Posted in 2020 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

Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery) by J.C. Eaton #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks

Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
by J.C. Eaton

About Dressed Up 4 Murder


Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Arizona
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496724550
ISBN-13: 978-1496724557
Digital ASIN: B07R8WYD83

Last one standing is the winner . . .

 

The holiday season has arrived and bookkeeper/amateur sleuth, Sophie “Phee” Kimball, would love nothing more than to enjoy the comforts of her new home with her detective boyfriend near Arizona’s Sun City West. Instead, her mother Harriet wants to showcase her chiweenie-chihuahua-dachshund Streetman in the Precious Pooches Holiday Extravaganza costume events. The festivities begin in October and end on St. Patrick’s Day—with the winner starring in the St. Pat’s Day parade. But things quickly turn an awful shade of green when Streetman uncovers a dead body under a tarp-covered grill in the neighbor’s yard.

 

The victim is Cameron Tully, a seafood distributor working out of Phoenix, who died from ingesting a toxic sago palm leaf. Before the police can even find a motive and suspect, another Precious Pooch owner nearly dies from the same poison. With Harriet believing someone’s targeting her and Streetman because of the costume contests, Phee will need a potful of Irish luck to sniff out a killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is always something happening at Sun City West. The new thing is the Precious Pooches Holiday Extravaganza and Harriet Plunkett plans to enter her chiweenie-chihuahua-dachshund Streetman in the event for each holiday starting with Halloween right through St. Patrick’s Day. Her friend Shirley is making his costumes and she knows he is going to win big. Streetman is not thrilled with the costumes at all, he is more concerned with a tarp in the neighbor’s yard.

When Sophie “Phee” Kimball arrives at her mother’s the dog is frantic to go outside. They open the backdoor and Streetman lunges out pulling the leash and Harriet right to the tarp-covered grill where they notice a pair of shoes. When Phee carefully pulls the tarp back they find a man attached to the shoes, but he won’t be grilling anytime soon. Neither woman recognizes the man. He is later identified as Cameron Tully from Phoenix. He is a seafood distributor and he was poisoned by a toxic sago palm leaf.

Police are having a hard time solving the murder but then a woman at a Precious Pooches event almost dies from the same thing. Harriet is afraid she and Streetman could be next. The police finally admit they need help and request Williams Investigations to assist on the case. This means Marshall and Phee are investigating but even they are having trouble. With Harriet nagging them at every move they know they need to solve this case and fast.


These characters are so much fun. You have Harriet and her friends and they are a hoot! You also have the team at Williams Investigations, Nate Williams is a retired detective from Mankato, Minnesota. Augusta keeps the office running and helps with cases too. Phee works for him as a bookkeeper but is turning out to be a great amateur sleuth. When business picked up he lured Marshall, another Mankato detective down to Arizona. Phee was thrilled because she had had a crush on him for years and now they are moving in together.  All these characters are so well developed, I can easily picture each one in my mind clearly. The places and events are described wonderfully too. It was so easy to imagine all the dogs and their owners parading around the park and all the chaos that erupts all around them.

Dog lover that I am Streetman does steal the show for me.

The mystery was a puzzler, with several red herrings. It took some serious digging for Phee to start bring things into focus and then the rest of the clues started to fall into place. I love the couple Marshall and Phee are becoming. They make a great team in all aspects of their life. I really enjoyed they worked together on this case, knowing each other’s strengths. It was a lot of fun following them step by step because I was completely in the dark right up to the reveal.

I have to take a moment to compliment the creativeness of the costumes the authors dreamed up for Shirley to create. Detailed and well-crafted and much more complicated than the one Streetman is wearing on the cover. Each described in vivid detail. The attention to detail the authors bring to these costumes and the whole book overall is what really makes this story and the others in this series must-reads for me.

Dressed Up 4 Murder is entertaining and captivating. The characters are strong and relatable and I can’t wait to see what they get themselves into next.

If you like your cozy mysteries to be filled with humor and a complex mystery that will have you really thinking, this is the perfect book for you.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About J.C. Eaton

Meet Ann and Jim, Writing as J.C. Eaton

Ann I. Goldfarb

            New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, they have authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington), The Wine Trail Mysteries (Kensington Lyrical Underground), and the Marcie Rayner Mysteries (Camel). In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit us at:

James E. Clapp

            When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb.  Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching. Visit the website at www.jceatonmysteries.com and the blog at www.jceatonauthor.com

Author Links – WebsiteBlogTime Travel MysteriesFacebook

Purchase Links – Amazon  –  B&N  – Kobo  – Google Books  – IndieBound


Also by J.C. Eaton

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Great Escapes Praise for Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
by J.C. Eaton

This mystery has everything mystery aficionados could want and more! A body in the yard, an adorable but smart dog, small-town secrets, and an amateur sleuth who has already made a name for herself as a nosy lady who seems to uncover the truth, no matter what.
~My Devotional Thoughts

Phee is a likable and smart character. I enjoy seeing her work to solve cases, especially alongside Marshall. Their relationship adds another layer to the story.
~View from the Birdhouse

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March 2 – My Devotional Thoughts – 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 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben – Early Review

Release Date – March 17, 2020


The Boy from the Woods
Suspense Thriller
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 17, 2020)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1538748142
ISBN-13: 978-1538748145
Kindle ASIN: B07TYBQJBM

A man with a mysterious past must find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away.

 

Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.

 

No one seems to take Naomi Pine’s disappearance seriously, not even her father-with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school. Hester asks Wilde-with whom she shares a tragic connection-to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.

 

Wilde can’t ignore an outcast in trouble, but in order to find Naomi he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions . . . secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I find out the release date for a new Harlan Coben book I rush to my reading calendar and make sure I keep a date open to review it. Then I anxiously wait for the book to pop up for review. Coben is my favorite author when it comes to suspense and he never disappoints.

The story starts out with Naomi Pine being bullied and soon after the teenager disappears. No one seems to care that the girl is missing except a classmate who feels guilty for not stepping up to defend her and even played along with some of the pranks played on her. He is worried so he reaches out to his grandmother, Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney. Hester then reaches out to Wilde, a man who was found in the woods near her home 30 years ago and was befriended by her son. Wilde feels he has things in common with Naomi and immediately begins his search. A search that could cost him. A search that could hurt others. A search that will reveal secrets that could destroy lives.


