Posted in Flashback Friday

#FlashbackFriday – #FreeBook – Fields’ Guide to Abduction (A Poppy Fields Adventure) by Julie Mulhern @juliemulhern

Real-life has been playing havoc with my reading schedule and I wasn’t able to read a book from my HUGE TBR Stacks this week. So, I started to think about books that may give your mind an escape from all the drama that has entered our lives due to this Coronavirus. The Poppy Fields Adventure Series is one of my favorites. They are full of suspense and humor. Every book has made my year-end Best Reads List.

Ms. Mulhern has kept the 1st book in the series FREE!

There are 4 books in this series available today. Book 5 –Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs will be released next Tuesday, March 31. 

Below you will find my review for Fields’ Guide to Abduction (including its new cover!) followed by links to reviews fo the next 3 books. Be sure to download your Free Copy of Book 1 today!

Fields’ Guide to Abduction (A Poppy Fields Adventure)
Mystery/Suspense
1st Book in Series
Setting – Mexico
J&M Press (May 28, 2018)
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN-10: 1720872201
ISBN-13: 978-1720872207
Kindle ASIN: B07D4R881K

Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl extraordinaire, agreed to a week at the newest, most luxurious resort in Cabo. After all, what’s better than the beach when a girl is feeling blue? When Poppy is abducted, she’ll need all her smarts, all her charm, and a killer Chihuahua, to save herself. 

 

Dead body #1 found in bed, with me. That was a shock.
Dead body #2 found in bed, not with me. That was a relief.
Dead body #3 died telling me I’m a lousy actress.
I already knew that.
Dead body #4 died trying to kill me.
Dead body #5 died kidnapping me.
Dead body #6 died guarding me.
Dead body #7 was a really bad man.
Dead body #8 was an even worse man.

 

That’s a lot of dead bodies for a girl looking for a week’s relaxation in Cabo. And, I’m probably leaving a few out–math isn’t my thing. Unless I can escape the cartel, I might be the next dead body.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wow, Wow, Wow! I sat down to start this book last Monday evening and I didn’t look away until I finished the whole thing.

This is not a cozy mystery. This is a wild ride of action and suspense.

Poppy Fields escapes to Mexico after enduring a harrowing event. She plans to lie on the beach, make one public appearance and relax. Well, that didn’t happen. The dead bodies start to pile up at a rapid pace and then she is abducted. And then there are even more dead bodies!

Full of crazy twists and turns poor Poppy finds herself in all kinds of dangerous situations. I love Poppy, that girl needs to think on her feet and she does for the most part, but there are some situations you just need to let happen and hope and pray there will be another way out.

Ms. Mulhern has topped herself and knocked this way out of the park! She partners suspense with humor in a way I believe only she can. She has created a fantastic protagonist. I was cheering for Poppy the whole way. The pace was fast, the plot was fabulous, and the dialogue was fluid. Such as exciting read!

This story has moved to the top of my Best Reads of 2018. I can’t wait for the next installment! Bring on more Poppy Fields as soon as possible!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my reviews of  Fields’ Guide to Assassins here, 

Fields’ Guide to Voodoo here, Fields’ Guide to Fog here

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 


Also by Julie Mulhern



*This book is in my private collection, purchased from Amazon.
Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Broken Bone China (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery


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.


Broken Bone China (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
20th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Berkley (March 5, 2019)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489632
ISBN-13: 978-0451489630
Digital ASIN: B07DMZPLWY

Theodosia Browning serves tea and solves crimes in Charleston, a city steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

 

It is Sunday afternoon, and Theodosia and Drayton are catering a formal tea at a hot-air balloon rally. The view aloft is not only stunning, they are also surrounded by a dozen other colorful hot-air balloons. But as the sky turns gray and the clouds start to boil up, a strange object zooms out of nowhere. It is a drone, and it appears to be buzzing around the balloons, checking them out.

 

As Theodosia and Drayton watch, the drone, hovering like some angry, mechanized insect, deliberately crashes into the balloon next to them. An enormous, fiery explosion erupts, and everyone watches in horror as the balloon plummets to the earth, killing all three of its passengers.

 

Sirens scream, first responders arrive, and Theodosia is interviewed by the police. During the interview she learns that one of the downed occupants was Don Kingsley, the CEO of a local software company, SyncSoft. Not only do the police suspect Kingsley as the primary target, they learn that he possessed a rare Revolutionary War Union Jack flag that several people were rabidly bidding on.

