Dec 122018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to have Debra H. Goldstein drop by for a visit!

Writers – Creatures of Habit or Not? by Debra H. Goldstein

Writers often claim to be creatures of habit. Their habits may be tied to the means of writing – on a computer, legal pad with special pens, or via dictation; the location where the writing takes place – at the beach, the mountains, in a dark room, or in a room with wide open windows; and, whether there is absolute silence or blaring music. Some writers, the planners, can’t produce a word until every nuance of a piece is outlined while others, known as pantsters, write strictly from the seat of their pants. I wish I could tell you that I am a creature of habit, but I’m not. I write like I cook. Differently, every time even if I am recreating the same dish.

One would think as a former litigator and judge, my writing habits would be unimaginative. That I would outline every word and idea, much like Jeffrey Deaver does. I outlined the beginning and ending of my first book, 2012 IPPY award-winning Maze in Blue, a mystery set on the University of Michigan in the 1970’s, but the middle flowed, like magic, through my fingers to the keys of a computer sitting on a desk in my home office. I attributed my writing to the character’s voices leading me through their story. The only thing necessary for the words to pour out of me was playing the soundtracks from 1776 and They’re Playing Our Song repetitively in the background.

The same songs and physical location didn’t work for my second book. To write Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery, I took my laptop and sat in an oversized chair in my living room. Century old furniture, which once belonged to my parents or grandparents, interspersed with modern cherry wood floors and an orange, gold, and blue carpet brought me a sense of peace that allowed me to bring new life to the characters from a short story published in 2010. I occasionally played folk songs and soft rock hits from the 60’s and 70’s, but for the most part, I wrote and rewrote in silence. It was the ambiance of the room that enabled me to find and contrast the voices of the Sunshine Village Retirement Home Mah Jongg players with the twenty-nine-year-old corporate attorney protagonist and her former lover, the detective assigned to her murdered mother’s case.

One Taste Too Many represents a hybrid of the habits that produced my first two books. Because the book is set in the present and the protagonist, Sarah Blair, is a twin, I drew on my experience as a mother of twins when I outlined the basic story premise. Unlike Poker, that I wrote and edited only on a laptop, One Taste Too Many was drafted and revised in two locations. For the first version, I sat in an easy chair in my bedroom with my laptop perched on my knees. When I finished the draft, I mailed it to myself and revised it upstairs in my office on my stand-alone computer. In both locations, I kept the score from Frozen playing constantly. Why Frozen for a book set in a small Southern town? I don’t know, but it worked. The music kept me typing at a nice even clip with a sunny disposition.

The other motivational trick I used for One Taste Too Many was keeping a picture of a friend’s Siamese cat where I could always see it. Growing up, we had dogs, but I knew bonding with a cat was different. That’s why I reached out to my friend and she was so helpful, I modeled RahRah after her cat, Suri. As you can see from the cover, RahRah and I successfully bonded.

For some, being a creature of habit is the only means to write. For me, a willingness to try different techniques and practices is what stimulates the muse and helps me avoid stale ruts. What about you? What does it take to prompt you to write effectively?

~Debra

Thank you, Debra, for visiting today!

Now keep reading for my thought about One Taste Too Many.

One Taste Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

 

About the Book


One Taste Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (December 18, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719476
ISBN-13: 978-1496719478
Digital ASIN: B07CDCZXLP

For culinary challenged Sarah Blair, there’s only one thing scarier than cooking from scratch—murder!

Married at eighteen, divorced at twenty‑eight, Sarah Blair reluctantly swaps her luxury lifestyle for a cramped studio apartment and a law firm receptionist job in the tired hometown she never left. With nothing much to show for the last decade but her feisty Siamese cat, RahRah, and some clumsy domestic skills, she’s the polar opposite of her bubbly twin, Emily—an ambitious chef determined to take her culinary ambitions to the top at a local gourmet restaurant . . .

Sarah knew starting over would be messy. But things fall apart completely when her ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by Emily’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. Now, with RahRah wanted by the woman who broke up her marriage and Emily wanted by the police for murder, Sarah needs to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time runs out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death—being in the kitchen!

Includes quick and easy recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah and Emily Blair are twins and as different as night and day. Emily is a fabulous chef with plans to make it to the top of her field. Sarah married young and divorced 10 years later. She is starting over and has taken a receptionist job at a local law office and lives in a studio apartment with her cat, RahRah.

The restaurant where Emily works has a booth at the Food Expo and the staff will be giving demonstrations and sharing tasty treats. Emily will be making her special rhubarb crisp.

But tragedy strikes when Sarah’s ex is found dead at the convention center before the event even begins. Covered in rhubarb, it is quickly determined he was poisoned, by Emily! Also, with his death, it seems Sarah’s cat RahRah no longer belongs to her. A chef that works with Emily has laid claim to the feline.

As someone that hates to cook, Sarah knows she needs to hang around the expo to try to catch the real killer, even if it means filling in for her talented sister. That is if the killer doesn’t get to her first. She also needs to find a way to keep her cat.

This series is off to a stellar start and I am head over heels with the wonderful cat, RahRah. The cat was rescued during Hurricane Katrina my Sarah’s ex-mother-in-law who loved Sarah, so of course, she took the cat when the woman passed away. Her ex left out some key details about his mother’s will. Now, with him dead the secrets are revealed. Let’s just say he was a first-class a**, and I was happy he was the first victim. Yes, first, because the killing didn’t stop with him.

Ms. Goldstein has created a pair of sisters, twins, that are truly each other’s half. They are smart and fun. Best friends that take care of each other. Sarah is an interesting protagonist. I hope she continues to team up with her sister. I believe we have barely scratched the surface on when the author can take these sisters.

