Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Featuring A Fatal Yarn (A Knit & Nibble Mystery) by Peggy Ehrhart #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to feature A Fatal Yarn by Peggy Ehrhart today!


A Fatal Yarn (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (March 31, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723643
ISBN-13: 978-1496723642
Kindle ASIN: B07R4Q58WM

Pamela Paterson and her Knit and Nibble club must clear the name of one of their knitters when he’s accused of murdering the mayor . . .

 

The trees in Arborville, New Jersey, have started sporting sweaters. Part of the trend of public knitting art? Not exactly. An anonymous activist has been wrapping trunks in yarn to cover red X’s that mark certain trees for removal by the town so they don’t interfere with power lines. When the town’s mayor—who supports cutting down the trees—is murdered, Pamela wonders if the tree hugger committed homicide to prevent arborcide. A knitter is arrested, but it’s one of Knit and Nibble’s own—the harmless Rolland DeCamp, who was seen arguing with the mayor. Pamela is sure the police are barking up the wrong tree. With the help of her reporter friend Bettina, she branches off on her own investigation to root out the real killer . . .

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The Knit and Nibblers are back and trying to figure out who is wrapping tree trunks in knit scarves to cover up the red x’s designated the trees to be destroyed to protect the power lines above. The town’s mayor supports the project and when he is murdered Pamela wonders if the tree hugger is responsible. But the police arrest fellow knitter Rolland DeCamp because he was witnessed arguing with the mayor. Pamela and Bettina cast on a wider net of suspects and do their best to knit together the clues to purl the right culprit behind bars.


We follow Pamela through her daily life as she works from home as an editor for “Fiber Craft Magazine,” and does a little sleuthing on the side with friend, neighbor, and yarn and nibbler Bettina.  Bettina is very pushy trying to get Pamela to date another neighbor but Pamela keeps putting her off. She is just not interested. I am surprised it hasn’t caused more strain in their friendship. It seems that issue has wrapped in this installment and that makes me very happy.

I do enjoy Ms. Ehrhart’s descriptive writing style. She tells the story in a way that brings the reader right into each scene, from her home office with her working on such interesting sounding articles, to the items being knit and the food being eaten. I love the camaraderie between the characters and the way they support each other. The conversations are realistic and you can tell they truly care about each other.

The mystery is on the light side and I did figure it out early in the story but all the drama and daily life kept me entertained right up to the final word. These are characters I love visiting and am looking forward to the next book.

A Fatal Yarn is a great addition to this series. Fix yourself something to nibble on and enjoy.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can read my review of Murder, She Knit here, Died in the Wool here, Knit One Die Two here, and Silent Knit, Deadly Knit here.

PEGGY

About the Author

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a doctorate in Medieval Literature, and her publications include a prize-winning book dealing with classical mythology in the Middle Ages. Her Maxx Maxwell mysteries, Sweet Man Is Gone (2008) and Got No Friend Anyhow (2011), feature a blues-singer sleuth.
Peggy is currently writing the Knit and Nibble mystery series for Kensington Books. Set in the charming (fictional) town of Arborville, New Jersey, it features amateur sleuth Pamela Paterson, founder and mainstay of the town’s knitting club. Peggy is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She plays guitar with the Still Standing Band. (From Amazon)

Find out more about Peggy on her website here.


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a U.S. Mailing Address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 15, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

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

Welcome to Cozy Mystery!

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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

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

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

She lives in Knoxville, TN.

Visit her webpage, KayeGeorge.com for more information. Or catch her at TravelsWithKaye.blogspot.com, her solo blog. She also joins other writers at http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com/ and https://writerswhokill.blogspot.com/.


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

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

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

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge What's In A Name Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

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

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

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

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

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

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

Here are my top five fact vs. fiction insights:

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

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

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

~Jennifer

Thank you, Jennifer, for visiting today!

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


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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

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

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

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

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

______

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

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

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

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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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

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

Coming November 10, 2020

Also by this Author

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Berkley Mystery on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 1, 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 Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge What's In A Name Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

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


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

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

My Inspiration for the Tuscan Cooking School Mystery Series

by Stephanie Cole
Post provided by Publicist

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

Poor inspiration. We have such unrealistic hopes for it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Stephanie

Thank you, Stephanie, for visiting today. 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Follow Berkley Mystery on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries. 

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 25, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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

Cozy Wednesday with Tina Kashian – Author of On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery) #GuestPost / #Recipe / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks @TinaKashian1


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to have Tina Kashian visit today!

Hi Tina!

Hi Lori!

Thank you for featuring me as a guest on the Escape with Dollycas Blog to celebrate the release of “On the Lamb”!

I love to cook all types of cuisine. I grew up in a family-owned restaurant in New Jersey, and my Kebab Kitchen Mystery Series is set in a Mediterranean restaurant at the Jersey shore.

