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

Valued for Murder: A British Cozy Murder Mystery (A Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery) by Victoria Tait #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Valued for Murder: A British Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery) by Victoria Tait

About Valued for Murder

Valued for Murder: A British Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kanga Press (June 10, 2022)
Number of Pages c. 240
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09TRXWWNG

An antiques show. A dead diva. For an amateur sleuth, the truth is not always crystal clear.

Dotty Sayers is enjoying her job in a Cotswold auction house. When she’s offered a place on an antiques TV show, she nervously agrees to a makeover and is surprised by the admiring glances she receives. Working on set at a historic country hotel, she realises all that glitters is not gold when at the bottom of the circular staircase, one of the experts is found dead.

Was the death accidental or something shadier? Dotty promises to leave the investigation to the police, but as this amateur sleuth appraises the dead woman’s estate, she can’t help unveiling clues. But when she returns from viewing a priceless sculpture and finds her British blue cat missing, she knows that life does not imitate art.

Can Dotty tell a fake from the real deal and identify the killer?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Dotty Sayers made the big decision to stay near Cotswold and stay at a job she really enjoys at the auction house. Because of that job she is offered a position with a popular antique television show. She just needs to update her wardrobe and have a bit of a makeover. She is excited when she arrives at the historic hotel where she will be staying and the show will take place. She is quickly informed that her job will be taking people the bring their antiques to meet with an expert in the correct field, including a celebrity expert, opera singer, Zenobia Richard who will be evaluating the sculptures.

As the event begins Dotty is amazed by the number of people that show up to show their pieces in hopes of winning a place on the show. Everyone is surprised when Zenobia Richardson declares one object could be worth millions if genuine. When the day wraps up all the items deemed to qualify for a second look are moved to and locked in a large room on the floor where the crew is staying.

But the night must have had some drama. The next morning a woman’s body is found at the bottom of a circular staircase and the crew is sequestered on their floor. They soon realize the celebrity sculpture expert is missing, meaning it must be her body at the bottom of the stairs. Was it an accident? Did she fall or was she pushed? Could someone have murdered opera star Zenobia Richardson? Dotty Sayers finds herself in the perfect position to find out.


Dotty Sayers has grown so much since her husband passed away. She has become more confident and that confidence continues to grow over the course of this story. She does find herself in some perilous positions but she holds her own. Her relationships are growing with all the people in her life too. Some do push her out of her comfort zone but at times that is a good thing.

We are introduced to a variety of new characters. The “Carols” are quite a group who know their jobs and welcomed Dotty right into their fold. Zenobia is a total diva that is pushing her assistant to the end of her rope. Max the show’s producer and Mel his assistant work hard to keep the show on schedule while trying to deal with all the chaos around them. Each character is unique and memorable.

Ms. Tait entangled her protagonist in a complex mystery. Dotty is a curious sleuth, she wants to know the story behind what is happening and if that helps solve a case it’s great. I like that when she overhears or stumbles on a clue she can confide to Constable Keya Varma. Keya is a very interesting character who fits right in with Dotty and her friends unless, of course, she is on duty. So many things are happening that some of the investigation does happen off the page but the author tells the story in a great way to keep her readers fully engaged. She also delivers a very exciting ending.

I really enjoy the way Victoria Tait tells a story. Her descriptive style is fantastic. I was able to envision every scene fully in my mind. From what Dotty was wearing to her hairstyle, the outdoor area with the gazebos for each expert to the objects brought for valuation, the hotel guest rooms, the library where the objects were kept, to the body at the bottom of the staircase. She sets each scene with an expert hand. I have a great time escaping into her stories.

Valued for Murder is a wonderful second installment of this series. I especially enjoy the antique theme with all the behind the scene moments of the auctions and all the work they entail. I am excited about the next book, Bidding for Revenge, set to be released on August 19, 2022.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent  

About Victoria Tait

I was born and raised in Yorkshire, UK, and never expected to travel the world.  But I fell for an Army Officer, and I’ve followed him from Northern Ireland, up to the Scottish Highlands, across to Africa and the Kenyan Savannah, back to the British Cotswolds, and we are now living in Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Southern Europe.

I never expected to be an author, but all this moving is not ideal for holding down a job.  Instead, I’ve taken the experiences of the places I’ve lived to write vivid and evocative cozy mystery books with determined female sleuths.

I have two fast-growing teenage boys, and together we’ve learnt to ski on the Bosnian mountains.  I also enjoy horse riding, mountain biking and I’ve started running as a way to improve my physical fitness, mental wellbeing and shed some excess pounds.

BookBub   Instagram     Website    Pinterest    Goodreads

For access to exclusive content, giveaways and freebies, sign up for my newsletter at my website: VictoriaTait.com

Purchase Links – Amazon 

Coming August 19!

Also by Victoria Tait

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
June 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 10 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
June 12 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
June 12 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 13 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 13 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 14 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 14 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
June 14 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 15 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 15 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
June 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 16 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 16 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
June 17 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
June 17 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!

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 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders: A Cozy Mystery Anthology – Pickled to Death by Gayle Leeson #Review #CharacterGuestPost #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders: A Cozy Mystery Anthology
by Hillary Avis, Benedict Brown, Catherine Coles, Paula Darnell, Connie B. Dowell, Ellen Jacobson, Joann Keder, Patti Larsen, Cate Lawley, Gayle Leeson, Daisy Linh, Rimmy London, R.B. Marshall, Megan Mayfair, Wendy Meadows, Phillipa Nefri Clark, Michele Pariza Wacek, Erin Scoggins, Cathy Tully, Victoria LK Williams and Carly Winter

About Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders


Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders: A Cozy Mystery Anthology
Aye Alba Publishing (June 21, 2022)
Number of Pages ~1600
Digital B09K9NN64X

Poisonous picnics, burgled barbeques, deadly deckchairs… and midsummer mayhem!

From a brilliant bunch of amazing authors, including multiple prizewinners and USA Today best sellers, comes this wonderful collection of 21 summer-themed cozy mysteries.

Featuring peril at the pool, blood on the beach, and felony at the festival, these fabulous stories—21 brand new and exclusive tales—will keep you entertained until long after the sun has set.

With stories from Hillary Avis, Benedict Brown, Catherine Coles, Paula Darnell, Connie B. Dowell, Ellen Jacobson, Joann Keder, Patti Larsen, Cate Lawley, Gayle Leeson, Daisy Linh, Rimmy London, R.B. Marshall, Megan Mayfair, Wendy Meadows, Phillipa Nefri Clark, Michele Pariza Wacek, Erin Scoggins, Cathy Tully, Victoria LK Williams and Carly Winter, you’ll surely find some of your favourite authors and discover some great new writers within the ~1600 pages of this set.

This collection will only be available for a limited time so don’t miss out – grab yourself a bargain today!

Today I am focusing on Pickled to Death by Gayle Leeson.

The fair would have been a lot more fun had Aunt Bess not been accused of murder – – and if the streaker hadn’t been such a disappointment.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Aunt Bess had decided to oust the local pickle queen, Mabel Hobbs, by entering her own jar of pickles at the fair but while a streaker distracts everyone someone takes out the queen permanently using a jar of her own pickles. A witness says she saw Aunt Bess taking aim with the jar just before she turned away but no one believes Aunt Bess could kill anyone. But without evidence to prove otherwise, Aunt Bess is in the hot seat. Jackie is doing her best to protect her grandmother while Amy tries to find the real killer. Her first order of business – find that streaker!


This was a fun read. I really enjoy checking in with the gang at the Down South Cafe. I was pleasantly surprised that even in this shorter format so many members of the cast were able to be included. While Amy and her cousin Jackie are the stars, Homer with his daily heroes continues to be my favorite. The fair brings a blast from Amy’s mom’s past to town and that upset Amy a bunch. It gives readers a little snippet of Amy and her mom’s history and how it had affected their lives moving forward.

Mabel Hobbs was a woman with a plan and that plan may have been what had gotten her killed. There are some clear suspects besides Aunt Bess and a corkscrew twist adds even more. Ms. Leeson does an excellent job of giving her readers an interesting mystery with enough meat to sink our teeth into with a very exciting ending. That is not easy to do in less than 100 pages. The streaker was a nice touch too, but now that song is in my head. “Boogity Boogity!!!”

Pickled to Death was a Perfect little mini Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Now a Special Treat!

CHARACTER GUEST POST WITH PRINCESS ELOISE
By Gayle Leeson

 

Don’t be intimidated because I’m royalty. I don’t think my lineage sets me on a pedestal. Being a cat does that.

I live with Amy Flowers, who owns the Down South Café. Amy is a sweet girl, and I like her okay. She makes sure I get all the attention I want and plenty to eat and drink. But she’s not my favorite. My favorite human in the world is Amy’s mother, Jenna. But when Jenna’s mom died, Jenna moved into the house on the hill above Amy’s place to live with her aunt. Since Aunt Bess is allergic to cats—huge eye roll here because really…am I right?—I had to stay here at Amy’s house. I guess the aunt was too old to rehome because, honestly, I don’t know who else would have her at this point. She’s quite the handful. At least, Jenna is close by, and I get to see her all the time.

Amy has been dating a great guy lately, and I like him a lot. His name is Ryan, and he’s a police officer. Whenever he comes to visit, I hop onto his lap. It’s funny because it makes Amy a little jealous because she wishes I liked her that much. Between you and me, that’s one of the reasons I do it. Also, he has strong, muscular thighs. I knead and knead and knead, and then I curl up into a ball and doze. Purrfection.

I enjoy lying on the windowsill, lying on the chair by the living room window, lying on the kitchen chair that’s closest to the wall, and lying on my bed—although I spend the least amount of time there. I’d rather be up a little higher, especially when I want to avoid pats and licks and doggie breath, if you know what I mean. I like Rory, the terrier, okay. Or, at least, I do now. When he was a puppy, I referred to him as Rory, the terror. In fact, I thought that’s what the humans were saying when someone would ask what type of dog he was. But I came to realize they were saying terrier, and he’s grown up to the point where he’s tolerable. And he’s good for Amy. She needs someone willing to be picked up and cuddled at her whim—that’s not me.

Admittedly, though, I’ve been staying a little closer to her lately. There has been some trouble involving her cousin, Jackie. Jackie is the granddaughter of Aunt Bess—who I’ve already told you about. I’m not terribly keen on Jackie and her boyfriend, Roger, but I’d allow them to feed me if Amy happened to be out of town and Jenna wasn’t available. Amy loves them, though, especially Jackie. So, since Amy has been worried and sad about whatever is going on with Jackie, I’ve been staying close in case Amy needs me. She’s a good kid, and I appreciate her more than I let on. I have to say, though, I hope this ordeal gets put behind us soon. A girl needs her beauty rest, especially when that girl is a princess.

About Gayle Leeson 

Gayle Leeson is an author living in Virginia with a beautiful family and quite a few pets. She also writes–or has written–as Gayle Trent, Amanda Lee, and G. Leeson. As Gayle Trent, she writes the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, she wrote the Embroidery Mystery series. As Gayle Leeson, she writes the Down South Cafe Mystery series and the Ghostly Fashionista mystery series. And as G. Leeson, she is writing the Literatia mystery series. Website

Release Date – June 21, 2022

Also by Gayle Leeson


Writing as Gayle Trent




Writing as Amanda Lee



Just click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.

Check out stories from the rest of these authors!

About Ellen Jacobson

Ellen Jacobson is a writer, cat lover & obsessed with chocolate. She writes cozy mysteries and romantic comedies including the Mollie McGhie Mysteries and the Smitten with Travel Rom-Coms.

You can find out more on her website (ellenjacobsonauthor.com), sign up for her newsletter (https://www.subscribepage.com/m4g9m4).

