Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Fruit Baskets and Holiday Caskets: A Down South Cafe Mystery by Gayle Leeson #Review / #Giveaway

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.

Fruit Baskets and Holiday Caskets: A Down South Cafe Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Grace Abraham Publishing (September 10, 2020)
Paperback: 263 pages
ISBN-10: 1732019533
ISBN-13: 978-1732019539
Kindle ASIN: B08HDMF8KL

Christmas comes with chaos—and a murder—in the fifth book in the Down South Café cozy mystery series!

Amy Flowers thinks her biggest problem is going to be creating an enormous cake dummy to mount atop her car for Winter Garden’s upcoming Christmas parade. But when one of Roger’s employees is murdered, making the float is the least of Amy’s worries. Her childhood friend is a prime suspect, Aunt Bess is making a new Pinterest board: Things That’ll Probably Kill Me, and her boyfriend’s mother is insisting on helping Amy make three-hundred-seventy-five sugar cookies to hand out along the parade route.

When Amy starts trying to clear Roger of the murder, she unexpectedly finds herself involved in international intrigue. How will our favorite café owner outwit sophisticated criminals who want to deck the halls with her head?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Winter Garden, Virginia is gearing up for the Christmas parade. With a little encouragement, a push, and a shove Amy Flowers decides to participate in the event. How hard can it be to make a huge dummy cake and attach it to the top of her VW Bug? A couple of people walking alongside giving out a treat or two and presto she’s in the parade. But a leak in the roof of “big house” where Amy’s mom and Aunt Bess reside and a dead workman push the parade float to the back burner. When a man she has known forever lands on the plate as the prime suspect Amy knows she has to help me. But this time Amy may no be able to serve up a new suspect, in fact, she may be putting herself on the chopping block.


First I have to say the cover of this book is GORGEOUS!

Second, this story had me laughing from the very first page where Henny Penny, I mean Aunt Bess is calling to say good-bye to all of friends and family. Thankfully rumors of her demise were very exaggerated. She is around to keep us giggling beyond the final page.

The characters in this series are some of my faves. Amy is the perfect protagonist belcause she is so nice and caring that people just open up to her and the good sheriff knows it as does her boyfriend Ryan. Ryan’s mother doesn’t seem to be a fan of Amy’s though but Amy is doing her best to change that. Aunt Bess is a hoot and Amy’s mother puts up with everything Bess dishes out. Amy’s cousin Jackie plays a big role this time and has a vested interest in catching the real culprit. Readers are also entertained by a variety of Winter Garden residents. Homer is a regular customer and I look forward to his arrival at the cafe each day as much as Amy and her crew. His Heroes quotes always seem to resonate with me.

“The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we have to learn, whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.”
~Novelist Richard Bach

I really enjoyed the mystery. There was a real backstory that took the case in a wild new direction. With nice twists and new suspects, Ms. Leeson has plotted an intriguing mystery.

As always when I read this series the yummy food descriptions start my stomach growling.

Fruit Baskets and Holiday Caskets was a real treat. It was funny, entertaining, and had a puzzling mystery to solve. Every book in this series are must-reads!

I am excited that the next book in this series is being released in just a few days on March 16. I will be featuring it on Cozy Wednesday, March 24.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my reviews of The Calamity Cafe here, of Silence of the Jams here, of Honey Baked Homicide here, and Apples and Alibis here.

About Gayle Leeson

About the Author

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.

The Cake Decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The heroine, Daphne, has returned to her hometown of Brea Ridge to open a cake baking and decorating business and is wrestling with the question of whether or not one can go home again. She enjoys spending time with her sister, nephew, and niece, but she and her mother have a complicated relationship that isn’t always pleasant. Daphne has also reconnected with her high school sweetheart and is pursuing a rekindled romance while desperately trying to put her past behind her.

Kerry Vincent, Hall of Fame Sugar Artist, Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show Director, and Television Personality says the series is “a must read for cake bakers and anyone who has ever spent creative time in the kitchen!”

Says Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author, “One day I found myself happily reading . . . mysteries by Gayle Trent. If she can win me over . . . she’s got a great future.”

The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. Marcy Singer left her home in San Francisco, along with the humiliation of being left at the altar, in order to move to Tallulah Falls and realize her dream of owning her own shop. She takes along her faithful companion, a one-year-old Irish wolfhound named Angus O’Ruff. She makes many new friends in Tallulah Falls, but she also makes a few enemies. Thankfully, her best friend Sadie MacKenzie and her husband Blake run the coffeehouse right down the street from Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch; and Detective Ted Nash always has her back.

Publishers Weekly says, “Fans of the genre will take kindly to Marcy, her Irish wolfhound, Angus O’Ruff, and Tallulah Falls. This is a fast, pleasant read with prose full of pop culture references and, of course, sharp needlework puns.”

Pat Cooper of RT Book Reviews says, “If her debut here is any indication, Lee’s new series is going to be fun, spunky and educational. She smoothly interweaves plot with her character’s personality and charm, while dropping tantalizing hints of stitching projects and their history. Marcy Singer is young, fun, sharp and likable. Readers will be looking forward to her future adventures.” (RT Book Reviews nominated The Quick and the Thread for a 2010 Book Reviewers’ Choice Award in the Amateur Sleuth category)

I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Author Links – Webpage      Facebook      Twitter     Pinterest    Instagram

Also by Gayle Leeson


Writing as Gayle Trent



Writing as Amanda Lee



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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 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Gone Astray by Terry Korth Fischer #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @terryiswriting


Gone Astray
by Terry Korth Fischer

About Gone Astray

Gone Astray
Mystery/Suspense
Setting – Nebraska
Publisher: Wild Rose Press (February 15, 2021)
Paperback: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 1509235256
ISBN-13: 978-1509235254
Digital ASIN: B08SQCWXBG

