Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – The Killer Outdoors (A Southwest Exposure Mystery) by Jodi Linton @JodiLinton1

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

The Killer Outdoors (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Indendently Published (October 5, 2020)
Paperback: 162 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8686725898

Digital ASIN : B08C72CMSV

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

 

Tourist season has hit Bushwhack and Andie Sullivan–owner of Sullivan’s Adventure Company–is ready for her town to fill up with city slickers, snotty teens, and the dollars she needs to keep her business afloat after her messy divorce from Bucky Gunn–local celebrity rafting guide and Sullivan’s main competition. With all her guided tours booked, it finally seems lady luck is on her side.

 

But then Bucky is found dead. Not great.

 

And she’s the prime murder suspect. Double not great.

 

Being framed for murder sucks worse than a rabid chipmunk bite. Andie’s determined to clear her name, and this time her survival training skills won’t be used to fetch an ice pack. But how long can she stay one step ahead of a killer before she becomes the final victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bushwhack, New Mexico is home to Sullivan’s Adventure Company. Andie Sullivan has taken the helm of the company after her father’s passing. She is also trying to move forward after her divorce from rafting guide Buddy Gunn. The man has now opened his own place and is competing with her for tourist dollars. If that isn’t bad enough he now wants the house she won in the divorce but she refuses to even entertain his offer to purchase.

When Buddy is killed, the evidence points directly at Andie. Someone has done a great job setting her up and she is not going to let them get away with it. Sadly she may become the killer’s next victim if she isn’t careful. It may take all the survival skills she has learned over the years to save her this time and catch the killer.

______

I devoured this story. I was engaged by Andie Sullivan immediately. She tough and smart and she has to be to make it in the adventure world. Buddy was a real piece of work and I was impressed by the way Andie stood up to him. There is a ton of romantic tension between Andie and Sherrif Zac Mars but she is crushing on Park Ranger Mike right now. She has known Zac her whole life, he is a friend of her brother and she even used to babysit him. It may be hard to move him out of the friend zone. Ms. Linton has done an excellent job of introducing her cast of characters.

At just 162 pages the story has a fast pace and while Zac asks Andie to leave the investigation to him she dives in anyway. I was totally blindsided by the big reveal. The exciting action brought me to the edge of my seat. All the clues wrapped up nicely but the killer wasn’t even on my radar. I loved the epic twist.

The Killer Outdoors was a gripping read while keeping true to all the cozy elements. This series is off to an exceptional start and I can’t wait to read the next book, The Hiker’s Guide To Murder will be out February 1, 2021. I am excited for my next visit to Bushwhack.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Jodi Linton

Hey Y’all,

I’m just a girl from Texas, minus the big hair…and oh, yeah, a horse. My crew consists of two kiddos, one which inherited my makeup addiction, and a husband still living out his garage band dreams, but in our closet next to my shoe collection.

I love to hang out with my readers, discussing books, recipes, and just everyday shenanigans. I got started in the romance community, which you might know a few of my books from there. Now, I’m all about the cozies…and the coffee. Yeah, can’t forget that.

I’d love for you to come join my reader group, Jodi’s Book Corner, or come like me on Facebook to discover my books. And chat. Naturally.

Author Links 

Facebook     Website   Twitter    BookBub

Youtube   Instagram  Jodi’s Book Corner   Newsletter


I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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 February 5, 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 author. 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 Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – A Zen For Murder (Moosamuck Island Cozy Mystery Series) by Leighann Dobbs #Review / #Giveaway

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


A Zen For Murder (Moosamuck Island Cozy Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Maine
Independently Published (November 11, 2014)
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1503235416
ISBN-13: 978-1503235410
Kindle ASIN: B00PHMW27U

A humorous old-fashioned whodunit with a male and female senior sleuth team and enough twists to keep you reading all night.

Tourist season is about to start, and murder is the last thing on the minds of the locals in Mooseamuck Island, Maine … but that’s about to change.

When local psychic Zoila Rivers is found dead at the zen garden, retired police consultants Dominic Benedetti and Claire Watkins are forced to team up to catch the killer. Too bad Claire and Dom don’t always see eye to eye.

But with an island full of locals who all have secrets, Claire and Dom have to put aside their differences in order to solve the case before the police arrest the wrong person and a killer goes free.

