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

The Malt in Our Stars (A Literary Pub Mystery) by Sarah Fox #Review @KensingtonBooks @TheWriteFox

The Malt in Our Stars (A Literary Pub Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Vermont
Publisher: Kensington (November 24, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718704
ISBN-13: 978-1496718709
Kindle ASIN: B085LTJ164

There’s some shady business in Shady Creek, Vermont, this spring—in the third mystery by USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox featuring pub owner and amateur sleuth Sadie Coleman . . .

Sadie is delighted to have booked famous romantic suspense novelist Linnea Bliss for an event at The Inkwell, her literary-themed pub, housed in a renovated grist mill. The author and her personal assistant Marcie are staying at Shady Creek Manor, a grand historical hotel that was once a private mansion and is rumored to still hold hidden treasure somewhere within its walls.

But the hotel’s storied past is nothing compared to its tragic present when Marcie plummets to her death from an open window on the third floor. After Sadie discovers signs of a struggle in the room, it’s clear that someone assisted the assistant out the window. But Marcie is new in town—who would have a motive to kill her?

In between pulling pints and naming literary-themed cocktails, Sadie takes it on herself to solve the case, wondering if the crime is connected to the vandalized vehicles of a film crew in town to do a feature on local brewer Grayson Blake, with whom Sadie shares a strong flirtation. Or could the poor woman’s defenestration have anything to do with the legendary treasure? As Shady Creek Manor prepares for a May Day masquerade ball, Sadie is determined to unmask the killer—but when she uncorks a whole lot of trouble, will she meet a bitter end?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to the Inkwell, a literary-themed pub owned by Sadie Coleman. Sadie is excited to host her first truly literary event, a book signing by famous romantic suspense novelist Linnea Bliss. The author and her assistant are staying nearby at Shady Creek Manor. The former private mansion has quite a history and some people believe there is a treasure hidden somewhere on the premises.

The book signing went great but the next day the author’s assistant falls to her death from a third-floor window at Shady Creek Manor. Sadie had been having lunch with Linnea Bliss and was leaving when she heard the young woman’s screams. Arriving at the scene just after she hits the pavement. Sadie puts on her sleuthing hat and decides to check out the room on the third floor before the police arrive. She knows immediately that fall was no accident. Linnea’s assistant was murdered. They were just visiting Shady Creek, why would anyone want to murder an author’s personal assistant? Sadie is determined to find out. Maybe it has something to do with the film crew from Craft Nation, a reality TV show, in town filming at Grayson Blake’s brewery. Maybe a fan of the author took things to the extreme. Or could it have been someone looking for the hidden treasure?


I love the setting of this series. A pub full of books, a menu full of literary-themed foods and drink, all reached by going over a little footbridge over Shady Creek. It would definitely be my happy place. Growing up my parents owned a tavern so I know the ins and outs. None of us kids wanted to take it over so it was sold but had I thought I could turn it into a place like the Inkwell, I may have changed my mind. Sadie has really taken her theme and ran with it. The food and drink all have names derived from popular books, like the Malt in My Stars.

Sadie is making herself right at home in Shady Creek and her pub appears to be a hit. She has found herself wrapped up in a few murder investigations. Her curious nature is well suited to her amateur sleuthing. The author has surrounded her protagonist with a strong supporting cast. Her Aunt Gilda owns a beauty shop and she keeps her ears open for any gossip that could help Sadie in her endeavors. Sadie leans heavily on her two employees, Damien and Melanie. They know the business and their presence lets Sadie run off to chase down any clues that pop up. Grayson Blake, owner of the Spirit Hill Brewery has really started to grow on Sadie. She gets all flustered around him because she can feel their relationship moving in what could be a romantic direction.

Ms. Fox has entwined two mysteries in this book. They may or may not be related but Sadie finds herself trying to solve both. They both had some nice twists and I enjoyed how they played out. I especially liked that the murder reveal happened at the annual Masquerade Party at the manor. It was the perfect place to unmask a killer. There were plenty of clues sparsed out throughout the book but I must have missed something because I was totally surprised when the killer was identified. Or more likely, Sarah Fox wrote a heck of a story that I escaped right into and let Sadie do the hard work. The story was very well-written and plotted and so interesting.

The Malt in Our Stars is a wonderful whodunit. Complex characters, an intriguing mystery, and a fun setting had me totally entertained from beginning to end. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Wine and Punishment here
and An Ale of Two Cities here

About the Author

Sarah Fox is the author of the Music Lover’s Mystery series and the USA Today bestselling Pancake House Mystery series. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she can often be found reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel. Sarah lives in British Columbia and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada. Visit her online at AuthorSarahFox.com.


Also by Sarah Fox

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 Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Closely Harbored Secrets (Seaside Café Mysteries) by Bree Baker #Review / #Giveaway @PPPress @BreeBakerBooks

Welcome to Coxy Wednesday!

This book will be released next Tuesday, January 29!


