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

Cozy Wednesday with Barbara Monajem – Author of Lady Rosamund and the Poison Pen: A Rosie and McBrae Mystery – Great Escapes Book Tour – #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to welcome Barbara Monajem to Escape With Dollycas today!


Tracking Down a Poison Pen
by Barbara Monajem

 

If you lived two hundred years ago and someone sent you poison pen letters, how would you go about identifying your anonymous letter writer?

Lady Rosamund Phipps had to do this in Lady Rosamund and the Poison Pen. She didn’t know why she was receiving the horrid letters, but each one was more menacing than the last. She had to find out who was sending them, and why.

The first clue was the handwriting – but it was all in capitals, which makes it much harder to recognize than normal cursive. Not much of a clue, unfortunately.

The second clue was the postmark. Yes, they had postmarks in England in 1811 – and quite a bit earlier, actually. Unfortunately, the postmark also proved far less useful than she (and I) hoped. By the time of the Regency, all London mail went through the Chief Post Office in Lombard Street. That wasn’t much help to Lady Rosamund, since London was and is a big city, and she knew many people there, some of whom disliked her.

Her third clue was the paper the poison pen used. Paper was expensive back then. Made from linen and cotton rags, it was sold in various sizes and quantities. The letters Lady Rosamund received were written on foolscap. This was not the well-known foolscap of not so long ago (which we now call legal size), but 16.5 x 13.25 inches. Since paper was too costly to waste, it was often cut it into half and quarter sheets, so as to use only as much as was needed. People also crossed and re-crossed their letters—in other words, they wrote on top of what they had already written, but in the opposite direction, and even diagonally. It’s unbelievably hard to read, at least to modern eyes, but it certainly goes to show how expensive both paper and postage were at the time.

Lady Rosamund’s horrid correspondent wasn’t the thrifty sort. He (or she) used a half-sheet of foolscap for a single nasty sentence! Was she (or he) a wealthy person who could afford wastage? Or a servant who enjoyed wasting an unpleasant employer’s paper? Or some other possibility that Lady Rosamund didn’t think of?

The fourth clue was the seal. Since there were no envelopes yet, letters were folded and sealed. Sealing wax was melted with a wax jack or a bougie box, both of which held long coils of wax, of which a small amount could be melted at a time. Sticks of sealing wax were also available. A blob of melted wax would be dropped onto the folded letter and pressed flat with a seal. Instead of the usual red, the anonymous letters were sealed in black, which was used for mourning. A poison pen letter was bad enough, but worse when sealed in a color that hinted of death.

The design on the seal itself was more promising. Often seals would have a family crest or some other method of identifying the sender. The seal the poison pen used was very strange indeed – it looked like a cow with a shaggy coat. At last, a good, solid clue. The unusual seal gave Lady Rosamund the start she needed to track down the poison pen.

Thank you Barbara for visiting today! 

 

About Lady Rosamund and the Poison Pen:
A Rosie and McBrae Mystery


Lady Rosamund and the Poison Pen: A Rosie and McBrae Mystery
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Level Best Books (April 21, 2020)
Paperback: 244 pages
ISBN-10: 1947915274
ISBN-13: 978-1947915275
Digital ASIN: B087BBLLNL

Lady Rosamund Phipps, daughter of an earl, has a secret. Well, more than one. Such as the fact that she’s so uninterested in sex that she married a man who promised to leave her alone and stick to his mistress. And a secret only her family knows—the mortifying compulsion to check things over and over. Society condemns people like her to asylums. But when she discovers the dead body of a footman on the stairs, everything she’s tried to hide for years may be spilled out in broad daylight.

 

First the anonymous caricaturist, Corvus, implicates Lady Rosamund in a series of scandalous prints. Worse, though, are the poison pen letters that indicate someone knows the shameful secret of her compulsions. She cannot do detective work on her own without seeming odder than she already is, but she has no choice if she is to unmask both Corvus and the poison pen.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lady Rosamund Phipps has herself wrapped up in a sticky wicket. Her footman either fell or was pushed to his death in her home, an anonymous caricaturist is posting outrageous prints featuring her, her family and friends, and someone is sending her threatening letter in hopes to send her over the edge.

Lady Rosamund is a willful, independent woman who knows what she wants and will go to great lengths to get it. She also has a severe case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder although not yet in the mainstream at the time of this story. The malady is serious because she could be locked away easily. She is in a marriage of convenience which is perfectly fine with her. She and her husband support each other and attend important events as he desires a political career. Her husband also has a mistress, Rosie’s best friend but she is fine with that too. Her mother does come into their home to address the perception of the drawings on her family and basically curtails most of Rosie’s visits, teas, and parties, even making her stay home and eat invalid rations. Her brother also makes an appearance trying to get to go to the country until things settle down We also met several members of the class and the staff. All the characters are cleverly written.

