Jul 172019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am pleased to feature Devon Delany’s Guilty as Charred today! 

Guilty as Charred
(A Cook-Off Mystery)
by Devon Delaney

 

About the Book 


Guilty as Charred (A Cook-Off Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496714474
ISBN-13: 978-1496714473
Digital ASIN: B07HVYY7KN

Sherry Oliveri has attained celebrity status after winning the America’s Good Taste Recipe Contest with her delectable New England Crab Cake Sliders. But now that she’s back home in Connecticut, she’s got to deal with something else fishy . . .

Sherry’s making a guest appearance on a local radio show when the news comes in: Poppy Robinson has been found dead in the town’s community garden. Sherry was supposed to be taking questions about her win in the national cooking competition, but instead the callers start dishing dirt.

Poppy and Sherry were both involved in the vegetable garden, and while Poppy may have been a bit priggish, it wasn’t anything that called for a shovel to the back of the head. There was already trouble brewing, with the owner of the land threatening to renege on their agreement, and this murder has taken tensions to a new level. Now while Sherry’s organizing a Fourth of July cook-off event, she’s also got a murder investigation on her plate . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sherry Oliveri is back with a major win under her belt and another murder to solve. She won the America’s Good Taste Recipe Contest beating out cooks from the other 49 states. While talking about her win for a local radio station breaking news informs listeners that Poppy Robinson has been killed and that her body was found at Augustin’s community garden. Poppy and her family owned the land the community garden was on, she was on its board and ruled with an iron fist. She was also running for mayor.

The current mayor thought a 4th of July cookoff would be a great way to bring tourists to town and thought Sherry would be the perfect person to organize it.  He also wants the murder case wrapped up asap! So Sherri is planning a cookoff, preparing for her next cooking contest, working with her dad at the Ruggery and has now added catching a killer to her already long to-do-list. She is going to need the perfect recipe to solve the murder and get on with her life. Hopefully, she can save the community garden too.

_____________

Protag Sherry Oliveri continues to grow and evolve as do all her relationships with a great cast of core characters. I continue to admire her relationship with her father. Detective Ray Bease also returns and tries to keep her out of his investigation but we all know that is not going to happen. I love when her sister comes to visit and the friendship she has built with Amber.

Ms. Delaney has cooked up quite a mystery this time complete with the red herrings cozy readers love. Twists, turns, surprises fill the pages. Sherri now has a reputation for solving murder mysteries and so many people were pressing her for answers. The deceased had an off-putting demeanor but was that enough for someone to want her dead?

I enjoyed the way Sherri handled her investigation, she really didn’t know Poppy well, but the killer is on her tail so she must be on the right track. Her current challenge is to live through her investigation. I must have totally missed a major clue because the killer reveal caught me off-guard.

I was very entertained by this great story. It was well-written and plotted which was key because there were several subplots that all needed to come together at the end. I will say all of Sherry’s activity exhausted me.  But her recipes though delighted me. I hope she gets a few months off before the next case comes along. She needs to recharge her batteries and have time for doing what she loves, finding the perfect recipe to win another challenge.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Devon Delaney is a wife, mother of three, accomplished cooking contester, recent empty nester, and lifelong resident of the Northeast. She has been handsomely rewarded for her recipe innovation over the last twenty-plus years, including a full kitchen of major appliances, top cash prizes, and four trips to Disney World. She has also won the Grand Prize in a national writing contest for her “foodie” poem “Ode to Pork Passion.”

Check out Devon’s Website and find her on Instagram 

Praise for Guilty as Charred (A Cook-Off Mystery)
by Devon Delaney

Guilty as Charred has appetizing cuisine, a technologically challenged detective, a panicked populace, toxic threats, a canine named Chutney, and one prying protagonist.
~The Avid Reader

This book has well-written characters. I love how the author’s writing just flows through the pages. This is a cute cozy mystery.
~Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting

A great mystery full of quirky characters and mouth-watering food that will keep you hooked until the very end. Perfect for fans of culinary-themed cozies.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Cook-off competitions can be crazy, engaging and engrossing but small time life can be hectic and homicidal!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

Guilty as Charred by Devon Delaney is a delightful mystery with wonderful characters and a lovely small town setting. It has food, murder, and everything that leads us to a great whodunit.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

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

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Jul 102019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to welcome Anna Gerard to Escape With Dollycas today! 

Peach Clobbered:
A Georgia B&B Mystery
by Anna Gerard

Hi Anna, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  

I’m the NYT bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series (written as Ali Brandon) and have published two other series…the Tarot Cats Mystery series from Midnight Ink and the Leonardo da Vinci Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. I’ve also published five historical romances under the names Alexa Smart and Anna Gerard. PEACH CLOBBERED, first book in my upcoming Georgia B&B Mystery series (written as Anna Gerard) will be my 16th published novel. I live in South Florida, though I was born and raised in Texas.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

I’ve never snow-skied, I’m allergic to apples (and peaches!), and I have three tattoos.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I know I read books long before this, but the first title I remember is THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN VOLCANO LAND.

What are you reading now?  I have a huge TBR stack that I need to delve into once I’m off deadline. But I most recently finished reading an ARC for Maggie Toussaint’s DREAMED IT paranormal mystery, which should be published later this year (go pre-order it!).

What books have most inspired you?  Throughout high school, I read nothing but romantic suspense and gothic romances, which I’m sure have a bearing on my writing style today.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries? Because, although I started out publishing historical romances, all my books had dead bodies lying around. It seemed a natural progression to move into the mystery genre.

Do you have a special place you like to write? Nothing fancy. Either my desk in my home office; or, if I need a change, I move my laptop onto my back screened-in porch and let the cats help me write.

Where do the ideas for your books come from? Anywhere and everywhere – it’s rare I can pinpoint an actual inspiration.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging? Giving it priority over the 999 other things I need to do (especially when I’m on deadline).

