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Malice in Miami: A Jamie Quinn Mystery by Barbara Venkataraman #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


It is my pleasure to shine my spotlights on Malice in Miami today!


Malice in Miami: A Jamie Quinn Mystery
by Barbara Venkataraman

About Malice in Miami

Malice in Miami: A Jamie Quinn Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Independently Published (June 9, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 318 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8518046757
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08P27FRL6

Reluctant family law attorney Jamie Quinn is loving life–and why wouldn’t she? Her boyfriend Kip is back from Australia, her long-lost dad finally has his visa and she’s about to start her dream job at an art foundation. But it all falls apart when Jamie is accused of stealing priceless art from a rare book collection. If she can’t find out who framed her, she can kiss her dream job good-bye–and her law license too. Meanwhile, Kip has problems of his own. Now an environmental activist, he uncovers a deadly secret–one that just might get him killed. Jamie’s in trouble, Kip’s in danger, and Duke Broussard has gone AWOL. How could Jamie’s favorite P.I. abandon her at a time like this?

About Barbara Venkataraman 

Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and author of the award-winning Jamie Quinn Cozy Mystery series, as well as Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person, Quirky Essays for Quirky People, and A Year of Shorts: Flash Fiction. Her books have won numerous awards including Indie Book of the Day, First Place in the 2016 Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Mystery Writing Competition, Gold Medal in the Readers’ Favorite Contest for Memoir, and Two-time Finalist in the Kindle Book Awards. She also co-authored Accidental Activist: Justice for the Groveland Four with her son Josh about his four-year quest to obtain posthumous pardons for The Groveland Four.

Author Links – Amazon Author PageGoodReads 

Purchase Link – Amazon 


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Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Scone of Contention: A Key West Food Critic Mystery by Lucy Burdette #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am pleased to share my thoughts today about A Scone of Contention.

A Scone of Contention: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
by Lucy Burdette

About A Scone of Contention

A Scone of Contention: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
Cozy Mystery
11th in the Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Crooked Lane Books (August 10, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643856243
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643856247
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08N6SCZRC

A murderer’s out to spoil Hayley’s honeymoon in national bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s eleventh Key West Food Critic Mystery.

 

Key Zest food critic Hayley Snow and her groom, police detective Nathan Bransford, chose Scotland for their long-delayed honeymoon, hoping to sightsee and enjoy some prize-winning scones. But their romantic duo swells to a crowd when they’re joined by Nathan’s family as well as octogenarian Miss Gloria.

 

Nathan’s sister Vera takes the women on a whirlwind tour of some of Scotland’s iconic mystic places as research for a looming book project. But the trip takes a deadly tartan turn when a dinner party guest falls ill and claims she was poisoned. And then the group watches in horror as a mysterious tourist tumbles to his death from the famous Falkirk Wheel, high above the Forth & Clyde canal.

 

Vera and her friends deny knowing the dead man, but after observing their reactions to the fall, Hayley is not convinced. With one person dead, a second possibly poisoned, and the tension among Vera’s friends as thick as farmhouse cheese, Hayley fears her long-awaited honeymoon might end with another murder.

 

Far away from home, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, eccentric characters, and a forbiddingly gorgeous setting, Hayley must call on all her savvy to keep a killer from striking again and then escaping Scot free.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Police detective Nathan Bransford is taking his bride, food critic Hayley Snow to Scotland to meet his sister and for a much-awaited honeymoon. Unlike a normal honeymoon, they will be joined by their friend Miss Gloria and his mother. His sister has big plans for the ladies to check out some fantastic Scotland sights while her husband will be spending the days with Nathan on the golf course. Vera especially wants the show off some mystic places that will be featured in her upcoming book.

Sadly the honeymoon gets off to a horrible start when a guest at a dinner party gets ill and says she was poisoned. Then while visiting the famous Falkirk Wheel, high above the Forth & Clyde canal they witness a man fall to his death. A man Hayley thinks is connected to Vera and her friends although they deny it.

Hayley feels something is really off with Vera and her friends but she really doesn’t know the players in the mystery opening up before her. While she would just like to enjoy Scotland with her husband her sister-in-law and her inner amateur sleuth have other plans.


I am always a little leery when authors take their characters away from their usual locales but Lucy Burdette does a good job of it in A Scone for Contention. Scotland is a well-traveled place for cozy characters but she takes us to some unique places that Vera wants to include in her book. I would have liked a little more in-depth description of some of these places to visualize what Vera was trying to convey. Other times when we visited new towns and hotels, the story drifted into travelogue territory, but the author did her best to find a good balance of location and mystery.

We meet several new characters once we touch down in Scotland. A dinner party is a perfect venue for these introductions but Hayley’s seat is next to a man with a vested interest in the book Vera is writing with her college friends but he has a totally different vision for the book than Vera. Then his wife appears to be poisoned ending the evening in a bit of chaos. In addition to the college chums, we meet the chef who was responsible for the fateful meal.

