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Fowl Murder: A Cozy Mystery with a Determined Female Amateur Sleuth (A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

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Fowl Murder: A Cozy Mystery with a Determined Female Amateur Sleuth
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait

About Fowl Murder

Fowl Murder: A Cozy Mystery with a Determined Female Amateur Sleuth (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kenya
Publisher: Kanga Press (July 21, 2020)
ebook, 190 pages
Digital ASIN: B089RRXBC1

 

A shooting on the savannah. A tragedy she’d rather forget. When past and present collide, will she survive to see her future?
Kenya, 2016. Semi-retired vet Rose Hardie just wants to enjoy her golden years and care for her disabled husband. But her peace of mind shatters when a forgotten confidant returns and reopens a case where Rose pulled the trigger. With her memories of the poacher’s shocking death flooding back, she barely catches her breath before her childhood friend is brutally murdered.

 

Braving blackmail and entrenched corruption, the tireless woman dives headfirst into helping the victim’s son solve the crime. But when the lead suspect is killed, Rose’s plans for a peaceful life end up dead and buried…

 

As her own traumatic history unravels, can Rose catch a killer before she becomes the next victim?

 

Foul Murder is the first book in the compelling Kenya Kanga Mystery series. If you like determined heroines, unpredictable twists and turns, and vivid African settings, then you’ll love Victoria Tait’s pulse-pounding tale.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Note: Take a moment to read the Glossary of words before starting to read the books because the author uses many words local to the region. I love that she did this. 

We meet Rose Hardie, known as “Mama Rose,” and her invalid husband, Craig, in Nanyuki, Kenya.    Rose works as a volunteer vet. She also helps anyone with a need the best she can. They are happily married but do clash when Rose is away and not tending to Craig.

When a childhood friend, Aisha, suddenly moves nearby talking about an event that happened decades ago, an event Rose would like to forget, she gets nervous. Soon after the friend is murdered. True to her nature Rose jumps in to help the victim’s son find her killer. She is also being blackmailed by someone connected to the event Aisha reopened. Unfortunately, Aisha was killed before Rose could get any details from her.  Now with Aisha’s son and a little help from Craig, Rose is doing her best to catch a killer and find the truth, but she could end up the killer’s next victim.


Ms. Tait has taken us to Kenya and creates wonderful imagery with her words. I could easily envision every place the characters went. The dryness of the land, the weather that comes in, Mount Kenya, the homes of the characters. I will never travel to Africa but enjoyed this virtual trip immensely.

(Mama) Rose is such a strong character. She is smart and, in some ways, methodical as she ventures into her investigation. She sees things others don’t. She knows everyone and they open up and tell her things they wouldn’t share with others. Husband Craig makes a great sounding board even though his disability keeps him from going everywhere Rose goes. Aisha’s son Thabiti steps in as her sidekick but his youth sometimes gets in the way. Other characters weigh in with information. All these characters develop over the course of the book. They come across as believable and real.

The mystery is full of twists and turns. The subplots blend in easily and the flow is great. The story has many layers to hold readers’ attention from beginning to end.  I did figure out part of the whodunit before Rose but was totally surprised when all was explained. Rose also gets some unexpected news that really evokes a change.

Fowl Murder is an exceptional start for the Kenya Kanga Mystery Series. Rose and Craig are definitely characters I want to visit again. Victoria Tait is an author to watch.

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About Victoria Tait

Victoria Tait is an exciting new author launching her Kenya Kanga Mystery series.  She’s drawn on 8 years living in rural Kenya with her family to transport her readers to a world of curiosity, community and conspiracy.  The Kenya Kanga Mystery series brings to life the beauty of the Kenyan landscape, the magic of its wildlife and the warmth of its people.

Author Links

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

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

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake (The Matchbaker Mysteries) by R.L. Syme #Review

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Montana
Publisher: Hummingbird Books (June 16, 2020)
Number of Pages: 240
Digital ASIN: B0878RT482

I never thought Edward would come back…

 

When the court case against my ex was finished, I thought we were finished, too. But it turns out, it was only the beginning.

 

The Larcenous Lava Cake is book four in The Matchbaker Mysteries, a new cozy culinary mystery series from USA Today Bestselling Author, R.L. Syme.

