Sep 202018
 

My heart goes out to the people of South Carolina and all states that have suffered the loss of life and damage due to Hurricane Florence.

In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
by Dorothy St. James

 

About the Book


In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 350 Pages
ISBN-10: 1683317432
ISBN-13: 978-1683317432
Digital ASIN: B078M3N9TC

In Dorothy St. James’s third delectable Southern Chocolate Shop mystery, a new batch of chocolate and troubles of the heart cause a string of disasters for the Chocolate Box’s new owner, Charity Penn.

The vintage seaside town of Camellia Beach, South Carolina seems like the perfect place for romance with its quiet beach and its decadent chocolate shop that serves the world’s richest dark chocolates. The Chocolate Box’s owner, Charity Penn, falls even further under the island’s moonlit spell as she joins Althea Bays and the rest of the turtle watch team to witness a new generation of baby sea turtles hatch and make their way into the wide ocean.

Before the babies arrive, gunshots ring out in the night. Cassidy Jones, the local Casanova, is found dead in the sand with his lover Jody Dalton—the same woman who has vowed to destroy the Chocolate Box—holding the gun. It’s an obvious crime of passion, or so everyone believes. But when Jody’s young son pleads with Penn to bring his mother back to him, she can’t say no. She dives headfirst into a chocolate swirl of truth and lies, and must pick through an assortment of likely (and sometimes unsavory) suspects before it’s too late for Penn and for those she loves.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bullets! Missing turtle eggs! Missing chocolate turtles! The quiet seaside town of Camellia Beach, South Carolina is having a crime wave. A local man is dead and someone is stealing sea turtle eggs from the nests on the beach, and Sea Salt Chocolate Turtles are disappearing almost right before Charity Penn’s eyes from her shop. Jody Dalton has accused Penn of lying to get The Chocolate Box Sweet Shop and taunts her almost daily about it, but when she is arrested for Cassidy Jones murder Penn just can’t believe it. Then Jody’s young son begs Penn to help get his mother out of jail. She finds herself quickly promising that she will do just that. There is nothing sweet about the point Penn finds herself in. There are several suspects in addition to Jody, but Penn needs to be careful or she may end up the killer’s next victim.

Penn has so much on her plate in this third Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery. Penn has found her mother, but the family has opened up yet another lawsuit to try to take The Chocolate Shop away from her. The shop is busy so she needs to hire more help and she is still trying diligently to learn all she can about making luscious chocolate treats. She has started observing with the sea turtle watch team her friend Althea Bays is in charge of. Her relationship with Harley, Jody’s ex, is starting to move in a new direction. And on top of all that she has told Harley and Jody’s son, she will get his mom out of jail before school starts next week.

I really enjoy how all the recurring characters not only grow from book to book but within the pages of this story. Penn is getting comfortable in Camellia Beach and is meeting new people and making friends. She is still struggling with the chocolate making but the woman does not give up. She has a great core of support when any sort o trouble arrives, but she is learning to stand up for herself much better when her family tries to take her shop away. She learns something in this story that shakes and bends her but doesn’t break her.

The author has written a dynamic story with a couple of mysteries swirled together with family drama. I really like the way all the subplots flowed together with the main plot almost effortlessly. This seaside mystery does have its share of red herrings and diversions that keep us readers on our toes. Penn seems to hone in on one individual but my mind kept pulling me in another direction. In my mind, the answer really depended on if the mysteries are separate or connected. The family battle over Penn’s inheritance gets a new twist that made me dislike members of that family even more. The ending left me surprised and wondering how I was going to wait the approximately 6 months until the next book comes out. 🙂

It was fun learning about the sea turtles and the great lengths people go to to protect their eggs and the species.

Oh and the chocolate! I have learned to have some nearby while reading this series. It doesn’t come close to what Penn and Bertie create for The Chocolate Box, but it takes care of my cravings.

Ms. St. James has penned another delectable treat for her readers to enjoy.  I hope she writes the next one fast!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on the outskirts of Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, a neurotic dog, and a fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn’t as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: “amazing”, “perfect”, “filled with emotion”, and “lined with danger.”

Author Links

Website: www.dorothystjames.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dorothystjames

Twitter: www.twitter.com/dorothymcfalls

Purchase Links

Indie Bound    Amazon      Kobo      Google Play      Barnes & Noble      BookBub


Praise for In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
by Dorothy St. James

This was a fun end-of-summer read. I enjoy these Southern Chocolate Shop mysteries a lot.
~Valerie’s Musings

The conflict was tantalizing. I was on the edge of my seat while I was turning through the last quarter of the book. St James threw down and didn’t hold back and I loved every second of it.
~Writing Pearls

This series gets better with every book!! The mix of chocolate and mystery is a combination that I find hard to resist.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

The atmospheric and multilayered In Cold Chocolate is an impressive, compelling, and engrossing read. It not only fulfilled all my expectations for an enjoyable cozy read but took everything several steps higher.
~The Power of Words

Author Dorothy St. James really tugs the heartstrings of readers in this very special South Carolina Lowcountry cozy mystery.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

. . . this has Southern Charm and Midwestern tenacity in abundance and I want more!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

Another delicious 5-star dangerous investigation.
~Laura’s Interests

 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 12 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
September 12 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 12 – Writing Pearls – REVIEW
September 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 13 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 14 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Community Bookstop – SPOTLIGHT
September 16 – Readeropolis – RECIPE
September 16 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
September 17 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 17 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – RECIPE
September 18 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 18 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 19 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
September 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
September 20 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
September 20 – Mysteries with Character – RECIPE
September 21 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
September 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 21 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
September 22 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 22 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
September 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
September 23 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 24 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
September 24 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 24 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 24 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
September 25 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
September 25 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
September 25 – fundinmental – 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.”

