Sep 132019
 


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.


Two to Mango (The Tiki Goddess Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Hawaii
Bell Bridge Books (June 20, 2012)
Hardcover: 218 pages
ISBN-10: 1611948096
ISBN-13: 978-1611948097
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-10: 1611941318
ISBN-13: 978-1611941319
Kindle ASIN: B007RQV6NK

Forget the grass skirts. Some of the Island’s top hula dancers are pushing up daisies.

Everyone at Em Johnson’s famous North Shore Kauai hang-out, The Tiki Goddess Bar, knows that the bar’s irrepressible Hula Maidens take their hula dancing seriously. So when famed hula instructors from a rival dance troop start dropping like over-ripe passion fruit, Em and the Hula Maidens go undercover at the Kukui Nut Festival Hula Competition to uncover the killer. Em is once again up to her okole in danger and mystery, not to mention the seductive challenge of working with hunky detective Roland Sharpe, who moonlights as one of the island’s sexiest fire dancers.

The hula is lively, the luau is smoking, the mai tais are delicious, and a killer is looking to get away with murder in paradise.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Hula Maidens are back and are as hilarious as ever. The senior ladies take their hula dancing very seriously and are afraid that after their latest incident at an old folks home their dancing days may be over. They get a reprieve when Em Johnson’s detective Roland asks for Em’s help. Heads of another local dance group have died suddenly. Roland doesn’t have any proof but he thinks their deaths were not from natural causes. He asks Em to convince the Hula Maidens to enter the Kukui Nut Festival Hula Competition so that she can go undercover and keep her eyes and ears open. He will be there too in his dual roles of law enforcement and fire dancer. Em just can’t say no.

First, I appreciated the author’s refresher on the Hawaiian language and the meaning of the Hawaiian words when they first appear as a comfortable part of the narrative.

Next, Ms. Landis has created the epitome of quirky characters that are what every great cozy mystery series needs. The Hula Maidens are a group of “not-so-talented-over-the-hill dancers”. They have recently lost one member to another group and gained a dancer who hails from Iowa. They dance at events and places for free but their “gigs” are rare because people expect “lovely young Polynesian dancers, not a bunch of wrinkled old haoles (not Native Hawaiian) with underarm bat wings.” In the first book in this series, they convinced Em Johnson to come to Kauai to save her uncle’s Tiki Goddess Bar that was going under mostly because her uncle loans anyone money and never gets repaid. The bar also has a taste testing parrot named David Letterman. Uncle Louie likes to come up with new exotic drink recipes that aren’t revealed to the public without the bird’s okay. And then there is bartender Sophie, who tries to help the maidens with their choreography and hunky fire dancer detective Roland Sharpe. Roland does have feelings for Em and she has feelings for him but they are taking things S .  . . L . . . O . . . W.

The author wraps these characters in a puzzling mystery. Who is killing the Kumu? and How? and Why? It is not easily apparent but Em has her suspects. What ensues is a wacky, wild and at times laugh out loud funny journey to find the truth.

I read the first book in this series because I needed to read a book set in Hawaii for a reading challenge. I came back for this one because there are very few authors that can make me laugh so much from the beginning to the end of a story. The bonus is the mystery is fun to follow and solve too.

If you like cozies with a generous dose of humor and larger than life characters, grab this book, flip to the back for Uncle Louie’s Booze Bible, mix yourself a drink or two, and sit back and enjoy Jill Marie Landis’ Two to Mango!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Mai Tai One On here.

Find out more about Jill Marie Landis on her webpage here.

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!

Book Will Be Sent Directly From Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For 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 September 27, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Sep 102019
 

A Curio Killing
(A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
by Mary Ellen Hughes

 

About A Curio Killing

A Curio Killing (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Maryland
Midnight Ink (September 8, 2019)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 0738752266
ISBN-13: 978-0738752266
Digital ASIN: B07KMX5QY4

Callie finds treble in Keepsake Cove when her ex-boyfriend is framed for murder . . . 

Callie Reed is looking forward to her first Keepsake Cove spring festival. But her excitement dims considerably when she learns that her ex-boyfriend, Hank, will be performing with one of the hired country-western bands. Callie vows to keep her distance, but that changes when the band’s manager, Bobby Linville, is found dead, killed with the music box Hank bought at Callie’s shop.