Closely Harbored Secrets (Seaside Café Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (December 29, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1728205751
ISBN-13: 978-1728205755
Kindle ASIN: B088P765Z1

In the fifth book of the popular Seaside Café Mysteries, Closely Harbored Secrets, Everly Swan just wants to make Halloween-themed treats and specialty teas for her customers. But when it seems that she’s being haunted by the phantom of a sailor straight out of a ghost story, her plans are capsized. Could this be the bitter end for Everly?

Hitting all the sweet-tea spots, this series is:

    • A delightful Tea Shop and Café Culinary Mystery
    • The ideal cozy beach read
    • Perfect for fans of Laura Childs and Kate Carlisle

It’s almost Halloween, and the small island of Charm, North Carolina is decked out for the festivities. When Everly Swan agrees to close her iced tea shop early to help her aunts host their annual haunted historic walking tour, she expects some good-natured spooks. But the night turns grave when one of the ghostly actors is found dead. To complicate matters, the victim scratched Everly’s name into the ground before she died, making her a key suspect.

The murder mystery heats up when Everly’s potential boo, Detective Grady, takes the case—and he definitely doesn’t want her getting involved. Will their seaside romance be threatened by all the ghostly drama? But when a phantom sailor straight out of local legend starts leaving Everly threatening messages, she has to get involved… With a local election underway, ghosts on the loose, and a search for long-lost buried treasure, Everly can’t help but stir the pot!

INCLUDES DELICIOUS FOOD AND DRINK RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Halloween means a big celebration in Charm, North Carolina that includes a haunted walking tour. Clara and Fran Swan have key roles in the event and Everly is providing tea and treats for those attending. The night of the walk Everly joins her aunt’s group to hear ghost stories she has heard repeated several times but her aunt always adds something new. This year the something new is a dead body. Dixie Wetherill was to be playing the part of a local legend but when she misses her cue, a quick search finds Dixie dead with Everly’s name spelled out in the ground beside her.

Detective Grady Hays has to follow the evidence even if that means investigating his girlfriend. But then Everly receives several threatening messages. The messages appear to be from the legendary ghost pirate, The Sandman. Threats that are meant to scare Everly only make her mad and set her off on her own investigation to catch the real killer. Although finding that person just may get her killed . . .


What a wonderfully written spooky mystery!

Charm, North Carolina has a rich history and the stories that have come from that history can be downright chilling, especially on a Halloween Haunted Walking Tour. Ms. Baker paints some eerie pictures with her words. I felt like I was right there to enjoy the event and as the body was found. It was so easy to visualize. Her descriptions throughout the story kept me right there at every scene.

The author also breathes great life into each of her characters and she keeps them busy too. In addition to the Halloween festivities, the mayor’s race is right around the corner and Everly is pulling out all the stops to help her Aunt Fran win. Grady is dealing with some family issues that could create havoc in his already complicated relationship with Everly. Everly is busy concocting new tea drinks and running her shop along with a little home renovation. And then, there is that murder and the threats against Everly that has everyone worried. Bree Baker’s development of all her characters is top-notch.

The mystery is very well-plotted and sets a nice pace that really ratchets up as we get to the big reveal. It was so exciting. Again, the descriptive writing style had me feel like I was watching a movie. I could see all the action so clearly.  I truly was on the edge of my seat and may have even been holding my breath.

This Halloween story was a terrific treat! Closely Harbored Secrets blends a fascinating mystery with fabulous characters. There is a light paranormal element or two and that just adds to the fun. Charm, Blessed Bee, and the Sun, Sand, and Tea are places I can’t wait to visit again.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of No Good Tea Goes Unpunished here, Live and Let Chai here, Tide and Punishment here,
and A Call For Kelp here.

Bree Baker is a Midwestern writer, obsessed with small-town high jinks, sweet tea, and the sea. She’s been telling stories to her family, friends, and strangers for as long as she can remember, and more often than not, those stories feature a warm ocean breeze and a recipe she’s sure to ruin. Now, she’s working on those fancy cooking skills and dreaming up adventures for the Seaside Cafe mysteries. Bree is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers and the Romance Writers of America. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.



I am giving away my Advanced Review Copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End January 6, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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

Candy Cane Crime (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery) by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @aflowerwriter

CANDY CANE CRIME
Candy Cane Crime (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Short Story (Novella)
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Kensington Books (October 27, 2020)
Print length: 84 pages
ASIN: B08C9DQJVV

A candy-striped caper . . .

Christmas is coming all too quickly for Harvest, Ohio’s famous chocolatier, Bailey King. Thanks to her new cable TV show, her shop has more candy orders than she can handle this holiday season. Fortunately, her beloved Cousin Charlotte is happy to take the Candy Cane Exchange off Bailey’s to-do list. After all, Charlotte has come to Harvest from her conservative home district to find her future outside of her family’s influence. What better way than by taking on the Englisch task of pairing the sweet notes everyone is exchanging with a peppermint treat, just in time for Christmas Eve delivery? But when Charlotte discovers some of those delicious missives are for her, suddenly she’s staking out the festive postbox, hoping to catch her secret admirer in his intriguing tracks . . .

