Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge 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

#FlashbackFriday – A Scandal in Scarlet (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery) by Vicki Delany #Review / #Giveaway @vickidelany

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


A Scandal in Scarlet (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1683317904
ISBN-13: 978-1683317906
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 164385027X
ISBN-13: 978-1643850276
Kindle ASIN: B079DWNBV7

Gemma and Jayne donate their time to raise money for the rebuilding of a burned-out museum—but a killer wants a piece of the auction—in this fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Walking her dog Violet late one night, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop, acts quickly when she smells smoke outside the West London Museum. Fortunately, no one is inside, but it’s too late to save the museum’s priceless collection of furniture, and damage to the historic house is extensive. Baker Street’s shop owners come together to hold an afternoon auction tea to raise funds to rebuild, and Great Uncle Arthur Doyle offers a signed first edition of The Valley of Fear.

Cape Cod’s cognoscenti files into Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room, owned by Gemma’s best friend, Jayne Wilson. Excitement fills the air (along with the aromas of Jayne’s delightful scones, of course). But the auction never happens. Before the gavel can fall, museum board chair Kathy Lamb is found dead in the back room. Wrapped tightly around her neck is a long rope of decorative knotted tea cups—a gift item that Jayne sells at Mrs. Hudson’s. Gemma’s boyfriend in blue, Ryan Ashburton, arrives on the scene with Detective Louise Estrada. But the suspect list is long, and the case far from elementary. Does Kathy’s killing have any relation to a mysterious death of seven years ago?

Gemma has no intention of getting involved in the investigation, but when fellow shopkeeper Maureen finds herself the prime suspect she begs Gemma for her help. Ryan knows Gemma’s methods and he isn’t happy when she gets entangled in another mystery. But with so many suspects and so few clues, her deductive prowess will prove invaluable in A Scandal in Scarlet, Vicki Delany’s shrewdly plotted fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Gemma Doyle owns the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop on Baker Street in West London Massachusetts. While out walking her dog, Violet one evening outside of the West London Museum she smells smoke. The fire department arrives and saves most of the house but the furnishings and collectibles are destroyed. To rebuild and refurnish the Scarlet House an auction and tea is held at Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room with prizes donated by the Baker’s Street shopkeepers and other friends of the museum.

After the tea service ends the auction is set to start everything comes to a halt when museum board chair and auctioneer Kathy Lamb is found dead in the storeroom. Police arrive to an entire room of suspects including the deceased ex-husband and his new wife. One of the shopkeepers, Maureen MacGregor, is pegged as the prime suspect though because of a verbal altercation with Kathy prior to the start of the tea that was witnessed by everyone. She has asked Gemma to help prove her innocence. This doesn’t make her boyfriend, Detective Ryan Ashburton, or his partner Detective Louise Estrada happy but with the vast array of suspects, her insights could be helpful.


Gemma Doyle is a fantastic protagonist. She has a keen sense of observation, is smart and independent, and speaks her mind, sometimes to her own detriment. She may be viewed as a little harsh but by this fourth book in the series, she is softening a bit.  I think we have the good detective to thank for that. He has learned she can be helpful in solving his cases because she sees and picks up on things other people don’t. Her friend Jayne is the perfect Watson to her Sherlock. Gemma sometimes forges ahead quickly while Jayne does her best to keep Gemma out of trouble. Gemma has a unique assistant in Ashleigh that frees her up and gives her plenty of time to sleuth out clue after clue.

The author has written a very complicated mystery. The deceased wasn’t well-liked and at times was as subtle as a bulldozer when it came to the changes she wanted to make at Scarlet House. Hence, the plethora of suspects. The investigation takes Gemma and Jayne from one end of Baker Street to the other and visiting not one but two yacht clubs. The current mystery may have ties to an old cold case which brings even more intrigue to the story. I was totally kept guessing until the very end and then wanted to kick myself. The K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) theory totally applied in this case and I missed the clues completely.

The Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium and the attached Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room sounds like a fabulous place to visit for Sherlock Holmes lovers. Gemma carries several book titles and all types of memorabilia related to all the versions that have evolved over the years. Someone is always taking a new twist on the famous fictional detective and his sidekick.

A Scandal in Scarlet is an excellent addition to this series. As a fan of the Basil Rathbone Holmes portrayal and a fan of Vicki Delany, I don’t know how I got so far behind on this series but I am working to rectify that now. I hope to read and review There’s A Murder Afoot and A Curious Incident soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

Vicki Delany is a bestselling author of more than twenty novels/novellas in several mystery subgenres. Born in Manitoba and raised in Ontario, she is the former president of the Crime Writers of Canada, a member of Capital Crime Writers, and a member of Sisters in Crime.

Author Links

Website – Facebook – Twitter:  @vickidelany and@evagatesauthor – Instagramvickidelany


Also by this Author

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

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

The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait (Haunted Bookshop Mystery) by Cleo Coyle #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @CleoCoyle


The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait (Haunted Bookshop Mystery)
by Cleo Coyle

About The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait


The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait (Haunted Bookshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Rhode Island
Publisher: Berkley (May 4, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0425251861
ISBN-13: 978-0425251867
Digital ASIN: B08274WCLM

Bookshop owner Penelope Thornton-McClure and her gumshoe ghost team up to solve the stunning mystery at the heart of a madwoman’s self-portrait in this all new installment from New York Times bestselling author Cleo Coyle.