Hank is soon singing a sad tune in a detention center with Callie his only lifeline. Though thoroughly aware of his many faults, she knows violence and murder aren’t in his blood. But that means one of her fellow Keepsake Cove residents must be hiding a dark secret—something Callie desperately needs to uncover.

Dollycas’s  Thoughts

In this 3rd Keepsake Cove Mystery House of Melody owner Callie Reed is excited about the upcoming Spring Festival. She is totally caught off guard when her ex-boyfriend Hank walks into her shop and informs her his band will be headlining the entertainment for the festival. She is even more shocked when he purchases a pricey music box. She plans to enjoy the festival with new boyfriend Brian, keeping any contact with Hank to a minimum.

Then the band’s manager is murdered and the murder weapon happens to be the music box Hank purchased the day before. Like a familiar country song, Hank finds himself behind bars pleading his innocence and begging a woman (Callie) for her help. She believes he didn’t do it but she has no idea who would have killed the man. It could be someone who calls Keepsake Cove home.

__

The core characters in this series are an eclectic group and they are joined this time some great new characters, some who make very good suspects. Keepsake Cove residents, Hank and the members of his band. Delia’s costume photographer friend Jill, and Callie’s mom who is reaching out by phone for Callie’s help too. I am glad Brian is such a fantastic boyfriend. He was patient and didn’t get too freaked out by Callie’s determination to help her ex, but it was easy to see he was not happy. She also leaves the music box shop in her assistant’s hands a lot while she is “investigating”. She is blessed by the people in her life that stood by her side as she helped a man that had really hurt her in the past.

The mystery had its share of twists and turns. There turned out to be more suspects than originally perceived. Secrets revealed really took the case in a different direction. I was surprised by the way everything played out.

Keepsake Cove, a collector shopper’s dream come true, is an ideal place for cozy mysteries to take place. I would love to visit all the unique shops at any time of year. The author’s words also bring another area to life. She does an excellent job laying out the festival grounds too, making it very easy for readers to visualize.

There was something missing from this book that I loved about the others. That being Tabitha’s surprising over-the-top clothing and accessory choices that would surprise Callie and visitors to House of Melody, i.e. a new character each day. This time she was so focused on building her jewelry business and filling in for Callie, her uniqueness took a backseat. With a more serious Tabitha, some of the humor found in previous books was lost.

That being said A Curio Killing is a fine addition to this series. With the publisher closing its doors I hope the author finds a way to continue it because I sure would love to visit Keepsake Cove and these characters again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Fatal Collection here, and A Vintage Death here.

About Mary Ellen Hughes

Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries, the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. The Keepsake Cove series begins with A Fatal Collection and continues with A VINTAGE DEATH and A CURIO KILLING.

Visit her at www.MaryEllenHughes.com.

Author Links – Facebook – Pinterest – Twitter  – GoodReads

Purchase Links 

 
Amazon    B&N  Midnight Ink     Mystery Love Company Booksellers    BAM    IndieBound

Also by Mary Ellen Hughes



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

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Sep 062019
 


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.


The Final Arrangement: A Cozy Flower Shop Mystery
Amateur Sleuths (Adult Language)
1st in Series
Setting – Utah
Self Published
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1482314487
ISBN-13: 978-1482314489
Kindle ASIN: B00AF2HXGC

The Vulture is dead.

The body of Quincy McKay’s nemesis and biggest competitor in the floral business has just been discovered in a casket at the mortuary, complete with flowers on the lid.

Derrick Gibbons, aka The Vulture, stole all of Quincy’s funeral business, and now she’s on a mission to get it back. But there’s a problem—Quincy is now the main suspect in The Vulture’s murder.

Armed with only her Zombie delivery van, good intentions, and the business card of a handsome cop named Alex, she must find the killer, save the flower shop, and keep from ending up in the next casket. If she can dodge burning bushes, the plague of a polygamist ex, and her mother’s Mormon Mafia Spy Network, her life with Alex and her shop could become the perfect arrangement.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Quinella/Quincy McKay has taken over her aunt’s florist shop, Rosie’s Posies. Business was good until Derrick Gibbons, aka The Vulture, took over all funeral business in the area. It is only fitting he should meet his demise and be found laid out in a casket complete with flowers ready for his own funeral. Because of an altercation with the deceased right before he was killed Quincy lands firmly at the top of the suspect list.

