May 182018
 

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.


The Quiche and the Dead (A Pie Town Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (October 31, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 313 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496708960
Kindle ASIN: B01MUNBV7Q

 

Is Val’s breakfast pie the quiche of death?

Owning her own business seemed like pie in the sky to Valentine Harris when she moved to the coastal California town of San Nicholas, expecting to start a new life with her fiancé. Five months—and a broken engagement—later, at least her dream of opening a pie shop has become a reality. But when one of her regulars keels over at the counter while eating a quiche, Val feels like she’s living a nightmare.

After the police determine the customer was poisoned, business at Pie Town drops faster than a fallen crust. Convinced they’re both suspects, Val’s flaky, seventy-something pie crust maker Charlene drags her boss into some amateur sleuthing. At first, Val dismisses Charlene’s half-baked hypotheses, but before long the ladies uncover some shady dealings hidden in fog-bound San Nicholas. Now Val must expose the truth—before a crummy killer tries to shut her pie hole.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to the California coastal town of San Nicholas. A place where Valentine Harris expected to live a happy life with Mark Jeffreys. She was going to open a pie shop and he was going to sell real estate and they would live happily ever after. But that didn’t happen. Mark is selling real estate, his face is on signs everywhere. Val did open her pie shop. But there is no happily ever after, in fact, Val is living in her pie shop until she can afford to rent a place and she tries as hard as she can to avoid her ex. What did she ever see in that man?

The pie shop has a few regulars and the tourists love the place. Val is hoping to add to her business by adding breakfast pies to the menu. She cooks up a quiche to give to her new neighbor that has opened a gym, but the woman wants nothing to do with it. Regular Joe says he’ll take the quiche off her hands and quickly starts chowing down. Then just a quickly drops dead. The police say the man was poisoned and the future of Pie Town and its owner are in jeopardy. When septuagenarian pie crust baker Charlene decides she and Val need to start their own investigation Val just thinks its another of Charlene’s pie in the sky ideas. Then she finds herself out in the fog, in the middle of the night, trying to find out who really killed her customer. They may find out a lot more than they bargained for.

Pie Anyone?? Have one handy when you start reading!

I like Valentine Harris. She could have packed it in or moved her shop to another town, but she is sticking it out in San Nicholas. She is a smart woman with delicious ideas and a can-do attitude. I LOVE Charlene! Pie crust maker extraordinaire, a conspiracy theorist and owner of a very unique white cat. She had me laughing out loud time and time again.  Their sleuth abilities may be a bit lacking but they do make a great team. The supporting cast is diverse and really adds to the story.

I really enjoy the atmosphere of Pie Town, sans the murder, of course. Val has the coffee set up as self-serve, she offers a variety of sweet and savory pies, and allows a group of young adults who take a table daily to play games. It just feels very welcoming to residents of San Nichols and tourists too.

The mystery is very well plotted and written. Our victim Joe was a bit of a sleuth himself along with his friend Frank. When Val and Charlene start to dig into some of their “cases” they uncover some very interesting things that take their own investigation in many different directions. I followed all the clues and solved the murder right along with them.

This series is off to a wonderfully mouthwatering start. The main characters are fun and engaging and take us along on a fun whodunit. I really enjoyed my first trip to Pie Town and am excited that the second book in the series, Bleeding Tarts is already on my Kindle not so patiently waiting for me to read it.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Kirsten Weiss and her books on her website here.


Also by this Author



I am giving away 1 e-copy of
The Quiche and the Dead.
Book will be gifted from Amazon.

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

Sign up for Kirsten’s newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End June 1, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

May 172018
 

Murder in the Locked Library (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496715630
Kindle ASIN: B074DH6HD3

 

 

Welcome to Storyton Hall, Virginia, where book lovers travel from near and far to enjoy the singular comforts of the Agatha Christie Tea Room, where they can discuss the merits of their favorite authors no matter how deadly the topic . . . 

With her twins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, back in school, Jane Steward can finally focus on her work again—managing Storyton Hall, and breaking ground on the resort’s latest attraction: a luxurious, relaxing spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. But when the earth is dug up to start laying the spa’s foundation, something else comes to the surface—a collection of unusual bones and the ragged remnants of a very old book. The attendees of the Rare Book Conference are eager to assist Jane with this unexpected historical mystery—until a visitor meets an untimely end in the Henry James Library. As the questions—and suspects—start stacking up, Jane will have to uncover a killer before more unhappy endings ensue . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Storyton Hall is expanding and building a wonderful spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. Construction begins by digging the hole for the foundation. Jane Steward’s twins Fitzgerald and Hemingway are very excited to watch the big excavation. Imagine their surprise when a skull, bones and a very old book are uncovered. Storyton Hall just happens to be hosting the Rare Book Conference and those attending love a mystery as much as Jane so they offer up their assistance to find out as much as they can about the book. The police are calling in an anthropologist to help with the bones. Storyton Hall also has its own experts to investigate all the findings. But when one of the Hall’s guests suddenly dies in the Henry James Library just as he starts to share information about the book the police and staff of Storyton Hall realize they now have two murders to solve and they are probably connected.

I love this series so much. I am also thrilled that this series has found a new home at Kensington Books. These characters stories were far from over after the first three installments.

All my favorite characters are back. Jane Steward is the manager of Storyton Hall. It is a huge job and a privilege to be its caretaker, its guardian. She has twin sons, Hemi and Fitz, who are as curious as can be. Jane has her book club, the “Cover Girls” and they always have her back. The staff of the hall have a variety of jobs and some are quite surprising. If you are new to the series you will have to discover what I mean when you read the story.

The setting is magnificent, Ellery Adams has created an amazing place that all book lovers would enjoy.  Secret stairways, secrets passages, secret rooms and most important of all a secret library. If I could I would pack my bags and move to Storyton Hall and probably never leave.

