Oct 102018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always thrilled to have Kathleen Ernst drop by for a visit.

Immigrant Stories
by Kathleen Ernst

People sometimes ask why I so often write about 19th-century immigrants.  My fascination began in the 1980s when I worked at an outdoor ethnic museum called Old World Wisconsin. The museum features over 50 historic structures which have been moved to the site and restored.  Working as an interpreter and curator there provided tantalizing glimpses into the lives of some of the state’s first Yankee and European immigrants.

An even stronger motivation is simply my ever-growing admiration for the everyday people who made the monumental decision to leave everything familiar and gamble on a new life in Wisconsin.  I created the Chloe Ellefson Mysteries to give myself the opportunity to share some of what I’ve discovered.  Chloe is a curator at Old World Wisconsin, and as the series progresses, she visits other special historic sites and museums.  Different books have featured different ethnic groups.

In the ninth book, The Lacemaker’s Secret, Chloe travels to northeast Wisconsin. She’s been hired to create a furnishings plan for a Belgian-American farm being restored at Heritage Hill State Historical Park in Green Bay.  She’s on the hunt for insight into the lives of Belgian immigrants (and after discovering a body in an old brick bake oven, she’s soon on the hunt for a killer as well).

I knew little about the Belgians’ experience before beginning research for this book.  The immigrants, most of whom arrived in the 1850s, faced a brutal struggle to turn old-growth forest into farmland.  A devastating cholera epidemic swept through the settlements.  And in 1871, what is remembered locally as The Great Fire (which burned simultaneously with the Peshtigo Fire across the bay) blazed through many of the Belgian communities.  Over two hundred people died; over five thousand lost everything they owned.

But the Belgian immigrants’ story is not defined by tragedy.  It’s defined by strength and persistence, by faith and courage.  Today many of their descendants still live in northeast Wisconsin because their ancestors did not give up or give in.  I find that inspiring.

So does Chloe Ellefson in The Lacemaker’s Secret.  I hope that readers do as well.

~Kathleen

Thank you, Kathleen, for being my guest today! 

Now let me give you my thoughts on The Lace Maker’s Secret.

The Lace Maker’s Secret (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin/Belguim
Midnight Ink (October 8, 2018)
Paperback: 408 pages
ISBN-10: 0738753548
ISBN-13: 978-0738753546
Kindle ASIN: B0795R5H4C

Greed, Uncertainty, and Death Get Tangled in the Mystery of a Rare Piece of Belgian Lace

Curator Chloe Ellefson needs distraction from the unsettling family secret she’s just learned. It doesn’t help that her boyfriend, Roelke McKenna, has been troubled for weeks and won’t say why. Chloe hopes a consulting job at Green Bay’s Heritage Hill Historical Park, where an old Belgian-American farmhouse is being restored, will be a relaxing escape.

Instead she discovers a body in a century-old bake oven.

Chloe’s research suggests that a rare and valuable piece of lace made its way to nearby Door County, Wisconsin, with the earliest Belgian settlers. More importantly, someone is desperate to find it. Inspired by a courageous Belgian woman who survived cholera, famine, and the Great Fire, Chloe must untangle clues to reveal secrets old and new . . . before the killer strikes again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This installment of this wonderful series takes Chloe Ellefson on the road to Green Bay’s Heritage Hill Historical Park. They are restoring a historic Belgian-American farmhouse and have asked her to consult on its furnishings. She recently learned some upsetting news about her family and something is definitely bothering her boyfriend. Roelke McKenna, so maybe a week away, doing the thing she loves will do them both some good. She is meeting a woman there who she has worked with in the past. The woman is a lace expert and she has been told a valuable piece of lace is part of Heritage Hill’s collection. Both women are excited to learn about the lace and its origins.

It is winter in Wisconsin and driving north Chloe encounters some slippery conditions. Just before she reaches the B&B where she will be staying she notices a summer kitchen building right off the road.  She pulls over quickly to check the place out, but she makes a grisly discovery. A dead body has been stuffed into the old bake oven. This is not the way she planned to start her week. The death has nothing to do with her. Maybe she can leave everything to the police and just do what she came to Green Bay to do. But she knows that is not going to happen, she is going to find herself right in the middle of another investigation and her favorite police officer is many miles away.

I know when I pick up a book by Kathleen Ernst I am in for a delightful read. This book was no exception. I have spent my whole life in Wisconsin and every time I read a book by this wonderful author I still learn something new. I knew the basics of the historical events that take place in this story but her fictional telling of the time period resonates and makes the time, place, and people come alive.

The historical part of the story begins in Belguim in 1848 when 12-year-old Seraphine Moreau’s father dies and she and her twin sister, Octavie are taken by their uncle to a convent school in Bruges.  She leaves her friend Jean-Paul Lejeune behind but he doesn’t forget her, he visits her and the convent often and they pledge their love to each other. While at the convent both Seraphine and Octavie learn to make the beautiful bobbin Belgian lace. In 1854, Jean-Paul returns to ask Seraphine to be his wife and travel with him to America where there are new opportunities for farmers. The story then follows their lives in Wisconsin and joins together with the current story which is set in the 1980’s.

Again, Ernst really shows her storytelling chops by marrying these two time periods together seamlessly. Both time periods feature strong women in Chloe and Seraphine and even Octavie who remains in Belguim. We see through the letters to her sister what is happening across the Atlantic. Seraphine and the immigrants struggle to just survive at times was both heartbreaking and inspirational, the perseverance shown throughout their lives was remarkable. Chloe shows her strength time and time again and she strives the find the truth even while putting herself in danger.

