Jul 062018
 

On FlashbackFridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Murder at Chateau sur Mer is now available in Paperback!

Murder at Chateau sur Mer (A Gilded Newport Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Rhode Island
Kensington (July 25, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496703324
ISBN-13: 978-1496703323
Paperback: 304 pages (June 26, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1496703308
ISBN-13: 978-1496703309
Kindle ASIN: B01M7W948P

A Gilded Newport Mystery – Late nineteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island, is home to some of America’s wealthiest citizens. For society reporter Emma Cross, a less well-heeled cousin to the illustrious Vanderbilts, trailing gossip and glamour will lead her straight into murder . . .

Covering a polo match for the Observer, Emma’s job is to take note of the real players off the field—Newport’s well-bred elite. But the fashionable façade is breached when a woman in gaudy clothing creates a scene demanding to speak to the wife of Senator George Wetmore—until she is escorted off the grounds by the police.

The next morning, police detective Jesse Whyte asks Emma to meet him at the Wetmores’ Bellevue Avenue home, Chateau sur Mer, where the senator’s wife, Edith, has mysteriously asked to see her. Upon entering the mansion, Emma is confronted with a crime scene—the intruder from the polo match lies dead at the foot of a grand staircase.

To avoid scandal, Edith Wetmore implores Emma to use her reporter skills and her discretion to investigate. When Emma learns the victim was a prostitute—and pregnant—she wonders if the senator was being blackmailed. As Emma peels back layers of deception and family secrets, she may have met her match in a desperate killer who will trample anyone who gets in the way . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Step back in time with Emma Cross in Newport, Rhode Island as a day reporting on a polo match leads to murder. A woman tried to make her way into the stands where the elite are watching the match to speak to Edith Wetmore, the wife of Senator George Wetmore. Security was escorted her off the grounds but it is not the last the Westmores will see of her. No, the good senator’s wife finds the woman dead in their home at the bottom of their grand stairway. Police detective Jess Whyte has summoned Emma to Chateau sur Mer. He knows Emma’s help on previous cases has been fruitful, but this time Edith Wetmore has requested her presence. She wants Emma to use her skills to investigate while at the same time keep any rising scandal out of the press. Trying to find a connection between the Wetmores and the dead woman Emma uncovers a web of secrets and lies that puts her own life in peril and others too. It could also cost her her job meaning she could lose her home.

Alyssa Maxwell knows Newport history and she uses that knowledge to create fictional stories that have enough real facts that readers may think the story is real and events may have actually happened. She does include some facts at the end of the story to keep the record straight.

Strong characters and a captivating mystery make it very easy to escape right into this story. Emma Cross is part of the not very well to do side of the Vanderbilt family. She has inherited her home with enough money to pay for basic upkeep but needs to work for necessities like food and clothing. She is the fashion and food reporter for the Observer newspaper but always keeps her ears open for information to get her byline on or close to the front page. She is a strong woman, unafraid to travel unaccompanied to the seedier areas of town, no matter how many times she is told how dangerous it is. Thankfully sometimes she listens. Other times she is just plain lucky.

Emma’s investigation this time to her down to the docks more than once, to a brothel more than once, and even to the scene of a fire. Ms. Maxwell puts our heroine in some precarious situations. I enjoy following Emma everywhere she goes. The author fully describes each place so perfectly, putting us readers right there on the scene.

The mystery is very complex. Suspects are unclear until Emma realizes an event from the past is affecting people’s lives in the present. Even then the suspects remain fluid until the final reveal. Usually when I read a mystery like this one my brain is always trying to be one step ahead of the story’s amateur sleuth. This time I was immersed into the culture and all the happenings that I just kept pace with her. I so enjoyed our tandem journey.

Like the other mansions in this series, Chateau Sur Mer is now owned by the Preservation Society of Newport County and is open to the public as a museum.

I have loved each book in this series. I do recommend they be read in order to understand the settings and the character development. I am so happy to catch on the series with this story because the next book in the series, Murder at Ochre Court is being released July 31, 2018. 

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Alyssa outside (2)

About the Author

Alyssa Maxwell is the author of the Gilded Newport Mysteries and A Lady and Lady’s Maid Mysteries. She lives in South Florida in the current year but confesses to spending most of her time in the Victorian and post WWI eras, as well as other periods of history. In addition to fantasizing about wearing Worth gowns and strolling the gardens of her manor house, she loves to watch BBC and other period productions and sip tea in the afternoons. And each year, she and her husband take a trip up to Newport to visit family, and so Alyssa can “shop” for the next mansion to be featured in her Newport series.

