Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #3 – 2021

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Wyoming, Italy, and Washington State!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


A Zen For Murder (Moosamuck Island Cozy Mystery Series)
by Leighann Dobbs
Release Date – November 10, 2014
Setting – Maine
My Flashback Friday Book – My Review 


The Broken Spine (A Beloved Bookroom Mystery)
by Dorothy St. James
Release Date – January 19, 2021
Setting – South Carolina
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Wednesday!


A Tourist’s Guide to Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns
Release Date – January 26, 2021
Setting – London, England
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Thursday!


The Killer Outdoors (A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
by Jodi Linton
Release Date – October 5, 2020
Setting – New Mexico
My Flashback Friday Read!


A Cold Brew Killing (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
by Lena Gregory
Release Date – November 6, 2018
Setting – Florida
Read for the January Mini-Challenge – Alphabet Soup Challenge

Scheduled Escapes


Mystery Bones Murders: A gripping story of love, deceit, and redemption
by Karen Randau
Release Date – November 20, 2020
Setting – Wyoming
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Crime of the Ancient Marinara (A Tuscan Cooking School Mystery)
by Stephanie Cole
Release Date – January 26, 2021
Setting – Italy
I will feature this book next week on Cozy Wednesday!


Death by Auction (An Abby McCree Mystery)
by Alexis Morgan
Release Date – May 26, 2020
Setting – Washington State
For Review

Future Escapes

January 17 – 23, 2021


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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


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

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

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

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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent  

 

 

About the Author

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


Also by Laura Jensen Walker

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

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #2 – 2021

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Maine, South Carolina, and London, England!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Murder with Oolong Tea (A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery)
by Karen Rose Smith
Release Date – December 29, 2020
Setting – Pennsylvania
My Review


Hope, Faith, and a Corpse: A Faith Chapel Mystery
by Laura Jensen Walker
Release Date – January 12, 2021
Setting – California
My Review will be up tomorrow!


Wedding Bear Blues (A Teddy Bear Mystery)
by Meg Macy
Release Date – December 29, 2020
Setting – Michigan
Great Escapes Book Tour stops here for Cozy Wednesday! 


Bait and Witch (Witch Way Librarian Cozy Mysteries)
by Angela M. Sanders
Release Date – December 29, 2020
Setting – Oregon
Great Escapes Book Tour stops here Thursday!

Scheduled Escapes


A Zen For Murder (Moosamuck Island Cozy Mystery Series)
by Leighann Dobbs
Release Date – November 10, 2014
Setting – Maine
My Flashback Friday Book


The Broken Spine (A Beloved Bookroom Mystery)
by Dorothy St. James
Release Date – January 19, 2021
Setting – South Carolina
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Wednesday!


A Tourist’s Guide to Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns
Release Date – January 26, 2021
Setting – London, England
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Thursday!

Future Escapes

January 10 – 16, 2021


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Better Off Read: A Bookmobile Mystery by Nora Page #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks

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.


Better Off Read: A Bookmobile Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (May 8, 2018)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1683316436
ISBN-13: 978-1683316435
Kindle ASIN: B075QJRD2J

When her best hope of saving her storm-damaged library is found murdered, senior librarian Cleo Watkins hits the road in her bookmobile in search of justice.

Septuagenarian librarian Cleo Watkins won’t be shushed when an upstart young mayor threatens to permanently shelve her tiny town’s storm-damaged library. She takes to her bookmobile, Words on Wheels, to collect allies and rally library support throughout Catalpa Springs, Georgia.

However, Cleo soon rolls into trouble. A major benefactor known for his eccentric DIY projects requests all available books on getting away with murder. He’s no Georgia peach, and Cleo wonders if she should worry about his plans. She knows she should when she discovers him bludgeoned and evidence points to her best friend, Mary-Rose Garland.

Sure of Mary-Rose’s innocence, Cleo applies her librarian’s sleuthing skills to the case, assisted by friends, family, and the dapper antiquarian bookseller everyone keeps calling her boyfriend. Evidence stacks up, but a killer is overdue to strike again. With lives and her library on the line, Cleo must shift into high gear to close the book on murder in Better Off Read, the charming Bookmobile series debut by Nora Page.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In Better Off Read we meet Cleo Watkins. She is a Septuagenarian librarian trying to save her library after recent storm damage. While waiting on repairs she and her Persian cat Rhett Butler have pressed the library’s old bookmobile, Words on Wheels, into greater service to reach all her patrons. While delivering some questionable books to one of the library’s major benefactors, Buford Krandall, she finds him dead on the floor surrounded by books Cleo had delivered to him recently. She was really hoping he would help her convince the town’s mayor, Jebson Day, that the library was an important piece of the community. He has plans to shudder the library and invest the money to build an enormous fishing pier to draw professional fishermen to the area and she just can’t fathom her town without a library.

Cleo sees all the evidence and knows her grandson Ollie, and best friend, Mary-Rose Garland could be in trouble.  She enlists the help of antiquarian bookseller Henry Lafayette and his pug, Mr. Chaucer to help her check out other suspects and find the real killer and get them booked and behind bars. And oh, she is also going to do everything she can to save her library too.

____

I was a fan of Cleo Watkins before I had read the first quarter of the book. She is a smart spunky senior citizen with plenty of energy to do whatever she sets her mind to whether it be delivering books in the bookmobile, finding support to help her save her library, or tracking down a killer. Even when it looks like the murderer has set their sights on taking her down she doesn’t give up. It pushes her even more. She is driven to clear her grandson and her BFF. We meet several residents of Catalpa Springs as she travels around trying to hone in on who could have killed Buford. I enjoyed meeting her “gentleman friend” Henry. He is very supportive of her endeavors and a great help to her. His pug and Cleo’s cat also stole my heart quickly. All the characters were interesting but I think we just scratched the surface on their stories.

Ms. Page really twists things up in the plot of this mystery. My personal list of suspects was way off the mark. Following Cleo and her friends as they snoop out clues was fun and entertaining. At times it was laugh out loud funny. In the end, I was surprised by the conclusion of the story and that was absolutely great. The author had me fall for every little misdirection she had plotted.

Cleo Watkins is a treasure. Her passion for books just shines within these pages. She made this book a pure delight to read. Better Off Read is an excellent start for this series.  I will be reading book two in this series, Read On Arrival soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Nora Page enjoys rainy weather, the perfect biscuit, and quiet evenings in with her husband and cat. You can often find her in the company of books.

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 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 January 22, 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 Thoughts

Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book is 12! – Blogoversary Giveaway – Day 6

Welcome to Day 6 of my Blogoversary Giveaways!

Today I have 5 Hardcovers to give away! 


A Crafter Knits a Clue (A Handcrafted Mystery)
by Holly Quinn
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series

Sammy Kane just moved back to her hometown to run a craft store. But when the owner of a nearby yarn shop is murdered, Sammy will needle little help finding the killer.

When a heartbroken Samantha “Sammy” Kane returns to her hometown of Heartsford, WI, for her best friend Kate’s funeral, she learns that Kate’s much-loved craft store is in danger of perishing with its owner. Confounding all her expectations of the life she would live, Sammy moves back home with her golden retriever and takes over Community Craft. A few doors down Main Street, fellow new arrival Ingrid Wilson has just opened the Yarn Barn, a real “purl” of a shop. But when Sammy strolls over to see if Ingrid could use a little help, she finds Ingrid’s dead body—with a green aluminum knitting needle lodged in her throat.

Detective Liam Nash is thrown for a loop as every single citizen of Heartsford seems to have a theory about Ingrid’s murder. And nearly everyone in town seems to be a suspect. But the last time Sammy did any sleuthing was as a little moppet. And this is not fun and games. Sammy is eager to help the handsome Liam—who seems to be endlessly inventive in finding reasons to talk with her—and when Liam arrests affable woodworker Miles Danbury, Sammy puts everything on the line to help clear Miles.

As the case comes dangerously close to unraveling, Sammy must stitch the clues together. But the killer has other plans—and if Sammy’s not careful, she may wind up in a perilous knot in A Crafter Knits a Clue, the first warm and woolly yarn of Holly Quinn’s new Handcrafted mysteries.


Murder, She Wrote: A Time for Murder
by Jessica Fletcher
Cozy Mystery
50th in Series

In the fiftieth entry in this USA Today bestselling series, two timelines converge as Jessica Fletcher returns to high school to investigate the murder of an old colleague, while we meet Jessica as a young teacher solving her very first murder…

Young Jessica Fletcher’s life couldn’t be more ordinary. She teaches at the local high school while she and her loving husband, Frank, are raising their nephew Grady together. But when the beloved principal dies under mysterious circumstances, Jessica knows something is off and, for the very first time, investigates a death.

Present-day Jessica returns to high school for a colleague’s retirement party and has fun seeing familiar faces. That is, until the colleague winds up dead–and his death has mysterious links to Jessica’s very first murder case.

With nothing but her own instincts to guide her, Jessica embarks on a quest to find out what really happened all those years ago and who’s behind these murders. Because time is running out to catch this killer….


Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs
Cozy Mystery
21st in Series

Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede.

But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor’s lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.

His wife, Meredith, is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Meredith again pleads with Theodosia for help.

As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Reginald’s daughter-in-law goes missing presumed drowned, and Meredith is determined to find answers via a séance. All the while Theodosia worries if she’s made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!


Dead Cold Brew (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
by Cleo Coyle
16th in Series

The perfect proposal leads to a chilling cold case in this novel in the New York Times bestselling Coffeehouse Mystery series.

After everything Clare and her NYPD detective boyfriend have been through, they deserve a little bit of happily ever after. But while Mike’s marriage proposal to Clare is steeped in perfection, the celebration of their engagement is not long lived.

First, a grim-faced attorney interrupts their party with a mysterious letter bequeathing a hidden treasure to Clare’s daughter. Next, the world-famous jeweler who designed Clare’s ring is found poisoned in his shop. Both events appear to be connected to a cold case murder involving a sunken ship, an Italian curse, a charming jewel thief, and a shocking family secret. With deadly trouble brewing, Clare must track down clues in some of New York’s most secret places before an old vendetta produces fresh corpses.

With recipes to die for, including how to make cold-brew coffee at home!


Six Cats a Slayin’ (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
by Miranda James
1Oth in Series

Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, are busy decking the halls for the holidays when an unexpected delivery and a shocking murder conspire to shake up the season in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

December twenty-fifth is right around the corner, and Charlie is making his list and checking it twice. He is doing his best to show some peace and goodwill toward his nosy neighbor Gerry Arbitron, a real estate agent who seems to have designs on his house (and maybe on him, as well), while preparing for a very important role, indeed–his first Christmas as a grandfather.

The last thing Charlie expects is to gain several new additions to his family. Charlie finds a box on his doorstep with five kittens inside and a note begging him to keep them safe. With Diesel’s help, Charlie welcomes the tiny felines into the Harris household just as Gerry decides it is time to throw a lavish holiday party.

Determined to make her mark on Athena, Gerry instead winds up dead at her very own party. Though attempts to dig into her past come up empty, Charlie and his girlfriend, Helen Louise, witness two heated exchanges involving Gerry before her death: one with a leading citizen and another with the wife of a good friend. Will one of these ladies wind up on the sheriff’s naughty list? Charlie and Diesel have to wrap up the case before the special season is ruined by a sinister scrooge.

 

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 January 11, 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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #1 – 2021

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

The past few months have been fun, just grabbing a book from my shelf or choosing a book on my Kindle without any schedule. Now that my cancer treatments have concluded it is time to get back to a more regimented schedule to meet all my commitments.

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to California, Michigan, and Oregon!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Better Off Read: A Bookmobile Mystery
by Nora Page
Release Date – May 8, 2018
Setting – Georgia
My Review will be up on Friday!


Chilled to the Cone: A Bakeshop Mystery
by Ellie Alexander
Release Date – December 29, 2020
Setting – Oregon
My Review will be up tomorrow.


Deep Dark Secrets (Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery Series)
by Joy Ann Ribar
Release Date – October 3, 2019
Setting – Wisconsin
My Review will be up on Wednesday.