A heart attack sends detective Rory Naysmith reeling. Too young to retire, he accepts a position in small-town Winterset, Nebraska. Handed an unsolved truck hijacking case, with the assistance of a rookie, Rory sets out to prove he is still able to go toe-to-toe with younger men. When the body of a Vietnam veteran turns up, he dons his fedora and spit-shines his shoes. But before he can solve the murder, an older woman disappears, followed closely by a second hijacking. He doggedly works the cases, following a thread that ties the two crimes together. But can Rory find the mental and physical strength to up his game and bring the criminals to justice before disaster strikes and he loses his job?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Leaving a job in the city following a heart attack, Rory Naysmith settles in Winterset, Nebraska, a small town in need of a detective. The chief expects big things like clearing a cold case involving a truck hijacking. Not familiar with people and places in his new home he requests a little help and the chief assigns a young rookie. The cold case gets pushed aside when a Vietnam Vet is murdered quickly followed by a missing person. Then there is another truck hijacked.  A crime wave has hit the little midwest town and the chief expects his new detective to handle it all. While working hard he starts to believe at least two of the crimes could be connected, could the third be connected as well? In an effort to prove himself he needs answers.


Rory Naysmith is a very interesting character with a fascinating new hobby trying to reduce stress while still keeping his presence vital. A complicated character that I immediately found intriguing. I enjoyed his keen sense of humor and that he grew over the course of the story.  The author surrounds him with an eclectic supporting cast including a rookie that is eager to please so much so it could get him in a lot of trouble, the daughters of the missing woman, the chief of police, and other residents of Winterset. All are cleverly written and feel true to small-town life.

Solving the cases was not easy and I really enjoyed Rory’s process. As the plot started to come together the suspense ratcheted up nicely. The detective’s decisions were a little iffy in places but felt true to his nature. What I loved what the surprising reveal. My heart took a hit too before the book drew to a close.

Gone Astray piqued my interest from the first page. Quality characters with an exciting whodunit held on tight to the very end. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Rory Naysmith and the fine people of Winterset.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Terry Korth Fischer

Terry Korth Fischer writes mystery and memoir. Her memoir, Omaha to Ogallala, was released in 2019, S&H Publishing, Inc. Her short stories have appeared in The Write Place at the Write Time, Spies & Heroes, Voices from the Plains, and numerous anthologies. Transplanted from the Midwest, Terry lives in Houston with her husband and their two guard cats. She enjoys a good mystery, the heat and humidity, and long summer days.

Author Links –  Website    Twitter   Facebook   Amazon Author Page   Goodreads   BLOG Website

Purchase 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 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Haunted Hibiscus (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thoughts on Laura Childs’ new Tea Shop Mystery, Haunted Hibiscus!


Haunted Hibiscus (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs

About Haunted Hibiscus


Haunted Hibiscus (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
22nd in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Publisher: Berkley (March 2, 2021)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489691
ISBN-13: 978-0451489692
Kindle ASIN: B089S6MFBH

Tea maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

 

It is the week before Halloween and Theodosia Browning, proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop, and her tea sommelier, Drayton, are ghosting through the dusk of a cool Charleston evening on their way to the old Bouchard Mansion. Known as the Gray Ghost, this dilapidated place was recently bequeathed to the Heritage Society, and tonight heralds the grand opening of their literary and historical themed haunted house.

 

Though Timothy Neville, the patriarch of the Heritage Society, is not thrilled with the fund-raising idea, it is the perfect venue for his grandniece, Willow French, to sign copies of her new book, Carolina Crimes & Creepers.

 

But amid a parade of characters dressed as Edgar Allan Poe, Lady Macbeth, and the Headless Horseman, Willow’s body is suddenly tossed from the third-floor tower room and left to dangle at the end of a rope. Police come screaming in and Theodosia’s boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, is sent to Willow’s apartment to investigate. But minutes later, he is shot and wounded by a shadowy intruder.

 

Timothy begs Theodosia to investigate, and shaken by Riley’s assault, she readily agrees. Now, she questions members of the Heritage Society and a man who claims the mansion is rightfully his, as well as Willow’s book publisher and her fiancé, all while hosting a Sherlock Holmes tea and catering several others.

 

But the Gray Ghost holds many secrets, as do several other key suspects, while this murder mystery plays out on the eve of Halloween.

 

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s almost Halloween in Charleston, South Carolina and Theodosia and Drayton are excited to check out the literary and historical themed haunted house at the old Bouchard Mansion, also known as the Gray Ghost. The Heritage Society was recently bequeathed the place and thought the event would be a great fundraiser. In addition to the haunting characters Willow French, grand-niece of Timothy Neville, head of the Society is signing copies of her new book, Carolina Crimes & Creepers.

It’s opening night and the place is packed then screams ring out. Drayton and Theodosia rush outside to see young Willow hanging from a rope outside a 3rd-floor window. The police arrive and Detective Pete Riley, Theodosia’s boyfriend, is almost immediately sent to check out Willow’s apartment for clues to her death. He barely arrives and a shot is fired. Riley is hit and the shooter escapes.

Theo is beside herself worrying about Riley but when she is pressed to investigate by Willow’s great uncle she can’t say no. There are a lot of events planned at the Indigo Tea Shop but she knows with a little help from her friends she can find time to interview the growing number of suspects and do some general snooping. Heck, who wouldn’t want to search a creepy old house for clues so close to Halloween. Theo just hopes she isn’t the killer’s next victim.


I made the mistake a while back and got behind on this series. I will never make that mistake again. Now I anxiously await each new installment eager to see what Theo, Drayton, and Haley are up to. Ms. Childs never disappoints. This story did have a trigger moment for me but I was forewarned and I passed over that section quickly. My heart just broke for Willow and her family.