Author Links

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Also by Alyssa Maxwell

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 paperback 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.

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Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End July 20, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

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.”

Jun 222018
 

Hightail It to Kinsey Falls (Kinsey Falls Series)
Women’s Fiction
1st in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Grace Abraham Publishing (May 22, 2018)
Print Length: 139 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07C46H3WH

Hightail It to Kinsey Falls

All work and no play make Jade a dull girl.

Jade Burt can do without her grandmother’s meddling in her love life. But when Millie finds an abandoned baby possum, it leads her to Caleb Young. Caleb would be perfect for Jade! When Jade meets Caleb, it’s hard to argue with her grandmother’s choice. Still, Jade is determined to push Caleb away, but his friendship with Millie concerns her. What if he’s a slick con man trying to take advantage of a sweet old lady? Jade needs to figure Caleb out before he breaks her grandmother’s heart…and Jade’s too!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

If you need a break in your day from the stress and strife this is a perfect story for you.

An old shopping mall has been converted to a retail/residential facility. Stores on the lower floor with micro-apartments on the upper floor split into 2 sections. One side for senior citizens and the other side for young professionals. There is a community center were residents and shop owners can gather or hold events too.  Jade Burt owns Nothin’ But Knit, one of the retail shops and her grandmother, Millicent Fairchild, lives in one of the apartments upstairs.

Millie on her way to visit Jade notices an animal near her path. She quickly realizes it is a baby possum and scoops it into her now empty makeup bag and rushes into the pet store next to her granddaughter’s store. Hightail It Pet Supply and Grooming. There she meets Caleb, one of the young professional residents who is working at the store while he gets his graduate degree. Millie decides then and there that she needs to bring Jade and Caleb together. They are perfect for each other.

The characters in the story are fabulous. I love the whole idea of blending these two age groups together. The YPs are so welcoming and willing to help the seniors and the seniors feel the need to bake and cook for the YPs. Having them get together for a welcoming event was delightful. The Kinsey Falls Living and Retail Community Center is a great idea and something I would love to see everywhere. The animal that brought everyone together gave the author the opportunity to shine a light on Wynnwood Wildlife Rehabilitation, a non-profit taking care of animals in need. She also shines a light on an illness and it’s side effects that usually effects seniors.

This author usually writes cozy mysteries. I am so happy she has now brought her wonderful writing style to Women’s Fiction. I am excited about this series and am anxiously awaiting book #2.

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About the Author

 

 

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.

I live in Virginia with my family, which includes my own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series! But, never fear, I’m also working on a new cozy mystery series as well.

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Writing as Gayle Trent



Writing as Amanda Lee


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.”

May 312018
 

Confessions of a Red Herring (A Red Herring Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Washington D.C. / Virginia
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496716569
Digital ASIN: B075C8FDT5

 

 

As a reporter, she’s used to covering the news. Now she’s the headline.

Alex Vlodnachek has been a reporter for 12 years, a P.R. rep for three months, and a murder suspect for all of 24 hours. When her agency’s double-dealing CEO is stabbed, scheming co-workers cast the new redhead as a compelling red herring. The story is media catnip—especially her salacious nickname: Vlod the Impaler.

Even Alex has to admit she looks guilty.

Out of a job and under suspicion, Alex is running low on cash, when she’s visited by a second disaster: her family. Soon her tiny bungalow is bursting with her nearest and not-so-dearest. To keep herself out of jail—and save what’s left of her sanity—Alex returns to her reporting roots. She goes undercover to reclaim her life, break the story, and unmask a murderer. Pretty much in that order.

What she doesn’t know: The killer also has a to-do list. And Alex is on it.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Alex Vlodnachek’s life is a mess, she left a job she had for years that she loved for a job that pays extremely well that she hates. She can’t believe her boss tried to get her to entertain a client in his hotel room. She turned her boss down flat and walked away. She even called in sick to work on Monday to try to wrap her head around the insanity and plot a new future. That was until the police knocked on her door to tell her that her boss had been killed and she was their prime suspect. Say What??

She tries to return to the office to find out what the heck is going on but she is escorted out by security. How is she going to clear her name when she doesn’t even know the whole story? She decides to use what she learned as a reporter and start doing her own investigation. Even going undercover in the building where she was unceremoniously booted out.

If being out of a job and being a murder suspect isn’t enough she has to deal with family members that have come to visit unannounced. Her tiny little house is exploding at the seams but what’s a girl to do. Maybe they will be able to help. She just hopes she doesn’t get them killed in the process.