This is a unique story as Rosie tries to chase down clues to the poison pen letter and the drawings. She doesn’t focus too much on the footman at first. She gets help from some unusual people that kept the story moving along and fresh. I did hone in the caricaturist very early in the story. A historical cozy Regency mystery with a twist. There are some adult themes. The author used her words beautifully in setting each scene taking readers right there with her. I was surprised by the ending and a little heartbroken.

Lady Rosamund and the Poison Pen is really the story of a woman’s journey with 3 mysteries blended together. While not my typical read I did enjoy this one very much and look forward to reading more by this author.

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About Barbara Monjem

Winner of the Holt Medallion, Maggie, Daphne du Maurier, Reviewer’s Choice and Epic awards, Barbara Monajem wrote her first story at eight years old about apple tree gnomes. She published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. When they grew up, she turned to writing for adults, first the Bayou Gavotte paranormal mysteries and then Regency romances with intrepid heroines and long-suffering heroes (or vice versa). Some of her Regencies have magic in them and some don’t (except for the magic of love, which is in every story she writes).

Barbara loves to cook, especially soups, and is an avid reader. There are only two items on her bucket list: to make asparagus pudding and succeed at knitting socks. She’ll manage the first but doubts she’ll ever accomplish the second. This is not a bid for immortality but merely the dismal truth. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

Author Links – Website      Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads
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Purchase Link – Amazon

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June 1 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 2 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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June 4 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
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June 5 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 6 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 8 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
June 9 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
June 10 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 12 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW

 

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Who Rescued Who by Victoria Schade #Review / #Giveaway

who rescued who
Who Rescued Who
Women’s Fiction
Setting – England
Publisher: Berkley (March 24, 2020)
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 0593098838
ISBN-13: 978-0593098837
Kindle ASIN: B07TSWP85J

Where can you turn when the world turns against you? When Elizabeth Barnes’ life fell apart she never imagined that she’d be rescued by a new friend on four paws. 

 

The plan was simple: Elizabeth would ignore the fact that she was unjustly fired from her dream job, fly across the pond to settle an unexpected inheritance in her father’s home country and quickly return to reclaim her position among the Silicon Valley elite.

 

But when Elizabeth stumbles upon an abandoned puppy, she’s shocked to realize that her brief trip to England might turn into an extended stay. Her strict itinerary is upended completely by the pup’s dogged devotion, and soon the loveable puppy helps her to connect with a tight-knit community of new friends on two legs and four, from the aunt and uncle she didn’t know existed, to a grumpy coffee shop owner to two very opinionated sheep. Along the way Elizabeth is confronted by long-kept family secrets, hard truths about her former life and a new romance that might lead her to question everything she knows about love. Because sometimes rescue magic happens on both ends of the leash.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I needed a change of pace in my reading and picking up this book was the perfect choice.

Elizabeth Barnes was flying high until she wasn’t. Fired from a job she loved she was at loose ends until she finds out she had family she knew nothing about and an inheritance to boot. We follow Elizabeth across the pond as she settles her father’s affairs. She had planned just a quick trip so she can get back home and find new employment. But a cute little homeless puppy has her extending her stay. She starts to feel at home in this unique community especially when she feels a romantic spark with one of the town’s residents. Finding her family and learning the truth about her father’s distancing while learning some truths about herself could change her life.

It was the cover that really caught my attention. As a mom to two border collie/blue heeler mixes, one who looks a bit like the dog on the cover, I just couldn’t say no to those eyes. What I found between the covers was delightful.

Elizabeth was a workaholic driven by likes and clicks who was forced to slow down upon arrival to the English countryside with limited internet access. She doesn’t adjust easily but finds several things to fill her time including a border collie mix pup and a handsome co-owner of a local brewery. She also takes on a huge task for her newly-found uncle that reveals something they have in common. All the characters in the book are well crafted and really evolve over the course and right up to the end of the story. The story has a slow build so readers really get to know the wonderful people of Fargrove.

Ms. Shade finds a great balance between family life, romance and some lovable 4 legged creatures. All the twists are so well-plotted. The story feels much more based in reality than other romantic comedies I have read of late. The author also describes each setting so clearly, and there are many. I felt like I was getting a bird’s eye view of all of the action, walking right along in my wellies taking in everything the setting had to offer.

