Oct 302019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to share with you Silent Knit, Deadly Knit today!


Silent Knit, Deadly Knit (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (October 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723635
ISBN-13: 978-1496723635
Kindle ASIN: B07NCP8S7W

When murder silences the Christmas cheer in charming Arborville, New Jersey, Pamela and her Knit and Nibble pals must unravel the most bone-chilling mystery this side of the North Pole . . .

Pamela has been in merry spirits since her artsy daughter Penny returned home from college for the holidays. But their mother-daughter bonding time gets cut short when a terrified Penny stumbles upon the dumped body of Millicent Farthingale, a wealthy craft shop owner who was popular for all the wrong reasons. From a scheming business partner to a seedy husband several years her junior, Millicent attracted scammers so in love with her assets, they’d toss her down a chimney to get their paws on them. Now, with only a hand-knit red scarf connecting the killer to the crime, Pamela and the Knit and Nibblers could use some extra creativity as they find out who’s really naughty or nice in Arborville—because going up against a looming culprit is DIY or die!

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!

Dollycas’a Thoughts

Welcome to Arborville, New Jersey, just in time for the holidays . . . and a . . . MURDER!

When Pamela gets a frantic call from her daughter Penny saying she found a dead body while out hiking and sketching Pamela and the Knit and Nibblers rush to her side. Pamela identifies the body as none other than craft shop owner, Millicent Farthingale. With just a little digging many suspects are found but Pamela believes a scarf recently given to the victim and missing from her body is a key clue to finding the killer. With the Nibblers on the case, they hope to knit all the clues together and wrap up the case before their holiday celebrations.

I really enjoy catching up with these characters. If the Knit and Nibble group was real it would be one I would love to join. The members are diverse, all with their own quirks. They come together to create wonderful knit items, eat delicious snacks and snoop into the latest death that has taken place in their fine town. With each story, the author delves a little further into the lives of this eclectic group.  She also introduces new characters in the form of suspects. She unveils more about them as the clues drop and the investigation continues.

In Silent Knit, Deadly Knit, the murder mystery is pretty straight forward and for me was more of a subplot. The main plot this time was more about the lives of the knitting group and the holidays. While the mystery was interesting I think this time the author’s writing style which is very descriptive took over pushing it into the background. I did enjoy all the baking and cooking, Pamela’s quest to find the perfect tree, and her trying to spend as much time with her daughter as possible. There were some funny and sentimental moments and the story did have a good flow. I just wish the mystery would have had as much depth as the characters I have come to love.

Pamela and Bettina make a great team whether sleuthing, butting into each other’s lives, or taking care of their friends. Following these ladies around through these pages is always entertaining. I do encourage the author to tighten up her writing a bit and put more focus on the mystery. I really liked the premise of a unique scarf as a strong connection. It really grabbed my focus. I also loved the description of the tunic Pamela was making for Penny. It sounds gorgeous!

Silent Knit, Deadly Knit is a nice addition to this series.  To really get to know Pamela and the rest of the Knit and Nibble group you really need to read the series from the beginning.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Murder, She Knit here, Died in the Wool here, and Knit One Die Two here.

PEGGY

About the Author

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a doctorate in Medieval Literature, and her publications include a prize-winning book dealing with classical mythology in the Middle Ages. Her Maxx Maxwell mysteries, Sweet Man Is Gone (2008) and Got No Friend Anyhow (2011), feature a blues-singer sleuth.
Peggy is currently writing the Knit and Nibble mystery series for Kensington Books. Set in the charming (fictional) town of Arborville, New Jersey, it features amateur sleuth Pamela Paterson, founder and mainstay of the town’s knitting club. Peggy is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She plays guitar with the Still Standing Band. (From Amazon)

Find out more about Peggy on her website here.


Coming March 31, 2020


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a U.S. Mailing Address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 13, 2019, 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.”

 

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Sep 192019
 


Judge Thee Not (Quaker Midwife Mysteries)
Historical Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Beyond the Page Publishing (September 10, 2019)
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461130
ISBN-13: 978-1950461134
Kindle ASIN: B07T494SHJ

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll must fight bias and blind assumptions to clear the name of a friend when a murderer strikes in nineteenth-century Massachusetts . . .

No stranger to judgmental attitudes in her small town of Amesbury, Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is nonetheless stunned when society matron Mayme Settle publicly snubs her good friend Bertie for her nontraditional lifestyle. When Mrs. Settle is later found murdered—and a supposed witness insists Bertie was spotted near the scene of the crime—the police have no choice but to set their sights on the slighted woman as their main suspect.

Rose is certain her friend is innocent of the heinous deed, and when Rose isn’t busy tending to her duties as midwife, she enlists the help of a blind pregnant client—who’s endured her own share of prejudice—to help her sift through the clues. As the two uncover a slew of suspects tied to financial intrigues, illicit love, and an age-old grudge over perceived wrongs, Rose knows she’ll have to bring all her formidable intelligence to bear on solving the crime. Because circumstantial evidence can loom large in small minds, and she fears her friend will soon become the victim of a grave injustice . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so happy this series found a new home so quickly. I love these characters!

