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

Treasure Most Deadly (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery) by Terry Ambrose #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @terryawriterguy


Treasure Most Deadly (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery)
by Terry Ambrose

About Treasure Most Deadly 


Treasure Most Deadly (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – California
Satori (April 28, 2021)
Print Length: 265 pages
ASIN: B08ZJ4XQ89

Seaside Cove amateur sleuths Rick and Alexandra Atwood are back!

 

Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast owner Rick Atwood is again called on to assist his friend, Chief of Police Adam Cunningham, with a murder investigation. The case seems straightforward enough. Clive Crabbe, who has a quick temper and a strong jealous streak, was found hunched over the victim after the man made advances toward Clive’s ex-wife.

 

A murder investigation is the last thing Rick wants right now. The B&B is booked solid. The town is inundated with tourists and news reporters chasing stories about treasure thieves. And Rick’s wedding to Marquetta Weiss is just weeks away. As if that wasn’t enough, Rick’s eleven-year-old daughter Alex is not only itching to help the cops solve another murder, but she’s forming an unhealthy friendship with a B&B guest.

 

As the murder investigation progresses, Rick realizes Alex’s new friend could be at the center of everything. The worst part is that Alex may be the one person capable of cracking the case.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Since the hidden treasure of San Manuel has been found Seaside Cove has been overtaken by tourists and reporters but a few thieves look to have arrived too. Rick and Marquetta have a full house at their B&B and Alex and Marquetta’s mother, Madeline, are pressuring them to choose a date and get their wedding planned. The last thing they need is another murder.

But soon Chief of Police Adam Cunningham calls on his good friend Rick when he finds a dead man in an alley. It appears to be an open and shut case though. Clive Crabbe is found next to the body. Clive and his wife are separated but he can’t handle anyone giving his ex and attention. According to reports she and the dead man had been flirting up a storm. But Clive claims he is innocent.

On top of that Alex is helping a “reporter” get the facts for a story while chasing down her own set of clues for the murder case. Is she going to solve this one before the chief and her dad? or is she going to find herself in a boatload of trouble she can’t handle?

_________

I am so happy to be visiting Seaside Cove again. You never know what is going to happen when you check in at Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast. Marquetta makes sure all the guest’s needs are met with a little help from Alex and Rick, but it won’t be long before Rick is working a case and Alex is off on an adventure. I love the way these characters have grown quickly into a family and that Alex comes to really realize that in this story. The alternating points of view between Rick and Alex are great. Seeing things from an eleven-year-old POV is always fun. She does have some great insights. Alex’s dedication to Flynn was heartwarming. She will not abide anyone lying about her friend.

The author introduces a handful of new characters, some just tourists, some who seem to have a secret, one on a mystery mission, and another trying to heal from a harrowing experience. A few unsavory characters have arrived in town too. All of these new characters are cleverly crafted and develop nicely over the course of the story.

The mystery is very well-plotted with just the right amount of suspects. In addition to the murder, someone is stealing artifacts from the sunken ship. All the plotlines mesh together for an exciting and comprehensive mystery. I totally enjoyed following along with Alex and her antics. That girl can’t stop thinking about the case even at school. I do appreciate that Rick and Marquetta try to keep her to safe parts of the investigation but their best-laid plans don’t always work.

The subplot of Rick and Marquetta’s wedding planning was so realistic. How do you have the wedding of your dreams when you are in the hospitality business, taking care of other needs day in and day out? I think these two are starting to figure it out.

Each trip to Seaside Cove is unique and fun. Treasure Most Deadly is a fantastic addition to this series. Come for the sea, the sun, and the treasure. Just remember that treasure can be deadly.

I am already looking forward to my next visit!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Terry Ambrose

Once upon a time, in a life he’d rather forget, Terry Ambrose, tracked down deadbeats for a living. He also hired big guys with tow trucks to steal cars-but only when negotiations failed. Those years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as always keep your car in the garage. Today, Terry likes fast, funny mysteries and cool photography. He writes the Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries and organized an anthology to benefit Read Aloud America. He fondly likens his efforts to those of a blind man herding cats.

Author Links:

Website    Facebook    LinkedIn     Goodreads     Twitter    Instagram 

Purchase Link – Amazon – 


TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
May 4 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT
May 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
May 5 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 6 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
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May 8 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW, GUEST POST
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May 10 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
May 10 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 11 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 12 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
May 12 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
May 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 13 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
May 14 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 14 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
May 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
May 17 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

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

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

Legally Blind Luck (Braxton Campus Mysteries) by James J. Cudney #Review / #Giveaway @jamescudney4 – Great Escapes Book Tour


Legally Blind Luck (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney

About Legally Blind Luck 


Legally Blind Luck (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Gumshoe – A Next Chapter Imprint (April 15, 2021)
Paperback: 295 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8707757341
Digital ASIN: B08R347N84

Surprising new family members. A hidden talisman. Deadly curses. Murder. Months after tragically losing a loved one, Kellan learns his relative’s death wasn’t an accident.

 

Someone has discovered a cursed talisman, and a rogue government agent will stop at nothing to retrieve the heirloom. Unfortunately, it has already changed hands and found its way on campus. Moments before Braxton’s controversial art exhibition opens, Kellan stumbles upon another murder victim, and it appears he might be next on the avenger’s list.

 

Can Kellan protect the talisman’s true heir and prevent the killer’s nefarious plan? Given all the suspects have ties to prominent Braxton citizens, he’s uncertain whom to trust. Together, Kellan and Sheriff April are determined to solve the mystery – via legal means or blind luck.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kellan has his hands full with his work at the college, preparing for the next term and helping to oversee that an exhibit of South African Art goes off without a hitch. An exhibit that connects to his recently deceased uncle and a hidden talisman and a curse. Before the event even starts another dead body is found on the Braxton Campus. People are starting to worry. There has been a great influx of murders since Kellan returned home. Especially because he gets so involved in their investigations. Being romantically involved with the Sheriff should help him get all the details but that isn’t always the case. This time it is going to take both of their intellect and prowess to solve this crime.


