Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Treasure Most Deadly (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery) by Terry Ambrose #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @terryawriterguy


Treasure Most Deadly (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery)
by Terry Ambrose

About Treasure Most Deadly 


Treasure Most Deadly (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – California
Satori (April 28, 2021)
Print Length: 265 pages
ASIN: B08ZJ4XQ89

Seaside Cove amateur sleuths Rick and Alexandra Atwood are back!

 

Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast owner Rick Atwood is again called on to assist his friend, Chief of Police Adam Cunningham, with a murder investigation. The case seems straightforward enough. Clive Crabbe, who has a quick temper and a strong jealous streak, was found hunched over the victim after the man made advances toward Clive’s ex-wife.

 

A murder investigation is the last thing Rick wants right now. The B&B is booked solid. The town is inundated with tourists and news reporters chasing stories about treasure thieves. And Rick’s wedding to Marquetta Weiss is just weeks away. As if that wasn’t enough, Rick’s eleven-year-old daughter Alex is not only itching to help the cops solve another murder, but she’s forming an unhealthy friendship with a B&B guest.

 

As the murder investigation progresses, Rick realizes Alex’s new friend could be at the center of everything. The worst part is that Alex may be the one person capable of cracking the case.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Since the hidden treasure of San Manuel has been found Seaside Cove has been overtaken by tourists and reporters but a few thieves look to have arrived too. Rick and Marquetta have a full house at their B&B and Alex and Marquetta’s mother, Madeline, are pressuring them to choose a date and get their wedding planned. The last thing they need is another murder.

But soon Chief of Police Adam Cunningham calls on his good friend Rick when he finds a dead man in an alley. It appears to be an open and shut case though. Clive Crabbe is found next to the body. Clive and his wife are separated but he can’t handle anyone giving his ex and attention. According to reports she and the dead man had been flirting up a storm. But Clive claims he is innocent.

On top of that Alex is helping a “reporter” get the facts for a story while chasing down her own set of clues for the murder case. Is she going to solve this one before the chief and her dad? or is she going to find herself in a boatload of trouble she can’t handle?

_________

I am so happy to be visiting Seaside Cove again. You never know what is going to happen when you check in at Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast. Marquetta makes sure all the guest’s needs are met with a little help from Alex and Rick, but it won’t be long before Rick is working a case and Alex is off on an adventure. I love the way these characters have grown quickly into a family and that Alex comes to really realize that in this story. The alternating points of view between Rick and Alex are great. Seeing things from an eleven-year-old POV is always fun. She does have some great insights. Alex’s dedication to Flynn was heartwarming. She will not abide anyone lying about her friend.

The author introduces a handful of new characters, some just tourists, some who seem to have a secret, one on a mystery mission, and another trying to heal from a harrowing experience. A few unsavory characters have arrived in town too. All of these new characters are cleverly crafted and develop nicely over the course of the story.

The mystery is very well-plotted with just the right amount of suspects. In addition to the murder, someone is stealing artifacts from the sunken ship. All the plotlines mesh together for an exciting and comprehensive mystery. I totally enjoyed following along with Alex and her antics. That girl can’t stop thinking about the case even at school. I do appreciate that Rick and Marquetta try to keep her to safe parts of the investigation but their best-laid plans don’t always work.

The subplot of Rick and Marquetta’s wedding planning was so realistic. How do you have the wedding of your dreams when you are in the hospitality business, taking care of other needs day in and day out? I think these two are starting to figure it out.

Each trip to Seaside Cove is unique and fun. Treasure Most Deadly is a fantastic addition to this series. Come for the sea, the sun, and the treasure. Just remember that treasure can be deadly.

I already looking forward to my next visit!

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. Today, Terry likes fast, funny mysteries and cool photography. He writes the Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries and organized an anthology to benefit Read Aloud America. He fondly likens his efforts to those of a blind man herding cats.

Author Links:

Website    Facebook    LinkedIn     Goodreads     Twitter    Instagram 

Purchase Link – Amazon – 


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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 2021 Reviews E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge paradise rating You Read How Many Books Challenge

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto #Review


Dial A for Aunties
Humorous American Literature
Asian American Literature & Fiction
Setting – California
Publisher: Berkley (April 27, 2021)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0593336739
ISBN-13: 978-0593336731
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0593333039
ISBN-13: 978-0593333037
Kindle ASIN: B08JKM7JCC

What happens when you mix 1 (accidental) murder with 2 thousand wedding guests and then toss in a possible curse on 3 generations of an immigrant Chinese-Indonesian family? 
 
