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

#FlashbackFriday – Wedding Day and Foul Play (A Consignment Shop Mystery) by Duffy Brown #Review / #Giveaway @duffybrown

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Wedding Day and Foul Play (A Consignment Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Georgia
Independently Published (February 19, 2021)
Paperback: 164 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8711193470
Kindle ASIN: B08WYCY16X

Wedding cake on top of the table, dead body underneath and a favorite auntie accused of putting it there, is no way to start a marriage.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Reagan Summerside and Walker Boone are getting married but before their nuptials can take place a major property dispute needs to be handled. Reagan is not about to let her Aunt Kiki lose her family home. She thinks she has the problem settled but then the man the found the deed causing all the drama is found dead under the cake table at the happy couple’s reception. It is no surprise that Aunt Kiki is arrested for the crime but everyone knows she didn’t do it. They do let her out of jail on house arrest but Kiki isn’t having it. She plans to help Reagan find the real killer and clear her name. Thankfully Boone is on top of the case and knows what the trouble those two women can get into when left to their own devices.


Reagan was doing so well. It had been quite some time since she found a dead body but her luck couldn’t hold through her wedding. Shortly after the body is found the hilarity I have come to expect in this series takes off.

All my favorite characters return in this 6th Consignment Shop Mystery. Even Judge Gloria gets pulled into the chaos. Aunt Kiki is her over-the-top self. Reagan and Walker are so in love and in sync.  He does have his hands full with the antics of all the women in his life. Due to the shorter length of this story, we don’t get as many of those antics or as much of the crazy quirky supporting characters as usual but after waiting so long, 3 years, for this wedding to take place I am thrilled we were finally able to visit these wonderful characters again.

The shorter length did not stop Duffy Brown from giving us a great mystery filled with her signature humor and Southern charm. It was so much fun to tag along each step of the way in pursuit of the real killer. I loved all the twists and turns. The pace was quick and the pages flew.

Wedding Day and Foul Play was worth the wait. I was totally entertained by this installment and so glad that we readers were able to attend the wedding we were so looking forward to when the publisher pulled the plug on this fantastic series. I truly hope the author allows us to revisit these characters again soon even though the characters have been left in a happy place.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She is a National Bestselling author and now conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own. She has two series the Consignment Shop Mysteries set in Savannah along with rescue pup Bruce Willis and the Cycle Path Mysteries set on Mackinac Island with judgmental cats Cleveland and Bambino.

Author Links:

Website Facebook

Purchase Link – Amazon

The Rest of the Series

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Following 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 share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive 5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

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

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews 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 Pint of No Return: A Dessert Cozy Mystery (Shake Shop Mystery) by Dana Mentink #Review / #Giveaway

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to feature A Pint of No Return today!


Pint of No Return: A Dessert Cozy Mystery
(Shake Shop Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (May 25, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1728231558
ISBN-13: 978-1728231556
Kindle ASIN: B08GBPD3BR

The first in new dessert cozy mystery series! A murder in town is bound to shake things up…

After her divorce from her thrice-married embezzler husband, Trinidad Jones is finally ready for a fresh start. So when she’s left one of her ex’s businesses in Upper Sprocket, Oregon, she decides to pack up her dog, cash in her settlement, and open her dream business: the Shimmy and Shake Shop, introducing the world to her monster milkshakes. And even with a couple of sticky situations underway, namely that the other two ex-wives also call Sprocket home, Trinidad’s life seems to be churning along smoothly.

That is, until she discovers her neighbor, the Popcorn King, head down in his giant popcorn kettle. When one of Trinidad’s fellow ex-wives is accused of the murder and Upper Sprocket descends into mayhem, it’s going to take a supersized scoop of courage to flush out the killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!

Newly divorced Trinidad Jones is getting a new start in Upper Sprocket, Oregon, by opening the Shimmy and Shake Shop in a building that used to house one of her embezzling ex-husband’s businesses. Opening a shop and serving monster “freak” milkshakes is a dream come true but Upper Spocket is a small town and it just happens to be where ex-wives 1 and 2 also reside. That is not really a problem for Trinidad until one of them is accused of murdering The Popcorn King. His shop is near the Shimmy and Shake and he and Trinidad were splitting an order of nuts. When she went to deliver his half she found him dead in his huge popcorn kettle. She doesn’t really know anything about Juliette but can’t imagine her being a murderer. So she is going to shake things up and do a little investigating with some of the other business owners to find who really popped The Popcorn King.


I was struck right away by the delightful characters the author brings us in this first Shake Shop Mystery. Trinidad is an interesting character with an interesting background. She is smart and does well on her first adventure as an amateur sleuth. She also has a wonderful sidekick, her dog Noodles. Noodles failed military training school but he still acquired some awesome skills.

Trinidad is also surrounded by some intriguing human characters. I loved that Trinidad had a young set of twins helping her get the shop ready to open and to be her taste testers. We also meet nut farmer Quinn and his brother Doug, and Stan who owns the local coffee shop and is a reluctant lawyer. Oh, and the local police chief, who just happens to be her ex’s sister.

Several other residents of Upper Spocket drop into the story as necessary and truly depict life in a small town. Gossip runs rampant and secrets are hard to keep when everyone is in each other’s business. All the characters felt very realistic and unique making them easy to keep straight.

The mystery was extremely well-plotted with different suspects and their motives coming to light. Twists on top of turns kept misdirecting my thinking. The author really scooped me this time. The actual criminal was not even on my personal suspect list. I was totally surprised and had to take a few moments to try to think of what clues I had missed. What I really liked was that when Trinidad had a solid theory the police chief actually listened to her and didn’t just brush her off. She had a plan and the reveal tied all the clues together nicely.

Ms. Mentink has given this series an excellent start in Pint of No Return. We have only met one of the two ex-wives and I am excited to meet the other one when she gets back from her trip. The shake/ice cream theme is fun and had my mouth watering for a freak shake all my own. Doesn’t the one on the cover look yummy? I can’t wait to visit these characters again.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Dana Mentink lives in California where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Her family includes two teen girls (affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo.) Papa Bear is retired from the fire department and he met Dana doing a dinner theater production of The Velveteen Rabbit. Ironically, their parts were husband and wife.

Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and a two-time ACFW Carol Award winner. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She is honored to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired, Harlequin Heartwarming, and Harvest House Publishers. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, Yogi, Boo Boo, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.

Author Links – WebsiteFacebookTwitterBookBub

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian 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 Following 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 share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive 5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

 Contest Will End June 9, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

 Click Here For Entry Form

 

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

                                  

Posted in 2021 Reviews New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Imagine Summer: A Novel by Shelley Noble #Review


Imagine Summer: A Novel
Women’s Fiction
Setting – Rhode Island
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (May 11, 2021)
Paperback: 416 pages
ISBN-10: 0062953605
ISBN-13: 978-0062953605
Kindle ASIN: B08FKL4CQ4

As a child, Skylar Mackenzie’s imagination always got her in trouble. Now it’s making her a fortune. She owns Imagine That, a toy and bookstore and creativity center in a small Rhode Island beach town where children, and adults, can use their imagination free from judgment.

Skye is about to embark on her biggest venture yet, a weekend retreat of family exploration. But it begins to unravel when she finds her estranged half-sister Amy on the doorstep. And Amy’s not alone.

She’s brought Skye’s first love, Connor Reid—the boy who broke her heart; the man who could break it again.

Amy claims she wants to make amends—but how can Skye trust her? It was Amy’s lies that drove her from home fifteen years before. Suddenly, Skye’s perfectly imagined summer is in jeopardy. Not to mention her perfectly ordered life. Or her beloved town’s financial future.

With Amy back to her old trouble-making ways, and Connor making Skye wonder what might have been, Skye makes a decision that may cost her everything.

Imagine Summer is a story of discovery, trust, and the courage to dream.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Skylar Mackenzie feels she is in a good place in her life. She has a successful business, Imagine That. a creativity center/toy/bookstore. So successful she is planning a family weekend retreat that will not only benefit her but the whole town. She is also in a great relationship with Jack who supports and loves her. Her best friend Maya works for her and Maya’s boyfriend Sonny is Jack’s business partner. Maya just found out she is pregnant. Her Aunt Roxy has been her rock. She took Skye in when she needed love and a place to heal after a fire burned down her father’s hobby shed and her half-sister Amy told everyone Skye started the fire, which was a lie. She was overwrought physically and mentally and it took her a long time to get where she is now.

Then Amy shows up in town along with Connor Reid, Skye’s boyfriend at the time of the fire, her first love, that knew the truth but disappeared right after everything happened. Amy says she wants to make amends but Skye wants nothing to do with either of them. So Amy makes sure to spread the word all over town about her sister, making her seem like an angel and Skye the terrible one. Worse seeing Connor has Skye questioning herself and her feelings.

This is definitely not the summer Skye had imagined and it could be the summer where she loses everything.


I really liked meeting Skye and loved the theme of her business. A place for kids of all ages to be creative in a myriad of ways with no judgments. A place to just be. Her relationship with Jack was strong and comfortable. Then came Amy, a spoiled brat if there ever was one. She may have had some good ideas but there was something missing in her makeup that allowed her to take responsibility for anything. She also didn’t engage her brain before she opened her mouth. I hated everything about her. Connor had good intentions but was drawn into Amy’s web. He quickly grasped what she was up to but he still brought strife to Skye’s life in his own way. Roxy was my favorite character. Everyone needs an Aunt Roxy. Her friend Heddy was also a fun character. The characters are well-written and brought out the emotions in the reader the author intended.

The events with Amy continue throughout the story along with a plethora of problems with the venue for Skye’s big event. The Chamber of Commerce and other shopkeepers and residents have piled so much on Skye’s shoulders and she rolls with all the punches to see the event take place no matter what. I really did admire that vast difference between Skye and Amy. The original family dynamic was truly lacking and it was no surprise that Amy was estranged not only from Skye but her parents as well. Skye is strong in every way that Amy is weak.  The author did a great job of tying the main plot and subplots together. A lot happens within these pages and at times the pace did feel a little off but quickly found its footing again.

Imagine Summer was an entertaining story, a true beach read. Estranged sisters that probably should have stayed estranged. Ms. Noble piles on the drama to keep the pages turning and brings the story to a nice end that left me a little conflicted.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Shelley Noble is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including Beach Colors, Stargazey Point, and Holidays at Crescent Cove. As Shelley Freydont, she is the author of the Celebration Bay Mystery series and two other mystery series. Her mysteries have been translated into ten languages. Shelley lives near the New Jersey shore.

Also by Shelley Noble


Written as Shelley Freydont

Find more books by Shelley Freydont Here.

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

Posted in 2021 Reading Challenges Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Three Treats Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery) by Debra H. Goldstein #Review / #Giveaway @DebraHGoldstein

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Three Treats Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Alabama
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719492
ISBN-13: 978-1496719492
Digital ASIN: B082WRV78G

When a romantic rival opens a competing restaurant in small-town Wheaton, Alabama, Sarah Blair discovers murder is the specialty of the house . . .

For someone whose greatest culinary skill is ordering takeout, Sarah never expected to be co-owner of a restaurant. Even her Siamese cat, RahRah, seems to be looking at her differently. But while Sarah and her twin sister, Chef Emily, are tangled up in red tape waiting for the building inspector to get around to them, an attention-stealing new establishment—run by none other than Sarah’s late ex-husband’s mistress, Jane—is having its grand opening across the street.

Jane’s new sous chef, Riley Miller, is the talk of Wheaton with her delicious vegan specialties. When Riley is found dead outside the restaurant with Sarah’s friend, Jacob, kneeling over her, the former line cook—whose infatuation with Riley was no secret—becomes the prime suspect. Now Sarah must turn up the heat on the real culprit, who has no reservations about committing cold-blooded murder . . .

Includes quick and easy recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things are tense in Wheaton, Alabama with two new restaurants opening. What’s funny is that Sarah Blair, whose cooking skills are pretty minimal is co-owner of one of the new places with her twin sister, Chef Emily. They are just waiting for the town building inspector to do the final inspection so they can have their grand opening.

The other new restaurant, Jane’s Place, is owned by Sarah’s late husband’s mistress who has hired vegan chef Riley Miller. Jane is hoping serving vegan dishes will set her restaurant apart from the others. Sarah and most of the town have turned out from the grand opening and if the food served is any indication Jane Place will be a worthy competitor for Sarah’s Southwinds Restaurant.

The night seems to be a rousing success until Chef Riley is found dead in the parking lot with her former boyfriend Jacob kneeling by her body. Jane wants the man arrested immediately. While he may be the prime suspect Sarah cannot believe he could have killed the young chef. Sarah’s boss agrees to defend Jacob but much to his dismay Sarah starts digging around to find more worthy suspects too. She may soon regret her actions as the killer has no reservations about killing again.


The author has penned a diverse group of characters from chefs to motorcycle riding vets to building contractors to two lovable fur-babies. Sarah is an excellent protagonist because she always seems to land right in the middle of whatever is happening in the small town of Wheaton. Being a small town most of the characters are connected in multiple ways which makes the story very interesting. The characters are all cleverly written and unique so it is easy to keep everyone straight. I do love the Blair family dynamics. Maybelle has become a real hoot! RahRah and Fluffy always make me smile and their closeness reminds me of some of the pets I have had over the years.

Because of all interpersonal connections, the mystery is a treat to solve as many of the characters become suspects in their own right. A second death turns up the heat as does a smelly discovery. Thankfully Sarah has the gift of gab or the ending could have taken a dire turn. The author serves up some really nice twists to keep people guessing. I was thrilled that I solved the whodunit before all was revealed but the ending was exciting and very entertaining.

Three Treats Too Many is a delightful addition to this series. Fun characters and a great mystery, this book doesn’t disappoint. I have enjoyed all three books in this series and recommend reading them in order to enjoy the character growth and fun mysteries. Four Cuts Too Many is impatiently waiting on my Kindle. I will be reading and reviewing soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Judge Debra H. Goldstein writes Kensington’s Sarah Blair mystery series (One Taste Too Many, Two Bites Too Many, Three Treats Too Many). She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and IPPY winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place and Derringer Finalist Pig Lickin’ Good, have appeared in numerous publications. Debra serves on the national boards of SinC and MWA and is president of SEMWA.

Author Links

Website    Blog    Facebook    Linked In

Twitter @DebraHGoldstein    GoodReads        BookBub

Purchase Links

Coming Next Tuesday!

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 4, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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

Jackal & Hide: A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery (A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Jackal & Hide: A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait

About Jackal & Hide

Jackal & Hide:
A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Kenya
Publisher: Kanga Press (May 14, 2021)
Number of Pages 290
Digital ASIN: B08V9DFG1F

Limited time. A murderer hiding in plain sight. Can she crack the deadly puzzle without breaking her own heart?

 

‛Mama Rose’ Hardie just wants to make her ailing husband comfortable. So she puts aside her dedication to wildlife and community and whisks him off to a luxury lodge for a breathtaking getaway. But when a guest enters the bush and never returns, Rose is torn between remaining at her partner’s side and her fears for the woman’s plight.

 

Shocked when the missing person is found strangled to death, Rose struggles to balance her priorities when her husband takes a serious fall and ends up in the hospital. And with her estranged son demanding she stay by her husband’s bedside, the anxious investigator worries the killer may escape into the grassland…

 

Can Mama Rose solve the murder before time is cut short?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Lewa Marathon is just a few days away and Mama Rose and Craig’s son Chris is coming to participate in the event with some of his pals. Mama Rose and Craig have been offered a stay at a luxury lodge near the run and hope Chris will find time to spend with them there too. He and Craig had a falling out and with Craig’s failing health Rose knows it is important these men have some time together. Their daughter Rebecca is not coming for the race but is planning to visit at the end of June. Rose is excited to try out Craig’s new wheelchair to get him a prime location to watch the race because in addition to their son several friends are also participating.

It was a great race but the adventure tired Craig out and Mama Rose has a few wildlife issues to check out while he gets some rest. But her duties are cast aside when she learns a young woman also staying at the lodge has disappeared. A massive search gets underway and the woman’s body is found in the bush. Rose feels a responsibility to help find her killer but Craig takes a terrible fall and is admitted to the hospital. Craig understands her need to help but their son demands she stay with her husband. Rose does her best to juggle everything going on around her. Can she help solve a murder and give her husband the care he needs?


This was a very emotional story. Personally, I have been disabled and dependent on others for over 20 years. While not in as bad of shape as Craig I really identify with this character. His distress and condition are a huge subplot in this book and for me, it became my main interest. Over the previous 3 books, I truly became invested in this character. Rose is an excellent protagonist. She is smart and has her fingers in almost everything that goes on in the area. They have help to look after Craig while she is out on her rounds taking care of the animals far and wide or following mysterious clues to solve a case. Friends also drop by to chat or do crossword puzzles with him which he really enjoys. The supporting cast continues to develop in believable ways. In this story, a couple took some pretty big leaps.

Ms. Tait has embroiled her characters in a very interesting mystery this time. I really enjoy the way Mama Rose ruminates on the clues sometimes for a long time before she has that wonderful a-ha moment that starts to snap all the clues into place so that she can set up the big reveal. I was excited because I was on the totally right track and even a few steps ahead of her this time.

What I really love about Ms. Tait’s stories is her descriptive writing style. She brings the wilds of Kenya to life. In addition to the Lewa Marathon, Rose helped release four jackals back into the wild and took care of two baby ostriches that had a rough start to their lives. Everywhere these characters travel is vividly described and so easy to see in my mind’s eye. The Conservancy, the luxury lodge, the treacherous roads, and waterholes are all so clear. I almost felt like I was right there in each and every scene.

Jackal and Hide tugged at my heartstrings and I shed a few tears. Rose is an amazing woman but I feel she has some struggles ahead. I truly can’t wait until August 6 when Grevy Danger will be released. You will find Jackal and Hide on my Best Reads of 2021. It deserves more than 5 stars. I loved this story!


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Victoria Tait

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

Like all good military wives, Victoria follows the beat of the drum and currently lives in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  She has two fast growing teenage boys and enjoys horse riding and mountain biking.

You can find Victoria at VictoriaTait.com, at Bookbub, and her readers Facebook group, Victoria’s Voracious Readers (with her cat Izzy)

Website  –  Facebook  – Blog/News  – GoodReads – Pinterest

Purchase Links

Amazon    Kobo    Barnes & Noble    Apple   Google Play    Books2Read

Coming August 6, 2021

Great Escapes Praise for Jackal & Hide: A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait

The author does an amazing job of describing the locations and environments. The lush forests and the dry plains, the magnificent wildlife that play major roles in this series . . . Take your time and appreciate all the nuances and details. This is a series to get lost in and find your way home.
~Laura’s Interests

Welcome to another fantastic African adventure with Mama Rose . . . I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Oh, my gosh! Oh, my gosh! Wow! I just finished Victoria Tait’s, “Jackal & Hide, A Kenya Kanga Mystery” and I am bowled over. It’s so good! . . . I loved this book. It touches your heart and punches you in the gut. When you read the last words, it’s just like crossing the finish line in a Marathon!
~Here’s How It Happened

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

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

Cozy Wednesday featuring Beyond a Reasonable Donut (A Deputy Donut Mystery) by Ginger Bolton #Review / #Excerpt / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It is my pleasure to feature Beyond A Reasonable Donut today!


Beyond a Reasonable Donut (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
by Ginger Bolton

About Beyond a Reasonable Donut


Beyond a Reasonable Donut (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington (May 25, 2021)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725581
ISBN-13: 978-1496725585
Digital ASIN: B08GY9Z1PD

Selling her corn fritters at a carnival, Deputy Donut Café owner Emily Westhill faces off against a murderer who doesn’t play fair . . .

 

Emily and her assistant, Nina, are looking forward to manning the Deputy Donut tent at the Faker’s Dozen Carnival in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin—a festival held on Friday the thirteenth to celebrate good and bad luck. But Emily has barely dropped the corn fritters in oil when bad luck boils up. First, their bucket of confectioner’s sugar disappears—and then while a mime creates a distraction, a magician robs their cash register.

 

After the carnival, their misfortune continues. Emily discovers that someone has broken into artist Nina’s loft and vandalized a large painting in progress with the bucket of stolen sugar, which is now on the head of the mime, who seems to have been suffocated. Emily would bet Nina was the intended victim, but the cops think Nina silenced the mime. Now Emily must catch the killer white-handed—before someone else kicks the bucket . . .

Excerpt 

Marsha was not at her station. A windowless black van had appeared between the entryway and our donut car

I muttered to Nina, “Did that van escape from a morgue parking lot?”

She giggled. “Usually our first-responder friends attend events with their fire trucks, ambulances, and police cruisers, just to be ready. A van from the morgue is carrying preparedness a little far.”

I intoned in a sinister voice, “Maybe not on Friday the thirteenth.”

We walked around the back of the van. On the other side of our car, Marsha was beside a tiny pink car with MIME MOBILE written in purple on the door.

Marsha shook a finger. “You can’t leave your car here!”

She wasn’t talking to us. She was glowering at a tall, thin woman wearing a black beanie on her fluffy orange hair, a red-and-white-striped T-shirt, pink sandals, and baggy black shorts held up by chartreuse suspenders.

The thin woman turned toward us. She was made up like a sorrowful clown, her face powdery white with a dramatic, down-turned red mouth, a red dot on the tip of her nose, and thick black eyelashes painted on her cheeks and forehead. She wore white gloves with red fingernails inked on them. Without a word, she mimicked Marsha’s stance and finger-shaking.

I restrained a smile. People who had been heading toward the entryway had gathered around us. They laughed.

Marsha’s face reddened. “Don’t you shake your finger at me! Move that car.”

The mime sidled closer to Marsha, peered down at Marsha’s clipboard for a few seconds, and then pretended to hold a clipboard of her own. She ran her gloved finger down the top page of her invisible clipboard, jabbed her finger down on it, looked straight at Nina and me, and pointed two fingers at her eyes and then at us as if to warn she was watching us. Then she made a circle with both hands and planted the circle on her forehead, obviously imitating the donuts on our hats. Holding her stomach with both hands, she bent over and acted like she was laughing uproariously, without the roar.

Our hats were funny, but I didn’t think they were that funny.

Marsha clutched her clipboard close to her chest and ordered, “Now move that car!”

The mime made the exaggerated shrug of a person who could do nothing about a tragic situation, patted the car, and motioned with her hands as if outlining an even smaller car.

Marsha balled her free hand into a fist and put it on her hip. “I don’t care how small it is. It’s in the area designated for dignitaries.”

With great exaggeration, the mime cradled an invisible clipboard lovingly against her heart, plunked a fist on a hip, and then thrust her hands into her pockets, turned them inside out, and looked desolate.

The audience clapped. The mime pulled her beanie off and waded into the crowd. Her posture dejected, she held the beanie upside down and pointed into it. Her pockets were still inside out. People good-naturedly put coins and bills into the hat.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin just in time for the Faker’s Dozen Carnival. The folks from Deputy Donut are serving a variety of corn fritters hoping the event brings them nothing but good luck on this Friday the 13th but soon after their arrival, they notice their container of confectioner’s sugar has gone missing. After a quick delivery from the bakery, fritters are being fried, coated and eaten by many at the fair. The Deputy Donut tent is busy with a long line waiting to be served. Emily and Nina are thrilled that a mime and a magician are entertaining the crowd . . . that is until the magician takes advantage of the crowd and sticks his hand in the cash box grabbing several bills before he and the mime hotfoot it out of the park.

The bad luck continues after the park closes when Nina’s loft is broken into and a huge painting almost ready to be shipped for her upcoming show has been vandalized. On the plus side, the missing confectioner’s sugar has been found. Much of it on the painting and the rest over the mime’s head along with the bucket it came in. Sadly the mime dies after inhaling so much sugar and the police quickly decide Nina is the killer while Emily thinks that beyond a reasonable doubt, Nina was the intended victim. Now, she just has to prove it before the killer strikes again. For right now the safest place for Nina could be a jail cell.


Emily is a wonderful protagonist with a huge heart. She is trying to learn how to live her life after losing her police detective husband in the line of duty. His former partner has feelings for her and she seems to for him as well but she just isn’t ready to move in that direction yet. I really appreciate the author not rushing this relationship and allowing Emily to set her own pace. Ms. Bolton has also surrounded Emily with a great group of family and friends to support her in every way, even when she is tracking down a killer.

Readers are treated to a very complicated mystery with a plethora of suspects. Some I quickly discarded including one I truly shouldn’t have. There were so many twists and the motive was unclear throughout most of the book when finally a connection was found that finally stuck. I was totally caught up in the mystery with one theory after another but never got on the right path to solve the crime. I love when that happens. I love a sticky story that I can sink my teeth into and tests me. Beyond a Reasonable Donut sure did that in more ways than one.

https://pixabay.com/photos/carnival-summer-concession-stand-2456911/

One little nit-picky thing. I have lived in Wisconsin, where this book is set my entire life, and attended hundreds of fairs, festivals, and carnivals and have never seen or heard of cotton candy being called cotton “floss”. To me, cotton floss is the thread used in embroidery or cross-stitch. So I asked some friends and family if this was something I missed and they all agreed with me. So I went to Mr. Google/Wikipedia and found:

Cotton candy is made and sold globally—as candy floss in the UK, Ireland, Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, and South Africa, and as fairy floss in Australia and New Zealand.

Machine-spun cotton candy was invented in 1897 by dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton, and first introduced to a wide audience at the 1904 World’s Fair as “Fairy Floss” with great success, 

Joseph Lascaux, a dentist from New OrleansLouisiana, invented a similar cotton candy machine in 1921. In fact, the Lascaux patent named the sweet confection “cotton candy” and the “fairy floss” name faded away. In the United States, National Cotton Candy Day is celebrated on December 7.

So I learned something new about this spun sugar treat. You will find it called cotton candy in the U.S. and served at festivals everywhere, but also at movie theatres and shops and stores too.

I totally enjoyed Beyond a Reasonable Donut. It was a fun read with characters I am invested in. I can’t wait to see what they get into next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Ginger Bolton

Ginger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series—coffee, donuts, cops, danger, and one curious cat. The first four books in the series are SURVIVAL OF THE FRITTERS, GOODBYE CRULLER WORLD, JEALOUSY FILLED DONUTS, and the latest, BOSTON SCREAM MURDER. JEALOUSY FILLED DONUTS was chosen as the Woman’s World Best New Cozy Mystery of the week and was named as one of Dollycas’s Best Reads of 2019. BEYOND A REASONABLE DONUT will be on store shelves May 25, 2021. When Ginger isn’t writing or reading, she’s crocheting, knitting, sewing, or generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts and coffee. As Janet Bolin, Ginger wrote the Threadville Mysteries—murder and mayhem in a village of crafty shops.

Author Links – Website – Facebook –  Twitter BookBub  GoodReads – 

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Coming May 25, 2021

Written as Janet Bolin

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

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

A Trail of Lies: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery) by Kylie Logan #Review


A Trail of Lies: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Minotaur Books (May 11, 2021)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250768632
ISBN-13: 978-1250768636
Kindle ASIN: B08FZ8143D

A Trail of Lies is the third in the Jazz Ramsey mystery series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan.

Jazz Ramsey is just getting used to the idea that her on-again-off-again beau, Nick, might actually be a permanent fixture, when she gets an alarming call in the middle of the night from his mother, Kim: there’s a dead man in her backyard. Kim has a long history of drinking and a vivid imagination, so when Jazz’s human remains detection dog, Wally, finds no evidence of a body, Jazz thinks she can breathe easy.

But when the body of a middle-aged man, Dan Mansfield, is discovered in a nearby park, and a photo of Nick and his mom is found in his pocket, Jazz has to admit that something isn’t adding up. Kim claims not to know who Dan is, but the cops find out soon enough: he’s a recently paroled convict who served thirty years for murder. And when Jazz traces his crime back to a bar fight with an antiques dealer, she ends up with more questions than answers.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jazz Ramsey works at St. Catherine’s Preparatory Academy, an all-girls school as an administrative assistant. She handles the day-to-day details to keep the school running smoothly. Right now her focus is on the Fall Formal which she will be attending without her boyfriend Nick because he is on assignment with a gang task force. It’s a dangerous job that causes Jazz constant worry. So when she gets a call in the middle of the night from Nick’s mother, Kim, saying she needs Jazz right away because “it’s Nick . . . Nick, he’s . . . he’s dead in my backyard”, she rushes to Kim’s house while trying to reach Nick but her call goes to voice mail. She arrives at Kim’s house and hurries to the backyard but after a quick search, she doesn’t find a body. Nick or anyone else. Kim is a “raging alcoholic” so not the most reliable witness so Jazz is not totally surprised. Kim also changes her story, saying it wasn’t Nick but a different man and that she killed him. Jazz stays long enough to calm Kim down and then goes home thinking Kim’s story is a drunken illusion.

Then Dan Mansfield is found dead in a park near Kim’s house. He has a photo of a younger Kim and Nick in his pocket. Kim claims not to know the man but clues leads Jazz to believe Kim is lying. Now Jazz has more questions than answers and she fears there will be a whole trail of lies before this case is solved.


Jazz is an excellent protagonist. She is smart, strong but tenderhearted too. She has tried to stay away from Kim but with Nick out of town, she feels she needs to stay present in Kim’s life not only to solve a murder but because she starts to see Nick’s life growing up. She realizes he was more parent than child in the relationship with his mom. I appreciated the way the author dealt with Kim’s alcoholism. It was very realistically portrayed, and it does give the story a more serious tone than what we usually find in a cozy mystery. Ms. Logan does a great job though of balancing the darker tone with some fun things too. I love the relationship Jazz has with her co-workers. They are truly friends and support each other. Sister Eileen does something surprising in this story and it makes me like her even more. Of course, a certain Airedale named Wally lightens the story up too. Still, in training his antics bring the humor when needed. I thought all the core characters developed over the course of the story but I was really caught up in what we learned about Nick’s life.

The mystery was extremely well-plotted. It really focused on Kim’s life and the people in it over the years. With some nice twists and suspenseful moments the book really held my attention. Ms. Logan gave us plenty of suspects but several red herrings too that made it very hard to pin down the actual killer. Jazz truly was like a dog with a bone. Even when her own life was in peril she did not give up. That made for a very exciting story from beginning to end.

The title A Trail of A Lies fits this story so well. While it can be read as a stand-alone, I encourage reading the series from the start in order for maximum enjoyment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent 

Read my review of The Scent of Murder here and The Secret of Bones here.  

About the Author

Kylie Logan is the national bestselling author of The League of Literary Ladies Mysteries, the Button Box Mysteries, the Chili Cook-Off Mysteries, and the Ethnic Eats Mysteries, among others.

Visit her at – WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Also by this Author

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.”

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Cozy Wednesday featuring Peaches and Schemes: A Georgia B&B Mystery by Anna Gerard #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to share my thoughts about
Peaches and Schemes by Anna Gerard today!

 

Peaches and Schemes: A Georgia B&B Mystery
by Anna Gerard

About Peaches and Schemes


Peaches and Schemes: A Georgia B&B Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (May 11, 2021)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1643855840
ISBN-13: 978-1643855844
Digital ASIN: B08FZLH8HS

In Anna Gerard’s third delightful Georgia B&B mystery, Nina Fleet learns that despite the satin, lace, and buttercream trappings, weddings often prove to be anything but sweet…

Nina Fleet might be new to the innkeeping business, but she’s savvy enough to know that Cymbeline’s tourists aren’t enough to keep her fledgling bed and breakfast going. And so, Nina decides to tap into the destination wedding market by taking a booth at the Veils and Vanities Bridal Expo. The twice-yearly event is sponsored by the town’s two wedding pros: Virgie Hamilton, the sixtysomething owner of Virgie’s Formals, and Roxanna Quarry, a Gen X event planner and Nina’s new friend. But everything goes wrong during the expo’s fashion show when Roxanna comes tumbling out of an oversized prop wedding cake, strangled to death by her own scarf.

Virgie is arrested for the crime, thanks to Nina’s statement to the police about having overheard the woman accusing her partner of embezzlement. Meanwhile, the situation grows tense with her sometimes nemesis and current tenant, the dashing out-of-work actor Harry Westcott. Harry is concentrating on plugging his most recent side hustle …but he’s not too busy to break the news to Nina that her ex-husband is engaged to be married again.

Certain that Virgie’s only offense is a bad temper, Nina decides to do her own investigating. First, however, she and Harry retrieve Roxanna’s now ownerless dog, planning to foster him until a new home can be found. But local gossip soon convinces Nina that others besides Virgie might have had reason to murder Roxanna. As Nina gets close to the truth, she’s putting her own life in danger. And when Virgie vanishes after being bailed out of jail by an unknown benefactor, Nina fears that if she can’t find the dress shop owner in time, tying the knot will take on a whole new meaning for them both.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

To ensure the success of her Fleet House B&B Nina (Nine-A) has decided to add weddings and receptions to the services she will offer. She is hoping members are the wedding parties will want to stay at the B&B too. To get the word out she takes part in the semi-annual Veils and Vanities Bridal Expo sponsored by Virgie Hamilton, the sixtysomething owner of Virgie’s Formals, and Roxanna Quarry, a Gen X event planner. Her booth has been busy with brides-to-be asking for information. Nina is about to declare the event a success when the fashion show part of the event takes a deadly turn. During the big finale Nina’s new friend, Roxanna tumbles out of a prop wedding cake. She appears to have been strangled to death, the murder weapon, her own scarf.

There had been tension between the two event sponsors. Nina even overhears Virgie accuse Roxanna of stealing funds from their partnership. When she tells the police they believe that is enough motive to arrest Virgie for the murder.

Nina has a little stress in her life too as she learns her ex-husband is getting married again. Plus, Harry Wescott is still staying at her B&B and he seems to have a new money-making scheme he may soon come to regret. She has also decided to move Roxanna’s dog into the B&B until a new home is found. On top of all that she is of course digging into the murder investigation because while Virgie had the motive, means, and opportunity to kill her partner, Nina doesn’t think she is a killer. The trouble is she knows she is on the actual killer’s radar and that may prove to be a dangerous place to be.


Ms. Gerard has created some wonderful characters. I have enjoyed Nina from the start and in this third Georgia B&B Mystery Harry Westcott really surprised me and in a good way. He is still a schemer but he is really there for Nina this time. They are turning out to be a great team and maybe more . . . I don’t want to get ahead of myself or the author with this thinking. I do love their back and forth dialogue and his “Secret Squirrel” nickname for her. The new characters she introduced for this story are diverse and all brought something interesting to the mystery. As always the animal characters made my heart happy.

Again this author delivers a well-plotted and well-written mystery with multiple possibilities. I was very caught up in all the action and the actual guilty party never landed on my suspect list. The big reveal was full of surprise and suspense. Nina really didn’t know her friend Roxanna as well as she thought she did and that added some really intriguing twists including one that stuck very close to home. The ending was really a melancholy moment but by the final word, things seem to be looking up.

I have to say the author set a great pace with the entire story. There wasn’t a time I ever thought about putting the book down, except to sleep, and I couldn’t wait to get right back into the story the next evening and stay tuned in for a satisfying and exciting conclusion.

Peaches and Schemes was a Perfect Escape. Excellent characters, a captivating mystery, a wedding, a little romantic tension, and humor liberally placed throughout kept me entertained from beginning to end. I am so excited to see where Ms. Gerard takes her characters and her readers next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Anna Gerard

DIANE A.S. STUCKART began her writing career in the 1990s as the critically acclaimed author of historical romance under the names Alexa Smart and Anna Gerard. She later switched to the mystery genre and is the NYT bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries (written as Ali Brandon) and the award-winning Leonardo da Vinci historical mysteries. Her Tarot Cats Mystery series launched in 2018 with FOOL’S MOON. Her Georgia B&B Mystery series (also written as Anna Gerard) debuted in 2019 with PEACH CLOBBERED. Kirkus Reviews describes that book as “Filled with Southern charm and enough ditzy characters to keep readers guessing and laughing.” Book 3 in that series, PEACHES AND SCHEMES—her 17th published novel—now available.

Author Links – WebsiteFacebookBookLoversBench

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Written as Ali Brandon

Written as Diane A.S. Stuckart

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Great Escapes Praise for Peaches and Schemes: A Georgia B&B Mystery
by Anna Gerard

Part of the charm of this series – and it certainly is charming – is in the cast of characters and the setting the author has created to contain them and their murderous ways.
~Reading Reality

Author Anna Gerard gives the reader a light-hearted story filled with fun Characters and interesting relationships!
~My Reading Journeys

. . . a great read full of interesting characters that you will happy follow as the story progresses. The dogs are an added bonus I must say.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

In addition to the wonderful characters in Peaches and Schemes, the author delivers a charming setting and a dash of potential romance. Not to mention the intriguing plot that kept me guessing!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

Delightfully focused on the mystery, this cozy offers up plenty of suspects to keep armchair sleuths entertained. I also found that the relationship between Nina and her sidekick Harry kept the mystery light and fun.
~Mysteries With Character

Peaches and Schemes by Anna Gerard is a brilliant mystery with a perfectly plotted crime. The characters are so wonderfully flawed and yet wonderful.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Wonderful characters, an interesting setting, and a B&B house I’d like to visit, make this a fun cozy to read, and puzzle out.
~Laura’s Interests

PEACHES AND SCHEMES is a delightful mystery that had me laughing, commiserating, and gasping in shock. Its characters have wormed their way into my heart and I feel their pain as well as their joy.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Peaches and Schemes is a lighthearted, humorous cozy mystery with an eventful expo, a maimed mate, Gus the Goldendoodle, a tryophobia terror, a suspicious silver sedan, and a helpful Harry.
~The Avid Reader

A big goofy dog, a wedding expo, two hot romantic opportunities, and a murder to solve! What’s not to love about Peaches and Schemes? . . . If you like your cozy mysteries with some romantic tension, you should pick up this book.
~Diane Reviews Books

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

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

Deadly Ever After: A Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates #Review


Deadly Ever After: A Lighthouse Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (May 11, 2021)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1643855883
ISBN-13: 978-1643855882
Kindle ASIN: B08FZLW1SB

Librarian Lucy’s wedding is at stake when a murder interrupts her engagement celebrations. To make it down the aisle, she’ll have to find the killer to save the date in the 8th book in the Lighthouse Library mysteries.

They’re getting married! Lucy Richardson and Connor McNeil have announced their engagement. Their friends throw a party for the couple at Coquina Beach, close to Lucy’s beloved Bodie Island Lighthouse Library.

As they’re packing up the presents and the (few) leftovers from Josie’s Cozy Bakery, who should arrive, but Richard Eric Lewiston III, Lucy’s former almost-fiancé and his overbearing mother Evangeline. Push comes to love when Evangeline makes no secret of why she’s here: to get Lucy and Ricky back together.

Lucy isn’t tempted in the least, and Ricky is nothing but embarrassed at his mother’s desperate ploy. Before returning to Boston Evangeline throws a dinner party at Jake’s Seafood Bar for a reluctant Lucy and her family. Lucy hopes to get the dinner over with and see Evangeline and Ricky returning to Boston. But when a body is found at the restaurant’s kitchen door, Lucy is again forced to unwillingly put on her detective’s hat and do what she can to save her family and her engagement. Meanwhile, the classic novel reading club is reading The Hound of the Baskervilles, and open war breaks out in the Lighthouse Library when Lucy agrees to temporarily take care of a dog named Fluffy, but Charles the library cat has other ideas.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The last book, A Death Long Overdue ended with Lucy Richardson and Connor McNeil getting engaged. This book opens with an engagement party thrown by their friends and family. Right as the party is wrapping up Lucy’s former boyfriend, Richard Eric Lewiston III, his mother and her dog, Fluffy, come walking down the beach full of explanations for their late arrival to a party they were not invited to. Evangeline Lewiston is a woman on a mission. A mission to get Lucy to cast Connor aside and get back together with her son Ricky. Lucy has no interest in the woman’s plans or her son.

In a last-ditch effort, Evangeline invites Lucy and her family to a dinner party at Jake’s Seafood Bar. She isn’t put off at all that Connor arrives with Lucy. Lucy just wants to get the evening over with and the Lewiston’s back on the road home to Boston. Instead, the dinner ends when a dead body is found just outside the restaurant’s kitchen door. The victim’s identity is quickly revealed and it means no one will be heading back to Boston anytime soon. Lucy knows if she wants to get on with her life with Connor she needs to emulate Sherlock Holmes and catch the killer as quickly as possible. Oh, the library’s classic reading group is reading The Hound of the Baskervilles too, maybe Mr. Holmes will have some insight to help Lucy solve the case.


This truly is one of my favorite cozy series because it takes place in my favorite fictional library. the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library is a magnificent place that can only exist if you let your imagination take over and enjoy the unique library to its fullest. I would give anything for it to be a real place because I would pack my bags to visit it today. The best vacation our family ever had was to the Brunswick Islands, specifically Caswell Beach in North Carolina. We traveled quite a bit of the coast visiting the lighthouses and would love to return and maybe stay in Nags Head.

The genuine characters are another reason this is a favorite series. They are caring individuals who not only care about each other but the Outer Banks, Bodie Island, and its Lighthouse Library. Lucy and her mom bend over backward to help and support Ricky and Evangeline throughout the entire course of the investigation. Heck, Lucy even takes Evangeline’s dog Fluffy home to her Aerie after the pup is kicked out of the hotel, much to the library cat’s Charles’ ire, at first.

Ms. Gates always delivers a top-notch mystery too. She knows how to set the scene and drops clues in a way that keeps her readers on their toes. She sets up some epic twists that can turn most theories inside out, Her stories are a real treat to read. The pace is quick and the subplots always add so much to the story. Right now, Lucy and Connor are looking for a home to share their lives in before they really make any concrete plans for their wedding. and it is not an easy task. This subplot has an excellent twist of its own that I really enjoyed.

Each new book in this series becomes my new favorite as Deadly Ever After is now. I am sad when I read the final page because each visit to the Outer Banks ends much too soon. Until next time . . .

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea By The Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library books for Crooked Lane.

Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It crime writing festival. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Author Links –
Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com.
On Facebook at www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor.
Twitter @vickidelany@evagatesauthor

Instagram: vickidelany

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Written as Vicki Delany


Find more books by Vicki Delaney here.

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – A Scandal in Scarlet (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery) by Vicki Delany #Review / #Giveaway @vickidelany

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


A Scandal in Scarlet (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1683317904
ISBN-13: 978-1683317906
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 164385027X
ISBN-13: 978-1643850276
Kindle ASIN: B079DWNBV7

Gemma and Jayne donate their time to raise money for the rebuilding of a burned-out museum—but a killer wants a piece of the auction—in this fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Walking her dog Violet late one night, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop, acts quickly when she smells smoke outside the West London Museum. Fortunately, no one is inside, but it’s too late to save the museum’s priceless collection of furniture, and damage to the historic house is extensive. Baker Street’s shop owners come together to hold an afternoon auction tea to raise funds to rebuild, and Great Uncle Arthur Doyle offers a signed first edition of The Valley of Fear.

Cape Cod’s cognoscenti files into Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room, owned by Gemma’s best friend, Jayne Wilson. Excitement fills the air (along with the aromas of Jayne’s delightful scones, of course). But the auction never happens. Before the gavel can fall, museum board chair Kathy Lamb is found dead in the back room. Wrapped tightly around her neck is a long rope of decorative knotted tea cups—a gift item that Jayne sells at Mrs. Hudson’s. Gemma’s boyfriend in blue, Ryan Ashburton, arrives on the scene with Detective Louise Estrada. But the suspect list is long, and the case far from elementary. Does Kathy’s killing have any relation to a mysterious death of seven years ago?

Gemma has no intention of getting involved in the investigation, but when fellow shopkeeper Maureen finds herself the prime suspect she begs Gemma for her help. Ryan knows Gemma’s methods and he isn’t happy when she gets entangled in another mystery. But with so many suspects and so few clues, her deductive prowess will prove invaluable in A Scandal in Scarlet, Vicki Delany’s shrewdly plotted fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Gemma Doyle owns the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop on Baker Street in West London Massachusetts. While out walking her dog, Violet one evening outside of the West London Museum she smells smoke. The fire department arrives and saves most of the house but the furnishings and collectibles are destroyed. To rebuild and refurnish the Scarlet House an auction and tea is held at Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room with prizes donated by the Baker’s Street shopkeepers and other friends of the museum.

After the tea service ends the auction is set to start everything comes to a halt when museum board chair and auctioneer Kathy Lamb is found dead in the storeroom. Police arrive to an entire room of suspects including the deceased ex-husband and his new wife. One of the shopkeepers, Maureen MacGregor, is pegged as the prime suspect though because of a verbal altercation with Kathy prior to the start of the tea that was witnessed by everyone. She has asked Gemma to help prove her innocence. This doesn’t make her boyfriend, Detective Ryan Ashburton, or his partner Detective Louise Estrada happy but with the vast array of suspects, her insights could be helpful.


Gemma Doyle is a fantastic protagonist. She has a keen sense of observation, is smart and independent, and speaks her mind, sometimes to her own detriment. She may be viewed as a little harsh but by this fourth book in the series, she is softening a bit.  I think we have the good detective to thank for that. He has learned she can be helpful in solving his cases because she sees and picks up on things other people don’t. Her friend Jayne is the perfect Watson to her Sherlock. Gemma sometimes forges ahead quickly while Jayne does her best to keep Gemma out of trouble. Gemma has a unique assistant in Ashleigh that frees her up and gives her plenty of time to sleuth out clue after clue.

The author has written a very complicated mystery. The deceased wasn’t well-liked and at times was as subtle as a bulldozer when it came to the changes she wanted to make at Scarlet House. Hence, the plethora of suspects. The investigation takes Gemma and Jayne from one end of Baker Street to the other and visiting not one but two yacht clubs. The current mystery may have ties to an old cold case which brings even more intrigue to the story. I was totally kept guessing until the very end and then wanted to kick myself. The K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) theory totally applied in this case and I missed the clues completely.

The Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium and the attached Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room sounds like a fabulous place to visit for Sherlock Holmes lovers. Gemma carries several book titles and all types of memorabilia related to all the versions that have evolved over the years. Someone is always taking a new twist on the famous fictional detective and his sidekick.

A Scandal in Scarlet is an excellent addition to this series. As a fan of the Basil Rathbone Holmes portrayal and a fan of Vicki Delany, I don’t know how I got so far behind on this series but I am working to rectify that now. I hope to read and review There’s A Murder Afoot and A Curious Incident soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

Vicki Delany is a bestselling author of more than twenty novels/novellas in several mystery subgenres. Born in Manitoba and raised in Ontario, she is the former president of the Crime Writers of Canada, a member of Capital Crime Writers, and a member of Sisters in Crime.

Author Links

Website – Facebook – Twitter:  @vickidelany and@evagatesauthor – Instagramvickidelany


Also by this Author

Find more books by Vicki Delaney here.

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