The author has crafted an amazing story with more than one mystery. An old murder, a new murder, an old book, all entangled together in the most delightful way. She keeps the pace brisk and throws in some dynamic twists. A cozy mystery with the perfect amount of action and suspense. She draws the reader in and holds us captive until the final page.

With the publisher change, the book has been written to give enough background for new readers to jump right in but this series is so fantastic I recommend you read the series in order. If you do decide to start with this one I guarantee you are going to want to read the first three.

This is definitely one of my favorite cozy series!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

Check out my reviews of the first 3 books in the series.

Murder in the Mystery Suite

Murder in the Paperback Parlor

Murder in the Secret Garden

 To find out more about Ellery and all her books visit her webpage here.





GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Kensington I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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something you like here and become a follower.

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Contest Will End May 31, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

May 162018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Devon Delaney to Escape With Dollycas today! 

In It To Win It

by Devon Delaney

Some have described the game of golf as a good walk spoiled. A similar sentiment could be applied to cooking competitions. Consider preparing a satisfying meal. The notion should conjure up a kitchen that fills the senses with pleasure and satisfaction. Listen to the crunch of the lettuce being chopped. Feel the fuzzy kiwi skin as you peel it. Smell the sizzling garlic as it dances in the hot olive oil at the bottom of an iron skillet. Roll the cookie dough in the palm of your hand, and note the texture of the chopped walnuts and dark chocolate chips that will be the crunchy gooey center of the sweet treat. Referring back to the golf saying, that’s the “good walk” part.

Now, add to the equation chaos, commotion, pressure, severe time restriction and fellow cooks aiming to outdo your efforts with any means available and you have the basis of a live cook-off. Some may think staging cooking as a battle that rewards the victor with cash and valuable prizes spoils time in the kitchen and that it should be left the wholesome activity it has been for centuries.  I’m not in that group.

I would never have guessed that years ago, as a thirty-something mother of three, it would only take one happenstance to transform the ages-old activity of preparing a flavorful recipe solely for a family’s health and well-being into a modern competitive obsession.

Let me explain. I began cooking in earnest when I was about eight years old. Back then, my mother wasn’t much of a cook and still isn’t. If I wanted to eat something besides oatmeal, boiled chicken breasts, or creamed onions, I was going to have to invade her aged and underutilized spice rack and figure out how to infuse flavor into her bland menu. Eventually, I took over dinner preparations completely.

Fast forward to my early years of motherhood. Not working outside the home at that point, and feeding a hungry husband and three active children, I gained a renewed sense of inspiration in the kitchen. Creating meals that pleased all manner of appetites became my focus at 5 pm each night and I was soundly rewarded for my efforts with loving accolades. But, while I was content in the kitchen, I wasn’t feeling totally fulfilled.

Oh, did I mention I’m a tiny bit competitive? I grew up with four siblings and we all competed for good grades, sports trophies, the last cookie in the cookie jar and my parent’s attention. Rewards were greatest for those who put limits to the test. To this day, I compete with other ladies on a tennis team, with neighbors as to who has the best-trained dog, and against family members for who knows the most answers on Jeopardy, (the answers are technically the questions if you are familiar with the game.)

With a baby, a near-toddler, and a toddler in constant motion, I was faced with the challenge of keeping myself sane throughout a severely icy stretch of winter, during which it was often unsafe to leave the house. On one of the few times, I made a journey to the grocery store, I picked up a handful of magazines to leaf through during naptime. In the back of was an advertisement for a recipe contest with the theme “What recipe can you create with a slice of bread.” I came up with Orange Dusted French Toast Fingers with Maple Dipping Sauce. After typing up the recipe for my concoction and snail-mailing it to the listed address, I forgot all about the contest. Six months later I received a two thousand dollar check in the mail as the grand prize winner. When I read I had beaten out hundreds of entries for the win I was hooked on cooking contesting. My appetite for the adrenaline rush I get when I compete had another source of supply.

Don’t get me wrong. I still am able to approach dinner preparations with calm serenity when I’m not gearing up for a cook-off or recipe contest. However, cook-offs are my escape to the world of like-minded cooks who have let their creativity flow as they turn a sweet potato into a savory biscotti or a cut of beef into a ranch steak bruschetta salad. Each of those ideas won me cash and valuable prizes. So, if its game on for, say, the National Mushroom Cook-off, the “good walk” is spoiled and I’m in it to win it. There will be time for a good walk after the judges choose the winner.

~Devon

Thank you so much, Devon, for visiting today!! 

 

Expiration Date (A Cook-Off Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496714435
Kindle ASIN: B074DGNNYM

 

 

After a short-lived marriage, Sherry Frazzelle is living single life to the fullest in her little Connecticut town, accompanied by her Jack Russell terrier, Chutney. Her new passion is competitive cooking—but it turns out that murder is the surprise ingredient . . .

With contestants from Maine to California and a ten-thousand-dollar prize at stake, Sherry’s latest competition, hosted by the CEO of an organic food company, is sure to be heated. But she’s more than ready to step up to the stove. After all, she did win the award for Most Creative Cupcake back in high-school. Today, she’s hoping her flavorful pork tenderloin will sway the judges. Instead, it seems someone’s decided to slay one of the judges . . .

After Chef Birns falls face first into the Seafood Flatbread Pizza, Sherry’s dish is deemed suspicious. Now she’ll have to stir through a stew of rule-breaking, corruption, and gossip to get herself off the chopping block, and find out who turned this food fight fatal . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sherry Frazzelle and her sister Marla Barras have entered the OrgaNicks Corporation Cooking Competition against 4 other home cooks from across the nation. It is time for the celebrity chef judges to choose a winner. Sherry looks on as Chef Birns takes a bite of her pork tenderloin, but he immediately crumbles into another entry. She rushes to help but the man is dead and she is now the prime suspect in his murder. He was eating her food. Amber Sherman, another contestant, agrees to stay in town to help her find out what really happened or the home she could be cooking in be “the big house”.

