Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge

#Flashback Friday – A Gilded Grave by Shelley Freydont – #Review – #Giveaway

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

A GILDED GRAVE
A Gilded Grave
(NEWPORT GILDED AGE)

First in Series
Historical Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustrator by Aleta Rafton
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Trade Paperback: 416 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425275849
E-Book – ASIN: B00OQS4FIA
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In 1895, the height of the Gilded Age, the social elite spend their summers in Newport, Rhode Island. Within the walls of their fabulous “cottages,” competition for superiority is ruthless … and so are the players.
 
During her first Newport season, Deanna Randolph attends a ball given in honor of Lord David Manchester, a Barbadian sugar magnate, and his sister, Madeline. The Manchesters are an immediate success—along with their exotic manservant and his fortune-telling talents.

But on the nearby cliffs, a young maid lies dead—and suspicion falls on Joseph Ballard, a member of one of the town’s most prestigious families.

Joe humiliated Deanna when he rebuffed an engagement to her, but while he may be a cad, she knows he isn’t a killer. Now the reluctant allies must navigate a world of parties, tennis matches, and séances to find the real murderer. But a misstep among the glittering upper classes could leave them exposed to something far more dangerous than malicious gossip…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I escaped back in time with this wonderful debut. Newport in 1895, in all its glory, until a young maid is found dead on the cliffs.

Deanna Randolph and her maid, Elspeth, make a dynamic duo both in life and as sleuths. Deanna’s mother has warned her not to get too friendly with the help, but Deanna has ignored that piece of advice. They are friends and they both would do anything for the other. While the plans for Deanna and Joe Ballard to marry have fallen apart and she doesn’t want him around she knows he is not a killer.

The author brings the time period of the Gilded Age alive. The “cottages”, the cliffs, the clothes, the parties and daily life are described in colorful detail. Her words painted so fantastic images.

I enjoyed the character development as Deanna became more and more independent as the story moved along. Then again, her mother was out of town with her ailing sister so things may change when she returns.  I loved learning about Joe’s work and his ideas. Through Elspeth we come to understand life from a servants point of view. The Manchesters were interesting characters as well.

The story is well written and you know the author really researched the material to make it as accurate as possible. She gave me plenty of suspects and several red herrings to track as I followed the clues right along with Deanna and Elspeth.

Shelley Freydont has shown she can write a superb mystery set in present time in her Celebration Bay Mysteries, and now she has shown she can do historical mysteries too. The next book in this series, A Golden Cage, comes out June 7. I recommend that if you haven’t read this one yet, grab it so you are all ready for the next installment.  

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Shelley Freydont is the author of the Liv Montgomery Celebration Bay Mysteries, Foul Play at the Fair, Silent Knife, Independence Slay as well as the Kate MacDonald Sudoku Mysteries and the Lindy Haggerty dance company mysteries, and the upcoming Newport Gilded Age Mysteries, beginning with A Gilded Grave (6/15)

As Shelley Noble, she is the NY Times Best selling author of women’s fiction (Beach Colors,Stargazey Point, Breakwater Bay, and Whisper Beach as well as several novellas. A former professional dancer and choreographer, Shelley lives at the Jersey shore and loves puzzles, light houses and antique carousels. She also loves to hear from readers.

A former professional dancer and choreographer, she most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. Shelley is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Liberty States Fiction Writers.

For more about Shelley, please visit her website www.shelleyfreydont.com.

* Author Links

Website  – Facebook

Amazon Twitter


Find more books by Shelley Freydont Here.
Writing as Shelley Noble

Coming June 7, 2016
GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my review copy!
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.

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 13, 2016 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 Crafty Cozy Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Some Like It Witchy by Heather Blake

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

After my son’s death last year my reading schedule really got messed up. I just realized that a new book was coming out in this series in May and I hadn’t read this one yet. I had given the 4th book in the series, The Goodbye Witch, a Paradise Rating so how did I miss this book??

some like it witchy
Some Like It Witchy: A Wishcraft Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
An Obsidian Mystery (May 5, 2015)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451465887
E-Book ASIN: B00O2BKM0Q
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Wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather can charm desires into reality, but as the national bestselling Wishcraft mysteries continue, she won’t be able to magically avoid trouble when death holds an open house….

