Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Wonton Terror: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress

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.

I am on a mission to get caught up on this series!

wonton terror
Wonton Terror: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (August 27, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250228344
ISBN-13: 978-1250228345
Kindle ASIN: B07NCWBQRQ

Wonton Terror, the fourth in Vivien Chien’s Noodle Shop delicious mystery series, Ho-Lee Noodle House is ready to take the Cleveland night market by storm—until a brand-new food venue literally explodes onto the scene.

 

Lana Lee is all smiles when the first evening of Cleveland’s Asian Night Market kicks off the summer. The weekly festival is always good for business, packed with locals and tourists, and this year, some stiff new food-truck competition. Wonton on Wheels, run by old friends of Lana’s parents, promises to have customers lining up for their delicately wrapped delights—until the truck blows up at evening’s end.

 

Lana’s boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau, had been planning a birthday getaway for the two of them but, lo and behold, Lana must assume the role of amateur sleuth yet again. With one proprietor of Wonton on Wheels dead, it’s beginning to look more like murder and less like an unfortunate accident. And as they begin to unwrap layers of disturbing secrets, Lana’s own family erupts into new drama. Will Lana be able to solve this crime—or has she jumped from the wok right into the fire?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It is time for the Cleveland Night Market and Lana Lee is thrilled her Ho-Lee Noodle House will be serving up its delicious Chinese food. The first night goes very well but wraps up with a huge KABOOM! A food truck belonging to some old friends of her parents explodes killing the husband Ronnie Chow and injuring the wife, Sandra.

On top of that Lana’s mother’s sister, Grace arrives in town for a visit and her boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau is planning a romantic trip for her birthday.

So there is plenty of family drama and some undercover sleuthing going on, but Lana better tread carefully or she may be the next one getting burned.


Lana continues to grow in each book and this time she really doesn’t back away from the challenge of finding who blew up that food truck. She goes back time and time again questioning suspects and anyone that may have any information. From the elderly Mahjong Matrons to reconnecting with her childhood friend, Calvin Chow, who may be her number 1 suspect, or his uncle Gene. She really came across as brave this time. She is also learning that to avoid some of the family drama is to take a pass on the family dinners once in a while, but her overbearing mother won’t let that happen often. This tight-knit family is what really sets this series apart. With all the drama you can see the love behind it all. This time grandma has some wise words for her daughters, making Lana and her sister Anna Mae have a bit of an awakening too.

Ms. Chien has served up a very twisted mystery here. It was a challenging mystery to solve, in fact, there is a huge twist at the end that turned all my theories inside out. The pace felt a lot faster this time than in the previous books, my pages were flying.

I have enjoyed every book in this series so far. Egg Drop Dead is waiting not so patiently on my Kindle and Killer Kung Pao will be released on August 25.

Wonton Terror is a wonderful addition to this series! I would encourage you to start the series from the beginning but the author does a great job at including enough background to read each story on its own.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here,  Dim Sum of All Fears here
and Murder Lo Mein here

About the Author

VIVIEN CHIEN was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From Amazon)

wonton terror

 

I am giving away a Kindle copy of Wonton Terror!

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 St. Martin’s Press 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 April 17, 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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Stolen Letter: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by Paige Shelton #Review @MinotaurBooks


The Stolen Letter: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Scotland
Publisher: Minotaur Books (April 7, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250203872
ISBN-13: 978-1250203878
Kindle ASIN: B07XX1JBJS

Delaney Nichols is confident she’s doing what she loves—case in point, just one day after returning from her fabulous European honeymoon, she’s eager to get back to the Cracked Spine, the bookstore where she works. But as she disembarks her bus and hurries toward the shop she and another woman collide, sending a stack of books the woman is carrying to the ground.

Delaney’s hapless victim’s name is Mary, and the two women can’t help but notice that they bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. According to Mary, they both also look like the long-beheaded Mary Queen of Scots. Even stranger, Mary believes she is the reincarnation of the Scottish queen. But peculiar as Delaney’s doppelganger is, she doesn’t have time to dwell on it: on her arrival to the bookshop, she learns the Edinburgh city council wants to close the Cracked Spine, citing code violations, and she’s determined to stop them.

But when Mary’s husband dies in a car explosion—and Delaney learns he was the very member of city council who proposed that the city take a closer look at the bookshop’s construction—she starts to wonder if her meeting with Mary wasn’t an accident. Edinburgh has become as filled with intrigue and deception as any European court, and Delaney is determined to get to the bottom of this royal mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Delaney Nichols has returned from her honeymoon and can’t wait to get back to work at The Cracked Spine. But she is waylaid and she collides with a woman carrying a large stack of books. As she helps the woman. Mary, pick up the books she realizes the woman could be her doppelganger. Their resemblance is remarkable and the woman was also on her way to The Cracked Spine. Mary tells Delaney that they both resemble Mary Queen of Scots and that she firmly believes she is a reincarnation of the Scottish queen. Delaney is totally confused and taken aback by this but she is in for another even bigger shock when she arrives at her beloved bookshop. It seems the city council of Edinburgh is closing down the shop for unknown code violations. No one can even remember an inspector coming into the shop or receiving notification of any violations. Delaney jumps right into action trying to save the store.

She does accept a dinner invitation from Mary where she meets her husband, Henry. The next day he dies in a car explosion and Delaney finds out he was the member of the council behind the pressure to close The Cracked Spine.  This leads her to believe her meeting with Mary was not coincidental at all. She is going to do everything to save the bookshop and be sure the right person is booked for murder too!

______

I do love the way Paige Shelton tells a story. They are so easy to escape right into.

This time we see Delaney get fierce when her dream job is in jeopardy, in fact, all of the characters really step up.  Owner of the shop, Edwin MacAlister, is a little overwhelmed at first but does rally when Delaney makes it clear his help is truly needed and he pulls in a big gun. It was truly cool the way the story played out.

