Sep 112019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to feature The House on Hallowed Ground by Nancy Cole Silverman today!

The House on Hallowed Ground (A Misty Dawn Mystery)
by Nancy Cole Silverman

 

About the Book


The House on Hallowed Ground (A Misty Dawn Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Henery Press (September 10, 2019)
Hardcover: 260 pages
ISBN-10: 163511554X
ISBN-13: 978-1635115543
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115515
ISBN-13: 978-1635115512
Digital ASIN: B07TKNGZ2Z

When Misty Dawn, a former Hollywood Psychic to the Stars, moves into an old craftsman house, she encounters the former owner, the recently deceased Hollywood set designer, Wilson Thorne.

Wilson is unaware of his circumstances, and when Misty explains the particulars of his limbo state, and how he might help himself if he helps her, he’s not at all happy. That is until young actress Zoey Chamberlain comes to Misty’s door for help.

Zoey has recently purchased The Pink Mansion, a historic Hollywood Hills home, and believes it’s haunted. But when Misty arrives to search the house, it’s not a ghost she finds, but a dead body.

The police are quick to suspect Zoey of murdering her best friend. Zoey maintains her innocence and fears her friend’s death may have been a result of the ghost…and a long-time family curse.

Together Misty and Wilson must untangle the secrets of The Pink Mansion or submit to the powers of the family curse.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This new series from Nancy Cole Silverman is off to an excellent start.

Psychic Misty Dawn has foretold many events for the Hollywood elite, but she is now at a crossroads in her life, broke and living in her VW van with her cat. When her client Denise Thorne comes up with a win-win for both of them it is hard to refuse. Misty can move into her deceased brother’s house until she decides what to do with it as long as Denise can receive readings whenever she wants. Misty excepts but quickly realizes she got a little more than she bargained for. Denise’s brother Wilson is still occupying the house, well at least his ghost is.

Unsure as to why he hasn’t moved on, Misty explains his limbo status and tells him if they work together she may be able to help him crossover. His services are needed almost immediately when Zoey Chamberlain, a young actress and a descendent of Hollywood royalty comes knocking on the door. She has purchased “The Pink Mansion” down the street from Wilson’s house. She believes the mansion is haunted and wants Misty’s help. As Misty arrives to check the place out she sees the police coming in and out of the mansion. A dead body has been found in the backyard. The deceased worked as Zoey’s body double and amidst Zoey’s cries of innocence, the police have named her as their top suspect.

Misty decides with Wilson’s help she can solve the case by finding the real killer and saving her new friend Zoey. She also explains his help may curry favor to help him move forward to his quest to get to the great beyond.

___

Over the years I have become more comfortable reading stories like this which I call paranormal light. Thank you, Joyce Lavene! An author, we lost much too soon. What I mean is that for the most part the ghosts are friendly and stay within the cozy mystery norms.

In this story, we encounter more than one ghost, and like the characters still living the author takes the time to develop them so well. I really like Misty. She is comfortable in her own skin and she knows her job and its limits. The relationship that evolves between her and Wilson is genuine, a  friendship really blooms between them. Some of their dialogues are laugh out loud funny and eventually they start work together so well. I have to say the way Wilson evolves over the course of the story was extraordinary and delightful to read. Denise is pushy and she and her brother clearly never saw eye to eye. Zoey is a very interesting character. Her life continues to pull her in different directions and the world’s eyes are watching everything she does.

The settings in this story, both Wilson’s craftsman and Zoey’s Pink Mansion really caught my interest. The Pink Mansion has a history and is what imagine would be perfect for a movie star. Wilson was a set designer and his home fits him and is filled with treasures he has accumulated. It is easy for Misty to move comfortably through both places and even make herself at home at Wilson’s.

The mystery uncovers so much and I don’t want to spoil anything so I am just going to say I loved every little twist the author puts into this story. I was totally consumed by it. The ending was priceless.

Well-written and plotted with great characters. I found the story to be very entertaining and I am anxious to see where Ms. Cole Silverman takes this series and the characters next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Nancy Cole Silverman 

Nancy Cole Silverman’s realization that she and Edgar Allen Poe shared the same birthday sparked her lifelong interest in mystery fiction. After a very successful career in the radio industry, she turned to writing, and her crime-focused novels and short stories have attracted readers throughout America. Her Carol Childs Mysteries series (Henery Press) features a single-mom whose “day job” as a reporter at a busy Los Angeles radio station often leads to long nights as a crime-solver. Silverman lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a thoroughly pampered standard poodle.

Author Links –
Facebook – GoodReads – Twitter: @NancyColeSilve1

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo 

Also by Nancy Cole Silverman

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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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Sep 042019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to welcome Kathleen Ernst back to Escape with Dollycas!

Reaching a Milestone

By Kathleen Ernst

 

As Chloe Ellefson walked from 1982 into 1870s Wisconsin, a white frame church emerged from the trees, prettily framed against a cloud-studded blue sky. The view alone was enough to make most visitors pause, appreciate the simple elegance of the restored church, perhaps even wonder about the lives of those women and men and children who had first worshiped within its walls. For Chloe, the historic site’s newest employee, the scene represented a fresh start.

I wrote those words seventeen years ago, hoping they might one day become the beginning of an adult mystery novel.

At the time I was busy writing historical fiction for young readers and working as a project director and scriptwriter for instructional videos broadcast on Wisconsin Public Television. I had little spare time.

