Jun 142019
 


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.

Game of Scones (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Iowa
Lyrical Underground (December 4, 2018)
Paperback: 194 pages
ISBN-10: 1516105052
ISBN-13: 978-1516105052
Kindle ASIN: B07BD1XJ8V

As co-owner of Sugar and Spice Cookbooks, Sugar Calloway has seen simple confections bring friends together and spark fiery feuds. Except this time, the recipe truly is to die for . . .

After losing her job as food editor at a glossy magazine, Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway—aka “Sugar” to friends—isn’t sweet on accepting defeat and crawling back to her gossipy southern hometown. So when she has an opportunity to launch a community cookbook business with blue-ribbon baker Dixie Spicer in peaceful St. Ignatius, Iowa, she jumps at the chance to start over from scratch . . .

But as Sugar assembles recipes for the local centennial celebration, it’s not long before she’s up to her oven mitts in explosive threats, too-hot-to-handle scandals, and a dead body belonging to the moody matriarch of the town’s first family. With suspicions running wild, Sugar and Spice must solve the murder before someone innocent takes the heat—and the real culprit gathers enough ingredients to strike again . . .

* Includes delicious recipes! *

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Rosetta Sugarbaker Calloway and Dixie Spicer aka “Sugar” and “Spice” have teamed up and opened a community cookbook business, Sugar & Spice Publishing. Former food editor Sugar handles the logistics and blue-ribbon baker Spice tests the recipes.

Their first client is the committee for the local Founder’s Day Centennial Celebration. Sugar meets with the committee to discuss a duplicate scone recipe. Working with adult women, Dixie’s Aunt Bertie and Ellie Farmer, she is sure they can work it out. What happens is a shouting match that almost comes to blows. The meeting ends with no resolution. Hoping individual meetings with the bakers will solve the issue Sugar sets up a meeting with Ellie. But she finds the woman dead clutching a scone.  With the ladies’ ongoing feud Bertie quickly becomes the prime suspect. When Bertie leaves town telling no one of her plans Sheriff Terrance Griffin turns up the heat while Sugar and Dixie worry if someone has hurt Bertie too.

___

This was a delightful cozy mystery. I have been on a few fundraiser cookbook committees so this story excited me from the start. Thankfully our cookbooks were completed without any dead bodies but there were some heated conversations. People take their recipes seriously! The author includes 3 recipes at the end of the book.

Sugar and Dixie have their work cut out for them in making a business like this flourish, especially if this one is any indication. Both women have the expertise needed except they need to bring in a photographer. Enter Max Windsor, a friend of Dixie’s brother. We also meet Sugar’s pain-in-the-butt neighbor and her landlord who recently moved to a senior living community. There is a palpable tension between Dixie and the sheriff, which plays out throughout the story. These characters have a real small-town feel with gossip running rampant and a bit of Southern charm from Dixie. The dialogue is strong. While we have been given a great introduction to these characters, the author has left a lot of room for them to grow.

A little cooperation from Bertie would have removed her from the suspect list but in lieu of that Sugar and Dixie find themselves right in the middle of the investigation. It was easy to find additional suspects because the victim rubbed several people the wrong way. I enjoyed tagging along for each clue, twist, and turn. The pace had a couple of dips but quickly got back on track. The ending was exciting.

I love that this series is set in Iowa. Not too far from home for me and not a common setting for cozy mysteries even though it is full of small towns that could host this genre.

I found Game of Scones to be a very entertaining story. I am excited to see where Ms. Ashford takes her character next. Risky Biscuits will be out July 9.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Mary Lee Ashford

Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, an avid reader, and a supporter of public libraries. In addition to writing the Sugar and Spice series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books.

Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest.

She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies.

She loves encouraging writers and is a frequent lecturer and workshop presenter for writers’ groups. Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity.

She currently resides in the midwest with her husband, Tim, and Sparkle, the rescue cat namesake of the Sparkle Abbey pseudonym. Her delights are reading and enjoying her two sons and daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.

For more information, visit her website at www.MaryLeeAshford.com

Find her on  –  FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestGoodReads 


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Book will be sent directly from Amazon.
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Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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May 312019
 


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.


