Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery) by Christin Brecher #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get this book read
with my cancer treatments so I didn’t sign up for this tour.

i am thrilled I was able to read it so I am barging my way onto this tour 🙂 

15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
by Christin Brecher

About 15 Minutes of Flame


15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721438
ISBN-13: 978-1496721433
Digital ASIN: B082WR2LH6

As Stella Wright’s Nantucket candle store thrives, her knack for solving mysteries burns equally bright—especially when a Halloween haunted house uncovers evidence of a centuries-old murder . . .

 

When Stella’s friend inherits a creaky, abandoned home in Nantucket, she knows it’s the perfect setting for the town’s annual Halloween fundraiser. A deserted, boarded-up building on the property—once used as a candle-making shop—adds to the creepy ambiance. But as Stella explores the shack’s dilapidated walls, she discovers a terrible secret: the skeleton of a Quaker woman, wrapped in blood-soaked clothing and hidden deep within a stone hearth . . .

 

While police investigate, Stella wastes no time asking for help from friends with long ties to Nantucket’s intricate history. The key to the murder may lie within a scorching 18th century love triangle that pit two best friends against one another over a dubious man. But before the case is solved, another life will be claimed—leaving Stella to wonder who in Nantucket is friend, and who is foe . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Nantucket just before Halloween and Wick and Flame owner Stella Wright is helping the Girl Scouts set up a haunted house for a fundraiser. When Stella checks out a shack on the property she finds it used to be a candlemaking shop. With the owner’s approval, she is taking down a sign from the mantle to display in her shop. But she finds more than she bargained for. She finds a skeleton. From the clothing, it looks to be a Quaker woman and she has been there a while. It is not long before this skeleton leads to another and then a dead body.

To calm fears, Stella moves into the house while the police investigate, but Stella just can’t stop herself from doing her own sleuthing. When she starts to uncover some key facts she knows she is on the right track. A track that could get her life to be snuffed out next.


In this third installment, the author brings some of Nantucket’s history to light. With a 100-year-old skeleton entombed in the shack you know, there has to be a dark story.

I love the way Stella continues to develop over the course of this series. She is smart and truly has her friend and local cop, Andy’s number. She works her way into the police investigation and persuades him to fill her in on what they have and what they are working on.  Reporter and boyfriend, Peter was a little distracted this time but by the end, we know why. Emily was under the weather but helped Stella as much as she could. All of Brecher’s characters are well developed and have a purpose in the story. The dialogues were also very well-written

Ms. Brecher unraveled the old story alongside the current one seamlessly with plenty of twists and turns. There is also quite a treasure hunt that ends up being very important to the story.  The pacing was perfect. The ending was so well-played out. Finishing this book on Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie’s birthday was very apropos.

I do love the candlemaking theme. This time readers learn about candle clocks. I was totally captivated by them and loved that Stella was teaching a class on how to make them.

15 Minutes of Flame has it all, great characters, mystery, murder, betrayal, and secrets. There is a fair amount of humor too. I really enjoyed this story!  I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

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About Christin Brecher

Christin Brecher was born and raised in NYC, where her family and many childhood friends still reside. As such, she feels she is as much of a small-town girl as any. The idea to write the Nantucket Candle Maker series sprang from her life-long connection to the small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Spending summers there as a child, Christin read from her family’s library of mystery novels, after which she began to imagine stories inspired by the island’s whaling heyday, its notoriously foggy nights, and during long bike rides to the beach. After many years in marketing for the publishing industry, followed by years raising her children, Murder’s No Votive Confidence is Christin’s debut novel. Visit her at www.christinbrecher.com.
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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Designed to Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery) by Christina Freeburn #Review / #Giveaway @HeneryPress


Designed to Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Henery Press; 1st Edition (September 3, 2013)
Paperback: 292 pages
ISBN-10: 1938383524
ISBN-13: 978-1938383526
Kindle ASIN: B00F1IFYJ8

Faith Hunter planned the perfect event at her grandmother’s shop, Scrap This, featuring local scrapbooker and Life Artist Diva, Belinda Watson. But the extravaganza goes up in a cloud of glitter when Belinda and her cousin, Darlene, brawl over scraplifted designs. Faith attempts to break it up, but only makes things worse. Then when Belinda turns up dead behind the Scrap This store, Faith’s involvement goes viral.

 

As accusations against her turn vicious, Faith sets out to prove her nemesis, Darlene, committed the crime, only to realize they are both innocent. Now they must team up or the murderer’s plan will come together seamlessly with the frenemies sharing a jail cell—or worse, a funeral.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Scrapbookers take their creations seriously and heaven forbid some steals someone else’s designs and submits them to a magazine. That is just what local scrapbooker and Life Artist Diva, Belinda Watson is accused of. The accusation by Belinda’s cousin Darlene happened in front of a full class at Scrap This. Faith does her best to gain control when the glitter starts to fly. But later Belinda is found dead behind the scrapbooking shop and Faith finds herself cropped into another murder investigation and working with DARLENE!

Faith Hunter is a smart protagonist that has returned home to manage her grandmother’s scrapbook store. When she receives a call from the security company about a possible break-in she tells them to call the police and she heads to her neighbor and assistant prosecutor, Steve’s home to get him to go with her to find out what is happening at the store. Her grandmothers think Faith and Steve would make the perfect couple. Homicide detective Ted Roget also has eyes for Faith but he has a murder to solve while trying to keep Faith out of his investigation. The murder could upend everything her grandmothers’ have worked so hard for that Faith just can’t back off.


The scrapbook theme is a wonderful venue for a cozy mystery series. The author uses her descriptive talents to set the scene and the projects making it easy to visualize everything.

Ms. Freeburn has created strong core characters with strong relationships for this series. They are engaging and true to life. Faith’s grandmothers, Hope and Cheryl, are just amazing. They just want Faith to be happy. Her devotion to them is heartwarming. Her love triangle with Ted and Steve is still fresh and new. Due to her past, she is taking things slow, and her actions and reactions clearly show this is a wise choice.

The mystery was very interesting. Pairing Faith with Darlene was unexpected and at times their antics had me shaking my head. Plenty of twists kept this reader on her toes.

Designed to Death has a strong family dynamic along with an entertaining mystery and a nice dose of humor.  I was late to the party for this series but hope to remedy that soon.

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About Christina Freeburn

Christina Freeburn has always loved books. There was nothing better than picking up a story and being transported to another place. The love of reading evolved into the love of writing and she’s been writing since her teenage years. Her first novel was a 2003 Library of Virginia Literary Award nominee. Her mysteries series, Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery and Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mysteries, are a mix of crafty and crime and feature heroines whose crafting time is interrupted by crime-solving.

Christina served in the US Army and has also worked as a paralegal, librarian, church secretary, and golf shop pro. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid and allergic to felines.

Author Links – Webpage     Blog     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads 

Also by Christina Freeburn

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

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The Key Lime Crime: A Key West Food Critic Mystery by Lucy Burdette #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour – Paradise Rating

The Key Lime Crime: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
by Lucy Burdette

About The Key Lime Crime


The Key Lime Crime: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643853082
ISBN-13: 978-1643853086
ASIN: B07Z2TR2Z2

National bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s tenth Key West Food Critic mystery is piping hot with pie-enthusiasts and murder suspects.

 

When a fierce rivalry between key lime pie bakers leads to a pastry chef’s murder, food critic Hayley Snow is fit to be pied.

 

During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, the year-round population of Key West, Florida, faces a tsunami of tourists and snowbirds. It doesn’t help that outrageously wealthy key lime pie aficionado David Sloan has persuaded the city to host his pie-baking contest. Every pie purveyor on the island is out to win the coveted Key Lime Key to the City and Key Zest food critic Hayley Snow is on the scene to report it.

 

Meanwhile, Hayley’s home life is turning more tart than sweet. Hayley’s new hubby, police detective Nathan Bransford, announces that her intimidating mother-in-law is bearing down on the island for a surprise visit. Hayley offers to escort Nathan’s crusty mom on the iconic Conch Train Tour of the island’s holiday lights, but it becomes a recipe for disaster when they find a corpse among the glittering palm trees and fantastic flamingos. The victim–Au Citron Vert’s controversial new pastry chef–was a frontrunner in Sloan’s contest.

 

It’s bad enough that Hayley’s too-curious mother-in-law is cooking up trouble. Now, the murderer is out to take a slice out of Hayley. Can she handle the heat of a killer’s kitchen?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is crazy in  Key West, Florida when tourists take over the area. One enterprising chef thought it was the perfect time to hold a contest to find the place serving the best Key Lime Pie. The first event to introduce the chefs participating ends with tempers flaring and pies flying. Key Zest food critic Hayley Snow was there to witness it all.

Hayley and Nathan are starting their life together. They are living with Miss Gloria waiting for their houseboat renovation to happen, Nathan is working overtime with the influx of people on the island, while Hayley is working on several articles for Key Zest. Then Nathan announces his mother is coming for a visit. With every hotel and B&B booked solid, they need to find a place for her to stay because there is no way she will appreciate sleeping on the houseboat. Nathan also explains that he is not going to have time to entertain her and apologies for putting something else on Hayley’s plate. She decides to take the woman on the Conch Train Tour to see the houses all decorated on the island and Gloria goes along for the ride. Eagle-eyed Gloria is sure she saw something at one of the houses and they went to check it out but they found much more than they bargained for . . . a dead pastry chef in a Santa suit.  Her mother-in-law is intrigued and has her own ideas for investigating the death. Hayley is worried because Nathan is not going to be happy and she is afraid they may be the killer’s next victims.


I loved this story! Christmastime in Key West! What could be better?

Lucy Burdette has created such wonderful characters for this series and now she has added Helen Bransford, Nathan’s mother, and she is more than first meets the eye. She is a force no matter what character she is interacting with. I hope to see more of her in future installments because she is unique and savvy. Hayley is one busy lady but she finds time to entertain a woman she had never met, Helen didn’t attend the wedding, and who really loved Nathan’s first wife. Hayley was eager to impress and she did all she could. Miss Gloria never fails to crack me up throughout the story. Her relationship with Hayley continues to grow. They depend on each other. Thankfully, Hayley and Nathan’s houseboat is right next to Gloria. All the characters in this story are well developed and their dialogues are crisp and true to life.

Ms.  Burdette was cooked up a fabulous mystery too. Plenty of suspects, plenty of twists, and plenty of turns, all leading to some great surprises. I was already totally captivated by the story when a very suspenseful part had me truly on the edge of my seat. I was also totally wrong on the guilty party too.

The setting for this series is a delight, I have loved each and every visit. I understand why snowbirds leave the cold weather as we have in Wisconsin behind to spend time at such a happening place. Hopefully without the dead bodies.

I can’t leave without the food mentioned. This time Key Lime Pie was the star and I quickly found out I didn’t know the different ways Key Lime Pie can be made. Learning something new is always a bonus.

Lucy Burdette is a fantastic storyteller who seems to keep topping herself with each book in this series. I highly recommend all 10 books. In fact, this book is one of the best cozies I have read this year earning my Paradise Rating!

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About Lucy Burdette

Courtesy Carol Tedesco

Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) has published 16 mysteries, including the latest in the Key West food critic series, DEATH ON THE MENU (Crooked Lane Books, August 2018.) Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writersand shares her love for food with the culinary writers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen She lives in Madison CT and Key West FL. Read more at www.lucyburdette.com.

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

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Fowl Murder: A Cozy Mystery with a Determined Female Amateur Sleuth (A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

REVIEW NOW ADDED!

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Fowl Murder: A Cozy Mystery with a Determined Female Amateur Sleuth
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait

About Fowl Murder

Fowl Murder: A Cozy Mystery with a Determined Female Amateur Sleuth (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Kenya
Publisher: Kanga Press (July 21, 2020)
ebook, 190 pages
Digital ASIN: B089RRXBC1

 

A shooting on the savannah. A tragedy she’d rather forget. When past and present collide, will she survive to see her future?
Kenya, 2016. Semi-retired vet Rose Hardie just wants to enjoy her golden years and care for her disabled husband. But her peace of mind shatters when a forgotten confidant returns and reopens a case where Rose pulled the trigger. With her memories of the poacher’s shocking death flooding back, she barely catches her breath before her childhood friend is brutally murdered.

 

Braving blackmail and entrenched corruption, the tireless woman dives headfirst into helping the victim’s son solve the crime. But when the lead suspect is killed, Rose’s plans for a peaceful life end up dead and buried…

 

As her own traumatic history unravels, can Rose catch a killer before she becomes the next victim?

 

Foul Murder is the first book in the compelling Kenya Kanga Mystery series. If you like determined heroines, unpredictable twists and turns, and vivid African settings, then you’ll love Victoria Tait’s pulse-pounding tale.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Note: Take a moment to read the Glossary of words before starting to read the books because the author uses many words local to the region. I love that she did this. 

We meet Rose Hardie, known as “Mama Rose,” and her invalid husband, Craig, in Nanyuki, Kenya.    Rose works as a volunteer vet. She also helps anyone with a need the best she can. They are happily married but do clash when Rose is away and not tending to Craig.

When a childhood friend, Aisha, suddenly moves nearby talking about an event that happened decades ago, an event Rose would like to forget, she gets nervous. Soon after the friend is murdered. True to her nature Rose jumps in to help the victim’s son find her killer. She is also being blackmailed by someone connected to the event Aisha reopened. Unfortunately, Aisha was killed before Rose could get any details from her.  Now with Aisha’s son and a little help from Craig, Rose is doing her best to catch a killer and find the truth, but she could end up the killer’s next victim.


Ms. Tait has taken us to Kenya and creates wonderful imagery with her words. I could easily envision every place the characters went. The dryness of the land, the weather that comes in, Mount Kenya, the homes of the characters. I will never travel to Africa but enjoyed this virtual trip immensely.

(Mama) Rose is such a strong character. She is smart and, in some ways, methodical as she ventures into her investigation. She sees things others don’t. She knows everyone and they open up and tell her things they wouldn’t share with others. Husband Craig makes a great sounding board even though his disability keeps him from going everywhere Rose goes. Aisha’s son Thabiti steps in as her sidekick but his youth sometimes gets in the way. Other characters weigh in with information. All these characters develop over the course of the book. They come across as believable and real.

The mystery is full of twists and turns. The subplots blend in easily and the flow is great. The story has many layers to hold readers’ attention from beginning to end.  I did figure out part of the whodunit before Rose but was totally surprised when all was explained. Rose also gets some unexpected news that really evokes a change.

Fowl Murder is an exceptional start for the Kenya Kanga Mystery Series. Rose and Craig are definitely characters I want to visit again. Victoria Tait is an author to watch.

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About Victoria Tait

Victoria Tait is an exciting new author launching her Kenya Kanga Mystery series.  She’s drawn on 8 years living in rural Kenya with her family to transport her readers to a world of curiosity, community and conspiracy.  The Kenya Kanga Mystery series brings to life the beauty of the Kenyan landscape, the magic of its wildlife and the warmth of its people.

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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours You Read How Many Books Challenge

Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery) by Mary Lee Ashford #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

REVIEW NOW ADDED

Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
by Mary Lee Ashford

About Quiche of Death


Quiche of Death (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Iowa
Publisher: Lyrical Press (July 21, 2020)
Print Length: ~254 pages
ASIN: B0855Q9JFW

When editor Sugar Calloway and baker Dixie Spicer went into business creating cookbooks, they found a sideline as amateur sleuths. Now a bitter family grudge could leave a fatal aftertaste…

 

At Sugar & Spice Community Cookbooks, the friends and business partners have secured a tasty new commission: producing a cookbook for the Arbor family. The Arbors have made their fortune in quiches, and Sugar and Spice have been invited to a weekend gathering where all the siblings, along with crusty matriarch Marta, will be in attendance. But it’s soon clear that this trip will come with a hefty slice of drama.

 

Theo, the only grandson, arrives with his flaky fiancée, Collette, who quickly stirs up trouble . . . and is found dead the next day. As the investigation unfolds, secrets—and recipes—are shared, and Sugar and Spice realize just how messy and murderous the situation may be. As another family member falls ill, can they solve the case without getting egg on their faces . . .and a target on their backs?

* Includes delicious recipes! *

Excerpt 

 “Quiche me, you fool.”

The demand was followed by hoots of laughter as the sister—Jezzie, I think her name was—leaned into her spouse for a smooch. He hesitated but obliged.

I smiled at the boisterous group who clearly shared some inside joke about quiche and kissing. The warmth of the table and the sibling love melted my heart like butter on a biscuit. Taking a sip of water, I glanced over at Dixie, who sat across from me at the huge oak table.

She rolled her eyes.

“What?” I mouthed.

Dixie shrugged. Jezzie had perhaps a teensy bit too much wine, but still: When did my best friend and business partner get so darn stuffy? Maybe it was the inside-joke part that she found off-putting.

But we did know quiche was the family’s stock-in-trade, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch to figure out the expression had something to do with the Arbor family’s food business. After all, that was why we were here.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sugar and Spice Publishing usually compiles fundraiser cookbooks but when the well to do Arbor family, who made their money with their quiche recipe, ask them to create a family cookbook they just can’t refuse. The family is all getting together for the weekend and has invited Sugar and Dixie to join them to meet the family, go over recipes and get some background stories to use alongside the recipes in the cookbook.

Instead, they see the family is pretty high maintenance and that was before the grandson arrives with his new fiancée. A fiancée who is killed her first night with the family. Accident or murder?? Amateur sleuths Sugar Calloway and baker Dixie Spicer can’t help themselves; they start doing their own investigation which could end up being a recipe for disaster.

____

Again, we are introduced to a large cast of characters, the Arbor family. The author does a great job of giving the reader time to learn the family dynamics before we got too deep into the mystery while leaving much to be revealed over the course of the story.

The core characters continue to grow. Sugar is obsessed with getting in her steps every day and enjoying her new relationship with photographer Max. Dixie is still baking up a storm and a certain sheriff stops by often to do a little tasting.

The mystery is well done with Sugar taking the lead trying to get information out of the family. Everyone seems to have a secret but she is a smart woman and even when things get dicey she doesn’t give up. I was totally caught up in the story and pegged almost every family member to be the guilty party at one time or another. After more than a few twists and a fair share of humor, I was pleased with the way things wrapped up.

As someone who has taken part in making fundraising cookbooks in the past, this theme always brings back memories, some good, some frustrating. I would have loved working Sugar and Dixie to keep our committees on track and make key decisions. I have always wanted to make a family cookbook too, so I found the Arbor family ideas pretty appealing, sans all the drama and dead body.

Of course, the food descriptions had my mouth drooling. The Arbor family did have quite a few delectable recipes and some are included in the back of the book.

Quiche of Death is an entertaining addition to this series. I am looking forward to their next cookbook adventure.

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About Mary Lee Ashford 

Mary Lee Ashford is a lifelong bibliophile, and avid reader, and supporter of public libraries.

In addition to writing the Sugar and Spice series for Kensington Books, she also writes as half of the writing team of Sparkle Abbey, author of the national bestselling Pampered Pets mystery series from Bell Bridge Books.

Prior to publishing Mary Lee won first place in the Daphne du Maurier contest, sponsored by the Kiss of Death chapter of RWA, and was a finalist in Murder in the Grove’s mystery contest, as well as Killer Nashville’s Claymore Dagger contest.

She is the founding president of Sisters in Crime – Iowa and a past board member of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest chapter, as well as a member of Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of AmericaKiss of Death the RWA Mystery Suspense chapter, Sisters in Crime, and the SinC internet group Guppies. She loves encouraging other writers and is a frequent presenter for writers’ groups.

Mary Lee has a passionate interest in creativity and teaches a university-level course in Creative Management to MPA candidates, as well as presenting workshops and blogging about creativity.

She currently resides in the midwest with her husband, Tim, and cat, Zoey. Her delights are reading and enjoying her two sons and daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.

For more information, visit her website at www.MaryLeeAshford.com

Find her on  –  Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Pinterest – GoodReads 

Purchase Links – AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboGoogle BooksApple Books 

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July 21 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
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July 25 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
July 26 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
July 26 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 27 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
July 27 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
July 28 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 28 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
July 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 29 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
July 30 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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August 1 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit) by Colleen Shogan #Review / #Giveaway

REVIEW NOW ADDED

Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)
by Colleen Shogan

About Larceny at the Library 


Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Publisher: Epicenter Press (July 14, 2020)
Print Length: 202 pages
ISBN-13: 9781603818353
ASIN: B0863MN6TP

Congressional staffer Kit Marshall is excited to attend a historic event displaying the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets the night he was assassinated at the Library of Congress. The next day, a senior librarian is dead and several invaluable artifacts are missing. Kit’s husband Doug discovers the body and immediately becomes a suspect in the death and theft. Kit springs into action once again to figure out who is responsible for the crimes. Her sleuthing takes her to the DC Public Library, the National Portrait Gallery, Ford’s Theatre, and the most ornate, beautiful rooms at the Library of Congress. At the end, Kit must put her own life on the line to retrieve her most valuable possession, which goes unexpectedly missing as she hunts down the killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The thing I like best about this series is the author grabs from true events and her government experience as the basis of her stories. She worked as a Senior Executive at the Library of Congress and the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets when he was killed were donated to the Library of Congress in 1937 where the box remained unopened until 1976. So an event like the one described in this book is very believable. An event that leads to a murder and a theft and puts Kit’s new husband Doug at the top of the suspect list. He was a recent hire and had knowledge that few had, he attended the event and then stayed late to catch up on some work, and he found the body the next morning. Kit would have jumped into the investigation no matter what but the Librarian of Congress and her boss who is the chair of the oversight of the Library give her the power she needs when they formally ask her to work with the police and keep them up to date on any developments. Little did she know her own life and that of her furbaby would be in danger as she hunts down the killer.


The characters in this story are so strong and well-developed. Kit and Doug are still working things out in their personal life. Doug is ready for a house in the burbs, Kit not so much. Kit’s brother is settling into his life in D.C. and we meet the reason why. There may be some changes for other characters as well both in jobs and romance. Ms. Shogan keeps all her characters fresh and evolving.

The book has a great flow and the dialogue is crisp. The mystery is full of twists and turns and kept me captivated from beginning to end. The real culprit was on my radar but I eliminated them early on so I was totally taken by surprise at the way things played out and I love when that happens.

I also enjoy all the places we travel around Washington D.C. throughout the story, places the public never see like the underground tunnels connecting so many of the buildings and the beautiful rooms like those in the Library of Congress.

Great characters, a wonderful setting, and an exciting mystery make Larceny at the Library another Perfect Escape from Colleen J. Shogan. I anxiously await the next installment of this series.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Colleen J. Shogan

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at several universities and previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is currently the Senior Vice President of the White House Historical Association.

Colleen is a member of Sisters in Crime. “Stabbing in the Senate” was awarded the Next Generation Indie prize for Best Mystery in 2016. “Homicide in the House” was a 2017 finalist for the RONE Award for Best Mystery. “Calamity at the Continental Club” was a 2018 finalist in the “best cozy mystery” at Killer Nashville. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter –  GoodReads 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&N

 

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Great Escapes Praise  for Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)
by Colleen Shogan

Excellent character portrayal, a mystery that keeps one guessing until the end, and a story that takes you on a virtual trip to the landmarks in Washington, Larceny in the Library is an engrossing and must-read cozy mystery.
~The Book Decoder

The plot is full of some twists you may not see coming & cozy mystery fans will find a lot to love in this latest Washington whodunnit!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

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July 15 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW  
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Giveaways Spotlights

Flipped For Murder (Country Store Mysteries) by Maddie Day #Spotlight / #Giveaway #ReviewRewind

Maddie Day’s Country Store Mysteries are going strong
with Book #7 – Nacho Average Murder being released June 30 and Book #8 –
Candy Slain Murder on September 29. 

Today I am shining my spotlight on the 1st book in the series which I reviewed back in 2015 and giving a copy away!

1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Indiana
Kensington (October 27, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617739255
E-Book ASIN: B00TE7O9HK
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In this freshly baked series, author Maddie Day lifts the lid on a small town in southern Indiana, where a newcomer is cooking up a new start–until a murderer muddles the recipe…

 

Nursing a broken heart, Robbie Jordan is trading in her life on the West Coast for the rolling hills of southern Indiana. After paying a visit to her Aunt Adele, she fell in love with the tiny town of South Lick. And when she spots a For Sale sign on a rundown country store, she decides to snap it up and put her skills as a cook and a carpenter to use. Everyone in town shows up for the grand re-opening of Pans ‘n Pancakes, but when the mayor’s disagreeable assistant is found dead, Robbie realizes that not all press is good press. With all eyes on her, she’ll have to summon her puzzle-solving skills to clear her name, unscramble the town’s darkest secrets, and track down a cold-blooded killer–before she’s the next to die…

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Maddie Day has given this series a fine start.

Robbie Jordan is a woman of many talents, business owner, cook, carpenter, and now amateur sleuth. She opens her country store/restaurant with a fabulous turnout only the whole thing put into jeopardy when someone kills the witchy assistant to the mayor and sets up Robbie to take the fall. She doesn’t “flip” out but she does her best to flatten the killer and ride her bike off into the sunset. Not quite how it happens though 🙂

I liked Robbie a lot. She is fair and hardworking and smart. She really is determined to make her business a success. One thing she is going to have to do is hire more help especially if sleuthing is added to the menu.

The other characters we meet in South Lick are very engaging as well. Next to Robbie I would say her employee, Danna would be my favorite character. I think we have just scratched the surface on all of the characters but Danna is the one I am excited to see more of. She gets her nerve up to put someone in their place in this story and I wanted to jump right into the pages to give her a “high five”. The mayor is a bit over the top but I think Robbie will learn how to handle her.

Day gives us a compelling mystery and an intriguing subplot too. The victim wasn’t like by many so there were plenty of suspects. Robbie did find herself in some hair-raising situations that were pretty intense and made the paging fly. There was just a touch of romance that I anxious to see what develops.

There are recipes in the back of the book and a sneak peak of the next book in the series Grilled For Murder out May 31, 2016. Can’t wait to return to South Lick, Indiana!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

The first 6 books are on SALE for $1.99 as I set this post up on 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.

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 July 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 Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Grounds for Remorse (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.


Grounds for Remorse (A Tallie Graver Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496712234
ISBN-13: 978-1496712233
Kindle ASIN: B075C7ML55

No more cheating . . .

 

Best friends Tallie Graver and Gina Laudermilch both seem to spend a lot of time around urns. For Tallie, they’re part and parcel of the family business, Graver’s Funeral Home. Even though she’s traded ashes for dusting with her own cleaning business, she still works part-time for her folks and lives above the funeral parlor. For Gina, they’re the vessels that contain her heavenly brew at her coffee shop, Bean There, Done That. And both women are learning that owning a business can make finding time for romance challenging.

 

But when Gina’s new beau turns out to have a wife, who barges into the coffee shop to take him home, she can’t contain her bitterness and loudly threatens to poison his cup or boil him in a vat of coffee. So when Mr. Wrong turns up dead at the bottom of a staircase inside Gina’s locked home, she finds herself at the top of the police’s suspect list. Tallie needs to sweep in to save her friend. But she’ll need to watch her step, or she may go from being a funeral home employee to becoming their next client . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Gina Laudermilch is head over heels about her new boyfriend, sharing with best friend, Tallie Graver, he may be the one. Then the man’s wife shows up at her coffee shop to stake her claim and take the man home. But Mr. So Wrong doesn’t back down and still tries to see Gina even though she has threatened to “boil him in a vat of coffee”,  he actually shows up at her door with flowers Max gets caught in the crossfire. Then the next day Gina finds the man at the bottom of her staircase dead behind a locked door she also finds herself the prime suspect. Tallie is ready to do anything to clear her friend’s name even going toe to toe with those high on her suspect list and against the police’s warnings to leave the case to them.


I really enjoyed this 2nd installment to this series because there was always something happening and the book had an excellent flow. Tallie’s boyfriend has come for a visit and gets totally involved in everything Tallie does from going to help her clean houses, helping out at the family funeral home, to investigating the murder of Casanova Craig. He truly is a special man and they make a great couple.

Tallie’s family continues to make me laugh. All the recurring characters continue to develop in meaningful ways. Tallie’s father is very serious about his business and its image and her mother butts into Tallie’s life as any normal mother would, okay she does get a little much at times but you have to love her for it. I just wish they would give Tallie a little more leeway and let her come into her own. Hopefully, that will happen soon. A new relationship is blooming between two characters as well that I find delightful even though it was also a complete surprise.

Ms. Simon also introduces some interesting characters for this story and puts them into some unique situations. Turns out Craig is a chronic cheater that opened the door to a vast number of suspects. There were plenty of twists and turns and while I thought I had everything all figured out before the big reveal I was only partially right. There was one last twist I didn’t see coming.

Grounds For Remorse is a well-crafted mystery with characters that are becoming more engaging as the series continues. I am looking forward to the next book in this series, Deceased and Desist is waiting on my To-Be-Read stack.

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
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.

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 July 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Divide and Concord (The Wine Trail Mysteries) by J. C. Eaton #Review / #Giveaway


Divide and Concord (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing (April 30, 2020)
Paperback: 254 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461483
ISBN-13: 978-1950461486
Kindle ASIN: B086WPY24R

Norrie Ellington is a sucker for doing good deeds, but when she agrees to let a film crew use her winery as a backdrop and one of them turns up dead, she’ll have to act fast because this crew knows how to put on an act . . .

 

When screenwriter and winery co-owner Norrie Ellington agrees to let her producer film a movie scene at Two Witches Winery, her biggest concerns revolve around the crew trampling her precious vines and starstruck fans crowding the vineyard to spot the famous actors. But nothing had prepared her for the film’s director, an unbearable diva with a growing list of unreasonable demands—along with a growing list of enemies. And when the director turns up dead, apparently the victim of foul play, a very public altercation Norrie had with the victim the day before puts her in the spotlight as the lead suspect.

 

Knowing she’ll have to root out the killer herself to get off the narrow-minded local sheriff’s most-wanted list, Norrie compiles a large selection of potential suspects, including vengeful actors the director had once blacklisted and even the director’s estranged husband, a high-profile candy magnate trying to bring a burgeoning market for concord grapes to the region. Weeding out false leads and planted clues, Norrie knows it’ll take some quick thinking to track down the culprit, before she becomes the murderer’s next target in a deadly harvest . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Murder rears its ugly head again near Two Witches Winery and this time it involves a film crew filming a scene from one of Norrie Ellington’s screenplays. When the over-the-top director is found dead the entire cast and crew find themselves in the police spotlight. Surprisingly Norrie finds herself there too due to a public altercation. The victim’s husband, a candy magnate bringing his business to the area also plays a key role. First, bringing excitement to the area with his expected need of concord grape juice but also could he have been in the area and killed his wife?

To help catch the real killer Norrie enlists the help of her friends from the neighboring wineries. They all know their businesses depend on putting the murder behind them as quickly as possible especially when it looks like the killer’s sights are now set on Norrie.


With this installment, the series has moved to a new publisher and I am so happy about that because I was definitely not ready to see these character’s stories end.

All the recurring characters are strong and Norrie is a great protagonist. I really appreciate the relationships she has built with everyone around her especially because her time at the winery is basically limited to the year her sister and brother-in-law are in Costa Rica studying a very special bug. I could see her lengthening her stay though because of these friendships and her new romantic relationship, but we will have to see. I do enjoy the way her personal life story continues to evolve and grow.

The mystery was an entertaining one to follow and solve. The nods to Miss Marple and Nancy Drew were a nice touch. There were plenty of twists and turns. The social media research done to investigate the suspects felt very current. I did enjoy the big reveal and thought it was pretty funny that is didn’t play out as planned. There was also a Wine and Cheese Festival the wineries are hosting and the staff at Two Witches have to deal with all the fans that show up because actors Priscilla McCoy and Gavin Chase are now filming in the vineyards. The authors blend all the drama and day to day activities very well.

Divide and Concord is a delightful addition to this series. Engaging characters and a stirring mystery kept me captivated from the first page to the last. I am hoping for many more books in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Riesling to Die – just click here.

Read my review of Chardonnayed to Rest – just click here.

Read my review of Pinot Red or Dead? along with an author interview – just click here. 

Read my review of Sauvigone for Good (The Wine Trail Mysteries) just click here

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name.

Visit the websites at www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp

When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching.

 

Also by J.C. Eaton


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

Contest Will End July 2, 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 Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Fatal Fiction (Deadly Edits) by Kaitlyn Dunnett #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to feature A Fatal Fiction by Kaitlyn Dunnett today!


A Fatal Fiction (Deadly Edits)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496726863
ISBN-13: 978-1496726865
Kindle ASIN: B07W6S73TB

Freelance book editor Mikki Lincoln knows the makings of a well-written story. But she’ll need to choose her words wisely when a new assignment introduces a deadly plot twist . . .

 

Forgotten on the outskirts of quaint Lenape Hollow, Feldman’s Catskill Resort Hotel has outlasted its heyday as a popular tourist destination and now awaits demolition. But once Mikki is hired to edit a revealing memoir by Sunny Feldman, the last living relative of its original owners, the doomed resort quickly ends up back in the spotlight . . .

 

Unfortunately, everyone’s attention shifts to Mikki when a body is discovered at the demolition site. Seen arguing with deceptive entrepreneur Greg Onslow right before his shocking death, the editor has no choice but to spell out exactly why she isn’t guilty of murdering him . . .

 

Mikki’s dash for answers brings Greg’s shady dealings into focus, along with an unsettling list of potential culprits. As false leads and dead ends force her to revise theories on who really did it, can Mikki separate fact from fiction before the investigation reaches a terrifying conclusion?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

In this 3rd installment of the Deadly Edits Series, professional editor, Mikki Lincoln finds herself in the middle of a dispute between Sunny Feldman who is writing a memoir of times at her family’s Feldman’s Catskill Resort Hotel which is now owned by entrepreneur Greg Onslow who believes the book will hurt his chances to revitalize the area.

When Onslow’s body is found dead on the property Mikki becomes a prime suspect due to a verbal altercation witnessed by many and videotaped. She knows she is going to need facts to solve this murder and she may need to edit her thoughts on more than one of her suspects. One thing for sure, there is more to this death than first meets the eye and Mikki is determined to get to the truth.

_____

The thing I love most about this series is Mikki herself. A mature woman, set in her ways, strong, smart, savvy, comfortable in her own skin. A retired schoolteacher she is methodical which makes her a great amateur sleuth and so much fun to follow along with. She is very direct which at times works to her determent but at her age, it may be hard to learn to soften her approach.

One thing I didn’t like about this story was the arrival of Mikki’s nephew Nick. Mikki’s family is worried about her getting involved in these murders and sends in the calvary. I found him very off-putting. He didn’t listen to his aunt, jumped to conclusions, and basically drove me to his distraction. I realize his heart was in the right place but Mikki is clearly in control of her life and faculties and he should have realized it right away.

The mystery itself is very well-plotted and written. There are plenty of suspects and some nice twists and red herrings to keep readers intrigued and tuned in. The story has an excellent flow and humor in all the right places.

While I did hone in on the culprit before the big reveal I found A Fatal Fiction entertaining and a great addition to this series. I am looking forward to book #4.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Crime and Punctuation here
and Clause and Effect here.

About the Author 

Kaitlyn Dunnett writes the Liss MacCrimmon Mystery Series and now the Deadly Edits Mystery Series. You can find out more about her and her books on her website here.

Also by Kaitlyn Dunnett


I am giving my Advance Review Copy away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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 July 1, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
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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.”