Posted in Spotlights

A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin #Spotlight @BerkleyPub

I am excited to shine my Spotlight on
A Special Place for Woman by Laura Hankin today.

The illnesses I had the past few weeks put me behind on my reading but I hope to read and review this book soon. 


A Special Place for Women
Satire Fiction
Publisher: Berkley (May 11, 2021)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1984806262
ISBN-13: 978-1984806260
Kindle ASIN: B08FZLDCJG

SOON TO BE A TELEVISION SERIES

One of Summer 2021’s Most Anticipated Novels
Good Morning America, CosmopolitanGood HousekeepingReal Simple, E! Online, Oprah Daily, The New York Post, Bustle, Yahoo!, The Stripe, Popsugar, Medium, Lithub, Book Riot, The Nerd Daily, and more! 

It’s a club like no other. Only the most important women receive an invitation. But one daring young reporter is about to infiltrate this female-run secret society, whose bewitching members are caught up in a dark and treacherous business.
From the author of Happy and You Know It

For years, rumors have swirled about an exclusive, women-only social club where the elite tastemakers of NYC meet. People in the know whisper all sorts of claims: Membership dues cost $1,000 a month. Last time Rihanna was in town, she stopped by and got her aura read. The women even handpicked the city’s first female mayor. But no one knows for sure.

That is, until journalist Jillian Beckley decides she’s going to break into the club. With her career in freefall, Jillian needs a juicy scoop, and she has a personal interest in bringing these women down. But the deeper she gets into this new world—where billionaire “girlbosses” mingle with occult-obsessed Bohemians—the more Jillian learns that bad things happen to those who dare to question the club’s motives or giggle at its outlandish rituals.

The select group of women who populate the club may be far more powerful than she ever imagined.

And far more dangerous too.

About the Author

Laura Hankin is the author of Happy & You Know It. She has written for publications like McSweeney’s and HuffPost, while her musical comedy has been featured in The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and more. She splits her time between NYC, where she has performed off-Broadway, and Washington D.C., where she once fell off a treadmill twice in one day.
Author Links – WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram – 

 

Also by Laura Hankin

*Images from Amazon

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Win by Harlan Coben #Review


Win
Suspense Thriller
Setting – New York
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 16, 2021)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1538748215
ISBN-13: 978-1538748213
Kindle ASIN: B089Q37QPL

Over twenty years ago, the heiress Patricia Lockwood was abducted during a robbery of her family’s estate, then locked inside an isolated cabin for months. Patricia escaped, but so did her captors — and the items stolen from her family were never recovered.

Until now. On the Upper West Side, a recluse is found murdered in his penthouse apartment, alongside two objects of note: a stolen Vermeer painting and a leather suitcase bearing the initials WHL3. For the first time in years, the authorities have a lead — not only on Patricia’s kidnapping but also on another FBI cold case — with the suitcase and painting both pointing them toward one man.

Windsor Horne Lockwood III — or Win, as his few friends call him — doesn’t know how his suitcase and his family’s stolen painting ended up with a dead man. But his interest is piqued, especially when the FBI tells him that the man who kidnapped his cousin was also behind an act of domestic terrorism — and that the conspirators may still be at large. The two cases have baffled the FBI for decades, but Win has three things the FBI doesn’t: a personal connection to the case; an ungodly fortune; and his own unique brand of justice.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We originally met Windsor Horne Lockwood III as a character in Coben’s Myron Boltar series. “Win”, Bolitar’s best friend now stars in his own story and what looks to be his own series if he survives to the end of this thriller.

A murder has occurred on the Upper West Side and the FBI picks up Win because there is evidence in the recluse’s penthouse that points directly at Mr. Windsor Horne Lockwood III. The death may also be connected to a cold case close to Win. His cousin, Patricia was kidnapped over 20 years ago. She escaped but her captors were never caught. Now, with these new clues, Win decides it is time he starts his own investigation. It is past time to dole out a bit of justice and Win is just the man to deliver it.


