Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – The Rocky Road to Ruin: An Ice Cream Shop Mystery by Meri Allen #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress

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.


The Rocky Road to Ruin: An Ice Cream Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Connecticut
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (July 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250267064
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250267061
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08FZ8M8X3

Justice will be swirled by amateur sleuth Riley Rhodes in the first in Meri Allen’s brand-new mystery series, The Rocky Road to Ruin!

Riley Rhodes, travel food blogger, and librarian at the CIA, makes a bittersweet return to her childhood home of Penniman, Connecticut – land of dairy farms and covered bridges – for a funeral. Despite the circumstances, Riley’s trip home is sprinkled with reunions with old friends, visits to her father’s cozy bookshop on the town green, and joyful hours behind the counter at the beloved Udderly Delicious Ice Cream Shop. It feels like a time to help her friend Caroline rebuild after her mother’s death, and for Riley to do a bit of her own reflecting after a botched undercover mission in Italy. After all, it’s always good to be home.

But Caroline and her brother Mike have to decide what to do with the assets they’ve inherited – the ice cream shop as well as the farm they grew up on – and they’ve never seen eye to eye. Trouble begins to swirl as Riley is spooked by reports of a stranger camping behind the farm and by the odd behavior of the shop’s mascot, Caroline’s snooty Persian, Sprinkles. When Mike turns up dead in the barn the morning after the funeral, the peace and quiet of Penniman seems upended for good. Can Riley find the killer before another body gets scooped?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

In this first book from Meri Allen’s Ice Cream Shop Mystery Series, we meet Riley Rhodes. Riley has a cool job working as a CIA librarian using being a travel food blogger as her cover. Her last undercover mission was in Italy and it ended badly. She now has two reasons to return home to Penniman, Connecticut. She needs to regroup after what happened in Italy but also her friend Caroline’s mother has passed away. She has so many great memories of spending time with Caroline on her family’s farm and working at the Udderly Delicious Ice Cream Shop. She always ate her share of ice cream too.

Now she wants to help Caroline in any way she can as she and her brother Mike make plans regarding the farm’s and ice cream shop’s future. Those two rarely agree on anything so Riley is not surprised they have totally different ideas about what to do with their newly inherited assets. After a bit of a blow-up Mike takes off to a cabin on the property with his girlfriend vowing the hash things out with his sister another day.

But that day doesn’t come. Instead, the next day, Riley finds Mike’s dead body in the barn and his girlfriend is missing. Knowing the argument between the siblings is going to have Caroline on the hot seat with the police Riley delves into her own investigation. She hopes to get the scoop on the killer before someone else gets creamed.


Riley is a very likable protagonist. I love that she has a CIA connection and that she is a librarian. Librarians are so knowledgeable and know how to ask the right questions. I am sure her CIA training has built upon those skills. Skills a great amateur sleuth needs. I admire her dedication to her friend Caroline who has to deal with so much. First her mother’s passing and then her brother’s. She also has a regular job she just can’t drop to handle the farm and ice cream shop. Riley doesn’t think twice, she jumps right in and volunteers to help with no time limits.

Caroline’s mother was beloved by so many and revered for all she had accomplished. We learn this from a variety of supporting characters who work and volunteer on the farm and at Udderly Delicious. Riley’s dad and stepmom are also introduced. Her dad owns a bookstore. That is just so perfect. It is a large group but the characters are clearly defined and easy to keep straight. That being said the author has left plenty of room for growth. There are also a couple of feline characters. One who thinks her royal highness rules the roost and everything around her. The other is a little ragged but cute and is given a great name.

Ms. Allen has done a fine job of world-building. It’s almost time for the Sunflower Festival and all the fields around the farm are filled with sunflowers setting up some great photo ops. The ice cream shop even has sunflower ice cream. As the characters travel up and down Farm Lane there are two farmhouses face to face across the lane. One is the family home behind the ice cream shop where Caroline’s mother lived. The other is teamed up with a large barn where the farm manager and his family live.  Down the road, there is a cabin that was sometimes rented out called the Love Nest. Keep going and there are more sunflower fields, apple orchards, other neighbors’ homes, a cemetery, and a winery. I could picture everything so easily. I could almost taste the ice cream too.

The author has crafted a very intriguing mystery. I had a grand time following along with Riley as she split her time making ice cream and trying to put a killer on ice. She found herself in some heated and scary situations but she kept pressing on. With some marvelous twists, I was drawn deeper and deeper into the story. The final twist was perfect. I was so absorbed in the story I know I missed a clue or two but at least I was in the ballpark with my guess.

The Rock Road to Ruin is a twisty mystery with a leading character that I want to know better and follow wherever she goes. The ice cream theme is just plain sweet and the sunflower backdrop at the farm has me longing for all the sunflower fields close around me that will be blooming and picture-perfect soon.

I am looking forward to reading Mint Chocolate Murder next month! Mint Chocolate Chip! YES!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

https://us.macmillan.com/author/sharirandall/

About the Author

MERI ALLEN/ SHARI RANDALL lives in a quiet corner of Connecticut, where she haunts libraries, used book stores, and vintage shops.


Coming July 26, 2022


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Rocky Road to Ruin!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

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

Contest Will End July 1, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the 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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

Special Guest – Shelly Frome – Author of Shadow of the Gypsy #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @shellyFrome


Shadow of the Gypsy
by Shelly Frome

Hi Shelly,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in Miami, Florida when it was just a sleepy little town as a member of what was known as the silent generation—always going along, making no waves, more or less accepting the status quo. That is, until my sophomore year at the University of Miami when I was introduced to the theater and began to realize my whimsical sensibility needed a much more creative outlet. This eventually led to a stint as a starving actor in New York, a career as a college professor at the University of Connecticut, playwriting and, more recently, novel writing.

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

I find I have to learn a lot more about the world of the novel I’m delving in. So, for instance in “the Gypsy,” I read all the books I could get ahold of on Gypsies, Romany life, and the Red Mafia’s tactics in organized crime.

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

Just the opposite. I sometimes wish I could get writer’s block so that I could enjoy some restful sleep.

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

Read as many books as you can by your favorite authors until you’ve narrowed down the field, try your hand at it, and pass your effort on to a reputable editor for hire who will apprise you of your strong points as well as your shortcomings. Keep at it until you’ve steeled yourself against the inevitable rejections and take it from there even if you have to eventually resort to self-publishing. As long as you feel you have to write no matter what, the process instead of the results will see you through.

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

Take Baxter, my golden doodle for a walk or a ride, and mingle with my friends and acquaintances to keep from becoming a recluse after my wife suddenly passed away.

How has the COVID pandemic affected you and you’re writing?

It’s severely limited my interplay with the real world and thrown off my sense of balance and interplay.

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

I’d go to Europe and Spain and many non-tourist locales to expand my horizons and perspective on life.

What is next on the horizon for you?

I’m deep in a novel with the working title Fast Times / Big City to return to my sojourn in a Manhattan that no longer exists, where you could almost afford to be a starving actor and everything fills you with a sense of wonder and possibility.

Thank you Shelly so much for stopping by!

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

 

About Shadow of the Gypsy

Shadow of the Gypsy
A Novel
Crime – Thriller – Love Story
Setting – The Blue Ridge, The Litchfield Hills, and Waterbury, CT
BQB Publishing (May 3, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 340 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1952782570
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1952782572
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09HST8WP5
Print length ‏ : ‎ 280 pages

Josh Bartlett had figured all the angles, changed his name, holed up as a small-town features writer in the seclusion of the Blue Ridge. Only a few weeks more and he’d begin anew, return to the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut and Molly (if she’d have him) and, at long last, live a normal life.

 

After all, it was a matter of record that Zharko had been deported well over a year ago. The shadowy form John had glimpsed yesterday at the lake was only that — a hazy shadow under the eaves of the activities building. It stood to reason his old nemesis was still ensconced overseas in Bucharest or thereabouts well out of the way.

 

And no matter where he was, he wouldn’t travel south over eight hundred miles to track Josh down. Surely that couldn’t be, not now, not after all this.

Great Escapes Praise for Shadow of the Gypsy
by Shelly Frome

If you like mysteries with good versus evil, this may be a story you’d like. Shadow of the Gypsy is fast-paced and filled with characters you love to hate. There was intrigue and suspense throughout, and I’m ready for the next book!
~Novels Alive

Frome tosses the reader into the deep end almost immediately and you’ll be turning pages well past your bedtime to find out how it all turns out.
~Nellie’s Book Nook

More About Shelly Frome

Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at UConn, a former professional actor, and a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He also is a features writer for Gannett Publications. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, Murder Run, Moon Games and The Secluded Village Murders. Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio: A History and a guide to playwriting and one on screenwriting, Miranda and the D-Day Caper is his latest foray into the world of crime and the amateur sleuth. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Author Links 

Facebook   – Twitter   – GoodReads   – BookBub   – Instagram

Purchase Links –

Amazon
 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
May 2 – The Mystery of Writing – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 3 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 4 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
May 5 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
May 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
May 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 8 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 9 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
May 10 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
May 11 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
May 12 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
May 12 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
May 13 – Nellie’s Book Nook – REVIEW
May 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 15 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

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Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Pup Fiction (A Melanie Travis Mystery) by Laurien Berenson #Review / #Giveaway #KensingtonCozies @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.

pup fiction
Pup Fiction (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
27th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington Cozies (June 29, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496718380
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496718389
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08KKYX1W6

With a new litter of Standard Poodles on the way, it’s shaping up to be a vibrant July in Greenwich, Connecticut, for Melanie Travis. Too bad there’s a killer in town who would love to drain the life out of her summer . . .
 
While usually protective, Melanie feels comfortable sending her sons to the Graceland School’s summer camp for two reasons: The institution is well-regarded and proprietor Emily Grace is a trusted friend. But Emily has been acting strange since three rambunctious Dalmatian puppies suddenly appeared on her doorstep. The unusual arrival marks the first of several mysterious happenings at camp, each more intense than the last. Emily’s rough streak takes a frightening turn with a discovery in the nearby woods—the body of her estranged ex-husband.

As suspicions rush in, proving that Emily didn’t murder her biggest mistake will be about as easy as raising prize-winning show dogs. Realizing she’s the only one who can prove her friend’s innocence and keep the Graceland School from shutting down, Melanie dives into an investigation on the victim’s whereabouts leading up to his demise. With a few spotty clues and Aunt Peg’s growing curiosity about the Dalmatian pups’ origins, Melanie must name the culprit before good intentions come back to bite!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Summer in Greenwich, Connecticut means summer camp at the Graceland School. This year Kevin will be a camper and Davey will be a counselor. Emily Grace, the owner of the school is a good friend of Melanie’s but she didn’t know her friend had been gifted 3 Dalmatian puppies. Puppies who somehow escaped from their outdoor enclosure and were running free. It is clear to Melanie that Emily doesn’t understand the training and care needed for the pups but Melanie is willing to help her learn.

As the first week of camp continues some strange things happen. Things that could have been quite dangerous. Then a neighbor makes a ghastly discovery in the woods near the school. A dead body that is quickly identified at Emily’s ex-husband. Could he have been responsible for the strange series of events? Of course, the police immediately cast Emily as the killer much to Melanie’s dismay. She knows she needs to help her friend and Aunt Peg feels she can help especially where the pups are concerned. They all just need to be careful not to become the killer’s next targets.


I love checking in with the Travis family. There is always a lot going on in their lives well before the dead body makes an appearance. I was so pleased to see that the poodle that Davey has been showing continues to do well and that his confidence has grown enough for him to stand up for his abilities to Aunt Peg and do it in a respectable way. I would expect no less from this young man that has grown up before our eyes. Melanie and Sam have done an excellent job raising their boys and the passel of loveable dogs in their care. Melanie has to juggle a lot as she tries to help Emily and Sam is a wonderful husband ready to pick up whatever slack that arises. The author has created a fantastic family unit. I always enjoy dropping by to see what they are up to.

Ms. Berenson has also penned an excellent mystery. Melanie’s life gets very entangled in her investigation even reaching into the dog show world. I loved all the twists and turns so much especially as we got closer to the big reveal. There were several viable suspects to work through. I had a little inkling toward the real guilty party but was still taken aback when everything was all spelled out.

Of course, again the settings were beautiful even though some were a little damp due to rain. The school grounds sounded idyllic and a great place for summer camp. It rained during a dog show and it was fun to see how much exhibitors went through to keep the dogs show-ready under those conditions. There was a funny moment when one dog wanted nothing to do with that rain at all. There were many other humorous passages as well.

One part that I love about every book in this series is Melanie’s relationship with her poodle Faith. She talks to her dog and Faith seems to understand. The dog’s feelings are portrayed so beautifully when she is left behind at home or when Melanie takes her along or on a walk. It sets each story in a delightfully believable way. Any true animal lover talks to their pets and is able to read their pet’s thoughts and wishes. The pure joy emitted by Faith when Melanie enters the house matches the joy all our dogs feel when they welcome us home. She is so lucky to be able to take Faith to so many places with her. She truly is a special pup.

Pup Fiction is a marvelous addition to this series. I just can’t get enough of Melanie and her family. I am now all caught up on the series and ready for Show Me the Bunny releasing later this month.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent  

 

About This Author

Laurien Berenson is an Agatha and Macavity Nominee, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and four-time winner of the Maxwell Award, presented by the Dog Writers Association of America. She and her husband live on a farm in Kentucky surrounded by dogs and horses.

Find out more about her and her books on her webpage here. Find her on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.
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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 4, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The 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 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass (An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery) by Heather Day Gilbert #Review / #Giveaway @lyricalpress #CravingCozies

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.


Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass (An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Lyrical Underground (June 25, 2019)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 192 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1516108841
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1516108848
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07HVYQ9XZ

When exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake moves into a carriage house in tony Greenwich, Connecticut, she’s hoping to find some new clients. Instead, she discovers a corpse in the garden—and a knack for solving murders . . .  
 
Pet-sitter Belinda Blake doesn’t rattle easily, but move-in day has been eventful, to say the least. The python in her care tried to slither to freedom—just as she met Stone Carrington V, her landlords’ disarmingly handsome son. With the constrictor back in its cage, she heads out to the garden, only to discover a designer shoe poking out of the boxwood hedge—attached to a woman’s dead body.

The victim, Margo Fenton, was a Carrington family friend, and no one in their circle seems above suspicion. Between client trips to Manhattan and visits to her family in upstate New York, Belinda begins to put the pieces together. But though she’s falling for Stone’s numerous charms, Belinda wonders if she’s cozying up to a killer. And soon, daily contact with a deadly reptile might be the least dangerous part of her life . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake has moved to Greenwich, Connecticut hoping to grow her business. She has rented a delightful little carriage house on the Carrington estate and has now moved in with her latest client’s pet in tow. A nice-sized python who she just happens to have out for a walk when her landlord’s hunky son, Stone comes to the door. After an interesting meeting and the snake back in its cage, Belinda decides to check out her backyard. While pulling a few weeds and admiring the flowers she makes a horrible discovery. A very pricy shoe still attached to a very dead lady.

Belinda learns that the woman was a friend of Stone’s and that should give her pause but then the man asks for her help to catch the killer and she just can’t say no. She is incredibly drawn to this man and until her family points out the obvious she never even seems to consider he may be the man responsible for his “friend’s” death. Now she suspects him and everyone else she meets and that could just end with her own demise.


I really enjoyed this story.

Belinda is a very interesting protagonist. Not only is she an exotic pet-sitter but she also reviews video games. She is an introvert, happy to spend time alone sometimes reading her fave Agatha Christie. A woman after my own heart. She is totally captivated by the handsome son of the landlord. He is quite charming but for me, she was just too trusting. These two main characters are surrounded by Stone’s family and their employees and their friends. It is quite an eclectic group. We also meet Belinda’s family. They are close-knit and each interesting in their own ways. All the characters have plenty of room for growth.

People that know me will be shocked to know that my favorite character followed closely by Belinda was the snake. His name is Rasputin and he almost stole the entire show. I am fine because he was in the book, had he been in my real life I probably wouldn’t even go in the room his cage was in.

The mystery was well-plotted and written with a nice amount of suspects and a vast number of twists and turns. The author did an excellent job of making so many people look guilty that my mini little investigation was going in circles. Then some sneaky little things start to fall into place but that final twist really surprised me. The ending was exciting and I was thrilled with how everything played out and who played a vital role.

I love that this story and the other two in the series are based on stories Ms. Gilbert’s father told her as a child. What a wonderful tribute to her father. Seems she has inherited a fantastic storyteller gene.

Readers are treated to a nice preview of the next book, Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, and had I not had other reading commitments I would have dove right into that one right away. That one and Belinda Blake and the Birds of a Feather are both cued up on my Kindle so I can squeeze them into my reading schedule soon. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Award-winning novelist Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing mysteries and Viking historicals. She brings authentic family relationships to the page, and she particularly delights in heroines who take a stand to protect those they love. Avid readers say Heather’s realistic characters—no matter what century—feel like best friends. When she’s not plotting stories, this native West Virginia gal can often be found hanging out with her husband and four children, playing video games, or reading Agatha Christie novels.

Author Links – Website – Facebook Author Page  – Bookbub  – Goodreads

Twitter@heatherdgilbert    Instagram: @heatherdaygilbert


Also by Heather Day Gilbert




I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy sent from Amazon.

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 January 28, 2022, 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 Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Howloween Murder (A Melanie Travis Mystery) by Laurien Berenson #Review / #Giveaway #KensingtonCozies @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.


Howloween Murder (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
Cozy Wednesday
26th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (August 25, 2020)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 208 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496730577
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496730572
Paperback ‏(August 24, 2021) : ‎ 192 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496730585
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496730589
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B082WRWK5X

As the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, counts down to a spooky celebration on October 31st, a horrifying murder leaves Melanie Travis pawing for clues in a hair-raising game of trick-or-treat . . .

With just a few days left before Halloween, everyone at Howard Academy is anticipating the guaranteed sugar high they’ll experience from gorging on Harriet Bloom’s famous marshmallow puffs. The school’s annual costume party revolves around the headmaster’s assistant and her seemingly supernatural batches of gooey goodies. So, it’s a shock when Harriet’s elderly neighbor is suddenly found dead with the beloved dessert in his hand.

Melanie knows her tenured colleague would never intentionally serve cyanide-laced puffs to a defenseless old man. But as explosive neighborhood gossip reveals a potential culprit, it also brings her closer to sealing her own doom. Because on an evening ruled by masked revelers, Halloween might just be the perfect opportunity for a cold-hearted killer to get away with murder once again—this time sending a nosy, unsuspecting sleuth to an early grave!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Howard Academy is getting ready for their annual Halloween costume party complete with the headmaster’s secretary’s marshmallow puffs. Harriet Bloom has been providing the treats for years and she even shares them with her neighbors. Everyone looks forward to these delightful puffs of marshmallows. But this year the treats appear to be the vehicle used to poison her elderly neighbor, Ralph Penders. So while everyone knows Harriet wouldn’t poison anyone the police have confiscated all the puffs made for the party.

Melanie is worried Harriet may be convicted of a crime she didn’t commit so she agrees to collect the marshmallow puffs from Harriet’s neighbors while trying to find out more about Mr. Penders and who may have wanted him dead. But not everyone is anxious to answer her questions. She may have even put herself on the killer’s radar sealing her own howloween fate.


I do love visiting Melanie, Sam, Davey, Kevin, Aunt Peg, and all their dogs. Faith is truly a special poodle, I love her empathic nature and the way she helps with Melanie’s students. I also love the relationship between Sam and Melanie. They truly are a perfect match and their love just shines in every interaction. Aunt Peg played a smaller role in this story but she does play a huge role for a special family. Almost all the characters Ms. Berenson creates are genuine and true to life. Even the dogs each have their own personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Of course, she has to create a few people as suspects with questionable traits but she gives them layers to work through to reach their motives. I will say my heart was touched by the elderly victim and his circumstances.

I really enjoyed the Halloween theme as a background to the mystery. While Kevin tries to decide on a Halloween costume and she continues to work with her students Melanie divides her time up to include questioning likely suspects. The author blends it all together with a balanced hand. She drops the clues and inserts twists like the pro she is. I found myself leaning toward a certain character but it sure was fun to follow Melanie along step by step as she honed in on the killer and proved me right.

You really can’t go wrong with any book in this series. All are well-plotted and written. The characters are easy to become invested in too. The author does write each book to be read on its own so you can jump in anywhere. Howloween Murder was a fun and entertaining read perfect for this time of year. It was a howling good time.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Laurien Berenson is an Agatha and Macavity Nominee, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and four-time winner of the Maxwell Award, presented by the Dog Writers Association of America. She and her husband live on a farm in Kentucky surrounded by dogs and horses.

Find out more about her and her books on her webpage here. Find her on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

THE REST OF THE SERIES

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.
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.
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Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads
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*This was a book I purchased from Amazon / from my private collection.

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

The Corpse in the Gazebo (A Food Blogger Mystery) by Debra Sennefelder #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


The Corpse in the Gazebo (A Food Blogger Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder

About The Corpse in the Gazebo


The Corpse in the Gazebo (A Food Blogger Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (September 28, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496728939
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496728937
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08RWQYH54

Food blogging is turning Hope Early into a household name. But the dead body down the block makes her a #1 suspect . . .

It seems everyone loves Hope’s blog these days, and she’s busier than ever volunteering to help other women create their own paths to success. So she’s shocked when a neighbor petitions to run Hope right out of her small Connecticut town! Set in her ways, apparently, Birdie Donovan doesn’t like the chaos Hope’s sleuthing creates, the police activity and crime scenes, and it’s happening way too often lately. Eager to make amends, Hope bakes Birdie a batch of her best muffins. The delicious treats might have smoothed things over—until Hope discovers Birdie dead in her gazebo the very next day . . .

Now instead of worrying about holding on to her beloved home, Hope is trying to stay out of jail. Because suddenly she’s the lead suspect in the case. Not even her boyfriend, Police Chief Ethan Cahill, is promising he can clear her name, much less discuss the investigation with her. It’s up to Hope to get to bake new ground on the case before the lifestyle brand she’s created—and her whole life—crumbles . . .

Includes Recipes from Hope’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Birdie Donovan loves to create chaos. She believes everything should be done her way or not at all. Her latest victim is our Hope Early. She has started a petition to move Hope right out of her own home. She has also brandished her trimmers to cut back a neighbor’s bush to the extreme for encroaching on her property, the bush probably won’t bloom again. She has caused havoc at the library and several other places around town. Hope hopes that bringing Birdie a peace offering of a batch of muffins will defuse the situation. Sadly, Birdie takes the muffins and slams the door in Hope’s face.

The next day Hope returns to Birdie’s house to try again. When Birdie doesn’t answer the door Hope ventures into the yard to see if Birdie is working in her beautiful garden. She does find Birdie but she is dead in her gazebo with Hope’s muffins beside her. Hope’s boyfriend Police Chief Ethan Cahill knows there is no way she could kill anyone but the evidence points directly at his girlfriend. He also can’t share any of the police’s investigation with her. She could lose everything she has worked so hard for. Her sponsors quickly put their funding on hold, even the new one that just signed on. If Ethan can’t save her she is going to have to save herself but may die trying.


These characters just keep getting better and better. Hope has become a very capable amateur sleuth. Birdie was a bully in need of an intervention but she didn’t have to die. Hope’s relationship with Ethan was moving along nicely until Hope was framed for a crime she didn’t commit. It caused a few tense moments for the couple. The relationship with her sister Claire is strong and Claire comes into contact with people Hope doesn’t so she learns more about Birdie’s reign of terror. I love the way Jane and Drew rallied to help Hope too in her investigation. An investigation that really pushed Hope to her limits and almost over the line. The animal characters always make me smile too.

I do enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at how Hope manages her blog and love that she is healing women by helping them to start blogs which can help them strike out in new directions the way it helped Hope turn her life around. She always has a tidbit or two that has me looking critically at my own blog and making tweaks here and there.

Ms. Sennefelder has written a very compelling mystery. Clues were dropped judiciously throughout the story and I definitely fell down the rabbit hole of this story. Hope tried so hard to narrow down the suspects and she may have lost a few friends with her leading questions. I tried hard to find the right recipe for the killer but I could not mix the clues together right at all. I was totally gobsmacked when the killer was actually revealed. I was holding my breath throughout the entire scene and still couldn’t believe what I was reading leading me to read it again and again. Wow, the author got me good.

The Corpse in the Gazebo is now my favorite book in this series. The author tempers the heavy dramatic moments with lighthearted times in a meaningful way. Awesome characters embroiled in a top-notch mystery made this story A Perfect Escape! I am really excited to see what Ms. Sennefelder has planned for her characters next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Debra Sennefelder

Debra Sennefelder is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.

Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018.In addition to writing the Food Blogger mystery series, she writes the Resale Boutique Mystery series. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.

Author Links

Purchase Links – AMAZON – BARNES & NOBLE – KENSINGTONKOBOGOOGLEINDIEBOUND – 


Amazon – Barnes & Noble –  KensingtonKoboGoogle Play

Also by this Author

 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
September 21 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 21 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
September 22 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
September 22 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
September 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
September 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 24 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
September 25 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 25 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
September 26 – Brooke Blogs – RECIPE POST
September 26 – Lisa Ks Book Review – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 27 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
September 27 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 28 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
September 28 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
September 29 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
September 29 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
September 30 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 30 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 1 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 2 – Laura’s Interests – GUEST POST 
October 3 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
October 3 – Reading Authors Network – SPOTLIGHT
October 4 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
October 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

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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 Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Corpse Who Knew Too Much (A Food Blogger Mystery) by Debra Sennefelder #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to feature
The Corpse Who Knew Too Much by Debra Sennefelder today!


The Corpse Who Knew Too Much (A Food Blogger Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder

About The Corpse Who Knew Too Much

The Corpse Who Knew Too Much (A Food Blogger Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Publisher: Kensington (September 29, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496728912
ISBN-13: 978-1496728913
Digital ASIN: B082WR1YCL

Food blogger Hope Early takes on a cold case that’s heating up fast . . .

 

Building on her recipe for success with her food blog, Hope at Home, Hope is teaching her first blogging class at the local library in Jefferson, Connecticut. She’s also learning about podcasts, including a true-crime one called Search for the Missing, hosted by Hope’s childhood friend, Devon Markham. Twenty years ago on Valentine’s Day, right here in Jefferson, Devon’s mom disappeared and was never found. Finally Devon has returned to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother—and she asks Hope to help.

 

The next day Hope discovers Devon’s apartment has been ransacked. Her laptop with the research on her mother’s cold case is missing, and Devon is nowhere to be found. When her friend’s body is later discovered in a car wreck, Hope is convinced it’s no accident. Clearly, Devon was too close to the truth, and the cold-blooded killer is still at large in Jefferson. Now it’s up to Hope to find the guilty party—before the food blogger herself becomes the next subject of another true-crime podcast . . .

 

Includes Recipes from Hope’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Twenty years ago on Valentine’s Day, a woman went missing. The mother of Hope’s friend Devon Markham. She was never found and now Devon is back in Jefferson, Connecticut to find out what happened to her mom and she asks Hope for her assistance. But the very next day, Devon is missing and all her notes about her mother’s case are gone too. Later, Devon is found dead after what appears to be a traffic accident but Hope knows better. Devon was onto the killer’s trail and had to be stopped. Now Hope has picked up the case and is determined to catch the killer even though she may die trying.


Hope Early’s blog is far more successful than my blog with corporate sponsors and a huge following. She is so busy she has hired an assistant to help her meet all her commitments. She also has a little help with her chickens and home projects. Teaching a class about starting a blog seems like a natural fit. She has a little spare time to spend with Boyfriend/Chief of Police Ethan Cahill but they both get busier when there is yet another murder investigation.

Hope is an interesting amateur sleuth and she is all in to find the person who killed her friend as well as solving a 20-year-old case. She receives some nice assists from friend Drew and her sister Claire. These core characters are all very well developed. I love the way they work together to a common goal. The bit of sibling rivalry between Claire and Hope is always spot-on.

This mystery really tugged on my heartstrings. How awful to lose your mother with no explanation. Did she walk away from her family? Was she kidnapped? Is she alive somewhere? or dead nearby? I totally understood Devon’s need to find the truth and was so upset when her body was found. I was so wrapped up in the story my suspect list was all over the place and I never honed in on anyone. I was intrigued by all the information Devon had gathered about her mom and that she had done other “Search for the Missing” podcasts before tackling the one closest to her heart.  Ms. Sennefelder does an excellent job of blending some intense situations with some lighthearted moments to keep the story well in the cozy realm but some of Hope’s tactics made me a little nervous. All the clues were cleverly placed and the big reveal was a total surprise.

I love the food blogger theme of this series. I always seem to learn something from Hope even though our blogs are totally different. The recipes she posts had my tastebuds tingling. Yes, the recipes are included at the end of the book.

The Corpse Who Knew Too Much had a different feel than other books in this series. The characters are engaging, and the story really grabbed me but my heart really clung to Devon and her story. I really loved the ending and that Hope has now dipped into the idea of podcasts. I am excited to see how she may use them going forward.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Debbie Sennefelder

Debra Sennefelder is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.

Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.

Author Links – Website & Blog Facebook Instagram

NEWSLETTER

Purchase Links

Coning September 28, 2021

Amazon – Barnes & Noble –  KensingtonKoboGoogle Play

Also by this Author

Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!

The 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.

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

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

Contest Will End April 14, 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

Great Escapes Praise for The Corpse Who Knew Too Much (A Food Blogger Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder

The Corpse Who Knew Too Much by Debra Sennefelder is another terrific book written by this amazing author . . . My rating for The Corpse Who Knew Too Much by Debra Sennefelder is five stars, and I give it my most outstanding recommendation.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

I really enjoyed this book. The dynamics between high school friends twenty years later as well as dynamics between sisters is what keeps this one going.
~Literary Gold

This is another great mystery from this author. The clues add up bit by bit and lead in an interesting direction.
~I Read What You Write!

With all the elements one desires in an amateur sleuth mystery, this story also has a knife sharp edge . . . The book is also filled with friends and food, making me long for dinners with extended family.
~Laura’s Interests

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
April 1 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 2 – Literary Gold – REVIEW
April 2 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 3 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
April 4 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
April 4 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
April 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW*, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST
April 6 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
April 6 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 7 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 8 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR GUEST POST
April 8 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 9 – Novels Alive – AUTHOR GUEST POST
April 9 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 9 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
April 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 10 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
April 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners -SPOTLIGHT
April 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
April 13 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
April 13 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
April 14 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
April 14 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

 

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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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Game of Dog Bones (A Melanie Travis Mystery) by Laurien Berenson #Review


Game of Dog Bones (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
25th in Series
Setting – Connecticut/New York
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718372
ISBN-13: 978-1496718372
Kindle – ASIN: B07W4MRR69

Standard Poodle owner Melanie Travis is an excellent judge of dogs—and people. But what happens when an unnamed killer emerges at one of the fiercest all-breed competitions ever?

 

As Greenwich, Connecticut, slows down during a bitterly cold February, Melanie and her spunky Aunt Peg head to the city that never sleeps for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden. Aunt Peg can’t wait to demonstrate her judging chops on national TV, even after being hounded by frustrating mishaps—all seemingly orchestrated by Victor Durbin, an ousted Paugussett Poodle Club member with a bone to pick. But the bright lights of the show ring grow dim when Victor is found murdered, and she’s the one topping the suspect list . . .

 

Driven to solve the crime on her aunt’s behalf, Melanie fetches hair-raising clues about the victim. Victor didn’t score many friends with his unethical breeding practices, sketchy puppy café, and penchant for mercilessly scamming others to get ahead. He burned so many bridges that his own business partner admits to being delighted by news of his death. It appears Victor finally toyed with the wrong person, and as Melanie digs up more chilling evidence, she realizes that exonerating Aunt Peg means confronting a murderer who’s in it to win it . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Aunt Peg gets to fulfill her dream when she is asked to judge for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden and be on television. She is even hosting a seminar before her judging. But a former member of her poodle club, Victor Durbin is doing his best to ruin her day by planning his own event at the same time as Peg’s. When the man is later found dead Peg finds herself on the shortlist of suspects. New York is taking its own sweet time with their investigation so Melanie dives into her investigation to clear her Aunt Peg’s name while putting herself in jeopardy.


Visiting the Travis family is always a good time. With a husband, 2 sons, 5 Standard Poodles, 1 spotted mutt, and Aunt Peg, there is never a dull moment. Going with them to the biggest dog show was a real treat. We get a behind the scenes look and see Aunt Peg’s judging techniques in full force. All the human and canine characters really shine within this story. This is the 25th book in this series and the characters all continue to evolve and remain fresh. The dialogues and all interactions are believable and ring true.

In addition to some awesome subplots, the mystery was very well written. The victim truly had his share of enemies and I really enjoyed tailing along with Melanie as she worked her way through all of them. The author’s descriptive writing style takes her readers right into the moments of her characters in a way that keeps the pages rapidly turning. A major event takes place and that was truly my favorite part of the story.

Game of Dog Bones is an excellent addition to this long-running series. Each story reads well as a stand-alone too. It is fun and entertaining and leaves readers panting for the next book.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Laurien Berenson is an Agatha and Macavity Nominee, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and four-time winner of the Maxwell Award, presented by the Dog Writers Association of America. She and her husband live on a farm in Kentucky surrounded by dogs and horses.

Find out more about her and her books on her webpage here. Find her on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

THE REST OF THE SERIES

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 Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Three Widows and a Corpse (A Food Blogger Mystery) by Debra Sennefelder – Great Escapes Tour – #Review / #Giveaway

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It is my pleasure to feature Three Widows and a Corpse today!

 

About Three Widows and a Corpse


Three Widows and a Corpse (A Food Blogger Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (October 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496715942
ISBN-13: 978-1496715944
Digital ASIN: B07NCN684X

Food blogger Hope Early finds one item not on her scavenger hunt list—a dead husband . . .

Between developing her food blog, Hope at Home, and choosing low-cal recipes for a feature in Cooking Now! magazine, Hope has a full plate. Still, she’s never too busy to compete in a Jefferson, Connecticut, tradition—the town’s annual scavenger hunt.

But as she races with her team to check off the next item, Hope discovers a grisly surprise—the body of shady real estate developer Lionel Whitcomb, shot in a parking lot. His wife Elaine, who’s also in the hunt, gasps and nearly faints. But two other women on the scene cry out that their husband is dead.

It turns out this louse of a spouse was more than a little lax in legally divorcing his former wives. Did one of them put a bullet in the bigamist? Number one suspect and number three wife Elaine begs Hope to investigate. Now Hope is on a new kind of hunt—for a cold-hearted killer and triple widow-maker . . .

Includes Recipes from Hope’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Food blogger Hope Early is one busy bee. Her blog, a magazine assignment, and the town’s annual scavenger hunt are all on her plate. Her team has won the scavenger hunt several times but this year when they arrive at a local restaurant to take care of one thing on the scavenger list, Hope finds a bonus item . . . another dead body.

Lionel Whitcomb, a local real estate developer has been shot next to his fancy car, right there in the parking lot in broad daylight. His wife, Elaine, also taking part in the annual event faints as she sees her husband. Then another two women come onto the crime scene and claim Lionel is their husband too. There are Three Widows and a Corpse – seems Mr. Whitcomb was a bigamist and he has left behind three angry wives and three viable suspects. Two of which beg Hope to do what she does and find the actual killer. Her team did lose the scavenger hunt, maybe she will have better luck finding the culprit that saved Lionel from explaining things to the three women in his life.

___

All the characters I have enjoyed in the previous book return. Many are on Hope’s scavenger hunt team and are on hand when Whitcomb’s body is found. Boyfriend/Chief of Police Ethan Cahill wants Hope to leave the investigation to him and Detective Reid and she had every intention of doing so, but soon she is asking one question here and another there and then she finds herself in total investigation mode. The killer rewards her participation with a few warnings but she doesn’t back down. Hope is a strong protagonist and doesn’t shy away from using her culinary talents to get the answers she needs. I do enjoy her relationship with Ethan and the way it is slowly progressing. She also has a strong group of friends to support her. I can’t forget her pet brigade, her dog Bigelow and Poppy the chicken are now joined by Princess the cat. Human and animal characters are all well developed and very entertaining.

The wives are the obvious suspects but there are a few others pulled in too. My heart broke when a second person was killed and I was totally all wound up in the investigation myself. The author cleverly filled the story with twists and red herrings that slowed both this reader and Hope down but I circled back around and honed in on the killer just a bit before Hope. I loved the way this story flowed and was wrapped up.

As a blogger myself I loved following along with all the behind the scenes machinations of creating a successful blog and keeping content fresh and interesting and for Hope profitable. Our fields are totally different but the premise is basically the same for all bloggers. Pictures are always important and Hope has really learned a lot about photographing food and I feel like I have learned a few things too. I also love the recipes that are included.

Debra Sennefelder gives readers a strong mystery in Three Widows and a Corpse. Great characters with perfect amounts of family life, romance, and humor. I was entertaining from beginning to end and can’t wait for my next visit Jefferson, Connecticut.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

More Praise for Three Widows and a Corpse
(A Food Blogger Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder

Wonderful characters, a great setting, and a story I can’t tear myself away from. I was bummed when I had finished it. My hands are already itching to get ahold of the next book!
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

Debra Sennefelder has done it again, her small town has a big heart and a bigger murder problem!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

A great addition to a fantastic cozy series . . . a thrilling culinary-themed cozy that makes for a great read.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

This is a great traditional cozy with a small town, amateur sleuth, likable and some quirky characters and lots of food . . . This is one that I recommend to cozy mystery lovers.
~Carla Loves to Read

Three Widows and a Corpse is the perfect story for those readers who enjoy lighthearted, food-related mysteries . . . an amiable cozy mystery with a troublesome two-timer, warring widows, a scavenger search, a sad sibling, and a repressive reporter.
~The Avid Reader

Emotionally charged and full of shady connections, this is a book about moving forward and dealing with life’s difficult situations head-on . . . You may want to read this book while waiting for a few of the delicious recipes included to bake up.
~Laura’s Interests

Three Widows and a Corpse by Debra Sennefelder is getting five stars. It is a fun, witty read with great characters and outstanding food.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

I liked Hope. I found her to be a strong, intelligent, and capable woman, but still believable.
~The Book’s the Thing

The pace is steady and the intersections of characters across settings and how Hope is able to connect the dots is well done. . . Those who enjoy cozy mysteries will not be disappointed – and you get recipes besides the killer!
~Christa Reads and Writes

 

About Debra Sennefelder

Debra Sennefelder, the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series, is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in pre-hospital care, retail and publishing. Her writing companions are her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih-Tzus, Susie and Billy.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Women’s Fiction Writers Association and Romance Writers of America.

Author Links:

Website – Facebook – Goodreads 

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

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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Here Comes Santa Paws (A Melanie Travis Mystery) by Laurien Berenson #Review / #Giveaway

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Here Comes Santa Paws (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
24th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (September 24, 2019)
Hardcover: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718453
ISBN-13: 978-1496718457
Kindle ASIN: B07MB475ZK

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Connecticut, but Melanie Travis finds surviving this December may take a real Christmas miracle when a yuletide murderer comes to town . . .

As Melanie attempts to deck the halls in a house overrun by pampered Poodles, her event planner friend, Claire, is busy playing Santa—beard and belly not included—for the wealthiest clientele on Connecticut’s Gold Coast. A personal shopper gig in the affluent town of New Canaan seems like business as usual. Except Claire’s stylish stint comes at a higher price than she bargains for when she stumbles over her newest customer’s dead body on the job. Named a prime suspect for murder, she begs for Melanie’s help, then vanishes like cookies and milk on Christmas Eve . . .

Determined to track down Claire, Melanie and her nosy Aunt Peg dash into a dizzying investigation that leads to even more questions. Why was homicide victim Lila Moran, a secretive woman with an untraceable past, permitted to live on a well-known socialite-turned-recluse’s private estate, and is Claire keeping her own incriminating secrets under wraps? Now, with a grinchy New Canaan detective on their case and disturbing clues piling up like presents beneath the tree, the crime-solving duo must rein in a sinister Kris Kringle before they’re the next ones on someone’s deadly wish list . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Christmas in Connecticut this year comes with a case of murder for Melanie Travis and she is wrapped right into it because her friend Claire finds the body and becomes the prime suspect. Claire trying to expand her event planning business has become a private shopper for the well-to-do residents of New Canaan including Lila Moran. She had just stopped by to drop off some presents when she found her client murdered. She panics but calls the police and then calls Melanie.

Melanie with her school on holiday break has plenty of time to snoop, and of course, Aunt Peg includes herself in the amateur investigation. At first, they have more questions than answers and the detective on the case wants them out of his case, but before Santa can come down the chimney he may be wishing he paid more attention to Melanie because she always seems to be one step ahead of him.

Also, Aunt Peg finds something very special in her stocking!

___

I love visiting the Travis family, they are always up to something!

It’s holiday season so no dog shows to attend or for Peg to judge but that doesn’t mean drama won’t find these sleuths. Claire is married to Melanie’s first husband but they have become friends. That is part of the reason I love this series, Melanie has a huge open heart and an amazing amount of energy. She is always willing to help friends, family, neighbors, fellow dog owners, actually, anybody, even when it may put her in danger.

A husband, 2 sons, 5 Standard Poodles, 1 spotted mutt, and the formidable Aunt Peg, really keeps Melanie on her toes and that is before you add friends, work, dog shows, everyday life, and a murder. Ms. Berenson has created a fantastic protagonist and surrounded her with a marvelous supporting cast. They are credible and real. I could see myself dropping by Melanie’s house for a cup of coffee while enjoying not only her company but plenty of canine love.

In this installment, Melanie does her best but hits a wall while investigating the victim. Aunt Peg just may have a way to help her out. A few suspects in addition to Claire finally come to light and I enjoyed following step by step along with Melanie right up to a very exciting ending. Wow, the edge of my seat, check!

This holiday story was a quick read and as with the previous books in this series, held my attention was beginning to end. The characters are engaging, the mystery is well-plotted and the story leaves me excitedly waiting for the next one.

Reading Here Comes Santa Paws is a great way to kick off your holiday season and would make a great gift for the dog lovers on your list. Ms. Berenson writes each story to stand on its own so don’t be put off by it being number 24 in the series.  I do predict that after reading this one you are going to want to read more about Melanie Travis and her wonderful family though. 🙂 Woof!

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About This Author

Laurien Berenson is an Agatha and Macavity Nominee, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and four-time winner of the Maxwell Award, presented by the Dog Writers Association of America. She and her husband live on a farm in Kentucky surrounded by dogs and horses.

Find out more about her and her books on her webpage here. Find her on Facebook here and on Twitter 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.”