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Eddy and Julia by William Zink #Review

Eddy and Julia
Women’s Literature & Fiction
Setting – Belgium
Publisher: Sugar Loaf Press (July 1, 2020)
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-10: 0578624516
ISBN-13: 978-0578624518
Kindle Publication Date: August 20, 2020
ASIN: B08GG9W787

A young American with a faulty heart, tired of endless operations, travels to Belgium to live out the last few months of his life. At peace with his fate, his plans are derailed when he meets Julia, a student from Italy. They fall in love, forcing him to reevaluate his decision, but he soon discovers a dark secret she’s been keeping, crushing their budding romance. Ultimately, a cycling race through the Ardennes Forest will determine not only their fate, but that of Julia’s mother.

 

Set among the bucolic hills and vibrant cafes of Belgium, Eddy and Julia is a poignant drama filled with complex, colorful characters, celebrating the unpredictable and timeless facets of love.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A man decides to live his last days doing things he enjoys. Then a woman enters his life shaking up everything.


I have been struggling with this review for a few weeks I even read parts of the book again when I saw some 5 star reviews but this just wasn’t the book for me. I didn’t feel engaged by any of the characters and believe me there were plenty.

The cycling theme was interesting as was the Belguim area setting. The author is definitely familiar with both.

Mr, Zink has written a complicated story of romance and relationships. It meanders round and round but the ending left me cold.

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About the Author

William Zink is the author of several novels and poetry collections, including The Hole, Ballad of the Confessor, Ohio River Dialogues, Pieta, and Wild Grapes. His books have been praised by Booklist, Andrei Codrescu, David Giffels, Donald Ray Pollock, Dagoberto Gilb, The Main Street Rag, and others. His novel, Ohio River Dialogues, was a finalist for the Ohioana Fiction Award. –This text refers to the paperback edition.

Author Links – WebsiteFacebookInstagram


Also by William Zink

 

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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Killer Queen (The Country Club Murders) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Killer Queen (The Country Club Murders)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Missouri
Publisher: J & M Press (June 30, 2020)
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1732755949
ISBN-10: 1732755949
Kindle Page Numbers Source ISBN: B08BRH2QVP

Another day, another dead woman in Ellison Russell’s study.

 

Only this one claimed to be Mrs. Anarchy Jones.

 

As Ellison juggles mothers, daughter, unhappy wives, and near-miss murder attempts, one thing is clear—someone will go to any lengths to hide the truth.

 

Can Ellison and Anarchy catch a killer before the body count rises? Or will Ellison be the next corpse in the study?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

 

She keeps Moët et Chandon
In her pretty cabinet
‘Let them eat cake,’ she says
Just like Marie Antoinette
A built-in remedy
For Khrushchev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation
You can’t decline

Caviar and cigarettes
Well versed in etiquette
Extraordinarily nice

She’s a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, gelatine
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Anytime

Ellison Russell comes home to find a dead woman in her study. She has been through this drill before, but this one identified herself to Aggie as Mrs. Anarchy Jones about 20 minutes ago and now she was dead. Worse her mother arrives before she can even call Anarchy. “Now strangers are coming to your house to die?”


Julie Mulhern is one of my favorite authors and her imagination continues to amaze me. She effortlessly takes readers back to the 1970s with no cell phones, avocado green appliances, and Ellison’s love affair with her Mr. Coffee.

The characters were strong in book 1, The Deep End, and they are still fresh and engaging in this 11th installment. The great thing is they continue to evolve and have plenty of room to grow.

Ms. Mulhern also knows how to serve up humor generously. The scene where Ellison’s and Anarchy’s mothers meet is absolutely priceless. I read most of this book during one of my chemo treatments and really tried to hold the laughter in but couldn’t help myself.

The author brings more than wonderful characters and fabulous humor, she also gives her readers an interesting and complex mystery with plenty of twists and turns. Killer Queen is no exception. Pop the cork on a bottle of Moët et Chandon or get your Mr. Coffee out and brew up a cup then sit back and enjoy Killer Queen.