Again, Ms. Maxwell takes on a hot topic in 1889 and still a hot topic for some today. As a midwife, she willing discusses everything with her patients, from diet, birth control, and even rape.  Rose Carroll is a Quaker and like most members has a very open mind. They treat everyone as equals regardless of class or standing. She is truly taken by surprise when society matron Mayme Settle makes her feelings known publically about postmistress and Rose’s friend Bertie’s nontraditional lifestyle,  – a “Boston marriage” to attorney and partner Sophie. Soon after Mayme Settle makes her declarations she is murdered and a witness places Bertie near the scene of the crime. Rose is positive her friend had nothing to do with the death and she is going to do everything she can to prove it and pass along all the information she can to her friend police detective Kevin Donovan.

In addition to the characters we have met over the course of this series, the author also introduces us to two of Rose’s patients that really captured my heart. First, Jeanette Papka, a tall woman “with long dark hair and a delightful smile.” Sadly a childhood illness has left her blind. Amazingly it doesn’t hold her back. Jeanette speaks several languages fluently and works at the Second District Court in Amesbury as a translator. We also meet Sissy Barkley, the young wife of banker Irvin Barkley. He prefers his wife see a medical doctor but Sissy insists on seeing midwife Rose. She is nervous that her husband will send her back to her family is she doesn’t fulfill his wish to be a father. She evolves within these pages.

On Rose’s homefront, her relationship with David is moving along as is Frederick’s relationship with Winnie. The children are growing and one loves to cook and bake. I really enjoy the way Ms. Maxwell blends a terrific mystery with normal daily life including Rose’s prenatal and postnatal visits while giving readers a bird’s eye view of interesting things from that time, from medical discoveries to fashion and more. With each story, I also learn more of the Quaker faith.

There is so much packed into this story, and I enjoyed every step of the journey. The mystery was very well-plotted and the pace was comfortable. The title fits the story perfectly. I always try to slow y reading speed down because for me my visits to Amesbury always end way too soon.

I am waiting with bated breath for the next book in this series!

As always, I recommend reading this series in order for maximum enjoyment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Agatha-nominated and Amazon best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and the Local Foods Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries (as Maddie Day), and the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries (as Tace Baker), as well as award-winning short crime fiction. Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.




As Tace Baker

As Maddie Day

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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Aug 202019
 


Charity’s Burden (A Quaker Midwife Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Midnight Ink (April 8, 2019)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0738756431
ISBN-13: 978-0738756431
Kindle ASIN: B07D5TWJCL

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll seeks the true cause of a young mother’s death in turn-of-the-century Massachusetts.

The winter of 1889 is harsh in Amesbury, Massachusetts, but it doesn’t stop Quaker midwife Rose Carroll from making the rounds to her pregnant and postpartum mothers. When Charity Skells dies from an apparent early miscarriage, Rose wonders about the symptoms that don’t match the stated cause of death. She learns that Charity’s husband may be up to no good with a young woman whose mother appears to offer prohibited medical procedures. A disgraced physician in town does the same, while Charity’s cousin seems to have a nefarious agenda of his own. With several suspects emerging, each with their own possible motives, Rose and police detective Kevin Donovan race against time to solve the case before another innocent life is lost.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was such a powerful story! 1889 in Amesbury, Massachusetts and Quaker midwife Rose Carol is caught up in a hot political issue. As a midwife, she feels part of her job is to help with family planning but with The Comstock Law that is on the same level as performing an abortion. Let me be clear, Rose does not perform “mechanical” abortions but someone in town does and it may have cost one of her patients their lives.

Charity Skells is dead after losing too much blood, more blood that would have been caused by a miscarriage. Rose believes Charity may have had an abortion. When she visits the husband’s work to inform him of his wife’s death the receptionist is a little overprotective regarding who can talk to the man. A woman whose mother provides prohibited procedures. Rose also finds another doctor in town that could have hurt her patient. She soon realizes she needs to the help of her friend, Detective Kevin Donovan, but they have to get a little creative with their communications because the new police chief has banned her from the station and any case she may want to get involved in.

On Rose’s homefront, she is still waiting for approval to marry her non-Quaker beau David both from his mother and the Amesbury Friends. Her niece Faith has been given permission to wed her betrothed Zeb and the marriage will take place soon. Her brother-in-law Frederick introduces his new companion Winnie. Everyone is happy because he had been struggling greatly following his wife’s death.

Ms. Maxwell weaves such a wonderful story of the life of women in 1889.  I had a “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” moment think of our world in 2019.

Rose’s life is complicated as she tries to determine how her patient died, but she is also dealing with her other pregnant patients and helping raise her sister’s children. Rose is so brave, stubborn, and independent, even when her own life is threatened.  She and her Friends are comfortable in their faith and their place in the town. The author strikes a nice balance between the main mystery plot and the daily life subplots. I loved that history moves on with a telephone in Rose’s home and that she helps with an unusual birth,

Two ceremonial events, a funeral, and a wedding take place in this story. I was so intrigued by these happenings in the Quaker tradition. Even a Catholic in attendance comments on the differences. The Quakers have such a calm way about them in happy times and in sad and are very open to allowing non-Friends to express themselves as well. I was moved by both events.

Characters that are genuine with true dialogues including the “thee”s and “thou”s, are involved in a very compelling story. Scenes are described in such rich detail, I forced myself to slow down so I could breathe in every word.