This one started a little slow for me. With the cliffhanger at the end of Frozen Stiff Drink, I expected this story to pick right up where that story left off but several months seem to have passed. I felt I had a lot of information to absorb before the story really got going. I also appreciated the cast list at the beginning of the book because we meet a lot of new characters and at times it was hard to keep all the characters and their connections straight.

As I read further into the story I found the James J. Cudney rhythm I am used to. The intricate plotlines evolved and again Kellan is in the middle of everything that happens. Because of the death of his uncle, we meet several characters connected to him and now connected to the college. They are brought together in search of a talisman many believe could now be at the college or with Kellan. The backstory of this artifact and its curse was very interesting but its entanglements did get a little confusing at times.

I really enjoyed the way Kellan and April’s romance is progressing buy I think they made a huge mistake when a key piece of evidence is found. Not handling its security immediately as most law enforcement professionals would have instigated did allow some future events but to me, this part was just not believable.

The mystery had several twists but I focused on one character almost from the moment they were introduced. I was still completed entertained with the way all was revealed.  While I wasn’t surprised most of the characters definitely were.

The uniqueness of Kellan’s family is what originally drew me into this series, the mob connections, protecting his daughter, and the formidable presence of Nana D. always kept my attention and the pages flying. With his ex-wife’s story basically wrapped the author had to move these characters in a new direction and he has done a great job at that. We are getting to know some other of the key characters better. Kellan has also opened his home and his heart. Sadly Nana D. had a much smaller role in this book and I really missed the humor she usually brings. There was some but I can never get enough of that lady. We were introduced to another over-the-top character but she couldn’t fill Nana D.’s shoes.

I was happy that the main mystery was wrapped and I wouldn’t say this book ended with Mr. Cudney’s typical cliffhanger. Instead, it looks like Kellan has several options in his future. It sets up what could be a very compelling plot.

Legally Blind Luck, boy that title really fits, was an intriguing read with captivating characters, old and new. It’s always exciting to see what this author has in store for his characters.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About James J. Cudney

Background

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, mind, and body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels, and suspense thrillers. I conjure characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies, or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read two books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review, and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks,” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others, and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Author Links

Website    Blog

Amazon    Twitter    Author Facebook    Series Facebook

Bookbub    Instagram    Goodreads    LinkedIn    Pinterest

Braxton Campus Mysteries – Purchase Links 


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Great Escapes Praise for Legally Blind Luck (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney

The author writes cozies that are fun to read, and this one is no exception. Full of mystery, twists and turns… it keeps one guessing who the murderer is.
~Literary Gold

As always James is able to intertwine details, braiding them together flawlessly and revealing one shock after another . . . this is one of my absolute favorites! 5 stars, and I’ll be holding my breath for book 8!
~Author Didi Oviatt

I loved the storyline in this installment – the cursed object gives the story a slightly darker feel while managing to remain “cozy”, and it was a fun change.
~The Book’s the Thing

The mystery in this one was quite twisty and I enjoyed the history and story about the curse. It added a lot of enjoyment to the story, especially for this history buff.
~Carla Loves To Read

James Cudney has a talent for writing family/murder mysteries, with wonderfully engaging dialogue, great characters, (my favourite is Nana D!)
~M J MALLON AUTHOR – Kyrosmagica

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
April 21 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
April 21 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 21 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 22 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 22 – Didi Oviatt – Author – REVIEW
April 22 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
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April 24 – Nesie’s Place – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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April 26 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
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April 28 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
April 28 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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April 29 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
April 29 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
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April 30 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
April 30 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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

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

Cozy Wednesday – Southern Sass and a Battered Bride (A Marygene Brown Mystery) by Kate Young – #Review / #Giveaway @KAYoungBooks @KensingtonBooks – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to share with you my thoughts today about
Southern Sass and a Battered Bride.


Southern Sass and a Battered Bride (A Marygene Brown Mystery)
by Kate Young

 

About Southern Sass and a Battered Bride


Southern Sass and a Battered Bride (A Marygene Brown Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Kensington (April 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721497
ISBN-13: 978-1496721495
Digital ASIN : B08F2WNNPQ

At a murder mystery–themed wedding reception on Georgia’s picturesque Peach Cove Island, the bride is doing an awfully good job playing dead . . .

 

Marygene Brown always figured she’d marry her childhood sweetheart, Alex Myers, not cater his wedding. But the Peach Diner could use the exposure. Most of the island is showing up—although more for the role-playing murder game at the reception than for the widely loathed bridezilla, Lucy Carmichael. Marygene may have to smile through the festivities, but Mama doesn’t have to hold her peace—especially since only Marygene can hear her mother’s ghost. Mama says she sees an aura of darkness around the wedding.

 

So when Marygene finds Lucy lying beside the wedding cake, buried in batter, with no pulse, it looks like Mama called it. This is no game. And when the bride’s body simply vanishes, it’s up to Marygene and her best friend Betsy (cousin to the groom and no fan of the bride) to solve a real-life mystery—with a little help from Mama’s sassy spirit . . .

 

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Alex Myers is getting married but not to his childhood sweetheart Marygene Brown. No, he is marrying Lucy Carmichael and no one is really happy about it. Marygene has consented to cater the event because it is good business, especially because most of the island is attending. They aren’t really coming to support the nuptials, they are coming to take part in the murder mystery reception. Marygene is surprised the bridezilla has consented to be the victim but when she sees the woman on the ground covered in batter she realizes the woman will do anything to be the center of attention.

Looking closely Marygene thinks the woman is doing an excellent job, she really looks dead. OMG! She is dead! Her mama’s ghost had warned her to be careful because there is an aura of darkness around the wedding. Well, she was right and things get even eerier when Lucy’s body disappears. Was she really dead or was it all just an act? Who would have taken a dead body? and how did they do it without being seen? Marygene knows she has to find out because she and her best friend Betsy are high up on the suspect list. She just hopes her mother will be able to see something Marygene is missing because this is no longer a game, it’s murder and other lives are on the line.


