Posted in 2023 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Winter’s End: A Mystery (Alaska Wild) by Paige Shelton #Review @MinotaurBooks @AuthorPaige


Winter’s End: A Mystery (Alaska Wild)
Suspense/Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Alaska
Minotaur Books (December 6, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250846595
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250846594
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09NTK1KVJ

The fourth installment in the gripping, atmospheric Alaska Wild series, Paige Shelton’s Winter’s End.

It’s springtime in Benedict, Alaska, and with the warmer weather comes an unseasonably somber local tradition…the annual Death Walk. At the end of each brutal winter, citizens gather downtown and then break into groups to search the community for those who might have somehow gotten stuck at home. Beth Rivers sets off with her friend Orin and dog Gus, toward the cabin of an elderly resident, intending to check on him.

When they reach the cabin, the old man is alive, but not in the best shape. Beth stays with him while Orin hurries to town for help, but it’s not Orin who returns. Gril comes back with shocking news, and it soon becomes clear that Orin has also vanished. When they discover that their friend has been doing some top-secret research, they start to worry he’s been exposed, or worse.

Meanwhile, Beth continues on her own search, for her father, who allegedly is alive in Mexico, but won’t return her calls. Still, she’s making progress in healing from her own trauma, though can’t quite shake the feeling she’s being followed…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Benedict, Alaska has a unique tradition due to the vastness of the area and the savage winter months. When the warmer weather of spring returns the annual Death Walk commences. Each citizen must check in downtown. Failure to do so means a visit from members of the community to check if they are still among the living. Newcomer Beth Rivers takes part in her first Death Walk and after checking in travels with her friend Orin and dog Gus to visit an elderly resident who has not appeared in town. They arrive to find the man alive but in a pretty bad state. While Orin leaves to arrange for him to be transferred to the doctor in town Beth stays to try to get some fluids into the man who is clearly dehydrated.

Sometime later Police Chief Gril returns to help Beth and tells her Orin has disappeared. When they return to town she also learns another of her new friends is missing too. Just what Beth needs in her life, more missing persons. She has been searching for her dad and her mother came to Alaska for a visit and took off without saying where she was going. She is also still recovering from her own traumatic event involving another missing man that needs to be caught. Beth also has the eerie feeling someone is watching her. On the upside, there is a new tenant at Benedict House, and boy can they cook!


Beth Rivers is a wonderful protagonist. She moved to Alaska to escape, to hide, from a man who kidnapped her and kept her locked in a van for 3 days before she was able to free herself. She was injured and hospitalized and with a little help, she left the lower 48 and touched down in Alaska to check in to Benedict House until her kidnapper could be caught. As a successful thriller author, using the pseudonym of Elizabeth Fairchild, she can write anywhere. Even in the wilderness of Alaska. Now with this 4th book, Beth is more settled. She has a routine and has made friends. Just a few know her true story but she has fit right into this unique town that is mostly made up of misfits, each with their own distinct story. Ms. Shelton has created a whole group of multifaceted characters including several new characters for this book. They all have layers that are slowly peeled away as the story/series continues. They are all intriguing in their own way and really draw you into the story.

There are several lines of mystery entwined together. A family feud, missing persons, a dead body, a mysterious individual, a weird landmark, and more all come together within these pages. The author has written a fast-paced riveting novel full of mystery and suspense. The location is almost a character in itself. I was able to clearly visualize every place our protagonist traveled. From where she lives at Benedict House, to the shed where she writes, the nearby library, the compounds at each end of town, and even the airport.

Winter’s End is another fascinating read from Paige Shelton. I escaped right into it and had a great time with the residents of Benedict, Alaska.

I have enjoyed every book in this series. I do recommend that you read them all in order to fully appreciate the character growth and development. Plus they are all fantastic reads. The best thing is that Beth’s story continues . . . but we have to wait until December when Lost Hours will be released. Ms. Shelton, can you see me tapping my foot? I am excited and impatiently waiting until that day.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About The Author

PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood, as her father’s job as a football coach took her family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City. She thought she’d only stay a couple of years, but instead, she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After many decades in Utah, she and her family moved to Arizona. She writes the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series and the Alaska Wild series. Her other series include the Farmers’ Market, Cooking School, and Dangerous Type mystery series.

The Rest of the Series

Coming December 5, 2023



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 Interviews

Special Guest – Barbara Pronin – Author of The Miner’s Canary #Interview / #Giveaway


The Miner’s Canary
by Barbara Pronin

It is my pleasure to welcome Barbara Pronin to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Barbara.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a proud grandma, Brooklyn-born but a Southern Californian since graduating from CSULA. I’ve been an actor, a probation officer, a newsroom editor, and a substitute teacher, which led to my first book, “Substitute Teaching: A Handbook for Hassle-free Subbing,” and subsequently to my seven novels.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

  1. Heavy winds scare me stupid.
  2. I wish I had a sister.
  3. In my next life, I want to be a pianist.

What books/authors have most inspired you?