I am so excited. The next book in this series Judge Thee Not will be released in just a few weeks, September 10.

As always, I recommend reading this series in order for maximum enjoyment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha-nominated and Amazon best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and the Local Foods Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries (as Maddie Day), and the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries (as Tace Baker), as well as award-winning short crime fiction. Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.



Coming September 10, 2019


As Tace Baker

As Maddie Day

 

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 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 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 share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 3, 2019, 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.”

 

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Aug 162019
 


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.


Snoop to Nuts (Nut House Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Texas
Berkley (January 6, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0425261417
ISBN-13: 978-0425261415
Kindle ASIN: B00KWG5U52

Lindy Blanchard’s family pecan farm is known county-wide, but it’s the goodies her grandmother sells at their store, the Nut House, that really bring in the crowds—until someone turns one of her tasty treats deadly…

The “Most Original Pecan Treat” contest at the Ag Fair is the talk of Riverville, Texas, especially when it’s clear that Miss Amelia Blanchard’s Heavenly Texas Pecan Caviar will take home a blue ribbon. Which is why everyone is amazed when her dish doesn’t even place—and even more shocked when one of the judges, Pastor Jenkins, keels over dead, right after taking a second taste of Miss Amelia’s food.

No one in town truly believes that Amelia would even hurt a fly, but all the evidence points to poor Pastor Jenkins’ death being caused by poison in the caviar. Now, unless Lindy figures out who wanted to frame Amelia for murder, her meemaw may have baked her last famous pecan pie…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

We’re back in Riverville, Texas just in time for the Ag Fair and the judging of the “Most Original Pecan Treat”. Everyone is sure Miss Amelia Blanchard will win the prize since she is responsible for all the delicious treats sold at The Nut House. The crowd is shocked when her Heavenly Texas Pecan Caviar doesn’t even receive an honorable mention award. She really wasn’t that upset and even takes her bowl over to one of the judges to get him to try it again.  She is absolutely aghast when the judge, Pastor Jenkins, has some sort of attack and dies just a few minutes later.  While it is crazy to think Miss Amelia would hurt anyone the police have no choice but to name her their top suspect. Her granddaughter Lindy will not stand for that. She is determined to find out who is framing her meemaw and why.

___

Something nutty is going on in Riverville and I am not talking pecan recipes. First, a wild hog gets out of its pen at the fair. Then, Miss Amelia loses a blue ribbon and the woman who wins is plum crazy. All while the church in town is planning a grand expansion for all the “new members” that will be coming to town – A group of parishioners has invested money for the project with the promise of a huge reward after the groundbreaking ceremony. And Miss Amelia and Ethelred Tomroy have some kind of secret and Ethelred is looking at brochures for new cars and fancy vacations.

If you like quirky characters this cozy mystery has quite a few. Even Lindy has her quirks especially when he comes to her long-time friend, Deputy Hunter Austen. The romantic tension vibrates between them but bringing her grandmother for questioning for a murder sure didn’t earn him any points. Lindy is pushy, even convincing him to let her help him with the case. Thankfully Hunter is a very patient man with a very thick skin.

Author Elizabeth Lee has caught up these extraordinary characters in a delightful whodunit. While not difficult to solve I was very entertained as each secret was uncovered and each little turn shined more light on who was guilty.

I really enjoyed the author’s descriptive writing style. She brought the town of Riverville to life from the fair to the homes and shops and even a spectacular garden. She also clearly depicts her characters making each one unique and easy to envision.

Snoop to Nuts was a very entertaining read. Nuts and Buried in waiting on my TBR Shelf and I will be escaping right into it soon!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of A Tough Nut To Kill here


Elizabeth Lee also writes as Eliabeth Kane Buzzelli

 


I am giving away my review copy!

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

Contest Will End August 30, 2019, 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.”

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Jun 122019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am pleased to share the latest book in this long-running Wisconsin series!


Dead Big Dawg (A Loon Lake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (June 11, 2019)
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 1440598835
ISBN-13: 978-1440598838
Kindle ASIN: B01MRACFUA

When the bodies of a wealthy Chicago industrialist and his wife are discovered in their summer home at the same time that a local lawyer disappears, life becomes complicated for Loon Lake Chief of Police Lew Ferris.

Relying on the forensic dental expertise of her close friend and acting coroner, Doc Osborne, Lew soon finds the investigations are even more complicated than she thought when a rarely used computer belonging to a local sawmill operation is taken over by foreign hackers. Add to that the family issues facing both Lew and Doc, and this Northwoods summer becomes both hot and dangerous.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another trip north to Loon Lake and again Doc and Lew have their hands full. First,  with their grandchildren, especially when they disappear and are found a short time later at a neighboring farm. They also find agents from the FBI Cyber Security Team. Russian Hackers have worked their way into the Northwoods unbeknownst to the owners of the farm and the owners of an old computer they use for recordkeeping.

Then, in the middle of the night Chief of Police Lew Ferris is alerted to a double fatality. A businessman and his wife from Illinois in their summer home. At first, thought to be a murder/suicide, Lew doesn’t think so and calls in the “Wausau Boys” and Ray Pradt to work the scene. Together they all will try to figure out what really happened and why.

On the homefront, Doc’s daughter is home for a visit and she has brought along her new boyfriend and runs into a high school classmate.

