Sep 222016
 

I wasn’t ready to read this when it arrived in February as the holidays had been hard. Then I learned the the series had been cancelled by the publisher and felt horrible that I didn’t do as much promotion as I could have. After reading it this past weekend I feel the publisher made a huge mistake publishing it in February. A December or even January release could have changed the sales for this book immensely and could have saved this series from the chopping block.  

its-a-wonderful-knife

It’s a Wonderful Knife (Comfort Food)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New York
An Obsidian Mystery (February 2, 2016)
New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451474094
E-Book – ASIN: B00X59360Y
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Comfort food and murder are on the holiday menu in the latest mystery from the national bestselling author of Macaroni and Freeze . . .

All Trixie Matkowski wants for Christmas is a break—just not the broken leg she got after slipping on some ice. With Sandy Harbor alive in the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s the busiest time of the year at Trixie’s Silver Bullet Diner. There are millions of things to do, including cater the town’s annual Christmas pageant and community dinner with some delicious holiday comfort food.

But the festivities turn into a bit of a turkey after Liz Fellows, the director of the pageant, is found with Trixie’s butcher knife in her back. Now Trixie must help the police arrest the scary gentleman—or lady—guilty of the crime if she hopes to get herself off the naughty list.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This book is set at Christmas time in Sandy Harbor, but I read this book at the perfect time for me. I needed to laugh and laugh hard and Christine Wenger delivered just the right package to allow me to do just that.

Trixie Matkowski loves Christmas, the decorating, the food and the traditions. She has rituals she follows every year. This year just as she is getting read to start her decorating routine. she falls and falls hard on the ice. Instead of hanging all the bright and shiny holiday things, she is in the blinding light of the emergency room getting a huge cast on her leg.

Her friends Antoinette Chloe Brown (ACB) and Deputy Ty Brisco call in reinforcements to not only handle the decorating but Trixie’s Silver Bullet Diner and all the catering jobs she has scheduled. Everything seems to be under control until Christmas Pageant Director Liz Fellows is found in the church kitchen with Trixie’s knife in her back. At least the fine deputy doesn’t suspect Trixie but he knows a pair of crutches isn’t going to keep her from meddling in his investigation.

Hilarity ensues in this fantastic addition to this series. I found myself reading out loud several passages to anyone that would listen. When Trixie and ACB make up their mind to do something, snow, wind, or a measly broken leg will not stop them from doing exactly what Ty told them not to do.

This story is my favorite one in this series. The plot was not only full of surprising mystery twists it brings us many surprising characters. It also brings a moment that I have been waiting  for since book one!

I loved, loved, LOVED! this story! I cannot believe the publisher pulled the plug on this series. The characters are fabulous, the mysteries are fun and well developed. Sandy Harbor is the perfect small town. Please Christine, don’t leave us hanging! I hope you have the option to self publish more in this series or find a new publisher to see what a treasure they are.

You can read Christmas stories any time of year, winter, summer, spring or fall. And you will fall hard for the characters and want to read all 5 of these books. Then you will be with me hoping and praying for book #6!!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Christine and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my review copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 October 6, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Feb 122016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

MACARONI AND FREEZE
Macaroni and Freeze:
A Comfort Food Mystery

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – New York
An Obsidian Mystery (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451474087
E-Book ASIN: B00PT4J1UW
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When the library roof collapses from the harsh winter weather, diner owner and comfort food chef Trixie Matkowski decides to organize a mac-and-cheese cook-off to raise funds for repairs. Priscilla Finch-Smythe, famous TV chef and former Sandy Harbor resident, is not only available to judge the contest—she’s offering an appearance on her show as the grand prize.

Trixie hopes that winning first place in the cook-off will help boost publicity for her Silver Bullet Diner. But when another winner is announced, and Priscilla is later found frozen in a snowbank, Trixie starts getting attention from the police instead. Now she’ll have to noodle over this mystery before everything really goes to pot….

Includes Delicious Home-Style Recipes

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Never a dull moment when Trixie is around. That woman get herself into all kinds of predicaments. This time too much snow collapses the roof of the local library. Everyone got out safe but it is going to take a lot of money to repair the building and replace the damaged books and equipment. Trixie’s mouth gets ahead of her brain and before she knows it she is planning a Macaroni and Cheese cook-off fundraiser. Things snowball and soon famous chef, Priscilla Finch-Smythe is on her way to Sandy Harbor to judge the competition and offering the winner a guest spot on her tv show. Trixie had no idea the woman was from Sandy Harbor. The woman has all kinds of demands and a big motor home. She also has her staff of two, one is her stepson, along for the ride and they sure don’t see eye to eye on anything. Trixie just hopes they can make enough money for the library and get a little bit of publicity for the diner.

The contest brings a slew of cooks to town including a couple of professional chefs looking to win and gain or regain a little fame with the grand prize. Soon after the winner is named, a stiff is found in the parking lot. Priscilla Finch-Smythe’s life has come to a chilly end and there are plenty of suspects. Who killed the tv cook and left her out in the cold? Trixie plans to find out but she may end up getting a deep freeze herself.

Reading this book during a cold snap here in Wisconsin I was literary feeling the “freeze” in this story and it was funny, my hubby had whipped up a batch of his homemade mac and cheese for supper. He saw the cover of the book and we had a little chuckle.

The cover of the book is wonderful but the Sandy Harbor Library sounds like it was a truly beautiful place, complete with some stained glass. I loved the way the town rallied together to make this fundraiser happen even when it was snowing and blowing and travel was a bit treacherous at times.

This time Trixie is one of the suspects, of course, hunky Sheriff Ty Briscoe doesn’t think she had anything to do with it but he basically puts her under house/diner arrest with Antoinette Chloe Brown (ACB) as her gatekeeper. He really just wants to keep Trixie safe and out of his investigation, like that is going to happen.

Christine Wenger has the perfect recipe for an absolutely delightful cozy mystery. The residents of Sandy Harbor are like old friends and the welcome us in with open arms and delicious food. The new characters make a nice offset to the gang we have come to love. The plot is tight and the twists are plentiful. The romantic tension is palpable. I can’t be the only one that wants to see Trixie grab Ty and just kiss him already 🙂 I also want to get ACB a pair of boots with flips flops painted on them. Flip flops in the snow?? Girl you are going to lose some toes!!

This was a fun read from start to finish. I am glad I had some Mac & Cheese to snack because damn, a girl can get hungry when reading these stories!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Christine and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my review copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 February 26, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Jan 292016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
I have wanted to catch up on this series for awhile!

diners driveins and death
Diners, Drive-Ins, and Death:
A Comfort Food Mystery

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
An Obsidian Mystery (January 6, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415103
E-Book ASIN: B00KWFZ73S
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For Sandy Harbor’s tastiest comfort food, venture to the Silver Bullet Diner. But head next door to the new drive-in theater if you have an appetite for murder….

Trixie Matkowski has a tall order to fill this fall. Aside from dishing out delicious fare at the Silver Bullet during peak fishing season, she’s helping her friend—Antoinette Chloe Brown, or ACB for short—open a drive-in movie theater in the vacant lot beside her diner. It’s just the thing to take ACB’s mind off Nick, her missing biker beau.

But their plans are fried after Nick’s body is discovered during the groundbreaking for the drive-in. And when the police connect the murder weapon to ACB, she becomes the prime suspect in eighty-sixing Nick. With the fate of her innocent friend and her business on the line, Trixie must make the guilty party pay up before someone else gets stiffed….

Includes Delicious Home-Style Recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Trixie Matkowski owns the Silver Bullet Diner and summer rental cottages. She also has a bit of land that came in handy when her friend’s significant other is found in a shallow grave. Antoinette Chloe Brown, or ACB for short, owns a restaurant in town and she wants to build a drive-in on land next to Trixie’s. Her biker boyfriend, Nick, has taken off without a word to anyone, her ex-husband, the boyfriend’s brother, is rotting in jail, and she is organizing a beauty pageant, so why not jump in with both feet to another venture. She is so worried about Nick she asks Trixie to help her find him but he turns up before they do much looking. His body is discovered during the groundbreaking for the drive-in and there is enough evidence at the scene to arrest ACB and haul her off to jail.

What follows next is a nifty mystery served up with a bowlful of humor. ACB and her colorful mumus and fascinations just crack me up. Seeing her in a motorcycle sidecar must be a hoot! She and Trixie are the best of friends. Trixie even put up the bail to get her out of jail. She also let her move right into her house. The antics of these two are absolutely hilarious but Trixie does keep them on track as they try to find the real killer.

I have grown comfortable with these characters and I appreciate the comfort food served at the Silver Bullet. I don’t know how I got behind on this series but that will be remedied soon. I am so glad I started Flashback Friday to help me catch up on great series like this one. Macaroni and Freeze has moved to the top of the To-Be-Read stack and It’s A Wonderful Knife comes out February 2.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Christine and her books on her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my review copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 February 12, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Mar 182014
 

2nd helpingA Second Helping of Murder:
A Comfort Food Mystery

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (April 1, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451415097
E-Book ASIN: B00F3KX112
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Trixie Matkowski is warming up to running her family’s diner in the small town of Sandy Harbor in upstate New York. But the only thing more demanding than serving up piping-hot comfort food twenty-four hours a day is getting to the bottom of a double homicide….

Trixie fondly remembers summers as a child spent visiting the shores of Lake Ontario. Not much has changed—there are still vinyl booths at the Silver Bullet Diner, families eating home-cooked comfort food, and days of swimming in the lake.

But before Trixie can say “Order’s up,” someone’s summer is abruptly cut short. One of the cottage residents is found dead, and Trixie suspects the crime might be linked to an unsolved disappearance in the picturesque town’s past.

As Trixie works with Deputy Ty Brisco to solve both mysteries, their shocking discoveries will shake up the small town. And when word gets out that she’s on the case, Trixie’s in trouble—after all, the murderer won’t spare her life just because she makes a killer corned beef sandwich….

Includes Delicious Home-Style Recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so excited! I received an advance copy of this book and I quickly devoured it!!!

The Silver Bullet reminds me of my own past. My family ran a local diner type restaurant and all the lingo and comfort food brings back such wonderful memories. The camaraderie of the staff rings true to everything I saw growing up. We disagreed occasionally but always had each others back no matter what.

Trixie is trying so hard to make things work so she can keep up her payments to her aunt who has retired to Florida. Getting the housekeeping cabins ready for the tourist season has kept her handymen Clyde and Max quite busy. Plus she has decided to bring back the Saturday night dance tradition started by her aunt and uncle. Things are really looking up until she finds her first guest in Cabin #8 murdered.  Funny, that is the same cabin a girl who disappeared 25 years ago was staying in.

Wenger has plotted a fantastic mystery linking a cold case to a new one. She has also added some intriguing characters to the mix.  The Van Plank family is quite an interesting group. I really like new busboy/dishwasher/computer genius Ray. I am thrilled that Trixie hired him, looking past his little hacking episode. I hope to see much more of him in the future. Deputy Ty may just be the man to make Trixie forget about Deputy Doug which puts a big smile on this reader’s face.

I loved this story, awesome characters, a mystery that kept me guessing right to the end, fabulous food and a dance that featured a polka band!!! I know this is set in New York but this Wisconsin girl enjoyed this book from the first page to the last!! I think I will try that easy pulled pork recipe and impatiently wait for the next book in this wonderful series!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

She worked in the criminal justice field for more years than she cares to remember! It seems like she was forever going to school while working full time, but in the end, received a dual master’s degree in Probation and Parole Studies and Sociology from Fordham University.

Unfortunately, the knowledge gained from way too many years in night school, didn’t prepare me for what she loves to do the most – writing romances and cozy mysteries.

Find out more on her Webpage here.
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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.”

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