Sep 202018
 

Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
by Allison Brook

About the Book


Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683317340
Digital ASIN: B078M7MXGR

Twenty million dollars’ worth of missing gems bring Carrie Singleton’s long-lost and larcenous dad back into her life and it’s up to Carrie to clear his name.

A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a twenty-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.

Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin.

Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The story starts out with a nice housewarming party with friends and lots of food, then everything goes crazy 🙂 Carrie wakes up to find an intruder in her house that turns out to be Jim, her father. He is only there for one thing, Carrie’s help to get back his share of gems from a heist from several years ago. His partner in crime, Benton Parr, a local jeweler, agreed to hide the loot until Jim came for it. Well, Jim wants it and hopes Carrie smooth the way. Carrie agrees to contact the man to get her dad out of her house.

But, the next time she hears from her dad it is to get him out of jail. Benton Parr was murdered and good ole’ dad was found standing over the body. If that isn’t enough, Carrie learns that the case her new boyfriend Dylan is working on is recovering the very same gems her father had stolen. Was he only leading her on to track down her father? Did he only rent to her in the hopes her dad would drop by? Bad enough, Dylan travels so much for his job, was he avoiding her or was he really working? Is anything about their relationship real?

Carrie’s whole life has been turned inside out. Thankfully she can escape to her job at the library with Smokey Joe. Maybe she will be able to track down the gems herself. What does that mean for her relationship with Dylan? What will that mean to the relationship with her dad? Does she want to have a relationship with her dad?

OMG! I started this book and I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up until early in the morning to finish it all in one sitting.

The first couple of chapters felt off, forced, not what I expected from this author. I was worried. But then the story started to flow and the author exceeded my expectations.

The characters in this series are so clearly written. Carrie, her aunt, and uncle are so genuine. They try to see the best in everyone and are truly there for each other. Her dad returning is quite a shock but his brother and his wife take him in for a while until he moves in with Carrie. Evelyn is a unique character in that, she is a ghost. A very well dressed and coiffed ghost, who appears in the most opportune moments and can only be seen by Carrie and one other person. She gives Carrie “food for thought” and adds a few laughs to the story. I had an aunt the was named Evelyn and the Evelyn in this story reminds me very much of her. She passed on several years ago and to my knowledge she doesn’t haunt anyone though. 🙂 Carrie’s cat Smokey Joe has become the library cat. The patrons love him. As for Dylan, he gets in some hot water with Carrie this time and in my mind, he deserves being there.

The author takes these wonderful characters and twists and turns them around in a marvelous mystery. There is a treasure trove of suspects, the man had enemies. His family and a few “friends” had means, motive, and opportunity. Carrie’s dad is the perfect suspect but she knows he is being set up. There is a very well embedded subplot to the story that adds interest too, how it ended both warmed and broke my heart.

Christmastime in Clover Ridge, Connecticut sounds absolutely delightful. There are plenty of programs at the library including carolers and choirs performing. Carrie is doing very well in her job as the head of programs and events and the town is very happy she decided to make her home in Clover Ridge.

This story reads very well on its own, but if you haven’t read Death Overdue, it has a Halloween theme and there is no time like the present to start this series from the beginning so you can get to know Carrie and the residents of Clover Ridge from the start.

I highly recommend this one. Be sure to plan accordingly, you may have a late night and a book hangover the next day, but it is so worth it!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Allison Brook is the pseudonym for Marilyn Levinson, who writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. She lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling, reading, watching foreign films, doing Sudoku and dining out. She especially loves to visit with her grandchildren on FaceTime.

Author Links

Website  Amazon Page   Facebook     Goodreads    Twitter   Pinterest

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  BookBub

At the time I was creating this post I noticed Death Overdue was just #1.99 for Kindle. 

Praise for Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
by Allison Brook

If you are looking for an entertaining cozy mystery with friendly characters and an adorable cat, then look no further than Read and Gone.
~The Avid Reader

The author does an amazing job of bringing this small town to life. It was a quick read for me. The storyline is filled with mystery, adventure, and romance mixed into one captivating read.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

A charming small town with a copious cast of characters, a small-town library with a surprisingly robust staff list, a feisty library cat with his own plans and plots, and the former head librarian who is haunting her old digs (whom only Carrie and her young cousin can see).
~Reading Is My SuperPower

Enterprisingly plotted, the mystery certainly had me guessing throughout.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

The mystery was well plotted and was carried on well throughout the entire book. With numerous killings and twists and turns, it was not an easy mystery to solve.
~MJB Reviewers

Read and Gone the second in the Haunted Library Mystery series by Allison Brook was a quick entertaining read perfect for the busy holidays.
~Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf

I loved the holiday setting, as Carrie and the library staff prepared for Christmas.
~View from the Birdhouse

A perfect sit by the fire and Christmas tree read.
I enjoyed it. I think you will too.
~My Reading Journeys

I love the recurring characters (and the new cat!) and this is a series that I know I will be reading as soon as a new book comes out (pre-order is my friend for certain series and this is going to be added to that list!) 10/10
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

. . . it is entertaining for those who appreciate the cozy mystery genre, felines with their felonies, and amateur women sleuths. . .
~Rosepoint Publishing

A pleasurable read, READ AND GONE is a well-plotted enjoyable mystery focusing on family relations as well as murder!
~Cozy Up With Kathy

This book was a fast read, but it had so many twists and turns packed into it to keep you reading late into the night . . .
~The Montana Bookaholic

The author throws quite a few characters into the mix as suspects and when the real killer is revealed I was surprised. This person wasn’t really on my radar!
~Storeybook Reviews

I was absolutely hooked from page one unable to put it down as the story unfolded. The relatable characters, fabulous setting, and elaborate mystery all combine into this incredible novel with a library theme.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

With multiple mysteries to solve and a shady cast of secondary characters, this installment continues to showcase the upbeat and lighthearted nature of cozies. Even with an insightful ghost lurking around, very few clues are made available within this multilayered and well-plotted mystery.
~That’s What She’s Reading

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 11 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT
September 11 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 12 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
September 12 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 13 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
September 13 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 13 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – REVIEW
September 14 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
September 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
September 14 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Reading Authors – REVIEW
September 15 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 16 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
September 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
September 17 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
September 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
September 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 18 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
September 18 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
September 18 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 19 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
September 19 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
September 20 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

 

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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.”

