Jun 262019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 
I am so excited to have Jodi Rath visit today!

Hi Jodi,

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I’m a wife, cat lover with nine cats in our home, educator, writer, artist, and kickboxer who is obsessed with Tom Waits.

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

I have a brown belt in kickboxing;

I have curly hair that I perm in my kitchen every three months;

I would never leave the house if I could realistically make that happen—and I very rarely leave my house.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Any of the Choose Your Own Adventure books—those were my favorites!

What are you reading now?

Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz

What books have most inspired you?

Anything Agatha Christie, Sweet Valley High Series when I was a teen, Judy Blume books as a pre-teen, poetry of all sorts—I used to check out as many poetry books as the librarian allowed me too in 5th through 9th grade.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I believe it all began with the Choose Your Own Adventure books. I liked picking an ending then trying them all and guessing what the other endings would be.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Any room in my house, on my screened-in porch or on my deck overlooking our woods.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

From my community, my family, the news, songs, movies, TV shows, art, people I don’t like—LOL.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

I really do love all parts of the writing process. I was a HS English teacher and taught the process regularly. For me as a writer, the first draft is fun—the revision can be cruel at times—especially when I think I got something right and my editor is like, “Um, wow, that really sucks!” LOL—she doesn’t say that—but you get the drift!

What do you think makes a good story?

It has to be universal—things everyone can relate too. There needs to be someone to root for and someone to hate and someone to feel sorry for and someone who we love to hate—characters are important.

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

The protagonist, Jolie Tucker.

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

There aren’t many Cast Iron Skillet culinary cozies out there. I only know of one other cast iron mystery series.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Currently working on book 2.5 a Thanksgiving holiday book called Turkey Basted to Death that comes out 11/18/19. In 2020, I will begin two spin-off series to The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series—one is Peggy’s Purse Boutique series set in Tri-City (which comes up a lot in The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)—the second series is Gemma’s Bohemian Gems Series that is a spin-off as well.

Thank you, Jodi, so much for dropping by today!

Keep reading for my thoughts about Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder.

About the Book 


Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – Ohio
MYS ED LLC (June 21, 2019)
Print Length – 185 Pages
Digital ASIN: B07Q1K4DN3

Financial fraud of elderly villagers in Leavensport, an urban sprawl threat to the community, disastrous dates, cross-sell marketing gone wrong, and another murder? Jolie Tucker is ready to try dating again. Well, she has no choice—since her family auctioned her off to the highest bidder. Her best friend, Ava, has agreed to a double date, but both friends find out hidden secrets about their partners as well as deception by one of the village’s own, who will soon be found dead. This plot is sure to be spicy!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Ohio at Cast Iron Creations where things are getting jalapeno hot!! A new restaurant has opened and Jolie hopes to work a cross-promotion deal as she has with other businesses, she also is finally going to go on her auction date with Detective Meiser, (her family auctioned off at a fundraiser in the last book), residents are worried about urban sprawl, oh, and there is another dead body.

Ms. Rath’s characters are fun and entertaining. Again, there is a large cast but I was very comfortable after getting to know most of them in the first book. I enjoyed the continued character development.  The new characters were all key to the new mystery. The interactions were all realistic and the dialogue was crisp.

I continue to be amazed by how much drama and action this author brings a reader in less than 200 pages. She does a fabulous job of blending intrigue and everyday life. The daily grind plus secrets, twists, turns, and a surprising ending are all baked together wonderfully by the time we reach the last page. It is a quick read and impossible to put down.

I am not a fan of peppers especially jalapenos but I loved the way that ingredient was incorporated into the story. I also appreciate that cast iron skillet recipes are included for readers to try.

Together Pineapple Upside Down Murder and Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder equal the length of 1 standard cozy mystery, so I do recommend reading both in order so you can really get to know the characters. I am really looking forward to more books in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

More About Jodi Rath

 

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links:  Webpage FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath Twitter @jodirathGoodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest
Purchase Links: Amazon    All other e-platforms

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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.”

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Jun 252019
 

Died in the Wool:
A Whisky Business Mystery
by Melinda Mullet

About the Book


Died in the Wool: A Whisky Business Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Scotland
Alibi (June 18, 2019)
Print Length ~300 pages
Digital ASIN: B07GN17SQJ

No good deed goes unpunished in the Whisky Business cozy mystery series as distillery owner Abigail Logan uncovers dark secrets—and murder—at a local charity.

Photojournalist Abi Logan is finally ready to put her hectic career on hold and set down roots in the heart of the Scottish countryside. Studying the business and art of distilling whisky at Abbey Glen and volunteering at the Shepherd’s Rest women’s shelter in her spare time seem a surefire way to find the peace and stability she craves. It’s also the logical way to take her mind off her personal life. Abi’s business partner, Grant MacEwan, is facing a career-threatening disability, and as much as Abi longs to be there for him, he seems to prefer the company of a rival.

But as Abi becomes more involved with Shepherd’s Rest, she discovers that their refuge is elusive. When the shelter is rocked by a murder/suicide, Abi is outraged by the police’s lack of attention to these already marginalized women. Increasingly confident in her own skills as an investigator, Abi steps in to find out what the police will not: who left one young woman dead and another missing. But when more deadly deeds come to light, Abi must race to unravel the connections between the shelter’s benefactors and the women they have pledged to protect—and expose the killer before he strikes again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abi Logan is getting much more comfortable in her role as a distillery owner. She is taking classes to enrich her knowledge especially with her partner recovering from an injury that could end his career.

She also is dealing with her ever-growing herd of rescued sheep who badly need to be sheered. When the local vet tells her not clipping their wool could be called animal abuse she promises to handle it right away but hates the thought of just throwing all the wool away. A reverend that was traveling with the vet tells her he knows someone who will take the wool, Amanda, the owner of a knitting shop who donates part of her profits to a shelter for abused woman. Abi sets up a meeting, she and Amanda hit it off right away. Abi is thrilled when she meets some of the women at the shelter and sees how the operation is run.  She thinks the shelter is a perfect match to work with her foundation.

Shortly after their meeting one of the women is found dead. The police feel the woman took her own life, but Amanda and Ali think otherwise. When another of the woman goes missing leaving her daughter behind, Abi finds herself embroiled in the middle of her own investigation. Time is of the essence because the killer could strike again and Abi could be the victim.

_____

I love the way Melinda Mullet tells a story. She continues to top herself.

Ms. Mullet quickly transports readers to Balfour and Edinburgh, Scotland and all their glory. Her words paint beautiful pictures in my mind of each place as we follow with Abi on her quest to catch a killer.

The human characters are well developed with lives that ebb and flow realistically. The sheep, who all have names, and Abi’s dog, Liam and their antics add a great touch to the story too. Abi finally starts to realize her true feelings for Grant but it may be too late.  Grant’s recovery is monitored by another woman who is doing all she can to become a permanent part of his life. A woman who may not only steal him from Abi but from Abbey Glen  Abi has grown so much over the course of this series. She is truly becoming a vital part of her business. I like all the positive steps she has taken to make herself at home.

The author has taken on an international issue – domestic abuse. Through this, we are introduced to several new characters, they are all connected to the Shepherd’s Rest Shelter. The women living there, one with her amazing daughter, members of the board, and Amanda the director. These characters are complex, some are really shady and downright corrupt.

I have to say many parts hit me emotionally. The storyline was gripping and held my interest tightly. I enjoyed the twists, they kept me guessing right up to the very end. I read the entire thing in almost one sitting. I took a short break for food and discussed the book at the table, then skipped dessert to get back to reading.

The characters draw you in, the story is very well-written, the location is ideal. Learning more about distilling whisky is always a fun bonus.

Every book in this series is top-notch. I highly recommend every one. The author is generous and gives enough history of previous books that they can each be read on their own but for maximum enjoyment, you will want to read them all in order. This book on my Best Reads of 2019 list!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Melinda Mullet was born in Dallas and attended school in Texas, Washington D.C., England, and Austria. She spent many years as a practicing attorney before pursuing a career as a writer. Author of the Whisky Business Mystery series, Mullet is a passionate supporter of childhood literacy. She works with numerous domestic and international charities striving to promote functional literacy for all children. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter 

Purchase Links – Amazon  B&N    Kobo   Google Play

Melinda Mullet’s delightful Whisky Business mysteries can be read together or separately. Enjoy responsibly:
SINGLE MALT MURDER | DEATH DISTILLED | DEADLY DRAM | DIED IN THE WOOL

You can read my reviews for Single Malt Murder hereDeath Distilled hereDeadly Dram here.

Praise for Died in the Wool: A Whisky Business Mystery
by Melinda Mullet

Mullet’s books are always easy to read and quite enjoyable . . . The author balances the perfect amount of details with subtle hints about the person’s appearance, just enough to picture it but also throw in your own ideas.
~ThisIsMyTruthNow

This cozy mystery series by Melinda Mullet is quickly becoming one of my very favorites and Died in the Wool is the best story yet . . . an outstanding novel that is a cut above other stories in this genre.
~The Power of Words

Died in Wool by Melinda Mullet is a thrilling book about whisky, raising sheep, and life in Scotland. Ms. Mullet has created a wonderful cast of characters in this series, and I enjoyed learning about them.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

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

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Jun 212019
 


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


Murder on the Last Frontier (A Charlotte Brody Mystery)
Historial Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Alaska
Kensington (November 24, 2015)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496700546
ISBN-13: 978-1496700544
Kindle ASIN: B00U7LIZCW

There’s many who feel the Alaska Territory is no place for a woman on her own. But Charlotte Brody, suffragette and journalist, has never let public opinion dictate her life choices. She’s come to the frontier town of Cordova, where her brother Michael practices medicine, for the same reason many come to Alaska—to start over.

Cordova is gradually getting civilized, but the town is still rougher than Charlotte imagined. And when a local prostitute—one of the working girls her brother has been treating—is found brutally murdered, Charlotte learns firsthand how rough the frontier can be. Although the town may not consider the murder of a prostitute worthy of investigation, Charlotte’s feminist beliefs motivate her to seek justice for the woman. And there’s something else—the woman was hiding a secret, one that reminds Charlotte of her own painful past.

As Charlotte searches for answers, she soon finds her own life in danger from a cold-blooded killer desperate to keep dark secrets from seeing the light of day…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Cordova, Alaska Territory 1919

Journalist and suffragette Charlotte Brody travels from Younkers, New York to Alaska to visit her brother and report on women in the territory for a series of articles to appear in The Modern Woman Review. The trip was not ideal but she is thrilled to see her brother Michael, who is a very busy doctor. He gets her settled in at Sullivan’s Boarding House but their visit gets off to a bumpy start. He brother has changed and so has she.

