Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2017 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – #Review / #Giveaway – Miss Zukas and the Island Murders by Jo Dereske


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.

I discovered this series last year when looking for a “Z” book for my
Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge.

This book, the 2nd in the series was released in 1995 by Avon Books.
It was released as an e-book in 2010. My copy is an original that I found on PaperbackSwap so it the cover does not match the one shown below.

Miss Zukas and the Island Murders (Miss Zukas Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington State / San Juan Islands
Originally published by Avon/HarperCollins in 1995
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0380770311
E-Book ASIN: B003AYF3NC

 

 

The ever-conscientious Miss Helma Zukas of Bellehaven, Washington, is not one to renege on a promise—even one made hastily . . . and too long ago to possibly remember! So when an anonymous note in the morning mail reminds her of her vow to bring her high school classmates together for a twenty-year reunion, Miss Zukas hops to and begins organizing the perfect celebration . . . despite some vague and mysterious warnings about dire consequences.

But when a secret saboteur disrupts her well-planned reunion—stranding Helma and her old classmates on a fogbound island with a murderer in their midst—the intrepid librarian-sleuth takes charge once again. With a dubious assist from her raffish friend Ruth, Miss Zukas is determined to close the books on crimes both current and overdue for solution . . . before the killer takes the alumni out of circulation permanently.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Twenty years ago Helma agreed to organize her high school classmate 20th reunion. She had completely forgotten about it until a strange anonymous note arrives to remind her of that commitment. With her friend Ruth’s help they decide to invite everyone to Washington to celebrate. She does receive another anonymous warning to cancel but they decide to push ahead with their plans. Their guests start to arrive but when they get off the ferry to go to the resort on one of the San Juan Islands they find someone had cancelled their reservation. This added to the warning has both Helma and Ruth a little more than worried. They are able to continue with the party but a death in the past may be connected to the problems they are having today. The ladies commit to do everything they can to just get through the weekend but one of their guests may have a deadlier plan.

Miss Helma Zukas is a bit of a trial to those around her but she was more approachable in this story. She does like to have things done her own way and in her time frame but when there may be a murderer in her midst things are beyond her control. Her critical thinking, keen observations and sense of order do make her an excellent sleuth. With Ruth by her side they do get in some crazy predicaments. Polar opposites they are the perfect team.

I enjoyed this story very much. There were several unique twists. Tying a death in high school that was thought to be an accident to another death and threats 20 years later made for an interesting plot. Like any class reunion, especially one as small as this, there are some secrets to be revealed. From jobs not as exactly as glorious as they seem to people who have completely changed. There are also those who remain exactly the same and would be recognized anywhere. I did enjoy meeting everyone and loved that even a few teachers joined in on the fun.

This book was originally released in 1995 so cell phones are new and very rare. No internet and no social media to find out what people are up to. Being stuck on a foggy island with no police or ambulance service can make a weekend stay like this very interesting.

A nice mystery with bits of humor and very interesting characters. I look forward to the next installment.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I am giving my used copy of the 1995 mass market paperback edition away.

My copy has this cover.

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 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 publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End May 12, 2017 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 personal collection. 

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Flashback Friday – #Review / #Giveaway – Miss Zukas and the Library Murders by Jo Dereske

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On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I am taking part in the Alphabet Soup Challenge and I needed a book that had a word in the title that started with “Z”. “Z” “Q” and “X” are treated differently that the other letters where the first word of the title has to start with the letter. During my search I found the mysteries by Jo Dereske that feature Miss Zukas. The first book in the series, Miss Zukas and the Library Murders was first published by Avon/Harper Collins back in 1994. So we are going way back for this Flashback Friday. I found my copy on PaperbackSwap but it was also released as an e-book in 2009. There are used paperback copies also available on Amazon.

miss zukas library murders
Miss Zukas and the Library Murders
(Miss Zukas Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Washington
Avon; First Paperback Original edition (March 1, 1994)
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0380770304
E-Book Avon/HarperCollins (November 4, 2009)
ASIN: B002YD93AY
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

When a dead body turns up right in the middle of the fiction stacks, the police are baffled. But Helma Zukas, who never fails to make note of the slightest deviation from the norm of everyday life, is tracking some baffling questions of her own. With the help of her not-so-proper best friend, Ruth, a six-foot-tall bohemian artist with a nose for gossip and a penchant for getting into trouble, the two are soon in hot pursuit of the truth… and getting lose enough to find they’re about to become the killer’s next victims.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Helma Zukas is a no nonsense woman, some would call her uptight, or obsessive compulsive, I call her entrenched in her ways. She does remind me of a few librarians back in the day. Hair in a bun, glasses set perfectly on her nose, clothes that cover and do not enhance her figure. She is only 36 but she is who she is and there is no changing her. She also has a keen attention to detail and that makes her a great amateur sleuth. Her best-friend, Ruth, is the total opposite of Helma in every way. She is the perfect Watson to Helma’s Sherlock.

I really enjoyed this mystery. A dead body in the library gives us a fantastic start. Helma is drawn to investigate because the murder has brought disorder to her very orderly life. The police don’t seem to have any suspects. When Helma finds a clue in the city directory she decides to figure things out for herself before sharing anything with the police. This probably wasn’t her brightest idea. There were several suspects and I missed some important clues because I put it together just before the killer was revealed.

Helma may not be the kind of main character we are used to reading about in cozy mysteries today. Maybe that is why I liked her, she is different. I even found her quite funny at times in a dry humorous kind of way.

This was a fast read, not overly complex, with interesting characters.  The “Z” book for my challenge is complete. I plan to read the next one, Miss Zukas and the Island Murders, for the Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge next year. 

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

My paperback copy is not in a condition where I would share it with you for a giveaway.

So I have decided to give 1 E-Copy away.
If the price rises to over $5.25 on Amazon the prize will be an Amazon Gift Card for $5.25

The book will be sent to the winner directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 24, 2016 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

Find out more about Jo Dereske on her webpage 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 Just For Fun Challenge Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

My March Just For Fun Read – The Body in the Boudoir by Katherine Hall Page

just for fun 2015

My March Just For Fun Read

The Body in the Boudoir: A Faith Fairchild Mystery
20th in Series
Avon
An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0062068552
E-Book ASIN: B006FOHNK0
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It’s 1990, and Faith Sibley is a single young woman with her own catering business in New York City. But a chance meeting with the Reverend Thomas Fairchild is love at first sight, and suddenly Faith is heading north to New England to visit her future in-laws, not all of whom are friendly..

The path to the altar is made even rockier when Faith encounters two other mysteries that need her help solving. First, her new assistant, Francesca, appears to be hiding a family secret with roots in Italy. Then her sister, Hope, becomes the target of someone intent on sabotaging her high-stakes financial career. But above all, Faith needs to figure out who is trying to call off the wedding-by eliminating the bride!

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This has always been one of my favorite series and it one I plan to use for the Finishing The Series Challenge. I am also excited because Katherine Hall Page is touring with Great Escapes Book Tours in May for The Body in the Birches, the 22nd book in the series being released May 12.

In this installment we are taken back in time to how Faith and Tom started their life together. The book starts out with them on a plane for an anniversary trip to Italy and Faith spends the plane ride remembering their path to the altar hand a few bumps along the way including solving a couple of mysteries.

Another fun read from the author and one I was looking forward to reading. I enjoyed learning their back story and their original meeting of all the people we have come to love in the prior installments.

I have The Body in the Piazzaall cued up on my Kindle and will be reviewing The Body in the Birches on May 22 when the Great Escapes Book Tour stops here.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*This book was from my private collection.