This story is absolutely fabulous!

If you have read other Coben thrillers the name Hester Crimstein may be familiar. She is a woman who is tough as nails but we now see she has a soft spot for her grandson. Until now she has been a supporting character that pops up here and there. Through this story, we finally get to know more about this sassy broad who comes to town to see what her grandson Matthew really knows about a girl he says is missing.

We also meet Wilde, a boy found living in the woods about 30 years ago when he was between 6-8 years old. He spoke English but didn’t know his name or anything about where he came from. He soon became known as Wilde. No family ever claimed him so he was placed in foster care and he excelled in school. Upon graduation, he joined the military excelling there as well.  That led to a post-military career in security and investigation.  But the man is clearly a loner and is happiest living in the woods that will always be his home.

The thing Mr. Coben really does well is create characters with many layers. Some like Hester’s are revealed over time. Other’s like Wilde, Naomi, and Matthew are peeled back over the course of the story but I always feel like he holds just a bit back in case he wants to revisit them again in the future. All the characters are interesting and held my attention and I wanted to know more.

He has wrapped these characters into a story that starts as a missing person case and quickly becomes so much more. Wilde truly was all in when it came to finding Naomi and went to great lengths to get answers. He runs into roadblocks but pushes through, literally at times, to get in people’s faces to find out what the know or what they did. A surprising twist changes the game and ratchets up the suspense and takes us in new directions.

Coben blends social and political themes, really highlighting how far the rich will go to keep their secrets. We are immersed in the dark side seeing people who have created a great public facade but who truly have no morals or ethics. It made my cringe in places.

Mr. Coben also shows us a softer side as characters deal with loss and grief while trying to move forward. Grieving the loss of a loved one is something I am very familiar with and he captured and told this part of the story in a heartwarming and believable way.  It was a nice little subplot alongside all the action and suspense.

As I said, this story is fabulous, it is filled with twists and thrills. I totally escaped into every aspect of the story. Well-plotted and written, with a perfect pace. The ending was a complete surprise, The Boy From The Woods is a complex story that was so compelling.  I loved it! My world completely stopped when I started reading. In fact, Harlan Coben is responsible for my latest book hangover because I stayed up until the early morning hours to finish this book.

The Boy From The Woods deserves more than 5 stars. It earns my Paradise Rating and a place on my Best Reads of 2020.

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 2020 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

Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series) by Jodi Rath #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
by Jodi Rath

About Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail


Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
3rd In Series
Setting – Santo Domingo
Publisher: MYS ED LLC; 1 edition (February 28, 2020)
Print Length ~140 Pages
Digital ASIN: B07YX8Y1VM

Welcome to Leaven—oh wait—Santo Domingo, where DEATH takes a DELICIOUS turn!

 

Family bombshells, sibling rivalries, blackmail, and a trip that could be deadly…and the new year has only just begun! After a disastrous Thanksgiving, Jolie Tucker is beside herself and feeling the walls closing in around her. She feels like she needs to escape Leavensport before she loses her mind. She unexpectedly gets her wish when her best friend and co-owner of Cast Iron Creations, Ava Martinez, gets a terrifying email revealing that her papa, Thiago, is in danger in Santo Domingo. The girls are off on a dangerous adventure in new territory. Will they be able to save the day before danger finds them?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jolie and Ava embark on a trip to Santo Domingo soon after Ava gets a frantic email from her father, Thiago. They don’t really know what they are flying into but Jolie really needed a break from Leavensport so she hopes it is just a family squabble that can be wrapped up quickly and she can enjoy a little vacay before heading home.

When they arrive Ava’s family is surprised, the last thing they wanted was her wrapped up in their troubles. The girls finally figure out that Thiago is being blackmailed and really does need their help and their money.  So while posing as tourists the girls try to find out who is behind the blackmail and why. Turns out acting like a tourist is a lot more dangerous than they imagined.

____

Jodi Rath has penned a fun little mystery and takes her characters and readers on a trip too!

Even with all the trouble they were facing it was great to get to know more about Ava’s family. Sure blackmail is the main mystery but the family dynamics and sibling rivalry are what really drew me in. They were not what I expected at all.

Never fear, Jolie may have been out of the country, but she was just a phone call away from her family. She had hoped the distance would give her time to process family secrets recently revealed but that didn’t happen. Sometimes funny, sometimes pushy, her family just couldn’t leave her alone. This helped keep the Leavensport characters on the pages but I felt a little sorry for Jolie.

The author delivers up plenty of twists and turns and action. I was flipping the pages so fast there should have steam billowing out of my Kindle.

Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail was a nice addition to this series. Entertaining characters, an exciting mystery, plenty of humor and a smidgen of romance give readers a charming little escape. I am looking forward to Cast Iron Stake Through the Heart set to be released on May 29.


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Jodi Rath

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links:  Webpage FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath Twitter @jodirathGoodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest

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February 26 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – 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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Tina Kashian – Author of On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery) #GuestPost / #Recipe / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks @TinaKashian1


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to have Tina Kashian visit today!

Hi Tina!

Hi Lori!

Thank you for featuring me as a guest on the Escape with Dollycas Blog to celebrate the release of “On the Lamb”!

I love to cook all types of cuisine. I grew up in a family-owned restaurant in New Jersey, and my Kebab Kitchen Mystery Series is set in a Mediterranean restaurant at the Jersey shore.

In On the Lamb, Lucy Berberian is a recovering lawyer who returns to Ocean Crest, NJ and her family’s restaurant, Kebab Kitchen. When Lucy is invited to a beach bonfire with friends, she’s excited for a night out. But when a disliked, local landlord shows up on the beach and gets in a screaming match with one of Lucy’s friends, Melanie Haven, owner of Haven Candies on the boardwalk, a fun evening turns stressful. And when the same landlord is found dead on the beach after choking on a piece of saltwater taffy, Melanie is in a sticky mess of trouble. It’s up to Lucy to solve the case before her friend gets skewered for a crime she didn’t commit.

