Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Egg Drop Dead: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review

Egg Drop Dead: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250228328
ISBN-13: 978-1250228321
Kindle ASIN: B07WF36RHJ

In the fifth in Vivien Chien’s Noodle Shop delectable mystery series, Egg Drop Dead, the Ho-Lee Noodle House takes its business to the next level—only to end up in hot water.

 

It was supposed to be a fancy, intimate dinner party by the pool. Instead, Lana Lee’s first-ever catering event turns into full-course madness when a domestic worker is found dead. Is the party’s host Donna Feng, the sweet-and-sour owner of the Asia Village shopping plaza where Ho-Lee is situated, somehow to blame? That’s what Lana—whose plate is already plenty full with running the restaurant, pleasing her often-disapproving mother, and fretting over her occasionally-serious boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau—must find out.

 

Before the police arrived at the crime scene, Donna had entrusted an odd piece of evidence to Lana: a thumb drive shaped like a terra-cotta soldier. Now it’s up to Lana to lead her own investigation, digitally and in real life, into a world of secrets involving Donna’s earlier life in China, whether the victim had a dark agenda, and if the killer is still out there. . .and plans to strike again.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Business is slow at the Ho-Lee Noodle House so Lana Lee has decided to branch out into catering. Her first client is a family friend, Donna Feng who hires Lana to cater her birthday party. The party is interrupted when the nanny fails to keep Donna’s two teenage daughters busy and out of sight. Donna loudly voices her displeasure. When the nanny is later found dead in the pool Donna becomes the prime suspect. This isn’t Donna’s first entanglement with the police. She was also on the suspect list recently when her husband was murdered (Death By Dumpling). Donna entrusts Lana with a unique thumb drive and asks her to find the real killer.


I like Lana Lee more and more as I read each story. She is smart, and her sleuthing skills are improving, but she is still a little wishy-washy at times. She needs to think a little more before she leaps into what can turn out to be dangerous situations. This time boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau is not in charge of the murder case but that doesn’t deter her determination. She is aided by friend/roommate Megan and when the killer turns up the heat, a private investigator is hired at Lana’s request. The secondary characters are all well developed too while still giving them room to grow. I love the family dynamic of the Lee family.

The mystery is full of twists. Being linked back to Donna’s life in China gave the story more depth. Donna had theories she wanted Lana to investigate and while reading I had some theories of my own. The story wrapped up surprising me and with plenty of excitement. Ms. Chien takes us on a wild ride.

Egg Drop Dead has a great cast of characters, a very intriguing mystery, with a bit of romance and humor in all the right places. This is such an entertaining series. I hope to buy, read, and review Killer Kung Pao soon so I am ready when Fatal Fried Rice releases on March 9, 2021.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here,  Dim Sum of All Fears here
and Murder Lo Mein here and Wonton Terror 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 March 9, 2021

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

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

Cozy Wednesday – Marshmallow Malice (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery) by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to feature Marshmallow Malice
by Amanda Flower today!


Marshmallow Malice (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Kensington (May 26, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496722035
ISBN-13: 978-1496722034
Kindle ASIN: B07W8Y8V7V

Caught in a sticky situation . . .

 

With Juliet Brody and Reverend Brook tying the knot in Ohio’s Amish Country’s most anticipated nuptials of the year, Bailey King is determined to do everything in her power to make the event a sweet success. Except midsummer heat waves and outdoor ceremonies don’t mix, and an exasperated Bailey soon finds herself struggling to fulfill bridesmaid duties and keep her stunning marshmallow-frosted wedding cake from becoming a gooey disaster. Then much to everyone’s shock, the entire ceremony crumbles when a guest drops dead, and the cause isn’t sunstroke . . .

 

Turns out, the uninvited victim came equipped with lots of dirt on the devout reverend’s hidden past. As Reverend Brook tops the murder suspect list on what should have been the happiest day of his life, Bailey and her sheriff’s deputy boyfriend vow to clear his name. Can the duo boil down a series of baffling clues before Juliet considers her marriage a bad mistake—or the killer whips up another deadly surprise?

 

Recipe Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Like other fans of this series, I have been looking forward to Reverend Brook and Juliet Brody’s wedding complete with Jethro, the pig as ringbearer, and Bailey King as the maid of honor. Bailey has worked tirelessly to give Juliet the wedding of her dreams. The wedding is going along nicely until a stranger arrives shouting at the reverend. The person is removed and the ceremony continues.

Juliet wanted a cake with marshmallow frosting even though the heat of the day could ruin all her hard work. But it was other forces that be that send the reception into a sticky mess. Even then the party goes on and everyone seems to have fun.

