Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Case of the Amorous Assailant by Terry Ambrose #Review


The Case of the Amorous Assailant
Private Investigator Mystery
Setting – California
Satori (October 18, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 099689148X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0996891486
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B8TQVFZ5

New PI Jade Cavendish’s investigation into a cheating husband takes a bizarre turn when she uncovers a plot to commit murder.

The Amorous Assailant has frustrated police for months. His MO is always the same. He binds his victims with red silk, kisses them, and leaves them with a red rose. Women throughout the city are worried they’ll be his next victim.

Novice PI Jade Cavendish isn’t one of them, though. After inheriting the Beachtown Detective Agency, she’s worried about landing a paying client. Any client. She’d even settle for a dognapping.

Gina Rose, a wealthy young heiress, has a problem. Her new husband, a man she thought was her perfect match, is bleeding her dry. When Gina hires Jade to prove her husband is defrauding her, Jade quickly learns he’s a terrible businessman. His investment properties are oozing money like open wounds.

On the surface, it appears Gina simply has bad taste in men. But Jade refuses to give up on her client so easily. Her investigation pulls her into a world filled with greed, one where secrets are a way of life, events are not always what they seem, and lies conceal deadly realities—including the Amorous Assailant’s true motive.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

PI Jade Cavendish is a rookie. She has inherited the Beachtown Detective Agency from her father who is retiring. Now, she just needs her first case and she doesn’t care what kind of a case it is.

Rich young heiress, Gina Rose enters the Beachtown Detective Agency with a problem. She thought she had married the man of her dreams, but she now realizes he just married her for her money. Jade agrees to help her even when Gina doesn’t like the path the investigation takes.

All the while, the Amorous Assailant has the police stymied. He targets women, uses red silk to bind their hands, gives them a kiss and a red rose, and disappears. Would Jade have a better chance of catching him?


Mr. Ambrose has introduced readers to a spunky smart protagonist in Jade Cavendish. She just needs to get her first case behind her to grow her confidence.

Jade is joined by some entertaining secondary characters. Her dad and mom, Zoe, a blogger that becomes her sidekick, along with a group of women she meets teaching a self-defense class. Zoe brings a lot of humor to the story and gives Jade a few headaches with her unpredictable way of overstepping her bounds. I enjoyed meeting these characters and felt they were well-developed for the first book in the series.

The story started out in a way that I wasn’t expecting making me wonder where the author was going but soon it all became clear as he took his characters through a bunch of twists and turns to deliver a very solid mystery. Jade uncovered several secrets and lies that kept the story moving at a nice pace. I was able to piece the clues together before Jade’s discovery but that didn’t take away my desire to see how everything was going to play out.

This author gets the details right. He sets a scene so well, readers feel they are there, right on the spot. His characters are realistic and their dialogues ring true. The mystery is well-plotted and while the theme of this story is a little out there it could actually happen in real life.

I hope The Case of the Amorous Assailant is the first book in a long-running series. I really like these characters and can only imagine the storylines Mr. Ambrose could feature them in. The sky seems to be the limit.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Terry Ambrose started out skip-tracing and collecting money from deadbeats and quickly learned that liars come from all walks of life. He never actually stole a car, but sometimes hired big guys with tow trucks and a penchant for working in the dark to “help” when negotiations failed.

A resident of Southern California, he loves spending time in Hawaii, especially on the Garden Island of Kauai, where he invents lies for others to read. His years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—always keep your car in the garage.

Author links:
Website    Facebook      Twitter     Instagram     BookBub     Goodreads    Amazon

Purchase – Amazon

Also by Terry Ambrose



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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies You Read How Many Books Challenge

Gone for Gouda: A Cheese Shop Mystery by Korina Moss #Review @KorinaLMoss


Gone for Gouda: A Cheese Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (September 27, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250795214
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250795212
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09NK4F3NH

Things are going from gouda to bad to ugly for cheesemonger Willa Bauer in Gone for Gouda.

Yarrow Glen’s newest cheese shop, Curds & Whey, has a lot on its plate, but cheesemonger Willa Bauer relishes a challenge. There’s a float to build for the fall festival, plus the French-inspired cheese shop is playing host to celebrity vegan chef Phoebe Winston. But when photos surface that prove this vegan influencer is, in fact, a carnivore, things crumble faster than any cheese on the market: Phoebe is murdered. Willa’s employee, the affable Archie, was the last one to see Phoebe alive and the first person the police suspect. To clear his name Willa must uncover who’s been up to no gouda

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Trying to grow her business, Curds & Whey, cheesemonger Willa Bauer is both nervous and excited to welcome Phoebe Winston, a vegan influencer to her shop for a demonstration to promote her new book. Phoebe is a very demanding guest and she was immediately taken in by Willa’s employee Archie choosing him to take on duties that would usually done by her own assistant Thomas. After giving instructions to Willa about all the ingredients she will need for her demo, telling her how to rearrange the venue, to order more chairs, and sticking a pin in Willa’s confidence Phoebe “sailed out with Thomas in tow just as she swept in  – – like a tornado.

But then the wind is knocked out of Phoebe’s sails when photos are published revealing that she is not a vegan at all. Willa sees the hit her business takes quickly when people fill the street into Curds & Whey demanding refunds for her big event. She needs to try to get the Book and Cook back on track so she and Archie take off to try to talk to Phoebe. When they arrive they find the woman dead in the bathtub. The death is soon determined to be murder and Archie believed to be the last person to see her alive is pegged to be the prime suspect.

Willa knows that Phoebe may be “Gone for Gouda” but she would bet her last wheel of cheese Archie had no part in her death and she is going to prove it.


All the core characters from the first book Cheddar Off Dead return and I was so happy to see some nice character development. We learned more about all of them. I was glad to see Willa emerge stronger after Phoebe took a swing at her confidence. She still needs to work on her amateur sleuthing skills and not accuse every one of her suspects right from the start but her way sure makes the story interesting. What made me the happiest was that while her romantic life is still up in the air she didn’t come off as so man crazy in this story. The triangle was still there but it was not as distracting as in the first book.

The mystery of Phoebe’s death was very cleverly plotted with a nice number of suspects. She was not a nice woman and had done some very shady things in her past. The author drops plenty of clues throughout the book and I thought I had the right person in my sights until an event twisted things up again. I enjoyed the way everyone pulled together to solve the mystery and took part not in just one rescue but two.

I liked the subplot of the fall festival and the float making with Willa’s unique project she made for the float. She received a lot of funny grief for it.

I was delighted by mouth-watering cheese dishes described too. There are recipes at the back of the book and I have already copied down the one for Cheesy Apple Pockets. They sound like a great autumn treat.

Gone for Gouda is an entertaining whodunit with a solid mystery and fun characters. Mrs. Schultz continues to be my fave.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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.

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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours paradise rating You Read How Many Books Challenge

Buttercream Betrayal (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series) by Kim Davis #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @Kookiesandbooks


Buttercream Betrayal (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series)
by Kim Davis

I am thrilled to kick off the Great Escapes Tour for this new book from author Kim Davis!

About Buttercream Betrayal


Buttercream Betrayal (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – California
Cinnamon & Sugar Press (September 13, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8985360110
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B8BTDZ1H

Intent on getting their two mischievous dogs under control, Emory Martinez and her half sister, Vannie, join a group dog training program led by Shawn Parker. With a graduation certificate just within grasp and a party to celebrate their hard-won achievements, what could go wrong? For starters, their two dogs have decided to wreak havoc during the party and tempers flare. It turns out not everyone is pleased with the dog trainer and his mother, the condo association president. Whispers of the mother and son’s misbehavior, or worse, fly amongst the barks, whines, and growls of the canines.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Cupcake baker extraordinaire Emory Martinez keeps herself busy with her own clients, helps her sister with her catering business, is a companion to her landlord Tillie, and works for Tillie’s son to keep affairs in order when he is out of town. She is also becoming quite the amateur sleuth usually with Tillie by her side.

In this fifth installment, Emory and her half-sister Vannie enroll Emory’s dogs, Piper and Missy in a dog training class. They made it through all the sessions and are ready to celebrate with the entire group when the dog’s mischievous nature cannot be contained and they cause a bit of ruckus. The instructor gets so upset he declares Piper and Missy had failed the class and his mother, condo association president is livid and asks Emory, Vannie, and the naughty pups to leave.

