Mar 292019
 


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.
Not going too far back in time this week.

 

A Literal Mess (An Allie Cobb Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Indiana
Lyrical Underground (January 8, 2019)
Print Length: 196 pages
ASIN: B07C6T6X41

The first book in a new series featuring Allie Cobb brings the New York literary agent back to her Hoosier home town where a mysterious death keeps everyone on spoiler alert . . .

Allie Cobb left home for the literary circles of Manhattan to make her name out from under the shadow of her legendary father. Now his death brings her and her rescue cat Ursula back to the southern Indiana town of Rushing Creek, population: 3,216. But a tragic new chapter hits the presses when the body of her father’s hard-drinking, #1 bestselling client is found under the historic town bridge. The local police suspect foul play and their prime candidate for murder is the author’s daughter—Allie’s longtime friend.

Determined to clear her bestie, Allie goes into fact-checking amateur detective mode while trying to ignore the usual rumormongers. Those with means, motive, and opportunity include the vic’s ex-wife, his rejected girlfriend, the mayor, and a rival agent trying to mooch clients. With a rugged genealogist distracting her and the imminent Fall Festival about to send tourists descending on their once-peaceful hamlet, Allie needs to stay alive long enough to get a read on a killer ready to close the book on a new victim: Allie . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Losing a parent can be devastating and Allie Cobb is upset she was unable to get home to say that final good-bye to her dad. She was so much like him and she left home for New York to make it on her own in a field where he was very well known and she did. Now she and her cat Ursula have come back to Indiana for the funeral and so that she can close his office and pass his literary clients on to others.

Then one of his clients is murdered. Thornwell Winchester, a prominent author and the father of Allie’s best friend. The man had issues but he was said to be working on another book and trying to beat his demons. There are several people that could be on the suspect list but the police decide his daughter, Sloane, is to blame. All they and the mayor want is the case wrapped up before the Fall Festival begins. Allie knows she has to clear her friend before they throw the book at her. She just needs to stay on step ahead of the killer which isn’t easy, or she could be next.

If I could back up a couple of decades knowing then what I know now I would love to have a job in book publishing. A literary agent would be a job I know I would enjoy. So when I read the synopsis for this book I knew I had to get to know Allie Cobb. With a literary agent for a father, you know reading was an integral part of Allie’s life. So much so she followed in his footsteps but was independent enough to want to make her own way in the field. I really enjoyed watching her do her job, the queries, the editing, the push to get the books into the right hands to be published. Her attention to detail not only helps with her job, it is a key element to being a great amateur sleuth.  Her mother is a physician and I could see a lot of her mother in her as well. Mr. Kenney has created a wonderful protagonist, a woman who can think on her feet and ask the right questions. She also doesn’t give up.

Rushing Creek, Indiana is populated by a quirky bunch of residents. Those readers will love and those readers will love to hate. The mayor along with Allie’s missing boyfriend were high up on my list of the later. He also includes a couple of four-legged characters that will steal your heart. For the first book in a series, there was a great deal of character development while still leaving plenty of room for growth as the series continues.

The mystery itself was very well written with a pace that ramped up as the story continued. Red herrings, yes there are a few and along twists that led to a surprising ending. I was very wrapped up in the drama and read the entire book, just under 200 pages in one afternoon.

The series is off to an excellent start. I look forward to A Genuine Fix, the second book in this series hits stores July 16. 

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

J.C. Kenney grew up in a household filled with books by legends Agatha Christie and Lilian Jackson Braun, among many others, so it was no surprise when he found himself writing mystery stories. When he’s not writing, you can find him following IndyCar racing or listening to music. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, two sons, and a cat who is the inspiration for Ursula in the Allie Cobb Mysteries.

Author Links    – Website –    Twitter –    Facebook –  Goodreads –   Instagram

Click on covers to order from Amazon.

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

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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Contest Will End April 12, 2019, 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.”

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Mar 282019
 


Trouble on the Books: A Castle Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (March 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1683319818
ISBN-13: 978-1683319818
Kindle ASIN: B07H7R7GVP

Rookie bookstore owner Shelby Cox must hit the books to learn the ropes before she loses a killer in the stacks.

Shelby Cox never intended to become a bookseller, so when the former editor returns to her hometown of Alexandria Bay, nestled in upstate New York’s breathtaking Thousand Islands region, to take over her aunt’s bookstore, she has no idea what to expect. To her amazement, she discovers that she now owns a fifty-percent share in Bayside Books, and will also run the store’s second location in the majestic castle on nearby Blye Island.

But just as Shelby is gearing up for the start of the tourist season, the Castle volunteer coordinator is found murdered in the nearby Grotto. Castle caretaker Matthew Kessler is suspect number one, but Shelby thinks the killing may be connected to an earlier era, when violence among Prohibition-era smugglers was rampant in the region. As Shelby launches her own investigation, handsome and unnerving Special Agent Zack Griffin of the Coast Guard Investigative Services tries to quell her smuggling theory and keep her safe. But Shelby is determined to summon all her savvy as a book editor to plot the murder—and find the killer before he strikes again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Her aunt has just had knee surgery so Shelby Cox arrives in Alexandria Bay to help manage her aunt’s bookstore and open a satellite store in the castle on Blye Island. She is surprised when her aunt informs her that she, in fact, owns fifty-percent of Bayside Books. She has a lot to learn but she is surrounded by a great staff. The island is a popular tourist attraction so her main focus is getting the castle bookshop open as before the tourists start arriving by the busload.

After a busy grand opening Shelby is excited about her new life as a bookseller. That is until she finds a dead body floating in the Grotto. She knows immediately that it is the prickly volunteer coordinator for the Castle. The police quickly peg Matthew Kessler, the Castle caretaker as their prime suspect. When the Coast Guard gets involved Shelby starts to think the murder may be linked to smuggling, something the island was used for during Prohibition. She can’t stop herself from sticking her nose into the investigation much to the dismay of Coast Guard Special Agent Zack Griffin. She is determined to solve the case and Zack is determined to keep her safe.

The setting of this story grabbed my attention right away. A bookshop in a castle on one island that is part of the Thousand Islands area off New York. A truly perfect setting for a cozy mystery series.

Shelby Cox is an interesting protagonist. She has her work cut out for her. She admits she isn’t a people person and knows that has to change if she is going to be a success in her new profession. She is curious, a trait every amateur must have. She is also intelligent and detail oriented so I know she is going to succeed in both of these endeavors. In addition to trying to solve a murder, Shelby hopes to learn more about her mother. She was quite young when she lost her and has so many questions.

Ms. Lang has surrounded Shelby with a great supporting cast. Aunt Edie was my fave. She is a strong woman too who hates being still and away from her shop. Her recovery is moving quickly and I am excited to get to know her better when she isn’t hindered at all.  Romance is two-fold in this story. Caretaker Matthew Kessler is very important to Edie and Agent Zack appears to be very interested in Shelby.

The murder happens early in the story. Shelby’s first investigation is a bit clunky as to be expected, it is her first, but it messed with the story flow in places. When she found her rhythm so did the story. Clues fell into her path and the twists and turns kept her and the reader guessing.

The subplot of Shelby’s mother blended in nicely, but I must confess I was almost more interested in it than murder. I feel this is a credit to the author because I was invested in her main character and cared about her and her feelings very early in this first book. She has left so much room for all the characters to grow.

This is a fine start for this series. Endearing characters drew me in and their lives and the mysteries thrown into their paths kept those pages turning. I am excited to learn more about these characters and to see what the author has in store for them next.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Essie Lang has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel and has also been short-listed for an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada for Best Short Story under other pen names. She is a former mystery bookstore owner and still loves reading all the mysteries she can get her hands on. She also loves choral singing, which is not always so pleasant for her Siamese cat, Keesha, who must endure hours of practice. This is her first Castle Bookshop mystery.

Written as Linda Wiken

Written as Erika Chase

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

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Mar 142019
 


Cat Got Your Crown: A Kitty Couture Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Crooked Lane Books (March 13, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683319567
ISBN-13: 978-1683319566
Kindle ASIN: B07H7RVB6N

With a pet pageant around the corner and a killer unleashed, Lacy will have to collar the culprit before the claws come out.

Lacy Marie Crocker can hardly believe it’s been a year since her return home to New Orleans. There hasn’t been a dull moment since opening her pet boutique last summer, and thanks to the popularity of Lacy’s organic pet treats, and the arrival of the National Pet Pageant, Lacy desperately needs some help before she is overrun by the demand for pupcakes and crinolines.

The entire Garden District seems to be counting the minutes until opening night of the pet pageant and everything is going spectacularly until Viktor Petrov, the pageant emcee takes a spill from the balcony during dress rehearsal. All signs points to murder and homicide detective Jack Oliver sets his eyes on Eva Little, one of Lacy’s committee sisters and the only other person on the balcony at the time of the fall, as the killer. But when it comes out that Viktor was notoriously rude, the doors blow wide open with potential suspects who could’ve wanted him dead.

Lacy’s determined to find the killer and exonerate Eva, but when Lacy receives a mysterious warning—a plush kitty from Lacy’s shop with its mouth crudely stitched over—it’s clear that she’s been found first. Full with killer recipes for your pet too!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The National Pet Pageant has finally come to New Orleans and Lacy Marie Crocker is right in the middle of everything. She is on hand to help with all the pets apparel with her trusty pink toolbox filled with fabric, thread, lace, sequins and even a tiara or two. She is also working on a new recipe that pets and their owners can share and baking pupcakes and pet couture to keep the shelves and racks full at her pet boutique, The Furry Grandmother.

Rehearsals at the pageant are barking right along and then the emcee takes a header right off the balcony. Viktor Petrov didn’t fall though, he was pushed. Detective Jack Oliver and Lacy were side by side and witnessed the entire thing. Lacy also noticed a woman on the balcony. Eva Little, one of Lacy’s mother’s friends. She becomes the prime suspect but it isn’t long before more suspects come to light. With a firm nudge from her mother and to the frustration of Jack, Lacy starts snooping. But the killer is on her trail warning her to back-off or else.

These characters are so much fun. Everyone is engaging and fleshed out. Again Lacy has a lot of weight on her shoulders. She has had two men vying for her attention, but in this one, Jack seems to be the one winning her heart which makes me super happy. I have been Team Jack for a while. But attorney Chase Hawthorne is also at the pageant. He has found many pet owners need lawyers in times of divorce to set up ownership and visitation of those furry loved ones. The client that brought him to the event has a very interesting doggie that keeps Chase on his toes.

Lacy’s over the top mother is in charge of making the National Pet Pageant run smoothly along with her committee. She expects perfection not only in the event but right down to what her committee members are wearing. Lacy isn’t always on the same page but she does her best to cater to her mother’s every whim. He father is the calming force that is needed a time or two. Lacy’s former nanny, Imogene, tries to stay on top of everything at the boutique but she is running herself ragged with all the extra business from the pageant. We are introduced to a new character, Willow, she seems to fit right in. I really enjoy the dialogue between the characters. There are serious conversations but some are laugh out loud funny.

There is so much happening in this story but it never seems overwhelming. The pace is quick. The mystery has many twists and turns and is very well plotted. I was totally all over the place when it came to the murderer. The red herrings throughout definitely worked on me.

I loved this story and the animal antics never fail to grab me. Lacy’s cat Penelope riding around on her Roomba always cracks me up. This time a dog had me almost rolling on the floor laughing. The humans are funny too. There is a bit of magic this time, I mean they are in New Orleans, but I not sure how I feel about that yet. I have to see where the author takes this idea.

I encourage you to read the series from the start in order if it is new to you. They have all been perfect escapes for me.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Cat Got Your Diamonds here and  Cat Got Your Cash here and
Cat Got Your Secrets here.

About The Author

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie Anne Lindsey here.

Facebook     Twitter     Website    Goodreads

Written as Julie Anne Lindsey

GIVEAWAYThanks 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.

Follow Crooked Lane Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries. @crookedlanebks 

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 March 28, 2019, 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.”

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Mar 132019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am very happy to feature Eva Gates’ new book today!! 


Something Read, Something Dead: A Lighthouse Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (March 13, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683319508
ISBN-13: 978-1683319504
Kindle ASIN: B07H7Q5L1C

Dark deeds in the Lighthouse Library threaten to send Lucy Richardson’s soon-to-be-wed cousin Josie to an early ‘til-death-do-us-part.

Winter falls on North Carolina’s Outer Banks as Lucy Richardson and her friends joyfully help her favorite cousin, Josie O’Malley, plan her wedding. The owner and head baker of Josie’s Cozy Bakery and her fiancé, chef Jake Greenblatt, want a small, simple wedding.

But to their horror, Josie’s imperious grandmother, Gloria, descends with the “Louisiana Mafia”: a gaggle of aunts and cousins who intend to take control of the wedding plans. Gloria doesn’t do small and simple, and cousin Mirabelle has her own ideas for Josie’s wedding, something grand and lavish—and paid for by Josie’s parents, of course—that will kickstart her fledgling event planning business and get her work shown on the covers of wedding magazines. To make matters worse, Mirabelle focuses her full Southern charm on the prospective groom…and Jake doesn’t seem entirely adverse to her attentions.

To smooth the waters, Lucy hosts a bridal shower at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. But it turns deadly when Mirabelle collapses—soon after eating the gluten-free treats Josie prepared specifically for her. Now, to save her favorite cousin from prison, Lucy will have to bring a crook to book in this fifth festive Lighthouse Library mystery from national bestselling author Eva Gates.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in North Carolina just in time for Josie and Jake’s wedding. Jake and Josie have plenty of love but very little time. Josie owns the local bakery and Jakes owns a restaurant. All they want is a simple wedding with no big fuss and one that is within their budget. As the date draws near Josie’s grandmother has real concerns about this wedding. Email invitations and people left off the guest list have her in a real tizzy. She will not stand for small and simple. Like a hurricane, she blows into town with the “Louisiana Mafia” (aunts and cousins). She has tasked cousins Florence Fanshaw and Mirabelle Henkel with planning the most over the top wedding possible. She also decides the simple shower at the lighthouse library and reception at Jake’s restaurant will never do and Gloria takes over those plans too. Unfortunately, Mirabelle is also searching for a new husband herself and she seems to have set her sights on JAKE!

Things kick off with Lucy’s shower with a few Louisiana adjustments. But it doesn’t end well. Mirabelle dies shortly after eating the gluten-free goodies Jodie had made just for her. The police decide Josie had the motive, means, and opportunity to pull it off. Lucy knows she didn’t do it. Seriously, first Josie would never kill anyone. And second, Josie would not be stupid enough to kill her cousin and have all the evidence pointed right at her. Clearly a set up, Lucy is on the case and she intends to catch the real killer and throw the book at them so that Josie and Jake can start the next chapter of their lives without Josie behind bars.

I absolutely love the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library on the Outer Banks. The author takes poetic license with the place for it to house all the wonderful things it does. Readers imaginations are easily stretched to believe it too. All the books and rooms and Lucy Aerie apartment on the 4th floor reached by climbing all those steps. I can envision it all perfectly. The structure itself has a little trouble in this installment and I was drawn right into the process and cost of handling the issue.

The characters Ms. Gates has created have become old friends. I was taken aback by the way Grandma Gloria took over everything, not caring at all about Josie’s wishes, but I had to deal with something similar when I was married 36 years ago. Instead of a grandmother, it was my mother driving me crazy for opposite reasons though. Gloria wanted things grander, my mother was very budget oriented. Both were determined to have their way.  My mother didn’t like the colors I had chosen for the bridesmaid’s dresses or the style. She thought they were too expensive and our trip to buy dresses turned into a trip to buy fabric and not in peach but lilac. The pattern silhouette chosen was nowhere near what I wanted either and they ended up costing more because we had to pay a seamstress to make them. Both she and I loved to sew and she really thought we could make the six dresses ourselves.  And that was just the bridesmaid dresses, I won’t go into my dress or the food or the other things she tried to take over. Thankfully like Josie, I had great friends, family, and a wonderful man that help me pick my battles. Can you tell I really identified with this part of the story? Of course, no one died at my shower 🙂 but there were a few stressful moments.

All the subplots flowed into the main plot very nicely. I truly enjoyed the way the mystery unfolded and the way the library’s monthly book club selection Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy Sayers played into the story. Several more suspects were noted and I had a delightful time following all the clues and detours right along with Lucy. The killer was on my radar but I couldn’t fully commit until the very end.

This is a wonderful addition to this series. The characters are genuine, the setting ideal, and the mystery kept me guessing. This book can be read on its own but I recommend them all.

Your Escape With 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 twenty-five books:  clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing three cozy mystery series: the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House and, under the pen name of Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series, for Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.  Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

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

Written as Vicki Delany

GIVEAWAYThanks 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.

Follow Crooked Lane Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries. @crookedlanebks 

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End March 27, 2019, 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.”

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Mar 062019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to feature Pie Hard by Kirsten Weiss this week!


Pie Hard (A Pie Town Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (February 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496708989
ISBN-13: 978-1496708984
Kindle ASIN: B07DBR4SRF

Will Val pie hard on national TV?

Business at the bakery may have slowed down, but Val Harris isn’t about to eat humble pie—not until a reality cooking show decides to whip the struggling Pie Town into shape. If Val can tolerate criticism from an abrasive pastry chef during filming, the free publicity might turn the unusual opportunity into the sweetest deal she didn’t know she needed.

Except no one in San Nicholas has an appetite for dessert once murder steals the spotlight. When the show’s bossy producer gets pushed to her death, Val and her flaky, septuagenarian pie crust expert, Charlene, follow crumbs in hopes of finding the killer. But with cameras still rolling and the shocking identity of the victim’s replacement a guaranteed recipe for disaster, Val needs to stay cool long enough to solve the crime and keep Pie Town from falling apart—or else she just might go up in smoke before she ever graces the small screen.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pie Hard, a reality cooking show has come to Pie Town courtesy of Charlene and as a complete surprise to Val. The camera and crew arrive along with Regina Katz, the show’s producer. Val is nervous because she knows what type of show this is. They will bash her shop and everything she does to get the high ratings. The show’s pastry chef, Ilsa Fueder, is already muttering “don’t like” about every pie she looks at.

After the first day of taping Val gets a call from Ray, one of the gaming regulars telling her that show’s producer has died in an “accident” he sees more like murder. Soon the Baker Street Bakers are into a full-blown investigation with Ray as an associate member, (he is not a baker). Shocked that show is continuing Val uses the opportunity to get to know all the suspects on her list. She also has a connection to the show’s new producer. The death has again slowed Pie Town’s business to a crawl. Hard to be a success when Val keeps finding dead bodies. She just knows she needs to find the killer before she is bankrupt and baked to a crisp.

This is a fun series and this is a great addition. Murder with a lot of mayhem fills these pages. Charlene is quite the instigator and to start with Val just has to go with the flow. Right from the beginning when a yurt is dropped within feet of Val’s tiny storage container house and the “goddesses” arrive for their yearly retreat. Something Charlene forgot to mention to Val. Then continuing when Val arrives at Pie Town to see her shop filled with strangers, holding cameras and tacking a microphone to her shirt. And on to Charlene’s several unbelievable and impossible theories about who killed the producer and why. It takes a little time, but Val gets her bearings and juggles all these balls in the air while trying to find out more about a certain new member of the crew. The author has done so well developing the recurring characters and introducing the new batch as well. Charlene’s cat, Frederick continues to make his appearances and is always good for a giggle.

I really enjoyed all the facets of the mysteries within this story. Val has plenty of clues to sift through along with plenty of suspects. The story is expertly plotted in a way that had me guessing right up until the big reveal. The family dynamic that was woven into the murder part of the story really added depth. It will be interesting to see how it impacts future stories. I was intrigued about how the goddesses were going to evolve into the story. I will say I was surprised at the role one of them played, but it was absolutely perfect.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of The Quiche and the Dead here and Bleeding Tarts here.

About the Author

Based in San Mateo, California, Kirsten Weiss writes genre-blending novels: urban fantasy/mystery, steampunk/suspense, and cozy mysteries. Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer reruns and drinking red wine.
Visit her at kirstenweiss.com.


Also by this Author


Find more books by Kirsten Weiss here.

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to giveaway

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 Kirsten’s newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 20, 2019, 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.”

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Mar 052019
 

One Feta in the Grave
(A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

About the Book


One Feta in the Grave (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Kensington (February 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713516
ISBN-13: 978-1496713513
Digital ASIN: B07DBPQQFJ

As summer comes to an end in her Jersey Shore town, Lucy Berberian continues to manage her family’s Mediterranean restaurant. The Kebab Kitchen also has a food tent at this year’s beach festival. But now a local businessman is under the boardwalk—dead by the sea …

With a sand castle contest and live music, Ocean Crest bids a bittersweet farewell to tourist season. Summer will return next year … but Archie Kincaid won’t. The full-of-himself store owner has been fatally shot, soon after a screaming match with Lucy’s best friend. Katie’s far from the only suspect, though, since Archie had some bitter rivals—as well as some relationships no one knew about. It’s up to Lucy to look into some seedy characters and solve the case before the wrong person gets skewered …

Recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tourist season is wrapping up in Ocean Crest and the beach festival is underway with music, contests, and plenty of food. Things get a little heated when Archie Kincaid was forced to step down as a judge of the sand castles because his nephew was participating in the contest. After Lucy finishes her judging duties and makes sure all the food vendors have everything they need she takes a walk on the beach. She notices something under the boardwalk. That something turns out to be a dead Archie Kincaid. The man wasn’t well liked and have public arguments with several people, including the one with her best friend Katie, when she eliminated him as a judge.

Detective Clemmons arrives on the scene and is not surprised that Lucy has found another body, but everyone is surprised when Katie lands on his list of suspects. This means her husband, Officer Bill Watson is unable to be part of the case. He knows Lucy’s reputation for solving cases and asks her to keep her ears open and ask a few questions to help clear Katie’s name. Lucy takes the request and runs with it, sometimes with Katie by her side, going much further than Bill intended. Now they just need to catch the killer before anyone else ends up dead.

Lucy Berberian is a fun protagonist and I like it when Katie tags along. This time Katie’s is the one who needs to be cleared. These ladies go to some dangerous lengths to do just that. Lucy is also learning to cook traditional Armenian dishes while taking over managing duties at the restaurant. At the same time, she is trying to rekindle her romance with chef Azad Zakarian while having a friendship with Michael, who runs the bike shop next to the restaurant. Michael and Lucy seem to make a better pair right now, at least in my opinion. With each story, the characters become more fleshed out and relatable.

Ms. Kashian has cooked up a great mystery. A first I thought the arguments between Archie and others were typical business things but as we get deeper in the story we see that isn’t the case. The author sets a nice pace and I enjoyed the way Lucy didn’t give up. There was a point where any amateur sleuth would have quit but not Lucy. It is pointed out to her more than once that she is not a cop and needs to back off, but she will run herself ragged to catch the killer. I had honed in the right party a bit before Lucy but the ending was both exciting and funny. I wish I had half of Lucy’s energy.

I do love the Jersey shore setting. The boardwalk, shops, and restaurants. All the touristy places and food. Yes, the food, again my mouth was watering.

Another fun and entertaining story from Tina Kashian. I look forward to visiting Ocean Crest again soon!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Hummus and Homicide here and Stabbed in the Baklava here.

 

About the Author

Tina Kashian spent her childhood summers at the New Jersey shore, building sand castles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business where her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. She worked almost every job—rolling silverware and wiping down tables as a tween, to hosting and waitressing as a teenager.

After college, Tina worked as a NJ Deputy Attorney General, a patent attorney, and a mechanical engineer. Her law cases inspired an inquiring mind of crime, and since then, Tina has been hooked on mysteries. The Kebab Kitchen Cozy Mystery series launches with Hummus and Homicide, followed by Stabbed in the Baklava and One Feta in the Grave by Kensington Books. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two young daughters. Please visit www.tinakashian.com and join her Newsletter to enter free contests to win books, get delicious recipes, and to learn when her books will be released.

Author Links  Website   Facebook  Twitter  Instagram   Goodreads

Praise for One Feta in the Grave
(A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

Hot men, dangerous liaisons, and a town in trouble when their main money making event is canceled due to murder, all contribute to a fast-paced and twisty murder investigation.
~Laura’s Interests

One Feta in the Grave is a fun, light cozy mystery that will have you longing for a sunny day at the beach.
~The Avid Reader

One Feta in the Grave will have you craving the Berberian family recipes so make sure you have a Mediterranean restaurant close by 😉 The plot is well-layered and it’s not readily apparent whodunit . . .
~Reading Is My SuperPower

ONE FETA IN THE GRAVE is great fun keeping me not only entertained but filled with happiness from this big happy Kebab Kitchen family.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I love the way Ms. Kashian uses words to paint vivid pictures of both her settings and her characters. She wraps the theme of family and friendship into the story with heartwarming results.
~Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder

From the characters to the tantalizing dishes, everything falls into place and makes this a fantastic read.
~Storeybook Reviews

ONE FETA IN THE GRAVE, it was top notch! There were plenty of suspects to keep me twisted like a boardwalk funnel cake in my guessing.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

Purchase Links

Amazon –   iBooks –  Barnes & Noble –  Kobo –   Google Books

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

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Feb 272019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thoughts with you today about the latest Poppy McAllister Mystery!

 

About the Book


Restaurant Weeks Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (February 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713079
ISBN-13: 978-1496713070
Digital ASIN: B07DBQBVYJ

Cape May, New Jersey, is the site of a big culinary competition—and the knives are out . . .

Poppy McAllister is happy about opening a Jersey Shore B&B—but working in a professional kitchen has always been her real dream. Now it’s coming true, at least briefly, as she teams up with her former fiancée, Tim—and his condescending partner, Gigi—during the high-profile Restaurant Week challenge. Poppy’s specialty is pastries, despite her devotion to a Paleo diet. But if anyone can make glorious gluten-free goodies, it’s Poppy.

Things get heated quickly—especially when some ingredients get switched and Tim’s accused of sabotage. Relatively harmless pranks soon escalate into real hazards, including an exploding deep fryer. And now one of the judges has died after taking a bite of Poppy’s cannoli—making her the chef suspect . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Poppy McAllister is so excited. Her ex, Tim and his partner Gigi are representing his restaurant in the upcoming Restaurant Week Challenge for a local television station, think Chopped, but crazier :), and Tim as asked her to be their pastry chef. It will be tough spending that much time with Gigi, but cooking in a professional kitchen and showing her talents with desserts has been her dream, so she quickly accepts.

The “Challenge” is not creating awesome appetizers, entrees, and desserts from the crazy basket ingredients, it is making it through the week. Less Chopped – More Survivor. Pranks like the labels being switched on ingredients escalates to machinery malfunctions including an exploding deep fryer, to one of the judges being poisoned. The chaos in the kitchen is getting out of control so Poppy does it again. She starts her own investigation. If she isn’t careful she may find herself cooking her very last dessert and chopped down before any of her dreams come true.

I have loved these characters since book 1, Class Reunions are Murder. Aunt Ginny always has me laughing out loud. This time her antics were a little tamer but they still cracked me up. Poppy is growing stronger. Her confidence is shaky at first but she gets some nice feedback that by the end helps her to really move forward. I am excited about the opening of her B&B because I think she will really shine, depending of course what kind of obstacles Aunt Ginny throws in her path. I loved every scene when Poppy and Gia were together. I could feel the heat right through the pages. Don’t worry the author keeps it cozy and G-rated. I can’t forget Figaro, that naughty, naughty, kitty. A cat with a mission and he was hilarious.

As a huge fan of Chopped, I really enjoy the Restaurant Week challenge with its own little twist of a points system. The themed baskets and what the chefs did with them was fun even with all the struggles they had along the way. The author shares some of the recipes at the end of the story.

The mystery was very developed. Secrets, grudges, innuendo, revenge, all play into this captivating whodunit. With plenty of suspects, the author set a blazing pace with the twists. The last one almost gave me whiplash. The ending was edge of my seat exciting. I was totally surprised.

Ms. Klein has found the perfect recipe for a marvelous cozy mystery. Wonderful characters mixed in a sensational story with a dash a romance and sprinkled liberally with humor. A delectable treat for every cozy lover.

This is an extraordinary series and while each can stand on its own, they are best read in order for maximum enjoyment.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Class Reunions are Murder here.

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

Praise for Restaurant Weeks Are Murder
(A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
by Libby Klein

There is a cast of quirky characters that liven up the storyline and of course, we can’t forget Aunt Ginny and her antics along with the rest of her Senior friends. She knows how to liven up this book with her shenanigans.
~Storeybook Reviews

About the Author

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

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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.”

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Feb 202019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so thankful this series has found a new home at Crooked Lane Books!

Murders and Metaphors: A Magical Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (February 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318994
ISBN-13: 978-1683318996
Kindle ASIN: B07D2H5M28

Niagara region booksellers Violet Waverly and Grandma Daisy sleuth the slaying of a sommelier whose book signing turned into her sayonara.

January means ice wine season in the Niagara Falls region, but the festivities leave Charming Books owner Violet Waverly cold, still reeling from a past heartbreak. A past heartbreak who will be present at the annual midnight grape-harvest festival, and no magic in the world or incantation powerful enough could get Violet to attend. But Grandma Daisy, an omniscient force all on her own, informs Violet that she’s already arranged for the mystical Charming Books to host celebrity sommelier Belinda Perkins’s book signing at the party. Little do either Waverly women know, the ice wine festival will turn colder still when Violet finds Belinda in the middle of the frozen vineyard—with a grape harvest knife protruding from her chest.

Belinda grew up in Cascade Springs, but she left town years ago after a huge falling-out with her three sisters. One of those sisters, Violet’s high school friend Lacey Dupont, attends the book signing in the hope of making amends with her sister, but Belinda and Lacey end up disrupting the signing with a very public shouting match and Lacey quickly becomes the prime suspect in the sommelier’s murder.

Violet is sure Lacey is innocent, and to keep her friend out of prison, Violet asks for guidance from her magical bookshop. The shop’s ethereal essence points her to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, but what have the four March sisters to do with the four Perkins sisters? If she can’t figure it out, Violet, herself, may turn as cold as ice. Violet, Grandma Daisy, Emerson the tuxedo cat, and resident crow Faulkner are back on the case in Murders and Metaphors, USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower’s enchanting third Magical Bookshop mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was very upset when this unique series ended after just 2 stories. I am so happy that the people at Crooked Lane Books saw its promise and gave the series new life.

This 3rd story takes place in January and Violet and her Grandma Daisy will be selling books at a book signing for Belinda Perkins, a well-known sommelier, and author. The event is taking place at Morton Vineyard right before their midnight ice grape harvest. That means Violet will not be able to avoid her ex and the mayor of Cascade Springs, Nathan Morton or his mother.

The author’s estranged sister and Violet’s best friend Lacey is also present for the party, helping her husband with the catering. But Lacey can’t just stay in the kitchen. She badly wants to reconnect with her sister, but her sister creates a scene and demands Lacey be removed from the premises. From there the event quickly goes downhill when the upset author leaves the event.

But Violet makes a chilling discovery outside the winery. Belinda Perkins’ dead body at the edge of the vineyard and the standoff with her sister and evidence at the scene make Lacey the number one suspect. Violet knows her friend is innocent and plans to find the real killer and her magical bookshop is going to help her.

If you are new to this series I do recommend starting at the beginning with Crime and Poetry and Prose and Cons but the author does give some background in this book so new readers won’t feel lost. The series revolves around a wonderful, magical bookshop, where the right book will find you. There is a magical live tree in the middle of the shop and the female members of Violet’s family have always been the caretakers of the shop and the tree. Violet has recently replaced her Grandma Daisy as the caretaker. The shop and its “essence” is truly one of the starring characters.

This time to solve the murder, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women plays a key role. Violet just has to figure out which part of the tome will help her get the answers she needs.

________

The characters the author has created are excellent. Violet, Grandma Daisy, Emerson the tuxedo cat, and the very verbal crow Faulkner all return to draw us into a story that is both enchanting and intriguing. Violet is growing into her job as caretaker and Grandma Daisy is at a bit of loose ends. Violet does need to fine tune her sleuthing skills a bit and Daisy needs to find new ways to fill her time. The relationship between the two women is getting stronger as they find their way in their new roles. I love sneaky little Emerson and who wouldn’t love an intellectual crow. The supporting cast all have a purpose and have grown right along with the main characters.

I found the ice wine and winter midnight harvest to be very interesting even though I was no fan of the entitled Morton family.

Charming Books is my favorite bookstore out of all the cozy bookstores I have fictionally visited. It is unique, magical and memorable. I love everything about it. To avoid spoiling anything for new readers I can say more but it is a true treasure.

The story is very well-plotted with the main plots and subplots falling easily together. There were several suspects and I was on the trail of the correct person but the climatic finish still surprised me. I enjoy the book group that meets at Charming Books too. It really adds to the story.

I call this series “paranormal light” due to its magical setting. Ms. Flowers has taken a very imaginative idea and run with it all while making readers believe what happens within the pages real and believable.

What a marvelous mystery! I am so excited for the next book in this series after the little cliffhanger at the end. Looks like Grandma Daisy is going to shake things up.

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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




Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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with a US mailing address.

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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.”

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Feb 122019
 


Past Due for Murder:
A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

About the Book 


Past Due for Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Crooked Lane Books (February 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318749
ISBN-13: 978-1683318743
Digital ASIN: B07D2GYM25

Has a curse fallen on the small town of Taylorsford, Virginia? After a young woman goes missing during a spring bonfire, library director Amy Webber must wade through the web of lies only to find a truth that she may not want to untangle.

Spring has sprung in quaint Taylorsford, Virginia, and the mayor has revived the town’s long-defunct May Day celebration to boost tourism. As part of the festivities, library director Amy Webber is helping to organize a research project and presentation by a local folklore expert. All seems well at first—but spring takes on a sudden chill when a university student inexplicably vanishes during a bonfire.

The local police cast a wide net to find the missing woman, but in a shocking turn of events, Amy’s swoon-worthy neighbor Richard Muir becomes a person of interest in the case. Not only is Richard the woman’s dance instructor, he also doesn’t have an alibi for the night the student vanished—or at least not one he’ll divulge, even to Amy.

When the missing student is finally discovered lost in the mountains, with no memory of recent events—and a dead body lying nearby—an already disturbing mystery takes on a sinister new hue. Blessed with her innate curiosity and a librarian’s gift for research, Amy may be the only one who can learn the truth.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Past Due for Murder takes us to Taylorsford, Virginia just in time for Spring and the town’s May Day celebration. Our protagonist Amy Webber has opened up the library archives for a professor and her students to research the local folklore. The will be making a presentation at the celebration. One of these students disappears during a bonfire event and police have organized a search. They also question the man in Amy’s life, Richard Muir. He was the woman’s dance instructor and may have been the last person to see her before she went missing. The student is later found, next to a dead body. She is dazed and confused. Amy has been trying to use her talents first to find the student and now the murderer. She meets an elderly woman with stories to tell of the area that just may point her in the direction of the killer. It also could make her their next victim.

Ms. Gilbert has written a story that links the present to the past in a very interesting way. The area folklore includes a story of two missing women, but what parts of the story are true and which are pure fabrication and how does it pertain to the current event of a missing woman and a murder? It is a twisted journey that captivated me right away.

I loved the way the author brought in a woman who is basically a hermit now. I found this woman to be genuine and heartwarming. Having Amy visit to record her stories for the library’s archives was a brilliant idea. Many towns and libraries are doing this now. It makes me wish I had done the same with my parents and grandparents. Our history, our stories, fade due to poor memories and these records would be priceless. If these options are available to you jump on them while you can.

The author also brings a man into the story, a neighbor to the woman, also someone who shuns society for his own reasons. He has a wonderful gift that he has mostly kept to himself but could he be a murderer?

Sticking with new characters, Richard’s parents come to visit and it was quite the experience. No spoiler here, but answers to some of the questions I had about the man are answered.

With great characters and plenty of twists and turns, this story takes us on quite a ride. The blend of folklore with a smidgen of fairies and magic was a delight. The ending was an ultimate surprise. This story is a wonderful addition to this series!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Murder for the Books here.

Read my review of Shelved Under Murder here.

About  the Author

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

Victoria’s first cozy mystery series, the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, garnered her a three-book deal with Crooked Lane Books, which has since been expanded to five books. The first two books in the series have been optioned by Sony Pictures Television, and the first three were or will be produced in audiobook by Tantor Media.

Victoria also just inked a 2-book deal with Crooked Lane for a new cozy series, the Booklovers B & B series, set in historic Beaufort, NC.

A member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime, Victoria is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel.

Author Links:

Website/blog   Facebook author page    Twitter   Goodreads   Instagram 

Purchase Links:

Amazon     B&N    Kobo    Indie Bound   GooglePlay

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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.”

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Jan 232019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share with you the 1st book
in this new cozy series from Sarah Fox today!


Wine and Punishment (A Literary Pub Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Vermont
Kensington (December 18, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718682
ISBN-13: 978-1496718686
Kindle ASIN: B07BVDVNT8

In the first in an engaging new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox, the owner of a charming literary pub finds her fresh start on the rocks thanks to a case of murder.

Booklover Sadie Coleman knows that in life, as in fiction, the right setting can make a world of difference. The small town of Shady Creek, Vermont, seems like the perfect place to start over after losing her Boston job to a merger and her relationship to her ex’s gambling addiction. She’s bought and redecorated the old grist mill pub, transforming the Inkwell into a cozy spot where tourists and regulars alike can enjoy a pint or a literary-themed cocktail, or join one of several book clubs.

Little by little, Sadie is adjusting to the rhythms of her new home. Fall in Shady Creek is bookmarked by the much-anticipated Autumn Festival, complete with a pumpkin catapult competition and pie bake-off. Unfortunately, the season also brings an unwelcome visitor—Sadie’s ex, Eric, who’s angling for a second chance . . .

Before Sadie can tell Eric to leave, he’s found dead near the Inkwell. When the local antique shop catches fire on the same night, it’s clear the town is harboring at least one unsavory character. Now, with her Aunt Gilda, her friend Shontelle, and the pub’s patrons all in the mix, Sadie must uncover the truth . . . before a killer declares last call.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s Autumn in Shady Creek, Vermont and Sadie Coleman is excited to take part in the yearly festival. You see, she is new in town and has turned the old grist mill pub into a book lover’s delight. The Inkwell is the perfect place to relax with friends or hold your book club meeting. Sadie pushed out by a merger in her old job and moving on after breaking up with her gambling lying ex is ready to make herself at home in this wonderful little town. Her literary-themed cocktails have been well received and she is anxious to feature them in her booth at the festival.

Happily shelving her past she has made herself at home. Then she is shocked to learn Eric, he ex, is in town. She avoids him the first night and goes to a birthday party for her Aunt Gilda. On the way home, she is diverted by a huge fire at the local antique shop. She almost forgets about Eric being in town. But before they can meet he is found dead in a culvert near the pub. Is his death connected to the fire? What would he come all this way to see her now? With more questions than answers, she decides to keep her ears open and her eyes peeled in hopes of catching the killer and throwing the book at them.

I absolutely love the setting of this book. A pub full of books in Vermont. The pub is unique, its little footbridge charming and Shady Creek sounds absolutely delightful. Sans the fire and the murder, of course.

I really like Sadie. She has a great vision and the determination to see it through. She is surrounded by a great cast. Her Aunt Gilda is totally supportive and willing to help Sadie in any way she can. The same with her friend Shontelle. Her two employees, Damien and Melanie, are familiar with the area and the festival and want Sadie to succeed. Then there is Grayson Blake, owner of the Spirit Hill Brewery. He and Sadie get off to a very rocky start. Everyone thinks he is a wonderful man, Sadie just doesn’t see it. In fact, she believes he is responsible for some dastardly deeds like slashing her tires and egging the pub. Sadie also has a frisky feline named Wimsey. I feel Ms. Fox has barely opened the books on these characters. She has left them plenty of room to grow.

I enjoyed the way the author penned this mystery. Twists galore. I loved that the lead detective was a woman and that while she questioned Sadie thoroughly, she didn’t zero in on Sadie as her main suspect. I will say the killer was so far off my radar they were never even considered. BAM, I was right there with Sadie, completely surprised and scared for our new protagonist. Great job, Sarah Fox!

This series is off to an excellent start. I want to get to know these characters better and I definitely want to spend more time at the book filled Inkwell pub. I know there is a mystery book club starting there soon and I can’t wait to see if that plays into this author’s next mystery.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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

Also by Sarah Fox


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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.”

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