Sep 132018
 

Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery
by Melinda Mullet

About the Book


Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Scotland
Alibi (September 4, 2018)
Print Length 300 pages
ASIN: B079R3PW46

Distillery owner Abigail Logan discovers that high spirits are no match for a cold-blooded killer as the Whisky Business Mystery series puts a fatal twist on stiff competition.

It’s been a year since globe-trotting photojournalist Abi Logan inherited Abbey Glen, a whisky distillery in the heart of the Scottish countryside. To her surprise, the village of Balfour already feels like home, and her new business partner, Grant MacEwan, continues to be too charming to resist. But Abi has a history of relationship disasters, so she struggles to avoid an ill-fated romance with Grant. Steering clear is hard enough on a day-to-day basis, but when the two head off to a whisky industry competition together, Abi panics. Five-star resort, four glorious days of nonstop whisky tasting, and a fatally attractive Scotsman—what could possibly go wrong?

The night before the award presentations, with foreign and domestic whisky makers at one anothers’ throats, two judges are found dead under mysterious circumstances. What started with three dream-come-true nominations for Abby Glen’s whisky soon turns into a nightmare for Abi. With a killer on the loose, she must call on her investigative skills to stop another murder—before she gets taken out of the running herself.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abigail Logan still has a lot to learn about being a distillery owner but she is really making herself at home in Balfour. She is trying to keep her mind on Whisky business, but when she and her business partner, Grant MacEwan attend a whisky competition at a 5-star resort she may not be able to resist his charms. Then before the Golden Quaich competition begins, where several Abbey Glen Whiskys are up for awards 2 of the judges are killed. DI Ian Michaelson asks for Abi’s help as a photographer to take pictures of the crime scenes. Her keen observation skills see things other people don’t and she soon finds herself investigating. If she is not careful, she may be the killer’s next victim.

Abigail Logan is a wonderful protagonist. Smart, strong, and independent. She has taken on the job as owner of the distillery quite well. She has a great team helping her and teaching her everything about the whiskey business. She is still trying to keep Grant in the friend zone, but there is no denying the chemistry there. Grant stole my heart long ago so I am rooting for them to have a relationship that works. Her friend Patrick redeemed himself for me in this story. I wasn’t so fond of him in the last one. I really enjoy the friendship between Abi and Katherine McRae. Their shopping trip to get Abi the right clothes was fun to read. I also enjoyed that the resort allowed pets so Liam could go too. He was on his best behavior, for the most part 🙂

The story is set at a whisky convention so we are introduced to several characters. The author does an excellent job of making them each unique so I was able to get to know them pretty quickly. There was a character that returned from a prior story too, it was great to have him cross Abi’s path again. As always a certain 4-legged character gives the story some laughs.

I love the way she sets a scene. She describes everything in a way that puts you right there in the room or out in the countryside.  She also educates her readers about Whisky and I love learning new things when I am reading. I like whiskey but have never had Scottish whisky. I may have to rectify that soon.

This mystery had a whole resort full of suspects, some were easily eliminated but others needed more investigation. Ms. Mullet has a great talent for misdirecting her readers which makes following along with Abi and her friends so entertaining. She ratchets up the suspense at the perfect time and gives readers a great conclusion. She also gives us just a little cliffhanger that leaves as longing for the next book.

I love the way she sets a scene. She describes everything in a way that puts you right there in the room or out in the countryside.  She also educates her readers about Whisky and I love learning new things when I am reading. I like whiskey but have never had Scottish whisky. I may have to rectify that soon.

For me, this was A Perfect Escape!! A stellar mystery with great characters set in a beautiful place. I can’t wait for my next visit! Died in the Wool: A Whisky Business Mystery comes out May 14, 2019.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter 

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N    Kobo   Google Play  BookBub

Praise for Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery
by Melinda Mullet

This is a very well written mystery peppered with details amongst the suspense, laughter, and intrigued. The mix of it all creates a truly wonderful cozy that you will not want to put down.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Melinda Mullet is a descriptive writer which allows readers to visualize the scenes, but it also slows down the pace of the story. The mystery is multifaceted with several suspects, a red herring or two, and good clues.
~The Avid Reader

. . . an interesting romp in Scotland with a truly Scottish world renown libation. I enjoyed getting to know the industry better.
~Rosepoint Publishing

Deadly Dram is an excellent story – easy to read and intelligently written – and should appeal to any cozy mystery fan.
~The Power of Words

The Whiskey Business series continues to delight me . . . I was quickly swept up into the story.
~The Bookwyrm’s Hoard

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 4 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 5 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
September 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 6 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
September 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
September 8 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 8 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
September 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
September 10 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 11 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 11 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT  
September 12 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
September 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
September 13 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
September 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
September 14 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Varietats – REVIEW
September 16 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
September 16 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
September 17 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, GUEST POST  
September 17 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

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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.”

Sep 122018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli to Escape with Dollycas today!

Hi Everyone,

When my agent suggested Little Libraries might make a good topic for a series, I did what I always do, smiled and nodded while thinking: “That’s nuts!  What can I do with Little Library boxes that sit out in front of houses?

They sit there at the curb, one purpose only: to hold borrowable books and make readers happy.   How do I stuff a body into one of those little things?  How do I plant clues?  How do I work up suspense?  How do I stage a final scene with the killer cornering my sleuth: his eyes blood red, a knife in his raised hand, the final thrust within inches…?

I thought up mysteries based on themes in a famous writer’s work., or a style, a book from a series, a character, a setting . . . from shadowy moors with a voice calling from a parked Porsche: “Heathcliff! Where the hell are you?” to a 21st century Scrooge with a murderous ghost hiding in his natural-stone shower.  I looked at writers from Shakespeare: “Out, out, damned spot.  Thy DNA wilt gives me away.”

To:

Edgar Allen Poe:  The Tell-Tale Heart.   My title: What’s That Beating in my Walls.

Joseph Kesselring, the Broadway play of 1941: Arsenic and Old LaceMy title: Batrachtoxin and Spandex

Frances Hodgson Burnett:  The Secret Garden.  My title: Mulch and Murder.

Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca. My title: Hmmm.  Maybe, for that lying, cheating Rebecca:  Sure Glad She’s Dead.

Louise May Alcott:  Little Women.  My title: The Family that Preys Together.

But this is what I’ve settled on so far:

I took bits of Alice in Wonderland, stirred in some whimsical flavoring, committed a couple of murders, threw in a Little Woman with a giant chip on her shoulder, and out popped: A Most Curious Murder.

Then—Emily Dickinson, at long last she’s slipped into my hands.  I used, not her work but her life in their icy Amherst, MA house with sister Lavinia.  I threw in a heap of jealousy, touched a match to it, and came up with: She Stopped for Death.

Then—In Want of a Knife.  This is Jane Austen (believe it or not).  I found what I was looking for in Pride and Prejudice.  I discovered that mothers wanting rich husbands for their daughters are alive and well, in this century, in Bear Falls, Michigan.  Rich husbands might be murderers, or maybe it’s their friends.  It all works out in the end:  some daughters get their men, murderers are duly dispatched, and everyone lives happily ever after.

And now I’m writing: He Went out and Hanged himself.  You’ve got to know that’s Agatha Christie.  This one’s easy.  Ten people isolated in the forests of Upper Michigan.  They disappear—one by one (almost), old sins follow them, and eventually, the dead are unburied for all to see.

And that’s it—so far.   But who knows where this series will take me: Anna Karenin?, Animal Farm?  Maybe Lord of the Flies?

After all, there’s no place like a library.

What a great idea:  Little Libraries!   (I love my agent).

~Elizabeth

Thank you, Elizabeth, for visiting today!

Now let me give you my thoughts on In Want of a Knife.


In Want of A Knife: A Little Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 321 pages
ISBN-10: 1683317378
ISBN-13: 978-1683317371
Kindle ASIN: B078MB5DHT

When they investigate a string of disappearances of young girls, will Jenny Weston and Zoe Zola be dispatched with extreme pride and prejudice?

Amateur sleuth and little librarian Jenny Wilson is set on edge when the police discover a young girl’s body, dressed in an old-fashioned white lace dress, just outside Bear Falls. And when another local girl from town disappears soon after, Jenny and her next-door neighbor, author and little person Zoe Zola, know they have to help the beleaguered police chief.

But first, Jenny and Zoe have new neighbors to meet: A trio of wealthy newcomers from Chicago has just moved into a huge mansion on Lake Michigan. Nathan and Delia Wickley are genial siblings, and Fitzwilliam Dillon, the mansion’s owner, is a Little Person like Zoe. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a rich gentleman seeking to ingratiate himself to his new neighbors will spread a bit of largesse around, and Fitzwilliam is no exception: He has offered two million dollars to Bear Falls. But the townspeople are far from agreed on what to do with the money—and the deliberations are far from peaceful.

But it’ll all come to naught if the missing girl isn’t found, and the culprit identified. And when she ventures alone to a mysterious structure in the woods, Zoe may not live to resolve her romantic dilemmas. Though neither Jenny nor Zoe is particularly placid or even-tempered, love and danger beckon them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Dora’s daughter Jenny and famous author, Zoe team up in this story after one young girl is found dead on the side of the road and another girl goes missing. The police are doing a huge search and as soon as the amateur sleuths meet their new neighbors they will join the search and meet with the girl’s mother and her friend to see if they can get more insight as to where the girl may have gone.

The new neighbors, wealthy people from Chicago, are not very well received. The owner of the new mansion on the lake, Fitzwilliam Dillon, is a Little Person like Zoe and treats her horribly. His two friends aren’t much better, but this group is offering the town two million dollars to invest in something that all residents will benefit from, so the Zoe and the rest of the greeting committee try to bite their tongues until they leave the mansion. Dora agrees to take on Fitz and his friends while Jenny and Zoe do all they can to save the girl who is missing.

Little Librarian Dora takes a bit of a backseat in this story. Jenny and Zoe shine as the trek through the woods searching for any clue that may lead them to the missing girl. They think her friend may have information but he is out of town with his father. The police want all the help they can get and encourage Jenny and Zoe to reach out to this young man as soon as he gets home. I missed the way Jenny and Dora worked together, but really enjoyed the way Zoe cast everything aside, okay, she really doesn’t like the topic of her new book, but she really stepped up this time especially when she has to take 2 steps to everyone else’s 1 and traveling through that woods was hard. The author did an excellent job of making me feel like I was there every step of the way.

