Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Ukulele Murder: A Nani Johnson Aloha Lagoon Mystery by Leslie Langtry #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.


Ukulele Murder: A Nani Johnson Aloha Lagoon Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Hawaii
Gemma Halliday Publishing (June 30, 2016)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1533594740
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1533594747
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01HU7401A

Nani Johnson thought she had it made when she moved from Kansas to the resort town of Aloha Lagoon, Kauai. In spite of her certifiably crazy mom, Nani is determined that nothing will stop her from becoming a ukulele virtuoso! Unfortunately, her Julliard training doesn’t help her break into the local music scene due to some heavy competition from the Terrible Trio—three hostile, local musicians. The only work she finds is a few bar mitzvahs and gigs at the kitschy Blue Hawaii Wedding Chapel.

But when one of Nani’s competitors drops dead right after a public feud, Nani becomes the police’s main suspect. A missing murder weapon, mysterious threats, and a heck of a frame-up job all have Nani worrying she’ll be trading in her flowery muumuus for prison orange. Enter hunky local botanist Nick Woodfield, who just might be able to help her clear her name…that is if he doesn’t have secrets of his own. With the bodies stacking up, the danger closing in, and the authorities circling, Nani must track down a killer…before she ends up the latest victim of the Ukulele Murderer!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to Aloha Lagoon, Kauai. Nani Johnson and her “crazy” mother have recently moved here from Kansas and Nani’s dream is to be a ukulele virtuoso. Being a graduate of Julliard means nothing here and she has some stiff competition in the Terrible Trio, 3 local ukelele masters. Needing a job she plays her ukelele at the Blue Hawaii Wedding Chapel and picks up any other gigs she can like birthday parties and bar mitzvahs.

When one of the Terrible Trio is killed Nani becomes the main suspect under the theory that killing them would enable her to get more high-profile jobs. When she learns one of her ukeleles is missing and it could very well be the murder weapon she realizes someone is setting her up just when her personal life seemed to be looking up. One of her mother’s fix-ups actually brought a great guy into her life. She is surprised when he actually wants to help her clear her name. Is this local botanist too good to be true? He seems to have some secrets of his own.

When another virtuoso is killed Nani starts to fear she may be next or sent to prison for crimes she didn’t commit. She has no choice but to hunt down the killer herself and hope she lives long enough to play her beloved ukelele again.


I needed to read a light fun cozy mystery and this book delivered that nicely.

I really enjoyed meeting Nani and her mother with her silly decorating themes. She does drink to excess and does depend heavily on Nani. In fact, she planned a dinner party with a new friend and her son and failed to tell Nani until the last minute which meant Nani getting dinner from a nearby restaurant and plating it up as if she had prepared it herself. She did forgive her mother this time because she and Nick really hit it off.

Nick is a botanist working at a local resort in charge of their grounds and gardens. His family is very well-known on the island and Nani is surprised his mother is so down to earth and befriended her mother.

Nani does have a lot of stacked against her, first, she is not Hawaiian and she didn’t even grow up on the islands. Then she has the competition of Alohalani, Kua, and Leilani, the Terrible Trio who tolerate her presence but would be happy if she just went away. Thankfully, other natives and locals have welcomed her with open arms, In fact, her best friend Binny comes from generations of Hawaiians and has her back whenever needed. Like clearing her of a murder charge. All the characters feel true to life and genuine. The supporting cast all had meaningful parts in the story and were very well crafted.

The author’s descriptive writing style taken readers to the island with ease. Everywhere the characters traveled was easy to see in my mind’s eye from Nani’s home to the palatial Woodfield estate and the Blue Hawaiian Wedding Chapel.  It was a nice virtual vacay to a place I would love to visit. It is high up on my bucket list.

The mystery was well plotted but I pinned the guilty party pretty early in the story and my selection was reinforced in several places as the book continued. It was fun watching Nani, Nick, and Binny follow the clues. The inept police detective was frustrating as he tried to make the case fit his assumption instead of doing any real investigating but that is part of what makes cozy mystery stories so entertaining to read.

Ukulele Murder is part of a long-running series written by several authors. Leslie Langtry has started this series out wonderfully and I look forward to reading more books in the series. I see we can revisit Nani, her mom, and Nick again in Ukelele Deadly, the 7th book in the series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Leslie Langtry is the USA Today bestselling author of the Greatest Hits Mysteries, the Merry Wrath Mysteries, Sex, Lies, & Family Vacations, and several books she hasn’t finished yet, because she’s very lazy. Leslie loves puppies and cake (but she will not share her cake with puppies) and lives with her family and assorted animals in the Midwest.
The Aloha Lagoon Mysteries:

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Doggone Dead (The 2 Sisters Pet Valet Mysteries) by Dane McCaslin #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.

Doggone Dead (The 2 Sisters Pet Valet Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lyrical Underground (August 25, 2020)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 183 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 151611017X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1516110179
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07ZPL51NL

Retired high school teacher Gwen Franklin has a new pet valet business with her BFF, and a whole new leash on life. But a killer is about to come sniffing around . . .

Gwen Franklin is looking forward to spending her retirement drinking her favorite coffee and reading mystery novels. Those peaceful plans are brought to heel by her best friend, Nora. Sporting stiletto heels, leggings, and a “more is better” makeup routine, fifty-something Nora Goldstein has a penchant for marrying—and divorcing—rich men. Now that Gwen’s got free time, Nora figures they should start a dog-walking and pet-sitting service together.

But it’s far from a walk in the park when the corpse of Linda Fletcher is found in Nora’s kitchen. Linda was Nora’s nemesis, and the large knife protruding from her chest points to murder. With no doubt that her bestie’s being framed, Gwen puts her sleuthing skills—acquired from reading every Agatha Christie mystery—to the test as she digs through suspects, including four disgruntled ex-husbands, ten greedy ex-stepchildren, not to mention all her exes’ exes. But with death threats and another body surfacing, can Gwen curb a killer before her own (dog) days come to an end?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Gwen Franklin has retired from teaching and is looking forward to sleeping in and relaxing with some good mystery books and her favorite cup of coffee. But her best friend Nora Goldstein has other ideas. She calls and wakes Gwen up early with another harebrained scheme. She has summoned Gwen to The Friendly Bean to tell her all about it.

Nora has decided Gwen now has plenty of time on her hands so it is the perfect time for the two women to go into business together and her big idea is a pet-setting service that includes dog walking. She is excited about all the money they will be raking in even though Nora already has her own fortune collected from the several exes she has left behind. Gwen has to be careful, she can only earn so much money before it affects her pension and she is severely allergic to animals including dogs. But Nora doesn’t seem to care, they head back to Nora’s condo to firm up the details to promote the new business over a cup of tea.

But their plans are going to have to wait. The dead body of Nora’s neighbor and arch enemy Linda Fletcher is lying in a pool of blood on Nora’s kitchen floor with a knife protruding from her chest. Gwen knows her friend is pushy and can be overbearing but she wouldn’t kill someone, especially in her immaculate kitchen. Also, her reaction is not an act, her face goes pale and she is trembling like a leaf. That means someone is trying to frame her for the crime.

Nora’s extended family starts dropping in thinking Nora was the one killed and being sadly disappointed. Some are quickly dealt with but most want to know what they will inherit when Nora does kick the bucket and if there was any way they could get their inheritance now.

Gwen knows her retirement is going to include some amateur sleuthing to clear her friend. Sleuthing that could make her the killer’s next victim.


I really didn’t like Nora. A best friend would have allowed her friend to at least enjoy being retired for a few days. Plus she comes across as a very entitled woman with more money than sense. She is rude to everyone including Gwen. She has been married and divorced several times and comes out richer after each relationship. She also dresses like a 20-year old on high stiletto heels and wears make-up applied with a trowel instead of a gentle hand. But Gwen has known her since childhood and has stood by her and has let her bowl over her for years. I would expect a retired school teacher who has dealt with a room full of children would have more backbone.

We also meet Brent, a former student of Gwen’s who was a crazy uber driver.  They hire him to do most of the work for Nora’s new business scheme. The ladies try to do some pet sitting themselves but it doesn’t go well. It is kinda comical though.

The mystery does have several suspects but it is overshadowed by the craziness of the pet sitting business and all the stepchildren coming to call. The clues to the mystery are dropped haphazardly through the story until the big reveal of the killer. I am happy to say I did have the culprit as number one on my suspect list but I need more of the motive explained which happened at the end.

I did enjoy the ending very much with the two main characters in a happy place in very different ways. Gwen had some redeeming qualities that won me over but the verdict is still out on Nora.

Doggone Dead is an interesting start for this series. There are some very quirky characters and some endearing pets. There was a lot of madcap comedy which I really enjoyed. I would have liked a stronger mystery but for the first book in a series, the author did a great job of introducing the characters. I am looking forward to seeing what hijinks they get up to next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Dana McCaslin

McCaslin began a life-long love of mysteries at a very young age. She bypassed Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden and went straight for Agatha Christie, thanks to her mother’s library books. Dane is retired from a twenty-plus-year career in teaching high school and college English, and she uses her newfound freedom to read for pleasure, write mysteries, and smell the roses.

Author Links

Website  Facebook – Twitter Instagram GoodReads BookBub


I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
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Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Chili to Die For (A Willow Crier Cozy Mystery) by Lilly York

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.


Chili to Die For (A Willow Crier Cozy Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Oklahoma
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Wide Awake Books (November 18, 2015)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 152 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0692583289
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0692583289
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0186KVBIK

A northerner by birth…

Willow moves south when she inherits her grandfather’s ice cream shop.

From the slow southern dialect to the crazy drivers, Willow finds herself at odds with what most call “southern charm.” She becomes obsessed with cook-offs and bake-offs, wanting those trophies for her mantle. With the chili cook-off just around the corner, Willow manages to provoke one of the judges to a fit of road rage.

When that judge ends up face down, dead, in a bowl of Willow’s chili, police chief Grice looks to the newest town resident as his number one suspect. Willow must find out who wanted Ms. Delonda Posey dead before the good citizens of Turtle, OK run her Yankee bottom out of town.

*Contains NO swearing, sex scenes (maybe a kiss or two), or graphic violence

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I purchased this book because it was set in Oklahoma, a state I needed to fill for my Literary Escapes Challenge.

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, and Willow Crier comes when she inherits her grandfather’s ice cream shop. She also enters cook-offs with a pure drive to win. But the latest chili cook-off comes with a huge hitch. Willow has met one of the judges and that meeting did not end well. When that judge falls dead face down in Willows chili she becomes the police chief’s prime suspect. She becomes close to the chief as she strives to find more viable suspects.


I did not like the way this story began. No introduction, readers just drop in with Willow in an argument with another driver that quickly escalates and is recorded by others and appears on social media. Willow is not alone in her vehicle, a woman who we later learn is her daughter is also a witness to this bit of road rage. This intro leads up to an event in chapter two. Maybe had I had access to the prequel before I read this story instead of after I would have known the main players. I do blame the novella-length for the author not providing a better introduction of her protagonist.

Also due to the shorter length, Willow is quickly cleared of any wrong doing to set up a very friendly relationship with the police chief. We do get to know the characters a little better but I would have appreciated more of a backstory for Willow. There are also several other characters we get to meet as Willow ferrets out the real killer but not to the depth I would like.

What I really liked about this story was the relationship that was built between the Turtle police chief Steve Grier and Willow. He decided she needed a watch dog and knew just where to get her the perfect puppy and it also opened a way for her to meet more of his family. Then together they worked on finding the killer. It turns out the victim has plenty of enemies but I did tag someone quickly for the crime.

This book sorely needed better character development and the mystery was an easy solve but this series does show some promise. I do want to get to know these characters and see where Ms. York takes them.

Chili to Die For was a Satisfactory Excursion. The author did write 6 books in this series so I hope she adjusted to the novella length and provides more details about her characters and stronger mysteries.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Lilly York? How about Lilly Belle; a mis-plant northerner, living in a southern world. Southern charm is lost among late nights with a two-year-old granddaughter, heat flashes competing with hell, copious re-runs of Murder She Wrote with Jessica Fletcher catching the bad guy and a vivid imagination keeping insanity at bay.

In both humor and mystery, Lilly draws inspiration from terrible twos, a 24-year-old daughter who questions her sanity, a son who constantly spews bad puns, and a husband who has selective hearing. Though, that’s perfectly alright with her, because what can you love more than a good laugh and a family so dysfunctional they almost seem functional?

Website

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

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something you like here and become a follower.

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This book is from my private collection. Amazon Purchase. 

Posted in 2021 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 – Death by Fountain: A Christmas Murder in Rome (Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series) by Jennifer S. Alderson #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.


Death by Fountain: A Christmas Murder in Rome
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Italy
Independently published (December 10, 2020)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 174 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8579480453
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08BF53KKL

Rome—the city of churches, marble, … and murder? For one American tourist, a famous fountain will become her final resting place.

Wedding bells are ringing, and Lana Hansen could not be happier! Wanderlust Tours guide Randy Wright and his Italian girlfriend are tying the knot in Tuscany, right after he and Lana finish leading a Christmas-themed tour around Rome.

Unfortunately for Randy, his ex-girlfriend is still convinced they are meant to be together. When she shows up at his hotel, they have a nasty fight, and Randy threatens to harm her if she doesn’t leave him be.

After her body is found in the Trevi Fountain, Randy is immediately arrested. Lana is convinced he didn’t do it, yet none of her other guests seemed to have wished the young women ill.

With a shortage of suspects, Lana must dig deep in order to sleuth out who really killed Randy’s ex-girlfriend—before his visit to the Eternal City becomes permanent.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Christmas in Italy! What could be more romantic? That is exactly what Wanderlust Tours guide Randy Wright and his Italian girlfriend thought and have planned their wedding take place immediately following the Christmas-themed tour Randy and Lana Hansen are leading. Most of the people on the tour are Randy’s friends and in addition to seeing the sights, they hope to have a great time with Randy before his wedding takes place in an undisclosed Italian location.

All the plans are ruined when an ex-girlfriend of Randy’s shows up in Rome and at the exact hotel, where the tour group is staying. She believes Randy will leave his bride at the altar to be with her. That is not going to happen but they have a very public fight where Randy tells her to go away with a threat if she doesn’t. Not long after the ex is found dead in the Trevi Fountain and Randy is behind bars. Lana believes he is innocent but she can’t find any other suspects that would have wanted the woman dead. She doesn’t have much time to clear his name if she is going to get him to the church on time.


Oh! This was such a fun read. I always have a great time on my virtual vacays with Lana. She and Randy make a fantastic team. I love that this tour was all leading up to Randy’s monumental day. Cue the crazy ex and she was one crazy woman. Rachel, the ex has been tormenting Randy for a while and Randy has dealt with it all without mentioning it to Lana so she is completely caught off guard by the woman’s appearance. Rachel is the reason the location of his wedding has been kept secret. But she is in Rome and she is following him everywhere.

Ms. Aldenson has plotted out a wonderful mystery. She puts Randy in the vicinity at the time of Rachel’s death and readers are taken on a great chase trying to find out who else was near the Trevi Fountain with a motive for wanting the woman killed. I was on the trail with Lana every step of the way. Is the murderer part of her group? That is the natural place to start but she just can’t find the tie she was looking for and neither did I until all was revealed.

I always enjoy Ms. Alderson’s descriptions of the places she travels. They are detailed so readers can easily visualize the building, church, fountain, hotel, streets without getting overly wordy.  It is quite a pleasure to virtually travel with her and her group made even better when there is an intriguing mystery to solve. Death by Fountain is a merry addition to this series! I am thrilled the author has many more travel mysteries planned.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

I will be reviewing Death by Leprechaun next Tuesday when the Great Escapes Book Tour stops here!

About Jennifer S. Alderson

Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before settling in the Netherlands. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

Jennifer’s love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning mystery series—the Zelda Richardson Mysteries and Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries—and standalone stories.

Author Links

Website – Goodreads  –Facebook – Twitter  –LinkedIn – BookBub

Books 7 – Death by Flamenco: An Easter Murder in Seville
Books 8 – 12 – Coming Soon!!

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End August 27, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Candy Slain Murder (A Country Store Mystery) by Maddie Day #Review / #Giveaway @maddiedayauthor

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.


Candy Slain Murder (A Country Store Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Indiana
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (September 29, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496723171
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496723178
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B082WQXBG9

Christmas cheer has sent the griddle into overdrive at Robbie Jordan’s popular country store and café. And this year, there’s a new seasonal special to feast on: murder…

As December sweeps through South Lick, Indiana, Robbie’s life seems merry and bright like the string lights glistening around town. But strange happenings signal a bumpy ride into the holidays. First, a man raises eyebrows at Pans ‘N Pancakes when he claiming to be the long-lost half-brother of Robbie’s assistant. Then a fire destroys the home of a controversial anesthesiologist, exposing skeletal remains in his attic. Helplessly intrigued, all Robbie wants for Christmas is to stop her winter wonderland from becoming a real nightmare. With a decades-old mystery taking shape, can she run as fast as she can in pursuit of a killer who’s harder to crack than a stale gingerbread man?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Christmas in South Lick, Indiana is coming to town with some interesting news. A young man comes into Pans ‘N Pancakes and surprises employee, Danna Beedle by claiming to be her half-brother. She is excited by this news by does have some questions that need to be answered.

The second piece of news is an interesting find in a house after a fire, a human skeleton. The home belongs to a local doctor who claims his wife left him several years ago.

Pans ‘N Pancakes owner Robbie Jordan finds herself intrigued by both events.  She tries to find out what she can about the young man but she really gets herself totally wrapped up in finding out who the deceased is and how that skeleton got into the attic. Before she gets the answers she needs another person is murdered and this death is definitely connected to the older death. Robbie is doing her best to juggle her busy restaurant/country store, take part in South Lick’s Christmas festivities, and uncover a killer. This isn’t new for her so I am confident she can handle it all.


It is great to have Robbie back in South Lick with all the residents we have come to love and it is for Christmas no less. Pans ‘N Pancakes is super busy serving up fantastic food but plenty of people are Christmas shopping at her Country Store as well. The author serves up this unique cast of characters as only she can. Pans ‘N Pancakes is the central location for everyone to meet to hear and pass on the local gossip and catch up on any developments on the two mysteries taking place in this story. I really enjoyed catching up with everyone. My heart was warmed by the way Robbie treated Sean but I would have been surprised if she acted any other way. It also shows much promise as this series continues.

As I said, there are two mysteries in this story but one just really affects Danna and her family. Any involvement by others was just to confirm an identity and to be sure Danna doesn’t get hurt in any way. Not everyone treated this young man well though. A man’s racism broke out in public going so far as to try to drag the young man into the other mystery, surprising a lot of people  I did appreciate the way his appearance was handled by Danna and her family.

The second mystery is one the whole town is crowing about. First, the skeleton is found, and then another person is killed. What I really liked was that any information Robbie gleaned was shared with Lt. Buck Bird and Detective Octavia Slade. She was able to get information they couldn’t and did move the case along nicely. There were some nice twists and the mystery was well-plotted but I did hone in on the solution early and was very pleased with how the whole thing played out.

Not a mystery but a fabulous event occurs that will have fans of this series smiling ear to ear before we wrap up this visit to South Lick and excited for the next installment. No Grater Crime will be out August 24 and Batter Off Dead hits shelves February 22, 2022.

Candy Slain Murder is a fun whodunit.  You really can’t go wrong with a story written by Maddie Day or Edith Maxwell.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a PhD in linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-winning author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. She lives with her beau and an energetic kitten north of Boston

As Edith Maxwell, she writes the Local Foods Mysteries (Kensington Publishing) and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink), as well as writes award-winning short crime fiction.

You can find all Maddie’s/Edith’s identities at www.edithmaxwell.com. She blogs every weekday with the other Wicked Cozy Authors at wickedcozyauthors.com. Look for her as Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day on Facebook and @edithmaxwell and @maddiedayauthor on Twitter.


Coming August 24, 2021

Coming February 22, 2022

Also by Maddie Day

Coming November 30, 2021

Writtem as Edith Maxwell

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.

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 August 20, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Uncle and Ants: A Silicon Valley Mystery by Marc Jedel – #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.

I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing the first book in Marc Jedel’s new series Fish Out of Water earlier this year and enjoyed it so much I purchased this whole series. 

Uncle and Ants: A Silicon Valley Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
BGM Press (October 11, 2018)
Paperback: 287 pages
ISBN-10: 1732716404
ISBN-13: 978-1732716407
Digital: ASIN: B07H68L6XR

Mysterious attacks. Mischievous nieces. Can a clueless uncle catch a tech-savvy killer … and be home before bedtime?

When a freak accident hospitalizes Marty Golden’s sister and condemns him to babysitter duty, he thinks it’s just another case of hardwired bad luck in Silicon Valley. Until a suspicious murder suggests the mishap was no mere coincidence. Something must be done.

Too bad this quirky, fashion-backward uncle isn’t exactly hero material.

Convinced his sister is in mortal danger, this amateur sleuth follows clues to an oddball array of suspects. Armed with nothing but an eye for detail and powers of self-delusion, Marty tangles with gangsters, a cantankerous school secretary, and a perplexing woman he can’t help but fall for. Glitches in his investigation seem like a piece of cake compared to dinner-prep and bedtime stories with his two precocious, pre-teen nieces.

Can Marty catch the culprit, save his sister, and get his life back in order before he gets unplugged?

Uncle and Ants is the first novel in a refreshingly modern mystery series set in Silicon Valley. If you like clever humor, sassy side characters, and average Joes facing extraordinary circumstances, then you’ll love this twisty mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We meet Marty Golden when he is notified his sister has been injured in a scary car accident. She will be in the hospital for a while and Marty needs to step up and take care of her daughters. The man isn’t really equipped to be an all-star uncle but with a little help from his neighbor, Mrs. Kim, he is able to take care of the girls.

Back at the hospital, a mislabeled room leads to the death of one of the patients. Marty knows right away the woman was murdered and that his sister was the real target but with her unconscious, he is grasping at straws to figure out why. He finds a couple of clues on his sister’s calendar and decides to investigate on his own. He isn’t any better equipped for that task either but he soldiers on to get answers and protect his sister. Hopefully, he survives the endeavor.


Oh, my stars! Marty Golden is a hoot and half. Self-proclaimed computer nerd, Marty is a software engineer who writes code for Rover, a company that features a driverless car service. Just use their app to order your car and it shows up to take you wherever you want to go. With the right command, it will even wait for you and take you to another destination.

He works with Raj, who is from India who is learning American idioms. Their dialogues cracked me up. His sister Laney recently moved to town and is an HR consultant. She has two daughters, Skye is “twelve going on thirty” and Megan is “nine or eight, or possibly a mature seven”. Skye has a very interesting science fair project, the effectiveness of different feeding regimens of Dorymyrmex insanus, which translates to “crazy ants”. Megan tells her uncle her project is studying milkshakes and that is more up his alley.

These core characters are all cleverly written and genuine. The school secretary though is quite a character. She takes her job very seriously and that makes her a thorn in Marty’s side. I loved it! The police detective, a former underwear model, also takes his job seriously but doesn’t take Marty seriously at all.

The story moves along at a good clip as Marty travels to try to figure out what kind of trouble his sister is in. Sometimes he even shows up at work to do his actual job. His excursions even take him to a dream employer but before he leaves there he kills any option of ever actually working there. Another laugh-out-loud moment. I will say solving the mystery was not easy, Mr. Jedel twisted the clues up nicely.

I really enjoyed this story and the characters. Marty is an unusual protagonist and I was totally entertained by his antics. Uncle and Ants is a great debut for this author and I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the series.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Marc Jedel writes humorous murder mysteries. He credits his years of marketing leadership positions in Silicon Valley for honing his writing skills and sense of humor. While his high-tech marketing roles involved crafting plenty of fiction, these were just called emails, ads, and marketing collateral.

For most of Marc’s life, he’s been inventing stories. As he’s gotten older, he’s encountered more funny and odd people and situations. This has made it even easier for him to write what he knows and make up the rest. It’s a skill that’s served him well, both as an author and marketer.

The publication of Marc’s first novel, UNCLE AND ANTS, gave him permission to claim “author” as his job. This leads to much more interesting conversations with people than answering, “marketing.” Becoming an Amazon best-selling author has only made him more insufferable.

 Visit his website, marcjedel.com, for free chapters of novels, special offers, and more.

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
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Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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This was from my private collection.

 

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead, White, and Blue (The Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery Series) by Amy M. Reade #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.


Dead, White, and Blue
(The Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Colorado
Pau Hana Publishing (June 11, 2019)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 322 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 173269074X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1732690745
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07SKW9B9D

It’s bad enough when the owner of the new bistro in town drops dead at the Independence Day celebration, but when Noley, Lilly’s best friend, is charged with the murder, things start to heat up.

And speaking of heat, there’s a firebug on the loose in Juniper Junction. Houses in town are going up in smoke and when the fires hit a little too close to home, Lilly is pulled into the investigation to uncover the identity of the arsonist.

Can Lilly clear Noley’s name and figure out who’s starting the fires before she becomes a victim herself?

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire in this cozy holiday mystery perfect for fans of Gayle Leeson and Karen MacInerney. Find out if Lilly gets burned as she deals with murder, mayhem, her mother’s dementia, and a coming-of-age issue under her own roof.

Recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Juniper Junction goes all out for the 4th of July Holiday complete with a celebration and a reenactment of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The shopkeepers decorate their stores in banners of Red, White, and Blue, and dress in costumes of the period. This year Lily’s best friend Noley has been awarded the contract to provide all the food for the event but the owners of a new bistro in town want to provide food too. An agreement is made that the bistro will provide an ice cream sundae bar adjacent to Noley’s food tent. Noley has run herself ragged making sure everything is just perfect and the day is going well until one of the owners of the bistro drops dead and Noley is charged with the murder.

As if the murder isn’t enough to keep the police busy, someone is burning down vacant houses. The first house was near a graduation party Lily’s son is attending. Lily witnesses the final house fire herself and may be able to identify the firebug. On top of that Lily is dealing with her mother’s dementia and some tough decisions are going to be made soon. First, though she needs to clear Noley’s name and get her out of jail without becoming another one of the killer’s victims.


I really enjoyed the first book in this series, The Worst Noel, and added this book to my calendar for this week to coincide with the holiday.

Lily and her family are very true to life and deal with issues many of us face. She raised her children on her own and their father has just recently reentered the picture. Her mother is living on her own but her health is truly failing. I love the way her grandchildren step in to help and how close they are, having sleepovers and family meals. They are just as concerned about her as their mom and their uncle.

The one thing that felt a little off is Lily’s business. She does leave her employee in charge a lot as she handles chamber business or chasing down clues, but she also spends an extraordinary time in her office doing paperwork. Her employee is very capable but usually, a small business has the owner covering most of the hours. She must truly have an incredible business to meet all her expenses for both her business and her family and still be able to employ someone more than full-time. Unless I totally missed it she didn’t design any jewelry pieces during this story either.

Now the mystery in this story really had me guessing. Anyone at that event could have been the killer as it was super easy to set up the crime and disappear into the crowd. The same with the firebug. Anyone in town could be starting the fires, even some newly graduated high school students. Lily is pulled in several directions as she tries to sort through the suspects and clues while handling teenagers and her mom and still trying to have a little romance in her life. The author tangles all the events and happenings together superbly giving the book an excellent flow. I was truly surprised by the big reveal and a little sad at the same time.

Dead, White, and Blue was a fun holiday read that helped get me into the spirit for the celebration this weekend. After missing the family get-together last year due to COVID this is our first chance to get our extended clan together. Hopefully, murder won’t play a part in our event and the only firetrucks we will see are in the parade.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Amy M. Reade is the USA Today bestselling author of Secrets of Hallstead House, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and House of the Hanging Jade, all standalone Gothic mysteries. She has also written the Malice series, consisting of three contemporary mysteries set in the United Kingdom (The House on Candlewick Lane, Highland Peril, and Murder in Thistlecross). Ms. Reade is a former attorney living in New Jersey. She loves to read, cook, and travel. ~From Amazon

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.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 16, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

This was from my private collection.

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Read The Printed Word Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Eighteen Acres: A Novel by Nicolle Wallace #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.

After our recent move, I took a hard look at my To-Be-Read bookshelves and moved this book way up. It is a book I have wanted to read for a long time. 


Eighteen Acres: A Novel
Political Fiction
1st in Series
Setting – Washinton D.C./Afghanistan
Atria Book (October 19, 2010)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1439194823
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1439194829
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1439195935
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1439195932
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B003VPWYNC

From the former Communications Director for the White House and current political media strategist comes a suspenseful and smart commercial novel about the first female president and all dramas and deceptions she faces both in politics and in love.

Eighteen Acresa description used by political insiders when referring to the White House complex, follows the first female President of the United States, Charlotte Kramer, and her staff as they take on dangerous threats from abroad and within her very own cabinet.

Charlotte Kramer, the 45th US President, Melanie Kingston, the White House chief of staff, and Dale Smith, a White House correspondent for one of the networks are all working tirelessly on Charlotte’s campaign for re-election. At the very moment when they should have been securing success, though, Kramer’s White House implodes under rumors of her husband’s infidelity and grave errors of judgment on the part of her closest national security advisor.  In an upheaval that threatens not only the presidency but the safety of the American people, Charlotte must fight to regain her footing and protect the country she has given her life to serving.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The 45th President of The United States, Charlotte Kramer, the first woman to hold the office is dealing with many issues while campaigning for reelection. Her Chief-of-Staff, Melanie Kingston, has worked a long time in D.C. and knows all the ins and outs to keep the office of the President running smoothly. When she receives a tip that the press is going to run a story about infidelity she knows she has to squash the rumor. At the same time, President Kramer travels to visit the Afghan region with her closest national security advisor. At a time of crisis that advisor makes a decision that could have been deadly and could cost Kramer the presidency. Melanie is juggling all the events to try to assure her boss’s success while protecting the country and its people. It just may be more than she can handle.


Written by a former White House insider, this story focuses on three women, Charlotte Kramer, the President of the United States, Melanie Kingston, the White House Chief of Staff, and Dale Smith, a White House Correspondent for one of the networks. Each chapter is from a different women’s point of view with a behind-the-scenes look at each of their jobs. All three are ambitious and put their jobs first above anything which means they either have no personal life to speak of or their personal lives are in trouble. These characters are very well developed and continue to grow over the course of the story.

The story is very well written with a very probable pretense. Written years before the 45th President was elected we did almost have a woman elected to that office. I felt the story depicted this part of Charlotte Kramer’s presidency realistically. Wallace’s history enabled her to give readers a true look at what can happen in The White House. The short chapters gave the book a comfortable flow and kept the focus on the character’s lives more than the political climate around them. This is not a heavy political novel, although there are some tense moments. It does shine a light on some of the double standards women face in a fictional and entertaining way. Written more than ten years ago it still stands up over time. I will say the Republican Party in this book is totally different than the Republican Party today and I loved the choice and decisions President Kramer made when it came to her reelection and her campaign. It was refreshing and civil and something we may never see in real life.

With the shakeups and the way this book ended I am very interested in book 2, It’s Classified. I hope I get a chance to read it soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

https://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/confidential/nicolle-wallace-write-stuff-women-white-house-article-1.2201105
Daily News

About Nicolle Wallace 

Nicolle Wallace is an American television host and author. She is known for her work as the anchor of the MSNBC news and politics program Deadline: White House and a former co-host of the ABC daytime talk show The View. As a political analyst for MSNBC and NBC News, she is a frequent on-air contributor to the programs TodayThe 11th Hour with Brian Williams, and Morning Joe.

In her former political career, Wallace served as the White House Communications Director during the presidency of George W. Bush and in his 2004 re-election campaign. Wallace also served as a senior advisor for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. In addition, she is the author of the contemporary political novels Eighteen AcresIt’s Classified, and Madam President.

I am giving away my paperback copy!

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 9, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
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The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Open for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery) by Mary Angela #Review


Open for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – South Dakota
Publisher: Lyrical Press (November 24, 2020)
Paperback: 207 pages
ISBN-10: 1516110722
ISBN-13: 978-1516110728
Digital ASIN: B085LTP1XH

Deep in the heart of touristy small-town Spirit Canyon, South Dakota, former journalist Zo Jones runs the Happy Camper gift shop, where she sells everything from locally made souvenirs to memorabilia. She even rents out mountain bikes, and dabbles in the adventure industry—and sleuthing . . .

It’s Memorial Day weekend in Spirit Canyon, and for Zo that means the return of summer shoppers. It also means the return of her good friend Beth, who’s moved back to the area to reopen her family’s premier hotel, Spirit Canyon Lodge. Beth and Zo spent many childhood summers there and Zo can’t wait to reconnect and celebrate the Grand Opening. But the festivities go from bad to worse when a power outage knocks out the lights—and morning reveals a competitor’s dead body found on the premises . . .

Soon enough, Beth is the prime suspect in the suspicious death. Fortunately, Zo isn’t afraid to put her investigative skills to work and prove her friend’s innocence. To start digging for information, she appeals to Max Harrington, a local Forest Ranger and unlikely ally. Though they’ve argued about Happy Camper’s tours, in this case they agree on one thing: Beth isn’t a murderer. Stranger things have happened than their collaboration. After all, this is Spirit Canyon. But as the list of suspects grows, Zo will have to keep her guard up if she doesn’t want to be the next lodge guest to check out . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Summer means tourists in Spirit Canyon, South Dakota. For Zo Jones and her friend Beth it means business. Zo is excited about Beth reopening the family’s hotel and can’t wait to attend the grand opening. But there is one person who wants Beth to fail and the person is found dead in her room at the hotel the morning after the grand opening event. The deceased is Beth’s competition so she is pegged as the prime suspect in the suspicious death. Zo is not a Happy Camper, she knows Beth is innocent and she is going to prove it unless the killer ends Zo’s summer early.


