Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

The Fragrance of Death (A Sally Solari Mystery) by Leslie Karst #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @LeslieKarst

The Fragrance of Death (A Sally Solari Mystery)
by Leslie Karst

I am very happy to shine my spotlights
on The Fragrance of Death today!

About The Fragrance of Death


The Fragrance of Death (A Sally Solari Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – California
Severn House; Main edition (August 2, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1448309034
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1448309030
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09V878YNB

Restaurateur Sally Solari has a nose for trouble, but when her sense of smell goes missing, it’s not just her career on the line . . . it’s her life.

Restaurateur Sally Solari is a champion, both in the kitchen and on the case, but after getting mixed up in one too many murders, she’s noticed her nonna’s friends have now taken to crossing themselves when they see her in the street. Adding to her woes, a sinus infection has knocked out her sense of smell, making cooking on the hot line difficult, indeed. Nevertheless, Sally is determined to stay out of trouble and focus on her work.

But then her old acquaintance Neil Lerici is murdered at the annual Santa Cruz Artichoke Cook-Off, and her powers of investigation are called into action once more. Could Neil have been killed by the local restaurant owner who took his winning spot at the competition? Or maybe by one of his siblings, who were desperate to sell the family farm to a real estate developer?

Sally plunges headfirst into the case, risking alienating everyone she knows – including the dapper Detective Vargas, who finds her sleuthing both infuriating and endearing. And soon it’s not only her restaurant and a tentative new relationship that are on the line – it’s her life . . .

The Fragrance of Death is a non-stop fun cozy mystery that will keep your mind buzzing and your mouth watering, and contains a selection of delicious recipes to cook at home.

Great Escapes Praise for The Fragrance of Death (A Sally Solari Mystery)
by Leslie Karst

This creates a highly enjoyable read that is the perfect way to spend a pleasant afternoon. Sure to be enjoyed by fans of the genre.
~Books A Plenty Book Reviews

I simply love the recipes and delectable dishes offered in the book. Artichokes are an unsung veggie that needs more attention. All in all, this was a pleasant quick read.
~I Read What You Write

The Fragrance of Death is a smart, funny, skillfully plotted mystery, with a bonus: Leslie Karst is a trained chef. In The Fragrance of Death she shares some of the recipes for the delicious dishes mentioned throughout the book. You’ll want to try them all, but to whet your appetite, read on!
~Island Confidential

About Leslie Karst

Leslie Karst is the author of the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari culinary mystery series. The daughter of a law professor and a potter, she waited tables and sang in a new wave rock band before deciding she was ready for “real” job and ending up at Stanford Law School. It was during her career as a research and appellate attorney in Santa Cruz, California, that Leslie rediscovered her youthful passion for food and cooking and once more returned to school—this time to earn a degree in culinary arts.

Now retired from the law, Leslie spends her time cooking, cycling, gardening, singing alto in her local community chorus, and of course writing. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

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Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dough or Die (A Bread Shop Mystery) by Winnie Archer #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.


Dough or Die (A Bread Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – California
Kensington Cozies (August 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496724410
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496724410
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B082WQZBGF

Known for its mouthwatering traditional breads, the Yeast of Eden bakery has gained fame across Northern California’s coast. Now the shop is bound for Reality TV—but a murder may kill its reputation . . .

People come to the beach town of Santa Sofia as much for the healing properties of Yeast of Eden’s breads as for a vacation getaway. And now a cable food channel has selected the bakery as a featured culinary delight for a new show. Baking apprentice Ivy Culpepper is excited as the crew arrives, ready to capture all the ins and outs of the renowned bread shop. But instead, they capture something much harder to stomach: the attempted murder of the show’s cameraman just outside Yeast of Eden . . .

With no motive and no clues, and the town craving answers, it will be up to Ivy to sift through the evidence to find the truth. But she’ll have to move quickly before someone else is targeted or the wrong person gets the heat—and the business collapses like a deflated soufflé, right before her eyes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The Yeast of Eden Bakery is drawing quite a bit of attention and now it is going to be featured in the pilot episode of Best Bakeries in America, a new reality show on the food channel. Ivy is so happy for her mentor, Olaya. She is going to be able to share her Bread for a Life Program that helps immigrants and low-income women gain confidence and independence as they work their way out of challenging situations.

The crew from the food channel arrives and there are a few petty disagreements between them but filming finally starts and things appear to be going well until during a break the cameraman is run down by a car right outside of Yeast of Eden.

With the lack of evidence, Ivy knows she can do a little sleuthing to knead out the suspects and their motives, hopefully find the truth before anyone else gets hurt.


I always enjoy my visits to Santa Sofia. In this story, I really enjoyed the way Olaya set up her class giving each student a turn to lead and share a bread from their culture. Such a true example of how recipes are shared and enjoyed and passed on generation after generation. It also enables readers to get to know these characters better. When Olaya gets sick we also see how the relationship between her, Ivy, and Penelope Brandford continues to grow. Ivy and Miguel’s relationship is also evolving nicely. Ms. Archer has done a wonderful job of creating characters that have dimension and layers.

The mystery was complicated by the number of suspects and the fact that Ivy didn’t know anyone from the food channel crew so she had to dig deep. Again there were twists upon twists with a red herring or two too! Then, of course, Ms. Archer throws in the last epic twist. Then all the clues fall into place for Ivy. I had an inkling about what happened but was not fully committed to anyone until is was all spelled out for Emmaline and in turn me.

One of the problems with this series is the food descriptions from Miguel’s restaurant and from Olaya’s bakery. My stomach was continually growling. I do love that the recipe for Hembesha, an East African Spiced Bread, and Rosemary Bread are included in the book.

Dough or Die mixes genuine characters, an intriguing mystery, and bread, bread, and more bread into a delectable story. I can’t wait for my next visit to Santa Sofia.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Winnie Archer is the nationally bestselling author of the Bread Shop Mystery series, the Lola Cruz Mysteries, the Book Magic Mysteries, and the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series written as Melissa Bourbon. A former middle school English teacher she lives in North Carolina with her educator husband, Carlos, and the youngest of their five children.


You can read my review of Kneaded to Death here.
You can read my review of Crust No One here.
You can read my review of The Walking Bread here.
You can read my review of Flour in the Attic here.

Written as Melissa Bourbon



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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Killing in Costumes (A Hollywood Treasures Mystery) by Zac Bissonnette #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @ZacBissonnette


A Killing in Costumes (A Hollywood Treasures Mystery)
by Zac Bissonnette


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to share my thoughts about
A Killing in Costumes today!

About A Killing in Costumes 


A Killing in Costumes (A Hollywood Treasures Mystery)
Cozy Mystery – LBGT
1st in Series
Setting – California
Crooked Lane Books (August 9, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639100865
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1639100866
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09LH99ZCM

Stardom fades fast when you’re on the line for murder, in this debut cozy mystery perfect for fans of Richard Osman and Jenn McKinlay.

Jay Allan and Cindy Cooper were soap opera stars in the late ’90s, a wholesome young husband-and-wife duo who combined musical talent with humor and charisma. When the truth about their sexual orientations came to light, their marriage and TV careers ended, but decades later they have remained friends. Together, they open Palm Springs’ chicest movie memorabilia store, Hooray for Hollywood–but no customers and dwindling finances spell trouble.

A Hail Mary arrives in the form of Yana Tosh, a ninety-year-old diva of the silver screen who has amassed a valuable collection of costumes and props and is looking to sell. But first, Jay and Cindy have to beat their competition, a vice president from a mega-auction house with ten times their resources. And when he winds up dead, they become prime suspects in the murder.

With their freedom and livelihoods on the line, Jay and Cindy desperately need to clear their names. There are plenty of other potential suspects, but they’ll have to solve it soon before they’re forced to trade in their vintage costume collection for two orange jumpsuits.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Their careers have faded from soap opera fame due to an uproar when their sexual orientations are revealed. Now divorced but still best friends Jay Allan and Cindy Cooper are filling their days as owners of the best movie memorabilia store in Palm Springs,  Hooray for Hollywood. But the store has been in a huge slump and may be headed toward financial ruin.

Enter Yana Tosh, an actress from the silver screen and now about 90 years old and ready to part with her own collection of movie memorabilia. She has contacted two companies about the sale, Jay and Cindy, and a huge auction house with ties around the world. Before any contracts can be signed the VP from the auction house is found dead and somehow Cindy and Jay are the prime suspects.

So now while trying to save Hooray for Hollywood they need to catch a killer and save themselves.


I love watching old movies so this book excited me from the start.

It did take me a while though to get engaged by the characters but I blame that partially on the book’s formatting. The point of view goes back and forth between Cindy and Jay and sometimes I was a little confused. That being said, I was very happy to see older protagonists in this story and that while divorced they are best friends and spend most of their waking hours together. I was also pleased by the positive way the LBGTQ+ community was portrayed. Also with pets named Bob Hope and Mae West you can’t go wrong.

The memorabilia store was such a great backdrop for this story. All the movie and music references were great. I enjoyed the description of the few items that were mentioned but I would love to lose myself in the aisles probably for about a week mining out treasure after treasure.

The author plotted out this mystery so well. It was pretty complicated with all the suspects, twists, and turns. I didn’t figure out this Whodunit until everything was spelled out for me. That means the book captivated my thinking so much I didn’t take a single note.

A Killing in Costumes has given this series a strong start and has laid a great foundation for future stories. I am excited to see what Zac Bissonnette has in store for his characters. This was a fun and enjoyable read.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Zac Bissonnette 

Zac Bissonnette is the New York Times bestselling author of several nonfiction books, including The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute.

His favorite singer is Perry Como. His favorite author is Agatha Christie. His favorite tea is Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice.

Author Links – WebsiteTwitterBookBubGoodReads – 

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

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

A Hint of Mischief (A Fairy Garden Mystery) by Daryl Wood Gerber #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @darylwoodgerber


A Hint of Mischief (A Fairy Garden Mystery)
by Daryl Wood Gerber

It is my pleasure to shine my spotlights on A Hint of Mischief today!

About A Hint of Mischief 

A Hint of Mischief (A Fairy Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington Cozies(June 28, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496736044
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496736048
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09HRDQZH5

The proprietor of a fairy garden and tea shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Courtney Kelly has an occasional side gig as a sleuth—with a sprinkling of magical assistance. . . .

Courtney has thrown a few fairy garden parties—for kids. But if a local socialite is willing to dip into her trust fund for an old sorority sister’s fortieth birthday bash, Courtney will be there with bells on. To make the job even more appealing, a famous actress, Farrah Lawson, is flying in for the occasion, and there’s nothing like a celebrity cameo to raise a business’s profile.

Now Courtney has less than two weeks to paint a mural, hang up tinkling windchimes, plan party games, and conjure up all the details. While she works her magic, the hostess and her girlfriends head off for an indulgent spa day—which leads to a fateful facial for Farrah, followed by her mysterious death. Could the kindhearted eyebrow waxer who Farrah berated in public really be the killer, as the police suspect? Courtney thinks otherwise, and with the help of her imaginative sleuth fairy, sets out to dig up the truth behind this puzzling murder . . .

Great Escapes Praise for A Hint of Mischief (A Fairy Garden Mystery)
by Daryl Wood Gerber

What could Gerber have in store for us in this wonderful collection? I’ll eagerly await the next book and encourage other readers to give this one a chance… until it’s ready and I can find out for myself!
~This is My Truth Now

I was hooked from page one and unable to stop until I hit the very end. I can not wait to see what happens next time. A truly magical must-read for cozy fans. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

A HINT OF MISCHIEF is a fairy good mystery. It will put a smile on your face, a spring in your step, and have you looking in the greenery for fairies.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

I am giving A Hint of Mischief by Daryl Wood Gerber five stars and a huge recommendation to anyone that loves a good cozy culinary paranormal mystery.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

About Daryl Wood Gerber

Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Fairy Garden Mysteries, Cookbook Nook Mysteries, and French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she penned the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. In addition, Daryl writes the Aspen Adams Novels of Suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Daryl loves to cook, fairy garden, and read. She has a frisky Goldendoodle who keeps her in line. And she has been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and hitch-hike around Ireland alone. You can learn more on her website: httsp://darylwoodgerber.com

Author Links

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Also by Daryl Wood Gerber





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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

Special Guest – Anne Louise Bannon – Author of Death of an Heiress #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Death of an Heiress
by Anne Louise Bannon


It is my pleasure to welcome Anne Louise Bannon
to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Anne Louise. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ve always been a writer. I’d make up stories in my head and eventually, the characters would start “talking” to me. Finally, I needed an excuse to do all the daydreaming I was doing, so at age fifteen, I wrote my first novel. It pretty much stank, but I got it down on paper. I’ve been practicing my art ever since.

I’m also insanely curious about everything – one of the reasons I eventually became a journalist. I remember when I was first working as an office assistant at a major urban daily and got a chance to write a few stories. All my life I’d been chided for asking too many questions, and there I was being told that I needed to ask more. I was in Heaven!

It’s always been about the stories. I love telling/writing them, whether based in fact or only real to me. I’m eclectic as all get out, so you’ll never see me doing just one or even two things. It’s all grist for the story mill, and I love asking all the questions my brain comes up with and seeing where my imagination goes.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

It all depends. When I first began the Old Los Angeles series, I did several months (possibly a year) of research because the Nineteenth Century was a little on the new side to me. I mean, I was more familiar with the 1920s, as I’d done a lot of research on that for my Freddie and Kathy series.

I, of course, read a lot. But I’ve always preferred looking at what are called primary documents – the docs that someone wrote up originally, such as city council minutes and tax records. The stories and conclusions people draw from them are called secondary documents. Technically, newspaper accounts are secondary docs, but I cheat if I’m looking at the papers from the time I’m researching and call those primary docs.

I’ve often found that tourist literature from a period is extremely helpful, especially because it describes the ordinary things in a locale that the locals didn’t write down. We had a terrible time finding out how the sluice gates worked on the zanjas, or irrigation ditches, in Los Angeles until a Los Angeles Public Library history librarian found an account of the system in an article written for tourists coming to the area.

While I don’t have to do a lot of research on Nineteenth-Century L.A. anymore, research is unending. I seldom know what all I’m going to need to know until I write the story, itself, and believe me, there is often that last second look up in Wikipedia for a date or factoid. Even after the story is written, I’m still checking things out.

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

Even as prolific as I am, I do get Writer’s Block sometimes. One good thing about being trained as a journalist, though, is that I get over it quickly. You don’t get blank spots in newspapers – you have to come up with something.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

Develop the art of tenacity. You’ll need it to get your project written. You’ll need it to get through the editing process. You’ll need it to get it out there, whether you with traditional publishing or do it yourself. Then, you’ll need it to publicize the project.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

I sew. I read. I sometimes make soap or bread. In fact, the running gag in the household is that my husband and I make the things most sane people buy.

Did the COVID pandemic affect you and your writing?

Oh, dear. I’m the only person I know who got more writing done during the Lockdown. That was probably because I was hiding in my fictional world rather than dealing with what was out there.

I was also able to work masks and other COVID elements into a couple of short stories, one of which will be appearing in the Jacked anthology this summer – but it’s not a cozy, so…

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

There are so many places. I’m curious about everywhere. Okay, maybe I don’t need to actually go to Antarctica, but that’s about the only place I could skip. It’s like I mentioned above, I’m insanely curious and while I love visiting my old faves, there is so much of the world that I haven’t seen yet, and I want to see all of it.

What is next on the horizon for you?

I’m continuing to work on the Operation Quickline series, which I put out as a fiction serial on my blog, https://annelouisebannon.com/blogs. I’ve got book eight in the series, A Little Family Business, running now.

Operation Quickline is basically a cozy spy series or a romance with espionage intrusions, and currently, my characters Lisa Wycherly and Sid Hackbirn are trying to work out how to be a family while searching for the person hiding a cache of stolen weapons.

I’m also starting to plan book five in the Old Los Angeles series, which won’t be out until December 2023. And in June 2023, my contemporary techno-(I hope)thriller, Running Away to Boston, should be out.

Frankly, I’ve always got a lot going on, and all of the above is subject to change. The best way to keep on top of it is to sign up for my newsletter, which you can do by going to my website, https://annelouisebannon.com.

Thank you Anne Louise for visiting today!

Now keep reading to find out about Anne Louise’s new book!

About Death of an Heiress


Death of an Heiress
Historical Mystery
4th in Series (Old Los Angeles)
Setting – California
Healcroft House, Publishers (June 14, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 306 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1948616211
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1948616218
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09W5NLMT8

When the unmentionable stalks the pueblo

It starts when the inheritance that Lavina Gaines was to receive is stolen by her brother Timothy. Then an old Indian healing woman is murdered. Winemaker and physician Maddie Wilcox wants to find the person responsible for Mama Jane’s death, but is also occupied with another killer – the measles.

When Lavina’s friend Julia Carson dies trying to rid herself of a pregnancy, Lavina asks Maddie’s help finding the man responsible for Julia’s child. Soon after, Lavina is killed and her murder bears an uncanny resemblance to that of Mama Jane’s. The only motive Maddie can find involves Julia’s death, which is not the sort of thing one talks about. Not only that, Lavina’s nether garments are missing.

It’s a difficult challenge, but Maddie rises to it, searching among the many men of the pueblo, including some of her dearest friends.

How does a proper lady in 1872 get the answers she needs to stop a killer determined to stop her first?

 

More About Anne Louise Bannon

 

Anne Louise Bannon is an author and journalist who wrote her first novel at age 15. Her journalistic work has appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Wines and Vines, and in newspapers across the country. She was a TV critic for over 10 years, founded the YourFamilyViewer blog, and created the OddBallGrape.com wine education blog with her husband, Michael Holland. She is the co-author of Howdunit: Book of Poisons, with Serita Stevens, as well as author of the Freddie and Kathy mystery series, set in the 1920s,  the Operation Quickline series and the Old Los Angeles series, set in the 1870s. Her most recent title is the current stand-alone, Rage Issues. She and her husband live in Southern California with an assortment of critters. Visit her website at AnneLouiseBannon.com.

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
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Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Thoughts You Read How Many Books Challenge

Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise by Terry Ambrose #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @terryawriterguy


Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise
by Terry Ambrose

About Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise


Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise
(A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – California
Satori (May 23, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 315 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09X12RR5Y

Rick Atwood is happy to welcome Henry and Tara Nicholas to his Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast. Henry owns a bakery and Tara, a bookstore. They seem like a nice couple—until Rick’s daughter Alex overhears Henry talking on his cellphone to his real wife. The situation blows up the following morning when Tara discovers Henry has been lying to her—thanks in part to Alex’s interference. Tara disrupts the entire breakfast service. She then demands Rick evict Henry.

After finding Henry a room at the town’s motel, Rick hopes the drama is over. But when Henry is found dead the following morning, Rick feels partially responsible. He and Chief of Police Adam Cunningham launch an official murder investigation. They quickly find multiple witnesses who saw Tara in Henry’s room at the time of the murder.

Alex, convinced Tara is innocent, launches her own undercover investigation. Her discovery puts her in a deadly showdown with a sociopath on a bluff near the Seaside Cove Lighthouse. What happens on the bluff could make or break the official murder investigation.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

New guests have checked into the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast and drama ensues when Alex knows one of the guests has a major secret. A secret that is quickly revealed and leads to one of the guests checking out and relocating to a local motel. Shortly after the move, the guest is found dead. Again, Chief Adam Cunningham asks Rick to assist him with the investigation. With his wedding to Marquetta right around the corner he knows he should refuse but he does feel a little bit responsible for the guest’s death. Maybe they would still be alive if they had stayed at his B&B. He knows his daughter Alex cannot resist trying to help catch the killer so maybe with his help, the case will be wrapped up quickly he and Marquetta can keep her occupied with tasks for the wedding. But Alex is headstrong and this time Rick may be too late to save her.


I have been looking forward to this story since the series began. Rick and Marquetta tying the knot and Alex getting the mom she has long wanted. But before that, they have a killer to catch because if they don’t their big day is not going to happen.

Terry Ambrose has created such lovable characters in Rick, Marquetta, and Alex. It is so easy to become invested in their lives. We really know what Alex is thinking because the narration switches between her and her dad. She is one smart 11-year-old. She catches things adults miss, plus she’s a kid and people open up to her or talk freely when she is in the room never thinking how tuned in she is to what is going on around her. Together these characters bring a strong genuine family unit. It is a delight to get a bird’s eye view of their lives.

The mystery starts off with a questionable diving accident that gets complicated by a murder. Are the tragedies connected? The author twists things up so well. Adam and Rick are tracking suspects and clues, but Alex isn’t sitting this one out. She has her investigation going. I thought all of the suspects were guilty at one time or another throughout the story. Still unsure I found myself scooted right up to my seat at the big suspenseful reveal. The author plotted this one out fantastically.

Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise was a wonderful read. The mystery was entertaining and fun to try to solve. The way it blended with all the characters had going on in their daily lives was a real treat. A clean read, this book is perfect for adults old and young to enjoy. Alex is a charming young lady with a dangerous knack for solving mysteries and the ability to draw readers in without any trouble at all.

A Perfect Escape! 

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About Terry Ambrose

Once upon a time, in a life he’d rather forget, Terry Ambrose, tracked down deadbeats for a living. He also hired big guys with tow trucks to steal cars—but only when negotiations failed. Those years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—always keep your car in the garage.

Terry has written eighteen books, several of which have been award finalists. In 2014, his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. His series include the Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries, the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mysteries, and the License to Lie thriller series.

You can learn more about Terry and his writing at terryambrose.com.

Author links:
Website    Facebook      Twitter     Instagram     BookBub     Goodreads    Amazon

Purchase – Amazon 


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Murder in the Community Garden (A Tory Benning Mystery) by Judith Gonda #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


I am happy to shine my spotlights on Murder in the Community Garden
(A Tory Benning Mystery)

by Judith Gonda today! 

Great Escapes Praise for Murder in the Community Garden:

This makes for a fun read as we follow along finding clues along the way. I especially enjoy all of the pet appearances. Sure to be a great choice for cozy fans. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I enjoyed this cozy mystery, as well as the characters, I especially liked Tory’s pet Pomeranians and cat, and the interesting secret of her latest adopted pet.
~Nellie’s Book Nook

Give Murder in the Community Garden a chance. Ms. Gonda is a fabulous writer, and I know you won’t be disappointed.
~Novels Alive

About Murder in the Community Garden


Murder in the Community Garden (A Tory Benning Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Beyond the Page Publishing (May 10, 2022)
Number of Pages: 256
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1954717946
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1954717947
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09VLL17QJ

Budding sleuth Tory Benning has to overcome planted evidence and growing suspicions to save an innocent man from being framed . . .

Designing a community garden as part of a new condo project seemed like a no-brainer to landscape architect Tory Benning, since it would bring people together and enhance the environmental profile of the property. But soon members of the garden begin squabbling and even leveling accusations of sabotage against each other in a friendly growing competition. Then one of the gardeners is found murdered at the grand opening, and Tory realizes she’ll have to weed through some damning false evidence to help prove her implicated friend is innocent.

It’s a daunting challenge given that her friend was seen threatening the victim on live TV and all the clues point to him as the culprit, but Tory is certain someone is behind a devious plot to set him up. As she starts looking into the backgrounds of those closest to the victim, secrets begin to emerge about marital infidelity, a sizable inheritance, and estranged children. Fearful now that she might be going up against someone far more cunning than a garden-variety killer, Tory will have to stand her ground to bring the culprit to justice—and be careful not to dig her own grave . . .

About Judith Gonda

judith gonda

Judith Gonda is a mystery writer and Ph.D. psychologist with a penchant for Pomeranians, plants, and puns, so it’s not surprising they all pop up in her amateur sleuth mysteries featuring landscape architect Tory Benning. To learn more about her books, please visit her website: https://www.judithgonda.com

Author Links:

Website –  Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – GoodReads – Pinterest – Blog – 

TikTok 

Purchase Links:

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The Corpse’s Secret Life (A PIP Inc. Mystery) by Nancy Lynn Jarvis #GuestPost / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


The Corpse’s Secret Life (A PIP Inc Mystery)
by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

I am delighted to welcome Syda to Escape With Dollycas today!

I’m complicated…
by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

Starting with my name which is Syda.  Syda Gonzales. My question for you is how do you pronounce Syda? I ask because it depends where you’re from. In Australia where my family lived until I was three it’s pronounced Sida with a long i. Most other places it’s Sida with a soft i.

I liked Pat Pirard the minute I met her at UC Santa Cruz where we were both undergrads because she could hear the tiniest remnant of an Aussie accent―she’s good at subtlety―and knew about my name’s region-distinct pronunciation so she called me Syda with a long i without me having to explain my name to her.

Even though we hit it off from the start, we probably shouldn’t have become best friends. She was getting her degree in library science which is such a structured field and I’m an artist: creative and loosey-goosey. But, although she’s organized and methodical, she has an adventurous and free-spirity side to her―other things I liked about her instantly―so maybe that’s why we work so well as friends.

I’ve been her pal through many ups and downs, but when her long term boyfriend ended their relationship I felt it was up to me to find a nice rebound romance for her. Unfortunately, she didn’t seem impressed with any of my suggestions. It’s not that I think a woman, especially a successful one who loved her career like Pat did can’t be complete without a man, it’s just that she’s my BFF and I’m happily married, so I know how nice that is and I wanted the best for her.

Then, the day before her thirty-fifth birthday, she got downsized out of her job as the Santa Cruz County Law Librarian. Her life was totally unfair. No boyfriend, no job, and no money, either, because she just spent every dime she had on a sunburst yellow convertible Mercedes.

Leave it to Pat, though. She has a creative side, too―or a need to keep a roof over her and her pets, a cat named Lord Peter Wimsey and her Dalmatian, Dot, heads―so in no time at all she printed up business cards and started a private investigating business―PIP. Inc. which stands for Private Investigator Pat. Isn’t that clever? I gave her a burglary set to show my support for her new endeavor and because I thought as a PI she might need it.

Her first gig was working for a gorgeous, single attorney who was defending a man Pat knew couldn’t be a murderer. She met the attorney when she was a law librarian and kind of had a crush on him. She proved she was a good detective and I thought all her romantic problems might be solved and I was sort of right…but that’s a story for The Glass House.

Now she’s on her third case, still sporting a cast on her wrist because of a confrontation with a killer―I won’t go into details about what happened, but you can read all about it in The Funeral Murder―and this one is a humdinger. There’s a moldering corpse with multiple identities, tarot cards and a Goth named Damien, sin eaters―you’ll have to Google them or read The Corpse’s Secret Life to find out about them, and complications at every turn.

But enough about Pat and her investigating. Let’s get back to me. When I’m not painting, of making glass art, or writing―that’s one creative enterprise I struggle with―or my latest, making jewelry, I’m her partner, at least sort of. I help her with disguises, interviewing suspects, and distracting potential killers so Pat can slip into places she shouldn’t be to investigate. In the process, we have a great time, and, yes, we’ve had a few close calls. My husband, Greg, who is a Deputy Sheriff and his occasional partner and friend Sergeant Tim Lindsey worry about us sometimes, but they know better than to try and change our minds about what we do.

I can’t show you a picture of us in one of our disguises because, well, we might need the same disguise in the future, but I can show you some of my ‘Syda’s Garden Gems’ earrings. I think they’re fabulous; Pat likes them, too. What do you think?

Pat’s coming over today. We’ll have coffee and some of her grandmother’s recipe chocolate cake while we plan our next scheme and the big event in her life that’s coming up in the future, or should I say in the next book? I have an important role to play in the big event, too, so stay tuned. (Hint: I offered my jewelry making skills, but Pat says that part of the day is already covered.)

Keep reading for more information about Nancy Lynn Jarvis’ new release!

 

About The Corpse’s Secret Life


The Corpse’s Secret Life (A PIP Inc. Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Santa Cruz, CA.
Good Read Mysteries (March 16, 2022)
Number of Pages 245
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09SX9RHN4

Pat’s fledgling private investigation company, PIP Inc., has a promising new case.

Pat is still wearing a wrist cast after breaking her arm in a confrontation with a killer, so when she’s hired by the City of Watsonville to unearth the identity of an older woman who died in her bed, she’s delighted that her next job promises to be a simple computer-based research project.

Why is it that things are never as simple as she thinks they will be? Pat soon discovers nothing is as it seems, beginning with a corpse who had secret identities, murder, and a post-death ritual thought to have last been performed decades ago.

 

About Nancy Lynn Jarvis

Nancy Lynn Jarvis left the real estate profession after she started having so much fun writing the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series that she let her license lapse. She’s enjoyed writing about Regan and her husband, Tom, but decided it was time to do a new series.

PIP Inc. introduces protagonist downsized law librarian and not-quite-licensed Private Investigator Pat Pirard. “The Funeral Murder” is the second book in the series.

After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, Nancy worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News. A move to Santa Cruz meant a new job as a librarian and later a stint as the business manager for Shakespeare/Santa Cruz at UCSC.

Currently, she’s enjoying being a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Santa Cruz Women of Mystery.

Author Links

Website – Facebook – Goodreads

Purchase Links –

Amazon – 

Great Escapes Praise for The Corpse’s Secret Life (A PIP Inc Mystery)
by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

Makes for a fabulously fun read as it all plays out. Sure to be enjoyed by cozy fans. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

The story is more a clean international mystery than Cozy, but it is a great read with wonderfully layered characters, plenty of suspense, and a classic whodunnit ending.
~I Read What You Write

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Gambling with Murder: A Southern California Mystery by Lida Sideris #Spotlight / #Giveaway @lidasideris – Great Escapes Book Tour


It is my pleasure to shine my spotlight on Gambling with Murder: A Southern California Mystery
by Lida Sideris today!

About Gambling for Murder


Gambling with Murder: A Southern California Mystery
Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – California
Level Best Books (March 29, 2022)
Paperback, 260 pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09QYW2VYG

A late-night call is all it takes for rookie lawyer Corrie Locke to kiss her day job at the movie studio goodbye, and do what she does best: flex her sweet P.I. skills and go undercover to find a senior who’s missing from a posh retirement community. One small stumbling block: skirting past security to gain inside access to the exclusive Villa Sunset. Time to call in the heavy artillery. Besides former security guard turned legal assistant—now wannabe P.I.—Veera, Corrie relies on a secret weapon: her mother, a surprisingly eager addition to Corrie’s team. Armed with enough pepper spray to take down a band of Navy Seals, Mom impersonates a senior to infiltrate the Villa, Corrie and Veera in tow. Turns out the job’s not as easy as they’d thought. These seniors have tricks tucked up their sleeves and aren’t afraid of using them.

 

The action gets dicey when the missing senior case turns into attempted murder by a criminal mind who’s always one step ahead. Corrie’s hot on the trail, but finds more than she bargained for…when her mother becomes a target.

 

About Lida Sideris

Lida Sideris’ first stint after law school was a newbie lawyer’s dream: working as an entertainment attorney for a movie studio…kind of like her heroine, Corrie Locke, except without the homicides. Lida was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship Award and a Silver Falchion Award Finalist. She lives in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, rescue dogs and a flock of uppity chickens. To learn more, please visit: www.LidaSideris.com

Author Links

Website   Facebook   BookBub    Twitter: @lidasideris   Instagram: @lida_sideris

Purchase Links – Amazon

 

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Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cheddar Off Dead: A Cheese Shop Mystery by Korina Moss #Review

Cheddar Off Dead: A Cheese Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (March 29, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250795192
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250795199
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09C4FZDD5

In Korina Moss’s cozy series debut, Cheddar Off Dead, cheesemonger Willa Bauer discovers that her new home in a small Sonoma Valley town is ripe for murder… something here stinks to high heaven, and Willa knows it’s not the cheese.

Cheesemonger Willa Bauer is proving that sweet dreams are made of cheese. She’s opened her very own French-inspired cheese shop, Curds & Whey, in the heart of the Sonoma Valley. The small town of Yarrow Glen is Willa’s fresh start, and she’s determined to make it a success – starting with a visit from the local food critic. What Willa didn’t know is that this guy never gives a good review, and when he shows up nothing goes according to plan. She doesn’t think the night can get any worse… until she finds the critic’s dead body, stabbed with one of her shop’s cheese knives. Now a prime suspect, Willa has always believed life’s problems can be solved with cheese, but she’s never tried to apply it to murder…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to Yarrow Glen and the new Curds & Whey Cheese shop. Willa Bauer has opened the shop as a fresh start in the heart of the Sonoma Valley. She has always believed life’s problems can be solved with cheese. She can’t wait to share her mantra and her cheeses with all the residents of her new home.

Hoping to get the shop off to a good start she is looking forward to having a local food critic review the place. But then she learns this critic rarely gives a good review.

The man finally arrives late and clearly intoxicated right in the middle of a cheesemaking class Willa is having for her new neighbors and he is not happy with the people attending the class. After making some threats he leaves much to Willa’s dismay. He didn’t even taste any of the cheese. The class quickly wraps up and Willa is worried about the fate of her shop when he pens a horrible review.

Her worries get substantially worse when she finds the man dead. Stabbed with one of her new cheese knives. Cheese is not going to solve this problem. To save herself and her shop she is going to need to find the killer before the cheese really hits the fan.


Cheesemonger Willa Bauer took a roundabout path before opening her shop in Yarrow Glen. She grew up on a family farm in Oregon but left to travel the world learning about all types of cheese before opening Curds & Whey, so she is very knowledgeable about her product. She has hired two wonderful employees, Archie, a recent high school graduate, and Mrs. Schulz, a retired schoolteacher. We also meet her neighbor Baz who works around town as a handyman. All three are familiar with the town and what makes it tick. Mrs. Schultz was my favorite. “Very matter of fact, but also a little out there”. I loved the ideas she and Archie come up with to promote the shop. Ms. Moss gives us a nice introduction to these core characters while leaving plenty of room for growth.

The mystery was well written but with the small suspect pool, I did focus on one individual pretty quickly. Each clue just kept reinforcing my theory. I did enjoy the way Willa, Baz, Archie, and Mrs. Schultz banded together to try to catch the killer. The pace at which the mystery unfolded was a little slow for me but I can attribute that to being the first book in the series and the necessity to introduce all the characters and the settings.

This story is very similar to the Cheese Shop Mysteries written by Avery Aames so I did find myself comparing the two. Like Charlotte Bessette, Willa shares many tips and information about the production and flavors of many different types of cheeses. I am always looking for more cheesy recipes and hope that we are treated to more as this series continues. With the right development, Willa could become as impressive as Charlotte too.

Cheddar Off Dead is a good start for this series. To make me check into this series for the long haul I need Willa to have a little more depth and to pace herself and not jump so quickly to conclusions. I am a fan of some romance in my cozy mysteries but it felt like she was looking at every man in the book as a possible partner. I feel all the right elements have been laid out for a strong series, I look forward to seeing how the author builds on them in book two, Gone for Gouda.

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About the Author

KORINA MOSS is the author of the Cheese Shop cozy mystery series set in Sonoma Valley. She loves creating quirky characters who live in idyllic small towns. Moss grew up on a healthy dose of Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie novels, which developed her passion for solving mysteries and eventually writing her own. She lives in a small New England town with its own share of quirky characters.
WebsiteFacebookTwitterWriter’s Who Kill BlogInstagram

Coming September 27, 2022

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.”