Jun 152018
 

On FlashbackFridays 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.

With this book, I will be caught up on this series and ready to review The Spook in the Stacks next week!

Reading Up a Storm (A Lighthouse Library Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Berkley (April 5, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451470958
ISBN-13: 978-0451470959
ASIN: B011IVP8Q0

Misfortune blows into North Carolina’s Outer Banks when a dead body in a boat on the shore leaves local librarian Lucy Richardson racing to solve a strange new mystery….

After a successful party at Bodie Island’s Lighthouse Library, librarian Lucy Richardson is ready to curl up with her cat, Charles, and a good book. But her R and R is cut short when she notices some mysterious lights leading a small boat to crash into the coast.

The two shipwrecked seafarers survive the ordeal—but one of them shows up dead ashore a few days later. Lucy finds herself again roped into a murder investigation and navigating a sea of suspects, all of whom had motives to deep-six the deceased. And this time, she has a sinking feeling that finding the real killer won’t be so easy…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lucy Richardson loves her view from her apartment on the 4th floor of the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library especially at night with the rhythm of the light flashing in intervals out to the sea even during a storm. Tonight though, with the rain pouring down and the waves crashing she notices lights that appear to be coming from the beach. She also notices a boat in trouble not far from shore. She calls 911 so the Coast Guard can be called to help the passengers of the boat. The passengers do survive and even show up at Lucy’s book group. Then one of them is found dead in a boat washed up on the shore. Lucy is on the scene and then finds herself caught up in another murder mystery. She would rather read mysteries than solve real ones, but she thinks those lights she saw on the beach are a key piece of evidence everyone else is ignoring.

Each story in this series tops the last. The author asks us at the beginning of each story to suspend reality because there is no way all the wonders of the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library could fit into a normal lighthouse. I have to say she makes suspending that reality very easy. Her descriptive writing pulls us in and there is never any thought that it all can’t be real.

This time Lucy gets so involved that it takes her away from her job at the library a lot. Her co-workers and boss completely understand and fill in for her when necessary. Even with the time off she is still able to take part in a fun surprise. She is also trying to make a decision about her love life. She can’t keep stringing two men along.

The supporting cast adds so much to the story. Louise Jane continues to try to insert herself into the library staff. She has been after Lucy’s job even before Lucy arrived. She has all her ghost stories about the library in the Nags Head area. She tries so hard to frighten Lucy away but it is not working.  Research Librarian Charleen has a fantastic idea for promoting the upcoming election and the community really gets involved. And of course, Charles, the library cat always warms my heart.

This story has a really nice flow. It mixes mystery, romance and life at a library in perfect amounts. The characters are appealing and genuine. The setting is delightfully picturesque.

When this book was released back in 2016, the publisher had decided to discontinue the series. Thankfully the author didn’t take their decision to heart, because it has now found a new home at Crooked Lane Books. The Spook in the Stacks was released June 12. I will be reading and reviewing that one soon.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books:  clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing three cozy mystery series: the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House and, under the pen name of Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series, for Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.  Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com. On Facebook at www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor. Twitter @vickidelany@evagatesauthor


Written as Vicki Delany

GIVEAWAYI am excited to give my review copy away.
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.

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something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End June 29, 2018, 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.”

Jun 142018
 

Too Many Crooks Spoil the Plot (A Ditie Brown Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Georgia
Lyrical Underground (May 29, 2018)
Paperback: 244 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108108
ISBN-13: 978-1516108107
Kindle ASIN: B078LQTSCN

Pediatrician Mabel Aphrodite Brown adores kids. So when a childhood friend asks Ditie to babysit her kids for a few days, she jumps at the chance. She never imagined she’d be solving a murder too . . .

Despite growing up together, Ditie hasn’t seen Ellie Winston in two years, and she didn’t even know Ellie was living in Atlanta. But when Ellie asks her to take care of Lucie and Jason for the weekend, she thinks nothing of it. They’ll bake cookies together, play with her dog—it’ll be fun! Until the police call with terrible news . . .

Ellie may not have been the best friend, but who would want her dead? Could it have something to do with the vague get-rich-quick scheme she mentioned to Ditie? Or the men in a black truck following her and breaking into her home? Not sure who to trust other than her best friend, Lurleen, Ditie’s buried maternal instincts kick in to protect the kids and find their mother’s killer—before they’re orphaned again . . .

Includes Family-Friendly Recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pediatrician Mabel Aphrodite Brown – Ditie – who spends her life saving kids. She works at a refugee clinic and sees kids with everything from malnutrition to abusing “uncles”. She comes to care a lot about these children in just the few minutes she spends with them. She has no kids of her own and would make a wonderful mom. She is stunned when her friend, Ellie Winston shows up at her door asking her to watch her kids, Lucie and Jason for a few days while she straightens out some things. Ditie quickly agrees but is worried about what kind of scheme her friend is caught up in.

When the police call informing Ditie her friend is dead she feels like she has to do something. Her friend Lurleen has been helping with the kids and they may now be in danger. She will do anything to protect Lucie and Jason. Which may mean moving out of her home and taking time off from work. This mom thing is much harder than she thought. Who knew she would be wrapped up in whatever got Ellie killed?

