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

#FlashbackFriday – Wedding Day and Foul Play (A Consignment Shop Mystery) by Duffy Brown #Review / #Giveaway @duffybrown

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.

Wedding Day and Foul Play (A Consignment Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Georgia
Independently Published (February 19, 2021)
Paperback: 164 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8711193470
Kindle ASIN: B08WYCY16X

Wedding cake on top of the table, dead body underneath and a favorite auntie accused of putting it there, is no way to start a marriage.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Reagan Summerside and Walker Boone are getting married but before their nuptials can take place a major property dispute needs to be handled. Reagan is not about to let her Aunt Kiki lose her family home. She thinks she has the problem settled but then the man the found the deed causing all the drama is found dead under the cake table at the happy couple’s reception. It is no surprise that Aunt Kiki is arrested for the crime but everyone knows she didn’t do it. They do let her out of jail on house arrest but Kiki isn’t having it. She plans to help Reagan find the real killer and clear her name. Thankfully Boone is on top of the case and knows what the trouble those two women can get into when left to their own devices.


Reagan was doing so well. It had been quite some time since she found a dead body but her luck couldn’t hold through her wedding. Shortly after the body is found the hilarity I have come to expect in this series takes off.

All my favorite characters return in this 6th Consignment Shop Mystery. Even Judge Gloria gets pulled into the chaos. Aunt Kiki is her over-the-top self. Reagan and Walker are so in love and in sync.  He does have his hands full with the antics of all the women in his life. Due to the shorter length of this story, we don’t get as many of those antics or as much of the crazy quirky supporting characters as usual but after waiting so long, 3 years, for this wedding to take place I am thrilled we were finally able to visit these wonderful characters again.

The shorter length did not stop Duffy Brown from giving us a great mystery filled with her signature humor and Southern charm. It was so much fun to tag along each step of the way in pursuit of the real killer. I loved all the twists and turns. The pace was quick and the pages flew.

Wedding Day and Foul Play was worth the wait. I was totally entertained by this installment and so glad that we readers were able to attend the wedding we were so looking forward to when the publisher pulled the plug on this fantastic series. I truly hope the author allows us to revisit these characters again soon even though the characters have been left in a happy place.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She is a National Bestselling author and now conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own. She has two series the Consignment Shop Mysteries set in Savannah along with rescue pup Bruce Willis and the Cycle Path Mysteries set on Mackinac Island with judgmental cats Cleveland and Bambino.

Author Links:

Website Facebook

Purchase Link – Amazon

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.
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.

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

Contest Will End June 11, 2021, 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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Death By Donut (A Pismawallops PTA Mystery) by Rebecca M. Douglass #Spotlight / #Giveaway


It is my pleasure to shine the spotlight on Death by Donut today!


Death By Donut (A Pismawallops PTA Mystery)
by Rebecca M. Douglass

About Death by Donut


Death By Donut (A Pismawallops PTA Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th In Series
Independently Published (May 16, 2021)
~200 Pages
Digital ASIN: B08VKSZV2D

Election day’s almost here, and the island’s new pool is on the line. JJ should be all in with the campaign, but when a prominent Island businessman drops dead at her feet in the Have-A-Bite Bakery, someone has a mystery to solve. JJ’s fiancé—police chief Ron Karlson—is out of town. Who else is there?

 

JJ is missing her sweetheart, tired of the winter rains, and distracted by everybody’s questions about when the wedding’s happening. Even more worrying, her foster-daughter’s father has failed to show up on schedule. No wonder JJ’s struggling to wrap this one up before someone else bites into the wrong donut. There’s no time to lose, because something truly essential is on the line: saving the bakery—and JJ’s favorite espresso brownies!

 

About Rebecca M. Douglass

Rebecca M. Douglass was raised in Washington State on an island only a little bigger than Pismawallops. Though she has lived most of her adult life in California, the salt waters of Puget Sound continue to call to her and she enjoys owning an island in the Salish Sea, even if she had to invent one to do so! Rebecca has written a number of children’s books as well as her Pismawallops PTA mysteries and has had short stories published in several anthologies. When she isn’t writing, she likes to spend her free time hiking and biking, and her vacations exploring the outdoor world by camping, hiking, and backpacking.

Author Links

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Great Escapes Praise for Death By Donut (A Pismawallops PTA Mystery)
by Rebecca M. Douglass

Throw in the mouthwatering desserts, and Douglass provides a delightful page-turner perfect for cozy readers, filled with fun characters, enough suspects to keep up the suspense, and the atmospheric background of an island in the Pacific Northwest.
~Author Elena Taylor

This is a compelling tale that’s put together extremely well and includes a tight plot. With buckets of drama, fretting and emotion, it is a masterful addition to the series. Very highly recommended.
~Brianne’s Book Reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
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Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Pint of No Return: A Dessert Cozy Mystery (Shake Shop Mystery) by Dana Mentink #Review / #Giveaway

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to feature A Pint of No Return today!


Pint of No Return: A Dessert Cozy Mystery
(Shake Shop Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (May 25, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1728231558
ISBN-13: 978-1728231556
Kindle ASIN: B08GBPD3BR

The first in new dessert cozy mystery series! A murder in town is bound to shake things up…

After her divorce from her thrice-married embezzler husband, Trinidad Jones is finally ready for a fresh start. So when she’s left one of her ex’s businesses in Upper Sprocket, Oregon, she decides to pack up her dog, cash in her settlement, and open her dream business: the Shimmy and Shake Shop, introducing the world to her monster milkshakes. And even with a couple of sticky situations underway, namely that the other two ex-wives also call Sprocket home, Trinidad’s life seems to be churning along smoothly.

That is, until she discovers her neighbor, the Popcorn King, head down in his giant popcorn kettle. When one of Trinidad’s fellow ex-wives is accused of the murder and Upper Sprocket descends into mayhem, it’s going to take a supersized scoop of courage to flush out the killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!

Newly divorced Trinidad Jones is getting a new start in Upper Sprocket, Oregon, by opening the Shimmy and Shake Shop in a building that used to house one of her embezzling ex-husband’s businesses. Opening a shop and serving monster “freak” milkshakes is a dream come true but Upper Spocket is a small town and it just happens to be where ex-wives 1 and 2 also reside. That is not really a problem for Trinidad until one of them is accused of murdering The Popcorn King. His shop is near the Shimmy and Shake and he and Trinidad were splitting an order of nuts. When she went to deliver his half she found him dead in his huge popcorn kettle. She doesn’t really know anything about Juliette but can’t imagine her being a murderer. So she is going to shake things up and do a little investigating with some of the other business owners to find who really popped The Popcorn King.


I was struck right away by the delightful characters the author brings us in this first Shake Shop Mystery. Trinidad is an interesting character with an interesting background. She is smart and does well on her first adventure as an amateur sleuth. She also has a wonderful sidekick, her dog Noodles. Noodles failed military training school but he still acquired some awesome skills.

Trinidad is also surrounded by some intriguing human characters. I loved that Trinidad had a young set of twins helping her get the shop ready to open and to be her taste testers. We also meet nut farmer Quinn and his brother Doug, and Stan who owns the local coffee shop and is a reluctant lawyer. Oh, and the local police chief, who just happens to be her ex’s sister.

Several other residents of Upper Spocket drop into the story as necessary and truly depict life in a small town. Gossip runs rampant and secrets are hard to keep when everyone is in each other’s business. All the characters felt very realistic and unique making them easy to keep straight.

The mystery was extremely well-plotted with different suspects and their motives coming to light. Twists on top of turns kept misdirecting my thinking. The author really scooped me this time. The actual criminal was not even on my personal suspect list. I was totally surprised and had to take a few moments to try to think of what clues I had missed. What I really liked was that when Trinidad had a solid theory the police chief actually listened to her and didn’t just brush her off. She had a plan and the reveal tied all the clues together nicely.

Ms. Mentink has given this series an excellent start in Pint of No Return. We have only met one of the two ex-wives and I am excited to meet the other one when she gets back from her trip. The shake/ice cream theme is fun and had my mouth watering for a freak shake all my own. Doesn’t the one on the cover look yummy? I can’t wait to visit these characters again.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Dana Mentink lives in California where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Her family includes two teen girls (affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo.) Papa Bear is retired from the fire department and he met Dana doing a dinner theater production of The Velveteen Rabbit. Ironically, their parts were husband and wife.

Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and a two-time ACFW Carol Award winner. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She is honored to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired, Harlequin Heartwarming, and Harvest House Publishers. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, Yogi, Boo Boo, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.

Author Links – WebsiteFacebookTwitterBookBub

Thanks to the publisher 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 Following 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 June 9, 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 Giveaways Spotlights

The Body in the Beaver Pond: A Keri Isles Event Planner Mystery by Cathy Perkins #Spotlight / #Giveaway


The Body in the Beaver Pond: A Keri Isles Event Planner Mystery
by Cathy Perkins

Author Cathy Perkins brings the reader a fun plot and some great characters. I am a cover junkie and love covers that give a few clues.
~My Reading Journeys

The Body in the Beaver Pond was interesting, getting to know the characters and learn their depth. The story takes many twists and turns, and there are tangents not having to do with the mystery to be solved.
~JoAnne – Novels Alive

About The Body in the Beaver Pond

The Body in the Beaver Pond: A Keri Isles Event Planner Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Red Mountain Publishing (May 15, 2021)
Number of Pages: 325
Digital ASIN : B08ZYWWSY4

Even an event planner doesn’t plan on murder . . . 

 

Keri Isles desperately needs to sell the Christmas Tree farm her cheating, rotten ex convinced his buddy, the judge, to saddle her with in the divorce settlement. Stuck in the Cascade Mountains, she’s lost her Seattle-based job and local job prospects are as scarce as internet service. When she finds the arrogant professor in charge of the local archeology dig floating face down in her beaver pond, however, unloading the property becomes secondary to staying out of prison.

 

A savvy—and scheming—attorney may be able to keep her head above water, but the personal price of his retainer may be too high. It’s up to Keri to use her mad networking skills and deploy a team of archaeology students, a bad boy photographer, and assorted eccentric neighbors to find the killer and clear her name.

 

About Cathy Perkins

Cathy Perkins’s suspense writing lurks behind a financial day-job, where she learned firsthand the camouflage, hide-in-plain-sight skills employed by her villains. A member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers, she has coordinated conferences, contests and debut author programs, and is a contributing editor for The Big Thrill.

When not writing, she can be found doing battle with the beavers over the pond height or setting off on another travel adventure. Born and raised in South Carolina, she now lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.

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Also by this Author

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
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May 15 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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May 24 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
May 24 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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Posted in Giveaways Spotlights

Address For Murder: A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery by Tonya Kappes #Spotlight / #Giveaway

I am pleased to shine my Spotlight on Address for Murder today!


Address For Murder: A Mail Carrier Cozy Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Independently Published (December 19, 2019)
Print length: 206 pages
Kindle ASIN: B082YJPM9H

Discover the southern life of Bernadette Butler, along with the eccentric and lovable citizens, along with all the fur babies, who live in Sugar Creek Gap in this NEW southern cozy mystery series by USA TODAY Bestselling Author Tonya Kappes.

Mail Carrier Bernadette Butler makes sure she checks on all of her elderly customers on her mail carrier route during the colder months. It makes her feel good and lets face it, she’s trying to keep her mind off the feelings she’s having for her deceased husband’s best friend, Mac Tabor. Which makes putting everyone before her is easy.

Until she notices one particular customer’s dog is on the loose, Bernadette takes the dog back and something isn’t right. The door is open. Bernadette goes in to check on her customer only to find him murdered!

Bernadette knows someone knows something about the murder in the small knit community. Now that she’s help solve one murder, she can’t resist to try her hand at it again…of course not without the help of the FRONT PORCH LADIES and Vince!

About the Author

Tonya Kappes has written more than fifteen novels and four novellas, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists, including USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. Kappes lives with her husband, two very spoiled schnauzers, and one ex-stray cat in northern Kentucky. Now that her boys are teenagers, she writes full time but can be found at all her sons’ high school games with a pencil and paper in hand. Find out more about Tonya and her books on her website here.

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Book will be sent from Amazon.

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.

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 June 5, 2021, 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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2021 Reading Challenges Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Three Treats Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery) by Debra H. Goldstein #Review / #Giveaway @DebraHGoldstein

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.


Three Treats Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Alabama
Publisher: Kensington (August 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719492
ISBN-13: 978-1496719492
Digital ASIN: B082WRV78G

When a romantic rival opens a competing restaurant in small-town Wheaton, Alabama, Sarah Blair discovers murder is the specialty of the house . . .

For someone whose greatest culinary skill is ordering takeout, Sarah never expected to be co-owner of a restaurant. Even her Siamese cat, RahRah, seems to be looking at her differently. But while Sarah and her twin sister, Chef Emily, are tangled up in red tape waiting for the building inspector to get around to them, an attention-stealing new establishment—run by none other than Sarah’s late ex-husband’s mistress, Jane—is having its grand opening across the street.

Jane’s new sous chef, Riley Miller, is the talk of Wheaton with her delicious vegan specialties. When Riley is found dead outside the restaurant with Sarah’s friend, Jacob, kneeling over her, the former line cook—whose infatuation with Riley was no secret—becomes the prime suspect. Now Sarah must turn up the heat on the real culprit, who has no reservations about committing cold-blooded murder . . .

Includes quick and easy recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things are tense in Wheaton, Alabama with two new restaurants opening. What’s funny is that Sarah Blair, whose cooking skills are pretty minimal is co-owner of one of the new places with her twin sister, Chef Emily. They are just waiting for the town building inspector to do the final inspection so they can have their grand opening.

The other new restaurant, Jane’s Place, is owned by Sarah’s late husband’s mistress who has hired vegan chef Riley Miller. Jane is hoping serving vegan dishes will set her restaurant apart from the others. Sarah and most of the town have turned out from the grand opening and if the food served is any indication Jane Place will be a worthy competitor for Sarah’s Southwinds Restaurant.

The night seems to be a rousing success until Chef Riley is found dead in the parking lot with her former boyfriend Jacob kneeling by her body. Jane wants the man arrested immediately. While he may be the prime suspect Sarah cannot believe he could have killed the young chef. Sarah’s boss agrees to defend Jacob but much to his dismay Sarah starts digging around to find more worthy suspects too. She may soon regret her actions as the killer has no reservations about killing again.


The author has penned a diverse group of characters from chefs to motorcycle riding vets to building contractors to two lovable fur-babies. Sarah is an excellent protagonist because she always seems to land right in the middle of whatever is happening in the small town of Wheaton. Being a small town most of the characters are connected in multiple ways which makes the story very interesting. The characters are all cleverly written and unique so it is easy to keep everyone straight. I do love the Blair family dynamics. Maybelle has become a real hoot! RahRah and Fluffy always make me smile and their closeness reminds me of some of the pets I have had over the years.

Because of all interpersonal connections, the mystery is a treat to solve as many of the characters become suspects in their own right. A second death turns up the heat as does a smelly discovery. Thankfully Sarah has the gift of gab or the ending could have taken a dire turn. The author serves up some really nice twists to keep people guessing. I was thrilled that I solved the whodunit before all was revealed but the ending was exciting and very entertaining.

Three Treats Too Many is a delightful addition to this series. Fun characters and a great mystery, this book doesn’t disappoint. I have enjoyed all three books in this series and recommend reading them in order to enjoy the character growth and fun mysteries. Four Cuts Too Many is impatiently waiting on my Kindle. I will be reading and reviewing soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Judge Debra H. Goldstein writes Kensington’s Sarah Blair mystery series (One Taste Too Many, Two Bites Too Many, Three Treats Too Many). She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and IPPY winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place and Derringer Finalist Pig Lickin’ Good, have appeared in numerous publications. Debra serves on the national boards of SinC and MWA and is president of SEMWA.

Author Links

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Twitter @DebraHGoldstein    GoodReads        BookBub

Purchase Links

Coming Next Tuesday!

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!

LIKE 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 June 4, 2021, 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 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Jackal & Hide: A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery (A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Jackal & Hide: A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait

About Jackal & Hide

Jackal & Hide:
A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Kenya
Publisher: Kanga Press (May 14, 2021)
Number of Pages 290
Digital ASIN: B08V9DFG1F

Limited time. A murderer hiding in plain sight. Can she crack the deadly puzzle without breaking her own heart?

 

‛Mama Rose’ Hardie just wants to make her ailing husband comfortable. So she puts aside her dedication to wildlife and community and whisks him off to a luxury lodge for a breathtaking getaway. But when a guest enters the bush and never returns, Rose is torn between remaining at her partner’s side and her fears for the woman’s plight.

 

Shocked when the missing person is found strangled to death, Rose struggles to balance her priorities when her husband takes a serious fall and ends up in the hospital. And with her estranged son demanding she stay by her husband’s bedside, the anxious investigator worries the killer may escape into the grassland…

 

Can Mama Rose solve the murder before time is cut short?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Lewa Marathon is just a few days away and Mama Rose and Craig’s son Chris is coming to participate in the event with some of his pals. Mama Rose and Craig have been offered a stay at a luxury lodge near the run and hope Chris will find time to spend with them there too. He and Craig had a falling out and with Craig’s failing health Rose knows it is important these men have some time together. Their daughter Rebecca is not coming for the race but is planning to visit at the end of June. Rose is excited to try out Craig’s new wheelchair to get him a prime location to watch the race because in addition to their son several friends are also participating.

It was a great race but the adventure tired Craig out and Mama Rose has a few wildlife issues to check out while he gets some rest. But her duties are cast aside when she learns a young woman also staying at the lodge has disappeared. A massive search gets underway and the woman’s body is found in the bush. Rose feels a responsibility to help find her killer but Craig takes a terrible fall and is admitted to the hospital. Craig understands her need to help but their son demands she stay with her husband. Rose does her best to juggle everything going on around her. Can she help solve a murder and give her husband the care he needs?


This was a very emotional story. Personally, I have been disabled and dependent on others for over 20 years. While not in as bad of shape as Craig I really identify with this character. His distress and condition are a huge subplot in this book and for me, it became my main interest. Over the previous 3 books, I truly became invested in this character. Rose is an excellent protagonist. She is smart and has her fingers in almost everything that goes on in the area. They have help to look after Craig while she is out on her rounds taking care of the animals far and wide or following mysterious clues to solve a case. Friends also drop by to chat or do crossword puzzles with him which he really enjoys. The supporting cast continues to develop in believable ways. In this story, a couple took some pretty big leaps.

Ms. Tait has embroiled her characters in a very interesting mystery this time. I really enjoy the way Mama Rose ruminates on the clues sometimes for a long time before she has that wonderful a-ha moment that starts to snap all the clues into place so that she can set up the big reveal. I was excited because I was on the totally right track and even a few steps ahead of her this time.

What I really love about Ms. Tait’s stories is her descriptive writing style. She brings the wilds of Kenya to life. In addition to the Lewa Marathon, Rose helped release four jackals back into the wild and took care of two baby ostriches that had a rough start to their lives. Everywhere these characters travel is vividly described and so easy to see in my mind’s eye. The Conservancy, the luxury lodge, the treacherous roads, and waterholes are all so clear. I almost felt like I was right there in each and every scene.

Jackal and Hide tugged at my heartstrings and I shed a few tears. Rose is an amazing woman but I feel she has some struggles ahead. I truly can’t wait until August 6 when Grevy Danger will be released. You will find Jackal and Hide on my Best Reads of 2021. It deserves more than 5 stars. I loved this story!


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About Victoria Tait

Victoria Tait is the author of the enchanting Kenya Kanga Mystery series.  She’s drawn on 8 years of experience living in rural Kenya, with her family, to write vivid and evocative descriptions.  Her readers feel the heat, taste the dryness and smell the dust of Africa.  Her elderly amateur sleuth, “Mama Rose” Hardie is Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple reincarnated and living in Kenya.

Like all good military wives, Victoria follows the beat of the drum and currently lives in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  She has two fast growing teenage boys and enjoys horse riding and mountain biking.

You can find Victoria at VictoriaTait.com, at Bookbub, and her readers Facebook group, Victoria’s Voracious Readers (with her cat Izzy)

Website  –  Facebook  – Blog/News  – GoodReads – Pinterest

Purchase Links

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Coming August 6, 2021

Great Escapes Praise for Jackal & Hide: A Compassionate Cozy Murder Mystery
(A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait

The author does an amazing job of describing the locations and environments. The lush forests and the dry plains, the magnificent wildlife that play major roles in this series . . . Take your time and appreciate all the nuances and details. This is a series to get lost in and find your way home.
~Laura’s Interests

Welcome to another fantastic African adventure with Mama Rose . . . I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Oh, my gosh! Oh, my gosh! Wow! I just finished Victoria Tait’s, “Jackal & Hide, A Kenya Kanga Mystery” and I am bowled over. It’s so good! . . . I loved this book. It touches your heart and punches you in the gut. When you read the last words, it’s just like crossing the finish line in a Marathon!
~Here’s How It Happened

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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 New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Beyond a Reasonable Donut (A Deputy Donut Mystery) by Ginger Bolton #Review / #Excerpt / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It is my pleasure to feature Beyond A Reasonable Donut today!


Beyond a Reasonable Donut (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
by Ginger Bolton

About Beyond a Reasonable Donut


Beyond a Reasonable Donut (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington (May 25, 2021)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725581
ISBN-13: 978-1496725585
Digital ASIN: B08GY9Z1PD

Selling her corn fritters at a carnival, Deputy Donut Café owner Emily Westhill faces off against a murderer who doesn’t play fair . . .

 

Emily and her assistant, Nina, are looking forward to manning the Deputy Donut tent at the Faker’s Dozen Carnival in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin—a festival held on Friday the thirteenth to celebrate good and bad luck. But Emily has barely dropped the corn fritters in oil when bad luck boils up. First, their bucket of confectioner’s sugar disappears—and then while a mime creates a distraction, a magician robs their cash register.

 

After the carnival, their misfortune continues. Emily discovers that someone has broken into artist Nina’s loft and vandalized a large painting in progress with the bucket of stolen sugar, which is now on the head of the mime, who seems to have been suffocated. Emily would bet Nina was the intended victim, but the cops think Nina silenced the mime. Now Emily must catch the killer white-handed—before someone else kicks the bucket . . .

Excerpt 

Marsha was not at her station. A windowless black van had appeared between the entryway and our donut car

I muttered to Nina, “Did that van escape from a morgue parking lot?”

She giggled. “Usually our first-responder friends attend events with their fire trucks, ambulances, and police cruisers, just to be ready. A van from the morgue is carrying preparedness a little far.”

I intoned in a sinister voice, “Maybe not on Friday the thirteenth.”

We walked around the back of the van. On the other side of our car, Marsha was beside a tiny pink car with MIME MOBILE written in purple on the door.

Marsha shook a finger. “You can’t leave your car here!”

She wasn’t talking to us. She was glowering at a tall, thin woman wearing a black beanie on her fluffy orange hair, a red-and-white-striped T-shirt, pink sandals, and baggy black shorts held up by chartreuse suspenders.

The thin woman turned toward us. She was made up like a sorrowful clown, her face powdery white with a dramatic, down-turned red mouth, a red dot on the tip of her nose, and thick black eyelashes painted on her cheeks and forehead. She wore white gloves with red fingernails inked on them. Without a word, she mimicked Marsha’s stance and finger-shaking.

I restrained a smile. People who had been heading toward the entryway had gathered around us. They laughed.

Marsha’s face reddened. “Don’t you shake your finger at me! Move that car.”

The mime sidled closer to Marsha, peered down at Marsha’s clipboard for a few seconds, and then pretended to hold a clipboard of her own. She ran her gloved finger down the top page of her invisible clipboard, jabbed her finger down on it, looked straight at Nina and me, and pointed two fingers at her eyes and then at us as if to warn she was watching us. Then she made a circle with both hands and planted the circle on her forehead, obviously imitating the donuts on our hats. Holding her stomach with both hands, she bent over and acted like she was laughing uproariously, without the roar.

Our hats were funny, but I didn’t think they were that funny.

Marsha clutched her clipboard close to her chest and ordered, “Now move that car!”

The mime made the exaggerated shrug of a person who could do nothing about a tragic situation, patted the car, and motioned with her hands as if outlining an even smaller car.

Marsha balled her free hand into a fist and put it on her hip. “I don’t care how small it is. It’s in the area designated for dignitaries.”

With great exaggeration, the mime cradled an invisible clipboard lovingly against her heart, plunked a fist on a hip, and then thrust her hands into her pockets, turned them inside out, and looked desolate.

The audience clapped. The mime pulled her beanie off and waded into the crowd. Her posture dejected, she held the beanie upside down and pointed into it. Her pockets were still inside out. People good-naturedly put coins and bills into the hat.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Fallingbrook, Wisconsin just in time for the Faker’s Dozen Carnival. The folks from Deputy Donut are serving a variety of corn fritters hoping the event brings them nothing but good luck on this Friday the 13th but soon after their arrival, they notice their container of confectioner’s sugar has gone missing. After a quick delivery from the bakery, fritters are being fried, coated and eaten by many at the fair. The Deputy Donut tent is busy with a long line waiting to be served. Emily and Nina are thrilled that a mime and a magician are entertaining the crowd . . . that is until the magician takes advantage of the crowd and sticks his hand in the cash box grabbing several bills before he and the mime hotfoot it out of the park.

The bad luck continues after the park closes when Nina’s loft is broken into and a huge painting almost ready to be shipped for her upcoming show has been vandalized. On the plus side, the missing confectioner’s sugar has been found. Much of it on the painting and the rest over the mime’s head along with the bucket it came in. Sadly the mime dies after inhaling so much sugar and the police quickly decide Nina is the killer while Emily thinks that beyond a reasonable doubt, Nina was the intended victim. Now, she just has to prove it before the killer strikes again. For right now the safest place for Nina could be a jail cell.


Emily is a wonderful protagonist with a huge heart. She is trying to learn how to live her life after losing her police detective husband in the line of duty. His former partner has feelings for her and she seems to for him as well but she just isn’t ready to move in that direction yet. I really appreciate the author not rushing this relationship and allowing Emily to set her own pace. Ms. Bolton has also surrounded Emily with a great group of family and friends to support her in every way, even when she is tracking down a killer.

Readers are treated to a very complicated mystery with a plethora of suspects. Some I quickly discarded including one I truly shouldn’t have. There were so many twists and the motive was unclear throughout most of the book when finally a connection was found that finally stuck. I was totally caught up in the mystery with one theory after another but never got on the right path to solve the crime. I love when that happens. I love a sticky story that I can sink my teeth into and tests me. Beyond a Reasonable Donut sure did that in more ways than one.

https://pixabay.com/photos/carnival-summer-concession-stand-2456911/

One little nit-picky thing. I have lived in Wisconsin, where this book is set my entire life, and attended hundreds of fairs, festivals, and carnivals and have never seen or heard of cotton candy being called cotton “floss”. To me, cotton floss is the thread used in embroidery or cross-stitch. So I asked some friends and family if this was something I missed and they all agreed with me. So I went to Mr. Google/Wikipedia and found:

Cotton candy is made and sold globally—as candy floss in the UK, Ireland, Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, and South Africa, and as fairy floss in Australia and New Zealand.

Machine-spun cotton candy was invented in 1897 by dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton, and first introduced to a wide audience at the 1904 World’s Fair as “Fairy Floss” with great success, 

Joseph Lascaux, a dentist from New OrleansLouisiana, invented a similar cotton candy machine in 1921. In fact, the Lascaux patent named the sweet confection “cotton candy” and the “fairy floss” name faded away. In the United States, National Cotton Candy Day is celebrated on December 7.

So I learned something new about this spun sugar treat. You will find it called cotton candy in the U.S. and served at festivals everywhere, but also at movie theatres and shops and stores too.

I totally enjoyed Beyond a Reasonable Donut. It was a fun read with characters I am invested in. I can’t wait to see what they get into next.

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About Ginger Bolton

Ginger Bolton writes the Deputy Donut mystery series—coffee, donuts, cops, danger, and one curious cat. The first four books in the series are SURVIVAL OF THE FRITTERS, GOODBYE CRULLER WORLD, JEALOUSY FILLED DONUTS, and the latest, BOSTON SCREAM MURDER. JEALOUSY FILLED DONUTS was chosen as the Woman’s World Best New Cozy Mystery of the week and was named as one of Dollycas’s Best Reads of 2019. BEYOND A REASONABLE DONUT will be on store shelves May 25, 2021. When Ginger isn’t writing or reading, she’s crocheting, knitting, sewing, or generally causing trouble. She’s also fond of donuts and coffee. As Janet Bolin, Ginger wrote the Threadville Mysteries—murder and mayhem in a village of crafty shops.

Author Links – Website – Facebook –  Twitter BookBub  GoodReads – 

Purchase Links:
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Coming May 25, 2021

Written as Janet Bolin

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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 New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Trail of Lies: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery) by Kylie Logan #Review


A Trail of Lies: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Minotaur Books (May 11, 2021)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250768632
ISBN-13: 978-1250768636
Kindle ASIN: B08FZ8143D

A Trail of Lies is the third in the Jazz Ramsey mystery series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan.

Jazz Ramsey is just getting used to the idea that her on-again-off-again beau, Nick, might actually be a permanent fixture, when she gets an alarming call in the middle of the night from his mother, Kim: there’s a dead man in her backyard. Kim has a long history of drinking and a vivid imagination, so when Jazz’s human remains detection dog, Wally, finds no evidence of a body, Jazz thinks she can breathe easy.

But when the body of a middle-aged man, Dan Mansfield, is discovered in a nearby park, and a photo of Nick and his mom is found in his pocket, Jazz has to admit that something isn’t adding up. Kim claims not to know who Dan is, but the cops find out soon enough: he’s a recently paroled convict who served thirty years for murder. And when Jazz traces his crime back to a bar fight with an antiques dealer, she ends up with more questions than answers.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jazz Ramsey works at St. Catherine’s Preparatory Academy, an all-girls school as an administrative assistant. She handles the day-to-day details to keep the school running smoothly. Right now her focus is on the Fall Formal which she will be attending without her boyfriend Nick because he is on assignment with a gang task force. It’s a dangerous job that causes Jazz constant worry. So when she gets a call in the middle of the night from Nick’s mother, Kim, saying she needs Jazz right away because “it’s Nick . . . Nick, he’s . . . he’s dead in my backyard”, she rushes to Kim’s house while trying to reach Nick but her call goes to voice mail. She arrives at Kim’s house and hurries to the backyard but after a quick search, she doesn’t find a body. Nick or anyone else. Kim is a “raging alcoholic” so not the most reliable witness so Jazz is not totally surprised. Kim also changes her story, saying it wasn’t Nick but a different man and that she killed him. Jazz stays long enough to calm Kim down and then goes home thinking Kim’s story is a drunken illusion.

Then Dan Mansfield is found dead in a park near Kim’s house. He has a photo of a younger Kim and Nick in his pocket. Kim claims not to know the man but clues leads Jazz to believe Kim is lying. Now Jazz has more questions than answers and she fears there will be a whole trail of lies before this case is solved.


Jazz is an excellent protagonist. She is smart, strong but tenderhearted too. She has tried to stay away from Kim but with Nick out of town, she feels she needs to stay present in Kim’s life not only to solve a murder but because she starts to see Nick’s life growing up. She realizes he was more parent than child in the relationship with his mom. I appreciated the way the author dealt with Kim’s alcoholism. It was very realistically portrayed, and it does give the story a more serious tone than what we usually find in a cozy mystery. Ms. Logan does a great job though of balancing the darker tone with some fun things too. I love the relationship Jazz has with her co-workers. They are truly friends and support each other. Sister Eileen does something surprising in this story and it makes me like her even more. Of course, a certain Airedale named Wally lightens the story up too. Still, in training his antics bring the humor when needed. I thought all the core characters developed over the course of the story but I was really caught up in what we learned about Nick’s life.

The mystery was extremely well-plotted. It really focused on Kim’s life and the people in it over the years. With some nice twists and suspenseful moments the book really held my attention. Ms. Logan gave us plenty of suspects but several red herrings too that made it very hard to pin down the actual killer. Jazz truly was like a dog with a bone. Even when her own life was in peril she did not give up. That made for a very exciting story from beginning to end.

The title A Trail of A Lies fits this story so well. While it can be read as a stand-alone, I encourage reading the series from the start in order for maximum enjoyment.

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Read my review of The Scent of Murder here and The Secret of Bones here.  

About the Author

Kylie Logan is the national bestselling author of The League of Literary Ladies Mysteries, the Button Box Mysteries, the Chili Cook-Off Mysteries, and the Ethnic Eats Mysteries, among others.

Visit her at – WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Also by this Author

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 Spotlights

Staged to Death (A Caprice De Luca Mystery) by Karen Rose Smith #Spotlight / #Giveaway

I am happy to shine my Spotlight on the first Caprice De Luca Mystery, Staged to Death today!


Staged to Death (A Caprice De Luca Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher: Kensington (December 3, 2013)
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 0758284845
ISBN-13: 978-0758284846
Kindle ASIN: B00DG7M2R8

Welcome to Kismet, PA, where home stager Caprice De Luca helps her clients shine in a lackluster real estate market–and where someone may only be in the market for murder. . .

Caprice De Luca has successfully parlayed her skills as an interior designer into a thriving home staging business. So when her old high school friend Roz Winslow asks her to spruce up her mess of a mansion to perk up a slow buyer’s market, Caprice is more than happy to share her skills. But when Roz’s husband Ted is found skewered by one of his sword room’s prized possessions, it appears the Winslows may have a few skeletons in their palatial closets. With the stage set for murder, Caprice will discover she can track down an antique tapestry and a cold-blooded killer with equal aplomb–as long as she’s not the next victim. . .

About the Author

Karen Rose Smith is writing mysteries as well as romances now! Her plots, whether in mystery or romance, are all about relationships.

She began writing in her early teens when she listened to music and created stories to accompany the songs. After expressing feelings in poetry, earning a degree in English and French, completing short stories that became too long to find a market, she turned to her fascination with relationships to writing romances and now mysteries. This award-winning best-selling author (USA Today List, Borders Bestseller List, Amazon Romance Bestseller lists, Barnes and Noble Bestseller list) will see her 104th novel released in 2020. She has published with Silhouette, Harlequin, Kensington, and Meteor/Kismet. Her awards include two Golden Leaf awards in short contemporary romance, the Golden Quill in traditional romance, two cataromance.com awards for Best Special Editions, and Romance Review’s Today’s Best series romance award. Jane Bowers of Romance Reviews Today states: “Karen Rose Smith’s story worlds are complete and realistic and lovely places to visit and revisit. She excels at stories that feature couples brought together by infants and children, and she handles her plots and characters with sublime sensitivity.”

Karen is well-known for writing emotion-packed novels. An only child, she spent a lot of time in her imagination and with books–Nancy Drew, Zane Gray, The Black Stallion, and Anne of Green Gables. She dreamt of brothers and sisters and a big family like her mother and father came from–seven children in her mom’s family and ten in her dad’s. On weekends she was often surrounded by aunts, uncles, and cousins. This is the root of her plotlines that include small communities and family relationships as integral to everyday living. She believes universal emotions unite us all and that is the reason she employs them to propel her plots.

It is no secret that Karen married her college sweetheart and they have been married for 48 years. She believes in the power of commitment and the hope that goes along with the promise of everlasting love. Along with enjoying time with her husband, Karen enjoys cooking, watercolor painting, gardening, shopping, listening to music, and keeping her seven rescued cats company or vice versa.

She has been busy indie publishing her SEARCH FOR LOVE series. In addition, she has written the Caprice De Luca mystery series as well as her Daisy’s Tea Garden series for Kensington along with romances for Harlequin Special Edition.

You can find her on Facebook at KarenRoseSmithBooks and on Twitter @karenrosemith.  Find out more about her mysteries at https://www.karenrosesmithmysteries.com.


Also by this Author

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