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

Cozy Wednesday featuring Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery) by Maria DiRico #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thought with you today about Long Island Iced Tina! 


Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

About Long Island Iced Tina 


Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Kensington (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725352
ISBN-13: 978-1496725356
Digital ASIN: B089NCJ9NS

Mia Carina is back in the borough of Queens—in charge of the family catering hall, Belle View Banquet Manor, and keeping her nonna company. But some events—like murder—are not the kind you can schedule . . .

 

Mia’s newly pregnant friend Nicole plans to hold a shower at Belle View—but Nicole also has to attend one that her competitive (and mysteriously rich) stepmother, Tina, is throwing at the fanciest place in Queens. It’s a good chance for Mia to snoop on a competitor, especially since doing a search for “how to run a catering hall” can get you only so far.

 

Mia tags along at the lavish party, but the ambience suffers at Nicole’s Belle View shower when a fight breaks out—and then, oddly, a long-missing and valuable stolen painting is unwrapped by the mom-to-be. Tina is clearly shocked to see it. But not as shocked as Mia is when, soon afterward, she spots the lifeless body of a party guest floating in the marina . . .

 

Italian recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mia Carina manages Belle View Banquet Manor, a catering hall her father, former mob enforcer, Ravello Carina, acquired through interesting circumstances. She is excited that one of her upcoming events is a baby shower for her friend Nicole. But then she learns that this is not the only shower being held for the mother-to-be. Her stepmother, Tina has booked another shower at the ritzy Versailles on the Park. Nicole invites Mia to the other shower and she gladly accepts because it will give her the chance to check out the upscale competition. She also sees the very selfish style of Tina and understands how she was given the nickname of step-monster.

The shower at Belle View gets off to a great start, that is until Tina shows up unfashionably late and gets into a fight with the host, Nicole’s grandmother, Minnie. The event really gets even more crazy when one of the gifts appears to be a priceless stolen painting from the step-monster herself.  But Tina denies the gift is from her especially when the police arrive to investigate the artwork that has been missing for years. Thinking the worst is behind her Mia is ready to head home but then she sees the body, the body floating in the marina behind Belle View.


Ms. DiRico has created such wonderful characters. Our protagonist Mia Carina is trying so hard to make Belle View Banquet Manor a success while doing a little sleuthing on the side. She is surrounded by a wide-ranging group of supporting characters that will have you laughing out loud and shaking your head. Her Nonna is involved in many things throughout the story but one of her exploits had me laughing so hard I had tears running down my face. Mia is also trying to master a skill with her “friend” Jamie’s help which also generated some comedic moments. I know murder is a serious subject but this author knows how to bring the funny in all the right places. I loved the way she did this.

Okay, back to the serious murder. The author plotted a strong complex mystery with a variety of facets. We are introduced to several new characters/suspects as Mia chases down clues, sometimes with Jamie’s help. I really enjoyed following along with Mia for each twist and clue, and there were a lot. My suspect list shuffled several times. The big reveal was very surprising and exciting. In addition to the main mystery, the author blends in some memorable subplots.

I have so much fun visiting this Italian family for all the crazy exploits. There truly is never a dull moment when the Carina family is involved.

Long Island Iced Tina is a captivating cozy with a mystery that will test readers as they try to keep up with Mia. It was most definitely A Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico is the pseudonym for Ellen Byron, author of the award-winning, USA Today bestselling Cajun Country Mysteries. Born in Queens, New York, she is a first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side and the granddaughter of a low-level Jewish mobster on her father’s side. She grew up visiting the Astoria Manor and Grand Bay Marina catering halls, which were run by her Italian mother’s family in Queens, and have become the inspiration for her Catering Hall Mystery Series. DiRico has been a writer-producer for hit television series like Wings and Just Shoot Me, and her first play, Graceland, appears in the Best Short Plays collection. She’s a freelance journalist, with over 200 articles published in national magazines, and previously worked as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing. A native New Yorker who attended Tulane University, Ellen lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs.

Author Links – Website Chicks on the Case – Facebook  Twitter

Purchase Links –

Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Play – IndieBound

Coming October 26, 2021

Written as Ellen Byron

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Great Escapes Praise for Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

Ms. DiRico has an amazing imagination, and it shows throughout this book which transports the reader into the story so perfectly.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

LONG ISLAND ICED TINA is a thoroughly enjoyable laugh out loud mystery that kept me engaged from start to finish.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Maria DiRico writes with such flair and an easy style. There were a plethora of suspects to choose from who might have had the motive to kill and I enjoyed the way in which Mia evaluated the information acquired from her poking around.
~Brianne’s Book Reviews

It took me about 10 to 15 % to get fully immersed back into the mob world, as sometimes it’s a little over the top… but once you settle in, it’s quite a hoot, and I found myself unwilling to put it down before bed.
~This Is My Truth Now

I love that Mia is so embroiled in her tight Italian family and speaks with her close relatives in Italian as easily as English. The family works hard together with obvious love and support for each other and the writing style weighs heavily in their inherited sense of humor, their love of the city, and their shared history.
~Rosepoint Publishing

Full of charm and surprise twists we get taken on an adventure as it all plays out making for a great addition to this series. Sure to delight cozy mystery fans. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

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March 9 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
March 9 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – 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.”

