Feb 242018
 

Six Dogs ’til Sunday (A Mae December Mystery)
by Lia Farrell


Six Dogs ’til Sunday (A Mae December Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Camel Press
Paperback Release (March 1, 2018)
Digital Release (February 15, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603812504
Digital ASIN: B077KFFH52

It’s January in Rosedale, Tennessee, and Mae December is preparing for her March wedding to Sheriff Ben Bradley. Mae, who boards dogs for a living, is also busy tending to her pregnant dog and scouting locations for the movie featuring the music of her former fiancé Noah West, who died in a car accident four years earlier. Fortunately, the picturesque old house at the end of Little Chapel Road is for rent.

Just as filming is about to begin, a man is shot on the set, but manages to drive himself to the hospital, where he dies before he can ID his killer. He was a member of the film crew, but also a local, and circumstances point to his being a confidential informant for Ben’s predecessor, Sheriff Trey Cantrell, also the owner of the house turned movie set. At the time of the shooting, the victim had been stealing a large sum of money from a safe on the premises. Whose money is it, and where does it come from?

The Rosedale Sheriff’s Office not only has another murder case on its hands, but one that will dredge up a past long buried. How far will the guilty parties go to protect their secrets?

About the Authors

Lia Farrell is the nom de plume for a mother/daughter duo of writers. Mom Lyn Farquhar and Daughter Lisa Fitzsimmons have been collaborating on the Mae December mystery series for four years.
lyn
ABOUT LYN
Lyn Farquhar taught herself to read before starting school and honed her storytelling abilities by reading to her little sister. Ultimately, her mother ended the reading sessions because Lyn’s sister decided she preferred being read to over learning to read herself. She fell in love with library books at the age of six when a Bookmobile came to her one-room rural elementary school. The day the Bookmobile arrived, Lyn decided she would rather live in the bookmobile than at home and was only ousted following sustained efforts by her teacher and the bookmobile driver.

Lyn graduated from Okemos High School in Michigan and got her college and graduate degrees from Michigan State University. She has a master’s degree in English literature and a Ph.D. in Education, but has always maintained that she remained a student for such a long time only because it gave her an excuse to read. Lyn holds the rank of Professor of Medical Education at Michigan State University and has authored many journal articles, abstracts and research grants. Since her retirement from MSU to become a full-time writer, she has completed a Young Adult Fantasy trilogy called Tales of the Skygrass Kingdom. Volume I from the trilogy is entitled Journey to Maidenstone and is available on amazon.com. Lyn has two daughters and six stepchildren, nine granddaughters and three grandsons. She also has two extremely spoiled Welsh Corgi’s. Her hobby is interior design and she claims she has the equivalent of a master’s degree from watching way too many decorating shows.

ABOUT LISA
lisa
Lisa Fitzsimmons grew up in Michigan and was always encouraged to read, write and express herself artistically. She was read aloud to frequently. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, she was seldom seen without a book in hand. After becoming a mom at a young age, she attended Michigan State University in a tri-emphasis program with concentrations in Fine Art, Art History an Interior Design.

Lisa, with her husband and their two children, moved to North Carolina for three exciting years and then on to Tennessee, which she now calls home. She has enjoyed an eighteen-year career as a Muralist and Interior Designer in middle Tennessee but has always been interested in writing. Almost five years ago, Lisa and her mom, Lyn, began working on a writing project inspired by local events. The Mae December Mystery series was born.

Lisa, her husband, and their three dogs currently divide their time between beautiful Northern Michigan in the summertime and middle Tennessee the rest of the year. She and her husband feel very blessed that their “empty nest” in Tennessee is just a short distance from their oldest, who has a beautiful family of her own. Their youngest child has settled in Northern Michigan, close to their cabin there. Life is good.

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Feb 222018
 

Death by a Whisker: A Cat Rescue Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (February 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683314875
Digital ASIN: B072395VJN

 

 

Getting used to life back home in Deer Park, North Carolina, Sydney McCall and her right-hand tabby, Toby, are helping her sister Kat run the local animal shelter. Syd and Kat are all excited about the prospect of the shelter’s newest fundraiser: shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend. Shelter admin Maggie Shayne vehemently refuses to have anything to do with the woman, but the fundraiser ensues as planned. That is, until Ulla turns up dead in the middle of the event.