What do you think makes a good story? I want to see a distinct beginning/middle/end to the tale. And, the main characters (even if not entirely likable) must be fully developed and relatable. And at the end of the book, I want to see a goal reached, a lesson learned…basically, a payoff for having spent those hours reading. It never hurts to have a cute dog or cat as part of the story, either.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?  Probably Nina Fleet, the B&B owner and amateur sleuth of my current Georgia B&B Mystery series. Although there is a lot of me in Darla Pettistone from my Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?  Since there are so many great cozy mystery authors out there, I can’t claim to be a better writer or have more clever plots than anyone else. But I think my stories have heart as well as suspense and a bit of humor, plus I include felines and canines that aren’t just cozy window dressing but are fully realized characters. If you don’t cry at least once and laugh out loud at least twice when you read my books, then I’ve fallen down on the job.

Whats next on the horizon for you? I’m finishing up the manuscript for my next Georgia B&B Mystery, PEACHY SCREAM, and am waiting on word on hopefully reselling my Tarot Cats Mystery series to a new publisher.

Thank you, Anna, for visiting today!

Keep reading for my thoughts about Anna’s Peach Clobbered.

 

About the Book 


Peach Clobbered: A Georgia B&B Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Lane Books (July 9, 2019)
Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1643850067
ISBN-13: 978-1643850061
Digital ASIN: B07JMK2JRD

What’s black and white and dead all over? Georgia bed and breakfast proprietor Nina Fleet finds out when she comes across a corpse in a penguin costume.

Nina Fleet’s life ought to be as sweet as a Georgia peach. Awarded a tidy sum in her divorce, Nina retired at 41 to a historic Queen Anne house in quaint Cymbeline, GA. But Nina’s barely settled into her new B&B-to-be when a penguin shows up on her porch. Or, at least, a man wearing a penguin suit.

Harry Westcott is making ends meet as an ice cream shop’s mascot and has a letter from his great-aunt, pledging to leave him the house. Too bad that’s not what her will says. Meanwhile, the Sisters of Perpetual Poverty have lost their lease. Real estate developer Gregory Bainbridge intends to turn the convent into a golfing community, so Cymbeline’s mayor persuades Nina to take in the elderly nuns. And then Nina finds the “penguin” again, this time lying in an alley with a kitchen knife in his chest.

A peek under the beak tells Nina it’s not Harry inside the costume, but Bainbridge. What was he doing in Harry’s penguin suit? Was the developer really the intended victim, or did the culprit mean to kill Harry? Whoever is out to stop Harry from contesting the sale of his great-aunt’s house may also be after Nina, so she teams up with him to cage the killer before someone clips her wings in Peach Clobbered.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to Cymbeline Georgia. A place Nina Fleet and her Australian Sheepdog, Mattie now call home. She bought a historic Queen Anne house therwat the spur of the moment following her divorce and loves it.  Harry Wescott the great nephew of the previous owner believes the house should be his and shows up at her door to tell her so, dressed in a penguin suit. Seems he is working as a mascot for the local ice cream shop to make ends meet.

Nina had big hopes of opening it as a B&B but zoning regulations have held up her plans. That is until the Sisters of Perpetual Poverty were evicted from their convent when the landlord refused to renew their lease. The mayor came to Nina personally promising to cut through all the government’s red tape if she allows the sisters to stay with her until their new orders come through.

After the nuns are all settled they tell Nina of their plan to protest their former landlord’s business. Nina goes along hoping to keep the nuns out of trouble, but during a lunch break, she hears a scream. She rushes into an alley to find a man in a penguin suit has been stabbed. But it isn’t Harry Wescott in the suit this time, it is the sister’s landlord, Gregory Bainbridge! Could one of the nuns have done the deed or did the killer think it was Harry in the suit? Nina finds herself right in the middle of The Murder of the Man in the Penguin Suit! What a way to start her new life.

______________

Penguins, Nuns, and Murder, Oh My!

What a great start for this series! I loved Nina (Nine-ah) immediately. She is smart and savvy, ready to live life on her own terms. The nuns were fantastic, feisty, mostly elderly women who have been together for over 50 years. They become fast friends with Nina and enjoy checking out all the take-out meal options now available to them. Nina does her best to keep these vital and active women busy as they await to see what the future hold for them. Harry is a conundrum, an out of work actor who wants to take her house away who is not the most likable person. Nina’s dog Maddie is precious. She is empathetic when needed and a wonderful watch dog too.

Ms. Gerard has twisted together a terrific mystery plotline with very interesting subplots as we get to know our protagonist and the residents of Cymbeline. The pacing was perfect and each chapter drew me right into the next. I was engaged by the characters completely and was anxious to see how everything in this novel panned out. She brought in a surprise item that turned my thinking totally around but I was still taken aback by the big reveal.

The setting of the story was just peachy. A Georgia B&B is absolutely ripe for many more mysteries too. I am excited to see who checks in next!

This was a marvelous mystery and I highly recommend it for all cozy mystery fans!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

More About Anna Gerard

DIANE A.S. STUCKART is the New York Times bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series (writing as Ali Brandon). She’s also the author of the award-winning Leonardo da Vinci historical mysteries, as well as several historical romances and numerous mystery, fantasy, and romance short stories. The first book in her Tarot Cats Mystery series is FOOL’S MOON, available in trade, large print, and Kindle versions. Her Georgia B&B Mystery series from Crooked Lane Books launched July 2019 with PEACH CLOBBERED, written as Anna Gerard.

Diane is a member of Mystery Writers of America and has served as the 2018 and 2019 Chapter President of the MWA Florida chapter. In addition to her mystery writing affiliations, she’s a member of the Cat Writers’ Association and belongs to the Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association. She’s a native Texan with a degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma, but has been living in the West Palm Beach FL area since 2006. She shares her “almost in the Everglades” home with her husband, dogs, cats, and a few beehives. Learn more about her books at www.dianestuckart.com

Author Links
Website – Facebook 

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Written as Ali Brandon

Written as Diane A.S. Stuckart

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

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Jul 032019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Maddie Day is back with a new Country Store Mystery!
I am so happy she could drop by for a visit today!

Strangled Eggs and Ham
(A Country Store Mystery)
by Maddie Day

Hi Maddie,

Welcome to Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a native Californian transplanted to Massachusetts. I live on the New Hampshire border near the coast with a man who makes me laugh, am a long-time Quaker, and have two fabulous adult sons (and now a wonderful daughter-in-law). I love avocados, bourbon, dark chocolate, and ripe sun-warmed tomatoes. As someone who was always the youngest and shortest in her class, I know how to stand up for myself. I’ve had several careers, but writing crime fiction full time is my favorite.