 

While gathering a collection of vintage book cover paintings for a special event in her quaint Rhode Island bookshop, Penelope discovers a spooky portrait of a beautiful woman, one who supposedly went mad, according to town gossip. Seymour, the local mailman, falls in love with the haunting image and buys the picture, refusing to part with it, even as fatal accidents befall those around it. Is the canvas cursed? Or is something more sinister at work?

 

For answers, Pen turns to an otherworldly source: Jack Shepard, PI. Back in the 1940s, Jack cracked a case of a killer cover artist, and (to Pen’s relief) his spirit is willing to help her solve this mystery, even if he and his license did expire decades ago.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Penelope Thornton-McClure and her Aunt Sadie are getting their bookshop, Buy the Book, ready for a big event. A book signing with the authors of a new book featuring Pulp Fiction covers from the past. As a bonus for the event, a local collector of the vintage covers is lending the shop some of his collection. Pen and her friends Seymour and Professor J. Brainert Parker travel to pick up the artwork. When they arrive Seymour becomes enamored with a portrait of a young Harriet McClure who just happens to have been related to Pen’s late husband. The painting is said to be cursed but that doesn’t stop Seymour from buying it. Strange events start to happen shortly after the purchase but are shaken off as coincidence. Then the previous owner is found dead and the ghostly private eye Jack Shepard tells Pen he has a history with one of the pieces of art and he offers to help her solve the current case.


If you love old movies you are going to love this story. Even the current mystery had an old-timey feel due to the theme of vintage cover art. As soon as we meet Walt Waverly and enter his  “sprawling Tudor home” and his library where he displays “a lot of” his art I felt we stepped back in time. The author describes everything in detail even the doorknobs “covered with a patina of green from age and neglect” and the “pristine condition” of his rare books and the Nathan Brock cover painting from 1948 that even got Jack’s attention.  The words put the readers right there on the scene observing each and every moment. I was captivated by the entire experience.

Then with the P.I.’s mysterious way we actually travel back in time to tackle one of his old cases that was linked to that Nathan Brock cover. Again I was intrigued by the whole process and how those experiences helped Pen solve the current mystery. The way Pen and Jack communicate is very interesting but eerie too.

The story sheds a light on corruption in publishing and scams. Authors and artists are both affected. While this was not a new concept to me I felt educated by what happened to a couple of characters in this story.  The old adage, “if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is” definitely applies.

I absolutely loved the ending. Yes, the killer was revealed but so much more happens to bring things full circle. I can’t say more, you need to read the book yourself.

The Ghost and the Haunted Portrait is an exciting addition to this great series.  I am looking forward to the next adventure with Pen and her ghost gumshoe detective.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Cleo Coyle

Cleo Coyle – Alice Alfonsi – Marc Cerasini

CLEO COYLE is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Both are New York Times bestselling authors of the long-running Coffeehouse Mysteries—now celebrating eighteen years in print. They are also authors of the nationally bestselling Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, previously written under the pseudonym Alice Kimberly. Alice has worked as a journalist in Washington, D.C., and New York, and has written popular fiction for adults and children. A former magazine editor, Marc has authored espionage thrillers and nonfiction for adults and children. Alice and Marc are also both bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for Lucasfilm, NBC, Fox, Disney, Imagine, and MGM. They live and work in New York City, where they write independently and together.

Author Links

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The Rest of the Series!


Also by Cleo Coyle

Coming December 7, 2021

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

Posted in 2021 Reading Challenges Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery) by Lena Gregory #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thoughts about
Whole Latte Murder with you today!


Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
by Lena Gregory

About Whole Latte Murder 


Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation Lyrical Press(April 27, 2021)
Paperback: 206 pages
ISBN-10: 1516110498
ISBN-13: 978-1516110490
Digital ASIN: B08F2X8NGW

Ex-New Yorker and local diner owner Gia Morelli is still getting used to the sweltering Florida sun. But this summer she’ll have to deal with a more dangerous kind of heat—when she’s hot on the trail of another murderer . . .

 

Summer in Boggy Creek has arrived, and Gia’s best friend, successful real estate agent Savannah, is getting hitched. Now she’s enlisted Gia’s sleuthing talents in a desperate search for the perfect wedding dress. But when Savannah mysteriously vanishes after showing a mansion to a bigwig client, Gia investigates the house Savannah was trying to sell. The first clue she finds is Savannah’s car in the driveway. Inside the house, they stumble on Savannah’s potential buyer—dead. Someone had apparently closed the deal—with a two by four full of nails to the client’s head. Soon afterward, a woman’s body is fished from the lake near the same house. The townsfolk are now sweating bullets over the murders, and the heat comes down on poor Gia to find her missing friend, and track down the killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s summer in Boggy Creek and Gia is excited to help her BFF Savannah plan the perfect wedding. They just have to find a venue that meets their needs without breaking the bank. A big commission could really help real estate agent Savannah have the wedding of her dreams. She sets off to meet a wealthy client at the priciest home for sale in the area planning to meet Gia for some dress shopping later.

There were some concerns about her meeting this man by herself and when Savannah fails to pick up Gia and doesn’t answer her phone Gia sets off to find her friend. She arrives at the mansion and finds Savannah’s convertible in the driveaway but no Savannah. She does however find her client, dead, looking like he was hit upside the head with the nearby two by four full of nails. The police arrive and also find a woman’s body in the nearby lake. Thank God, it wasn’t Savannah, but where is she? Friends and family gather at Gia’s cafe while the police start a search. Everyone is frantic with whole latte worry. Will they find Savannah? and will they catch the killer before they strike again? Gia will not rest until they do!


The characters in this series have grown so much over the course of five books. Gia and Savannah are such a great team. When Savannah goes missing you can feel Gia’s pain jump off the pages. Savannah’s fiance Leo and her cousin Hunt along with most of the community search to find the real estate agent. It was heartwarming the way everyone came together.

With Savannah in peril, we get to see her brothers and father in action. They are a close-knit family and have welcomed Gia as one of their own. Trevor also has a larger role in this story and Alfie returns for a little technical support. All the cafe regulars return as well. Ms. Gregory has created a cast of truly genuine characters.

What I really love about the All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mysteries is the emphasis on friends and family. The characters really feel like old friends who would open their arms and hearts to anyone in need.

The mystery gets off to a very quick start. Savannah’s client has a shady past and possible mob connections. Gia’s house gets broken into and the treatment of a certain Bernese Mountain Dog had me absolutely livid.  Money is missing from several places and there is something hinky going on at Savannah’s real estate office. All these things are tangled together in a way that had the pages flying so fast I think my Kindle was steaming. Again the girls go to some crazy and dangerous lengths that had me holding my breath but I wouldn’t expect any less from this dynamic duo.

Whole Latte Murder is a Whole Latte good! Great characters and a fantastic story full of twists and turns along with just a little humor and romance make this book a Perfect Escape!

I am excited about Savannah and Leo’s wedding and look forward to pulling up a virtual seat for it and whatever murder mystery the author comes up with. I highly recommend every book in this series!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Lena Gregory

Lena Gregory is the author of the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York, and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest.

Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, but she recently traded in cold, damp, gray winters for the warmth and sunshine of central Florida, where she now lives with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.

To learn more about Lena and her latest writing endeavors, visit her website at http://www.lenagregory.com/, and be sure to sign up for her newsletter here.

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews 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 – Southern Sass and a Battered Bride (A Marygene Brown Mystery) by Kate Young – #Review / #Giveaway @KAYoungBooks @KensingtonBooks – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to share with you my thoughts today about
Southern Sass and a Battered Bride.


Southern Sass and a Battered Bride (A Marygene Brown Mystery)
by Kate Young

 

About Southern Sass and a Battered Bride


Southern Sass and a Battered Bride (A Marygene Brown Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Kensington (April 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721497
ISBN-13: 978-1496721495
Digital ASIN : B08F2WNNPQ

At a murder mystery–themed wedding reception on Georgia’s picturesque Peach Cove Island, the bride is doing an awfully good job playing dead . . .

 

Marygene Brown always figured she’d marry her childhood sweetheart, Alex Myers, not cater his wedding. But the Peach Diner could use the exposure. Most of the island is showing up—although more for the role-playing murder game at the reception than for the widely loathed bridezilla, Lucy Carmichael. Marygene may have to smile through the festivities, but Mama doesn’t have to hold her peace—especially since only Marygene can hear her mother’s ghost. Mama says she sees an aura of darkness around the wedding.

 

So when Marygene finds Lucy lying beside the wedding cake, buried in batter, with no pulse, it looks like Mama called it. This is no game. And when the bride’s body simply vanishes, it’s up to Marygene and her best friend Betsy (cousin to the groom and no fan of the bride) to solve a real-life mystery—with a little help from Mama’s sassy spirit . . .

 

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Alex Myers is getting married but not to his childhood sweetheart Marygene Brown. No, he is marrying Lucy Carmichael and no one is really happy about it. Marygene has consented to cater the event because it is good business, especially because most of the island is attending. They aren’t really coming to support the nuptials, they are coming to take part in the murder mystery reception. Marygene is surprised the bridezilla has consented to be the victim but when she sees the woman on the ground covered in batter she realizes the woman will do anything to be the center of attention.

Looking closely Marygene thinks the woman is doing an excellent job, she really looks dead. OMG! She is dead! Her mama’s ghost had warned her to be careful because there is an aura of darkness around the wedding. Well, she was right and things get even eerier when Lucy’s body disappears. Was she really dead or was it all just an act? Who would have taken a dead body? and how did they do it without being seen? Marygene knows she has to find out because she and her best friend Betsy are high up on the suspect list. She just hopes her mother will be able to see something Marygene is missing because this is no longer a game, it’s murder and other lives are on the line.


Kate Young has created such strong characters with a fantastic family dynamic. Marygene has grown so much since this series began. She is Southern through and through always trying to see the best in everyone even when they are clearly at their worse. She will bend over backward to help, again when people don’t deserve it. This time we saw the worse of Alex and it really shakes Marygene to her core but she remains open to help him even when others have backed away. Betsy and her Aunt Vi are really hurt by his words and actions but they are still able to bring plenty of funny to this story. I just love Marygene’s mother. Her ghostly presence is always interesting. She is still learning about what she can and can’t do but she always shows up when Marygene needs her most. A tragic event within the story shows that even a ghost can grow and evolve. Marygene’s siblings also play a large role in the story. I became invested in these characters early in this series and they continue to warm my heart and surprise me too. This family is close and that is what drives this series.

