Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Literary Escapes Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Eddy and Julia by William Zink #Review

Eddy and Julia
Women’s Literature & Fiction
Setting – Belgium
Publisher: Sugar Loaf Press (July 1, 2020)
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-10: 0578624516
ISBN-13: 978-0578624518
Kindle Publication Date: August 20, 2020
ASIN: B08GG9W787

A young American with a faulty heart, tired of endless operations, travels to Belgium to live out the last few months of his life. At peace with his fate, his plans are derailed when he meets Julia, a student from Italy. They fall in love, forcing him to reevaluate his decision, but he soon discovers a dark secret she’s been keeping, crushing their budding romance. Ultimately, a cycling race through the Ardennes Forest will determine not only their fate, but that of Julia’s mother.

 

Set among the bucolic hills and vibrant cafes of Belgium, Eddy and Julia is a poignant drama filled with complex, colorful characters, celebrating the unpredictable and timeless facets of love.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A man decides to live his last days doing things he enjoys. Then a woman enters his life shaking up everything.


I have been struggling with this review for a few weeks I even read parts of the book again when I saw some 5 star reviews but this just wasn’t the book for me. I didn’t feel engaged by any of the characters and believe me there were plenty.

The cycling theme was interesting as was the Belguim area setting. The author is definitely familiar with both.

Mr, Zink has written a complicated story of romance and relationships. It meanders round and round but the ending left me cold.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

William Zink is the author of several novels and poetry collections, including The Hole, Ballad of the Confessor, Ohio River Dialogues, Pieta, and Wild Grapes. His books have been praised by Booklist, Andrei Codrescu, David Giffels, Donald Ray Pollock, Dagoberto Gilb, The Main Street Rag, and others. His novel, Ohio River Dialogues, was a finalist for the Ohioana Fiction Award. –This text refers to the paperback edition.

Author Links – WebsiteFacebookInstagram


Also by William Zink

 

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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Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Game of Dog Bones (A Melanie Travis Mystery) by Laurien Berenson #Review


Game of Dog Bones (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
25th in Series
Setting – Connecticut/New York
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718372
ISBN-13: 978-1496718372
Kindle – ASIN: B07W4MRR69

Standard Poodle owner Melanie Travis is an excellent judge of dogs—and people. But what happens when an unnamed killer emerges at one of the fiercest all-breed competitions ever?

 

As Greenwich, Connecticut, slows down during a bitterly cold February, Melanie and her spunky Aunt Peg head to the city that never sleeps for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden. Aunt Peg can’t wait to demonstrate her judging chops on national TV, even after being hounded by frustrating mishaps—all seemingly orchestrated by Victor Durbin, an ousted Paugussett Poodle Club member with a bone to pick. But the bright lights of the show ring grow dim when Victor is found murdered, and she’s the one topping the suspect list . . .

 

Driven to solve the crime on her aunt’s behalf, Melanie fetches hair-raising clues about the victim. Victor didn’t score many friends with his unethical breeding practices, sketchy puppy café, and penchant for mercilessly scamming others to get ahead. He burned so many bridges that his own business partner admits to being delighted by news of his death. It appears Victor finally toyed with the wrong person, and as Melanie digs up more chilling evidence, she realizes that exonerating Aunt Peg means confronting a murderer who’s in it to win it . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Aunt Peg gets to fulfill her dream when she is asked to judge for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden and be on television. She is even hosting a seminar before her judging. But a former member of her poodle club, Victor Durbin is doing his best to ruin her day by planning his own event at the same time as Peg’s. When the man is later found dead Peg finds herself on the shortlist of suspects. New York is taking its own sweet time with their investigation so Melanie dives into her investigation to clear her Aunt Peg’s name while putting herself in jeopardy.