Their differences get cast aside when one of the girls from a local brothel is tragically murdered near the rooming house where Charlotte is staying. She may have even heard some of the victim’s last moments. Feeling guilty that she may have been able to do something to save the woman and the fact that a prostitutes death is a low priority for the authorities, Charlotte follows her heart and beliefs to investigate the woman’s death on her own. When a key piece of evidence is found, she finds herself in the killer’s sights putting herself and several others in danger. Will she survive her trip to Alaska or will a Murder on the Last Frontier be her last protest?

I loved this story. I wish I had read it when it was first released. The author takes on social issues of the day, many of which are still hot topics today.

Charlotte Brody is a very likable protagonist. She is smart and curious about her new surroundings and the people that inhabit it. She realizes the town is more primitive than what she imagined but she is up for the challenge. She is independent and open to meeting everyone for the mayor to the working girls. Everyone knows her brother, any are his patients, so she is welcomed in all the circles. But she has a secret.

Charlotte’s brother, Michael is a generous man with his time, which is a requirement for an Alaskan physician. He has made a life for himself and seems happy. Charlotte is a little surprised that his very small home is also his office, which is why she is staying at Sullivan’s. But he too has secrets.

We are introduced to many residents of Cordova in this first installment. The author does an excellent job of making them feel real, believable, interesting, and memorable. There are many reasons people have come to Cordova but for most, it was to start over or get a second chance. I enjoyed the depth that has already been created for these characters.

What I really enjoyed was Cathy Pegau’s descriptive writing style. She brought Alaska, the town of Cordova and all the people in this story to life, in a carefree way. Sometimes author’s descriptions go way over the top, taking away from the actual story. That is definitely not the case here.  I could picture everything I needed to easily. Not only the places and people but the extra hours of sunlight, the neverending rain, the muddy paths, and the boots worn by everyone due to the muddy paths. The balance was superb. Readers are totally transported to 1919 Alaska.

The mystery was very well-plotted with many surprising twists. The pacing was exactly right and kept me engaged from beginning to end. I was surprised by the final twist setting up a perfect ending.

Even before I reached the end of this book I knew I wanted to read more of this series. I was surprised to find the other two books in this series already on my Kindle. I hope to be reading and reviewing them soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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Jun 192019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Karen Rose Smith’s new book today!

murder with cucumber sandwiches
Murder with Cucumber Sandwiches (A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1617739642
ISBN-13: 978-1617739644
Kindle ASIN: B07H1YBJ6S
GoodReads

Daisy’s Tea Garden in Pennsylvania’s Amish country is known for its elegant finger foods—but now owner Daisy Swanson has to finger a killer . . .

Restaurant critic Derek Schumaker, notorious for his bitter reviews, is about to visit Daisy’s Tea Garden, and Daisy and Aunt Iris are simmering with anxiety. A bad word from the culinary curmudgeon could really hurt their business, but Daisy tries to stay confident. After all, how can he resist her cucumber sandwiches with pimento spread—not to mention the cheesy cauliflower soup and strawberry walnut salad?

Schumaker takes a to-go order when the afternoon tea service is done, which Daisy hopes is a good sign. But when he perishes from a seizure, it looks like his food was dosed with something deadly. Considering a threat that recently appeared on his blog—and whispers of scandal in his past—Daisy has quite an assortment of suspects to sift through . . .

Includes delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Holy Cucumbers! When restaurant critic Derek Schumaker arrives at Daisy’s Tea Garden Daisy tries to stay positive. She knows the food they serve is fantastic. Aunt Iris is a little more pensive. The man is known for his derogatory reviews. Reviews that can shut restaurants down. When Schumaker requests a to-go order of cucumber sandwiches, Daisy knows they have the review in the bag.

That all changes when the police show up investigating the critic’s death pointing fingers at the sandwiches from Daisy’s Tea Garden. This is bad for business and bad for her employees especially when two of them is clearly hiding something. Daisy knows there are a plethora of suspects that should be on the list, just from all the restaurants he has critiqued badly. The man had received numerous threats, one recently on his blog. Daisy decides to delve deep into the man’s life to see if she can catch the killer before her business is tainted and out of business.

It this 3rd book of this series the author has filled Daisy’s plate with so much. She is juggling the murder, an employee that is going through something he refuses to share, her younger daughter’s relationship with her birth mom, her older daughter wants to come home from college to talk, and she is trying to have a relationship with Jonas Groft,  all the while trying to keep customers coming into the tea shop while many think their food killed the critic.

The author strikes a nice balance of work, home, and murder drama. All the character’s lives are intertwined and the relationships are all evolving in a believable way. Daisy has a huge heart, but that heart is still healing from the loss of her husband. Her girls are growing up and dealing with some heavy issues. Daisy’s compassionate soul reaches out to everyone. She treats her employees and friends like family and would do anything for them.

Daisy has a way with people, they open up to her like they never would for the prickly Detective Morris Rappaport, so the murder investigation gets very interesting. Jonas is kinda caught in the middle. Ms. Smith has plotted this mystery perfectly. She kept me guessing right up until the very end.

I enjoy everything about this book/series. The characters are warm and engaging, the mystery is well thought out and presented, and Willow Creek is a place I would love to visit.

These stories are best read in order to follow the character growth but enough background is given to read each one on their own. I was excited to see this week, that the 4th book in this series –  Murder with Cherry Tarts will be out later this year and is already up for preorder.

perfect escape

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Karen Rose Smith 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.

 

Also by this Author



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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Sign up for 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 July 3, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Jun 182019
 


Clause & Effect (Deadly Edits)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496712579
ISBN-13: 978-1496712578
Kindle ASIN: B07HVYPQH9

As a professional editor, Mikki Lincoln is used to crimes against the English language. As an amateur sleuth, she’s finding catching criminals a lot more dangerous than catching typos . . .

Nestled in the picturesque Catskills, the village of Lenape Hollow prepares to celebrate the 225th anniversary of its founding. Freelance book editor Mikki Lincoln has been drafted to update and correct the script, left over from the town’s bicentennial, which is housed at the historical society.

The building is being renovated for the first time since that last celebration. But when construction reveals a shocking discovery—human remains walled up in a fireplace—Mikki shifts focus from cold-reading to solving a cold case.

Just as her investigation seems to have hit a brick wall, a new murder rattles the townspeople. Clearly, someone is hiding a few skeletons in the closet. Now Mikki will need to go off script to make a connection between the bicentennial bones and the current homicide. But if this book editor isn’t careful, she may be the next one sentenced to death . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mikki Lincoln finds herself reluctantly tasked with editing and basically rewriting the script for the play the was performed 25 years ago at the town’s bicentennial celebration so it can be performed for the Quasquicentennial this year. The problem is the old script is kept at the historical society and can’t be checked out. Mikki is forced to work in the archives room while construction on the building continues so it can be completed before the celebration.

While the contractor is working on the renovation one of the walls crumbles on top of him revealing an old fireplace. He has minor injuries but another body is found in the rubble. One that was murdered and closed up in the wall presumably during the last renovation before the bicentennial. Mikki can’t get the body out of her mind and finds herself spending more time trying to solve the cold case that her regular editing work or the Lenape Hollow founder’s day script. When a new murder is added to the mix, Mikki finds herself editing her time to do it all. She may be asking her last question, writing her last paragraph, final sentence, period, end of story, if she finds herself in the killer’s sights.

I love that Mikki Lincoln is an older lead character, retired teacher, set in her ways, working so that she can live in the house she grew up in. She wears hearing aids that come in handy for some stealth eavesdropping. Mikki is smart, a great multitasker, with keen insight. All qualities that make her a great amateur sleuth. We also continue to meet the residents of Lenape Hollow. Ms. Dunnett does a wonderful job fleshing out her characters and connecting them to Mikki is a believable way.

I enjoyed that a cold case connects to a new one. It allows readers to not only follow the clues but get to know about the village’s past. Much has changed in 25 years but many things remain the same. The mystery unfolds in a very intriguing and interesting way. There were plenty of twists and a wonderful moment when the last clue falls into place. I was so surprised when I realized where the story was leading. It is so much fun when that happens.

The subplots tangled within the mystery were great too. I was really drawn by the character researching their family history. They have a big secret and they learn something they wouldn’t have found out if they hadn’t made the trip to Lenape Hollow.

Another strong story for this series. Well-written, relatable characters, set in a place with a long history. An entertaining read! I hope to visit Mikki and her friends again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Crime and Punctuation here.

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.

Also by Kaitlyn Dunnett


Coming in January 2020


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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 July 2, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

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Jun 142019
 


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.

Game of Scones (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Iowa
Lyrical Underground (December 4, 2018)
Paperback: 194 pages
ISBN-10: 1516105052
ISBN-13: 978-1516105052
Kindle ASIN: B07BD1XJ8V

As co-owner of Sugar and Spice Cookbooks, Sugar Calloway has seen simple confections bring friends together and spark fiery feuds. Except this time, the recipe truly is to die for . . .

After losing her job as food editor at a glossy magazine, Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway—aka “Sugar” to friends—isn’t sweet on accepting defeat and crawling back to her gossipy southern hometown. So when she has an opportunity to launch a community cookbook business with blue-ribbon baker Dixie Spicer in peaceful St. Ignatius, Iowa, she jumps at the chance to start over from scratch . . .

But as Sugar assembles recipes for the local centennial celebration, it’s not long before she’s up to her oven mitts in explosive threats, too-hot-to-handle scandals, and a dead body belonging to the moody matriarch of the town’s first family. With suspicions running wild, Sugar and Spice must solve the murder before someone innocent takes the heat—and the real culprit gathers enough ingredients to strike again . . .

* Includes delicious recipes! *

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway and Dixie Spicer aka “Sugar” and “Spice” have teamed up and opened a community cookbook business, Sugar & Spice Publishing. Former food editor Sugar handles the logistics and blue-ribbon baker Spice tests the recipes.

Their first client is the committee for the local Founder’s Day Centennial Celebration. Sugar meets with the committee to discuss a duplicate scone recipe. Working with adult women, Dixie’s Aunt Bertie and Ellie Farmer, she is sure they can work it out. What happens is a shouting match that almost comes to blows. The meeting ends with no resolution. Hoping individual meetings with the bakers will solve the issue Sugar sets up a meeting with Ellie. But she finds the woman dead clutching a scone.  With the ladies’ ongoing feud Bertie quickly becomes the prime suspect. When Bertie leaves town telling no one of her plans Sheriff Terrance Griffin turns up the heat while Sugar and Dixie worry if someone has hurt Bertie too.

___

This was a delightful cozy mystery. I have been on a few fundraiser cookbook committees so this story excited me from the start. Thankfully our cookbooks were completed without any dead bodies but there were some heated conversations. People take their recipes seriously! The author includes 3 recipes at the end of the book.