The story starts out of the gate fast with so much going on. This author excels at blending real-life happenings with the murder mystery. Marygene is pulled in several directions it seems all at the same time. A complicated mystery unfolds with several twists and exciting moments. Marygene takes a wild ride literally this time and it had me holding my breath imagining what could have been and that was just the first time it happened. The pages were flying as each clue dropped and my theories took flight. I did have someone pretty well pinned to the top of my suspect list but there were twists that really surprised me and I was pretty shocked when all was revealed.

As I have said before, the books in this series are so much more than cozy mysteries. Kate Young gives her readers a story full of Southern charm and sass and characters that are realistic and true. The dialogues are cleverly written and the humor is spot-on.  Southern Sass and a Battered Bride is a very entertaining story. I definitely need more Marygene, Betsy, and Aunt Vi in my life. I hope to return to Peach Cove Island soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Kate Young

Kate Young writes Southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.

Author Links – Website Facebook – Twitter  GoodReads BookBub

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

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Peachy Scream: A Georgia B&B Mystery by Anna Gerard #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks

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.


Peachy Scream: A Georgia B&B Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643853066
ISBN-13: 978-1643853062
Kindle ASIN: B07XXBK3CX

To die, or not to die? Georgia B&B proprietor Nina Fleet turns amateur thespian to bring the curtain down on a Shakespearean actor’s killer.

It’s nothing short of inevitable that Cymbeline, GA, hosts an annual Shakespeare festival. But stage-struck Nina Fleet is about to learn that putting on an amateur theatrical production can be murder. Nina’s anticipating showbiz glamour and glitz when a community Shakespearean troupe arrives for a two-week stay at her B&B. But the lights dim when she learns the company’s director is her nemesis, struggling actor Harry Westcott–who still claims to be the rightful heir to Nina’s elegant Queen Anne home.

Meanwhile, the troupe members are not content to leave the drama up on the stage. Accusations of infidelity and financial malfeasance make a shambles of rehearsals. And then, two days into the troupe’s stay, the lead actor is found dead in Nina’s formal Shakespeare garden. Natural causes…or murder most foul?

Nina uncovers evidence that something is indeed rotten in the town of Cymbeline. Too bad Harry is the only one who believes that she’s not going completely off-script. And exposing the truth isn’t easy when the remaining troupe members say the show must go on…particularly when all of them seemingly had a motive for wanting their fellow actor to permanently exit stage right. Determined to keep the killer from making a curtain call, Nina and her trusty Australian Shepherd, Matilda, join forces with Harry to sleuth out the murder plot. Will they succeed before someone else shuffles off this mortal coil? Find out in Anna Gerard’s delightful second Georgia B&B mystery.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Harry Westcott is back and he has brought a troupe of Shakespearean actors with him. They are booked into Nina Fleet’s Georgia B&B for the next two weeks to take part in Cymbeline’s annual Shakespeare festival. Nina is sure this is just part of Harry’s scheme to take her home away from her but with no other lodging available she can’t send the group away and be responsible for ruining the festival. The trouble with actors though is they always bring the drama. This crowd seems to snipe at each other constantly and are not beyond playing a prank or two. But did someone’s prank go too far? Just two days into their stay lead actor Len Marsh is found dead in Nina’s Shakespeare garden. Foul play? or natural causes?

Nina definitely believes there is murder afoot and shares her thinking with Harry. Soon Nina and her nemesis are teaming up with a little assistance from a certain Australian Shepherd to catch the killer before the curtain comes down on another B&B guest.


Nina (Nine-A) Fleet is a great protagonist and is learning the ropes of being a great innkeeper. She does her best to keep her guests happy and to tend to their needs. Even Harry Westcott. Harry does put his career first and agrees to put his feud with Nina on the backburner if she allows everyone to stay. Having them work together on the murder investigation really shows how much these characters have grown.

Readers are introduced to quite a group of thespians. They include lead actor, playing Hamlet, and victim Les Marsh and his trophy wife Susie, who will be playing Ophelia.  Earth Mother, Professor Tessa Benedict, and her hippy husband Bill, who will be playing Queen Gertrude and King Claudius. Bill will also be playing the ghost of Hamlet’s father. Radley Heller, a research and development bigwig, will be playing Laertes. Marvin Lasky who just sold his small electronics development company for a few million dollars, playing Polonius and Horatio. And Chris Boyd, the youngest and newest member of the group. He is quiet with his nose in his phone and earbuds in his ears. He will be playing a variety of minor roles, but really wants the major role of Hamlet. The author does a fine job of fleshing out these characters quickly. It seems they all had reasons to kill Marsh and with everyone staying together at the B&B they all had the opportunity too.

The mystery is well-plotted and I did like Harry and Nina working together but I did pick the culprit out early in the story. That being said I loved the way all was revealed on opening night. A little rewrite of the script and a few background images changed and the show must go on. And go on it does, allowing the killer to reveal themselves. It was entertaining to read and I bet it would have been delightful to watch.

Peachy Scream is a peachy keen addition to this series. I enjoy the realistic characters and the way Ms. Gerard injects humor in all the right places. The Shakespeare theme was fun too.

