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Devil’s Chew Toy: A Hayden & Friends Mystery by Rob Osler #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks @RobOsler


Devil’s Chew Toy: A Novel
A Hayden & Friends Mystery
Contemporary Mystery/Humorous/LBBTQ+
1st in Series
Setting – Washigton State
Crooked Lane Books (February 8, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643859439
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643859439
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B094GP6P7M

Perfect for fans of Carl Hiaasen and Armistead Maupin, this light, LGBT mystery follows an unlucky in love—and life—teacher who unwittingly ends up the prime suspect in a disappearance.

Seattle teacher and part-time blogger Hayden McCall wakes sporting one hell of a shiner, with the police knocking at his door. It seems that his new crush, dancer Camilo Rodriguez, has gone missing and they suspect foul play. What happened the night before? And where is Camilo?

Determined to find answers, pint-sized, good-hearted Hayden seeks out two of Camilo’s friends—Hollister and Burley—both lesbians and both fiercely devoted to their friend. From them, Hayden learns that Camilo is a “Dreamer” whose parents had been deported years earlier, and whose sister, Daniela, is presumed to have returned to Venezuela with them. Convinced that the cops won’t take a brown boy’s disappearance seriously, the girls join Hayden’s hunt for Camilo.

The first clues turn up at Barkingham Palace, a pet store where Camilo had taken a part-time job. The store’s owner, Della Rupert, claims ignorance, but Hayden knows something is up. And then there’s Camilo’s ex-boyfriend, Ryan, who’s suddenly grown inexplicably wealthy. When Hayden and Hollister follow Ryan to a secure airport warehouse, they make a shocking connection between him and Della—and uncover the twisted scheme that’s made both of them rich.

The trail of clues leads them to the grounds of a magnificent estate on an island in Puget Sound, where they’ll finally learn the truth about Camilo’s disappearance—and the fate of his family.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A night out for Seattle teacher and part-time blogger Hayden McCall nets him a black eye and a date with a hot dancer. The next morning Camilo, the dancer, is gone when Hayden wakes up. Soon the police are knocking on the door saying Camilo’s truck was found running and empty. Camilo is missing and foul play is suspected. So, unsure what to do and worried about Camilo, Hayden takes temporary custody of Camilo’s bull terrier, Commander, and tries to find out what happened to his new “friend”. He connects with Hollister and Burley, two of Camilo’s friends, who are shocked to find out he is missing. They dive into Camilo’s life but it seems even his best friends are not sure what he has been getting himself involved in. They know his ex-boyfriend Ryan knows more than he is saying but never imagined where their little investigation would lead or how much danger they getting themselves in. Can they find Camilo and live to tell the tale? Only time will tell.


Mr. Osler has created some unique characters for his “Quozy” mystery. Hayden is 5’4″ “rounding up” weighing in at 125 “again rounding up” freckled with “a shock of red-orange hair”. Camilo is about 5 feet tall and “superhot and genuinely nice” according to Hayden. Hollister is a tall, curvy, broad-shouldered African American woman, and sports a 6-inch mohawk. She has a take-charge attitude and knows how to use it. She also drives a Porche. Her girlfriend Mysti is a petite Korean American with perfectly applied make-up and long hair with Auburn highlights. According to Hayden “they went together like a tiara and sweatpants”. Burley fits her name, She is six and a half feet tall and weighs in at 300 pounds. She wears her hair in waist-length gray pigtails. Hayden also has a crazy neighbor that is always up in his business. A real eclectic group that all develop nicely throughout the book. They come across as genuine and true to life.

The quest to find Camilo was a bit absurd but so much fun to read. Hayden and Hollister get themselves into some bizarre situations. Some had me laughing out loud. Others had me fearing for their safety. Sometimes I had both experiences on the same page, even in one paragraph.

The author does weave some hot-topic themes, immigration, deportation, and bullying into the text in interesting ways. The underlying crime was totally unexpected and I am not sure how they were even able to pull off what they were doing but I was fully engaged to see them brought down.

The author has coined the term “Quozy Mystery” as a subgenre of mystery blending LGBTQ+ with cozy mystery and he has done that very well in Devil’s Chew Toy. I was captivated by his characters and the situations they were involved in. I love that Hayden shared his thoughts on his blog MATES ON DATES with good messages and a little humor. The chapter titles were clever too.

Mr. Osler has found the perfect balance between humor and mystery. This book was entertaining, over the top in places, and absolutely delightful from beginning to end. I am crazy about this diverse set of characters. When I started reading this book I thought it was a stand-alone novel. I am so happy to learn it is the 1st book in a series because these are characters I want to visit again and again. If you enjoy a mystery filled with humor Devil’s Chew Toy is the book for you!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Rob Osler writes the Hayden & Friends contemporary mystery series featuring a rainbow of kick-ass characters. With Devil’s Chew Toy, Rob coined the term, “Quozy Mystery,” firmly establishing a new sub-sub-genre of mystery. Rob is proud to have created the literary love child of LGBTQ+ fiction and cozy mystery.

His short story “Analogue,” published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, won the 2022 ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD for best short story by a debut author as part of the Annual Edgar Awards presented by Mystery Writers of America.

Born and raised in Boise, Idaho, Rob attended college at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where he graduated with a degree in Philosophy. Years later, he earned a master’s degree in business from the University of Washington. Rob was a copywriter and brand strategist before turning to fiction writing. After many years of living in Chicago, Seattle (the setting for the Hayden & Friends series), and San Francisco (where he still spends time), Rob resides in southern California with his long-time partner and a tall, gray cat.