Sugar and Dixie have their work cut out for them in making a business like this flourish, especially if this one is any indication. Both women have the expertise needed except they need to bring in a photographer. Enter Max Windsor, a friend of Dixie’s brother. We also meet Sugar’s pain-in-the-butt neighbor and her landlord who recently moved to a senior living community. There is a palpable tension between Dixie and the sheriff, which plays out throughout the story. These characters have a real small-town feel with gossip running rampant and a bit of Southern charm from Dixie. The dialogue is strong. While we have been given a great introduction to these characters, the author has left a lot of room for them to grow.

A little cooperation from Bertie would have removed her from the suspect list but in lieu of that Sugar and Dixie find themselves right in the middle of the investigation. It was easy to find additional suspects because the victim rubbed several people the wrong way. I enjoyed tagging along for each clue, twist, and turn. The pace had a couple of dips but quickly got back on track. The ending was exciting.

I love that this series is set in Iowa. Not too far from home for me and not a common setting for cozy mysteries even though it is full of small towns that could host this genre.

I found Game of Scones to be a very entertaining story. I am excited to see where Ms. Ashford takes her character next. Risky Biscuits will be out July 9.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Mary Lee Ashford

Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, an avid reader, and a supporter of public libraries. In addition to writing the Sugar and Spice series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books.

Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest.

She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies.

She loves encouraging writers and is a frequent lecturer and workshop presenter for writers’ groups. Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity.

She currently resides in the midwest with her husband, Tim, and Sparkle, the rescue cat namesake of the Sparkle Abbey pseudonym. Her delights are reading and enjoying her two sons and daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.

For more information, visit her website at www.MaryLeeAshford.com

Find her on  –  FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestGoodReads 


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Jun 132019
 

A Crafter Hooks a Killer:
A Handcrafted Mystery
by Holly Quinn

 

About the Book


A Crafter Hooks a Killer: A Handcrafted Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Crooked Lane Books (June 11, 2019)
Hardcover 274 Pages
ISBN-10: 1643850121
ISBN-13: 978-1643850122
Digital ASIN: B07MGS1XDW

Community Craft proprietor Sammy Kane suspects that a tantalizing thread links the deaths of her best friend and a bestselling author. But can she weave together the clues?

Samantha “Sammy” Kane is settling into her new life in idyllic Heartsford, Wisconsin, running her late friend Kate Allen’s craft shop, Community Craft when one early June day, bestselling crochet author Jane Johnson visits Heartsford. Captivated by Community Craft, Jane devotes a chapter in her new book, Behind the Seams, to the store. Sammy is honored, though satisfaction quickly turns to shock when she finds Jane strangled to death—her cold hands clutching a copy of her most recently published book, with the words “THE END” raggedly scratched into the cover.

Heavens to Etsy! Not only must Sammy contend with the author’s inauspicious demise, she has to untie some knotty details from her own past. It turns out Kate’s death was not what it seemed, and instead somehow hooked to Jane Johnson’s demise. Handsome Detective Liam Nash is on the “skein”, more than happy to see the shop owner again, if less than enamored by her sleuthing interventions. But this was Sammy’s best friend—she has to know.

Fortunately, Sammy has a “lace” in the hole. As a child, she formed the S.H.E. detective team with her cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie. Having already reconstituted their partnership, the S.H.E. team searches for a pattern behind the latest death. As the case starts to unravel, will Sammy and team be able to sidestep Liam quick enough to stitch together the clues?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Heartsford, Wisconsin, and it’s summertime. Sammy Kane is planning for a big event at Community Craft. A book signing with Jane Johnson, The Queen of Crafts. Jane is also writing a new book that will include one chapter about Community Craft and its original owner, Sammy’s best friend, Kate Allen.

The author surprises Sammy by arriving in town early and requesting a private meeting with her. They agree to meet on a bench by the river. Sammy arrives a short time after Jane, but she is waaayyyy too late. The author is dead and holding her last book. The killer has scratched a deadly message too, “THE END” on the book.  Sammy knows the author wanted to talk to her about Kate and the store, but why would anyone kill her over that?

The death brings Sammy back together with Detective Liam Nash which seems to make them both very happy. But Liam tells her to let him handle the case.  There is no way Sammy can do that. This case has something to do with Kate and she can’t just back away. She quickly assembles the S.H.E. team (Sammy, her cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie) to help her untangle the clues. Together they are going to chain the information together to find the killer and get to the truth they all seek.

___

I was so excited to get back to Heartsford. I really enjoy the part the community plays in Holly Quinn’s stories. This time when the murder ruins Sammy’s big plans, she starts to plan another event that will benefit the town.

The core characters in this series are strong and realistic. Sammy’s mother gets on my nerves a little bit but in ways reminds me of my own mother in certain ways. I was surprised that the relationship between Sammy and Liam didn’t progress at all, while Heidi and Officer Tim’s relationship is progressing nicely. Ellie is taking advantage of her parents being in town to get a little bit of “me time” while they babysit their grandson Tyler. Even if that “me time” means manning the store so Sammy can investigate. When Ellie can’t step in employee/crafter/friend Deborah takes over and keeps the shop running.  Of course, Sammy’s lovable golden retriever returns. That dog just steals my heart. Like my dogs, Bara is usually by Sammy’s side or very close by.

