Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Crafty Cozy Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Thoughts What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring It Came upon a Midnight Shear (A Riverbank Knitting Mystery) by Allie Pleiter #Review /@Giveaway @alliepleiter @BerkleyMystery


It Came upon a Midnight Shear (A Riverbank Knitting Mystery)
by Allie Pleiter

About It Came upon a Midnight Shear

It Came upon a Midnight Shear (A Riverbank Knitting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Maryland
Berkley (November 1, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593201825
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593201824
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09RPVTR4M

A murder in her yarn shop’s backyard puts Libby Beckett’s holiday plans on thin ice.…

The holiday season looks merry and bright for Libby and her friends at Y.A.R.N. The store is expanding for a holiday boom, and she’s gathered Collinstown’s businesses to decorate a community Christmas tree. Dashing “Gallant Herdsman” Vincenzo Marani arrives to showcase the rare vicuña, whose coat produces the world’s most luxurious yarn. It’s a perfect yuletide—until Libby’s ex-husband, Sterling, turns up in town…and then turns up dead.

The murder unravels Libby’s life faster than a hand-knit Christmas stocking. The luxe yarn goes missing, Sterling’s domineering family comes to town, and the vicuña attempt an escape. If Libby can’t stitch up a solution to the case, she may be trading in her knitting needles for a set of handcuffs.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s Christmastime in Collinstown and again the village is pulling out all the stops with businesses decorated with plenty of Christmas finery, a party to decorate the community Christmas tree, and Libby hosting the Dashing “Gallant Herdsman” Vincenzo Marani along with a few rare vicunas whose coats will be sheared by the “Gallant Herdsman” during the three-day event. Vicuña wool is the most luxurious fiber in modern times and it has a price to match.

Too bad Libby’s Scrooge of a husband has arrived in Collinstown when everything was going so well. Then to make matters worse he is found dead behind Libby’s Y.A.R.N. shop bringing the vicuna part of the festivities to an end. Adding more misery to Libby’s event the pricey vicuna yarn she had on display is being stolen ball by ball, the vicuna tries to make a break for it, and her ex-inlaws show up making all kinds of demands.

With herself and her guest Vincenzo Marani high on the suspect list it is time to knit and purl all the clues together as fast as they can because neither has the wish to spend the holidays behind bars,


This was such a fun read! Before I got too far into the story I had to research vicuna to learn more about them but then I quickly jumped right back into the story.

I love the way Libby has gotten so involved in the community, now being the president of the Chamber of Commerce but sadly when she brings guests in for an event at Y.A.R.N. something goes wrong. Her husband Sterling “a Grinch in Gucci loafers” arrives in town and she knows he has an agenda. I found him being the victim was very satisfying for me but I sure didn’t want Libby to be a suspect. She had so much on her plate. Thankfully the author has surrounded her with a great group of friends with distinct personalities.

The mysteries were very well-written and plotted. Libby wasn’t the only one who had a beef with Sterling so there was a wider pool of suspects than I imagined. Ms. Pleiter stitched up quite a story with plenty of twists to keep readers on our toes. I enjoyed every minute of trailing along with Libby to tie up the actual killer.  As for the missing yarn I had several ideas but still didn’t nail down the guilty party before the end of the book when it was revealed.

I enjoy the way the author tells a story. Her descriptive style sets a scene so well. I could see each scene so clearly. The story had a nice pace, ebbing and flowing depending on what was happening. Some moments had me laughing out loud and others had me concentrating with determination to not miss an important clue.

Crafty cozies are some of my faves especially because I can live vicariously through the characters now that I can no longer do most crafts due to my hemiplegic status. I so love Y.A.R.N.  “You’re Absolutely Ready Now” is the meaning Libby started with when opening her store and that her customers can now share their own personal words for the Y.A.R.N. abbreviation. If it was a real shop I can tell you I would spend a lot of time there. I would also love to experience the feel of that vicuna yarn.

It Came upon a Midnight Shear is my favorite book in this series so far. Libby is a wonderful protagonist and the people of Collinstown are interesting. The mysteries are unique and the setting is delightful. Plus it is always fun to learn something new. I am excited about the continuation of the Riverbank Knitting Mysteries. The series is best if read in order but each book can stand on its own.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Allie Pleiter

The bestselling author of over fifty titles, Allie Pleiter‘s twenty-year career has sold 1.6 million books.  Allie also coaches on writing productivity and speaks nationally on time management for creatives. Allie is an avid knitter, confirmed coffee junkie and firm believer that “pie makes everything better.” She lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and the world’s most adorable dog.

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Great Escapes Praise for It Came upon a Midnight Shear (A Riverbank Knitting Mystery)
by Allie Pleiter

IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT SHEAR is an intricately plotted mystery filled with cute animals, lush fiber, and a tight-knit group of family and friends. Its holiday setting with baked goods nestled in creates cozy comfort, so grab a Christmas cookie and snuggle in for an enjoyable read.
~Cozy up with Kathy

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
November 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
November 1 – Just One More Paragraph – SPOTLIGHT
November 2 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR GUEST POST
November 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
November 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 3 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
November 4 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
November 4 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 6 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
November 6 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
November 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
November 7 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
November 8 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 8 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
November 9 – Novels Alive – REVIEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 9 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
November 9 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
November 10 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 10 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

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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 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Last But Not Leashed: A Veterinarian Cozy Mystery (Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries) by Eileen Brady #Review / #Giveaway @PPPress


Last But Not Leashed: A Veterinarian Cozy Mystery
(Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Poisoned Pen Press (September 6, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 432 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1728249341
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728249346
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09PZG2YZK

In the second installment of this animal-themed cozy series, Dr. Kate Turner has one New Year’s resolution: Stop finding corpses…

All Dr. Kate Turner wants to do is get her life in order before ringing in the new year, but with bodies turning up left and right, she’ll have to trust her own instincts—and those of her beloved animals—to stop a killer in their tracks.

As the only veterinarian at Oak Falls Animal Hospital, Dr. Kate’s life is complicated. She’s swamped with hospital patients and house calls, a long-distance relationship with law student Luke Gianetti (that is less than perfect), and a handsome, flirtatious artist who sets his sights on her as his new muse.