Then the next day, a body is found at the church. The stranger from the wedding has been murdered and we find they are not a stranger after all. They have a connection to the community and to the good Reverend Brook. Will he and Juliet be able to go on their honeymoon? Only if Bailey and Aiden can clear his name and frost the real killer.


I do love this series. The way the community of Harvest comes together to celebrate always warms my heart. There are always a few rotten apples around trying to throw shade but by and large, the town is full of good people. Bailey has really worked her way into many people’s hearts. She loves working with her grandmother in the family sweet shop and she dreams up such wonderful creations. She is smart and independent and people, both Amish and Englisch open up to her making her a huge asset to her deputy boyfriend. This time her friend Cass is visiting Harvest too and is a great sidekick for Bailey. All Ms. Flower’s characters continue to grow in believable ways.

A lot happens within the pages of this book and at times it seemed a bit chaotic but in Amanda Flower’s hands, we see it is all a very well-constructed plot with plenty of theories, twists, secrets, and suspects. She serves up misdirection like a master and had me stymied almost right up to the big reveal. It is so much fun to follow along with these characters.

What I really love about Ms. Flower’s stories is that while giving readers an entertaining mystery she dishes up a high level of humor. Almost from the start, I was laughing out loud as Juliet was getting ready for the wedding, the issues with the cake and Bailey in her bridesmaids dress and so much more. She really knows how to tickle her reader’s funny bones.

Marshmallow Malice is a terrific addition to this series. Unique, charming, and engaging characters along with a first-rate mystery make this story a Perfect Escape.

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


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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours paradise rating Purrfect Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Deadly Inside Scoop (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery) by Abby Collette #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @abbyvandiver

A Deadly Inside Scoop (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
by Abby Collette

About A Deadly Inside Scoop


A Deadly Inside Scoop (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: Berkley (May 12, 2020)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 0593099664
ISBN-13: 978-0593099667
Digital ASIN: B07WJF48NC

This book kicks off a charming cozy mystery series set in an ice cream shop—with a fabulous cast of quirky characters.

 

Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family’s ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she’s going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors—many from her grandmother’s original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on the village and keeps the customers away.

 

To make matters worse, that evening, Win finds a body in the snow, and it turns out the dead man was a grifter with an old feud with the Crewse family. Soon, Win’s father is implicated in his death. It’s not easy to juggle a new-to-her business while solving a crime, but Win is determined to do it. With the help of her quirky best friends and her tight-knit family, she’ll catch the ice cold killer before she has a meltdown…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

First of all, it is never too cold for ice cream, in Ohio or Wisconsin or anywhere!!

Crewse Creamery is a family business and recent MBA grad Bronwyn “Win” Crewse has been handed the reins to bring the ice cream shop back to its glory days using her grandmother’s recipes while adding a few of her own.  Unfortunately, her opening day was pushed past the summer months and the day she actually opens the snow is flying. So Win decides to embrace it by using her grandmother’s recipe to make Snow Ice Cream. While out gathering the snow she needs she discovers a body of a dead man in the snow. A man that has a bad history with her family and she soon learns many others. She, her friends, and her family, all join in to freeze out the killer and put them on ice for good.

_____

I loved this story!!

Set in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland seems like the ideal place for a cozy mystery series. An area that could be ripe for all kinds of drama. An ice cream parlor theme is just plain delicious too!

Win is a true treasure. She is heartwarming, intelligent, with a great head on her shoulders. Her family is close, but she has a special relationship with her PopPop, which speaks volumes about them both. Maisie Solomon has been her best friend since kindergarten, but that girl is off her rocker, watching too many crime shows, and reading too many mysteries has her coming up with some theories that are way out there. Friend Riya brought her owns ideas and those didn’t go well either. All the core characters Ms. Collette introduced are strong, age and ethnically diverse, and very well-developed for the first book in a series, but she has left them with plenty of room to grow. We also have a regal feline resident at the ice cream shop which is just like a cherry on the top of my sundae!

The mystery was marvelous and I love following along while Win did her sometimes unorthodox and sometimes illegal snooping. The suspect list seemed to grow each step of the way instead of really eliminating anyone for quite a while. It also brought what could be a romantic interest for Win, and maybe even PopPop. I was completely captivated and entertained from beginning to end.

A Deadly Inside Scoop is a truly tasty debut for this series. It strikes all my cozy boxes and then some. It also has recipes in the back of the book!!! For these reasons and more, this book will be on my Best Reads List of 2020. I am craving Book 2!!



Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Abby Collette

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Abby Collette loves a good mystery. Born and raised in Cleveland, it’s even a mystery to her why she has yet to move to a warmer place. Author of the two Southern cozy mystery series Logan Dickerson Mysteries featuring a second-generation archaeologist and a nonagenarian who is always digging up trouble, and the Romaine Wilder Mysteries, set in East Texas, it pairs a medical examiner and her feisty auntie who owns a funeral home and is always ready to solve a whodunnit. Abby spends her time writing, facilitating writing workshops at local libraries, and spending time with her grandchildren, each of which are her favorite.

Author Links – FacebookTwitter – InstagramWebsite – 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&N –  GoogleIndieBound

Written as Abby L. Vandiver





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Great Escapes Praise for A Deadly Inside Scoop (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery)
by Abby Collette

Abby Collette has created a delightfully delicious mystery, complete with an engaging cast of ethnically and age diverse characters, a possible love interest, a decidedly regal cat, humorous scenarios, and mouthwatering ice cream flavors and desserts (recipes included).
~Book Club Librarian

A Deadly Inside Scoop is a great start to this new series! Trust me; you’ll be craving the many flavors of ice cream that Win and company make at Crewse Creamery.
~Christy’s Cozy Corners

I haven’t had so much fun reading a book in so long! A Deadly Inside Scoop has some genuinely sweet and laugh out loud moments. It’s down to earth and not a zany adventure.
~The Layaway Dragon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
May 12 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
May 12 – The Layaway Dragon – REVIEW 
May 12 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 12 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 13 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
May 13 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 14 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
May 14 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
May 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW 
May 15 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
May 15 – Diane Reviews Books– REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
May 15 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
May 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
May 16 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
May 16 – Here’s How It Happens – SPOTLIGHT 
May 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 17 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
May 17 – Brooke Showalter – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
May 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
May 18 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
May 18 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
May 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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

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

The Secrets of Bones: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery) by Kylie Logan #Review @StMartinsPress @KylieLoganBks

The Secrets of Bones: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting- Ohio
Publisher: Minotaur Books (May 5, 2020)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1250180597
ISBN-13: 978-1250180599
Kindle ASIN: B07Z2LFM12

Second in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Secrets of Bones is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains a cadaver dog.

 

Assembly Day at St. Catherine’s dawns bright and cloudless as professional woman gather from all around Ohio to talk to the schoolgirls about their careers ranging from medicine, to NASA, to yoga. Jazz Ramsey has also signed up to give the girls a taste of her lifelong passion: cadaver dog training. Her adorable new puppy Wally hasn’t been certified yet, so she borrows the fully-trained Gus from a friend and hides a few bones in the unused fourth floor of the school for him to find.

 

The girls are impressed when Gus easily finds the first bone, but then Gus heads confidently to a part of the floor where Jazz is sure no bones are hidden—at least not any that she’s put there. But Gus is a professional, and sure enough, behind a door that no one has opened in ages, is a human skeleton. Jazz recognizes the necklace the skeleton is wearing, and that it belonged to Bernadette Quinn, an ex-teacher at the school who’d quit her job abruptly one Christmas break. But now it seems Bernadette never left the school at all, and her hiding place makes it clear: this was murder.

 

Bernadette in life had been a difficult personality, and so there are a plethora of suspects inside the school and out of it. As Jazz gets closer to the truth she can’t help but wonder if someone might be dogging her footsteps…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jazz Ramsey works at St. Catherine’s Preparatory Academy, an all-girls school as an administrative assistant. She has been working on Assembly Day at the school where professional women come into speak about careers to the students. Jazz is given the chance at the last minute to share her passion, cadaver dog training. She is training her new Airedale puppy but brings along Gus, a fully trained dog as well. After hiding a few bones for Gus, the students are pretty impressed with his first find. His second find confuses Jazz because it is focused behind a door where she didn’t hide anything.

After clearing the room of students, Jazz opens the door to find a grisly discovery, a human skeleton wearing a necklace Jazz immediately recognizes. The necklace belonged to Bernadette Quinn, a teacher who left the school at Christmas break 3 years ago.

Now, tons of questions arise. The teacher had been difficult during her time at St. Catherine’s. Very demanding of her students and not friendly with her co-workers. She was on probation when she submitted her resignation. Jazz can immediately think of several suspects other than the police’s prime suspect. She just needs to dig into all the clues, but she is putting herself in danger too. She knows when all the secrets are revealed, the killer will be revealed as well.

