Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead Ringer (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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


Dead Ringer (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard Boiled Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
‎Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496722558
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496722553
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07R7S242R

A new murder victim with an old M.O. puts Mattie Winston on the trail of a killer who gives a grim new meaning to flower power . . .
 
Spring is beginning to brighten Sorenson, Wisconsin, for Mattie and Steve Hurley and their family. While their son Matthew may be in his terrible twos and Steve’s daughter Emily a moody teenager, the kids bring light to their lives when their work is dark by its nature—Steve is a homicide detective and Mattie is a medicolegal death investigator, aka medical examiner. They deal in corpses.

The latest corpse, a Jane Doe, was clearly an addict, but drugs didn’t kill her, at least not directly. She’s been stabbed multiple times in a pattern that is disturbingly familiar to Mattie. When she discovers flower petals from yellow carnations stuffed into the stab wounds, she recognizes a very specific M.O.—belonging to a convicted serial killer who’s currently serving a life sentence.

The details of the flower petals were never made public in the last case, so it can’t be a copycat crime. It looks like the wrong man is in prison, and the murderer is still at large. Now it’s up to Mattie and Steve to get the case reopened—and catch the real carnation killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Homicide Detective Steve Hurley and his new wife Medicolegal Death Investigator Mattie Winston have a new case involving a Jane Doe. During the autopsy, Mattie realizes the wounds and what is stuffed in them are familiar, a Dead Ringer for another case. She had recently been at a conference where a colleague from Eau Claire described the M.O. of a serial killer that he helped send to prison. A key piece of evidence was never publicized so unless that was somehow leaked there is no way this death could be the work of a copycat. While Mattie and Hurley work to solve their case they also dig deeper into the case upstate. Knowing that the wrong man could be behind bars pushes them to tie the cases together to catch the real killer.


I continue to be drawn in by these characters. They are so genuine and have real-life issues everyone can identify with. Mattie is a strong woman and Hurley is a strong man but each has their insecurities. They both excel at their occupations because they are driven to find the truth but at home, they question certain parts of their lives. They are getting settled in their new home and are raising a teenage daughter and a toddler son and at times worry if they are giving the children everything they need especially with their recent news. Jealousy also rears its ugly head within these pages adding more tension to their chaotic lives. Ms. Ryan has let her characters evolve realistically from Matthew’s terrible twos to Emily’s dating.  Mattie and Hurley’s relationship isn’t all sunshine and roses,  it has some bumps in the road. Izzy and Dom are dealing with a new baby and Izzy’s mother. Other relationships are developing between the secondary characters too.  All the characters have become like old friends that I love to visit.

The mystery that Steve and Mattie have on their hands is very compelling. Ms. Ryan plotted this one out so well. The interaction between police departments is tense with the coroner’s offices do their best to work together. Mattie is like a dog with a bone and goes to great lengths to follow every clue. Again, she finds herself in hot water and that brought me right to the edge of my seat. When all was revealed I was a bit shocked but it made sense and the clues were all there, I was just so caught up in the story I failed to put them all together.

I love the way the author tours the state of Wisconsin. This time linking Sorenson and Portage with Eau Claire. Traveling up and down the highway and recognizing familiar places with the characters in this series is always a good time even when trying to solve a murder.

Dead Ringer is the 11th book in this series and the author has kept the characters fresh and wrapped them in yet another complicated mystery. It was another Perfect Escape for me and knowing there is just one more book in this series I really didn’t want this book to end.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent  


About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Dead of Winter.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

The contest Will End on December 9, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For 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 Cloak and Dagger Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead of Winter (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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


Dead of Winter (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard-Boiled Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington Cozies (February 26, 2019)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706714
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706713
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 448 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706722
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706720
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07DBQRJHN

Before medicolegal death investigator Mattie can smooth out the unexpected chaos of her new home, new marriage, and new family, duty calls. At the local ER, a battered and bruised teenage girl has been brought in by a mysterious man who claimed she’d fallen out of a car. The staff is suspicious, but while they attend to the teenager, the unidentified man slips out. Then the girl dies, but not before informing social worker Hildy Schneider that the man had her little sister as well.

Mattie’s exam reveals forensic evidence of long-term IV drug use and physical abuse, findings consistent with Hildy’s suspicion that the girl was a victim of human trafficking. They are able to confirm her identity as a teen who went missing six months ago, along with her sister—facts that are deeply unsettling to Mattie who now shares a home with her husband’s teenaged daughter.

Working closely with Hildy and Sorenson homicide detectives, including her husband Steve Hurley, Mattie must delve into a dark underworld to stop the ruthless trafficking of human lives—before it’s too late for another young girl . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mattie and Hurley have moved into their new home and are settling in nicely with their children but at times Mattie feels a little overwhelmed when her work as a death investigator is added to the mix. Her latest case involves a teen who was brought into the ER battered and bruised and later dies but not before uttering “he has her too” and begging social worker, Hildy Schneider to help her little sister. Mattie’s exam is heartbreaking. It shows the teenager was a long-time victim of physical abuse and long-term IV drug use. Both Hildy and Mattie agree she was being human trafficked. Both are shocked that something like that could happen in Sorenson, Wisconsin. It just hits too close now that she is caring for Hurley’s teenage daughter. So working with Hurley, Hildy, other techs at the Medical Examiner’s office, and other local detectives Mattie takes a deep dive into human trafficking to find a little girl before it is too late.

Meanwhile, a member of Dom’s theater group falls from a catwalk to his death. A death that is quickly classified as a homicide. Add a first-class Wisconsin blizzard to the mix and things could get messy for Sorenson and Mattie.


This is such a wonderful series. With the 8th book in the series, Ms. Ryan added more serious themes but didn’t lose the humor readers expect from her. In this book that included a terrible, awful, very bad day for Mattie. I could relate on a personal level to part of it but that didn’t keep me from laughing at all her trials and tribulations. Young Matthew also tees up some hilarious things. He is at the perfect age to get into all kinds of mischief. Hurley takes just about everything in stride. Mattie is thankful that Emily, her teenage stepdaughter is able to help with Matthew and that they get along so well. It really eases up things at home and it is enabling Emily to collect a nice nest egg with the babysitting dollars she earns. All these characters grow in each subsequent book and they have true-to-life issues. They feel like neighbors that could live across the street. The hearse Mattie drives may be a little offputting at first but I am sure after a short time I would adjust.

Ms. Ryan takes on some hot-topic issues within the pages of this story. Even though it was released in 2019 the themes are even more relevant today. According to the U.S. Dept of State, there are an estimated 24.9 million victims worldwide at any given time of human trafficking, and with the repeal of Row vs. Wade illegal abortions are in the headlines again. Bringing it up close and personal to a relatively small town in Wisconsin makes people realize serious issues can happen anywhere but that there are good people trying to make a difference.

Being set during a Wisconsin winter really added to the story. The winds, cold, and snow, including a blizzard, are part of life around here. Winters have gotten milder over the years but Mother Nature is a fickle woman so we never know what to expect. In fact, one of my grandsons was born in the middle of a blizzard 10 years ago. My husband transported his parents to the hospital following a snowplow and they arrived just in time. Our older grandson was snowed in with his other set of grandparents out in the country for 3 or 4 days.

What gets me excited every time I open a book by Annelise Ryan is that I know I am going to read a great story filled with a mystery or two that grabs my attention. One that features characters that are engaging and that I have become invested in. And that I am going to laugh, probably often. She does an excellent job of blending top-notch mysteries with Mattie’s crazy everyday life.

Dead of Winter is a fantastic addition to this series. I highly recommend it and the rest of the series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Dead of Winter.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

The contest Will End on November 11, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For 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 Cloak and Dagger Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead Calm (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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


Dead Calm (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard Boiled Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (February 27, 2018)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706684
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706683
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706692
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706690
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07178SP36

As deputy medical examiner and homicide detective respectively, newlyweds Mattie Winston and Steve Hurley are dispatched to a grisly crime scene at the Grizzly Motel, a seedy joint for illicit liaisons on the outskirts of Sorenson, Wisconsin. A man and woman are found dead next to each other in bed in what initially appears to be a grim but straightforward murder-suicide. An affair gone sour?

But as the forensic evidence is gathered and autopsies are performed, Mattie and Hurley realize the scene has been staged. They have a double murder on their hands. The spurned spouses of both victims top the list of suspects, but as more is revealed, the case becomes increasingly complex. Dividing their time and resources between the crime and an ongoing investigation involving Mattie’s father, plus caring for their kids, the two are stretched to their limits. After another victim turns up dead, there’s no room for error as they stage a scene of their own to back the killer into a corner . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Deputy Medical Examiner Mattie Winston and her husband Homicide Detective Steve Hurley are called to the Grizzly (No Tell) Motel for 2 bodies. At first, the deaths are thought to be murder/suicide to end an affair but some keen observations and the autopsies show that isn’t what happened. It is a double murder case and the couple’s respective spouses are now the prime suspects.

Mattie and Hurley are also still working on an investigation that involves Mattie’s father, trying to build a house, taking care of their family, and more. With this new double murder, they are juggling a lot and it may just be too much. Then another body is found and Mattie pushes her boss to hire a replacement for her recently deceased coworker before she goes over the edge. Until then she and her hunky detective may need to get creative to solve a complex case and catch a killer.


Ms. Ryan has packed this book full of mysteries! An old case that started in a previous book, a strange case that may involve aliens, and the current murder case. All three grab a hold of the reader and play out at their own pace throughout the book. The alien case made me think of the recent release by this author, A Death in Door County. It shows me that the author has wanted to explore unique storylines for a while and she does it very well. The old case is very complex and has many tangents to explore which I enjoyed. The new case was more straightforward and easier for readers to solve.

I really appreciate that Ms. Ryan writes true-to-life characters. Mattie Winston is not a superwoman and her work is starting to take a toll on her mind and body. Steve is very supportive but he gets overwhelmed at times as well. Izzy and Dom are struggling a bit too with Izzy going back to work, his mother living on the premises, and Dom wanting to get back to some of the things he was doing before the baby came. Dom is also babysitting Matthew for Mattie and Steve.

The recognizable Wisconsin references are always a treat. This time Mattie truly was in my neck of the woods, just mere blocks away.

I love the way Ms. Ryan writes a story and the way she blends together mysteries and family life. At first, I thought this book was a little light on the author’s signature humor. That was until Izzy and Mattie started to interview for someone to replace Hal. Oh my stars, you won’t believe who they ultimately hire. I think things are going to be very interesting around the morgue. It may mean everyone working there will need to receive a special piece of equipment.

Dead Calm is not a book you can read as a stand-alone because of the arc of one of the cases. Of course, as a fan, I think you should read the entire series in order to really get to know these characters.  But if you want to jump in later in the series it twisted from the cozy realm to more hard-boiled with Dead in The Water so that one should definitely be read before this book.

I have enjoyed this entire series and look forward to reading Dead of Winter soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Dead Calm.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

The contest Will End on October 28, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For 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 Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Murder up to Bat (A Front Page Mystery) by Elizabeth McKenna #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @ElizaMcKenna


Murder up to Bat (A Front Page Mystery)
by Elizabeth McKenna

About Murder up to Bat


Murder up to Bat (A Front Page Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Independently Published (August 18, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 186 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8218055424
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BBPPR2SF

Mystery with a whiff of romance…After falling in love with the quiet lake life and a certain police detective, former Chicago Tribune reporter Emma Moore trades interviewing jocks for chasing champion cows at the county fair. As a small-town newspaper reporter, she covers local topics both big and small, but when her friend Luke is arrested for the murder of the head coach of his club softball team, she’ll need to hone her investigative skills to clear his name. Emma calls up her best friend Grace for help, and together the women go up against cutthroat parents willing to kill for a chance to get their daughters onto a premier college sports team.

It’s the bottom of the ninth with bases loaded, and murder is up to bat. Can Emma and her friends bring the heat and win the game?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

People all over take their kid’s sports very seriously especially when scouts are watching with the promise of college scholarships. In Murder up to Bat, it is girls’ softball at the forefront and a coach being killed.

Reporter Emma Moore and her significant other Detective Ryan O’Mara arrive at their friend Luke’s gym, LT’s Performance and Fitness Center, just in time to see Luke standing over Coach Brian Barnett with a bat in his hand. Emma knows the scene is daunting but there is no way her friend Luke is responsible for that attack. Thankfully her best friend Grace is in town visiting. Together they will be doing some scouting of their own with the promise of clearing Luke’s name and catching the real killer.


I enjoyed the first book in this series, set in my home state of Wisconsin, and was thrilled when I learned this book was being released. Let me tell you it was worth the wait. Elizabeth McKenna did not disappoint.

Emma Moore has made her home in Fontana reporting about champion cows and small-town life instead of the hustle of Chicago. Of course, falling in love with Fontana Detective Ryan O’Mara made the move pretty easy. She is making new friends like Luke while still keeping in touch with old friends like Grace who comes to visit in this story. Emma could see Luke was attracted to Grace from the moment they met but Grace was oblivious at first. Now, Grace is all in to clear Luke of murder and see what their future holds. All four characters are relatable and likable.

The new characters introduced in this story, the softball players, their parents, and coaches are well-crafted, all with a purpose to the story. While none has been driven to murder I have witnessed people like them in real life. Ms. McKenna has captured their stunning behavior perfectly.

The author has written a very tangled-up mystery that was not easy to solve. Gossip, jealousy, and secrets lead Emma, Grace, Luke, and Ryan in several different directions before the truth is revealed. It was a surprising and emotional ending.

For me, Murder up to Bat was A Perfect Escape. A mystery with just the right about of romance and engaging core characters! I hope we don’t have to wait as long for the 3rd book in this series. I am anxious to take the short trip south to the Fontana/Lake Geneva area again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Elizabeth McKenna 

Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, where her tastes ranged from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King’s horror stories. She had never read a romance novel until her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene).

Her novels reflect her mercurial temperament and include historical romances, contemporary romances, cozy mysteries, and dark mysteries. With some being “clean” and some being “naughty,” she has a book for your every mood.

Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband and Sidney, the rescue dog from Tennessee. When she isn’t writing, reading, editing, or walking the dog that never tires, she’s sleeping.

Author Links

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Smashwords –

Great Escapes Praise for Murder up to Bat (A Front Page Mystery)
by Elizabeth McKenna

Wow, Ms. McKenna knows how to start the story going with this mystery. Murder up to Bat by Elizabeth McKenna is a great story that ended up being worth the three-year wait. I am rating Murder up to Bat by Elizabeth McKenna with five stars, and I recommend it to all you cozy readers out there. I can’t wait for more of these tales.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

If you are looking for an entertaining, enjoyable, and unique cozy mystery, I highly recommend you give Murder Up To Bat by Elizabeth McKenna a try.
~The Book Decoder

 

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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 Cloak and Dagger Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Death in Door County (A Monster Hunter Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review @ryan_annelise

Release Date – September 13, 2022


A Death in Door County (A Monster Hunter Mystery)
Traditional Mystery
1st In Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Berkley (September 13, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593441575
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593441572
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09N6MRYVV

A Wisconsin bookstore owner and cryptozoologist is asked to investigate a series of deaths that just might be proof of a fabled lake monster in this first installment of a new mystery series by USA Today bestselling author Annelise Ryan.

Morgan Carter, the owner of the Odds and Ends bookstore in Door County, Wisconsin, has a hobby. When she’s not tending the store, she’s hunting cryptids—creatures whose existence is rumored, but never proven to be real. It’s a hobby that cost her parents their lives, but one she’ll never give up on.

So when a number of bodies turn up on the shores of Lake Michigan with injuries that look like bites from a giant unknown animal, police chief Jon Flanders turns to Morgan for help. A skeptic at heart, Morgan can’t turn down the opportunity to find proof of an entity whose existence she can’t definitively rule out. She and her beloved rescue dog, Newt, journey to the Death’s Door strait to hunt for a homicidal monster in the lake—but if they’re not careful, they just might be its next victims.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What lies deep in the waters of the Great Lakes? Could there be a monster or two? Morgan Carter is determined to find out. Her hobby is hunting cryptids—creatures whose existence is rumored but never proven to be real.

Police Chief Jon Flanders has learned of Morgan’s hobby and has asked her for help when bodies, human and animal, have washed up on the shores of Lake Michigan with unusual bites from an unknown animal. Morgan cannot turn the man down so she and her rescue dog, Newt take on the case of the “monster” in the Death’s Door strait. Will they survive or be the next victims of the monster lurking beneath the surface?


As a Wisconsin resident and a fan of Annelise Ryan, I was not sure where she was going with the Monster Hunter theme but was pleasantly surprised when I started reading this story.

Morgan Carter is a unique protagonist that has a sad backstory, her parents were killed a couple of years ago, an unusual hobby, hunting cryptids, and is the owner of the Odds and Ends bookstore which is filled with some really peculiar items. She is smart and driven especially when she is on a hunt. Her best friend is her rescue dog Newt. He goes along with her everywhere she goes. We also meet Police Chief Jon Flanders. He also has a painful past. Morgan’s employees, Devon and Rita, bring a lot to this story too. All these characters are well-developed, especially for the first book in the series.