In Chloe’s timeframe, I always need to remind myself, 1980’s, no cell phones, no easy access to the internet, no text messages. I love the nightly phone calls between Chloe and Roelke, the calling collect, and reversing the charges. Something the current generation of kids and young adults will never know. For them, both parts of this story would be historical. I know Ms. Ernst’s books would be a great way for them to learn about history. She makes it personal and her stories stick with her readers. Her stories are well-researched but fictional so she does juggle the dates sometimes to fit her narrative while still giving an accurate picture of the things her characters endure.

I do love that the stories in this series take place in actual destinations near where I live. As my grandchildren get older these are places I would love to take them. According to their website, “Heritage Hill has earned a reputation as a jewel of the Midwest for guests from within the area and those visiting the community.” I really thank the author for bringing this treasure to my attention.

The Lacemaker’s Secret is a fantastic story filled with characters that are truly believable. They will draw readers deep into their lives. The theme of Belgian lace and the setting in Wisconsin really shows the author’s love of the history of our state. This was an amazing read!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

The last book in this series also received a Paradise Rating.
Check out my review of Mining for Justice here.

About the Author

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

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Sign up for Kathleen’s Mailing List for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End October 24, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Oct 092018
 


Forever Fudge (A Candy-coated Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496716064
Kindle ASIN: B078QM8PGM

When a film crew comes to Mackinac Island, the last thing fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy expects to find is a murder victim . . .

SHOT ON LOCATION

It’s Labor Day weekend, the official end of tourist season, and the beginning of a whole batch of trouble. First, the island is invaded by a TV crew filming a murder mystery pilot, and handsome Hollywood heartthrob Dirk Benjamin needs Allie’s help to prep for his role as local cop Rex Manning. Then, Allie’s bichonpoo Mal sniffs out a real murder in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, a man shot in the head—with a note challenging amateur sleuth Allie to catch the culprit. Like it or not, the fudge maker has to square off against a crazy killer—but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy is up to her neck in another murder. The quiet tourist destination has had a real crime wave since she came to town. Her dog, Mal, has found yet another body. A body the killer wanted Allie to find because he left her a note with the deceased.

She really doesn’t have time for another murder mystery. Frances and  Mr. Devaney are off on their honeymoon so the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop is understaffed and some unusual and scary things are happening at the hotel. Allie doesn’t know if they are connected to the murder, but she needs to find out.

It doesn’t help that a film crew has set up on the island for a new murder mystery show and the town is running a contest to see which side of the street can come up with the most money. The winner will be a featured backdrop for the film which could be great publicity. The hotel and fudge shop had a good year, but Allie has other plans for her profits. This does not make the mayor happy.

Her personal life is in flux too and her BFF is leaving the island for a great job in Chicago. The idea of a peaceful offseason is not going to happen unless she helps find a killer and the film crew leaves town. Fudge! She is going to have to get involved in another investigation!

Escaping to Mackinac Island with Allie and the gang is always so much fun. This time the author has really stirred up a sweet mystery. Life at the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop is never dull. There is always something happening. The characters she has created are so engaging. It makes me want to pack my bags and head there right away. I missed having Frances there especially but it is after Labor Day and the newlyweds deserve some time off for their honeymoon.

Ms. Coco added an interesting element to the mystery this time. The killer is leaving clues stating chess moves. The problem is Allie doesn’t play chess so she tries to learn. But before she gets even a novice handle on the game another body is found and she realizes the killer knows her well, knows the previous crimes she has helped solve, and the people she cares about may be in danger. This adds a nice twist to the entire story.

Forever Fudge is a well-written cozy mystery with well-developed characters. The author blends the intrigue with a little romance and humor. I am team Rex all the way but looking forward to the next installment in the series to see if Allie finally makes up her mind.

The fudge recipes throughout the book are an added bonus.

This was an entertaining escape and a fine addition to this series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Written as Nancy J. Parra

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to giveaway!  

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.

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Contest Will End October 23, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Oct 042018
 

The Walking Bread (A Bread Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 9781496707765
ISBN-13: 978-1496707765
Digital ASIN: B078QSJ8G4

Beloved Mexican bakery Yeast of Eden has scored the catering deal at the annual Santa Sofia, California, art car parade and ball. But when a contestant turns up dead, making bread will be the yeast of their problems . . .

Apprentice baker Ivy Culpepper sees art cars everywhere she turns. Besides helping prepare the bread and pastry for Santa Sofia’s annual spring event, she’s the official photographer, documenting the elaborate cars, outspoken artists, and riotous celebrations. Even her family’s in on the act: her brother Billy has been runner-up in the competition more times than she can count—but this is going to be the year he celebrates his win in the victory lane.

But after Billy’s rival, Max Litman, revs up his bombastic showmanship, Billy is once again set to cruise into second place. Until Max is found dead—positioned as a prop in his own art car. The whole town knows there’s no love lost between the two men, and Billy is the prime suspect. Now Ivy will have to sift through collusion, deception, gossip, and lies to find out what really happened. But with the help of her octogenarian Watson, her restaurateur beau, and her adopted aunts at Yeast of Eden, she knows she can take the heat . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Spring in Santa Sofia, California, means it is time for the annual Art Car Parade and Ball. Ivy Culpepper is very familiar with the event, her brother Billy has come in second for years, always losing to Max Litman. This year should be different. Billy has a fantastic idea inspired by his mother that has passed away. Ivy is amazed by the work of car art he has created. The cars are all being moved to the pre-event site and Ivy notices a very creepy car. Her pug, Agatha, really has an issue with the car, actually barring teeth. When Ivy examines it closer the thing she thought was a prop turns out to be a man. A very dead man. Max Litman is dead and a huge piece of evidence points right at Billy. Her best friend Deputy Sheriff Emmaline Davis has been sidelined because of her relationship with Billy, so the chief is taking charge.  Ivy knows she is going to have to work hard and find the real killer because he thinks the case is open and shut and Billy is his man.

