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Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries) by James J. Cudney #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Frozen Stiff Drink:
A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney

About Frozen Stiff Drink

Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery
(Braxton Campus Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Gumshoe – A Next Chapter(March 18, 2020)
Digital Edition – ~270 Pages
ASIN: B0849MJH6H

A winter blizzard barrels toward Wharton County with a vengeance. Madam Zenya predicted the raging storm would change the course of Kellan’s life, but the famed seer never could’ve prepared him for all the collateral damage. Nana D disappears after visiting a patient at Willow Trees, leaving behind a trail of confusion. When the patient turns up dead and a second body is discovered beneath the snowbanks, Kellan must face his worst fears. What tragedy has befallen his beloved grandmother?

 

Kellan’s brother Hampton learns essential life lessons the hard way after his father-in-law accuses him of embezzlement. While trying to prove his innocence, Hampton digs himself a deeper hole that might lead to prison. Sheriff Montague wants to save him, but she receives the shock of her life as the past hurtles forward and complicates her future.

 

Between locating Nana D and solving the scandalous murder of another prominent Braxton citizen, Kellan and April’s worlds explode with more turmoil than they can handle. Too bad neither one of them knows what to do about the psychic’s latest premonition. The suspicious deaths happening around town aren’t ending anytime soon.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Winter in Wharton County is not something to mess with especially when Madam Zenya has predicted the storm would change Kellan’s life. It sure has him worried when his Nana D. goes missing. She was last seen visiting a patient at Willow Trees. Later that patient is found dead. The bodies start to pile up when another is found frozen stiff in a car that had plowed into a snowbank.

In addition to the dead bodies, Kellan’s brother Hampton’s marriage is on the rocks after his father-in-law accuses him of stealing money from his company. Sheriff April Montague is juggling the deaths but her personal life is in flux as she tries to handle something from her past that now has a shot at ruining her future. She is also trying to help Kellan find his grandmother.

A missing person, dead bodies, a surprise visit, embezzlement, some bad reviews, and more. Someone has shaken the Braxton snowglobe and created chaos everywhere. They will all need a good stiff drink to thaw them out of this frozen tundra of mayhem.

______

I have enjoyed every book in this series and Mr. Cudney continues to top himself.

This time my favorite character Nana D. was in peril and I was totally enthralled by the search to find her. Madam Zenya sets the story off with her prediction and she pops up throughout the story to try to help Kellan. Hampton, his wife, and inlaws are center stage in this story. Kellan’s folks have taken the kids to Disney World but their vacay may not end as they had planned. April and Kellan are really trying to move their relationship forward but hit a huge roadblock. The family dynamics in this series continue to evolve and is what draws me in every time. They are authentic and the dialogue pops. I am invested in these characters and always excited to see what is going on in their lives, including the murder and confusion.

Mr. Cudney has written an intricate story that is multifaceted with subplots twisted together and Kellan in the middle of them all. I love that even with serious events the author expertly sprinkles humor in all the right places. Full of twists and misdirections, the pace is at a constant high. The ending was exciting and full of surprises. It was very entertaining to follow each clue and twist. There is one person that really rubbed me the wrong way but you will have to read the book to see if they were actually implicated in any crime.

While new crimes are wrapped up by the end of the book, there are plotlines that carry on from one book to the next. You know you get the feeling of accomplishment when the story ends. Well, I have learned to hold on tight at the end of these books because the author always gets his readers excited for the next book with a cliffhanger and this one rocked the world!! You listen here, James J. Cudney! Book 7 better be released soon!! 

Frozen Stiff Drink was frigidly cold Perfect Escape! Grab a blanket before you start reading this book because a Braxton winter will have you shivering right along with its residents.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About James J. Cudney

 

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College. I’ve spent twenty years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. I can’t believe I’ve finished writing the sixth book in this series. Come join in the fun…

Author Links

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Braxton Campus Mysteries – Purchase Links 


Author’s Other Books

 

List of Published Books

Watching Glass Shatter (Contemporary Fiction / Family Drama)

The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family. Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death. We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them, or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits. Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (Contemporary Fiction / Family Drama)

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly. Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies. Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent. Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen are revealed. FATHER FIGURE is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense. Father Figure (April 2018)

BRAXTON CAMPUS MYSTERY SERIES

Academic Curveball: Death at the Sports Complex (#1)

When Kellan Ayrwick, a thirty-two-year-old single father, is forced to return home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds the dead body of a professor in Diamond Hall’s stairwell. Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Then he finds a second body after discovering mysterious donations to the college’s athletic program, a nasty blog denouncing his father, and a criminal attempting to change student grades so the star baseball pitcher isn’t expelled. Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana weeding through the clues, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. Fate has other plans. Kellan is close to discovering the killer’s identity just as someone he loves is put in grave danger of becoming victim number three. And if that’s not enough to wreak havoc on his family, everything comes crashing to a halt when his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever. In this debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series, readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the charming Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. When this first book ends, the drama is set for the next adventure in Kellan’s future… and it’s one you won’t want to miss. Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

Broken Heart Attack: Death at the Theater (#2)

When an extra ticket becomes available to attend the dress rehearsal of Braxton’s King Lear production, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies, sisters-in-law Eustacia and Gwendolyn Paddington, to show support for the rest of the Paddington family. When one of them appears to have a heart attack in the middle of the second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate who killed her friend. Amidst family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks. But did one of them commit murder for an inheritance? Kellan is back in his second adventure since returning home to Pennsylvania. With his personal life in upheaval and his new boss, Myriam, making life difficult, will he be able to find a killer, or will he get caught up in his own version of stage fright? Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

Flower Power Trip: Death at the Masquerade Ball (#3)

Braxton College is throwing the Heroes & Villains Costume Extravaganza to raise money for renovations to the antiquated Memorial Library. While attending, Kellan stumbles upon a close family friend standing over a dead body that’s dressed as Dr. Evil. Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill an annoying guest at the Roarke and Daughters Inn or does the victim have a more intimate connection to someone else on campus? As Kellan helps the school’s president, Ursula, bury a scandalous secret from her past and unearth the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his own family who’s reappeared after a lengthy absence. When all the peculiar events around town trace back to the Stoddards, a new family who recently moved to Wharton County, the explosive discovery only offers more confusion. Between the special flower exhibit that’s made an unplanned stop on campus and strange postcards arriving each week from all around the world, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. Unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to arrive at his doorstep. When it does, Kellan won’t know what hit him. Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

Mistaken Identity Crisis: Death on the Cable Car (#4)

A clever thief with a sinister calling card has invaded Braxton campus. A string of jewelry thefts continues to puzzle the sheriff given they’re remarkably similar to an unsolved eight-year-old case from shortly before Gabriel vanished one stormy night. When a missing ruby is discovered near an electrified dead body during the campus cable car redesign project, Kellan must investigate the real killer to protect his brother. Amidst sorority hazing practices and the victim’s connections to several prominent Wharton County citizens, a malicious motive becomes more obvious and trickier to prove. As if the latest murder isn’t enough to keep him busy, Kellan partners with April to end the Castigliano and Vargas crime family feud. What really happened to Francesca while all those postcards showed up in Braxton? The mafia world is more calculating than Kellan realized, and if he wants to move forward, he must make a few ruthless sacrifices. Election Day is over, and the new mayor takes office. Nana D celebrates her 75th birthday with an adventure. A double wedding occurs at Crilly Lake on Independence Day. And Kellan receives a few more surprises as the summer heat settles in Wharton County. Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

Haunted House Ghost: Death at the Fall Festival (#5)

It’s Halloween, and excitement is brewing in Braxton to carve jack-o’-lanterns, go on haunted hayrides, and race through the spooky corn maze at the Fall Festival. Despite the former occupant’s warnings, Kellan renovates and moves into a mysterious old house. When a ruthless ghost promises retribution, our fearless professor turns to the eccentric town historian and an eerie psychic to communicate with the apparition. Meanwhile, construction workers discover a fifty-year-old skeleton after breaking ground on the new Memorial Library wing. While Kellan and April dance around the chemistry sparking between them, a suspicious accident occurs at the Fall Festival. Soon, Kellan discovers the true history and dastardly connections of the Grey family. But can he capture the elusive killer – and placate the revenge-seeking ghost.   Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for Frozen Stiff Drink:
A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney

5 out of 5 stars
This was a really great book! The suspense was just right and I had only a small inkling of who the villain MIGHT be.
~Valerie’s Musings

The story is well-written and James Cudney does a great job pulling all the storylines together to give us a wonderful conclusion.
~Carla Loves to Read

Frozen Stiff Drink by James J. Cudney is a complex plot with multiple crimes and intriguing characters.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

 

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March 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – 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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Revenge Is Sweet (Vintage Sweets Mysteries) by Kaye George #Review / #Giveaway @lyricalpress

Welcome to Cozy Mystery!

I am happy to feature Revenge Is Sweet by Kaye George today! 

revenge is sweet
Revenge Is Sweet (Vintage Sweets Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Texas
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (March 10, 2020)
Paperback: 193 pages
ISBN-10: 1516105435
ISBN-13: 978-1516105434
Kindle ASIN: B07TS1KJ4T

In the picturesque tourist town of Fredericksburg, Texas, Tally Holt has opened a new candy store with a vintage twist . . .but there’s no sugar-coating a nasty case of murder . . .

 

Tally Holt has poured her heart, soul, and bank account into Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets, specializing in her grandmother’s delicious recipes. Tally’s homemade Mallomars, Twinkies, fudges, and taffy are a hit with visiting tourists—and with Yolanda Bella, the flamboyant owner of Bella’s Baskets next door. But both shops encounter a sour surprise when local handyman Gene Faust is found dead in Tally’s kitchen, stabbed with Yolanda’s scissors.

 

The mayor’s adopted son, Gene was a handsome Casanova with a bad habit of borrowing money from the women he wooed. It’s a sticky situation for Yolanda, who was one of his marks. There are plenty of other likely culprits among Fredericksburg’s female population, and even among Gene’s family. But unless Tally can figure out who finally had their fill of Gene’s sweet-talking ways, Yolanda—and both their fledgling businesses—may be destined for a bitter end . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Newly opened Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets in Fredericksburg, Texas is a popular place. The vintage shop uses Tally’s grandmother’s recipes to make treats from the past like Mallomars, Clark Bars, and Twinkies along with taffy and fudges. Her friend Yolanda Bella owns Bella’s Baskets right next door. They are in and out of each other’s shops several times each day. Tally has two part-time workers Mart and Andrea who tend to customers while Tally creates her delicious goodies. When the women need and handyman, Gene Faust is the man they call. Gene is the adopted son of the mayor. He is a real ladies’ man who has a penchant for borrowing money his girlfriends, usually right before he dumps them.

Tally left Gene repairing her refrigeration unit in the kitchen while she served customers at the front of the store. When she closed up and went into the kitchen she found Gene dead on the floor from an apparent stabbing. She’s confused because several people went through the kitchen before she did. There is no way they missed his body. Could one of them be the killer or did the murderer come and go through the back door without her knowing? Yolanda, Andrea, and Mart all seemed to have their issues with Gene, but she can’t believe they would kill him. How many other women has Gene hurt? Or could it be someone else he pushed too far?


The cover of this book grabbed me as soon as I saw it. I love the vintage candy store theme. It is always so much fun to visit one. The author has a nice descriptive writing style so it was very easy to visualize everything, especially Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets Shop and all the yummy treats.

Ms. George introduces a vast cast of characters. It was easy to keep everyone straight but we don’t get to know them well enough to truly get invested in them. Gene had quite a checkered past and by the end, it was pretty fleshed out but the rest of the characters are still one-dimensional for me.  Since this is a series, I know we will learn more in future stories but wished they were more developed in this story. One character I did fall hard for is a big Maine Coon cat named Nigel. I do have a soft spot for those big kitties.

The mystery was well-plotted with plenty of suspects. I did hone in on the culprit early but the motive wasn’t clear until the end. I did enjoy that the story swapped points-of-view between Yolanda and Tally. Sometimes it was confusing because it switches mid-chapter, but I think my problem may be attributed to the digital advanced copy I was reading. I am hoping in the finished book there was better spacing without the paragraphs running together.

I was excited that the Twinkie recipe was included at the end of the story.

Ms. George has laid a nice foundation for her series in Revenge Is Sweet. I am looking to Deadly Sweet Tooth, which will be released on June 2, 2020.

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/.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Revenge Is Sweet!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 8, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Who Rescued Who by Victoria Schade #Review / #Giveaway

who rescued who
Who Rescued Who
Women’s Fiction
Setting – England
Publisher: Berkley (March 24, 2020)
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 0593098838
ISBN-13: 978-0593098837
Kindle ASIN: B07TSWP85J

Where can you turn when the world turns against you? When Elizabeth Barnes’ life fell apart she never imagined that she’d be rescued by a new friend on four paws. 

 

The plan was simple: Elizabeth would ignore the fact that she was unjustly fired from her dream job, fly across the pond to settle an unexpected inheritance in her father’s home country and quickly return to reclaim her position among the Silicon Valley elite.

 

But when Elizabeth stumbles upon an abandoned puppy, she’s shocked to realize that her brief trip to England might turn into an extended stay. Her strict itinerary is upended completely by the pup’s dogged devotion, and soon the loveable puppy helps her to connect with a tight-knit community of new friends on two legs and four, from the aunt and uncle she didn’t know existed, to a grumpy coffee shop owner to two very opinionated sheep. Along the way Elizabeth is confronted by long-kept family secrets, hard truths about her former life and a new romance that might lead her to question everything she knows about love. Because sometimes rescue magic happens on both ends of the leash.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I needed a change of pace in my reading and picking up this book was the perfect choice.

Elizabeth Barnes was flying high until she wasn’t. Fired from a job she loved she was at loose ends until she finds out she had family she knew nothing about and an inheritance to boot. We follow Elizabeth across the pond as she settles her father’s affairs. She had planned just a quick trip so she can get back home and find new employment. But a cute little homeless puppy has her extending her stay. She starts to feel at home in this unique community especially when she feels a romantic spark with one of the town’s residents. Finding her family and learning the truth about her father’s distancing while learning some truths about herself could change her life.

It was the cover that really caught my attention. As a mom to two border collie/blue heeler mixes, one who looks a bit like the dog on the cover, I just couldn’t say no to those eyes. What I found between the covers was delightful.

Elizabeth was a workaholic driven by likes and clicks who was forced to slow down upon arrival to the English countryside with limited internet access. She doesn’t adjust easily but finds several things to fill her time including a border collie mix pup and a handsome co-owner of a local brewery. She also takes on a huge task for her newly-found uncle that reveals something they have in common. All the characters in the book are well crafted and really evolve over the course and right up to the end of the story. The story has a slow build so readers really get to know the wonderful people of Fargrove.

Ms. Shade finds a great balance between family life, romance and some lovable 4 legged creatures. All the twists are so well-plotted. The story feels much more based in reality than other romantic comedies I have read of late. The author also describes each setting so clearly, and there are many. I felt like I was getting a bird’s eye view of all of the action, walking right along in my wellies taking in everything the setting had to offer.

This story gave me the warm and fuzzies. This book actually rescued me and gave me a nice break from some things I was dealing with. Thank you, Ms. Shade, for the Perfect Escape.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Victoria Schade is a dog trainer and speaker who serves as a dog resource for the media and has worked both in front of and behind the camera on Animal Planet, as a co-host on the program Faithful Friends and as a trainer and wrangler on the channel’s popular Puppy Bowl specials. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, her dogs Millie and Olive, and the occasional foster pup.

who rescued who

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 7, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Evil Men Do (A P.T. Marsh Novel) by John McMahon #Review / #Giveaway


The Evil Men Do (A P.T. Marsh Novel)
Suspense/Thriller
Police Procedural
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (March 3, 2020)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 052553556X
ISBN-13: 978-0525535560
Kindle ASIN: B07SZQP2C5

What if the one good thing you did in your life doomed you to die?

 

A hard-nosed real estate baron is dead, and detectives P.T. Marsh and Remy Morgan learn there’s a long list of suspects. Mason Falls, Georgia, may be a small town, but Ennis Fultz had filled it with professional rivals, angry neighbors, and a wronged ex-wife. And when Marsh realizes that this potential murder might be the least of his troubles, he begins to see what happens when ordinary people become capable of evil.

 

As Marsh and Morgan dig into the case, it becomes clear that Fultz’s death was not an isolated case of revenge. It may be part of a dark web of crimes connected to an accident that up-ended Marsh’s life a couple years earlier–and that now threatens the life of a young child. Marsh veers dangerously off track as his search for clues becomes personal..and brings him to a place where a man’s good deeds turn out to be more dangerous than his worst crimes.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

My first experience with P.T. Marsh was gripping and this one was even more so.

Swarmy Ennis Fultz is dead and he left plenty of suspects behind. A very observant little girl plays a major role and P.T. uncovers more evil than he ever could have imagined. The deeper he digs veers him in a direction that appears to be personal. A direction that could cost him his job and maybe even his life.


Mr. McMahon has created complicated characters and puts them in complex situations. I ended my review of The Good Detective saying John McMahon is now an author to watch, and I was right.  I thought P.T. Marsh had turned a corner. He did but as far as I thought. He is still hurting and raw. He is smart, determined, and flawed and still trying to come to grips with the loss of his wife and son in a freaky hit and run accident. P.T. is also embroiled in a civil suit along with the police department for excessive use of force on a previous case. He doesn’t believe he did anything wrong and that could come back to bite him financially. He is trying to stay sober and do his job but it isn’t easy. His partner, Detective Remy Morgan, an African American woman is getting frustrated with P.T. but hopes when push comes to shove he has her back. P.T. has started a relationship with Medical Examiner Sarah Raines but he is clearly still in mourning. He tries to hold tight to the relationship with his father-in-law but something always seems to get in the way.

So much happens within the covers of this book. The author has cleverly plotted this story with several tentacles all entwined together. The book opens with “The little girl knew things.” but transitions to P.T.’s life quickly in Chapter 2. We continue to have visits from the little girl between many of the chapters. This process really drew me in from the start. Soon, it truly became impossible to put the book down. P.T. was continually pulled in several directions. Sometimes he followed the clues in a logical manner but sometimes he goes off on tangents that were dangerous for both him and his partner.

McMahon has delivered a compelling story that will have readers glued to the pages. I wanted P.T. to succeed, get the answers he needs and catch the bad guys, but sometimes I wanted to reach into the pages and grab him to protect him from some of his risky decisions.

The Evil Men Do is a  riveting gritty suspense-filled thriller. P.T. Marsh is a character you become invested in quickly. His life is a wild ride that doesn’t let go. All the strings are not wrapped up at the conclusion of this book either so readers are left excitedly waiting for book #3. Well done, Mr. McMahon! This was a PERFECT ESCAPE!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review for The Good Detective here

About the Author

John McMahon studied Creative Writing at The University of Arizona. In his role as an ad agency creative director, his work has won a Gold Clio for Fiat, and he’s written a Superbowl spot for Alfa Romeo. He currently lives in Southern California with his family and two rescue animals. He’s hard at work on another P.T. Marsh book and dreams of splitting his time between Cabo San Lucas and Lake Lanier, Georgia.

I am giving away my review copy!
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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 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge What's In A Name Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Jennifer J. Chow – Author of Mimi Lee Gets a Clue (A Sassy Cat Mystery) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @JenJChow

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to welcome Jennifer J. Chow back to Escape With Dollycas!

Living in La La Land
By Jennifer J. Chow
Guest Post Provided by Publicist

            I’d never planned on living in Los Angeles. However, I ended up moving here in order to get my master’s degree at UCLA. At the time, I figured I’d flee the traffic-heavy, smog-infested area right after completing my required two years of study. Well, fast forward a few years, and I’d stayed put.

I ended up working in the area and had gotten married by then, so I chose to settle down. I started re-evaluating my initial (and sometimes faulty) impressions of Los Angeles and found many silver linings to staying.

Here are my top five fact vs. fiction insights:

    1. Lotsa traffic. Okay, this perception is true. I personally experienced the slow crawl of cars leaving downtown Los Angeles and trailing behind others’ taillights on the congested freeway. However, as a local, I’ve now discovered sneaky ways to bypass the traffic. I often switch to local roads to speed up my traveling. Also, by knowing the traffic patterns, I pick more optimal times for driving to avoid getting stuck.
    2. Smog city. Los Angeles is known for its air pollution. We do have unclean air, but at least on the American Lung Association’s website, we’re not number one for particle pollution—that distinction goes to the Central Valley. We are, though, tops for having high ozone levels. However, we’re aware of the problem, and officials are trying to brainstorm innovative solutions to improve the air quality here. As an aside, I actually appreciate how the smog creates prettier sunsets—those gorgeous reds and oranges are amazing to behold.
    3. Baywatch bodies. When I first got to L.A., I remember seeing (and hearing) advertisements about how I could create a more improved version of myself, whether by eating vitamins, exercising, or undergoing surgery. This fixation on appearance confounded me, but I thought, “Maybe it’s because we’re so close to Hollywood.” While I have seen some knockouts in L.A., what I’ve noticed more is the diversity of the people who live here. There are different ages, ethnicities, and body types, and I love this variety. Bonus: There’s a huge array of delicious cuisines to choose from because of the vast number of cultures represented in the area.
    4. Natural disasters. Yes, we’re prone to earthquakes (and it is common that people sometimes barely blink at a tremor, as depicted in A. Story—a movie others made me watch when I first arrived in Los Angeles). Beyond the disasters, though, we also have access to natural marvels. There are rugged mountains and verdant forests to the north, plus golden sand and glistening waves to the west. Even the stark beauty of the desert is nearby, like at Joshua Tree National Park.
    5. Hollywood glitz. In grad school, my roommate oohed over how she’d seen the ponytail of a celebrity. I’ve also known coworkers who would haunt Pink’s Hot Dogs just to get a glimpse of somebody famous. And out-of-town friends do enjoy purchasing a Star Map and spying on celebrity homes. I myself enjoyed the excitement of a red carpet event one time—okay, so I was only within googling distance. However, I have rubbed shoulders with a few better-known figures and up-and-coming creative individuals. What I appreciate about meeting them isn’t their glamour but their artistry and perseverance. I connect with them since I’m also pursuing my own passion of writing.