The mystery was captivating. The weather on the lake was haunting most of the time. The search really drew me in. So much so that I physically jumped back in my seat more than once. Ms. Ryan paced the entire story perfectly. Near the end, I finally had some clues fall into place but I loved the final reveal. When I turned the last page I felt like I had been on a real adventure.

Setting this book in Door County was fun. I recognized the places Morgan traveled and those I was unfamiliar with were described perfectly to create the images in my mind.

The author adds some worthy themes into this story, like building trust and coping with past traumatic events. She also made the idea of cryptids actually believable, even though I have lived here my whole life and never heard of any such thing in any of the Great Lakes.  The truth is you never know what you may find in those waters. Hear my diabolical laugh here.

A Death in Door County was a Perfect Escape. Ms. Ryan has given this series a great start. I am eager to see where she takes her characters next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

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 Interviews New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders: A Cozy Mystery Anthology – Loch Ness Murder by Michele Pariza Wacek – #Review #CharacterInterview #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders: A Cozy Mystery Anthology
by Hillary Avis, Benedict Brown, Catherine Coles, Paula Darnell, Connie B. Dowell, Ellen Jacobson, Joann Keder, Patti Larsen, Cate Lawley, Gayle Leeson, Daisy Linh, Rimmy London, R.B. Marshall, Megan Mayfair, Wendy Meadows, Phillipa Nefri Clark, Michele Pariza Wacek, Erin Scoggins, Cathy Tully, Victoria LK Williams and Carly Winter

About Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders


Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders: A Cozy Mystery Anthology
Aye Alba Publishing (June 21, 2022)
Number of Pages ~1600
Digital B09K9NN64X

Poisonous picnics, burgled barbeques, deadly deckchairs… and midsummer mayhem!

From a brilliant bunch of amazing authors, including multiple prizewinners and USA Today best sellers, comes this wonderful collection of 21 summer-themed cozy mysteries.

Featuring peril at the pool, blood on the beach, and felony at the festival, these fabulous stories—21 brand new and exclusive tales—will keep you entertained until long after the sun has set.

With stories from Hillary Avis, Benedict Brown, Catherine Coles, Paula Darnell, Connie B. Dowell, Ellen Jacobson, Joann Keder, Patti Larsen, Cate Lawley, Gayle Leeson, Daisy Linh, Rimmy London, R.B. Marshall, Megan Mayfair, Wendy Meadows, Phillipa Nefri Clark, Michele Pariza Wacek, Erin Scoggins, Cathy Tully, Victoria LK Williams and Carly Winter, you’ll surely find some of your favourite authors and discover some great new writers within the ~1600 pages of this set.

This collection will only be available for a limited time so don’t miss out – grab yourself a bargain today!

Today I am focusing on Loch Ness Murder by Michele Pariza Wacek.

It wouldn’t be Redemption without something weird going on in one of the lakes.

Part of The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries, a cozy mystery series set in the 1990s.

Redemption, Wisconsin, is a charming little town that has a haunted past. Back in 1888, all the adults disappeared. Only the children were left, and they all swore they had no idea what happened to the adults. 

Since then, Redemption had been a hotbed of strange and mysterious events. 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Two men arrive in Redemption to research Locky, a monster similar to the famed Loch Ness Monster, believed to be inhabiting Angel Lake. They believe the creature is more likely to be a naiad or water nymph but also admit there could be nothing in the cold deep lake where bodies are rarely recovered.

Will both men survive to publish their research or will Redemption and Angel Lake be more than they can handle?


A superfast fun read from Michele Pariza Wacek.

A trip to the beach has Charlie rescuing one of the men in town to investigate the creature in the water. From there the short story quickly unfolds with lies and deception and some interesting teeth marks.

It was great to have a short visit with Charlie and Pat and whatever creature may or may not be in the lake.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

And now I am thrilled to welcome Michele Pariza Wacek and Charlie Kingsley to Escape With Dollycas!

Meet Charlie Kingsley: A Character Like No Other

Of all the characters I’ve written about, I can honestly say that Charlie Kingsley is in a league of her own.

When she first came to me, she didn’t even have a name—she was simply the dead aunt who left Becca her house in her will in the beginning of It Began With a Lie (Book 1 of the
Secrets of Redemption
series).

Eventually, I gave her a name, Lottie, which wasn’t right (she definitely gave me an earful about it). And even though I don’t write paranormal books, she still ended up becoming a force to be reckoned with, appearing in Becca’s dreams to guide her and give her advice.

As I wrote the first three books in the series, Charlie informed me I needed to write her story, about how she first came to Redemption, Wisconsin. So, that became Books 4-5.

Once I published those, I assumed I was done with Charlie.

That was not the case.

A few months later, I got the idea for a Christmas murder mystery starring Charlie. The Murder Before Christmas was published on November 9, 2021, and it launched a whole new cozy mystery series called The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries. (Of course!).

Currently, there are three books published in the series, with two more set to be released in 2022, along with a couple of novellas, including Loch Ness Murder, which is included in the Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murder cozy mystery anthology.

So, if you’d like to get to know this powerhouse character, keep reading for a little heart-to-heart.

MPW: Thanks for doing this with me.

CK: Of course. You and I are in this together, after all.

MPW: That is true. So, when did you first realize I was … ‘underutilizing’ you? I guess that would be the best way to describe it …

CK: (Chuckles.) So, first off, I think ALL characters feel underutilized. But what it comes down to is the lengths the characters are willing to go to get noticed. For me, it was about persistence. You kept wanting to stray, and I had to keep reigning you back. Remember that fairy tale retelling project that went nowhere for ten months?

MPW: Um …

CK: You spent ten months writing the first book, and you barely got halfway through the first draft!

MPW: That isn’t one of my prouder ‘moments.’

CK: That’s an understatement. And you were just so stubborn. It took you getting an eye infection during the pandemic before you would slow down long enough to realize the project you should be working on was my story in the Secrets of Redemption series.

MPW: Okay, but give me some credit. I pivoted last summer to start on The Murder Before Christmas pretty quickly.

CK: Yes, you’re improving. Not perfect yet, but definitely getting better.

MPW: Speaking of The Murder Before Christmas, when did you realize the spin-off series was going to be a cozy?

CK: I always knew it was going to be a cozy. I’m not sure why it took you so long to get on board.

MPW: Well, for one, the original series was a psychological suspense.

CK: Yeah, but there are cozy elements in it. Especially in Book 2, This Happened to Jessica. But they’re all mystery-driven—they take place in a small town with a repeating cast of characters, and they’re clean.

MPW: That’s true.

CK: So, with The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries, it just made sense to step fully into the cozy world.

MPW: When you put it that way, it does make sense. So, there are now three books in the series: The Murder Before Christmas, Ice Cold Murder and Murder Next Door

CK: Don’t forget about the prequel short story, A Grave Error.

MPW: Yes, that too. Also Loch Ness Murder. Do you have a favorite?

CK: Hmmm. I like them all, but for different reasons. I was excited we were finally writing a Christmas mystery … I know we both wanted to do that for a long time.

MPW: That’s true.

CK: But Ice Cold Murder was a lot of fun, as well. After all, what’s more intriguing than being trapped in a supposedly haunted house with a dead lawyer and a dysfunctional family in the middle of a snowstorm? At least when it comes to solving a mystery.

MPW: I can’t think of anything better.

CK: Although if you ask Claire, she might have a different answer.

MPW: Yeah, that’s why we’re not asking her.

CK: And, Loch Ness Monster was great because it takes place in the summer, and I very much prefer Wisconsin in the summer.

MPW: I think you’re in very good company there. And that leads me to my last question—do you ever get upset with me for all the bad things that happen to you?

CK: That question assumes you’re the one coming up with the bad things.

MPW: Wait … what?

CK: I mean, has it occurred to you that our stories are our stories and you’re just the one writing them down? Honestly, you’re kind of like a glorified secretary.

MPW: Um …

CK: Now, that isn’t to say I don’t get upset with you. But it’s mostly when you get stubborn and start working on other projects and listening to other characters when you should be paying attention to me.

MPW: Okay then. Good to know.

About Michele Pariza Wacek

When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly. It took some time (and some detours) but now she does spend much of her time writing stories. Mystery stories, to be exact. They’re clean and twisty, and range from psychological thrillers to cozies, with a dash of romance and supernatural thrown into the mix. If that wasn’t enough, she posts lots of fun things on her blog, including short stories, puzzles, recipes and more, at MPWNovels.com. For a free prequel to her cozy mystery series, The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries, visit https://mpwnovels.com/freebies/

Michele holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

Author Links
Website FacebookLinked InTwitter Instagram

Release Date – June 21, 2022
Also by Michele Pariza Wacek

Just click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.

Check out stories in the anthology from the rest of these authors!

About Ellen Jacobson

Ellen Jacobson is a writer, cat lover & obsessed with chocolate. She writes cozy mysteries and romantic comedies including the Mollie McGhie Mysteries and the Smitten with Travel Rom-Coms.

You can find out more on her website (ellenjacobsonauthor.com), sign up for her newsletter (https://www.subscribepage.com/m4g9m4).

About Patti Larsen

I’m a multiple award-winning writer with a passion for the voices in my head. With many (many!) titles across many (many!) genres, all in happy publication, there’s no end in sight…

That being said, I’m short (permanent), happy (I have the best life ever) and blonde (forever and ever). I love to talk one on one about the deepest topics and can’t seem to stop seeing the big picture. I happily live on Prince Edward Island, Canada, home to Anne of Green Gables and the most beautiful red beaches in the world, with my multiple cats, pug overlord and lady and Gypsy Vanner gelding, Fynn.

About R.B. Marshall

Like my amateur sleuth, Izzy, I’m a dressage-riding computer geek who loves coffee – but there the similarity ends. She is far smarter than me, and a lot younger! I hope you’ll join me in discovering where her curiosity leads to next…

Pretty much all my books are set in my native Scotland, and my mystery stories are no exception. You’ll meet colourful characters solving perplexing puzzles in the most glorious landscape imaginable. Throw in a castle or two, the occasional royal, and maybe even a delicious cake shop, and you’ll have the recipe for my new series.

I also write fantasy and clean romance/women’s fiction, as Roz Marshall: http://viewAuthor.at/RozMarshall

and Historical Romance telling the story of Mary Queen of Scots, as Belle McInnes: http://viewauthor.at/BelleMcInnes

About Hillary Avis

Hillary Avis writes cozy mysteries about smart women who persist until they uncover the truth—about themselves, about their communities, and of course about any unsolved murders.

She grew up in a small town on the west coast, went to college in a small town on the east coast, and now lives in beautiful Eugene, Oregon. She has two charming children, three fluffy dogs, and two practically perfect felines named Mystery and Intrigue. She also has too many chickens and one very patient husband.

When Hillary’s not reading, writing, or editing, she bakes bread, makes pottery, drinks coffee, and streams The Great British Bake-Off, but not all at the same time.

About Cate Lawley

Cate Lawley writes humorous, action-filled mysteries that frequently contain a paranormal twist.

When Cate’s not tapping away at her keyboard or in deep contemplation of her next fanciful writing project, she’s sweeping up hairy dust bunnies and watching British mysteries.

Cate is from Austin, Texas (where many of her stories take place) but has recently migrated north to Boise, Idaho, where soup season (her favorite time of year) lasts more than two weeks.

She’s worked as an attorney, a dog trainer, and in various other positions, but writer is the hands-down winner. She’s thankful readers keep reading, so she can keep writing!

Paranormal cozy mystery series:

Vegan Vamp Mysteries

Night Shift Witch Mysteries

Death Retired Mysteries

Cursed Candy Mysteries

Cozy mystery series:

Fairmont Finds Canine Cozy Mysteries

Cate’s sweet romance series:

Love Ever After

Lucky Magic

For bonus materials and updates, visit her website to join her mailing list: www.CateLawley.com

About Rimmy London

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead in the Water (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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


Dead in the Water (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard-Boiled Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (February 28, 2017)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 149670665X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706652
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706668
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706669
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01GBAG70E

As a single mom and deputy coroner of Sorenson, Wisconsin, Mattie Winston is used to her life being a juggling act. But now that she’s moved in with Detective Steve Hurley and his teenaged daughter, and has started planning their wedding, her home life is looking more like a three-ring circus. At least her workload at the Medical Examiner’s office is lightened by the new hire Hal Dawson. But before Hal can even cash his first paycheck, he’s murdered on a fishing trip with his girlfriend, who’s gone missing. To keep her life from going completely under, Mattie will have to dive deep for clues. But a killer is just as determined to keep the truth from ever surfacing . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mattie and Hurley have moved into together to raise their son, Matthew now that they have his teenage daughter Emily’s approval. A wedding will happen soon if they can squeeze it in around their hectic jobs. Mattie had thought her part-time schedule would free up some time but her new co-worker Hal Dawson was just found dead on his boat and his girlfriend is missing. On top of that her boss, Izzy is having some serious medical issues and a temporary Medical Examiner has stepped in. Mattie finds herself working closely with Hurley to find out why Hal was found Dead in the Water but the killer seems to be quite elusive and the bodies are piling up.


I do love that the series is set very close to where I actually live and that when they say someone is on their way to or from Madison or Milwaukee I can easily visualize the trip. It is fun when other landmarks are mentioned too.

I am so happy that Mattie, Hurley, Emily, and Matthew are all under one roof and they have come up with a plan to try to juggle everything in their complicated lives. They all seem really happy and I am excited about their future. I am concerned about Izzy and Dom. They are still finding their way with a new baby in the house and Izzy’s judgemental mother in the guest house. Izzy has a serious medical episode in this story and it was very scary. As you can see, I have become invested in these realistic genuine characters Ms. Ryan has created. The unique family dynamic is what really drives the books in this series.

This story grabbed me from the start. Mattie is in court testifying about a gruesome discovery she made when called to a scene for a suspicious death. Then as soon as she is done she is set to another scene for another death that has some unusual facets. Then she has to deal with Izzy which is followed quickly by the dead body found Dead in the Water. Are all or some of these cases related? That is up to Mattie and Hurley with a little assistance to figure out all while dealing with the joys of daily family life.

I really enjoyed the way the author plotted out this story. She mixes together mystery, suspense, family, and humor with such a talented hand. The story flows so well that it is almost impossible to put down due to some hair-raising twists and deadly turns. The ending just rocked me to the core. We have definitely moved from the cozy Stiff part of this series to the edgier hard-boiled Dead part of this series and I am more than fine with that.

Dead in the Water is my favorite book in this series so far. I am excited to dive into Dead Calm soon!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

New Series Starting September 13, 2022

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Dead in the Water.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will
receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 3, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For 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 Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Murder at the Mena House (A Jane Wunderly Mystery) by Erica Ruth Neubauer #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.


Murder at the Mena House (A Jane Wunderly Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Egypt
Kensington (March 31, 2020)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496725859
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496725851
Paperback (February 23, 2021): ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496725867
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496725868
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07R7S1D4F

 

WINNER OF THE 2021 AGATHA AWARD

Well-heeled travelers from around the world flock to the Mena House Hotel—an exotic gem in the heart of Cairo where cocktails flow, adventure dispels the aftershocks of World War I, and deadly dangers wait in the shadows . . .

Egypt, 1926.

Fiercely independent American Jane Wunderly has made up her mind: she won’t be swept off her feet on a trip abroad. Despite her Aunt Millie’s best efforts, the young widow would rather gaze at the Great Pyramids of Giza than into the eyes of a dashing stranger. Yet Jane’s plans to remain cool and indifferent become ancient history in the company of Mr. Redvers, a roguish banker she can’t quite figure out . . .

While the Mena House has its share of charming guests, Anna Stainton isn’t one of them. The beautiful socialite makes it clear that she won’t share the spotlight with anyone—especially Jane. But Jane soon becomes the center of attention when she’s the one standing over her unintentional rival’s dead body. Now, with her innocence at stake in a foreign country, Jane must excavate an elusive killer before her future falls to ruin in Cairo, and the body count rises like the desert heat . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Americans Jane Wunderly and her Aunt Mille arrive at The Mena House in the heart of Cairo with different agendas. Jane wants to take in the history of the place and visit the Great Pyramids. Her aunt plans to find young widow Jane a man. At least that is how the trip begins. Instead, Millie becomes close with two young women, one a dedicated tennis player, and Jane meets the mysterious Mr. Redvers. He and Jane spend quite a bit of time together as she tries to get to the heart of his true story.  Both women also meet a variety of guests at The Mena House including Anna Stainton and her father. Anna clearly has a problem with Jane and every other young woman in the place. But it is Jane who finds herself in the hot seat after she finds the young socialite’s dead body. Prison was not on the itinerary for Jane’s Egyptian vacation so with a little help from her new friend Mr. Redvers she intends to find the real killer and ruin their vacation, not hers!


I have wanted to read this book for quite a while and I am so glad I finally did. Egypt, 1926, a luxury hotel with a view of The Great Pyramids. Yes! Please!

Ms. Neubauer takes her readers on a wonderful virtual vacation as her words bring Cairo to life. Like Jane, I would probably need time to adjust to the heat but it was fun to tag along on her adventures to the market, the museum, the camel races, and the pyramids. Either I have forgotten what I learned about the pyramids or I never knew the structure inside them. The way the author described them was so interesting and vivid. I know I will never see them with my own eyes so I really appreciated her take on the historic site.

Jane lost her husband in the great war and because of the life she had with him, she is in no hurry to get entangled with another one. She enjoys her independence and is determined not to lose it to any man. I liked her from the start and as her story unfolded I liked her even more. Her Aunt Millie appreciates leaving prohibition back in the states and is rarely seen without a cocktail in her hand. She is a feisty woman, set in her ways, and sometimes hard to deal with. We learn this trip is more than what she presented to Jane. Millie has a mystery all her own. Mr. Redvers is an interesting man and clearly hiding something. So in addition to trying to find a killer, Jane tries really hard to draw him out. All these characters continue to develop over the course of this story but I truly feel we have just scratched the surface.

The death of Anna Stainton was not an easy solve. There were several suspects and Jane really had her work cut out for her. Different people had different motives and she came up with several theories. She did make some risky moves. I liked how she tried to talk herself out of them but then pushed full speed ahead. I was shocked when the killer was revealed.

As for Millie’s mystery, I had an inkling early as to what was happening but it turned out to be much more than I even imagined.

I really enjoyed reading Murder at the Mena House. It was a great introduction for this series and Jane and Millie. I really liked Mr. Redvers and hope that he turns up in the next book Murder at Wedgefield Manor. I am looking forward to tagging along with Jane again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

from amazon About Erica Ruth Neubauer

Erica Ruth Neubauer spent eleven years in the military, nearly two as a Maryland police officer and one as a high school English teacher before finding her way as a writer. She has been a reviewer of mysteries and crime fiction for Publishers Weekly and Mystery Scene Magazine for several years, and she is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. When she’s not writing, Erica Ruth enjoys traveling, yoga, and craft beer. She lives in Milwaukee, WI.

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I am giving 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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 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 on May 13, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For 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 New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library (A Lakeside Library Mystery) by Holly Danvers #Review


Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library (A Lakeside Library Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (February 8, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643858904
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643858906
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B094GN61WT

An icy cold murder and a library patron collide in Holly Danver’s second Lakeside Library Mystery.

A glowing wood stove, a cozy log cabin, and shelves full of books are all Rain Wilmot needs to ride out the Wisconsin winter, now that she’s made her family’s Lofty Pines library her year-round home. But the warm-hearted librarian’s blood runs cold when local man, Wallace Benson, is found dead during the annual Ice Fishing Jamboree.

After Benson’s body is found in his ice shanty, Rain recalls that she recently saw the victim in her library, borrowing a few cookbooks to prepare for the fishing tournament’s communal “chili dump.” She later finds these same books returned to the library’s drop box, with an enigmatic note from Benson to Rain.

As Rain seeks to understand the message, the prime suspect becomes Rain’s friend Nick, who was the last person to see Wallace alive and who returned to the Jamboree with a nasty cut on his hand. The knife found in his tackle box only makes Nick’s troubles worse. But Rain keeps fishing for other suspects. Was the killer Danny, who lost his arm to a logging accident involving Wallace? Or Danny’s bitter father, whose dreams of retirement were dashed by his son’s accident?

With the help of her friends Julia and Jace, Rain sets out to hook the real culprit and clear Nick’s name. But can her sleuthing skills protect her from a killer who’d like to take her out of circulation?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Winters in northern Wisconsin can be brutal and definitely aren’t for everyone but Rain Wilmot decides it is the perfect place for her. She plans to make it her year-round home and keep her family’s Lofty Pines Library open so that everyone in the area will be able to check out books to snuggle up with on the cold winter days and nights. She is already meeting new people like Wallace Benson. Wallace plans to take part in the annual chili dump that takes place during the Ice Fishing Jamboree. He just needs to find the right recipe and Rain shows him the library has plenty of cookbooks to choose from. She sends him on his way promising to check his entry out on the big day.

The Ice Fishing Jamboree opens with plenty of ice shanties out on the lake and Rain notices Wallace’s prime spot. But soon chaos erupts when a woman breaks through the crowd claiming her husband has been murdered and she points her finger at Rain’s friend and neighbor Nick as the murderer. Rain soon realizes the woman is saying that her new friend Wallace is dead. Why would Nick kill Wallace? Heck, Nick wouldn’t kill anyone. Looking around she sees a whole crowd of suspects. She has to help her friends. Nick’s wife Julia needs support especially when her brother Jace has been pulled off the case. Hopefully, the three of them can cast a line and catch the real killer, and set Nick free. That is if the killer doesn’t catch her first . . .


After living here my whole life it is not hard to imagine the weather the characters experienced in this book. This year we had a pretty mild winter where I live in Wisconsin but I know that wasn’t the case up north. It was fun to slip into Rain’s world while snuggled up in a comfy chair with a blanket knowing I wasn’t going to have to deal with the blustery wind, blowing snow and frigid temperatures she was dealing with while crossing my fingers we are really headed to spring and have no big storms in our future. Aside from the weather outside, Rain’s family cabin and library would be a place I could easily call home. Ms. Danvers’s descriptions really take her readers inside this marvelous place effortlessly. The fire in the fireplace, the books on the shelves, the coffee brewing. A grand place in the woods perfect for a booklover.

In the last book, Murder at the Lakeside Library, I thought Julia was a really pushy woman. This time, because her husband is the prime suspect, she is a bit more subdued by the shock of what is happening around her. I liked seeing this vulnerable side and her letting Rain be the strong one. Don’t get by wrong, Julia still pushed, just not as hard or the over the top way she had before. Marge, who usually heads south for the winter just couldn’t stay away knowing the library was open. I loved that she returned. Both Rain and Julia needed her.

Rain’s sleuthing did make me a little nervous but she really shined in this story. She is still finding her way and reconnecting with people but she seems much more comfortable now. She has more confidence. I love that she is making the cabin her home and I love all the ideas she has for the library including a new wood stove.  A stove that has bought a new young man into Rain’s life setting up the dreaded romantic triangle found in most cozy mysteries. Some people hate them but I enjoy them when done right. I really like Jace but Ryan is very nice too. Time will tell where these romantic ties will go and if I will be Team Jace or Team Ryan.

I was sad that Wallace was our victim. He seemed like such a nice man that was clearly working through something. He was so excited about both the chili and ice fishing contests. The mystery surrounding his death evolved slowly over the course of the book with Rain and Julia taking some real risks and making Jace a little crazy. The killer wasn’t thrilled by their actions either and tried to make that known. I solved this one pretty easily but was still very entertained following all the clues with the girls. The ending was super exciting and had me at the edge of my seat. I loved it!

Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library was a delightful addition to this series. The characters continue to evolve and become even more engaging. The Wisconsin setting is a big draw for me too. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Holly Danvers 

Holly Danvers grew up devouring every mystery novel on the shelf of her local library. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and 3 chickens, where she’s already plotting her next novel.

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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.”

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Murder Next Door (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries) by Michele Pariza Wacek #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @MichelePW


Murder Next Door (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries)
by Michele Pariza Wacek

About Murder Next Door 

Murder Next Door (Charlie Kingsley Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Love-Based Publishing (April 19, 2022)
265 Pages
Digital ASIN: B09QZ476FW

Everyone knows vampires don’t exist.

So when Mildred Schmidt, one of Charlie’s customers, is convinced that her next-door neighbor’s housesitter is actually a vampire, Charlie of course has to step in to see what is really going on.

What she finds is … disturbing. The house sitter DOES have some peculiar habits—like digging holes in the backyard in the middle of the night.

Surely, they aren’t … graves.

But then Polly, a local teenager, goes missing.

Of course, teenagers DO run away from time to time.

Less explainable is the dead body that then appears in the “vampire’s” yard.

Luckily, Charlie is hot on the case, and not a moment too soon as she races to not only find Polly, but to discover the killer before the bodies start to pile up.

Meet Charlie. Better known as “Aunt Charlie” from the award-winning Secrets of Redemption series. She’s back, making teas and solving cases in this funny, twisty, cozy mystery series set in the 1990s in Redemption, Wisconsin.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Did you say, vampire?

Yes, and he’s digging holes in the backyard in the middle of the night!

Well, it is Redemption, Wisconsin and strange things seem to happen there. But vampires?

Soon Charlie is caught up in finding a missing mailman, a missing teenager, a murder, a psychic, and yes, a vampire who everyone believes is responsible for it all.


We are back in Redemption, Wisconsin and I have to keep reminding myself this series is set in the 1990s when I wonder why Charlie doesn’t have a cell phone. But when that memory kicks in I find myself easily immersed in the quirky small town and its eccentric residents.

Redemption is a peculiar place and the perfect setting for a cozy mystery. Readers quickly learn that is more than just a place though. The residents believe the town has power and like the Hotel California, once you check-in, you can’t check out unless the town is willing to let you go. This gives an overshadowing eerieness to the whole story which makes it different from most traditional cozy mysteries.

This time we meet Mildred, one of Charlie’s tea customers who is worried about what is happening next door. It seems her longtime neighbor has disappeared and someone else is living in his house. The “housesitter” is a very unusual man with some unusual habits and it has poor Mildred completely twitterpated. We also learn that across town a teenager from a large family has gone missing. Then a dead body is found in the missing man’s yard and the entire town is in an uproar. Charlie arrives just in time to stop the surge ready to take the housesitter/vampire down.

The author really plotted this story well. It had a really good flow. Again, Charlie’s friend Pat becomes her sleuthing partner with Pat thinking that a visit to the new psychic in town will get them off to a great start in finding what is going on around town and if anyone truly is in danger. Well, that didn’t go as planned.

I enjoyed how Charlie encouraged and finally was able to convince Mildred to talk to the police. Officer Brandon Wyle listened patiently to Mildred’s outlandish report and then turned to Charlie after Mildred left the room to find out if the woman was truly delusional. Then he tells Charlie to butt out and leave everything to him. Later he realizes it may be beneficial to keep Charlie involved. What was even better is they get together several times to compare notes and by the end appear to be on common ground and maybe more in the future.

All the mysteries were solved by the end of the book although one happened very abruptly when all the clues finally slipped into place for Charlie. I was surprised, the ending could have gone two ways. All I will say is Charlie is one lucky woman.

Murder Next Door is an entertaining story containing several mysteries tangled together in an intriguing way that kept the pages rapidly turning.  I can’t wait to escape into the next Charlie Kingsley Mystery and 1990s Redemption, Wisconsin. It is quite the place and she is quite the protagonist. I also to check out the author’s Secrets of Redemption series where Charlie was first introduced.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Michele Pariza Wacek

When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly. It took some time (and some detours) but now she does spend much of her time writing stories. Mystery stories, to be exact. They’re clean and twisty, and range from psychological thrillers to cozies, with a dash of romance and supernatural thrown into the mix. If that wasn’t enough, she posts lots of fun things on her blog, including short stories, puzzles, recipes and more, at MPWNovels.com. For a free prequel to her cozy mystery series, The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries, visit https://mpwnovels.com/freebies/

Michele holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

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Purchase Link – Amazon 

Also by Michele Pariza Wacek

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
April 19 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT
April 20 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
April 22 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 22 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT  
April 23 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 23 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 24 – Drink Coffee and Read Books – REVIEW
April 24 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
April 25 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
April 25 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW
April 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 26 – My Journey Back – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 27 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
April 27 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
April 28 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 28 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
April 29 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
April 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 30 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 30 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT
May 1 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
May 2 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
May 2 – Girl with Pen – 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.”