You get 4 meddling Asian aunties coming to the rescue!

When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for the family wedding business—”Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!”—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream flowers.

But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Oh my, this is satire at its finest. Jesse Q. Sutanto sure knows how to bring the funny.

Meddelin Chan is part of her family’s wedding business. She photographs the event from start to finish and with Indonesian – Chinese weddings that entails a lot. “Big Aunt” makes the luscious cakes, “Aunt 2” is in charge of hair and make-up. Meddie’s mother takes care of all the flowers and “Aunt 4” sings, providing entertainment. Together all five of them try to hide a body but wait, I am getting ahead of myself.

Meddy’s mother is so worried about her daughter’s love life that with some help from her meddlesome aunts she sets Meddy up on a dating site and pretends to be her. Meddy finds out when she learns she has a blind date with a man her mother feels is perfect. Sadly the date doesn’t go well and Meddelin accidentally kills the man and could have killed herself. But she survives and makes it home with the date in the trunk of the car. With a huge wedding the next day they try to keep the body on ice until after the event but due to circumstances beyond their control that darn body ends up at the wedding site. What ensues is a wild ride of a story I could not put down. Heck, Meddy’s college boyfriend even enters the scene and plays an integral part.


Okay, you need to suspend reality while reading this story but you will catch yourself laughing out loud and immersed in a wonderful escape.

Meddy is the dutiful daughter and “Ma” and her Aunties are an absolute hoot! The Chans are a close family and there is so much love there. The Auntie’s get a little snippy with each other but they truly support each other even when it comes to getting rid of a dead body. These characters practically jump off the page. The dialogue which includes a little bickering just sings. I laughed so hard when Meddy and her aunties had to explain to Ma the text messages she had received from the man she set her daughter up with.

The story had a few Weekend At Bernie’s movie moments too as we moved to the wedding part of the story. That poor dead body turned up in some surprising places.

But the story isn’t all laughs. We get a nice look at the traditions and stress of an Indo-Chinese wedding. I really felt for the bride as certain things came to light.

I loved the twist that brought Meddy’s college boyfriend, Nathan Chan back into the story and the little flashbacks to their previous relationship. Don’t worry Chan is like Smith in the Indo-Chinese world so they are not related.

I absolutely loved everything about this story and I was thrilled to read it is going to be adapted into a movie on NetFlix. It was such a wonderful escape I have to give it my highest – deserves more than 5 stars – Paradise Rating. Dial A for Aunties is a fantastic story full of delightfully quirky characters that I wish I could meet in person. Crazy chaos overtakes these pages and will have readers grinning ear to ear. Fun and entertaining. A must-read!

*Note: The book does include explicit language. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Photo Credit Michael Hart

About the Author

Jesse Q Sutanto grew up shuttling back and forth between Indonesia, Singapore, and Oxford and considers all three places her home. She has a Master’s from Oxford University, but she has yet to figure out how to say that without sounding obnoxious. Jesse has forty-two first cousins and thirty aunties and uncles, many of whom live just down the road. When she’s not writing, she’s gaming with her husband (mostly FPS), or making a mess in the kitchen with her two daughters.

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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 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Shredding the Evidence (A Cookbook Nook Mystery) by Daryl Wood Gerber #Review @DarylWoodGerber

I had planned to read and review Wining and Dying, the newest book in this series but realized I missed this book last year. I am a fanatic about reading series books in order so I shuffled some things on the calendar. I will be reading and reviewing Wining and Dying soon.
Shredding the Evidence (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Beyond the Page Publishing (April 21, 2020)
Paperback: 226 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461440
ISBN-13: 978-1950461448
Kindle ASIN: B0868WMMHN

The Agatha Award–winning author of Sifting Through Clues returns to the Cookbook Nook, where a combative food reporter gets her just deserts . . .

The denizens of Crystal Cove are salivating over the upcoming Food Bowl Week when local chefs offer some of their best and most imaginative creations in bite-size portions all over town. Bookstore proprietor Jenna Hart is hungry to sample as many of the delicacies as she can, but when she stumbles onto the dead body of a local food reporter and learns that her best friend’s husband is the primary suspect, she’ll have to summon the appetite for a side dish of sleuthing to prove his innocence.

Jenna knows the ambitious and aggressive reporter, who was strangled at a fitness center with her shredded restaurant reviews scattered around her, left behind a long list of potential suspects. As she begins piecing together the scant clues, she uncovers illicit ties between the victim and a local newspaper owner, a spurned would-be lover, and a host of disgruntled restaurant owners, not a bit torn up by the critical reporter’s demise. And with a solution so close she can almost taste it, Jenna turns up the heat on the culprit, realizing too late that she’s the next course on the murderer’s menu . . .