There was some tension on this trip and surprisingly it was not because the octogenarian or Hayley’s mother-in-law came along on a honeymoon. No, Vera and her mother’s relationship is severely strained. The college friendships seem to be strained as well and an overbearing spouse of one of them really fans the flames.

Then you have two mysteries to solve and they have to be connected. Hayley does her best to work through the clues but her a-ha moment may be too late. I will say my heart rate picked up as the reveal played out. Ms. Burdette plotted everything out wonderfully and kept me drawn to a certain character. I just couldn’t figure out the motive until the very end.

I did appreciate that the story began and ended in Key West. It gave the book a firm foundation and allowed us to check in with some favorite characters that we would have missed if the book started right out in Scotland.

A Scone of Contention takes readers on a nice little vacay with some unique characters. I do hope Hayley and Nathan do get to take a trip all by themselves someday soon and have a real honeymoon.

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About Lucy Burdette

Courtesy Carol Tedesco

Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) is the author of 19 mysteries, including A SCONE OF CONTENTION, the eleventh book in the Key West series featuring food critic Hayley Snow. THE KEY LIME CRIME won the bronze medal for popular fiction in the Florida Book Awards. Lucy’s books and stories have also been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a past president of Sisters in Crime, and currently serving as president of the Friends of the Key West Library.

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Great Escapes Praise for A Scone of Contention: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
by Lucy Burdette

Scone of Contention is a culinary cozy mystery that has something for everyone: clean romance, Scotland, high family (in-law) drama, yummy recipes and several mysteries to solve.
~Diane Reviews Books

. . . a fabulous cozy that takes the reader on a trip across the globe with good food and suspend sprinkled on top. Sure to delight fans of cozies with a culinary flair.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

SCONE OF CONTENTION is a delightful mystery that shows how conflicts of the past can impact the present. I enjoyed this trip to Scotland with a nip of whiskey, a slather of butter on a hot scone, and a devilishly good mystery.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

A fun read . . . Going along with Hayley and Nathan on their Scottish honeymoon was charming. . . . Until the family drama threatens to ruin the Cozy trip.
~My Reading Journeys

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

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

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Time to Swill (A Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon Mystery) by Sherry Harris #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It is my pleasure to share my thoughts today about
A Time to Swill by Sherry Harris!


A Time to Swill (A Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (July 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 149672304X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496723048
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MBFK131

Bestselling author Sherry Harris gives us the second in a new cozy mystery series featuring a bartender sleuth in the tiny town of Emerald Cove, Florida.

BAD TO THE BONE

Chloe loves her new life pouring beers and mixing cocktails at the Sea Glass Saloon in the Florida Panhandle town of Emerald Cove. But on the job, the only exercise she gets is walking from one end of the bar to the other, so in the mornings she loves to run on the beach. On this morning’s foggy run, she spots a sailboat washed up on a sandbar. Hearing a cry, she climbs aboard the beached vessel to investigate and finds not only a mewling kitten—but a human skeleton in the cabin.

The skeleton is tied back to Chloe’s friend Ralph, whose wife disappeared on a sailboat with three other people twelve years ago. Believing his wife was lost at sea, Ralph remarried. Now he finds himself a murder suspect. Chloe is determined to find out who’s been up to some skulduggery, but her sleuthing will lead her into some rough waters and some bone-chilling revelations…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Chloe has made the decision to say goodbye to her life in Chicago and has loaded up her car with her important belongings and hit the road back to Emerald Cove and the Sea Glass Saloon. But before she returns to the saloon she does one of her favorite things, a morning run on the beach. The weather is foggy but she needs to get back to her routine. At first, she thinks the fog is playing with her but there is definitely a sailboat right up on a sandbar. She stops, and wonders how it got there but then she hears what sounds like a baby’s cry. She calls 911 and reports her find, drops her key ring, and removes her shoes when she hears another cry. She rushes to the boat but she doesn’t find a baby, she finds a kitten and a . . . human skeleton and realizes the boat has left the sand bar and is on the move.

Her shoes are found by the responders answering her 911 call. An all-out search takes place and she is found by a man in a cigarette boat who drops her near the saloon and takes off before she can even thank him. She does learn that the skeleton could be a woman who disappeared at sea 12 years ago. The wife of her new friend Ralph. He had had his wife declared dead and has remarried. Those things land him on the suspect list. There were other people on that missing sailboat and Chloe believes there is much more to the story that has evolved over those 12 missing years. Why did that sailboat reappear now and still be in pretty good shape? Where are the bodies/skeletons of the other passengers? She decides to look into the history a bit to try to answer those and other questions, but she may be treading water as she tries to tie the clues together.


