Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Live, Local, and Dead (A Vermont Radio Mystery) by Nikki Knight #Review / #Giveaway @NikkiKnightVT

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

Today I am pleased to share my thought about Live, Local, and Dead by Nikki Knight!


Live, Local, and Dead (A Vermont Radio Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Vermont
Crooked Lane Books (February 8, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643859455
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643859453
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B094GMSQ17

Death waits for snowman in Nikki Knight’s new Vermont-based cozy series, perfect for fans of Connie Archer and Mary Kennedy.

In a fit of anger, radio DJ Jaye Jordan blows a snowman’s head off with a Revolutionary War-style musket. But the corpse that tumbles out is all too human. Jaye thought life would be quieter when she left New York City and bought a tiny Vermont radio station. But now, Edwin Anger—the ranting and raving radio talk show host who Jaye recently fired—lies dead in the snow. And the Edwin Anger fans who protested his dismissal are sure she killed him.

To clear her name, Jaye must find the real killer, as if she doesn’t have her hands full running the radio station, DJing her all-request love song show, and shuttling tween daughter Ryan to and from school. It doesn’t make matters easier that the governor—Jaye’s old crush—arrived on the scene before the musket smoke cleared. Fortunately, Jaye has allies…if you count the flatulent moose that lives in the transmitter shack, and Neptune, the giant gray cat that lives at the station.

If Jaye can turn the tables on the devious killer, she and the governor may get to make some sweet, sweet music together. But if she can’t, she’ll be off the air…permanently.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jaye Jordan has come home to take over the radio station where she got her start after a very tumultuous time. She and her husband have divorced following the survival of his cancer treatments. Their daughter Ryan spends the weekdays with Jaye and weekends with her dad, David.

Jaye has taken the station away from its talk format back to music and some of her listeners are not having it. In fact, they are staging a protest at the station. At the end of her rope, Jaye heads outside, grabs a Revolutionary style musket from one of the protesters, and turns and fires blowing the head off a 10-foot high snowman left over from the winter festival. As the rest of the snowman falls apart a body is discovered. Edwin Anger was a right-wing talk show host that had been fired by Jaye due to the new format and now people think she killed him and hid his body inside the snowman. She wants to clear her name but people convince her to leave the matter to the police.

As the police investigate someone turns up the dial and threatens Jaye and her daughter with everything from horrific graffiti to a pipe bomb. To bide her time Jaye spends more time rekindling a relationship with a man she had a huge crush on years ago. But the killer is not giving up and Jaye may find herself and her station down the tubes forever.


First, I am so thankful my cancer diagnosis and treatment did not destroy my marriage. My family was my rock. I was sad to see how easily Jaye and David’s marriage fell apart and how easily they just got on with their lives. I think this is the reason I had a hard time connecting with these characters. I wish we would have had more of a backstory with them because I hope there was more drama and feelings that led up to what to me would be a major event but came off as a minor one in this story, especially because she converted to Judaism for this man.

Next, the writing style/dialogues gave me some issues. Jaye just seemed all over the place. Her station is her focus along with her daughter. Then you throw in her budding relationship with the governor, and spending time with her friends next door and sometimes this all seems to happen within one page of the story. In a normal cozy mystery, finding a killer would be in the mix too but Jaye seems to have a real lackadaisical attitude about the murder even when trouble comes knocking right at her door.

What I did like about the book was the strong relationship Jaye and David have with their daughter. They come together each Friday evening for the ritual of Shabbat. They have moved to be far enough apart to have their own lives but close enough to be available to her for anything that comes up. And they have good honest conversations with her about anything she asks. Jaye and David have a great co-parenting system and they are going to need it as this series continues and the murder drama ensues.

I do wish Jaye would have had a more active part in the murder investigation and the mystery would have been harder to solve. A complex mystery is always hard in the first book of a series because it takes pages to introduce the characters and the setting leaving less room to develop a complicated plotline. Vermont is a fabulous place for a cozy mystery to take place. And we do meet some unique characters in this story including a wonderful wild moose with a sweet tooth but I feel the characters could have been more fleshed out in this book to start the series. It is clear the author knows the radio business and it has been an important part of her life but I need her protagonist to be a more well-rounded character with a more serious nature when called for.

I do love the radio station theme and Live, Local, and Dead has good bones. I think it just needs a little tweaking going forward with the series. Ms. Knight has the humor and small-town setting right for a cozy mystery series. I do think the romantic scenes played too big of a part in the story taking over where the mystery should have played the leading role. I hope to see more character development and a more complicated mystery with the main character more involved as the series continues. This story does have a political slant due to the victim and the governor being involved and that may be off-putting to some readers as would the explicit language used. All in all, I am holding out hope that the second book in the series will fall more into the cozy realm I am used to because I do want to give these characters another chance. I am rounding up to 4 stars.

 

 

About the Author 
Author. Anchor. Mom…not in that order.