The Enchanted Village is abuzz when the old Tavistock house finally goes up for sale. Darcy’s friend Curecrafter Cherise Goodwin is hoping she will have the winning bid on the home, but Darcy can’t shake the feeling that something bad is about to happen—and her magical instincts are usually right.

Sure enough, while Darcy and Cherise are looking at the property, they discover real estate agent Raina Gallagher stone-cold dead on the floor. Clutched in her hand is a gemstone amulet and, on the wall above her, a large red A. While Raina had no shortage of enemies, there’s also a dark legend about the house itself. To track down the killer, Darcy must unlock the secrets of both the deceased and the estate—and she’ll need to act fast, because revenge is a deal that never closes.…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I LOVE THIS SERIES!!

Darcy Merriweather is wishcrafter, meaning she can grant wishes, with the exception of bringing someone back from the dead or money. Boy, those are two wishes I wish for every day 🙂 but she is able to grant some really wonderful wishes. She also runs a personal concierge business call As You Wish with her Aunt Ve.

In this installment Darcy is taking care of the business and Aunt Ve is running for town council. As You Wish has been hired to help Curecrafter Cherise Goodwin find the perfect home. Cherise has decided the perfect home for her is right next door to her ex and Darcy has been unable to change her mind, so they go to take one last look at the house before the final bid. Darcy just has an inkling something bad is going to happen and it does. They find their real estate agent, Raina, dead on the floor. This is when dating the police chief has its advantages. They kinda work together to solve the crime. I am sure Nick wishes she would leave the investigating to him but that is one wish she definitely will not be granting.

Again, I escaped right into this story and enjoyed every minute. All of the characters are special, the setting is as the name says, enchanting, and plot and subplots are fun, entertaining and tricky too. So many secrets are whirling around The Enchanted Village. Some humorous, one that made Darcy, her sister and me all say”EW”, o.k. I said it with a little giggle, and others that lead you deeper into the story of why the realtor had to die. There is also a big secret that I think I know the answer to. Maybe it will be revealed in the next book.

Heather Blake is a gifted storyteller. Every one of these characters came alive in these pages and I truly “WISH” they were real. I want to pack my bags and move there today.  She has created a modern day fairy tale, that tests our minds as we follow the clues and puts a smile on your face throughout the whole story.

Each story on this series builds from the last as Darcy learns more and more about her gift and this very unique tourist hot spot. That is why I recommend starting at the beginning. That being said the author gives enough information to really jump in anywhere.

Some Like It Witchy – I sure do!

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 About This Author
Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber) is the author of over a dozen novels. She’s a Dr Pepper enthusiast, total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch Reality TV (totally addicted, especially to competition shows), crochet, occasionally leave the house to hike the beautiful mountains in the northeast, bake (mostly cookies) and dreams of owning a house at the base of Mt. Mansfield in Stowe, VT. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently, she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family and is hard at work on her next book. Find out more at http://www.heatherblakebooks.com/


Coming in May

Also by Heather Blake

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my review copy!

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.

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 15, 2016 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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Review – The Corpse with the Diamond Hand by Cathy Ace

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Another one from my Kindle.

CORPSE DIAMOND COVER

The Corpse with the Diamond Hand
(A Cait Morgan Mystery)
6th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Hawaii – Cruise Ship
Touchwood Editions (October 13, 2015)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1771511445
E-Book – ASIN: B012EHNWB0
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Cait and Bud have set sail on a romantic and worry-free Hawaiian honeymoon cruise, but when a man drops dead at their card table, Cait can’t help but lend her expertise. The sudden death appears to have been from natural causes, but Cait suspects something sinister, and with only two days left at sea—and thousands of possible suspects—she and Bud join the head of security in an investigation. However, the unique circumstances of an at-sea investigation mean their involvement cannot be official, and Cait must lean on her charm to conduct her own covert interviews.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Cait and Bud finally are off on their honeymoon. A romantic cruise from Hawaii to Canada. They even get to visits the Hawaiian Islands. A trip I would love to take. As they are enjoying some time in the ship’s game room one of the ship’s staff goes into convulsions and dies. Most think natural causes, but Cait thinks murder. Before the ship docks in Canada she has to prove it. So she and Bud inform the ship’s head of security of the backgrounds and qualifications. He decides begrudgingly to let them assist in his investigation.