Opening this book I felt like I was visiting old friends. I settled right in with these lively characters and they took me on quite a journey. I love that even after 22 stories these characters are still fresh and continue to evolve. That is not an easy feat for an author. She also introduces some compelling new characters/suspects who all seem to be hiding something. Even the old Brouchard Mansion becomes a pseudo character as it has some secrets of its own.

The mystery is so well-written. Clever clues are filtered through all the twists and turns. My thinking was diverted so many times I gave up on counting. I certainly didn’t figure out whodunit until all was revealed and that is due to the author’s brilliant writing style. Ms. Childs words set the scene and everything that happens in great detail. Every page came alive in my mind’s eye. She even had my stomach growling with all the food descriptions.

Haunted Hibiscus was a very entertaining read with engaging characters. Riley and Theo’s relationship always makes me smile. Fans of this series with be delighted with this story full of Southern charm and suspense, humor, and romance all in perfect amounts. But if you are new to this series, don’t hesitate to pick up this book. Laura Childs writes this book to be easily read and enjoyed all on its own. I can’t promise you won’t want to go back and read the rest.



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About Laura Childs

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:   Website –  Facebook 

Purchase Links

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The Rest of the Series

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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 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Leave No Stone: A Faith McClellan Novel by LynDee Walker #Review / #Giveaway @LynDeeWalker

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.


Leave No Stone: A Faith McClellan Novel
Suspense/Thriller/Women Sleuths
2nd in Series
Setting – Texas
Publisher: Severn River Publishing (November 19, 2019)
Hardcover: 284 pages
ISBN-10: 195124902X
ISBN-13: 978-1951249021
Paperback: 334 pages
ISBN-10: 1951249062
ISBN-13: 978-1951249069
Kindle ASIN: B07WW17LG9

A MISSING WOMAN.

A SADISTIC SERIAL KILLER.

AND A TEXAS RANGER RUNNING OUT OF TIME…

Shortly after a young mother mysteriously disappears, a serial killer begins leaving corpses and clues across the Texas Hill Country. Texas Ranger Faith McClellan and her mentor, veteran Ranger Archie Baxter, are assigned to the case.

This killer is more clever—and sadistic—than any they’ve ever encountered, and the list of seemingly unrelated female victims is growing by the day—an attorney, a pastor, a stay-at-home mom. The murders feature similar injuries, with a cryptic message carved into each corpse. But these gruesome calling cards provide more questions than answers, and with the best coroner in the state unable to identify the murder weapon, investigators are flying blind.

With the young mother still missing and a mounting body count, it’s up to Faith and Archie to solve the mystery. Before the killer strikes again…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Faith McClellan is used to dealing with murder investigations but this time she is assigned to a missing person case. When she hits a dead-end she teams up again with her mentor, veteran Ranger Archie Baxter to assist on a serial killer investigation as bodies start to pile up. Female victims all with similar injuries and messages carved right into their skin. They have a lot of speculation but are unable to come up with a true suspect. Faith also can’t keep her mind off her missing person, could she somehow be connected to the serial case. It’s going to take some hard detective work to catch the killer, a killer who appears to be escalating. Are Faith and Archie up for the task?


Faith Mc Clellan is a tough-as-nails Texas Ranger with some unique talents that in this installment are finally being recognized. I was cheering for her to quickly solve her missing person case just to show some people in her sphere her true abilities. Unfortunately, that wasn’t meant to be. Instead, she starts to work on another case and she does it with a furor. The woman does not give up or back down. She faces fear with her eyes wide open and a brain busy calculating every option. She also has some flaws that can hold her back but that makes her human. This character has grown since book one but still has room to evolve. The author has surrounded her with a group of interesting characters most with major flaws themselves. I hope they continue to evolve as well.

The missing woman mystery really tugged at my heartstrings, just as it did Faith. The serial murder case was intense, gripping, and scary. The author includes a few chapters from the point of view of an unknown person. Those chapters really drew me in and made me think as to how everything was going to connect. I want to say the book had a fast pace but I tried hard to slow it down so I didn’t miss a clue or an aside that would prove to be important down the road. “Down the road” takes on an eerie sense within this story.

Ms. Walker does not write stories with easy mysteries for her characters or readers to solve. Faith tries so hard but there are twists upon twists and a few surprises thrown in working up to an exciting big reveal. The big reveal that was also a huge surprise.

Faith McCellen literally Leave(s) No Stone – Unturned. LynDee Walker takes her readers on a gritty ride. Full of suspense and complex characters this is a story that will stick with you.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

LynDee Walker is the national bestselling author of two crime fiction series featuring strong heroines and twisty, absorbing mysteries. Her first Nichelle Clarke crime thriller, FRONT PAGE FATALITY, was nominated for the Agatha Award for best first novel, and in 2018, she introduced readers to Texas Ranger Faith McClellan in FEAR NO TRUTH. Reviews have praised her work as well-crafted, compelling, and fast-paced, and an edge-of-your-seat ride with a spider web of twists and turns that will keep you reading until the end. Before she started writing fiction, LynDee was an award-winning journalist who covered everything from ribbon cuttings to high-level police corruption and worked closely with the various law enforcement agencies that she reported on. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the U.S. Aside from books, LynDee loves her family, her readers, travel, and coffee. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is working on her next novel when she’s not juggling laundry and children’s sports schedules.

 

You can find her online at www.lyndeewalker.com, and connect with her on Facebook at lyndeewalkerbooks or Twitter @LynDeeWalker.


Also by LynDee Walker


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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge paradise rating You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Side of Murder (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery) by Amy Pershing #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


A Side of Murder (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
by Amy Pershing

About A Side of Murder 


A Side of Murder (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Berkley (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0593199146
ISBN-13: 978-0593199145
Digital ASIN: B087PL9HHF

Beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is known for seafood, sand, surf and now … murder.