Kate Young has created such strong characters with a fantastic family dynamic. Marygene has grown so much since this series began. She is Southern through and through always trying to see the best in everyone even when they are clearly at their worse. She will bend over backward to help, again when people don’t deserve it. This time we saw the worse of Alex and it really shakes Marygene to her core but she remains open to help him even when others have backed away. Betsy and her Aunt Vi are really hurt by his words and actions but they are still able to bring plenty of funny to this story. I just love Marygene’s mother. Her ghostly presence is always interesting. She is still learning about what she can and can’t do but she always shows up when Marygene needs her most. A tragic event within the story shows that even a ghost can grow and evolve. Marygene’s siblings also play a large role in the story. I became invested in these characters early in this series and they continue to warm my heart and surprise me too. This family is close and that is what drives this series.

The story starts out of the gate fast with so much going on. This author excels at blending real-life happenings with the murder mystery. Marygene is pulled in several directions it seems all at the same time. A complicated mystery unfolds with several twists and exciting moments. Marygene takes a wild ride literally this time and it had me holding my breath imagining what could have been and that was just the first time it happened. The pages were flying as each clue dropped and my theories took flight. I did have someone pretty well pinned to the top of my suspect list but there were twists that really surprised me and I was pretty shocked when all was revealed.

As I have said before, the books in this series are so much more than cozy mysteries. Kate Young gives her readers a story full of Southern charm and sass and characters that are realistic and true. The dialogues are cleverly written and the humor is spot-on.  Southern Sass and a Battered Bride is a very entertaining story. I definitely need more Marygene, Betsy, and Aunt Vi in my life. I hope to return to Peach Cove Island soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Kate Young

Kate Young writes Southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.

Author Links – Website Facebook – Twitter  GoodReads BookBub

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

Also by Kate Young

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
April 26 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 26 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
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April 27 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Posted in 2021 Reviews E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge paradise rating You Read How Many Books Challenge

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto #Review


Dial A for Aunties
Humorous American Literature
Asian American Literature & Fiction
Setting – California
Publisher: Berkley (April 27, 2021)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0593336739
ISBN-13: 978-0593336731
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0593333039
ISBN-13: 978-0593333037
Kindle ASIN: B08JKM7JCC

What happens when you mix 1 (accidental) murder with 2 thousand wedding guests and then toss in a possible curse on 3 generations of an immigrant Chinese-Indonesian family? 
 
You get 4 meddling Asian aunties coming to the rescue!

When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for the family wedding business—”Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!”—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream flowers.

But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Oh my, this is satire at its finest. Jesse Q. Sutanto sure knows how to bring the funny.

Meddelin Chan is part of her family’s wedding business. She photographs the event from start to finish and with Indonesian – Chinese weddings that entails a lot. “Big Aunt” makes the luscious cakes, “Aunt 2” is in charge of hair and make-up. Meddie’s mother takes care of all the flowers and “Aunt 4” sings, providing entertainment. Together all five of them try to hide a body but wait, I am getting ahead of myself.

Meddy’s mother is so worried about her daughter’s love life that with some help from her meddlesome aunts she sets Meddy up on a dating site and pretends to be her. Meddy finds out when she learns she has a blind date with a man her mother feels is perfect. Sadly the date doesn’t go well and Meddelin accidentally kills the man and could have killed herself. But she survives and makes it home with the date in the trunk of the car. With a huge wedding the next day they try to keep the body on ice until after the event but due to circumstances beyond their control that darn body ends up at the wedding site. What ensues is a wild ride of a story I could not put down. Heck, Meddy’s college boyfriend even enters the scene and plays an integral part.


Okay, you need to suspend reality while reading this story but you will catch yourself laughing out loud and immersed in a wonderful escape.

Meddy is the dutiful daughter and “Ma” and her Aunties are an absolute hoot! The Chans are a close family and there is so much love there. The Auntie’s get a little snippy with each other but they truly support each other even when it comes to getting rid of a dead body. These characters practically jump off the page. The dialogue which includes a little bickering just sings. I laughed so hard when Meddy and her aunties had to explain to Ma the text messages she had received from the man she set her daughter up with.

The story had a few Weekend At Bernie’s movie moments too as we moved to the wedding part of the story. That poor dead body turned up in some surprising places.

But the story isn’t all laughs. We get a nice look at the traditions and stress of an Indo-Chinese wedding. I really felt for the bride as certain things came to light.

I loved the twist that brought Meddy’s college boyfriend, Nathan Chan back into the story and the little flashbacks to their previous relationship. Don’t worry Chan is like Smith in the Indo-Chinese world so they are not related.

I absolutely loved everything about this story and I was thrilled to read it is going to be adapted into a movie on NetFlix. It was such a wonderful escape I have to give it my highest – deserves more than 5 stars – Paradise Rating. Dial A for Aunties is a fantastic story full of delightfully quirky characters that I wish I could meet in person. Crazy chaos overtakes these pages and will have readers grinning ear to ear. Fun and entertaining. A must-read!

*Note: The book does include explicit language. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Photo Credit Michael Hart

About the Author

Jesse Q Sutanto grew up shuttling back and forth between Indonesia, Singapore, and Oxford and considers all three places her home. She has a Master’s from Oxford University, but she has yet to figure out how to say that without sounding obnoxious. Jesse has forty-two first cousins and thirty aunties and uncles, many of whom live just down the road. When she’s not writing, she’s gaming with her husband (mostly FPS), or making a mess in the kitchen with her two daughters.

Website     Facebook      Twitter    Instagram     

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 Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Peachy Scream: A Georgia B&B Mystery by Anna Gerard #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks

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.


Peachy Scream: A Georgia B&B Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643853066
ISBN-13: 978-1643853062
Kindle ASIN: B07XXBK3CX

To die, or not to die? Georgia B&B proprietor Nina Fleet turns amateur thespian to bring the curtain down on a Shakespearean actor’s killer.

It’s nothing short of inevitable that Cymbeline, GA, hosts an annual Shakespeare festival. But stage-struck Nina Fleet is about to learn that putting on an amateur theatrical production can be murder. Nina’s anticipating showbiz glamour and glitz when a community Shakespearean troupe arrives for a two-week stay at her B&B. But the lights dim when she learns the company’s director is her nemesis, struggling actor Harry Westcott–who still claims to be the rightful heir to Nina’s elegant Queen Anne home.