I really like these characters. Chloe is still mourning the death of her friend Boone and is trying to fulfill his wishes. She and Boone’s grandmother, Vivi are going closer especially when a man arrives in town the could turn both their lives inside out. Joaquin has become a true friend as has his partner Michael. Rhett is also back in the picture, worried about Chloe. All these characters are fresh and unique as is the larger supporting cast that surrounds them. Chloe is still learning about the people of Emerald Cove and she takes some big steps in this story in getting to know them better.

Ms. Harris has treated her readers to a very complex mystery.  There is a lot to untangle and a lot of moving parts. The mystery unfolds slowly keeping me intrigued the entire way. I was surprised as that mystery played out.

The author inserts a subplot mystery that is not completed within this story. I was caught up in that one just as much as the main mystery. In fact, when I flipped to the final page, I flipped back and forth a couple of times thinking I had missed its conclusion. I immediately thought, darn that Sherry Harris, she got me hook, line and sinker with a cliffhanger.

I was delighted by the humor in this story too. It breaks up the tense moments. One humorous scene has Chloe joining Joaquin and Micheal one evening. She wants to impress them with her ability to make the perfect martini. She brought all her own ingredients stating with just 3 ingredients what could go wrong? She presents the drinks and they all “take a big sip”

Ick. Maybe martinis were an acquired taste. I looked at Michael and Joaquín. They both had funny expressions on their faces. I wasn’t sure Joaquín had even swallowed his. I tried another sip. “This is awful,” I said. “This is a disgustatini, not a martini. It’s swill.” Michael and Joaquín burst out laughing. “It’s really bad, Chloe,” Michael said. “But I’ll give you points for trying.” “Let’s go in and you can show me what you did,” Joaquín said. “Eat some appetizers first,”

Then there was a little kidding about Chloe’s dislike of oysters . . . before we all learn what went wrong with the martinis. I was giggling until matters turned more serious as they delve into a more important issue.

Since I found Sherry’s Sarah W. Garage Sale Mysteries (which sadly the publisher has ended) she has become one of my favorite authors. Her mysteries make me think and I quickly become invested in her character’s lives. A Time to Swill is a prime example of this. I am truly invested in Chloe’s life. I was shouting internally, “No, don’t rush out to that boat!” It would have been a very short story if she hadn’t. She gets herself into troubling situations and I am all-in for the wild ride she takes us on. I cannot wait for our next adventure.

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Sherry Harris is the Agatha Award-nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery series and the upcoming Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon mysteries. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers.

In her spare time, Sherry loves reading and is a patent-holding inventor. Sherry, her husband, and guard dog Lily are living in northern Virginia until they figure out where they want to move to next.

Author Links – Kensington –  Website  – Facebook 

Also by Sherry Harris

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

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

Sand Trapped: Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series by Joanna Campbell Slan #Review / #Giveaway @joannaslan Great Escapes Book Tour


Sand Trapped: Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series
by Joanna Campbell Slan

About Sand Trapped


Sand Trapped: Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Spot On Publishing (May 16, 2021)
Paperback: 292 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8503202564
Digital ASIN: B091S4S2MW

A Cozy Mystery That’s a Real Hit!

 

First they warned Jocelyn Johnson.

 

Then they ticketed Jocelyn Johnson.

 

Then someone murdered Jocelyn Johnson.

 

And Cara Mia Delgatto was looking for a lost ball when found Jocelyn “JJ” Johnson face down in a sand trap. Gave a whole new meaning to “take a drop.”

 

It wasn’t a surprise. The neighbors hated JJ for the reckless way she drove her golf cart. Sure, she lived on the grounds of a swanky golf club, and yes, she had tons of money, but JJ ruined flowerbeds, terrorized grandkids, and made a nuisance of herself.

 

Except…except…she’s quiet now. Lying there in the dirt at Hole #6. Someone bashed in JJ’s head. (Who would risk ruining an expensive Homna golf club like that?)

 

Cara doesn’t want to get involved. But when Gerta Hunsickler is named the prime suspect, and Gerta’s husband is so angry at his wife that he’s starting divorce proceedings, Cara can’t sit on her hands. She knows what it’s like to be unfairly accused. So she promises to take a swing at it and see if she can hit a long drive down the fairway of justice!

 

Meanwhile, back at The Treasure Chest, Cara’s friends are busy creating fabulous and fun Mother’s Day gifts. There are two brides-to-be working for Cara, and their two mothers-in-law-to-be have decided not to play nice. Can you say, “Mama’s boy” ten times really fast? I thought you could.

 

If you love warm-hearted, clean books, that feature female amateur sleuths, fur babies, family, and friends, you’ll love this charming DIY/recycling/upcycling series set on the Southeast Coast of Florida.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jocelyn Johnson wasn’t a good neighbor. She pushed people’s limits and she broke rule after rule. So when she is found dead in a sandtrap on the sixth hole not a lot of tears were shed. Cara is sorry she agreed to be her friend’s teammate in a golf tournament because again she finds herself knee-deep in another murder investigation. Just what she didn’t need as her store, The Treasure Chest is gearing up for Mother’s Day and the merchandise is flying off the shelves. She also has two brides to be on pins and needles as their future mothers-in-law are coming to town. She has done it before, she will just have to multitask and putt the murderer right into a jail cell while not shanking all her other duties.


Cara Mia Delgatto owns The Treasure Chest,  specializing in upcycled, recycled, and repurposed goods. She has a great group of friends working for her. It appears that over the course of the series they have become more like family. They support each other in everything they do, even helping Cara catch a killer. I enjoyed getting to know all the characters. They are well developed but still have room to grow as the series continues.

The Treasure Chest is a very interesting shop. It is well stocked with a variety of items but I was pleasantly surprised that they have pet memory items and Cara is working to increase the products she has to offer. I also enjoyed the descriptions of all the places Cara traveled, her home, her store, the Sandy Ridge Golf Club, and more. This area of Florida sounds like a wonderful place to live sans the crazy neighbors and the murder.

The murder mystery was very well done. Joanna Campbell Slan weaves the main plot together with the subplots very nicely. There is always something happening and the murder mystery has some really great twists. The big reveal was done in a fantastic way and I was surprised by whodunit.

I have read other books by this author but this is the first book in the series I have read but it won’t be my last. I am so happy that the author wrote the story so I new readers won’t feel lost or pressure to read the previous books in the series prior to reading Sand Trapped. I do hope to read the rest of this series and more books by this author.

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About Joanna Campbell Slan

“Our best friend, our next-door neighbor, and ourselves with just a touch of the outrageous.” That’s how RT Book Review describes Joanna’s protagonist, Kiki Lowenstein. The truth is that’s a pretty good description of Joanna Campbell Slan as well.

Joanna is a New York Times Bestselling, USA Today Bestselling, and Amazon Bestselling author as well as a woman prone to frequent bursts of crafting frenzy, leaving her with burns from her hot glue gun and paint on her clothes. And the mess? Let’s not even go there.

Otherwise, Joanna’s a productive author with more than 80 written projects to her credit. Her non-fiction work includes how to books, a college textbook for public speakers, and books of personal essays (think Chicken Soup for the Soul).

Currently, she writes five fiction series: The Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist, contemporary, St. Louis setting, crafting), the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series (contemporary, Florida setting, DIY, and recycling), the Jane Eyre Chronicles (Daphne du Maurier Award Winner, 1830s England, based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic), the Sherlock Holmes Fantasy Thrillers (late 1800s, based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s books), and the Zen Cozy Mystery Series (launch 2021).

A former TV talk show host, college teacher, and public relations specialist, Joanna was one of the early Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors. She won a Silver Anvil for her work on the original FarmAid concert to benefit farmers.

In her ongoing quest never to see snow again, Joanna lives with her husband and their Havanese puppy, Jax, on an island off the coast of Florida. You can email her at jcslan@joannaslan.com or visit her website at https://linktr.ee/jcslan

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

Posted in 2021 Reading Challenges Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery) by Lena Gregory #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thoughts about
Whole Latte Murder with you today!


Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
by Lena Gregory

About Whole Latte Murder 


Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation Lyrical Press(April 27, 2021)
Paperback: 206 pages
ISBN-10: 1516110498
ISBN-13: 978-1516110490
Digital ASIN: B08F2X8NGW

Ex-New Yorker and local diner owner Gia Morelli is still getting used to the sweltering Florida sun. But this summer she’ll have to deal with a more dangerous kind of heat—when she’s hot on the trail of another murderer . . .

 

Summer in Boggy Creek has arrived, and Gia’s best friend, successful real estate agent Savannah, is getting hitched. Now she’s enlisted Gia’s sleuthing talents in a desperate search for the perfect wedding dress. But when Savannah mysteriously vanishes after showing a mansion to a bigwig client, Gia investigates the house Savannah was trying to sell. The first clue she finds is Savannah’s car in the driveway. Inside the house, they stumble on Savannah’s potential buyer—dead. Someone had apparently closed the deal—with a two by four full of nails to the client’s head. Soon afterward, a woman’s body is fished from the lake near the same house. The townsfolk are now sweating bullets over the murders, and the heat comes down on poor Gia to find her missing friend, and track down the killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s summer in Boggy Creek and Gia is excited to help her BFF Savannah plan the perfect wedding. They just have to find a venue that meets their needs without breaking the bank. A big commission could really help real estate agent Savannah have the wedding of her dreams. She sets off to meet a wealthy client at the priciest home for sale in the area planning to meet Gia for some dress shopping later.

