Nov 212017
 

A Fatal Collection (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Maryland
Midnight Ink (November 8, 2017)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738752198
E-Book ASIN: B01MR8L4IS

 

 

Callie Reed makes a long overdue visit to her aunt Melodie, who lives in a fairy-tale cottage in quaint Keepsake Cove, home to a bevy of unique collectible shops on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Just as they’re beginning to reconnect, Callie discovers her aunt’s body on the floor of her music box shop. Grief-stricken, Callie finds she can’t accept Melodie’s death being called accidental. How could her strong and healthy aunt take such a fatal fall? And why was she there in the middle of the night?

As Callie searches for the truth, signs seem to come from her late aunt through a favorite music box, urging Callie on. Or are they warnings? If Callie isn’t careful, she could meet a similar deadly fate amid Melodie’s collection.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is an excellent start to what I hope will be a long running series.

The story takes place in Keepsake Cove on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Callie Reed’s Aunt Melodie owns a music box shop and a cute little cottage there. Callie arrives for a short visit that turns into so much more after her aunt suffers a tragic fall. Melodie’s death is ruled accidental, but something just seems off. Her aunt was healthy and vital. She knew the layout of her store even in the dark, and why was she there in the middle of the night? Driven my a music box that mysteriously plays without being wound and just a need to find the truth, Callie keeps her eyes and ears open, asks some careful questions, and tries to not end up joining her aunt in the great beyond, before she can truly be at home in Keepsake Cove.

What an amazing setting for a story/series. Mary Ellen Hughes creates mind blowing imagery with her words. Each shop and cottage, the paths between, the music boxes and other keepsakes, come alive through her words. She takes us there and immerses the reader in everything that is happening.

The characters come alive too. They already have great depth. I feel we will get to know them even better as the series continues.  I do wish Callie would have had more time with her aunt, but we know that she was a genuine and caring person with many friends that now will take Callie under their wing. All the shopkeepers are unique in personality and their wares. A tight knit community, most working to continue on the cove’s success. You always have a few dust-ups, maybe even murder, in a place like this, that keep life interesting.

The plot of the story is unique in that there are no police scurrying around trying to catch a killer. They believe is was a terrible accident. Callie does investigate quietly and has several suspects, but she keeps them to herself, until the exciting climax where all is revealed. I found this to be delightful and refreshing.

As a collector myself you could take me away to Keepsake Cove any day of the week. This visit ended much too soon. They are still shops to explore and people to meet. You just know Callie’s going to get herself into something. I am excited for this series to continue. Mary Ellen, my virtual bags are packed and I am ready to escape to the cove whenever you are. Please don’t make me wait too long.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About The Author

Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is her debut with Midnight Ink. A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she’s set many of her stories. Visit her at www.MaryEllenHughes.com.

Author Links
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Praise for A Fatal Collection (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
by Mary Ellen Hughes

This one has so many elements that I love including a community of shop keepers with specialty items, making them a small town to themselves. The shops have personalities as do the shopkeepers.
~Laura’s Interests

Keepsakes can have great emotional value and connection to an event or person. And some collectors are downright… obsessed! A Fatal Collection is downright enjoyable and holds great promise for the future.
~Back Porchervations

The mystery solving has a different route to it with no police involved at all which was a refreshing change. I highly recommend this to fans of cozy mysteries.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

This first book in the Keepsake Cove mystery series is off to a promising start. This was my first book by this author and I enjoyed her writing style.
~Bookworm Cafe

A Fatal Collection is my kind of comfortable cozy mystery. . .
~The Power of Words

A FATAL COLLECTION will be a keepsake of mine for a very long time to come!
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

“A Fatal Collection” was enjoyable and engaging with a wonderful setting and cast of characters.
~Bea’s Book Nook

Overall, Callie and Keepsake Cove are going to become instant hits with cozy readers. . . It was a delight to read this book.
~Bibliophile Reviews

I was immediately enchanted with the town of Keepsake Cove and the inhabitants. I loved all of the specialty shops with their cutesy names and their even cuter shop owners.
~The Montana Bookaholic

This was a delightful cozy that was really enhanced by how charming the community of Keepsake Cove was.
~That’s What She’s Reading

I’m totally in love with the characters from Keepsake Cove. They’re well-rounded, developed characters that seem to have a complexity that we barely scratched the surface of in this book.
~Valerie’s Musings

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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.”

Nov 162017
 

Death at the Midnight Dragonfly
by Susan Boles

 


Death at the Midnight Dragonfly
Argent Ocean Publishing (November 10, 2017)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997909357
E-Book ASIN: B0771PXNYD

On the fourth day of Christmas,
In Mercy, Mississippi….

Four suspects lying,
Three sleuths a sleuthing
Two clues a hiding
And a very, very dead body.

It’s the Christmas season in Mercy, Mississippi. But things are far from jolly.

For Vlad Templeton the sleepy little town where he spent his childhood provides the perfect place to conduct his state funded sleep study. But when the local bank manager, who was participating in the study, is found dead on his doorstep, is it a set up…or is Vlad somehow involved?

But, when someone makes an attempt on Lily Gayle’s and Dixie’s life, the two realize they better move fast….or they might end up sleeping forever.

About the Author

Susan calls McNairy County, TN her home ground even though she has moved away. It was here, at Bethel Springs Junior High School that she began her writing career with two friends. They formed their own little writers group that was so secret they were the only ones who knew it existed. She still has some of the stories they wrote carefully preserved in a loose leaf binder and tucked away for safety.

She has worked in retail management, briefly for the Census Bureau and for many years in the investment/insurance industry in the regulatory compliance arena. All of which are left brain activities. So she exercises her right brain activity with reading and writing…just to keep both sides even.

Reading has been a passion since she was very young. As a toddler, her mother read to her from her ‘baby books’ and her Mother tells a story about her holding one of them upsidedown and ‘reading’ by repeating the story verbatim from memory.

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

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Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Nov 132017
 

I am so happy to have Lesley Cookman drop by for a visit
to start her Great Escapes Book Tour! 

 

Hi Lori, and thank you for having me. I’m a British author writing in what is now known as the “cosy” genre, but what, when I started, was simply known as Murder Mystery – or even simpler – crime. That is, here in the UK it was. I love the Golden Age crime writers, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L Sayers, Margery Allingham, your own John Dickson Carr/Carter Dickson and Rex Stout, although several of them carried on well after the so called Golden Age. Sadly, I’ve never particularly admired Dame Agatha, which is no doubt a terrible failing!

The thing I realised I liked about series novels was the fact that I got to know the characters. So when it came to writing the second in the series, I knew I had to include several of those characters who had appeared in the first. Gradually, I assembled a whole cast, a lot of whom appear in all the books. Over the course of 18 books and some short stories, readers have developed favourites and regularly tell me what I’ve done wrong with them, or even say “So-and-so would never do that!” At least one of the men in the books has a queue of women waiting to marry him. And they really do not want him to get married!

I have created a whole area for the books, just south of Canterbury, Kent, UK. I have villages, towns and a lot of pubs. I have a map of my main village, where my eponymous heroine, Libby Sarjeant, lives, in the front of every book and on my website, and on my office wall a map of the area with all the villages, and a map of the little town on the coast. If I didn’t I might forget where things were supposed to be. I have loved creating this world, to the extent that when, a few years ago, I started a second series set in the Edwardian era, I already had a setting for it – same place!

Of course, this gives you a few problems. Readers invest in your characters – you can’t kill anyone off. I did allow one older person to die, and received rather a lot of complaints and earnest requests not to kill off any of the cats. In an upcoming short, entitled Murder Most Fowl, I’ve been silly enough to introduce a dog, who, if I allow him to stay, will no doubt become the readers’ best friend.

This, of course, doesn’t apply to the victims of the murders, or the murderers. So they can never be regular characters, and they have to be unlikeable. I learnt this very early on when, in the first book, my publisher told me that the murderer was too nice, and I had to go back and ADD a character.

I know in the US cosy series there is often a theme, or a hobby which introduces the heroine to each murder. The only thing my heroine does is help run the local Oast Theatre, as an ex-professional actor herself. Her best friend Fran is also an ex-actor, so there is an occasional theatrical theme to the books, but not all of them.

All in all, I’m very glad I invented Libby Sarjeant and her world. I enjoy retreating there, and I can’t think of a better way of earning a living.

~Lesley

Thank you Lesley for stopping by today!

About the Author

Lesley started writing almost as soon as she could read, and filled many exercise books with pony stories until she was old enough to go out with boys. Since she’s been grown up, following a varied career as a model, air stewardess and disc jockey, she’s written short fiction and features for a variety of magazines, achieved an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Wales, taught writing for both Kent Adult Education and the WEA and edited the first Sexy Shorts collection of short stories from Accent Press in aid of the Breast Cancer Campaign.  The Libby Sarjeant series is published by Accent Press, who also publish her book, How to Write a Pantomime, with a foreword by Roy Hudd.   Lesley is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.

WebpageTwitter 

Murder by the Barrel (A Libby Sarjeant Murder Mystery Series)
by Lesley Cookman


Murder by the Barrel (A Libby Sarjeant Murder Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
18th in Series
Accent Press Ltd (October 5, 2017)
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1786152947
E-BOOK ASIN: B073ZJLL56

A new title in the popular cosy crime series by bestselling author Lesley Cookman

When the sleepy village of Steeple Martin announces its first beer festival, the locals are excited. Beer, sun and music, what could possibly go wrong?

But when an unexpected death shakes the village, it’s up to Libby Sarjeant to solve the puzzle.

Was it just another rock star death or is there something more sinister afoot?

 

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Nov 122017
 

Dressed To Kill: An Antique Hunters Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Tedeschi Publishing (October 12, 2017)
Print Length: 177 pages
E-Book ASIN: B076DQ3R8T

In 1865, Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker, conspired to change the course of the Civil War. Crossing lines between North and South, the band of conspirators wove a plan that remained undiscovered for more than 150 years until Antique Hunter Anne Hillstrom finds one of Keckley’s gowns. She and fellow Antique Hunter CC Muller unravel the mystery that has left a trail of dead bodies, leading to the doorstep of their antique store, Great-Aunt Sybil’s Attic.

Dressed to Kill is the fifth book in the Antique Hunters Mystery Series. Rooted in history, the series reimagines real-life events blurring the line between fact and fiction.

Praise For Dressed to Kill, An Antique Hunters Mystery
by Vicki Vass

A fun romp through history and a road trip of adventure.
~Laura’s Interests

I was thrilled to be transported into such a hot topic piece, the Civil War. It was a great read, and one that reminded me how much I enjoy this author.
~Bibliophile Reviews

I enjoy reading any book written by this author. She has a way of writing that makes the story move along nicely. I also like that she includes some historical things in her mysteries.
~A. Holland Reads


About the Author

With a passion for shopping and antiques, Vicki Vass turned in her reporter’s notebook to chronicle the adventures of Anne and CC, two antique hunters who use their skills to solve a murder case.

Vicki has written more than 1,400 stories for the Chicago Tribune as well as other commercial publications including Home & Away, the Lutheran and Woman’s World. Her science fiction novel, The Lexicon, draws on her experience in Sudan while writing about the ongoing civil war for World Relief.

She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, writer and musician Brian Tedeschi, son Tony, Australian shepherd Bandit, kittens Terra and Pixel, seven koi and Gary the turtle.

Author Links –

Website – Blog – Facebook 

Purchase Link – Amazon

Also by Vicki Vass

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Nov 122017
 


Dead Storage (A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Lyrical Underground (July 18, 2017)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601836687
E-Book ASIN: B01MDPY3CU

As a professional organizer, Maggie McDonald brings order to messy situations. But when a good friend becomes a murder suspect, surviving the chaos is one tall task . . .

Despite a looming deadline, Maggie thinks she has what it takes to help friends Jason and Stephen unclutter their large Victorian in time for its scheduled renovation. But before she can fill a single bin with unused junk, Jason leaves for Texas on an emergency business trip, Stephen’s injured mastiff limps home—and Stephen himself lands in jail for murder. Someone killed the owner of a local Chinese restaurant and stuffed him in the freezer. Stephen, caught at the crime scene covered in blood, is the number one suspect. Now Maggie must devise a strategy to sort through secrets and set him free—before she’s tossed into permanent storage next . . .

Praise for Dead Storage (A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
by Mary Feliz

This is the third novel in the Maggie McDonald mystery series and this series just keeps getting better! Once again I read long into the night to finish the book in one setting because I just couldn’t get enough!
~The Montana Bookaholic

This author has a smooth writing style that really drags the reader in until they cannot help but read it all just to find out what happens next.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews



About the Author

Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Mysteries featuring a Silicon Valley professional organizer and her sidekick golden retriever. She’s worked for Fortune 500 firms and mom and pop enterprises, competed in whale boat races and done synchronized swimming. She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust.

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Nov 112017
 

That Olde White Magick (An Abracadabra Mystery)
by Sharon Pape


That Olde White Magick (An Abracadabra Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Lyrical Underground (November 7, 2017)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516100583
E-Book ASIN: B06X3TLCLH

 

 

It’s time to work her crime-solving magic again . . .

Kailyn Wilde enjoys running her shop, Abracadabra, in the quaint New York hamlet of New Camel, where she lives with her six cats. Her family’s been here for centuries, and she’d like to keep up the tradition. But the place may never be the same if a big hotel gets built, so she does her civic duty and attends a town meeting along with her aunt Tilly . . . and Merlin. Yes, that Merlin—though he gets introduced to folks as her “distant English cousin.” The wizard is pretty grumpy about being transported here, but there are things about the modern world he doesn’t mind—like pizza.

Kailyn was prepared for a heated debate about the hotel, but she wasn’t expecting murder. When Tilly finds the body of a board member outside the schoolhouse, Kailyn doesn’t want any suspicion cast on the wrong person. She plans to crack this case, even if she has to talk to every living soul in town—plus a few departed ones . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Two sorcerers and a wizard walk into a town meeting . . . and before the meeting starts one of them finds a dead body.

Kailyn Wilde is back and finds herself right in the middle of another murder investigation. Between trying to hone her magickal skills and taking care of the customers flowing into Abracadabra she really doesn’t have the time she needs to devote to catching a killer so she needs to wrap of this case quickly. She ends up casting a few spells to keep herself safe as she questions almost the whole town, past and present. Someone has to know something.

I so enjoy the way Sharon Pape brings a story to life. These characters are amazing. Kailyn is missing her mother and grandmother but they do “pop” in to visit frequently, encouraging her to learn more about her craft along with some other mostly unwanted advice. Aunt Tilly stays busy with her tea shop and readings and does her best to keep wizard Merlin from conjuring up any trouble. He definitely brings the comedy to the story. Folks around town know him as the “distant English cousin”. He loves pizza and television but he still wishes he could go back to his own time.

The mystery this time centers around a hotel being built that could change everything about the New Camel tourists and residents have come to love. The suspects could be anyone wanting to stop the project or someone wanting to be sure the project is pushed through. I loved the twists and was shocked by the ending. The author has a very descriptive way of writing that made me as the reader feel I was there every step of the way but I must have missed a crucial clue 🙂 I figured it out the same time as Kailyn.

The was another magickal story for this series. There is a fun paranormal theme that entertains from start to finish. I am excited for the next book, Magick Run Amok will be released May 1, 2018. I am looking forward to another Great Escape! 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author

Sharon describes her writing career as having two stages. Back in the dark ages, before computers were in every household, she had three paranormal books published. The first one was condensed by Redbook Magazine, the first paperback original they ever condensed. Then life brought her an unexpected challenge, by the name of breast cancer. After treatment she and her oncologist started a not-for-profit to provide information and peer support to breast cancer patients. With the organization up and running, she returned to her first love – writing. This time around she’s been writing cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist. That Olde White Magick is the second book in her Abracadabra Mysteries.

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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.”

Nov 062017
 

Broken Promises (A Past Imperfect Mystery)
by Anne Willow


Broken Promises (A Past Imperfect Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Between the Lines Publishing (August 15, 2017)
Print Length: 212 pages
ASIN: B0747PPNKJ

Julia was in a search of a way out…a way back to herself.

The passing of her favorite aunt sends her to the small artist town of Grand Marais, nestled along the northern coast of Lake Superior. There she starts to weave the tattered threads of a new life, rediscovering her love of sketching, while running the antique shop, Past Imperfect. Everything is finally going right. Until a mysterious package arrives, tucked inside is an ornate silver letter opener bearing the initials E.C. along with an even more mysterious note. Julia’s natural curiosity piqued, but before she can discover who sent the letter opener, it’s found embedded in Tom Peterson’s chest. The tapestry of her new life begins to unravel as she is named a prime suspect. Now, left with few clues and a past not willing to let her go, Julia works to solve the mystery and the murder.

Infidelity through time and a curse that only she can break – once she figures out how.

About The Author

Anne has always loved the North Shore, especially Lake Superior near Grand Marais. She lives there with her husband and two children. When bringing the Past Imperfect series together, Anne couldn’t think of a better place to have Julia’s shop. If you find yourself traveling through, stop by Artist Point, you may just find her sitting on the rocks.

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Nov 042017
 

Scrapbook of Murder
by Lois Winston

Scrapbook of Murder (An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Self Published (October 2, 2017)
Print Length: 171 pages
E-Book ASIN: B075FCSCPL

Crafts and murder don’t normally go hand-in-hand, but “normal” deserted craft editor Anastasia Pollack’s world nearly a year ago. Now, tripping over dead bodies seems to be the “new normal” for this reluctant amateur sleuth.

When the daughter of a murdered neighbor asks Anastasia to create a family scrapbook from old photographs and memorabilia discovered in a battered suitcase, she agrees—not only out of friendship but also from a sense of guilt over the older woman’s death. However, as Anastasia begins sorting through the contents of the suitcase, she discovers a letter revealing a fifty-year-old secret, one that unearths a long-buried scandal and unleashes a killer. Suddenly Anastasia is back in sleuthing mode as she races to prevent a suitcase full of trouble from leading to more deaths.


About the Author

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

 

Author Links:

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Nov 042017
 

Seashells, Spells & Caramels
by Erin Johnson


Seashells, Spells & Caramels by Erin Johnson
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published
Release Date – October 29, 2017
Paperback: 286 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1976214820
Kindle ASIN: B076GT2MXY

Imogen’s spent her twenties in Seattle, saving every penny and missing every party, to follow her dream of opening her own bakery.

When that dream goes up in flames, she accepts a spot in a mysterious baking contest—one she doesn’t remember entering. She travels to a bustling, medieval village off the coast of France and discovers an enchanting world of magic and mystery, and learns that she, too, possesses powers.

Unable to so much as cast a spell, Imogen struggles to keep up with the other witches and wizards who have come from all over the magical world to the Water Kingdom’s big competition. She juggles relationships with a sweet new friend, a snarky baking fire, and a brooding, handsome baker. As Imogen falls for this bewitching world, she fears she won’t master her magic in time to win the job of Royal Head Baker, and will be forced to return to the shambles of her non magical life.

It only gets worse, when a competitor drops dead in the middle of the big white baking tent, and Imogen’s the prime suspect. Now, she’ll not only have to survive the vampire and psychic judges, but also clear her name by finding the real murderer, before they strike again.

With a killer on the loose, a missing prince, and the Summer Solstice Festival fast approaching, Imogen will have to bake like her life depends on it- because it just might.

Praise for Seashells, Spells & Caramels
by Erin Johnson

This is delightfully delicious fantasy with romantic overtones. A combination of the popular televised Great Bake-Off shows and catty reality dramas…
~Laura’s Interests

Its not the typical cozy, which makes it unique, but it also has some of the elements I like in a cozy mystery, baking and food!
~A Chick Who Reads

This was such a great story. I didn’t want to put it down. I loved the magical elements that made this story truly unique.
~Brooke Blogs

Absolutely wonderful cozy mystery!!! This is some of the best world building I have read in quite some time.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

This was an absolutely delightful read!
~Valerie’s Musings


About the Author

A native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).

Author Links
Website:    Facebook    Twitter: @EJohnsonWrites

 

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Nov 022017
 

A Deadly Éclair: A French Bistro Mystery
by Daryl Wood Gerber

A Deadly Éclair: A French Bistro Mystery
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – California
Crooked Lane Books (November 7, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683313410
Kindle ASIN: B06XWDWRLF

It’s always been Mimi Rousseau’s dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she’s been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband’s tremendous debt. Until her best friend Jorianne James introduces her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker who invests in promising prospects. Now, working the bistro and inn until she’s able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn’s first wedding ever.

The wedding will be the talk of the town, as famous talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan’s half-brother, Edison, has chosen the inn as her perfect venue. Anxious, Mimi is sure things are going to turn south, especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners’ dinner, but by the evening, things begin to look up again. That is until six AM rolls around, and Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth. And the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven in Bryan’s will.

Now it’s up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Éclair.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to a magnificent (magnifique) start! Mimi Rousseau is living her dream of owning her own inn and bistro. She has collaborated with Bryan Baker for the financial backing needed for the purchase and the vast remodeling effort to get both places open. In fact, the story opens with Mimi and her staff getting reading to host it’s first wedding. Bryan’s niece, talk show host, Angelica Edmonton and her fiancé are excited to be married at the inn. Things start to go awry with Angelica’s father, Edison, arrives at the out-of-towners’ dinner, but when Bryan is found dead the next morning at the bistro with an éclair in his month, Mimi doesn’t think things can get any worse. Now her mentor is dead and she is a prime  suspect.

I have been looking forward to the book since I first saw the cover pop up on Facebook and it certainly exceeded my expectations. As a fan of the author’s Cheese Shop Mysteries and Cookbook Nook Mysteries, I knew the characters would be strong and the food descriptions would have my mouth watering and I was right.

Mimi Rousseau has a lot on her plate but I knew right away she could handle it. She is strong and savvy and has hired a top-notch staff. Chef C. and sous chef Stefan keep the kitchen under control while Heather runs the dining room. The inn, a fancy bed and breakfast, is managed by Mimi’s BFF, Jorianne. Mimi oversees everything from the menus and wine to all the events happening at the inn and bistro. All of the characters are very well defined for the first book in a series but there is plenty of room for them to grow. The secondary cast, the wedding party, family and friends, are also very well crafted. I was drawn right in to all of their drama.

The story was very fast paced with some corkscrew twists and more suspects than I at first set my sites on.  This author knows how to set the scene and have readers nibbling on each little clue as we follow Mimi in her investigation. The mystery is well plotted and so entertaining. I was enthralled from the first page until the last and then I wanted more.

Now let me talk about the food. Oh my! Thanks to the tantalizing descriptions I could almost taste and smell so many delightful dishes and even the unique flavors of the wine served.  I love onion soup so every time it was mentioned my cravings stepped up another notch. Daryl Wood Gerber does share some recipes in the back of the book including recipes for Chocolate Éclairs and Onion Soup Gratinée. Both have been copied into my recipes file.

I am really excited about this new series and can’t wait for book #2, A Soufflé of Suspicion, coming in July 2018.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

After reading about all that deliciousness in the book I am so happy Daryl is sharing recipes as part of her Great Escapes Tour. Be sure to visit each day to enjoy the full feast. 

Traveling Meal

Appetizer #2

Welcome back to the traveling feast.  I’m celebrating the upcoming release of the first French Bistro Mystery, A DEADLY ÉCLAIR, by hostessing a traveling meal, one blog at a time. This way you can sample different foods…one day at a time.

Of course, I’m focusing on French-themed foods because my protagonist, Mimi Rousseau, would serve these kinds of items either at her bistro or at her home.  Mimi used to be a chef in San Francisco, but life took a turn, and she returned home to Nouvelle Vie, an enclave of Napa Valley, to start anew. Luckily, her benefactor gave her the opportunity to open her own bistro and bed-and-breakfast. Appetizers are an important feature in the bistro.

One can never have enough appetizers, right?

And champagne. It goes with everything. Ooh-la-la!  Enjoy.

Here’s a brief scene from A DEADLY ÉCLAIR:

*

As I bent to retrieve a basket, a woman screamed, “Mimi!”

My pulse skyrocketed. I spun around.

My best friend, Jo, the woman who had bravely tasted all my childhood cooking fiascoes, the woman who had introduced me to Bryan and who had given up her high-paying CPA job to manage Maison Rousseau, ran at me full tilt, arms waving. “Help! It’s horrible!”

*

Camembert Pear Appetizer

  • 1 8 oz. round of Camembert
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Bosc pear, peeled and cut into tiny cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary (fresh, if you can, chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons Triple Sec (or other orange liqueur)
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Remove the Camembert from the refrigerator and slice in half. Set aside.

Peel the Bosc pear. (It does not have to be completely ripe; may be firm)

Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the pear and cook about 3-4 minutes, until the pear is tender. Add the rosemary and Triple Sec. Cook another minute.

Remove the pears from the pan.

Set one half of the Camembert, bloomy rind side down, on a pretty serving dish. Pour almost all of the pears (except 2 Tablespoons) on the bottom half of the Camembert.  Top with the other half of Camembert (bloomy rind on top). Top with the remaining pears.

Return the saucepan to the stove. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey and cook about one to two minutes, letting the combination reduce. Pour over the cheese and pears. Serve immediately (if you can, but sometimes guests aren’t always on time). It’s lovely at room temperature, too.

 


From Daryl:

I’m offering a book giveaway (winner’s choice of 1 from my published paperbacks) every day of this traveling feast. To enter today, tell me—cheese platter or chips and dip in the comments ?

BY THE WAY, don’t miss out on the French Bistro-themed BOX I’m giving away on my Facebook Author page. Link below.

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About the Author

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES, which she pens as Avery Aames. She will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAYS OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog – Avery’s Blog – Mystery Lover’s Kitchen – Killer Characters –

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames

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Purchase Links

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Tour Participants

November 1 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review, Recipe
November 2 –  Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Recipe
November 3 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Recipe
November 4 – A Holland Reads – Review, Recipe
November 5 – Jane Reads – Review, Recipe
November 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Recipe
November 7 – Back Porchervations – Review, Recipe

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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.”

The Drawing Game (A Sketch in Crime Mystery) by Deirdre Verne Get Your Copy Today!
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