Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Interviews

Beauty and the Deceased (A Resale Boutique Mystery) by Debra Sennefelder #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @lyricalpress


Beauty and the Deceased (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder

I am so happy to welcome Debra Sennefelder
to Escape With Dollycas today! 

Hi Debra,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m the author of the Resale Boutique Mystery series and the Food Blogger Mystery series. I was born and raised in New York City and I now live and write in Connecticut with my BFF, Connie. She’s a two-year-old Shih Tzu. When I’m not writing, I love to bake and read.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

It depends on the book. For BEAUTY AND THE DECEASED, I didn’t have to do much research. For an upcoming project, I will be diving into a lot of how-to content so that I can learn a new skill.

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

No. Sure, there are times when I get stuck but they don’t last long and I’ve found that if I simply move onto to doing something else, like tackling admin work or maybe I’ll step away and exercise or read. Eventually whatever got me stuck usually works its way out and I’m back at my computer.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

I would suggest keep writing, honing your craft, and read widely.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

I love to spend time in the kitchen cooking and baking. I also enjoy reading and taking walks with Connie.

How has the COVID pandemic affected you and you’re writing.

No, it hasn’t. I’ve been contracted to produce books so I couldn’t allow for the pandemic to interfere with my writing schedule. Though, it was challenging having family in the house all day, every day for a year.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

I’d love to go back to Wyoming and Montana. And I’d love to go to Alaska. Wyoming and Montana are beautiful, breathtaking. And I imagine Alaska would be amazing. Plus, I’d love to see the bears fish for salmon.

What is next on the horizon for you?

I’ve sold a new series featuring a cookie artist (that new skill I have to learn) who takes over her aunt’s bakery. That book won’t be out until at least 2023. I’m currently writing the next Resale Boutique book.

Thank you Debra so much for dropping by today.

About Beauty and the Deceased 


Beauty and the Deceased (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lyrical Press (December 14, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 191 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1516111036
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1516111039
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B092LH3FBZ

Kelly Quinn’s Long Island consignment shop offers high style at secondhand prices—but when a body is found on the beach, she needs to start hunting for a wolf in sheep’s clothing . . .

Kelly is thrilled when she gets a visit from a cousin she hasn’t seen in years. Becky’s cosmetics company is taking off, and she just might have laid the foundation for a big-money buyout. It’s a time to celebrate—but Kelly is heartbroken when a killer puts an end to their happy reunion during a mysterious midnight meeting near the shore.

Despite multiple warnings to steer clear, Kelly starts shadowing a variety of suspects both inside and outside the beauty business—when she isn’t busy filling the racks of the Lucky Cove Resale Boutique with lots of new inventory from a local shopaholic. Gossip and accusations are flying, but there’s no glossing over this ugly crime, and she’s going to make sure the culprit faces justice…

More About Debra Sennefelder

Debra Sennefelder is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.

Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.

Purchase Links –
AmazonB&NKensingtonKobo 


Also by Debra Sennefelder

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 1 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
December 2 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
December 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 3 – Dear Reader – REVIEW
December 4 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 5 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 6 – My Journey Back – GUEST POST
December 7 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 7 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
December 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
December 9 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
December 9 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
December 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
December 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 14 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?

Click Here to Find Details and Sign Up Today!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Let Her Be (Hush Collection) by Lisa Unger #Review / #PrimeFree

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.


Let Her Be (Hush Collection)
Thriller & Suspense Short Reads
1 of 6 Books in This Series (Book 6 0f 6)
Setting – New York
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Amazon Original Stories (July 30, 2020)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 56 pages
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08BTZT8HS

A writer’s misguided suspicions ruined his life once before. This time he plans to prove he’s right in a New York Times bestselling author’s haunting short story of what happens when seeing is not believing.

Will, an aspiring novelist, can’t stop parsing his ex-girlfriend’s popular social media accounts for clues that her ideal new rural life with the perfect man has a dark side. After all, nobody he knows has actually seen the blissful blogger in the flesh for nearly a year. When Will draws a wary friend into his “investigation,” the real question becomes who’s truly in danger.

