Aug 132019
 

I was thrilled to receive this book from the author
for an early review! 


Thin Ice: A Mystery
Suspense/Mystery – Some Explicit Language
1st in New Series
Setting – Alaska
Minotaur Books (December 3, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1250295211
ISBN-13: 978-1250295217
Kindle ASIN: B07P9LQD41

Thin Ice will chill your bones.

Beth Rivers is on the run – she’s doing the only thing she could think of to keep herself safe. Known to the world as thriller author Elizabeth Fairchild, she had become the subject of a fanatic’s obsession. After being held in a van for three days by her kidnapper, Levi Brooks, Beth managed to escape, and until he is captured, she’s got to get away. Cold and remote, Alaska seems tailor-made for her to hideout.

Beth’s new home in Alaska is sparsely populated with people who all seem to be running or hiding from something, and though she accidentally booked a room at a halfway house, she feels safer than she’s felt since Levi took her. That is, until she’s told about a local death that’s a suspected murder. Could the death of Linda Rafferty have anything to do with her horror at the hands of Levi Brooks?

As Beth navigates her way through the wilds of her new home, her memories of her time in the van are coming back, replaying the terror and the fear—and threatening to keep her from healing, from reclaiming her old life again. Can she get back to normal, will she ever truly feel safe, and can she help solve the local mystery, if only so she doesn’t have to think about her own?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Beth Rivers is a successful thriller author using the pseudonym of Elizabeth Fairchild. She has many fans but one fanatic took things way too far. Kidnapped and held in a van for 3 days, she manages to escape as the van was going down the road. Recovering in the hospital from her injuries her captor is still on the loose and she knows she is not safe. With a little help, she unexpectedly leaves the hospital to go to an undisclosed location.

Beth soon touches down in Benedict, Alaska with only her typewriter and a backpack full of paper and clothes.  She has booked a room at the Benedict House, not knowing it is a halfway house for women who committed non-violent crimes. With lodging options at a minimum, she sets that aside because she feels safe, or at least safer than she felt before. That is until she learns a woman was killed shortly before she arrived. Could the death be connected to her? Had she been found already?

The police chief was contacted by the detective overseeing Beth’s case and he has vowed to keep her safe. She has come up with a cover story to explain her injuries and reasons for her travel for the rest of the town. She continues to have memories of those three days making it hard to move on but after learning more about her the police chief consents to let her help with his current case and even finds her a job to pass her time. She may never get back to normal but for the moment she is safe.

____

Paige Shelton gives readers a cozy-ish protagonist but she turns up the suspense as she deals with her kidnapper on the loose and her escape to Alaska. Beth’s injuries were serious, her head is scarred and she has a brain injury. She finds herself enmeshed in Benedict, getting used to the weather, getting to know the people and finding a killer.  She is also striving to remember anything that would bring her kidnapper to justice. The severe headaches, mini seizures, and flashbacks really resonated with me. I also identified with her funky haircut. After my accident in 2001, I dealt with the same, thankfully no kidnapper was involved.

All the characters within this story have layers and I believe we have just started to peel them away. Benedict seems to be a place where everyone has come to escape from something and we really don’t find out too much about any of them except for the deceased and people directly connected to her. That means the author has plenty of material for this series going forward.

I really enjoyed the way Ms. Shelton described her settings. From the airplane and the images out the windows, the airport, the town, Benedict house, the forests, everywhere Beth traveled was brought to life and easily imagined. Readers are taken to the wilds of Alaska and yes, there is wildlife too.

The plot weaves Beth’s trauma together with the death in Alaska but only one is wrapped up by the final page. I really enjoyed the author’s approach to the entire story. The pace was quick and there were several happenings that could have turned the situations in different directions. You could feel that Beth was on edge the entire time.

I read this book incredibly fast and I want more! I was a little disappointed that both mysteries were not completed because I hate waiting for the other shoe to drop and I imagine and hope there are going to be many more suspenseful moments ahead before that other mystery will be wrapped up.  I can’t wait!!

