Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Nacho Average Murder (A Country Store Mystery) by Maddie Day #Review / #Giveaway @maddiedayauthor

Nacho Average Murder (A Country Store Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Indiana/California
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723155
ISBN-13: 978-1496723154
Kindle ASIN: B07R4Q5GBQ

Robbie Jordan is temporarily leaving Pans ’N Pancakes, her country store in South Lick, Indiana, to visit Santa Barbara, California—where wildfire smoke tinges the air, but a more immediate danger may lie in wait . . .

 

While looking forward to her high school reunion back in California, Robbie’s anticipation is complicated by memories of her mother’s untimely death. At first, she has fun hanging out with her old classmates and reuniting with the local flavors—avocados, citrus, fish, and spicy Cali-Mex dishes. But then she gets wind of rumors that her mother, an environmental activist, may not have died of natural causes. With the help of friends, Robbie starts clearing the smoke surrounding the mystery—but what she finds could make it hard to get back to Indiana alive . . .

 

Includes Recipes for You to Try!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Robbie Jordan is excited to return to Santa Barbara for her 10th-year class reunion. She is looking forward to catching up with her old friends but it also brings back memories of her mom who passed away 2 years ago. Shortly after she arrives she hears a rumor that her mother, an environmental activist, may not have died of natural causes. A fellow activist then dies of a brain aneurysm, just like her mom. Robbie just has to find the truth so she enlists the help of a couple of high school friends and her mother’s best friend to get the answers she needs. This is not her first investigation but it may be her last.


After six books Maddie Day takes her protagonist on a trip. This can be good and bad. Readers are accustomed to the core characters and the lifestyle of South Lick, Indiana so the new characters we are introduced to have to get us to warm up to them quickly because unless they visit Pans ’N Pancakes in a future book this may be the last we see of them. I will say Ms. Day did a fine job of fleshing out these new characters. I really enjoyed the senior characters, Luisa, the mother of the owner of the B&B where Robbie is staying, and Liz, her mother’s best friend.

The main mystery plot was interesting. I mean if someone told you that your mom may have been murdered, wouldn’t you want to investigate? Robbie took some really questionable risks that had me shaking my head though. I had two suspects high on my list so the reveal wasn’t too surprising, I just needed a few more details. The subplots all flowed naturally alongside of the mystery.

Like the rest of this series, a main focus is the food. This time instead of the usual breakfast fare we are treated to several Mexican dishes served, and yes, recipes are included at the end of the story. From Mexican Chocolate Almond Cakes to Flaky Chicken Empanadas and Nachos, of course. There was an Avocado Huevos Rancheros served at the Nacho Average Cafe that may soon be served at Robbie’s Pans ’N Pancakes.

New characters and an intriguing mystery made Nacho Average Murder a very entertaining read. I do hope some of the characters we met visit Robbie in Indiana.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-nominated author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction. She lives with her beau and three cats in Massachusetts.

As Edith Maxwell, she writes the Local Foods Mysteries (Kensington Publishing) and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink).

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

 


Also by Maddie Day 

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Find books written as Edith Maxwell here.

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Book will be sent directly from Amazon.
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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 Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money (The Poppy Fields Adventures) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense
6th in Series
Setting – Cayman Islands
Publisher: Independently published (September 24, 2020)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8690016531
Kindle ASIN: B0867JSW64

Poppy Fields, social influencer and secret spy, is on Grand Cayman. Her mission? Maid of honor at her mother’s wedding to Russian billionaire Yurgi Prokorhov. No surprise, Chariss Carlton is a difficult and demanding bride.

 

When Poppy witnesses a murder, her days change from irritating to dangerous. She and her partner Thor (real name Mark Stone—but a dead-ringer for a Norse god) are tasked with catching a killer and shuttering a billion dollar money laundering scheme.

 

Between bombs, bridal showers, high-speed car chases, a missing wedding planner, and a femme fatale with her eye on Thor, it will be a miracle if Poppy makes it to the church on time.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bombs, bullets, a famous bridezilla, and more! Can Poppy handle it all?

Set on Grand Cayman, Poppy, and Thor, I mean Mark, have arrived for her mom’s wedding and all the pre-wedding festivities. But it isn’t long before Poppy finds herself in hot water. Soon Mr. Brown is involved and in addition to all her bridal duties, she and Mark are on a case chasing down a huge money-laundering scheme and trying to catch a murderer. Oh, and the wedding planner has been abducted. You know, just a normal week in the life of Poppy Fields.


I have loved this entire series but Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money has to be my favorite.

Chariss and Yurgi are getting married and guests are arriving from Hollywood and Russia to celebrate the big event. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones arriving on Grand Cayman Island.  Drug dealers, money launderers, and a murderer have joined the party.

