Posted in 2023 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Pruning the Dead (A Garden Squad Mystery) by Julia Henry #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @JHauthors

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 am determined to get caught up on this series this year! 


Pruning the Dead (A Garden Squad Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington Cozies (January 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496714814
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496714817
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07CWD547N

Post-retirement aches and pains can’t prevent sixty-five-year-old Lilly Jayne from keeping the most manicured garden in Goosebush, Massachusetts. But as a murder mystery blooms in the sleepy New England town, can a green thumb weed out a killer?

With hundreds flocking to her inaugural garden party, meticulous Lilly Jayne hasn’t left a single petal out of place. But the picture-perfect gathering turns unruly upon the arrival of Merilee Frank, Lily’s ex-husband’s catty third wife. Merilee lives for trouble, so no one is surprised after she drinks too much, shoves a guest into the koi pond, and gets escorted off the property. The real surprise comes days later—when Merilee is found dead in a pile of mulch . . .

Lilly wishes she could stick to pruning roses and forget about Merilee’s murder—until her best friend and ex become suspects in an overgrown homicide case. Now, aided by the Garden Squad, an unlikely group of amateur crime solvers with a knack for planting, Lilly knows she has limited time to identify the true culprit and restore order to Goosebush. Because if the murderer’s plot isn’t nipped in the bud, another victim could be pushing up daisies!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lily Jayne became a bit of a recluse when her beloved husband Alan passed away but her friends have encouraged her to get back to her more outgoing self because her husband wouldn’t want her to dwell any longer on his death. They decide a garden party would be a great way to get her life back on track. Sadly the problematic third wife of her ex-husband, Merilee crashes the party, causes all kinds of chaos, and has to be escorted away from the party.

The party did help Lily Jayne see it was definitely time to get back out there and participate. She missed a lot while she was mourning. One project she is excited to get involved in is the clean-up of a local park. A committee is organized and a group of volunteers arrives at the park and get busy but then Lily Jayne’s friend and housemate Delia makes a gruesome discovery. Merrilee Frank in the garden shed, lying on bags of mulch with hedge clippers “protruding from her chest”.

Lily Jayne didn’t think a murder investigation would be part of her return to community involvement but when people she cares about lead the suspect list she has no choice. She brings together a group of friends to be sleuths to help her catch a killer. The “Garden Squad” is born to dig into the clues and plant the murderer behind bars before anyone else ends up 6 feet under.

_____

I immediately liked Lily Jayne. She was devastated by the loss of her husband and needed to take some time for herself. Her friends were supportive and understood. But they knew she needed a little shove which she did. As a former Goosebush mover and shaker, it was time to get back out there. She is such a kind woman with a huge heart. She has fantastic ideas and really cares about the residents of her town. Delia had been Lily’s husband’s graduate assistant and when Alan died she moved in with Lily. Even with the 40-year age difference, they became good friends. Tamara O’Connor is Lily’s best friend. They met in nursery school and have been friends ever since. It was Tamara’s idea to throw the party. We also meet several other residents of Goosebush. They are a diverse group and are all very cleverly crafted and true to real life.

Goosebush is a small town with a very unique setup. The author uses the first chapter to explain the “wheel” layout, with a prominent center and several “petals” branching off. This was very helpful because the characters travel all around the town during the book. A great picture formed in my mind and a map could be easily drawn out from the descriptions. I am sure the author has one nearby as she is writing.

The murder mystery was very entertaining with a plethora of suspects. A tightly woven subplot regarding city finances really grabbed my interest. Both had some nice twists and turns. The Garden Squad really spent time pruning through the suspects. I really enjoyed the way Lily got involved in all aspects. Her generosity was so heartwarming and her gathering all the suspects together to reveal the truth was magnificent. A fabulous time!

Pruning the Dead has set this series off on a spectacular start. Ms. Henry’s characters are so engaging that I didn’t want to let them go. I will be reading the next book in the series Tilling the Truth soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Julia Henry works in the arts, teaches, and is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She currently writes as Julianne Holmes and J.A. Hennrikus. A blogger for the Wicked Cozy Authors and Killer Characters, she enjoys writing cozy mysteries. For more information, visit jhauthors.com.

Find Julia on her  –   Website    Twitter    Facebook     Instagram

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy of Pruning the Dead!
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Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
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Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Following My Facebook Fan Page.

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The  Contest Will End February 17, 2023, at 11:59 PM CST
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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.”

Posted in 2023 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Something’s Guava Give: A Tropical Island Cozy Mystery by Carrie Doyle #Review


Something’s Guava Give: A Tropical Island Cozy Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Caribbean Island
Poisoned Pen Press (January 25, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1728232368
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎978-1728232362
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0915QZ6WD

Nothing ruins an ocean view like a body on the beach!

Plum Lockhart went out on a limb when she ditched her corporate job in New York City and moved to the Caribbean island of Paraiso. Now the head of her own villa broker agency, Plum spends her days chasing down clients and lounging on white sand beaches.

