Nov 012019
 

A Legacy of Murder: A Kate Hamilton Mystery
by Connie Berry

I am excited to kick this tour off today and
shine my spotlight on the latest book from Connie Berry!

About A Legacy of Murder

A Legacy of Murder: A Kate Hamilton Mystery
Traditional Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (October 8, 2019)
Hardcover ~336 Pages
ISBN-10: 1643851543
ISBN-13: 978-1643851549
Digital ASIN: B07NKQDYM3

American antique dealer Kate Hamilton’s Christmastime jaunt to a charming English village leads to an investigation of a missing ruby…and a chain of murders.

It’s Christmastime and antiques dealer Kate Hamilton is off to visit her daughter, Christine, in the quaint English village of Long Barston. Christine and her boyfriend, Tristan, work at stately-but-crumbling Finchley Hall. Touring the Elizabethan house and grounds, Kate is intrigued by the docent’s tales of the Finchley Hoard, and the strange deaths surrounding the renowned treasure trove. But next to a small lake, Kate spies the body of a young woman, killed by a garden spade.

Nearly blind Lady Barbara, who lives at Finchley with her loyal butler, Mugg, persuades Kate to take over the murdered woman’s work. Kate finds that a Burmese ruby has vanished from the legendary Blood-Red Ring, replaced by a lesser garnet. Were the theft and the woman’s death connected?

Kate learns that Lady Barbara’s son fled to Venezuela years before, suspected of murdering another young woman. The murder weapon belonged to an old gardener, who becomes the leading suspect. But is Lady Barbara’s son back to kill again? When another body is found, the clues point toward Christine. It’s up to Kate to clear her daughter’s name in Connie Berry’s second Kate Hamilton mystery, a treasure for fans of traditional British mysteries.

About Connie Berry

Like her protagonist, Connie Berry was raised in the antiques trade. After teaching theology for twenty-five years, she took up writing mysteries featuring high-end antiques and the legacy of the past. Connie loves history, cute animals, travel with a hint of adventure, and all things British. She lives in Ohio with her husband and adorable dog, Millie.

Author Links:  Website –  Goodreads

Facebook Author@Facebook.com

Twitter @conniecberry

Purchase Links:

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
November 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
November 1 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
November 1 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 2 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
November 2 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 2 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 3 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW
November 3 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
November 3 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
November 4 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
November 4 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
November 4 – Diane Reviews Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 5 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 5 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
November 6 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
November 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
November 7 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 7 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 8 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
November 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 8 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
November 9 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
November 9 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW
November 10 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 10 – Here’s How It Happened – GUEST POST
November 11 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
November 11 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW
November 11 – Christa Reads & Writes – REVIEW
November 12 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 12 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 12 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

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Oct 182019
 


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.


Malice in Maggody (The Arly Hanks Mysteries)
Humorous Mystery (Explicit Language)
1st in Series
Setting – Arkansas
Originally Released (February 5, 1991)
MysteriousPress.com/Open Road – Reprint edition (February 14, 2017)
Print Length: 260 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01N4RHNLC

After a crossbow killing at a cheap roadside motel, Ozarks police chief Arly Hanks finds herself investigating her first murder case.

Her marriage over and career gone bust, Arly Hanks flees Manhattan for her hometown: Maggody, Arkansas. In a town this size, nothing much ever happens, so Arly figures she’s safe as the town’s first female chief of police—until the husband of one of the local barmaids escapes from state prison and heads for town. And that’s not all. An EPA official with ties to polluting the local fishing hole has suddenly vanished off the face of the earth.

As if two manhunts aren’t enough to contend with, a body has been discovered at the pay-by-the-hour Flamingo Motel, shot clean through the neck with an arrow. For some reason, Maggody’s residents—all 755 of them—have gone tight-lipped, stonewalling Arly’s investigations, and Arly hasn’t a soul to trust but her half-wit deputy. Now, as Maggody’s finest, she’ll have to show a little muscle and a lot of cunning to curtail the inhospitable mountain malice that’s overtaken her town. And she’ll have to watch her own back every step of the way.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Arly Hanks returns to Maggody, Arkansas, population 755, after her career and marriage blows up and lands the job of Chief of Police. The crime in Maggody is virtually non-existent and writing traffic tickets is the major concern. But then a prison escape puts everyone on guard. The man who escaped is the husband of Jaylee Withers, a barmaid at Ruby Dee’s Bar and Grill. The residents of Maggody are also dealing with the EPA who has given the go-ahead for a sewage treatment plant that will feed into the beloved Boone Creek. The man sent to get all the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed made it to town but hasn’t been seen since.

So the crime rate in Maggody has taken a huge spike with two manhunts. But that’s not all … Arly now has to add a murder to her list when a body outside the pay-by-the-hour Flamingo Motel and she isn’t getting any help anyone in town, not even her mother. Thankfully Arly isn’t on her own and I don’t mean her Barney Fife deputy, she gets a much-needed assist from the State Police even though she isn’t happy to accept it.

___

This book is listed on many sites as a “cozy mystery” so I was completely caught off guard when the first line of the book is “It’s sh*t – pure and simple sh*t, no matter what they call it in those g*ddamn reports” (asterisks added by me.) While the language may be authentic and I have no problem with that language in almost any other genre, I just don’t believe it should be found in a cozy mystery.  I did keep reading and did enjoy the book but I refuse to classify it as a cozy mystery.

Joan Hess has created larger than life characters and placed them in a quirky small town. Almost everyone we meet is hiding something or keeping a secret or involved in nefarious activities and sometimes all three. While I found most of them to be pretty stereotypical and could be offensive to some readers I did find them entertaining.

The mystery plotlines were interesting even with readers knowing many things Arly didn’t. The story was well-plotted and the final reveal was surprising but made perfect sense. The author leans heavily on humor and some scenes were pretty hilarious.

Colorful characters in a Southern small-town, Malice in Maggody was an unusual and stirring mystery. I do plan to read more of this series.

One note: I think formatting this book for digital devices made transitions hard to follow at times. Storyline transitions were blurred due to the flow of the text. Spaces for setting changes or time changes within the chapters would be appreciated.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

I was sad to learn while researching this series that the author passed away in November 2017. Joan Hess was an American mystery writer, a member of Sisters in Crime, and a former president of the American Crime Writers League. She wrote two popular mystery series: The Claire Malloy Mysteries and The Maggody Mysteries (also called The Arly Hanks Mysteries), and has contributed to multiple anthologies and book series, including: Crosswinds, Deadly Allies, Malice Domestic, Sisters in Crime, and The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. She also wrote the Theo Bloomer mystery series, under the pseudonym Joan Hadley.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
It will be sent directly from Amazon.
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Contest Will End November 1, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

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Sep 272019
 

When It’s Time for Leaving
by Ang Pompano

Today I am filling in for another blogger. 

I am pleased to shine the spotlight on When It’s Time for Leaving today
to kick off the Great Escapes Book Tour!

 

About The Book


When It’s Time for Leaving
Traditional Mystery
1st in Series
Encircle Publications, LLC (October 1, 2019)
Paperback: 274 pages
ISBN-10: 1948338920
ISBN-13: 978-1948338929
Digital ASIN: B07TYQ8PDL

When his girlfriend dumps him and a dealer nearly rams him off a bridge, Al DeSantis quits the New Haven Police Department. Just as he plans to head for LA, he finds out the father who left when he was a kid has deeded him the Blue PalmettoDetective Agency in Georgia.

Al goes down to Savannah intending to sell fast and go west, but before he can, he discovers a strong, attractive detective named Maxine, a dead body on the dock—and his father, alive, suffering from dementia, and determined to help his “new partner Al” solve the crime. Al has a lot of adjusting to do when his traditional ideas are challenged as he has to act as his father’s caretaker, and finds that Maxine is his superior in the agency that he “owns.” When his father goes missing, Al and Max must team up to save his father–and capture the murderer.

Praise

Ang Pompano’s debut novel, WHEN IT’S TME FOR LEAVING, is a corker. Thoroughly likeable former cop, Al DeSantis, wants to get out of the crime business but inherits one that, fortunately for readers, won’t let him go. — Hallie Ephron, New York Times bestselling author CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

In When It’s Time for Leaving, debut mystery author Ang Pompano has created the most unusual and appealing duo of detectives since Holmes and Watson. —Lucy Burdette, national bestselling author of A DEADLY FEAST

Author Ang Pompano serves up the PI for the double 20s. Al DeSantis is a classic, damaged gumshoe but with a youthful energy that pulls you through the pages. —Barbara Ross, author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries and winner 2019 Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction

Crime fiction has boasted some famous fathers and sons, from Inspector Richard Queen and his son Ellery to Jim Rockford and his dad Rocky. Add to that list the unforgettable duo of Al DeSantis and Big Al—building on that tradition but with some provocative twists. Ang Pompano’s first novel proves tough-minded and warm-hearted in equal measure. A fine, multi-layered debut.—Art Taylor 2019 Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, Macavity, and Derringer Award winner

When it’s Time for Leaving is a crime thriller that delivers an atmospheric tale packed with action, suspense and some surprising twists. Pompano is a skilled storyteller who offers readers a complex mystery of chases, confrontation and introspection. The tale he weaves is, indeed a well-crafted murder mystery, set in a turbulent sea of emotions and populated with multifaceted characters. ­­­ —James Terry reviewer The Paladin Project

I like mystery/thrillers.  This one is heavy on the mystery and very little thriller aspect.  It is an enjoyable sometimes snarky read that made me smile.  The main characters were so well written I felt like I knew them. The mystery itself was wrapped in mystery as we got to know the individuals and the hidden nuances of small towns.  It was almost like watching (albeit reading) a 50/60 movie.  I personally wanted the ending to share with everyone who was guilty.  Have to leave it there, no spoilers.  Thank you for the arc!  All thoughts and opinions are my own and were unsolicited. —Cheryl M, Net Galley Reviewer

A really good and surprising mystery. The characters are great and feel like friends. I loved the snarky humor. I will definitely read more by this author. —Leah H, Net Galley Reviewer 

About Ang Pompano

Ang Pompano has been writing mysteries for more than twenty years. His mystery novel, WHEN IT’S TIME FOR LEAVING will be published on October 1, 2019, by Encircle Publications. His short stories have been published in many award-winning anthologies, including the 2019 Malice Domestic Anthology, PARNELL HALL PRESENTS MALICE DOMESTIC: MURDER MOST EDIBLE. His newest story, “Stringer” will appear in SEASCAPE: THE BEST NEW ENGLAND CRIME STORIES 2019. In addition, he has written many academic pieces including one on teaching detective fiction. A member of Mystery Writers of America, he is a past recipient of the Helen McCloy/Mystery Writers of America Scholarship for a novel in progress. He has been on the New England Crime Bake Planning Committee for fourteen years and is a long-time board member of Sisters in Crime New England. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Annette, an artist, and his two rescue dogs, Quincy and Dexter.

Author Links – WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram

Purchase Links

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 27 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book 
September 28 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT – Sapphyria’s Books
September 29 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
September 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 1 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 2 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
October 3 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
October 4 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
October 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 7 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 8 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW  
October 9 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
October 10 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

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Sep 172019
 


The Vanished Bride (Brontë Sisters Mystery)
Biographical Historical Fiction/Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Yorkshire, England
Berkley (September 10, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0593099052
ISBN-13: 978-0593099056
Kindle ASIN: B07PF6T82G

Before they became legendary writers, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë were detectors in this charming historical mystery…

Yorkshire, 1845. A young wife and mother has gone missing from her home, leaving behind two small children and a large pool of blood. Just a few miles away, a humble parson’s daughters—the Brontë sisters—learn of the crime. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are horrified and intrigued by the mysterious disappearance.

These three creative, energetic, and resourceful women quickly realize that they have all the skills required to make for excellent “lady detectors.” Not yet published novelists, they have well-honed imaginations and are expert readers. And, as Charlotte remarks, “detecting is reading between the lines—it’s seeing what is not there.”

As they investigate, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne are confronted with a society that believes a woman’s place is in the home, not scouring the countryside looking for clues. But nothing will stop the sisters from discovering what happened to the vanished bride, even as they find their own lives are in great peril…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When I pull out my list of favorite books, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is always near the top of the list so when I learned of this book I knew I just had to read it.

Bella Ellis writes a story where the Brontë sisters with a couple of assists from their brother become amateur detectors when they learn of a young bride missing from her home with a gruesome scene left behind. The sisters spend their days trying to write but have been bored and in need of some fresh ideas. They soon realize they know the governess caring for the missing woman’s children. Charlotte feels this gives them the in they need to investigate. The sisters are very independent but their father worries about their excursions. They feed him stories so he doesn’t worry but he knows his daughters. He prays each day that they come home safe.

