Posted in Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Ink, Red, Dead: Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series by Joanna Campbell Slan #Spotlight / #Giveaway


It is my please to shine my spotlights on Ink, Red, Dead: Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series
by Joanna Campbell Slan today!

About Ink, Red, Dead


Ink, Red, Dead: Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Missouri
Spot On Publishing (September 30, 2013)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 221 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1543209998
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1543209990
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B006KZ5M84

On a sweltering day, ace scrapbooker Kiki Lowenstein has to cancel a crafting party when she discovers Marla Lever, their hostess, nearly dead of the heat. Not only is Marla seriously “under the weather,” she’s also a hoarder, and her home is a house of horrors, complete with a corpse in the cooler. Meanwhile, Detective Chad Detweiler works a cold case that involves women disappearing all over St. Louis. The attraction between Kiki and Detweiler heats to a red-hot fever pitch, but will it boil over and leave both of them feeling burned?

About Joanna Campbell Slan

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

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

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

Currently, she writes five fiction series: The Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist, contemporary, St. Louis setting, crafting), the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series (contemporary, Florida setting, DIY, and recycling), the Jane Eyre Chronicles (Daphne du Maurier Award Winner, 1830s England, based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic), the Tai Chi Mystery Series (contemporary, senior citizen female amateur sleuth and Washington, DC setting), and the Friday Night Mystery Club Series (traditional mystery, 1980s setting, Midwest).

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

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

Author Links 

Website — Facebook — Facebook Group — Twitter — Amazon Author PageInstagram — Goodreads — Bookbub — LinkedIn — Pinterest

Purchase Link – Amazon

The Rest of the Series

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 21 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
March 21 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 22 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 22 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST  
March 23 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
March 24 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
March 24 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
March 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT  
March 25 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 26 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 26 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 27 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
March 28 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 29 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE 
March 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 30 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
March 31 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 1 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
April 2 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
April 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – Girl with Pen – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

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Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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

Cozy Wednesday featuring Hippie Wagon Homicide (Twister Sisters Mysteries) by Mildred Abbott #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am happy to share my thoughts today about Hippie Wagon Homicide (Twister Sisters Mysteries)
by Mildred Abbott!

About Hippie Wagon Homicide


Hippie Wagon Homicide (Twister Sisters Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Small farming/tourist town in the Missouri Ozarks
Wings of Ink Publications, LLC (February 1, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 474 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8408091980
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 626 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8795278049
Digital Print length ‏ : ‎ 476 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09K4ZPZ93

Cordelia Davis lives with no regrets, despite her life-changing drastically a half-century ago when a tornado altered the destiny of the little Ozark town of Willow Lane. The town grew back stronger and more beautiful, and Cordelia, her sister, Pamela, and her best friend, Wanda, built a life to treasure.

As Willow Lane honors the memory of those lost and celebrates all that has been achieved, tragedy refuses to remain in the past. News of murder rocks the pastoral countryside when Cordelia discovers a body on her farm, beneath her beloved willow tree. And while the police make an immediate arrest, Cordelia finds herself untangling a web of lies and long-ago secrets.

With suspects in every nook of her cozy town—and an old flame knocking on her door—it will take all Cordelia’s tenacity to face the past and to weather the mysteries of Willow Lane.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Willow Lane has handled a lot of drama in its past. A tornado 50 years ago not only changed the town but its residents as well. They rebuilt the town and tried to leave the past in the past but now the mayor wants to celebrate and memorialize the event that took 22 lives. Cordelia Davis allows her wonderful farm to be the site to kick off the event.

The party seemed to have gone off without a hitch but the next morning Cordelia finds a dead body against her very special willow tree. The police quickly wrap up their case with an arrest but Cordelia feels they have made a huge mistake. She decides to investigate the murder herself and she opens up a huge can of worms that opens up new wounds and old before everything is revealed.


I was a little leary about reading a cozy mystery that was almost 500 pages long but I have wanted to read books by this author for quite a while and this new series was my opportunity.  After I started reading I quickly understood the length of the story. The author introduces a huge cast of characters, including 2 dogs and a goat named Breakfast. Every chapter brings a new face or two and the greatest thing is that each chapter starts with a picture of the character featured in the chapter. No imagination is necessary the characters are there in living color or black and white depending on which device or format you are reading.

Cordelia Davis is the main character and together with her sister Pamela and their friend Wanda, they are the TWISTER SISTERS. They cater events and deliver meals to the elderly and shut-ins of Willow Lane in their tricked-out Hippie Wagons. Each old Volkswagen van is personalized especially for its owner. Cordelia’s has flowers, Pamela’s has hearts, and Wanda’s has stars. Each woman is as unique as their van.