Will Claire and Dom figure out whose secret was worth killing for in time to stop the killer from claiming another victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mooseamuck Island, Maine is a popular place with retirees like Dominic Benedetti and Claire Watkins. They both worked as police consultants before their retirements. Dominic is a “just the facts” consultant, while Claire was more of a people profiler.  When Zoila Rivers, a local psychic is murdered in the local zen garden both decide to team up to try to find the killer. The local police are not happy with their interference explaining they could be putting themselves in danger but that doesn’t scare them off the case. Do they still have the skills to catch a murderer or will one or both of them be the killer’s next victim/s?

______

I found this book while searching for books for my Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge and happy that I did.

I enjoyed the characters in this story, maybe because most of them are pretty close to my own age, but they are cleverly written as well. The entire community was very realistically written.

Mooseamuck Island, Maine sounds like a beautiful place. I recently watched an HGTV show set in a similar community. Between what I saw on that program and the author’s descriptions it was easy to picture the community homes and places.

The mystery itself was very straight forward with a group of suspects I pared down quickly. One clue really stood out for me so I deduced the killer early on but that didn’t limit my enjoyment of the story. I loved the part animals played in solving the mystery too. A Maine Coon cat will always find its way into my heart.

A Zen for Murder was a quick entertaining read. I would like to visit these characters again soon so I have added the final two books in the series to my wish list.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Leighann Dobbs

USA Today Best Selling Author, Leighann Dobbs, has had a passion for reading since she was old enough to hold a book, but she didn’t put pen to paper until much later in life. After a twenty-year career as a software engineer with a few side trips into selling antiques and making jewelry, she realized you can’t make a living reading books, so she tried her hand at writing them and discovered she had a passion for that too! She lives in New Hampshire with her husband Bruce, their trusty Chihuahua mix Mojo and a beautiful rescue cat, Kitty. From Amazon


Find more books by Leighann Dobbs here.

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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 January 29, 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

*This book was from my personal collection.

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Better Off Read: A Bookmobile Mystery by Nora Page #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Better Off Read: A Bookmobile Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (May 8, 2018)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1683316436
ISBN-13: 978-1683316435
Kindle ASIN: B075QJRD2J

When her best hope of saving her storm-damaged library is found murdered, senior librarian Cleo Watkins hits the road in her bookmobile in search of justice.

Septuagenarian librarian Cleo Watkins won’t be shushed when an upstart young mayor threatens to permanently shelve her tiny town’s storm-damaged library. She takes to her bookmobile, Words on Wheels, to collect allies and rally library support throughout Catalpa Springs, Georgia.

However, Cleo soon rolls into trouble. A major benefactor known for his eccentric DIY projects requests all available books on getting away with murder. He’s no Georgia peach, and Cleo wonders if she should worry about his plans. She knows she should when she discovers him bludgeoned and evidence points to her best friend, Mary-Rose Garland.

Sure of Mary-Rose’s innocence, Cleo applies her librarian’s sleuthing skills to the case, assisted by friends, family, and the dapper antiquarian bookseller everyone keeps calling her boyfriend. Evidence stacks up, but a killer is overdue to strike again. With lives and her library on the line, Cleo must shift into high gear to close the book on murder in Better Off Read, the charming Bookmobile series debut by Nora Page.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In Better Off Read we meet Cleo Watkins. She is a Septuagenarian librarian trying to save her library after recent storm damage. While waiting on repairs she and her Persian cat Rhett Butler have pressed the library’s old bookmobile, Words on Wheels, into greater service to reach all her patrons. While delivering some questionable books to one of the library’s major benefactors, Buford Krandall, she finds him dead on the floor surrounded by books Cleo had delivered to him recently. She was really hoping he would help her convince the town’s mayor, Jebson Day, that the library was an important piece of the community. He has plans to shudder the library and invest the money to build an enormous fishing pier to draw professional fishermen to the area and she just can’t fathom her town without a library.

Cleo sees all the evidence and knows her grandson Ollie, and best friend, Mary-Rose Garland could be in trouble.  She enlists the help of antiquarian bookseller Henry Lafayette and his pug, Mr. Chaucer to help her check out other suspects and find the real killer and get them booked and behind bars. And oh, she is also going to do everything she can to save her library too.