 

RECIPE INCLUDED: The Larcenous Lava Cake

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The past comes back to bite Vangie when Edward returns. She lost everything because of him and she hoped he was out of her life forever. How did he get out of jail? She is sure he is running another scheme and wrapped her up in it again, but she isn’t going down. Vangie is going to protect herself but getting to the bottom of everything before she finds herself behind bars.

____

This was an emotional book for Vangie. So many things are thrown at her within these pages in addition to figuring out the mystery. I felt we really got to know her in this story. She is a strong woman but anyone would feel overwhelmed by what she had to deal with. I liked the character before and love her now. She has real-life problems with real-life consequences just like us regular people and it is all not tied up with a nice bow at the end of the book. She did have a few moments that had me shaking my head when she did something she shouldn’t but those evened out the further you get into the story.

This book had a different feel than previous books in the series. Ms. Syme has baked up a complicated mystery with several characters involved. With plenty of twists and red herrings, I was kept guessing right up until the end. The author knows how to draw the reader in and hold our attention. She shook some things up which was a nice change.

I have enjoyed this whole series. This is my new favorite. While the mystery is wrapped up Vangie’s life is in flux at the end. I am anxious to see where the author takes her next.

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About R. L. Syme

She is a writer of sleuths worth loving and villains worth hating. Lover of fancy cheese, binge-watching, strawberries, and hope. A foodie and baker of yummy delights, Becca grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries passed on by her grandmother. A Tweeter and Pinner of things.

Click on covers to purchase.

Purchase Link

Amazon 

 

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

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

Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery) by Mary Lee Ashford #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

REVIEW NOW ADDED

Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
by Mary Lee Ashford

About Quiche of Death


Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Iowa
Publisher: Lyrical Press (July 21, 2020)
Print Length: ~254 pages
ASIN: B0855Q9JFW

When editor Sugar Calloway and baker Dixie Spicer went into business creating cookbooks, they found a sideline as amateur sleuths. Now a bitter family grudge could leave a fatal aftertaste…

 

At Sugar & Spice Community Cookbooks, the friends and business partners have secured a tasty new commission: producing a cookbook for the Arbor family. The Arbors have made their fortune in quiches, and Sugar and Spice have been invited to a weekend gathering where all the siblings, along with crusty matriarch Marta, will be in attendance. But it’s soon clear that this trip will come with a hefty slice of drama.

 

Theo, the only grandson, arrives with his flaky fiancée, Collette, who quickly stirs up trouble . . . and is found dead the next day. As the investigation unfolds, secrets—and recipes—are shared, and Sugar and Spice realize just how messy and murderous the situation may be. As another family member falls ill, can they solve the case without getting egg on their faces . . .and a target on their backs?

* Includes delicious recipes! *

Excerpt 

 “Quiche me, you fool.”

The demand was followed by hoots of laughter as the sister—Jezzie, I think her name was—leaned into her spouse for a smooch. He hesitated but obliged.

I smiled at the boisterous group who clearly shared some inside joke about quiche and kissing. The warmth of the table and the sibling love melted my heart like butter on a biscuit. Taking a sip of water, I glanced over at Dixie, who sat across from me at the huge oak table.

She rolled her eyes.

“What?” I mouthed.

Dixie shrugged. Jezzie had perhaps a teensy bit too much wine, but still: When did my best friend and business partner get so darn stuffy? Maybe it was the inside-joke part that she found off-putting.

But we did know quiche was the family’s stock-in-trade, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch to figure out the expression had something to do with the Arbor family’s food business. After all, that was why we were here.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sugar and Spice Publishing usually compiles fundraiser cookbooks but when the well to do Arbor family, who made their money with their quiche recipe, ask them to create a family cookbook they just can’t refuse. The family is all getting together for the weekend and has invited Sugar and Dixie to join them to meet the family, go over recipes and get some background stories to use alongside the recipes in the cookbook.

Instead, they see the family is pretty high maintenance and that was before the grandson arrives with his new fiancée. A fiancée who is killed her first night with the family. Accident or murder?? Amateur sleuths Sugar Calloway and baker Dixie Spicer can’t help themselves; they start doing their own investigation which could end up being a recipe for disaster.

____

Again, we are introduced to a large cast of characters, the Arbor family. The author does a great job of giving the reader time to learn the family dynamics before we got too deep into the mystery while leaving much to be revealed over the course of the story.

The core characters continue to grow. Sugar is obsessed with getting in her steps every day and enjoying her new relationship with photographer Max. Dixie is still baking up a storm and a certain sheriff stops by often to do a little tasting.