I really enjoyed this story! Mabel Aphrodite Brown is a strong woman but she doesn’t take off trying to solve everything herself. Detective Mason Garrett is assigned the case. He is the one who notifies Ditie of Ellie’s death. He is the one that comes to talk to the kids and Ditie to get their statements. He becomes invested in their lives right away, and there may just be a little spark between Mason and Ditie. He brings in a hunky P.I. to watch over Ditie, Lurleen, and the kids when he can’t be there. Later we meet Mason’s mom, a retired police officer. Together they all work to solve the case. It was refreshing to watch it all play out, even with the bumps the powers that be put in the road.

Sarah Osbourne gave us such wonderful characters. We learn some of their backstories, some of which may not be entirely truthful in Lureen’s case, while enjoying getting to know them in the present. They have tons of room to grow.  I was immediately engaged and wanted to know all of them better. The children, Lucie and Jason have had a hard life, Lucie more mature than her actual 9 years. She was responsible for 5-year-old Jason even when their mother was still alive. My heart broke for them. I can’t wait to see them hopefully develop more natural relationships as they grow.

In addition to these characters, Ms. Osboune gives us one heck of a mystery. So many people seem to be involved, one that was very surprising. Some great red herring diversions kept me guessing. It had some really suspenseful moments and some of the subject matter was a little grittier than in traditional cozy mysteries. The author tempered this with the right about of romance and humor.

I did find myself very emotional about the children in this story. Not just Lucie and Jason but the ones seen at the refugee clinic. With the way, children are now being taken away from their parents at the Mexican border and put in cages, and people seeking asylum being arrested instead of helped, Ditie has a very relevant job. While the story takes place in Georgia there are still families there that need help and I love that Mabel Aphrodite Brown is dedicated to just that.

This series is off to a super start!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Sarah Osborne is the pen name of a native Californian who lived in Atlanta for many years and now practices psychiatry on Cape Cod. She writes cozy mysteries for the same reason she reads them—to find comfort in a sometimes difficult world. Too Many Crooks Spoil The Plot is the first novel in her Ditie Brown Mystery series. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached at doctorosborne.com.

 

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.
Book will be sent directly from Amazon U.S.
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
that can accept gift books from Amazon U.S.

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.

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 June 28, 2018, 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.”

Jun 132018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to tell you all about Karen Rose Smith’s new book!


Murder with Cinnamon Scones (A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 344 pages
ISBN-10: 1617739626
ISBN-13: 978-1617739620
Kindle ASIN: B075C95LG8

Daisy Swanson and her Aunt Iris run a delightful shop in Pennsylvania’s Amish country with an emphasis on tasty teas and treats—but murder is not so sweet . . .

As local merchants unite to attract tourists for a much anticipated weekend quilting event, business is sure to spill over into eateries like Daisy’s Tea Garden. Gorgeous craftwork is hanging everywhere—but among the quilts, potholders, and placemats, one gallery owner is wrapped up in some dangerous affairs . . .

Reese Masemer had been dating one of Daisy’s employees, Tessa, an artist, though their last interaction was as strained as a cup of loose leaf tea. Now Reese has been found dead near a covered bridge where Tessa’s been practicing her sketches. She’s the obvious suspect, but Daisy’s learning that there were some major secrets in Reese’s background, and several of his relationships were infused with resentment. To save Tessa, she’ll have to find out who’s tainted this quaint little town with murder . . .

Includes delicious recipes!


Dollycas’s Thoughts

Willow Creek has a big event planned. A Quilt Lover’s Weekend that they hope will bring plenty of tourists to town. Reese Masemer owns the local art gallery and he will be displaying some beautiful antique quilts. Tessa, an artist and Daisy’s BFF has been dating him and helping him set up for the big event. There will be a tea at Daisy’s Tea Garden to wrap up the event and announce the raffle winners.

After their last meeting, Tessa feels there is something off about Reese but he has been busy and she has been working on a project herself too. She spends her early morning sketching the covered bridge just outside of town. She is hoping that after the weekend and things settle down she will be able to find out what is going on with Reese. But before she has the chance, Reese is found dead, right by the covered bridge and Tessa is the police’s prime suspect. Knowing her friend is innocent she is going to do her best to find the real killer. Daisy has a way with tea and cinnamon scones but catching the real culprit will take more than 5 minutes to steep the clues all together and pour out her findings for the police.

The characters in this story have a strong bond whether related by blood or friendship. The group looks out for each other. That is clear not only by the way they try to save Tessa but also when Daisy’s helps out one of her employees. A young man on a different path that his father thinks he should be on. I loved the way they all come together several times in this story to handle normal daily life, business, the murder investigation and its aftermath. The word compassion comes to mind when I think of these characters. All the relationships feel true to life.

Karen Rose Smith has written a complex mystery with some corkscrew twists. More suspects are uncovered as the story reveals more of the victim’s past. Detective Morris Rappaport really started rubbing me the wrong way but a few exciting moments finally put him in his place. I liked that Daisy had help from a retired police detective, Jonas Groft and a high school friend, Cade Bankert but I am not entirely sold yet on a romantic relationship between Jonah and Daisy.

This story is well written and plotted. The characters are well developed as well with plenty of backstory if you missed the first book in this series. I am not a tea drinker but I love the theme of this series. As a former quilter, I also loved the theme of this story. Willow Creek is a wonderful place to virtually visit. I could almost taste the cinnamon scones.

This is another perfect escape from this author. A delightful cozy mystery. I am excited to see what happens next!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Karen Rose Smith likes to chat with her readers on social media.  You can find her on Facebook at KarenRoseSmithBooks and on Twitter @karenrosemith.  Find out more about her mysteries at https://www.karenrosesmithmysteries.com.