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Read my Reviews for:
The Deep End
Guaranteed to Bleed
Clouds In My Coffee
Send In The Clowns
Watching The Detectives
Cold As Ice
Back Stabbers
Shadow Dancing
Telephone Line
Stayin’ Alive
The Rest of the Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:


Also by Julie Mulhern

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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Dash Away All (A Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery) by Christina Freeburn #Review


Dash Away All (A Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Indiana
Publisher: Henery Press (July 7, 2020)
Hardcover: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 1635116023
ISBN-13: 978-1635116021
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 163511599X
ISBN-13: 978-1635115994
Digital ASIN: B086TYK58V

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…Merry Winters is excited for her dream-come-true moment: Being an on-site crafter for a Christmas movie. The tidings of joy are short-lived as she finds herself becoming a referee, dealing with a raging Ebenezer, participating in a bucket brigade, and finding evidence in a “murder.”

 

Is someone trying to stop the production or is it tied to a secret someone has on Luna Carmichael, the star of the movie and the queen of Christmas?

 

When Marie, Luna’s assistant, stumbles away from a car accident and dies, Merry believes the accident wasn’t quite so accidental. Was Luna or Marie the target? Merry finds more questions than answers, but one thing is certain: Everyone has an ulterior motive for being part of the production—including Marie.

 

After another murder, Merry wonders if the deaths are tied to a baby born long ago and abandoned. And more importantly, will Merry live long enough to find out?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Merry Winters has landed a great job, crafting decorations for a Christmas movie, think Hallmark. But she finds the movie’s leading lady, the Queen of Christmas movies, may have ulterior motives in a few hiring decisions for the film, including Merry. Soon after she arrives many of the movie props are destroyed in a fire. She learns there have been many pranks played already, was the fire a prank that went too far or a real crime. Then the star’s assistant dies in a car accident that Merry believes was more murder than accidental. Merry finds herself putting on her sleuthing cap again and finds much more than she ever could have wished for.


I love Christmas movies, both the new Hallmark variety and the classic ones like White Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street so this series is a wonderful gift.

Ms. Freeburn takes our protagonist on the road in Dash Away All. Merry Winters and her guinea pig, Ebenezer, go to Indiana for a dream job that quickly turns into a nightmare. These characters are so well-crafted. I love that Ebenezer got to make his acting debut.

The author also has to introduce several new characters with the movie’s cast and crew along with a few locals who have to evolve over the course of the book. Some are pretty over the top but most are true to real life.

The mystery was very well-plotted with more than one mystery to solve. For me, the second mystery would have had a greater impact if it hadn’t been mentioned in the synopsis. I like to be surprised by twists like the one in this story. Many characters looked like they could be the guilty party and I changed my mind a couple of times. Merry took some real risks to get to the truth. It was fun to tag along with her.

Dash Away All is an entertaining story with captivating characters.  Great for fans of cozy mysteries and Christmas movies.



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About Christina Freeburn

Christina Freeburn has always loved books. There was nothing better than picking up a story and being transported to another place. The love of reading evolved into the love of writing and she’s been writing since her teenage years. Her first novel was a 2003 Library of Virginia Literary Award nominee. Her mysteries series, Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery and Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mysteries, are a mix of crafty and crime and feature heroines whose crafting time is interrupted by crime solving.

Christina served in the US Army and has also worked as a paralegal, librarian, church secretary, and golf shop pro. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid and allergic to felines.

Author Links – Webpage     Blog     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads 

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo



Also by Christina Freeburn

 

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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fowl Murder: A Cozy Mystery with a Determined Female Amateur Sleuth (A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

REVIEW NOW ADDED!

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Fowl Murder: A Cozy Mystery with a Determined Female Amateur Sleuth
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait

About Fowl Murder

Fowl Murder: A Cozy Mystery with a Determined Female Amateur Sleuth (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kenya
Publisher: Kanga Press (July 21, 2020)
ebook, 190 pages
Digital ASIN: B089RRXBC1

 

A shooting on the savannah. A tragedy she’d rather forget. When past and present collide, will she survive to see her future?
Kenya, 2016. Semi-retired vet Rose Hardie just wants to enjoy her golden years and care for her disabled husband. But her peace of mind shatters when a forgotten confidant returns and reopens a case where Rose pulled the trigger. With her memories of the poacher’s shocking death flooding back, she barely catches her breath before her childhood friend is brutally murdered.

 

Braving blackmail and entrenched corruption, the tireless woman dives headfirst into helping the victim’s son solve the crime. But when the lead suspect is killed, Rose’s plans for a peaceful life end up dead and buried…

 

As her own traumatic history unravels, can Rose catch a killer before she becomes the next victim?

 

Foul Murder is the first book in the compelling Kenya Kanga Mystery series. If you like determined heroines, unpredictable twists and turns, and vivid African settings, then you’ll love Victoria Tait’s pulse-pounding tale.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Note: Take a moment to read the Glossary of words before starting to read the books because the author uses many words local to the region. I love that she did this. 

We meet Rose Hardie, known as “Mama Rose,” and her invalid husband, Craig, in Nanyuki, Kenya.    Rose works as a volunteer vet. She also helps anyone with a need the best she can. They are happily married but do clash when Rose is away and not tending to Craig.

When a childhood friend, Aisha, suddenly moves nearby talking about an event that happened decades ago, an event Rose would like to forget, she gets nervous. Soon after the friend is murdered. True to her nature Rose jumps in to help the victim’s son find her killer. She is also being blackmailed by someone connected to the event Aisha reopened. Unfortunately, Aisha was killed before Rose could get any details from her.  Now with Aisha’s son and a little help from Craig, Rose is doing her best to catch a killer and find the truth, but she could end up the killer’s next victim.


Ms. Tait has taken us to Kenya and creates wonderful imagery with her words. I could easily envision every place the characters went. The dryness of the land, the weather that comes in, Mount Kenya, the homes of the characters. I will never travel to Africa but enjoyed this virtual trip immensely.

(Mama) Rose is such a strong character. She is smart and, in some ways, methodical as she ventures into her investigation. She sees things others don’t. She knows everyone and they open up and tell her things they wouldn’t share with others. Husband Craig makes a great sounding board even though his disability keeps him from going everywhere Rose goes. Aisha’s son Thabiti steps in as her sidekick but his youth sometimes gets in the way. Other characters weigh in with information. All these characters develop over the course of the book. They come across as believable and real.

The mystery is full of twists and turns. The subplots blend in easily and the flow is great. The story has many layers to hold readers’ attention from beginning to end.  I did figure out part of the whodunit before Rose but was totally surprised when all was explained. Rose also gets some unexpected news that really evokes a change.

Fowl Murder is an exceptional start for the Kenya Kanga Mystery Series. Rose and Craig are definitely characters I want to visit again. Victoria Tait is an author to watch.

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About Victoria Tait

Victoria Tait is an exciting new author launching her Kenya Kanga Mystery series.  She’s drawn on 8 years living in rural Kenya with her family to transport her readers to a world of curiosity, community and conspiracy.  The Kenya Kanga Mystery series brings to life the beauty of the Kenyan landscape, the magic of its wildlife and the warmth of its people.

Author Links

Website  –  Facebook  – Blog/News  – GoodReads – Pinterest

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake (The Matchbaker Mysteries) by R.L. Syme #Review

Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Montana
Publisher: Hummingbird Books (June 16, 2020)
Number of Pages: 240
Digital ASIN: B0878RT482

I never thought Edward would come back…

 

When the court case against my ex was finished, I thought we were finished, too. But it turns out, it was only the beginning.

 

The Larcenous Lava Cake is book four in The Matchbaker Mysteries, a new cozy culinary mystery series from USA Today Bestselling Author, R.L. Syme.

 

RECIPE INCLUDED: The Larcenous Lava Cake

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The past comes back to bite Vangie when Edward returns. She lost everything because of him and she hoped he was out of her life forever. How did he get out of jail? She is sure he is running another scheme and wrapped her up in it again, but she isn’t going down. Vangie is going to protect herself but getting to the bottom of everything before she finds herself behind bars.

____

This was an emotional book for Vangie. So many things are thrown at her within these pages in addition to figuring out the mystery. I felt we really got to know her in this story. She is a strong woman but anyone would feel overwhelmed by what she had to deal with. I liked the character before and love her now. She has real-life problems with real-life consequences just like us regular people and it is all not tied up with a nice bow at the end of the book. She did have a few moments that had me shaking my head when she did something she shouldn’t but those evened out the further you get into the story.

This book had a different feel than previous books in the series. Ms. Syme has baked up a complicated mystery with several characters involved. With plenty of twists and red herrings, I was kept guessing right up until the end. The author knows how to draw the reader in and hold our attention. She shook some things up which was a nice change.

I have enjoyed this whole series. This is my new favorite. While the mystery is wrapped up Vangie’s life is in flux at the end. I am anxious to see where the author takes her next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About R. L. Syme

She is a writer of sleuths worth loving and villains worth hating. Lover of fancy cheese, binge-watching, strawberries, and hope. A foodie and baker of yummy delights, Becca grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries passed on by her grandmother. A Tweeter and Pinner of things.

Click on covers to purchase.

Purchase Link

Amazon 

 

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 2020 Reviews E-Book Challenge Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Little Tea by Claire Fullerton #Review – Great Escapes Book Tour

Little Tea
by Claire Fullerton

About Little Tea


Little Tea
Southern Fiction
Setting – Arkansas
Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction (April 28, 2020)
Paperback: 252 pages
ISBN-10: 1645262596
ISBN-13: 978-1645262596
Digital ASIN: B0817J667Y

Southern Culture … Old Friendships … Family Tragedy

 

One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.

 

For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.

 

As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if friendship can triumph over history.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Now with the passing of Congressman John Lewis, acclaimed civil rights leader, was the perfect time for me to read this book. Celia and Little Tea grew up as close as sisters in a time, the 1980s, when some people still believe in segregation, including some in Celia’s family. But these girls had such a strong bond that couldn’t be broken.

In present time, Celia gets together with her other childhood friends Ava and Renny at Renny’s lake house because Ava is having a personal crisis. What evolves Is 3 days discussing life, marriage, choices made, regrets, and triumphs. Celia realizes she still has many things in her life she has avoided and needs to deal with before she can move on.

Ms. Fullerton has written a beautiful, compelling Southern story that grabbed me from the start. The book moves back and forth between the ’80s and present-day with ease. The author has a wonderfully descriptive writing style that brings not only the characters to life but the setting. The characters are strong and develop more within the pages. The settings at times are haunting and other times soothing. This book tells a story rich in history and friendship. It is an emotional story filled with family drama, addiction, depression, love, hate, and more that has stuck with me since I read the final word.

The journey Celia, Ava, and Renny take over the course of the weekend goes beyond what I first imagined was going to happen.  Little Tea is a treasure to be savored. This is the first Claire Fullerton novel I have read but it definitely will not be my last.

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About Claire Fullerton

Claire Fullerton hails from Memphis, TN. and now lives in Malibu, CA. with her husband and 3 German shepherds. She is the author of Mourning Dove, a coming of age, Southern family saga set in 1970’s Memphis. Mourning Dove is a five-time award winner, including the Literary Classics Words on Wings for Book of the Year, and the Ippy Award silver medal in regional fiction ( Southeast.) Claire is also the author of Dancing to an Irish Reel, a Kindle Book Review and Readers’ Favorite award winner that is set on the west coast of Ireland, where she once lived. Claire’s first novel is a paranormal mystery set in two time periods titled, A Portal in Time, set in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. She is a contributor to the book, A Southern Season with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, set at a Memphis funeral ( because something always goes wrong at a Southern funeral.) Little Tea is Claire’s 4th novel and is set in the Deep South. It is the story of the bonds of female friendship, healing the past, and outdated racial relations. Little Tea is the August selection of the Pulpwood Queens, a Faulkner Society finalist in the William Wisdom international competition, and on the short list of the Chanticleer Review’s Somerset award. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary.

Author Links

Website Instagram – 

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Also by Claire Fullerton

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Game of Dog Bones (A Melanie Travis Mystery) by Laurien Berenson #Review


Game of Dog Bones (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
25th in Series
Setting – Connecticut/New York
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718372
ISBN-13: 978-1496718372
Kindle – ASIN: B07W4MRR69

Standard Poodle owner Melanie Travis is an excellent judge of dogs—and people. But what happens when an unnamed killer emerges at one of the fiercest all-breed competitions ever?

 

As Greenwich, Connecticut, slows down during a bitterly cold February, Melanie and her spunky Aunt Peg head to the city that never sleeps for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden. Aunt Peg can’t wait to demonstrate her judging chops on national TV, even after being hounded by frustrating mishaps—all seemingly orchestrated by Victor Durbin, an ousted Paugussett Poodle Club member with a bone to pick. But the bright lights of the show ring grow dim when Victor is found murdered, and she’s the one topping the suspect list . . .