Meanwhile, the troupe members are not content to leave the drama up on the stage. Accusations of infidelity and financial malfeasance make a shambles of rehearsals. And then, two days into the troupe’s stay, the lead actor is found dead in Nina’s formal Shakespeare garden. Natural causes…or murder most foul?

Nina uncovers evidence that something is indeed rotten in the town of Cymbeline. Too bad Harry is the only one who believes that she’s not going completely off-script. And exposing the truth isn’t easy when the remaining troupe members say the show must go on…particularly when all of them seemingly had a motive for wanting their fellow actor to permanently exit stage right. Determined to keep the killer from making a curtain call, Nina and her trusty Australian Shepherd, Matilda, join forces with Harry to sleuth out the murder plot. Will they succeed before someone else shuffles off this mortal coil? Find out in Anna Gerard’s delightful second Georgia B&B mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Harry Westcott is back and he has brought a troupe of Shakespearean actors with him. They are booked into Nina Fleet’s Georgia B&B for the next two weeks to take part in Cymbeline’s annual Shakespeare festival. Nina is sure this is just part of Harry’s scheme to take her home away from her but with no other lodging available she can’t send the group away and be responsible for ruining the festival. The trouble with actors though is they always bring the drama. This crowd seems to snipe at each other constantly and are not beyond playing a prank or two. But did someone’s prank go too far? Just two days into their stay lead actor Len Marsh is found dead in Nina’s Shakespeare garden. Foul play? or natural causes?

Nina definitely believes there is murder afoot and shares her thinking with Harry. Soon Nina and her nemesis are teaming up with a little assistance from a certain Australian Shepherd to catch the killer before the curtain comes down on another B&B guest.


Nina (Nine-A) Fleet is a great protagonist and is learning the ropes of being a great innkeeper. She does her best to keep her guests happy and to tend to their needs. Even Harry Westcott. Harry does put his career first and agrees to put his feud with Nina on the backburner if she allows everyone to stay. Having them work together on the murder investigation really shows how much these characters have grown.

Readers are introduced to quite a group of thespians. They include lead actor, playing Hamlet, and victim Les Marsh and his trophy wife Susie, who will be playing Ophelia.  Earth Mother, Professor Tessa Benedict, and her hippy husband Bill, who will be playing Queen Gertrude and King Claudius. Bill will also be playing the ghost of Hamlet’s father. Radley Heller, a research and development bigwig, will be playing Laertes. Marvin Lasky who just sold his small electronics development company for a few million dollars, playing Polonius and Horatio. And Chris Boyd, the youngest and newest member of the group. He is quiet with his nose in his phone and earbuds in his ears. He will be playing a variety of minor roles, but really wants the major role of Hamlet. The author does a fine job of fleshing out these characters quickly. It seems they all had reasons to kill Marsh and with everyone staying together at the B&B they all had the opportunity too.

The mystery is well-plotted and I did like Harry and Nina working together but I did pick the culprit out early in the story. That being said I loved the way all was revealed on opening night. A little rewrite of the script and a few background images changed and the show must go on. And go on it does, allowing the killer to reveal themselves. It was entertaining to read and I bet it would have been delightful to watch.

Peachy Scream is a peachy keen addition to this series. I enjoy the realistic characters and the way Ms. Gerard injects humor in all the right places. The Shakespeare theme was fun too.

The next book in this series, Peaches and Schemes will be released on May 11.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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—will be on the shelves in May 2021.

Author Links 

https://www.dianestuckart.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BlackCatMysteries

https://bookloversbench.com/

Written as Ali Brandon

Written as Diane A.S. Stuckart

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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

Lemon Drop Dead (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery) by Amanda Flower #Review @KensingtonBooks @aflowerwriter


Lemon Drop Dead (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Kensington (April 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496722043
ISBN-13: 978-1496722041
Kindle ASIN: B08F2YHTTB

Murder always leaves a sour taste . . .
 
Although baby showers aren’t an Amish tradition, Bailey King wants to celebrate Emily Keim’s forthcoming bundle of joy. It’s the least she can do for her hardworking assistant at Swissmen Sweets, especially with Emily being estranged from her siblings. Everyone in Harvest, Ohio has gathered at the town gazebo—decked out in lemon-themed décor to add some of Emily’s favorite flavor to the festivities—including Juliet Brook, Jethro the Pig, and in a last-minute invite, Emily’s sister Esther Esh.

But Esther isn’t the only surprise guest. A mysterious Amish woman confronts Emily claiming to know about her secret shame—the child she had as a teenager who was given up for adoption. The stranger vanishes before Bailey could find out who she was and if she knew what happened to Emily’s first baby. Later that evening, the woman reappears—dead in Esh Family Pretzels, with a threatening letter written by Esther found on her body.

Emily knows her sister is not a murderer and convinces Bailey to help clear Esther’s name and put the squeeze on the real killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Margot Rawlings organizes most of the events that take place in Harvest, Ohio. Now she and the pastor’s new wife team up to throw Emily Keim a baby shower in an effort to bring the Amish and Englisher communities closer. They try to recruit Bailey King to plan the event but her cousin Charlotte steps up to take over the planning and does an excellent job. Emily agrees to the non-traditional Amish party but she has one request. She asks Bailey to personally invite her estranged sister Esther. While Esther doesn’t attend the party another Amish woman does. She is unknown to everyone but she does try to have a moment with Emily and makes a comment about a secret from Emily’s past.

Later Esther Esh shows up and begs Bailey for help. Esther takes Bailey back to the Esh family pretzel shop where she sees Esther’s problem. The mysterious woman from the shower is dead on the floor of the shop and she has a threatening letter from Esther. Bailey has to force Esther to call Aiden knowing he is going to see her a the main suspect. Emily begs Bailey to prove her sister’s innocence even though Aiden wishes she would just let him do his job.


There is so much to love about this story.

First, Emily’s baby is due soon but first, we learn about something from her past only a few people know, and that was only slightly mentioned in a previous story. Next, Charlotte really shines again in this story as her confidence grows and she makes a huge decision. Also, Aiden and Bailey’s life together may hit a roadblock when he receives an offer he may not be able to refuse.