 

Intrigued, Theodosia begins her own investigation. Was it the CEO’s soon-to-be ex-wife, who is restoring an enormous mansion at no expense? The CEO’s personal assistant, who also functioned as curator of his prized collection of Americana? Two rival antiques’ dealers known for dirty dealing? Or was the killer the fiancée of one of Theodosia’s dear friends, who turns out to be an employee—and whistle-blower—at SyncSoft?

 
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The story opens with Theodosia and Drayton high in the air in a hot-air balloon. They were catering the rally and were gifted to fly in the air themselves. While enjoying the spectacular views and the other balloons the clouds start to roll in and Theo noticed a buzzing and then a strange object flying between the balloons. She soon realizes it is a drone. She doesn’t really get excited at first thinking it is carrying a camera taking pictures of the event. But then the drone crashes into the balloon right next to them. There is a huge explosion and as the rain starts to fall and so does the fiery balloon, crashing to the ground killing the three souls aboard.

Theo and Drayton’s balloon makes a hasty descent followed by a bumpy landing. Theo saw the whole thing and reports the drone’s deliberate attack. It is then she learns one of the people killed was Don Kingsley, the CEO of a local software company, SyncSoft. It later comes out that Kingsley is the owner of a rare Revolutionary War Union Jack flag that was recently part of a bidding war and is now missing. He was also in the process of divorcing his wife who had been spending tons of money to renovate a mansion to open it as a B&B.

After witnessing such a tragic event, Theodosia is driven to distraction. Even though she is warned to leave the case to the police she just can’t stop herself from investigating the deaths herself, pulling Drayton along with her. It doesn’t help that the prime suspect is the fiancée of one of her friends and the evidence is piling up.

____

Wow, this is the 20th Tea Shop Mystery and the author always delivers a fresh and exciting mystery. I mean a drone taking down a hot air balloon, that catches a reader’s attention and the investigation keeps it until the last page.

What makes these stories great is the wonderful cast of characters and the Indigo Tea Shop where everyone seems to gather to pick up their morning tea and scones, or stop by for a lunch of soup and sandwiches or the fantastic tea events that are held there several times a week. The Nancy Drew Tea is one I wish I had been able to attend. While Theo and Drayton venture out to sleuth, most of the key figures find their way to the tea shop eventually and some are there numerous times. Ms. Childs’ descriptive talents really bring time, place, and people to life.

I found the historical information about the Union Jack flag was very interesting. It was a unique element playing a big part in a mystery that was full of twists and turns. Theodosia has built a reputation for solving crimes before the police so expectations are always high and she doesn’t let us down.

The author plots her stories so well and truly fills them with Southern charm. They are perfectly paced and flow so well they are almost impossible to put down. I read this one incredibly fast and totally enjoyed every page.

Broken Bone China is a delightful addition to this long-running series. If you’re not already of fan of this series the author always provides plenty of background so you can jump in the series at any time. Of course, I recommend you read them all 😀

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:   Website – Facebook 

 

Thanks to the people at Berkley I have 1 copy of Broken Bone China 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.

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

Contest Will End March 13, 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

Laura Childs will be touring with Great Escapes Book Tours in March!

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

Murder Lo Mein (A Noodle Shop Mystery) by Vivien Chien #Review / #Giveaway @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.

I am on a mission to get caught up on this series!


Murder Lo Mein (A Noodle Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (March 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250129192
ISBN-13: 978-1250129192
Kindle ASIN: B07F138TSZ

Everyone agrees that the food at Ho-Lee Noodle House is delicious—unless it happens to be deadly.

 

Lana Lee’s stake in her family’s Chinese restaurant is higher than ever now that she’s been made manager. So when she enters Ho-Lee into Cleveland’s Best Noodle Contest, Lana makes it her business to win—at all costs. But when a local food critic receives a threatening note in a fortune cookie and is later found dead, face-down in a bowl of lo mein, all bets are off. . .

 

Now, along with her sweet-and-sour boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana decides to take matters into her own hands and dig into the lives of everyone involved in the contest. But when she receives an ill-fated fortune, Lana realizes that in order to save the reputation of her restaurant, she needs to save herself first. . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

For Murder Lo Mein we are back at the Asia Village for the annual Cleveland’s Best Noodle Contest. Lana is banking on her chef Peter Huang to win the contest to show her parents they made the right choice making her manager of Ho Lee Noodle House. Winning will also bring in more customers.

Unfortunately, after the first round one of the judges in found dead, face-down in a bowl of low mein, no less. Then another judge bites the dust. Lana’s boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau begs her to leave the investigating to him but she just can’t stop herself from snooping. She knows she is getting close when she discovers something in her purse. Will she survive to see the end of the contest or will the killer get to her first?

_____

I have enjoyed these characters from the start. Lana is funny, smart and a little bit awkward, but she is excelling as manager of the family business. Her parents have returned from Taiwan with Lana’s grandmother in tow. Surprisingly her overpowering mother doesn’t try to return to running the restaurant, but she still has opinions about Lana’s life from how she dresses to her relationship with the good detective. Happily, Lana and Adam’s relationship is making progress. Grandma doesn’t speak English and Lana doesn’t speak her grandmother’s dialect but they do find a way to communicate. Lana’s best friend/roommate Megan is usually available to help Lana with her sleuthing. And they both have the lovable black pug named Kikko to come home to. If Megan isn’t available, friend Kimmy is eager to help out. With the Best Noodle Contest, there are a lot of secondary characters, some become very viable suspects, one would like to get to know Lana much better.

The mystery unfolds nicely with plenty of suspects. Again, people just open up and talk to Lana. Her friendly nature really suits her sleuthing endeavors much to Adam’s dismay at times. Adam opens up to Lana more in this story too. I have not read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War but it is cleverly brought into the mystery. Solving the mystery was not easy. The author really twists things up. I thought I was smart and had it all figured out until I was proven wrong. It was a lot of fun following the clues and being surprised at the big reveal.

I have stated in previous reviews for books in this series that Chinese food is not really my thing but in this book, we learned that Lana loves donuts and so do I. Both are fully described within these pages. Lana is worried about her waistline now that a bakery has taken over the shop next door. I worried about my waistline because those descriptions really cranked up my cravings 😆

Vivien Chien has a real hit on her hands with this series. Murder Lo Mein is an excellent addition. With engaging characters and a great mystery spiced up with the perfect amounts of humor and romance, she has served up a real treat.

The next book in this series, Wonton Terror is on my To-Be-Read shelf and I will be reading and reviewing it soon! Egg Drop Dead is being released on February 25th and Killer Kung Pao will be out on August 25th.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here and Dim Sum of All Fears here

About the Author

VIVIEN CHIEN was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From Amazon)

 

I am giving away a paperback copy of Murder Lo Mein!

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 St. Martin’s Press on Twitter 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 March 6, 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 Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Plum Tea Crazy (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery


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.
plum tea crazy
Plum Tea Crazy (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Publisher: Berkley (March 6, 2018)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 9780451489609
ISBN-13: 978-0451489609
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489616
ISBN-13: 978-0451489616
Kindle ASIN: B071K4DPRH

Theodosia Browning investigates a Charleston steeped in tradition and treachery in Plum Tea Crazy from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

 

While viewing the harbor’s Gaslights and Galleons Parade from the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion, local banker Carson Lanier seemingly tumbles over a narrow railing, then plunges three stories to his death. But a tragic accident becomes something much more sinister when it’s discovered that the victim was first shot with a bolt from a crossbow.

 

At the request of the mansion owner, Theodosia investigates the tragedy and is soon neck deep in suspects. An almost ex-wife, a coworker, a real estate partner–all had motives for killing the luckless banker, but one resorted to murder to settle accounts.

 

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Theodosia “Theo” Browning is enjoying the Gaslights and Galleons Parade with her friend/employee/tea sommelier Drayton Connelly. They are getting a bird’s eye view up on the widow’s walk of Timothy Neville’s Charleston mansion. There is a ruckus when local banker Carson Lanier falls over the railing finally dying when his body is impaled on the top of a fence below. All the watchers hurry to the grounds and due to some keen observation, Theo sees the fall wasn’t an accident, it was caused by the man being shot by a bolt from a crossbow.

Knowing Theo’s reputation, Timothy Neville asks that she investigate the death. Many suspects quickly come to light. With the assistance of Drayton, they try to winnow down that list and identify who killed Lanier. They also have a lot of tea to serve in the coming days but Theo juggles everything like a pro.

_____

I had gotten behind on this series and with the new one set to be released March 3, I knew it was time to get caught up with the two on my shelf.

The Indigo Tea Shop is one of those great cozy places. This time along with the daily business, the place has many events coming up – a black-tie affair, a fashion show, a Japanese art gallery opening, and a Plum Blossom Tea. I really love all the teas Drayton creates and all the delicious treats  Haley bakes up. (Some of the recipes are included at the end of the book.) Even with all this going on Theo has murder in her own crosshairs. When Detective Tidwell shockingly asks for help she is thrilled and jumps right in. Her boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley is far from thrilled.

Ms. Childs creates diverse and memorable characters. Theo, Drayton, and Haley are engaging and fun. The dialogues are crisp and sometimes pretty funny. I really enjoy the banter between them. The supporting cast is top-notch too. They all are realistic and believable.  The suspects have layers that are peeled away throughout the story. Every character is thoughtfully developed.

The murder occurs early in the story and the drama continues at a constant pace making this book almost impossible to put down. I read into the early morning, playing that “just one more chapter” game until my eyes were slamming shut. Thankfully the next day was Saturday so after a few chores, I could get back to it. It was very entertaining to follow along with Theo and all involved in the sleuthing. There were some scary moments but Theo was on a mission . . . and so was I. I was just a few steps ahead of her . . . and Yes! I was right.

Laura Childs is a phenomenal storyteller. Plum Tea Crazy was well-plotted and written. Ms. Childs brings Charleston to life with spot-on descriptions. Her characters practically leap off the page. She also gives plenty of background for new readers, so don’t be afraid to jump into this series.  I will be reading and reviewing Broken Bone China soon. It is yelling at me from my To-Be-Read shelf. Then I will be ready when Lavender Blue Murder debuts.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:   Website – Facebook 

 

Thanks to the people at Berkley I have 1 copy of Plum Tea Crazy 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.

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

Contest Will End February 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

Laura Childs will be touring with Great Escapes Book Tours in March!

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.”

Share:
Posted in 2020 Reviews 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 – Dim Sum of All Fears: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review / #Giveaway @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.

This book has been patiently waiting on my Kindle and I decided before the end
of last year that this was one series I would get all caught up on this year. 

dim sum of all fears
Dim Sum of All Fears: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (August 28, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250129176
ISBN-13: 978-1250129178
Kindle ASIN: B079DVYJKB

Lana Lee is a dutiful daughter, waiting tables at her family’s Chinese restaurant even though she’d rather be doing just about anything else. Then, just when she has a chance for a “real” job, her parents take off to Taiwan, leaving Lana in charge. Surprising everyone—including herself—she turns out to be quite capable of running the place. Unfortunately, the newlyweds who just opened the souvenir store next door to Ho-Lee have turned up dead. . .and soon Lana finds herself in the midst of an Asia Village mystery.

Between running the Ho-Lee and trying to figure out whether the rock-solid Detective Adam Trudeau is actually her boyfriend, Lana knows she shouldn’t pry into the case. But the more she learns about the dead husband, his ex-wives, and all the murky details of the couple’s past, the more Lana thinks that this so-called murder/suicide is a straight-up order of murder. . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Just when Lana Lee is about to make a huge life change and take a chance on a job outside of the family business, her parents announce they are going to Taiwan and leave her in charge of Ho Lee Noodle House. She is not happy but takes on the job and realizes she is darn good at it. The one thing she couldn’t control though was the double murder that took place at the souvenir store next door. She had become good friends with Isabelle Yeoh who spent the day running the shop while her husband Brandon was off “running errands”.

Lana is in a new relationship with Detective Adam Trudeau and knows he can handle the case but she still finds herself investigating. So with a busy restaurant, especially with the Chinese New Year only days away, Lana loads up her plate to find out who killed her friend and why.

____

I am not a fan of Chinese food but I am a fan of this author and these characters.

Ho Lee Noodle House is open for breakfast when the Mahjong Matrons arrive through the evening. It is a family-run restaurant supplemented by long term employees. Lana usually works as a waitress/hostess daily while her sister attends college and works around her classes. Their mother is very intense and their father is pretty laid back. I think Lana did an excellent job stepping in as manager and her sister came across as petty and demanding, upset that her sister was left in charge. They did have a view arguments in front of customers and growing up around a family-run restaurant know that is a big no-no, but it happens. The restaurant is in a mall full of Asian shops and that adds its own stress and drama as Lana has to deal with management and the murder site right next door. Lana’s relationship with Detective Adam Trudeau is new and moving at a snail’s pace but it evolving. I feel all the characters are realistically written and loved where the humor was added.

The mystery itself was very interesting. At first, thought to be a murder/suicide which was quickly disproven. When classified as murders people came out of the woodwork to land on the suspect list each with motive and opportunity. The author served up a nice contingent of red herrings. Lana was a fun amateur sleuth the follow around. People really opened up to her, some even asking for her help. My thinking was twisted up several times. I enjoyed the part Lana’s roommate/best friend Megan Riley played both in helping in the investigation and pushing the romance between Lana and Adam.

Again, an animal stole my heart, Lana has a black pug named Kikko. So lovable and the perfect pet to come home to.

Dim Sum of All Fears was a marvelous cozy mystery. I was discouraged at first that Lana’s plans were all messed up by her parent’s sudden trip but by the middle of the story, I was happy to see she excelled at her tasks and was where she was meant to be.

The next book in this series, Murder Lo Mein is on my To-Be-Read shelf and I will be reading and reviewing it soon! 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here

About the Author

VIVIEN CHIEN was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From Amazon)

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Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Crafter Quilts a Crime: A Handcrafted Mystery by Holly Quinn #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to feature Holly Quinn’s A Crafter Quilts A Crime today! 

About A Crafter Quilts A Crime

quilter quilts a crime

A Crafter Quilts a Crime: A Handcrafted Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (February 11, 2020)
Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1643852906
ISBN-13: 978-1643852904
Kindle ASIN: B07RTMXRK8

Perfect for fans of Betty Hechtman and Maggie Sefton, Holly Quinn’s third Handcrafted mystery aspires to wrap you in its warmth.

Community Craft proprietor Sammy Kane must piece together a patchwork of clues when a “live” mannequin ends up stone-cold dead.

Snowcapped pines and glittery dusted sidewalks adorn tranquil Heartsford, Wisconsin, while residents cuddle beneath heirloom quilts in front of cozy wood fires. But come the next day, the below-zero temperatures won’t keep the locals away from Heartsford’s annual Fire & Ice event. To boost customer traffic at Community Craft’s one-night-only sale, Samantha “Sammy” Kane persuades a few of the craftspeople who sell their wares at the store to participate in a live mannequin window display contest.

Local quilter Wanda Wadsworth emerges as a favorite to win the contest, as she manages to not move a muscle for an unusual amount of time. Onlookers outside the window try everything to get her to crack–tapping on the glass and making funny faces–but nothing disrupts Wanda’s stillness. When the eagle-eyed spectators realize Wanda isn’t breathing, a blanket of grief and fear descends upon the wintry town.

Detective Liam Nash can’t seem to piece the clues together. Fortunately, Sammy’s cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie, are on hand to reconvene their detective team, S.H.E. They set out to solve Wanda’s untimely death before the case grows as icy as a sub-zero Wisconsin winter. But they are all too aware that the killer is too close for comfort.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Welcome to winter in Wisconsin and the fictional town of Heartford where the residents are celebrating with the annual Fire & Ice event. The shops are open late and the evening will conclude with a giant bonfire.  Sammy Kane wants her shop Community Craft to really stand out and bring in the customers so she has asked a few of her crafters to take part in a “live” mannequin contest. The front window is all decked out and ready for the crafters to take a starring role.

Wanda Wadsworth is ready to shine, she even brought one of her quilts to feature. She immediately captures the attention of the audience as she remains completely frozen in her pose as people do their darndest to disrupt her performance. When someone suddenly notices Wanda’s lips turning blue people jump into action but it is too late. Then when police try to notify the husband of her passing they find the man is missing.

Detective Liam Nash warns Sammy to stay out of the case but soon she, her cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie, the ladies of S.H.E. are bustling around in the cold and snow trying to find the killer. Things start to heat up as the killer is close on their tail.

_____

This is such a fun series. I have come to think of the main characters as friends and they have their share of strife this time as they don their Nancy Drew hats to try to find who killed their friend. These characters are relatable and believable and continue to evolve over the course of the story. I do like the way the girls work together and that they each have their own strengths. All the characters presented in the story are well crafted but again the four-legged one steals my heart.

The story is very fast-paced with plenty of twists. Sammy’s drive for the truth gets her in trouble making for some very tense moments. There is a nice blend of daily life with the mystery and a real community feel over the whole book. I liked the way the crafting group came together with an idea to remember and honor the friend they had lost. What I really enjoyed most was something people see all over the state of Wisconsin have a new purpose when it comes to solving the mystery.

As a Wisconsin resident, Holly Quinn really brought a real Wisconsin winter to this story. The frigid cold, the blowing, and drifting snow. Waiting for the roads to get plowed noting that for some it can be a long wait. Also showing that snow is not the be-all and end-all. After being cooped up with kids after a snow day, moms will plow through the snow themselves to get to a craft meeting to converse with adults, drink hot chocolate that may include alcohol, and nosh on homemade treats for a few hours before heading back to fray at home ready for anything.

I do love the way this author tells a story. A Crafter Quilts a Crime is quite entertaining and checks all my cozy boxes. I truly can’t for the next book!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Crafter Knits A Clue – Here

Read my review of A Crafter Hooks A KillerHere

 

About Holly Quinn

holly quinn

Holly Quinn has published two stand-alone fiction novels in another persona. She graduated from Carroll University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in business and a minor in marketing. This is her second Handcrafted mystery. Visit her @ www.authorhollyquinn.com

Author Links – Website – Facebook – GoodReads 

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

Posted in 2020 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 Wisconsin Author

#FlashbackFriday – Be Still My Bleating Heart (A Scottish Highland Mystery) by Hannah Reed #Review / #Giveaway @hannahreed1


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.


Be Still My Bleating Heart (A Scottish Highland Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Scotland
Publisher: Independently Published (November 27, 2019)
Paperback: 219 Pages
ISBN-10: 171172260X
ISBN-13: 978-1711722603
Kindle ASIN: B07XQBZZB7

National Bestselling author Hannah Reed returns with her fourth Scottish Highland mystery, in which she is swept up in a murder following a Sir Walter Scott celebration…

Spring is here, and Eden Elliott has settled into her new life in the picturesque village of Glenkillen working on her next romance novel and volunteering as a constable in her spare time.
Love should be in the air, but Eden is still unattached. Along with that, she’s experiencing a creative meltdown, most likely caused by lack of inspiration, while a robber runs amok in the village assaulting local pensioners.
When she’s invited to a supper in honor of one of Scotland’s most celebrated literary giants and a guest is murdered, Eden puts aside her personal issues to dig into buried secrets. She’d better book someone soon if she wants to be alive to discover that love she needs to overcome her writer’s block…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Berkley wrapped up this series back in  2016. I am so happy Hannah Read has decided to continue it on her own.

It is now Spring in Glenkillen and Eden Elliott should be working on her next romance novel. With no romance in her own life, she is having a bit of writer’s block. In her voluntary job as a constable, she is concerned about someone robbing local pensioners.

With not much happening in her life, she accepts an invitation to a supper honoring Sir Walter Scott. The dinner gets a little tense when two diners get into an argument. The party breaks up early but Eden is soon called to return. One of the dinner guests has been murdered. Now Eden has to work with Officer Sean Stevens and Detective Inspector Jamieson to catch a robber and a killer. Maybe then her creative juices will start to flow and she can get back to her real job of being an author.

_____

Even after three years, it was easy to jump right back into this series. I was excited to return to Scotland. Eden has really found her place in the picturesque village of Glenkillen. Whether it be working on a manuscript in her favorite corner at the Kilt & Thistle Pub, or traipsing around the town and countryside trying to solve a case.  She has come along way since we met her in Off Kilter. Now it is time for her romantic life to take off. In this story, she took some baby steps in that direction.

The mysteries were well-plotted but I became focused on one individual very early on but wasn’t sure exactly why. Over the course of the story, twists threw me and Eden in different directions. I had a good time following her and her investigation. Sean wasn’t really too much help. Due to circumstances beyond her control, Eden found herself working closely with Inspector Jamieson. One of the robber’s victims was running her own little investigation too. A lot of humor took place in the character interactions. When we reached the two A-HA moments I found out that I was half right, although I was on the right track for the second mystery too.

While shorter than the previous books in this series, the author does a great job reintroducing the characters and setting the scene. There were a couple of places where there could have been more details or things that took place in the background and were just mentioned that could have added for more depth. I am just thrilled that Ms. Reed is writing Eden’s stories again. I hope we don’t have to wait too long for another installment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Off Kilter here, Hooked on Ewe here, Dressed to Kilt here.

For more information about the story or about her other tales, visit her at hannahreedbooks.com and Like her on Facebook.

Also by Hannah Reed

Writing as Deb Baker

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Posted in 2020 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 – Death on the Danube: A New Year’s Murder in Budapest (Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery) by Jennifer S. Alderson #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.

Death on the Danube: A New Year’s Murder in Budapest
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Hungary
Traveling Life Press (November 28, 2019)
Paperback: 172 pages
ISBN-10: 9083001148
ISBN-13: 978-9083001142
Kindle ASIN: B07XLF95SN

Who knew a New Year’s trip to Budapest could be so deadly? The tour must go on – even with a killer in their midst…

Recent divorcee Lana Hansen needs a break. Her luck has run sour for going on a decade, ever since she got fired from her favorite job as an investigative reporter. When her fresh start in Seattle doesn’t work out as planned, Lana ends up unemployed and penniless on Christmas Eve.

Dotty Thompson, her landlord and the owner of Wanderlust Tours, is also in a tight spot after one of her tour guides ends up in the hospital, leaving her a guide short on Christmas Day.

When Dotty offers her a job leading the tour group through Budapest, Hungary, Lana jumps at the chance. It’s the perfect way to ring in the new year and pay her rent!

What starts off as the adventure of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare when Carl, her fellow tour guide, is found floating in the Danube River. Was it murder or accidental death? Suspects abound when Lana discovers almost everyone on the tour had a bone to pick with Carl.

But Dotty insists the tour must go on, so Lana finds herself trapped with nine murder suspects. When another guest turns up dead, Lana has to figure out who the killer is before she too ends up floating in the Danube…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

It’s Christmas Eve, she’s behind on her rent, has no real worthwhile job in her future, and she is still stinging from her divorce. Then landlord Dotty Thompson makes Lana Hansen an offer she just can’t refuse. Dotty owns Wanderlust Tours and one of her tour guides has ended up in the hospital. She needs Lana to jump on a plane to Budapest, Hungary to ring in the New Year and lead the tour group through the remaining days of the tour.

Lana takes to the job like a fish to water until her fellow tour guide Carl ends swimming with the fishes in the Danube. Accident? Murder? In just her few days with the group, Lana has learned that Carl has a good share of enemies, some right within their group. When a second life is lost and the police eyeing the wrong individual Lana realizes it is up to her to find the real killer.

I had read several reviews praising this book that I knew it had to be one of the first books I read in the new year.

Ms. Alderson not only takes us on an outstanding virtual escape to Hungary but she gives us a fun mystery to solve as well.

Lana Hansen is an excellent protagonist. She is smart, has a great sense of everything around her and I found her to have a very positive outlook even after all the bumps she has had in her life.  As a former investigative reporter, she knows how to dig deep and use her research skills to point her in the right direction. She knows how to link the clues together, take good notes and allow time to think over all the details she has found so that after several twists and a few extra clues she can actually prove whodunit and why.

The suspects included all the members of the tour but Carl had rubbed some people in Budapest the wrong way too. I really liked the “Fabulous Five” a group of mature women who were a whole lotta fun. I quickly eliminated them from my suspect list as did Lana. This is a group of ladies I would love to travel with, they have become great friends who really look after each other. The other members of the group all remain viable suspects. I hope they show up on a future tour.

The author has fully fleshed out all the characters. They truly came to life on the pages. Because this book is only 172 pages I am very impressed at how well she did this. The dialogue between the characters was crisp and realistic as well.

The other thing she did so well was to bring Budapest to life. Everywhere the group traveled was fully described and created wonderful pictures in my mind. She made us feel the cold and the wind too. It was a great trip.

I loved the quick pace and the short chapters. Death on the Danube was a totally entertaining read and I am really looking forward to reading Death By Baguette which will be released February 14, 2020. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before settling in the Netherlands. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

Jennifer’s love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning mystery series—the Zelda Richardson Mysteries and Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries—and standalone stories.

Author Links

Website – Goodreads  –Facebook – Twitter  –LinkedIn – BookBub

Coming February 14, 2020

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Death on the Danube!
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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.”

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2019 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Fiction Can Be Murder (A Mystery Writer’s Mystery) by Becky Clark #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.


Fiction Can Be Murder (A Mystery Writer’s Mystery)
Cozy Mystery/Women Sleuths
1st in Series
Setting – Colorado
Publisher: Midnight Ink (April 8, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0738753327
ISBN-13: 978-0738753324
Kindle ASIN: B0714HL2VC

Life Becomes Stranger than Fiction when Charlee’s Latest Novel Inspires a Real Murder

Mystery author Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo thinks the twisty plots and peculiar murders in her books are only the product of her imagination—until her agent is found dead exactly as described in Charlee’s new, unpublished manuscript. Suspicion now swirls around her and her critique group, making her confidence drop as severely and unexpectedly as her royalty payments.

The police care more about Charlee’s feeble alibi and financial problems than they do her panicky claims of innocence. To clear her name and revive her career, she must figure out which of her friends is a murderer. Easier said than done, even for an author who’s skilled at creating tidy endings for her mysteries. And as her sleuthing grows dangerous, Charlee’s imagination starts working overtime. Is she being targeted, too?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fiction easily becomes murder when literary agent, Melinda Walter is killed in exactly the same way as the victim in author, Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo’s latest manuscript. Charlee had problems with the woman but never plotted to kill her. So who else had access to the manuscript? Could someone in her critique group have done the deed and used her book to frame her? Stranger than fiction she puts on her sleuthing cap to bring this murder mystery to an end. Hopefully, she’ll survive to tell the tale.

I would call this a cozy-ish mystery. Charlee Russo is a cleverly written imperfect amateur sleuth, very clutzy with a wild imagination, a good thing when you write mysteries for a living, not so much when you are on the trail of a killer. She is protective of her friends but still needs to question and verify everyone’s alibi as much for her peace of mind as to solving the case. Let’s just say her investigating techniques need a little refinement as I was a little frightened by the positions she found herself in at times.

The pacing was mixed. The story starts out briskly but slowed a bit in the middle but then the ending felt a bit rushed. With plenty of twists and a few red herrings, I was completely confused until everything was laid out for me. It was a fun tagging along with Charlee. I always enjoy a challenging mystery. The dialogue is very realistic and I liked the humor interspersed throughout. “I’d tell you to go to hell, but I never want to see you again.”

This series is off to a fine start and I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I do love the Mystery Writer’s theme. The author has left plenty of room for the secondary characters and Charlee to grow. She also left an open question in this story that I hope will be wrapped up in the next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

A highly functioning chocoholic, Becky Clark (Denver, CO) is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them, too. She published her first novel in 2001 and is a sought-after speaker. Find out more about Becky on her website – https://beckyclarkbooks.com/



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.
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Contest Will End January 10, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2019 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Lock, Stock & Jingle Bells: A Hamilton Christmas Novella by Donna Kauffman #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.

LOCK STOCK AND JINGLE BELLS
Lock, Stock & Jingle Bells: A Hamilton Christmas Novella
Holiday Romance
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Zebra Books (October 1, 2018)
Print Length: 109 pages
Kindle ASIN: B079R6JNTT

The best holiday gifts aren’t always under the tree …

Holly hates the yuletide season more than ever since she received her very early inheritance: her mother’s Christmas novelty store. Now she has to put her life on hold to deal with the shop, while her parents settle into their busy sunny Florida retirement. But Holly’s childhood pal, Sean, is determined to warm her up—to Christmas and to him. When they uncover a diary concealing secrets involving both their families, this could be the Christmas that changes their lives forever …

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Holly Berry Bennett left her small Virginia town to travel across the pond for college and except for a few short visits home has made a life for herself there. Now her parents have other ideas. They have decided to sell their home and retire to Florida. They have also left her mother’s Christmas shop to Holly for her to take over or dispose of as she sees fit. So again she is home trying to figure out with the mess she had been left with.

Sean Gallagher runs the family restaurant right across the street from the Christmas store. He sees Holly arrive by taxi with just one suitcase and he rushes right out to welcome her back. Childhood friends who had secret crushes on each other, Sean hopes that this will be their time. He just needs to convince her to give him a chance.

While Holly is sorting through inventory at the shop she finds an old diary. After reading it she does a little investigating and learns the secrets revealed in the diary could mean changes for both the Gallagher’s and the Bennett’s.

____

Like the first book in this series, Ms. Kauffman gives readers characters we can fall for quickly which is good due to the novella length. She does an excellent job filling us in on their backstories and writes a romance that takes place quickly but realistically. I enjoyed that a little mystery theme was continued.

I was disappointed in Holly’s parents though. Dropping their decision on her and leaving town did not sit well with me.  I realize her mother would have a hard time dealing with her shop’s future but it was totally unfair to put everything on Holly’s shoulders. They could have had her come home and worked things out together instead of just expecting her to drop her life while they just moved along with theirs. This is where the novella-length took away from the story, there just wasn’t space to have two more key characters to be present to make their decision less jarring.

That being said I finished this book and immediately started the third book in this series, Naughty But Nice.

Lock, Stock, and Jingle Bells is an entertaining romance with just a touch of mystery set in a little Virginia town. A nice mini escape to curl up with on a snowy afternoon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Donna Kauffman is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over 70 novels, translated and sold in more than 26 countries around the world. The recipient of multiple RT Book Awards, she is also a National Readers Choice Award and PRISM Award winner and a RITA finalist. Born into the maelstrom of Washington, D.C., politics, she now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she is surrounded by a completely different kind of wildlife. A contributing blogger for USAToday.com, she is also a DIYer, a baker, a gardener and a volunteer transporter for the Wildlife Center of Virginia and Rockfish Sanctuary. Please visit her online at www.DonnaKauffman.com.

The Hamilton Christmas Novella Series
LOCK STOCK AND JINGLE BELLS
Find more books by Donna Kaufman here.

You can read my review of Unleashed here


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
The 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 share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End January 3, 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.”