This author’s descriptive writing is just wonderful. Vivid images overtake my mind and take me right to Scotland allowing me to follow right in Delaney’s footsteps. From her amateur sleuthing to settling into to married life and getting ready to move into their new home. She is always able to give her stories a unique twist making it stand out in this genre.

The Stolen Letter is a great addition to this series. The characters are engaging and genuine. The mystery is twisty and entertaining. It checks all my cozy boxes to make it a Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 

About The Author

Paige Shelton is 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



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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Featuring A Fatal Yarn (A Knit & Nibble Mystery) by Peggy Ehrhart #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to feature A Fatal Yarn by Peggy Ehrhart today!


A Fatal Yarn (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (March 31, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496723643
ISBN-13: 978-1496723642
Kindle ASIN: B07R4Q58WM

Pamela Paterson and her Knit and Nibble club must clear the name of one of their knitters when he’s accused of murdering the mayor . . .

 

The trees in Arborville, New Jersey, have started sporting sweaters. Part of the trend of public knitting art? Not exactly. An anonymous activist has been wrapping trunks in yarn to cover red X’s that mark certain trees for removal by the town so they don’t interfere with power lines. When the town’s mayor—who supports cutting down the trees—is murdered, Pamela wonders if the tree hugger committed homicide to prevent arborcide. A knitter is arrested, but it’s one of Knit and Nibble’s own—the harmless Rolland DeCamp, who was seen arguing with the mayor. Pamela is sure the police are barking up the wrong tree. With the help of her reporter friend Bettina, she branches off on her own investigation to root out the real killer . . .

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

The Knit and Nibblers are back and trying to figure out who is wrapping tree trunks in knit scarves to cover up the red x’s designated the trees to be destroyed to protect the power lines above. The town’s mayor supports the project and when he is murdered Pamela wonders if the tree hugger is responsible. But the police arrest fellow knitter Rolland DeCamp because he was witnessed arguing with the mayor. Pamela and Bettina cast on a wider net of suspects and do their best to knit together the clues to purl the right culprit behind bars.


We follow Pamela through her daily life as she works from home as an editor for “Fiber Craft Magazine,” and does a little sleuthing on the side with friend, neighbor, and yarn and nibbler Bettina.  Bettina is very pushy trying to get Pamela to date another neighbor but Pamela keeps putting her off. She is just not interested. I am surprised it hasn’t caused more strain in their friendship. It seems that issue has wrapped in this installment and that makes me very happy.

I do enjoy Ms. Ehrhart’s descriptive writing style. She tells the story in a way that brings the reader right into each scene, from her home office with her working on such interesting sounding articles, to the items being knit and the food being eaten. I love the camaraderie between the characters and the way they support each other. The conversations are realistic and you can tell they truly care about each other.

The mystery is on the light side and I did figure it out early in the story but all the drama and daily life kept me entertained right up to the final word. These are characters I love visiting and am looking forward to the next book.

A Fatal Yarn is a great addition to this series. Fix yourself something to nibble on and enjoy.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can read my review of Murder, She Knit here, Died in the Wool here, Knit One Die Two here, and Silent Knit, Deadly Knit here.

PEGGY

About the Author

Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a doctorate in Medieval Literature, and her publications include a prize-winning book dealing with classical mythology in the Middle Ages. Her Maxx Maxwell mysteries, Sweet Man Is Gone (2008) and Got No Friend Anyhow (2011), feature a blues-singer sleuth.
Peggy is currently writing the Knit and Nibble mystery series for Kensington Books. Set in the charming (fictional) town of Arborville, New Jersey, it features amateur sleuth Pamela Paterson, founder and mainstay of the town’s knitting club. Peggy is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She plays guitar with the Still Standing Band. (From Amazon)

Find out more about Peggy on her website here.


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a U.S. 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 Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook 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 publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End April 15, 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 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Revenge Is Sweet (Vintage Sweets Mysteries) by Kaye George #Review / #Giveaway @lyricalpress

Welcome to Cozy Mystery!

I am happy to feature Revenge Is Sweet by Kaye George today! 

revenge is sweet
Revenge Is Sweet (Vintage Sweets Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Texas
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (March 10, 2020)
Paperback: 193 pages
ISBN-10: 1516105435
ISBN-13: 978-1516105434
Kindle ASIN: B07TS1KJ4T

In the picturesque tourist town of Fredericksburg, Texas, Tally Holt has opened a new candy store with a vintage twist . . .but there’s no sugar-coating a nasty case of murder . . .

 

Tally Holt has poured her heart, soul, and bank account into Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets, specializing in her grandmother’s delicious recipes. Tally’s homemade Mallomars, Twinkies, fudges, and taffy are a hit with visiting tourists—and with Yolanda Bella, the flamboyant owner of Bella’s Baskets next door. But both shops encounter a sour surprise when local handyman Gene Faust is found dead in Tally’s kitchen, stabbed with Yolanda’s scissors.

 

The mayor’s adopted son, Gene was a handsome Casanova with a bad habit of borrowing money from the women he wooed. It’s a sticky situation for Yolanda, who was one of his marks. There are plenty of other likely culprits among Fredericksburg’s female population, and even among Gene’s family. But unless Tally can figure out who finally had their fill of Gene’s sweet-talking ways, Yolanda—and both their fledgling businesses—may be destined for a bitter end . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Newly opened Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets in Fredericksburg, Texas is a popular place. The vintage shop uses Tally’s grandmother’s recipes to make treats from the past like Mallomars, Clark Bars, and Twinkies along with taffy and fudges. Her friend Yolanda Bella owns Bella’s Baskets right next door. They are in and out of each other’s shops several times each day. Tally has two part-time workers Mart and Andrea who tend to customers while Tally creates her delicious goodies. When the women need and handyman, Gene Faust is the man they call. Gene is the adopted son of the mayor. He is a real ladies’ man who has a penchant for borrowing money his girlfriends, usually right before he dumps them.