I really appreciate the way Ms. Quinn has laid out this mystery. She gives her protagonist a gift of “seeking and finding the truth” and gives us a detective that is man enough to know her information is important. He does his best to rein her in and keep her safe at the same time but Sammy is pretty headstrong. She may have her S.H.E. team to help, but she and Liam make a good team too.

The plot is full of twists, and I loved the way the author crocheted everything together but I did figure this one out before Sammy. Even with that, I was entertained reading and following along as all the clues fell into place right up to the exciting ending. Holding back saying more but Sammy rocked!

Fun characters, a great theme, not 1 but 2 mysteries all set in my neck of the woods. Books like this one are what first pulled me into the cozy mystery genre. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Crafter Knits A ClueHere

 

About Author Holly Quinn

Holly Quinn has published two stand-alone fiction novels in another persona. She graduated from Carroll University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in business and a minor in marketing. This is her second Handcrafted mystery. Visit her @ www.authorhollyquinn.com

Praise for A Crafter Hooks a Killer: A Handcrafted Mystery
by Holly Quinn

This one was a quick read for me – once I got started it was very hard to put down!
~The Book’s the Thing

A Crafter Hooks a Killer has three curious ladies, two complex crimes, one disgruntled detective and a delightful doggie.
~The Avid Reader

Author Links – Website – Facebook – GoodReads 

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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.”

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Jun 122019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am pleased to share the latest book in this long-running Wisconsin series!


Dead Big Dawg (A Loon Lake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (June 11, 2019)
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 1440598835
ISBN-13: 978-1440598838
Kindle ASIN: B01MRACFUA

When the bodies of a wealthy Chicago industrialist and his wife are discovered in their summer home at the same time that a local lawyer disappears, life becomes complicated for Loon Lake Chief of Police Lew Ferris.

Relying on the forensic dental expertise of her close friend and acting coroner, Doc Osborne, Lew soon finds the investigations are even more complicated than she thought when a rarely used computer belonging to a local sawmill operation is taken over by foreign hackers. Add to that the family issues facing both Lew and Doc, and this Northwoods summer becomes both hot and dangerous.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another trip north to Loon Lake and again Doc and Lew have their hands full. First,  with their grandchildren, especially when they disappear and are found a short time later at a neighboring farm. They also find agents from the FBI Cyber Security Team. Russian Hackers have worked their way into the Northwoods unbeknownst to the owners of the farm and the owners of an old computer they use for recordkeeping.

Then, in the middle of the night Chief of Police Lew Ferris is alerted to a double fatality. A businessman and his wife from Illinois in their summer home. At first, thought to be a murder/suicide, Lew doesn’t think so and calls in the “Wausau Boys” and Ray Pradt to work the scene. Together they all will try to figure out what really happened and why.

On the homefront, Doc’s daughter is home for a visit and she has brought along her new boyfriend and runs into a high school classmate.

Wisconsin is a place where many bigwigs from the Chicago area have their summer homes so it was not surprising that a couple from there are our victims this time. The question is was the killer from the area or did trouble follow them over the border.

___

The core characters in this series have become friends after 19 books. I love that the children and grandchildren again are part of the story. That being said, the author gives enough background info to read this or any of the books in this series on its own. The characters are well developed and genuine, some have the quirky traits fans of this genre look for. There are also plenty of suspects to keep readers guessing.

The later books in this series run about 200 pages and Victoria Houston packs them full. She tangles the main plot and subplots together with believable dialogue and wonderful descriptions of the area. What I love best is that the characters always have time to do a little fly-fishing. They find a certain amount of peace on the water and sometimes that is when a crucial clue falls into place.

The Loon Lake Mysteries are comfortable stories with the perfect amount of suspense and drama. Lew, Doc, and Ray are good people and true friends. Strong, smart, people who work and play well together. The romantic relationship between Doc and Lew is what I would call relaxed. They each know what they want and understand each other so well. The younger Ray is a very special guy, still playing the field and that usually works for him. Most people are amazed by the way women just seem to fall for him.  It does bring some great humor to each story.

I have enjoyed each story in this series. Dead Big Dawg was a quick read that was fun and entertaining. I  look forward to my next trip north.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Victoria Houston visit her webpage here.



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

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Jun 062019
 

I am thrilled to kick-off this tour!!

Sconed to Death
(A Cat Latimer Mystery)
by Lynn Cahoon

About the Book


Sconed to Death (A Cat Latimer Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Colorado
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716833
ISBN-13: 978-1496716835
Kindle ASIN: B07H1ZCS2Z

Cat Latimer pursues a scone-cold killer who iced a top chef in a local bakery . . .

Cat has a full plate at her Aspen Hills Warm Springs Resort, as a group of aspiring cozy mystery authors arrives for a writers retreat. So when baker Dee Dee Meyer stirs up trouble by filing a false complaint with the health inspector against the B&B—all because she insists Cat’s best friend Shauna stole her recipes—Cat marches into the shop to confront her.

But Dee Dee’s about to have her own batch of trouble. Greyson Finn—a celebrity chef and, until today, one of Denver’s most eligible bachelors—has been found dead in her bakery. Cat’s uncle Pete, who happens to be the chief of police, warns her not to engage in any half-baked sleuthing. But as her curiosity rises, Cat’s determined to discover who served the chef his just desserts—before the killer takes a powder . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

A group of cozy mystery writers from Chicago arrives for the latest retreat at the Aspen Hills Warm Springs Resort and they are excited about everything Cat and Shauna have planned. A cooking demonstration, a trip to the college library, a couple of lectures, some speed writing games, and plenty of time to write.