She meets another police officer who tells her she has nothing to worry about. Andy is easy on the eyes and there are immediate vibes between them, but Quincy isn’t sure if she can trust him. She knows she needs to clear her name while avoiding her mother’s Mormon Mafia Spy Network all while dealing with the fallout of her polygamist ex, her sister’s abusive boyfriend, an employee that is getting on her last nerve, and another who she knows she needs to fire. She also needs to stay out of the killer’s way or she could be pushing up daisies next to the Vulture.

Set in Utah, Quincy’s mother wants her daughters to settle down with nice Mormon men, both tried but the men were not who they appeared to be. Qunicy gets out of her relationship and she is determined to help her sister get out of hers even with their mother putting up roadblocks.

We also meet a quirky group of supporting characters. Quincy’s employees, other florists, funeral home staff, and of course members of the local police department. The characters all have their own amount of baggage and the author does a good job fleshing them out. Quincy doesn’t always make the best moves but in her mind, they make sense. She is evolving and that is always a good thing.

Ms. Adams wraps these characters not only in a murder mystery but several subplots. She takes on some hot button issues but keeps them from getting too heavy with well-timed humor. The main mystery was a twisted up puzzle with a variety of suspects in addition to our protagonist. It was fun to follow all the clues to a suspenseful satisfying conclusion.

I love flowers so I loved the descriptions of the floral creations. It was easy to picture every one.

With the perfect amount of humor and romance, The Final Arrangement was an enjoyable mystery, with one caution, this story includes explicit language that for me takes it out of the cozy mystery genre. That being said I am excited to read the next book in the series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author 

Annie Adams is the author of The Flower Shop Mystery Series and the Rosie McKay Mystery Series. She lives with her husband, two giant dogs, and two, too giant cats in Northern Utah at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains. When not writing she can be found arranging flowers or delivering them in her own Zombie Delivery Van.

Website  – FacebookTwitter  


You can get a copy of this book at Amazon for just 99 cents
but I am giving away 1 Kindle copy.
It will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End September 20, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my personal collection. 

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Sep 042019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to welcome Kathleen Ernst back to Escape with Dollycas!

Reaching a Milestone

By Kathleen Ernst

 

As Chloe Ellefson walked from 1982 into 1870s Wisconsin, a white frame church emerged from the trees, prettily framed against a cloud-studded blue sky. The view alone was enough to make most visitors pause, appreciate the simple elegance of the restored church, perhaps even wonder about the lives of those women and men and children who had first worshiped within its walls. For Chloe, the historic site’s newest employee, the scene represented a fresh start.

I wrote those words seventeen years ago, hoping they might one day become the beginning of an adult mystery novel.

At the time I was busy writing historical fiction for young readers and working as a project director and scriptwriter for instructional videos broadcast on Wisconsin Public Television. I had little spare time.

Still, writing a series about an outdoor museum curator was something I truly wanted to do. I had once worked for a large historic site myself, and I missed that world. Writing “on spec,” with no promise of publication, I began work on the first Chloe Ellefson mystery, Old World Murder.

Because I had to fit writing Chloe’s story around contract work, it took me seven years to finish that first book. The delays actually served me well, I think, for they gave me lots of time to think about not only the first mystery, but my goals for the series.

Old World Murder was published by Midnight Ink in 2010. Astonishingly, I’m now celebrating publication of the 10th book in the series, Fiddling With Fate.

My goals for the series haven’t changed. First, I strive to give readers a satisfying armchair adventure and complex characters to root for. In addition, I want to feature real historic sites and museums in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest. I want to celebrate this region’s diverse ethnic heritage by focusing on different groups. And I want to spotlight the stories that artifacts and old buildings can tell.

I’m writing about stories and places I feel passionately about, and I hope it shows. I love hearing that the mysteries have inspired readers to visit a museum, try a traditional craft, or delve deeper into their own family history.

The very best part of writing ten Chloe Ellefson mysteries? Making so many friends along the way—sites staff and volunteers, folk artists, reenactors, bloggers, and other authors, and most especially the many readers who care about Chloe (and her fiancé, Roelke McKenna) as much as I do.