The author has created several strong characters that continue to evolve more in each story but this book really focuses on Emily and we meet a new young character that not only shakes up Emily’s life but the lives of many people in Harvest. I love the people of Harvest and the way most of them rally to help when someone is in need. I hesitate to say too much because this is a powerful emotional story if readers are allowed to read the story without any pretense. The murder sets off a string of events and Bailey tries so hard to not only find the killer but take care of her friend and help her through what it means for her future. Surprisingly there were several suspects and twists before the story wraps up in a truly unexpected way.

I do enjoy the way the animals were involved in this book. Jethro the pig always seems to play a big part but it was nice to see Puff the rabbit and Nutmeg the kitten be featured as well.

Lemon Drop Dead was expertly crafted and written. Some loose ends are tied up and it sets up some changes coming in the future. One excites me and one concerns me but I trust this author. She has kept me successfully entertained for six full-length mysteries and three novellas so I expect she has a great plan for moving the wonderful characters in this series forward.

Everything I have read by this author is exceptional. She is a fantastic storyteller. I become invested in all her character lives and look forward to each and every story. I can’t wait to see where she takes the residents of Harvest next.

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


Also by Amanda Flower


Coming November 30, 2021



Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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 New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Maggie Toussaint – Author of Shrimply Dead (A Seafood Caper Mystery) #Interview / #Review / #Giveaway Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to welcome Maggie Toussaint to Escape With Dollycas today!


Shrimply Dead (A Seafood Caper Mystery)
by Maggie Toussaint


Hi Maggie, 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, everyone. So happy you’re here. I’m Maggie Toussaint, and I write cozy mysteries, though I first published in romantic suspense and took a slight detour through dystopian fiction. I come from a family of readers and for most of my life I’ve had my nose stuck in a book. Within the pages of a book I’ve traveled to new worlds, learned different customs, and lived vicariously through the characters. Reading and kind librarians who recommended books for my insatiable reading habit opened my eyes to new possibilities beyond what this small town gal ever imagined. It is my fervent hope that the books I write provide you with similar entertainment.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

First up, my angel collection. As a young family with growing children we lived too far away to come home for every family funeral for my very large family, and flying was out of our budget. So I bought angels for each aunt or uncle who died. At first they were scattered around the house, but I have most of them clustered in my office now.

Second, I adore sneakers. When the cushioning in them wears thin, I buy new ones and use the older ones for gardening or boating. I can’t bear to throw them away!

Third, I am a backyard bird watcher. I keep two feeders going year-round. We see local birds and migrating birds at our feeders and birdbath. Recently I had a few days of robins, and they had a crazy-good time splashing in the birdbath.

What is the first book you remember reading?

A Dick and Jane primer, as in See Dick. See Jane. See Spot. See Spot Run. Run, Spot, Run.

What are you reading now?

I am currently rereading Jayne Ann Krentz’s Lost and Found. Her books fall under romantic suspense as romance is the main plotline, but the mystery in her books is very much a cozy. She has two pen names, Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle, and I love all of her writing. When I have downtime, I can read a book a day, though that’s not so great for my eyes or body. I forget to eat or drink, and I don’t move unless I need a bathroom break. I read across all genres, but I enjoy fast-paced, entertaining writing. I guess that’s because I’m a book junkie.

What books have most inspired you?

Like many of us who are a certain age, I grew up reading books by Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and other suspense novelists. Other than mythology, I didn’t know there books about paranormal activities or space travel, so Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time opened the universe of possibilities to preteen me. The other huge influence on my early reading was our set of World Book Encyclopedias. Within those pages was so much information! I could learn about anything, or so it seemed. My father made a point of reading the entire set from A to Z. Fast forward 45 years to when we moved from Maryland back to Georgia and we couldn’t even give those encyclopedias away. The internet rendered home reference books obsolete, but I still collect reference books on topics of interest to me. You never know if the internet will disappear one day.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

There’s a part of me that likes to figure out how things go together. I can sit for hours with jigsaw puzzles, and I also enjoy word searches, Sudoku, and crossword puzzles. My strategy for puzzles is to work a small area at a time and expand out. If I think about the whole thing at once, it’s daunting. So I’m hypervigilant and observant about a small area. If you think about it, that’s one way to pattern a cozy. I often start with a death and work out from the people who were in contact with that victim. It is exciting to have the mystery story pieces fit together just right, and my puzzling love fed right into my creative desire to write novels.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I can and have written anywhere. My special time for writing is morning. I can generally knock out my word count goal quickly in mornings, while the same amount of words will take hours longer in the afternoon. I have an office with a great desk and an ergonomic keyboard, but I also like to write in different chairs around the house and at the kitchen island. When I first began writing, I had to squeeze it in while my kids were at sports activities and I waited on the sidelines or in the car. Everything was longhand back then. Anyway, that training to work anywhere has certainly been a recipe for success for me.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Everywhere. Truly, I am a walking story sponge, and I get bits and pieces of ideas from conversations, observing nature, listening to the news, reading obituaries, and so much more. What’s most important to me is that the idea really matters because then I am all-in on the story.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

It’s hard to prioritize writing as third place after family and personal health. When I’m in the zone, I don’t want to be disturbed. I want to mine that conduit to the story ether for as much as I can before it goes away. But there’s this thing called life, and I am living it and required to do certain things. When life gets challenging (as in an illness, crowded schedule, or a pandemic), finding time to write and summoning the commitment to do it one way or another is hard. Once covid-head sets in, I stop and do something else in the creative field such as arts and crafts, gardening, sewing, or music. That recharges my muse and then I can double up next time I write because the ideas are more fully formed.

What do you think makes a good story?

Characters who are as real to me as living, breathing people. Settings that feel authentic. Jeopardy for the characters I love. And justice. Justice is important to me.

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

It took me a long time to realize this. All of my protagonists have some quality of me in them. They are not me, and I am not them. They are braver, more outgoing, and more personable. However, I regard Cleopatra Jones, Baxley Powell Mayes, and River Holloway as friends.

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

There are so many great authors in this genre, sometimes it’s humbling to be in the mix. I would never say my books are better than other cozy authors, but they are different because my quirky personality is reflected in my writing voice. I write books that I love to read, and I blur the boundaries of genres a bit.

Whats next on the horizon for you?

I’m going to enjoy bringing Shrimply Dead out this spring and summer. I have loved writing about Shell Island and River Holloway, and I’d like to write more in this story world. It’s just that my muse pointed me to Savannah and a new story situation. It’s got a quirky family and a wonderful artisan co-op shop frequented by the city’s art students and more. There are two shop cats and a bit of paranormal interest for those who’ve wanted a return to that lane. Did you know Savannah is also known as the City of the Dead from much of the town being built atop cemeteries? It’s a true fact. Also, the city has earned the designation of the “Most Haunted City.” In any event, it’s the perfect location for my next series, the Two Sisters Apothecary Mysteries.

Thank you, Maggie, for visiting today!

Now keep reading for my thoughts about Shrimply Dead.

About Shrimply Dead


Shrimply Dead (A Seafood Caper Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Muddle House Publishing (April 12, 2021)
• Number of Pages 237 PAGES
Digital ASIN: B08V52RD4W

When veterinarian and amateur naturalist Jasmine Garr is shot in her yard, residents of Shell Island press caterer River Holloway into investigating the homicide. River dons her amateur sleuth cap and sets out to discover who killed her former catering customer.

 

Between Jasmine’s estranged cousin, a rival veterinarian, a wild animal trapper, the chicken lady, and a real estate broker, River has plenty of suspects to consider. As she peels back the layers of Jasmine’s life, dangerous secrets come to light.

 

Jasmine’s orphaned kitty, Iris, along with River’s cat Major, and her husband Pete help River sift through the evidence. At the same time, River recently expanded her catering business. She must service her regular catering clients, plus provide fresh baked goods for Pete’s ice cream shop.

 

The killer follows River’s every move relishing the thought of another victim. Time is running out. Will River solve the murder before she becomes a cold dish?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

River Holloway’s catering business is growing by leaps and bounds especially now that she is providing cookies and cakes for her husband’s ice cream shop, Island Creamery. Soon after catering an event for the Nature Coalition its volunteer of the year, veterinarian Jasmine Garr is shot in the back in her own yard. Gossip Central, also known as the Post Office is spreading news of the murder and led by Ola Mae Reed recruiting River to don her amateur sleuth cap and catch the killer before they strike again.

Soon River is juggling her catering clients, baking up a storm for Pete’s ice cream shop, and a murder investigation. It isn’t long before she has a variety of suspects. The chicken lady who found the body, Jasmine’s cousin and likely heir, two would-be suitors, and a rival veterinarian. River quickly sees Jasmine Garr was not the woman she thought she was and starts to uncover some secrets that could be deadly.  Definitely deadly for Jasmine Garr but they could also prove deadly for River.


River Holloway is such a strong protagonist. She is such a genuine person with a huge heart. It is almost impossible for her to say “no” to anyone. She has a full plate but still takes on delivering food to those in need. She also has a soft heart when it comes to animals. Her cat, Major certainly has River wrapped around her paw as do a couple of other animals before the story wraps.

Alligators, chickens, and an ancient tree, oh my! Ms. Toussaint has penned a marvelous mystery. Twists, turns, and secrets abound leading up to an edge of your seat reveal.  The story is well-written with a well-plotted mystery. The subplots are interesting and really add to the story. The pace is excellent building to a very suspenseful reveal and takedown. Wow! I was totally surprised when the killer was revealed.

Life on Shell Island is cleverly presented. A typical small town with eccentric residents where everyone needs to be in the know of everyone’s business.

Both Pete and River’s businesses had my mouth drooling. I have a huge sweet tooth so I would be a constant visitor to Island Creamery. That being said I would love to be at every event River caters. Her recipes tempt my tastebuds especially when they are described in delicious detail by the author.

Shrimply Dead is a super addition to this series. I hope we get to visit these characters again soon.


Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

More About Maggie Toussaint 

Southern author Maggie Toussaint writes cozy and paranormal mysteries, romantic suspense, and dystopian fiction, with more than twenty fiction novels published. A multi-year finalist for Georgia Author of the Year, she’s won Silver Falchions, the Readers’ Choice, and the EPIC Awards. She’s past president of Mystery Writers of America-Southeast chapter and an officer of LowCountry Sisters In Crime. She lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows. Visit her at https://maggietoussaint.com/

Author Links

Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Booklover’s Bench |  Amazon Author Central | Website | Bookbub

Purchase Links
Kindle  Nook  Kobo    IBooks


Also by this Author

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Great Escapes Praise for Shrimply Dead (A Seafood Caper Mystery)
by Maggie Toussaint

From rampaging alligators to kidnapped chickens to a treasure hunt for an extinct Georgia tree, the reader is taken on a ride. As River begins unearthing clues to find out who killed the veterinarian, she finds the victim had her own secrets.
~Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder

There are surprises for River and the reader as clues and misdirections are scattered throughout. The pace is good, and the chickens, alligators, and cats add a whole new dimension. Shrimply Dead is an enjoyable cozy mystery.
~Christa Reads and Writes

Shrimply Dead was an interesting read. . . . I particularly enjoyed the way the various characters were portrayed . . .
~Literary Gold

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
April 13 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 13 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
April 13 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
April 13 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
April 14 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 14 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 14 – Tea Book Blanket – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
April 16 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
April 16 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
April 17 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 17 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 17 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 19 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 20 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
April 21 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
April 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 21 – My Journey Back The Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 22 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 22 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
April 23 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
April 23 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 24 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 24 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Shredding the Evidence (A Cookbook Nook Mystery) by Daryl Wood Gerber #Review @DarylWoodGerber

I had planned to read and review Wining and Dying, the newest book in this series but realized I missed this book last year. I am a fanatic about reading series books in order so I shuffled some things on the calendar. I will be reading and reviewing Wining and Dying soon.
Shredding the Evidence (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Beyond the Page Publishing (April 21, 2020)
Paperback: 226 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461440
ISBN-13: 978-1950461448
Kindle ASIN: B0868WMMHN

The Agatha Award–winning author of Sifting Through Clues returns to the Cookbook Nook, where a combative food reporter gets her just deserts . . .

The denizens of Crystal Cove are salivating over the upcoming Food Bowl Week when local chefs offer some of their best and most imaginative creations in bite-size portions all over town. Bookstore proprietor Jenna Hart is hungry to sample as many of the delicacies as she can, but when she stumbles onto the dead body of a local food reporter and learns that her best friend’s husband is the primary suspect, she’ll have to summon the appetite for a side dish of sleuthing to prove his innocence.

Jenna knows the ambitious and aggressive reporter, who was strangled at a fitness center with her shredded restaurant reviews scattered around her, left behind a long list of potential suspects. As she begins piecing together the scant clues, she uncovers illicit ties between the victim and a local newspaper owner, a spurned would-be lover, and a host of disgruntled restaurant owners, not a bit torn up by the critical reporter’s demise. And with a solution so close she can almost taste it, Jenna turns up the heat on the culprit, realizing too late that she’s the next course on the murderer’s menu . . .

Includes tasty recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s Food Bowl Week in Crystal Cove and Jenna Hart is excited to not only try the chef’s creations but knows the event will bring plenty of customers to her Cookbook Nook. Chef Katie also has plans of her own for the food at the Nook Cafe too including a special guest. Jenna’s finance Rhett’s new bistro, Intime has a very special dinner planned as well. Kylie O., the Crystal Cove Courier food critic is determined to cover all the events by herself even though reporter Tito Martinez has offered to help. Bailey’s husband, Tito has wanted to take on more stories and he and Kylie have a very public argument over it. So when Kylie O. is found dead in a local gym, a gym where both Tito and Bailey work out, he becomes the prime suspect in her murder.

Truthfully, Kylie O. was a pretty aggressive reporter and dished out some caustic reviews so she left behind a wide variety of suspects. Jenna knows Tito is innocent so she just has to clear his name by finding the actual killer. Easier said than done because the clues point to several individuals. When Jenna starts to hone in on the killer she finds the killer is already homing in on her. Can Jenna corner the killer or will she be the next victim?


It is always fun to catch up with these characters because there never seems to be a dull moment in Crystal Cove. In addition to the town events, Jenna and Rhett are starting to plan their wedding, Aunt Vera is dating, everyone is swooning over Bailey’s baby girl and another core character is expecting a baby. With everything going on Jenna still finds time to investigate the murder and this makes for one very unhappy Cinnamon. As always the characters are cleverly written and they all continue to develop in realistic ways.

The theme of this story is Shredding and it is not just the evidence that is shredded. Food is shredded in amazing ways. The descriptions had my tummy rumbling and I really appreciated the recipes the author provides at the end of the book. She is a true foodie and her passion reigns within the pages of her stories. The Cookbook Nook theme of the series is just perfect for her.

The mystery was very well-plotted with some red herrings to divert everyone’s thinking. Bailey really pushes Jenna along in her quest to prove her husband is not a murderer. Twist after twist start to pull the killer into focus but I was really off on this one. I really came to dislike the deceased more than I usually do when reading cozy mysteries and I think that clouded my thinking. The author has a real strength of pulling her readers into the story and she really did that for me this time.

Shredding the Evidence was A Perfect Escape. I was entertained from the beginning to the end and look forward to reading Wining and Dying soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries.  As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

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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 Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – A Death Long Overdue: A Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates #Review / #Giveaway

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 Death Long Overdue: A Lighthouse Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (October 6, 2020)
Hardcover: 372 pages
ISBN-10: 1643854585
ISBN-13: 978-1643854588
Paperback Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (April 13, 2021)
ISBN-10: 1643856804
ISBN-13: 978-1643856803
Kindle ASIN: B083RYX5WH

When her former director is found dead in the water, librarian Lucy Richardson will have to get to the bottom of the mystery before the killer ends her tale.

It’s summertime in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Bertie James’s college class is having their 40th-anniversary reunion. The opening night reception is held at the Lighthouse Library and Lucy and her colleagues have assembled an exhibit of library artifacts showing how libraries have changed over the years. After the reception, some of the women take a walk down the boardwalk to the pier, using flashlights to illuminate the dark path, but what’s scarier than the dark is finding the former director of the Lighthouse Library floating lifeless in the water.

Helena Sanchez, the former director, wasn’t much loved and spent the party being rude to almost everyone there. As a result, Lucy finds herself in deep water as she rocks the boat, questioning several suspects. But she’ll have to batten down the hatches and fast before she’s left high and dry…and right in the killer’s crosshairs.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Library Director Bertie James’ is hosting a reunion to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her college class at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. Lucy, Charlene, and Ronald have all agreed to be servers of the wonderful food Josie is providing. Louise Jane is there too but it definitely not to serve food. Lucy and Charlene have pulled together old library items for a display to represent how libraries have changed over the years.  All the attendees except one love the display. Special guest Helena Sanchez, former director of the Lighthouse Library, finds something disturbing among the artifacts.

After the event, several members of the group decide to take a walk down the boardwalk to the pier where Louise Jane starts telling one of her ghost stories. When they reach the pier there is something floating in the water. Lucy realizes it’s Helena Sanchez. She and Ronald quickly jump in to try to save her but the former director is gone.

Lucy is just haunted by the death and finds herself delving deep into the investigation. Doing so puts her front and center on the killer’s radar. Will she get the whole story or will her own book end several chapters before it is supposed to??


Truly one of my all-time favorite cozy mystery series, it took cancer to keep me from reading and reviewing this book when it was originally released. I timed my review now to coincide with the paperback release this week.

I love the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. It is a fantastic place that can truly only exist in our imaginations as no real lighthouse could hold all the books, treasures, rooms, offices, and Lucy’s Aerie apartment. As soon as you understand the mystery of the place you will be able to enjoy every wonderful event there to the fullest.

Ms. Gates has created wonderful characters. The librarians are truly like family and I love the way they all pitched in to make Bertie’s classmates welcome. I really appreciate the way the characters continue to grow and evolve in each new story. Connor really impressed me this time. That man has the patience of a saint.

The mystery this time was especially intriguing. The victim was rude and very unlikeable from the get-go and it seems she made her share of enemies in her not so illustrious life. This means plenty of suspects for the police and Lucy to wade through. A few people were floating in my suspect pool immediately but some terrific twists eliminated every one of them. I loved Lucy’s idea for revealing the real culprit and all the clues that brought the killer into clear focus. Ms. Gates sure knows how to spin a tale that keeps her readers on their toes.

A special subplot had me holding my breath a few times. When that was allowed to play out I let out a huge exhale and was grinning ear to ear.

I really enjoyed the trip back in time regarding libraries. Back in the day, the local library was one of my favorite places so I was very familiar with all the old relic artifacts that were part of the library’s history.

A Death Long Overdue was such a fun read. The next book in the series, Deadly Ever After, hits shelves on May 11. The only good thing about reading and reviewing this book late is the short time I have to wait for the next installment. Stay tuned for my review next month!

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

The Rest of the Series



Coming May 11, 2021

Written as Vicki Delany


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

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

Knitted and Knifed: A Humorous & Heartwarming Cozy Mystery (A Knitty Kitties Mystery) by Tracey Drew #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Knitted and Knifed:
A Humorous & Heartwarming Cozy Mystery

(A Knitty Kitties Mystery) by Tracey Drew

 

About Knitted and Knifed


Knitted and Knifed: A Humorous & Heartwarming Cozy Mystery
(A Knitty Kitties Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New Zealand
Publisher: Independently published (January 5, 2021)
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8679373846
Digital – ASIN: B08GL9XM2Q

Wanted: Cat mum to manage a yarn store, corral two curious cats, all the while being tangled up in murderous mayhem and mystery.

 

A smart woman would dump her cheating ex, move from the city, and give herself a chance for a well-deserved do-over. A smarter woman—smarter than me, anyway—wouldn’t jump out of that same frying pan and return to Cape Discovery, a seaside village where her family is the nuttiest of all the nut-ball residents.

 

I’m a former high school counselor, middle-child peacemaker, and current curator of lots of squishy/fuzzy goodness at my granddad’s little yarn store. Temporary assistant. Until I decide what to do with the rest my life. There’s only one knotty problem to untangle first. The knife sticking out of the most unpopular man in town, and the police detective trying to pin the murder on the donkey—otherwise known as my younger brother. With a pair mischievous cats determined to be underfoot and a craft group of Serial Knitters and Happy Hookers wanting the inside scoop, a girl could lose her mind. And if the killer has their way, maybe even my life…

 

Tessa Wakefield has her hands full juggling a cozy craft store, her crazy family, and two men who’d rather poke out their eyes than describe themselves as cute. Which they totally are. Cute, charismatic, and occasionally on her mind when she’s not stumbling over dead bodies and using her newfound sleuthing skills to track down murderers. Lucky she’s an excellent multi-tasker because digging beneath Cape Discovery’s surface can unearth secrets that kill.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tessa Wakefield’s life was in flux due to a cheating ex and the death of her Nana Dee-Dee. Knowing her grandfather could use her help running the craft store, Unraveled, he and Nana Dee-Dee ran in Camp Discovery she decides to return home to help him while she decides what she wants to do with her life. But returning home also means dealing with her crazy family.

Part of her crazy family is her brother Sean. He had requested she meet him at his place of employment. When she arrives the door is unlocked but her brother is nowhere to be seen. She decides to wait inside where she is surprisingly joined by her grandparent’s knitty kitties, Pearl and Kit. There is no stopping from them exploring the shop forcing Tessa beyond the door. She finds them in the back room but she also finds her brother’s boss. He is not shocked by his visitors because he is dead with a knife stuck through his body with an eerie message attached.

Tessa makes some interesting discoveries before the police detective arrives and decides quickly that Sean is his prime suspect. Tessa knows she is going to have to save her brother by finding the real killer if the killer doesn’t catch her first.

____

I liked Tessa and the way she just went with the flow. Her family, the craft store with its Happy Hookers and Serial Knitters, two crazy cats, and now a murder. It stresses her a bit but she takes it all on. Unraveling a murder mystery isn’t going to be easy but she turns out to be a formidable amateur sleuth.

Readers are introduced to a large supporting cast. Her grandfather Harry is dealing with the loss of his love Nana Dee-Dee. He and Tessa have a heartwarming relationship. We also meet her mother, father, and brother. Sean and his mother are a little over the top but I liked that her father was pretty normal and a calming presence. We also meet the two men that may be bringing some romance to Tessa’s life.  Oliver Kerr, owner of a local pub, and Detective Eric Mana. Both are easy on the eyes and have their own strengths. It will be interesting to see this romantic triangle develop.

I really enjoyed the small-town feel of Camp Discovery and that the suspects are kept to a manageable number. As I said, Tessa slips into the role of amateur sleuth easily and works her way quickly through the suspects. Unfortunately, she goes one step too far and puts herself in danger but her rescue was great fun to read.

This book is billed as a Humorous & Heartwarming Cozy Mystery and it is definitely that. Knitted and Knifed is full of comedy while giving readers a top-notch mystery with some delightful characters and some wacky characters too.

My first visit down under to Camp Discovery, New Zealand was totally entertaining. I hope to visit again soon!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Tracey Drew

 

Tracey Drew lives Down Under with her husband—who’s given up complaining about her yarn addiction–and two madcap tabby cats called Kevin and Alfie. The feline brothers constantly battle with her while she’s trying to write her books by demanding lap-time, but they also provide constant inspiration for her fun & quirky cozy mysteries.

Social Media links:

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Buy Links:    Amazon     Apple Books   Nook      Kobo     Google Play    Smashwords

The Rest of the Series
Prequel

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Book 1

Book 2

Book 3 Coming April 19, 2021

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
April 14 – Novels Alive – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 14 –Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 16 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
April 16 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
April 18 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
April 19 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
April 19 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
April 20 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 20 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
April 21 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 22 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 22 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
April 23 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – SPOTLIGHT
April 23 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
April 24 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 25 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

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