Posted in Thoughts

Remembering Cozy Author Sheila Connolly

On Thursday I saw the sad news that Sheila Connolly passed away on Monday at her beloved Ireland cottage. I never met Sheila in person but she guest posted several times on this blog and we communicated through email and Facebook messages. She was always so generous and kind and willing to share her time with me. She had moved to Ireland in September and I really enjoyed her posts about her new life there. It breaks my heart that she had such a short time at her cottage.

Sheila was born in Rochester, New York, and since then had lived in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, Massachusetts, and Ireland. In 1972 she graduated with honors from Wellesley College, then earned a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Harvard University. When art history jobs proved elusive, she obtained an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. She had worked as an art historian, a municipal financial advisor for U.S. cities and states, a non-profit fundraiser for institutions and two statewide political campaigns, and a professional genealogist. She has included elements of all of these in her mysteries.

I loved her mysteries. The Orchard Mysteries are my favorites, but having a little Irish blood myself, the Cork County Mysteries are a close second. You truly couldn’t go wrong with anything she had written and I am sure she left this earth with many more book ideas waiting to be shared with us. She poured love into her characters and enveloped them in intriguing mysteries that brought me and all her readers several hours of enjoyment. She has left behind a true legacy of literary work the will be enjoyed by readers for many years to come.

I extend my sympathy to her family and friends. She was a treasure that will be missed.

Rest in Peace, Sheila. You have toiled hard and earned your rest.

May The Road Rise Up To Meet You

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

If you have not had the pleasure of reading Sheila’s books, this is a fine day to start.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Six Cloves Under (A Garlic Farm Mystery) by Gin Jones #Review

Six Cloves Under (A Garlic Farm Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (April 21, 2020)
Paperback: 229 pages
ISBN-10: 1516109619
ISBN-13: 978-1516109616
Kindle ASIN: B07TV24GPW

App developer Mabel Skinner is about to discover something rotten on her late aunt’s garlic farm—and it’s not the compost heap . . .


Mabel doesn’t know a stinkin’ thing about garlic farming. She knows how to develop an app and how-to code. But when her aunt, Peggy Skinner, dies suddenly, Mabel inherits her Stinkin’ Stuff Farm in western Massachusetts. She arrives during peak harvest time—with three days to bring in the entire crop before rain can destroy it.


But Mabel has an even bigger problem: she suspects her aunt’s “accidental death” was murder. As she digs for both garlic and clues, Mabel must contend with a mysterious crop thief, a rival garlic grower her aunt was suing, and a farmer who was after Aunt Peggy’s green-thumb secret. It’s up to Mabel to crack the code on a killer, before she joins the garlic bulbs six cloves under . . .


Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mabel Skinner hasn’t visited her Aunt Peggy is years. Then her aunt suddenly dies and she has left her the Stinkin’ Stuff Garlic Farm. Mabel a successful App developer hopes she can tie up the loose ends with the final harvest and get back to her life.

But Mabel starts to believe her aunt’s death may not have been as accidental as everyone believes. When she starts to dig for clues she finds much more than she bargained for. She has put herself in the killer’s path. She may find herself buried six feet under, pushing up garlic, if she isn’t very careful.

Mabel Skinner is a tough nut to crack, determined and smart, but a little hard to warm up too. Her analytical skills are top-notch and do come in handy when tracking a killer and determining the in and outs of a garlic farm. I really wish her relationship with her aunt had been more current because I think that is going to bother her beyond the pages of this first story. Mabel did grow on me by the end of the story.

Ms. Jones does introduce us to a fine crew of supporting characters that come together to bring in the garlic crop. Many in the community are dedicated and loved Aunt Peggy. In fact, the entire town is counting on Mabel to finish the garlic harvest, which is touted as the Best Garlic on the East Coast. Restauranteurs, the local CSA, the farmer’s market, even the librarian is counting on that crop. All the residents we meet really grow over the pages of the first book. Rory is a true stand out. That woman has more energy in her little finger than I ever had in my entire body. The author has left plenty of room for growth for all the characters and I am excited about that.

The mystery was very well-plotted. There really aren’t any straight forward clues until later in the book. I actually suspected everyone. Things didn’t add up for me or Mabel, but accidental death surely wasn’t the cause. She needed proof and it was hard to come by. I enjoyed the chase, the questions, the quest for the truth. When I honed in on the real culprit it was just a feeling. When that feeling proved right I was actually pretty stunned.

I love garlic and the garlic farm theme is one I was am excited about. I learned a lot and that is always a bonus. I love that the farm is called the Stinkin’ Stuff Farm. The second crop of lavender also interests me.

Six Cloves Under is a nice start for this series. A variety of characters and a puzzling mystery was a very enjoyable read. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. Rhubarb Pie Before You Die will be released in December. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent



About the Author

Gin is a retired lawyer who specialized in ghost-writing for other lawyers. She prefers to write her own books, though, since she doesn’t have to worry that her sense of humor might get her thrown into jail for contempt of court. In her spare time, Gin makes quilts, grows garlic, and advocates for patients with rare disorders. Find more stories by Gin Jones here. Visit her website here.

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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Book Blast – When It’s Time for Leaving by Ang Pompano – Agatha Nominee for Best First Novel – Great Escapes Book Tour @AngPompano

Book Blast – When It’s Time for Leaving
by Ang Pompano

About When It’s Time For Leaving

When It’s Time for Leaving
Traditional Mystery
1st in Series
Encircle Publications, LLC (October 1, 2019)
Paperback: 274 pages
ISBN-10: 1948338920
ISBN-13: 978-1948338929
Digital ASIN: B07TYQ8PDL

When his girlfriend dumps him and a dealer nearly rams him off a bridge, Al DeSantis quits the New Haven Police Department. Just as he plans to head for LA, he finds out the father who left when he was a kid has deeded him the Blue PalmettoDetective Agency in Georgia.


Al goes down to Savannah intending to sell fast and go west, but before he can, he discovers a strong, attractive detective named Maxine, a dead body on the dock—and his father, alive, suffering from dementia, and determined to help his “new partner Al” solve the crime. Al has a lot of adjusting to do when his traditional ideas are challenged as he has to act as his father’s caretaker, and finds that Maxine is his superior in the agency that he “owns.” When his father goes missing, Al and Max must team up to save his father–and capture the murderer.



“Solid, spare and completely terrific. And though the talented Ang Pompano may wince at this–it’s absolutely charming. With an authentic knowing voice and a confident hand, Pompano honors Robert B. Parker’s legacy of wry, laconic PI’s–smart and engaging detectives with history, honor, and heart.” —Hank Phillippi Ryan, nationally bestselling author of THE MURDER LIST

Ang Pompano’s debut novel, WHEN IT’S TIME FOR LEAVING, is a corker. Thoroughly likable former cop, Al DeSantis, wants to get out of the crime business but inherits one that, fortunately for readers, won’t let him go. — Hallie Ephron, New York Times bestselling author CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

In When It’s Time for Leaving, debut mystery author Ang Pompano has created the most unusual and appealing duo of detectives since Holmes and Watson. —Lucy Burdette, national bestselling author of A DEADLY FEAST

Author Ang Pompano serves up the PI for the double 20s. Al DeSantis is a classic, damaged gumshoe but with a youthful energy that pulls you through the pages. —Barbara Ross, author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries and winner 2019 Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction

Crime fiction has boasted some famous fathers and sons, from Inspector Richard Queen and his son Ellery to Jim Rockford and his dad Rocky. Add to that list the unforgettable duo of Al DeSantis and Big Al—building on that tradition but with some provocative twists. Ang Pompano’s first novel proves tough-minded and warm-hearted in equal measure. A fine, multi-layered debut.—Art Taylor 2019 Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, Macavity, and Derringer Award winner

When it’s Time for Leaving is a crime thriller that delivers an atmospheric tale packed with action, suspense and some surprising twists. Pompano is a skilled storyteller who offers readers a complex mystery of chases, confrontation and introspection. The tale he weaves is, indeed a well-crafted murder mystery, set in a turbulent sea of emotions and populated with multifaceted characters. ­­­ —James Terry reviewer The Paladin Project

I like mystery/thrillers.  This one is heavy on the mystery and very little thriller aspect.  It is an enjoyable sometimes snarky read that made me smile.  The main characters were so well written I felt like I knew them. The mystery itself was wrapped in mystery as we got to know the individuals and the hidden nuances of small towns.  It was almost like watching (albeit reading) a 50/60 movie.  I personally wanted the ending to share with everyone who was guilty.  Have to leave it there, no spoilers.  Thank you for the arc!  All thoughts and opinions are my own and were unsolicited. —Cheryl M, Net Galley Reviewer

A really good and surprising mystery. The characters are great and feel like friends. I loved the snarky humor. I will definitely read more by this author. —Leah H, Net Galley Reviewer 

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Praise

. . . a compelling detective mystery, with a bit of romance and lots of action and suspense. It is very well written, the plot is well intertwined and the pace is flowing.

This was a good mystery, with rough around edges characters . . . I really enjoyed this mystery . . .
~eBook Addicts

Pompano’s flawed detective is fun to watch. He’s tough with the bad guys, but when dealing with his father and the gal next store, he’s totally lost. There are moments of humor; others of sadness.
~Here’s How It Happened

When It’s Time for Leaving by Ang Pompano is a traditional PI mystery that had me intrigued from the first page . . . I enjoyed the mystery and thought it was a good debut novel.
~Brooke Blogs


About Ang Pompano

Ang Pompano has been writing mysteries for more than twenty years. His mystery novel, WHEN IT’S TIME FOR LEAVING will be published on October 1, 2019, by Encircle Publications. His short stories have been published in many award-winning anthologies, including the 2019 Malice Domestic Anthology, PARNELL HALL PRESENTS MALICE DOMESTIC: MURDER MOST EDIBLE. His newest story, “Stringer” will appear in SEASCAPE: THE BEST NEW ENGLAND CRIME STORIES 2019. In addition, he has written many academic pieces including one on teaching detective fiction. A member of Mystery Writers of America, he is a past recipient of the Helen McCloy/Mystery Writers of America Scholarship for a novel in progress. He has been on the New England Crime Bake Planning Committee for fourteen years and is a long-time board member of Sisters in Crime New England. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Annette, an artist, and his two rescue dogs, Quincy and Dexter.


Author Links – Website –  Facebook Twitter Instagram

Purchase Links

Amazon Print

 Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble

Encircle Publications

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – The Diva Spices It Up (Domestic Diva Mystery) by Krista Davis #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @KristaDavis

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to share the newest Domestic Diva Mystery today!

It will be released next Tuesday, April 28, 2020!

The Diva Spices It Up (Domestic Diva Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
13th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Kensington (April 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496714741
ISBN-13: 978-1496714749
Kindle ASIN: B07TT3V8TZ

After a celebrity ghostwriter dies on the job, Old Town’s favorite entertaining expert and sporadic sleuth, Sophie Winston, whips up an impromptu investigation in the new Domestic Diva mystery from New York Times bestselling author, Krista Davis . . .