To celebrate this milestone, Chloe and Roelke travel a bit farther afield in Fiddling With Fate. Chloe accepts a grant that sends them to Norway to research folk dance and fiddle music. While there, she hopes to unravel the mystery of her own ancestry. Of course, all does not go smoothly! Nonetheless, Chloe and Roelke manage to celebrate a milestone of their own.

Heartfelt thanks to Dollycas for her years of support, and to the wonderful readers who have made it possible for me to hold the 10th Chloe Ellefson Mystery in my hand. Happy reading!

Thank you, Kathleen, for visiting and writing such wonderful stories!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Fiddling with Fate.


Fiddling with Fate (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin/Norway
Midnight Ink (September 8, 2019)
Paperback: 360 pages
ISBN-10: 0738760900
ISBN-13: 978-0738760902
Kindle ASIN: B07KN76WMH

Chloe has a devil of a time unraveling the mysteries of Norway’s fiddle and dance traditions

After her mother’s unexpected death, curator Chloe Ellefson discovers hidden antiques that hint at family secrets. Determined to find answers, Chloe accepts a consultant job in Norway, her ancestors’ homeland. She’s thrilled with the opportunity to explore Hardanger fiddle and dance traditions . . . and her own heritage.

Once their plane lands, however, Chloe and her fiancé, cop Roelke McKenna, encounter only disharmony. Chloe’s research reveals strong women and the importance of fiddle music in their lives. But folklore warns against “the devil’s instrument” and old evils may yet linger among the fjords and mountains. As Chloe fine-tunes her search for the truth, a killer’s desire to stop her builds to a deadly crescendo.

 Dollycas’s Thoughts

Chloe was dealing with some information she found out about her mother when her mother unexpectedly passed away. While going through her mother’s belongings she finds some unique heirlooms hidden away. These objects raise more questions than providing answers. Her mother was getting ready to travel to Norway to study Hardanger fiddle and dance traditions. With her death, Chloe is given the opportunity to take her place and her fiancé Roelke McKenna agrees to go along.

Their trip gets off to a rocky start when someone tries to steal the backpack Chloe is carrying at the airport soon after they landed. Able to hang on to her belongs, they try to concentrate on Chloe’s research with the added opportunity to research her mother’s background. The fiddle has a rich heritage, both good and bad and Chloe is anxious to learn all she can. But when a young woman is murdered Chloe enlists Roelke police instincts to help her solve all the mysteries. When they realize Chloe is the killer’s target things get really intense.

___

What I have loved about every book in this series is the way Kathleen Ernst melds her character’s lives with an extraordinary mystery while tying in a historic story too. This time she takes us to Norway to learn about immigrants that had migrated to Wisconsin in the 1920s. She takes her readers along with lead character Chloe on an adventure to learn about Norwegian history and the many facets like music and fiddling played in that history. The author’s research shines but it is all fictionalized in a way that is a pure joy to read.

Her words also permit readers to visualize clearly every place her characters travel. The outside museum, the trails, the hotel, the waterfalls, and to a spectacular place where Chloe learns so much. All the people they meet too are richly described and developed.

Chloe’s life takes place in the 1980s, no cell phones, no GPS, no Wikipedia, no internet, but she does have what I call “spidey sense”, certain places and things affect her physically. She learns much through her travels and experiences. I found myself fully immersed in this story wanting the learn right along with her. Both the present time and historic period had its own suspenseful mystery and some terrifying moments building to an unexpected ending.

Ms. Ernst is an amazing storyteller. Her imagination weaves a story filled with real history to take her readers on a delightful literary trip. The main characters are genuine, real and very engaging. It seems each book in this series becomes my new favorite because the author continues to top herself.

Fiddling with Fate takes two characters I care about on quite a journey. I loved every minute of it! Look for this book on my Best Reads List of 2019.

Each story is written to stand on its own but for maximum enjoyment, you should read them all.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and author. Her Chloe Ellefson mysteries reflect the decade she spent as a curator at a large outdoor museum, and feature historic sites in the Upper Midwest. Library Journal says, “Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series.” Kathleen has also written many mysteries for young readers. Honors for her work include a LOVEY Award and Agatha and Edgar nominations. Kathleen lives and writes in Wisconsin.

 Author Links – Website    Blog       Facebook

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Sign up for Kathleen’s Mailing List 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 September 18, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Aug 302019
 


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

I have really enjoyed the books by this author written at Kate Dyer-Seeley
but I am late to the party with this series, but I hope to rectify that soon.


Meet Your Baker: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Oregon
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 30, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250054230
ISBN-13: 978-1250054234
Kindle ASIN: B00JI0RSFS

Welcome to Torte-a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the treats are so good that, sometimes, it’s criminal…

After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte’s customers turns up dead, there’s much ado about murder…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Juliet Capshaw has been working on a cruise ship for years, but when she finds her Chef husband kept a huge secret from her she flees home to Ashland, Oregon, and her family’s bakery, Torte. Working beside her mother they find their rhythm and Jules knows she made the right decision even though she is not sure how long she will stay.

She arrives for her second day at Torte to find one of their customers dead. A woman that was very involved with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival who has accumulated her fair share of enemies. When one of the bakery’s employees is pegged for the crime, She decides to “Go wisely and slowly,” because “Those who rush stumble and fall” and do her best find the real killer.

Typical of the first book in a series that author has jam-packed these pages. Jules is a likable character with a lot going on. Her mother is a wonderful woman and excellent baker but she is hiding something. Jules is not sure what to make of her mother’s young employees but one can sure make a great cup of coffee or any derivative of the caffeine drink. The other seems to have her own issues. All these characters develop well within these pages, but I feel we have much to learn about our protagonist, Juliet Montague Capshaw.

Torte seems to be a popular gathering place especially because of its connection with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival which made it the perfect place for a murder. It was easy to come up with a list of suspects and the secondary characters really came alive. Secrets, falsehoods, and just their general demeanor made it hard to eliminate anyone outright. I followed right along and didn’t put all the clues together until shortly before the villain reveal.

I did enjoy reading about the day to day life of running a bakery and the delectable descriptions of the treats had my stomach growling. There is more than one recipe at the end of the story I can’t wait to try. I have a weakness for anything wrapped in puff pastry 🙂

I have some catching up to do on this series, but with a debut like this, I am looking forward to the next book, A Batter of Life and Death and more!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

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

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving my copy away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End September 13, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my personal collection. 

Share
Aug 292019
 

Singapore Sapphire (A Harriet Gordon Mystery)
Historial Mystery/ Amateur Sleuth
1st in Series
Setting – Singapore
Berkley (August 6, 2019)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 198480264X
ISBN-13: 978-1984802644
Kindle ASIN: B07KDW7YKS

Early twentieth-century Singapore is a place where a person can disappear, and Harriet Gordon hopes to make a new life for herself there, leaving her tragic memories behind her–but murder gets in the way.

Singapore, 1910–Desperate for a fresh start, Harriet Gordon finds herself living with her brother, a reverend and headmaster of a school for boys, in Singapore at the height of colonial rule. Hoping to gain some financial independence, she advertises her services as a personal secretary. It is unfortunate that she should discover her first client, Sir Oswald Newbold–explorer, mine magnate and president of the exclusive Explorers and Geographers Club–dead with a knife in his throat.

When Inspector Robert Curran is put on the case, he realizes that he has an unusual witness in Harriet. Harriet’s keen eye for detail and strong sense of duty interests him, as does her distrust of the police and her traumatic past, which she is at pains to keep secret from the gossips of Singapore society.

When another body is dragged from the canal, Harriet feels compelled to help with the case. She and Curran are soon drawn into a murderous web of treachery and deceit and find themselves face-to-face with a ruthless cabal that has no qualms about killing again to protect its secrets.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was a little hesitant when I opened the book to a glossary and a cast of characters. I was afraid the different dialects were going to mess with the flow and I like to get to know the characters myself as I read the story, especially for the first book of a series. So I skimmed the glossary and ignored the cast list and jumped right in. What I found was a unique mystery with very interesting characters in a fascinating setting.

Harriet Gordon lost both her husband and child to Typhus in India. She returned to England and became involved in the Suffragette Movement and got into a bit of trouble. She then decided to join her brother, a minister, and headmaster of a school in Singapore. There was work there for her to do but with no pay. To earn money she placed an ad to be a personal secretary. Her first client was Sir Oswald Newbold, a man well known for his exploration and a mining magnate. He was also president of the exclusive Explorers and Geographers Club. He had hired Harriet to transcribe his memoirs to get them ready for publication. Her employment ends abruptly when she finds the man dead in his home.