Visiting the Travis family is always a good time. With a husband, 2 sons, 5 Standard Poodles, 1 spotted mutt, and Aunt Peg, there is never a dull moment. Going with them to the biggest dog show was a real treat. We get a behind the scenes look and see Aunt Peg’s judging techniques in full force. All the human and canine characters really shine within this story. This is the 25th book in this series and the characters all continue to evolve and remain fresh. The dialogues and all interactions are believable and ring true.

In addition to some awesome subplots, the mystery was very well written. The victim truly had his share of enemies and I really enjoyed tailing along with Melanie as she worked her way through all of them. The author’s descriptive writing style takes her readers right into the moments of her characters in a way that keeps the pages rapidly turning. A major event takes place and that was truly my favorite part of the story.

Game of Dog Bones is an excellent addition to this long-running series. Each story reads well as a stand-alone too. It is fun and entertaining and leaves readers panting for the next book.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Laurien Berenson is an Agatha and Macavity Nominee, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and four-time winner of the Maxwell Award, presented by the Dog Writers Association of America. She and her husband live on a farm in Kentucky surrounded by dogs and horses.

Find out more about her and her books on her webpage here. Find her on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

THE REST OF THE SERIES

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Fatal Fiction (Deadly Edits) by Kaitlyn Dunnett #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to feature A Fatal Fiction by Kaitlyn Dunnett today!


A Fatal Fiction (Deadly Edits)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496726863
ISBN-13: 978-1496726865
Kindle ASIN: B07W6S73TB

Freelance book editor Mikki Lincoln knows the makings of a well-written story. But she’ll need to choose her words wisely when a new assignment introduces a deadly plot twist . . .

 

Forgotten on the outskirts of quaint Lenape Hollow, Feldman’s Catskill Resort Hotel has outlasted its heyday as a popular tourist destination and now awaits demolition. But once Mikki is hired to edit a revealing memoir by Sunny Feldman, the last living relative of its original owners, the doomed resort quickly ends up back in the spotlight . . .

 

Unfortunately, everyone’s attention shifts to Mikki when a body is discovered at the demolition site. Seen arguing with deceptive entrepreneur Greg Onslow right before his shocking death, the editor has no choice but to spell out exactly why she isn’t guilty of murdering him . . .

 

Mikki’s dash for answers brings Greg’s shady dealings into focus, along with an unsettling list of potential culprits. As false leads and dead ends force her to revise theories on who really did it, can Mikki separate fact from fiction before the investigation reaches a terrifying conclusion?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

In this 3rd installment of the Deadly Edits Series, professional editor, Mikki Lincoln finds herself in the middle of a dispute between Sunny Feldman who is writing a memoir of times at her family’s Feldman’s Catskill Resort Hotel which is now owned by entrepreneur Greg Onslow who believes the book will hurt his chances to revitalize the area.

When Onslow’s body is found dead on the property Mikki becomes a prime suspect due to a verbal altercation witnessed by many and videotaped. She knows she is going to need facts to solve this murder and she may need to edit her thoughts on more than one of her suspects. One thing for sure, there is more to this death than first meets the eye and Mikki is determined to get to the truth.

_____

The thing I love most about this series is Mikki herself. A mature woman, set in her ways, strong, smart, savvy, comfortable in her own skin. A retired schoolteacher she is methodical which makes her a great amateur sleuth and so much fun to follow along with. She is very direct which at times works to her determent but at her age, it may be hard to learn to soften her approach.

One thing I didn’t like about this story was the arrival of Mikki’s nephew Nick. Mikki’s family is worried about her getting involved in these murders and sends in the calvary. I found him very off-putting. He didn’t listen to his aunt, jumped to conclusions, and basically drove me to his distraction. I realize his heart was in the right place but Mikki is clearly in control of her life and faculties and he should have realized it right away.

The mystery itself is very well-plotted and written. There are plenty of suspects and some nice twists and red herrings to keep readers intrigued and tuned in. The story has an excellent flow and humor in all the right places.

While I did hone in on the culprit before the big reveal I found A Fatal Fiction entertaining and a great addition to this series. I am looking forward to book #4.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Crime and Punctuation here
and Clause and Effect here.