This art car thing is brand new to me. I have been to many car shows but never an art car show and the whole thing drew me into this story. I was fascinated by the author’s detailed descriptions of the cars. What a creative event.

Ivy Culpepper works at Yeast of Eden as an apprentice baker, but she trying to get her photography business off the ground. She was at the event to take pictures but Yeast of Eden is also one of the caters for the event so sleuthing out the real killer should be easy . . . NOT! The suspect pool is wide open and there is not a lot of clear evidence. With a little help from her friends and her pug, Ivy starts to piece things together and I was right there with her. Again the author’s vivid descriptions painted a vivid picture to put readers right on the spot.

Ms. Archer has created characters with depth. They are likable and relatable. They have grown in each story with a nice progression. I was taken by Billy’s tribute to his mother’s love of reading. It warmed by heart the way she passed the love on to her children.

The story was very well-plotted and entertaining. It was perfectly paced and held my attention the whole way. I love the creative title and the way it tied into the story.

This story stands on it own but reading the series from the start will make it more enjoyable.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in an inspiring century-old house in North Texas and loves being surrounded by real-life history. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams. Visit her online at WinnieArcher.com.

You can read my review of Kneaded to Death here.
You can read my review of Crust No One here.

Written as Melissa Bourbon

Written as Misa Ramirez


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 18, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Oct 032018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to be today’s stop on the Assault and Beadery Great Escapes Tour! 

Assault and Beadery (A Cora Crafts Mystery)
by Mollie Cox Bryan

 

About the Book

Assault and Beadery (A Cora Crafts Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716442
ISBN-13: 978-1496716446
Digital ASIN: B078QM4V66

All of Cora Chevalier’s dreams are coming true. Since moving to Indigo Gap, North Carolina, the busy crafting maven has been blessed with a great boyfriend, a lovely home, and a booming craft retreat business. But on the eve of her first Crafty Mom’s Escape Weekend, tragedy strikes again in Indigo Gap. This time, it’s curtains for Stan Herald, the disagreeable director of the local theater group, who’s murdered on the opening night of their new production. Worse, Cora’s friend Zee is accused of the crime.

Cora is determined to prove her friend’s innocence, but Zee’s mysterious past is making that difficult. And with a list of suspects longer than a double spool of satin cording, getting a bead on the real culprit won’t be easy. With her friends Jane and Ruby at her side, Cora must string together the clues and solve Stan’s murder before the killer gives an encore performance.

Includes crafting tips!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return back to Indigo Gap just in time for the Crafty Mom’s Escape Weekend. In addition to getting ready for the event, Cora is helping with scenery for the upcoming play at the local theater. But before the curtain goes up for the production, the curtain comes down on its director, Stan Herald. Cora’s friend Zee is found near his body and becomes the prime murder suspect. Cora, Jane, and Ruby know their friend is innocent. They commit to finding the real killer to free their friend all while handling the Mom’s who have escaped for a fun and crafty weekend. Hopefully, the weekend will be a beading success on both counts.

A strong group of friends shines within these pages. Cora, Ruby, Jane, Cashel, come together to help their friend Zee. Cashel handles the legal stuff. Cora and Jane do the sleuthing. Ruby does whatever is needed so the others can do their thing. In this story, that means keeping the moms entertained and she does is well. These characters are a lively group and people I would love to be friends with, tagging along crafting and sleuthing would be a blast.

It does take a group of people to handle everything happening within these pages. Mollie Cox Bryan has crafted a clever mystery to go along with the crafting theme. Twists and turns really kept me guessing. Even after a confession, the case is not solved. This was a good one that kept me guessing right up until the end.

It is stories like these that make me love cozy mysteries. Before an accident left my right side paralyzed I was quite the crafter. Books in this series have not only brought back great memories but allowed me to vicariously do some arts and crafts. In fact, I think I could make some of the beads described with one hand and just a little bit of help with the cutting.

Wonderful characters, a great mystery, and fun crafts make this story A Perfect Escape! I am ready to book my next trip to Indigo Gap!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbooking mystery series and the Cora Crafts mystery series. She is also author of two cookbooks, the regional bestseller Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies and Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant Cookbook: A Lifetime of Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley. An award-winning journalist and poet, she currently blogs, cooks, and scrapbooks in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband and two daughters. Scrapbook of Secrets was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Visit her on the web at molliecoxbryan.com.

Author Links

Website Facebook Pinterest Twitter

Purchase LinksAmazon   B&N   IndieBound   Kobo   BookBub


 

Praise for Assault and Beadery (A Cora Crafts Mystery)
by Mollie Cox Bryan

Assault and Beadery is packed with all that makes an excellent cozy mystery – character depth, well-plotted mystery, and an appealing small-town setting that you’d love to visit.
~The Power of Words

The crafty fun is described with delightful details. If not for the pesky murder, I would love to be a guest at this retreat.
~The Avid Reader

As much as this is a cozy mystery, it is so much more! Underneath the storyline is the theme of overcoming obstacles and how you move forward…basically reinventing yourself. That really struck a chord for me and sets this book somewhat apart from other books in the genre.
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

ASSAULT AND BEADERY is an engaging mystery that empowers women while comforting them.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I really was educated while reading this Cozy Mystery novel: educated in certain types of Crafts (beadmaking, paper crafts, and Artistic playing cards), but equally so in the art of friendship, and the procedures of small business, and the foibles of small town living.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

If you love cozy mysteries than this is a book for you.
~cherylbbookblog

I just love this series! Cora is just so sweet that it seems against her nature to get involved in a murder yet she does so time and time again with success and danger.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 25 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
September 25 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers -SPOTLIGHT
September 26 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 26 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
September 26 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 27 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 27 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 28 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 29 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
September 29 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 30 – cherylbbookblog – REVIEW, RECIPE
September 30 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
October 1 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 1 – Varietats – GUEST POST
October 2 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
October 2 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
October 4 – Valerie’s Musings – GUEST POST
October 4 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
October 5 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 5 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
October 6 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
October 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
October 7 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
October 8 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
October 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT/RECIPE

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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.”