Sophie’s Choice/William Styron

House on Endless Waters/Emuna Elon

Leaving Time/Jodi Picoult

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

For my mysteries, unless they are grounded in science or industry (as Syndrome was) I tend to research as I am writing because I mostly need answers to specific questions. For my just completed historical novel, I researched for many weeks before beginning to write, then continued researching as new issues needed probing and because I wanted to be certain the historical aspects and timeline – and even the autos and uniforms – were correct. I would have loved to revisit Amsterdam and Haarlem, but as I was writing during the pandemic, I had to rely on my memories and my research.

 Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

Rarely – but when I do, it is usually a sign that I’m taking the story in a questionable direction or I’m not being true to my characters’ motivations. I go back, then, and read everything that’s come before, and that usually gets me back on track.

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

Write what you love. Join a read and critique group to give and get valuable and unbiased feedback – and when you have a polished manuscript, persevere with your queries. Rejections come for all sorts of reasons, some of which have nothing to do with your writing, so keep submitting and submitting and submitting.

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

Read. I never seem to have enough time for it. I also enjoy cooking for friends and family. I find it relaxing. And I struggle at the piano for my ears only and only when no one else is around.

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

To Africa. I adore elephants. They are such sentient beings. I would like to see them in their natural habitat – and I want to see Botswana, which Alexander McCall Smith made so real for me with his engaging First Ladies Detective Agency series!

What is next on the horizon for you?

I’m so glad you asked! I have just completed, Winter’s End, a World War II historical novel set in the Netherlands, researched and written with passion, and narrated by three young Dutch women who moved into my head and refused to leave until I told their story. It is under contract for publication in the fall of 2023.

Thank you Barbara for visiting today!


Keep reading to learn about Barbara’s latest mystery!


The Miner’s Canary
Cozy Mystery/Suspense
Setting – South Dakota
Touchpoint Press (October 25, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 326 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1956851410
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1956851410
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BBS7M1MD

“A smart heroine with a haunted past . . . a who-done-it full of twists and turns.”

 

Haunted by a death she might have prevented, single mom Julie Goldman returns to the brooding Black Hills of South Dakota to turn the old Victorian she inherits from her aunt into a bed-and-breakfast inn. But mysterious deaths are piling up, and a series of vaguely escalating threats convince her that someone wants her gone. When daughter Lu is run off the road while riding her bike, Julie knows she must find and stop whoever has them squarely in their sights.

More About Barbara Pronin

A former actress, probation officer, substitute teacher and news editor, Barbara Pronin has authored two non-fiction books in addition to six previous mysteries including three as Barbara Nickolae. A contributing editor to RISMedia with a passion for music, dark chocolate, and the L.A. Dodgers, she lives in Orange County, California, where she is currently completing a historical novel set in World War II the Netherlands.

Visit her on her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Also by this Author

Written as Barbara Nickolae

The author is giving away 2 Signed Copies of The Miner’s Canary! 

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

The contest Will End December 17, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the Entry Form

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses
by K.N. Smith

The author creates a very well-crafted visual world that the reader can easily picture themselves in as they follow the characters through their hijinks and adventures creating a captivating read that you won’t want to put down. 
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

About Discovery of the Five Senses


Discovery of the Five Senses
Young Adult Action-Adventure, Young Adult
Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Mystery/ Thriller
1st in The Urban Boys Series
Reading age ‏ : ‎ 13 – 18 years
Two Petals Publishing (9/15/21 2nd edition)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0989474755
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0989474757
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B015ZS01MI

A suspenseful incident in a forbidden preserve heightens the senses of five friends. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become super-gifts that forever change the world. But furious battles confront the boys as they try to understand their sensory super powers in a race to save mankind. With light beings and mysterious strangers complicating their plight, can the boys defeat the evil Druth before it’s too late? Get prepared for the twisting and grinding of this award-winning, action-adventure story — an edge-of-your-seat narrative for young and mature readers alike.

About K.N. Smith

K.N. Smith, winner of the “Best of” in the category of “Outstanding Young Adult Novel” at the Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Awards, and a Readers’ Favorite “Gold Medal” honoree for “Young Adult – Mystery”, is an author and passionate advocate of literacy and arts programs throughout the world. Her lyrical flair sweeps across pages that twist and grind through action-adventure and urban fantasy in edge-of-your-seat narratives. K.N. has over twenty-five years’ experience in communications and creative design as an award-winning consultant. Reading is still her foremost hobby. K.N. inspires people of all ages to reach their highest potential in their creative, educational, and life pursuits. Visit K.N. Smith at www.knsmith.com.