What are three things most readers don’t know about you?

  • I worked as an auto mechanic in my early twenties.
  • I make gorgeous and yummy apple pies people clamor for, and darn tasty cheesecake, too.
  • I was an exchange student in southern Brazil for a year when I was a young seventeen year old.

What is the first book you remember reading?

That’s a hard question because it was a heck of a long time ago. First book I read on my own? Probably a Dick and Jane reader. The Cat and the Hat came out when I was five, so that might have been it. But to really remember, I’d have to say Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods. I read straight through the series and then read it again.

What are you reading now?

Barbara Ross’s series debut Jane Darrowfield Professional Busybody and Liz Mugavero’s Tell Tail Heart. They came out last week and I’m loving them both!

What books have most inspired you?

I am a huge fan of Julia Spencer-Fleming’s The Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries. Her storytelling is compelling and her characters are deep and real.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

It’s what I like to read! And if I’m going to spend much of every day at a job, I might as well be immersed in stories I love.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I write best at my laptop in my second-floor office. It’s all mine and has a door that closes. The three windows to my right look out on our street so I can monitor the goings on, and behind me is an upholstered rocking chair for brainstorming with pen and notebook. To my left is a futon couch for emergency naps. All my reference books are an arm’s distance away, with pictures of my family in every direction and my framed Agatha Award nominations on one wall. It’s perfect.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Everywhere and nowhere. Tidbits of news stories, an odd character I might spy in a restaurant or a new murder weapon I’ve read about. Mostly from my hyperactive imagination.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

I’ve written elsewhere about getting stuck in the middle in every single book. Honing that perfect first line is also a challenge and I haven’t always come up with one – but sometimes I do.

What do you think makes a good story?

Any good story needs compelling, richly drawn characters. It needs conflict and change. It needs a setting that enhances the tale. In addition, a good mystery needs a puzzle to be solved, misdirection, and a satisfying resolution. A cozy needs justice restored to the community in the end.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

None of them IS me, of course, and I’m now a lot older than the protagonists I write. In the Country Store Mysteries, Aunt Adele and I might have most in common. She’s practical, no-nonsense, caring, and loves dangly earrings – and bourbon. She pitches in to help when needed, but has a rich life of her own as a seventy-something. I seem to be aging faster than she is, so I’m catching up fast.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

I’ve only heard of one other mystery series set in Brown County, Indiana, and none that features a chef who is also a carpenter, bicyclist, and puzzle master.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Country Store mystery #8 is due August 1, and “Christmas Cocoa and a Corpse,” my novella in Christmas Cocoa Murder, releases at the end of September. As Edith Maxwell I’ll be writing Quaker Midwife #6 next, and Judge Thee Not, #5, also comes out in September.

Thank you, Maddie, for visiting today!

Keep reading for my thoughts about Strangled Eggs and Ham.

About Strangled Eggs and Ham


Strangled Eggs and Ham (A Country Store Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Indiana
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496711254
ISBN-13: 978-1496711250
Digital ASIN: B07HW1D15K

Robbie Jordan’s rustic country store is growing in popularity. But when a dead body appears, it turns out that Robbie’s home-style cooking attracts hungry customers—and murder!

While Robbie scrambles through breakfast orders for her expanding clientele at Pans ‘N Pancakes, tempers run as high as the sticky August heat in South Lick, Indiana. Real-estate developer Fiona Closs plans to build a towering luxury resort at one of the most scenic hilltops in Brown County, and not everyone can see the sunny side of the imposing proposition—including Robbie’s furious Aunt Adele, who doesn’t waste a minute concocting protests and road blockades. When tensions boil over and a vocal protester is silenced forever at the resort site, Robbie ditches the griddle to catch the killer. But if slashed tires are any indication, she’ll need to crack this case before her own aunt gets served something deadly next . . .

Includes Recipes for You to Try!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We’re back in South Lick, Indiana where it isn’t just the weather that is making people HOT!

Fiona Closs is pressuring the South Lick relevant committees to approve her plans to build a luxury resort on a beloved scenic hilltop just outside of town. Robbie’s Aunt Adele is leading the charge to stop the project in its tracks. Robbie’s B&B lodgers even join the cause. When one of the protestors is killed at the site for the proposed resort Robbie gets fired up and is determined that killer will rot behind bars. She really turns up the gas when her aunt looks like the killer’s next target.

I have such a clear picture of Pans ‘N Pancakes in my mind that as soon as I open up a new book it feels like I am walking across the porch, through the front door and plopping myself at a corner table so I can just sit back and relax with a bird’s eye view of everything happening in South Lick. Robbie’s shop is a popular place and all the key players come through its doors at one time or another. The restaurant’s regulars are fonts of information too.

Ms. Day introduces the new characters and gives them substance before the crime takes place. She also gives a little background of the recurring characters for new readers of the series. She is truly an expert at character development.

Robbie Jordan is an excellent protagonist. She has a huge heart and she often wears it on her sleeve. She is also smart and resolute. As in a previous book, she is shorthanded at the restaurant but that doesn’t keep her from asking questions or making her puzzles to find the killer. She has grown so much over the course of this series as have all the others in the regular cast. With her beau out of town, she had one less sounding board but I loved that Robbie caught herself before making one of those TSTL (too stupid to live) decisions and even commented on it.

Adele is another strong character with her fingers in almost everything going on around her. This time I was really impressed at the way she was open to listening to her opposition. It may not have changed her mind but she did give them a chance.

We are kept on our toes by the author too. She sets a very fast pace and she gives us a small heap of suspects. There was an abundance of twists and I always enjoy following Robbie’s lead and the way she organizes her thoughts. The story really builds to an exciting ending.

Robbie Jordan has become quite a home in her adopted community. I have enjoyed each of her adventures/investigations. I can’t wait for more.

You can’t go wrong with a book by Maddy Day or her other pseudonyms. She always pens a wonderful whodunit!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

More About Maddie Day

 

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

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

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

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Coming June 30, 2020

Exclusively at Barnes and Noble

Find books written as Edith Maxwell here.

Praise for Strangled Eggs and Ham (A Country Store Mystery)
by Maddie Day

This series is totally fantastic!!!
Robbie runs the cutest store and I really wish I could eat there.