I hope both the fabulous and quirky atmosphere of Los Angeles comes through in my newest novel, Mimi Lee Gets a Clue. The first in the new Sassy Cat mystery series, it features an L.A. pet groomer whose dream career gets disrupted when she becomes a suspect in the murder of a dog breeder. But with the help of her snarky cat and a dreamy lawyer neighbor, maybe she can get back to living the LA dream and running her store, Hollywoof.

So, even if you can’t come and visit L.A., perhaps you can do some virtual traveling through my book. Wishing you lots of happy reading!

~Jennifer

Thank you, Jennifer, for visiting today!

Now let me give you my thoughts on Mimi Lee Gets A Clue


Mimi Lee Gets a Clue (A Sassy Cat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Berkley (March 10, 2020)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1984804995
ISBN-13: 978-1984804990
Kindle – ASIN: B07VG4QTFQ

Mimi Lee is in over her head. There’s her new Los Angeles pet grooming shop to run, her matchmaking mother to thwart, her talking cat Marshmallow to tend to—oh, and the murder of a local breeder to solve…now if only Mimi hadn’t landed herself on top of the suspect list.

 

Mimi Lee hoped to give Los Angeles animal lovers something to talk about with her pet grooming shop, Hollywoof. She never imagined that the first cat she said hello to would talk back or be quite so, well, catty—especially about those disastrous dates Mimi’s mother keeps setting up.

 

When Marshmallow exposes local breeder Russ Nolan for mistreating Chihuahuas, Mimi steals some of her cat’s attitude to tell Russ off. The next day the police show up at Hollywoof. Russ has been found dead, and Mimi’s shouting match with him has secured her top billing as the main suspect.

 

Hoping to clear her name and save the pups Russ left behind, Mimi enlists help from her dreamy lawyer neighbor Josh. But even with Josh on board, it’ll take Mimi and Marshmallow a lot of sleuthing and more than a little sass to get back to the pet-grooming life—and off the murder scene.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Los Angeles has a new place to take your pets for grooming. Hollywoof is operated by Mimi Lee and she just hopes she gets enough customers to keep her business afloat.

The first day her sister drops by with a surprise, a fluffy white Persian cat with big blue eyes. Mimi does prefer dogs but she can’t say no. The cat is soon named Marshmallow, a name he clearly doesn’t like and let’s er know in a surprising way.

Mimi is single but her mother has a plan for that. Mimi plays along for the most part because she has other concerns. Several customers are bringing in Chihuahuas from various services and she notices they all have health issues. When she learns that all came from the same local breeder she decides to investigate. She gets into a war of words with the man, witnessed by one of his neighbors.  Mimi then reports the breeder to the proper authorities for violations. When a Police Detective Brown shows up a Hollywoof he is not there to talk about the mistreatment of animals. He is there to question her about the breeder’s murder. What!

In efforts to clear her name, Mimi starts rubbing elbows with her client’s well-to-do owners and she hires a lawyer, Josh, an easy on the eyes neighbor, she met while doing laundry. Marshmallow also becomes a key member of the investigation team.

______

I love Marshmallow! Haven’t you always wanted to know what your pet is thinking? The author created this fun character and explains how he learned everything he knows. So lighthearted and funny.

We get to know Mimi Lee pretty well in this first book of the series. She is petite, smart, mid-twenties, but you can tell she has led a bit of a sheltered life due to her upbringing. Her mother is Asian American and her father is caucasian. He’s pretty laid back. She is all in both her daughter’s business or forces one daughter, Mimi, the eldest to interfere in the younger sister’s business. Sometimes this goes unbelievably too far. Mimi has opened a new business without much of a plan and is running it with a seat of the pant’s attitude. Thankfully, she grows over the course of this book and so does her business.  Her mother’s efforts to find Mimi find a man are pretty comical though. The family dynamics are interesting.

I really enjoyed this fresh take for an amateur sleuth team, not your typical Sherlock and Watson.  The mystery was very well done and exceeded my expectations for the first book in a series. The actual detective on the case seemed to be glued to his initial thought even when Mimi tried to give me details she had uncovered. Breeders like the one in this story are a hot topic these days and Ms. Chow gives it a fantastic fictional spin. She plots a twisted up mystery to find who killed the awful man responsible for the poor puppies. Mimi got her clue well before I did. I was very entertained following along with her to clear her name and get justice for the lovable pooches and find them fur-ever homes.

Mimi Lee Gets A Clue gives readers an intriguing mystery with plenty of suspects and twists. I am curious to see how all the characters develop more. Mimi is more Nancy Drew than Jessica Fletcher, meaning she doesn’t have the sage experience needed the help solve complex mysteries, but her youth brings a real freshness to the cozy mystery genre. The rest of the characters need to be more fleshed out to support her and get readers engaged and invested in their lives. For me, Sassy Cat Marshmallow stole the show!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Jennifer J. Chow grew up reading Garfield comics and adores creating sassy kit lit. She also writes the Winston Wong mysteries, which feature a regular meowing cat. Her other Asian American novels include Dragonfly Dreams (a Teen Vogue pick) and The 228 Legacy.

She’s involved in Crime Writers of Color, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. Like her on Facebook and Follow her on GoodReads and Twitter. Connect on Instagram @jenjchow

Coming November 10, 2020

Also by this Author

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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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs

About Lavender Blue Murder 


Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
21th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Publisher: Berkley (March 3, 2020)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489667
ISBN-13: 978-0451489661
Digital ASIN: B07SSQ1X4R

Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

 

Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede.

 

But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor’s lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.

 

His wife, Meredith, is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Meredith again pleads with Theodosia for help.

 

As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Reginald’s daughter-in-law goes missing presumed drowned, and Meredith is determined to find answers via a séance. All the while Theodosia worries if she’s made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea.

 

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are on a hunt, a bird hunt. They are guests at an English shooting party. Theo is having a great time and even bagged a quail. Drayton is mostly just along for her company. As they are sojourning across the field they hear shots ring out. Shots very close to them. Theo takes off to check things out and she finds their host Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death in the neighbor’s lavender field. By the time the ambulance arrives there is nothing they can do to save the man.

Reginald’s wife Meredith is distraught and begs Theo and Dayton to stay the night and they can’t refuse. In the middle of the night, Theo wakes up to find the mansion on fire and rushes to clear everyone out of the house. Not trusting the local Sheriff Meredith asks Theodosia to investigate too.

Shortly thereafter, Theo surprising meets Reginald’s daughter-in-law not far from Drayton’s house and she is clearly not herself. She then learns the young woman went missing shortly after their meeting. She was out on her husband’s sailboat and is thought to have drowned and the Coast Guard is searching for her body. Theo starts pressing harder in her investigation ruffling more than a few feathers.


What an awesome story! It starts with a bang and ends with a crash!! Loved it!

All the characters we love are back. Theo, Drayton, Haley, Riley, Miss Dimple, Detective Tidwell and of course Earl Grey fill these pages with drama, laughter, Southern charm, and some exciting action too. This is the 21st book in this series and these characters still are fresh and continue to evolve in fantastic ways. Theo never disappoints as she gets down and dirty smack dab in the middle of another murder investigation. Riley tries to reel her in but that is near impossible. Haley and Mrs. Dimple take care of the Indigo Tea Shop while Theo and Drayton chase down leads. But Theo is still front and center for all the special tea events put on at the shop, like the Lavender Lady Tea. She keeps her ears wide open because you never know who will provide a clue that catapults the case forward.

Ms. Childs has not only created a great group of core characters but she introduces a stellar group of new characters to fit this story. Most are suspects but they are all interesting in their own way. She describes them so vividly they are so easy to visualize.

The author’s vivid descriptions also bring each scene clearly into focus, from the field of lavender, the Doyle Mansion, Drayton’s home and Theo’s, which is undergoing a kitchen renovation, to the tea shop itself with each type of china, silverware, and candlestick used. The descriptions of the scones, soups, and sandwiches will make your mouth water. Ms. Childs has perfected the way to bring each scene alive, never going overboard or getting too wordy.

The mystery builds to a fast-pace with a plethora of suspects. Twists, turns, red herrings, this story has it all. Theo is so smart and thinks on her feet. She has so much experience she knows a crime scene must be protected. I was afraid this time she may have had to get physical to protect that scene. Talk about physical the ending had me breathing hard, my blood pressure rising and me sitting right up at the end of my seat.

Amongst this cozy mystery is all kinds of tidbits of information. I love lavender and have a spray I use on my pillow each night that helps me sleep like a baby. I loved all the lavender facts scattered through this book, I would love to live near a field of lavender. Readers are also treated to tea time tips, Drayton is a very knowledgeable tea sommelier and very creative with his blends. There are more tea tips at the end of the book along with several recipes for food served in the story.

I loved everything about this story. It is one of the best books I have read this year! It is so worth a Paradise Rating.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Laura Childs

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links: Website – Facebook – 

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  Kobo   Google Play  IndieBound

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs

Lavender Blue Murder is an enchanting cozy mystery with a weeping widow, a surplus of suspects, tasty tea, loads of lavender, blaring bagpipes, and a spooky séance.
~The Avid Reader

The mystery was engaging and fun, oh and the teas and recipes! Oh my! I think I look forward to the recipes as much as I do the mysteries.
~A Chick Who Reads

Phew this was a humdinger of a story with a plethora of potential suspects for Theo and Drayton to deal with!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

. . . a fun mystery that will have you guessing who did it mixed in between the tea and goodies. Makes for a great read. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

As always Laura does a good job of making you feel a part of the story. She also likes to put in just enough twists to keep you guessing until the end.
~A. Holland Reads

Lavender Blue Murder starts out with a bang, quite literally! . . . The mystery was intriguing and well planned, and there are lots of suspects to keep you second-guessing if you think you have it all figured out.
~The Book’s the Thing

LAVENDER BLUE MURDER is an intricately plotted mystery imbued with Southern grace, exemplary food, and fine tea. Sit back with a lavender scone and a cup of steaming Asaam and prepare for a delightful read.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

The writing pace is calming (in spite of the murder lol) and engaging, and you just want to immerse yourself into this world for a while. Especially if it involves lunch at the tea shop (hold the tea… sorry, Drayton) and the yummy food there!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

As I neared the end of this delightful collection of locale, character, and tastiness, I realized that I didn’t expect something different in this release. I expected my Indigo friends, familiar shop chatter, local characters, comfortable teatime, and an all-around good story. Just like all the others in this series. So settle in​ and expect both​.
~The Editing Pen

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
March 2 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
March 2 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
March 3 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
March 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 4 – My Journey Back – REVIEW (Coming Soon)
March 5 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST
March 5 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
March 6 – I’m All About Books-SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
March 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW
March 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 13 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
March 14 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
March 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 15 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
March 16 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
March 16 – This Is My Truth Now – SPOTLIGHT
March 17 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 18 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 19 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
March 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 20 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW
March 21 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

 

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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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Easter Hair Hunt (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries) by Nancy J. Cohen – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @nancyjcohen

Easter Hair Hunt (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
by Nancy J. Cohen

About Easter Hair Hunt


Easter Hair Hunt (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Orange Grove Press (March 10, 2020)
Print Length: 233 pages
Digital ASIN: B083TZ78G1

Hare today, dead tomorrow… Can a stylish sleuth pull a rabbit out of her hat to solve an Easter murder in this to-dye-for cozy mystery?

 

When hairstylist Marla Vail attends an Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor, she’s only there to fix hair for a client, Bonnie “Blinky” Morris. But when she’s asked to comb the grounds for leftover goodies, Marla discovers more than just a few dyed eggs. The dead body in the bunny costume is definitely not having a good hare day. And Blinky seems to have disappeared down a rabbit hole.

 

When trying to solve a murder, everyone needs a friend who’s all ears. For Marla, that’s her husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail. They make an eggcellent team. Dalton isn’t the kind to leap to conclusions, but with his wife seven months pregnant, and knowing Marla finds crime-solving to be irresistible, he worries about her running off on another hare-raising adventure.

 

Marla’s peeps are hoping for a happy ending, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can she crack the case before Blinky becomes the next victim?

 

Recipes Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Who stabbed the Easter Bunny?? That is exactly what hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Vail intends to find out.

Marla was at an Easter event at Tremayne Manor to fix Bonnie “Blinky” Morris’ hair but while helping clear the grounds of any eggs missed by the searching children she finds a dead bunny, a human in a bunny suit. Seven months pregnant the last thing she needs is another murder investigation but hubby and homicide detective, Dalton Vail knows they make a great team because people open up to Marla. He just hopes all those baby kicks she is receiving help her to make careful choices. The case gets pretty egg-citing and she best “bee” careful or she may find herself just a “hare” out of the killer’s sights.

Oh, and while everyone is focused on the dead bunny, Blinky Morris has disappeared. Her car is still in the lot, but she is nowhere to be found, She can’t be the killer or can she???


I love the way these characters have grown over the course of this series. Marla is not letting this pregnancy hold her back from anything she wants to do. She is keeping normal hours at her salon and now she is delving into another murder. Baby things, like the nursery, name and numerous other things were getting put off until her family starts laying on the pressure. She is already a great mom to her stepdaughter Brianna, but a new baby is really going to change her life. Dalton is pretty laid back about the whole thing but their religious differences may add a little bit of drama. They are also going to be dealing with Brianna heading to college soon.

The setting for this story was unique. Tremayne Manor is an old family home filled with prized possessions including Faberge eggs, valuable stamps, Russian Matryoshka dolls, and many other historical artifacts. The estate has been opened for public tours and now has a gift shop, a cafe, and beehives. The author incorporates all these features and more into this story so well. All the little tidbits I learned were very interesting.

In Easter Hair Hunt, Ms. Cohen has written a complex mystery, hunting down this killer is far from easy. The motive is unclear but Marla has many theories. She doesn’t believe Blinky could commit murder so she is also on the hunt for her friend. There are plenty of twists and turns before any of the clues start to fall into place. I had an inkling about a major aspect of the mystery but was still surprised by the final reveal.

I have truly enjoyed the books in this series. The characters are well-developed and the dialogue is snappy. There is the perfect balance between family life and mystery along with a good dose of humor along the way. There is a big event coming soon for Marla and Dalton. I am excited to see how the author handles this in future books.

This book reads well on its own but to fully enjoy these characters you should start the series from the beginning.

Easter Hair Hunt is a fun holiday cozy. Hop on over and get your copy today.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Nancy J. Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have been named Best Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine, won a Readers’ Favorite gold medal and a RONE Award, earned first place in the Chanticleer International Book Awards and third place in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy’s instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery, was nominated for an Agatha Award, earned first place in the Royal Palm Literary Awards and the TopShelf Magazine Book Awards, and won a gold medal in the President’s Book Awards. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is a past president of  Florida Romance Writers and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter. She is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys cooking, fine dining, cruising, and visiting Disney World.

Author Links:

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Purchase Links – Amazon Kindle –  Amazon Print –  B&N –  KoboApple – Books2Read IndieBoundGoodreads BookBubWebsite



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Great Escapes Praise for Easter Hair Hunt (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
by Nancy J. Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen is on my “auto-buy” list. Her writing is crisp, fresh and captivating. This is one of my favorite series and I do hope it continues for a long time to come.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

This cozy mystery beautifully blends together important key elements – rich characterization, vivid setting, historical tidbits, and a mystery that keeps you guessing.
~The Power of Words

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
March 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 11 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 12 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
March 12 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 12 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 13 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 14 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
March 14 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
March 14 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – RECIPE POST
March 15 – Hearts & Scribbles – GUEST POST
March 15 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 16 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 16 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
March 16 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
March 17 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
March 17 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
March 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
March 18 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
March 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense 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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Sleuth on Safari: A Traveler Cozy Mystery by A R Kennedy #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

This book will be released on March 24, 2020.

Sleuth on Safari: A Traveler Cozy Mystery
by A R Kennedy

 

About Sleuth on Safari


Sleuth on Safari: A Traveler Cozy Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Independently Published (March 24, 2020)
Print Length 267 Pages
Digital ASIN: B082XKK3TD

A bargain deal on a safari + one dead body = An adventure no one could plan for.

 

Naomi and her estranged sister are off on a trip of a lifetime—an African safari, a bucket list trip for Naomi on which she got a last-minute deal. Naomi thinks traveling with her sister will be the worst part of her African safari until she finds one of their fellow travelers, the unlikable Dr. Higgins, dead. She gets more adventure than she bargained for when she starts investigating what she thinks is murder but the luxury lodge says was a tragic accident. She only has a few vacation days, and a few game drives, to find the killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Pack your bags, we are escaping to Africa with Naomi and her sister Charlotte. Naomi has always wanted to go on a safari and she was able to get a great deal but with such short notice, she could only get her sister to go with her. The girls separated after their parent’s divorce. Naomi went with her dad while Charlotte went with her mom.

The girls arrive for their great adventure and meet the others in the group. Everyone seems nice except Dr. Higgens who is traveling by himself and as cantankerous as they come.

When Dr. Higgins fails to arrive for a game drive he is found dead in his room. It is a grisly scene that is quickly labeled a tragic animal attack, but Naomi doesn’t think there was anything accidental about it. She can’t convince even her sister that the man was murdered but she is going to use the rest of her vacation to prove it.

_________________

I really enjoyed this story.

Naomi and Charlotte are both in their mid-20s but are as different as night and day. Charlotte is studying to be doctor, very driven and organized. Naomi is laid back, still trying to find herself, thrilled to be on a Safari but tuned out during the orientation talk and really didn’t follow the list they were given about what to pack for this adventure. She knew Charlotte would have whatever they needed. Charlotte is the apple of her mother’s eye, Naomi is happy to have little to no contact with the woman.

The tour group is diverse with a woman with a teenager and another man about Charlotte’s age, a couple of senior citizens, a middle-aged couple, Dr. Higgns, and the sisters. Upon arrival at the lodge they meet the manager Leticia, Sonny, who had picked them up at the airport, is their guide, and Ray their tracker. All the characters are strangers and develop over the course of the story. I really liked the camaraderie between Sonny and Ray and all their knowledge.

The lodge they were staying out sounded spectacular and scary at the same time. Much of it is open-air and the rooms have windows looking out over the lush landscape. The group sees something amazing too. I will never be able to do anything like an African Safari so it was fun to go along through the pages of this book on the several game drives looking for “the Big Five” — African Elephant, Lion, Cape Buffalo, Leopard, and Rhinoceros plus many other animals. Naomi also has an experience by herself that is absolutely fantastic.

Now the mystery is an unusual one. Only Naomi believes a crime has been committed, except for the killer of course, so everyone is a suspect and there are no police involved. She quickly rules her sister out but really has to twist Charlotte’s arm the few times she needs her help to do a little investigating. Naomi was a little pushy at times but she was determined did not give up. I must say having no police involved was a true breath of fresh air. Naomi was really on her own and it showed what a strong woman she truly is. Most people on vacation would accept what they are told about the death and move on, Naomi just couldn’t.

Sleuth on Safari is a real treat. Ms. Kennedy takes readers right there, on the scene, for some spectacular sights. She also gives us a tricky mystery to solve with plenty of suspects. The story flows naturally and the reveal is surprising.

This series is off to an excellent start. I want to get to know Naomi and Charlotte better. I am excited to see what adventure they take us on next.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About A. R. Kennedy

A.R. KENNEDY

A. R. Kennedy lives in Long Beach, New York, with her two pups. She works hard to put food on the floor for them. As her favorite T-shirt says, ‘I work so my dog can have a better life’. She’s an avid traveler. But don’t worry. While she’s away, her parents dote on their grand-puppies even more than she does. Her writing is a combination of her love of travel, animals, and the journey we all take to find ourselves.

Author Links

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Purchase Link – Amazon 

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Great Escape Praise for Sleuth on Safari: A Traveler Cozy Mystery
by A R Kennedy

I do enjoy a cozy. We have plenty of suspects, and some danger and mystery. It was fun being along for the ride, seeing the sights, spending a night alone with Naomi in the treehouse, and meeting all the quirky characters.
~fundinmental

Great start to a new series! . . . A well written mystery with a balanced mix of characters, adventure, and mystery. I really liked it . . .
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Layers of tension combine with vividly-drawn landscapes and wildlife to create a story that’s fraught with danger and suspense. The writing style is smooth and engaging, and you’ll find yourself eagerly turning the pages to see how it all plays out.
~Reading Is My SuperPower

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
March 5 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 5 – fundinmental – REVIEW 
March 6 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
March 9 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – My Journey Back-The-Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 11 – That’s What She’s Reading –  GUEST POST
March 11 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
March 12 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
March 13 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW
March 13 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
March 14 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW
March 15 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
March 16 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 17 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
March 17 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 18 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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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 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge What's In A Name Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Stephanie Cole – Author of Al Dente’s Inferno (A Tuscan Cooking School Mystery) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am delighted to welcome Stephanie Cole to Escape With Dollycas today!

My Inspiration for the Tuscan Cooking School Mystery Series

by Stephanie Cole
Post provided by Publicist

            For some people, inspiration happens in one single, gobsmacking moment when your imagination is positively alight with The Idea. In those five or ten seconds, your life appears to you in a different guise: suddenly you have better clothes, funnier jokes, the kind of memorable laugh that others will want to imitate. The inspired Idea has brilliance and gravitas. Your whole life has moved inexorably to this moment and will never be the same. You go from having had — when you really strip it down — a pretty good idea about something (say, why the hero is wearing a Mets cap), to suddenly seeing yourself as She Who is Inspired. A kind of permanent, enviable state.

Poor inspiration. We have such unrealistic hopes for it!

In my own writing life, inspiration happens in stages. Some part of an idea arrives, and I sit with it — or, as I go about mixing darks and whites for the laundry and trying to track down the smell in the fridge, it sits with me. A casual comment from someone may turn out to be the first piece. In the case of the Tuscan Cooking School Mystery Series, my agent, John Talbot, and I were having a beer together at Malice Domestic two years ago, after I’d been through a long stretch of failed proposals for mystery series. John up and said something along the lines of “Gee, I wish you could get back to something like the Italian Restaurant series.” (Note: I’m not sure about the “gee.”) A casual comment, right? But I felt something happen inside, a little thrill of what I called rightness. There was something right and exciting about what he said. Suddenly I had a direction for my next attempt to scale the publishing fortress.

stephanie cole al dentes inferno When I returned home, I had my next puzzle piece of information that sharpened the beginnings of The Idea. All I had was Italian cooking. What I needed was the premise. In my mind, I tracked cozy mysteries’ travels from the U.S.A. to the U.K. Cozies were going a bit transatlantic, weren’t they? Popular series set in Scotland and Ireland were cropping up. Ahh, said Inspiration in my ear, how long will it be before they jump the Channel and turn up in Europe? For once, I felt like I was absolutely on to something, and that I was ahead of the curve.

But where, where, where, to set a new cozy series set in Europe? It didn’t take me long to choose Italy. I’ve been, I’m going, I’ve got family there, I’ve read Donna Leon, and I like Italian cooking. It didn’t take long to choose. . .not Tuscany at first, oh no. Here’s an important point about inspiration: sometimes it isn’t.  My original premise: I would set the series on the Italian Riviera (a sentimental nod to my family) and my heroine/sleuth would own an olive estate.

Excited, I wrote up my new proposal, which included a series overview and sample chapters, and sent it off to John.

He and his partner, Gail Fortune, discussed it and got back to me with a key change that might make the difference between success and failure.  Another truth about inspiration? Sometimes it’s someone else’s. What they told me was this: Move it to Tuscany and make it a cooking school. And this simple shift in the premise felt like a thunderbolt to me. I knew instantly that they were right. I made the changes, moving the villa to Cortona, where Under the Tuscan Sun was set.

And Nell and Pete and Chef and Annamaria and her sisters who are Sisters welcomed me to the Villa Orlandini Cooking School. These characters were so clear and interesting to me. The final puzzle piece fell into place: It’s a cooking school at the villa of a world-renowned Chef, and its classes are designed for American gastrotourists (yes, it’s a word). Just think, in every book I have a delicious vanload of American foodies turning up at the villa to be either killed, suspected, or homicidally inclined.

A final observation about inspiration. It can start small, it can come to you in pieces and over time and even from someone else’s inspiration. It all counts because however, it arrives — even if it slams you with one single, gobsmacking Idea full of brilliance and gravitas — it sets you on the path of new work that can fill you with creative joy.

~Stephanie

Thank you, Stephanie, for visiting today. 

Keep reading for my thoughts about Al Dente’s Inferno. 

stephanie cole al dente inferno
Al Dente’s Inferno (A Tuscan Cooking School Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Italy
Publisher: Berkley (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0593097793
ISBN-13: 978-0593097793
Kindle ASIN: B07TQKN23G

An American chef will have to serve up more than good eats if she wants to establish a successful farm-to-table cooking school in Tuscany, in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in Italy.

 

When Nell Valenti is offered a chance to move to Tuscany to help transform an aging villa into a farm-to-table cooking school, she eagerly accepts. After all, both her job and her love life in America have been feeling stale. Plus, she’ll get the chance to work under the acclaimed Italian Chef Claudio Orlandini.

 

But Nell gets more than she bargained for when she arrives. With only a day to go until the launch dinner for the cooking school, the villa is in shambles, and Chef O is blissfully oblivious of the work that needs to be done before a group of local dignitaries arrive, along with a filmmaker sent to showcase and advertise the new school. The situation only worsens when Nell discovers that the filmmaker is an ex-boyfriend, and he’s found murdered later that night. Even worse, Chef O has disappeared, and accusations of murder could shut the school down for good.

 

As tensions reach a boiling point at the villa, Nell must throw her chef’s hat into the ring, and investigate the murder herself. Because if she fails to solve the case, her career, or even her life, could be next on the chopping block.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

American chef Nell Valenti needs a break from her family, job, and love life in the States so she jumps at the chance to set up a farm-to-table cooking school in Tuscany. The icing on the cake is that she will be working alongside acclaimed Italian Chef Claudio Orlandini.

Her arrival is a little bumpy but she is finally picked up and transported to the villa where the cooking school will be located and where she will be staying. It is nowhere near what she imagined and clearly sees she has her work cut out of her. Sadly, she seems to be the only one that sees the disorder around them and all the repairs and renovation needed to fulfill the needs of a cooking school. Chef Claudio is so excited he has invited a group of dignitaries for a launch dinner. There is also a filmmaker coming to film the school to use in future advertising.

As the guests arrive Nell is shaken to her core. The filmmaker is her ex-boyfriend that she left back in America. The dinner is filled with fits and starts but after it breaks up, the filmmaker is found dead and Claudio is nowhere to be found.

Nell knows her history with the deceased could make her a prime suspect so she decides to investigate the murder herself. An American in the country for only a few days she does her best to find the killer because even with the school in disarray she needs the job and hopes to stay. That is if she survives.


Stephanie Cole has introduced some interesting characters in this story. Nell is a character I could grow to love. She sees she has a mountain to climb in turning an old rundown villa into a cooking school and she doesn’t run off at her first chance, especially when everyone else seems to be wearing rose-colored glasses when they look at the place.  She also hides her shock when meeting Chef Claudio Orlandini. Her hero certainly does not look or act as she expected. Nell becomes attached to the Chef’s son as he gives her the tour of Villa Orlandini, introduces her to all the staff, and translates as needed. They do make a good sleuthing team. We also meet the staff but the author has left plenty of room for growth for all the characters in future stories.

I loved the Tuscan Cooking School theme of the book/series but it is not without a couple of pitfalls.

Setting the series in Tuscany does present a language problem. Most of the characters are going to speak Italian as their first language which means the book is full of translations. This really messed with the flow for me. Sometimes the translations immediately followed in the text, other times we were on our own. I wished I was reading it on my Kindle instead of in paperback because I would have been able to highlight the words and have them quickly translated.

As with most first books in a new cozy series, a great deal of time is spent introducing the characters and setting the scenes for the story, so the mystery is not too complex. There were twists and turns but I figured it out pretty early. I did enjoy the way Nell took on the case.

Ms. Cole’s descriptive talents were on her full display as her words illustrated the villa and everyplace Nell went masterfully.

I did enjoy the liberal use of humor throughout the story. A couple of times I caught myself laughing out loud.

The food descriptions were fantastic too. I wish there had been more recipes at the back of the book. Italian dishes are my faves.

This story had good bones and with a few tweaks, I can see this being a long-running series. Nell and Chef O. are characters I want to get to know better. I also can’t wait to see Villa Orlandini become all it can be. I hope the author takes her time developing a romance for Nell although we can see where it is headed. Nell has enough on her plate without taking on another man. If the filmmaker, Buford Kaplan is the typical man she gets involved with, the girl needs a good long break. 🙂


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Stephanie Cole is an active member of the mystery writing community. Writing as Shelley Costa, she was nominated for both an Edgar and an Agatha award, and she co-founded the Northeast Ohio chapter of Sisters in Crime. She teaches creative writing workshops and lectures on American literature in the greater Cleveland area. For fun, she takes violin lessons, studies Art History—and eyes them both for murder plots.


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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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery) by J.C. Eaton #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks

Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
by J.C. Eaton

About Dressed Up 4 Murder


Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Arizona
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496724550
ISBN-13: 978-1496724557
Digital ASIN: B07R8WYD83

Last one standing is the winner . . .

 

The holiday season has arrived and bookkeeper/amateur sleuth, Sophie “Phee” Kimball, would love nothing more than to enjoy the comforts of her new home with her detective boyfriend near Arizona’s Sun City West. Instead, her mother Harriet wants to showcase her chiweenie-chihuahua-dachshund Streetman in the Precious Pooches Holiday Extravaganza costume events. The festivities begin in October and end on St. Patrick’s Day—with the winner starring in the St. Pat’s Day parade. But things quickly turn an awful shade of green when Streetman uncovers a dead body under a tarp-covered grill in the neighbor’s yard.

 

The victim is Cameron Tully, a seafood distributor working out of Phoenix, who died from ingesting a toxic sago palm leaf. Before the police can even find a motive and suspect, another Precious Pooch owner nearly dies from the same poison. With Harriet believing someone’s targeting her and Streetman because of the costume contests, Phee will need a potful of Irish luck to sniff out a killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is always something happening at Sun City West. The new thing is the Precious Pooches Holiday Extravaganza and Harriet Plunkett plans to enter her chiweenie-chihuahua-dachshund Streetman in the event for each holiday starting with Halloween right through St. Patrick’s Day. Her friend Shirley is making his costumes and she knows he is going to win big. Streetman is not thrilled with the costumes at all, he is more concerned with a tarp in the neighbor’s yard.

When Sophie “Phee” Kimball arrives at her mother’s the dog is frantic to go outside. They open the backdoor and Streetman lunges out pulling the leash and Harriet right to the tarp-covered grill where they notice a pair of shoes. When Phee carefully pulls the tarp back they find a man attached to the shoes, but he won’t be grilling anytime soon. Neither woman recognizes the man. He is later identified as Cameron Tully from Phoenix. He is a seafood distributor and he was poisoned by a toxic sago palm leaf.

Police are having a hard time solving the murder but then a woman at a Precious Pooches event almost dies from the same thing. Harriet is afraid she and Streetman could be next. The police finally admit they need help and request Williams Investigations to assist on the case. This means Marshall and Phee are investigating but even they are having trouble. With Harriet nagging them at every move they know they need to solve this case and fast.


These characters are so much fun. You have Harriet and her friends and they are a hoot! You also have the team at Williams Investigations, Nate Williams is a retired detective from Mankato, Minnesota. Augusta keeps the office running and helps with cases too. Phee works for him as a bookkeeper but is turning out to be a great amateur sleuth. When business picked up he lured Marshall, another Mankato detective down to Arizona. Phee was thrilled because she had had a crush on him for years and now they are moving in together.  All these characters are so well developed, I can easily picture each one in my mind clearly. The places and events are described wonderfully too. It was so easy to imagine all the dogs and their owners parading around the park and all the chaos that erupts all around them.

Dog lover that I am Streetman does steal the show for me.

The mystery was a puzzler, with several red herrings. It took some serious digging for Phee to start bring things into focus and then the rest of the clues started to fall into place. I love the couple Marshall and Phee are becoming. They make a great team in all aspects of their life. I really enjoyed they worked together on this case, knowing each other’s strengths. It was a lot of fun following them step by step because I was completely in the dark right up to the reveal.

I have to take a moment to compliment the creativeness of the costumes the authors dreamed up for Shirley to create. Detailed and well-crafted and much more complicated than the one Streetman is wearing on the cover. Each described in vivid detail. The attention to detail the authors bring to these costumes and the whole book overall is what really makes this story and the others in this series must-reads for me.

Dressed Up 4 Murder is entertaining and captivating. The characters are strong and relatable and I can’t wait to see what they get themselves into next.

If you like your cozy mysteries to be filled with humor and a complex mystery that will have you really thinking, this is the perfect book for you.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About J.C. Eaton

Meet Ann and Jim, Writing as J.C. Eaton

Ann I. Goldfarb

            New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, they have authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington), The Wine Trail Mysteries (Kensington Lyrical Underground), and the Marcie Rayner Mysteries (Camel). In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit us at:

James E. Clapp

            When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb.  Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching. Visit the website at www.jceatonmysteries.com and the blog at www.jceatonauthor.com

Author Links – WebsiteBlogTime Travel MysteriesFacebook

Purchase Links – Amazon  –  B&N  – Kobo  – Google Books  – IndieBound


Also by J.C. Eaton

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Great Escapes Praise for Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
by J.C. Eaton

This mystery has everything mystery aficionados could want and more! A body in the yard, an adorable but smart dog, small-town secrets, and an amateur sleuth who has already made a name for herself as a nosy lady who seems to uncover the truth, no matter what.
~My Devotional Thoughts

Phee is a likable and smart character. I enjoy seeing her work to solve cases, especially alongside Marshall. Their relationship adds another layer to the story.
~View from the Birdhouse

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 2 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW
March 2 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 3 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
March 3 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW Coming Soon
March 4 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – Carla Loves To Read – GUEST POST
March 4 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 6 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
March 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
March 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 9 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
March 10 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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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.”