The next book in this series, Peaches and Schemes will be released on May 11.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

DIANE A.S. STUCKART began her writing career in the 1990s as the critically acclaimed author of historical romance under the names Alexa Smart and Anna Gerard. She later switched to the mystery genre and is the NYT bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries (written as Ali Brandon) and the award-winning Leonardo da Vinci historical mysteries. Her Tarot Cats Mystery series launched in 2018 with FOOL’S MOON. Her Georgia B&B Mystery series (also written as Anna Gerard) debuted in 2019 with PEACH CLOBBERED. Kirkus Reviews describes that book as “Filled with Southern charm and enough ditzy characters to keep readers guessing and laughing.” Book 3 in that series, PEACHES AND SCHEMES—her 17th published novel—will be on the shelves in May 2021.

Author Links 

https://www.dianestuckart.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BlackCatMysteries

https://bookloversbench.com/

Written as Ali Brandon

Written as Diane A.S. Stuckart

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!

It will be sent directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

Lemon Drop Dead (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery) by Amanda Flower #Review @KensingtonBooks @aflowerwriter


Lemon Drop Dead (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Kensington (April 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496722043
ISBN-13: 978-1496722041
Kindle ASIN: B08F2YHTTB

Murder always leaves a sour taste . . .
 
Although baby showers aren’t an Amish tradition, Bailey King wants to celebrate Emily Keim’s forthcoming bundle of joy. It’s the least she can do for her hardworking assistant at Swissmen Sweets, especially with Emily being estranged from her siblings. Everyone in Harvest, Ohio has gathered at the town gazebo—decked out in lemon-themed décor to add some of Emily’s favorite flavor to the festivities—including Juliet Brook, Jethro the Pig, and in a last-minute invite, Emily’s sister Esther Esh.

But Esther isn’t the only surprise guest. A mysterious Amish woman confronts Emily claiming to know about her secret shame—the child she had as a teenager who was given up for adoption. The stranger vanishes before Bailey could find out who she was and if she knew what happened to Emily’s first baby. Later that evening, the woman reappears—dead in Esh Family Pretzels, with a threatening letter written by Esther found on her body.

Emily knows her sister is not a murderer and convinces Bailey to help clear Esther’s name and put the squeeze on the real killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Margot Rawlings organizes most of the events that take place in Harvest, Ohio. Now she and the pastor’s new wife team up to throw Emily Keim a baby shower in an effort to bring the Amish and Englisher communities closer. They try to recruit Bailey King to plan the event but her cousin Charlotte steps up to take over the planning and does an excellent job. Emily agrees to the non-traditional Amish party but she has one request. She asks Bailey to personally invite her estranged sister Esther. While Esther doesn’t attend the party another Amish woman does. She is unknown to everyone but she does try to have a moment with Emily and makes a comment about a secret from Emily’s past.

Later Esther Esh shows up and begs Bailey for help. Esther takes Bailey back to the Esh family pretzel shop where she sees Esther’s problem. The mysterious woman from the shower is dead on the floor of the shop and she has a threatening letter from Esther. Bailey has to force Esther to call Aiden knowing he is going to see her a the main suspect. Emily begs Bailey to prove her sister’s innocence even though Aiden wishes she would just let him do his job.


There is so much to love about this story.

First, Emily’s baby is due soon but first, we learn about something from her past only a few people know, and that was only slightly mentioned in a previous story. Next, Charlotte really shines again in this story as her confidence grows and she makes a huge decision. Also, Aiden and Bailey’s life together may hit a roadblock when he receives an offer he may not be able to refuse.

The author has created several strong characters that continue to evolve more in each story but this book really focuses on Emily and we meet a new young character that not only shakes up Emily’s life but the lives of many people in Harvest. I love the people of Harvest and the way most of them rally to help when someone is in need. I hesitate to say too much because this is a powerful emotional story if readers are allowed to read the story without any pretense. The murder sets off a string of events and Bailey tries so hard to not only find the killer but take care of her friend and help her through what it means for her future. Surprisingly there were several suspects and twists before the story wraps up in a truly unexpected way.

I do enjoy the way the animals were involved in this book. Jethro the pig always seems to play a big part but it was nice to see Puff the rabbit and Nutmeg the kitten be featured as well.

Lemon Drop Dead was expertly crafted and written. Some loose ends are tied up and it sets up some changes coming in the future. One excites me and one concerns me but I trust this author. She has kept me successfully entertained for six full-length mysteries and three novellas so I expect she has a great plan for moving the wonderful characters in this series forward.

Everything I have read by this author is exceptional. She is a fantastic storyteller. I become invested in all her character lives and look forward to each and every story. I can’t wait to see where she takes the residents of Harvest next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About This Author

Amanda Flower, a two-time Agatha Award-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as national bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest


Also by Amanda Flower


Coming November 30, 2021



Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Shredding the Evidence (A Cookbook Nook Mystery) by Daryl Wood Gerber #Review @DarylWoodGerber

I had planned to read and review Wining and Dying, the newest book in this series but realized I missed this book last year. I am a fanatic about reading series books in order so I shuffled some things on the calendar. I will be reading and reviewing Wining and Dying soon.
Shredding the Evidence (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Beyond the Page Publishing (April 21, 2020)
Paperback: 226 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461440
ISBN-13: 978-1950461448
Kindle ASIN: B0868WMMHN

The Agatha Award–winning author of Sifting Through Clues returns to the Cookbook Nook, where a combative food reporter gets her just deserts . . .