What a great start for this series.  First of all, I absolutely love Alex and her grandmother, Baba. Don’t ask me to choose, they are both wonderful characters. In fact, the entire cast is fantastic including dog Lucy. Alex’s best friend “Trip” is the perfect best friend. We all need a Trip in our lives. Her brother, Nick, a former emu farmer, has also come to town, hoping Alex can help him smooth something over with their family. The last person they expected to arrive on the doorstep was Baba. She takes over the house, cleaning and “cooking” and she takes the job of protecting her granddaughter very seriously. Alex is a strong woman but Baba can bring her to her knees. These are strong characters and very well developed for the first book in a series.

So much happens in this story. At times, I felt my head was spinning, but the author brought everything together for one fantastic ending. I was drawn deeply into the story following leads with Alex.  What was happening at that P.R. firm was just crazy, but Alex stuck with it, trying to show police there were many other suspects. She was also dealing with her old firm messing up her life in unbelievable ways. There was drama at home to stay on top of too. Alex was a real superwoman to keep juggling all those balls in the air.

This book was suspenseful and also funny. The title really fits the story. The characters were engaging and eclectic. The dialogue was realistic, there was a bit of explicit language, minimal. I really enjoyed this book start to finish. I am more than excited to see where the author takes this series.

If you are looking for a new cozy series with a fun protagonist, look no further. The one is a perfect escape!

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About the Author

Dana Dratch is a former newspaper reporter and current personal finance writer. When she’s not finishing Seeing Red—the next Alex Vlodnachek mystery—you’ll spot her byline on a host of top news sites. You can learn more about her mysteries at ConfessionsofaRedHerring.com.

Praise for Confessions of a Red Herring (A Red Herring Mystery)
by Dana Dratch

Well written with an intricate plot, CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING is a good debut book for author Dana Dratch.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

While a red-headed Vlodnachek might not be the full attraction here, Alexandra’s family and close-knit support group provide a lively and fun romp through the storyline.
~Rosepoint Publishing

 

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May 28 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
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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.”

May 242018
 

About the Book 


Don’t Believe ItMystery/Crime/Suspense
Setting – St. Lucia
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496713803
Digital ASIN: B075CBLSDX
Audio ASIN: B079VRWSRY

 

 

The Girl of Sugar Beach is the most watched documentary in television history—a riveting, true-life mystery that unfolds over twelve weeks and centers on a fascinating question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend, Julian, while on a Spring Break vacation, or is she a victim of circumstance and poor police work? Grace has spent the last ten years in a St. Lucian prison and reaches out to filmmaker Sidney Ryan in a last, desperate attempt to prove her innocence.

As Sidney begins researching, she uncovers startling evidence, additional suspects, and timeline issues that were all overlooked during the original investigation. Before the series even finishes filming, public outcry leads officials to reopen the case. But as the show surges towards its final episodes, Sidney receives a letter saying that she got it badly, terribly wrong.

Sidney has just convinced the world that Grace is innocent. Now she wonders if she has helped to free a ruthless killer. Delving into Grace’s past, she peels away layer after layer of deception. But as Sidney edges closer to the real heart of the story, she must decide if finding the truth is worth risking her newfound fame, her career . . . even her life.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Filmmaker Sidney Ryan feels she has found the perfect subject for her new documentary. Grace Sebold has been in prison in St. Lucia for the past 10 years. Found guilty of killing her boyfriend while on Spring Break. A crime she says she didn’t commit. She had reached out to Grace to tell her story and hopefully prove she didn’t kill anyone.

Sidney starts investigating and quickly sees many inconsistencies in the previous investigation. She sells the story to television, pitching a 10 episode series that she will do almost in real time as she digs into the case.

The series premiers with good ratings and grows with each episode.  A public outcry gets the attention of the U.S. government and they realize one of its citizens may be in prison in a foreign country for a crime she didn’t commit. At the same time, Sidney receives a letter telling her that her docudrama is wrong and that Grace has to be guilty.  Before she can put together the final episodes she takes her investigation in a different direction and by doing that she risks everything.

This story could be ripped from the headlines. True Crime dramas are hot right now. They are all over television, even have channels dedicated to this type of program. This one also delves into the police procedures and the courts in St. Lucia, an island where tourists are their bed and butter.

Most of the story is told from Sidney Ryan’s point of view and she plans and investigates. Interspersed between are interviews Sidney has with people connected to the case. The fact that she was creating the episodes almost in real time, sometimes just a day or two before it aired, including all the behind the scenes drama was so interesting.  It kept the pace of the story at a high level.

The author does an excellent job of giving us readers an intense story. I was sucked in right from the start. The story has twists that changed my thinking several times. Was Grace really innocent? If she was, who killed Julian? I had a clear thought of another suspect and then another and then back to Grace. I don’t want to say too much to ruin the story but the ending took a turn I never imagined.

After reading The Girl Who Was Taken last summer, I did not even read the synopsis for this book before reading it. I just knew it was written by Charlie Donlea and I had to read it. I am glad I did that. This is a book you just need to jump into and let it take you away. This story is well written, very detailed, and much more than it originally seems. A totally entertaining story that I had a hard time putting down.

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Check out my review of The Girl Who Was Taken here

About the Author

Credit – Carrianne Photography

USA Today bestselling author Charlie Donlea was born and raised in Chicago. He now lives in the suburbs with his wife and two young children. Readers can find him online at http://charliedonlea.com

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Also by Charlie Donlea

Praise for Don’t Believe It
by Charlie Donlea

Donlea’s use of the documentary format helped build and maintain suspense. He tapped into the American passion for true crime to write the story and it worked well.
~Bea’s Book Nook

Charlie Donlea is definitely an author to watch out for. Five stars is not enough praise for this story.
~Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews

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May 21 – Bea’s Book Nook – 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.”

May 222018
 

 

About the Book


The Face on the Other Side (Thomas O’Shea Mysteries)
Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
3rd in Series
Setting – Iowa
FPS (February 10, 2018)
Paperback: 340 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1945338946

 

 

He’d promised Sheriff Payne that he wouldn’t take any more matters into his own hands. So, when on a leisurely morning drive, SEAL-trained Thomas O’Shea sees two girls attacking a boy on a sidewalk, he opts not to intervene. When the boy is later murdered in the local hospital, though, all promises are off. What seems at the start to be a simple case of gang activity turns out to be far more. Even O’Shea, who has seen more than his share of evil, could not have guessed what is about to transpire…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so excited to tell you about this book. I reviewed the 2nd book in this series back in 2015 and have been waiting for this next story.

Thomas O’Shea is a special man, a Christian man, and ex-Navy Seal. He has been caught in some dangerous situations in the past and has vowed to stay out of trouble. When he witnesses two girls beating the heck out of a boy on the sidewalk just outside the school grounds he tries to do the right thing by contacting the police. He quickly sees they are not going to arrive in time and has to step in. The boy survives the beating but is later killed in the hospital. Mr. O’Shea feels he owes the boy justice and he convinces the sheriff to let him help with the case. Neither one ever imagined the evil they were going to face.

This story is not for the faint of heart. This is riveting, gritty, suspense-filled story that you will not be able to put down. The author has created a small Iowa town and brought big-city problems up close and personal.

Thomas O’Shea and his schoolteacher girlfriend are taking things slow, his choice, not hers. He wants to get married but she is afraid of getting that call that he has been hurt or killed. These characters and all the rest including the sheriff and O’Shea’s friend Lunatic Mooning, are so well crafted. It is so easy to picture them so clearly and be drawn in by them.

I saw in the last book that the author’s very descriptive way of telling a story made it feel as if you were watching a movie. That is even more evident in this story. It is fast paced and full of intensity.  Every time a door was opened or Thomas tracked down a suspect I was almost fearful of what was going to happen next. I knew Thomas’ heart was always in the right place but his head puts him in some dire situations. The action and drama build up to a scene that had my heart racing. I was holding my breath the whole time to see how the scene would play out.  When it ended I had to set the book down and take a few deep breaths before I could read the final chapters. Wow!! What a story!

I want to stress you do not need the previous books in this series to enjoy this story. Each book can stand on their own. If you enjoy books by Harlan Coben, David Burnsworth or Greg Iles, I know you will enjoy this book/series.

In my opinion, this story deserves more than 5 stars. It is a story I will not forget!

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About the Author

John Carenen, a native of Clinton, Iowa, graduated with an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from the prestigious University of Iowa Writers Workshop and has been writing ever since. His work has appeared numerous times in Reader’s Digest (including a First Person Award), McCall’s, Dynamic Years, and other periodicals. He has been a featured columnist in newspapers in Morganton, North Carolina and Clinton, South Carolina. His fiction has appeared in regional literary magazines. A novel, Son-up, Son-down, was published by the National Institute of Mental Health. He is happily married to (long-suffering) Elisabeth, and they have two grown daughters, Caitlin and Rowe. When he isn’t writing, he thinks about getting in shape, cheers for the Iowa Hawkeyes and Boston Red Sox, and takes frequent naps. He has traveled extensively, having visited 43 states and 23 countries. He is a USAF veteran, having served in the Philippines and Massachusetts. A retired an English professor at Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina, he is hard at work on another novel.

Author Links

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Praise for The Face on the Other Side (Thomas O’Shea Mysteries)
by John Carenen

What I liked about this story are characterization and the narration . . . I loved the suspense and guessing on the culprit till the end.
~Fantastic Feathers

The characters are well rounded and well developed. The author creates characters that will stay with you long after you have finished the book.
~MJB Reviewers

Wow, what a ride you are about to embark on as you begin turning the pages of this book.
~Maureen’s Musings

. . . this one had me on the edge of my seat and turning the pages until the end.
~My Reading Journeys

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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.”

May 112018
 

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.

Only Skein Deep (A Knitting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
15th in Series
Setting – Colorado
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (June 6, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Release Date -(May 1, 2018)

ISBN-13: 978-0425282533
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282526
Kindle ASIN: B01LWLFTN1

 

 

Kelly Flynn and her boyfriend, Steve, couldn’t be happier as they await the birth of their bouncing baby boy. Kelly’s got a built-in group of fiber arts specialists, the Lambspun Knitters, who are working away on blankets and booties. As they sit around the table crafting their keepsakes, the story of Giselle Callahan is a popular topic of conversation.

Giselle is the young wife of Henry Callahan, a Fort Connor banking scion, who traded in his previous wife of forty years for a newer model. Giselle’s prowess as a skilled country club golfer and social climber puts her on someone’s hit list. When she is found dead on the greens at the golf club, Kelly and her Lambspun crew worry that a vicious killer is in their midst. They must work fast to bring an unhinged murderer to justice on the back nine before Kelly’s very special delivery…

DELICIOUS RECIPES AND KNITTING PATTERN INCLUDED! 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Followers of this series knew this book was going to be about the birth of Kelly and Steve’s baby. I just wish the author would have presented this story differently.

This story followers Kelly through the last days of her pregnancy. Her daily trip to Pete’s/Lampspun where she either works on her spreadsheets or a cap she is knitting for Baby Jack. Everyone stops by to ask her how she is doing and her response is usually about Jack playing soccer and not ready to come out. She also is not happy that she had to give up her high octane coffee and is not thrilled with any of the teas she has been trying to replace it with. Kelly also attends a few baseball games where she is asked the same questions with the same replies. Her dog Carl is only mentioned a couple of times. I would have loved to read about his reactions to a new little person coming to his house. Maybe that will be in the next book.

There were also three things about weddings that really upset me, but I will not say more so I don’t spoil the story for anyone else.

While there is a murder on the golf course, it really wasn’t a mystery to solve. During Kelly’s daily stops she checks in with Burt to see if his police contact has any leads. She hears a few things that she passes along to Burt. I had this one solved very early in the story. The big reveal comes again when she is at Lambspun while talking to someone who saw something relevant.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t expect a woman in the ninth month of a pregnancy to be trying to chase down a killer, but she could have done a little legwork on the case. Most women with a pregnancy as easy as Kelly’s work right up to the baby is born. All her friends treated her like she was an invalid. Running errands was just too much for her, really??? She is a healthy woman who is pregnant. She was doing daily exercises. I have been there 4 times. I am glad her friends were looking out for her but most of it was pretty over the top.

I love these characters, this theme, and this setting but I didn’t like this story. There was way too much repetition. I found myself skimming instead of reading until the last couple chapters. The last book in the series was more character driven too with a little mystery on the side. The next book is Dyeing Up Loose Ends. That has me wondering if it will be the last book in this series. It will be hard for Kelly to investigate murders with a baby/toddler in tow. The synopsis says “Kelly splits her free time between Pete’s and Lambspun, where her fellow knitters love hearing all about Jack’s latest exploits. They’ve also been taking a trip down memory lane, reminiscing about crimes that Kelly had a hand in solving over the years.” But it also mentions a murder, so I hope it is one we can sink our teeth into.

So all and all this story was a miss for me but I did enjoy catching up with the characters. The first three and the last three chapters saved the book from getting a 2-star – a dreadful detour – rating.

I do not recommend reading this book on its own because it does not show you what a talented storyteller Maggie Sefton is. Start at the beginning and get to know these characters. You will love them.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About The Author

MAGGIE SEFTON is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Berkley Prime Crime Knitting Mysteries. UNRAVELED, 9th in the series, made the New York Times Bestselling Hardcover Fiction List after its June 2011 release. All of the mysteries in the successful series have also been Barnes & Noble Top Ten Bestselling Mysteries. Maggie was first published in historical fiction in 1995 with ABILENE GAMBLE under the pen name Margaret Conlan. She wrote over a million words of historical romance fiction before she ever wrote the first mystery. DYING TO SELL, with real estate agent sleuth Kate Doyle, was published by Five Star/Tekno Mysteries in 2005. Maggie has been a CPA and a real estate agent in the Rocky Mountain West, but finds nothing can match creating worlds on paper.

She was born and raised in northern Virginia, where she received her bachelor’s degree in English literature and journalism. Maggie has worked in several careers over the years, from a CPA to a real estate broker in the Rocky Mountain West. However, none of those endeavors could compare with the satisfaction and challenge of creating worlds on paper. She is the mother of four grown daughters, currently scattered around the globe. Author of the nationally bestselling Knitting Mysteries, she resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with two very demanding dogs.

Check out her website here.


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 paperback copy to giveaway!

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.

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Contest Will End May 25, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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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.”

Apr 262018
 

Wedding Cake Crumble (Cupcake Bakery Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Arizona
Berkley (April 3, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399583834
Kindle ASIN: B073Z3BCXH

 

 

With Angie and Tate’s wedding just around the corner, it’s a happy time for Melanie Cooper and the bakery crew. Not only are they finessing the last minute details of the big day, but their bakery, Fairy Tale Cupcakes, has just been hired to bake cupcakes for the blockbuster book signing of a controversial author who wrote a steamy bestseller filled with juicy local gossip.

But one by one, the people Angie has hired to work at the wedding begin turning up dead. As the body count rises, the bestselling author is the next to bite the dust. Mel quickly realizes she needs to figure out how the murders are connected and why–before the killer brings the entire cupcake crew crumbling down. After all, Angie and Tate deserve their sweet happily ever after.

INCLUDES SCRUMPTIOUS RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wedding bells will soon be ringing for Angie and Tate and Fairy Tale Cupcakes is busy baking cupcakes for an author’s book signing. They just need to stay clear of any dead bodies until after the wedding. Yeah, right, this is Mel and Angie we are talking about. The book signing is for an author that has written a thinly veiled novel about a neighborhood much like her own and filled it with truth and gossip, not trying to really hide the people’s identities with very telling nicknames. Shortly after her big event, she found dead and Mel thinks it may be connected to some other murders. Can she solve the case before Angie’s trip down the aisle? Or will everything crumble down around them?

This was such a sweet read. Mel, Angie and the Fairy Tale Bakery gang are some of my favorite cozy characters. This being book ten, I truly feel like I am visiting old friends and excited to attend this long-awaited wedding. Mel, Angie, and Tate have been through so much. I was so happy to see this wedding take place. Hopefully, Dear Joe and Mel’s will follow soon.

I really enjoyed the way each character was utilized throughout the story. In addition to creating the cupcakes for the wedding, Oz was having some personal problems. Marty has personal issues on his mind too. Uncle Stan seemed preoccupied and even Mel’s mom has a secret. Each of these characters has their own little subplot. I loved it!

While the story does feature a lot about the wedding Jenn McKinlay doesn’t hold back on the murder/s mystery. The bodies start to pile up early and a clever twist turns the everyone’s thinking around, but finding the real motive takes a bit of sleuthing. The suspect pool changed and it was overflowing of suspects. Another epic twist gets to the heart of the issue and everything falls nicely into place. What a fantastic journey to a very satisfying ending.

This series debuted in 2010 and I have loved all of them. Sprinkle With Murder, the first book in the series, was one of the 1st books featured on my original Dollycas’s Thoughts blog. I hope this series continues for at least 10 more! I do recommend starting at the beginning to get maximum enjoyment of the characters and their growth, but you can jump in anywhere along the way. You can’t go wrong with a Jenn McKinlay novel.

Be sure to check out the recipes in the back of the book too.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

 

Find out all about Jenn McKinlay and her books on her webpage here.

Cupcake Bakery Mysteries


Library Lover’s Mysteries

The Hat Shop Mysteries

Check Out Her New Romance Series

Click on covers to order from Amazon.

 

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 10, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Apr 062018
 

Lost Books and Old Bones: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Scotland
Minotaur Books (April 3, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Kindle ASIN: B075JLD7L7

 

 

 

Delaney Nichols, originally of Kansas but settling happily into her new life as a bookseller in Edinburgh, works at the Cracked Spine in the heart of town. The shop is a place filled with curiosities and surprises tucked into every shelf, and it’s Delaney’s job to research the rare tomes and obscure artifacts that people come to buy and sell. When her new friends, also students at the medical school, come to the shop to sell a collection of antique medical books, Delaney knows she’s stumbled across a rare and important find indeed. Her boss, Edwin MacAlister, agrees to buy the multivolume set, perhaps even to keep for his own collection.

But not long after the sale, one of Delaney’s new friends is found murdered in the alley behind the Cracked Spine, and she wonders if there is some nefarious connection between the origin of these books and the people whose hands they fell into. Delaney takes it upon herself to help bring the murderer to justice. During her investigation, Delaney she finds some old scalpels in the bookshop’s warehouse—she and discovers that they belonged to a long-dead doctor whose story and ties to the past crimes of Burke and Hare might be connected to the present-day murder. It’s all Delaney can do to race to solve this crime before time runs out and she ends up in a victim on the slab herself.

Dollycas Thoughts

Delaney Nichols is feeling more at home in Edinburgh. She has fallen in love, made new friends and is feeling confident about her job at The Cracked Spine. Her friends are all in medical school and recently brought a box of medical books into the shop hoping to sell them quickly. The owner of The Cracked Spine, Edwin MacAlister, buys them thinking they very rare.

Delaney and her friends have an unusual night out in a pub where Delaney meets one of their professors. Her friends tell her the man is “odd” and Delaney has to agree, he is definitely hiding something and maybe her friends are hiding something too. Then the next day she learns one of her friends was murdered behind her store.  She is questioned by the police and feels there is much more to the story behind the young woman’s death. She starts doing some investigating on her own. Items in her very own research area could play a major part in helping her solve the case.

This is a complex mystery with many facets that all twist together to solve and help make sense of what led to a young woman’s death. It also has its share of eerie moments. So fitting for a story set in a shop full of curiosities, I loved how history and historical items are what really drove this story.

Delaney is a fabulous protagonist. She has a curious nature and loves to do research, exactly what she needs to sleuth out the truth. I loved her trips to the university, library, and museum to try to find the answers she needed. It was so much fun to tag along as she made each new connection or discovery. I also enjoy the way her relationship with pub owner Tom is evolving. She also has an extraordinary group of people around to support her. Her boss, coworkers, and landlords have really become her Scotland family.

Ms. Shelton does an excellent job of storytelling. She whisks us away to Scotland with such ease. I have never been there but her words make it very easy to imagine each and every place her words take us.

I have completely escaped into all three books in this series. They can all stand alone but I recommend you read them all in order so you can see Delaney’s growth from her arrival from Kansas to her life now in Scotland, plus the stories are fantastic reads.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About The Author

Paige Shelton is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 20, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form


Will Return Next Week!

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.”

Mar 302018
 

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.


Flourless to Stop Him (A Baker’s Treat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Kansas
Berkley (May 5, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252604
Kindle ASIN: B00O2BKL5C

 

 

It’s never a good time for a crisis. Toni’s busy whipping up gluten-free holiday treats when a murder forces her to put baking on the back burner. A dead man has been found in the bathtub of a local inn—in a room registered to her brother, Tim.

With her sibling now a prime suspect in a mysterious homicide, Toni is determined to find out who set him up. But she’s about to get some unwanted assistance from former investigative journalist Grandma Ruth, who won’t let anything slow her progress in running down a killer…

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Isn’t that cover wonderful??

Gluten-free bakery owner Toni Holmes is busy filling orders and serving walk-in customers. If she can sell enough cookies and cakes for the holidays she just may be able to get through the lack of sales when everyone goes on a diet in the new year. Her whole plan is turned inside out when a man is found dead in a hotel room registered to her brother Tim. She tried to stay out of the investigation, but when her brother is arrested Toni with a big push from her Grandma Ruth try to solve the murder themselves. At this point Toni decides sleep is overrated, she can bake and take down a killer. She’ll sleep after the holidays because by then her customers will be on that diet she has planned for anyway.

To Toni family is everything, but they do get to be a little much. She lives in a big Victorian house, she inherited with the stipulation that any family member could live there any time they needed to and bring their families. Her brother Tim had just moved out and into his own place, but her cousin Mindy has shown up without much explanation. Grandma Ruth lives in senior housing but she takes off on her scooter day or night, right down the middle of the road and drives herself right into the house. She also shows up at the bakery but Toni makes her leave the scooter outside. Toni would do anything for her family but she really needs a break.