In On the Lamb, Lucy Berberian is a recovering lawyer who returns to Ocean Crest, NJ and her family’s restaurant, Kebab Kitchen. When Lucy is invited to a beach bonfire with friends, she’s excited for a night out. But when a disliked, local landlord shows up on the beach and gets in a screaming match with one of Lucy’s friends, Melanie Haven, owner of Haven Candies on the boardwalk, a fun evening turns stressful. And when the same landlord is found dead on the beach after choking on a piece of saltwater taffy, Melanie is in a sticky mess of trouble. It’s up to Lucy to solve the case before her friend gets skewered for a crime she didn’t commit.

Winter is the perfect time to experiment with soups. One of my favorite soup recipes is lentil soup with swiss chard. As a parent, it can be difficult to get my kids to eat certain vegetables, like swiss chard. Surprisingly, if it’s incorporated into soup, they eat it and even like it. I’m sharing a recipe we served at my family’s restaurant.

 

on the lamb Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup by Tina Kashian

This Mediterranean soup is super healthy and full of fiber. The swiss chard adds flavor without overpowering the dish.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Ingredients:

½ lb dry Lentils

2 tbsp olive Oil

1 tbsp butter

1 small onion finely chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 carrot chopped

1stalk celery chopped

3 cups swiss chard, washed, stemmed and chopped.

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

1 tsp salt or to taste

1 tbsp lemon or to taste

Put dry lentils in a bowl and check for small stones that can naturally occur.

In a soup pot, heat oil, and butter. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Stir and sauté over medium heat for 15 minutes or until onions are transparent. Add chicken broth, water, and lentils. Simmer for ½ hour. Add swiss chard, salt, and lemon. Simmer for another fifteen minutes or until lentils and swiss chard are tender. Add hot water if you prefer a thinner soup.

Thank you again and enjoy the soup!

~Tina

Thank you, Tina, for dropping by. 

Keep reading for my thoughts on Tina’s new book, On The Lamb. 

 

About On The Lamb


On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496726057
ISBN-13: 978-1496726056
Kindle ASIN: B07R8WVPMX

Lucy Berberian is busy preparing her family’s Mediterranean restaurant for Easter on the Jersey Shore—but a batch of sweets is to die for . . .

 

Bikers are thundering into the seaside town of Ocean Crest for the annual Bikers on the Beach gathering that raises funds for injured veterans. It’s a big boost for the Kebab Kitchen, as well as for local businesses like Melanie Haven’s candy shop. But Melanie is about to find herself in a sticky situation.

 

When Melanie and Lucy attend a beach bonfire, a local landlord is found dead after apparently choking on a piece of salt water taffy. Melanie, who was known to have a contentious relationship with the victim, is quickly skewered as the prime suspect. But Lucy is determined to prove her friend’s innocence before the real killer coasts free . . .

 

Recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s almost Easter in Ocean Crest and Lucy is excited about getting her family together. She is also busy with the family restaurant and business has picked up for most of the businesses in town with the annual Bikers on the Beach event that raising money for injured vets. Part of the event is a huge bonfire on the beach. Lucy was invited by her friend Michael who is the manager of the bike shop next to her family’s restaurant. She takes along her BFF Katie and their friend Melanie.  Gilbert Lubinski, local landlord of many apartments and businesses tries to ruin the party when he barges in to remind Melanie that her rent is due and to remember it has been increased.

A short time later someone screams. People rush to the sound and find Melanie standing over Gilbert’s dead body. With the earlier public altercation, a piece of taffy found in the victim’s throat, and the one finding the body, Melanie finds herself at the top of the suspect list. Lucy knows her friend is innocent and she is going to prove it.


This is such an entertaining series!

Lucy’s parents have decided to take a step back from the family business, The Kebab Kitchen,  and leave the day to day management in her hands. Her mom still pops in to keep up with Lucy’s cooking lessons and to approve the head chef Azad Zakarian menus. Her dad likes to keep his hand in with the inventory and other office tasks. Lucy knows change is hard for them but she has had a few minor victories so she is fine with them taking their time. She also takes a big step within these pages that coincides nicely with the murder investigation she and Katie have got themselves wrapped up in.  Ms. Kashian has created such genuine characters. I am always excited to see what they are all up to.

Kashian has also introduced some great new characters this time which include Eloisa Lubinski and her Shih Tzu, Cupid. Eloisa stole my heart immediately. I wish I had half her spunk and energy. Her nephew Gilbert is our victim and with his death, all his secrets were revealed leading to many more suspects. including a couple of bikers, his business partner, and his almost ex-wife. A few more come out of the woodwork when Lucy uncovers his little side business. All these characters evolve as the story continues some in very meaningful ways.

