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

Iced Over (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery) by Heather Day Gilbert #Review

Iced Over (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – West Virginia
Publisher: WoodHaven Press (July 9, 2020)
Paperback: 212 pages
ISBN-10: 0997827998
ISBN-13: 978-0997827996
Kindle ASIN: B08651VYB3

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java…and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

 

Black Friday turns fatal when an armored security truck hits an icy patch and runs over an embankment near the cafe. With one driver dead and the other in a coma, police are baffled by the discovery that $500,000 is missing from the truck’s cache.

 

When strangers show up at Barks & Beans asking nosy questions about a young cafe employee, Macy’s mama bear instincts kick in. She can’t ignore what her gut is telling her—that things aren’t all they seem on the surface—and with a little help from her brother, Bo, and her Great Dane, Coal, Macy follows up on a few leads of her own. But if the ruthless thief beats her to the stash, the thin ice she’s been skating on might just crack.

 

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown…with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series in order:
Book 1: No Filter
Book 2: Iced Over
Book 3: Fair Trade
Book 4: Spilled Milk

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Macy and Bo Hatfield are back and the Barks and Beans Cafe has a new employee, Bristol Goddard. She fits in really well with the rest of the staff and the owners. She loves dogs and is willing to work as many hours as needed. Macy didn’t know much about her new employee until a freak accident leaves Bristol’s uncle in a coma. Working as a security guard for an armored car company, the truck he is riding in hits a patch of black ice. The driver loses control and the truck goes over the embankment. The driver doesn’t survive. With Bristol’s uncle in a coma, there are more questions than answers but when they learn $500,000 has vanished from the truck things get crazy. Could Bristol’s uncle be in on the heist?

Macy with an assist from brother Bo and his friend Titan McCoy digs into the case. Her Great Dane Coal also makes a fine cohort while tracking the truth but her sleuthing could turn dangerous and get her iced!


I love the whole theme of the Barks and Brews Cafe. We recently lost our two border collie/blue heeler mixes to old age after they lit up our lives for over 17 years. If there was a Barks and Brews near here I would probably visit every day to play with the dogs and enjoy a hot beverage or two. Then maybe after some time had passed give a lovable canine a “furever” home.

After giving readers a delightful setting Heather Day Gilbert gives us an awesome mystery. Twists, turns, red herrings, this story has them all. I found it so easy to escape right into the mystery and I was kept guessing right up to the big reveal. Ms. Gilbert has a great writing style, brewing real-life happenings right alongside the mystery.

I fell hard for Macy and Bo quickly when reading Book 1, No Filter. They are even better in this story, especially now that his secret has been revealed. I think it makes them even closer if that is even possible. I love that some romantic entanglements are starting to emerge.

Readers are also treated to a wonderful supporting cast and are introduced to some interesting new characters. They are cleverly written and develop nicely throughout the story. I really like the personalities she creates for the non-human characters too.

Iced Over is a very entertaining mystery and a fine addition to this series. A perfect book to curl up with on a chilly evening. Brew yourself up a warm beverage, a little snack, and enjoy a few hours with Macy and the Bark and Brews gang.

The next book in the series, Fair Trade was released today. Spilled Milk will follow next year in April. I will be reviewing Fair Trade soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, enjoys writing contemporary mysteries set in her home state of West Virginia. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect what they love.

Author Links – Website – Facebook Author Page  – Bookbub  – Goodreads

Twitter@heatherdgilbert    Instagram: @heatherdaygilbert


Also by Heather Day Gilbert


 

*This book is part of my private collection. 

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Egg Drop Dead: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review

Egg Drop Dead: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250228328
ISBN-13: 978-1250228321
Kindle ASIN: B07WF36RHJ

In the fifth in Vivien Chien’s Noodle Shop delectable mystery series, Egg Drop Dead, the Ho-Lee Noodle House takes its business to the next level—only to end up in hot water.

 

It was supposed to be a fancy, intimate dinner party by the pool. Instead, Lana Lee’s first-ever catering event turns into full-course madness when a domestic worker is found dead. Is the party’s host Donna Feng, the sweet-and-sour owner of the Asia Village shopping plaza where Ho-Lee is situated, somehow to blame? That’s what Lana—whose plate is already plenty full with running the restaurant, pleasing her often-disapproving mother, and fretting over her occasionally-serious boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau—must find out.

 

Before the police arrived at the crime scene, Donna had entrusted an odd piece of evidence to Lana: a thumb drive shaped like a terra-cotta soldier. Now it’s up to Lana to lead her own investigation, digitally and in real life, into a world of secrets involving Donna’s earlier life in China, whether the victim had a dark agenda, and if the killer is still out there. . .and plans to strike again.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Business is slow at the Ho-Lee Noodle House so Lana Lee has decided to branch out into catering. Her first client is a family friend, Donna Feng who hires Lana to cater her birthday party. The party is interrupted when the nanny fails to keep Donna’s two teenage daughters busy and out of sight. Donna loudly voices her displeasure. When the nanny is later found dead in the pool Donna becomes the prime suspect. This isn’t Donna’s first entanglement with the police. She was also on the suspect list recently when her husband was murdered (Death By Dumpling). Donna entrusts Lana with a unique thumb drive and asks her to find the real killer.


I like Lana Lee more and more as I read each story. She is smart, and her sleuthing skills are improving, but she is still a little wishy-washy at times. She needs to think a little more before she leaps into what can turn out to be dangerous situations. This time boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau is not in charge of the murder case but that doesn’t deter her determination. She is aided by friend/roommate Megan and when the killer turns up the heat, a private investigator is hired at Lana’s request. The secondary characters are all well developed too while still giving them room to grow. I love the family dynamic of the Lee family.

The mystery is full of twists. Being linked back to Donna’s life in China gave the story more depth. Donna had theories she wanted Lana to investigate and while reading I had some theories of my own. The story wrapped up surprising me and with plenty of excitement. Ms. Chien takes us on a wild ride.

Egg Drop Dead has a great cast of characters, a very intriguing mystery, with a bit of romance and humor in all the right places. This is such an entertaining series. I hope to buy, read, and review Killer Kung Pao soon so I am ready when Fatal Fried Rice releases on March 9, 2021.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here,  Dim Sum of All Fears here
and Murder Lo Mein here and Wonton Terror here

About the Author

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


Coming March 9, 2021

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 TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Mischief in Maggody (The Arly Hanks Mysteries) by Joan Hess #Review / #Giveaway


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


Mischief in Maggody (The Arly Hanks Mysteries)
Humorous Mystery (Explicit Language)
2nd in Series
Setting – Arkansas
Originally Released (June 4, 1991)
Publisher: MysteriousPress.com/Open Road; Reprint Edition (October 17, 2017)
Paperback: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 1504047656
ISBN-13: 978-1504047654
Kindle ASIN: B01N9V7LNK

When a woman is shot in a cannabis patch, Arly Hanks must restore order to her Ozarks community, in this sharp-witted mystery by an Agatha Award–winning author.

 

When small-town police chief Arly Hanks returns to Maggody, Arkansas, after vacation, she finds the population has risen to a booming 802. Among the newbies: Madame Celeste, the psychic who’s holding locals in thrall with her predictions of doom; a handsome new high school guidance counselor; and a gaggle of mantra-chanting hippies who have turned the old general store into the source for cosmic harmony. Unfortunately, life in Maggody is anything but harmonious.

 

Robin Buchanon—a member of Maggody’s most abundant family—has been murdered. The moonshiner, prostitute, and mother of four foul-mouthed little bad seeds was found shot to death in a booby-trapped marijuana field. Assuming the weed harvesters are sending a message to trespassers, Arly decides to hold vigil and set her own trap. But when another, seemingly unrelated, murder catches Arly off-guard, even Madame Celeste can’t predict where this case is headed.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Maggody, Arkansas is growing, all the way up to a total of 802 now, and Arly Hanks as the chief of police is in charge of keeping the peace and everyone safe and it isn’t easy. Right now she has a murder on her hands and four difficult children and 1 infant to place. Before long another murder takes place and Arly truly has her hands full.

____

After reading the first book in this series I knew to expect the explicit language and scenes so that shock factor was gone. That made it easier to just get into the story.

The colorful characters we met in Malice in Maggody are back and are joined by a few new quirky characters. I still feel they are all still very basic and have plenty of room for development. There was a young man that clearly stole the story. Hammet Buchanon has a mouth on him, swearing and no filter, he definitely will tell you what he thinks. His antics will have you in stitches.

The mystery was an easy solve for me but the story was still very entertaining and a nice light escape. So much so I read the 3rd book in the series soon after finishing this one and I will post my review soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

I was sad to learn while researching this series that the author passed away in November 2017. Joan Hess was an American mystery writer, a member of Sisters in Crime, and a former president of the American Crime Writers League. She wrote two popular mystery series: The Claire Malloy Mysteries and The Maggody Mysteries (also called The Arly Hanks Mysteries), and has contributed to multiple anthologies and book series, including: Crosswinds, Deadly Allies, Malice Domestic, Sisters in Crime, and The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. She also wrote the Theo Bloomer mystery series, under the pseudonym Joan Hadley.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
It will be sent directly from Amazon.
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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.

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

Contest Will End November 6, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

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

Nacho Average Murder (A Country Store Mystery) by Maddie Day #Review / #Giveaway @maddiedayauthor

Nacho Average Murder (A Country Store Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Indiana/California
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723155
ISBN-13: 978-1496723154
Kindle ASIN: B07R4Q5GBQ

Robbie Jordan is temporarily leaving Pans ’N Pancakes, her country store in South Lick, Indiana, to visit Santa Barbara, California—where wildfire smoke tinges the air, but a more immediate danger may lie in wait . . .

 

While looking forward to her high school reunion back in California, Robbie’s anticipation is complicated by memories of her mother’s untimely death. At first, she has fun hanging out with her old classmates and reuniting with the local flavors—avocados, citrus, fish, and spicy Cali-Mex dishes. But then she gets wind of rumors that her mother, an environmental activist, may not have died of natural causes. With the help of friends, Robbie starts clearing the smoke surrounding the mystery—but what she finds could make it hard to get back to Indiana alive . . .

 

Includes Recipes for You to Try!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Robbie Jordan is excited to return to Santa Barbara for her 10th-year class reunion. She is looking forward to catching up with her old friends but it also brings back memories of her mom who passed away 2 years ago. Shortly after she arrives she hears a rumor that her mother, an environmental activist, may not have died of natural causes. A fellow activist then dies of a brain aneurysm, just like her mom. Robbie just has to find the truth so she enlists the help of a couple of high school friends and her mother’s best friend to get the answers she needs. This is not her first investigation but it may be her last.


After six books Maddie Day takes her protagonist on a trip. This can be good and bad. Readers are accustomed to the core characters and the lifestyle of South Lick, Indiana so the new characters we are introduced to have to get us to warm up to them quickly because unless they visit Pans ’N Pancakes in a future book this may be the last we see of them. I will say Ms. Day did a fine job of fleshing out these new characters. I really enjoyed the senior characters, Luisa, the mother of the owner of the B&B where Robbie is staying, and Liz, her mother’s best friend.

The main mystery plot was interesting. I mean if someone told you that your mom may have been murdered, wouldn’t you want to investigate? Robbie took some really questionable risks that had me shaking my head though. I had two suspects high on my list so the reveal wasn’t too surprising, I just needed a few more details. The subplots all flowed naturally alongside of the mystery.

Like the rest of this series, a main focus is the food. This time instead of the usual breakfast fare we are treated to several Mexican dishes served, and yes, recipes are included at the end of the story. From Mexican Chocolate Almond Cakes to Flaky Chicken Empanadas and Nachos, of course. There was an Avocado Huevos Rancheros served at the Nacho Average Cafe that may soon be served at Robbie’s Pans ’N Pancakes.

New characters and an intriguing mystery made Nacho Average Murder a very entertaining read. I do hope some of the characters we met visit Robbie in Indiana.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-nominated author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction. She lives with her beau and three cats in Massachusetts.

As Edith Maxwell, she writes the Local Foods Mysteries (Kensington Publishing) and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink).

You can find all Maddie’s/Edith’s identities at www.edithmaxwell.com. She blogs every weekday with the other Wicked Cozy Authors at wickedcozyauthors.com. Look for her as Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day on Facebook and @edithmaxwell and @maddiedayauthor on Twitter.

 


Also by Maddie Day 

A B&N Exclusive

Find books written as Edith Maxwell here.

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.

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 November 4, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money (The Poppy Fields Adventures) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense
6th in Series
Setting – Cayman Islands
Publisher: Independently published (September 24, 2020)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8690016531
Kindle ASIN: B0867JSW64

Poppy Fields, social influencer and secret spy, is on Grand Cayman. Her mission? Maid of honor at her mother’s wedding to Russian billionaire Yurgi Prokorhov. No surprise, Chariss Carlton is a difficult and demanding bride.

 

When Poppy witnesses a murder, her days change from irritating to dangerous. She and her partner Thor (real name Mark Stone—but a dead-ringer for a Norse god) are tasked with catching a killer and shuttering a billion dollar money laundering scheme.

 

Between bombs, bridal showers, high-speed car chases, a missing wedding planner, and a femme fatale with her eye on Thor, it will be a miracle if Poppy makes it to the church on time.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bombs, bullets, a famous bridezilla, and more! Can Poppy handle it all?

Set on Grand Cayman, Poppy, and Thor, I mean Mark, have arrived for her mom’s wedding and all the pre-wedding festivities. But it isn’t long before Poppy finds herself in hot water. Soon Mr. Brown is involved and in addition to all her bridal duties, she and Mark are on a case chasing down a huge money-laundering scheme and trying to catch a murderer. Oh, and the wedding planner has been abducted. You know, just a normal week in the life of Poppy Fields.


I have loved this entire series but Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money has to be my favorite.

Chariss and Yurgi are getting married and guests are arriving from Hollywood and Russia to celebrate the big event. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones arriving on Grand Cayman Island.  Drug dealers, money launderers, and a murderer have joined the party.

The author has continued the fantastic character development of the core characters while introducing great characters readers love to hate.  Poppy is getting more confident and the powers that be, start to notice. Her relationship with her Thor is heating up. I just hope they get some real alone time together soon. Yurgi was my favorite character this time. An incredibly wealthy, strong, patient man, that truly loves Chariss and all her drama while becoming a true friend to Poppy. He covers for her with her mother and spares no expense to keep her safe.

Again, the story is action-packed and impossible to put down. It is a roller coaster ride from start to finish.

Set in the idyllic Cayman Islands, this story made for a wonderful virtual vacation as the weather here gets brisk and windy. I curled up with a blanket and took off on another entertaining adventure with Poppy and her family, friends, and enemies.

Julie Mulhern is a terrific storyteller. Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money and this whole series are must-reads for me. Each book can be read on its own but I recommend you read the series from the start in order for maximum enjoyment.

Look for this book on my Best Reads of 2020. It receives my Paradise Rating, just like every other book in this series. You truly can’t go wrong with a book by this author.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

Read my reviews of  Fields’ Guide to Assassins
here,  
Fields’ Guide to Voodoo here,
Fields’ Guide to Fog hereFields’ Guide to Abduction here,
and Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs here.

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 

Book 1 – Fields’ Guide to Abduction – Is available for FREE!!!

Also by Julie Mulhern


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 Thoughts

Lori Update

Hi Everyone,

It has been a while since I posted an update.

I started my radiation treatment last Tuesday after a false start the previous week where my body and the lasers just wouldn’t line up. Now, I have four treatments in and just a little redness under my arm. I am moisturizing like crazy 🙂


Our family did have a couple of rough times over the past couple of weeks. We knew we would have a tough decision to make soon about our two Border Collie/Blue Heller mixes. They were just over 17 years old and one had lost her hearing and both had their eyesight failing. Plus they had the arthritis we all get when we get old. On September 27 Oreo, originally our son Kris’s dog, took a turn for the worse. She just couldn’t get up on her own, and one of the many fatty tumors common with this breed burst. The kids rushed her to the emergency clinic and sadly we had to let her go.

Then last Monday after a stressful weekend of Nerabelle started to show signs of failing we knew what was ahead. I know she missed her sister. She slept next to Oreo’s bed instead of in her own. She was also having trouble with her back legs so Daughter #1, Nera was originally her dog,  and Kaden arrived last Monday for another trip to the vet. Nerabelle didn’t even fuss going into the clinic.

For 17 years both these dogs brought so much joy to our lives. They were wonderful support animals while I was going through chemo too. The house is so quiet, no toenails clicking across the floor, no barking at the mailman or pizza delivery guy, and no one to eat my pizza crusts or begging for other treats. No dogs to greet us at the door when we come home from my treatments. Mr. Dollycas wrote on his Facebook Page, My heart is heavy and I will grieve for them both as they were the greatest friends I could have ever had the pleasure of living with. And he is so right. These animals quickly worked their way into our hearts and become true family members. It is hard to say goodbye but they both deserve a peaceful rest. We have now turned their care over to our son/brother/uncle in heaven.

___

On the blog front, you may have noticed I am posting a little more often. I am still catching up on reviews of the books I read at the start of my treatment when chemo brain wouldn’t let string a coherent sentence together. I am also trying to review books as soon as I finish them. I am still reading less than I did before because my body can’t take the late nights and early mornings like it used to.  Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done and the writing of reviews gets pushed off. My radiation treatments are scheduled to end right before Thanksgiving and the oncologist has said fatigue is the biggest side effect and it is cumulative so allowing for some recovery time by the new year I hope I will start to get my life back on track. I am also hoping that in the new year COVID gets handled and we can gather with our family and friends and that publishers will be able to offer giveaways again.

Thank you for being so supportive of me during this time and being patient with me. Your prayers and best wishes are so appreciated and have been giving me so much strength.

I hope you have an awesome week!!

 

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs (The Poppy Fields Adventures) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense
5th in Series
Setting – Egypt
Publisher: J & M Press (March 31, 2020)
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8632308649
Kindle ASIN: B082Z9FLFX

Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl and super-secret spy, travels to Egypt looking for answers.

 

But amidst assassination attempts, money launderers, and missing treasure, answers are hard to come by.

 

Poppy must trust new allies, forgive old wrongs, and find a forgotten pharaoh or the next tomb she enters may be her own.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Usually, trouble finds Poppy Fields but this time she goes looking for trouble. To get the answers she needs she flies off to Egypt by herself. Mark aka Thor can’t go with her but he hooks her up with Ethan Alexander from the C.I.A. Poppy isn’t sure if she can trust him but when bullets start to she realizes she doesn’t have a choice.


This story is a little different because all the normal supporting characters, Mark, Mia, Chariss, Yurgi, and even Consuela are not around to assist Poppy through all her trials and tribulations. Okay, some do show up in the nick of time near the end of the book, but Poppy really had to hold her own before that with just a couple of surprising assists.

She was there on her own private personal mission but she runs into someone that her boss, Mr. Brown is very interested in. He puts her on the case of surveilling his target until he can send another agent to help.  This adds a nice twist but also puts a huge target on her back. The action is truly non-stop with the perfect amount of Julie Mulhern’s signature humor.

I really enjoyed the way the author describes everywhere Poppy travels, from the hotels, the ship on the Nile, the desert, the temples, the tombs, the marketplace, and everywhere in between. Of course, Poppy wasn’t on your typical vacay but it was an incredibly fun virtual trip to the home of the Pharaohs.

Like every other book in this series, the book was just impossible to put down. I would have read the entire thing in one evening but my breast cancer therapy had my eyes slamming sooner than I would have liked.

I absolutely loved this Poppy Fields adventure. Julie Mulhern never disappoints. Like the 4 previous books, Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs receives my Paradise rating. To get know Poppy and all the other characters I recommend reading them all in order and enjoy all their adventures! You can thank me later 😀

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

I am reading Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money right now.
Watch for my review next week!

Read my reviews of  Fields’ Guide to Assassins
here, 
Fields’ Guide to Voodoo here,
Fields’ Guide to Fog here. Field’s Guide to Abduction here

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 

Also by Julie Mulhern



*This book is in my private collection, purchased from Amazon.

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Leslie Budewitz – Author of The Solace of Bay Leaves #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to welcome Leslie Budewitz back to Escape With Dollycas!

Armchair Travel

by Leslie Budewitz

Whoever first called reading “armchair travel” was brilliant.

Or, to quote another brilliant mind, though Dr. Seuss wasn’t talking about books, “Oh, the places you’ll go.”

I’ve always loved exploring new places by reading, and when I first started writing fiction, I knew one of my goals was to take people to times and places they might not visit themselves. page. My Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries are set in a lakeside town Montana on the road to Glacier National Park, inspired by the village where I live. It’s truly a cozy community, though a Montana mountain valley is not a typical location for a cozy mystery. My Spice Shop series is an urban cozy, set in a community within a community, Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market.

Why the Market? I fell in love with it as a college freshman and made it my life’s mission to eat my way through it. Since it’s constantly changing, and I only get to visit once a year or so, it’s an on-going challenge. But I’m up for it!

It’s a vibrant place, full of sounds, sights, and smells. And the food! The Market is the heart and soul—and stomach—of the city. You can eat just about anything there. Start with a slice of pizza at DeLaurenti’s Italian grocery. Sample spice tea at Market Spice. The Persian food at Farvahar. Dolmatas and falafel from The Falafel King. Dim sum, Vietnamese coffee, baklava, piroshky. Clam chowder, oysters, barbecue. Bagels, crumpets, crepes and cheesecake. Grab coffee at the original Starbucks. Sip wine, beer, ginger beer.

Have I made you hungry? Good! (Me, too.)

The Market transports you to a time gone by, with its cobblestone streets and the jumble of early 20th century buildings jammed against each other. Pillars topped with Victorian capitals. Buckets of fresh flowers. Street-corner musicians. Ghosts who preen and pirouette in the windows of the old ballroom, and other ghosts who reorganize beads in jewelry displays and drink the good whiskey. Bridges to nowhere and windows overlooking nothing. But there are a few modern twists, uniquely Seattle: The Gum Wall outside the Market Theater, a bit of psycho-grunge regularly ranked one of the germiest places in the world. Grown men throwing fish. Visitors from all across the globe.

In The Solace of Bay Leaves, Pepper Reece is about to celebrate her second anniversary as owner of the Spice Shop. Halloween is approaching, and she and Cayenne, one of her employees, have been prowling Market stalls for warty gourds, goblins’ eggs, and other seasonal decors. Through her investigation into the shooting of an old friend and an unsolved murder takes her to the Lake Union houseboat community, some of the city’s older residential neighborhoods, and the hospital district, it’s the Market and its merchants, bakers, craftspeople, and residents who ground Pepper and our story. An observant artist, new to the Market, sees something critical, and Pepper meets a young immigrant woman and her daughter who provide additional clues.

The Market, and the Spice Shop, are Pepper’s happy place. They’re mine, too—even if the Spice Shop exists only in my imagination, and I hope, yours. Pour a cup of something you enjoy, curl up in your comfy chair, and take a trip to Seattle with me, on the page.

Thank you Leslie for dropping by today! 

Keep reading for my thoughts about The Solace of Bay Leaves.

 

The Solace of Bay Leaves (Spice Shop Mysteries)
by Leslie Budewitz
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Washington
Publisher: Seventh Street Books (October 20, 2020)
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN-10: 1645060179
Kindle ASIN: B084G9S89T

Pepper Reece never expected to find solace in bay leaves.

 

But when her life fell apart at forty and she bought the venerable-but-rundown Spice Shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, her days took a tasty turn. Now she’s savoring the prospect of a flavorful fall and a busy holiday cooking season, until danger bubbles to the surface . . .

 

Between managing her shop, worrying about her staff, and navigating a delicious new relationship, Pepper’s firing on all burners. But when her childhood friend Maddie is shot and gravely wounded, the incident is quickly tied to an unsolved murder that left another close friend a widow.

 

Convinced that the secret to both crimes lies in the history of a once-beloved building, Pepper uses her local-girl contacts and her talent for asking questions to unearth startling links between the past and present—links that suggest her childhood friend may not have been the Golden Girl she appeared to be. Pepper is forced to face her own regrets and unsavory emotions, if she wants to save Maddie’s life—and her own.

 

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pepper Reece and her boyfriend Nate are out for a night on the town with her BBF Kristen Gardner and her husband Eric when she receives a text message from mutual friend Laurel Halloran . . .

Detective Tracy is in my living room   . . . FBI on the way.

After a little confab, the foursome heads to Laurel’s houseboat where they learn another friend of the girls has been shot and is in the hospital. Then Detective Tracy drops the bomb, their friend Maddie was shot with the same gun as another case that had gone cold. Pat Halloran, Laurel’s husband was murdered about 3 years ago. Is this a new lead? Tracy tells Pepper to stay out of his investigation and that is echoed by the FBI agent. Pepper knows that is not going to happen. She has helped solve other cases, why not this one? or two?

____

Pepper Reece knows her spices and she is a grand amateur sleuth. Her life is on an upswing with a successful and growing business, a new romance with Nate, and her lovable companion Arf, who she adopted when his owner moved away. She is surrounded by a great supporting cast of friends and employees. All the characters are written very realistically. Ms. Budewitz all gives readers a nice group of suspects. Some as sketchy as can be.

The murder mystery is complex and requires a lot of digging. If the shootings are related Pepper needs to finds out how. The author has plotted many twists and turns to keep everyone guessing. There is also a subplot mystery involving the spice shop and a special blend. This mixes in with the main mystery nicely along with the daily routine of running the shop and Pepper’s personal life. The story has a nice pace and builds to an exciting conclusion.

Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market is an ideal setting for this series. Each story we learn more about the place and discover new shops and vendors. I really hope to visit there someday.

The Solace of Bay Leaves is a fine addition to this series. I am looking forward to the next installment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Assault and Pepper here, Guilty as Cinnamon here, and Killing Thyme here and Chai Another Day here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in two cozy mystery series. CHAI ANOTHER DAY, her fourth Spice Shop Mystery, set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, will be published on June 11. DEATH AL DENTE, first in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, set in Jewel Bay, Montana, won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. She also won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction. “All God’s Sparrows,” her first historical fiction, won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives and cooks in NW Montana.

Find her online at www.LeslieBudewitz.com and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LeslieBudewitzAuthor More about CHAI ANOTHER DAY, including an excerpt here: http://www.lesliebudewitz.com/spice-shop-mystery-series/

Also by this Author


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Tusk Justice: (A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait #Review / #Giveaway


Tusk Justice:
A Cozy Mystery with a Tenacious Female Amateur Sleuth
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
by Victoria Tait

About Tusk Justice 


Tusk Justice:(A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kanga Press (October 9, 2020)
Number of Pages App. 300
Digital ASIN: B08FXVFKK7

At a summit on poaching, the keynote is homicide. Can a veterinarian solve the case before she becomes an endangered species?

 

Kenya, 2016. Community vet and skilled sleuth ‘Mama’ Rose Hardie is passionate about saving elephants. As she runs her monthly clinic for the animals at the local resort, she plans to attend a conference on the issue with her ailing husband. But things turn sour when a world-renowned conservationist is found brutally stabbed to death.

 

With the authorities tied up in Nairobi, Rose sets out to bring the killer in herself. But with multiple suspects all hiding secrets and scandalous truths surrounding the victim, the culprit may be too slippery for the aged amateur detective to handle.

 

Can Rose trap the murderer before she ends up as the next target?

 

Tusk Justice is the second book in the thrilling Kenya Kanga Mysteries series. If you like quirky characters, lush African locales, and a love of animals, then you’ll adore Victoria Tait’s adventurous whodunit.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Note: Take a moment to read the Glossary of words before starting to read the book because the author uses many words local to the region. I love that she did this. 

 

Mama Rose Hardie returns and she is tested to solve not just one mystery but two!

First, she is asked by the manager at the Mount Kenya Resort and Spa to investigate a series of thefts from small throwaway items to some very pricey merchandise. She is excited because she and her husband Craig are given some wonderful accommodations while she sleuths and he attends a conference leading up to the inaugural Giant’s Club Summit for wildlife conservation.

The second mystery involves Davina Dijan, a woman Rose met after saving a young elephant and wasn’t very impressed with. Davina Dijan is the keynote speaker for the conference as the managing director of the local Gaia Conservancy. Her program started with a few hiccups and we saw her true colors. Rose witnesses Davina’s rude behavior again that night at dinner. She is floored though when the resort manager wakes them during the night to report the woman is dead and he needs Rose’s help. One look tells Rose that Davina Dijan has been murdered.  With Police Commissioner Akida tied up elsewhere, he asks Rose to assist on the case. With her efforts divided she is going to do her best to solve both cases but then a surprise lands something personal on her plate as well. Rose is juggling a lot, and there is a killer on the loose.


The story focuses on the poaching of elephants for their tusks. Such beautiful animals dying just hurts so much. The book is set in 2016 and there has been progress to curtail poaching but 1 dead healthy elephant is too many for me. The author blends awareness with a fictional story that ends with the hope that change may be happening.

Mama Rose is a complex character and this time we delve further into her personal life. Her husband Craig has some serious health problems but I was glad to see he was able to attend the conference and enjoy some time with friends. He is Rose’s #1 priority and she does all she can to keep him out and about and comfortable but she sees his health continue to deteriorate. As someone living with a disability for almost 20 years I can identify with the man very well.

The author has penned a compelling mystery.  Rose is a tenacious investigator and to tag along with her as she tries to solve it all was very entertaining. She rarely takes a break so the pages were flying. I read the entire book in one evening and that is very rare for me right now.

I enjoy the imagery Ms. Tait creates with her words. I will never travel to Kenya in my lifetime which why I truly appreciate descriptive storytelling. Readers are carried thousands of miles away by her words and are able to escape for a few hours to a place so different and full of adventures.

Endearing characters, a splendid location, a worthy cause, and an entertaining mystery, Tusk Justice has it all. A Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Find out how to adopt an elephant here.

 

About Victoria Tait

Victoria Tait is the exciting new author of the Kenya Kanga Mystery series.  She’s drawn on 8 years living in rural Kenya, with her family, to write vivid and evocative descriptions.  Her readers feel the heat, taste the dryness, and smell the dust of Africa.  Her elderly amateur sleuth, “Mama Rose” Hardie is Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple reincarnated and living in Kenya.

Like all good military wives, Victoria follows the beat of the drum and has recently moved to war-scarred Sarajevo in Bosnia. She has two, fast-growing nearly teenage boys.  She enjoys horse riding and mountain biking but is apprehensive about learning to ski.  Victoria is looking forward to the sun, sand, and seafood of neighbouring Croatia when the world returns to normal.

Author Links

Website  –  Facebook  – Blog/News  – GoodReads – Pinterest

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
October 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
October 7 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
October 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 9 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
October 10 – Celticlady’s Review – SPOTLIGHT (unable to post)
October 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 11 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 12 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 12 – Baroness’ Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 13 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
October 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
October 14 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
October 14 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
October 15 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT

 

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Posted in Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Trending Topic #Murder (Trending Topic Mystery Series) by Sarah E. Burr #Spotlight


Trending Topic #Murder (Trending Topic Mystery Series)
by Sarah E. Burr

About Trending Topic #Murder


Trending Topic #Murder (Trending Topic Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Camel Press (September 8, 2020)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-10: 1603816305
ISBN-13: 978-1603816304
Digital ASIN: B08DH78VXM

Meet 28-year-old celebrity blogger Coco Cline, who has started her own social media consulting company in her hometown of Central Shores, Delaware. Her new clients, Peter and Olivia Chen, are ten days away from the grand opening of their specialty consignment shop when Coco finds their store clerk Stacy dead behind the register.

 

Worried that a cloud of suspicion will ruin their chances of a successful business launch, the Chens ask Coco to work alongside the inexperienced, small-town police force to speed up the investigation. Using her celebrity status and social media savviness, Coco realizes Stacy’s seemingly ordinary life was all an act. Following a trail of cryptic online posts and muddied gossip, Coco and her friends discover Stacy’s questionable relationships just might be the reason for her untimely demise.

 

About Sarah E. Burr

Sarah E. Burr grew up in the small town of Appleton, Maine and now lives outside New York City. Since she was seven, Sarah has wanted to be Nancy Drew, but she wasn’t stumbling across any mysteries in corporate America. Deciding it was time to follow her dreams, Sarah left her career in healthcare information technology three years ago and started writing mysteries of her own. The Trending Topic Mysteries is her first traditionally published series. Sarah also writes the Court of Mystery series.

Sarah attended Elmira College and graduated with degrees in Political Science and Philosophy & Religious Studies. She loves to weave these themes into her writing. When she’s not spinning up new stories, Ms. Burr is off seeing Broadway musicals, reading up a storm, video gaming, and enjoying walks around the city.

Author Links

Webpage – Blog – Facebook  – Instagram – Twitter – Goodreads: –

Purchase Links

Amazon  – Barnes & Noble – Target 
Click here to find more books by Sarah!

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 

October 7 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 7 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
October 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
October 8 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT
October 9 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW, (SPOTLIGHT)
October 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT  
October 10 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
October 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 12 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 13 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 14 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 14 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews– REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 15 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 16 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
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October 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

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