Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Stiff Competition (Mattie Winston Mysteries) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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.


Stiff Competition (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (January 26, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1617734101
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1617734106
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00X2EOZKC

A coroner must find a killer out to make a point in this hard-boiled mystery by the USA Today–bestselling author of Dead Even.

Every fall, hunting season in Sorenson, Wisconsin, leads to some accidental injuries. Deputy coroner Mattie Winston just hopes the hunters don’t bring any more business to her office. But somebody seems to have declared open season on land developers. One real estate developer who’s recently come to town has been found dead in the woods with an arrow through his neck. Now it’s up to Mattie to get to the bottom of the killing. That might be easier if she wasn’t also hunting for Detective Hurley’s teenage daughter, Emily, who has suddenly disappeared. With a homicidal William Tell out on the loose, Mattie is desperate to find Emily before the killer notches another arrow . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The crisp autumn air in Wisconsin means there are deer hunters in the woods and fields first for bow hunting, later for gun hunting. Accidents are bound to happen but when a land developer is taken down with an arrow it turns out to be murder. Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston returns to work after the birth of her baby just in time to be put on the case. She starts working the case with her baby’s daddy, Detective Hurley but when Emily his teenage daughter goes missing he hands the case off to another detective to search for her. Mattie would love to help him but her relationship with the teenager is pretty icy. But soon she finds herself both on the trail for Emily and the killer.


Mattie’s life is full and complicated. She is trying to find a balance between work and motherhood. Thankfully she has a great babysitter in Dom but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t show up the first day back at work with baby puke in her hair and on her shirt. She is also hoping to bring her little family together but Hurley’s daughter isn’t having it. She is doing everything she can to keep Mattie and Hurley apart.

Maddie’s first days back at work are truly filled to the brim. Any mother can feel the strain of taking care of a newborn while trying to function through a workday. The author gives a true perspective. I identified with Mattie putting everyone and everything else first. Trying to squeeze in a haircut was a monumental task and then she made a poor decision.

Hurley is dealing with a lot as well.  He is in a high-pressure job that requires a lot of hours. His teenage daughter entering his life brings a whole new set of stressors and now he has the baby with Mattie. He is feeling guilty because he feels he is not doing any of the jobs well.

What really drives the books in this series are the many relationships between the characters. There is drama but there is an overwhelming feeling of love. The core characters all care about each other and make up a unique family situation. The characters continue to grow throughout each book and in Stiff Competition, one character has a wonderful awakening. It is so easy to get invested in these characters.

Ms. Ryan gives readers two mysteries to solve. The murder of a shady land developer and the disappearance of Hurley’s daughter. Maddie is up to her neck in both and the author twists both of them together with an expert hand. I was more caught up in Emily’s disappearance because she is a core character but it was fun following the clues to solve the other mystery too. I also enjoy the way humor is placed widely throughout the story. Real true-to-life events befall Mattie time and time again in a funny way.

Of course, this series taking place close to my home always brings extra enjoyment as landmarks and places I know are mentioned. It is easy to see in my mind right where everything is taking place.

Stiff Competition is a nice addition to this series. With the next book, we move out of the “Stiff” phase and into the “DEAD” phase. I am looking forward to continuing on Mattie’s journey with her family and friends. The ending of this book makes me excited to escape into Dead In The Water soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.

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 25, 2022, 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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Show Me the Bunny (A Melanie Travis Mystery) by Laurien Berenson #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @LaurienBerenson


Show Me the Bunny (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
28th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington Cozies (January 25, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 208 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496735811
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496735812
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B093XVRRJZ

Melanie Travis is gifted at raising prize-winning Standard Poodles, not standing in as the Easter Bunny. But when March in Connecticut brings daffodils and dead bodies, she’ll need to hop into action—and fast . . .

Aunt Rose already has a strike against her for not being too fond of dogs—or Aunt Peg. But Melanie still agrees to organize Easter festivities at Gallagher House, the new women’s shelter opened by the stern former nun, even if it takes all the jellybeans in Greenwich to sweeten the arrangement. No sooner does Melanie arrive to dye multicolor eggs and stuff baskets, than she learns devasting news about Beatrice Gallagher, the respected benefactor of the estate. Beatrice has fallen to her death, and the circumstances are shocking . . .

No one can say why or how charitable Beatrice got pushed into an early grave. Yet for a supposedly warm and generous philanthropist, rumors have her pinned as an overbearing manipulator who used money to control the unfortunate few trapped in her inner circle. Facing an uncertain future as danger lurks around Gallagher House, Melanie and Aunt Rose must tolerate each other’s company long enough to discover the truth about Beatrice’s true nature and identify a vengeful killer—before another person’s idyllic spring break becomes a serious nightmare . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Aunt Rose and her husband Peter have arrived back in town after completing their good works abroad. They have been asked to run Gallagher House, a new women’s shelter by its benefactor Bea Gallagher. With Easter right around the corner, Aunt Peg volunteers Melanie to organize an Easter egg hunt for the children at the shelter. Melanie can’t say no to Rose, the former nun, without feeling buried by guilt so she agrees to the task. While meeting with Rose to iron out the details they learn that Bea Gallagher is dead following a suspicious fall. Rose’s son has pointed to Rose as the most likely suspect. He has also informed Rose he is closing the shelter and they have just 30 days to get themselves and the women and children they are helping out of the house. Aunt Rose asks Melanie to help prove her innocence and try to pen up the real killer as quickly as possible.