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I am giving away my review copy!

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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 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Death by the Finish Line (An Abby McCree Mystery) by Alexis Morgan #Review / #Giveaway @Alexis_Morgan @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am pleased to feature Death by the Finish Line by Alexis Morgan today!


Death by the Finish Line (An Abby McCree Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Washington State
Kensington Cozies (December 28, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496731271
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496731272
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B091M8HQ62

When a dead body turns up on a race route, Abby McCree hits the ground running to catch a killer . . .

Overcommitted Abby has once again been drafted to use her organizing superpowers—this time for a 5k charity run that’s part of the Founder’s Day Celebration in Snowberry Creek, Washington. At least she has help, albeit from an unlikely source: Gil Pratt, a member of her handsome tenant Tripp Blackston’s veterans group and co-owner of a motorcycle repair shop with his brother. Abby and Gil may seem like an odd couple, but they work great together.

The event seems to be running smoothly—until city council member James DiSalvo is found murdered in a ravine along the race route. Unfortunately, Gil’s brother Gary had a very public argument with DiSalvo minutes before the race, making him the prime suspect. Now the two race organizers must again team up to prove Gary’s innocence—before the real killer makes a run for it. But one wrong step and Abby may be the next one to come in dead last . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abby McCree’s special organizational skills have been called on again for an event in Snowberry Creek. The Founder’s Day Celebration will include a Salmon Scoot 5k charity run and Abby is happy to plan it as long as she gets help. She is surprised when Gil Pratt, co-owner of the local motorcycle repair shop volunteers. He is also a vet and a member of her hunky tenant Tripp Blackston’s veteran’s group. After a quick chat, they agree to work together and make a fine team.

The big day arrives and everything is in place for the run to be a huge success. They have plenty of volunteers along the route including a medical team in case of any injuries. The runners are soon off and running and crossing the finish line with Tripp as one of those coming in with the first group. Soon is it time to account for a few stragglers so Abby starts to make her way along the route. She comes across a couple of teenagers that tell her a man has fallen down a ravine just off the race path. By the time help arrives they find city councilman James DiSalvo dead and his death was no accident.

Shortly before the race, Gil’s brother Gary was seen having a very heated argument with the councilman so he immediately becomes the police’s main suspect.  Gil believes in his brother’s innocence so asks Abby to help him prove it. It’s a race to find the killer before they can run off and kill again.


I really enjoy the characters in this series. Abby is a wonderful protagonist who has settled nicely into the home she inherited from her aunt. She has made friends of all ages and is a trusted member of the community. She is developing a very comfortable relationship with her tenant Tripp Blackston. The handsome gentleman also has several admirers including one that loves delivering her “famous tuna casseroles” so the poor man will never go hungry. They both are in love with Abby’s mastiff Zeke, a big gentle giant that immediately stole my heart.

Ms. Morgan introduces us to a great new character in Gil Pratt. Abby wasn’t sure about him when they first met. In fact, he scared her a bit, but over the course of this story, they became good friends. His brother was a key suspect in this book but we didn’t really get to know too much about him. I hope both these characters appear in future books in this series. I do have a fear of an Abby, Tripp, Gil, romantic triangle and I am not sure how I feel about that when Abby and Tripp’s relationship is just starting to take off.

We also meet James DiSalvo and learn a lot about him after his death. He was an awful man and had plenty of enemies. Enemies equal suspects and he had a nice wide pool. The mystery really has that small-town twist. The police chief is friends with Gil and Gary and he really tried to give Gary the benefit of the doubt and didn’t just stop investigating when all the evidence was pointing right at him. The author really twisted the case up with plenty of red herrings to keep her readers guessing. I could say my guess was half right but it was not firmed up by any good theory until all the clues were spelled out for me. I had a lot of fun following along with Abby as she dished out baked goods and played a little pool while trying to root out a killer.

While this author can write one heck of a mystery it is the wonderful characters that bring me back for book after book in this series. They are believable and genuine. I love the veteran tie-in and all the good works Abby gets involved in. I would love to jump into the pages just so I could be her friend.

Death by the Finish Line is a winning addition to this series. I can’t wait to return to Snowberry Creek!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Alexis Morgan is the USA Today bestselling author of over forty-five novels, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; contemporary romances; and cozy mysteries. A RITA® Award-finalist, Alexis Morgan is a member of RWA and Sisters in Crime. She lives in Washington State and can be found online at AlexisMorgan.com.

Author Links –Website –  Facebook – Twitter –   Blog

You can read my review of Death by Committee here
and Death by Jack-o-Lantern here, Death by Auction here
and Death by Intermission here.


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
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Contest Will End April 6, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
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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 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Honey Roasted (A Coffeehouse Mystery) by Cleo Coyle #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @CleoCoyle @BerkleyMystery


Honey Roasted (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
by Cleo Coyle

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 
I am so excited to share my thoughts with you today about Honey Roasted!

About Honey Roasted 


Honey Roasted (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Berkley (January 25, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593197569
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593197561
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MPWDK78

Clare Cosi is busy as a bee planning her honeymoon when murder buzzes into the Village Blend in this all-new mystery in the beloved New York Times bestselling Coffeehouse series by Cleo Coyle.

While struggling to find a romantic (and affordable) destination for her upcoming honeymoon, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi whips up a honey of a drink made from honey-processed coffee. Clare plans to serve her outstanding new Honey-Cinnamon Latte at her spring wedding to her longtime honey, NYPD detective Mike Quinn. The culinary world is also abuzz about the amazing honey that Clare was lucky enough to source for her shop’s new latte. Produced by Madame’s old friend “Queen” Bea Hastings, the rare, prize-winning nectar from Bea’s rooftop hives commands a premium price, and top chefs compete for a chance to use it in their signature seasonal dishes.

One night, a swarm of escaped bees blanket the Village Blend’s chimney, and Clare discovers Bea’s unconscious body after she seemingly fell from her high-rise rooftop-hive setup. The police want to rule it as a tragic accident or possible attempted suicide, but Clare does not believe either theory. Like Madame, she knows this Queen would never abandon her hive. To sort out this mystery, Clare investigates a world of cutthroat chefs, culinary start-ups, and competitive urban beekeepers. But can she uncover the truth without getting stung?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Village Blend is buzzing literally when several hives of bees take up residence in the busy coffeehouse. After calling the NYPD’S Beekeeping Unit to relocate the swarm Clare realizes she knows who the bees belong to and rushes to see the local “Queen Bee”. Bea Hastings is an old friend of Madame and has an amazing rooftop hive set up. The woman definitely wouldn’t allow her bees to escape so Clare knows something is wrong. Upon arrival, she finds Bea has apparently fallen from the roof to her balcony. The police decide it was a failed suicide attempt after finding some iffy evidence. Clare doesn’t believe that for an instant. Bea was so proud of her unique prize-winning nectar and had big plans to grow the production and earn top dollar for it. To believe she would try to kill herself is absolutely ludicrous. Now she just needs to prove it and put a nice sting on the person who tried to kill the Queen Bee of Manhatten.


Again Cleo Coyle fills her pages with excitement on many different levels. First, Clare and Mike are struggling with their relationship when they should be blissfully happy about their upcoming nuptials. Part of the problem is the second subplot. Mike is on a harrowing case that has bodies piling up as he tries to catch the elusive killer. Then there is the mystery Clare is trying to solve. Who has it in for the local beekeeper? Add to all that she has beans to roast and a coffeehouse to manage.  Madame is off on a trip but her ex Matt is around to help at Village Blend and makes a heck of a sleuthing partner too. He goes above and beyond in one heroic event too. All of Ms. Coyle’s characters just leap off the pages and readers quickly become joyfully entangled in everything that’s happening.

The honey/bee theme was so interesting, Who knew New York has a beekeeping unit as part of the police force? In fact, this story was based on an actual event. That really grabbed my attention but I would have been freaking out like one of the Blend’s employees, not calm and measured like Clare and Matt. I enjoyed the twist the employee took later in the story, very brave. Bea’s rooftop setup was really extraordinary too.

Using this event as inspiration this author team plotted out and wrote a fantastic mystery with great twists and drama that truly made this book impossible to put down. There were also a few scenes that gave me a good giggle. With the long wait between this book and the last one I had planned to take my time and really savor this coffeehouse mystery but the authors made that virtually impossible. We trekked all over the city, to some really undesirable places and to Bea’s fabulous penthouse apartment, and of course to Village Blend and the pages were just flying. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I was all in after reading the Author’s Note until the final page. When the book hit the floor for the third time due to me dozing off, I had to stop to sleep. I couldn’t wait to finish it the next day and cut my work hours short to do so.

I anxiously await each new installment of this series. I am invested in the lives of these wonderful characters and can’t wait to see what the authors have in store for them next. Honey Roasted is the 19th book in the series but readers new to Cleo Coyle should not hesitate to pick it up today. I can predict you will want to read more when you finish it. Fans of the series will be delighted in this latest installment. To borrow an old expression Honey Roasted is the “bee knees”, and a real honey of a story. It will hold a space on my best reads list for this year. I LOVED IT!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

RECIPE GUIDE

Click on picture above or click here for the free guide.

About Cleo Coyle

CLEO COYLE is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the long-running Coffeehouse Mysteries—now celebrating eighteen years in print. They are also authors of the nationally bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, previously written under the pseudonym Alice Kimberly. Alice has worked as a journalist in Washington, D.C., and New York, and has written popular fiction for adults and children. A former magazine editor, Marc has authored espionage thrillers and nonfiction for adults and children. Alice and Marc are also both bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together.

Author Links

Webpage     Free Newsletter     Facebook     Twitter
BookBub     Goodreads    Instagram

Purchase Links

AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBoundPenguin Random HouseBAM

The Rest of the Series

Also by Cleo Coyle



Coming October 2022

Click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 1 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 1 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT
February 2 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 3 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW
February 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 4 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
February 6 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
February 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
February 9 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
February 10 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
February 11 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
February 11 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Wolf Hollow by Victoria Houston #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to feature Victoria Houston’s Wolf Hollow today!


Wolf Hollow (A Lew Ferris Mystery)
Cozy Mystery/Women Sleuths
1st Book in the Series with this Publisher
Setting – Wisconsin
Crooked Lane Books (January 11, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643858009
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643858005
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0928652Q3

Murder stalks the Wisconsin Northwoods in a gripping novel from the author of the acclaimed Loon Lake mysteries.

It’s mid-May in the tiny Northwoods Wisconsin town of Loon Lake, and the fish are biting. Walleye’s not the only thing on the hook. There are rumors that a precious vein of nickel and copper is buried on the property of wealthy Grace McDonough, and the drilling is about to begin. But not if environmentalist Pete Ferris can help it.

When Grace’s 24-year-old son, Noah, is caught in a sordid sex crime, police chief Lew Ferris makes the arrest. But a day later, Lew is stricken when her brother Pete turns up dead, a bloody pry bar found in the woods nearby. Then, Grace’s body is discovered in a car at the bottom of a river–and Noah has vanished. Lew puts out a statewide APB, but before long, Noah is also found murdered on the McDonough property.

It’s beginning to look like mother and son were killed by the same person. And when Lew learns that her brother had planned to file a lawsuit to prevent drilling for the sulfide mine, a key piece of the puzzle suddenly falls into place.

Lew is beginning to close in on the truth. But has the killer set his bait again, angling for his biggest catch yet?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wolf Hollow has bodies dropping like flies!

While she would rather be fishing her job is keeping her darn busy. First, she has to arrest Noah McDonough for a scheme to kidnap a minor. Then she learns his mother Grace, is about to sign a huge deal to mine the nickel and copper buried on her land. Lew’s brother Pete is part of a group trying to stop the entire thing in its tracks. But then Pete is found dead and Lew calls in the “Wausau boys” to help find the killer. Then they find Grace’s SUV at the bottom of the river with her dead body inside. Noah is nowhere to be found at first but then his body is found by some kids in the woods. All the deaths have to be connected and Lew leans heavily on the crew from Wausau, Doc, and Ray as she tries to piece all the clues together but the killer has another target on his list . . . Lew!


I am so happy this series has found a new home at Crooked Lane Books. It has been a favorite series of mine since the beginning but don’t worry the author gives plenty of background so new readers will be able to read and enjoy and old fans will love it too.

Ms. Houston has created a group of very down-to-earth characters. They take their jobs seriously but know sometimes it takes putting on your waders, getting in some water with your fly reel in your hands to think through the clues until they all fall into place. In this story, another woman joins the group and she wants to learn to flyfish too. She is welcomed with open arms and Lew is happy to teach her. Her exploits delivered a few good chuckles. This being a long-running series the characters feel like old friends. They are genuine, strong, smart, kind, and each quirky in their own way but Ray is the signature odd duck and one of my favorites.

There are a lot of lines to untangle in this well-plotted mystery. The story starts with an attempted citizen’s arrest of a probable sexual predator by some unexpected characters and then spins out of control as bodies start to pile up. It was very interesting to watch the investigation pan out. The characters have worked a lot of cases together and each has their strengths. The whole story unfolds at a very comfortable pace with drama and suspense in all the right places.

The series is set on Loon Lake in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. The author is very familiar with the area and she describes each place so well. I felt like I was right there for each scene. Mentions of real places also drew me into the story. Ms. Houston also imparts her knowledge of fly fishing throughout the story. My grandfather was a fisherman and I always picture him there on loon lake casting his rod. I am sure there are some great lakes and streams in heaven where he is now casting his line.

While fly fishing is the main theme of this series you need to fish to enjoy this book/series. They are truly stories about family and relationships and coming together to find justice for the victims. I love that a woman is in charge and her influence and knowledge may expand farther than the reaches of Loon Lake in future installments. She did put her job first and I don’t think she has really experienced the grief of losing her brother yet, but I was so happy with the farewell she put together to honor him when the case was put to bed.

Wolf Hollow took me back to Loon Lake in all its beauty to visit the characters I have come to love over the years. I am excited to see this series continue especially now that Lew is taking a leap. I can’t wait to see how she lands.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Victoria Houston is the author of the Loon Lake mysteries as well as several nonfiction books on family issues. She has been featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal and on NPR. She lives, writes, and fishes in northern Wisconsin.

To find out more about Victoria Houston
visit her webpage here and Facebook here.

Check out The Loon Lake Mysteries
to see how these characters started out.


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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
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Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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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 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Lies of Omission: A Hanneke Bauer Mystery by Kathleen Ernst #Review


Lies of Omission: A Hanneke Bauer Mystery
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Level Best Books (November 30, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 260 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 168512027X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1685120276
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09K4LWGL8

When Pomeranian immigrant Hanneke Bauer reaches Wisconsin in 1855, she believes her dearest dreams are coming true. After reuniting with her husband Fridolin at his farm near Watertown, she will help create a true home. Instead, she receives the shocking news that he is dead.

Hanneke quickly learns that Wisconsin life is not as bucolic as it seems. Alone and destitute, she is determined to discover the details of Fridolin’s death. Her efforts prompt animosity from his friends, anger the deputy sheriff and entangle her in the rising tide of anti-immigrant sentiment. Finding herself in danger, Hanneke races to learn the truth about her husband’s secrets and lies…before a killer can silence her forever.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Like many Pomeranian immigrants, Hanneke Bauer is coming to America full of dreams for her future. She has traveled a long way to reunite with her husband Fridolin and has finally reached Wisconsin. But he wasn’t there to meet her when she got off the ship so she makes her own way to Watertown anxious to start their life together. Her search leads her to a local hotel. There she learns her husband was killed in a freak farming accident and that he never mentioned to anyone about having a wife. The sheriff even tells her to get out of his town. Scared and unsure how to proceed she befriends a young pregnant woman who gives her a job and a place to rest. She quickly learns that America is not the safe haven she sought. She also knows in her heart her husband’s death was not an accident. As she tries to get to the truth she finds that her husband omitted much about his life in Wisconsin. She puts herself in danger to find out what he was hiding and why.  An investigation that could get her killed as well.


Kathleen Ernst is an amazing storyteller. In this first book in the Hanneke Bauer Mystery Series following the wonderful Chloe Ellefson Mystery Series, she takes her readers back to a tumultuous time in Wisconsin. In 1855 it was the height of the nativist movement where people were up in arms by all Irish and German Catholic immigrants flowing into the country. It was also the time of the Fugitive Slave Act and slaves who had escaped bondage traveled through Wisconsin north for freedom. We see this time through Hanneke’s eyes as she tries to make her way in her new world. The author has fictionalized this time but I think she captured it realistically.

Hanneke is a strong courageous woman, she had to be. She had no idea who she could trust especially when no one believed she was Fridolin’s wife. She also had no money to return home. Her friend Angela was a strong woman as well as she was dealing with making a life for herself after her brother left her. Both women are so well crafted. They are easy to identify with and root for. Ms. Ernst has surrounded these women with a real menagerie of supporting cast that ran the gambit of creepy, frightening, and mean. By the end, thankfully, a few helpful folks enter the story showing there were good people in the area. 

The mystery of Fridolin’s death was very complex. The title fits the story perfectly. Lies of Omission were the driving force behind all of Hanneke’s experiences. Her drive to delve for the truth was something I really admired. She made some wrong assumptions and walked dangerous lines which came from the perfectly timed twists the author plotted out so well. She also painted such vivid pictures with her words to set every scene whether Hanneke was walking down a dirt road or watching protestors marching through the town, or when she made an unbelievable discovery. With the story being set so close to home for me I felt even closer to Hanneke and her struggle.

Lies of Omission was a fantastic read. I am very excited about this series. The author draws from all her historical studies to write stories that stick with her readers. This one will surely stick with me until we get to visit Hanneke Bauer again. You will definitely find Lies of Ommission on my Best Reads List for 2022. I am giving it my Paradise Rating. Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and bestselling author. Kathleen’s forty-one published books encompass mysteries, historical fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. The Chloe Ellefson Mysteries feature a museum curator whose knowledge of the past helps solve contemporary crimes. Her children’s books include twenty titles for American Girl. Honors for Kathleen’s work include multiple Agatha nominations, an Edgar nomination, a Lovey Award for Best Traditional Mystery, the American Heritage Women in the Arts Recognition Award for Literature from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a Major Achievement Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, the Sterling North Legacy Award for Children’s Literature, and an Emmy Award for Children’s Instructional Programming. Kathleen lives in Middleton, Wisconsin, with her husband Scott (AKA Mr. Ernst) and feline muse Eliza.

Author Links

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Also by this Author
Not all are available for Kindle or purchase but you may be able to find them at your local library.

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 2022 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 Essentials of Murder (Aromatherapy Apothecary) by Kim Davis #Review / #Giveaway @Kookiesandbooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to feature Essentials of Murder by Kim Davis today!


Essentials of Murder (Aromatherapy Apothecary)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Kindred Ink Press LLC (September 8, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 312 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1951579461
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1951579463
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09BBLP2C2

Following a scandal that chased her from San Francisco, Carissa Carmichael struggles to find acceptance in her small Southern California hometown as she opens her aromatherapy and reflexology shop.

When she finds a man murdered in her distilling room, Carissa becomes the main suspect, especially when her fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. Despite her father’s position as Oak Creek Valley’s chief of police, most townspeople assume she’s guilty—including the new leading detective.

Refusing to run again, Carissa knows she must prove her innocence to save her shop and her family’s reputation. With suspects acting as slippery as the essential oils she distills, it’s up to Carissa to apply pressure and sniff out the truth before it’s too late.

If you like your cozies with quirky hometown characters, small-town California charm, recipes, and essential oil and reflexology tips, Book 1 in the Aromatherapy Apothecary cozy mystery series is for you. Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Carissa Carmichael returns home after leaving San Francisco in hopes of leaving her recent past behind. With the support of family and friends, she strives to open an aromatherapy and reflexology shop but before she can even host her grand opening she finds a dead body right next to her distilling equipment and her fingerprints are the only ones on the murder weapon. Her chief of police father is forced off the case and the new lead detective feels his investigation is easy because he is convinced she is the killer. She now knows it is essential to catch the killer herself or to get rubbed out permanently.


Kim Davis excels in creating multifaceted characters that readers are drawn to almost immediately. Take Carissa, she has a bit of a checkered past that has probably given her father some gray hair, and in the San Francisco case, a situation that could come back to bite him in the future. She did make a great friend and mentor in Mari Kemp while there and Mari has come to town too now to help her open her shop. Cari also reconnects and hires a friend from high school who is a marketing whiz but she needs more help than just the job. Ashley is a character that really grabbed me and I can’t wait to see her life hopefully change in positive ways.  We are introduced to a couple of possible romantic interests, a jerk detective, and other interesting residents of the California small town too. All are well-crafted, essential to the plot, and interesting in their own ways.

I really enjoy the way Ms. Davis tells a story. This mystery was filled with twists and turns. The victim really had issues that served up a nice list of possible suspects. The detective had ulterior motives that really tested everyone involved. Some strange land deals play into the mix and Cari tries to so be a good friend to many while trying to follow her dad’s orders to stay safe. The dialogues between the cast are both dynamic and true to life. But it is her delightful descriptive writing style that really makes her story so enjoyable. She can set a scene that paints a vivid picture in your mind while never being overly wordy. She seems to weigh each word and phrase carefully to really make them count. Readers can tell she did her research and knows her theme. The information she imparts about essential oils is so well presented. You can almost smell them too.

You can’t have a Kim Davis cozy mystery without some emphasis on food and let me tell you, all the trips Carissa made to the bakery down the street had me virtually adding pounds to my own body. Then again they could be actual pounds because she includes the recipe for Jasper’s Triple Chocolate Rolls in the back of the book. She also includes an Aromatherapy Basic Care Guide that I found very helpful and renewed my interest in essential oils.

This series is off to a marvelous start with Essentials for Murder. I can’t wait for book #2.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband. When she’s not chasing her new puppy or spending time with her granddaughters she can be found either writing stories or working on her blog, Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder or in the kitchen baking up yummy treats.  She has published the suspense novel, A GAME OF DECEIT, and cozy mystery, SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION, CAKE POPPED OFF, and FRAMED AND FROSTED. She also has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Author Links – Website  – Facebook  – Twitter: – Goodreads  – Pinterest – Blog

Also by Kim Davis

Written as K.A. Davis

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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
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Follow Kim on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries

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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 January 19, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

                                  

 

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Read The Printed Word Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery by Andrew Shaffer #Review / #Giveaway

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


Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery
Mystery/Humorous
1st in Series
Setting – Delaware
Quirk Books; First Edition (July 10, 2018)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1683690397
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1683690399
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B075HY5NPF

Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama team up in this high-stakes thriller that combines a mystery worthy of Watson and Holmes with the laugh-out-loud bromantic chemistry of Lethal Weapon’s Murtaugh and Riggs.
 
Vice President Joe Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel the mystery, “Amtrak Joe” re-teams with the only man he’s ever fully trusted: the 44th president of the United States. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic.

Dollycas Thoughts

Joe Biden is trying to adjust to life after his term as Vice President and his life seems quite boring when compared to his best friend who seems to be jet-setting around the world and living the high life.  But when Amtrack Joe learns from the former President that one of his favorite railroad conductors has died a gruesome suspicious death they decide to work together to get justice for a man Joe thought he knew pretty darn well. What they are saying about him just doesn’t add up and Joe is determined to prove it.


Oh, my stars! Why did I wait so long to read this book? I had snapped it up soon after it came out and it had been languishing on my To-Be-Read shelf ever since. Seeing it was set in Delaware instead of Washington like I first thought I moved it up the stack to help me hopefully complete my Literary Escapes Challenge this year.

Told from the former VP’s viewpoint we are taken on a fabulous journey involving serious topics but in a way that will have you laughing out loud.

The world-famous bromance had hit a bit of a bump in the road until tragedy strikes and brings the dynamic duo back together in an adventure that takes them to the deep dark underbelly of the state Joe calls home. Filled with edge of your seat moments and hilarious interludes this book was very hard to put down.

I am amazed to learn that Hope Never Dies is Andrew Shaffer’s first mystery although not his first humorous work. He has blended both together in this novel masterfully. He has really caught his character’s essence. Biden’s stories and one-liners which we now know even better now that he is President, and Obama’s wit and style clearly shine within these pages. I also love the few cameo appearances of Jill Biden. She knows Joe and seems totally unphased by whatever he has gotten himself into.

The one word that comes to mind about the author’s treatment of the characters and the situations is clever. While the death and the crimes that take place could be very real he has cleverly put two of the most well-known people in the world into the position of detectives but I use the term of detectives very loosely.

If you are looking for a fantastic escape, look no further than Hope Never Dies because readers are truly taken on an escapade. 5 Stars! A Perfect Escape!!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Andrew Shaffer is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books. He lives with his wife, novelist Tiffany Reisz, in Lexington, Kentucky, where he teaches at the non-profit Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning. This is his debut mystery.

 

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

(I had intended to giveaway by paperback copy but my laughter piqued another resident in this household’s interest
and he doesn’t read as fast as I do.)

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 10, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Body Over Troubled Waters: A Cozy Mystery (Welcome Back to Scumble River) by Denise Swanson #Review / #Giveaway @DeniseSwansonAu @Sourcebooks

Body Over Troubled Waters: A Cozy Mystery
(Welcome Back to Scumble River)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Illinois
Poisoned Pen Press (July 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 149268600X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1492686002
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08SDTFVH4

 

Love is deadly

Stupid Cupid is making School psychologist Skye Denison-Boyd regret returning to work after her maternity leave. It starts with an emergency school lockdown, continues with her godfather’s arrest by the state police, and ends with a dead body!

It’s every teacher and administrator’s worst nightmare—a school shooter lockdown. And even worse for Skye because she’s trapped in a tiny room with the district’s creepy superintendent, Dr. Wraige while they wait for the all-clear.

When Dr. Wraige turns up dead in his home just a short time later, is it a coincidence, or something more?

Skye joins her police chief husband, Wally, in an investigation that becomes more complicated by the minute. With a dead boss and a mysterious killer on the loose, Skye is caught between a rock and a heart place—but she won’t give up until Scumble River is safe once again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

It’s almost Valentine’s Day in Scumble River and a couple of cupids are causing a little mayhem.

Skye Denison-Boyd is back to work after her maternity leave but she may wish she was still at home. First, there is a crazy school lockdown. Next, the state police arrest her godfather. And then there is that pesky dead body. Skye finds herself sitting out the lockdown with the school superintendent who is just plain creepy. She is totally surprised when he is found later dead at his home. Police chief/hubby has asked Skye to assist him on the case because she knows the would-be suspects at the school. But this case doesn’t have an easy solution. Skye doesn’t give up though. She keeps digging until the killer is found.


I really enjoy visiting these characters. The bond between Skye and Wally is so strong. They make an excellent team both as parents and catching criminals. They are surrounded by an excellent supporting cast. Strong relationships really bring the story to life. The Dooziers also return in this story and shake things up a little bit. Ms. Swanson has kept these characters fresh which is hard to do with a long-running series. Nineteen books with one publisher and now four books with a new publisher. I hope this series continues for many years.

There is more than one mystery to solve in this story. Before his murder, someone was stealing the superintendent’s valuable items. Also, Skye’s godfather is behind bars for illegal activity at his motor court.  The author twists the mysteries together along with daily life happenings like the pro she is. The murder weapon is truly unique. I had my own theories on the murder and thefts as I read the book but wasn’t completely sure of anything until the final reveal. Uncle Charlie’s arrest had his family up in arms but that mystery wrapped up the way I hoped it would.

The fictitious Scumble River, Illinois setting is really ideal. It is the perfect size with plenty of quirky characters and everyone knows everyone’s business. It has its issues and the occasional murder but it sounds like a nice place to live.

Body Over Troubled Waters was a fun and entertaining read. I am really invested in these characters and I can’t wait for my next visit to Scumble River.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Denise Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Scumble River Mysteries, the Devereaux’s Dime Store Mysteries, the Change of Heart romances, and the Delicious romances She worked as a school psychologist for twenty-two years before quitting to write full-time. She lives in Illinois with her husband, classical music composer David Stybr.

Check out the publisher’s book page with a list of characters and a Scumble River map here.

 





Thanks to the publisher I have 1 print copy to give away!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted.
Void where prohibited.
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.

Plus 2 Bonus Entries For 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 receive5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

 

Contest Will End August 10, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Weaver’s Revenge (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery) by Kathleen Ernst #Review / #Giveaway

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thoughts about The Weaver’s Revenge today!

The Weaver’s Revenge (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin/Upper Michigan
Three Towers Press (an imprint of HenschelHAUS) (May 15, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 398 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1595988106
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1595988102
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09471KLGN

A Killer Weaves a Deadly Blend of Betrayal and Revenge that Threatens Chloe’s Work … and Her Life

When offered a rare opportunity to help develop a fledgling historic site dedicated to Finnish American history and heritage, curator Chloe Ellefson journeys to the remote Northwoods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

In addition to the consultant job, she’s on a personal quest to learn about the enduring tradition of rag rug weaving. Encountering a dead body upon arrival, however, immediately puts that goal in jeopardy. Although suspicion soon falls on her new colleagues, Chloe is determined to persevere … even if it means ignoring the advice of her new husband, police officer Roelke McKenna. Can she identify the killer and complete her mission, or will all her dreams unravel?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Chloe Ellefson has been given an exciting opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new historic site in Upper Michigan. This site is featuring Finish American History and Chole jumps at the chance to consult and make program recommendations to the people involved in developing this new historic site. She is also excited to meet some rag rug weavers as that was popular in Finnish history and continues to be in the area.

Chloe arrives at one weaver’s home just in time to discover a dead body. She had such high hopes to tap into the woman’s knowledge, her death has her questioning her whole journey. But she can’t back away from her commitment even when there may be a murderer in her midst. Her new husband, police officer Roelke McKenna is not pleased with her decision especially when he is not there to protect her but he knows Chloe is a strong independent woman and that while she may listen to his advice he knows she isn’t coming back to their home in Wisconsin until all her commitments are fulfilled and now that includes murder.


History and mystery come together in the precise way I expect when I pick up a book by Kathleen Ernst.

Chloe’s part of the story takes place in the 1980s, a time where cell phones, GPS., and the internet are still a dream. She is consulting on rebuilding the Hanka Homestead as of 1920 in the Upper Penisula of Michigan. We go back in time to Finland in May of 1915/16 when Matti Peltoniemi immigrates to the United States. His young wife Liana follows when his letters stop coming. She is on a quest to find her husband who should be in the U.P. The characters we are introduced to in this story are so interesting and believable. I quickly became invested in their lives, especially Liana as she endures a lot and stays strong to find the man she loves. Her journey is full of tough and scary times. My heart broke for her so strongly at one point.

The characters in Chloe’s time are also incredibly written with secrets and strife of their own. Chloe meets many people and attends some community events to learn more about the weaving craft and the Hanka’s time period so that she can get the new historic site off to a good start. She imparts her knowledge about collections and uses elbow grease on some wonderful finds. She also uses her sleuthing skills to ferret out a killer.

The investigation into the death of the weaver is compounded by another death. The author has plotted out a tightly woven mystery full of twists and turns. Clues were difficult to pin down. I had just a little feeling as to where I thought the story was heading. I was only slightly right. The ending ended up totally taking me by surprise. Roelke had a mystery of how one to solve back in Eagle and I eagled out that solution fairly quickly even though he had to deal with an over-the-top victim.

Kathleen Ernst is a terrific storyteller and I credit a lot of that to her time spent at Old World Wisconsin.  Finding and overseeing collections that tell historic stories, this series and her young reader mysteries feel like a natural offshoot for a person who loves history as much as this author does. I always learn something new when reading her stories. I took a great interest in the weaving theme this time because that has been a craft I have been interested in forever. I never had anything wonderful like the looms in this story but I did make a few creations with my tabletop loom.

This is the 11th book in this series and I have loved every one of them. I am so happy Ms. Ernst found a new home for this series! It was well worth the wait to find the right fit. I am looking forward to many more journeys with Chloe. I love her plan for the future.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and author. Her Chloe Ellefson mysteries reflect the decade she spent as a curator at a large outdoor museum, and feature historic sites in the Upper Midwest. Library Journal says, “Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series.” Kathleen has also written many mysteries for young readers. Honors for her work include a LOVEY Award and Agatha and Edgar nominations. Kathleen lives and writes in Wisconsin.

 Author Links – Website    Blog   Facebook

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.

Sign up for Kathleen’s Mailing List 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 July 28, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

It Takes Two to Mango: A Tropical Island Cozy Mystery (Trouble in Paradise!) by Carrie Doyle #Review / #Giveaway @PPPress

Available Today!

It Takes Two to Mango:
A Tropical Island Cozy Mystery
(Trouble in Paradise!)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Caribbean Island
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Poisoned Pen Press (June 29, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1728232333
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728232331
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08KHTPFR8

FIRST BOOK IN A BRAND-NEW ISLAND COZY MYSTERY SERIES

It’s all fun in the sun until there’s a murder in paradise

Looking for an escape to the Caribbean? Check out this new series:

  • Great beach read
  • Perfect for fans of Ellery Adams and Vicki Delany
  • For readers of mysteries set in paradise

After Plum Lockhart’s job as a travel magazine editor is eliminated in corporate cuts, she decides she’s sick of cold winters in NYC and fruitless swiping on dating apps—what she needs is a dramatic change of scenery. On a whim, she accepts a job as a villa broker and moves to a beautiful Caribbean island.

However, paradise isn’t as perfect as it seems: the slow pace of island life, the language barrier, and a cutthroat office rival make Plum question leaving her old life behind. But when a client is found dead in the jacuzzi of Casa Mango—a property Plum manages—she knows she’s really in a jam. With a killer loose on the island Plum will have to deal with a stonewalling police chief, a string of baffling clues, and a handsome Director of Security to solve this deadly case!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The bottom drops out of Plum Lockhart’s life when the travel magazine she works for goes belly up. After she fails to land a job at any other New York magazine she decides to leave the cold weather behind and take a job on the Caribbean Island of Paraiso as a village broker. Thinking it would a vacation in paradise until she could find a new position back in the states she arrives to find she may have made a grave mistake. She is used to the pressures and fast pace of New York and island life is all about relaxation. The fact that she doesn’t speak the language doesn’t help either.

Her first task is to rent out Casa Mango for the holiday weekend. She assumes the place hasn’t rented due to the state of the place so she authorizes some updates and cleaning and rents the place out. Sadly, one of her clients is found dead soon after his arrival and she finds herself in hot water. Murder is not a popular thing in paradise so Plum finds herself pitted against the police chief. The resort’s Director of Security is very helpful and he’s pretty easy on the eyes too. Now she just needs to catch a killer before she is forced off the island by her very unhappy employer.


Plum Lockhart would be labeled a high-maintenance woman by many. She is very confident and has a high opinion of her abilities. She is totally unlikeable and very selfish. She is definitely not made for island life. She meets a similar co-worker who is just as arrogant and high maintenance and I disliked him more than I disliked Plum. After meeting him I was cheering for her. She does receive some good advice that doesn’t really take hold until late in the story. She is still far from perfect but I have hope she continues to improve as the series continues.

The author introduces several island residents and guests and almost all are shady in some way. I really liked Security Director Juan Kevin Munoz. His interactions with Plum are totally entertaining. The man had tons of patience but that could come from the laid-back lifestyle he has lived his whole life. He is smart and fun to be around and I am excited to see what develops between him and Plum.

The mystery laid out by Ms. Doyle was very well plotted and written and there were a ton of suspects. Plum works hard to pin the suspects down but really needs Juan Kevin’s help because he knew the lay of the land and many of the people involved. Several had secrets that made them look guilty and it took a lot of digging to get to the big ah-ha moment when things come into focus.

Let’s face it, an island paradise is the perfect setting for a cozy mystery series. New characters can be introduced in each new story while the core characters continue to develop and grow stronger. Plum makes a great decision at the end that has me anxiously awaiting to see what Ms. Dolye has in store for her protagonist and the residents of Paraiso and all the visitors that come to the island. You can only have so many dead bodies before tourism takes a hit but I see many more exciting adventures in Plum’s future. Trouble in Paradise can be very entertaining for mystery lovers. This book has set this series off to a great start.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Carrie Doyle

Carrie Doyle is the best-selling author of multiple novels and screenplays that span many genres, ranging from cozy mysteries to chick lit to comedies to Young Adult.

A born and bred New Yorker, Carrie has spent most of her life in Manhattan, with the exception of a six-year stint in Europe (Russia; France; England) and five years in Los Angeles. A former Editor-in-Chief of the Russian edition of Marie Claire, Carrie has written dozens of articles for various magazines, including countless celebrity profiles. She is also a screenwriter, and her movie Intern (co-written with Jill Kargman) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Carrie has three books that will be published in 2021: Death on Bull Path (the fourth book of the Hamptons Murder Mystery Series); The Murder Game; and It Takes Two to Mango (the first book of the Trouble in Paradise Series.)

Carrie currently splits her time between New York and Long Island, with her husband and two teenage sons.

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