Winter is the perfect time to experiment with soups. One of my favorite soup recipes is lentil soup with swiss chard. As a parent, it can be difficult to get my kids to eat certain vegetables, like swiss chard. Surprisingly, if it’s incorporated into soup, they eat it and even like it. I’m sharing a recipe we served at my family’s restaurant.

 

on the lamb Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup by Tina Kashian

This Mediterranean soup is super healthy and full of fiber. The swiss chard adds flavor without overpowering the dish.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Ingredients:

½ lb dry Lentils

2 tbsp olive Oil

1 tbsp butter

1 small onion finely chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 carrot chopped

1stalk celery chopped

3 cups swiss chard, washed, stemmed and chopped.

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

1 tsp salt or to taste

1 tbsp lemon or to taste

Put dry lentils in a bowl and check for small stones that can naturally occur.

In a soup pot, heat oil, and butter. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Stir and sauté over medium heat for 15 minutes or until onions are transparent. Add chicken broth, water, and lentils. Simmer for ½ hour. Add swiss chard, salt, and lemon. Simmer for another fifteen minutes or until lentils and swiss chard are tender. Add hot water if you prefer a thinner soup.

Thank you again and enjoy the soup!

~Tina

Thank you, Tina, for dropping by. 

Keep reading for my thoughts on Tina’s new book, On The Lamb. 

 

About On The Lamb


On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496726057
ISBN-13: 978-1496726056
Kindle ASIN: B07R8WVPMX

Lucy Berberian is busy preparing her family’s Mediterranean restaurant for Easter on the Jersey Shore—but a batch of sweets is to die for . . .

 

Bikers are thundering into the seaside town of Ocean Crest for the annual Bikers on the Beach gathering that raises funds for injured veterans. It’s a big boost for the Kebab Kitchen, as well as for local businesses like Melanie Haven’s candy shop. But Melanie is about to find herself in a sticky situation.

 

When Melanie and Lucy attend a beach bonfire, a local landlord is found dead after apparently choking on a piece of salt water taffy. Melanie, who was known to have a contentious relationship with the victim, is quickly skewered as the prime suspect. But Lucy is determined to prove her friend’s innocence before the real killer coasts free . . .

 

Recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s almost Easter in Ocean Crest and Lucy is excited about getting her family together. She is also busy with the family restaurant and business has picked up for most of the businesses in town with the annual Bikers on the Beach event that raising money for injured vets. Part of the event is a huge bonfire on the beach. Lucy was invited by her friend Michael who is the manager of the bike shop next to her family’s restaurant. She takes along her BFF Katie and their friend Melanie.  Gilbert Lubinski, local landlord of many apartments and businesses tries to ruin the party when he barges in to remind Melanie that her rent is due and to remember it has been increased.

A short time later someone screams. People rush to the sound and find Melanie standing over Gilbert’s dead body. With the earlier public altercation, a piece of taffy found in the victim’s throat, and the one finding the body, Melanie finds herself at the top of the suspect list. Lucy knows her friend is innocent and she is going to prove it.


This is such an entertaining series!

Lucy’s parents have decided to take a step back from the family business, The Kebab Kitchen,  and leave the day to day management in her hands. Her mom still pops in to keep up with Lucy’s cooking lessons and to approve the head chef Azad Zakarian menus. Her dad likes to keep his hand in with the inventory and other office tasks. Lucy knows change is hard for them but she has had a few minor victories so she is fine with them taking their time. She also takes a big step within these pages that coincides nicely with the murder investigation she and Katie have got themselves wrapped up in.  Ms. Kashian has created such genuine characters. I am always excited to see what they are all up to.

Kashian has also introduced some great new characters this time which include Eloisa Lubinski and her Shih Tzu, Cupid. Eloisa stole my heart immediately. I wish I had half her spunk and energy. Her nephew Gilbert is our victim and with his death, all his secrets were revealed leading to many more suspects. including a couple of bikers, his business partner, and his almost ex-wife. A few more come out of the woodwork when Lucy uncovers his little side business. All these characters evolve as the story continues some in very meaningful ways.

Talk about red herrings, this story is full of them. I loved it even though I fell for most of them and was caught totally by surprise at the reveal.  I really enjoy the way Lucy and Katie sleuth together. When one drops the ball the other can pick it up and weave a tale like a pro. They also don’t give up. The author sets a brisk pace and gives us plenty of drama and action. There are also some truly funny moments too.

So much of the story takes place on the boardwalk. Lucy’s daily runs helped her sort through the clues and she also gets a little advice when she stops to visit psychic Madame Vega and learns something when she finds herself at the tattoo parlor. All this goes on with a loudspeaker blaring ” Watch the tramcar please!” as the tramcar goes up and down the boardwalk. Ms. Kashian really sets the scene wonderfully, not only on the boardwalk but at the Kebab Kitchen, the beach, Melanie’s candy shop, and all around Ocean Crest.

On The Lamb has everything I look for in a cozy mystery, engaging and entertaining characters, a mystery I can sink my teeth into, and just a little romance and humor to balance everything out.

Speaking of sinking my teeth into, there are several recipes in the back of the book. I have never eaten Armenian, Lebanese, or Greek food with the exception of a gyro back in my college days. The descriptions of the food in this series do make my mouth water. This small-town girl may have to step out of her comfort zone and give these recipes a try.

I am already looking forward to my next visit to the Jersey Shore because they are always some really great things happening there along with a little bit of murder.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Hummus and Homicide here
and Stabbed in the Baklava here and One Feta In The Grave here

 

About Tina Kashian

Tina Kashian is a bestselling author, an attorney, and a mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and the first book in her Kebab Kitchen Mediterranean mystery series, Hummus and Homicide, spent six weeks on the B&N bestseller list. Please visit her website at www.tinakashian.com to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!