Inspector Robert Curran arrives on the scene and sees Harriet is a formidable woman with a keen sense of observation. He also feels she is hiding something. Something not pertaining to the death but something that is holding her back. Inspector Curran is holding something personal back from her as well, but beyond that, he believes she can help him with his case.

These characters are very well-developed for the first book in a series, but the author has left them plenty of room to grow. I enjoyed the way a friendship was built between them. The author also surrounds these characters with a diverse cast. Young students from the school, the staff, her brother to everyone we meet as we follow along with the investigation. All the characters are strong even those with minor parts to play. There are a lot of characters but I had no trouble keeping them straight.

The descriptions of Singapore, 1910, are vivid and I could tell the author was familiar with the setting and had researched it greatly.  It was no surprise when her biography stated she had lived there. Her words definitely transported this reader back in time to a place I knew very little about. She even captured the weather and makes her readers feel it. I was sweating in sympathy for the characters.

The mystery was an imaginative jewel. Precisely plotted, with culture and time are clearly portrayed. The pace had a slow build but really picked up about halfway in. The story was complex with twist after twist. The ending was suspenseful and kept me on my toes until everything was revealed.

Singapore Sapphire was an extraordinary read and I am looking forward to my next adventure with Harri and the good inspector. This series is off to an excellent start.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About A.M. Stuart 

Australian author, A.M. Stuart, learned her passion for history from her father and began her writing career halfway up a tree in the school playground where she wrote her first (unpublished) historical romance.

There have been many published, and multi award-nominated, historical romances (writing as Alison Stuart) since then but her first love has always been historical mystery.

Born in Kenya, her family came to Australia when she was ten years old. As an adult, she lived in Singapore for a number of years, where the idea for the Harriet Gordon Mysteries first crystallized.

In her life outside writing, she enjoyed a varied career as a lawyer in a wide number of fields including the military (where she held the rank of Major) and as a senior executive in the fire services.

The first of The Harriet Gordon Mysteries, SINGAPORE SAPPHIRE, was published by Berkley in August 2019.

Readers can connect with A.M. Stuart at her Facebook page, Twitter or subscribe to her newsletter.


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

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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.”

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Aug 232019
 


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.

This is the second book this week that has featured Agatha Christie. That was purely by accident or was it?
Another mystery
🙂 


A Very Merry Murder (A Professor Prather Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – South Dakota
Camel Press (October 1, 2018)
Paperback: 258 pages
ISBN-10: 1603816550
ISBN-13: 978-160381655
Kindle ASIN: B07G2VLLCV

It’s December in Copper Bluff, and from hillside to hallowed hall, everyone is merry—or will be as soon as semester break arrives. Students are studying, professors are grading, and Emmeline Prather is anticipating the university-sponsored holiday concert. Friend and colleague Lenny Jenkins will be accompanying the visiting quartet, Jazz Underground, and Em can’t think of a better way to kick-start the holiday season.

But before she can say “Jingle Bell Rock,” trouble arrives at Candlelight Inn, the bed and breakfast where the quartet is staying. One of the band members dies unexpectedly, and suspicion falls on Em, whose altercation with the man ends with him on the floor. He never recovers, and now she’s worried her reputation might not either. When Emmeline starts to see parallels between an Agatha Christie novel she’s teaching and the victim, Lenny claims she’s read one too many mysteries.

As the clues unravel, so does the murderer’s patience. Em is close to finding the truth, but will the truth—or the murderer—push her over the edge? It will take a Christmas miracle to solve this case, but if there’s one thing in surplus this time of year, it’s faith.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Christmas is in the air . . . and so is murder!

As the Christmas Holiday Break draws near the university is hopping. Students have papers to complete and final classes to attend. Professors like Emmeline Prather have papers to grade and classes to wrap up. One of her classes is reading and analyzing a tome by Agatha Christie. Em is also excited about the holiday concert of the group Jazz Underground. Her friend Lenny Jenkins is going to be joining the quartet.

The group is staying at the Candlelight Inn, a local B&B and Lenny invites Em to join the group for a little get-together. When one of the band members acts weird and gets a little handsy, Em gives him a shove and he falls to the floor. He never gets up, even after she administered CPR. Their little altercation puts the spotlight on Emmeline and she decides to channel a little Hercule Poirot and try to solve the crime. But will she get too close to the killer? Will she be the next victim and the murderer go free?

___

The recurring characters are joined by an interesting group of musicians and the owners and staff of the B&B. Those core characters continue to evolve. Again Em and Lenny team up with assistance from one of Em’s former student who is now on the police force to try to solve the case. Lenny is friends with one member of the quartet.  And it appears she would like to rekindle that relationship. Em is surprised by the jealousy she feels. This relationship has been pending for the entire series so far. I have enjoyed the way it has been written and even more so in this story.

The author had laid out a very well-written mystery.  Several suspects, a unique means of murder, and a fantastic closed room style reveal that I absolutely loved. We were served plenty of red herrings, twists, and turns. I was totally surprised by when the guilty party was fingered by Em. She has a great relationship with police and she gave them a vital clue so they allowed her to run with her presentation of the case and the proclamation of the killer.

I have enjoyed every book in this series The core characters are engaging and the mysteries are complex and puzzling. Author Mary Angela gives plenty of background so that each book can be read on its own but I would recommend reading the series from the beginning.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Like her protagonist in the Professor Prather mystery series, Mary Angela lives on the Great Plains and teaches college writing and literature. When she’s not grading papers (when is she not grading papers?), she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She and her husband have two amazing daughters, one adorable dog, and a cat who would rather not be limited by an adjective. For more information, go to www.maryangelabooks.com.

Author LinksWebpage     Blog     GoodReads      Facebook     Twitter


Coming Soon

You can find my review of Book #1 – An Act of Murder here and Passport to Murder here.

I am giving 1 Kindle Copy away!
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For 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 September 6, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

 

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Aug 222019
 


One Potato, Two Potato, Dead (A Farm-to-Fork Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Idaho
Lyrical Underground (March 19, 2019)
Paperback: 184 pages
ISBN-10: 1516103866
ISBN-13: 978-1516103867
Kindle ASIN: B07DZPK5L8

Angie Turner’s restaurant, The County Seat, is conveniently located near a first-class farmers market—so her menu is full of fresh ingredients. But a visiting culinary professor has just had a taste of something very unhealthy . . .

Angie first meets Daniel Monet at a local mission, where she and her chef-in-training, Hope, are serving barbeque chicken poutine to the homeless. Monet is one of Hope’s teachers—but Angie’s boyfriend knows him from his youthful days in England. But soon, the bon vivant is no longer vivant. When Monet is found dead, with Hope’s prints on the wine glass next to him, it will be Angie who has to sauce out the real killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The County Seat, a farm to fork restaurant has been busy since it opened. Angie and her best friend Felica and their competent staff are thrilled they are now open more days and they continue to have new ideas to add to the staff’s hours.

Felicia is dating the director of a Boise mission and she persuades the staff to serve a meal there. While there they meet one of Hope’s professors.  She has been working as their chef-in-training/dishwasher and everyone agrees she has a bright future. It is obvious she a crush on the man. Angie’s boyfriend Ian, recognizes the man from his past in England and is confused because he is using a different name.

After the meal is served the professor requests a ride home and Hope jumps at the chance. When the man is found dead the next day, Hope confesses she did have a glass of wine with him but he was very much alive when she left. The whole County Seat family rally together to help Hope. Angie is on a mission to find the real killer so Hope can get back to doing what she loves – cooking.

What I love about this series is that the staff of The County Seat really gel, they are more like family than co-workers. This time Hope gets the benefit of that family. They get her a lawyer, they keep their eyes and ears open for any news/gossip that could help catch the killer, and when it is determined Hope may be in danger they come up with a plan to keep her safe. These well-developed characters are so genuine and easy to like

I did miss Mrs. Potter as she and her granddaughter are away visiting family. But Angie’s little zoo with her goat Precious and her Mabel are visited at least once a day. Angie’s Saint Bernard Dom and Precious have come to a mutual agreement. Dom will stay away from the barn and Precious will stay away from the house, but they will share Angie 🙂

Ms. Cahoon has cooked up quite a mystery. The victim had secrets and was kinda skeezy. Women seemed to fall all over him and he played that for all it was worth. These meant plenty of suspects but I did find one person in my sights early and as the story continued my thoughts were affirmed.

The subplots blended well with the mystery. I was cheering one of the characters on all the way as she came to a great realization.

I also enjoyed all the food discussed and the humor interspersed throughout the story.

