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

#FlashbackFriday – Candy Slain Murder (A Country Store Mystery) by Maddie Day #Review / #Giveaway @maddiedayauthor

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.


Candy Slain Murder (A Country Store Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Indiana
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (September 29, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496723171
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496723178
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B082WQXBG9

Christmas cheer has sent the griddle into overdrive at Robbie Jordan’s popular country store and café. And this year, there’s a new seasonal special to feast on: murder…

As December sweeps through South Lick, Indiana, Robbie’s life seems merry and bright like the string lights glistening around town. But strange happenings signal a bumpy ride into the holidays. First, a man raises eyebrows at Pans ‘N Pancakes when he claiming to be the long-lost half-brother of Robbie’s assistant. Then a fire destroys the home of a controversial anesthesiologist, exposing skeletal remains in his attic. Helplessly intrigued, all Robbie wants for Christmas is to stop her winter wonderland from becoming a real nightmare. With a decades-old mystery taking shape, can she run as fast as she can in pursuit of a killer who’s harder to crack than a stale gingerbread man?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Christmas in South Lick, Indiana is coming to town with some interesting news. A young man comes into Pans ‘N Pancakes and surprises employee, Danna Beedle by claiming to be her half-brother. She is excited by this news by does have some questions that need to be answered.

The second piece of news is an interesting find in a house after a fire, a human skeleton. The home belongs to a local doctor who claims his wife left him several years ago.

Pans ‘N Pancakes owner Robbie Jordan finds herself intrigued by both events.  She tries to find out what she can about the young man but she really gets herself totally wrapped up in finding out who the deceased is and how that skeleton got into the attic. Before she gets the answers she needs another person is murdered and this death is definitely connected to the older death. Robbie is doing her best to juggle her busy restaurant/country store, take part in South Lick’s Christmas festivities, and uncover a killer. This isn’t new for her so I am confident she can handle it all.


It is great to have Robbie back in South Lick with all the residents we have come to love and it is for Christmas no less. Pans ‘N Pancakes is super busy serving up fantastic food but plenty of people are Christmas shopping at her Country Store as well. The author serves up this unique cast of characters as only she can. Pans ‘N Pancakes is the central location for everyone to meet to hear and pass on the local gossip and catch up on any developments on the two mysteries taking place in this story. I really enjoyed catching up with everyone. My heart was warmed by the way Robbie treated Sean but I would have been surprised if she acted any other way. It also shows much promise as this series continues.

As I said, there are two mysteries in this story but one just really affects Danna and her family. Any involvement by others was just to confirm an identity and to be sure Danna doesn’t get hurt in any way. Not everyone treated this young man well though. A man’s racism broke out in public going so far as to try to drag the young man into the other mystery, surprising a lot of people  I did appreciate the way his appearance was handled by Danna and her family.

The second mystery is one the whole town is crowing about. First, the skeleton is found, and then another person is killed. What I really liked was that any information Robbie gleaned was shared with Lt. Buck Bird and Detective Octavia Slade. She was able to get information they couldn’t and did move the case along nicely. There were some nice twists and the mystery was well-plotted but I did hone in on the solution early and was very pleased with how the whole thing played out.

Not a mystery but a fabulous event occurs that will have fans of this series smiling ear to ear before we wrap up this visit to South Lick and excited for the next installment. No Grater Crime will be out August 24 and Batter Off Dead hits shelves February 22, 2022.

Candy Slain Murder is a fun whodunit.  You really can’t go wrong with a story written by Maddie Day or Edith Maxwell.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a PhD in linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-winning author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. She lives with her beau and an energetic kitten north of Boston

As Edith Maxwell, she writes the Local Foods Mysteries (Kensington Publishing) and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink), as well as writes award-winning short crime fiction.

You can find all Maddie’s/Edith’s identities at www.edithmaxwell.com. She blogs every weekday with the other Wicked Cozy Authors at wickedcozyauthors.com. Look for her as Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day on Facebook and @edithmaxwell and @maddiedayauthor on Twitter.


Coming August 24, 2021

Coming February 22, 2022

Also by Maddie Day

Coming November 30, 2021

Writtem as Edith Maxwell

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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 August 20, 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 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

On Skein of Death (A Riverbank Knitting Mystery) by Allie Pleiter #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour – @BerkleyMystery


On Skein of Death (A Riverbank Knitting Mystery)
by Allie Pleiter

About On Skein of Death


On Skein of Death (A Riverbank Knitting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Maryland
Publisher: ‎ Berkley (June 1, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10: ‎ 0593201787
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0593201787
Digital ASIN: ‎ B08H15VG1T

For Libby Beckett, opening her charming yarn shop, and introducing customers to the joys of knitting and crochet, is the work she was meant to do. Until the yarn she loves is used for murder….

 

Libby has come home to Collinstown, Maryland to live her dream and open her own yarn shop, aptly named Y.A.R.N., along the Chester River. To Libby, Y.A.R.N. stands for “You’re Absolutely Ready Now.” But the acronym changes whenever inspiration strikes, and customers add to the list of suggestions that fill the blackboard wall in a shop stuffed with color, fiber, and comfort.

 

Libby is thrilled when she lands famous Norwegian knitting celebrity Perle Langager for a series of events at Y.A.R.N. Libby’s English bulldog, Hank, has been modeling one of Perle’s doggie sweaters, and customers just can’t wait to see Perle in action. The mayor of Collinstown even decrees a Collinstown Yarn Day to celebrate. But once Perle arrives in town, she seems distracted and on edge. And when she’s found strangled with a skein of red yarn, Libby knows she has to solve a knotty mystery before her new life unravels.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Libby Beckett is living her dream of opening up her Y.A.R.N. shop to spread her joy of yarn crafts with the masses. Y.A.R.N. stands for “You’re Absolutely Ready Now” but she wasn’t ready to find Perle Langager dead. Perle was a famous Norwegian knitting celebrity who had come to Collinstown, Maryland to lead several events at Y.A.R.N. Perle seemed very nervous and distracted when she arrived but was looking forward to each event. Sadly she was found strangled with a skein of red yarn before a big event and Libby knows she needs to untangle all the suspects and unravel all the clues to knit her life back together so she can continue to live her dream.