It is then Emory learns of the questionable behavior of the dog trainer and his mother, but she is still surprised when she returns and finds one of them dead.

So with Tillie by her side and help from family and friends, she tries to find the depth of their misdeeds while trying to corner the killer.


I love this series so much!

It is the extraordinary cast of characters that Ms. Davis has created that keeps me coming back for each new story. The relationships are realistic, and genuine, and continue to grow. New characters are introduced and are accepted in the group that truly is one big family. I love the big family dinners and the way everyone pulls together in some pretty stressful situations. Tillie continues to be my favorite character and I firmly believe everyone needs a Tillie in their lives.

The mystery is complex with a plethora of suspects. It is so well written and plotted. With subplots dealing with puppy mills, money laundering, and blackmail the story goes off in many directions as Emory, Tillie and the rest of the group try to make everything they are learning go together to make sense to lead them to a killer without getting themselves killed in the process. I was glued to the pages each step along the way. It was definitely not a clear-cut path. Ms. Davis set everything up perfectly to keep her readers on their toes. She also has an expert hand with humor because this cast is fun-loving and sometimes just plain funny.

Of course, there are cupcakes and other delicious food mentioned/described throughout the book and the author includes many recipes at the end of the story to tickle our taste buds. I would love to get together with the characters in this story just for the desserts and dinners.

You will find Buttercream Betrayal on my Best Reads List for 2022. The author continues to top herself. I am invested in these characters and each visit ends too soon. Just one more cupcake, please.

Every story in this series is wonderful. I recommend reading them in order but each can be read on its own. This is a series that should not be missed. Cozy mystery lovers will be delighted with each and every story!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Kim Davis

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband. When she’s not chasing her puppy or spending time with her granddaughters she can be found either writing stories or working on her blog, Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder or in the kitchen baking up yummy treats.  She has published the suspense novel, A GAME OF DECEIT, the Cupcake Catering Mystery series, and the Aromatherapy Mystery series. She also has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Author Links – Website  – Facebook  – Twitter: – Goodreads  – Pinterest – Blog

Purchase Link: Amazon 

The Rest of the Series

Also by this author 

Coming August 15, 2023

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
September 13 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 13 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 14 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
September 14 – The Mystery of Writing – SPOTLIGHT
September 14 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW
September 15 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
September 16 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR GUEST POST
September 16 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
September 16 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
September 16 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
September 16 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
September 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
September 17 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
September 18 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
September 18 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
September 18 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT
September 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 19 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 20 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 20 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe my readers will appreciate. 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

Something Fishy This Way Comes (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery) by Gabby Allan #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks – Great Escapes Book Tour


Something Fishy This Way Comes (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery)
by Gabby Allan


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I am sharing my thoughts about
Something Fishy This Way Comes.

About Something Fishy This Way Comes

Something Fishy This Way Comes (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting –  Santa Catalina Island
Kensington (July 26, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 240 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496731077
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496731074
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09KP3169L

Take in the wild beauty of Santa Catalina Island with tour guide and eclectic gift shop owner Whitney Dagner. On the itinerary: dramatic Pacific coastlines, diverse marine life, and murder!

Since returning home from mainland California and finding her groove with the family tourism business, Whitney Dagner’s daily routine has become a wonderfully chaotic adventure. She and her nimble kitty, Whiskers, often find themselves at the center of the action on Catalina, from staged treasure hunts to gossipy birdwatchers. But before Whit can get too comfortable in the place where she grew up, a gift shop order leads to a stunning discovery—someone’s dead body . . .

One of Whit’s best boat tour clients, Leo Franklin was young and newly engaged when he unceremoniously took his own life. Only it doesn’t seem like that’s what really happened—not after the suspicious activity displayed by his family’s old rivals at the scene of his death. As a bitter, generations-long feud between Leo’s kin and the local Ahern clan comes to a head, Whit and her police diver not-so-ex-boyfriend must lead a dangerous investigation into years of scandal and bad blood to figure out who’s innocent . . . and who’s covering a killer’s tracks.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Whitney Dagner owns the Dame of the Sea gift shop on Santa Catalina Island. Her grandmother Goldy helps out at the shop quite often and even orders merchandise she thinks will sell well. Her latest craze is for painted rocks, some with uplifting messages. They are just flying off the shelves.

Whitney leaves Goldie in charge of the shop while she goes out to bury one of the treasure chests her shop is known for. But when she arrives at her destination she finds two men arguing and a dead body on the ground in front of them. They are trying to assert that the young man took his own life.  Whitney is even more confused when she realizes that instead of calling the police they called their family, the Ahern family, who have all started to arrive on the scene.

Whitney knows the deceased, Leo Franklin was a fun guy, newly engaged, and had his whole life ahead of him. There has been a long-time feud between Leo’s family and the Ahern clan, but after all these years would they actually kill someone over the feud? A feud that no one really knows how it started.

With the help of her friend Maribel and her boyfriend Felix, she needs to try to find something that will show he didn’t die by suicide, even if it means uncovering everything about the feuding families.


This story takes place on the idyllic Santa Catalina Island. The author’s descriptions of it really make me want to visit. I would love to see all the sights and enjoy a tour in a glass-bottomed boat.

There is a nice set of core characters, Whitney, Maribel, Goldie, Pops, Nick, Felix, and of course Whiskers. These characters were fleshed out a little more in this second book but there is still much more development needed to really get readers invested in these characters. The relationships do feel genuine. The new characters introduced needed more development as well. Again Goldie was my favorite. I love her confidence and that she goes after whatever she wants. She also mans Dame of the Sea while Whit is chasing down clues.

For me, the story opened with a very slow pace and traveled hither and yon without really getting anywhere. I guess I needed more action mixed in with the humorous passages and Whitney starting her investigation. Whitney always had a lot of irons in the fire but she couldn’t get the clues to fall into place. Then in the last chapters, she had her A-Ha moment the pace picked up with the mystery solved very quickly. The reveal happened in a unique way that was really great.

Something Fishy This Way Comes was a good sequel to Much Ado about Nauticaling. I really enjoy the theme of this series and I am sure the characters will continue to develop as the series continues and Whitney refines her amateur sleuthing techniques. I am curious to see what Ms. Allan has in store next for these characters.

There was a suicide trigger for me in this story but I knew about it beforehand and knew that the character did not take his own life.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Gabby Allan 

After writing plays for her friends to act out as a kid, bad poetry in high school, and her high school Alma Mater song, GABBY ALLAN finally found her true passion—cozy mysteries. Being able to share her world with readers, one laugh at a time, and touch people’s hearts with her down-to-earth characters makes for the best job ever. This California girl now lives with her husband, daughter, and two insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel.

Author Links

Website Facebook

Purchase Links –

Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Play – IndieBound –

Great Escapes Praise for Something Fishy This Way Comes (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery)
by Gabby Allan

I enjoyed turning the pages and following the twists and turns. This was a fun read!
~My Reading Journeys

If you’re looking for a new cozy mystery series with a beautiful setting, give Whit and Whiskers a try.
~Christy’s Cozy Corners

The mystery is contained in this book, but it’s so much more fun to read book #1 and get to know the characters better. A fun, suspenseful page turner. Yes, there is a cat involved too! I hope a third book will be coming out soon!
~Socrates’ Book Reviews

Something Fishy This Way Comes by Gabby Allan delivered all the things I enjoyed about book one, with some added twists that give this book its own flavor. Dry humor, warm relationships, colorful characters, and a quaint paradise setting draw readers into the story and the well-crafted mystery keeps them turning pages until the end. I’m looking forward to visiting Catalina, Whit, and her enigmatic feline sidekick Whiskers again!
~Reading is my Superpower

SOMETHING FISHY THIS WAY COMES is a fast-paced quick read. Charming characters, lots of laughs, and a complex puzzle make this second Whit and Whiskers Mystery a fun and refreshing delight.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
August 18 – Lady Hawkeye – GUEST POST  
August 18 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 19 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
August 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
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August 25 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 25 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
August 26 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 26 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
August 27 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
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August 28 – The Mystery Section – GUEST POST
August 29 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog -CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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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

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.

Author Links

Website     Facebook     BookBub     GoodReads     Instagram      Twitter

Purchase Links – AmazonBookShopB&N 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
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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.

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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

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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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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! 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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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