Dead Firefly (A Loon Lake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
18th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (June 19, 2018)
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 1440598878
ISBN-13: 978-1440598876
Kindle ASIN: B01N6V9K81

“My wife and Gordon Maxwell tried to kill me this morning.”

Doc Osborne is startled by the unexpected words tumbling out of the mouth of his friend and fellow AA member Chuck Pelletier, the recently remarried lead accountant for a planned luxury fly-fishing lodge preserve under construction in the area.

Alarmed, Doc tries to alert Police Chief Lew Ferris, but she is tied up with law enforcement teams across the state. They’re searching for thieves who have been cutting down and stealing hundreds of thousands of precious birch trees from public and private property across northern Wisconsin.

But it’s too late. Pelletier is found dead not two hours later. Doc is shocked, saddened, and determined to get to the bottom of the murder.

With one man dead, evidence of lakeshore properties being stolen from elderly owners, and an attempted sexual assault, short-handed Chief Ferris deputizes Doc and his skilled tracker neighbor to help with the investigation. Then, just as they seem to be getting somewhere, things grow even more complicated.

Just another summer in Loon Lake.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

“My wife and Gordon Maxwell tried to kill me this morning.” 

That line got Doc Osborne’s attention but before he can do anything his friend Chuck Pelletier is dead, probably killed by his new wife and his boss Gordon Maxwell. Doc is now going to work closely with his girlfriend, Police Chief Lew Ferris to bring the killer to justice.

Add to that, thousands of acres of birch trees are being decimated on public and private lands and Lew finds out elderly riverfront property owners are being forced to sell for pennies on the dollar. She and Doc hardly have time to do even a little fishing.

___________

Time to travel a few hours north for another visit to Loon Lake. I always enjoy catching up with Doc, Lew, Ray, and the Wausau crew.

This time Doc is personally involved and feeling guilty for letting a man he met through AA down. They had three things in common, AA, fishing and losing their wives. I had to laugh when a new investigator expected Doc to be recused from the case because he knew the victim. Heck, everyone knows everyone in Loon Lake, which Lew quickly pointed out. That is what I love about these stories. The author gives us a true picture of the way things work in a small town.

Ms. Houston’s characters are like old friends. Doc and Lew are comfortable in their relationship, Ray Pradt, tracker and water tour guide extraordinaire brings the comic relief for topics that could get a little heavy. Together they make an excellent team to solve a case and get justice. They also spend their free time together, much of it spent in a lake in their waders with a fishing rod in their hands.

This time the mystery was more in proving something Doc already knew. You can’t arrest and indict without evidence and he was one determined man. All of Lew’s investigations twisted together and with his help, they were able to wrap everything up to my satisfaction.

At just over 200 pages, this story was a quick read and very entertaining. I love that they take place not far from where I live and can attest that the author describes the locale perfectly. References to real places are always fun.

I don’t fish anymore but these little trips always bring my grandfather to mind. As a youngster, I spent a lot of time with him out in his boat on the lake. He trying to teach me the fine art of fishing while I just loved spending time with him. When he passed away there was no one left in my life that fished so that part of my life faded away but left me with some fine memories. Doc reminds me a little bit of my grandfather.

Somewhere along the line, I got a little behind on this series, but now I am caught up and ready for Dead Big Dawg that will be released June 11. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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



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

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May 242019
 


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

I have been working hard to get caught up on this series before the 4th book in the series comes out on July 11.
Mission Accomplished!


Killing Thyme (A Spice Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Washington State
Berkley (October 4, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0425271803
ISBN-13: 978-0425271803
Kindle ASIN: B01AHKXJ0K

In Seattle’s Pike Place Market, Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer in the latest from the national bestselling author of Guilty as Cinnamon.

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun.

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. After Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Seattle again. Just in time for a visit from Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece’s mother, Lena. Pepper also has a lot on her plate at work. Grabbing a few minutes with her mom they take a tour around the Market. Pepper wanted to connect with a new pottery vendor and was surprised when her mom recognized the potter from their past. She has thought the woman was dead. Sadly a few days later she was murdered in her studio. Pepper does remember some snippets of the woman and is afraid that her mother is going to be at the top of the suspect list. She also knows that her friend Kristen’s family could be implicated. The more she digs in the more secrets she seems to uncover. At first, she may just have been Killing Thyme but as her investigation continues she needs to worry about someone killing her.

Ms. Budewitz has created a wonderful cast of characters. Pepper has hired two new employees, Matt Kemp, and Cayenne Cooper. Matt has retail experience and with a name like Cayenne, this has to be the perfect job. Pepper’s mom also arrives from South America, her dad is nearby too, off on a fishing trip with Kristen’s dad. We also meet the woman who becomes the victim, Bonnie Clay. A woman with a lot of secrets. Secrets that may have led to her death. A couple of characters have moved on but all my favorites are back, including Detectives Spencer and Tracy, but they are joined by a cold case detective, John Washington. Pepper’s dog Arf is back too.

The mystery is very intriguing and could harken back to the 1980s when Bonnie and several others including Pepper, Kristen, and their families lived communally in the house where Kristen now lives. A house that has just had major renovations and where Kristen made a wonderful discovery.  A discovery that may have played a big part in Bonnie’s death. A discovery that could play a part in a cold case. The author plotted everything out so well. I was kept guessing right up to the very end.

I really enjoyed getting to know about Pepper’s past and her mother’s too. I think her mom and I would be fast friends. We also find out Pepper’s real name!!!

Another shining visit to Seattle’s Pike Place Market.  This is my favorite book in this series so far. Chai Another Day comes out soon and I can’t wait!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Assault and Pepper here and Guilty as Cinnamon here.

 

About the Author

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model, and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


Also by this Author


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

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something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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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.”

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May 172019
 


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

The first book in this series received my Paradise Rating but
I made a huge mistake with this book and scheduled its release date on my calendar wrong.
My calendar was packed and I finally gave up trying to fit it into the regular schedule and scheduled it for the Flashback Friday feature so I could read the book that wasn’t
just screaming at me it was reaching out and hitting me over the head.

My apologies to Krista Davis for my delay in sharing this wonderful book with you. 


The Coloring Crook (Pen & Ink)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington D.C.
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716426
ISBN-13: 978-1496716422
Kindle ASIN: B07B78THTP

Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color!

Life is looking rosy for Florrie Fox, manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. She’s working on an adult coloring book of gardens, her romance with Sergeant Eric Jonquille has entered a new chapter, and the bookstore’s weekly coloring club is a source of friendship and entertainment. No member is more vibrant than Dolly Cavanaugh. Dolly likes to say she was blessed with beauty and cursed with lousy husbands, but at least she has a grown daughter and a stunning brownstone to show for it!

When Dolly’s love of garage sales results in her showing up at Color Me Read with a rare book in hand, Florrie is astounded. The Florist, the earliest known coloring book, was first published in 1760. An original copy would be worth a fortune—and someone else knows it. That same evening, Florrie finds Dolly dead on the floor of her apartment, a corner of a coloring book page clutched in her hand. As Florrie delves into Dolly’s past and her personal effects, she discovers a skeleton in the closet—literally—and a whole lot of shady suspects. One of them is an expert in the fine art of murder, but can Florrie draw the right conclusion?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Florrie Fox is happy. She is working a Color Me Read where she has started a coloring book club. She looks over and sees coloring books she has created on the shelves. She is working on one now featuring beautiful gardens. Her relationship with Sergeant Eric Jonquille is entering a new phase, and she has settled in nicely to her boss John Maxwell’s guest house.

In The Coloring Crook, Dolly Cavanaugh, a member of the coloring book group, takes Florrie to an estate sale. Later Dolly comes into the bookstore showing off one of her purchases. A very rare coloring book, which Florrie does her best to authenticate. This book could be worth a fortune. Dolly makes a HUGE mistake by touting her amazing purchase on social media. People start coming out of the woodwork wanting to buy this book, including the woman who sold the book at the estate sale.

Florrie stops by Dolly’s home after work and finds poor Dolly on the floor dead with a piece of a page of the 1760 coloring book in her hand. The rest of the book is missing. The police believe she died of natural causes but Florrie believes it was clearly murder. She feels responsible for not warning Dolly to keep her prize safe and secret until it could be sold through a reputable party. She decides to do a little sleuthing on her own and she makes some surprising discoveries.  She also has compiled a good list of suspects. When the police finally get on board she thinks their suspect is being set up. She must be right because now she has a target on her back.

Because we share a name, this Dolly immediately had a soft spot for Dolly Cavanaugh. We have a few things in common but I am very close to my children and have one wonderful husband. I do like a good garage sale find and am enjoying the adult coloring book craze. I was sorry she had to be the victim but I loved that story the evolved from her death.

The book had a perfect pace and was well-written. The characters were very engaging and developed. The author has taken the core characters in a very pleasing direction. The story was complex with more than one mystery to solve. Ms. Davis did take a few legal sidesteps with no will being produced or read while Dolly’s daughter started disposing of her mother’s belongings and was giving tenants notice because she was selling the house very quickly. The case was still open and one new discovery should have stopped her actions in their tracks. That aside I truly enjoyed the story and am looking forward to the next book.

The author informs readers that the coloring book referenced in her story, The Florist is real and that one of the copies is at the Peter F. Raven Library/Missouri Botanical Gardens. So short of a lengthy road trip I just had to look the book up online and found several pages. You can check out pictures here. I love reading fiction stories where I can learn something too.

This book can be read on its own but I recommend starting with Color Me Murder. Both books have covers ready for you to color.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Color Me Murder here.

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

 


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

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May 102019
 


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.

Pineapple Upside Down Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Ohio
MYS ED llc (November 23, 2018)
Print Length: 130 pages
Digital ASIN: B07GXDPPSP

Introducing Jolie Tucker, an introverted yet passionate restaurant co-owner of Cast Iron Creations, who, at her best friend Ava’s request, steps out of her comfort zone which leads her into the shade of a killer in the small, cozy village of Leavensport, Ohio. The victim is the villages beloved Ellie Siler who runs the village sweet spot, Chocolate Capers. Jolie finds her grandma Opal is a prime suspect and goes on a search for answers only to find out that her families secret recipes may not belong to the Tucker family at all. Jolie’s job, family, and livelihood are all on the line. The answers are assuredly lethal.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When Jolie Tucker finds out her Grandma Opal is the top suspect in the death of her friend and owner of Chocolate Capers, Ellie Siler Jolie jumps from the cast iron frying pan into the fire to prove her innocence. What she learns could bring her very short-lived dream as co-owner of the Cast Iron Creations Restaurant to an end. She could also be the killer’s next victim . . .

A dead body, stolen recipes, and family secrets highlight this delightful cozy novella.

Jolie Tucker and her best friend Ava own Cast Iron Creations that features old family recipes made in cast iron skillets. Something her grandma Opal always wanted to do but was never able to do so. Jolie handles the kitchen because she is a real introvert and readers get a little bit of the backstory as to why. Joining Jolie is this story is a big cast. Her best friend Ava, other friends Lydia, Bradley, and Keith, Ava’s girlfriend Delilah, Grandma Opal and her daughter’s, along with Roxi who works at the restaurant and her brother Rex. We also have Detective Meiser, the investigator in charge of the case. At first, I felt like I needed a scorecard to keep everyone straight. It also felt like too many characters for a story of this length. But the author did a good job of making each unique and soon I had a handle on all the players.

This mystery was really twisted up. I did want to reach into the pages and slap the detective a few times. Jolie had a long list of suspects, essentially anyone that wasn’t her grandmother. She has a lot of good theories but the visiting detective in charge wasn’t interested in anything except maybe Jolie herself. The killer reveal was a surprise for me and a nice twist.

I really enjoyed the cast iron skillet theme and I am looking forward to getting to know these characters better and in more depth in the next book, Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder, out June 21.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links:  Webpage FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath

Twitter @jodirathGoodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest
Purchase Links: Amazon    All other e-platforms

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Murder – Coming June 21, 2019.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
The book will be sent directly from Amazon.
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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.
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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.”

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May 032019
 


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.

DIED IN THE WOOL
Died in the Wool (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (August 28, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 149671329X
ISBN-13: 978-1496713292
Kindle ASIN: B077WZHJFY

When a murder shocks picturesque Arborville, New Jersey, Pamela Paterson and her Knit and Nibble knitting club suddenly find themselves at the center of the investigation—as suspects . . .