Current Escape


Murder with Oolong Tea (A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery)
by Karen Rose Smith
Release Date – December 29, 2020
Setting – Pennsylvania
For Review

Scheduled Escapes


Hope, Faith, and a Corpse: A Faith Chapel Mystery
by Laura Jensen Walker
Release Date – January 12, 2021
Setting – California
For Review


Wedding Bear Blues (A Teddy Bear Mystery)
by Meg Macy
Release Date – December 29, 2020
Setting – Michigan
Great Escapes Book Tour


Bait and Witch (Witch Way Librarian Cozy Mysteries)
by Angela M. Sanders
Release Date – December 29, 2020
Setting – Oregon
Great Escapes Book Tour

Future Escapes

January 3 – 9, 2021 


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in Thoughts

Dollycas’s Best Reads of 2020

Dollycas’s Best Reads of 2020

There were so many great books this year and many were classified as “Perfect Escapes” by me, but this list contains the books that received a “Paradise Rating”, those that I enjoyed so much I thought they deserved more than 5 star-fish.

They are in no particular order. 

Congratulations to all the authors!

The Book of Candlelight (Secret, Book, & Scone Society)
3rd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Publisher: Kensington (January 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496712439
ISBN-13: 978-1496712431
Kindle ASIN: B07R4K4DMR

You can read my review here.

The Boy from the Woods
Suspense Thriller
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 17, 2020)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1538748142
ISBN-13: 978-1538748145
Kindle ASIN: B07TYBQJBM

You can read my review here.

Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
21th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Publisher: Berkley (March 3, 2020)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489667
ISBN-13: 978-0451489661
Digital ASIN: B07SSQ1X4R

You can read my review here.

A Small Town Can Be #Murder (Whistle Stop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Skye Bridge Publishing (December 21, 2019)
Paperback: 196 pages
ISBN-10: 0578605481
ISBN-13: 978-0578605487
Digital ASIN: B082YLDW43

You can read my review here.

/div>
Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse (A Marygene Brown Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Georgia Coast
Publisher: Kensington (May 26, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721470
ISBN-13: 978-1496721471
Digital ASIN: B07W4MRDKR

You can read my review here.

A Deadly Inside Scoop (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Berkley (May 12, 2020)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 0593099664
ISBN-13: 978-0593099667
Digital ASIN: B07WJF48NC

You can read my review here.

The Key Lime Crime: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643853082
ISBN-13: 978-1643853086
ASIN: B07Z2TR2Z2

You can read my review here.

Cake Popped Off (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Cinnamon & Sugar Press (September 22, 2020)
Print Length: 295 pages
Digital ASIN: B08DZ7Z96H

You can read my review here.

Cold Wind: A Mystery (Alaska Wild Series)
Suspense/Mystery – Some Explicit Language
2nd in Series
Setting – Alaska
Publisher: Minotaur Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250295319
ISBN-13: 978-1250295316
Kindle ASIN: B084M26ST6

You can read my review here.

Wine Tastings Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (December 1, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723392
ISBN-13: 978-1496723390
Kindle ASIN: B085LTRQ3P

You can read my review here.

Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense
5th in Series
Setting – Egypt
Publisher: J & M Press (March 31, 2020)
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8632308649
Kindle ASIN: B082Z9FLFX

You can read my review here.

Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense
6th in Series
Setting – Cayman Islands
Publisher: Independently published (September 24, 2020)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8690016531
Kindle ASIN: B0867JSW64

You can read my review here.

What were your favorite books this year? Please share them in the comment section below so we can all see them and add them to our wish lists!

I am so excited about the books being released in 2021.
There is no way I will be able to read them all.

I have started a list of 2021 Recommendations, they are mostly cozy mysteries. I will continue to add to the page all year through and announce future escapes on My Monday Reading Itinerary posts.

2021 Recommendations

I hope you have enjoyed my reviews, recommendations, and giveaways. It has been a pleasure to be your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent again this year.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Mums and Mayhem: A Magic Garden Mystery by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks @aflowerwriter

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to feature Mums and Mayhem today! 


Mums and Mayhem: A Magic Garden Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Scotland
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1643852981
ISBN-13: 978-1643852980
Kindle ASIN: B07TW1XV6D

A famous fiddler has been kilt. A magic garden’s left to wilt. Does Fiona Knox’s father hold the guilt? Will florist Fiona’s blood be spilt?

World-famous fiddle player Barley McFee arrives in blustery Bellewick, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, for a grand homecoming concert organized by jeweler Bernice Brennan. Fiona Knox, the owner of the Climbing Rose Flower Shop, is starting to regret volunteering to help with the concert. Bernice is an exacting taskmaster, and Fiona has enough tension dealing with her parents, who have traveled from Tennessee to visit Fi and her younger sister, Isla, and to reveal a secret about Fi’s birth. But when Barley is found dead in his trailer during the concert’s intermission, and his death is shockingly tied to Fiona’s father, Fiona discovers there are more secrets surrounding her family than she realized.

Much to the chagrin of handsome Neil Craig, Chief Inspector of the County Aberdeen Police, Fiona delves into the case to clear her father’s name. To make matters worse, Fiona learns that Duncreigan, the magical garden that she inherited from her godfather, is dying. At some point during the concert, someone broke into the garden and cut the centuries-old climbing rose–the source of the garden’s magic–from the standing stone.

The stakes are higher than ever and Fiona could lose all that she’s grown unless she’s able to dispel this terrible curse and dig up the truth–fast.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Secrets on top of secrets are revealed within the pages of Mums and Mayhem.

Fiona’s parents arrive from the States for a visit while she has her hands full with her flower shop, her magic garden, and helping with a concert to welcome back Barley McFee. Barley is a fiddle player known around the world but calls Bellewick, Aberdeenshire, Scotland home. Sadly his concert comes to an abrupt halt when he is found dead. Fiona’s world is rocked when she learns her father is the prime suspect in his death.

To add to her troubles someone broke into her beloved Duncreigan, the magic garden she inherited along with her cottage from her godfather while she was at the concert. She has been entrusted with the garden’s care and some thief has taken the source of the magic and everything is dying.

Will Fiona be able to save her father and her garden? or will the killer come after her next?


I really enjoy these escapes to Scotland and while under dire straights I was happy the garden took more of a leading role in this story than the last. The author’s descriptive writing style clearly paints pictures of the whole area but especially Duncreigan. The turmoil of the dying garden brought tears to my eyes. Something so beautiful and magical struck down was truly heartbreaking. I felt so bad for Fiona.

Speaking of Fiona, she is an incredible protagonist. She continues to find her way in Scotland and learning about the precious gift she has been given. In this book, she has many things thrown at her at once but in the end, she perseveres. The relationship with her sister continues to immerge. They are as different as night and day. Fiona is the responsible one, Isla is more by the seats of her pants. I love the way they banter. Having their parents in town brings a new twist especially because they have a history in this town. Also, Fiona’s relationship with Chief Inspector Neil Craig continues to evolve but with her dad in the hot seat, romance could be pretty difficult.

To bring together all the many facets of this story the author has to be steadfast with a clear plan. Her plotting twists all the plotlines together in a way that grabs the reader right away and holds them in her grasp until the final word. She provides plenty of suspects and plants clues precisely making it so much fun to follow each seed right along with Fiona. I was kept guessing until the very end when all the clues come together to bloom.

Well-crafted characters and an exciting mystery make Mums and Mayhem a compelling cozy. One I thoroughly enjoyed. Mums, mystery, mayhem, and magic make for a marvelous read. A Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Flowers and Foul Play here.

Read my review of Death and Daisies here. 

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest


Also by Amanda Flower








Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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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 E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery by Victoria Gilbert #Review / #Giveaway – @VGilbertauthor @crookedlanebks Great Escapes Book Tour


A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

About A Deadly Edition


A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1643854762
Kindle ASIN: B085N3KN7L

‘Til death do us part” could be closer than the bride realizes in Victoria Gilbert’s tantalizing fifth Blue Ridge Library mystery.”

 

The pursuit to acquire a rare illustrated book turns deadly, and on the eve of her upcoming wedding, library director Amy Webber is drawn into a web of treachery and betrayal that could derail her happy day–and maybe just claim her life.

 

Planning a wedding can be murder–sometimes literally. At a party celebrating their upcoming nuptials, Taylorsford, Virginia library director Amy Webber and her fiancé Richard Muir discover the body of art dealer Oscar Selvaggio–a bitter rival of their host, Kurt Kendrick.

 

Both had been in a heated battle to purchase a rare illustrated volume created by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press, so suspicion immediately falls upon Kurt. Amy knows that Kurt has a closet-full of skeletons from his past–but she can’t believe he’s guilty of murder.

 

Amidst an avalanche of wedding preparations, Amy begins an investigation with the help of her aunt Lydia Talbot and the new mayor of Taylorsford, Sunshine “Sunny” Fields. Much to Lydia’s dismay, her boyfriend, art expert Hugh Chen, becomes convinced of Kurt’s guilt and launches an investigation of his own. As the case hits painfully close to home, the stakes become impossibly high–and the danger all too real.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In just a month library director Amy Webber and her fiancé, Richard Muir will be walking down the garden aisle. Their friend,  Kurt Kendrick has brought family and friends together to celebrate the upcoming event. But the party is crashed by one of Kurt’s business associates. Oscar Selvaggio, an art dealer, and Kurt are both trying to purchase a rare edition of a book from William Morris’s Kelmscott Press. He allows the man to stay for the party and plans to discuss the book with him later. But before the gentlemen can meet Mr. Selvaggio is found dead and Kurt is the prime suspect in his murder. Amy wants the killer caught and Kurt’s name cleared before her wedding so she enlists the help of her BFF and new Taylorsford mayor, Sunshine “Sunny” Fields, along with her Aunt Lydia to find who killed the art dealer and why.


The wedding brings Amy’s parents to Taylorford along with her brother. Amy is surprised because her brother is usually wrapped up in his job and rarely visits but she is thrilled he is going to stay in town until the wedding. He does become a significant player in the story and it was great to get to know him. Amy and Richard keep working right up to their big day and Amy uses some of her time to research the deceased and his connections along with Sunny. Sunny and Amy’s friendship is so realistic and true to life. In fact, all of Ms. Gilbert’s characters are realistic as are their relationships.

The mystery this time was very complex with a lot of players and interactions and history. At times I was a little confused and had no idea how the author was going to bring everything she set up together. I was trusting and patient and was rewarded by several aha moments and an exciting climax. I will admit I was a little bit more excited by all the wedding plans and the dress shopping and actual wedding that solving the mystery at times. Ms. Gilbert did a great job entwining both plotlines. Her descriptions of the garden, the ceremony, and the fun reception made me feel like an invited guest.

Fun characters, a mystery that makes you think, and a beautiful wedding make A Deadly Edition a very solid addition to the series. I do recommend reading the series from the start because they do build on each other. A very enjoyable escape!


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About Victoria Gilbert

Raised in a historic small town near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian.

Victoria writes the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, the Booklover’s B&B series, and the upcoming Hunter and Clewe traditional mystery series for Crooked Lane Books. She has also published fantasy with Snowy Wings Publishing.

A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, Victoria is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel. She lives near Winston-Salem, NC with her husband, son, and some very spoiled cats.

Author Links – Website (includes blog) – Facebook Author Page  – Twitter  – Amazon Author Page  – Instagram – Goodreads

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound

The Rest of the Series

Also by Victoria Gilbert

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Great Escapes Praise for A Deadly Edition: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

A Deadly Edition has mystery, romance, intrigue, and humor . . . The mystery was complex which I just loved and I enjoyed the dramatic reveal.
~The Avid Reader

Ms. Gilbert maintains a good balance between the mystery (or mysteries) and the details of Amy’s life, from her everyday work at the library to wedding prep, and the book concludes on a very happy note indeed. I read it when I was feeling a little blue about the upcoming holidays, and it was just the treat I needed.
~The Bookwyrm’s Hoard

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 6 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 6 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – CelticLady Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 8 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 9 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
December 9 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
December 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
December 11 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
December 11 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
December 12 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 13 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery) by Tara Lush #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @crookedlanebks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to be part of this tour! 

About Grounds for Murder 

Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643856189
ISBN-13: 978-1643856186
Digital ASIN: B0871KTTMC

When Lana Lewis’ best — and most difficult — employee abruptly quits and goes to work for the competition just days before the Sunshine State Barista Championship, her café’s chances of winning the contest are creamed. In front of a gossipy crowd in the small Florida town of Devil’s Beach, Lana’s normally calm demeanor heats to a boil when she runs into the arrogant java slinger. Of course, Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci has a slick explanation for jumping ship. But when he’s found dead the next morning under a palm tree in the alley behind Lana’s café, she becomes the prime suspect.

 

Even the island’s handsome police chief isn’t quite certain of her innocence. But Lana isn’t the only one in town who was angry with Fabrizio. Jilted lovers, a shrimp boat captain, and a surfer with ties to the mob are all suspects as trouble brews on the beach.

 

With her stoned, hippie dad, a Shih Tzu named Stanley, and a new, curious barista sporting a punk rock aesthetic at her side, Lana’s prepared to turn up the heat to catch the real killer.

 

After all, she is a former award-winning reporter. As scandal hangs over her beachside café, can Lana clear her name and win the championship — or will she come to a bitter end?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci, the beach’s hottest barista is dead and former investigative journalist turned coffee shop manager Lana Lewis is at the top of the suspect list if the cause of death is indeed murder. You see Fab was her star employee until he quit without notice to work for her competitor. On top of that, they were registered as a team for the Sunshine State Barista Championship. So when she couldn’t hold in her fury any longer she confronts him in front of a crowd of people at Island Brewnette, the competing coffee shop.

The trouble is, the chief of police, who seems to have a bit of a crush on Lana, is leaning toward calling Fab’s death a suicide until the evidence proves otherwise. Lana knows Fab was a great casanova/gigolo with some shady connections so she finds plenty of other suspects and theories. She just needs to convince Chief Noah Garcia to follow her clues with her. If not, she and her new barista Erica Penmark will steam out the killer on their own.


I liked Lana Lewis right away. Divorced and unemployed she comes home to Devil’s Beach to manage Perkatory. The cafe was her mother’s dream so after her death her dad kept the business going but his heart wasn’t really into it full time. Lana takes over admitting she has a lot to learn about being a great barista but she has great employees and her dad to help her out. She is intelligent and kind and her investigative skills come in handy as she tries to catch a killer. Erika and Lana get along right away and they make a wonderful team whether it comes to sleuthing or coffee brewing. Lana’s dad is a laid back hippie kind of dude that does seem fazed my much but supports his daughter 100%. Police Chief Noah Garica also escaped the big city to come to Devil’s Beach never expecting to have a murder case on his plate but he sure does like dropping in at Perkatory to see Lana. All of these characters developed nicely over the course of the story but there is so much more to learn. The author has done an excellent job of giving readers characters we can care about.

The mystery she has brewed up is darn good too. Personally, I wish the suicide theory would have been put to rest much earlier with more focus on the variety of people who could have been suspects in Fab’s death. He left quite a path of ladies in his wake and at least one was married. The pushy reporter in Lana came out and she just wasn’t going to give up. Her actions lead to a really exciting big reveal.

I do love the beachy small-town setting. While jumping with tourists and busy residents it still had a relaxing vibe and a place I would love to visit.

Grounds for Murder was a delightful whodunit and has set this series off to a grand start. It’s entertaining with just the right amount of humor. I am looking forward to visiting these characters again soon.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About Tara Lush

Tara Lush is a Rita Award finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and a George C. Polk Award-winning journalist. For the past decade, she’s been a reporter with the Associated Press, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics. She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations. A fan of vintage pulp-fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, and 1980s fashion, she lives with her husband and two dogs on the Gulf coast.

Author Links

WEB – FACEBOOK – GOODREADS – INSTAGRAM

Purchase Links 

AMAZON – KOBO – BARNES AND NOBLE –  ITUNES –  INDIEBOUND

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
December 8 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Maureen’s Musings – RECIPE POST
December 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
December 10 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
December 10 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
December 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT 
December 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
December 12 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
December 12 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 13 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
December 14 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 14 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 14 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE POST
December 15 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – eBook Addicts – RECIPE POST
December 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 17 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
December 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

 

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