Oct 022018
 

Premeditated Peppermint (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496706439
ISBN-13: 978-1496706430
Kindle ASIN: B078QSP1VH

Someone’s sweet on revenge . . .

Christmas is Bailey King’s favorite time of year. For her first Yuletide in Harvest, Ohio, the former big-city chocolatier is recreating a cherished holiday treat: peppermint combined with molten white chocolate. But her sugar high plummets when her former boyfriend walks into the candy shop she now runs with her Amish grandmother. New York celebrity chef Eric Sharp and his TV crew have arrived to film an authentic Amish Christmas. Bailey’s not about to let her beloved town—and Swissmen Sweets—be turned into a sound bite. Unfortunately, she gets more publicity than she bargained for when Eric’s executive producer is found strangled to death—and Eric’s the prime suspect.

With Bailey’s sheriff deputy boyfriend out to prove Eric’s guilt, her bad-boy ex tries to sweet-talk her into helping him clear his name . . . and rekindle their romance to boost ratings for his show. Now, between a surplus of suspects and a victim who wasn’t who she seemed, Bailey’s edging dangerously close to a killer who isn’t looking to bring joy to the world—or to Bailey—this deadly Noel . . .

Recipe Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Everything is not Merry this Christmas season in Harvest, Ohio. Eric Sharp, Bailey King’s ex has shown up with a camera crew to catch on film an authentic Amish Christmas for his new television show just in time for annual Harvest Christmas Market.  Seems his producers need the celebrity chef to be more human/friendly and they think this episode will do the trick. The problem is that he wants to showcase Swissmen Sweets and just expects Bailey to go along with his plan, never thinking about her grandmother, an Amish woman that has no desire to been seen on camera. The Amish community itself shuns any type of photographic participation.

Early the next morning as Bailey is on her way to tell the producer that it is unlikely that her grandmother will approve any filming in the sweet shop, she notices something that draws her to the gazebo in the park. As she arrives she finds the producer dead and Eric Sharp standing over the body. Of course, he is the prime suspect but Bailey can’t wrap her head around Eric as a killer. She quickly finds herself involved in several Christmas Market events and she plans to use that as a way to try to clear Eric from the suspect list. She is no longer sweet on him, but she hopes to keep him out of jail for the holidays.

Peppermint, peppermint, and more peppermint. I was craving it throughout this whole book and it is darn hard to find peppermint bark or fudge or canes this time of year. I had to settle for the hard candy and that didn’t really curb my cravings. 🙂 Can’t wait for Christmas candy to hit the stores, probably any day now.

The characters in this series are so much fun. Amish and Englishers do their best to coexist in Harvest. Bailey and her grandmother have hired Charlotte to work with them at Swissmen Sweets. This way Bailey has time to get caught up in her investigations. Her relationship with Deputy Aiden Brody gets just a little bit closer. His mother already has them engaged and headed down the aisle. She and her pet pig, Jethro are involved again in the whole story and that leads to some very humorous moments. She thinks Jethro needs to make his television debut and someday have a show of his own.

The mystery was pretty complex. Who would want Rocky Rivers dead? Are they Amish or Englisch? and what was she hiding? I loved that Bailey’s BFF hopped on a plane and flew to Harvest to be at Bailey’s side when she heard Eric had come to town. Cass thinks on her feet and not only helped with the investigation but played a big part in getting Bailey an offer that may be just too hard to refuse. They work well together and find some huge clues the police had missed.

Well written and plotted, Amanda Flower has given her readers one sweet treat to devour this holiday season. Christmas in Harvest sounds delightful, sans the murder, of course. A perfect escape for when the temps get lower and the snow starts to fly.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of Assaulted Caramel here and Lethal Licorice here.

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest




Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End October 16, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Sep 272018
 


Final Roasting Place (A Cook-Off Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496714458
ISBN-13: 978-1496714459
Kindle ASIN: B078QSJR3H

Sherry Frazzelle is back to being Sherry Oliveri, her divorce all but final and her new life in full swing. Her part-time job is helping her father with his hooked-rug business, and her full-time passion is competitive cooking. But murder is about to rock their little Connecticut town . . .

Erno Oliveri made sure to be on set for his daughter’s cook-off appearance on Sunny Side Up with Brett and Carmell. Or as it’s now known, Sunny Side Up with Carmell and Brett—since the ambitious young Carmell seems to have the producer and station owner eating out of her hand. But the important news is that Sherry has bested the competition with her Spicy Toasted Chickpea and Almond appetizer and clinched the spatula-shaped trophy. It’s her shining moment—until everything goes dark.

A quick-moving storm has knocked out power to the studio—and when the lights come back up, Carmell is at her desk with a sharp object lodged in her neck. The weapon is an unusual tool, used by craftsmen who make hooked rugs. Has someone taken corporate backstabbing to a new level, and framed Erno in the process? If Sherry’s going to protect her dad and their family name, she has to find out where he was when the lights went out . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sherry Oliveri formerly Sherry Frazzelle (divorce is almost final) has just won a cook-off at a local tv station on the Sunny Side Up with Brett and Carmell program. Her Spicy Toasted Chickpea and Almond appetizer won her the prize. She had her father along for moral support. But before they could leave the building a quick moving storm blows through and knocks out the station’s power. When the power is restored one of the show’s co-hosts is dead. Carmell was not well liked by many on the staff but seeing the implement she and her father use for hooking rugs protruding out of her neck was a huge shock. Sherry was around someone the whole time so she is not a suspect. The same can’t be said for her dad. She now has to create a recipe more important than any other . . . how to get her dad out of this mess.

Ms. Delaney’s core characters continue to evolve and impress. Sherry is a strong woman, a very type-A individual but she seems to control her panic attacks much better in this story. Erno does not handle being a prime suspect very well. In fact, he ends up in the hospital and is diagnosed with a panic attack all his own. Her friend Amber returns just in time to help with the shop. Erno has been ordered by doctor’s to take some time off. Amber has no trouble taking things over at the store or teaming up to help Sherry track down a killer. But Amber is sweet on one of Sherry’s suspects so that could make things chilly between friends.

The death at the television station brings readers a new group of characters to meet. They are all unique and any one of them could have killed their co-worker. A receptionist plays a very small part, not involved in any of the drama but really liked Sherry’s cookies and her attitude about the station’s dilemmas brought a smile to my face. The rest all seemed to be out for themselves. One cute new character is Bean, a puppy that becomes quick friends with Chutney and finds a new furever home.

The mystery was tightly connected to Sherry and her dad, due to his friends and the Founder’s Day celebration the town was planning. It was a real puzzler for Sherry and me as the reader. I was up in the air completely until the excellent way the killer was revealed. Twists, turns, red herrings, this story had them all. Detective Ray Bease showed up just in time to take the culprit away.

What I love most about this series is the father/daughter relationship. They are close but Erno still manages to keep a few secrets from Sherry. I have truly become invested in both of them and am excited for the next book in this series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of
Expiration Date here.

About the Author

Devon Delaney is a wife, mother of three, accomplished cooking contester and a recent empty nester. She taught computer education and Lego Robotics for over ten years prior to pursuing writing. Along the way, she has been handsomely rewarded for her recipe innovation over the last twenty-plus years. Among the many prizes she has won are a full kitchen of major appliances, six-figure top cash prizes and four trips to Disney World. She has also won the grand prize in a national writing contest for her ‘foodie’ poem “Ode to Pork Passion.” Combining her beloved cooking contesting with her enthusiasm for writing was inevitable.

Check out Devon’s website at: www.devonpdelaney.com

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

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

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Sep 252018
 

This book comes out today in the Mass Market Paperback Edition!

X Marks the Scot (A Liss MacCrimmon Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496712609
ISBN-13: 978-1496712608
Kindle ASIN: B06XFHRZXL

The old Chadwick mansion on the edge of Moosetookalook, Maine, has been shrouded in mystery for generations—until Scottish Emporium owner Liss MacCrimmon uncovers a forgotten family secret. But she never imagined that a little curiosity would lead her into such deadly territory . . .

While perusing auction items from the Chadwick estate, Liss purchases a painting of a bagpiper to add to her collection. Her interest shifts from art to sleuthing upon a strange discovery—what appears to be a treasure map tucked behind the canvas. She’s even more intrigued when she links the scroll to an early Chadwick who smuggled goods across the Canadian border.

So during a business trip to Canada, Liss arranges a meeting with an archivist in hopes of pinning down the truth about the map and the Chadwick bloodline. Before her quest moves forward, however, she finds the archivist’s murdered body at a local genealogical society. One thing is certain—Liss isn’t alone on this treasure hunt . . .

Liss returns to Moosetookalook, terrified that the killer may have followed her home. With her life in real peril and the map at risk of being stolen, she launches into full-scale investigation mode. But as she deciphers clues and inches toward the dangerous culprit, Liss quickly realizes she’s only a step away from ending up like the Chadwick clan—permanently wiped out.

Dollycas’s  Thoughts

This was my first trip to Moosetookalook, Maine and I am so upset with myself that it took me this long to find this series.

Liss MacCrimmon owns the Scottish Emporium and while she is at an auction looking for items for her shop she finds a painting of a bagpiper. She bids and wins the picture after outbidding two other people.  While carrying it to the car she drops it and makes a very interesting discovery. It looks like a treasure map was hidden behind the canvas in the frame. The treasure is marked with an “X” but Liss has no idea where to start looking, but she thinks it may be on the old Chadwick property, since that is where the auction is being held. Her aunt does a little research and feels they need to head to Nova Scotia to meet with a man that may have more information. But when they arrive for their meeting, the man is dead, murdered. Liss and her aunt are quickly cleared when their alibi checks out, so they continue will the rest of their visit to meet with vendors for merchandise for their store and to attend the Highland Games in Antigonish. Liss feels as if she is being watched several times, but when their hotel room is trashed and an Ipad and a broach are missing, they report it to the police and head back to Maine. Strange things start to happen at home and Liss is convinced it all has to do with the map she found. Did the killer follow her home? Her life may be in jeopardy, so she has no choice but the find where X marks the spot.

As this was my first adventure with Liss, her family, and friends, I was pleased by how well they were described. I am sure I am missing out on certain nuances of the characters but that did not deter from my enjoyment of the story. I really liked that she is friends with Chief of Police Sherrie Campbell and that she works with her aunt.

Ms. Dunnett has written a well-plotted mystery with plenty of suspects and the exact right amount of suspense. I enjoyed that genealogy was used to lead the way in solving the mystery. A treasure hunt is always fun to follow in a story. I did figure out the culprit a bit before it was revealed. The person just felt shady from the start.

There is a subplot in the story concerning Liss’ parents and that made me wish I had read the previous stories, but it also made me what to jump right into the next new book, Overkilt being released October 30.

I found this to be a very entertaining mystery. My first trip to Moosetookalook was a very enjoyable getaway and am looking forward to visiting again soon.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About Kaitlyn Dunnett


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 9, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

Sep 202018
 

My heart goes out to the people of South Carolina and all states that have suffered the loss of life and damage due to Hurricane Florence.

In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
by Dorothy St. James

 

About the Book


In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 350 Pages
ISBN-10: 1683317432
ISBN-13: 978-1683317432
Digital ASIN: B078M3N9TC

In Dorothy St. James’s third delectable Southern Chocolate Shop mystery, a new batch of chocolate and troubles of the heart cause a string of disasters for the Chocolate Box’s new owner, Charity Penn.

The vintage seaside town of Camellia Beach, South Carolina seems like the perfect place for romance with its quiet beach and its decadent chocolate shop that serves the world’s richest dark chocolates. The Chocolate Box’s owner, Charity Penn, falls even further under the island’s moonlit spell as she joins Althea Bays and the rest of the turtle watch team to witness a new generation of baby sea turtles hatch and make their way into the wide ocean.

Before the babies arrive, gunshots ring out in the night. Cassidy Jones, the local Casanova, is found dead in the sand with his lover Jody Dalton—the same woman who has vowed to destroy the Chocolate Box—holding the gun. It’s an obvious crime of passion, or so everyone believes. But when Jody’s young son pleads with Penn to bring his mother back to him, she can’t say no. She dives headfirst into a chocolate swirl of truth and lies, and must pick through an assortment of likely (and sometimes unsavory) suspects before it’s too late for Penn and for those she loves.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bullets! Missing turtle eggs! Missing chocolate turtles! The quiet seaside town of Camellia Beach, South Carolina is having a crime wave. A local man is dead and someone is stealing sea turtle eggs from the nests on the beach, and Sea Salt Chocolate Turtles are disappearing almost right before Charity Penn’s eyes from her shop. Jody Dalton has accused Penn of lying to get The Chocolate Box Sweet Shop and taunts her almost daily about it, but when she is arrested for Cassidy Jones murder Penn just can’t believe it. Then Jody’s young son begs Penn to help get his mother out of jail. She finds herself quickly promising that she will do just that. There is nothing sweet about the point Penn finds herself in. There are several suspects in addition to Jody, but Penn needs to be careful or she may end up the killer’s next victim.

Penn has so much on her plate in this third Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery. Penn has found her mother, but the family has opened up yet another lawsuit to try to take The Chocolate Shop away from her. The shop is busy so she needs to hire more help and she is still trying diligently to learn all she can about making luscious chocolate treats. She has started observing with the sea turtle watch team her friend Althea Bays is in charge of. Her relationship with Harley, Jody’s ex, is starting to move in a new direction. And on top of all that she has told Harley and Jody’s son, she will get his mom out of jail before school starts next week.

I really enjoy how all the recurring characters not only grow from book to book but within the pages of this story. Penn is getting comfortable in Camellia Beach and is meeting new people and making friends. She is still struggling with the chocolate making but the woman does not give up. She has a great core of support when any sort o trouble arrives, but she is learning to stand up for herself much better when her family tries to take her shop away. She learns something in this story that shakes and bends her but doesn’t break her.

The author has written a dynamic story with a couple of mysteries swirled together with family drama. I really like the way all the subplots flowed together with the main plot almost effortlessly. This seaside mystery does have its share of red herrings and diversions that keep us readers on our toes. Penn seems to hone in on one individual but my mind kept pulling me in another direction. In my mind, the answer really depended on if the mysteries are separate or connected. The family battle over Penn’s inheritance gets a new twist that made me dislike members of that family even more. The ending left me surprised and wondering how I was going to wait the approximately 6 months until the next book comes out. 🙂

It was fun learning about the sea turtles and the great lengths people go to to protect their eggs and the species.

Oh and the chocolate! I have learned to have some nearby while reading this series. It doesn’t come close to what Penn and Bertie create for The Chocolate Box, but it takes care of my cravings.

Ms. St. James has penned another delectable treat for her readers to enjoy.  I hope she writes the next one fast!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on the outskirts of Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, a neurotic dog, and a fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn’t as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: “amazing”, “perfect”, “filled with emotion”, and “lined with danger.”

Author Links

Website: www.dorothystjames.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dorothystjames

Twitter: www.twitter.com/dorothymcfalls

Purchase Links

Indie Bound    Amazon      Kobo      Google Play      Barnes & Noble      BookBub


Praise for In Cold Chocolate: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery
by Dorothy St. James

This was a fun end-of-summer read. I enjoy these Southern Chocolate Shop mysteries a lot.
~Valerie’s Musings

The conflict was tantalizing. I was on the edge of my seat while I was turning through the last quarter of the book. St James threw down and didn’t hold back and I loved every second of it.
~Writing Pearls

This series gets better with every book!! The mix of chocolate and mystery is a combination that I find hard to resist.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

The atmospheric and multilayered In Cold Chocolate is an impressive, compelling, and engrossing read. It not only fulfilled all my expectations for an enjoyable cozy read but took everything several steps higher.
~The Power of Words

Author Dorothy St. James really tugs the heartstrings of readers in this very special South Carolina Lowcountry cozy mystery.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

. . . this has Southern Charm and Midwestern tenacity in abundance and I want more!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

Another delicious 5-star dangerous investigation.
~Laura’s Interests

 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 12 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
September 12 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 12 – Writing Pearls – REVIEW
September 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 13 – Island Confidential – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 14 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Community Bookstop – SPOTLIGHT
September 16 – Readeropolis – RECIPE
September 16 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
September 17 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 17 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – RECIPE
September 18 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 18 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 19 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
September 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
September 20 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
September 20 – Mysteries with Character – RECIPE
September 21 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
September 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 21 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
September 22 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 22 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
September 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
September 23 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 24 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
September 24 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 24 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 24 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
September 25 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
September 25 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
September 25 – fundinmental – 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.”