Author Links  Website   Facebook  Twitter  Instagram   Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble –  Kobo –   Google BooksiBooks

Praise for On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

An intricate mystery, an abundance of motives, a large dollop of intriguing characters, and a pinch of romance blended with a hint of salt from the Jersey Shore blend together to make ON THE LAMB a fun heartwarming story.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Ms. Kashin did a fantastic job of stumping me that I just had to give this book five stars. I loved every minute of reading this book.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

On the Lamb is a charming cozy mystery that will have you wanting to visit the Jersey shore.
~The Avid Reader

A family-centric crime series with lots of delicious food and plenty of twists, turns, and red herrings.
~Laura’s Interests

Another great cozy with likable relatable to me characters but what I enjoyed most was the closeness of family and also that the “who did it” wasn’t so easily recognized because almost everybody was a suspect!
~Gimme the Scoop Reviews

Well plotted with many twists and turns, this strong, superbly written mystery gave me the run around as I tried in vain to help protagonist, Lucy Berberian, solve the case and clear her friend.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

The author combined the perfect amount of mystery, humor, and romance to create a great addition to the series. As always, I love the author’s personal touches, such as her family recipes and the fact that she took some of her favorite memories and included them in the book.
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

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On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please Visit All the Stops. 
February 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
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March 4 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
March 6 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
March 7 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 7 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

 

 

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery) by Christin Brecher #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks

Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
by Christin Brecher

About Murder Makes Scents


Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721411
ISBN-13: 978-1496721419
Digital ASIN: B07R6P9Z8M

Stella Wright loves creating candles at her Nantucket store—and she also has a burning passion for justice. Now, after visiting a perfume conference, she must solve a vial crime . . .

Stella and her globe-trotting mom, Millie, have come home from a perfume industry conference in Paris, where their trip was marred by witnessing the stabbing death of a young man. It’s a relief for Stella to be back on her picturesque island, with the comforting company of her cat, Tinker. But lingering danger may have followed them back across the ocean.

After someone breaks into her candle store, the Wick & Flame, Stella starts feeling spooked. And just as things threaten to ignite, Millie suffers a blow to the head. Stella receives an anonymous note claiming that her mother smuggled a secret formula out of France—and threatening her life if it isn’t returned. Now Stella’s picked up the scent of a cold-hearted criminal and an intriguing puzzle, and things are about to get wicked . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Stella Wright met up with her mom, Millie in Paris for a perfume conference. Right before Millie was supposed to speak a young man was stabbed right in front of them. After waiting to give the authorities the statements they just make their flight back to the states. Stella, happy to be home on Nantucket. Peter meets the ferry and he brought her cat Tinker along. Millie is allergic to cats so while she is staying with Stella, Tinker will be hanging out at her store, The Wick & Flame.

Stella finds herself spending the night at her store too, antsy about the murder she witnessed but also because it is impossible to sleep with Millie’s snoring. When she arrives she thinks that Tinker has been a very naughty kitty and made a huge mess. But then she realizes someone has broken into her store looking for something. Just as she is falling asleep, she hears the bell on her door and realizes she and Tinker hadn’t been alone.

When Millie gets injured in a freaky happenstance she ends up in the hospital and Stella learns someone from France has followed them home, Millie has something extremely important that they want. In an effort to save her mother Stella starts her quest to find the missing item and a killer. She is amazed by where her investigation leads.


Christin Brecher brings some international flair to this compelling mystery. This time Scents play a leading role.

The murder takes place in Paris but the majority of the story takes place on Nantucket. The author’s descriptive detail brings both settings clearly into focus.

The core characters we met in Murder’s No Votive Confidence are back. Police Officer Andy remains Stella’s best friend while Peter has moved into the boyfriend zone. I really enjoy the banter between Stella and her mom. Millie scent talents are just amazing and Stella’s are pretty darn good too. This is important because their noses can save an international incident from happening.

We do meet several new characters and most of them become suspects. Stella really doesn’t trust anyone new to the island, including Millie’s high school friends that have come together for a reunion. She is also concerned when a boarding school teacher they met in Paris unexpectedly shows up on their doorstep. Stella is troubled by another woman she noticed when they arrived on the ferry that was acting suspiciously too. There is even a mystery man lurking around town, Stella definitely has her work cut out for her. I enjoyed the way all the characters, old and new developed over the course of the story.

The mystery this time was not typical for a cozy mystery and a little unbelievable at times but it sure was fun to read and follow Stella through her grand adventure. Intrigue, action, and an elusive killer all come together tempered with a generous amount of humor to make this story so entertaining.  It is full of unexpected twists and is very fast-paced.

Murder Makes Scents is well-plotted and written and an excellent follow-up to Murder’s No Votive Confidence. The international espionage theme may be a little over the top, but for me, it was a Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Christin Brecher

Christin Brecher was born and raised in NYC, where her family and many childhood friends still reside. As such, she feels she is as much of a small-town girl as any. The idea to write the Nantucket Candle Maker series sprang from her life-long connection to the small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Spending summers there as a child, Christin read from her family’s library of mystery novels, after which she began to imagine stories inspired by the island’s whaling heyday, its notoriously foggy nights, and during long bike rides to the beach. After many years in marketing for the publishing industry, followed by years raising her children, Murder’s No Votive Confidence is Christin’s debut novel. Visit her at www.christinbrecher.com.
Author Links
Website – Facebook –Instagram – GoodReads – BookBub 
Purchase Links
Amazon – B&N – Kobo – BAM – 
IndieBound – Hudson Booksellers – Google Play

Coming August 25, 2020

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Great Escapes Praise for Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
by Christin Brecher

Murder Makes Scents is an enjoyable and interesting read . . . Wonderful character portrayal . . .
~The Book Decoder

Brecher’s knowledge and love for the island convey the vividness of setting with such places as Brant Point, jetties beach, the village’s cobblestone streets, and the historical Jared Coffin House. Stella, owner of the Wick & Flame store, is easy to connect with.
~The Power of Words

A wonderful second outing for Stella and Nantucket Island! With thrills and suspects aplenty this makes for a great read!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

Murder Makes Sense is an engaging cozy mystery with a funny formula, mold making masterclass, curious clues, a perplexing prowler, and a comical cat.
~The Avid Reader

I started reading this and could not stop!! . . . a fantastic cozy with just the right mix of normal and mystery making for a wonderful read perfect for cozy fans. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

. . . I was totally engrossed in this story, fantastical or not and really enjoyed the wonderful Nantucket setting and the characters.
~eBook addicts

Murder Makes Sense is a fast-paced, entertaining story replete with daring chases, mysterious suspects, and unforeseen plot twists.
~Book Club Librarian

