Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Hook, Line, and Sinker: An Ozarks Lake Mystery by Marc Jedel #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Hook, Line, and Sinker: An Ozarks Lake Mystery
by Marc Jedel

About Hook, Line, and Sinker


Hook, Line, and Sinker: An Ozarks Lake Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Arkansas
BGM Press (July 14, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 255 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1732716471
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1732716476
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B63XZS6T

Dubious diamond devotees and a dead loan shark. With the dad she thought dead suspected of murder, can she keep him from doing hard time?

Elizabeth Trout thinks she must have rocks in her head. After receiving a crazy call that the father she never knew is cooling his heels in the local jail, the newlywed graphic designer posts bail and invites him home. But the family reunion loses its luster when she learns her old man is under suspicion for murder after he was found near a corpse.

With the sheriff zeroing in on her dad and no other suspects on ice, Elizabeth starts her own investigation to mine for evidence. But as greedy gem hunters, fossil fanatics, and shady scammers run amok, she must race to solve the homicide before she’s the one shafted.

Can she prove her father’s innocence before a rough-cut killer makes a glittering getaway?

Hook, Line, and Sinker is the hilarious third book in the Ozarks Lake Mystery cozy series. If you like big-hearted but excitable heroines, charismatic rogues, and uproarious plot twists, then you’ll love Marc Jedel’s jaunty jewel.

Buy Hook, Line, and Sinker to get caught up in a carat of crime today!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Elizabeth gets a freaky call from her “old friend” Trent at the sheriff’s office. A man was found in the vicinity of a dead body and he has been detained. The crazy thing is that the man is claiming to be Elizabeth’s father. A man she believed had been dead her whole life. To add to the craziness she bails the man out and invites him into her home. Her mother, of course, is caught in her lie and wants nothing to do with the man.

Alan Azucar is a shifty individual but Elizabeth wants to get to know her father better and she can’t do that if he is in jail for murder so she starts her own investigation. She needs to dig up some evidence to clear the man and she runs into a lot of roadblocks on the way. Will she find what she needs or will the real killer get away scot-free?


The author gets this story off to a good start and then we get to Chapter 3 told from Jonas’ point of view. Jonas had gone “fishing” with his usual cohorts who get in trouble way too easily. This time they were “catfish noodling”. I had no idea what that was but the author explains it very well. So well I read the passage more than once and then shared it out loud with my husband. The words of my grandmother. “Yeah, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.” came immediately to mind.  I mean they blew up a boat in the last book, but this noodling is just too much, even though it really is an actual thing. I have the image burned into my brain and can’t get it out.

Okay now back to the rest of the story. Elizabeth and Jonas’s new home will be ready to move into in a couple of weeks and they are excited. They are also making themselves more at home in Jenkins which is home to some of the quirkiest people I have ever read about and had me laughing hardily throughout the story. But the hilarity doesn’t end there. Jonas and Elizabeth meet even more, shall I say, interesting people as they “investigate”.

The mystery in this story is full of red herrings to misdirect and distract but I had a ball following The Trouts around as they tried to pull all the clues together. Having her father as the police’s main suspect, a man Elizabeth didn’t really know, really was a wonderful idea because I felt like I as the reader wanted to know him too. Aside from the humorous theme of the story that was a serious part because I felt bad how Elizabeth’s found out about her dad and was extremely gratified by how she handled it even when it wasn’t easy.

Hook, Line, and Sinker had me laughing, cringing, shaking my head, and totally entertained.  I highly recommend every book in this series. Each has been a Perfect Escape. I am excited about the next installment but please, no more noodling.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Marc Jedel

Marc Jedel writes humorous murder mysteries. He credits his years of marketing leadership positions in Silicon Valley for honing his writing skills and sense of humor. While his high-tech marketing roles involved crafting plenty of fiction, these were just called emails, ads, and marketing collateral.

For most of Marc’s life, he’s been inventing stories. As he’s gotten older, he’s encountered more funny and odd people and situations. This has made it even easier for him to write what he knows and make up the rest. It’s a skill that’s served him well, both as an author and marketer.

The publication of Marc’s first novel, UNCLE AND ANTS, gave him permission to claim “author” as his job. This leads to much more interesting conversations than answering, “marketing.”

Like his characters Jonas and Elizabeth from the Ozarks Lake Mystery series, Marc grew up in the South and spent plenty of time in and around Arkansas. Like his character, Marty from the Silicon Valley Mystery series, Marc now lives in Silicon Valley, works in high-tech, and enjoys bad puns. Along with all his protagonists, Marc too has a dog, although his is neurotic, sweet, and small, with little appreciation for Marc’s humor.

Visit his website, marcjedel.com, for free chapters of novels, special offers, and more.

Author Links

Website: www.marcjedel.com

BookBub: http://www.bookbub.com/profile/marc-jedel

Facebook: http://facebook.com/MarcJedel.Author

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18403497.Marc_Jedel

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mjedel/

Blog: www.marcjedel.com/blog

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Marc-Jedel/e/B07H7MVKJL

Purchase Link:  Amazon – 

Also by Marc Jedel

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
August 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 3 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
August 4 – My Reading Journeys – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 5 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
August 6 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
August 7 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
August 8 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
August 9 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
August 10 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
August 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
August 11 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
August 12 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
August 13 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
August 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
August 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
August 16 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, CHARACTER 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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Sign of the Calico Quartz (The Sweetbrier Inn Mysteries) by Jan Drexler #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


The Sign of the Calico Quartz (The Sweetbrier Inn Mysteries)
by Jan Drexler

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to share my thoughts about
The Sign of the Calico Quarts today!

About The Sign of the Calico Quartz


The Sign of the Calico Quartz (The Sweetbrier Inn Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – South Dakota
Swift Wings Press (May 20, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 276 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8986137803
Digital Swift Wings Press (May 25, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 242 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09ZNDM1VL

Emma Blackwood’s favorite pastime is solving literary murder mysteries…until the body in her living room makes everything a little too real.

When Emma comes to the Black Hills to work at her Aunt Rose’s B&B, the Sweetbrier Inn, she is hoping for a quiet break from the corporate treadmill. But she hadn’t expected murder and intrigue to mar this peaceful setting.

As she wades through too many clues to identify the murderer, she soon finds that the culprit isn’t stopping at only one homicide and may even have placed Emma herself on the list of targets. With the help of her friend Becky and a deputy sheriff who grudgingly lets them join in on the investigation, Emma tracks down the killer. But will it be in time to save the next victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Emma Blackwood’s Aunt Rose has asked her to come to the Black Hills to help with The Sweetbrier Inn, her B&B that is really starting to take off. Emma is happy to help as she is just getting out of a bad relationship and could use a diversion from the corporate grind too. But she never expected that diversion to be a murder investigation with her at the top of the suspect list. Okay, the dead body was found in her suite, but she has no idea who the man is until she is informed he had been hired to take some of the guests prospecting. While Emma does her best to sort out a myriad of clues she learns her Aunt Rose is being threatened. Then another guest is strangely ill and another goes missing. Can Emma find a way to corner the killer or will she be the next victim?


