Posted in Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

Review: The Devil’s Puzzle by Clare O’Donohue

This post originally appeared over at Dollycas’s Thoughts Octover1, 2011.
While reviewing the newest Someday Quilt Mystery I decided to move this one over here
I love this series!!
Published by The Penguin Group
4th in the series
Available Now

There is a lot going on in Archer’s Rest.
First, Nell and Oliver are planning a huge surprise for Eleanor.  They are going to replant the beautiful rose garden in her backyard and bring it back to the way it was before Grace, the previous owner died. But the surprise turns out to be on them as while digging up the garden they discover the skeleton of a human body. The mystery is started as Nell and her Chief of Police boyfriend, Jesse,  start to gather clues to determine who the deceased was and how he came to be buried in rose garden.
Archer’s Rest is also planing a a big anniversary celebration for the town.  There will be a parade, a carnival, a quilt show, and fireworks to mark the 350th year since John Archer had founded the town that bears his name.
Add to that, someone is vandalizing everything from the school to the cemetery, and the rumors are flying around town about ghosts and witches.
As the clues and many secrets are revealed the job of sewing them all together may be too much for Jesse even with Nell’s help. Thankfully they have many friends willing to assist them in solving this mystery.
My Thoughts
Visits to Archer’s Rest are like a trip to visit friends.  Friends that understand perfectly my overwhelming fabric stash and my vast collection of quilting books and magazines.  

My favorite passage from this book, “We are all joined by needle and thread, by the usefulness and beauty of a quilt, and by the friendships that form because of it.”

I love the way Clare writes, she describes the scene, makes her characters shine, threads together a complex plot with so many suspects,  and keeps it all tight and real.  This time there were so many pieces I didn’t know how they were all going to come together but she sews everything up with missing a stitch. 

This is the perfect story to cozy up with as the weather turns cooler. Sit back and enjoy as Archer’s Rest works together to not only pull off a fine festival but uncovers the real “devil” behind this mystery puzzle.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Plume, A Division of Penguin Publishing. 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 Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

Review: THE SHEPHERD by Ethan Cross

This review appeared over at my old blog Dollycas’s Thoughts on May 18, 2011.
I gave it 5 stars!

The Shepherd

Publisher: Story Plant, The; Reprint edition (October 16, 2012)

Paperback: 328 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1611880557


Marcus Williams is a retired New York City Homicide Detective that has left New York to move to a farmhouse in Texas that was willed to him by his aunt.  He made a choice to save others and due to that choice it was definitely time for a change.  Small town life has a great appeal.
At the same time Francis Ackerman, Jr. makes a different choice.  He chooses to inflict pain and suffering to as many people as possible and happens to arrive in Texas at exactly the same time as Marcus.
They both become very unwilling pawns in a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of our government.  Marcus becomes involved in a “game” with a psychopathic serial killer and a vigilante group with unlimited resources.  He must wrestle his own demons all the while trying to stop one of the most ruthless killers in the world while trying to figure out and expose a huge political conspiracy.
Hold on tight, this book is going to shake you to the core!!!
A Spellbinding, Enthralling, Mind-Bending, Riveting Thriller!!!! Look out James Patterson, Ethan Cross is giving you some fantastic competition.  This is an excellent book but it will definitely give you nightmares and it will be a book you will be telling everyone about for a long time to come.  The best thriller I have read this year!!!
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Posted in Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington Review and Q & A

This post appeared originally on Dollycas’s Thoughts June 5, 2011.
The paperback version is being released TODAY!!

Alice Bliss: A Novel

Published byThe Penguin Group

Alice Bliss is truly a daddy’s girl, they garden together, she helps him on his handyman jobs, she idolizes him.  She loves her mom and her sister but Alice and her dad, Matt, had a very special bond.

Then the news comes that his National Guard Reserve Unit is shipping out to Iraq and her world starts to crumble before her eyes. There is barely enough time to say goodbye and he is gone.  The phone calls home are never long enough, the letters can’t come fast enough.  Alice tries to keep her life the same as much as she can with her father gone.  The biggest thing is planting the garden on time.  Her mother, Angie, just can’t understand Alice’s dedication to that blasted garden and tries to put roadblocks in Alice’s way so that she can not get the planting done.

Life must go on without Matt and the family struggles to adjust to his absence.  With the help of time, family and friends they may be able to make it.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story ripped at my heartstrings and pulled on my emotions.  I went between being mad at Alice’s mom for not understanding what her daughter needed, to crying for Angie as she had to deal with the absence of her husband. Trying to understand both sides immersed me in this book in a way that very rarely happens.

This book will be one of those books that will last generations and will be read again and again like stories about the families who have survived the devastating losses after all the other wars in history.  It will definitely stand the test of time.  Beautiful strong storytelling that will touch everyone who reads it and will forever reinforce that the casualties of war are felt well beyond the battlefield and those in combat.  It brings the war home in a strong, poignant way that will touch us all.

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Now for some questions and answers about this
extraordinary book with Laura Harrington.


Who is Alice Bliss?
Alice Bliss is a 15-year-old girl in 10th grade, living in upstate New York, deeply connected to her dad who is serving in Iraq with his Reserve unit.
ALICE BLISS the book grew out of Alice Unwrapped, a musical. What was the inspiration for the musical and how did it evolve into a book?
The musical was a commission, actually, and the creation of a new form in music theatre: the one-act, one-woman musical. Paulette Haupt, our commissioner and producer, was inspired by Alan Bennett’s play: Talking Heads. Bennett wrote a series of searing, touching, funny monologues for BBC television. They were subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio and then performed live in theatres.
It was an extreme challenge to tell a story in 30 minutes with one singer. I actually wrote 3 stories for this commission, but found I loved the character of Alice best.
And, oddly enough, the very first germ of the character of Alice came from another musical that I wrote with Jenny Giering, Crossing Brooklyn. In that show, Alice was a teenage runaway, living in Prospect Park, sleeping in the carrousel at night. That character was cut from the final version.
With Alice Unwrapped, at 30 minutes, almost entirely sung, we could really only dramatize one key moment in Alice’s life. And I realized that there was a much larger story to be told. Which is when decided I wanted to write a book.
ALICE BLISS is a profoundly moving uplifting novel about those who are left at home during wartime and a teenage girl bravely facing the future. It chronicles the impact of the war on those left at home: children, partners, family members, the community. With the US in a war the story is quite timely. Do you have a connection to the world in which you write?
My father was a navigator/ bombardier in WWII, flying missions into Germany from his air base just north of Paris. Both my brothers enlisted in the Air Force in 1966. So, while I don’t have a family member serving in this war, my family has been deeply impacted by war.
My father suffered from PTSD following the war, a time he would never talk about directly. Nor would he talk about the experiences during the war that had so devastated him. The silence surrounding my father’s war experiences has probably been the single greatest mystery and inspiration in my life. I believe that my fascination with war grows out of my need to understand these experiences and to bear witness to this silent suffering.
What do you hope families experiencing a similar scenario take away from reading your book?
I hope they will feel that I am telling their story and doing justice to it.
While writing the book I was simply immersed in the story, but now that I’m done I can step back and look at the larger picture. It strikes me that you can live in many parts of the US completely untouched and unaware of the wars we’ve been engaged in for the last 8 years. And there’s something about that fact that is terribly unsettling. I think there is an enormous amount of unexpressed grief surrounding these wars and that ALICE BLISS, like good theatre, creates an emotional catalyst that allows us to feel that grief.
And because the book is not “about” the war, but about a family and a town and growing up, the emotional impact sneaks up on you.
What is your writing regimen?
When I’m writing—whether it’s a book or a play or a musical or an opera—I write every day. When I’m between projects, or researching and imagining a new story, I can spend weeks and months reading and walking and taking notes and asking questions and developing characters and a storyline. I find the in-between times very, very uncomfortable. Living with uncertainty, wandering around in the middle of mental chaos is very challenging. I’m happiest when I’m writing.
When you write do you have a story in mind and then the characters evolve to tell that story or do you create characters and the story comes from them?
I begin with the characters, with a strong sense of “voice.” I really hear my characters and learn a great deal about them by getting them talking. However, the story is evolving at the same time the characters are beginning to jell. Because what’s a character without a story? To me, story is paramount.
ALICE BLISS is not a book about war. When you were writing did you find it challenging to focus on the personal story of the family rather than the politics?
I made a strong choice early on not to go to Iraq in the book. I knew that the emotional impact would come from keeping the story focused on Alice and her family at home. At the same time, Matt, Alice’s father, is such a key character and we have so little time with him before he ships out. How do we keep him and his story present? Finding that balance was challenging and an interesting puzzle to solve.
What inspired you to write this book now?
I think that making the war personal is important. Telling the stories of those left behind, illuminating the lives of spouses and partners and children who have a loved one deployed is important. Do we know their stories, their struggles? Do we hear their voices? I hope we can begin to see this war one child at a time, one soldier at a time, one missing father at a time.
You capture the main character Alice wonderfully; her strength, vulnerability and awkwardness of being a teenage girl. Were you anything like Alice growing up?
I think we are all like Alice. That combination of strength, vulnerability, awkwardness and intensity is universal to those years.
I was the youngest of four children, and my siblings were quite a bit older, so I had a much more solitary childhood than Alice did. But there’s something about those years that I can still see, hear, taste, and feel. For whatever reason, I have intense empathy for teens.
What type of books do you like to read?
All kinds. If I’m researching a project, like Napoleon or Joan of Arc, or the American Civil war, I can get lost in my reading lists.
I love novels. I’d rather read a book than eat. I love history, I love great non-fiction, I love good writing.
What are you reading now?
Anne Fadiman’s Ex Libris, Confessions of a Common Reader, a beautiful series of essays about books and reading and words. It turns out that Anne Fadiman was also a collector of big words, like Ellie.
Jane Smiley’s new book: Private Life, and Graham Robb’s, Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris.”
My wish list is lengthy and always growing. I am a big fan of my local library.
Which aspect of your work do you most enjoy?
The freedom to think my own thoughts, pursue my own passions, indulge my own obsessions. The necessity of reading. Being able to think of reading as part of my job. How lucky is that? And the opportunity to learn a great deal, even to become a mini expert about all kinds of things, like Napoleon in exile on St Helena’s, Joan of Arc’s last 3 days in prison, Sherman’s march to the sea, the ratification of the nineteenth amendment, marathon dancing, etc, etc. It’s fun, and it’s never, ever boring.
Who are your heroes?
My parents. I’m inspired by them and guided by them every single day of my life.
The peacemakers. Whoever and wherever they are.
What would your colleagues be surprised to learn about you?
I’m constantly looking for ways to be a kid again, to play.
What is your most treasured possession?
My wedding ring.
What inspires you?
The world around me. Every day.
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 Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

Review: Friendship Bread by Darien Gee

This review was originally posted at Dollycas’s Thoughts on April 17, 2011.

Ballantine Books

Available Now!

ISBN-10: 0345525345

ISBN-13: 978-0345525345

Julia is living as a mere shell of herself just going through the motions doing the absolute minimum with her life as she tries to deal with the grief of losing her son.  She blames her sister for his death so they have become estranged.  Her husband loves her with all his heart but while dealing with his own grief their marriage seems to be falling apart right before their eyes.
Then one day as Julia arrives home with her daughter they find a plate on their porch with a sample of a wonderful bread along with a bag of Amish Friendship Starter Batter with detailed instructions. Julia probably would have thrown it away but her daughter was so excited they decided to give the bread a try.
This ziploc bag of starter starts a whole phenomenon is the small town of Avalon, Illinois.  It helps Julia start to heal, and she makes friends with two other ladies who are new to Avalon, each with their own problems and stories.  As these friendships grow so does the effect of the friendship bread. One small bag of batter brings us a story of love, loss, and friendship.  It also brings a community together in a way that is unimaginable.
I remember this starter and recipe being passed around here several years ago but it didn’t have the same effect here as it does in this book. If people saw you carrying a bag of batter they stopped and started walking the opposite direction.
I have to say that after reading this book I was wishing our experience could have been more like the one in Avalon.  This book was as much of a treat as the bread it is based on.  It is not a book to be rushed through but a story to savored.  There are a lot of times where you stop to think maybe we are missing something in our rushed, hurry up, technical lives of today.  True friendships today can become rare because we are all being pulled in different directions, with our jobs, our kids events, school or the many other things that snatch us away from taking time for ourselves.  I was wishing for a tea shop like the one in the book, where these women gathered and had time to build forever relationships with each other.  The truly took lemons and turned them into lemonade or batter and turned it into such tasty treats.
Darien Gee’s words were just a pleasure to read.  She had me laughing one minute and tears in my eyes the next.  This is an engaging story that should not be missed by anyone who loves Woman’s Fiction.  Can a loaf of bread fix all the wrongs in the world, repair broken families, bring old friends back together and add more friends to enrich our lives?  No, but it definitely started those things in motion in this wonderful story.
There are several recipes included in the book.  There are Facebook pages and websites dedicated to Amish Friendship Bread.  One of them says “This is more than a recipe it is a way of thinking.”  That is shown completely is this story.  Thank you Darien for writing a beautiful story with a wealth of insight and about the true warmth of friendship.  

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Ballantine Books, I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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 Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

DEAD RECKONING by Caitlin Rother Virtual Blog Tour

This review was originally posted on my old blog, Dollycas Thoughts in March 2011 and made my best reads of 2011.

Pinnacle True Crime
Case seen on
Dateline, 48 Hours and 20/20
ISBN-10: 0786022175
ISBN-13: 978-0786022175

Tom and Jackie Hawks were living their dream, retired living on their boat, aptly named Well Deserved, sailing around Southern California and Mexico.

They had started to think about selling their boat when Skylar Deleon and his pregnant wife Jennifer offered cash to purchase the yacht.  But the trial voyage was a total nightmare.  Tom and Jackie pleaded for their lives as Skylar forced them to not only sign over the boat to him, but their home and bank accounts as well.  Believing if they did what he asked their lives would be spared, but before the ink was even dry, the couple was duck taped together, had the ship’s heavy anchor tied around them and where thrown overboard – ALIVE!!!

This is just the first part of this tragic story.  While on work furlough from jail Deleon kills another man and orders hits on 4 other people from prison, including a hit on his own father, who granted was not the best father in the world.  The devotion shown to him my his wife is cult-like as is the effect he has on others he convinces to work with him.

Rother takes us step-by-step through the case, from Skylar Deleon’s past to evidence and interviews with Deleon through the several trials that take place and I am happy to report this criminal is sitting on death row.

This is not the type of book where my usual Rating System of little pictures is appropriate.  The is real life, not fiction, and I can’t say I love this story.  It is wonderfully well researched and well written and I love the author’s thoroughness as she has dealt with this horrific story.  I did not see the reports on the various television shows but do remember reading in newspapers and seeing on the news tidbits about this case, but had forgotten all about it until I found myself lost in the pages of this book.  Now these events will never leave my mind.  

There are not enough adjectives to encompass this crime, chilling, frightening, intense, etc. just doesn’t cover the raw emotion I was left with after reading this book.  My feelings do not just come from the horrendous acts but from the way Rother describes, writes, handles and makes the material grab your attention and won’t let go. Don’t be intimidated by the page count.  Once you start this book, it will be virtually impossible to put down.  It reads just like a fiction novel and sometimes you have to stop and remind yourself, “Hey, wait a minute, this really happened!”.  This book is a MUST READ for any True Crime fan, but if you are like me, a fan of the fictional thriller and suspense novels, this book should also be at the top of your Books To Read list.  You will become a fan of this author instantly!!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author by Pump Up Your Book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”



About Caitlin Rother

Caitlin RotherCaitlin Rother is the author of true crime books Dead Reckoning, Body Parts,  Twisted Triangle, and Poisoned Love, and the thriller, Naked Addiction. She is also the co-author of My Life, Deleted and Where Hope Begins, soon to be re-released as Deadly Devotion. She is now working on The Makings of a Monster, the story of the rape and murder of beloved teenagers Chelsea King and Amber Dubois.

Rother, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist, worked as an investigative reporter at daily newspapers for nineteen years before deciding to write books full-time. She is the founder of the San Diego Writing Women blog, and her work has been published in Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The Daily Beast. She has appeared as a crime expert on E! Entertainment, the Oxygen Network, Investigation Discovery, Greta Van Susteren’s “On the Record,” and America at Night.” She also teaches journalism, narrative non-fiction and creative writing at UCSD Extension in San DiegoShe is now working on The Makings of a Monster, the story of how John Gardner grew from a caring troubled boy into an angry man who couldn’t control his compulsions to rape and murder beloved teenagers Chelsea King and Amber Dubois.”


Be sure to visit Caitlin’s web page for more information.

Posted in Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

INDIA BLACK by Carol K. Carr

This post originally appeared at Dollycas’s Thoughts December 21, 2010.

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
A Division of Penguin Publishing
A Madam of Espionage Mystery
Release Date : January 4, 2011 
ISBN-10: 0425238660 
ISBN-13: 978-0425238660

Set in 1876, we are introduced to India Black, the madam of Lotus House, a London brothel, where gentleman of of very high rank in government and military are welcomed daily.  Unfortunately one of the clients dies while with one of the “bints” and India needs to dispose of the body so that the reputation of Lotus House is not besmirched.

But this client is extremely well connected and had in his possession some information many people wanted and it disappeared while India was making plans to dump the body. As did the lady he was with when he died.  This makes India Black the interest of many people both from the British government but also the Russian government as well.  She agrees to go undercover for the “Brits” to try to recover the information and insure it does not fall into the wrong hands.

I truly enjoyed this tale.  I am not usually a fan of historical stories, but this one grabbed my interest and didn’t let go.  India Black is a formidable woman with a quick wit and stubborn streak a mile long.  She is definitely an unusual protagonist and the rest of the characters are equally fascinating.  
It is hard to believe this is a debut novel from this author.  Her writing style is very advanced and captivating.  The entire story is written from the first person point of view with India telling us her story.  Several times she states “I will not bore you with the details…” or “I digress”, making you feel as if she is sitting in your living room telling you this harrowing story for your enjoyment.  At points she is very serious and in others she is downright funny in her narration of events.

I am interested in where the author plans to take this character as I assume this is just the beginning of a series featuring this character, but am also interested in anything else this author may write.  She has made a great debut and I hope she is hard at work on her next adventure, may it be with India or a new heroine.  This is definitely a new author to watch.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these books free from Berkley Prime Crime,  a Division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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 Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

India Black and the Widow of Windsor by Carol K. Carr

2011 best historial fictionThis review was originally posted on Dollycas’s Thoughts September 29, 2011.

India Black and the Widow of Windsor
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
A Madam of Espionage Mystery
Second book in the series.
Available October 4, 2011

India Black is back and on a new mission with her friend French in Scotland.
Queen Victoria attended a séance where she is contacted by her dearly departed husband, Prince Albert, where he insists she break tradition and spend the Christmas holiday at Balmoral, their Scottish castle. The Prime Minister believes that Scottish nationalists are planing to assassinate the Queen and calls on his friend and British spy, French, who invites India to join him undercover at the castle.  French poses as one of the guests, while India’s assignment is to be the maid to the eccentric Dowanger Marchioness of Tullibardine.
It doesn’t take long for India to realize the Prime Minister was exactly right in his assessment of the situation.  For the next few days India and French will be running themselves ragged to find the Queen’s enemies and assure her safety.
My Thoughts
Like the first book in this series, India Black, I loved this story.  I adore where the author took this character on this adventure. Balmoral is a fascinating setting and I don’t know how true the author’s descriptions are of the castle, but I felt like I was right there sneaking through the hallways with India.

The story also contains a wonderful mystery with plenty of twists but what really captured by heart in this story was the humor.  India has a quick wit and keen intelligence and while not at all happy with her job in this adventure she continues to entertain us with her observations and quips. The Lady India serves sets up several instances that had me laughing out loud.

Carol K. Carr is an amazing storyteller.  I love her writing style. In her case, her words are worth a thousand beautiful pictures.  I have absolutely no problem “escaping” far into her books and don’t want to leave after the last words are read.  I want to follow India on her next adventure.  Please Carol don’t make me want too long for my next trip abroad.

To find out more about this wonderful author be sure to visit her Web Page.

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Posted in Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts


This review was originally posted on Dollycas’s Thoughts January 22, 2011

This cover is amazing!!

An Obsidian Mystery
Division of Penguin Publishing
A Cat In Trouble Mystery
3rd book in the Series
Date of Release:  April 5, 2011

  • ISBN-10: 0451233026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451233028
Jillian Hart is back with her three wonderful frisky felines, Chablis, Syrah and Merlot, for another Cat In Trouble Mystery.  This time they are joined by yet another feline who was found near the highway. This rescued kitty’s high brow attitude has proved to be too much for shelter rescue owner Shawn Cuddahee. He has begged Jillian to take the royal Isis and help him determine if she should be returned to her rightful owner, who  has not returned any of his calls, or be put up for adoption for someone that truly wants her.

This leads Jillian to a huge mansion in nearby Woodcrest, the home of Ritaestelle Longworth, the registered owner of the lovely long haired, green eyed, black cat with diamond studded collar.  Unfortunately the meeting doesn’t go as planned and Jillian ends up making a hasty exit from the grand estate.  

Jillian soon learns the town gossips are questioning the incredibly wealthy Longworth’s sanity due to some unusual behavior and when Ritaestelle shows up at Jillian’s door clad in a bathrobe, wearing slippers claiming she is being drugged and is in fear for her life Jillian starts to believe the gossip.  

But before Jillian can even start to can get to the bottom of Ritaestelle’s claims a body is found in the lake behind Jillian’s home and the eccentric Longworth  is standing at the end of the pier holding Chablis, and both she and the cat are covered in blood.  Ritaestelle begs Jillian to help her and she can’t say no.  So with the help of her intuitive feline companions she begins her quest to claw and paw out the clues to solve yet another murder mystery.  

The last book in this series was my favorite cozy of 2010, so you already know I love this series, but Leann Sweeney has outdone herself with yet another purrfect paws down marvelous mystery.  

The new characters added from Woodcrest to the already beloved characters from Mercy are well defined and cleverly written. You can envision them popping right off the page, from the eccentric Ritaestelle and each of her quirky relatives, down to the gossiping Dolly at a local coffee shop.  Have to say I loved Dolly, reminded me of someone, just can’t put my finger on who 🙂

The plot is strong, smart, intriguing, and will keep those pages turning one right after another until the very end. The cat’s antics will have you chuckling throughout.  Why are cats whiskers a certain length? The answer can be found within the pages of the truly wonderful story.   

If you are already a fan of this series you are going to absolutely love this next edition.  If this series in new to you and you love a fun mystery that will engage you immediately and/or love cats, pick up the first two novels so you are ready when this one is released in April.  I promise you will love each and every word!!  

Thank you Leann for allowing me to read an advance edition and not making me wait until April to enjoy this awesome cozy, kitty treat.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”

Leann Sweeney is also the author of the Yellow Rose Mysteries.

Posted in Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts

The Cat, The Professor and The Poison by Leann Sweeney

This review was originally posted on Dollycas’s Thoughts April 7, 2010.

A Cat in Trouble Mystery
Publication Date May 4, 2010
The first book in this series THE CAT, THE QUILT AND THE CORPSE was the first book I reviewed on this blog. THE CAT, THE PROFESSOR, AND THE POISON is the second book in the series and I am truly honored that Leann send me an Advanced Copy for me to review.  Thank You Leann.
The stars in this series are three cats, Merlot, Chablis, and Syrah and their “human” Jillian Hart.  Jillian makes quilts for cats but also has time to get wrapped up in a few mysteries.  In this story, she helps her friend Deputy Candace Carson track down a missing milk cow, but that leads to finding fifty, yes 50, stray cats and yet another corpse, the professor.
As if she didn’t have her hands full, her stepdaughter Kara, who never really accepted Jillian marrying her father and has not grieved her father’s death, shows up in Mercy for a visit and get wrapped up in the mystery just like Jillian.
While all the humans are running all over trying to figure out who killed the professor, in the end it will be a cat who has all the information.
I have come to love the characters in these stories.  Mercy is a small town where everyone knows everyone’s business, much like the small town I grew up in.  When you wanted to know what was happening you went to a small hole-in-wall cafe. In these stories you go to a coffee shop, Belle’s Beans.  These stories are so easy to identify with, especially if you are a cat lover, but without the murders, I hope.
**One note of caution, this is a book you will what to read in one sitting, the pages just keep turning and turning, so allow enough time or you may be up all night reading.

Pre-order your copy today.  If you like cozies, cats and mystery this is the book for you.
If you haven’t read the first one, it is available now.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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 Reviews From Dollycas's Thoughts


This post was originally posted at Dollycas’s Thoughts on January 11, 2010

I love cats, quilting was a former passion, and who doesn’t like a good mystery.

Leann Sweeney’s first book in her new Cats in Trouble series was truly enjoyable.The characters are realistic and relatable, the cats are truly stars in this book, and the plot is well thought out.  The Cat Trivia within the story are little added gifts.  (I did not know a group of kittens was call a “kindle”, I thought a kindle was the new electronic gadget for reading books.)

Jillian and John Hart move to Mercy, S.C. where everyone knows everything about everybody, or do they?

John dies all too soon and leaves Jillian with their three cats, Merlot, Chablis, and Syrah and her quilting business, knowing almost none of her neighbors. When she returns from an overnight business trip she finds her home has been broken into and one of her beloved cats is missing. After reporting the break-in and the missing cat, she knows the police are not going to be of any help to find her cat and realizes she must look for him herself. While searching for her cat she also finds a corpse, and her investigation is just beginning, not only is she going to meet her neighbors, she’s going to find out one of them is a murderer.

Don’t forget to check out Leann’s other series The Yellow Rose Mysteries and her website