library’s newest hire, Paula, Lindsey cracks like an old book spine and throws Olive out of the library.

The night of the fund-raiser, Lindsey dreads another altercation with Olive—but instead finds Paula crouched over Olive’s dead body. Paula may have secrets, but Lindsey and the rest of the crafternooners know she’s not the one who took Olive out of circulation. As the plot thickens, Lindsey must catch the real killer before the book closes on Paula’s future . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jenn McKinlay’s wonderful series continues as the Dinner in the Stacks fundraiser is about to take place in Briar Creek. That is if the new library board president, Olive Boyle doesn’t screw everything up. She is a cantankerous woman that makes Ms. Cole (lemon) look like a real peach. Olive Boyle has all kinds of plans for the library including uniforms and getting rid of Lindsey and Paula. She also makes some last minute decisions regarding the fundraiser dinner, but luckily Lindsey is able to get everything back on track.

The big night arrives and so does Olive Boyle along with her friends. She tries to steal the limelight by trashing Lindsey until the plug to the mic is pulled. The event goes on as planned but at the end of the night the board president is missing and when she is found, she has been stabbed to death in the stacks with Paula by her side. She claims she didn’t do it and Lindsey believes her, but she is their prime suspect. Lindsey soon learns Olive has plenty of enemies even among her friends. She vows to stay out of the case but with the evidence pointing to Paula her staff begs her to solve the case before their friend is sentenced to life at prison library.

Each addition to the Jenn McKinlay shelf at the library makes me happy. This installment has all of my favorite characters working together to find out who killed the woman no one in town really liked. All these characters continue to evolve and grow and by the end one of them startles them all by taking a giant step. The author also integrates the characters from her Cupcake Bakery Mysteries and her Hat Shop Mysteries as they first show up as guests at the dinner and then drop in at the library. It was fun seeing all the characters in one place.

Ms. McKinley has written another extraordinary mystery. She sets a quick pace and leads readers down a tightly woven path. All this while dropping actual books and authors into the story line with Lindsey making book recommendations or checking books out or putting them back on the shelf. The suspect pool is large and eliminating people from the list isn’t easy. Each twist bring new possibilities but we are kept guessing right up until the end.

I was engaged by the characters and entertained by the entire story. I always enjoy my trips to Briar Creek and can’t wait to return next year.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out all about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.

Library Lover’s Mysteries

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries


Hat Shop Mysteries

Bluff Point Romance

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 hardcover copy to give away! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Subscribe to Jenn’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 28, 2017 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.”

Nov 112017
 

That Olde White Magick (An Abracadabra Mystery)
by Sharon Pape


That Olde White Magick (An Abracadabra Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (November 7, 2017)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516100583
E-Book ASIN: B06X3TLCLH

 

 

It’s time to work her crime-solving magic again . . .

Kailyn Wilde enjoys running her shop, Abracadabra, in the quaint New York hamlet of New Camel, where she lives with her six cats. Her family’s been here for centuries, and she’d like to keep up the tradition. But the place may never be the same if a big hotel gets built, so she does her civic duty and attends a town meeting along with her aunt Tilly . . . and Merlin. Yes, that Merlin—though he gets introduced to folks as her “distant English cousin.” The wizard is pretty grumpy about being transported here, but there are things about the modern world he doesn’t mind—like pizza.

Kailyn was prepared for a heated debate about the hotel, but she wasn’t expecting murder. When Tilly finds the body of a board member outside the schoolhouse, Kailyn doesn’t want any suspicion cast on the wrong person. She plans to crack this case, even if she has to talk to every living soul in town—plus a few departed ones . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Two sorcerers and a wizard walk into a town meeting . . . and before the meeting starts one of them finds a dead body.

Kailyn Wilde is back and finds herself right in the middle of another murder investigation. Between trying to hone her magickal skills and taking care of the customers flowing into Abracadabra she really doesn’t have the time she needs to devote to catching a killer so she needs to wrap of this case quickly. She ends up casting a few spells to keep herself safe as she questions almost the whole town, past and present. Someone has to know something.

I so enjoy the way Sharon Pape brings a story to life. These characters are amazing. Kailyn is missing her mother and grandmother but they do “pop” in to visit frequently, encouraging her to learn more about her craft along with some other mostly unwanted advice. Aunt Tilly stays busy with her tea shop and readings and does her best to keep wizard Merlin from conjuring up any trouble. He definitely brings the comedy to the story. Folks around town know him as the “distant English cousin”. He loves pizza and television but he still wishes he could go back to his own time.