One Potato, Two Potato, Dead is an entertaining story filled with interesting and likable characters.  The entire series is a must-read for culinary cozy lovers.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

ABOUT LYNN CAHOON:

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small-town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and two fur babies.

Author Links

GoodreadsTwitter –Facebook Website –Amazon Author Page

 


Coming December 3, 2019

Also by Lynn Cahoon


 

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

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Aug 162019
 


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


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

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

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

___

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

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

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

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

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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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


Elizabeth Lee also writes as Eliabeth Kane Buzzelli

 


I am giving away my review copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End August 30, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Aug 022019
 


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.
Checking off the “Q” this week on my Alphabet Soup Challenge.


Queen of the Trailer Park (Rosie Maldonne’s World)
Amateur Sleuths/Humorous Fiction
1st in Series
Setting – France
Translated from French
Amazon Crossing (June 1, 2015)
Paperback: 334 pages
ISBN-10: 1477827560
ISBN-13: 978-1477827567
Kindle ASIN: B00Q74VXMC

Rosie Maldonne is outspoken and sexy. She’s also unemployed, and, with three children and a cat, life is a little tough. The four of them—well, five, if you count the cat—live in the South of France, in a run-down trailer near a vacant lot. They make do, living off her part-time waitressing job and a little help from the state.

Rosie thinks things are finally turning around when she meets handsome police officer Jérôme—until she realizes that his appearance coincides with her friend Véro’s disappearance. Then, something even stranger happens: Rosie finds a package with a crazy amount of money in the trash can of a fast-food joint. With so much going on, Rosie has some big questions: Where is Véro? Is Jérôme too good to be true? Who put all that cash in the trash? And what happens when they want it back?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Single mom Rosie Maldonne lives in a trailer that had seen better days with her three children and their cat. Mostly unemployed she depends on government assistance to keep food on the table.  She waitresses at a nearby restaurant and begs loans from friends when the money runs out. That is until she makes a bizarre discovery in a trash can on her way home – A huge amount of money in several envelopes.

During this time her friend Vero and her son go missing and the police come to Rosie for answers she just doesn’t have. One police officer Jérôme is particularly nice and starts to be around wherever she goes. She also meets a very nice older man that wants to take care of her and the children.

While Rosie tries to find her friend and tries to decide what to do with the found money, she also has to deal with a new development that would evict her from her home. Finding help in unique places she fights to keep what’s hers and save Vero and her son.

____

I was looking for a book to fill the “Q” spot for a reading challenge. The synopsis sounding interesting and felt close to the cozy genre I love so I quickly snapped it up.  I was a little nervous when I realized it was a French story translated to English, but after reading the first few pages I knew that was not going to be a problem at all. The book cannot be classified as a cozy though due to the explicit language used throughout the story.

The lead character Rosie, who would rather be called “CriCri” is a very interesting character. She is very open about her life and has a huge heart.  She takes in one child of a friend quickly and is ready to welcome in another even when she is as poor as can be. She doesn’t let it get her down. She gets her children to school each day and tries to have as much fun with them as possible. The kids are happy and well cared for. Rosie has a quick mind and can put anyone in their place immediately, even men who have come to hurt her. She is always one to two steps ahead of everyone and really can think on her feet. She also has a continuous inner dialogue that is absolutely priceless. She uses unique terminology, calling her children lovingly “crib lizards” and “chickadees” along with other phrases that may only be unique because of the translation from French. She also appears to be a very sexy woman.

The flow of the story has a few issues but I know that is due to the translations. There are a few mysteries to solve and some twist together while others don’t. While most are solved by the end of the book they are things unresolved that will have me reading the next book in the series.

The Queen of the Trailer Park is an entertaining/hilarious story.  Rosie’s antics will have you in stitches and shaking your head. I enjoyed following her exploits all around town. I am so glad I was looking for a “Q” book and found this author and this series. This was a great little escape to France.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Alice Quinn has worked many jobs, from theater hostess to waitress, and has traveled the world, often relying on her wits to make ends meet. After the success of her first novel, Queen of the Trailer Park, in her native French, she quit her day jobs and now makes her living writing full-time. She lives in the South of France with her two teenage children and several cats.


I am giving away 1 Kindle copy of this book!  

It will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Contest Will End August 16, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I This book was from my private collection. 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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