_______

I enjoy these characters. Jazz is a strong protagonist. She is clever and thinks on her feet. She has the full trust of her boss, Sister Eileen. She is dealing with such huge things in her personal life too and needs a little TLC. Her best friend, Sarah Carrington, an art teacher at the school, tries to keep Jazz grounded, focused on her rekindling romance with Nick, but also is a great sounding board. These characters continue to evolve nicely throughout the book. The dogs did not play much of an integral part after the body was found, but Wally is a curious pup still coming into his own. It will be fun to watch him continue his training.

The mystery was pretty straight forward until the author served up a nice twist. I was tuned in early to where the story was leading but the clues were not adding up right. A murder at Catholic school really drew me in, the delay in finding the body believable, the investigation was intriguing, and that final twist set everything into place.

The author has a wonderful descriptive writing style which was so important in this story. A little-used part of the school is pressed into service and it needed to have a backstory and reason for its lack of use. Ms. Logan presented this in a believable way and depicted the area so well with her words.

The cadaver dog training is something that interests me. I hope there is more of that in the next book.

The Secrets of Bones is a great addition to this series. Quite the whodunit!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of The Scent of Murder 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 2020 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 – Wonton Terror: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress

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.

I am on a mission to get caught up on this series!

wonton terror
Wonton Terror: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (August 27, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250228344
ISBN-13: 978-1250228345
Kindle ASIN: B07NCWBQRQ

Wonton Terror, the fourth in Vivien Chien’s Noodle Shop delicious mystery series, Ho-Lee Noodle House is ready to take the Cleveland night market by storm—until a brand-new food venue literally explodes onto the scene.

 

Lana Lee is all smiles when the first evening of Cleveland’s Asian Night Market kicks off the summer. The weekly festival is always good for business, packed with locals and tourists, and this year, some stiff new food-truck competition. Wonton on Wheels, run by old friends of Lana’s parents, promises to have customers lining up for their delicately wrapped delights—until the truck blows up at evening’s end.

 

Lana’s boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau, had been planning a birthday getaway for the two of them but, lo and behold, Lana must assume the role of amateur sleuth yet again. With one proprietor of Wonton on Wheels dead, it’s beginning to look more like murder and less like an unfortunate accident. And as they begin to unwrap layers of disturbing secrets, Lana’s own family erupts into new drama. Will Lana be able to solve this crime—or has she jumped from the wok right into the fire?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It is time for the Cleveland Night Market and Lana Lee is thrilled her Ho-Lee Noodle House will be serving up its delicious Chinese food. The first night goes very well but wraps up with a huge KABOOM! A food truck belonging to some old friends of her parents explodes killing the husband Ronnie Chow and injuring the wife, Sandra.

On top of that Lana’s mother’s sister, Grace arrives in town for a visit and her boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau is planning a romantic trip for her birthday.

So there is plenty of family drama and some undercover sleuthing going on, but Lana better tread carefully or she may be the next one getting burned.


Lana continues to grow in each book and this time she really doesn’t back away from the challenge of finding who blew up that food truck. She goes back time and time again questioning suspects and anyone that may have any information. From the elderly Mahjong Matrons to reconnecting with her childhood friend, Calvin Chow, who may be her number 1 suspect, or his uncle Gene. She really came across as brave this time. She is also learning that to avoid some of the family drama is to take a pass on the family dinners once in a while, but her overbearing mother won’t let that happen often. This tight-knit family is what really sets this series apart. With all the drama you can see the love behind it all. This time grandma has some wise words for her daughters, making Lana and her sister Anna Mae have a bit of an awakening too.

Ms. Chien has served up a very twisted mystery here. It was a challenging mystery to solve, in fact, there is a huge twist at the end that turned all my theories inside out. The pace felt a lot faster this time than in the previous books, my pages were flying.

I have enjoyed every book in this series so far. Egg Drop Dead is waiting not so patiently on my Kindle and Killer Kung Pao will be released on August 25.

Wonton Terror is a wonderful addition to this series! I would encourage you to start the series from the beginning but the author does a great job at including enough background to read each story on its own.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here,  Dim Sum of All Fears here
and Murder Lo Mein 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)

 

I am giving away a Kindle copy of Wonton Terror!

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If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End April 17, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Murder Lo Mein (A Noodle Shop Mystery) by Vivien Chien #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress

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.

I am on a mission to get caught up on this series!


Murder Lo Mein (A Noodle Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (March 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250129192
ISBN-13: 978-1250129192
Kindle ASIN: B07F138TSZ

Everyone agrees that the food at Ho-Lee Noodle House is delicious—unless it happens to be deadly.