Tally left Gene repairing her refrigeration unit in the kitchen while she served customers at the front of the store. When she closed up and went into the kitchen she found Gene dead on the floor from an apparent stabbing. She’s confused because several people went through the kitchen before she did. There is no way they missed his body. Could one of them be the killer or did the murderer come and go through the back door without her knowing? Yolanda, Andrea, and Mart all seemed to have their issues with Gene, but she can’t believe they would kill him. How many other women has Gene hurt? Or could it be someone else he pushed too far?


The cover of this book grabbed me as soon as I saw it. I love the vintage candy store theme. It is always so much fun to visit one. The author has a nice descriptive writing style so it was very easy to visualize everything, especially Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets Shop and all the yummy treats.

Ms. George introduces a vast cast of characters. It was easy to keep everyone straight but we don’t get to know them well enough to truly get invested in them. Gene had quite a checkered past and by the end, it was pretty fleshed out but the rest of the characters are still one-dimensional for me.  Since this is a series, I know we will learn more in future stories but wished they were more developed in this story. One character I did fall hard for is a big Maine Coon cat named Nigel. I do have a soft spot for those big kitties.

The mystery was well-plotted with plenty of suspects. I did hone in on the culprit early but the motive wasn’t clear until the end. I did enjoy that the story swapped points-of-view between Yolanda and Tally. Sometimes it was confusing because it switches mid-chapter, but I think my problem may be attributed to the digital advanced copy I was reading. I am hoping in the finished book there was better spacing without the paragraphs running together.

I was excited that the Twinkie recipe was included at the end of the story.

Ms. George has laid a nice foundation for her series in Revenge Is Sweet. I am looking to Deadly Sweet Tooth, which will be released on June 2, 2020.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Kaye George is a novelist, and a short story writer whose story, HANDBASKETS, DRAWERS, AND A KILLER COLD, was nominated for a 2010 Agatha Best Short Story award. It can be found in the collection, A PATCHWORK OF STORIES, available on Amazon and Smashwords as an ebook, and Amazon and Createspace in trade paperback.  She is agented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency LLC.

The first mystery novel in the Imogene Duckworthy series, CHOKE, received a nomination for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2011. It was followed by SMOKE and BROKE. EINE KLEINE MURDER, the first in the Cressa Carraway Musical Mysteries was published by Barking Rain Press in the spring of 2013. It was a Silver Falchion Finalist and was followed by REQUIEM IN RED. DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE, the first in the People of the Wind Neanderthal Mysteries, is published by Untreed Reads. It received an Agatha nomination for Best Historical. The sequel is DEATH ON THE TREK. The Fat Cat cozy series, set in Minneapolis and featuring a pudgy but adorable cat named Quincy, achieved Barnes & Noble’s best-seller status with all three books. Her new Vintage Sweets cozy series is set in Fredericksburg, TX.

She reviews for “Suspense Magazine” and writes a column for “Mysterical-E Magazine.” Other articles occasionally appear in newsletters and online. Her short stories appear in several anthologies and around and about. She is a member of Sisters in Crime (including the Guppies Chapter and the Smoking Guns chapter), Short Mystery Fiction Society, Authors Guild of Tennessee, and Knoxville Writers Group.

She lives in Knoxville, TN.

Visit her webpage, KayeGeorge.com for more information. Or catch her at TravelsWithKaye.blogspot.com, her solo blog. She also joins other writers at http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com/ and https://writerswhokill.blogspot.com/.


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Revenge Is Sweet!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

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 Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook 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 April 8, 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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery) by J.C. Eaton #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks

Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
by J.C. Eaton

About Dressed Up 4 Murder


Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Arizona
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496724550
ISBN-13: 978-1496724557
Digital ASIN: B07R8WYD83

Last one standing is the winner . . .

 

The holiday season has arrived and bookkeeper/amateur sleuth, Sophie “Phee” Kimball, would love nothing more than to enjoy the comforts of her new home with her detective boyfriend near Arizona’s Sun City West. Instead, her mother Harriet wants to showcase her chiweenie-chihuahua-dachshund Streetman in the Precious Pooches Holiday Extravaganza costume events. The festivities begin in October and end on St. Patrick’s Day—with the winner starring in the St. Pat’s Day parade. But things quickly turn an awful shade of green when Streetman uncovers a dead body under a tarp-covered grill in the neighbor’s yard.

 

The victim is Cameron Tully, a seafood distributor working out of Phoenix, who died from ingesting a toxic sago palm leaf. Before the police can even find a motive and suspect, another Precious Pooch owner nearly dies from the same poison. With Harriet believing someone’s targeting her and Streetman because of the costume contests, Phee will need a potful of Irish luck to sniff out a killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There is always something happening at Sun City West. The new thing is the Precious Pooches Holiday Extravaganza and Harriet Plunkett plans to enter her chiweenie-chihuahua-dachshund Streetman in the event for each holiday starting with Halloween right through St. Patrick’s Day. Her friend Shirley is making his costumes and she knows he is going to win big. Streetman is not thrilled with the costumes at all, he is more concerned with a tarp in the neighbor’s yard.

When Sophie “Phee” Kimball arrives at her mother’s the dog is frantic to go outside. They open the backdoor and Streetman lunges out pulling the leash and Harriet right to the tarp-covered grill where they notice a pair of shoes. When Phee carefully pulls the tarp back they find a man attached to the shoes, but he won’t be grilling anytime soon. Neither woman recognizes the man. He is later identified as Cameron Tully from Phoenix. He is a seafood distributor and he was poisoned by a toxic sago palm leaf.

Police are having a hard time solving the murder but then a woman at a Precious Pooches event almost dies from the same thing. Harriet is afraid she and Streetman could be next. The police finally admit they need help and request Williams Investigations to assist on the case. This means Marshall and Phee are investigating but even they are having trouble. With Harriet nagging them at every move they know they need to solve this case and fast.