“Articulate”. Windsor Horne Lockwood III is a flawed character with way too much money and a sense of privilege because of it. He gets away with everything because he has the money and connections to insolate him from any repercussions for things he has done. He has a full-time assistant, a private plane, a keen sense to right wrongs as he sees them in any way he can. An expert fighter he believes he is invincible. His money also gains him membership in an exclusive dating/sex club which enables him to take part in “no strings attached” one-night stands. The man is clearly driven to get to the truth in a case that goes back to the 1970s but there are people out there whose mission it is to make sure he doesn’t get it. But Win likes violence and isn’t afraid to use it. He does have a softer side brought out by only one person and his love and admiration for Myron Bolitar shines within these pages. He also has a troubled soul and some insecurities to deal with. Win is a complicated character and exactly the kind of character I expect to find from this author.

Mr. Coben has written such a complex suspense-filled story. He introduces readers to several diverse characters and entangles them in a multitude of ways throughout the book. At first, I thought I was going to have trouble keeping them all straight but they are dynamically crafted to stand out as the two mysteries evolve. The story is very fast-paced but it is not a book to rush through. There are twists on top of twists and surprises almost around every corner. The final twist brought me to a full stop. It was classic Coben and I should have been prepared. I know to expect the unexpected when I pick up any Harlan Coben book. There is a reason he is my favorite suspense author and I look forward to each new title.

As a fan, I have been waiting for Windsor Horne Lockwood III to have his own story for years and was absolutely giddy when the book went up for pre-order. I have been counting down the days to today, its release date to share my thoughts with you. Don’t panic if you have not read the Bolitar series because this book works perfectly as a stand-alone. If this is your first experience with this author I encourage you to read any and all of his previous titles as they are all excellent.

WIN has set this series off to a fantastic start. Definitely a must-read for suspense lovers.  I can’t wait to see what Harlan Coben has in store for Windsor Horne Lockwood III next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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



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

Posted in 2021 Reviews 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 Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery) by Maria DiRico #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thought with you today about Long Island Iced Tina! 


Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

About Long Island Iced Tina 


Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Kensington (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496725352
ISBN-13: 978-1496725356
Digital ASIN: B089NCJ9NS

Mia Carina is back in the borough of Queens—in charge of the family catering hall, Belle View Banquet Manor, and keeping her nonna company. But some events—like murder—are not the kind you can schedule . . .

 

Mia’s newly pregnant friend Nicole plans to hold a shower at Belle View—but Nicole also has to attend one that her competitive (and mysteriously rich) stepmother, Tina, is throwing at the fanciest place in Queens. It’s a good chance for Mia to snoop on a competitor, especially since doing a search for “how to run a catering hall” can get you only so far.

 

Mia tags along at the lavish party, but the ambience suffers at Nicole’s Belle View shower when a fight breaks out—and then, oddly, a long-missing and valuable stolen painting is unwrapped by the mom-to-be. Tina is clearly shocked to see it. But not as shocked as Mia is when, soon afterward, she spots the lifeless body of a party guest floating in the marina . . .

 

Italian recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mia Carina manages Belle View Banquet Manor, a catering hall her father, former mob enforcer, Ravello Carina, acquired through interesting circumstances. She is excited that one of her upcoming events is a baby shower for her friend Nicole. But then she learns that this is not the only shower being held for the mother-to-be. Her stepmother, Tina has booked another shower at the ritzy Versailles on the Park. Nicole invites Mia to the other shower and she gladly accepts because it will give her the chance to check out the upscale competition. She also sees the very selfish style of Tina and understands how she was given the nickname of step-monster.

The shower at Belle View gets off to a great start, that is until Tina shows up unfashionably late and gets into a fight with the host, Nicole’s grandmother, Minnie. The event really gets even more crazy when one of the gifts appears to be a priceless stolen painting from the step-monster herself.  But Tina denies the gift is from her especially when the police arrive to investigate the artwork that has been missing for years. Thinking the worst is behind her Mia is ready to head home but then she sees the body, the body floating in the marina behind Belle View.


Ms. DiRico has created such wonderful characters. Our protagonist Mia Carina is trying so hard to make Belle View Banquet Manor a success while doing a little sleuthing on the side. She is surrounded by a wide-ranging group of supporting characters that will have you laughing out loud and shaking your head. Her Nonna is involved in many things throughout the story but one of her exploits had me laughing so hard I had tears running down my face. Mia is also trying to master a skill with her “friend” Jamie’s help which also generated some comedic moments. I know murder is a serious subject but this author knows how to bring the funny in all the right places. I loved the way she did this.