This book will be released on December 3rd and I highly recommend you pre-order your copy. I am very excited for this series to continue.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood as her father’s job as a football coach took the family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City where she thought she’d only stay a few years, but she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After a couple of decades in Utah, she and her family recently moved to Arizona. She writes the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series, which begins with The Cracked SpineThin Ice is the first in a new series.

Paige Shelton is also the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com

Also by Paige Shelton


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

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Jun 212019
 


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.


Murder on the Last Frontier (A Charlotte Brody Mystery)
Historial Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Alaska
Kensington (November 24, 2015)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496700546
ISBN-13: 978-1496700544
Kindle ASIN: B00U7LIZCW

There’s many who feel the Alaska Territory is no place for a woman on her own. But Charlotte Brody, suffragette and journalist, has never let public opinion dictate her life choices. She’s come to the frontier town of Cordova, where her brother Michael practices medicine, for the same reason many come to Alaska—to start over.

Cordova is gradually getting civilized, but the town is still rougher than Charlotte imagined. And when a local prostitute—one of the working girls her brother has been treating—is found brutally murdered, Charlotte learns firsthand how rough the frontier can be. Although the town may not consider the murder of a prostitute worthy of investigation, Charlotte’s feminist beliefs motivate her to seek justice for the woman. And there’s something else—the woman was hiding a secret, one that reminds Charlotte of her own painful past.

As Charlotte searches for answers, she soon finds her own life in danger from a cold-blooded killer desperate to keep dark secrets from seeing the light of day…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Cordova, Alaska Territory 1919

Journalist and suffragette Charlotte Brody travels from Younkers, New York to Alaska to visit her brother and report on women in the territory for a series of articles to appear in The Modern Woman Review. The trip was not ideal but she is thrilled to see her brother Michael, who is a very busy doctor. He gets her settled in at Sullivan’s Boarding House but their visit gets off to a bumpy start. He brother has changed and so has she.

Their differences get cast aside when one of the girls from a local brothel is tragically murdered near the rooming house where Charlotte is staying. She may have even heard some of the victim’s last moments. Feeling guilty that she may have been able to do something to save the woman and the fact that a prostitutes death is a low priority for the authorities, Charlotte follows her heart and beliefs to investigate the woman’s death on her own. When a key piece of evidence is found, she finds herself in the killer’s sights putting herself and several others in danger. Will she survive her trip to Alaska or will a Murder on the Last Frontier be her last protest?

I loved this story. I wish I had read it when it was first released. The author takes on social issues of the day, many of which are still hot topics today.

Charlotte Brody is a very likable protagonist. She is smart and curious about her new surroundings and the people that inhabit it. She realizes the town is more primitive than what she imagined but she is up for the challenge. She is independent and open to meeting everyone for the mayor to the working girls. Everyone knows her brother, any are his patients, so she is welcomed in all the circles. But she has a secret.

Charlotte’s brother, Michael is a generous man with his time, which is a requirement for an Alaskan physician. He has made a life for himself and seems happy. Charlotte is a little surprised that his very small home is also his office, which is why she is staying at Sullivan’s. But he too has secrets.

We are introduced to many residents of Cordova in this first installment. The author does an excellent job of making them feel real, believable, interesting, and memorable. There are many reasons people have come to Cordova but for most, it was to start over or get a second chance. I enjoyed the depth that has already been created for these characters.

What I really enjoyed was Cathy Pegau’s descriptive writing style. She brought Alaska, the town of Cordova and all the people in this story to life, in a carefree way. Sometimes author’s descriptions go way over the top, taking away from the actual story. That is definitely not the case here.  I could picture everything I needed to easily. Not only the places and people but the extra hours of sunlight, the neverending rain, the muddy paths, and the boots worn by everyone due to the muddy paths. The balance was superb. Readers are totally transported to 1919 Alaska.

The mystery was very well-plotted with many surprising twists. The pacing was exactly right and kept me engaged from beginning to end. I was surprised by the final twist setting up a perfect ending.

Even before I reached the end of this book I knew I wanted to read more of this series. I was surprised to find the other two books in this series already on my Kindle. I hope to be reading and reviewing them soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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Jun 162017
 


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.


The Deadly Art of Deception (Caribou King Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Alaska
Cozy Cat Press (September 30, 2016)
Paperback: 230 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1939816979
Kindle ASIN: B01LZ698BS

 

 

Only two seasons matter in Coho Bay, Alaska––cruise ship and winter. Caribou King, owner of The Broken Antler Gallery, is hip-deep in tourists when her old college pal Taylor shows up asking for refuge, saying she has no place else to go. Cara is cautious; Taylor was the wife of one of Alaska’s most renowned artists––Jonathan Snow, who was mauled to death by a bear the previous year. Why would his widow want to return to the location of her tragic loss? Something about Taylor’s story just doesn’t ring true. Of course, she may not be the only liar in town. Taylor’s former father-in-law accuses her of killing his son in front of a diner full of people, except he may have had a stronger motive. A handsome boat captain seems to fancy both Cara and Taylor and can’t make up his mind between them––or between lying and telling the truth. And the local constable mistrusts everyone, but may have a reason to be mistrusted himself. Will Cara help her old friend Taylor, or will doing so get her into a heap of trouble? When a headless body is discovered in the bay, Cara wonders just who she can trust in this tiny town.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Coho Bay, Alaska was just a small town on the Alaskan coast before cruise ships made it one of their stops. Now the town is supported by “cruise ship season” which is nearing a close for the year. Everyone knows everyone’s busy and gossip travels at the speed of light. Caribou King (Cara) owns the The Broken Antler Gallery, her sister, Mel, and her husband, Bent, own and run the local diner and her parents are off in the wilderness on a Moose Count.  Cara is surprised when her friend Taylor returns to Coho Bay. Her husband was an artist just starting to take off with his career when he was killed by a bear. Taylor left town shortly after. Cara cannot get a straight story from Taylor but it seems to be her husband’s death is in question. Soon after her arrival the town is shocked when a body sans head and hands is found in the bay. Can the deaths be connected? Does Taylor’s reappearance in town have anything to do with the dead man? Who can Cara really trust to find answers?

I was familiar with this author from her Jake and Emma Mysteries so I knew this story was going to be good, and I was not disappointed.

I have not read many books set in Alaska but the author’s descriptive words painted some beautiful pictures in my mind. Set near the end of the summer the weather was very changeable. One day summer like and warm, the next could bring rain or even snow. You would have to be one tough cookie to live there year round.

Caribou King, the name made me shake my head a bit, but I was fine calling her Cara is a complex protagonist, smart, funny, comfortable hunting elk and moose with her father, but awkward around men and a bit naive. She is tall for a girl, was the football quarterback in high school because there weren’t enough guys to fill a team. There aren’t many men in town and most are taken or look at her as a buddy rather than a woman to date and she is fine with that.  She lives in the apartment above the gallery and takes most of her meals at the diner, where she helps out every morning at 5:30 a.m.

The story focuses on Cara and her family, Taylor, her friend from college, Taylor’s ex-father-in-law, the local police officer and visitor who has booked a cabin for the summer. Ms. Crowder wraps them in terrific mystery that had both me and Cara twisted up in knots trying to figure out whodunit. At times the story became very suspenseful making the book hard to put down and easy to read in one sitting.

I really enjoyed this book and think we have hit just the tip of the iceberg with these characters. I am excited to see what book number brings. Maybe a little romance for Cara??

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

linda Linda grew up in Loveland, Colorado, the youngest of six children. She moved with her parents to California when she was 16 and spent the next 16 years of her life in the Bay Area before moving home to Colorado and finally to Wyoming.

In her writing, Linda draws from her vast and varied experience with people facing domestic violence, hunger, homelessness, mental illness and suicide. Her nonfiction is full of practical strategies and her fictional characters leap off the page with all the nuances, strengths and frailties that draw readers to her work.

Her current projects include the third Jake and Emma Mystery, “Justice for Katie,” now out and a new edition of “Life Isn’t Just Luck” to give readers even more real-world advice and activities. Linda is also working on a series of inspirational short stories and exploring a humorous new series called “It’s a Gift” about a young woman determined to make the most of every day of her life.

Follow Linda on Twitter https://twitter.com/LJCrowder

Check out her Author Site www.lindajcrowder.com for news and snippets of upcoming books.