~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Strangled Eggs and Ham by Maddie Day is a wonderfully woven tale of politics, development, mystery, and murder in small-town Indiana.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Exciting, fun, engrossing, surprising . . . I could go on and on with positive adjectives to describe just how much I loved STRANGLED EGGS AND HAM.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

Strangled Eggs and Ham is an enticing cozy mystery with the friendly town, quirky residents, tantalizing food, good gossip, and one nosy parker out to solve a perplexing puzzler of a whodunit.
~The Avid Reader

The plot is multi-dimensional and the “voice” progresses through the pages at a steady pace. Great weekend read!!
~Reading is My SuperPower

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the story right from the very start. South Lick, Indiana, seems like a fun place to visit, even with all of the murders.
~MJB Reviewers

I love this series, it is one of my favourite places and people to visit . . . this series is very character based, the mystery is well-written and woven into the story maintaining a great pace.
~Carla Loves To Read

One of my favorite cozy mystery series’, Country Store Mysteries consistently delivers engaging mysteries, multiple storylines, and wonderful characters.
~Sapphyria’s Books

Phew! Maddie Day has done an excellent job of raising the temperatures in South Lick and the tensions in her book! 8 out of 5!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

 

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

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Jun 262019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 
I am so excited to have Jodi Rath visit today!

Hi Jodi,

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I’m a wife, cat lover with nine cats in our home, educator, writer, artist, and kickboxer who is obsessed with Tom Waits.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

I have a brown belt in kickboxing;

I have curly hair that I perm in my kitchen every three months;

I would never leave the house if I could realistically make that happen—and I very rarely leave my house.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Any of the Choose Your Own Adventure books—those were my favorites!

What are you reading now?

Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz

What books have most inspired you?

Anything Agatha Christie, Sweet Valley High Series when I was a teen, Judy Blume books as a pre-teen, poetry of all sorts—I used to check out as many poetry books as the librarian allowed me too in 5th through 9th grade.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I believe it all began with the Choose Your Own Adventure books. I liked picking an ending then trying them all and guessing what the other endings would be.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Any room in my house, on my screened-in porch or on my deck overlooking our woods.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

From my community, my family, the news, songs, movies, TV shows, art, people I don’t like—LOL.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

I really do love all parts of the writing process. I was a HS English teacher and taught the process regularly. For me as a writer, the first draft is fun—the revision can be cruel at times—especially when I think I got something right and my editor is like, “Um, wow, that really sucks!” LOL—she doesn’t say that—but you get the drift!

What do you think makes a good story?

It has to be universal—things everyone can relate too. There needs to be someone to root for and someone to hate and someone to feel sorry for and someone who we love to hate—characters are important.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

The protagonist, Jolie Tucker.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

There aren’t many Cast Iron Skillet culinary cozies out there. I only know of one other cast iron mystery series.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Currently working on book 2.5 a Thanksgiving holiday book called Turkey Basted to Death that comes out 11/18/19. In 2020, I will begin two spin-off series to The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series—one is Peggy’s Purse Boutique series set in Tri-City (which comes up a lot in The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)—the second series is Gemma’s Bohemian Gems Series that is a spin-off as well.

Thank you, Jodi, so much for dropping by today!

Keep reading for my thoughts about Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder.

About the Book 


Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – Ohio
MYS ED LLC (June 21, 2019)
Print Length – 185 Pages
Digital ASIN: B07Q1K4DN3

Financial fraud of elderly villagers in Leavensport, an urban sprawl threat to the community, disastrous dates, cross-sell marketing gone wrong, and another murder? Jolie Tucker is ready to try dating again. Well, she has no choice—since her family auctioned her off to the highest bidder. Her best friend, Ava, has agreed to a double date, but both friends find out hidden secrets about their partners as well as deception by one of the village’s own, who will soon be found dead. This plot is sure to be spicy!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Ohio at Cast Iron Creations where things are getting jalapeno hot!! A new restaurant has opened and Jolie hopes to work a cross-promotion deal as she has with other businesses, she also is finally going to go on her auction date with Detective Meiser, (her family auctioned off at a fundraiser in the last book), residents are worried about urban sprawl, oh, and there is another dead body.

Ms. Rath’s characters are fun and entertaining. Again, there is a large cast but I was very comfortable after getting to know most of them in the first book. I enjoyed the continued character development.  The new characters were all key to the new mystery. The interactions were all realistic and the dialogue was crisp.

I continue to be amazed by how much drama and action this author brings a reader in less than 200 pages. She does a fabulous job of blending intrigue and everyday life. The daily grind plus secrets, twists, turns, and a surprising ending are all baked together wonderfully by the time we reach the last page. It is a quick read and impossible to put down.

I am not a fan of peppers especially jalapenos but I loved the way that ingredient was incorporated into the story. I also appreciate that cast iron skillet recipes are included for readers to try.

Together Pineapple Upside Down Murder and Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Murder equal the length of 1 standard cozy mystery, so I do recommend reading both in order so you can really get to know the characters. I am really looking forward to more books in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

More About Jodi Rath

 

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links:  Webpage FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath Twitter @jodirathGoodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest
Purchase Links: Amazon    All other e-platforms

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
June 21 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 21 – ❧Defining Ways❧ – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 22 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 22 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 23 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 23 – Eskimo Princess Book Review – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 25 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE
June 25 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
June 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
June 26 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST
June 27 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
June 27 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 28 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST
June 28 – Author Teresa Watson – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 29 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 1 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
July 1 – 4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 2 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
July 2 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW
July 3 – Brooke Blogs – 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.”

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Jun 192019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Karen Rose Smith’s new book today!

murder with cucumber sandwiches
Murder with Cucumber Sandwiches (A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1617739642
ISBN-13: 978-1617739644
Kindle ASIN: B07H1YBJ6S
GoodReads

Daisy’s Tea Garden in Pennsylvania’s Amish country is known for its elegant finger foods—but now owner Daisy Swanson has to finger a killer . . .

Restaurant critic Derek Schumaker, notorious for his bitter reviews, is about to visit Daisy’s Tea Garden, and Daisy and Aunt Iris are simmering with anxiety. A bad word from the culinary curmudgeon could really hurt their business, but Daisy tries to stay confident. After all, how can he resist her cucumber sandwiches with pimento spread—not to mention the cheesy cauliflower soup and strawberry walnut salad?

