Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Raiders Of The Campsite (A Southwest Exposure Mystery) by Jodi Linton #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to feature Raiders of the Campsite by Jodi Linton today!

 


Raiders Of The Campsite (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
by Jodi Linton

About Raiders of the Campsite


Raiders Of The Campsite (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New Mexico
Independently Published (May 13, 2021)
Print length: ~200 pages
Digital ASIN: B08D2P3SB6

Welcome to Bushwhack, New Mexico: home to tourists, the great outdoors, and murder…

 

Camping for spring break should be a piece of cake for outdoor guide Andie Sullivan. She has her best friend and the sheriff tagging along as chaperones for the Wilderness Explorers. It should be all S’mores and ghost stories…but then Vivian is attacked and they discover a corpse.

 

Dang. The campsite went up in smoke.

 

With everything at stake, Andie must find answers about the attack—she has to dig deep into a community she’s called home since birth by asking all the right questions, sometimes at not the right time. As she tracks down clues to a suspect, Andie stumbles on a secretive treasure hunting group in Bushwhack. But one wrong move and Andie could become her own buried treasure.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Andie Sullivan is taking the Wilderness Explorers camping and Sheriff Zac Mars and her BFF Vivian have come along as chaperones. The fun barely begins and Vivian is attacked. While trying to rescue her they discover a dead body. Thankfully Vivian will survive but there is something fishy going on in Bushwhack. Her brother Kyle cuts his Spring Break short to come back and help her catch a killer who seems to have ties to Vivian’s husband and a group he belongs to. Did he attack his own wife? Andie needs to dig up all the clues before someone else ends up dead.


Jodi Linton has created a great group of characters for her readers to love. Andie is a wonderful friend and a capable amateur sleuth. I love the dance and banter between her and the good sheriff. Will they or won’t they become a couple? They do make a good investigative team when they share information. This time they are truly tested. With each book in this series, I fall a little harder for these characters. They are fun, likable, and realistic. The dialog can be full of snark and make me laugh out loud or downright serious as need be.

Ms. Linton takes her readers on quite an adventure and Andie strives to find the motive for the suspects on her list. She makes a couple of wrong assumptions and gets herself into some dire straights where some bullets fly. I did love all the action but was nervous for Andie. That girl is darn lucky!

This story is only about 150 pages and it takes off at a good clip and doesn’t let up. It is easily read all in one sitting which is good because it would be darn hard to put down.

Raiders of the Campsite is an excellent addition to this series. I felt like it ended much too soon, I was not quite ready to wrap up my visit so I am really looking forward to the next Southwest Exposure Mystery. Nightmare On The Bike Trail will hit shelves in October and I can’t wait.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Jodi Linton

Jodi Linton is an author of several romance novels and cozy mysteries. She pens funny, romantic, whodunnits during her days in between being a carpool mom. She lives in Texas with her husband, with who she runs the family day business with and two kids. When she isn’t writing her next page turner, she likes to delve into her hobby of finding all the cool, new makeup products to buy.

Author Links 

Facebook     Website   Twitter    BookBub

Youtube   Instagram  Jodi’s Book Corner   Newsletter

Purchase Link: Amazon  B&N    Kobo     iBooks


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
June 14 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
June 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 15 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
June 15 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 16 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
June 17 – Baroness’ Book Trove – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 18 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 18 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 20 – Laura’s Interests – GUEST POST
June 21 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
June 22 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST
June 23 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
June 24 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
June 25 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 26 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
June 27 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEWHave you signed up to be a Tour Host?Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!
Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Interviews

Cozy Wednesday with Tricia L. Sanders Author of Flea Market Felony (The Mattie and Mo Mysteries) #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!


Flea Market Felony (The Mattie and Mo Mysteries)
by Tricia L. Sanders

I reviewed this book back on April 6 and was chair dancing when the author asked for a Great Escapes Book Tour. She also agreed to be my guest today for an Author Interview!


Hi Tricia! Welcome to Escape With Dollycas. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ll let my bio speak to that. Tricia L. Sanders lives in the Austin, Texas area and writes about women with class, sass, and a touch of kickass. A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.

When she isn’t writing, Tricia is busy crossing dreams off her bucket list. With all 50 states checked, she’s concentrating on foreign interests. She’s an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don’t get between her and the television when a game is on.

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

I’m pretty much an open book. If there’s anything people don’t know about me, it’s because I don’t want them to know. I hope that doesn’t sound snobby. It’s not meant that way. Some secrets are meant to be kept. Ha!

What is the first book you remember reading?

It probably sounds cliché, but it would be a Dick and Jane book when I first started school. I loved those books. The illustrations made me happy and kept me turning the pages.

What are you reading now?

Just downloaded Win by Harlan Coben.

Oh, I enjoyed that one!

What books have most inspired you?

As a child, the Donna Parker books. (Look them up.) As a student, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. As a young adult, Pocahontas by Susan Donnell, and more recently Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I’ve always loved mysteries, starting with Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. I wrote down clues and created suspect lists as I read. So, it just made sense that I would graduate to writing my own mysteries.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Used to be my desk in my office, but I’ve recently moved, and my office is mostly a storage room until I find a place for everything. For now, I write on my patio when the weather cooperates or in my comfy chair in the living room. Before Covid, I spent 2 hours a day writing at a local coffee shop. I look forward to being able to do that again soon.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Mostly from crime reports. I try to find unique cases, then put on spin on them and find a way to inject a bit of humor into a very serious topic.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

The initial plotting is always difficult for me. I really would prefer to write without an outline, but my mind doesn’t work that way. I’ve tried and I usually write myself into a corner, then spend way too much time trying to get the story back on track.

What do you think makes a good story?

I want my readers to come away from a book feeling like they’ve made a new friend and want to continue the journey with my protagonist.

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

Probably Mattie Modesky in my latest series, The Mattie and Mo Mysteries. She’s spunky but not foo full of herself.

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

I hope it’s the friendship aspect of each story. My characters have long term friendships that mean the world to them, but they also continue to cultivate relationships, sometimes challenging ones like Cece and Nancy in my Grime Pays Mystery series. Nothing about either of their backgrounds indicates they would ever in a thousand years become friends, but they slowly do.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m still getting The Mattie and Mo Mysteries launched and will continue the Grime Pays Mystery series. Next on the agenda is a tropical cozy series which features a mother and daughter pair and explores their relationship as well as their mystery-solving skills while balancing financial difficulties.

Thank you Tricia so much for visiting today! 

Keep reading to find out about Flea Market Felony!

About Flea Market Felony


Flea Market Felony (The Mattie and Mo Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Independently published (April 1, 2021)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8729049523
Digital ASIN: B08ZMBTQ8B

These new retirees have just hit the road. Will their first campsite’s shenanigans land them both in handcuffs?

 

Mattie Modesky’s been hankering to start retirement right. Even if it’s in an RV. The sassy senior believes there’s no time like the present after her policeman husband hangs up his badge and they hit the road.