After a somewhat slow start Open for Murder takes off as we meet several characters including the victim. With her crotchety disposition, you just knew she was not going to be around long so her death wasn’t a surprise. What was a surprise was the number of suspects. I enjoyed the way Zo delved into the investigation and that she enlisted Forest Ranger Max Harrington to help her. I found the chief of police very offputting and lackadaisical about the entire situation. While some suspect’s motives were minor there were some that definitely should have been higher on the list than Beth. I loved that Beth kept going with her plans even with the murder being held over her head. The core characters of Beth, Zo, and Max were very likable but I want to know them better. The author has left plenty of room for them to grow and develop. I did find that Zo’s cat just tolerated her made me laugh. It is above and beyond the usual independence of a cat.

The mystery was very well-plotted. I had my own shortlist and was pleased that I followed the clues correctly and solved the mystery just before the characters. The reveal was great!

As with the author’s previous series, this series is set in South Dakota and she does a fantastic job bringing the area to life. It has been several years since I have traveled to the state and her descriptions invoked some nice memories and make me want to plan a return trip soon.

Open for Murder has set this series off to a grand start. As I said these characters have so much room to grow. I can’t wait to see where the author takes them in the future. I  am excited about the continuation of this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Mary Angela is the author of the Professor Prather and Happy Camper cozy mystery series. When Mary isn’t penning heartwarming whodunits, she’s teaching, reading, traveling, or spending time with her family. She lives in South Dakota with her husband, daughters, and spoiled pets. You can find out more about her loves, including her writing, at MaryAngelaBooks.com.

Author Links 

Website       Facebook        Twitter      Goodreads     Instagram

Coming July 13, 2021

Also by Mary Angela

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies 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 – Shots in the Dark (Mack’s Bar Mysteries) by Allyson K. Abbott #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.


Shots in the Dark (Mack’s Bar Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (July 26, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496701704
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496701701
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B017G7HDZE

For Mack and her barfly allies, solving homicides calls for equal parts instinct and wit. To strain out a crafty criminal, the mixture has got to be absolutely perfect . . .

It’s a week before Christmas, but Milwaukee bar owner Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton is hardly in good spirits. Chilled to the core by the murder of bouncer Gary Gunderson, Mack is determined to use her extra perceptive senses to identify the gunman responsible. Did Gary’s patchy past brew up some fatal trouble, or could his death be linked to a series of cryptic letters concocted by Mack’s anonymous adversary? With a second case to crack, innocent lives at stake, and a media frenzy in their midst, Mack and her barstool detectives have little time to mull over the grim details—especially when clues lead dangerously close to home . . .

Includes drink recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mack’s holiday is not going to be happy until she ends the letter writer’s reign of terror and they are held responsible for the death of her employee Gary Gunderson. While she awaits the next letter and nurses her broken leg she and her fellow barstool detectives agree to look into another case where an innocent man may be serving time for a crime he didn’t commit. Can her unique gift of Synaesthesia help break the case wide open?


What I love about this series is the cast of characters the author has created. Everyone has Mack’s back. Her employees keep the bar running while she sleuths out killers. Her relationship with Detective Duncan Albright is in flux because of a case they worked together and the letter-writing criminal has forbidden her to be in contact with the police specifically Detective Albright but they still manage a few meetings. Undercover cop Mal is posing as her boyfriend to help her with both cases but they are clearly developing feelings for each other. The Capone Club, a group of patrons that love to solve mysteries work so well together even when this time a new person is added to the group. Every character is distinct and has a purpose in the story. Their unique talents are used in many ways. They are also very believable and you could find people like them in any Wisconsin bar. They may not all have a group like the one at Mack’s bar but gossip, crime, and current news can all be topics mused over with a shot and a beer.

The mysteries included in this story are gripping. I was really taken in by the Capone Club’s case because I could poke holes in the police investigation immediately. Investigating a crime that takes place during a Wisconsin blizzard is tough but anyone could see they jumped to several conclusions not supported by the evidence. Right alongside that case, Mack is working tirelessly to solve the case she is personally involved in so another one of her friends doesn’t end up dead. This case has unfolded over the course of the series so it is good to read the prior books in order to understand everything but the author does a great job of recapping the highlights in each new book.

Having the series set nearby is an absolute delight especially when my current place of residence is mentioned several times in the story due to the correctional facility just down the road. It is easy to imagine Mack there visiting one or more of the residents using her personal method of lie detection.

Shots in the Dark was a gripping story but only one mystery is solved by the final page. There are also some romantic issues up in the air and I am starting to support one cop over the other so I am very interested in what will happen next. I am thankful that the next book in this series is on my To-Be-Read shelf and I will be jumping into A Toast to Murder soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Allyson K. Abbott is a pseudonym used by suspense writer Beth Amos. Beth has enjoyed a varied writing career that included a stint as a book reviewer and several years of nonfiction freelancing. Now she writes only fiction, and in stark contrast to her “day job” as an ER nurse, where she gets to save lives, the one common factor in her fiction, no matter what name it’s written under, is that someone always dies. Allyson K. Abbott is my little insider joke at having to pick yet another pseudonym. It’s not a coincidence the initials are what they are.  Check out her webpage here and on Facebook here.

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 2, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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.”