Social Links

Facebook    Instagram     Goodreads

Purchase Links

Universal Book Link (UBL): https://books2read.com/knsmith

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
November 16 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
November 17 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
November 18 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
November 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 20 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
November 21 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT
November 22 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
November 23 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 24 – THANKSGIVING
November 25 – I’m Into Books – SPOTLIGHT
November 26 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
November 27 – Books Blog – SPOTLIGHT
November 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
November 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
November 30 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW

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Posted in Giveaways

Turkey Day #Giveaway

What could be better than a
Turkey Day Giveaway?

Thanks to the fabulous people at Kensington 5 people will
receive one ADVANCED REVIEW COPY of each book!!!!


A Twist of Murder (A Dickens of a Crime)
by Heather Redmond
Kensington (October 25, 2022)

In Victorian England, aspiring author Charles Dickens is on the case again—in pursuit of missing orphans, legendary treasure, and a cold-blooded killer in the latest installment of Heather Redmond’s charming series that reimagines the famous writer as an amateur sleuth.

Harrow-on-the-Hill, March 1836: In a sense, orphans Ollie, John, and Arthur have always been treasure hunters. The mudlarks have gone from a hardscrabble life scavenging the banks of the Thames for bits and bobs to becoming students at a boarding school outside of London, thanks to the kind and generous intercession of Charles Dickens. But now they’re missing—as is, apparently, a treasure map.

When Charles arrives at the school, he’s hit with another twist—the servant girl who was allegedly in possession of the map has been strangled in the icehouse. Unbeknownst to them on their spirited adventure, his young friends may be in mortal danger. Now Charles and his fiancée Kate Hogarth, who has come to join him in the search for the runaways, must artfully dodge false leads and red herrings to find the boys and the map—before X marks the spot of their graves . . .


A Trace of Poison:
A Riveting Historical Mystery Set in the Home of Agatha Christie
(A Phyllida Bright Mystery)

by Colleen Cambridge
Kensington (October 25, 2022)


In this captivating English murder mystery from an acclaimed author, Agatha Christie’s housekeeper must uncover the killer amongst a throng of crime writers.

In England’s stately manor houses, murder is not generally a topic for polite conversation. Mallowan Hall, home to Agatha Christie and her husband, Max, is the exception. And housekeeper Phyllida Bright delights in discussing gory plot details with her friend and employer . . .

The neighboring village of Listleigh has also become a hub of grisly goings-on, thanks to a Murder Fête organized to benefit a local orphanage. Members of The Detection Club—a group of celebrated authors such as G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Agatha herself—will congregate for charitable events, including a writing contest for aspiring authors. The winner gets an international publishing contract, and entrants have gathered for a cocktail party—managed by the inimitable Phyllida—when murder strikes too close even for her comfort.

It seems the victim imbibed a poisoned cocktail intended for Alastair Whittlesby, president of the local writers’ club. The insufferable Whittlesby is thought to be a shoo-in for the prize, and ambition is certainly a worthy motive. But narrowing down these suspects could leave even Phyllida’s favorite fictional detective, M. Poirot, twirling his mustache in frustration.

It’s a mystery too intriguing for Phyllida to resist, but one fraught with duplicity and danger, for every guest is an expert in murder—and how to get away with it . . .


The Secret of the Lost Pearls (A Useful Woman Mystery)
by Darcie Wilde
Kensington (December 27, 2022)

Beyond the glittering ballrooms and elegant parties of Regency London lurk all manner of unexpected dangers. In Darcie Wilde’s captivating mystery series inspired by the novels of Jane Austen and written with the wit of “Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s cheeky asides in Fleabag” (Bookpage), no one is better equipped to help ladies who find themselves wronged than “useful woman” Rosalind Thorne…

Rosalind Thorne may not have a grand fortune of her own, but she possesses virtues almost as prized by the haut ton: discretion, and a web of connections that enable her to discover just about anything about anyone. Known as a “most useful woman,” Rosalind helps society ladies in need—for a modest fee, of course—and her client roster is steadily increasing. Mrs. Gerald Douglas, née Bethany Hodgeson, presents Rosalind with a particularly delicate predicament. A valuable pearl necklace has gone missing, and Bethany’s husband believes the thief is Nora, Bethany’s disgraced sister. Nora made a scandalous elopement at age sixteen and returned three years later, telling the family that her husband was dead. But as Rosalind begins her investigations, under cover of helping the daughters of the house prepare for their first London season, she realizes that the family harbors even more secrets than scandals. The intrigue swirling around the Douglases includes fraud, forgery, blackmail, and soon, murder. And it will fall to Rosalind, aided by charming Bow Street officer Adam Harkness, to untangle the shocking truth and discover who is a thief—and who is a killer.


Murder at the Majestic Hotel (A Stella and Lyndy Mystery)
by Clara McKenna
Kensington (October 25, 2022)

Against all expectations in Edwardian England, newly married American heiress Stella Kendrick and British aristocrat Viscount “Lyndy” Lyndhurst are bucking traditions—and investigating murder—on their honeymoon in the latest installment of the Stella & Lyndy Mysteries from acclaimed author Clara McKenna.

Leaving behind tragedies surrounding their wedding at Morrington Hall, travel-worn Stella and Lyndy arrive at the grand Majestic Hotel in York to more misfortune—their stately honeymoon suite has been given away to Horace Wingrove, owner of England’s largest confectionery. Stella refuses to let an innocent booking mistake spoil the mood, but her optimism vanishes when Horace suffocates in the room where she and Lyndy should have stayed . . .

Unlike authorities on the scene, Stella can’t believe the business magnate’s death can be explained away as an accident. Troubling signs are everywhere—strange murmurs in the hallway, tight-lipped hotel staff, and a stolen secret recipe for Wingrave’s famous chocolate. Then there are Horace’s murky intentions for visiting the historic cathedral city, and those who were closely watching his every move . . .

As Stella and Lyndy tour Yorkshire and mingle with royals as husband and wife, they face a sinister mystery that puts their vows to the test. Can the couple work together to discover the truth about their romantic destination and the strange happenings haunting their trip before they’re treated to another terrifying surprise?

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a U.S. address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

The contest Will End December 1, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

*Giveaway is sponsored by Kensington Books

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Case of the Amorous Assailant by Terry Ambrose #Review


The Case of the Amorous Assailant
Private Investigator Mystery
Setting – California
Satori (October 18, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 099689148X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0996891486
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B8TQVFZ5

New PI Jade Cavendish’s investigation into a cheating husband takes a bizarre turn when she uncovers a plot to commit murder.

The Amorous Assailant has frustrated police for months. His MO is always the same. He binds his victims with red silk, kisses them, and leaves them with a red rose. Women throughout the city are worried they’ll be his next victim.

Novice PI Jade Cavendish isn’t one of them, though. After inheriting the Beachtown Detective Agency, she’s worried about landing a paying client. Any client. She’d even settle for a dognapping.

Gina Rose, a wealthy young heiress, has a problem. Her new husband, a man she thought was her perfect match, is bleeding her dry. When Gina hires Jade to prove her husband is defrauding her, Jade quickly learns he’s a terrible businessman. His investment properties are oozing money like open wounds.

On the surface, it appears Gina simply has bad taste in men. But Jade refuses to give up on her client so easily. Her investigation pulls her into a world filled with greed, one where secrets are a way of life, events are not always what they seem, and lies conceal deadly realities—including the Amorous Assailant’s true motive.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

PI Jade Cavendish is a rookie. She has inherited the Beachtown Detective Agency from her father who is retiring. Now, she just needs her first case and she doesn’t care what kind of a case it is.

Rich young heiress, Gina Rose enters the Beachtown Detective Agency with a problem. She thought she had married the man of her dreams, but she now realizes he just married her for her money. Jade agrees to help her even when Gina doesn’t like the path the investigation takes.

All the while, the Amorous Assailant has the police stymied. He targets women, uses red silk to bind their hands, gives them a kiss and a red rose, and disappears. Would Jade have a better chance of catching him?


Mr. Ambrose has introduced readers to a spunky smart protagonist in Jade Cavendish. She just needs to get her first case behind her to grow her confidence.

Jade is joined by some entertaining secondary characters. Her dad and mom, Zoe, a blogger that becomes her sidekick, along with a group of women she meets teaching a self-defense class. Zoe brings a lot of humor to the story and gives Jade a few headaches with her unpredictable way of overstepping her bounds. I enjoyed meeting these characters and felt they were well-developed for the first book in the series.

The story started out in a way that I wasn’t expecting making me wonder where the author was going but soon it all became clear as he took his characters through a bunch of twists and turns to deliver a very solid mystery. Jade uncovered several secrets and lies that kept the story moving at a nice pace. I was able to piece the clues together before Jade’s discovery but that didn’t take away my desire to see how everything was going to play out.

This author gets the details right. He sets a scene so well, readers feel they are there, right on the spot. His characters are realistic and their dialogues ring true. The mystery is well-plotted and while the theme of this story is a little out there it could actually happen in real life.

I hope The Case of the Amorous Assailant is the first book in a long-running series. I really like these characters and can only imagine the storylines Mr. Ambrose could feature them in. The sky seems to be the limit.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Terry Ambrose started out skip-tracing and collecting money from deadbeats and quickly learned that liars come from all walks of life. He never actually stole a car, but sometimes hired big guys with tow trucks and a penchant for working in the dark to “help” when negotiations failed.

A resident of Southern California, he loves spending time in Hawaii, especially on the Garden Island of Kauai, where he invents lies for others to read. His years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—always keep your car in the garage.

Author links:
Website    Facebook      Twitter     Instagram     BookBub     Goodreads    Amazon

Purchase – Amazon

Also by Terry Ambrose



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 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dead Calm (A Mattie Winston Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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.


Dead Calm (A Mattie Winston Mystery)
Hard Boiled Mystery
9th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Kensington (February 27, 2018)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706684
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706683
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496706692
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496706690
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07178SP36

As deputy medical examiner and homicide detective respectively, newlyweds Mattie Winston and Steve Hurley are dispatched to a grisly crime scene at the Grizzly Motel, a seedy joint for illicit liaisons on the outskirts of Sorenson, Wisconsin. A man and woman are found dead next to each other in bed in what initially appears to be a grim but straightforward murder-suicide. An affair gone sour?

But as the forensic evidence is gathered and autopsies are performed, Mattie and Hurley realize the scene has been staged. They have a double murder on their hands. The spurned spouses of both victims top the list of suspects, but as more is revealed, the case becomes increasingly complex. Dividing their time and resources between the crime and an ongoing investigation involving Mattie’s father, plus caring for their kids, the two are stretched to their limits. After another victim turns up dead, there’s no room for error as they stage a scene of their own to back the killer into a corner . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Deputy Medical Examiner Mattie Winston and her husband Homicide Detective Steve Hurley are called to the Grizzly (No Tell) Motel for 2 bodies. At first, the deaths are thought to be murder/suicide to end an affair but some keen observations and the autopsies show that isn’t what happened. It is a double murder case and the couple’s respective spouses are now the prime suspects.

Mattie and Hurley are also still working on an investigation that involves Mattie’s father, trying to build a house, taking care of their family, and more. With this new double murder, they are juggling a lot and it may just be too much. Then another body is found and Mattie pushes her boss to hire a replacement for her recently deceased coworker before she goes over the edge. Until then she and her hunky detective may need to get creative to solve a complex case and catch a killer.


Ms. Ryan has packed this book full of mysteries! An old case that started in a previous book, a strange case that may involve aliens, and the current murder case. All three grab a hold of the reader and play out at their own pace throughout the book. The alien case made me think of the recent release by this author, A Death in Door County. It shows me that the author has wanted to explore unique storylines for a while and she does it very well. The old case is very complex and has many tangents to explore which I enjoyed. The new case was more straightforward and easier for readers to solve.

I really appreciate that Ms. Ryan writes true-to-life characters. Mattie Winston is not a superwoman and her work is starting to take a toll on her mind and body. Steve is very supportive but he gets overwhelmed at times as well. Izzy and Dom are struggling a bit too with Izzy going back to work, his mother living on the premises, and Dom wanting to get back to some of the things he was doing before the baby came. Dom is also babysitting Matthew for Mattie and Steve.

The recognizable Wisconsin references are always a treat. This time Mattie truly was in my neck of the woods, just mere blocks away.

I love the way Ms. Ryan writes a story and the way she blends together mysteries and family life. At first, I thought this book was a little light on the author’s signature humor. That was until Izzy and Mattie started to interview for someone to replace Hal. Oh my stars, you won’t believe who they ultimately hire. I think things are going to be very interesting around the morgue. It may mean everyone working there will need to receive a special piece of equipment.

Dead Calm is not a book you can read as a stand-alone because of the arc of one of the cases. Of course, as a fan, I think you should read the entire series in order to really get to know these characters.  But if you want to jump in later in the series it twisted from the cozy realm to more hard-boiled with Dead in The Water so that one should definitely be read before this book.

I have enjoyed this entire series and look forward to reading Dead of Winter soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Dead Calm.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
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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 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Death in Door County (A Monster Hunter Mystery) by Annelise Ryan #Review @ryan_annelise

Release Date – September 13, 2022


A Death in Door County (A Monster Hunter Mystery)
Traditional Mystery
1st In Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Berkley (September 13, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593441575
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593441572
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09N6MRYVV

A Wisconsin bookstore owner and cryptozoologist is asked to investigate a series of deaths that just might be proof of a fabled lake monster in this first installment of a new mystery series by USA Today bestselling author Annelise Ryan.

Morgan Carter, the owner of the Odds and Ends bookstore in Door County, Wisconsin, has a hobby. When she’s not tending the store, she’s hunting cryptids—creatures whose existence is rumored, but never proven to be real. It’s a hobby that cost her parents their lives, but one she’ll never give up on.

So when a number of bodies turn up on the shores of Lake Michigan with injuries that look like bites from a giant unknown animal, police chief Jon Flanders turns to Morgan for help. A skeptic at heart, Morgan can’t turn down the opportunity to find proof of an entity whose existence she can’t definitively rule out. She and her beloved rescue dog, Newt, journey to the Death’s Door strait to hunt for a homicidal monster in the lake—but if they’re not careful, they just might be its next victims.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What lies deep in the waters of the Great Lakes? Could there be a monster or two? Morgan Carter is determined to find out. Her hobby is hunting cryptids—creatures whose existence is rumored but never proven to be real.

Police Chief Jon Flanders has learned of Morgan’s hobby and has asked her for help when bodies, human and animal, have washed up on the shores of Lake Michigan with unusual bites from an unknown animal. Morgan cannot turn the man down so she and her rescue dog, Newt take on the case of the “monster” in the Death’s Door strait. Will they survive or be the next victims of the monster lurking beneath the surface?


As a Wisconsin resident and a fan of Annelise Ryan, I was not sure where she was going with the Monster Hunter theme but was pleasantly surprised when I started reading this story.

Morgan Carter is a unique protagonist that has a sad backstory, her parents were killed a couple of years ago, an unusual hobby, hunting cryptids, and is the owner of the Odds and Ends bookstore which is filled with some really peculiar items. She is smart and driven especially when she is on a hunt. Her best friend is her rescue dog Newt. He goes along with her everywhere she goes. We also meet Police Chief Jon Flanders. He also has a painful past. Morgan’s employees, Devon and Rita, bring a lot to this story too. All these characters are well-developed, especially for the first book in the series.

The mystery was captivating. The weather on the lake was haunting most of the time. The search really drew me in. So much so that I physically jumped back in my seat more than once. Ms. Ryan paced the entire story perfectly. Near the end, I finally had some clues fall into place but I loved the final reveal. When I turned the last page I felt like I had been on a real adventure.

Setting this book in Door County was fun. I recognized the places Morgan traveled and those I was unfamiliar with were described perfectly to create the images in my mind.

The author adds some worthy themes into this story, like building trust and coping with past traumatic events. She also made the idea of cryptids actually believable, even though I have lived here my whole life and never heard of any such thing in any of the Great Lakes.  The truth is you never know what you may find in those waters. Hear my diabolical laugh here.

A Death in Door County was a Perfect Escape. Ms. Ryan has given this series a great start. I am eager to see where she takes her characters next.

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About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

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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Book Blast – An Eyre of Mystery by G. Leeson


An Eyre of Mystery
by G. Leeson

BOOK BLAST 

About An Eyre of Mystery

An Eyre of Mystery
Fantasy Portal/Mystery
Grace Abraham Publishing (July 12, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 177 pages
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09ZDLM7B7

Classic literature is at risk of disappearing from the world…

 

When Gia accepts a job as a library archivist at a manor house in North Carolina, she has no idea what she’s in for. On day one, she finds herself outside her comfort zone when she accidentally travels through a magical portal to the world of Jane Eyre. She finds Edward Rochester imprisoned as he awaits his death sentence for killing his wife. But Gia has read the book, and she knows Edward is innocent of murder.

 

Soon, she realizes that there are sinister mystical forces working to rewrite the narrative, hoping to destroy the manuscript altogether. To restore order and reset the book to its original state, Gia must discover who actually killed Bertha Rochester and framed her husband for the crime.

 

But few of the people she meets are who they claim to be and they all have secrets…including Edward.

 

About G. Leeson

Gayle [G. Leeson, for this book] has taken a real leap of faith with An Eyre of Mystery and the world of Literatia. She decided to explore what would happen if a reader–or in this case, an archivist–actually got lost in a great book. But when she travels through the portal into the world Jane Eyre, she finds it to be a topsy-turvy mess. Edward Rochester is facing a death sentence, and Gia has been tasked with finding out who really killed his wife so that Edward can go free, the book will reset to its original form, and Gia may return home. If you’d like to get a sample of the book, please check out this extended sneak peek (first five chapters) at https://BookHip.com/SFPWRLD.

Author Links

Gayle Leeson Website    Facebook     FB Reader Group    Twitter    Instagram

Purchase Links


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A Death in Eden: A Novel (A Sean Stranahan Mystery) by Keith McCafferty #Review / #Giveaway @penguinusa

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.


A Death in Eden: A Novel (A Sean Stranahan Mystery)
Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Montana
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Books (July 3, 2018)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 317 pages
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B077CTG2B5

When scarecrows appear in the cliffs above Montana’s famous Smith River and a little girl reports being chased by one in the night, state investigator Harold Little Feather is brought in to find the culprit.  Are the menacing effigies related to a copper-mining project that threatens the purity of the Smith? That’s Harold’s initial suspicion, but his investigation takes an ominous turn when a decapitated body is found in the river.

As Harold’s search leads him back in time through the canyon’s history, Sean Stranahan launches his raft upriver. He has been hired to guide a floating party that includes Clint McCaine, the manager of the mine project; Bart Trueblood, the president of “Save The Smith,” a grassroots organization devoted to stopping the project; and the documentarian filming their arguments. McCaine and Trueblood grew up on the Smith on neighboring ranches, and as they travel downstream, it’s revealed that the two share a past that runs much deeper and darker than their opposing viewpoints.

The currents of the seemingly unrelated trips will soon flow together, and Stranahan’s long-time love Sheriff Martha Ettinger will enter the fray as the boats hurtle toward a date with danger at a place called Table Rock.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is something strange happening along the Smith River in Montana. Several scarecrows have been erected on the cliffs above the endangered waterway. Is someone putting them up to protest the proposed copper-mining project or is there something else going on. After a little girl claims to have been chased by one of the scarecrows State Investigator Harold Little Feather is brought in to put the matter to rest. Instead, his investigation turns up a headless body floating in the river.

While Investigator Little Feather digs deep into the canyon’s history to find answers, our protagonist Sean Stranahan is hired to guide a floating party down the river. The party includes the manager of the mine project, Clint McCaine, and the president of “Save the Smith”, Bart Trueblood, his group is trying everything to stop the mine project. They are joined by a documentarian who is filming their journey down the river and their arguments about the project.

Soon Sean’s group and Harold Little Feather come together and Sheriff Martha Ettinger joins them as they set up for a dangerous showdown.


I have enjoyed this series from the start and am a huge fan of the author’s laid-back writing style. From casting a line in the water to the characters traversing up, down, and around the river and its cliffs everything just comes to life. You can almost hear the rush of the water, smell the smoke from the campfires, and reach out and touch the cliffs.  Mr. McCafferty does this better than many other authors that I have read. He really takes his readers on the journey.

This time our characters are a ways away from home and we meet several new characters with their own agendas. Harold Little Feather really shares the spotlight with Sean and Martha this time. He had expected a pretty low-key investigation so he invited the son he barely knows to meet up with him for the trip for a bit of bonding. I enjoyed getting to know him better and meeting his son very much. The acidic documentarian, Lillian Cartwright, brings her own drama to the situation. Anything to make a name for herself as she tees up “discussions” between McCaine and Trueblood. But there is a dark underbelly to this story. Someone has a score to settle and will go to any lengths to get what they want.

I was really drawn into this book by so many things. The fact that the scarecrows were located by ancient petroglyphs left by Native Americans. The history of it all was very captivating along with the mystery of Why? The Smith River itself and that people wait years for their names to be drawn in a lottery for the opportunity to float down the famous river. The dangers faced when you stop to camp like wild animals and rattlesnakes and other humans as well. All the character’s interactions were so enjoyable to observe.

The author’s keen wit can be felt throughout the story. Especially when it comes to Sean and Martha. Where will their relationship lead? I wonder if we will ever know but until then they do this unique dance throughout each story. One thing I do know is that they have each other’s back. When the bullets start to fly or a threatening menace arrives on the scene they will pull out all the stops to rescue each other and save the good people caught in the chaos. This time I was right up to the very edge of my seat and I am surprised there wasn’t smoke pouring out of my Kindle as everything came to a head.

A Death in Eden has become my favorite book in the series so far. Keith McCafferty is a superb storyteller. So much happens within the pages of this book it is almost impossible to put down while you are reading and it is a story that will stick with you long after you reach the end.

*Note the story does contain some explicit language.

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About The Author

Keith McCafferty is the Survival and Outdoor Skills Editor of Field & Stream. He has written articles for publications as diverse as Fly Fisherman Magazine, Mother Earth News, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and the Chicago Tribune, and on subjects ranging from mosquitoes to wolves to mercenaries and exorcism. Based in Montana and working on assignment around the globe–he recently spent a month in India trekking the Himalayas, fishing for golden mahseer, and studying tigers–Keith has won numerous awards, including the Robert Traver Award for angling literature. He has twice been a finalist for a National Magazine Award. Find out more about Keith and his books on his webpage here.



I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of A Death in Eden!
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Contest Will End July 15, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For the Entry Form

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

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Book Blast – Death Under The Perseids (A Havana Mystery) by Teresa Dovalpage #Giveaway


Death Under The Perseids (A Havana Mystery)
by Teresa Dovalpage

About Death Under the Perseids

Death Under The Perseids (A Havana Mystery)
Mystery
Hispanic American Literature & Fiction
4th in Series
Soho Crime (December 7, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1641292164
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1641292160
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08Y8DT7GL

There’s no such thing as a free cruise in Cuban American author Teresa Dovalpage’s addictively clever new Havana mystery.

 

Cuban-born Mercedes Spivey and her American husband, Nolan, win a five-day cruise to Cuba. Although the circumstances surrounding the prize seem a little suspicious to Mercedes, Nolan’s current unemployment and their need to spice up their marriage make the decision a no-brainer. Once aboard, Mercedes is surprised to see two people she met through her ex-boyfriend Lorenzo: former University of Havana professor Selfa Segarra and down-on-his-luck Spanish writer Javier Jurado. Even stranger: they also received a free cruise.

 

When Selfa disappears on their first day at sea, Mercedes and Javier begin to wonder if their presence on the cruise is more than coincidence. Mercedes confides her worries to her husband, but he convinces her that it’s all in her head.

 

However, when Javier dies under mysterious circumstances after disembarking in Havana, and Nolan is nowhere to be found, Mercedes scrambles through the city looking for him, fearing her suspicions were correct all along.

 

Praise for Death Under the Perseids

“Dovalpage allows Mercedes a vivid, emotional tour of Havana as she explores the areas where she grew up and how the city still lives in her heart . . . Death Under the Perseids offers as many surprises as the meteor shower it is named after.”
—Oline H. Cogdill, South Florida Sun Sentinel

“From the start of Teresa Dovalpage’s Death Under the Perseids, a highly entertaining mystery set in Havana, there’s an ominous tone, a hint of something repressed beneath the main character’s narration . . . Like the Perseids meteor shower that once every hundred years or so lets us ‘look back across time’ in the universe, this trip to Havana forces Mercedes ‘with a biting awareness’ to confront her past.”
—Carole E. Barrowman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“[A] refreshing and elusive Cuban crime novel.”
—Jack Batten, The Toronto Star

“[Death under the Perseids] has wonderful descriptions of mouth-watering food, Cuban architecture, history of the island, and the lifestyle of an average Cuban (in this case, Mercedes’ grandmother).”
Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine

“Beyond being a riveting and pleasurable read, Death Under the Perseids by Teresa Dovalpage provides an uncommon perspective on present-day Havana, one that is apolitical and unclouded by nostalgia . . . Savor the delectable food and evocative place details, the crafty plotting, and laugh-out-loud humor . . . Death Under the Perseids makes an outstanding contribution to the whodunit genre and to contemporary Latinx literature as a whole.”
—Latino Book Review

“The latest Havana Mystery won’t disappoint Dovalpage fans or newcomers alike. The combination of plot, setting and characters make for a compelling read.”
Ms. Magazine

“Dovalpage excels in her portrayal of old Havana.”
—The Taos News

Death under the Perseids is much darker than Dovalpage’s three earlier mysteries . . . A must for the shelf.”
—Kingdom Books

“Highly captivating . . . If Agatha Christie was Cuban, she would have written this mystery . . . Teresa Dovalpage’s expertly penned mystery, Death under the Perseids, is a character-driven revenge thriller.”
—Gumshoe Review

“[An] engagingly escapist mystery.”
—Everything Zoomer

“[T]he last third of the novel [Death under the Perseids] delivers revelations like hammer blows. They’re well worth waiting for.”
Booklist

“Armchair travelers will appreciate the views of Havana through the eyes of Mercedes and her grandmother . . . Dovalpage remains a writer to watch.”
Publishers Weekly

“Sharply-plotted, highly readable, evocative, and timely—Teresa Dovalpage’s latest is her best yet. Death Under the Perseids is an author at the top of her game, and a must-read for mystery fans who love great locations paired with even better characters. I couldn’t put this book down.” 
—Alex Segura, acclaimed author of the Pete Fernandez Miami Mystery series and Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall

“A twisty mystery filled with complex characters caught under a cloud of suspicion, Death Under the Perseids will keep you guessing until the end. Teresa Dovalpage transports readers to Havana on an ill-fated cruise where danger abounds.”
Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba

“In this tale of love and betrayal, Dovalpage reminds us that, much like the meteors that illuminate the night sky, so will the past catch up to cast a light on our darkest moments.”
—Melissa Rivero, Author of The Affairs of the Falcóns

On Sale During the month of June at Amazon $2.99 

About Teresa Dovalpage

Born in Havana, Cuba, Teresa Dovalpage has a PhD in Hispanic Literature from the University of New Mexico and is currently a Spanish professor at New Mexico Junior College. She is also the author of twelve novels, three collections of short stories, and three theater plays. Her Havana Mystery series, published by Soho Crime, debuted with the culinary mystery Death Comes in through the Kitchen (2018). The second novel, Queen of Bones (2019) was chosen by NBC News as one of the top 10 books by and about Latinos in 2019. The third and fourth — Death of a Telenovela Star (2020) and Death under the Perseids (2021) — are set on Caribbean cruises. You can find more about her on her English blog or Spanish blog.

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