A murder in Paris brings mayhem to Nantucket in MURDER MAKES SCENTS. This scent fueled mystery had me suspecting everyone adding to my enjoyment and leaving me wondering what adventures Stella will find herself involved in next!
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Murder Makes Scents is entertaining and well-plotted, with colorful characters and a vibrant setting. The murder mystery is more multi-dimensional than it first appears – and I really enjoyed following Stella on the quest to save the day.
~Reading Is My SuperPower

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 24 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
February 24 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
February 24 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
February 25 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 25 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
February 25 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 26 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 26 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW
February 26 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
February 26 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 27 – eBook addicts – REVIEW
February 27 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 27 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
February 28 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
February 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
February 28 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 29 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 29 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
March 1 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW, CANDLE TIPS PAGE
March 1 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
March 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 1 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 2 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW
March 2 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 2 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW*
March 3 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 3 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 4 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
March 4 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 4 – My Reading Journeys – 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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

In An Instant by Suzanne Redfearn #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @SuzanneRedfearn

In an Instant
by Suzanne Redfearn

About In An Instant

In An Instant
Thriller/Women’s Fiction
Setting – California
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (March 1, 2020)
Paperback: 331 pages
ISBN-10: 1542006589
ISBN-13: 978-1542006583
Digital ASIN: B07NVD1276

A deeply moving story of carrying on even when it seems impossible.

 

Life is over in an instant for sixteen-year-old Finn Miller when a devastating car accident tumbles her and ten others over the side of a mountain. Suspended between worlds, she watches helplessly as those she loves struggle to survive.

 

Impossible choices are made, decisions that leave the survivors tormented with grief and regret. Unable to let go, Finn keeps vigil as they struggle to reclaim their shattered lives. Jack, her father, who seeks vengeance against the one person he can blame other than himself; her best friend, Mo, who bravely searches for the truth as the story of their survival is rewritten; her sister Chloe, who knows Finn lingers and yearns to join her; and her mother, Ann, who saved them all but is haunted by her decisions. Finn needs to move on, but how can she with her family still in pieces?

 

Heartrending yet ultimately redemptive, In an Instant is a story about the power of love, the meaning of family, and carrying on…even when it seems impossible.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I read the synopsis for this book I knew I had to read it and OMG I am glad I did.

A long weekend and the Miller family along with neighbors that are like family, Finn’s best friend Mo, Chloe’s boyfriend Vance and Bingo, the family dog all load into the Miller Mobile to go to Big Bear for skiing, snowboarding, and family fun.

They arrive at their cabin to unload and unpack but soon hit the road again to go to Grizzly Manor for dinner. The snow started falling while they were inside and quickly turns into a full-blown blizzard.

Along the way, they stop to pick up Kyle whose car is now stranded in a snowbank. It is slow going but then a buck in the road has Finn’s dad hitting the brakes and the camper starts to slide and tumble over the side of the mountain.

Finn doesn’t survive, but she can see and hear everything. She is trapped between heaven and hell on earth as she watches her family deal with her death and try to save themselves.

_____

The story is told from Finn’s point of view so readers are able to see and feel everything that unfolds. The depth of each character evolves as we see how they react to the horrendous tragedy. It is a very emotional tale and I was completely riveted to the pages. Powerful, gripping and revealing.

I think this story really hit me in the heart because I have lost a child. Different circumstances but I always feel like he is with me every day even after almost 5 years. I will say I dealt with my grief and still deal with my grief differently that the characters in this story but everyone handles loss in their own way.

When I reached the end of the book I wiped the tears from eyes and read the Author’s Note and learned this book is based on a true memory she had. Thankfully no one died then but my tears started flowing all over again. She told this story in such an amazing way. As a reader, I could feel the cold, my heart ached with the pain, and anger flared more than once.

Ms. Redfearn also included a special needs child in this story. Again, my emotions rolled by the way this child was treated. Heartwarming to fierce anger to heartbreaking. His part of the story has stuck with me almost more than Finn’s.

In An Instant is a story that will make you think and may even leave you breathless at times.

This quote is one I want to keep and maybe have it etched permanently somewhere:

“Reach for the stars or the moon or another universe altogether, and shine so bright you blind everyone around you, and though I am gone, carry me with you, but only as lightness and never as weight.”

I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn is the award-winning author of three novels: Hush Little BabyNo Ordinary Life, and In an Instant. In addition to being an author, she’s also an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, where she and her husband own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza and Beer. You can find her at her website, SuzanneRedfearn.com, on Facebook at SuzanneRedfearnAuthor, or on Twitter @SuzanneRedfearn.

Purchase Links – Amazon  B&N 

Also by this Author

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 26 – Laura`s interests – SPOTLIGHT
February 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
February 28 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 29 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
March 1 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – eBook addicts – REVIEW
March 3 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 4 – A Chick Who Reads  REVIEW
March 5 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 7 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
March 9 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW  
March 10 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – 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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday 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

Cozy Wednesday – featuring – Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery) by Maria DiRico #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to share my thoughts with you today about
Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico!

Note there are several recipes in this book and
you can find a few of them being shared on other tour stops! 

Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

About Here Comes the Body


Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 page
ISBN-10: 1496725344
ISBN-13: 978-1496725349
Digital ASIN: B07R8WYLSC

After her philandering husband’s boat went down, newly single Mia Carina went back to Astoria, the bustling Queens neighborhood of her youth. Living with her Nonna and her oversized cat, Doorstop, she’s got a whole new life—including some amateur sleuthing . . .

 

Mia is starting work at Belle View, her father’s catering hall, a popular spot for weddings, office parties, and more—despite the planes that occasionally roar overhead on their way to LaGuardia and rattle the crystal chandelier. Soon she’s planning a bachelor party for a less-than-gentlemanly groom. But it goes awry when the gigantic cake is wheeled in and a deadly surprise is revealed . . .

 

Since some of her family’s associates are on the shady side, the NYPD wastes no time in casting suspicion on Mia’s father. Now, Mia’s going to have to use all her street smarts to keep him out of Rikers Island . . .

Italian recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Readers are introduced to Mia Carina and her family. She has come home to Queens after her being cleared in her husband’s suspicious death with her cat lovingly named Doorstop. They have moved into her Nonna’s upper apartment. She will be working with her father, former mob enforcer, Ravello Carina, at a business he recently acquired. Belle View is a hot spot for weddings, bachelor parties, and family reunions. Even local support groups meet there.

Mia’s first event is a bachelor party complete with a stripper popping out of a cake. But the woman inside the cake does not “pop” as planned, in fact, the woman inside the cake is not the woman hired for the party but someone who accused Ravello of not paying his debt to her the day before and she won’t be “popping” anywhere. Someone left her dead body along with a check for a million dollars signed by Ravello inside the cake.

The police think the case is a slam-dunk but Mia is determined to prove her dad’s innocence. When a second body is found behind Belle View Mia knows she has to pull out all the stops to keep her dad safe and the business running, even if she needs to reach out to her extended “family”.

______

The underlying theme of this series is the mob and its connections to Mia’s family. I thought this may be too heavy of a topic for a cozy mystery but Maria DiRico makes it work with a light tone and a lot of humor, although some of the innuendo does tip over the line just a bit.

The author brings us an Italian family with connections. Mia, glad to be home but not totally sure if her New York family took care of her creep of a husband, Adam Grosso, or not. She was cleared to leave Florida and she did. Working for her father isn’t going to be easy, not because of the mob, but because of the over the top clients and their loony requests. Mia showed more patience than I ever could. She comes up with some great ideas too.

Moving in with her grandmother Elisabetta feels right even though most of her furniture looks like it came from a bordello. Her dad has spent enough time behind bars and promises the Belle View is a legit business. Mia’s brother Posi, is still behind bars but is able to give her some advice as she investigates. She reconnects with her old friend Jamie and old feelings start to immerge until she learns he has a girlfriend. Jaime’s dad is high up in the “organization” though and she just may need his help.

Being the first book in a new series, we get to know the main characters pretty well, but there is a lot of room for growth. My favorite being Nonna Elisabetta. A true Italian believing food can solve any problem. She makes sure Mia is always well fed. She had me grinning ear to ear.

I was captivated by Mia and Jamie’s relationship and am looking forward to how it develops. Will, there be a real romance or will they commit to the “friend zone”? Jamie does remind me a little bit of my son, same name, different spelling 😉

Mia is a smart sleuth. It was fun to tag along with her as she dealt with twist after twist. Sometimes the debut book in a series has a less complex mystery to solve while taking time to fully introduce the cast of characters. That is not the case here at all. The mystery was complex. Every time I thought I had everything all figured out there was a twist that proved me wrong.

The subplots were blended wonderfully into the story. I really appreciated Mia’s huge heart as she dealt with a real estate predator. Nonna’s neighborhood sounded delightful and close-knit and the realtor was really ticking off both me and Mia. Some of Mia’s comebacks were just priceless.  The author descriptions of the area painted clear pictures of the homes, right down to the sculptures in the yards and their holiday decorations.

Here Comes the Body has this series off to a fine start. The characters are memorable and feel very true to life. The mystery was well-plotted and interesting with a large dose of humor. There are also some yummy sounding Italian recipes at the back of the book. It truly was an enjoyable getaway!


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico

 

Maria DiRico was born in Queens, New York, and raised in Queens and Westchester County. She is a first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side. On her father’s side, her grandfather was a low-level Jewish mobster who disappeared in 1933 under mysterious circumstances. She also writes the award-winning, bestselling Cajun Country Mystery series under the name Ellen Byron.

Author Links – WebsiteFacebook Twitter

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 24 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT
February 24 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 24 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 25 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST  
February 25 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
February 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 26 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 27 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
February 27 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 27 – Jane Reads– GUEST POST
February 28 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 28 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
February 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 29 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW  
March 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
March 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
March 2 – That’s What She’s Reading – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
March 2 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW, EXCERPT
March 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, RECIPE
March 3 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 4 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

 

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Stayin’ Alive (The Country Club Murders) by Julie Mulhern #Review

Kindle Copy Available Today!


Stayin’ Alive (The Country Club Murders)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Missouri
Publisher: J & M Press (January 30, 2020)
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 1732755914
ISBN-13: 978-1732755918
Publisher: J & M Press (February 25, 2020)
Print Length: 270 pages
Kindle ASIN: B082RFCMY6

Springtime. Love is in the air. So is murder.

 

When Ellison Russell, reluctant finder of bodies, chairs a gala in conjunction with the museum’s Chinese funerary exhibit, she expects disaster. So, she’s not remotely surprised when a body turns up.

 

Ellison is willing to leave the investigation to the police till an attempt is made on her life.

 

Now she’s juggling evading a killer, her aunt’s overly-amorous beau, her dog’s new love interest, and Mother’s displeasure.

 

With bodies piling up, if Ellison’s not careful, staying alive might be impossible.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Tap into your inner BeeGees –
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breaking and everybody shaking, people
Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive

and sit back and prepare to have your funny bone tickled and your mind tested by the latest Country Club mystery from Julie Mulhern.

Ellison Russell is in charge of the museum’s Chinese Exhibit Gala and she has vowed to her mother there will be no dead bodies found this time. Well, when she sneaks away for a few minutes with her boyfriend, Detective Anarchy Jones, that plan goes terribly awry. They find a body in one of the closed exhibits. No matter how much money Ellison has raised the body will be the only thing people focus on. Ellison agrees to stay out of the investigation and let Anarchy handle it.  She does a great job at that until the killer comes after her. If she plans on Stayin’ Alive she needs to find out who is trying to take her down.

____

Julie Mulhern is one of my favorite authors and I wait as patiently as possible for each new book. She never disappoints. What really makes these stories sing is the genuine characters and their fantastic dialogue.

Protagonist Ellison gets stronger in each story. She still has her mother who gets upset about every body she finds (like she plans to find them), that Anarchy is not right for her, the clothes she wears, the friends she hangs out with, well you get the point, but Ellison is learning to deal with the overbearing woman and that makes me happy. Her relationship with Anarchy is progressing in an interesting way and that makes me happy too. This time her Aunt Sis played a major role and she was my favorite character.

All the other characters I love have returned too and some really bring the funny.