Wisconsin is a place where many bigwigs from the Chicago area have their summer homes so it was not surprising that a couple from there are our victims this time. The question is was the killer from the area or did trouble follow them over the border.

___

The core characters in this series have become friends after 19 books. I love that the children and grandchildren again are part of the story. That being said, the author gives enough background info to read this or any of the books in this series on its own. The characters are well developed and genuine, some have the quirky traits fans of this genre look for. There are also plenty of suspects to keep readers guessing.

The later books in this series run about 200 pages and Victoria Houston packs them full. She tangles the main plot and subplots together with believable dialogue and wonderful descriptions of the area. What I love best is that the characters always have time to do a little fly-fishing. They find a certain amount of peace on the water and sometimes that is when a crucial clue falls into place.

The Loon Lake Mysteries are comfortable stories with the perfect amount of suspense and drama. Lew, Doc, and Ray are good people and true friends. Strong, smart, people who work and play well together. The romantic relationship between Doc and Lew is what I would call relaxed. They each know what they want and understand each other so well. The younger Ray is a very special guy, still playing the field and that usually works for him. Most people are amazed by the way women just seem to fall for him.  It does bring some great humor to each story.

I have enjoyed each story in this series. Dead Big Dawg was a quick read that was fun and entertaining. I  look forward to my next trip north.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Victoria Houston visit her webpage here.



GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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 Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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 June 26, 2019, 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.”

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Jun 052019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to welcome Leslie Budewitz back to Escape with Dollycas with a new Spice Shop Mystery that will be released next Tuesday!

Researching Fiction
by Leslie Budewitz

 

It’s fiction, readers say. What is there to research?

Plenty. Okay, so writing a novel is like spending all day, every day, with my imaginary friends. I’ve often said I’m a happier, healthier person because I spend much of my time with people who only exist because I made them up.

But what makes these people so interesting is that they bring into my life new experiences. New perspectives. New problems and strange objects, unfamiliar takes on familiar places. Dead bodies and the search for a killer.

In my Spice Shop series, Pepper Reece runs Seattle Spice in the famed Pike Place Market. Founded in 1907, Pike Place is the oldest continuously operating public market in the country. I fell in love with the Market as a college freshman, not long after the city’s voters saved it from urban removal. Later, as a young lawyer working in downtown Seattle, I shopped in the Market regularly and made it my mission to eat my way through. Easy to do, since it’s constantly changing. Research!

When I’m working on a Spice Shop book, I keep a map of the Market and a current list of shops, restaurants, services, and other tenants close. Though I’d long heard tales of hauntings in the old buildings, Market Ghost Stories by Mercedes Yeager, who grew up in the Market where her parents ran an artists’ stall and who now runs a coffee shop and conducts tours of the Market, gave me a new view of the place. Turns out that over time, doors and windows in various buildings were closed off, creating hidden rooms and passageways, which I used in Assault and Pepper, the first in the series.

Both Mr. Right and my best friend from college, who still lives in the area and whom I’ve dubbed my unofficial research assistant, have spent countless hours poking around the Market and environs with me. A friend who works at Seattle Center, site of the 1962 World’s Fair, gave Mr. Right and me a behind-the-scenes tour, which helped enormously in writing a pair of scenes in Guilty as Cinnamon.

On another visit, Mr. Right and I prowled through the Lake Union houseboat district, where Pepper’s good friend Laurel lives. We snapped pictures, ate breakfast, and walked past a tiny antique shop that, years later, gave me the idea for Rainy Day Vintage, featured in Chai Another Day. A book on the “floating home” community, newspaper articles, and blog posts gave me an insider’s view—and even prompted me to give Laurel and her son a white cat who roams the docks. Research!

For Chai Another Day, naturally, I drank lots of tea. Read articles on chai and its fascinating history, and played in the kitchen to come up with a tea blend and a baking blend that Pepper sells; both recipes are included in the book.

Of course, a mystery needs a crime, usually a murder, and a murder needs a weapon. I won’t say much about that—no spoilers—but I will say that for Chai, I got to learn some fun facts about an antique my husband inherited from his mother. And as is often the case in cozies, Pepper fends off the killer with an innovative use of a familiar item, prompting more research.

Mysteries have a serious side, too. I’ve plowed through photos of Seattle crime scene investigations and stared a little too closely at street cops to make sure I know what they wear and drive. The Seattle Police Department’s public information officers have helped me pin down a few details. For Chai, I dug into immigration statistics from the 1950s, pored over blogs written by young women of South Asian (Indian) ancestry, and read about treatment for opioid addiction.

And of course, I cooked and ate. When you read a recipe in one of my books, I want you to know you can make it without much trouble and it will turn out well. Research!

Fiction works when it feels real. That means melding imagination with investigation, putting the facts to work in service of the tale. And it’s so much fun.

~Leslie

Thank you, Leslie, for visiting today! 

Keep reading to for my review of Chai Another Day.

 


Chai Another Day (Spice Shop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series – First with this Publisher
Setting – Washington State
Seventh Street Books (June 11, 2019)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-10: 1633885364
ISBN-13: 978-1633885363
Kindle ASIN: B07FC1J6ZG

Seattle Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece probes murder while juggling a troubled employee, her mother’s house hunt, and a fisherman who’s set his hook for her.

As owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece is always on the go. Between conjuring up new spice blends and serving iced spice tea to customers looking to beat the summer heat, she finally takes a break for a massage. But the Zen moment is shattered when she overhears an argument in her friend Aimee’s vintage home decor shop that ends in murder.

Wracked by guilt over her failure to intervene, Pepper investigates, only to discover a web of deadly connections that could ensnare a friend – and Pepper herself.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Again, Pepper has a lot on her plate and the last thing she needs is another murder, but that is exactly what she finds when she tries to take a little time for herself. She heard an argument erupting from the vintage shop as she climbed the steps for a relaxing massage. Before she gets any of the benefits the massage ends when her massage therapist, Seetha is summoned downstairs for a medical emergency. The emergency was murder! Aimee McGillvray, the owner of Rainy Day Vintage, found her employee Joelle bleeding on the floor of the store but she died before help could arrive.

Pepper is distraught, if only she had ventured into the store before going upstairs she may have saved Joelle’s life. Warned by Detective Tracy to stay out of the investigation, she feels responsible and can’t help but to do her own inquiries.

_____

I am so happy this series has new life with a new publisher. If you missed the prior books, no fear, the author provides a cast list at the front of the book and provides plenty of background within these pages.

The author has created a strong protagonist in Pepper Reece. She is smart and caring with a background in human relations. Pepper has learned a lot about spices since this series began. She is a wonderful cook and has developed a great palate which helps her create some fantastic blends with the help of her staff. She has also developed a palate for sleuthing and that could be her downfall as sometimes she leaps into the fray without regard for her own safety.

Thankfully there is a great supporting cast who has saved her bacon time and time again. The supporting cast is her mother, friends, employees, a certain fisherman, and Detectives Tracy, Spencer, and new in this book Armstrong. Also, usually by her side is her lovable dog, Arf, who has great instincts. All are genuine and relatable. They each have a purpose and add to the story as a whole.

I do enjoy that Ms. Budewitz doesn’t back away from social issues. Pepper’s family has always been involved in helping people and doing the right thing and she lives her life the same way.

The story does blend the happenings of real life with the mystery of murder seamlessly. Readers will find a well-written and very well-plotted mystery. There are plenty of suspects and plenty of twists. Surprisingly I honed in on the right guilty party this time but didn’t understand the full motivation until it was spelled out for me. The author did her best to give up on my suspect in favor of another but I held tight to my choice.

The setting of this series, Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, is such a unique place and a treasure trove for this series. With each visit, we find new shops, nooks, and places I would love to visit.  The author’s descriptive style really brings the place alive. Someday, I hope to see it in person.

This is an excellent addition to this series. The characters are like old friends and they are wrapped up in a fine mystery. There are also mouth-watering recipes and spice notes at the back of the book I can’t wait to try. I will be anxiously awaiting book #5 and another trip to the Seattle Market. I hope we don’t have to wait too long.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can read my review of Assault and Pepper here, Guilty as Cinnamon here,
and Killing Thyme here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in two cozy mystery series. CHAI ANOTHER DAY, her fourth Spice Shop Mystery, set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, will be published on June 11. DEATH AL DENTE, first in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, set in Jewel Bay, Montana, won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. She also won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction. “All God’s Sparrows,” her first historical fiction, won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives and cooks in NW Montana.

Find her online at www.LeslieBudewitz.com and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LeslieBudewitzAuthor More about CHAI ANOTHER DAY, including an excerpt here: http://www.lesliebudewitz.com/spice-shop-mystery-series/

 

Also by this Author


Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Follow the Author on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries @LeslieBudewitz 

Follow Leslie Budewitz 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 June 19, 2019, 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.”

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May 242019
 


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.

I have been working hard to get caught up on this series before the 4th book in the series comes out on July 11.
Mission Accomplished!


Killing Thyme (A Spice Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Washington State
Berkley (October 4, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0425271803
ISBN-13: 978-0425271803
Kindle ASIN: B01AHKXJ0K

In Seattle’s Pike Place Market, Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer in the latest from the national bestselling author of Guilty as Cinnamon.

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun.

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. After Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Seattle again. Just in time for a visit from Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece’s mother, Lena. Pepper also has a lot on her plate at work. Grabbing a few minutes with her mom they take a tour around the Market. Pepper wanted to connect with a new pottery vendor and was surprised when her mom recognized the potter from their past. She has thought the woman was dead. Sadly a few days later she was murdered in her studio. Pepper does remember some snippets of the woman and is afraid that her mother is going to be at the top of the suspect list. She also knows that her friend Kristen’s family could be implicated. The more she digs in the more secrets she seems to uncover. At first, she may just have been Killing Thyme but as her investigation continues she needs to worry about someone killing her.

Ms. Budewitz has created a wonderful cast of characters. Pepper has hired two new employees, Matt Kemp, and Cayenne Cooper. Matt has retail experience and with a name like Cayenne, this has to be the perfect job. Pepper’s mom also arrives from South America, her dad is nearby too, off on a fishing trip with Kristen’s dad. We also meet the woman who becomes the victim, Bonnie Clay. A woman with a lot of secrets. Secrets that may have led to her death. A couple of characters have moved on but all my favorites are back, including Detectives Spencer and Tracy, but they are joined by a cold case detective, John Washington. Pepper’s dog Arf is back too.