The mystery is well done with Sugar taking the lead trying to get information out of the family. Everyone seems to have a secret but she is a smart woman and even when things get dicey she doesn’t give up. I was totally caught up in the story and pegged almost every family member to be the guilty party at one time or another. After more than a few twists and a fair share of humor, I was pleased with the way things wrapped up.

As someone who has taken part in making fundraising cookbooks in the past, this theme always brings back memories, some good, some frustrating. I would have loved working Sugar and Dixie to keep our committees on track and make key decisions. I have always wanted to make a family cookbook too, so I found the Arbor family ideas pretty appealing, sans all the drama and dead body.

Of course, the food descriptions had my mouth drooling. The Arbor family did have quite a few delectable recipes and some are included in the back of the book.

Quiche of Death is an entertaining addition to this series. I am looking forward to their next cookbook adventure.

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About Mary Lee Ashford 

Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, and avid reader, and 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 past board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of AmericaKiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies. She loves encouraging other writers and is a frequent 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 cat, Zoey. 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

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

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

From Beer to Eternity (A Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery) by Sherry Harris – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

REVIEW HAS BEEN ADDED!

From Beer to Eternity (A Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery)
by Sherry Harris

About from Beer to Eternity 

From Beer to Eternity (A Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Publisher: Kensington (July 28, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723031
ISBN-13: 978-1496723031
Digital ASIN: B07ZPKTWCZ

A whip smart librarian’s fresh start comes with a tart twist in this perfect cocktail of murder and mystery—with a romance chaser.

 

MURDER ON TAP

 

With Chicago winters in the rearview mirror, Chloe Jackson is making good on a promise: help her late friend’s grandmother run the Sea Glass Saloon in the Florida Panhandle. To Chloe’s surprise, feisty Vivi Slidell isn’t the frail retiree Chloe expects. Nor is Emerald Cove. It’s less a sleepy fishing village than a panhandle hotspot overrun with land developers and tourists. But it’s a Sea Glass regular who’s mysteriously crossed the cranky Vivi. When their bitter argument comes to a head and he’s found dead behind the bar, guess who’s the number one suspect?

 

In trying to clear Vivi’s name, Chloe discovers the old woman isn’t the only one in Emerald Cove with secrets. Under the laidback attitude, sparkling white beaches, and small town ways something terrible is brewing. And the sure way a killer can keep those secrets bottled up is to finish off one murder with a double shot: aimed at Chloe and Vivi.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so excited about Sherry Harris’s new series. Don’t worry, there is a new Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery coming in December.

In From Beer to Eternity, we meet Chloe Jackson, a children’s librarian in Chicago who has taken a leave of absence to fulfill a promise she made to her best friend Boone who was killed in Afghanistan. She promised that if anything happened to him to go help his grandmother in the Florida Panhandle with her business, the Sea Glass Saloon. Short on details, Chloe uses a few white lies to get Vivi Slidell to hire her as a cocktail waitress so she can find out just what help this seemingly very competent woman may need. Chloe never expected she would be working to keep the woman out of jail after one of her regulars is found dead behind the bar. Chloe soon finds that something is clearly brewing in the town of Emerald Cove and her questions could land both her and Vivi in the line of fire.


Ms. Harris has introduced some very strong characters in this story and fleshed them out nicely in this first book while leaving them plenty of room to grow in future installments. I loved that Chloe found common ground with the sometimes cranky young children she usually works with and the overindulging patrons at the Sea Glass Saloon. Handling both in the same way successfully. She is smart and can think on her feet. Dealing with Boone’s death is hard especially when she finds out his true feelings. Vivi is a strong, independent woman, and nothing like Chloe expected. She has run her business successfully for years. Bartender Joaquin befriends Chloe quickly and is a great buffer between Chloe and Vivi. These main characters are surrounded by a great supporting cast.

The setting for this series is positively divine. A place I would go to and probably never leave. As in her other series it is set near military bases, Elgin Air Force Base and the nearby Hurlburt Field and there are Navy bases nearby too. Her descriptions of the area were fantastic and created wonderful imagery. She took us to several places and I really felt like I was right there with her.

The mystery was well done, complex, and intriguing with plenty of suspects. I couldn’t really hone in on any person fully because they all seemed a bit shady with secrets or hiding something.    The mystery reveal was a bit rushed for me although very exciting. I was on the edge of my seat.

As the book came to a close the ending wasn’t much of a surprise but this series is off to a fine start.

From Brew to Eternity feels like more than a cozy mystery. While it has all the cozy elements, amateur sleuth, small-town setting, humor in all the right places, etc. Chloe deals with the loss of Boone and that adds an extra serious element. I am eager to see where the author takes this series.

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About Sherry Harris

Sherry Harris is the Agatha Award-nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery series and the upcoming Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon mysteries. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers.

In her spare time, Sherry loves reading and is a patent-holding inventor. Sherry, her husband, and guard dog Lily are living in northern Virginia until they figure out where they want to move to next.

Author Links – Kensington –  Website  – Facebook 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle BooksIndieBound 

Also by Sherry Harris

Coming December 2020

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Game of Dog Bones (A Melanie Travis Mystery) by Laurien Berenson #Review


Game of Dog Bones (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
25th in Series
Setting – Connecticut/New York
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718372
ISBN-13: 978-1496718372
Kindle – ASIN: B07W4MRR69

Standard Poodle owner Melanie Travis is an excellent judge of dogs—and people. But what happens when an unnamed killer emerges at one of the fiercest all-breed competitions ever?

 

As Greenwich, Connecticut, slows down during a bitterly cold February, Melanie and her spunky Aunt Peg head to the city that never sleeps for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden. Aunt Peg can’t wait to demonstrate her judging chops on national TV, even after being hounded by frustrating mishaps—all seemingly orchestrated by Victor Durbin, an ousted Paugussett Poodle Club member with a bone to pick. But the bright lights of the show ring grow dim when Victor is found murdered, and she’s the one topping the suspect list . . .

 

Driven to solve the crime on her aunt’s behalf, Melanie fetches hair-raising clues about the victim. Victor didn’t score many friends with his unethical breeding practices, sketchy puppy café, and penchant for mercilessly scamming others to get ahead. He burned so many bridges that his own business partner admits to being delighted by news of his death. It appears Victor finally toyed with the wrong person, and as Melanie digs up more chilling evidence, she realizes that exonerating Aunt Peg means confronting a murderer who’s in it to win it . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Aunt Peg gets to fulfill her dream when she is asked to judge for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden and be on television. She is even hosting a seminar before her judging. But a former member of her poodle club, Victor Durbin is doing his best to ruin her day by planning his own event at the same time as Peg’s. When the man is later found dead Peg finds herself on the shortlist of suspects. New York is taking its own sweet time with their investigation so Melanie dives into her investigation to clear her Aunt Peg’s name while putting herself in jeopardy.


Visiting the Travis family is always a good time. With a husband, 2 sons, 5 Standard Poodles, 1 spotted mutt, and Aunt Peg, there is never a dull moment. Going with them to the biggest dog show was a real treat. We get a behind the scenes look and see Aunt Peg’s judging techniques in full force. All the human and canine characters really shine within this story. This is the 25th book in this series and the characters all continue to evolve and remain fresh. The dialogues and all interactions are believable and ring true.

In addition to some awesome subplots, the mystery was very well written. The victim truly had his share of enemies and I really enjoyed tailing along with Melanie as she worked her way through all of them. The author’s descriptive writing style takes her readers right into the moments of her characters in a way that keeps the pages rapidly turning. A major event takes place and that was truly my favorite part of the story.

Game of Dog Bones is an excellent addition to this long-running series. Each story reads well as a stand-alone too. It is fun and entertaining and leaves readers panting for the next book.

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About This Author

Laurien Berenson is an Agatha and Macavity Nominee, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and four-time winner of the Maxwell Award, presented by the Dog Writers Association of America. She and her husband live on a farm in Kentucky surrounded by dogs and horses.

Find out more about her and her books on her webpage here. Find her on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

THE REST OF THE SERIES

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

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

Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit) by Colleen Shogan #Review / #Giveaway

REVIEW NOW ADDED

Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)
by Colleen Shogan

About Larceny at the Library 


Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Epicenter Press (July 14, 2020)
Print Length: 202 pages
ISBN-13: 9781603818353
ASIN: B0863MN6TP