Lisa Unger’s Let Her Be is part of Hush, a collection of six stories, ranging from political mysteries to psychological thrillers, in which deception can be a matter of life and death. Each piece can be read or listened to in one truly chilling sitting.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Will is an aspiring author who recently survived a suicide attempt following the breakup with her girlfriend. He just can’t stop checking her social media accounts and blog showing she is living her best life with the perfect man. She not only left him behind but her friends and family behind. He meets up with one of her friends and they decide to try to find her but this investigation doesn’t go the way he thought it would.


I had a book by Lisa Unger a couple of years ago that I really enjoyed so when this book popped up in my Amazon feed as a “book you may like” I added it to my wish list and recently saw I could read it for free with my Amazon Prime I decided to use it for my “U” author for my Alphabet Soup – Author Edition Challenge. Due to the suicide element, I had to prepare myself to read it and was finally able to do the last week. I am so glad I did!

This is a short story of just 56 pages and wow, the author packed a lot into those pages. After getting through the first few pages I was totally engrossed in this story.

Will is a totally flawed individual. He is still extremely upset that he drove his girlfriend away. After the breakup, he moved into a stalker phase so much so that he received a restraining order. He was clearly struggling, hence the suicide attempt but now he is seeing a counselor and trying to get his life in order but that girlfriend is always filling his thoughts.

Ms. Unger rachets it up the suspense when Will wonders if Anise is really safe? Is she living her ideal life? Let me just say there should have been steam coming out of my Kindle because of how fast I was reading to get those answers.

Wow, all I can say is the ending was awesome.

Let Her Be is a fast read made faster by the content. It was a Perfect Mini Escape. I need to read the other five short stories in the Hush Collection as well as some longer content by Lisa Unger.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

If you have Amazon Prime you can read or listen to this story and the whole Hush Collection for FREE! If you don’t have Amazon Prime you can buy this book and others in the collection for$1.99 each. 

About the Author

Lisa Unger is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions on the 7:45 and the Edgar Award–nominated short story The Sleep Tight Motel. Her books have been published in twenty-six languages and her essays have appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and on NPR.

*This book was from my private collection. Received using Amazon’s Prime Free Program.
Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – featuring The Enemy You Gnocchi: A Christmas Cozy Mystery (Italian Chef Mysteries) by Catherine Bruns #Review / #Giveaway

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to share my thoughts today
about The Enemy You Gnocchi by Catherine Bruns!


The Enemy You Gnocchi: A Christmas Cozy Mystery
(Italian Chef Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Poisoned Pen Press (October 26, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1492684317
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1492684312
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08VYFC2VJ

A delicious new holiday mystery from USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns! It’s Christmas time in Harvest Park, so grab your cocoa and sleuthing snow boots for a Christmas cozy mystery sure to sleigh!

It’s the deadliest thyme of the year…

With snow dusting the ground and sauce sizzling on the stove, local chef Tessa Esposito is ready to serve up some holiday cheer. And with the annual Festival of Lights underway, it seems nothing can dim her spirits. Not even Mario Russo, the newest scrooge in town whose espresso bar has been quickly disrupting businesses and stealing customers from Harvest Park’s favorite coffeehouse.

But when Mario is discovered at the festival’s opening, face down in a Santa suit, Tessa realizes the bah humbug runs deeper than she could have imagined. And when one of her dearest friends is implicated in the crime, she must make a list of Mario’s enemies, check them twice, and discover the cold-blooded killer. Especially before they can sleigh again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Anything’s Pastable (I love that name) is open and owner and chef Tessa Esposito is ready for the holidays. She is baking tons of cookies to be served at Harvest Park’s annual Festival of Lights and getting ready for her Breakfast with Santa on Christmas Eve morning. She is also serving delectable meals at the restaurant on a daily basis. Working long 12 hour days are tiring her out but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Harvest Park newcomer Mario Russo has become a daily customer who appears to have a crush on Tessa and most of the other women in Harvest Park. He opened The Expresso Lane, a coffee bar, about 3 months ago directly across the street from the beloved Archie Fenton’s Java Time. He is a pushy deplorable man that turns off Tessa in every way possible, plus his business is putting a huge dent in Archie’s business and several other Harvest Park businesses. Tessa tries to keep the Christmas Spirit but the man sure does not make that easy.