 

When they reach their first RV park, the yoga instructor hitting on Mattie’s man turns her peaceful vacation sour. In an effort to stand her ground and confront the sneaky resident, Mattie finds a new friend, a stiff corpse, and her husband as the prime suspect.

 

She is shocked to her core when her man’s newly purchased pocketknife is the murder weapon. But when the real killer makes the fatal mistake of dognapping her beloved pooch, the silver-haired sleuth sets her sights on solving the crime herself and proving her lawman’s innocence.

 

Can Mattie clear her hubby’s name and reclaim their pup before the villain turns their golden years into iron bars? Or will the killer roll away in a motor home with Mattie’s dog in the passenger seat?

 

Flea Market Felony is the adventure-packed first book in The Mattie and Mo Mysteries series. If you like irresistible characters, fun surprises, and captivating whodunits, then you’ll love Tricia L. Sanders’s clever read.

 

Buy Flea Market Felony to catch a dastardly devil today!

Dollycas’s Thoughts – Click Here to Read My Review.

More About Tricia L. Sanders

Her essays have appeared in Sasee, ByLine, The Cuivre River Anthology, and Great American Outhouse Stories; The Whole Truth and Nothing Butt. She is a proud member of The Lit Ladies, six women writing their truths into fiction.

Purchase Links – AmazonBooks2Read 


Also by Tricia L. Sanders

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June 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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June 3 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST,
June 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 4 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
June 5 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 5 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 6 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
June 8 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
June 9 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST
June 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 10 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
June 10 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
June 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST
June 13 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 14 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit (A Domestic Diva Mystery) by Krista Davis #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @KristaDavis

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to share my thoughts about The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit today!


The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit (A Domestic Diva Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Kensington (May 25, 2021)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496732731
ISBN-13: 978-1496732736
Kindle ASIN: B08GYF9WLN

In the latest Domestic Diva mystery from New York Times bestselling author, Krista Davis, entertaining maven Sophie Winston must cut to the core of another murder investigation when members of an international tour group begin dropping like flies all over Old Town, Virginia . . .

With Old Town’s DIY Home Decorating Festival in full swing, Sophie’s swamped, juggling a bumper crop of artisans, antique dealers, and decorators for the busy street fair. Still, when her best friend Nina suddenly needs a ride from the airport, Sophie is happy to help . . . until she sees Nina disembarking in a state of disarray. It’s obvious the trip to Portugal soured somewhere along the way. But after one of Nina’s traveling companions turns up murdered the following day, Sophie knows something is truly rotten . . .

Though the crime scene is staged to look like an accident, Sophie isn’t fooled and peels off to conduct her own investigation. Her only clue is a strange image the victim scratched into the soil before dying. Could it point to a cryptic killer in Old Town? A bitter travel adversary? Or a cursed artifact smuggled back from the trip? As the mystery grows, so does the body count, and if Sophie doesn’t pluck the murderer soon, her best friend may be the next to fall . . .

Includes delicious recipes and fabulous DIY decorating tips!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sophie Winston has organized a DIY Home Decorating Street Fair and it looks to be a rousing success until a dead body is found in one of the backyards. Lark Bickford had just returned from a trip to Portugal. Sophie’s best friend Nina was on the same trip so she knew the trip did not go totally smoothly but could it have led to Lark’s murder? The victim did leave a clue to the killer’s identity but Sophie just can’t figure it out. When another woman from the trip is killed Sophie knows she has to step up her investigation or Nina could be next.


This series is so much fun. I love the way the characters have grown over the course of this series. In this story, Natasha is still dealing with the aftermath of her divorce from Mars but she does have some family around for support. Sophie is really on firm footing and happy with her life which is a good thing because Nina really needs her best friend right now. I love the way Mars and Bernie jump on board to help too. Sophie’s home again becomes the gathering spot to compare notes while noshing on whatever food she has whipped together. Sophie’s dog Daisy again steals my heart as does Mochie, her cat.

We are introduced to a new family, Paisley and Frank Eames, and their 6, yes 6! rambunctious boys. Paisley has some beautiful painted furniture for sale and was hoping her husband and her mother Lark would help with her tent and the boys but her mother’s death throws a real monkey wrench into her plans. Officer Wong and Detective Wolf Fleishman are on the case along with the new medical examiner Dr. Peter Chryssos who was also on the Portugal trip. These characters really came to life over the span of the story both for the good and for the bad. All the characters are very realistic. A certain little boy really tugged on my heartstrings while one of his brothers was just a little devil.

The mystery was complicated with a variety of subplots weaving in and out of the main plot. Several suspects came to light with different motives. I had several theories of my own and by the end, I learned I was partially right in one aspect and totally wrong in every other. I loved the twists that started to unfold from almost the beginning of the book. The author is a real expert in dropping clues while misdirecting her readers at the same time.

Krista Davis is an excellent storyteller. She has kept this series fresh and by the time I flipped the last page I was already excited for book 15. These characters are like old friends that I can’t wait to meet up with again. There is always a top-notch mystery that I can escape right into. I love the question/answers at the beginning of each chapter. Sophie’s answers are more my style but Natasha’s answers always crack me up.

The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit is an entertaining whodunit that can be read all on its own but I strongly suggest the series be read in order to really get to know Sophie, Natasha, and all their friends.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries, the Paws & Claws Mysteries, and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Several of her books have been nominated for the Agatha Award. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two cats and a brood of dogs. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices they keep coming back for more.

Author Links:
Website   Facebook   Pinterest Mystery Lovers Kitchen    Twitter




The publisher is unable to give a book away at this time due to Covid 19
so I am giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card!

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.

Sign Up for Krista’s Newsletter 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 June 16, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Pint of No Return: A Dessert Cozy Mystery (Shake Shop Mystery) by Dana Mentink #Review / #Giveaway

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to feature A Pint of No Return today!


Pint of No Return: A Dessert Cozy Mystery
(Shake Shop Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (May 25, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1728231558
ISBN-13: 978-1728231556
Kindle ASIN: B08GBPD3BR

The first in new dessert cozy mystery series! A murder in town is bound to shake things up…

After her divorce from her thrice-married embezzler husband, Trinidad Jones is finally ready for a fresh start. So when she’s left one of her ex’s businesses in Upper Sprocket, Oregon, she decides to pack up her dog, cash in her settlement, and open her dream business: the Shimmy and Shake Shop, introducing the world to her monster milkshakes. And even with a couple of sticky situations underway, namely that the other two ex-wives also call Sprocket home, Trinidad’s life seems to be churning along smoothly.

That is, until she discovers her neighbor, the Popcorn King, head down in his giant popcorn kettle. When one of Trinidad’s fellow ex-wives is accused of the murder and Upper Sprocket descends into mayhem, it’s going to take a supersized scoop of courage to flush out the killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!