What an egg-cellent story! This time the focus is not a dog show but an Easter event. The dogs are still present in the story, in fact, there is a new puppy named Plum in the Travis household. Their elderly poodle passed away a few months ago. Faith and Melanie’s closeness always warms my heart.

Sam, Melanie, and their boys were planning a low-key relaxing Spring Break but Aunt Peg has other ideas. As we have learned over the course of this series Aunt Peg is always busy with something and she thinks Melanie should be too. So volunteering Melanie to help Rose wasn’t a big surprise. It was nice to have Rose and Peter enter the core cast. They are an interesting couple being a former nun and former priest and still driven to help wherever and however they can. As with all the characters in this series, they are well crafted and true to life.

The mystery this time was different too because it really took Melanie to a place she wasn’t familiar with and people outside of her usual circles. I did enjoy the way she worked with Detective Sturgill and the way Sam continued to just go with the flow knowing he wanted to have more family time during the break. He also knows how to handle Peg. The man is a total saint. As for Melanie’s investigation, serious issues and dysfunction are revealed. I did solve the mystery before all was completely spelled out but that didn’t limit my enjoyment of the story at all.

Show Me The Bunny is an entertaining quick read. It is always fun to check in with Melanie, Sam, Kevin, Davey, Peg, and the pups. It is truly like visiting old friends.

This is not the last we are going to see of Rose either. Rose and her sister-in-law Peg are branching out in their own story, Peg and Rose Solve a Murder. I can only imagine what kind of trouble these two are going to get into. Look for their book to be released at the end of August. You can read a teaser chapter at the end of Show Me The Bunny.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

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

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

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 hardcover copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 24, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The 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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Killer Sundae (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery) by Abby Collette #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to share my thoughts today about A Killer Sundae!

A Killer Sundae (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
by Abby Collette

About A Killer Sundae


A Killer Sundae (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series

Setting – Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Berkley (January 4, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593099702
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593099704
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B091PHQ88M

Ice cream shop owner Bronwyn Crewse is in for two scoops of murder in this charming mystery from Abby Collette.

Chagrin Falls, Ohio, is gorgeous in the fall, and Bronwyn Crewse, owner of Crewse Creamery, knows just how to welcome the new season. At the annual Harvest Time Festival, residents will get a chance to enjoy hot-air balloons and hayrides, crown a new Harvest Time Festival Queen, and eat delicious frozen treats sold at Win’s freshly purchased ice cream truck. But she gets into a sprinkle of trouble when a festivalgoer is poisoned and Win is implicated.

Although the victim was a former Harvest Time Festival Queen, her once-sunny disposition had dimmed into bitterness, leaving no shortage of suspects at the festival. To clear her name before the chill of winter sets in, Win will have to investigate and hope that her detective skills won’t “dessert” her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s time for the annual Harvest Time Festival in Chagrin Falls, Ohio and Crewse Creamery owner Bronwyn Crewse is excited to put her new ice cream truck into service. She has loaded up the truck’s freezers with all kinds of treats and is dishing up sundaes too. Her beautiful new truck has even drawn the attention of the local television station. The reporter and Win were in school together. They were never really friends but Win is very aware of the woman’s nut allergy and took all the precautions when preparing her hot fudge sundae.

Later the woman collapses and dies right in the middle of the Hot Air Balloon Glow and her boyfriend accuses Win of serving her nuts to cause her death. Win knows she did no such thing.

It seems the reporter was still as abrasive in her adult life as she was back in school so there had to be more suspects out there.

In a strange twist, the boyfriend that accused Win now wants her help finding the real killer. She tells him she has no intention of investigating but he continues to come back every day trying to change her mind. Her friends Maisie and Riya are also pressuring Win to investigate for their own reasons. So Win bows to the pressure and starts trying to get the scoop on the killer.


Win continues to be one of my cozy faves. She is smart and funny with a huge heart. She has been through a lot since returning home to take over Crewse Creamery but is driven to make the family’s ice cream business a rousing success. Getting the food truck to take her ice cream on the road for all kinds of events has turned out to be a great idea even though it put her on the scene of the crime. Her updates to the shop have helped to increase business as well. I love the relationship she has with her grandfather. Their morning meetings are inspirational. She has his full support and he helps her in any way he can. He also has a new friend and that just warmed by heart.

This story had other members of her family stepping in too to be sure both the truck and the shop was fully staffed. Her brother Bobby definitely has issues that need to be addressed. Of course, Maisie and Riya play vital roles in the story too but Maisie started out really rubbing me the wrong way. Even the chickenpox couldn’t keep this woman in check. She was so bossy and pushy. I mean she is an “expert sleuth” because of all the television shows she watches but this time her antics were more grating than funny. I was intrigued by a new hire Win made. I hope he returns in the next book.

The author did whip up a very twisty mystery. There were a lot of dead ends and true clues were hard to pin down. Win makes a visit that took a lot of strength and that made me like her even more. That visit started to give her investigation a better focus and drove the story to a very exciting reveal that validated my theory. A theory I almost threw by the wayside a few chapters earlier.

While some of the characters really pushed my buttons A Killer Sundae was a very entertaining and enjoyable read. Ms. Collette making Win a reluctant sleuth this time made for a very captivating story.