About the Author 

Kaitlyn Dunnett writes the Liss MacCrimmon Mystery Series and now the Deadly Edits Mystery Series. You can find out more about her and her books on her website here.

Also by Kaitlyn Dunnett


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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

An Exquisite Corpse (Art of Murder Mysteries) by Helen A. Harrison #Review / #Giveaway

An Exquisite Corpse (Art of Murder Mysteries)
Historical Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (July 7, 2020)
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1728214009
ISBN-13: 978-1728214009
Kindle ASIN: B085FTFVC7

Murder is a work of art…

 

When the acclaimed Cuban painter Wifredo Lam turns up dead in his Greenwich Village studio, officers Juanita Diaz and Brian Fitzgerald of the NYPD, must investigate the crime. But what they find is much more gruesome than they ever could have imagined.

 

Suspicion soon falls on a tight-knit circle of Surrealist refugees who fled Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, and Diaz and Fitzgerald must traverse the city, from Chinatown’s underworld to Spanish Harlem’s gangland, to find the truth. Did one of the artists’ bizarre parlor games turn deadly? Or is there something even more sinister afoot?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

A group of Surrealist refugees has taken up residence in New York after fleeing Europe during World War II. When one of their group, Cuban painter Wifredo Lam is found dead, NYPD officers Brian Fitzgerald and Juanita Diaz catch the case and uncover some eerie things that take them all around New York in search of the truth.

______

Set in the 1940’s I found the author gave a good sense of time and place but there were so many characters to keep track of I found myself lost at times. As the story went on most of the characters were given more definition but I just couldn’t really identify with any of them. They all had their own agendas and not one felt genuine.

The basis of the story was interesting and multifaceted with several twists and I did enjoy the chase for the truth but was disappointed somewhat by the conclusion. I had never heard of an “exquisite corpse” and did enjoy learning about a different way of drawing.

While I had issues with this book, book two in this series features the same detectives and the death of Jackson Pollock and I may just have to give that book a try.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Helen A. Harrison, a former art reviewer and feature writer for The New York Times and visual arts commentator for National Public Radio, is the director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in East Hampton, New York, and an authority on 20th century American art. A native of New York City with a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Adelphi University, she also attended the Art Students League, the Brooklyn Museum Art School and Hornsey College of Art in London before receiving a master’s degree in art history from Case Western Reserve University. Among her many publications are exhibition catalogs, essays, book chapters, reviews and articles, and several non-fiction books, including Hamptons Bohemia: Two Centuries of Artists and Writers on the Beach, co-authored with Constance Ayers Denne, and monographs on Larry Rivers and Jackson Pollock. She and her husband, the artist Roy Nicholson, live in Sag Harbor, New York. www.helenharrison.net

 


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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Contest Will End June 30, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Featuring A Call for Kelp (Seaside Café Mysteries) by Bree Baker #Review / #Giveaway @sbkslandmark

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am very excited to share Bree Baker’s A Call for Kelp today!


A Call for Kelp (Seaside Café Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (May 26, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1728205727
ISBN-13: 978-1728205724
Kindle ASIN: B082LNCZN6

It’s sink or swim for Everly with her most bizarre case yet!

 

Everly Swan is busy as a bee running her beachside iced tea shop, and the small island of Charm, North Carolina is abuzz-Mitzi Calgon, an iconic Hollywood actress, is in town! Everly’s great-aunts are making a documentary about beekeeping and Mira has agreed to help. But when the actress turns up dead, reporters and fans swarm the island, muddying the water and disrupting the peaceful lives of the townspeople.

 

Everly’s never been good at minding her own beeswax, so she starts following her own leads and combing through the evidence. Then there’s the mystery of Detective Hays-ever since their kiss under the mistletoe, he’s been acting distant. And he’s annoyingly determined to keep Everly away from the case. But when she receives a cryptic warning to “Bee Careful”, Everly realizes that she’s gotten herself into a really sticky situation…

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bees, bees, bees, it’s all about the bees as Hollywood icon, Mitzi Calgon, comes to town to lend her voice to a documentary about beekeeping and saving the bees for Clara and Fran Swan. Before the project even gets off the ground there is a buzz in the air and one dead actress. Everly’s focus should be on her ice tea shop but she can’t get her mind off that Mitzi knew her grandmother and that she has to get her justice even when she is given a huge warning to “Bee Careful”.


The Sun, Sand, and Tea in Charm, North Carolina is a place I would love to spend day after day even with all the drama of a murder.

Ms. Baker gas penned a multifaceted story. We have the recent murder, Detective Grady Hays is dealing with a family issue that has been building over the course of the series. He has also been pulling away from Everly. The excellent character development continues as all the core characters are still evolving nicely. The characters added for this story brought some intrigue. I just wish Mitzi hadn’t been the victim. She was a woman full of stories.

The mystery was very well-plotted and written. I did enjoy that Everly gets help from someone other than Grady and that there were plenty of suspects, secrets, twists, and a surprising reveal. The pace was perfect and I was totally delighted with this book.

Ideal setting, a captivating mystery, and terrific characters make A Call for Kelp a fun and entertaining cozy mystery readers will love. Each book leaves me wanting more. I can’t wait to return to Charm.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can read my review of No Good Tea Goes Unpunished here and Live and Let Chai here and Tide and Punishment here.

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



I am giving away my Advanced Review Copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 3, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Caught Bread Handed: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway


Caught Bread Handed: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 28, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250088038
ISBN-13: 978-1250088031
Kindle ASIN: B0191K3GN2

Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the oven is heating up as high as the body count…

 

Jules Capshaw is still chewing over her husband Carlos’s return to Ashland, Oregon. Could there be too many cooks in the kitchen? Whatever is stirring between those two will have to wait. Despite the Oregon Shakespeare Festival being dark for the winter, the bakeshop is bustling, the dough is rolling, and there’s no rest for the weary…especially when murder is thrown into the mix.

 

When Mindy Nolan, the owner of a new restaurant in town, turns up dead, the batter at hand thickens. Jules knows that there was bad blood between Mindy and others in town, and tracking down the killer could prove to be an unwelcome treat. And to top it all off, there’s Carlos, who is pleading—with those delicious dark eyes and sexy Spanish accent—for Jules to take him back. Is home where the heart is or will she make a fresh start…and risk getting burned?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

There’s a new restaurant in the Shakespeare part of town and the only thing that blends this restaurant with the rest of the businesses in the area is its name ShakesBurgers. The facade of the building has been updated and is ultramodern and that has more than one of the merchant’s panties in a twist, especially Rosalind Gates, president of Ashland Downtown Association. The new owner Mindy Nolan doesn’t seem to care and has no plans to bow to their wishes even after a town meeting.

Jules notices the door of ShakesBurgers is ajar the next while she is out making her deliveries and when she steps inside she makes a ghastly discovery. Mindy dead on the floor and her partner trying to save her. Calling in her favorite police officers, Jules tries to shake off what she had seen, but can’t let it go.

Jules is also trying to make a huge decision regarding Carlos. Can they have a life together? What does that mean for her career?

______

I am really enjoying the characters in this series and the way they continue to evolve. All the relationships are captivating and interesting. The dialogue rings true. The story is very character-driven as most of the focus was on their lives at the restaurant Torte. Jules’ life is filled even before adding hubby Carlos to the mix. As in the last book, Carlos seems to fit in with everyone everywhere he goes. He is supportive and happy to do anything he can for Jules, her mom, and the restaurant. Carlos and Jules aren’t the only ones working on their relationship. Romance seems to be blooming a Torte for another couple too. And the Professor and Jules’ mom may be entering a new area of their relationship.

One of my favorite things in the book is the way the business is expanding with things like the Sunday Supper. Carlos takes the reins this time and really pulls out the stops. Torte is facing real situations, cash crunches, needing new equipment, etc. and I like that everything is not always rosy and they need to work hard every day for success.

To me the mystery this time was pretty basic. I was laser-focused on the real culprit very early in the story, I was just waiting for Jules, Thomas, and the Professor to catch up. I wish there had been a little more depth and more investigating but I was very pleased with the exciting ending.

As with all books in this series, the food described in just awesome and there are recipes at the back of the book.

Strong characters with the perfect amount of humor and romance mixes together with a satisfactory whodunit in Caught Bread Handed. I am looking forward to reading Fudge and Jury next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away my copy!

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

.Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Contest Will End May 21, 2020, 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

*This book was from my personal collection. 

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – The Diva Spices It Up (Domestic Diva Mystery) by Krista Davis #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @KristaDavis


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to share the newest Domestic Diva Mystery today!

It will be released next Tuesday, April 28, 2020!


The Diva Spices It Up (Domestic Diva Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
13th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Kensington (April 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496714741
ISBN-13: 978-1496714749
Kindle ASIN: B07TT3V8TZ

After a celebrity ghostwriter dies on the job, Old Town’s favorite entertaining expert and sporadic sleuth, Sophie Winston, whips up an impromptu investigation in the new Domestic Diva mystery from New York Times bestselling author, Krista Davis . . .

 

Sophie never considered ghostwriting as a side gig, until former actress and aspiring lifestyle guru, Tilly Stratford, trophy wife of Wesley Winthrope, needs someone to write her celebrity cookbook. Sophie agrees, hoping she’ll earn enough bread on this assignment to finish her bathroom renovations. But as it turns out, Sophie isn’t the first foodie to get a taste for recipe ghostwriting, and if the marginalia are any indication, this project could be a killer . . .

 

Wesley claims professional ghostwriter, Abby Bergeron, suddenly abandoned Tilly’s cookbook with no warning. But Sophie quickly discovers that Abby may be more ghost than writer now . . . and her disappearance was no accident. So Sophie cracks open a fresh investigation, but sifting the seasoned murderer from this sampling of salty suspects won’t be easy. Will Sophie savor another case closed or will the culprit simply melt away?

 

Includes delicious recipes and entertaining tips!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this 13th installment of this fun series, Mars hooks Sophie up with Tilly Stratford, a renowned lifestyle guru, to finish ghostwriting her celebrity cookbook. Sophie is already planning to renovate her bathroom with the money she will make. But first, she needs to find out what happened to the previous ghostwriter who quit without warning and disappeared.

Diva Natasha has some drama of her own as she finds she has a new relative through DNA testing. She better keep her eye her business though or someone may just snatch her dream job away from her while she is taking care of family matters.

__________

This is truly one of my favorite cozy series and not just because the author always serves readers a delightful mystery to solve. What I really love is the relationships that have evolved over the course of the series and continue to grow in each new story. Sophie and Mars really care about each other even knowing they just can’t work as a couple. Now that he has divorced Natasha the relationship is even more comfortable. The fact that Sophie is with Alex and that everyone coexists is so refreshing. Also while Natasha and Sophie will never be besties, Sophie is strong enough to be there when Natasha beckons. All the character development is marvelous and the dialogue is realistic.

Now this mystery was quite a twister. Many subplots roll around together leading to a compelling conclusion. Turns, misdirection, and a fair share of red herrings keep everyone on their toes. One body, then another, a suitcase caught by a fisherman, and it is still mystifying how everything fits into this puzzle. I was kept guessing the whole way.

As for spicing things up, I loved that Sophie took on ghostwriting a cookbook and the whole process she followed. From trying out the recipes and making them better to working with Tilly Stratford and the discovery Sophie made within the pages. The food and recipes were great but the way the cookbook played into the whole whodunit was brilliant.

The Diva Spices It Up is an excellent addition to this series. I recommend the whole batch but you can jump in anywhere as Ms. Davis always gives plenty of background on these fabulous characters. I truly can’t wait for the next Domestic Diva Mystery.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries, the Paws & Claws Mysteries, and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Several of her books have been nominated for the Agatha Award. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two cats and a brood of dogs. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices they keep coming back for more.

Author Links:
Website   Facebook   Pinterest Mystery Lovers Kitchen    Twitter    Killer Characters


The publisher is unable to give a book away at this time due to Covid 19
so I am giving away my Advanced Reader Copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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Contest Will End May 6, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Stroke of Malice (A Lady Darby Mystery) by Anna Lee Huber #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to feature A Stoke of Malice by Anna Lee Huber today
which isn’t technically a cozy but had to squeeze it in here!

A Stroke of Malice (A Lady Darby Mystery)
Historical Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Scotland
Publisher: Berkley (April 7, 2020)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 0451491386
ISBN-13: 978-0451491381
Kindle ASIN: B07V111W1F

Lady Kiera Darby and her husband Sebastian Gage are looking forward to celebrating with new friends at an exciting yearly soiree, but they soon learn that murder never takes a holiday in the latest riveting installment in this national bestselling series.

 

January 1832. After enjoying a delightful few weeks with her family, expectant mother Kiera and Sebastian Gage have been invited to the Duchess of Bowmontʼs Twelfth Night party in Traquair, Scotland. Though she normally avoids such fashionable, rambunctious events, Kiera is ready to join in the festive merrymaking. But upon their arrival at the opulent estate, it becomes obvious that all is not merry in their hostess’s home. The family appears to be under a great strain, and someone seems determined to cause mayhem among the guests with a series of forged notes.

 

Matters swiftly turn from irksome to downright deadly when the partygoers stumble upon a decomposing body in the castleʼs crypt. The corpse is thought to be the duchessʼs son-in-law who had purportedly traveled to Paris more than a month earlier. It is evident the man met with foul play, and Kiera and Gage soon realize that a ruthless murderer walks among them—and may well be a member of the duchessʼs own family. And when the investigation takes a treacherous turn, Kiera discovers just how deep the killer is willing to dig to keep their secrets from ever seeing the light of day.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lady Kiera Darby and her husband Sebastian Gage have arrived in Traquair, Scotland to attend Duchess of Bowmontʼs Twelfth Night party. There is an eerie undercurrent running through the castle but Kiera and Gage are ready for the big event which begins with trumpets and ends with murder. When Lord Edward leads guests on a ghost tour in catacombs under Kirkbryde Abbey a new corpse is found. It appears the duchessʼs son-in-law is the victim of foul play and the murderer could be one of the party’s guests. At their host’s request, Gage and Kiera find themselves leading the investigation and uncovering some weighty secrets along the way.


The characters Anna Lee Huber has created are stellar and their development over the course of the series has been excellent. Even heavy with child Lady Kiera Darby is a force when it comes to getting to the truth. Her husband Sebastian Gage is a caring and loving man who knows what a strong, intelligent woman his wife is. Together they appear to be unstoppable and uncommon for the 1800s. Ms. Huber surrounds these main characters with a diverse cast of supporting characters across all classes of the aristocracy. Gage and Kiera are usually assisted by their servants Bree and Anderley and this time Kiera’s brother is on hand to help as well.

The author sets a scene in almost a magical way. From the deep, dank catacombs, to the Sunlaws suites and ballrooms, and the Scottish countryside. The dresses, kilts, and costumes. All the people and places truly come alive with her vivid descriptions. The cover of the book gives the overall chilly feel of the time but Huber’s descriptive detail is like no other. You can almost smell the air, feel the breezes, and hear the clicks of the heels on the floors. She truly does take you into the story in a meaningful way.

As I have come to expect from this author, the mystery is very complex and full of stress-filled moments. Everyone seems to be hiding something or holding something back. The lore of ghostly friar that keeps servants on edge adds a nice little twist. The mystery takes Anderley hither and yon and Gage and Kiera into the nearby town and all around the large estate in search of answers. Well-written and plotted, I was totally clueless until the very final clues started to fall into place.

This story was one to be savored. I read it over the course of three evenings hurrying through each day so that I could get back to it.

A Stroke of Malice is a fantastic addition to this series. I do highly recommend them all. I am very excited about next year’s book in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.


Also by this Author

The publisher is unable to give a copy away due to
the Coronavirus so I am giving away my review copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Berkley Mystery on Twitter for 2 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 April 29, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Who Rescued Who by Victoria Schade #Review / #Giveaway

who rescued who
Who Rescued Who
Women’s Fiction
Setting – England
Publisher: Berkley (March 24, 2020)
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 0593098838
ISBN-13: 978-0593098837
Kindle ASIN: B07TSWP85J

Where can you turn when the world turns against you? When Elizabeth Barnes’ life fell apart she never imagined that she’d be rescued by a new friend on four paws. 

 

The plan was simple: Elizabeth would ignore the fact that she was unjustly fired from her dream job, fly across the pond to settle an unexpected inheritance in her father’s home country and quickly return to reclaim her position among the Silicon Valley elite.

 

But when Elizabeth stumbles upon an abandoned puppy, she’s shocked to realize that her brief trip to England might turn into an extended stay. Her strict itinerary is upended completely by the pup’s dogged devotion, and soon the loveable puppy helps her to connect with a tight-knit community of new friends on two legs and four, from the aunt and uncle she didn’t know existed, to a grumpy coffee shop owner to two very opinionated sheep. Along the way Elizabeth is confronted by long-kept family secrets, hard truths about her former life and a new romance that might lead her to question everything she knows about love. Because sometimes rescue magic happens on both ends of the leash.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I needed a change of pace in my reading and picking up this book was the perfect choice.

Elizabeth Barnes was flying high until she wasn’t. Fired from a job she loved she was at loose ends until she finds out she had family she knew nothing about and an inheritance to boot. We follow Elizabeth across the pond as she settles her father’s affairs. She had planned just a quick trip so she can get back home and find new employment. But a cute little homeless puppy has her extending her stay. She starts to feel at home in this unique community especially when she feels a romantic spark with one of the town’s residents. Finding her family and learning the truth about her father’s distancing while learning some truths about herself could change her life.

It was the cover that really caught my attention. As a mom to two border collie/blue heeler mixes, one who looks a bit like the dog on the cover, I just couldn’t say no to those eyes. What I found between the covers was delightful.

Elizabeth was a workaholic driven by likes and clicks who was forced to slow down upon arrival to the English countryside with limited internet access. She doesn’t adjust easily but finds several things to fill her time including a border collie mix pup and a handsome co-owner of a local brewery. She also takes on a huge task for her newly-found uncle that reveals something they have in common. All the characters in the book are well crafted and really evolve over the course and right up to the end of the story. The story has a slow build so readers really get to know the wonderful people of Fargrove.

Ms. Shade finds a great balance between family life, romance and some lovable 4 legged creatures. All the twists are so well-plotted. The story feels much more based in reality than other romantic comedies I have read of late. The author also describes each setting so clearly, and there are many. I felt like I was getting a bird’s eye view of all of the action, walking right along in my wellies taking in everything the setting had to offer.

This story gave me the warm and fuzzies. This book actually rescued me and gave me a nice break from some things I was dealing with. Thank you, Ms. Shade, for the Perfect Escape.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Victoria Schade is a dog trainer and speaker who serves as a dog resource for the media and has worked both in front of and behind the camera on Animal Planet, as a co-host on the program Faithful Friends and as a trainer and wrangler on the channel’s popular Puppy Bowl specials. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, her dogs Millie and Olive, and the occasional foster pup.

who rescued who

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

Contest Will End April 7, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Evil Men Do (A P.T. Marsh Novel) by John McMahon #Review / #Giveaway


The Evil Men Do (A P.T. Marsh Novel)
Suspense/Thriller
Police Procedural
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (March 3, 2020)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 052553556X
ISBN-13: 978-0525535560
Kindle ASIN: B07SZQP2C5

What if the one good thing you did in your life doomed you to die?

 

A hard-nosed real estate baron is dead, and detectives P.T. Marsh and Remy Morgan learn there’s a long list of suspects. Mason Falls, Georgia, may be a small town, but Ennis Fultz had filled it with professional rivals, angry neighbors, and a wronged ex-wife. And when Marsh realizes that this potential murder might be the least of his troubles, he begins to see what happens when ordinary people become capable of evil.

 

As Marsh and Morgan dig into the case, it becomes clear that Fultz’s death was not an isolated case of revenge. It may be part of a dark web of crimes connected to an accident that up-ended Marsh’s life a couple years earlier–and that now threatens the life of a young child. Marsh veers dangerously off track as his search for clues becomes personal..and brings him to a place where a man’s good deeds turn out to be more dangerous than his worst crimes.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

My first experience with P.T. Marsh was gripping and this one was even more so.

Swarmy Ennis Fultz is dead and he left plenty of suspects behind. A very observant little girl plays a major role and P.T. uncovers more evil than he ever could have imagined. The deeper he digs veers him in a direction that appears to be personal. A direction that could cost him his job and maybe even his life.


Mr. McMahon has created complicated characters and puts them in complex situations. I ended my review of The Good Detective saying John McMahon is now an author to watch, and I was right.  I thought P.T. Marsh had turned a corner. He did but as far as I thought. He is still hurting and raw. He is smart, determined, and flawed and still trying to come to grips with the loss of his wife and son in a freaky hit and run accident. P.T. is also embroiled in a civil suit along with the police department for excessive use of force on a previous case. He doesn’t believe he did anything wrong and that could come back to bite him financially. He is trying to stay sober and do his job but it isn’t easy. His partner, Detective Remy Morgan, an African American woman is getting frustrated with P.T. but hopes when push comes to shove he has her back. P.T. has started a relationship with Medical Examiner Sarah Raines but he is clearly still in mourning. He tries to hold tight to the relationship with his father-in-law but something always seems to get in the way.

So much happens within the covers of this book. The author has cleverly plotted this story with several tentacles all entwined together. The book opens with “The little girl knew things.” but transitions to P.T.’s life quickly in Chapter 2. We continue to have visits from the little girl between many of the chapters. This process really drew me in from the start. Soon, it truly became impossible to put the book down. P.T. was continually pulled in several directions. Sometimes he followed the clues in a logical manner but sometimes he goes off on tangents that were dangerous for both him and his partner.

McMahon has delivered a compelling story that will have readers glued to the pages. I wanted P.T. to succeed, get the answers he needs and catch the bad guys, but sometimes I wanted to reach into the pages and grab him to protect him from some of his risky decisions.

The Evil Men Do is a  riveting gritty suspense-filled thriller. P.T. Marsh is a character you become invested in quickly. His life is a wild ride that doesn’t let go. All the strings are not wrapped up at the conclusion of this book either so readers are left excitedly waiting for book #3. Well done, Mr. McMahon! This was a PERFECT ESCAPE!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review for The Good Detective here

About the Author

John McMahon studied Creative Writing at The University of Arizona. In his role as an ad agency creative director, his work has won a Gold Clio for Fiat, and he’s written a Superbowl spot for Alfa Romeo. He currently lives in Southern California with his family and two rescue animals. He’s hard at work on another P.T. Marsh book and dreams of splitting his time between Cabo San Lucas and Lake Lanier, Georgia.

I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Contest Will End April 2, 2020, 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.”