When Charlotte sees something underhanded going on beneath the merrymaking, she enlists the help of Sheriff Deputy Luke Little to find out if her unknown correspondent is none other than the town’s biggest suspect. And the surprising truth about her suitor’s identity has her contemplating leaving her Amish roots behind forever . . .

Recipe Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Christmas at Swissmen Sweets is a busy time. Online orders are flooding in along with all the people stopping by to pick up goodies for the family celebrations. Chocolatier Bailey King is worried they won’t get all the orders filled especially because she needs to make a quick trip to New York to promote her new cable television show Bailey’s Amish Sweets. Then Margot Rawlings comes into the shop and wants Bailey to handle the Candy Cane Exchange fundraiser she has organized to raise money for new costumes for the Christmas pageant. For one dollar residents can arrange to have a candy cane with a personal note attached for the person of their choice. Swissmen Sweets had already donated a supply of candy canes and Bailey tells Margot she just can’t take on anything more. Margot is a pushy woman and doesn’t understand why Bailey can’t handle getting the notes from the dropbox and attach the notes to the candy canes. Seeing her cousin Bailey stressed out, Charlotte steps up to take on the tasks required.

Charlotte is excited about her new Christmas assignment and visits the dropbox several times a day to collect the notes and the money. She gets flustered when she sees someone, a secret admirer, wants to send her some candy canes. She goes a little crazy wondering who her secret admirer could be. So much so, with a little help, she sets up a stakeout to try to find out who it is. But what she sees is a crime being committed. She talks Sheriff Deputy Luke Little into helping her catch the candy cane criminal in the act. She also learns the identity of her secret admirer.


Another quick trip to Harvest and just in time for the holidays.

I love that Charlotte was featured again in this story. The shy conservative young lady who is still on her extended rumspringa is getting a little more independent each day. She has a huge decision to make and the events that take place in this book are not going to make her decision any easier. I enjoy reading a story from her point of view because she has a unique voice when it comes to the world around her. She has immerged as a very strong character in this series, and I like where the author has taken her. I am excited to see what Charlotte’s future holds for her too.

No murder in Harvest this time though. A crime is uncovered and the mystery of Charlotte’s secret admirer and that was more than enough to keep me totally entertained.

The short novellas that take place between the full-length books are a real treat. There is always something happening in Harvest and this holiday story is a great way to help get people in the Christmas spirit.

Candy Cane Crime is a delightfully lighthearted story fans of this series are sure to love. It also gives new readers of the series a taste of what they have been missing. I recommend the entire Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series highly.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

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

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest


Coming April 27, 2021

Also by Amanda Flower
Coming February 23, 2021




Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Subscribe to Amanda’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 5, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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

Killer Kung Pao: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review


Killer Kung Pao: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (August 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250228301
ISBN-13: 978-1250228307
Kindle ASIN: B084F9217G

Is life at the Ho-Lee Noodle House becoming too hot to handle?

Lana Lee’s plate is already plenty full. Running her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland’s Asia Village is challenging on the best of days. But just when Lana thinks she might be able to catch her breath before the weekend—which she’s eager to spend with her equally overworked boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau—Lana witnesses a car accident in the parking lot. And now she has no choice but to get involved.

June Yi, of Yi’s Tea and Bakery, is a serious businesswoman well-known for her heartlessness. But June meets her match when she rear-ends the Cadillac belonging to Mah Jong lover Mildred “Millie” Mao. As each woman curses—and threatens—the other, it becomes clear to Lana that trouble lies ahead. Still, who could have imagined that Millie would end up dead at the beauty salon? The evidence suggests that she was electrocuted while having a foot bath, and all eyes are on June. Can Lana find a way to solve this case before another fatality occurs in Asia Village?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

What starts with a crash ends with a sizzle and Lana Lee finds herself involved in another murder mystery.

Headed home for a quiet weekend with her handsome detective Lana witnesses an accident in the parking lot of Cleveland’s Asia Village. There is no love lost between June Yi, of Yi’s Tea and Bakery, and Lana, in fact, she tries to avoid June at all costs so when she sees June back straight into Mildred “Millie” Mao Cadillac she tries to make herself invisible. When their argument escalates and the police arrive Lama is going to have at least give a statement about what she saw. She just hopes that the end of her involvement.

But then both women show up at the hair salon at the same time as Lana. Praying the women stay separated and oblivious to each other’s presence isn’t too much to ask, is it? But it is not meant to be. Shortly after they see each other, the lights go out and when they come back on, Millie is dead and June is the prime suspect. When June’s sister asks Lana to help clear her sister of the crime Lana is forced to say yes, even though she thinks June really could be the killer.


This series continues to be a favorite. I really enjoy the characters. This time we get to know the Majong Matrons that come to the Ho-Lee Noodle House every morning for breakfast. They always seem to know the latest gossip but this time two of the matrons were at the salon right before the murder occurred. Again Lana teams up with her roommate Megan to do a little sleuthing. I really enjoy their relationship and how well they know each other. I also love the way Lana’s relationship with boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau continues to grow. Ms. Chien has created a strong cast of core characters that continue to develop more in each story plus she gives us truly interesting new characters in each book for us to like and dislike too.

The mystery this time was quite puzzling, especially because anyone present in the salon could have done the deed. The investigation takes Lana from one end of town to the other and she ruffles a few feathers along the way. I was totally twisted up in my thinking by the time everything was revealed.

Killer Kung Pao was a fun read. The current mystery wrapped up but there are lingering threads yet to be addressed. You know Lana is going to stumble into another mystery so I am very excited about Fatal Fried Rice hitting my Kindle in March. I  recommend the entire series to all cozy mystery lovers.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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

About the Author

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


Coming March 9, 2021

*This was from my private collection. 

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

Varnished without a Trace (A Tallie Graver Mystery) by Misty Simon #Review @KensingtonBooks


Varnished without a Trace (A Tallie Graver Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Kensington (September 29, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723767
ISBN-13: 978-1496723765
Kindle ASIN: B082WR62G8

This Christmas, Tallie Graver would like to take a break from running her cleaning business to be with her boyfriend, Max, and enjoy their first holiday together–alone. Instead, she’s stuck keeping her mother and grandmother from duking it out during the town’s annual Christmas Eve bingo game. As for the festive spirit, she’ll have to settle for her mean-spirited Aunt Ronda, whose mouth could use some soap.

The night only gets worse after Tallie discovers Ronda’s body. It seems someone cleaned her clock with a can of varnish. While all the evidence points to Ronda’s husband, Tallie doesn’t believe her beloved Uncle Hoagie could do such a dirty deed. Of course, his sudden disappearance doesn’t help his case. If Tallie hopes to clear his name, she’ll need to dig up some dirt to locate the real killer. Otherwise, someone else could get rubbed out . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Christmas, Bingo, and Bodies! Yes, it is another fun book from Misty Simon!

Tallie and Max are turning her little apartment above the funeral home into their own little penthouse just in time for the holidays. Max is trying to get his accountant practice up and running but he could be making a career change. Tallie is trying to take a little break from her cleaning business to run interference between her mother and grandmother who has come to town for the holidays. Her plans go a little awry when she is separated from her elders at the annual Christmas Eve bingo event at the fire station. She ends up sitting next to her Aunt Ronda, a bingo regular who is upset by all the holiday interlopers winning the prizes.

When Tallie wins the final game Ronda leaves in a huff. Tallie notices Ronda has left her bag behind tries to catch up with her outside. She does find her but Ronda won’t be playing bingo ever again as she is very dead with a can of varnish by her side. Boy, that happened quick.

Seeing that her Uncle Hoagie owns the local hardware store where the varnish came from the police want to talk to him immediately. One problem, Uncle Hoagie is nowhere to be found. Add to that, someone is setting fires around town. No one has been hurt yet but it appears the firebug is escalating.

Tallie isn’t sure if it’s the holiday spirit or if Police Chief Burton facing the inevitable but he asks for Tallie’s help in solving the murder case. Equally surprising, her Uncle Sherman, the fire chief, asks for Tallie’s assistance in solving the firebug case too. If Tallie wants to ring in a bright and shining new year she needs to wrap up both mysteries as soon as possible.


Wow, Ms. Simon packs a lot into these pages along with a generous supply of giggles.

I am so happy Max has moved in with Tallie. They compliment each other nicely and he has a way of handling her family in a way she never could. Tallie is getting stronger but hasn’t left behind all her insecurities.

We are introduced to two new characters in this story. Tallie’s grandmother and Burton’s father. Both strong characters and meeting them shines a light on the other characters they have touched over a lifetime. The author continues to allow her characters to grow in a realistic way.

The story has a nice twist in that not one but two people ask Tallie for her help realizing she has a talent for solving mysteries. She proves it when her observations turn the story in a different direction. Due to the murder, we meet Ronda and Hoagie’s children and again it prompts Tallie to ask key questions. Ms. Simon’s writing style takes her readers right into the ebbs and flows are Tallie’s life, like we are looking right over her shoulder as she follows the clues wherever they lead. This new partnership between Tallie and Burton gives a different dimension. I wonder if it will last.