Newly divorced Trinidad Jones is getting a new start in Upper Sprocket, Oregon, by opening the Shimmy and Shake Shop in a building that used to house one of her embezzling ex-husband’s businesses. Opening a shop and serving monster “freak” milkshakes is a dream come true but Upper Spocket is a small town and it just happens to be where ex-wives 1 and 2 also reside. That is not really a problem for Trinidad until one of them is accused of murdering The Popcorn King. His shop is near the Shimmy and Shake and he and Trinidad were splitting an order of nuts. When she went to deliver his half she found him dead in his huge popcorn kettle. She doesn’t really know anything about Juliette but can’t imagine her being a murderer. So she is going to shake things up and do a little investigating with some of the other business owners to find who really popped The Popcorn King.


I was struck right away by the delightful characters the author brings us in this first Shake Shop Mystery. Trinidad is an interesting character with an interesting background. She is smart and does well on her first adventure as an amateur sleuth. She also has a wonderful sidekick, her dog Noodles. Noodles failed military training school but he still acquired some awesome skills.

Trinidad is also surrounded by some intriguing human characters. I loved that Trinidad had a young set of twins helping her get the shop ready to open and to be her taste testers. We also meet nut farmer Quinn and his brother Doug, and Stan who owns the local coffee shop and is a reluctant lawyer. Oh, and the local police chief, who just happens to be her ex’s sister.

Several other residents of Upper Spocket drop into the story as necessary and truly depict life in a small town. Gossip runs rampant and secrets are hard to keep when everyone is in each other’s business. All the characters felt very realistic and unique making them easy to keep straight.

The mystery was extremely well-plotted with different suspects and their motives coming to light. Twists on top of turns kept misdirecting my thinking. The author really scooped me this time. The actual criminal was not even on my personal suspect list. I was totally surprised and had to take a few moments to try to think of what clues I had missed. What I really liked was that when Trinidad had a solid theory the police chief actually listened to her and didn’t just brush her off. She had a plan and the reveal tied all the clues together nicely.

Ms. Mentink has given this series an excellent start in Pint of No Return. We have only met one of the two ex-wives and I am excited to meet the other one when she gets back from her trip. The shake/ice cream theme is fun and had my mouth watering for a freak shake all my own. Doesn’t the one on the cover look yummy? I can’t wait to visit these characters again.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Dana Mentink lives in California where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Her family includes two teen girls (affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo.) Papa Bear is retired from the fire department and he met Dana doing a dinner theater production of The Velveteen Rabbit. Ironically, their parts were husband and wife.

Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and a two-time ACFW Carol Award winner. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She is honored to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired, Harlequin Heartwarming, and Harvest House Publishers. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, Yogi, Boo Boo, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.

Author Links – WebsiteFacebookTwitterBookBub

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 Following 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.

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

 Contest Will End June 9, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

 Click Here For Entry Form

 

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

                                  

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Beyond a Reasonable Donut (A Deputy Donut Mystery) by Ginger Bolton #Review / #Excerpt / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It is my pleasure to feature Beyond A Reasonable Donut today!


Beyond a Reasonable Donut (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
by Ginger Bolton

About Beyond a Reasonable Donut


Beyond a Reasonable Donut (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington (May 25, 2021)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725581
ISBN-13: 978-1496725585
Digital ASIN: B08GY9Z1PD

Selling her corn fritters at a carnival, Deputy Donut Café owner Emily Westhill faces off against a murderer who doesn’t play fair . . .

 

Emily and her assistant, Nina, are looking forward to manning the Deputy Donut tent at the Faker’s Dozen Carnival in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin—a festival held on Friday the thirteenth to celebrate good and bad luck. But Emily has barely dropped the corn fritters in oil when bad luck boils up. First, their bucket of confectioner’s sugar disappears—and then while a mime creates a distraction, a magician robs their cash register.

 

After the carnival, their misfortune continues. Emily discovers that someone has broken into artist Nina’s loft and vandalized a large painting in progress with the bucket of stolen sugar, which is now on the head of the mime, who seems to have been suffocated. Emily would bet Nina was the intended victim, but the cops think Nina silenced the mime. Now Emily must catch the killer white-handed—before someone else kicks the bucket . . .

Excerpt 

Marsha was not at her station. A windowless black van had appeared between the entryway and our donut car

I muttered to Nina, “Did that van escape from a morgue parking lot?”

She giggled. “Usually our first-responder friends attend events with their fire trucks, ambulances, and police cruisers, just to be ready. A van from the morgue is carrying preparedness a little far.”

I intoned in a sinister voice, “Maybe not on Friday the thirteenth.”

We walked around the back of the van. On the other side of our car, Marsha was beside a tiny pink car with MIME MOBILE written in purple on the door.

Marsha shook a finger. “You can’t leave your car here!”

She wasn’t talking to us. She was glowering at a tall, thin woman wearing a black beanie on her fluffy orange hair, a red-and-white-striped T-shirt, pink sandals, and baggy black shorts held up by chartreuse suspenders.

The thin woman turned toward us. She was made up like a sorrowful clown, her face powdery white with a dramatic, down-turned red mouth, a red dot on the tip of her nose, and thick black eyelashes painted on her cheeks and forehead. She wore white gloves with red fingernails inked on them. Without a word, she mimicked Marsha’s stance and finger-shaking.

I restrained a smile. People who had been heading toward the entryway had gathered around us. They laughed.

Marsha’s face reddened. “Don’t you shake your finger at me! Move that car.”

The mime sidled closer to Marsha, peered down at Marsha’s clipboard for a few seconds, and then pretended to hold a clipboard of her own. She ran her gloved finger down the top page of her invisible clipboard, jabbed her finger down on it, looked straight at Nina and me, and pointed two fingers at her eyes and then at us as if to warn she was watching us. Then she made a circle with both hands and planted the circle on her forehead, obviously imitating the donuts on our hats. Holding her stomach with both hands, she bent over and acted like she was laughing uproariously, without the roar.

Our hats were funny, but I didn’t think they were that funny.

Marsha clutched her clipboard close to her chest and ordered, “Now move that car!”

The mime made the exaggerated shrug of a person who could do nothing about a tragic situation, patted the car, and motioned with her hands as if outlining an even smaller car.

Marsha balled her free hand into a fist and put it on her hip. “I don’t care how small it is. It’s in the area designated for dignitaries.”

With great exaggeration, the mime cradled an invisible clipboard lovingly against her heart, plunked a fist on a hip, and then thrust her hands into her pockets, turned them inside out, and looked desolate.

The audience clapped. The mime pulled her beanie off and waded into the crowd. Her posture dejected, she held the beanie upside down and pointed into it. Her pockets were still inside out. People good-naturedly put coins and bills into the hat.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin just in time for the Faker’s Dozen Carnival. The folks from Deputy Donut are serving a variety of corn fritters hoping the event brings them nothing but good luck on this Friday the 13th but soon after their arrival, they notice their container of confectioner’s sugar has gone missing. After a quick delivery from the bakery, fritters are being fried, coated and eaten by many at the fair. The Deputy Donut tent is busy with a long line waiting to be served. Emily and Nina are thrilled that a mime and a magician are entertaining the crowd . . . that is until the magician takes advantage of the crowd and sticks his hand in the cash box grabbing several bills before he and the mime hotfoot it out of the park.