 

Samantha Barnes was always a foodie.  And when the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) came calling, she happily traded in Cape Cod for the Big Apple.  But then the rising young chef’s clash with another chef (her ex!) boils over and goes viral. So when Sam inherits a house on the Cape and lands a job writing restaurant reviews, it seems like the perfect pairing. What could go wrong? Well, as it turns out, a lot.

 

The dilapidated house comes with an enormous puppy. Her new boss is, well, bossy.  And the town’s harbor master is none other than her first love.  Nonetheless, Sam’s looking forward to reviewing the Bayview Grill—and indeed the seafood chowder is divine. But the body in the pond outside the eatery was not on the menu. Sam is certain this is murder. But as she begins to stir the pot, is she creating a recipe for her own untimely demise?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Amy Pershing gets the credit for my first book hangover of 2021.
I started reading and just couldn’t stop.

Samantha Barnes was a rising star in the New York food scene but one little pesky argument, okay, one big argument that was caught on video and uploaded on YouTube with her ex, also a notable chef has left her without a job.

Then her Aunt Ida passes away and leaves her a home on the Cape. The home also comes with a very large puppy dog named Dioge (D-O-G). A friend has taken over the editor position at the local paper, once held by Sam’s father. She gives Sam a job reviewing local restaurants. Sam also gets back in contact with some old friends. She almost doesn’t have time to miss her life in New York, but she does. She steps outside of a restaurant she is reviewing, one where she used to work, to contemplate her life when she notices a body floating in the water. An accidental drowning? Sam sure doesn’t think so. She may land herself in hot water but it can’t hurt to ask a few questions, can it?


I loved everything about this story starting with protagonist Samantha Barnes. She shows immediately she is not a woman to be messed with. She is tall, (very tall), smart, brave, and caring and she is not only fun but funny with a fantastic sense of humor. The author surrounds her with a stellar supporting cast including her first love, Jason, who now happens to be the harbormaster, her aunt’s friend and neighbor who quickly becomes a true friend of Sam’s, her friends she has known forever, and one huge, lovable dog. Her parents have retired to Florida but they are just a phone call away. These characters have so much depth for the first book in the series. I felt like I personally knew every one of them. All are very realistic, their dialogues ring true, including Sam’s inner dialogues which I really enjoyed.

I also fell in love with Aunt Ida’s home with a spectacular view. I loved that when the house got too big for Ida to handle she added an ell to the main home. A little mother’s cottage or aunt’s cottage in Ida’s case. Space for everything she needed and perfect for one person and their dog. Perfect for Sam now too because she can use space in the main house for when she wants to entertain like for her traditional Sunday meal with friends. I wish I had a place like Aunt Ida’s, it would be perfect for me too.

The mystery was so well-plotted and written. Filled with an abundance of twists and turns there was always something happening. The author really shows her writing chops. For example, I have never been in a sailboat but her dramatic detailed account of Sam’s heart-pounding adventure transported me out of my chair and onto that lake, moving my feet, stretching my body, and tilting side to side as I participated from my easy chair. The entire book was like that. I really felt like I was there for each and every scene.

The food prepared, eaten, and delightfully described tempted my taste buds the entire story. The author’s tips included added a nice touch.

Amy Pershing has written a spectacular cozy mystery. I was totally captivated and entertained from the first page to the last. So much so I want to shout about it from the rooftops! Daily life, suspense, comedy, and a touch of romance come together to make A Side of Murder a must-read for all cozy lovers!! Since I am in no shape to get my butt up on the rooftops I will do the best I can do and give it my Paradise Rating making it the first book on my Best Reads of 2021 list and post my review everywhere.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Amy Pershing

Amy Pershing is a lifelong mystery lover and wordsmith who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod. In her previous incarnations she was an assistant editor at Viking Penguin, a restaurant reviewer for Playbill magazine’s Restaurant Reporter, and a journalist at the Rome (Italy) Daily American before eventually going on to lead employee communications at a global bank. A few years ago (with the final college tuition bill paid), she waved goodbye to Wall Street in order to write full time (and spend more time sailing on Cape Cod!). A Side of Murder is the first book in the Cape Cod Foodie mystery series featuring Samantha Barnes, a disgraced but resilient ex-chef and the world’s most reluctant YouTube star. While Sam tries to balance her new job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie” with her complicated love life, a posse of just-slightly-odd friends, a falling-down house, and a ginormous puppy, she also discovers a new talent – a propensity for falling over dead bodies … and for solving crime.

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Other people loved it too!

“Cape Cod provides a stunning background for a debut that offers the ideal combination of mystery, romance, and recipes.” Kirkus Reviews

“An exquisite Cape Cod setting, a shamed but resilient chef, murderous secrets, and a long-buried but still steaming romance… Amy Pershing’s debut mystery will leave you longing for a seaside vacation, complete with fried clams and the next book in her charming series.” Lucy Burdette, national bestselling author of THE KEY LIME CRIME

“This is one of the freshest, funniest murder mysteries I’ve ever read. I fell absolutely in love with Samantha Barnes — the brave, sarcastic, crime-solving, relatable heroine we’ve all been waiting for. A Side of Murder is a rich, satisfying meal that delights from beginning to end, and Amy Pershing is a wonderful and clever author.” Elizabeth Gilbert, #1 New York Times bestselling author of EAT PRAY LOVE and CITY OF GIRLS

“A delicious mystery lovingly set in Cape Cod featuring a cast of charming characters. Amy Pershing writes with a fresh fun voice that will delight cozy fans. Chef turned restaurant critic Samantha Barnes proves a clever sleuth whose helpful cooking tips will be a big hit with culinary readers.” Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the DOMESTIC DIVA mysteries

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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 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Furbidden Fatality (A Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery) by Deborah Blake #Review @BerkleyMystery


Furbidden Fatality (A Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Berkley (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0593201507
ISBN-13: 978-0593201503
Kindle ASIN: B08BYTZGW9

A lottery winner uses her good fortune to save a local pet sanctuary, but when a body is discovered on the property, she just might be in the doghouse in this first book in a new, charming cozy mystery series from author Deborah Blake.