These characters are so much fun. You have Harriet and her friends and they are a hoot! You also have the team at Williams Investigations, Nate Williams is a retired detective from Mankato, Minnesota. Augusta keeps the office running and helps with cases too. Phee works for him as a bookkeeper but is turning out to be a great amateur sleuth. When business picked up he lured Marshall, another Mankato detective down to Arizona. Phee was thrilled because she had had a crush on him for years and now they are moving in together.  All these characters are so well developed, I can easily picture each one in my mind clearly. The places and events are described wonderfully too. It was so easy to imagine all the dogs and their owners parading around the park and all the chaos that erupts all around them.

Dog lover that I am Streetman does steal the show for me.

The mystery was a puzzler, with several red herrings. It took some serious digging for Phee to start bring things into focus and then the rest of the clues started to fall into place. I love the couple Marshall and Phee are becoming. They make a great team in all aspects of their life. I really enjoyed they worked together on this case, knowing each other’s strengths. It was a lot of fun following them step by step because I was completely in the dark right up to the reveal.

I have to take a moment to compliment the creativeness of the costumes the authors dreamed up for Shirley to create. Detailed and well-crafted and much more complicated than the one Streetman is wearing on the cover. Each described in vivid detail. The attention to detail the authors bring to these costumes and the whole book overall is what really makes this story and the others in this series must-reads for me.

Dressed Up 4 Murder is entertaining and captivating. The characters are strong and relatable and I can’t wait to see what they get themselves into next.

If you like your cozy mysteries to be filled with humor and a complex mystery that will have you really thinking, this is the perfect book for you.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About J.C. Eaton

Meet Ann and Jim, Writing as J.C. Eaton

Ann I. Goldfarb

            New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, they have authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington), The Wine Trail Mysteries (Kensington Lyrical Underground), and the Marcie Rayner Mysteries (Camel). In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit us at:

James E. Clapp

            When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb.  Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching. Visit the website at www.jceatonmysteries.com and the blog at www.jceatonauthor.com

Author Links – WebsiteBlogTime Travel MysteriesFacebook

Purchase Links – Amazon  –  B&N  – Kobo  – Google Books  – IndieBound


Also by J.C. Eaton

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Great Escapes Praise for Dressed Up 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
by J.C. Eaton

This mystery has everything mystery aficionados could want and more! A body in the yard, an adorable but smart dog, small-town secrets, and an amateur sleuth who has already made a name for herself as a nosy lady who seems to uncover the truth, no matter what.
~My Devotional Thoughts

Phee is a likable and smart character. I enjoy seeing her work to solve cases, especially alongside Marshall. Their relationship adds another layer to the story.
~View from the Birdhouse

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 2 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW
March 2 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 3 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
March 3 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW Coming Soon
March 4 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – Carla Loves To Read – GUEST POST
March 4 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 6 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
March 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
March 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 9 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
March 10 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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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 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben – Early Review

Release Date – March 17, 2020


The Boy from the Woods
Suspense Thriller
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 17, 2020)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1538748142
ISBN-13: 978-1538748145
Kindle ASIN: B07TYBQJBM

A man with a mysterious past must find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away.

 

Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.

 

No one seems to take Naomi Pine’s disappearance seriously, not even her father-with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school. Hester asks Wilde-with whom she shares a tragic connection-to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.

 

Wilde can’t ignore an outcast in trouble, but in order to find Naomi he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions . . . secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I find out the release date for a new Harlan Coben book I rush to my reading calendar and make sure I keep a date open to review it. Then I anxiously wait for the book to pop up for review. Coben is my favorite author when it comes to suspense and he never disappoints.

The story starts out with Naomi Pine being bullied and soon after the teenager disappears. No one seems to care that the girl is missing except a classmate who feels guilty for not stepping up to defend her and even played along with some of the pranks played on her. He is worried so he reaches out to his grandmother, Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney. Hester then reaches out to Wilde, a man who was found in the woods near her home 30 years ago and was befriended by her son. Wilde feels he has things in common with Naomi and immediately begins his search. A search that could cost him. A search that could hurt others. A search that will reveal secrets that could destroy lives.


This story is absolutely fabulous!

If you have read other Coben thrillers the name Hester Crimstein may be familiar. She is a woman who is tough as nails but we now see she has a soft spot for her grandson. Until now she has been a supporting character that pops up here and there. Through this story, we finally get to know more about this sassy broad who comes to town to see what her grandson Matthew really knows about a girl he says is missing.

We also meet Wilde, a boy found living in the woods about 30 years ago when he was between 6-8 years old. He spoke English but didn’t know his name or anything about where he came from. He soon became known as Wilde. No family ever claimed him so he was placed in foster care and he excelled in school. Upon graduation, he joined the military excelling there as well.  That led to a post-military career in security and investigation.  But the man is clearly a loner and is happiest living in the woods that will always be his home.

The thing Mr. Coben really does well is create characters with many layers. Some like Hester’s are revealed over time. Other’s like Wilde, Naomi, and Matthew are peeled back over the course of the story but I always feel like he holds just a bit back in case he wants to revisit them again in the future. All the characters are interesting and held my attention and I wanted to know more.

He has wrapped these characters into a story that starts as a missing person case and quickly becomes so much more. Wilde truly was all in when it came to finding Naomi and went to great lengths to get answers. He runs into roadblocks but pushes through, literally at times, to get in people’s faces to find out what the know or what they did. A surprising twist changes the game and ratchets up the suspense and takes us in new directions.

Coben blends social and political themes, really highlighting how far the rich will go to keep their secrets. We are immersed in the dark side seeing people who have created a great public facade but who truly have no morals or ethics. It made my cringe in places.

Mr. Coben also shows us a softer side as characters deal with loss and grief while trying to move forward. Grieving the loss of a loved one is something I am very familiar with and he captured and told this part of the story in a heartwarming and believable way.  It was a nice little subplot alongside all the action and suspense.

