Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Murder by Page One: A Peach Coast Library Mystery by Olivia Matthews #Review – Great Escapes Book Tour

Murder by Page One: A Peach Coast Library Mystery
by Olivia Matthews

About Murder Page One


Murder by Page One: A Peach Coast Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing (March 23, 2021)
Print length: 328 pages
Digital ASIN: B08KHPBDBS

If you love Hallmark mystery movies,
you’ll love this cozy mystery with humor, intrigue, and a librarian amateur sleuth.

 

Marvey, a librarian, has moved from Brooklyn to a quirky small town in Georgia. When she’s not at the library organizing events for readers, she’s handcrafting book-themed jewelry and looking after her cranky cat. At times, her new life in the South still feels strange…and that’s before the discovery of the dead body in the bookstore.

 

After one of her friends becomes a suspect, Marvey sets out to solve the murder mystery. She even convinces Spence, the wealthy and charming newspaper owner, to help. With his ties to the community, her talents for research, and her fellow librarians’ knowledge, Marvey pursues the truth. But as she gets closer to it, could she be facing a deadly plot twist?

 

This first in series cozy mystery includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Classic Peach Cobbler.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Do you have a library card? is a question you will be asked if you meet Marvey Harris. Her job is to increase community involvement at the library so the council will continue to fund it and hopefully increase their budget and she takes her job very seriously.

Marvey has made two great friends since her big move from Brooklyn, Spence, publisher of the Peach Coast Crier, and Jo, owner of the To Be Read Bookstore. The bookstore is where this story starts off for a book signing for local authors. One of the authors wanted to handle her set up herself but fails to do so before the event begins. In fact, it appears she never left the storeroom where her books were kept. When Jo, Spence, and Marvey try to track her down they make a horrific discovery. Author Fiona Lyle-Hayes is dead. She was brutally murdered right there at To Be Read. They are all stunned when the police quickly decide Jo is the killer. Jo begs for help and Marvey and Spence vow to find more relevant suspects. The killer starts to feel the heat and sets up some chilling events to try to get Marvey off the case. But she doesn’t back down, she gets even more determined to catch the killer.


As a cozy mystery lover Hallmark’s Movies and Mystery channel is a popular one on my television. I can easily see Murder by Page One as the start of a new series on their channel. I love that they are now publishing books.

Peach Coast appears to be a typical Southern town filled with genuine people including those that like to gossip and get all mixed up in everybody’s business. New girl in town, Marvey Harris already has a daily routine that puts her in the heart of gossip central. After the murder, a few folks are not afraid to speak their mind without any facts and get right in Marvey’s face to do so. All the characters are cleverly crafted. I really enjoyed Marvey’s confidence in almost everything she does. She is a little uncertain about getting involved in a murder investigation at first but she soon has the support of not only her friends but the entire library staff.  Ms. Matthews has done an excellent job of fleshing out her characters while leaving plenty of room for them to grow over the course of what I hope will be a long-running series.

There was a very interesting subplot woven throughout the story. Marvey has a gray tabby cat named Phoenix who not adjusting well to the move from Brooklyn. His behavior was unique and at times funny but his person is taking the behavior to heart seeing one veterinarian and then another to try to find answers and ways to help her pet. It really gives us insight into Marvey but more so how what we do in our lives affects our lovable cats and dogs.

I found the police handling the case to be simpletons that took the easy way out without really doing any investigation or following leads to didn’t agree with their theory. Of course, that set up Marvey and Spence’s investigation nicely. The author plotted the mystery with plenty of twists and a few red herrings. My thinking was on the right track and the lead-up to the reveal refined everything for me. The pace was comfortable at first and then became more intense the further we read into the story.

I do have a couple of peeves. The book is full of southern charm and well-known sayings. Marvey is a very intelligent woman so I couldn’t believe she needed to keep track of the classic sayings and their true meanings and that she had to refer to her notes often. I also noticed that there was an overabundance of peach references from food, to clothes, and even the way people looked. And don’t get me wrong I know peaches are a big thing in Georgia and Peach Coast and I love peach cobbler but there is no way I could eat it every day. I did like that it was even part of a race event, but I think the reaction by Marvey proves my point.

I do love mysteries with libraries as a theme. Murder by Page One has set the Peach Coast Library Mysteries off to a splendid start. The core characters are very engaging and I want to get to know them better so I am looking forward to the second book in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Olivia Matthews 

Olivia Matthews is the cozy mystery pseudonym for Patricia Sargeant, a national best-selling, award-winning author. Her work has been featured in national publications such as Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Kirkus Reviews, Suspense Magazine, Mystery Scene Magazine, Library Journal and RT Book Reviews. For more information about Patricia and her work, visit PatriciaSargeant.com.

Author Links –  Website   Facebook   Twitter   BookBub

Purchase Links

Amazon – Hallmark Publishing  –  Apple  –  Barnes & Noble – Bookshop –  Fantastic Fiction  –  Kobo – 

Also by this Author

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 18 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
March 18 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 18 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 18 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
March 18 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 19 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  
March 19 – Books to the Ceiling – SPOTLIGHT
March 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 19 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
March 19 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
March 20 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 20 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
March 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 20 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
March 20 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 20 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 21 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
March 21 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 21 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 22 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
March 22 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
March 22 – Reading Reality – REVIEW
March 22 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
March 22 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

 

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Hop ‘Til You Drop (A Jules & Bun Mystery) by J.M. Griffin #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thoughts about
Hop ‘Til You Drop by J.M. Griffin today!


Hop ‘Til You Drop (A Jules & Bun Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New Hampshire
Publisher: Kensington (February 23, 2021)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496720598
ISBN-13: 978-1496720597
Kindle ASIN: B089NH1K9W

When an Easter egg hunt becomes a crime scene, it’s up to Jules and Bun to crack the case . . .

Juliette “Jules” Bridge is devoted to rabbit rescue and rehabilitation on her beloved Fur Bridge Farm in rural New Hampshire, but she also likes to do volunteer work wherever and whenever she can. This spring she’s offered to help hide painted eggs at the Hop ’Til You Drop Easter egg hunt—and of course, she’s bringing along her black-and-white rabbit, Bun. In fact, he insists on it. Jules knows because Bun communicates with her telepathically . . .

But their egg hiding is disrupted by a hare-raising scene: their unpleasant supervisor, Della Meany, lies peacefully on the grass with stems of Lily of the Valley on her chest, surrounded by garishly decorated Easter eggs. Is someone sending a message by staging the corpse? As they begin to examine the crime scene, Jules spots a tall, two-legged rabbit fleeing into the woods. Perhaps late for an important date? If their prime suspect is a person in an Easter Bunny costume, it seems a safe bet the killer is a real basket case. Jules and Bun will need to put their heads together—because the hunt is on . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Juliette “Jules” Bridge and her very special black and white bunny, Bun, are back just in time for Easter. Jules has been recruited to help with the community’s Hop ’Til You Drop Easter Egg Hunt and Bun is excited to go along to point out all the fabulous places to hide the eggs for the children to find. While on the trail hiding eggs in their assigned area Bun hops off and makes a gruesome discovery. A dead body! The woman was in charge of the people hiding the eggs for the event. She was a cantankerous lady but who would kill her and leave her lying in the grass with Lilies of the Valley on her chest and surrounded by some really ugly painted Easter eggs. Jules scopes out the scene and witnesses a tall two-legged rabbit running into the woods. Could someone in that rabbit costume be the murderer? Jules and Bun are on the case to find out.


Bun stole my heart in Left Fur Dead and I love him even more now. Having a pet that can communicate so clearly telepathically is a real treat. Bun is truly Jules’s partner in many aspects of her life. Sure he helps her investigate murders but he also helps on the Fur Bridge Farm. He has keen insight to not only the other rabbits but the humans as well. He is really a cool animal. I love the interactions between Bun and Jules.

Fur Bridge Farm is becoming a real hopping place with Jessica’s veterinary business on-site and  Molly offering classes in the shop. There is also a bunch of brand new bunnies taking up residence. Sheriff Carver is back too and his wife is “costing him a fortune” with all the classes she is taking. They are a happy couple though and he would do anything for her.

Sheriff Carver is around a lot because there has been another murder and he knows Jules is a great source of information. The deceased was not well-liked so there could be many suspects. With Jules and Bun already involved in the hop, they can keep their eyes and ears open to hopefully pare down the list. I became focused on someone early along with the method of murder. There were several twists but my decision didn’t waver. I still was surprised I was right when we reached the reveal.

Ms. Griffin writes such entertaining stories and Hop ‘Til You Drop is another fine addition to this fun series. Bun and Jules are characters I can’t wait to visit again.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

J. M. Griffin is the bestselling cozy mystery author of sixteen novels, including the Vinnie Esposito series. She lives in rural Rhode Island with her husband and two very mysterious cats. Visit her at jm-griffin.com.

Author Links – Website – Facebook – Blog


The publisher is unable to offer a giveaway due to Covid
so I am giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card!

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.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 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 share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will
receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 31, 2021, 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.”

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Win by Harlan Coben #Review


Win
Suspense Thriller
Setting – New York
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 16, 2021)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1538748215
ISBN-13: 978-1538748213
Kindle ASIN: B089Q37QPL

Over twenty years ago, the heiress Patricia Lockwood was abducted during a robbery of her family’s estate, then locked inside an isolated cabin for months. Patricia escaped, but so did her captors — and the items stolen from her family were never recovered.

Until now. On the Upper West Side, a recluse is found murdered in his penthouse apartment, alongside two objects of note: a stolen Vermeer painting and a leather suitcase bearing the initials WHL3. For the first time in years, the authorities have a lead — not only on Patricia’s kidnapping but also on another FBI cold case — with the suitcase and painting both pointing them toward one man.

Windsor Horne Lockwood III — or Win, as his few friends call him — doesn’t know how his suitcase and his family’s stolen painting ended up with a dead man. But his interest is piqued, especially when the FBI tells him that the man who kidnapped his cousin was also behind an act of domestic terrorism — and that the conspirators may still be at large. The two cases have baffled the FBI for decades, but Win has three things the FBI doesn’t: a personal connection to the case; an ungodly fortune; and his own unique brand of justice.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We originally met Windsor Horne Lockwood III as a character in Coben’s Myron Boltar series. “Win”, Bolitar’s best friend now stars in his own story and what looks to be his own series if he survives to the end of this thriller.

A murder has occurred on the Upper West Side and the FBI picks up Win because there is evidence in the recluse’s penthouse that points directly at Mr. Windsor Horne Lockwood III. The death may also be connected to a cold case close to Win. His cousin, Patricia was kidnapped over 20 years ago. She escaped but her captors were never caught. Now, with these new clues, Win decides it is time he starts his own investigation. It is past time to dole out a bit of justice and Win is just the man to deliver it.


“Articulate”. Windsor Horne Lockwood III is a flawed character with way too much money and a sense of privilege because of it. He gets away with everything because he has the money and connections to insolate him from any repercussions for things he has done. He has a full-time assistant, a private plane, a keen sense to right wrongs as he sees them in any way he can. An expert fighter he believes he is invincible. His money also gains him membership in an exclusive dating/sex club which enables him to take part in “no strings attached” one-night stands. The man is clearly driven to get to the truth in a case that goes back to the 1970s but there are people out there whose mission it is to make sure he doesn’t get it. But Win likes violence and isn’t afraid to use it. He does have a softer side brought out by only one person and his love and admiration for Myron Bolitar shines within these pages. He also has a troubled soul and some insecurities to deal with. Win is a complicated character and exactly the kind of character I expect to find from this author.

Mr. Coben has written such a complex suspense-filled story. He introduces readers to several diverse characters and entangles them in a multitude of ways throughout the book. At first, I thought I was going to have trouble keeping them all straight but they are dynamically crafted to stand out as the two mysteries evolve. The story is very fast-paced but it is not a book to rush through. There are twists on top of twists and surprises almost around every corner. The final twist brought me to a full stop. It was classic Coben and I should have been prepared. I know to expect the unexpected when I pick up any Harlan Coben book. There is a reason he is my favorite suspense author and I look forward to each new title.

As a fan, I have been waiting for Windsor Horne Lockwood III to have his own story for years and was absolutely giddy when the book went up for pre-order. I have been counting down the days to today, its release date to share my thoughts with you. Don’t panic if you have not read the Bolitar series because this book works perfectly as a stand-alone. If this is your first experience with this author I encourage you to read any and all of his previous titles as they are all excellent.

WIN has set this series off to a fantastic start. Definitely a must-read for suspense lovers.  I can’t wait to see what Harlan Coben has in store for Windsor Horne Lockwood III next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Harlan Coben and his book on his webpage here.



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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Game of Cones (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery) by Abby Collette #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @abbyvandiver


A Game of Cones (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
by Abby Collette

About A Game of Scones


A Game of Cones (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Berkley (March 2, 2021)
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 0593099680
ISBN-13: 978-0593099681
Digital ASIN: B089S6SPKB

In this charming mystery series set in an ice cream shop, no case is too cold to crack!

 

Bronwyn Crewse is delighted that Crewse Creamery, the ice cream shop her family has owned for decades, is restored to its former glory and serving sweet frozen treats to happy customers in the picturesque small town of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. But when a big city developer comes to town intent on building a mall, a killer with a frozen heart takes him out.

 

After literally stumbling across the body, one of Win’s closest friends becomes the prime suspect, and to make things worse, Win’s aunt has come to town with the intention of taking command of Crewse Creamery. Even though Win has a rocky road ahead to help her friend and keep her ice cream shop, it’ll take more than a sprinkle of murder to stop her from solving the crime and saving the day.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

We are back in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and the family-owned Crewse Creamery now managed by Bronwyn (Win) Crewse. She has really turned the business around with fresh and unique ice cream flavors, but her aunt is back in town with her own ideas for the shop and plans to push Win out. Bronwyn and other Chagrin Falls business owners also have a huge new concern. A developer has come to town with plans to buy up all the stores and businesses and erect a high-rise mall on the town triangle. Win’s friend and former co-worker Rory has also come to town on a mission to lure Win back to her old job with a big raise and more benefits.

The community is up in arms about the mall. So much so, someone killed off the developer. The police are investigating but it is Rory that lands on the top of the suspect list when she reveals she is the one that found the body and a key piece of evidence belongs to her. She has no motive and claims she didn’t kill the man and Win believes her friend. Now they just have to find the real killer and clear Rory’s name.


I love ice cream and mysteries so this story was perfect for me!

Ms. Collette has written a strong leading lady in Bronwyn Crewse. She took a real chance leaving her career in the big city behind to come home and revive the family ice cream parlor. She has some great ideas and seems very happy with her decision. I love the relationship she has with her PopPop. They meet bright and early every day for breakfast before she heads off to create the yummy ice cream flavors of the day. He then shows up and spends several hours at the shop visiting with customers, keeping an eye on things, and giving Win advice as needed. She has a few employees but her crazy friend Maisie and friend Rita, also help out when they can. When it comes to sleuthing Maisie and Riya are Win’s sidekicks. Maisie comes up with the most outrageous ideas and theories. She has learned everything about solving mysteries from watching every television drama out there, making her an “expert”. She is a real hoot and a half. These core characters are so well crafted.  Diverse and engaging, with very believable family dynamics, these are characters I love after just 2 books in the series.

Readers are introduced to several new characters including Win’s friend from New York, Rory. She was welcomed into the family immediately. A true coffee connoisseur, it was so funny to follow her on her quest to find the perfect cup in the small town of Chagrin Falls. I really liked this character and the way she evolved over the course of the story. I hope she pops up again in future books.

The mystery itself was very complicated with a lot of characters involved. I was using the notes feature on my Kindle to keep everyone straight. Even using that feature I was unable to solve the case before all was revealed. The developer wanting to revitalize the downtown area is a current-day hot topic many communities are facing.  Thankfully most handle it without murder 🙂

A Game of Cones is a great addition to this series and a great escape. I am already packed for my next mini vacay to Chagrin Falls. My only complaint is that the book doesn’t come with free ice cream samples to devour while we are reading. You may want to pick up a pint or two before you start the book.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Abby Collette

Abby L. Vandiver, also writing as Abby Collette, is a hybrid author who has penned more than twenty-five books and short stories. She has hit both the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller list. Books one and two, A Deadly Inside Scoop and A Game of Cones, from her latest cozy series, An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery, published by Penguin Berkley, is out now.

Author Links – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram– Website – 

Purchase Links

AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for A Game of Cones (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
by Abby Collette

I love the diverse characters, spanning a variety of ethnicities and cultures, and the combination of several different, strong (and quirky) personalities. I also love that it’s set in a Black owned business in a charming small town – and the yummy ice cream Win creates doesn’t hurt either!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

I loved the plot. The characters were all engaging and funny in their own right. They all complemented each other.
~Lori for Novels Alive

A Game of Cones is equal parts murder mystery and family drama, with a healthy sprinkle of humor. Colette’s cast of ethnically and age diverse characters are quirky and interesting, and the setting is appealing . . .
~Book Club Librarian

The plot and storyline were easily read making this one a page-turner.
~My Reading Journeys

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
March 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 1 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – Reading Is My SuperPower =- REVIEW
March 2 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 –My Journey Back the Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 3 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  
March 3 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – Mysteries with Character– GUEST POST
March 4 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
March 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
March 6 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
March 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE
March 9 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
March 10 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
March 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 11 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 12 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
March 12 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 12 – Ms. Cat’s Honest World – REVIEW
March 13 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 14 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
March 14 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?
Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery) by Maria DiRico #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thought with you today about Long Island Iced Tina! 


Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

About Long Island Iced Tina 


Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Kensington (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725352
ISBN-13: 978-1496725356
Digital ASIN: B089NCJ9NS

Mia Carina is back in the borough of Queens—in charge of the family catering hall, Belle View Banquet Manor, and keeping her nonna company. But some events—like murder—are not the kind you can schedule . . .

 

Mia’s newly pregnant friend Nicole plans to hold a shower at Belle View—but Nicole also has to attend one that her competitive (and mysteriously rich) stepmother, Tina, is throwing at the fanciest place in Queens. It’s a good chance for Mia to snoop on a competitor, especially since doing a search for “how to run a catering hall” can get you only so far.

 

Mia tags along at the lavish party, but the ambience suffers at Nicole’s Belle View shower when a fight breaks out—and then, oddly, a long-missing and valuable stolen painting is unwrapped by the mom-to-be. Tina is clearly shocked to see it. But not as shocked as Mia is when, soon afterward, she spots the lifeless body of a party guest floating in the marina . . .

 

Italian recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mia Carina manages Belle View Banquet Manor, a catering hall her father, former mob enforcer, Ravello Carina, acquired through interesting circumstances. She is excited that one of her upcoming events is a baby shower for her friend Nicole. But then she learns that this is not the only shower being held for the mother-to-be. Her stepmother, Tina has booked another shower at the ritzy Versailles on the Park. Nicole invites Mia to the other shower and she gladly accepts because it will give her the chance to check out the upscale competition. She also sees the very selfish style of Tina and understands how she was given the nickname of step-monster.

The shower at Belle View gets off to a great start, that is until Tina shows up unfashionably late and gets into a fight with the host, Nicole’s grandmother, Minnie. The event really gets even more crazy when one of the gifts appears to be a priceless stolen painting from the step-monster herself.  But Tina denies the gift is from her especially when the police arrive to investigate the artwork that has been missing for years. Thinking the worst is behind her Mia is ready to head home but then she sees the body, the body floating in the marina behind Belle View.


Ms. DiRico has created such wonderful characters. Our protagonist Mia Carina is trying so hard to make Belle View Banquet Manor a success while doing a little sleuthing on the side. She is surrounded by a wide-ranging group of supporting characters that will have you laughing out loud and shaking your head. Her Nonna is involved in many things throughout the story but one of her exploits had me laughing so hard I had tears running down my face. Mia is also trying to master a skill with her “friend” Jamie’s help which also generated some comedic moments. I know murder is a serious subject but this author knows how to bring the funny in all the right places. I loved the way she did this.

Okay, back to the serious murder. The author plotted a strong complex mystery with a variety of facets. We are introduced to several new characters/suspects as Mia chases down clues, sometimes with Jamie’s help. I really enjoyed following along with Mia for each twist and clue, and there were a lot. My suspect list shuffled several times. The big reveal was very surprising and exciting. In addition to the main mystery, the author blends in some memorable subplots.

I have so much fun visiting this Italian family for all the crazy exploits. There truly is never a dull moment when the Carina family is involved.

Long Island Iced Tina is a captivating cozy with a mystery that will test readers as they try to keep up with Mia. It was most definitely A Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico is the pseudonym for Ellen Byron, author of the award-winning, USA Today bestselling Cajun Country Mysteries. Born in Queens, New York, she is a first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side and the granddaughter of a low-level Jewish mobster on her father’s side. She grew up visiting the Astoria Manor and Grand Bay Marina catering halls, which were run by her Italian mother’s family in Queens, and have become the inspiration for her Catering Hall Mystery Series. DiRico has been a writer-producer for hit television series like Wings and Just Shoot Me, and her first play, Graceland, appears in the Best Short Plays collection. She’s a freelance journalist, with over 200 articles published in national magazines, and previously worked as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing. A native New Yorker who attended Tulane University, Ellen lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs.

Author Links – Website Chicks on the Case – Facebook  Twitter

Purchase Links –

Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Play – IndieBound

Coming October 26, 2021

Written as Ellen Byron

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

Ms. DiRico has an amazing imagination, and it shows throughout this book which transports the reader into the story so perfectly.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

LONG ISLAND ICED TINA is a thoroughly enjoyable laugh out loud mystery that kept me engaged from start to finish.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Maria DiRico writes with such flair and an easy style. There were a plethora of suspects to choose from who might have had the motive to kill and I enjoyed the way in which Mia evaluated the information acquired from her poking around.
~Brianne’s Book Reviews

It took me about 10 to 15 % to get fully immersed back into the mob world, as sometimes it’s a little over the top… but once you settle in, it’s quite a hoot, and I found myself unwilling to put it down before bed.
~This Is My Truth Now

I love that Mia is so embroiled in her tight Italian family and speaks with her close relatives in Italian as easily as English. The family works hard together with obvious love and support for each other and the writing style weighs heavily in their inherited sense of humor, their love of the city, and their shared history.
~Rosepoint Publishing

Full of charm and surprise twists we get taken on an adventure as it all plays out making for a great addition to this series. Sure to delight cozy mystery fans. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
March 1 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW
March 1 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 1 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 2 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 3 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, EXCERPT
March 3 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW, RECIPE, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
March 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
March 5 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
March 5 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 5 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
March 6 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
March 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
March 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
March 7 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 8 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 9 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
March 9 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
March 9 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 10 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 10 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fatal Fried Rice: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review

Fatal Fried Rice: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (March 9, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250782597
ISBN-13: 978-1250782595
Kindle ASIN: B08BYC415B

Lana Lee returns for another delectable cozy set in a Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio in Vivien Chien’s Fatal Fried Rice…

Lana Lee runs her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland’s Asia Village like nobody’s business. When it comes to actual cooking, however, she’s known to be about a step up from boiling rice. So Lana decides to go to culinary school on the sly—and prove that she has what it takes in the kitchen after all. But when course instructor Margo Chan turns up dead after class, Lana suddenly finds herself on the case, frying pan in hand.

Since she was the one who discovered the body, Lana must do double duty in finding the killer and clearing her name. Now, with or without the help of her boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana launches her own investigation into Margo’s life and mysterious death. Doing so leads her on a wild goose chase to and from the culinary school—and all the way back to the Ho-Lee noodle shop, where the guilty party may be closer than Lana thinks.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I know it’s hard to believe but Lana Lee, manager of her family’s Ho-Lee Noodle Shop can’t cook much of anything, not even the Chinese food she eats and sells on a daily basis. Now she wants to change that and surprise her friends and family. She has signed up for a night class in Chinese cooking at the local community college. The first class went okay, the instructor demonstrated fried rice. In the next class, the students will get to make the recipe themselves. Lana is on her way home when she realizes she forgot to pick up the ingredient list for the upcoming class so she quickly turns around hoping to get back to the classroom before the instructor leaves. Well, the instructor is still there but she won’t be teaching any more classes. Someone has killed her and Lana being the one to find her ends up in ho water as a prime suspect.

Lana has helped solve cases before but they were in her boyfriend Detective Adm Trudeau’s jurisdiction. The detective on the case sure doesn’t want her help especially because he believes Lana is guilty. So having no choice she must investigate to clear her name. It’s no easy task but she can’t give up. Even when the killer may turn the tables on Lana. Will she be able to survive or will she be fatally fried.

_____

I can’t believe we are already 7 books into this series. Each time I open a book it is like catching up with old friends. All the characters are wonderful. Lana continues to grow. I enjoyed that she used a little restraint when she found the body but after that, she makes some risky choices including taking Kimmy Tran with her to snoop when her best friend and roommate Megan wasn’t available but it sure made for some funny moments. I do really like the closeness of the Lee family and their traditions like their Sunday dim sum dinners.

The mystery this time was a definite change because Adam wasn’t involved and Lana knew nothing about the victim. She was able to draw some information from her usual sources but she put on a lot of miles trying to track down clues. I hate lazy detectives and the one in charge of the murder was definitely lazy trying to make his case fit what had already decided. Ms. Chien plotted out a  story that kept the protagonist on her toes and this reader guessing right up until the exciting reveal.

The author does a great job of setting every scene whether it be the noodle shop, Megan and Lana’s apartment, the bar where Megan works, or the community college. It is so easy to visualize every place Lana goes. The little subplot of Lana updating the decor of the restaurant is so funny. Her mother tells her to do whatever she wants but then pans all her ideas.

I totally enjoyed this story. Well-plotted and written with engaging characters. Fatal Fried Rice checks all my cozy boxes. I am so excited for book 8, Hot and Sour Suspects.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here,  Dim Sum of All Fears here, Murder Lo Mein here, Wonton Terror here, Egg Drop Dead here, and Killer Kung Pao here.

About the Author

VIVIEN CHIEN was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From Amazon)


Coming August 24

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 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Gone Astray by Terry Korth Fischer #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @terryiswriting


Gone Astray
by Terry Korth Fischer

About Gone Astray

Gone Astray
Mystery/Suspense
Setting – Nebraska
Publisher: Wild Rose Press (February 15, 2021)
Paperback: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 1509235256
ISBN-13: 978-1509235254
Digital ASIN: B08SQCWXBG

A heart attack sends detective Rory Naysmith reeling. Too young to retire, he accepts a position in small-town Winterset, Nebraska. Handed an unsolved truck hijacking case, with the assistance of a rookie, Rory sets out to prove he is still able to go toe-to-toe with younger men. When the body of a Vietnam veteran turns up, he dons his fedora and spit-shines his shoes. But before he can solve the murder, an older woman disappears, followed closely by a second hijacking. He doggedly works the cases, following a thread that ties the two crimes together. But can Rory find the mental and physical strength to up his game and bring the criminals to justice before disaster strikes and he loses his job?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Leaving a job in the city following a heart attack, Rory Naysmith settles in Winterset, Nebraska, a small town in need of a detective. The chief expects big things like clearing a cold case involving a truck hijacking. Not familiar with people and places in his new home he requests a little help and the chief assigns a young rookie. The cold case gets pushed aside when a Vietnam Vet is murdered quickly followed by a missing person. Then there is another truck hijacked.  A crime wave has hit the little midwest town and the chief expects his new detective to handle it all. While working hard he starts to believe at least two of the crimes could be connected, could the third be connected as well? In an effort to prove himself he needs answers.


Rory Naysmith is a very interesting character with a fascinating new hobby trying to reduce stress while still keeping his presence vital. A complicated character that I immediately found intriguing. I enjoyed his keen sense of humor and that he grew over the course of the story.  The author surrounds him with an eclectic supporting cast including a rookie that is eager to please so much so it could get him in a lot of trouble, the daughters of the missing woman, the chief of police, and other residents of Winterset. All are cleverly written and feel true to small-town life.

Solving the cases was not easy and I really enjoyed Rory’s process. As the plot started to come together the suspense ratcheted up nicely. The detective’s decisions were a little iffy in places but felt true to his nature. What I loved what the surprising reveal. My heart took a hit too before the book drew to a close.

Gone Astray piqued my interest from the first page. Quality characters with an exciting whodunit held on tight to the very end. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Rory Naysmith and the fine people of Winterset.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Terry Korth Fischer

Terry Korth Fischer writes mystery and memoir. Her memoir, Omaha to Ogallala, was released in 2019, S&H Publishing, Inc. Her short stories have appeared in The Write Place at the Write Time, Spies & Heroes, Voices from the Plains, and numerous anthologies. Transplanted from the Midwest, Terry lives in Houston with her husband and their two guard cats. She enjoys a good mystery, the heat and humidity, and long summer days.

Author Links –  Website    Twitter   Facebook   Amazon Author Page   Goodreads   BLOG Website

Purchase Links

AmazonB&N 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
March 1 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
March 1 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 1 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 3 – Here’s How It Happened – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 3 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
March 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 5 – Books to the Ceiling – REVIEW
March 5 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
March 6 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
March 6 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
March 8 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 8 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Haunted Hibiscus (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thoughts on Laura Childs’ new Tea Shop Mystery, Haunted Hibiscus!


Haunted Hibiscus (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs

About Haunted Hibiscus


Haunted Hibiscus (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
22nd in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Publisher: Berkley (March 2, 2021)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489691
ISBN-13: 978-0451489692
Kindle ASIN: B089S6MFBH

Tea maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

 

It is the week before Halloween and Theodosia Browning, proprietor of the Indigo Tea Shop, and her tea sommelier, Drayton, are ghosting through the dusk of a cool Charleston evening on their way to the old Bouchard Mansion. Known as the Gray Ghost, this dilapidated place was recently bequeathed to the Heritage Society, and tonight heralds the grand opening of their literary and historical themed haunted house.

 

Though Timothy Neville, the patriarch of the Heritage Society, is not thrilled with the fund-raising idea, it is the perfect venue for his grandniece, Willow French, to sign copies of her new book, Carolina Crimes & Creepers.

 

But amid a parade of characters dressed as Edgar Allan Poe, Lady Macbeth, and the Headless Horseman, Willow’s body is suddenly tossed from the third-floor tower room and left to dangle at the end of a rope. Police come screaming in and Theodosia’s boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, is sent to Willow’s apartment to investigate. But minutes later, he is shot and wounded by a shadowy intruder.

 

Timothy begs Theodosia to investigate, and shaken by Riley’s assault, she readily agrees. Now, she questions members of the Heritage Society and a man who claims the mansion is rightfully his, as well as Willow’s book publisher and her fiancé, all while hosting a Sherlock Holmes tea and catering several others.

 

But the Gray Ghost holds many secrets, as do several other key suspects, while this murder mystery plays out on the eve of Halloween.

 

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s almost Halloween in Charleston, South Carolina and Theodosia and Drayton are excited to check out the literary and historical themed haunted house at the old Bouchard Mansion, also known as the Gray Ghost. The Heritage Society was recently bequeathed the place and thought the event would be a great fundraiser. In addition to the haunting characters Willow French, grand-niece of Timothy Neville, head of the Society is signing copies of her new book, Carolina Crimes & Creepers.

It’s opening night and the place is packed then screams ring out. Drayton and Theodosia rush outside to see young Willow hanging from a rope outside a 3rd-floor window. The police arrive and Detective Pete Riley, Theodosia’s boyfriend, is almost immediately sent to check out Willow’s apartment for clues to her death. He barely arrives and a shot is fired. Riley is hit and the shooter escapes.

Theo is beside herself worrying about Riley but when she is pressed to investigate by Willow’s great uncle she can’t say no. There are a lot of events planned at the Indigo Tea Shop but she knows with a little help from her friends she can find time to interview the growing number of suspects and do some general snooping. Heck, who wouldn’t want to search a creepy old house for clues so close to Halloween. Theo just hopes she isn’t the killer’s next victim.


I made the mistake a while back and got behind on this series. I will never make that mistake again. Now I anxiously await each new installment eager to see what Theo, Drayton, and Haley are up to. Ms. Childs never disappoints. This story did have a trigger moment for me but I was forewarned and I passed over that section quickly. My heart just broke for Willow and her family.

Opening this book I felt like I was visiting old friends. I settled right in with these lively characters and they took me on quite a journey. I love that even after 22 stories these characters are still fresh and continue to evolve. That is not an easy feat for an author. She also introduces some compelling new characters/suspects who all seem to be hiding something. Even the old Brouchard Mansion becomes a pseudo character as it has some secrets of its own.

The mystery is so well-written. Clever clues are filtered through all the twists and turns. My thinking was diverted so many times I gave up on counting. I certainly didn’t figure out whodunit until all was revealed and that is due to the author’s brilliant writing style. Ms. Childs words set the scene and everything that happens in great detail. Every page came alive in my mind’s eye. She even had my stomach growling with all the food descriptions.

Haunted Hibiscus was a very entertaining read with engaging characters. Riley and Theo’s relationship always makes me smile. Fans of this series with be delighted with this story full of Southern charm and suspense, humor, and romance all in perfect amounts. But if you are new to this series, don’t hesitate to pick up this book. Laura Childs writes this book to be easily read and enjoyed all on its own. I can’t promise you won’t want to go back and read the rest.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Laura Childs

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:   Website –  Facebook 

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N   Kobo   Google Play   IndieBound

The Rest of the Series

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
March 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 1 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW
March 1 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 2 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
March 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 3 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
March 3 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 3 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 4 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 5 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
March 5 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 6 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
March 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
March 9 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
March 9 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 10 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
March 10 – Reading Authors Network – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
March 13 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 14 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
March 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!

 

 

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 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge paradise rating You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Side of Murder (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery) by Amy Pershing #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


A Side of Murder (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
by Amy Pershing

About A Side of Murder 


A Side of Murder (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Berkley (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0593199146
ISBN-13: 978-0593199145
Digital ASIN: B087PL9HHF

Beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is known for seafood, sand, surf and now … murder.

 

Samantha Barnes was always a foodie.  And when the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) came calling, she happily traded in Cape Cod for the Big Apple.  But then the rising young chef’s clash with another chef (her ex!) boils over and goes viral. So when Sam inherits a house on the Cape and lands a job writing restaurant reviews, it seems like the perfect pairing. What could go wrong? Well, as it turns out, a lot.

 

The dilapidated house comes with an enormous puppy. Her new boss is, well, bossy.  And the town’s harbor master is none other than her first love.  Nonetheless, Sam’s looking forward to reviewing the Bayview Grill—and indeed the seafood chowder is divine. But the body in the pond outside the eatery was not on the menu. Sam is certain this is murder. But as she begins to stir the pot, is she creating a recipe for her own untimely demise?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Amy Pershing gets the credit for my first book hangover of 2021.
I started reading and just couldn’t stop.

Samantha Barnes was a rising star in the New York food scene but one little pesky argument, okay, one big argument that was caught on video and uploaded on YouTube with her ex, also a notable chef has left her without a job.

Then her Aunt Ida passes away and leaves her a home on the Cape. The home also comes with a very large puppy dog named Dioge (D-O-G). A friend has taken over the editor position at the local paper, once held by Sam’s father. She gives Sam a job reviewing local restaurants. Sam also gets back in contact with some old friends. She almost doesn’t have time to miss her life in New York, but she does. She steps outside of a restaurant she is reviewing, one where she used to work, to contemplate her life when she notices a body floating in the water. An accidental drowning? Sam sure doesn’t think so. She may land herself in hot water but it can’t hurt to ask a few questions, can it?


I loved everything about this story starting with protagonist Samantha Barnes. She shows immediately she is not a woman to be messed with. She is tall, (very tall), smart, brave, and caring and she is not only fun but funny with a fantastic sense of humor. The author surrounds her with a stellar supporting cast including her first love, Jason, who now happens to be the harbormaster, her aunt’s friend and neighbor who quickly becomes a true friend of Sam’s, her friends she has known forever, and one huge, lovable dog. Her parents have retired to Florida but they are just a phone call away. These characters have so much depth for the first book in the series. I felt like I personally knew every one of them. All are very realistic, their dialogues ring true, including Sam’s inner dialogues which I really enjoyed.

I also fell in love with Aunt Ida’s home with a spectacular view. I loved that when the house got too big for Ida to handle she added an ell to the main home. A little mother’s cottage or aunt’s cottage in Ida’s case. Space for everything she needed and perfect for one person and their dog. Perfect for Sam now too because she can use space in the main house for when she wants to entertain like for her traditional Sunday meal with friends. I wish I had a place like Aunt Ida’s, it would be perfect for me too.

The mystery was so well-plotted and written. Filled with an abundance of twists and turns there was always something happening. The author really shows her writing chops. For example, I have never been in a sailboat but her dramatic detailed account of Sam’s heart-pounding adventure transported me out of my chair and onto that lake, moving my feet, stretching my body, and tilting side to side as I participated from my easy chair. The entire book was like that. I really felt like I was there for each and every scene.

The food prepared, eaten, and delightfully described tempted my taste buds the entire story. The author’s tips included added a nice touch.

Amy Pershing has written a spectacular cozy mystery. I was totally captivated and entertained from the first page to the last. So much so I want to shout about it from the rooftops! Daily life, suspense, comedy, and a touch of romance come together to make A Side of Murder a must-read for all cozy lovers!! Since I am in no shape to get my butt up on the rooftops I will do the best I can do and give it my Paradise Rating making it the first book on my Best Reads of 2021 list and post my review everywhere.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Amy Pershing

Amy Pershing is a lifelong mystery lover and wordsmith who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod. In her previous incarnations she was an assistant editor at Viking Penguin, a restaurant reviewer for Playbill magazine’s Restaurant Reporter, and a journalist at the Rome (Italy) Daily American before eventually going on to lead employee communications at a global bank. A few years ago (with the final college tuition bill paid), she waved goodbye to Wall Street in order to write full time (and spend more time sailing on Cape Cod!). A Side of Murder is the first book in the Cape Cod Foodie mystery series featuring Samantha Barnes, a disgraced but resilient ex-chef and the world’s most reluctant YouTube star. While Sam tries to balance her new job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie” with her complicated love life, a posse of just-slightly-odd friends, a falling-down house, and a ginormous puppy, she also discovers a new talent – a propensity for falling over dead bodies … and for solving crime.

Website     Facebook    Instagram     Goodreads

Purchase Links:

AmazonBarnes & NobleBookshop.orgBooks A MillionIndieboundTargetHudson BooksellersPowells

Other people loved it too!

“Cape Cod provides a stunning background for a debut that offers the ideal combination of mystery, romance, and recipes.” Kirkus Reviews

“An exquisite Cape Cod setting, a shamed but resilient chef, murderous secrets, and a long-buried but still steaming romance… Amy Pershing’s debut mystery will leave you longing for a seaside vacation, complete with fried clams and the next book in her charming series.” Lucy Burdette, national bestselling author of THE KEY LIME CRIME

“This is one of the freshest, funniest murder mysteries I’ve ever read. I fell absolutely in love with Samantha Barnes — the brave, sarcastic, crime-solving, relatable heroine we’ve all been waiting for. A Side of Murder is a rich, satisfying meal that delights from beginning to end, and Amy Pershing is a wonderful and clever author.” Elizabeth Gilbert, #1 New York Times bestselling author of EAT PRAY LOVE and CITY OF GIRLS

“A delicious mystery lovingly set in Cape Cod featuring a cast of charming characters. Amy Pershing writes with a fresh fun voice that will delight cozy fans. Chef turned restaurant critic Samantha Barnes proves a clever sleuth whose helpful cooking tips will be a big hit with culinary readers.” Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the DOMESTIC DIVA mysteries

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
February 23 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 23 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 24 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
February 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 26 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 26 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
February 27 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  
February 27 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 28 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 28 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 1 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
March 2 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
March 2 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 3 – Ruff Drafts – RECIPE
March 3 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 6 –  ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST
March 8 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Farm to Trouble (Farm to Table Mysteries) by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @aflowerwriter

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to share my thoughts about Farm to Trouble by Amanda Flower today! 


Farm to Trouble (Farm to Table Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1492699918
ISBN-13: 978-1492699910
Kindle ASIN: B089N1KFLV

Coming home to a run-down farm, gossipy neighbors, and a shady investor is a lot to handle… but a murderer on the loose is the final straw!

Shiloh Bellamy cashed in her big city job and 401K to return home to Michigan to save the family farm, but turning Bellamy Farms into a sustainable, organic operation—complete with a farm-to-table café—is no small feat. Especially when her new investor is found dead among the flowers just hours after the contract is signed. Everyone knows her father had a grudge against the investor, and word travels fast in a small town…

Now, Shiloh must clear her family’s name and track down the real killer before her organic farm dreams wilt before her very eyes. But with her father trying to stop any progress on his land, her cousin belittling her every effort, the farmhouse falling down around her, and the whole town believing her family at fault, Shiloh’s small-town troubles are growing much faster than her crops. She’ll have to trust her own investigation or risk all her dreams drying up before they begin.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

After a traumatic event, Shiloh Bellamy hit the road for California landing herself a dream job. A job that enabled her to send money home to keep the family farm afloat. But her father’s health is failing and so is the farm so she heads home to Michigan with high hopes of making Bellamy Farms a totally organic operation. She also plans to add a farm-to-table café to increase the farm’s bottom line.  She knows to enact her plans she is going to need an influx of cash so she makes a contract with an investor right there in her hometown. When she arrives home she sees the farm is in much worse shape than she thought and her father is outraged to find out his daughter has agreed to take money from Jefferson Crocker.

The next day Shiloh arrives at the local farmer’s market to meet with her new investor but when she finds him she knows there will be no meeting. The man has been murdered and thanks to a loudmouth vendor almost everyone believes Shiloh is a cold-blooded killer. Others believe her father committed the crime. So now Shiloh has her work cut out for her. Her investor is dead, the farm still needs to be revived and now she has to find a killer to clear her dad and herself of murder.


Amanda Flower is a prolific cozy author who never disappoints. As soon as I heard about this series I booked a date on my calendar for Farm to Trouble. In this new series, we meet Shiloh Bellamy, her father, Sully, her cousin Stacey, her lovable pug, Huckleberry, along with assorted neighbors, friends, and other residents of Cherry Glen. While she has passed we also hear plenty about Shiloh’s grandmother. She was a hard-working woman who kept her family on track. She left behind quite a legacy as Shiloh recalls several times things her grandmother said and did. The author took her time and allowed her characters to develop over the course of the story while leaving plenty of room to grow as the series continues.

Ms. Flower captured the attitudes of small-town life perfectly. The cliques, the mean girls, the gossips, the hoity-toity, but a couple of good souls as well. Cherry Glen is a typical midwest town striving to find its footing in the progressing world. Change isn’t easy and many Cherry Glen residents are doing their best to avoid it.

The mystery was very well done featuring a victim who had plenty of enemies. The man liked flexing his financial muscles without a care about the people he left in his wake. Shiloh and Sully just happened to be his current mark. Being gone for so many years made it hard for Shiloh to know who to trust and she didn’t receive a hardy welcome home from many people but she still delves into an investigation to catch a killer. I was totally spinning my wheels until the actual guilty party was revealed. I at least had the person on my list but they were nowhere near the top. Ms. Flower penned a story with excellent twists. I did question some of Shiloh’s behavior with so much on the line but every person has their own way of processing actions and information.

Farm to Trouble has set this series off to a marvelous start. All the mysteries exposed within the book are not wrapped up by the final page. I am really looking forward to Shiloh solving the puzzle her grandmother left behind. I also feel there are some other things Shiloh needs to deal with from her past so she can truly move forward.

Ms. Flower has planted some wonderful seeds that I project will bloom into a very entertaining series. The story has a real true-to-life feel. There is some real family drama and there is a lot of hard work ahead for Shiloh to get close to realizing her dream plans. I think it is going to be very interesting to see the paths the author sets for these characters.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

Amanda Flower, a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author of over twenty-five cozy mystery novels, 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. In addition to being an author, Amanda is a former librarian with fifteen years of experience in Northeast Ohio.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest

 

Also by Amanda Flower


Coming April 27, 2021




Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)
I am giving away my review 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 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 March 10, 2021, 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.”