The denizens of Crystal Cove are salivating over the upcoming Food Bowl Week when local chefs offer some of their best and most imaginative creations in bite-size portions all over town. Bookstore proprietor Jenna Hart is hungry to sample as many of the delicacies as she can, but when she stumbles onto the dead body of a local food reporter and learns that her best friend’s husband is the primary suspect, she’ll have to summon the appetite for a side dish of sleuthing to prove his innocence.

Jenna knows the ambitious and aggressive reporter, who was strangled at a fitness center with her shredded restaurant reviews scattered around her, left behind a long list of potential suspects. As she begins piecing together the scant clues, she uncovers illicit ties between the victim and a local newspaper owner, a spurned would-be lover, and a host of disgruntled restaurant owners, not a bit torn up by the critical reporter’s demise. And with a solution so close she can almost taste it, Jenna turns up the heat on the culprit, realizing too late that she’s the next course on the murderer’s menu . . .

Includes tasty recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s Food Bowl Week in Crystal Cove and Jenna Hart is excited to not only try the chef’s creations but knows the event will bring plenty of customers to her Cookbook Nook. Chef Katie also has plans of her own for the food at the Nook Cafe too including a special guest. Jenna’s finance Rhett’s new bistro, Intime has a very special dinner planned as well. Kylie O., the Crystal Cove Courier food critic is determined to cover all the events by herself even though reporter Tito Martinez has offered to help. Bailey’s husband, Tito has wanted to take on more stories and he and Kylie have a very public argument over it. So when Kylie O. is found dead in a local gym, a gym where both Tito and Bailey work out, he becomes the prime suspect in her murder.

Truthfully, Kylie O. was a pretty aggressive reporter and dished out some caustic reviews so she left behind a wide variety of suspects. Jenna knows Tito is innocent so she just has to clear his name by finding the actual killer. Easier said than done because the clues point to several individuals. When Jenna starts to hone in on the killer she finds the killer is already homing in on her. Can Jenna corner the killer or will she be the next victim?


It is always fun to catch up with these characters because there never seems to be a dull moment in Crystal Cove. In addition to the town events, Jenna and Rhett are starting to plan their wedding, Aunt Vera is dating, everyone is swooning over Bailey’s baby girl and another core character is expecting a baby. With everything going on Jenna still finds time to investigate the murder and this makes for one very unhappy Cinnamon. As always the characters are cleverly written and they all continue to develop in realistic ways.

The theme of this story is Shredding and it is not just the evidence that is shredded. Food is shredded in amazing ways. The descriptions had my tummy rumbling and I really appreciated the recipes the author provides at the end of the book. She is a true foodie and her passion reigns within the pages of her stories. The Cookbook Nook theme of the series is just perfect for her.

The mystery was very well-plotted with some red herrings to divert everyone’s thinking. Bailey really pushes Jenna along in her quest to prove her husband is not a murderer. Twist after twist start to pull the killer into focus but I was really off on this one. I really came to dislike the deceased more than I usually do when reading cozy mysteries and I think that clouded my thinking. The author has a real strength of pulling her readers into the story and she really did that for me this time.

Shredding the Evidence was A Perfect Escape. I was entertained from the beginning to the end and look forward to reading Wining and Dying soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries.  As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog – Avery’s Blog – Mystery Lover’s Kitchen – Killer Characters 

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames

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Purchase Links – AmazonB&N  – Kobo Google Play







Click on covers to view details on Amazon.

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – A Death Long Overdue: A Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates #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.


A Death Long Overdue: A Lighthouse Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (October 6, 2020)
Hardcover: 372 pages
ISBN-10: 1643854585
ISBN-13: 978-1643854588
Paperback Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (April 13, 2021)
ISBN-10: 1643856804
ISBN-13: 978-1643856803
Kindle ASIN: B083RYX5WH

When her former director is found dead in the water, librarian Lucy Richardson will have to get to the bottom of the mystery before the killer ends her tale.

It’s summertime in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Bertie James’s college class is having their 40th-anniversary reunion. The opening night reception is held at the Lighthouse Library and Lucy and her colleagues have assembled an exhibit of library artifacts showing how libraries have changed over the years. After the reception, some of the women take a walk down the boardwalk to the pier, using flashlights to illuminate the dark path, but what’s scarier than the dark is finding the former director of the Lighthouse Library floating lifeless in the water.

Helena Sanchez, the former director, wasn’t much loved and spent the party being rude to almost everyone there. As a result, Lucy finds herself in deep water as she rocks the boat, questioning several suspects. But she’ll have to batten down the hatches and fast before she’s left high and dry…and right in the killer’s crosshairs.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Library Director Bertie James’ is hosting a reunion to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her college class at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. Lucy, Charlene, and Ronald have all agreed to be servers of the wonderful food Josie is providing. Louise Jane is there too but it definitely not to serve food. Lucy and Charlene have pulled together old library items for a display to represent how libraries have changed over the years.  All the attendees except one love the display. Special guest Helena Sanchez, former director of the Lighthouse Library, finds something disturbing among the artifacts.

After the event, several members of the group decide to take a walk down the boardwalk to the pier where Louise Jane starts telling one of her ghost stories. When they reach the pier there is something floating in the water. Lucy realizes it’s Helena Sanchez. She and Ronald quickly jump in to try to save her but the former director is gone.

Lucy is just haunted by the death and finds herself delving deep into the investigation. Doing so puts her front and center on the killer’s radar. Will she get the whole story or will her own book end several chapters before it is supposed to??


Truly one of my all-time favorite cozy mystery series, it took cancer to keep me from reading and reviewing this book when it was originally released. I timed my review now to coincide with the paperback release this week.

I love the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. It is a fantastic place that can truly only exist in our imaginations as no real lighthouse could hold all the books, treasures, rooms, offices, and Lucy’s Aerie apartment. As soon as you understand the mystery of the place you will be able to enjoy every wonderful event there to the fullest.

Ms. Gates has created wonderful characters. The librarians are truly like family and I love the way they all pitched in to make Bertie’s classmates welcome. I really appreciate the way the characters continue to grow and evolve in each new story. Connor really impressed me this time. That man has the patience of a saint.

The mystery this time was especially intriguing. The victim was rude and very unlikeable from the get-go and it seems she made her share of enemies in her not so illustrious life. This means plenty of suspects for the police and Lucy to wade through. A few people were floating in my suspect pool immediately but some terrific twists eliminated every one of them. I loved Lucy’s idea for revealing the real culprit and all the clues that brought the killer into clear focus. Ms. Gates sure knows how to spin a tale that keeps her readers on their toes.

A special subplot had me holding my breath a few times. When that was allowed to play out I let out a huge exhale and was grinning ear to ear.

I really enjoyed the trip back in time regarding libraries. Back in the day, the local library was one of my favorite places so I was very familiar with all the old relic artifacts that were part of the library’s history.

A Death Long Overdue was such a fun read. The next book in the series, Deadly Ever After, hits shelves on May 11. The only good thing about reading and reviewing this book late is the short time I have to wait for the next installment. Stay tuned for my review next month!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea By The Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library books for Crooked Lane.

Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It crime writing festival. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Author Links –
Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com.
On Facebook at www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor.
Twitter @vickidelany@evagatesauthor

Instagram: vickidelany

The Rest of the Series



Coming May 11, 2021

Written as Vicki Delany


Find more books by Vicki Delaney here.

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!

It 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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 30, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
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The 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 2021 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 Fresh Brewed Murder (A Ground Rules Mystery) by Emmeline Duncan #Review / #Giveaway @DuncanEmmeline

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am happy to share with you my thoughts about
Fresh Brewed Murder today! 


Fresh Brewed Murder (A Ground Rules Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: Kensington (March 30, 2021)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-10: 1496733398
ISBN-13: 978-1496733399
Kindle ASIN: B08CBP43VZ

Master barista Sage Caplin is opening a new coffee cart in Portland, Oregon, but a killer is brewing up a world of trouble. . . .

Portland is famous for its rain, hipsters, craft beers . . . and coffee. Sage Caplin has high hopes for her coffee cart, Ground Rules, which she runs with her business partner, Harley—a genius at roasting beans and devising new blends. That’s essential in a city where locals have intensely strong opinions about cappuccino versus macchiato—especially in the case of one of Sage’s very first customers. . . .

Sage finds the man’s body in front of her cart, a fatal slash across his neck. There’s been plenty of anger in the air, from longtime vendors annoyed at Ground Rules taking a coveted spot in the food truck lot, to protesters demonstrating against a new high-rise. But who was mad enough to commit murder? Sage is already fending off trouble in the form of her estranged, con-artist mother, who’s trying to trickle back into her life. But when Sage’s very own box cutter is discovered to be the murder weapon, she needs to focus on finding the killer fast—before her business, and her life, come to a bitter end. . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sage Caplin and her partner Harley have opened a coffee food truck in a local lot. Sage is a people person and Harley is a master coffee bean roaster. Together they are hoping their business takes off and that they will soon move from their food cart to a brick-and-mortar store. The food truck lot is not without drama. There are protestors walking in opposition to a new high rise and some of the other food truck vendors wonder how Sage and Harley got such a coveted spot especially when other vendors lost their spots due to the proposed construction of the high rise.

After just a couple of days serving coffee savvy customers, Sage finds one of those customers dead right in front of her cart and the murder weapon appears to be the box cutter she borrowed from one of the other vendors. The detective assigned to the case believes Sage is guilty especially when he finds out who her mother is. Strange this is happening right after her mother reaches out to her after years of absence. Sage doesn’t have time to worry about her mother, she needs to find the real killer now and get the detective off her back before she ends up behind bars.


In this first Ground Rules Mystery, we meet barista Sage Caplin. She has had a very interesting life which gives her a unique perspective regarding some of the people she meets over the course of this story. I was intrigued by the way she handled the homeless population camping out nearby. She was very empathic and willing to help even volunteering to hand out hygiene and food packages to them.  As this is the first book in the series I feel we have just scratched the surface of this character. We are also introduced to her partner Harley, her great uncle Jimmy, her police detective dad, her lawyer brother Jackson and her cousin Miles. Her mother makes an appearance via a phone call. All the characters are cleverly written with plenty of room left for growth.

The author sets the scene of Portland and everywhere Sage visits very well. I could easily see each location come to life. We are also given quite an education about coffee beans and their brewing. I am not much of a coffee drinker but thought I knew every way it could be brewed but I was wrong. I learned some new things from Sage. I loved the way they came up with original custom drinks, some with alcohol for one of their new customers.