The author has continued the fantastic character development of the core characters while introducing great characters readers love to hate.  Poppy is getting more confident and the powers that be, start to notice. Her relationship with her Thor is heating up. I just hope they get some real alone time together soon. Yurgi was my favorite character this time. An incredibly wealthy, strong, patient man, that truly loves Chariss and all her drama while becoming a true friend to Poppy. He covers for her with her mother and spares no expense to keep her safe.

Again, the story is action-packed and impossible to put down. It is a roller coaster ride from start to finish.

Set in the idyllic Cayman Islands, this story made for a wonderful virtual vacation as the weather here gets brisk and windy. I curled up with a blanket and took off on another entertaining adventure with Poppy and her family, friends, and enemies.

Julie Mulhern is a terrific storyteller. Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money and this whole series are must-reads for me. Each book can be read on its own but I recommend you read the series from the start in order for maximum enjoyment.

Look for this book on my Best Reads of 2020. It receives my Paradise Rating, just like every other book in this series. You truly can’t go wrong with a book by this author.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

Read my reviews of  Fields’ Guide to Assassins
here,  
Fields’ Guide to Voodoo here,
Fields’ Guide to Fog hereFields’ Guide to Abduction here,
and Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs here.

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 

Book 1 – Fields’ Guide to Abduction – Is available for FREE!!!

Also by Julie Mulhern


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 Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs (The Poppy Fields Adventures) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense
5th in Series
Setting – Egypt
Publisher: J & M Press (March 31, 2020)
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8632308649
Kindle ASIN: B082Z9FLFX

Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl and super-secret spy, travels to Egypt looking for answers.

 

But amidst assassination attempts, money launderers, and missing treasure, answers are hard to come by.

 

Poppy must trust new allies, forgive old wrongs, and find a forgotten pharaoh or the next tomb she enters may be her own.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Usually, trouble finds Poppy Fields but this time she goes looking for trouble. To get the answers she needs she flies off to Egypt by herself. Mark aka Thor can’t go with her but he hooks her up with Ethan Alexander from the C.I.A. Poppy isn’t sure if she can trust him but when bullets start to she realizes she doesn’t have a choice.


This story is a little different because all the normal supporting characters, Mark, Mia, Chariss, Yurgi, and even Consuela are not around to assist Poppy through all her trials and tribulations. Okay, some do show up in the nick of time near the end of the book, but Poppy really had to hold her own before that with just a couple of surprising assists.

She was there on her own private personal mission but she runs into someone that her boss, Mr. Brown is very interested in. He puts her on the case of surveilling his target until he can send another agent to help.  This adds a nice twist but also puts a huge target on her back. The action is truly non-stop with the perfect amount of Julie Mulhern’s signature humor.

I really enjoyed the way the author describes everywhere Poppy travels, from the hotels, the ship on the Nile, the desert, the temples, the tombs, the marketplace, and everywhere in between. Of course, Poppy wasn’t on your typical vacay but it was an incredibly fun virtual trip to the home of the Pharaohs.

Like every other book in this series, the book was just impossible to put down. I would have read the entire thing in one evening but my breast cancer therapy had my eyes slamming sooner than I would have liked.

I absolutely loved this Poppy Fields adventure. Julie Mulhern never disappoints. Like the 4 previous books, Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs receives my Paradise rating. To get know Poppy and all the other characters I recommend reading them all in order and enjoy all their adventures! You can thank me later 😀

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

I am reading Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money right now.
Watch for my review next week!

Read my reviews of  Fields’ Guide to Assassins
here, 
Fields’ Guide to Voodoo here,
Fields’ Guide to Fog here. Field’s Guide to Abduction here

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 

Also by Julie Mulhern



*This book is in my private collection, purchased from Amazon.
Posted in 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Leslie Budewitz – Author of The Solace of Bay Leaves #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to welcome Leslie Budewitz back to Escape With Dollycas!

Armchair Travel

by Leslie Budewitz

Whoever first called reading “armchair travel” was brilliant.

Or, to quote another brilliant mind, though Dr. Seuss wasn’t talking about books, “Oh, the places you’ll go.”

I’ve always loved exploring new places by reading, and when I first started writing fiction, I knew one of my goals was to take people to times and places they might not visit themselves. page. My Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries are set in a lakeside town Montana on the road to Glacier National Park, inspired by the village where I live. It’s truly a cozy community, though a Montana mountain valley is not a typical location for a cozy mystery. My Spice Shop series is an urban cozy, set in a community within a community, Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market.

Why the Market? I fell in love with it as a college freshman and made it my life’s mission to eat my way through it. Since it’s constantly changing, and I only get to visit once a year or so, it’s an on-going challenge. But I’m up for it!

It’s a vibrant place, full of sounds, sights, and smells. And the food! The Market is the heart and soul—and stomach—of the city. You can eat just about anything there. Start with a slice of pizza at DeLaurenti’s Italian grocery. Sample spice tea at Market Spice. The Persian food at Farvahar. Dolmatas and falafel from The Falafel King. Dim sum, Vietnamese coffee, baklava, piroshky. Clam chowder, oysters, barbecue. Bagels, crumpets, crepes and cheesecake. Grab coffee at the original Starbucks. Sip wine, beer, ginger beer.

Have I made you hungry? Good! (Me, too.)

The Market transports you to a time gone by, with its cobblestone streets and the jumble of early 20th century buildings jammed against each other. Pillars topped with Victorian capitals. Buckets of fresh flowers. Street-corner musicians. Ghosts who preen and pirouette in the windows of the old ballroom, and other ghosts who reorganize beads in jewelry displays and drink the good whiskey. Bridges to nowhere and windows overlooking nothing. But there are a few modern twists, uniquely Seattle: The Gum Wall outside the Market Theater, a bit of psycho-grunge regularly ranked one of the germiest places in the world. Grown men throwing fish. Visitors from all across the globe.

In The Solace of Bay Leaves, Pepper Reece is about to celebrate her second anniversary as owner of the Spice Shop. Halloween is approaching, and she and Cayenne, one of her employees, have been prowling Market stalls for warty gourds, goblins’ eggs, and other seasonal decors. Through her investigation into the shooting of an old friend and an unsolved murder takes her to the Lake Union houseboat community, some of the city’s older residential neighborhoods, and the hospital district, it’s the Market and its merchants, bakers, craftspeople, and residents who ground Pepper and our story. An observant artist, new to the Market, sees something critical, and Pepper meets a young immigrant woman and her daughter who provide additional clues.

The Market, and the Spice Shop, are Pepper’s happy place. They’re mine, too—even if the Spice Shop exists only in my imagination, and I hope, yours. Pour a cup of something you enjoy, curl up in your comfy chair, and take a trip to Seattle with me, on the page.

Thank you Leslie for dropping by today! 

Keep reading for my thoughts about The Solace of Bay Leaves.

 

The Solace of Bay Leaves (Spice Shop Mysteries)
by Leslie Budewitz
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Washington
Publisher: Seventh Street Books (October 20, 2020)
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN-10: 1645060179
Kindle ASIN: B084G9S89T

Pepper Reece never expected to find solace in bay leaves.

 

But when her life fell apart at forty and she bought the venerable-but-rundown Spice Shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, her days took a tasty turn. Now she’s savoring the prospect of a flavorful fall and a busy holiday cooking season, until danger bubbles to the surface . . .

 

Between managing her shop, worrying about her staff, and navigating a delicious new relationship, Pepper’s firing on all burners. But when her childhood friend Maddie is shot and gravely wounded, the incident is quickly tied to an unsolved murder that left another close friend a widow.

 

Convinced that the secret to both crimes lies in the history of a once-beloved building, Pepper uses her local-girl contacts and her talent for asking questions to unearth startling links between the past and present—links that suggest her childhood friend may not have been the Golden Girl she appeared to be. Pepper is forced to face her own regrets and unsavory emotions, if she wants to save Maddie’s life—and her own.

 

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pepper Reece and her boyfriend Nate are out for a night on the town with her BBF Kristen Gardner and her husband Eric when she receives a text message from mutual friend Laurel Halloran . . .

Detective Tracy is in my living room   . . . FBI on the way.

After a little confab, the foursome heads to Laurel’s houseboat where they learn another friend of the girls has been shot and is in the hospital. Then Detective Tracy drops the bomb, their friend Maddie was shot with the same gun as another case that had gone cold. Pat Halloran, Laurel’s husband was murdered about 3 years ago. Is this a new lead? Tracy tells Pepper to stay out of his investigation and that is echoed by the FBI agent. Pepper knows that is not going to happen. She has helped solve other cases, why not this one? or two?

____

Pepper Reece knows her spices and she is a grand amateur sleuth. Her life is on an upswing with a successful and growing business, a new romance with Nate, and her lovable companion Arf, who she adopted when his owner moved away. She is surrounded by a great supporting cast of friends and employees. All the characters are written very realistically. Ms. Budewitz all gives readers a nice group of suspects. Some as sketchy as can be.

The murder mystery is complex and requires a lot of digging. If the shootings are related Pepper needs to finds out how. The author has plotted many twists and turns to keep everyone guessing. There is also a subplot mystery involving the spice shop and a special blend. This mixes in with the main mystery nicely along with the daily routine of running the shop and Pepper’s personal life. The story has a nice pace and builds to an exciting conclusion.

Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market is an ideal setting for this series. Each story we learn more about the place and discover new shops and vendors. I really hope to visit there someday.

The Solace of Bay Leaves is a fine addition to this series. I am looking forward to the next installment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Assault and Pepper here, Guilty as Cinnamon here, and Killing Thyme here and Chai Another Day here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in two cozy mystery series. CHAI ANOTHER DAY, her fourth Spice Shop Mystery, set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, will be published on June 11. DEATH AL DENTE, first in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, set in Jewel Bay, Montana, won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. She also won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction. “All God’s Sparrows,” her first historical fiction, won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives and cooks in NW Montana.

Find her online at www.LeslieBudewitz.com and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LeslieBudewitzAuthor More about CHAI ANOTHER DAY, including an excerpt here: http://www.lesliebudewitz.com/spice-shop-mystery-series/

Also by this Author


I am giving away my review copy!

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
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If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will Ends October 28, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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

Tusk Justice: (A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait #Review / #Giveaway


Tusk Justice:
A Cozy Mystery with a Tenacious Female Amateur Sleuth
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
by Victoria Tait

About Tusk Justice 


Tusk Justice:(A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kanga Press (October 9, 2020)
Number of Pages App. 300
Digital ASIN: B08FXVFKK7

At a summit on poaching, the keynote is homicide. Can a veterinarian solve the case before she becomes an endangered species?

 

Kenya, 2016. Community vet and skilled sleuth ‘Mama’ Rose Hardie is passionate about saving elephants. As she runs her monthly clinic for the animals at the local resort, she plans to attend a conference on the issue with her ailing husband. But things turn sour when a world-renowned conservationist is found brutally stabbed to death.

 

With the authorities tied up in Nairobi, Rose sets out to bring the killer in herself. But with multiple suspects all hiding secrets and scandalous truths surrounding the victim, the culprit may be too slippery for the aged amateur detective to handle.

 

Can Rose trap the murderer before she ends up as the next target?

 

Tusk Justice is the second book in the thrilling Kenya Kanga Mysteries series. If you like quirky characters, lush African locales, and a love of animals, then you’ll adore Victoria Tait’s adventurous whodunit.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Note: Take a moment to read the Glossary of words before starting to read the book because the author uses many words local to the region. I love that she did this. 

 

Mama Rose Hardie returns and she is tested to solve not just one mystery but two!

First, she is asked by the manager at the Mount Kenya Resort and Spa to investigate a series of thefts from small throwaway items to some very pricey merchandise. She is excited because she and her husband Craig are given some wonderful accommodations while she sleuths and he attends a conference leading up to the inaugural Giant’s Club Summit for wildlife conservation.

The second mystery involves Davina Dijan, a woman Rose met after saving a young elephant and wasn’t very impressed with. Davina Dijan is the keynote speaker for the conference as the managing director of the local Gaia Conservancy. Her program started with a few hiccups and we saw her true colors. Rose witnesses Davina’s rude behavior again that night at dinner. She is floored though when the resort manager wakes them during the night to report the woman is dead and he needs Rose’s help. One look tells Rose that Davina Dijan has been murdered.  With Police Commissioner Akida tied up elsewhere, he asks Rose to assist on the case. With her efforts divided she is going to do her best to solve both cases but then a surprise lands something personal on her plate as well. Rose is juggling a lot, and there is a killer on the loose.


The story focuses on the poaching of elephants for their tusks. Such beautiful animals dying just hurts so much. The book is set in 2016 and there has been progress to curtail poaching but 1 dead healthy elephant is too many for me. The author blends awareness with a fictional story that ends with the hope that change may be happening.

Mama Rose is a complex character and this time we delve further into her personal life. Her husband Craig has some serious health problems but I was glad to see he was able to attend the conference and enjoy some time with friends. He is Rose’s #1 priority and she does all she can to keep him out and about and comfortable but she sees his health continue to deteriorate. As someone living with a disability for almost 20 years I can identify with the man very well.

The author has penned a compelling mystery.  Rose is a tenacious investigator and to tag along with her as she tries to solve it all was very entertaining. She rarely takes a break so the pages were flying. I read the entire book in one evening and that is very rare for me right now.

I enjoy the imagery Ms. Tait creates with her words. I will never travel to Kenya in my lifetime which why I truly appreciate descriptive storytelling. Readers are carried thousands of miles away by her words and are able to escape for a few hours to a place so different and full of adventures.

Endearing characters, a splendid location, a worthy cause, and an entertaining mystery, Tusk Justice has it all. A Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Find out how to adopt an elephant here.

 

About Victoria Tait

Victoria Tait is the exciting new author of the Kenya Kanga Mystery series.  She’s drawn on 8 years living in rural Kenya, with her family, to write vivid and evocative descriptions.  Her readers feel the heat, taste the dryness, and smell the dust of Africa.  Her elderly amateur sleuth, “Mama Rose” Hardie is Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple reincarnated and living in Kenya.

Like all good military wives, Victoria follows the beat of the drum and has recently moved to war-scarred Sarajevo in Bosnia. She has two, fast-growing nearly teenage boys.  She enjoys horse riding and mountain biking but is apprehensive about learning to ski.  Victoria is looking forward to the sun, sand, and seafood of neighbouring Croatia when the world returns to normal.

Author Links

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Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – 

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

Cake Popped Off (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series) by Kim Davis #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @Kookiesandbooks


Cake Popped Off (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series)
by Kim Davis

About Cake Popped Off


Cake Popped Off (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Cinnamon & Sugar Press (September 22, 2020)
Print Length: 295 pages
Digital ASIN: B08DZ7Z96H

Cupcake caterer Emory Martinez is hosting a Halloween bash alongside her octogenarian employer, Tillie. With guests dressed in elaborate costumes, the band is rocking, the cocktails are flowing, and tempers are flaring when the hired Bavarian Barmaid tries to hook a rich, hapless husband. Except one of her targets happens to be Emory’s brother-in-law, which bodes ill for his pregnant wife. When Emory tracks down the distraught barmaid, instead of finding the young woman in tears, she finds her dead. Can she explain to the new detective on the scene why the Bavarian Barmaid was murdered in Emory’s bathtub with Emory’s Poison Apple Cake Pops stuffed into her mouth?

 

With an angry pregnant sister to contend with, she promises to clear her brother-in-law’s name. As Emory starts asking questions and tracking down the identity of the costumed guests, she finds reasons to suspect her brother-in-law has been hiding a guilty secret. Her search leads her to a web of blackmail and betrayal amongst the posh setting of the local country club crowd. Can Emory sift through the lies she’s being told and find the killer? She’ll need to step up her investigation before another victim is sent to the great pumpkin patch in the sky.

 

Includes spooky Halloween recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a fabulous story!

Emory Martinez and her loveable Goldendoodle Piper are settling in with Tillie and they are throwing a Halloween party with Emory providing cupcakes and cake pops while her sister Carrie caters all the rest of the food. The party is rocking until a server dressed as a Bavarian Barmaid starts hitting on many of the wealthy men in attendance. She even sets her sights on Emory’s brother-in-law, Thomas. Confused, Emory thought the bartender and the barmaid were an item. Emory decides to cool tempers she needs to talk to the woman but when she tracks her down she is dead in Emory’s own bathtub. Worse she has a Poison Apple Cake Pops, made by Emory, stuffed in her mouth.

The victim and her little tete-a-tete with Thomas was witnessed by many so he has landed at the top of the suspect list. Carrie begs Emory to investigate and some secrets are revealed. More suspects come to light but Thomas is not immediately cleared. Hang on tight, the twists are epic!


I absolutely love Tillie, in her 80’s and still going strong, even though her family doesn’t think so. They think she is suffering from dementia and belongs in a senior home, leaving them to manage her fortune and inherit it when she dies. Enter Emory to keep an eye on her. Emory quickly learns Tillie is fine and dandy, with more energy and ideas than a woman half her age.

Then Tillie’s son surprises everyone by introducing his new wife. His fourth! after losing his last wife in a tragic accident. The new wife proceeds to change the entire family dynamic by taking charge of everything she can. Thankfully Emory and Tillie have built a bond that can’t be broken, and shockingly the new wife’s days are numbered.

We also meet Detective Gabe O’Neill. Gabe just happens to be Emory’s BFF Brad’s significant other but she doubts that is going to help clear Thomas’s name.   All the characters Ms. Davis has created are strong. Some are very engaging, others bring the drama.

The plot of this mystery is complex and twisted. Emory and Tillie make a great sleuthing team, especially with all of Tillie’s social circle. The subplots blend seamlessly and believe me these are not just daily life interludes, they have some intense moments too. I really enjoyed following along but let me tell you when the killer was revealed the word surprised doesn’t cover it! Blown away! Astonished! Thunderstruck! And this is not the first time Kim Davis has done this to me!  Dang!  she is an incredible storyteller!!

In addition to a marvelous mystery, the story is filled with cupcakes. Emory is always baking and testing new flavor combinations. Some savory dishes are included too. My mouth was watering from the descriptions and I will be copying all the recipes at the back of the book.

Long story short, I am shouting from the rooftops! This Is A Must-Read Mystery! Fun, entertaining, and oh-so-wonderful. If you haven’t read Sprinkles of Suspicion start with that one, because series are always better from the beginning, but it is also a great whodunit. Cake Popped Off will be on my Best Reads of 2020. I am excited to see what the author has in store for her characters next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Kim Davis

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband. When she’s not spending time with her granddaughters she can be found either writing stories or working on her blog, Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder, or in the kitchen baking up yummy treats.  She has published the suspense novel, A GAME OF DECEIT, and cozy mystery, SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION. She also has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Author Links – Website  – Facebook Twitter: – Goodreads  – Pinterest

Purchase Link – Amazon 

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

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery) by Tina Kashian – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

About Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder
(A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)


Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (September 29, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496726073
ISBN-13: 978-1496726070
Digital ASIN: B082WR6DMT

Not even her impending nuptials can keep Lucy Berberian, manager of her family-owned Kebab Kitchen, from the Jersey Shore’s annual Polar Bear Plunge. But her dive into the icy ocean is especially chilling when she finds a fellow swimmer doing the dead man’s float—for real . . .

 

Who would kill a man in cold blood during Ocean Crest, New Jersey’s most popular winter event? When Lucy learns the victim is Deacon Spooner, the reception hall owner who turned up his nose—and his price—at her wedding plans, she can’t help wondering who wouldn’t kill the pompous caterer . . .

 

Perhaps the culprit is the wedding cake baker whose career Deacon nearly destroyed? Or the angry bride whose reception he ruined? With her maid of honor, Katie, busily planning Lucy’s wedding without her, Lucy will have to get to the bottom of this cold-hearted business in time for Kebab Kitchen’s mouthwatering Christmas celebration—and before her hometown’s holiday spirit washes out to sea . . .

 

Recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bundle up for this one. Lucy Berberian and her BFF Katie are taking part in the Polar Bear Plunge to raise money for the renovation of the Senior Center. They plunged into the frigid ocean waves along with about 40 other Ocean Crest residents and business owners and it did not go swimmingly. One plunger didn’t make it out alive. Reception hall co-owner Deacon Spooner’s dead body washed up on the beach from an apparent drowning. It wasn’t the chill in the air and water that took the man down, no, it was MURDER and one of Lucy’s friends is the prime suspect. Wedding cake baker Susie Cutie had a beef with the man but would she murder him? Lucy doesn’t think so. She met the man once and while not wishing him dead, she couldn’t stand him. He must have pushed someone else over the edge. She just needs to find out who . . .


Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder is the 5th book in the series and the characters feel like old friends. Lucy and Asad are now engaged to be married and Kate is trying her best to get Lucy’s wedding planning on track like any good Matron of Honor would do. Her parents, Angela and Raffi, now retired still help out at the restaurant when needed and Lucy’s cooking lessons with her mom continue. It’s the holiday season so all of them are making plans for the Christmas party at the Kebab Kitchen for all the Ocean Crest merchants. These characters are so genuine and engaging, people I would like to meet and spend more time with. I grew up in a family-run restaurant business and everything sans the murders rings true to life. I am also loving the relationship between Lucy and her landlord Eloisa, her infatuation with Azad, and the way he handles it is so funny.

Ms. Kashian has a great descriptive writing style. She takes us to the Jersey Shore with its snow-covered sand, the frigid temperatures of the ocean, the sound of a band playing under the boardwalk, the food at the Kabab Kitchen, a lovely Victorian B&B, and more. The food, moussaka to cupcakes and pies, the party attire, and a certain wedding dress are so easy to visualize.

The murder mystery was very well-plotted. Deacon Spooner was not a nice man so there were several viable suspects. I had pared down my guesses to two when the tension really picks up. The big reveal was very exciting and Yes! one of my guesses turned out to be right!

I look forward to each and every visit to Ocean Crest, New Jersey. Lucy and her family never fail to keep me totally entertained. Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder sure didn’t disappoint. I enjoyed every bit of this story. Will the next book include a wedding? I can’t wait to find out!



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Tina Kashian

Tina Kashian is an attorney and mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. She is the author of the popular Kebab Kitchen Mediterranean cozy mystery series for Kensington Publishing. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two daughters. Please visit her website at www.tinakashian.com to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!

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Great Escapes Praise for Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder is a feast for the senses – yummy food to make your mouth water, sea breezes to appease the beach lovers among us, the sights & sounds & aromas of a bustling boardwalk, family, friends, humor, heart, and a puzzling mystery to unravel.
~Reading Is My SuperPower

Mistletoe Moussaka and Murder, with its spot-on plotting and developed characters, is ideal for any cozy mystery book lover, especially for those who enjoy a bit of the foodie element!
~The Cozy Pages

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder is a cheery cozy mystery with holiday house hop, matrimonial machinations, Christmas cheer, a polar plunge, seashells, seagulls, and snow.
~The Avid Reader

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing, and through most of the book, I felt like I was right there, watching all the action taking place, whether it was plunging into the ocean or checking out wedding venues.
~MJB Reviewers

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian is an excellent book. It seems as I can never figure out the motive for these books. I have to say that it is good for Ms. Kashian.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

A big BRAVA to Tina Kashian for another well plotted, believable mystery filled cover to cover with twists and turns, false leads, and an all-around entertaining storyline that got better with every turn of the page.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

 

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

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

Deceased and Desist (A Tallie Graver Mystery) by Misty Simon #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Deceased and Desist (A Tallie Graver Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1496712250
ISBN-13: 978-1496712257
Kindle ASIN: B07B76MMJZ

Window of opportunity . . .

 

Most housecleaners don’t do windows, but Tallie Graver loves leaving a pane of glass streak-free and sparkling. After a dirty divorce from a filthy-rich jerk, she’s started her own cleaning business to make ends meet. On her latest job, prepping a renovated bed and breakfast for a grand re-opening, she’s standing outside on a ladder, wiping off a grimy pane, when she spies a man on a bed through the glass. But the B&B isn’t open for business yet—and the man’s not sleeping. Her family owns the Graver Funeral Home, so Tallie knows a corpse when she sees one.

 

The victim is a shady building inspector with a reputation for handing out passing grades for a greased palm. With the local police resistant, Tallie launches her own investigation, before she gets a rep as a town crank. But it’s going to take more than a squirt bottle and a squeegee to clean up this mess. With the help of her gal pal Gina, Tallie searches for a killer’s motive. But she’d better be careful, or it’ll be curtains for this window cleaner . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tallie Graver is doing her part to make the grand reopening of a local B&B a huge success in hopes the owners will hire her on for more cleaning duties. For now, she just needs to finish washing the windows. Up the ladder she goes but when she starts to squeegee down a window she notices a man on the bed inside. The B&B hasn’t opened yet so it can’t be a guest and the man is lying in a strange position. Tallie’s family owns the local funeral home so she has seen plenty of dead bodies and she knows now she is looking at another one.

The police don’t suspect foul play but Tallie does. She enlists the help of her bestie Gina to get a crystal clear picture of who killed the man and why. She also gets help from a surprising person. Together they bring down more than a killer.


I loved this story. So much happens within these pages.

The characters continue to evolve with Tallie growing stronger in her convictions, especially when her father wants her to a larger role in the family business. I love the way Max supports her through thick and thin. Gina and Tallie make a great team, but this time there is a third Muskateer and that adds to the fun. A new character pushed all buttons which is what I now know is exactly what the author intended.

The story has a slow build as clues are slow coming at first but the pace really picks up as things start to fall into place. The twists were perfectly placed. Like Tallie, who even ot her dad involved in her snooping this time, I thought I was on the right path when a plot twist proved me wrong. I am always entertained by a story that tests me.

Well written and plotted, with humor infused in all the right places Deceased and Desist was a captivating cozy and a stellar addition to this series. I can’t wait to visit these characters again. Carpet Diem is impatiently waiting on my Kindle.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Laughter and Love are two main components of any story I write. Laughter really is the best medicine and my heroines always figure that out at some point, though perhaps some later than others. I live in Central Pennsylvania with my family and two rambunctious dogs in a house that is about to celebrate its two hundredth birthday. You can find Misty Simon on Facebook here.


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

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For Letter or Worse (Stationery Shop Mystery) by Vivian Conroy #Review / #Giveaway


For Letter or Worse (Stationery Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Montana
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (September 29, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1492684066
ISBN-13: 978-1492684060
Kindle ASIN: B0861BCV6Y

The second book in the Stationary Shop Mystery Series from Vivian Conroy! When a killer strikes, it becomes clear that this murder mystery has more dimensions than Delta Douglas and her Paper Posse could have ever imagined…

 

The scissors are sharpened and the cardstock stacked for Delta Douglas’ latest workshop: a 3D cardmaking event at socialite Lena Laroy’s birthday extravaganza. As co-owner of Wanted, the local stationery shop, Delta is ready to wow her guests with her one of a kind crafts. But, at this party, paper isn’t the only thing bent out of shape. When a threatening present is unwrapped and the guest of honor’s sister-in-law is discovered dead by the trees, Delta realizes another killer is loose in her small town.

 

Before the cake is even cut, suspects appear from the folds, and Delta and her Paper Posse must analyze the evidence to track the culprit down. But, with Lena’s list of enemies a mile long, Delta soon discovers this case has more dimensions than she bargained for.

 

In this new cozy mystery from Vivian Conroy, Delta and her team will have to get creative to catch a killer!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wanting to expand their client base, friends and co-owners of Wanted Stationery Shop, Delta, and Hazel agree to host a 3D cardmaking workshop at former model Lena Laroy’s over the top birthday bash. As the guest of honor opens her gifts, one clearly upsets her. The gift is clearly a threat and the police are alerted. Before the threat can even be addressed a scream rings out. Lena’s sister-in-law’s dead body has been found. Not again, the last thing Delta needs is to get caught up in another murder investigation but she agrees to help her friend Jonas Nord, a retired Detective, dig through the suspects and clues to find the killer.

______

In this second book of the Stationery Shop Mysteries, we are getting to know these characters better. Delta is emerging as a strong protagonist. She and Jonas make a great team. There are plenty of suspects so they have their work cut out for them. They do get some assistance from The Paper Posse, a group of women that know every little thing that happens in town and if they don’t they know someone who does. They communicate through text messages so readers are mostly in the dark about who they really are. I hope these characters are more fleshed out in future stories. I am also hoping Delta’s grandmother is featured prominently in the next book. She was my favorite this time and we just met her.

I am also getting a better picture of the stationery shop itself. A Wild West Sheriff’s Office complete with the cells and furnishings. Hazel has tried to keep the sheriff’s office intact as much as possible while displaying some artifacts to show the town’s history while also displaying all the goods for sale.  It sounds like an interesting place but every time they add new stock or talk about adding specialty items by mind starts to think how crowded the store must be. I just have to expand my imagination and make the shop as large as possible.

The mystery had a nice set of twists and turns. Everyone at the party is a suspect and there is the probability that someone ventured onto the property just to commit murder and left without anyone seeing. This is also not the first murder at this fancy estate and that adds extra intrigue to the story. I did enjoy the way Delta pushed her way into situations and the way mystery was wrapped up.

With characters that continue to evolve and a strong mystery For Letter or Worse is an enjoyable addition to this series. I look forward to book 3.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Stationery Shop Mysteries are the latest addition to Vivian Conroy’s expanding mystery range. She also writes the contemporary Country Gift Shop Mysteries and the historical Murder Will Follow Mysteries, paying tribute to her favorite mystery author Agatha Christie. Away from the keyboard, Vivian loves to hike, craft, and hang out on Twitter where readers can connect with her via @VivWrites.


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I am giving my Advance Review Copy 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
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Contest Will End October 15, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Winner Cake All (Chef-to-Go Mysteries) by Denise Swanson #Review / #Giveaway

RELEASES TOMORROW!


Winner Cake All (Chef-to-Go Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Illinois
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (September 29, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1492648444
ISBN-10: 1492648442
Kindle ASIN: B0861BHQLX

Next in New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson’s chef mystery books, Dani Sloan will have to solve the murder of a bride to clear her crush’s name. Once again, it looks like Dani will get a slice of the action…

 

In the small town of Normalton, IL, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for small business owner Dani Sloan to cater big-ticket events. But that’s about to change—a client named Yvette Joubert is marrying Franklin Whittaker, the richest guy around, and they want Dani to cater their engagement party! The swanky event is the perfect opportunity to put Dani on the map for wealthier clients.

 

But when a storm hits the party after guests arrive, it becomes clear that more than the dinner is ruined: Yvette is found dead beneath the marquee. Is her death a tragic accident, or a perfectly orchestrated murder? Then the case gets even juicier—it turns out that Yvette’s ex-husband is Spencer Drake, Dani’s almost-boyfriend, and the police start circling. Now Dani must follow an unending list of clues to save her business, her better half, and catch a criminal. Let’s just hope they get their just desserts!

 

The third installment of the Chef-To-Go series, Winner Cake All, is full of small-town charm, delicious desserts, and an exciting investigation. Denise  Swanson’s bestselling mysteries will keep you guessing until the end!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Dani Sloan has been wanting to add more catering gigs to her Chef-To-Go business so when she is asked to cater the engagement party of wealthy Franklin Whittaker and his bride-to-be Yvette Joubert she is excited for the opportunity. She has a very short lead-time but knows she can make it work. Plus with all the ritzy guests she is sure to line up more jobs.

Drinks are being served and appetizers are ready to go when a freak storm blows in and tumbles the party tent with the guests inside. Yvette is the only one who didn’t survive but is the storm responsible or did someone use the storm to try to cover up a murder.


The wonderful characters created by Ms. Swanson continue to develop naturally. Dani’s relationship with Spencer is moving just a little bit faster but he still has a bit of jealousy regarding Gray. A  twist in this story may have Dani a bit jealous too. Ivy, Tippi, and Starr are all having relationship issues. Dani is unsure at first whether to “meddle” or let them handle things themselves. We know Dani well enough by now to know the answer. Dani also has a surprise visitor that answers some lingering questions I have had.

The murder mystery is very intriguing and one suspect hits very close to home making Dani truly invested in finding out what happened and why to Yvette. Sadly, she puts herself in danger. I loved the twists and turns and following along with Dani, Spencer, and Gray. I was entertained by the way all was revealed.

What I really enjoy about this series is the family feel that has grown between the characters. Dani does have to play the “boss” card occasionally but Dani, Ivy, Tippi, and Starr have become so much more than landlord and tenants.

This author also knows how to bring the funny. Spencer has a very special security detail on campus. The pranksters are out for fraternity and sorority pledge weeks. Her attention to detail also brings each scene alive. That storm was a doozy and I could almost feel that rain and wind.

Winner Cake All kept me captivated all the way. It can be read as a stand-alone but to appreciate all the character development you should read the series from the start.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Denise Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Scumble River Mysteries, the Devereaux’s Dime Store Mysteries, the Change of Heart romances, and the Delicious romances She worked as a school psychologist for twenty-two years before quitting to write full-time. She lives in Illinois with her husband, classical music composer David Stybr.

 

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I want to share my advance review copy with you!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End October 12, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
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Click Here For Entry Form

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