Posted in Flashback Friday

#FlashbackFriday – #FreeBook – Fields’ Guide to Abduction (A Poppy Fields Adventure) by Julie Mulhern @juliemulhern

Real-life has been playing havoc with my reading schedule and I wasn’t able to read a book from my HUGE TBR Stacks this week. So, I started to think about books that may give your mind an escape from all the drama that has entered our lives due to this Coronavirus. The Poppy Fields Adventure Series is one of my favorites. They are full of suspense and humor. Every book has made my year-end Best Reads List.

Ms. Mulhern has kept the 1st book in the series FREE!

There are 4 books in this series available today. Book 5 –Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs will be released next Tuesday, March 31. 

Below you will find my review for Fields’ Guide to Abduction (including its new cover!) followed by links to reviews fo the next 3 books. Be sure to download your Free Copy of Book 1 today!

Fields’ Guide to Abduction (A Poppy Fields Adventure)
Mystery/Suspense
1st Book in Series
Setting – Mexico
J&M Press (May 28, 2018)
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN-10: 1720872201
ISBN-13: 978-1720872207
Kindle ASIN: B07D4R881K

Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl extraordinaire, agreed to a week at the newest, most luxurious resort in Cabo. After all, what’s better than the beach when a girl is feeling blue? When Poppy is abducted, she’ll need all her smarts, all her charm, and a killer Chihuahua, to save herself. 

 

Dead body #1 found in bed, with me. That was a shock.
Dead body #2 found in bed, not with me. That was a relief.
Dead body #3 died telling me I’m a lousy actress.
I already knew that.
Dead body #4 died trying to kill me.
Dead body #5 died kidnapping me.
Dead body #6 died guarding me.
Dead body #7 was a really bad man.
Dead body #8 was an even worse man.

 

That’s a lot of dead bodies for a girl looking for a week’s relaxation in Cabo. And, I’m probably leaving a few out–math isn’t my thing. Unless I can escape the cartel, I might be the next dead body.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wow, Wow, Wow! I sat down to start this book last Monday evening and I didn’t look away until I finished the whole thing.

This is not a cozy mystery. This is a wild ride of action and suspense.

Poppy Fields escapes to Mexico after enduring a harrowing event. She plans to lie on the beach, make one public appearance and relax. Well, that didn’t happen. The dead bodies start to pile up at a rapid pace and then she is abducted. And then there are even more dead bodies!

Full of crazy twists and turns poor Poppy finds herself in all kinds of dangerous situations. I love Poppy, that girl needs to think on her feet and she does for the most part, but there are some situations you just need to let happen and hope and pray there will be another way out.

Ms. Mulhern has topped herself and knocked this way out of the park! She partners suspense with humor in a way I believe only she can. She has created a fantastic protagonist. I was cheering for Poppy the whole way. The pace was fast, the plot was fabulous, and the dialogue was fluid. Such as exciting read!

This story has moved to the top of my Best Reads of 2018. I can’t wait for the next installment! Bring on more Poppy Fields as soon as possible!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my reviews of  Fields’ Guide to Assassins here, 

Fields’ Guide to Voodoo here, Fields’ Guide to Fog here

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.

 


Also by Julie Mulhern



*This book is in my private collection, purchased from Amazon.
Posted in Giveaways Spotlights

Death in the Family (A Shana Merchant Novel) by Tessa Wegert #Spotlight / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery @tessawegert

DEATH IN THE FAMILY
Death in the Family (A Shana Merchant Novel)
Traditional Detective Mysteries/ Suspense
1st in Series
Publisher: Berkley (February 18, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0593097890
ISBN-13: 978-0593097892
Kindle ASIN: B07RZGJB86

A storm-struck island. A blood-soaked bed. A missing man. In this captivating mystery that’s perfect for fans of Knives Out, Senior Investigator Shana Merchant discovers that murder is a family affair.

 

Thirteen months ago, former NYPD detective Shana Merchant barely survived being abducted by a serial killer. Now hoping to leave grisly murder cases behind, she’s taken a job in her fiancé’s sleepy hometown in the Thousand Islands region of Upstate New York.

 

But as a nor’easter bears down on her new territory, Shana and fellow investigator Tim Wellington receive a call about a man missing on a private island. Shana and Tim travel to the isolated island owned by the wealthy Sinclair family to question the witnesses. They arrive to find blood on the scene and a house full of Sinclair family and friends on edge.

While Tim guesses they’re dealing with a runaway case, Shana is convinced that they have a murder on their hands. As the gale intensifies outside, she starts conducting interviews and discovers the Sinclairs and their guests are crawling with dark and dangerous secrets.