The first night of the Festival of Lights appears to be a grand success until Marco Russo’s dead body is found outside The Lake House where refreshments were being served and where kids could visit with Santa, the aforementioned Mario Russo. Sadly, the police have pegged Archie Fenton as their prime suspect but Tessa knows the list of Mario’s enemies in long and while most may be nice, someone was naughty and decided Mario would not be brewing another cup of coffee or listening to any more children’s wishes. Tessa with the assistance of her cousin Gabby hopes to identify the killer who will be getting the coal in their stocking behind bars.


This story contains a fabulous mystery set during the holiday season but it is so much more. Catherine Bruns has created characters that I have genuinely grown to enjoy following through their daily joys and trials. Tessa is an excellent protagonist. She has a curious nature and a huge heart. Her best friend Gabby makes an excellent sidekick and will support Tessa in any way she can. Gabby’s brother Gino is a cop who begs them both to stay in their lanes and let the police handle the investigation. Tessa’s landlord Vince is much more than he originally seemed and that made me happy. Firefighter Justin was Tessa’s husband’s best friend. Since her husband’s death, he has helped her in any way he can and has admitted that he does have feelings for her. She also has feelings for him but never wants to lose the friendship they have built so she is afraid to take their relationship to the next level. These characters are very likable and true to life. They face some very dramatic/dangerous situations but they all have each other’s back and will always be there for each other.

The author also includes a wonderful supporting cast that are believably connected and have purpose that adds to the story. Both the core and supporting characters are developing at a reasonable pace. She also created the swarmy Mario and gave this reader plenty to hold against him which led predictably to his death.

This mystery was a lot of fun because there were a lot of suspects. The plethora of suspects added several exciting moments. I just couldn’t zero in on the actual killer so the reveal was a thrilling surprise.

The Enemy You Gnocchi was a fantastic read. I love the way this author blends mystery with just the right amount of romance. The story is also written to draw the reader in and hold on tight. The main mystery is joined by delightful subplots and flows flawlessly. It truly was a Perfect Escape. I can’t wait to return to Harvest Park to see what these characters get into next.

Note – Ms. Bruns has included some marvelous recipes. You will want to try all of them before, during, and after reading this story, so plan ahead.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns lives in Upstate New York with an all-male household that consists of her very patient husband, three sons, and several spoiled pets. Catherine has a B.A. in both English and Performing Arts and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. In her spare time, she loves to bake, read, and attend live theater performances. Over the past five years, she’s written fifteen mystery novels plus several novellas and has many more stories waiting to be told.

Coming October 26, 2021

Also by Catherine Bruns




I am giving away my ARC Paperback Copy!
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.

Follow Catherine Bruns on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Catherine Bruns on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End November 3, 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 New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Brush with Murder: A Paint by Murder Mystery by Bailee Abbott #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @crookedlanebks


A Brush with Murder: A Paint by Murder Mystery
by Bailee Abbott

About A Brush With Murder


A Brush with Murder: A Paint by Murder Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Crooked Lane Books (October 12, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643857746
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643857749
Digital – ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08SVXS4J3

A quiet lakeside town in western New York state is the new home of Manhattan artist Chloe Abbington and the backdrop for murder in this series debut by Bailee Abbott.