About Patti Larsen

I’m a multiple award-winning writer with a passion for the voices in my head. With many (many!) titles across many (many!) genres, all in happy publication, there’s no end in sight…

That being said, I’m short (permanent), happy (I have the best life ever) and blonde (forever and ever). I love to talk one on one about the deepest topics and can’t seem to stop seeing the big picture. I happily live on Prince Edward Island, Canada, home to Anne of Green Gables and the most beautiful red beaches in the world, with my multiple cats, pug overlord and lady and Gypsy Vanner gelding, Fynn.

About R.B. Marshall

Like my amateur sleuth, Izzy, I’m a dressage-riding computer geek who loves coffee – but there the similarity ends. She is far smarter than me, and a lot younger! I hope you’ll join me in discovering where her curiosity leads to next…

Pretty much all my books are set in my native Scotland, and my mystery stories are no exception. You’ll meet colourful characters solving perplexing puzzles in the most glorious landscape imaginable. Throw in a castle or two, the occasional royal, and maybe even a delicious cake shop, and you’ll have the recipe for my new series.

I also write fantasy and clean romance/women’s fiction, as Roz Marshall: http://viewAuthor.at/RozMarshall

and Historical Romance telling the story of Mary Queen of Scots, as Belle McInnes: http://viewauthor.at/BelleMcInnes

About Hillary Avis

Hillary Avis writes cozy mysteries about smart women who persist until they uncover the truth—about themselves, about their communities, and of course about any unsolved murders.

She grew up in a small town on the west coast, went to college in a small town on the east coast, and now lives in beautiful Eugene, Oregon. She has two charming children, three fluffy dogs, and two practically perfect felines named Mystery and Intrigue. She also has too many chickens and one very patient husband.

When Hillary’s not reading, writing, or editing, she bakes bread, makes pottery, drinks coffee, and streams The Great British Bake-Off, but not all at the same time.

About Cate Lawley

Cate Lawley writes humorous, action-filled mysteries that frequently contain a paranormal twist.

When Cate’s not tapping away at her keyboard or in deep contemplation of her next fanciful writing project, she’s sweeping up hairy dust bunnies and watching British mysteries.

Cate is from Austin, Texas (where many of her stories take place) but has recently migrated north to Boise, Idaho, where soup season (her favorite time of year) lasts more than two weeks.

She’s worked as an attorney, a dog trainer, and in various other positions, but writer is the hands-down winner. She’s thankful readers keep reading, so she can keep writing!

Paranormal cozy mystery series:

Vegan Vamp Mysteries

Night Shift Witch Mysteries

Death Retired Mysteries

Cursed Candy Mysteries

Cozy mystery series:

Fairmont Finds Canine Cozy Mysteries

Cate’s sweet romance series:

Love Ever After

Lucky Magic

For bonus materials and updates, visit her website to join her mailing list: www.CateLawley.com

About Rimmy London

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Mystery featuring Death By Beach Read (A Lighthouse Library Mystery) by Eva Gates #Review / #Giveaway @evagatesauthor

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thoughts today about Death By Beach Read!


Death By Beach Read (A Lighthouse Library Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (June 7, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643859102
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643859101
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FP48MHH

Librarian Lucy’s new historic house comes with a lot of baggage and family secrets. Can she put them to rest or will a killer bring Lucy’s family to their downfall, in the 9th Lighthouse Library mystery?

It’s spring in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and Lucy and Connor have moved into their new home at last, a historic cottage on the Nags Head Beach. The house needs a lot of renovations, but they worked hard over the winter to get it ready. Lucy is now happily immersed in her work at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, planning her wedding, and decorating the house. That is, until a dead body disrupts their peaceful new abode.

The first night Lucy’s alone in the house, with the company of Charles the library cat, she hears sounds. Investigating they see footsteps in the dust of the unfinished living room, and the door to the outside is open. Lucy’s reminded that the house is said to be haunted: forty years ago the teenage daughter of the owners fled in the night, and never again stepped foot inside her family home.

But the sounds have an all-too-human origin and one evening Lucy and Connor find the dead body of a man they don’t even recognize in their kitchen. They soon realize he has a long-time connection to their house. Lucy’s forced to find out what happened all those years ago and why it’s threatening her happiness today.

Meanwhile, the Classic Novel Reading Club is reading The House of the Seven Gables by Nathanial Hawthorne, a book about another old house full of secrets. Can Lucy find parallels to her own situation in Hawthorne’s fiction before the killer strikes again?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Spring has sprung in the Outer Banks and Lucy has a lot on her plate. Working at the library, planning her wedding to Connor, and decorating the new historic home on the beach she and Connor have purchased and moved into. Connor and his dad have already done tons of work on the place. Not handy with tools whatsoever Lucy is looking forward to painting and buying furniture to make the house feel like home.

Charles the library cat now comes home with Lucy every day as Louise Jane has now been formally hired by the library and installed herself in Lucy’s Lighthouse Aerie. Connor is away at a conference so Lucy and Charles are spending their first night alone in their new home. They are awakened by sounds that have nothing to do with the wind outside or the house settling. When Lucy investigates she finds the patio door open and footprints in the sawdust.

The noises continue after Connor returns, along with some spooky shadows, and then one night they find a dead body in their kitchen. They do not recognize him at all but later find out he does have an old connection to their new home.

Before they find out who killed the man and why, Connor and Lucy find a hidden entrance to their home, some interesting things in the attic, and someone lights their brand new deck on fire.

The Classic Novels Reading Club is reading Nathanial Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables. That draws some interesting visitors to the group. Also, Lucy starts to find similarities between that house full of secrets and her new cottage on the beach. Will it help her solve the case before someone else is killed?


I love this series!

This time most of the story takes place away from the wonderful and amazing Bodie Island Lighthouse Library with Lucy and Connor settling in and working on their new home but that just added to my enjoyment of this series. These characters and all of the supporting cast have grown so much over the course of this series in very natural ways that it is a pure joy to visit them wherever they are.

There have been some staff changes at the library. I think it is fun that Louise Jane is now truly working there and living in Lucy’s old space but that hasn’t tempered her love of spreading her ghostly tales any chance she gets. She does get along well with the other new hire, Denise Robarts. Surprisingly even Lucy is getting along better with Louise Jane too, at least in small doses. I did love that Lucy was very confident about her place in the scheme of things and was stronger in dealing with people who had a tendency to push her too far than she had been before. Charles, the library cat, branched out in this story too. Traveling back and forth between Lucy’s home and the library is a big step for him. Some of his actions and reactions are quite comical and I love that he plays a key role in the story.

Again Ms. Delany had put forth one heck of a mystery. Finding a body at Lucy’s new home was a great way to introduce the place to readers, especially its history and secrets it may hold. It also gave way to introduce some very interesting new characters and their ties to the community and some of its residents. A character I had thought was gone from the area for good also returns with what appears to be a clear agenda. Putting all this together you have a marvelously plotted mystery with some terrific twists. The author delivered a robust mystery that kept me guessing almost to the very end and rapidly flipping those pages.

As always the setting for this story was heavenly. How wonderful to step out your back door and be right on the beach. The window views are fantastic as well. I would call the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library my literary happy place and now Lucy and Connor’s cottage on the beach is a close second even with the renovations not being quite complete. Sitting on that deck with a book in my hand enjoying the ocean’s sounds and breezes sounds absolutely idyllic to me.

Death by Beach Read was a fun and entertaining book that took me on a great virtual vacation. I can’t wait to return to the Outer Banks hopefully in time for Lucy and Connor’s wedding and all the other happenings Ms. Delany has in store for us.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea By The Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library books for Crooked Lane.

Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It crime writing festival. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Author Links –
Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com.
On Facebook at www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor.
Twitter @vickidelany@evagatesauthor

Instagram: vickidelany

The Rest of the Series


Written as Vicki Delany



Find more books by Vicki Delaney here.

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

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
for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 22, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the 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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Peril at Pennington Manor (An Avery Ayers Antique Mystery) by Tracy Gardner #Review / #Giveaway @TracyGardner_

Peril at Pennington Manor (An Avery Ayers Antique Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (June 7, 2022) – Today!
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643859064
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643859064
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FNYW6WZ

Thanks to Aunt Midge’s unlikely friendship with Nicholas Pennington, the Duke of Valle Charme, Avery Ayers and her associates at Antiques and Artifacts Appraised head off to their most glamorous assignment yet—cataloging and appraising the contents of a castle-like mansion on the Hudson River. But regal splendor becomes a backdrop to mayhem when the precious Viktor Petrova timepiece disappears—and housekeeper Suzanne Vick plummets from a parapet to her death.

Avery, her dad William, and colleagues Micah Abbott and Sir Robert Lane soon learn that Suzanne’s predecessor also met with an untimely end. Further, the housekeeper’s suspicious demise coincides with Avery’s discovery that many of the Duke’s most priceless heirlooms have been replaced by fakes.

Detective Art Smith lends his expertise, but the suspect list encompasses the Duke’s entire retinue—including his family. Could the killer be someone intimately familiar with the Pennington estate, such as caretaker couple Ira and Lynn Hoffman, the Penningtons’ chauffeur Roderick, or even one of the heirs to the Pennington fortune?

Then the duke himself is injured in an inexplicable riding accident, and the clock swiftly ticks toward a reckoning with a cold-blooded killer. A criminal mastermind is making a desperate bid for ill-gotten riches…can Avery bring the culprit to justice before her time is up?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Is Pennington Manor cursed?

Avery Ayers is about to find out.

She is surprised to learn that Aunt Midge is old friends with Nicholas Pennington, the Duke of Valle Charme. He is planning to sell his mansion on the Hudson River and Antiques and Artifacts Appraised has been awarded the assignment of cataloging and appraising a long list of antiques and valuable artwork. When the Duke attempts to show them his prize possession, a Viktor Petrova timepiece, they discover it is missing. Before they can even attempt to find it a scream rings out. Hurrying to find the source, they find the housekeeper, Suzanne Vick has fallen from the roof to her death . . . the same way the previous housekeeper died.

After Suzanne’s death, Avery determines several of the Duke’s prized heirlooms are missing and have been replaced by inferior copies. The suspects for the missing objects and the murder have to be either part of the Pennington family or their staff, but who? Avery with the assistance again from Detective Art Smith is going to do their best to find out before the thief/killer turns the tables on them.


After reading Ruby Red Herring I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Peril at Pennington Manor and author Tracy Gardner sure didn’t disappoint!

All of the characters I loved in the first book are back and joined by Avery’s dad, William. Avery and Tillie are so happy to have their dad back but they are all still dealing with the death of their mom. For William, it is still especially hard. I loved the way the author has written these characters. William hasn’t really had a chance to mourn his wife’s passing. Tillie has some issues at school abroad and Avery truly was carrying the weight of the business on her shoulders. These characters are true to life and feel so genuine. The supporting cast is so well-crafted too.

We meet several new characters that include the Duke of Valle Charme, his family, and his staff. All developed nicely over the course of the story. Many end up on the suspect list at one time or another giving a vast number of possibilities. They all reside in the fabulous Pennington Manor when they are in the States. The Old English style mansion has its own secrets and plenty of little nooks. It also has a huge pool and circular turret staircases. Outside you will find lily ponds, a greenhouse, perfectly manicured gardens, and a large stable full of horses. A wonderful setting for a mystery or two.

Ms. Gardner has written a delightful mystery with some really nice twists and turns to create moments of misdirection. Very well-plotted, I was kept guessing right up until the very end. The reveal was very exciting with some of our favorite characters finding themselves in peril.

The author also balances out the suspenseful moments with the exact amount of humor needed. Some of it delivered by a clowder of kittens and a majestic Afghan hound named Halston.

I was happy to see that Avery was able to take part in something she had worked hard for before the story drew to a close. Tillie also has a new opportunity and that Art and Avery’s relationship is growing.

Peril at Pennington Manor is a terrific follow-up to Ruby Red Herring. I do recommend reading the books in order because reading this book first reveals something very important that would be spoiled by reading this one prior to Ruby Red Herring.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Ruby Red Herring here

About the Author

Tracy Gardner is a Detroit native who writes mystery and romance novels. A daughter of two teachers, she has been writing since she could hold a pen. She grew up on Nancy Drew mysteries and rock and roll. When not writing, she works as a visiting nurse in a rural community, where she lives with her husband, two fun-loving teens, and a menagerie of spoiled rescue dogs and cats. She is a strong believer in the power of baked goods, live music, and girlfriend therapy as staples to a happy life.


As I type this I see the Kindle Edition of Ruby Red Herring is on sale for $1.99
Also by Tracy Gardner


Thanks to the publisher I am giving away 1 hardcover 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 Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End on June 21, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the 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 My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #23 – 2022

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Massachusetts and Louisiana!

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

Escapes Completed


Peril at Pennington Manor (An Avery Ayers Antique Mystery)
by Tracy Gardner
Release Date – June 7, 2022
Setting – New York
My Review will be up tomorrow!


Death By Beach Read (A Lighthouse Library Mystery)
by Eva Gates
Release Date – June 7, 2022
Setting – North Carolina
I will feature this book this week for Cozy Wednesday!


Valued for Murder:
A British Cozy Murder Mystery with a Female Amateur Sleuth
(A Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery)
by Victoria Tait
Release Date – June 10, 2022
Setting – England
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Friday!

Scheduled Escapes


Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders: A Cozy Mystery Anthology
Release Date – June 21, 2022
Setting – Various
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here
Thursday, June 9, and Saturday, June 18

so I will be reading 2 stories over the next two weeks.

Murder Is No Picnic (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
by Amy Pershing
Release Date – June 7, 2022
Setting – Massachusetts
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery)
by Ellen Byron
Release Date – June 7, 2022
Setting – Louisiana
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here next Thursday!

Future Escapes

June 5 – 11, 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

6a00d8341c93ee53ef00e54fcc4de18834-800wi

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!

I grabbed this picture on Friday. It would be great to get through the weekend without another mass shooting but I am afraid there will be more needless deaths. 

A Week in the Life of Dollycas

On Monday I actually got out of the house and traveled somewhere for the first time in over a month. Mr. Dollycas, Daughter #2, and I ventured out to get a few plants to perk up our landscape. We didn’t go too overboard this year after most of the annuals we planted last year did not survive the season. We switched this year to perennials and I am so excited to finally have some daisies, daylilies, and lavender plants again.

https://destinationicecream.blogspot.com/2016/08/gilles-fond-du-lac-wi.htmlAfter we finished our shopping we stopped at the popular Gilles Frozen Custard Drive-In for an early supper. They say they are frozen in time since 1949. Over 70 years in business is quite a feat! We loved the place. Our server was friendly, the food was great, the prices were reasonable, and I had the best orange shake ever. We will definitely be going back and bonus Daughter #2 works nearby and they have take out!

Wednesday was Daughter #2’s birthday! It was just the three of us for supper and ice cream cake but we had a family fun day yesterday. I will share pictures from that next week!

How was your week?


Weekly Rewind – May 30 – June 4, 2022

Monday – My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #22 – 2022

Tuesday – Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise by Terry Ambrose #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @terryawriterguy

Wednesday – Cozy Wednesday featuring The Diva Says Cheesecake! (A Domestic Diva Mystery) by Krista Davis #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @KristaDavis

Thursday – Renovated to Death (A Domestic Partners in Crime Mystery) by Frank Anthony Polito #Review / #Giveaway

Friday – #FlashbackFriday – Deadly Sweet Tooth (Vintage Sweets Mysteries) by Kaye George #Review / #Giveaway @lyricalpress

Saturday – The Double Exposure Murder (A Robyn Cavanagh Mystery) by Jeanne Quigley #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

I hope we all have a safe and happy week! 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

The Double Exposure Murder (A Robyn Cavanagh Mystery) by Jeanne Quigley #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

The Double Exposure Murder (A Robyn Cavanagh Mystery)
by Jeanne Quigley

It is my pleasure to shine my spotlights on
The Double Exposure Murder today!

About The Double Exposure Murder

The Double Exposure Murder (A Robyn Cavanagh Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Garland, a fictional town in Orange County, NY
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 278 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1956851216
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1956851212
Kindle Paperback ‏ : ‎ 278 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1956851216
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1956851212

Robyn Cavanagh enjoys a thriving second career as a portrait photographer in her beloved suburban hometown of Garland, New York. Having built a large portfolio of high school senior photos and family portraits, Robyn is thrilled when math teacher Brooke Gibson hires her to take photos of a different subject: 16 Clover Lane, the house Brooke has recently inherited from her late great-aunt. Brooke will soon put the home on the market and wants Robyn to take the photos for the real estate listing. Robyn thinks the cozy house will attract prospective buyers—until she finds bride-to-be Brooke’s battered body in the garden shed.

When Brooke’s mother asks her help in canceling the wedding plans, Robyn plays amateur sleuth and gathers clues while also collecting refunds from Brooke’s wedding vendors. With help from her friend Will Vonderlin, Robyn assembles evidence of a possible love triangle, financial indiscretions, and neighborhood feuds and builds a suspect list that includes Brooke’s fiancé, a jealous relative, a longtime rival, and a shady bartender. The clues lead Robyn to the killer and a spectacular July Fourth finale complete with a marching band and a parade of howling dogs.

Excerpt

Yogi and I arrived at 16 Clover Lane a couple of minutes before 10:30. Brooke’s Ford Focus was parked in the carport.

Brooke didn’t respond to the first ring of the doorbell. I pressed the button again and waited a few seconds. The front door was open several inches, so I called to Brooke through the screen door. When she still didn’t answer, I assumed she was either in the bathroom or the backyard. I opened the screen door and entered the house, Yogi at my heels. The door to the powder room was open, and Brooke wasn’t in any of the first-floor rooms.

“Brooke! It’s Robyn.” I yelled up the staircase opposite the front door. I listened for a few seconds then headed into the kitchen. “Let’s go out back.”

The mystery deepened when I didn’t find Brooke on the patio. More possibilities ran through my mind. Brooke could be on a stroll around the block or in a neighbor’s house for a quick visit.

I called Brooke’s cell; when it went to voice mail, I ended the call without leaving a message. I’d text her, but before I started the message, a breeze blew open the shed door. The creaky door closed with a soft thud; then, another puff of wind urged it open again.

I spotted a can of paint on the ground outside the shed. “I should’ve known Brooke would fix the shed.”

Curious about the paint color Brooke had selected, I crossed the yard and bent over the paint can. I thought Brooke might have selected sunny yellow to match the house, but she had purchased a dark green shade. New paintbrushes and a drip pan lay on the grass next to the can. Did she plan to enlist me to help with the shed’s facelift?

The shed’s door creaked open and closed a third time. I moved to secure the door shut, but first I peeked inside and experienced an adrenaline rush like I’d never had. Fighting a growing sense of panic, I wrapped a length of the leash around my hand and pulled Yogi away from the supine form on the shed’s floor.

I took a second look at the still figure, clad in cut-off jeans and a white tank top. “Brooke!” Brooke’s mouth was open, and her eyes stared at the roof. Her nose was bloodied, and scratch marks stretched from her shoulders to her wrists. Her collarbone jutted out at a sickening angle.

I pushed back the door and told Yogi to lie down, making him a makeshift doorstop. He obeyed and watched me check Brooke for a pulse and breath.

It was a futile attempt, I knew, but a necessary one.

I stepped into the doorway and called 9-1-1, my glance fixed on the steel-blade shovel on the ground next to Brooke’s body.

Great Escapes Praise for The Double Exposure Murder (A Robyn Cavanagh Mystery)
by Jeanne Quigley

For the first book in a new series, The Double Exposure Murder is a solid read. There’s a lot of world-building, but the mystery did not get lost in the mix and continued to remain front and center.
~Novels Alive

I look forward to the next book in this series and what escapades Robyn might find herself in or what trouble she might get into.
We give this book 4 paws up.
~Storeybook Reviews

About Jeanne Quigley

Jeanne Quigley is the author of the Veronica Walsh Mysteries and the Robyn Cavanagh mystery series. Unlike her fictional sleuths, she has never been a soap opera star or an accountant (though she was an accounting major for a few minutes in the spring of 1985), but she has worked for an educational publisher and in the music industry. A lifelong New Yorker, Jeanne lives in her native Rockland County.

Author Links

Facebook  – Blog – GoodReads – Amazon

Also by Jeanne Quigley

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
May 30 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
May 30 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
June 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 2 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
June 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 4 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
June 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
June 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy  – REVIEW
June 5 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
June 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 7 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
June 7 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 8 – Girl with Pen – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Deadly Sweet Tooth (Vintage Sweets Mysteries) by Kaye George #Review / #Giveaway @lyricalpress

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.


Deadly Sweet Tooth (Vintage Sweets Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Texas
Lyrical Underground (June 2, 2020)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 180 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1516105443
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1516105441
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07W8X9C3H

Vintage sweets, a deadly surprise, and a mischievous Maine Coon cat—Deadly Sweet Tooth is the delightful cozy mystery you’ve been waiting for!
 
In a darling tourist town like Fredericksburg, Texas, a vintage sweet shop offering delicious old-fashioned favorites is a perfect fit—until someone decides to debut a recipe that’s lusciously lethal…

With Tally’s Old Tyme Sweets finally—well, almost—turning a profit, Tally Holt is taking one busy Saturday off to host a grand party for her parents, traveling performers who spend most of their time on the road. Tally’s counting on the publicity and free treats to attract new customers. And the event is a sweet success—at least until Fran Abraham, the town’s foul-tempered theater director drops dead after a bitter confrontation with Tally’s mother.

Murder was definitely not on Tally’s menu, but it’s clear that Fran’s death wasn’t natural. The list of possible culprits includes not just Tally’s mom, but her protective dad too. Relying on Yolanda Bella, her best friend and the proprietor of Bella’s Baskets next door, for help, Tally will need to unwrap the sticky pasts and unsavory presents of everyone from her own parents to her new hires before Fran’s death sours everybody on her fledgling shop….

Recipe included! And this one promises not to kill…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In the second installment of this series Tally Holt is throwing a party to welcome her parents home from their worldly travels for a short time. She has even put an invitation in the local paper so all their friends can stop by to see them. She also hopes to draw in some new customers to her vintage candy shop.

The guests of honor arrive along with a big crush of people. Tally sure is happy she hired extra help for the event. If the new hires work out she hopes to make them permanent employees, something she desperately needs.

A little later Tally’s mother isn’t feeling well so the party starts to wrap up but as the guests are leaving Fran Abraham keels over dead. She had been arguing with Tally’s mom about something just a few minutes before she died. To be safe her dad takes her mom to the hospital to be sure she doesn’t meet the same fate as the town’s cantankerous theater director.

The police put their main focus on the treats Tally served and who had access to them as they await the actual cause of Fran’s death. But if it was the candy, wouldn’t more people be sick or dead?

With Tally and her parents as prime suspects and the fate of her shop hanging in the balance Tally asks her best friend, Yolanda to help her find the real killer. But will their snooping put them right in the killer’s path? Things could get sticky in their quest to get the killer behind bars, and I am not talking chocolate ones!


After reading the first book in this series I felt I needed to know the main characters better to get invested in their lives and I was happy to see Tally’s parents in this story so we could more insight into Tally. Turned out Bob and Nancy had some pretty juicy secrets of their own and quite a backstory to tell. Tally learned a lot and so did I. I still want Tally to have more depth. We did get to know Yolanda a bit better. She and Tally do have a strong friendship. There is a lot of room for development for both characters. Again, Maine Coon Cat, Nigel stole my heart. I will say I was not a fan though of the point-of-view switching back and forth between the two BFFs. It really messed with the flow of the story.

Tally does hire three new employees. I am amazed she hadn’t hired someone sooner. One is a great hire, another is okay, and the third I would have shown the door within 5 minutes. Tally came across as a really wishy-washy boss and really put a lot of trust in someone she just met. I do worry about her business sense and the future of her shop. She just doesn’t come across as someone who ran another successful business prior to opening this shop in Fredricksburg.

It was very apparent that Tally’s actions had to be iffy to move the story in the intended direction of the author. Ms. George wrote a mystery that really wasn’t a mystery for the reader. The guilty party was evident to me immediately. I also didn’t like the fact that Tally really didn’t do much investigating. She was nosy and found out things she should have already known. To be a successful amateur sleuth her observation skills really need work. I found the ending frustrating as well because it was so abrupt. I thought there must have been pages missing from the book, but sadly that was not the case.

I did enjoy many parts of this story. I love the theme of a vintage candy shop. I love that Tally’s parents are world-traveling performers. I love Nigel the cat. That being said, Deadly Sweet Tooth is a light cozy mystery that needs a stronger protagonist. I also really wish the mystery was more complex. The author has given the series a nice foundation to build upon but I am on the fence about reading book three in the series, Into the Sweet Hereafter



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Kaye George is a novelist and a short story writer whose story, HANDBASKETS, DRAWERS, AND A KILLER COLD, was nominated for a 2010 Agatha Best Short Story award. It can be found in the collection, A PATCHWORK OF STORIES, available on Amazon and Smashwords as an ebook, and Amazon and Createspace in trade paperback.  She is agented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency LLC.

The first mystery novel in the Imogene Duckworthy series, CHOKE, received a nomination for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2011. It was followed by SMOKE and BROKE. EINE KLEINE MURDER, the first in the Cressa Carraway Musical Mysteries was published by Barking Rain Press in the spring of 2013. It was a Silver Falchion Finalist and was followed by REQUIEM IN RED. DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE, the first in the People of the Wind Neanderthal Mysteries, is published by Untreed Reads. It received an Agatha nomination for Best Historical. The sequel is DEATH ON THE TREK. The Fat Cat cozy series, set in Minneapolis and featuring a pudgy but adorable cat named Quincy, achieved Barnes & Noble’s best-seller status with all three books. Her new Vintage Sweets cozy series is set in Fredericksburg, TX.

She reviews for “Suspense Magazine” and writes a column for “Mysterical-E Magazine.” Other articles occasionally appear in newsletters and online. Her short stories appear in several anthologies and around and about. She is a member of Sisters in Crime (including the Guppies Chapter and the Smoking Guns chapter), Short Mystery Fiction Society, Authors Guild of Tennessee, and Knoxville Writers Group.

She lives in Knoxville, TN.

Visit her webpage, KayeGeorge.com for more information.

Or catch her at TravelsWithKaye.blogspot.com, her solo blog.

She also joins other writers at http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com/ and https://writerswhokill.blogspot.com/.

 


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Deadly Sweet Tooth!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 17, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the 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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Renovated to Death (A Domestic Partners in Crime Mystery) by Frank Anthony Polito #Review / #Giveaway


Renovated to Death (A Domestic Partners in Crime Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington Cozies (May 31, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496735587
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496735584
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FFX6T7J

Real-life domestic partners and stars and producers of the new hit reality home renovation show Domestic Partners, bestselling mystery author Peter “PJ” Penwell and actor JP Broadway are enjoying work and life in their sleepy Detroit suburb of Pleasant Woods—until a suspicious death makes an unscripted appearance . . .

After a successful first season of Domestic Partners chronicling the renovation of their historic Craftsman Colonial, Peter and JP are taking on a renovation of a local Tudor Revival inherited by identical twin brothers Terry and Tom Cash. But linoleum floors and a pink-tiled bathroom aren’t the only unwelcome surprises awaiting inside the house . . .

Just as the show is set to start filming, Peter and JP discover Tom Cash dead at the foot of the house’s staircase. And when the police ruling changes from accidental death to homicide, the list of suspects grows fast. Could the killer be the crabby next-door neighbor, the Realtor ex-boyfriend, the bartender’s ex-boyfriend, the other, much younger, ex-boyfriend, or even renovation-reluctant brother, Terry? And what’s that awful smell coming from the basement? Now Peter’s mystery writer skills, and JP’s experience as the former star of a cop show, will be put to the test—as will their relationship while they uncover the secrets of the house and its owners. With a killer on the loose, this is one fixer-upper that may prove deadly . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bestselling mystery author Peter “PJ” Penwell and actor JP Broadway are real-life partners who have come together to star in and produce Domestic Partners, a hot reality home renovation show. They are getting ready for their second season and have plans to renovate another house in Pleasant Woods, Michigan. Twin brothers Terry and Tom Cash inherited the family home and have let it fall to disrepair. PJ and JP have plans to breathe some life into the home so it can be sold for a pretty penny in this elite Detroit suburb. 

Everything is in place to start filming in a few days when JP and PJ discover Tom Cash dead at the foot of the stairs of their project. The staircase is pretty rickety and that leads the police to rule the death accidental. Later when more information comes to light they declare the event a homicide. Tom ruffled plenty of feathers over the years so there are plenty of suspects including his twin brother Terry. The mystery writer skills in PJ start to kick in as do things actor JP learned playing a cop. They know the killer needs to be found quickly or their new reno project could hit the skids and more people could end up dead.


I was excited to review this book because I love that cozies are getting more diverse and this one is truly testing the waters with the cast almost entirely made up of gay men.

The author took a lot of time to introduce the characters which I really appreciate for the first book in a new series but I felt I really didn’t get to know enough. They just felt a little flat. It may be just me but I started out getting really confused between the two main characters PJ and JP. I finally got it in my head to translate the initials with the characters’ last names, Penwell – Author, Broadway – Actor.  When I did that the story flowed much better. I did like the characters and that is what kept me reading and not throwing the book at the wall. 

We did meet several other characters that were all connected to Tom and Terry. I deal with a set of twins in our family and understand it can be hard to tell them apart which is why I really focused on the differences between Tom and Terry. Who wore what hat? Who had a space between their teeth? Who was more outgoing and who was more passive? Who was enthusiastic about renovating their parent’s home and who wanted it left as is? I really tuned in to how each brother reacted to the people around them too. They may have been identical in looks but different in every other way. It made them very interesting to me and felt they were very well developed.

Mr. Polito penned a very good mystery but I think because I was ultra-focused on the twins I cataloged each clue dropped in a way that had me solving the mystery almost as soon as the death occurred. There were some great twists but they just firmed up my theories.

Something that really struck my heart was PJ and JP trying to adopt a dog. We were disappointed by the pet adoption process ourselves a few years ago and went through some of the same feelings the characters had. Things worked out for us in the long run. You will have to read the book to find out what happens with the Domestic Partners.

I really enjoyed all the descriptions of the homes in Pleasant Woods and that one was turned into a wonderful restaurant. I had hoped for more renovations in this book but the house the stars had previously renovated was mentioned a lot as to what they had done there. I am sure there will be more in the next book.

Renovated to Death lays a good foundation for this series. I am looking forward to more character development of Penwell and Broadway and them getting involved in a more complicated mystery. I am also looking forward to more about their television show including the filming and them actually doing some renovations.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Frank Anthony Polito is an award-winning author and playwright. His published novels include Band Fags (2008 “Best Fiction” – InsightOut Book Club) and Drama Queers (2009 Lambda Literary Award), and the novella “A Christmas to Remember” (the sequel to BAND FAGS!) as featured in the collection Remembering Christmas, and The Spirit of Detroit.

In April 2012, Frank published his first Young Adult novel, Lost in the 90s under his own imprint, Woodward Avenue Books.

Frank grew up in the Detroit suburb of Hazel Park. He received his BFA in Theatre from Wayne State University and his MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon. He resides in Pleasant Ridge, MI with his partner, Craig Bentley, and their two dogs, Jack and Clyde. He is currently writing a new cozy mystery, Rehearsed to Death, to be published by Kensington Cozies in June 2023.

Author Website

I am giving away my review copy! (ARC)

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 16, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The 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 Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Diva Says Cheesecake! (A Domestic Diva Mystery) by Krista Davis #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @KristaDavis

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to feature The Diva Says Cheesecake! by Krista Davis today!


The Diva Says Cheesecake! (A Domestic Diva Mystery)
A Delicious Culinary Cozy Mystery with Recipes
Cozy Mystery
15th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Kensington Cozies (May 31, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496732766
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496732767
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FFXSHP4

Old Town’s midsummer festivities are getting a tasty addition this year. To coincide with a public performance of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Bobbie Sue Bodoin, the Queen of Cheesecake, has hired Sophie to organize a dinner with a dessert buffet on the waterfront. Bobbie Sue’s homegrown company is thriving, and since her baking dish overfloweth, she wants to reward her employees.

Bobbie Sue has only one menu demand: no cheesecake! But her specialty isn’t the only thing missing from the evening—Tate, Bobbie Sue’s husband, is too, much to her annoyance. The next morning, however, Tate’s dead body is discovered. Bobbie Sue insists she didn’t kick her spouse to the curb and begs for Sophie’s help finding the real killer. Digging in, Sophie discovers an assortment of Old Town locals who all had reason to want a piece of Tate. Can she gather together the crumbs the killer left behind in time to prevent a second helping of murder?

Includes delectable recipes and fabulous DIY decorating tips!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Midsummer in Old Town means some fun. In addition to Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,”  performance this year the “Queen of Cheesecake” Bobbie Sue Bodoin is hosting a dinner for her employees down by the waterfront. She has hired Sofie to organize the affair with one strict demand – No Cheesecake on the dessert buffet!

The dinner goes off fabulously with only one hitch. Bobbie Sue’s restauranteur husband Tate failed to show up at the event. Bobbie Sue shrugs it off until about 4 A.M. when she calls Sophie for help. Tate has still not come home. Sophie grabs Nina and they meet Bobbie Sue at his restaurant. While doing a thorough search Sophie finds Tate’s body. Bobbie Sue swears she had nothing to do with the man’s death and begs Sophie to help her find the killer. Can she come up with the right recipe to catch a murderer? You’ll have to read the book to find out!


I look forward to every book in this series as soon as I finish the last one because these characters are so fantastic. They are realistic, engaging, and fun. I would definitely be friends with Sophie and Nina if I could jump into the book. Francie is a hoot and doesn’t hold back. Mars may not have been the right man for Sophie but he is a great friend. Bernie finds himself needing his friends in this story and they all really step up. Natasha is  . . . well Natasha and every good group of friends seems to have a Natasha. It is such a joy to tag along with these characters. No matter what is happening in their world they always pull together and I love that!

Catching the killer was not an easy task and Sophie doesn’t give up even after she is threatened and hurt. Ms. Davis filled this story with some wild twists and turns. All the misdirection did exactly what she planned, I was drawn completely into the story. It grabbed me so tight that was unable to put the book down which means Krista Davis is responsible for my latest book hangover finishing the book just before 3 a.m.

Ms. Davis is an amazing storyteller. Her descriptive details flow so effortlessly, easily taking her readers to Old Town Virginia, and all it has to offer. She mixes up the characters’ daily lives with a marvelous mystery throwing in an ample amount of humor and a dash of romance. She also includes mouth-watering descriptions of food and not just the cheesecake, but Oh! My! The Cheesecake!!! I cheated and purchased one for the grocery store the next day to curb the cravings caused by this book. I am sure it wasn’t as good as Bobbie Sue’s Bodoin’s but it did the trick at least until I wrote this review. I think my husband may need to make a stop on his way home. She does include 12 “delectable” recipes at the end of the book. I can already feel my waistline expanding.

The Diva Says Cheesecake is my new favorite book in this series! I LOVED IT! It is so good it deserves more than 5 stars! You will find this book on my Best Reads of 2022 and it receives my Paradise Rating!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries, the Paws & Claws Mysteries, and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Several of her books have been nominated for the Agatha Award. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two cats and a brood of dogs. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices they keep coming back for more.

Author Links:
Website   Facebook   Pinterest Mystery Lovers Kitchen   Twitter  Kensington Cozies






Coming August 30, 2022


Coming September 6, 2022
I am giving away my review copy! (ARC)

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Sign Up for Krista’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 15, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The 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.”