I really liked Libby. Her passion for yarn and knitting just oozed out of her. I loved the way she encouraged an overwrought businesswoman to try knitting to alieve her stress. The woman was hooked after her first lesson. She also taught a 13-year-old girl anxious to learn to knit. Libby also realizes sorting out clues is easier with a pair of needles in her hands. You will rarely find the woman not knitting up some wonderful creation.

Ms. Pleiter has surrounded her protagonist with a wonderful supporting cast. Her mom and “the Gals” bring a lot of humor to the story, you never know what these ladies are going to come up with. That young 13-year-old knitter, Jillian is the daughter of Gavin, Collinstown’s mayor, and Libby’s high school boyfriend, who just may want to rekindle their relationship. But it was Hank the completely stole my heart. Hank is an English Bulldog, who is the shop’s mascot and quite the model of doggie sweaters. He is also good to have around when you’re feeling blue or in a bit of trouble. Libby is truly blessed to be Hank’s person.

This book suffers from first book-itis. It is really hard to introduce all the characters so readers get invested in their lives and try to give readers a complicated mystery. There were a few star suspect choices and I was able to knit and purl the clues and picked out the culprit pretty quickly. I was waiting for an epic twist to prove me wrong but that didn’t happen. I am sure now that we know the characters the mystery in the next book will be more complex.

I will say though that while the mystery was light I really enjoyed this story. The setting is delightfully described and if Y.A.R.N. was a real place I would be there in an instant to add my own words of inspiration to store blackboard. Y – You A – Are – R – Really N – Nice or Y- You A- Are – R- Raving N – Now, okay those are just off the top of my head.  I also liked all the characters and want to know them better. Lily is very creative and I am excited to see what her next project will be.

On Skein of Death has given the Riverbank Knitting Mystery Series a firm foundation to build on. I am looking forward to returning to Collinstown and Y.A.R.N. soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Allie Pleiter

An avid knitter, coffee junkie and firm believer that “pie makes everything better,” Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction working on as many as four novels at a time.  The bestselling author of over fifty books, Allie has enjoyed a twenty-year career with over 1.5 million books sold.  In addition to writing, Allie maintains an active writing productivity coaching practice and speaks regularly on the creative process, publishing, and her very favorite topic—The Chunky Method of time management for writers. Visit her website at www.alliepleiter.com to learn more.

Author Links

Instagram     Facebook Page     LinkedIn      Twitter       Pinterest      Goodreads     BookBub     Amazon

Subscribe to Allie’s newsletter

Purchase Links

AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound 

Coming February 1, 2022

Find more books by Allie here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
August 2 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 2 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 3 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
August 3 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
August 4 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT 
August 4 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
August 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
August 6 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW  
August 7 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
August 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
August 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 8 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
August 9 – Dear Reader – REVIEW
August 9 – Tea Book Blanket – SPOTLIGHT
August 10 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 10 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
August 11 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
August 11 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
August 11 – Reading Is My SuperPower – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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

Cozy Wednesday with Gabby Allan – Author of Much Ado about Nauticaling (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery) #Review- Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!


Much Ado about Nauticaling (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery)
by Gabby Allan

I am thrilled to welcome Gabby Allan to Escape With Dollycas!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

After writing plays for my friends to act out as a kid, bad poetry in high school, and my high school Alma Mater song, I finally found my true passion—cozy mysteries. Being able to share my world with readers, one laugh at a time, and touch people’s hearts with my down-to-earth characters makes for the best job ever. This California girl now lives with my husband, daughter, and two insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where I am hard at work on my next novel, or three. I love to tell stories and am very much known for not being able to have less than an hour-long conversation and even that is short. So if you’re going to call, make sure you have the time to talk about all the things!

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

I was born in Hawaii. I married the boy who had a crush on me in ninth grade even though we didn’t start dating until after high school. I often plot stories in the shower and draw my thoughts on the shower wall with a water crayon.

What is the first book you remember reading?

The Maggie B.

What are you reading now?

Monster, She Wrote by Kroger and Anderson

What books have most inspired you?

I love books about characters who not only survive but thrive during and after challenges.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

Lots of Murder, She Wrote and Perry Mason when I was younger. Plus I really enjoy the ability to murder on the page and know that there will be justice!

Do you have a special place where you like to write?

My huge desk that is actually supposed to be a breakfast bar but I like to repurpose furniture as often as possible!

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

News articles, people who irritate me, anywhere and everywhere 😊 LOL

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Sometimes that first chapter in a new story needs a little coaxing to get things moving.

What do you think makes a good story?

Characters I want to go find and have coffee with.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

They’re all a little like me. But I think Whit has a lot of my sass and spunk and I love her for it.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

I’m going to have to say the difference is probably that I wrote more of a RomCozy – rom com and cozy mixed into one and sitting on the beach having a Mai Tai.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Whit and Whiskers 2 Something Fishy This Way Comes releases in July 2022 and I can’t wait for you to continue these adventures with my girl Whit and her frisky kitty Whiskers!

Thank you so much, Gabby for dropping by today!

Keep reading for my thoughts about Much Ado about Nauticaling. 

About Much Ado about Nauticaling


Much Ado about Nauticaling (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Kensington (July 27, 2021)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1496731069
ISBN-13: 978-1496731067
Digital ASIN: B08TB5M4K8

Whitney Dagner is your tour guide to a Pacific paradise that’s to die for—only to find it’s a place people are also willing to kill for—in Gabby Allan’s Much Ado About Nauticaling, first in the Whit and Whiskers Mystery series.

After far too many years in the Los Angeles corporate world, Whitney Dagner has come home to Santa Catalina Island off the California coast to help her brother Nick run Nautically Yours, the family tourism business. Between gift shop shifts selling all manner of T-shirts and tchotchkes and keeping her feline Whiskers in fine fettle, she pilots the Sea Bounder, a glass bottom boat showing tourists the underwater sights of aquatic plants, marine life—and a murder victim?

The self-proclaimed “Master of the Island,” Jules Tisdale was a wealthy man with business interests throughout Catalina who was about to be honored as Person of the Year before someone strangled him with his own tie and tossed his body into the water. That someone appears to be Nick, who had a raw deal from Jules and no alibi the night of his murder. To clear her brother’s name, Whit will have to investigate Jules’ shady associates and not exactly grief-stricken family members—with the unwelcome help of Felix Ramirez, police diver and Whit’s ex-boyfriend who’s looking to rekindle their relationship.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this first Whit and Whiskers Mystery, we meet Whitney Dagner, her cat Whiskers, and her brother Nick. She has left her high-pressure job and returned to Santa Catalina Island to help Nick in the family business Nautically Yours. Their business offers glass-bottom boat tours so tourists can view fantastic underwater sights. Whitney is also opening a gift shop selling all kinds of souvenir-type items, including treasure maps and puzzles.  She is just getting her sea legs back when she looks through the glass bottom of the boat and sees a dead body. OMG, Jules Tisdale, the self-proclaimed “Master of the Island,” is dead and it definitely was not due to natural causes. The police quickly decide Nick is their prime suspect. Whitney knows her brother is innocent, she just needs to prove it and she receives help from an unwanted source . . . her ex-boyfriend, Felix Ramirez. He not only wants to help her investigate, but he would also be really happy to give their relationship a second chance.


After reading this book, I want to plan a vacation to Santa Catalina. It sounds like an idyllic place sans the murder, of course. A tour in a glass-bottom boat, enjoying several restaurants, and relaxing on the beach sounds wonderful to me.  The author does an excellent job of bringing her setting to life.

We are introduced to several characters in this story.  In addition to Whitney and Nick, we meet their grandparents, Pops and Goldy. The kids visited their grandparents every summer while growing up and the place just feels like home. I love Goldy. She is a confident woman who knows what she wants and how to get it. The woman takes her wardrobe very seriously as well as her make-up. It is not unusual to see Goldy walking around town in a swimsuit, cover-up, and high heels so she can soak up the sunshine rays as often as she can. I would love her life. Pops is well suited to her. He brings the calm to hectic situations and knows how to handle his wife. They have left the business to Nick and Whitney but are there quickly to help in a pinch. We also meet Whitney’s roommate, Maribel, and her ex, Felix but I think we have just scratched the surface of the characters’ pasts and current situations. The is a lot of room for character development in future books.

The mystery is pretty standard but boy, Whitney really needs to work on her investigative skills if she is going to shine as an amateur sleuth.  She needs to be more focused. She is all over the place with her theories, and readers are treated to thoughts as she tries to bring the clues together to pin down the killer. There are several suspects and Nick isn’t really a big help. I really like that her cat plays a key role throughout the story. The mystery had a nice slow build which I enjoyed but then the pace picked up and the ending felt a little rushed. It did leave some subplots and questions open making me excited for the next book in the series.

Much Ado about Nauticaling is setting this series off to a great start. I hope the main characters are more fleshed out as the series continues. I want to get to know them better.


Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

More About Gabby Allan

 

After writing plays for her friends to act out as a kid, bad poetry in high school, and her high school Alma Mater song, GABBY ALLAN finally found her true passion—cozy mysteries. Being able to share her world with readers, one laugh at a time, and touch people’s hearts with her down-to-earth characters makes for the best job ever. This California girl now lives with her husband, daughter, and two insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel.

Author Links – Website Facebook

Purchase Links –

AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound – 

Great Escapes Praise for Much Ado about Nauticaling (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery)
by Gabby Allan

The storyline is intricately woven with many motives and suspects. . . . I can already see this is going to be a fun series and I’m looking forward to reading more.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…

Much Ado about Nauticaling is a carefree cozy with a cuddly cat, a glass-bottom boat, treasure map trouble, a bothersome ex-beau, and straggling sand.
~The Avid Reader

MUCH ADO ABOUT NAUTICALING is a breezy island mystery with great characters and a wonderful setting.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

This story has all the promise of a good cozy series. The setting is wonderful. There are some terrific characters and the author obviously knows how to tell a story.
~I Read What You Write!

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 30 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 30 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
July 31 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 31 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
August 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
August 1 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
August 2 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
August 2 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 3 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  
August 3 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 4 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
August 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
August 6 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
August 8 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
August 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, GUEST POST
August 10 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST
August 11 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
August 12 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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 Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Cider Shop Rules (A Cider Shop Mystery) by Julie Anne Lindsey #Review (Paradise Rating)


The Cider Shop Rules (A Cider Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – West Virginia
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (July 27, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496723511
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496723512
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MBD78KS

Autumn in Blossom Valley means pumpkin patches are ripe and Winona Mae Montgomery and her Granny Smythe’s cider shop is flourishing. But with this season comes . . .

A FATAL HARVEST

The Fall Festival is in full swing. Civil War reenactors from three counties are partaking in Blossom Valley’s tribute to John Brown. Blue Ridge Mountain foliage is in full bloom. And best of all is Jacob Potter’s pumpkin farm where his hayrides, piglet races, pumpkin picking, and corn maze are time-honored draws for locals and tourists alike. That’s why it’s such a shock when Mr. Potter is found dead, hidden under a tarp in the back of Winnie’s pickup truck. This certainly betrays Potter’s reputation as one of the town’s most popular citizens. Fortunately, when it comes to solving a murder, no one has a patch on Winnie. Now, all eyes are on her to do it. Unfortunately, that includes those of the killer who’ll do anything to keep an orchard full of secrets buried.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There are some great things happening in Blossom Valley. The Potter’s Pumpkin Farm is having a fall festival as is Smthye’s Orchard. There is a civil war reenactment that brings some wonderful guests to Blossom Valley and Winnie’s new cider shop has become a location to visit for cider and baked treats. It’s too bad one venue has to close when the owner is killed and his body is stashed under a tarp in the bed of Winnie’s beloved pickup truck. Sheriff Colton Wise is not happy when many Blossom Valley residents assume Winnie will pare down the suspects and serve up the killer. Sadly the killer knows that too and they are not the only one looking to harm Winnie and Colton.


Take a deep breath of the wonderful autumn air and look around to see all of the beautiful fall foliage. Amble over for a glass of Winnie’s delicious cider and sit back and relax.

Unless your want to trail along with Winnie as she pulls out the stops to catch Mr. Potter’s killer and help her to avoid a criminal from Sheriff Colton’s past. Winnie has her hands full this time trying to take care of everything that has been tossed on her plate.

I love this series. Winnie is a wonderful leading character. Her heart is always in the right place but she sometimes treads into situations she should have avoided. Thankfully Colton Wise is wise to Winnie’s ambitions and does his best to keep her safe. This time his brother Blake is in town to help him. But Blake is a notorious flirt and Winnie gets a little rattled with two Wise men in her life. The handsome brothers are also joined by their parents which adds some really nice things to the story. Best friend Dot is around to play Watson to Winnie’s Sherlock and Winnie’s grandmother is nearby with words of advice. Granny’s group of friends are great sources for local gossip. Ms. Lindsey has created such a wonderful group of truly genuine characters. They kept me engaged from the first page to the last.

Ms. Lindsey has wrapped these wonderful characters into an exciting mystery. Who killed Mr. Potter? Is there a fugitive lurking nearby? Twists, turns, flips, and a trip through the corn maze kept my eyes glued to my Kindle. I would have read the entire book in one sitting if my brain would not have demanded sleep. The author has done an excellent job dropping clues throughout the story but you could have knocked me over with a feather when the killer was disclosed during a thrilling reveal.

The Cider Shop Rules is a fantastic cozy mystery. Charming characters and an exhilarating mystery make this a must-read for cozy mystery lovers. I thoroughly enjoy my visit to Blossom Valley. This book exceeded my expectations and will take a slot on my Best Reads of 2021 list.

This story reads well all on its own but for maximum enjoyment, I recommend ready the series from the start.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Apple Cider Slaying here. and Pulp Friction here.

 

About the Author

Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. When she’s not creating new worlds and organizing the epic adventures of fictional characters, Julie can be found carpooling her three kids around Northeastern Ohio and plotting with her shamelessly enabling friends. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.

Author Links

Visit her online at www.JulieAnneLindsey.com

Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest – 


Coming Soon from Julie Anne Lindsey

Also by Julie Anne Lindsey

Find more by Julie Anne Lindsey 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 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting

Cozy Wednesday featuring Murder at the Lakeside Library: A Lakeside Library Mystery by Holly Danvers #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Murder at the Lakeside Library: A Lakeside Library Mystery
by Holly Danvers

About Murder at the Lakeside Library


Murder at the Lakeside Library: A Lakeside Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (July 13, 2021)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1643856324
ISBN-13: 978-1643856322
Digital ASIN: B08L5VF4X5

In this series debut perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Miranda James, Rain Wilmot must discover the killer, before the book closes on her life.

 

Rain Wilmot has just returned to her family’s waterfront log cabin in Lofty Pines, Wisconsin after the untimely death of her husband. The cabin is peaceful compared to Rain’s corporate job and comes with an informal library that Rain’s mother, Willow, used to run. But as Rain prepares for the re-opening of the library, all hopes for a peaceful life are shattered when she discovers the body of Thornton Hughes, a real estate buyer, on the premises.

 

The community of Lofty Pines starts pointing fingers at Willow, since she has been unusually absent from the library this summer. A fishy rumor surfaces when Rain learns that Willow had been spending a lot of time with Thornton. The town even thought they were having an affair.

 

While theories swirl about Thornton’s death, Rain takes it upon herself to solve the case to exonerate her mother. As more clues surface, Rain will have to piece together the mystery. But if she isn’t careful, she may be the next to end up dead in the water in Murder at the Lakeside Library, the first in Holly Danvers’ new Lakeside Library mysteries.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this first Lakeside Library Mystery, we meet Rain Wilmot. She has come home to the family’s cabin in Lofty Pines where she reconnects with her childhood best friend Julia. She hopes for a relaxing solitary summer to start to heal from the grief of losing her husband. Her friend Julia has other ideas. She expects Rain to open the library that is part of the family’s cabin. Rain’s mother usually runs the library but is traveling with no plans to visit Lofty Pines this summer. Julia has big plans so she needs Rain on board and opening the library.

Julia’s plans go seriously awry when they find a very dead Thorton Hughes on the property. Hughes, a real estate developer, had some big plans of his own and had made a few enemies around the area but he was apparently close to Rain’s mother, Willow. Her absence in Lofty Pines this year is questioned and some people think she had something to do with the man’s murder.

Rain decides to do some investigating of her own while rumors fly. She needs to be careful of she could be the next dead body found in Lofty Pines.


I was immediately drawn into this story by the author’s descriptions of Wisconsin’s beautiful Northwoods. I have been to several places like Lofty Pines, none that had a library in one of the cabins, but Ms. Danvers’s descriptions rang true and made it very easy to picture the setting.

I liked Rain and totally understood her need for a quiet place. I also understood Julia’s quest to not allow her friend to wallow in her pain, but boy, that Julia is a pushy woman. She made plans and expected Rain to just fall in line. There was one scene where Rain spends the night in the library and Julia arrives the next morning like a bull in a china shop. I wish Rain would have responded in a stronger way. More insight into Rain and her adult life would have been helpful. We know that the cabin was a special place for her but because her husband didn’t appreciate the area they rarely went there. Again, she allowed another person to make decisions for her. Her behavior really does show a pattern.

I did love the “Laker” attitude. The people that own property in the area and spend every summer there or live there full time are a very cool group. They reach out to help each other whether it be doing a little yard work or bringing treats to share on the deck or just have a listening ear when needed.

The mystery was a little murky for me. There was a bit of repetition and Rain seemed unfocused at times but again she is dealing with a loss and then found a dead body that was oddly connected to her family. Of course, she does get some assistance from Julia, and an elderly library volunteer Marge. They know the people and all the connections that Rain is now unfamiliar with because she has been away so long. The author has a very descriptive writing style but here some of the narration and descriptions get to be too much. I found the treasure found in the library to be a very interesting twist, revealing something important that did move the story forward.

I did have a few issues with the story but Murder at the Lakeside Library was a very entertaining read. It has laid the groundwork for what I hope will be a long-running series. I really liked how important literacy was to Rain’s family going back to her great grandfather, himself an author. The library is a wonderful family legacy. That gives this series a grand uniqueness that cozy readers will love.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Holly Danvers 

Holly Danvers grew up devouring every mystery novel on the shelf of her local library. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and 3 chickens, where she’s already plotting her next novel.

Author Links – 
Website –   GoodReads –  Facebook

Purchase Links –

AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound 
Coming in February 2022

Written as Holly Quinn

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for Murder at the Lakeside Library: A Lakeside Library Mystery
by Holly Danvers

Author Holly Danvers has created an appealing physical environment and cast of characters that cozy mystery fans will want to revisit time and again.
~Book Club Librarian

Murder at the Lakeside Library is a blithe cozy mystery with a lakeside library, a curious corpse, a firm friend, uncertain rumors, and a boatload of books.
~The Avid Reader

I loved the cozy setting and the whole idea of “Lakers” (not the basketball team) and running a summer library. It gave me that On Golden Pond feeling but with a delicious cozy mystery wrapped up in it!
~Books To The Ceiling

What a fabulously fun start to a new cozy series. . . a fun delightful read full of clues mixed with characters you can really picture while getting to know them. 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 13 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
July 13 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
July 13 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 14 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT 
July 15 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – Books to the Ceiling – REVIEW
July 16 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  
July 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 18 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 19 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 20 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST
July 20 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 21 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
July 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 22 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
July 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 23 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
July 23 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, RECIPE
July 24 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
July 24 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 25 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
July 26 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
July 26 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

 

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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 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 The Moonshine Shack Murder (A Southern Homebrew Mystery) by Diane Kelly #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @BerkleyMystery @DianeKellyBooks


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to feature The Moonshine Shack Murder today!

The Moonshine Shack Murder (A Southern Homebrew Mystery)
by Diane Kelly

About The Moonshine Shack Murder


The Moonshine Shack Murder (A Southern Homebrew Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Publisher: Berkley (July 6, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0593333225
ISBN-13: 978-0593333228
Digital ASIN : B08KPKD22T

In this intoxicating new cozy mystery series, the future for modern-day moonshiner Hattie Hayes looks bright–until death darkens the doorstep of her Moonshine Shack.

 

The Hayes family has made moonshine in Chattanooga since the days of Prohibition, and Hattie is happy to continue the tradition, serving up fun, fruity flavors in mason jars for locals and tourists alike. All signs indicate her new ‘shine shop will be a smashing success. What’s more, mounted police officer Marlon Landers has taken a shine to Hattie. For the first time ever, the stars seemed to have aligned in both her work and romantic life. But when a body ends up on her store’s doorstep alongside a broken jar of her Firefly Moonshine, it just might be lights out for her fledgling business.

 

The homicide detective can’t seem to identify the person who killed the owner of a nearby bar. The only witness is Hattie’s longhaired gray cat, and Smoky isn’t talking. When the detective learns that the victim and Hattie had a heated exchange shortly before his murder, she becomes her prime suspect.

 

Lest Hattie end up behind bars like her bootlegging great-grandfather a century before, she must distill the evidence herself and serve the killer a swift shot of justice.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Hattie (love that name, it was my grandma’s) Hayes comes from a long line of moonshiners and now she is keeping the tradition alive with The Moonshine Shack where she will sell her grandfather’s shine along with her own brand with fruity flavors. She hopes her “Shack” and her “Shine” will be a hit with tourists and locals.

Hattie holds a grand opening party where she meets the tavern owner from across the street. She thought she had him convinced to carry her “shine” but when she goes to deliver his first order he backs out of the deal. Then a few nights later he is found dead on the Shack’s porch with a smashed jar of her moonshine nearby. She was upset by his deceit but she would never have killed the man. The only witness appears to be Hattie’s cat but he isn’t talking so she becomes the homicide detective’s #1 suspect. Officer Landers is on her side and tries to help her distill the evidence to clear her name and put the real killer behind bars.


Ms. Kelly has given her new Southern Homebrew Mystery a fantastic start. I liked these characters immediately, okay I loved her grandfather. He leaves the senior home every day to help her out at the store. When the customers are scarce he sits in the rocker on the front porch and whittles the cutest little animals. He also takes a nap here and there and there is a scene that had me giggling and you will too. I love the close relationship he has with his granddaughter. He is so proud of her for carrying on the family tradition. She is smart and savvy and knows how to market her product. Those characteristics come in handy when trying to sleuth out a killer.

Hattie has her two besties helping her out too but one is due to have a baby any day so that means she will have less time to help out. Officer Landers is such a nice man and good at his job. He takes a special interest in keeping Hattie safe and his horse is adorable. I love that this relationship is taking a romantic turn. Marlon and Hattie’s families have a history but I don’t think some old feud will come between them. I also approve highly of Hattie bringing her kitty Smoky to the shop each day. Seeing him lying in the window in the sunshine each day gives the place a real homey feel.

The mystery is very well-plotted and it quickly becomes apparent that the former barkeep has his fair share of enemies which really opened up the suspect pool. Some of his employees/girlfriends rank high on Hattie’s list but a local lawyer and other shopkeepers and a certain restaurant owner all had motives to kill the man. Hattie works hard to pare down the suspects and catch the killer because when the case wraps she has a special event she is looking forward to. I did enjoy the way she did her investigating but I took a shine to one person early on and never eliminated them. Sure I missed something I was surprised by how the ending played out and that I actually picked the right character.

As I said this series is off to a fantastic start. The location is ideal and the characters are interesting. I am excited because the author has just scratched the surface and can take this series in so many directions. I want to get to know all the characters better. I can’t wait to return to Chattanooga and The Moonshine Shack for a sample or two and whatever trouble Hattie gets herself wrapped up in.

The Moonshine Shack Murder was a pure pleasure to read and I enjoyed it very much.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Diane Kelly

Diane Kelly writes stories that feature feisty female lead characters and their furry, four-footed friends. Diane is the author of over 30 novels and novellas, including the Death & Taxes, Paw Enforcement, and House Flipper mystery series. In 2021, she’ll launch two new series, the Southern Homebrew moonshine series and the Mountain Lodge Mysteries.

Author Links: 

Website   Facebook   Twitter  Newsletter signup

Purchase Links 


Amazon Paperback    Kindle    Audible    Nook    B&N Paperback     Books-A-Million     Googleplay   Indiebound    iBooks    Kobo    Powells Books    Target    Walmart
Also by Diane Kelly

Find More Books by Diane Kelly Here

Click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
July 6 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 6 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 7 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
July 8 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
July 8 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
July 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, RECIPE
July 9 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
July 10 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 10 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 12 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
July 14 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW (moved from 12th)
July 15 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST
July 15 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
July 16 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 16 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT
July 17 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 17 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
July 18 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 18 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 19 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
July 19 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!


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 New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Kill All Your Darlings by David Bell #Review @BerkleyMystery @DavidBellNovels

Kill All Your Darlings
Psychological Thriller
Setting – Kentucky
Berkley (July 6, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 416 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593198662
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593198667
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MBPPXC3

When a student disappears and is presumed dead, her professor passes off her manuscript as his own—only to find out it implicates him in an unsolved murder in this new thriller from the USA Today bestselling author of The Request.

After years of struggling to write following the deaths of his wife and son, English professor Connor Nye publishes his first novel, a thriller about the murder of a young woman.

There’s just one problem: Connor didn’t write the book. His missing student did. And then she appears on his doorstep, alive and well, threatening to expose him.

Connor’s problems escalate when the police insist details in the novel implicate him in an unsolved murder from two years ago. Soon Connor discovers the crime is part of a disturbing scandal on campus and faces an impossible dilemma—admit he didn’t write the book and lose his job or keep up the lie and risk everything. When another murder occurs, Connor must clear his name by unraveling the horrifying secrets buried in his student’s manuscript.

This is a suspenseful, provocative novel about the sexual harassment that still runs rampant in academia—and the lengths those in power will go to cover it up.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this David Bell thriller English professor Connor Nye is still grieving the loss of his wife and child while the college is pushing the “publish or perish” mantra. A couple of years ago one of his students disappeared right after turning in her novel thesis. The man clearly was not thinking rationally when he submitted the student’s book for publication as his own. Then he gets a major surprise after the book is released – the student has returned and she gives him an ultimatum. If he doesn’t give her what she wants she vows to expose him and blow up his life. Then things get worse when the police arrive at his door questioning him about an unsolved murder that happened exactly like the murder in his book. So he has a huge decision, out himself, admitting he didn’t write the book and face unemployment or stick to the lie and try to convince the police of his innocence. As he ponders his decision another person is murdered and he starts to dig into the deaths himself and uncovers some surprising connections that all seem to lead back to the college.


Each year I anxiously await David Bell’s next book and as always he has created a very complicated mystery.

Again he introduces readers to some very interesting characters. I really wanted to like Connor Nye and pull for him. I understand the sudden loss of a loved one and losing two people you love has to be twice as hard, but he made a horrible decision. A decision that truly had me questioning his intelligence. It was bad enough to submit that novel as his own but was crazy stupid to submit that novel without changing a single word. Change some names. Change some locations. Make even just a little bit of effort just to give yourself a chance. Even if had not been ripped from an actual murder, even a much less educated person would have changed something.

I did feel for Madeleine almost immediately because I knew there was more to her story. She was so close to graduating when she disappeared. I really needed to know her involvement in the traumatic events that happened in her book especially when we learned it pertained to an actual murder.  Was she responsible or did she just see something she shouldn’t? Was it a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time or was she actively investigating the murder?

Telling the story from each of the character’s points of view and going back and forth in time really gave the story depth and the pages rapidly turning. Another student enters the narrative later as events start to get even more disturbing. Because of the way the author presented the book, there are some repetitive passages but it didn’t really detract too much from the flow.

This mystery really takes a real warped journey before it wraps up. As Connor continues to struggle he continues to make bad decisions. Bell has always used supporting characters to move the story along and he does that here in a compelling way. He also shines a light on the pains and pressure of academia and the ways it pushes both professors and students and the ugly underbelly that can arise when stress takes over.

Kill All Your Darlings was a thriller that kept me entertained and had me physically moving to the edge of my seat a couple of times. David Bell continues to be one of my favorite authors in this genre. I am excited to see what he will bring his readers next summer.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out more about David Bell and his books visit 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 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Beauty Expos Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery) by Libby Klein #Review


Beauty Expos Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (June 29, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 464 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496733134
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496733139
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08KKW5HS3

Gluten-free baker Poppy McAllister is about to see the ugly side of beauty expos . . .

Easter weekend on the Jersey Shore is hopping. Poppy’s Bed and Breakfast is busier than ever, but she needs to leave things in the hopefully capable hands of Aunt Ginny—and paws of Figaro the black smoke Persian. She’s selling her paleo muffins and keto cookies at the Health and Beauty Expo in Cape May’s Convention Hall. Normally sharing a booth with the love of her life would be a treat, but she’s recently discovered secrets that throw her new romance into chaos.

But more secrets are about to be exposed at the expo. In his keynote address, prominent cosmetic surgeon Dr. Lance Rubin reveals his breakthrough anti-aging technology. Unfortunately, someone has one-upped him with a truly foolproof anti-aging formula: murder. With the plastic surgeon dead under his own UV mask, and bedlam reigning in the hall and back at the B&B, Poppy needs to follow a twisted trail marked by glowing footprints to unmask a killer . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Poppy McAllister is juggling several plates in the air as a Health and Beauty Expo comes to town. Dr. Lance Rubin and his Rubinesque Cosmetic Surgery are the big draws but Gia and Poppy will have a booth featuring her gluten-free desserts. Her Bed & Breakfast is also fully booked and she wants to host a tea on Easter Sunday, plus Aunt Ginny’s birthday is coming up and Poppy hopes to surprise her with a party. She is also going to need to bake goodies to keep the shelves filled at La Dolce Vita which will still be open during the expo. Normally she could handle this all but with her love life in flux, it is hard to work side-by-side with Gia. A recently revealed secret and the arrival of someone from his past has turned her world upside down.

All of Poppy’s concerns fly out the window when Dr. Rubin is murdered at the expo. His death opens up a large group of suspects. Who had the most to gain with the good doctor 6 feet under? Who had the most to lose? Poppy just needs to unmask the real killer without dropping any of those other plates she is juggling.


Beauty Expos are Murder picks up right where Wine Tastings are Murder left off and my heart was breaking for Poppy. She has immerged as a much stronger woman over the course of this series but Gia’s secret sets her back greatly. This story is packed with so many tense moments, I really was amazed how Poppy soldiered on and through them all. Aunt Ginny does play a huge part and that woman is such a hoot. Thanks to her and the new maid at the B&B humor is infused in all the right places. Ms. Klein’s core characters continue to evolve. The new characters she introduces in this story are excellent as well.

The murder mystery is expertly plotted. Poppy gets help from an unlikely source and those escapades never seem to go as planned and delivered a few laughs along the way. The author blends the many subplots in nicely. Sawyer is dealing with something but just won’t open up to her BFF Poppy. There is an unexpected love match at the B&B that was both cute and funny. And Aunt Ginny has hired a new employee at the B&B knowing Poppy would never approve but that just scratches the surface of the antics of Ginny and her friends in this story. One subplot was definitely not funny and I am holding back comments to avoid spoilers but I was very happy with the way that part of the story concluded.

I just love the way Libby Klein writes a story. I know when I open each book there will be a great mystery and captivating drama but that I am going to be laughing out loud more times than I will be able to count. Her sense of comedy is top-notch and she delivers it in spades.

To truly enjoy this series the books should be read from the beginning, in order, because they truly do build from each other. Each story is wonderful in its own right. I do declare every one of them special and a must-read! Beauty Expos Are Murder is a Perfect Escape. It was fun and entertaining and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Midnight Snacks Are Murder here. 

You can read my review of Restaurant Weeks Are Murder here

You can read my review of Theater Nights Are Murder here.

You can read my review of Wine Tastings Are Murder here.

Libby Klein dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets, and taking out the trash. She writes culinary cozy mysteries from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard.
Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest  – Cozy Mystery Crew  – GoodReads –  BookBub – Instagram –  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 Literary Escapes Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Open for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery) by Mary Angela #Review


Open for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – South Dakota
Publisher: Lyrical Press (November 24, 2020)
Paperback: 207 pages
ISBN-10: 1516110722
ISBN-13: 978-1516110728
Digital ASIN: B085LTP1XH

Deep in the heart of touristy small-town Spirit Canyon, South Dakota, former journalist Zo Jones runs the Happy Camper gift shop, where she sells everything from locally made souvenirs to memorabilia. She even rents out mountain bikes, and dabbles in the adventure industry—and sleuthing . . .

It’s Memorial Day weekend in Spirit Canyon, and for Zo that means the return of summer shoppers. It also means the return of her good friend Beth, who’s moved back to the area to reopen her family’s premier hotel, Spirit Canyon Lodge. Beth and Zo spent many childhood summers there and Zo can’t wait to reconnect and celebrate the Grand Opening. But the festivities go from bad to worse when a power outage knocks out the lights—and morning reveals a competitor’s dead body found on the premises . . .

Soon enough, Beth is the prime suspect in the suspicious death. Fortunately, Zo isn’t afraid to put her investigative skills to work and prove her friend’s innocence. To start digging for information, she appeals to Max Harrington, a local Forest Ranger and unlikely ally. Though they’ve argued about Happy Camper’s tours, in this case they agree on one thing: Beth isn’t a murderer. Stranger things have happened than their collaboration. After all, this is Spirit Canyon. But as the list of suspects grows, Zo will have to keep her guard up if she doesn’t want to be the next lodge guest to check out . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Summer means tourists in Spirit Canyon, South Dakota. For Zo Jones and her friend Beth it means business. Zo is excited about Beth reopening the family’s hotel and can’t wait to attend the grand opening. But there is one person who wants Beth to fail and the person is found dead in her room at the hotel the morning after the grand opening event. The deceased is Beth’s competition so she is pegged as the prime suspect in the suspicious death. Zo is not a Happy Camper, she knows Beth is innocent and she is going to prove it unless the killer ends Zo’s summer early.


After a somewhat slow start Open for Murder takes off as we meet several characters including the victim. With her crotchety disposition, you just knew she was not going to be around long so her death wasn’t a surprise. What was a surprise was the number of suspects. I enjoyed the way Zo delved into the investigation and that she enlisted Forest Ranger Max Harrington to help her. I found the chief of police very offputting and lackadaisical about the entire situation. While some suspect’s motives were minor there were some that definitely should have been higher on the list than Beth. I loved that Beth kept going with her plans even with the murder being held over her head. The core characters of Beth, Zo, and Max were very likable but I want to know them better. The author has left plenty of room for them to grow and develop. I did find that Zo’s cat just tolerated her made me laugh. It is above and beyond the usual independence of a cat.

The mystery was very well-plotted. I had my own shortlist and was pleased that I followed the clues correctly and solved the mystery just before the characters. The reveal was great!

As with the author’s previous series, this series is set in South Dakota and she does a fantastic job bringing the area to life. It has been several years since I have traveled to the state and her descriptions invoked some nice memories and make me want to plan a return trip soon.

Open for Murder has set this series off to a grand start. As I said these characters have so much room to grow. I can’t wait to see where the author takes them in the future. I  am excited about the continuation of this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Mary Angela is the author of the Professor Prather and Happy Camper cozy mystery series. When Mary isn’t penning heartwarming whodunits, she’s teaching, reading, traveling, or spending time with her family. She lives in South Dakota with her husband, daughters, and spoiled pets. You can find out more about her loves, including her writing, at MaryAngelaBooks.com.

Author Links 

Website       Facebook        Twitter      Goodreads     Instagram

Coming July 13, 2021

Also by Mary Angela

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 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Shots in the Dark (Mack’s Bar Mysteries) by Allyson K. Abbott #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.


Shots in the Dark (Mack’s Bar Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (July 26, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496701704
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496701701
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B017G7HDZE

For Mack and her barfly allies, solving homicides calls for equal parts instinct and wit. To strain out a crafty criminal, the mixture has got to be absolutely perfect . . .

It’s a week before Christmas, but Milwaukee bar owner Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton is hardly in good spirits. Chilled to the core by the murder of bouncer Gary Gunderson, Mack is determined to use her extra perceptive senses to identify the gunman responsible. Did Gary’s patchy past brew up some fatal trouble, or could his death be linked to a series of cryptic letters concocted by Mack’s anonymous adversary? With a second case to crack, innocent lives at stake, and a media frenzy in their midst, Mack and her barstool detectives have little time to mull over the grim details—especially when clues lead dangerously close to home . . .

Includes drink recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mack’s holiday is not going to be happy until she ends the letter writer’s reign of terror and they are held responsible for the death of her employee Gary Gunderson. While she awaits the next letter and nurses her broken leg she and her fellow barstool detectives agree to look into another case where an innocent man may be serving time for a crime he didn’t commit. Can her unique gift of Synaesthesia help break the case wide open?


What I love about this series is the cast of characters the author has created. Everyone has Mack’s back. Her employees keep the bar running while she sleuths out killers. Her relationship with Detective Duncan Albright is in flux because of a case they worked together and the letter-writing criminal has forbidden her to be in contact with the police specifically Detective Albright but they still manage a few meetings. Undercover cop Mal is posing as her boyfriend to help her with both cases but they are clearly developing feelings for each other. The Capone Club, a group of patrons that love to solve mysteries work so well together even when this time a new person is added to the group. Every character is distinct and has a purpose in the story. Their unique talents are used in many ways. They are also very believable and you could find people like them in any Wisconsin bar. They may not all have a group like the one at Mack’s bar but gossip, crime, and current news can all be topics mused over with a shot and a beer.

The mysteries included in this story are gripping. I was really taken in by the Capone Club’s case because I could poke holes in the police investigation immediately. Investigating a crime that takes place during a Wisconsin blizzard is tough but anyone could see they jumped to several conclusions not supported by the evidence. Right alongside that case, Mack is working tirelessly to solve the case she is personally involved in so another one of her friends doesn’t end up dead. This case has unfolded over the course of the series so it is good to read the prior books in order to understand everything but the author does a great job of recapping the highlights in each new book.

Having the series set nearby is an absolute delight especially when my current place of residence is mentioned several times in the story due to the correctional facility just down the road. It is easy to imagine Mack there visiting one or more of the residents using her personal method of lie detection.

Shots in the Dark was a gripping story but only one mystery is solved by the final page. There are also some romantic issues up in the air and I am starting to support one cop over the other so I am very interested in what will happen next. I am thankful that the next book in this series is on my To-Be-Read shelf and I will be jumping into A Toast to Murder soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Allyson K. Abbott is a pseudonym used by suspense writer Beth Amos. Beth has enjoyed a varied writing career that included a stint as a book reviewer and several years of nonfiction freelancing. Now she writes only fiction, and in stark contrast to her “day job” as an ER nurse, where she gets to save lives, the one common factor in her fiction, no matter what name it’s written under, is that someone always dies. Allyson K. Abbott is my little insider joke at having to pick yet another pseudonym. It’s not a coincidence the initials are what they are.  Check out her webpage here and on Facebook here.

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 2, 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.”