Sherry Frazzelle is an interesting lead character. She and her Jack Russell terrier, Chutney are starting over after her marriage fell apart. She works part-time for her dad at his hooked rug shop, Oliveri’s Ruggery. She is also very into competitive cooking. She has a few quirks, a very Type A personality. She hates it when someone mispronounces her name, Frazzelle (rhyme with la belly) and hates to be called ma’am and she tends to panic when she is not in control. Her soon to be ex is still hanging around. She has a room full of his stuff that he refuses to pick up. She is close to her sister but Marla lives in Oklahoma. She was thrilled that they were both finalists in the OrgaNicks contest. There they meet Amber and become fast friends.

This is a humorous cozy that suffers a little bit of the first book in the series – itis. The author has to introduce readers to all the characters and give us a mystery we can sink our teeth into. Not an easy job.

I found Sherry a little off-putting at first but she grew on me by the end. I liked her sister Marla and their new friend Amber but since they both were from out of town I don’t know how much of them we will see in future installments. We did meet Sherry’s dad too. I hope he is featured more going forward. I found his hooked rugs shop very interesting. I was really into latch hook rugs back in the day. The dialogue between the characters was a little off and didn’t ring true for me especially when Sherry was talking to police.

The theme of a cooking competition was very enjoyable. There is a lot of emphasis on the food. It was easy to visualize every step of the way. It is also nice to have the recipes talked about in the back of the book.

The pacing of the book became a little stilted in places. The mystery unfolded with plenty of twists and turns but I did zero in on the killer very early in the story due to clues that were a little too on the nose. The murder weapon itself was quite unique. Something I would never have thought of.

Like I always say, the first book in a series is a heavy lift. There are a lot of good things in this story and plenty of room left to expand and grow as the series continues. I really did enjoy the main premise of the mystery and the cook-off theme. A little editing and tightening up would have made this a 5-star read. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Devon Delaney is a wife, mother of three, accomplished cooking contester and a recent empty nester. She taught computer education and Lego Robotics for over ten years prior to pursuing writing. Along the way, she has been handsomely rewarded for her recipe innovation over the last twenty-plus years. Among the many prizes she has won are a full kitchen of major appliances, six-figure top cash prizes and four trips to Disney World. She has also won the grand prize in a national writing contest for her ‘foodie’ poem “Ode to Pork Passion.” Combining her beloved cooking contesting with her enthusiasm for writing was inevitable.

Check out Devon’s website at: www.devonpdelaney.com


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 30, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

May 152018
 

About the Book


Dead As A Doornail (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Henery Press (May 15, 2018)
Paperback: 266 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635113341
Digital ASIN: B079V6DNFW

Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone. And doesn’t our Sheriff Kenni Lowry know that? Well, she knows a lot of things.

Lucy Lowell takes great pride in writing negative reviews in the local newspaper for anything that does not go her way. When Lucy is found dead, it appears to be from natural causes.

But Sheriff Kenni Lowry knows there is more to it because the ghost of her grandfather, the ex-sheriff, is standing over the body.

His presence can only mean one thing: Murder!

Since Kenni’s relationship with Deputy Finn Vincent has heated up, Kenni is having trouble conducting the investigation without Finn questioning her every move.

Can Kenni unravel the mystery on her own or will she have to tell Finn the real reason she knows it was murder—the ghost of her poppa?

It’s blowin’ up a storm and only Kenni knows how it’ll end.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Her grandfather’s ghost only shows up when a murder has been committed, so when Sheriff Kenni Lowry arrives on the scene of Lucy Ellen Lowell’s death she knows it is murder even though it appears she has passed from natural causes. With Finn nearby, all the time know because they are actually dating, it is hard for Kenni to discuss the case with her grandfather. Finn is suspicious about her behavior, “talking to herself” and why she is putting so much effort into this case. She needs some proof to back up what she already knows, that Lucy being Dead as a Doornail was at the hands of a killer.

We return to Cottonwood just in time for the mayor’s wedding. His bride is having trouble keeping the maid of honor spot filled so Kenni’s mother volunteers her for the spot and all the duties the job entails. Kenni really doesn’t have time for this especially now that she is investigating a murder. If my mother would have done something like this I would have lost my mind, but this story takes place in the south and Kenni knows she just needs to roll with punches, no matter how ugly the dress is.

The story starts out at Tiny Tina’s Salon and Spa where we catch up with Bridezilla Polly and her bridal party. It is also the place to hear all the latest gossip. A very important place in any small town. The way the owner is implicated in Lucy’s murder was very interesting. The author takes us down quite a path to find who did in poor lucy. Twists and turns that lead to a super surprising ending.

Small town politics play a role in the story. Kenni has to watch her P’s and Q’s if she expects to be reelected. The mayor was his bride to be happy so he would like the wedding to be Kenni’s top priority and solve the murder after his bride walks down the aisle. I admire the way Kenni juggles everything going on in her life. She is one busy lady. I absolutely love that her “Poppa” is still watching over her and is there when she needs him. I wish it were possible to continue relationships like that with loved ones we have lost.

I have enjoyed every book in this series. Tonya Kappes is an excellent storyteller. She makes Cottonwood and its residents jump right off the page. Each visit to this place seems to end way too soon.

This was another fun fantastic mystery from this author filled with Southern charm and engaging characters. Well plotted and written and checks all my boxes for a Perfect Escape.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.
Sign up for her newsletter on her website at Tonyakappes.com .