This time the protagonist isn’t actively searching full boar for the killer. She keeps her eyes and ears open and has some keen observations. There are several suspects and surprising ties between the deceased and another character. I am pleased to say the guilty party was on my list of top three suspects early on in the story but I was still surprised at the big reveal as to the true motive. Ms. Duncan served up some nice twists to divert the reader’s attention but I held strong to my own theories.  I was concerned about the relaxed pacing of the book and while the ending was exciting I would have liked a faster pace. I was engaged by the characters and that did keep the pages turning.

The author has set off this series to a fine start with Fresh Brewed Murder. I am looking forward to the next installment to see these characters evolve and to get to know them better. Coffee connoisseurs will love the drink descriptions and may want to brew a cup or two to enjoy while reading the book.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Emmeline Duncan is a mystery writer based out of Portland, Oregon. Her novels include the Ground Rules series, starting with 2021’s Fresh Brewed Murder.

Emmeline also writes YA novels as Kelly Garrett. Her debut YA, The Last To Die, was an Oregon Book Awards finalist and was re-issued by Sourcebooks Fire in November 2019. Kelly is also a 2020 Oregon Literary Fellow.

Emmeline/Kelly is a board member of the Northwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and co-organizes Friends of Mystery’s Bloody Thursday lecture series. She’s also a member of Sisters-In-Crime, Willamette Writers, and SCBWI.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram – 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 28, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For 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 2021 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bitterroot Lake: A Novel by Alicia Beckman #Review @LeslieBudewitz


Bitterroot Lake: A Novel
Mystery/Suspense
Setting – Montana
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (April 13, 2021)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1643855808
ISBN-13: 978-1643855806
Kindle ASIN: B08D8J49DP

When four women separated by tragedy reunite at a lakeside Montana lodge, murder forces them to confront everything they thought they knew about the terrifying accident that tore them apart, in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman’s suspense debut

Twenty-five years ago, during a celebratory weekend at historic Whitetail Lodge, Sarah McCaskill had a vision. A dream. A nightmare. When a young man was killed, Sarah’s guilt over having ignored the warning in her dreams devastated her. Her friendships with her closest friends, and her sister, fell apart as she worked to build a new life in a new city. But she never stopped loving Whitetail Lodge on the shores of Bitterroot Lake.

Now that she’s a young widow, her mother urges her to return to the lodge for healing. But when she arrives, she’s greeted by an old friend–and by news of a murder that’s clearly tied to that tragic day she’ll never forget.

And the dreams are back, too. What dangers are they warning of this time? As Sarah and her friends dig into the history of the lodge and the McCaskill family, they uncover a legacy of secrets and make a discovery that gives a chilling new meaning to the dreams. Now, they can no longer ignore the ominous portents from the past that point to a danger more present than any of them could know.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah lost her husband to cancer and her mother encourages her to come home to the lodge to help her make some decisions. The lodge holds a lot of heartbreaking history. Twenty-five years ago a weekend turned deadly and ripped Sarah and her closest friends including her sister apart. The fact that Sarah had a dream that could have changed the weekend’s outcome still haunts her today.

Sarah does return to the lodge and the dreams along with her friends are back too. Another person connected to that weekend is killed and one of the friends becomes a prime suspect. While trying to prove her innocence the group of women delve into the history of the lodge and the family that owns it. What they uncover changes everything. Danger lurks nearby as they try to make sense of everything they learn.


What a fabulous cover, it drew me to the book before I ever read the synopsis of the story. Learning that the author was one of my cozy mystery faves made my desire to read it even stronger.

This is a very complex mystery with a lot of threads that entwine in and out with each other. I enjoyed the bit of paranormal included within the pages as it really enhanced the story and gave it some new depth. I liked the lodge setting and all the treasures found within.

Sarah is dealing with so much and this reunion truly tests her but she needs answers. She is grieving, counting the days since her husband’s death but her visions need to be explained along with learning what she may have missed all those years ago. I was drawn to Sarah, she was very relatable and felt genuine to me. All the characters she interacted with developed nicely over the course of the story too. They all have their flaws which make them believable.

This is a story you can not just plow through to find the killer, in fact, that turns out to be a minor part of the story. There is a lot of nuance in these pages. There are situations that could be called chilling and there are situations that really drive the story forward. I found the way the author blended history with modern-day incredible and the part secrets play through both periods very intriguing. From an attempted rape to the loss of a loved one and broken friendships this book will hit readers on many levels. There were a couple of areas where I thought the text needed to be tightened up because the flow seemed a little off but these instances were few and far between.

Bitterroot Lake lets the author explore a darker mystery than she can in the cozy realm and she excelled at it. As this is a stand-alone title we will not meet these characters again but I am very interested in where Ms. Beckman takes us in the future.

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About the Author

Alicia Beckman adored living in Seattle as a college student and young lawyer, but is happiest back home in her native Montana, where she lives with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their full-figured gray tuxedo cat. As Leslie Budewitz, she’s the bestselling author of the Seattle Spice Shop and Food Lovers’ Village mysteries. A three-time Agatha Award winner, for Best Short Story (2018), Best First Novel (2013), and Best Nonfiction (2011), she is a past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America.


Written as Leslie Budewitz

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.”