Kari Stuart’s life is going nowhere—until she unexpectedly wins the lottery. The twenty-nine-year-old instant multimillionaire is still mulling plans for her winnings when rescuing a bossy black kitten leads her to a semi-abandoned animal shelter. They need the cash—Kari needs a purpose.

But the dilapidated rescue is literally going to the dogs with a pending lawsuit, hard to adopt animals and too much-unwanted attention from the town’s dog warden. When the warden turns up dead outside the shelter’s dog kennels, Kari finds herself up a creek without a pooper-scooper.

With the help of some dedicated volunteers, a cute vet, and a kitten who mysteriously shows up just when she needs it, Kari must prove her innocence all while trying to save a dog on death row. Now she just needs to hope that her string of unexpected luck isn’t about to run out.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

So exciting! Kari Stuart has won millions in the lottery but she has no idea what she wants with her life let alone the money. Then she finds a stray little black kitten that changes her life. An animal shelter on its last legs needs a benefactor and Kari has the funds to get the place updated and open again. It also gives her life some direction as she buys and takes over the shelter and the farmhouse on the property.

Then she learns one of the shelter dogs is part of a pending lawsuit and the dog warden seems to really have something against the shelter. When Kari hears the dogs making a ruckus in the middle of the night she runs from her new farmhouse to the shelter and finds the local dog catcher dead. She and all her volunteers because suspects in his death, especially Kari and the shelter’s former manager. Plagued by vandalism and other suspicious activity Kari worries she has invested in a project she will never get off the ground. She also sees there is a real possibility that even with all her cash she could end up behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit.

_____

I really enjoyed meeting the characters in this new cozy mystery series. Kari Stuart is a lucky woman and uses her fortune in a surprising way. I mean if you won 5 million dollars would your first thought of your first major purchase. especially when you know really nothing about animals or running a business? But Kari makes it work because there is already a super group of volunteers working at the shelter. The volunteers are a diverse group dedicating to saving the sanctuary and mostly are on board helping Kari make that happen. One volunteer is a little prickly and vocal at times but Kari just rolls with the verbal punches. The author has given us a nice introduction to these characters. I was engaged and invested in their lives quickly.

Ms. Blake also delivers a well-plotted mystery with a wide variety of suspects and surprises. A tangled-up web of deception kept this reader on her toes.  I loved the fast pace and the liberal use of humor throughout. The subplots are really strong and brought real depth to the entire story.

What I loved most of all was the animals. Buster, the dog accused of getting out of a fence and biting someone leading to the pending lawsuit just stole my heart. The stray little black kitten, Queenie, brings something special to the story and warmed my heart too. It was the animals on the cover that caught my eye and made me what to read this book. Kudos to the artist.

I found Furbidden Fatality to be a delightful debut for this pet-filled series. Light-hearted and entertaining, it was just a fun book to read.  I am excited to see where the author takes these characters. Doggone Deadly is set to be released on November 2. I will be impatiently waiting. 🙂 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Deborah Blake is the author of multiple romance series, including the Baba Yaga series, as well as over a dozen nonfiction titles. When not writing, Deborah runs The Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and also works as a jewelry maker, tarot reader, and energy healer. She lives in a 130-year-old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with numerous cats who supervise all her activities, both magical and mundane.


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 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Murder with a Twist (Mack’s Bar Mysteries) by Allyson K. Abbott #Review / #Giveaway

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


Murder with a Twist (Mack’s Bar Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington (August 5, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 9780758280176
Kindle ASIN: B00IKOTTYG

The regulars at Mack’s Bar love putting their heads together to solve a good mystery. But Mack is learning there’s a big difference between barroom brain teasers and real-life murder. . .

Milwaukee bar owner Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton has a unique neurological condition that gives her extra perceptive senses, and police detective Duncan Albright is convinced Mack’s abilities can be used to help catch crooks. Mack may be a pro at mixing drinks, but she’s still an amateur when it comes to solving crimes–and she’s not sure she should mix business with pleasure by working with a man who stirs up such strong feelings in her. At her first crime scene–a suspicious suicide–she experiences a heady cocktail of mixed sensations and emotions that make her question whether police work is right for her. But when Duncan asks her to help find a kidnapped child, she knows she has to give it a shot. . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I found this series a few years ago and loved the first book in the series Murder on the Rocks. Then I picked up this book, Murder with a Twist but I immediately had to stop reading. I knew from reading the synopsis there was a suicide element but I hadn’t expected it to be so similar to the way my son took his life back in March of 2015. I put the book back on my To-Be-Read bookshelf but I kept passing over it until last week when I decided I should be able to handle the subject matter by now. Well, I was partly right. I still had to skip or skim some triggering passages but soon the suicide part of the book wrapped up and I was able to enjoy the rest of the story. I am glad I waited and didn’t just skip the book or forget about the series. 

Mack is such an interesting character. She has Synaesthesia which means she experiences everything differently. Over the years she has learned to control it or she would continually be suffering from an overload of her unique senses. While trying to help Detective Duncan Albright solve her father’s murder (in Murder on the Rocks) they realize her unique extra perceptive senses can be helpful in solving his cases. So this time Mack tags along as he investigates a suspicious suicide and a murder with a missing child.

What I really enjoyed was The Capone Club. A bunch of bar regulars that love to solve puzzles and mysteries, both real cases and those dreamed up by members of the group. Some have special talents that become very helpful in closing Duncan’s cases. The investigations take on a real community feel as they sort through clues and dig up new ones. I usually try to solve the mystery before the protagonist but this time I felt like I had a place at the Capone Club table and we were all working it out together. I did like that there were two completely separate mysteries within the book. One wrapped up and another began which is easy to believe for a city like Milwaukee.

There are a wide variety of characters, regulars, and employees of the bar. Even one from “up Nort'”. I love the way the author brings the uniqueness of Wisconsin to the story. It is so comfortable. I was drawn to this series because Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton and I have some things in common. We both grew up in Wisconsin living above and working in our family’s taverns. Walking into Mack’s Bar virtually brings back so many memories. Unlike Mack, thankfully I never had to deal with a dead body.

I have the next book in this series, In The Drink, waiting on my TBR shelf. I hope to visit Mack’s Bar again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About The Author

Allyson K. Abbott is a pseudonym used by suspense writer Beth Amos. Beth has enjoyed a varied writing career that included a stint as a book reviewer and several years of nonfiction freelancing. Now she writes only fiction, and in stark contrast to her “day job” as an ER nurse, where she gets to save lives, the one common factor in her fiction, no matter what name it’s written under, is that someone always dies. Allyson K. Abbott is my little insider joke at having to pick yet another pseudonym. It’s not a coincidence the initials are what they are.  Check out her webpage here and on Facebook here.

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This book was from my private collection.

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Jodi Linton – Author of The Hiker’s Guide To Murder – #Interview | #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @JodiLinton1

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Jodi Linton
to Escape With Dollycas today!


The Hiker’s Guide To Murder (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
by Jodi Linton


Hi Jodi,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in Texas with my husband, two kids, one dog, and two cats. When I’m not writing my next cozy mystery, I’m working the day job at the family business my husband and I run together.

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

Give me a recipe and I’ll cook it. I love to cook, and try new foods.

I recently discovered my love for home decoration. Since we’ve been staying home, because of 2020 and 2021, we started to remodel our house, and I realized I really do a décor taste. Lol. I’ve enjoyed putting various styles together to find my own.

And third, I’ve traveled to several countries before I was married. My hope is once it’s safe to travel again, I can take my husband to see some of the countries I visited in my youth.

What is the first book you remember reading?

R.L Stein books.

What are you reading now?

I just finished It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time by Kyle Scott. It was my first time reading her, and I adored it. Her dialogue is so witty and sharp, and fast.

What books have most inspired you?

Sookie Stackhouse books and Stephanie Plum. After reading both series, I knew I had an itch to write my own mystery series.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I started out in romance. I sold my first series back in 2014. It was a mystery, that after the sell, I beefed up the romance in edits. I guess I’ve always enjoyed writing a book with a case as the plotline.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Not really. I have an office set up in my bedroom.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Life. Travels. My latest series, A Southwest Exposure Mystery Series, I gathered my ideas from our regular family trips to Red River, New Mexico and Salida Colorado. We went rafting, mountain bike riding, hiking, and even fed chipmunks in a ghost town. The only thing we didn’t find was a dead body like my heroine, Andie Sullivan. Thank goodness.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

The whole thing. I’m not kidding. I’m writing my 12th book, and each book has its own challenges. Sometimes it’s that little imposter syndrome voice echoing in my ear. Other times, it’s finding time to write as well as do mom duties and day work stuff.

What do you think makes a good story?

For me, it’s the character’s relationship and dialogue. I’m big on dialogue. – You are going to like my review 🙂

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

Andie Sullivan. I protect the people in my circle, but also strive to be the best person I can be for myself, and make sure I’m fulfilled in life as much as my kids are. I’m also quiet nosy. So, I’d probably make a good cozy mystery sleuth.

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

They’re set in a unique setting, open with action, and I try to blend my case plot with a romantic arc so the reader roots for both outcomes. Having written romance for so many years, the romantic angle is ingrained in me, and I knew I wanted a strong romance plot to play second fiddle to the mystery solving. I felt it grounded the characters in reality.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Writing book three in A Southwest Exposure Mystery Series, RAIDERS OF THE CAMPSITE.

Thank you so much, Jodi, for visiting today. 

More About Jodi Linton

Hey Y’all,

I’m just a girl from Texas, minus the big hair…and oh, yeah, a horse. My crew consists of two kiddos, one which inherited my makeup addiction, and a husband still living out his garage band dreams, but in our closet next to my shoe collection.

I love to hang out with my readers, discussing books, recipes, and just everyday shenanigans. I got started in the romance community, which you might know a few of my books from there. Now, I’m all about the cozies…and the coffee. Yeah, can’t forget that.

I’d love for you to come and join my reader group, Jodi’s Book Corner, or come like me on Facebook to discover my books. And chat. Naturally.

Author Links 

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About The Hiker’s Guide to Murder


The Hiker’s Guide To Murder (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New Mexico
Independently Published (February 1, 2021)
Print length: ~200 pages
Digital ASIN: B08D28ZCMB

Hiking the Kindling National Forest is a birthday tradition for the Sullivan siblings—pitching camp, roasting s’mores… a dead body? Not exactly the fun party outdoor guide Andie Sullivan planned for her brother, Kyle. Welp.

 

When the body is identified as a local who worked at the parks department, Andie decides to put her clue-solving skills to use. Winter tourism is at stake, and if word gets out that Bushwhack has another killer on the loose, she can kiss that sweet revenue goodbye.