As I said, this story is fabulous, it is filled with twists and thrills. I totally escaped into every aspect of the story. Well-plotted and written, with a perfect pace. The ending was a complete surprise, The Boy From The Woods is a complex story that was so compelling.  I loved it! My world completely stopped when I started reading. In fact, Harlan Coben is responsible for my latest book hangover because I stayed up until the early morning hours to finish this book.

The Boy From The Woods deserves more than 5 stars. It earns my Paradise Rating and a place on my Best Reads of 2020.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Harlan Coben and his book on his webpage here.



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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Tina Kashian – Author of On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery) #GuestPost / #Recipe / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks @TinaKashian1


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to have Tina Kashian visit today!

Hi Tina!

Hi Lori!

Thank you for featuring me as a guest on the Escape with Dollycas Blog to celebrate the release of “On the Lamb”!

I love to cook all types of cuisine. I grew up in a family-owned restaurant in New Jersey, and my Kebab Kitchen Mystery Series is set in a Mediterranean restaurant at the Jersey shore.

In On the Lamb, Lucy Berberian is a recovering lawyer who returns to Ocean Crest, NJ and her family’s restaurant, Kebab Kitchen. When Lucy is invited to a beach bonfire with friends, she’s excited for a night out. But when a disliked, local landlord shows up on the beach and gets in a screaming match with one of Lucy’s friends, Melanie Haven, owner of Haven Candies on the boardwalk, a fun evening turns stressful. And when the same landlord is found dead on the beach after choking on a piece of saltwater taffy, Melanie is in a sticky mess of trouble. It’s up to Lucy to solve the case before her friend gets skewered for a crime she didn’t commit.

Winter is the perfect time to experiment with soups. One of my favorite soup recipes is lentil soup with swiss chard. As a parent, it can be difficult to get my kids to eat certain vegetables, like swiss chard. Surprisingly, if it’s incorporated into soup, they eat it and even like it. I’m sharing a recipe we served at my family’s restaurant.

 

on the lamb Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup by Tina Kashian

This Mediterranean soup is super healthy and full of fiber. The swiss chard adds flavor without overpowering the dish.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Ingredients:

½ lb dry Lentils

2 tbsp olive Oil

1 tbsp butter

1 small onion finely chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 carrot chopped

1stalk celery chopped

3 cups swiss chard, washed, stemmed and chopped.

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

1 tsp salt or to taste

1 tbsp lemon or to taste

Put dry lentils in a bowl and check for small stones that can naturally occur.

In a soup pot, heat oil, and butter. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Stir and sauté over medium heat for 15 minutes or until onions are transparent. Add chicken broth, water, and lentils. Simmer for ½ hour. Add swiss chard, salt, and lemon. Simmer for another fifteen minutes or until lentils and swiss chard are tender. Add hot water if you prefer a thinner soup.

Thank you again and enjoy the soup!

~Tina

Thank you, Tina, for dropping by. 

Keep reading for my thoughts on Tina’s new book, On The Lamb. 

 

About On The Lamb


On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496726057
ISBN-13: 978-1496726056
Kindle ASIN: B07R8WVPMX

Lucy Berberian is busy preparing her family’s Mediterranean restaurant for Easter on the Jersey Shore—but a batch of sweets is to die for . . .

 

Bikers are thundering into the seaside town of Ocean Crest for the annual Bikers on the Beach gathering that raises funds for injured veterans. It’s a big boost for the Kebab Kitchen, as well as for local businesses like Melanie Haven’s candy shop. But Melanie is about to find herself in a sticky situation.

 

When Melanie and Lucy attend a beach bonfire, a local landlord is found dead after apparently choking on a piece of salt water taffy. Melanie, who was known to have a contentious relationship with the victim, is quickly skewered as the prime suspect. But Lucy is determined to prove her friend’s innocence before the real killer coasts free . . .

 

Recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s almost Easter in Ocean Crest and Lucy is excited about getting her family together. She is also busy with the family restaurant and business has picked up for most of the businesses in town with the annual Bikers on the Beach event that raising money for injured vets. Part of the event is a huge bonfire on the beach. Lucy was invited by her friend Michael who is the manager of the bike shop next to her family’s restaurant. She takes along her BFF Katie and their friend Melanie.  Gilbert Lubinski, local landlord of many apartments and businesses tries to ruin the party when he barges in to remind Melanie that her rent is due and to remember it has been increased.

A short time later someone screams. People rush to the sound and find Melanie standing over Gilbert’s dead body. With the earlier public altercation, a piece of taffy found in the victim’s throat, and the one finding the body, Melanie finds herself at the top of the suspect list. Lucy knows her friend is innocent and she is going to prove it.


This is such an entertaining series!

Lucy’s parents have decided to take a step back from the family business, The Kebab Kitchen,  and leave the day to day management in her hands. Her mom still pops in to keep up with Lucy’s cooking lessons and to approve the head chef Azad Zakarian menus. Her dad likes to keep his hand in with the inventory and other office tasks. Lucy knows change is hard for them but she has had a few minor victories so she is fine with them taking their time. She also takes a big step within these pages that coincides nicely with the murder investigation she and Katie have got themselves wrapped up in.  Ms. Kashian has created such genuine characters. I am always excited to see what they are all up to.

Kashian has also introduced some great new characters this time which include Eloisa Lubinski and her Shih Tzu, Cupid. Eloisa stole my heart immediately. I wish I had half her spunk and energy. Her nephew Gilbert is our victim and with his death, all his secrets were revealed leading to many more suspects. including a couple of bikers, his business partner, and his almost ex-wife. A few more come out of the woodwork when Lucy uncovers his little side business. All these characters evolve as the story continues some in very meaningful ways.

Talk about red herrings, this story is full of them. I loved it even though I fell for most of them and was caught totally by surprise at the reveal.  I really enjoy the way Lucy and Katie sleuth together. When one drops the ball the other can pick it up and weave a tale like a pro. They also don’t give up. The author sets a brisk pace and gives us plenty of drama and action. There are also some truly funny moments too.