The cause of death is determined to be an allergic reaction, but Syd and Toby are sniffing out something fishy. When Syd met Ulla, it was clear she was distasteful and rude. And right before the event, Syd spotted some behind-the-scenes drama between Ulla and her manager. As they begin to investigate, they realize there is no shortage of suspects, and Maggie is at the top of the list.

Now Syd and Toby must claw their way to the truth before everything goes paws up at their animal shelter in Death by a Whisker by national bestselling author T. C. LoTempio.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Syd and her sister Kat are gearing up for another fundraiser for their Friendly Paws Animal Shelter. This time Ulla Townsend, shopping channel queen and former resident of Deer Park will be the special guest with a book signing. There will also be cats playing nearby that are all up for adoption.

Not everyone is excited about the guest of honor so when she is found dead in the bathroom in the middle of the event there are quite a few suspects including Maggie Shayne from the shelter. Seems the author/queen of shopping left behind some upset people behind when she left Deer Park and the people she has been working with lately aren’t her biggest fans either.  With a bit of help from her lovable tabby Toby, and her friend Leila, Syd purr-sues the truth to get Maggie off the hook and the real killer pawing around in prison.

This was a very entertaining read. Cat lovers, rejoice. The felines in this story are super special and I love the pop-up events Syd and Kat host to get these wonderful animals into their fur-ever homes.  I am so glad Syd has stayed in Deer Park to work at the shelter.

Ms. LoTempio creates fantastic characters, both 2-legged and 4-legged. They are immediately engaging and readers quickly become invested in their well being. She also gives us those characters that rub us the wrong way. Ulla is quite a diva, and the people she surrounds herself with have secrets, affairs that are not so secret and other reasons to get rid of the woman. They all make great suspects in her murder.

The story starts out slow to refresh the reader’s memory and introduces the new characters but after the body is found the pace really picks up and the pages quickly turning. I was patting myself on the back for figuring everything out only to have a twist and turn send my theory out with the kitty litter. But that is the joy of a cozy mystery, and the reason I love them.

Toby has found a place deep in my heart. His antics with Melvin the Marvelous Mouse made me laugh out loud, especially when taking the empty threats of his new person, Syd. She loves that cat and spoils him rotten, just as she should. 🙂

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM.   #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, was released in December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.net and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

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Praise For Death by a Whisker: A Cat Rescue Mystery
by T. C. LoTempio

The opening scene alone will pull cat loving mystery readers right into the book as Syd discovers yet another headless Melvin the Marvelous Mouse toy on the kitchen floor and she threatens to stop buying the expensive toy for Toby if he doesn’t stop mutilating them!
~Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows

Full of realistic characters the story has lots of twists and turns until I get only thought I knew who the killer was.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

This book has been a quick read, easy to be inside the plot and love the main characters since the beginning . . .
~Varietats

The suspects and motives were varied and believable.
The cats add details to the mystery and helped us better relate to the characters.
~Laura’s Interests

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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.”

Feb 202018
 

Best of Luck (O’briens)
by Corinne Scott

Best of Luck (O’briens)
Romantic Suspense
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Camel Press (February 14, 2018)
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603813839
E-Book ASIN: B077JJD7PQ

 

 

Crew Costa isn’t Irish, but for a kid from the school of hard knocks, he’s had the luck of the Irish with his chain of faux-Irish pubs, O’Shaughnessy’s Shenanigans. Number 13 is set to open in time for St. Patrick’s Day. The Bronx is already the site of several authentic Irish pubs, including The Lion O’Brien. Started by Liam O’Brien, the pub is now managed by his youngest daughter Siobhan, but only after her four older brothers refused the job. Now Siobhan has to prove she is worthy.

Siobhan falls for Crew, literally, after they collide while he is moving into her apartment building. Their attraction is immediate and powerful, but they are rivals. Siobhan is counting on the Lion winning the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl, which Crew has entered as well. The lead-up to the event involves “pranking” your competition, and the older pubs band together against the gaudy newcomer, with its McNaughty the Leprechaun and other cultural stereotypes. For Crew and Siobhan, the pranking quickly gets personal and expensive.

Siobhan and Crew can’t resist the electricity between them, but can Siobhan trust this streetwise charmer? Can Crew trust this daddy’s girl whose overriding passion is her pub? And will the rage brewing among the other pub owners put their lives in danger?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am been anxiously awaiting the next book in this series and I must say it was well worth the wait.

After her brother turned down managing the family pub, the Lion O’Brien, Siobhan takes over the reins. Her father isn’t sure this is the right move but with his recent health scare, he doesn’t have much of a choice. Her first decision is to join the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl. A unique event where patrons travel from pub to pub in teams, drinking, eating and answering trivia questions. She sees it as a fun community event that will draw new customers to the Lion. Then she finds out a chain pub is joining in this year. Crew Costa is set to open is 13th O’Shaughnessy’s Shenanigans and plans to use the Crawl as his grand opening. The man doesn’t have one drop of Irish blood in his body so the other pub owners are quite upset to have him joining their party. So they come together to use the traditional pranking that leads up to the crawl to force him and his bar out of the St. Patty’s Day event.

There is only one problem. Siobhan finds herself drawn to Crew. The romantic tension just radiates between them. Can they seriously be headed for a relationship? or is it just a fun fling leading up to the holiday? Will their relationship make them targets of the pub owners, putting themselves in danger?

Adding romance to the suspense is always good in my book.

We met the O’Brien’s in the first book of this series, Beginner’s Luck. I was captivated by this family right away. I do have a little Irish in my blood and Siobhan’s parents remind me a little bit of my own. Eoin and his wife Vivian are back, newlyweds expecting their first child. The other brothers all make appearances too, but this is Siohban’s story. She is handling her new pub duties very well until she meets Crew Costa and the crawl pranks start. Some causing some costly damage and making her father very unhappy. Crew is a handsome man who had a little criminal activity in his past. That and a little luck got him to where he is today, owning a chain of pubs. The electricity between them is evident immediately, but they are rivals, Siobhan is dedicated to her family, he is rarely in one place for more than a few weeks. They are both such strong people, can they have a real meaningful relationship.

Again Ms. Scott sets the perfect pace to get us invested in her characters. We get to know them so well while she draws us in and then things get not only romantic but suspenseful. Someone is carrying these pranks too far, putting lives in danger. But who is it? I was suspecting everyone right up until the culprit was finally revealed.

I am impressed with the author’s talent to mix her steamy romances with a nice suspenseful mystery and keeping a comfortable balance between the two. She gives her readers a very entertaining story.

Meetings 1 and 2 with the Obrien’s have both been perfect escapes. I am ready for visit 3, If we are lucky we won’t have to wait too long.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 *Book contains adult language and scenes.

Corinne Scott was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Her parents were teachers, so of course, she grew up to be a teacher as well, proving that the apple does not fall too far from the tree. Corinne has a bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and a master’s from the University of North Texas. She is passionate about books, which led her to her current occupation as a librarian and author. For more information and links to social media, click here.

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Praise for Best of Luck (O’briens)
by Corinne Scott

One of the jewels of Best of Luck for me was the development of the relationship between Siobhan and Crew. This is no run-of-the-mill boy-meets-girl story.
~Back Porchervations

What a great romance novel! . . . The Irish details are enchanting but when added to the romance it really added a nice twist.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews


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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.”

Feb 122018
 

Murder is a Dirty Business
by Tricia L. Sanders



Murder is a Dirty Business
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Soul Mate Publishing, LLC (November 15, 2017)
Print Length: 254 pages
ASIN: B076KVQ4WR

When Cece Cavanaugh’s husband empties their joint bank account, steals her designer luggage, and runs off with a younger woman, Cece must decide whether to ask her manipulative mother-in-law for a handout or get a job. Choosing the easier path, Cece lands a job cleaning a crime scene where a high school coach was murdered. When his wife is implicated—a young woman Cece practically raised—Cece finds herself mopping floors, balancing an empty checkbook, and ferreting out a killer.

Amid all this messy business, Cece bumps heads with a handsome detective. She tries to ignore her growing attraction to the detective, but he gives new meaning to the term “hot flash.”

After she stumbles onto a clue that could vindicate her friend, her elation turns to panic when she haphazardly confronts the killer. Through the danger and romance, Cece discovers self-reliance and inner strength.

And that crime—at least, someone else’s—does pay the bills.


Tricia L. Sanders writes about women with class, sass, and a touch of kickass.  A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.

When she isn’t writing, Tricia is busy crossing dreams off her bucket list. With all 50 states checked, she’s concentrating on foreign interests. She’s an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don’t get between her and the television when a game is on. Currently, she is working on a mystery series set in the fictional town of Wickford, Missouri. Another project in the works is a women’s fiction road trip adventure.

Her essays have appeared in Sasee, ByLine, The Cuivre River Anthology and Great American Outhouse Stories; The Whole Truth and Nothing Butt. She is a proud member of The Lit Ladies, six women writing their truths into fiction.

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Feb 102018
 

(Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)

A Well-Timed Murder (Agnes Luthi Mysteries)
International Mystery
2nd in Series
Minotaur Books (February 6, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250110015
E-Book ASIN: B073TSWJMJ

Swiss-American police officer Agnes Lüthi is on leave in Lausanne, Switzerland, recovering from injuries she sustained in her last case, when an old colleague invites her to the world’s premier watch and jewelry trade show at the grand Messe Basel Exhibition Hall. Little does Agnes know, another friend of hers, Julien Vallotton, is at the same trade show—and he’s looking for Agnes. Julien Vallotton was friends with Guy Chavanon, a master of one of Switzerland’s oldest arts: watchmaking. Chavanon died a week ago, and his daughter doesn’t believe his death was accidental. Shortly before he died, Chavanon boasted that he’d discovered a new technique that would revolutionize the watchmaking industry, and she believes he may have been killed for it. Reluctantly, Agnes agrees to investigate his death. But the world of Swiss watchmaking is guarded and secretive, and before she realizes it, Agnes may be walking straight into the path of a killer.

Tracee de Hahn’s next mystery, A Well-Timed Murder, is another magnetic mystery that will engross readers from the opening page to the stunning conclusion.


Tracee de Hahn is the author of the Agnes Lüthi mysteries, which were inspired by her years living in Switzerland. Prior to writing full time she practiced architecture and was head of university alumni relations at a major west coast university. Currently, she and her Swiss-architect husband live in southwest Virginia with their Jack Russell Terriers. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America.

Praise for A Well-Timed Murder (Agnes Luthi Mysteries)
by Tracee de Hahn

I love the unique setting of Switzerland and the way the author captures the culture. Agnes is a character that many readers can appreciate and enjoy!
~Bibliophile Reviews

Tracee de Hahn is an excellent writer, capably using her gift of words to draw readers into the Swiss culture, landscape, and competitive world of watchmaking. This is a complex story that is rich in characterization, yet easy to follow.
~The Power of Words

With plots and sub-plots as intricate and detailed as some of the time-pieces in the “Baselworld” exhibition, Ms. de Hahn crafts an engrossing story.
~Back Porchervations

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Feb 072018
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to have R. L. Syme drop by today! 


Guest Post
by R. L. Syme

One of the hotly contested issues in the Vangie Vale Fan Club (we call it Becca Nation, but the VVFC is really what it’s become) is the issue of who will Vangie end up with, romantically. Right now, she is dating a biker and mechanic named Derek, but he does not have the support of the majority in the VVFC. That honor goes to the local sheriff, Malcolm Dean.

My assistant said to me once that when she thinks of Malcolm, she imagines him like Walt Longmire from the show Longmire. Tall, strong and silent, obsessed with justice, and ruggedly handsome. While I tend to see Malcolm as Kevin McKidd (the actor), I would absolutely buy that description of the local sheriff in Saint Agnes, Montana.

Part of the argument about any good love triangle, of course, is about the person who has to choose between the two lovers. In this case, that person is Vangie Vale, the main character of these books. I always maintain that, in a love triangle, each of the choices represents something about the person who has to choose, and they’re really choosing between two sides of themselves when they’re making the choice about who to love.

Choosing between Derek Hobson and Malcolm Dean, for Vangie, is about choosing which version of herself she wants to be. I do think that she will, at some point, choose Malcolm as well, but I’m still not sure that he’s who she will end up with in the end of the series, and here’s why.

In the world of Vangie Vale, Derek represents adoration. He adores her. She is up on his pedestal, and he has no plans to bring her down off that pedestal anytime soon. Sure, he sees her flaws, but he loves her because of them. Not in spite of them. He is the president of her fan club. While still being annoyed when she runs into danger. But he’s not going to prevent her from investigating crimes. That’s one of the things he loves about her.

Malcolm, on the other hand, represents challenge. He respects her. He sees her as an equal, and he knows that she has the tools it takes to help find justice. But he is not giving her the easy way out. He wants to protect her, instead of send her off into danger. He would never say that he’s okay with her putting herself in danger.

So you have to decide, when you’re thinking about who Vangie will end up with, what kind of person is Vangie?

Is she the kind of woman who needs to be adored? Or is she the kind of woman who needs a challenge? Does she need complete loyalty? Or does she like to be protected? Does she want to be loved for who she is? Or who she could be?

Or… if I’m being really evil… is there a third option? Maybe a guy we haven’t even met yet?

I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see…

~R. L. Syme

Thank you so much for visiting today!


Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Montana
Hummingbird Books (January 4, 2018)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1983480997
Kindle ASIN: B077GK124B

 

 

You could call it the straw that broke the camel’s back but it was more like a Montana forest timber.

Just when Vangie Vale’s life was getting back to normal after a murder that rocked her little Rocky Mountain tourist town, she found herself in the middle of another murder… as the chief suspect.

Vangie stood shocked on the side of the curb as the sheriff stretched yellow crime scene tape around the front of her new bakery. Wouldn’t this make a lovely headline in next week’s paper: Local Baker Kills Parishioner With Pudding. Vangie’s road back to good graces as a part-time pastor was bumpy enough already. This would be a roadblock. Can’t have that.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Vangie has had a rough time making herself at home in Montana, being part of two police investigations, but she has been offered a contract by her church so some of the pressure is off. That is until a woman dies after eating at her bakery. Crime scene tape marks the spot across the door and that is not going to make the church council happy. She knows she didn’t kill anyone but someone with access to her place apparently did. Now she just needs to figure out who before the investigation puts her out of business and behind bars.

This third installment of this series is packed to the brim. In the last book, Vangie told the church council about what brought her to Montana. In this story, we learn much more as people from back in North Carolina are contacting Vangie. People she is not supposed to have contact with. She is also dealing with the death of a mother who looks to have died after eating at Vangie’s shop. Malcolm knows she isn’t responsible, but he has to find proof and find the person who is and that is not easy. He has to admit, that while he doesn’t want Vangie involved in the investigation, people do open up and talk to her in a way they never do with him. Maybe together they can get to the truth, that is if Vangie can survive long enough.

Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel is a roller coaster ride from start to finish with corkscrew twists and turns. Vangie is absolutely wonderful. She has such a big heart, wanting to help everyone she can and this time puts her in a lot of danger. While figuring out “the how” of the murder early on, “the who” and “the why” was really tough. I was clearly taken aback as they were revealed. I sure didn’t see the “WHY” at all.

This author has a talent for drawing readers in, holding on tight, and then giving us a shocking twist. She gives her characters many layers that are slowly pulled away. For Vangie, that means secrets she has been keeping from her friends in Montana. They are being revealed sparingly on top of trying to solve the murders. She also has two complicated men in her life. One that she is dating and one that she probably should be dating. Both have ways of making her a little nuts, but this triangle is so much fun to read and speculate about which one she will actually choose.

Well written, fast-paced, great characters, intriguing, relevant, fresh, entertaining, all words that can be used to describe this story. I was sad to see it end. I am anxiously awaiting Vangie Vale and the Larcenous Lava Cake.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Rebecca Syme writes small town romance as Becca Boyd and cozy mystery as R.L. Syme. She is a long-time foodie and loves fancy cheese. Becca calls the mountains of Montana her home and draws inspiration from the beautiful vistas and heartwarming people. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Line of Fire series of sweet romances and part of the Chick Tales series set in Somewhere, TX. You can find her on Twitter talking #fancycheese or #Chopped, and on Facebook with her fans in Becca Nation.

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Praise for Vangie Vale & the Strangled Strudel (The Matchbaker Mysteries)
by R.L. Syme

This is a terrific addition to a great series and I enjoy how Vangie’s compassion helps solve a crime and brings comfort to the town.
~Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder

The book is well-written and the plot line was great. I had no real ideas about who had done the crime until it was revealed at the end.
~Valerie’s Musings

VANGIE VALE AND THE STRANGLED STRUDEL drew me in with its fast-moving plot and interesting characters.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

I truly savored The Strangled Strudel! The fast-moving plot is captivating, with never a dull moment.
~Jane Reads

I found this book to be a very quick read that kept me guessing throughout the entire story and I must say, I was shocked by the whodunit, once the murderer was revealed.
~The Montana Bookaholic

. . . the main character Vangie is firmly established and I am quite hooked on her antics I must say. The combination of her being a part-time pastor and full-time baker makes for some interesting twists to this story. . .
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

This is one cozy that you won’t be able to put down. Heck, the other two books were just as good, so go grab them as well.
~A Chick Who Reads

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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.”

Feb 012018
 

Class Reunions Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (January 30, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496713032
E-Book ASIN: B072HS2JGM

 

 

For fortysomething Poppy McAllister, taking a stroll down memory lane in Cape May, New Jersey, isn’t just awkward—it’s deadly.

Newly widowed and stuck in a middle-aged funk, Poppy has been running on cookies, infomercials, and one-sided chats with her cat for months. There’s no way on earth she’s attending her twenty-five-year class reunion—especially after receiving a very bizarre letter from Barbie, the popular cheerleader who taunted her all through high school. At least, not until Poppy’s best friend practically drags her to the event . . .

Using the dreaded homecoming as an excuse to visit her eccentric Aunt Ginny, Poppy vows to leave Cape May with pride and Spanx intact. Too bad Barbie is still the queen of mean at the reunion. And worse, that her dead body is lying right in front of Poppy’s old locker. Singled out as the killer, it’s up to Poppy to confront her past and clear her name. But between protecting her aunt from disaster and tackling a gluten-free diet, can Poppy crack the case before she’s voted “Most Likely to Die” by the murderer?

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a fresh, fun, and very entertaining read!

Poppy McAllister has been dealing with the grief of her husband’s death. She hardly leaves her house and is in no hurry do so. She and her cat are just fine. Then she receives an invite to her class reunion including a letter from Barbie, one of the popular crowd of which Poppy was never ever part of. She has no desire to attend but her best friend begs her to come.

“Friday afternoon dawned bright and early and my alarm clock let out a loud meow, letting me know I had overslept and his belly was a quart low.”

Poppy really does need to visit her Aunt Ginny so she packs herself and her cat Figaro “Fig” in the car and heads to Cape May. What could go wrong? She arrives at the reunion and Barbie is in rare form, insulting almost everyone she sees. When Poppy finds her dead body and right in front of her old locker she is found guilty by her peers even before the investigation even begins. She can’t leave town, plus she has to help her aunt out of a huge mess, so she might as well work to find the real killer.

I loved this book! Poppy is a great protagonist. I identified with her on so many levels. Her Aunt Ginny is a spitfire too, so I know where Poppy gets it. Both women are dealing with personal crisis’ in addition to trying to catch a killer. I have also fallen hard for Fig. They all cracked me up several times.

The plot really has two mysteries, Barbie’s murder and Aunt Ginny’s fight to remain in her home. They flow nicely side by side and together. The murder has so many suspects, almost anyone at the reunion could have put the cheerleader out of their misery. 🙂  Ginny’s problem is puzzling because someone has decided she is unable to care for herself and Poppy, a murder suspect, is not viewed as a good guardian. Both mysteries are complex, I had a hint as to what was happening to Ginny because something similar happened to someone I know. Barbie’s murder was a doozy to solve and I was completely surprised when the killer was revealed.

I also enjoyed the fact that a high school boyfriend was still sweet on Poppy and a handsome barista was interested in her too. I am looking forward to seeing which of these romances Poppy pursues in the future.

Everything about this book appealed to me. I love it when stories make me laugh out loud and the characters seem like people I would want to be friends with. Ms. Klein has written a superb story and scores my first Paradise Rating, (deserves more than 5 stars) of 2018.

Midnight Snacks Are Murder comes out July 31 and I already have it scheduled on my reading calendar!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Libby Klein dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets, and taking out the trash. She writes culinary cozy mysteries from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard.
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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.”

Jan 272018
 

The Vanished Bride of Northfield House
by Phyllis M. Newman

 

The Vanished Bride of Northfield House

Gothic Mystery
1st in Series
Date of Release January 26, 2018
Cup of Tea Books
Paperback: 346 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1939403452
Digital ASIN: B0791MQVBM

England, 1922  Times are hard. Anne Chatham is a clever, modest young woman with little money, no prospects for marriage, and a never-shared secret—she can see spirits.

Anne finds employment as a typist at Northfield House, the grand country manor of the Wellington family. Her employer, the wheelchair-bound Mr. Wellington, is kindly. His haughty wife is not. He has two handsome sons, the wry and dashing Thomas and the dark and somber Owen.

Anne feels sure her prayers have been heard. Until the terrifying night, she stumbles upon a tortured spirit roaming the dark halls of Northfield, a spirit that only she can see.

In a search for answers, she finds herself drawn to Owen as they unearth a tragic story from the Wellington family’s past—a beautiful young bride gone missing on her wedding day.

Then tragedy strikes again on the night of a glittering masquerade ball…

Phyllis M Newman turned to writing mysteries after a career in finance and human resources. She lives in Columbus, Ohio in a big house with a weed-filled yard, three strong-willed cats, and a husband that’s easy on the eyes.

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Short Excerpt

I heard scratching—fingernails or claws or beaks on wood. Then the rustle of wings, a soft fluttering. Perhaps a bird had gotten trapped on the floor above.

Knock. Thud. Knock. Thud. Knock. Thud.

Then nothing.

I waited for the thumps and scratches to begin again, but heard only Owen’s rapid breathing.

His grip on my shoulder softened. Before we could step away from each other, I heard something else. Whispers. Not words, but sibilance. A faint weeping.
I could pretend no longer that the sounds issued from an animal.

Owen shuddered, and I tried to swallow.

My sight darted from the floors to the ceilings, from corner to corner, searching for additional signs. I saw none. The bed, its elaborate draperies, and the pictures on the walls were all undisturbed, but a plaintive lament—a mournful sobbing—suddenly filled the space.

When the weeping stopped, I found my hand pressed against Owen’s chest. I could feel his heart beating, hard and fast, under my palm.

“I think it’s over,” he said, releasing my shoulders.

I reluctantly withdrew my hand and took a step away.

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jan 262018
 


I am wrapping up this tour today.


Murder of a Good Man (A Piney Woods Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Texas
Camel Press (January 15, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603816359
E-Book ASIN: B076XVG8JP

 

 

When Nora Alexander drives into Piney Woods, Texas, to fulfill her dying mother’s last wish, she has no idea what awaits her. First she is run off the road, then the sealed letter she delivers turns out to be a scathing rebuke to the town’s most beloved citizen and favored candidate for Piney Woods Pioneer: Adam Brockwell. Next thing you know, Adam has been murdered in a nasty knife attack. Suspicion instantly falls on Nora, one of the last people to see him alive. After all, everyone in Piney Woods loved him. Or did they? Nora learns that her mother had a complicated past she never shared with her daughter. Told not to leave town by Tuck the flirty sheriff, Nora finds a job with Tuck’s Aunt Marty trying to get the rundown Tunie Hotel back in the black. The old hotel was Piney Woods’ heart and soul in its heyday as an oil boomtown. Now the secrets it harbors may be the key to getting Nora off the hook. She’s going to need to solve the mystery quickly to avoid arrest, or worse: becoming the killer’s next victim.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Secrets, lies, and a murder. Piney Woods is nothing like Nora Alexander ever imagined, but people thinking she killed Adam Brockwell is just plain crazy. Her mother seems to have had a past with the man, but she never mentioned the man to Nora. Why would she want him dead? Well, the plot thickens when the will is read and even the handsome police chief Tuck Watson thinks she may have done it and has told her not to leave town. To be able to stay she gets a job at the Tunie Hotel behind the desk. The owner turns out to be the chief’s aunt who hopes to renovate the place and bring it back to the glory it had not so many years ago. Nora meets several people and some secrets are revealed, but are they enough to prove her innocence?

The characters are what really made this mystery shine. Nora’s mother’s deathbed wish sends her to Piney Woods where first she meets Tatty and Ed, who own a B&B. Nora quickly moves in and the three become fast friends. They never doubt her innocence for one minute. She meets Marty, a woman driven to fulfill her dreams of making the Tunie Hotel a thriving business again. Max also works at the hotel. They also believe Nora had nothing to do with the murder. Chief Tuck Watson is easy on the eyes and he is sweet on Nora from the moment they met. If they could just get this murder mess straightened out. We are introduced to several more characters, like Adam Brockwell’s son, the Reverend Alton Siddons, and a woman from the bank who handled Adam’s investments. All the characters are all unique, memorable and pretty fleshed out for the first book in the series.

Ms. Trent takes these wonderful characters and swirls them together in quite a mystery. Seems not everyone thought Mr. Brockwell was a “good man”. He had secrets and enemies. This story is full of little twists and turns, but the final one just about gave me whiplash. Surprised, you bet I was. It is not a story I will soon forget. There is also a happy event at the end and Nora has a revelation I can’t wait to see play out in the next book.