Okay, back to the serious murder. The author plotted a strong complex mystery with a variety of facets. We are introduced to several new characters/suspects as Mia chases down clues, sometimes with Jamie’s help. I really enjoyed following along with Mia for each twist and clue, and there were a lot. My suspect list shuffled several times. The big reveal was very surprising and exciting. In addition to the main mystery, the author blends in some memorable subplots.

I have so much fun visiting this Italian family for all the crazy exploits. There truly is never a dull moment when the Carina family is involved.

Long Island Iced Tina is a captivating cozy with a mystery that will test readers as they try to keep up with Mia. It was most definitely A Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico

Maria DiRico is the pseudonym for Ellen Byron, author of the award-winning, USA Today bestselling Cajun Country Mysteries. Born in Queens, New York, she is a first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side and the granddaughter of a low-level Jewish mobster on her father’s side. She grew up visiting the Astoria Manor and Grand Bay Marina catering halls, which were run by her Italian mother’s family in Queens, and have become the inspiration for her Catering Hall Mystery Series. DiRico has been a writer-producer for hit television series like Wings and Just Shoot Me, and her first play, Graceland, appears in the Best Short Plays collection. She’s a freelance journalist, with over 200 articles published in national magazines, and previously worked as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing. A native New Yorker who attended Tulane University, Ellen lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs.

Author Links – Website Chicks on the Case – Facebook  Twitter

Purchase Links –

Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Play – IndieBound

Coming October 26, 2021

Written as Ellen Byron

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Great Escapes Praise for Long Island Iced Tina (A Catering Hall Mystery)
by Maria DiRico

Ms. DiRico has an amazing imagination, and it shows throughout this book which transports the reader into the story so perfectly.
~Baroness’ Book Trove

LONG ISLAND ICED TINA is a thoroughly enjoyable laugh out loud mystery that kept me engaged from start to finish.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Maria DiRico writes with such flair and an easy style. There were a plethora of suspects to choose from who might have had the motive to kill and I enjoyed the way in which Mia evaluated the information acquired from her poking around.
~Brianne’s Book Reviews

It took me about 10 to 15 % to get fully immersed back into the mob world, as sometimes it’s a little over the top… but once you settle in, it’s quite a hoot, and I found myself unwilling to put it down before bed.
~This Is My Truth Now

I love that Mia is so embroiled in her tight Italian family and speaks with her close relatives in Italian as easily as English. The family works hard together with obvious love and support for each other and the writing style weighs heavily in their inherited sense of humor, their love of the city, and their shared history.
~Rosepoint Publishing

Full of charm and surprise twists we get taken on an adventure as it all plays out making for a great addition to this series. Sure to delight cozy mystery fans. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
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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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Double or Muffin (A Merry Muffin Mystery) by Victoria Hamilton #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @MysteryVictoria


Double or Muffin (A Merry Muffin Mystery)
by Victoria Hamilton

It is my pleasure to shine my spotlight on Double or Muffin today!

About Double or Muffin


Double or Muffin (A Merry Muffin Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Publisher: Beyond the Page (February 23, 2021)
Paperback: 234 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461971
ISBN-13: 978-1950461974
Digital ASIN: B08TF432RL

In the new Merry Muffin Mystery, baker Merry Wynter must solve a disturbing crime among opera singers before the culprit decides it’s curtains for her . . .

 

When a reality TV show for aspiring opera singers descends on Wynter Castle, Merry’s got her hands full catering to the endless demands of the distinguished judges and ambitious contestants. Then mysterious rumors about the cast and crew begin to surface, suggesting that some of their performances may be filled with false notes. When a dogged reporter with an eye for scandal who’s been covering the competition is attacked and left for dead, Merry’s determined to discover who orchestrated the heinous deed.

 

Her long list of suspects is filled with eccentric personalities, including a promiscuous tenor known for making unwanted overtures, a pampered young prodigy and her meddlesome mother, and a quiet up-and-comer whose shadowy uncle may have ties to the underworld. As the musical contest and Merry’s investigation near their finale, she’ll have to act fast to keep a conniving contestant from plotting out her final act . . .

 

About Victoria Hamilton

Victoria Hamilton is the bestselling author of several mystery series including the national bestselling Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries. She does, indeed, collect vintage kitchenware and bake muffins. She drinks tea and coffee on writing days, and wine other times. It doesn’t do to confuse days. She crochets (a little), paints (a little) and reads (a lot). A solitary being, she can be coaxed out of her writing cave for brownies and cat videos.

She started her writing life as Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of Regency Romances, paranormal historicals and historical mysteries, and still has a soft spot for the Regency period.

If you Google ‘Victoria Hamilton’, you will find listed first a famous actress who starred as the Queen Mother in the series The Crown and as Charlotte Brontë in ‘In Search of the Brontës’. That’s not the Victoria who writes mysteries.

No, really, it’s not!

You can find her buried in a good book, (entombed in a good tome?) or online at:

Website:  (Sign up for her annoyingly infrequent newsletter for all the latest!)

On  Facebook    On Twitter    Instagram    Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Profile: Victoria Hamilton

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle Play – 


Also by Victoria Hamilton

a Rafflecopter giveaway
TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
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March 1 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
March 1 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW
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March 2 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
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March 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 4 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 5 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
March 5 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  
March 5 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 6 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLGHT
March 7 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – RECIPE POST
March 7 – Baroness Book Trove – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 7 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 8 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 8 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
March 9 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 9 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW
March 9 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW        
March 9 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 10 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

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Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Furbidden Fatality (A Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery) by Deborah Blake #Review @BerkleyMystery


Furbidden Fatality (A Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Berkley (February 23, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0593201507
ISBN-13: 978-0593201503
Kindle ASIN: B08BYTZGW9

A lottery winner uses her good fortune to save a local pet sanctuary, but when a body is discovered on the property, she just might be in the doghouse in this first book in a new, charming cozy mystery series from author Deborah Blake.

Kari Stuart’s life is going nowhere—until she unexpectedly wins the lottery. The twenty-nine-year-old instant multimillionaire is still mulling plans for her winnings when rescuing a bossy black kitten leads her to a semi-abandoned animal shelter. They need the cash—Kari needs a purpose.

But the dilapidated rescue is literally going to the dogs with a pending lawsuit, hard to adopt animals and too much-unwanted attention from the town’s dog warden. When the warden turns up dead outside the shelter’s dog kennels, Kari finds herself up a creek without a pooper-scooper.

With the help of some dedicated volunteers, a cute vet, and a kitten who mysteriously shows up just when she needs it, Kari must prove her innocence all while trying to save a dog on death row. Now she just needs to hope that her string of unexpected luck isn’t about to run out.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

So exciting! Kari Stuart has won millions in the lottery but she has no idea what she wants with her life let alone the money. Then she finds a stray little black kitten that changes her life. An animal shelter on its last legs needs a benefactor and Kari has the funds to get the place updated and open again. It also gives her life some direction as she buys and takes over the shelter and the farmhouse on the property.

Then she learns one of the shelter dogs is part of a pending lawsuit and the dog warden seems to really have something against the shelter. When Kari hears the dogs making a ruckus in the middle of the night she runs from her new farmhouse to the shelter and finds the local dog catcher dead. She and all her volunteers because suspects in his death, especially Kari and the shelter’s former manager. Plagued by vandalism and other suspicious activity Kari worries she has invested in a project she will never get off the ground. She also sees there is a real possibility that even with all her cash she could end up behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit.

_____

I really enjoyed meeting the characters in this new cozy mystery series. Kari Stuart is a lucky woman and uses her fortune in a surprising way. I mean if you won 5 million dollars would your first thought of your first major purchase. especially when you know really nothing about animals or running a business? But Kari makes it work because there is already a super group of volunteers working at the shelter. The volunteers are a diverse group dedicating to saving the sanctuary and mostly are on board helping Kari make that happen. One volunteer is a little prickly and vocal at times but Kari just rolls with the verbal punches. The author has given us a nice introduction to these characters. I was engaged and invested in their lives quickly.

Ms. Blake also delivers a well-plotted mystery with a wide variety of suspects and surprises. A tangled-up web of deception kept this reader on her toes.  I loved the fast pace and the liberal use of humor throughout. The subplots are really strong and brought real depth to the entire story.

What I loved most of all was the animals. Buster, the dog accused of getting out of a fence and biting someone leading to the pending lawsuit just stole my heart. The stray little black kitten, Queenie, brings something special to the story and warmed my heart too. It was the animals on the cover that caught my eye and made me what to read this book. Kudos to the artist.

I found Furbidden Fatality to be a delightful debut for this pet-filled series. Light-hearted and entertaining, it was just a fun book to read.  I am excited to see where the author takes these characters. Doggone Deadly is set to be released on November 2. I will be impatiently waiting. 🙂 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Deborah Blake is the author of multiple romance series, including the Baba Yaga series, as well as over a dozen nonfiction titles. When not writing, Deborah runs The Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and also works as a jewelry maker, tarot reader, and energy healer. She lives in a 130-year-old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with numerous cats who supervise all her activities, both magical and mundane.


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

Dead Man’s Hand (Victoria Square Mystery) by Lorraine Bartlett and Gayle Leeson #Review

Release Date – February 5, 2021


Dead Man’s Hand (Victoria Square Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Polaris Press (February 5, 2021)
Paperback: 294 pages
ISBN-10: 1940801672
ISBN-13: 978-1940801674
Kindle – ASIN: B08NW5DJHW

Katie’s been dealt the Dead Man’s Hand …

It’s all fun and games when Katie Bonner and her friends play poker for chocolate-covered peanuts, but the very next day Jamie Seifert collapses and dies after visiting Katie’s tearoom on Victoria Square.

Katie’s business is on the line and she needs to prove Jamie wasn’t poisoned at Tealicious. Her first order of business is to locate the mysterious woman he was dining with, and her next step is to go undercover at a nearby poker club where Jamie won big just a week before. It seems everyone there might have had a motive to rub Jamie out…and if they learn Katie has been lying to them, she might be next!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Katie Bonner continues to get her life on track after her bad breakup with Andy. She has thrown herself into her work at Artisan’s Alley and Tealicious while also leading the committee investigating buildings near the Alley for sale. She is already feeling a bit overwhelmed when her friend Jamie Seifert keels over dead just after leaving her tea shop. Now her main job is saving her shop by proving nothing he ate or drank at Tealicious caused his death.

Jamie’s death wasn’t accidental. He was targeted and poisoned. Could his death be connected to his big poker win last week? Or is there another reason he was killed? Katie decides going undercover may be the only way to find out. It may also get her killed!


To say Katie’s life is in flux is a huge understatement. In addition to the recent murder of her friend, there are issues to be handled at the Alley, and her mother-in-law is coming to town to help save Tealicious but is the fact that her ex Andy seems to have a new woman in his life that really pushes her buttons. I am going to be frank, I didn’t like Katie’s deportment in this story. She has a short temper and is alienating people in her life that have stood by her through thick and thin. Friendships become strained and she may not be able to get them back. While I didn’t like her behavior it made her more real and true to life. We all have days when we say or do the wrong thing. We hurt people with words and actions and need to work hard to make up for it. I am glad the authors presented a less than perfect protagonist.

Another character exhibited some bad behavior too while many others were dealing with losing a friend or helping Jamie’s partner Seth and Jamie’s mother deal with their grief. It was heartwarming to see the group rally together to support where needed and assist in trying to find the killer. The authors also presented an eclectic group of suspects to investigate. All the characters in the story were well-crafted and the regulars continued to evolve in interesting ways.

The mystery was a puzzler to solve. Katie going undercover seemed a little off to me as she is a prominent member of the community and thinking she wouldn’t be recognized was pretty wishful thinking. It did set up some intriguing elements to the story. Combined with plenty of twists and turns it was difficult to truly pare down the suspects. I had my theories but when the real culprit was revealed I was totally wrong.

Ms. Bartlett and Ms. Leeson have dealt their readers a fast-paced mystery in Dead Man’s Hand. I applaud the realistic characters and situations. I enjoyed a lighthearted event that seemed to set everything back on the right track too. These authors are cozy pros and their stories never disappoint.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Authors

Lorraine Bartlett

The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorraine Bartlett‘s pen name Lorna Barrett on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it’s her talent — whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett — that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s). Check out the links to all her works here: http://www.lorrainebartlett.com

Gayle Leeson

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. Gayle has also written as Amanda Lee. She is currently writing the Kinsey Falls chick-lit/women’s fiction series, the Down South Cafe cozy mystery series, and the Ghostly Fashionista cozy mystery series. Her book KILLER WEDDING CAKE won the Bronze Medal in the 20th Anniversary IPPY Awards. Gayle lives in Southwest Virginia with her family and enjoys hearing from readers. Find her books on Amazon 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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Saddled with Murder (Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries) by Eileen Brady #Review


Saddled with Murder (Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (October 27, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
ISBN-10: 1464212716
ISBN-13: 978-1464212710
Kindle ASIN: B0861B1N9T

First in a new vet books mystery series, perfect for fans of cozy mysteries by Miranda James and Leann Sweeney!

 

Veterinarian and amateur sleuth Kate Turner has her hands full trying to juggle two boyfriends, a thriving practice, and a criminal investigation

 

It’s the Christmas season and veterinarian Kate Turner is not feeling very jolly. She’s overworked, unappreciated, and dealing with two dissatisfied clients. Throw in a very complicated personal life and Kate’s definitely got a case of the holiday blues.

 

To make matters worse, Kate’s ex-boyfriend, Jeremy, is mugged and robbed after they have a heated argument in the hospital parking lot. Then, two of her dissatisfied clients turn up dead (which really gets Kate’s tinsel in a tangle). All of these events seem like coincidences, but they add up to something much more venomous.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Kate Turner has taken a temporary job filling in for another vet for a year. At the staff Christmas party, a wishing game goes awry and a video of it goes viral. Very relevant when bodies start to pile up. All of the victims have a connection to Kate. To save her own hide she starts to do a little sleuthing of her own. Sleuthing that could have her crossing paths with the killer.


As I opened this book on my Kindle there was a note to readers that for me gave too much detail of the upcoming story and explained this is a continuation of the author’s Kate Turner, DVM Mysteries and that the protagonist was “pivoting in a new direction. I am usually a stickler for reading series in order, but I plunged ahead. The author does provide some background but I was still wishing I had read the previous books first so I would have met Kate from the start. She is a strong character with a tragic past and I really wanted to know her better.

There is a great supporting cast of characters. The staff at the clinic, their clients, and residents of Oak Falls. I assume many were in the earlier books which explains their interactions and development. It warmed my heart to see how caring the staff was not only with the pets but their owners too. The relationship Kate has with her grandfather was heartwarming as well.

The story is very well-written and twists many subplots together with a very captivating mystery. The whodunit had me stumped almost to the end. I was pleased that I was at least on the right track.

Ms. Brady has a very comfortable writing style. I do love the veterinary theme. It is very easy to see that the author draws on her own life as a vet and her love of animals of all sizes. I love that a rescued Mustang was part of the story.

Saddled with Murder was a very entertaining escape. I am looking forward to the next book in this series for Kate’s new direction. I would like to go back and read the previous stories but if I don’t get the chance I am confident the author will continue to give me the info I need to get to know all the character’s histories.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Eileen Brady is a veterinarian and author. A wife and mother of two daughters, she often has to chase her six cats and two dogs away from her laptop keyboard. She currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Also by Eileen Brady

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Divide and Concord (The Wine Trail Mysteries) by J. C. Eaton #Review / #Giveaway


Divide and Concord (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing (April 30, 2020)
Paperback: 254 pages
ISBN-10: 1950461483
ISBN-13: 978-1950461486
Kindle ASIN: B086WPY24R

Norrie Ellington is a sucker for doing good deeds, but when she agrees to let a film crew use her winery as a backdrop and one of them turns up dead, she’ll have to act fast because this crew knows how to put on an act . . .

 

When screenwriter and winery co-owner Norrie Ellington agrees to let her producer film a movie scene at Two Witches Winery, her biggest concerns revolve around the crew trampling her precious vines and starstruck fans crowding the vineyard to spot the famous actors. But nothing had prepared her for the film’s director, an unbearable diva with a growing list of unreasonable demands—along with a growing list of enemies. And when the director turns up dead, apparently the victim of foul play, a very public altercation Norrie had with the victim the day before puts her in the spotlight as the lead suspect.

 

Knowing she’ll have to root out the killer herself to get off the narrow-minded local sheriff’s most-wanted list, Norrie compiles a large selection of potential suspects, including vengeful actors the director had once blacklisted and even the director’s estranged husband, a high-profile candy magnate trying to bring a burgeoning market for concord grapes to the region. Weeding out false leads and planted clues, Norrie knows it’ll take some quick thinking to track down the culprit, before she becomes the murderer’s next target in a deadly harvest . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Murder rears its ugly head again near Two Witches Winery and this time it involves a film crew filming a scene from one of Norrie Ellington’s screenplays. When the over-the-top director is found dead the entire cast and crew find themselves in the police spotlight. Surprisingly Norrie finds herself there too due to a public altercation. The victim’s husband, a candy magnate bringing his business to the area also plays a key role. First, bringing excitement to the area with his expected need of concord grape juice but also could he have been in the area and killed his wife?

To help catch the real killer Norrie enlists the help of her friends from the neighboring wineries. They all know their businesses depend on putting the murder behind them as quickly as possible especially when it looks like the killer’s sights are now set on Norrie.


With this installment, the series has moved to a new publisher and I am so happy about that because I was definitely not ready to see these character’s stories end.

All the recurring characters are strong and Norrie is a great protagonist. I really appreciate the relationships she has built with everyone around her especially because her time at the winery is basically limited to the year her sister and brother-in-law are in Costa Rica studying a very special bug. I could see her lengthening her stay though because of these friendships and her new romantic relationship, but we will have to see. I do enjoy the way her personal life story continues to evolve and grow.

The mystery was an entertaining one to follow and solve. The nods to Miss Marple and Nancy Drew were a nice touch. There were plenty of twists and turns. The social media research done to investigate the suspects felt very current. I did enjoy the big reveal and thought it was pretty funny that is didn’t play out as planned. There was also a Wine and Cheese Festival the wineries are hosting and the staff at Two Witches have to deal with all the fans that show up because actors Priscilla McCoy and Gavin Chase are now filming in the vineyards. The authors blend all the drama and day to day activities very well.

Divide and Concord is a delightful addition to this series. Engaging characters and a stirring mystery kept me captivated from the first page to the last. I am hoping for many more books in this series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Riesling to Die – just click here.

Read my review of Chardonnayed to Rest – just click here.

Read my review of Pinot Red or Dead? along with an author interview – just click here. 

Read my review of Sauvigone for Good (The Wine Trail Mysteries) just click here

About the Authors

Ann I. Goldfarb

New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name.

Visit the websites at www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp

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

 

Also by J.C. Eaton


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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Fatal Fiction (Deadly Edits) by Kaitlyn Dunnett #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to feature A Fatal Fiction by Kaitlyn Dunnett today!


A Fatal Fiction (Deadly Edits)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher: Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496726863
ISBN-13: 978-1496726865
Kindle ASIN: B07W6S73TB

Freelance book editor Mikki Lincoln knows the makings of a well-written story. But she’ll need to choose her words wisely when a new assignment introduces a deadly plot twist . . .

 

Forgotten on the outskirts of quaint Lenape Hollow, Feldman’s Catskill Resort Hotel has outlasted its heyday as a popular tourist destination and now awaits demolition. But once Mikki is hired to edit a revealing memoir by Sunny Feldman, the last living relative of its original owners, the doomed resort quickly ends up back in the spotlight . . .

 

Unfortunately, everyone’s attention shifts to Mikki when a body is discovered at the demolition site. Seen arguing with deceptive entrepreneur Greg Onslow right before his shocking death, the editor has no choice but to spell out exactly why she isn’t guilty of murdering him . . .

 

Mikki’s dash for answers brings Greg’s shady dealings into focus, along with an unsettling list of potential culprits. As false leads and dead ends force her to revise theories on who really did it, can Mikki separate fact from fiction before the investigation reaches a terrifying conclusion?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

In this 3rd installment of the Deadly Edits Series, professional editor, Mikki Lincoln finds herself in the middle of a dispute between Sunny Feldman who is writing a memoir of times at her family’s Feldman’s Catskill Resort Hotel which is now owned by entrepreneur Greg Onslow who believes the book will hurt his chances to revitalize the area.

When Onslow’s body is found dead on the property Mikki becomes a prime suspect due to a verbal altercation witnessed by many and videotaped. She knows she is going to need facts to solve this murder and she may need to edit her thoughts on more than one of her suspects. One thing for sure, there is more to this death than first meets the eye and Mikki is determined to get to the truth.

_____

The thing I love most about this series is Mikki herself. A mature woman, set in her ways, strong, smart, savvy, comfortable in her own skin. A retired schoolteacher she is methodical which makes her a great amateur sleuth and so much fun to follow along with. She is very direct which at times works to her determent but at her age, it may be hard to learn to soften her approach.

One thing I didn’t like about this story was the arrival of Mikki’s nephew Nick. Mikki’s family is worried about her getting involved in these murders and sends in the calvary. I found him very off-putting. He didn’t listen to his aunt, jumped to conclusions, and basically drove me to his distraction. I realize his heart was in the right place but Mikki is clearly in control of her life and faculties and he should have realized it right away.

The mystery itself is very well-plotted and written. There are plenty of suspects and some nice twists and red herrings to keep readers intrigued and tuned in. The story has an excellent flow and humor in all the right places.

While I did hone in on the culprit before the big reveal I found A Fatal Fiction entertaining and a great addition to this series. I am looking forward to book #4.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Crime and Punctuation here
and Clause and Effect here.

About the Author 

Kaitlyn Dunnett writes the Liss MacCrimmon Mystery Series and now the Deadly Edits Mystery Series. You can find out more about her and her books on her website here.

Also by Kaitlyn Dunnett


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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Giveaways Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

An Exquisite Corpse (Art of Murder Mysteries) by Helen A. Harrison #Review / #Giveaway

An Exquisite Corpse (Art of Murder Mysteries)
Historical Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (July 7, 2020)
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1728214009
ISBN-13: 978-1728214009
Kindle ASIN: B085FTFVC7

Murder is a work of art…

 

When the acclaimed Cuban painter Wifredo Lam turns up dead in his Greenwich Village studio, officers Juanita Diaz and Brian Fitzgerald of the NYPD, must investigate the crime. But what they find is much more gruesome than they ever could have imagined.

 

Suspicion soon falls on a tight-knit circle of Surrealist refugees who fled Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, and Diaz and Fitzgerald must traverse the city, from Chinatown’s underworld to Spanish Harlem’s gangland, to find the truth. Did one of the artists’ bizarre parlor games turn deadly? Or is there something even more sinister afoot?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

A group of Surrealist refugees has taken up residence in New York after fleeing Europe during World War II. When one of their group, Cuban painter Wifredo Lam is found dead, NYPD officers Brian Fitzgerald and Juanita Diaz catch the case and uncover some eerie things that take them all around New York in search of the truth.

______

Set in the 1940’s I found the author gave a good sense of time and place but there were so many characters to keep track of I found myself lost at times. As the story went on most of the characters were given more definition but I just couldn’t really identify with any of them. They all had their own agendas and not one felt genuine.

The basis of the story was interesting and multifaceted with several twists and I did enjoy the chase for the truth but was disappointed somewhat by the conclusion. I had never heard of an “exquisite corpse” and did enjoy learning about a different way of drawing.

While I had issues with this book, book two in this series features the same detectives and the death of Jackson Pollock and I may just have to give that book a try.

 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Helen A. Harrison, a former art reviewer and feature writer for The New York Times and visual arts commentator for National Public Radio, is the director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in East Hampton, New York, and an authority on 20th century American art. A native of New York City with a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Adelphi University, she also attended the Art Students League, the Brooklyn Museum Art School and Hornsey College of Art in London before receiving a master’s degree in art history from Case Western Reserve University. Among her many publications are exhibition catalogs, essays, book chapters, reviews and articles, and several non-fiction books, including Hamptons Bohemia: Two Centuries of Artists and Writers on the Beach, co-authored with Constance Ayers Denne, and monographs on Larry Rivers and Jackson Pollock. She and her husband, the artist Roy Nicholson, live in Sag Harbor, New York. www.helenharrison.net

 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
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
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Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End June 30, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
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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.”