The story has a little bit more of an edge than a typical cozy but doesn’t go too far. It is exciting and fresh with plenty of twists and corkscrew turns. The author drops in the clues with such precision. I was up in the air about the killer right up until the big reveal. Someone on my radar but not at the top of my list. The motives were unclear until all the last clues slid into place.

This was a very entertaining story. A great mystery with characters I want to visit again. I am excited to see where the author takes this series. This one was A Perfect Escape!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

 

Judge Debra H. Goldstein’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series debuts from Kensington Press with One Taste Too Many. She also is the author of Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery and the 2012 IPPY Award-winning Maze in Blue. Besides novels, Debra writes short stories. Her short story, The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (May/June 2017) is an Agatha Award Short Story Nominee. In addition to being the Sisters in Crime Guppy President, Debra serves on the national Sisters in Crime board and is Vice-President of the Southeast Region of Mystery Writers of America.

Website    Blog    Facebook    Twitter @DebraHGoldstein      GoodReads

Purchase Links

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Praise for One Taste Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein

ONE TASTE TOO MANY is a “different,” slightly edgy, cozy from an author with extensive knowledge of legal procedure.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

This one was a fun ride. A few twists that will keep you turning the pages may be a little slower to keep up.
~My Reading Journeys

What a fun engaging start to a new series!
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I kept changing who I suspected but when the real murderer is revealed, I was shocked! I did not see that one coming at all.
~Storeybook Reviews

The story was well-written and enjoyable to read.

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
December 3 – Book Babble – SPOTLIGHT
December 3 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
December 4 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW, GUEST POST  
December 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 6 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 6 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
December 7 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
December 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 8 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 9 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
December 10 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 –A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 12 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST 
December 13 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 13 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
December 14 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 14 – Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
December 15 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
December 15 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 16 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
December 16 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

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

Oct 302018
 

Available Today!

Seances Are for Suckers (An Eleanor Wilde Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – England
Kensington (October 30, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 149671962X
ISBN-13: 978-1496719621
Kindle ASIN: B079KSY8LN

When something goes bump in the night . . . it’s most likely a plumbing problem, or something equally mundane. But fake medium Eleanor Wilde is happy to investigate and cleanse your home of spectral presences—for a fee. Hey, it’s a living . . .

Ellie has an ailing sister to care for, and working as a ghost hunter who doesn’t believe in ghosts helps cover the bills for both of them. When she’s lucky, it also pays for the occasional tropical vacation. Her brother doesn’t exactly approve, but Ellie figures she’s providing a service. On her latest job, though, she may be in for some genuine scares.

The skeptical, reserved, and very rich Nicholas Hartford III has flown her all the way to his family’s ancestral estate in England—supposedly haunted by a phantom named Xavier. Nicholas thinks it’s all just as much a crock as Ellie’s business is, but the fact remains that something is causing the flashes of light, mysterious accidents, and other apparent pranks in the chilly, eerie castle. His mother is sure that Xavier is real, and he’s willing to employ Ellie if she can get to the bottom of it and put a stop to the nonsense.

While the food and accommodations are somewhat disappointing (dorm-room furniture? Really?), Ellie is finding it an adventure to get to know this eccentric family and their houseguests, and to poke around in the nearby village for clues. But when an actual dead body appears—and subsequently disappears—at Castle Hartford, she’ll have to apply her talent for trickery and psychological insight to solve a flesh-and-blood murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this 1st book of this series, we meet Eleanor Wilde, a self-proclaimed fake medium. She is a ghost hunter that doesn’t believe in ghosts. Eleanor is turning peoples fears into profits to help pay the bills for her sister in a long-term care facility. Her current job takes her to a musty old castle in England. Nicholas Hartford III doesn’t believe in ghosts either but he is hoping Ellie can convince his mother that her ghost, Xavier has left the building. Ellie is up for the job but the rest of the Hartford, staff, family and their guest takes crazy to a whole new level. She is surprised by her accommodations and the food served is horrible, but she needs the money and she is not a quitter. Even after she stumbles upon a real dead body she doesn’t give up. In fact, solving a real murder could be quite interesting . . . if she lives to tell about it.

I really enjoyed the twist of a ghost hunter that knows she is a fake even though her customers may not. I also enjoyed the way this character evolved throughout the story. We learn why she has this job. People will pay exorbitant amounts of money to have “ghosts” removed from their lives and she has a very good reason for needing the money. A strong woman with fantastic observation skills that has not had an easy life, but still has a great sense of humor. She also has a connection, a secret, something I truly appreciated.

Enter Nicholas Hartford III who has his own motives for employing Ellis’s services. This character made me feel a gambit of emotions as the story continued. His mother was a very interesting character and at times made me laugh out loud. The rest of the supporting characters are all cleverly created and help to take this mystery through many twists and turns.

The castle is a fun setting for the book. The staircases, hidden spaces, long hallways, rooms, and gardens all have a truly creepy feel.

The story unfolds at a perfect pace and like our protagonist has many layers. The story was much more than I expected and was full of surprises. Especially the very end. So much happens within the pages and I found myself slowing down to savor the story to be sure I did not miss a single thing. At points the word that popped into my head was mayhem. I learned quickly to really expect the unexpected. This time a cat plays a crucial role. A cat we didn’t even meet until we were well into this story.

I was surprised by how much I came to care about Ellie and her sister Winnie. Her brother played a part too, but I was very attuned to the sisters.

If you love mysteries cozy or traditional this is a fun read you really need to pick up today. It is really different from the usual cozies I read.

I am very excited about this series and where the author will take Ellie next after the way the book concluded. Potions Are for Pushovers will be released next December. I hate having to wait that long but if this story was any indication it will be well worth the wait.


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author
Tamara Berry is a part-time author and part-time freelance writer/editor. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Eastern Washington University. In addition to books, she has mad love for all things TV, movies, and pop culture. Visit her at www.tamaraberry.com. FacebookTwitter

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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Contest Will End November 13, 2018, 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.”

 

Oct 262018
 

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.


The Cat of the Baskervilles: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Crooked Lane Books (February 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1683314719
ISBN-13: 978-1683314714
Paperback: 320 pages (October 9, 2018)
ISBN-10: 9781683318064
ISBN-13: 978-1683318064
Kindle ASIN: B0719PN1GY

When Jayne Wilson’s mother is accused of murder, Jayne and Gemma have to eliminate the impossible to reveal the true killer.

Legendary stage and movie star Sir Nigel Bellingham arrives on Cape Cod to star in a stage production of The Hound of the Baskervilles put on by the West London Theater Festival. When Sir Nigel, some of the cast, and the director visit the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop at 222 Baker Street, Gemma Doyle realizes that Sir Nigel is not at all suited to the role. He is long past his prime and an old drunk to boot. The cast, in particular the much younger actor who previously had the role, are not happy, but the show must go on.

Before the play opens, Leslie Wilson, mother of Gemma’s best friend Jayne, arranges a fundraising afternoon tea to be catered by Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. The tea is a huge success, but when it’s time to leave, Sir Nigel has gone missing—only to be found at the bottom of the rocky cliff, dead. Along with the dead body, Gemma finds evidence incriminating Leslie Wilson. When the police, in the presence of handsome detective Ryan Ashburton and suspicious detective Louise Estrada, focus their attention on Leslie despite the numerous other suspects, the game is once again afoot and it’s again up to the highly perceptive Gemma and the ever-confused but loyal Jayne to clear Jayne’s mother’s name.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The West London Theater Festival is staging a production of The Hound of the Baskervilles starring legendary stage and movie star Sir Nigel Bellingham. This is great for Gemma’s Sherlock Homes Bookshop. Everyone will be shopping for Sherlock memorabilia. They have also been asked to cater a fundraising tea for the theater. Sir Nigel himself stops by the shop and Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room.  Gemma can see the aging star is no longer up for the role especially when she observes his cane is also a flask for liquor.

The afternoon of the tea Gemma, Jayne and their crew arrive. Gemma is a little distracted by the home and its library but Jayne gets her back on track and the tea is quite a success. As the guests take their leave Sir Nigel is not to be found. A search is quickly organized and the lost man is found, dead at the bottom of a rocky cliff. Accident, suicide or murder? Jayne’s mother was seen arguing with Nigel so he becomes the prime suspect. Gemma decides to do her own investigation with Jayne and cast a wider net for suspects than the police. West London’s Sherlock and Watson will do all the can to put the real killer behind bars.

I love Gemma but this time I was not entirely happy with her methods. She finds a piece of evidence at the crime scene and removes it. She also tramples all over the area to see if she can help the man who was clearly dead. She has many talents, a keen intellect, and wicked strong observation skills. She is independent, strong-willed and can be very blunt. I know she took the evidence because she thought she was protecting Jayne’s mother, but it just felt beneath her stature to do something so wrong.

Jayne is a great counterbalance to Gemma and the perfect Watson to her Sherlock. She is friendlier and more easygoing than Gemma and is able to smooth over any ruffled feathers. That being said when it comes to her tea shop business she is super dedicated to getting everything just right. From the tea to the scones and finger sandwiches, she knows what she wants and how she wants it. She doesn’t let Gemma run roughshod all over her and I loved seeing this side of her.

The title to the story had me thinking Moriarty, the bookstore cat would play a larger role in the story, but I love that cat even though he clearly hates Gemma.

The story builds slowly as we get to know the new characters and how they fit together. The murder takes about midway into the story which I liked because we get to know the victim and everyone he is involved with to give us insight when looking at the suspects and their motives. The interplay between Gemma and detective Louise Estrada is interesting because the really don’t like each other. Gemma would much rather deal with detective Ryan Ashburton and it is easy to see why. This case had me completely in the dark and was surprised by the final reveal.

As a Sherlock Holmes fan, I get excited each time I pick up a book in this series. Ms. Delany knows how to tell a story. Her characters are unique and complex and are wrapped up in a mystery that kept me guessing.

Another entertaining tale from Vicki Delany! A fine addition to this series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Body on Baker Street here.

Read my review of Elementary, She Read here.

 

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers. Most recently, she is the author of the Year Round Christmas cozy mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime and (writing under the pen name of Eva Gates) the Lighthouse Library mysteries also from Berkley and the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries for Crooked Lane Books. Find out more about Vicki Delany on her webpage here.

Coming November 13, 2018

Written as Eva Gates

GIVEAWAYI am giving away 1 Kindle Copy – Sent Direct from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old who can receive a
book from Amazon U.S. 

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 9, 2018, 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.”

Sep 202018
 

Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
by Allison Brook

About the Book


Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683317340
Digital ASIN: B078M7MXGR

Twenty million dollars’ worth of missing gems bring Carrie Singleton’s long-lost and larcenous dad back into her life and it’s up to Carrie to clear his name.

A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a twenty-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.

Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin.

Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The story starts out with a nice housewarming party with friends and lots of food, then everything goes crazy 🙂 Carrie wakes up to find an intruder in her house that turns out to be Jim, her father. He is only there for one thing, Carrie’s help to get back his share of gems from a heist from several years ago. His partner in crime, Benton Parr, a local jeweler, agreed to hide the loot until Jim came for it. Well, Jim wants it and hopes Carrie smooth the way. Carrie agrees to contact the man to get her dad out of her house.