“Sorry, I’m late!” Daisy burst into the card room like a whirlwind. Her slip showed. She needed a comb. A lollipop and multiple tufts of hair stuck to her sweater (the candy on the sleeve, the hair everywhere). “I’ve had a morning.”

“Sit.” Libba held out her wine glass.

Daisy sat, took the glass, gulped, and handed it back. “Thank you.”

“Which kid, and what did he do?” asked Jinx.

Daisy closed her eyes. “How bad can it be?”

Libba didn’t have children. She’d never experienced bad.

“David snuck into our bathroom. He knows it’s off-limits, ever since the lipstick incident.” The lipstick incident had translated into new wallpaper for most of the house. “He stole my razor from the shower and—” She paused for a shuddering breath.

“And?” I asked. One of Daisy’s offspring running loose with a razor was a terrifying proposition.

“He shaved the cat.”

“He what?” Jinx’s brows touched her hairline.

“The cat fell asleep on his lap and he shaved off its fur.” Daisy rubbed her face. “There’s cat hair everywhere. And the poor cat, it’s hiding under the bed.”

“He shaved the whole cat?”

“The side that was exposed.”

“So the other side still has hair?” Jinx’s mouth twitched.

“Yes. The poor cat is humiliated.”

“It’ll grow back.”

That wouldn’t comfort the cat.

In addition to the humor, Ms. Mulhern writes a complex mystery filled with intrigue and mayhem. The pace is fast. Ellison is involved up to her neck. Reliant on her friend Mr. Coffee, Aggie to keep the house in order, Anarchy doing his best to keep her safe, Grace sometimes being the adult in the room,  her friends being there to bounce ideas off of, and an unexpected guest to keep her on her toes, Ellison does her best to solve more than one mystery.

Mulhern is not afraid to fictionalize heavy topics to shine a light but give her readers an entertaining story as well. Fabulous twists kept me totally engrossed and guessing right up until the end.

I love stepping back to the ’70s and hanging out with the ladies who lunch and play bridge. Julie Mulhern has done her research and brings the time to life in her own unique way.

I highly recommend every book in this series and her Poppy Fields Adventures too. Stayin’ Alive was a Perfect Escape and I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

 


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

stayin alive

Read my Reviews for:
The Deep End
Guaranteed to Bleed
Clouds In My Coffee
Send In The Clowns
Watching The Detectives
Cold As Ice
Back Stabbers
Shadow Dancing
Telephone Line

The Rest of the Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:


Also by Julie Mulhern

Coming March 31!


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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyPub #NetGalley

The Antidote for Everything
The Antidote for Everything
Women’s Fiction/Friendship/Medical
Publisher: Berkley (February 18, 2020)
Hardcover: 384 pages
Setting – South Carolina / Amsterdam
ISBN-10: 1984802836
ISBN-13: 978-1984802835
Kindle ASIN: B07RYHMRTZ

In this whip-smart and timely novel from acclaimed author Kimmery Martin, two doctors travel a surprising path when they must choose between treating their patients and keeping their jobs.

 

Georgia Brown’s profession as a urologist requires her to interact with plenty of naked men, but her romantic prospects have fizzled. The most important person in her life is her friend Jonah Tsukada, a funny, empathetic family medicine doctor who works at the same hospital in Charleston, South Carolina and who has become as close as family to her.

 

Just after Georgia leaves the country for a medical conference, Jonah shares startling news. The hospital is instructing doctors to stop providing medical care for transgender patients. Jonah, a gay man, is the first to be fired when he refuses to abandon his patients. Stunned by the predicament of her closest friend, Georgia’s natural instinct is to fight alongside him. But when her attempts to address the situation result in incalculable harm, both Georgia and Jonah find themselves facing the loss of much more than their careers.

Dollycas’s Interests

In The Antidote for Everything, we meet Georgia Brown, yes like the song. She is unique in her profession as a urologist which means she sees a lot of naked men and takes care of some of their very important parts. Jonah Tsukada is her best friend, a family medicine doctor and a gay man that provides care for transgender and others of the LBGTQ community. Some of his patients are Georgia’s patients as well. Jonah was disowned by his family when he came out. Georgia was raised by her father, her mother left them behind when she was just 5 years old. Her father has since passed away. Georgia and Jonah are now each other’s family.

Georgia and Jonah work at a hospital founded by a fundamentalist megachurch. That hospital has now decided to stop their doctors from providing care for their LBGTQ patients and Jonah fears he will soon be fired. All this unfolds just as Georgia is set to leave for a conference in Amsterdam.

Mid-flight there is a page for a doctor to help a passenger in distress. She reaches back to her med school training to diagnose and treat the man. Mark McInnis, an American working in Amsterdam is very grateful and offers to buy her a drink when the plane lands. She is immediately attracted to Mark and the feelings are mutual. Her time is then spent between her conference, time with Mark, and worrying about what is happening with Jonah back in the States.  Rumors are flying and there is even talk of missing drugs. Georgia is pulled between her new romance and helping her best friend.

_____

Ms. Martin has taken on a hot topic in the world today. That line between religious beliefs and a doctor’s oath to do no harm. Working at a hospital founded by a megachurch I don’t think the doctors should have been surprised by the decisions made but the author uses the actions as a vehicle to tell a great story of the lengths people will go to for their friends.

The characters Martin has created are genuine and the dialogue is snappy and true to life. Sometimes it is pretty funny too. Georgia is a strong, fiery redhead who doesn’t back down from a challenge. Mark really came to life within these pages. He understood Georgia and Jonah’s relationship and wanted to help. Jonah becomes a fan of Mark’s too.

Martin pursues a very creative plotline that I completely escaped right into. The pacing is perfect with twists that bring out a true mystery element as Gloria stands by her friend through thick and thin. The romance subplot becomes much more as the story moves forward. There were several emotional moments throughout the story. The way patients were treated first made me sad but then quickly made me angry, I felt the same for the way Jonah was treated. Again sadness and anger raised is head as more of what was actually going on was revealed.

A bonus to the book is that we traveled to Amsterdam and there was a hugely hilarious scene that truly had me laughing out loud. We also were able to do a little virtual sightseeing which is always fun.