Visit Tonya:

Facebook at Author Tonya Kappes    Kappes Krew Street Team

Kappes Krew Recipe Exchange

Website    Goodreads     Twitter     Pinterest

Purchase Links:
Amazon B&N  Kobo  BookBub

Praise for Dead As A Doornail (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)
by Tonya Kappes

If you enjoy well written Southern cozies that feature a strong female lead that has the law backing her then you really have to try this book/series.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Tonya Kappes has a knack for knowing what her fans like—a small-town atmosphere, quirky characters, and light mystery that will keep them guessing until the end. The bottom line is she’s delivered again with this Kenni Lowry mystery.
~Mysteries With Character

Dead as a Doornail is an entertaining cozy mystery full of southern charm, humor, and a few quirky characters along the way.
~The Power of Words

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
May 9 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
May 10 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
May 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
May 11 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
May 12 – cherylbbookblog – SPOTLIGHT
May 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
May 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
May 15 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
May 16 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
May 17 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
May 17 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
May 18 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
May 19 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
May 20 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 21 – My Reading Journeys – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 21 – Varietats – REVIEW
May 22 – The Book Diva’s Reads – 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.”

May 102018
 

Magick Run Amok (An Abracadabra Mystery)
by Sharon Pape

 

About the Book


Magick Run Amok (An Abracadabra Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Lyrical Underground (May 1, 2018)
Print Length: 337 pages
Digital ASIN: B074LTNV8H

 

 

The answer to whodunit may lie beyond the veil . . .
 
November in upstate New York can be chilly, but Kailyn Wilde’s shop, Abracadabra, is a cozy respite where you can find lotions, potions, and plenty of warm, feline company. But what customers don’t know is that the proprietor has some unusual powers—and unusual friends, including the renowned magician Merlin, who’s been transported into the modern world. All of which comes in handy when there’s a murder to be solved . . .

Investigative journalist Ryan Cutler has perished in a car accident in New Camel, and his friend, Travis, suspects foul play—especially when the reporter’s notes reveal a mysterious list of dead men’s names. Kailyn wants to help, but she’s also got her hands full with the curmudgeonly Merlin, who’s not exactly maintaining a low profile. Between keeping the wizard under wraps and mixing up cold remedies that work like magic, she’ll have to tap into her many talents to figure out a killer’s fatal formula . . .

Ever since I saw the title of this book, this scene from Hocus Pocus keeps running through my head.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is something brewing in New Camel and Kailyn Wilde had nothing to do with it until her boyfriend Travis pulls her in. Ryan Cutler, an investigative journalist is found dead after a car crash. It is ruled an accident by the police but Travis feels it was murder. Ryan was neck deep into an investigation and Travis believes it got him killed. Travis needs Kailyn’s help to find out all about the story Ryan was working on and knows they may need a little magick to get the information they need.  Kailyn is also dealing with Merlin, the magician. He is getting more curious about this world he has been dropped into and he is on a mission that could affect the whole town. Hang on tight because Magick is running Amok, Amok, Amok!

Kailyn is still missing having mother and grandmother around to help every day at Abracadabra, but they still pop in “visit” in their ghostly form to give her unwanted advice. This time they popped in while Travis was in the shop. Good thing Kailyn had filled him in on her unusual family. Aunt Tilley is still serving tea and scones, doing readings, and helping out in Kailyn’s shop when Kailyn is tracking down a lead. They both try their best to keep the crafty wizard, Merlin, in line, but sometimes he gets away from them. Merlin is always my favorite character. Everything is new to him and he has the best intentions. I also love the way he can be distracted, usually by food. I also love the way Kailyn’s home is full of cats. Sashkatu is the cat that travels to the magick shop every day but the cats at home usually meet her at the door when she gets home. Of course, they expect to be fed immediately 🙂

Sharon Pape takes these wonderful characters and envelopes them in a complicated mystery that is so much fun to read. Kailyn and Travis make a great sleuthing team. I am so happy that he has accepted Kailyn for her as she is, pop up ghostly relatives and all. They proceed to work their investigation in a very logical way, well after a little magickal intervention to get a key piece of evidence. She also fills the story will humor, Merlin’s antics will have you laughing out loud.

Great characters and a great mystery make this story almost too entertaining to put down. I would have read the entire thing the first night if my eyeballs would have cooperated.

I would classify this series as paranormal light. Just the way I like them. Each can be read on their own, but why would you want to miss out on any of these clever stories.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Sharon Pape describes her writing career as having two stages. Back in the dark ages, before computers were in every household, she had three paranormal books published. The first one was condensed by Redbook Magazine, the first paperback original they ever condensed. Then life brought her an unexpected challenge, by the name of breast cancer. After treatment, she and her oncologist started a not-for-profit to provide information and peer support to breast cancer patients. With the organization up and running, she returned to her first love – writing. This time around she’s been writing cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist. That Olde White Magick is the second book in her Abracadabra Mysteries.

Author Links

Website – Facebook –  Pinterest – Twitter

Purchase: Amazon  B&N   kobo  BookBub

Praise for Magick Run Amok

We get to follow Kailyn, her aunt, Merlin, and the cats on yet another murder investigation that will have you laughing and gasping along the way.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I felt this read was full of lighthearted fun with plenty of twists and turns to draw me into the mystery. I like the cross-genre that mixes the mystery with paranormal fun!
~Ms. Cat’s Honest World

With humor and investigative daring, along with some other worldly intervention, this adventure is a welcome addition to a delightful series. You can never predict what will happen next or who will save the day!
~Laura’s Interests

This story not only turns about the mystery but the curious family of Kailyn, with her ghost mother lecturing her when she is not acting correctly, her “mysterious” friend Merlin, that could be coming from the past… or of course the cats she has in her life…! But let me say that it makes the story funny and interesting, of course.
~Varietats

Also by Sharon Pape


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

May 092018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to have Maymee (Tonya)drop by today! 