Nikki Knight aka Kathleen Marple Kalb grew up in front of a microphone, and a keyboard.  She started her radio career as a teenage DJ at a small station in her hometown of Brookville, Pennsylvania, and despite a brief flirtation with advanced study in history before taking her B.A. at the University of Pittsburgh (her mother will never forgive her for turning down an assistantship at William and Mary), worked her way up through newsrooms in Pittsburgh, Vermont, and Connecticut, to New York. But she never wore her Phi Beta Kappa key again after her first day at KDKA, when she accidentally hung up on a U.S. Senator. Her broadcast career went significantly better after that, including a number of regional Edward R. Murrow awards in Vermont, and her current post as a weekend morning anchor at 1010 WINS, New York’s top all-news station.

At age sixteen, she wrote her first historical novel, which thankfully did not find a publisher, though a couple of editors did actually read it. Her Vermont story, “Bad Apples” was recently named an Honorable Mention in the 2021 Black Orchid Novella Award contest. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and son in a house owned by their cat.

Author Links
WebsiteFacebookTwitter Instagram


Written as Kathleen Marple Kalb

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 PRINT copy to give away!

I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
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If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive 5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 9, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

 

 

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

                                  

 

Posted in 2022 Reviews Giveaways Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Remembering Rosie: Memories of a Wisconsin Farm Girl by Nadine A. Block #Review / #Giveaway


Remembering Rosie: Memories of a Wisconsin Farm Girl
Biography/Memoir
Setting – Wisconsin
Page Publishing, Inc. (June 22, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 220 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1662430507
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1662430503
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08Z5FZ8GD

Remembering Rosie is about Block’s childhood on a Wisconsin dairy farm in the mid-twentieth century. Growing up on the homestead with her parents and siblings was often idyllic. Still, it never stopped Block from dreaming of making a different life for herself despite many obstacles she’d face in trying to leave the land her German great-grandparents settled in the 1880s.

Block and her siblings experienced long hours of tedious and dangerous work. Educational opportunities were limited, and the Ludwig children’s one-room school had poorly trained teachers and few books. There was no expectation of girls going on to higher education. Block’s observations of her depressive mother, the drudgery of farm life, and the short, cruel lives of farm animals were driving forces that made her take a path less followed. During a time when going against the grain was difficult, Block’s restlessness and desire to see a world outside her sheltered community catapulted her into a life that the blue-eyed, blond-haired farm girl never could have imagined.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Nadine Block grew up on a family farm in Medford Wisconsin. Within the pages of this book, she shares her family’s history, her memories, and the way rural life made her who she is today.


I am definitely an advocate for recording family history for future generations so I was happy to read Nadine’s account. She gives a true look at farm life in the 1950s with a look back at how her family first came to Wisconsin. I was disappointed when I learned the identity of Rosie but that was clearly a major point in the author’s life. She also went into some depth about a company she and her husband had that imported quilts from China. I felt this really took away from the folksy feel of the book. I wish she just would have ended the chapter with her memories of the quilts and quilting bees from her time on the farm.

I enjoyed her stories about electricity coming to the farm and listening to the radio, the chores each member of the family had. I wasn’t born until 1961 but I remember the clothes hanging out on the line in cold weather. Sheets and clothes coming back into the house frozen stiff and having to be thawed and allowed to dry again before anything could be done with them. I also identified with the strictness of the Catholic religion of the time. I was touched by the way got her mother to reveal some interesting facts about her life too. Good ole brandy, tee hee.

I wish my family would have had someone write down our history. My mother and father took so many stories with them when they passed. This book is a treasure for the author’s family and I am sure will be greatly appreciated by future generations of her family for years to come. Those looking for some Wisconsin history from this timeframe will find some nice little nuggets too.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Nadine Block has ceaselessly and successfully fought for children’s rights for more than three decades. She was a teacher, a school psychologist, and the founder and director of a non-profit organization that fought to end school corporal punishment. She led a group of 50 statewide organizations in getting a ban on school corporal punishment in OH in 2009. In her retirement, she continues to support ending corporal punishment of children through writing and personal contacts. She believes that children have the right all adults have to be free from physical harm.

Block has published three books, This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You: Children Share in Words and Pictures How Spanking Hurts and What To Do Instead (2011) and Breaking the Paddle: Ending School Corporal Punishment (2013). She privately published Our Family, Wisconsin Pioneers, and many stories for her grandchildren using personal travel photos and illustrations, including ” Casey the Cat in Kathmandu” and ” Corey the Camel in Timbuktu.”

Block’s latest book is Remembering Rosie: Memories of a Wisconsin Farm Girl. Page Publishing Inc. 2020

Her website and blog is at www.nadineblock.com


I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

Contest Will End March 8, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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 My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #8 – 2022

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to California, Indiana, and Italy!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Live, Local, and Dead (A Vermont Radio Mystery)
by Nikki Knight
Release Date February 8, 2022
Setting – Vermont
I will feature this book this week for Cozy Wednesday!


The Secret in the Wall: A Novel (Silver Rush Mysteries)
by Ann Parker
Release Date – February 15, 2022
Setting – California
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Thursday!


#FollowMe for Murder: A Trending Topic Mystery
by Sarah E Burr
Release Date – February 15, 2022
Setting – Deleware
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Friday!


Fit For Murder (Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth)
by Cassidy Salem
Release Date – October 25, 2019
Setting – Washington D.C.
My review will be up on Saturday!

Scheduled Escapes


Murder Faux Paws: A Nick and Nora Mystery
by T. C. LoTempio
Release Date – February 22, 2022
Setting – California
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Batter Off Dead (A Country Store Mystery)
by Maddie Day
Release Date – February 22, 2022
Setting – Indiana
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Evil Under the Tuscan Sun (A Tuscan Cooking School Mystery)
by Stephanie Cole
Release Date – February 1, 2022
Setting – Italy
For Review

Future Escapes

February 20 – 26, 2022



Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Sunday Salon / Sunday Post

Sunday Salon / Sunday Post – A Week in the Life of Dollycas – Weekly Rewind – New Arrivals

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The Sunday Salon is a Facebook group that has become an
informal week in review gathering place for bloggers.

It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.
You can also link up weekly on Readerbuzz.

SUNDAY POST The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
~ It’s a chance to share news~
A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

HAPPY SUNDAY EVERYONE!

A Week in the Life of Dollycas

Some unique weather moved across the states this weekend. It hit here in Wisconsin Friday night. I don’t ever remember the word squall heard to describe Wisconsin weather but that is what they called this event. I was startled when the weather alert blasted through my phone at about 6 p.m. They are now treating weather events like this just like tornados and hurricanes. The sudden whiteout conditions lead to several accidents like this one that involved over 40 cars and trucks.

From the Wisconsin State Patrol
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https://one2seek.com/

I did watch Olympic figure skating this week and the handling of the whole doping scandal was abhorrent. The young Russian teen at the center of the scandal should have not been allowed to skate. The pressure on her had to be more than she could handle and the way the coach yelled at her when she came off the ice bordered on abuse. Then the aftermath that followed was so hard to watch. A furious skater mad because she didn’t win gold. Other skaters in tears and not from happiness. Then the skater that did win gold, sitting on a couch, holding a teddy bear all by herself. Later saying she feels ‘Emptiness’ after winning gold. The commentators were as upset as I was and did their best to put everything into words to report their thoughts to us. I love watching figure skaters no matter what country they are from and am sad whenever they fall and cheer when they hit the jump perfectly. What I watched this week has really tainted the sport in my opinion.

On a lighter note – Granddaughter Natalie and her mom had their pictures taken for Valentine’s Day. When this picture popped up in my Facebook feed it really brightened my day. I am so blessed to have both of them in my life.

How was your week?


Weekly Rewind – February 14 – 19, 2022

Monday – My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #7 – 2022

Tuesday – Hot and Sour Suspects: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review @VivienChien

Wednesday – Cozy Wednesday featuring A Dash of Death (A Cocktails and Catering Mystery) by Michelle Hillen Klump #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @mh_klump

Thursday – Strong Suspicions: A Sophie Strong Mystery by Amy Renshaw #Review / #Giveaway

Friday – #FlashbackFriday – Night Shift (A Helping Hands Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway

Saturday – The Blind Split (A Rosedale Investigations Mystery) by Lyn Farrell #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Plus – Welcome to Piney Falls: A Cozy Historical Murder Mystery (Piney Falls Mysteries) by Joann Keder #CharacterInterview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

This Is ME!

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

Welcome to Piney Falls: A Cozy Historical Murder Mystery (Piney Falls Mysteries) by Joann Keder #CharacterInterview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Piney Falls: A Cozy Historical Murder Mystery
(Piney Falls Mysteries) by Joann Keder

I am so happy to welcome November Bean and Lanie Anders to Escape With Dollycas today!

Please tell us a little about yourself.

November Bean here, year of the N. I’ve never been one to brag, but I can yodel in four octaves. You might ask why one would do that, but the real question is, why not?

I’ve lived most of my life in the Piney Falls area. I don’t like talking about the early years. It was too restrictive and we were all supposed to be the same. If you’ve ever met me, you know I’m nothing like your average Piney Fallian. Is that right? It sounds right to me.

I married the Toilet Paper King. When people ask about our marriage, I like to say, “I’ve never been more satisfied than when he was flushed.”

Luckily, he was loaded, so guess what? Now I don’t have to worry about money. I teach meditation and yoga and like to howl.

Are you done, Vem?

Okay, hi. I’m Lanie Anders. I thought I was doing this alone, but November informed me that you wanted both of us here. Let’s see…I am the marketing manager for the multi-national company, Work Ahead Office Supplies–The Most Profitable Office Supply Chain in the World. I won the Up and Comer Award three years in a row at the Markies.

My office is located in Chicago, but I spend most of my time traveling. I love the businesswoman life.

I used to be very self-absorbed. That played out in numerous ways–what’s that, Vem?

She wants me to tell you about my experiences at marketing conferences. You’ll just have to read about them in the book. People might be offended if I go into detail.

November: She sewed her wild oats, as the kids say. Lanie has stories that curl my toes, and not in a good way.

Do you have any concerns about the loss of life in Piney Falls?

November: Why are you asking me, specifically? Do you think I had something to do with it? I don’t even kill the bugs that wander into my house. You should have seen the spider floating in my Oat Boats last week. Did you know they can backstroke across a bowl in three seconds flat? I timed it.

What? Oh yeah. The mysterious deaths. I like to think I’m connected to nature, but not so much to humans. It’s a safe community. I leave my doors unlocked at night and sunbathe in the nude.

LANIE: I’d like to interject here. Vem does in fact, lock her doors.

NOVEMBER: No, I don’t.

LANIE: We are most concerned about the deaths and the fact that the police don’t take them seriously. There is a link to the past, I believe, specifically the Scheddy Cannery from the turn of the century.

Tell us more about your research, Lanie.

I came here to discover out why the town of Flanagan, Oregon changed it’s name to Piney Falls. There isn’t much online that I could find. I just get the sense that people are hiding things from me. So far, everyone is either disinterested or mysteriously tight-lipped.

NOVEMBER: That’s because we’re all concentrating, Lanie. You use big words like, “disinterested.” We’re “cut-to-the-chase” kind of people. We don’t like lots of syllables.

November, can you explain why everyone wears name tags? What’s the significance of the one you’re wearing?

We are a coastal town and that in and of itself should have brought people. We did a survey in other Oregon Coast towns, and we learned that our town has a reputation for being odd. I scratch my head over that one.

A year or two ago, we hired a marketing agency to come here and help us attract more tourists. They suggested wearing these name tags, so people could identify us by name and feel a connection.

Underneath our names, we were given a specific tourist activity to promote. Each person had three paragraphs to memorize about that specific activity so they could explain to a tourist why they should see that attraction.

It seemed like a good idea in the beginning, then it just got creepy. People would cover the bottom half of their name tags in protest and others made up silly things to promote. The other problem was that we don’t have as many tourist spots as we thought.

Larry from the bowling alley has a nametag that says, “Hi, I’m Larry. Ask me about our trash pickup.”

What? Oh yeah, you wanted to know about mine. My name tag says, “Hi, I’m November Bean. Ask me about our gas.” I left it on the counter at the grocery store while I meditated over the celery. When I came back, I noticed someone had scratched out, “class,” as in my meditation classes and wrote gas.

What do you ladies think will be the outcome of Lanie’s research? Let’s start with you, November.

I think she’s going to discover we’re very boring people. There’s really nothing going on here, with the exception of the few people who’ve jumped over the falls and those weird mounds in my backyard. Oh, and she’s going to find the man of her dreams and get married and live happily ever after.

LANIE: Getting married isn’t part of my research, Vem.

NOVEMBER: When I looked at your search history on your computer last night, I saw “Ruggedly handsome men on the Oregon Coast.” Re-search, Lanie.

LANIE: (sighs) I’m not going to argue with you in front of these nice people. This story intrigues me. It’s why I came all the way from Chicago. While the people here are different, something is drawing me in. If I were to guess, I’d say the name change, the Scheddy Cannery, and the mysterious deaths are just the tip of the iceberg.

Thank you, Lanie and Vem for visiting today!

Keep reading to find out more about these 2 characters featured in the Piney Falls Mysteries.

About Welcome to Piney Falls


Welcome to Piney Falls: A Cozy Historical Murder Mystery (Piney Falls Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Fictional town of Piney Falls, Oregon
Purpleflower Press (March 14, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 270 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1953270999
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1953270993
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 318 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1733663940
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1733663946
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B083FF56FZ

Winner of the Literary Titan Silver Award

Lanie has no idea what awaits her in Piney Falls…

Lanie Anders has a perfectly-ordered life. From her half-foam morning latte to her high-powered executive job – she controls every outcome. But when her house burns to the ground in mysterious circumstances, her life is thrown into confusion.

Searching for some kind of purpose, she stumbles across a century-old mystery and flees to Piney Falls, Oregon, an oceanside hamlet with a curious past. But something isn’t quite right in the picturesque town. Her neighbor speaks in riddles, the death rate is alarmingly high and the impossibly handsome town baker is hiding something.

With each clue she unearths in the present and the past, she becomes more convinced that the townspeople are in imminent danger.

Will Lanie be able to solve both mysteries without putting her own life in jeopardy?

Find out why readers are calling Welcome to Piney Falls “immensely immersive and totally gripping.” Don’t miss the first in this exciting new mystery series!

About Joann Keder

Joann Keder spent most of her years in the Midwest, growing up and raising a family on the Great Plains of Nebraska. She worked for sixteen years as a piano teacher before returning to school to receive a master’s degree in creative writing. A mid-life move to the Pacific Northwest lead her to re-examine her priorities. She now creates stories about life and relationships in small towns while her ever-patient husband encourages her on.

Author Links

Website Facebook Instagram Amazon – GoodReads Link 

Purchase Links – Amazon 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 14 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 14 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 15 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 16 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
February 16 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
February 17 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
February 18 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
February 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – CHARACTER GUEST POST  
February 20 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 21 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 21 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
February 22 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 22 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 23 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 24 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
February 26 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
February 26 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 27 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
February 27 – Girl with Pen – GUEST POST

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Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

The Blind Split (A Rosedale Investigations Mystery) by Lyn Farrell #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


I am pleased to shine my spotlights on The Blind Split
(A Rosedale Investigations Mystery)

by Lyn Farrell today!

About The Blind Split


The Blind Split (A Rosedale Investigations Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Rosedale, Tennessee
Camel Press (January 11, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 216 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1942078730
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1942078739
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09HF1X2V4

A new client, Lexie Lovell, brings Rosedale Investigations a compelling mystery. Her father died and left his estate to be split between her and her brother, Teddy. Lexie never knew she had a brother until the will was read and nobody has a clue where the boy and his mother are. Lexie can’t get her money until the boy is found and Rosedale Investigations keeps coming up empty.

When Wayne finally finds little Teddy in an abandoned farmhouse, his mother isn’t there. What could make a mother leave a toddler alone to starve to death? They find no evidence of drug use or mental illness. Has she been kidnapped? The trail goes cold until she is found comatose in a rural hospital. The doctors say she’s unlikely to regain consciousness.

Lovell’s attorney is stalling on giving Lexie her inheritance, (or paying Rosedale Investigations’ fee) and was the only person in the hospital room when Lexie’s father died. Did he commit murder to get his hands on Lovell’s money? And how did Lovell, an accountant in solo practice, assemble a multi-million dollar estate? This one’s a real page-turner that will keep you guessing right to the end.

About Lyn Farrell

Writing as both Lia Farrell and Lyn Farrell, I’ve been publishing books since 2013. I decided to become a writer in the seventh grade. My home life was chaotic and I found peace spending summers at my grandmother’s dairy farm. With little supervision, I wandered the hundred and twenty-acre farm and discovered the beauty and healing power of nature. Today, when I need inspiration for my stories, I take long walks. My memories of the time I spent at the farm resulted in a novel “The Cottonwoods” released 8/21.

My first marriage had ended in divorce, leaving me with two young children. Five years later, I fell in love with a divorced professor with six children. Raising that many kids required working full-time. When I retired from Michigan State University, I returned to my original dream of becoming a writer. My daughter, Lisa, and I wrote the “Mae December mysteries” using the penname of Lia Farrell. They are amusing, mental puzzles called cozies, with an element of romance. Cozies are the gentlest subset of the broad genre of crime writing. It’s a comfort read that leaves you satisfied and at one with the world.

Now writing solo as Lyn Farrell, I recently published “The Blind Switch” (January 2021). It’s the first in a series about a private detective agency, Rosedale Investigations. Two of my readers’ favorite characters from the Mae December mysteries, Dory and Wayne Nichols, have starring roles in these books. “The Blind Split” (released 1/11) is the second in the series.

Author Links – Amazon Author Page –  Author Web Page 

Purchase Links – AmazonKoboTargetWalmart – 

Also by Lyn Farrell

Written as Lia Farrell

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 17 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 18 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
February 19 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
February 20 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 21 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 22 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 23 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 24 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
February 25 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 26 – Girl with Pen – SPOTLIGHT
February 26 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
February 26 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

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Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Night Shift (A Helping Hands Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Night Shift (A Helping Hands Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington Cozies (July 28, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496719441
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496719447
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07ZPLB14V

When social worker Hildy Schneider commits to an after-hours side job, she finds herself drawn into the darker side of small-town Sorenson, Wisconsin—and the twisted mind of an unnamed killer . . .

Strange things have been happening since Hildy started moonlighting with local police, but a desperate late-night call involving a former patient from Sorenson General Hospital tops the list. Although Danny Hildebrand has been tormented by hallucinations for years, he swears he’s being haunted for real by the victim of a grisly murder . . .

The rambling ghost story seems like another delusion. But after a body turns up in a neglected farmhouse crawling with secrets, Hildy and the magnetic Detective Bob Richmond rush to explain Danny’s knowledge of the incident. As the crime-solving partners unwittingly grow closer while examining a series of eerie leads, they realize that surviving past sunrise means shedding light on a criminal willing to do whatever it takes to stay in the shadows . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Sorenson, Wisconsin but this time we are tagging along with Social Worker Hildy Schneider in this second book in Annelise Ryan’s spinoff series from her Mattie Winston Mysteries.  Hildy is just starting her new side job working directly with the police on the night shift. Her first call involves a man she has worked with before. Danny Hildebrand has been taking medications to keep his hallucinations at bay for years.  When he stops taking them properly or they are no longer working as expected he needs to go into the hospital to get him back on track. Hildy expects that is what she is walking into with the police for this disturbance call. She knows her dog Roscoe has calmed Danny in the past so she convinces the police to let her take the lead. Roscoe does his magic but soon Danny is telling Hildy he isn’t having his normal issues, he swears he is being haunted by a real murder victim.

After getting Danny checked in to the hospital Hildy and her police partner find a horrific murder scene at a rundown farmhouse when sent to do a welfare check. A quick inspection of the scene looks eerily like Danny’s hallucination right down to a particular item. Detective Bob Richmond and Hildy start to work together and even have to call in some alphabet agencies when they discover something truly scary and above their pay grade on the dead farmer’s property. Just how deep is Danny involved in all this illegal activity? Can he be the key to finding the killer? Will Hildy help solve the murder? Or will she become another victim?


Hildy Schneider is a complex leading character. Peel back her layers and you will see how her troubled past has led to her Helping Hands present. She really is an amazing character with a unique way of seeing things others don’t. Her therapy dog Roscoe is fantastic too.

Another complex character is PJ, an autistic pre-teen that lives next door to Hildy and takes Roscoe on walks while Hildy is at work. The girl is brutally honest in all the best ways.

There are several characters that crossover from the other series. The most noteworthy is Detective Bob Richmond who has changed quite a bit over the course of that series and is now pursuing a deeper relationship with Hildy. Hurley makes a cameo at the end of the book and Mattie is mentioned a couple of times in the story.  All the characters are well crafted with plenty of room for growth.

The mystery ended up being much more expansive than one dead body. There was a major plan afoot and finding a dead Arthur Fletcher at his kitchen table was just part of a cover-up. I really enjoyed the way the author plotted out this story. Hildy’s keen observation skills and her willingness to really get involved with Danny and his care as she continued to piece everything together really was fun to read. One character felt off to me a few times but I kept discarding it until their behavior became more glaring. My attention still kept being diverted up until the very end.

Again, this story takes place in my home state. I love the local references and overall Wisconsin feel I get when reading books by this author.

Sadly there hasn’t been a 3rd book in this series. I really like the focus on Hildy that this series brings. She is unique and I would love to see more stories featuring her.

If you like your cozy mysteries with a bit of an edge and plenty of humor you will enjoy all the books by this author and those she writes as Allyson K. Abbott.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

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

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Strong Suspicions: A Sophie Strong Mystery by Amy Renshaw #Review / #Giveaway


Strong Suspicions: A Sophie Strong Mystery
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Lilac Bower Media LLC (September 6, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 334 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1737353318
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1737353317
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09C3YFB7C

A notorious woman is murdered, and reporter Sophie Strong stumbles onto the story. Does she have what it takes to find the killer before it’s too late?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 1912: As the only female reporter at the Milwaukee Herald, twenty-two-year-old Sophie Strong is thrilled when she’s invited to cover the party of the season. Soon she’s swept into the opulent world of the city’s wealthy brewing families. But before she can even get to her typewriter, she discovers a murder victim. The intriguing Detective Jacob Zimmer warns her to leave sleuthing to the police, while Sophie’s editor insists she focus on tea parties and fashion shows. But when her friend and fellow suffragist Clara Elliot comes under suspicion, Sophie is determined to uncover the truth—even if she risks her own life along the way.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sophie Strong works at the Milwaukee Herald covering women’s topics like teas and fashion while what she really wants is to become a hard news reporter. Her current assignment is to cover a gala hosted by one of Milwaukee’s famous families. The Wolff’s own a huge brewery and love to show off their wealth and flex their high society muscles. Sophie is enjoying the party, taking careful notes, and even getting a turn on the dance floor. Shortly before dinner is set to be served a bunch of marauders disrupts the party calling out the way Wolff treats his workers. Sophie thinks reporting on the crime for the newspaper may be her big break but before she can even file the story she finds a body outside the Women’s Sufferage office. Warned to leave the investigation to the police Sophie just can’t especially when her friend Clara Elliot finds herself in the detective’s crosshairs. Using her profession as a reporter for the Herald she starts her own investigation and what she finds could cost her her life.


Amy Renshaw took me right back to Milwaukee in 1912 when so many political things were happening. Most importantly giving women the right to vote. She has clearly researched this time in Wisconsin thoroughly to be able to give readers a wonderful story with so much accuracy. I really enjoyed seeing everything happen through Sophie’s eyes.

Sophie Strong is a mighty protagonist with an interesting background and a drive to make things happen and dreams of reporting it to the masses. Raised by her Aunt Lucy, a formidable woman in her own right, Sophie was taught women could do anything they put their mind to. Lucy and Clara Elliot have been inseparable for as long as Sophie can remember and both women introduced her to the suffrage movement. Lucy and Clara are the leaders of the group in Milwaukee with Sophie helping in any way that she can. All three women have loving caring hearts to support women and children. Through Sophie, Lucy meets some very special people and I loved the way she opened her home and heart to them without a second thought, just like she did for Sophie several years ago. The author has created a vast cast of spectacular characters that just leap off the page.

Ms. Renshaw has also crafted an excellent well-plotted mystery filled with twists and clues that our heroine sometimes misses at first but that the reader can stow away for reference as we try to solve the mystery too. Sophie really has no fear and inserts herself in some scary situations. The author ramps up the pace and makes those moments quite suspenseful. I did enjoy Sophie’s never-give-up attitude. Naturally curious she makes a great amateur sleuth.

What I really loved was the author’s descriptive writing style. She can bring a scene to life vividly without getting overly wordy and that is a gift. Each time and place came to life like I was watching a movie. Many of those scenes have stuck with me, especially when the killer was revealed and everything that happened after. I was definitely on the edge of my seat.

I have found Amy Renshaw to be a marvelous storyteller. I loved everything about Strong Suspicions. Strong characters that I cared about immediately, a terrific setting, and a compelling mystery based on historical facts all made this book virtually impossible to put down. And yes, you will find this book on my Best Reads List for 2022. I am excited for this series to continue.

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About the Author
Amy Renshaw loves writing, reading, and sleuthing about history. She’s the Senior Editor at Brilliant Star Magazine and Brilliant Star Online, award-winning publications from the Baha’is of the U.S. Amy lives in Wisconsin, where she hikes in the woods, adores chocolate, and writes historical mystery novels.

Author Links
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The book is available for just 99 cents on Amazon!

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*This book was from my private collection

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Dash of Death (A Cocktails and Catering Mystery) by Michelle Hillen Klump #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @mh_klump

A Dash of Death (A Cocktails and Catering Mystery)
by Michelle Hillen Klump

About A Dash of Death


A Dash of Death (A Cocktails and Catering Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Texas
Crooked Lane Books (February 8, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643859374
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643859378
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B094GN846Y

A Houston reporter-turned-mixologist mixes it up with murder in this series debut from Michelle Hillen Klump, superbly catering to fans of Diane Mott Davidson and Lee Hollis.

Bad news for Samantha Warren: The plucky Houston, Texas, reporter lost her job and her fiancé in rapid succession. But Sam has a way of making lemonade out of the bitterest of lemons. At a meeting of the local historical-homes council, she serves up the homemade bitters that she made as gifts for her wedding party. She intends to use that as her “in” to become an in-demand party mixologist. But the party’s over for one of the council members, who keels over dead soon after he sips the bereft bride’s bitter brew.

It turns out that the victim, Mark, was poisoned—his drink spiked with oleander. Since Sam mixed the drink that Mark imbibed right before his demise, she finds herself at the front of the suspect line. Now, she’ll have to use all of her reporter’s wisdom and wiles to clear her name.

Who could have wanted Mark dead? His wife, Gabby? His girlfriend, Darcy? Someone who wanted his seat on the council? Or another citizen of this sweet Texas town that holds some seedy secrets?

Job hunting, building her mixology business, and fending off late-night phone calls from her nearly betrothed don’t leave much time for sleuthing. But if Sam can’t “pour” over the clues to find the killer, it may soon be last call for her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Readers are introduced to former Houston reporter Samantha Warren and her friends Marisa and Beth. Samantha was supposed to be getting married but her fiancé decided to back out of his commitment leaving her with a ton of heartache. She does have a very interesting hobby of making unique bitters to add to drinks. She had made and bottled a huge batch to use as party favors for her wedding. Stuck with 300 bottles of cherry vanilla bitters Beth and Marisa talk her into being a last-minute replacement to serve cocktails at the Highland Historic Home Tour. She can get rid of her surplus and may find someone interested in buying her products and hiring her to be a party mixologist.

The historic homes party is very well attended and patrons are loving Sam’s drinks until one of the council members becomes ill and later dies. While cleaning up and emptying glasses as the party ends Beth finds a glass containing oleander, a deadly poisonous flower. While Sam would never even consider bringing that flower to any party she still becomes a prime suspect in the man’s death. She quickly realizes she needs to tap into her reporter talents to find out who would want the man dead and how they did it in the middle of a crowded event. She is also dealing with her ex’s phone calls and the feelings she still has for him. Add to that building her mixology business she has her hands full.


Growing up my parents owned a tavern and helping out behind the bar I learned that a dash of bitters was important in drinks like an Old Fashioned. Since then the bitters field has grown to now include several different flavors. In A Dash of Death Samantha is passionate about coming up with as many new and exciting flavors as she can and developing signature drinks to use them in. I was very intrigued by this new cozy mystery theme immediately. Samantha comes up with some crazy concoctions and most of them really work.

Samantha is an interesting protagonist. Losing her reporter job nine months prior to losing her fiancé really turned her life upside down and she really needs time to adjust. That may be why I had such a hard time connecting with her at first. She was starting to grow on me by the end of the story. As her life gets more on track I know she will be more identifiable. Thankfully the author surrounded her with a strong supporting cast. Her friends have her back and I really enjoyed any time the three of them were together. Samantha also meets someone new that could be pivotal in her life going forward.

The mystery was well-plotted. Samantha’s reporter skills come in handy as she tried to find the killer. A surprise lawsuit shakes things up a bit but my focus was continually drawn to one person. For the life of me though I couldn’t figure out their motive without a bunch more clues being revealed. I really did enjoy following along with Sam step by step until everything clicked into place. Ms. Klump did an excellent job of giving Samantha different theories to present to the police in hopes of drawing their attention away from herself. It is clear to see the author’s journalism background in the way her protagonist attacks her investigation. I really enjoyed the descriptive style of writing that brought the story to life in so many ways.

Ms. Klump has set this series off to a wonderful start. I really want to get to know Samantha better and to see her succeed and be happy. She and Beth seem to have a plan and I hope they can make it work because you know with a cozy mystery series they are going to face their share of dead bodies. I think this author and this series have a lot of promise and I am looking forward to wherever she takes her characters next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Michelle Hillen Klump

Michelle Hillen Klump is a former newspaper reporter who covered government, courts, and crime throughout Arkansas and Central Texas. Still a working journalist, she is also a member of Sisters in Crime. Her short fiction has appeared in Crimson Streets and Tales of Texas, volume 2, a Houston short story anthology.

Author Links – My Webpage –   Facebook Author Page –  Twitter  –  Goodreads

Purchase Links –

AmazonPenguinRandomHouseBarnes & NobleIndieBoundKobo –  

 

Great Escapes Praise for A Dash of Death (A Cocktails and Catering Mystery)
by Michelle Hillen Klump

A Dash of Death shakes things up for Samantha with an overabundance of bitters, a fatal flower, a toxic cocktail, a bothersome ex-beau, a fatal flower, a troublesome lawsuit, and a resolute reporter.
~The Avid Reader

I am fascinated with the mixology theme. I am looking forward to more in this series.
~My Reading Journeys

There are quite a few twists, turns, and red herrings throughout this story. It kept me captivated and guessing from page one to the end. It’s a great start to a brand new cozy mystery series. I can’t wait to read more.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews

This was a great debut! This mystery was fun and exciting and I can’t wait to read more. Looking forward to reading book number two to see where it goes from here.
~Moonlight Rendevouz

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
February 8 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
February 8 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 9 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
February 10 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
February 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW  
February 11 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
February 12 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 12 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 13 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
February 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT 
February 14 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  
February 14 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
February 15 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
February 15 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 16 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 18 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 18 – Dear Reader – REVIEW
February 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 20 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
February 21 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Hot and Sour Suspects: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review @VivienChien


Hot and Sour Suspects: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Ohio
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (January 25, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250782619
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250782618
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08R2KGSH6

Lana Lee returns for another delectable cozy set in a Chinese restaurant in Vivien Chien’s Hot and Sour Suspects.

At the Ho-Lee Noodle House, murder is on the menu.

When Lana Lee’s best friend, Megan Riley, asks her to help host a speed dating contest at Ho-Lee Noodle House, she doesn’t see the harm in lending a hand. The night goes better than anticipated, and both Lana and Megan are beyond thrilled with the results. But before they can break out the champagne, Rina Su, fellow Asia Village shop owner and speed dating participant, calls to inform Lana that the date she’s just matched with has been murdered. Under suspicion of foul play, Rina enlists Lana’s help in finding out what really happened that night.

Without hesitation, Lana begins to dig into the man in question. To her dismay, she quickly finds that Rina’s date has a rather unsavory past. There’s a long line of slighted women, angry neighbors, and perturbed co-workers—all of whom seem to have a motive.

As Lana continues to spiral down the treacherous path of scorned lovers and mistreated acquaintances, she can’t help but dwell on how quickly an innocent evening filled with hope and positivity could turn so sour. When the media gets in on the case, Lana must rush to find the killer before more dates turn deadly.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What can be hotter than a speed dating event held at the Ho-Lee Noodle House? Men and women searching for love with tempting Chinese food should mean fun and an uptick in business for Lana Lee’s family restaurant. It’s great until things go sour. First, an ex shows up to cause a scene, and later one of speed dating men is found murdered. A murder that hits close to home for Lana because the fatal date started at her event but also because her friend, Rina Su was the victim’s new date. Lana’s boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau catches the case but that is not going to stop Lana, Megan, and Kimmy from doing a little sleuthing of their own. Before all is said and done Lana may find herself staring in the face of a murderer. Will she be able to get herself out of hot water and sour the killer’s day? Or will this be the last we see of the beautiful Lana Lee?


I loved the speed dating theme of this story. It was great for Lana and Megan to do something together. I am surprised Lana’s traditional mother allowed the event to take place though in her beloved restaurant but she seemed to give the whole thing her blessing except for Lana’s shoes. “You will break your neck this way, Lana.”

Ms. Chien’s strong characters all return. This time Lana’s sister Anna May get a bit of a starring role when her romantic relationship comes into question. I have had a few questions of my own I wanted to be answered so I was very happy the author put some focus there. Kimmy gets her dander up when she thinks she is being left out of the investigation but Lana and Megan quickly show her some appreciation and include her on a sleuthing night out. While they may not find a lot of evidence or answers there are always some funny moments when Kimmy is around. All these characters feel genuine and I really enjoyed tagging along to every place they went.

The mystery was complicated by the victim having a very checkered past. He had left a lot of women, friends, neighbors, and newly made enemies in his wake. There were several paths to travel but I feel the author set a nice pace as the girls worked their way through the clues. Some nicely plotted twists led up to a surprising suspenseful ending. Darn, that Lana can sure get herself in trouble.

Hot and Sour Suspects was a fantastic read. I enjoyed every minute of it!

I for one am so happy this book came to fruition. The author has been through and continues to go through a harrowing journey fighting cancer. I know from personal experience what a body has to go through to wage that fight and her journey has been twice as hard as mine. Chemo brain is real and for her to find the ability to string words together is a monumental task. I am in awe. She calls this book a “labor of love” that followed her through so much and through it all she didn’t give up.

Her Author’s Note at the end of the book has such an uplifting message for everyone that reads it. She truly is a Cancer Warrior and I keep her in my prayers and send her healing thoughts every day. She is an inspiration for anyone facing “stupid jerkface cancer” or really anything else that can knock a person down. I am so happy she gets to continue her gift of storytelling with all of us. Keep fighting Vivien! We can wait for Lana to come out and play again. WE want you to stare down Cancer and kick its butt!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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


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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.”