First, I have to compliment that cute book cover. The cat is named Tim and Emma is his person. The Corgi is Thatcher and he belongs to Rose. The cover was all the push I needed to want to read and review this book.

I liked Emma immediately. She is smart and funny and ready to help her aunt in any way she can. Aunt Rose has an interesting past but she is totally in her element when chatting up the guests and telling them about things to do in the area. Wil, Rose’s chef, and partner has big ideas for the inn but Rose is pretty happy with how things are. Becky delivers baked goods to the inn every morning and she and Emma become fast friends. Deputy Cal Cooper entered the scene when the dead body is found and immediately put Emma in the hot seat.  These characters are interesting and develop well over the course of the story.

Readers are introduced to several new characters in the form of the guests at the inn. Rose’s long-time friend Clara is booked for a two-week stay. Montgomery, a friend from Rose’s past has also checked into the inn to do a little research. Ghost hunter Paul Peterson hopes to film an episode at the inn or in the area. His assistant, Mary Walters is at his beck and call. Fans Roger and Annie would love to be part of his ghost hunting team. Sam Nelson and his wife Nora have checked in and are excited to do a little prospecting. It’s an eclectic group and I loved that Emma used mnemonics to keep all the guests straight and that helped me as a reader too.

Emma was clearly being framed so she had to mine through a lot of clues to solve this mystery. She teams up with Becky to make a crime board to try to put some order to the information they have so far.  I will say the guilty party was on my personal suspect list but I was mystified for quite a while as to their motive. I loved following along with Emma as she continued her investigation but Deputy Cal knows she may have pushed the killer too far. Of course, that sets up a very entertaining reveal.

I also enjoyed the author’s descriptions of the Black Hills. Back in the 1980’s my husband and I along with our infant son traveled through South Dakota and saw all the sights. We even panned for a little gold. I had never heard of “calicoes” but I found the information fascinating.

The Sign of the Calico Quartz has set the Sweetbriar Inn Mysteries off to a great start. Ms. Drexler has written several Amish and Christian Romance stories but this is the first time she has ventured into the cozy realm. I am really excited to see where she takes these characters and this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Jan Drexler 

Jan Drexler lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband, where she enjoys hiking and spending time with her expanding family. She is the author of several historical romance novels, including the award-winning Mattie’s Pledge, and is pleased to be starting a new adventure with a cozy mystery series, The Sweetbrier Inn Mysteries. You can find out more about Jan on her website: www.JanDrexler.com.

Author Links 

 

Purchase Link –

Amazon 

Find more books by Jan Drexler here.

Great Escapes Praise for The Sign of the Calico Quartz (The Sweetbrier Inn Mysteries)
by Jan Drexler

The Sign of the Calico Quartz is a charming cozy with the beautiful Black Hills, a cute corgi, a murdered man, scrumptious scones, cagey guests, cowboy Cal, and enquiring Emma.
~The Avid Reader

The Sign of the Calico Quartz is an entertaining start to a new cozy mystery series! If you’re looking for a great mystery to cozy up with this weekend, grab a copy and enjoy!
~Reading is my Superpower

What an adorable mystery! I loved these characters and thought that this was a wonderful start to a brand new series.
~Moonlight Rendevous

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 18 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT
July 18 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 19 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 19 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
July 20 – ebookaddicts – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
July 20 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
July 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT  
July 21 – My Journey Back – RECIPE POST
July 21 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
July 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 22 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST
July 23 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
July 23 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 24 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
July 24 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
July 25 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 25 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW WITH EXCERPT
July 26 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
July 26 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 27 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Boats and Bad Guys (An Isle of Man Ghostly Cozy) by Diana Xarissa #Review / #Giveaway

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.


Boats and Bad Guys (An Isle of Man Ghostly Cozy)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Isle of Man
Independently Published (February 15, 2017)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 230 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1540750159
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1540750150
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01N53XBM9

Fenella Woods is excited to be taking the ferry across the Irish Sea to England so that she can begin her research. When she finds a dead body in her cabin, she has to change her plans.

The police seem convinced that the killer is one of the other passengers who had a cabin reserved for the journey. Fenella meets a group of suspects that includes a wealthy couple, an older man and his much younger wife, and a retired and incredibly nosy woman.

Finding herself caught up in the middle of another murder investigation isn’t pleasant for Fenella. This time Fenella is determined not to take any advice from her dead aunt who continues to occupy the luxury apartment that used to be her home. Her kitten, Katie, isn’t much help either, as she seems determined to cause as much mischief as she possibly can.

While Fenella wants to help Inspector Robinson find the killer before he or she strikes again, things certainly aren’t going the way she’d expected when she started her new life on the Isle of Man.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I really enjoyed the first book in this series and have been looking forward to reading this book since I finished it.

This time Fenella Woods is ready to start her research and will be traveling by ferry across the Irish Sea to do so. She has reserved a cabin for the voyage in case she gets seasick and needs to lie down.

She checks in and hurries to her cabin already feeling a little ill but someone is already in the room. She finds a very dead man in her bunk. She backs out of the room and calls her new friend Daniel Robinson, a CID Inspector. The ferry is soon inundated with police and the ferry captain is livid. He feels he should have been told first and then he would decide if and when to alert the authorities. Now all his passengers need to make other arrangements and spend time being questioned.

The police believe the killer is a passenger and Fenella is forced to wait in a room with the other passengers that had booked cabins. They are an eclectic bunch. She is upset about being involved in another murder case. When she gets home her dead aunt wants to start investigating right away no matter much Fenella wants to leave it to Inspector Robinson.

When she moved into the apartment she inherited from her aunt she never expected to be caught up in one let alone two murder investigations. Then again, she never expected to be living with her dead aunt’s ghost either.


I love the Isle of Man setting for this series. Someplace I will never be able to physically visit but the author’s words take me there effortlessly.

Fenella has made some good friends in her neighbors, Peter and Shelly, and also in Inspector Robinson. There is definitely romantic tension between Fenella and the good inspector but she has her ex calling her all the time from the states begging for them to get back together. Then there is Mona, Fenella’s aunt in ghostly form. She is pushy and funny. She pops in at some inopportune moments and is never short on advice for her niece. All these characters sans the ex are delightful.