But, the next time she hears from her dad it is to get him out of jail. Benton Parr was murdered and good ole’ dad was found standing over the body. If that isn’t enough, Carrie learns that the case her new boyfriend Dylan is working on is recovering the very same gems her father had stolen. Was he only leading her on to track down her father? Did he only rent to her in the hopes her dad would drop by? Bad enough, Dylan travels so much for his job, was he avoiding her or was he really working? Is anything about their relationship real?

Carrie’s whole life has been turned inside out. Thankfully she can escape to her job at the library with Smokey Joe. Maybe she will be able to track down the gems herself. What does that mean for her relationship with Dylan? What will that mean to the relationship with her dad? Does she want to have a relationship with her dad?

OMG! I started this book and I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up until early in the morning to finish it all in one sitting.

The first couple of chapters felt off, forced, not what I expected from this author. I was worried. But then the story started to flow and the author exceeded my expectations.

The characters in this series are so clearly written. Carrie, her aunt, and uncle are so genuine. They try to see the best in everyone and are truly there for each other. Her dad returning is quite a shock but his brother and his wife take him in for a while until he moves in with Carrie. Evelyn is a unique character in that, she is a ghost. A very well dressed and coiffed ghost, who appears in the most opportune moments and can only be seen by Carrie and one other person. She gives Carrie “food for thought” and adds a few laughs to the story. I had an aunt the was named Evelyn and the Evelyn in this story reminds me very much of her. She passed on several years ago and to my knowledge she doesn’t haunt anyone though. 🙂 Carrie’s cat Smokey Joe has become the library cat. The patrons love him. As for Dylan, he gets in some hot water with Carrie this time and in my mind, he deserves being there.

The author takes these wonderful characters and twists and turns them around in a marvelous mystery. There is a treasure trove of suspects, the man had enemies. His family and a few “friends” had means, motive, and opportunity. Carrie’s dad is the perfect suspect but she knows he is being set up. There is a very well embedded subplot to the story that adds interest too, how it ended both warmed and broke my heart.

Christmastime in Clover Ridge, Connecticut sounds absolutely delightful. There are plenty of programs at the library including carolers and choirs performing. Carrie is doing very well in her job as the head of programs and events and the town is very happy she decided to make her home in Clover Ridge.

This story reads very well on its own, but if you haven’t read Death Overdue, it has a Halloween theme and there is no time like the present to start this series from the beginning so you can get to know Carrie and the residents of Clover Ridge from the start.

I highly recommend this one. Be sure to plan accordingly, you may have a late night and a book hangover the next day, but it is so worth it!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Allison Brook is the pseudonym for Marilyn Levinson, who writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. She lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling, reading, watching foreign films, doing Sudoku and dining out. She especially loves to visit with her grandchildren on FaceTime.

Author Links

Website  Amazon Page   Facebook     Goodreads    Twitter   Pinterest

Purchase Links

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At the time I was creating this post I noticed Death Overdue was just #1.99 for Kindle. 

Praise for Read and Gone: A Haunted Library Mystery
by Allison Brook

If you are looking for an entertaining cozy mystery with friendly characters and an adorable cat, then look no further than Read and Gone.
~The Avid Reader

The author does an amazing job of bringing this small town to life. It was a quick read for me. The storyline is filled with mystery, adventure, and romance mixed into one captivating read.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

A charming small town with a copious cast of characters, a small-town library with a surprisingly robust staff list, a feisty library cat with his own plans and plots, and the former head librarian who is haunting her old digs (whom only Carrie and her young cousin can see).
~Reading Is My SuperPower

Enterprisingly plotted, the mystery certainly had me guessing throughout.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

The mystery was well plotted and was carried on well throughout the entire book. With numerous killings and twists and turns, it was not an easy mystery to solve.
~MJB Reviewers

Read and Gone the second in the Haunted Library Mystery series by Allison Brook was a quick entertaining read perfect for the busy holidays.
~Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf

I loved the holiday setting, as Carrie and the library staff prepared for Christmas.
~View from the Birdhouse

A perfect sit by the fire and Christmas tree read.
I enjoyed it. I think you will too.
~My Reading Journeys

I love the recurring characters (and the new cat!) and this is a series that I know I will be reading as soon as a new book comes out (pre-order is my friend for certain series and this is going to be added to that list!) 10/10
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

. . . it is entertaining for those who appreciate the cozy mystery genre, felines with their felonies, and amateur women sleuths. . .
~Rosepoint Publishing

A pleasurable read, READ AND GONE is a well-plotted enjoyable mystery focusing on family relations as well as murder!
~Cozy Up With Kathy

This book was a fast read, but it had so many twists and turns packed into it to keep you reading late into the night . . .
~The Montana Bookaholic

The author throws quite a few characters into the mix as suspects and when the real killer is revealed I was surprised. This person wasn’t really on my radar!
~Storeybook Reviews

I was absolutely hooked from page one unable to put it down as the story unfolded. The relatable characters, fabulous setting, and elaborate mystery all combine into this incredible novel with a library theme.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

With multiple mysteries to solve and a shady cast of secondary characters, this installment continues to showcase the upbeat and lighthearted nature of cozies. Even with an insightful ghost lurking around, very few clues are made available within this multilayered and well-plotted mystery.
~That’s What She’s Reading

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September 13 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
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September 19 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
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September 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – 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.”

Sep 192018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to have Cleo Coyle drop by for a visit!

Why We Made Our Ghost Reappear

By Cleo Coyle

“Jack and Pen are a terrific duo who prove that love can transcend anything.”

—The Mystery Reader

For nearly ten years, fans of our Haunted Bookshop Mysteries told us how much they missed our stories. Emails, messages, comments on posts implored us to bring our series back. We expected this outcry to die down, but it never did, which is why we returned to writing it.

Look for our brand new Haunted Bookshop Mystery, The Ghost, and the Bogus Bestseller, to be released next week by our longtime publisher. We dedicated it to our readers, who waited almost a decade for Jack to come back. And who is Jack? If you’re new to our series, he’s the first (of five) reasons fans say they love our books…

 

Haunted Bookshop Mysteries by Cleo Coyle

 

#1 THE HARDBOILED GHOST: Jack Shepard, PI

A tough PI from the mean streets of New York, Jack lived on the rougher side of life. His death (in 1949) was no picnic, either. Gunned down while pursuing a lead in a murder case, he was left with a hardened outlook, especially when it came to judging people and their motives. Despite his troubled spirit, Jack has a wicked sense of humor, and he can’t help cracking wise about the absurdities of our modern life—from paying for water in a bottle to staring half the day at a little glowing screen.

 

Penelope McClure – Haunted Bookshop Mysteries by Cleo Coyle

#2 THE PRIM BOOKSELLER: Penelope McClure

A young widow with a little boy, Penelope Thornton-McClure once believed in spirits, until a series of tragic losses took her faith away. Slowly, Jack Shepard is restoring that faith, and though Pen often bristles at the ghost’s retro male attitude, she’s encouraged by the strangest irony of all—the ghost’s belief in her. Whether Jack is an actual apparition or the vivid imaginings of a stressed and lonely widow, the surly, wise-cracking gumshoe is Pen’s daily companion and a handy advisor when big-city crimes come to Pen’s small town.

 

via GIPHY

 

#3 QUINDICOTT: The Quaint Rhode Island Town

Readers love spending time in Penelope’s charming hometown. Quindicott may be less posh than nearby Newport, but its residents are proud of its revived Cranberry Street business district and renowned Victorian B&B. Fresh ocean air, amazing seafood, and a neighborly community make it one of the area’s most pleasant places to live—even if you happen to be dead.

 

#4 THE QUIBBLERS IN THE BOOKSHOP

The “Quibblers” are a cast of quirky characters who make up the local Quindicott Business Owners Association. They meet regularly in Penelope’s charming old bookshop (guarded by Pen’s cat Bookmark). There’s Fiona Finch, the fastidious co-owner of Finch Inn, who has a penchant for True Crime books and “happening to overhear” conversations between guests. Seymour, the outspoken mailman who moonlights as an ice cream truck driver, collects vintage pulp fiction, and lives in a haunted mansion. And there are plenty of other colorful characters who Pen dearly loves—and the ghost barely tolerates.


#5 THE MURDER MYSTERIES: Twisty Plots to Die For

The entertaining murder mystery storylines of our Haunted Bookshop series have kept readers happily turning pages for years. Join our prim bookseller as she teams up with her hardboiled ghost to catch cunning killers. Each book can be read as a stand-alone or in order. The six titles are…

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure

The Ghost and the Dead Deb

The Ghost and the Dead Man’s Library

The Ghost and the Femme Fatale

The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion

And our newest release…

The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller

 

CLICK HERE FOR CLEO COYLE’S
FREE CHECKLIST OF HAUNTED BOOKSHOP TITLES
(BOOKS IN ORDER)

 

CLEO COYLE is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the Coffeehouse Mysteries, now celebrating fifteen years in print and three starred reviews. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together, including the beloved Haunted Bookshop Mysteries.

Visit Cleo’s website: HauntedBookshopMysteries.com
Subscribe to her free E-newsletter
Follow Cleo on Facebook and Twitter
Follow Jack Shepard (The Ghost) on his Facebook Page

Thank you so much for visiting today!! 

Now let me give you my thoughts on The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller.

The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller (Haunted Bookshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Rhode Island
Berkley (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0425237451
ISBN-13: 978-0425237458
Kindle ASIN: B078VX9SNF

Penelope Thornton-McClure and her bookshop’s ghost-in-residence Jack Shepard are back on a new case in this delightful paranormal mystery from New York Times bestselling author Cleo Coyle.

A big bestseller leads to small town trouble.

Bookshop owner Penelope Thornton-McClure didn’t believe in ghosts, until she was haunted by the hard-boiled spirit of 1940s private investigator Jack Shepard. Now Jack is back on the job, and Pen is eternally grateful…

After an elegant new customer has a breakdown in her shop, Penelope suspects there is something bogus behind the biggest bestseller of the year. This popular potboiler is so hot that folks in her tiny Rhode Island town are dying to read it–literally. First one customer turns up dead, followed by another mysterious fatality connected to the book, which Pen discovers is more than just fiction. Now, with the help of her gumshoe ghost, Pen must solve the real-life cold case behind the bogus bestseller before the killer closes the book on her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jack and Pen fans Rejoice! This series is back with a brand new mystery! New readers Rejoice! The authors have written this mystery in a way that you can jump right in with this new mystery and feel right at home. 

Penelope Thornton-McClure got more than she bargained for in her bookshop, but now that she has gotten to know Private Eye Jack Shepard she wouldn’t have it any other way. You see, Jack is a ghost from the 1940’s, killed in the shop in 1947, and he has saved her more than once. Together they have solved quite a few mysteries too.

A new book has just been released and it has been flying off the shelves. When a well to do customer falls apart in the store after a peek at the book jacket, Pen becomes concerned. That and the woman ran out of the store without paying for the book. When Pen tracks her down she makes a horrible discovery, the woman is dead and was killed not long before Pen’s arrival. The police say suicide but Pen doesn’t think so. There is a whole lot more about this bestseller than the story within the pages and with Jack’s help Pen is going find out what it is, even if it means making contact with a killer.

I was so excited to hear this series was returning. Book #5, The Ghost in the Haunted Mansion was released in 2008. Ten years later our patience has been rewarded. Don’t worry if you have forgotten details about the characters or if this is a new series to you. The characters are all introduced like this is the first book in the series. They are some incredible characters too. Jack, Pen, Aunt Sadie, co-owner of the bookstore, mailman Seymour, and Bookmark, the cat,  are all back.

The author’s style of writing really set a scene and give readers a  delightful mystery. Well-written and well-plotted the story is full of twists and turns that make the book very hard to put down.  I really love the trips back in time Jack takes Pen on via her dreams. She and readers get to see how one of his old cases played out and helps her see clues to the current mystery.

These authors never fail to give readers an impressive mystery. I was so excited to start reading this book but was sad to see it end. I am so happy to have reconnected with these characters and truly hope we do not have to wait 10 years to visit Quindicott again.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Also by this Author

 


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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.”

Sep 082018
 

Goodbye Cruller World (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (August 28, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1496711890
ISBN-13: 978-1496711892
Kindle ASIN: B077X2DMNR

Named after her beloved tabby, Deputy Donut, Emily Westhill’s donut shop in small-town Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, is doing so well, she’s expanding into catering weddings. But a killer is about to crash the reception . . .

Normally, Emily’s eyes tend to glaze over when prospective brides go on about their wedding plans. But when the owner of the clothing shop, Dressed to Kill, asks Emily to design a donut wall for her reception, she’s immediately sweet on the idea. With the help of her father-in-law and business partner—the former police chief of Fallingbrook—she hangs the treats from dowels on the wall so guests can help themselves.

But that night, when the groom ends up on the floor with signs of poisoning, Emily suspects someone has tampered with her treats. When the groom dies, there’s no way to sugarcoat it: she’s got a murder on her hands. Despite a list of suspects as long as the guest list, Emily vows to find out who created the killer confection to save her shop’s reputation and keep the bride out of handcuffs. She’ll have to move fast . . . before the poisoner takes a powder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Weddings and donuts, that is a new tradition I would love! Emily and her father-in-law, Tom, create a donut wall for the wedding of Jenn, the owner of Dressed to Kill. The bride’s favorite donuts on one side and the groom’s favorites on the other. It is a big hit with the guests and the groom makes a regular pig of himself eating one after another. That is until he ends up dead on the floor. Seems someone has added their own secret ingredient to some of the pastries. An item that was made to kill. Everyone at the reception becomes a suspect, especially the bride. Emily knows the connection to her confections is going to be bad for business. She knows Detective Passenmath would love to pin the crime on her and Tom. She has no choice but to try the puzzle out the killer herself.

Tom and Emily own Deputy Donut, named after Emily’s tabby cat. Tom is the former police chief of Fallingbrook. His son was on the force too and Emily is a former 911 operator. The shop has a police theme complete with an old squad car for deliveries. These characters stole my heart in Survival of the Fritters. The nice thing about Deputy Donut is that police and fire personnel hang out there. Some key suspects also stop in a time or two, in addition to all the regulars. It is a unique place because Deputy Donut, the cat, has his own lair to watch over all the all the happenings. I really enjoy how the author has set this up as we get to know the characters better at this special gathering place.

The mystery this time had so many suspects but I set my sights on someone very early in the story. Then I followed along with Emily and let me tell you the author built everything up to a very exciting ending. I was right about the who and most of the why, but boy I was on the edge of my seat at the climactic scene that brought everything together.

The story is set in my wonderful state of Wisconsin and the author described everything wonderfully. The closest thing to Deputy Donut that we have nearby now is Dunkin’ Donuts, but growing up we had a wonderful bakery that reminds me in many ways of Emily and Tom’s shop. Great donuts and a great gathering place to find out all the latest news about town. Crullers are some of my favorites as are powdered sugared (I may be looking at those a little closer now). 🙂

I can’t wait for my next visit!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Ginger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series–cops, crime, coffee, donuts, and one curious cat. When Ginger isn’t writing or reading, she’s crocheting, knitting, sewing, walking her two rescue dogs and generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts, coffee, and cafes where folks gather to enjoy those tasty treats and one another’s company.

 

Author Links

Website   Facebook   Twitter   GoodReads

Ginger has joined Killer Characters!


Written as Janet Bolin


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 20, 2018, 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.”

Sep 062018
 

The Cats Came Back (Magical Cats)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Minnesota
Berkley (September 4, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0399584595
ISBN-13: 978-0399584596
Kindle ASIN: B0782VC3Y6

Small-town librarian Kathleen Paulson often seems to gets mixed up in murder, but luckily, her very special cats always find a way to help her close a case . . .

The charming Minnesota town of Mayville Heights is hosting a music festival, and the whole place is bustling with musicians and tourists. Kathleen is looking forward to taking in some fabulous performances–and her two cats, Owen and Hercules, are looking forward to taking in some fabulous sardine crackers. But then the trio stumbles across a dead body by the river.

The victim is a close friend–who also happens to be a look-alike of a popular cabaret singer set to perform at the festival. Who could have wanted to harm this innocent girl? Was it a case of mistaken identity?

As accusations abound and suspicions swirl, Kathleen, Hercules and Owen will put their abilities–both mundane and magical–to the test, and lay down the paw.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is one of my favorite cozy series. The cats remind me of my own, sans magical powers of course, but including their love of treats. In this story, Owen and Hercules are going to star in a new calendar promoting Mayville Heights. While getting ready for his close up, Hercules is distracted by something in the water. When their human counterparts investigate they find the body of a woman in town for a music festival. Because of the festival the town in full of performers and tourists opening up the suspect pool. Kathleen and the cats find themselves on the path of the killer. Her insight and the magical talents of Owen and Hercules may solve the case or put them all in danger.

With well-drawn characters, the mystery takes us on a great ride leading up to a very exciting ending. Kathleen doesn’t back down and her cat’s little powers come in handy and crack me up, even in dire situations. I love the way Kathleen handles her cats and the way Hercules and Owen handle her. Their interactions are priceless.

Kathleen and Marcus’ relationship continues to grow. She is getting close to having to tell him about the cat’s special abilities, but I think he already knows something is up. He is a detective after all. I enjoy the way he supports Kathleen’s sleuthing, they do make an awesome team.

Sofie Kelly writes a story so easy to escape right into. Being #10 in the series it is like visiting old friends, but if you are new to the series, you will quickly feel at home. This is a fun and entertaining story. I anxiously await the next book! It’s going to be a long year  😀

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Sofie Kelly is a New York Times bestselling author and mixed-media artist who lives on the East Coast with her husband and daughter. She writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Cats Mysteries (Paws and Effect, Faux Paw, A Midwinter’s Tail) and, as Sofie Ryan, writes the New York Times bestselling Second Chance Cat Mysteries (Telling Tails, A Whisker of Trouble, Buy a Whisker). Find out more at www.sofiekelly.com



Written as Sofie Ryan

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Sign-up for Sofie’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Points.

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 20, 2018, 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.”

Aug 282018
 

The Trouble with Truth (A Gourmet Cat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
Lyrical Underground (August 28, 2018)
Paperback: 182 pages
ISBN-10: 1516103025
ISBN-13: 978-1516103027
Kindle ASIN: B078LQWPPQ

Things are looking up for single mom Colbie Summers. After relocating back to her California hometown with her adolescent son and taste-testing feline, Trouble, she’s ready to take her gourmet cat food company to the next level. Until helping a teenager gets Colbie mixed up in a fresh case of murder…

Trying to balance her hectic family life with her growing business—including a coveted contract with the local organic food store—leaves Colbie scrambling to keep all her balls in the air. But when a Sunnyside resident is found dead in his garage, she takes on a new role: harboring a suspected killer.

The eighteen-year-old murder suspect, a former foster kid and Colbie’s part-time chef, had a powerful motive to snuff out the high-profile businessman. The real question is, who didn’t? Sifting through the victim’s sordid history unearths a cat’s cradle of crimes, including money laundering and abuse. Now, to clear an innocent girl’s name, Colbie must sniff out the truth before a killer who smells trouble goes on the attack again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Colbie Summer’s gourmet cat food business is really taking off. She is planning for the big day when her products debut at a local organic food chain. She has even hired a new part-time chef. Eighteen-year-old Mira Bellamy grew up in the foster system and was abused. She is trying to make enough money to purchase a car and go to college. Not only is she working for Colbie, she has 3 other jobs too. She has also written a play about her life in foster care and received an award to have it produced.

On the homefront, Colbie’s son Elliot gets a surprise when his father, Richard Winston III, decides he does want to meet his son after all. Both mother and son are nervous about what this can mean.

Then Mira’s foster dad is murdered and because of her play, Mira is the police’s prime suspect. The truth hurts but Colbie knows that Mira is not a killer. While handling everything else, Colbie starts asking questions. Questions that make the real murderer burning mad and Detective Norma Chiron nervous about the target she has put on herself.

In this second installment, Colbie and Elliot have settled into her father’s house and they are all getting along so well. Colbie’s budding romance is growing too. The character that stole my heart was Mira. Life after being aged out of the foster system is hard but Mira has goals and is working so hard to reach them. Her play is amazing and it translated onto the pages and into my mind perfectly. I applaud the author for making this part of this story. Shining a light on the bad and the good, without hitting readers over the head or getting too dark.

The mystery part of the story really was well-written and believable. The victim had a number of people that could have killed him. Colbie’s actions had me engaged and scared for her at times. Twists sent the story in many different directions before the real culprit was revealed.

I really enjoy the way the author has let her characters develop but still has left them room to grow. The story is well balanced with the drama of the mystery and drama of normal family life. Humor was added in all the right places thanks to Trouble the cat and a certain bunny rabbit.

Ms. Krevat has written a very entertaining story. I am looking forward to visiting these characters again.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about Kathy Krevat and her books on her webpage here

Read my review of the first book in this series The Trouble with Murder here. 


Click on covers to order from Amazon.

I am personally giving away a Kindle Copy of The Trouble with Truth.
Book will be sent directly from Amazon U.S.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 11, 2018, 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.”

Aug 242018
 

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.

I don’t know how I did it but when this book was up on NetGalley I requested it and when it came time to read and review it, I couldn’t find it on my Kindle or in my Amazon account. Then last week when I was there looking for another book it popped right up on the screen. I knew it was going to be this week’s Flashback Friday read immediately.


Body on Baker Street: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1683312996
ISBN-13: 978-1683312994
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683314611
ISBN-13: 978-1683314615
Kindle ASIN: B06XW3K7F5

Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room in anticipation of the store’s upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock’s legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table—dead.

Donald insists he didn’t do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta’s depiction of the Great Detective. It’s up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are back and again find themselves in the middle of another murder investigation. This time an author, Renalta Van Markoff, comes to the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium for a book signing and dies while signing a book. All eyes fall on the man, Donald Morris, that questioned her about her content during the Q & A Session. He is a huge fan of the original Sherlock Holmes and cannot abide by what she has done with the characters. Gemma knows he has strong beliefs about Holmes but she knows he wouldn’t kill anyone. She again teams up with her friend Jayne for a little sleuthing of their own.