I think we meet almost every other resident of Willow Lane. Keeping all their connections and their histories straight was a little tough at first but I broke out my little notebook until I made my way further into the story. It is a diverse cast that comes alive within these pages. They are each unique, realistic, and well-developed for the first book in the series, hence the extra pages.

The mystery flowed at a slower pace than I am used to but that pace soon felt very comfortable amidst everything else taking place within these pages. There was the perfect balance between mystery and everyday life. The story is very well-plotted with some terrific twists. I loved the tie-in to the Wizard of Oz. I was also happy to see that the town really learned from its past when rebuilding. I wonder if more towns are doing the same thing.

Hippie Wagon Homicide was a great start for this series and a very entertaining read and I am looking forward to returning to Willow Lane again soon!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Mildred Abbott

Preoccupied with everything found in cozy mysteries: Puppies, Books, Cozy Mountain Towns, and Baked Goods.  Although not obsessed with murder, however. At least not in real life (No contract killing here). But since childhood, starting with Nancy Drew, trying to figure out who-dun-it has played a formative role in everyday life.  Author of the Cozy Corgi series and the Twister Sister series.

Author Links

Website    Amazon    Patreon    Facebook   Facebook Club    Instagram    Audible Audiobooks    Newsletter Signup   Goodreads  

Purchase Links – Amazon 

Coming May 15, 2022

Coming July 15, 2022

Also by Mildred Abbott

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
March 1 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
March 1 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 3 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
March 4 – Mythical Books – GUEST POST
March 5 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy -AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 7 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 8 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW
March 8 – Tea Book Blanket – SPOTLIGHT
March 9 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 10 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – Reading Authors Network – GUEST POST
March 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
March 14 – Girl with Pen – GUEST POST
March 14 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
March 14 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

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

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

Flea Market Felony: A Cozy Mystery Novel (The Mattie and Mo Mysteries) by Tricia L. Sanders #Review @tricialsanders


Flea Market Felony: A Cozy Mystery Novel (The Mattie and Mo Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Missouri
Independently published (April 1, 2021)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8729049523
Kindle ASIN: B08ZMBTQ8B

These new retirees have just hit the road. Will their first campsite’s shenanigans land them both in handcuffs?

Mattie Modesky’s been hankering to start retirement right. Even if it’s in an RV. The sassy senior believes there’s no time like the present after her policeman husband hangs up his badge and they hit the road.

When they reach their first RV park, the yoga instructor hitting on Mattie’s man turns her peaceful vacation sour. In an effort to stand her ground and confront the sneaky resident, Mattie finds a new friend, a stiff corpse, and her husband as the prime suspect.

She is shocked to her core when her man’s newly purchased pocketknife is the murder weapon. But when the real killer makes the fatal mistake of dognapping her beloved pooch, the silver-haired sleuth sets her sights on solving the crime herself and proving her lawman’s innocence.

Can Mattie clear her hubby’s name and reclaim their pup before the villain turns their golden years into iron bars? Or will the killer roll away in a motor home with Mattie’s dog in the passenger seat?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mattie and Mo Modesky plan to spend their retirement traveling the United States in their new RV. Well, Mo more than Mattie but she is along for the ride, as is their dog Max. Their first stop in the Oldies but Goodies RV Park and Flea Market in Pine Grove, Missouri. It’s a little run-down but it has a nearby lake which is all Mo needs and Mattie does enjoy a good flea market.

As they are checking in permanent resident Calla Lily gets way too close to Mo for Mattie’s comfort. The woman sure knows how to press Mattie’s buttons. So when Calla is found dead Mattie isn’t that unhappy until she sees the murder weapon is a knife she bought for Mo the day before. Plus Max ran off during their walk the previous night and is still missing. So now Mattie needs to find the flea that murdered Calla to clear Mo of the crime and she needs to find her dog. She soon learns the two things are connected.


As soon as I saw the cover and synopsis for this book I knew I had to read it. Traveling the country at my leisure in an RV is high on my bucket list.

Mattie and Mo are your typical couple who have been married forever. They each have their own interests and have no trouble spending time apart. The close quarters of the RV can make for a little too much togetherness but she sure doesn’t want her husband behind bars. I love that she misses her BFF Liz but with the internet, they can still connect every day and catch up on the gossip from home and the campground happenings. Mo makes a new friend almost immediately. A friend with a boat who also loves to fish. Mattie makes a little effort to be friends with his wife but is afraid to trust anyone with a killer on the loose. All the characters including the supporting cast are cleverly created and believable in their roles.

Calla Lily had a reputation of going after men, married or single, it didn’t matter. She was also bossy, set in her ways, and a real pain. She tallied up quite a list of people that could want her dead. So while the knife might have belonged to Mo there are plenty of other suspects. Ms. Sanders plotted a fine mystery. Mo and Mattie knew nothing about these suspects and Mo was taking a hands-off approach, more fishing, and let the police do their job. Mattie resorted to eavesdropping and leading questions all while searching for her dog. I did enjoy the way the mystery was written. There were many secrets uncovered including one I never saw coming.

Ms. Sanders has set this series off to a fabulous start. Flea Market Felony was a fun and fast read. It was very easy to become invested in the Modesky’s lives. The RV theme is fantastic. I can only imagine what trouble Mo, Mattie, and Max will get into as they travel the country. They said they are headed to Wisconsin soon, so I am really looking forward to that story.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Tricia L. Sanders lives in the Austin, Texas area and writes about women with class, sass, and a touch of kickass. A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.

When she isn’t writing, Tricia is busy crossing dreams off her bucket list. With all 50 states checked, she’s concentrating on foreign interests. She’s an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don’t get between her and the television when a game is on. Currently, she is working on a mystery series set in the fictional town of Wickford, Missouri. Another project in the works is a women’s fiction road trip adventure.

Her essays have appeared in Sasee, ByLine, The Cuivre River Anthology, and Great American Outhouse Stories; The Whole Truth and Nothing Butt. She is a proud member of The Lit Ladies, six women writing their truths into fiction.


Also by Tricia L. Sanders

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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Killer Queen (The Country Club Murders) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Killer Queen (The Country Club Murders)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Missouri
Publisher: J & M Press (June 30, 2020)
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1732755949
ISBN-10: 1732755949
Kindle Page Numbers Source ISBN: B08BRH2QVP

Another day, another dead woman in Ellison Russell’s study.

 

Only this one claimed to be Mrs. Anarchy Jones.

 

As Ellison juggles mothers, daughter, unhappy wives, and near-miss murder attempts, one thing is clear—someone will go to any lengths to hide the truth.

 

Can Ellison and Anarchy catch a killer before the body count rises? Or will Ellison be the next corpse in the study?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

 

She keeps Moët et Chandon
In her pretty cabinet
‘Let them eat cake,’ she says
Just like Marie Antoinette
A built-in remedy
For Khrushchev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation
You can’t decline

Caviar and cigarettes
Well versed in etiquette
Extraordinarily nice

She’s a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, gelatine
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Anytime

Ellison Russell comes home to find a dead woman in her study. She has been through this drill before, but this one identified herself to Aggie as Mrs. Anarchy Jones about 20 minutes ago and now she was dead. Worse her mother arrives before she can even call Anarchy. “Now strangers are coming to your house to die?”


Julie Mulhern is one of my favorite authors and her imagination continues to amaze me. She effortlessly takes readers back to the 1970s with no cell phones, avocado green appliances, and Ellison’s love affair with her Mr. Coffee.

The characters were strong in book 1, The Deep End, and they are still fresh and engaging in this 11th installment. The great thing is they continue to evolve and have plenty of room to grow.

Ms. Mulhern also knows how to serve up humor generously. The scene where Ellison’s and Anarchy’s mothers meet is absolutely priceless. I read most of this book during one of my chemo treatments and really tried to hold the laughter in but couldn’t help myself.

The author brings more than wonderful characters and fabulous humor, she also gives her readers an interesting and complex mystery with plenty of twists and turns. Killer Queen is no exception. Pop the cork on a bottle of Moët et Chandon or get your Mr. Coffee out and brew up a cup then sit back and enjoy Killer Queen.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Read my Reviews for:
The Deep End
Guaranteed to Bleed
Clouds In My Coffee
Send In The Clowns
Watching The Detectives
Cold As Ice
Back Stabbers
Shadow Dancing
Telephone Line
Stayin’ Alive
The Rest of the Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:


Also by Julie Mulhern

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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Stayin’ Alive (The Country Club Murders) by Julie Mulhern #Review

Kindle Copy Available Today!


Stayin’ Alive (The Country Club Murders)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Missouri
Publisher: J & M Press (January 30, 2020)
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 1732755914
ISBN-13: 978-1732755918
Publisher: J & M Press (February 25, 2020)
Print Length: 270 pages
Kindle ASIN: B082RFCMY6

Springtime. Love is in the air. So is murder.

 

When Ellison Russell, reluctant finder of bodies, chairs a gala in conjunction with the museum’s Chinese funerary exhibit, she expects disaster. So, she’s not remotely surprised when a body turns up.

 

Ellison is willing to leave the investigation to the police till an attempt is made on her life.

 

Now she’s juggling evading a killer, her aunt’s overly-amorous beau, her dog’s new love interest, and Mother’s displeasure.

 

With bodies piling up, if Ellison’s not careful, staying alive might be impossible.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Tap into your inner BeeGees –
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breaking and everybody shaking, people
Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive

and sit back and prepare to have your funny bone tickled and your mind tested by the latest Country Club mystery from Julie Mulhern.

Ellison Russell is in charge of the museum’s Chinese Exhibit Gala and she has vowed to her mother there will be no dead bodies found this time. Well, when she sneaks away for a few minutes with her boyfriend, Detective Anarchy Jones, that plan goes terribly awry. They find a body in one of the closed exhibits. No matter how much money Ellison has raised the body will be the only thing people focus on. Ellison agrees to stay out of the investigation and let Anarchy handle it.  She does a great job at that until the killer comes after her. If she plans on Stayin’ Alive she needs to find out who is trying to take her down.

____

Julie Mulhern is one of my favorite authors and I wait as patiently as possible for each new book. She never disappoints. What really makes these stories sing is the genuine characters and their fantastic dialogue.

Protagonist Ellison gets stronger in each story. She still has her mother who gets upset about every body she finds (like she plans to find them), that Anarchy is not right for her, the clothes she wears, the friends she hangs out with, well you get the point, but Ellison is learning to deal with the overbearing woman and that makes me happy. Her relationship with Anarchy is progressing in an interesting way and that makes me happy too. This time her Aunt Sis played a major role and she was my favorite character.

All the other characters I love have returned too and some really bring the funny.

“Sorry, I’m late!” Daisy burst into the card room like a whirlwind. Her slip showed. She needed a comb. A lollipop and multiple tufts of hair stuck to her sweater (the candy on the sleeve, the hair everywhere). “I’ve had a morning.”

“Sit.” Libba held out her wine glass.

Daisy sat, took the glass, gulped, and handed it back. “Thank you.”

“Which kid, and what did he do?” asked Jinx.

Daisy closed her eyes. “How bad can it be?”

Libba didn’t have children. She’d never experienced bad.

“David snuck into our bathroom. He knows it’s off-limits, ever since the lipstick incident.” The lipstick incident had translated into new wallpaper for most of the house. “He stole my razor from the shower and—” She paused for a shuddering breath.

“And?” I asked. One of Daisy’s offspring running loose with a razor was a terrifying proposition.

“He shaved the cat.”

“He what?” Jinx’s brows touched her hairline.

“The cat fell asleep on his lap and he shaved off its fur.” Daisy rubbed her face. “There’s cat hair everywhere. And the poor cat, it’s hiding under the bed.”

“He shaved the whole cat?”

“The side that was exposed.”

“So the other side still has hair?” Jinx’s mouth twitched.

“Yes. The poor cat is humiliated.”

“It’ll grow back.”

That wouldn’t comfort the cat.

In addition to the humor, Ms. Mulhern writes a complex mystery filled with intrigue and mayhem. The pace is fast. Ellison is involved up to her neck. Reliant on her friend Mr. Coffee, Aggie to keep the house in order, Anarchy doing his best to keep her safe, Grace sometimes being the adult in the room,  her friends being there to bounce ideas off of, and an unexpected guest to keep her on her toes, Ellison does her best to solve more than one mystery.

Mulhern is not afraid to fictionalize heavy topics to shine a light but give her readers an entertaining story as well. Fabulous twists kept me totally engrossed and guessing right up until the end.

I love stepping back to the ’70s and hanging out with the ladies who lunch and play bridge. Julie Mulhern has done her research and brings the time to life in her own unique way.

I highly recommend every book in this series and her Poppy Fields Adventures too. Stayin’ Alive was a Perfect Escape and I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

 


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

stayin alive

Read my Reviews for:
The Deep End
Guaranteed to Bleed
Clouds In My Coffee
Send In The Clowns
Watching The Detectives
Cold As Ice
Back Stabbers
Shadow Dancing
Telephone Line

The Rest of the Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:


Also by Julie Mulhern

Coming March 31!


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 Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Telephone Line (The Country Club Murder) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Telephone Line (The Country Club Murder)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Missouri
Henery Press (June 18, 2019)
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115507
ISBN-13: 978-1635115505
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1635115477
ISBN-13: 978-1635115475
Kindle Print Length: 220 pages
ASIN: B07Q4F81FK

A killer is calling, and Ellison’s life is on the line.

Ellison Russell is planning the event of the season—and she’s stressed. Why not yoga?

Because the yoga instructor gets murdered during class—and Ellison’s stress level rises exponentially. Now, in addition to raising a ridiculous amount of money, she’s babysitting a deranged cat (named after the devil himself), taking ten million phone calls (most of them from Mother), and finding more bodies (they’re popping up like dandelions after a spring rain).

There’s no such thing as balance when the killer makes it personal. Can Ellison catch a murderer or will her next namaste be her last?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was warned that I may want to skip this book because the manner of death may trigger feelings about my son’s suicide. That is why I didn’t read and review it when it was released back in June. I have enjoyed every book in this series so recently I decided to give reading it a shot. One scene did make me uncomfortable and the image has stuck with me but I forged on and am happy I did so.

Ellison Russell is stressed – her mother is pressuring her to raise an obscene amount of money for an upcoming museum fundraiser and she really needs a break. Yeah right, when Ellison needs a break she usually runs to the love of her life  Mr. Coffee. But this time she has been roped by her friend Libba into attending a yoga class at Winnie Flournoy’s house.

The class is ensconced in the last relaxing moves when they realize the instructor Marigold Applebottom is gone and she has locked them in the attic studio. Ellison comes up with a plan to alert a neighbor but that person leaves quickly and soon thereafter the police arrive and make a horrific discovery. Marigold is dead and there is much more drama to follow involving Winnie Flournoy and her husband, plus one of Grace’s friends is assaulted and Ellison and Grace have some new neighbors.

If Ellison wasn’t stressed before she sure in now. The question seems to be could her deceased husband’s dirty deeds have anything to do with the deaths and drama. Hopefully, Ellison can stay alive long enough to find out.

I am always excited to flashback to the ’70s with the latest book from Julie Mulhern. This time it is with Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Telephone Line.

Technically Ellison didn’t find the body this time but she identifies the body and she soon is wrapped right up in another murder investigation and her mother is apoplectic. (The Kansas City grapevine is stellar with its direct line to Frances.) She wants Ellison to focus on raising money and spending time with lawyer Hunter and not Detective Anarchy Jones. Ellison is fine being friends with Hunter but more and more her heart belongs to Anarchy. She also needs to carve out time for her daughter as a hard anniversary rolls around and to help her deal with what happened to her friend.

Ellison has grown so much over the course of this series. Her relationship with her mother continues to make me laugh, I really do see just a little bit of my mother in her mom. Ellison’s housekeeper, Aggie is a gem and is not afraid to voice her opinions. Libba continues to delve where others won’t and again keeps me laughing. The characters all come across as believable and the dialogue is perfectly written.

The murder mystery is complex especially when another person dies and another lands in the hospital. A possible connection to Ellison’s late husband Henry, adds a really nice twist. I did have a guess as to who the guilty party was but didn’t really mesh everything together until closer to the end. I did find myself reading faster and unable to put the book down as clues starting showing me I was on the right track.

Julie Mulhern writes a story full of charm and humor. She also takes on some serious topics. Topics that were hot in the 70s and still hot today. That is not to say she takes these issues lightly. She always strikes the right tone. I was very impressed with the way Ellison handled things. I hope I would be able to do the same if any of my family had to deal with similar situations. The author has a unique voice and a keen knowledge of the time frame. From the country club to Jello molds she has everything down pat.  Humor does fill many pages. The scene with Libba and the cat is absolutely priceless.

 It is always a treat to escape into the books in this series. This entire series is excellent. You truly can’t go wrong with anything written by Julie Mulhern. They are all “Must Reads”!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:


Also by Julie Mulhern

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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Cozy Wednesday – Featuring Back Stabbers (The Country Club Murders) by Julie Mulhern – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @HeneryPress

Back Stabbers (The Country Club Murders)
by Julie Mulhern

About the Book

Back Stabbers (The Country Club Murders)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Missouri
Henery Press (October 23, 2018)
Kindle Edition, 253 pages
ASIN: B07G5KX6Y4

All Ellison Russell wanted was an update on her stock portfolio. Instead, she found her broker dead.

With an unexpected out-of-town guest at her house, Ellison is too busy for a murder investigation. Only this time, Detective Anarchy Jones wants her help, and she can’t deny the handsome detective. Can Mr. Coffee supply her with enough caffeine to keep her brain sharp and everyone else happy?

Juggling bodies (one, two, three, four), two-faced friends, her social calendar, and a cat (yes, a cat) is taxing but Mother might be the biggest challenge of all.

With a killer drawing closer, can Ellison put together the pieces or will she be the one getting stabbed in the back?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First, another great title/music tie-in, from the O’Jays. Really gets you into that 70’s feeling. No cell phones, no internet, no cable tv, but some really fine music!

One of my favorite amateur sleuths is back with her knack of finding dead bodies and her love affair with Mr. Coffee. This time she finds her stockbroker dead and in a way, she will never be able to wipe from her memory. After that bodies quickly start to pile up and Detective Anarchy Jones actually wants her help with the case. This does not make her mother happy at all.  Can Ellison catch a killer or will she be the next victim of the backstabber?

Ellison may be part of the country club set but she never comes off the way. It is her mother that cares about all the social standing. But her parents have been keeping a huge secret. Ellison’s father was in a relationship before marrying her mother. This union produced a child. Karma runs a brokerage firm in San Francisco and has never met the rest of her family. After almost 40 years she makes a trip to Kansas City and stays with Ellison as a favor to her dad. Also, Ellison and Anarchy are moving forward with their relationship to everyone’s delight except her mother. Dead bodies, secrets exposed and Ellison’s dating a detective has sent mom Francis into quite a tizzy.

These characters are so genuine and believable. The dialogues are cleverly written and will have you laughing out loud. Interactions between the characters but especially between Ellison and her mother are pure gems. This author has a unique style and she knows how to pepper the story with humor in all the right places even when taking on serious issues.

This story takes place way before the #metoo movement and clearly shines a light on sexual harassment that was commonplace back then and widespread until recently. Ms. Mulhern fictional take on the subject and involving the murders was very well done. Ellison’s quest to narrow the suspect pool was very intriguing. Who had the most credible motive? Finding out was not an easy task. I loved following along for each and every step.

I have learned that when I start reading anything by this author not to have anything else planned for the rest of the day because I know when I start reading I will not be able to stop. My family has also learned to expect giggles and full out laughter from me during that reading.

This is an excellent addition to this fantastic series. All the characters have evolved so much since the series began, even Francis has grown a little. I do recommend new readers start at the beginning of this series but you can really start anywhere in this series for classic cozy entertainment.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Praise for Back Stabbers (The Country Club Murders)

by Julie Mulhern

Fast paced and with wonderfully descriptive details of the era, the multiple plotlines weave together smoothly and in such an enjoyable way.
~Laura’s Interests

I love the series. Ellison is a precious personality; although born into wealth and married into wealth and raised by a very “upper-class disdainful” mother, she is very much an “at-home,” loving, compassionate and generous individual, an artist, and a devoted mother and dog lover.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

Back Stabbers is well-written, well-paced, and includes an occasional touch of humor.
~Christa Reads and Writes

With life getting crazy outside of the mystery hunting, Ellison reminds me of why I love moms that are strong and smart in novels. This latest mystery brings out the best thus far in Ellison and I wouldn’t miss reading this one for the world.
~Bibliophile Reviews

Narrated from Ellison’s first person perspective, the novel is quick-paced and enjoyable, with lots of sleuthing and jumping around.
~Nadaness In Motion

About the Author

– Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. 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.

Author Links

Website – FB – Twitter – Goodreads 

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N    Kobo  BookBub

Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:


Also by Julie Mulhern

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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 Great Escapes Book Tours Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Shadow Dancing (The Country Club Murders) by Julie Mulhern – Great Escapes Book Tour @HeneryPress

Shadow Dancing (The Country Club Murders)
by Julie Mulhern

Shadow Dancing (The Country Club Murders)
Cozy Mystery

7th in Series
Setting – Missouri
Henery Press (June 19, 2018)
Print Length: 210 pages
Digital ASIN: B07BMJM89K

 

 

Visiting a psychic is outside the norm for Ellison Russell. Finding bodies is not. Unfortunately, the psychic’s crystal ball says she’ll soon be surrounded by death. Again.

Drat.

Now there’s a corpse in the front drive, a witchy neighbor ready to turn Ellison and her (not so) little dog into toadstools, and a stripper named Starry Knight occupying the guest room.

How did 1975 go so wrong so quickly?

Ellison must handle Mother (who’s found a body of her own), make up with a certain handsome detective, and catch a killer, or the death surrounding her might be her own.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

She’s done it again! Julie Mulhern has topped herself again!

It’s 1975 and Ellison Russell has been dragged to a psychic by her best friend Libba. She is not interested in learning what is in the future, she has a heck of a time just keeping up with the present. When the psychic tells her death may be surrounding her soon, all she thinks is Not Again!!

This story was mega entertaining. Remember the days before cell phones and cable television, when kids played outside, kitchens had avocado appliances and living rooms had shag carpeting! Julie Mulhern takes us there.

Ellison has her hands full with her daughter Grace, her mother, her friends, and Detective Anarchy Jones. Grace makes a new friend, well sort of. Her mother makes an unusual discovery in her closet. Libba took her to a psychic! Her relationship with the good detective has hit the skids but there is still that spark when they are in proximity of each other, plus he needs to keep her safe. She is also busy with her dog Max. Let me tell you, one of his adventures had me laughing so hard I had tears running from my eyes.  My daughter was laughing too because she knew exactly whose book I was reading. “Julie Mulhern??”

I love the characters in this series. They are expertly written and feel like old friends. Their dialogues are fantastic. The way Ellison has learned to handle her mother always makes me smile.

The story is very well plotted. One little accident sends Ellison life reeling. A dead body in her front yard, a strip club, another murder. Can’t this woman catch a break? While there is a lot of humor in this story, the reason behind the murders is a very serious issue. It takes a talented author to mesh it all together.

As has become my custom with this author’s books, I devoured this story all in one sitting. The television is turned off, my feet go up, and I escape right into Ellison’s world.  The only thing missing is my own Mr. Coffee.

This entire series is extraordinary, so I do recommend you start at the beginning and read them in order. But . . . if you wish you can jump right in with this one, I bet then you will know you have to read them all. For me, every one of them has been a Perfect Escape.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

– Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. 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.

Author Links

Website FB Twitter Goodreads 

Purchase Links

Amazon   kobo  B&N   BookBub
Books in the Country Club Murders Humorous Mystery Series:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 18 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – 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 Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2018 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review / #Giveaway – Death & the Viking’s Daughter (An Auction Block Mystery) by Loretta Ross @midnightinkbook


Death & the Viking’s Daughter (An Auction Block Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Missouri
Midnight Ink (February 8, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738752372
Kindle ASIN: B0711WYDCR

 

 

Next on Wren and Death’s Appraisal List:

Item #1: An Old Family Feud.

Item #2: A Missing Woman.

Item #3: A Body in the Rosebushes of their Dream House

Auctioneer Wren Morgan and her private eye fiancé Death (pronounced “Deeth”) Bogart are ready to meet each other’s parents and settle down together. But their sleuthing days are far from over. While Death and Wren are helping prepare auction items at an old supper club, a Viking reenactor nearly dies at the historical settlement next door. The cause? Seeing the ghost of his daughter, who went missing twenty years ago.

As Wren looks into what happened to the Viking’s daughter, Death is hired to investigate the theft of historical items that have high sentimental value. When their respective investigations turn out to be connected, the couple gets caught in a deadly conflict.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wren and Death (pronounced “Deeth”) are stepping up their relationship and are looking to buy a house together. Wren thinks she has found the perfect place. Just a little problem, there’s a body buried beneath the rose bushes and everyone knows it’s there. Wren is also helping to organize an auction at an old supper club, situated right next to a Viking reenactment settlement. One of the participants almost dies when he thinks he sees his daughter’s ghost. She went missing 20 years ago, it is still an open police case but with no new leads. Wren decides to try to help him with her own investigation. Death is working on his own case of a theft from a museum.  It is not long before all these things start to connect. But solving all the mysteries could have deathly consequences.

Loretta Ross has created such rich characters for this series and you need to read this series from the beginning to appreciate their growth. Death and Wren have come so far since they first met, but there are still obstacles in the path forward. Obstacles they know they can work through together. Death’s PTSD is a huge hurdle but Wren loves and supports him in every way she can. Her parents finally meet him in this story and her mother especially has several concerns. The ebb and flow of this part of the story touched me as both a mom and a daughter.

I really enjoyed that all the mysteries in this series started from events in the past, 20 years ago, 40 years ago and more. Solved with newly found evidence, research, perseverance and a hastily formed plan. The author has her readers along for a fascinating ride.  I was on the edge of my seat for the exciting ending which is exactly what I have come to expect from this author.

The setting of this one and the history of the supper club and how it was created in the image of an actual place was compelling. I also like the background of the Viking Settlement historic site.

I love this author’s writing style. She takes on some stirring topics but injects humor in all the right places. Her characters draw you in and the mysteries hold you tight. I read the book all in one sitting. Another thing I have come to expect from this author.

A great series and a perfect escape!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

LORETTA

About The Author

Loretta Ross is a writer and historian who lives and works in rural Missouri. She is an alumna of Cottey College and holds a BA in archaeology from the University of Missouri – Columbia. She has loved mysteries since she first learned to read. Death and the Redheaded Woman will be her first published novel.

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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 Reviews 2017 You Read How Many Books Challenge

#Review – And Death Goes To . . . (A Tobi Tobias Mystery) by Laura Bradford

And Death Goes To . . . (A Tobi Tobias Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Missouri
Lyrical Underground (December 5, 2017)
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516102112
Kindle ASIN: B06XJJ2ZJ9

 

 

The Tobias Ad Agency is in the running for the coveted Golden Storyboard, and Tobi couldn’t be more thrilled—until she discovers it’s literally an award to die for.

It’s an honor just to be nominated. But, let’s get real, Tobi wants to win. The St. Louis Advertising Awards are like the Oscars for her field, and Tobi is up for its most prestigious prize, Best Overall Ad Campaign. The competition is always fierce, but this year its killer … .

Despite her high hopes, Tobi isn’t exactly shocked when she doesn’t win. But she is shocked when the winner, Deidre Ryan, takes the stage only to plummet to her death as a platform suddenly gives way. After the police discover foul play, Tobi’s Grandpa Stu wastes no time in nominating suspects. But was Deidre the intended victim—or was someone else meant to take the fatal fall? Now it’s a race to catch a killer in the spotlight before another nominee gets the booby prize and Tobi gets trapped in a no-win situation.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Tobi is excited to have been nominated for the Golden Storyboard Award this year but the St. Louis Advertising Awards turn out to be not as advertised. They were not supposed to include a murder! Tobi is now thankful she didn’t win because the winner dies when she steps up to receive her award. The room is full of suspects, but was the woman who plunged to her death the actual target? Tobi and her Grandpa Stu are trying to find that out but their relationship strained due to something he overheard Tobi tell her boyfriend Andy Zander. Hopefully, the case can be solved and their relationship saved before anyone else is awarded a trip to the great beyond.

The characters really drew me into the story this time. Grandpa Stu has come to visit but he is spending most of his time with the neighbor that drives Tobi and everyone else in the neighborhood a little crazy. Apparently, Stu sees a totally different side of Martha Rapple. He even brings her to the advertising awards as his date. He later hears Tobi venting to Andy about their relationship and Stu completely shuts down around Tobi and her friends. I could so relate with Tobi, when my mother started seeing a man after my dad passed away, it drove me crazy. I probably said the same things Tobi said and worse.

I really enjoyed the fact that 16-year-old Sam was nominated for an award. He has a keen photographic eye and it was so nice to see him recognized for it.

We also met others in the advertising field as they were all on the list of suspects. Learning the history of the prestigious awards was very interesting too.

The description the author provided for the actual death was heartbreaking. The woman fell to her death in front of a room full of people. That horrible tragedy would be so hard to witness. I truly felt so bad for everyone in that room.

Ms. Bradford really twisted up things with this plot. I thought each of the suspects was the killer at one time or another. They all seemed to have motive and the opportunity to sabotage the platform. As the clues started to snap into place for the actual killer I still thought it was a ruse. To say I was surprised in an understatement.

Humor can be found at each stop to Mary Fran’s pet shop. That parrot always cracks me up.

Laura Bradford is one of my favorite authors. She can combine drama, life experiences, romance and humor in a delightful way. I loved spending time with these characters. I hope to have a return visit soon.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend’s house more than thirty years ago, Laura Bradford (a.k.a. Elizabeth Lynn Casey) fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do anything else.

Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, and the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey). A new cozy mystery series was added to the mix in 2016 with the release of The Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries. and now she brings us the Tobi Tobias Mystery Series. Laura is a former Agatha nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, traveling, baking, and visiting the sea lions at the Central Park Zoo. For more information and all the latest book news, visit her website at www.laurabradford.com.

Author Links

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Also by Laura Bradford


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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.”