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 New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Furbidden Fatality (A Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery) by Deborah Blake #Review @BerkleyMystery


Furbidden Fatality (A Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Berkley (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0593201507
ISBN-13: 978-0593201503
Kindle ASIN: B08BYTZGW9

A lottery winner uses her good fortune to save a local pet sanctuary, but when a body is discovered on the property, she just might be in the doghouse in this first book in a new, charming cozy mystery series from author Deborah Blake.

Kari Stuart’s life is going nowhere—until she unexpectedly wins the lottery. The twenty-nine-year-old instant multimillionaire is still mulling plans for her winnings when rescuing a bossy black kitten leads her to a semi-abandoned animal shelter. They need the cash—Kari needs a purpose.

But the dilapidated rescue is literally going to the dogs with a pending lawsuit, hard to adopt animals and too much-unwanted attention from the town’s dog warden. When the warden turns up dead outside the shelter’s dog kennels, Kari finds herself up a creek without a pooper-scooper.

With the help of some dedicated volunteers, a cute vet, and a kitten who mysteriously shows up just when she needs it, Kari must prove her innocence all while trying to save a dog on death row. Now she just needs to hope that her string of unexpected luck isn’t about to run out.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

So exciting! Kari Stuart has won millions in the lottery but she has no idea what she wants with her life let alone the money. Then she finds a stray little black kitten that changes her life. An animal shelter on its last legs needs a benefactor and Kari has the funds to get the place updated and open again. It also gives her life some direction as she buys and takes over the shelter and the farmhouse on the property.

Then she learns one of the shelter dogs is part of a pending lawsuit and the dog warden seems to really have something against the shelter. When Kari hears the dogs making a ruckus in the middle of the night she runs from her new farmhouse to the shelter and finds the local dog catcher dead. She and all her volunteers because suspects in his death, especially Kari and the shelter’s former manager. Plagued by vandalism and other suspicious activity Kari worries she has invested in a project she will never get off the ground. She also sees there is a real possibility that even with all her cash she could end up behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit.

_____

I really enjoyed meeting the characters in this new cozy mystery series. Kari Stuart is a lucky woman and uses her fortune in a surprising way. I mean if you won 5 million dollars would your first thought of your first major purchase. especially when you know really nothing about animals or running a business? But Kari makes it work because there is already a super group of volunteers working at the shelter. The volunteers are a diverse group dedicating to saving the sanctuary and mostly are on board helping Kari make that happen. One volunteer is a little prickly and vocal at times but Kari just rolls with the verbal punches. The author has given us a nice introduction to these characters. I was engaged and invested in their lives quickly.

Ms. Blake also delivers a well-plotted mystery with a wide variety of suspects and surprises. A tangled-up web of deception kept this reader on her toes.  I loved the fast pace and the liberal use of humor throughout. The subplots are really strong and brought real depth to the entire story.

What I loved most of all was the animals. Buster, the dog accused of getting out of a fence and biting someone leading to the pending lawsuit just stole my heart. The stray little black kitten, Queenie, brings something special to the story and warmed my heart too. It was the animals on the cover that caught my eye and made me what to read this book. Kudos to the artist.

I found Furbidden Fatality to be a delightful debut for this pet-filled series. Light-hearted and entertaining, it was just a fun book to read.  I am excited to see where the author takes these characters. Doggone Deadly is set to be released on November 2. I will be impatiently waiting. 🙂 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Deborah Blake is the author of multiple romance series, including the Baba Yaga series, as well as over a dozen nonfiction titles. When not writing, Deborah runs The Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and also works as a jewelry maker, tarot reader, and energy healer. She lives in a 130-year-old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with numerous cats who supervise all her activities, both magical and mundane.


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 Interviews New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Jodi Linton – Author of The Hiker’s Guide To Murder – #Interview | #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @JodiLinton1

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Jodi Linton
to Escape With Dollycas today!


The Hiker’s Guide To Murder (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
by Jodi Linton


Hi Jodi,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in Texas with my husband, two kids, one dog, and two cats. When I’m not writing my next cozy mystery, I’m working the day job at the family business my husband and I run together.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

Give me a recipe and I’ll cook it. I love to cook, and try new foods.

I recently discovered my love for home decoration. Since we’ve been staying home, because of 2020 and 2021, we started to remodel our house, and I realized I really do a décor taste. Lol. I’ve enjoyed putting various styles together to find my own.

And third, I’ve traveled to several countries before I was married. My hope is once it’s safe to travel again, I can take my husband to see some of the countries I visited in my youth.

What is the first book you remember reading?

R.L Stein books.

What are you reading now?

I just finished It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time by Kyle Scott. It was my first time reading her, and I adored it. Her dialogue is so witty and sharp, and fast.

What books have most inspired you?

Sookie Stackhouse books and Stephanie Plum. After reading both series, I knew I had an itch to write my own mystery series.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I started out in romance. I sold my first series back in 2014. It was a mystery, that after the sell, I beefed up the romance in edits. I guess I’ve always enjoyed writing a book with a case as the plotline.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Not really. I have an office set up in my bedroom.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Life. Travels. My latest series, A Southwest Exposure Mystery Series, I gathered my ideas from our regular family trips to Red River, New Mexico and Salida Colorado. We went rafting, mountain bike riding, hiking, and even fed chipmunks in a ghost town. The only thing we didn’t find was a dead body like my heroine, Andie Sullivan. Thank goodness.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

The whole thing. I’m not kidding. I’m writing my 12th book, and each book has its own challenges. Sometimes it’s that little imposter syndrome voice echoing in my ear. Other times, it’s finding time to write as well as do mom duties and day work stuff.

What do you think makes a good story?

For me, it’s the character’s relationship and dialogue. I’m big on dialogue. – You are going to like my review 🙂

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Andie Sullivan. I protect the people in my circle, but also strive to be the best person I can be for myself, and make sure I’m fulfilled in life as much as my kids are. I’m also quiet nosy. So, I’d probably make a good cozy mystery sleuth.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

They’re set in a unique setting, open with action, and I try to blend my case plot with a romantic arc so the reader roots for both outcomes. Having written romance for so many years, the romantic angle is ingrained in me, and I knew I wanted a strong romance plot to play second fiddle to the mystery solving. I felt it grounded the characters in reality.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Writing book three in A Southwest Exposure Mystery Series, RAIDERS OF THE CAMPSITE.

Thank you so much, Jodi, for visiting today. 

More About Jodi Linton

Hey Y’all,

I’m just a girl from Texas, minus the big hair…and oh, yeah, a horse. My crew consists of two kiddos, one which inherited my makeup addiction, and a husband still living out his garage band dreams, but in our closet next to my shoe collection.

I love to hang out with my readers, discussing books, recipes, and just everyday shenanigans. I got started in the romance community, which you might know a few of my books from there. Now, I’m all about the cozies…and the coffee. Yeah, can’t forget that.