 
 
 



Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy of Murder with Cinnamon Scones to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Sign up for Karen’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 June 27, 2018, 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.”

Jun 082018
 

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

This really is one of my favorite series but after my son’s death, the author emailed me telling me to skip the next book to protect my heavy heart. So I did, thinking with time I would be able to read it. I wasn’t ready when this book was released last year so it joined the other one on my shelf. When I realized the paperback edition of A Just Clause was about to be released and Poisoned Pages was coming too I decided to forgo Title Wave and read this one now so I will be ready for the next one. I had been away from this series long enough. 

A Just Clause (A Booktown Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – New Hampshire
Berkley (June 13, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399585913
Kindle ASIN: B01MA58VW8
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages (June 5, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-0399585937

Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, is in for a surprise when her ne’er-do-well father, John, comes to town—and promptly becomes a prime suspect in the murder of a woman with her own scandalous past. Even Tricia’s faith in the old man is shaken when the Stoneham police break the news that her father is a known con man who has done jail time.

But what about bestselling thriller author Steven Richardson? Is it a coincidence that he arrived for a book signing just before the crime or that the victim was found with a signed copy of his latest bestseller?

From merlot to murder, Tricia is determined to clear the family name before another body shows up and ruins Stoneham’s first—and highly anticipated—wine and jazz festival.

INCLUDES RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return to Booktown just in time for bestselling thriller author Steven Richardson’s book signing at Haven’t Got A Clue. Tricia is totally surprised when her dad walks into the signing. He left abruptly his last visit owing a lot of money. Before she has time to worry about him the signing is over and her dad has disappeared. Tricia and Angelica lock up the store and head to the Dog Eared Page for a drink, but see something down the street, a hardcover copy of Steven Richardson’s new book. Tricia picks up the book and looks around and discovers a body. It is Carol Talbot. She was at the signing and had altercations with both her father and Steven. This can’t be good. Both men are going to be prime suspects.

I love this series! Tricia, Angelica, Pixie Poe, and Mr. Everett always make me feel right at home. All the characters are expertly crafted and continue to evolve. Tricia is renovating her space above her store after a fire. Angelica’s businesses are thriving. Pixie Poe is getting married and Mr. Everett and his wife Grace are blissfully happy. The Miles sisters learn more about their dad’s past and their mother comes to visit too. With Tricia and Miss Marple already displaced from their home due to the construction, Angelica just having her loft and most of the other lodging in the town full, it becomes a funny juggling act to accommodate everyone. What I like the best though is the way these sisters work together, take care of each other, and still try to everything they can for their friends and Booktown.

This story is filled with plenty of drama too. The girl’s father goes missing and just when they track him down his is gone again. He really isn’t a nice man. Their mother has taken care of him forever but she had enough and kicked him out. He takes terrible advantage of his daughters and even their friends.

Then, of course, there is the murder and then another murder. Could their father really have killed someone? The victim has a dark past, could the killer know her from then? Twists, turns, spins, this story has it all. The author sets a fast pace and doesn’t let up until all has been revealed.

Lorna Barrett continues to delight me with her writing. Strong characters and fantastic stories. I am excited about the next installment, Poisoned Pages, it releases next month.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Lorna and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 paperback 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.

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

Sign up for Lorna’s Newsletter for 5 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 Ends June 22, 2018, 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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.”

Jun 072018
 


Crime & Punctuation (Deadly Edits)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496712554

After splurging to buy her childhood home in the Catskills, recently widowed Mikki Lincoln emerges from retirement as a freelance editor. With her ability to spot details that others fail to see, it’s not long before Mikki earns clients—and realizes that the village of Lenape Hollow isn’t the thriving tourist destination it was decades ago. Not with a murderer on the loose . . .

When perky novice writer Tiffany Scott knocks at her door holding a towering manuscript, Mikki expects another debut novel plagued by typos and sloppy prose. Instead, she finds a murder mystery ripped from the headlines of Lenape Hollow’s not-too-distant past. The opening scene is a graphic page-turner, but it sends a real chill down Mikki’s spine after the young author turns up dead just like the victim in her story . . .

Mikki refuses to believe that Tiffany’s death was accidental, and suspicions of foul play solidify as she uncovers a strange inconsistency in the manuscript and a possible motive in the notes. Then there’s Tiffany’s grandmother and husband, who aren’t exactly on friendly terms over the local area’s planned rejuvenation efforts . . .

Unable to convince police that they are focused on the wrong suspect, Mikki must rely on her keen eyes to catch the truth hidden in Lenape Hollow. As she gets closer to cracking the case, only one person takes Mikki’s investigation seriously—the cunning killer who will do anything to make this chapter of her life come to a very abrupt ending . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mikki London was a school teacher, she retired and then her husband passed away. To fill the time and make some money to help with her home renovation she becomes a freelance editor. She makes most of her contacts online so she is surprised when Tiffany Scott shows up at her home with a 500-page manuscript. She gets another surprise when she looks over the first few pages and is drawn in by both the story and the lack of grammatical errors. The story is a little graphic for her taste but is intrigued by its local theme.

When the young author dies 3 days later, just like the victim in the story Mikki immediately suspects foul play but it has been ruled accidental, maybe even a suicide. She tries to work with the police but gets nowhere. Then Tiffany’s grandmother is arrested, accused of killing her granddaughter. Again, Mikki tries to convince the police they have arrested the wrong person. Unfortunately only the killer is paying attention. Mikki may be joining her husband in the great beyond much sooner than planned.