 

Driven to solve the crime on her aunt’s behalf, Melanie fetches hair-raising clues about the victim. Victor didn’t score many friends with his unethical breeding practices, sketchy puppy café, and penchant for mercilessly scamming others to get ahead. He burned so many bridges that his own business partner admits to being delighted by news of his death. It appears Victor finally toyed with the wrong person, and as Melanie digs up more chilling evidence, she realizes that exonerating Aunt Peg means confronting a murderer who’s in it to win it . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Aunt Peg gets to fulfill her dream when she is asked to judge for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden and be on television. She is even hosting a seminar before her judging. But a former member of her poodle club, Victor Durbin is doing his best to ruin her day by planning his own event at the same time as Peg’s. When the man is later found dead Peg finds herself on the shortlist of suspects. New York is taking its own sweet time with their investigation so Melanie dives into her investigation to clear her Aunt Peg’s name while putting herself in jeopardy.


Visiting the Travis family is always a good time. With a husband, 2 sons, 5 Standard Poodles, 1 spotted mutt, and Aunt Peg, there is never a dull moment. Going with them to the biggest dog show was a real treat. We get a behind the scenes look and see Aunt Peg’s judging techniques in full force. All the human and canine characters really shine within this story. This is the 25th book in this series and the characters all continue to evolve and remain fresh. The dialogues and all interactions are believable and ring true.

In addition to some awesome subplots, the mystery was very well written. The victim truly had his share of enemies and I really enjoyed tailing along with Melanie as she worked her way through all of them. The author’s descriptive writing style takes her readers right into the moments of her characters in a way that keeps the pages rapidly turning. A major event takes place and that was truly my favorite part of the story.

Game of Dog Bones is an excellent addition to this long-running series. Each story reads well as a stand-alone too. It is fun and entertaining and leaves readers panting for the next book.

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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.

THE REST OF THE SERIES

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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit) by Colleen Shogan #Review / #Giveaway

REVIEW NOW ADDED

Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)
by Colleen Shogan

About Larceny at the Library 


Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Epicenter Press (July 14, 2020)
Print Length: 202 pages
ISBN-13: 9781603818353
ASIN: B0863MN6TP

Congressional staffer Kit Marshall is excited to attend a historic event displaying the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets the night he was assassinated at the Library of Congress. The next day, a senior librarian is dead and several invaluable artifacts are missing. Kit’s husband Doug discovers the body and immediately becomes a suspect in the death and theft. Kit springs into action once again to figure out who is responsible for the crimes. Her sleuthing takes her to the DC Public Library, the National Portrait Gallery, Ford’s Theatre, and the most ornate, beautiful rooms at the Library of Congress. At the end, Kit must put her own life on the line to retrieve her most valuable possession, which goes unexpectedly missing as she hunts down the killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The thing I like best about this series is the author grabs from true events and her government experience as the basis of her stories. She worked as a Senior Executive at the Library of Congress and the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets when he was killed were donated to the Library of Congress in 1937 where the box remained unopened until 1976. So an event like the one described in this book is very believable. An event that leads to a murder and a theft and puts Kit’s new husband Doug at the top of the suspect list. He was a recent hire and had knowledge that few had, he attended the event and then stayed late to catch up on some work, and he found the body the next morning. Kit would have jumped into the investigation no matter what but the Librarian of Congress and her boss who is the chair of the oversight of the Library give her the power she needs when they formally ask her to work with the police and keep them up to date on any developments. Little did she know her own life and that of her furbaby would be in danger as she hunts down the killer.


The characters in this story are so strong and well-developed. Kit and Doug are still working things out in their personal life. Doug is ready for a house in the burbs, Kit not so much. Kit’s brother is settling into his life in D.C. and we meet the reason why. There may be some changes for other characters as well both in jobs and romance. Ms. Shogan keeps all her characters fresh and evolving.

The book has a great flow and the dialogue is crisp. The mystery is full of twists and turns and kept me captivated from beginning to end. The real culprit was on my radar but I eliminated them early on so I was totally taken by surprise at the way things played out and I love when that happens.

I also enjoy all the places we travel around Washington D.C. throughout the story, places the public never see like the underground tunnels connecting so many of the buildings and the beautiful rooms like those in the Library of Congress.

Great characters, a wonderful setting, and an exciting mystery make Larceny at the Library another Perfect Escape from Colleen J. Shogan. I anxiously await the next installment of this series.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Colleen J. Shogan

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at several universities and previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is currently the Senior Vice President of the White House Historical Association.