Death By Edits

 

I admit that when I started writing I had no idea what I was doing. I had an idea. I wanted ONE reader to escape their life by my one story. That was it. It wasn’t until I had written that book did I know what it really was like to be a writer.

Some people say that writing the novel is the hardest part for them. Ernst Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you have to do sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” I agree that writing a novel is far from easy. It takes discipline to sit down every day and knock out five thousand words. Believe it or not, that is the I immerse myself into a book as I’m writing it. I love those characters. I love their homes. I love the small town. I love everything about it. I live in their world for many months as I’m writing their story.

Then comes the part that I downright loathe! I mean it. I can’t stand editing. To make it less painful, after I write the first one-hundred pages of a novel; which is what I call the bones, I go back and add meat to those bones. I will add more descriptions, more dialogue tags, and more of the funny stuff. Then I will do this for the next one-hundred pages with a Diet Coke my side.

That’s not the end of the editing process. This is just the beginning. Once I go back and add the meat on the bones, I print it all out and do it all over again. I try to make the manuscript fat with words and with description all while making sure the timelines in the plot fit and work. After doing this a few times, then and only then do I send it off to the editor. But by this time another character from another series has already taken root in my head and started their story.

 

A few months later I get an email from the editor that their edits have been added and I have to take a look at them.  I’ve already forgotten the plot and what everyone in the town looks like because I have moved on. I grab a cup of coffee and hunker down.

This is very difficult for me. I’m not the type of writer who can write a couple books at the same time. I can’t. I’m not wired that way. It’s awful. Plumb awful.

Since I have to get the edits back to my editor, I have to stop writing the current work in progress, go back and reread the novel that needs edits and start all over. By this time, I’m so sick of the novel that I just want to move on.

Then I send it back to my editor for a couple more rounds of edits. I don’t hear from the editor for a few months. Then out of nowhere, I get a copy of the ARC of that novel that I’d been so tired of. My eyes swell. My heart dips. I rub the cover. I crack the spine and start to fall in love all over again with those characters and that small town. And it’s just in time for them to move right back in my head for the next novel in the series.

~Maymee

Thank you so much for visiting today! 


Cake and Punishment: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kentucky
Crooked Lane Books (May 8, 2018)
Hardcover 257 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315711
Digital ASIN: B075QJM2W8

 

 

In the first of a delectable new Southern-set baking cozy series, Sophia Cummings, pastry chef extraordinaire, must craft the perfect cake for an old friend’s wedding while sifting through the suspects in a murder.

Bucolic Rumford, Kentucky has glowing fields of bluegrass, a fine selection of bourbons, and now a professional pastry chef. Broken-hearted Sophia Cummings has come home from New York City. She’s not there a minute before she’s charmed into making her high school friend Charlotte’s wedding cake. The kitchen at the Rumford Country Club seems perfect until Chef Emile’s body is discovered, sprawled near the stove, a cast iron skillet on the floor close by.

With one look at the shiny, new frying pan, Sophia knows it’s not Emile’s. She offers her knowledge to Sheriff Carter and her talents to Evelyn, the manager, who needs an interim chef. The mood in the country club is grim: Emile’s peppery personality had burned members and staff alike. Sophia wonders which one of them burned him?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

When I first saw the cover of this book I didn’t know the author was a pseudonym for Tonya Kappes, but as soon as I read the first page, I knew I was reading a book by Tonya Kappes. She has a distinctive writing style and her characters are so much fun.

This new cozy series introduces us to Sophia Cummings, a pastry chef at a top Manhattan restaurant. That is until she finds her boyfriend, also a chef at the same restaurant, cheating on her. She decides to head home to Rumford, Kentucky to get a break.  She quickly runs into a friend from high school and finds herself making her wedding cake. The reception is being held at the Rumford Country Club where Sophia used to work. She knows she will have everything she needs there to create the wedding cake of her friend’s dreams. Unfortunately, when she arrives she finds the club’s head chef, Emile, dead on the floor with a cast iron skillet nearby. She notices something about the pan and informs Sheriff Carter.  The next thing she knows she has accepted the job as an interim chef for the club. Maybe while working there she can find out who clobbered the chef, but her main concern is that her friend’s wedding goes on without any more interruptions or dead bodies.

This series is off to a divine start. Sophia is a talented chef with a huge heart. She loves creating desserts that make people happy. She couldn’t say “no” to anyone, which is why she ends up committed to baking things even after the date she plans to return to Manhattan.  Her mother, on the other hand, is demanding, bossy, and you know a mom that really loves her daughter. She is also not beyond a little matchmaking. Her father does his best to keep the peace and has a strong bond with his daughter. It was great to meet all of Sophia’s high school friends, even the one she doesn’t recognize. These characters are so well developed already in this first book. I am excited to see the beyond high school relationships grow and evolve. Their Southern charm shines throughout the whole story.

The author has filled these pages with a great whodunit too with plenty of suspects and twists galore. So well-plotted and full of clues and just the perfect amount of humor.

Ms. Bell’s descriptive talents set the scene perfectly. She has created this wonderful little town of Rumford and I escaped away right into it.

Southern charm, mystery, great characters, fantastic dialogue, and a bit of comedy make Cake and Punishment a must read! The talk of sweet treats will also have your mouth watering.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Maymee Bell is the pen name of USA Today Bestselling author Tonya Kappes. She lives in Kentucky with her family and her two schnauzers. She likes strong coffee, slow-country days, and fresh-baked cookies – but she like telling stores best of all. This is her first SOUTHERN BAKER MYSTERY.

Visit Tonya:

Facebook at Author Tonya Kappes    Kappes Krew Street Team

Kappes Krew Recipe Exchange

Website    Goodreads     Twitter     Pinterest

Purchase Links:

Amazon  B&N   Kobo 
Click here to find all of Tonya’s books on Amazon.

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Tour Participants

April 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

May 082018
 

Flowers and Foul Play: A Magic Garden Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Settings – Scotland
Crooked Lane Books (May 8, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315629
Kindle ASIN: B075QJ6C76

 

 

Fiona Knox lost her fiancé and her flower shop—but when she flies to Scotland to inherit her godfather’s cottage and possibly magical walled garden, she may lose her life as well when she’s swept into a murder investigation.

Florist Fiona Knox’s life isn’t smelling so sweet these days. Her fiancé left her for their cake decorator. Then, her flower shop wilted after a chain florist opened next door. So when her godfather, Ian MacCallister, leaves her a cottage in Scotland, Fiona jumps on the next plane to Edinburgh. Ian, after all, is the one who taught her to love flowers. But when Ian’s elderly caretaker Hamish MacGregor shows her to the cottage upon her arrival, she finds the once resplendent grounds of Duncreigan in a dreadful shambles—with a dead body in the garden.

Minutes into her arrival, Fiona is already being questioned by the handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig and getting her passport seized. But it’s Craig’s fixation on Uncle Ian’s loyal caretaker, Hamish, as a prime suspect, that really makes her worried. As Fiona strolls the town, she quickly realizes there is a whole bouquet of suspects much more likely to have killed Alastair Croft, the dead lawyer who seems to have had more enemies than friends.

Now it’s up to Fiona to clear Hamish’s name before it’s too late.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A cozy cottage with a magical garden and a couple of very interesting furry creatures is what Fiona Fox finds when she arrives in Scotland. Oh, she also finds a dead body in the garden. Her godfather, Ian MacCallister, the man that shared her love of flowers has died and he has bequeathed the place to her. The garden has not flourished since Ian’s was killed in Afghanistan, but his caretaker Hamish MacGregor assures her that now that she has arrived the garden will start to bloom again. But first, she needs to deal with the body. He is identified as Alastair Croft, Ian’s lawyer and while  Chief Inspector Neil Craig has taken her passport, he believes Hamish is the killer. Fiona quickly decides to get to know her neighbors and try to find the handsome detective some additional, more viable suspects. It wasn’t hard, most of the town couldn’t stand the man.

There are so many things I loved about this story.

Fiona Knox is nursing a broken heart. Her fiance left her for their cake decorator, a chain florist drove her little flower shop out of business, and she is mourning the death of a very important man in her life, her godfather. A man she shared her love of flowers with, a man she and her family had visited several times over the years. After all that she is using her trip to Scotland to heal her heart and make a new plan for her life. Her inner strength shines through as she sets out to find the killer. She travels to the nearby village to meet and question everyone she can. She is an intelligent woman determined to get the answers she needs.

We also meet Hamish MacGregor. An elderly man, caretaker of Ian’s property. A position he takes very seriously. He also has a pet squirrel named Duncan, that rides around on his shoulder and comes indoors, and doesn’t like cats at all, especially Ivanhoe, a cat Fiona has brought home.

Fiona finds herself being questioned by Chief Inspector Neil Craig within minutes of her arrival. The man is easy on the eyes and the two learn to work together. He sees instantly that Fiona is not a woman that will give up her own investigation so he decides that to keep her safe he needs to remain close.

The Scotland setting, the nearby sea, and the magical garden drew me into this enchanting story. Only a few seeds have been sown about this garden that Fiona is now the keeper of. I am excited to learn more right along with Fiona.

The story has many turns as the mystery of Alastair Croft and his death is solved. The author sets a nice pace as the story evolves. I really enjoyed the way the whole village was involved. It gives readers the chance to know a lot of characters without feeling overwhelmed. They are distinct individuals with their own stories. Some become viable suspects and some will become great friends for Fiona. Like all great cozies – be ready for that final outstanding twist. . . I LOVED IT!

Amanda Flower is an outstanding storyteller. She mixes paranormal and cozy like a master. The characters she creates jump off the pages. The setting is idyllic and the mystery is marvelous. She has written a story that was virtually impossible for me to put down.

I am thrilled about this series!! I can’t wait for the next book!! Death and Daisies will be released November 13.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest




Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies 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.
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Contest Will End May 22, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

May 032018
 

Beach Bliss
Women’s Fiction
Continuing Series
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published
Paperback: 370 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1984227119
Kindle ASIN: B079DCBL7X

 

 

Have a seaside seat with the beach friends in this irresistible novel from New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio.

Blue skies and smooth seas return to the coastal community of Stony Point. Until a new arrival in this little New England beach town sets forth a competition like no other. As the temperature rises beneath the summer sun, so do the antics and good-natured fun.

Join Jason Barlow, Maris, Kyle, Elsa and the rest of the gang for another unforgettable season at the shore. The sound of gulls and lapping waves are calling you to the page … for a summer read that’s purely Beach Bliss.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It is almost time for the tourists to return to Stony Point. Elsa’s Inn is ready to open but she is holding off until September so she can enjoy time with her newly born granddaughter, Aria.  She is so happy that Celia has returned to Stoney Point and agreed to help her with the inn. Jason’s finishing up the last tasks on his list as the debut of his television show documenting the renovation of Elsa’s inn will be premiering soon.  Maris is still working on her deceased brother in law’s novel. Kyle and Lauren are moving into their home on Stony Point. But this story really is all about Aria. Celia has chosen her godmother and before she even has a chance to choose a godfather, the men all decide they want the honored position. So they come up with a competition with the winner becoming the godfather of their friend Sal’s daughter. The whole group is still mourning his death. Everyone wants to be there for Aria in any way that they can.

I will admit, my nose got a little out of joint when the men took the choice of godfather out of Celia’s hands. I am sure she had put a lot of thought into her decision. But, by the end of the goofy competition, I think Celia was appreciative of their efforts and I do think her choice was also the winner. I know the group was not trying to disrespect her in any way and the contests were very interesting. I was surprised though at one of the guys participating in one of the contests that would have been super painful after hurting his back earlier in the story. I get it, it’s fiction 🙂

I really identify with Elsa the most. We have both lost adult sons and that it something you never get over. We just keep putting one foot in front of the other and a smile on our faces even when you don’t feel like smiling. Like Elsa my son left a daughter behind, mine was almost 3 when she lost her daddy. Sadly, Sal never got to meet his daughter. But it is these young little ladies that keep us going. The light shines from within them and we have so many memories to share to keep their fathers alive in their hearts. It also helps when you have the wonderful support system both Elsa and Celia have.

Joanne DeMaio has created such true characters. I feel like I am visiting old friends every time I pick up one of her books. I am engaged by them and interested in their lives. Their friendship is a true bond. I am jealous of the way they see each other every day and are totally involved in each other’s lives. True friendships like this are hard to have these days when the world is pulling everyone in so many different directions.

The author’s words take us to a place where friends, ocean waters and the rich salt air can soothe all your troubles. Our visits there always end much too soon. This was a perfect escape!!

Until next time . . . The Castaway Cottage releases soon, May 15!!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

joanne demaio

About The Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love, and choices while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Currently, at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

To learn more about the author, visit Joannedemaio.com. She also enjoys hearing from readers on her Facebook Page.


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

 

 

May 022018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to welcome Christine to Escape With Dollycas today!!

How A Tomato Turned Into a Murder Mystery
By Christine E. Blum

A little over a year ago I made the trek up the hill to Ocean View Farms with some fellow Rose Avenue Wine Club members to attend something called a “Tomato-bration”. Atop the hill and in the midst of 500 community garden plots was a gathering place where you could purchase starter tomato plants of seemingly infinite varieties. This may not seem unusual to many of you until I tell you that this was in the middle of West Los Angeles, an oasis surrounded by Whole Foods stores, gas stations and the not too distant motor sounds coming from the 405 Freeway. I was just finishing my first book, “Full Bodied Murder” and so instead of thinking about the fresh salsa and tomato sauce that I’d have all summer; I was thinking that this would be a perfect spot for a murder…

Time for a little history. In my books I treat Los Angeles as a living, breathing character and love to share the wonders of this city with my readers. I’m not talking about star sightings, lavish mansions and automobiles or an encounter with a Kardashian, I want you to see what I see, a magical place steeped in heritage and hard work. And the occasional murder.

When I returned home I immediately hopped online to do some research. That led me in a dozen directions with as many stories.

“California Rancheros”, men of Spanish and Mexican descent who mostly raised cattle, originally occupied the area. About the time that the Mexican War was ending, Yankee immigrants were making their way across the country attracted by the discovery of gold here.

Anderson Rose, for whom Rose Avenue is named, was one of said Yankee pioneers. Shortly after he arrived he began acquiring land. Some say over the years thousands of acres. He did initially mine, but with poor results so he stuck to ranching.

The discovery of oil in Los Angeles at the turn of the century and the fight for ownership was the stuff of legends. And amazingly there are still some oil derricks just blocks away from Rose Avenue. Every so often when new construction starts on old ground rumors fly about the possibility of striking oil.

The hill later became a bustling farmland producing lima beans and celery. People living in the area hunted with rifles and bows and arrows, raised poultry and rode horses up until as late as the 60’s.

A Murderous History

When I stumbled on the following story I knew that I had the perfect backdrop for my next book, “Murder Most Fermented”.

On the morning of February 10, 1947, on top of the Ocean View Farms hill, a tractor driver who was grading the fallow field spied something lying in the weeds.  A closer inspection revealed a ghastly sight: the nude, badly battered body of a dead woman, Mar Vista resident Jeanne French.

Jeanne, a nurse and bit player in the movies, had been stomped to death and her body desecrated with an obscenity written with her lipstick.

Jeanne’s brutal slaying was committed less than a month after the more famous “Black Dahlia” murder, and police investigators at the time believed the same fiend killed both women.  Some modern researchers concur; both crimes remain officially unsolved.

That got me thinking and I knew that I needed to pull all of this history together and weave it into a story for the ladies of the Rose Avenue Wine Club.

Now all that was left to do was to grab Bardot and head out to create and solve a murder…


~Christine

Thank you, Christine, for visiting today!

 

Murder Most Fermented (Rose Avenue Wine Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496712127
Kindle ASIN: B074DGXVPC

 

 

Murder and merlot! The ladies of the Rose Avenue Wine Club are back to track down another killer . . .

When New York transplant Annie “Halsey” Hall starts digging for her tiny SoCal dream vineyard off Rose Avenue, the last thing she expects to unearth is an elderly woman. Between decanting chardonnays and rosés, Halsey and the women of the Wine Club pour over the list of suspects. Could the old woman have bottlenecked her great grandson’s latest scheme? Was it a case of super sour grapes with the local historical society? Or did a devious developer close a killer deal?

With the help of the Wine Club and her enthusiastic yellow lab, Bardot, Halsey must untangle the twisted tendrils of the mystery to clear her name and end a murderer’s reign of terroir . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back on Rose Avenue with Halsey and Bardot. Halsey has been gifted a spot in the community garden and hopes to plant some grapes for her own mini vineyard. But as Bardot starts “helping” her turn over the soil he makes a shocking discovery. A body has been buried in her garden and it turns the neighborhood upside down. Halsey doesn’t waste any time getting involved in the investigation and the members of the Rose Avenue Wine Club are tipping their glasses and putting themselves in danger to help.

These ladies take their wine very seriously and when trying to catch a killer they meet more often and that means more wine for everyone. Every time one of them opened another bottle I chuckled just a bit. They do uncover clues and do get themselves in some dicey situations. Halsey even takes on the police after being arrested for trespassing. She wants answers and she wants them now.

I do like Halsey, she is not afraid to get her hands dirty to solve a crime, and she is not timid in her dealings with anyone. Her relationship with dog whisperer/trainer Jack is progressing but he hates that she is putting herself in danger. Bardot is quite a dog. He is a quick learner and just the type of dog Halsey needs especially when the chips are down.

Ms. Blum gives great descriptions of everything, the place, the people, the food and the WINE!

The characters are quirky, some more than others. Some strong friendships are made while a certain neighbor is mostly just tolerated for good reason. They are genuine and the dialogues between them ring true. And like I said, they love their wine.

The mystery was a tangled web but I had my killer chosen before Halsey and the ladies. It was a lot of fun reading on to be sure I was right. After all the years I have been reading cozies I still get excited when I catch on before the protagonist.

Wine lovers or book clubs that serve wine, this is a book for you, but all cozy lovers will enjoy and like me find it very entertaining. I like learning about the different wines too. If the book only came with free samples 🙂

I am excited about the continuation of this series. I can’t wait to visit these characters again. The Name of the Rosé will be released November 27.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Christine E. Blum was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio. At the age of seven, her parents moved to Europe and luckily took her with them. Christine grew up in Paris, Brussels, and finally London, and along the way developed her unique brand of humor. She lives in Southern California where she’s allowed to share a house and pool with her famous yellow Lab, Bardot, who just happens to be able to dive 10’ underwater, has appeared on Animal Planet, and was featured in the New York Times bestseller, Underwater Dogs. When not signing paw-tographs, she can be found lounging by the pool and solving murders. Readers can visit Christine’s website at christineeblum.com.


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 16, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

May 012018
 


Read Herring Hunt (Mystery Bookshop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496711830
Kindle ASIN: B074DGF7LW

 

 

Mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington is about to find out it’s not so easy to play Monday morning quarterback when it comes to murder. . . 
 
To the town of North Harbor, Michigan, MISU quarterback Dawson Alexander is a local hero. To Samantha Washington, owner of the Market Street Mysteries Bookstore, Dawson is more than a tenant—he’s like an adopted son. But to the police, he is their prime suspect after his ex-girlfriend is found murdered. It’s more than enough real-life drama for Sam to tackle, but her role as a mystery writer also calls. Returning to the English countryside between the wars, she finds Lady Daphne Marsh in quite the quandary. Someone has tried to murder the scandalous American divorcée Wallis Simpson, for whom Edward VIII so recently abdicated his throne. It seems finding a suspect is no small challenge when most of England has a motive . . .

While Sam’s lawyer sister Jenna rushes in to build Dawson’s defense, Sam and her lively grandmother, Nana Jo, huddle up to solve the mystery and blow the whistle on the real killer. With the tenacious members of the Sleuthing Senior Book Club eager to come off the sidelines, Sam and her team just might stop a killer from completing another deadly play . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tenant, employee, and MISU quarterback Dawson Alexander finds himself in hot water when his ex-girlfriend is found dead. He is suspended from the football team but his boss/landlord Samantha Washington is committed to proving his innocence and her Sleuthing Senior Book Club, including her grandmother, Nana Jo are all on board to help. First Samantha gets Jenna, her sister/lawyer to represent Dawson, then she and the ladies start investigating.

Samantha Washington is also a budding author and her characters are dealing with a murder mystery of their own. During a hunt, a young woman is shot and killed. Lady Daphne Marsh is on the case because she knows one of her guests in a murderer. She hopes to pin down the killer before any more blood is shed.

V.M. Burns is unique because she gives her readers two completely separate mysteries in each book.

Samantha is a fantastic protagonist. She is still finding her way since her husband’s death but Market Street Mysteries Bookstore, a dream she ended up fulfilling on her own has had great success. Her nephews pitch in at the store when they can and while Dawson helps in the store but his main duty is baking up tasty treats for the customers to enjoy.

Her other dream to become a mystery writer is proceeding nicely too, as she pens her second story. She has yet to take the major step of finding an agent to get her books published.

Her Nana Jo has moved in with Samantha since she was involved in the murder in book one, The Plot is Murder. Nana Jo and her friends round out this clever cast. These senior ladies all remind me of my mother in one way or another and their antics had me in stitches.

I was happy to see Dawson in a key role. His mother/ son like relationship with Sam was heartwarming. Getting more of his backstory was very interesting.

The main mystery really had me guessing. The victim was not at all what she seemed and the more we found out about her the more suspects came into play. The police decided early on the Dawson was guilty so Sam and her senior sleuths really had to dig to get the evidence to convince them otherwise and by then they were almost too late. Twists, turns, and yes, Red Herrings kept the pages flying until the real murderer was revealed.

The second mystery, the one Samantha is writing was a type of closed room mystery. The guilty party had to have been part of the hunt. For me, this one was easier to solve but very entertaining. I will admit, it takes a while, to get into a rhythm with one story interrupting the other. I thought about skipping through and reading the main story first and then going back to read the second, but I didn’t do it. Samantha always finds time to write when she is stuck on the real drama in her life, late at night when she can’t sleep and I understand that. I read at night when I can’t sleep. So in recognizing her process I adjusted mine and read the book as it was written.

Both settings, the English countryside, and the Michigan college town of North Harbor come alive in the worlds V. M. Burns has created. The Marsh Manor and the Market Street Mysteries Bookstore are both places I would love to visit again and again.

Not one, but two well-written mysteries, a slew of interesting characters, and two vastly different settings make this book unique and enjoyable. I look forward to many more books in this series.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

V.M. Burns was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She currently resides in Tennessee with her two poodles, Coco and Cash. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can visit her website at vmburns.com.

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