I have enjoyed every book in this series but I feel Varnished without a Trace is the best one yet. I just can’t get enough of these characters. I strived this year to get caught up on this series and I am a little sad that I now have to wait for the next installment. Until next year, Tallie! I am not tapping my foot or anything. Okay, I am, but I know writing and publishing great stories take time. 🙂

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Misty Simon is the author of the Tallie Graver Mystery series. She loves a good story and decided one day that she would try her hand at it. Eventually, she got it right. There’s nothing better in the world than making someone laugh, and she hopes everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. She lives with her husband, daughter, and three insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel or three. She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at misty@mistysimon.com You can find Misty Simon on Facebook here. and on her blog 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 New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery by Victoria Gilbert #Review / #Giveaway – @VGilbertauthor @crookedlanebks Great Escapes Book Tour


A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

About A Deadly Edition


A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1643854762
Kindle ASIN: B085N3KN7L

‘Til death do us part” could be closer than the bride realizes in Victoria Gilbert’s tantalizing fifth Blue Ridge Library mystery.”

 

The pursuit to acquire a rare illustrated book turns deadly, and on the eve of her upcoming wedding, library director Amy Webber is drawn into a web of treachery and betrayal that could derail her happy day–and maybe just claim her life.

 

Planning a wedding can be murder–sometimes literally. At a party celebrating their upcoming nuptials, Taylorsford, Virginia library director Amy Webber and her fiancé Richard Muir discover the body of art dealer Oscar Selvaggio–a bitter rival of their host, Kurt Kendrick.

 

Both had been in a heated battle to purchase a rare illustrated volume created by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press, so suspicion immediately falls upon Kurt. Amy knows that Kurt has a closet-full of skeletons from his past–but she can’t believe he’s guilty of murder.

 

Amidst an avalanche of wedding preparations, Amy begins an investigation with the help of her aunt Lydia Talbot and the new mayor of Taylorsford, Sunshine “Sunny” Fields. Much to Lydia’s dismay, her boyfriend, art expert Hugh Chen, becomes convinced of Kurt’s guilt and launches an investigation of his own. As the case hits painfully close to home, the stakes become impossibly high–and the danger all too real.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In just a month library director Amy Webber and her fiancé, Richard Muir will be walking down the garden aisle. Their friend,  Kurt Kendrick has brought family and friends together to celebrate the upcoming event. But the party is crashed by one of Kurt’s business associates. Oscar Selvaggio, an art dealer, and Kurt are both trying to purchase a rare edition of a book from William Morris’s Kelmscott Press. He allows the man to stay for the party and plans to discuss the book with him later. But before the gentlemen can meet Mr. Selvaggio is found dead and Kurt is the prime suspect in his murder. Amy wants the killer caught and Kurt’s name cleared before her wedding so she enlists the help of her BFF and new Taylorsford mayor, Sunshine “Sunny” Fields, along with her Aunt Lydia to find who killed the art dealer and why.


The wedding brings Amy’s parents to Taylorford along with her brother. Amy is surprised because her brother is usually wrapped up in his job and rarely visits but she is thrilled he is going to stay in town until the wedding. He does become a significant player in the story and it was great to get to know him. Amy and Richard keep working right up to their big day and Amy uses some of her time to research the deceased and his connections along with Sunny. Sunny and Amy’s friendship is so realistic and true to life. In fact, all of Ms. Gilbert’s characters are realistic as are their relationships.

The mystery this time was very complex with a lot of players and interactions and history. At times I was a little confused and had no idea how the author was going to bring everything she set up together. I was trusting and patient and was rewarded by several aha moments and an exciting climax. I will admit I was a little bit more excited by all the wedding plans and the dress shopping and actual wedding that solving the mystery at times. Ms. Gilbert did a great job entwining both plotlines. Her descriptions of the garden, the ceremony, and the fun reception made me feel like an invited guest.

Fun characters, a mystery that makes you think, and a beautiful wedding make A Deadly Edition a very solid addition to the series. I do recommend reading the series from the start because they do build on each other. A very enjoyable escape!


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About Victoria Gilbert

Raised in a historic small town near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian.

Victoria writes the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, the Booklover’s B&B series, and the upcoming Hunter and Clewe traditional mystery series for Crooked Lane Books. She has also published fantasy with Snowy Wings Publishing.

A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, Victoria is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel. She lives near Winston-Salem, NC with her husband, son, and some very spoiled cats.

Author Links – Website (includes blog) – Facebook Author Page  – Twitter  – Amazon Author Page  – Instagram – Goodreads

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound

The Rest of the Series

Also by Victoria Gilbert

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Great Escapes Praise for A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

A Deadly Edition has mystery, romance, intrigue, and humor . . . The mystery was complex which I just loved and I enjoyed the dramatic reveal.
~The Avid Reader

Ms. Gilbert maintains a good balance between the mystery (or mysteries) and the details of Amy’s life, from her everyday work at the library to wedding prep, and the book concludes on a very happy note indeed. I read it when I was feeling a little blue about the upcoming holidays, and it was just the treat I needed.
~The Bookwyrm’s Hoard

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 6 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 6 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – CelticLady Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 8 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 9 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
December 9 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
December 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
December 11 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
December 11 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
December 12 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 13 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

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

Cozy Wednesday – Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery) by Tara Lush #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @crookedlanebks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to be part of this tour! 

About Grounds for Murder 

Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643856189
ISBN-13: 978-1643856186
Digital ASIN: B0871KTTMC

When Lana Lewis’ best — and most difficult — employee abruptly quits and goes to work for the competition just days before the Sunshine State Barista Championship, her café’s chances of winning the contest are creamed. In front of a gossipy crowd in the small Florida town of Devil’s Beach, Lana’s normally calm demeanor heats to a boil when she runs into the arrogant java slinger. Of course, Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci has a slick explanation for jumping ship. But when he’s found dead the next morning under a palm tree in the alley behind Lana’s café, she becomes the prime suspect.

 

Even the island’s handsome police chief isn’t quite certain of her innocence. But Lana isn’t the only one in town who was angry with Fabrizio. Jilted lovers, a shrimp boat captain, and a surfer with ties to the mob are all suspects as trouble brews on the beach.

 

With her stoned, hippie dad, a Shih Tzu named Stanley, and a new, curious barista sporting a punk rock aesthetic at her side, Lana’s prepared to turn up the heat to catch the real killer.

 

After all, she is a former award-winning reporter. As scandal hangs over her beachside café, can Lana clear her name and win the championship — or will she come to a bitter end?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci, the beach’s hottest barista is dead and former investigative journalist turned coffee shop manager Lana Lewis is at the top of the suspect list if the cause of death is indeed murder. You see Fab was her star employee until he quit without notice to work for her competitor. On top of that, they were registered as a team for the Sunshine State Barista Championship. So when she couldn’t hold in her fury any longer she confronts him in front of a crowd of people at Island Brewnette, the competing coffee shop.

The trouble is, the chief of police, who seems to have a bit of a crush on Lana, is leaning toward calling Fab’s death a suicide until the evidence proves otherwise. Lana knows Fab was a great casanova/gigolo with some shady connections so she finds plenty of other suspects and theories. She just needs to convince Chief Noah Garcia to follow her clues with her. If not, she and her new barista Erica Penmark will steam out the killer on their own.


I liked Lana Lewis right away. Divorced and unemployed she comes home to Devil’s Beach to manage Perkatory. The cafe was her mother’s dream so after her death her dad kept the business going but his heart wasn’t really into it full time. Lana takes over admitting she has a lot to learn about being a great barista but she has great employees and her dad to help her out. She is intelligent and kind and her investigative skills come in handy as she tries to catch a killer. Erika and Lana get along right away and they make a wonderful team whether it comes to sleuthing or coffee brewing. Lana’s dad is a laid back hippie kind of dude that does seem fazed my much but supports his daughter 100%. Police Chief Noah Garica also escaped the big city to come to Devil’s Beach never expecting to have a murder case on his plate but he sure does like dropping in at Perkatory to see Lana. All of these characters developed nicely over the course of the story but there is so much more to learn. The author has done an excellent job of giving readers characters we can care about.

The mystery she has brewed up is darn good too. Personally, I wish the suicide theory would have been put to rest much earlier with more focus on the variety of people who could have been suspects in Fab’s death. He left quite a path of ladies in his wake and at least one was married. The pushy reporter in Lana came out and she just wasn’t going to give up. Her actions lead to a really exciting big reveal.

I do love the beachy small-town setting. While jumping with tourists and busy residents it still had a relaxing vibe and a place I would love to visit.

Grounds for Murder was a delightful whodunit and has set this series off to a grand start. It’s entertaining with just the right amount of humor. I am looking forward to visiting these characters again soon.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About Tara Lush

Tara Lush is a Rita Award finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and a George C. Polk Award-winning journalist. For the past decade, she’s been a reporter with the Associated Press, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics. She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations. A fan of vintage pulp-fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, and 1980s fashion, she lives with her husband and two dogs on the Gulf coast.

Author Links

WEB – FACEBOOK – GOODREADS – INSTAGRAM

Purchase Links 

AMAZON – KOBO – BARNES AND NOBLE –  ITUNES –  INDIEBOUND

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
December 8 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Maureen’s Musings – RECIPE POST
December 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 10 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
December 10 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
December 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT 
December 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
December 12 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
December 12 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 13 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
December 14 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 14 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 14 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE POST
December 15 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – eBook Addicts – RECIPE POST
December 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 17 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
December 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

 

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

Wine Tastings Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery) by Libby Klein #Review @KensingtonBooks @LibbyKleinBooks


Wine Tastings Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (December 1, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723392
ISBN-13: 978-1496723390
Kindle ASIN: B085LTRQ3P

It’s vintage Poppy McAllister when the gluten-free baker and B&B owner tries to solve a murder at a Cape May winery . . .

 

When Poppy and Aunt Ginny agreed to host a Wine and Cheese Happy Hour for a tour group at their Butterfly House Bed and Breakfast on the Jersey Shore, they never anticipated such a sour bunch. Grumpy guest Vince Baker should be in a better mood—he’s filthy rich and on his honeymoon with his much younger wife Sunny, who seems to dote on him almost as much as her high-spirited teacup Pomeranian, Tammy Faye Baker.

 

But the honeymoon is over when Vince drops dead the next day touring the Laughing Gull Winery. Turns out he’s been poisoned, and it seems like everybody on the tour is hiding something. Now Poppy has to put her gluten-free baking on the back burner and bottle up her feelings for the two men in her life while she charges after a bitter killer with a lethal case of sour grapes . . .

 

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Poppy McAllister is back along with her Aunt Ginny. Their B&B is open and they are hosting a Wine and Cheese Happy Hour for a tour group. The members of the group are staying at various B&B’s, one couple is even staying at a campground in their RV. Vince and Sunny Baker along with her Pomeranian, Tammy Faye are staying at Poppy’s Butterfly House Bed and Breakfast. They are later joined by Vince’s daughter and her husband when they unexpectedly crash the party and join the tour. They are not happy with Vince’s new wife and make their displeasure clearly known.

The next day the tour group travels to the Laughing Gull Winery. In the middle of the tasting, Vince keels over dead. At first, everyone thinks he had a heart attack but the man was definitely poisoned and everyone in the room becomes a suspect. With one of her guests dead, Poppy adds catch a killer to her long to-do list. Wait! Could the killer be under her roof as well?


OMG! I laughed so hard several times while reading this book, One time I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. My funny bone was thoroughly tickled time and again.

Victory emerged from Aunt Ginny’s bedroom at the back of the kitchen wearing a low-cut French maid costume with thigh-high stockings. 

Sawyer came in just in time to see me choke on my coffee. “Whoa!” Sawyer giggled and had to cover her mouth. “Oh, Poppy. That is so much better than I imagined.”

Aunt Ginny emerged behind Victory with a genuine feather duster in her hand. “Look it fits her. What? Why are you making that face?”

and

“The Bible says: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Aunt Ginny folded her arms across her chest and tried to stare me down. 

“That’s not the Bible. That’s Spider-Man.”

Aunt Ginny narrowed her eyes. “Are you sure? I think it’s in the Bible.”

“Not unless there’s a chapter written by Stan Lee.” 

Those are just two of my favorite scenes. There are many more.

Beyond the humor, Ms. Klein serves us such wonderful characters. Libby and her Aunt Ginny are two of my favorite cozy personalities. You never know what is going to come out of Ginny’s mouth or the antics she and her friends are going to get into. Think Golden Girls on steroids!

Poppy is still trying to decide between Gia and Tim while baking for each of their restaurants, running the B&B, trying to keep Ginny in line, and now investigating another murder. She gets stronger in each story. Her sleuthing is improving too.

All the supporting characters are developing nicely. The new characters that are introduced are quite a crew. All seem to be hiding something. They were all very well-crafted. The pet characters are great too! Figuro may have met his match!

The mystery to solve was so much fun with a plethora of twists and turns. To avoid spoilers I won’t say more but the big reveal was epic and a total surprise. I loved it!!

This entire series is fantastic. I anxiously await each new book. Wine Tastings Are Murder is stellar, captivating, hilarious, and a must-read. The ending also sets up a huge cliffhanger! So now I am counting down the days until June 29, 2021. The day Beauty Expos Are Murder hits store shelves! 203 days! 

Wine Tastings Are Murder is definitely one of the best books I have read this year and receives my Paradise Rating!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Midnight Snacks Are Murder here. 

You can read my review of Restaurant Weeks Are Murder here

You can read my review of Theater Nights Are Murder here.

Libby Klein dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets, and taking out the trash. She writes culinary cozy mysteries from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard.
Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest  – Cozy Mystery Crew  – GoodReads –  BookBub – Instagram –  Amazon 

 


Coming June 29, 2021

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 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 at a Country Mansion (A Daisy Thorne Mystery) by Louise R. Innes #Review /#Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @LouiseRoseInnes

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

Today I am featuring the 1st Daisy Thorne Mystery!


Death at a Country Mansion (A Daisy Thorne Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Surrey, England
Publisher: Kensington (December 1, 2020)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-10: 1496729803
ISBN-13: 978-1496729804
Kindle ASIN: B085KYJQKN

Fans of Agatha Christie won’t want to miss this delightful new mystery set in the charming village of Edgemead in Surrey, England, where you’ll find the latest styles, the juiciest gossip—and the most tantalizing murder clues…

 

No one would ever accuse famous opera star Dame Serena Levanté of lacking a flare for the dramatic. Unfortunately, it’s curtains down on the dysfunctional diva when she’s found dead at the bottom of a staircase in her elegant home. Solving an opera singer’s murder may not be the typical hairdresser’s aria of expertise. But Dame Serena was the mother of Daisy’s best friend Floria, so Daisy must do-or-dye her best to get to the roots of the case.

 

When a priceless Modigliani painting in the house is reported missing, the mystery gets even more tangled. Even though the gruff but handsome Detective Inspector Paul McGuinness tells the stylist to stay out of his hair, Daisy is determined to make sure the killer faces a stern makeover—behind bars.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Daisy Thorne owns the hair salon, Oh La La in Edgemead England. She is also studying forensic psychology in her spare time. Both come in handy when her best friend, Floria’s mother is found dead at the foot of the staircase of her country mansion. Dame Serena Levanté is a famous opera singer/diva with three ex-husbands and one husband who has just left her for another woman. Last seen, Serena was drowning her sorrows with enough alcohol that her tumbling to her death is easily believable but it is definitely murder. When they notice a famous Modigliani painting is missing the case gets even more intriguing and Daisy vows to cut through the clues and curl the killer right into a jail cell.


Daisy is a people person with the perfect profession. Everyone knows to find the latest news and gossip you head to the beauty salon. Her studies in forensic psychology are teaching her how to read people even better. She is curious, smart, and loyal to her friends. All these things make Daisy Thorne a fantastic protagonist. They also make her the complete opposite of our victim, Dame Serena.

Ms. Innes has filled the story with dynamic and diverse supporting characters as well. From the elderly couple that takes care of the residents and grounds of the country mansion to Serena’s husbands, the staff at Oh La La, the hunky Detective Inspector Paul McGuinness, and more readers are treated to well-crafted characters left with plenty of room to grow.

This mystery was very complicated with surprises and twists. It starts out quickly with the dead body and the pace remains brisk throughout. It was a lot of fun to follow along with Daisy as she worked her way through all the clues. I had given a complete pass on the actual killer until late in the book so I clearly missed something along the way.

Death at a Country Mansion was an enjoyable escape across the pond. I can’t wait to visit Edgemead again soon. Death at the Salon is set to be released on March 30, 2021.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Louise R. Innis writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. She lives in leafy Surrey in the United Kingdom with her family, and when she’s not writing, she can be found traipsing through the countryside or kayaking on the River Thames. Visit her on Facebook or Twitter or at louiseroseinnes.com.


Coming March 30, 2021


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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 New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Premeditated Mortar (A Fixer-Upper Mystery) by Kate Carlisle #Review @BerkleyMystery

This book releases TODAY!!


Premeditated Mortar (A Fixer-Upper Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Berkley (December 1, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1984804419
Kindle ASIN: B085BW3L7T

Contractor Shannon Hammer gets tangled up in murder at a spooky old asylum in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle. . . .

 

Shannon Hammer is about to embark on one of the biggest projects of her career. Her best friend Jane Hennessey has purchased one wing of the Gables, formerly the old state insane asylum, located on a bucolic hillside two miles northeast of Lighthouse Cove. Jane plans to turn her section into a small luxury hotel complete with twenty ocean-view rooms, a spa, and a restaurant.

 

Shannon is raring to get started on the enormous project and is shocked when a group of unruly protesters shows up at the groundbreaking ceremony and wreaks havoc. She’s even more freaked out when someone pushes her into a pit of bricks in a closed-off room of the asylum. Despite her close call, Shannon wants nothing more than to get back to work . . . until she finds a body not far from where she was pushed. Now Shannon is determined to get to the bottom of the goings-on at the Gables even if it kills her. . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Contractor Shannon Hammer is very excited to take on a year-long project with her BFF Jane Hennessey. Jane is turning one wing of the Gables into a small luxurious hotel. The Gables used to be a state-run insane asylum that had ties to both she and Jane so both were expecting a few ghosts to come out to haunt them, the new dead bodies not so much. Shannon has gotten under someone’s skin with all her questions and puts her life in peril. But she is not backing down until she hammers down the killer.


While the renovation Shannon and her crew are taking on is huge, the secrets and memories the building holds are enormous and some are heartwrenching. Ms. Carlisle takes her time introducing all the new characters and the history of the Gables and I loved that.  I became invested in the storyline immediately and well before the first body was discovered. She doesn’t give readers too much background on the characters at first, just enough to grab our attention and make us wonder how they may connect to the asylum. Like a sweet onion as the story continues layer after layer is peeled away to keep those pages quickly turning.

All the characters I have grown to love return and the couples are growing closer even though one person is getting a case of nerves. I love to see Shannon’s construction company continue to grow too. She has a great crew that work well together and support their boss in every way. I get excited every time I start a book in this series to see where the author is going to take these characters and she never disappoints.

Premeditated Mortar is an excellent addition to this series. Ms. Carlisle builds this story brick by brick and surprised me in the end. Engaging characters, an interesting setting, and a marvelous mystery kept me totally entertained. I truly can’t wait for the next book in this series!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my Reviews for the whole series. 

Book 1 – A High End Finish here

Book 2 – This Old Homicide here.

Book 3 – Crowned and Moldering here.

Book 4 – Deck the Hallways here

Book 5 – Eaves of Destruction here

Book 6 – A Wrench in the Works here.

Book 7 – Shot Through The Hearth here

Read more about Kate and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries at www.KateCarlisle.com!


Also by Kate Carlisle



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.”