 

Easier said than done. Meanwhile, Sheriff Zac Mars is neck and neck with her on uncovering clues, proving solving the latest murder in town is harder than powering through a mountain bike tour on an energy bar breakfast. Racing against the clock, Andie must uncover evidence to make her mountain community safe for ski bunnies. But as one new plot twist turns into another dead body, Andie learns not everyone likes meddling civilian sleuths. If she’s not fast enough, the killer may find her before she finds them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Andie Sullivan and her brother Kyle hike the Kindling National Forest every year for Kyle’s birthday. A day for just the two of them usually. This year three people truly is a crowd especially when the third person is dead. The woman found in a cave was an employee of the Parks Department and her death could really affect Andie’s bottom line. Sullivan’s Adventure Company depends on tourists coming to Bushwack and dead bodies tend to deter their visits to the area.

So Andie starts some sleuthing on her own much to the dismay of Sheriff Zac Mars. Despite their age difference and the fact that Andie used to babysit Zac, you could cut the romantic tension with a knife. He knows she is not going to back away from the case so they make a friendly wager as to who will solve the case first. Then Andie finds another body and realizes she could be next. She may have taken her last hike.


After reading The Killer Outdoors I couldn’t wait to return to Bushwhack, New Mexico to see how Andie was fairing and what kind of adventure she, Zac, and Kyle would take us on next. I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

I really enjoy these characters. Andie is such a strong protagonist. She is independent and smart with a drive to succeed in her business and in life. She isn’t sure about starting a relationship with Zac but he is making it very clear that he wants to be more than friends. She feels the attraction, she just needs to be sure she isn’t making a mistake. Of course, Kyle isn’t shy about adding his two cents. And neither is Vivian, Andie’s friend who is always up for a little amateur sleuthing.  Ms. Linton has created a splendid cast of characters. Their relationships feel natural and the dialogue is superior.

The author also treats her readers to another fast-paced mystery. Trailing along with Andie was so much fun. I was totally caught up in trying to solve the mystery. I thought I was on the right track but then came that twist that jumbled by thinking and made perfect sense. The second book in the series, the second time I was surprised at the reveal.

What I really liked was the romantic vibes between Zac and Andie blended effortlessly with the mystery bringing some comedy to several situations while never detracting from the main story.  Sometimes it is hard to hit that balance but Ms. Linton does it very well.

Great characters and a first-rate story. I read The Hiker’s Guide To Murder incredibly fast, all in one sitting. I never once thought of putting it down. I am very excited about the continuation of this series. Raiders Of The Campsite hits shelves April 13. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of The Killer Outdoors here.


Purchase Link – Amazon –

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Great Escapes for The Hiker’s Guide To Murder (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
by Jodi Linton

I enjoyed the plot. It was a fun ride along with Andie as she looked for clues and annoyed the Sheriff.
~My Reading Journeys

This was a quick and easy read with a fun storyline. I loved the interaction between the characters. Once I started reading, I had a difficult time putting the book down.
~Literary Gold

A light, quick read good for around a campfire or safe in your own home.
~Laura’s Interests

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
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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 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Hiss H for Homicide (A Nick and Nora Mystery) by T. C. LoTempio #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Hiss H for Homicide (A Nick and Nora Mystery)
by T. C. LoTempio

About Hiss H For Homicide


Hiss H for Homicide (A Nick and Nora Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series – 1st with this publisher
Setting – California
Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing (February 9, 2021)
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461947
ISBN-13: 978-1950461943
Digital ASIN: B08QW7Z25S

Nick and Nora are back in a tantalizing new mystery that’s far more dangerous than a game of cat and mouse . . .

 

Never one to turn away from a challenge—even when it goes against her better judgment—Nora Charles can hardly say no when an old friend of her mother’s comes to town seeking her help. The author of steamy romances has learned that her writing partner is severing their relationship and threatening to reveal dark and dirty secrets in a tell-all, and she pleads with Nora to intervene. Reluctantly agreeing to help, Nora pays a visit to the writing partner, ready to make her case—right up until the moment she discovers the woman’s lifeless body.

 

With the police convinced that Nora’s friend is the culprit, she and Nick begin delving into the dead woman’s past and her provocative tell-all. It soon becomes apparent that the woman had a knack for digging up dirt and wasn’t shy about exposing skeletons in closets, and before long Nora has a seemingly endless list of suspects who were at risk of having their darkest secrets revealed. With a police force intent on throwing the book at Nora’s friend and time running out, she and Nick must outwit a dangerous killer before they take their own secrets to the grave . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Handsome tuxedo cool cat Nick is back with his person, Nora Charles finding dead bodies and sleuthing out criminals in this long-awaited 4th installment of the Nick and Nora mysteries by T. C. LoTempio, This time Nora comes to the aid of an old friend of her mother, Desiree Sanders, one half of the writing team of Tiffany Blake.

It seems the other half of the team, Marlene McCambridge, wants to sever their partnership. Marlene has hinted she has a tell-all book revealing the secrets of several people, including Desiree. Desiree begs Nora to meet with Marlene and get to the truth about why she wants to dissolve their partnership. After trying to talk Desiree into several other options Nora agrees to try to meet with Marlene. Not sure what she can really do she sets off to visit the author.

Instead, when she and Nick arrive at the home the woman is renting they are too late. Marlene McCambridge is dead. Before calling the police Nick and Nora do a little snooping. But before she even makes the call law enforcement arrives in the form of Leroy Samms and he soon decides Desiree is his prime suspect prompting Nora to start her own investigation to clear her new friend’s name putting her right in the sights of the real killer.


