Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge 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

Cold Brew Corpse: A Coffee Lover’s Mystery by Tara Lush #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @crookedlanebks #AlphabetSoupChallenge


Cold Brew Corpse: A Coffee Lover’s Mystery
by Tara Lush

About Cold Brew Corpse

Cold Brew Corpse: A Coffee Lover’s Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Florida
Crooked Lane Books (December 7, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643857886
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643857886
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08Y8DJVGJ
Other Digital ISBN-13: 9781643857893

Espresso bar owner Lana Lewis returns in Tara Lush’s second Coffee Lover’s mystery, a stimulating read that fans of Cleo Coyle and Laura Childs will savor to the last drop.

It’s a steamy September, and business is brisk at Perkatory, the hottest coffee shop in Devil’s Beach, FL. Much of the clientele pours in from Dante’s Inferno, the hot yoga studio next door. But the bright, sunny Gulf Coast days turn decidedly dark-roast when the body of the studio’s owner turns up in a nearby swamp.

Between running Perkatory and training Stanley, her golden Shih Tzu puppy, reporter-turned-barista Lana Lewis is too busy to go sleuthing. But when the editor of the local paper asks her to write about the murder, Lana’s dreams of getting back into journalism start to percolate.

Lana discovers that the yogi has a nefarious past and her share of mug shots, so grinding her way through the suspect list is a large task. She learns that the victim was fatally beaned by an SUV before she was dumped in the swamp. But was the killer one of her students? An envious yoga teacher? Or a local photographer who seems to know too much?

But no one tells Lana Lewis what to do. Hunting the caf-fiend who killed the yogi puts Lana and Chief Noah’s relationship–and Lana’s life–in very hot coffee.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

While Lana Lewis serves up her Cold Brew her neighbor at Dante’s Inferno takes her clients through the movements of Hot Yoga. That is until the yogi goes missing and is later found dead floating in a nearby swamp.

Lana is swamped herself with managing Perkatory and training her new puppy Stanley but when the editor of the local paper asks her to get the scoop on the woman’s murder and write about it for the paper Lana can’t say no. This story could be the big break she needs to get her journalism career back on track.

With her connection to the police chief, she is right on the scene when the body is removed from its watery grave. Then with a little bit of old-fashioned legwork and her trusty investigation skills, she learns Raina Rose had quite a checkered past. This opens up the suspect pool she will have to brew through as she tries to steam out the killer while not becoming a victim herself or ruining her relationship with Chief Noah.


I was very happy to visit these characters again. Lana has grown more comfortable in her barista skills but does have an issue with her new Cold Brew that she can’t seem to remedy. She doesn’t lose her cool though, and she doesn’t give up, even when another murder investigation takes over a majority of her time. Thankfully she has Erika and her dad to take up the slack at Perkatory. She and Erika are much more comfortable with each other and make a great team. Her dad is great too, stepping in when needed. I really love the calm he can bring to a situation. I wish he played a larger role in this story. He is a definite fave for me.

I was thrilled to see the relationship between Noah and Lana growing but there are a couple of obstacles in their way. Lana does make a mistake that could blow them miles apart and I enjoyed the way this played out quickly without being drawn out for pages and pages or even into the next book. All the characters have noticeable growth and continue to pull me into their lives very easily.

The mystery was a real conundrum. Following each clue along with Lana was very captivating. The suspects were pretty clear until WHAM! Twist! Turn! I was totally flabbergasted! Oh, Miss Lush, you got me good! Lana too!

There was a subplot that I felt was important that was left open from Lana’s past. I hope that it will develop and Lana is allowed to get to the bottom of it in a future story.

I just have to share that little Stanley is so adorable even when his training has a hiccup or two or three. Also, there is a hilarious moment between Lana and Noah. I almost snorted soda all over my Kindle.

Cold Brew Corpse was a Perfect Escape. It tested me, surprised me, and tickled my funny bone. I am looking forward to my next visit to Devil’s Beach and catching up for a coffee or two with everyone at Perkatory.


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Tara Lush

Tara Lush is a Florida-based author and journalist. She’s an RWA Rita finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and the winner of the George C. Polk award for environmental journalism.

She was a reporter with The Associated Press in Florida, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics. She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations under the name Tamara Lush.

Tara is a fan of vintage pulp fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, 1980s fashion, tropical chill, kombucha, gin, tonic, seashells, iPhones, Art Deco, telenovelas, street art, coconut anything, strong coffee, and newspapers. She lives on the Gulf Coast with her husband and two dogs.

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 4 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
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January 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – 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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Styled for Murder (Bad Hair Day Mysteries) by Nancy J. Cohen #AuthorInterview / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @nancyjcohen


Styled for Murder (Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
by Nancy J. Cohen

I am excited to welcome Nancy J. Cohen to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Nancy,

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I wrote my first novel when I was attending grad school to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist. I retired from nursing to write full-time when our kids were born and haven’t looked back since. My professional writing career started with sci-fi romance published by Dorchester and Wild Rose Press. Then I switched to mysteries when Kensington signed me on for the Bad Hair Day mystery series featuring hairstylist and salon owner Marla Vail.

Besides tending to her clients, Marla has a knack for teasing the truth from suspects. Styled for Murder is book #17 in this series. In total, I’ve published 25 full-length novels, a novella, a short story, a cookbook, and a writing guide. My latest works have been published independently as I wanted to take control of the book production process.

I write full-time in a dedicated home office in Central Florida where I live with my retired husband. We moved here fairly recently to be near our children and grandson. I like to explore the area and write about it on my blog. As for what I like to read, I enjoy genre fiction – historical romance, cozy and historical mystery, and sci-fi/fantasy. I look for stories with humor and romance, which are the elements I try to include in my books. My aim is to entertain. As reading is my escape, I hope to bring the same experience to you.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I enjoy researching a new book. I’ll start by doing whatever preliminary research I need to do online to formulate the background setting and get started on the plot. Then I’ll look for interesting items that catch my eye so I can learn about them and incorporate these factoids into my stories. For Styled for Murder, this included such eclectic topics as edible gold, propane gas, copper thefts, home remodel scams, origins of bone china, and health benefits of garlic. I love learning something new with each book. This gives me the spark of inspiration to write the story and makes it exciting for me.

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

I’ve been stuck when I feel I’ll finish the book too early. That’s when I go back and reread what I’ve written to see what threads could be expanded. I’ll also discuss the possibilities with my critique group who are always helpful. Otherwise, I write a synopsis before I begin the story, so I have a definite direction to follow. Outside distractions are the biggest cause of writer’s block. When we moved last December, I didn’t write for about six months.

 What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

Join the professional writing community. Take webinars and online classes, attend meetings when available, participate in a critique group. Set daily and weekly writing goals and stick to them. Give yourself permission to write a draft that will need work but at least get it done. Then don’t give up through the submission process. Learn all you can about the business aspects of writing from other authors and keep learning. Follow the 3 P’s – Persistence, Practice, and Professionalism.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

I like to read, dine out, explore the area, cruise to the Caribbean, and visit Disney World. I love Florida living and enjoy the varied ecosystems, attractions and cultures in this diverse state. And I’m a fan of the Hallmark channel movies and mysteries. That’s what I watch on TV, along with some superhero shows.

How has the COVID pandemic affected you and your writing?

All my in-person events have been cancelled. I’ve been doing a lot of online workshops and the good thing is that this brings in more attendees. People can come from anywhere. I really miss seeing my writer friends, though. As for staying home, I would be doing that anyway. So the pandemic hasn’t affected my writing routine.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

I’ve never been to Greece, so that would be my first choice. I’ve traveled to Europe, the British Isles, the South Pacific, and the Orient. I’d also like to see St. Petersburg in Russia. These days, I’m content to plan my next Caribbean cruise.

What is next on the horizon for you?

I have another Bad Hair Day mystery I’d like to do and then we’ll see. I also have a fully written whodunit set in Central Florida. It needs more work and I’ve been dabbling with it in my spare time. Plus, I hope to do another audiobook. So far, the first four titles in my series are in audiobook format and I need to do more. As for pub dates, Box Set 5 in my series will come out in early 2022.

Thank you Nancy so much for visiting today.


Keep reading for my thoughts about Styled for Murder.

About Styled for Murder


Styled for Murder (Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
17th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Orange Grove Press (November 16, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 286 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1952886228
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1952886225
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09DYN9YG6

Hairstylist Marla Vail flushes out a killer when murder disrupts her mother’s home renovation plans in this stylish cozy mystery.

When hairstylist and savvy sleuth, Marla Vail, gets a frantic call from her mother that there’s a dead body in her shower, Marla realizes this wasn’t part of the home renovation plans. The victim turns out to be the project manager, who had an untrustworthy reputation in town. Disgruntled customers, unpaid suppliers, and the design company’s staff are among the suspects. Which one of them wanted the foreman to pipe down about their shady dealings?

Meanwhile, the lead investigator sets his sights on Marla’s stepfather, Reed, who’s keeping secrets from his family. Reed has a past connection to the victim and won’t come clean about what he knows. As Marla drills deeper, she’s showered with suspicions, but nobody’s willing to leak any information. She needs to hammer down the prospects, or time will drain away and the murderer will strike again.

To flush out the culprit, Marla taps into her pipeline of resources. Can she assemble the clues and demolish the alibis to nail a killer? Or has someone designed the perfect murder?

Recipes Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Home renovations are murder in this latest installment of the Bad Hair Day Mystery Series. Marla Vail’s mother has a hair-raising experience when she finds a dead contractor in her remodeled shower. It turns out the man had built quite a reputation for himself, a bad one. The police have added Marla’s stepfather to the long list that may want to remove the unscrupulous individual from the earth – perm-antly. Sadly, the murder is out of Marla’s detective husband Dalton’s jurisdiction but that is not going to stop her from showering her sleuthing talents on the case, mainly because her mother won’t let her but also her stepdad Reed is hiding something. He may not have killed the man but maybe he knows who did.


Marla and Dalton are settling into their lives with the addition of a new baby to their family but both have full-time jobs and Ms. Cohen has portrayed their lives so realistically. Brianna is old enough to be of help but a baby takes over your life. Then grandma calls and throws a monkey wrench into their lives with a dead body. I knew Marla would have a hard time saying no to another murder investigation, even with her best intentions to stop getting involved but this one hits family and there is no way to say no to family. I really liked this as it really makes sense for Marla to get involved. I really had sympathy for her as she truly was burning the candle at both ends throughout the story. It is hard to find balance with a new baby in the house without the addition of a dead body.

Ms. Cohen finds a nice balance herself in Styled for Murder. She blends the daily life of her characters with a challenging mystery to solve.  I did like that there was a plethora of suspects and the way Marla worked her way through them. She wasn’t able to figure things out though before more deaths occurred. Those deaths depleted her suspect list but WOW! that final twist was absolutely killer. The guilty party was a total surprise. I know I probably missed an important clue somewhere but I love when a book ends with a shocking twist.

I have read this series from the start. Marla has evolved so wonderfully over the course of those books. She was a great stepmom to Brianna after marrying Dalton but I am so happy that they now have this little bundle of joy. She made some adjustments to her sleuthing with her son Ryder in mind. Dalton also made changes. I am excited to see how this continues in future stories especially after the final chapter in this book.

Styled for Murder is filled with complex characters, has a great family feel, and a captivating mystery. Don’t let the depth of this series hold you back. This book can be read all on its own but to really get to know Marla I encourage you to read the entire series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

More About Nancy J. Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have been named Best Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine, won a Readers’ Favorite gold medal and a RONE Award, placed first in the Chanticleer International Book Awards and third in the Arizona Literary Awards. Her nonfiction titles, Writing the Cozy Mystery and A Bad Hair Day Cookbook, have also garnered numerous awards, including the FAPA President’s Book Award and the Royal Palm Literary Award. Active in the writing community, Nancy is a past president of Florida Romance Writers and Mystery Writers of America, Florida Chapter. When not busy writing, she enjoys reading, fine dining, cruising, and visiting Disney World.



 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
November 15 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
November 15 – My Journey Back – RECIPE POST
November 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 17 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
November 17 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 18 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
November 20 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 20 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 21 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – GUEST POST
November 22 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 23 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
November 24 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
November 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – 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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Mistletoe Cake Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery) by Lena Gregory #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @lyricalpress @LenaGregory03


Mistletoe Cake Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
by Lena Gregory

About Mistletoe Cake Murder


Mistletoe Cake Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lyrical Press (October 12, 2021)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 219 pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08T6JHSZT

’Tis the season for celebrating when Gia Morelli’s holidays include both a wedding and yuletide festivities. Until someone naughty delivers a most unwanted Christmas gift—murder. . .

For a native New Yorker, palm trees and warm temperatures don’t equal winter, much less Christmastime. Nevertheless, Gia Morelli’s friends have decked the halls and trimmed the trees to truly welcome her into their “family” with an old-fashioned Boggy Creek, Florida holiday season. Even more joyous, Savannah Mills is getting married on Christmas Eve—the greatest gift Gia could ever wish for her best friend.

But when Gia and Savannah stop by the caterer for a final tasting a week before the wedding, they overhear another bride arguing with her son about her husband-to-be. Moments later, the woman is sampling a piece of wedding cake—gorgeously decorated with mistletoe frosting—then suddenly dies.

Now Gia’s caterer friends are the prime suspects in what appears to be murder by poisoning. To clear their names and ensure Savannah has a merry matrimony will require Gia to conjure up a Christmas miracle . . .

Includes recipes from the All-Day Breakfast Café!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

You may hear New York native Gia Morelli humming Let It Snow but the only snow falling Boggy Creek, Florida will be of the artificial variety courtesy of her friend Trevor Barnes who has gone all out decorating his home for the Christmas Eve wedding of Gia’s best friend Savannah Mills. Gia and Savanah are finishing up all the details for the nuptials and that includes the final tasting with the caterer. When they arrive they overhear another bride embroiled in an argument with her son. He is definitely not on board with her getting married. A short time later Gia and Savannah hear a bloodcurdling scream. When they rush to see what is happening they find the other bride dead after sampling a piece of wedding cake. The cake was beautifully decorated with fondant mistletoe and berries and the same cake Gia and Savannah had just sampled too. Savannah loved it so much she wanted to switch the cake she had chosen with this mistletoe cake.

Gia and Savannah are clearly alive and well as were all the other people that had a piece of the deadly cake. It is also clear that the bride’s slice of cake contained some type of poison. Of course, the caterers are the number one suspects but Gia just can’t wrap her head around them killing one of their customers. She also wants to be sure Savannah’s big night is marvelous and merry so she is going to be sure this murder investigation is wrapped up before Savannah walks down the aisle.


I loved this story. This is the second book I have reviewed this week that had a great mystery set during the holiday season where the characters created by the author are the reason I couldn’t wait to read this story. Gia and Savannah have such a strong friendship, it is what brought Gia to Florida. They are also in strong romantic relationships. Savannah and Leo are getting married on Christmas Eve at Trevor’s opulent home. Gia’s relationship with Hunt is progressing comfortably. Their jobs sometimes get in the way but they work hard to spend time together even if it is just a few minutes at a time.

Sadly all this romance is marred by a murder. A murder that could blow up Savannah’s wedding plans. I really enjoyed the way the mystery was plotted out. I had theory right away but the author provided several clues that changed by theory time and time again. It was not the easy solve I had first imagined. Finding the right person with the right motive is key and I didn’t find it until Gia did.

I really love Lena Gregory’s writing style. Her in-depth descriptions are well placed and she knows when to pull back and let the characters drive the story. I was so thankful for her detailed description of the magic Trevor created for Leo’s and Savannah’s wedding. I had my virtual invitation and I was able to feel like I was right there. He created a winter wonderland and all the characters we have grown to love were in attendance. And when the clock struck midnight . . . nope you have to read the book yourself.

Mistletoe Cake Murder was a wonderful Christmas gift for readers. Lena Gregory never disappoints. The characters in this series are absolutely delightful and some of my cozy faves. I am so excited to see what happens next for them. I am so glad the future of this series is merry and bright.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Lena Gregory

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.

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Also by Lena Gregory

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Great Escapes Praise for Mistletoe Cake Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
by Lena Gregory

The story moves at a good pace, with tension, twists, and turns. The characters are wonderful, with a few exceptions, and the mystery unfolds to a logical conclusion . . .
~Christa Reads and Writes

The mystery is well paced with plenty of clues and interesting people popping into the story to provide them. There are wonderful wrong directions to look in and plenty of suspects, most of whom I would vote for locking up, just to make the world a nicer place whether they are the murderer or not.
~I Read What You Write!

This was a really quick read for me because it kept me turning the pages with interest. I still love the Boggy Creek, Florida setting, though I do think I’d briefly miss snow at Christmas . . . The family atmosphere in the cafe and among the friends definitely adds to the coziness of this book.
~Christy’s Cozy Corners

MISTLETOE CAKE MURDER delightfully blends the Christmas holiday, a beautiful wedding, and all of the feels to create a wonderful mystery.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

The characters are well developed and well rounded. Gia and Savanna are the best of friends, as close as sisters. I really enjoy spending time with them, they are so much fun.
~mjbreviewers

. . . a fabulously fun read that makes you feel at home. A wonderful addition to what has become one of fave series! A total must read. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I found the characters in this book to be well-developed, likable, and believable. The pacing of the story was good throughout.
~Nellie’s Book Nook

There is a good flow to the story, and it’s a quick read as I kept turning the pages. There is nice closure and a happily ever after along with another in the offing.
~Dayna for Novels Alive

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
October 11 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
October 11 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
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October 16 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
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October 18 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
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October 20 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
October 20 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
October 21 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
October 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
October 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
October 22 – My Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 23 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
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October 24 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

 

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

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

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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September 7 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
September 8 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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September 10 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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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.

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May 2 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 2 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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May 3 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
May 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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May 4 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
May 4 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
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May 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
May 6 – Ascroft. eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 6 – My Journey Back the Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
May 7 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW 
May 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
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May 8 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
May 8 – MJB Reviewers – 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 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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Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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.”