Schumaker takes a to-go order when the afternoon tea service is done, which Daisy hopes is a good sign. But when he perishes from a seizure, it looks like his food was dosed with something deadly. Considering a threat that recently appeared on his blog—and whispers of scandal in his past—Daisy has quite an assortment of suspects to sift through . . .

Includes delicious recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Holy Cucumbers! When restaurant critic Derek Schumaker arrives at Daisy’s Tea Garden Daisy tries to stay positive. She knows the food they serve is fantastic. Aunt Iris is a little more pensive. The man is known for his derogatory reviews. Reviews that can shut restaurants down. When Schumaker requests a to-go order of cucumber sandwiches, Daisy knows they have the review in the bag.

That all changes when the police show up investigating the critic’s death pointing fingers at the sandwiches from Daisy’s Tea Garden. This is bad for business and bad for her employees especially when two of them is clearly hiding something. Daisy knows there are a plethora of suspects that should be on the list, just from all the restaurants he has critiqued badly. The man had received numerous threats, one recently on his blog. Daisy decides to delve deep into the man’s life to see if she can catch the killer before her business is tainted and out of business.

It this 3rd book of this series the author has filled Daisy’s plate with so much. She is juggling the murder, an employee that is going through something he refuses to share, her younger daughter’s relationship with her birth mom, her older daughter wants to come home from college to talk, and she is trying to have a relationship with Jonas Groft,  all the while trying to keep customers coming into the tea shop while many think their food killed the critic.

The author strikes a nice balance of work, home, and murder drama. All the character’s lives are intertwined and the relationships are all evolving in a believable way. Daisy has a huge heart, but that heart is still healing from the loss of her husband. Her girls are growing up and dealing with some heavy issues. Daisy’s compassionate soul reaches out to everyone. She treats her employees and friends like family and would do anything for them.

Daisy has a way with people, they open up to her like they never would for the prickly Detective Morris Rappaport, so the murder investigation gets very interesting. Jonas is kinda caught in the middle. Ms. Smith has plotted this mystery perfectly. She kept me guessing right up until the very end.

I enjoy everything about this book/series. The characters are warm and engaging, the mystery is well thought out and presented, and Willow Creek is a place I would love to visit.

These stories are best read in order to follow the character growth but enough background is given to read each one on their own. I was excited to see this week, that the 4th book in this series –  Murder with Cherry Tarts will be out later this year and is already up for preorder.

perfect escape

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Karen Rose Smith About the Author

Karen Rose Smith likes to chat with her readers on social media.  You can find her on Facebook at KarenRoseSmithBooks and on Twitter @karenrosemith.  Find out more about her mysteries at https://www.karenrosesmithmysteries.com.

 

Also by this Author



Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy of to give away!
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Contest Will End July 3, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
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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.”

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Jun 122019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am pleased to share the latest book in this long-running Wisconsin series!


Dead Big Dawg (A Loon Lake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (June 11, 2019)
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 1440598835
ISBN-13: 978-1440598838
Kindle ASIN: B01MRACFUA

When the bodies of a wealthy Chicago industrialist and his wife are discovered in their summer home at the same time that a local lawyer disappears, life becomes complicated for Loon Lake Chief of Police Lew Ferris.

Relying on the forensic dental expertise of her close friend and acting coroner, Doc Osborne, Lew soon finds the investigations are even more complicated than she thought when a rarely used computer belonging to a local sawmill operation is taken over by foreign hackers. Add to that the family issues facing both Lew and Doc, and this Northwoods summer becomes both hot and dangerous.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another trip north to Loon Lake and again Doc and Lew have their hands full. First,  with their grandchildren, especially when they disappear and are found a short time later at a neighboring farm. They also find agents from the FBI Cyber Security Team. Russian Hackers have worked their way into the Northwoods unbeknownst to the owners of the farm and the owners of an old computer they use for recordkeeping.

Then, in the middle of the night Chief of Police Lew Ferris is alerted to a double fatality. A businessman and his wife from Illinois in their summer home. At first, thought to be a murder/suicide, Lew doesn’t think so and calls in the “Wausau Boys” and Ray Pradt to work the scene. Together they all will try to figure out what really happened and why.

On the homefront, Doc’s daughter is home for a visit and she has brought along her new boyfriend and runs into a high school classmate.

Wisconsin is a place where many bigwigs from the Chicago area have their summer homes so it was not surprising that a couple from there are our victims this time. The question is was the killer from the area or did trouble follow them over the border.

___

The core characters in this series have become friends after 19 books. I love that the children and grandchildren again are part of the story. That being said, the author gives enough background info to read this or any of the books in this series on its own. The characters are well developed and genuine, some have the quirky traits fans of this genre look for. There are also plenty of suspects to keep readers guessing.

The later books in this series run about 200 pages and Victoria Houston packs them full. She tangles the main plot and subplots together with believable dialogue and wonderful descriptions of the area. What I love best is that the characters always have time to do a little fly-fishing. They find a certain amount of peace on the water and sometimes that is when a crucial clue falls into place.

The Loon Lake Mysteries are comfortable stories with the perfect amount of suspense and drama. Lew, Doc, and Ray are good people and true friends. Strong, smart, people who work and play well together. The romantic relationship between Doc and Lew is what I would call relaxed. They each know what they want and understand each other so well. The younger Ray is a very special guy, still playing the field and that usually works for him. Most people are amazed by the way women just seem to fall for him.  It does bring some great humor to each story.

I have enjoyed each story in this series. Dead Big Dawg was a quick read that was fun and entertaining. I  look forward to my next trip north.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Victoria Houston visit her webpage here.



GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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Contest Will End June 26, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Jun 052019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to welcome Leslie Budewitz back to Escape with Dollycas with a new Spice Shop Mystery that will be released next Tuesday!

Researching Fiction
by Leslie Budewitz

 

It’s fiction, readers say. What is there to research?

Plenty. Okay, so writing a novel is like spending all day, every day, with my imaginary friends. I’ve often said I’m a happier, healthier person because I spend much of my time with people who only exist because I made them up.

But what makes these people so interesting is that they bring into my life new experiences. New perspectives. New problems and strange objects, unfamiliar takes on familiar places. Dead bodies and the search for a killer.

In my Spice Shop series, Pepper Reece runs Seattle Spice in the famed Pike Place Market. Founded in 1907, Pike Place is the oldest continuously operating public market in the country. I fell in love with the Market as a college freshman, not long after the city’s voters saved it from urban removal. Later, as a young lawyer working in downtown Seattle, I shopped in the Market regularly and made it my mission to eat my way through. Easy to do, since it’s constantly changing. Research!

When I’m working on a Spice Shop book, I keep a map of the Market and a current list of shops, restaurants, services, and other tenants close. Though I’d long heard tales of hauntings in the old buildings, Market Ghost Stories by Mercedes Yeager, who grew up in the Market where her parents ran an artists’ stall and who now runs a coffee shop and conducts tours of the Market, gave me a new view of the place. Turns out that over time, doors and windows in various buildings were closed off, creating hidden rooms and passageways, which I used in Assault and Pepper, the first in the series.

Both Mr. Right and my best friend from college, who still lives in the area and whom I’ve dubbed my unofficial research assistant, have spent countless hours poking around the Market and environs with me. A friend who works at Seattle Center, site of the 1962 World’s Fair, gave Mr. Right and me a behind-the-scenes tour, which helped enormously in writing a pair of scenes in Guilty as Cinnamon.

On another visit, Mr. Right and I prowled through the Lake Union houseboat district, where Pepper’s good friend Laurel lives. We snapped pictures, ate breakfast, and walked past a tiny antique shop that, years later, gave me the idea for Rainy Day Vintage, featured in Chai Another Day. A book on the “floating home” community, newspaper articles, and blog posts gave me an insider’s view—and even prompted me to give Laurel and her son a white cat who roams the docks. Research!

For Chai Another Day, naturally, I drank lots of tea. Read articles on chai and its fascinating history, and played in the kitchen to come up with a tea blend and a baking blend that Pepper sells; both recipes are included in the book.

Of course, a mystery needs a crime, usually a murder, and a murder needs a weapon. I won’t say much about that—no spoilers—but I will say that for Chai, I got to learn some fun facts about an antique my husband inherited from his mother. And as is often the case in cozies, Pepper fends off the killer with an innovative use of a familiar item, prompting more research.

Mysteries have a serious side, too. I’ve plowed through photos of Seattle crime scene investigations and stared a little too closely at street cops to make sure I know what they wear and drive. The Seattle Police Department’s public information officers have helped me pin down a few details. For Chai, I dug into immigration statistics from the 1950s, pored over blogs written by young women of South Asian (Indian) ancestry, and read about treatment for opioid addiction.

And of course, I cooked and ate. When you read a recipe in one of my books, I want you to know you can make it without much trouble and it will turn out well. Research!

Fiction works when it feels real. That means melding imagination with investigation, putting the facts to work in service of the tale. And it’s so much fun.

~Leslie

Thank you, Leslie, for visiting today! 

Keep reading to for my review of Chai Another Day.

 


Chai Another Day (Spice Shop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series – First with this Publisher
Setting – Washington State
Seventh Street Books (June 11, 2019)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-10: 1633885364
ISBN-13: 978-1633885363
Kindle ASIN: B07FC1J6ZG

Seattle Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece probes murder while juggling a troubled employee, her mother’s house hunt, and a fisherman who’s set his hook for her.

As owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece is always on the go. Between conjuring up new spice blends and serving iced spice tea to customers looking to beat the summer heat, she finally takes a break for a massage. But the Zen moment is shattered when she overhears an argument in her friend Aimee’s vintage home decor shop that ends in murder.

Wracked by guilt over her failure to intervene, Pepper investigates, only to discover a web of deadly connections that could ensnare a friend – and Pepper herself.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Again, Pepper has a lot on her plate and the last thing she needs is another murder, but that is exactly what she finds when she tries to take a little time for herself. She heard an argument erupting from the vintage shop as she climbed the steps for a relaxing massage. Before she gets any of the benefits the massage ends when her massage therapist, Seetha is summoned downstairs for a medical emergency. The emergency was murder! Aimee McGillvray, the owner of Rainy Day Vintage, found her employee Joelle bleeding on the floor of the store but she died before help could arrive.

Pepper is distraught, if only she had ventured into the store before going upstairs she may have saved Joelle’s life. Warned by Detective Tracy to stay out of the investigation, she feels responsible and can’t help but to do her own inquiries.

_____

I am so happy this series has new life with a new publisher. If you missed the prior books, no fear, the author provides a cast list at the front of the book and provides plenty of background within these pages.

The author has created a strong protagonist in Pepper Reece. She is smart and caring with a background in human relations. Pepper has learned a lot about spices since this series began. She is a wonderful cook and has developed a great palate which helps her create some fantastic blends with the help of her staff. She has also developed a palate for sleuthing and that could be her downfall as sometimes she leaps into the fray without regard for her own safety.

Thankfully there is a great supporting cast who has saved her bacon time and time again. The supporting cast is her mother, friends, employees, a certain fisherman, and Detectives Tracy, Spencer, and new in this book Armstrong. Also, usually by her side is her lovable dog, Arf, who has great instincts. All are genuine and relatable. They each have a purpose and add to the story as a whole.

I do enjoy that Ms. Budewitz doesn’t back away from social issues. Pepper’s family has always been involved in helping people and doing the right thing and she lives her life the same way.

The story does blend the happenings of real life with the mystery of murder seamlessly. Readers will find a well-written and very well-plotted mystery. There are plenty of suspects and plenty of twists. Surprisingly I honed in on the right guilty party this time but didn’t understand the full motivation until it was spelled out for me. The author did her best to give up on my suspect in favor of another but I held tight to my choice.

The setting of this series, Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, is such a unique place and a treasure trove for this series. With each visit, we find new shops, nooks, and places I would love to visit.  The author’s descriptive style really brings the place alive. Someday, I hope to see it in person.

This is an excellent addition to this series. The characters are like old friends and they are wrapped up in a fine mystery. There are also mouth-watering recipes and spice notes at the back of the book I can’t wait to try. I will be anxiously awaiting book #5 and another trip to the Seattle Market. I hope we don’t have to wait too long.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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

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

 

Also by this Author


Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Follow the Author on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries @LeslieBudewitz 

Follow Leslie Budewitz on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries! 

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 19, 2019, 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.”

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May 292019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to have Dana Dratch stop by for a visit today
as part of her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour!

Guest Post

Life Lessons from Murder Mysteries
by Dana Dratch

I have to confess a certain weakness for mystery stories.

I blame Nancy Drew. With her cool car, absent but well-heeled father and coterie of willing friends, she was always getting herself in and out of trouble and solving whatever mysteries life threw her way.

Not a bad motto for life.

As I grew up, I added the Sherlock Holmes stories to my bookshelf, along with Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey, and Dorothy Sayers. And they were joined by the likes of Gregory Mcdonald, Robert B. Parker, M.C. Beaton, G.K. Chesterton, and Louise Penny.

Turns out, there’s a lot of very valuable information in mystery stories. And I’m not just talking untraceable poisons and where to hide the body. They also contain, in the words of one of my former editors, “news you can use.”

Here are a few life lessons I’ve picked up after years of reading mysteries — and writing a few along the way:

1. Be open and skeptical. Miss Marple was famous for this. Sure, she’d sit there and enjoy whatever tea and scones were placed in front of her. Along with a nice helping of gossip. But she never took any of it at face value. She watched, listened and learned. Then filed it away for later.She’d have made a great reporter.

2. Societal politeness is highly overrated. Golden Age mystery writers were diabolical. They managed to glamorize polite society and manners, while simultaneously roasting them. Why didn’t the Countess spit out the wine when she noticed it tasted off? Too déclassé. How come Harold didn’t call out for help when the murder suspect followed him into the darkened garden? But he wasn’t certain, you see. It wouldn’t have been quite cricket.

Sometimes, it pays to act on instinct. Scream like a girl, Harold.

3,. Stop for a good meal now and then. Robert B. Parker’s Spenser is no stranger to fine dining. And M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth may live in a tiny hamlet in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, but the place is wired for great food.

Once in a while you have to stop, take time out and refuel. The villains can wait.

4. Stick with what you love. How many detectives are warned not to pursue the case? Pretty much all of them. Do they listen? Not on your life.

They just keep following those clues (and the trail of dead bodies), until they finally catch the bad guys. Lucky for us.

~Dana

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Dana! 

Keep reading for my thoughts on Dana’s new book, Seeing Red.

 

About the Book


Seeing Red (A Red Herring Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington D.C. / Virginia
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716582
ISBN-13: 978-1496716583
Digital ASIN: B07H1VFL64

If it wasn’t for art thieves, spies and killers, Alex Vlodnachek’s life would be bliss.

Her freelance career is catching fire. Her relationship with B&B owner Ian Sterling is flirty and fun. She’s even attending a glittering cocktail party at his sprawling Victorian inn.

But, to this ex-reporter, something seems “off.” And it’s not the canapés. When Ian’s father vanishes, the enigmatic innkeeper asks for her discretion. And her assistance.

Meanwhile, Alex is having the opposite problem at her tiny bungalow: People keep piling in uninvited. Including a mysterious intruder found sleeping in her kitchen. Her grandmother, Baba, who shows up “to help”—with Alex’s own mother hot on her heels.

When the intrepid redhead discovers a body in the B&B’s basement and a “reproduction” Renoir in the library, she begins to suspect that Ian is more than just a simple hotel owner.

With editor pal Trip, brother Nick, and rescue-pup Lucy riding shotgun, Alex scrambles to stay one step ahead of disaster—and some very nasty characters.

Can she find the missing man before it’s too late? Or will Alex be the next one to disappear?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

OMG, hold on to your funny bones! Dana Dratch has penned another fantastic mystery filled with humor that you will be unable to put down.

First, Ian’s father goes missing in the middle of a party. Then, unusual discovery is made in Alex’s kitchen, followed by an unusual discovery in the inn’s basement freezer, which quickly goes missing. Then while Alex is trying to find a clue about where the innkeeper’s father may have gone she makes yet another unusual discovery and it doesn’t stop there. She arrives home to find that her brother has brought Baba back to help with the kitchen discovery and it isn’t long before there another visitor camped out in her living room. As if her house is already bursting at the seams her mother arrives starting a rant as soon as she walks in the door.

Needing to get out of the house she calls her friend Trip and they along with her dog Lucy embark on a journey to get a whole list of answers. She hopes to find them all before finding any more bodies or someone finding hers.

These characters are fun and created with depth. Again Baba stole my heart. The woman still can’t cook but she whips Alex’s house and everyone in it into shape within minutes. The rest of the characters I came to love in the first book, Confessions of a Red Herring, all return making me love them even more. Alex is a strong protagonist with a huge heart. Nick, Alex’s brother is getting his new business off the ground and a big help to Alex. Ian is hiding something so Alex starts to waiver in her trust of him, especially with all the dead bodies. Trip is the perfect best friend for Alex especially because she truly has her hands full this time.

Ms. Dratch gives readers a perplexing mystery to try to solve. Twists on top of twists had me spinning. I figured out only one very minuscule part before everything was revealed. The pace is quick and the suspense and humor are blended together in a very entertaining way.

Great characters, laugh out loud moments, and a complex mystery make for a wonderful read. Another Perfect Escape from Dana Dratch.

If you haven’t read the first book in the series, don’t miss any of the fun. Read that one first.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

Dana Dratch is a personal finance writer and the author of CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING and SEEING RED. She’s currently working on the third Alex Vlodnachek mystery adventure, RED HOT. Get updates at ConfessionsofaRedHerring.com.

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

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May 222019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to feature Ellery Adams’ new book today!


Murder in the Reading Room (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Virginia – Travels to North Carolina
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496715659
ISBN-13: 978-1496715654
Kindle ASIN: B07G6NJK5W

Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a paradise for book lovers who come from all over for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renowned resort—in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery . . .

Jane’s boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina’s historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she’s there to learn about luxury hotel management, but she’s also prowling around the breathtaking buildings and grounds looking for secret passageways and clues. One of the staff gardeners promises to be helpful . . . that is, until his body turns up in the reading room of his cottage, a book on his lap.

When she finally locates the kidnapped Edwin, his captor insists that she lead him back to Storyton Hall, convinced that it houses Ernest Hemingway’s lost suitcase, stolen from a Paris train station in 1922. But before they can turn up the treasure, the bell may toll for another victim . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Storyton Hall’s manager Jane Steward along with Landon Lachlan travel to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina for a Luxury Lodging Seminar, but they have an ulterior motive, Jane’s boyfriend,  Edwin Alcott is missing and they believe he is being held prisoner on the estate. Landon befriends one of the estate’s gardeners and he believes the man will help in their quest to find Edwin. They were interrupted on their visit, so they arrive at his cottage the next day to continue their conversation and for Jane to give the gardener a gift from Storyton Hall. Sadly, they find the man dead in his reading room with a book on his lap. They are crushed by the man’s death but they can’t give up on finding Edwin. Following certain clues, they do find Edwin but they then learn the find was a setup and are faced with a stunning surprise. They then realize the captor holds the cards and they must take him back to Storyton Hall. Jane just hopes on her home turf she can bring the captor down without anyone else losing their lives.

This book is a wonderful addition to this series and puts in motion some pivotal actions. For that reason, I want to state upfront that you need to read this series from the start in order. If you don’t I don’t think you will feel the full impact of this book.

The setting of the book/series, Storyton and Storyton Hall are things that truly sets this series apart from others. Storyton Hall is an extraordinary place, a book lover’s dream.

Great Gatsby Ballroom
Madame Bovary Dining Room
Isak Dinesen Safari Room
Daphne Du Maurier Morning Room
Jane Austen Parlor
Shakespeare’s Theater
Kipling Cafe
Milton’s Gardens
Lewis Carroll Croquet Lawn
Beatrix Potter Playroom
William Faulker Conference Room
Henry James Library
Ian Fleming Lounge
Robin Hood Archery Range
Green Gables Gazebo
Jules Verne Pool

The author describes each room, its artifacts, furniture, and books so expertly that they come alive and are so easy to visualize. In this story, she takes us to the Biltmore Estate and uses her talents to bring that setting to life as well.

Ms. Adams has crafted spectacular characters. Jane Steward is a strong protagonist. She is smart and can think on her feet. Thanks to Fins, she is also well trained in several ways. The Fins and all the residents and employees are so genuine and each has a role to play. Their relationships and dialogues are believable. They are engaging and memorable.

Within these pages is a complex mystery, one that has not only twists but surprises and secrets revealed.  Certain events really jerked at my heart, others had me thrilled and excited.  Pivotal actions that I mentioned above truly caught me off guard. More than once I thought that things were being wrapped up to end the series, but then I thought that maybe the author is taking the series in a different direction. I have enjoyed this series from the start and I certainly don’t want it to end so my fingers are crossed there will be more visits to Storyton Hall in the future. I think the author has more mysteries and surprises in store for us.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

My reviews of previous books in this series.

Murder in the Mystery Suite 

Murder in the Paperback Parlor

Murder in the Secret Garden

Murder in the Locked Library 

 To find out more about Ellery and all her books visit her webpage here.





GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Kensington 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.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Subscribe to Ellery’s Newsletter and receive 5 Bonus Giveaway 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 June 5, 2019, 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.”

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May 152019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to feature Peggy Ehrhart’s new book today!


Knit One, Die Two (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713311
ISBN-13: 978-1496713315
Kindle ASIN: B07G6RYBLH

When Arborville, New Jersey’s snooty theater scene is upstaged by a shocking murder, Pamela Paterson and her Knit and Nibble knitting club must act quickly to stop a killer from making an encore performance . . .

Knit and Nibble’s numbers are growing! In addition to a litter of adorable kittens, the knitting club just welcomed their newest member, Caralee Lorimer, who’s learning to knit for her upcoming role in A Tale of Two Cities. According to the amateur actress, the behind-the-scenes drama at the theater is getting downright catty, and Caralee wants a reckoning for Arborville’s pretentious suburbanites. Her claws are out, and just like her character in the play, Caralee is ready to name names. But before she can finish her snitchy stitches, Caralee is killed in a suspicious theater accident. Someone thinks they’ve staged a perfect murder, but Pamela and her Knit and Nibblers are ready to pounce on the real killer . . . before it’s curtains for anyone else!

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The Knit and Nibble knitting group has another new member. Caralee Lorimer is playing a part in the local theater group’s latest play, A Tale of Two Cities, and her character, knits on stage and she wants to play the part convincingly. She is not afraid to share her opinions of happenings around Arborville along with some things people would like to keep under wraps. She has rubbed several people the wrong way and made a few outright enemies. Pamela had no idea what Caralee was up to, but when the young woman is killed in a theater “accident” Pamela and the rest of the nibblers start to find out what she was really like. She obviously pushed someone too far and Pamela is sure the so-called accident was really a cleverly constructed murder. She just has to prove it and enlists her friend Bettina to help her investigate.

I really love the members of this knitting club. They take their nibbles as serious as their knitting. The group shares mouthwatering treats at a designated time at each of their meetings.  They are an eclectic group and always seem to have a good time when they get together. In this installment Pamela as a kindle of kittens to find homes for and when the group meets at her home, the little ones steal the hearts of more than one member. The kittens are as diverse as the group and I laughed at their antics throughout the book.

I have said in previous reviews that the author has a very descriptive writing style and for the most part, she describes things I am interested in, but this time she went a little over the top and was sometimes repetitive of things we had read just a few pages before. It messed with the flow of the book and took away from the story. A sub-plot mystery was also added that I felt really had no purpose. I really enjoyed the unique clue that set off the real investigation revealing some suspects thanks to Bettina’s husband, Wilfred. I was focused on a certain person early on and as more and more was revealed I knew I was right. I didn’t understand the whole reasoning as to why though until it was all spelled out for me.

I love the theme of this series. The characters in this series are strong and likable. The author needs to tighten up her writing to improve the flow and add more depth to the mystery. I am invested in these characters and need to see what happens to them next.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

You can read my review of Murder, She Knit here and Died in the Wool 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.


Coming October 29, 2019

 


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 May 29, 2019, 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.”

 

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