When the body of Sookie Overmann is found outside the community center after her organization seminar, the entire town is hunting for answers. All of Kate’s hopes of quietly ringing in the new year are lost and when the body of Sookie’s assistant falls with the confetti at midnight, she has no choice but to sniff out the killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Veterinarian Kate Turner is still filling in for another vet and has become quite comfortable at the job. She has become friends with Cindy, the office manager, and Mari the vet assistant, so when they invited her along to the community center for an organization seminar she agrees to tag along. But as she is leaving the event she finds the seminar instructor Sookie Overmann dead in the bushes. Then on New Year’s Eve, another person falls to her death at a community party. The death was ruled a suicide but Kate knows the deaths have to be connected. Sookie wasn’t a nice person but who hated her enough to want her dead? Her husband? A client? and how does a Circle K cashier fit into the picture? Kate is determined to find out but her amateur sleuthing puts a target on her back. so much so that she temporarily welcomes one of Mari’s Rottweilers, Desi who had Schutzhund training into her home.


Kate Turner is a great protagonist who had some tragedy in her past. She is getting very comfortable in Oak Falls but trying to keep up a long-term relationship with her boyfriend is tough. I was happy to see that the office relationship between Kate, Mari, and Cindy has evolved into true friendships. It is also good when a friend has an in with the chief of police. Cindy happens to be his sister-in-law and she can get all kinds of information from him when needed. I do wish I would have read the previous series featuring Kate. I do feel I got to know her better with this story but I still want more details.

While all the human characters are well crafted, it is the canine characters that steal the show, Kate rescued Buddy, a King Charles spaniel, he is not much of a watchdog, but he sure sniffed out the injured dog someone left by the dumpster. Mr. Pitt, named by Mari,  was badly injured, clearly a victim of a dog fight. It just broke my heart that people could treat an animal so horribly. Little Man, a grumpy usually costumed Chihuahua who ended up staying with Kate while his owner goes on a trip. And then there was Desi, a Rottweiler that belongs to Mari but moved in to protect Kate until the killer is caught.  I love the way the author gives them each a unique personality. They also play a key role in the story and that always makes me smile.

The mystery was very well-plotted. Kate’s inquisitive nature has her digging into the crimes. She gets some help from a woman with a unique talent in hopes of moving the investigation ahead. Cindy keeps pushing Kate and does her best to get her info from her brother-in-law. I thought I was on track and hooked my leash to the right suspect but I was only half right. I love the ending, it was exciting and a very satisfying end to this book.

Last but not Leashed is a splendid addition to this series. It is well-written with some nice twists and interesting characters including those of the animal variety. I look forward to the next installment.

I have added the books to Ms. Brady’s other series to my wish list because I really want to learn about Kate from the beginning.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Eileen Brady is a veterinarian and author. A wife and mother of two daughters, she often has to chase her six cats and two dogs away from her laptop keyboard. She currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.


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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 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Whiskers and Lies (Magical Cats Book) by Sofie Kelly #Review @BerkleyPub


Whiskers and Lies (Magical Cats Book)
Cozy Mystery
14th on Series
Setting – Minnesota
Berkley (September 13, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593200012
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593200018
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09NLQQH2J

Librarian Kathleen Paulson is always willing to help a friend, but to save one from a wrongful arrest, she’ll need magical backup from her affectionate cats in the newest installment of this New York Times bestselling series.

Baker Georgia Tepper has been hired to provide delicious and spooky cupcakes for the Reading Buddies Halloween Party at the library, and she and Kathleen are meeting to finalize the menu of festive confections. Unfortunately, once Georgia’s former mother-in-law ambushes her at the library and threatens Georgia with legal action, the afternoon of fun is soured.

When Georgia’s litigious in-law is later found dead and the friendly baker is implicated, Kathleen is eager to help prove her innocence. Luckily, Kathleen and her intrepid magical cats, Hercules and Owen, have solved their fair share of mysteries. As a result, she knows that in life as well as crime solving, it is all relative, but with hard work, she can make sure the right criminal is booked.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Librarian Kathleen Paulsen is finalizing plans for the Reading Buddies Halloween Party with baker Georgia Tepper who bakes the most amazing cupcakes. Their meeting is broken up when Georgia’s former mother-in-law barges in threatening legal action against Georgia. The pair have a rocky and emotional past. When Georgia’s husband Scott was killed in a car accident his parents Margery and Hugh decided Georgia was unfit to raise her daughter Emmy and tried to get full custody. They even tried to steal the child. To protect her daughter Georgia took her daughter on the run and tried to disappear. That brought them to Mayville Heights where they made good friends and lives.

But now Margery and Hugh have found them and are demanding visitation and custody of Emmy. They feel they have the money that her mother never will and are determined to take the girl away. Later that night Margery’s body is found behind the library and a key piece of evidence implicates Georgia. Kathleen immediately decides to prove her friend had nothing to do with her ex-mother-in-law’s death. She with the assistance of her magical cats Owen and Hercules are quickly on the case to be sure the right person is tagged for the murder and ends up behind bars.


I really enjoy escaping to Mayville Heights to catch up with Kathleen, Marcus, Owen. and Hercules and all the other residents of this interesting Minnesota town. They have been through a lot over the years. Ms. Kelly has created wonderful and genuine characters that continue to grow in each story. Owen and Hercules always steal my heart with their mischievous and “helpful” ways.

In this installment, we meet Georgia, Emmy, Margery, and Hugh. Two are delightful and the other two are evil. They all are excellently crafted and invoked a variety of emotions for me. When people believe they are above the law and that money can get them anything they want including a child it makes me so angry. There was a twist that gave me pause for a minute but I pushed that feeling away pretty fast.

The mystery was well-written with several twists and a plot that was sadly believable. I was happy to see that the mystery that has run over the last few books was concluded and opened a new door for a very special character and that character had a really important clue to help solve who murdered Margery. When all the clues fell into place I was taken completely by surprise by an extra unexpected step. A very special kitty also plays a key role at the reveal which always wins praise from me. “Mrrr”

Whiskers and Lies was a very captivating cozy that I found hard to put down. While the cats are magical Ms. Kelly’s imagination is magnificent. She comes up with such marvelous ideas and brings them out in her books for all of us to enjoy. I look forward to each one. The ending teases some wonderful things set to happen in the next book that I am excited about. So until next year . . .

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Sofie Kelly

Sofie Kelly writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Cats mysteries that feature librarian Kathleen Paulson and her two very special cats, Owen and Hercules, who have a magical knack for solving crime. As Sofie Ryan, she is the author of the New York Times bestselling Second Chance Cat Mystery Series. She lives on the east coast with her husband and daughter.

Website: www.sofiekelly.com


Written as Sofie Ryan



Coming July 4, 2023

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 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Special Guest – Leslie Budewitz – Author of Peppermint Barked: A Spice Shop Mystery #Review / #Giveaway @LeslieBudewitz

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am delighted to welcome Leslie back to Escape With Dollycas today!