This story takes place before any of the Brontë works have been published. The author captures their knowledge, imagination, uniqueness, and perseverance in an excellent way.  She immerses them in a complex and compelling mystery. The girls travel “hither and thither” is their quest to find the vanished bride. The clues started to fall into place for me a bit before the sisters but I was totally entertained by the journey I was taken on. The author’s descriptive talents brought each setting and the characters place in it to life. In a time where women are usually seen and not heard and treated like property, the feminist slant to the story was refreshing.

What I really enjoyed was the story being told by each of the sister’s point of view alternating chapter by chapter.  It really gives insight into their lives and thought processes allowing readers to get to know each in a more personal way. Ms. Ellis has done her research and presented it in an interesting way.

Intriguing and entertaining, The Vanished Bride, is a fascinating historical mystery that fans of this genre will enjoy whether they have read Brontë sisters work or not. It does make me want to go back and reread some of their stories and poetry which I haven’t done for years.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Bella Ellis is the Brontë-esque pseudonym of Rowan Coleman, an acclaimed author of numerous novels for adults and children. She first visited the former home of the Brontë sisters when she was ten years old. From the moment she stepped over the threshold she was hooked and embarked on a lifelong love affair with Charlotte, Emily, and Anne; their life; their literature; and their remarkable legacy.


I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Follow Berkley Mystery on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 1, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Aug 212019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to welcome Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli back to Escape With Dollycas today!

Starting a Novel When You Would Rather Do Anything else . . .
By Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli

I am trying to begin another novel.  There is a contract and I tend to take contracts seriously, but I have no ideas, nobody who deserves killing at the moment. All my trio of women—including smart-mouthed Zoe Zola—want to do is hang out, maybe go to the beach, or sit outside and watch the flowers bloom.  They are no help at all and I have no one else to turn to.

What I’m doing is giving myself a couple of days to see if my brain snaps back into orderly thoughts while I cut down weeds in the garden and have a talk with the doe and her twins who hang around with their eyes fixed on the daylilies.  We’ve had an agreement in the past that she won’t come into the garden until September first—when I turn it over to her—but she seems to be jumping the gun this year (or is that a horrible pun considering hunting season isn’t far behind?).

Anyway, my talk with the doe turned out the way you might think it would so I got out the Deer-Away and sprayed the lilies but still had no idea of anybody who deserved doing in at the moment—except, of course, that perfidious deer and I wouldn’t because I consider her a friend.

The next thing to do is watch “ID” on television and see if any of those real killers spark anything but I detest them so violently they don’t even qualify for a nuanced, carefully constructed demise.

Then I read books by other mystery writers.  Then I read my own books.  Then I swore I wouldn’t read another book and was happy when a man I used to know when I worked in real estate called to ask if I knew that Jimmy Hoffa was buried only a few miles from me.  He got the story from a man he met in a bar and swore it was true but I hurried him off the phone and decided nothing I was doing did me any good and nobody was going to help me.

Sleep is what did it finally.  Lots of sleep.  And eating things I like to eat.  I didn’t give committing murder another thought and then the roofer came to put a new roof on my house and dumped old shingles and wood all over my garden.  Evidently, he stood up there and flung the whole mess as far as he could, taking out most of the daylilies which could have fed a doe and her twins for the entire month.

It was that night, while I was sorrowing over the daylilies, that an idea struck me.  It doesn’t involve a roofer.  It’s about a private orphanage which used to be back in the woods around here—only a ruin now—and the women who ran it, and two little girls sent to live there and one coming up missing.  Then a big X marked into a tree, and . . .

Guess it’s time to stop writing this.  I’m pretty certain of my next victim now . . . a woman who used to run a private orphanage—her body is floating in the lake . . . and that big X, stretched and worn . . . marking something nobody wants to think about until a couple more bodies turn up in strange places.

What a relief!  Nothing like a floating body to get my brain started.

Or food.

Thank you, Elizabeth for visiting today! 

Keep reading for my thoughts on Elizabeth’s new Little Library Mystery!


And Then They Were Doomed: A Little Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Michigan
Crooked Lane Books (August 13, 2019)
Hardcover: 323 pages
ISBN-10: 1643850008
ISBN-13: 978-1643850009
Kindle ASIN: B07HM9NFXH

Zoe Zola is one of ten invitees to an Agatha Christie symposium. Tempers flare…and then there are nine. Can Jenny Weston save Zoe from murder on the Upper Peninsula?