Includes tasty recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s Food Bowl Week in Crystal Cove and Jenna Hart is excited to not only try the chef’s creations but knows the event will bring plenty of customers to her Cookbook Nook. Chef Katie also has plans of her own for the food at the Nook Cafe too including a special guest. Jenna’s finance Rhett’s new bistro, Intime has a very special dinner planned as well. Kylie O., the Crystal Cove Courier food critic is determined to cover all the events by herself even though reporter Tito Martinez has offered to help. Bailey’s husband, Tito has wanted to take on more stories and he and Kylie have a very public argument over it. So when Kylie O. is found dead in a local gym, a gym where both Tito and Bailey work out, he becomes the prime suspect in her murder.

Truthfully, Kylie O. was a pretty aggressive reporter and dished out some caustic reviews so she left behind a wide variety of suspects. Jenna knows Tito is innocent so she just has to clear his name by finding the actual killer. Easier said than done because the clues point to several individuals. When Jenna starts to hone in on the killer she finds the killer is already homing in on her. Can Jenna corner the killer or will she be the next victim?


It is always fun to catch up with these characters because there never seems to be a dull moment in Crystal Cove. In addition to the town events, Jenna and Rhett are starting to plan their wedding, Aunt Vera is dating, everyone is swooning over Bailey’s baby girl and another core character is expecting a baby. With everything going on Jenna still finds time to investigate the murder and this makes for one very unhappy Cinnamon. As always the characters are cleverly written and they all continue to develop in realistic ways.

The theme of this story is Shredding and it is not just the evidence that is shredded. Food is shredded in amazing ways. The descriptions had my tummy rumbling and I really appreciated the recipes the author provides at the end of the book. She is a true foodie and her passion reigns within the pages of her stories. The Cookbook Nook theme of the series is just perfect for her.

The mystery was very well-plotted with some red herrings to divert everyone’s thinking. Bailey really pushes Jenna along in her quest to prove her husband is not a murderer. Twist after twist start to pull the killer into focus but I was really off on this one. I really came to dislike the deceased more than I usually do when reading cozy mysteries and I think that clouded my thinking. The author has a real strength of pulling her readers into the story and she really did that for me this time.

Shredding the Evidence was A Perfect Escape. I was entertained from the beginning to the end and look forward to reading Wining and Dying soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries.  As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog – Avery’s Blog – Mystery Lover’s Kitchen – Killer Characters 

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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 Fog Ladies: Family Matters (A San Francisco Cozy Murder Mystery) by Susan McCormick #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


The Fog Ladies: Family Matters (A San Francisco Cozy Murder Mystery)
by Susan McCormick

About The Fog Ladies: Family Matters

The Fog Ladies: Family Matters (A San Francisco Cozy Murder Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Wild Rose Press (October 7, 2020)
Paperback: 338 pages
ISBN-10: 1509233075
ISBN-13: 978-1509233076
Digital ASIN: B08FGMFBW3

Till death do us part, with kitchen shears. What drives a family man to kill his wife? This question haunts Sarah James, a medical resident who meets the unhappy family at a resort near Big Sur. She witnesses how ugly a marriage can be. But murder?

 

Sarah and the spunky Fog Ladies—elderly neighbors from her San Francisco apartment building—set out to discover the truth. Their probing finds the threat is perilously close to home, endangering another troubled family struggling to survive.

About Susan McCormick 

Susan McCormick is a writer and doctor who lives in Seattle. She graduated from Smith College and George Washington University School of Medicine, with additional medical training in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, where she lived in an elegant apartment building much like the one in the book. Susan served as a doctor in the U.S. Army for nine years before moving to the Pacific Northwest and civilian practice as a gastroenterologist. In addition to the Fog Ladies series, she also wrote Granny Can’t Remember Me, a lighthearted picture book about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and The Antidote, a timely middle grade medical fantasy released May 2021. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two sons. She loves giant dogs and has loved an English Mastiff, Earl, and two Newfoundlands, Edward and Albert.

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#FlashbackFriday – #ReviewRewind – Kneaded To Death by Winnie Archer #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.

Moving has cut into my reading time again so this week I am rewinding my review of Kneaded to Death by Winner Archer. This is the first book in this series. The sixth book in this series, Death Gone A-Rye will be released on April 27, 2021.


Kneaded to Death
(A Bread Shop Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – California
Kensington (February 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496707727
Kindle ASIN: B01GBAG7KO

 

Everyone swears by Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. But tonight, the only thing on the menu is la muerte . . .

Struggling photographer Ivy Culpepper has lots of soul-searching to do since returning to seaside Santa Sofia, California. That is, until the thirty-six-year-old enters a bread making class at Yeast of Eden. Whether it’s the aroma of fresh conchas in the oven, or her instant connection with owner Olaya Solis, Ivy just knows the missing ingredients in her life are hidden among the secrets of Olaya’s bakery . . .

But Ivy’s spirits crumble when a missing classmate is suddenly discovered dead in her car. Even more devastating, the prime suspect is Olaya Solis herself. Doubting the woman could commit such a crime, Ivy embarks on a murder investigation of her own to prove her innocence and seize the real killer. As she follows a deadly trail of crumbs around town, Ivy must trust her gut like never before—or someone else could be toast!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This series is off to a wonderful start.

Ivy Culpepper has returned to Santa Sofia following her mother’s death to be closer to her father and brother and to deal with her own grief. I myself am dealing with the grief of losing my son so I clearly identified with Ivy’s grief. We all grieve differently and Ivy finds herself taking a bread-making class at Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. Before they even finish the first lesson one of the students in murdered just outside of the shop. When she learns the owner of the shop is the police’s prime suspect, Ivy starts to poke her nose into the investigation. The bread crumbs she is following lead her somewhere very unexpected. Can her theories really be true or is this just a half-baked idea she has come up with to deal with her pain? She rises to the occasion as she tries to catch the real killer.

For me, there was much more to this story than a cozy mystery. I was very interested to see how Ivy dealt with her grief. I was happy to see her find a support group in the woman in her bread-making class. I have learned how important it is to surround yourself with individuals that have your back and are there for you whenever you need them. For me it has been family, friends and surprisingly an online support group. The theme of this story, the making, kneading, and baking the bread was a great way to facilitate just what Ivy needed. Of course, a murder to solve is a great diversion that works in books, not so much in reality. 🙂

The characters in this story are all very well developed. I love the smattering of Spanish within the dialogue. Surprising how much of high school Spanish I remember. Don’t worry everything is translated in a very natural way the does not obstruct but adds to the conversations.

The mystery itself takes some really nice twists to get us to the final reveal. Secrets and surprises drive the plot to a very captivating conclusion.

Ivy grows so much within these pages. Her life is really at a crossroads. I was so happy with the way the story ended.

I am so excited for the next installment of this series. I really want to visit these characters again soon and get to know them even better.

I was nervous about reading this story last week as we hit the two-year mark of my son’s death, but in a way, I can’t really explain it gave me “food for thought”. Support can be found in so many places. We just need to have the courage to reach out or step into places and circumstances that may be uncomfortable at first but beneficial in the long run. I am not sure if the author’s mission was to give this type of a lesson, but I sure appreciated this story.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day, and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in an inspiring century old house in North Texas and loves being surrounded by real-life history. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.
Visit Winnie online:
WinnieArcher.com

Winnie Archer is the pseudonym for national bestselling author Melissa Bourbon. Learn more at http://melissabourbon.com.
Twitter @MelissaBourbon


Coming April 27, 2021


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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 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Boarding with Murder (A Sierra Pines B&B Mystery) by Kathryn Long #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @klongauthor


Boarding with Murder
by Kathryn Long

About Boarding With Murder 


Boarding with Murder (A Sierra Pines B&B Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Camel Press (March 9, 2021)
Paperback: 220 pages
ISBN-10: 1603817301
ISBN-13: 978-1603817301
Digital ASIN : B08SHLHD2D

Take one quaint B&B, two kind but quirky caretakers, a dead aunt, a murdered friend, and you have mystery. Ali Winston finds she’s inherited trouble along with her aunt’s B&B, but can she reveal the killer before the curtain closes?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Ali Winston arrives at her Great Aunt Julia’s B&B to find that she has passed away. She is greeted by Julia’s friends, siblings Gladys and Ollie Bellwethers just arriving home after the funeral. The Bellwethers have worked with Julia at the B&B for years. That’s a good thing because there are guests staying there that need attention. Gladys also has questions about Julia’s death but no one takes her seriously until they find another dead body. Ali takes on a volunteer job her aunt was working on prop and set design for a movie production being filmed nearby. Maybe if she keeps her eyes and ears open she can find the murderer because the local police seem to be focused on Gladys and Ollie.

_______

All the characters in this story have a show-biz connection. Julia was an actress the worked with Cary Grant and Errol Flynn before opening her B&B. Ali’s parents are theater actors, Ali recently lost her job as a researcher for a television show, many others are connected to the movie being filmed. We get to know Ali and the Bellwethers well because they are pretty well fleshed out by the end of the story, leaving plenty of room for growth. There are a lot of other characters introduced as alternative suspects and residents of Sierra Pines. I made myself a character list to keep everyone straight at first. As we get farther into the story the characters become more defined.

The mystery itself is very complicated because Ali doesn’t know any of the suspects and they all seem to be hiding something. I found it hard to focus on one certain person or another just for that reason. I was totally kept guessing right up to the very end. I loved when a major clue was revealed and how it brought everything together. The story was very well-plotted and written with plenty of drama to keep those pages flipping.

I enjoyed the setting of the story as well. Sierra Pines sounds like a beautiful place and the historical victorian B&B would be a wonderful place to stay, without the dead bodies, of course. I loved the author’s descriptions –

Sunlight burst from behind a cloud and played its beam across the pavement. Fallen autumn leaves in rustic colors splashed along the sidewalk, giving the scene a warm glow. In the distance, the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains outlined the majestic background. 

Doesn’t that sound like a great place to visit or live.

Boarding with Murder was an intriguing and entertaining read. Ms. Long has given the series a nice start. I want to get to know several characters better so I hope we don’t have to wait too long for the sequel.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Kathryn Long

Retired teacher, Kathryn Long now spends her days plotting and writing mysteries. Her most recent credits are romantic suspense novel, A DEADLY DEED GROWS and mystery, BURIED IN SIN. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime as well as of International Thriller Writers. Under the pen name, Bailee Abbott this author writes the Paint by Murder cozy series, starting with A BRUSH WITH MURDER soon to be released. Kathryn lives with her husband and furry friend Max in the quiet suburbs of Green, Ohio.

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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 Flashback Friday Giveaways

#FlashbackFriday – #ReviewRewind – Pie Hard (A Pie Town Mystery) by Kirsten Weiss #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

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.

Packing for our sudden move has cut into my reading time so this week I am rewinding my review of Pie Hard by Kirsten Weiss. This is a series I need to catch up on as books 4 and 5 have been released. I hope to rectify that soon. 


Pie Hard (A Pie Town Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (February 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496708989
ISBN-13: 978-1496708984
Kindle ASIN: B07DBR4SRF

Will Val pie hard on national TV?

Business at the bakery may have slowed down, but Val Harris isn’t about to eat humble pie—not until a reality cooking show decides to whip the struggling Pie Town into shape. If Val can tolerate criticism from an abrasive pastry chef during filming, the free publicity might turn the unusual opportunity into the sweetest deal she didn’t know she needed.

Except no one in San Nicholas has an appetite for dessert once murder steals the spotlight. When the show’s bossy producer gets pushed to her death, Val and her flaky, septuagenarian pie crust expert, Charlene, follow crumbs in hopes of finding the killer. But with cameras still rolling and the shocking identity of the victim’s replacement a guaranteed recipe for disaster, Val needs to stay cool long enough to solve the crime and keep Pie Town from falling apart—or else she just might go up in smoke before she ever graces the small screen.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pie Hard, a reality cooking show has come to Pie Town courtesy of Charlene and as a complete surprise to Val. The camera and crew arrive along with Regina Katz, the show’s producer. Val is nervous because she knows what type of show this is. They will bash her shop and everything she does to get the high ratings. The show’s pastry chef, Ilsa Fueder, is already muttering “don’t like” about every pie she looks at.

After the first day of taping Val gets a call from Ray, one of the gaming regulars telling her that show’s producer has died in an “accident” he sees more like murder. Soon the Baker Street Bakers are into a full-blown investigation with Ray as an associate member, (he is not a baker). Shocked that show is continuing Val uses the opportunity to get to know all the suspects on her list. She also has a connection to the show’s new producer. The death has again slowed Pie Town’s business to a crawl. Hard to be a success when Val keeps finding dead bodies. She just knows she needs to find the killer before she is bankrupt and baked to a crisp.

This is a fun series and this is a great addition. Murder with a lot of mayhem fills these pages. Charlene is quite the instigator and to start with Val just has to go with the flow. Right from the beginning when a yurt is dropped within feet of Val’s tiny storage container house and the “goddesses” arrive for their yearly retreat. Something Charlene forgot to mention to Val. Then continuing when Val arrives at Pie Town to see her shop filled with strangers, holding cameras and tacking a microphone to her shirt. And on to Charlene’s several unbelievable and impossible theories about who killed the producer and why. It takes a little time, but Val gets her bearings and juggles all these balls in the air while trying to find out more about a certain new member of the crew. The author has done so well developing the recurring characters and introducing the new batch as well. Charlene’s cat, Frederick continues to make his appearances and is always good for a giggle.

I really enjoyed all the facets of the mysteries within this story. Val has plenty of clues to sift through along with plenty of suspects. The story is expertly plotted in a way that had me guessing right up until the big reveal. The family dynamic that was woven into the murder part of the story really added depth. It will be interesting to see how it impacts future stories. I was intrigued about how the goddesses were going to evolve into the story. I will say I was surprised at the role one of them played, but it was absolutely perfect.

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You can read my review of The Quiche and the Dead here and Bleeding Tarts here.

About the Author

Based in San Mateo, California, Kirsten Weiss writes genre-blending novels: urban fantasy/mystery, steampunk/suspense, and cozy mysteries. Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer reruns and drinking red wine.
Visit her at kirstenweiss.com.


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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

Nightshade for Warning (An Enchanted Garden Mystery) by Bailey Cattrell #ReviewRewind / #Giveaway

While organizing my giveaway shelf I was surprised I still had a copy of this book. So today I will do a little Review Rewind and give this copy away.


Nightshade for Warning (An Enchanted Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476890
Kindle ASIN: B01K1ATYJ6

 

 

Elliana Allbright’s custom-made perfume shop and the Enchanted Garden behind it are garnering all sorts of attention, but a dead body could bury her in bad publicity. . . .

Ellie’s business and personal life have been flourishing in her hometown of Poppyville, California, since she opened Scents & Nonsense. She uses her very special skills to craft perfumes that almost magically ease heartache, inspire change, and bring joy—and her customers love to relax in the beautiful garden behind her shop with her corgi, Dash, and her cat, Nabokov. She even lives right next to the garden, in a compact “tiny house”—and she’s excited to hear that a journalist is going to write a feature about her home and garden for a national magazine.

But then the journalist is found dead, and suspicion falls on the last person to see him—who just happens to be Ellie’s brother’s girlfriend. So before everything goes to seed, Ellie must rely on her powers—observational and otherwise—to pick out the real killer from an ever-expanding bouquet of culprits. . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Isn’t that a gorgeous cover? As soon as I saw it and felt the springtime temps here in Wisconsin I knew I had to escape right into this book.

Elliana Allbright is the owner of Scents & Nonsense where she sells items made with special oils she distills from plants in her own garden. The Enchanted Garden is right next to shop and abuts right up to her tiny house. The garden is a relaxing place with spots for people to sit and wind down from the stress in their lives. Ellie may be able to whip up the perfect perfume to ease whatever malady they may be feeling. Ellie’s dog, Dash, and shop cat, Nabokov have free rein of the area so they may dish out their own kind of comfort too.

In this installment, Ellie’s tiny home, formerly a garden shed, has gathered some acclaim and a national magazine is sending a reporter and photographer to include her home in an article about the tiny house craze. Ellie bumps into the journalist while she is out having dinner with her brother and his girlfriend. She wasn’t that impressed with the man but tried to be friendly so that his story about her wouldn’t do more harm than good. When she learns the next day he was found dead in his hotel room and that her brother’s girlfriend is the prime suspect she knows she has to dig up the real killer and fast. She has witnessed how the lead detective investigates, in that he doesn’t. She hopes she can persuade his partner and her friend, Detective Lupe Garcia, to work together to solve this case and clear up the whole bloomin’ mess.

The way this author sets the scene is absolutely magical. You can practically smell the flowers blooming in Ellie’s garden, feel enveloped by a fog that rolls in, and pick a book off the shelf curl up in the chair in Ellie’s living space. It is a place I would love to visit. I have even given serious thought to living in a tiny house myself. That would be fine until the kids and the grandkids want to visit 🙂 then I don’t know what I would do.

We meet some very interesting characters this time and we travel to a very intriguing place. The reporter that was killed has ties to Poppyville and Ellie is going to shake that family tree to see what seeds drop out. This leads her down a very surprising path of twists and secrets. Readers will feel like they are on her shoulder as she does her best to distill the real criminal. It was not an easy task and at first there were many more questions than answers.

This story is so well written and the characters are very engaging. The themes are current and relevant. There is just a hint of magic and humor pops up in all the right places. Bailey Cattrell has treated us all to an enchanting mystery.

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Writing as Bailey Cates



I am giving away 1 copy! 

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 6, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Hiss H for Homicide (A Nick and Nora Mystery) by T. C. LoTempio #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Hiss H for Homicide (A Nick and Nora Mystery)
by T. C. LoTempio

About Hiss H For Homicide


Hiss H for Homicide (A Nick and Nora Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series – 1st with this publisher
Setting – California
Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing (February 9, 2021)
Paperback: 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461947
ISBN-13: 978-1950461943
Digital ASIN: B08QW7Z25S

Nick and Nora are back in a tantalizing new mystery that’s far more dangerous than a game of cat and mouse . . .

 

Never one to turn away from a challenge—even when it goes against her better judgment—Nora Charles can hardly say no when an old friend of her mother’s comes to town seeking her help. The author of steamy romances has learned that her writing partner is severing their relationship and threatening to reveal dark and dirty secrets in a tell-all, and she pleads with Nora to intervene. Reluctantly agreeing to help, Nora pays a visit to the writing partner, ready to make her case—right up until the moment she discovers the woman’s lifeless body.

 

With the police convinced that Nora’s friend is the culprit, she and Nick begin delving into the dead woman’s past and her provocative tell-all. It soon becomes apparent that the woman had a knack for digging up dirt and wasn’t shy about exposing skeletons in closets, and before long Nora has a seemingly endless list of suspects who were at risk of having their darkest secrets revealed. With a police force intent on throwing the book at Nora’s friend and time running out, she and Nick must outwit a dangerous killer before they take their own secrets to the grave . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Handsome tuxedo cool cat Nick is back with his person, Nora Charles finding dead bodies and sleuthing out criminals in this long-awaited 4th installment of the Nick and Nora mysteries by T. C. LoTempio, This time Nora comes to the aid of an old friend of her mother, Desiree Sanders, one half of the writing team of Tiffany Blake.

It seems the other half of the team, Marlene McCambridge, wants to sever their partnership. Marlene has hinted she has a tell-all book revealing the secrets of several people, including Desiree. Desiree begs Nora to meet with Marlene and get to the truth about why she wants to dissolve their partnership. After trying to talk Desiree into several other options Nora agrees to try to meet with Marlene. Not sure what she can really do she sets off to visit the author.

Instead, when she and Nick arrive at the home the woman is renting they are too late. Marlene McCambridge is dead. Before calling the police Nick and Nora do a little snooping. But before she even makes the call law enforcement arrives in the form of Leroy Samms and he soon decides Desiree is his prime suspect prompting Nora to start her own investigation to clear her new friend’s name putting her right in the sights of the real killer.


I love the author’s twist on The Thin Man as the theme for her mysteries.  In this case, Nora is joined by a lovable cat named Nick.  Nick is a very special cat. He is very savvy in figuring out clues and presenting them in very clear ways for Nora to understand. I am so glad this series has returned and I was able to quickly reconnect with all the characters I had come to love. FBI Agent Daniel and FBI Agent on loan to the local police department Samms are both sweet on Nora. Nora and Daniel are dating as his workload allows but she can’t deny she has feelings for Samms too. They would both like her to stay out of the case and sell her sandwiches but know that is never going to happen. All of the characters in this story are very well developed and engaging but the author has left room for them to grow and stay fresh in their relationships.

Ms. LoTempio has crafted a superior mystery for this series return. Very quickly the plot opens up revealing quite a few suspects. Filled with twists and turns our protagonists are pulled in many different directions. Just when Nora thinks she has everything figured out another dead body shakes everything up. I love the way Nick and Nora communicate and the important role Nick plays throughout the entire story. He comes to Nora’s aid in a crucial moment and it had me cheering. The clever writing by this author always makes me smile.

Hiss H for Homicide is a great comeback for this series. I hope with this new publisher we will have many more Nick and Nora mysteries to enjoy. I highly recommend the entire series but the author has made it super easy to jump into the series with this book. Though I bet you will want to read them all.

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About T. C. LoTempio 

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She and her cat pen the Nick and Nora mystery series originally from Berkley Prime Crime and now with Beyond the Page Publishing.  They also write the Cat Rescue series from Crooked Lane and the Pet Shop series, originally published by Midnight Ink and continued in 2021 with book two, KILLERS OF A FEATHER, from Beyond the Page. Catch up with them at ROCCO’s blog, catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com or her website, www.tclotempio.net or on Facebook.

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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 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Hope, Faith, and a Corpse: A Faith Chapel Mystery by Laura Jensen Walker #Review @LauraJensenWal1


Hope, Faith, and a Corpse: A Faith Chapel Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (January 12, 2021)
Hardcover: 298 pages
ISBN-10: 1643855042
ISBN-13: 978-1643855042
Kindle ASIN: B0871KRPKG

In the tradition of M. C. Beaton, Hope Taylor, pastor of a small-town California church, tries to find out who sent a church elder to Heaven.

Hope Taylor arrives in Apple Springs to start her new life as the first female pastor of Faith Chapel Episcopal Church. The northern California town’s quaint cottages, bungalows, and shops promise a fresh start for the 42-year-old widow and Bogie, her scruffy black Labrador. But where is Father Christopher? The kindly old rector who hired Pastor Hope was supposed to meet her upon her arrival, but he’s nowhere to be seen. Hope’s faith springs eternal, so she explores the little white church hoping to find Father Christopher. But when she enters the columbarium, she instead finds church elder Stanley King–his skull crushed by a fallen burial urn.

Hope had made Stanley’s acquaintance before and had struggled to take a charitable view of his character. Stanley was as wicked as he was wealthy, as petty as he was pious. His soul may have been holy, but his behavior was wholly rotten. The last time Hope had seen him, he had shouted drunkenly that she would preach at Faith Chapel over his dead body.

Many of the townsfolk witnessed the altercation, so Hope finds herself as the prime suspect in Stanley’s murder. With Bogie’s four-footed assistance, Hope is determined to find the real killer and clear her name…even if it will require a bit of divine intervention.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Oh my, Hope Taylor is a woman I would surely be friends with. We share our Wisconsin roots, we hear our mother’s voice in our heads – “a place for everything and everything in its place” all the time, our inner thoughts sometimes roll off our tongues and escape out our mouths, we both love old black and white movies and can quote lines perfectly if necessary. She even has a labrador named Bogie.

Hope in the new associate pastor at Faith Chapel Episcopal Church and her first day doesn’t get off to a good start. While trying to locate the lead pastor, Father Christopher, she finds church elder Stanley Kind instead. He just happens to be dead in the columbarium with a crushed skull and a bloody urn by his side. She had only met the man once and he was drunk and not very supportive. When two parishioners find her and the deceased that quickly jump to the conclusion that she killed the man. Being a murder suspect was not the fresh start she was hoping to have. Now she is going to have to prove herself to her new congregation and clear her name.


Laura Jensen Walker introduces some fantastic characters in this first Faith Chapel Mysteries. Not only do I love Hope but her sister-in-law Virginia too. She drops everything to come to Hope’s aid and she is a whole lot of fun. I also liked the technology-challenged Father Christopher. He reminded me of one of my former pastors.  There are several other characters that remind me of people in my life. Bogie also stole my heart immediately. All the characters are believable and some are very quirky. They were all very fleshed out for the first book in the series.

The life of a small-town church is accurately portrayed. While not a pastor, I worked for our small town church for several years in different capacities and everything from the fundraisers to the services rang true, as did the dealing with the variety of members’ attitudes and feelings.

The victim was truly a despicable man so there was no shortage of suspects. The more I learned about him I was surprised he lived as long as he did. Another mystery involves a skeleton found buried in Hope’s backyard. Both mysteries are well-plotted and interesting. I really enjoyed doing some armchair sleuthing of my own as Hope was trying to uncover all the facts she could. Several twists and a little legwork brought the real culprit to light. The author’s descriptive writing style made everything clear in my mind’s eye each and every step of the way. The final twist was quite a surprise.

Hope, Faith, and a Corpse was a heavenly read. I loved the way humor was woven liberally throughout the entire story. I truly didn’t want to reach the end. I am very excited about this series. I can’t wait for book two! I have hope and faith that this series is going to be a must-read for cozy lovers everywhere. A Perfect Escape!!

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About the Author

Laura Jensen Walker has loved mysteries ever since she read Trixie Belden in the fourth grade in her Danish-founded hometown of Racine, Wisconsin–America’s kringle capital. A former journalist and the author of several novels and humorous non-fiction books, including Murder Most Sweet and Thanks for the Mammogram! Laura is grateful to be a longtime breast cancer survivor. She lives in California with her Renaissance-man husband and their canine-daughter Mellie. (from Amazon)
Author Links – WebsiteFacebook – TwitterInstagram –  Newsletter – 


Also by Laura Jensen Walker

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.”