The mystery this time centers around a hotel being built that could change everything about the New Camel tourists and residents have come to love. The suspects could be anyone wanting to stop the project or someone wanting to be sure the project is pushed through. I loved the twists and was shocked by the ending. The author has a very descriptive way of writing that made me as the reader feel I was there every step of the way but I must have missed a crucial clue 🙂 I figured it out the same time as Kailyn.

The was another magickal story for this series. There is a fun paranormal theme that entertains from start to finish. I am excited for the next book, Magick Run Amok will be released May 1, 2018. I am looking forward to another Great Escape! 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author

Sharon 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 ever condensed. Then life brought her an unexpected challenge, by the name of breast cancer. After treatment she and her oncologist started a not-for-profit to provide information and peer support to breast cancer patients. With the organization up and running, she returned to her first love – writing. This time around she’s been writing cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist. That Olde White Magick is the second book in her Abracadabra Mysteries.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook –  Pinterest – Twitter


Purchase: Amazon  B&N   kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Visit all the stops! 

November 7 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – INTERVIEW
November 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 10 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – INTERVIEW
November 11 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT
November 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
November 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
November 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 14 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
November 16 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
November 17 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
November 18 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
November 19 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
November 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

 

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

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

Nov 102017
 

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.


Last week I reviewed the 1st book in this series Working Stiff,
you can still enter to win a copy
.
I enjoyed it so much I found the next one on my
To-Be-Read shelf for this week.

Scared Stiff
(Mattie Winston Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (September 1, 2010)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758234544
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758234551
Kindle ASIN: B005B0I2ZY

 

 

When Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston and her boss/best friend, Izzy, are called to the home of waitress and part-time model Shannon Tolliver, they find the ghoulish Halloween decorations a bit too authentic. Among the fake blood and skeletons is the corpse of Shannon herself. Since the whole town knows Shannon recently had a very public spat with her estranged husband, Erik, he’s suspect #1. But Mattie happens to know Erik truly loved his wife, and is simply incapable of the brutal act-even if he owns the exact same caliber handgun as the murder weapon. . .

Determined to unearth the truth, Mattie puts her scalpel-sharp medical skills to work, and digs a little deeper. What she uncovers is stranger than anyone could have imagined. . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I now have another author in addition to Julie Mulhern that makes me laugh out loud so much my family thinks I am losing it. The first book in this series,
Working Stiff, made me laugh a lot but this one had me laughing from start to finish.

Former nurse now assistant medical examiner Mattie Winston is a hoot and a half. In this story Mattie gets called away from a blind date to a residence that has taken their Halloween decorations very seriously. Unfortunately one of the dead bodies in the yard is real, part-time model and waitress Shannon Tolliver has died surrounded by her fake tombstones and skeletons. Separated from her husband, he becomes the prime suspect. Maddie’s gut tells her he didn’t do it. She is going to use her new job to dig into the case on her own. Maddie is also called to the site of a car accident in this book.  Her arrival is one of the hysterical moments I mentioned above.

The story picks up almost where the last one leaves off. Maddie has left her husband, the doctor and has taken up residence in her boss/best friend’s guest house. She gets into an accident with her car and not wanting to ask her husband for help getting a new vehicle she ends up making a very interesting choice in her mode of transportation. There is still a growing romantic tension between Maddie and Detective Steve Hurley. Their dialogues are priceless. Maddie reminds me of Lucille Ball/Ricardo (I Love Lucy). You know how Lucy would just get herself in situations where she had the best intentions where everything went wrong and that were sidesplitting funny. Maddie is just like that.

Along with all the humor there is a very well plotted mystery they brings in all kinds of secondary characters. They are all very fleshed out and unique and run the gambit of nice to crazy. The story twists and turns with odd connections that have to mean something. This was a tough one to solve and I was totally wrong. The secondary plot line almost overtakes the main one due to the characters involved and I loved the way that part of the story was wrapped up.

Murder, mayhem, romance, a Wisconsin setting, and a huge dose of humor have got me addicted to this series. I have already placed my order for book #3, Frozen Stiff, and will be getting the rest of the series too.

