Mar 172018
 

The Russian & Aunt Sophia
(A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Novella)

by Rita Moreau

The Russian and Aunt Sophia is a madcap cozy mystery novella that could only take place in Florida.
~Laura’s Interests

The Russian & Aunt Sophia (A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Novella)
Cozy Mystery
Novella #1
Self Published (January 16, 2018)
Print Length: 77 pages
ASIN: B0793BTWPD

When mobsters frame her aunt, one psychic dives headfirst into a criminal conspiracy.

Mary Catherine, MC for short, inherited her family’s psychic abilities and a knack for trouble. When her fortune-telling aunt is accused of murdering a Russian mobster and refuses to defend herself by revealing what she saw in a card reading, it’s up to MC to divine the truth.

But if MC isn’t careful, she could end up sharing a jail cell with her aunt … or swimming with the fishes.

The Russian and Aunt Sophia is a madcap cozy mystery novella that could only take place in Florida. If you like surreal plots, well-rounded characters, and quirky comedy, then you’ll love Rita Moreau’s psychic whodunit. 

Semifinalist in the 2017 ScreenCraft Story Contest

About the Author

Rita Moreau is the author of the Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery series.

A workaholic by nature, upon retirement, Rita Moreau began work on her bucket list, writing a book. Traveling the national parks with her husband George in a vintage Bluebird motorhome, (on George’s list), Rita completed her first novel Bribing Saint Anthony. Back home she completed Nuns! Psychics! & Gypsies! OH! NO, Feisty Nuns and The Russian & Aunt Sophia. Rita and her husband live in a postcard called Florida where he has fun telling everyone he is the author’s husband. When not writing she joins PatZi Gil on the Joy on Paper radio program with Book Buzz Mysteries or you can find her teaching fitness classes and doing her best to keep busy. She loves connecting with readers. Visit her at www.RitaMoreau.com or find her on Facebook at facebook.com/RitaMoreauAuthor. She would love to hear from you.

Purchase Link

Amazon 
Also by Rita Moreau

 

Tour Participants

March 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

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Mar 022018
 

I am excited to have Barbara Barrett visit Escape With Dollycas today
as part of her Great Escapes Tour! 

Why I Love Mah Jongg
by Barbara Barrett

Why would anyone decide to base their first cozy mystery series around the game of mah-jongg?

If anyone had come up to me at my retirement party and said something like, “Now you’ll have all the time in the world to enjoy mah-jongg,” I would have scoffed at the idea. Wasn’t that the game little old ladies played? I might be retiring, but I certainly didn’t see myself in that category. I was still young and vital, and I had great plans to expand my writing efforts now that I was no longer working full time.

A little more than a month later, there I was with my trainer and three other women learning the game. It wasn’t easy. The names of the tiles and the procedures, plays, and hands were a brand new language. I was taught the Wright-Patterson version, a form of the game developed by some military wives whose spouses were assigned to that U.S. Air Force Base. The hands used in the more widely played National version are changed annually. Though some remain, several new ones are added. This had become problematic for women whose spouses were transferred throughout the world because it was difficult to stay current. This new version, with almost double the number of hands, was created so it could be used for more than a year.

The Wright-Patterson version was also more intricate in some ways. Players all started the game with the same number of “chips” worth 1, fifty, a hundred, five hundred and a thousand points. Chips were exchanged after each game, depending on who won and who scored better. The winner wasn’t decided until the end of play. Have I lost you? Sorry, I wanted to demonstrate how this game was more “complicated” than the National version.

I’d been playing Wright-Patterson for over a year when I was introduced to the National version. No chips. No small book of over a hundred hands. And some of the tiles, which in the W-P version are quite valuable, were no longer. Instead, eight Jokers, or wild cards, had now been added; they were the most valuable tiles.

Why do I like this game so much? The first reason, which is still foremost, is its social value. I was new in my community right after I retired, and learning this game seemed as good a way as any to meet others. I’ve made some great friends in mah-jongg. The beauty of the National version is its widespread nature. Visitors to our community can join our group for one or a limited number of sessions and readily fit in. I currently play once a week for about three hours. I look forward to those days and try to keep that afternoon free.

This past fall I taught a class on the National version. Three sessions of seventy-five minutes each. We had a very successful sign-up. Too successful, I’m afraid. Even with three other mah jongg players helping me guide each table (five in all) through the terms and plays, we had our hands full. But we had great fun.

And that brings me to the second reason why I love this game: it’s just plain fun. It doesn’t hurt to win occasionally, either, but it’s a great way to spend an afternoon. Sure, I could probably experience the same kind of fun seeing movies I love or playing other games, but I landed on mah jongg.

The third reason is because it is a great exercise for the brain. Not only are you keeping track of the tiles played, you’re also picking new tiles and discarding those you don’t want in order to make a hand. That’s difficult enough, but sometimes the tiles needed aren’t available and you have to change intended hands. Strategy and flexibility are critical to success. Both keep the old brain working.

This game is also a change of pace. It gets me out of my office and away from my laptop for several hours. I don’t know about other authors, but I need frequent breaks, not only for the bod but also to free up the brain. This can also be accomplished by exercise, just getting up and moving around, and through other pastimes like needlepoint and reading.

Mah Jongg also gets me out of the house and gives my spouse time to himself. We all need our space from time to time.

All that aside, I guess what appeals most is the challenge of putting together a winning hand. It takes a certain amount of skill, an ability to read other players, and just plain luck. The challenge lies in excelling at the first two to leverage them against the third.

~Barbara

Thank you, Barbara so much for dropping by today! 

About the Book

Craks in a Marriage (Mah Jongg Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Florida
Self Published (February 6, 2018)
Print Length: 204 pages
ASIN: B079DCX8WQ

When Sydney Bonner overhears a fellow mah jongg player arguing on the phone with her husband, she realizes the couple’s “perfect marriage” isn’t all it appears to be. A few days later, the husband is found dead, his head bashed in. Fearing she’ll be considered the most likely suspect, the widow prevails upon Sydney and her three friends—Marianne, Kat and Micki—to find out who really killed him.

Though none of these four fun-loving, take-charge retirees has any training as detectives, the women agree to launch a secret investigation. As they dig under the happy veneer of their community’s social life, they find more than enough suspects, from shady ladies to resentful golf buddies, to keep them looking over their shoulders.

Could the murderer be lurking among the talent in a chaotic production put on by Sydney’s husband, who will do anything to keep busy in retirement? Could the sheriff, who may have more than a professional interest in chanteuse Kat, end up pinning the crime on the women instead? Each discovery during their investigations and their weekly mah jongg game keeps them running as they close in on the killer—but the killer may also be closing in on them.

About the Author

 

Barbara Barrett started reading mysteries when she was pregnant with her first child to keep her mind off things like her changing body and food cravings. When she’d devoured as many Agatha Christies as she could find, she branched out to English village cozies and Ellery Queen.

Later, to avoid a midlife crisis, she began writing fiction at night when she wasn’t at her day job as a human resources analyst for Iowa State Government. After releasing eleven full-length romance novels and one novella, she has returned to the cozy mystery genre, using one of her retirement pastimes, the game of mah jongg, as her inspiration. Not only has it been a great social outlet, it has also helped keep her mind active when not writing.

Craks in a Marriage, the first book in her “Mah Jongg Mystery” series, features four friends who seek the murderer of another mah jongg player’s husband before she is charged. None of the four is based on an actual person. Each is an amalgamation of several mah jongg friends with a lot of Barbara’s imagination thrown in for good measure. The four will continue to appear in future books in the series.

Anticipating the day when she would write her first mystery, she has been a member of the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America for over a decade. She credits them with helping her hone her craft.

Barbara is married to a man she met her senior year of college. They have two grown children and eight grandchildren.

Now retired, she is a resident of Florida, although she spends her summers in Iowa, her home state. She earned her B.A. degree in History from the University of Iowa and her Master’s Degree in History from Drake University.

When not in front of her laptop creating her next story, she plays Mah Jongg, knits, and enjoys lunches with friends.

Author Links

Website – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest – GoodReads

Subscribe to her newsletter: barbarabarrett747@gmail.com

Purchase Links

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Thanks to the author I have 1 e-copy to give away!
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Jan 252018
 

Scone Cold Killer (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
by Lena Gregory

 

Scone Cold Killer (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Florida
Lyrical Underground (January 23, 2018)
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516104659
E-Book ASIN: B06Y52XG4B

 

 

For Florida diner owner Gia Morelli, there’s no such thing as too much breakfast—unless it kills you . . .

When Gia Morelli’s marriage falls apart, she knows it’s time to get out of New York. Her husband was a scam artist who swindled half the millionaires in town, and she doesn’t want to be there when they decide to take revenge. On the spur of the moment, she follows her best friend to a small town in Central Florida, where she braves snakes, bears, and giant spiders to open a cheery little diner called the All-Day Breakfast Café. Owning a restaurant has been her lifelong dream, but it turns into a nightmare the morning she opens her dumpster and finds her ex-husband crammed inside. As the suspect du jour, Gia will have to scramble fast to prove her innocence before a killer orders another cup of murder . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Divorced from her scam artist husband Gia moves to Florida to reboot her life by opening the All-Day Breakfast Café. She has been working on the project for weeks with her old college roommate and best friend Savannah and is excited about her grand opening. The opening wasn’t very smooth, first Gia didn’t have grits on her menu and her fry cook was way out of her depth when she has to cook more than one meal at the same time. Gia can get grits and she can fire the cook but finding the body of her ex-husband in the café’s dumpster is not something she can fix. In fact, most of the town thinks she committed the murder. When another body is found she starts thinking she may have been safer in New York. Before she can pack up her pots and pans Detective Hunter Quinn tells her he knows she is not guilty and will do everything to protect her. But Gia and Savannah decide to investigate on their own and the good detective may not be able to save them this time.

Ms. Gregory has created such wonderful characters for her All Day Breakfast Cafe Mysteries. Gia thought she left her troubles behind but they have followed right behind her. Her diner should be pretty successful after she handles a couple issues with her staff. She is not your typical cozy protagonist because she fears almost everything around her and Florida has many things to be scared of in addition to a murderer, you know, like snakes, spiders, and bears, oh my!

Savannah is a wonderful best friend. She tries to be supportive and find something positive about all the big and little bumps in the toad that rise up to meet Gia. I love the way she decided Gia needed a dog and Thor seems to be the perfect fit. Detective Hunter Quin “Hunt” and Gia have a little romantic spark, but after her past experience, Gia is a little gun shy about dating or having a man in her life.

My favorite supporting character though is Earl. Gia’s first customer who is shocked there are no grits on the menu. But he quickly becomes a regular customer and Gia is thrilled about that. Earl reminds me of an elderly gentleman that frequented my mother’s restaurant many years ago. It is that man’s image that pops into my head as I read about Earl.

This story ebbs and flows at a perfect pace. The author has a nice descriptive writing style that brings the characters and each scene to life. The mystery is complex with plenty of suspects. Filled with twists and some scary turns, this was not an easy mystery to solve and I didn’t figure out until the reveal.

I enjoyed the touches of humor and romance that are expected in a cozy mystery. There is so much for the author to build on as the series continues.

Kudos, Ms. Gregory, this series is off to a terrific start.  Cozy lovers, you will love this story!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

Author Links:

WebsiteFacebook –  Facebook Fan Page –  Twitter – Goodreads –  Pinterest

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Also by Lena Gregory

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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.”

Sep 152017
 


Hair Brained (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Setting – Florida
Orange Grove Press (September 12, 2017)
Paperback: 278 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997003888

E-Book ASIN: B072XVHPPH

 

 

Was the car crash an accident or a deliberate attempt to run Marla’s friends off the road?

When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend is hurt in a suspicious car accident, Marla assumes guardianship of her infant son. No sooner does Marla say, “Baby want a bottle?” than she’s embroiled in another murder investigation. Her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, determines the crash may not have been an accident after all. But then, who would want Tally–or Ken in the car with her–out of the way? As Marla digs deeper into her friends’ lives, she realizes she didn’t know them as well as she’d thought. Nonetheless, it’s her duty as their son’s guardian to ensure his safety, even if it means putting her own life at risk. Can she protect the baby and find the culprit before someone else ends up as roadkill?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Talk about a whirlwind of emotions, I had to get a box of Kleenex for this amazing cozy story. I read this story while Hurricane Irma was hitting Florida too. I am keeping everyone affected  by the storms in my prayers.

The story begins with Dalton and Marla learning that their friends Tally and Ken are missing when they receive a call from the babysitter. They quickly go to pick up the baby and Dalton reports the parents as missing. Then Marla receives a call from the hospital. Ken and Tally were in a car accident. Marla takes over care off their young son, Luke, and Dalton determines the crash may have been intentional. Marla starts to help Dalton with the investigation and finds she may not have know her BFF as well as she thought. But Tally legally designated Marla as the baby’s guardian if anything should happen to her so while not wanting a child of her own she will do anything to keep that little boy safe until his mom comes home.

Back in 2001 I was in an automobile accident so similar to the one in this story, but I was by myself. Like Tally my injuries keep me in the hospital, unconscious or sedated for a long time. It was so easy to visualize Tally in that hospital bed with Marla reading and talking to her. Letting her know her son was o.k. It mirrors exactly what happened to me. Tally has been a key character in this series and her being hurt in a situation like mine really rocked my emotions.

The way Marla took on not only the care of Tally’s child but trying to handle both Ken and Tally’s businesses as well as her own, and helped with the investigation also tugged at my heart.  Her entire family stepped to help and it gave a little picture of what life would be like if she did decide to have a child of her own.

All of this would have made great women’s fiction but it’s a mystery and the author has plotted out a great one. There are suspects galore and motive for days. It is all about clipping all the clues together while trying not to tip the wrong person off. Cohen has written a very complex mystery that could have ended up several ways. I had a lot of fun following along trying to solve it myself but another murder late in the story really turned the whole thing on its ear for me.  There were so many unexpected twists and the final one was excellent.

This is the 14th book in this series. It is the absolute best one so far, and they are all pretty darn good. It is fresh, believable and timely. I enjoyed going beyond the hair salon and seeing Marl’s evolution over the story. Nancy J. Cohen has brought together family and friendship and paired it with murder, insurance fraud, and false identities.  I stayed up late, well early into the morning, to finish this one. This book is a must read for cozy lovers whether you are already a fan of this series or not. The book can stand on its own, you can catch up on previous titles later 🙂

I have read so many top notch books the past couple of weeks and Hair Brained will be joining them on my Best Reads list for 2017! I am beyond excited for the next installment in this series!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About The Author

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

 Author Links:
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Sep 012017
 


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.


Facials Can Be Fatal
(A Bad Hair Day Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
13th in Series
Setting – Florida
Five Star Publishing (February 22, 2017)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1432832827

 

 

During the frenzy of the December holidays, the last thing salon owner Marla Vail needs is a dead body slathered in a green facial mask at her new day spa. The victim, Valerie Weston, was a major donor for Friends of Old Florida, a historic building preservation society. Marla’s stylists are scheduled to work backstage at their upcoming gala fashion show, but Val’s demise might put a crimp in their plans. Hoping to salvage her reputation, Marla determines to track down the suspects. As she learns more about Val, she realizes the benefactress might have stumbled onto secrets others would kill to keep. She’d better prepare for a body count that has nothing to do with hot stone massages and everything to do with murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The Friends of Old Florida, a historic building preservation society, have a huge gala planned including a fashion show. Marla Vail was so excited because her shop has been contracted to do the hair styling for the models. It would be great promotion for the Cut ‘N Dye.   But her planned may be cut.. A major donor for the group actually has died in the Cut ‘N Dye while having a facial at the new day spa.

She is also feeling a lot of stress on the home front. She and Dalton have been married less than a year and everyone is asking about a baby/grandchild. Marla is happy with Dalton’s teenage daughter and thought everyone understood there was going to be No Baby, but Dalton is even talking about it and her best friend’s baby is sooooo cute… but until she gets this murder/s solved she has no time for a baby discussion.

I am so happy that I have caught up on this series. (Hair Brained comes out September 12.) I really do enjoy these characters. They have continued to grow in each story and are genuine. The story takes place during the Christmas and Hanukkah season. I liked how the family worked together to have a combined celebration. Also Dalton’s daughter is learning to drive, something every parent looks forward to, 🙂 Both Dalton and Marla may be coloring gray hairs before she gets her license.

The plot is pretty intense as more people get killed and we learn about a man who may be involved with the Asian Mob, another may be selling human hair on the black market, and members of the Friends of Old Florida all seem to be hiding something. Val’s murder may even have something to do with a man’s disappearance years ago. The suspects are plenty and the motives run the gambit. Cohen pulls us in and doesn’t let go. I loved her twists and the way the clues were discovered. I liked that the clues led Marla and Dalton on a day trip to the Florida Keys. A place I would love to visit as well.

With the right amounts of romance and humor Ms. Cohen does this mystery up right. Compelling characters in dicey situations always get my attention. This Bad Hair Day Mystery should not be missed.

All the books in this series stand on their own but for maximum enjoyment check out the earlier books as soon as you can.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About The Author

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

 Author Links:
Website        Blog      Facebook     Twitter      Goodreads    Pinterest    Linked In 
Booklover’s Bench    Newsletter Sign-Up

 

 


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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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.”

May 122017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

The hardcover and e-book editions of this book were released May 3, 2016.
The Mass Market Paperback Edition was just released on May 2.


The Art of Murder (Dead-End Job Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
15th in Series
Setting – Florida
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476135
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476142
Kindle ASIN: B013Q70G1G

 

 

The art world is a happening place—but a brush with death shouldn’t be in the picture. Unfortunately that’s just what happens to Helen Hawthorne and her friend Margery. While touring gorgeous Bonnet House, a mansion-turned-museum, they observe a painting class and note an up-and-coming artist. When they later see her deadly end, Helen is hired to canvas the crime scene—undercover, of course.

Sketchy suspects lurk in the victim’s bohemian past. Was the promising painter killed by her jealous husband? Her best friend? A rival using her artful wiles? With her husband Phil busy setting a trap for a gold thief, it’s up to Helen to paint this killer into a corner . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What should have been a quiet and relaxing day for Helen Hawthorne and her friend Margery quickly turns deadly. The were touring Bonnet House, a Fort Lauderdale museum, and when the left they were witness to a woman falling down and convulsing in a parking lot. She later died and her death was very suspicious, but was it murder or suicide?  Helen is asked to investigate her death and goes undercover to do so.  Phil has his own case. He is trying to catch a thief that has been burglarizing high rises. Busy with their own cases they don’t have much time for each other. Hopefully they can wrap things up before their marriage starts to suffer.

Fifteen books in and Elaine Viets still delivers a timely mystery we can escape right into.

Helen has come a long way from the dead end jobs as she takes on another case all by herself and she ends up helping Phil with his case too. Phil ends up the one with the dead end job in this installment. I did figure out the whodunit in her case quite easily and some of the facets of Phil’s case too but both had a suspenseful endings.

All our favorite characters and their “sunset salutes” are back.  I did enjoy Markos helping the PI’s again. The new characters were interesting and well developed. Their dialogue was well written too and real.

This was not my favorite book in the series but it was an entertaining read . I think I miss Helen being chased by her ex but as with all series I understand the characters have to evolve. The bit of marital tension between Helen and Phil did help, but truly we all know they are just so darn happy together. 🙂

The Art of Murder is a light, fast, enjoyable cozy. A nice addition to this series.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Elaine writes her novels with the help of Harry, a striped cat who sleeps by her computer and lashes the keyboard with his tail. He whips her into a writing frenzy. Harry collaborates on two series, the Dead-End Job Mysteries and the Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series. She’s won the Anthony, Agatha and Lefty awards.

For more about Elaine check out her web site here.


Click on Cover to Order from Amazon.

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my hardcover review  and 1 paperback copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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something you like here and become a follower.

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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.”

 

May 112017
 

Jeopardy in July: A Jamie Quinn Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Florida
Self Published
Print Length: 220 pages
ASIN: B06XWJK9TP

 

 

Old people were dying at an alarming rate at La Vida Boca, a posh assisted living facility in Boca Raton, Florida. With its sterling reputation, dedicated staff, and top-notch medical care, none of the deaths are considered suspicious, but when members of the poker club start to die under strange circumstances, attorney Jamie Quinn finds herself once again embroiled in a mystery. With help from her new friend, Jessie Sandler, and her favorite P.I., Duke Broussard, Jamie uncovers a crime that took place forty years earlier. Can she stop the killer in time? Or is she in danger of becoming the next victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Attorney Jamie Quinn is getting burnt out practicing family law and thinking of changing the focus of her law office. The last thing she needs is to be involved in another murder investigation but that is exactly what she finds at La Vida Boca. The elderly are dropping like flies at the ritzy assisted living center. All of the men had one thing in common, they were members of a poker playing club at the facility. Jamie knows there has to be more to the story. She brings in Private Investigator Duke Broussard to help her solve the case. Hew new friend, Jessie Sandler assists as well. They need to figure things out quickly before all of the card sharks are 6 feet under. Maybe family law isn’t so boring after all.

This time she introduced a wonderful batch secondary characters, the residents and staff at the La Vida Boca. The card players reminded me of several older men I have met throughout my life both when my parents ran a small town tavern and later at their nursing homes. Except then the game was euchre but that was secondary to the friendships that are created as was true in this story. Jamie with her soft heart quickly becomes invested in their lives.

Barbara Venkataraman knows how to pack a great mystery into 220 pages. She wraps these characters in a intriguing story. People are being poisoned and the reason may lead to a crime committed 40 years ago. The plot is has a few twists but as we follow Jamie through the story a picture of means, motive and opportunity clearly evolves. I enjoy the way Duke and Jamie work together. Duke brings humor to the situation. In fact there is quite a bit of humor from the first page to the last.

Jamie’s romance with Kip still gives me pause. I do like that she has reconnected with her father too, even if they are just Skyping each other. I absolutely loved the ending. I am anxious for book #6 to continue those subplots.

This is a quick read. A story well balanced with mystery and real life occurrences. Jamie has come a long way from Death by Didgeridoo

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

barbara new pic

About The Author

Award-winning author, Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection.

She is the author of “Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person”; “The Fight for Magicallus,” a children’s fantasy; a humorous short story entitled, “If You’d Just Listened to Me in the First Place”; and two books of humorous essays: “I’m Not Talking about You, Of Course” and “A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities,” which are part of the “Quirky Essays for Quirky People” series. Both books of humorous essays won the “Indie Book of the Day” award.

 Author Links
Blog    GoodReads   Amazon

Purchase from Amazon


Find More Books by Barbara Venkataraman here.

GIVEAWAY
The Author is giving away 3 e-copies of Jeopardy in July!

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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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 May 25, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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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.”

Sep 112016
 

mud bog murder large banner640

MUD BOG MURDER

Mud Bog Murder (An Eve Appel Mystery)
4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Camel Press (September 1, 2016)
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603813150
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Synopsis

When Jenny McCleary leases her property to be ravaged by the annual mud bog races, the small rural town of Sabal Bay, Florida, is divided into warring camps: environmental activists versus monster truck fans. Jenny, who frequents the consignment store owned by Eve Appel and her friend Madeleine, doesn’t seem to mind when Eve and Madeleine join the protesters the day of the races.

During the race, Eve catches Jenny’s airborne head after it is tossed into the air by the wheels of a truck. Now every protester is a suspect in Jenny’s murder. What’s left of her alligator-gnawed body is found near the airboat business of Eve’s Miccosukee Indian friends, Sammy Egret and his grandfather. When more evidence turns up nearby, Grandfather is arrested.

Even without the disembodied head, Eve has her hands full. The town resents her role in the protests and is boycotting the consignment shop on wheels. She is torn between two men–GQ-handsome, devoted PI Alex and tall, dark, and exotic Sammy. Jenny’s sweet and needy teenage daughter is dating a petty criminal. Will Eve and Madeleine ever be able to move into their new digs? Not unless the town forgives them. And not if whoever decapitated Jenny gets to Eve before she and her sleuthing buddies solve the mystery.

Prasie for Mud Bog Murderby Lesley A. Diehl

(The) Author cares about her characters, and plans her mysteries so that protagonist Eve has plenty of opportunities, and reasons, to grow and evolve, to make the choice to be “the better person”…
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

I enjoyed this book, the characters are fun and a story line with plot twist that will keep you hooked until the end.
~Shelley’s Book Case

Ms. Diehl write such great stories with characters so full of life.
~Community Bookstop

I would call this a classic cozy. You have enough wacky, eclectic characters to make every reader happy…
~Laura’s Interests

3578

About The Author –

Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York.  In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport.  Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse.  When not writing, she gardens, cooks and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work.

She is the author of a number of mystery series (Microbrewing Series, Big Lake Mystery Series, Eve Appel Mystery Series and the Laura Murphy Mysteries), a standalone mystery (Angel Sleuth) and numerous short stories.   

 

Visit her on her website –  Blog –  Twitter @lesleydiehl  – Facebook

Purchase Links

Amazon          Barnes and Noble


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Tour Participants

September 1 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 2 – Bibliophile Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 3 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
September 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
September 5 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 6 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
September 7 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
September 8 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
September 9 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
September 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
September 12 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
September 13 – fuonlyknew – REVIEW
September 14 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

#Review – Second Honeymoons Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo

 Craving For Cozies, Cruisin Thru Cozies, Finish The Series Challenge, Reviews 2016  Comments Off on #Review – Second Honeymoons Can Be Murder by Susan Santangelo
Aug 162016
 

second honeymoons can be murder

Second Honeymoons Can Be Murder
(A Baby Boomer Mystery)
Cozy Mystery

6th in Series
Setting – Florida
Suspense Publishing (February 16, 2016)
Paperback: 226 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0692530528
E-Book ASIN: B019NW2ITG
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Carol Andrews can’t believe her luck when her husband, Jim, surprises her with a second honeymoon trip to Florida. But there’s a catch—it’s really a business trip, not the romantic getaway Carol expects. Jim’s been called out of retirement to create a marketing plan for a new television game show aimed at Baby Boomers, The Second Honeymoon Game, and the pilot episode will be shot in the Sunshine State. The honeymoon is really over when the show’s executive producer, none other than Carol’s grammar school boyfriend, winds up dead on Carol and Jim’s first night in Florida. And their son, Mike, is the police’s number one suspect.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We have gotten to know Carol and Jim Andrews pretty well with this being the 6th book in the series. I love the way Carol tells us the story and the way she talks to her dogs but also directly to the reader. It makes her more realistic. She is still her over-the-top self and just when I was starting to like her “beloved” husband Jim, he was back to his old self in this story, leaving Carol out of things and putting her off when she wanted to talk about their son Mike, who they don’t see often because he lives in Florida. I know it was a business trip, but it was also to be a second honeymoon for them. Everything changed when a the producer dies, but I think even without the dead body Jim would have been in full on work mode, definitely not thinking honeymoon in any way shape or form.

I was sailing through this book and really enjoying it, until yet again suicide becomes a topic. I reviewed a book last week that also triggered my grief a bit but was able to skim that minor part and continue to enjoy the story. This time is was a pivotal part to the story. It really was close to what our family went through and something I hope and pray the future doesn’t hold for us or anyone who loses a child to suicide goes through. I pushed on and finished the story but it was with a lot of tears.

Now if you are not facing a situation like I am, you would enjoy this story because Carol and Jim are quite a couple and some of their antics will have you laughing out loud. If you are a “baby boomer”, you will enjoy it even more. Susan Santangelo writes great stories full of wit and following Carol and her friends as they “investigate” never has a dull moment.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Susan on her webpage here.


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.”

Jul 202016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640
Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am absolutely tickled to have Terrie Farley Moran visit us today!

terrie newI am delighted to be spending another Cozy Wednesday with all of you. Read to Death is the third cozy mystery novel in the Read ’Em and Eat series set in the sunny island community of Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Every winter season, the Cool Reads/Warm Climate Book Club gathers both local residents and snowbirds to mingle, drink sweet tea and talk about books. The season generally ends with a party of some sort and this year is no exception.

ftmyrsbch 031Read ’Em and Eat owners Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield have arranged for members of the book club to read The Florida Life of Thomas Edison by Michele Albion and then to take a trip off-island to visit the fabulous Edison and Ford Winter estates where Thomas Edison and Henry Ford spent their winters a hundred years ago.

Edison-Ford-Winter-Estate-OutsideTo insure the success of the trip, Sassy and Bridgy have rented a van and requested driver Oscar Frieland, who they know will engage in entertaining chatter with the club members. Sure enough, Oscar is both flirtatious and informative.

edison statueWith such splendid planning, the day is a huge success complete with a snack break next to a statue of Thomas Edison which stands under the largest Banyan tree in America. After arriving back at the Read ’Em and Eat, everyone gathers in the café for a brief book club meeting. Bridgy runs out to retrieve her sunglasses from the van only to discover Oscar’s dead body sprawled across the seat.

readtodeath1Although Lieutenant Frank Anthony of the Lee County Sheriff’s Department insists that Bridgy is a witness, not a suspect, Sassy is afraid that Bridgy’s status could change in an instant. She calls lawyer Owen Reston to come to Bridgy’s aid and then enlists reporter Cady Stanton to help her investigate Oscar’s life, past and present.
Bridgy’s mother, who is the flamboyant Ophelia’s sister Emelia arrives to comfort Bridgy but the sparks that fly between the sisters are anything but comforting. And the surprise guest that Emelia brings along with her is nothing short of spectacular.

So, open up a copy of Read to Death and get ready to spend a few hours at the beach, sipping sweet tea and nibbling on a Drunken Raisin Scone (recipe included) while solving a murder in the coziest town on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

~Terrie

readtodeath1

Read to Death
(Read Em and Eat Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Florida
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Ransom House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270301
E-Book ASIN: B016JPTN5W
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At their seaside Read ‘Em and Eat bookstore café, Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield offer fresh scones, great books, and excellent detective work…
 
With their book club season wrapping up with The Florida Life of Thomas Edison, Sassy and Bridgy decide to take their group on a day trip to the beautiful Edison and Ford Winter Estates. Hiring driver Oscar Frieland, who’s known for his colorful stories  and love of the café’s Robert Frost fruit tartlets, the bibliophiles set off for a day of sunshine and history.

After a lovely excursion, the club returns to the café for lunch and a book discussion, but the group falls silent after Oscar is found dead in his van. The sheriff’s deputies have some questions of their own for the group, and if the ladies don’t find some answers soon, the next book they read might be from a prison library.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Cool Reads/Warm Climate Book Club goes on a field trip but it ends badly. The van driver, Oscar, is killed on the van after all the book club members have scurried off. Bridgy ends up finding his body when she returns to look for her missing sunglasses and that makes her the prime suspect for his death. Everyone knows she is innocent but the police don’t appear to be looking for other suspects. Before Bridgy is reading her books in a jail cell she and Sassy with the help of their friends do their best to find the real killer.

I have escaped right into all three books in this series. Sassy and Bridgy are fabulous characters and I wish the Read ‘Em and Eat bookstore café actually existed because I want to visit and meet them, Miguel, Ophie, and all the other characters that come through the doors. I really enjoy reading about the teenage book group and all the things they do.

The plot was terrific, just as I knew it would be. Plenty of suspects with plenty of twists. As each suspect was eliminated the focus kept returning to our Bridgy. When things seemed too dire Ophie always came to the rescue to brighten things up. Things were a little tense when her sister, Bridgy’s mom, came to town but Sassy’s mom came too and that helped to lift the tension. These women love to shop and you can’t stay mad when you are shopping.

Of course the setting was pure bliss and we get to see many different places as the girl’s investigation continued. We also traveled to some touristy spots to keep one certain mother out of Miguel’s kitchen.

An truly captivating cozy! Great characters with great relationships, an intriguing whodunit in a delightful setting! I can’t wait to return to the Read ‘Em and Eat! 

I highly recommend the entire series!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author 

Short-listed twice for The Best American Mystery Stories, Terrie Farley Moran is delighted to introduce mystery fans to the Read ’Em and Eat café and bookstore, which debuted with Well Read, Then Dead. The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is playing games and reading stories with any or all of her grandchildren.

Author Links:
Webpage     Facebook      Blog     Goodreads

Written with Laura Childs

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
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.

This year I am trying to build my Twitter following so for this giveaway 4 Bonus Entries will be awarded by following me on Twitter. @dollycas

Leave a comment for Terrie for 5 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 August 3, 2016 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.”

Shot in the Dark (A Coffeehouse Mystery) by Cleo CoyleGet Your Copy Today!
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