Readers were also treated to a complex mystery. First, they had to decide if and how the two teenagers were connected and that wasn’t easy. Suspects were determined by the result. Truthfully the whole thing came down to Zoe and Jenny’s determination that the woods was key. The story is broken into eight parts. I love this author’s writing style. The story had a slow build, each section got a little more intense. By the time I reached Part 8, my heart was beating fast and I could not read the pages fast enough.  Like in the last book a psychological element is brought to light as the mystery is solved.

The subplot of Zoe’s book brought the necessary humor to the story. Her take Pride and Prejudice and the women Jane Austen had created crack me up time and time again. I agreed with her but I do enjoy the escape I get when reading an Austen book.

Jenny’s romantic life is in flux in this book but by the end, things take a turn. No spoilers, you have to read the book.

This is another wonderful book from Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli. Her lead characters are genuine and women whose lives I have become invested in. Each stop to Bear Falls has been very interesting and entertaining. I am excited for more books in this series.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli lives in Mancelona, MI. She has published ten novels, one work of non-fiction, and several short stories, which have been produced onstage, read on NPR, and published in several newspapers. For many years she taught writing at the International Women’s Writing Guild summer program at Skidmore College and currently teaches at Northwestern Michigan College.
She loves hearing from readers. Contact me at my website: www.elizabethbuzzelli.com where Emily Kincaid, Deputy Dolly, and she all blog.

Also by this Author

Written as Elizabeth Lee

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.
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Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 26, 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 on NetGalley. 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.”

Sep 112018
 

About the Book

K Street Killing (Washington Whodunit)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Washington D.C.
Camel Press (July 15, 2018)
Paperback: 242 pages
ISBN-10: 1603816135
ISBN-13: 978-1603816137

It’s the height of campaign season, and instead of relishing newlywed bliss with her husband Doug Hollingsworth, Capitol Hill staffer Kit Marshall is busy with a tough reelection fight for her boss, member of Congress Maeve Dixon. Before Maeve and her staff–Kit included–leave Washington, D.C. to campaign full time in North Carolina, they have one last fundraising engagement.

On the iconic rooftop of a restaurant overlooking the Capitol and the Washington monument, Kit and her best pal Meg do their best to woo wealthy lobbyists for sizable campaign donations. Everyone’s enjoying the evening soiree until a powerful K Street tycoon mysteriously tumbles off the rooftop. Even with claims, the fall must be suicide, Detective Maggie Glass and Kit aren’t so easily convinced foul play isn’t at work. While balancing Doug’s mid-life career crisis, Kit must spring into action to discover who killed the notorious Van Parker before Dixon’s candidacy sputters, even if it means investigating Meg’s handsome new beau, the victim’s conniving widow, and a bicycle advocate hell-bent on settling a long-standing grudge. When a threatening note is left on Kit’s car, warning her to back off the investigation, she knows she’s closing in on the true story of what happened.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things in Washington D.C. these days are crazier than ever so there is no more perfect time for author Colleen J. Shogan to take us behind the scenes right before an election and to a fundraiser attended by a bunch of wealthy lobbyists held on the rooftop with a spectacular view. Congresswoman Maeve Dixon is on the committee in charge of the big transportation bill and lobbyists for trucks, trains, and yes, even bicycles want to speak to her so that they get want they want included in the bill. That’s why that have made generous donations to her campaign to attend this dinner.

The candidate has to leave early for one last vote on the hill before she heads home to campaign. She leaves Kit Marshall, her chief of staff, and her best friend Meg to stay at the event to entice the guests to give more to the campaign. Kit decides to sneak out early and when she reaches the street outside she hears screams and rushes to see what happened. It appears that one of the lobbyists has taken a nosedive from the rooftop locale. Everyone immediately thinks suicide, except for Kit and Detective Maggie Glass. They think it is murder. Everyone still at the party becomes a suspect and Meg and Kit are stuck in D.C. instead of following their boss to North Carolina. This death could send the congresswoman’s campaign into a tailspin. Kit finds herself again up to her eyeballs in a murder investigation. If the threatening note she finds on her car is any indication she is on the right track.

Newlywed Kit Marshall is a smart protagonist that doesn’t back down to a challenge and in this story, she has her hands full. A reelection campaign, a murder investigation, and a husband that has just been offered a plum job, but it is not in Washington. She keeps putting her husband off for the time being because if her boss doesn’t win reelection she will need to find a new job. She has never thought about a job outside the beltway. Right now, who pushed Van Parker to his death is her number one priority. I really enjoyed myself following along with her every step of the way. When it is time for the big killer reveal, Kit handles it in a truly classic way.

Ms. Shogan has written another fantastic story that is hard to put down. The characters are well developed and the plot is edgy with plenty of twists. The character’s dialogue is believable and at times pretty funny. We get a wonderful peek at the life of a congressional staffer. Her descriptive writing style brings Washington D.C. to life, from the rooftop restaurant to the congressional office and everything in between.

While this is the 4th book in the series, it can easily be read on its own. Of course, to really get to know Kit Marshall you have to start at the beginning.

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About the Author

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. She conceived of the plot of her first mystery one morning while taking a walk in her suburban Washington, D.C. neighborhood. A political scientist, she previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as the Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service. She is currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress who works on great initiatives such as the National Book Festival. Colleen lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan. She is the recipient of the Next Generation Indie Prize for Best Mystery.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter –  GoodReads 

Purchase Links
Amazon  B&N

Praise for K Street Killing (Washington Whodunit)
by Colleen Shogan

I enjoyed the references to Agatha Christie’s mysteries and her various sleuths. I can see where the author obtained her inspiration for the crime in K Street Killing . . .
~The Avid Reader

It was interesting how they solve the murder, putting everything together to uncover what really happened and discover the truth . . .
~Varietats

For me, the strength of K Street Killing is the glimpse we get into the world of political lobbyists. The author has considerable personal experience in Washington, which gives authenticity to all that goes on and the characters have a realistic feel.
~The Power of Words

Kit and Meg are unstoppable amateur sleuths who refuse to be turned aside in their pursuit of justice.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

The characters are well-developed and jump right off the pages. The author’s descriptions of Washington are very vivid and transported me right into the center of DC without ever leaving my seat.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

I love reading about the world of politics and Shogun does a good job of letting the reader see this world of competition and negotiation.
~Teresa Trent, Author

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September 3 –  Varietats – REVIEW
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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.”

Sep 082018
 

Goodbye Cruller World (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (August 28, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1496711890
ISBN-13: 978-1496711892
Kindle ASIN: B077X2DMNR

Named after her beloved tabby, Deputy Donut, Emily Westhill’s donut shop in small-town Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, is doing so well, she’s expanding into catering weddings. But a killer is about to crash the reception . . .

Normally, Emily’s eyes tend to glaze over when prospective brides go on about their wedding plans. But when the owner of the clothing shop, Dressed to Kill, asks Emily to design a donut wall for her reception, she’s immediately sweet on the idea. With the help of her father-in-law and business partner—the former police chief of Fallingbrook—she hangs the treats from dowels on the wall so guests can help themselves.

But that night, when the groom ends up on the floor with signs of poisoning, Emily suspects someone has tampered with her treats. When the groom dies, there’s no way to sugarcoat it: she’s got a murder on her hands. Despite a list of suspects as long as the guest list, Emily vows to find out who created the killer confection to save her shop’s reputation and keep the bride out of handcuffs. She’ll have to move fast . . . before the poisoner takes a powder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Weddings and donuts, that is a new tradition I would love! Emily and her father-in-law, Tom, create a donut wall for the wedding of Jenn, the owner of Dressed to Kill. The bride’s favorite donuts on one side and the groom’s favorites on the other. It is a big hit with the guests and the groom makes a regular pig of himself eating one after another. That is until he ends up dead on the floor. Seems someone has added their own secret ingredient to some of the pastries. An item that was made to kill. Everyone at the reception becomes a suspect, especially the bride. Emily knows the connection to her confections is going to be bad for business. She knows Detective Passenmath would love to pin the crime on her and Tom. She has no choice but to try the puzzle out the killer herself.

Tom and Emily own Deputy Donut, named after Emily’s tabby cat. Tom is the former police chief of Fallingbrook. His son was on the force too and Emily is a former 911 operator. The shop has a police theme complete with an old squad car for deliveries. These characters stole my heart in Survival of the Fritters. The nice thing about Deputy Donut is that police and fire personnel hang out there. Some key suspects also stop in a time or two, in addition to all the regulars. It is a unique place because Deputy Donut, the cat, has his own lair to watch over all the all the happenings. I really enjoy how the author has set this up as we get to know the characters better at this special gathering place.

The mystery this time had so many suspects but I set my sights on someone very early in the story. Then I followed along with Emily and let me tell you the author built everything up to a very exciting ending. I was right about the who and most of the why, but boy I was on the edge of my seat at the climactic scene that brought everything together.

The story is set in my wonderful state of Wisconsin and the author described everything wonderfully. The closest thing to Deputy Donut that we have nearby now is Dunkin’ Donuts, but growing up we had a wonderful bakery that reminds me in many ways of Emily and Tom’s shop. Great donuts and a great gathering place to find out all the latest news about town. Crullers are some of my favorites as are powdered sugared (I may be looking at those a little closer now). 🙂

I can’t wait for my next visit!

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About the Author

Ginger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series–cops, crime, coffee, donuts, and one curious cat. When Ginger isn’t writing or reading, she’s crocheting, knitting, sewing, walking her two rescue dogs and generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts, coffee, and cafes where folks gather to enjoy those tasty treats and one another’s company.

 

Author Links

Website   Facebook   Twitter   GoodReads

Ginger has joined Killer Characters!


Written as Janet Bolin


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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 February 20, 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.”

Sep 042018
 

 

About the Book


Stabbed in the Baklava (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (August 28, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713494
ISBN-13: 978-1496713490
Digital ASIN: B077WVFL8M

Lucy Berberian has taken over her family’s Mediterranean restaurant on the Jersey Shore after an unsatisfying stint at a Philadelphia law firm. It’s great to be back in her old beach town, even if she’s turning into a seasoned sleuth . . .

Catering a high-society wedding should bring in some big income for Kebab Kitchen—and raise its profile too. But it’s not exactly good publicity when the best man winds up skewered like a shish kebab. Worse yet, Lucy’s ex, Azad—who’s the restaurant’s new head chef—is the prime suspect. But she doesn’t give a fig what the cops think. He may have killer looks, but he’s no murderer. She just needs to prove his innocence, before he has to go on the lamb . . .

Recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back at the Jersey Shore where the staff of the Kebab Kitchen is catering a high-society wedding. The food seems to be a hit and that should be great for the business. Then when the crew is packing up to leave they find a grisly discovery in the catering van. The best man has been stabbed in the neck with a shish kebab skewer. Lucy’s parents are not going to be happy but they may become apoplectic when they find out their head chef is the prime suspect in the murder. Lucy knows it will be up to her to prove his innocence because there is no love lost between Lucy’s family and the investigating detective.

Ms. Kashian has written a very compelling mystery with plenty of suspects. The story moves right along with plenty of twists. The victim had his share of enemies and may have made more on the day he died. As in book one Lucy and her friend, Katie start sleuthing. Katie’s husband is a cop and he knows what the girls are up to even though he wishes they would stay our it., If Detective Clemmons finds out he wouldn’t think twice about arresting them for interfering in his investigation.