Cathy Ace gives us another great mystery where Cait tunes in her Eidetic memory to help solve the case. This is basically a closed room mystery and Cathy Ace writes this style brilliantly. Cait and Bud are the perfect team. They play to each other strengths and are very friendly and non-threatening in their way of interviewing suspects. In fact most of the suspects thought they were just talking about the death with another couple that was in the room when it occured. I love the way it played out.

Cathy Ace brings us right aboard that cruise ship to travel with Cait and Bud. I just feel bad their romantic getaway was ruined. The spent their last days chasing down clues instead of relaxing. The were able to see a few sunsets and visit their favorite bar on the ship often but most of the time the investigation was all they had on their minds.

As all the novels in this series, I read it all in one evening. They are hard to put down.

While part of a series this book can definitely be read as a stand alone, but I bet you will want to read them all.

 perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

2cathy

About This Author

Originally from Wales, now-Canadian Cathy Ace writes the Cait Morgan Mysteries. In The Corpse with the Silver Tongue her foodie criminologist sleuthed in the south of France. The Corpse with the Golden Nose found Cait sniffing out a killer in BC’s vineyards. The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb met her when she was meddling in murders in Mexico. This time Cait is caught up in a true closed-room mystery in a classy casino restaurant in Las Vegas. When not helping Cait solve traditional, closed-circle mysteries, Cathy’s a keen gardener, ably assisted by her green-pawed chocolate Labradors.

Author Links:

Website 

Facebook

Twitter: @AceCathy

GoodReads 

And Coming in April 2016

Also by Cathy Ace

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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Fillet of Murder by Linda Reilly #Giveaway too!

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

fillet of murder
Fillet of Murder:
A Deep Fried Mystery

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (May 5, 2015)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425274132
E-Book – ASIN: B00O2BS33O
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

Talia Marby serves up delectable English deep fried fare in the heart of the Berkshires—but she soon discovers there’s something fishy going on…

Sometimes in this life, you have to fish or cut bait. After walking away from a miserable job and an even worse boyfriend, Talia Marby has no regrets. She’s returned to her hometown and is happy to help her dear friend Bea Lambert by working at Lambert’s Fish & Chips, a cornerstone of a charming shopping plaza designed to resemble an old English village.

But not all the shop owners are charming. Phil Turnbull has been pestering Bea to sign a petition against a new store opening up, and his constant badgering is enough to make her want to boil him in oil. When Talia and Bea stumble upon Turnbull murdered in his shop, the police suspect Bea. Now it’s up to Talia to fish around for clues and hook the real killer before her friend has to trade serving food for serving time…

Includes delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a delicious mystery!

Talia Marcy leaves a job she hates and a crumby boyfriend behind to return hometown and work at a place that is like her second home. She worked at Lambert’s Fish & Chips in high school and the owners Bea and Howie became almost a second set of parents. She knew it was just the place for her to reset and regroup her life until the right job comes along. Then the cantankerous Phil Trumbull shows up to torment Bea with some kind of petition to stop a new comic book store from opening. Bea has a few choice words for him, deep frying him in oil were some of the included words, but she never meant it in the literal sense. When Talia and Bea find him dead, (not fried), Bea’s words come back to bite her when she becomes the #1 suspect. Talia decides to prove Bea’s innocence by trying to catch the killer herself. Hopefully she doesn’t become the day’s catch herself.

I love Talia, she’s strong and smart and she deeply cares about her friends. Bea means the world to her and they work together like a well-oiled machine. Bea is a special lady too. Not afraid of hard work and with a heart as big as all outdoors. She reminds me of my own mom. I was really engaged by both of them. Whitnee also works for Bea. She is a student with a very overbearing mother. Both Bea and Talia do their best to look out for her.

The setting for this story is the charming Wrensdale Arcade. A  shopping plaza where all the shop exteriors looked like they popped right out of an old English village. It sounds like a very unique place.

The murder happens very early in the story but readers still have time to figure out enough about Phil Turnbull to understand why he was so disliked. As the story continued and more suspects were revealed and we see they all had motivation to kill the man.  As quickly as the man was killed the clues quickly lead to someone I totally didn’t expect as the killer. I had the WOW light bulb over my head. A really well executed twist.