So much of the story takes place on the boardwalk. Lucy’s daily runs helped her sort through the clues and she also gets a little advice when she stops to visit psychic Madame Vega and learns something when she finds herself at the tattoo parlor. All this goes on with a loudspeaker blaring ” Watch the tramcar please!” as the tramcar goes up and down the boardwalk. Ms. Kashian really sets the scene wonderfully, not only on the boardwalk but at the Kebab Kitchen, the beach, Melanie’s candy shop, and all around Ocean Crest.

On The Lamb has everything I look for in a cozy mystery, engaging and entertaining characters, a mystery I can sink my teeth into, and just a little romance and humor to balance everything out.

Speaking of sinking my teeth into, there are several recipes in the back of the book. I have never eaten Armenian, Lebanese, or Greek food with the exception of a gyro back in my college days. The descriptions of the food in this series do make my mouth water. This small-town girl may have to step out of her comfort zone and give these recipes a try.

I am already looking forward to my next visit to the Jersey Shore because they are always some really great things happening there along with a little bit of murder.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Hummus and Homicide here
and Stabbed in the Baklava here and One Feta In The Grave here

 

About Tina Kashian

Tina Kashian is a bestselling author, an attorney, and a mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. Tina spent her childhood summers at the Jersey shore building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and riding the boardwalk Ferris wheel. She also grew up in the restaurant business, as her Armenian parents owned a restaurant for thirty years. Tina’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and the first book in her Kebab Kitchen Mediterranean mystery series, Hummus and Homicide, spent six weeks on the B&N bestseller list. Please visit her website at www.tinakashian.com to join her newsletter, receive delicious recipes, enter contests, and more!

Author Links  Website   Facebook  Twitter  Instagram   Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble –  Kobo –   Google BooksiBooks

Praise for On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

An intricate mystery, an abundance of motives, a large dollop of intriguing characters, and a pinch of romance blended with a hint of salt from the Jersey Shore blend together to make ON THE LAMB a fun heartwarming story.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Ms. Kashin did a fantastic job of stumping me that I just had to give this book five stars. I loved every minute of reading this book.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

On the Lamb is a charming cozy mystery that will have you wanting to visit the Jersey shore.
~The Avid Reader

A family-centric crime series with lots of delicious food and plenty of twists, turns, and red herrings.
~Laura’s Interests

Another great cozy with likable relatable to me characters but what I enjoyed most was the closeness of family and also that the “who did it” wasn’t so easily recognized because almost everybody was a suspect!
~Gimme the Scoop Reviews

Well plotted with many twists and turns, this strong, superbly written mystery gave me the run around as I tried in vain to help protagonist, Lucy Berberian, solve the case and clear her friend.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

The author combined the perfect amount of mystery, humor, and romance to create a great addition to the series. As always, I love the author’s personal touches, such as her family recipes and the fact that she took some of her favorite memories and included them in the book.
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

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On the Lamb (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery)
by Tina Kashian

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please Visit All the Stops. 
February 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
February 25 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
February 26 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
February 26 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
February 26 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 27 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 27 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 28 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
February 28 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
February 29 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
February 29 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 1 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW
March 1 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
March 2 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
March 2 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 3 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 3 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
March 4 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
March 6 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
March 7 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 7 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

 

 

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

Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery) by Christin Brecher #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @KensingtonBooks

Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
by Christin Brecher

About Murder Makes Scents


Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721411
ISBN-13: 978-1496721419
Digital ASIN: B07R6P9Z8M

Stella Wright loves creating candles at her Nantucket store—and she also has a burning passion for justice. Now, after visiting a perfume conference, she must solve a vial crime . . .

Stella and her globe-trotting mom, Millie, have come home from a perfume industry conference in Paris, where their trip was marred by witnessing the stabbing death of a young man. It’s a relief for Stella to be back on her picturesque island, with the comforting company of her cat, Tinker. But lingering danger may have followed them back across the ocean.

After someone breaks into her candle store, the Wick & Flame, Stella starts feeling spooked. And just as things threaten to ignite, Millie suffers a blow to the head. Stella receives an anonymous note claiming that her mother smuggled a secret formula out of France—and threatening her life if it isn’t returned. Now Stella’s picked up the scent of a cold-hearted criminal and an intriguing puzzle, and things are about to get wicked . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Stella Wright met up with her mom, Millie in Paris for a perfume conference. Right before Millie was supposed to speak a young man was stabbed right in front of them. After waiting to give the authorities the statements they just make their flight back to the states. Stella, happy to be home on Nantucket. Peter meets the ferry and he brought her cat Tinker along. Millie is allergic to cats so while she is staying with Stella, Tinker will be hanging out at her store, The Wick & Flame.

Stella finds herself spending the night at her store too, antsy about the murder she witnessed but also because it is impossible to sleep with Millie’s snoring. When she arrives she thinks that Tinker has been a very naughty kitty and made a huge mess. But then she realizes someone has broken into her store looking for something. Just as she is falling asleep, she hears the bell on her door and realizes she and Tinker hadn’t been alone.

When Millie gets injured in a freaky happenstance she ends up in the hospital and Stella learns someone from France has followed them home, Millie has something extremely important that they want. In an effort to save her mother Stella starts her quest to find the missing item and a killer. She is amazed by where her investigation leads.


Christin Brecher brings some international flair to this compelling mystery. This time Scents play a leading role.

The murder takes place in Paris but the majority of the story takes place on Nantucket. The author’s descriptive detail brings both settings clearly into focus.

The core characters we met in Murder’s No Votive Confidence are back. Police Officer Andy remains Stella’s best friend while Peter has moved into the boyfriend zone. I really enjoy the banter between Stella and her mom. Millie scent talents are just amazing and Stella’s are pretty darn good too. This is important because their noses can save an international incident from happening.