I loved this story but it does cross over some cozy norms by containing explicit language and some coarse and a little gross moments, but dead bodies being found and examined it not all wine and roses. So this book may not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you are a fan of Lucille Ball and Stephanie Plum these books are right up your alley.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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

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


I am giving away my hardcover copy of Scared Stiff.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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 November 24, 2017 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

*This was from my personal collection.

Nov 082017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I love this series, so I love it when Kate visits! 

When Is “Fake” Okay?

by Kate Carlisle
Post provided by Publicist

Kate Carlisle is the New York Times bestselling author of the Fixer-Upper Mysteries, featuring Shannon Hammer, a home contractor who discovers not only skeletons in her neighbors’ closets, but murder victims, too. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is bringing the Fixer-Upper Mysteries to TV in a series of movies starring Jewel and Colin Ferguson. Visit Kate online at www.KateCarlisle.com.

Everyone in the homebuilding industry has run into a snob a time or two, I’m sure. My dad would bring home stories that made all of us roll our eyes. Like the gold-plated toilet handle.

Seriously???

In my latest Fixer-Upper Mystery, Eaves of Destruction, contractor Shannon Hammer has been hired by rival neighbors to beautify their homes for the hotly contested title of Best of Show in the annual Victorian Home and Garden Tour. One client is outraged when Shannon suggests they buy wood onlays to replace carved panels.

Petsy shook her head in disbelief. “But these things are . . . why, they’re . . . they’re fake!”

I was about to laugh—until I got a better look at her horrified expression. “Let me assure you that this is a perfectly acceptable way of creating the look you want. The pieces are manufactured in England.”

I covertly rolled my eyes as I said the words. As if something coming from England made it more legitimate? But for some people, that fact made all the difference.

To show you just how foolish Petsy’s snobbery is, here’s an example of a beautiful onlay from ArchitecturalDepot.com.

Many onlays are carved from wood—real wood—so there’s nothing fake about them. They’re simply made. . . elsewhere. And, by the way, as Shannon points out in the book, people in Victorian times used onlays all the time!

That got me thinking—when else is “fake” okay?

Hair Color

Honestly, I’ve been blond so long that at this point, my natural color would feel fake.


Who is that strange woman?

3D Printed Tools

Did you know that the international space station has a 3D printer? So now if astronauts break or lose a tool, they can print another—even tools with moving parts! (I swear, we live in the future.)

Prosthetic Limbs

The advances in prosthetics have been jaw-dropping. It’s so heartening that loss of a leg—or even both legs—no longer means a person is facing a life of severely limited mobility. It’s still not something anyone would choose, but wow, what a difference prosthetics have made!

Can you think of any other examples of when “fake” is okay?

~Kate

Thank you so much for visiting today Kate! 

Eaves of Destruction
(A Fixer-Upper Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – California
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 7, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399586460
Kindle ASIN: B06VTV6Q1G

 

 

Murder is on the to-do list when construction contractor Shannon Hammer looks for a killer in the fifth Fixer-Upper Mystery….

At the annual Victorian Home and Garden Tour, Lighthouse Cove, California’s premier contractor, Shannon Hammer, realizes that the competition is about to turn deadly….

Shannon is in high demand among rival homeowners, who will do anything to win Best in Show. One-upmanship and even espionage break out among neighbors, construction crews, decorators, and landscapers. Thanks to several new hires, Shannon is sure she can handle the extra load—until murder throws a wrench in the works.

The small town’s corrupt building inspector is found dead on one of Shannon’s jobsites, and soon plenty of suspects are coming out of the woodwork. When another body is discovered, Shannon calls on her team of close friends and devilishly astute thriller writer Mac to help her nail down the details and build a case against the killer before the door shuts on someone else—for good.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lighthouse Cove is getting ready for the Victorian Home and Garden Tour and everyone wants to have a little work done in hopes of coming in 1st this year. No one wants to win more than Petsy Jorgensen. Her neighbor won last year so she is pulling out all the stops with some delicate work inside the house and adding an orangery onto the house as well. Petsy is a “difficult” client but Shannon feels the home is a real “gem” and she really wants this job. She has several works in progress so he has hired a new carpenter to help with all the work the Home and Garden tour is bringing to her company, especially the detailed work for the Jorgensens.

Work at all the sites is on schedule until the town’s building inspector is found dead at one of them. Joe Scully has been a thorn in Shannon’s side since she took over the construction business from her dad. He seemed to rub everyone in town the wrong way so building a case isn’t going to be easy. At least the police don’t think Shannon is a suspect. Still she teams up with her favorite thriller author Mac to see if together they can hammer out the details and close the case before more bodies start piling up on her jobsites.

This was a story with many, many layers, taking us on quite a historic tour of our own. The Jorgensen house has been in the family forever so it is easy to understand why the current caretakers would want it to be a showplace. But Petsy Jorgensen is all about winning the prize. She was a mean woman and hard not only on Shannon and her crew but to her family as well. Shannon didn’t like it but took it and kept her mouth shut for the most part. The author has given Shannon much more patience and focus than I would ever have. That being said this evil character is so well written and fleshed out, as are her husband and daughter. I got very emotional over the way Petsy talked to and treated her daughter.

I worked in construction for awhile so following Shannon around is extra fun for me. Her take on onlays and the work her carpenter did in the Jorgensen’s dining room was very interesting. For me, the building inspector was the perfect victim. Good ones are picky but corrupt ones like Joe Scully have no place in the building world, but sadly there are quite a few out there. While not a good idea in real life, having one killed in a fictional sense was pretty delightful.

All my favorite characters from previous book have returned and I love the way Shannon’s dad and her uncle are celebrating their retirement. Shannon and Mac’s relationship is strong and their dialogues are very real. The do make a great sleuth team. Shannon’s interactions with her crew are also very true to life.

As always the setting is divine, I love Victorian houses and all their little nooks and crannies and bonus spaces.

I really enjoyed the mystery. It was pretty fast paced with some very clever twists. It was very well thought out and with a fantastic ending.

I highly recommend the whole series!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Read more about Kate and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries at www.KateCarlisle.com!


Also by Kate Carlisle

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away. 

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Sign Up For the Author’s Newsletter for 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 22, 2017 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.”

Nov 072017
 

Thread the Halls (A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (October 31, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496706300
Kindle ASIN: B01N2A9UUD

 

 

Christmas in Haven Harbor, Maine, means family, trouble, and murder . . .
 
This Yuletide season, there’s no time for Angie Curtis and Patrick West to linger under the mistletoe. Patrick’s being needled by his mother—movie star Skye West—to set the stage for a perfect white Christmas as she brings her costar, screenwriters, and director home for the holidays. With his mother’s long list of wishes, Patrick’s becoming unraveled. To help, the Mainely Needlepointers offer to decorate Skye’s Victorian mansion and create needlepoint pillows as gifts for the guests.

But not long after the celebrity celebrants invade Haven Harbor, an unscripted tragedy occurs. Then some questionable Christmas cookies make Patrick sick. Before Santa arrives at the town pier on a lobster boat, Angie and the Needlepointers need to trim down the naughty list, catch a cold-hearted killer, and wrap up the case . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Snow is falling in Haven Harbor, Maine and movie star Skye West has decided to come home for a white Christmas and bring the people working on her current movie with her. This means her son Patrick has his work cut out for him to get her mansion all decorated for the holiday. She also wants needlepoint gifts for everyone so the Mainely Needlepointers have a last minute job to take of.

Angie is a little disappointed, it is her first Christmas since coming home from Arizona and she had wanted to have a quiet Christmas with Patrick. She decides any time with him is a gift after all he has been through so she helps him get everything ready for his mother’s arrival. Skye and her entourage arrive but before they spend one night in Maine, one of them is found dead in the snow. Patrick’s mother decided the show must go on and doesn’t let a murder ruin her holiday plans until Patrick is poisoned and rushed to the hospital. Angie knows they are a limited number of suspects but she is stumped about who killer could be. There is a definite chill in the air and it’s not from the typical Maine winter weather. There is a killer near by, she just needs to figure out who before it is too late.

This was a very entertaining story. Haven Harbor has its own holiday traditions like Santa arriving on a lobster boat.  Skye adds a snowy hayride for her friends too.

Angie grows more in each story. She is really getting comfortable running the needlepoint business and her own needlepoint skills are improving. But she does keep finding those dead bodies. She tries to stay out the investigations but she always ends up right in the middle of them.  I loved the part of the story where Angie decorated her tree, trying to bring back the Christmases she remembered. Angie’s relationship with her grandmother always warms my heart.

I always have to adjust my thinking about Skye whenever she arrives on the page. She is a pushy and demanding women but there is no malice in her actions or requests. It is just the way she is. Patrick knows how to handle his mother and even though she sometimes forgets he is a grown man he still loves her. After the fire any mother can understand where she is coming from. They have a close relationship. I hope they both start to fit more into the fabric of Haven Harbor and be less like “the rich people in town” where they expect people to cater to them. Patrick is starting to make progress in that direction as his relationship with Angie gets more serious.

The story unfolded at a comfortable pace with several twists. One I had worked out in the back of my mind. The climatic ending really took me by surprise. I knew something had to happen soon because we were getting to the final pages but I never expected what happened. Kudos to Ms. Wait for a very exciting ending!

Again the author has stitched together a fantastic mystery with memorable characters in a spectacular setting. She also sprinkles humor throughout the story in all the right places. A perfect escape for the holiday season.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent



Click on cover to order from Amazon.

Friend and follow Lea on Facebook and GoodReads and hear her latest news!

GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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 November 21, 2017 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.”

Nov 032017
 

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.
Another book that was waiting on my Kindle.


Working Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
Cozy Mysteries
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (August 1, 2010)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758234537
Kindle ASIN: B003IYI84K

 

 

When Mattie Winston catches her husband Dr. David Winston receiving some very special loving care from R.N. Karen Owenby, she quits her job and moves out. Mattie’s best friend Izzy offers her a place to stay and suggests she’d be a natural as deputy coroner. Now, instead of taking patients’ pulses, Mattie’s weighing their hearts and livers.

But Mattie’s first homicide call turns out to be for none other than Nurse Karen, and even though she saw her ex in a heated argument with the newly deceased the night before, she refuses to believe David could be a killer. Keeping mum about what she saw, Mattie is also left speechless by the sight of hunky Detective Steve Hurley. . .

From learning the ropes on her new job to sorting out her feelings about her ex and dealing with her growing attraction to Detective Hurley, Mattie’s in deep water and in danger of sinking quickly, especially when she places herself dead center in the path of a desperate–yet determined–killer. . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am late to the party on this series and am kicking myself.

Dr. David Winston cheated on his wife R.N. Mattie Winston and she has moved out of their house and quit her job. She caught him and R.N. Karen Owenby getting very cozy with each other in an operating room. An operating room she worked in with her husband. Her friend Izzy offers her a roof over her head and a job as his new deputy coroner. It will take some getting used to, dead patients instead live ones, but she is determined to make it on her own.

Nervous about her first homicide, which Izzy pulled her out of bed for, she is positively floored when the body is none other than R.N. Karen Owenby. The woman messing around with her husband and the woman she saw him have an argument with not too many hours ago. She also meets Detective Steve Hurley, who is a definite distraction for Mattie.

So she has 2 men on her mind, David couldn’t have killed Karen, could he? and the handsome detective she would like to get to know better. She also is meeting her new coworkers and her new job. She may be in the killer’s sights too, hopefully she won’t end up being the next stiff in the morgue.

I loved this story and I loved Mattie. Her life gets turned upside down, but she picks herself up, dusts herself off and gets on with her life. With a little help from her friends she carries on, even overstepping the requirements of her new job to do a little sleuthing on her own. Izzy and his partner play key roles and they are wonderfully written. I could almost feel the heat between Mattie and Steve burning up the pages. This is going to be an interesting relationship.

The plot was complex with clever twists. I followed each clue right along with Mattie and figured it out mere moments before she did.

The dialogue between the characters was so realistic and the situations were as well. I enjoy that this series is set not too far from where I reside. The local references warmed by heart.

What I did not expect were the laugh out loud funny moments, there were quite a few. I even had my own “spit – take”. Do not read this story and drink at the same time. Luckily my Kindle survived the experience.

I may have come late to this series but I hope to catch up quickly. I can’t wait to dive into Scared Stiff. It is set at Halloween, so I should have read it last month, but I sure am not going to wait for next year 🙂 You may be seeing my review next week.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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

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


I am giving away 1 Kindle copy of Working Stiff.
It will be sent to the winner directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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 November 17, 2017 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

*This was from my personal collection.

Nov 022017
 

A Deadly Éclair: A French Bistro Mystery
by Daryl Wood Gerber

A Deadly Éclair: A French Bistro Mystery
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – California
Crooked Lane Books (November 7, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683313410
Kindle ASIN: B06XWDWRLF

It’s always been Mimi Rousseau’s dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she’s been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband’s tremendous debt. Until her best friend Jorianne James introduces her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker who invests in promising prospects. Now, working the bistro and inn until she’s able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn’s first wedding ever.

The wedding will be the talk of the town, as famous talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan’s half-brother, Edison, has chosen the inn as her perfect venue. Anxious, Mimi is sure things are going to turn south, especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners’ dinner, but by the evening, things begin to look up again. That is until six AM rolls around, and Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth. And the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven in Bryan’s will.

Now it’s up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Éclair.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to a magnificent (magnifique) start! Mimi Rousseau is living her dream of owning her own inn and bistro. She has collaborated with Bryan Baker for the financial backing needed for the purchase and the vast remodeling effort to get both places open. In fact, the story opens with Mimi and her staff getting reading to host it’s first wedding. Bryan’s niece, talk show host, Angelica Edmonton and her fiancé are excited to be married at the inn. Things start to go awry with Angelica’s father, Edison, arrives at the out-of-towners’ dinner, but when Bryan is found dead the next morning at the bistro with an éclair in his month, Mimi doesn’t think things can get any worse. Now her mentor is dead and she is a prime  suspect.

I have been looking forward to the book since I first saw the cover pop up on Facebook and it certainly exceeded my expectations. As a fan of the author’s Cheese Shop Mysteries and Cookbook Nook Mysteries, I knew the characters would be strong and the food descriptions would have my mouth watering and I was right.

Mimi Rousseau has a lot on her plate but I knew right away she could handle it. She is strong and savvy and has hired a top-notch staff. Chef C. and sous chef Stefan keep the kitchen under control while Heather runs the dining room. The inn, a fancy bed and breakfast, is managed by Mimi’s BFF, Jorianne. Mimi oversees everything from the menus and wine to all the events happening at the inn and bistro. All of the characters are very well defined for the first book in a series but there is plenty of room for them to grow. The secondary cast, the wedding party, family and friends, are also very well crafted. I was drawn right in to all of their drama.

The story was very fast paced with some corkscrew twists and more suspects than I at first set my sites on.  This author knows how to set the scene and have readers nibbling on each little clue as we follow Mimi in her investigation. The mystery is well plotted and so entertaining. I was enthralled from the first page until the last and then I wanted more.

Now let me talk about the food. Oh my! Thanks to the tantalizing descriptions I could almost taste and smell so many delightful dishes and even the unique flavors of the wine served.  I love onion soup so every time it was mentioned my cravings stepped up another notch. Daryl Wood Gerber does share some recipes in the back of the book including recipes for Chocolate Éclairs and Onion Soup Gratinée. Both have been copied into my recipes file.

I am really excited about this new series and can’t wait for book #2, A Soufflé of Suspicion, coming in July 2018.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

After reading about all that deliciousness in the book I am so happy Daryl is sharing recipes as part of her Great Escapes Tour. Be sure to visit each day to enjoy the full feast. 

Traveling Meal

Appetizer #2

Welcome back to the traveling feast.  I’m celebrating the upcoming release of the first French Bistro Mystery, A DEADLY ÉCLAIR, by hostessing a traveling meal, one blog at a time. This way you can sample different foods…one day at a time.

Of course, I’m focusing on French-themed foods because my protagonist, Mimi Rousseau, would serve these kinds of items either at her bistro or at her home.  Mimi used to be a chef in San Francisco, but life took a turn, and she returned home to Nouvelle Vie, an enclave of Napa Valley, to start anew. Luckily, her benefactor gave her the opportunity to open her own bistro and bed-and-breakfast. Appetizers are an important feature in the bistro.

One can never have enough appetizers, right?

And champagne. It goes with everything. Ooh-la-la!  Enjoy.

Here’s a brief scene from A DEADLY ÉCLAIR:

*

As I bent to retrieve a basket, a woman screamed, “Mimi!”

My pulse skyrocketed. I spun around.

My best friend, Jo, the woman who had bravely tasted all my childhood cooking fiascoes, the woman who had introduced me to Bryan and who had given up her high-paying CPA job to manage Maison Rousseau, ran at me full tilt, arms waving. “Help! It’s horrible!”

*

Camembert Pear Appetizer

  • 1 8 oz. round of Camembert
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Bosc pear, peeled and cut into tiny cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary (fresh, if you can, chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons Triple Sec (or other orange liqueur)
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Remove the Camembert from the refrigerator and slice in half. Set aside.

Peel the Bosc pear. (It does not have to be completely ripe; may be firm)

Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the pear and cook about 3-4 minutes, until the pear is tender. Add the rosemary and Triple Sec. Cook another minute.

Remove the pears from the pan.

Set one half of the Camembert, bloomy rind side down, on a pretty serving dish. Pour almost all of the pears (except 2 Tablespoons) on the bottom half of the Camembert.  Top with the other half of Camembert (bloomy rind on top). Top with the remaining pears.

Return the saucepan to the stove. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey and cook about one to two minutes, letting the combination reduce. Pour over the cheese and pears. Serve immediately (if you can, but sometimes guests aren’t always on time). It’s lovely at room temperature, too.

 


From Daryl:

I’m offering a book giveaway (winner’s choice of 1 from my published paperbacks) every day of this traveling feast. To enter today, tell me—cheese platter or chips and dip in the comments ?

BY THE WAY, don’t miss out on the French Bistro-themed BOX I’m giving away on my Facebook Author page. Link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


About the Author

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES, which she pens as Avery Aames. She will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAYS OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog – Avery’s Blog – Mystery Lover’s Kitchen – Killer Characters –

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames

Instagram  YouTube Newsletter Sign Up

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N

Tour Participants

November 1 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review, Recipe
November 2 –  Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Recipe
November 3 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Recipe
November 4 – A Holland Reads – Review, Recipe
November 5 – Jane Reads – Review, Recipe
November 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Recipe
November 7 – Back Porchervations – Review, Recipe

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

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

Nov 012017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to welcome Richard back to Escape With Dollycas today and be the 1st stop on his Great Escapes Tour! 

My Many Merrie Christmases
by Richard Audry

In my newest mystery, Andy Skyberg and his crime-sniffing pooch King Harald end up snowbound at a resort that’s hosting a Holiday Faire. I had fun creating the list of vendors, packing their booths with tempting foodstuffs and merchandise for holiday giftgiving. With my head so much into Christmas festivities, I did some timetripping back to my younger holiday seasons.

My mother Merrie has been gone for quite a while. But I catch myself thinking about her almost every day. She was a great mother, a super wife (she and my dad were head-over-heels from beginning to end), a nurse anesthetist, and a stalwart friend to everyone she cared about. A fun, smart, classy lady who liked her smokes and her Martinis at the end of a busy day. For the most part, she didn’t have any hobbies. But there was one exception.

Merrie was a Christmas tree nut. She positively adored all the fuss and trappings that went with putting up a ceiling-scraping pine, spruce, or fir. And from my very earliest memories of her, I recall her ardently shopping for pretty and colorful decorations—from tinsel and those old classic Polish bulbs to novelty figures and commemorative decorations. She wouldn’t stop until the tree was pretty much totally encrusted with sparkly, glinty, colorful stuff.

A lot of the decorations she put up were, of course, commercial products. She was on the prowl all year round for Christmas tree ornaments in stores and catalogs. And every succeeding holiday season another dozen or so items would find their way onto the tree. When I was a teenager and older, I added to the trove by gifting her with gold-plated and silver Metropolitan Museum of Art snowflakes and stars. That became an annual tradition.

But the decorations she most treasured were the ones with personal meaning. My dad’s red bell that he bought when he was a kid. My pathetic little cardboard Christmas tree that I made in first or second grade.

Toward the end of her life, Merrie’s tree was truly a spectacular sight. I’m not simply being a loyal son when I say that I’ve rarely seen a more gorgeous Christmas tree. The photo here is of the decorations she (mostly) acquired.

After she was gone, the family tree was transferred from the apartment where she and my Dad had lived to our new house. For a couple of decades, my wife and I hauled out the ornament boxes in early December, assembled the artificial tree, and spent a few hours trimming it. Often, we’d invite friends or family to help, capping off the evening with a nice supper and holiday music.

Then one year my wife and I were going through an over-busy and over-stressed period and decided not to put the tree up—opting for a few choice decorations around the living room. And thus we dropped the Christmas tree ball, so to speak. We eventually sold the artificial tree at a yard sale, and stashed the ornament boxes away.

But lately, my Merrie’s old decorations, sitting in two big red boxes in the basement, seem to be calling to us. Maybe this year we’ll find a nice fir or spruce and adorn the branches with all of those wonderful ornaments my mother loved so much. We’ll have ourselves a “Merrie” Christmas once again.

~Richard

What a wonderful post Richard!!

Now let me tell you about his latest King Harald mystery! 

King Harald’s Snow Job (King Harald Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Minnesota
Conger Road Press (August 1, 2017)
Paperback: 302 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0985019686
E-Book ASIN: B0747QWYLZ

 

 

It’s early December and Andy Skyberg is itching to blow town for a weekend of holiday cheer with old friends—including a date with an attractive divorcée who thinks he’s hot.

But first, Aunt Bev needs a teensy bit of help. She’s managing the Girls’ Weekend Out event at the Beaver Tail Resort and could use some extra muscle. Andy figures he can spare a few hours before hitting the road.

Mother Nature, though, has other plans. A giant blizzard makes an unexpected turn. Andy and his pooch King Harald find themselves snowbound—in a hotel full of hard-partying women, stranded travelers, a hockey team, a man-eating novelist, a belligerent blogger, and one violent, devious jewel thief.

Before you know it, man and mutt are up to their noses in another case. It’s a winter wonderland of fast-paced fun and merry madness, as the sleuthing duo dig out from King Harald’s Snow Job.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

King Harald is a very special canine, “part Chesapeake and part moose”. He stole my heart in the first book, The Karma of King Harald, and still holds his place two books later. In King Harald’s Snow Job. Andy and King Harald have a plan for their weekend that is blown away by a huge blizzard leaving them stuck at the Beaver Tail Resort. They are joined by a bunch of women at the resort for a Girls’ Out Weekend, an author debuting her new book, a crazy fan of the author, a hockey team, many stranded travelers, and a jewel THIEF! Unbeknownst to Andy, King Harald will play a key role in the return of the jewel. Maybe just in time for Andy to save just a little bit of his weekend plans.

Here is Wisconsin we know all about snow and blizzards that drop several unexpected inches so I can sympathize with Andy. At least her wasn’t trapped alone and the resort had plenty of food and drink available. Except his was pulled right into the investigation, something he had hoped to avoid.

Richard Audry has plowed Andy right into the middle of everything happening and takes us along for a delightful ride in mostly organized chaos. Andy arrives to help his Aunt Bev for just a few hours and he watches the snow just keep coming down. Of course, Harald loves the snow and does all he can when let outside to run and frolic and even take off on his merry way leaving Andy to venture out in the cold himself. Funny how dogs get their way leaving their persons behind. The author does fill the story with quite of bit of humor, some of it comes from getting Harald’s own point of view on several situations. Some are laugh out loud funny and also have me wondering just what my own dogs are thinking sometimes around here.

The good thing about investigating the jewel theft is that it is pretty safe to assume the culprit is trapped in the hotel like everyone else. The bad thing is that the theyr could be absolutely anyone trapped in the hotel. Several twists reveal things that start to eliminate suspects but the climatic reveal took me by surprise. Mr. Audry does an excellent job of snowing us readers and diverting our attention elsewhere until the end.

The characters that join Andy in this story are all unique and so well written. I could see each and every one clearly in my mind. The resort and the weather were aptly described too forming very clear visualizations. Again, I am very familiar with the weather, but I found myself reaching for a blanket soon after beginning this story and it really wasn’t chilly outside. 🙂

Mr. Audry is a wonderful storyteller. You will quickly find yourself immersed in this book and will have a difficult time putting in down. With winter coming fast this would be a fun book to read curled up by the fire.  Mystery, comedy, great characters, all in a setting full of snow, do add up to a perfect escape and one I highly recommend!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About The Author –

Richard Audry is the pen name of D. R. Martin. In addition to his career as a journalist and copywriter, D. R. has written a dozen books, both fiction and non-fiction. His current projects include a fantasy adventure trilogy, a canine cozy mystery series, and historical mysteries set at the turn of the last century.

Author Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/richardaudryauthor/

Webpage – http://drmartinbooks.com/

Purchase Links:

Amazon  B&N 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS Please visit all the stops.

November 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY
November 2 –  Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 3 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
November 4 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
November 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
November 6 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
November 6 –  Queen of All She Reads  – SPOTLIGHT
November 6 –  View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
November 7 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – REVIEW
November 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
November 8 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
November 8 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
November 9 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
November 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
November 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
November 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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

Murder on the Toy Town Express: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery by Barbara Early Get Your Copy Today!
%d bloggers like this: