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.
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 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.”

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

Fatal Cajun Festival: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks


Fatal Cajun Festival: A Cajun Country Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (September 10, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1643851292
ISBN-13: 978-1643851297
Kindle ASIN: B07NKW8WMY

Louisiana B&B owner Maggie Crozat kicks up her heels at a country music festival–but she’ll have one foot in the grave if she can’t bring the killer of a diva’s hanger-on to heel.

 

Grab your tickets for Cajun Country Live!, the pickers’ and crooners’ answer to the legendary New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Maggie Crozat, proprietor of the Crozat Plantation B&B, plans to be in the cheering section when her friend Gaynell Bourgeois takes the stage with her band, Gaynell and the Gator Girls.

 

The festival’s headliner, native daughter Tammy Barker, rocketed to stardom on a TV singing competition. She has the voice of an angel…and the personality of a devilish diva. But Maggie learns that this tiny terror carries a grudge against Gaynell. She’s already sabotaged the Gator Girls’ JazzFest audition. When a member of Tammy’s entourage is murdered at the festival, Tammy makes sure Gaynell is number one on the suspect list.

 

Gaynell has plenty of company on that list–including every one of Tammy’s musicians. Posing as a groupie, Maggie infiltrates Tammy’s band and will have to hit all the right notes to clear her friend’s name.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Pelican, Louisiana just in time for Cajun Country Live! the brainchild of Maggie’s grandmere. The event has lured hometown favorite, Tammy Barker, back as the headliner for the first time since she won that singing competition on television. Maggie’s friend Gaynell will also be performing with her band the Gator Girls in hopes of making it big like Tammy. It isn’t until after Tammy checks into Crozat Plantation B&B that Maggie learns that Tammy is holding an old grudge against Gaynell.

Tammy seems to be trying to help Gaynell when in truth she is trying to sabotage her any way she can and when one of Tammy’s crew is freakishly killed in front of a crowd at the festival, she makes sure Gaynell is the police’s prime suspect. Maggie knows her friend is innocent and will pull out all the stops to prove it.

____

This series has some of the most well-developed characters out there. Their lives are interesting and entertaining even before adding the murder mystery. These daily life subplots never fail to draw me in. This time Maggie’s grandmother is doing the Swedish tradition of döstädning, which translates to death cleaning. Through this process, she makes a surprising discovery.

The main mystery did have a variety of suspects with opportunity and the author really tangled up all the possibilities. A twist confirmed a little inkling I had and the ending of the murder mystery came together nicely. But that wasn’t the end of the story. There were more surprises to come.

Music, mystery, and mayhem make Fatal Cajun Festival a must-read. I was so excited to have the next book, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard waiting on my Kindle that I dove right in as soon as I finished this book.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Plantation Shudders here.

Read my review of Body on the Bayou here.

Read my review of A Cajun’ Christmas Killing here.

Read my review of Mardi Gras Murder here.

About the Author

Ellen Byron authors the Cajun Country Mystery series. A Cajun Christmas Killing and Body on the Bayou both won the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery and were nominated for Agatha awards in the category of Best Contemporary Novel. Plantation Shudders was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Mardi Gras Murder launches October 9th. Ellen’s TV credits include WingsJust Shoot Me, and Fairly OddParents. She’s written over 200 national magazine articles, and her published plays include the award-winning Graceland. She also worked as a cater-waiter for the legendary Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReads – Instagram – BookBub

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.

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 October 8, 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 TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Crime of Passion Fruit (A Bakeshop Mystery) by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress


A Crime of Passion Fruit (A Bakeshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Oregon/Cruise Ship
Publisher : St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 27, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250088070
ISBN-13 : 978-1250088079
Kindle ASIN : B01MRU56AS

Torte–everybody’s favorite small-town family bakeshop–is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash. . .

 

Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary café to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules’s estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can’t resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary…

 

Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambéing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can’t anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she’s ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jules has an offer she would like to refuse, going back to work on the cruise ship Amour of the Seas for a week to help out her husband Carlos, but then he sweetens the pot by offering to let her mom, Helen, and her beau the Professor come along. There is a lot happening at Torte but the staff says they can take care of everything and encourages them all to go and enjoy their time a sea.

Excited for the trip they board the ship for a relaxing week but just like at home a dead body mucks up their plans. The Captain quickly pulls the Professor into the investigation and Jules starts to do some snooping too. She is also questioning her relationship with Carlos. She is so happy working at Torte with her mom, but should she stand by her man and return to baking on the ship? With a killer on board, she needs to keep her wits about her and try to keep those she loves and the passengers safe. She can worry about her love life later.