But the sweet life turns sour when a publishing heiress is found dead at the mansion of an eccentric tycoon, Dieter Friedrich. Even worse, Plum’s old colleague cashes in a favor and asks her to investigate. It looks like she’ll need to fit a murder case into her already jam-packed schedule!

Friedrich is known for his shady dealings, but he’s not the only bad apple on the island—Plum will have to contend with a scheming millionaire, a sleazy rockstar, and devious B-list celebrities. And joining Plum once again is Juan Kevin Munoz, the distractingly gorgeous Director of Security. Despite the sparks between them, they’ll need to stay focused on the case—there’s a murderer hot on their heels!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Plum Lockhart took a big step leaving New York for Paraiso, a Caribbean island overflowing with tourists. Now she takes another big step by starting her own villa brokerage agency. In the midst of finding the perfect tenants for her clients, renovating villas, and trying to get in a little beach time she finds herself in the middle of another murder investigation.

A young publishing heiress runs into a little trouble in paradise and an old employee from New York, someone she fired right before she was let go, Gerald Hand, begs Plum to help the girl, his new boss’s daughter out of it. Plum does but then the next day she learns the heiress was found dead on the private beach of Dieter Friedrich, an eccentric fat cat with a crazy theme park-like estate with a group of bizarre friends and staff.

Soon Gerald arrives on the island and moves into Plum’s guest room to help her catch the killer. Gerald gets more caught up in island life while Plum deals with Dieter Friedrich, his employees, some B-List Celebrities, a rundown rockstar, and other assorted island residents as she works with the hunky Director of Hotel Security, Juan Kevin Munoz, to catch a killer before they become victims themselves.

_____

Paraiso is a zany island if you live there, hopefully, the tourists can avoid all the drama. Feuds between families, jealousy, greed, lust, envy, heck all the seven deadly sins are apparent on this island of paradise. Sadly our protagonist, Plum, a tall redheaded American, gets caught up in it all as she tries to find her place and solve a murder. Her new friend Lucia, a small sixty-year-old grandma Paraison, accompanied her to start her own villa broker agency Plum Lockhart Luxury Retreats. Lucia knows everyone and the ways of the island. It will take both of them to make the business a success. I wasn’t really a Plum fan when reading the 1st book in this series, It Takes Two to Mango, but I liked her much better in this book. She is still adjusting to island life but still has a lot of New York attitude to work through.

It is Juan Kevin Munoz, the Security Director that I really enjoy. His laid-back way of life is just so comfortable. He grew up on the island so while he takes things like murder very seriously he understands how to handle danger on Paraiso. His interactions with Plum are filled with romantic tension and are very entertaining. He is doing his best to keep her safe while the murder investigation unfolds. He knows she can’t keep her nose out of it and that knowledge is half the battle. Of course, having Gerald tagging along in his leather pants on a tropical island adds to the chaos but sometimes it is pretty darn funny.

Yes, there are a bunch of secondary characters but they all have unique traits, good and bad. Some live on unique estates too. The author’s descriptions really brought the people and places to life. Let me tell you, Dieter Friedrich has some outlandish tastes and weird things on his estate and I easily envisioned it all from her words.

The mysteries are very well-plotted and Ms. Doyle sets a quick pace. There was a slew of suspects to work through and again Plum isn’t always the best amateur sleuth, she needs to work a little more on her questioning and eavesdropping techniques but that just adds to the fun for readers. There were several twists and turns too but all the clues do come together setting up a very satisfying reveal.

Something’s Guava Give was a very amusing cozy mystery. Heavy on quirky characters but set on a delightful island paradise. The mystery was complicated and kept me guessing the whole way.  I am looking forward to reading The Girl With the Dragonfruit Tattoo soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent


Carrie Doyle
is the best-selling author of multiple novels and screenplays that span many genres, ranging from cozy mysteries to chick lit to comedies to Young Adult.

A born and bred New Yorker, Carrie has spent most of her life in Manhattan, with the exception of a six-year stint in Europe (Russia; France; England) and five years in Los Angeles. A former Editor-in-Chief of the Russian edition of Marie Claire, Carrie has written dozens of articles for various magazines, including countless celebrity profiles. She is also a screenwriter, and her movie Intern (co-written with Jill Kargman) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Carrie has three books that will be published in 2021: Death on Bull Path (the fourth book of the Hamptons Murder Mystery Series); The Murder Game; and It Takes Two to Mango (the first book of the Trouble in Paradise Series.)

Carrie currently splits her time between New York and Long Island, with her husband and two teenage sons.

Website

Also by Carrie Doyle

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 2023 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Murder at Wedgefield Manor (A Jane Wunderly Mystery) by Erica Ruth Neubauer #Review / #Giveaway @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.


Murder at Wedgefield Manor (A Jane Wunderly Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – England
Kensington (March 30, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496725883
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496725882
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496725891
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496725899
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08CBP6QW3

England, 1926: Wedgefield Manor, deep in the tranquil Essex countryside, provides a welcome rest stop for Jane and her matchmaking Aunt Millie before their return to America. While Millie spends time with her long-lost daughter, Lillian, and their host, Lord Hughes, Jane fills the hours devouring mystery novels and taking flying lessons—much to Millie’s disapproval. But any danger in the air is eclipsed by tragedy on the ground when one of the estate’s mechanics, Air Force veteran Simon Marshall, is killed in a motorcar collision.