A Spicy Christmas in Seattle’s Pike Place Market

by Leslie Budewitz

Delighted to beat the heat with you by pretending it’s Christmas and celebrating the launch of Peppermint Barked! This is my sixth Spice Shop mystery featuring Pepper Reece, owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market. I love writing and reading cozies, in part because of “the cozy covenant.” My interpretation: each book is a promise to introduce our readers to people they want to know in a place they’d like to visit, tempt them with delicious food, and show them something new about the world we live in, all wrapped in a solid mystery. (Thanks to my friend Barbara Ross, author of the Maine Clambake and Jane Darrowfield mysteries for the original concept of the “cozy covenant.”)

In each book, I aim to fulfill that covenant, along with a pair of challenges I set myself. The first: How can I make this book better than the last? What skill do I want to focus on? What plot twist have I not used that I’d like to try?

For Assault and Pepper, the series opener, I wanted to “explore how a ‘life begins at 40′ gal rebuilds after her life falls apart, in the heart of a city I still love. Explore caring vs. over-protection.” Others: “Investigate a cold case.” “Kill twice and get away with it.” “Deepen the relationships.” “Family on her own terms.” “No murder.”

And this time? My books always touch on a woman’s search for identity. Not that men don’t sometimes struggle with a sense of themselves and their purpose, but it has always seemed like the true heroine’s journey. In Peppermint Barked, I flipped that script to focus on the male search for identity. That led directly to decisions and actions by three men close to Pepper, as well as a few new characters. The combination, I think, is a fun story with a serious edge, and good food!

What’s that second challenge? When I started writing the series, I picked up a book of Market ghost stories. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the stories are a fascinating part of Market history. One reason, I came to understand, is the physical layout. There’s a main, L-shaped cobbled street, Pike Place. An alley runs through it, ending abruptly and picking up again thirty feet lower, connected by a cobbled passage and a hidden staircase carved into a retaining wall. More than a dozen buildings cropped up over fifty-some years, distinct but connected, some with several levels. Walls were moved, passages closed off, and windows boarded up, creating opportunities for people to seemingly appear and disappear.

In Assault and Pepper, a very real character uses those hidden passages to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading him to be wrongly accused of a crime, and later, to be at the right place just in time to help Pepper. How else, I wondered, could I use the idea of ghosts to add a layer of fun to the story, without actually adding ghosts themselves? Ghost peppers. Ghosting in relationships. Ghost nets. Ghost signs, those faded advertisements painted on old buildings that sometimes reappear when an adjacent building comes down. There may, or may not, be a ghost in one book—no spoilers! And often, the ghosts of our own pasts, our choices, our regrets.

I hope you’ll make the trip with me to Pike Place Market, a place where the past, present, and future are all very real.

Thank you Leslie so much for visiting today!

Now keep reading for my thoughts about Peppermint Barked.


Peppermint Barked: A Spice Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Washington
Seventh Street Books (July 19, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 236 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1645060543
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1645060543
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09JPHR9CH

A Dickens of a Christmas turns deadly…

As the holiday season lights up Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece’s beloved Spice Shop is brimming with cinnamon, nutmeg, and shoppers eager to stuff their stockings. Add to the mix a tasty staff competition—a peppermint bark-off—along with Victorian costumes for this year’s Dickensian Christmas theme, and Pepper almost forgets to be nervous about meeting her fisherman boyfriend’s brother for the first time.

But when a young woman working in her friend Vinny’s wine shop is brutally assaulted, costumed revelers and holiday cheer are the last things on Pepper’s mind. Who would want to hurt Beth? Or were they looking for Vinny instead?

The vicious attack upsets everyone at Pike Place, but none more than Pepper’s own employee, Matt Kemp. At first, Pepper is baffled by his reaction, but his clandestine connection to Beth could hold the key to the assailant’s motive. Or perhaps it’s Vinny’s ex-wife who knows more than she’s letting on . . . and what about the mysterious top-hatted man with whom Pepper saw Beth arguing that morning?

As the secrets of the market come to light, long-held grudges, family ties, and hidden plans only further obscure the truth. Is it a ghost of the past rattling its chains or a contemporary Scrooge with more earthly motives? As Pepper chases down a killer, someone is chasing her, and in the end, the storied market itself may hold the final, deadly clue.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pike Place Market in Seattle including Pepper Reece’s Spice Shop is all geared up for the holiday season. The theme this year is a Dickensian Christmas and many are donning Victorian costumes to give some authenticity to the season.

It should have been a fabulous time at the market but then a woman working for Pepper’s friend Vinny is attacked and assaulted. Beth is taken to the hospital and Matt Kemp who works at The Spice Shop with Pepper is taking the attack seriously hard. Not sure about any relationship the two may have Pepper thinks Matt may know why the young woman was attacked. Pepper is also interested in finding a man she witnesses arguing with Beth.

Pepper is uncovering things that don’t seem to meld together but she must be on to something because someone has started tailing her wherever she goes. Can she catch the killer before they catch her? It could be a real Bah! Humbug! Holiday if she doesn’t.


The cover of this book is gorgeous and will put everyone in the holiday mood and adding peppermint bark to their holiday treats.

Pepper Reece is a real Spice Queen, move over Maneet Chauhan. She is a great amateur sleuth as well. Her client list is growing and the holidays are sure to keep her and her employees very busy. I love that Ms. Budewitz has surrounded her protagonist with a fantastic group of employees and friends who care about each other like a great big family. Even the local law enforcement, including Pepper’s ex and detectives Spencer and Tracy, often make themselves right at home unless they are chasing down clues, and leads and trying to get Pepper to leave the investigation to them. Yeah, that is not happening. All the recurring characters are cleverly crafted and continue to grow over the course of the book/series.

This book is really a hands-on book for cozy mystery lovers. There are a lot of suspects and theories as to why Beth was attacked. Subsequent events will have you wondering if she was the real target. I worked hard to put the clues together in the right way only to have to back up and try again. I really enjoy a book that allows the reader to unwind a very complicated mystery. This story is so well plotted. I found myself highlighting what I thought were important passages. All my efforts were for naught though, There were some nice twists that tangled up my guesses and I was not even close when all was revealed, but I blame it on the pace which really sped up the closer we got to the end. Pages were really flying on my Kindle.

I really appreciate the way the author sets a scene and describes everything whether it be the food, the Spice Shop, the Market, and everything in between. I felt like I could see everything so clearly.