Ms. Parra has created some very enjoyable characters. Grandma Ruth brings the humor and Toni tries to keep everyone and everything on track. The girl needs to learn to ask for help. I really love Toni, she smart and her passion for baking gluten-free treats has to be admired. My favorite character though is Grandma Ruth. I wish I had her spunk and energy.

The mystery is so well written. Finding the truth was difficult but Toni didn’t give up. Circumstantial evidence was overwhelming and it was puzzling to try to determine whodunit and why Tim was being framed.

I spent my entire Sunday afternoon glued to these pages, but the ending for me was bittersweet. The story was entertaining and interesting but I hated to reach the last page because I knew it would be the last time I would be reading about these characters. I don’t think the author was done writing about them either but one of the pitfalls in the publishing world is series’ we love ending too soon. I really enjoyed the time I was able to spend with Toni and her family.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

Find out more about Nancy J. Parra/Nancy Coco and her books on her webpage here

Written as Nancy Coco

I am giving away my 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.

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 April 13, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Mar 292018
 


The Uninvited Corpse (Food Blogger Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (March 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496715920
Digital ASIN: B073NNPM7G

 

 

Leaving behind a failed career as a magazine editor and an embarrassing stint on a reality baking show, newly divorced lifestyle entrepreneur Hope Early thought things were finally on the upswing—until she comes face-to-face with a murderer . . .

Hope’s schedule is already jam-packed with recipe testing and shameless plugs for her food blog as she rushes off to attend a spring garden tour in the charming town of Jefferson, Connecticut. Unfortunately, it isn’t the perfectly arranged potted plants that grab her attention—it’s the bloody body of reviled real estate agent Peaches McCoy . . .

One of the tour guests committed murder, and all eyes are on Hope’s older sister, Claire Dixon—who, at best, saw Peaches as a professional rival. And suspicions really heat up when another murder occurs the following night. Now, with two messy murders shaking Jefferson and all evidence pointing to Claire, Hope must set aside her burgeoning brand to prove her sister’s innocence. But the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer intent on making sure her life goes permanently out of style . . .

Includes Recipes from Hope’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I know from experience blogging isn’t easy but Hope Early has her foodie/lifestyle blog well under control and making money. That is until she finds the body of local real estate agent Peaches McCoy in the middle of a spring garden tour. Peaches wasn’t even invited to this party, how did she end up pushing up daisies? Unfortunately, her sister, Claire, also a local real estate agent, tagged along to the event with Hope. Due to her rivalry with the victim, she quickly becomes the prime murder suspect. When another murder is committed, Hope’s only hope is to dig into the murders herself because her sister isn’t taking the police’s investigation seriously. While fielding offers to appear on more reality television and trying to keep up with her recipes and blog, she now finds herself following a murderer and getting so close she may be the next dead body they dig up.

The author has got this series off to a great start.

Due to the garden party setting readers are introduced to a lot of characters all at once but soon we are given enough information to keep them all straight. Hope and her sister are nothing alike. Hope is a hard worker, recently divorced and trying to make a success out of her 15 minutes of reality show fame.  Many say she should have won that baking show. Claire who probably works hard too, is not very likable, kind of irritating, but Hope loves her and the relationship for them is normal.  Hope’s best friend just happens to be the chief of police but that may develop into something more in the future. The secondary cast started to really come alive as the story continued.

The plot is full of red herrings. Almost everyone at the party had an opportunity to kill Peaches, but others could have entered the garden without being seen, so the suspect list is pretty long. The story flows at a nice pace as readers follow along with Hope and her investigation. I had a theory about the guilty party a bit before Hope but the reveal still was a bit of surprise.

I liked the way the story ended with Hope’s housewarming party with an unexpected guest. No corpse this time.

I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I am excited for Hope’s story to continue and maybe Claire will be a little more likable 🙂 The author has laid a nice foundation and left plenty of room for her characters to evolve as the series continues.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Debra Sennefelder, the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series, is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in pre-hospital care, retail and publishing. Her writing companions are her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih-Tzus, Susie and Billy.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Women’s Fiction Writers Association and Romance Writers of America.

Author Links:     Website – Facebook – Goodreads 

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 12, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Confound It (A Dreamwalker Mystery) by Maggie Toussaint Order Your Copy Today!
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