I’d love for you to come and join my reader group, Jodi’s Book Corner, or come like me on Facebook to discover my books. And chat. Naturally.

Author Links 

Facebook     Website   Twitter    BookBub

Youtube   Instagram  Jodi’s Book Corner   Newsletter

About The Hiker’s Guide to Murder


The Hiker’s Guide To Murder (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New Mexico
Independently Published (February 1, 2021)
Print length: ~200 pages
Digital ASIN: B08D28ZCMB

Hiking the Kindling National Forest is a birthday tradition for the Sullivan siblings—pitching camp, roasting s’mores… a dead body? Not exactly the fun party outdoor guide Andie Sullivan planned for her brother, Kyle. Welp.

 

When the body is identified as a local who worked at the parks department, Andie decides to put her clue-solving skills to use. Winter tourism is at stake, and if word gets out that Bushwhack has another killer on the loose, she can kiss that sweet revenue goodbye.

 

Easier said than done. Meanwhile, Sheriff Zac Mars is neck and neck with her on uncovering clues, proving solving the latest murder in town is harder than powering through a mountain bike tour on an energy bar breakfast. Racing against the clock, Andie must uncover evidence to make her mountain community safe for ski bunnies. But as one new plot twist turns into another dead body, Andie learns not everyone likes meddling civilian sleuths. If she’s not fast enough, the killer may find her before she finds them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Andie Sullivan and her brother Kyle hike the Kindling National Forest every year for Kyle’s birthday. A day for just the two of them usually. This year three people truly is a crowd especially when the third person is dead. The woman found in a cave was an employee of the Parks Department and her death could really affect Andie’s bottom line. Sullivan’s Adventure Company depends on tourists coming to Bushwack and dead bodies tend to deter their visits to the area.

So Andie starts some sleuthing on her own much to the dismay of Sheriff Zac Mars. Despite their age difference and the fact that Andie used to babysit Zac, you could cut the romantic tension with a knife. He knows she is not going to back away from the case so they make a friendly wager as to who will solve the case first. Then Andie finds another body and realizes she could be next. She may have taken her last hike.


After reading The Killer Outdoors I couldn’t wait to return to Bushwhack, New Mexico to see how Andie was fairing and what kind of adventure she, Zac, and Kyle would take us on next. I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

I really enjoy these characters. Andie is such a strong protagonist. She is independent and smart with a drive to succeed in her business and in life. She isn’t sure about starting a relationship with Zac but he is making it very clear that he wants to be more than friends. She feels the attraction, she just needs to be sure she isn’t making a mistake. Of course, Kyle isn’t shy about adding his two cents. And neither is Vivian, Andie’s friend who is always up for a little amateur sleuthing.  Ms. Linton has created a splendid cast of characters. Their relationships feel natural and the dialogue is superior.

The author also treats her readers to another fast-paced mystery. Trailing along with Andie was so much fun. I was totally caught up in trying to solve the mystery. I thought I was on the right track but then came that twist that jumbled by thinking and made perfect sense. The second book in the series, the second time I was surprised at the reveal.

What I really liked was the romantic vibes between Zac and Andie blended effortlessly with the mystery bringing some comedy to several situations while never detracting from the main story.  Sometimes it is hard to hit that balance but Ms. Linton does it very well.

Great characters and a first-rate story. I read The Hiker’s Guide To Murder incredibly fast, all in one sitting. I never once thought of putting it down. I am very excited about the continuation of this series. Raiders Of The Campsite hits shelves April 13. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of The Killer Outdoors here.


Purchase Link – Amazon –

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Great Escapes for The Hiker’s Guide To Murder (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
by Jodi Linton

I enjoyed the plot. It was a fun ride along with Andie as she looked for clues and annoyed the Sheriff.
~My Reading Journeys

This was a quick and easy read with a fun storyline. I loved the interaction between the characters. Once I started reading, I had a difficult time putting the book down.
~Literary Gold

A light, quick read good for around a campfire or safe in your own home.
~Laura’s Interests

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
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February 15 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
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February 18 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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

Hiss H for Homicide (A Nick and Nora Mystery) by T. C. LoTempio #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Hiss H for Homicide (A Nick and Nora Mystery)
by T. C. LoTempio

About Hiss H For Homicide


Hiss H for Homicide (A Nick and Nora Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series – 1st with this publisher
Setting – California
Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing (February 9, 2021)
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461947
ISBN-13: 978-1950461943
Digital ASIN: B08QW7Z25S

Nick and Nora are back in a tantalizing new mystery that’s far more dangerous than a game of cat and mouse . . .

 

Never one to turn away from a challenge—even when it goes against her better judgment—Nora Charles can hardly say no when an old friend of her mother’s comes to town seeking her help. The author of steamy romances has learned that her writing partner is severing their relationship and threatening to reveal dark and dirty secrets in a tell-all, and she pleads with Nora to intervene. Reluctantly agreeing to help, Nora pays a visit to the writing partner, ready to make her case—right up until the moment she discovers the woman’s lifeless body.

 

With the police convinced that Nora’s friend is the culprit, she and Nick begin delving into the dead woman’s past and her provocative tell-all. It soon becomes apparent that the woman had a knack for digging up dirt and wasn’t shy about exposing skeletons in closets, and before long Nora has a seemingly endless list of suspects who were at risk of having their darkest secrets revealed. With a police force intent on throwing the book at Nora’s friend and time running out, she and Nick must outwit a dangerous killer before they take their own secrets to the grave . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Handsome tuxedo cool cat Nick is back with his person, Nora Charles finding dead bodies and sleuthing out criminals in this long-awaited 4th installment of the Nick and Nora mysteries by T. C. LoTempio, This time Nora comes to the aid of an old friend of her mother, Desiree Sanders, one half of the writing team of Tiffany Blake.

It seems the other half of the team, Marlene McCambridge, wants to sever their partnership. Marlene has hinted she has a tell-all book revealing the secrets of several people, including Desiree. Desiree begs Nora to meet with Marlene and get to the truth about why she wants to dissolve their partnership. After trying to talk Desiree into several other options Nora agrees to try to meet with Marlene. Not sure what she can really do she sets off to visit the author.

Instead, when she and Nick arrive at the home the woman is renting they are too late. Marlene McCambridge is dead. Before calling the police Nick and Nora do a little snooping. But before she even makes the call law enforcement arrives in the form of Leroy Samms and he soon decides Desiree is his prime suspect prompting Nora to start her own investigation to clear her new friend’s name putting her right in the sights of the real killer.


I love the author’s twist on The Thin Man as the theme for her mysteries.  In this case, Nora is joined by a lovable cat named Nick.  Nick is a very special cat. He is very savvy in figuring out clues and presenting them in very clear ways for Nora to understand. I am so glad this series has returned and I was able to quickly reconnect with all the characters I had come to love. FBI Agent Daniel and FBI Agent on loan to the local police department Samms are both sweet on Nora. Nora and Daniel are dating as his workload allows but she can’t deny she has feelings for Samms too. They would both like her to stay out of the case and sell her sandwiches but know that is never going to happen. All of the characters in this story are very well developed and engaging but the author has left room for them to grow and stay fresh in their relationships.

Ms. LoTempio has crafted a superior mystery for this series return. Very quickly the plot opens up revealing quite a few suspects. Filled with twists and turns our protagonists are pulled in many different directions. Just when Nora thinks she has everything figured out another dead body shakes everything up. I love the way Nick and Nora communicate and the important role Nick plays throughout the entire story. He comes to Nora’s aid in a crucial moment and it had me cheering. The clever writing by this author always makes me smile.

Hiss H for Homicide is a great comeback for this series. I hope with this new publisher we will have many more Nick and Nora mysteries to enjoy. I highly recommend the entire series but the author has made it super easy to jump into the series with this book. Though I bet you will want to read them all.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About T. C. LoTempio 

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She and her cat pen the Nick and Nora mystery series originally from Berkley Prime Crime and now with Beyond the Page Publishing.  They also write the Cat Rescue series from Crooked Lane and the Pet Shop series, originally published by Midnight Ink and continued in 2021 with book two, KILLERS OF A FEATHER, from Beyond the Page. Catch up with them at ROCCO’s blog, catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com or her website, www.tclotempio.net or on Facebook.

Purchase Links –

AmazonB&NKOBOGoogle Play – 

The Rest of This Series

Also by This Author

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 10 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST. INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
February 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
February 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
February 13 – FUONLYKNEW -SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 15 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 16 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
February 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 18 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 19 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 20 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

 

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

Posted in 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 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Rhino Charge (A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Rhino Charge (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
by Victoria Tait

About Rhino Charge

Rhino Charge (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Kanga Press (February 5, 2021)
Print Length: 265 pages
Digital ASIN: B08PV45HYJ

A treacherous race to stop an extinction. A mysterious death linked to the past. Can a silver-haired sleuth track down the clues in time to save a life?

 

‘Mama Rose’ Hardie has always fought to conserve Kenya’s precious wildlife. Officiating at an off-road fundraising race in the iconic Maasai Mara, she’s shocked when a vehicle crash claims the life of a friend. And worse still, this was no accident…

 

When another friend is accused of plotting a deadly sabotage, the clever amateur sleuth vows to clear his name. But with motives between teams reaching deep into an unfortunate past, the determined woman must work fast to track down the wily killer. .

 

Can Rose catch the culprit before more lives are endangered?

 

Rhino Charge is the thrilling third tale in the Kenya Kanga cozy mystery series. If you like sharp heroines, suspenseful reveals, and iconic African settings, then you’ll love Victoria Tait’s breathtaking story.

 

Buy Rhino Charge to set a trap for a callous murderer today!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

‘Mama Rose’ Hardie is back and she is an official for a wild offroad race to raise money to protect the rhinos of Kenya. Teams run a vehicle obstacle course in the iconic Maasai Mara. The team that completes the course in the shortest distance wins. This has them traveling some scary routes in their quest to take the prize.

When a piece of equipment fails one of the vehicles flips, trapping the driver inside with a variety of injuries but death isn’t imminent until someones takes things into their own hands. When the driver is found dead Mama Rose takes it upon herself to track down the killer. She finds that until she gets to the truth about a past accident she can’t close in on the killer in the present. Can she pull all the clues together before someone else ends up hurt or dead? She sure hopes so.


Victoria Tait takes readers on a wonderful virtual trip to Maasai Mara, a game reserve in Kenya. Her words take us away to the place where we can find the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, Cape buffalo, black and white rhinos), one of the most famous safari destinations in Africa for the Rhino Charge, an annual event that hosts over 60 teams. And the perfect setting for a murder.

Our heroine, Mama Rose has been involved for years with her husband Craig as checkpoint officials. This year Craig is unable to attend but Chloe, Thabiti, and Sam are involved this year. Chloe helping Rose at the checkpoint and Thabiti and Sam as members of a team competing. They all play key roles especially when it comes to investigating and solving a murder. I really enjoy tagging along with Mama Rose. She is a smart, independent, inquisitive woman with the drive to right wrongs and get to the truth. Thabiti has grown quite a bit in this story and his sister is making strides as well. We are introduced to a variety of new characters but they all have a uniqueness about them and it makes it easy to keep everyone straight. It also gives readers a peek at the different cultures you find in Kenya.

The author has embedded these characters into a captivating mystery that ties into an event to the past while focusing on the reality of protecting the area’s wildlife. I was pulled into the story from the first page. The entire premise was fascinating and fresh making the book very hard to put down. I was all in and couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

I have enjoyed every book in this series. Ms. Tait shines a light on the challenges facing the people and animals will giving her readers an interesting mystery to escape right into. She really hits the right tone with the perfect amount of suspense. Rhino Charge is an excellent addition to this series. I am so happy to see the next book in this series Jackal & Hide will be released on May 14th.  Mama Rose looks to be off on quite a getaway and I am excited to virtually go along. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Victoria Tait

Victoria Tait is the author of the enchanting Kenya Kanga Mystery series.  She’s drawn on her 8 years of experience living in rural Kenya, with her family, to write vivid and evocative descriptions.  Her readers feel the heat, taste the dryness, and smell the dust of Africa.  Her elderly amateur sleuth, “Mama Rose” Hardie is Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple reincarnated and living in Kenya.

Like all good military wives, Victoria follows the beat of the drum and has recently moved to war-scarred Sarajevo in Bosnia. She has two fast growing teenage boys.  She enjoys horse riding and mountain biking but is apprehensive about learning to ski.  Victoria is looking forward to the sun, sand, and seafood of neighbouring Croatia when the world returns to normal.

Author Links

Website  –  Facebook  – Blog/News  – GoodReads – Pinterest

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – 

Coming May 14, 2021


TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 4 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 4 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
February 5 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 6 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
February 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 10 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
February 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 12 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
February 12 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways Interviews New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Alexis Morgan – Author of Death by Intermission (An Abby McCree Mystery) #Interview / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @Alexis_Morgan @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Alexis Morgan
to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Alexis,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up near St. Louis and attended college there. My husband and I decided we would like to live near the mountains and jumped at the chance when a job offer made it possible for us to move to the Pacific Northwest. That where we’ve made our home for the past forty-plus years. I’ve published close to fifty

books, novellas, and short stories across different varieties of romances and most recently I’ve been writing cozy mysteries.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

I’ve always been interested in dinosaurs and once took my family all the way to Bozeman, Montana, to visit the paleontology museum there.

When I was in high school, I got to interview movie director Otto Preminger (Exodus, Anatomy of a Murder) for my school paper.

My favorite musical is The Lion King.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I’m sure I read other books before this one, but I loved BLACK BEAUTY and read it numerous times when I was a young reader.

What are you reading now?

Molly Harper’s ALWAYS BE MY BANSHEE.

What books have most inspired you?

I read across multiple genres and have learned a lot from a wide variety of authors. Early in my career, Linda Howard’s MIDNIGHT RAINBOW brought into sharp focus what kind of heroes I wanted to write in my own books. In WRITTEN IN RED, Anne Bishop amazes me with her complex world building. It makes me more conscious of how the setting in my books needs to be three dimensional and real enough to thoroughly ground the reader in the story.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I’ve always loved reading mysteries—Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Dick Francis, Ellis Peters, and so many more. I found myself wanting to create my own amateur sleuth and watch her adventures solving murders.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Yes, I love to write in my office especially since I need to have music on to concentrate. I go into my office close the door, and crank up the volume while I get lost in the flow of whatever story I’m working on.

 Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Most often, my stories start with a specific image and the story spins out from there. For example, my newest release, DEATH BY INTERMISSION, all started with me “seeing” someone sitting on a lawn chair just inside the tree line in a park. He appears to have simply dozed off, but he’s actually a murder victim. From that single image, I had to figure what he was doing there in the first place and who would have risked killing him in such a public place.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

I think threading in all the clues, red herrings, and possible suspects in just the right mix to draw the reader along for the ride without revealing too much too soon.

What do you think makes a good story?

For me, it’s all the elements in the story that come together to make me as the reader really care about the characters and what happens to them. I can always tell I’m reading a great book when I reach the end and I really wish I could spend more time in that world and with the people in it.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

I’d like to think there’s a little of me in Abby McCree, the amateur sleuth in my cozy series. While I don’t really want to solve murders myself, I like how she does her best to take care of the people she cares about. I also love her relationship with Zeke, her mastiff-mix roommate. He’s loosely based on the two bulldogs in my life.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Since moving to Snowberry Creek, Abby McCree gets drawn into serving on various committees and community projects around town. This allows me to have Abby encounter people from all different walks of life—the quilting guild, the veterans group, bikers, bar owners, local police, homicide detectives, etc.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

The fifth Abby McCree Mystery, DEATH BY THE FINISH LINE, will be out later this year. In the meantime, I’m working on possible new adventures for Abby to see what other kind of trouble she can get into.

More About Alexis Morgan

Alexis Morgan is the USA Today bestselling author of over forty-five novels, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; contemporary romances; and cozy mysteries. A RITA® Award-finalist, Alexis Morgan is a member of RWA and Sisters in Crime. She lives in Washington State and can be found online at AlexisMorgan.com.

Author Links –Website –  Facebook – Twitter –   Blog

About Death by Intermission 


Death by Intermission (An Abby McCree Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Kensington (January 26, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496731255
ISBN-13: 978-1496731258
Digital ASIN: B087Z9CVW8

Abby McCree spends a summer showing family films under the stars—only to end the season with an unexpected slasher flick . . .

 

Ushered once again onto another committee by the mayor of Snowberry Creek, Washington, Abby is tasked with keeping the box office receipts of the town’s Movies in the Park nights. Cut to the director’s chair from where she’s suddenly organizing the summer’s last feature. From the opening scene through the final credits, Abby feels she’s earned nominations for best volunteer, best movie date with her tenant Tripp Blackston—and best daughter for ignoring her mother Phoebe’s own movie date with Owen Quinn.

 

Unfortunately, Abby and the others are treated to a post-credits scene: the body of local insurance agent Mitchell Anders. This discovery is followed by a plot twist revealing that the murder weapon comes from Owen’s food truck. With her mother’s boyfriend suspected of murder, Abby starts her own investigation determined to shine a spotlight on the real killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abby McCree finds herself in charge of another Snowberry Creek event. This time it’s a family film in the park. Everyone seems to have enjoyed the movie, especially Abby who took in the movie with Tripp Blackston, and Abby’s mother, Phoebe who attended the show with her new boyfriend, restauranteur, and food truck owner, Owen Quinn but they didn’t watch most of the movie because they were making out like teenagers and making Abby cringe.

When the movie was over and the park cleared out Abby, Phoebe, Tripp, and Owen took on the tasks of putting equipment and tables away and picking up any litter left behind. They also found a man who appears to have had too many adult beverages and is sleeping it off. But as Abby gets closer she realizes the man isn’t sleeping, he’s dead. He is identified as Mitchell Anders, the new insurance agent in town, and we quickly learn that he has been stabbed. Stabbed with a chef knife belonging to Owen.  Abby doesn’t know much about Owen but when her mother asks her to help clear his name she can’t say no. She also sees the tension between Phoebe and police chief Gage Logan so to keep the peace she needs to get involved. Hopefully, she isn’t making a huge mistake.


The characters I have come to love return, and they are joined by Abby’s mother Phoebe visiting from Seattle, Owen Quinn, who has come to town to open a restaurant and food truck, and his employee, Jada. Abby and Tripp’s relationship is moving along nicely. I love the two of them together but her mother doesn’t. In fact, her mother found issue with almost everything Abby did and all of her friends. She was a cantankerous woman throughout most of the story and Abby really did try to keep her cool but finally blew. I found Abby’s reactions to be very realistic. Her mother’s attitude and actions were a little over the top but the relationship challenges did add a unique slant to the book. Again the lovable mastiff Zeke stole my heart.

The mystery was very well constructed. Owen is holding something back and there are a wide variety of clues that open up the suspect pool. One glaring clue was found in an intriguing place and when discovered broke the case wide open. I really enjoyed this twist and the manner in which it was handled. The way all the subplots entwined with the main plot really kept those pages turning.

Death by Intermission is a superb addition to this series. Ms. Morgan knows how to give her readers a stellar mystery to solve laced with a nice amount of humor and the perfect amount of romance. She has placed her characters in an interesting small town that always has an event or two for them to get believably involved in.

I was smiling as the book drew to a close. I can’t wait to see what these characters are up to next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Committee here
and Death by Jack-o-Lantern here and Death by Auction here


Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N –  Kobo – GooglePlay  –  IndieBound 

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Great Escapes Parise for Death by Intermission (An Abby McCree Mystery)
by Alexis Morgan

The combination of the murder mystery, the family dynamics, and small town interactions keep the story moving and the reader engaged. Cozy mystery fans will not be disappointed with this one.
~Christa Reads and Writes

I liked the protagonist and her approach to the crime. Dialogue felt realistic. Her motivation for investigating was also believable.
~Mysteries With Character

Intelligent, well-developed characters, a smart well-plotted mystery, a spark of romance, a sweet big dog, and laugh out loud moments make DEATH BY INTERMISSION a fantastic book that shouldn’t be missed.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

This was a fun, fast-paced cozy mystery. I liked the small-town setting, the characters (especially Abby and her boyfriend/tenant, Tripp), and her lovable, protective Mastiff dog, Zeke.
~View from the Birdhouse

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 1 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 2 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 2 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
February 2 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 3 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST
February 4 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
February 4 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW
February 5 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
February 5 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 6 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 7 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 8 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 8 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
February 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, 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.”

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

Dead Man’s Hand (Victoria Square Mystery) by Lorraine Bartlett and Gayle Leeson #Review

Release Date – February 5, 2021


Dead Man’s Hand (Victoria Square Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Polaris Press (February 5, 2021)
Paperback: 294 pages
ISBN-10: 1940801672
ISBN-13: 978-1940801674
Kindle – ASIN: B08NW5DJHW

Katie’s been dealt the Dead Man’s Hand …

It’s all fun and games when Katie Bonner and her friends play poker for chocolate-covered peanuts, but the very next day Jamie Seifert collapses and dies after visiting Katie’s tearoom on Victoria Square.

Katie’s business is on the line and she needs to prove Jamie wasn’t poisoned at Tealicious. Her first order of business is to locate the mysterious woman he was dining with, and her next step is to go undercover at a nearby poker club where Jamie won big just a week before. It seems everyone there might have had a motive to rub Jamie out…and if they learn Katie has been lying to them, she might be next!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Katie Bonner continues to get her life on track after her bad breakup with Andy. She has thrown herself into her work at Artisan’s Alley and Tealicious while also leading the committee investigating buildings near the Alley for sale. She is already feeling a bit overwhelmed when her friend Jamie Seifert keels over dead just after leaving her tea shop. Now her main job is saving her shop by proving nothing he ate or drank at Tealicious caused his death.

Jamie’s death wasn’t accidental. He was targeted and poisoned. Could his death be connected to his big poker win last week? Or is there another reason he was killed? Katie decides going undercover may be the only way to find out. It may also get her killed!


To say Katie’s life is in flux is a huge understatement. In addition to the recent murder of her friend, there are issues to be handled at the Alley, and her mother-in-law is coming to town to help save Tealicious but is the fact that her ex Andy seems to have a new woman in his life that really pushes her buttons. I am going to be frank, I didn’t like Katie’s deportment in this story. She has a short temper and is alienating people in her life that have stood by her through thick and thin. Friendships become strained and she may not be able to get them back. While I didn’t like her behavior it made her more real and true to life. We all have days when we say or do the wrong thing. We hurt people with words and actions and need to work hard to make up for it. I am glad the authors presented a less than perfect protagonist.

Another character exhibited some bad behavior too while many others were dealing with losing a friend or helping Jamie’s partner Seth and Jamie’s mother deal with their grief. It was heartwarming to see the group rally together to support where needed and assist in trying to find the killer. The authors also presented an eclectic group of suspects to investigate. All the characters in the story were well-crafted and the regulars continued to evolve in interesting ways.

The mystery was a puzzler to solve. Katie going undercover seemed a little off to me as she is a prominent member of the community and thinking she wouldn’t be recognized was pretty wishful thinking. It did set up some intriguing elements to the story. Combined with plenty of twists and turns it was difficult to truly pare down the suspects. I had my theories but when the real culprit was revealed I was totally wrong.

Ms. Bartlett and Ms. Leeson have dealt their readers a fast-paced mystery in Dead Man’s Hand. I applaud the realistic characters and situations. I enjoyed a lighthearted event that seemed to set everything back on the right track too. These authors are cozy pros and their stories never disappoint.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Authors

Lorraine Bartlett

The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorraine Bartlett‘s pen name Lorna Barrett on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it’s her talent — whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett — that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s). Check out the links to all her works here: http://www.lorrainebartlett.com

Gayle Leeson

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. Gayle has also written as Amanda Lee. She is currently writing the Kinsey Falls chick-lit/women’s fiction series, the Down South Cafe cozy mystery series, and the Ghostly Fashionista cozy mystery series. Her book KILLER WEDDING CAKE won the Bronze Medal in the 20th Anniversary IPPY Awards. Gayle lives in Southwest Virginia with her family and enjoys hearing from readers. Find her books on Amazon here.

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Marc Jedel – Author of fISh OUt of WaTER – An Ozarks Lake Mystery #AuthorInterview / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am delighted to welcome Marc Jedel to Escapes With Dollycas today!


Hi Marc, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

After years of working in high-tech marketing, I decided to try writing novels. I figured I had plenty of experience crafting fiction. It was just called emails, ads, and marketing collateral in my day job. Like my character, Marty, in the Silicon Valley Mystery series, I now live in Silicon Valley, work in high-tech, and enjoy bad puns. Like my characters Jonas and Elizabeth, in the Ozarks Lake Mystery series, I grew up in the South and spent plenty of time in and around Arkansas.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

1) Played professional soccer while completing my year as a Rhodes Scholar,

2) Nominated for both Pulitzer and Nobel prizes for my previous novels,

3) Likes to make up answers when asked questions for which he doesn’t have a good response. LOL, Good one.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I’d have to say it’s a tie between Go Dog Go and The Cat in the Hat. This might also explain my love for puns and entertaining word choices. What’s not to love about a story that has great wordplay and shows off awesome party hats?

What are you reading now?

I’m reading a variety of cozy mysteries to catch up on what’s popular as I try to avoid reading them while I’m in the middle of writing one. I tend to bounce back and forth between cozies, sci-fi, non-fiction history, and fantasy books.

What books have most inspired you?

I wasn’t originally planning to write mysteries. However, a few years ago, I picked up my wife’s copy of a Janet Evanovich novel. She got mad when I didn’t return it until I’d finished. My wife that is, not Janet. Janet would probably be happy because I’ve purchased a number of her other books and even consulted her How I Write book when I started my first book. I wouldn’t even mind if Janet decided to tell all her readers that they should try my books too (in case you’re reading this, Hi Janet!) Since then, I’ve read many other mysteries and cozy mysteries and enjoy the good ones for a light, humorous read.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I’ve wanted to write a book since I was young. For the longest time, it seemed I couldn’t come up with a good plot. Yet, my writing research clearly demonstrated that having a plot is critical to a book’s success.

One day, I received this awesome birthday drawing from my nieces. And my kids, or nieces, or one of our friends’ kids had done some crazy things. Probably all of the above. One thing led to another and the idea formed to loosely base a mystery with a self-absorbed, fashion-backward software engineer, his sister, and his nieces on my life. It’s clearly fiction. I mean, I’m not a software engineer.

With my novel, Fish Out of Water, I started a completely different series with very different characters, different humor, and different style of sleuthing. This seemed to be a way to keep things fresh for me and my readers. But I’ll continue writing stories in both series.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I guess my “special place” would be in front of my computer. I have been known to jot down ideas, fragments of conversations, and funny lines on my phone. Typically I write at a sit-stand desk with an extra wide monitor. The original concept was I would have my writing open on one side of the display and my notes or outline on the other. All too often, it seems like the writing is on one side but the other side has my internet browser or email open and distracting me.

 

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Most of the ideas came initially from some strange news article that I stumble across. Unfortunately, I can’t explain this because these often wind up serving as inspiration for the ending of the story. For Fish Out of Water, I wanted to write a more typical cozy mystery but illustrate the different perspectives of someone new to an area versus someone who grew up there. As my wife had grandparents who owned a small ranch in Arkansas and I spent time in and around Arkansas growing up, I thought it would be interesting to show both sides.

 

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Figuring out new, interesting, and plausible ways to kill someone is actually way more challenging than one might think. Especially when you’re trying to do it in such a way that an amateur detective can figure it out without involving any help from the police and I don’t want the readers to guess whodunnit. I’m very gratified when readers tell me they couldn’t guess who was the killer and why until the reveal. Yet all this requires some very unusual internet searches. I’m just glad no law enforcement officer has knocked on my door yet to ask why I was looking up something unusual.

What do you think makes a good story?

1) Great characters that people will care about. 2) Interesting plot that excites them to turn the pages faster. 3) Reasonable actions. I hate stories where the entire thing could be resolved if only the characters would call each other or ask someone an obvious question.

 

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Marty Golden, my protagonist in the Silicon Valley Mystery series, is the most like me. Family and friends would tell you that he isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination for me to write, but I’m comfortable with that. Of course, Marty is the younger, funnier, cooler, and more handsome version of myself that I imagine I see in the mirror each morning. But Elizabeth and Jonas Trout in Fish Out of Water also have a disturbing number of similarities to me. I don’t know that I could write a first-person point-of-view novel and not have at least some resemblance to the protagonist.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

I’ve become bored by cozies where the protagonist runs a bakery, bookstore, or bed & breakfast and this supposedly amateur sleuth gets extensive help from the police. So I made sure my characters don’t work with the police and have different jobs. Having both a male and female protagonist with different point-of-view chapters in Fish Out of Water also allows me to show very different takes on suspects and other characters and go to different places.

My Silicon Valley Mystery series is especially unique with its male protagonist who’s not particularly competent, nor especially brave, as the amateur sleuth. Setting it in Silicon Valley is also unusual for cozies but worked well. Despite finding himself thrust into challenging situations, Marty isn’t exactly hero material. He has a wonderful combination of wit, irreverent humor, and sarcasm mixed in with nerdy insecurities, absent-mindedness, and fumbling but effective amateur sleuthing skills. He’s got an active inner voice and doesn’t do a lot of advance planning. Instead, he throws himself into solving problems. Sometimes, he even succeeds.

Whats next on the horizon for you?

I’m continuing to write in both series. My next two books will be book 2 in the Ozarks Lake Mystery series, titled: Swimming with the Fishes, and I’m also working on book 5 in the Silicon Valley Mystery series, titled: Huh? Why? and Punch (say it aloud fast a few times). More novels in both series are planned.

Thank you Marc for visiting today! I loved your answers!

More About Marc Jedel

 

For most of my life, I’ve been inventing stories. Living in many places around the United States, including a lot of time in the South, has given me a particularly keen appreciation for those who feel like a “fish out of water” sometimes.

My writing skills were honed in years of marketing leadership positions in Silicon Valley. While my high tech marketing roles involved crafting plenty of fiction, we called these marketing collateral, emails and ads.

The publication of my first novel, Uncle and Ants in the Silicon Valley Mystery series, gave me permission to claim “author” as my job. And achieving Amazon Best Seller status gave me even better adjectives to use in front of “author.” This has led to way more interesting discussions than answering “marketing.”

Telling the stories in the Ozarks Lake Mystery series has given me an enjoyable opportunity to spend time with characters that somewhat resemble people I’ve known. Writing alternating chapters from the perspective of each spouse of the newlywed Trout couple allowed me to experience multiple personalities without getting a visit from mental health professionals.

Author Links – Website    BookBub     FaceBook     LinkedIn    GoodReads 

About fISh OUt of WaTER


fISh OUt of WaTER – An Ozarks Lake Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Arkansas
Publisher: BGM Press (January 8, 2021)
Number of Pages: 275

A small-town homicide. A community swamped in secrets. Can married amateur sleuths bait and capture the killer before the truth slips away?

 

Elizabeth Trout had escaped her rural Arkansas hometown. Compelled to sort through her deceased grandmother’s belongings, she and her new husband Jonas make an unexpected trip to the family ranch. But when the property manager turns up dead, Elizabeth is rocked when her ex-boyfriend-turned-deputy arrests her for the murder.

 

With incriminating evidence and the sheriff convinced he’s got the right suspect, Elizabeth and Jonas must fish for clues on their own. But with a multitude of potential culprits and her husband’s contrasting personality, Elizabeth fears she may be left dangling on the hook for a crime she didn’t commit.

 

Can these newlyweds net the real killer before Elizabeth is jailed for murder?

 

Fish Out of Water is the charming first book in the Ozarks Lake Mystery series. If you like quirky characters, clever twists and turns, and puzzling whodunits, then you’ll love Marc Jedel’s humorous tale.

Buy Fish Out of Water to reel in a slippery catch today!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Elizabeth and Jonas Trout have traveled from Portland to her home town of Jenkins, Arkansas to deal with her inheritance from her grandmother. Along with her mother, a local doctor, they are sorting through furniture. artwork, photographs, and more to get ready for an estate sale and future sale of her grandmother’s home. Before they can even get started on the project Elizabeth is arrested by her former boyfriend, for the murder of Duncan Fowler. Fowler was a schoolteacher, and property manager hired to help Elizabeth’s grandmother with her ranch. Elizabeth did have a public altercation with the man over some property damage but she didn’t kill the man. The Sheriff thinks he has more than enough evidence to convict her of the crime so it’s time for the Trout’s to do a little fishing for some better suspects. There are not many secrets in this little town but they reel in a whopper that should catch the real killer and land them behind bars.


The Trout’s are a very likable couple with excellent taste in dogs and their names. The puppy on the cover looks just like our recently deceased dog and we have named our new 10-week old pup, Daisy Mae, so you know the canine character immediately stole my heart. Elizabeth’s mom is a doctor and sometimes the medical examiner. She seems to be in non-stop motion tending to her patients or another cause. Because of Elizabeth’s arrest, she can’t have anything to do with the body but that doesn’t mean she can’t get information to clear her child’s name. The victim, Duncan Fowler had a lot of irons in the fire and at one point or another, it seemed like the entire town of Jenkins had a reason to kill the man. I enjoyed the small-town atmosphere and all the residents we met in this first Ozarks Lake Mystery. The characters developed nicely over the course of the story but there is plenty of room for growth as the series continues.

Keeping with the fishy theme, the mystery was filled with red herrings. The Trouts needed a huge net to hold all the suspects and patience as they tried to weed out those with a motive but clearly not the killer. With some nice twists, I was in the dark as to who the guilty party was until near the very end. I did figure out some other aspects as to how the story would play out though. One part didn’t completely fall into place by the end of this story but probably will in the next installment. The ending was exciting and surprising as all the clues fell into place.

This is the first book I have read by Marc Jedel after seeing so many wonderful reviews of his Silicon Valley Mysteries. What always caught my attention was his liberal use of humor so I jumped at the chance to read and review Fish Out of Water. I was thrilled to see his sense of humor shined in this book as well. He also filled this story with plenty of Southern charm.

Fish Out of Water was a delightful whodunit with truly engaging characters and a complicated mystery that I found to be completely entertaining. I am anxious to read the next book in this series, Swimming with the Fishes, I have also added all the Silicon Valley Mysteries to my wish list.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Purchase Links: Amazon

Also by Marc Jedel


TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
February 1 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 1 – My Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 2 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW   
February 3 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
February 4 – Literary Gold  – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 4 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
February 6 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
February 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 8 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
February 8 – Adventures Of A Travelers Wife – GUEST POST
February 9 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 10 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 11 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
February 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

 

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge 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

Egg Shooters (A Cackleberry Club Mystery) by Laura Childs #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @BerkleyMystery


Egg Shooters (A Cackleberry Club Mystery)
by Laura Childs

About Egg Shooters


Egg Shooters (A Cackleberry Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Midwest (Minnesota)
Publisher: Berkley (January 26, 2021)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0425281744
ISBN-13: 978-0425281741
Kindle ASIN: B085BVYLKY

A murder in the local hospital is raising everyone’s temperature in the latest book in the New York Times bestselling Cackleberry Club series.

 

Suzanne Dietz co-owner of the Cackleberry Club Café is visiting her fiancée, Dr. Sam Hazelet when a masked gunman bursts into the emergency room. He shoots two people and would probably have done more damage had Suzanne not brained him with a thermos full of chili. Still, the gunman manages to escape.

 

Now the ladies of the Cackleberry Club are determined to find the killer before he finds them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Shots are fired in a hospital, no less, as this ninth Cackleberry Club Mystery gets underway. Cackleberry Club co-owner Suzanne Dietz was ducking for cover as two people fell struck by bullets. In a moment of pure genius, rage, and adrenalin, Suzanne stuns the shooter with a thermos full of chili meant to have been lunch for her fiancée, Dr. Sam Hazelet. Down but not out the shooter escapes with a duffle bag of drugs stolen from the hospital pharmacy. The gunman was dressed in military gear and wore a mask so Suzanne couldn’t give much info to identify the suspect but that doesn’t mean she, Toni, and Petra aren’t going to pull out all the stops to catch the shooter before they kill again.


I love Suzanne, Toni, and Petra and glad they are back after a bit of a break. These ladies are so genuine and have huge hearts. They are always ready to support a person or cause that comes into their orbit. They are exactly who you would expect to meet when you walk into a small-town Midwest cafe. They give a friendly welcome and try to add a smile to get your day off to a great start. The food they serve up is top-notch too. Supporting characters Dr. Sam, Junior, and Sheriff Dougie all bring diverse personalities to the story. These men couldn’t be more different from each other just like our leading ladies so they are a perfect fit for this series.

Ms. Childs really twisted things up this time. Suzanne is completed invested in finding the shooter so she doesn’t always make wise decisions and she jumped to a few conclusions without the evidence to back them up.  I had to stop and take a second to shake my head at one event that was crazy and downright unbelievable but centered myself with the point that the story is fiction, meant to entertain and it sure did that and the event did really move the story forward so I accepted the situation and moved on. The scene was exciting and it was fun to live vicariously through the adventure the characters were caught up in. The author does blend the subplots with the main plot with an expert hand. She brings the book to a conclusion in a thrilling way that I know raised my blood pressure.

Egg Shooters is an egg-traordinary addition to this series and I have enjoyed every one. We are also treated to tempting recipes that were mentioned in the story at the end of the book. I am very excited for the next installment of this series.



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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 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.

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!

Laura’s Links:

Webpage – Facebook  

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  Kobo   Google Play  IndieBound
The Rest of the Series

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Great Escapes Praise for Egg Shooters (A Cackleberry Club Mystery)
by Laura Childs

This was well written and flowed well, as do most of Laura Childs books. I was kept entertained and curious as to who is behind the murder and the other break-ins. There were just enough twists and turns to keep me guessing, and I did not figure it out till the reveal.
~Melina’s Book Blog

This ninth book in the Cackleberry Club Mystery series is a fast-paced mystery fueled by food and friendship. EGG SHOOTERS is jam-packed with intrigue, adventure, and fun.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Egg Shooters is another relaxing and engaging read from one of my favorite cozy mystery authors.
~Diane Reviews Book

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
January 26 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 26 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
January 28 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 29 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW
January 29 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 30 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
January 31 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
January 31 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
February 1 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
February 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
February 2 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
February 4 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 4 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
February 5 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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February 7 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
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February 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

 

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

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

One Poison Pie (Kitchen Witch Mysteries) by Lynn Cahoon #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks @LynnCahoon

One Poison Pie (Kitchen Witch Mysteries)
by Lynn Cahoon

About One Poison Pie

One Poison Pie (Kitchen Witch Mysteries) by Lynn Cahoon
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Idaho
Publisher: Kensington (January 26, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1496730313
ISBN-13: 978-1496730312
Digital ASIN: B087YNC1B6

In the first in New York Times bestselling author Lynn Cahoon’s Kitchen Witch series, Mia Malone is starting over in Magic Springs, Idaho—where murder is on the menu . . .

 

What’s a kitchen witch to do when her almost-fiancé leaves her suddenly single and unemployed? For Mia Malone, the answer’s simple: move to her grandmother’s quirky Idaho hometown, where magic is an open secret and witches and warlocks are (mostly) welcome. With a new gourmet dinner delivery business—and a touch of magic in her recipes—Mia’s hopes are high. Even when her ex’s little sister, Christina, arrives looking for a place to stay, Mia takes it in stride.

 

But her first catering job takes a distasteful turn when her client’s body is found, stabbed and stuffed under the head table. Mia’s shocked to learn that she’s a suspect—and even more so when she realizes she’s next on a killer’s list. With Christina, along with Mia’s meddling grandma, in the mix, she’ll have to find out which of the town’s eccentric residents has an appetite for murder…before this fresh start comes to a sticky end. . . .