I was engaged by these characters in the first book and now know them even better. Their relationships are typical of those in a family run restaurant business. I grew up in one of those. Lucy and Katie’s friendship shines and while working with her ex is not easy, Lucy really champions Azad and does all she can to get him out of hot water. Although there is still Michael hanging around as the third limb to this romantic triangle. I know who I would choose but Lucy’s mother may have other ideas.

Then there is the food, the glorious food. I just like saying the word Baklava! Mine would have to be made without the walnuts (allergy), but I could almost taste that and the hummus and the shish kebabs and everything else they mentioned right through the pages. Yes, there are recipes in the back of the book.

Loved it! Appealing characters in an entertaining mystery set on the Jersey Shore. Who could ask for more? Me! I can’t wait for the next installment. One Feta in the Grave hits stores February 26, 2019!!

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More Praise for Stabbed in the Baklava (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

Tense yet fun, this second book in the series was entertaining to read. The motives and suspects are varied, secrets are revealed and Lucy has to escape personal endangerment once again.
~Laura’s Interests

If you are searching for a funny story with some delicious food, this is your book! 😉
~Varietats

I greatly enjoyed the bits and pieces of Mediterranean food, music, and dances that the author weaves into the story. It adds an authentic touch to the theme and will leave the reader hungry for a taste of the delectable food served at the Kebab Kitchen!
~Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder

Well-plotted and lots of fun, the mystery and the characters will keep you fully engaged from start to finish!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

. . .  a quaint small town, charming characters and food descriptions that will have you salivating.
~The Avid Reader

Overall the book does what it should – keep you guessing from start to finish while uncovering clues and trying to keep Lucy out of too much trouble.
~Storeybook Reviews

About the Author

Tina Kashian spent her childhood summers at the New Jersey shore, building sand castles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business where her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. She worked almost every job—rolling silverware and wiping down tables as a tween, to hosting and waitressing as a teenager.

After college, Tina worked as a NJ Deputy Attorney General, a patent attorney, and a mechanical engineer. Her law cases inspired an inquiring mind of crime, and since then, Tina has been hooked on mysteries. The Kebab Kitchen Cozy Mystery series launches with Hummus and Homicide, followed by Stabbed in the Baklava and One Feta in the Grave by Kensington Books. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two young daughters. Please visit www.tinakashian.com and join her Newsletter to enter free contests to win books, get delicious recipes, and to learn when her books will be released.

Author Links

Website    Facebook     Twitter    Instagram     Goodreads

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iBooks     Google Books   Kobo

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August 27 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
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August 28 – Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW
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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.”

Aug 312018
 

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.

Passport to Murder (A Professor Prather Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – South Dakota/Minneapolis
Camel Press (September 15, 2017)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1603816534
ISBN-13: 978-1603816533
Kindle – ASIN: B0746QGX9R

Start with an unlucky number. Throw in a romantic location. Include a dashing Frenchman and an uncompromising professor. And you have all the ingredients for a passport to murder. This semester, it seems that Professor Prather’s dreams are about to come true. Ever since she was a young girl, she’s imagined going to France, and her French colleague, André Duman, has finally made that trip possible. Over spring break, she and André are to lead a group of students and faculty to Paris to explore the City of Light. But before she can utter her first bonjour, a professor dies, and they are stuck is Minneapolis until they police allow them to go home. She returns to Copper Bluff with an unstamped passport and a mystery to solve. When André becomes the prime suspect, Emmeline puts her research skills to good use, determined to find out who really killed the professor and spoiled their spring break plans. With thirteen travelers assembled, the possibilities are varied and villainous. Luckily, her dear friend and sidekick, Lenny Jenkins, is close by. Together, they will sort through the conflicting clues even if it costs them time, trouble, or tenure.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A trip to Paris sounds delightful. Professor Emmeline Prather is chaperoning the trip with her French colleague, André Duman, for students and other faculty members to the City of Light over Spring Break. After the 13 travelers bus trip to Minnesota, they board the plan for Paris. But they don’t get far before one of the other professors dies and the plane turns around. They have to stay in Minneapolis until the police can rule on the cause of death. Soon, it is declared murder and  André Duman is on the top of the suspect list. Emmeline returns to Copper Bluff determined to do everything she can to find the real killer. She may never get to Paris but she can save her friend.

This mystery starts out at a good clip and doesn’t let up. I read the whole thing in one evening. The mystery is like a closed room mystery a la Agatha Christie. Someone on that plane is the killer. Some of the suspects can be eliminated quickly, but others are hiding things and were sitting close enough to do the deed. The police and FBI zeroed in on one person and tried to make the evidence fit. Emmeline took the correct approach or following the evidence. When a second person dies the case really gets interesting.

Professor Emmeline Prather has a good level head on her shoulders. When she teams up with her friend Lenny, they are unstoppable. She follows the clues, does a little research and presents what she finds to Lenny and they talk it through. He is also around to ask questions she can’t. I enjoy how they work together and that they seem to be getting closer.

I liked the supporting cast, students, and faculty. They are a diverse group in age and backgrounds. They were believable and relatable.

I have read several cozy series set at a college and the author finds a way to make her setting unique. South Dakota is not a typical locale for a cozy mystery and having to travel to nearby Minneapolis opens up a bunch of new places to discover.

The author has given readers a well plotted and well-written story. She has created engaging characters that we can become invested in. I hope to visit Copper Bluff again soon!

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© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

 

About The Author

Like her protagonist in the Professor Prather mystery series, Mary Angela lives on the Great Plains and teaches college writing and literature. When she’s not grading papers (when is she not grading papers?), she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She and her husband have two amazing daughters, one adorable dog, and a cat who would rather not be limited by an adjective. For more information, go to www.maryangelabooks.com.