I love the author’s twist on The Thin Man as the theme for her mysteries.  In this case, Nora is joined by a lovable cat named Nick.  Nick is a very special cat. He is very savvy in figuring out clues and presenting them in very clear ways for Nora to understand. I am so glad this series has returned and I was able to quickly reconnect with all the characters I had come to love. FBI Agent Daniel and FBI Agent on loan to the local police department Samms are both sweet on Nora. Nora and Daniel are dating as his workload allows but she can’t deny she has feelings for Samms too. They would both like her to stay out of the case and sell her sandwiches but know that is never going to happen. All of the characters in this story are very well developed and engaging but the author has left room for them to grow and stay fresh in their relationships.

Ms. LoTempio has crafted a superior mystery for this series return. Very quickly the plot opens up revealing quite a few suspects. Filled with twists and turns our protagonists are pulled in many different directions. Just when Nora thinks she has everything figured out another dead body shakes everything up. I love the way Nick and Nora communicate and the important role Nick plays throughout the entire story. He comes to Nora’s aid in a crucial moment and it had me cheering. The clever writing by this author always makes me smile.

Hiss H for Homicide is a great comeback for this series. I hope with this new publisher we will have many more Nick and Nora mysteries to enjoy. I highly recommend the entire series but the author has made it super easy to jump into the series with this book. Though I bet you will want to read them all.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About T. C. LoTempio 

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She and her cat pen the Nick and Nora mystery series originally from Berkley Prime Crime and now with Beyond the Page Publishing.  They also write the Cat Rescue series from Crooked Lane and the Pet Shop series, originally published by Midnight Ink and continued in 2021 with book two, KILLERS OF A FEATHER, from Beyond the Page. Catch up with them at ROCCO’s blog, catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com or her website, www.tclotempio.net or on Facebook.

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February 9 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
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February 15 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Rhino Charge (A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Rhino Charge (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
by Victoria Tait

About Rhino Charge

Rhino Charge (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Kanga Press (February 5, 2021)
Print Length: 265 pages
Digital ASIN: B08PV45HYJ

A treacherous race to stop an extinction. A mysterious death linked to the past. Can a silver-haired sleuth track down the clues in time to save a life?

 

‘Mama Rose’ Hardie has always fought to conserve Kenya’s precious wildlife. Officiating at an off-road fundraising race in the iconic Maasai Mara, she’s shocked when a vehicle crash claims the life of a friend. And worse still, this was no accident…

 

When another friend is accused of plotting a deadly sabotage, the clever amateur sleuth vows to clear his name. But with motives between teams reaching deep into an unfortunate past, the determined woman must work fast to track down the wily killer. .

 

Can Rose catch the culprit before more lives are endangered?

 

Rhino Charge is the thrilling third tale in the Kenya Kanga cozy mystery series. If you like sharp heroines, suspenseful reveals, and iconic African settings, then you’ll love Victoria Tait’s breathtaking story.

 

Buy Rhino Charge to set a trap for a callous murderer today!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

‘Mama Rose’ Hardie is back and she is an official for a wild offroad race to raise money to protect the rhinos of Kenya. Teams run a vehicle obstacle course in the iconic Maasai Mara. The team that completes the course in the shortest distance wins. This has them traveling some scary routes in their quest to take the prize.

When a piece of equipment fails one of the vehicles flips, trapping the driver inside with a variety of injuries but death isn’t imminent until someones takes things into their own hands. When the driver is found dead Mama Rose takes it upon herself to track down the killer. She finds that until she gets to the truth about a past accident she can’t close in on the killer in the present. Can she pull all the clues together before someone else ends up hurt or dead? She sure hopes so.


Victoria Tait takes readers on a wonderful virtual trip to Maasai Mara, a game reserve in Kenya. Her words take us away to the place where we can find the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, Cape buffalo, black and white rhinos), one of the most famous safari destinations in Africa for the Rhino Charge, an annual event that hosts over 60 teams. And the perfect setting for a murder.

Our heroine, Mama Rose has been involved for years with her husband Craig as checkpoint officials. This year Craig is unable to attend but Chloe, Thabiti, and Sam are involved this year. Chloe helping Rose at the checkpoint and Thabiti and Sam as members of a team competing. They all play key roles especially when it comes to investigating and solving a murder. I really enjoy tagging along with Mama Rose. She is a smart, independent, inquisitive woman with the drive to right wrongs and get to the truth. Thabiti has grown quite a bit in this story and his sister is making strides as well. We are introduced to a variety of new characters but they all have a uniqueness about them and it makes it easy to keep everyone straight. It also gives readers a peek at the different cultures you find in Kenya.

The author has embedded these characters into a captivating mystery that ties into an event to the past while focusing on the reality of protecting the area’s wildlife. I was pulled into the story from the first page. The entire premise was fascinating and fresh making the book very hard to put down. I was all in and couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

I have enjoyed every book in this series. Ms. Tait shines a light on the challenges facing the people and animals will giving her readers an interesting mystery to escape right into. She really hits the right tone with the perfect amount of suspense. Rhino Charge is an excellent addition to this series. I am so happy to see the next book in this series Jackal & Hide will be released on May 14th.  Mama Rose looks to be off on quite a getaway and I am excited to virtually go along. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Victoria Tait

Victoria Tait is the author of the enchanting Kenya Kanga Mystery series.  She’s drawn on her 8 years of experience living in rural Kenya, with her family, to write vivid and evocative descriptions.  Her readers feel the heat, taste the dryness, and smell the dust of Africa.  Her elderly amateur sleuth, “Mama Rose” Hardie is Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple reincarnated and living in Kenya.

Like all good military wives, Victoria follows the beat of the drum and has recently moved to war-scarred Sarajevo in Bosnia. She has two fast growing teenage boys.  She enjoys horse riding and mountain biking but is apprehensive about learning to ski.  Victoria is looking forward to the sun, sand, and seafood of neighbouring Croatia when the world returns to normal.

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Coming May 14, 2021


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February 4 – I’m All About Books – 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.”