I loved these characters and their story so far. I am excited to see what the author has in store for them next. My next trip to Piney Woods can’t happen too soon.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Teresa Trent lives in Houston, Texas and is an award-winning mystery writer.  She writes the Pecan Bayou Mystery Series, is a regular contributor to the Happy Homicides Anthologies. Teresa is happy to add her Henry Park Mystery Series to her publishing credits with Color Me Dead, the first book in the series. Teresa has also won awards for her work in short stories where she loves to dabble in tales that are closer to the Twilight Zone than small town cozies. When Teresa isn’t writing, she is a full-time caregiver for her son and teaches preschoolers music part-time. Her favorite things include spending time with family and friends, waiting for brownies to come out of the oven, and of course, a good mystery.

 

Praise for Murder of a Good Man (A Piney Woods Mystery)
by Teresa Trent

Family secrets abound in this small town novel. . . Not an easy mystery to figure out.
~Laura’s Interests

There is an amazing amount of secrets revealed that I never really saw coming making this a fascinating read, to say the least.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

The characters are fun, believable, charming and welcoming.
I can’t wait to read more about this little town.
~My Reading Journeys

An intriguing start to a new series set in the Piney Woods of East Texas. And since I have family in East Texas, I felt like I was right at home.
~Storeybook Reviews

. . . an interesting and well-paced start to a new cozy mystery series.
~Cassidy’s Bookshelves

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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.”

Jan 252018
 

Scone Cold Killer (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
by Lena Gregory

 

Scone Cold Killer (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Florida
Lyrical Underground (January 23, 2018)
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516104659
E-Book ASIN: B06Y52XG4B

 

 

For Florida diner owner Gia Morelli, there’s no such thing as too much breakfast—unless it kills you . . .

When Gia Morelli’s marriage falls apart, she knows it’s time to get out of New York. Her husband was a scam artist who swindled half the millionaires in town, and she doesn’t want to be there when they decide to take revenge. On the spur of the moment, she follows her best friend to a small town in Central Florida, where she braves snakes, bears, and giant spiders to open a cheery little diner called the All-Day Breakfast Café. Owning a restaurant has been her lifelong dream, but it turns into a nightmare the morning she opens her dumpster and finds her ex-husband crammed inside. As the suspect du jour, Gia will have to scramble fast to prove her innocence before a killer orders another cup of murder . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Divorced from her scam artist husband Gia moves to Florida to reboot her life by opening the All-Day Breakfast Café. She has been working on the project for weeks with her old college roommate and best friend Savannah and is excited about her grand opening. The opening wasn’t very smooth, first Gia didn’t have grits on her menu and her fry cook was way out of her depth when she has to cook more than one meal at the same time. Gia can get grits and she can fire the cook but finding the body of her ex-husband in the café’s dumpster is not something she can fix. In fact, most of the town thinks she committed the murder. When another body is found she starts thinking she may have been safer in New York. Before she can pack up her pots and pans Detective Hunter Quinn tells her he knows she is not guilty and will do everything to protect her. But Gia and Savannah decide to investigate on their own and the good detective may not be able to save them this time.

Ms. Gregory has created such wonderful characters for her All Day Breakfast Cafe Mysteries. Gia thought she left her troubles behind but they have followed right behind her. Her diner should be pretty successful after she handles a couple issues with her staff. She is not your typical cozy protagonist because she fears almost everything around her and Florida has many things to be scared of in addition to a murderer, you know, like snakes, spiders, and bears, oh my!

Savannah is a wonderful best friend. She tries to be supportive and find something positive about all the big and little bumps in the toad that rise up to meet Gia. I love the way she decided Gia needed a dog and Thor seems to be the perfect fit. Detective Hunter Quin “Hunt” and Gia have a little romantic spark, but after her past experience, Gia is a little gun shy about dating or having a man in her life.

My favorite supporting character though is Earl. Gia’s first customer who is shocked there are no grits on the menu. But he quickly becomes a regular customer and Gia is thrilled about that. Earl reminds me of an elderly gentleman that frequented my mother’s restaurant many years ago. It is that man’s image that pops into my head as I read about Earl.

This story ebbs and flows at a perfect pace. The author has a nice descriptive writing style that brings the characters and each scene to life. The mystery is complex with plenty of suspects. Filled with twists and some scary turns, this was not an easy mystery to solve and I didn’t figure out until the reveal.

I enjoyed the touches of humor and romance that are expected in a cozy mystery. There is so much for the author to build on as the series continues.

Kudos, Ms. Gregory, this series is off to a terrific start.  Cozy lovers, you will love this story!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

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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.”

Ginger Snapped: A Spice Shop Mystery by Gail Oust Buy Today!
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