We do meet several new characters and most of them become suspects. Stella really doesn’t trust anyone new to the island, including Millie’s high school friends that have come together for a reunion. She is also concerned when a boarding school teacher they met in Paris unexpectedly shows up on their doorstep. Stella is troubled by another woman she noticed when they arrived on the ferry that was acting suspiciously too. There is even a mystery man lurking around town, Stella definitely has her work cut out for her. I enjoyed the way all the characters, old and new developed over the course of the story.

The mystery this time was not typical for a cozy mystery and a little unbelievable at times but it sure was fun to read and follow Stella through her grand adventure. Intrigue, action, and an elusive killer all come together tempered with a generous amount of humor to make this story so entertaining.  It is full of unexpected twists and is very fast-paced.

Murder Makes Scents is well-plotted and written and an excellent follow-up to Murder’s No Votive Confidence. The international espionage theme may be a little over the top, but for me, it was a Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Christin Brecher

Christin Brecher was born and raised in NYC, where her family and many childhood friends still reside. As such, she feels she is as much of a small-town girl as any. The idea to write the Nantucket Candle Maker series sprang from her life-long connection to the small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Spending summers there as a child, Christin read from her family’s library of mystery novels, after which she began to imagine stories inspired by the island’s whaling heyday, its notoriously foggy nights, and during long bike rides to the beach. After many years in marketing for the publishing industry, followed by years raising her children, Murder’s No Votive Confidence is Christin’s debut novel. Visit her at www.christinbrecher.com.
Author Links
Website – Facebook –Instagram – GoodReads – BookBub 
Purchase Links
Amazon – B&N – Kobo – BAM – 
IndieBound – Hudson Booksellers – Google Play

Coming August 25, 2020

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Great Escapes Praise for Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
by Christin Brecher

Murder Makes Scents is an enjoyable and interesting read . . . Wonderful character portrayal . . .
~The Book Decoder

Brecher’s knowledge and love for the island convey the vividness of setting with such places as Brant Point, jetties beach, the village’s cobblestone streets, and the historical Jared Coffin House. Stella, owner of the Wick & Flame store, is easy to connect with.
~The Power of Words

A wonderful second outing for Stella and Nantucket Island! With thrills and suspects aplenty this makes for a great read!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

Murder Makes Sense is an engaging cozy mystery with a funny formula, mold making masterclass, curious clues, a perplexing prowler, and a comical cat.
~The Avid Reader

I started reading this and could not stop!! . . . a fantastic cozy with just the right mix of normal and mystery making for a wonderful read perfect for cozy fans. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

. . . I was totally engrossed in this story, fantastical or not and really enjoyed the wonderful Nantucket setting and the characters.
~eBook addicts

Murder Makes Sense is a fast-paced, entertaining story replete with daring chases, mysterious suspects, and unforeseen plot twists.
~Book Club Librarian

A murder in Paris brings mayhem to Nantucket in MURDER MAKES SCENTS. This scent fueled mystery had me suspecting everyone adding to my enjoyment and leaving me wondering what adventures Stella will find herself involved in next!
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Murder Makes Scents is entertaining and well-plotted, with colorful characters and a vibrant setting. The murder mystery is more multi-dimensional than it first appears – and I really enjoyed following Stella on the quest to save the day.
~Reading Is My SuperPower

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 24 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
February 24 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
February 24 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
February 25 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 25 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
February 25 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 26 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 26 – TBR Book Blog – REVIEW
February 26 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
February 26 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 27 – eBook addicts – REVIEW
February 27 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 27 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
February 28 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
February 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
February 28 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 29 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 29 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
March 1 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW, CANDLE TIPS PAGE
March 1 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
March 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 1 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 2 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW
March 2 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 2 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW*
March 3 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 3 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 4 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
March 4 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 4 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – featuring – Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery) by Maria DiRico #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to share my thoughts with you today about
Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico!

Note there are several recipes in this book and
you can find a few of them being shared on other tour stops! 

Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

About Here Comes the Body


Here Comes the Body (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 page
ISBN-10: 1496725344
ISBN-13: 978-1496725349
Digital ASIN: B07R8WYLSC

After her philandering husband’s boat went down, newly single Mia Carina went back to Astoria, the bustling Queens neighborhood of her youth. Living with her Nonna and her oversized cat, Doorstop, she’s got a whole new life—including some amateur sleuthing . . .

 

Mia is starting work at Belle View, her father’s catering hall, a popular spot for weddings, office parties, and more—despite the planes that occasionally roar overhead on their way to LaGuardia and rattle the crystal chandelier. Soon she’s planning a bachelor party for a less-than-gentlemanly groom. But it goes awry when the gigantic cake is wheeled in and a deadly surprise is revealed . . .

 

Since some of her family’s associates are on the shady side, the NYPD wastes no time in casting suspicion on Mia’s father. Now, Mia’s going to have to use all her street smarts to keep him out of Rikers Island . . .

Italian recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Readers are introduced to Mia Carina and her family. She has come home to Queens after her being cleared in her husband’s suspicious death with her cat lovingly named Doorstop. They have moved into her Nonna’s upper apartment. She will be working with her father, former mob enforcer, Ravello Carina, at a business he recently acquired. Belle View is a hot spot for weddings, bachelor parties, and family reunions. Even local support groups meet there.

Mia’s first event is a bachelor party complete with a stripper popping out of a cake. But the woman inside the cake does not “pop” as planned, in fact, the woman inside the cake is not the woman hired for the party but someone who accused Ravello of not paying his debt to her the day before and she won’t be “popping” anywhere. Someone left her dead body along with a check for a million dollars signed by Ravello inside the cake.

The police think the case is a slam-dunk but Mia is determined to prove her dad’s innocence. When a second body is found behind Belle View Mia knows she has to pull out all the stops to keep her dad safe and the business running, even if she needs to reach out to her extended “family”.

______

The underlying theme of this series is the mob and its connections to Mia’s family. I thought this may be too heavy of a topic for a cozy mystery but Maria DiRico makes it work with a light tone and a lot of humor, although some of the innuendo does tip over the line just a bit.