Kimmery Martin brings all these elements together to give readers a very powerful story. Well-written and plotted the story left me thinking about how important our voices are in this world and the lengths can go to for our friends. The actions the hospital took are happening more than we know and Martin presents the issues in an entertaining way without going too far or in a preachy way. I will get a little preachy myself. Equality is something we should all want and discrimination is not okay.

The Antidote for Everything is a compelling read and I recommend it highly. I reviewed Martin’s debut novel, The Queen of Hearts in 2018 and the last line of my review was “I am excited by this author and can’t wait to see what she writes next.” Well her second novel is even better. She even has characters from that book make a cameo appearance in this one. Again, I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of The Queen of Hearts here

The Antidote for Everything Kimmery MartinAbout the Author
Kimmery Martin is an emergency medicine doctor, born and raised in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. A lifelong literary nerd, she reviews books, interviews authors, and works extensively with the library foundation in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she resides with her husband and three young children.

 

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Posted in 2020 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 Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris (Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series) by Jennifer S. Alderson – @JSAauthor – Great Escapes Book Tour

death by baguette

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to share my thoughts on Death by Baguette by Jennifer S. Alderson today!

death by baguette

Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)
by Jennifer S. Alderson

About Death By Baguette:
A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris

death by baguette
Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – France
Publisher: Traveling Life Press (February 7, 2020)
Print Length: 178 Pages
Digital ASIN: B0819YNSJL

Paris—the city of love, lights … and murder? Join tour guide Lana Hansen as she escorts five couples on an unforgettable Valentine-themed vacation to France! Unfortunately it will be the last trip for one passenger…

 

Lana Hansen’s future is looking bright. She has money in her bank account, a babysitter for her cat, and even a boyfriend. Regrettably she won’t get to celebrate Valentine’s Day with her new beau, Chad. Instead, she will be leading a lovers-only tour in France. Luckily for Lana, her best friend, Willow, and her partner, Jane, will be joining her.

 

Things go downhill when Lana’s new boyfriend shows up in Paris for her tour—with his wife. Chad is not the website developer he claimed to be, but a famous restaurant critic whose love of women rivals his passion for food.

After Chad drops dead during a picnic under the Eiffel Tower, a persistent French detective becomes convinced that he was poisoned. And the inspector’s sights are set on several members of the tour—including Lana!

 

While escorting her group through the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, the grand gardens of Versailles, and the historic Marché des Enfants Rouges market, Lana must figure out who really killed Chad before she has to say bonjour to prison and adieu to her freedom.

 

Introducing Lana Hansen, tour guide, reluctant amateur sleuth, and star of the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series. Join Lana as she leads tourists and readers to fascinating cities around the globe on intriguing adventures that, unfortunately for Lana, often turn deadly.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What could be better than Valentine’s Day in Paris?

Lana Hansen has guided a few tours since New Year’s Day in Hungary. She is also dating again but Dotty Thompson, her landlord and the owner of Wanderlust Tours has scheduled her to take a group of five married couples to Paris for Valentine’s Day and train a new guide. Boyfriend Chad also has to be out of town on business anyway. She is thrilled that her friend Willow will be on the tour. Willow surprised her partner, Jane by booking them on the trip.

After the long flight, Lana can’t wait to see the sights. She is shocked though to see Chad in the hotel lobby . . . with his wife . . . and they are one of the couples on HER tour!

Cursing the online dating app she decides to let the other guide handle Chad but finds it is impossible to steer clear of him with such a small group. She also learns he is a restaurant critic, not a website developer as he had led her to believe, and has left a lot of women in his wake. He also quickly rubs many in the group the wrong way with his critiques and pronouncements.

Soon after the tour group sits down for a picnic near the Eiffel Tower, Chad keels over dead, poisoned. Texts on his phone reveal his relationship with Lana and land her at the lop of the suspect list. She is joined by a few other members of the group.

Until they try to lock her up, the tour must go on. While visiting some breathtaking museums and gardens Lana is on high alert to find the real killer . . . but the killer has her in their sights. Can she survive this trip to the city of lights or will this be her final Wanderlust tour?

____

Just like in the first book of this series the author takes her readers on a wonderful literary vacay with a great mystery to solve. She creates such imagery with her words. I have never been to Paris but I could easily visualize every step the characters took and every place they visited. Imagining the food was so easy too.

Lana is a terrific amateur sleuth, she is savvy and smart and has mastered the art of eavesdropping very well. She also doesn’t give up. Because she was an investigative reporter she has friends in the right places and the skills needed to ferret out a killer. She also has the trust of her boss to do the right thing, Dotty also has the right connections when trouble arises for her employees and guests.

Ms. Alderson also knows how to serve up a terrific story in less than 200 pages. Because the murder takes place later in the story we have time to get to know her characters. They are very well-developed for a novel of this length.  Sadly all the couples were dealing with something and had come on the trip for a chance to set things right. I really liked the way Lana tuned into each couple to make the experience special for each of them, especially after the murder with a killer in their midst.

Death By Baguette features a beautiful city, decadent meals, interesting characters, and a fun mystery. I was captivated by the entire story. With the “Travel Can Be Murder” theme, the possibilities are endless. I hope this series continues for a long time.

The third book in the series, Death by Windmill, will take readers to the Netherlands. It will be released on May 22, 2020. My virtual bags are already packed.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death on the Danube here

 

About Jennifer S. Alderson

death by baguette Jennifer S. Alderson

Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before settling in the Netherlands. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

Jennifer’s love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning mystery series—the Zelda Richardson Mysteries and Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries—and standalone stories.

Author Links

Website – Goodreads  –Facebook – Twitter  –LinkedIn – BookBub

Purchase Link – Amazon

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death by baguette
Praise for Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)
by Jennifer S. Alderson

This was such a great read and one I can see becoming cozy mystery movies.
~TBR Book Blog

Death By Baguette by Jennifer S. Alderson is a magnificent mystery. Ms. Alderson continually surprises me with motives and means of murder.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 

February 17 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW
February 17 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
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February 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 18 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
February 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
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February 20 – eBook addicts – REVIEW
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February 21 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 22 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW  
February 23 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
February 23 – Diane Reviews Books – 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.”