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Dollycas’s Best Reads of 2020

Dollycas’s Best Reads of 2020

There were so many great books this year and many were classified as “Perfect Escapes” by me, but this list contains the books that received a “Paradise Rating”, those that I enjoyed so much I thought they deserved more than 5 star-fish.

They are in no particular order. 

Congratulations to all the authors!

The Book of Candlelight (Secret, Book, & Scone Society)
3rd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Publisher: Kensington (January 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496712439
ISBN-13: 978-1496712431
Kindle ASIN: B07R4K4DMR

You can read my review here.

The Boy from the Woods
Suspense Thriller
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 17, 2020)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1538748142
ISBN-13: 978-1538748145
Kindle ASIN: B07TYBQJBM

You can read my review here.

Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
21th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Publisher: Berkley (March 3, 2020)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489667
ISBN-13: 978-0451489661
Digital ASIN: B07SSQ1X4R

You can read my review here.

A Small Town Can Be #Murder (Whistle Stop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Skye Bridge Publishing (December 21, 2019)
Paperback: 196 pages
ISBN-10: 0578605481
ISBN-13: 978-0578605487
Digital ASIN: B082YLDW43

You can read my review here.

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Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse (A Marygene Brown Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Georgia Coast
Publisher: Kensington (May 26, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721470
ISBN-13: 978-1496721471
Digital ASIN: B07W4MRDKR

You can read my review here.

A Deadly Inside Scoop (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Berkley (May 12, 2020)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 0593099664
ISBN-13: 978-0593099667
Digital ASIN: B07WJF48NC

You can read my review here.

The Key Lime Crime: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643853082
ISBN-13: 978-1643853086
ASIN: B07Z2TR2Z2

You can read my review here.

Cake Popped Off (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Cinnamon & Sugar Press (September 22, 2020)
Print Length: 295 pages
Digital ASIN: B08DZ7Z96H

You can read my review here.

Cold Wind: A Mystery (Alaska Wild Series)
Suspense/Mystery – Some Explicit Language
2nd in Series
Setting – Alaska
Publisher: Minotaur Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250295319
ISBN-13: 978-1250295316
Kindle ASIN: B084M26ST6

You can read my review here.

Wine Tastings Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (December 1, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723392
ISBN-13: 978-1496723390
Kindle ASIN: B085LTRQ3P

You can read my review here.

Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense
5th in Series
Setting – Egypt
Publisher: J & M Press (March 31, 2020)
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8632308649
Kindle ASIN: B082Z9FLFX

You can read my review here.

Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense
6th in Series
Setting – Cayman Islands
Publisher: Independently published (September 24, 2020)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8690016531
Kindle ASIN: B0867JSW64

You can read my review here.

What were your favorite books this year? Please share them in the comment section below so we can all see them and add them to our wish lists!

I am so excited about the books being released in 2021.
There is no way I will be able to read them all.

I have started a list of 2021 Recommendations, they are mostly cozy mysteries. I will continue to add to the page all year through and announce future escapes on My Monday Reading Itinerary posts.

2021 Recommendations

I hope you have enjoyed my reviews, recommendations, and giveaways. It has been a pleasure to be your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent again this year.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge 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 Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse (A Marygene Brown Mystery) by Kate Young #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to share Kate Young’s
Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse with you today!

Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse (A Marygene Brown Mystery)
by Kate Young

About Southern Sass and
a Crispy Corpse


Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse (A Marygene Brown Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Georgia Coast
Publisher: Kensington (May 26, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721470
ISBN-13: 978-1496721471
Digital ASIN: B07W4MRDKR

On Georgia’s picturesque Peach Cove Island, a killer is serving up a two-for-one special . . .

 

After their mama’s passing, Marygene Brown returned to Peach Cove Island to help her sister Jena Lynn run the family diner, renowned for its homemade peach desserts. But Mama is never too far away—her sassy spirit haunts the island, and more specifically Marygene. Lately Mama has been warning her that the dead will seek her out to solve their murders, an idea Marygene is far from peachy keen on.

 

But that prophecy appears to be coming true when she goes skinny-dipping off the island and swims right into a woman’s charred corpse floating in the waves. And when Marygene and her brother Sam come upon a second burned body in a wine cellar at an event they’re catering, it appears they have a double homicide on their hands. It soon turns out the victims have more in common than their charred remains, and Marygene will need to double down to find a killer who has no aversion to playing with fire. Good thing Mama has her back . . .

 

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Who knew a little skinny dipping would land Marygene smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation and earn her a lecture from her deceased mother too. Of course, she never imagined she would swim into a charred corpse and then find another burned body in the basement at an event she was catering. Looks like a double homicide but Marygene soon learns it is so much more and people she loves may have the answers she needs to solve the case.


This is just the second book and I am already so invested in these characters. After what Marygene has been through I the best for her but she faces several trials and tribulations. One that had tears rolling down my face. The emotions invoked shows the high attention to detail the author puts into her character development. I love that the Peach Diner is a true family business with now Marygene joining her brother Sam and sister Jena Lynn. The family is close and Sheriff Eddie Carter now revealed as Marygene’s biological father that adds another great limb to the family tree. Of course, her mother’s spirit dropping in unexpectedly adds even more charm.

Ms. Young does a stellar job of blending real-life happenings with a complicated murder mystery while keeping the mystery the main focus. There turn out to be a good number of suspects and twist upon twist to keep readers on our toes. Definitely not an easy mystery to solve. I was kept guessing right up to the exciting reveal.

Peach Cove Island is full of Southern charm and a place I would love to visit. The author’s descriptive style brings the island alive.

Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse is not your typical cozy mystery is it so much more. A great mystery with such strong characters. The perfect amounts of humor, drama, conflict, and romance take this story to another level. I loved this story. Oh, there are recipes too!! Look for this book on my Best Reads of 2020 List.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent 

About Kate Young

Kate Young writes Southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.

Author Links – Website Facebook – Twitter GoodReads BookBub

 Purchase Links  – AmazonB&NkoboIndieBound

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse (A Marygene Brown Mystery)
by Kate Young

There was plenty of action in this story that helped move this story along quickly toward the end. The paranormal element is fun and enhances the series.
~The Avid Reader

Kate Young is a versatile writer and her storytelling skills are mind-blowing. twists and turns kept me hooked on to the story. The pacing was simply perfect and so was the plot to story development. This book is making into my best reads of 2020, that’s for sure.
~The Book Decoder

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
May 25 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
May 25 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
May 25 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW  
May 26 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE
May 26 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 26 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 26 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
May 27 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 27 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
May 28 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 28 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
May 28 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
May 28 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
May 29 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
May 29 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
May 29 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 29 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
May 30 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
May 30 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 30 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 30 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
May 31 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
May 31 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
June 1 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
June 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 1 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
June 1 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

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

Posted in Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Southern Sass and Killer Cravings (Marygene Brown Mysteries) by Kate Young @KensingtonBooks @KAYoungBooks

This book was released TODAY!!

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings (Marygene Brown Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Georgia
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721454
ISBN-13: 978-1496721457
Digital ASIN: B07H1VWGBS

Life has always been sweet on Georgia’s Peach Cove Island, but a case of murder has Marygene Brown down in the pits . . .

For generations, the women of the Brown family on Peach Cove Island have been known for their Southern sass and sweet homemade desserts at their beloved Peach Diner. Since their mother’s passing two years ago, Marygene has been stuck in Atlanta while her sister Jena Lynn has been running the family business. Now Marygene has left her husband and returned to her hometown, where she can almost feel Mama’s presence.

But all is not peachy back home. Marygene has barely tied on an apron when a diner regular drops dead at the counter. When it turns out the old man’s been poisoned, Jena Lynn is led away in handcuffs and the family eatery is closed. Now, to save her sister and the diner, Marygene must find the real killer. With some startling assistance from her Mama’s spirit, Marygene will be serving up a special order of just desserts . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Everything is not peachy on Peach Cove Island. Marygene Brown has left her abusive marriage behind and returned home just in time to witness one of the customers at her family’s Peach Diner keel over dead. When it is determined the man was poisoned, Marygene’s sister Jena Lynn is arrested and the diner is closed. Knowing she has no choice, Marygene sets out to find the real killer to save her sister and reopen the family legacy. She gets an unusual assist from her Mama, who just happens to be dead! All while the sheriff tells her to butt out ‘cuz he’s got it covered. Well, he and that detective from Atlanta brought into the case by the victim’s son.

There is so much I loved about this story!

The author introduces us to Marygene, a survivor of domestic violence. I felt she dealt with the issue realistically while keeping within cozy mystery parameters. Marygene makes a huge step, filing for divorce and moving home, while her husband still tries to keep her under his thumb. She arrives back on Peach Cove Island with the process started, knowing it isn’t going to be easy.

I was impressed with the character growth of the core characters over the course of the story, realizing this is the first book in the series, the author has left plenty of room for growth. The family dynamic is unique and fluid. When her mother passed the family home was left to Marygene, and the Peach Diner was left to both daughters. With Marygene stuck in her marriage, Jena Lynn has been running the diner with their brother handling the kitchen. Marygene also just recently found out that Sheriff Eddie Carter is her biological father. Her return means rebuilding and defining relationships.

The murder takes place early in the story giving Marygene something else to focus on. It also gives her a way to reconnect with family and friends and gives her the opportunity to connect with those who had reason to want Mr. Ledbetter six feet under.

The mystery was cleverly plotted and the addition of Mama’s ghost was fantastic!! Friend and waitress Betsy also assists Marygene in her investigation. (Betsy is a hoot and a half!) There were more suspects than I at first imagined and plenty of twists.  A lot is happening on this island. Marygene does her best to piece everything together, even putting herself in the line of fire. More than once she had me holding my breath.

Kate Young has what I would call a comfortable writing style. The dialogue is free flowing full of just the right amount of Southern Sass. I am not a fan of curse words in a cozy mystery but it fits within this dialogue and was rare. Her descriptive style sets the time and the scene without ever going over the top. The characters are easily visualized along with everything that is taking place.

Like a true cozy mystery, this book has its fair share of humor and just a touch of romance. Marygene is just out of a bad relationship and not ready to jump into another, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any men on the horizon. I hope with all the woman has been through the author takes things slowly and gives out protagonist the time she needs to heal and trust. Jena Lynn romantic relationship has a fun milestone.

Full of Southern charm and a grand mystery along with delectable recipes that may give you some Killer Cravings this series is off to a wonderful start! I can’t wait for book two!!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Kate Young writes humorous southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.

Author Links – Website Facebook – Twitter GoodReads  BookBub

Purchase Links

Amazon  B&N  Kobo Indie Bound  ibooks  BAM 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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Contest Will End June 11, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
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Click Here For Entry Form

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