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

Red Hot (A Red Herring Mystery) by Dana Dratch #Review

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Red Hot (A Red Herring Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Kensington Books (May 26, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716604
ISBN-13: 978-1496716606
Kindle ASIN: B07W6S6VQX

Freelance writer Alex Vlodnachek hasn’t had a vacation in ages. So when her sister invites her—and pup Lucy—for a girls’ get-away to Miami, it’s too tempting to resist.

 

Big sister Annie wants Alex to savor a little fun in the sun at her South Beach condo. Redhead Alex just wants to escape complications at home, enjoy a little R&R and find an industrial-sized bottle of sunscreen. But trouble is hot on her heels—along with a few stray friends and relatives.

 

On the eve of the condo association’s hotly contested election, everything in the luxury high-rise is going haywire. But board president and social butterfly Leslie McQueen seems curiously absent amidst the chaos. Along with a good chunk of the association’s cash.

 

When several of Annie’s friends are left holding the bag, Alex jumps in to help—and discovers the tony condo tower offers no shortage of shady characters, murder, and mayhem.

 

But when her brother, Nick, arrives—with their irrepressible grandmother, Baba, and Alex’s pal Trip, in tow—is the gang riding to the rescue? Or plunging Alex into more hot water?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Alex Vlodnachek heads to South Beach with her big sister/super model Annie for a much-needed vacay and pup Lucy gets to tag along. Alex plans to relax by the pool while Annie takes care of some business at her condo. A quickly scheduled condo vote has Annie concerned and she hopes Alex can use her investigative skills to help her figure out what is going on.

When the current condo association president, Leslie McQueen goes missing and things around the property start to fall into disrepair. the sisters start digging and learn the association is basically broke, less than $40 in their account. Now they need to decide who they can trust. Was Leslie working by herself or did she have an accomplice or two?


This was a crazy fun book to read. Once I started I didn’t put it down.

Ms. Dratch takes the characters I have come to love on the road but soon most are all together in Miami. Baba gets a South Beach makeover but that woman still can’t cook. but her family will never let her know. I loved that Alex and Annie got to spend some time alone together before the rest of the family arrived but they do run into someone very helpful from their past. I also loved that Lucy played a big part in the story. This family is a hoot and a half and still all the characters continue to evolve and grow. The author also introduces readers to a diverse cast of characters that live in Annie’s condo building and they all seem to have secrets.

The pace was lightning fast, those girls were always up to something, which is why I read this book faster than I have read any book of late. Ms. Dratch is the expert at placing red herrings that is why they are the Red Herring Mysteries. She also plots the story out so well. The investigation follows a clear path and even when Annie and Alex hit a dead end they use spot on reasoning to move their search ahead.

I liked the change of scenery in this book. Florida is a great locale for a cozy mystery.

Red Hot is a wondrous cozy mystery filled with lovable characters, an intriguing mystery, a large dose of humor, and just a dash of romance. The entire series is fantastic! I recommend you read them all. My only complaint is that we have to wait until next year for book four, but it is so worth it.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Dana Dratch is a personal finance writer and the author of CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING and SEEING RED. She’s currently working on the third Alex Vlodnachek mystery adventure, RED HOT. Get updates at ConfessionsofaRedHerring.com.

Purchase Links

I apologize. Due to COVID 19 the publisher is unable to offer a giveaway at this time.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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

Cozy Wednesday with Dana Dratch – Author of Seeing Red (A Red Herring Mystery) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to have Dana Dratch stop by for a visit today
as part of her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour!

Guest Post

Life Lessons from Murder Mysteries
by Dana Dratch

I have to confess a certain weakness for mystery stories.

I blame Nancy Drew. With her cool car, absent but well-heeled father and coterie of willing friends, she was always getting herself in and out of trouble and solving whatever mysteries life threw her way.

Not a bad motto for life.

As I grew up, I added the Sherlock Holmes stories to my bookshelf, along with Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey, and Dorothy Sayers. And they were joined by the likes of Gregory Mcdonald, Robert B. Parker, M.C. Beaton, G.K. Chesterton, and Louise Penny.

Turns out, there’s a lot of very valuable information in mystery stories. And I’m not just talking untraceable poisons and where to hide the body. They also contain, in the words of one of my former editors, “news you can use.”

Here are a few life lessons I’ve picked up after years of reading mysteries — and writing a few along the way:

1. Be open and skeptical. Miss Marple was famous for this. Sure, she’d sit there and enjoy whatever tea and scones were placed in front of her. Along with a nice helping of gossip. But she never took any of it at face value. She watched, listened and learned. Then filed it away for later.She’d have made a great reporter.

2. Societal politeness is highly overrated. Golden Age mystery writers were diabolical. They managed to glamorize polite society and manners, while simultaneously roasting them. Why didn’t the Countess spit out the wine when she noticed it tasted off? Too déclassé. How come Harold didn’t call out for help when the murder suspect followed him into the darkened garden? But he wasn’t certain, you see. It wouldn’t have been quite cricket.

Sometimes, it pays to act on instinct. Scream like a girl, Harold.

3,. Stop for a good meal now and then. Robert B. Parker’s Spenser is no stranger to fine dining. And M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth may live in a tiny hamlet in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, but the place is wired for great food.

Once in a while you have to stop, take time out and refuel. The villains can wait.

4. Stick with what you love. How many detectives are warned not to pursue the case? Pretty much all of them. Do they listen? Not on your life.

They just keep following those clues (and the trail of dead bodies), until they finally catch the bad guys. Lucky for us.

~Dana

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Dana! 

Keep reading for my thoughts on Dana’s new book, Seeing Red.

 

About the Book


Seeing Red (A Red Herring Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington D.C. / Virginia
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716582
ISBN-13: 978-1496716583
Digital ASIN: B07H1VFL64

If it wasn’t for art thieves, spies and killers, Alex Vlodnachek’s life would be bliss.

Her freelance career is catching fire. Her relationship with B&B owner Ian Sterling is flirty and fun. She’s even attending a glittering cocktail party at his sprawling Victorian inn.

But, to this ex-reporter, something seems “off.” And it’s not the canapés. When Ian’s father vanishes, the enigmatic innkeeper asks for her discretion. And her assistance.

Meanwhile, Alex is having the opposite problem at her tiny bungalow: People keep piling in uninvited. Including a mysterious intruder found sleeping in her kitchen. Her grandmother, Baba, who shows up “to help”—with Alex’s own mother hot on her heels.

When the intrepid redhead discovers a body in the B&B’s basement and a “reproduction” Renoir in the library, she begins to suspect that Ian is more than just a simple hotel owner.

With editor pal Trip, brother Nick, and rescue-pup Lucy riding shotgun, Alex scrambles to stay one step ahead of disaster—and some very nasty characters.

Can she find the missing man before it’s too late? Or will Alex be the next one to disappear?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

OMG, hold on to your funny bones! Dana Dratch has penned another fantastic mystery filled with humor that you will be unable to put down.

First, Ian’s father goes missing in the middle of a party. Then, unusual discovery is made in Alex’s kitchen, followed by an unusual discovery in the inn’s basement freezer, which quickly goes missing. Then while Alex is trying to find a clue about where the innkeeper’s father may have gone she makes yet another unusual discovery and it doesn’t stop there. She arrives home to find that her brother has brought Baba back to help with the kitchen discovery and it isn’t long before there another visitor camped out in her living room. As if her house is already bursting at the seams her mother arrives starting a rant as soon as she walks in the door.

Needing to get out of the house she calls her friend Trip and they along with her dog Lucy embark on a journey to get a whole list of answers. She hopes to find them all before finding any more bodies or someone finding hers.

These characters are fun and created with depth. Again Baba stole my heart. The woman still can’t cook but she whips Alex’s house and everyone in it into shape within minutes. The rest of the characters I came to love in the first book, Confessions of a Red Herring, all return making me love them even more. Alex is a strong protagonist with a huge heart. Nick, Alex’s brother is getting his new business off the ground and a big help to Alex. Ian is hiding something so Alex starts to waiver in her trust of him, especially with all the dead bodies. Trip is the perfect best friend for Alex especially because she truly has her hands full this time.

Ms. Dratch gives readers a perplexing mystery to try to solve. Twists on top of twists had me spinning. I figured out only one very minuscule part before everything was revealed. The pace is quick and the suspense and humor are blended together in a very entertaining way.

Great characters, laugh out loud moments, and a complex mystery make for a wonderful read. Another Perfect Escape from Dana Dratch.

If you haven’t read the first book in the series, don’t miss any of the fun. Read that one first.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

Dana Dratch is a personal finance writer and the author of CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING and SEEING RED. She’s currently working on the third Alex Vlodnachek mystery adventure, RED HOT. Get updates at ConfessionsofaRedHerring.com.

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
May 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
May 27 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
May 28 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
May 28 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST  
May 29 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 30 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 30 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 31 – My Reading Journeys – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 31 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 1 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
June 1 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
June 2 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 2 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 3 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
June 4 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
June 4 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 5 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 5 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

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

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Confessions of a Red Herring (A Red Herring Mystery) by Dana Dratch – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks

Confessions of a Red Herring (A Red Herring Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Washington D.C. / Virginia
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496716569
Digital ASIN: B075C8FDT5

 

 

As a reporter, she’s used to covering the news. Now she’s the headline.

Alex Vlodnachek has been a reporter for 12 years, a P.R. rep for three months, and a murder suspect for all of 24 hours. When her agency’s double-dealing CEO is stabbed, scheming co-workers cast the new redhead as a compelling red herring. The story is media catnip—especially her salacious nickname: Vlod the Impaler.

Even Alex has to admit she looks guilty.

Out of a job and under suspicion, Alex is running low on cash, when she’s visited by a second disaster: her family. Soon her tiny bungalow is bursting with her nearest and not-so-dearest. To keep herself out of jail—and save what’s left of her sanity—Alex returns to her reporting roots. She goes undercover to reclaim her life, break the story, and unmask a murderer. Pretty much in that order.

What she doesn’t know: The killer also has a to-do list. And Alex is on it.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Alex Vlodnachek’s life is a mess, she left a job she had for years that she loved for a job that pays extremely well that she hates. She can’t believe her boss tried to get her to entertain a client in his hotel room. She turned her boss down flat and walked away. She even called in sick to work on Monday to try to wrap her head around the insanity and plot a new future. That was until the police knocked on her door to tell her that her boss had been killed and she was their prime suspect. Say What??

She tries to return to the office to find out what the heck is going on but she is escorted out by security. How is she going to clear her name when she doesn’t even know the whole story? She decides to use what she learned as a reporter and start doing her own investigation. Even going undercover in the building where she was unceremoniously booted out.

If being out of a job and being a murder suspect isn’t enough she has to deal with family members that have come to visit unannounced. Her tiny little house is exploding at the seams but what’s a girl to do. Maybe they will be able to help. She just hopes she doesn’t get them killed in the process.

What a great start for this series.  First of all, I absolutely love Alex and her grandmother, Baba. Don’t ask me to choose, they are both wonderful characters. In fact, the entire cast is fantastic including dog Lucy. Alex’s best friend “Trip” is the perfect best friend. We all need a Trip in our lives. Her brother, Nick, a former emu farmer, has also come to town, hoping Alex can help him smooth something over with their family. The last person they expected to arrive on the doorstep was Baba. She takes over the house, cleaning and “cooking” and she takes the job of protecting her granddaughter very seriously. Alex is a strong woman but Baba can bring her to her knees. These are strong characters and very well developed for the first book in a series.

So much happens in this story. At times, I felt my head was spinning, but the author brought everything together for one fantastic ending. I was drawn deeply into the story following leads with Alex.  What was happening at that P.R. firm was just crazy, but Alex stuck with it, trying to show police there were many other suspects. She was also dealing with her old firm messing up her life in unbelievable ways. There was drama at home to stay on top of too. Alex was a real superwoman to keep juggling all those balls in the air.

This book was suspenseful and also funny. The title really fits the story. The characters were engaging and eclectic. The dialogue was realistic, there was a bit of explicit language, minimal. I really enjoyed this book start to finish. I am more than excited to see where the author takes this series.

If you are looking for a new cozy series with a fun protagonist, look no further. The one is a perfect escape!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Dana Dratch is a former newspaper reporter and current personal finance writer. When she’s not finishing Seeing Red—the next Alex Vlodnachek mystery—you’ll spot her byline on a host of top news sites. You can learn more about her mysteries at ConfessionsofaRedHerring.com.

Praise for Confessions of a Red Herring (A Red Herring Mystery)
by Dana Dratch

Well written with an intricate plot, CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING is a good debut book for author Dana Dratch.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

While a red-headed Vlodnachek might not be the full attraction here, Alexandra’s family and close-knit support group provide a lively and fun romp through the storyline.
~Rosepoint Publishing

 

Purchase Links

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 

May 28 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 29 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 29 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
May 30 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 30 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
May 31 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 31 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 1 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 2 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 2 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 3 –  Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW
June 4 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 4 – Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 5 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 5 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 5 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
June 6 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 7 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
June 7 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
June 8 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
June 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 9 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 10 – The Mysterious Inkspot – REVIEW
June 10 – Laura’s Interests – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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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.”