Sophie never considered ghostwriting as a side gig, until former actress and aspiring lifestyle guru, Tilly Stratford, trophy wife of Wesley Winthrope, needs someone to write her celebrity cookbook. Sophie agrees, hoping she’ll earn enough bread on this assignment to finish her bathroom renovations. But as it turns out, Sophie isn’t the first foodie to get a taste for recipe ghostwriting, and if the marginalia are any indication, this project could be a killer . . .


Wesley claims professional ghostwriter, Abby Bergeron, suddenly abandoned Tilly’s cookbook with no warning. But Sophie quickly discovers that Abby may be more ghost than writer now . . . and her disappearance was no accident. So Sophie cracks open a fresh investigation, but sifting the seasoned murderer from this sampling of salty suspects won’t be easy. Will Sophie savor another case closed or will the culprit simply melt away?


Includes delicious recipes and entertaining tips!


Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this 13th installment of this fun series, Mars hooks Sophie up with Tilly Stratford, a renowned lifestyle guru, to finish ghostwriting her celebrity cookbook. Sophie is already planning to renovate her bathroom with the money she will make. But first, she needs to find out what happened to the previous ghostwriter who quit without warning and disappeared.

Diva Natasha has some drama of her own as she finds she has a new relative through DNA testing. She better keep her eye her business though or someone may just snatch her dream job away from her while she is taking care of family matters.


This is truly one of my favorite cozy series and not just because the author always serves readers a delightful mystery to solve. What I really love is the relationships that have evolved over the course of the series and continue to grow in each new story. Sophie and Mars really care about each other even knowing they just can’t work as a couple. Now that he has divorced Natasha the relationship is even more comfortable. The fact that Sophie is with Alex and that everyone coexists is so refreshing. Also while Natasha and Sophie will never be besties, Sophie is strong enough to be there when Natasha beckons. All the character development is marvelous and the dialogue is realistic.

Now this mystery was quite a twister. Many subplots roll around together leading to a compelling conclusion. Turns, misdirection, and a fair share of red herrings keep everyone on their toes. One body, then another, a suitcase caught by a fisherman, and it is still mystifying how everything fits into this puzzle. I was kept guessing the whole way.

As for spicing things up, I loved that Sophie took on ghostwriting a cookbook and the whole process she followed. From trying out the recipes and making them better to working with Tilly Stratford and the discovery Sophie made within the pages. The food and recipes were great but the way the cookbook played into the whole whodunit was brilliant.

The Diva Spices It Up is an excellent addition to this series. I recommend the whole batch but you can jump in anywhere as Ms. Davis always gives plenty of background on these fabulous characters. I truly can’t wait for the next Domestic Diva Mystery.

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    Killer Characters

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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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours You Read How Many Books Challenge

Old Friends and New, Another Murder (Sheridan Hendley Mystery) by Christa Nardi – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @ChristaN7777

Old Friends and New, Another Murder
(Sheridan Hendley Mystery)
by Christa Nardi

About Old Friends and New, Another Murder

Old Friends and New, Another Murder (Sheridan Hendley Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Independently published (December 12, 2019)
Paperback: 206 pages
ISBN-10: 1670487709
ISBN-13: 978-1670487704
Digital ASIN: B08276QVPR

A touch of nostalgia, a murder, and good friends.

When a former colleague is implicated in his neighbor’s demise, Sheridan Hendley returns to Cold Creek to prove his innocence. Annoying as Max can be, she can’t imagine the quirky professor is capable of murder. Unfortunately, not everyone shares her opinion. Of course, it doesn’t help that Max threatened his neighbor in a public place soon before the man was murdered. Or that the victim’s drug shipments had a habit of turning up on Max’s doorstep.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is a spinoff of the author’s Cold Creek Series and the first book I have read in either series but I quickly caught on to Professor Sheridan Hendley going back to Cold Creek to help her colleague caught up in the murder investigation of his neighbor. Max did have a public argument with the victim but Sheridan knows there is no way this man would murder anyone. Annoying, yes! Over the top, you bet! but murder no way.

The mystery also seems to tie into an old case Sheridan and her husband, Detective Brett McMann investigated, so there are a lot of twists and backtracking to bring the cases together. Sheridan and Brett make a great team and work very well together. They have built a real trust between them that assume happened over all the previous stories. It was interesting to follow along with them step by step.

As a side note, I really enjoy that Sheridan volunteers at the Clover Hills Pets & Paws Animal Rescue. It makes her more believable and gives her character more depth. It is also something she can share with her step-daughter, Maddie.

A college town is always an interesting setting with many options for murders and mysteries. I found Sheridan’s place as a visiting professor at the small college intriguing on its own. In her position,  she is left out of some of the college politics but still must work jovially with all the staff, which brings a little extra drama.

I enjoyed Old Friends and New, Another Murder very much and hope to go back and read the first two books in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent


About Christa Nardi

Christa Nardi is an accomplished writer and an avid reader. Her favorite authors have shifted from Carolyn Keene and Earl Stanley Gardner to more contemporary mystery crime authors over time, but she still loves a good mystery. Christa has authored the Cold Creek Cozy Mystery Series, the spinoff Sheridan Hendley Mystery Series, and the Stacie Maroni Mystery Series.  She co-authors the Hannah and Tamar Mystery Series. When not reading or writing, Christa enjoys travel with her husband and playing with three dogs and three grand-daughters.

Author Links:  Amazon GoodReads Facebook  – Twitter BookBub – Pinterest – Website – 

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Also by Christa Nardi

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April 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – eBook addicts – SPOTLIGHT
April 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 22 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
April 22 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 23 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
April 24 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
April 24 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 25 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
April 25 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
April 26 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
April 27 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
April 28 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
April 29 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
April 29 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble: (Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series) by Kelly Brady Channick #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway

Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble:
(Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series)

by Kelly Brady Channick

About Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble

Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble: (Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series)
Young Adult Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Purple Milk Publishing (February 1, 2020)
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN-10: 1734307307
ISBN-13: 978-1734307306
Digital ASIN: B0845LBTQC

Asbury, although a haven to shoobies (tourists) in the summer, is a divided coastal town. With the rich half living in the East, and the rest living in the West, most friendships stay within their boundaries. Luckily for a spunky-smart tomboy, a clever billionaire athlete, a gossipy-in-the-know cheerleader, and a wrong side of the tracks technological genius, boundaries are a foreign concept. In fact, Maddie, Cornelious, Carly and Pilot have been Asbury’s strongest quartet for years, despite their vast differences.


Nevertheless, after a few weeks of starting high school, the foursome’s friendship is tested.


After a string of burglaries in East Asbury, the gang decides to solve the crime as a reason to make time for each other. The further they investigate, the more they find themselves constantly side-stepping tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum-like policemen, outsmarting local bully JB and his gang of misfits, and dealing with Cornelious’ billionaire father and Governor—who has disapproved of his son’s choice of friends for years. In addition to these obstacles, the foursome must also adapt to their evolving friendship with each other and their peers.


With upperclassmen, teachers, and teammates vying for their attention, the gang must work even harder to root out the red-herrings from the true thief. Aided by Carly’s gossip, Maddie’s boldness, Cornelious’ quick-wit, and Pilot’s knack for technology, the gang soon discovers its edge over the local police department.

Hi Kelly,  

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi! My name is Kelly and I’m from South Jersey, where I currently live with my handsome husband, funny nine-month-old, one sneaky cat and two overactive dogs. I’m a lifelong athlete, so I enjoy being active, running, and playing & watching sports. After high school, I worked hard and was fortunate to get a scholarship to play basketball at Holy Family University in Philly. Upon graduating, I taught fifth through eighth grade math and science for three years and LOVED teaching middle school way more than I thought I would. It was around this point that my husband and I got married and moved back to South Jersey from Philly (he’s from Philly).

            Moving back home, I taught first grade for two years, before having my big, little man and choosing to stay at home with him. It was during these past few months that my amazing husband finally convinced me to get my YA Mystery series, Asbury High, published. I have fully committed myself and am excited to say by the end of this year the first three books, of the seven-book series, will be published.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

  1. I’ve flown a plane before, because my friend in grade school had a small, private plane and her dad let me fly it—with him right next to me of course.
  2. I was voted class clown of my graduating class at Ocean City High School—without attending any parties or ever drinking 🙂
  3. I’ve actually only had one boyfriend, and I married him!

What is the first book you remember reading?

            The first book I remember reading by myself was ‘Three Cheers for Tacky’, I was young too, about four. I think if your parents read to you every day AND you have an older sibling who loves reading, then you’re more apt to start reading at a younger age.

What are you reading now?

            I’m one of those people who read two books at once. I just finished Lisa Matthews’ Death by Curiosity–which is a hilarious, adult mystery book that I highly recommend, and am halfway through the Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen.

What books have most inspired you?

            Without a doubt, the Harry Potter series. Anyone who knows me from grade school will tell you I’m an obsessed Potterhead—but really I’m a JK Rowling fan. All of her stories are extremely well-written and I can’t put them down once I crack them open. If you haven’t read her Cormoran Strike novels, you’re missing out.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries? 

            Honestly, mysteries are my favorite genre, and I’ve always loved problem-solving. I constantly find myself asking questions throughout the day, and sometimes those questions become stories themselves.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

            Not really, and nowadays with a baby, I bring my laptop and notebook wherever I can, whenever I can!

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

            I once heard that the best writers write what they know. Therefore, although I can’t exactly say where the crimes or mysteries come from (I guess that’s just my imagination), a lot of the characters and places in my books are rooted in my experiences. Basically, if you treated me kindly, I probably based a character off you, or used your name… but the opposite is true too though!

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

            Just making the time to write! There seriously aren’t enough hours in the day.

What do you think makes a good story?

            Interesting characters, set in a well-described scene or setting, with an unpredictable plot. I don’t want to know exactly where the book is heading after the first few pages.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

            I like to think each of my characters have a little bit of me inside of them (whether it’s the good traits or the not so good ones), but a lot of people close to me have pointed out that (or asked me point blank), that Maddie is a lot like me. I take that as a compliment seeing as she’s the class valedictorian, and best female athlete in town— not to mention pretty fearless.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

            I wrote this book and the series outline when I was 18. At the time there were a lot of paranormal or overly romanticized books out there. I wanted to write a good, old-fashioned sleuthing novel—with four main characters instead of one, so everyone can have a chance to relate.

            Honestly, I feel like a lot of YA novels have pretty graphic scenes in them, or are trying to make a political statement with dystopian futures and real-life issues many face every day—which is fine because I truly like reading those types of books too— BUT I wrote my series to take a break from all of that, and help the reader forget about scary, real-world issues. In fact, my series is more of a cozy mystery series, in which you can read with friends and family, and discuss the whole book without feeling awkward. And, seeing as I love JK Rowling, I made sure to sprinkle clues and little pieces of seemingly insignificant information throughout each of my books. Therefore, the reader might not even know something is important until a few books later! Basically, I set out to create the small, but believable town of Asbury, and I honestly think readers of all ages and preferences will enjoy this.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

            Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble was published in February, with the next two books in the series coming out in May and September respectively. After that, the final four books will be published 2021, and possibly 2022 (the fifth book is currently underway as we speak). I’ve also written an adult crime novel, and will be editing and redrafting that this year as well.

Thank you, Kelly, for visiting today!


More About Kelly Brady Channick


For as long as she could remember, Kelly Brady Channick loved making up stories and leaving her listeners/readers on the edge of their seats.

Perhaps that’s why she always managed to talk herself out of trouble…

After graduating from NJ’s own Ocean City High School, Kelly accepted a basketball scholarship to Holy Family University, in Philadelphia. As a lifelong athlete, Kelly understands the importance of teamwork and overcoming adversity, something she hopes translates into her books.

Before writing page-turners, she taught first, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade — like a dessert menu, she simply had to test them all out. But her favorite job is the one she’s now doing full time: writing. Kelly loves to craft whodunit mysteries, leading readers through various twists and turns filled with red-herrings, hidden clues, and more peculiar characters than a reality show.

Kelly lives in South Jersey with her handsome husband, energetic baby boy, two cookie-stealing dogs, and an awfully smart cat.


INSTAGRAM: @KellyBradyChannick


Purchase Link – Amazon 

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Great Escape Book Tours Praise for Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble:
(Asbury High YA Cozy Mystery Series)

by Kelly Brady Channick

The final twist at the end was fun and I enjoyed how the group put the pieces together to solve the full mystery. I recommend this book to young mystery lovers, but I also enjoyed this story as it brought back some great memories.
~Carla Loves To Read

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
April 15 – I’m All About Books  SPOTLIGHT
April 16 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 17 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
April 18 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 21 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST
April 22 – Diane Reviews Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, GUEST POST
April 24 – t’s stuff – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
April 25 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW
April 26 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 27 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 27 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
April 28 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #17 – 2020

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be visiting Georgia and California!

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

Escapes Completed

Old Friends and New, Another Murder (Sheridan Hendley Mystery)
by Christa Nardi
Release Date – December 15, 2019
Setting – Virginia
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!

The Diva Spices It Up (Domestic Diva)
by Krista Davis
Release Date – April 28, 2020
Setting – Virginia
I will feature this book this week for Cozy Wednesday!

Six Cloves Under (A Garlic Farm Mystery)
by Gin Jones
Release Date – April 21, 2020
Setting – Massachusetts
My Review will be up later this week!

Scheduled Escapes

Seas the Day (A Seafood Capers Mystery)
by Maggie Toussaint
Release Date – April 21, 2020
Setting – Georgia
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here next Tuesday!

Secrets of the Treasure King (Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast)
by Terry Ambrose
Release Date – April 29, 2020
Setting – California
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!

Leaving my options open this week to just grab something off my shelf or Kindle the rest of the week. 

Future Escapes

April 20 – 26. 2020

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 Thoughts

Sunday Salon / Sunday Post – Breast Cancer – Weekly Rewind – New Arrivals


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.


Breast Cancer

March has been hard for me for the last 19 years starting with the auto accident that left my right side mostly paralyzed on March 14, 2001. Then losing my son to suicide on March 15, 2015. Then this year on March 13 I was dealt another blow with a diagnosis of Breast Cancer.

Late in February, I found a lump in my left breast. After meeting with my Personal Care Physician, I had a mammogram on March 10 and then an ultrasound biopsy on the lump and lymph nodes under my left arm on March 11. On March 13, late in the day, my PCP called to confirm the cancer and that it had spread to the lymph nodes. Daughter #2 has just got home from work, so we had a good cry ending with her declaring “We got this mom!”

Soon thereafter my husband arrived home from work, a little more shock and tears and again, “Lori, we got this.”

A phone call to Daughter #1, my rock, “Mom, I will be there with you the whole way. We got this!”

A little later, Son #2 arrived with just what I needed, a dose of Baby Charlotte. A few more tears and paraphrasing my son here. “Mom, this is what we do, we get knocked down, we get back up and fight. We have done it before; we will do it again. We Got This! No decision for you to make, I am taking that off your hands. We are fighting this together.

Then a call to my daughter in law whose mother recently won her battle with lung cancer and who is also raising her daughter, Natalie, on her own after losing my son. Another strong woman to have in my corner. “Lori, whatever you need, I am here for you. We got this!”

After these calls and visits, I had to stop and take a few deep breaths. “We got this!” Not “You Got This”. This was just the beginning of my support team.

On March 20 I had a bone scan and CT scan to be sure the cancer hadn’t spread farther. Again, my PCP didn’t make me wait through the weekend and called about 5 p.m. to tell me it hadn’t spread and that he had set up an appointment for me with an oncologist for March 25.

This is where the Coronavirus started to throw a monkey wrench into my support. I was told I had to come alone to my appointment. So, me, being me, told them I would have to wait until I could have someone with me, this was just too monumental for me to handle on my own. Enter my husband who called them back, and finally got them to allow Daughter #1 who works in healthcare and was following all protocols to come to the appointment with me. And it’s good she did because there was so much information, she saw my eyes glaze over. She took great notes and asked all the right questions. She explained my fears about after losing my father, and brother-in-law to cancer, and a good friend and co-worker and other friends to breast cancer several years ago. She also pointed out that I knew many that had battled and won. Together the three of us made a plan and I was scheduled to meet with a surgeon the next day and also received a training session regarding chemo. Again, good thing she was there because it was a lot more information.

Now it was time to loop my extended family in. The family who had already supported me through so much, my mother-in-law, my sister, my brother, my sisters and brothers – in-law, and some dear friends. Again, they wrapped their virtual arms around me and told me they are there for whatever I needed. “We got this” “Prayers on the way” “Love You”

Thankfully my husband was allowed to come with me to see the surgeon where she explained putting in the port for chemo but also why we were doing chemo first before surgery. With the lymph nodes in my good arm involved it is important to shrink the tumors as much as possible to prevent having to take too much from there during surgery to protect my mobility. Also, generally, my type of cancer responds well to chemo first. The oncologist may have covered that the day before, but my brain did not absorb it. She was patient and open and really listened to me. She really put me at ease, giving me a longer possible prognosis than I truly expected.

So, on Monday, May 30, very early in the morning, I had surgery to insert my port. During the procedure I had a dream featuring my son Kris, “Focus, Mom, I am here. We Got This.” I woke up crying and when I told the nurse and anesthesiologist, they told me I wasn’t losing it, they have heard things like that a lot.

The very next day I started chemo. I was so nervous; they did let Daughter #1 to stay with me in a private room. It went very well, the nurse explained everything in detail. Then on the way home, nausea set in, the world went a little off the axis, we made it to my driveway, and I was so dizzy I didn’t think I would be able to get out of the car. Daughter #1 called the clinic and it was determined an empty stomach was to blame. Daughter #2 rushed to the pharmacy to get my nausea prescriptions filled while Daughter #1 finally got me in the house. Soon meds were on board and I fell asleep and woke up feeling much better. We kept the meds going through the next day, got some bland food in me and soon I was feeling more like myself. I did have to go back into the clinic for a follow-up shot and was checked out and we came up with a meal plan for my next appointment. I did have a little heartburn; I am still learning what I can eat and a little neuropathy in my bad leg in the days that followed but no throwing up or other side effects I was worried about.

This past week I had my second Chemo treatment and it went much better. Daughter #1 was not allowed in, but she sat in her car in the parking lot and we texted and read books. A little queasy stomach the next day and the biggest side effect I have worried about, my hair has started to fall out.

A bald head doesn’t bother me, but my bald head has scars and a dent from my accident in 2001 and I am afraid it is going to look pretty scary for the grandkids. I was hoping to do this gradually with a short haircut first and then giving in to my husband’s great plan, him shaving my head, but with hair salons closed we may be going directly to my husband’s plan. 😊 I am not doing the wig thing though, the girls are already looking at scarves, hats, and wraps and have plenty of ideas so I am sure I will have some stylish options. The first ones will be arriving this week.

So, I have not been able to Safe at Home during this pandemic but because all elective medical procedures were placed on hold my treatment was able to be fast-tracked for which I am very thankful. I have witnessed the evolution of questions over the past weeks I was asked every time I entered a facility.

Have you left the state of Wisconsin?

Have you been in contact with any that has or may have COVID-19?

Are you feeling sick today? Shortness of breath? Cough? Fever?

Soon they added taking temperatures at the door and no visitors allowed.

And as of my last visit, face masks required.

My schedule right now is 2 more times every other week, April 28 and May 12. Then the drugs change, and I go every week for 12 more weeks. After that, we reevaluate and plot the next steps regarding surgery or radiation.

I feel as I have been blessed that my body is tolerating the treatment well so far. I have been able to continue to work on my book tours and writing reviews and blog posts. I am a little behind on my reading because I fatigue easier and my late-night reading binges are ending earlier. This work pushes me to get up and keep going each day. Due to my early morning chemo treatments, I may be doing my promotions a little later in the day, but I do hope to take a laptop with me and work from the clinic. I just need to tweak a few things to get that set-up.

Since sharing this message with my Great Escapes Book Tour bloggers on Friday, my support group has expanded even more. Just like when I lost Kris, this group of extraordinary people I have only met online, have reached out to me again and are giving me strength and I am so appreciative.

I know there will be rough days ahead. Mental, physical, and financial but right at this very moment. We Got This! I am ready to fight and beat this!

If you are a prayer, prayers or good thoughts are always appreciated.

Thank you so much.


Weekly Rewind – April 13 – 18, 2020

Monday – My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #16 – 2020

Tuesday – This Magick Marmot (An Abracadabra Mystery) by Sharon Pape #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @sbpape @lyricalpress

Plus – Why Me?: Chimeras, Conundrums, and Dead Goldfish by Charlotte Stuart – #CharacterGuestPost – Great Escapes Book Tour @quirkymysteries

Wednesday – Cozy Wednesday featuring A Stroke of Malice (A Lady Darby Mystery) by Anna Lee Huber #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

Thursday – Murder in the Secret Maze (A Tory Benning Mystery) by Judith Gonda #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @JudithGonda

Friday – To Fetch a Scoundrel, Four Fun “Tails” of Scandal and Murder (Mutt Mysteries) by Heather Weidner, Jayne Ormerod, Rosemary Shomaker, Teresa Inge

Plus – #FlashbackFriday – Death and Daisies: A Magic Garden Mystery by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks

Saturday – All We Buried: A Sheriff Bet Rivers Mystery by Elena Taylor – #AuthorGuestPost / #Giveaway @Elena_TaylorAut

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts

All We Buried: A Sheriff Bet Rivers Mystery by Elena Taylor – #AuthorGuestPost / #Giveaway @Elena_TaylorAut

All We Buried: A Sheriff Bet Rivers Mystery
by Elena Taylor

About All We Buried

All We Buried: A Sheriff Bet Rivers Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (April 7, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1643852914
ISBN-13: 978-1643852911
Digital ASIN: B07RQH353V

For fans of Julia Keller and Sheena Kamal, All We Buried disturbs the long-sleeping secrets of a small Washington State mountain town.


Interim sheriff Elizabeth “Bet” Rivers has always had one repeat nightmare: a shadowy figure throwing a suspicious object into her hometown lake in Collier, Washington. For the longest time, she chalked it up to an overactive imagination as a kid. Then the report arrives. In the woods of the Cascade mountain range, right in her jurisdiction, a body floats to the surface of Lake Collier. When the body is extricated and revealed, no one can identify Jane Doe. But someone must know the woman, so why aren’t they coming forward?


Bet has been sitting as the interim sheriff of this tiny town in the ill-fitting shoes of her late father and predecessor. With the nightmare on her heels, Bet decided to build a life for herself in Los Angeles, but now it’s time to confront the tragic history of Collier. The more she learns, the more Bet realizes she doesn’t know the townspeople of Collier as well as she thought, and nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.


I am thrilled to host Elena and this guest post today!! 

A Crime Writer’s Take on Character Development and Grey’s Anatomy


I watch a lot of crime dramas on television. From the terrific adaptations of British novels to the long-running Law & Order, I enjoy a lot of the shows the reflect the genre I write in.

But I also watch the medical shows from St. Elsewhere to ER to Grey’s Anatomy.

For both genres, I fully realize I’m watching fiction. I know DNA doesn’t come back in an hour, that Crime Scene Technicians don’t chase suspects, and that interns can’t break protocol over and over and still continue working at their hospital, or even staying out of jail.

But it’s so much fun and the characters matter, so I suspend my disbelief and relish the drama.

So why am I bothered by a character choice on a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy?

The simple answer? Creating unrealistic situations in a fictional context can be forgiven, but I’m not sure creating an unrealistic aspect of character development can.

When I teach writing workshops about character development, I often say “characters can—and should—surprise us, but those surprises should still be in character.”

In other words, after a character has done something I don’t expect, I should be able to look back and say, “of course that’s how they behaved. The clues are all there that this is what they would do.”

This might include the lengths that they would go to achieve something or their unwillingness to break an ethical rule. It could cover their ability to overcome a fear or their inability to help a friend.

What it can’t do, is reverse the forward development of a character that we’ve watched for sixteen years into a less ethical character. Because that makes the character a lie and that, dear reader, is unforgivable.

The internet exploded with comments about the exit of Justin Chambers’ character, Alex Karev from Grey’s Anatomy’s sixteenth season.

The loss of the character is understandable. Actors are human beings with complex lives. Chambers moved on for whatever reason and his character’s absence had to be dealt with, but the decision made by the show’s writers on how to do that may have missed the mark.

Here’s the scenario for those of you who don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy.

Alex started as a total jerk.

Throughout the first season, he became less of a jerk.

Over the next decade and a half, he continued to develop and evolve and became a thoughtful, conscientious, loving adult.

He ended the series as a total jerk.

See the problem there?

In mid-November, Alex Karev disappeared from the show. No explanation. Just vanished.

His wife, Jo, worried. She called. She emailed. She panicked. She mourned. She suffered. She got no response.

Then on March 5, all of Alex’s closest friends got letters explaining his disappearance.


He leaves his wife over a letter.

The letters describe how he reconnected with his first wife and learned they had two children together, which she’d birthed five years ago through embryos they’d created during her cancer treatment.

Ignoring all of the potential plot problems with that scenario, let’s go back to the fundamental problem with character development.

Alex left his wife—the woman who grew up in the foster system just as Alex did, who finally overcame her fear of trusting another human being through her time with Alex—through a letter.

After letting her wonder for months where he was and why he walked out.

This is beyond cruel. It’s epic in its cruelty. It’s also bizarre in its cruelty. It’s more than just “who does that?” It’s why, why, why would Alex Karev do that?

There is NOTHING in his character development to back up that kind of behavior. Even at Alex’s worst, even when he behaved like a jerk, he was never cruel.

There are no clues in place to justify this kind of action on his part.

Will this kill Grey’s Anatomy? Probably not. It’s a wildly successful show and Meredith Grey remains alive and well and she’s the main character. But there’s an emotional impact here that may matter more to fans, even if they keep watching.

A lot of longtime viewers feel duped.

It takes away some of the pleasure of feeling like we “know” these characters. That our investment in years of watching the show, sometimes following characters we didn’t care for and scenarios we found tedious just to stay with a program for which we felt intense loyalty, has been cheapened.

Alex Karev didn’t just leave his wife, or his person, Meredith, or the hospital he was trying to save. He left his fans.

And we didn’t even get a letter.


Oh, Girl, I so, agree, I was steaming over this for days! 

About the Author


Elena Taylor spent several years working in theater as a playwright, director, designer, and educator before turning her storytelling skills to fiction. Her first series, the Eddie Shoes Mysteries, written under the name Elena Hartwell, introduced a quirky mother/daughter crime-fighting duo. With All We Buried, Elena returns to her dramatic roots and brings readers a much more serious and atmospheric novel. Located in her beloved Washington State, Elena uses her connection to the environment to produce a forbidding story of small-town secrets and things that won’t stay buried. Elena is also a senior editor with Allegory Editing, a developmental editing house, where she works one-on-one with writers to shape and polish manuscripts, short stories, and plays. If you’d like to work with Elena, visit she’s not writing or coaching writing, her favorite place to be is at the farm with her horses, Jasper and Radar, or at her home, on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington, with her husband, their dog, Polar, and their cats, Coal Train and Cocoa. Elena holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego, a M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

Author Links

Website –  Blog – Facebook –  Twitter – Goodreads  – Instagram

Purchase Links:

Amazon:   Barnes& Noble  Books-A-Million  IndieBound

Written as Elena Hartwell

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for All We Buried: A Sheriff Bet Rivers Mystery
by Elena Taylor

I absolutely loved All We Buried: A Sheriff Bet Rivers Mystery! If you love a good suspenseful mystery, you’ll love it too!