Congressional staffer Kit Marshall is excited to attend a historic event displaying the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets the night he was assassinated at the Library of Congress. The next day, a senior librarian is dead and several invaluable artifacts are missing. Kit’s husband Doug discovers the body and immediately becomes a suspect in the death and theft. Kit springs into action once again to figure out who is responsible for the crimes. Her sleuthing takes her to the DC Public Library, the National Portrait Gallery, Ford’s Theatre, and the most ornate, beautiful rooms at the Library of Congress. At the end, Kit must put her own life on the line to retrieve her most valuable possession, which goes unexpectedly missing as she hunts down the killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The thing I like best about this series is the author grabs from true events and her government experience as the basis of her stories. She worked as a Senior Executive at the Library of Congress and the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets when he was killed were donated to the Library of Congress in 1937 where the box remained unopened until 1976. So an event like the one described in this book is very believable. An event that leads to a murder and a theft and puts Kit’s new husband Doug at the top of the suspect list. He was a recent hire and had knowledge that few had, he attended the event and then stayed late to catch up on some work, and he found the body the next morning. Kit would have jumped into the investigation no matter what but the Librarian of Congress and her boss who is the chair of the oversight of the Library give her the power she needs when they formally ask her to work with the police and keep them up to date on any developments. Little did she know her own life and that of her furbaby would be in danger as she hunts down the killer.


The characters in this story are so strong and well-developed. Kit and Doug are still working things out in their personal life. Doug is ready for a house in the burbs, Kit not so much. Kit’s brother is settling into his life in D.C. and we meet the reason why. There may be some changes for other characters as well both in jobs and romance. Ms. Shogan keeps all her characters fresh and evolving.

The book has a great flow and the dialogue is crisp. The mystery is full of twists and turns and kept me captivated from beginning to end. The real culprit was on my radar but I eliminated them early on so I was totally taken by surprise at the way things played out and I love when that happens.

I also enjoy all the places we travel around Washington D.C. throughout the story, places the public never see like the underground tunnels connecting so many of the buildings and the beautiful rooms like those in the Library of Congress.

Great characters, a wonderful setting, and an exciting mystery make Larceny at the Library another Perfect Escape from Colleen J. Shogan. I anxiously await the next installment of this series.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Colleen J. Shogan

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at several universities and previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is currently the Senior Vice President of the White House Historical Association.

Colleen is a member of Sisters in Crime. “Stabbing in the Senate” was awarded the Next Generation Indie prize for Best Mystery in 2016. “Homicide in the House” was a 2017 finalist for the RONE Award for Best Mystery. “Calamity at the Continental Club” was a 2018 finalist in the “best cozy mystery” at Killer Nashville. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter –  GoodReads 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&N

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise  for Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)
by Colleen Shogan

Excellent character portrayal, a mystery that keeps one guessing until the end, and a story that takes you on a virtual trip to the landmarks in Washington, Larceny in the Library is an engrossing and must-read cozy mystery.
~The Book Decoder

The plot is full of some twists you may not see coming & cozy mystery fans will find a lot to love in this latest Washington whodunnit!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 15 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW  
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July 17 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
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July 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 23 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
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July 26 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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

Death by Windmill: A Mother’s Day Murder in Amsterdam (Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series) by Jennifer S. Alderson #Review / #Giveaway

Dropping in today to post a review.
Still, many to write, but will post as I get them done 🙂

Death by Windmill: A Mother’s Day Murder in Amsterdam
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)
by Jennifer S. Alderson

About Death by Windmill


Death by Windmill: A Mother’s Day Murder in Amsterdam
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Independently published (May 16, 2020)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8646330070
Digital ASIN: B0843K7HNQ

A Mother’s Day trip to the Netherlands turns deadly when a guest plummets from a windmill. Was it an accident or a murder? For Lana Hansen, the answer will mean freedom or imprisonment for someone close to her…

 

Wanderlust Tours guide Lana Hansen and her mother, Gillian, haven’t seen eye to eye in over a decade, ever since Lana was wrongly fired from her job as an investigative reporter. So when Lana’s boss invites Gillian to join her upcoming Mother’s Day tour to the Netherlands, Lana is less than pleased.

 

What could be worse than spending ten days with her estranged mother? Lana is about to find out…

 

The tour begins on a high note when the majority of guests bond during their visit to the Keukenhof flower gardens and a cruise around the picturesque canals of Amsterdam.

 

Despite her initial reservations, Lana thinks this might be the best group she had ever led. Until she discovers one of her guests—a recent retiree named Priscilla—is the person who destroyed her career in journalism.

 

All Lana can see is red. But circumstances dictate that she figure out a way to lead the tour, make peace with her mother, and not murder her guest. She doesn’t know whether she can handle the pressure.

 

Lana needn’t worry. Shortly after their fight, Priscilla falls off the balcony of a historic windmill at Zaanse Schans. Was she pushed or simply careless? The investigating officers suspect murder—and topping their suspect list is Lana’s mom!

 

Can Lana save Gillian? Or will her mother end up spending the rest of her days in a Dutch prison?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wunderlust Tours is off to the Netherlands for a Mother/Daughter trip over Mother’s Day. Lana is excited that a couple of the Fabulous Five from her first tour will be on the trip with their daughters but is surprised when her boss Dotty joins the trip with her best friend. Before they get on the plane she learns why. Dotty has invited Lana’s mother Gillian to come along in hopes that this mother/daughter combo can heal the rift between them. She has even added Randy as the head tour guide to be sure Lana has whatever time she needs to be with her mother. What Dotty didn’t count on is that one guest could throw the whole trip into a tailspin by her relationship to Lana. When the guest ends up dead, falling off a historic windmill, Lana and her mother both find themselves on the investigator’s suspect list.

_____

I really love this series. A former investigative reporter, Lana Hansen has the skillset and instincts needed to be a great amateur sleuth. This time the victim personally did something to hurt her and she learns other hurtful things as she investigates but she sticks with it all while doing her job as a tour guide too. The woman can think on her feet as she takes on everything thrown at her.

Ms. Alderson’s character development is top-notch. The recurring characters grow book to book and all the characters continue to evolve within the pages of this story. The mystery she has created for them is excellent as well. Her attention to detail shines and kept me guessing right up until the end. I had an idea of where she was going but wasn’t sure until it was spelled out for me.

I really enjoyed the mother/daughter theme, their interactions added so much to the story.  The virtual vacay to Amsterdam was great too. The author continues to take me places I will never actually be able to travel to and her descriptions make every place we go so easy to visualize.

Every book in this series has been a Perfect Escape. I can’t wait for Death by Bagpipes coming September 18 and Death by Fountain coming December 18 for my next virtual vacations with Lana and Dotty. Sans the dead bodies they are so much fun!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Jennifer S. Alderson

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

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

Author Links

Website – Goodreads  –Facebook – Twitter  –LinkedIn – BookBub


Coming September 18

Coming December 18

Purchase Links – Amazon 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for Death by Windmill: A Mother’s Day Murder in Amsterdam
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)
by Jennifer S. Alderson

Excellent character development, a murder mystery that keeps one guessing and a free (virtual) trip to Amsterdam make Death by Windmill a must-read book of this year.
~The Book Decoder

Since I love to travel the world, I especially love these tour guide mysteries. Alderson writes the perfect amount of location details that make readers believe he/she is right there, in a museum, having High Tea, or dodging a killer through gigantic turning windmills. I give this book FIVE stars.
~Here’s How It Happened

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes

The Corpse with the Crystal Skull (The Cait Morgan Mysteries) by Cathy Ace #Review – Great Escapes Book Tour

The Corpse with the Crystal Skull (The Cait Morgan Mysteries)
by Cathy Ace

 

About The Corpse With The Crystal Skull


The Corpse with the Crystal Skull (The Cait Morgan Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Jamaica
Publisher: Four Tails Publishing Ltd. (June 29, 2020)
Print Length: ~300 pages
Digital ASIN: B086FVBTTN

Welsh Canadian globetrotting sleuth, and professor of criminal psychology, Cait Morgan, is supposed to be “celebrating” her fiftieth birthday in Jamaica with her ex-cop husband Bud Anderson. But when the body of the luxury estate’s owner is discovered locked inside an inaccessible tower, Cait and her fellow guests must work out who might have killed him – even if his murder seems impossible. Could the death of the man who hosted parties in the 1960s attended by Ian Fleming and Noël Coward be somehow linked to treasure the legendary Captain Henry Morgan might have buried at the estate? Or to the mission Bud and his secret service colleagues have been sent to the island to undertake?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A locked room, a dead host, and a crystal skull . . . who knew turning 50 in Jamaica could bring so much drama. Then again drama does follow Cait Morgan and Bud Anderson everywhere they go. Bud inviting his friends Jack and John with their significant others has Cait thinking there is something else going on besides their holiday and celebration. In fact, they could be suspects in the murder of dear Freddie.