I really enjoyed the background story of Talia staying in her Nana’s house while it was up for sale. Dealing with realtors, trying to to make herself not too much at home because this is just a temporary living arrangement. She even has a kitty come to her door who she starts to feed and soon the little guy has not only wormed his way into the house but also Talia’s heart.

This is truly a grand debut. It checks all the boxes of what I love in a great cozy mystery. – Likable and believable characters, a comfortable setting, and a mystery that keeps you guessing right up to the final reveal.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out all about Linda Reilly on her Webpage here. Find her on Facebook and GoodReads too!  The second book in this series, Out of the Dying Pan, was released this month and Linda will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday on March 30. 

GIVEAWAY
I am giving my review copy away!
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.

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 1, 2016 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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Review – Death By Blue Water by Kait Carson – #Giveaway too!

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

This one was actually screaming from my Kindle.

DEATH BY BLUE WATER
Death By Blue Water
(A Hayden Kent Mystery)
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Florida
Henery Press (November 11, 2014)
Paperback: 280 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940976464
E-Book ASIN: B00N11OD80
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

Paralegal Hayden Kent knows first-hand that life in the Florida Keys can change from perfect to perilous in a heartbeat. When she discovers a man’s body at 120’ beneath the sea, she thinks she is witness to a tragic accident. She becomes the prime suspect when the victim is revealed to be the brother of the man who recently jilted her, and she has no alibi. A migraine stole Hayden’s memory of the night of the death.

As the evidence mounts, she joins forces with Officer Janice Kirby. Together the two women follow the clues that uncover criminal activities at the highest levels and put Hayden’s life in jeopardy while she fights to stay free.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I tried snorkeling once and didn’t do too well so I am sure there is no scuba diving in my future. I will settle for virtual scuba diving with Hayden. I could tell immediately that Kait Carson was an avid scuba diver just by the way she described Hayden’s underwater adventures. She vividly tells us about her descents and ascents into the water as well as her underwater exploration and finding a dead body in the hull of ship. True to the cozy genre Hayden becomes the main suspect.

We not only meet Hayden, we meet Cappy, the owner of the charter that takes her to her diving spots, her friend Mallory and the guy she just broke up with Kevin. Quite the jerk, in my opinion. His brother happens to be identified as the body in the ship and the plot starts to thicken. It also brings Coast Guard Officer Paul Mueller to the story. Before he even takes a dip in the water he tries to say what Hayden saw below was an a hallucination. I learned a new term “narked” (nitrogen narcosis). Apparently if you come up from the depths too fast it can cause more than the bends. It can cause a variety of issues including seeing things that aren’t there, but there really was a body down there. Now 3 agencies are trying to find a killer. The Coast Guard, Marine Patrol and the police. And of course Hayden. She finally wraps her head around that she is actually a suspect and uses her paralegal training to find things everyone else seems to be missing.

I found myself totally immersed into this story. The writing style just flows perfectly. Whether in the water or on dry land the characters were engaging and very believable. I really felt Hayden’s pain as things continued to be revealed about her relationship with Kevin. The victim’s wife was also a character easy to empathize with, she was caught in an untenable position.

The story took us into a hot topic that surprised me but I am not going to spoil anything. Again I learned something 🙂

I really enjoyed this story. The theme was something totally fresh and new and I found it both interesting and entertaining, I can’t wait to read Death by Sunken Treasure out March 22.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kait Carson spent a lifetime living and working in the tropical paradise of south Florida. She opted for a day job as a paralegal practicing in the world of high-end estates and probate litigation. Legal pads give way to a keyboard in the evening and Kait spins tales of murder and mayhem set in the steamy Florida heat. Like her protagonist, Hayden Kent, Kait is an accomplished SCUBA diver. She lives with her husband, six rescue cats and three tropical birds at an airpark in Florida. Not too far from the water.

Author Links

Webpage – MYSTERISTAS (more or less the first Tuesday of the month)

Writers Who Kill  (The fourth Saturday of the month);

Facebook  Twitter – @kaitcarson – GoodReads 

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away 1 e-copy of
Death by Blue Water!
Contest is open internationally 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 March 25, 2016 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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Review – A Slice of Murder by Chris Cavender – #Giveaway

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Going way back for this one off of my To-Be-Read shelf!

slice of murder
A Slice of Murder
(Pizza Lover’s Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Kensington (August 1, 2009)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758229489
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758229496
E-Book ASIN: B003IYI7PU
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Not too much happens in the sleepy little town of Timber Ridge, North Carolina–which is fine with pizza-purveyor extraordinaire Eleanor Swift. The spunky owner of A Slice of Delight is trying to mend her broken heart and could use a little quiet time. But when a late night delivery customer turns up dead, she’s in for just the opposite in this delicious mystery series debut, featuring pizza as the prima character . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have read several books by this author, under his many pseudonyms, (Tim Myers, Casey Mayes, Melissa Glazer) so I knew would like this story.

Eleanor Swift and her husband owned A Slice of Delight. He has passed away and she and her sister now run the pizza joint with the help of a few part-timers. Eleanor takes a late pizza order and delivers it on her way home. But when she arrives at the address the door is ajar and her customer is dead on the floor. She does the right thing and calls 911 but when the police arrive she becomes the prime suspect. Before she loses everything she and her husband worked so hard for she needs to catch the real killer and knock the pepperoni out of them.

I love pizza and I bet you do too. This tasty mystery will delight your mind and put your taste buds on high alert.  Ellie is a wonderful woman still trying to get used to life without her husband and several people think she needs to be out there dating. She has one admirer that practically begs to date her on a daily basis. Her sister, Maddy, is pushing her to accept but with a murder on her plate she doesn’t have time to think about dating. The police chief happens to be an old boyfriend from her younger days and she can’t believe he honestly thinks she could kill someone. His son even works for her or at least he did before this investigation when his dad made him quit. He was one angry teenager when that happened. So with some help from Maddy they start the own investigation and what they find is quite surprising. Now if they can just get her old flame to open his eyes to what really happened she can get back to serving some of the best pizzas in town.

Cavender has a great grasp on these characters. Ellie struggle to move on feels very real and her relationship with her sister is very believable. Police chief Kevin Hurley and the rest of the residents of Timber Ridge that actually thought Ellie was guilty really surprised me. I am glad she had some support and others came around to realize her true nature. But not the police chief.  For me the jury is still out on him. This being the first book in the series I am holding out hope that he is better at his job in the future.

We were given a good mystery to solve. Several twists but I figured this one out a bit before Ellie. I did enjoy the way it all played out.

I love this pizza theme for a series. Each time Ellie knuckled out that dough, loaded on the toppings and sending those pizzas through the oven my mouth was watering.

Will definitely be reading the next book in the series, Pepperoni Pizza Can Be Murder, soon.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

CHRIS CAVENDER is the pseudonym for an Agatha Award Nominated Author who has appeared on the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association national bestseller list multiple times.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving my hard cover copy away!
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.

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

Contest Will End March 18, 2016 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 Crafty Cozy Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Review – A Fright to the Death by Dawn Eastman – #Giveaway

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

A FRIGHT TO THE DEATHA Fright to the Death:
A Family Fortune Mystery

Cozy Mystery
3rd in the Series
Setting – Michigan
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (April 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Daniel Craig
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425264485
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK3WG
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

 

After their flight to Mexico is cancelled, Clyde and her detective boyfriend, Mac, end up snowed in with their families at a supposedly haunted hotel. Clyde’s tarot card reading mother, Rose, is making dire predictions for the weekend, and self-proclaimed pet psychic Aunt Vi is enchanted by the legend of the hotel’s ghost—until the power goes out and a body turns up.

With a hotel full of stranded suspects, Clyde will have to draw on all her skills—both the police ones she’d rather forget and the psychic ones she’d rather ignore—to solve the bone-chilling mystery before someone else gets iced…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

All Clyde and Mac wanted was to get away from the Michigan cold and their overwhelming families. Time alone catching rays on a beach in Mexico is delightful, it was for me and Mr. Dollycas but Clyde and Mac don’t even make it to the airport before it starts snowing and I mean really snowing. Mac tries to save the day by taking Clyde to a wonderful castle/hotel to wait out the storm but as soon as the arrive who do they find? Their mothers and Aunt Vi and a bunch of knitters on a weekend retreat. To make matter worse there are no vacancies and Clyde ends up sharing a room with her aunt and her mother and Mac joins his mother in her room. I definitely would have set things up a little differently, sent Mac’s mom to bunk with Rose and Vi and let Mac and Clyde have a room to themselves, but with this family that was not happening. The blizzard seems to camp right over the hotel so everyone is stuck there and the power and phones go out. Oh and one of the owners is murdered shortly thereafter. Now Clyde and Mac have a hotel full of suspects and Aunt Vi wanting to help them investigate. Can their relationship endure this much family togetherness?