The mystery is very intriguing and could harken back to the 1980s when Bonnie and several others including Pepper, Kristen, and their families lived communally in the house where Kristen now lives. A house that has just had major renovations and where Kristen made a wonderful discovery.  A discovery that may have played a big part in Bonnie’s death. A discovery that could play a part in a cold case. The author plotted everything out so well. I was kept guessing right up to the very end.

I really enjoyed getting to know about Pepper’s past and her mother’s too. I think her mom and I would be fast friends. We also find out Pepper’s real name!!!

Another shining visit to Seattle’s Pike Place Market.  This is my favorite book in this series so far. Chai Another Day comes out soon and I can’t wait!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Assault and Pepper here and Guilty as Cinnamon here.

 

About the Author

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model, and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


Also by this Author


I am giving away my review copy!

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

Contest Will End June 7, 2019, 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.”

Share
May 032019
 


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.

DIED IN THE WOOL
Died in the Wool (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (August 28, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 149671329X
ISBN-13: 978-1496713292
Kindle ASIN: B077WZHJFY

When a murder shocks picturesque Arborville, New Jersey, Pamela Paterson and her Knit and Nibble knitting club suddenly find themselves at the center of the investigation—as suspects . . .

Pamela is ready to kick back and relax after a busy day selling stuffed aardvarks to benefit Arborville High School’s sports program at the annual town festival. But just as she’s packing up, she makes a terrible discovery—someone’s stashed a body under the Knit and Nibble’s table. The victim is Randall Jefferson, a decidedly unpopular history teacher after his recent op-ed criticizing the school’s sports program. But the primary suspect has an alibi, and the only clue is a stuffed aardvark found on the victim’s chest . . . Now the Knit and Nibblers must unravel the case quickly—before a crafty killer repeats a deadly pattern.

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We’re back in Arborville just in time for a fundraiser for the sports program at the high school. GO VARKS! The Knit and Nibblers have created 25 stuffed aardvarks to sell in their booth. When the day is winding down Bettina and Pamela realize 2 knit aardvarks have gone missing. Frustrated they start to pack up. When they start to remove the canvas around their table they find one of the missing aardvarks . . . on the chest of a very dead Randall Jefferson, a history teacher at the school. He had been quite vocal in his criticism of the sports program most recently in an op-ed in the paper.

Because of where the body was found and the presence of the fuzzy turquoise aardvark the community blames the group of knitters for the death even though they have no motive. To clear the group the knitters are going to have to knit together all the clues. Will finding the 2nd missing aardvark lead them in the right direction? or will they need a new pattern to follow? Will their snooping lead someone to needle them . . . fatally?

The Knit and Nibbler’s knitting group is an eclectic group. All with their own strengths and weaknesses. A new enthusiastic member has joined the group. Holly Perkins is about the age of Pamela’s daughter, Penny. A tiny woman with purple streaks in her hair and an unusual knitting project in the works using needles as “thick as drumsticks”. One member has a big announcement. Pamela is struggling on a decision for a new project after knitting so many aardvarks. I love the characters in this group. They are people I can identify with and would love to be their friend and part of their knitting group. I remember many years ago I pulled out my broomstick thick needles to work on a quick knit sweater pattern and my mother thought I was crazy. Until I finished it and made her one too.

This author has a super descriptive writing style which sometimes can turn me off or goes too far, but everything she describes are things I wanted to be described. The knitting projects, the food, the flower gardens, Penny’s vintage clothing finds, and the scenes needed to help solve the murder. It is said the “devil is in the details”. Peggy Ehrhart is excellent in giving us the necessary details along with dropping the clues judiciously to keep readers and her characters on the trail or divert us to another way of thinking. She also knows how to knit in humor in all the right places. OMG, Pamela’s cat, Catrina’s antics had me in stitches.

I found the mystery to be well-plotted and entertaining but I hated the people’s reactions and actions regarding the knitters. Sad at how judgemental the residents of Arborville were with no real evidence. While I would love to be around the Knit and Nibble group, I am not sure about the rest of the town’s residents. Of course, you have this type of people in any town, and I did like that the group took the high road in dealing with the rath.

Strong characters, a captivating mystery, and a great theme are found within these pages. A very enjoyable read. A Cozy Cat pattern and Strawberry Shortcake recipe can be found at the end of the book for all knitters and nibblers.  I look forward to book 3, Knit One, Die Two.

AN ENJOYABLE GETAWAY

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Murder, She Knit here.

PEGGY

About the Author

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a doctorate in Medieval Literature, and her publications include a prize-winning book dealing with classical mythology in the Middle Ages. Her Maxx Maxwell mysteries, Sweet Man Is Gone (2008) and Got No Friend Anyhow (2011), feature a blues-singer sleuth.
Peggy is currently writing the Knit and Nibble mystery series for Kensington Books. Set in the charming (fictional) town of Arborville, New Jersey, it features amateur sleuth Pamela Paterson, founder and mainstay of the town’s knitting club. Peggy is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She plays guitar with the Still Standing Band. (From Amazon)

Find out more about Peggy on her website here.

 


I AM GIVING AWAY 1 KINDLE COPY!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

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 May 17, 2019, 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.”

 

Share
Apr 122019
 


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.


Guilty as Cinnamon (A Spice Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington State
Berkley (December 1, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 042527179X
ISBN-13: 978-0425271797
Kindle ASIN: B00U5L7UDY

Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the next Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of Assault and Pepper.

Springtime in Seattle’s Pike Place Market means tasty foods and wide-eyed tourists, and Pepper’s Spice Shop is ready for the crowds. With flavorful combinations and a fresh approach, she’s sure to win over the public. Even better, she’s working with several local restaurants as their chief herb and spice supplier. Business is cooking, until one of Pepper’s potential clients, a young chef named Tamara Langston, is found dead, her life extinguished by the dangerously hot ghost chili—a spice Pepper carries in her shop.

Now stuck in the middle of a heated police investigation, Pepper must use all her senses to find out who wanted to keep Tamara’s new café from opening—before someone else gets burned…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Overdose by a ghost pepper? Say it isn’t so!  Oh! But it more than an overdose, It’s MURDER!

Someone really turned up the heat on Chef Tamara Langston. She was currently working for Pepper’s ex, but he fires her when he learns she is close to opening a restaurant of her own. He also blows up at Pepper too because she knew and didn’t tell him. When Pepper discovers Tamara dead in her new restaurant space Alex quickly lands at the top of the suspect list and behind bars. He asks Pepper to find the real killer. She agrees but not only to help him, she realizes the pepper/murder weapon may have come from her shop and she wants to be sure for herself.

Meanwhile, there are some strange things happening at the Pike Place Market. Rumors of ghosts surface as strange electrical outages seem to be the main complaint. Pepper even loses a prized possession and almost loses her shop as the weird happenings continue. Adding to her stress are one employee that needs to go and one that is sadly leaving.

I was delighted to be back in Seattle at the Pike Place Market. I love all the author’s descriptions, they truly bring the place to life. It is a perfect setting for a cozy mystery series.

All the characters I enjoyed in the first book return. Pepper is super busy trying to expand the shop and its client base, get approval for a new sign for the front of the shop, dealing with her staff and all the other things involved in owning a spice shop. She really didn’t need another murder to solve but I enjoyed the way she takes in on even knowing she is going to have to listen to her policeman ex-husband telling her daily to back off. Pepper came across stronger in this story but she hasn’t lost her huge heart. Most of her staff totally have her back too and are willing to hold down the shop while she is off investigating. These characters really play well off each other and as the cast list grows they each are memorable and people I want to get to know better and see if future stories.

The plot of this story has a lot of moving parts and the murder mystery part is very complex. The victim has a secret that is not revealed until late in the book and that gives the case a unique turn. Certain clues were delivered in unexpected ways. A very interesting individual helps move things along and Pepper gets an amazing assist as everything fell into place. I was kept guessing right to the end.

This story was a marvelous mystery to read and try to solve.  Great characters tangled in a captivating story set in a place I would love to visit. I am excited that book #3, Killing Thyme is waiting for me on my To-Be-Read shelf.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Assault and Pepper here.

 

About the Author

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model, and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


Also by this Author


I am giving away my review copy!

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

Contest Will End April 26, 2019, 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.”

 

Share
Mar 272019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Husband James E. Clapp and wife Ann I. Goldfarb make up the writing team of
J.C. Eaton and I am so happy to have them visit today as part of their Great Escapes Book Tour!

Tell us a little bit about yourselves.

We’re both from upstate New York in the Finger Lakes but now call the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix) our home. Ann is a retired teacher and school principal, Jim worked most of his life in construction before taking a position as tasting room manager for a major winery on Seneca Lake and enjoying it for over a decade before retiring.

Rescuing cats and dogs has been a passion for us and we happily admit we are foster failures. We now have five kitties and one very spoiled Chiweenie, who became the inspiration for Streetman in our Sophie Kimball Mysteries. As for the goat and the Plott Hound in the Wine Trail Mysteries, they were inspired by Ann’s brother’s pets!

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

We collect rocks and minerals and have them stashed everywhere. We make up silly songs and sing them to our dog. (Seriously!) We bought our first slow cooker this year and have had enough pot roast to last a century. Also, Jim has had Parkinson’s Disease for a number of years but it hasn’t slowed him down. He exercises all the time and has a terrific sense of humor. When he tried the Dragon Speak software for writing and it kept mixing up his words, he couldn’t stop laughing. Finally, he went back to legal pads and pencils!

What is the first book you remember reading?

Ann remembers the Bobbsy Twins and Nancy Drew. Jim remembers the Hardy Boys and Mark Twain stories.

What are you reading now?

Ann – Rosemary Simpson’s Gilded Age Mysteries – What the Dead Leave Behind,   Jim – C. J. Box’s The Disappeared

What made you decide you want to write?

Ann cannot remember a time when she wasn’t writing and somehow, Jim caught that bug, too!

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Ann is very particular. It must be in our office/spare bedroom and must be absolutely quiet. Jim can write anywhere and does – the living room, the kitchen table, and anyplace he can find. He is oblivious to noise, too!