Cat and Shauna get a little sidetracked when the health inspector shows up at the door in answer to a complaint. A complaint by Dee Dee Meyer, owner of the local bakery, all because she thinks Shauna is stealing her recipes. Really the woman is just out for attention. And attention is just what she gets when a body is found in her bakery. Why would celebrity chef Greyson Finn even be there? He has restaurants in Denver and is one of the city’s most eligible bachelors. He and Dee Dee? . . . No way! She wouldn’t kill him in HER bakery, would she?

Cat’s uncle/the chief of police tells her to take care of her retreat and he will take care of HIS investigation.  She just can’t do it though, especially when he shows up for dinner every night and the retreat authors are even throwing around their own theories about the crime. But can she catch the scone-cold killer or will she be the next one on their list?

__________

This is my new favorite book in this series. I loved this group of cozy mystery writers! They were fun to read about because they had fun with each other and they care about each other. One author is dealing with a situation at home that has followed them to the retreat. The others try to be understanding and give the author some space but step in with advice when the time is right. They also welcome the retreater from the college with open arms. Mollie is a huge fan of Cat’s books so she was thrilled to be chosen to participate in this retreat. She was equally as thrilled about all the new author friends she quickly makes. The best thing was them hashing out puny titles for books and discussing fresh new ways to kill their victims. Fiction imitating real life, I am sure.

The core characters Cat, Shauna, Seth, and Uncle Pete have all continued to grow. The subplots dealing with real-life issues mix in nicely with the main murder plot. Cat, Shauna, and Seth love hosting the retreats but are starting to feel the need for some time away from Aspen Hills. Shauna connects with her brother in New York and makes plans for a trip when this retreat ends. Cat and Seth are planning for a getaway when she returns. Uncle Pete’s is missing his Alaska girlfriend and he may be spending more time there in the future. I think Shauna had the most growth as she is getting so much better at handling the grief after the recent death of her boyfriend. Some furry felines make great listeners and cuddlers.

That main mystery is very well-plotted. Cat tempers her curiosity better this time, making smarter decisions, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t put herself in harm’s way. There were several red herrings to twist things up. I had a great time following along with Cat as she did her sleuthing. With plenty of rumors about the chef, I understood both Uncle Pete’s and Cat’s difficulty pinning down the killer. I changed my mind a few times myself.

Great characters and realistic dialogue made this book a joy to read. I was captivated from beginning to end.

There is a Cranberry Scone recipe at the back of the book, but Shauna deals with several bushels of apples throughout the entire book. By the time I turned the last page I was craving apple pie and apple butter. So much so they were added to our grocery list until we can get fresh apples this fall.

I recommend reading this series in order for maximum enjoyment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of A Story to Kill here and my review of Fatality by Firelight here,
my review for Of Murder and Men here and my review of Slay in Character here.

About the Author

Lynn Cahoon is the award-winning author of several New York Times and USA Today bestselling cozy mystery series. The Tourist Trap series is set in central coastal California with six holiday novellas releasing in 2018–2019. She also pens the Cat Latimer series available in mass market paperback. Her newest series, the Farm to Fork mystery series, debuted in 2018. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies.

Author Links –  Goodreads – Twitter – Facebook –  Amazon author page –  Website 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle Play 

Also by Lynn Cahoon


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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.”

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Jun 052019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to welcome Leslie Budewitz back to Escape with Dollycas with a new Spice Shop Mystery that will be released next Tuesday!

Researching Fiction
by Leslie Budewitz

 

It’s fiction, readers say. What is there to research?

Plenty. Okay, so writing a novel is like spending all day, every day, with my imaginary friends. I’ve often said I’m a happier, healthier person because I spend much of my time with people who only exist because I made them up.

But what makes these people so interesting is that they bring into my life new experiences. New perspectives. New problems and strange objects, unfamiliar takes on familiar places. Dead bodies and the search for a killer.

In my Spice Shop series, Pepper Reece runs Seattle Spice in the famed Pike Place Market. Founded in 1907, Pike Place is the oldest continuously operating public market in the country. I fell in love with the Market as a college freshman, not long after the city’s voters saved it from urban removal. Later, as a young lawyer working in downtown Seattle, I shopped in the Market regularly and made it my mission to eat my way through. Easy to do, since it’s constantly changing. Research!

When I’m working on a Spice Shop book, I keep a map of the Market and a current list of shops, restaurants, services, and other tenants close. Though I’d long heard tales of hauntings in the old buildings, Market Ghost Stories by Mercedes Yeager, who grew up in the Market where her parents ran an artists’ stall and who now runs a coffee shop and conducts tours of the Market, gave me a new view of the place. Turns out that over time, doors and windows in various buildings were closed off, creating hidden rooms and passageways, which I used in Assault and Pepper, the first in the series.

Both Mr. Right and my best friend from college, who still lives in the area and whom I’ve dubbed my unofficial research assistant, have spent countless hours poking around the Market and environs with me. A friend who works at Seattle Center, site of the 1962 World’s Fair, gave Mr. Right and me a behind-the-scenes tour, which helped enormously in writing a pair of scenes in Guilty as Cinnamon.