After nine stories in this series, you would think I would know Cait Morgan very well but the author continues to find ways to keep her fresh. A professor of criminal psychology, excellent amateur sleuth with a very analytical way of looking at clues and forming theories. My absolute favorite part of the story is near the end when Cait uses her eidetic memory to untangle all her observations and puts them in order and explains what happened and whodunit.

The supporting characters are complex, all dealing with real-life issues. This really adds to the story and gives the characters more depth than expected in one book of a long-running series.

Again, Ms. Ace has written a complicated mystery, so much so that Cait has trouble eliminating suspects especially living in such close quarters with people who all seem to be hiding something. She knows Bud didn’t kill Freddie but she knows he is keeping something from her.  Twists and turns galore set this mystery on a new course more than once keeping the characters and this reader on their toes.

I loved the descriptions of former Lieutenant Sir Henry Morgan’s estate. It is an extraordinary place with quite a history and a perfect place to set a murder mystery. It is very private, not your typical Jamaican beach locale. Full of treasures like the crystal skull, who knows what is truly hidden in this idyllic place. Because of the privacy the guests don’t run into other tourists and we know a pretty penny was paid for this amazing vacay.

The Corpse with the Crystal Skull was a Perfect Escape for me. I had to force myself to put the book down to go to sleep. Each book in this series can be read on its own but to really get to know Cait and Bud and all their adventures I recommend starting at the beginning.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

PRAISE FOR THE CAIT MORGAN MYSTERIES

“…touches of Christie or Marsh but with a bouquet of Kinsey Millhone.” —The Globe and Mail

 

“A sparkling, well-plotted, and quite devious mystery…” —The Hamilton Spectator

 

“…a sympathetic amateur detective, a locked-room mystery, a small cast of colourful suspects, loving descriptions of food and drink, and a few red herrings thrown our way…with a nod to a fresh literary or filmic artifice in each novel in the series…” – Crime Fiction Lover

 

About Cathy Ace 

Born and raised in Wales, now-Canadian Cathy Ace is the author of the Cait Morgan Mysteries, featuring her Welsh Canadian criminology professor sleuth who travels the world tripping over corpses, and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries, featuring a quartet of female PIs, working from a Welsh stately home. Both series are traditional, entertaining, and have been well reviewed.

Author Links:    Website    Facebook     Twitter: @AceCathy    GoodReads

Purchase Links – AmazonKobo 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
June 18 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
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Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Grounds for Remorse (A Tallie Graver Mystery) by Misty Simon #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

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.


Grounds for Remorse (A Tallie Graver Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496712234
ISBN-13: 978-1496712233
Kindle ASIN: B075C7ML55

No more cheating . . .

 

Best friends Tallie Graver and Gina Laudermilch both seem to spend a lot of time around urns. For Tallie, they’re part and parcel of the family business, Graver’s Funeral Home. Even though she’s traded ashes for dusting with her own cleaning business, she still works part-time for her folks and lives above the funeral parlor. For Gina, they’re the vessels that contain her heavenly brew at her coffee shop, Bean There, Done That. And both women are learning that owning a business can make finding time for romance challenging.

 

But when Gina’s new beau turns out to have a wife, who barges into the coffee shop to take him home, she can’t contain her bitterness and loudly threatens to poison his cup or boil him in a vat of coffee. So when Mr. Wrong turns up dead at the bottom of a staircase inside Gina’s locked home, she finds herself at the top of the police’s suspect list. Tallie needs to sweep in to save her friend. But she’ll need to watch her step, or she may go from being a funeral home employee to becoming their next client . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Gina Laudermilch is head over heels about her new boyfriend, sharing with best friend, Tallie Graver, he may be the one. Then the man’s wife shows up at her coffee shop to stake her claim and take the man home. But Mr. So Wrong doesn’t back down and still tries to see Gina even though she has threatened to “boil him in a vat of coffee”,  he actually shows up at her door with flowers Max gets caught in the crossfire. Then the next day Gina finds the man at the bottom of her staircase dead behind a locked door she also finds herself the prime suspect. Tallie is ready to do anything to clear her friend’s name even going toe to toe with those high on her suspect list and against the police’s warnings to leave the case to them.


I really enjoyed this 2nd installment to this series because there was always something happening and the book had an excellent flow. Tallie’s boyfriend has come for a visit and gets totally involved in everything Tallie does from going to help her clean houses, helping out at the family funeral home, to investigating the murder of Casanova Craig. He truly is a special man and they make a great couple.