The bad luck continues after the park closes when Nina’s loft is broken into and a huge painting almost ready to be shipped for her upcoming show has been vandalized. On the plus side, the missing confectioner’s sugar has been found. Much of it on the painting and the rest over the mime’s head along with the bucket it came in. Sadly the mime dies after inhaling so much sugar and the police quickly decide Nina is the killer while Emily thinks that beyond a reasonable doubt, Nina was the intended victim. Now, she just has to prove it before the killer strikes again. For right now the safest place for Nina could be a jail cell.


Emily is a wonderful protagonist with a huge heart. She is trying to learn how to live her life after losing her police detective husband in the line of duty. His former partner has feelings for her and she seems to for him as well but she just isn’t ready to move in that direction yet. I really appreciate the author not rushing this relationship and allowing Emily to set her own pace. Ms. Bolton has also surrounded Emily with a great group of family and friends to support her in every way, even when she is tracking down a killer.

Readers are treated to a very complicated mystery with a plethora of suspects. Some I quickly discarded including one I truly shouldn’t have. There were so many twists and the motive was unclear throughout most of the book when finally a connection was found that finally stuck. I was totally caught up in the mystery with one theory after another but never got on the right path to solve the crime. I love when that happens. I love a sticky story that I can sink my teeth into and tests me. Beyond a Reasonable Donut sure did that in more ways than one.

https://pixabay.com/photos/carnival-summer-concession-stand-2456911/

One little nit-picky thing. I have lived in Wisconsin, where this book is set my entire life, and attended hundreds of fairs, festivals, and carnivals and have never seen or heard of cotton candy being called cotton “floss”. To me, cotton floss is the thread used in embroidery or cross-stitch. So I asked some friends and family if this was something I missed and they all agreed with me. So I went to Mr. Google/Wikipedia and found:

Cotton candy is made and sold globally—as candy floss in the UK, Ireland, Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, and South Africa, and as fairy floss in Australia and New Zealand.

Machine-spun cotton candy was invented in 1897 by dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton, and first introduced to a wide audience at the 1904 World’s Fair as “Fairy Floss” with great success, 

Joseph Lascaux, a dentist from New OrleansLouisiana, invented a similar cotton candy machine in 1921. In fact, the Lascaux patent named the sweet confection “cotton candy” and the “fairy floss” name faded away. In the United States, National Cotton Candy Day is celebrated on December 7.

So I learned something new about this spun sugar treat. You will find it called cotton candy in the U.S. and served at festivals everywhere, but also at movie theatres and shops and stores too.

I totally enjoyed Beyond a Reasonable Donut. It was a fun read with characters I am invested in. I can’t wait to see what they get into next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Ginger Bolton

Ginger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series—coffee, donuts, cops, danger, and one curious cat. The first four books in the series are SURVIVAL OF THE FRITTERS, GOODBYE CRULLER WORLD, JEALOUSY FILLED DONUTS, and the latest, BOSTON SCREAM MURDER. JEALOUSY FILLED DONUTS was chosen as the Woman’s World Best New Cozy Mystery of the week and was named as one of Dollycas’s Best Reads of 2019. BEYOND A REASONABLE DONUT will be on store shelves May 25, 2021. When Ginger isn’t writing or reading, she’s crocheting, knitting, sewing, or generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts and coffee. As Janet Bolin, Ginger wrote the Threadville Mysteries—murder and mayhem in a village of crafty shops.

Author Links – Website – Facebook –  Twitter BookBub  GoodReads – 

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Coming May 25, 2021

Written as Janet Bolin

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Peaches and Schemes: A Georgia B&B Mystery by Anna Gerard #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to share my thoughts about
Peaches and Schemes by Anna Gerard today!

 

Peaches and Schemes: A Georgia B&B Mystery
by Anna Gerard

About Peaches and Schemes


Peaches and Schemes: A Georgia B&B Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (May 11, 2021)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1643855840
ISBN-13: 978-1643855844
Digital ASIN: B08FZLH8HS

In Anna Gerard’s third delightful Georgia B&B mystery, Nina Fleet learns that despite the satin, lace, and buttercream trappings, weddings often prove to be anything but sweet…

Nina Fleet might be new to the innkeeping business, but she’s savvy enough to know that Cymbeline’s tourists aren’t enough to keep her fledgling bed and breakfast going. And so, Nina decides to tap into the destination wedding market by taking a booth at the Veils and Vanities Bridal Expo. The twice-yearly event is sponsored by the town’s two wedding pros: Virgie Hamilton, the sixtysomething owner of Virgie’s Formals, and Roxanna Quarry, a Gen X event planner and Nina’s new friend. But everything goes wrong during the expo’s fashion show when Roxanna comes tumbling out of an oversized prop wedding cake, strangled to death by her own scarf.

Virgie is arrested for the crime, thanks to Nina’s statement to the police about having overheard the woman accusing her partner of embezzlement. Meanwhile, the situation grows tense with her sometimes nemesis and current tenant, the dashing out-of-work actor Harry Westcott. Harry is concentrating on plugging his most recent side hustle …but he’s not too busy to break the news to Nina that her ex-husband is engaged to be married again.

Certain that Virgie’s only offense is a bad temper, Nina decides to do her own investigating. First, however, she and Harry retrieve Roxanna’s now ownerless dog, planning to foster him until a new home can be found. But local gossip soon convinces Nina that others besides Virgie might have had reason to murder Roxanna. As Nina gets close to the truth, she’s putting her own life in danger. And when Virgie vanishes after being bailed out of jail by an unknown benefactor, Nina fears that if she can’t find the dress shop owner in time, tying the knot will take on a whole new meaning for them both.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

To ensure the success of her Fleet House B&B Nina (Nine-A) has decided to add weddings and receptions to the services she will offer. She is hoping members are the wedding parties will want to stay at the B&B too. To get the word out she takes part in the semi-annual Veils and Vanities Bridal Expo sponsored by Virgie Hamilton, the sixtysomething owner of Virgie’s Formals, and Roxanna Quarry, a Gen X event planner. Her booth has been busy with brides-to-be asking for information. Nina is about to declare the event a success when the fashion show part of the event takes a deadly turn. During the big finale Nina’s new friend, Roxanna tumbles out of a prop wedding cake. She appears to have been strangled to death, the murder weapon, her own scarf.

There had been tension between the two event sponsors. Nina even overhears Virgie accuse Roxanna of stealing funds from their partnership. When she tells the police they believe that is enough motive to arrest Virgie for the murder.

Nina has a little stress in her life too as she learns her ex-husband is getting married again. Plus, Harry Wescott is still staying at her B&B and he seems to have a new money-making scheme he may soon come to regret. She has also decided to move Roxanna’s dog into the B&B until a new home is found. On top of all that she is of course digging into the murder investigation because while Virgie had the motive, means, and opportunity to kill her partner, Nina doesn’t think she is a killer. The trouble is she knows she is on the actual killer’s radar and that may prove to be a dangerous place to be.


Ms. Gerard has created some wonderful characters. I have enjoyed Nina from the start and in this third Georgia B&B Mystery Harry Westcott really surprised me and in a good way. He is still a schemer but he is really there for Nina this time. They are turning out to be a great team and maybe more . . . I don’t want to get ahead of myself or the author with this thinking. I do love their back and forth dialogue and his “Secret Squirrel” nickname for her. The new characters she introduced for this story are diverse and all brought something interesting to the mystery. As always the animal characters made my heart happy.

Again this author delivers a well-plotted and well-written mystery with multiple possibilities. I was very caught up in all the action and the actual guilty party never landed on my suspect list. The big reveal was full of surprise and suspense. Nina really didn’t know her friend Roxanna as well as she thought she did and that added some really intriguing twists including one that stuck very close to home. The ending was really a melancholy moment but by the final word, things seem to be looking up.

I have to say the author set a great pace with the entire story. There wasn’t a time I ever thought about putting the book down, except to sleep, and I couldn’t wait to get right back into the story the next evening and stay tuned in for a satisfying and exciting conclusion.

Peaches and Schemes was a Perfect Escape. Excellent characters, a captivating mystery, a wedding, a little romantic tension, and humor liberally placed throughout kept me entertained from beginning to end. I am so excited to see where Ms. Gerard takes her characters and her readers next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Anna Gerard

DIANE A.S. STUCKART began her writing career in the 1990s as the critically acclaimed author of historical romance under the names Alexa Smart and Anna Gerard. She later switched to the mystery genre and is the NYT bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries (written as Ali Brandon) and the award-winning Leonardo da Vinci historical mysteries. Her Tarot Cats Mystery series launched in 2018 with FOOL’S MOON. Her Georgia B&B Mystery series (also written as Anna Gerard) debuted in 2019 with PEACH CLOBBERED. Kirkus Reviews describes that book as “Filled with Southern charm and enough ditzy characters to keep readers guessing and laughing.” Book 3 in that series, PEACHES AND SCHEMES—her 17th published novel—now available.

Author Links – WebsiteFacebookBookLoversBench

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Written as Diane A.S. Stuckart

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Great Escapes Praise for Peaches and Schemes: A Georgia B&B Mystery
by Anna Gerard

Part of the charm of this series – and it certainly is charming – is in the cast of characters and the setting the author has created to contain them and their murderous ways.
~Reading Reality

Author Anna Gerard gives the reader a light-hearted story filled with fun Characters and interesting relationships!
~My Reading Journeys

. . . a great read full of interesting characters that you will happy follow as the story progresses. The dogs are an added bonus I must say.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

In addition to the wonderful characters in Peaches and Schemes, the author delivers a charming setting and a dash of potential romance. Not to mention the intriguing plot that kept me guessing!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

Delightfully focused on the mystery, this cozy offers up plenty of suspects to keep armchair sleuths entertained. I also found that the relationship between Nina and her sidekick Harry kept the mystery light and fun.
~Mysteries With Character

Peaches and Schemes by Anna Gerard is a brilliant mystery with a perfectly plotted crime. The characters are so wonderfully flawed and yet wonderful.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

Wonderful characters, an interesting setting, and a B&B house I’d like to visit, make this a fun cozy to read, and puzzle out.
~Laura’s Interests

PEACHES AND SCHEMES is a delightful mystery that had me laughing, commiserating, and gasping in shock. Its characters have wormed their way into my heart and I feel their pain as well as their joy.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Peaches and Schemes is a lighthearted, humorous cozy mystery with an eventful expo, a maimed mate, Gus the Goldendoodle, a tryophobia terror, a suspicious silver sedan, and a helpful Harry.
~The Avid Reader

A big goofy dog, a wedding expo, two hot romantic opportunities, and a murder to solve! What’s not to love about Peaches and Schemes? . . . If you like your cozy mysteries with some romantic tension, you should pick up this book.
~Diane Reviews Books

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

Posted in 2021 Reading Challenges Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery) by Lena Gregory #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thoughts about
Whole Latte Murder with you today!


Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
by Lena Gregory

About Whole Latte Murder 


Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation Lyrical Press(April 27, 2021)
Paperback: 206 pages
ISBN-10: 1516110498
ISBN-13: 978-1516110490
Digital ASIN: B08F2X8NGW

Ex-New Yorker and local diner owner Gia Morelli is still getting used to the sweltering Florida sun. But this summer she’ll have to deal with a more dangerous kind of heat—when she’s hot on the trail of another murderer . . .

 

Summer in Boggy Creek has arrived, and Gia’s best friend, successful real estate agent Savannah, is getting hitched. Now she’s enlisted Gia’s sleuthing talents in a desperate search for the perfect wedding dress. But when Savannah mysteriously vanishes after showing a mansion to a bigwig client, Gia investigates the house Savannah was trying to sell. The first clue she finds is Savannah’s car in the driveway. Inside the house, they stumble on Savannah’s potential buyer—dead. Someone had apparently closed the deal—with a two by four full of nails to the client’s head. Soon afterward, a woman’s body is fished from the lake near the same house. The townsfolk are now sweating bullets over the murders, and the heat comes down on poor Gia to find her missing friend, and track down the killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s summer in Boggy Creek and Gia is excited to help her BFF Savannah plan the perfect wedding. They just have to find a venue that meets their needs without breaking the bank. A big commission could really help real estate agent Savannah have the wedding of her dreams. She sets off to meet a wealthy client at the priciest home for sale in the area planning to meet Gia for some dress shopping later.

There were some concerns about her meeting this man by herself and when Savannah fails to pick up Gia and doesn’t answer her phone Gia sets off to find her friend. She arrives at the mansion and finds Savannah’s convertible in the driveaway but no Savannah. She does however find her client, dead, looking like he was hit upside the head with the nearby two by four full of nails. The police arrive and also find a woman’s body in the nearby lake. Thank God, it wasn’t Savannah, but where is she? Friends and family gather at Gia’s cafe while the police start a search. Everyone is frantic with whole latte worry. Will they find Savannah? and will they catch the killer before they strike again? Gia will not rest until they do!


The characters in this series have grown so much over the course of five books. Gia and Savannah are such a great team. When Savannah goes missing you can feel Gia’s pain jump off the pages. Savannah’s fiance Leo and her cousin Hunt along with most of the community search to find the real estate agent. It was heartwarming the way everyone came together.

With Savannah in peril, we get to see her brothers and father in action. They are a close-knit family and have welcomed Gia as one of their own. Trevor also has a larger role in this story and Alfie returns for a little technical support. All the cafe regulars return as well. Ms. Gregory has created a cast of truly genuine characters.

What I really love about the All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mysteries is the emphasis on friends and family. The characters really feel like old friends who would open their arms and hearts to anyone in need.

The mystery gets off to a very quick start. Savannah’s client has a shady past and possible mob connections. Gia’s house gets broken into and the treatment of a certain Bernese Mountain Dog had me absolutely livid.  Money is missing from several places and there is something hinky going on at Savannah’s real estate office. All these things are tangled together in a way that had the pages flying so fast I think my Kindle was steaming. Again the girls go to some crazy and dangerous lengths that had me holding my breath but I wouldn’t expect any less from this dynamic duo.

Whole Latte Murder is a Whole Latte good! Great characters and a fantastic story full of twists and turns along with just a little humor and romance make this book a Perfect Escape!

I am excited about Savannah and Leo’s wedding and look forward to pulling up a virtual seat for it and whatever murder mystery the author comes up with. I highly recommend every book in this series!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Lena Gregory

Lena Gregory is the author of the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York, and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest.

Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, but she recently traded in cold, damp, gray winters for the warmth and sunshine of central Florida, where she now lives with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.

To learn more about Lena and her latest writing endeavors, visit her website at http://www.lenagregory.com/, and be sure to sign up for her newsletter here.

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Southern Sass and a Battered Bride (A Marygene Brown Mystery) by Kate Young – #Review / #Giveaway @KAYoungBooks @KensingtonBooks – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to share with you my thoughts today about
Southern Sass and a Battered Bride.


Southern Sass and a Battered Bride (A Marygene Brown Mystery)
by Kate Young

 

About Southern Sass and a Battered Bride


Southern Sass and a Battered Bride (A Marygene Brown Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Kensington (April 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721497
ISBN-13: 978-1496721495
Digital ASIN : B08F2WNNPQ

At a murder mystery–themed wedding reception on Georgia’s picturesque Peach Cove Island, the bride is doing an awfully good job playing dead . . .

 

Marygene Brown always figured she’d marry her childhood sweetheart, Alex Myers, not cater his wedding. But the Peach Diner could use the exposure. Most of the island is showing up—although more for the role-playing murder game at the reception than for the widely loathed bridezilla, Lucy Carmichael. Marygene may have to smile through the festivities, but Mama doesn’t have to hold her peace—especially since only Marygene can hear her mother’s ghost. Mama says she sees an aura of darkness around the wedding.

 

So when Marygene finds Lucy lying beside the wedding cake, buried in batter, with no pulse, it looks like Mama called it. This is no game. And when the bride’s body simply vanishes, it’s up to Marygene and her best friend Betsy (cousin to the groom and no fan of the bride) to solve a real-life mystery—with a little help from Mama’s sassy spirit . . .

 

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Alex Myers is getting married but not to his childhood sweetheart Marygene Brown. No, he is marrying Lucy Carmichael and no one is really happy about it. Marygene has consented to cater the event because it is good business, especially because most of the island is attending. They aren’t really coming to support the nuptials, they are coming to take part in the murder mystery reception. Marygene is surprised the bridezilla has consented to be the victim but when she sees the woman on the ground covered in batter she realizes the woman will do anything to be the center of attention.

Looking closely Marygene thinks the woman is doing an excellent job, she really looks dead. OMG! She is dead! Her mama’s ghost had warned her to be careful because there is an aura of darkness around the wedding. Well, she was right and things get even eerier when Lucy’s body disappears. Was she really dead or was it all just an act? Who would have taken a dead body? and how did they do it without being seen? Marygene knows she has to find out because she and her best friend Betsy are high up on the suspect list. She just hopes her mother will be able to see something Marygene is missing because this is no longer a game, it’s murder and other lives are on the line.


Kate Young has created such strong characters with a fantastic family dynamic. Marygene has grown so much since this series began. She is Southern through and through always trying to see the best in everyone even when they are clearly at their worse. She will bend over backward to help, again when people don’t deserve it. This time we saw the worse of Alex and it really shakes Marygene to her core but she remains open to help him even when others have backed away. Betsy and her Aunt Vi are really hurt by his words and actions but they are still able to bring plenty of funny to this story. I just love Marygene’s mother. Her ghostly presence is always interesting. She is still learning about what she can and can’t do but she always shows up when Marygene needs her most. A tragic event within the story shows that even a ghost can grow and evolve. Marygene’s siblings also play a large role in the story. I became invested in these characters early in this series and they continue to warm my heart and surprise me too. This family is close and that is what drives this series.

The story starts out of the gate fast with so much going on. This author excels at blending real-life happenings with the murder mystery. Marygene is pulled in several directions it seems all at the same time. A complicated mystery unfolds with several twists and exciting moments. Marygene takes a wild ride literally this time and it had me holding my breath imagining what could have been and that was just the first time it happened. The pages were flying as each clue dropped and my theories took flight. I did have someone pretty well pinned to the top of my suspect list but there were twists that really surprised me and I was pretty shocked when all was revealed.

As I have said before, the books in this series are so much more than cozy mysteries. Kate Young gives her readers a story full of Southern charm and sass and characters that are realistic and true. The dialogues are cleverly written and the humor is spot-on.  Southern Sass and a Battered Bride is a very entertaining story. I definitely need more Marygene, Betsy, and Aunt Vi in my life. I hope to return to Peach Cove Island soon.

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About Kate Young

Kate Young writes Southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.

Author Links – Website Facebook – Twitter  GoodReads BookBub

 Purchase Links  – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – IndieBound

Also by Kate Young

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
April 26 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 26 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
April 26 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 26 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 27 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
April 27 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 27 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 28 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 28 – My Journey Back the Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 29 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
April 29 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT
April 29 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 30 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
April 30 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
April 30 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
April 30 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
May 1 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 1 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT
May 1 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
May 2 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
May 2 – Tea Book Blanket – SPOTLIGHT

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Maggie Toussaint – Author of Shrimply Dead (A Seafood Caper Mystery) #Interview / #Review / #Giveaway Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to welcome Maggie Toussaint to Escape With Dollycas today!


Shrimply Dead (A Seafood Caper Mystery)
by Maggie Toussaint


Hi Maggie, 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, everyone. So happy you’re here. I’m Maggie Toussaint, and I write cozy mysteries, though I first published in romantic suspense and took a slight detour through dystopian fiction. I come from a family of readers and for most of my life I’ve had my nose stuck in a book. Within the pages of a book I’ve traveled to new worlds, learned different customs, and lived vicariously through the characters. Reading and kind librarians who recommended books for my insatiable reading habit opened my eyes to new possibilities beyond what this small town gal ever imagined. It is my fervent hope that the books I write provide you with similar entertainment.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

First up, my angel collection. As a young family with growing children we lived too far away to come home for every family funeral for my very large family, and flying was out of our budget. So I bought angels for each aunt or uncle who died. At first they were scattered around the house, but I have most of them clustered in my office now.

Second, I adore sneakers. When the cushioning in them wears thin, I buy new ones and use the older ones for gardening or boating. I can’t bear to throw them away!

Third, I am a backyard bird watcher. I keep two feeders going year-round. We see local birds and migrating birds at our feeders and birdbath. Recently I had a few days of robins, and they had a crazy-good time splashing in the birdbath.

What is the first book you remember reading?

A Dick and Jane primer, as in See Dick. See Jane. See Spot. See Spot Run. Run, Spot, Run.

What are you reading now?

I am currently rereading Jayne Ann Krentz’s Lost and Found. Her books fall under romantic suspense as romance is the main plotline, but the mystery in her books is very much a cozy. She has two pen names, Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle, and I love all of her writing. When I have downtime, I can read a book a day, though that’s not so great for my eyes or body. I forget to eat or drink, and I don’t move unless I need a bathroom break. I read across all genres, but I enjoy fast-paced, entertaining writing. I guess that’s because I’m a book junkie.

What books have most inspired you?

Like many of us who are a certain age, I grew up reading books by Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and other suspense novelists. Other than mythology, I didn’t know there books about paranormal activities or space travel, so Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time opened the universe of possibilities to preteen me. The other huge influence on my early reading was our set of World Book Encyclopedias. Within those pages was so much information! I could learn about anything, or so it seemed. My father made a point of reading the entire set from A to Z. Fast forward 45 years to when we moved from Maryland back to Georgia and we couldn’t even give those encyclopedias away. The internet rendered home reference books obsolete, but I still collect reference books on topics of interest to me. You never know if the internet will disappear one day.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

There’s a part of me that likes to figure out how things go together. I can sit for hours with jigsaw puzzles, and I also enjoy word searches, Sudoku, and crossword puzzles. My strategy for puzzles is to work a small area at a time and expand out. If I think about the whole thing at once, it’s daunting. So I’m hypervigilant and observant about a small area. If you think about it, that’s one way to pattern a cozy. I often start with a death and work out from the people who were in contact with that victim. It is exciting to have the mystery story pieces fit together just right, and my puzzling love fed right into my creative desire to write novels.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I can and have written anywhere. My special time for writing is morning. I can generally knock out my word count goal quickly in mornings, while the same amount of words will take hours longer in the afternoon. I have an office with a great desk and an ergonomic keyboard, but I also like to write in different chairs around the house and at the kitchen island. When I first began writing, I had to squeeze it in while my kids were at sports activities and I waited on the sidelines or in the car. Everything was longhand back then. Anyway, that training to work anywhere has certainly been a recipe for success for me.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Everywhere. Truly, I am a walking story sponge, and I get bits and pieces of ideas from conversations, observing nature, listening to the news, reading obituaries, and so much more. What’s most important to me is that the idea really matters because then I am all-in on the story.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

It’s hard to prioritize writing as third place after family and personal health. When I’m in the zone, I don’t want to be disturbed. I want to mine that conduit to the story ether for as much as I can before it goes away. But there’s this thing called life, and I am living it and required to do certain things. When life gets challenging (as in an illness, crowded schedule, or a pandemic), finding time to write and summoning the commitment to do it one way or another is hard. Once covid-head sets in, I stop and do something else in the creative field such as arts and crafts, gardening, sewing, or music. That recharges my muse and then I can double up next time I write because the ideas are more fully formed.

What do you think makes a good story?

Characters who are as real to me as living, breathing people. Settings that feel authentic. Jeopardy for the characters I love. And justice. Justice is important to me.

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

It took me a long time to realize this. All of my protagonists have some quality of me in them. They are not me, and I am not them. They are braver, more outgoing, and more personable. However, I regard Cleopatra Jones, Baxley Powell Mayes, and River Holloway as friends.

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

There are so many great authors in this genre, sometimes it’s humbling to be in the mix. I would never say my books are better than other cozy authors, but they are different because my quirky personality is reflected in my writing voice. I write books that I love to read, and I blur the boundaries of genres a bit.

Whats next on the horizon for you?

I’m going to enjoy bringing Shrimply Dead out this spring and summer. I have loved writing about Shell Island and River Holloway, and I’d like to write more in this story world. It’s just that my muse pointed me to Savannah and a new story situation. It’s got a quirky family and a wonderful artisan co-op shop frequented by the city’s art students and more. There are two shop cats and a bit of paranormal interest for those who’ve wanted a return to that lane. Did you know Savannah is also known as the City of the Dead from much of the town being built atop cemeteries? It’s a true fact. Also, the city has earned the designation of the “Most Haunted City.” In any event, it’s the perfect location for my next series, the Two Sisters Apothecary Mysteries.

Thank you, Maggie, for visiting today!

Now keep reading for my thoughts about Shrimply Dead.

About Shrimply Dead


Shrimply Dead (A Seafood Caper Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Muddle House Publishing (April 12, 2021)
• Number of Pages 237 PAGES
Digital ASIN: B08V52RD4W

When veterinarian and amateur naturalist Jasmine Garr is shot in her yard, residents of Shell Island press caterer River Holloway into investigating the homicide. River dons her amateur sleuth cap and sets out to discover who killed her former catering customer.

 

Between Jasmine’s estranged cousin, a rival veterinarian, a wild animal trapper, the chicken lady, and a real estate broker, River has plenty of suspects to consider. As she peels back the layers of Jasmine’s life, dangerous secrets come to light.

 

Jasmine’s orphaned kitty, Iris, along with River’s cat Major, and her husband Pete help River sift through the evidence. At the same time, River recently expanded her catering business. She must service her regular catering clients, plus provide fresh baked goods for Pete’s ice cream shop.

 

The killer follows River’s every move relishing the thought of another victim. Time is running out. Will River solve the murder before she becomes a cold dish?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

River Holloway’s catering business is growing by leaps and bounds especially now that she is providing cookies and cakes for her husband’s ice cream shop, Island Creamery. Soon after catering an event for the Nature Coalition its volunteer of the year, veterinarian Jasmine Garr is shot in the back in her own yard. Gossip Central, also known as the Post Office is spreading news of the murder and led by Ola Mae Reed recruiting River to don her amateur sleuth cap and catch the killer before they strike again.

Soon River is juggling her catering clients, baking up a storm for Pete’s ice cream shop, and a murder investigation. It isn’t long before she has a variety of suspects. The chicken lady who found the body, Jasmine’s cousin and likely heir, two would-be suitors, and a rival veterinarian. River quickly sees Jasmine Garr was not the woman she thought she was and starts to uncover some secrets that could be deadly.  Definitely deadly for Jasmine Garr but they could also prove deadly for River.


River Holloway is such a strong protagonist. She is such a genuine person with a huge heart. It is almost impossible for her to say “no” to anyone. She has a full plate but still takes on delivering food to those in need. She also has a soft heart when it comes to animals. Her cat, Major certainly has River wrapped around her paw as do a couple of other animals before the story wraps.

Alligators, chickens, and an ancient tree, oh my! Ms. Toussaint has penned a marvelous mystery. Twists, turns, and secrets abound leading up to an edge of your seat reveal.  The story is well-written with a well-plotted mystery. The subplots are interesting and really add to the story. The pace is excellent building to a very suspenseful reveal and takedown. Wow! I was totally surprised when the killer was revealed.

Life on Shell Island is cleverly presented. A typical small town with eccentric residents where everyone needs to be in the know of everyone’s business.

Both Pete and River’s businesses had my mouth drooling. I have a huge sweet tooth so I would be a constant visitor to Island Creamery. That being said I would love to be at every event River caters. Her recipes tempt my tastebuds especially when they are described in delicious detail by the author.

Shrimply Dead is a super addition to this series. I hope we get to visit these characters again soon.


Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

More About Maggie Toussaint 

Southern author Maggie Toussaint writes cozy and paranormal mysteries, romantic suspense, and dystopian fiction, with more than twenty fiction novels published. A multi-year finalist for Georgia Author of the Year, she’s won Silver Falchions, the Readers’ Choice, and the EPIC Awards. She’s past president of Mystery Writers of America-Southeast chapter and an officer of LowCountry Sisters In Crime. She lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows. Visit her at https://maggietoussaint.com/

Author Links

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Purchase Links
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Also by this Author

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Great Escapes Praise for Shrimply Dead (A Seafood Caper Mystery)
by Maggie Toussaint

From rampaging alligators to kidnapped chickens to a treasure hunt for an extinct Georgia tree, the reader is taken on a ride. As River begins unearthing clues to find out who killed the veterinarian, she finds the victim had her own secrets.
~Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder

There are surprises for River and the reader as clues and misdirections are scattered throughout. The pace is good, and the chickens, alligators, and cats add a whole new dimension. Shrimply Dead is an enjoyable cozy mystery.
~Christa Reads and Writes

Shrimply Dead was an interesting read. . . . I particularly enjoyed the way the various characters were portrayed . . .
~Literary Gold

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
April 13 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 13 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
April 13 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
April 13 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
April 14 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 14 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 14 – Tea Book Blanket – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
April 16 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
April 16 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
April 17 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 17 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 17 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 19 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 20 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
April 21 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
April 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 21 – My Journey Back The Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 22 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 22 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
April 23 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
April 23 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 24 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 24 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Fresh Brewed Murder (A Ground Rules Mystery) by Emmeline Duncan #Review / #Giveaway @DuncanEmmeline

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to share with you my thoughts about
Fresh Brewed Murder today! 


Fresh Brewed Murder (A Ground Rules Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: Kensington (March 30, 2021)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-10: 1496733398
ISBN-13: 978-1496733399
Kindle ASIN: B08CBP43VZ

Master barista Sage Caplin is opening a new coffee cart in Portland, Oregon, but a killer is brewing up a world of trouble. . . .

Portland is famous for its rain, hipsters, craft beers . . . and coffee. Sage Caplin has high hopes for her coffee cart, Ground Rules, which she runs with her business partner, Harley—a genius at roasting beans and devising new blends. That’s essential in a city where locals have intensely strong opinions about cappuccino versus macchiato—especially in the case of one of Sage’s very first customers. . . .

Sage finds the man’s body in front of her cart, a fatal slash across his neck. There’s been plenty of anger in the air, from longtime vendors annoyed at Ground Rules taking a coveted spot in the food truck lot, to protesters demonstrating against a new high-rise. But who was mad enough to commit murder? Sage is already fending off trouble in the form of her estranged, con-artist mother, who’s trying to trickle back into her life. But when Sage’s very own box cutter is discovered to be the murder weapon, she needs to focus on finding the killer fast—before her business, and her life, come to a bitter end. . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sage Caplin and her partner Harley have opened a coffee food truck in a local lot. Sage is a people person and Harley is a master coffee bean roaster. Together they are hoping their business takes off and that they will soon move from their food cart to a brick-and-mortar store. The food truck lot is not without drama. There are protestors walking in opposition to a new high rise and some of the other food truck vendors wonder how Sage and Harley got such a coveted spot especially when other vendors lost their spots due to the proposed construction of the high rise.

After just a couple of days serving coffee savvy customers, Sage finds one of those customers dead right in front of her cart and the murder weapon appears to be the box cutter she borrowed from one of the other vendors. The detective assigned to the case believes Sage is guilty especially when he finds out who her mother is. Strange this is happening right after her mother reaches out to her after years of absence. Sage doesn’t have time to worry about her mother, she needs to find the real killer now and get the detective off her back before she ends up behind bars.


In this first Ground Rules Mystery, we meet barista Sage Caplin. She has had a very interesting life which gives her a unique perspective regarding some of the people she meets over the course of this story. I was intrigued by the way she handled the homeless population camping out nearby. She was very empathic and willing to help even volunteering to hand out hygiene and food packages to them.  As this is the first book in the series I feel we have just scratched the surface of this character. We are also introduced to her partner Harley, her great uncle Jimmy, her police detective dad, her lawyer brother Jackson and her cousin Miles. Her mother makes an appearance via a phone call. All the characters are cleverly written with plenty of room left for growth.

The author sets the scene of Portland and everywhere Sage visits very well. I could easily see each location come to life. We are also given quite an education about coffee beans and their brewing. I am not much of a coffee drinker but thought I knew every way it could be brewed but I was wrong. I learned some new things from Sage. I loved the way they came up with original custom drinks, some with alcohol for one of their new customers.

This time the protagonist isn’t actively searching full boar for the killer. She keeps her eyes and ears open and has some keen observations. There are several suspects and surprising ties between the deceased and another character. I am pleased to say the guilty party was on my list of top three suspects early on in the story but I was still surprised at the big reveal as to the true motive. Ms. Duncan served up some nice twists to divert the reader’s attention but I held strong to my own theories.  I was concerned about the relaxed pacing of the book and while the ending was exciting I would have liked a faster pace. I was engaged by the characters and that did keep the pages turning.

The author has set off this series to a fine start with Fresh Brewed Murder. I am looking forward to the next installment to see these characters evolve and to get to know them better. Coffee connoisseurs will love the drink descriptions and may want to brew a cup or two to enjoy while reading the book.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Emmeline Duncan is a mystery writer based out of Portland, Oregon. Her novels include the Ground Rules series, starting with 2021’s Fresh Brewed Murder.

Emmeline also writes YA novels as Kelly Garrett. Her debut YA, The Last To Die, was an Oregon Book Awards finalist and was re-issued by Sourcebooks Fire in November 2019. Kelly is also a 2020 Oregon Literary Fellow.

Emmeline/Kelly is a board member of the Northwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and co-organizes Friends of Mystery’s Bloody Thursday lecture series. She’s also a member of Sisters-In-Crime, Willamette Writers, and SCBWI.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram – 


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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.”