There were some concerns about her meeting this man by herself and when Savannah fails to pick up Gia and doesn’t answer her phone Gia sets off to find her friend. She arrives at the mansion and finds Savannah’s convertible in the driveaway but no Savannah. She does however find her client, dead, looking like he was hit upside the head with the nearby two by four full of nails. The police arrive and also find a woman’s body in the nearby lake. Thank God, it wasn’t Savannah, but where is she? Friends and family gather at Gia’s cafe while the police start a search. Everyone is frantic with whole latte worry. Will they find Savannah? and will they catch the killer before they strike again? Gia will not rest until they do!


The characters in this series have grown so much over the course of five books. Gia and Savannah are such a great team. When Savannah goes missing you can feel Gia’s pain jump off the pages. Savannah’s fiance Leo and her cousin Hunt along with most of the community search to find the real estate agent. It was heartwarming the way everyone came together.

With Savannah in peril, we get to see her brothers and father in action. They are a close-knit family and have welcomed Gia as one of their own. Trevor also has a larger role in this story and Alfie returns for a little technical support. All the cafe regulars return as well. Ms. Gregory has created a cast of truly genuine characters.

What I really love about the All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mysteries is the emphasis on friends and family. The characters really feel like old friends who would open their arms and hearts to anyone in need.

The mystery gets off to a very quick start. Savannah’s client has a shady past and possible mob connections. Gia’s house gets broken into and the treatment of a certain Bernese Mountain Dog had me absolutely livid.  Money is missing from several places and there is something hinky going on at Savannah’s real estate office. All these things are tangled together in a way that had the pages flying so fast I think my Kindle was steaming. Again the girls go to some crazy and dangerous lengths that had me holding my breath but I wouldn’t expect any less from this dynamic duo.

Whole Latte Murder is a Whole Latte good! Great characters and a fantastic story full of twists and turns along with just a little humor and romance make this book a Perfect Escape!

I am excited about Savannah and Leo’s wedding and look forward to pulling up a virtual seat for it and whatever murder mystery the author comes up with. I highly recommend every book in this series!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Lena Gregory

Lena Gregory is the author of the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York, and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest.

Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, but she recently traded in cold, damp, gray winters for the warmth and sunshine of central Florida, where she now lives with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.

To learn more about Lena and her latest writing endeavors, visit her website at http://www.lenagregory.com/, and be sure to sign up for her newsletter here.

Author Links

Newsletter.   Website    Facebook    Facebook Page
Twitter   Goodreads   Pinterest

Purchase Links
Amazon    Barnes & Noble      Kobo    Kensington     Apple    Google Play

Also by Lena Gregory

 

 

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April 26 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
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April 29 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
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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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son (A Becks Ruchinsky Mystery) by Joan Lipinsky Cochran #Interview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son
by Joan Lipinsky Cochran

It is my pleasure to welcome Joan Lipinsky Cochran
to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Joan,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a former journalist and freelance writer who got my MFA about ten years ago and have been focusing on mystery and crime writing since. I’m from Miami but now live in Boca Raton with my husband and cat and love everything about the beach from reading while listening to waves to snorkeling, SCUBA diving, and kayaking. I also enjoy finding settings for murders here, which isn’t hard given the swamps and bodies of water around South Florida.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

That I play both classical violin and Irish fiddle and am working up a set of tunes in both genres with my husband on the hammered dulcimer.

That I really enjoy refinishing furniture and wicker although I swear to myself each project will be my last.

That I’m addicted to mysteries, especially those by such Golden Age Authors as Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Nagio Marsh.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I can’t be specific but I have clear memories of bringing the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary home from our neighborhood library and reading them under the covers at night. My snitch of a sister ratted on me.

What are you reading now?

I’m rereading Dorothy L. Sayers’ Have His Carcase and reading Barbara Neely’s Blanche on the Lam.

What books have most inspired you?

So man!  Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls and  The Sun Also Rises for his spare writing style, John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany for plotting and psychological depth, Catcher in the Rye for voice, Anais Nin’s Diaries because she helped me understand what it means to be a woman writer.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I loved reading them and kept my eyes open for years for the spark that would get me going. I was a science writer for more than a decade and came across a “perfect” way to murder someone, then integrated that with my interest in the Cuban revolution. Voila, a mystery. It’s still in a drawer somewhere.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

My preference is the second floor of the library near my house, in an open area that overlooks a lake. They used to have a café where I’d pick up coffee. Since COVID, I write at the roll-top desk my mother got me when I was 16 and which sits in my son’s old bedroom.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Conversations with friends, family, and strangers, newspaper, internet and magazine articles, eavesdropping, and events I witness in public.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Staying focused. Sitting at my desk and writing without letting myself become distracted. It sounds crazy, but eating Tootsie Roll pops or practicing the violin seems the most effective method for getting my focus back.

What do you think makes a good story?

I love strong interesting and quirky characters who react in a surprising manner when put in tough or unusual situations. I also enjoy reading about unique settings from bowling alleys to European chateaus.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Becks, my protagonist, is closest to what I’d like to be. She’s strong, determined, and smart and doesn’t take any guff but is still warm and nurturing. She’s taller than I am and much tougher on her husband.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Well, first, I am exploring subcultures of American Judaism through mysteries, which I haven’t seen before. Investigating a murder gives Becks a very good excuse for asking personal questions and exploring unique communities that might not otherwise be available. Also, I’m told my characters are genuine and relatable and that my readers get swept into the world I’ve created.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m working on a murder mystery that involves the Jewish Cubans (Jewbans) who moved to Miami in the wake of Fidel Castro’s revolution. It’s a fascinating story about determined and resilient individuals who will go to any length to succeed in their new country. The origins of that murder date back to events that occurred during the post-revolutionary period, while the story will put Becks in touch with her Cuban family members and reveal old family secrets.

Thank you Joan for visiting today! 

I reviewed The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son last Saturday.
Click this link if you missed it!

About The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son


The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son (A Becks Ruchinsky Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Florida
Perricot Publishing (March 30, 2021)
Number of Pages – 318 pages
Digital – ASIN : B08ZVF86VF

Boca Raton reporter Becks Ruchinsky is stunned when her son, Gabe, brings an ultra-Orthodox friend home from college and asks her to hide him. Six days later, his body is found floating in a canal. When police deem his death an accident, Becks launches her own inquiry—a journey that takes her from secretive Hasidic enclaves to the seedy underbelly of South Beach’s glitzy club scene—to find his killer. What she discovers jeopardizes her son’s life and challenges her religious conviction.

 

The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son is an intriguing and compulsively readable mystery that contrasts the beauty of Hasidic tradition with the unbending rules that may lead to desperation and murder.

More About Joan Lipinsky Cochran

 

Joan Lipinsky Cochran is a South Florida-based writer whose crime and mystery novels focus on subcultures of American Judaism. In her latest novel, The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son, her protagonist is compelled to explore the glitzy South Beach nightclub scene and the secretive world of Hasidic Judaism to find a killer. It is the second in The Becks Ruchinsky Mystery Series. The first, The Yiddish Gangster’s Daughter, is the story of a woman whose world is upended – and life threatened – when she discovers her father was a member of the Jewish mafia.

Author Links

Website www.joanlipinskycochran.com,

Twitter @WordsByJoan,

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/joanlipinskycochran/

Instagram joan.l.cochran

Purchase Link – Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 30 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 30 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 31 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 1 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 2 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT. RECIPE
April 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 4 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 4 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
April 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 7 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
April 8 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
April 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
April 9 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
April 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 11 – Reading Author’s Network – REVIEW, RECIPE
April 12 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
April 12 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

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

The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son (A Becks Ruchinsky Mystery) by Joan Lipinsky Cochran #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son
by Joan Lipinsky Cochran

About The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son


The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son (A Becks Ruchinsky Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Florida
Perricot Publishing (March 30, 2021)
Number of Pages – 318 pages
Digital – ASIN : B08ZVF86VF

Boca Raton reporter Becks Ruchinsky is stunned when her son, Gabe, brings an ultra-Orthodox friend home from college and asks her to hide him. Six days later, his body is found floating in a canal. When police deem his death an accident, Becks launches her own inquiry—a journey that takes her from secretive Hasidic enclaves to the seedy underbelly of South Beach’s glitzy club scene—to find his killer. What she discovers jeopardizes her son’s life and challenges her religious conviction.

 

The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son is an intriguing and compulsively readable mystery that contrasts the beauty of Hasidic tradition with the unbending rules that may lead to desperation and murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Gabe Ruchinsky has brought a friend home from college. Menny is a Hasidic Jew that left his New York home for college in Florida but he confesses to Gabe that there is much more to his story. In fact, after seeing a suspicious stranger on campus he tells Gabe he fears he is going to be kidnapped. They decide Menny may be safer with his parents in Boca Raton. But after just six days Menny’s body is found in a nearby canal and Gabe’s mother, Becks is beside herself in grief and regrets. The young man was killed after leaving her house for the first time. She feels like she failed him and she can’t make the police understand that his death was not an accident. She continues to hit a brick wall with the cops so she starts her own investigation to find enough evidence to present to them to see things her way. What she uncovers takes her to a small town in New York and back to Boca Rotan and Miami and is a much bigger scandal than she ever imagined.

_____

Becks Ruchinsky is a fascinating protagonist. She has recently reconciled with her estranged husband but while they were separated she really came to enjoy her independence. She is a strong woman who took on Menny’s death investigation like a dog with a bone. She takes some risks but does get help from a friend when she basically enters the lion’s den. She also gets an assist from her father, Tootsie, as he may know people that can help her with the case. Tootsie is a quirky character, set in his ways, living in an assisted facility but active enough to help his daughter and show up at her house as the mood strikes him. Gabe Rusinsky is a freshman in college who has autism. He is doing well adjusting to college life but Menny was his first real friend and the young man has quite the effect on Gabe. The characters created by Ms. Cochran are believable and genuine. Their dialogues are true to life.

The mystery in this story is complex with a lot of people involved. Becks is able to get people to talk to her and with each little snippet of a clue, she gets moves her investigation along. Not being very familiar with Hasidic Jews except for a few stories I have read or things I have seen on television I found this story to be very stirring especially with the level of corruption and secrets. Following Becks everywhere she went was intriguing and entertaining. Her dedication to getting justice for a young man she barely knew was heartwarming. She was not giving up no matter where each twist lead. Sadly, as we neared the end of the story there was some explicit language that while probably proper for that character it was surprising after a gripping story that was a totally clean read that far.

The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son was a fast-paced read with interesting characters and compelling subject matter. I enjoyed learning about the Hasidic sect through this story.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Joan Lipinsky Cochran

Joan Lipinsky Cochran is a South Florida-based writer whose crime and mystery novels focus on subcultures of American Judaism. In her latest novel, The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son, her protagonist is compelled to explore the glitzy South Beach nightclub scene and the secretive world of Hasidic Judaism to find a killer. It is the second in The Becks Ruchinsky Mystery Series. The first, The Yiddish Gangster’s Daughter, is the story of a woman whose world is upended – and life threatened – when she discovers her father was a member of the Jewish mafia.

Author Links

Website www.joanlipinskycochran.com,

Twitter @WordsByJoan,

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/joanlipinskycochran/

Instagram joan.l.cochran

Purchase Link – Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 30 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 30 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 31 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 1 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 2 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT. RECIPE
April 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 4 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 4 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
April 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 7 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW
April 8 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
April 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
April 9 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
April 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 11 – Reading Author’s Network – REVIEW, RECIPE
April 12 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
April 12 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

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

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

#FlashbackFriday – A Waffle Lot of Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery) by Lena Gregory #Review / #Giveaway

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.


A Waffle Lot of Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in the Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Lyrical Press (October 6, 2020)
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-10 : 151611048X
ISBN-13: 978-1516110483
Digital ASIN : B082WR2ZHJ

For diner owner Gia Morelli, her seasonal fall menu calls for two main ingredients—maple syrup and murder . . .

While the first hints of autumn grace Boggy Creek, Florida, Gia misses the colorful harvest traditions she left behind in New York. On a scramble to make new fall memories—and promote her irresistible pumpkin spice waffles—things take a dark turn when she gets roped into the Haunted Town Festival, a spooky celebration held on deserted farmlands. The desolate area conjures plenty of eerie vibes at night, but Gia and her best friend, Savannah, are nearly frightened to death upon the discovery of the event organizer’s body buried in the nearby woods. More alarming, the local rumor mill says the woman’s shady dealings may have egged someone into sending her to an early grave. Now, there’s no shortage of creepy clues to feast on as Gia and her pals try to stop a killer with a very scary appetite . . .

Includes recipes from the All-Day Breakfast Café!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fall in Florida is so different from fall in New York, but Gia is hoping to adjust. She receives an invitation to take part in the Haunted Town Festival, a fundraiser for the local animal shelter. She is unsure if she wants to get involved but her BFF Savannah twists her arm telling her it would be a great promotion for the cafe and her new pumpkin spice waffles. The event takes place outside of town where there are several abandoned houses and farmland. Gia and Savannah schedule an appointment with the woman in charge of the event to see exactly what participation entails. They arrive at the festival site but the woman doesn’t show up but they do find her phone. Turns out the organizer did arrive but she was murdered before their appointment. Will the festival be canceled? Is the killer still around? Gia and her friends soon find themselves caught up in another murder case.


All my favorite characters return in this 4th installment of the All-Day Cafe Mystery series. Savvanah and Gia take some scary risks in their endeavor to catch a killer instead of leaving the investigation in the police boyfriends’ hands. At one point they even discuss the danger –

“Not a chance.” . . . There’s a fine line between being brave and being too stupid to live, and I have no intention of crossing that line. Again” 

But sometimes the adrenaline kicks in or a situation presents itself that makes it hard to walk away. Of course, being in a dark creepy woods with who knows how many men and beasts could be hiding there should be a deterrent but these characters go full speed ahead.. I did appreciate that they did try to abstain from getting too involved at first, but it wouldn’t be a cozy mystery if the characters didn’t get involved and in trouble before the story ends.  I was surprised that one character was involved and that they had just a little bit of a transformation because of it. I really like Earl, he is Gia’s best customer and a true friend. Even Thor, Gia’s Bernese Mountain Dog, gets involved in the case. Ms. Gregory has created a core group of dynamic characters. They are all believable and relatable.

We also meet several new characters connected with the Haunted Town Festival. Among them is a variety of suspects. Not knowing these people well made asking them questions difficult but Gia wouldn’t give up and she may have pushed too hard. I really enjoyed each twist and that there was more going on than originally presented. The deceased had made some real enemies and I was captivated as the whole sordid tale was revealed. The author has written a tangled web, so much so, my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd guesses at the killer were all wrong.

I loved that the story took place over Halloween and that the fundraiser was to benefit the animal shelter. A wonderful cause and an exciting fundraiser idea.

I can’t get Pumpkin Spice Waffles off my mind. I am actually craving them, but because I read this book months after it was released means I am out of pumpkin spice season. Another reason not to get behind on a series. LOL, thankfully there is a recipe in the back of the book. I am hoping to get our family chef, aka my husband, to whip up a batch.

A Waffle Lot of Murder was a fabulous story filled with action, drama, and suspense. I enjoy the way Gia has made a home in Boggy Creek and has made so many friends. I have become invested in every one of them and am excited to read Whole Latte Murder when it is released next month.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Lena Gregory

Lena Gregory is the author of the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York, and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest.

Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island. She recently relocated to Clermont, Florida with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, jigsaw puzzles, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.

Author Links

Newsletter.   Website    Facebook    Facebook Page    Twitter   Goodreads   Pinterest

Purchase Links

Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Play

Also by Lena Gregory

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 9, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Cold Brew Killing (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery) by Lena Gregory #Review / #Giveaway


A Cold Brew Killing (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Florida
Lyrical Underground (November 6, 2018)
Print Length Approximately 250 Pages
Digital ASIN: B079R5Y14L

When an ice cream vendor discovers a frozen stiff, Florida diner owner Gia Morelli has to serve up some just desserts . . .

 

Gia has become good friends with Trevor, a fun, flirtatious bachelor who owns the ice cream parlor down the street from her popular All-Day Breakfast Café. Trevor has the scoop on all sorts of local attractions and activities. But when he bursts into her diner, trembling and paler than a pint of French Vanilla, she can tell something’s very wrong. Trevor points her toward his shop then passes out cold. When Gia runs down to his shop, she discovers a chilling sight—a dead body in the open freezer. But the ice cream man’s troubles are just beginning. The police suspect him of this murder a la mode, especially when details of his questionable past surface. Gia believes in her friend and is determined to clear his name and find the real cold-blooded killer before someone else gets put on ice . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It gets mighty chilly in Florida when a dead body is found in the freezer of the ice cream parlor of Gia’s new friend Trevor. She and Trevor had big plans for bringing cold brews to both their businesses but that is on ice for now. Of course, Trevor is the prime suspect of the police but Gia just knows in her heart the man is innocent. Now she just has to find the evidence to prove it.


It was so good to get back to these characters. I don’t know how I got behind on this series but I plan to rectify that very soon.

Gia, Savannah, Hunt, Leo, Willow, Earl, Harley, Cybil, Cole, and Thor all return and are joined by several new characters. Two mayoral candidates, although one doesn’t last long, ice cream shop owner, Trevor, Willow’s mom, Skyla, join the cast. Ms. Gregory’s characters are all realistic. People you would expect to find in Boggy Creek at Gia’s All-Day Breakfast Café. I enjoy Gia and Savannah’s friendship. This time it is tested just a bit but I really liked the way Savannah convinced Gia it was okay to take some time off. Their relationship is believable and steady. They have each other’s back even when things get downright crazy.

The new secondary characters along with Harley play key roles in the mystery. They have been Boggy Creek residents for a long time and while the murder maybe political it could also be something in their pasts that has gotten Ron Parker killed. There are several twists and turns, shots fired, and another death before all the clues align and secrets come out for the killer to be revealed. The author has plotted an intriguing mystery with many possibilities.

The book also has a message and a revelation for Gia regarding families. It is so true and heartwarming.

A Cold Brew Killing was so entertaining! Great characters, a wonderful mystery and don’t even get me started on the food. We did have breakfast for dinner during the time I was reading this book. Yummy!

Stay tuned, in my quest to get caught up on this series I will be reading A Waffle Lot of Murder soon so I am ready when Whole Latte Murder hits stores on April 27.

Your Escape Into 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 – Newsletter – Website  –  Facebook – Facebook Page  – Twitter  –  Goodreads  – Pinterest

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  Kobo

Also by Lena Gregory

I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 6, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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Posted in 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

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

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to be part of this tour! 

About Grounds for Murder 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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


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

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

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

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

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About Tara Lush

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

Author Links

WEB – FACEBOOK – GOODREADS – INSTAGRAM

Purchase Links 

AMAZON – KOBO – BARNES AND NOBLE –  ITUNES –  INDIEBOUND

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

 

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