The author brings us an Italian family with connections. Mia, glad to be home but not totally sure if her New York family took care of her creep of a husband, Adam Grosso, or not. She was cleared to leave Florida and she did. Working for her father isn’t going to be easy, not because of the mob, but because of the over the top clients and their loony requests. Mia showed more patience than I ever could. She comes up with some great ideas too.

Moving in with her grandmother Elisabetta feels right even though most of her furniture looks like it came from a bordello. Her dad has spent enough time behind bars and promises the Belle View is a legit business. Mia’s brother Posi, is still behind bars but is able to give her some advice as she investigates. She reconnects with her old friend Jamie and old feelings start to immerge until she learns he has a girlfriend. Jaime’s dad is high up in the “organization” though and she just may need his help.

Being the first book in a new series, we get to know the main characters pretty well, but there is a lot of room for growth. My favorite being Nonna Elisabetta. A true Italian believing food can solve any problem. She makes sure Mia is always well fed. She had me grinning ear to ear.

I was captivated by Mia and Jamie’s relationship and am looking forward to how it develops. Will, there be a real romance or will they commit to the “friend zone”? Jamie does remind me a little bit of my son, same name, different spelling 😉

Mia is a smart sleuth. It was fun to tag along with her as she dealt with twist after twist. Sometimes the debut book in a series has a less complex mystery to solve while taking time to fully introduce the cast of characters. That is not the case here at all. The mystery was complex. Every time I thought I had everything all figured out there was a twist that proved me wrong.

The subplots were blended wonderfully into the story. I really appreciated Mia’s huge heart as she dealt with a real estate predator. Nonna’s neighborhood sounded delightful and close-knit and the realtor was really ticking off both me and Mia. Some of Mia’s comebacks were just priceless.  The author descriptions of the area painted clear pictures of the homes, right down to the sculptures in the yards and their holiday decorations.

Here Comes the Body has this series off to a fine start. The characters are memorable and feel very true to life. The mystery was well-plotted and interesting with a large dose of humor. There are also some yummy sounding Italian recipes at the back of the book. It truly was an enjoyable getaway!


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About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico

 

Maria DiRico was born in Queens, New York, and raised in Queens and Westchester County. She is a first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side. On her father’s side, her grandfather was a low-level Jewish mobster who disappeared in 1933 under mysterious circumstances. She also writes the award-winning, bestselling Cajun Country Mystery series under the name Ellen Byron.

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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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Murder Lo Mein (A Noodle Shop Mystery) by Vivien Chien #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress

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.

I am on a mission to get caught up on this series!


Murder Lo Mein (A Noodle Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (March 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250129192
ISBN-13: 978-1250129192
Kindle ASIN: B07F138TSZ

Everyone agrees that the food at Ho-Lee Noodle House is delicious—unless it happens to be deadly.

 

Lana Lee’s stake in her family’s Chinese restaurant is higher than ever now that she’s been made manager. So when she enters Ho-Lee into Cleveland’s Best Noodle Contest, Lana makes it her business to win—at all costs. But when a local food critic receives a threatening note in a fortune cookie and is later found dead, face-down in a bowl of lo mein, all bets are off. . .

 

Now, along with her sweet-and-sour boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana decides to take matters into her own hands and dig into the lives of everyone involved in the contest. But when she receives an ill-fated fortune, Lana realizes that in order to save the reputation of her restaurant, she needs to save herself first. . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

For Murder Lo Mein we are back at the Asia Village for the annual Cleveland’s Best Noodle Contest. Lana is banking on her chef Peter Huang to win the contest to show her parents they made the right choice making her manager of Ho Lee Noodle House. Winning will also bring in more customers.

Unfortunately, after the first round one of the judges in found dead, face-down in a bowl of low mein, no less. Then another judge bites the dust. Lana’s boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau begs her to leave the investigating to him but she just can’t stop herself from snooping. She knows she is getting close when she discovers something in her purse. Will she survive to see the end of the contest or will the killer get to her first?

_____

I have enjoyed these characters from the start. Lana is funny, smart and a little bit awkward, but she is excelling as manager of the family business. Her parents have returned from Taiwan with Lana’s grandmother in tow. Surprisingly her overpowering mother doesn’t try to return to running the restaurant, but she still has opinions about Lana’s life from how she dresses to her relationship with the good detective. Happily, Lana and Adam’s relationship is making progress. Grandma doesn’t speak English and Lana doesn’t speak her grandmother’s dialect but they do find a way to communicate. Lana’s best friend/roommate Megan is usually available to help Lana with her sleuthing. And they both have the lovable black pug named Kikko to come home to. If Megan isn’t available, friend Kimmy is eager to help out. With the Best Noodle Contest, there are a lot of secondary characters, some become very viable suspects, one would like to get to know Lana much better.

The mystery unfolds nicely with plenty of suspects. Again, people just open up and talk to Lana. Her friendly nature really suits her sleuthing endeavors much to Adam’s dismay at times. Adam opens up to Lana more in this story too. I have not read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War but it is cleverly brought into the mystery. Solving the mystery was not easy. The author really twists things up. I thought I was smart and had it all figured out until I was proven wrong. It was a lot of fun following the clues and being surprised at the big reveal.

I have stated in previous reviews for books in this series that Chinese food is not really my thing but in this book, we learned that Lana loves donuts and so do I. Both are fully described within these pages. Lana is worried about her waistline now that a bakery has taken over the shop next door. I worried about my waistline because those descriptions really cranked up my cravings 😆

Vivien Chien has a real hit on her hands with this series. Murder Lo Mein is an excellent addition. With engaging characters and a great mystery spiced up with the perfect amounts of humor and romance, she has served up a real treat.

The next book in this series, Wonton Terror is on my To-Be-Read shelf and I will be reading and reviewing it soon! Egg Drop Dead is being released on February 25th and Killer Kung Pao will be out on August 25th.

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You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here and Dim Sum of All Fears here

About the Author

VIVIEN CHIEN was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From Amazon)

 

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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.”