Author Links

Webpage     Blog     GoodReads      Facebook     Twitter

You can find my review of Book #1 – An Act of Murder here.

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

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 September 14, 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.”

 

Aug 302018
 


Wuthering Kites (A Kite Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Oregon
Berkley (September 4, 2018)
Print Length: 304 pages
ASIN: B0782XGQH9

Kite shop owner Emmy Adler feels an ill wind blowing through Rock Point when a murder hits close to home in the third Kite Shop mystery.

It’s nothing but blue skies ahead for Rock Point kite shop owner Emmy Adler. Strings Attached is thriving–even winning attention from a big-city reporter who wants to interview Emmy–and Emmy’s relationship with her main competitor, Jack Sullivan, is going strong.

But Emmy’s sunny outlook turns stormy when she finds a woman dead on the floor of the Strings Attached. When the sheriff eyes Jack as the main suspect after his kite charm turns up near the body, Emmy strikes up an investigation of her own. With Strings Attached’s safety breached and Jack’s whole family tangled up in the case, Emmy’s determined to track down the real killer before all her dreams get blown off course.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Emmy Adler owns kite shop Strings Attached and she is so excited that she is going to be interviewed by a big city reporter. That story should put her shop on the map and help her business grow. That is until someone is killed in her shop. It appears to be the big city reporter and the evidence has the police looking a Jack Sullivan, Emmy’s boyfriend, and her main competitor. Before long Emmy realizes something that quickly involves Jack’s whole family. Before Jack’s life goes up, up and away Ellie decides to clear Jack from suspicion and find the killer herself.

A murder in a locked kite shop, no sign of forced entry, who had keys? This is a very clever mystery. A big twist tips the mystery on its ear and opens up the suspect pool. This story was perfectly paced for me and I loved the way everything came together.

I really enjoy these character so much. Emmy’s father reenactment group was just too funny. The way everyone just goes along with it was so genuine. We all meet Jack’s family.  All the core characters continue to evolve in realistic ways. There is still plenty of room for growth and more mysteries.

The Oregon coast setting is again wonderfully described. I have been to Oregon, but never the coast. It is a place I would love to visit. This literary trip was a great little getaway.

A great mystery with fun characters. A Perfect Escape. Let’s go fly a kite!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Clover Tate is a former congressional investigator and the author of the Kite Shop Mysteries, including Blown Away and Live and Let Fly.

I am nervous about this series. The publisher decided to only release this book in digital format. That is why the publisher is not offering a giveaway. I hope that does not mean the end of the series because I am not ready to leave these characters behind.

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.”

Aug 282018
 

The Trouble with Truth (A Gourmet Cat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
Lyrical Underground (August 28, 2018)
Paperback: 182 pages
ISBN-10: 1516103025
ISBN-13: 978-1516103027
Kindle ASIN: B078LQWPPQ

Things are looking up for single mom Colbie Summers. After relocating back to her California hometown with her adolescent son and taste-testing feline, Trouble, she’s ready to take her gourmet cat food company to the next level. Until helping a teenager gets Colbie mixed up in a fresh case of murder…

Trying to balance her hectic family life with her growing business—including a coveted contract with the local organic food store—leaves Colbie scrambling to keep all her balls in the air. But when a Sunnyside resident is found dead in his garage, she takes on a new role: harboring a suspected killer.

The eighteen-year-old murder suspect, a former foster kid and Colbie’s part-time chef, had a powerful motive to snuff out the high-profile businessman. The real question is, who didn’t? Sifting through the victim’s sordid history unearths a cat’s cradle of crimes, including money laundering and abuse. Now, to clear an innocent girl’s name, Colbie must sniff out the truth before a killer who smells trouble goes on the attack again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Colbie Summer’s gourmet cat food business is really taking off. She is planning for the big day when her products debut at a local organic food chain. She has even hired a new part-time chef. Eighteen-year-old Mira Bellamy grew up in the foster system and was abused. She is trying to make enough money to purchase a car and go to college. Not only is she working for Colbie, she has 3 other jobs too. She has also written a play about her life in foster care and received an award to have it produced.

On the homefront, Colbie’s son Elliot gets a surprise when his father, Richard Winston III, decides he does want to meet his son after all. Both mother and son are nervous about what this can mean.

Then Mira’s foster dad is murdered and because of her play, Mira is the police’s prime suspect. The truth hurts but Colbie knows that Mira is not a killer. While handling everything else, Colbie starts asking questions. Questions that make the real murderer burning mad and Detective Norma Chiron nervous about the target she has put on herself.

In this second installment, Colbie and Elliot have settled into her father’s house and they are all getting along so well. Colbie’s budding romance is growing too. The character that stole my heart was Mira. Life after being aged out of the foster system is hard but Mira has goals and is working so hard to reach them. Her play is amazing and it translated onto the pages and into my mind perfectly. I applaud the author for making this part of this story. Shining a light on the bad and the good, without hitting readers over the head or getting too dark.

The mystery part of the story really was well-written and believable. The victim had a number of people that could have killed him. Colbie’s actions had me engaged and scared for her at times. Twists sent the story in many different directions before the real culprit was revealed.

I really enjoy the way the author has let her characters develop but still has left them room to grow. The story is well balanced with the drama of the mystery and drama of normal family life. Humor was added in all the right places thanks to Trouble the cat and a certain bunny rabbit.

Ms. Krevat has written a very entertaining story. I am looking forward to visiting these characters again.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Kathy Krevat and her books on her webpage here

Read my review of the first book in this series The Trouble with Murder here. 


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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

To Bead or Not to Bead (Glass Bead Mystery Series) by Janice Peacock$2.99 - Order Your Copy Today!
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