We are introduced to several ferry passengers. Charlotte Master who is quite a busybody, Justin Newmarket, a 24-year-old who was on his way to Liverpool to spend the weekend with his mates, Brenda Proper and her husband, Nick, both retired, they were on the way to visit their children, a stern Harry Hampton and his much younger wife Sherry also going to visit family, and Sarah Grasso who was set to go on holiday with her husband. We also meet Captain Matthew Howard who is very upset about his authority being overlooked. All are well crafted and easy to keep straight, especially because the captain keeps bringing them together trying to get the answers he wants which are totally different from what the police are looking for. All of them are the inspector’s suspect list.

The mystery is very well-plotted with several meetings and interviews in the quest for the truth. I was kept guessing right up to the end. Captain Howard was really pushing my buttons even though I knew he wasn’t the killer I wanted someone to throw him overboard.

This is an Alphabet Series so I have a long way to go and I am looking forward to reading them all. Boats and Bad Guys takes place about 6 weeks after Arrivals and Arrests and it was a nice follow-up. I hope to be turning the pages of Cars and Cold Cases soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Diana has lived in several US states, the north of England, and the Isle of Man. While she is currently in the US, she still misses the stunning scenery, wonderful people, and fascinating history that make the Isle of Man so unique.

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Find more books by Diana Xarissa here.

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Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Special Guest – Terry Korth Fischer – Author of Double Dipped (One Scoop or Two) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @terryiswriting


Double Dipped (One Scoop or Two)
by Terry Korth Fischer

It is my pleasure to welcome Terry to Escape With Dollycas today!

Inspiration
by Terry Korth Fischer

Flannery O’Connor claims that those who survive to the age of fifteen have enough material to write stories for the rest of their lives. Yet, a frequent question I get at workshops is, how do I come up with story ideas. Comments usually start with, “If I write from experience, I have nothing to write about; my life is boring.” Or ordinary, or dull, or average… Yet, none of us live dull lives. Every day combines physical activity, amazing people, complex situations, and fleeting fears. Take any one of these, and you have the makings for a story. As author Orson Scott said, “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.”

So, you aren’t a mass murderer, internet influencer, or brothel madam; you are a complicated person with plenty to draw on when drafting a story. But, just in case you don’t know, what you know, here is a list of five advantages you start with when you sit down with an idea.

    • Intellect. You can learn. You use your intelligence to pick up knowledge in classes, daily life, books, and conversations with friends or mentors. You are continually trying to figure out what life is all about. Did you discover something new today? Something that led you to seek more information, ask questions, and feel amazed? Include that curiosity in your writing.
    • Intentions, willpower, and dreams. Your life is an unfolding adventure. You direct your efforts, focus your thoughts, and get where you want to go—or try to. Give these traits to your characters. Recall the determination you summoned to finish a job, win an award, or solve a puzzle? Or desiring something so badly it hurt? Your characters, too, need goals.
    • Emotions. You express a range of feelings. You’re not only serious, motivated, and eager, but sometimes silly, fierce, generous, sad, optimistic, and stubborn. And more often than not, you experience many of these feelings simultaneously. So, you know how they feel, what they do to your voice and body. Remember how you felt in the waiting room before taking the dentist’s chair? Or sitting in the dark waiting for electricity to be restored? The tingle of a kiss?
    • Experience. Memories of significant events color the present. Your experiences have expanded your knowledge and widened your perspective. Personal history shapes a unique point of view. Where did you attend grade school? Where were you when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, or Hurricane Harvey hit? The journey from birth to now shapes your stories and makes them uniquely yours.
    • Senses. You have instincts, inherited characteristics, a gender, and a general state of health. You have experienced cold weather, sweltering days, sleepless nights, physical pain, aching muscles, and a blinding headache. Did you escape first love, embarrassment, the feeling of failure, or hear a bump in the night? You’ve been there—done that.
  • Thank you, Terry, for visiting today.

Keep reading for my thoughts about Double Dipped.

About Double Dipped


Double Dipped (One Scoop or Two)
Cozy Mystery Novella
Setting – Wisconsin
Part of: One Scoop or Two (50 books)
The Wild Rose Press, Inc (June 29, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 137 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09W8RLJ4X

Accepting second best is good for her career, but first-grade teacher, Retta Curt, delays signing up for the disappointment. Given two weeks to reconsider her contract, she retreats to Gram’s cottage on Moon Lake, the last place she felt contentment. But the cottage is derelict; Cousin Julie, distant; childhood beaux, Dean, bitter; and Sweet Picks, the family ice cream stand, in danger of folding. Magruder, a surly newcomer, is buying and then neglecting properties until nothing remains of the idyllic lakeside community she remembers. When vandals target Sweet Picks, Retta’s dreams to recapture her happy childhood collapse, and the return to Moon Lake becomes a decision worse than accepting her teaching contract. Star-crossed, can she save the family business and rediscover happiness, or is Retta destined for a second-best future?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Can you ever really go home again?

First-grade teacher, Retta Curt feels like her life is at a crossroads. There are some changes coming to the school where she teaches meaning her contract is now for a higher grade and she just isn’t sure if that is what she wants. She has just two weeks left to make her decision so on the spur of the moment she packs a bag and heads for Moon Lake. She has so many great memories of her time there with Gram and other friends and family.

When she arrives her heart just drops. The cottage is in bad shape, as is Sweet Picks, her family’s ice cream stand. So much more has changed as well. Family cottages are being bought up and turned into rental properties. The businesses are being bought too. A man named Magruder has big plans for the area turning it into a place Retta will no longer recognize.

Can she take the man on and try to return the charm to a place she loves so much or should she sign her contract and go home? She doesn’t have a lot of time to discover her bliss but she is going to use her time at Moon Lake to try to figure out how to get to her happy place.


Retta Curt is an excellent main character. She is dealing with real-life issues. She is easy to relate to and I found her very engaging. It is tough to go back and see people she hadn’t seen in years. There are emotions in play that have been brewing for years and like her, her friends have some challenges and sorrow in their lives. The author does a nice job of giving all the characters layers to peel away.

There was definitely something fishy going on at Moon Lake. Vandals have been targeting the ice cream stand and other places but there is something more. Retta is completely in the dark about what happened years ago but is quickly brought up to speed and works with her friends to solve the current crimes. The author portrayed the true complications of dealing with something huge in a small town where everyone knows each other and most of their business.

I loved the way the community supported Retta and her cousin Julie after so many things went wrong at Sweet Picks. It is something you used to see in a lot of small towns and it gave the story such a positive ending. It gave me the feelings I had growing up as a child when I played outside until the street lights came on and if I needed anything I could go to any house on the block.

Double Dipped is a fast read at only 137 pages but the characters developed nicely and the mystery was interesting. It is a sweet summer read that I found totally entertaining. I know this book is part of a compilation of books but I do hope we get to visit these characters again including a very lovable long-haired dachshund named Herman.

.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Terry Korth Fischer

Terry Korth Fischer writes short stories, memoirs, and mysteries. Her debut mysteryGone Astray, introduced Detective Rory Naysmith, a seasoned city cop relocated to small-town Winterset, Nebraska. The Rory Naysmith Mysteries continued with Gone Before, January 2022. Transplanted from the Midwest, Terry lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two guard cats. When not writing, she loves reading, gardening, and basking in sunshine. Yet, her heart often wanders to the country’s heartland, where she spent a memorable—ordinary but charmed—childhood. Learn more about Terry at her author website: https://terrykorthfischer.com

Author Links

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 11 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
July 14 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 15 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 18 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 19 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
July 20 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT
July 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 22 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
July 23 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 24 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
July 25 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
July 25 – ebook addicts – 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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Death Crashes the Party (A Liv and Di in Dixie Mystery) by Vickie Fee #Review / #Giveaway @vickiefeeauthor @KensingtonBooks

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


Death Crashes the Party (A Liv and Di in Dixie Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Kensington (December 29, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496700627
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496700629
Kindle B00VQFKGKW

In the quirky, close-knit town of Dixie, Tennessee, party planner Liv McKay has a knack for throwing Southern-style soirées, from diamonds-and-denim to black tie affairs, and her best friend Di Souther mixes a mean daiquiri. While planning a Moonshine and Magnolias bash for high maintenance clients, Liv inconveniently discovers a corpse in the freezer and turns her attention from fabulous fêtes to finding a murderer. Together, Liv and Di follow a trail of sinister secrets in their sweet little town that leads them from drug smugglers to a Civil War battlefield, and just when they think they’re whistling Dixie, Liv and Di will find themselves squarely in the crosshairs of the least likely killer of all…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Liv McKay and her best friend Di Souther live in Dixie, Tennessee. Liv is a party planner and Di is a mail carrier. Together they can get into all sorts of trouble.

Liv has been planning a Moonshine and Magnolias bash for the Erdman’s 40th wedding anniversary. Mrs. Erdman has a firm plan in mind complete with costumes and fancy food. Mr. Erdman would like a very relaxed party and to just drink whiskey with his friends. Liv needs to find the perfect balance to keep both the husband and wife happy.

While making the final preparations Liv goes to check out the big freezer in the garage that will hold the ice sculptures until the day of the party. Opening the lid she finds a very dead and frozen corpse. If that isn’t bad enough she backs up into a big green garbage can only to have another dead body roll out onto the floor. The Erdmans are stunned and upset. Liv tries to pull herself as she calls 911.

The bodies are quickly identified and Liv and Dave know they both work for her husband’s trucking company. When the police investigate it looks like the men were smuggling something in the trucks and that quickly brings in the FBI and Larry and his dad become suspects.

Working together Liv and Di try to find the killer. A task that takes them on quite a journey as they flush out secrets about the residents of Dixie. Their investgation also has them questioning some very shady individuals. Soon they find themselves in a serious situation that they may not be able to get out of. Party planning and the U.S. Postal Service had not prepared either of them to take down a killer.


I am late to the party on this series full of parties but let me tell you when I read this paragraph I knew I was in the right place.

“I hope there’s liquor in one of those bags,” I said, dropping the bag on the counter and plopping myself into a faux-suede recliner. “This day’s been one long turd.”

I have had days like that and I am sure you have too!

Liv is a great protagonist. Smart, genuine, and happily married. Her husband, Larry Joe works in the family trucking business with his dad. His dad is a workaholic and his mother is totally devoted to her husband. Di is a hoot and she just happens to be dating Sheriff “Dave” Davidson. Dave is also one of Liv’s friends too. I felt all these characters were very well-developed for this first book in the series. I quickly became invested in their lives.

Ms. Fee plotted out quite a mystery. Liv and Di were on a mission and if they borrowed a little evidence would it really matter. The sheriff knew these two were not going to back off so he filled them in on some things about the case and even accepted their help in certain areas. There were many laugh-out-loud moments throughout this story along with some dicey situations. The story kept a quick pace the whole way. I loved the twists at the end and was pretty surprised when the killer was revealed. The unexpected assist was pretty epic as the killer was brought down. I loved it.

Death Crashes the Party was a terrific start for this series. I totally enjoyed my first trip to Dixie, Tennessee and I am looking forward to three more trips as I finish up this series!

Funny and entertaining! A Perfect Escape!


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About the Author 

Vickie Fee pens cozy mysteries featuring fun, feisty sleuths. She grew up on a steady diet of Nancy Drew, daydreams and sweet iced tea. A decade ago, Vickie moved from Memphis on the banks of the muddy Mississippi River to Marquette on the shores of chilly Lake Superior, taking her accent, her sense of humor, and her recipe for Jack Daniels whiskey balls with her. When she’s not dawdling on social media and swilling coffee, you can find Vickie in the coop at chicksonthecase.com.

Her novels include the Café Cinema Mysteries from Henery Press and the Liv and Di in Dixie Mysteries from Kensington.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
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 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

                                  

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Case of Cat and Mouse (Magical Cats) by Sofie Kelly #Review @BerkleyPub


A Case of Cat and Mouse (Magical Cats)
Cozy Mystery
12th in Series
Setting – Minnesota
Berkley (September 1, 2020)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0440001161
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0440001164
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0440001196
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0440001195
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B082H3DQZ2

A reality TV crew has come to town and brought librarian Kathleen Paulson and her two magical cats more than their fair share of real-life drama, in the newest installment of this New York Times bestselling series.

Spring has come to charming Mayville Heights, and with it, some Hollywood glamour. The little town is abuzz because the reboot of a popular baking TV show is filming there. Librarian Kathleen Paulson is working as an advisor on historical facts for the show, local restaurants are providing catering for the camera crews, and Kathleen’s faithful felines, Hercules and Owen, are hoping there is a cat treat challenge.

But then Kathleen finds one of the judges dead. She has solved many-a-murder with help from the supernaturally gifted Herc and Owen, and with the whole town on tenterhooks, the talented trio will have to have all paws on deck to chase down this killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mayville Heights has been chosen as the location to host the reboot of a very popular baking show and Kathleen has been hired for all her librarian knowledge as an advisor for the show. She will be providing interesting facts, history, and the contestant’s biographies for the commentator to use during the show. Local restaurants are benefitting too as they will be catering meals for the cast and crew of the show.

Filming is barely underway before one of the judges is murdered. Kathleen has been down this road before. People want her to investigate and find the killer. Her magical cats want to be involved. Marcus, her detective boyfriend, wants her to leave the case to him. Can everyone get together and catch the killer before he strikes again? It’s a true case of cat and mouse  . . . but remember “curiosity killed the cat”.


I am so happy to visit Mayville Heights again. Cancer put me behind on this series and I vowed to myself that I would catch up this year.