 

Includes Recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

After reading Chili Cauldron Curse I dove right into One Poison Pie. Mia has broken up with her cheating boyfriend and returned to Magic Springs to restart her life by opening Mia’s Morsels in an old school building. She plans to do some catering but to also build a client list of people that would enjoy a gourmet dinner delivered to their home one or more times a week. While the school is being revamped for her business her grandmother pushes her to cater a friend’s birthday party. It ends up being harder than she thought when her client, Adele Simpson, changes the entire menu at the last minute but Mia rolls with the changes committed to make her first event a hit, hopefully gaining her several new customers.

Sadly the event takes a deadly turn when Adele’s body is found under the head table stabbed with a knife. When Mia is tapped as the prime suspect she can’t believe it. Adele was a difficult client but Mia wouldn’t kill her over a few changes. There has to be someone else the police should be questioning and Mia is going to do a little snooping to give them several options . . .  that is unless the killer murders her next.


Mia is a fantastic protagonist. She is smart, strong, and getting more independent every day. She has a great business plan along with the support she needs to get Mia’s Morsel’s up and running. We met her Gran and her ex-boyfriend’s sister Christina in Chili Cauldron Curse. They continue to immerge as important supporting characters. We are introduced to brothers Trent and Levi, and also Chef James. Trent has some romantic notions with Mia and Levi is just fun to be around. James allows Mia to use his kitchen to prepare the meal for Adele’s party. All the characters are very well crafted, some are more magical than others. Ms. Cahoon has fleshed them out pretty well but has left them plenty of room to grow over what I hope will be a long-running series. The relationships between the characters really drew my attention and the dialogues were true to life.

The mystery plot was complex with a lot of things happening. Someone definitely wants Mia off the case and out of the way. Physical attacks, threatening messages, chilling calls, and more show the danger Mia is in. I love that witches and warlocks are common in Magic Springs and they have a variety of talents. Some are more active in the craft than others but coexist easily. I enjoyed the ghost stories and an actual ghost appearance. The paranormal elements are all well placed and did not overtake the main mystery at all. That mystery has plenty of twists and turns and surprises. A subplot with Mia’s ex adds another interesting element to the story.

I find the author’s writing style very comfortable with clear descriptions without being too wordy. People and places are easily visualized and the characters really come to life. The pace was perfect and humor popped up in all the right places.

I found One Poison Pie to be totally entertaining and easy to escape right into. The characters are engaging and I can’t wait to visit them again in Two Wicked Desserts this summer.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Lynn Cahoon

Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. She also pens the Cat Latimer series, the Farm to Fork series, and the Kitchen Witch series. Small town setting, big time fun with a bit of murder to keep it interesting. Romance novels are published under the pen name, Lynn Collins. She lives in a small river town like Mark Twain with her husband and three fur kids..

Author Links

Goodreads – Twitter Facebook – Amazon Author Page Website

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Play 

Also by Lynn Cahoon

Find more books by Lynn Cahoon here.

 

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February 1 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
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February 15 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
February 15 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

 

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Crime of the Ancient Marinara (A Tuscan Cooking School Mystery) by Stephanie Cole #Review /#Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

It is my pleasure to feature Crime of the Ancient Marinara
by Stephanie Cole today!


Crime of the Ancient Marinara (A Tuscan Cooking School Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Italy
Publisher: Berkley (January 26, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0593097815
ISBN-13: 978-0593097816
Kindle ASIN: B087PLF2V6

American chef Nell Valenti’s high hopes for a successful Tuscan farm-to-table cooking school are in danger of withering on the vine in this delectable cozy mystery.

Nell Valenti is settling into her role of transforming the Villa Orlandini into a superb farm-to-table cooking school, and the time has finally come for a full taste test run. But when Chef Orlandini prepares to reveal his top secret marinara recipe for the first time to a group of American gastro-tourists, Nell realizes she might have bitten off more than she can chew.

Nell begins to suspect that one of the tourists is actually a private detective sent to spy on her by her overprotective father, and the fussy foodies are noisy and disrespectful from the very start of the Marinara Mysteriosa workshop. Even worse, when one visitor appears to be poisoned by the famous marinara recipe, Nell will have to work fast to uncover a killer and keep a lid on bad press before her fresh start is spoiled for good.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Plans are coming together at Villa Orlandini to open the farm-to-table cooking school. Their first weeklong class will bring a group of gastro-tourists from America to learn all about making marinara sauce and will include Chef Orlandini revealing his mystery ingredient in his famous marinara recipe. They hit a few bumps in the road with their plans as they work through the logistics of keeping their guests involved and happy. Nell has an inkling that one member of the group is a private detective sent by her father. Another member of the group is rude and is only there because his wife dragged him along. She is excited to be there and is determined not to let her husband ruin her trip. The rest of the group all have their flaws and are pretty disrespectful. When one of the group is rushed to the hospital and dies Nell realizes there is a killer in their midst. A murder is bad, but someone dying the first week they are open could seal the fate of the school forever. Nell knows she needs to find the killer and save the school but she could end up the killer’s next victim if she isn’t careful.


All the people we met at Villa Orlandini in the first book are back. Nell and Pete are getting closer. Chef O. is excited to teach but quickly becomes infatuated with one of his new students which causes some turmoil in the kitchen. The new characters all seem to have something to hide. The murder happens later in the story but the victim was not a surprise. I wanted to reach into the book and kill him myself. The language was still of bit of a problem but Nell is learning more Italian and is finding ways to communicate with people at the villa. It was still necessary to bring in a translator after the murder and Pete translated other times. The translations for us readers still messed with the flow of the story for me.

The murder mystery was very well-plotted and I was surprised with all the connections that were revealed. That being said I had a certain character in my sights almost immediately after the murder because I quickly eliminated the other suspects. I just needed the motive to connect my thinking and that wasn’t revealed until the end. I was a little put off by Nell’s investigation this time. Her snooping and theories were a little over the top at times.

I do enjoy Ms. Cole’s right style. She really knows how to set the scene and bring it to life, Every room at the villa was easily visualized. There was a huge flower delivery too and I could almost smell them from the descriptions. The author delivered up plenty of humor throughout the entire story. The Bari sisters are absolutely priceless.

All the talk of marinara did tempt my tastebuds. Thankfully we eat Italian inspired food often around here.

Crime of the Ancient Marinara was a nice little escape to Tuscany. The characters were entertaining and the mystery very interesting. The ending did leave me wanting to know what was going to happen next at Villa Orlandin, so I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Stephanie Cole is an active member of the mystery writing community. Writing as Shelley Costa, she was nominated for both an Edgar and an Agatha award, and she co-founded the Northeast Ohio chapter of Sisters in Crime. She teaches creative writing workshops and lectures on American literature in the greater Cleveland area. For fun, she takes violin lessons, studies Art History—and eyes them both for murder plots.

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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.”