I haven’t read Elena Taylor before but after being thoroughly captivated by Bet Rivers, this is definitely not the last!
~TBR Book Blog

All We Buried by Elena Taylor was an exciting tale of mystery, crime, and carrying a family legacy.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

The story was well thought out, executed and gripping, I loved the small town setting and the characters and can’t wait to read from this series and author.
~eBook addicts

Taylor skillfully sets the pace to allow us to become acquainted with the town, the people, and the deep-rooted mysteries coming to the surface. A fabulous read from start to finish!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

A twisty little thriller set in the dark environs of Washington state with a lake that is so dead that fish can’t even live there.
~Diane Reviews Books


April 7 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 7 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 8 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 9 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 10 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
April 10 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 11 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 12 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW
April 13 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 13 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 14 – eBook addicts – REVIEW
April 14 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 15 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
April 16 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
April 16 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
April 17 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
April 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST  
April 19 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
April 19 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 20 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

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Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Death and Daisies: A Magic Garden Mystery by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks

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.

Death and Daisies: A Magic Garden Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Scotland
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683317815
ISBN-13: 978-1683317814
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (June 30, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback
ISBN-10: 1643851896
ISBN-13: 978-1643851891
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)
Kindle ASIN: B078M3K4VN

Florist Fiona Knox left behind her gloomy life for a magical garden in Scotland, but a murder on her shop’s opening day spells doom.


Fiona Knox thought she was pulling her life back together when she inherited her godfather’s cottage in Duncreigan, Scotland—complete with a magical walled garden. But the erstwhile Tennessee flower shop owner promptly found herself puddle boot-deep in danger when she found a dead body among the glimmering blossoms. One police investigation later (made a trifle less unpleasant by the presence of handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig), and Fiona’s life is getting back on a steady, though bewitched, track. Her sister Isla has just moved in with her, and the grand opening of her new spellbound venture, the Climbing Rose Flower Shop in Aberdeenshire, is imminent.


But dark, ensorcelled clouds are gathering to douse Fiona’s newly sunny outlook. First, imperious parish minister Quaid MacCullen makes it undeniably clear that he would be happy to send Fiona back to Tennessee. Then, a horrific lightning storm, rife with terribly omen, threatens to tear apart the elderly cottage and sends Fi and Isla cowering under their beds. The storm passes, but then, Fi is called away from the Climbing Rose’s opening soiree when Kipling, the tiny village’s weak-kneed volunteer police chief, finds a dead body on the beach.


The body proves difficult to identify, but Kipling is certain it’s that of the parish minister. Which makes Fiona, MacCullen’s new nemesis, a suspect. And what’s worse, Isla has seemed bewitched as of late…did she do something unspeakable to protect her sister? The last thing Fiona wanted to do was play detective again. But now, the rosy future she’d envisioned is going to seed, and if she and Craig can’t clear her name, her idyllic life will wilt away in Death and Daisies, national bestselling author Amanda Flower’s second enchanting Magic Garden mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Fiona Knox is super excited to be opening her new flower shop, the Climbing Rose with her sister Isla by her side. But everyone is not happy about Fiona’s shop or her continuing to stay in the cottage she inherited from her godfather. Parish Minister Quaid MacCullen has gotten up close and personal to warn Fiona she doesn’t belong in Duncreigan, Scotland tending a garden or opening a flower shop.

The sisters face a terrible lightning storm that rocks their little cottage mightily but when the storm passes everything seems okay until they learn a dead body has been found on the beach. Kipling, the volunteer police chief believes the body is none other but the parish minister who was threatening Fiona. So again she is up to her ears in another police investigation with handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig, But Isla is acting strange. Could she be involved in the minister’s death or know someone who is?


I loved the first book in this series and don’t know why it took me so long to get to this one.

I really enjoy the Scottish setting and the magical garden. This time the garden took a little bit of a backseat as Fiona worked hard to open her new flower shop. There were a couple interesting garden scenes though, I just wish there were more as Fiona continues to learn her caretaker status and all the magical mysteries the garden holds.

The character development continues with the inclusion of Fiona’s sister Isla. Typical sibling rivalry erupts as the sisters find their way as Isla plans to stay in Scotland. With the opening of her shop, the sisters meet many more residents Aberdeenshire and previous relationships continue to grow. With this character increase the suspect options expand as well. The author takes her time introducing each character too, so they are all very easy to keep straight.

The mystery was very well-plotted with twists, turns, secrets,  and misdirection. While the main mystery is wrapped up well there are several strings that carry over into the next book. One that could really turn Fiona’s life upside down.

Death and Daisies is a fine addition to this series. I was entertained the entire way. Daisies are my favorite flower and I love seeing fields of them. This story gave me a wonderful virtual view.

I am super excited to read Mums and Mayhem. It will be released on July 7, 2020. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Flowers and Foul Play here.

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest

Also by Amanda Flower

Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

I am giving away 1 KINDLE Copy!

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End May 1, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By
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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.”