Hercules and Owen are truly magical cats that steal my heart every time I start reading a book in this series. Their person Kathleen doesn’t really understand how they do what they do but she has been doing her best to keep their talents a secret. I was so happy that she finally shared their abilities with Marcus seeing as his cat is gifted too. All their antics are absolutely delightful. Can a Funky Frog replace a Funky Chicken?

Kathleen herself is a strong protagonist using her skills to try to track down a killer. There is a vast array of suspects but she doesn’t give up. I was right there with her when all the clues started to fall into place and I was having a ball. The reveal was fantastic and again Kathleen had me cheering her on while practically biting my fingernails to the quick. Then I was laughing as she met up with someone she sees too often under the same circumstances.

I must say, Kathleen, Marcus, Maggie, Rebecca, Roma, and all the core characters in this series are so well written. They are all like the good people you would meet in any midwest town. They care about each other genuinely. We are getting to know them all so well over the course of this series that each time I get to visit Mayville Heights I am excited to catch up on everything going on in their lives. We also get in a great mystery or two, too!

A Case of Cat and Mouse was a marvelous read and a Perfect Escape! A wonderful mystery laced with humor starring some stellar characters.

I do recommend reading the series in order to get to know the cats and their history and the other characters from the start but Ms. Kelly does give some background to enable this book to be read all on its own.

Stay tuned, I hope to read and review Hooked on a Feline soon!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Sofie Kelly

Sofie Kelly writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Cats mysteries that feature librarian Kathleen Paulson and her two very special cats, Owen and Hercules, who have a magical knack for solving crime. As Sofie Ryan, she is the author of the New York Times bestselling Second Chance Cat Mystery Series. She lives on the east coast with her husband and daughter.

Website: www.sofiekelly.com


Coming September 13, 2022

Written as Sofie Ryan


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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Death in Eden: A Novel (A Sean Stranahan Mystery) by Keith McCafferty #Review / #Giveaway @penguinusa

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.


A Death in Eden: A Novel (A Sean Stranahan Mystery)
Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Montana
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Books (July 3, 2018)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 317 pages
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B077CTG2B5

When scarecrows appear in the cliffs above Montana’s famous Smith River and a little girl reports being chased by one in the night, state investigator Harold Little Feather is brought in to find the culprit.  Are the menacing effigies related to a copper-mining project that threatens the purity of the Smith? That’s Harold’s initial suspicion, but his investigation takes an ominous turn when a decapitated body is found in the river.

As Harold’s search leads him back in time through the canyon’s history, Sean Stranahan launches his raft upriver. He has been hired to guide a floating party that includes Clint McCaine, the manager of the mine project; Bart Trueblood, the president of “Save The Smith,” a grassroots organization devoted to stopping the project; and the documentarian filming their arguments. McCaine and Trueblood grew up on the Smith on neighboring ranches, and as they travel downstream, it’s revealed that the two share a past that runs much deeper and darker than their opposing viewpoints.

The currents of the seemingly unrelated trips will soon flow together, and Stranahan’s long-time love Sheriff Martha Ettinger will enter the fray as the boats hurtle toward a date with danger at a place called Table Rock.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is something strange happening along the Smith River in Montana. Several scarecrows have been erected on the cliffs above the endangered waterway. Is someone putting them up to protest the proposed copper-mining project or is there something else going on. After a little girl claims to have been chased by one of the scarecrows State Investigator Harold Little Feather is brought in to put the matter to rest. Instead, his investigation turns up a headless body floating in the river.

While Investigator Little Feather digs deep into the canyon’s history to find answers, our protagonist Sean Stranahan is hired to guide a floating party down the river. The party includes the manager of the mine project, Clint McCaine, and the president of “Save the Smith”, Bart Trueblood, his group is trying everything to stop the mine project. They are joined by a documentarian who is filming their journey down the river and their arguments about the project.

Soon Sean’s group and Harold Little Feather come together and Sheriff Martha Ettinger joins them as they set up for a dangerous showdown.


I have enjoyed this series from the start and am a huge fan of the author’s laid-back writing style. From casting a line in the water to the characters traversing up, down, and around the river and its cliffs everything just comes to life. You can almost hear the rush of the water, smell the smoke from the campfires, and reach out and touch the cliffs.  Mr. McCafferty does this better than many other authors that I have read. He really takes his readers on the journey.

This time our characters are a ways away from home and we meet several new characters with their own agendas. Harold Little Feather really shares the spotlight with Sean and Martha this time. He had expected a pretty low-key investigation so he invited the son he barely knows to meet up with him for the trip for a bit of bonding. I enjoyed getting to know him better and meeting his son very much. The acidic documentarian, Lillian Cartwright, brings her own drama to the situation. Anything to make a name for herself as she tees up “discussions” between McCaine and Trueblood. But there is a dark underbelly to this story. Someone has a score to settle and will go to any lengths to get what they want.

I was really drawn into this book by so many things. The fact that the scarecrows were located by ancient petroglyphs left by Native Americans. The history of it all was very captivating along with the mystery of Why? The Smith River itself and that people wait years for their names to be drawn in a lottery for the opportunity to float down the famous river. The dangers faced when you stop to camp like wild animals and rattlesnakes and other humans as well. All the character’s interactions were so enjoyable to observe.

The author’s keen wit can be felt throughout the story. Especially when it comes to Sean and Martha. Where will their relationship lead? I wonder if we will ever know but until then they do this unique dance throughout each story. One thing I do know is that they have each other’s back. When the bullets start to fly or a threatening menace arrives on the scene they will pull out all the stops to rescue each other and save the good people caught in the chaos. This time I was right up to the very edge of my seat and I am surprised there wasn’t smoke pouring out of my Kindle as everything came to a head.

A Death in Eden has become my favorite book in the series so far. Keith McCafferty is a superb storyteller. So much happens within the pages of this book it is almost impossible to put down while you are reading and it is a story that will stick with you long after you reach the end.

*Note the story does contain some explicit language.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Keith McCafferty is the Survival and Outdoor Skills Editor of Field & Stream. He has written articles for publications as diverse as Fly Fisherman Magazine, Mother Earth News, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and the Chicago Tribune, and on subjects ranging from mosquitoes to wolves to mercenaries and exorcism. Based in Montana and working on assignment around the globe–he recently spent a month in India trekking the Himalayas, fishing for golden mahseer, and studying tigers–Keith has won numerous awards, including the Robert Traver Award for angling literature. He has twice been a finalist for a National Magazine Award. Find out more about Keith and his books on his webpage here.