I am very excited about the next book in this series. Win has been asked to participate in an event that in my neck of the woods is usually associated with wine, but let me tell you if it featured ice cream I would be pushing people out of the way to be first in line.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Abby Collette

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Abby Collette loves a good mystery. She was born and raised in Cleveland, and it’s a mystery even to her why she hasn’t yet moved to a warmer place. As Abby Collette, she is the author of the Ice Cream Parlor mystery series, about a millennial MBA-holding granddaughter running a family-owned ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and the  Books & Biscuits mystery series, starring a set of fraternal twins who reunite and open a bookstore and soul food café. Writing as Abby L. Vandiver, she is the author of the Logan Dickerson Mysteries, featuring a second-generation archaeologist and a nonagenarian, as well as the Romaine Wilder Mysteries, pairing an East Texas medical examiner and her feisty, funeral-home-owning auntie as sleuths. Abby spends her time writing, facilitating writing workshops at local libraries and hanging out with her grandchildren, each of whom are her favorite.

Author Links – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram– Website – 

Purchase Links –

Also by Abby Collette

AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound –  AlibrisPenguin Random House

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 9 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – Baroness Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 11 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 11 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 12 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 15 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 15 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 16 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 16 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – fundinmental – RECIPE
February 17 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 18 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – REVIEW
February 18 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 19 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
February 20 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
February 20 – Tea Book Blanket – REVIEW
February 21 – Ebook addicts – REVIEW  
February 21 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 22 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
February 22 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?
Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Twist and Shout Murder: A Swinging Sixties Mystery by Teresa Trent #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @ttrent_cozymys


The Twist and Shout Murder: A Swinging Sixties Mystery
by Teresa Trent

About Twist and Shout Murder


The Twist and Shout Murder: A Swinging Sixties Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Texas
Historia (January 4, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 212 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1685120709
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1685120702
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09NQWZTGR

In 1962, Dot Morgan was told the best thing she could do besides being a nurse or teacher was to learn to type. While attending secretarial school, she decides to rub elbows with an elite ladies’ club to help her father with a struggling campaign for city council. Instead of getting the help she sought, Dot is thrown into a world of adultery, deceit, and murder when one of the town’s sons is found dead.

Time to put that 45 on the record player and bring out your best dance moves in The Twist and Shout Murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Set in 1962, just one year after I was born, Dot Morgan is a small-town girl with dreams. For herself, that means secretarial school but for her dad, it means a seat on the city council. He works at the courthouse and has always been a champion for the common man. Though he is no politician, when a seat on the council opens up Dot and her mom feel he is the perfect man for the job. To help his campaign Dot decides to join the Camden Ladies Club. The women in the group are married to the most influential men in town so getting her dad’s name out to them has to help his chances of winning. Dot had no idea what she was getting herself into especially when the brother-in-law of the club’s president decides to throw his hat in the ring for the same council seat.

Then the man is found dead. Police believe it was a terrible accident but Dot believes it was murder. She hesitates to voice her theories fearing she and her dad will become the prime suspects. Knowing she had nothing to do with killing anyone she starts looking into the case herself but there could be some dire consequences for doing so.


Being the first book in the series we are introduced to a lot of interesting characters. Dot is an appealing protagonist. She is smart and is in her last semester of secretarial school. OMG Shorthand Nightmares!! She is very close to her parents but lives with her friend Ellie who has been in a long-term romance that has hit a bit of a snag. Dot’s parents are very low-key, happy and comfortable in their middle-class life.

Then there are the members of the ladies club. Barb is the president of the club and is very overbearing and has no trouble taking credit for other people’s work. Her husband is a mover and shaker about town. When he says jump, people say how high. His brother really has no direction so getting him on the town council has become their goal. He also really has no moral compass but some women think he is better than sliced bread. It could also have a lot to do with why he ended up dead. All the characters were believable and true to life. I really like Dot. She has a huge heart.

A lot of hot topics of the ’60s are touched on throughout the book. Pre-martial sex, abortions, and women working outside the home all find their place within the story along with a good dose of adultery, secrets, and lies all leading up to murder. Ms. Trent twists and tangles it all together in a mystery the grabbed my attention and held on tight. Dot really impressed me as she tackled some crazy and maddening things. The ’60s are a very interesting time in history for women and I think the author does a nice job fictionally shining a light on this time.

The murder mystery isn’t an easy solve either. There are some clear suspects and my one critique is there could have been many more. The victim was a real jerk to a lot of people. That being said my focus was drawn to one person so I was totally caught off guard by the final twist. I do love it when that happens.

The Twist and Shout Murder has set this series off on a groovy start. Dot is just starting her real-world journey through the Swinging Sixties and I am excited to see where Ms. Trent takes her and the rest of the core characters next. I am looking forward to visiting Camden Texas again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Teresa Trent

Teresa Trent writes historical mysteries, cozy mysteries, romance, and short stories. She lives in South Texas with her husband and son with Down syndrome and splits her time between writing and caretaking.

Author Links

FACEBOOK   TWITTER   BLOG   WEBSITE     GOODREADS      INSTAGRAM

Purchase Links

AmazonB&NKobo 

Also by Teresa Trent


TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
February 2 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 3 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 3 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW
February 4 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 4 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 6 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – fundinmental – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 8 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
February 10 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 11 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
February 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – On Borrowed Crime: A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery by Kate Young #Review / #Giveaway @KAYoungBooks @crookedlanebks

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.


On Borrowed Crime: A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Georgia
Crooked Lane Books (October 6, 2020)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643854623
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643854625
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B083RZ3ZRR

The Jane Doe book club enjoys guessing whodunit, but when murder happens in their midst, they discover solving crimes isn’t fun and games…

Lyla Moody loves her sleepy little town of Sweet Mountain, Georgia. She likes her job as receptionist for her uncle’s private investigative firm, her fellow true crime obsessed Jane Doe members are the friends she’s always wanted, and her parents just celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. But recently, with her best friend Melanie on vacation, and her ex-boyfriend and horrible cousin becoming an item and moving in next door to her, her idyllic life is on the fritz. The cherry on top of it all is finding Carol, a member of the club, dead and shoved into a suitcase, left at Lyla’s front door.

Unusual circumstances notwithstanding, with Carol’s heart condition, the coroner rules Carol’s death undetermined. But when they discover the suitcase belongs to Melanie, who had returned from her vacation the following morning, Sweet Mountain police begin to suspect Lyla’s best friend. Determined that police are following the wrong trail, to clear her friend’s name, and to not allow Carol become one of the club’s studied cold cases, Lyla begins to seek out the real killer. That is, until she becomes the one sought after. Now, finding the truth could turn her into the killer’s next plot twist, unless she wins the game of cat and mouse.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Much to her mother’s dismay Lyla Moody is very interested in solving crimes, especially cold cases, as do her friends. Together they have formed Jane Doe Book Club. She also loves working for her P.I. uncle as a receptionist but hopes her role will grow into her being more of a partner in his investigations. Her position there does give her an in when pursuing cold cases too.

Sadly the case the book club is now investigating is the death of one of their own. Lyla came home one day to find a suitcase on her porch. Thinking it was her BFF Melanie’s suitcase that must have been lost when she was coming home from vacation, she pulls it in the house and doesn’t give it another thought. That is until Melanie arrives and there is a terrible smell in the air. When they open the suitcase they make a gruesome discovery. Their friend Carol has been killed and unceremoniously folded up and stuffed in the suitcase. Of course, the police put Melanie at the top of their suspect list. With no faith in the police, Lyla enlists the help of the rest of the Jane Doe book club to clear Melanie’s name and find the person that murdered their friend. Soon the tables are turned and hunters become the hunted. Is the killer planning to kill off the book club members one by one? Not if Lyla can stop them!


Ms. Young has created some wonderful characters in this new series. Lyla is a very dynamic protagonist that I want to know better. Her interest in true crime and mysteries has driven her fine southern mother to distraction. Her mother’s total concentration is getting Lyla married to a fine man and providing her with grandchildren. Her father, a well-respected psychiatrist is more laid back. It is her grandmother though that became my favorite character. She is kind and funny and supports Lyla 100% in everything she does, including trying to catch a killer. Her Private Investigator uncle tries to keep Lyla safe and out of his cases but when one of those cases takes him out of town there is no holding Lyla back. We also meet Lyla’s cousin who is a real piece of work. She has been dating and has now moved in with Lyla’s ex. To really throw things in Lyla’s face they have moved in right next door. The book club ladies are an entertaining group and we have just scratched the surface getting to know them. Oh, and the police chief and Lyla have a past. That keeps things interesting.

The mystery was complex and very well-plotted. I liked the way it connected to another case that Carol was delving into. With all the twists and turns the author ramps up the suspense while still keeping the story within the cozy mystery realm. She finds a nice balance between drama and humor and just starts to approach the idea of romance near the end of this story. The ending was exciting. There is still a subplot mystery to be revealed yet as a bit of a cliffhanger drawing us to the next book in the series.

The sweet southern small town of Sweet Mountain, Georgia was an ideal setting. The descriptions painted a vivid picture of the locale but it was the dialogues and attitudes that really gave the story the true southern feel. Lyla’s mother made sure everyone knew what was expected of a young woman of the south even though Lyla bucked and kicked that notion day in and day out.

On Borrowed Crime was an excellent debut for this series. The mystery was first-rate and the characters were very intriguing. There is a lot of room for development as the series continues. I am looking forward to what I hope becomes a long-running series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Kate Young writes Southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.

Author Links – Website Facebook – Twitter  GoodReads BookBub


Coming October 11, 2022

Also by Kate Young

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 18, 2022, 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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bake, Borrow, and Steal: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review

Bake, Borrow, and Steal: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Setting – Oregon
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 28, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250789443
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250789440
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B097L3YJ98

Ellie Alexander’s Bake, Borrow, and Steal, the most delicious installment yet in the Bakeshop Series set in Ashland, Oregon!

As the autumnal hues of November fall over the Shakespearean hamlet of Ashland, Oregon, Jules and her team at Torte are working on their biggest event ever. They’ve been invited to create chocolate showpieces for the gala opening of a new exhibit, Shakespeare’s Lost Pages at SOMA. The museum, located on the campus of Southern Oregon University, is getting ready to unveil the Bard’s lost manuscript, Double Falsehood, which is being touted as the greatest artistic discovery of modern times. In addition to molding luscious, silky chocolate into magnificent structures, Torte will be serving an authentic Elizabethan feast straight from the pages of a sixteenth-century cookbook featuring Lardy cakes, Frangipane tarts, and jellies with chestnut cream.

Jules has underestimated the amount of work required to pull off such a culinary feat. She finds herself in the strange position of feeling frazzled and stressed as the day of the gala approaches. However, her team rallies around her, and once the massive works of chocolate art are safely installed at the museum, she can finally let out a sigh of relief and revel in the excitement of the grand celebration. But her relief is short-lived. Right before the unveiling, news quickly begins to spread that Shakespeare’s lost manuscript is missing. Not only that, but the security guard tasked with keeping the priceless artifact safe has been killed. Is this a case of a heist gone terribly wrong? Or could it be that a killer is lurking in the museum archives?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return to Ashland, Oregon at what should be a slow time at Torte but Jules and the Torte team are preparing for a big event. The museum at the local college had landed the huge honor of unveiling Shakespeare’s lost manuscript, Double Falsehood to the public. Important people from up and down the west coast will be attending and Torte will be serving them a feast of food from the Elizabethan era. They are also making some amazing chocolate sculptures to add to the exhibit.

But the Shakespeare’s Lost Pages at SOMA reveal does not go as planned. Just before the doors are supposed to open an eagle eye noticed the pages on display are fake and the real lost manuscript has been stolen. A search is immediately started and a museum employee is found badly injured in the basement and a security guard is killed. Lance immediately decides he and Jules can find the missing artifact and the thief. The Professor also asks her to keep her eyes and ears open. She just hopes she doesn’t become the killer’s next missing artifact.


All my favorite characters are back and have time to shine within these pages. I am so happy that Juliet and Carlos are settling in their lives off the cruise ship. Carlos works so well with everyone and is such a great mentor. I think he brings out the best in Jules too giving her the confidence to take on big events like the one at the museum. Rosa plays a bigger role in this story because her uncle Javier is the director of the museum and is in charge of organizing the unveiling event. Every time I read a book in this series I enjoy the way everyone at Torte is like family. They support each other, cheer them on or pick them up depending on the situation. All are very well-developed with room to continue to evolve as the series continues.

Ms. Alexander also introduces readers to new characters with the museum staff. It is a small group but they all play vital places in the plot. Suspects all, we get to know them just well enough not trust any of them. The plot is filled with twists and turns but the true guilty party was evident to us much sooner than it was to those in the book. I really enjoyed the way the reveal played out. The author’s detailed descriptions put me right there in the moment.

Again, the food details had me drooling. I really wish Torte was a real place and I could just pop in to have one of Andy’s special coffees, a cup of Sterling’s soups, a slice of Marty’s bread, and one of Bethany’s brownies. Of course, anything Jules baked up would be wonderful too.

Bake, Borrow, and Steal is a marvelous addition to this series. It can be read as a stand-alone but I encourage you to read the series from the start to truly enjoy these remarkable characters.

Now the waiting begins, Donut Disturb will be released on June 28. I see love will be in bloom. I can’t wait!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

Also by Ellie Alexander

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

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 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Yoga Pant Nation: A Novel (Class Mom) by Laurie Gelman #Review / #Giveaway @lauriemgelman

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.


Yoga Pant Nation: A Novel (Class Mom)
Women’s Humorous Fiction
3rd in Series
Setting – Kansas
Henry Holt and Co. (July 13, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250777577
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250777577
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08GJPBC1C

Good Morning America Buzz Pick

From the author of Class Mom and You’ve Been Volunteered comes a new book on one mom’s challenges through parenting and life, keeping her on her toes and perpetually in yoga pants.

Jen Dixon of Overland Park, Kansas—fearless mother of a fifth-grade boy and two thirty-something daughters—is used to juggling a lot, from her mission to become a spin instructor, to stepping in as the most acerbic class mom ever (again), to taking care of her two-year-old granddaughter. But when the PTA president throws her a mandate to raise $10,000 for the fifth-grade class, even unflappable Jen is going to need more than her regular spin class to get her through this final year at William Taft Elementary School.

In the midst of new complications—organizing the class overnight to Topeka, an unexpected spin class fan in the form of her husband’s crazy ex-wife, and trying to navigate her parents’ sudden descent into apparent delusions—Jen hardly has the patience to listen to yet another half-baked idea (come on, ladies, another wrapping paper sale?) from WeFUKCT (We Fundraise Until Kingdom Come Team), her fundraising committee. But if anyone can get elementary parents to pull off the impossible, it’s Jen Dixon.

With her always irreverent and laugh-out-loud humor—boldly holding forth on those things you’re thinking, but would never dare say out loud—Laurie Gelman shines a light on the indignities and hilarities of modern parenting.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jen Dixon is back and she is now Class Mom for her son’s 5th-grade class. She is also working hard to because a spin instructor while taking care of her two-year-old granddaughter. Then the president of the PTA tasks her to lead a fundraising drive to raise $10,000 to buy new tablets for the students of William Taft Elementary School and the WeFUKCT (We Fundraise Until Kingdom Come Team) is born. Part of her Class Mom duties also has her organizing the 5th grade’s overnight field trip to Topeka too. There is also a lot of drama between her daughter and her baby daddy and his mother.  Hold on to your funny bone because Jen is back and better than ever.


This grandma loves this series because it brings back delightful and some harrowing memories of when my children were in elementary school. The fundraisers, the parent-teacher conferences, concerts, and all those events a parent must attend and sometimes lead or chaperone.

Laurie Gelman takes us right into the middle of Jen’s life and all her trial and tribulations. Most of the parents are now used to Jen’s emails but they still are so funny. She hits the nail on the head with the WeFUKCT committee and everything that can and does go wrong but surprisingly works out perfectly in the end.

There are some serious moments too, with Jen’s daughter trying to co-parent with her ex-boyfriend. Things take a scary turn when his mother arrives for the holidays. Jen also has to deal with her parents getting older and having some health issues. Add to that her husband’s ex AKA Crazy Cindy is back on the scene and someone may be bullying Max. Jen juggles it all with a few assists from her hubby wearing her yoga pants that we all know we live in as much as we can.

I know when I pick up a book by this author that I am going to smile and laugh. Jen deals with life, things we all have dealt with or will deal with in the future and makes us laugh and maybe even shed a tear like I did this time when she was taking care of her parents. Life is hard but Ms. Gelman reminds us how important it is to find the humor anytime we can.

Lighthearted and entertaining just like the previous two books in this series Yoga Pant Nation was a Perfect Escape. Next up! Smells Like Tween Spirit is set to be released on August 2.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Laurie Gelman was born and raised in the Great White North. She spent twenty-five years as a broadcaster in both Canada and the United States before trying her hand at writing novels. The author of Class Mom and You’ve Been Volunteered, Laurie has appeared on Live with Kelly and RyanWatch What Happens Live, and The Talk, among others. She lives in New York City with her husband, Michael Gelman, and their two teenage daughters.

Author Links
 Twitter: @lauriemgelman     Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lauriegelman/

Purchase Links –

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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 11, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The 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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Ice Cold Murder (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries) by Michele Pariza Wacek – Great Escapes Book Tour – @MichelePW


Ice Cold Murder (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries)
by Michele Pariza Wacek

About Ice Cold Murder


Ice Cold Murder (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Love-Based Publishing (January 25, 2022)
Number of Pages ~250
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09L1JN8J3

When Charlie agrees to accompany her friend Claire to her late grandmother’s reading of the will, she assumes she is simply there for moral support.

She doesn’t expect things to get so … strange.

It’s odd enough that it takes place over a weekend, but that’s just the beginning …

They also need to stay in Claire’s grandma’s supposedly haunted house with Claire’s estranged family.

Things get even worse when a huge storm snows them in. No electricity, no phone, and no way out.

Throw a dead body into the mix, and there’s no question it’s now the world’s worst family gathering. Ever.

At least Charlie brought lots of tea, which she’s going to need as she races to solve this closed-circle mystery before her friend’s dysfunctional family get-together results in anyone else being murdered.

Meet Charlie. Better known as “Aunt Charlie” from the award-winning Secrets of Redemption series. She’s back, making teas and solving cases in this funny, twisty, cozy mystery series set in the 1990s in Redemption, Wisconsin.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Charlie Kingsley is invited by her friend Claire to go with her to her grandmother’s cottage for the weekend for the reading of her grandmother’s will. At first, it seems like an odd request but if Claire needs her Charlie is not going to refuse. As soon as she arrives she realizes why her friend needed her, her sister is downright mean and nursing a huge grudge. Other family members are chilly with her and each other too. But they can’t leave. A huge winter storm has moved in dropping several inches of snow and creating whiteout conditions. The power and phones are out as well. To stay warm a few family members go out in the elements to get wood for the fireplace but along with the lumber, they find another guest, ice-cold and dead. There is a murderer in their midst and Charlie knows she needs to find out who before more bodies start to pile up.


This is the second book in a series that is a spin-off from the author’s Secrets of Redemption Series so I am a little late to the party when it comes to Charlie Kingsley. That being said the author did an excellent job providing enough backstory that I didn’t feel lost. But Charlie is a complex character and I feel the need to know her better. I hope to read more of Ms. Wacek’s books to fulfill that need.

Claire’s family is a very dysfunctional family with plenty of secrets and angst. They are all dynamically written. You could cut the tension with a knife.

I loved that the book was set at a snowy cabin far enough outside of Redemption that the storm really kept the group stuck where they were. Set in a time before everyone had a cell phone and neighbors a mile or more away made the setting even eerier. Redemption does sound like an interesting place too. Again I want to know more.

The mystery was well-plotted given that all the suspects were present and impossible to avoid, with each person trying to lay the blame on another. Charlie remained very focused and took in every clue and piece of evidence. After some really nice twists, the real culprit became clear. I loved when each piece of the puzzle came together and the dramatic reveal.

This is my first book by this author but it definitely won’t be my last. Knowing her books are set in my home state of Wisconsin just adds to my desire to read them all.

I found Ice Cold Murder to be a very entertaining read. Had I read previous books featuring Charlie this book would have been a Perfect Escape (5 stars) but because I need to get to know Charlie better it was An Enjoyable Giveaway (4 stars). Stay tuned as I get caught up on this character.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent  

About Michele Pariza Wacek

When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly. It took some time (and some detours) but she does spend much of her time writing stories now. Mystery stories to be exact, ranging from psychological thrillers to cozies, with a dash of romance and supernatural thrown into the mix. If that wasn’t enough, she also hosts a virtual book club you can check out and join (for free!) at MPWNovels.com.

Michele holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

Author Links
Website FacebookLinked InTwitter Instagram

Purchase Link – Amazon

Also by Michele Pariza Wacek

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 24 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
January 25 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
January 25 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 26 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
January 28 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 29 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 30 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR  INTERVIEW 
January 31 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
February 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 1 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 2 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
February 3 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
February 4 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 5 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 6 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?
Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Pup Fiction (A Melanie Travis Mystery) by Laurien Berenson #Review / #Giveaway #KensingtonCozies @KensingtonBooks

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

pup fiction
Pup Fiction (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
27th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington Cozies (June 29, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496718380
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496718389
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08KKYX1W6

With a new litter of Standard Poodles on the way, it’s shaping up to be a vibrant July in Greenwich, Connecticut, for Melanie Travis. Too bad there’s a killer in town who would love to drain the life out of her summer . . .
 
While usually protective, Melanie feels comfortable sending her sons to the Graceland School’s summer camp for two reasons: The institution is well-regarded and proprietor Emily Grace is a trusted friend. But Emily has been acting strange since three rambunctious Dalmatian puppies suddenly appeared on her doorstep. The unusual arrival marks the first of several mysterious happenings at camp, each more intense than the last. Emily’s rough streak takes a frightening turn with a discovery in the nearby woods—the body of her estranged ex-husband.

As suspicions rush in, proving that Emily didn’t murder her biggest mistake will be about as easy as raising prize-winning show dogs. Realizing she’s the only one who can prove her friend’s innocence and keep the Graceland School from shutting down, Melanie dives into an investigation on the victim’s whereabouts leading up to his demise. With a few spotty clues and Aunt Peg’s growing curiosity about the Dalmatian pups’ origins, Melanie must name the culprit before good intentions come back to bite!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Summer in Greenwich, Connecticut means summer camp at the Graceland School. This year Kevin will be a camper and Davey will be a counselor. Emily Grace, the owner of the school is a good friend of Melanie’s but she didn’t know her friend had been gifted 3 Dalmatian puppies. Puppies who somehow escaped from their outdoor enclosure and were running free. It is clear to Melanie that Emily doesn’t understand the training and care needed for the pups but Melanie is willing to help her learn.

As the first week of camp continues some strange things happen. Things that could have been quite dangerous. Then a neighbor makes a ghastly discovery in the woods near the school. A dead body that is quickly identified at Emily’s ex-husband. Could he have been responsible for the strange series of events? Of course, the police immediately cast Emily as the killer much to Melanie’s dismay. She knows she needs to help her friend and Aunt Peg feels she can help especially where the pups are concerned. They all just need to be careful not to become the killer’s next targets.


I love checking in with the Travis family. There is always a lot going on in their lives well before the dead body makes an appearance. I was so pleased to see that the poodle that Davey has been showing continues to do well and that his confidence has grown enough for him to stand up for his abilities to Aunt Peg and do it in a respectable way. I would expect no less from this young man that has grown up before our eyes. Melanie and Sam have done an excellent job raising their boys and the passel of loveable dogs in their care. Melanie has to juggle a lot as she tries to help Emily and Sam is a wonderful husband ready to pick up whatever slack that arises. The author has created a fantastic family unit. I always enjoy dropping by to see what they are up to.

Ms. Berenson has also penned an excellent mystery. Melanie’s life gets very entangled in her investigation even reaching into the dog show world. I loved all the twists and turns so much especially as we got closer to the big reveal. There were several viable suspects to work through. I had a little inkling toward the real guilty party but was still taken aback when everything was all spelled out.

Of course, again the settings were beautiful even though some were a little damp due to rain. The school grounds sounded idyllic and a great place for summer camp. It rained during a dog show and it was fun to see how much exhibitors went through to keep the dogs show-ready under those conditions. There was a funny moment when one dog wanted nothing to do with that rain at all. There were many other humorous passages as well.

One part that I love about every book in this series is Melanie’s relationship with her poodle Faith. She talks to her dog and Faith seems to understand. The dog’s feelings are portrayed so beautifully when she is left behind at home or when Melanie takes her along or on a walk. It sets each story in a delightfully believable way. Any true animal lover talks to their pets and is able to read their pet’s thoughts and wishes. The pure joy emitted by Faith when Melanie enters the house matches the joy all our dogs feel when they welcome us home. She is so lucky to be able to take Faith to so many places with her. She truly is a special pup.

Pup Fiction is a marvelous addition to this series. I just can’t get enough of Melanie and her family. I am now all caught up on the series and ready for Show Me the Bunny releasing later this month.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent  

 

About This Author

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

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

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 4, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The 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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Maggie King Author of Laughing Can Kill You: A Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery #Guest Post / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @MaggieKingAuthr


Laughing Can Kill You: A Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery
by Maggie King

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to have Maggie stop by today!!

Hi Maggie, 

The blog is yours!

This One’s for the Writers
By Maggie King

When Laughing Can Kill You opens, romance author Hazel Rose has been dropped by her publisher. Good thing she signed up for a mystery-writing class—perhaps writing crime fiction will jumpstart her career. But what’s a mystery-writing class without a mystery? So when Randy Zimmerman, an obnoxious classmate given to laughing at others’ expense, is murdered, Hazel recruits her book group pals to help with the investigation. Trouble is, there are more suspects than they bargained for. And they unearth secrets that a killer would go to any lengths to keep hidden.

Besides being a murder mystery, Laughing Can Kill You is a story about writers, where they are on their writing paths, and the ups and downs they experience throughout their careers. How do writers cope with the vagaries of the publishing industry? How do some writers stay on top, continuing to publish bestsellers year after year? Do writers really need to spend copious amounts of time on social media?

Hazel Rose has published eight bestselling baby boomer romances. Sales for the ninth were disappointing and her publisher dropped her. To make matters worse, her agent planned to retire soon.

Hazel may have seen the proverbial writing on the wall, as she had already signed up for a mystery-writing class. She was a founding member of the Murder on Tour book group, so transitioning into crime writing seemed like a natural next step in her writing career. Her cousin Lucy quips, “You could always kill off a publisher.”

But Hazel already has an idea: she will pen romantic mysteries, a la The Thin Man.

Hazel understands that publishing’s a tough business with no room for slack. Still, she’s crushed by this setback. The next day she meets fellow classmate Randy Zimmerman at a book signing. Randy thoroughly enjoys giving Hazel his thumbs-way-down review of her writing. Needless to say, her altercation with him didn’t lift her spirits.

When Randy is murdered, a number of motives drive Hazel’s decision to investigate his murder—one being that solving a real-life murder will surely lend authenticity to her creative writing.

Claudia Marlowe is a best-selling author of twenty-three police procedurals and continues to enjoy success. Her fans happily stand in line for hours at her book signings. She teaches the mystery-writing class Hazel takes (and that the victim planned to take).