On another visit, Mr. Right and I prowled through the Lake Union houseboat district, where Pepper’s good friend Laurel lives. We snapped pictures, ate breakfast, and walked past a tiny antique shop that, years later, gave me the idea for Rainy Day Vintage, featured in Chai Another Day. A book on the “floating home” community, newspaper articles, and blog posts gave me an insider’s view—and even prompted me to give Laurel and her son a white cat who roams the docks. Research!

For Chai Another Day, naturally, I drank lots of tea. Read articles on chai and its fascinating history, and played in the kitchen to come up with a tea blend and a baking blend that Pepper sells; both recipes are included in the book.

Of course, a mystery needs a crime, usually a murder, and a murder needs a weapon. I won’t say much about that—no spoilers—but I will say that for Chai, I got to learn some fun facts about an antique my husband inherited from his mother. And as is often the case in cozies, Pepper fends off the killer with an innovative use of a familiar item, prompting more research.

Mysteries have a serious side, too. I’ve plowed through photos of Seattle crime scene investigations and stared a little too closely at street cops to make sure I know what they wear and drive. The Seattle Police Department’s public information officers have helped me pin down a few details. For Chai, I dug into immigration statistics from the 1950s, pored over blogs written by young women of South Asian (Indian) ancestry, and read about treatment for opioid addiction.

And of course, I cooked and ate. When you read a recipe in one of my books, I want you to know you can make it without much trouble and it will turn out well. Research!

Fiction works when it feels real. That means melding imagination with investigation, putting the facts to work in service of the tale. And it’s so much fun.

~Leslie

Thank you, Leslie, for visiting today! 

Keep reading to for my review of Chai Another Day.

 


Chai Another Day (Spice Shop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series – First with this Publisher
Setting – Washington State
Seventh Street Books (June 11, 2019)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-10: 1633885364
ISBN-13: 978-1633885363
Kindle ASIN: B07FC1J6ZG

Seattle Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece probes murder while juggling a troubled employee, her mother’s house hunt, and a fisherman who’s set his hook for her.

As owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece is always on the go. Between conjuring up new spice blends and serving iced spice tea to customers looking to beat the summer heat, she finally takes a break for a massage. But the Zen moment is shattered when she overhears an argument in her friend Aimee’s vintage home decor shop that ends in murder.

Wracked by guilt over her failure to intervene, Pepper investigates, only to discover a web of deadly connections that could ensnare a friend – and Pepper herself.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Again, Pepper has a lot on her plate and the last thing she needs is another murder, but that is exactly what she finds when she tries to take a little time for herself. She heard an argument erupting from the vintage shop as she climbed the steps for a relaxing massage. Before she gets any of the benefits the massage ends when her massage therapist, Seetha is summoned downstairs for a medical emergency. The emergency was murder! Aimee McGillvray, the owner of Rainy Day Vintage, found her employee Joelle bleeding on the floor of the store but she died before help could arrive.

Pepper is distraught, if only she had ventured into the store before going upstairs she may have saved Joelle’s life. Warned by Detective Tracy to stay out of the investigation, she feels responsible and can’t help but to do her own inquiries.

_____

I am so happy this series has new life with a new publisher. If you missed the prior books, no fear, the author provides a cast list at the front of the book and provides plenty of background within these pages.

The author has created a strong protagonist in Pepper Reece. She is smart and caring with a background in human relations. Pepper has learned a lot about spices since this series began. She is a wonderful cook and has developed a great palate which helps her create some fantastic blends with the help of her staff. She has also developed a palate for sleuthing and that could be her downfall as sometimes she leaps into the fray without regard for her own safety.

Thankfully there is a great supporting cast who has saved her bacon time and time again. The supporting cast is her mother, friends, employees, a certain fisherman, and Detectives Tracy, Spencer, and new in this book Armstrong. Also, usually by her side is her lovable dog, Arf, who has great instincts. All are genuine and relatable. They each have a purpose and add to the story as a whole.

I do enjoy that Ms. Budewitz doesn’t back away from social issues. Pepper’s family has always been involved in helping people and doing the right thing and she lives her life the same way.

The story does blend the happenings of real life with the mystery of murder seamlessly. Readers will find a well-written and very well-plotted mystery. There are plenty of suspects and plenty of twists. Surprisingly I honed in on the right guilty party this time but didn’t understand the full motivation until it was spelled out for me. The author did her best to give up on my suspect in favor of another but I held tight to my choice.

The setting of this series, Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, is such a unique place and a treasure trove for this series. With each visit, we find new shops, nooks, and places I would love to visit.  The author’s descriptive style really brings the place alive. Someday, I hope to see it in person.

This is an excellent addition to this series. The characters are like old friends and they are wrapped up in a fine mystery. There are also mouth-watering recipes and spice notes at the back of the book I can’t wait to try. I will be anxiously awaiting book #5 and another trip to the Seattle Market. I hope we don’t have to wait too long.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can read my review of Assault and Pepper here, Guilty as Cinnamon here,
and Killing Thyme here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in two cozy mystery series. CHAI ANOTHER DAY, her fourth Spice Shop Mystery, set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, will be published on June 11. DEATH AL DENTE, first in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, set in Jewel Bay, Montana, won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. She also won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction. “All God’s Sparrows,” her first historical fiction, won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives and cooks in NW Montana.

Find her online at www.LeslieBudewitz.com and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LeslieBudewitzAuthor More about CHAI ANOTHER DAY, including an excerpt here: http://www.lesliebudewitz.com/spice-shop-mystery-series/

 

Also by this Author


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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.”

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