Talk about red herrings, this story is full of them. I loved it even though I fell for most of them and was caught totally by surprise at the reveal.  I really enjoy the way Lucy and Katie sleuth together. When one drops the ball the other can pick it up and weave a tale like a pro. They also don’t give up. The author sets a brisk pace and gives us plenty of drama and action. There are also some truly funny moments too.

So much of the story takes place on the boardwalk. Lucy’s daily runs helped her sort through the clues and she also gets a little advice when she stops to visit psychic Madame Vega and learns something when she finds herself at the tattoo parlor. All this goes on with a loudspeaker blaring ” Watch the tramcar please!” as the tramcar goes up and down the boardwalk. Ms. Kashian really sets the scene wonderfully, not only on the boardwalk but at the Kebab Kitchen, the beach, Melanie’s candy shop, and all around Ocean Crest.

On The Lamb has everything I look for in a cozy mystery, engaging and entertaining characters, a mystery I can sink my teeth into, and just a little romance and humor to balance everything out.

Speaking of sinking my teeth into, there are several recipes in the back of the book. I have never eaten Armenian, Lebanese, or Greek food with the exception of a gyro back in my college days. The descriptions of the food in this series do make my mouth water. This small-town girl may have to step out of her comfort zone and give these recipes a try.

I am already looking forward to my next visit to the Jersey Shore because they are always some really great things happening there along with a little bit of murder.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Hummus and Homicide here
and Stabbed in the Baklava here and One Feta In The Grave here

 

About Tina Kashian

Tina Kashian is a bestselling author, an attorney, and a mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. 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’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and the first book in her Kebab Kitchen Mediterranean mystery series, Hummus and Homicide, spent six weeks on the B&N bestseller list. Please visit her website at www.tinakashian.com to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!

Author Links  Website   Facebook  Twitter  Instagram   Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble –  Kobo –   Google BooksiBooks

Praise for On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

An intricate mystery, an abundance of motives, a large dollop of intriguing characters, and a pinch of romance blended with a hint of salt from the Jersey Shore blend together to make ON THE LAMB a fun heartwarming story.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Ms. Kashin did a fantastic job of stumping me that I just had to give this book five stars. I loved every minute of reading this book.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

On the Lamb is a charming cozy mystery that will have you wanting to visit the Jersey shore.
~The Avid Reader

A family-centric crime series with lots of delicious food and plenty of twists, turns, and red herrings.
~Laura’s Interests

Another great cozy with likable relatable to me characters but what I enjoyed most was the closeness of family and also that the “who did it” wasn’t so easily recognized because almost everybody was a suspect!
~Gimme the Scoop Reviews

Well plotted with many twists and turns, this strong, superbly written mystery gave me the run around as I tried in vain to help protagonist, Lucy Berberian, solve the case and clear her friend.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

The author combined the perfect amount of mystery, humor, and romance to create a great addition to the series. As always, I love the author’s personal touches, such as her family recipes and the fact that she took some of her favorite memories and included them in the book.
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please Visit All the Stops. 
February 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
February 25 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
February 26 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
February 26 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
February 26 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 27 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 27 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 28 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
February 28 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
February 29 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
February 29 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 1 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
March 1 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
March 2 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
March 2 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 3 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 3 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
March 4 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
March 6 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
March 7 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 7 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

 

 

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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

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

Cozy Wednesday – featuring – Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery) by Maria DiRico #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to share my thoughts with you today about
Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico!

Note there are several recipes in this book and
you can find a few of them being shared on other tour stops! 

Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

About Here Comes the Body


Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 page
ISBN-10: 1496725344
ISBN-13: 978-1496725349
Digital ASIN: B07R8WYLSC

After her philandering husband’s boat went down, newly single Mia Carina went back to Astoria, the bustling Queens neighborhood of her youth. Living with her Nonna and her oversized cat, Doorstop, she’s got a whole new life—including some amateur sleuthing . . .

 

Mia is starting work at Belle View, her father’s catering hall, a popular spot for weddings, office parties, and more—despite the planes that occasionally roar overhead on their way to LaGuardia and rattle the crystal chandelier. Soon she’s planning a bachelor party for a less-than-gentlemanly groom. But it goes awry when the gigantic cake is wheeled in and a deadly surprise is revealed . . .

 

Since some of her family’s associates are on the shady side, the NYPD wastes no time in casting suspicion on Mia’s father. Now, Mia’s going to have to use all her street smarts to keep him out of Rikers Island . . .

Italian recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Readers are introduced to Mia Carina and her family. She has come home to Queens after her being cleared in her husband’s suspicious death with her cat lovingly named Doorstop. They have moved into her Nonna’s upper apartment. She will be working with her father, former mob enforcer, Ravello Carina, at a business he recently acquired. Belle View is a hot spot for weddings, bachelor parties, and family reunions. Even local support groups meet there.

Mia’s first event is a bachelor party complete with a stripper popping out of a cake. But the woman inside the cake does not “pop” as planned, in fact, the woman inside the cake is not the woman hired for the party but someone who accused Ravello of not paying his debt to her the day before and she won’t be “popping” anywhere. Someone left her dead body along with a check for a million dollars signed by Ravello inside the cake.

The police think the case is a slam-dunk but Mia is determined to prove her dad’s innocence. When a second body is found behind Belle View Mia knows she has to pull out all the stops to keep her dad safe and the business running, even if she needs to reach out to her extended “family”.

______

The underlying theme of this series is the mob and its connections to Mia’s family. I thought this may be too heavy of a topic for a cozy mystery but Maria DiRico makes it work with a light tone and a lot of humor, although some of the innuendo does tip over the line just a bit.

The author brings us an Italian family with connections. Mia, glad to be home but not totally sure if her New York family took care of her creep of a husband, Adam Grosso, or not. She was cleared to leave Florida and she did. Working for her father isn’t going to be easy, not because of the mob, but because of the over the top clients and their loony requests. Mia showed more patience than I ever could. She comes up with some great ideas too.

Moving in with her grandmother Elisabetta feels right even though most of her furniture looks like it came from a bordello. Her dad has spent enough time behind bars and promises the Belle View is a legit business. Mia’s brother Posi, is still behind bars but is able to give her some advice as she investigates. She reconnects with her old friend Jamie and old feelings start to immerge until she learns he has a girlfriend. Jaime’s dad is high up in the “organization” though and she just may need his help.

Being the first book in a new series, we get to know the main characters pretty well, but there is a lot of room for growth. My favorite being Nonna Elisabetta. A true Italian believing food can solve any problem. She makes sure Mia is always well fed. She had me grinning ear to ear.

I was captivated by Mia and Jamie’s relationship and am looking forward to how it develops. Will, there be a real romance or will they commit to the “friend zone”? Jamie does remind me a little bit of my son, same name, different spelling 😉

Mia is a smart sleuth. It was fun to tag along with her as she dealt with twist after twist. Sometimes the debut book in a series has a less complex mystery to solve while taking time to fully introduce the cast of characters. That is not the case here at all. The mystery was complex. Every time I thought I had everything all figured out there was a twist that proved me wrong.

The subplots were blended wonderfully into the story. I really appreciated Mia’s huge heart as she dealt with a real estate predator. Nonna’s neighborhood sounded delightful and close-knit and the realtor was really ticking off both me and Mia. Some of Mia’s comebacks were just priceless.  The author descriptions of the area painted clear pictures of the homes, right down to the sculptures in the yards and their holiday decorations.

Here Comes the Body has this series off to a fine start. The characters are memorable and feel very true to life. The mystery was well-plotted and interesting with a large dose of humor. There are also some yummy sounding Italian recipes at the back of the book. It truly was an enjoyable getaway!


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico

 

Maria DiRico was born in Queens, New York, and raised in Queens and Westchester County. She is a first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side. On her father’s side, her grandfather was a low-level Jewish mobster who disappeared in 1933 under mysterious circumstances. She also writes the award-winning, bestselling Cajun Country Mystery series under the name Ellen Byron.

Author Links – WebsiteFacebook Twitter

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 24 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT
February 24 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 24 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 25 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST  
February 25 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
February 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 26 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 27 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
February 27 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 27 – Jane Reads– GUEST POST
February 28 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 28 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
February 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 29 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW  
March 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
March 1 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
March 2 – That’s What She’s Reading – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
March 2 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW, EXCERPT
March 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, RECIPE
March 3 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 4 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

 

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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

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

Cozy Wednesday – featuring Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris (Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series) by Jennifer S. Alderson – @JSAauthor – Great Escapes Book Tour

death by baguette

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to share my thoughts on Death by Baguette by Jennifer S. Alderson today!

death by baguette

Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)
by Jennifer S. Alderson

About Death By Baguette:
A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris

death by baguette
Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – France
Publisher: Traveling Life Press (February 7, 2020)
Print Length: 178 Pages
Digital ASIN: B0819YNSJL

Paris—the city of love, lights … and murder? Join tour guide Lana Hansen as she escorts five couples on an unforgettable Valentine-themed vacation to France! Unfortunately it will be the last trip for one passenger…

 

Lana Hansen’s future is looking bright. She has money in her bank account, a babysitter for her cat, and even a boyfriend. Regrettably she won’t get to celebrate Valentine’s Day with her new beau, Chad. Instead, she will be leading a lovers-only tour in France. Luckily for Lana, her best friend, Willow, and her partner, Jane, will be joining her.

 

Things go downhill when Lana’s new boyfriend shows up in Paris for her tour—with his wife. Chad is not the website developer he claimed to be, but a famous restaurant critic whose love of women rivals his passion for food.

After Chad drops dead during a picnic under the Eiffel Tower, a persistent French detective becomes convinced that he was poisoned. And the inspector’s sights are set on several members of the tour—including Lana!

 

While escorting her group through the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, the grand gardens of Versailles, and the historic Marché des Enfants Rouges market, Lana must figure out who really killed Chad before she has to say bonjour to prison and adieu to her freedom.

 

Introducing Lana Hansen, tour guide, reluctant amateur sleuth, and star of the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series. Join Lana as she leads tourists and readers to fascinating cities around the globe on intriguing adventures that, unfortunately for Lana, often turn deadly.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What could be better than Valentine’s Day in Paris?

Lana Hansen has guided a few tours since New Year’s Day in Hungary. She is also dating again but Dotty Thompson, her landlord and the owner of Wanderlust Tours has scheduled her to take a group of five married couples to Paris for Valentine’s Day and train a new guide. Boyfriend Chad also has to be out of town on business anyway. She is thrilled that her friend Willow will be on the tour. Willow surprised her partner, Jane by booking them on the trip.

After the long flight, Lana can’t wait to see the sights. She is shocked though to see Chad in the hotel lobby . . . with his wife . . . and they are one of the couples on HER tour!

Cursing the online dating app she decides to let the other guide handle Chad but finds it is impossible to steer clear of him with such a small group. She also learns he is a restaurant critic, not a website developer as he had led her to believe, and has left a lot of women in his wake. He also quickly rubs many in the group the wrong way with his critiques and pronouncements.

Soon after the tour group sits down for a picnic near the Eiffel Tower, Chad keels over dead, poisoned. Texts on his phone reveal his relationship with Lana and land her at the lop of the suspect list. She is joined by a few other members of the group.

Until they try to lock her up, the tour must go on. While visiting some breathtaking museums and gardens Lana is on high alert to find the real killer . . . but the killer has her in their sights. Can she survive this trip to the city of lights or will this be her final Wanderlust tour?

____

Just like in the first book of this series the author takes her readers on a wonderful literary vacay with a great mystery to solve. She creates such imagery with her words. I have never been to Paris but I could easily visualize every step the characters took and every place they visited. Imagining the food was so easy too.

Lana is a terrific amateur sleuth, she is savvy and smart and has mastered the art of eavesdropping very well. She also doesn’t give up. Because she was an investigative reporter she has friends in the right places and the skills needed to ferret out a killer. She also has the trust of her boss to do the right thing, Dotty also has the right connections when trouble arises for her employees and guests.

Ms. Alderson also knows how to serve up a terrific story in less than 200 pages. Because the murder takes place later in the story we have time to get to know her characters. They are very well-developed for a novel of this length.  Sadly all the couples were dealing with something and had come on the trip for a chance to set things right. I really liked the way Lana tuned into each couple to make the experience special for each of them, especially after the murder with a killer in their midst.

Death By Baguette features a beautiful city, decadent meals, interesting characters, and a fun mystery. I was captivated by the entire story. With the “Travel Can Be Murder” theme, the possibilities are endless. I hope this series continues for a long time.

The third book in the series, Death by Windmill, will take readers to the Netherlands. It will be released on May 22, 2020. My virtual bags are already packed.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death on the Danube here

 

About Jennifer S. Alderson

death by baguette Jennifer S. Alderson

Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before settling in the Netherlands. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

Jennifer’s love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning mystery series—the Zelda Richardson Mysteries and Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries—and standalone stories.

Author Links

Website – Goodreads  –Facebook – Twitter  –LinkedIn – BookBub

Purchase Link – Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

death by baguette
Praise for Death By Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)
by Jennifer S. Alderson

This was such a great read and one I can see becoming cozy mystery movies.
~TBR Book Blog

Death By Baguette by Jennifer S. Alderson is a magnificent mystery. Ms. Alderson continually surprises me with motives and means of murder.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 

February 17 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW
February 17 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
February 18 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
February 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 18 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
February 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 19 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
February 19 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
February 20 – eBook addicts – REVIEW
February 20 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 21 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 22 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW  
February 23 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
February 23 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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

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

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Book of Candlelight (Secret, Book, & Scone Society) by Ellery Adams #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I am featuring The Book of Candlelight by Ellery Adams!


The Book of Candlelight (Secret, Book, & Scone Society)
3rd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Publisher: Kensington (January 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496712439
ISBN-13: 978-1496712431
Kindle ASIN: B07R4K4DMR

In the new Secret, Book, and Scone Society novel from New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams, the rain in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, has been relentless—and a flood of trouble is about to be unleashed . . .

 

As the owner of Miracle Books, Nora Pennington figures all the wet weather this spring is at least good for business. The local inns are packed with stranded travelers, and among them Nora finds both new customers and a new friend, the sixtysomething Sheldon, who starts helping out at the store.

 

Since a little rain never hurt anyone, Nora rides her bike over to the flea market one sodden day and buys a bowl from Danny, a Cherokee potter. It’ll make a great present for Nora’s EMT boyfriend, but the next day, a little rain turns into a lot of rain, and the Miracle River overflows it banks. Amid the wreckage of a collapsed footbridge, a body lies within the churning water.

 

Nora and the sheriff both doubt the ruling of accidental drowning, and Nora decides it’s time for the Secret, Book, and Scone Society to spring into action. When another body turns up, it becomes clearer that Danny’s death can’t be blamed on a natural disaster. A crucial clue may lie within the stone walls of the Inn of Mist and Roses: a diary, over a century old and spattered with candle wax, that leads Nora and her friends through a maze of intrigue—and onto the trail of a murderer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Secret, Book, and Scone Society Members

Nora, the owner of Miracle Books, tries to heal people woes with a unique set of books she personally selects for them.

Hester runs the Gingerbread House bakery. Customers tell her a little bit about their lives and what brought them to Miracle Springs. Then she bakes them up a “comfort scone”.

June works at the hot springs spa where people come to rejuvenate themselves.

Estella is a beautician who tries to help her clients find their true selves.

The rain keeps falling in Miracle Springs and it is putting a damper on everything, but customers are searching for refuge in the shops, like Miracle Books.

Nora tries to keep up with her errands but the weather sure isn’t conducive to someone with only a bicycle to get her around. I really have to give Nora props through. She dons her rain gear and heads to the local flea market to purchase shelf enhancers. The current crush of buyers is clearing them as well as books from her shelves. There she meets Cherokee Danny, a phenomenal potter and snaps up a bowl that will make a fine present for her boyfriend. She also fills her backpack with a few shelf enhancers too.  Sadly she takes a tumble on the way home and the bowl gets chipped. She heads back to the flea market the next day but the potter is absent. On her way home, she travels near a footbridge that has collapsed due to the heavy rains. She peers over the side and finds the missing potter among the footbridge wreckage.

Accident or murder? The Secret, Book, and Scone Society decides to find out. When another body is found there is no doubt the deaths are connected and definitely not accidental. Then an interesting clue is found in a surprising place and the Society steps up their game to solve the mystery before any more bodies spring up.

____

The woman of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society all have their own strengths and come together not only to support each other but to help others too. Ms. Adams has given these women so much depth while allowing the room to grow not only within the book but over the series. They are flawed and realistic. Their friendship and compassion are things to envy. Readers, like me, quickly get invested in their lives and cheer and hope their trials can be conquered. The way they take on trying to find a killer at that same time just shows all the strengths.

I do have to mention a new character, Sheldon Silverstein Vega. He just kinda popped up in this story and stole my heart. He has his own trials, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, but he is a jovial man and a perfect addition to this series. I hope we see much more of him in future stories.

In The Book of Candlelight, Native American lore plays a huge part and part of that folklore has become part of my everyday life not knowing where it originated. Cardinals have always been my favorite bird and that is quite evident to anyone looking around our home. I have collected prints, plates, figurines, magnets, etc. my entire adult life. We even had a live pair nest in a tree in the backyard of one of our homes and we have always put out seed to welcome them to our yard wherever that may be. When my son died I was told that the red cardinal is believed to bring messages from our loved one in the spirit world, so I always watch for them. Now I know that belief came from Native American folklore.

The red bird is very important to potter, Cherokee Danny and it plays a significant part in finding his killer. The clues are placed liberally throughout the book but there are also many red herrings too. Like Nora and her friends, I was spinning my wheels for most of the story. There are many events that need to fit into a theory and it wasn’t until an important clue is revealed that things started to fall into place. I really enjoyed the way the author plotted this story in a way that kept me guessing until the very end. Her vivid descriptions really brought the people, times, and places to life.

I loved everything about The Book of Candlelight. Engaging characters and a marvelous mystery. I was anxious to get to the end to find out the guilty party but at the same time didn’t want the story to end. Even with the rain Miracle Springs, North Carolina is a fantastic place to visit.

This is the first book of 2020 to receive my Paradise Rating because I think it deserves more than 5 stars!

Read my review of The Secret, Book & Scone Society here and The Whispered Word here.

About the Author

 

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Crafter Quilts a Crime: A Handcrafted Mystery by Holly Quinn #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to feature Holly Quinn’s A Crafter Quilts A Crime today! 

About A Crafter Quilts A Crime

quilter quilts a crime

A Crafter Quilts a Crime: A Handcrafted Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (February 11, 2020)
Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1643852906
ISBN-13: 978-1643852904
Kindle ASIN: B07RTMXRK8

Perfect for fans of Betty Hechtman and Maggie Sefton, Holly Quinn’s third Handcrafted mystery aspires to wrap you in its warmth.

Community Craft proprietor Sammy Kane must piece together a patchwork of clues when a “live” mannequin ends up stone-cold dead.

Snowcapped pines and glittery dusted sidewalks adorn tranquil Heartsford, Wisconsin, while residents cuddle beneath heirloom quilts in front of cozy wood fires. But come the next day, the below-zero temperatures won’t keep the locals away from Heartsford’s annual Fire & Ice event. To boost customer traffic at Community Craft’s one-night-only sale, Samantha “Sammy” Kane persuades a few of the craftspeople who sell their wares at the store to participate in a live mannequin window display contest.

Local quilter Wanda Wadsworth emerges as a favorite to win the contest, as she manages to not move a muscle for an unusual amount of time. Onlookers outside the window try everything to get her to crack–tapping on the glass and making funny faces–but nothing disrupts Wanda’s stillness. When the eagle-eyed spectators realize Wanda isn’t breathing, a blanket of grief and fear descends upon the wintry town.

Detective Liam Nash can’t seem to piece the clues together. Fortunately, Sammy’s cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie, are on hand to reconvene their detective team, S.H.E. They set out to solve Wanda’s untimely death before the case grows as icy as a sub-zero Wisconsin winter. But they are all too aware that the killer is too close for comfort.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Welcome to winter in Wisconsin and the fictional town of Heartford where the residents are celebrating with the annual Fire & Ice event. The shops are open late and the evening will conclude with a giant bonfire.  Sammy Kane wants her shop Community Craft to really stand out and bring in the customers so she has asked a few of her crafters to take part in a “live” mannequin contest. The front window is all decked out and ready for the crafters to take a starring role.

Wanda Wadsworth is ready to shine, she even brought one of her quilts to feature. She immediately captures the attention of the audience as she remains completely frozen in her pose as people do their darndest to disrupt her performance. When someone suddenly notices Wanda’s lips turning blue people jump into action but it is too late. Then when police try to notify the husband of her passing they find the man is missing.

Detective Liam Nash warns Sammy to stay out of the case but soon she, her cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie, the ladies of S.H.E. are bustling around in the cold and snow trying to find the killer. Things start to heat up as the killer is close on their tail.

_____

This is such a fun series. I have come to think of the main characters as friends and they have their share of strife this time as they don their Nancy Drew hats to try to find who killed their friend. These characters are relatable and believable and continue to evolve over the course of the story. I do like the way the girls work together and that they each have their own strengths. All the characters presented in the story are well crafted but again the four-legged one steals my heart.

The story is very fast-paced with plenty of twists. Sammy’s drive for the truth gets her in trouble making for some very tense moments. There is a nice blend of daily life with the mystery and a real community feel over the whole book. I liked the way the crafting group came together with an idea to remember and honor the friend they had lost. What I really enjoyed most was something people see all over the state of Wisconsin have a new purpose when it comes to solving the mystery.

As a Wisconsin resident, Holly Quinn really brought a real Wisconsin winter to this story. The frigid cold, the blowing, and drifting snow. Waiting for the roads to get plowed noting that for some it can be a long wait. Also showing that snow is not the be-all and end-all. After being cooped up with kids after a snow day, moms will plow through the snow themselves to get to a craft meeting to converse with adults, drink hot chocolate that may include alcohol, and nosh on homemade treats for a few hours before heading back to fray at home ready for anything.

I do love the way this author tells a story. A Crafter Quilts a Crime is quite entertaining and checks all my cozy boxes. I truly can’t for the next book!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Crafter Knits A Clue – Here

Read my review of A Crafter Hooks A KillerHere

 

About Holly Quinn

holly quinn

Holly Quinn has published two stand-alone fiction novels in another persona. She graduated from Carroll University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in business and a minor in marketing. This is her second Handcrafted mystery. Visit her @ www.authorhollyquinn.com

Author Links – Website – Facebook – GoodReads 

Purchase Links –

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – BAM – IndieBound – Powell’s Books – Walmart 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

crafter quilts a crime TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please Visit All The Stops 
February 1 – Diary of a Book Fiend – SPOTLIGHT 
February 1 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 2 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 2 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
February 3 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 4 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
February 4 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
February 5 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 6 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
February 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
February 7 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – This Is My Truth Now – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 8 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 9 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 9 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
February 11 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
February 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
February 12 – Brooke Blogs  SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
February 13 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
February 14 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
February 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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

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

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Field Guide to Homicide (A Cat Latimer Mystery) by Lynn Cahoon – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @LynnCahoon @KensingtonBooks


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am delighted to feature A Field Guide to Homicide today!

About A Field Guide To Homicide

field guide to homicide

A Field Guide to Homicide (A Cat Latimer Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Colorado
Publisher: Kensington (January 28, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 149671685X
ISBN-13: 978-1496716859
Digital ASIN: B07R9SXCQ8

Cat Latimer and her writer’s retreat group go on a hiking trip—but a murderer has been lurking off the beaten path . . .

Cat’s sweetheart, Seth, is going all out on an outing into the local mountains—for the benefit of the writing group Cat’s hosting at her Colorado B&B. But when they try to identify some plant and animal life, they find death instead. The body belongs to a man with a gold claim a few miles away. Instead of striking it rich, he’s been struck down.

To his surprise, Seth recognizes the victim from his military days—and up to now believed he’d already died during his last tour of duty. Now Cat has to solve this mystery before the killer takes a hike . . .”

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

It’s time for another retreat at Cat Latimer’s B&B, Aspen Hills Warm Springs Resort. This group is unique because along with the student from the local college, the other writers are two couples. Seth has planned a special hiking trip for the group complete with field guides to identify flora and fauna. Not long after the hike begins they come across something not covered in Seth’s guide . . . a dead body. A body Seth recognizes. A man he thought had died in Germany during his last tour of duty. He is shocked to learn his friend had been living nearby with a gold claim. With this happening right before a planned reunion of his military friends they all become suspects. Now Cat with some assistance of Uncle Pete’s Gal Pal Retired Alaska Deputy Shirley will do her best to end this killer’s story without ending hers.

_____

This was a rich story with many facets. The main mystery puts Seth and Cat a bit at odds. A friend he thought was dead was really alive and living nearby. Now someone killed him and he can’t believe any of his platoon could be involved. There has to be another explanation. His military life is not something Seth speaks about, so Cat feels she needs to tread lightly. Ms. Cahoon threads a needle releasing clues carefully, and issues the twists precisely. Seth shielded his friends so Cat had to dig into the victim in other ways making this investigation unique. I really enjoyed the way the entire story was plotted and the way it played out.

Lynn Cahoon has created such a strong group of core characters. Cat, Shauna, Seth, Uncle Pete and now Shirley can be added to the mix. I thought we had gotten to know them pretty well over the series so far, but this time readers get more information about Cat and Seth’s relationship at the end of high school and how it all fell apart. Cat learns some things she didn’t know. I loved how this was written and that Seth was featured. It makes the characters even more relatable. Shauna also revealed more about her family this time too. It really shows me we are just scratching the surface of these characters.

Readers are also introduced to a group of retreat writers. Two married couples, Sydney and her husband Tristin write a travel blog, Jocelyn, and her husband Josh, also frequent travelers, write western historical fiction. They are joined by college student Brodie Capone. The two couples become fast friends taking the retreat in a direction Cat never expected. Brodie grows over the course of the story too.

As always the location adds to the story. Trekking the trails more than once was fun and while moving the investigation forward, one of the characters was so delighted by what he saw is brought a huge smile to my face.

In A Field Guide to Homicide, the author sets a perfect pace, each page pulling you deeper into the story. A writer’s retreat, a dead body, an Army reunion, and many secrets all come together to make one heck of a story. The ending was just awesome.

This entire series is great. Treat yourself to the whole bunch.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of A Story to Kill here and my review of Fatality by Firelight here,
my review for Of Murder and Men here and my review of Slay in Character here
and my review of Sconed to Death here.

About Lynn Cahoon

Lynn Cahoon is the award-winning author of several New York Times and USA Today bestselling cozy mystery series. The Tourist Trap series is set in central coastal California with six holiday novellas releasing in 2018–2019. She also pens the Cat Latimer series available in mass market paperback. Her newest series, the Farm to Fork mystery series, debuted in 2018. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com.

She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies.

Author Links –  Goodreads – Twitter – Facebook –  Amazon author page –  Website 

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Play 

 

Also by Lynn Cahoon


field guide to homicide
Praise for A Field Guide to Homicide (A Cat Latimer Mystery)
by Lynn Cahoon

The sub-plots shined in this book, so I was glad to see a different style. The personal lives of all the main characters also move forward in various ways, which made me happy.
~This Is My Truth Now

A Field Guide to Homicide has a calamitous climb, a solitary stiff, a selfish sibling, a wistful writer, scrumptious cuisine, and a perplexing puzzle.
~The Avid Reader

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
January 27 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW
January 27 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST
January 27 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
January 28 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT  
January 28 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
January 28 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
January 29 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
January 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
January 30 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
January 30 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
January 30 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
January 31 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
January 31 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
January 31 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW
February 1 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
February 1 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
February 2 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 3 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 3 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT 
February 4 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 5 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 5 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
February 5 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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.”