Lorraine Popp is also signed up for the mystery-writing class. She has published one mystery, Murder at the Quilting Bee. It hasn’t done well, partly due to Lorraine’s lack of enthusiasm, ignorance of promotion, and reluctance to embrace social media. She won’t write any more quilting mysteries (she knows nothing about the craft, anyway), and no one is asking her to do so. She also has to endure Randy Zimmerman’s ribbing about her writing.

Hazel Rose fancies herself as Lorraine’s mentor and tries coaxing her to take a pro-active role in her own career. It’s tough-going, but Hazel persists. Lorraine has helped her mother with their family tree, and they found criminals on a couple of the branches. Her great, great uncle was a bank robber, and her great aunt embezzled a fortune from her employer. Her response to Hazel’s encouragement to work these findings into a murder mystery: “I’ll think about it.”

Apparently, she did. At the next mystery-writing class, Lorraine enthuses about the genealogy idea and thanks Hazel for encouraging her. And she tells another student that she’s going to use genealogy to hunt down Randy’s killer.

How will that work out for her?

Randy Zimmerman has finished his first manuscript. When he meets Hazel and Lorraine at the book signing, he immediately boasts about his legal thriller, predicting that he’ll give John Grisham a run for his money.

Matt Rowan, Randy’s long-time friend, also has a completed manuscript for a legal thriller, his set in the 19th century. Unlike Randy, Matt is modest about his writing.

Lucy Hooper and Eileen Thompson complete the small writing class. They are starting on their writing paths. Brings back memories of my first writing efforts at a class I took at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. No dead bodies, though.

***

Considering a writing career? Wonderful choice. Just keep your eyes wide open and be prepared for ANYTHING!

Thank you Maggie for being my guest today.

Now keep reading for my thoughts about Laughing Can Kill You

 

About Laughing Can Kill You

Laughing Can Kill You: A Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery
Edgy Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Olive Lane Press (December 6, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8985231816
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09MMHLSSJ

He who laughs last, laughs longest.

Unless he’s dead.

When romance author Hazel Rose is dropped by her publisher, she sees herself heading down a path strewn with has-been authors. While disappointed, Hazel won’t give up without a fight—she signs up for a mystery-writing class, thinking that crime fiction will jumpstart her career.

But what’s a mystery-writing class without a mystery? So when Randy Zimmerman, an obnoxious classmate given to laughing at others’ expense, is murdered, Hazel tackles the case. Solving a real-life murder will surely lend authenticity to her creative writing.

She recruits her book group pals to help with the investigation. Trouble is, there are more suspects than they bargained for—even Hazel herself, who endured Randy’s thumbs-way-down review of her writing, had a motive.

A second body drives the stakes higher, and Hazel doubles her efforts to find who’s behind the murders, unearthing secrets that a killer would go to any lengths to keep hidden.

Will Hazel succeed? Or will this be “The End” for her?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Hazel Rose is back and her writing career is in peril. Dropped by her publisher she decides combining mystery with her usual romance themes may just save her from being a has-been. She signs up for a class being taught by successful best-selling mystery author Claudia Marlowe. Prior to the class, the authors meet at a book signing where future classmate and author hopeful Randy Zimmerman brags his book will rival the works of John Grisham. He also seems to find humor in everything and spews some hurtful words. Shortly thereafter the man is found dead, by Hazel no less, and she and her book club have another murder to solve. One where she and other authors find themselves prominent on the suspect list.

Can Hazel find the killer or has she written her last word?


While part of a series this book easily stands on its own. The author provides plenty of background information so readers new to the series will not feel lost at all.

Hazel Rose is an excellent protagonist. She is a genuinely nice person. Her natural curiosity suits her well both in her storytelling and sleuthing. I love that she is an author dealing with all the hurdles in the publishing world and gives readers a look behind the scenes. She is surrounded by the required set of quirky characters that are unique and each intriguing in their own ways.  Randy Zimmerman was a real piece of work who left a lot of enemies in his wake. The suspect pool is large but manageable.

The story is very well-written with Hazel meeting with the suspects one by one trying to determine who could have done Randy in. There is plenty of humor layered throughout and the dialogues are top-notch. The story moves along at a very comfortable pace. I was very entertained by Hazel’s process and the final confrontation was very exciting when things almost went horribly wrong.

I did enjoy the way Ms. King sets a scene. I can tell how much she loves where she lives. Her descriptions gave a great vision of the time and place.

Laughing Can Kill You has an interesting amateur sleuth, a nice cast of supporting characters, a wonderful setting, and a captivating mystery. I hope to visit Hazel Rose again soon, I want to know how her writing career is faring. I am sure a dead body or two will give her plenty of ideas.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Maggie King

 

Maggie King is the author of the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries. Her short stories appear in various anthologies, including the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, Murder by the Glass, and Death by Cupcake.

She is a member of James River Writers, International Thriller Writers, Short Mystery Fiction Society, and is a founding member of Sisters in Crime Central Virginia, where she manages the chapter’s Instagram account.

Maggie graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Business Administration and has worked as a software developer and a retail sales manager. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and two indulged cats. When Maggie isn’t writing she enjoys reading, walking, cooking, traveling, movies, British TV shows, and the theatre. Visit Maggie at www.maggieking.com

Author Links:

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Instagram    Goodreads

 Purchase Links:

Amazon    Universal Book Link (ebook)    Barnes & Noble (print)     Bookshop.org (print)    GoodReads Link       Kobo

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 17 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
January 18 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 18 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE
January 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 20 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 22 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
January 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
January 24 – Here’s How It Happened – GUEST POST
January 25 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
January 26 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 28 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 29 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
January 30 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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.”