Gemma is a unique character, very independent, strong, and super observant. She notices things everyone else seems to miss and she has no trouble at all speaking her mind, not only giving her opinions but pointing out the facts as she sees them. She can be a little much at first but readers quickly realize how much like Sherlock Holmes she really is. Jayne is the perfect Watson to her Sherlock and together they make a wonderful team.

The new cast for this story was very well fleshed out. The larger than life Renalta Van Markoff, her mousey personal assistant, Linda, and her protective publicist all come to life quickly in these pages.

The bookshop the author has created for Gemma is fantastic and it is described in great detail making it very easy to imagine in my mind. I love that is has a tea room connected. It is the perfect place to pick up a book and venture next door to read while enjoying a pot of tea.

The mystery was very well plotted and written but I had an alternate theory pop into my head almost immediately after the victim died and that theory was never realized in the story which surprised me. Instead, there was a clear set of suspects that emerged and there were several twists and turns before the actual killer was revealed. Once I let my theory go I narrowed down my suspects and figured out whodunit right before Gemma. But I was wrong about the motive 🙂 It was a fun mystery to read and follow along with Gemma. I will say Gemma is like a dog with a bone when she sets her mind on something. She puts herself into dicey situations because of that.

I love Gemma and Jayne and am Sherlock Holmes fan so this story/series really shines for me. I don’t think you can go wrong with any book by this author. She is a great storyteller who does her research to bring her readers fabulous stories. This one is no exception.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers. Most recently, she is the author of the Year Round Christmas cozy mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime and (writing under the pen name of Eva Gates) the Lighthouse Library mysteries also from Berkley and the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries for Crooked Lane Books. Find out more about Vicki Delany on her webpage here.

Coming November 13, 2018

Written as Eva Gates

GIVEAWAYI am giving away 1 Kindle Copy – Sent Direct from Amazon.

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old who can receive a
book from Amazon U.S. 

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End September 7, 2018, 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.”

Aug 172018
 

About the Book

To Bead or Not to Bead (Glass Bead Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Washington State
Vetrai Press (June 29, 2018)
Print Length: 187 pages
Digital ASIN: B07CZ4B5Q7

When a wealthy theater owner is killed by a falling art glass chandelier, glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell’s boyfriend, Detective Zachary Grant, quickly determines it was no accident. Jax and her friend Tessa try to carry on with a charity fashion gala at the theater, but with only a few days before the big event, they have to scramble to keep things from falling apart. The emcee quits, and to make matters worse, Tessa’s daughters are suspects in the murder. As the chaos unfolds, Jax discovers new suspects at every turn, including an edgy glass blower, an agoraphobic socialite, and a hunky former-cop-turned-actor. Can Jax piece together the clues to find the killer and uncover the dark secrets behind the victim’s family or will it be curtains for her?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jax and Tessa have volunteered to help with a charity event at a local theater. A fashion show/auction to benefit an organization that helps the homeless. They are stunned by the beautiful glass chandelier donated for the auction, now hanging in the theater.  More stunning is learning that it fell on the theater owner and killed him. It was no accident either, Detective Zachary Grant has ruled the death a homicide and he has begged his girlfriend Jax to stay out of his investigation. When she learns that Tessa’s teenage daughters, models for the fashion show, are considered suspects there is no way she can sit idly by. Before long Jax has a “bead” on several more suspects, but her snooping may lead her right into the killer’s path.

The characters in this series are so much fun. They are always busy with something. Jax and Tessa have their hands full trying to keep the charity event on track. Val is manless at the moment but a new character may help her out of her rut. Jax and Detective Grant are trying to move their relationship forward but a little jealousy could throw a wrench into those plans. The four-legged creatures are always entertaining and by the end of the story, there is a new one added to the mix. One who was very important to the plot.

The theater and all its unique places make it a great setting for the murder. People involved with an upcoming play also become involved in the murder mystery adding to the list of suspects. I enjoyed learning about different things related to the theater and the play. One thing I did already know and I loved how it was treated within this story.

The plot flowed very well. The murder weapon was different that what we don’t usually see in a cozy mystery and learning about the chandelier creator opened up a new direction for the mystery. I was very impressed with the several diversions the author put on our path to solving the mystery.  There were so many secrets. I was totally surprised when the killer was revealed.

Well-written and well-plotted I read the entire book in one sitting. A fine who-dun-it!

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About the Author

Janice Peacock decided to write her first mystery novel after working in a glass studio full of colorful artists who didn’t always get along. They reminded her of the odd, and often humorous, characters in the murder mystery books she loved to read. Inspired by that experience, she combined her two passions and wrote High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery, the first book in a new cozy mystery series featuring glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell.

When Janice Peacock isn’t writing about glass artists who are amateur detectives, she makes glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry and makes sculptures using hot glass. An award-winning artist, her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of several museums. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and seven chickens. She has a studio full of beads…lots and lots of beads.

Author Links – Webpage    Facebook      GoodReads      @JanPeac on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest

Purchase Links


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Praise for To Bead or Not to Bead (Glass Bead Mystery Series)
by Janice Peacock

Jax and Tessa always have memorable adventures, and this is no exception . . . I was totally surprised at the identity of the killer, for sure.
~Book Babble

The book has a wonderful combination of humor and romance and danger and above all, mystery.
~Laura’s Interests

Delightful cozy mystery full of crafty bead details, a cute kitty, and a murder that will keep you guessing.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I loved the characters, Jax and Zachary. Janice Peacock continues to develop them with each book she writes. I love the relationships between the primary and secondary characters, and I especially love Gumdrop and Ginger.
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

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