Find her on Facebook – She loves to share books she’s read and recommends and she enjoys chatting with readers. www.facebook.com/lindajcrowderauthor


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

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Feb 092013
 

my one square inch of alaska

My One Square Inch of Alaska: A Novel
A Plume Book (January 29, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0452298767
E-Book File Size: 542 KB
ASIN: B008JHXSM8

My One Square Inch of Alaska

A pair of siblings escape—along with a Siberian Husky—the strictures of their 1950s industrial Ohio town on the adventure of a lifetime.

Donna Lane has been saving her money and working hard so that when she graduates she can head to New York to study fashion design. Her younger brother Will is obsessed with the with the television show Sergeant Striker and the Alaskan Wild. The show is running a contest with a very special prize that Will intends to win. He just needs 10 cereal box tops to get his own square inch of the Alaskan Territory. Then he is going to travel there with a beat up and abused Siberian Husky from the local junkyard to stake his claim.

Then Will gets sick and Donna decides to put her dreams on hold so she can fulfill her brother’s dream instead. They are soon packed up in her mother’s old yellow convertible, pulling a small camper, with Trusty the husky in the backseat, and a road atlas to guide their way. They are off on the adventure of a lifetime.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I first became acquainted with this author through her cozy mysteries. I saw on Facebook awhile ago that she had a new book in the works in a totally different genre. That story was finally released last week. It is a beautifully written inspiring story.

Donna Lane has strength and courage way beyond her years. Taking care of her dysfunctional father and her brother was hard enough, but then to pack up a car and travel thousands of miles to make her little brother’s dream come true leaves me awestruck. So many things could and did happen on their travels.

My heart was warmed by the hope that both Donna and Will had but also by the hope MayJune and Miss Bettina had as well. None of them had an easy life. They just took the lemons of their life and made lemonade. They kept pushing forward trying to make each day better than the last.

My emotions ran wild while reading this book. Laughing, crying and panicking too at a few harrowing incidents. Sharon Short takes us on an incredible journey with Donna and Will. Readers from young adults to senior citizens will enjoy this tender story.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Sharon Short on her blog 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.”

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Feb 102012
 

2012 best historical fiction
The Snow Child: A Novel
Reagan Arthur Books/ Little, Brown and Company
Hachette Book Group
Just Released

Set in the 1920’s, Jack and Mabel need a change. They are missing the child they lost and it is just too painful to be around friends and relatives and all their children. They set their sights to the Northwest, Alaska to be specific, to set up a homestead and a new life. The work and isolation feels good at first, but they are still longing for a child. Can their marriage stand the trials they have in front of them? Will their love see them through?

All the sudden it starts to snow, a thick wet snow, they venture outside and build a child out of snow, complete with a scarf and mittens.  The next morning the snow child is gone and a tiny trail of footsteps lead into the woods. For weeks they catch glimpses of something in the woods but both of them think they are only seeing what they wish for, not anything really there. Until a little girl shows up at their doorstep.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This story was so much more than I originally thought it would be. I had heard of a fairy tale about a snow child so I thought I knew where this story was going. I was so wrong. This book is full of love, loss, friendship, trust, pain, suffering and joy.

I would have gone crazy in the wilderness all alone with just my husband. Love is wonderful, but I was so glad that a boisterous, blustery, neighbor family befriended Jack and Mabel. Imagine having only one person to talk to do day in and day out for days on end, it’s freezing cold outside, and the land is full of moose, bears and coyotes. The people of that era had a strength I can only imagine.

You can tell the author is an Alaskan native as Alaska is not just a setting, it is another character in this beautifully written story. It contains a certain magic that transcends imagination while still giving a real look at how hard homesteading in Alaska was in the 1920’s. I can see how the fairy tale I remembered The Snow Child: A Russian Folktale was a bit of the inspiration but Ivey transforms it into an extraordinary story all her own.

This is the author’s debut novel. I can easily see it becoming classic.


The publisher is generously giving several blogs copies of this novel to giveaway.
I will add my gently read review copy so I have a total of 4 copies to giveaway.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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