Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Murder in the Locked Library (A Book Retreat Mystery) by Ellery Adams @KensingtonBooks

Murder in the Locked Library (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496715630
Kindle ASIN: B074DH6HD3

 

 

Welcome to Storyton Hall, Virginia, where book lovers travel from near and far to enjoy the singular comforts of the Agatha Christie Tea Room, where they can discuss the merits of their favorite authors no matter how deadly the topic . . . 

With her twins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, back in school, Jane Steward can finally focus on her work again—managing Storyton Hall, and breaking ground on the resort’s latest attraction: a luxurious, relaxing spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. But when the earth is dug up to start laying the spa’s foundation, something else comes to the surface—a collection of unusual bones and the ragged remnants of a very old book. The attendees of the Rare Book Conference are eager to assist Jane with this unexpected historical mystery—until a visitor meets an untimely end in the Henry James Library. As the questions—and suspects—start stacking up, Jane will have to uncover a killer before more unhappy endings ensue . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Storyton Hall is expanding and building a wonderful spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. Construction begins by digging the hole for the foundation. Jane Steward’s twins Fitzgerald and Hemingway are very excited to watch the big excavation. Imagine their surprise when a skull, bones and a very old book are uncovered. Storyton Hall just happens to be hosting the Rare Book Conference and those attending love a mystery as much as Jane so they offer up their assistance to find out as much as they can about the book. The police are calling in an anthropologist to help with the bones. Storyton Hall also has its own experts to investigate all the findings. But when one of the Hall’s guests suddenly dies in the Henry James Library just as he starts to share information about the book the police and staff of Storyton Hall realize they now have two murders to solve and they are probably connected.

I love this series so much. I am also thrilled that this series has found a new home at Kensington Books. These characters stories were far from over after the first three installments.

All my favorite characters are back. Jane Steward is the manager of Storyton Hall. It is a huge job and a privilege to be its caretaker, its guardian. She has twin sons, Hemi and Fitz, who are as curious as can be. Jane has her book club, the “Cover Girls” and they always have her back. The staff of the hall have a variety of jobs and some are quite surprising. If you are new to the series you will have to discover what I mean when you read the story.

The setting is magnificent, Ellery Adams has created an amazing place that all book lovers would enjoy.  Secret stairways, secrets passages, secret rooms and most important of all a secret library. If I could I would pack my bags and move to Storyton Hall and probably never leave.

The author has crafted an amazing story with more than one mystery. An old murder, a new murder, an old book, all entangled together in the most delightful way. She keeps the pace brisk and throws in some dynamic twists. A cozy mystery with the perfect amount of action and suspense. She draws the reader in and holds us captive until the final page.

With the publisher change, the book has been written to give enough background for new readers to jump right in but this series is so fantastic I recommend you read the series in order. If you do decide to start with this one I guarantee you are going to want to read the first three.

This is definitely one of my favorite cozy series!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

Check out my reviews of the first 3 books in the series.

Murder in the Mystery Suite

Murder in the Paperback Parlor

Murder in the Secret Garden

 To find out more about Ellery and all her books visit her webpage here.





GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Kensington I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Subscribe to Ellery’s Newsletter and receive 5 Bonus Giveaway Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 31, 2018, 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 Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Guest Posts Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Devon Delaney – Author of Expiration Date (A Cook-Off Mystery) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Devon Delaney to Escape With Dollycas today! 

In It To Win It

by Devon Delaney

Some have described the game of golf as a good walk spoiled. A similar sentiment could be applied to cooking competitions. Consider preparing a satisfying meal. The notion should conjure up a kitchen that fills the senses with pleasure and satisfaction. Listen to the crunch of the lettuce being chopped. Feel the fuzzy kiwi skin as you peel it. Smell the sizzling garlic as it dances in the hot olive oil at the bottom of an iron skillet. Roll the cookie dough in the palm of your hand, and note the texture of the chopped walnuts and dark chocolate chips that will be the crunchy gooey center of the sweet treat. Referring back to the golf saying, that’s the “good walk” part.

Now, add to the equation chaos, commotion, pressure, severe time restriction and fellow cooks aiming to outdo your efforts with any means available and you have the basis of a live cook-off. Some may think staging cooking as a battle that rewards the victor with cash and valuable prizes spoils time in the kitchen and that it should be left the wholesome activity it has been for centuries.  I’m not in that group.

I would never have guessed that years ago, as a thirty-something mother of three, it would only take one happenstance to transform the ages-old activity of preparing a flavorful recipe solely for a family’s health and well-being into a modern competitive obsession.

Let me explain. I began cooking in earnest when I was about eight years old. Back then, my mother wasn’t much of a cook and still isn’t. If I wanted to eat something besides oatmeal, boiled chicken breasts, or creamed onions, I was going to have to invade her aged and underutilized spice rack and figure out how to infuse flavor into her bland menu. Eventually, I took over dinner preparations completely.

Fast forward to my early years of motherhood. Not working outside the home at that point, and feeding a hungry husband and three active children, I gained a renewed sense of inspiration in the kitchen. Creating meals that pleased all manner of appetites became my focus at 5 pm each night and I was soundly rewarded for my efforts with loving accolades. But, while I was content in the kitchen, I wasn’t feeling totally fulfilled.

Oh, did I mention I’m a tiny bit competitive? I grew up with four siblings and we all competed for good grades, sports trophies, the last cookie in the cookie jar and my parent’s attention. Rewards were greatest for those who put limits to the test. To this day, I compete with other ladies on a tennis team, with neighbors as to who has the best-trained dog, and against family members for who knows the most answers on Jeopardy, (the answers are technically the questions if you are familiar with the game.)

With a baby, a near-toddler, and a toddler in constant motion, I was faced with the challenge of keeping myself sane throughout a severely icy stretch of winter, during which it was often unsafe to leave the house. On one of the few times, I made a journey to the grocery store, I picked up a handful of magazines to leaf through during naptime. In the back of was an advertisement for a recipe contest with the theme “What recipe can you create with a slice of bread.” I came up with Orange Dusted French Toast Fingers with Maple Dipping Sauce. After typing up the recipe for my concoction and snail-mailing it to the listed address, I forgot all about the contest. Six months later I received a two thousand dollar check in the mail as the grand prize winner. When I read I had beaten out hundreds of entries for the win I was hooked on cooking contesting. My appetite for the adrenaline rush I get when I compete had another source of supply.

Don’t get me wrong. I still am able to approach dinner preparations with calm serenity when I’m not gearing up for a cook-off or recipe contest. However, cook-offs are my escape to the world of like-minded cooks who have let their creativity flow as they turn a sweet potato into a savory biscotti or a cut of beef into a ranch steak bruschetta salad. Each of those ideas won me cash and valuable prizes. So, if its game on for, say, the National Mushroom Cook-off, the “good walk” is spoiled and I’m in it to win it. There will be time for a good walk after the judges choose the winner.

~Devon

Thank you so much, Devon, for visiting today!! 

 

Expiration Date (A Cook-Off Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496714435
Kindle ASIN: B074DGNNYM

 

 

After a short-lived marriage, Sherry Frazzelle is living single life to the fullest in her little Connecticut town, accompanied by her Jack Russell terrier, Chutney. Her new passion is competitive cooking—but it turns out that murder is the surprise ingredient . . .

With contestants from Maine to California and a ten-thousand-dollar prize at stake, Sherry’s latest competition, hosted by the CEO of an organic food company, is sure to be heated. But she’s more than ready to step up to the stove. After all, she did win the award for Most Creative Cupcake back in high-school. Today, she’s hoping her flavorful pork tenderloin will sway the judges. Instead, it seems someone’s decided to slay one of the judges . . .

After Chef Birns falls face first into the Seafood Flatbread Pizza, Sherry’s dish is deemed suspicious. Now she’ll have to stir through a stew of rule-breaking, corruption, and gossip to get herself off the chopping block, and find out who turned this food fight fatal . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sherry Frazzelle and her sister Marla Barras have entered the OrgaNicks Corporation Cooking Competition against 4 other home cooks from across the nation. It is time for the celebrity chef judges to choose a winner. Sherry looks on as Chef Birns takes a bite of her pork tenderloin, but he immediately crumbles into another entry. She rushes to help but the man is dead and she is now the prime suspect in his murder. He was eating her food. Amber Sherman, another contestant, agrees to stay in town to help her find out what really happened or the home she could be cooking in be “the big house”.

Sherry Frazzelle is an interesting lead character. She and her Jack Russell terrier, Chutney are starting over after her marriage fell apart. She works part-time for her dad at his hooked rug shop, Oliveri’s Ruggery. She is also very into competitive cooking. She has a few quirks, a very Type A personality. She hates it when someone mispronounces her name, Frazzelle (rhyme with la belly) and hates to be called ma’am and she tends to panic when she is not in control. Her soon to be ex is still hanging around. She has a room full of his stuff that he refuses to pick up. She is close to her sister but Marla lives in Oklahoma. She was thrilled that they were both finalists in the OrgaNicks contest. There they meet Amber and become fast friends.

This is a humorous cozy that suffers a little bit of the first book in the series – itis. The author has to introduce readers to all the characters and give us a mystery we can sink our teeth into. Not an easy job.

I found Sherry a little off-putting at first but she grew on me by the end. I liked her sister Marla and their new friend Amber but since they both were from out of town I don’t know how much of them we will see in future installments. We did meet Sherry’s dad too. I hope he is featured more going forward. I found his hooked rugs shop very interesting. I was really into latch hook rugs back in the day. The dialogue between the characters was a little off and didn’t ring true for me especially when Sherry was talking to police.

The theme of a cooking competition was very enjoyable. There is a lot of emphasis on the food. It was easy to visualize every step of the way. It is also nice to have the recipes talked about in the back of the book.

The pacing of the book became a little stilted in places. The mystery unfolded with plenty of twists and turns but I did zero in on the killer very early in the story due to clues that were a little too on the nose. The murder weapon itself was quite unique. Something I would never have thought of.

Like I always say, the first book in a series is a heavy lift. There are a lot of good things in this story and plenty of room left to expand and grow as the series continues. I really did enjoy the main premise of the mystery and the cook-off theme. A little editing and tightening up would have made this a 5-star read. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Devon Delaney is a wife, mother of three, accomplished cooking contester and a recent empty nester. She taught computer education and Lego Robotics for over ten years prior to pursuing writing. Along the way, she has been handsomely rewarded for her recipe innovation over the last twenty-plus years. Among the many prizes she has won are a full kitchen of major appliances, six-figure top cash prizes and four trips to Disney World. She has also won the grand prize in a national writing contest for her ‘foodie’ poem “Ode to Pork Passion.” Combining her beloved cooking contesting with her enthusiasm for writing was inevitable.

Check out Devon’s website at: www.devonpdelaney.com


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 30, 2018, 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 My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #20 2018 – Iowa, South Carolina, and St. Lucia

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Iowa, South Carolina, and St. Lucia.

Here’s what I read and what
I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Release Date – June 6, 2018
Setting – Colorado
My Review


Dead As A Doornail (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)
Release Date – May 15, 2018
Setting – Kentucky
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!


Expiration Date (A Cook-Off Mystery)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – Connecticut
Devon Delaney will be my guest this week for Cozy Wednesday!


Murder in the Locked Library (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – Virginia
My Review will post on Thursday!

The Quiche and the Dead (A Pie Town Mystery)
Release Date – October 31, 2017
Setting – California
My Flashback Friday Read

Scheduled Escapes


The Face on the Other Side (Thomas O’Shea Mysteries)
Release Date – February 10, 2018
Setting – Iowa
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Picked Off (A Brie Hooker Mystery)
Release Date – June 5, 2018
Setting – South Carolina
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Wednesday!


Don’t Believe It
Release Date – May 29, 2018
Setting – St. Lucia
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Thursday!


39 Winks (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
Release Date – May 22, 2018
Setting – ???
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Friday!

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Giveaways Spotlights

#Spotlight / #Giveaway – Death of a Cookbook Author (Hayley Powell Mystery) by Lee Hollis @KensingtonBooks

Death of a Cookbook Author (Hayley Powell Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496713841
Kindle ASIN: B074DGZ8MP

Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell will be cooking alongside top chefs at a cookbook author’s party. But a killer plans to ruin her appetite . . .

When Hayley’s idol, cookbook author and TV personality Penelope Janice, invites her to participate in a Fourth of July celebrity cook-off at her seaside estate in Seal Harbor, Maine, Hayley couldn’t be more flattered. She just hopes she can measure up. With a who’s who of famous chefs whipping up their signature dishes, this holiday weekend has all the ingredients for a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience.

Instead, Hayley gets food poisoning her first night and thinks she overhears two people cooking up a murder plot. The next morning, a body is found at the bottom of a cliff. Tragic accident or foul play? To solve a real cliffhanger, Hayley will need to uncover some simmering secrets—before a killer boils over again . . .

Includes seven delectable recipes from Hayley’s kitchen!

About the Author
Lee Hollis is the pen name for a brother and sister writing team. Rick Copp is a veteran film and television writer/producer and also the author of two other mystery novel series. He lives in Palm Springs, California. Holly Simason is an award-winning food and cocktails columnist living in North Carolina. You may visit their website at www.LeeHollisMysteries.com

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 26, 2018, 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

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent
Posted in Cover Reveals

Cover Reveal – ONE FETA IN THE GRAVE A Kebab Kitchen Mystery by Tina Kashian

ONE FETA IN THE GRAVE

The 3rd Book in the Kebab Kitchen Mystery Series

As summer comes to an end in her Jersey Shore town, Lucy Berberian continues to manage her family’s Mediterranean restaurant. The Kebab Kitchen also has a food tent at this year’s beach festival. But now a local businessman is under the boardwalk—dead by the sea . . .

With a sand castle contest and live music, Ocean Crest bids a bittersweet farewell to tourist season. Summer will return next year . . . but Archie Kincaid won’t. The full-of-himself store owner has been fatally shot, soon after a screaming match with Lucy’s best friend. Katie’s far from the only suspect, though, since Archie had some bitter rivals—as well as some relationships no one knew about. It’s up to Lucy to look into some seedy characters and solve the case before the wrong person gets skewered . . .

Recipes included!

 

 

 

Ready . . . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set .  .  . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reveal . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming in March 2019 from Kensington Books!

Sign Up For Tina Kashian’s Newsletter HERE to be alerted when One Feta in the Grave is available to pre-order!

 

Book 1 – Hummus and Homicide is Available Now

Book 2 – Stabbed in the Baklava will be released August 28, 2018

Pre-Order Here 

About the Author

Tina Kashian is an attorney and a former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina still lives in New Jersey with her supportive husband and two young daughters. Please visit her website at www.tinakashian.com to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!

You can also connect with Tina at
Website    Facebook     Twitter    Instagram     Goodreads


Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #19 2018 – Kentucky – Connecticut – Virginia

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Kentucky, Connecticut, and Virginia.

Here’s what I read and what
I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Honor Kills (Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries Book 3)
Release Date – May 1, 2018
Setting – Wisconsin
My Review


Flowers and Foul Play: A Magic Garden Mystery
Release Date – May 8, 2018
Setting – Scotland
My Review will post tomorrow! 


Cake and Punishment: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery
Release Date – May 8, 2018
Setting – Kentucky
Maymee Bell will be my guest this week for Cozy Wednesday as part of the Great Escapes Tour!


Magick Run Amok (An Abracadabra Mystery)
Release Date – May 1, 2018
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here this Thursday!

Current Escape


Release Date – June 6, 2018
Setting – Colorado
My Flashback Friday Read

Scheduled Escapes


Dead As A Doornail (A Kenni Lowry Mystery)
Release Date – May 15, 2018
Setting – Kentucky
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Expiration Date (A Cook-Off Mystery)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – Connecticut
Devon Delaney will be my guest next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Murder in the Locked Library (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – Virginia
For Review

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Christine E. Blum – Author of Murder Most Fermented #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to welcome Christine to Escape With Dollycas today!!

How A Tomato Turned Into a Murder Mystery
By Christine E. Blum

A little over a year ago I made the trek up the hill to Ocean View Farms with some fellow Rose Avenue Wine Club members to attend something called a “Tomato-bration”. Atop the hill and in the midst of 500 community garden plots was a gathering place where you could purchase starter tomato plants of seemingly infinite varieties. This may not seem unusual to many of you until I tell you that this was in the middle of West Los Angeles, an oasis surrounded by Whole Foods stores, gas stations and the not too distant motor sounds coming from the 405 Freeway. I was just finishing my first book, “Full Bodied Murder” and so instead of thinking about the fresh salsa and tomato sauce that I’d have all summer; I was thinking that this would be a perfect spot for a murder…

Time for a little history. In my books I treat Los Angeles as a living, breathing character and love to share the wonders of this city with my readers. I’m not talking about star sightings, lavish mansions and automobiles or an encounter with a Kardashian, I want you to see what I see, a magical place steeped in heritage and hard work. And the occasional murder.

When I returned home I immediately hopped online to do some research. That led me in a dozen directions with as many stories.

“California Rancheros”, men of Spanish and Mexican descent who mostly raised cattle, originally occupied the area. About the time that the Mexican War was ending, Yankee immigrants were making their way across the country attracted by the discovery of gold here.

Anderson Rose, for whom Rose Avenue is named, was one of said Yankee pioneers. Shortly after he arrived he began acquiring land. Some say over the years thousands of acres. He did initially mine, but with poor results so he stuck to ranching.

The discovery of oil in Los Angeles at the turn of the century and the fight for ownership was the stuff of legends. And amazingly there are still some oil derricks just blocks away from Rose Avenue. Every so often when new construction starts on old ground rumors fly about the possibility of striking oil.

The hill later became a bustling farmland producing lima beans and celery. People living in the area hunted with rifles and bows and arrows, raised poultry and rode horses up until as late as the 60’s.

A Murderous History

When I stumbled on the following story I knew that I had the perfect backdrop for my next book, “Murder Most Fermented”.

On the morning of February 10, 1947, on top of the Ocean View Farms hill, a tractor driver who was grading the fallow field spied something lying in the weeds.  A closer inspection revealed a ghastly sight: the nude, badly battered body of a dead woman, Mar Vista resident Jeanne French.

Jeanne, a nurse and bit player in the movies, had been stomped to death and her body desecrated with an obscenity written with her lipstick.

Jeanne’s brutal slaying was committed less than a month after the more famous “Black Dahlia” murder, and police investigators at the time believed the same fiend killed both women.  Some modern researchers concur; both crimes remain officially unsolved.

That got me thinking and I knew that I needed to pull all of this history together and weave it into a story for the ladies of the Rose Avenue Wine Club.

Now all that was left to do was to grab Bardot and head out to create and solve a murder…


~Christine

Thank you, Christine, for visiting today!

 

Murder Most Fermented (Rose Avenue Wine Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496712127
Kindle ASIN: B074DGXVPC

 

 

Murder and merlot! The ladies of the Rose Avenue Wine Club are back to track down another killer . . .

When New York transplant Annie “Halsey” Hall starts digging for her tiny SoCal dream vineyard off Rose Avenue, the last thing she expects to unearth is an elderly woman. Between decanting chardonnays and rosés, Halsey and the women of the Wine Club pour over the list of suspects. Could the old woman have bottlenecked her great grandson’s latest scheme? Was it a case of super sour grapes with the local historical society? Or did a devious developer close a killer deal?

With the help of the Wine Club and her enthusiastic yellow lab, Bardot, Halsey must untangle the twisted tendrils of the mystery to clear her name and end a murderer’s reign of terroir . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back on Rose Avenue with Halsey and Bardot. Halsey has been gifted a spot in the community garden and hopes to plant some grapes for her own mini vineyard. But as Bardot starts “helping” her turn over the soil he makes a shocking discovery. A body has been buried in her garden and it turns the neighborhood upside down. Halsey doesn’t waste any time getting involved in the investigation and the members of the Rose Avenue Wine Club are tipping their glasses and putting themselves in danger to help.

These ladies take their wine very seriously and when trying to catch a killer they meet more often and that means more wine for everyone. Every time one of them opened another bottle I chuckled just a bit. They do uncover clues and do get themselves in some dicey situations. Halsey even takes on the police after being arrested for trespassing. She wants answers and she wants them now.

I do like Halsey, she is not afraid to get her hands dirty to solve a crime, and she is not timid in her dealings with anyone. Her relationship with dog whisperer/trainer Jack is progressing but he hates that she is putting herself in danger. Bardot is quite a dog. He is a quick learner and just the type of dog Halsey needs especially when the chips are down.

Ms. Blum gives great descriptions of everything, the place, the people, the food and the WINE!

The characters are quirky, some more than others. Some strong friendships are made while a certain neighbor is mostly just tolerated for good reason. They are genuine and the dialogues between them ring true. And like I said, they love their wine.

The mystery was a tangled web but I had my killer chosen before Halsey and the ladies. It was a lot of fun reading on to be sure I was right. After all the years I have been reading cozies I still get excited when I catch on before the protagonist.

Wine lovers or book clubs that serve wine, this is a book for you, but all cozy lovers will enjoy and like me find it very entertaining. I like learning about the different wines too. If the book only came with free samples 🙂

I am excited about the continuation of this series. I can’t wait to visit these characters again. The Name of the Rosé will be released November 27.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Christine E. Blum was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio. At the age of seven, her parents moved to Europe and luckily took her with them. Christine grew up in Paris, Brussels, and finally London, and along the way developed her unique brand of humor. She lives in Southern California where she’s allowed to share a house and pool with her famous yellow Lab, Bardot, who just happens to be able to dive 10’ underwater, has appeared on Animal Planet, and was featured in the New York Times bestseller, Underwater Dogs. When not signing paw-tographs, she can be found lounging by the pool and solving murders. Readers can visit Christine’s website at christineeblum.com.


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 16, 2018, 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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Read Herring Hunt (Mystery Bookshop Mysteries) by V.M. Burns @KensingtonBooks


Read Herring Hunt (Mystery Bookshop Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496711830
Kindle ASIN: B074DGF7LW

 

 

Mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington is about to find out it’s not so easy to play Monday morning quarterback when it comes to murder. . . 
 
To the town of North Harbor, Michigan, MISU quarterback Dawson Alexander is a local hero. To Samantha Washington, owner of the Market Street Mysteries Bookstore, Dawson is more than a tenant—he’s like an adopted son. But to the police, he is their prime suspect after his ex-girlfriend is found murdered. It’s more than enough real-life drama for Sam to tackle, but her role as a mystery writer also calls. Returning to the English countryside between the wars, she finds Lady Daphne Marsh in quite the quandary. Someone has tried to murder the scandalous American divorcée Wallis Simpson, for whom Edward VIII so recently abdicated his throne. It seems finding a suspect is no small challenge when most of England has a motive . . .

While Sam’s lawyer sister Jenna rushes in to build Dawson’s defense, Sam and her lively grandmother, Nana Jo, huddle up to solve the mystery and blow the whistle on the real killer. With the tenacious members of the Sleuthing Senior Book Club eager to come off the sidelines, Sam and her team just might stop a killer from completing another deadly play . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tenant, employee, and MISU quarterback Dawson Alexander finds himself in hot water when his ex-girlfriend is found dead. He is suspended from the football team but his boss/landlord Samantha Washington is committed to proving his innocence and her Sleuthing Senior Book Club, including her grandmother, Nana Jo are all on board to help. First Samantha gets Jenna, her sister/lawyer to represent Dawson, then she and the ladies start investigating.

Samantha Washington is also a budding author and her characters are dealing with a murder mystery of their own. During a hunt, a young woman is shot and killed. Lady Daphne Marsh is on the case because she knows one of her guests in a murderer. She hopes to pin down the killer before any more blood is shed.

V.M. Burns is unique because she gives her readers two completely separate mysteries in each book.

Samantha is a fantastic protagonist. She is still finding her way since her husband’s death but Market Street Mysteries Bookstore, a dream she ended up fulfilling on her own has had great success. Her nephews pitch in at the store when they can and while Dawson helps in the store but his main duty is baking up tasty treats for the customers to enjoy.

Her other dream to become a mystery writer is proceeding nicely too, as she pens her second story. She has yet to take the major step of finding an agent to get her books published.

Her Nana Jo has moved in with Samantha since she was involved in the murder in book one, The Plot is Murder. Nana Jo and her friends round out this clever cast. These senior ladies all remind me of my mother in one way or another and their antics had me in stitches.

I was happy to see Dawson in a key role. His mother/ son like relationship with Sam was heartwarming. Getting more of his backstory was very interesting.

The main mystery really had me guessing. The victim was not at all what she seemed and the more we found out about her the more suspects came into play. The police decided early on the Dawson was guilty so Sam and her senior sleuths really had to dig to get the evidence to convince them otherwise and by then they were almost too late. Twists, turns, and yes, Red Herrings kept the pages flying until the real murderer was revealed.

The second mystery, the one Samantha is writing was a type of closed room mystery. The guilty party had to have been part of the hunt. For me, this one was easier to solve but very entertaining. I will admit, it takes a while, to get into a rhythm with one story interrupting the other. I thought about skipping through and reading the main story first and then going back to read the second, but I didn’t do it. Samantha always finds time to write when she is stuck on the real drama in her life, late at night when she can’t sleep and I understand that. I read at night when I can’t sleep. So in recognizing her process I adjusted mine and read the book as it was written.

Both settings, the English countryside, and the Michigan college town of North Harbor come alive in the worlds V. M. Burns has created. The Marsh Manor and the Market Street Mysteries Bookstore are both places I would love to visit again and again.

Not one, but two well-written mysteries, a slew of interesting characters, and two vastly different settings make this book unique and enjoyable. I look forward to many more books in this series.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

V.M. Burns was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She currently resides in Tennessee with her two poodles, Coco and Cash. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can visit her website at vmburns.com.

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End May 15, 2018, 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 My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #18 2018 – Scotland – Kentucky – New York

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be traveling to Scotland before heading back to Kentucky and New York.

Here’s what I read and what
I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Read Herring Hunt (Mystery Bookshop Mysteries)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – Michigan
My Review will be up tomorrow! 


Murder Most Fermented (Rose Avenue Wine Club Mystery)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – California
Christine E. Blum will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!


Beach Bliss
Release Date – March 6, 2018
Setting – Connecticut
My Review post on Thursday!

Current Escape


Honor Kills (Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries Book 3)
Release Date – May 1, 2018
Setting – Wisconsin
For Review

Scheduled Escapes


Flowers and Foul Play: A Magic Garden Mystery
Release Date – May 8, 2018
Setting – Scotland
For Review


Cake and Punishment: A Southern Cake Baker Mystery
Release Date – May 8, 2018
Setting – Kentucky
Maymee Bell will be my guest next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Magick Run Amok (An Abracadabra Mystery)
Release Date – May 1, 2018
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here next Thursday!

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in New Release Tuesday

New Release Tuesday – APRIL – Week #4 – 2018

Welcome to New Release Tuesday! 

These books are available today at booksellers everywhere! 

Antique Blues: A Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery
by Jane K. Cleland


Antiques Wanted (A Trash ‘n’ Treasures Mystery)
by Barbara Allan


Bleeding Tarts (A Pie Town Mystery)
by Kirsten Weiss


Death of a Cookbook Author (Hayley Powell Mystery)
by Lee Hollis


Expiration Date (A Cook-Off Mystery)
by Devon Delaney

Hide and Sneak (A Savannah Reid Mystery Book 23)
by G. A. McKevett


Murder in the Locked Library (A Book Retreat Mystery)
by Ellery Adams


Murder Most Fermented (Rose Avenue Wine Club Mystery)
by Christine E. Blum


Murder Will Speak (Lilly Long Mysteries)
by Penny Richards


Read Herring Hunt (Mystery Bookshop Mysteries)
by V.M. Burns

The Marmalade Murders: A Penny Brannigan Mystery
by Elizabeth J. Duncan


The Mother’s Day Mishap (A Tess and Tilly Cozy Mystery Book 3)
by Kathi Daley

Want to see all the mysteries – cozy to thriller
released in April.
Just click here.
 
Can’t afford to buy or pre-order all the books you want to at this time.
Bookmark this page in your browser so you can reference it at any time.
Be sure to share your wish lists with your local librarians too!

HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent