Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery) by Ellen Byron #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @BerkleyMystery


Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery)
by Ellen Byron

About Bayou Book Thief 


Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New Orleans Louisiana
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (June 7, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593437616
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593437612
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FPJHVGK

A fantastic new cozy mystery series with a vintage flair from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron.

Twenty-eight-year-old widow Ricki James leaves Los Angeles to start a new life in New Orleans after her showboating actor husband perishes doing a stupid internet stunt. The Big Easy is where she was born and adopted by the NICU nurse who cared for her after Ricki’s teen mother disappeared from the hospital.

Ricki’s dream comes true when she joins the quirky staff of Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, the spectacular former Garden District home of late bon vivant Genevieve “Vee” Charbonnet, the city’s legendary restauranteur. Ricki is excited about turning her avocation – collecting vintage cookbooks – into a vocation by launching the museum’s gift shop, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks, and Kitchenware. Then she discovers that a box of donated vintage cookbooks contains the body of a cantankerous Bon Vee employee who was fired after being exposed as a book thief.

The skills Ricki has developed ferreting out hidden vintage treasures come in handy for investigations. But both her business and Bon Vee could wind up as deadstock when Ricki’s past as curator of a billionaire’s first edition collection comes back to haunt her.

Will Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware be a success … or a recipe for disaster?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Born in New Orleans and abandoned immediately by her teenage mother Miracle “Ricki” Fleur di Lis James was adopted by the NICU nurse who took care of her. She now packs up her life in Los Angeles after her husband dies while trying to do an internet challenge and returns to New Orleans to start over.

That new start happens in a big way when she can combine her love for vintage cookbooks with her new job at the Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, the home of the city’s legendary restaurateur, Genevieve “Vee” Charbonnet. Ricki will be opening the museum’s new gift shop, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks, and Kitchenware.

After being open just a few days she discovers an employee of the museum is stealing books and they are fired for the crime.

Trying to put the matter behind her she is excited to learn she has received a steamer trunk and two oversize boxes of donated books. Worried about keeping the shop fully stocked the donation arrives at the perfect time. Ricki along with a couple of employees set out to sort through the donations before the museum opens but the trunk didn’t contain any books. Inside was the very dead body of Franklin Finbloch . . . the recently fired . . . book thief.


Being a fan of Ellen Byron’s Cajun County Mysteries I was sad to see that series end so I was ecstatic to learn of this new series again set in Louisiana.

Readers are introduced to a wonderful quirky cast of characters led by Miracle “Ricki” Fleur di Lis James who has a very interesting backstory that just starts to unfold within the pages of this story. She comes across already as a very strong protagonist with some great sleuthing skills.

We also meet several members of the staff at the Bon Vee Culinary House Museum including Eugenia Charbonnet Felice who is the president of the Bon Vee Foundation Board. She oversees everything at the museum. She works hand in hand with the Executive Director, Lyla Brandt. We also meet Cookie Yanover, the Education Program Director. She and Ricki become fast friends. In fact, all of the employees for the most part get along very well and welcomed Ricki with open arms.

Away from the museum we meet Ricki’s landlord, Kitty Kat Rousseau and she is a hoot. Ricki’s AC has been out for days in the steamy New Orleans heat and Kitty is trying to get it fixed but Ricki believes something shady is going on.

Speaking of the heat, Ms. Byron’s detailed descriptions will have you sticky and sweating, wait, this takes place in the south, perspiring and glistening, and turning on your own air conditioners. She also paints a clear picture of Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks, and Kitchenware and places in and around the museum including the staff’s favorite hangout, the Bayou Backyard. It was easy to visualize every scene and this author does it without getting overly wordy.

The mystery that Ms. Byron put forth was plotted with intricate precision. It flitted in and out with varied subplots perfectly. Filled with clever twists and a red herring or two it wasn’t hard to get completely engaged by everything happening in the story. I did find it hard to truly pin down the killer. I was astonished when the guilty party started to be revealed. The ending was exciting and a bit comical as Ricki gets some awesome assistance from an unlikely duo.

Bayou Book Thief has set this series off to an excellent start. Diverse characters, a fun location, and a puzzling mystery have me declaring this book A Perfect Escape. And the cliffhanger introduced in the Epilogue has me excited and intrigued about Ricki’s future. Wined and Died in New Orleans is set to be released on February 7, 2023.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Ellen Byron

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty Awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Bayou Book Thief will be the first book in her new Vintage Cookbook Mysteries. She also writes the Catering Hall Mystery series under the name Maria DiRico.

Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly Odd Parents. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. An alum of New Orleans’ Tulane University, she blogs with Chicks on the Case, is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America and will be the 2023 Left Coast Crime Toastmaster. Please visit her at https://www.ellenbyron.com/

 

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReads – Instagram – BookBubNewsletter

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Coming February 7, 2023

Also by Ellen Byron

 

Great Escapes Praise for Bayou Book Thief (A Vintage Cookbook Mystery)
by Ellen Byron

Bayou Book Thief is finer than a frog hair split four ways with a man who is as useless as a screen door on a submarine, a bounty of books, a vile victim, a diligent detective, an artful air conditioning repairman, warm weather, and a riled Ricki.
~The Avid Reader

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries are always a delight.
~Island Confidentials

Bayou Book Thief’s mystery is well-plotted, and you will really enjoy trying to figure out whodunit. I am so excited to find out what’s next for Rikki and her new friends.
~Christy’s Cozy Corners

I really liked this story and definitely recommend it to cozy mystery lovers, those who enjoy culinary stories, and those who want to do some armchair travel to New Orleans.
~Carla Loves To Read

Bottom Line: Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron is a highly engaging read, with interesting characters and intriguing plot threads.
~Reading is my Superpower

BAYOU BOOK THIEF brings together quirky characters and an engaging mystery in a wonderful setting. Vintage cookbooks, memorable characters, and the intoxicating setting that is New Orleans make this a fantastic start to a new series. Just remember, looks can be deceiving.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

It’s difficult to leave an old favorite like the Cajun Country Mystery series behind when the author pulls the plug and begins a new series. But if we must, at least we get to enjoy her new series set in Louisiana, as the author favors us with the sounds, scents, and majesty that is the local mystic of New Orleans.
~Rosepoint Publishing

This is an exciting new cozy mystery series that is quite entertaining. It has humor, mystery and a touch of romance all blended together for a fun-filled adventure. Bayou Book Thief is on my “best of 2022” list.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews

This makes for a fabulous story as it all plays out. Sure to be enjoyed by cozy fans especially if you want some Southern flair along with it. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
June 8 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
June 8 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 8 – Island Confidential – REVIEW
June 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
June 9 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 10 – Books to the Ceiling – SPOTLIGHT
June 10 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
June 11 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 11 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – The Mystery of Writing – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
June 13 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 13 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 14 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
June 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 15 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 15 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 16 – The Mystery Section – RECIPE
June 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 17 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
June 17 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
June 18 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST
June 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 20 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
June 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – Novels Alive – REVIEW – SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – Sapphyria’s 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 Giveaways Guest Posts

Special Guest Mary Anna Evans – Author of The Physicists’ Daughter: A Novel #GuestPost / #Giveaway @maryannaevans @PPPress

The Physicists’ Daughter: A Novel
by Mary Anna Evans

About The Physicists’ Daughter


The Physicists’ Daughter: A Novel
Historical Fiction
Poisoned Pen Press (June 7, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1464215553
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1464215551
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09TGB4BVK

The Nazis are no match for the physicists’ daughter.

New Orleans, 1944

Sabotage. That’s the word on factory worker Justine Byrne’s mind as she is repeatedly called to weld machine parts that keep failing with no clear cause. Could someone inside the secretive Carbon Division be deliberately undermining the factory’s war efforts? Raised by her late parents to think logically, she also can’t help wondering just what the oddly shaped carbon gadgets she assembles day after day have to do with the boats the factory builds…

When a crane inexplicably crashes to the factory floor, leaving a woman dead, Justine can no longer ignore her nagging fear that German spies are at work within the building, trying to put the factory and its workers out of commission. Unable to trust anyone—not the charming men vying for her attention, not her unpleasant boss, and not even the women who work beside her—Justine draws on the legacy of her unconventional upbringing to keep her division running and protect her coworkers, her country, and herself from a war that is suddenly very close to home.

Great Escapes Praise for The Physicists’ Daughter: A Novel
by Mary Anna Evans

Sabotage, espionage, and lots of science combine to make THE PHYSICISTS’ DAUGHTER an enthralling novel filled with cunning characters, growing friendships, and cloak and dagger adventure.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

The Physicists’ Daughter delivers a wartime thriller from a fresh perspective—espionage on the home front.
~Novels Alive

The Physicist’s Daughter feels like a very scientific mystery. The narrative is very analytical, detailed, and thorough. I give the author kudos for her portrayal of women’s roles at home during this fascinating time period.
~Mysteries with Character


It is my pleasure to welcome Mary Anna Evans
to Escape With Dollycas today!

Getting Comfortable in the 1940s with The Physicists’ Daughter

 

I’ve been writing mysteries about archaeologist Faye Longchamp for twenty years, so I’ve done a lot of digging around in history. To get an idea for the next book, I’d decide on a setting, then I’d read about its history until I came up with something cool for her to dig up. (Or for something cool for her to find at a library, since archaeologists “dig” there, too.)

To write Justine Byrne’s story in The Physicists’ Daughter, I did much the same thing. During a visit to New Orleans, I toured The National WWII Museum and was fascinated with the importance of the war work that was done right there in a city that was just a hundred miles from where I grew up. How could I not have known that the famous boats that carried troops ashore on D-Day—the duckbilled boats that we’ve all seen in photos and newsreels—were built in New Orleans? The same factories built PT boats like the one John F. Kennedy commanded. They built airplanes and much, much more.

And, because D-Day came so late in the war, I realized that many of the people building those world-saving war machines would have been women. By 1944, women all over the country were doing jobs that had always been reserved for men, and they were doing them well. When I imagined Justine Byrne, twenty-one years old and alone in the world, using the welding skills that her physicist parents taught her to fight back at the Nazis, I knew I had my story.

But people are more than their jobs. I needed to be able to imagine Justine’s world as it was in 1944. Fortunately, there are books, libraries, and the internet in this world. I actually already owned a critical book, the Federal Writers’ Project’s New Orleans City Guide, published in 1938. It was intended for travelers planning a vacation to New Orleans, so it gave me enough information on night clubs for me to invent my fictional TickTock Club, where Justine breaks up a bar fight with her shoe. It also gave me a sense of the city’s waterfront in those days, when it was much more of a working port than a tourist destination.

A Sanborn Fire Insurance Atlas helped me choose the neighborhood where her rooming house would be, and it helped me plan how she would get around, since a woman earning her salary at that time wouldn’t have been able to afford a car. An article on historic preservation in New Orleans told me that her neighborhood would have been posh in the 1800s but pretty grimy in the 1940s. An old newspaper article told me about the air raid drills the city experienced during the war.

And the war pervaded everything in those days. Scrap metal was too valuable to waste, and food was rationed, but people are creative. I found a fabulous article on newspapers.com that included recipes designed to use what people tended to have in their pantries. Sugar was rationed, but people will always want treats to keep their hopes up, so one of those recipes was for a chocolate cake sweetened with corn syrup. It was shelf-stable, which meant that many cooks had it on hand for times when they couldn’t get sugar. I like to imagine people celebrating their birthdays with that chocolate cake, laughing and smiling despite the hard times.

To make Justine’s world seem real, I learned about the jitterbug and about victory roll hairstyles. I learned about the peep-toed shoes that Justine used to stop that fight. I learned about the landscape around the real-life manufacturing plant where she worked, a facility where NASA now builds rockets. I looked at a 1940 yearbook for Tulane and at historic maps for Sophie Newcomb College. I read about the history of New Orleans’ famous streetcar lines.

And I learned about the history of science, especially the history of women in science. Justine saves the factory where she works, she saves her friends, and it is entirely possible that she salvages victory in a world war, because she understands physics. She understands how things work. Women were often prevented from learning science in those days, so the science she learned from her parents sets her apart. It makes her who she is. Take a trip to mid-twentieth-century New Orleans with Justine and see how she uses knowledge, facts, and most of all, science to save the day.

Thank you Mary Anna for visiting today!

More About Mary Anna Evans

Mary Anna Evans is the author of The Physicists’ Daughter, the first in her series of WWII-era historical suspense novels featuring Rosie-the-Riveter-turned-codebreaker Justine Byrne. Her thirteen Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries have received recognition including the Benjamin Franklin Award, a Will Rogers Medallion Award Gold Medal, the Oklahoma Book Award, and three Florida Book Awards bronze medals. She is an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, where she teaches fiction and nonfiction writing, including mystery and suspense writing. Her work has appeared in publications including Plots with Guns, The Atlantic, Florida Heat Wave, Dallas Morning News, and The Louisville Review. Her scholarship on crime fiction, which centers on Agatha Christie’s evolving approach over her long career to the ways women experienced justice in the twentieth century, has appeared in the Bloomsbury Handbook to Agatha Christie (coming September 22, 2022), which she co-edited, and in Clues: A Journal of Detection. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers-Camden, and she is a licensed Professional Engineer. She is at work on the second Justine Byrne novel, The Physicists’ Enigma.

Author Links

Website    Twitter: @maryannaevansFacebook    Instagram    BookBub    Goodreads 

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Also by Mary Anna Evans

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
June 2 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 3 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
June 4 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
June 5 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 7 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 8 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
June 8 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
June 9 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
June 9 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT
June 10 – Jemima Pett, Author – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 12 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 13 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 14 – fundinmental – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST
June 15 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

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Posted in 2021 Reviews 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

Cajun Kiss of Death: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @crookedlanebks


Cajun Kiss of Death: A Cajun Country Mystery
by Ellen Byron

About Cajun Kiss of Death 


Cajun Kiss of Death: A Cajun Country Mystery
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Crooked Lane Books (August 10, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 164385738X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643857381
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08N6SMX1J

The next shot from Cupid’s bow may be fatal in USA Today bestselling, Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron’s hearty and delightful seventh Cajun Country mystery.

 

In Pelican, Louisiana, Valentine’s Day has a way of warming the heart, despite the February chill. But the air at Crozat Plantation B&B turns decidedly frigid when celebrity chef Phillippe Chanson checks in. And when the arrogant Phillippe–in town to open his newest Cajun-themed restaurant–perishes in a fiery boat crash, Maggie Crozat’s dear friend JJ lands in very cold water.

 

Did JJ, proprietor of Junie’s Oyster Bar and Dance Hall, murder Phillippe because he feared the competition? Might Maggie’s mother, Ninette, have bumped off the chef for stealing one of her cherished recipes? Or was the culprit a local seafood vendor, miffed because Phillippe was somehow able to sell oysters for a remarkably reasonable price, despite an oyster shortage?

 

Maggie had planned to devote her February to art lessons in New Orleans, a present from her sweetheart, Bo. But now she has to focus on helping her friend and her mother cross a murder charge off the menu. Meanwhile, Maggie receives a series of anonymous gifts that begin as charming but grow increasingly disturbing. Does Maggie have an admirer–or a stalker? And are these mysterious gifts somehow related to Phillippe’s murder?

 

Blood may be thicker than water, but this case is thicker than gumbo. And solving it will determine whether Maggie gets hearts and roses–or hearse and lilies–this Valentine’s Day.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Love is in bloom in Pelican Louisiana. Maggie and Bo, Gran and Lee, Rufus and Sandy all got married on New Year’s Eve just before the clock hits midnight. Their reception was catered by JJ, of Junie’s Oyster Bar and Dance Hall. But soon JJ is going to have some real competition, famous chef Phillippe Chanson is opening Chanson’s Cajun Kitchen, the newest addition in his Chanson Restaurant Group. He hopes his “fancy” eatery will become a “destination restaurant”. The locals are split on if this is a good thing or a bad thing for Pelican. JJ definitely is not happy and knows it could be a very bad thing for him.

A few weeks later most of the new restaurant’s staff is calling the Crozat B&B their temporary home and Phillippe is visiting some of the locals. He does have an ulterior motive. He has an excellent palate and he is putting it to use. He has them make their finest dish and is stealing their recipes. This trickery has him at odds with JJ and Maggie’s mother Ninette. The arrogant chef also has big plans to kick off his grand opening.

Sadly that event ends with a blazing fire and the demise of Phillippe Chanson. The man had made a few enemies including some of his staff but also includes Ninette and JJ and who knows who else.

With Valentines Day right around the corner, Maggie has made some plans of her own but with another dead body and her mother and her friend entwined in the case, she knows there can be no celebrating until she clears their names. She also has another mystery to solve . . . someone is sending her romantic gifts and the mystery man is not her beloved husband.  When things take a creepy turn she knows she doesn’t have a secret admirer . . . she has a stalker and she may need help to get them off her tail.


I just love the characters in this series and having six of them have one of the happiest days of their lives together really warmed by heart. But you can’t have a trip to Pelican with drama and murder and Ellen Byron encases these characters in another fantastic mystery.

In Cajun Kiss of Death, the egotistical chef is killed in a way the damages the bridge on the main thoroughfare in and out of Pelican. That brings a wonderful opportunity to bring the ferry back to get people across the Mississippi. We have a ferry nearby that we try to take at least once each summer. With COVID and our busy family, we have not had the pleasure the last couple of years and I really miss it. It was a bit of a hassle for the people of Pelican but Maggie grew to enjoy it and I bet others did too.

The murder investigation had a lot of moving parts and with some of the staff saying at the B&B Maggie and her family were able to get a greater insight into their lives. This also gave Maggie a unique opportunity she may not have had otherwise.  I really enjoy the way the whole family got involved in trying to bring a killer to justice, especially after another murder. The clues were unique and the big reveal was masterful. I felt like a fly on the wall and was completely entertained.

In addition to the main mystery of the book, there were a plethora of subplots and when I got to the epilogue I knew why. Sadly this 7th installment is the final book in this series but the author gives her readers a terrific mystery and her characters one heck of a send-off. There are many happily ever afters but one thing is very clear . . . “Crozat will always be there . . . for however long forever lasts”.

I will miss my virtual trips to Pelican and I will genuinely miss these characters but I bid them a fond farewell. I also want to thank Ellen Byron for sharing them with us for 7 marvelous mysteries. Reading them was time well spent and brought me hours of enjoyment. I hope they bring as much joy to future readers. I highly recommend them all. For me, they were all Perfect Escapes.



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Ellen Byron

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty awards for Best Humorous Mystery. She writes the Catering Hall Mystery series, which are inspired by her real-life, under the name Maria DiRico. Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like WINGS, JUST SHOOT ME, and FAIRLY ODD PARENTS. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReads – Instagram – BookBub



Purchase Links
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Great Escapes Praise for Cajun Kiss of Death: A Cajun Country Mystery
by Ellen Byron

Cajun Kiss of Death is finer than a frog’s hair with purloined recipes, a jubilant New Year’s Eve gathering, flaring fireworks, stinky trash, stalker secret admirer, and a Valentine’s Day revelation.
~The Avid Reader

I absolutely love how Byron keeps the plot, with its multiple mysteries, moving forward at the perfect pace . . . I love having multiple mysteries to solve because they keep you on your toes. You won’t want to skim anything, or you might just miss an important clue.
~Christy’s Cozy Corners

I love visiting Pelican Louisiana and the Crozat Plantation B&B even though there always seems to be a murder or two happening close by.
~My Reading Journeys

The mystery was, of course, well-plotted, and it wasn’t until near the end that I knew who the killer was. The characters in this series have always been entertaining, but I noticed early in the book that they had all attained their happily-ever-afters. This had me wondering if I was reading the end of the series.
~Mysteries With Character

This book takes us to the heart of a community and tests the bonds of loyalty and competitive edge.
Quite the page-turner as we watch beloved characters develop and grow.
~Laura’s Interests

. . . a fun mystery full of surprises while laced with Southern charm. These characters are always a hoot making for a fun read. Another fabulous addition to this wonderful series. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

There are several moving parts outside of solving the murder including a Gala for the Doucet museum, art lessons, and a ferry brought back into service for a short period of time which is an adventure unto itself. All of these minor storylines just add to an already robust book.
~Storeybook Reviews

The Cajun flavor is delightful and the pace is steady . . . There are plenty of surprises, right to the very end.
~Christa Reads and Writes

I love it! Everything is perfect. Maggie is superb. My rating for Cajun Kiss of Death by Ellen Byron is five stars.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
August 16 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
August 16 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
August 16 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 17 –  The Book’s the Thing – SPOTLIGHT
August 17 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 18 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
August 18 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
August 19 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
August 19 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 20 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
August 20 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
August 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 21 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
August 22 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 22 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
August 23 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
August 24 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 24 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
August 25 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
August 25 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
August 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
August 26 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 27 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
August 27 – Reading Is My SuperPower – RECIPE
August 28 – ThisIsMyTruthNow – REVIEW
August 28 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
August 29 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
August 29 – Dear Reader – 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 Flashback Friday Giveaways

#FlashbackFriday – Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase #ReviewRewind #Giveaway

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

During our recent move, I found my review copy of this book.
So today I am doing another Review Rewind and giving away my copy!

cat-got-your-diamonds-rgb
Cat Got Your Diamonds: A Kitty Couture Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 15, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1629538426
E-Book ASIN: B01H082DOU
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Synopsis

Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true–until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.

Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I saw the cover for this story I knew I had to read this book!

Lacy Marie Crocker owner of The Furry Godmother and she is ready to make couture garments to make your pet feel special and/or make any other pet lover green with envy. She bakes up tasty treats for pets too. She has the purrfect opportunity to show off her talents at the Animal Elegance Gala, but before that happens one of the tools of her trade connects with a man’s head. The man had broke into her shop but she didn’t deliver the deadly blow. Now she just has to prove it as she is Detective Jack Oliver prime suspect. Is the murder tied to a bunch of jewelry thefts in the Garden District? Lacy needs to find the real killer and try to figure out why she ended up in the middle of this crime spree. That puts her right in the cross-hairs of the killer.

The story takes place in New Orleans and pets of all types, dogs, cats, turtles and even llama seem to be pretty popular in the area. Not just normal curl up and pet animals either, several can perform,  and Lacy creates their costumes.

I love Lacy and the way she harnesses her creativity in her pet apparel. With a vet as a father she grew up around animals, but this is not the career he parents originally envisioned. I must say it seems to suit her to a tee even though her wealthy partner pulls his funding until she is cleared of the murder.

Detective Jack Oliver is a real pain when the story starts but by the end I was seeing him in a different light. We also meet Chase, a man from Lacy’s past, easy on the eyes and very interested in Lacy. I love a good romantic triangle. We meet several other characters in this first installment and many make good suspects. The dialogue between the characters is funny and realistic.

The story moves right along at a great pace. The author’s writing not only tells this cat – ivating mystery, her words create some vivid imagery too.  She also sets up a fantastic twist that caught me totally by surprise.

This is a wonderful start for this series. Do you pamper your pets? This is a cozy for you. Heck, if you like your cozies with an animal or two or more, you will love this story. I am already looking forward to book #2.

perfect 2016

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julieAbout The Author

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children.

Facebook     Twitter     Website   

Purchase Links

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Written as Julie Anne Lindsey
Coming September 15, 2021



Coming July 27, 2021


Julie also writes as Bree Baker


Coming August 31, 2021

and Jacqueline Frost

Coming October 12, 2021


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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.”

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Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron #Review / #Giveaway Great Escapes Book Tour

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery
by Ellen Byron

About Murder in the Bayou Boneyard 


Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (September 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1643854607
ISBN-13: 978-1643854601
Digital ASIN: B082H3BT6F

Maggie Crozat has the Halloween heebie-jeebies in USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron’s howlingly funny sixth Cajun Country mystery.

 

Maggie Crozat, proprietor of a historic Cajun Country B&B, prefers to let the good times roll. But hard times rock her hostelry when a new cell phone app makes it easy for locals to rent their spare rooms to tourists. With October–and Halloween–approaching, she conjures up a witch-crafty marketing scheme to draw visitors to Pelican, Louisiana.

 

Five local plantation B&Bs host “Pelican’s Spooky Past” packages, featuring regional crafts, unique menus, and a pet costume parade. Topping it off, the derelict Dupois cemetery is the suitably sepulchral setting for the spine-chilling play Resurrection of a Spirit. But all the witchcraft has inevitably conjured something: her B&B guests are being terrified out of town by sightings of the legendary rougarou, a cross between a werewolf and vampire.

 

When, in the Dupois cemetery, someone costumed as a rougarou stumbles onstage during the play–and promptly gives up the ghost, the rougarou mask having been poisoned with strychnine, Maggie is on the case. But as more murders stack up, Maggie fears that Pelican’s spooky past has nothing on its bloodcurdling present.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Halloween in Pelican, Louisiana can be interesting but this year business at the local B&B’s in taking a hit due to a new enterprise for regular folks can rent out rooms to tourists. So a few local B&B’s band together to host weekends featuring “Pelican’s Spooky Past” packages complete with spa treatments, crafting classes, special menus, and a play Resurrection of a Spirit performed in a cemetery. Visitors may also be treated to seeing a rougarou, which is a cross between a vampire and a werewolf, and scary.

The Crozat’s have added a spa to the property and a Canadian cousin has agreed to come to town as their massage therapist. Maggie quickly learns her dear cousin and her husband have ulterior motives for their visit. Then one night the masseuse crashes the play and dies, the Crozat’s become prime suspects. When there is another murder Maggie plunges herself into the investigation.


These characters continue to be some of my faves. Maggie is a smart amateur sleuth who doesn’t give up. Her relationship with her sassy grandmother is fun and heartwarming. Her mom and dad have a ton of energy and go to great lengths to meet their guests’ needs while still being there for their family and friends. This story takes family to a new level when the Canadian cousins come to town with their outlandish plans.

Ms. Byron has crafted a mystery filled with twists, turns, and a bit of folklore. I am fine with the rougarou as long as I don’t have to meet one in the middle of the night, better yet as long as they stay within the pages of this book. The author also includes a variety of Cajun dishes, some of the recipes are at the back of the book.

What I really enjoy is that the Crozat’s daily life endeavors blend seamlessly with the mystery. Wedding plans are ongoing and Maggie gets a big surprise at the end of the story with a big message for everyone, especially in the world we are living in today.

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard is a totally entertaining Halloween mystery and a fantastic addition to this series. I am so excited for the next book in this series.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Ellen Byron

Maria DiRico

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty awards for Best Humorous Mystery. Her Catering Hall Mystery series, written as Maria DiRico, launched with Here Comes the Body and was inspired by her real life. She’s an award-winning playwright and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like WINGS, JUST SHOOT ME, and FAIRLY ODD PARENTS, but she considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. A native New Yorker who attended New Orleans’ Tulane University, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and rescue furbaby. Sign up for her newsletter at https://www.ellenbyron.com/

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReads – Instagram – BookBub

Purchase Links –


Penguin Random HouseAmazonB&NKoboIndieBound

Read my review of Plantation Shudders here.

Read my review of Body on the Bayou here.

Read my review of A Cajun’ Christmas Killing here.

Read my review of Mardi Gras Murder here.

Read my review of Fatal Cajun Festival here.
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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Mumbo Gumbo Murder (A Scrapbooking Mystery) by Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @BerkleyMystery

Mumbo Gumbo Murder
(A Scrapbooking Mystery)
by Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran

About Mumbo Gumbo Murder 


Mumbo Gumbo Murder (A Scrapbooking Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Berkley (October 1, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489578
ISBN-13: 978-0451489579
Digital ASIN: B07M75KVSB

A shocking murder strikes a sour note during Jazz Fest in the latest New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

It’s Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre are parading through the French Quarter. Some are very spooky and veiled, others are tall and gangly, like strange aliens.

As the parade proceeds, Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava, follow behind, down Royal Street and past the food booths. Suddenly, they hear a terrible crash from Devon Dowling’s antiques shop. They rush inside to find Devon collapsed with blood streaming down the side of his face. Has he been shot? Stabbed? 911 is hastily called, and the police and EMTs show up. After the police examine Devon’s body, they tell Carmela and Ava that their friend was murdered with an icepick. They’re shocked beyond belief—and now Mimi, Devon’s little pug, is left homeless.

Carmela and Ava are determined to catch the murderer, but the list of suspects is long. How long do they have before they find themselves on the killer’s list?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have to start this review by saying I started reading this series several years ago and I am usually a stickler for reading series in order so I was putting off jumping back in before I could read the books I missed. But I saw this cover and said the heck with it and took the plunge. I am so glad I did. This book was easy to read all on its own. Readers are given plenty of background and I never felt lost or like I was missing something. I really appreciate it when authors of long-running series think of new readers as well of their long-time fans. Thank you, Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran. 

We arrive in New Orleans just in time for Jazz Fest featuring the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre.  Carmela and Eva are enjoying the festivities when a loud crash halts the progress down Royal street. Something happened at Devon Dowling’s antique shop and Carmela and Eva push through the chaos and into the store. There they find their friend Devon unconscious on the floor amidst a mess of his wares and a scared pug. When the police arrive Devon is declared dead, murdered with an icepick. Carmela and Ava are sent on their way by Carmela’s fiancé, Detective Edgar Babcock and they take Devon’s pub, Mimi, with them. Carmela thinks the dog will help them find the killer but it may end up putting them right in the killer’sights.

Carmela Bertrand owns Memory Mine Scrapbooking Shop and her best friend,  Ava Gruiex owns Juju Voodoo, think Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz set loose in New Orleans. Carmela is supposed to be setting a wedding date and teaching classes in her shop, but now she is wrapped up trying to solve a murder and Quigg Brevard has come back around setting up shop in the building next door to Memory Mine. He has decided he and Carmela would make great partners without any input from her. This does not make Babcock happy at all, in fact he is pretty livid.

These characters are expertly crafted. They practically leap off the page. We also meet some rather shady, alright, creepy characters like members of the Vampire Society and who knows who may be in those crazy puppet costumes. The friendship between Carmela and Eva is strong. Carmela’s employee Gabby tries to keep her boss honest, pointing out things Carmela should but doesn’t realize. She also mans the shop so Carmela is free to snoop. Edgar wants Carmela to stay out of his case but knows she will keep pushing the boundaries right to the end. All the interactions are realistic and the dialogue rings true. Some of it will have you laughing out loud.

The mystery itself is pretty complex and takes our amateur sleuths into some of New Orleans dicier places. They do tend to leap before they think in their quest to find Devon’s killer.  It is truly a crazy ride of twists and turns filled with some dangerous antics before the exciting ending. I was totally surprised by whodunit thanks to the red herrings liberally placed throughout the story.

I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded. I always get a little nervous when two really strong authors combine their talents but Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran have figured it out masterfully. The story has a nice flow and it is perfected paced. The descriptions painted vivid pictures in my mind.

Mumbo Gumbo Murder is a fun crime caper that held my interest and had me doing a bit of armchair sleuthing from the beginning to the end. I was totally entertained and I am looking forward to Book 17 – Cadmium Red Dead.

Be sure to check out the Craft Tips and Recipes at the end of the book too!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Praise for Mumbo Gumbo Murder
(A Scrapbooking Mystery)
by Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran

The action starts with a literal bang from the very beginning and continues with page-turning intrigue . . . With an action-packed conclusion, Ms. Childs and Ms. Moran provide a satisfactory end to a highly entertaining read.
~Cinnamon, Sugar, and a little bit of Murder

Mumbo Gumbo Murder is a pleasing cozy mystery with paper projects, wedding woes, a bowwow bystander, a mystified matchmaker, a bothersome ex-beau, and a frustrated fiancé.
~The Avid Reader

Two of our favorite cozy authors once again team up for an explosive mystery in New Orleans . . . Nonstop action and plenty of devious twists come into play.
~Laura’s Interests

MUMBO GUMBO MURDER is packed cover to cover with excitement, fun, mystery and more, all set in the liveliest, and deadliest city in the USA.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

Childs is a fantastic go-to author when comes to looking for a good cozy to read and the addition of Moran just makes it that much better . . . a light fun read that is perfect for fans of cozies.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

. . . the characters, the location, and the atmosphere are all a little wilder, but it is a lot of fun. I enjoyed the fast pace, the colorful characters, and the great story.
~The Book’s the Thing

The suspense and the chase kept me engrossed to the story . . .. Thrown in some scrapbooking ideas and mouth-watering recipes in a cozy story, and what you get is a Mumbo Gumbo Murder. 😀
~The Book Decoder

About The Authors

laura childs from facebook

 

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:   Webpage –  Facebook 

Recipient of both the Agatha and the Derringer awards, Terrie Farley Moran is the author of the beachside Read ‘Em and Eat cozy mystery series; co-author of Laura Childs’ New Orleans scrapbooking mystery series; and has published numerous short stories in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly Magazine and numerous anthologies.

The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is hanging out with any or all of her seven grandchildren who reside in New York and Florida.

Terrie’s Links:

Facebook –  Blog  – Goodreads

Purchase Links:     Amazon     B&N    Kobo    Google Play   IndieBound

The Rest of the Series

Find more books by Laura Childs here.
Find more books by Terrie Farley Moran here.

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October 1 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – 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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Purrfect Reading Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Cat Got Your Crown: A Kitty Couture Mystery by Julie Chase @crookedlanebks 


Cat Got Your Crown: A Kitty Couture Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Crooked Lane Books (March 13, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1683319567
ISBN-13: 978-1683319566
Kindle ASIN: B07H7RVB6N

With a pet pageant around the corner and a killer unleashed, Lacy will have to collar the culprit before the claws come out.

Lacy Marie Crocker can hardly believe it’s been a year since her return home to New Orleans. There hasn’t been a dull moment since opening her pet boutique last summer, and thanks to the popularity of Lacy’s organic pet treats, and the arrival of the National Pet Pageant, Lacy desperately needs some help before she is overrun by the demand for pupcakes and crinolines.

The entire Garden District seems to be counting the minutes until opening night of the pet pageant and everything is going spectacularly until Viktor Petrov, the pageant emcee takes a spill from the balcony during dress rehearsal. All signs points to murder and homicide detective Jack Oliver sets his eyes on Eva Little, one of Lacy’s committee sisters and the only other person on the balcony at the time of the fall, as the killer. But when it comes out that Viktor was notoriously rude, the doors blow wide open with potential suspects who could’ve wanted him dead.

Lacy’s determined to find the killer and exonerate Eva, but when Lacy receives a mysterious warning—a plush kitty from Lacy’s shop with its mouth crudely stitched over—it’s clear that she’s been found first. Full with killer recipes for your pet too!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The National Pet Pageant has finally come to New Orleans and Lacy Marie Crocker is right in the middle of everything. She is on hand to help with all the pets apparel with her trusty pink toolbox filled with fabric, thread, lace, sequins and even a tiara or two. She is also working on a new recipe that pets and their owners can share and baking pupcakes and pet couture to keep the shelves and racks full at her pet boutique, The Furry Grandmother.

Rehearsals at the pageant are barking right along and then the emcee takes a header right off the balcony. Viktor Petrov didn’t fall though, he was pushed. Detective Jack Oliver and Lacy were side by side and witnessed the entire thing. Lacy also noticed a woman on the balcony. Eva Little, one of Lacy’s mother’s friends. She becomes the prime suspect but it isn’t long before more suspects come to light. With a firm nudge from her mother and to the frustration of Jack, Lacy starts snooping. But the killer is on her trail warning her to back-off or else.

These characters are so much fun. Everyone is engaging and fleshed out. Again Lacy has a lot of weight on her shoulders. She has had two men vying for her attention, but in this one, Jack seems to be the one winning her heart which makes me super happy. I have been Team Jack for a while. But attorney Chase Hawthorne is also at the pageant. He has found many pet owners need lawyers in times of divorce to set up ownership and visitation of those furry loved ones. The client that brought him to the event has a very interesting doggie that keeps Chase on his toes.

Lacy’s over the top mother is in charge of making the National Pet Pageant run smoothly along with her committee. She expects perfection not only in the event but right down to what her committee members are wearing. Lacy isn’t always on the same page but she does her best to cater to her mother’s every whim. He father is the calming force that is needed a time or two. Lacy’s former nanny, Imogene, tries to stay on top of everything at the boutique but she is running herself ragged with all the extra business from the pageant. We are introduced to a new character, Willow, she seems to fit right in. I really enjoy the dialogue between the characters. There are serious conversations but some are laugh out loud funny.

There is so much happening in this story but it never seems overwhelming. The pace is quick. The mystery has many twists and turns and is very well plotted. I was totally all over the place when it came to the murderer. The red herrings throughout definitely worked on me.

I loved this story and the animal antics never fail to grab me. Lacy’s cat Penelope riding around on her Roomba always cracks me up. This time a dog had me almost rolling on the floor laughing. The humans are funny too. There is a bit of magic this time, I mean they are in New Orleans, but I not sure how I feel about that yet. I have to see where the author takes this idea.

I encourage you to read the series from the start in order if it is new to you. They have all been perfect escapes for me.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Cat Got Your Diamonds here and  Cat Got Your Cash here and
Cat Got Your Secrets here.

About The Author

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie Anne Lindsey here.

Facebook     Twitter     Website    Goodreads

Written as Julie Anne Lindsey

GIVEAWAYThanks 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.

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Contest Will End March 28, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
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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 Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review – Fields’ Guide to Voodoo (The Poppy Fields Adventures) by Julie Mulhern

This book is available TODAY!!


Fields’ Guide to Voodoo (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense (Humorous)
3rd in Series
Setting – Louisiana
J & M Press (February 28, 2019)
Print Length: 248 pages
ASIN: B07N34V34S

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

The pleasure of your company is requested at the most over-the-top wedding New Orleans has ever seen…

When Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl and super-secret agent, agreed to be a bridesmaid, she anticipated gallons of Sazerac, memorable parties and handsome groomsmen. Instead, she’s dodging bullets.

Juggling wedding showers, exploding buildings, picnics, black magic, lunches in the Vieux Carré, and murder can be tough on a girl. Good thing Thor is there to escort her—until he disappears.

Poppy must outwit smugglers primed to flood the U.S. with a dangerous new drug (one Poppy knows all too well), save Thor, and get to the church on time. If she fails, she may end up dead. Or—worse—late to the wedding.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Poppy Fields is back and taking on New Orleans!

Our Hollywood It girl was set to relax at all the parties leading up to her college roommate Adele’s wedding before she headed off to her super-secret agent training, but while meeting at the Columns Hotel for drinks chaos erupts when a G-Wagon spins out of control. Behind it, a Range Rover stops and men with guns pile out and start shooting. Many are hit, some die, but Adele and Poppy are safe. Adele, a nurse, rushes to help. Poppy rushes to the first officer that arrives and shares all she can about what happened. And we are only midway through Chapter 1!

Poppy tries to attend to all her wedding commitments but she had to let her new secret agent boss know what happened especially what she did at the end of Chapter 1. He sends the cavalry in the form of Thor (not his real name/Chris Hemsworth’s doppelganger).  Good thing too, because we have just scratched the surface of Poppy’s time in NOLA, she is there for 2 weeks and danger seems to follow Poppy everywhere she goes!

I absolutely love this series! The first two books in this series made my Best Reads List of 2018 and this one is headed to this year’s list. Ms. Mulhern continues to top herself. She takes suspense and turns it inside out with antics that will have you laughing out loud.

While in New Orleans Poppy is staying in a house that appears to have a resident ghost. She meets a Voodoo priestess, gets in numerous shootouts and car chases, a building explodes, takes on drug smugglers, some who want her dead after what happened in Mexico, (book #1), has to search for Thor and Jake, of course, he’s in town too! All I can say is that I am so thankful she learned a few fantastic things from her father, like Krav Maga and amazing gun skills. She also learned a few things from her mother and looking so much like her celebrity mom doesn’t hurt either.

I have learned one thing about this series. When you start reading you will not be able to stop so plan accordingly. Lightning fast pace, characters that you want to root for, action, twists, turns, and fabulous dialogue that will have you in stitches. Poppy is a fantastic protagonist and when partnered with Mark (Thor) they are unstoppable.

Come for the wedding, watch out for those flying bullets, use all those luncheons and dinners to get information, and oh yeah, stay alive to see your friend say her I do’s. What an awesome time! I loved every minute!! I can’t wait for the next adventure!! and maybe a little training if she can squeeze it into her busy schedule. 🙂

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Fields’ Guide to Abduction here. 

You can read my review of Fields’ Guide to Assassins here. 

Book 1 is free right now!

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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 Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Mardi Gras Murder: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron – Great Escapes Book Tour @crookedlanebks

Mardi Gras Murder: A Cajun Country Mystery
by Ellen Byron

About the Book


Mardi Gras Murder: A Cajun Country Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Crooked Lane Books (October 9, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 168331705X
ISBN-13: 978-1683317050
Digital ASIN: B078LZ5W3H

Southern charm meets the dark mystery of the bayou as a hundred-year flood, a malicious murder, and a most unusual Mardi Gras converge at the Crozat Plantation B&B.

It’s Mardi Gras season on the bayou, which means parades, pageantry, and gumbo galore. But when a flood upends life in the tiny town of Pelican, Louisiana—and deposits a body of a stranger behind the Crozat Plantation B&B—the celebration takes a decidedly dark turn. The citizens of Pelican are ready to Laissez les bon temps rouler—but there’s beaucoup bad blood on hand this Mardi Gras.

Maggie Crozat is determined to give the stranger a name and find out why he was murdered. The post-flood recovery has delayed the opening of a controversial exhibit about the little-known Louisiana Orphan Train. And when a judge for the Miss Pelican Mardi Gras Gumbo Queen pageant is shot, Maggie’s convinced the murder is connected to the body on the bayou. Does someone covet the pageant queen crown enough to kill for it? Could the deaths be related to the Orphan Train, which delivered its last charges to Louisiana in 1929? The leads are thin on this Fat Tuesday—and until the killer is unmasked, no one in Pelican is safe.

A simmering gumbo of a humorous whodunit, Mardi Gras Murder is the fourth piquant installment in USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s award-winning Cajun Country mysteries.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pelican, Louisiana is underwater, floods have ravaged the area. The clean up continues as the residents prepare for their Mardi Gras celebration complete with a parade, contest to crown a gumbo queen and a gumbo cook-off. Then a body is found in the water behind the Crozat Plantation B&B. No one recognizes the man so its going to be a tough case to solve but Maggie is going to do her best to find out who he is and who killed him.

Maggie also gets roped into the queen contest as a judge where she learns about the Louisiana Orphan Train and that the exhibit set to open has been postponed. She also comes upon another dead body, one of her fellow judges. She is starting the think the deaths have to be connected and may even have something to do with the Orphan Train exhibit. She also makes an interesting discovery at Doucet and another at Grove Hall.

The floodwaters are receding but the bodies are starting to pile up.  It’s time to catch this killer before they strike again!

Oh my goodness, the author has filled this book with so much Mardi Gras goodness! Maggie is involved in everything, I was tired out she reading about all the things she did. In addition to all her duties and murder queries she and Bo are having trouble connecting. With his job, the flood damage, and his son he doesn’t have much free time. But there are some issues below the surface too. I was rooting for this couple through the entire story, worried and concerned but so happy with the ending.

There are a lot of characters within these pages. Study the wonderful cast of characters list the author provides at the beginning of the book before you start reading. Each character is unique so you shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping everyone straight. The core characters all shine and the supporting cast is excellent. The character development over the series and within this story is exceptional.

The story is very well plotted with some fabulous twists. I love the way Ms. Byron entangles the story-lines all together and blends in history and humor that hooks the reader from the first page to the last. Filled with Southern charm and a Cajun’ theme this story was so much fun to read.

Each story in this series has been a perfect escape. I always recommend starting a series from the beginning for maximum enjoyment but this story would read well all on its own.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Plantation Shudders here.

Read my review of Body on the Bayou here.

Read my review of A Cajun’ Christmas Killing here.

About the Author

Ellen Byron authors the Cajun Country Mystery series. A Cajun Christmas Killing and Body on the Bayou both won the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery and were nominated for Agatha awards in the category of Best Contemporary Novel. Plantation Shudders was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Mardi Gras Murder launches October 9th. Ellen’s TV credits include Wings, Just Shoot Me, and Fairly OddParents. She’s written over 200 national magazine articles, and her published plays include the award-winning Graceland. She also worked as a cater-waiter for the legendary Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing.

 

Author Links – WebpageFacebookTwitterGoodReads – InstagramBookBub

Purchase Links – AmazonB&N  –  Crooked LaneBookBub  – Kobo

Praise for Mardi Gras Murder: A Cajun Country Mystery
by Ellen Byron

The book is well-written with a steady pace and humor scattered throughout . . . Ellen Byron combines Southern charm, Mardi Gras, humor, a cast of quirky characters and a beguiling mystery into one rousing cozy mystery.
~The Avid Reader

Mardi Gras Murders by Ellen Byron is simply outstanding, all that a great cozy mystery should be and more.
~The Power of Words

Absolutely fantastic cozy mystery!! This new addition to this incredible series is even better than the last book and had me hooked from the very first page due to the amazing storytelling.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

 

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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 Spotlights

#Spotlight / #Giveaway – Better Dead (A B&B Spirits Mystery) by Pamela Kopfler @KensingtonBooks


Better Dead (A B&B Spirits Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Louisiana
Kensington (December 26, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 375 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496713216
Kindle ASIN: B06XZJJ9WP

As the owner of a charming Louisiana bed and breakfast, Holly Davis believes in Southern hospitality—but she draws the line at welcoming the ghost of her cheating husband . . .

Burl Davis checked out of this life a little earlier than expected—before Holly could serve him with divorce papers over his extramarital flings. Unfortunately, it was not before he nearly bankrupted her beloved B&B, Holly Grove, a converted plantation that has been in her family for generations. Holly would never wish anyone dead, but three months later she’s feeling a lot more relief than grief.

Until Burl’s ghost appears as an unwelcome guest. Before his spirit can move on, her not-so-dearly departed needs Holly’s human help to bust up the drug smuggling ring he was involved with. She has reservations, to say the least, but agrees to assist him if he’ll make a show of haunting the B&B to draw in visitors. But when Holly’s former love, Jack McCann, mysteriously resurfaces in town and checks in, she has to wonder if her B&B is big enough for the ghost of her husband and the very real physical presence of her old flame . . .

About the Author
Pamela Kopfler is Southern-fried and sassy. She writes award-winning humorous mysteries with a kick of Southern sass. Her debut novel, BETTER DEAD, is the first in her B & B Spirits mystery series.

She can stir up a roux, mix a cocktail, shoot anything (as long as it doesn’t have eyes), and loves swapping stories. Putting words on the page keeps her alligator mouth from overloading her hummingbird heinie in real life. It doesn’t hurt to be married to a saint who is an attorney either. She marks her time on earth by the lives of the dogs she has loved and who often show up in her stories. Her current fur baby is a seventy-pound pup in black. He thinks he’s a fearless hunter when he’s not pretending he’s a lapdog.

Pamela lives in South Louisiana where the spirits are restless, the food is spicy, and the living is divine.

Find Pamela at https://pamelakopfler.com/ or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.


Book 2 will be out September 25, 2018.


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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with a US mailing address.

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Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent