Nov 262013
 

Basket of Trouble November
A Basket of Trouble
(A Claire Hanover Mystery)

3rd Book in Series
Cozy Mystery
MIDNIGHT INK (November 8, 2012)
A Imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.
Trade Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738727035
E-Book File Size: 2700 KB
ASIN: B00FM5E1QW
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Gift basket designer Claire Hanover is so excited to have her brother, Charley, and his wife, Jessica, move closer to Colorado Springs. She hopes his riding stable and trail ride business is a great success. There are a few details to work out with the neighbors but they never expected a murder would change everything. Kyle Mendoza, one of the stable hands, is found dead in one of the stalls. It looks like one of the horses kicked him and trampled him to death. Then it was determined that the horse didn’t kill him. A human did and then dragged him into the stall. But Kyle’s family files a lawsuit, a competing business is working hard to steal all of Charley’s customers and the neighbors are pushing to have the city shut the place down. Claire is determined to find the real killer “before her brother’s business is put out to pasture.”

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This 3rd installment in this series interested me on many levels.

The story is set in the Garden of the Gods which sounds just beautiful.

Plus Charley’s wife, Jessica, runs a non-profit which uses hippotherapy, a form of physical, occupational and speech therapy in which a therapist uses the characteristic movements of a horse to provide carefully graded motor and sensory input. This therapy caught my attention. I had heard of kids with disabilities riding horses but after reading this I understand the therapy so much better. While my disability is permanent it would be cool to still be able to ride a horse again.

The story also shines a light on the immigration issues we have in this country. Groundwater entwines this hot button issue in the story from the employer and immigrants viewpoints without get political or preachy at all. 

The author takes all this and wraps a great mystery around it. I can’t believe how fast I read this book. It just flowed so well in true Beth Groundwater fashion. She gives us characters that keep evolving, that are as real as our own neighbors. The plots are tight, the dialogue is true. There is the perfect balance of humor and suspense. She just writes a darn good story. One that when you pick it up you won’t put it down.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find out more about Beth Groundwater visit 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.”

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Nov 232012
 

2012 best mystery

To Hell in a Handbasket
(Claire Hanover Gift Basket Designer Mystery)

2nd in Series
Mystery
MIDNIGHT INK (November 8, 2012)
A Imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.
Trade Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738727028

It’s snow accident when a young woman’s icy demise sends Claire’s vacation to hell in a handbasket

Skiing with her family in Breckenridge, Colorado, gift basket designer Claire Hanover hears a terrified scream cut the frigid mountain air. She is horror-stricken to find Stephanie Contino, the sister of her daughter’s boyfriend, dead on the slopes. While everyone else assumes the death was an accident, Claire is suspicious of the extra ski tracks that cross dangerously into Stephanie’s path. But the police are skeptical of foul play, even as more signs point to murder.

When incriminating clues put her daughter Judy in danger, Claire investigates and finds trouble around every mogul. Between interviewing a daredevil snowboarder and giving ski lessons to a drug boss, she uncovers a chilling conspiracy that could turn deadly for her family.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Hang on to your ski poles, this is a wild run!! Watch out for out of control snowboarders, flying bullets and families keeping secrets.

Claire finds herself right in the middle of the drama as she tries to protect her daughter while helping the police catch a killer. Any mom knows you do not get between a mom and her kids. We will lay down our lives to keep our children safe no matter if they are 5 or 25. Claire is a strong courageous woman and her daughter Judy is following in her footsteps.  Of course not all of us have a friendly drug dealer we can call to help us get information and what he wants in return is hilarious. The picture that forms in your mind will have you laughing out loud.

Husband Roger touched my heart. He and Claire are trying to rejuvenate their love after the stress of incidents in the first book in the series, A Real Basket Case. He knows that he can’t keep her from investigating so he helps her as much as he can. He also tries to squeeze in some romantic moments along the way.

I have learned my lesson about Beth Groundwater stories:

  • When you start reading you will not stop until you reach the end.
  • Her characters are real and constantly evolving and pull you right into their lives and hold on tight.
  • They take place is wonderful scenic places.
  • I use the word “wild” a lot when describing her books.
  • These are not cozy mysteries! They are edgy mysteries full of suspense!
  • Bits of humor and tries at romance keep the story with the right feel for cozy lovers.
  • Think “cozy mystery on steroids”!

I love the way Beth writes and have loved every one of her stories. I highly recommend escaping into this book as soon as possible!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

My reviews of other books by Beth Groundwater:
A Real Basket Case
Deadly Currents
Wicked Eddies

About This Author

Beth Groundwater writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer series (A Real Basket Case, a Best First Novel Agatha Award finalist, and To Hell in a Handbasket ) and the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner (Deadly Currents,March, 2011, and Wicked Eddies, May, 2012). The third books in both series will appear in 2013. Beth enjoys Colorado’s many outdoor activities, including skiing and whitewater rafting, and loves talking to book clubs. Please visit her website at bethgroundwater.com and her blog at bethgroundwater.blogspot.com.

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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May 302012
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

In 2011 I chose Beth Groundwater’s A Real Basket Case (A Claire Hanover Mystery) as the Best Mystery I had read that year. You can find my full review here.

I then contacted her and she sent me the first book in her other series, Deadly Currents (An RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery). My review for that one is here. When I found out the second RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery, Wicked Eddies was being released this month, I knew I had to invite her to stop by for a visit. These mysteries are not technically cozies, they are more mystery adventures, but if you love cozies, I think you will love these books. They have a little more edge and the main character works with law enforcement to help solve the crime, plus Beth’s knowledge of rafting and fishing makes these extraordinary reads. I hope you will join me in welcoming Beth here today!

Hi Beth!

Hi Everyone!

Thanks, Dollycas, for inviting me to visit your blog!

The Most Dangerous Sport

I’d like to talk today about the most dangerous sport. Since my RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery series features whitewater rafting and stars a whitewater river ranger named Mandy Tanner, you and your blog readers may think that I mean the sport of whitewater rafting. But, you’d be wrong!

Yes, whitewater rafting can be risky, but smart rafters know how to control and manage those risks. Also, the number of participants in the sport are few, compared to many other popular sports such as baseball and football, so the total number of rafting deaths per year is usually fairly low. Actually, the most dangerous sport in the world, the one that results in the most deaths per year, is fishing.

Fishing?! Yes, fishing.

Why, you might ask. Primarily it’s from the volatile mixture of booze and boats. Yes, there are many cases of drunken fishermen who fall out of boats and drown. Or who, like drunken drivers, crash their motorboats.

There are other causes of fishing-related deaths, though. In Wicked Eddies,the second book of my RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series that was released May 8th, the cause of one fisherman’s death is murder. Mandy Tanner discovers the body of fisherman Howie Abbott in a riverside campground with a camping ax in his neck. Turns out the man was a suspected cheater in fly-fishing tournaments and a big tournament is scheduled to take place soon on the Arkansas River near Salida, Colorado, where Mandy lives. Could that have been the cause of his death? Or was there some other other reason?

Back to other causes of fishing deaths. Here’s an excerpt from an early scene in Wicked Eddies, where Mandy’s boss, Steve Hadley, is briefing a group of search and rescue personnel, including river rangers, on the upcoming fly-fishing tournament:

When Steve’s turn came, he started off with a question, “What’s one of the most deadly sports in the world?”

Mandy knew the answer, but stayed quiet. Someone yelled out, “whitewater rafting,” a good guess, but not good enough.

“It’s fishing,” Steve said, nodding while surprised murmurs filled the room, “usually from the fatal combination of boats, alcohol, and people who don’t know how to swim. Now, given that we have serious competitors participating in this event, I expect that alcohol won’t play a large part until after the award ceremony.”

A few snorts and chuckles punctuated that remark.

Fly Fishing on the Arkansas Near Salida, Colorado

“However,” Steve continued, “we still have boats on the float- fishing practice and competition days giving us the same problems whitewater rafting boats do—hitting underwater obstacles and pitching their occupants into the water. And most of these teams are unfamiliar with the upper Arkansas, its rapids, and its hazards. So, I’m increasing river ranger patrols on the river during the competition.

“And then there are wading fishermen on the shore fishing days.” Steve shook his head and tsked. “I hate waders. As the old- timers know, we usually have at least one fly-fisherman die each season, from either getting a foot trapped or tripping while standing in the river wearing waders. The fisherman falls in the river, the waders fill up with water, dragging the wearer underwater, and then he drowns.”

A solemn silence descended on the group.

Yes, fishermen face many hazards in their sport! Along with working with the Sheriff’s Department to investigate Howie Abbott’s

murder, Mandy Tanner will be kept busy with her river ranger cohorts patrolling the river during the tournament and rescuing fishermen who need help. She’ll also be on the lookout for a missing teenage girl and a missing fisherman. My hope is that all of that activity and a healthy sprinkling of clues and red herrings makes for an exciting read!

Have you ever tried fishing? Did you get in any trouble or experience any dangers while doing so? I was lucky myself. When I took a fly-fishing lesson to research Wicked Eddies, the only harm I came to was when I managed to hook my thumb. 😉

~Beth

Thank you Beth so much for being here today! I used to fish with my grandpa when I was little, catching bullheads in a nearby lake. Such wonderful memories with my bamboo pole, bobs, night crawlers and PBJ’s for lunch. 🙂 So I do share one thing with Mandy.

About Beth Groundwater:

Beth Groundwater writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer series (A Real Basket Case, a Best First Novel Agatha Award finalist, and To Hell in a Handbasket ) and the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner (Deadly Currents,March, 2011, and Wicked Eddies, May, 2012). The third books in both series will appear in 2013. Beth enjoys Colorado’s many outdoor activities, including skiing and whitewater rafting, and loves talking to book clubs. Please visit her website at bethgroundwater.com and her blog at bethgroundwater.blogspot.com.

Wicked Eddies
(An RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery)

2nd in the Series
Published by Midnight Ink
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Cover Design by Lisa Novak

Salida Colorado is getting ready for its annual fly fishing tournament. The river rangers are checking all the spots up and down the mighty Arkansas River making sure everything is ready for the participants. Mandy thinks it should be a busy weekend but it shouldn’t be too dangerous. Then she finds the dead body, would-be competitor Howie Abbott and it wasn’t a fish that drove that hatchet through his neck.

As Mandy searches for clues she finds out Howie Abbott is Cynthia’s uncle and her least favorite person on earth. She is not surprised when Cynthia becomes a prime suspect but she knows her friend is not a murderer. She takes in upon herself to find the real killer while being careful not to be carried away by the undertow or plunges too deep into Wicked Eddies.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Beth Groundwater writes what she knows. You can tell that by the way she writes. She takes us on a wild ride!

Cynthia was my favorite supporting character in Deadly Currents and she is center stage in this installment. She is so upset she is not even telling the blonde jokes that I loved. The author reveals Cynthia’s past and we get to see the person behind the jokes. The vulnerable Cynthia, a person I grew to care even more about.

Mandy is dealing with a lot in this story as well. She is still coming to terms with her own uncle’s death and trying to move forward which we know is never easy. Rob makes me a little mad as he continues to push her at times for his own agenda. Sometimes guys just don’t have a clue.

There are a couple of mysteries here, murder and missing persons along with the adventure of the fishing tournament that makes this a very fast paced story. Plenty of clues and plenty of distractions to keep the pages turning as we try to solve the mysteries ourselves.

You do not have to fish or ride the rapids to be hooked by this adventure, but you want to start after reading it! 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I am giving away my gently read review copy!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
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.

Leave a comment for Beth for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 13, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted 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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Review: Deadly Currents by Beth Groundwater

 Reviews 2012  Comments Off on Review: Deadly Currents by Beth Groundwater
May 262012
 

Deadly Currents
(An RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery)

1st in the Series

Midnight Ink
Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.
Cover Design by Lisa Novak

The Arkansas River is the heart and soul of Salida, Colorado. It also is a great tourist attraction for fishermen and white water rafting adventurists. For Mandy Tanner it is home. She grew up in Salida, raised by her Uncle Bill and working as a river guide for his white water rafting business. This Summer she is a Seasonal River Ranger for Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA). She has completed her training and  into her second week on the river when she takes part in tricky river rescue. She is able to get two people to shore but one of them dies anyway. Land developer Tom King died in the water but it wasn’t the rapids that killed him. There was nothing Mandy could have done to save him because he was murdered and there are a lot people that may have wanted him dead.

Mandy world is then turned inside out when tragedy hits closer to home. Could the events be connected? Mandy has to find out, the answers may be found in the Deadly Currents of the river.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love the way Beth Groundwater writes. You ride the rapids from the first page until the last.

The only rapids I have ran outside of a book have been at an amusement park or the family friendly ones in a canoe on the Crystal River here in Wisconsin. Groundwater’s descriptions are so vivid you can feel the bumps, currents and eddies. 

She has created flawed protagonist we can genuinely get behind and want to read about. Mandy has dealt with a lot in her life leaving her with commitment issues and she has a bit of a chip on her shoulder when people offer to help her.  The supporting characters are all real and very believable. I absolutely love Cynthia with her blonde jokes. 

It was really interesting to read a story where law enforcement actually worked together with the main character instead of all the random sleuthing going on behind the scenes. I am sure this relationship was embellished a bit for the story but it seams credible that the Park Service would work together with the Sheriff’s Office. 

The groundwork has been laid in this debut for what I know will be an exciting series. I know I am ready to hit the rapids again.

Beth Groundwater Will Be Here For Cozy Wednesday on May 30 and I will review the next book in the series Wicked Eddies (An RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery) and will be giving my review copy away. So be sure to mark your calendar and come back on Wednesday!!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


*This Book Was From My Personal Collection.

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