The sliced brake cables prove this was no accident, yet was the intended victim someone other than Simon? The house is full of suspects—visiting relations, secretive servants, strangers prowling the grounds at night—and also full of targets. The enigmatic Mr. Redvers, who helped Jane solve a murder in Egypt, arrives on the scene to once more offer his assistance. It seems that everyone at Wedgefield wants Jane to help protect the Hughes family. But while she searches for answers, is she overlooking a killer hiding in plain sight?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Moving on from Egypt Jane and her Aunt Millie make a stop at Wedgefield Manor in the countryside of Essex, England so that Millie can have some quality time with her long-lost daughter, Lillian. Millie is also enjoying time with their host Lord Hughes. Meanwhile, Jane spends her time reading mystery novels and taking flying lessons. Millie would rather have her using her feminine wiles to land a man.

Not long after their arrival one of the estate’s mechanics, Air Force veteran Simon Marshall, is killed when the car he is driving crashes into a tree. Mr. Redvers arrives to inform everyone of the man’s death and reveals it was not an accident. Someone had cut the brake lines. Redvers offers to stay and assist in catching the murderer. Jane is happy about that and looks forward to working with him again. But their investigation isn’t going to be easy. The manor is full of visitors and servants and even mysterious strangers and they are all suspects. Plus they are not even sure Simon was the intended victim. She and Redvers will have to work through all the secrets and clues to uncover the killer. While at it, maybe she can uncover what her true feelings are for Mr. Redvers as well.

______

Again Ms. Neubauer takes us back in time, to England in 1926 and the country estate of Lord Hughes, a very complicated man with more than a few secrets. Several characters including Lord Hughes from Murder at the Mena House return in Murder at Wedgefield Manor so we get to know them better and in different ways.

Jane Wunderly is a great protagonist. She is strong-willed, smart, independent and ready for almost anything. She has grown quite a bit since the first book in this series. Jane and Mr. Redvers make a very good team and I enjoyed the way their feelings for each other played a major part in this story. I like a little romance with my mystery and this one continued to develop over the course of this story in a very natural way, especially for a woman who has sworn off ever getting married again. Millie is still trying to play matchmaker for Jane so she is thrilled when Mr. Redvers arrives on the scene. Her daughter Lillian has devoted herself to bettering her golf game in hopes of playing in tournaments. Like Jane, all these characters are well-developed and their growth continued throughout the story.

There are a lot of new characters introduced too. They are all unique and I never felt overwhelmed getting to know them and how they fit into the realm of things at the manor. It was interesting and I was pleased to see that Lord Hughes hired so many veterans from the war. They were all dealing with emotional or physical disabilities, sometimes both. They were realistically portrayed but there is more than just the Lord’s generous nature behind these hirings.

The murder mystery was very well-plotted and written. The police, Redvers, and Jane all were active in the investigation and I like the way they worked together. Clues were sorted through, secrets were revealed and some good honest legwork came together leading up to an exciting chase to catch the killer. I thoroughly enjoyed every part of solving this mystery.

I must also say the setting of Lord Hughes’s estate was wonderfully described. From the manor house itself to the outbuildings and the countryside, the author took this reader on a wonderful virtual trip to a beautiful place at a fascinating time.

Murder at Wedgefield Manor was a stirring story filled with an entertaining cast of characters. The mystery was compelling and the setting ideal. I can’t wait to see what is next for Jane as her journey continues.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

from amazon About Erica Ruth Neubauer

Erica Ruth Neubauer spent eleven years in the military, nearly two as a Maryland police officer and one as a high school English teacher before finding her way as a writer. She has been a reviewer of mysteries and crime fiction for Publishers Weekly and Mystery Scene Magazine for several years and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. When she’s not writing, Erica Ruth enjoys traveling, yoga, and craft beer. She lives in Milwaukee, WI.

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I am giving away 1 Hardcover Copy!
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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
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Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

The contest Will End on February 10, 2023, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The 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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead Even (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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.

Dead Even (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Cozy/Hard-Boiled Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington; First Edition (March 30, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496722574
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496722577
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08CBMX13V

In Sorenson, Wisconsin, a local bigshot is found with a pool cue through the heart—and Mattie Winston must untangle a web of lies to sink a killer . . .
 
In her previous career as a nurse, Mattie Winston’s job was to keep death at bay. Now, as a medicolegal investigator, she’s required to study death intimately—to figure out causes and timing, and help deduce whether it was natural or suspicious.

In the case of Montgomery “Monty” Dixon, a well-to-do Realtor, there can be little doubt: Broken pool cues do not embed themselves. Monty’s body is found in the game room of his lavish house, the walls adorned with photos of Monty and various celebrities. But as Mattie and husband Steve Hurley, a homicide detective, both know, money and connections can’t protect anyone from a killer.