Still, writing a series about an outdoor museum curator was something I truly wanted to do. I had once worked for a large historic site myself, and I missed that world. Writing “on spec,” with no promise of publication, I began work on the first Chloe Ellefson mystery, Old World Murder.

Because I had to fit writing Chloe’s story around contract work, it took me seven years to finish that first book. The delays actually served me well, I think, for they gave me lots of time to think about not only the first mystery, but my goals for the series.

Old World Murder was published by Midnight Ink in 2010. Astonishingly, I’m now celebrating publication of the 10th book in the series, Fiddling With Fate.

My goals for the series haven’t changed. First, I strive to give readers a satisfying armchair adventure and complex characters to root for. In addition, I want to feature real historic sites and museums in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest. I want to celebrate this region’s diverse ethnic heritage by focusing on different groups. And I want to spotlight the stories that artifacts and old buildings can tell.

I’m writing about stories and places I feel passionately about, and I hope it shows. I love hearing that the mysteries have inspired readers to visit a museum, try a traditional craft, or delve deeper into their own family history.

The very best part of writing ten Chloe Ellefson mysteries? Making so many friends along the way—sites staff and volunteers, folk artists, reenactors, bloggers, and other authors, and most especially the many readers who care about Chloe (and her fiancé, Roelke McKenna) as much as I do.

To celebrate this milestone, Chloe and Roelke travel a bit farther afield in Fiddling With Fate. Chloe accepts a grant that sends them to Norway to research folk dance and fiddle music. While there, she hopes to unravel the mystery of her own ancestry. Of course, all does not go smoothly! Nonetheless, Chloe and Roelke manage to celebrate a milestone of their own.

Heartfelt thanks to Dollycas for her years of support, and to the wonderful readers who have made it possible for me to hold the 10th Chloe Ellefson Mystery in my hand. Happy reading!

Thank you, Kathleen, for visiting and writing such wonderful stories!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Fiddling with Fate.


Fiddling with Fate (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin/Norway
Midnight Ink (September 8, 2019)
Paperback: 360 pages
ISBN-10: 0738760900
ISBN-13: 978-0738760902
Kindle ASIN: B07KN76WMH

Chloe has a devil of a time unraveling the mysteries of Norway’s fiddle and dance traditions

After her mother’s unexpected death, curator Chloe Ellefson discovers hidden antiques that hint at family secrets. Determined to find answers, Chloe accepts a consultant job in Norway, her ancestors’ homeland. She’s thrilled with the opportunity to explore Hardanger fiddle and dance traditions . . . and her own heritage.

Once their plane lands, however, Chloe and her fiancé, cop Roelke McKenna, encounter only disharmony. Chloe’s research reveals strong women and the importance of fiddle music in their lives. But folklore warns against “the devil’s instrument” and old evils may yet linger among the fjords and mountains. As Chloe fine-tunes her search for the truth, a killer’s desire to stop her builds to a deadly crescendo.

 Dollycas’s Thoughts

Chloe was dealing with some information she found out about her mother when her mother unexpectedly passed away. While going through her mother’s belongings she finds some unique heirlooms hidden away. These objects raise more questions than providing answers. Her mother was getting ready to travel to Norway to study Hardanger fiddle and dance traditions. With her death, Chloe is given the opportunity to take her place and her fiancé Roelke McKenna agrees to go along.

Their trip gets off to a rocky start when someone tries to steal the backpack Chloe is carrying at the airport soon after they landed. Able to hang on to her belongs, they try to concentrate on Chloe’s research with the added opportunity to research her mother’s background. The fiddle has a rich heritage, both good and bad and Chloe is anxious to learn all she can. But when a young woman is murdered Chloe enlists Roelke police instincts to help her solve all the mysteries. When they realize Chloe is the killer’s target things get really intense.

___

What I have loved about every book in this series is the way Kathleen Ernst melds her character’s lives with an extraordinary mystery while tying in a historic story too. This time she takes us to Norway to learn about immigrants that had migrated to Wisconsin in the 1920s. She takes her readers along with lead character Chloe on an adventure to learn about Norwegian history and the many facets like music and fiddling played in that history. The author’s research shines but it is all fictionalized in a way that is a pure joy to read.

Her words also permit readers to visualize clearly every place her characters travel. The outside museum, the trails, the hotel, the waterfalls, and to a spectacular place where Chloe learns so much. All the people they meet too are richly described and developed.

Chloe’s life takes place in the 1980s, no cell phones, no GPS, no Wikipedia, no internet, but she does have what I call “spidey sense”, certain places and things affect her physically. She learns much through her travels and experiences. I found myself fully immersed in this story wanting the learn right along with her. Both the present time and historic period had its own suspenseful mystery and some terrifying moments building to an unexpected ending.

Ms. Ernst is an amazing storyteller. Her imagination weaves a story filled with real history to take her readers on a delightful literary trip. The main characters are genuine, real and very engaging. It seems each book in this series becomes my new favorite because the author continues to top herself.

Fiddling with Fate takes two characters I care about on quite a journey. I loved every minute of it! Look for this book on my Best Reads List of 2019.

Each story is written to stand on its own but for maximum enjoyment, you should read them all.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and author. Her Chloe Ellefson mysteries reflect the decade she spent as a curator at a large outdoor museum, and feature historic sites in the Upper Midwest. Library Journal says, “Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series.” Kathleen has also written many mysteries for young readers. Honors for her work include a LOVEY Award and Agatha and Edgar nominations. Kathleen lives and writes in Wisconsin.

 Author Links – Website    Blog       Facebook

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.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Sign up for Kathleen’s Mailing List 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 publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 18, 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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Aug 282019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am delighted to feature Gayle Leeson’s latest Down South Cafe Mystery Today!

Apples and Alibis (A Down South Cafe Mystery Book)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Grace Abraham Publishing (August 13, 2019)
Print Length: 188 pages
ASIN: B07V1X8SW3

That’s the last time Amy agrees to do a favor for a stranger…

Down South Cafe owner, Amy Flowers is in over her head. Operating a cafe while hosting the first Farmers’ Market in Winter Garden has her swimming in apples. And when an elderly woman calls the cafe, pleading for a delivery for her upcoming party, Amy relents, feeling compelled to help the desperate customer.

But when she arrives, the woman is slumped over her kitchen table, and Amy is catapulted into the middle of a small town crime. Guilt-ridden for not arriving earlier to save the woman, she sets out to unravel the mystery surrounding the woman. Now, between running the cafe and dealing with the chaos of the farmers’ market, Amy is squeezing in a murder investigation, a run-in with her boyfriend’s mom, and her own mother’s quirky life decisions. Life can’t get any worse…or can it? This cafe owner needs a break–in the case.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Amy Flowers has an amazing idea for the community of Winter Garden and to bring more business to her Down South Cafe – A Farmer’s Market. She just didn’t realize how much added work it would be for her.

Then she receives a phone call for a food delivery, something the cafe doesn’t have enough staff to offer. The woman sounded desperate so Amy agrees to this one-time delivery. She also persuades her cousin Jackie to come along. But when they arrive they find the woman unconscious at the kitchen table.  The police arrive but Amy can’t leave the investigation to them. She feels responsible, in that she hadn’t arrived in time to save Gladys Pridemore.

So she has the Farmer’s Market on her plate where a special vendor gets her nose out of joint, plus a murder case. Add to that a new man in town she thinks is perfect for her mom, an AWOL employee, her Aunt Bess trying to add more pictures to her Crime Board on Pinterest, and dinner with her boyfriend’s parents.

A girl can only juggle so many things . . . good thing Amy is becoming an expert juggler.

Amy Flowers is just so darn nice which is important when you own a customer-driven business. This time her kindness lands her right in the middle of a murder case. She is surrounded by great friends and a few off-the-wall patrons and family members. They are all wonderfully developed and it is easy to get invested in their lives. Homer’s Heroes of the day always make me smile and most times I learn something too.  He is a quirky character that has shined in every book in this series.

The mystery had quite a few suspects, twists and complex clues. Like Amy, I try to see the best in people and I think that muddled my thinking. Thankfully, it didn’t muddle Amy’s. I was totally surprised when all was revealed. The author plotted this one out so well.

Oh, I can’t forget to mention the food, so deliciously described, it always leads to at least one dish in an upcoming meal at our house.

I zoomed right through this book. It had a fantastic flow and was totally entertained beginning to end!

This series is a must-read for culinary cozy lovers.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my reviews of The Calamity Cafe here, of Silence of the Jams here,
and of Honey Baked Homicide here.

About Gayle Leeson

About the Author

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.

The Cake Decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The heroine, Daphne, has returned to her hometown of Brea Ridge to open a cake baking and decorating business and is wrestling with the question of whether or not one can go home again. She enjoys spending time with her sister, nephew, and niece, but she and her mother have a complicated relationship that isn’t always pleasant. Daphne has also reconnected with her high school sweetheart and is pursuing a rekindled romance while desperately trying to put her past behind her.

Kerry Vincent, Hall of Fame Sugar Artist, Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show Director, and Television Personality says the series is “a must read for cake bakers and anyone who has ever spent creative time in the kitchen!”

Says Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author, “One day I found myself happily reading . . . mysteries by Gayle Trent. If she can win me over . . . she’s got a great future.”

The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. Marcy Singer left her home in San Francisco, along with the humiliation of being left at the altar, in order to move to Tallulah Falls and realize her dream of owning her own shop. She takes along her faithful companion, a one-year-old Irish wolfhound named Angus O’Ruff. She makes many new friends in Tallulah Falls, but she also makes a few enemies. Thankfully, her best friend Sadie MacKenzie and her husband Blake run the coffeehouse right down the street from Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch; and Detective Ted Nash always has her back.

Publishers Weekly says, “Fans of the genre will take kindly to Marcy, her Irish wolfhound, Angus O’Ruff, and Tallulah Falls. This is a fast, pleasant read with prose full of pop culture references and, of course, sharp needlework puns.”

Pat Cooper of RT Book Reviews says, “If her debut here is any indication, Lee’s new series is going to be fun, spunky and educational. She smoothly interweaves plot with her character’s personality and charm, while dropping tantalizing hints of stitching projects and their history. Marcy Singer is young, fun, sharp and likable. Readers will be looking forward to her future adventures.” (RT Book Reviews nominated The Quick and the Thread for a 2010 Book Reviewers’ Choice Award in the Amateur Sleuth category)

I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Author Links – Webpage      Facebook      Twitter     Pinterest    Instagram

Purchase Links – Amazon      B&N    Kobo


Also by Gayle Leeson

Writing as Gayle Trent



Writing as Amanda Lee



Just click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.GIVEAWAY

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
Book will be sent from Amazon.
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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.

Sign Up for Gayle’s Sneak Peaks for 3 Bonus Entries

Leave a comment for Gayle for 5 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 September 11, 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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Aug 212019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to welcome Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli back to Escape With Dollycas today!

Starting a Novel When You Would Rather Do Anything else . . .
By Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli

I am trying to begin another novel.  There is a contract and I tend to take contracts seriously, but I have no ideas, nobody who deserves killing at the moment. All my trio of women—including smart-mouthed Zoe Zola—want to do is hang out, maybe go to the beach, or sit outside and watch the flowers bloom.  They are no help at all and I have no one else to turn to.

What I’m doing is giving myself a couple of days to see if my brain snaps back into orderly thoughts while I cut down weeds in the garden and have a talk with the doe and her twins who hang around with their eyes fixed on the daylilies.  We’ve had an agreement in the past that she won’t come into the garden until September first—when I turn it over to her—but she seems to be jumping the gun this year (or is that a horrible pun considering hunting season isn’t far behind?).

Anyway, my talk with the doe turned out the way you might think it would so I got out the Deer-Away and sprayed the lilies but still had no idea of anybody who deserved doing in at the moment—except, of course, that perfidious deer and I wouldn’t because I consider her a friend.

The next thing to do is watch “ID” on television and see if any of those real killers spark anything but I detest them so violently they don’t even qualify for a nuanced, carefully constructed demise.

Then I read books by other mystery writers.  Then I read my own books.  Then I swore I wouldn’t read another book and was happy when a man I used to know when I worked in real estate called to ask if I knew that Jimmy Hoffa was buried only a few miles from me.  He got the story from a man he met in a bar and swore it was true but I hurried him off the phone and decided nothing I was doing did me any good and nobody was going to help me.

Sleep is what did it finally.  Lots of sleep.  And eating things I like to eat.  I didn’t give committing murder another thought and then the roofer came to put a new roof on my house and dumped old shingles and wood all over my garden.  Evidently, he stood up there and flung the whole mess as far as he could, taking out most of the daylilies which could have fed a doe and her twins for the entire month.

It was that night, while I was sorrowing over the daylilies, that an idea struck me.  It doesn’t involve a roofer.  It’s about a private orphanage which used to be back in the woods around here—only a ruin now—and the women who ran it, and two little girls sent to live there and one coming up missing.  Then a big X marked into a tree, and . . .

Guess it’s time to stop writing this.  I’m pretty certain of my next victim now . . . a woman who used to run a private orphanage—her body is floating in the lake . . . and that big X, stretched and worn . . . marking something nobody wants to think about until a couple more bodies turn up in strange places.

What a relief!  Nothing like a floating body to get my brain started.

Or food.

Thank you, Elizabeth for visiting today! 

Keep reading for my thoughts on Elizabeth’s new Little Library Mystery!


And Then They Were Doomed: A Little Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Michigan
Crooked Lane Books (August 13, 2019)
Hardcover: 323 pages
ISBN-10: 1643850008
ISBN-13: 978-1643850009
Kindle ASIN: B07HM9NFXH

Zoe Zola is one of ten invitees to an Agatha Christie symposium. Tempers flare…and then there are nine. Can Jenny Weston save Zoe from murder on the Upper Peninsula?

Little Person author Zoe Zola believes that one of the unluckiest things in life is to receive an invitation—in the form of a letter edged in black—to an Agatha Christie symposium at an old Upper Peninsula hunting lodge. Her reluctance dissipates when she learns that the organizer is named Emily Brent—the name of a character poisoned by cyanide in Christie’s And Then There Were None.

As a dreary rain soaks the U.P., Zoe and nine other Christie scholars—each of whom bears a vague resemblance to one of the classic mystery novel’s characters—arrive at the lodge. At the opening night dinner, arguments flare over the experts’ discordant theories about Christie. Next morning, the guests find one particularly odious man has gone—whereabouts and reasons unknown. Such a coincidental resemblance to a work of fiction is surely impossible; therefore, it appears to be possible.

As the guests disappear, one by one, Zoe resolves to beat a hasty retreat—but her car won’t start. She calls her friend, amateur sleuth/little librarian Jenny Weston, but Jenny will have to wait out a storm off Lake Superior before she can come to the rescue. If Zoe’s to stay alive to greet Jenny when she eventually arrives, she’ll have to draw on everything she knows about Agatha Christie’s devilish plots in Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli’s fourth tantalizing Little Library mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a great story using Dame Agatha Christie as its theme. Zoe Zola gets invited to participate in a symposium that will be webcast to a group of subscribers. Zoe is nervous about accepting because the invitation envelope is edged in black, just like funeral notices she and her mother received over the years from their estranged family. When neighbor Jenny Weston decides she needs to get away for a few days and plans to visit her sister near where the symposium is taking place, Zoe decides to attend.

When Jenny and Zoe get into the Upper Peninsula it is raining and both the lodge where the symposium is taking place and her sister’s camp is out in the boonies. Zoe is nervous when Jenny drops her off but soon the other participants arrive for a total of 10. Zoe is anxious to get to the true reason for her being there.

The leader, Emily Brent, the same name as a character killed in Christie’s And Then There Were None and her helper also with another questionable name try to keep the participants under control but they have various opinions about Christie’s work and fame. When one of the scholars is gone the next morning the group is down to nine, the correlations to Christie’s And Then There Were None were not lost on Zoe Zola.  When another is said to have left, Zoe is ready to leave herself, but there is no way to contact Jenny. The visit they had planned is rained out so she is stuck. She just hopes the sisters will arrive before she is the one to disappear.

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli sure sets a spooky/scary scene. An isolated lodge in the middle of Michigan’s north woods in plagued by rain, rain, and more rain. Roads get washed out and fog gives everything a dreary haze. The lodge itself is pretty rustic and not somewhere I would want to stay on a sunny day, but it is the perfect place for a Christie-Esque mystery to play out.

Little person Zoe Zola has not had an easy life and that is the focus in this story. It brings so much clarity to this character. The characters brought into her life in this story are an eclectic group and not very likable but again perfect for this story. Little Librarian Dora has a minor role again as Zoe takes the lead with some assistance from Dora’s daughters. Jenny and Zoe have become fast friends and share some similar traits like stubbornness and perseverance. Zoe takes some risks that were questionable but I understand needing to get away from something to clear your head even if there are animals and humans that could be a risk.

This book is darker than previous books in the series but I loved that it was based on Agatha Christie. The author has laid out a fantastic plot that had a great flow and some epic twists. I do think the eerie ending pushes the rules of the cozy realm to the limit. It was unusual and unexpected but very compelling. The book was hard to put down, but past the 3/4 mark, it was impossible.

While the author does her best to give background so the book can be read on its own, I really stress that the books in this series should be read in order to understand the characters, their lives and how they relate to each other.

And Then They Were Doomed was an interesting foray for the characters from Bear Falls. However, the characters they meet gave me a case of the heebie-jeebbies. Nevertheless, this was A Perfect Escape.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of A Most Curious Murder hereShe Stopped for Death here,
In Want of a Knife here.

 

About the Author

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli lives in Mancelona, MI. She has published ten novels, one work of non-fiction, and several short stories, which have been produced onstage, read on NPR, and published in several newspapers. For many years she taught writing at the International Women’s Writing Guild summer program at Skidmore College and currently teaches at Northwestern Michigan College.


Written by Elizabeth Lee

 


Thanks to the publisher I am giving away 1 Print Copy!

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

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Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End September 4, 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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Aug 142019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled today to feature Needled to Death
by Wisconsin Author Annelise Ryan!

Needled to Death (A Helping Hands Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (July 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719433
ISBN-13: 978-1496719430
Kindle ASIN: B07K5Y2PCS

As a colleague of deputy coroner Mattie Winston, social worker Clothilde “Hildy” Schneider is no stranger to unsolved murders at Sorenson General Hospital. Except this time, it’s up to her to crack the case . . .

Motivated by her own difficult past, Hildy has an unparalleled commitment to supporting troubled clients through grief and addiction in Sorenson, Wisconsin. But when a distraught group therapy member reveals disturbing details about her late son’s potential murder, Hildy goes from dedicated mental health professional to in-over-her-head amateur sleuth . . .

Alongside her loyal therapy Golden Retriever, Hildy stumbles through incriminating clues—and an unlikely partnership with Detective Bob Richmond, the irresistibly headstrong cop who shares her passion for helping others. With signs of foul play surfacing all over town, can Hildy and Detective Richmond pinpoint the deadly traits of a sharp-witted killer before another seat gets filled at grief therapy?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Still dealing with my own grief for a loved one I was a little nervous about reading this book but I really wanted to support the author from my home state. An author whose own books have brightened some of my dark days I decided to push ahead knowing that if it got to be too much I could always stop. I am so glad I started reading because a few uncomfortable moments at the beginning of the story were clearly outweighed by the rest of the story. 

Clothilde “Hildy” Schneider works as a social worker at the Sorenson General Hospital. She also leads a grief and addiction support group at the hospital.  It is there she meets Sharon Cochran, a mom who lost her son to what the police have ruled a suicide. Sharon doesn’t believe her son took his own life and she begs Hildy and the support group to help her prove it. She feels her son was murdered and no one is paying attention.

First, Hildy checks in with the Medical Examiner’s office and finds some inconsistencies.  She then visits Sharon’s home and finds some interesting drawings and the young man’s computer. Armed with both she confronts Detective Bob Richmond in hopes he will share information and reopen the case. He realizes she may be onto something and agrees to work with her to find out what really happened to Toby Cochran.

I immediately liked Hildy and her open heart. She has great instincts and she doesn’t back down. She also has a wonderful golden retriever named Roscoe, who works as a comfort animal when needed. We also meet Hildy’s neighbor P.J., a very adult 11-year-old who walks Roscoe several times a day and even gives Hildy relationship advice and fashion tips. The author also sets up a prospective love triangle with Hildy, Detective Richmond, and evidence technician Jonas Kriedeman. Jonas is raising his 7-year-old daughter on his own. She is also very smart and independent for her young age.

But I really identified with Sharon Cochran. I could feel her pain. No matter how your child died the grief is with you the rest of your life. Life is never normal again. Ms. Ryan portrayed that very well in this character.

All the recurring characters are complex and I am excited to see them evolve as this series continues. Deputy Coroner Mattie Winston from the author’s other series does make a cameo appearance but this series stands completely on its own.

I really enjoyed the way Bob and Hildy worked together and the premise of this series means it is not just a one-time thing. This murder investigation was not an easy solve and had some truly surprising moments that had me holding my breath. My focus was in the right ballpark but I struck out putting everything together until it was clearly spelled out for me.

The icing on the cake was that this series takes place in my home state not too far from where I live. I loved recognizing all the landmarks as we followed along with Hildy and Bob as they chased down clues.

The Helping Hands Mystery series is off to a champion start! Needled to Death was a Perfect Escape and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the pseudonym for the author of the Mattie Winston Mysteries and the Mac’s Bar Mysteries (written as Allyson K. Abbott). She has written more than 200 published articles, worked as a book reviewer for Barnes & Noble, and is an active member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.

Needled to Death is her first book in a new mystery series, A Helping Hands Mystery, featuring a social worker at the Sorenson Hospital who solves mysteries.

Annelise currently works as a registered nurse in an ER. She can be reached at www.mattiewinston.com. Her books have garnered numerous accolades, most recently she has been honored by the Wisconsin Library Association as a Wisconsin.

Author Links – FacebookGoodReadsAmazon

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

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.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 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
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Contest Will End August 28, 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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Aug 072019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to welcome Julia Buckley today!

My Hungarian Grandma

By Julia Buckley

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

The author with her Grandma in the 1980s

One character in my new mystery, DEATH IN A BUDAPEST BUTTERFLY, has garnered some attention because she is interesting and possibly psychic. She is a Hungarian immigrant who raised her family in America and adapted to a new way of life despite spending all of her formative years in her home country.

Parts of this character, Juliana Horvath, were based on memories I have of my own grandmother, Julia Vig, who came to this country right around 1920 to keep house for her father, who had traveled to America before her. She traveled by ship, alone, to a country she knew nothing of, and a father she had not seen in years. She was seventeen years old.

I only knew my grandmother in her later life, and my fictional Juliana, too, is an old woman.

My grandmother was full of personality. She was loving, sometimes strict, religious but also superstitious, and extremely talented in the areas of needlework and cooking.

I have not tasted my grandmother’s food in close to forty years, but I have FOOD MEMORY—that thing which allows you to recall the best foods of your childhood as though the flavor is still on your tongue. I remember the smell of her kitchen, the taste of her cooking, the wonderful blend of onions and paprika and chicken stock and pastry.

My grandma did not use recipes, at least not ones that she would write down for us. She had a magical sense of what was needed, and she threw it all into a pot and created delicious things. One of my favorite memories of her involves the sleep-overs my sister and I would have at her house (we were the two youngest and probably the only ones not in school at this point). We would sleep in her “hotel” and we got a room to ourselves, known as the “purple room” because of its purple bedspread. We got to unpack our things in the big old dresser, and it felt quite cosmopolitan to us little girls who pretended we were in some Ginger Rogers movie.

In the morning we would go down the solid wood staircase and travel to my grandmother’s kitchen on a wave of some heavenly aroma. She would have cereal for us, but she would be at work, even in the early hours, making noodles. All of her noodles were homemade, rolled out from dough and cut into tiny pieces, then dried so that they could be used in various recipes. She would have a huge pot of chicken soup going; this became our lunch. It was filled with vegetables from her garden, healthy doses of chicken, and her little noodles. (In her early Chicago days, she even killed and plucked the chicken herself).

The book details all of my favorite foods (they become the favorites of Hana, my narrator) and they will make you hungry.

It’s hard to find a good Hungarian restaurant these days, but even if I could locate one near me, the chef would have a very tough act to follow. The reality is that no one cooks like Grandma did, and the best way I can pay homage to her food is to write about it.

~Julia

Thank you so much, Julia, for visiting today!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Death in a Budapest Butterfly.


Death in a Budapest Butterfly (A Hungarian Tea House Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Illinois
Berkley (July 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1984804820
ISBN-13: 978-1984804822
Kindle ASIN: B07K5ZJ2QL

Hana Keller serves up European-style cakes and teas in her family-owned tea house, but when a customer keels over from a poisoned cuppa, Hana and her tea-leaf reading grandmother will have to help catch a killer in the first Hungarian Tea House Mystery from Julia Buckley.

Hana Keller and her family run Maggie’s Tea House, an establishment heavily influenced by the family’s Hungarian heritage and specializing in a European-style traditional tea service. But one of the shop’s largest draws is Hana’s eccentric grandmother, Juliana, renowned for her ability to read the future in the leaves at the bottom of customers’ cups. Lately, however, her readings have become alarmingly ominous and seemingly related to old Hungarian legends…

When a guest is poisoned at a tea event, Juliana’s dire predictions appear to have come true. Things are brought to a boil when Hana’s beloved Anna Weatherley butterfly teacup becomes the center of the murder investigation as it carried the poisoned tea. The cup is claimed as evidence by a handsome police detective, and the pretty Tea House is suddenly endangered. Hana and her family must catch the killer to save their business and bring the beautiful Budapest Butterfly back home where it belongs.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to Maggie’s Tea House where Hana, her mother Maggie, and grandmother Juliana, serve cakes and tea focused on the family’s Hungarian heritage. A real treat is that Juliana can read tea leaves and predict the future. The ladies have a vast tea service collection for their customers and Hana has a private collection too. She just added a beautiful butterfly cup, one that she has put on display at their latest event.

With the event well underway Maggie notices her cup is not where she left, but on a table being used by a woman, she doesn’t recognize. Her grandmother is busy reading leaves and Hana overhears some ominous predictions. She looks back to see the woman who was using her cup hurrying off to the bathroom. After a few minutes, Hana heads that way to find the woman dead.

Detective Erik Wolf arrives on the scene, the butterfly cup is bagged as evidence and he and his partner start getting everyone’s information. When he does start questioning witnesses he asks for Hana, Maggie, and Juliana’s help because they are familiar with the woman and the Hungarian language. With their business labeled as a crime scene, they agree but that doesn’t stop them from doing some snooping on their own.

This series is off to a fine start!

Hana Keller is 26 years old and still single much to her mother and grandmother’s dismay. She lives with her cats Anthony & Cleopatra and she has a passion for promoting her family’s Hungarian culture. Her mother Maggie is the force behind the tea house, but her grandmother is also very involved. I really enjoyed getting to know them, but feel we have just scratched the surface of who they are. There is a thread that purposed that Hana may have a gift similar to her grandmother that seems to have skipped her mother’s generation. I am interested to see how this is featured in future stories.

We are also meet several women/suspects from the neighborhood, the hunky Detective Wolf and his partner. Detective Benton. We are also introduced to pastry chef Francois, Hana’s brother Domo, and her dad too. It is a large cast but the author takes time to make each unique and has left plenty of room for growth. There are some sparks between Hana and Detective Wolf but it is very early in the series and hard to classify as a relationship YET, but we know where they are headed. 🙂

The mystery was filled with intrigue. I did like that Hana and Detective Wolf stayed in constant communication and she passed on everything she uncovered. I was also pleased that the family was not automatically pegged as suspects and were treated with respect whenever they needed to answer questions. There were twists and turns too and clues were released in unique ways. The author’s detailed writing style played well for this type of plot.

The Hungarian theme and language continued throughout the story. I had known a little about the culture and was happy to learn more. When Detective Wolf was around it was necessary for words to be translated and as a reader, not familiar with the language that was appreciated. I love that recipes are included in the back of the book. To learn that Grandma Juliana is partly based on the author’s grandmother brought me even more joy about this book. What a wonderful to pay tribute to someone important in her life.

I found Death in a Budapest Butterfly to be delightfully entertaining. I want to get to know these characters better and visit the tea room again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Julia Buckley is the author of the Undercover Dish mysteries and the Writer’s Apprentice mysteries. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the Chicago Writer’s Association. She has taught high school English for twenty-nine years.

Also By Julia Buckley


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Sign up for Julia Buckley’s Newsletter 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 August 21, 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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Jul 312019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to feature Let’s Fake A Deal today by Sherry Harris! 


Let’s Fake a Deal (A Sarah W. Garage Sale Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (July 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716981
ISBN-13: 978-1496716989
Kindle ASIN: B07K5ZMBZB

SHE’S GOT THE GOODS . . .
As a former military spouse, Sarah Winston’s learned a little about organizing, packing, and moving. Her latest project sounds promising: a couple of tech-industry hipsters, newly arrived in her Massachusetts town, who need to downsize. Unfortunately, when Sarah tries to sell their stuff, she discovers it’s all stolen—and she’s the unwitting fence.

BUT SARAH’S PROBLEMS ARE JUST BEGINNING
Michelle, an old friend of Sarah’s from the Air Force base, is in line for a promotion—but not everyone is happy about it, and she’s been hit with an anonymous discrimination complaint. When one of the men she suspects is behind the accusations turns up dead in Michelle’s car, Sarah needs to clear Michelle’s name—as well as her own for selling hot merchandise. And she’ll have to do it while also organizing a cat lady’s gigantic collection of feline memorabilia, or they’ll be making room for Sarah in a jail cell . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah Winston barely opens a garage sale for a couple wanting to downsize when the police show up. The couple is nowhere to be found and everything she was trying to sell for them appears to be stolen. Before she knows it she is on the ground and under arrest. As she tries to find the couple that set her up she is also trying to clear her friend Michelle from murder charges. Michelle was up for a promotion with the Air Force when someone files a complaint against her. One of the men she had pegged for the discrimination report turns up dead in HER car! Sarah is also working on a fabulous feline garage sale too. That is if she stays out of jail long enough for the Cat-tastic Garage Sale to take place.

Hold on tight, Sherry Harris has twisted together a terrific mystery that is impossible to put down!

The first scene grabbed my attention with a premise I never would have thought of and turns Sarah’s business inside out. Then we move to Michelle’s issue which is too prevalent in the military today sans the murder of course. This author doesn’t shy away from hot topics. She gives a wonderful fictional spin that makes her readers aware and informed.

These characters stole my heart back in the first book Tagged for Death and they continue to impress me book after book. Sarah continues to grow after her divorce while trying to start her new relationship with Seth. Sarah does have a huge heart and is very trusting, which was a big flaw this time. Small towns just aren’t what they used to be anymore.

I love the way recurring characters pop up even in small ways in each story. Whenever Mike “Big Cheese” Titone appears on the scene it always makes me smile. He is not your typical mobster when Sarah is involved. The dialogues between all the characters are excellent and laced with the perfect amount of humor.

This mystery is carefully plotted and develops in a surprising way. Ms. Harris faked me out more than once. Every twist and turn had my mind spinning. I was in the dark right up to the fantastic final reveal and perfectly delighted to be so.

This is a brilliant addition to this series. It is my new favorite! In fact, it will be the next book on my Bests Reads list for 2019! I absolutely loved it from beginning to end!

I do want to say each book can be read all on its own, but Sarah Winston is an extraordinary protagonist and to truly understand her and where she is in her life now I recommend reading all the books in order. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Agatha Award-nominated author, Sherry Harris, started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series.

Find out more about Sherry on her webpage here.


Coming December 31, 2019


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 Print Copy to giveaway! 
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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!

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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End August 14, 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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Jul 242019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to have Miranda James stop by today! 

For Old Times’ Sake
by Miranda James

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

I love old movies. Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, Barbara Stanwyck, Fred McMurray, Rosalind Russell, Carole Lombard, Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – these were the great stars of Hollywood’s Golden Era (and yes I know I’ve left off a lot of names, so you can add your own favorites to the list). My favorite genre of movies from this period is screwball comedy. I love the fast-paced stories, the rapid-fire dialogue, and the subtle ways that sexual attraction is handled.

My favorite screwball comedies, you ask? Well, Bringing Up Baby tops the list, but close to the top are gems like The Awful Truth and Ball of Fire. I have seen my favorites numerous times. I like to re-watch my favorites for the same reasons that I like to re-read favorite books. It’s simply spending time with old friends, particularly old friends whom you can trust not to disappoint you.

There is at least one screwball murder mystery, The Mad Miss Manton, with Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda. It’s actually a fairly clever plot, and it’s well worth seeking out. So is The Lady Eve with the same two stars; it has crime as part of the plot, and Stanwyck and Fonda are superb in it.

When I was trying to come up with a title for the latest “Cat in the Stacks” novel, I found a list of movies titles that had been changed so that each had some kind of cat reference. The one that immediately attracted my attention was The Pawful Truth. It’s obviously a take-off on one of my favorites, named above, and that set me thinking.

What if? These are the two most useful words for a mystery writer. What if I took elements from the comic movie and used them in the plot of a murder mystery? How would that turn out?

The result was the latest book in the series, The Pawful Truth. If you’ve seen the movie, I hope you will enjoy some of the in-jokes in the story. If you haven’t seen it, I hope you’ll watch it at some point. It’s enormous fun, and I hope you also have fun with the story I have told.

~Miranda

Oh, Miranda, I love old movies too! I haven’t seen The Awful Truth in years. I may have to rectify that soon 🙂

Thank you, for visiting today!

_______________________________________

Keep reading for my thoughts about A Pawful Truth.

 


The Pawful Truth (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
Berkley (July 16, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0451491122
ISBN-13: 978-0451491121
Kindle ASIN: B07JLMQHRF

In addition to his library duties and his role as doting grandad, Charlie has enrolled in an early medieval history course offered by young, charismatic professor Carey Warriner. Charlie feels a bit out of place- his fellow classmates are half his age- except for Dixie Bell Compton, another ‘mature’ student. When Charlie hears an angry exchange between her and their professor, his interest in piqued. He’s even more intrigued when she shows up at his office asking for a study partner. Charlie turns her down and is saddened to learn just a few days later that Dixie has been killed.

Charlie wonders if Professor Warriner had anything to do with Dixie’s death. Warriner is married to a fellow professor who happens to be a successful author. There are rumors on campus that their marriage was on the rocks. Was Dixie’s death the result of a lovers’ triangle gone bad? Charlie soon discovers that the professor’s wife may have some secrets of her own and his suspect list is only getting longer.

As he and Diesel step further into the tangled web of relationships, someone else is viciously killed. Whose jealousy finally erupted into murderous rage? Was it a crime of passion or is there another more sinister motive? Charlie races to unravel this mystery: and to draw out the culprit, he may just have to put his own life on the line…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Grandpa, Dad, Archive Librarian, Landlord, Student, and Diesel’s person, Charlie Harris has a very full life. Being a student is new as he is auditing an early medieval history course at the college taught by Professor Carey Warriner. Charlie is not the only “mature student” taking the class. Nowhere close to his age but older than the rest in the class Dixie Bell Compton is taking the class for credit and offers to be his study partner. Since he is just auditing the class he turns her down. Charlie is very impressed with Warriner’s lecture skills but after overhearing the professor’s after-class conversation with Dixie and the rumors he has heard about him and his wife, Irene, another professor, he is concerned about his other qualities. When Dixie is killed a few days later he truly wonders if Warriner is involved.

Charlie also takes in a new boarder, a man Stewart and Haskell met at the gym. He also has ties to the college. Dan Bellamy teaches history with a focus on Regency England. He is close to Irene Warriner who is also an author with books set in the time Bellamy specializes in.

All the rest of the cast we have come to love over the course of this series return including Dante, Stewart’s poodle, my favorite fictional feline, Diesel, and the new kitten in residence, Ramses. We are also introduced to a large number of people as the story proceeds in Charlie’s effort to investigate. I was thrilled to see Miss Dickce Ducote make more than a cameo appearance.

The first part of the book gives background for new readers and introduces some of the new characters all before the murder occurs. Since Charlie is now known for his investigations people seem to come out of the woodwork to offer their assistance. There are plenty of suspects and Charlie works hard to pare those down as quickly as possible. Diesel also offers his opinions with a variety of chirps and head bumps. Fans of the series realize his talents and in this installment, he gave a clear indication of who he had his sights on earlier than usual.

I do enjoy the way Ms. James constructs her stories. We get to drop in on the entire Harris family and catch up with them. His daughter-in-law was having a hard time in a previous book and we learn that she is still working through something many women deal with and that there is no quick fix. I appreciate the way all the family storylines continue to evolve and are allowed to run their course. She entangles the murder mystery in key and meaningful ways. The pace she sets is very comfortable at first but as we get deeper into the story and clues start to fall into place the pace picks up until we get to the big reveal. At that point, pages can’t flip fast enough and the reader’s heartrates increase.

This entire series is wonderful. Miranda James is an excellent author. Her characters are some of my cozy favorites. Seeing that cat on the cover always brings a huge smile to my face. You truly can’t go wrong with any book by this author.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Find out more about Miranda James and her books on her webpage here.

Use the search feature to find my reviews for all of the Cats in the Stacks Mysteries.



Coming January 2020

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 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 August 7, 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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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 

Purchase Links

AMAZON     BARNES & NOBLE

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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