I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of A Death in Eden!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Tuesday Night Survivors’ Club (A Survivors’ Book Club) by Lynn Cahoon #Review @LynnCahoon


The Tuesday Night Survivors’ Club (A Survivors’ Book Club)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Arizona
Lyrical Underground (June 14, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 175 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1516111141
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1516111145
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09GL6K4J5

The New York Times bestselling author of the Tourist Trap mysteries launches a new series perfect for fans of The Thursday Murder Club. New-age Sedona, Arizona seemed like the perfect place to open up a bookstore devoted to healing. But when a member of a local cancer survivor support book club goes missing, will this group’s sleuthing skills be enough to find her?

Two things got Rarity Cole through her breast cancer treatments: friends and books. Now cancer-free, Rarity is devoting her life to helping others find their way through the maze to healing. She’s opened a bookstore focusing on the power of healing—Eastern medicine, Western medicine, the healing power of food, the power of meditation, and the importance of developing a support community. To that end, she’s also started the Tuesday Night Survivors book club. With its openness to new-age communities, Sedona, Arizona, is the perfect fit for Rarity’s bookstore and the tightly knit group.

But their therapeutic unity is disrupted when one of their members suddenly goes missing. Martha has always kept to herself, never opening up much of her personal life to the group. Now she’s nowhere to be found. With her car abandoned on a trail and her dog left with a friend, Rarity is sure something terrible had happened—but will she be able to uncover Martha’s secrets before it’s too late?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Breast Cancer survivor Rarity Cole has moved to Sedona, Arizona, and opened a bookstore but her real mission is to support survivors of breast cancer and the after-effects. Friends and books are what got her through her treatments so soon after opening she set up the Tuesday Night Survivor’s Book Club. After a slow start, the group grew to include several women in different stages in their cancer journeys.

Martha seemed like a reluctant member of the group only attending one meeting. But then the group is shocked to find out the woman is missing and has left her dog, Killer, behind. Rarity quickly decides to foster the dog until Martha is found. The Tuesday Night group soon adds Sleuther’s to their name when they just can’t help themselves from doing their own investigation. Soon they have notebooks with lists and are setting up a murder board all in their efforts to find out what happened to Martha and why?

Will they be able to pull together to solve the case or will they find themselves in peril when they question the wrong person or push someone too far? Time will tell . . .


Being diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the start of the pandemic was really hard. While I had a great team of doctors, nurses, technicians, and counselors and a lot of support from my family, in-person support groups were shut down really quick. Groups that were already formed did their best with emails and Zoom meetings but none were accepting new members. I tried several online options but just couldn’t find the right fit but I got through it so maybe support groups just weren’t for me.

As soon as I started reading this book I realized The Tuesday Night Survivor’s Club would have been perfect for me now. Like Rarity, I find solace in books and after my diagnosis, I ordered a bunch of books to learn about what I was facing but after you get through your treatments you need something different. Rarity selected some great books for her group. She chose fiction books, cozy mysteries, women’s fiction, and books where women struggled with other things besides cancer. Books that would open up great discussions. I hope in future books she includes a list of the books.

Rarity Cole is an excellent protagonist I identified with her right away. I loved that she took in Martha’s dog. She has a great friend in Sam Aarons. Sam convinced Rarity to come to Sedona and she pushes and pulls Rarity is such a supportive way. Through Sam Rarity meets Archer Ender. He runs Enders Tours and leads several hikes in the area. We also meet Drew Anderson of the Sedona Police Department. He comes into the picture when Martha goes missing but his parents are also in town and playing matchmaker. They think Sam is perfect for their son. And of course, the members of the book club, Shirley, Holly, Malia, Kim, and Martha who goes missing. All Ms. Cahoon’s characters are well crafted for this first book in the series. We get to know them well enough to get invested in their lives but she has left plenty of room for growth.

The mystery was very well-plotted with serious and humorous happenings as the amateur sleuths do their best to figure out who killed Martha. Sedona is a place open to a lot of places offering “new age” or “alternative healing” cures so that part of the story was very interesting. I did have a couple of suspects firmly at the top of my list but wavered a bit as the story continued. I was happy to say I pulled myself back in line to hone in on the right person before all was revealed.

What really captured me about this story was that the author drew from her own cancer journey. Because of that, I felt like a kindred spirit especially when she stated in her dedication that a nurse gave her a bag of cozy mysteries to read during her cancer treatments and that “made all the difference”. Cozy mysteries have always been my favorites so I always made sure my Kindle was fully charged before each chemo treatment. In fact, I know I read more than one book by Lynn Cahoon during my cancer journey.

We are now both survivors but like most survivors that fear of cancer returning is always there. That is why for me escaping into a good book is so important and The Tuesday Night Survivor’s Club was a Perfect Escape. A real-life issue teamed up with an excellent mystery. I am excited to see when the author takes these characters next.

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

Goodreads – Twitter –Facebook Website –Amazon Author Page

 


Also by Lynn Cahoon




I may have missed some books so be sure to
check out Lynn’s Amazon Pages here.

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Debra H. Goldstein – Author of Five Belles Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Five Belles Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

It is my delight to welcome Debra to Escape With Dollycas today!!

Storytelling, the Ides of March, and Reality TV
by Debra H. Goldstein

When I was in high school and read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, it sparked an interest in the Ides of March. Originally a day to settle debts, it became a day or notoriety because of it being the date Julius Caesar was killed. Its significance is that it is believed to have changed the fate of the Romans.

As a writer of mysteries, I often think about how lives and plot lines change when there is a murder.

There is the act and whodunit. Based upon the Shakespeare play and movies, I always thought it was Brutus, but (accordingly to Wikipedia), at least sixty senators were party to the conspiracy and act of stabbing Julius Caesar to death. They hoped to overturn his policies, but they didn’t succeed. Instead, the Roman empire imploded.

In my books, murder is never random. It ties to a social issue, conflict between people, or a means to an end. As I create the details of the murder, I embrace its importance in setting the tone and establishing the movement of the story.

The murder also is a catalyst for how the characters behave. Some hide from its brutality, others dive into the why behind the crime, and of course, the protagonist tries to find out who did the dastardly deed and what the character’s motivation was. In the moment, there are characters who go into shock at the loss, individuals who have unkind things to say about the dead body, and those who observe the details for what’s out of place and find their minds filled with questions.

Some of the reactions are genuine, some fake, but all add to the characterization and move the plot along. Reality TV works the same way. For being unscripted, it has scenes that are well thought out in advance or edited to paint individuals as heroes or villains. In Five Belles Too Many, five finalists, including protagonist Sarah Blair’s mother, Maybelle, are vying for the perfect Southern wedding. The competition is being filmed for a New York television show. While there is spontaneity, there also are many pre-planned moments.

For example, there is a sequence where a tug of war will take place in a water filled land crater or mud bowl. Rather than wearing jeans, the female characters are dressed as hoop skirted Southern belles. The director encourages them to have certain reactions when they see the mud. Their speech, mannerisms, and even how each walks is semi-scripted, but when a character goes off script, it changes the outcome of the moment. From every character’s specific reaction, we learn new things about all of them, and we have a stimulus for a plot shift.