______

With every book in this series, I love the characters more. I was afraid with Helen and Jules away from the bakery the Oregon characters wouldn’t have much presence in this story, but the ship has computers and there is email. With Lance, Director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, “in charge” of Torte there is never a dull moment. 🙂

Ms. Alexander as written a great whodunit. The victim is an apparent stowaway that no one knows. Who would want her dead? They have the added drama of catching the killer before they get to the next port where the killer could get off and be lost forever. Taking place on the ship does mean a limited number of suspects too. I set my sights on the killer early on but that sure didn’t take away my enjoyment of this story. I was totally caught up all the things happening within these pages.

I loved that the story was set on a cruise ship. Going on a cruise has been on my bucket list forever. The author describes the scenes and people vividly. I tuned in to my days of watching Loveboat and let the author just take me away.

As the story ends Jules’s relationship with Carlos is still up in the air and I am still on the fence about who I want for her love interest. While the murder is solved there is so much going on in Jules life and Helen’s too. I am so excited about this series. Another One Bites The Crust is next up. Watch for my review of that one 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 1 Kindle Copy!
Book will be sent directly frpm 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 share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End October 7, 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 personal collection. 

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

Designed to Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery) by Christina Freeburn #Review / #Giveaway @HeneryPress


Designed to Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Henery Press; 1st Edition (September 3, 2013)
Paperback: 292 pages
ISBN-10: 1938383524
ISBN-13: 978-1938383526
Kindle ASIN: B00F1IFYJ8

Faith Hunter planned the perfect event at her grandmother’s shop, Scrap This, featuring local scrapbooker and Life Artist Diva, Belinda Watson. But the extravaganza goes up in a cloud of glitter when Belinda and her cousin, Darlene, brawl over scraplifted designs. Faith attempts to break it up, but only makes things worse. Then when Belinda turns up dead behind the Scrap This store, Faith’s involvement goes viral.

 

As accusations against her turn vicious, Faith sets out to prove her nemesis, Darlene, committed the crime, only to realize they are both innocent. Now they must team up or the murderer’s plan will come together seamlessly with the frenemies sharing a jail cell—or worse, a funeral.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Scrapbookers take their creations seriously and heaven forbid some steals someone else’s designs and submits them to a magazine. That is just what local scrapbooker and Life Artist Diva, Belinda Watson is accused of. The accusation by Belinda’s cousin Darlene happened in front of a full class at Scrap This. Faith does her best to gain control when the glitter starts to fly. But later Belinda is found dead behind the scrapbooking shop and Faith finds herself cropped into another murder investigation and working with DARLENE!

Faith Hunter is a smart protagonist that has returned home to manage her grandmother’s scrapbook store. When she receives a call from the security company about a possible break-in she tells them to call the police and she heads to her neighbor and assistant prosecutor, Steve’s home to get him to go with her to find out what is happening at the store. Her grandmothers think Faith and Steve would make the perfect couple. Homicide detective Ted Roget also has eyes for Faith but he has a murder to solve while trying to keep Faith out of his investigation. The murder could upend everything her grandmothers’ have worked so hard for that Faith just can’t back off.


The scrapbook theme is a wonderful venue for a cozy mystery series. The author uses her descriptive talents to set the scene and the projects making it easy to visualize everything.

Ms. Freeburn has created strong core characters with strong relationships for this series. They are engaging and true to life. Faith’s grandmothers, Hope and Cheryl, are just amazing. They just want Faith to be happy. Her devotion to them is heartwarming. Her love triangle with Ted and Steve is still fresh and new. Due to her past, she is taking things slow, and her actions and reactions clearly show this is a wise choice.

The mystery was very interesting. Pairing Faith with Darlene was unexpected and at times their antics had me shaking my head. Plenty of twists kept this reader on her toes.

Designed to Death has a strong family dynamic along with an entertaining mystery and a nice dose of humor.  I was late to the party for this series but hope to remedy that soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Christina Freeburn

Christina Freeburn has always loved books. There was nothing better than picking up a story and being transported to another place. The love of reading evolved into the love of writing and she’s been writing since her teenage years. Her first novel was a 2003 Library of Virginia Literary Award nominee. Her mysteries series, Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery and Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mysteries, are a mix of crafty and crime and feature heroines whose crafting time is interrupted by crime-solving.

Christina served in the US Army and has also worked as a paralegal, librarian, church secretary, and golf shop pro. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid and allergic to felines.

Author Links – Webpage     Blog     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads 

Also by Christina Freeburn

I am giving away a 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 share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 23, 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.”