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

The Wine Trail Mysteries were easy. We lived in NY’s wine country most of our lives. When we moved to Arizona and settled in a senior community, we couldn’t resist poking fun at all the goings on. That started the Sophie Kimball Mysteries. Both of us have always wanted to spend time in Minnesota, but since we never did, we created a mystery series there. (Marcie Raynor Mysteries). Our ideas come from everyday life  – news, chit-chats with friends, and our daily routines.

What books have most inspired you?

Ann – One Hundred Years of Solitude and anything by Charles Dickens. Jim is a Mark Twain aficionado and that’s where his inspiration came from.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Yes – the constant grammatical changes from the Chicago Manual of Style. Just when we think we’ve gotten it right, we find out we didn’t!

What do you think makes a good story?

Believable characters, a solid plot, a setting that draws the reader in, and a flow that keeps things moving.

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

There’s a little bit of Ann in Norrie Ellington, Sophie Kimball, and Marcie Raynor. As for Jim…guess, we’ll still have to keep writing.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

Life is tough enough and handling human angst is not something we wanted to tackle. We want to entertain. We want to put a smile on our readers’ faces and make them guess whodunit while we’re at it. Cozy mysteries offer all the suspense without the blood, guts, and gore.

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

We take full advantage of hyperbole and must infuse our mysteries with humor. We offer sleuths of all ages in our series – 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 70 plus if you consider the book club ladies in our Sophie Kimball Mysteries.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

We’ll continue juggling our series and hoping someone decides to put something on the big screen!

Ann and Jim, thank you so much for stopping by today! It is so much fun to learn about authors who write the books we love! 

Now let me give you my thoughts on J.C. Eaton’s latest, Pinot Red or Dead?

 

About the Book


Pinot Red or Dead? (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (March 26, 2019)
Paperback: 206 pages
ISBN-10: 1516108035
ISBN-13: 978-1516108039
Digital ASIN: B07F5XDH41

There’s a lot of noir surrounding this rare pinot.

As the vineyards in Seneca Lake, New York, prepare for the seasonal “Deck the Halls Around the Lake” festivities, someone is determined to keep pinot noir off the wine list. Hijacked trucks and sabotaged ingredients have made it a hard-to-acquire vintage for the six local wineries—including Norrie Ellington’s Two Witches Winery.

The case of the stolen and spoiled wines gets stranger when Arnold Mowen, owner of the company distributing the wine, is found dead, the apparent victim of a hunting accident. As Norrie tries to find the connections between the pinot’s problems and Arnold’s death, she uncovers a conspiracy among many locals whose hatred for the wine distributor was bottled up for far too long . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return to Two Witches Winery in Seneca Lake, New York, right before the big holiday event Deck the Halls Around the Lake. This time pinot noir is the featured wine and someone wants to be sure there is a shortage of this fine vintage. Sabotaged barrels and stolen bottles are making local vintners amp up security and press for answers. Then their wine distributor in murdered. His body is found between Norrie’s winery and Don and Theo’s winery by her dog. The police try to play it off as a weird hunting accident but Norrie knows that isn’t the case. She again teams up with Don and Theo to save their wine and catch the killer.

Book 3 has Norrie’s sister and brother-in-law still in Costa Rica hunting down the rare insect but she is in contact with the head of their program in New York much more this time as he can get her into the places she needs to investigate. You see Mr. Arnold Mowen seems to have promised a lot of people he would bequeath all his worldly possessions to them upon his death. It seems someone couldn’t wait for that event to happen naturally. Some of those people reside in a place that is having a pest control problem and have called in an expert, Norrie’s new friend. Now she needs to find the evidence to tie either these individuals or one of her other suspects to not only the murder but the tampering and stealing of the pricey rare pinot noir.

Norrie continues to impress me, especially when she, Theo and Don mix themselves up in a police investigation. They dig into everything, no matter how far-fetched.  Norrie puts herself out there too, where she could get in a lot of trouble. It is so much fun following her around, sometimes in circles to get to the truth.

J. C. Eaton had offset our regular characters this time with some really quirky characters. Lavettia Lawrence, the deceased girlfriend seems to think she has become Norrie’s new best friend and Norrie handles it with grace and uses it to her advantage too. But Lavettia is just one in a rather long list of suspects. The mystery had many components and twists too. Arnold’s will was crazy, not the craziest I have ever heard of but it was out there.  It all leads up to a great reveal.

I have enjoyed all three escapes to the Two Witches Winery. The characters are well rounded and engaging, the location is somewhere I would love to actually visit and as a wine novice, I love learning something in every story. Pinot Red or Dead? was a cleverly written mystery with the perfect amounts intrigue and humor. I loved it and am looking forward to more books in this series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Riesling to Die – just click here.

Read my review of Chardonnayed to Rest just click here.

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington) set for release in June 2017. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp

When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. His first novel, Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) is set for release in June 2017. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching.

Visit their website at www.jceatonauthor.com and Like and follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JCEatonauthor/


Just Released

Also by J.C. Eaton

Coming August 27, 2019

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 25 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 25 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 25 – fundinmental – REVIEW
March 26 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
March 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST
March 26 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 26 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
March 26 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST  
March 27 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 27 – I’m All About Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
March 28 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 28 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
March 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 29 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
March 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 29 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 30 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 30 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
March 30 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 31 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 31 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 31 – Rosepoint Publishing – 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.”

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