Pamela is ready to kick back and relax after a busy day selling stuffed aardvarks to benefit Arborville High School’s sports program at the annual town festival. But just as she’s packing up, she makes a terrible discovery—someone’s stashed a body under the Knit and Nibble’s table. The victim is Randall Jefferson, a decidedly unpopular history teacher after his recent op-ed criticizing the school’s sports program. But the primary suspect has an alibi, and the only clue is a stuffed aardvark found on the victim’s chest . . . Now the Knit and Nibblers must unravel the case quickly—before a crafty killer repeats a deadly pattern.

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We’re back in Arborville just in time for a fundraiser for the sports program at the high school. GO VARKS! The Knit and Nibblers have created 25 stuffed aardvarks to sell in their booth. When the day is winding down Bettina and Pamela realize 2 knit aardvarks have gone missing. Frustrated they start to pack up. When they start to remove the canvas around their table they find one of the missing aardvarks . . . on the chest of a very dead Randall Jefferson, a history teacher at the school. He had been quite vocal in his criticism of the sports program most recently in an op-ed in the paper.

Because of where the body was found and the presence of the fuzzy turquoise aardvark the community blames the group of knitters for the death even though they have no motive. To clear the group the knitters are going to have to knit together all the clues. Will finding the 2nd missing aardvark lead them in the right direction? or will they need a new pattern to follow? Will their snooping lead someone to needle them . . . fatally?

The Knit and Nibbler’s knitting group is an eclectic group. All with their own strengths and weaknesses. A new enthusiastic member has joined the group. Holly Perkins is about the age of Pamela’s daughter, Penny. A tiny woman with purple streaks in her hair and an unusual knitting project in the works using needles as “thick as drumsticks”. One member has a big announcement. Pamela is struggling on a decision for a new project after knitting so many aardvarks. I love the characters in this group. They are people I can identify with and would love to be their friend and part of their knitting group. I remember many years ago I pulled out my broomstick thick needles to work on a quick knit sweater pattern and my mother thought I was crazy. Until I finished it and made her one too.

This author has a super descriptive writing style which sometimes can turn me off or goes too far, but everything she describes are things I wanted to be described. The knitting projects, the food, the flower gardens, Penny’s vintage clothing finds, and the scenes needed to help solve the murder. It is said the “devil is in the details”. Peggy Ehrhart is excellent in giving us the necessary details along with dropping the clues judiciously to keep readers and her characters on the trail or divert us to another way of thinking. She also knows how to knit in humor in all the right places. OMG, Pamela’s cat, Catrina’s antics had me in stitches.

I found the mystery to be well-plotted and entertaining but I hated the people’s reactions and actions regarding the knitters. Sad at how judgemental the residents of Arborville were with no real evidence. While I would love to be around the Knit and Nibble group, I am not sure about the rest of the town’s residents. Of course, you have this type of people in any town, and I did like that the group took the high road in dealing with the rath.

Strong characters, a captivating mystery, and a great theme are found within these pages. A very enjoyable read. A Cozy Cat pattern and Strawberry Shortcake recipe can be found at the end of the book for all knitters and nibblers.  I look forward to book 3, Knit One, Die Two.

AN ENJOYABLE GETAWAY

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Murder, She Knit here.

PEGGY

About the Author

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a doctorate in Medieval Literature, and her publications include a prize-winning book dealing with classical mythology in the Middle Ages. Her Maxx Maxwell mysteries, Sweet Man Is Gone (2008) and Got No Friend Anyhow (2011), feature a blues-singer sleuth.
Peggy is currently writing the Knit and Nibble mystery series for Kensington Books. Set in the charming (fictional) town of Arborville, New Jersey, it features amateur sleuth Pamela Paterson, founder and mainstay of the town’s knitting club. Peggy is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She plays guitar with the Still Standing Band. (From Amazon)

Find out more about Peggy on her website here.

 


I AM GIVING AWAY 1 KINDLE COPY!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

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 May 17, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

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Apr 192019
 


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.


Lucky Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (March 5, 2013)
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 9780758272751
ISBN-13: 978-0758272751
Kindle ASIN: B009L93H7Y

It’s Christmas Day in the sleepy town of Sorenson, Wisconsin, but instead of unwrapping presents, deputy coroner Mattie Winston is at the burnt remains of a house, where a charred body has been found. The victim is none other than Jack Allen–a paraplegic who recently won a huge casino jackpot. Upon closer inspection, Mattie and detective Steve Hurley are convinced Jack was murdered to steal his winnings, giving the phrase Black Jack a whole new meaning. . .

But as Mattie investigates, even her cutting-edge forensic skills keep coming up short in a case with as many suspects as twists. After her odds-on-favorite turns up dead, Mattie and Hurley must race to find a killer before another victim cashes in his chips.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston catches a case on Christmas Day. Firemen called to a fire have found a body among the ashes. They are able to identify the man as Jack Allen, a paraplegic who was said to keep the fortune he recently won at the nearby casino in his home. Evidence shows the fire was deliberately set and not an accident as the killer had hoped. They also find Allen’s hiding spot empty. Working with detective Steve Hurley Mattie chases down clues while trying to ignore the romantic electricity that is running between them. They are also drawn into another case involving a missing man that was found floating in the river. Again, the evidence shows foul play.

I loved the first 3 books in this series for many reasons.

  1. It is set in my home state of Wisconsin.
  2. The text is full of Wisconsin references and the dialogue sounds just like the way I talk.
  3. The story is usually well-written and plotted.
  4. The humor flows from beginning to end.

But the thing I liked the best was protagonist Mattie Winston. She is a curvy woman, 6 feet tall, with size 12 feet, and she never fails to find herself the butt of a joke of her own making. This time mud and fire ants lead to two of her misadventures. The woman and the situations she gets herself into are flat out hilarious.

But this time she does some really stupid things that almost had me throwing the book at the wall and not finishing it. I also wish she stood up for herself better with her ex. She is a smart woman but when David is around she turns to mush. He cheated on her! He is the one who got at work with his pants down literally! Yet, she just lets him get away with everything. It is a good thing I was wrapped up in the main mystery and needed to know who killed a man in a wheelchair or this would have been a DNF.

Like Jack Allen, I deal with paralysis, I am a hemiplegic where my right side is mostly paralyzed while he is a paraplegic, paralyzed from the waist down. I identified with this character and was sad he was the victim. It really got my dander up that someone took advantage of him and then killed him all out of greed. So I was totally focused on his killer being brought to justice. There is a long list of probable suspects and I was “in the right church, wrong pew, with my thinking when it came down to nailing the killer.

The second case was easier for me to solve and really broke my heart. It hit a little close to home for me and sadly was a sign of our time.

There was also a trip to Florida for a forensic convention during the holidays, that really made no sense and could have been completely left out.

The romantic issues were like a roller coaster ride and I was excited about it until the first curveball hit, but it was the final pitch that again had me wanting to throw the book at the wall and because the mysteries were solved I DID!

So, No! this was not a Perfect Escape but it wasn’t A Dreadful Detour either. There were things I really enjoyed about the story but there many I didn’t.  I really want to know what happens next with these characters. So after a little break, I will venture into book 5, Board Stiff in hopes this book just had a couple of missteps.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.

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.

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 May 3, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This was from my personal collection.

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Apr 122019
 


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.


Guilty as Cinnamon (A Spice Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington State
Berkley (December 1, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 042527179X
ISBN-13: 978-0425271797
Kindle ASIN: B00U5L7UDY

Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the next Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of Assault and Pepper.

Springtime in Seattle’s Pike Place Market means tasty foods and wide-eyed tourists, and Pepper’s Spice Shop is ready for the crowds. With flavorful combinations and a fresh approach, she’s sure to win over the public. Even better, she’s working with several local restaurants as their chief herb and spice supplier. Business is cooking, until one of Pepper’s potential clients, a young chef named Tamara Langston, is found dead, her life extinguished by the dangerously hot ghost chili—a spice Pepper carries in her shop.

Now stuck in the middle of a heated police investigation, Pepper must use all her senses to find out who wanted to keep Tamara’s new café from opening—before someone else gets burned…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Overdose by a ghost pepper? Say it isn’t so!  Oh! But it more than an overdose, It’s MURDER!

Someone really turned up the heat on Chef Tamara Langston. She was currently working for Pepper’s ex, but he fires her when he learns she is close to opening a restaurant of her own. He also blows up at Pepper too because she knew and didn’t tell him. When Pepper discovers Tamara dead in her new restaurant space Alex quickly lands at the top of the suspect list and behind bars. He asks Pepper to find the real killer. She agrees but not only to help him, she realizes the pepper/murder weapon may have come from her shop and she wants to be sure for herself.

Meanwhile, there are some strange things happening at the Pike Place Market. Rumors of ghosts surface as strange electrical outages seem to be the main complaint. Pepper even loses a prized possession and almost loses her shop as the weird happenings continue. Adding to her stress are one employee that needs to go and one that is sadly leaving.

I was delighted to be back in Seattle at the Pike Place Market. I love all the author’s descriptions, they truly bring the place to life. It is a perfect setting for a cozy mystery series.

All the characters I enjoyed in the first book return. Pepper is super busy trying to expand the shop and its client base, get approval for a new sign for the front of the shop, dealing with her staff and all the other things involved in owning a spice shop. She really didn’t need another murder to solve but I enjoyed the way she takes in on even knowing she is going to have to listen to her policeman ex-husband telling her daily to back off. Pepper came across stronger in this story but she hasn’t lost her huge heart. Most of her staff totally have her back too and are willing to hold down the shop while she is off investigating. These characters really play well off each other and as the cast list grows they each are memorable and people I want to get to know better and see if future stories.

The plot of this story has a lot of moving parts and the murder mystery part is very complex. The victim has a secret that is not revealed until late in the book and that gives the case a unique turn. Certain clues were delivered in unexpected ways. A very interesting individual helps move things along and Pepper gets an amazing assist as everything fell into place. I was kept guessing right to the end.

This story was a marvelous mystery to read and try to solve.  Great characters tangled in a captivating story set in a place I would love to visit. I am excited that book #3, Killing Thyme is waiting for me on my To-Be-Read shelf.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Assault and Pepper here.

 

About the Author

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model, and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


Also by this Author


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 26, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

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Apr 052019
 


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

I thought I would have to skip Flashback Friday this week because I couldn’t wait to read Heather Blake’s new book, but I had a little extra time so I decided to squeeze this book in to take care of North Dakota for my Literary Escapes Challenge.


Dakota Dream (Dakota Series)
Christian Historical Fiction
2nd in Series
Setting – North Dakota
Story Architect (November 26, 2018)*
Print Length: 125 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07KX8PHJ2

*This book was originally released in 1993 by Barbour Publishing, Inc. It has been re-released a few times. The links within this post are for the latest release that is available now on Amazon. I read a paperback copy from 1998.

“I came to American expecting to be married.”

Clara Johanson has a ticket to America and a photograph of a blond, curly-haired, blue-eyed man to prove her point. But when she arrives in Soldahl, North Dakota, the man who meets her at the train station, Dag Weinlander, is definitely not blond and, to make matters worse, he obviously hasn’t bathed in days.

At least she knows she will see joy in her sister’s face when she surprises her by arriving at her Soldahl home. As Clara begins her unexpected life as a single, Norwegian immigrant, she experiences the truth of God’s Word that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Along the way she helps others, even Dag Weinlander, experience that truth too, as she steps into a new Dakota Dream far different than the one that brought her all the way from Bergen, Norway.

Dakota Dream is the second book of the Dakota Series that features the intertwining lives of five inspiring women who live in the early 1900s in the farming community of Soldahl, North Dakota.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We met Nora Johanson in Dakota Dawn, the first book in this series. Now we meet her sister Clara who received a plane ticket to bring her from Norway to Soldahl, North Dakota along with an unreadable letter and a photo of a man with blond hair and blue eyes. After days of travel and then hours waiting at the train station, she is disappointed when a man that looks nothing like the man in the picture shows up to take her to her sister’s home. Concentrating on seeing her sister and meeting the man she is going to marry, she gets in the boarish man’s buggy while trying to escape his smell. She knows got has a plan for her.

In Dakota Dream, Clara’s new life begins by helping others including Dag Weinlander, the man who met her at the station. With perfect amounts of drama and romance, we travel back to a very exciting time in American history.

I felt so bad for both Clara and Dag at first but in the end, they turned the tables. Hard work and perseverance along with their faith made a new life for them both.

The author is an expert at catching moments in time with stories everyone can enjoy and I sure did.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Find more books by Lauraine Snelling here.


Unfortunately, my copy is not in giveaway condition
so I will giveaway 1 Kindle Copy.

Book will be sent directly from Amazon. 

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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.

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 19, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

 

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Mar 152019
 


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.


Assault and Pepper (A Spice Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Washington State
Berkley (March 3, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0425271781
ISBN-13: 978-0425271780
Kindle ASIN: B00LMGK51A

The Agatha Award-winning author of Crime Rib is proud to introduce Pepper Reece, the owner of the Seattle Spice Shop who thinks she can handle any kind of salty customer—until a murderer ends up in the mix…

After leaving a dicey marriage and losing a beloved job in a corporate crash, Pepper Reece has found a new zest for life running a busy spice and tea shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Her aromatic creations are the talk of the town, and everyone stops by for a cup of her refreshing spice tea, even other shopkeepers and Market regulars. But when a panhandler named Doc shows up dead on the store’s doorstep, a Seattle Spice Shop cup in his hand, the local gossip gets too hot for Pepper to handle—especially after the police arrest one of Pepper’s staffers, Tory Finch, for murder.

Tory seems to know why she’s a suspect, but she refuses to do anything to curry favor with the cops. Convinced her reticent employee is innocent, Pepper takes it on herself to sniff out some clues. Only, if she’s not careful, Pepper’s nosy ways might make her next on the killer’s list…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Pepper Reece’s life was in flux, her job eliminated and her marriage over. She took a gigantic leap and bought the Seattle Spice Shop in the Pike Place Market. She is working at making the place her own while keeping all the current customers and gaining new ones too. It is a popular place where tourists, fellow shopkeepers, and local market customers stop by for a cup of spice tea to get their day started.

One morning when Pepper arrives to open the shop she finds a body blocking her path with one of her stamped cups in his hand. Doc, was a panhandler that had recently shown up on her corner. He hadn’t been dead for long and Pepper is surprised to find out one of her employees was already in her shop. Tory Finch works for Pepper but she is also an artist. She tells Pepper she came in early to work on some sketches. The police take her presence to mean something else. They have made her their prime suspect and have placed her under arrest and thrown away the key. Pepper wants to help as does the rest of her staff but Tory just wants to be left alone. Pepper will not let her employee be railroaded. She is going to spice things up by finding the killer herself.

I have never been to Seattle but when I think about the city, I think of rain and coffee. After reading this book I will also think of the Pike Place Market and Pepper’s fantastic shop. She and her staff make their own spice blends depending on the month and the season. They also create and sell their own spiced tea. I could almost smell the aromas right through the pages and I learned some interesting things too. The market is a real place and also very unique, on the waterfront with views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. There are many levels, passages and nooks, and crannies. The author’s descriptions draw a clear picture but I still had to look it up online to satisfy my curiosity. I would love to enjoy it in person someday.

Pepper is a caring individual. She watches out for her friends and staff, and she takes an active role with the homeless that spend their time at the marketplace. When 2 panhandlers had a disagreement about her corner she went out to help them find a suitable answer when others may have just called the police. Her ex-husband just happens to be one of the officers that patrols the area on his bicycle and she tries to involve him as little as possible in her life. The staff is a quirky group that works well together.

I enjoyed the mystery in this story. The connections that were revealed opened up a realm of possibilities. With some original twists, the story evolved in a satisfactory fashion. I was caught up in the whodunit right away, but with Pepper’s background in Human Resources, a couple of things had me shaking my head. I appreciated how the homeless issues were addressed and the part they played in the story.

As the first book in the series, this story gave me everything I was looking for, intelligent and engaging characters, a spectacular setting, and a mystery that made me think. I look forward to reading the next book in this series soon.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model, and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


Also by this Author


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 March 29, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

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