 

Trapped on the island by the raging storm with only Tim whose reliability is thrown into question, the increasingly restless suspects, and her own trauma-fueled flashbacks for company, Shana will have to trust the one person her abduction destroyed her faith in—herself. But time is ticking down, because if Shana’s right, a killer is in their midst and as the pressure mounts, so do the odds that they’ll strike again.

 

About Tessa Wegert

DEATH IN THRE FAMILY TESSA WEGRET

Tessa Wegert is a Canadian expat, journalist, and former digital media strategist. Her business and marketing articles have appeared in such publications as Forbes, the Huffington Post, Adweek, and The Economist. Death in the Family is her first novel.

Callie Beaulieu has been an actress for several decades. Classically trained, she is predominantly a theater actress, and her work has been seen around the country. Callie recently returned to the US after spending nearly a decade living in the Caribbean. She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.

Author Links – Website – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – 


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 7, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Reviews 2019 TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Fiction Can Be Murder (A Mystery Writer’s Mystery) by Becky Clark #Review / #Giveaway


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


Fiction Can Be Murder (A Mystery Writer’s Mystery)
Cozy Mystery/Women Sleuths
1st in Series
Setting – Colorado
Publisher: Midnight Ink (April 8, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0738753327
ISBN-13: 978-0738753324
Kindle ASIN: B0714HL2VC

Life Becomes Stranger than Fiction when Charlee’s Latest Novel Inspires a Real Murder

Mystery author Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo thinks the twisty plots and peculiar murders in her books are only the product of her imagination—until her agent is found dead exactly as described in Charlee’s new, unpublished manuscript. Suspicion now swirls around her and her critique group, making her confidence drop as severely and unexpectedly as her royalty payments.

The police care more about Charlee’s feeble alibi and financial problems than they do her panicky claims of innocence. To clear her name and revive her career, she must figure out which of her friends is a murderer. Easier said than done, even for an author who’s skilled at creating tidy endings for her mysteries. And as her sleuthing grows dangerous, Charlee’s imagination starts working overtime. Is she being targeted, too?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fiction easily becomes murder when literary agent, Melinda Walter is killed in exactly the same way as the victim in author, Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo’s latest manuscript. Charlee had problems with the woman but never plotted to kill her. So who else had access to the manuscript? Could someone in her critique group have done the deed and used her book to frame her? Stranger than fiction she puts on her sleuthing cap to bring this murder mystery to an end. Hopefully, she’ll survive to tell the tale.

I would call this a cozy-ish mystery. Charlee Russo is a cleverly written imperfect amateur sleuth, very clutzy with a wild imagination, a good thing when you write mysteries for a living, not so much when you are on the trail of a killer. She is protective of her friends but still needs to question and verify everyone’s alibi as much for her peace of mind as to solving the case. Let’s just say her investigating techniques need a little refinement as I was a little frightened by the positions she found herself in at times.

The pacing was mixed. The story starts out briskly but slowed a bit in the middle but then the ending felt a bit rushed. With plenty of twists and a few red herrings, I was completely confused until everything was laid out for me. It was a fun tagging along with Charlee. I always enjoy a challenging mystery. The dialogue is very realistic and I liked the humor interspersed throughout. “I’d tell you to go to hell, but I never want to see you again.”

This series is off to a fine start and I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I do love the Mystery Writer’s theme. The author has left plenty of room for the secondary characters and Charlee to grow. She also left an open question in this story that I hope will be wrapped up in the next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

A highly functioning chocoholic, Becky Clark (Denver, CO) is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them, too. She published her first novel in 2001 and is a sought-after speaker. Find out more about Becky on her website – https://beckyclarkbooks.com/



I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Book 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.

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

Sign Up for Becky Clark’s Newsletter 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 January 10, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

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


Fields’ Guide to Fog (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense (Humorous)
4th in Series
Setting – London, England
Publisher: Independently published (September 30, 2019)
Paperback: 266 pages
ISBN-10: 1698265018
ISBN-13: 978-1698265018
Kindle ASIN: B07XZB4TYT

It isn’t easy having Hollywood’s biggest, brightest star for a mother—especially when her Russian oligarch boyfriend has been kidnapped. When Poppy Fields flies to London to be with her mother, she finds nothing but fog, danger, and phenomenal shopping.Too bad half the city wants Poppy dead, and she has no idea why.The odds against her are high, the menace is real, and if she doesn’t find answers quickly, a dirty bomb will send global financial markets plummeting. Poppy will need charm, smarts, and a killer Chihuahua if she wants to save the world (and snag those boots she spotted at Harrods).

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Poppy Fields’ is back and she and “Thor” are fighting crime across the pond and her feisty Chihuahua is along for the ride too. When Poppy receives a call from her mother telling her that her rich Russian oligarch boyfriend, Yurgi has been abducted she wastes no time getting there.  Yurgi’s son Vincent is handling the money issues if a ransom demand comes through. Chariss wants her daughter Poppy on hand to do what she is quickly becoming famous for – catching the criminals. They barely touchdown in the foggy city and bullets are flying. Can she do it again? Can she catch a killer and live to tell the tale?

___

This is another fantastic book for Julie Mulhern. The action starts quickly and goes full throttle until the very end. Bullets flying, a rolling fog, bombs exploding, a building collapses, more bullets fly, the masked motorcycle rider returns, and Poppy makes a surprising discovery. Amongst all that, Thor (Mark) starts to push a little harder for a relationship or even just one dance. Mr. Brown’s boss Jane Doe is also introduced and Poppy learns driving on the wrong side of the road is harder than it looks. Chariss wants her man back and is somewhat oblivious to everything else going on around her. Thankfully Poppy knows how to deal with her mother.

So much happens in this story it is impossible to put down. Ms. Mulhern’s characters are fully developed and jump off the page. Again, the drama and suspense in laced with plenty of humor. I absolutely love everything about the way she writes a story.  The pace is fast, the dialogue is crisp, and the characters are fabulous. Poppy Fields is an awesome protagonist and I just can’t get enough. This time there is one surprise that was just amazing and I am anxious and excited to see how that subplot continues.

I always mention planning accordingly when picking up a book in this series because once you start reading you will not want to stop until you reach the end.

Each Poppy Fields adventure is terrific! Fields’ Guide to Fog, like the 3 previous books, receives my Paradise rating. I recommend reading them all in order so you really get to know Poppy and the other characters and enjoy all their adventures!

 

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

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

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

Book 1 is free right now!

About the Author

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

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the 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

Fire, Fog and Water (Sgt. Windflower Mysteries) by Mike Martin #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @mike54martin

Fire, Fog and Water (Sgt. Windflower Mysteries)
by Mike Martin


It is my pleasure to shine the spotlight on Mike Martin’s
Fire, Fog and Water today!

About Fire, Fog and Water


Fire, Fog and Water (Sgt. Windflower Mysteries)
Mystery
8th in Series
Ottawa Press and Publishing (October 8, 2019)
Print Length: 280 pages
Digital ASIN: B07YWHZ675

Sergeant Winston Windflower and his trusty crew at the Grand Bank detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have more than a few mysteries on their hands. Windflower suspects that the three cases—a homicide, a near-homicide and a fire on Coronation Street—are somehow connected, but how is proving difficult to determine, especially now that he must battle his unusually cranky mood, the never-ending winter that has gripped the coastal region of Newfoundland and his new, power-hungry boss.

In Fire, Fog and Water, award-winning author Mike Martin is true to form, retaining the light crime genre for which he is known while delving into the most perplexing social issues of our time, including mental health, addictions and workplace harassment. Windflower must not only solve the drug-and-death crimes that threaten the otherwise tranquil lives of Grand Bank’s residents, he must resolve his own internal conflicts before they consume him as surely as the blaze that engulfed the house on Coronation Street

About Mike Martin

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland, Canada. He is the author of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series. Fire, Fog and Water is the 8th book in the series. A Long Ways from Home, was shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year and Darkest Before the Dawn won for the 2018 Bony Blithe Award. Mike is currently Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers.

 

Author Links

Website Facebook  Twitter @mike54martin

Purchase Link – Amazon – 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops! 
November 25 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 25 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
November 26 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
November 27 – Lisa Ks Book Review – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – canceled by blogger
November 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 28 – THANKSGIVING – OFF
November 29 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
November 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
December 1 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 2 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 3 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
December 3 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 4 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
December 5 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 5 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
December 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

A Legacy of Murder: A Kate Hamilton Mystery by Connie Berry – #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @crookedlanebks @conniecberry

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:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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Posted in Challenges Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Malice in Maggody (The Arly Hanks Mysteries) by Joan Hess #Review / #Giveaway


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


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.

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

When It’s Time for Leaving by Ang Pompano – #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

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.

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The Vanished Bride (Brontë Sisters Mystery) by Bella Ellis #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery


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.

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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!
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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 Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli – Author of And Then They Were Doomed: A Little Library Mystery – #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway

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.

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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.”