One little thing that pulled me up short while reading was that a group of characters had my last name. That was totally cool!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Leslie Budewitz

Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in two cozy mystery series, the Spice Shop mysteries set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, and the Food Lovers’ Village mysteries, set in NW Montana, where she lives. As Alicia Beckman, she writes moody suspense, beginning with Bitterroot Lake in April 2021 and continuing with Blind Faith in October 2022. A three-time Agatha-Award winner, she is a board member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime.

Find her online at www.LeslieBudewitz.com and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LeslieBudewitzAuthor



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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 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Purrfect Reading Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Killers of a Feather (Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries) by T. C. LoTempio #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @RoccoBlogger


Killers of a Feather (Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries)
by T. C. LoTempio

About Killers of a Feather

Killers of a Feather (Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Beyond the Page (June 21, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 299 pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09ZLV8ZS2

Shell McMillan and her feline friends must unravel a mystery where everyone’s a suspect and no one’s to blame . . .

With the grand re-opening of her Urban Tails Pet Shop just days away, Shell McMillan has her hands full planning entertainment for the festive event, including a fortune-telling parrot. But her jubilant mood is soon threatened by ominous rumors of the return of Johnny Draco, a former investment guru who swindled money from most of the residents of Fox Hollow and then vanished without a trace. And when the parrot predicts a dire future for Draco and his dead body is found just hours later, no one can say they’re surprised—but no one will say who did it.

With virtually everyone in town a suspect, the police turn their focus on a good friend of Shell’s who was seen arguing with the victim shortly before his death. Determined to clear her friend’s name, Shell begins investigating Draco’s past, his former employer, and everyone who lost money to him. And when the trail of clues suggests there may have been a completely different motive for the murder, Shell suddenly realizes she’s uncovered a secret someone would kill to keep hidden—and that if she’s not careful, the parrot may be predicting she has no future at all . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Shell McMillan has come up with a great plan for the grand reopening of Urban Tails Pet Shop a community event. Nearby vendors are setting up booths, food trucks are coming in, and a fortune telling parrot and so much more. Her Aunt would be so happy. The only thing that puts a damper on the festivities is the rumored return of former investment expert Johnny Draco. Shell met the man when he stopped by her shop but she had no idea he was the man that cheated several Fox Hollow residents out of a lot of money and then disappeared.

Shell’s big day arrives and Mr. Draco is seen talking/arguing with several people, but he is really put off when the fortune-telling parrot predicts an ominous future following his return to town. The parrot’s prediction is on the beak because it isn’t long before a very dead Johnny Draco is found in a nearby building. While anyone in the area could have done the deed the police are focused on Shell’s friend Rita who had an argument with the man shortly before his death.

In an effort to help her friend Shell starts sleuthing on her own. As she digs deeper she realizes she may have the motive all wrong and if she’s right she may have an ominous future of her own.


Shell is definitely making a home in Fox Hollow even though her mother still believes she will soon be back in Hollywood reigniting her acting career. For Shell, though everything is about the Urban Tails Pet Shop that was left to her by her aunt. She has her former co-star Gary by her side to help at the shop and help with the big Victorian she now calls home. Don’t get the wrong idea, they think of each other as a brother or sister. No romantic vibes there. He does make a good buffer when her mother comes for a visit. Her friends Rita and Olivia are also involved in the grand opening festivities. The highlight besides the store itself though is Adrian Arnold and his fortune-telling parrot Honey Belle. Ms. LoTempio has created a very strong cast of characters. Her Aunt’s cat Purrday and Shell’s cat Kahlua are great characters in their own right too. It has been a while since I read the first book in this series and these well-rounded characters quickly emerged from my memory like I had read The Time for Murder is Meow recently.

The suspect list for this mystery is a long one made stronger because Johnny Draco tried to reconnect with everyone he swindled. The killer seemed pretty straightforward at first, but then there was a twist, another twist, a couple of turns, and then a big clue that helped all the other clues fall into place. I had an absolute blast tagging along with Shell as proceeded with her “investigation”. I loved the way she didn’t give up and kept her head about her as the true cold-blooded killer is revealed. I was gobsmacked!

Killers of a Feather is a marvelous mystery! I was totally entertained from beginning to end. I am so excited about the next book in this series. I have a feeling Shell is going to be tested in a few ways and I will be thrilled to go on the ride with her.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About T.C. LoTempio

T. C. LoTempio is the award-winning, nationally bestselling author of the Nick and Nora Mysteries, the Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries, and the Cat Rescue Mysteries. For more information, check out her and her cat Rocco’s blog at www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com and visit her website at www.tclotempio.net.

Purchase Links

Amazon  –   B&N  –  iBooks  –  Kobo –   Google Play  –  Smashwords 
Also by T.C. LoTempio



Great Escapes Praise for Killers of a Feather (Urban Tails Pet Shop Mysteries)
by T. C. LoTempio

I was shocked by the big reveal at the end. The author did a great job of keeping me guessing through the entire book. I guessed wrong. 😀
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

A must-read for pet lovers as well as cozy fans. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books A Plenty Book Reviews

With sweet cats and a fortune-telling parrot to draw you in KILLERS OF A FEATHER provides a complex conundrum in a charming setting that is sure to delight.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
July 5 – The Mystery Section – GUEST POST
July 5 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
July 6 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 6 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 7 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
July 7 – Baroness Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 8 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
July 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 11 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT  
July 11 – Eskimo Princess Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
July 13 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 13 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 14 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 16 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
July 18 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

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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 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies New Release Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Perilous Pal (A Friend for Hire Mystery) by Laura Bradford #Review @BerkleyMystery


A Perilous Pal (A Friend for Hire Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Berkley (July 5, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593334787
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593334782
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09HTFGL17

Entrepreneur Emma Westlake’s new business is booming until her latest client is arrested for murder in this new Friend for Hire Mystery by USA Today bestselling author Laura Bradford.

Emma Westlake, proprietor of A Friend for Hire, finds a heart-wrenching email from a prospective client in her inbox. The email is from Kim Felder, a woman struggling with empty-nest syndrome and an out-of-left-field divorce. Determined to help get Kim in a better headspace, Emma suggests she draft a bucket list of things she has always wanted to do in life but has put off in favor of taking care of everyone else.

Together, they fill that list with fun baking classes, traveling, and dancing in the middle of the street for no reason. Kim also adds in some hilarious items about getting even with her ex. But all laughter ends when Kim’s ex winds up dead via one of the ideas Kim proposed. Now, Kim is Deputy Jack Riordan’s lone suspect in a murder Emma knows she did not commit. Emma will have to put her budding relationship with the deputy on the line to corner a cunning killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Emma Westlake’s Friend for Hire business is growing. Her newest client Kim Felder is struggling after her husband divorced her for a younger woman. She is also dealing with empty next syndrome as both of her children are now out on their own. Her family was her whole life and she catered to their every need. She is hoping Emma can help her find a new direction for her life. To help Emma asks Kim to come up with a bucket list . . . things she has always wanted to do but couldn’t because she was taking care of her family. They come up with things like visiting an unusual bakery in Ohio and baking classes. Kim also lists some crazy ideas to get even with her ex. So when the man is killed in a way that was on Kim’s list Deputy Jack Riordan feels he has caught the killer. Emma doesn’t buy that for one second and she going to prove it and even if that means putting her new relationship with Jack on hold.


Look at that face on the cover, it just steals my heart.

All the wonderful characters we met in A Plus One for Murder are back and again Dottie is a force of nature when it comes to getting what she wants. She wants to be an amateur sleuth like all the ladies in the cozy mysteries she reads. She pushes Emma hard to investigate and Stephanie is happy to help as well. Away from the murder, Emma takes Stephanie to visit John and Andy and tries to play the part of matchmaker. Stephanie also got to meet Big Max who also had a connection with Kim. Emma and Jack’s relationship hits a bump in the road but a little boy and a dog set things back on track just by playing together. Scout is such a great dog and Tommy loves him so much. All the core characters Ms. Bradford has created are engaging and continue to grow within the pages of this book.

The mystery was very well-plotted with twists, turns, and red herrings. Emma’s belief in Kim’s innocence did not waiver. I thought I had the killer figured out but then there was a fantastic twist. I really enjoyed the way the ending played out. It gave me some good feels. Emma may be a reluctant sleuth but she is solving the cases. Dottie is a great sounding board even if she is pretty pushy at times.

I love the theme of this series but Emma is going to need to find a constant supply of new clients because she becomes such a good friend to her current ones. It going to be hard to continue to charge them indefinitely. Emma is already feeling guilty so I am very interested in seeing how the author addresses this issue.

A Perilous Pal is an excellent addition to this series. The characters are genuine, the mystery is top-notch, and the theme is unique. The final chapter has me so excited for the third book in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend’s house as a child, Laura Bradford fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number-two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do or be anything else. Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, the author of the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, and, as Elizabeth Lynn Casey, she wrote the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries.


Also by this Author



Find more by Laura Bradford here.

Written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey

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 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – The Rocky Road to Ruin: An Ice Cream Shop Mystery by Meri Allen #Review / #Giveaway @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.


The Rocky Road to Ruin: An Ice Cream Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Connecticut
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (July 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250267064
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250267061
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08FZ8M8X3

Justice will be swirled by amateur sleuth Riley Rhodes in the first in Meri Allen’s brand-new mystery series, The Rocky Road to Ruin!

Riley Rhodes, travel food blogger, and librarian at the CIA, makes a bittersweet return to her childhood home of Penniman, Connecticut – land of dairy farms and covered bridges – for a funeral. Despite the circumstances, Riley’s trip home is sprinkled with reunions with old friends, visits to her father’s cozy bookshop on the town green, and joyful hours behind the counter at the beloved Udderly Delicious Ice Cream Shop. It feels like a time to help her friend Caroline rebuild after her mother’s death, and for Riley to do a bit of her own reflecting after a botched undercover mission in Italy. After all, it’s always good to be home.

But Caroline and her brother Mike have to decide what to do with the assets they’ve inherited – the ice cream shop as well as the farm they grew up on – and they’ve never seen eye to eye. Trouble begins to swirl as Riley is spooked by reports of a stranger camping behind the farm and by the odd behavior of the shop’s mascot, Caroline’s snooty Persian, Sprinkles. When Mike turns up dead in the barn the morning after the funeral, the peace and quiet of Penniman seems upended for good. Can Riley find the killer before another body gets scooped?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

In this first book from Meri Allen’s Ice Cream Shop Mystery Series, we meet Riley Rhodes. Riley has a cool job working as a CIA librarian using being a travel food blogger as her cover. Her last undercover mission was in Italy and it ended badly. She now has two reasons to return home to Penniman, Connecticut. She needs to regroup after what happened in Italy but also her friend Caroline’s mother has passed away. She has so many great memories of spending time with Caroline on her family’s farm and working at the Udderly Delicious Ice Cream Shop. She always ate her share of ice cream too.

Now she wants to help Caroline in any way she can as she and her brother Mike make plans regarding the farm’s and ice cream shop’s future. Those two rarely agree on anything so Riley is not surprised they have totally different ideas about what to do with their newly inherited assets. After a bit of a blow-up Mike takes off to a cabin on the property with his girlfriend vowing the hash things out with his sister another day.

But that day doesn’t come. Instead, the next day, Riley finds Mike’s dead body in the barn and his girlfriend is missing. Knowing the argument between the siblings is going to have Caroline on the hot seat with the police Riley delves into her own investigation. She hopes to get the scoop on the killer before someone else gets creamed.


Riley is a very likable protagonist. I love that she has a CIA connection and that she is a librarian. Librarians are so knowledgeable and know how to ask the right questions. I am sure her CIA training has built upon those skills. Skills a great amateur sleuth needs. I admire her dedication to her friend Caroline who has to deal with so much. First her mother’s passing and then her brother’s. She also has a regular job she just can’t drop to handle the farm and ice cream shop. Riley doesn’t think twice, she jumps right in and volunteers to help with no time limits.

Caroline’s mother was beloved by so many and revered for all she had accomplished. We learn this from a variety of supporting characters who work and volunteer on the farm and at Udderly Delicious. Riley’s dad and stepmom are also introduced. Her dad owns a bookstore. That is just so perfect. It is a large group but the characters are clearly defined and easy to keep straight. That being said the author has left plenty of room for growth. There are also a couple of feline characters. One who thinks her royal highness rules the roost and everything around her. The other is a little ragged but cute and is given a great name.

Ms. Allen has done a fine job of world-building. It’s almost time for the Sunflower Festival and all the fields around the farm are filled with sunflowers setting up some great photo ops. The ice cream shop even has sunflower ice cream. As the characters travel up and down Farm Lane there are two farmhouses face to face across the lane. One is the family home behind the ice cream shop where Caroline’s mother lived. The other is teamed up with a large barn where the farm manager and his family live.  Down the road, there is a cabin that was sometimes rented out called the Love Nest. Keep going and there are more sunflower fields, apple orchards, other neighbors’ homes, a cemetery, and a winery. I could picture everything so easily. I could almost taste the ice cream too.

The author has crafted a very intriguing mystery. I had a grand time following along with Riley as she split her time making ice cream and trying to put a killer on ice. She found herself in some heated and scary situations but she kept pressing on. With some marvelous twists, I was drawn deeper and deeper into the story. The final twist was perfect. I was so absorbed in the story I know I missed a clue or two but at least I was in the ballpark with my guess.

The Rock Road to Ruin is a twisty mystery with a leading character that I want to know better and follow wherever she goes. The ice cream theme is just plain sweet and the sunflower backdrop at the farm has me longing for all the sunflower fields close around me that will be blooming and picture-perfect soon.

I am looking forward to reading Mint Chocolate Murder next month! Mint Chocolate Chip! YES!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

https://us.macmillan.com/author/sharirandall/

About the Author

MERI ALLEN/ SHARI RANDALL lives in a quiet corner of Connecticut, where she haunts libraries, used book stores, and vintage shops.


Coming July 26, 2022


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Rocky Road to Ruin!
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the 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 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery) by Ellen Byron #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @BerkleyMystery


Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery)
by Ellen Byron

About Bayou Book Thief 


Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New Orleans Louisiana
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (June 7, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593437616
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593437612
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FPJHVGK

A fantastic new cozy mystery series with a vintage flair from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron.

Twenty-eight-year-old widow Ricki James leaves Los Angeles to start a new life in New Orleans after her showboating actor husband perishes doing a stupid internet stunt. The Big Easy is where she was born and adopted by the NICU nurse who cared for her after Ricki’s teen mother disappeared from the hospital.

Ricki’s dream comes true when she joins the quirky staff of Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, the spectacular former Garden District home of late bon vivant Genevieve “Vee” Charbonnet, the city’s legendary restauranteur. Ricki is excited about turning her avocation – collecting vintage cookbooks – into a vocation by launching the museum’s gift shop, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks, and Kitchenware. Then she discovers that a box of donated vintage cookbooks contains the body of a cantankerous Bon Vee employee who was fired after being exposed as a book thief.

The skills Ricki has developed ferreting out hidden vintage treasures come in handy for investigations. But both her business and Bon Vee could wind up as deadstock when Ricki’s past as curator of a billionaire’s first edition collection comes back to haunt her.

Will Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware be a success … or a recipe for disaster?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Born in New Orleans and abandoned immediately by her teenage mother Miracle “Ricki” Fleur di Lis James was adopted by the NICU nurse who took care of her. She now packs up her life in Los Angeles after her husband dies while trying to do an internet challenge and returns to New Orleans to start over.

That new start happens in a big way when she can combine her love for vintage cookbooks with her new job at the Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, the home of the city’s legendary restaurateur, Genevieve “Vee” Charbonnet. Ricki will be opening the museum’s new gift shop, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks, and Kitchenware.

After being open just a few days she discovers an employee of the museum is stealing books and they are fired for the crime.

Trying to put the matter behind her she is excited to learn she has received a steamer trunk and two oversize boxes of donated books. Worried about keeping the shop fully stocked the donation arrives at the perfect time. Ricki along with a couple of employees set out to sort through the donations before the museum opens but the trunk didn’t contain any books. Inside was the very dead body of Franklin Finbloch . . . the recently fired . . . book thief.


Being a fan of Ellen Byron’s Cajun County Mysteries I was sad to see that series end so I was ecstatic to learn of this new series again set in Louisiana.

Readers are introduced to a wonderful quirky cast of characters led by Miracle “Ricki” Fleur di Lis James who has a very interesting backstory that just starts to unfold within the pages of this story. She comes across already as a very strong protagonist with some great sleuthing skills.

We also meet several members of the staff at the Bon Vee Culinary House Museum including Eugenia Charbonnet Felice who is the president of the Bon Vee Foundation Board. She oversees everything at the museum. She works hand in hand with the Executive Director, Lyla Brandt. We also meet Cookie Yanover, the Education Program Director. She and Ricki become fast friends. In fact, all of the employees for the most part get along very well and welcomed Ricki with open arms.

Away from the museum we meet Ricki’s landlord, Kitty Kat Rousseau and she is a hoot. Ricki’s AC has been out for days in the steamy New Orleans heat and Kitty is trying to get it fixed but Ricki believes something shady is going on.

Speaking of the heat, Ms. Byron’s detailed descriptions will have you sticky and sweating, wait, this takes place in the south, perspiring and glistening, and turning on your own air conditioners. She also paints a clear picture of Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks, and Kitchenware and places in and around the museum including the staff’s favorite hangout, the Bayou Backyard. It was easy to visualize every scene and this author does it without getting overly wordy.

The mystery that Ms. Byron put forth was plotted with intricate precision. It flitted in and out with varied subplots perfectly. Filled with clever twists and a red herring or two it wasn’t hard to get completely engaged by everything happening in the story. I did find it hard to truly pin down the killer. I was astonished when the guilty party started to be revealed. The ending was exciting and a bit comical as Ricki gets some awesome assistance from an unlikely duo.

Bayou Book Thief has set this series off to an excellent start. Diverse characters, a fun location, and a puzzling mystery have me declaring this book A Perfect Escape. And the cliffhanger introduced in the Epilogue has me excited and intrigued about Ricki’s future. Wined and Died in New Orleans is set to be released on February 7, 2023.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Ellen Byron

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty Awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Bayou Book Thief will be the first book in her new Vintage Cookbook Mysteries. She also writes the Catering Hall Mystery series under the name Maria DiRico.

Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly Odd Parents. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. An alum of New Orleans’ Tulane University, she blogs with Chicks on the Case, is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America and will be the 2023 Left Coast Crime Toastmaster. Please visit her at https://www.ellenbyron.com/

 

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

Purchase Links

AmazonB&NKoboGoogle BooksAlibrisIndieBoundPenguinRandomHouse
Coming February 7, 2023

Also by Ellen Byron

 

Great Escapes Praise for Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery)
by Ellen Byron

Bayou Book Thief is finer than a frog hair split four ways with a man who is as useless as a screen door on a submarine, a bounty of books, a vile victim, a diligent detective, an artful air conditioning repairman, warm weather, and a riled Ricki.
~The Avid Reader

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries are always a delight.
~Island Confidentials

Bayou Book Thief’s mystery is well-plotted, and you will really enjoy trying to figure out whodunit. I am so excited to find out what’s next for Rikki and her new friends.
~Christy’s Cozy Corners

I really liked this story and definitely recommend it to cozy mystery lovers, those who enjoy culinary stories, and those who want to do some armchair travel to New Orleans.
~Carla Loves To Read

Bottom Line: Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron is a highly engaging read, with interesting characters and intriguing plot threads.
~Reading is my Superpower

BAYOU BOOK THIEF brings together quirky characters and an engaging mystery in a wonderful setting. Vintage cookbooks, memorable characters, and the intoxicating setting that is New Orleans make this a fantastic start to a new series. Just remember, looks can be deceiving.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

It’s difficult to leave an old favorite like the Cajun Country Mystery series behind when the author pulls the plug and begins a new series. But if we must, at least we get to enjoy her new series set in Louisiana, as the author favors us with the sounds, scents, and majesty that is the local mystic of New Orleans.
~Rosepoint Publishing

This is an exciting new cozy mystery series that is quite entertaining. It has humor, mystery and a touch of romance all blended together for a fun-filled adventure. Bayou Book Thief is on my “best of 2022” list.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews

This makes for a fabulous story as it all plays out. Sure to be enjoyed by cozy fans especially if you want some Southern flair along with it. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
June 8 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
June 8 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 8 – Island Confidential – REVIEW
June 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
June 9 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 10 – Books to the Ceiling – SPOTLIGHT
June 10 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
June 11 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 11 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – The Mystery of Writing – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
June 13 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 13 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 14 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
June 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 15 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 15 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 16 – The Mystery Section – RECIPE
June 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 17 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
June 17 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
June 18 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST
June 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
June 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – Novels Alive – REVIEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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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 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Murder Is No Picnic (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery) by Amy Pershing #Review / #Giveaway – @BerkleyMystery – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It is my pleasure to feature
Murder Is No Picnic by Amy Pershing today!


Murder Is No Picnic (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
by Amy Pershing

About Murder is No Picnic 

Murder Is No Picnic (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (June 7, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593199189
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593199183
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09K66BGZF

The Fourth of July is coming, and for professional food lover Samantha Barnes, it’s all about the picnic. Okay, and the fireworks. And the parade. But mostly the picnic. What could be better than a DIY clambake followed by the best blueberry buckle in the world? Sam has finally found the perfect recipe in the kitchen of Clara Foster, famed cookbook author, and retired restaurateur, and she’s thrilled when Clara agrees to a buckle baking lesson.

But when Clara dies in a house fire blamed on carelessness in the kitchen, Sam doesn’t believe it. Unfortunately, her doubts set in motion an investigation pointing to the new owner of Clara’s legendary restaurant—and a cousin of Sam’s harbormaster boyfriend. So, in between researching the Cape’s best lobster rolls and planning her clambake, Sam needs to find Clara’s killer before the fireworks really start…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Foodie Samantha Barnes has big plans for the 4th of July. A clambake on the beach outside the home she inherited from her Aunt Ida. She just needs the perfect dessert to serve and she finds it while out for dinner at the legendary Clara’s Place. The “Best Blueberry Buckle in the World!” and the famous cookbook author Clara Foster has agreed to give a buckle baking lesson. Sam is thrilled especially when she learns the recipe’s secret ingredient.

Sam is shocked when she learns Clara has died when her house caught fire shortly after she left. She is even more appalled when the fire is blamed on Clara’s carelessness. Sam saw the way Clara worked in her well-designed kitchen. There is no way Clara caused that fire. Thankfully Sam’s doubts get the police to open an investigation but they are focused on her boyfriend Jason’s cousin who just happens to be the new owner of Clara’s Place as their prime suspect.

So while Sam is firming up plans for her clambake she needs to come up with the perfect recipe to find Clara’s killer. She knows her friends are going to help her even though Detective Vivian Peters may not like it.


I have to start with the setting for this series. Every time I open a Cape Cod Foodie Mystery I am excited to arrive at Aunt Ida’s, now Sam’s home with the spectacular views. Ida had added a little ell to the house when she could no longer keep up with the huge place. That ell is the perfect place for Sam and her dog Dioge (D-O-G) and Jason’s visiting cat as she and Jason work to renovate the big house as time and money allow. Ms. Pershing describes everything so well readers can take a literary vacay to the Cape.

She has also created a wonderful cast of characters. A group of long-time friends that come together so naturally for fun and sleuthing all while usually devouring something that made my mouth water. Their dialogues are fresh and true to life including the inner dialogues of Sam as she tries to solve the mystery. This time Jillian took the lead but everyone stepped up to do whatever they could to catch the killer. What I really enjoyed was that the tricky relationship between Sam and Detective Vivian Peters, Vivvie to her friends, is starting to blossom into a real friendship. Vivien took time to listen to Sam’s theories and her “evidence” no matter how crazy they were.  Again that big scene-stealer Dioge stole my heart. I do wish Jason hadn’t been out of town for most of the story but it added a little romantic drama to the story.

The author has blended a terrific mystery with the characters’ everyday lives that draws readers right into the story. She dishes up some well-placed twists and some nice red herrings that sure kept me guessing. My attention was glued to the pages as the killer was taken down and a favorite character was rescued. I was surprised by the way the capture played out but quickly realized it was a very satisfying way to wrap up the case. What happened after that was so nice.  When I turned the final page I had a great big smile on my face.

I am so glad one of the recipes included in the book is for the Darn Fine Blueberry Buckle. People of my generation may remember feeding their infants Gerber’s, Blueberry Buckle. I am not a blueberry fan but when my husband would feed the kids it was 1 spoonful for him then one spoonful for the child until the jar was empty. I think he is going to enjoy this adult version a lot.

Murder Is No Picnic was a grand read with characters I love to visit, delectable food, and a fun mystery to solve. This is a perfect book for the upcoming holiday when you need to escape the heat of the day or come up with a dish for your own family picnic.

I can’t wait for the next installment of this entertaining cozy culinary mystery series!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Amy Pershing

Amy Pershing, who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod, was an editor, a restaurant reviewer and a journalist before writing the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries, including A Side of Murder — which Elizabeth Gilbert called “the freshest, funniest mystery I have ever read” — and An Eggnog to Die For  — which Kirkus Reviews gave a starred review, saying, “A delightful sleuth, a complex mystery, and lovingly described cuisine: a winner for both foodies and mystery mavens.” The third book in the series, Murder Is No Picnic, also received a starred review from Kirkus, which wrote: “A clever, empathetic and totally believable heroine sets this fine cozy above the competition.”

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Great Escapes Praise for Murder Is No Picnic (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
by Amy Pershing

Murder Is No Picnic is a great addition to the Cape Cod Foodie series. I was entertained from page one with wonderful characters and a solid mystery. I can’t wait to continue this series and highly recommend it to cozy mystery fans—especially those who enjoy recipes and cooking tips thrown into the mix.
~Novels Alive

The author truly has some skill at describing the area allowing you to really feel like you are there. It sounds like a great place to be. Add in a murder and the story gets really good. Full of fun, intrigue, yummy food, and amazing characters we get a cozy mystery that will keep your attention to the very end. Makes for a great read. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books A Plenty Book Reviews

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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 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Deadly Sweet Tooth (Vintage Sweets Mysteries) by Kaye George #Review / #Giveaway @lyricalpress

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.


Deadly Sweet Tooth (Vintage Sweets Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Texas
Lyrical Underground (June 2, 2020)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 180 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1516105443
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1516105441
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07W8X9C3H

Vintage sweets, a deadly surprise, and a mischievous Maine Coon cat—Deadly Sweet Tooth is the delightful cozy mystery you’ve been waiting for!
 
In a darling tourist town like Fredericksburg, Texas, a vintage sweet shop offering delicious old-fashioned favorites is a perfect fit—until someone decides to debut a recipe that’s lusciously lethal…

With Tally’s Old Tyme Sweets finally—well, almost—turning a profit, Tally Holt is taking one busy Saturday off to host a grand party for her parents, traveling performers who spend most of their time on the road. Tally’s counting on the publicity and free treats to attract new customers. And the event is a sweet success—at least until Fran Abraham, the town’s foul-tempered theater director drops dead after a bitter confrontation with Tally’s mother.

Murder was definitely not on Tally’s menu, but it’s clear that Fran’s death wasn’t natural. The list of possible culprits includes not just Tally’s mom, but her protective dad too. Relying on Yolanda Bella, her best friend and the proprietor of Bella’s Baskets next door, for help, Tally will need to unwrap the sticky pasts and unsavory presents of everyone from her own parents to her new hires before Fran’s death sours everybody on her fledgling shop….

Recipe included! And this one promises not to kill…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In the second installment of this series Tally Holt is throwing a party to welcome her parents home from their worldly travels for a short time. She has even put an invitation in the local paper so all their friends can stop by to see them. She also hopes to draw in some new customers to her vintage candy shop.

The guests of honor arrive along with a big crush of people. Tally sure is happy she hired extra help for the event. If the new hires work out she hopes to make them permanent employees, something she desperately needs.

A little later Tally’s mother isn’t feeling well so the party starts to wrap up but as the guests are leaving Fran Abraham keels over dead. She had been arguing with Tally’s mom about something just a few minutes before she died. To be safe her dad takes her mom to the hospital to be sure she doesn’t meet the same fate as the town’s cantankerous theater director.

The police put their main focus on the treats Tally served and who had access to them as they await the actual cause of Fran’s death. But if it was the candy, wouldn’t more people be sick or dead?

With Tally and her parents as prime suspects and the fate of her shop hanging in the balance Tally asks her best friend, Yolanda to help her find the real killer. But will their snooping put them right in the killer’s path? Things could get sticky in their quest to get the killer behind bars, and I am not talking chocolate ones!


After reading the first book in this series I felt I needed to know the main characters better to get invested in their lives and I was happy to see Tally’s parents in this story so we could more insight into Tally. Turned out Bob and Nancy had some pretty juicy secrets of their own and quite a backstory to tell. Tally learned a lot and so did I. I still want Tally to have more depth. We did get to know Yolanda a bit better. She and Tally do have a strong friendship. There is a lot of room for development for both characters. Again, Maine Coon Cat, Nigel stole my heart. I will say I was not a fan though of the point-of-view switching back and forth between the two BFFs. It really messed with the flow of the story.

Tally does hire three new employees. I am amazed she hadn’t hired someone sooner. One is a great hire, another is okay, and the third I would have shown the door within 5 minutes. Tally came across as a really wishy-washy boss and really put a lot of trust in someone she just met. I do worry about her business sense and the future of her shop. She just doesn’t come across as someone who ran another successful business prior to opening this shop in Fredricksburg.

It was very apparent that Tally’s actions had to be iffy to move the story in the intended direction of the author. Ms. George wrote a mystery that really wasn’t a mystery for the reader. The guilty party was evident to me immediately. I also didn’t like the fact that Tally really didn’t do much investigating. She was nosy and found out things she should have already known. To be a successful amateur sleuth her observation skills really need work. I found the ending frustrating as well because it was so abrupt. I thought there must have been pages missing from the book, but sadly that was not the case.

I did enjoy many parts of this story. I love the theme of a vintage candy shop. I love that Tally’s parents are world-traveling performers. I love Nigel the cat. That being said, Deadly Sweet Tooth is a light cozy mystery that needs a stronger protagonist. I also really wish the mystery was more complex. The author has given the series a nice foundation to build upon but I am on the fence about reading book three in the series, Into the Sweet Hereafter



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Kaye George is a novelist and a short story writer whose story, HANDBASKETS, DRAWERS, AND A KILLER COLD, was nominated for a 2010 Agatha Best Short Story award. It can be found in the collection, A PATCHWORK OF STORIES, available on Amazon and Smashwords as an ebook, and Amazon and Createspace in trade paperback.  She is agented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency LLC.

The first mystery novel in the Imogene Duckworthy series, CHOKE, received a nomination for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2011. It was followed by SMOKE and BROKE. EINE KLEINE MURDER, the first in the Cressa Carraway Musical Mysteries was published by Barking Rain Press in the spring of 2013. It was a Silver Falchion Finalist and was followed by REQUIEM IN RED. DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE, the first in the People of the Wind Neanderthal Mysteries, is published by Untreed Reads. It received an Agatha nomination for Best Historical. The sequel is DEATH ON THE TREK. The Fat Cat cozy series, set in Minneapolis and featuring a pudgy but adorable cat named Quincy, achieved Barnes & Noble’s best-seller status with all three books. Her new Vintage Sweets cozy series is set in Fredericksburg, TX.

She reviews for “Suspense Magazine” and writes a column for “Mysterical-E Magazine.” Other articles occasionally appear in newsletters and online. Her short stories appear in several anthologies and around and about. She is a member of Sisters in Crime (including the Guppies Chapter and the Smoking Guns chapter), Short Mystery Fiction Society, Authors Guild of Tennessee, and Knoxville Writers Group.

She lives in Knoxville, TN.

Visit her webpage, KayeGeorge.com for more information.

Or catch her at TravelsWithKaye.blogspot.com, her solo blog.

She also joins other writers at http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com/ and https://writerswhokill.blogspot.com/.

 


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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.”