I am sure Mikki London would cringe at all the typos and grammatical errors I make every day on this blog. I don’t do it on purpose. I always received good grades in English but I have forgotten so much of what my teachers tried to cram into my brain. I like that Mikki is an older protagonist, complete with hearing aids, something new for me in a cozy.  She is taking great strides to carry on her life without her husband. Buying and renovating her childhood home is a huge undertaking. She hires help for the things she can’t do and takes on the projects she can complete, mindful that it is going to take time to get everything just right. She is also a reluctant sleuth. When she finds what she thinks must be a key piece of evidence she is not sure how to handle it but quickly finds herself digging for answers.

There is a character a lot like me, Darlene – challenged by our body’s betrayal. Mine due to an auto accident, her due to crippling arthritis. She doesn’t let it slow her down, electric scooter, walker, wheelchair, she gets to where she wants to go. She deals with a scary moment and my heart was breaking for her. She handled it just like I would have, thankfully her friend Mikki had her back. Together they make an amazing team.

The other characters in the story were well developed as well. I also enjoyed that Mikki has a feline companion, Calpurnia.

I found the mystery to be very interesting with a limited number of suspects. The pages were turning at a speedy pace. I followed along with the twists and turns, solved the mystery and reached the end. Surprised I had read the entire book in one sitting.

I really like Mikki and Darlene. I am hoping to visit them again soon.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author 

Kaitlyn Dunnett writes the Liss MacCrimmon Mystery Series and now the Deadly Edits Mystery Series. You can find out more about her and her books on her website here.



Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 June 21, 2018, 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.”

Jun 062018
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to share an excerpt from Leslie’s new book and to kick off her Great Escapes Book Tour!

 

The Great Christmas Cookie Debate
By Leslie Budewitz

Excerpt from As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles (June 8, 2018, Midnight Ink)

In the dining room, we oohed and ahhed over the offerings. Date pinwheels, spritz cookies, bourbon balls. Candy cane cookies studded with crushed peppermint. Big, soft coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate. Jam thumbprints. Fudge ecstasies—crackle-topped cookies that make me ecstatic.

“No biscotti?” Heidi said. “Isn’t it a law that every Italian must make biscotti?”

“Everyone makes biscotti,” I said, “Italian or not. So what’s the point?”

“You brought peanut butter cookies?” Chiara asked Molly, who is not half Italian.

“They’re my favorite,” Molly answered. “Everyone loves peanut butter cookies. These are simple—six ingredients.”
“But they’re not Christmas cookies.”

When it comes to cookies, my sister and I were on the same page. Certain traditions must be followed.

As you might imagine, in anticipation of a book with cookies in the title and all over the cover, I’ve been talking cookies a lot lately. Christmas cookies. And I’ve been as surprised as Erin Murphy, my main character, to discover that not everyone agrees with her about Christmas cookies.

Don’t get us wrong. We both love peanut butter cookies, and the flourless version her young cousin Molly brings to the Murphys’ annual friends-and-family cookie exchange is both yummy and easy. We bow to no one in our love of a good chocolate chip cookie. And snickerdoodles? Joy, rolled in cinnamon sugar.

But they aren’t Christmas cookies.

What, to Erin, me, and both our mothers, makes a cookie a Christmas cookie? Some are clearly seasonal—only an author testing a recipe is likely to color dough red and twist it into candy canes in June. Christmas cookies feature an ingredient not used in an everyday cookie. Fruitcake has long been relegated to December—or in some households, to the trash bin, but I don’t hold with that either—so that’s when fruitcake cookies or bars surface. Candied fruit, dates, and nuts are holiday staples.
A gingerbread boy or girl served any other time of year? Just plain wrong. A sugar cookie in the shape of a star or a bell, trimmed with frosting or sprinkles? You know I’m right. And spritz? Case closed.

Quite a few readers mentioned jam thumbprints as holiday faves, and I can’t recall eating one any other time of year. Other cookies are holiday stars in certain European traditions—pfeffernusse, Berlinkranzer, lebkuchen, pizzelles.

Then there’s the snowball with its pseudonyms—Russian tea cakes or cookies, Mexican wedding cakes, and pecan sandies. So important to the holiday that they even play a role in the mystery. I can hardly wait to try the “Dirty Snowball” one reader created by adding cocoa powder added to the powdered sugar. But I will wait, until December 1.

And we haven’t even talked about fudge, divinity, or peppermint bark.

Now it has been brought to my attention that some cookbooks call the snickerdoodle a Christmas cookie. If it meets your criteria for special, and you only make it in December, then by all means, go ahead and give it that label. After all, traditions do vary. Frankly, I think you’d be unnecessarily depriving yourself the joy of those little balls of crackly dough wrapped in sugar and spice and everything nice the rest of the year.

Or maybe that just leaves more for me. And Erin. And you, if you stop by. Because no matter what the cookie, no matter what the season, cookies taste better when they’re shared.

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles (A Food Lovers’ Village Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Montana
Midnight Ink (June 8, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738752419
Digital ASIN: B075W25FNF

 

 

Erin is one smart cookie, but can she keep the holiday spirit—and herself—alive till Christmas?

In Jewel Bay, all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily has turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Includes delicious recipes!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Time to celebrate Christmas and a wedding in Jewel Bay. Adam and Erin are getting married on Christmas Eve! That is after she gets Murphy’s Mercantile all ready for the holidays. The community has turned out for Decoration Day and Erin is surprised to see Merrily Thornton has returned to town. She is even more surprised about how Merrily’s family is treating her. She immediately invites Merrily to her cookie swap the following Sunday,

Merrily fails to show up at Erin’s house or at work the next day. Then her boss notices his bank deposit was short the cash Merrily was supposed to take to the bank. The woman is reported missing and sadly her boss is the one to find her dead eerily with a string of lights wrapped around her neck. Erin is rocked by her new friend’s death and decides she must find her killer. Hopefully, she doesn’t cross the killer or Adam may be left standing at the altar all by himself.

It was a lot of fun to read a story set at Christmas when the temperatures outside were climbing way past 90 degrees.  Decorating Day is Jewel Bay sounds like the perfect way to get in the Christmas Spirit.

The characters in this series are some of the most realistic I have ever read. It is very easy to get invested in their lives. Even though Merrily’s family wasn’t the nicest they still come across as real. I don’t agree with the way the handled things in their family, but we have all met people we don’t agree with.

The mystery this time really keep me guessing. Truthfully at one time or another, I suspected everyone the victim had come into contact with. Red herrings, there were a bunch. Several twists too. I was right about one part of it and totally surprised about everything else. I enjoyed how Erin jumped right into her investigation even with the holidays and her wedding coming up quick. I loved her method for keeping all the facts and suspects straight.

The story has an excellent pace. Many events take place within the 288 pages, but nothing is rushed or missed. The author describes people and places so clearly that pictures formed quickly in my mind. The dialogue was wonderfully written too.

A loving family and a family pulled apart come together in this terrific cozy mystery.

The author also includes recipes in the back of the book. The one I am excited to try is the Classic Italian Lasagna. Several differences from ours but without the Murphy’s sauce, it will probably be hard to duplicate.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model, and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Purchase Links

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY
June 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
June 7 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
June 7 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 8 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
June 8 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
June 8 – Carole’s Book Corner – GUEST POST
June 9 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
June 9 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
June 10 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
June 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
June 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 11 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
June 12 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
June 13 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
June 14 – cherylbbookblog – REVIEW
June 14 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT
June 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 15 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
June 16 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
June 17 –   Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
June 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
June 19 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
June 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
June 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

 

 

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Jun 052018
 

I am so thankful this series has found a new home at Kensington Books!


The Diva Cooks up a Storm (Domestic Diva)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
1st with this publisher
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496714688
Kindle ASIN: B075C66D4Z

 

 

Domestic diva Sophie Winston can whip up an elaborate event in her sleep, but as the hippest hostess, she rarely gets to enjoy the full guest treatment. Which is why her best friend Nina Reid Norwood loops her into the latest culinary craze: a pop-up gourmet dinner party. The celebrity chef, the epicurean menu, and the high-profile attendees are all a surprise, turning the decadent dining experience into the hottest ticket in Old Town. But Sophie’s just pleased as punch that she finally has an opportunity to join her fellow foodies in some fun.

The posh party proves to be a recipe for disaster when Hollis Haberman sours spirits by bringing his own hot new dish—his young trophy wife. With Hollis’s son and ex-wife in attendance, there may be more heat at the table than in the kitchen. But the next morning, Sophie discovers Hollis swallowing his last bits of air, and she must scramble to stop a killer before anyone else eats their last meal.

Includes delicious recipes and entertaining tips!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sophie and Nina had planned a mini vacay to the beach, but an impending hurricane has changed their plans. A pop-up dinner party is just what they need. An event planned by someone else where they can sit back and enjoy the food with their friends. But not everyone is enjoying the event, Hollis Haberman and his young new wife are in attendance as are his ex-wife and their son. Most of the town has shunned the new bride while remaining friendly with the ex.

The next morning the storm is coming closer to Old Town so Sophie heads out for a quick walk but finds Hollis Haberman having some kind of attack in front of his house. EMTs are called and he is rushed to the hospital but he doesn’t survive. It is an unusual death. He has asked for Sophie’s help because he thought he was been poisoned and the police seem to concur but they’re not sure how. Could it have been in the food at the party? or has it built up over time? His young bride is so upset and she is sure she is going to be arrested. Sophie agrees to look into the case herself hoping she doesn’t end up in a storm of trouble herself.

I really enjoy these characters, even Natasha. I love the way they come together when someone is in need or when they get together to celebrate. A heavy storm hits Old Town leaving the community without electricity. What does this gang do? The organize a street party so people can cook up or grill the food that would have been ruined by the lack of power to keep it cold. The party also gives the crew to do a little covert investigating. Friendship really blooms within the pages.

Poison is a common method of murder in cozy mysteries, but this time the author gives it a unique twist and they added some distinct turns that really opened up the pool of suspects. She kept me guessing right up to her grand reveal. I love when a story diverts my thinking so much that I and the protagonist have our “aha moment” together.

The author packs so much into these pages. The pacing and plotting are excellent. The characters are very real and most are very down to earth. The story contains the exact right amount of humor in relation to the drama. Krista Davis is a skilled storyteller with the perfect recipe for her cozy mysteries.

I highly recommend this entire series, but if you are new to it, don’t worry, there is plenty of background provided to dive right into this one. Then you can go back and start at the beginning to see all the world building and character development.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author 

Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries, the Paws & Claws Mysteries, and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Several of her books have been nominated for the Agatha Award. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two cats and a brood of dogs. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices they keep coming back for more.

Author Links:
Website   Facebook   Pinterest Mystery Lovers Kitchen    Twitter    Killer Characters


GIVEAWAY
 Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Sign Up for Krista’s Newsletter for 5 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 June 19, 2018, 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.”

Jun 012018
 

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

This is the last book in this series released by Berkley/Penguin Random House.
The series has now found a new home at Kensington Books.
The Diva Cooks up a Storm was released on Tuesday and I will be reviewing it here next Tuesday.


The Diva Serves High Tea (A Domestic Diva Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Virginia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date – June 7, 2016
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282656
Kindle ASIN: B016JPTQCW

 

 

When The Parlour opens up in town, domestic diva Sophie Winston finally has a place to satisfy her cravings for all things tea and crumpet related. And the shop serves as the perfect place for the ladies of the town to gather and gossip, especially since it’s conveniently located right across the street from the new antique store run by the handsome and charming Robert Johnson.

But speculation around Robert really boils over when he’s found dead—a victim of poisoning after attending a literacy fundraiser at The Parlour the night before. What Sophie learns about the man leaves a bitter taste in her mouth, and she’ll have to strain out a killer from a strange brew of suspects…

Includes delicious recipes and entertaining tips!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Time for tea! The Parlour is open and is hosting a literacy fundraiser, an auction. Our domestic diva, Sophie Winston, and her friends are there and bidding up a storm while enjoying the delightful fare the tea shop has provided.

The next morning Robert Johnson, the owner of the antique shop across the street from The Parlor is found dead. The police believe he was poisoned by something he ate at the fundraiser. The Parlor is shut down until all the food can be checked. No one else that attended the event got sick. There has to be another explanation. Sophie starts doing a little sleuthing of her own and she learns some very interesting things about the victim. She was right, there was a lot more brewing that anyone thought at first.

Spending time with Sophie and Natasha is always entertaining but this time there was a shocking development that made my heart soar!! These two have spatted back and forth for years but things may be about to change 🙂 Can’t say more because I do not want to spoil anything, but I did do a little chair dancing when I reached page 19.

Krista Davis is a cozy mystery master. She skillfully weaves everyday life with a well-plotted mystery. A mystery that is never easy to solve. Twists, turns, and tea abound within these pages making it almost impossible to put down. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of all teacups and the explanations of all the different types of tea.  The author also knows how to add the precise amount of comedy in relation to the drama giving readers the total cozy package.

The helpful hints that start each chapter are fun and unique. I tend to find myself agreeing with or more taken with the Dear Sophie columns that the Dear Natasha ones. I feel Natasha is a DIVA while Sophie is a more Diva for us common folk. 🙂

This was a positively delightful story. Brew up a pot of tea, sit back, relax and enjoy!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author 

Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries, the Paws & Claws Mysteries, and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Several of her books have been nominated for the Agatha Award. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two cats and a brood of dogs. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices they keep coming back for more.

Author Links:
Website   Facebook   Pinterest Mystery Lovers Kitchen    Twitter    Killer Characters


GIVEAWAY
 I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US  or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Sign Up for Krista’s Newsletter for 5 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 June 15, 2018, 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.”

May 312018
 

Confessions of a Red Herring (A Red Herring Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Washington D.C. / Virginia
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496716569
Digital ASIN: B075C8FDT5

 

 

As a reporter, she’s used to covering the news. Now she’s the headline.

Alex Vlodnachek has been a reporter for 12 years, a P.R. rep for three months, and a murder suspect for all of 24 hours. When her agency’s double-dealing CEO is stabbed, scheming co-workers cast the new redhead as a compelling red herring. The story is media catnip—especially her salacious nickname: Vlod the Impaler.

Even Alex has to admit she looks guilty.

Out of a job and under suspicion, Alex is running low on cash, when she’s visited by a second disaster: her family. Soon her tiny bungalow is bursting with her nearest and not-so-dearest. To keep herself out of jail—and save what’s left of her sanity—Alex returns to her reporting roots. She goes undercover to reclaim her life, break the story, and unmask a murderer. Pretty much in that order.

What she doesn’t know: The killer also has a to-do list. And Alex is on it.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Alex Vlodnachek’s life is a mess, she left a job she had for years that she loved for a job that pays extremely well that she hates. She can’t believe her boss tried to get her to entertain a client in his hotel room. She turned her boss down flat and walked away. She even called in sick to work on Monday to try to wrap her head around the insanity and plot a new future. That was until the police knocked on her door to tell her that her boss had been killed and she was their prime suspect. Say What??

She tries to return to the office to find out what the heck is going on but she is escorted out by security. How is she going to clear her name when she doesn’t even know the whole story? She decides to use what she learned as a reporter and start doing her own investigation. Even going undercover in the building where she was unceremoniously booted out.

If being out of a job and being a murder suspect isn’t enough she has to deal with family members that have come to visit unannounced. Her tiny little house is exploding at the seams but what’s a girl to do. Maybe they will be able to help. She just hopes she doesn’t get them killed in the process.

What a great start for this series.  First of all, I absolutely love Alex and her grandmother, Baba. Don’t ask me to choose, they are both wonderful characters. In fact, the entire cast is fantastic including dog Lucy. Alex’s best friend “Trip” is the perfect best friend. We all need a Trip in our lives. Her brother, Nick, a former emu farmer, has also come to town, hoping Alex can help him smooth something over with their family. The last person they expected to arrive on the doorstep was Baba. She takes over the house, cleaning and “cooking” and she takes the job of protecting her granddaughter very seriously. Alex is a strong woman but Baba can bring her to her knees. These are strong characters and very well developed for the first book in a series.

So much happens in this story. At times, I felt my head was spinning, but the author brought everything together for one fantastic ending. I was drawn deeply into the story following leads with Alex.  What was happening at that P.R. firm was just crazy, but Alex stuck with it, trying to show police there were many other suspects. She was also dealing with her old firm messing up her life in unbelievable ways. There was drama at home to stay on top of too. Alex was a real superwoman to keep juggling all those balls in the air.

This book was suspenseful and also funny. The title really fits the story. The characters were engaging and eclectic. The dialogue was realistic, there was a bit of explicit language, minimal. I really enjoyed this book start to finish. I am more than excited to see where the author takes this series.

If you are looking for a new cozy series with a fun protagonist, look no further. The one is a perfect escape!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Dana Dratch is a former newspaper reporter and current personal finance writer. When she’s not finishing Seeing Red—the next Alex Vlodnachek mystery—you’ll spot her byline on a host of top news sites. You can learn more about her mysteries at ConfessionsofaRedHerring.com.

Praise for Confessions of a Red Herring (A Red Herring Mystery)
by Dana Dratch

Well written with an intricate plot, CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING is a good debut book for author Dana Dratch.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

While a red-headed Vlodnachek might not be the full attraction here, Alexandra’s family and close-knit support group provide a lively and fun romp through the storyline.
~Rosepoint Publishing

 

Purchase Links

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 

May 28 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 29 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 29 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
May 30 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 30 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
May 31 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 31 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 1 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 2 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 2 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 3 –  Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW
June 4 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 4 – Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 5 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 5 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 5 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
June 6 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 7 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
June 7 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
June 8 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
June 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 9 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 10 – The Mysterious Inkspot – REVIEW
June 10 – Laura’s Interests – 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.”

May 302018
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to have SASHA SILVERMAN drop by for a visit today!

Escape with Sasha Silverman
by Meg Macy

Hi! I’m Sasha Silverman, manager of my family’s Silver Bear Shop & Factory in Silver Hollow. We’re located in the area around Ann Arbor, Michigan. My Uncle Ross is the supervisor of production, and my sister Maddie, an artist, does all our design work for flyers, promotion, brochures, and ads plus social media. She used to work as our office manager, but Aunt Eve – Uncle Ross’s ex-wife – has returned to take over that job. Maddie hopes to open her own graphic design studio, but right now, she’s busy with her fiberglass bear sculpture. Maddie’s design was chosen for the Parade of Bears, which is part of the village’s annual Oktobear Fest. Yes, Okto-BEAR. My sister and I are hosting a Cranbeary Tea party (parents, kids, teddy bears) to kick off the month’s events.

But Maddie and I plan to escape in between the festival and the busier Christmas season – when teddy bear production and holiday events really crank up the stress! We usually go to Mackinac Island for a fall weekend. This year, we forgot to make reservations at our favorite bed-and-breakfast spots. Oops! And for some reason, it seems everyone is heading up north on the weekend we chose. But the Somewhere In Time weekend at the Grand Hotel had a few spots left, for an exorbitant price – so we figured it might be worth it. What’s on the schedule? Apparently, it’s the 25th anniversary of holding the weekend, and the 35th anniversary of the film. Plus, actress Jane Seymour will be attending! How cool is that? I’m sure we’ll have a few fan-girl moments with her, an autograph or two, and hopefully more than a few selfies as well.

On the schedule is a special screening of the film, which we both loved – but haven’t seen in probably a decade – plus a discussion of how the movie was made, an evening cocktail reception (with mimosas, I hope), a Grand Luncheon Buffet along with their usual full breakfast and scrumptious dinners, and a costume promenade. Uh, oh. We have nothing to wear! That meant a pre-escape-escape to find some 1912 era-appropriate hats, shoes, and costumes. I found an ivory satin gown with tiers of lace cascading at an angle from a shirred Empire waist, with a square neckline; Aunt Eve says I can wear her pearls and above the elbow opera gloves. My hat tipped, also at an angle, is crowed with pale roses and other tiny flowers. Maddie is wearing a vintage green silk gown with an ivory lace overlay, since she’s petite, with a rose silk ribbon at the waist. Her wide-brimmed straw hat covered with feathers is larger than Kate Winslet’s in the Titanic film!

I doubt I’ll enjoy my satin heels for long, however. I couldn’t find a pair wide enough. Ouch! They pinch my toes, but I’ll manage to grit my teeth and maybe slip them off under the table while eating lunch and dinner. Maybe I can tiptoe barefoot back to my room each night, which is supposed to have a glimpse of the Mackinac Straits but faces the gorgeous, huge Victorian cottages on the West Bluff. I’m hoping Maddie and I can squeeze in our annual bicycle ride around the island on Sunday afternoon and buy our favorite fudge flavors in town before we have to catch the ferry back to Mackinaw City.

We’ll need a few days to recover from our weekend escape, I’m sure!

~Sasha

Thank you, Sasha/Meg, for dropping by today!

Now let me tell you all about this book.

 

About the Book 

Bear Witness to Murder (A Teddy Bear Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496709653
Digital ASIN: B075C38DMD

 

 

As autumn air settles into the quaint small town of Silver Hollow, there’s nothing more popular than Sasha’s teddy bears—and murder in cold blood . . .

Silver Bear Shop and Factory manager Sasha Silverman is cozying up to the fall season by hosting Silver Hollow’s Cranbeary Tea Party, the opening event of the village’s Oktobear Fest—a too-cute celebration themed around teddy bears. She barely has a moment to agonize over the return of her former high school rival, Holly Parker, whose new toy and bookstore in town could spell big trouble for the Silver Bear Shop and her cousin’s small bookstore . . .

But when Sasha discovers Holly’s shop assistant dead with a knife plunged in her body, the unpleasant woman suddenly looks like a real backstabber. So does Sasha’s ex-husband, rumored to have rekindled the fiery extramarital affair he once had with the victim. Now, before a gruesome homicide case takes the fun out of both the Fest and her personal life, Sasha must identify the true culprit from a daunting suspect list—or risk becoming as lifeless as one of her stuffed bears . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It is time for Oktobear Fest in Silver Hollow, Michigan. The event starts with a Cranbeary Tea Party. Silver Bear Shop has several bears in attendance and Sasha and her sister Maddie are waiting tables. Sasha is surprised to see her high school rival and owner of the new toy shop in town, Holly along with her assistant Gina at one of the tables and even more surprised to see her ex, Flynn arrive and he and Gina rush over to the mayor’s table. They make a huge scene. It wasn’t bad enough the new store was stealing business, now they had to try to ruin this wonderful event too.

The ultimate surprise was Sasha and her dog discovering Gina’s body outside a local eatery early the next morning. At first, she thought it was Holly, because of the clothing. Was the killer confused too? Who was the real target? Gina? or Holly? And is Flynn involved? or heaven forbid the mayor? Sasha finds herself in a beary dangerous place as she tries to catch the killer and save the festival.

There is so much to love in this story. I really loved the idea about the Bears on Parade. You see in Madison, Wisconsin, and Dane County this summer they have a Bucky’s on Parade art event with 85 Bucky Badger statues transformed by 64 artists. People are having so much fun hunting them all down. In this story there are about a dozen bears, Maddie is transforming one and so is her boyfriend Kip. Sasha is also helping to transform another bear. The bear statues have sponsors and both parades will auction off the statues at the end of their events. I hope to see a few before summer is over.

All the characters I enjoyed in the first book are back. I have to say I am not a fan of Sasha’s mother though. She bugged me a bit in the first story, but I think by now she needs to realize Flynn and Sasha are through, finished, kaput! The man cheated on her and his suggestion of marriage in name only to Sasha almost made me lose my mind. For some reason her mom likes Flynn, I can’t imagine how any mom would want her daughter with a man like him. I just hope in the next story she really sees the light and supports her daughter and the man she wants to be with.

Oh, the author has given us a clever mystery. The victim has a past – meaning plenty of suspects, with different motives for wanting her gone. I was “beary” confused at first but soon I had an inkling as to who the culprit could be but then I read further and thought I was totally wrong. Those pages were really flying and so much was happening, there was no way I was going to put this book down until I reached the end. By the way, I was wrong and surprised by the ending. I loved it!

Both books in this series have been excellent reads. I do recommend reading them in order to get to know the characters and the setting.

Bring on Book #3, Ms. Macy! I can hardly wait!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review and another guest post from Meg here

About the Author

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the area she chose for the setting of her new “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mystery series for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery series; two books have been named Agatha Award finalists. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. She’s a graduate of Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Meg loves reading mysteries, historical, and other genre fiction, and also enjoys gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

Author Links:      www.megmacy.com      Meg Macy on Facebook      Meg Macy on Twitter

Purchase Links:

Amazon      B&N     Kobo    Google Play   BookBub
Meg also co-writes with Sharon Pisacreta as D. E. Ireland.

Praise for Bear Witness to Murder (A Teddy Bear Mystery)
by Meg Macy

I was riveted and worried and really did not see THIS ending happening.
~Laura’s Interests

I loved all the things that were going on in the town, Oktobear Fest and the Cranbeary Tea Party and all the interesting things!
~Valerie’s Musings

I may be biased because I have a huge love for all things teddy bear but this is just the cutest cozy mystery series . . . The characters are all well developed pulling you into the story until you feel like you have known them forever.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Mystery lovers will enjoy this story filled with whimsical themes and fun characters that will have you wanting more.
~Texas Book-aholic

I don’t know what I enjoy more about this series – reading about the teddy bear-themed events, or the mystery itself. Sasha Silverman is such a down to earth, believable character that she makes both of them fun.
~The Book’s the Thing

All the story is told around the Oktobear Feast, it was really original reading about all the bear creations and ideas for kids, really, if this kind of village exists I want the name of the town!
~Varietats

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

May 23 – Lisa Ks Book Review – REVIEW

May 23 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

May 24 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

May 24 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 25 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

May 25 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 26 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

May 26 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 27 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

May 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 28 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 28 – Varietats – REVIEW

May 29 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

May 29 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

May 30 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

May 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

May 31 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 31 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

June 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

June 2 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

June 2 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

June 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

June 3 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

June 4 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

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

A Soufflé of Suspicion: A French Bistro Mystery by Daryl Wood Gerber (7/10)Pre - Order Your Copy Today!
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