Little Person author Zoe Zola believes that one of the unluckiest things in life is to receive an invitation—in the form of a letter edged in black—to an Agatha Christie symposium at an old Upper Peninsula hunting lodge. Her reluctance dissipates when she learns that the organizer is named Emily Brent—the name of a character poisoned by cyanide in Christie’s And Then There Were None.

As a dreary rain soaks the U.P., Zoe and nine other Christie scholars—each of whom bears a vague resemblance to one of the classic mystery novel’s characters—arrive at the lodge. At the opening night dinner, arguments flare over the experts’ discordant theories about Christie. Next morning, the guests find one particularly odious man has gone—whereabouts and reasons unknown. Such a coincidental resemblance to a work of fiction is surely impossible; therefore, it appears to be possible.

As the guests disappear, one by one, Zoe resolves to beat a hasty retreat—but her car won’t start. She calls her friend, amateur sleuth/little librarian Jenny Weston, but Jenny will have to wait out a storm off Lake Superior before she can come to the rescue. If Zoe’s to stay alive to greet Jenny when she eventually arrives, she’ll have to draw on everything she knows about Agatha Christie’s devilish plots in Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli’s fourth tantalizing Little Library mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a great story using Dame Agatha Christie as its theme. Zoe Zola gets invited to participate in a symposium that will be webcast to a group of subscribers. Zoe is nervous about accepting because the invitation envelope is edged in black, just like funeral notices she and her mother received over the years from their estranged family. When neighbor Jenny Weston decides she needs to get away for a few days and plans to visit her sister near where the symposium is taking place, Zoe decides to attend.

When Jenny and Zoe get into the Upper Peninsula it is raining and both the lodge where the symposium is taking place and her sister’s camp is out in the boonies. Zoe is nervous when Jenny drops her off but soon the other participants arrive for a total of 10. Zoe is anxious to get to the true reason for her being there.

The leader, Emily Brent, the same name as a character killed in Christie’s And Then There Were None and her helper also with another questionable name try to keep the participants under control but they have various opinions about Christie’s work and fame. When one of the scholars is gone the next morning the group is down to nine, the correlations to Christie’s And Then There Were None were not lost on Zoe Zola.  When another is said to have left, Zoe is ready to leave herself, but there is no way to contact Jenny. The visit they had planned is rained out so she is stuck. She just hopes the sisters will arrive before she is the one to disappear.

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli sure sets a spooky/scary scene. An isolated lodge in the middle of Michigan’s north woods in plagued by rain, rain, and more rain. Roads get washed out and fog gives everything a dreary haze. The lodge itself is pretty rustic and not somewhere I would want to stay on a sunny day, but it is the perfect place for a Christie-Esque mystery to play out.

Little person Zoe Zola has not had an easy life and that is the focus in this story. It brings so much clarity to this character. The characters brought into her life in this story are an eclectic group and not very likable but again perfect for this story. Little Librarian Dora has a minor role again as Zoe takes the lead with some assistance from Dora’s daughters. Jenny and Zoe have become fast friends and share some similar traits like stubbornness and perseverance. Zoe takes some risks that were questionable but I understand needing to get away from something to clear your head even if there are animals and humans that could be a risk.

This book is darker than previous books in the series but I loved that it was based on Agatha Christie. The author has laid out a fantastic plot that had a great flow and some epic twists. I do think the eerie ending pushes the rules of the cozy realm to the limit. It was unusual and unexpected but very compelling. The book was hard to put down, but past the 3/4 mark, it was impossible.

While the author does her best to give background so the book can be read on its own, I really stress that the books in this series should be read in order to understand the characters, their lives and how they relate to each other.

And Then They Were Doomed was an interesting foray for the characters from Bear Falls. However, the characters they meet gave me a case of the heebie-jeebbies. Nevertheless, this was A Perfect Escape.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of A Most Curious Murder hereShe Stopped for Death here,
In Want of a Knife here.

 

About the Author

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli lives in Mancelona, MI. She has published ten novels, one work of non-fiction, and several short stories, which have been produced onstage, read on NPR, and published in several newspapers. For many years she taught writing at the International Women’s Writing Guild summer program at Skidmore College and currently teaches at Northwestern Michigan College.


Written by Elizabeth Lee

 


Thanks to the publisher I am giving away 1 Print Copy!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Follow Crooked Lane Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries.

Follow Crooked Lane Books on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 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.

Contest Will End September 4, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

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Aug 132019
 

I was thrilled to receive this book from the author
for an early review! 


