Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Trip with Trouble: The Mountain Lodge Mysteries by Diane Kelly #Review


A Trip with Trouble: The Mountain Lodge Mysteries
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (October 25, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250815991
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250815996
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09NKB6M6L

The second in a charming and engrossing cozy series from Diane Kelly, A Trip with Trouble proves that in the Blue Ridge Mountains, life in the fast lane could end in a crash.

When the ladies of the Dangerous Curves Motorcycle Club take over the Mountaintop Lodge for their annual autumn ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Misty Murphy couldn’t be more thrilled. Every room is full and the adventurous women even invite Misty and her assistant Brynn to join them on a ride to admire the colorful fall foliage. Hotel handyman Rocky Crowder is happy to keep an eye on the lodge for the day, and the ladies set out for a fun ride on the scenic road.

The skies are clear, the air is crisp, and the leaves are gorgeous. But what starts as a perfect ride turns worrisome when the tail gunner – the last rider in their group – fails to show up at the Craggy Gardens overlook. Cell phone service is spotty in the remote, mountainous area, and the group is unable to connect with their friend. Might the missing woman have simply run out of gas? Or is something far more sinister afoot?

The ladies are determined to locate their ride or die, and Misty is equally determined to help them. But will they be able to solve the mystery when the scenic route seems intent on hiding its secrets?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s a full house at the Mountaintop Lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains when the Dangerous Curves Motorcycle Club move in for the week. The women take an annual autumn ride and this year it brings them to Misty’s lodge. Handyman Rocky Crowder offers to take care of the lodge so that Misty and her assistant Brynn can ride along one day and enjoy the women’s company and fall colors.

It is a beautiful day, perfect for leaf peeping but there is trouble on this trip when the riders pull off to stop at the Craggy Gardens overlook. One rider arrives way behind the rest of the group and their leader who was bringing up the rear doesn’t show up at all. She is not answering her radio and the cell service sucks so they find a landline to call the authorities and start a search.

Misty takes the safety of her guests seriously so she and Brynn pitch in to find the missing biker. Rocky steps up to help in any way he can too. Sadly the club leader’s body is found way off the road and her death was no accident. Is there a killer staying at the lodge? or is there someone who has been lurking in the area waiting for the opportunity to take the woman out? Misty is not going to give up until she knows who did the deed and why.


I was excited to catch up with Misty, Brynn, Rocky, and Patty. They have gotten very close after knowing each other for such a short time. Brynn and Misty work together like a well-oiled machine. Patty and Misty have a working relationship but have also become good friends that have each other’s back. Rocky is such a sweet man and I love the way his relationship with Misty is growing. They all feel true-to-life and the excellent character development from the first book continues within the pages of this book. I absolutely love the chapters from Misty’s cat Yeti’s point-of-view.

Ms. Kelly introduces readers to an interesting group of women. The Dangerous Curves Motorcycle Club is made up of women of all ages. Some have ridden together for years, one is new to the group, and the others fall somewhere in between. They appear to mesh together very well until the leader’s death when they start to think one of them may be a killer. We also meet members of the deceased “family” that were making several demands prior to her death. What a bunch! The author did a wonderful job giving each of these characters a unique personality which made it easy to keep everyone straight especially when there were several suspects among them.

The mystery was precisely plotted and flowed well with the necessary subplots. I appreciated the way Misty worked with the police. It shows the maturity of the protagonist and the supporting cast. They took some risks but never ventured into the realm of making stupid moves alone without backup. I enjoyed the way the killer was revealed and was so satisfied that while I didn’t have all the clues firmly in place I still chose the right guilty party.

The Blue Ridge Mountains especially when the leaves are changing and revealing their beautiful colors is a delightful place to set a cozy mystery. Ms. Kelly painted some extraordinary pictures with her words.

My escape into A Trip with Trouble was perfect. The characters are exceptional, the mystery is very well-written, and traveling virtually to North Carolina is always a good time. I wish I could actually visit there at any time of year.

The first book was just as good and I do recommend you read it first to enjoy these characters from the start.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Diane Kelly writes stories that feature feisty female lead characters and their furry, four-footed friends. Diane is the author of over 30 novels and novellas, including the Death & TaxesPaw Enforcement, and House Flipper mystery series. In 2021, she’ll launch two new series, the Southern Homebrew moonshine series and the Mountain Lodge Mysteries.

Author Links: 

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Coming April 4, 2023

Also by Diane Kelly


Coming February 21, 2023

Find More Books by Diane Kelly Here

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

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cold Drip (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery) by Heather Day Gilbert #Review

Cold Drip (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – West Virginia
WoodHaven Press (May 18, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 160 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1735565180
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1735565187
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09G94PLYX

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java…and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

Thanksgiving is on the way, and Macy’s thrilled when her boyfriend Titan says he’s coming to town for a week-long visit. She plans to take him to some of her favorite haunts, including the sprawling caverns nearby.

But when the lights go out during their underground tour and a local society darling plunges to her death, Macy can’t shake the feeling that the cave’s slippery floors weren’t entirely to blame. She taps into the admittedly limited skills of her upscale barista, Milo, to do a little snooping in the moneyed circles he moves in. When he unearths a sinkhole of lies, Macy slides straight toward a killer who’s not about to stop until every leak is sealed…permanently.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Macy and Bo Hatfield own and operate the Barks & Beans Cafe where you can stop in for a cup of coffee and fall in love with a dog from the local shelter. You can also catch a glimpse of Macy’s lovable Great Dane, Coal.

It’s almost Thanksgiving and Macy’s boyfriend and FBI Agent, Titan has come for a week-long visit. Macy plans to take him around like a tourist to see some local sights. Their first stop is the local caverns where Macy had a big scare as a child. Soon after their arrival, the lights go out and they hear a scream. When the lights come back on they learn a young socialite fell into the cavern while trying to get the perfect selfie. Or maybe she was pushed. After a lengthy search and rescue, no body is found. Macy decides to do some investigating herself and her best source may be her best barista, Milo. Together they may find the body and a killer.


Anyone that has been in a cave or cavern will agree they can be very eerie. I haven’t been to one in years, way before the arrival of social media tweets, instas, TikToks, and selfies. I can just imagine how places have had to add a lot of new safety measures to keep people from getting hurt while they strive to get the perfect picture. I loved the author’s detailed descriptions of the stalagmites and stalactites and the wondrous beauty they create and the danger of one false step. They opened my eyes to the places I take my grandchildren and how much they have had to change from my old days.

The core characters in this story are so genuine and engaging. I became invested in their lives while reading the first book of the series, No Filter and they have continued to grow in each new installment. Bo and Macy have a close relationship and their significant others Summer and Titan fit right in. I really enjoy the friendships that are built within this series. People watch out for each other and that makes this series shine.

It is always the animals that make me smile and grab my heart. I love Coal but a dog like him would be too big for me. Some members of our family have a Great Dane and it is amazing to see how fast he is growing and what a great breed they are.

This mystery was different because until a body is found you don’t know if you are searching for a missing person or a killer but someone or several someones are lying and Milo uncovers a lot to help Macy. I stuck with Macy through the twists and turns and was keen to know I was right about so much. The ending was chilling though, the coldness wasn’t just in the caverns. Brrr!

Cold Drip is another entertaining story from Heather Day Gilbert. She always delivers a flawless blend of intrigue, drama, romance, and humor. Her characters are exceptional and feel like old friends. Set around Thanksgiving makes this a great time to read this book. Plus the next book in the series, Roast Date will be released on December 20th.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Heather Day Gilbert

Award-winning novelist Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing mysteries and Viking historicals. She brings authentic family relationships to the page, and she particularly delights in heroines who take a stand to protect those they love. Avid readers say Heather’s realistic characters—no matter what century—feel like best friends. When she’s not plotting stories, this native West Virginia gal can often be found hanging out with her husband and four children, playing video games, or reading Agatha Christie novels.

Author Links – Website – Facebook Author Page  – Bookbub  – Goodreads

Twitter@heatherdgilbert    Instagram: @heatherdaygilbert



Coming December 20, 2022
Also written by Heather Day Gilbert


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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – How to Frame a Fashionista (A Resale Boutique Mystery) by Debra Sennefelder #Review / #Giveaway @lyricalpress

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


How to Frame a Fashionista (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (December 1, 2020)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 197 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1516108981
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1516108985
Kindle Lyrical Press (November 24, 2020)
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B085LV2BZC

Applying her Manhattan fashion sense to the sensibilities of a Long Island clientele, Kelly Quinn is setting new trends with second-hand name brand apparel—and finding killers with a deadly sense of style . . .
 
The fortunes of Kelly’s Lucky Cove Resale Boutique are sinking fast—literally, as the weathered roof of her grandmother’s old consignment shop springs a new leak with every rain. She hopes her latest client, overnight fitness and social media sensation Tawny Nicole, has enough valued and wanted items she can sell fast enough to keep her roof from crumbling down.

When Kelly arrives at Tawny’s home to appraise her attire, she’s stunned to find Serena Dawson, “the Dragonista of Seventh Avenue,” there. The last time she saw her ex-boss was when Serena humiliatingly and publicly fired her from her New York City job. Now Tawny is married to Serena’s ex-husband and is caught in the crossfire of some unfinished divorce settlements.

But when Kelly returns to Tawny’s the following day, she discovers her dead body—and Serena standing over it. Her former employer may be nasty and unrepentant, but she’s no killer—prompting Kelly to pick up the threads to try and find the real culprit . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kelly Quinn is determined to make the shop she inherited from her grandmother, Lucky Cove Resale Boutique, a huge success but a leaky roof has her concerned. She hopes Tawny Nicole, fitness trainer and social media influencer has some great items to consign that will fly off the shelves and racks to keep the business afloat.

Her meeting with Tawny serves up quite a surprise for Kelly. Her former boss Serena Dawson, “the Dragonista of Seventh Avenue,” is there and having an argument. Kelly learns Serena is Tawny husband’s ex-wife. Kelly thought the woman who fired her very publicly from a job she loved was out of her life forever but it appears she will be in Lucky Cove until she and her ex come to terms with divorce details yet to be completed.

The next day when Kelly returns to do yoga with her new client she finds a very dead Tawny Nicole and the “dragonista” standing over her body. Granted she has no reason to help Serena but she knows she didn’t kill Tawny so she agrees to shop around a bit and try to close out the real killer.


I got behind with this series during my cancer treatments and as soon as I saw a new book, Sleuthing in Stilettos was coming out on December 6 I knew I had to rearrange my reading calendar.

Kelly is a fun protagonist. She stays positive even when the cards are stacked against her. Her uncle is doing everything he can to destroy her business and get her out of her building. Her roof is literally falling in and he went behind her back to keep her from getting a loan. Her boyfriend Mark is not being supportive either. I am thankful she does have some supportive friends around her because she has a lot on her plate especially after someone slips up and reveals a lifetime-old secret that could really change people’s lives. I really appreciated Kelly’s character development as this series continues and how it affects the other characters.

The mystery was so so well plotted with many moving parts. Kelly handled each clue thrown at her and eventually put them all together to make sense. I was with her each step of the way until the reveal. There were obvious suspects but their motivation to kill Tawny Nicole was unclear and when we learned what it was it was a surprise. The author placed some nice twists of misdirection that kept me pondering different theories.

I have enjoyed every book I have read by this author. How To Frame A Fashionista was an entertaining and intriguing read. A Perfect Escape! Ms. Sennefelder has penned a great story to keep the series going. She has included a subplot that will entice readers to escape right into Beauty and the Deceased, which I plan to do soon.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Debra Sennefelder is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.

Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.

<
The Rest of the Series

Coming December 6, 2022

Also by Debra Sennefelder

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Book Club to Die For (A Beloved Bookroom) by Dorothy St. James #Review / #Giveaway #GreatEscapesBookTour @DorothyWrites


A Book Club to Die For (A Beloved Bookroom)
by Dorothy St. James

About A Book Club to Die For


A Book Club to Die For (A Beloved Bookroom)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Cypress, South Carolina
‎Berkley (November 1, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593098633
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593098639
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09PZSBCVW

When a member of an exclusive book club is checked out, spunky librarian Trudell Becket must sort fact from fiction to solve the murder.

The Cypress Arete Society is one of the town’s oldest and most exclusive clubs. When assistant librarian Trudell Becket is invited to speak to the group about the library, its modernization, and her efforts to bring printed books to the reading public, her friend Flossie invites herself along. Flossie has been on the book club’s waiting list for five years, and she’s determined to find out why she’s never received an invitation to join.

But not long after Tru and Flossie arrive for the meeting, they’re shocked to find the club’s president, Rebecca White, dead in the kitchen. Rebecca was a former TV actress and local celebrity, but was not known for being patient or pleasant. She’d been particularly unkind to the book club’s host for the evening, who also happens to be the mother of Detective Jace Bailey, Tru’s boyfriend. And Rebecca had made it clear that she didn’t think Flossie was book club material.

With her boyfriend and one of her best friends wrapped up in a murder, Tru has to work fast to figure out who cut Rebecca’s story short before the killer takes another victim out of circulation…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Assistant librarian Trudell Becket has been asked to speak at the Cypress Arete Society one of the town’s oldest and most exclusive book clubs about the library including the modernization that removed all the print books and how she is trying to bring print materials back to readers. Her friend Flossie tags along to see if she can figure out why she has not been admitted to the club.

The meeting is being hosted by Hazel Bailey. Hazel has a reputation for hosting elegant dinners so she is taken aback when the president of the group, Rebecca White, a former actress and local celebrity, goes on a tirade about everything she has prepared especially after she followed all the preferences requested. She also pushes Tru to help her rearrange all the furniture in the living room, one chair several times until she went back to the kitchen to be sure Hazel had come up with a more appropriate menu. Just a few minutes later Tru and Flossie hear a loud crash. Flossie heads to the kitchen to see what happened while Tru moves to answer the door as guests have started to arrive including her boss, Mrs. Farnsworth. A second crash leaves the guests on the doorstep while Tru rushes to the kitchen. Hazel is nowhere to be seen but there is a huge food mess on the floor and Rebecca White’s dead body not far away.

The evidence points to Hazel or Flossie. Tru knows both have to be innocent but when her boyfriend/Hazel’s son Detective Jace Bailey is unable to work the case she has no choice. She needs to investigate the death herself before the wrong person is booked for the crime.


There is never a dull moment at the Cypress library and this time the excitement goes on the road to Hazel Bailey’s house but that doesn’t mean there isn’t craziness happening at the library too. As part of the continued madness to modernize, the library is now testing out a robot librarian who is definitely not ready to be out in the public. With plenty of bugs to work out, it needs to back to his barn before someone gets hurt. Robots in libraries just makes me sad.

Tru is an excellent protagonist. She is smart and methodical. People just open up to her and give her information to keep moving her investigation along. The relationship with Jace is moving at a perfect pace and I loved the way she supported him as he was quite upset to be taken off the case that could send his mother to jail.

Ms. St James has surrounded Tru will a wonderful supporting cast of characters. Mrs. Farnsworth speaks volumes all with a whisper. Flossie is like me. While I am not totally wheelchair ridden, I do have to use one when I leave the house. It makes me so happy to see a disabled person featured in a story. A person that doesn’t let her disability control her life. She does some amazing things that I envy. IT Tech Anne who is heading up the modernization of the library. She and Tru have an understanding and are getting close to actually being friends. Anne has an experience that was just one instance of me laughing out loud while reading this story. Tori, Tru’s best friend since Kindergarten, brews the best coffee in the state and is always there when Tru needs her, and Mama Eddy who is a hoot. An opinionated Southern woman famous for the “hissy-fits” she is apt to throw. I can’t forget Tru’s cat, Dewey Decimal. She sneaks him into the library every day and he hangs out amongst the books in the Beloved Bookroom. He is also good at helping Tru with her investigations.

The mystery is basically a closed-room mystery. The victim was not well-liked by the Cypress Arete Society members so there is a houseful of suspects. Tru had her work cut out for her. The clues were dropped at a pretty quick pace intermixed with the subplot of Tru’s missing father. I did deduce the killer before the reveal but I was delighted to follow along with Tru as she put everything together. I was surprised by what Tru’s eccentric father was involved in but was happy with the way the plotline played out in this story.

A Book Club To Die For was another Perfect Escape from Dorothy St. James. I am still at odds about a library without books but another surprise was revealed in this book that may shake things up a lot so I am beyond excited to see what the future holds for Cypress and its residents.

To really understand the theme of this series I believe the books should be read in order. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Dorothy St. James

Dorothy St. James is a former Folly Beach beach bum. She now lives in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, with her family, slightly (OK, terribly) needy dogs, and the friendliest cat you’ll ever meet. Author of a dozen novels, Dorothy enjoys writing both cozy mysteries and romance.

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Also by Dorothy St. James


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
November 1 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 1 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
November 1 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
November 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 2 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 2 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
November 3 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
November 3 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
November 4 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
November 5 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 5 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
November 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 6 – The Book Diva’s Reads – AUTHOR GUEST POST
November 6 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
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November 8 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
November 8 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
November 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
November 9 – Nadaness In Motion – SPOTLIGHT
November 10 – Literary Gold – 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 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Crafty Cozy Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Thoughts What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

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


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

About It Came upon a Midnight Shear

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

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Allie Pleiter

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Doomful of Sugar (Maple Syrup Mysteries) by Catherine Bruns #Review / #Giveaway @WritesMystery @PPPress


A Doomful of Sugar (Maple Syrup Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Vermont
Poisoned Pen Press (October 25, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1728253934
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728253930
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09QW3FYWV

First in the new Maple Syrup cozy mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns.

There’s nothing sweet about murder…

Leila Khoury has always believed that everyone loved her father as much as they loved his artisanal maple syrup. But when he’s killed, and she returns to Sugar Ridge, Vermont to take over his business, she starts to realize how much of his life she’s left untapped.

With her brother under suspicion, her mother just barely holding it together, and the police not producing any leads, Leila will have to investigate herself if she wants answers about her father’s sticky end. But the more she learns, the more she worries that there won’t be a sappy ending to the story.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Leila Khoury has returned to Sugar Ridge, Vermont following her father’s death to take the helm of his maple syrup business. Inheriting the place was a huge surprise especially because she was living in Florida now. But until his murderer is caught she finds herself in one sticky situation after another as she tries to tap the killer herself. The more she investigates she finds she didn’t know her dad as well as she thought she did. The police have her brother high on their suspect list while she thinks her father’s employees deserve a good look. She may have a lot to learn about making maple syrup but she knows even less about investigating a murder but that’s not going to stop her from bottling up whoever took her dad away from her way too soon.


Ms. Bruns introduces the characters at a very vulnerable time in this first Maple Syrup Mystery. Losing a parent or a spouse is hard but learning that Victor Khoury has been murdered is brutal. Leila had always been close to her dad while her brother Simon was close to their mom. Simon had other issues when his dad died making their relationship complicated. Leila and her mother are like oil and water and that is why she moved to Florida. They argued all the time and when a marriage arranged by her mother with her friend didn’t take place she just needed to get away from her mother’s accusations. Now that she is home without her father as a buffer and taking over Sappy Endings things could get complicated. We have to remember these 3 characters are grieving and we truly have just scratched the surface of their development. The author has set them up well for the continuation of the series.

Several supporting characters were introduced too. Leila’s friend Heather Turcot, Noah Rivers and Jessica Fowler who are employees of Sappy Endings, Victor’s attorney Theo Martin and the Chief of Police Alan Crosby. All played strong parts in this story and for the most part believably.

The mystery was very well plotted with Leila as an awkward amateur sleuth being led by her grief and lack of experience. She is passionate about finding her father’s killer and acts before thinking things through putting herself and others in danger. A startling moment adds another body to the count. There was a relatively small pool of suspects but there are some interesting twists that set up a surprising reveal. You could have pushed me over with a feather as the final twist shook everything up.

There is the start of a romance within the pages but I hope the couple pumps the breaks because I think it is developing too fast. I like a little slower pace in a cozy mystery.

The book is full of tasty descriptions of both maple treats (recipes at the end of the story) along with some Mediterranean dishes too. We also learned a little bit about making syrup. I do have a friend who taps trees and makes his own syrup on a much smaller scale, so I am excited to learn more right along with Leila.

I found the gathering at the end very heartwarming. The set-up for the next book when Sappy Endings gets a new employee has me very excited for Book 2. I see many more sticky situations for Leila and another dead body or two. Not the new employee though.

Catherine Bruns has started her new series off to a fine start. A Doomful of Sugar has an appealing theme, characters I want to get to know better, and is set in a place I would love to visit.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author
Catherine Bruns is a USA Today bestselling author of several mystery novels. She has a B.A. in both English and Performing Arts and is a former newspaper reporter and press-release writer. In her spare time, she loves to bake, read, and attend live-theater performances. She lives in Upstate New York with an all-male household that consists of her very patient husband, three sons, and several spoiled pets.

Author Links – WebsiteFacebookTwitterBookBub – 


Also by Catherine Bruns




I am giving away a Paperback 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 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

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

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


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

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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

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

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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


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

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

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

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

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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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


Also by Eileen Brady

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 print copy to give away!

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes paradise rating You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Ghost and the Stolen Tears (Haunted Bookshop Mystery) by Cleo Coyle #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @CleoCoyle

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to share my thoughts about
The Ghost and the Stolen Tears today!


The Ghost and the Stolen Tears (Haunted Bookshop Mystery)
by Cleo Coyle

About The Ghost and the Stolen Tears

The Ghost and the Stolen Tears (Haunted Bookshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Rhode Island
Berkley (October 4, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0425255484
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0425255483
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09PZV5F9S

Norma is a modern-day nomad. Living out of her van and teardrop trailer, she revels in self-reliance, solitude, and reading in the glorious peace of nature. Jovial, wise, and scrupulously honest, she’s become an uplifting presence in the little town of Quindicott, Rhode Island, where bookseller Pen is thankful to have her part-time help. But it’s Norma’s other job, working as a housekeeper at the Finch Inn, that gets her into terrible trouble. Norma is accused of stealing jewels from a guest’s room: the legendary Valentino Teardrops, an antique necklace and earring set, inherited by a young socialite. Pen doesn’t believe Norma is guilty of the crime—though the evidence is distressingly strong. And when the spirited Norma vanishes before her arrest, Pen turns to another spirit…

Jack Shepard, PI, may have been gunned down decades ago, but his memory hasn’t been ghosted. Back in the 1940s, those same Valentino Teardrops starred in a bizarre case of betrayal and murder. From the look of things, history is about to repeat. Now Jack is back on the job, and Pen is eternally grateful.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

PI Jack Shepard is back for another case with bookseller Penelope Thornton-McClure (Pen). One of Pen’s employees has been accused of stealing some famous jewelry at her other job working as a housekeeper at The Finch Inn. One of the inn’s guests had an antique necklace and earring set known as the legendary Valentino Teardrops. The same gems that Jack was tracking back in the 1940s.

Norma hasn’t been in Quindicott long, but she has had influence within the little town. She is pretty laid back, knowledgeable on many subjects, and loves to read.  She is a modern-day nomad traveling from town to town in her van and teardrop trailer. She works where she can and moves on whenever the mood strikes her. The problem is this time she moved on right after the jewels were stolen. Pen and many others believe she is innocent. She hopes teaming up with Jack she can uncover the real thief so that Norma can return to Quindicott.


I love this series, its characters, and this book!

Pen and Jack make such a great team and the way they communicate is unique. Jack can get in Pen’s head and take her back in history to participate in his case where they can get clues that help them solve the present-day crime. Both cases are full of twists and turns and have Pen and Jack escaping from some by the skin of their teeth moments.

What makes this story so good is that Cleo Coyle is an expert at setting the scenes. Whether present-day or 1947, at The Finch Inn or the basement of The Martin Beck Theater, or Sadie and Pen’s bookshop or a high fashion house, Ms. Coyle brings each and every person and place to life. I felt at times like I was an extra on a movie set and other times like I was right there in the moment watching everything play out in front of my eyes. The words had my imagination running at high speed as I truly escaped right into the pages of this book. I even got the shivers reading the passage that was similar to The Birds. The first scary movie I watched as a kid.

I am so happy the author and publisher brought this series back because I cannot get enough of my favorite gumshoe and bookseller. I enjoyed each one and encourage you to read them all but the author does a wonderful job of making each stand on its own.

The Ghost and the Stolen Tears is a marvelous must-read mystery. I was engaged and entertained from the first page to the last. It is definitely one of the best books I have read this year. That is why you will see it on my Best Read of 2022.

I am excited to see we only have to wait until May 2, 2023, to get together again with Jack and Pen when The Ghost Goes to the Dogs will be released.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Cleo Coyle

CLEO COYLE is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the long-running Coffeehouse Mysteries—now celebrating eighteen years in print. They are also authors of the nationally bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, previously written under the pseudonym Alice Kimberly. Alice has worked as a journalist in Washington, D.C., and New York, and has written popular fiction for adults and children. A former magazine editor, Marc has authored espionage thrillers and nonfiction for adults and children. Alice and Marc are also both bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together.

Author Links

Webpage     Free Newsletter     Facebook     Twitter
BookBub     Goodreads    Instagram



Coming May 2, 2023

Also by Cleo Coyle

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboPenguin Random HouseBAM

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
October 24 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – SPOTLIGHT
October 24 – The Plain-Spoken Pen – REVIEW
October 24 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT  
October 25 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
October 25 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 26 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
October 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
October 27 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
October 27 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
October 28 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
October 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 29 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
October 30 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
October 30 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
October 31 – Elza Reads – REVIEW
October 31 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
October 31 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
November 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 1 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
November 2 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
November 2 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

 

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Christmas Candy Killing (A Killer Chocolate Mystery) by Christina Romeril #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @romerilchris


A Christmas Candy Killing (A Killer Chocolate Mystery)
by Christina Romeril

About A Christmas Candy Killing


A Christmas Candy Killing (A Killer Chocolate Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
The book is set in a fictional town, Harriston, Montana.
Crooked Lane Books (October 11, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639101667
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1639101665
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09Q8JS9HV

Their chocolates are to die for—but things aren’t so sweet when a real killer comes to town, in this debut mystery perfect for fans of Joanne Fluke and Laura Childs.

Identical twin sisters Alex and Hanna are the owners of Murder and Mayhem, a mystery bookshop that sells their famous poison-themed Killer Chocolates. But now, there’s a real killer in their midst. Shortly before Christmas, their septuagenarian neighbor, Jane, confides to Alex that a murderer from a true-crime show has taken up residence in the village. Unfortunately, she’s also shared her suspicions with town gossip Netta. The next morning, Alex shows up at Jane’s house to watch the show, but instead discovers Jane’s body, with a box of Killer Chocolates nearby.

The sheriff quickly zeroes in on two suspects: Alex, a beneficiary in Jane’s will, and Zack, a handyman who was seen leaving the crime scene. But Alex maintains her innocence and sets out to draft a list of other potential suspects—townsfolk who’d recently been seen arguing with Jane.

When Alex gets hold of Jane’s journal, she begins to understand the truth. But a bearer of ill tidings is arriving early this year—and Alex just might not make it to Christmas.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Killer Chocolates and mysteries are what you will find at twin sisters Alex and Hanna’s Murder and Mayhem shop in Harriston, Montana. With names like Strychnine Strawberry, Ricin Raspberry Creams, Cotton Candy Coniine, and Veronal Vanilla Cream, the candies are flying out the door as Christmas approaches. While these poison theme candies have fun names, and no poison is used in the creations there may be a real killer nearby. Alex’s elderly friend Jane watches every true crime television show she can. She tells Alex that she knows one of the killers she has seen on television is living in Harriston. She confesses she also told her friend Nessa, who has never met a piece of gossip she hasn’t spread. Alex reluctantly agrees to visit Jane the next day to watch the program.

When Alex arrives at Jane’s house the next day she finds Jane dead  . . . with a box of Killer Chocolates too close for comfort.

Alex is beside herself when she is named as a suspect along with a handyman, Zach who did a lot of work for Jane. Hanna knows she is innocent and she believes Zach is too. She just needs to prove it and fast. She has no desire to spend the holiday behind bars.


This new series is off to a fabulous start.

I really like these twin sisters. Alex runs the book part of the shop and Hanna makes the chocolate creations, but they crossover to help each other and work with the customers because most usually leave the place with a least one book and a box of candy. Their relationship is comfortable and relatable. Alex has a real knack for getting people to open up to her especially if she is offering candy. These characters are well-developed for the first book in the series. Ms. Romeril has left plenty of room for them to continue to evolve as the series continues though.

The author took the first couple of chapters to introduce readers to Alex, Hanna, and their dog Miss Watson. We also meet their neighbor Pastor Tom Kennedy, Penelope Shaw, a divorcee, who lives across the street from Tom, and her sights on him as her next husband, Duncan Fletcher who dated Hanna for about 2 months and then he put her in the friend zone and Gary, owner of Harriston Bloom greenhouse. These characters as well as others we meet in the story are all cleverly crafted.

The mystery was very well-plotted. I really enjoyed the way Alex attacked her investigation. Her former career in banking for 20 years gave her the instincts and knowledge needed to be a pretty good amateur sleuth. I was delighted to follow along with her step by step as she worked through the clues. A key piece of evidence reveals the truth she was looking for and everything started to fall into place. The ending was exciting. I loved the way it played out with a surprising hero.

What more could you want? Candy and books are what this girl loves and to have them both in one place is Perfect!

A Christmas Candy Killing was such an entertaining cozy. With characters I can’t wait to visit again, a sweet mystery, a unique theme, a fun setting, and humor in all the right places, this book is A Perfect Escape. I am excited about the next Killer Chocolate Mystery.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Christina Romeril

Christina Romeril loves to plot murders, especially by poisoning. When she’s not plotting how to kill one of her characters she’s coming up with ways to dispose of the body. Since writing her debut novel her husband’s friends have been regularly checking on his well-being.

Christina also loves to read, eat chocolates, and travel when she’s not in her she shed writing. She grew up in Southern Ontario and spent most of her summers in Muskoka swimming, boating, and generally getting into mischief. She’s lived on both coasts of Canada and has a love of being near the water and close to a forest. Thus, it makes perfect sense that she moved to the prairies of Southern Alberta over twenty years ago.

During the warmer months, you’ll find her escaping to nearby Waterton Lakes National Park with her cooler stocked full of chocolate and pastries. Occasionally, the once avid hiker will even set out on one of the many hiking trails and hope she doesn’t run into a hungry bear.

Christina is a member of Sisters in Crime and enjoys interacting on social media.

Author Links:

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Great Escapes Praise for A Christmas Candy Killing (A Killer Chocolate Mystery)
by Christina Romeril

I found the storyline enjoyable with a solid mystery to solve, and the appealing characters whet my appetite to read more in the Killer Chocolate Mysteries.
~Cinnamon and Sugar and a little bit of Murder

A Christmas Candy Killing is an entertaining (and completely clean) debut to what promises to be a thoroughly enjoyable new cozy mystery series.
~Reading is my Superpower

A Christmas Candy Killing introduces us to a new setting and new characters I’m looking forward to visiting again. Grab some chocolate and settle down for a delicious debut!
~Carstairs Considers

A Christmas Candy Killing is a mouthwatering tale with winter weather, delectable chocolates, a mysterious murder, a stubborn sheriff, rampant rumors, a cold case, and Christmas cheer.
~The Avid Reader

For a debut novel, A Christmas Candy Killing was pretty well put together. I was pulled into the story, and I can’t wait to see what comes next in this small Montana town.
~Novels Alive

This is a fun new series because it contains several of my favorite things – chocolate, books, and murder. We enjoyed this book and look forward to future installments. We give it 4 paws up.!~Storeybook Reviews

This is a fabulous start to a new cozy series by a new to me author. We meet twins Alex and Hannah who own an adorable bookshop that they use to also sell their poison-themed Killer Chocolates. I must say this is an adorable idea that makes me wish this was a real store that I could visit as the chocolate sounds oh so yummy.
~Books A Plenty Book Reviews

With an engaging amateur sleuth and several plausible red herrings with excellent motives for mischief, I recommend A CHRISTMAS CANDY KILLING to cozy mystery readers who enjoy culinary-themed stores, settings in small-town Montana, or chocolate.
~Guatemala Paula Loves to Read

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
October 17 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
October 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
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October 18 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW
October 18 – Readeropolis – 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.”