Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Peanut Butter Panic (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery) by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @aflowerwriter


Peanut Butter Panic (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Kensington (August 23, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496734610
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496734617
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09MY8S3MR

Dead by dessert . . .

Thanksgiving is Bailey King’s busiest holiday weekend. This year promises to be even more hectic, since Bailey’s candy shop, Swissmen Sweets, is providing desserts for Harvest, Ohio’s first village-wide Thanksgiving celebration. Yet, even with a guest list close to seven hundred people—Amish and English alike—the event’s organizer, Margot Rawlings, is unfazed . . . until she discovers her mother, former judge Zara Bevan, will be in attendance.

Zara’s reputation as a harsh critic is matched only by her infamy as a judge who has actively harmed the Amish community. So no one is prepared when Zara arrives with much younger boyfriend Blaze Smith and reveals their impending nuptials at dinner. That should have been the day’s biggest news, except shortly after the announcement, Blaze suffers an allergic reaction to something he’s eaten and dies on the spot.

Now, Bailey’s desserts are prime suspects, along with Margot and nearly everyone who attended the meal. With such a cornucopia of possibilities, Bailey must dig in and get to the bottom of this murder, before the killer goes up for seconds…

Recipe Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We arrive in Harvest, Ohio just in time for the village-wide Thanksgiving celebration, another event planned by Margot Rawlings to bring more attention to the little town. Bailey King was already busy handling the customers and online orders pouring into Swissmen Sweets but she has agreed to provide the desserts for the event.

Margot has her clipboard and is checking things off her long list so the celebration will bring the Amish and English together for a fine feast. Then she learns her mother Zara Bevan, a former judge who many feel she did great harm to the Harvest area Amish is coming to the event. Margot does her best but knows her mother will be critical of everything she does.

As the crowd of more than 700 makes their way to their tables with filled plates Zara has an announcement to make. She and her much younger boyfriend are getting married, Margot was more than surprised but before the meal ends the groom-to-be suffers a fatal allergic reaction and it was no accident. Margot and almost everyone at the meal along with Bailey and her desserts become the prime suspects. She knows she needs to find the killer to clear her name and Margot’s and fast.


I love the core characters in this series. They are so genuine and true to life. They are people I would love to meet. They all have huge hearts and always strive to do the right thing even if it means a lot of extra work.

The animal characters have such great personalities too. I love that a miniature pot-bellied pig, a rabbit, and a kitten can coexist with no drama. Jethro does love attention though and his person, Juliet will do almost anything to make him a star. He also brings a lot of funny to the story

This time we get to learn more about Margot’s life and her mother is quite a piece of work. Bailey and Aiden are trying to figure out their relationship with his new job. Charlotte is still trying to make her way now that she has left the Amish community. She and her Deputy Little are taking things slow. I really enjoy all the subplots the author blends into the mystery. As this is the 7th book in the series and the novellas in between the characters are well developed but they still grow in each story. They stay relevant and fresh and with each book, I feel like I am catching up with old friends.

As someone with a peanut allergy, I found the method of death a little scary but it was perfect for this situation. I am happy Charlotte and Bailey are close. They make a fun sleuthing team. Sometimes even Jethro went along as they followed the clues and questioned people of interest. There was an interesting twist that shook the investigation up. I did solve the mystery before the big reveal but boy what a reveal it was. A fantastic way to end the mystery. I was nervous one moment and thankful the next. I guess that works for a book set around Thanksgiving.

Peanut Butter Panic has it all, mystery, family, friends, and romance laced with humor in all the right places. Amanda Flower is a wonderful storyteller. I am always a bit melancholy when I flip the last page. Every visit to Harvest seems to end too soon. I will be impatiently waiting for the 8th book in this series because the author has piqued my interest with what appears to be exciting times ahead.


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About This Author

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

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest



Also by Amanda Flower


Coming December 27, 2022

Coming September 20. 2022



Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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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 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies You Read How Many Books Challenge

Murder of a Mail-Order Bride (A Love Is Murder Mystery) by Mimi Granger #Review @BerkleyMystery


Murder of a Mail-Order Bride (A Love Is Murder Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Berkley (August 2, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593201582
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593201589
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09HT9KWZW

When real life starts mimicking the plot of one of the romance books that line the shelves in her bookstore, it’s up to Lizzie Hale to catch the killer, in this riveting new Love is Murder mystery.

Lizzie Hale thought mail-order brides existed only between the pages of the historical romances she stocks in her bookstore, Love Under the Covers. But when not one, but two local men introduce her to their respective new wives, she’s forced to reevaluate that notion.

Lizzie is surprised when Al Little, the owner of the local hardware store, asks Lizzie and her aunt Charmaine to help Svetlana, his new bride straight from Russia, to settle into Tinker’s Creek, but they agree.

Everything is going swimmingly—until a wrench gets thrown into their plans when Svetlana is found drowned in the creek.

With Al’s suspicious best friend—who has his own mysterious mail-order bride—and the secretive matchmaker who put them together, Lizzie’s got more suspects than she knows what to do with. But she’ll have to nail down who the killer is fast, before someone else winds up dead.

Dollycas Thoughts

Love Under The Covers owner Lizzie Hale is surprised to learn that two local Tinker’s Creek men had done something she thought only happened in historical romance novels on the shelves of her store. Local contractor Dan Cameron has been married to his Russian mail-order bride Galina for a couple of years.  Now, Al Little, the owner of the hardware store is expecting his mail-order bride Svetlana very soon. He has asked Lizzle and her aunt Charmaine to help him welcome her to town and soon Charmaine is planning their wedding and Lizzie is the maid of honor.

Things seem to go off with a hitch until the bride is found drowned in the creek.

Lizzie comes up with plenty of suspects but Al thinks Dan Cameron may have killed Swetlana to cover up something about his own marriage. Lizzie has Dan and his wife on her suspect list too so she is going to find the killer as quickly as she can and stop the craziness that has come to Tinker’s Creek.


I really like Lizzie, she is such a fun protagonist and she has to be with all her Aunt Charmaine’s antics. She does get a little distracted though when Park Ranger Max Alvarez enters the picture, in person or in her daydreams. Their relationship is definitely moving in the right direction. Charmaine has an opinion on everything and feels free to share it at will including every bit of gossip she hears around town. All the main characters are developing nicely.

The supporting cast is full of the type of people you find in any small town. Some are reserved and quiet and others are quirky as can be. The new characters introduced came to life very quickly. I think Lizzie’s “large dog of questionable parentage” Violet was featured more in this book than in the first. I love how Lizzie has grown so attached to her.

The mystery plot is tightly adhered to the romance subplot. At times the romance gets more attention than I normally like in my cozies mysteries but this author is a pro at twisting plot lines together. I enjoyed that history was brought into the mystery along with an item that set things in motion. The twists including some misinformation were placed well and set up an exciting ending.

Murder of a Mail-Order Bride was a very entertaining read. Like I said a little heavy on the romance but I was totally engaged by these characters and what was happening all around them.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Mimi Granger began her publishing career writing historical romance. Many years later, there’s still nothing she likes better than a happily-ever-after…as long as there’s a little murder and mayhem thrown in. Her Love is Murder mystery series provides the perfect opportunity to salute the two genres she loves most—romance and mystery—and to play out every reader’s dream of owning a fabulous bookstore. Mimi lives outside of Cleveland with her own personal romance hero and two dogs: Eliot, an enthusiastic Airedale, and Lucy, who provides the inspiration for Violet in her stories (including the incredible amount of shed fur).

Mimi Granger is a pseudonym for Connie Laux and writes as Kylie Logan. Lucy Ness, and Casey Daniels too. She is the author of the League of Literary Ladies Mystery series, the Button Box Mystery series, and the Haunted Mansion Mystery series. Learn more online at www.mystery-book-series.com.


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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Hot and Sour Suspects: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review @VivienChien


Hot and Sour Suspects: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Ohio
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (January 25, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250782619
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250782618
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08R2KGSH6

Lana Lee returns for another delectable cozy set in a Chinese restaurant in Vivien Chien’s Hot and Sour Suspects.

At the Ho-Lee Noodle House, murder is on the menu.

When Lana Lee’s best friend, Megan Riley, asks her to help host a speed dating contest at Ho-Lee Noodle House, she doesn’t see the harm in lending a hand. The night goes better than anticipated, and both Lana and Megan are beyond thrilled with the results. But before they can break out the champagne, Rina Su, fellow Asia Village shop owner and speed dating participant, calls to inform Lana that the date she’s just matched with has been murdered. Under suspicion of foul play, Rina enlists Lana’s help in finding out what really happened that night.

Without hesitation, Lana begins to dig into the man in question. To her dismay, she quickly finds that Rina’s date has a rather unsavory past. There’s a long line of slighted women, angry neighbors, and perturbed co-workers—all of whom seem to have a motive.

As Lana continues to spiral down the treacherous path of scorned lovers and mistreated acquaintances, she can’t help but dwell on how quickly an innocent evening filled with hope and positivity could turn so sour. When the media gets in on the case, Lana must rush to find the killer before more dates turn deadly.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What can be hotter than a speed dating event held at the Ho-Lee Noodle House? Men and women searching for love with tempting Chinese food should mean fun and an uptick in business for Lana Lee’s family restaurant. It’s great until things go sour. First, an ex shows up to cause a scene, and later one of speed dating men is found murdered. A murder that hits close to home for Lana because the fatal date started at her event but also because her friend, Rina Su was the victim’s new date. Lana’s boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau catches the case but that is not going to stop Lana, Megan, and Kimmy from doing a little sleuthing of their own. Before all is said and done Lana may find herself staring in the face of a murderer. Will she be able to get herself out of hot water and sour the killer’s day? Or will this be the last we see of the beautiful Lana Lee?


I loved the speed dating theme of this story. It was great for Lana and Megan to do something together. I am surprised Lana’s traditional mother allowed the event to take place though in her beloved restaurant but she seemed to give the whole thing her blessing except for Lana’s shoes. “You will break your neck this way, Lana.”

Ms. Chien’s strong characters all return. This time Lana’s sister Anna May get a bit of a starring role when her romantic relationship comes into question. I have had a few questions of my own I wanted to be answered so I was very happy the author put some focus there. Kimmy gets her dander up when she thinks she is being left out of the investigation but Lana and Megan quickly show her some appreciation and include her on a sleuthing night out. While they may not find a lot of evidence or answers there are always some funny moments when Kimmy is around. All these characters feel genuine and I really enjoyed tagging along to every place they went.

The mystery was complicated by the victim having a very checkered past. He had left a lot of women, friends, neighbors, and newly made enemies in his wake. There were several paths to travel but I feel the author set a nice pace as the girls worked their way through the clues. Some nicely plotted twists led up to a surprising suspenseful ending. Darn, that Lana can sure get herself in trouble.

Hot and Sour Suspects was a fantastic read. I enjoyed every minute of it!

I for one am so happy this book came to fruition. The author has been through and continues to go through a harrowing journey fighting cancer. I know from personal experience what a body has to go through to wage that fight and her journey has been twice as hard as mine. Chemo brain is real and for her to find the ability to string words together is a monumental task. I am in awe. She calls this book a “labor of love” that followed her through so much and through it all she didn’t give up.

Her Author’s Note at the end of the book has such an uplifting message for everyone that reads it. She truly is a Cancer Warrior and I keep her in my prayers and send her healing thoughts every day. She is an inspiration for anyone facing “stupid jerkface cancer” or really anything else that can knock a person down. I am so happy she gets to continue her gift of storytelling with all of us. Keep fighting Vivien! We can wait for Lana to come out and play again. WE want you to stare down Cancer and kick its butt!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

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


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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Killer Sundae (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery) by Abby Collette #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to share my thoughts today about A Killer Sundae!

A Killer Sundae (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
by Abby Collette

About A Killer Sundae


A Killer Sundae (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series

Setting – Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Berkley (January 4, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593099702
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593099704
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B091PHQ88M

Ice cream shop owner Bronwyn Crewse is in for two scoops of murder in this charming mystery from Abby Collette.

Chagrin Falls, Ohio, is gorgeous in the fall, and Bronwyn Crewse, owner of Crewse Creamery, knows just how to welcome the new season. At the annual Harvest Time Festival, residents will get a chance to enjoy hot-air balloons and hayrides, crown a new Harvest Time Festival Queen, and eat delicious frozen treats sold at Win’s freshly purchased ice cream truck. But she gets into a sprinkle of trouble when a festivalgoer is poisoned and Win is implicated.

Although the victim was a former Harvest Time Festival Queen, her once-sunny disposition had dimmed into bitterness, leaving no shortage of suspects at the festival. To clear her name before the chill of winter sets in, Win will have to investigate and hope that her detective skills won’t “dessert” her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s time for the annual Harvest Time Festival in Chagrin Falls, Ohio and Crewse Creamery owner Bronwyn Crewse is excited to put her new ice cream truck into service. She has loaded up the truck’s freezers with all kinds of treats and is dishing up sundaes too. Her beautiful new truck has even drawn the attention of the local television station. The reporter and Win were in school together. They were never really friends but Win is very aware of the woman’s nut allergy and took all the precautions when preparing her hot fudge sundae.

Later the woman collapses and dies right in the middle of the Hot Air Balloon Glow and her boyfriend accuses Win of serving her nuts to cause her death. Win knows she did no such thing.

It seems the reporter was still as abrasive in her adult life as she was back in school so there had to be more suspects out there.

In a strange twist, the boyfriend that accused Win now wants her help finding the real killer. She tells him she has no intention of investigating but he continues to come back every day trying to change her mind. Her friends Maisie and Riya are also pressuring Win to investigate for their own reasons. So Win bows to the pressure and starts trying to get the scoop on the killer.


Win continues to be one of my cozy faves. She is smart and funny with a huge heart. She has been through a lot since returning home to take over Crewse Creamery but is driven to make the family’s ice cream business a rousing success. Getting the food truck to take her ice cream on the road for all kinds of events has turned out to be a great idea even though it put her on the scene of the crime. Her updates to the shop have helped to increase business as well. I love the relationship she has with her grandfather. Their morning meetings are inspirational. She has his full support and he helps her in any way he can. He also has a new friend and that just warmed by heart.

This story had other members of her family stepping in too to be sure both the truck and the shop was fully staffed. Her brother Bobby definitely has issues that need to be addressed. Of course, Maisie and Riya play vital roles in the story too but Maisie started out really rubbing me the wrong way. Even the chickenpox couldn’t keep this woman in check. She was so bossy and pushy. I mean she is an “expert sleuth” because of all the television shows she watches but this time her antics were more grating than funny. I was intrigued by a new hire Win made. I hope he returns in the next book.

The author did whip up a very twisty mystery. There were a lot of dead ends and true clues were hard to pin down. Win makes a visit that took a lot of strength and that made me like her even more. That visit started to give her investigation a better focus and drove the story to a very exciting reveal that validated my theory. A theory I almost threw by the wayside a few chapters earlier.

While some of the characters really pushed my buttons A Killer Sundae was a very entertaining and enjoyable read. Ms. Collette making Win a reluctant sleuth this time made for a very captivating story.

I am very excited about the next book in this series. Win has been asked to participate in an event that in my neck of the woods is usually associated with wine, but let me tell you if it featured ice cream I would be pushing people out of the way to be first in line.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Abby Collette

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Abby Collette loves a good mystery. She was born and raised in Cleveland, and it’s a mystery even to her why she hasn’t yet moved to a warmer place. As Abby Collette, she is the author of the Ice Cream Parlor mystery series, about a millennial MBA-holding granddaughter running a family-owned ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and the  Books & Biscuits mystery series, starring a set of fraternal twins who reunite and open a bookstore and soul food café. Writing as Abby L. Vandiver, she is the author of the Logan Dickerson Mysteries, featuring a second-generation archaeologist and a nonagenarian, as well as the Romaine Wilder Mysteries, pairing an East Texas medical examiner and her feisty, funeral-home-owning auntie as sleuths. Abby spends her time writing, facilitating writing workshops at local libraries and hanging out with her grandchildren, each of whom are her favorite.

Author Links – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram– Website – 

Purchase Links –

Also by Abby Collette

AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound –  AlibrisPenguin Random House

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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

Punkin Strudel Mayhem (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series) by Jodi Rath #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @jodirath   



I am excited to shine by spotlights on
Jodi Rath’s new Halloween Novella today!
Punkin Strudel Mayhem (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
by Jodi Rath

About Punkin Strudel Mayhem

Punkin Strudel Mayhem (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
7.5 in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ MYS ED LLC; 1st edition (October 29, 2021)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 113 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MBGVFQS

It’s a spooktacular time for Jolie and Ava as they have their hands full getting ready to cater Leavensport’s annual Halloween Bash, as well as being in their third trimesters, getting ready for major life changes.

But things get more complicated when a major car accident leaves Jolie fighting for her and her twin girls’ lives. Jolie finds herself in the Betwixt & In-Between World, where she meets up with her psychic relative, finding out more about her ancestry than she ever knew.

Ancestry, Madame Esme Emerald, Vampires draining life, blood, energy out of people equates to those in power for anyone that sits below the throne—ancestry—blue eyes.

Jolie’s mind is playing tricks on her, leaving her wondering if she’s dead, dying, or literally living in a different realm while fighting for her life.

One half of the Bounty-Full Investigative Services is on the case, or is it more of a paranormal manifestation? This could be a first for Jolie as she takes on the underworld’s spirits to rescue her great-grandmother’s soul and get back to Leavensport in time to deliver her twins.

Welcome to Leavensport, OH, where DEATH takes a DELICIOUS turn!

About Jodi Rath

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her nine cats.

Author Links

Webpage    Facebook Facebook Author Page Twitter @jodirath     Goodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest

Monthly Newsletter Link: http://eepurl.com/dIfXdb

Purchase Links

Amazon – B&N – Kobo – 

The Rest of the Series

 

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Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Death of a Red-Hot Rancher (A Love Is Murder Mystery) by Mimi Granger #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share my thoughts about
Death of a Red-Hot Rancher today!


Death of a Red-Hot Rancher (A Love Is Murder Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Ohio
Berkley (September 14, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593201566
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593201565
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08PYKMCJW

Love meets murder in this new cozy mystery series set in a quirky romance bookstore, with a heroine to die for.

Lizzie Hale may be the lucky owner of a successful romance bookshop, Love Under the Covers, but she’s decidedly un-lucky in love. Though she’s read almost every famous romance novelist, from Jane Austen to Nora Roberts, none have helped her figure out how to get—and keep—a man.

But Lizzie has bigger problems to worry about. Like murder.

When Brody Pierce, swoon-worthy ranch owner and resident bachelor, is found stabbed through the chest, hearts were heard breaking all over idyllic Tinker’s Creek. But when Lizzie’s aunt is implicated in the murder, she’s determined to clear her name. Lizzie quickly realizes that Brody was a hunk with many hidden secrets, and she’s soon leafing through a stack of suspects longer than Brody’s list of lovers.

With the killer still on the loose, Lizzie will have to find the truth before this act of passion ignites a fire she can’t put out.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

In this new series by Mimi Granger, we meet Lizzie Hale. Lizzie owns Love Under the Covers, a well-known romance bookshop in Tinker’s Creek Ohio. Lizzie may excel at recommending romance novels but she definitely does not excel in her own romantic relationships, And there is a handsome hunk in town that has all the ladies swooning. Even Lizzie thinks he is pretty easy on the eyes. Brody Pierce is a tall drink of water who gained his fame and fortune in Hollywood starring in a truck commercial and now owns a bison ranch just outside of town. Brodie stopped by Love Under The Covers for a special purchase and was surrounded by women the entire time he was in the store. Distracted he left his credit card behind when he exited the store.

Since Brodie hadn’t returned for his card a few days later Lizzie makes the trek to his home to return it and oh! my! what a magnificent home it is. The barn is spectacular too. When Brody didn’t answer the door she wandered over to the barn and found Brody . . . dead on the floor . . . stabbed in the chest . . . with his loyal dog Violet howling by his side.

But Brody was a man with many secrets and a good lineup of suspects that could have wanted the man dead. Even Lizzie’s Aunt Charmaine is on the list. Lizzie can’t stand for that so she starts her own quest to clear her aunt and find the real killer knowing she could be their next victim.


Lizzie was such a fun new protagonist and I was really taken with her bookshop, an old home she has set up with different sub-genres of romance novels each having its own room. Each is unique in its furnishings with places for people to relax and escape right into a new story. She is a smart savvy businesswoman who has definitely found her niche. She has a great sense of humor which is handy when working with her aunt Charmaine. Ms. Granger has surrounded these ladies with a great supporting cast including “a large dog of questionable parentage”, and a delightful park ranger that is assisting in the murder investigation.

I knew from the title that the red-hot rancher was going to die, but when Brody was killed I was sad. He was an interesting character that I would have liked to have gotten to know better. We did learn a lot of things about him while trying to catch his killer. He was clearly a man with a checkered past.

Because Lizzie read more into one incident she was scared her aunt had something to do with the man’s death. That was my only drawback in this book. An honest conversation would have cleared that matter up quickly and Lizzie could have still been caught up in the case. Other than that I really enjoyed following along as clues came together to create a very exciting ending.

Death of a Red-Hot Rancher has set this series off to a wonderful start. I love the small-town atmosphere and Lizzie’s place in the community. Mimi Granger is a seasoned author that has written under many pen names so she knows her stuff. I am excited for this series to continue so I can visit Tinker’s Creek and its residents again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Mimi Granger began her publishing career writing historical romance. Many years later, there’s still nothing she likes better than a happily-ever-after…as long as there’s a little murder and mayhem thrown in. Her Love is Murder mystery series provides the perfect opportunity to salute the two genres she loves most—romance and mystery—and to play out every reader’s dream of owning a fabulous bookstore. Mimi lives outside of Cleveland with her own personal romance hero and two dogs: Eliot, an enthusiastic Airedale, and Lucy, who provides the inspiration for Violet in her stories (including the incredible amount of shed fur).

Mimi Granger is a pseudonym for Connie Laux and writes as Kylie Logan. Lucy Ness, and Casey Daniels too. She is the author of the League of Literary Ladies Mystery series, the Button Box Mystery series, and the Haunted Mansion Mystery series. Learn more online at www.mystery-book-series.com.

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

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

A Trail of Lies: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery) by Kylie Logan #Review


A Trail of Lies: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Minotaur Books (May 11, 2021)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250768632
ISBN-13: 978-1250768636
Kindle ASIN: B08FZ8143D

A Trail of Lies is the third in the Jazz Ramsey mystery series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan.

Jazz Ramsey is just getting used to the idea that her on-again-off-again beau, Nick, might actually be a permanent fixture, when she gets an alarming call in the middle of the night from his mother, Kim: there’s a dead man in her backyard. Kim has a long history of drinking and a vivid imagination, so when Jazz’s human remains detection dog, Wally, finds no evidence of a body, Jazz thinks she can breathe easy.

But when the body of a middle-aged man, Dan Mansfield, is discovered in a nearby park, and a photo of Nick and his mom is found in his pocket, Jazz has to admit that something isn’t adding up. Kim claims not to know who Dan is, but the cops find out soon enough: he’s a recently paroled convict who served thirty years for murder. And when Jazz traces his crime back to a bar fight with an antiques dealer, she ends up with more questions than answers.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jazz Ramsey works at St. Catherine’s Preparatory Academy, an all-girls school as an administrative assistant. She handles the day-to-day details to keep the school running smoothly. Right now her focus is on the Fall Formal which she will be attending without her boyfriend Nick because he is on assignment with a gang task force. It’s a dangerous job that causes Jazz constant worry. So when she gets a call in the middle of the night from Nick’s mother, Kim, saying she needs Jazz right away because “it’s Nick . . . Nick, he’s . . . he’s dead in my backyard”, she rushes to Kim’s house while trying to reach Nick but her call goes to voice mail. She arrives at Kim’s house and hurries to the backyard but after a quick search, she doesn’t find a body. Nick or anyone else. Kim is a “raging alcoholic” so not the most reliable witness so Jazz is not totally surprised. Kim also changes her story, saying it wasn’t Nick but a different man and that she killed him. Jazz stays long enough to calm Kim down and then goes home thinking Kim’s story is a drunken illusion.

Then Dan Mansfield is found dead in a park near Kim’s house. He has a photo of a younger Kim and Nick in his pocket. Kim claims not to know the man but clues leads Jazz to believe Kim is lying. Now Jazz has more questions than answers and she fears there will be a whole trail of lies before this case is solved.


Jazz is an excellent protagonist. She is smart, strong but tenderhearted too. She has tried to stay away from Kim but with Nick out of town, she feels she needs to stay present in Kim’s life not only to solve a murder but because she starts to see Nick’s life growing up. She realizes he was more parent than child in the relationship with his mom. I appreciated the way the author dealt with Kim’s alcoholism. It was very realistically portrayed, and it does give the story a more serious tone than what we usually find in a cozy mystery. Ms. Logan does a great job though of balancing the darker tone with some fun things too. I love the relationship Jazz has with her co-workers. They are truly friends and support each other. Sister Eileen does something surprising in this story and it makes me like her even more. Of course, a certain Airedale named Wally lightens the story up too. Still, in training his antics bring the humor when needed. I thought all the core characters developed over the course of the story but I was really caught up in what we learned about Nick’s life.

The mystery was extremely well-plotted. It really focused on Kim’s life and the people in it over the years. With some nice twists and suspenseful moments the book really held my attention. Ms. Logan gave us plenty of suspects but several red herrings too that made it very hard to pin down the actual killer. Jazz truly was like a dog with a bone. Even when her own life was in peril she did not give up. That made for a very exciting story from beginning to end.

The title A Trail of A Lies fits this story so well. While it can be read as a stand-alone, I encourage reading the series from the start in order for maximum enjoyment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent 

Read my review of The Scent of Murder here and The Secret of Bones here.  

About the Author

Kylie Logan is the national bestselling author of The League of Literary Ladies Mysteries, the Button Box Mysteries, the Chili Cook-Off Mysteries, and the Ethnic Eats Mysteries, among others.

Visit her at – WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Also by this Author

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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

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


There is so much to love about this story.

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

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

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

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

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

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About This Author

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

Author Links:

Website  Pen Name Website     Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Pinterest


Also by Amanda Flower


Coming November 30, 2021



Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

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

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

A Game of Cones (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery) by Abby Collette #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @abbyvandiver


A Game of Cones (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
by Abby Collette

About A Game of Scones


A Game of Cones (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Berkley (March 2, 2021)
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 0593099680
ISBN-13: 978-0593099681
Digital ASIN: B089S6SPKB

In this charming mystery series set in an ice cream shop, no case is too cold to crack!

 

Bronwyn Crewse is delighted that Crewse Creamery, the ice cream shop her family has owned for decades, is restored to its former glory and serving sweet frozen treats to happy customers in the picturesque small town of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. But when a big city developer comes to town intent on building a mall, a killer with a frozen heart takes him out.

 

After literally stumbling across the body, one of Win’s closest friends becomes the prime suspect, and to make things worse, Win’s aunt has come to town with the intention of taking command of Crewse Creamery. Even though Win has a rocky road ahead to help her friend and keep her ice cream shop, it’ll take more than a sprinkle of murder to stop her from solving the crime and saving the day.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

We are back in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and the family-owned Crewse Creamery now managed by Bronwyn (Win) Crewse. She has really turned the business around with fresh and unique ice cream flavors, but her aunt is back in town with her own ideas for the shop and plans to push Win out. Bronwyn and other Chagrin Falls business owners also have a huge new concern. A developer has come to town with plans to buy up all the stores and businesses and erect a high-rise mall on the town triangle. Win’s friend and former co-worker Rory has also come to town on a mission to lure Win back to her old job with a big raise and more benefits.

The community is up in arms about the mall. So much so, someone killed off the developer. The police are investigating but it is Rory that lands on the top of the suspect list when she reveals she is the one that found the body and a key piece of evidence belongs to her. She has no motive and claims she didn’t kill the man and Win believes her friend. Now they just have to find the real killer and clear Rory’s name.


I love ice cream and mysteries so this story was perfect for me!

Ms. Collette has written a strong leading lady in Bronwyn Crewse. She took a real chance leaving her career in the big city behind to come home and revive the family ice cream parlor. She has some great ideas and seems very happy with her decision. I love the relationship she has with her PopPop. They meet bright and early every day for breakfast before she heads off to create the yummy ice cream flavors of the day. He then shows up and spends several hours at the shop visiting with customers, keeping an eye on things, and giving Win advice as needed. She has a few employees but her crazy friend Maisie and friend Rita, also help out when they can. When it comes to sleuthing Maisie and Riya are Win’s sidekicks. Maisie comes up with the most outrageous ideas and theories. She has learned everything about solving mysteries from watching every television drama out there, making her an “expert”. She is a real hoot and a half. These core characters are so well crafted.  Diverse and engaging, with very believable family dynamics, these are characters I love after just 2 books in the series.

Readers are introduced to several new characters including Win’s friend from New York, Rory. She was welcomed into the family immediately. A true coffee connoisseur, it was so funny to follow her on her quest to find the perfect cup in the small town of Chagrin Falls. I really liked this character and the way she evolved over the course of the story. I hope she pops up again in future books.

The mystery itself was very complicated with a lot of characters involved. I was using the notes feature on my Kindle to keep everyone straight. Even using that feature I was unable to solve the case before all was revealed. The developer wanting to revitalize the downtown area is a current-day hot topic many communities are facing.  Thankfully most handle it without murder 🙂

A Game of Cones is a great addition to this series and a great escape. I am already packed for my next mini vacay to Chagrin Falls. My only complaint is that the book doesn’t come with free ice cream samples to devour while we are reading. You may want to pick up a pint or two before you start the book.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Abby Collette

Abby L. Vandiver, also writing as Abby Collette, is a hybrid author who has penned more than twenty-five books and short stories. She has hit both the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller list. Books one and two, A Deadly Inside Scoop and A Game of Cones, from her latest cozy series, An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery, published by Penguin Berkley, is out now.

Author Links – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram– Website – 

Purchase Links

AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound 

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Great Escapes Praise for A Game of Cones (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
by Abby Collette

I love the diverse characters, spanning a variety of ethnicities and cultures, and the combination of several different, strong (and quirky) personalities. I also love that it’s set in a Black owned business in a charming small town – and the yummy ice cream Win creates doesn’t hurt either!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

I loved the plot. The characters were all engaging and funny in their own right. They all complemented each other.
~Lori for Novels Alive

A Game of Cones is equal parts murder mystery and family drama, with a healthy sprinkle of humor. Colette’s cast of ethnically and age diverse characters are quirky and interesting, and the setting is appealing . . .
~Book Club Librarian

The plot and storyline were easily read making this one a page-turner.
~My Reading Journeys

 

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

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

Fatal Fried Rice: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review

Fatal Fried Rice: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (March 9, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250782597
ISBN-13: 978-1250782595
Kindle ASIN: B08BYC415B

Lana Lee returns for another delectable cozy set in a Chinese restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio in Vivien Chien’s Fatal Fried Rice…

Lana Lee runs her family’s Chinese restaurant in Cleveland’s Asia Village like nobody’s business. When it comes to actual cooking, however, she’s known to be about a step up from boiling rice. So Lana decides to go to culinary school on the sly—and prove that she has what it takes in the kitchen after all. But when course instructor Margo Chan turns up dead after class, Lana suddenly finds herself on the case, frying pan in hand.

Since she was the one who discovered the body, Lana must do double duty in finding the killer and clearing her name. Now, with or without the help of her boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana launches her own investigation into Margo’s life and mysterious death. Doing so leads her on a wild goose chase to and from the culinary school—and all the way back to the Ho-Lee noodle shop, where the guilty party may be closer than Lana thinks.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I know it’s hard to believe but Lana Lee, manager of her family’s Ho-Lee Noodle Shop can’t cook much of anything, not even the Chinese food she eats and sells on a daily basis. Now she wants to change that and surprise her friends and family. She has signed up for a night class in Chinese cooking at the local community college. The first class went okay, the instructor demonstrated fried rice. In the next class, the students will get to make the recipe themselves. Lana is on her way home when she realizes she forgot to pick up the ingredient list for the upcoming class so she quickly turns around hoping to get back to the classroom before the instructor leaves. Well, the instructor is still there but she won’t be teaching any more classes. Someone has killed her and Lana being the one to find her ends up in ho water as a prime suspect.

Lana has helped solve cases before but they were in her boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau’s jurisdiction. The detective on the case sure doesn’t want her help especially because he believes Lana is guilty. So having no choice she must investigate to clear her name. It’s no easy task but she can’t give up. Even when the killer may turn the tables on Lana. Will she be able to survive or will she be fatally fried.

_____

I can’t believe we are already 7 books into this series. Each time I open a book it is like catching up with old friends. All the characters are wonderful. Lana continues to grow. I enjoyed that she used a little restraint when she found the body but after that, she makes some risky choices including taking Kimmy Tran with her to snoop when her best friend and roommate Megan wasn’t available but it sure made for some funny moments. I do really like the closeness of the Lee family and their traditions like their Sunday dim sum dinners.

The mystery this time was a definite change because Adam wasn’t involved and Lana knew nothing about the victim. She was able to draw some information from her usual sources but she put on a lot of miles trying to track down clues. I hate lazy detectives and the one in charge of the murder was definitely lazy trying to make his case fit what had already decided. Ms. Chien plotted out a  story that kept the protagonist on her toes and this reader guessing right up until the exciting reveal.

The author does a great job of setting every scene whether it be the noodle shop, Megan and Lana’s apartment, the bar where Megan works, or the community college. It is so easy to visualize every place Lana goes. The little subplot of Lana updating the decor of the restaurant is so funny. Her mother tells her to do whatever she wants but then pans all her ideas.

I totally enjoyed this story. Well-plotted and written with engaging characters. Fatal Fried Rice checks all my cozy boxes. I am so excited for book 8, Hot and Sour Suspects.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here,  Dim Sum of All Fears here, Murder Lo Mein here, Wonton Terror here, Egg Drop Dead here, and Killer Kung Pao here.

About the Author

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


Coming August 24

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.”