Colleen is a member of Sisters in Crime. “Stabbing in the Senate” was awarded the Next Generation Indie prize for Best Mystery in 2016. “Homicide in the House” was a 2017 finalist for the RONE Award for Best Mystery. “Calamity at the Continental Club” was a 2018 finalist in the “best cozy mystery” at Killer Nashville. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter –  GoodReads 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&N

 

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Great Escapes Praise  for Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)
by Colleen Shogan

Excellent character portrayal, a mystery that keeps one guessing until the end, and a story that takes you on a virtual trip to the landmarks in Washington, Larceny in the Library is an engrossing and must-read cozy mystery.
~The Book Decoder

The plot is full of some twists you may not see coming & cozy mystery fans will find a lot to love in this latest Washington whodunnit!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Death by Windmill: A Mother’s Day Murder in Amsterdam (Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series) by Jennifer S. Alderson #Review / #Giveaway

Dropping in today to post a review.
Still, many to write, but will post as I get them done 🙂

Death by Windmill: A Mother’s Day Murder in Amsterdam
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)
by Jennifer S. Alderson

About Death by Windmill


Death by Windmill: A Mother’s Day Murder in Amsterdam
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Independently published (May 16, 2020)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8646330070
Digital ASIN: B0843K7HNQ

A Mother’s Day trip to the Netherlands turns deadly when a guest plummets from a windmill. Was it an accident or a murder? For Lana Hansen, the answer will mean freedom or imprisonment for someone close to her…

 

Wanderlust Tours guide Lana Hansen and her mother, Gillian, haven’t seen eye to eye in over a decade, ever since Lana was wrongly fired from her job as an investigative reporter. So when Lana’s boss invites Gillian to join her upcoming Mother’s Day tour to the Netherlands, Lana is less than pleased.

 

What could be worse than spending ten days with her estranged mother? Lana is about to find out…

 

The tour begins on a high note when the majority of guests bond during their visit to the Keukenhof flower gardens and a cruise around the picturesque canals of Amsterdam.

 

Despite her initial reservations, Lana thinks this might be the best group she had ever led. Until she discovers one of her guests—a recent retiree named Priscilla—is the person who destroyed her career in journalism.

 

All Lana can see is red. But circumstances dictate that she figure out a way to lead the tour, make peace with her mother, and not murder her guest. She doesn’t know whether she can handle the pressure.

 

Lana needn’t worry. Shortly after their fight, Priscilla falls off the balcony of a historic windmill at Zaanse Schans. Was she pushed or simply careless? The investigating officers suspect murder—and topping their suspect list is Lana’s mom!

 

Can Lana save Gillian? Or will her mother end up spending the rest of her days in a Dutch prison?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wunderlust Tours is off to the Netherlands for a Mother/Daughter trip over Mother’s Day. Lana is excited that a couple of the Fabulous Five from her first tour will be on the trip with their daughters but is surprised when her boss Dotty joins the trip with her best friend. Before they get on the plane she learns why. Dotty has invited Lana’s mother Gillian to come along in hopes that this mother/daughter combo can heal the rift between them. She has even added Randy as the head tour guide to be sure Lana has whatever time she needs to be with her mother. What Dotty didn’t count on is that one guest could throw the whole trip into a tailspin by her relationship to Lana. When the guest ends up dead, falling off a historic windmill, Lana and her mother both find themselves on the investigator’s suspect list.

_____

I really love this series. A former investigative reporter, Lana Hansen has the skillset and instincts needed to be a great amateur sleuth. This time the victim personally did something to hurt her and she learns other hurtful things as she investigates but she sticks with it all while doing her job as a tour guide too. The woman can think on her feet as she takes on everything thrown at her.

Ms. Alderson’s character development is top-notch. The recurring characters grow book to book and all the characters continue to evolve within the pages of this story. The mystery she has created for them is excellent as well. Her attention to detail shines and kept me guessing right up until the end. I had an idea of where she was going but wasn’t sure until it was spelled out for me.

I really enjoyed the mother/daughter theme, their interactions added so much to the story.  The virtual vacay to Amsterdam was great too. The author continues to take me places I will never actually be able to travel to and her descriptions make every place we go so easy to visualize.

Every book in this series has been a Perfect Escape. I can’t wait for Death by Bagpipes coming September 18 and Death by Fountain coming December 18 for my next virtual vacations with Lana and Dotty. Sans the dead bodies they are so much fun!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Jennifer S. Alderson

Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before settling in the Netherlands. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

Jennifer’s love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning mystery series—the Zelda Richardson Mysteries and Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries—and standalone stories.

Author Links

Website – Goodreads  –Facebook – Twitter  –LinkedIn – BookBub


Coming September 18

Coming December 18

Purchase Links – Amazon 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for Death by Windmill: A Mother’s Day Murder in Amsterdam
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)
by Jennifer S. Alderson

Excellent character development, a murder mystery that keeps one guessing and a free (virtual) trip to Amsterdam make Death by Windmill a must-read book of this year.
~The Book Decoder

Since I love to travel the world, I especially love these tour guide mysteries. Alderson writes the perfect amount of location details that make readers believe he/she is right there, in a museum, having High Tea, or dodging a killer through gigantic turning windmills. I give this book FIVE stars.
~Here’s How It Happened

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes

The Corpse with the Crystal Skull (The Cait Morgan Mysteries) by Cathy Ace #Review – Great Escapes Book Tour

The Corpse with the Crystal Skull (The Cait Morgan Mysteries)
by Cathy Ace

 

About The Corpse With The Crystal Skull


The Corpse with the Crystal Skull (The Cait Morgan Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Jamaica
Publisher: Four Tails Publishing Ltd. (June 29, 2020)
Print Length: ~300 pages
Digital ASIN: B086FVBTTN

Welsh Canadian globetrotting sleuth, and professor of criminal psychology, Cait Morgan, is supposed to be “celebrating” her fiftieth birthday in Jamaica with her ex-cop husband Bud Anderson. But when the body of the luxury estate’s owner is discovered locked inside an inaccessible tower, Cait and her fellow guests must work out who might have killed him – even if his murder seems impossible. Could the death of the man who hosted parties in the 1960s attended by Ian Fleming and Noël Coward be somehow linked to treasure the legendary Captain Henry Morgan might have buried at the estate? Or to the mission Bud and his secret service colleagues have been sent to the island to undertake?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A locked room, a dead host, and a crystal skull . . . who knew turning 50 in Jamaica could bring so much drama. Then again drama does follow Cait Morgan and Bud Anderson everywhere they go. Bud inviting his friends Jack and John with their significant others has Cait thinking there is something else going on besides their holiday and celebration. In fact, they could be suspects in the murder of dear Freddie.


After nine stories in this series, you would think I would know Cait Morgan very well but the author continues to find ways to keep her fresh. A professor of criminal psychology, excellent amateur sleuth with a very analytical way of looking at clues and forming theories. My absolute favorite part of the story is near the end when Cait uses her eidetic memory to untangle all her observations and puts them in order and explains what happened and whodunit.

The supporting characters are complex, all dealing with real-life issues. This really adds to the story and gives the characters more depth than expected in one book of a long-running series.

Again, Ms. Ace has written a complicated mystery, so much so that Cait has trouble eliminating suspects especially living in such close quarters with people who all seem to be hiding something. She knows Bud didn’t kill Freddie but she knows he is keeping something from her.  Twists and turns galore set this mystery on a new course more than once keeping the characters and this reader on their toes.

I loved the descriptions of former Lieutenant Sir Henry Morgan’s estate. It is an extraordinary place with quite a history and a perfect place to set a murder mystery. It is very private, not your typical Jamaican beach locale. Full of treasures like the crystal skull, who knows what is truly hidden in this idyllic place. Because of the privacy the guests don’t run into other tourists and we know a pretty penny was paid for this amazing vacay.

The Corpse with the Crystal Skull was a Perfect Escape for me. I had to force myself to put the book down to go to sleep. Each book in this series can be read on its own but to really get to know Cait and Bud and all their adventures I recommend starting at the beginning.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

PRAISE FOR THE CAIT MORGAN MYSTERIES

“…touches of Christie or Marsh but with a bouquet of Kinsey Millhone.” —The Globe and Mail

 

“A sparkling, well-plotted, and quite devious mystery…” —The Hamilton Spectator

 

“…a sympathetic amateur detective, a locked-room mystery, a small cast of colourful suspects, loving descriptions of food and drink, and a few red herrings thrown our way…with a nod to a fresh literary or filmic artifice in each novel in the series…” – Crime Fiction Lover

 

About Cathy Ace 

Born and raised in Wales, now-Canadian Cathy Ace is the author of the Cait Morgan Mysteries, featuring her Welsh Canadian criminology professor sleuth who travels the world tripping over corpses, and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries, featuring a quartet of female PIs, working from a Welsh stately home. Both series are traditional, entertaining, and have been well reviewed.

Author Links:    Website    Facebook     Twitter: @AceCathy    GoodReads

Purchase Links – AmazonKobo 

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