Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Much Ado in Maggody (The Arly Hanks Mysteries) by Joan Hess #Review / #Giveaway

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


Much Ado in Maggody (The Arly Hanks Mysteries)
Humorous Mystery (Explicit Language)
2nd in Series
Setting – Arkansas
Publisher: MysteriousPress.com/Open Road;
Reprint edition (June 7, 2016)
Originally Published January 1, 1989
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 0312029527
ISBN-13: 978-0312029524
Kindle ASIN: B01ENRHKVC

A hilarious police procedural set in the strangest town in the Ozarks, where whip-smart sheriff Arly Hanks does everything she can to keep the peace.

 

Nothing ever happens in Maggody, Arkansas, population 755. Aside from handling the occasional barroom brawl or exploding still, Chief of Police Arly Hanks spends her days sipping coffee and squashing flies. She returned to Maggody two years ago, licking her wounds after a bad Manhattan divorce, and she fell backward into the role of sheriff. From Hizzoner the Moron—also know as Jim Bob Buchanon, the pettily corrupt mayor—to Ruby Bee Hanks—Arly’s mother and the town’s foremost gossip—the people of Maggody are all crazy in their own ways, and that craziness is about to turn deadly.

 

When Joanna Mae Nookim returns to work after giving birth, the bank manager bumps her down to minimum wage as punishment for taking time off. It’s outrageous, but there’s nothing Arly can do. But when the bank burns to the ground and the head teller is found dead, Maggody threatens to burst into an all-out revolution for the sake of women’s rights.

 

Fans of comic mysteries have known for years that no small town is quite like Maggody. With its wild cast of characters and its no-nonsense female detective, Much Ado in Maggody is evidence of master of cozy mysteries Joan Hess at her best.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Back in Maggody where mayhem is in rare form. Joanna Mae Nookim returns to her job at the bank after having a baby to find she has been demoted and been replaced by a wet behind the ears Brandon Bernswallow. Well, she is not going to take it sitting down. Arly can’t help her but tells her she may be able to get a lawyer to take her case, which she does. Soon there is a protest march and a crowd of women set up for the long haul in the parking lot across the street. But then someone sets fire to the bank and Brandon Bernswallow is found dead inside creating Much Ado in Maggody! Can Arly get to the bottom of it or will mayhem reign?


I have continued to read this series for the pure comic delight. The explicit language still gives me a cringe or two, but I can set that aside when a few sentences later I am laughing my head off. I have to remind myself this book was originally released back in 1989, but equal rights for women is still a current topic although we have come a long way.

Maggody is full of quirky characters and Arly has her hands full as the men and women of the town face-off over the way Joanna Mae Nookim was treated at the bank. It opens up a whole can of worms as the wives in town decide their husbands could be treating them better too. All the characters are colorful but stereotypical in many ways. That said, they are funny.

Again, the murder mystery part of the story is pretty simplistic but entertaining. Some will classify this story as a cozy mystery, and the mystery is set up the way, the f-bombs and other explicit language take it out of that genre for me. If you love funny stories and are not offended by the language you will enjoy this book and series. I will be grabbing the next book in the series when I need to get carried away by the humor and craziness only found in Maggody.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

I was sad to learn while researching this series that the author passed away in November 2017. Joan Hess was an American mystery writer, a member of Sisters in Crime, and a former president of the American Crime Writers League. She wrote two popular mystery series: The Claire Malloy Mysteries and The Maggody Mysteries (also called The Arly Hanks Mysteries), and has contributed to multiple anthologies and book series, including Crosswinds, Deadly Allies, Malice Domestic, Sisters in Crime, and The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. She also wrote the Theo Bloomer mystery series, under the pseudonym Joan Hadley.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
It 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.

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

Contest Will End December 25, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Stiff Penalty (Mattie Winston Mysteries) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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.


Stiff Penalty (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington Books (March 1, 2015)
Print Length: 417 pages
Kindle ASIN: B00M4ASUL0

Danger multiplies for a pregnant coroner investigating a math teacher’s murder in this hard-boiled mystery by a USA Today–bestselling author.

 

Deputy coroner Mattie Winston knows a thing or two about dead bodies. That’s why she’s on the case of Derrick Ames, a high school math teacher stabbed to death with a barbecue fork straight to the heart. Sure, she’s turned up some motives and a few suspects, but nothing adds up. Especially when the evidence points to Ames’s teenage son. Newly pregnant Mattie can’t believe it, even as her own long-estranged father may be following her. But one thing’s certain, she’d better start figuring things out fast, or a deadly perpetrator could be subtracting two more victims from the population of Sorenson, Wisconsin . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Stiff Penalty is the sixth book in this series and I want to state upfront that these books should be read in order to fully understand the characters and the relationships but also for the hilarity that ensues within the pages of each book.

Mattie Winston has had a hard life, her father left when she was young, she caught her husband in the act of cheating on her at the hospital where they both work, and now she is dealing with a stalker, an unexpected pregnancy, and of course, another murder or two.


It took me a few minutes to get into this story because most of it is told in flashbacks but after I got the rhythm down the pages flew.

Ms. Ryan really brings the drama this time. Maddie is seeing a therapist and all her insecurities come out. It was great to see the other side of Maddie. She tries to keep a brave face on for the world but her life is changing in ways that can be downright scary.

There is drama at work too. High School math teacher Derrick Ames was stabbed straight into his heart with a barbeque fork. There are suspects but Maddie can’t piece the clues together to pin down the killer. But again, there is that stalker and the baby on the way. And being shot at doesn’t help matters. The drama doesn’t stop there either.

I really enjoyed Stiff Penalty. I started reading this series because it is set in my home state of Wisconsin. I keep coming back and reading more because I have become invested in these characters and the craziness that comes along with them. A great mystery or two just adds to the fun.

I am bound and determined to get all caught up on this series in 2021.

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

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.

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something you like here and become a follower.

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

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receive
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Contest Will End December 18, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Cup of Holiday Fear: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway


A Cup of Holiday Fear: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (September 24, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250214343
ISBN-13: 978-1250214348
Kindle ASIN: B07PCL3XS8

It’s Christmastime and everyone is heading to Torte, the most cheerful bakery in town. There’s no place like home for the homicide…

 

Ashland, Oregon, looks as pretty as a postcard this holiday season. The halls are decked, stockings hung, and eyes are all aglow—mostly thanks to the buttered rum. Jules Capshaw and her staff at Torte are busier than ever. . . still, even the town’s most in-demand bakers need to take a break. So Jules invites everyone to celebrate at the local Winchester Inn’s Dickens Feast, a six-course extravaganza with Yorkshire Pudding, Christmas goose, and all the trimmings. But as the weather outside becomes frightful, things inside turn less delightful when one of the guests ends up as dead as Scrooge’s doornail. Now it’s up to Jules and her helpers to make a list of suspects—and check it twice—to try to find out who’s naughty, who’s nice, and who’s guilty of murder…

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things are merry and bright in Ashland, Oregon and people are keeping the elves at Torte busy baking all kinds of holiday treats. They are all looking forward to a little respite by attending the annual Dickens Feast at the Winchester Inn and having others wait on them. The popular six-course feast has been taking place forever and Jules and Helen are excited to share the event with their staff. Lance also joins the party as Jules plus one.

The evening starts with a little snow, great food, and fun entertainment and ends with an unconscious innkeeper and a dead body. Jules and Lance are quickly following the trail of breadcrumbs to help the Professor and Thomas catch the Scrooge that ruined their party with MURDER.


I love this series! Spending the holidays with Jules and everyone in Ashland is a real treat. The author paints the scenes so vividly you can almost feel the snowflakes landing on your face and taste all the cookies, cakes, breads, and lattes served at Torte.

After ten books the characters have become old friends but that doesn’t mean we know everything about them. Lance is having a hard time with the holidays and opens up to Jules. Their friendship just warms my heart. Helen and Doug are blissfully happy and have hearts as big as all outdoors. They open their home for the holidays to be sure no one spends the holidays alone. Doing so lets us get to know Marty a little bit better. We meet Jon and Emma Winchester who own the inn. They have been friends with Helen and her now-deceased husband for years, opening their businesses at the same time. All the characters are interesting, have purpose, and are wonderfully written. They make wish I could meet them all in person.

The mystery was very well-plotted with plenty of suspects and twists. The victim was a real shrew and had ticked plenty of people off. Lance and Jules’s investigation was not only fun to follow but funny at times too. They do make a great team.

What I love most about this series is the way I get as wrapped up in the daily life of the characters as I do in the mystery. I want to know about the Torte staff crushes, Helen and Doug’s plans, that Jules is missing Carlos, all of Lance’s drama, and what baking at Torte. This time after the case was wrapped we go to Helen and Doug’s for Christmas Eve dinner. They have invited several guests. Doug rises to give a little speech that was poignant and brought tears to my eyes. I found great meaning in his message, words I needed to hear personally this time of year. Moving forward a few pages, the tears were still present but a big smile appeared on my face. The ending was absolutely perfect.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

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

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away a paperback copy of the book!

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 December 17, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Ladies of the Lake by Ken Corday #Review / #Giveaway

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

Ladies of the Lake
Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Beaufort Books (July 22, 2015)
Hardcover: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 0825307848
ISBN-13: 978-0825307843
Kindle ASIN: B084JLGJSP

Getting away with murder. Seems unlikely, but in the gated community of Avalon it’s what’s in style.

 

It all starts with Hudson’s accidental decapitation. It was a terrible accident. He was drunk and in the middle of a fight with his second wife. They both pressed the garage door button at the same time. The LAPD didn’t give it a second thought. Instead of grieving, his wife breathes free air again. She is a rich woman with freedom. The other wives secretly envy her.

 

From the outside, Avalon seems like the ideal place to live; full of rich men and beautiful women. Six couples form a close-knit friendship; the men all golf together, the women all shop together, and their six children all skip school together. But the wives begin to resent feeling like possessions and realize that the men become crueler every day.

 

When more husbands start dying, the so-called “Ladies of the Lake” find themselves under suspicion from the LAPD and their own children.

 

The six children try to uncover their parents’ secrets before the handsome Detective Daniels can discover what is truly going on behind closed gates.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I watch Days of Our Lives every day but I just recently found this book on my Kindle. I can’t believe I didn’t read it sooner. It has a real soap opera feel which should be no surprise based on the author.

The rich and beautiful people of Los Angeles have their own set of issues but the “Ladies of the Lake” take things to the extreme as their husbands start to die off one by one. Granted the husbands weren’t real prizes beyond their money but how many freak accidents are the police going to believe. Even the “Ladies” children are asking questions.

_____________

Told from multiple points of view this story introduces six elite women and the detective trying to get to the bottom of their husband’s deaths. Like a true soap opera, he even gets involved with one of them. This method allows readers to meet all the characters and enables them to get to know the woman enough to see their tormented sides behind their socialite facades.

I found this book to be a fun escape filled with drama and some romance too. The author’s soapy writing style is very apparent as he twists murder up with some humor. There isn’t really a mystery because the readers know most of what is going on. It is just the community, the good detective, and the children who are in the dark. I did like the surprise ending.

The book was made into a short 4 episode series with some of my favorite Days of Our Lives stars. I hope to watch it soon.

Ladies of the Lake is a great read for soap opera fans and those who like a fast, entertaining read with some twists.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Ken Corday was only a teenager when his parents, Ted and Betty Corday, first created NBC’s daytime drama Days of our Lives in 1965. A year after the show’s inception, Ted passed away, and it was up to Betty to carry on the show. Ken became his mother’s support system as she taught him everything he would need to know to continue the family legacy.

Ken received his bachelor of arts in music from the University of California, Santa Cruz, before receiving a master’s degree in music from San Jose State University.

Prior to taking over Days of our Lives as executive producer in 1985, Ken worked on the show for almost ten years, first as a composer, then as an assistant producer, and finally as a producer.

He has received two Emmy Awards for Music. He has also received eight nominations for an Emmy Award for Best Daytime Drama. Days of our Lives won the Emmy Award for Best Daytime Drama in 1978 and 2013, and Ted and Betty Corday received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award in 1995.

Ken Corday lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.

I am giving 1 Kindle copy away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
Book will be sent 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.

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

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

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Carpet Diem (A Tallie Graver Mystery) by Misty Simon #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

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.


Carpet Diem (A Tallie Graver Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Kensington (September 24, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723740
ISBN-13: 978-1496723741
Kindle ASIN: B07P1NZC1N

Live and let dust . . .

 

Now that Tallie Graver’s cleaning business is starting to shine, she’s ready to go squeegee to squeegee against Audra McNeal for a major contract at the Astercromb mansion. Tallie’s not afraid of a little friendly competition from the new cleaner in town. In fact, Tallie likes Audra, though she wonders how her glamorous rival manages to clean house and maintain her fancy manicure. Tallie has her rubber-gloves full staying one step ahead of her nemesis. Until she finds a well-polished hand poking out of a rolled-up carpet, rendering her competition . . . dead.

 

Though it lands Tallie the big job, there’s nothing tidy about Audra’s death. So between polishing and scrubbing, Tallie’s determined to find the killer. Hopefully the police chief doesn’t mind her cluttering up his investigation with the filthy dealings she discovers. Turns out Audra was not as squeaky clean as she appeared. And confronting her killer could bring Tallie to a very foul end indeed . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tallie Graver is vying for a big cleaning contract for Mrs. Petrovski at her Astercromb mansion. She is competing against Audra McNeal and they have each been assigned a room to clean to the owner’s specifications. Tallie and Audra have become friends but she is going to fight hard for this job so she has plenty of work for the women that work for her.

Tallie does get the contact but it isn’t because of her cleaning expertise. It is because she found her competitor dead, rolled up in a carpet, and tossed in a dumpster. Thankfully the police chief doesn’t have her as number 1 on his suspect list but that doesn’t mean she isn’t going dust and sweep together every clue to find out who killed Audra. She has to be careful though or she may end up using her family’s services instead of just helping with the family business.


Ms. Simon has really written a wonderful mystery. Twists and turns plus a red herring or two. I dove right into this story and didn’t look back. I read the book in two evenings but would have read it all in one if my eyes and brain would have cooperated. The ending was unexpected and satisfying too.

While a great mystery is important, this series shines because of its strong characters. Tallie has changed so much since book 1, Cremains of the Day. Her relationship with Max is getting more serious and she is pulling away from her ex-Mrs. Waldo status. Her relationship with the sheriff is evolving as well in an interesting way. I liked Tallie right away but it is great to see a character grow realistically as Tallie has. Making the story even more enjoyable is that the regular supporting cast is developing nicely too. Add to that the unique characters we meet like Mrs. Petrovski and her nephew and you have a story that is extremely hard to put down.

Wonderful characters and compelling mysteries keep me coming back for more of this series. Misty Simon is such a fine storyteller, she never disappoints. She entertains and tests my brain. Carpet Diem is a Perfect Escape and I recommend it highly.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Laughter and Love are two main components of any story I write. Laughter really is the best medicine and my heroines always figure that out at some point, though perhaps some later than others. I live in Central Pennsylvania with my family and two rambunctious dogs in a house that is about to celebrate its two hundredth birthday. You can find Misty Simon on Facebook here.


I am giving away 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.
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Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End December 4, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Live and Let Pie: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway @dollycas @StMartinsPress

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.


Live and Let Pie: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 31, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250159393
ISBN-13: 978-1250159397
Kindle ASIN: B07DNBH26W

Life is sweet once you step into Torte, everybody’s favorite small-town bakeshop. But what happens when it becomes the scene of a crime?

 

The heat is on for pastry chef, family business operator, and unlikely sleuth Jules Capshaw. Just when she thought she could enjoy some time away from the kitchen, Jules manages to discover a skull during a picnic by the lake. As if unearthing remains that may be connected to a missing-persons case from the 1960s isn’t enough on her plate, Jules must contend with the unsolved matter of her own marriage while her estranged husband Carlos sails the open seas, awaiting a verdict. Then there’s Jules’s bitter landlord Edgar, who is intent on making a sweet deal on a vacant lot down the block from Torte—until he turns up dead. If only Jules could find a recipe that would let her bake her cake and eat it, too…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is so much going on in this 9th installment of the Bakeshop Mysteries. Carlos has returned to his cruise ship and Jules still doesn’t know what she wants as far as their relationship. Helen and Doug have returned from their honeymoon and are househunting to find the perfect place. She is putting in fewer hours at Torte but both she and Jules are very excited about their grand reopening with their new expanded space.

Jules takes a little time away from baking when she goes to look at a house with her mom. When she takes a little walk around the lake she arrives just as 2 young girls diving for treasure find a human skull. A skull that may belong to a man that disappeared back in the ’60s. There is also a piece of property for sale that has several parties very interested so when the owner is killed there are plenty of suspects. Jules is in the middle of it all but she may find herself spread too thin.


All my favorite characters are back and are joined by some new employees at Torte. This causes some tension in the ranks. Again, the new characters evolve quickly throughout the story and the continuing characters continue to grow. Jules has a chance to take a huge step thanks to her mom, but the stress of a life with Carlos or without needs to be rectified soon.

I was very captivated by both mysteries and the way they intertwined. They were so well-written, I was totally surprised when the killer was revealed. The person wasn’t even on my radar. Nicely played Ms. Alexander.

As I have come to expect there is a lot of baking and brewing and eating and drinking going on. Torte is my kind of place and the food descriptions had my stomach growling.

The characters in this series always keep me coming back for more. From the drama of the murders to the daily happenings at Torte I am all in. The author has found the perfect cozy recipe to keep readers engaged and entertained.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away a Kindle copy of the book!

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 November 27, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Till Death Do Us Tart: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway @dollycas @StMartinsPress

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.

Till Death Do Us Tart: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 26, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250159373
Kindle ASIN: B077XKS2SY

Torte—the small-town bakeshop no one can resist—is hosting a midsummer night’s wedding . . . where merry-making and murder are served up in equal measure. Till Death Do Us Tart is Ellie Alexander’s eighth delectable novel in the Bakeshop mystery series.

 

Jules Capshaw has too much on her plate—and she’s feeling the pinch: the whole town of Ashland, Oregon, is in on the surprise Elizabethan-themed wedding she’s planning for her mom and soon-to-be stepdad. But is her secret scheme half-baked? She’s hiding racks overflowing with sweet treats while Torte is topsy-turvy with a major remodel and the return of Jules’s estranged husband, Carlos. And until now, Jules had no clue about the bitter family feud that has her friend Lance frazzled and suspicious. But when a party crasher takes someone out with a serving of poisoned wine and Jules discovers the deadly cup was intended for her, it’s time to turn the tables on a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Can you keep a secret? Because Jules is planning a big surprise. A surprise Midsummer’s Night Wedding! Her mom Helen and Doug aka “the Professor” are going to be thrilled with the wedding of their dreams. The whole town is in on the surprise and are excited for the bride and groom. Jules is doing a ton of baking for the big event but she is also dealing with the remodeling project at Torte. She is nervous too because Carlos is flying in for the wedding and bringing his son, Romero, who she has yet to meet. Lance is bringing his own family drama to the nuptials in the form of his brother Leo and his entourage. Lance believes his brother is slowly poisoning their father and he wants Jules help to prove it.

Sadly Lance’s father suspiciously dies before the wedding and then a guest collapses at the reception. It appears her glass of wine contained poison. Poison is a common denominator  . . . are the cases connected? When Jules learns the doctored wine was meant for her she makes a vow of her own. Catch the killer before they kill her!

______

I have been looking forward to Helen and Doug’s wedding and thanks to Ms. Alexander’s wonderful descriptive writing style she took me there for every delightful moment. From the dresses to the sparkling lights and the delectable food I was treated to a fabulous event. That is until one actual guest keeled over.

There were quite a few new characters introduced and we learned a lot about an original character. Jules’s feelings about Carlo are still muddled but I loved meeting his son. All the characters new and old are well-developed for their place in the story/series but the author leaves room for them to grow.

The mystery was very well done with plenty of twists. With Jules and Lance in the middle of the investigation you know there is going to be drama and excitement. There were also be some truly funny moments too.

Till Death Do Us Tart has a nice quick pace and cleverly meshed subplots. Life in Jules’ world in never dull. In fact, there was a cliffhanger at the end of the book that had me picking up Live and Let Pie immediately after finishing this one. That review will be coming soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

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

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away the copy I received from Paperback Swap!
This is a gently used book.

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 November 20, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This was from my personal collection. 

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Another One Bites the Crust: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway @dollycas @StMartinsPress

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.


Another One Bites the Crust: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (January 2, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250159350
ISBN-13: 978-1250159359
Kindle ASIN: B072QWFWRV

Torte—the beloved small-town bakeshop run by Jules Capshaw—is set to hit the stage. But who would have guessed that murder would makes a surprise appearance?

 

It’s the role of a lifetime for Jules. The Shakespeare Festival has returned to Ashland, Oregon, for the season and Torte has been cast as the supplier of Elizabethan-era treats for the main event. But on the eve of opening night, a brawl between Jules’s friend Lance, the artistic director, and a strapping young thespian named Anthony almost brings down the house. . .and the next morning, Anthony is dead. Jules knows that Lance loves his drama—and his just desserts—but she also knows that murder is way off-script for him. Now it’s up to Jules to cut through a bevy of backstage betrayals and catty co-stars who all have their own secrets—before the curtain drops on someone else. . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Ashland, Oregon just in time for the return of the Shakespeare Festival. Jule’s friend and artistic director of the festival should be over the moon but he is acting stranger than his normal strange. He has decided he needs to hold a start of the season party with authentic desserts from the 1500s which he expects Jules to bake. Jules already has a lot on her plate with the construction at Torte and planning her mother’s upcoming nuptials. She knows she can’t say no to Lance, especially when she knows something is going on with him.

The party is going great until a fight breaks out. A fight between Lance and the young actor playing Antony in the play, who is a method actor so he only answers to that name. Lance thinks Anthony is bad-mouthing him to the festival board and trying to get him fired. The party breaks up but later when Anthony is found dead Jules knows Lance is in a world of trouble.


Jules, her mom, Lance, Andy, Sterling, Bethany, Stephanie, Thomas, and the Professor come together in this 7th installment of this fun and entertaining series. I truly feel like I am visiting old friends every time I open a Bakeshop Mystery. All the characters are genuine and because of Helen, Jules’s mom’s huge heart they are all truly a family.

We are introduced to a new character when Doug needs to take a step back from the investigation due to his friendship with Lance. Detective Kerry’s attitude pushes Jules hard to help her friend in any way she can. For me, the jury is still out on Detective Kerry.

Along with the opening of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Torte is doing a big expansion and Helen and Doug, the Professor are engaged and want to get married right away, as soon as they can find an available venue large enough for all their guests. Then there is the mess Lance finds himself in. I love the way Ms. Alexander blends the mystery with all the real-life happenings of the entire cast along with the yummy food and Andy’s signature beverages and recipes.

The mystery has a quick pace and is so well-plotted. Twists and some exciting moments made this a very fast read as the pages flying, there should have been smoke coming out of my Kindle.

Another One Bites the Crust contains everything I love about cozy mysteries. Fun characters, an entertaining mystery, just enough drama, and some romance thrown in too. The current mystery is solved but the author teases us with just enough information to excite us for the next Bakeshop Mystery. The one good thing about being late to the party for this series is that I don’t have to wait months for the next book. Watch for my review of Till Death Do Us Tart coming soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away the copy I received from Paperback Swap!
This is a gently used book.

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 November 13, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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

Mischief in Maggody (The Arly Hanks Mysteries) by Joan Hess #Review / #Giveaway


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


Mischief in Maggody (The Arly Hanks Mysteries)
Humorous Mystery (Explicit Language)
2nd in Series
Setting – Arkansas
Originally Released (June 4, 1991)
Publisher: MysteriousPress.com/Open Road; Reprint Edition (October 17, 2017)
Paperback: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 1504047656
ISBN-13: 978-1504047654
Kindle ASIN: B01N9V7LNK

When a woman is shot in a cannabis patch, Arly Hanks must restore order to her Ozarks community, in this sharp-witted mystery by an Agatha Award–winning author.

 

When small-town police chief Arly Hanks returns to Maggody, Arkansas, after vacation, she finds the population has risen to a booming 802. Among the newbies: Madame Celeste, the psychic who’s holding locals in thrall with her predictions of doom; a handsome new high school guidance counselor; and a gaggle of mantra-chanting hippies who have turned the old general store into the source for cosmic harmony. Unfortunately, life in Maggody is anything but harmonious.

 

Robin Buchanon—a member of Maggody’s most abundant family—has been murdered. The moonshiner, prostitute, and mother of four foul-mouthed little bad seeds was found shot to death in a booby-trapped marijuana field. Assuming the weed harvesters are sending a message to trespassers, Arly decides to hold vigil and set her own trap. But when another, seemingly unrelated, murder catches Arly off-guard, even Madame Celeste can’t predict where this case is headed.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Maggody, Arkansas is growing, all the way up to a total of 802 now, and Arly Hanks as the chief of police is in charge of keeping the peace and everyone safe and it isn’t easy. Right now she has a murder on her hands and four difficult children and 1 infant to place. Before long another murder takes place and Arly truly has her hands full.

____

After reading the first book in this series I knew to expect the explicit language and scenes so that shock factor was gone. That made it easier to just get into the story.

The colorful characters we met in Malice in Maggody are back and are joined by a few new quirky characters. I still feel they are all still very basic and have plenty of room for development. There was a young man that clearly stole the story. Hammet Buchanon has a mouth on him, swearing and no filter, he definitely will tell you what he thinks. His antics will have you in stitches.

The mystery was an easy solve for me but the story was still very entertaining and a nice light escape. So much so I read the 3rd book in the series soon after finishing this one and I will post my review soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

I was sad to learn while researching this series that the author passed away in November 2017. Joan Hess was an American mystery writer, a member of Sisters in Crime, and a former president of the American Crime Writers League. She wrote two popular mystery series: The Claire Malloy Mysteries and The Maggody Mysteries (also called The Arly Hanks Mysteries), and has contributed to multiple anthologies and book series, including: Crosswinds, Deadly Allies, Malice Domestic, Sisters in Crime, and The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. She also wrote the Theo Bloomer mystery series, under the pseudonym Joan Hadley.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
It 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.

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

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

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Deceased and Desist (A Tallie Graver Mystery) by Misty Simon #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Deceased and Desist (A Tallie Graver Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1496712250
ISBN-13: 978-1496712257
Kindle ASIN: B07B76MMJZ

Window of opportunity . . .

 

Most housecleaners don’t do windows, but Tallie Graver loves leaving a pane of glass streak-free and sparkling. After a dirty divorce from a filthy-rich jerk, she’s started her own cleaning business to make ends meet. On her latest job, prepping a renovated bed and breakfast for a grand re-opening, she’s standing outside on a ladder, wiping off a grimy pane, when she spies a man on a bed through the glass. But the B&B isn’t open for business yet—and the man’s not sleeping. Her family owns the Graver Funeral Home, so Tallie knows a corpse when she sees one.

 

The victim is a shady building inspector with a reputation for handing out passing grades for a greased palm. With the local police resistant, Tallie launches her own investigation, before she gets a rep as a town crank. But it’s going to take more than a squirt bottle and a squeegee to clean up this mess. With the help of her gal pal Gina, Tallie searches for a killer’s motive. But she’d better be careful, or it’ll be curtains for this window cleaner . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tallie Graver is doing her part to make the grand reopening of a local B&B a huge success in hopes the owners will hire her on for more cleaning duties. For now, she just needs to finish washing the windows. Up the ladder she goes but when she starts to squeegee down a window she notices a man on the bed inside. The B&B hasn’t opened yet so it can’t be a guest and the man is lying in a strange position. Tallie’s family owns the local funeral home so she has seen plenty of dead bodies and she knows now she is looking at another one.

The police don’t suspect foul play but Tallie does. She enlists the help of her bestie Gina to get a crystal clear picture of who killed the man and why. She also gets help from a surprising person. Together they bring down more than a killer.


I loved this story. So much happens within these pages.

The characters continue to evolve with Tallie growing stronger in her convictions, especially when her father wants her to a larger role in the family business. I love the way Max supports her through thick and thin. Gina and Tallie make a great team, but this time there is a third Muskateer and that adds to the fun. A new character pushed all buttons which is what I now know is exactly what the author intended.

The story has a slow build as clues are slow coming at first but the pace really picks up as things start to fall into place. The twists were perfectly placed. Like Tallie, who even ot her dad involved in her snooping this time, I thought I was on the right path when a plot twist proved me wrong. I am always entertained by a story that tests me.

Well written and plotted, with humor infused in all the right places Deceased and Desist was a captivating cozy and a stellar addition to this series. I can’t wait to visit these characters again. Carpet Diem is impatiently waiting on my Kindle.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Laughter and Love are two main components of any story I write. Laughter really is the best medicine and my heroines always figure that out at some point, though perhaps some later than others. I live in Central Pennsylvania with my family and two rambunctious dogs in a house that is about to celebrate its two hundredth birthday. You can find Misty Simon on Facebook here.


I am giving away 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.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 16, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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