This story gave me the warm and fuzzies. This book actually rescued me and gave me a nice break from some things I was dealing with. Thank you, Ms. Shade, for the Perfect Escape.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Victoria Schade is a dog trainer and speaker who serves as a dog resource for the media and has worked both in front of and behind the camera on Animal Planet, as a co-host on the program Faithful Friends and as a trainer and wrangler on the channel’s popular Puppy Bowl specials. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, her dogs Millie and Olive, and the occasional foster pup.

who rescued who

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

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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

Hazards in Hampshire (A British Book Tour Mystery) by Emma Dakin #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Hazards in Hampshire (A British Book Tour Mystery)
by Emma Dakin

I am so happy to shine the spotlight on Hazards in Hampshire today!

About Hazards in Hampshire

Hazards in Hampshire (A British Book Tour Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Camel Press (October 15, 2019)
Paperback: Number of Pages 190
ISBN-10: 1941890601
ISBN-13: 978-1941890608
Digital ASIN: B07V2K7QTB

Moving to a quiet English village should have been tranquil, but Claire Barclay learns that even an invitation to tea can be deadly. Who killed Mrs. Paulson, the president of the local Mystery Books Club? Was the motive for murder located in the archives of the book club? The members of the books club might have reason to want Mrs. Paulson’s out of the way. She had lived in the village all her life, been involved in many organizations and societies and knew many secrets of the villagers. Was one secret too dangerous for her to keep? She had been wealthy and left her money to a member of the club. Could the legatee have been impatient for her inheritance? Who cared enough to want her dead? Claire, an expert in solving problems in her job as a tour guide, decides to delve into the archives and into the lives of the villagers—and find out.

Praise for Hazards in Hampshire (A British Book Tour Mystery)
by Emma Dakin

. . . if you’re a fan of Cozy Mysteries, Agatha Christie, and others or a fan of British themed books you’ll love this one. I enjoyed Hazards in Hampshire and I am waiting anxiously for book 2. I love finding a new series!
~My Reading Journeys

Hazards in Hampshire was a great start to this British Book Tour Mystery series and I can’t wait to read more from Emma Dakin, this a was good clean cozy mystery set in a wonderful location.
~eBook Addicts

A genteel read with nice characters, HAZARDS IN HAMPSHIRE creates the feel of an Agatha Christie-style
mystery.
~Cinnamon and Sugar and a little bit of Murder

Hazards in Hampshire . . . weaves a story around a lively cast of villagers, relatives, and tourists; an archive of Agatha Christie memorabilia; and noteworthy social relationships and events . . . All of these aspects make it an enjoyable read.
~Book Club Librarian

What a brilliant start to a new series with a wonderful cast of characters that I want to find out more about!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

This is definitely a book lover’s dream read: a town book club for mystery readers, bookish tours, pets with novel names, a private library housing a collection of Agatha Christie letters, and all the charm of the English landscape. This was an absolutely fantastic concept . . .
~That’s What She’s Reading

I am hoping this is the first of many delightful books for this series . . . I found the world-building to be enchanting and the mystery interesting. I look forward to where this series might take us.
~Laura’s Interests

About Emma Dakin

This is Emma Dakin’s first series, set in Britain the homeland of Emma’s grandparents. Emma channels her mother’s inherited English culture along with the attitudes and sayings of the modern Brits. She travels widely in England and at one point this May while travelling through the Yorkshire Moors she had all the tourists in a tour bus looking for a good place to hide a body. As Marion Crook, she has published many novels of adventure and mystery for young adult and middle grade readers as well as non-fiction for adults and young adults and non-fiction on social issues. Firmly in the cozy mystery genre now, and committed to absorbing the culture and changing world of Britain, she plans to enjoy the research and the writing of cozies.

Author Links – Webpage/Blog  – Facebook  –Goodreads 

Purchase Links – Amazon Digital   Amazon Paperback       B&N Kobo     IndieBound

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
November 11 – Reading Is My SuperPower – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 11 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
November 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
November 13 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
November 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
November 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
November 15 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW, RECIPE
November 15 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
November 16 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
November 16 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 17 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 19 – Carole’s Book Corner – GUEST POST 
November 19 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
November 20 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 21 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 21 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
November 22 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, RECIPE
November 23 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT 
November 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
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Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Penny for Your Secrets (A Verity Kent Mystery) by Anna Lee Huber #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks


Penny for Your Secrets (A Verity Kent Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – England
Publisher: Kensington (October 29, 2019)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713192
ISBN-13: 978-1496713193
Kindle ASIN: B07NCN3L74

England, 1919. In Anna Lee Huber’s latest mystery, former Secret Service agent Verity Kent is finding that life after wartime offers its own share of danger . . .

The Great War may be over, but for many, there are still obstacles on the home front. Reconciling with her estranged husband makes Verity sympathetic to her friend Ada’s marital difficulties. Bourgeois-bred Ada, recently married to the Marquess of Rockham, is overwhelmed trying to navigate the ways of the aristocracy. And when Lord Rockham is discovered shot through the heart with a bullet from Ada’s revolver, Verity fears her friend has made a fatal blunder.

While striving to prove Ada’s innocence, Verity is called upon for another favor. The sister of a former Secret Service colleague has been killed in what authorities believe was a home invasion gone wrong. The victim’s war work—censoring letters sent by soldiers from the front—exposed her to sensitive, disturbing material. Verity begins to suspect these two unlikely cases may be linked. But as the connections deepen, the consequences—not just for Verity, but for Britain—grow more menacing than she could have imagined.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Verity Kent and husband Sidney attend a party at the home of the Marquess of Rockham. There is clearly tension between Lord Rockham and his wife, Ada but when she pulls out a gun at the dinner table and makes a joke about killing her husband Verity knows there could be trouble ahead. When she receives a frantic call from Ada saying the Lord was dead, Verity fears her friend followed through on her statement.

Verity is also called on by a woman she met working with the Secret Service to investigate the death of her sister. Verity can’t say no, but as both investigations continue she sees her two cases may be connected and may have more deadly consequences.

___

What I really enjoy about this series in the depth of the characters. The war had profound effects on everyone, but we get a personal look at Verity and Sidney as they try to deal with his return and the PTSD and guilt he is fighting while dealing with the Verity’s independence has gained while he was gone. The struggle is real and told in a very believable way. They are surrounded by a cast of characters all dealing with issues of their own and again Ms. Huber gives them depth and their circumstances real.

I found both mysteries to be very interesting. I was more drawn to the Marquess of Rockham’s murder. It was a different time and marriages were made for stature and wealth instead of love.  Ada really had trouble adjusting to the aristocratic ways and clearly isn’t happy. I didn’t condone her behavior but understood part of where she was coming from. Verity has to see something in this woman and I was trying to find some redeeming qualities.

The other death drew Verity back to her Secret Service sources. The victim had a tough job during the war which opened the case which was first classified as a bungled home invasion to so much more. Verity was pulled in several directions and I enjoyed following alongside her as she did her best to find answers, even putting herself in the line of fire.

Anna Lee Huber has a very detailed writing style. You know she has well researched this time in history and does a great job fictionalizing the time period and giving readers a story filled with imagery to bring the story alive. People and places were easy to see in my mind’s eye.

Each book in this series can be read on its own but I recommend reading them in order to really get to know Verity Kent.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can read my review for This Side of Murder here and Treacherous Is the Night here.

About the Author

Anna Lee Huber is the author of the historical mystery series. She received the Daphne du Maurier Award for her national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries. She is a summa cum laude graduate from Lipscomb University in Nashville. To find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.

Also by this Author


GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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Sign up for Anna Lee Huber’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 26, 2019, 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 Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

A Legacy of Murder: A Kate Hamilton Mystery by Connie Berry – #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @crookedlanebks @conniecberry

A Legacy of Murder: A Kate Hamilton Mystery
by Connie Berry

I am excited to kick this tour off today and
shine my spotlight on the latest book from Connie Berry!

About A Legacy of Murder

A Legacy of Murder: A Kate Hamilton Mystery
Traditional Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (October 8, 2019)
Hardcover ~336 Pages
ISBN-10: 1643851543
ISBN-13: 978-1643851549
Digital ASIN: B07NKQDYM3

American antique dealer Kate Hamilton’s Christmastime jaunt to a charming English village leads to an investigation of a missing ruby…and a chain of murders.

It’s Christmastime and antiques dealer Kate Hamilton is off to visit her daughter, Christine, in the quaint English village of Long Barston. Christine and her boyfriend, Tristan, work at stately-but-crumbling Finchley Hall. Touring the Elizabethan house and grounds, Kate is intrigued by the docent’s tales of the Finchley Hoard, and the strange deaths surrounding the renowned treasure trove. But next to a small lake, Kate spies the body of a young woman, killed by a garden spade.

Nearly blind Lady Barbara, who lives at Finchley with her loyal butler, Mugg, persuades Kate to take over the murdered woman’s work. Kate finds that a Burmese ruby has vanished from the legendary Blood-Red Ring, replaced by a lesser garnet. Were the theft and the woman’s death connected?

Kate learns that Lady Barbara’s son fled to Venezuela years before, suspected of murdering another young woman. The murder weapon belonged to an old gardener, who becomes the leading suspect. But is Lady Barbara’s son back to kill again? When another body is found, the clues point toward Christine. It’s up to Kate to clear her daughter’s name in Connie Berry’s second Kate Hamilton mystery, a treasure for fans of traditional British mysteries.

About Connie Berry

Like her protagonist, Connie Berry was raised in the antiques trade. After teaching theology for twenty-five years, she took up writing mysteries featuring high-end antiques and the legacy of the past. Connie loves history, cute animals, travel with a hint of adventure, and all things British. She lives in Ohio with her husband and adorable dog, Millie.

Author Links:  Website –  Goodreads

Facebook Author@Facebook.com

Twitter @conniecberry

Purchase Links:

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
November 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
November 1 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
November 1 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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November 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 2 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 3 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW
November 3 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
November 3 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
November 4 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
November 4 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
November 4 – Diane Reviews Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 5 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 5 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
November 6 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
November 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
November 7 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 7 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 8 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
November 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 8 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
November 9 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
November 9 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW
November 10 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 10 – Here’s How It Happened – GUEST POST
November 11 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
November 11 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW
November 11 – Christa Reads & Writes – REVIEW
November 12 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 12 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 12 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Giveaways Spotlights

The Bodies in the Library (A First Edition Library Mystery) by Marty Wingate #Spotlight / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery @martywingate

I am excited to shine my spotlight on the start of a new series from Marty Wingate!


The Bodies in the Library (A First Edition Library Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Berkley (October 8, 2019)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1984804103
ISBN-13: 978-1984804105
Kindle ASIN: B07MCRHSSM

Hayley Burke’s fresh start as the curator of The First Edition Society’s library in Bath, England, is about to take a rotten turn in this charming new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate.

Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling’s First Edition library. The library is kept at Middlebank House, a lovely Georgian home in Bath, England. Hayley lives on the premises and works with the finicky Glynis Woolgar, Lady Fowling’s former secretary.

Mrs. Woolgar does not like Hayley’s ideas to modernize The First Edition Society and bring in fresh blood. And she is not even aware of the fact that Hayley does not know the first thing about the Golden Age of Mysteries. Hayley is faking it till she makes it, and one of her plans to breathe new life into the Society is actually taking flight–an Agatha Christie fan fiction writers group is paying dues to meet up at Middlebank House.

But when one of the group is found dead in the venerable stacks of the library, Hayley has to catch the killer to save the Society and her new job.

About Marty Wingate

Marty Wingate is a Seattle-based writer and speaker who shares her love of Britain in her two mystery series. The Potting Shed books feature Pru Parke, a middle-aged American gardener transplanted from Texas to England, and Birds of a Feather follows Julia Lanchester, bird lover, who runs a tourist office in a Suffolk village. Marty writes garden articles for magazines including Country Gardens and the American Gardener. She is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Crime Writers Association. She leads garden tours to England, Scotland, and Ireland, spending free moments deep in research for her books. Or in pubs.

Marty Wingate’s captivating mysteries can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:

The Birds of a Feather seriesTHE RHYME OF THE MAGPIE | EMPTY NEST | EVERY TRICK IN THE ROOK | FAREWELL, MY CUCKOO

The Potting Shed series: THE GARDEN PLOT THE RED BOOK OF PRIMROSE HOUSE | BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE | THE SKELETON GARDEN | THE BLUEBONNET BETRAYAL | BEST-LAID PLANTSMIDSUMMER MURDER

Author Links  – Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Website     Pinterest    Amazon Author Page

Also by Marty Wingate



Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
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Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Vanished Bride (Brontë Sisters Mystery) by Bella Ellis #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery


The Vanished Bride (Brontë Sisters Mystery)
Biographical Historical Fiction/Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Yorkshire, England
Berkley (September 10, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0593099052
ISBN-13: 978-0593099056
Kindle ASIN: B07PF6T82G

Before they became legendary writers, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë were detectors in this charming historical mystery…

Yorkshire, 1845. A young wife and mother has gone missing from her home, leaving behind two small children and a large pool of blood. Just a few miles away, a humble parson’s daughters—the Brontë sisters—learn of the crime. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are horrified and intrigued by the mysterious disappearance.

These three creative, energetic, and resourceful women quickly realize that they have all the skills required to make for excellent “lady detectors.” Not yet published novelists, they have well-honed imaginations and are expert readers. And, as Charlotte remarks, “detecting is reading between the lines—it’s seeing what is not there.”

As they investigate, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne are confronted with a society that believes a woman’s place is in the home, not scouring the countryside looking for clues. But nothing will stop the sisters from discovering what happened to the vanished bride, even as they find their own lives are in great peril…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When I pull out my list of favorite books, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is always near the top of the list so when I learned of this book I knew I just had to read it.

Bella Ellis writes a story where the Brontë sisters with a couple of assists from their brother become amateur detectors when they learn of a young bride missing from her home with a gruesome scene left behind. The sisters spend their days trying to write but have been bored and in need of some fresh ideas. They soon realize they know the governess caring for the missing woman’s children. Charlotte feels this gives them the in they need to investigate. The sisters are very independent but their father worries about their excursions. They feed him stories so he doesn’t worry but he knows his daughters. He prays each day that they come home safe.

This story takes place before any of the Brontë works have been published. The author captures their knowledge, imagination, uniqueness, and perseverance in an excellent way.  She immerses them in a complex and compelling mystery. The girls travel “hither and thither” is their quest to find the vanished bride. The clues started to fall into place for me a bit before the sisters but I was totally entertained by the journey I was taken on. The author’s descriptive talents brought each setting and the characters place in it to life. In a time where women are usually seen and not heard and treated like property, the feminist slant to the story was refreshing.

What I really enjoyed was the story being told by each of the sister’s point of view alternating chapter by chapter.  It really gives insight into their lives and thought processes allowing readers to get to know each in a more personal way. Ms. Ellis has done her research and presented it in an interesting way.

Intriguing and entertaining, The Vanished Bride, is a fascinating historical mystery that fans of this genre will enjoy whether they have read Brontë sisters work or not. It does make me want to go back and reread some of their stories and poetry which I haven’t done for years.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Bella Ellis is the Brontë-esque pseudonym of Rowan Coleman, an acclaimed author of numerous novels for adults and children. She first visited the former home of the Brontë sisters when she was ten years old. From the moment she stepped over the threshold she was hooked and embarked on a lifelong love affair with Charlotte, Emily, and Anne; their life; their literature; and their remarkable legacy.


I am giving away my review copy!
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You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

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Contest Will End October 1, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
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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 Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Those People by Louise Candlish

Those People
Psychological Thrillers
Setting – South London, England
Berkley (June 11, 2019)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489144
ISBN-13: 978-0451489142
Kindle ASIN: B07HDR77YL

From the author of the international bestseller Our House, a new novel of twisty domestic suspense asks, “Could you hate your neighbor enough to plot to kill him?”

Lowland Way is the suburban dream. The houses are beautiful, the neighbors get along, and the kids play together on weekends.

But when Darren and Jodie move into the house on the corner, they donʼt follow the rules. They blast music at all hours, begin an unsightly renovation, and run a used-car business from their yard. It doesn’t take long for an all-out war to start brewing.

Then, early one Saturday, a horrific death shocks the street. As police search for witnesses, accusations start flying—and everyone has something to hide.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lowland Way is a fantastic neighborhood especially if you have children. Nice homes, good schools, and friendly neighbors. The entire street is closed off on Sundays so that the kids can play in the streets like their parents did when they were youngsters. Those Sundays have brought the neighbors together to support each other.

Then the woman at the start of the street passes away. The neighbors are all hoping for a nice family or elderly couple to move in. Instead, they get Darren and Jodie. The first day Darren breaks down a wall the entire neighborhood had fought the council to keep. Then the loud music starts and the cars start to pull in taking up the limited parking on the street and fill Darren’s yard. Trash and debris from a renovation project litter the lot. The Sunday Play-Out has to be canceled when one of the children is hit by Darren moving one of his cars. The police are no help, saying it is a council issue. The homeowners tried to reason with Darren and Jodie, but all that does is make them rachet up their behavior.

Things don’t change until someone dies. The crash brought everyone out of their houses. The police finally have to do something, but it is the neighbors who are suspect. Everyone is shocked and their stories don’t add up.  Could someone on Lowland Way be a killer??

_____

The story opens just after the horrendous crash that left one person dead and one injured, then it takes us back in time eight weeks to detail what events led up to the crash told from several points of view. What we quickly learn is everything is not as idyllic as it seems, but when “THOSE PEOPLE” move in people band together.  Meanwhile, whatever cracks that were already present in the resident’s lives continue to erode.

All these characters are flawed and most, not that likable, but they earned my sympathy. Here in the States, police would have stepped in to handle Darren and Jodie. Things that were sending them over the edge just wouldn’t happen here. I also felt the one idea the residents came up with near the end should have been thought of much earlier, avoiding much of the conflict, but that would have eliminated the story.

The setting was interesting to me because I remember playing outside with my friends. The same for my children. Sadly that is not the case for my grandchildren. The days of “be home when the streetlights come on” and neighbors keeping an eye on each other’s children are over. This affluent neighborhood did an excellent job of creating a child-friendly environment until THOSE PEOPLE arrived.

The drama was high but the pace was a little slow. The complexity of the story was peeled back in layers filled with tension and conflict. I did enjoy the varied points-of-view. It gave an added depth to each of the characters and exposed the interpersonal relationships for what they really were.

Even with the unlikable characters, I was drawn into this book. I wanted to know what happened next. With its well-plotted twists, the ending really took me by surprise.

In my opinion, I could see a movie made of this story or a television series like How To Get Away With Murder, so easily. The author has written a story with a dark twisted theme many people would enjoy.

Note- There is a fair amount of profanity in this book which may put off some readers.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Louise Candlish attended University College London and worked as an editor in art publishing and as a copywriter before becoming a novelist. She lives with her husband and daughter.


Also by this Author


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 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 June 25, 2019, 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 Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Challenges Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – The Egyptian Antiquities Murder (High Society Lady Detective) by Sara Rosett @SaraRosett


The Egyptian Antiquities Murder (High Society Lady Detective)
Historical Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – England
McGuffin Ink (April 12, 2019)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 0998843180
ISBN-13: 978-0998843186
Kindle ASIN: B07MTTXRYC

An opulent London townhouse, a mummy curse . . .

. . . and a plucky lady detective. It’s October, 1923, and Olive Belgrave has a new case. Her client, Lady Agnes doesn’t believe in curses, and she hires Olive to prove her Egyptologist uncle wasn’t the victim of a malevolent mummy. Olive investigates and discovers the truth is much worse—it’s murder.

Can Olive debunk the curse and reveal the true culprit before the supposed curse claims another victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The 3rd book in this series takes us to Mulvern House where Olive Belgrave meets with Lady Agnes about her uncle’s death. A death that has been ruled a suicide. Lady Agnes is sure her uncle would never take his own life. This is where I need to encase my heart in virtual steel to keep reading because as the mother of a suicide victim, families rarely think our loved ones would take their own lives. Knowing stories like this I know that Lord Mulvern death was not by his own hand, I can keep reading. Many think an old curse struck Lord Mulvern down but Olive starts to investigate and believes Lady Agnes is right, the old boy was murdered. Now Olive just needs to figure out whodunit and why.

I loved the setting for this story. Lord Mulvern was an eminent Egyptologist with a vast collection and his niece shared his passion. There was a major renovation to the building, a grand gallery, in order to store and showcase the collection. Ms. Rosett vividly describes the places and several of the magnificent pieces. I was never really been interested in Egyptian antiquities or mummies and the like until my kids got me to watch The Mummy movies with Brendan Fraser a few years ago. It was fun to read about this collection.

The author again introduces us to several new characters. Lady Agnes wants to keep her uncles vision alive, unlike the other heirs. Her brother Gilbert and his wife Nora care mainly about the money and themselves making them suspects on Olive’s list. The Lord’s valet/butler received a generous bequest and retired so he too lands on her list. There are several others interested in obtaining the collection and the digging location that comes with it. There is also a collection manager and a new butler. Olive must speak to them all. All these characters take center stage with Olive but Jasper and Essie do pop into the picture now and again.

I knew from the start this would be a hard mystery for Olive to solve. So much time has passed, no real evidence was left behind. She found one piece of evidence and really ran with it and all the clues that subsequently followed. I enjoyed following along with Olive and her process. With all the twists I didn’t solve this one at all.

Another Perfect Escape from Sara Rosett. An engaging protagonist and a great mystery. I anxiously await Olive’s next case.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Murder at Archly Manor here.

 

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Sara Rosett writes light-hearted escapes for readers who enjoy puzzling mysteries, interesting settings, and quirky characters.

She is the author of the Murder on Location series, the Ellie Avery series, the On the Run series, and the High Society Lady Detective series. Sara also teaches an online course, How to Outline A Cozy Mystery.

Publishers Weekly called Sara’s books, “satisfying,” “well-executed,” and “sparkling.” Sara loves to get new stamps in her passport and considers dark chocolate a daily requirement. Find out more at SaraRosett.com.

Author Links:

Website     Patreon     Instagram      Facebook     Twitter: @SaraRosett    Pinterest  GoodReads  LibraryThing

Amazon Author Page Bookbub Author Page    Newsletter sign-up

Also by Sara Rosett


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

 

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

 

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

 

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End May 2, 2019, 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.

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 Cloak and Dagger Challenge Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – An Artless Demise (A Lady Darby Mystery) by Anna Lee Huber @BerkleyMystery


An Artless Demise (A Lady Darby Mystery)
Historical Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – England
Berkley (April 2, 2019)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 045149136X
ISBN-13: 978-0451491367
Kindle ASIN: B07FC7Y6GT

November 1831. After fleeing London in infamy more than two years prior, Lady Kiera Darby’s return to the city is anything but mundane, though not for the reasons she expected. A gang of body snatchers is arrested on suspicion of imitating the notorious misdeeds of Edinburgh criminals, Burke and Hare–killing people from the streets and selling their bodies to medical schools. Then Kiera’s past–a past she thought she’d finally made peace with–rises up to haunt her.

All of London is horrified by the evidence that “burkers” are, indeed, at work in their city. The terrified populace hovers on a knife’s edge, ready to take their enmity out on any likely suspect. And when Kiera receives a letter of blackmail, threatening to divulge details about her late anatomist husband’s involvement with the body snatchers and wrongfully implicate her, she begins to apprehend just how precarious her situation is. Not only for herself, but also her new husband and investigative partner, Sebastian Gage, and their unborn child.

Meanwhile, the young scion of a noble family has been found murdered a block from his home, and the man’s family wants Kiera and Gage to investigate. Is it a failed attempt by the London burkers, having left the body behind, or the crime of someone much closer to home? Someone who stalks the privileged, using the uproar over the burkers to cover his own dark deeds?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lady Kiera Darby just can’t escape the taint her late husband put upon her. The latest crime wave involves a group killing people and selling the bodies to medical schools and anatomists like Lord Darby. They are calling the killers “Burkers” because they seem to be copying Burke and Hare, Edinburgh criminals, in the way the people are killed. They are preying on young men, “Italian Boys” that were said to be sold by their parents and in hopes, they would have a better life, but that was never meant to be. The boys were abused, many living on the streets. Lady Darby soon finds that people have long memories and some are sure she is involved with these bodysnatchers or at the very least knows who they are.

The newlyweds have also been asked to investigate the murder of the eldest son of Lord Redditch. He was killed close to his home and Kiera and Sabastian were the first on the scene. The killing had similarities with the “burker” death but Kiera and Sabastian believe that is what the killer just wants them to think. Will this murder be pinned on the burkers while the real killer goes free?

I anxiously await each new book in this series because Anna Lee Huber is such a talented storyteller. Her words transport the reader back in time so effortlessly. The scenes come alive from the gritty streets on foggy nights to the amazing homes in all their grandeur.

Ms. Huber also creates wonderful characters. Lady Darby was grown so much over the course of the story. After the death of the husband that kept her captured to illustrate the intricate parts of the body for his textbooks to the strong woman, she is today. Married to the man she truly loves, his partner in many sordid investigations, soon to be the mother of his child. She is intelligent and an independent thinker and his true equal. Very uncommon for the time and place. Sebastian Gage has grown too. He went against his father’s wishes by getting involved with Kiera and then marrying her. Their union has made him a stronger man and she truly brings out the best in him.

They are surrounded by a wonderful supporting cast. Their servants Bree and Anderley, who are much more than servants, they are trusted by Gage and Kiera and step up to take part in the investigation. They can go places and talk to those below floors in ways Gage and Kiera can’t. Add to this the vast cast of the noble realm, the families, the staffs, the Bow Street Runners, The New Police, and more. There are a lot of characters but Ms. Huber gives them great definition making each unique and memorable.

The mystery is very complex encompassing many situations. A true puzzler as clues are revealed and pieced together in many different ways until they all align and fall into place. I enjoyed following along each step of the way. I did have the killer on my radar but was still guessing right up to the final reveal.

These books can each be read on their own but I believe they should be read in order to realize all the character development. Plus they are all excellent stories that shouldn’t be missed by fans of this genre.

Until next year Lady Darby. I am excited for our next adventure!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find out more about Anna Lee Huber visit her website here.


Also by this Author

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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.

Follow Berkley Mystery on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 23, 2019, 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.”