____

I was a fan of Cleo Watkins before I had read the first quarter of the book. She is a smart spunky senior citizen with plenty of energy to do whatever she sets her mind to whether it be delivering books in the bookmobile, finding support to help her save her library, or tracking down a killer. Even when it looks like the murderer has set their sights on taking her down she doesn’t give up. It pushes her even more. She is driven to clear her grandson and her BFF. We meet several residents of Catalpa Springs as she travels around trying to hone in on who could have killed Buford. I enjoyed meeting her “gentleman friend” Henry. He is very supportive of her endeavors and a great help to her. His pug and Cleo’s cat also stole my heart quickly. All the characters were interesting but I think we just scratched the surface on their stories.

Ms. Page really twists things up in the plot of this mystery. My personal list of suspects was way off the mark. Following Cleo and her friends as they snoop out clues was fun and entertaining. At times it was laugh out loud funny. In the end, I was surprised by the conclusion of the story and that was absolutely great. The author had me fall for every little misdirection she had plotted.

Cleo Watkins is a treasure. Her passion for books just shines within these pages. She made this book a pure delight to read. Better Off Read is an excellent start for this series.  I will be reading book two in this series, Read On Arrival soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Nora Page enjoys rainy weather, the perfect biscuit, and quiet evenings in with her husband and cat. You can often find her in the company of books.

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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 January 22, 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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – The Worst Noel (The Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery Series) by Amy M. Reade #Review / #Giveaway

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

The Worst Noel
(The Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Colorado
Publisher: Pau Hana Publishing (August 31, 2018)
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1732690707
ISBN-13: 978-1732690707
Kindle ASIN: B07GZ67Q99

Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace, love, and joy, but for Lilly Carlsen, this Christmas is murder.

As a single mom, small business owner, and president of the local Chamber of Commerce, the last thing she needs is to find a dead body on the floor of her jewelry shop on the busiest shopping day of the year. And as if that isn’t enough, Lilly has to deal with a deadbeat ex-husband, a mother with declining mental health, and two teenagers.

But when a second body turns up, Lilly finds herself squarely in the crosshairs of suspicion. Can she figure out who killed the victims before she becomes one herself? And will her family’s Christmas be merry…or scary?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Lily Carlsen has made a good life for herself and her teenagers, Laurel and Tighe after her ex decided years ago that family life wasn’t for him. Her brother Bill is a police officer in town and they both watch over their mother who lives down the street from Lily. The kids are a big help too as the tentacles of dementia start to take control of their grandmother. The family also has a lovable pup named Barney.

Lilly owns the local jewelry store and is president of the Chamber of Commerce. She works long hours but has raised some really good kids.  She has been getting ready for the holiday rush and is excited about the Black Friday shoppers But when she arrives at her store she finds the back door unlocked and as she ventures inside notices the vault is open and a dead body on the showroom floor. The body belongs to a woman Lilly has a history with through the chamber. So even with a brother on the force, she finds herself a suspect in the woman’s murder.

A few days later another body is found, again someone Lilly was seen arguing with. Add to that, her ex shows up and wants to meet his kids. Kids he hasn’t seen since they were babies. Lilly has her hands full but when the killer gets too close for comfort she knows she has to step things up before she becomes the next dead body found.


I was familiar with Amy M. Reade but only knew about her gothic novels which really aren’t my cup of tea, but then I found this series and grabbed The Worst Noel to read this holiday season and I am so happy that I did. I was drawn to Lilly and her family immediately. They felt real, true to life dealing with issues many families deal with. Of course, then you throw in a dead body or two, and Lilly’s story gets very interesting. For the first book in the series, the characters are very well developed.  I truly enjoyed getting to know them.

The mystery was a little different because Lilly really tried to stay out of the investigation and get on with her life. Her brother told her what he could and gave her a little heads up with the police had more questions for her. When the police finally realize that Lily’s life may actually be in danger they finally start to look elsewhere. The story had an excellent flow and the pages were literally flying. Several people were introduced along the way and at one point in time, they were all on my suspect list.

I was totally entertained by The Worst Noel. With strong characters and plenty of twists, it was a joy to read. The author does add perfect amounts of humor and romance too. Don’t let the title scare you away. It is a great holiday read.  I look forward to spending more holidays with Lily and her family.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Amy M. Reade is the USA Today bestselling author of Secrets of Hallstead House, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and House of the Hanging Jade, all standalone Gothic mysteries. She has also written the Malice series, consisting of three contemporary mysteries set in the United Kingdom (The House on Candlewick Lane, Highland Peril, and Murder in Thistlecross). Ms. Reade is a former attorney living in New Jersey. She loves to read, cook, and travel. ~From Amazon

I am giving away 1 KINDLE Copy!

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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 January 1, 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

This was from my private collection.

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Much Ado in Maggody (The Arly Hanks Mysteries) by Joan Hess #Review / #Giveaway

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Much Ado in Maggody (The Arly Hanks Mysteries)
Humorous Mystery (Explicit Language)
2nd in Series
Setting – Arkansas
Publisher: MysteriousPress.com/Open Road;
Reprint edition (June 7, 2016)
Originally Published January 1, 1989
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 0312029527
ISBN-13: 978-0312029524
Kindle ASIN: B01ENRHKVC

A hilarious police procedural set in the strangest town in the Ozarks, where whip-smart sheriff Arly Hanks does everything she can to keep the peace.

 

Nothing ever happens in Maggody, Arkansas, population 755. Aside from handling the occasional barroom brawl or exploding still, Chief of Police Arly Hanks spends her days sipping coffee and squashing flies. She returned to Maggody two years ago, licking her wounds after a bad Manhattan divorce, and she fell backward into the role of sheriff. From Hizzoner the Moron—also know as Jim Bob Buchanon, the pettily corrupt mayor—to Ruby Bee Hanks—Arly’s mother and the town’s foremost gossip—the people of Maggody are all crazy in their own ways, and that craziness is about to turn deadly.

 

When Joanna Mae Nookim returns to work after giving birth, the bank manager bumps her down to minimum wage as punishment for taking time off. It’s outrageous, but there’s nothing Arly can do. But when the bank burns to the ground and the head teller is found dead, Maggody threatens to burst into an all-out revolution for the sake of women’s rights.

 

Fans of comic mysteries have known for years that no small town is quite like Maggody. With its wild cast of characters and its no-nonsense female detective, Much Ado in Maggody is evidence of master of cozy mysteries Joan Hess at her best.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Back in Maggody where mayhem is in rare form. Joanna Mae Nookim returns to her job at the bank after having a baby to find she has been demoted and been replaced by a wet behind the ears Brandon Bernswallow. Well, she is not going to take it sitting down. Arly can’t help her but tells her she may be able to get a lawyer to take her case, which she does. Soon there is a protest march and a crowd of women set up for the long haul in the parking lot across the street. But then someone sets fire to the bank and Brandon Bernswallow is found dead inside creating Much Ado in Maggody! Can Arly get to the bottom of it or will mayhem reign?


I have continued to read this series for the pure comic delight. The explicit language still gives me a cringe or two, but I can set that aside when a few sentences later I am laughing my head off. I have to remind myself this book was originally released back in 1989, but equal rights for women is still a current topic although we have come a long way.

Maggody is full of quirky characters and Arly has her hands full as the men and women of the town face-off over the way Joanna Mae Nookim was treated at the bank. It opens up a whole can of worms as the wives in town decide their husbands could be treating them better too. All the characters are colorful but stereotypical in many ways. That said, they are funny.

Again, the murder mystery part of the story is pretty simplistic but entertaining. Some will classify this story as a cozy mystery, and the mystery is set up the way, the f-bombs and other explicit language take it out of that genre for me. If you love funny stories and are not offended by the language you will enjoy this book and series. I will be grabbing the next book in the series when I need to get carried away by the humor and craziness only found in Maggody.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

I was sad to learn while researching this series that the author passed away in November 2017. Joan Hess was an American mystery writer, a member of Sisters in Crime, and a former president of the American Crime Writers League. She wrote two popular mystery series: The Claire Malloy Mysteries and The Maggody Mysteries (also called The Arly Hanks Mysteries), and has contributed to multiple anthologies and book series, including Crosswinds, Deadly Allies, Malice Domestic, Sisters in Crime, and The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. She also wrote the Theo Bloomer mystery series, under the pseudonym Joan Hadley.


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Stiff Penalty (Mattie Winston Mysteries) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Stiff Penalty (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington Books (March 1, 2015)
Print Length: 417 pages
Kindle ASIN: B00M4ASUL0

Danger multiplies for a pregnant coroner investigating a math teacher’s murder in this hard-boiled mystery by a USA Today–bestselling author.

 

Deputy coroner Mattie Winston knows a thing or two about dead bodies. That’s why she’s on the case of Derrick Ames, a high school math teacher stabbed to death with a barbecue fork straight to the heart. Sure, she’s turned up some motives and a few suspects, but nothing adds up. Especially when the evidence points to Ames’s teenage son. Newly pregnant Mattie can’t believe it, even as her own long-estranged father may be following her. But one thing’s certain, she’d better start figuring things out fast, or a deadly perpetrator could be subtracting two more victims from the population of Sorenson, Wisconsin . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Stiff Penalty is the sixth book in this series and I want to state upfront that these books should be read in order to fully understand the characters and the relationships but also for the hilarity that ensues within the pages of each book.

Mattie Winston has had a hard life, her father left when she was young, she caught her husband in the act of cheating on her at the hospital where they both work, and now she is dealing with a stalker, an unexpected pregnancy, and of course, another murder or two.


It took me a few minutes to get into this story because most of it is told in flashbacks but after I got the rhythm down the pages flew.

Ms. Ryan really brings the drama this time. Maddie is seeing a therapist and all her insecurities come out. It was great to see the other side of Maddie. She tries to keep a brave face on for the world but her life is changing in ways that can be downright scary.

There is drama at work too. High School math teacher Derrick Ames was stabbed straight into his heart with a barbeque fork. There are suspects but Maddie can’t piece the clues together to pin down the killer. But again, there is that stalker and the baby on the way. And being shot at doesn’t help matters. The drama doesn’t stop there either.

I really enjoyed Stiff Penalty. I started reading this series because it is set in my home state of Wisconsin. I keep coming back and reading more because I have become invested in these characters and the craziness that comes along with them. A great mystery or two just adds to the fun.

I am bound and determined to get all caught up on this series in 2021.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.

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.

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 December 18, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Ladies of the Lake by Ken Corday #Review / #Giveaway

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Ladies of the Lake
Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Beaufort Books (July 22, 2015)
Hardcover: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 0825307848
ISBN-13: 978-0825307843
Kindle ASIN: B084JLGJSP

Getting away with murder. Seems unlikely, but in the gated community of Avalon it’s what’s in style.

 

It all starts with Hudson’s accidental decapitation. It was a terrible accident. He was drunk and in the middle of a fight with his second wife. They both pressed the garage door button at the same time. The LAPD didn’t give it a second thought. Instead of grieving, his wife breathes free air again. She is a rich woman with freedom. The other wives secretly envy her.

 

From the outside, Avalon seems like the ideal place to live; full of rich men and beautiful women. Six couples form a close-knit friendship; the men all golf together, the women all shop together, and their six children all skip school together. But the wives begin to resent feeling like possessions and realize that the men become crueler every day.

 

When more husbands start dying, the so-called “Ladies of the Lake” find themselves under suspicion from the LAPD and their own children.

 

The six children try to uncover their parents’ secrets before the handsome Detective Daniels can discover what is truly going on behind closed gates.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I watch Days of Our Lives every day but I just recently found this book on my Kindle. I can’t believe I didn’t read it sooner. It has a real soap opera feel which should be no surprise based on the author.

The rich and beautiful people of Los Angeles have their own set of issues but the “Ladies of the Lake” take things to the extreme as their husbands start to die off one by one. Granted the husbands weren’t real prizes beyond their money but how many freak accidents are the police going to believe. Even the “Ladies” children are asking questions.

_____________

Told from multiple points of view this story introduces six elite women and the detective trying to get to the bottom of their husband’s deaths. Like a true soap opera, he even gets involved with one of them. This method allows readers to meet all the characters and enables them to get to know the woman enough to see their tormented sides behind their socialite facades.

I found this book to be a fun escape filled with drama and some romance too. The author’s soapy writing style is very apparent as he twists murder up with some humor. There isn’t really a mystery because the readers know most of what is going on. It is just the community, the good detective, and the children who are in the dark. I did like the surprise ending.

The book was made into a short 4 episode series with some of my favorite Days of Our Lives stars. I hope to watch it soon.

Ladies of the Lake is a great read for soap opera fans and those who like a fast, entertaining read with some twists.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Ken Corday was only a teenager when his parents, Ted and Betty Corday, first created NBC’s daytime drama Days of our Lives in 1965. A year after the show’s inception, Ted passed away, and it was up to Betty to carry on the show. Ken became his mother’s support system as she taught him everything he would need to know to continue the family legacy.

Ken received his bachelor of arts in music from the University of California, Santa Cruz, before receiving a master’s degree in music from San Jose State University.

Prior to taking over Days of our Lives as executive producer in 1985, Ken worked on the show for almost ten years, first as a composer, then as an assistant producer, and finally as a producer.

He has received two Emmy Awards for Music. He has also received eight nominations for an Emmy Award for Best Daytime Drama. Days of our Lives won the Emmy Award for Best Daytime Drama in 1978 and 2013, and Ted and Betty Corday received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award in 1995.

Ken Corday lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Carpet Diem (A Tallie Graver Mystery) by Misty Simon #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Carpet Diem (A Tallie Graver Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Kensington (September 24, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723740
ISBN-13: 978-1496723741
Kindle ASIN: B07P1NZC1N

Live and let dust . . .

 

Now that Tallie Graver’s cleaning business is starting to shine, she’s ready to go squeegee to squeegee against Audra McNeal for a major contract at the Astercromb mansion. Tallie’s not afraid of a little friendly competition from the new cleaner in town. In fact, Tallie likes Audra, though she wonders how her glamorous rival manages to clean house and maintain her fancy manicure. Tallie has her rubber-gloves full staying one step ahead of her nemesis. Until she finds a well-polished hand poking out of a rolled-up carpet, rendering her competition . . . dead.

 

Though it lands Tallie the big job, there’s nothing tidy about Audra’s death. So between polishing and scrubbing, Tallie’s determined to find the killer. Hopefully the police chief doesn’t mind her cluttering up his investigation with the filthy dealings she discovers. Turns out Audra was not as squeaky clean as she appeared. And confronting her killer could bring Tallie to a very foul end indeed . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tallie Graver is vying for a big cleaning contract for Mrs. Petrovski at her Astercromb mansion. She is competing against Audra McNeal and they have each been assigned a room to clean to the owner’s specifications. Tallie and Audra have become friends but she is going to fight hard for this job so she has plenty of work for the women that work for her.

Tallie does get the contact but it isn’t because of her cleaning expertise. It is because she found her competitor dead, rolled up in a carpet, and tossed in a dumpster. Thankfully the police chief doesn’t have her as number 1 on his suspect list but that doesn’t mean she isn’t going dust and sweep together every clue to find out who killed Audra. She has to be careful though or she may end up using her family’s services instead of just helping with the family business.


Ms. Simon has really written a wonderful mystery. Twists and turns plus a red herring or two. I dove right into this story and didn’t look back. I read the book in two evenings but would have read it all in one if my eyes and brain would have cooperated. The ending was unexpected and satisfying too.

While a great mystery is important, this series shines because of its strong characters. Tallie has changed so much since book 1, Cremains of the Day. Her relationship with Max is getting more serious and she is pulling away from her ex-Mrs. Waldo status. Her relationship with the sheriff is evolving as well in an interesting way. I liked Tallie right away but it is great to see a character grow realistically as Tallie has. Making the story even more enjoyable is that the regular supporting cast is developing nicely too. Add to that the unique characters we meet like Mrs. Petrovski and her nephew and you have a story that is extremely hard to put down.

Wonderful characters and compelling mysteries keep me coming back for more of this series. Misty Simon is such a fine storyteller, she never disappoints. She entertains and tests my brain. Carpet Diem is a Perfect Escape and I recommend it highly.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Laughter and Love are two main components of any story I write. Laughter really is the best medicine and my heroines always figure that out at some point, though perhaps some later than others. I live in Central Pennsylvania with my family and two rambunctious dogs in a house that is about to celebrate its two hundredth birthday. You can find Misty Simon on Facebook here.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 4, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Live and Let Pie: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway @dollycas @StMartinsPress

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Live and Let Pie: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 31, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250159393
ISBN-13: 978-1250159397
Kindle ASIN: B07DNBH26W

Life is sweet once you step into Torte, everybody’s favorite small-town bakeshop. But what happens when it becomes the scene of a crime?

 

The heat is on for pastry chef, family business operator, and unlikely sleuth Jules Capshaw. Just when she thought she could enjoy some time away from the kitchen, Jules manages to discover a skull during a picnic by the lake. As if unearthing remains that may be connected to a missing-persons case from the 1960s isn’t enough on her plate, Jules must contend with the unsolved matter of her own marriage while her estranged husband Carlos sails the open seas, awaiting a verdict. Then there’s Jules’s bitter landlord Edgar, who is intent on making a sweet deal on a vacant lot down the block from Torte—until he turns up dead. If only Jules could find a recipe that would let her bake her cake and eat it, too…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is so much going on in this 9th installment of the Bakeshop Mysteries. Carlos has returned to his cruise ship and Jules still doesn’t know what she wants as far as their relationship. Helen and Doug have returned from their honeymoon and are househunting to find the perfect place. She is putting in fewer hours at Torte but both she and Jules are very excited about their grand reopening with their new expanded space.

Jules takes a little time away from baking when she goes to look at a house with her mom. When she takes a little walk around the lake she arrives just as 2 young girls diving for treasure find a human skull. A skull that may belong to a man that disappeared back in the ’60s. There is also a piece of property for sale that has several parties very interested so when the owner is killed there are plenty of suspects. Jules is in the middle of it all but she may find herself spread too thin.


All my favorite characters are back and are joined by some new employees at Torte. This causes some tension in the ranks. Again, the new characters evolve quickly throughout the story and the continuing characters continue to grow. Jules has a chance to take a huge step thanks to her mom, but the stress of a life with Carlos or without needs to be rectified soon.

I was very captivated by both mysteries and the way they intertwined. They were so well-written, I was totally surprised when the killer was revealed. The person wasn’t even on my radar. Nicely played Ms. Alexander.

As I have come to expect there is a lot of baking and brewing and eating and drinking going on. Torte is my kind of place and the food descriptions had my stomach growling.

The characters in this series always keep me coming back for more. From the drama of the murders to the daily happenings at Torte I am all in. The author has found the perfect cozy recipe to keep readers engaged and entertained.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away a Kindle copy of the book!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 November 27, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Till Death Do Us Tart: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander #Review / #Giveaway @dollycas @StMartinsPress

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Till Death Do Us Tart: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 26, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250159373
Kindle ASIN: B077XKS2SY

Torte—the small-town bakeshop no one can resist—is hosting a midsummer night’s wedding . . . where merry-making and murder are served up in equal measure. Till Death Do Us Tart is Ellie Alexander’s eighth delectable novel in the Bakeshop mystery series.

 

Jules Capshaw has too much on her plate—and she’s feeling the pinch: the whole town of Ashland, Oregon, is in on the surprise Elizabethan-themed wedding she’s planning for her mom and soon-to-be stepdad. But is her secret scheme half-baked? She’s hiding racks overflowing with sweet treats while Torte is topsy-turvy with a major remodel and the return of Jules’s estranged husband, Carlos. And until now, Jules had no clue about the bitter family feud that has her friend Lance frazzled and suspicious. But when a party crasher takes someone out with a serving of poisoned wine and Jules discovers the deadly cup was intended for her, it’s time to turn the tables on a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Can you keep a secret? Because Jules is planning a big surprise. A surprise Midsummer’s Night Wedding! Her mom Helen and Doug aka “the Professor” are going to be thrilled with the wedding of their dreams. The whole town is in on the surprise and are excited for the bride and groom. Jules is doing a ton of baking for the big event but she is also dealing with the remodeling project at Torte. She is nervous too because Carlos is flying in for the wedding and bringing his son, Romero, who she has yet to meet. Lance is bringing his own family drama to the nuptials in the form of his brother Leo and his entourage. Lance believes his brother is slowly poisoning their father and he wants Jules help to prove it.

Sadly Lance’s father suspiciously dies before the wedding and then a guest collapses at the reception. It appears her glass of wine contained poison. Poison is a common denominator  . . . are the cases connected? When Jules learns the doctored wine was meant for her she makes a vow of her own. Catch the killer before they kill her!

______

I have been looking forward to Helen and Doug’s wedding and thanks to Ms. Alexander’s wonderful descriptive writing style she took me there for every delightful moment. From the dresses to the sparkling lights and the delectable food I was treated to a fabulous event. That is until one actual guest keeled over.

There were quite a few new characters introduced and we learned a lot about an original character. Jules’s feelings about Carlo are still muddled but I loved meeting his son. All the characters new and old are well-developed for their place in the story/series but the author leaves room for them to grow.

The mystery was very well done with plenty of twists. With Jules and Lance in the middle of the investigation you know there is going to be drama and excitement. There were also be some truly funny moments too.

Till Death Do Us Tart has a nice quick pace and cleverly meshed subplots. Life in Jules’ world in never dull. In fact, there was a cliffhanger at the end of the book that had me picking up Live and Let Pie immediately after finishing this one. That review will be coming soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

 

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving away the copy I received from Paperback Swap!
This is a gently used book.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 November 20, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This was from my personal collection.