For Chloe Abbington, the transition from a fine art painter in New York City to a painting-event business owner in charming Whisper Cove is more than a little jarring. But when poison-pen journalist Fiona Gimble writes a viciously negative review of the newly opened Paint with a View, Chloe learns that critics are the same everywhere. And when she finds Fiona’s body behind her shop with a painting knife in her neck, Chloe realizes that this picture-perfect town offers anything but peace and quiet.

Suddenly, bustling Artisan Alley is a crime scene, and Chloe is the prime suspect. Her sister and business partner, Izzie, isn’t much help–she’s busy running the shop, and besides, she has secrets of her own. As shrewd Detective Barrett tries to paint her into a corner, Chloe soon finds that Fiona had plenty of enemies. The Whisper Cove Gazette columnist wielded her pen like a sword, slicing and dicing just about every shop owner in the lakeside town.

Chloe sets out to prove that she’s been framed for Fiona’s murder. But she’d better learn the fine art of detection quickly before the real killer paints the town red again. Otherwise, she may end up trading in her paint smock for an orange jumpsuit…or a green burial plot.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Chloe Abbington has returned to Whisper Cove to help her sister open her new business, Paint with a View, a painting event shop. Chloe isn’t sure when or if she will return to New York, right now she is just going to do her best to make her sister Izzie’s shop a success.

Journalist Fiona Gimble is not a nice person. She has negatively reviewed almost every place in Whisper Cove and enjoyed doing so. Izzie tried to do the right thing by inviting Fiona to her opening night event. Instead, the woman flung one-liners at Chloe during the event and stated she doesn’t know when she will run the article about Izzie’s shop as she hightails it out the door.

As Chloe finishes cleaning up she goes to take the trash out to the dumpster and finds a very dead Fiona Gimble with a painting knife in her neck. Of course, Chloe is the prime suspect, but she really doesn’t have much history with the victim. She needs to convince Detective Barrett there are plenty of other viable suspects while working to clear her name too. The only thing Chloe would want to be framed is her artwork, not herself for a crime she didn’t commit.


In Brush with Murder, author Bailee Abbott introduces us to Chloe, Izzie, and her parents along with Izzie’s employee Willow and some other friends. I really enjoyed meeting Chloe. She really puts her sister’s interests first. Willow is also a hard worker which is a good thing because Izzie’s interests are clearly divided giving me a negative feeling about her. She pushes a lot off onto Chloe’s shoulders and not the way I would expect someone to act when opening their dream business. Some of the tasks Izzie’s came up with to promote her business felt off too, but those issues were minor. Their parents seem to be the quirky characters a mystery like this needs. Mom is pretty set in her ways and Dad is the cuddly guy that tries to smooth everything out. A surprise appearance by Chloe’s ex shakes up the story in a fun way. I felt the author did a nice job of presenting the core characters, but I hope Izzie grows quickly as the other characters evolve at a reasonable pace. Check out the cute puppy on the cover. That is Chloe’s dog Max, lovable from the very start.

The mystery was complicated by the victim’s own actions. She was a ruthless individual leading to a vast number of suspects in her death. The author drops some clear clues but it took me some time to catch on. When I did my thinking was still diverted by some turns and twists perfectly placed by the author. By the end, the guilty party was at the top of my personal suspect list but there were a couple of others still on the list too. I think Ms. Abbott penned a very interesting mystery that kept me on my toes.

The event painting theme was fun. I really liked the painting your pets event and would love to do something like that for my own pets. It seemed to be set up for novice painters which I truly am.

Brush with Murder was a really good first installment for this series. I hope Izzie grows on me in the next installment because I truly like the other characters and think the series has a lot of potential.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Bailee Abbott

Bailee Abbott is a native Ohioan who spends her days plotting murder and writing mysteries. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime as well as of International Thriller Writers. Bailee lives with her husband and furry friend Max in the quiet suburbs of Green, Ohio. Visits to Bemus Point, a town along the Chautauqua Lake in southwest New York inspired the setting for the PAINT BY MURDER mystery series. She also writes the SIERRA PINES B&B mystery series under the name Kathryn Long.

Author Links

 Author Website   Facebook Page     Twitter    Goodreads  

Purchase Links

Amazon     Barnes & Noble    Kobo      Apple  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for A Brush with Murder: A Paint by Murder Mystery
by Bailee Abbott

A Brush with Murder transports readers to Whisper Cove where there is a wrathful departed reporter, pleasurable paint projects, shop owner suspects, a cuddly canine, a determined detective, a bothersome ex-beau, and a curious Chloe.
~The Avid Reader

I loved the characters and the backdrop of painting was so entertaining.
~Moonlight Rendezvous

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
October 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
October 11 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT
October 12 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
October 12 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW  
October 13 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
October 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 14 – Baroness Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 14 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
October 15 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
October 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 16 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
October 16 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 17 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
October 18 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
October 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
October 20 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  
October 20 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – 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 Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Verse and Vengeance: A Magical Bookshop Mystery by Amanda Flower #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.


Verse and Vengeance: A Magical Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (December 10, 2019)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643851519
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643851518
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643856812
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643856810
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07NTYQQM4

With the help of Walt Whitman’s works, magical bookshop owner Violet Waverly puts her pedal to the metal to sleuth a bicycle-race murder that tests her mettle.

A bicycle race is not Charming Books proprietor Violet Waverly’s idea of a pleasant pastime. But police chief David Rainwater wheelie wants them to enter the Tour de Cascade as a couple, so she reluctantly consents.

The Tour de Cascade is the brainchild of Violet’s Grandma Daisy. The race is a fundraiser to build the Cascade Springs Underground Railroad Museum. But not everyone in this Niagara Region village supports the race. As if the bike race weren’t tiring enough, pesky private investigator Joel Redding is snooping around Charming Books. It takes all of Violet’s and Grandma Daisy’s ingenuity to keep Redding from discovering the shop’s magical essence–which communicates with Violet through books.

When Redding perishes in an accident during the race, David discovers that the brake line of the private eye’s bike was cut. Worse, Violet tops his list of suspects. As Emerson the tuxedo cat and resident crow Faulkner look on, Charming Books steers Violet to the works of Walt Whitman to solve the crime. But no other names ring a bell as culprits, and as David’s investigation picks up speed, Violet will have to get in gear to clear her name.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Cascade Springs just in time for the Tour de Cascade. The bike race is a fundraiser to raise funds to build an Underground Railroad Museum. It is one of the grand ideas of Mayor Daisy aka Grandma Daisy to Violet Waverly, caretaker of the magical Charming Books. Violet hadn’t planned on participating but her boyfriend police chief David Rainwater wants them to ride the course together. She just hopes she can make it the whole way.

As if keeping up with David wasn’t hard enough Private Investigator Joel Redding is making a nuisance of himself by riding right by her trying to take her picture. He has been outside the bookshop for days spying on her too. He is convinced there is something strange going on in the shop and if he discovers what it is he will have a cash windfall spreading the news. Violet and Grandma Daisy are determined to keep their secret especially from the likes of a man like Joel Redding.

In the last bit of the race a man crashes and dies. That man turns out to be Joel Redding and David notices the brake lines on the bike were cut, Someone wanted this man to get hurt and maybe even die and that person got their wish. Sadly, Violet finds herself on that list of suspects. So she has to do something to clear her name. Hopefully, the Essense will be able to help and point her in the right direction.


I am not a fan of Walt Whitman but I am a huge fan of Amanda Flower so I was happy to finally read this book.

I love everything about Charming Books including the mischievous tuxedo cat Emerson and the staunch crow Faulkner. It is the place where the right book will find you. And when it does there are plenty of places to curl up with it and start reading. The tree growing in the middle of the shop guards over the books and gives Faulkner a great place to perch and invoke his wisdom. I am sure if I was ever blessed to enter the shop I would read book after book and never leave.

Ms. Flower has created characters that have a lot of layers and it is nice to see them revealed slowly over the course of the series. Grandma Daisy is a woman on a mission and she will not stop until she succeeds. She is truly a force to be reckoned with, sometimes a little too bull in the china shop but her heart is always in the right place. With Daisy taking on the responsibility of the mayor’s office, Violet has realized she must take the job of caretaker of the shop on fully and learn truly what that job entails. I was thrilled that we learned more about the bookshop’s history. With the murder to investigate and all the summer tourists coming soon, she brings in college professor Richard to take some hours. He has no idea of the magic within the walls but the Essence sure helps him make some wonderful discoveries. Police Chief David Rainwater and Violet don’t get to spend a lot of time together but he knows she is hiding something so their relationship is not just sailing along.

The mystery was well-crafted. At first, I was a little frustrated that a key individual keep disappearing but then I accepted it and like Violet was worried. Walt Whitman’s connection was interesting but I do not enjoy his poetry. Seeing Violet’s frustrations at trying to figure out the clues took me back to the English classes where we studied his works and my frustration and trying to decipher his words for a grade. I passed that section by the skin of my teeth just like I figured out this mystery. I was totally in the dark and solved it when the reveal hit me in the face. LOL

I do love this series and can’t believe I had not read this book when it was released. I truly thought I had until I checked all my lists and saw it was still on my To-Be-Read list. I am so glad that I have now corrected that oversight.

Verse and Vengeance was a delightful way to spend two evenings. I couldn’t wait to get done with work each day so I could escape into this story. No spoiler but the ending made me smile and really excited for the next book in the series. Due to my delay in reading this one I don’t have as long to wait. Crimes and Covers will be out on January 11, 2022.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About This Author

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

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest


Coming January 11, 2022

Also by Amanda Flower




Coming November 30, 2021



Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 22, 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 Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – It Cannoli Be Murder: A Culinary Cozy Mystery (Italian Chef Mysteries) by Catherine Bruns #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.


It Cannoli Be Murder: A Culinary Cozy Mystery (Italian Chef Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Poisoned Pen Press (July 28, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1492684287
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1492684282
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B085F4F4XB

A delicious new title in a new series from USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns! Tessa’s biscotti have always been killer, but never as deadly as in this addition to the Italian Chef mystery books!

It’s time to serve some just desserts…

Six months after her husband’s death, Tessa Esposito is hoping to drum up reservations for her restaurant’s grand opening. And since a signing with bestselling author, Preston Rigotta, is sure to draw a crowd, Tessa agrees to cater her cousin’s bookstore event—whipping up some of her famous Italian desserts. But the event soon takes a sour turn when Preston’s publicist, an old high school rival, arrives and begins to whisk up their old grudges.

That night, a fight breaks out in front of the crowd, and it becomes clear there’s bad blood in Harvest Park. And when the publicist is found dead on the bookstore floor the next morning, a stray cannolo at her side, Tessa knows who will be framed as the prime suspect.

To clear both her cousin’s and her own name, Tessa must investigate the murder. But Preston’s publicist has many secrets to hide, and in the end, the truth is bittersweet…

The second book in the Italian Chef Cozy Mystery series! As Italian Chef Tessa plays the role of a female detective in this murder mystery, she’ll have to follow a string of clues before the case boils over.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It has been a long time coming but Tessa Esposito’s new restaurant, Anything’s Pastable, is almost ready to open.  She just needs to hire a few more staff, the correct menus to arrive, and a few little touchups in the dining room, and she will thrust open the doors for her grand opening. Hoping to drive up the reservations she agrees to whip up some cannoli and biscotti to serve at a book signing at her cousin Gabby’s bookstore Once Upon A Book. Sadly, there is a disturbance when the author’s publicist arrives and it is an old high school rival who does her best to push Gabby’s buttons. The event escalates to a full-blown fight which has the author chewing Gabby out and her worried about the future of Once Upon A Book.

The next morning Tessa discovers the publicist dead on the floor of the bookshop with a cannolo nearby setting up Tessa and Gabby as the prime suspects. Knowing that could put their lives and businesses at risk they are not waiting for the police to complete their investigation, Tessa jumps right in with her own investigation and discovers one secret that could have easily set the murder in motion. She just needs to prove it.


Tessa has been through a lot.  After the death of her husband she finds out he was actually murdered and she goes undercover to try to catch his killer. Now in this story, she is about to open her dream Italian Restaurant when another murder puts not only her dream in jeopardy but her cousin’s bookstore as well. Because they are both involved in the case, Gabby’s brother, Detective Gino Mancusi cannot be the detective in charge of the investigation. These are three strong characters that are really developing nicely. They have each other’s back and while Gino would like Gabby and Tessa to leave the death to the police he understands their frustrations.

We meet author Preston Rigotta, his wife, his daughter, their maid, and his publicist. These characters are also nicely developed even with the publicist dying. We learn a lot about her and the Rigotta family as the mystery unfolds.

The mystery was very well-plotted with some corkscrew twists. The victim was a real piece of work and definitely has not changed from high school, which meant she had made a few enemies. I was a little nervous about the risks Tessa and Gabby took. So much so, I wanted to jump into the book and save them from themselves. I thought I had nailed down whodunit and then Ms. Bruns added another twist that changed everything, I love it when that happens.

It Cannoli Be Murder contains an excellent mystery and characters I have grown to care about. My cancer treatments kept this book on my T-B-R shelf too long. But that means I have less time to wait for book number 3, The Enemy You Gnocchi, is being released on October 26 and it is already on my reading calendar. I am excited because it is a Christmas holiday mystery and I am looking forward to visiting Harvest Park when the snow is flying. 



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns lives in Upstate New York with an all-male household that consists of her very patient husband, three sons, and several spoiled pets. Catherine has a B.A. in both English and Performing Arts and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. In her spare time, she loves to bake, read, and attend live theater performances. Over the past five years, she’s written fifteen mystery novels plus several novellas and has many more stories waiting to be told.

Coming October 26, 2021

Also by Catherine Bruns



I am giving away my 1 Kindle Copy!
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.

Follow Catherine Bruns on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

Follow Catherine Bruns on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 15, 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 New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Deadly Summer Nights (A Catskill Summer Resort Mystery) by Vicki Delany #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @vickidelany


Deadly Summer Nights (A Catskill Summer Resort Mystery)
by Vicki Delany

About Deadly Summer Nights

Deadly Summer Nights (A Catskill Summer Resort Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Berkley (September 7, 2021)
Setting – New York
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 059333437X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593334379
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08NT3JCXQ

A summer of fun at a Catskills resort comes to an abrupt end when a guest is found murdered, in this new 1950s set mystery series.

 

It’s the summer of 1953, and Elizabeth Grady is settling into Haggerman’s Catskills Resort. As a vacation getaway, Haggerman’s is ideal, and although Elizabeth’s ostentatious but well-meaning mother is new to running the resort, Elizabeth is eager to help her organize the guests and the entertainment acts. But Elizabeth will have to resort to untested abilities if she wants to save her mother’s business.

 

When a reclusive guest is found dead in a lake on the grounds, and a copy of The Communist Manifesto is found in his cabin, the local police chief is convinced that the man was a Russian spy. But Elizabeth isn’t so sure, and with the fate of the resort hanging in the balance, she’ll need to dodge red herrings, withstand the Red Scare, and catch a killer red-handed.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This new series from Vicki Delany takes place in 1953 and features Elizabeth Gray and her mother Olivia Peters. Olivia inherited Haggerman’s Catskills Resort that specializes in A Healthy Outdoor Exercise during the day and The Stars of Entertainment at Night. (Think Hellerman’s from Dirty Dancing.) Elizabeth manages the day-to-day activities and Olivia, a former Hollywood, and Broadway dance star steps in and uses her celebrity status to iron over any problems that arise. They are working hard to make the business a great success but even Olivia can’t intervene when one of the guests is found dead in the lake. The guest had booked the most private cabin for a few weeks and aside from taking nightly walks by the lake no one really ever saw him. His meals were delivered by room service and left at his door and he left the cabin when the maids came to clean.

The local sheriff searched the room and noticed the copy of The Communist Manifesto and called a full stop to his investigation and called in the FBI absolutely sure the dead man was a Russian Spy or communist sympathizer. From what Elizabeth could see of the scene she believes the man was writing a book and that the Manifesto could have been research. She also knows the reputation of the resort is on the line. With little faith in the authorities, she starts her own little investigation while trying to save the resort from any bad publicity but her snooping could prove deadly for herself or someone she cares about.


Vicky Delany has set this series off to a fabulous start. She takes the reader back in time in a very comfortable way. She sets the scene wonderfully with detailed descriptions and brings the area to life featuring a core set of characters along with some of the 400+ guests, 1 talented entertainer, and the nephew of the deceased who wants some answers.

I really liked Elizabeth. A strong sassy woman in a job typically held by a man. She is juggling several duties at the resort and the last thing she needs is a murder on the grounds. She takes that on too without complaint and keeps her wits about her when the men involved in the case basically overlook, dismiss, or completely ignore her due to her gender. She has brought together an excellent staff, some of which are family or have been lifelong friends. They are truly competent and keep the place humming from the children’s swimming lesson to doing the foxtrot at the nightly dances. I was pleased to see another glass ceiling broken when another woman takes on a job normally held by a man and with her excellent abilities she handles the job with ease and flair while still taking care of her other responsibilities. All the characters develop nicely over the course of the story but have plenty of room for growth as the series continues.

Catching the killer wasn’t easy. The author threw a good share of red herrings into the mix, including the owners of a nearby competing resort trying to put Haggerman’s out of business with some dirty deals, but would they murder a man to get ahead? The dead man himself was a mystery until his nephew enlightened Elizabeth and the authorities about his past history. Imagine the timeframe, there are no smartphones, internet, or computers. Solving a murder in 1953 entails actual legwork. knocking on doors, keeping your eyes and ears open, and physically chasing down clues. Ms. Delany plotted out a precise mystery that was so entertaining to follow.

Deadly Summer Nights was filled with interesting characters, some of which innocently brought some truly funny moments. The scene was idyllic for time and the story was filled with drama, friendship, history, mystery, and just a touch of romance. I did feel a little hit over the head with all the references to smoking, drawing the keen difference between the 1950s and the present day. That being said I still felt this story was a Perfect Escape. I was entertained by the whole story and am really looking forward to Deadly Director’s Cut that will be released early next year and my next trip to the Catskills.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Vicki Delany

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

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

Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It Crime Writing Festival. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards. Vicki is the recipient of the 2019 Derrick Murdoch Award for contributions to Canadian crime writing. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Author Links

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

Bookbub: Vicki Delany Books – BookBub

Purchase Links –

AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound

Coming March 1, 2022

Also by Vicki Delany


Find more books by Vicki Delany here
And books written as Eva Gates here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
September 1 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 1 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
September 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
September 2 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
September 2 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
September 3 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
September 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
September 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 4 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
September 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 5 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW
September 6 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, RECIPE
September 6 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 7 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
September 7 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 8 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
September 8 – My Journey Back the Journey Back – RECIPE
September 8 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 9 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 9 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 10 – View From the Birdhouse – REVIEW
September 10 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 11 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 12 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
September 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
September 13 – Reading Reality – REVIEW
September 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 14 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
September 14 – 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 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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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. 
March 1 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW
March 1 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 1 – Novels Alive – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 2 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 3 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, EXCERPT
March 3 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW, RECIPE, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
March 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – ebook addicts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
March 5 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
March 5 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 5 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
March 6 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
March 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
March 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
March 7 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 8 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 9 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
March 9 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
March 9 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 10 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 10 – Island Confidential – 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.”