Eastman has given us quite a closed room (building) mystery. One of the guests or the staff is a murderer and surprisingly almost anyone could have done it. Vi is even accused at one point. I liked the way Mac and Clyde took charge and interviewed almost everyone. Someone called them on their authority but it didn’t stop them.

Sitting here in the Wisconsin cold with the snow blowing outside I snuggled under a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and escaped right into this book. As you can see from the cover the dogs even show up at the hotel (their arrival is pretty funny) and I had my Nerabelle curled right up at my feet too.

These characters are a lot of fun. The Fortunes are a unique bunch with their tarot cards and such, but lovable in their own overbearing way.  Clyde is getting close to the one-year mark when she needs to decide whether or not she is going to stay in Crystal Haven and her family can’t help but share their opinions. The men in this family are truly outnumbered and outmatched. Eastman has poured her all into these characters.

Carlisle Castle is a wonderful place. The home has been turned into a hotel and the place is full of antiques. Their are rooms in the turrets and hidden stairways and big fireplaces. It is rumored to have a resident ghost too! I wonder if this is based on a real place in Michigan. I would love to visit.

The paranormal aspect in this story was pretty light. Vi and Rose’s attempts to use their “powers” to help wasn’t too successful and Clyde is still learning her capabilities. Seth has some keen insights.

The knitter’s retreat really added some entertaining moments. I learned about yarn bombing and was in awe at some of the items. It would have been a perfect event without the dead body. Snowed in with all the yarn you could imagine with plenty of time to just knit and purl and create.

This is just the 3rd book in this series so I do recommend you start at the beginning so you meet this Fortune – ate family from the start. They have been called “kooky” by several reviewers but I don’t think they are on the same plane as the kooky Adam’s Family, but they are special. You deserve to enjoy them from the beginning. If you are already a fan you know just what I mean.

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Dawn Eastman is the national bestselling author of Pall in the Family, the first book in the Family Fortune Mystery Series. She lived in Michigan for many years in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. She now lives in Iowa with her husband, son, daughter, and one extremely bossy small dog.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook – Goodreads

Twitter – @DawnAEastman


And Coming In April

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my copy!
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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 11, 2016 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 Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Review – One Foot in the Grape by Carlene O’Neil – #Giveaway

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

one foot in the grapeOne Foot in the Grape
(A Cypress Cove Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
1st Book in Series
Setting – California
Release Date – May 5, 2015
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Robert Crawford
Cover Design by Danielle Abbiate
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425274019
E-Book ASIN: B00O2BS55U
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

In California wine country, the town of Cypress Cove may seem peaceful. But someone’s about to pop their cork…

After losing her job as a photojournalist, Penny Lively is trying to get her life back in focus. Inheriting the family winery from her late aunt may be the fresh start she needs. Thankfully she’s got her niece Hayley and her handsome winery manager Connor to help. But the person in need of more urgent assistance is Antonia Martinelli, the owner of the neighboring winery, who has her own barrel full of problems. Someone’s spoiling her wine, and with the upcoming Autumn Festival, she needs Penny’s nose for clues to sniff out the culprit.

But Penny’s search for answers sours after the body of a staff member is found in a grape crusher. Since Hayley was the last to see him alive, she’s the prime suspect in the case. Now Penny must hurry to find the real killer before Hayley withers on the vine…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Penelope (Penny) Lively has inherited the family winery and after a little dust-up at her last job it is perfect timing. Her cousin Hayley has the degree in Viticulture and Connor manages the day to day tasks of the vineyard. Penny focuses on the business side of things. As a photojournalist she has a keen eye and takes some wonderful pictures that she sells as prints as postcards. Her keen eye is just what is needed to help Antonia Martinelli. The Martinelli winery and Penny’s winery border each other. Antonia asks Penny to help her find out who is sabotaging their wine. With the Autumn Festival just days away, she desperately needs to cork up that issue right way.  Penny agrees to help but before she has a chance to do anything one of the Martineeli staff is literally crushed and her cousin Hayley is the prime suspect.

This was an impressive debut for this series. I would have thought competing wineries would be more cutthroat but in this story the neighboring wineries work closely together. Not only does Penny try to help Antonia, they work together planning the festival and even seem to share temporary help. The victim was someone very well liked with a bright future. Penny was not only investigating to save her cousin but to find the killer of someone she respected.

The characters in this story were very interesting. Penny, Hayley and Connor are solid, relatable characters that will allow the series to succeed. The Martinelli family is quite a bunch. Antonia is ready to pass the winery on to her family, specifically to her son, but she isn’t sure he is ready. Her oldest daughter, a lawyer, has a huge chip on her shoulder and thinks the winery should be hers. The youngest daughter has a set of problems all her own. This was a great supporting cast. I hope we see them again in future stories.

The plot of the story is a unique one with some clever and surprising twists, although it did go a little bit awry at that start. It was the little clues that I almost wrote off that pulled this whole mystery together.  I was on the right track but it turned out to be much more than I ever imagined.

The author has left Penny holding back a very important tidbit and I wonder how long it will be before it is revealed to everyone.  This has me anxious to read the next installment, Ripe For Murder, out on March 1. I was late to the party for this book. That won’t be the case with the next one.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Find out more about Carlene O’Neil on her webpage here.  Like her on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.


GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my review copy!
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.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 4, 2016 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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Review – Macaroni and Freeze by Christine Wenger #Giveaway

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

MACARONI AND FREEZE
Macaroni and Freeze:
A Comfort Food Mystery

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
An Obsidian Mystery (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451474087
E-Book ASIN: B00PT4J1UW
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

When the library roof collapses from the harsh winter weather, diner owner and comfort food chef Trixie Matkowski decides to organize a mac-and-cheese cook-off to raise funds for repairs. Priscilla Finch-Smythe, famous TV chef and former Sandy Harbor resident, is not only available to judge the contest—she’s offering an appearance on her show as the grand prize.

Trixie hopes that winning first place in the cook-off will help boost publicity for her Silver Bullet Diner. But when another winner is announced, and Priscilla is later found frozen in a snowbank, Trixie starts getting attention from the police instead. Now she’ll have to noodle over this mystery before everything really goes to pot….

Includes Delicious Home-Style Recipes

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Never a dull moment when Trixie is around. That woman get herself into all kinds of predicaments. This time too much snow collapses the roof of the local library. Everyone got out safe but it is going to take a lot of money to repair the building and replace the damaged books and equipment. Trixie’s mouth gets ahead of her brain and before she knows it she is planning a Macaroni and Cheese cook-off fundraiser. Things snowball and soon famous chef, Priscilla Finch-Smythe is on her way to Sandy Harbor to judge the competition and offering the winner a guest spot on her tv show. Trixie had no idea the woman was from Sandy Harbor. The woman has all kinds of demands and a big motor home. She also has her staff of two, one is her stepson, along for the ride and they sure don’t see eye to eye on anything. Trixie just hopes they can make enough money for the library and get a little bit of publicity for the diner.

The contest brings a slew of cooks to town including a couple of professional chefs looking to win and gain or regain a little fame with the grand prize. Soon after the winner is named, a stiff is found in the parking lot. Priscilla Finch-Smythe’s life has come to a chilly end and there are plenty of suspects. Who killed the tv cook and left her out in the cold? Trixie plans to find out but she may end up getting a deep freeze herself.

Reading this book during a cold snap here in Wisconsin I was literary feeling the “freeze” in this story and it was funny, my hubby had whipped up a batch of his homemade mac and cheese for supper. He saw the cover of the book and we had a little chuckle.

The cover of the book is wonderful but the Sandy Harbor Library sounds like it was a truly beautiful place, complete with some stained glass. I loved the way the town rallied together to make this fundraiser happen even when it was snowing and blowing and travel was a bit treacherous at times.