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fatal Fried Rice: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review

Fatal Fried Rice: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (March 9, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250782597
ISBN-13: 978-1250782595
Kindle ASIN: B08BYC415B

Lana Lee returns for another delectable cozy set in a Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio in Vivien Chien’s Fatal Fried Rice…

Lana Lee runs her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland’s Asia Village like nobody’s business. When it comes to actual cooking, however, she’s known to be about a step up from boiling rice. So Lana decides to go to culinary school on the sly—and prove that she has what it takes in the kitchen after all. But when course instructor Margo Chan turns up dead after class, Lana suddenly finds herself on the case, frying pan in hand.

Since she was the one who discovered the body, Lana must do double duty in finding the killer and clearing her name. Now, with or without the help of her boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana launches her own investigation into Margo’s life and mysterious death. Doing so leads her on a wild goose chase to and from the culinary school—and all the way back to the Ho-Lee noodle shop, where the guilty party may be closer than Lana thinks.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I know it’s hard to believe but Lana Lee, manager of her family’s Ho-Lee Noodle Shop can’t cook much of anything, not even the Chinese food she eats and sells on a daily basis. Now she wants to change that and surprise her friends and family. She has signed up for a night class in Chinese cooking at the local community college. The first class went okay, the instructor demonstrated fried rice. In the next class, the students will get to make the recipe themselves. Lana is on her way home when she realizes she forgot to pick up the ingredient list for the upcoming class so she quickly turns around hoping to get back to the classroom before the instructor leaves. Well, the instructor is still there but she won’t be teaching any more classes. Someone has killed her and Lana being the one to find her ends up in ho water as a prime suspect.

Lana has helped solve cases before but they were in her boyfriend Detective Adm Trudeau’s jurisdiction. The detective on the case sure doesn’t want her help especially because he believes Lana is guilty. So having no choice she must investigate to clear her name. It’s no easy task but she can’t give up. Even when the killer may turn the tables on Lana. Will she be able to survive or will she be fatally fried.

_____

I can’t believe we are already 7 books into this series. Each time I open a book it is like catching up with old friends. All the characters are wonderful. Lana continues to grow. I enjoyed that she used a little restraint when she found the body but after that, she makes some risky choices including taking Kimmy Tran with her to snoop when her best friend and roommate Megan wasn’t available but it sure made for some funny moments. I do really like the closeness of the Lee family and their traditions like their Sunday dim sum dinners.

The mystery this time was a definite change because Adam wasn’t involved and Lana knew nothing about the victim. She was able to draw some information from her usual sources but she put on a lot of miles trying to track down clues. I hate lazy detectives and the one in charge of the murder was definitely lazy trying to make his case fit what had already decided. Ms. Chien plotted out a  story that kept the protagonist on her toes and this reader guessing right up until the exciting reveal.

The author does a great job of setting every scene whether it be the noodle shop, Megan and Lana’s apartment, the bar where Megan works, or the community college. It is so easy to visualize every place Lana goes. The little subplot of Lana updating the decor of the restaurant is so funny. Her mother tells her to do whatever she wants but then pans all her ideas.

I totally enjoyed this story. Well-plotted and written with engaging characters. Fatal Fried Rice checks all my cozy boxes. I am so excited for book 8, Hot and Sour Suspects.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here,  Dim Sum of All Fears here, Murder Lo Mein here, Wonton Terror here, Egg Drop Dead here, and Killer Kung Pao here.

About the Author

VIVIEN CHIEN was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From Amazon)


Coming August 24

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 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 because 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



Just click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.

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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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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 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 

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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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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.

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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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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.

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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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Purchase Links:

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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. 🙂 

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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.”

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#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.

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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.

I am giving away my copy!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
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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 

Facebook     Website   Twitter    BookBub

Youtube   Instagram  Jodi’s Book Corner   Newsletter

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. 
February 8 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – I’m All About Books– SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 10 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
February 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
February 12 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
February 12 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
February 15 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
February 15 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
February 16 – Here’s How It Happened – GUEST POST
February 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
February 17 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
February 18 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 19 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 20 – Diane Reviews Books -GUEST POST
February 21 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, 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.”