Whether you are learning secrets from behind the scenes of a television show or how Caesar died, you as a reader are being set up for both your own mood shift and that of each character. So, now that you know the way Caesar died, how do you think Cleopatra reacted? How would you write her next chapter-the one that began the day after the Ides of March?

Thank you, Debra, for visiting today!

Now keep reading for my thoughts about Five Belles Too Many.

 

About Five Belles Too Many

Five Belles Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in the Series
Setting – Alabama
Kensington Cozies (June 28, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496732235
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496732231
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09HRCV4TN

When Sarah Blair’s mother participates in a reality show competition for brides in Wheaton, Alabama, things get a little too real as a murderer crashes the wedding party . . .

Sometimes Sarah’s mother, Maybelle, can be higher maintenance than her Siamese cat RahRah. Maybelle and her friend, Mr. George Rogers, have been chosen to be one of five couples competing for a small-town “perfect” wedding and dream honeymoon on a Southern Belles reality show—and guess who has to be chaperone. Even more vexing, the producers have decided to put up the crew and participants at the restaurant/bed and breakfast owned by Sarah’s nemesis Jane Clark.

But when someone turns up dead with Jane kneeling by the body with blood on her hands, she goes from being Sarah’s chief rival to the police’s chief suspect. Neither Sarah nor her twin, Chef Emily Johnson, can stand Jane—still, they don’t think she’s a murderer. The producers vow the show must go on, but to protect their mother and the other contestants, Sarah vows to find the true killer before someone else gets eliminated . . .

Includes quick and easy recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah’s mother, Maybelle is a gem handled in small doses. In this fifth installment of the Sarah Blair Mystery Series, Maybelle and her friend George will be participants in a reality television show to win the “perfect” wedding and honeymoon of their dreams. They are the eldest of the five competing couples but they still need a chaperone and Sarah has been chosen for that task. To make matters worse, the crew, the contestants, and the chaperones have been booked to stay at Jane Clark’s B&B meaning Sarah will be spending a lot of time with her nemesis.

The reality show takes a devastating turn when Jane is found kneeling next to the dead body of the show’s director, her hands covered in blood. While Sarah does not trust Jane farther than she can throw her she doesn’t believe she is a murderer. The show becomes somewhat of a free for all as the producers try to keep filming. Sarah uses that to her advantage as she tries to protect everyone and catch the real killer before someone else gets voted off the island permanently, I mean gets killed.


Again Ms. Goldstein has packed these pages with a story that grabs a hold and hangs on tight.

Her characters and their continued development is so strong. Sarah seems to be almost in constant motion except for the little bit of time she takes to give her Siamese cat RahRah and her rescue dog, Fluffy a little bit of love. Her boss, Harlan has a big legal case coming up so he needs her in the office. She wants to help out at the restaurants she owns with her sister too. But the reality show and her job of chaperoning her mother is much more time-consuming than she could even imagine and that was before the murder happened. Maybelle is high maintenance but it seems George knows how to take care of her. They do make a cute couple. I was thrilled to see Emily, Marcus, and Southwinds get the recognition they deserved and that restaurant was used much more than originally contracted. Harlan also steps in to help anywhere he can and Cliff is back as the show’s general contractor. All these characters feel so genuine and their interactions and dialogues read very true to life.

We meet several new characters in the contestants and crew of the reality show. All these new characters are cleverly crafted. Many are pretty sketchy or hiding something which is great for a reality show. Drama drives up those ratings, which is why some of the drama is totally scripted but I really loved when anyone went off-script.

The plot was very interesting and not just because of the murder mysteries. The behind-the-scenes look at a reality show was entertaining with the crazy competitions and the decisions made that weren’t usually on the up and up. The method of death was unexpected but I was surprised because I had recently seen it used on a television show. I think the author implemented it better than the tv show did because I was kept guessing right up until the very end. Ms. Goldstein did an excellent job of twisting things up so the reveal was very dramatic.

After the case was wrapped up there was a very heartwarming ending.

Every trip to Alabama to visit Sarah, her family, and her friends has been a Perfect Escape and all seem to end too soon. As soon as I turn the final page I can’t wait to return. So while I know Six _________ Too Many will probably not be released for a year, this girl can hope. Thank you, Deborah J. Goldstein. Five Belles Too Many was a delightfully entertaining story that I totally enjoyed.

To get maximum enjoyment I do recommend reading this series in order but the author has written this story to stand on its own.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Debra H. Goldstein

Many, Four Cuts Too Many, Three Treats Too Many, Two Bites Too Many, and One Taste Too Many). Her novels and short stories received an IPPY award and have been named Agatha, Anthony, Derringer, and Silver Falchion finalists. Debra served on the national boards of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and was president of the Guppy and SEMWA chapters. Find out more about Debra at https://www.DebraHGoldstein.com

Author Links

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Great Escapes Praise for Five Belles Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

I enjoyed Five Belles Too Many. Sarah Blair is one of those really nice, shy people that takes a bit to warm up to you. Sarah makes an excellent sleuth as people talk to her. Ms. Goldstein has a way of sucking you into the Wheaton community.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

FIVE BELLES TOO MANY is a fun look at reality TV, Southern manners, and murder. A colorful cast of characters combined with an intricately plotted story and an ending full of surprises make for a delightful mystery.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Full of a wide range of characters we get a mystery that will keep you guessing as they try to figure it out in time making for quite the fun read. A great choice for fans of cozies. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I love this cozy mystery series for its genuine characters and relationships. Who wouldn’t want to be at Sarah’s side as she investigates a murder and hurdles family, friend and romantic relationship issues? Five Belles Too Many is highly recommended to both cozy mystery and reality television fans. 5 stars and a favorite!
~Diane Reviews Books

Skillful writing, great plot, and recipes too! Whether you’re a fan of reality tv or not, you will be a fan of FIVE BELLS TOO MANY
~Lisa K’s Book Review

This is, in a sense, a very cerebral series, so it’s a good read for those who like their sleuths to reason through the clues to eventually unmask the killer.
~Mysteries with Character

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
June 17 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW
June 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
June 18 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 18 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 19 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
June 19 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 21 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 21 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 22 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
June 22 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
June 23 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
June 23 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 25 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 26 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
June 27 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 28 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 28 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
June 29 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE  
June 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 30 – Girl with Pen – SPOTLIGHT
June 30 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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

 

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery) by Ellen Byron #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @BerkleyMystery


Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery)
by Ellen Byron

About Bayou Book Thief 


Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New Orleans Louisiana
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (June 7, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593437616
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593437612
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FPJHVGK

A fantastic new cozy mystery series with a vintage flair from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron.

Twenty-eight-year-old widow Ricki James leaves Los Angeles to start a new life in New Orleans after her showboating actor husband perishes doing a stupid internet stunt. The Big Easy is where she was born and adopted by the NICU nurse who cared for her after Ricki’s teen mother disappeared from the hospital.

Ricki’s dream comes true when she joins the quirky staff of Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, the spectacular former Garden District home of late bon vivant Genevieve “Vee” Charbonnet, the city’s legendary restauranteur. Ricki is excited about turning her avocation – collecting vintage cookbooks – into a vocation by launching the museum’s gift shop, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks, and Kitchenware. Then she discovers that a box of donated vintage cookbooks contains the body of a cantankerous Bon Vee employee who was fired after being exposed as a book thief.

The skills Ricki has developed ferreting out hidden vintage treasures come in handy for investigations. But both her business and Bon Vee could wind up as deadstock when Ricki’s past as curator of a billionaire’s first edition collection comes back to haunt her.

Will Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware be a success … or a recipe for disaster?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Born in New Orleans and abandoned immediately by her teenage mother Miracle “Ricki” Fleur di Lis James was adopted by the NICU nurse who took care of her. She now packs up her life in Los Angeles after her husband dies while trying to do an internet challenge and returns to New Orleans to start over.

That new start happens in a big way when she can combine her love for vintage cookbooks with her new job at the Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, the home of the city’s legendary restaurateur, Genevieve “Vee” Charbonnet. Ricki will be opening the museum’s new gift shop, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks, and Kitchenware.

After being open just a few days she discovers an employee of the museum is stealing books and they are fired for the crime.

Trying to put the matter behind her she is excited to learn she has received a steamer trunk and two oversize boxes of donated books. Worried about keeping the shop fully stocked the donation arrives at the perfect time. Ricki along with a couple of employees set out to sort through the donations before the museum opens but the trunk didn’t contain any books. Inside was the very dead body of Franklin Finbloch . . . the recently fired . . . book thief.


Being a fan of Ellen Byron’s Cajun County Mysteries I was sad to see that series end so I was ecstatic to learn of this new series again set in Louisiana.

Readers are introduced to a wonderful quirky cast of characters led by Miracle “Ricki” Fleur di Lis James who has a very interesting backstory that just starts to unfold within the pages of this story. She comes across already as a very strong protagonist with some great sleuthing skills.

We also meet several members of the staff at the Bon Vee Culinary House Museum including Eugenia Charbonnet Felice who is the president of the Bon Vee Foundation Board. She oversees everything at the museum. She works hand in hand with the Executive Director, Lyla Brandt. We also meet Cookie Yanover, the Education Program Director. She and Ricki become fast friends. In fact, all of the employees for the most part get along very well and welcomed Ricki with open arms.

Away from the museum we meet Ricki’s landlord, Kitty Kat Rousseau and she is a hoot. Ricki’s AC has been out for days in the steamy New Orleans heat and Kitty is trying to get it fixed but Ricki believes something shady is going on.

Speaking of the heat, Ms. Byron’s detailed descriptions will have you sticky and sweating, wait, this takes place in the south, perspiring and glistening, and turning on your own air conditioners. She also paints a clear picture of Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks, and Kitchenware and places in and around the museum including the staff’s favorite hangout, the Bayou Backyard. It was easy to visualize every scene and this author does it without getting overly wordy.

The mystery that Ms. Byron put forth was plotted with intricate precision. It flitted in and out with varied subplots perfectly. Filled with clever twists and a red herring or two it wasn’t hard to get completely engaged by everything happening in the story. I did find it hard to truly pin down the killer. I was astonished when the guilty party started to be revealed. The ending was exciting and a bit comical as Ricki gets some awesome assistance from an unlikely duo.

Bayou Book Thief has set this series off to an excellent start. Diverse characters, a fun location, and a puzzling mystery have me declaring this book A Perfect Escape. And the cliffhanger introduced in the Epilogue has me excited and intrigued about Ricki’s future. Wined and Died in New Orleans is set to be released on February 7, 2023.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Ellen Byron

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty Awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Bayou Book Thief will be the first book in her new Vintage Cookbook Mysteries. She also writes the Catering Hall Mystery series under the name Maria DiRico.

Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly Odd Parents. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. An alum of New Orleans’ Tulane University, she blogs with Chicks on the Case, is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America and will be the 2023 Left Coast Crime Toastmaster. Please visit her at https://www.ellenbyron.com/

 

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReads – Instagram – BookBubNewsletter

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Coming February 7, 2023

Also by Ellen Byron

 

Great Escapes Praise for Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery)
by Ellen Byron

Bayou Book Thief is finer than a frog hair split four ways with a man who is as useless as a screen door on a submarine, a bounty of books, a vile victim, a diligent detective, an artful air conditioning repairman, warm weather, and a riled Ricki.
~The Avid Reader

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries are always a delight.
~Island Confidentials

Bayou Book Thief’s mystery is well-plotted, and you will really enjoy trying to figure out whodunit. I am so excited to find out what’s next for Rikki and her new friends.
~Christy’s Cozy Corners

I really liked this story and definitely recommend it to cozy mystery lovers, those who enjoy culinary stories, and those who want to do some armchair travel to New Orleans.
~Carla Loves To Read

Bottom Line: Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron is a highly engaging read, with interesting characters and intriguing plot threads.
~Reading is my Superpower

BAYOU BOOK THIEF brings together quirky characters and an engaging mystery in a wonderful setting. Vintage cookbooks, memorable characters, and the intoxicating setting that is New Orleans make this a fantastic start to a new series. Just remember, looks can be deceiving.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

It’s difficult to leave an old favorite like the Cajun Country Mystery series behind when the author pulls the plug and begins a new series. But if we must, at least we get to enjoy her new series set in Louisiana, as the author favors us with the sounds, scents, and majesty that is the local mystic of New Orleans.
~Rosepoint Publishing

This is an exciting new cozy mystery series that is quite entertaining. It has humor, mystery and a touch of romance all blended together for a fun-filled adventure. Bayou Book Thief is on my “best of 2022” list.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews

This makes for a fabulous story as it all plays out. Sure to be enjoyed by cozy fans especially if you want some Southern flair along with it. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
June 8 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
June 8 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 8 – Island Confidential – REVIEW
June 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
June 9 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 10 – Books to the Ceiling – SPOTLIGHT
June 10 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
June 11 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 11 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – The Mystery of Writing – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
June 13 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 13 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 14 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
June 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 15 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 15 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 16 – The Mystery Section – RECIPE
June 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 17 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
June 17 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
June 18 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST
June 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
June 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – Novels Alive – REVIEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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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.”