This time Trixie is one of the suspects, of course, hunky Sheriff Ty Briscoe doesn’t think she had anything to do with it but he basically puts her under house/diner arrest with Antoinette Chloe Brown (ACB) as her gatekeeper. He really just wants to keep Trixie safe and out of his investigation, like that is going to happen.

Christine Wenger has the perfect recipe for an absolutely delightful cozy mystery. The residents of Sandy Harbor are like old friends and the welcome us in with open arms and delicious food. The new characters make a nice offset to the gang we have come to love. The plot is tight and the twists are plentiful. The romantic tension is palpable. I can’t be the only one that wants to see Trixie grab Ty and just kiss him already 🙂 I also want to get ACB a pair of boots with flips flops painted on them. Flip flops in the snow?? Girl you are going to lose some toes!!

This was a fun read from start to finish. I am glad I had some Mac & Cheese to snack because damn, a girl can get hungry when reading these stories!

perfect 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Find out more about Christine and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my review copy!
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.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 26, 2016 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 Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Literary Escapes Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – Review – Toured to Death by Hy Conrad

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

When I was asked to organize a book tour for Hy Conrad’s new book, Dearly Departed, I knew I had to go through my Kindle books and find this book and get it read.

toured to death
Toured to Death (An Amy’s Travel Mystery)
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery –
Setting – Monaco
Kensington (January 27, 2015)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617736780
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617736803
E-Book ASIN: B00M4ASP1K
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

While Fanny takes care of the business end of Amy’s Travel in New York City, Amy is traipsing around Monte Carlo, managing their first mystery-themed excursion, a road rally in which guests compete to solve a fictional murder along the way. Amy still has reservations about partnering up with her mother. But both women, having lost the men in their lives, need a fresh beginning.

The trip starts off without a hitch. Clues quickly mount, the competition is lively, and just when the suspense is peaking, the writer they hired to script their made-up mystery is found murdered in his New York apartment. Suddenly, on top of running a new venture together, mother and daughter must solve a real-life case of foul play, while trying not to drive each other bonkers. But Amy and Fanny are ready, willing, and Abel to track down a clever killer with some serious emotional baggage, one who will go to any lengths to keep dark secrets from seeing the light of day…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A traveling whodunit based on a real case, sign me up!

Amy and Fanny are trying to pump some life into Amy’s Travel. Amy hires a man to write a murder mystery game for a tour she has booked to Europe. It will be more of a rally than a race. There are 6 teams of 4, each representing a character in the mystery. Each day the guests will find and follow the clues to try  to be able to solve the whodunit by the time they reach the final stop. Sounds like fun but soon there are extra clues, a hotel break-in, and rocks flying. One of the guests thinks the mystery is based on a real life murder. An investigation they were part of… Then Amy learns from Fanny the author of the mystery has been killed. She hopes everything she needs to complete the tour has been sent, but when one of the group dies suspiciously, the game fades. The group realizes their is a killer among them. An arrest is made but has the killer been caught?

This was a entertaining read. The guests on the tour are an eclectic bunch, from a couple with their teenage sons, a wealthy socialite and her “companion”, an uncle with his 12 year old niece, and even a judge.

The story itself is broken into 2 parts. The first is the game and the time abroad, part 2 takes place after Amy and some of the guests return to the states. Amy tries to track the original case and determine if and how it relates to the new cases. It has to be the same person/s for all 3, or does it? The author throws some clever twists throughout the book and a really good one at the end. I had it narrowed down to one or two people myself, but he surprised me with the details.

A quick read, a good pace, great characters, beautiful settings. This was an enjoyable excursion. I am looking forward now to Dearly Departed.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author
Hy Conrad was the co-executive producer of the hit television series Monk. Monk received three Edgar nominations from the Mystery Writers of America for “Best TV Series.” The author of hundreds of short stories and ten books of short whodunits which have been sold around the world in fourteen languages, he’s also the author of the novels, Mr. Monk Helps Himself and Mr. Monk Gets On Board. Hy splits his time between Key West, Vermont, and New York City.

Author Links:

Webpage – Facebook – Blog – GoodReads

I am sorry I don’t have a giveaway for this book because it was an e-book. But Hy Conrad is touring Dearly Departed with Great Escapes Book Tours. Click Here to go to the tour page and enter to win a copy of Dearly Departed  or Toured to Death. My tour stop is February 13. 

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.”