Thin Ice: A Mystery
Suspense/Mystery – Some Explicit Language
1st in New Series
Setting – Alaska
Minotaur Books (December 3, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1250295211
ISBN-13: 978-1250295217
Kindle ASIN: B07P9LQD41

Thin Ice will chill your bones.

Beth Rivers is on the run – she’s doing the only thing she could think of to keep herself safe. Known to the world as thriller author Elizabeth Fairchild, she had become the subject of a fanatic’s obsession. After being held in a van for three days by her kidnapper, Levi Brooks, Beth managed to escape, and until he is captured, she’s got to get away. Cold and remote, Alaska seems tailor-made for her to hideout.

Beth’s new home in Alaska is sparsely populated with people who all seem to be running or hiding from something, and though she accidentally booked a room at a halfway house, she feels safer than she’s felt since Levi took her. That is, until she’s told about a local death that’s a suspected murder. Could the death of Linda Rafferty have anything to do with her horror at the hands of Levi Brooks?

As Beth navigates her way through the wilds of her new home, her memories of her time in the van are coming back, replaying the terror and the fear—and threatening to keep her from healing, from reclaiming her old life again. Can she get back to normal, will she ever truly feel safe, and can she help solve the local mystery, if only so she doesn’t have to think about her own?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Beth Rivers is a successful thriller author using the pseudonym of Elizabeth Fairchild. She has many fans but one fanatic took things way too far. Kidnapped and held in a van for 3 days, she manages to escape as the van was going down the road. Recovering in the hospital from her injuries her captor is still on the loose and she knows she is not safe. With a little help, she unexpectedly leaves the hospital to go to an undisclosed location.

Beth soon touches down in Benedict, Alaska with only her typewriter and a backpack full of paper and clothes.  She has booked a room at the Benedict House, not knowing it is a halfway house for women who committed non-violent crimes. With lodging options at a minimum, she sets that aside because she feels safe, or at least safer than she felt before. That is until she learns a woman was killed shortly before she arrived. Could the death be connected to her? Had she been found already?

The police chief was contacted by the detective overseeing Beth’s case and he has vowed to keep her safe. She has come up with a cover story to explain her injuries and reasons for her travel for the rest of the town. She continues to have memories of those three days making it hard to move on but after learning more about her the police chief consents to let her help with his current case and even finds her a job to pass her time. She may never get back to normal but for the moment she is safe.

____

Paige Shelton gives readers a cozy-ish protagonist but she turns up the suspense as she deals with her kidnapper on the loose and her escape to Alaska. Beth’s injuries were serious, her head is scarred and she has a brain injury. She finds herself enmeshed in Benedict, getting used to the weather, getting to know the people and finding a killer.  She is also striving to remember anything that would bring her kidnapper to justice. The severe headaches, mini seizures, and flashbacks really resonated with me. I also identified with her funky haircut. After my accident in 2001, I dealt with the same, thankfully no kidnapper was involved.

All the characters within this story have layers and I believe we have just started to peel them away. Benedict seems to be a place where everyone has come to escape from something and we really don’t find out too much about any of them except for the deceased and people directly connected to her. That means the author has plenty of material for this series going forward.

I really enjoyed the way Ms. Shelton described her settings. From the airplane and the images out the windows, the airport, the town, Benedict house, the forests, everywhere Beth traveled was brought to life and easily imagined. Readers are taken to the wilds of Alaska and yes, there is wildlife too.

The plot weaves Beth’s trauma together with the death in Alaska but only one is wrapped up by the final page. I really enjoyed the author’s approach to the entire story. The pace was quick and there were several happenings that could have turned the situations in different directions. You could feel that Beth was on edge the entire time.

I read this book incredibly fast and I want more! I was a little disappointed that both mysteries were not completed because I hate waiting for the other shoe to drop and I imagine and hope there are going to be many more suspenseful moments ahead before that other mystery will be wrapped up.  I can’t wait!!

This book will be released on December 3rd and I highly recommend you pre-order your copy. I am very excited for this series to continue.

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About The Author

PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood as her father’s job as a football coach took the 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 where she thought she’d only stay a few years, but she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After a couple of decades in Utah, she and her family recently moved to Arizona. She writes the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series, which begins with The Cracked SpineThin Ice is the first in a new series.

Paige Shelton is also the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com

Also by Paige Shelton


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

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Jul 262019
 

The House on Xenia
(A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
by Rita Moreau

 

About the Book 


The House on Xenia (A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
Paranormal Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Independently Published (May 8, 2019)
Paperback: 332 pages
ISBN-10: 1096120712
ISBN-13: 978-1096120711
Digital Print Length: 209 pages
ASIN: B07R9Q682Y

A government conspiracy. A life-threatening secret. Can a psychic accountant balance the books of justice?

Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney prefers numbers to her supernatural powers. But when a cold-case corpse shows up under her cousin’s family home, the only calculations that add up are paranormal. And deep within the floorboards of the house on Xenia, MC and her madcap Greek family uncover evidence pointing to visitors from another planet…

Pursued by military agents intent on keeping the secrets buried, MC will have to play by the house’s rules to expose the alien mystery. And there’s only one member of the family who can get to the hidden truth…

Can MC reveal the cover-up, or will a dangerous hush job close her books forever?

The House on Xenia is a standalone novel in the Mary Catherine Mahoney cozy mystery series. If you like psychic female sleuths, crazy family antics, and long lost aliens, then you’ll love Rita Moreau’s quirky tale.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

While there are recurring characters the author states each book in this series can be read on its own. Intrigued by the synopsis I decided to read this book without reading the prior books. What I found was a very bizarre mystery. You see for me the main character was not Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney or any of the other human characters. For me, the main character was the House on Xenia. Generations of Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney’s family have lived in the House. A House that vowed to protect the family from anything. In the book, it is described as a YaYa (Greek grandmother), nurturing, caring, with a huge heart and protective qualities. Also, unusual is that no one is living in the house and keeping up with the maintenance. The house is said to be dying, but it still holds some important secrets.

Several characters have psychic abilities, some are in Ohio where the house is and others are in Florida. When a body is found under the family home everyone’s focus is the House. Not just the family but the military too and talk turns to aliens and secrets that need to be kept. But the House wants to talk and to only one person. MC is caught in the middle. Does she reveal all or does she keep her mouth shut and move on?

The author has presented a very interesting mystery. One that kept my attention even though it was very unique from most mysteries I read. The House has answers so the investigation evolves in an unconventional way. Several people gave input and there were those acting in an underhanded way to keep people from finding out the truth. That deception put people in danger.

Using a real place in this fictional story added extra credence. The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is where UFO investigations dating from the 1940s to the 1960s with all the conspiracy theories. Theories that people still talk about today like Area 51.

This story was not what I had expected it to be but I was entertained from the first page to the last. I found The House on Xenia to be an enjoyable read and a nice escape.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Rita Moreau is the author of the Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery series.

A workaholic by nature, upon retirement, Rita Moreau began work on her bucket list, writing a book. Traveling the national parks with her husband George in a vintage Bluebird motor home, (on George’s list), Rita completed her first novel Bribing Saint Anthony. Back home she completed Nuns! Psychics! & Gypsies! OH! NO, Feisty Nuns, The Russian & Aunt Sophia and The House on Xenia. Rita and her husband live in a postcard called Florida where he has fun telling everyone he is the author’s husband. When not writing she joins PatZi Gil on the Joy on Paper radio program with Book Buzz Mysteries or you can find her teaching fitness classes and doing her best to keep busy. She loves connecting with readers.

Praise for The House on Xenia
(A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
by Rita Moreau

The House on Xenia, a full-sized YaYa (Greek grandmother). It’s also very much extraordinary . . .
~INTO THE ABYSS

This was just so much fun to read. There are fun, zany characters, house included, and more than one mystery to figure out. Made me grin enough my face hurt.
~ fuonlyknew

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

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Mar 072019
 

As Directed
(A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
by Kathleen Valenti

About the Book


As Directed (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Midwest, United States
Henery Press (March 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 1635114705
ISBN-13: 978-1635114706
Digital ASIN: B07LB6N22B

In the shadow of a past fraught with danger and tainted by loss, former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is rebuilding her life, trading test tubes for pill bottles as she embarks on a new career at the corner drugstore.

But as she spreads her wings, things begin to go terribly wrong. A customer falls ill in the store. Followed by another. And then more.

The specter of poisoning arises, conjuring old grudges, past sins, buried secrets and new suspicions from which no one is immune.

As Maggie and her best friend Constantine begin to investigate, they discover that some of the deadliest doses come from the most unexpected places.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Customers are dropping like flies and Maggie O’Malley is always the one to find them. She thought things would be calm and routine at the local drug store where she is working as a pharmacy technician, but instead, murder victims are falling at her feet. They have been poisoned and both Mallory and her boss have been questioned. Her boss has closed down his store until the answers are found and the person responsible is in custody. Without having to work every day, Mallory and Constantine (Gus) have plenty of time to investigate but the path is twisted and secrets are uncovered.

Maggie is still recovering from an injury that occurred in an earlier book, but she doesn’t let the headaches and memory lapses keep her down. Also on her plate in her wedding to Constantine. No date yet but his aunt and hers are bulldozing as many plans forward as they can, even inviting themselves to a cake tasting Mallory hoped she and Gus could handle on their own. An old foe is stalking her and she has acquired a new one. A “TWO-FER” as Gus calls it. She also brings home a four-legged furry friend who worms his way into her heart. She drives a 1962 Studebaker Lark too. I like everything about Miss Maggie O’Malley.

As with the previous stories in this series, the author has put forth a very complex mystery with tangents going in several directions. The deaths are scary, was there tampering? Did Maggie or her boss make a mistake? When another customer is found dead at home, the local news guy is pointing fingers, trying to get the scoop, and being a real pain. That presses Maggie to work harder and faster to get answers. Nothing is really clear and the case has a lot of moving parts. At times it feels like she is going in circles but I was captivated every step of the way.

The story has a real ripped from the headlines feel (remember the Tylenol murders) and the ending packs a real punch. Action, danger, drama, are tempered with just a little bit of humor in the proper places. The book is balanced with Mallory’s real-life experiences. I really love the way Ms. Valenti tells a story. It’s not straight forward in your face. There are layers that need to be peeled and each little reveal moves the story along at just the right pace until everything tragically falls into place.

For me, this story was just what the doctor ordered, a Perfect Escape!

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About the Author

Kathleen Valenti is the author of the Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series, which includes her Agatha- and Lefty-nominated debut novel, Protocol. When Kathleen isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. She lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running. Learn more at www.kathleenvalenti.com.

Author Links – Website – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReadsBookBubInstagram 

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

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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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Feb 282019
 

This book is available TODAY!!


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

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

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

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Poppy Fields is back and taking on New Orleans!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About the Author

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

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

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Jan 242019
 

Murder of Ravens (Gabriel Hawke)
by Paty Jager

I am happy to spotlight this new book/series by Paty Jager today!

About the Book

Murder of Ravens (Gabriel Hawke)
Mystery
1st in Series
Windtree Press (January 20, 2019)
Paperback: 302 pages
ISBN-10: 1947983822
ISBN-13: 978-1947983823
Digital ASIN: B07KZ612BY

The ancient Indian art of tracking is his greatest strength…

And also his biggest weakness.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke believes he’s chasing poachers.

However, he comes upon a wildlife biologist standing over a body that is wearing a wolf tracking collar.

He uses master tracker skills taught to him by his Nez Perce grandfather to follow clues on the mountain. Paper trails and the whisper of rumors in the rural community where he works, draws Hawke to a conclusion that he finds bitter.

Arresting his brother-in-law ended his marriage, could solving this murder ruin a friendship?

Praise for Murder of Ravens (Gabriel Hawke)
by Paty Jager

I loved the story. Halfway through the book, the identity of the perp is revealed but the ending turned out to be quite surprising.
~The Book Decoder

Murder of Ravens is a fresh and unique mystery by new-to-me author Paty Jager. This traditional mystery, book #1 in a new series, has good character depth and features a strong Native American character.
~The Power of Words

MURDER OF RAVENS is an intriguing mystery set in Eastern Oregon, in the mountains, along the rivers, and in small close-knit communities (read, everybody, knows everybody else’s business).
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

The blend of nature tracking, clues, and the animals makes for a fascinating mystery that is hard to put down.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Some interesting history is also revealed as we get drawn into the seedy underside of greed and power.
~Laura’s Interests

A solid mystery with a lovely backdrop and some dabs of romance made this one a fun read for me.
~FUONLYKNEW

About the Author

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 35 novels, 8 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her Shandra Higheagle mystery series has been a runner-up in the RONE Award Mystery category, and a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier.

Author Links 

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Have Yourself a Beary Little Murder (A Teddy Bear Mystery) by Meg Macy Get Your Copy Today!
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