The first suspect is Monty’s wife, Summer, who claims to have been at a cooking class at the time. When that alibi is served up as a fake, Summer moves to the top of the suspects list, but is soon joined by Monty’s ne’er-do-well son, Sawyer, who has racked up gambling debts he hoped his dad would pay off. Monty’s twin brother is engaging in shady financial deals. An affair, a Ponzi scheme, a disputed inheritance . . . there are as many motives as suspects, and soon Mattie and Hurley have turned up other, possibly related deaths.

Balancing a high-profile case with the demands of their increasingly stressful household isn’t easy. It’ll take all of Mattie’s skill—along with a lucky break or two—to stop a killer from racking up another victim . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Death by Pool Cue! You don’t see that every day. But that is the case medicolegal investigator, Mattie Winston and her husband Detective Steve Hurley are tasked with. Prominent Realtor, Montgomery “Monty” Dixon has been taken down by someone he had to have known. Was it his wife, Summer? His son, Sawyer? His twin brother? A disgruntled employee? A client not happy with their real estate deal? Or was someone else trying to get Dead Even? Hurley and Mattie are hot on the case as they juggle their hectic home life. Will Mattie catch the killer? Or will she be the next victim?


I love this series and these characters.

The author has created such fantastic genuine characters. Mattie has grown leaps and bounds over these 12 books. She is still the same clutzy self she has been since Book 1 and I love that. She has always made me laugh out loud and is truly my favorite fictional character of all time. Hurley is her perfect man. They have worked through so much over the years and always come out stronger. Their son Matthew is such a cool kid. He immediately stole my heart. His big sister Emily has been through some tough things but has emerged as such a strong young woman. Dom and Iggy are the best supporting characters. They always have Mattie’s back. Her sister, Desi, and her husband Lucien keep things interesting, especially with the girl’s Dad back in town and Lucien representing the suspects in Mattie’s cases.

Again, Ms. Ryan has wrapped her characters in a complicated mystery with a lot of moving parts. Mattie knows all the suspects are lying and she just keeps tugging one thread after another while Hurley works the case on his end. I love the trust they have in each other. They come up with theories and dig some more. They have no problem bringing suspects into “The Hole” to try to get to the truth. It is so much fun to follow all the breadcrumbs with them right up to the big reveal. I truly was at the edge of my seat. I was so impressed with Mattie. I was cheering and crying. Knowing this is probably the last book in the series, I was afraid about how the book was going to end.

The author uses the final chapter to put a lid on the mystery answering all the questions and presenting the motives and how they snowballed. She also leaves the characters in a very good place. The one thing she doesn’t do is slam the door completely shut on future stories. I hope someday down the road Mattie jumps into Annelise’s brain and pokes at her a lot to pick up the saga of Mattie and Hurley again. As I said, I love these characters, they are like old friends that I could make a short trip up the highway and visit again and again.

Thank you, Ms. Ryan. I found this series late in the game but once I started I was hooked. I really enjoy the humor you infuse into each story while giving us a fabulous mystery to escape into. I have now read everything you have written as Annelise Ryan and Allyson K. Abbott and am anxiously awaiting the release of Death in the Dark Woods, the second Monster Hunter Mystery. As long as you keep writing I will keep reading!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent


About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Coming September 12, 2023

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 HARDCOVER Copy of Dead of Winter.

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.

The contest Will End on December 30, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The 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.”

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

#FlashbackFriday – Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle (A Death by Chocolate Mystery) by Sarah Graves #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @SarahGraves2011

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 by Chocolate Snickerdoodle (A Death by Chocolate Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington Cozies (February 23, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496729196
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496729194
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B089N4S1WF

Jake Tiptree and Ellie White are fired up for Eastport, Maine’s Maine’s annual cookie-baking contest, but when a cunning killer and a devastating fire threaten to ravage the quaint island town, Jake and Ellie must dip into another homemade homicide investigation before all they love goes up in smoke . . .

As co-owners of Eastport’s beloved waterfront bakery, the Chocolate Moose, Jake and Ellie know their customers expect them to cream the competition. But they’re really just in it for fun, hoping to get Jake’s daughter-in-law baking again. Those plans collapse when fearsome local curmudgeon Alvin Carter is murdered, and every crumb of evidence points to Tiptree family friend—and all-around sweet guy—Billy Breyer.

Billy’s sisters beg Jake and Ellie to prove his innocence. After all, lots of folks had gone sour on Alvin, whose popularity ranked somewhere between a toothache and the plague. But just as the ladies begin sifting through the suspects, a series of grass fires blaze across the island, threatening catastrophe. Could someone be trying to hide the truth about Alvin’s murder?

Now, Jake and Ellie will need all their courage—and an extra dash of that downeast Maine stubbornness—to sniff out the real killer before anyone else gets burned . . .

Includes a Recipe!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jake and Ellie really have their hands full in this Death by Chocolate Mystery. The town’s annual cookie-baking contest is right around the corner and they are hoping that putting Mika in charge of the entry will cure her baby blues. Her husband Sam has some blues of his own. His employee Billy Breyer found one of their client’s dead body when he arrived for work and sadly all the evidence points to him as the killer. The victim was not a nice man and had made his share of enemies. So with a long suspect list, Jake and Ellie agree to do their best to get Billy out of jail and the real guilty party there in his place.


Wildfires, wild wills, and wild rides! Sarah Graves takes us readers on a wild trip to find out who killed cranky old Alvin Carter and why.

Jake and Ellie are great characters with their fingers in everything that happens in Eastport, Maine. They are smart and creative but have a real tendency to leap into action without thinking through all the consequences that can occur as they try to get to the truth and a killer.

I really enjoyed that Sam and Mika had a bigger part in this story. So many women deal with baby blues, postpartum depression, baby brain, etc. following the birth of a baby. I appreciated the way Ellie and Jake helped her see her way through a tough time.

Jake’s stepmother is also having issues and the whole family knows it but it is hard to get through to a woman as independent as Bella. The author did an excellent job with this situation.

I also like meeting Billy’s sisters, Anna and Helen. These are young women with hopes and dreams with plans to make them come true. Their Aunt Prunia, such an appropriate name, has totally different ideas for their future. The girls and their brother Billy have had tragedy in their lives and I was thrilled to see such positive attitudes from all of them.

Pinning down a killer this time was really tough especially with grass fires popping up everywhere. Ellie and Jake took some crazy risks. I wanted to jump into the book and reel them in but that being impossible I scooched up to the edge of my seat a few times as the pages flew. I was 82% into the book when a bird hit a window and from there I was sitting up straight and everything in the room around me disappeared. I was caught spellbound by what was happening on the pages. Things settled down by 93% and things were explained and cookie-baking winners were revealed but it took me a couple of minutes to catch my breath.

Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle was a blast to read. I think Ms. Graves hit it out of the park with this story. I loved it!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Sarah Graves lives in Eastport, Maine, in a 200-year-old house much like Jake Tiptree’s. After 20 years of home repair – and yes, it really does make you think about murder! – she has handed in her toolbox and returned to her first love: chocolate. When she’s not cooking or baking something delectable, or writing about it, she tends a huge garden or shovels snow, depending upon the season.

Also by Sarah Graves

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

The contest Will End on December 23, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The 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.”

                                  

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead Ringer (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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.


Dead Ringer (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard Boiled Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
‎Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496722558
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496722553
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07R7S242R

A new murder victim with an old M.O. puts Mattie Winston on the trail of a killer who gives a grim new meaning to flower power . . .
 
Spring is beginning to brighten Sorenson, Wisconsin, for Mattie and Steve Hurley and their family. While their son Matthew may be in his terrible twos and Steve’s daughter Emily a moody teenager, the kids bring light to their lives when their work is dark by its nature—Steve is a homicide detective and Mattie is a medicolegal death investigator, aka medical examiner. They deal in corpses.

The latest corpse, a Jane Doe, was clearly an addict, but drugs didn’t kill her, at least not directly. She’s been stabbed multiple times in a pattern that is disturbingly familiar to Mattie. When she discovers flower petals from yellow carnations stuffed into the stab wounds, she recognizes a very specific M.O.—belonging to a convicted serial killer who’s currently serving a life sentence.

The details of the flower petals were never made public in the last case, so it can’t be a copycat crime. It looks like the wrong man is in prison, and the murderer is still at large. Now it’s up to Mattie and Steve to get the case reopened—and catch the real carnation killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Homicide Detective Steve Hurley and his new wife Medicolegal Death Investigator Mattie Winston have a new case involving a Jane Doe. During the autopsy, Mattie realizes the wounds and what is stuffed in them are familiar, a Dead Ringer for another case. She had recently been at a conference where a colleague from Eau Claire described the M.O. of a serial killer that he helped send to prison. A key piece of evidence was never publicized so unless that was somehow leaked there is no way this death could be the work of a copycat. While Mattie and Hurley work to solve their case they also dig deeper into the case upstate. Knowing that the wrong man could be behind bars pushes them to tie the cases together to catch the real killer.


I continue to be drawn in by these characters. They are so genuine and have real-life issues everyone can identify with. Mattie is a strong woman and Hurley is a strong man but each has their insecurities. They both excel at their occupations because they are driven to find the truth but at home, they question certain parts of their lives. They are getting settled in their new home and are raising a teenage daughter and a toddler son and at times worry if they are giving the children everything they need especially with their recent news. Jealousy also rears its ugly head within these pages adding more tension to their chaotic lives. Ms. Ryan has let her characters evolve realistically from Matthew’s terrible twos to Emily’s dating.  Mattie and Hurley’s relationship isn’t all sunshine and roses,  it has some bumps in the road. Izzy and Dom are dealing with a new baby and Izzy’s mother. Other relationships are developing between the secondary characters too.  All the characters have become like old friends that I love to visit.

The mystery that Steve and Mattie have on their hands is very compelling. Ms. Ryan plotted this one out so well. The interaction between police departments is tense with the coroner’s offices do their best to work together. Mattie is like a dog with a bone and goes to great lengths to follow every clue. Again, she finds herself in hot water and that brought me right to the edge of my seat. When all was revealed I was a bit shocked but it made sense and the clues were all there, I was just so caught up in the story I failed to put them all together.

I love the way the author tours the state of Wisconsin. This time linking Sorenson and Portage with Eau Claire. Traveling up and down the highway and recognizing familiar places with the characters in this series is always a good time even when trying to solve a murder.

Dead Ringer is the 11th book in this series and the author has kept the characters fresh and wrapped them in yet another complicated mystery. It was another Perfect Escape for me and knowing there is just one more book in this series I really didn’t want this book to end.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent  


About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Dead of Winter.

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.

The contest Will End on December 9, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The 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.”

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

#FlashbackFriday – How to Frame a Fashionista (A Resale Boutique Mystery) by Debra Sennefelder #Review / #Giveaway @lyricalpress

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.


How to Frame a Fashionista (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (December 1, 2020)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 197 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1516108981
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1516108985
Kindle Lyrical Press (November 24, 2020)
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B085LV2BZC

Applying her Manhattan fashion sense to the sensibilities of a Long Island clientele, Kelly Quinn is setting new trends with second-hand name brand apparel—and finding killers with a deadly sense of style . . .
 
The fortunes of Kelly’s Lucky Cove Resale Boutique are sinking fast—literally, as the weathered roof of her grandmother’s old consignment shop springs a new leak with every rain. She hopes her latest client, overnight fitness and social media sensation Tawny Nicole, has enough valued and wanted items she can sell fast enough to keep her roof from crumbling down.

When Kelly arrives at Tawny’s home to appraise her attire, she’s stunned to find Serena Dawson, “the Dragonista of Seventh Avenue,” there. The last time she saw her ex-boss was when Serena humiliatingly and publicly fired her from her New York City job. Now Tawny is married to Serena’s ex-husband and is caught in the crossfire of some unfinished divorce settlements.

But when Kelly returns to Tawny’s the following day, she discovers her dead body—and Serena standing over it. Her former employer may be nasty and unrepentant, but she’s no killer—prompting Kelly to pick up the threads to try and find the real culprit . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kelly Quinn is determined to make the shop she inherited from her grandmother, Lucky Cove Resale Boutique, a huge success but a leaky roof has her concerned. She hopes Tawny Nicole, fitness trainer and social media influencer has some great items to consign that will fly off the shelves and racks to keep the business afloat.

Her meeting with Tawny serves up quite a surprise for Kelly. Her former boss Serena Dawson, “the Dragonista of Seventh Avenue,” is there and having an argument. Kelly learns Serena is Tawny husband’s ex-wife. Kelly thought the woman who fired her very publicly from a job she loved was out of her life forever but it appears she will be in Lucky Cove until she and her ex come to terms with divorce details yet to be completed.

The next day when Kelly returns to do yoga with her new client she finds a very dead Tawny Nicole and the “dragonista” standing over her body. Granted she has no reason to help Serena but she knows she didn’t kill Tawny so she agrees to shop around a bit and try to close out the real killer.


I got behind with this series during my cancer treatments and as soon as I saw a new book, Sleuthing in Stilettos was coming out on December 6 I knew I had to rearrange my reading calendar.

Kelly is a fun protagonist. She stays positive even when the cards are stacked against her. Her uncle is doing everything he can to destroy her business and get her out of her building. Her roof is literally falling in and he went behind her back to keep her from getting a loan. Her boyfriend Mark is not being supportive either. I am thankful she does have some supportive friends around her because she has a lot on her plate especially after someone slips up and reveals a lifetime-old secret that could really change people’s lives. I really appreciated Kelly’s character development as this series continues and how it affects the other characters.

The mystery was so so well plotted with many moving parts. Kelly handled each clue thrown at her and eventually put them all together to make sense. I was with her each step of the way until the reveal. There were obvious suspects but their motivation to kill Tawny Nicole was unclear and when we learned what it was it was a surprise. The author placed some nice twists of misdirection that kept me pondering different theories.

I have enjoyed every book I have read by this author. How To Frame A Fashionista was an entertaining and intriguing read. A Perfect Escape! Ms. Sennefelder has penned a great story to keep the series going. She has included a subplot that will entice readers to escape right into Beauty and the Deceased, which I plan to do soon.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Debra Sennefelder is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.

Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.

<
The Rest of the Series

Coming December 6, 2022

Also by Debra Sennefelder

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of How to Frame a Fashionista.

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.

The contest Will End on November 18, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The 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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead of Winter (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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.


Dead of Winter (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard-Boiled Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington Cozies (February 26, 2019)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706714
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706713
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 448 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706722
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706720
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07DBQRJHN

Before medicolegal death investigator Mattie can smooth out the unexpected chaos of her new home, new marriage, and new family, duty calls. At the local ER, a battered and bruised teenage girl has been brought in by a mysterious man who claimed she’d fallen out of a car. The staff is suspicious, but while they attend to the teenager, the unidentified man slips out. Then the girl dies, but not before informing social worker Hildy Schneider that the man had her little sister as well.

Mattie’s exam reveals forensic evidence of long-term IV drug use and physical abuse, findings consistent with Hildy’s suspicion that the girl was a victim of human trafficking. They are able to confirm her identity as a teen who went missing six months ago, along with her sister—facts that are deeply unsettling to Mattie who now shares a home with her husband’s teenaged daughter.

Working closely with Hildy and Sorenson homicide detectives, including her husband Steve Hurley, Mattie must delve into a dark underworld to stop the ruthless trafficking of human lives—before it’s too late for another young girl . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mattie and Hurley have moved into their new home and are settling in nicely with their children but at times Mattie feels a little overwhelmed when her work as a death investigator is added to the mix. Her latest case involves a teen who was brought into the ER battered and bruised and later dies but not before uttering “he has her too” and begging social worker, Hildy Schneider to help her little sister. Mattie’s exam is heartbreaking. It shows the teenager was a long-time victim of physical abuse and long-term IV drug use. Both Hildy and Mattie agree she was being human trafficked. Both are shocked that something like that could happen in Sorenson, Wisconsin. It just hits too close now that she is caring for Hurley’s teenage daughter. So working with Hurley, Hildy, other techs at the Medical Examiner’s office, and other local detectives Mattie takes a deep dive into human trafficking to find a little girl before it is too late.

Meanwhile, a member of Dom’s theater group falls from a catwalk to his death. A death that is quickly classified as a homicide. Add a first-class Wisconsin blizzard to the mix and things could get messy for Sorenson and Mattie.


This is such a wonderful series. With the 8th book in the series, Ms. Ryan added more serious themes but didn’t lose the humor readers expect from her. In this book that included a terrible, awful, very bad day for Mattie. I could relate on a personal level to part of it but that didn’t keep me from laughing at all her trials and tribulations. Young Matthew also tees up some hilarious things. He is at the perfect age to get into all kinds of mischief. Hurley takes just about everything in stride. Mattie is thankful that Emily, her teenage stepdaughter is able to help with Matthew and that they get along so well. It really eases up things at home and it is enabling Emily to collect a nice nest egg with the babysitting dollars she earns. All these characters grow in each subsequent book and they have true-to-life issues. They feel like neighbors that could live across the street. The hearse Mattie drives may be a little offputting at first but I am sure after a short time I would adjust.

Ms. Ryan takes on some hot-topic issues within the pages of this story. Even though it was released in 2019 the themes are even more relevant today. According to the U.S. Dept of State, there are an estimated 24.9 million victims worldwide at any given time of human trafficking, and with the repeal of Row vs. Wade illegal abortions are in the headlines again. Bringing it up close and personal to a relatively small town in Wisconsin makes people realize serious issues can happen anywhere but that there are good people trying to make a difference.

Being set during a Wisconsin winter really added to the story. The winds, cold, and snow, including a blizzard, are part of life around here. Winters have gotten milder over the years but Mother Nature is a fickle woman so we never know what to expect. In fact, one of my grandsons was born in the middle of a blizzard 10 years ago. My husband transported his parents to the hospital following a snowplow and they arrived just in time. Our older grandson was snowed in with his other set of grandparents out in the country for 3 or 4 days.

What gets me excited every time I open a book by Annelise Ryan is that I know I am going to read a great story filled with a mystery or two that grabs my attention. One that features characters that are engaging and that I have become invested in. And that I am going to laugh, probably often. She does an excellent job of blending top-notch mysteries with Mattie’s crazy everyday life.

Dead of Winter is a fantastic addition to this series. I highly recommend it and the rest of the series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Dead of Winter.

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.

The contest Will End on November 11, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The 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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead Calm (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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.


Dead Calm (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard Boiled Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (February 27, 2018)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706684
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706683
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706692
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706690
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07178SP36

As deputy medical examiner and homicide detective respectively, newlyweds Mattie Winston and Steve Hurley are dispatched to a grisly crime scene at the Grizzly Motel, a seedy joint for illicit liaisons on the outskirts of Sorenson, Wisconsin. A man and woman are found dead next to each other in bed in what initially appears to be a grim but straightforward murder-suicide. An affair gone sour?

But as the forensic evidence is gathered and autopsies are performed, Mattie and Hurley realize the scene has been staged. They have a double murder on their hands. The spurned spouses of both victims top the list of suspects, but as more is revealed, the case becomes increasingly complex. Dividing their time and resources between the crime and an ongoing investigation involving Mattie’s father, plus caring for their kids, the two are stretched to their limits. After another victim turns up dead, there’s no room for error as they stage a scene of their own to back the killer into a corner . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Deputy Medical Examiner Mattie Winston and her husband Homicide Detective Steve Hurley are called to the Grizzly (No Tell) Motel for 2 bodies. At first, the deaths are thought to be murder/suicide to end an affair but some keen observations and the autopsies show that isn’t what happened. It is a double murder case and the couple’s respective spouses are now the prime suspects.

Mattie and Hurley are also still working on an investigation that involves Mattie’s father, trying to build a house, taking care of their family, and more. With this new double murder, they are juggling a lot and it may just be too much. Then another body is found and Mattie pushes her boss to hire a replacement for her recently deceased coworker before she goes over the edge. Until then she and her hunky detective may need to get creative to solve a complex case and catch a killer.


Ms. Ryan has packed this book full of mysteries! An old case that started in a previous book, a strange case that may involve aliens, and the current murder case. All three grab a hold of the reader and play out at their own pace throughout the book. The alien case made me think of the recent release by this author, A Death in Door County. It shows me that the author has wanted to explore unique storylines for a while and she does it very well. The old case is very complex and has many tangents to explore which I enjoyed. The new case was more straightforward and easier for readers to solve.

I really appreciate that Ms. Ryan writes true-to-life characters. Mattie Winston is not a superwoman and her work is starting to take a toll on her mind and body. Steve is very supportive but he gets overwhelmed at times as well. Izzy and Dom are struggling a bit too with Izzy going back to work, his mother living on the premises, and Dom wanting to get back to some of the things he was doing before the baby came. Dom is also babysitting Matthew for Mattie and Steve.

The recognizable Wisconsin references are always a treat. This time Mattie truly was in my neck of the woods, just mere blocks away.

I love the way Ms. Ryan writes a story and the way she blends together mysteries and family life. At first, I thought this book was a little light on the author’s signature humor. That was until Izzy and Mattie started to interview for someone to replace Hal. Oh my stars, you won’t believe who they ultimately hire. I think things are going to be very interesting around the morgue. It may mean everyone working there will need to receive a special piece of equipment.

Dead Calm is not a book you can read as a stand-alone because of the arc of one of the cases. Of course, as a fan, I think you should read the entire series in order to really get to know these characters.  But if you want to jump in later in the series it twisted from the cozy realm to more hard-boiled with Dead in The Water so that one should definitely be read before this book.

I have enjoyed this entire series and look forward to reading Dead of Winter soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Dead Calm.

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.

The contest Will End on October 28, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The 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.”

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

#FlashbackFriday – Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut (A Death by Chocolate Mystery) by Sarah Graves #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.


Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut (A Death by Chocolate Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (January 26, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496711343
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496711342
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496711351
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496711359
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07RBSJPWY

Bakeshop owners Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and her best friend Ellie White expect they’ll be busy baking up a storm when a pirate festival blows into town—not marooned in a new investigation . . .

Everything is shipshape at Jake and Ellie’s new waterfront bakery, The Chocolate Moose, especially now that the annual Pirate Festival is dropping anchor in their quaint island village of Eastport, Maine. Jake and Ellie are ready for the bounty of tourists sure to flood their shop. But their plans quickly sink when the body of celebrity foodie, Henry Hadlyme, is discovered in the Moose’s basement.

Jake and Ellie are horrified, but their shock turns to dismay when Jake is pegged for the murder. Now, to clear Jake’s name and save the shop, Jake and Ellie must swashbuckle down and figure out who among Henry’s numerous enemies scuttled him in the cellar. Alas, dead men tell no tales, so Jake and Ellie will have to get to the bottom of the case on their own and find the real killer before anyone else is forced to walk the plank . . .
 
Includes a Recipe!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Eastport, Maine just in time for the annual Pirate Festival. Jake and Ellie are ready to welcome all the matey’s to The Chocolate Moose with the exception of celebrity foodie, Henry Hadlyme. The man definitely has a hidden agenda and the bakers want nothing to do with him. But that was not meant to be. When Jake goes to the basement for some cleaning supplies she finds the man’s dead body. What makes the tragedy even worse Jake becomes the police’s prime suspect. Shivers me timbers and batten down the hatches. Can she and Ellie clear her name or will she be joining some other scallywags behind bars?


Oh, what a fun story! This series is a continuation/spinoff of Sarah Graves’ A Home Repair is Homicide Mystery series but they can easily be read on their own.

I really like the family aspect in this series and how close Jake and Ellie are. The whole dynamic can bring both humor and drama to the story. All the characters are very well-developed but the author always seems to introduce new things about them in each book.

The mystery really takes off when a huge mysterious ship arrives in the harbor setting off a large explosion that rocks Eastport. Could it be connected to the very dead Henry Hadlyme? Ms. Graves sets off a great set of twists and turns herself. The pace really picks up as we find Ellie and Jake in some dire situations that had this reader on the edge of my seat. I did think I had most of the mystery figured out but was gobsmacked when all was revealed.

Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut was a wild mystery and a Perfect Escape. Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle is screaming at me from my TBR stack. I hope to indulge in that tasty morsel soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Sarah Graves lives in Eastport, Maine, in a 200-year-old house much like Jake Tiptree’s. After 20 years of home repair – and yes, it really does make you think about murder! – she has handed in her toolbox and returned to her first love: chocolate. When she’s not cooking or baking something delectable, or writing about it, she tends a huge garden or shovels snow, depending upon the season.

Also by Sarah Graves

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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.”