Sep 202018
 

Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
by Allison Brook

About the Book


Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683317340
Digital ASIN: B078M7MXGR

Twenty million dollars’ worth of missing gems bring Carrie Singleton’s long-lost and larcenous dad back into her life and it’s up to Carrie to clear his name.

A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a twenty-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.

Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin.

Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The story starts out with a nice housewarming party with friends and lots of food, then everything goes crazy 🙂 Carrie wakes up to find an intruder in her house that turns out to be Jim, her father. He is only there for one thing, Carrie’s help to get back his share of gems from a heist from several years ago. His partner in crime, Benton Parr, a local jeweler, agreed to hide the loot until Jim came for it. Well, Jim wants it and hopes Carrie smooth the way. Carrie agrees to contact the man to get her dad out of her house.

But, the next time she hears from her dad it is to get him out of jail. Benton Parr was murdered and good ole’ dad was found standing over the body. If that isn’t enough, Carrie learns that the case her new boyfriend Dylan is working on is recovering the very same gems her father had stolen. Was he only leading her on to track down her father? Did he only rent to her in the hopes her dad would drop by? Bad enough, Dylan travels so much for his job, was he avoiding her or was he really working? Is anything about their relationship real?

Carrie’s whole life has been turned inside out. Thankfully she can escape to her job at the library with Smokey Joe. Maybe she will be able to track down the gems herself. What does that mean for her relationship with Dylan? What will that mean to the relationship with her dad? Does she want to have a relationship with her dad?

OMG! I started this book and I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up until early in the morning to finish it all in one sitting.

The first couple of chapters felt off, forced, not what I expected from this author. I was worried. But then the story started to flow and the author exceeded my expectations.

The characters in this series are so clearly written. Carrie, her aunt, and uncle are so genuine. They try to see the best in everyone and are truly there for each other. Her dad returning is quite a shock but his brother and his wife take him in for a while until he moves in with Carrie. Evelyn is a unique character in that, she is a ghost. A very well dressed and coiffed ghost, who appears in the most opportune moments and can only be seen by Carrie and one other person. She gives Carrie “food for thought” and adds a few laughs to the story. I had an aunt the was named Evelyn and the Evelyn in this story reminds me very much of her. She passed on several years ago and to my knowledge she doesn’t haunt anyone though. 🙂 Carrie’s cat Smokey Joe has become the library cat. The patrons love him. As for Dylan, he gets in some hot water with Carrie this time and in my mind, he deserves being there.

The author takes these wonderful characters and twists and turns them around in a marvelous mystery. There is a treasure trove of suspects, the man had enemies. His family and a few “friends” had means, motive, and opportunity. Carrie’s dad is the perfect suspect but she knows he is being set up. There is a very well embedded subplot to the story that adds interest too, how it ended both warmed and broke my heart.

Christmastime in Clover Ridge, Connecticut sounds absolutely delightful. There are plenty of programs at the library including carolers and choirs performing. Carrie is doing very well in her job as the head of programs and events and the town is very happy she decided to make her home in Clover Ridge.

This story reads very well on its own, but if you haven’t read Death Overdue, it has a Halloween theme and there is no time like the present to start this series from the beginning so you can get to know Carrie and the residents of Clover Ridge from the start.

I highly recommend this one. Be sure to plan accordingly, you may have a late night and a book hangover the next day, but it is so worth it!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Allison Brook is the pseudonym for Marilyn Levinson, who writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. She lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling, reading, watching foreign films, doing Sudoku and dining out. She especially loves to visit with her grandchildren on FaceTime.

Author Links

Website  Amazon Page   Facebook     Goodreads    Twitter   Pinterest

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  BookBub

At the time I was creating this post I noticed Death Overdue was just #1.99 for Kindle. 

Praise for Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
by Allison Brook

If you are looking for an entertaining cozy mystery with friendly characters and an adorable cat, then look no further than Read and Gone.
~The Avid Reader

The author does an amazing job of bringing this small town to life. It was a quick read for me. The storyline is filled with mystery, adventure, and romance mixed into one captivating read.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

A charming small town with a copious cast of characters, a small-town library with a surprisingly robust staff list, a feisty library cat with his own plans and plots, and the former head librarian who is haunting her old digs (whom only Carrie and her young cousin can see).
~Reading Is My SuperPower

Enterprisingly plotted, the mystery certainly had me guessing throughout.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

The mystery was well plotted and was carried on well throughout the entire book. With numerous killings and twists and turns, it was not an easy mystery to solve.
~MJB Reviewers

Read and Gone the second in the Haunted Library Mystery series by Allison Brook was a quick entertaining read perfect for the busy holidays.
~Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf

I loved the holiday setting, as Carrie and the library staff prepared for Christmas.
~View from the Birdhouse

A perfect sit by the fire and Christmas tree read.
I enjoyed it. I think you will too.
~My Reading Journeys

I love the recurring characters (and the new cat!) and this is a series that I know I will be reading as soon as a new book comes out (pre-order is my friend for certain series and this is going to be added to that list!) 10/10
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

. . . it is entertaining for those who appreciate the cozy mystery genre, felines with their felonies, and amateur women sleuths. . .
~Rosepoint Publishing

A pleasurable read, READ AND GONE is a well-plotted enjoyable mystery focusing on family relations as well as murder!
~Cozy Up With Kathy

This book was a fast read, but it had so many twists and turns packed into it to keep you reading late into the night . . .
~The Montana Bookaholic

The author throws quite a few characters into the mix as suspects and when the real killer is revealed I was surprised. This person wasn’t really on my radar!
~Storeybook Reviews

I was absolutely hooked from page one unable to put it down as the story unfolded. The relatable characters, fabulous setting, and elaborate mystery all combine into this incredible novel with a library theme.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

With multiple mysteries to solve and a shady cast of secondary characters, this installment continues to showcase the upbeat and lighthearted nature of cozies. Even with an insightful ghost lurking around, very few clues are made available within this multilayered and well-plotted mystery.
~That’s What She’s Reading

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 11 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT
September 11 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 12 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
September 12 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR 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.”

Sep 132018
 

Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery
by Melinda Mullet

About the Book


Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Scotland
Alibi (September 4, 2018)
Print Length 300 pages
ASIN: B079R3PW46

Distillery owner Abigail Logan discovers that high spirits are no match for a cold-blooded killer as the Whisky Business Mystery series puts a fatal twist on stiff competition.

It’s been a year since globe-trotting photojournalist Abi Logan inherited Abbey Glen, a whisky distillery in the heart of the Scottish countryside. To her surprise, the village of Balfour already feels like home, and her new business partner, Grant MacEwan, continues to be too charming to resist. But Abi has a history of relationship disasters, so she struggles to avoid an ill-fated romance with Grant. Steering clear is hard enough on a day-to-day basis, but when the two head off to a whisky industry competition together, Abi panics. Five-star resort, four glorious days of nonstop whisky tasting, and a fatally attractive Scotsman—what could possibly go wrong?

The night before the award presentations, with foreign and domestic whisky makers at one anothers’ throats, two judges are found dead under mysterious circumstances. What started with three dream-come-true nominations for Abby Glen’s whisky soon turns into a nightmare for Abi. With a killer on the loose, she must call on her investigative skills to stop another murder—before she gets taken out of the running herself.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abigail Logan still has a lot to learn about being a distillery owner but she is really making herself at home in Balfour. She is trying to keep her mind on Whisky business, but when she and her business partner, Grant MacEwan attend a whisky competition at a 5-star resort she may not be able to resist his charms. Then before the Golden Quaich competition begins, where several Abbey Glen Whiskys are up for awards 2 of the judges are killed. DI Ian Michaelson asks for Abi’s help as a photographer to take pictures of the crime scenes. Her keen observation skills see things other people don’t and she soon finds herself investigating. If she is not careful, she may be the killer’s next victim.

Abigail Logan is a wonderful protagonist. Smart, strong, and independent. She has taken on the job as owner of the distillery quite well. She has a great team helping her and teaching her everything about the whiskey business. She is still trying to keep Grant in the friend zone, but there is no denying the chemistry there. Grant stole my heart long ago so I am rooting for them to have a relationship that works. Her friend Patrick redeemed himself for me in this story. I wasn’t so fond of him in the last one. I really enjoy the friendship between Abi and Katherine McRae. Their shopping trip to get Abi the right clothes was fun to read. I also enjoyed that the resort allowed pets so Liam could go too. He was on his best behavior, for the most part 🙂

The story is set at a whisky convention so we are introduced to several characters. The author does an excellent job of making them each unique so I was able to get to know them pretty quickly. There was a character that returned from a prior story too, it was great to have him cross Abi’s path again. As always a certain 4-legged character gives the story some laughs.

I love the way she sets a scene. She describes everything in a way that puts you right there in the room or out in the countryside.  She also educates her readers about Whisky and I love learning new things when I am reading. I like whiskey but have never had Scottish whisky. I may have to rectify that soon.

This mystery had a whole resort full of suspects, some were easily eliminated but others needed more investigation. Ms. Mullet has a great talent for misdirecting her readers which makes following along with Abi and her friends so entertaining. She ratchets up the suspense at the perfect time and gives readers a great conclusion. She also gives us just a little cliffhanger that leaves as longing for the next book.

I love the way she sets a scene. She describes everything in a way that puts you right there in the room or out in the countryside.  She also educates her readers about Whisky and I love learning new things when I am reading. I like whiskey but have never had Scottish whisky. I may have to rectify that soon.

For me, this was A Perfect Escape!! A stellar mystery with great characters set in a beautiful place. I can’t wait for my next visit! Died in the Wool: A Whisky Business Mystery comes out May 14, 2019.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Melinda Mullet was born in Dallas and attended school in Texas, Washington D.C., England, and Austria. She spent many years as a practicing attorney before pursuing a career as a writer. Author of the Whisky Business Mystery series, Mullet is a passionate supporter of childhood literacy. She works with numerous domestic and international charities striving to promote functional literacy for all children. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter 

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N    Kobo   Google Play  BookBub

Praise for Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery
by Melinda Mullet

This is a very well written mystery peppered with details amongst the suspense, laughter, and intrigued. The mix of it all creates a truly wonderful cozy that you will not want to put down.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Melinda Mullet is a descriptive writer which allows readers to visualize the scenes, but it also slows down the pace of the story. The mystery is multifaceted with several suspects, a red herring or two, and good clues.
~The Avid Reader

. . . an interesting romp in Scotland with a truly Scottish world renown libation. I enjoyed getting to know the industry better.
~Rosepoint Publishing

Deadly Dram is an excellent story – easy to read and intelligently written – and should appeal to any cozy mystery fan.
~The Power of Words

The Whiskey Business series continues to delight me . . . I was quickly swept up into the story.
~The Bookwyrm’s Hoard

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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.”

Just in Time (A Dodie O'Dell Mystery) by Suzanne TrauthOrder Your Copy Today!
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