Oct 172018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It is my pleasure to share with you today my thoughts on Sara Rosett’s Murder at Archly Manor, the first book in her High Society Detective Series!

About the Book



Murder at Archly Manor (High Society Lady Detective Series)

Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published (October 15, 2018)
Paperback: 252 pages
ISBN-10: 0998843164
ISBN-13: 978-0998843162
Digital ASIN: B07H2P8J3H

A high-society murder. A spirited lady detective. Can she out-class the killer before an innocent person takes the fall?

London, 1923. Olive Belgrave needs a job. Despite her aristocratic upbringing, she’s penniless. Determined to support herself, she jumps at an unconventional job—looking into the background of her cousin’s fiancé, Alfred. He burst into the upper crust world of London’s high society, but his answers to questions about his past are decidedly vague.

Before Olive can gather more than the basics, a murder occurs at a posh party. Suddenly, every Bright Young Person in attendance is a suspect, and Olive must race to find the culprit because a sly murderer is determined to make sure Olive’s first case is her last.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Olive Belgrave didn’t plan to become a detective, but she needed a job and when asked to look in the background of her cousin’s fiancé, Alfred, she can’t refuse. Before she can really delve into his history the man falls to his death at a party right before her eyes. There was someone else on the balcony so now her investigation is expanded into looking for a killer. Everyone the party is now a suspect and the murderer is determined to get away scot-free.

***

I liked Olive right away. A strong woman for the 1920’s, wanting to be independent. She is smart, inquisitive and well educated, although no real work skills, she just needs to find the perfect job. Her cousin’s Gwen’s telegram arrives when she is almost out of money. Her other cousin Violet has taken up with a man they know nothing about and he is very evasive about the details of his upbringing. Violet is in love and doesn’t care, but her mother and sister sure do, They decide to pay Olive to investigate Alfred Eton and that puts Olive one step closer to the independence she seeks. These characters and the rest in the story are very cleverly written. I worry about Olive’s father because of her overbearing stepmother. The group that attends the party thrown by Sebastian Blakely, Alfred’s godfather and noted photographer, are a hodgepodge group of aristocrats and hangers-on, and any of them could be guilty of the murder.

The mystery turns out to be much more that it seems at first. Twists and turns take us the reader and Olive in many different directions. While complex, the author has a very comfortable writing style that allows the reader to really take the journey with these characters. At times I forgot the story is set in the 1920’s even though the author hit all the right notes for the time period. I found myself totally immersed in the tale. I did enjoy all the descriptions of fashion and hairstyles of the era.

This series is off to a roaring start. A delightful look at high society London in the ’20’s. Fun characters, an extraordinary setting and a well-plotted mystery made for a truly entertaining read. I am looking forward to more High Society Lady Detective stories.

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About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Sara Rosett writes light-hearted escapes for readers who enjoy puzzling mysteries, interesting settings, and quirky characters.

She is the author of the Murder on Location series, the Ellie Avery series, the On the Run series, and the High Society Lady Detective series. Sara also teaches an online course, How to Outline A Cozy Mystery.

Publishers Weekly called Sara’s books, “satisfying,” “well-executed,” and “sparkling.” Sara loves to get new stamps in her passport and considers dark chocolate a daily requirement. Find out more at SaraRosett.com.

Author Links:

Website:     Patreon:     Instagram:      Facebook:     Twitter: @SaraRosett    Pinterest GoodReads:  LibraryThing: Amazon Author Page: Bookbub Author Page:     Newsletter sign-up:

Purchase Links

Amazon     Barnes & Noble      iBooks     Kobo    Google Play

Praise for Murder at Archly Manor (High Society Lady Detective Series)
by Sara Rosett

I really felt captivated to the story wanting to find out where the story would lead and can’t wait to see what is the next in this fabulous series!
~Community Bookstop

Murder At Archly Manor had a steady pace and was an easy read. I enjoyed turning the pages and racing to the end to see what happens and who dun it.
~My Reading Journeys

Murder at Archly Manor is a light, humorous historical cozy mystery that will transport you back to the roaring 20s.
~The Avid Reader

With red herrings, plenty of suspects, and disreputable characters MURDER AT ARCHLY MANOR is a solid start to a new series.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Quirky and mysterious characters, secrets that must be kept at all costs, and an interesting, somewhat unpredictable plot made for a very enjoyable read.
~Cassidy’s Bookshelves

The characters and the setting are well described to provide the feel and ambiance of 1923 London. If you enjoy British cozy mystery – or cozy mystery at all, you’ll enjoy Murder at Archly Manor.
~Christa Reads and Writes

If you enjoy books with a Great Gatsby vibe then this book will be a perfect fit for you. It not only has a strong female character and 1920’s time period but also a strong mystery that will keep readers following the clues.
~Bibliophile Reviews

Also by Sara Rosett



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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.”

Oct 102018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am always thrilled to have Kathleen Ernst drop by for a visit.

Immigrant Stories
by Kathleen Ernst

People sometimes ask why I so often write about 19th-century immigrants.  My fascination began in the 1980s when I worked at an outdoor ethnic museum called Old World Wisconsin. The museum features over 50 historic structures which have been moved to the site and restored.  Working as an interpreter and curator there provided tantalizing glimpses into the lives of some of the state’s first Yankee and European immigrants.

An even stronger motivation is simply my ever-growing admiration for the everyday people who made the monumental decision to leave everything familiar and gamble on a new life in Wisconsin.  I created the Chloe Ellefson Mysteries to give myself the opportunity to share some of what I’ve discovered.  Chloe is a curator at Old World Wisconsin, and as the series progresses, she visits other special historic sites and museums.  Different books have featured different ethnic groups.

In the ninth book, The Lacemaker’s Secret, Chloe travels to northeast Wisconsin. She’s been hired to create a furnishings plan for a Belgian-American farm being restored at Heritage Hill State Historical Park in Green Bay.  She’s on the hunt for insight into the lives of Belgian immigrants (and after discovering a body in an old brick bake oven, she’s soon on the hunt for a killer as well).

I knew little about the Belgians’ experience before beginning research for this book.  The immigrants, most of whom arrived in the 1850s, faced a brutal struggle to turn old-growth forest into farmland.  A devastating cholera epidemic swept through the settlements.  And in 1871, what is remembered locally as The Great Fire (which burned simultaneously with the Peshtigo Fire across the bay) blazed through many of the Belgian communities.  Over two hundred people died; over five thousand lost everything they owned.

But the Belgian immigrants’ story is not defined by tragedy.  It’s defined by strength and persistence, by faith and courage.  Today many of their descendants still live in northeast Wisconsin because their ancestors did not give up or give in.  I find that inspiring.

So does Chloe Ellefson in The Lacemaker’s Secret.  I hope that readers do as well.

~Kathleen

Thank you, Kathleen, for being my guest today! 

Now let me give you my thoughts on The Lace Maker’s Secret.

The Lace Maker’s Secret (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin/Belguim
Midnight Ink (October 8, 2018)
Paperback: 408 pages
ISBN-10: 0738753548
ISBN-13: 978-0738753546
Kindle ASIN: B0795R5H4C

Greed, Uncertainty, and Death Get Tangled in the Mystery of a Rare Piece of Belgian Lace

Curator Chloe Ellefson needs distraction from the unsettling family secret she’s just learned. It doesn’t help that her boyfriend, Roelke McKenna, has been troubled for weeks and won’t say why. Chloe hopes a consulting job at Green Bay’s Heritage Hill Historical Park, where an old Belgian-American farmhouse is being restored, will be a relaxing escape.

Instead she discovers a body in a century-old bake oven.

Chloe’s research suggests that a rare and valuable piece of lace made its way to nearby Door County, Wisconsin, with the earliest Belgian settlers. More importantly, someone is desperate to find it. Inspired by a courageous Belgian woman who survived cholera, famine, and the Great Fire, Chloe must untangle clues to reveal secrets old and new . . . before the killer strikes again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This installment of this wonderful series takes Chloe Ellefson on the road to Green Bay’s Heritage Hill Historical Park. They are restoring a historic Belgian-American farmhouse and have asked her to consult on its furnishings. She recently learned some upsetting news about her family and something is definitely bothering her boyfriend. Roelke McKenna, so maybe a week away, doing the thing she loves will do them both some good. She is meeting a woman there who she has worked with in the past. The woman is a lace expert and she has been told a valuable piece of lace is part of Heritage Hill’s collection. Both women are excited to learn about the lace and its origins.

It is winter in Wisconsin and driving north Chloe encounters some slippery conditions. Just before she reaches the B&B where she will be staying she notices a summer kitchen building right off the road.  She pulls over quickly to check the place out, but she makes a grisly discovery. A dead body has been stuffed into the old bake oven. This is not the way she planned to start her week. The death has nothing to do with her. Maybe she can leave everything to the police and just do what she came to Green Bay to do. But she knows that is not going to happen, she is going to find herself right in the middle of another investigation and her favorite police officer is many miles away.

I know when I pick up a book by Kathleen Ernst I am in for a delightful read. This book was no exception. I have spent my whole life in Wisconsin and every time I read a book by this wonderful author I still learn something new. I knew the basics of the historical events that take place in this story but her fictional telling of the time period resonates and makes the time, place, and people come alive.

The historical part of the story begins in Belguim in 1848 when 12-year-old Seraphine Moreau’s father dies and she and her twin sister, Octavie are taken by their uncle to a convent school in Bruges.  She leaves her friend Jean-Paul Lejeune behind but he doesn’t forget her, he visits her and the convent often and they pledge their love to each other. While at the convent both Seraphine and Octavie learn to make the beautiful bobbin Belgian lace. In 1854, Jean-Paul returns to ask Seraphine to be his wife and travel with him to America where there are new opportunities for farmers. The story then follows their lives in Wisconsin and joins together with the current story which is set in the 1980’s.

Again, Ernst really shows her storytelling chops by marrying these two time periods together seamlessly. Both time periods feature strong women in Chloe and Seraphine and even Octavie who remains in Belguim. We see through the letters to her sister what is happening across the Atlantic. Seraphine and the immigrants struggle to just survive at times was both heartbreaking and inspirational, the perseverance shown throughout their lives was remarkable. Chloe shows her strength time and time again and she strives the find the truth even while putting herself in danger.

In Chloe’s timeframe, I always need to remind myself, 1980’s, no cell phones, no easy access to the internet, no text messages. I love the nightly phone calls between Chloe and Roelke, the calling collect, and reversing the charges. Something the current generation of kids and young adults will never know. For them, both parts of this story would be historical. I know Ms. Ernst’s books would be a great way for them to learn about history. She makes it personal and her stories stick with her readers. Her stories are well-researched but fictional so she does juggle the dates sometimes to fit her narrative while still giving an accurate picture of the things her characters endure.

I do love that the stories in this series take place in actual destinations near where I live. As my grandchildren get older these are places I would love to take them. According to their website, “Heritage Hill has earned a reputation as a jewel of the Midwest for guests from within the area and those visiting the community.” I really thank the author for bringing this treasure to my attention.

The Lacemaker’s Secret is a fantastic story filled with characters that are truly believable. They will draw readers deep into their lives. The theme of Belgian lace and the setting in Wisconsin really shows the author’s love of the history of our state. This was an amazing read!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

The last book in this series also received a Paradise Rating.
Check out my review of Mining for Justice here.

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.
Webpage Facebook – Blog 

Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
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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.”

Oct 032018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to be today’s stop on the Assault and Beadery Great Escapes Tour! 

Assault and Beadery (A Cora Crafts Mystery)
by Mollie Cox Bryan

 

About the Book

Assault and Beadery (A Cora Crafts Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716442
ISBN-13: 978-1496716446
Digital ASIN: B078QM4V66

All of Cora Chevalier’s dreams are coming true. Since moving to Indigo Gap, North Carolina, the busy crafting maven has been blessed with a great boyfriend, a lovely home, and a booming craft retreat business. But on the eve of her first Crafty Mom’s Escape Weekend, tragedy strikes again in Indigo Gap. This time, it’s curtains for Stan Herald, the disagreeable director of the local theater group, who’s murdered on the opening night of their new production. Worse, Cora’s friend Zee is accused of the crime.

Cora is determined to prove her friend’s innocence, but Zee’s mysterious past is making that difficult. And with a list of suspects longer than a double spool of satin cording, getting a bead on the real culprit won’t be easy. With her friends Jane and Ruby at her side, Cora must string together the clues and solve Stan’s murder before the killer gives an encore performance.

Includes crafting tips!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return back to Indigo Gap just in time for the Crafty Mom’s Escape Weekend. In addition to getting ready for the event, Cora is helping with scenery for the upcoming play at the local theater. But before the curtain goes up for the production, the curtain comes down on its director, Stan Herald. Cora’s friend Zee is found near his body and becomes the prime murder suspect. Cora, Jane, and Ruby know their friend is innocent. They commit to finding the real killer to free their friend all while handling the Mom’s who have escaped for a fun and crafty weekend. Hopefully, the weekend will be a beading success on both counts.

A strong group of friends shines within these pages. Cora, Ruby, Jane, Cashel, come together to help their friend Zee. Cashel handles the legal stuff. Cora and Jane do the sleuthing. Ruby does whatever is needed so the others can do their thing. In this story, that means keeping the moms entertained and she does is well. These characters are a lively group and people I would love to be friends with, tagging along crafting and sleuthing would be a blast.

It does take a group of people to handle everything happening within these pages. Mollie Cox Bryan has crafted a clever mystery to go along with the crafting theme. Twists and turns really kept me guessing. Even after a confession, the case is not solved. This was a good one that kept me guessing right up until the end.

It is stories like these that make me love cozy mysteries. Before an accident left my right side paralyzed I was quite the crafter. Books in this series have not only brought back great memories but allowed me to vicariously do some arts and crafts. In fact, I think I could make some of the beads described with one hand and just a little bit of help with the cutting.

Wonderful characters, a great mystery, and fun crafts make this story A Perfect Escape! I am ready to book my next trip to Indigo Gap!

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About the Author

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbooking mystery series and the Cora Crafts mystery series. She is also author of two cookbooks, the regional bestseller Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies and Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant Cookbook: A Lifetime of Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley. An award-winning journalist and poet, she currently blogs, cooks, and scrapbooks in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband and two daughters. Scrapbook of Secrets was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Visit her on the web at molliecoxbryan.com.

Author Links

Website Facebook Pinterest Twitter

Purchase LinksAmazon   B&N   IndieBound   Kobo   BookBub


 

Praise for Assault and Beadery (A Cora Crafts Mystery)
by Mollie Cox Bryan

Assault and Beadery is packed with all that makes an excellent cozy mystery – character depth, well-plotted mystery, and an appealing small-town setting that you’d love to visit.
~The Power of Words

The crafty fun is described with delightful details. If not for the pesky murder, I would love to be a guest at this retreat.
~The Avid Reader

As much as this is a cozy mystery, it is so much more! Underneath the storyline is the theme of overcoming obstacles and how you move forward…basically reinventing yourself. That really struck a chord for me and sets this book somewhat apart from other books in the genre.
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

ASSAULT AND BEADERY is an engaging mystery that empowers women while comforting them.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I really was educated while reading this Cozy Mystery novel: educated in certain types of Crafts (beadmaking, paper crafts, and Artistic playing cards), but equally so in the art of friendship, and the procedures of small business, and the foibles of small town living.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

If you love cozy mysteries than this is a book for you.
~cherylbbookblog

I just love this series! Cora is just so sweet that it seems against her nature to get involved in a murder yet she does so time and time again with success and danger.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

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September 25 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
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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.”

Sep 262018
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to share with you my thoughts on this new book from Anna Lee Huber!

Treacherous Is the Night (A Verity Kent Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – England but Verity travels to Belgium. 
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713176
ISBN-13: 978-1496713179
Kindle ASIN: B078QSYZ3H

In 1919 England, in the shadow of The Great War, many look to the spirit world for answers. But it will take an all too earthbound intrigue to draw in the discerning heroine of Anna Lee Huber’s latest mystery . . .

It’s not that Verity Kent doesn’t sympathize with those eager to make contact with lost loved ones. After all, she once believed herself a war widow. But now that she’s discovered Sidney is very much alive, Verity is having enough trouble connecting with her estranged husband, never mind the dead. Still, at a friend’s behest, Verity attends a séance, where she encounters the man who still looms between her and Sidney—and a medium who channels a woman Verity once worked with in the Secret Service. Refusing to believe her former fellow spy is dead, Verity is determined to uncover the source of the spiritualist’s top secret revelation.

Then the medium is murdered—and Verity’s investigation is suddenly thwarted. Even Secret Service agents she once trusted turn their backs on her. Undaunted, Verity heads to war-torn Belgium, with Sidney by her side. But as they draw ever closer to the danger, Verity wonders if she’s about to learn the true meaning of till death do us part . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this follow up to This Side of Murder, Ex-Secret Service Agent Verity Kent is doing her best to reconnect with the husband she believed was killed in the war. His surprising return happened in the last book just as she started to have feelings for another man. It is difficult to curb those new feelings when the man seems to pop up everywhere as he did to a séance her friend had dragged her too.

In This Side of Murder a Quija board upset Verity greatly and this time a séance sends her into a tizzy when the medium singles her out and reveals secret information about one of the other agents Verity has worked with. Before Verity has a chance to question the medium is suspiciously killed. Unsure who she can trust Verity starts her own investigation and she and her husband Sidney travel to Belgium. They know they have been followed but she needs to find the truth no matter how dangerous her mission seems.

Verity Kent is a complex woman who has had quite a life for her young years. Working as a Secret Service Agent during the war took her to dangerous places and put her in dangerous situations. Her husband quickly sees this is not the same woman he left behind when he went into battle. She has become confident and almost fearless. It makes him see his own service in a different light too. Their relationship had become stunted because they both held everything in. While he wants to escape to the country she can’t back away from the search for her compatriot. This could be the final straw that breaks their marriage.

In addition to the relationship struggles of our protagonist, the author delivers an excellent mystery. Verity’s quest to find her cohort takes us deeply into La Dame Blanche (Belgian underground intelligence). She knows her friend needs her help and the path we follow with her is absolutely captivating and at times scary. Each twist, each turn, a breadcrumb here, a breadcrumb there, she doesn’t give up. As a reader, I enjoyed following this strong, smart. woman wherever she went.

Anna Lee Huber gives us a look at England and beyond after World War I in rich detail. She describes the places and the people so vividly. This author knows how to build a story that is full of intrigue. She has done her research and I always feel like I learn something while reading her books. The detail while great did slow down the pace just a bit in places, but when the pace picked up I was glued to the pages to the very end.

The book leaves me with a bit of a conundrum. I really like Max, the other man in Verity’s life, but I should want her to be with her husband, right. Sidney may have had his reasons for what he did, but it just toasts me that he just thinks Verity should welcome him with open arms. I am very interested to see what the author has planned for Verity.

This book can be read all on its own, but I recommend reading them in order to fully understand Verity and the situations that occur within this story.

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You can read my review for This Side of Murder here.

About the Author

Anna Lee Huber is the author of historical mystery series. She received the Daphne du Maurier Award for her national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries. She is a summa cum laude graduate from Lipscomb University in Nashville. To find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my review copy!
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.

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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

 

 

Sep 192018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to have Cleo Coyle drop by for a visit!

Why We Made Our Ghost Reappear

By Cleo Coyle

“Jack and Pen are a terrific duo who prove that love can transcend anything.”

—The Mystery Reader

For nearly ten years, fans of our Haunted Bookshop Mysteries told us how much they missed our stories. Emails, messages, comments on posts implored us to bring our series back. We expected this outcry to die down, but it never did, which is why we returned to writing it.

Look for our brand new Haunted Bookshop Mystery, The Ghost, and the Bogus Bestseller, to be released next week by our longtime publisher. We dedicated it to our readers, who waited almost a decade for Jack to come back. And who is Jack? If you’re new to our series, he’s the first (of five) reasons fans say they love our books…

 

Haunted Bookshop Mysteries by Cleo Coyle

 

#1 THE HARDBOILED GHOST: Jack Shepard, PI

A tough PI from the mean streets of New York, Jack lived on the rougher side of life. His death (in 1949) was no picnic, either. Gunned down while pursuing a lead in a murder case, he was left with a hardened outlook, especially when it came to judging people and their motives. Despite his troubled spirit, Jack has a wicked sense of humor, and he can’t help cracking wise about the absurdities of our modern life—from paying for water in a bottle to staring half the day at a little glowing screen.

 

Penelope McClure – Haunted Bookshop Mysteries by Cleo Coyle

#2 THE PRIM BOOKSELLER: Penelope McClure

A young widow with a little boy, Penelope Thornton-McClure once believed in spirits, until a series of tragic losses took her faith away. Slowly, Jack Shepard is restoring that faith, and though Pen often bristles at the ghost’s retro male attitude, she’s encouraged by the strangest irony of all—the ghost’s belief in her. Whether Jack is an actual apparition or the vivid imaginings of a stressed and lonely widow, the surly, wise-cracking gumshoe is Pen’s daily companion and a handy advisor when big-city crimes come to Pen’s small town.

 

via GIPHY

 

#3 QUINDICOTT: The Quaint Rhode Island Town

Readers love spending time in Penelope’s charming hometown. Quindicott may be less posh than nearby Newport, but its residents are proud of its revived Cranberry Street business district and renowned Victorian B&B. Fresh ocean air, amazing seafood, and a neighborly community make it one of the area’s most pleasant places to live—even if you happen to be dead.

 

#4 THE QUIBBLERS IN THE BOOKSHOP

The “Quibblers” are a cast of quirky characters who make up the local Quindicott Business Owners Association. They meet regularly in Penelope’s charming old bookshop (guarded by Pen’s cat Bookmark). There’s Fiona Finch, the fastidious co-owner of Finch Inn, who has a penchant for True Crime books and “happening to overhear” conversations between guests. Seymour, the outspoken mailman who moonlights as an ice cream truck driver, collects vintage pulp fiction, and lives in a haunted mansion. And there are plenty of other colorful characters who Pen dearly loves—and the ghost barely tolerates.


#5 THE MURDER MYSTERIES: Twisty Plots to Die For

The entertaining murder mystery storylines of our Haunted Bookshop series have kept readers happily turning pages for years. Join our prim bookseller as she teams up with her hardboiled ghost to catch cunning killers. Each book can be read as a stand-alone or in order. The six titles are…

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure

The Ghost and the Dead Deb

The Ghost and the Dead Man’s Library

The Ghost and the Femme Fatale

The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion

And our newest release…

The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller

 

CLICK HERE FOR CLEO COYLE’S
FREE CHECKLIST OF HAUNTED BOOKSHOP TITLES
(BOOKS IN ORDER)

 

CLEO COYLE is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the Coffeehouse Mysteries, now celebrating fifteen years in print and three starred reviews. Alice and Marc are also bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together, including the beloved Haunted Bookshop Mysteries.

Visit Cleo’s website: HauntedBookshopMysteries.com
Subscribe to her free E-newsletter
Follow Cleo on Facebook and Twitter
Follow Jack Shepard (The Ghost) on his Facebook Page

Thank you so much for visiting today!! 

Now let me give you my thoughts on The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller.

The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller (Haunted Bookshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Rhode Island
Berkley (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0425237451
ISBN-13: 978-0425237458
Kindle ASIN: B078VX9SNF

Penelope Thornton-McClure and her bookshop’s ghost-in-residence Jack Shepard are back on a new case in this delightful paranormal mystery from New York Times bestselling author Cleo Coyle.

A big bestseller leads to small town trouble.

Bookshop owner Penelope Thornton-McClure didn’t believe in ghosts, until she was haunted by the hard-boiled spirit of 1940s private investigator Jack Shepard. Now Jack is back on the job, and Pen is eternally grateful…

After an elegant new customer has a breakdown in her shop, Penelope suspects there is something bogus behind the biggest bestseller of the year. This popular potboiler is so hot that folks in her tiny Rhode Island town are dying to read it–literally. First one customer turns up dead, followed by another mysterious fatality connected to the book, which Pen discovers is more than just fiction. Now, with the help of her gumshoe ghost, Pen must solve the real-life cold case behind the bogus bestseller before the killer closes the book on her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jack and Pen fans Rejoice! This series is back with a brand new mystery! New readers Rejoice! The authors have written this mystery in a way that you can jump right in with this new mystery and feel right at home. 

Penelope Thornton-McClure got more than she bargained for in her bookshop, but now that she has gotten to know Private Eye Jack Shepard she wouldn’t have it any other way. You see, Jack is a ghost from the 1940’s, killed in the shop in 1947, and he has saved her more than once. Together they have solved quite a few mysteries too.

A new book has just been released and it has been flying off the shelves. When a well to do customer falls apart in the store after a peek at the book jacket, Pen becomes concerned. That and the woman ran out of the store without paying for the book. When Pen tracks her down she makes a horrible discovery, the woman is dead and was killed not long before Pen’s arrival. The police say suicide but Pen doesn’t think so. There is a whole lot more about this bestseller than the story within the pages and with Jack’s help Pen is going find out what it is, even if it means making contact with a killer.

I was so excited to hear this series was returning. Book #5, The Ghost in the Haunted Mansion was released in 2008. Ten years later our patience has been rewarded. Don’t worry if you have forgotten details about the characters or if this is a new series to you. The characters are all introduced like this is the first book in the series. They are some incredible characters too. Jack, Pen, Aunt Sadie, co-owner of the bookstore, mailman Seymour, and Bookmark, the cat,  are all back.

The author’s style of writing really set a scene and give readers a  delightful mystery. Well-written and well-plotted the story is full of twists and turns that make the book very hard to put down.  I really love the trips back in time Jack takes Pen on via her dreams. She and readers get to see how one of his old cases played out and helps her see clues to the current mystery.

These authors never fail to give readers an impressive mystery. I was so excited to start reading this book but was sad to see it end. I am so happy to have reconnected with these characters and truly hope we do not have to wait 10 years to visit Quindicott again.

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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.”

Sep 122018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli to Escape with Dollycas today!

Hi Everyone,

When my agent suggested Little Libraries might make a good topic for a series, I did what I always do, smiled and nodded while thinking: “That’s nuts!  What can I do with Little Library boxes that sit out in front of houses?

They sit there at the curb, one purpose only: to hold borrowable books and make readers happy.   How do I stuff a body into one of those little things?  How do I plant clues?  How do I work up suspense?  How do I stage a final scene with the killer cornering my sleuth: his eyes blood red, a knife in his raised hand, the final thrust within inches…?

I thought up mysteries based on themes in a famous writer’s work., or a style, a book from a series, a character, a setting . . . from shadowy moors with a voice calling from a parked Porsche: “Heathcliff! Where the hell are you?” to a 21st century Scrooge with a murderous ghost hiding in his natural-stone shower.  I looked at writers from Shakespeare: “Out, out, damned spot.  Thy DNA wilt gives me away.”

To:

Edgar Allen Poe:  The Tell-Tale Heart.   My title: What’s That Beating in my Walls.

Joseph Kesselring, the Broadway play of 1941: Arsenic and Old LaceMy title: Batrachtoxin and Spandex

Frances Hodgson Burnett:  The Secret Garden.  My title: Mulch and Murder.

Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca. My title: Hmmm.  Maybe, for that lying, cheating Rebecca:  Sure Glad She’s Dead.

Louise May Alcott:  Little Women.  My title: The Family that Preys Together.

But this is what I’ve settled on so far:

I took bits of Alice in Wonderland, stirred in some whimsical flavoring, committed a couple of murders, threw in a Little Woman with a giant chip on her shoulder, and out popped: A Most Curious Murder.

Then—Emily Dickinson, at long last she’s slipped into my hands.  I used, not her work but her life in their icy Amherst, MA house with sister Lavinia.  I threw in a heap of jealousy, touched a match to it, and came up with: She Stopped for Death.

Then—In Want of a Knife.  This is Jane Austen (believe it or not).  I found what I was looking for in Pride and Prejudice.  I discovered that mothers wanting rich husbands for their daughters are alive and well, in this century, in Bear Falls, Michigan.  Rich husbands might be murderers, or maybe it’s their friends.  It all works out in the end:  some daughters get their men, murderers are duly dispatched, and everyone lives happily ever after.

And now I’m writing: He Went out and Hanged himself.  You’ve got to know that’s Agatha Christie.  This one’s easy.  Ten people isolated in the forests of Upper Michigan.  They disappear—one by one (almost), old sins follow them, and eventually, the dead are unburied for all to see.

And that’s it—so far.   But who knows where this series will take me: Anna Karenin?, Animal Farm?  Maybe Lord of the Flies?

After all, there’s no place like a library.

What a great idea:  Little Libraries!   (I love my agent).

~Elizabeth

Thank you, Elizabeth, for visiting today!

Now let me give you my thoughts on In Want of a Knife.


In Want of A Knife: A Little Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Crooked Lane Books (September 11, 2018)
Hardcover: 321 pages
ISBN-10: 1683317378
ISBN-13: 978-1683317371
Kindle ASIN: B078MB5DHT

When they investigate a string of disappearances of young girls, will Jenny Weston and Zoe Zola be dispatched with extreme pride and prejudice?

Amateur sleuth and little librarian Jenny Wilson is set on edge when the police discover a young girl’s body, dressed in an old-fashioned white lace dress, just outside Bear Falls. And when another local girl from town disappears soon after, Jenny and her next-door neighbor, author and little person Zoe Zola, know they have to help the beleaguered police chief.

But first, Jenny and Zoe have new neighbors to meet: A trio of wealthy newcomers from Chicago has just moved into a huge mansion on Lake Michigan. Nathan and Delia Wickley are genial siblings, and Fitzwilliam Dillon, the mansion’s owner, is a Little Person like Zoe. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a rich gentleman seeking to ingratiate himself to his new neighbors will spread a bit of largesse around, and Fitzwilliam is no exception: He has offered two million dollars to Bear Falls. But the townspeople are far from agreed on what to do with the money—and the deliberations are far from peaceful.

But it’ll all come to naught if the missing girl isn’t found, and the culprit identified. And when she ventures alone to a mysterious structure in the woods, Zoe may not live to resolve her romantic dilemmas. Though neither Jenny nor Zoe is particularly placid or even-tempered, love and danger beckon them.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Dora’s daughter Jenny and famous author, Zoe team up in this story after one young girl is found dead on the side of the road and another girl goes missing. The police are doing a huge search and as soon as the amateur sleuths meet their new neighbors they will join the search and meet with the girl’s mother and her friend to see if they can get more insight as to where the girl may have gone.

The new neighbors, wealthy people from Chicago, are not very well received. The owner of the new mansion on the lake, Fitzwilliam Dillon, is a Little Person like Zoe and treats her horribly. His two friends aren’t much better, but this group is offering the town two million dollars to invest in something that all residents will benefit from, so the Zoe and the rest of the greeting committee try to bite their tongues until they leave the mansion. Dora agrees to take on Fitz and his friends while Jenny and Zoe do all they can to save the girl who is missing.

Little Librarian Dora takes a bit of a backseat in this story. Jenny and Zoe shine as the trek through the woods searching for any clue that may lead them to the missing girl. They think her friend may have information but he is out of town with his father. The police want all the help they can get and encourage Jenny and Zoe to reach out to this young man as soon as he gets home. I missed the way Jenny and Dora worked together, but really enjoyed the way Zoe cast everything aside, okay, she really doesn’t like the topic of her new book, but she really stepped up this time especially when she has to take 2 steps to everyone else’s 1 and traveling through that woods was hard. The author did an excellent job of making me feel like I was there every step of the way.

Readers were also treated to a complex mystery. First, they had to decide if and how the two teenagers were connected and that wasn’t easy. Suspects were determined by the result. Truthfully the whole thing came down to Zoe and Jenny’s determination that the woods was key. The story is broken into eight parts. I love this author’s writing style. The story had a slow build, each section got a little more intense. By the time I reached Part 8, my heart was beating fast and I could not read the pages fast enough.  Like in the last book a psychological element is brought to light as the mystery is solved.

The subplot of Zoe’s book brought the necessary humor to the story. Her take Pride and Prejudice and the women Jane Austen had created crack me up time and time again. I agreed with her but I do enjoy the escape I get when reading an Austen book.

Jenny’s romantic life is in flux in this book but by the end, things take a turn. No spoilers, you have to read the book.

This is another wonderful book from Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli. Her lead characters are genuine and women whose lives I have become invested in. Each stop to Bear Falls has been very interesting and entertaining. I am excited for more books in this series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.
She loves hearing from readers. Contact me at my website: www.elizabethbuzzelli.com where Emily Kincaid, Deputy Dolly, and she all blog.

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Written as Elizabeth Lee

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Sep 052018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to have Susan Boles visit today as part of her Great Escapes Book Tour!

Hi Everyone,

Death said the Gypsy Queen is Book 4 in the Lily Gayle Lambert mystery series. When you’re an author, people always ask how you came up with that idea. At least, they ask me a lot. So, today, I’m going to elaborate on where the idea for this book came from.

I love to listen to music that is now called “classic” rock. That term gives me the shivers; because it’s the music I listened to when I was a teenager and the term ‘classic’ sounds like antique to me. Which translates to old in my mind. How’s that for several degrees of separation? Ugh. I’m digressing from the topic here.

So. Classic rock. On this particular occasion, Sign Of The Gypsy Queen by April Wine came on the radio. I was reading with the radio playing in the background when the song came on. I can remember vaguely realizing that it was a once-upon-a-time favorite song I hadn’t heard in a long time; and kind of hummed along as I read. And, then, the hair literally stood up on my arms and I focused on the lyrics.

Gypsy. Fortune telling. In previous Lily Gayle books, I had revealed that there was a circus connection among the people who lived at The Midnight Dragonfly in book one (when it was Mitchell Manor) and the person living there in book three. So. Right then I realized I needed a fortune-teller predicting something that would happen in book four. Every circus has a fortune-teller, right?

But, why was she in Mercy, Mississippi by herself? And what would she be predicting? Was she really in touch with forces beyond our understanding? Or, was she revealing information she already knew in a way she felt would have the most impact? Who doesn’t love the idea of a mysterious event?

In Death said the Gypsy Queen we see more of the backstory of Vlad and his sleep study at the same time we enjoy Lily Gayle, Dixie and Miss Edna solving the latest murder in town. Is there a connection between the two?

I hope you’ll read Death said the Gypsy Queen to find out.

~Susan

Thank you, Susan, so much for being my guest today!

Death said the Gypsy Queen
by Susan Boles

About the Book


Death said the Gypsy Queen: A Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Argent Ocean Publishing
Number of Pages – 210
Not up on Amazon or GoodReads yet

“Beware the sign of the vampire blood,” said the fortune teller. “It brings madness and turmoil.”

Lily Gayle knows what that means, but, for the life of her, can’t figure out how the fortune teller does. A quick road trip with Dixie. An unplanned stop at a roadside park. And, an hour later a dead body. Lily Gayle, Dixie and Miss Edna find themselves knee deep in another homicide investigation when the local vet assistant turns up dead behind an outbuilding at the farmers market.

Lily Gayle believes the words of the fortune teller will have a major impact on the investigation but can’t bring herself to tell the other ladies. To reveal what she believes the words mean might bring trouble to another old friend. And would betray a trust. Only Ben knows and he, as usual, advises Lily Gayle to stay out of his investigation – which she isn’t about to do.

When the secret is revealed, the townspeople go mad and the fortune tellers words come true. Can Lily Gayle, Dixie and Miss Edna solve the murder before more people are harmed?

About the Author

Susan is the award-winning author of the Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery Series and a contributing author to the Brotherhood Protectors World.

A lifelong long love of all things mysterious led Susan to write cozy mysteries. Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were the first to show her that girls can be crime solvers. Agatha Christie showed her that even small towns have big secrets. And Phryne Fisher showed her lady detectives can be outrageously individual. She lives in Mississippi with her rescue mini dachshund, Lucy, and her rescue cat of no particular breed, Zimba. She currently writes the Lily Gayle Lambert mystery series set in the fictional town of Mercy, Mississippi featuring a multi-generational cast of female sleuths and romantic suspense in the Brotherhood Protectors Kindle World.

Susan writes mysteries and set in the big city of Memphis, TN and the fictional small town of Mercy, Mississippi.

CONTACT SUSAN:

Susan loves to hear from readers and book lovers! Visit her website at www.susanbolesauthor.com Or drop her a line at susan@susanbolesauthor.com

Author Links:
Website  Twitter – @SusanBAuthor – Blog – Facebook – Linked In – GoodReads Instagram – Pinterest – Bookbub

Purchase Link – Amazon

Prior Books in this Series 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 5 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
September 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST
September 6 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW 
September 6 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST
September 7 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 8 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – SPOTLIGHT
September 9 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 10 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 11 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
September 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 12 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
September 13 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
September 14 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 14 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – The Montana Bookaholic – GUEST POST
September 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
September 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 17 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
September 18 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Aug 292018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to welcome Bailey Cattrell back to Escapes With Dollycas!

A Mysterious Manuscript and More in Marigolds for Malice
by Bailey Cattrell

 
(Provided by Publicist)

Marigolds for Malice is the third book in the Enchanted Garden Mystery series. Elliana Allbright is still running her perfume and aromatherapy shop, Scents and Nonsense, in Poppyville, California. The scent-related empathy that allows her to create custom essential oil blends to benefit her clients is developing more and more, and business is booming. She loves her work, her tiny house, her friends, and her town. In late March, the Enchanted Garden behind her shop is burgeoning, filled with spring blooming plants and the tender green shoots of new growth between the tiny fairy tableaus and gnome doors. Better yet, Ritter Nelson is returning from his research project in the Alaskan tundra, so her love life is about to pick up in a big way.

So, life is better than good … until another murder throws a wrench into things.

Ellie’s women’s business group, the Greenstockings, have been putting the finishing touches on the Heritage House Gold Rush Museum. It’s housed in a small log cabin that’s been restored and moved to the park behind the library. Retired Berkeley history professor Eureka Sanford has a special interest in the California Gold Rush and is helping out.

As the group sifts through items to put on display, they discover a time capsule from the mid-1800s. Inside are several artifacts from Poppyville’s heyday, including a gold nugget the size of an orange and a black-and-white photo of a woman who could have been Ellie’s identical twin. There’s also a mysterious manuscript that appears to be much older and doesn’t seem to be related to the other contents of the time capsule.

The manuscript, soon dubbed the Xavier manuscript, is written in several alphabets and is in a language no one understands. Eureka Sanford knows it’s rare and valuable, but Ellie senses something more about it. When she goes to find out more, she discovers Eureka dead in the museum, and the contents of the time capsule missing.

The last thing Ellie wants is to go up against Detective Max Lang in another murder investigation, but this time the chief of police is heading the investigation. He’s a busy man, though, and Ellie doesn’t quite trust that he’s giving the case the proper amount of attention. So, in the interest of justice for Eureka – and finding the Xavier manuscript, which seems to hold a key to her own past and strange scentual abilities – Ellie starts asking questions.

I’m often asked where I get my ideas. The answer is: everywhere. It’s not a constant influx of lovely ah has!, of course, and rarely do they come fully formed. Rather, there are bits from here and pieces from there, incidents of gosh, isn’t that interesting that go into the mix along with truths that are stranger than fiction. Over time, they synthesize into plot points, character development, and sometimes into the hooks upon which I hang an entire story.

A few years ago, a friend sent me a link to a Wikipedia article about the Voynich manuscript. It described, “an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system.” It was carbon dated to the early 1400s, and probably written in Italy. Codebreakers from all over had tried to decipher it with no luck. And the illustrations? Some were pretty weird, but others reminded me of the kinds of pictures Ellie’s gamma drew in her garden journal – the one which always seems to contain new information just when Ellie needs it.

I decided against using the Voynich manuscript in Marigolds for Malice per se. For one thing, I wanted the freedom for the manuscript to be what the story needed, and the Voynich is well and specifically documented. It’s also been posited to be a fraud or a hoax. And not too long ago, someone determined that the language wasn’t mysterious so much as it contained a bunch of Latin abbreviations. He concluded that it was actually a medical text written for women’s health.

True? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter, because reading about the Voynich manuscript sparked the idea for the Xavier manuscript, which may or may not be related to Ellie’s grandmother’s mysterious and magical garden journal, and which Ellie – and possibly one other person – can understand even if they don’t know the language it’s written in.

Because I really do think magic is around us all the time if we look for it…and so are ideas.

Other things that sparked aspects of this book? A picture of my great grandmother that looks exactly like my aunt was posted on my family genealogy Facebook page. That made me think about doppelgangers, and then whether Ellie might have one, and why. Watching the first episode of Deadwood again inspired me to research some of the less savory aspects of the Gold Rush in Ellie’s town. A friend’s son was working with his classmates to create a time capsule for future students at his school, and that made me wonder whether time capsules are ever misinterpreted by those who open them. And, as usual, my own interests in gardening, aromatherapy, herbalism, soap making, and, of course, cookies, were sprinkled into the book as well.

Marigolds for Malice includes recipes for Astrid’s Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and Ellie’s Oatmeal Milk Bath. Next up is Cookies and Clairvoyance, the eighth in the Magical Bakery Mystery series that I write as Bailey Cates. For more information about my books, please visit www.baileycattrell.com .

Happy reading!

~Bailey

Thank you, Bailey, for dropping by and giving insight about this book.

Keep reading for my review.

Marigolds for Malice (An Enchanted Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Berkley (August 28, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451476905
ISBN-13: 978-0451476906
Kindle ASIN: B078DW46M3

In the third captivating Enchanted Garden Mystery from Bailey Cattrell, Elliana Allbright will need to dig up clues from the past to weed out a killer…

Elliana Allbright is happy running her perfume shop, Scents & Nonsense, in the charming town of Poppyville, California. And she’s even happier when she can use her inherited abilities to infuse her perfumes with an extra special something that eases woes or solves problems for her customers. But she’ll need those abilities and more when murder comes to town.

Ellie and her women’s business group, the Greenstockings, are helping to open a new museum about local history, and while sorting through the collection of artifacts they discover a time capsule from the days of the Gold Rush. Among the contents is a strange botanical manuscript, recognized by local history professor Eureka Sanford as extremely rare and valuable. When the professor is found dead in the museum, Ellie has no choice but to sniff out the murderer… but this one may have roots that are as old as Poppyville.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Elliana Allbright is the owner of Scents & Nonsense where she sells items made with special oils she distills from plants in her own garden. The Enchanted Garden is right next to the shop and abuts right up to her tiny house. The garden is a relaxing place with spots for people to sit and wind down from the stress in their lives. Ellie’s dog, Dash and shop cat, Nabokov have free rein of the area so they may dish out their own kind of comfort too.

Ellie belongs to a women’s group, the Greenstockings. They are busy cataloging artifacts for a new local history museum. In their endeavor, they find want appears to be a time capsule for the 1800’s. The town quickly makes an event out of its opening. Inside they find some rare items and local history professor Eureka Sanford tells all that the items could be quite valuable. After most of the items are returned to the museum, Eureka is found dead and most of the items are missing. Ellie is quite interested in the items for a personal reason so she is determined to root out the killer and get the items back.

Elliana Allbright is a wonderful protagonist. She has a gift passed on by her Gamma of being able to match each person with the right combination of scents for them and any problem they may be facing. Her Gamma’s journal is the guidebook and has been the key to everything she knows. A magical journal that still updates itself long after her Gamma’s passing. In this story, it again plays a critical part in solving the mystery.  It is fun tagging along with Ellie as she sniffs around for answers. I love the way she and Detective Lupe Garcia work together, especially this time because the chief of police has taken the lead on the case.

The mystery is not easy to solve and the killer tries to permanently stop Ellie from investigating which just riles her up even more. There are several suspects to check out. While reading along I suddenly had my “aha moment”.  I read a little further and thought “no, that can’t be right”, but then after a few more pages I joyously found out I was right. The author tried hard to lead me astray but I was almost as determined as Ellie  😀

Now, I can’t finish this review without mentioning the cover. All the covers for this series have been amazing and I want to give a shout out to cover artist Adrienne Langer. She captures the beauty of Ellie’s enchanted garden perfectly. That alone should have people grabbing the book off the shelves. Then to read the story and read the descriptions the author provides of the entire garden, Ellie’s shop, and her little house provides the added imagery needed to bring the setting to life. Poppyville and Scents & Nonsense sound like somewhere I would love to visit again and again.

An enchanting place, engaging characters, and a truly entertaining mystery all come together to give readers “A Perfect Escape”. Until next time . . . I can hardly wait!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Bailey Cattrell writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Bakery Mystery series as Bailey Cates. She has studied philosophy, English, and history, and has held a variety of positions, ranging from driver’s license examiner to soap maker. She also writes the Home Crafting Mysteries as Cricket McRae.

 


Writing as Bailey Cates


Writing as Cricket McRae

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

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.

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

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

 

Contest Will End September 12, 2018, 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.”

Aug 222018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to feature Murder on Memory Lake today!

Murder on Memory Lake (A Ferrara Family Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (July 31, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 149671394X
ISBN-13: 978-1496713940
Kindle ASIN: B0776DRP8N

Murder on Memory Lake – For Alberta Scaglione, her golden years are turning out much more differently than she expected—and much more deadly . . .

Alberta Scaglione’ s spinster aunt had some secrets—like the fortune she squirreled away and a secret lake house in Tranquility, New Jersey. More surprising: she’s left it all to Alberta. Alberta, a widow, is no spring chicken and she’s gotten used to disappointment. So having a beautiful view, surrounded by hydrangeas, honeysuckle, and her cat, Lola, sounds blissful after years of yelling and bickering and cooking countless lasagnas.

But Tranquility isn’t as peaceful as it sounds. There’s a body in the water—and it belongs to Alberta’s childhood nemesis. Alberta suspects foul play and when Alberta’s estranged granddaughter, an aspiring crime reporter, shows up, it only makes sense for them to team up and investigate . . .

Includes Italian recipes from Alberta’s kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Most of us hope we have a long lost relative that will leave us a fortune. Well, Alberta Scaglione thought she knew her aunt quite well, but was totally surprised to find she had quite a nest egg and a house on the lake in Tranquility, New Jersey. Even more surprising was she left it all to Alberta. Alberta and her cat quickly moved to the house on Memory Lake. The view was idyllic until it was marred by a dead body in the lake. The dead body of someone she knows.

Alberta’s relationship with her daughter has always been strained. Her daughter and her family moved to Florida several years ago and have never come back, even for a visit, so Alberta is thrilled when her granddaughter accepts a job nearby as a journalist. Her dream is to be a hard news crime reporter so she jumps at the chance to team up with her grandmother on a little murder investigation of their own. But will they take it a step too far and put themselves in danger??

Our protagonist is an Italian grandmother and she doesn’t let her age get in the way of doing what she wants. Alberta and her granddaughter Jinx take on a lot to solve this murder mystery. Alberta knew it was murder way before the police did, she even had to point out the clues to her old friend, Chief Vinny D’Angelo. To get close to her suspects and to get information Alberta takes a job where the victim worked. She and Jinx come up with some zany ideas. They even get Alberta’s sister, a former nun, and sister-in-law, who they like much more than their brother, involved in their plans. This is a wonderful group of core characters. They have depth but the author has left them plenty of room to grow as the series continues.

Mr. Griffo has written an elaborate mystery with twists and turns and a unique motive. Several characters seem to have had means and opportunity but the motive seems to be the same. Watching the ladies try to figure out the victim’s “collection” was so enjoyable and at times really funny and sometimes scary. I liked that they sometimes split up or worked in pairs to do their inquiries and they met around the kitchen table to share their findings and theories. Like any Italian family food and drink was also involved, but Jinx trying to make Alberta’s recipes more health conscious was an epic fail 🙂 Sometimes their ideas were pretty out there. I had zeroed in on the killer just before Alberta but the way the ending played out was very exciting.

I liked the bits of Italian we learn throughout the story. The dialogue ran true and always had a nice flow.

Tranquility, New Jersey sounds like a really nice place to vacay. I sure enjoyed my first visit.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

J.D. Griffo is an award-winning writer and a graduate of New York University. He has studied at Playwrights Horizons and Gotham Writers Workshop and has written several screenplays.

Coming March 26, 2019


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.

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 5, 2018, 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.”

Aug 152018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Cate Conte to Escape With Dollycas today! 

Hi Everyone,

One of the best things about my journey as a writer is my friendship with the Wickeds. For those of you who know about our Wicked Cozy Author blog, you know that the six of us—Jessie Crockett, Sherry Harris, Julie Hennrikus, Edith Maxwell, Barb Ross, and me—are way more than blogmates. We are friends, confidants, a support system. Family, actually. We are very blessed to be on this crazy writing journey together. And once a year, we “escape” on an annual retreat—a long weekend that never seems to be long enough.

 

The retreat is usually held somewhere in Maine, although next year our location could change. We like to do it either in late spring or early summer, because that just seems like a great time to be doing anything in New England, especially on the coast.

The first few years we spent at Old Orchard Beach, which is so lovely. (Well, anywhere there’s a beach is a lovely location, in my view!) But a weekend of working, coupled with long walks on the beach, plotting conversations on the patio breathing in the smell of salt air is incredibly energizing and inspiring. The past two years we’ve spent in Boothbay Harbor, another treat with its charming downtown, different restaurants, and water views.

But honestly, no matter where we are, it’s perfect. I can honestly say I wait all year for this weekend, which always passes much too quickly. It is one of very few non-negotiable trips each year. We have group time, one-on-one time, and alone time. Although in recent years we’ve eschewed a lot of the alone time in favor of taking full advantage of being together, which doesn’t happen often (sadly).

When we first started these retreats, we were hyper-focused on getting writing done. Back then, we were all getting used to having contracts and deadlines, and desperately trying to get into a rhythm. As our blog and our careers evolved, we adjusted to spending more time talking about blog business, and also about the future of our careers. Sharing our dreams, ambitions and supporting each other through them is a huge part of who we are, and having people to do that with is invaluable.

And we do fun things too. One year, we made vision boards. We have plotting workshops for whoever is currently brainstorming a new project or is stuck in a plot. We have a tradition of fondue on Friday night. My little dog, Shaggy, is an honorary member of the Wickeds and has been included in the past couple years’ festivities. (She’s very good at plotting.)

Some people prefer Christmas – I like to say this weekend is my most wonderful time of the year. I always leave our annual retreat weekends feeling like I’ve been hugged. Although every year I’m left wondering exactly how it got to be Sunday afternoon so quickly, and we’re all hitting the road home until we can be together again at the next conference.

~Cate

Thank you, Cate, so much for visiting today!

Now let me tell you about Purrder She Wrote

Purrder She Wrote: A Cat Cafe Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Minotaur Books (July 31, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250072077
ISBN-13: 978-1250072078
Kindle ASIN: B078X2FHFW

Purrder She Wrote is second in the pawsitively charming new feline mystery series from Cate Conte set off the New England coast, where curiosity leads to some killer small-town secrets….

It’s the grand opening of Daybreak Island’s cat café, where customers can get cozy with an assortment of friendly felines—and maybe even take one or a few home. Co-owner Maddie James is purring with excitement over her new warm-and-fuzzy venture. . .until she becomes entangled in a petty drama between one of her volunteers, an ardent animal-rights activist, and a wealthy woman who insists on adopting a calico kitty—right this instant. The catfight that ensues is bad enough for business. But when the snubbed socialite is found dead with a tell-tale catnip toy on the scene, suspicion lands squarely on Maddie’s staffer. Now, with her reputation and her career prospects on the line (to say nothing of her budding romance with a handsome pet groomer) Maddie must do whatever it takes to solve the crime—before her nine lives are up.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Daybreak Island cat café is open and the response is fantastic. People can come in by appointment to play with a cat and can even offer it a furever home. Plus they can have a cup of coffee and a delicious baked treat themselves as well. Except one guest wants to take home a cat today, as in right now. One of Maddie’s volunteers knows the woman and her history with cats and they get into an argument about her fitness as a pet owner. The woman leaves but is later found dead with a catnip toy, handmade by the volunteer, stuffed in her mouth. Maddie’s volunteer becomes the prime suspect, but Maddie can’t believe she’s guilty and decides to do some investigating on her own.

The theme for this series is such a wonderful idea and the setting of Daybreak Island sounds like a great place to visit.

What I really love about this series though is the characters and their relationships. Maddie Day is a strong protagonist and I love the relationship she has with her grandfather. He is still trying to find his way after losing his wife and the cat cafe is a great project where he and Maddie can work together. She has also inherited his love of investigations and finding the truth. Maddie’s partner Ethan handles the kitchen and the food and he has great ideas for expanding on what they have started together. He also gets a surprising romantic interest in this installment. A certain pet groomer is interested in Maddie too, so there is love in the air on Daybreak Island.

The mystery is in a “cat”egory all it’s own. Thr victim was not a nice person and many suspects come to light. Twists and turns keep the pace moving right along, but you could have knocked me over with a feather as the real killer was being revealed. It was so cleverly written, total surprise.

These characters are fun, the mystery is tight, and all the subplots work. Drama, romance, cats, and comedy come together in all the right amounts to make this book “A Perfect Escape”.

 

Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.

Author Links
Webpage  Twitter  GoodReads  Facebook

Check out my review of Cat About Town here.

 


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 Cate/Liz’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 publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End August 29, 2018, 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.”

Just in Time (A Dodie O'Dell Mystery) by Suzanne TrauthOrder Your Copy Today!
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