Tallie’s family continues to make me laugh. All the recurring characters continue to develop in meaningful ways. Tallie’s father is very serious about his business and its image and her mother butts into Tallie’s life as any normal mother would, okay she does get a little much at times but you have to love her for it. I just wish they would give Tallie a little more leeway and let her come into her own. Hopefully, that will happen soon. A new relationship is blooming between two characters as well that I find delightful even though it was also a complete surprise.

Ms. Simon also introduces some interesting characters for this story and puts them into some unique situations. Turns out Craig is a chronic cheater that opened the door to a vast number of suspects. There were plenty of twists and turns and while I thought I had everything all figured out before the big reveal I was only partially right. There was one last twist I didn’t see coming.

Grounds For Remorse is a well-crafted mystery with characters that are becoming more engaging as the series continues. I am looking forward to the next book in this series, Deceased and Desist is waiting on my To-Be-Read stack.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

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
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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

Divide and Concord (The Wine Trail Mysteries) by J. C. Eaton #Review / #Giveaway


Divide and Concord (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing (April 30, 2020)
Paperback: 254 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461483
ISBN-13: 978-1950461486
Kindle ASIN: B086WPY24R

Norrie Ellington is a sucker for doing good deeds, but when she agrees to let a film crew use her winery as a backdrop and one of them turns up dead, she’ll have to act fast because this crew knows how to put on an act . . .

 

When screenwriter and winery co-owner Norrie Ellington agrees to let her producer film a movie scene at Two Witches Winery, her biggest concerns revolve around the crew trampling her precious vines and starstruck fans crowding the vineyard to spot the famous actors. But nothing had prepared her for the film’s director, an unbearable diva with a growing list of unreasonable demands—along with a growing list of enemies. And when the director turns up dead, apparently the victim of foul play, a very public altercation Norrie had with the victim the day before puts her in the spotlight as the lead suspect.

 

Knowing she’ll have to root out the killer herself to get off the narrow-minded local sheriff’s most-wanted list, Norrie compiles a large selection of potential suspects, including vengeful actors the director had once blacklisted and even the director’s estranged husband, a high-profile candy magnate trying to bring a burgeoning market for concord grapes to the region. Weeding out false leads and planted clues, Norrie knows it’ll take some quick thinking to track down the culprit, before she becomes the murderer’s next target in a deadly harvest . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Murder rears its ugly head again near Two Witches Winery and this time it involves a film crew filming a scene from one of Norrie Ellington’s screenplays. When the over-the-top director is found dead the entire cast and crew find themselves in the police spotlight. Surprisingly Norrie finds herself there too due to a public altercation. The victim’s husband, a candy magnate bringing his business to the area also plays a key role. First, bringing excitement to the area with his expected need of concord grape juice but also could he have been in the area and killed his wife?

To help catch the real killer Norrie enlists the help of her friends from the neighboring wineries. They all know their businesses depend on putting the murder behind them as quickly as possible especially when it looks like the killer’s sights are now set on Norrie.


With this installment, the series has moved to a new publisher and I am so happy about that because I was definitely not ready to see these character’s stories end.

All the recurring characters are strong and Norrie is a great protagonist. I really appreciate the relationships she has built with everyone around her especially because her time at the winery is basically limited to the year her sister and brother-in-law are in Costa Rica studying a very special bug. I could see her lengthening her stay though because of these friendships and her new romantic relationship, but we will have to see. I do enjoy the way her personal life story continues to evolve and grow.

The mystery was an entertaining one to follow and solve. The nods to Miss Marple and Nancy Drew were a nice touch. There were plenty of twists and turns. The social media research done to investigate the suspects felt very current. I did enjoy the big reveal and thought it was pretty funny that is didn’t play out as planned. There was also a Wine and Cheese Festival the wineries are hosting and the staff at Two Witches have to deal with all the fans that show up because actors Priscilla McCoy and Gavin Chase are now filming in the vineyards. The authors blend all the drama and day to day activities very well.

Divide and Concord is a delightful addition to this series. Engaging characters and a stirring mystery kept me captivated from the first page to the last. I am hoping for many more books in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Riesling to Die – just click here.

Read my review of Chardonnayed to Rest – just click here.

Read my review of Pinot Red or Dead? along with an author interview – just click here. 

Read my review of Sauvigone for Good (The Wine Trail Mysteries) just click here

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name.

Visit the websites at www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp

When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching.

 

Also by J.C. Eaton


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 2, 2020, 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.”