 

Lana Lee’s stake in her family’s Chinese restaurant is higher than ever now that she’s been made manager. So when she enters Ho-Lee into Cleveland’s Best Noodle Contest, Lana makes it her business to win—at all costs. But when a local food critic receives a threatening note in a fortune cookie and is later found dead, face-down in a bowl of lo mein, all bets are off. . .

 

Now, along with her sweet-and-sour boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana decides to take matters into her own hands and dig into the lives of everyone involved in the contest. But when she receives an ill-fated fortune, Lana realizes that in order to save the reputation of her restaurant, she needs to save herself first. . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

For Murder Lo Mein we are back at the Asia Village for the annual Cleveland’s Best Noodle Contest. Lana is banking on her chef Peter Huang to win the contest to show her parents they made the right choice making her manager of Ho Lee Noodle House. Winning will also bring in more customers.

Unfortunately, after the first round one of the judges in found dead, face-down in a bowl of low mein, no less. Then another judge bites the dust. Lana’s boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau begs her to leave the investigating to him but she just can’t stop herself from snooping. She knows she is getting close when she discovers something in her purse. Will she survive to see the end of the contest or will the killer get to her first?

_____

I have enjoyed these characters from the start. Lana is funny, smart and a little bit awkward, but she is excelling as manager of the family business. Her parents have returned from Taiwan with Lana’s grandmother in tow. Surprisingly her overpowering mother doesn’t try to return to running the restaurant, but she still has opinions about Lana’s life from how she dresses to her relationship with the good detective. Happily, Lana and Adam’s relationship is making progress. Grandma doesn’t speak English and Lana doesn’t speak her grandmother’s dialect but they do find a way to communicate. Lana’s best friend/roommate Megan is usually available to help Lana with her sleuthing. And they both have the lovable black pug named Kikko to come home to. If Megan isn’t available, friend Kimmy is eager to help out. With the Best Noodle Contest, there are a lot of secondary characters, some become very viable suspects, one would like to get to know Lana much better.

The mystery unfolds nicely with plenty of suspects. Again, people just open up and talk to Lana. Her friendly nature really suits her sleuthing endeavors much to Adam’s dismay at times. Adam opens up to Lana more in this story too. I have not read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War but it is cleverly brought into the mystery. Solving the mystery was not easy. The author really twists things up. I thought I was smart and had it all figured out until I was proven wrong. It was a lot of fun following the clues and being surprised at the big reveal.

I have stated in previous reviews for books in this series that Chinese food is not really my thing but in this book, we learned that Lana loves donuts and so do I. Both are fully described within these pages. Lana is worried about her waistline now that a bakery has taken over the shop next door. I worried about my waistline because those descriptions really cranked up my cravings 😆

Vivien Chien has a real hit on her hands with this series. Murder Lo Mein is an excellent addition. With engaging characters and a great mystery spiced up with the perfect amounts of humor and romance, she has served up a real treat.

The next book in this series, Wonton Terror is on my To-Be-Read shelf and I will be reading and reviewing it soon! Egg Drop Dead is being released on February 25th and Killer Kung Pao will be out on August 25th.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling here and Dim Sum of All Fears 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)

 

I am giving away a paperback copy of Murder Lo Mein!

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

Contest Will End March 6, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Dim Sum of All Fears: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien #Review / #Giveaway @StMartinsPress

 

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.

This book has been patiently waiting on my Kindle and I decided before the end
of last year that this was one series I would get all caught up on this year. 

dim sum of all fears
Dim Sum of All Fears: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Ohio
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (August 28, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250129176
ISBN-13: 978-1250129178
Kindle ASIN: B079DVYJKB

Lana Lee is a dutiful daughter, waiting tables at her family’s Chinese restaurant even though she’d rather be doing just about anything else. Then, just when she has a chance for a “real” job, her parents take off to Taiwan, leaving Lana in charge. Surprising everyone—including herself—she turns out to be quite capable of running the place. Unfortunately, the newlyweds who just opened the souvenir store next door to Ho-Lee have turned up dead. . .and soon Lana finds herself in the midst of an Asia Village mystery.

Between running the Ho-Lee and trying to figure out whether the rock-solid Detective Adam Trudeau is actually her boyfriend, Lana knows she shouldn’t pry into the case. But the more she learns about the dead husband, his ex-wives, and all the murky details of the couple’s past, the more Lana thinks that this so-called murder/suicide is a straight-up order of murder. . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Just when Lana Lee is about to make a huge life change and take a chance on a job outside of the family business, her parents announce they are going to Taiwan and leave her in charge of Ho Lee Noodle House. She is not happy but takes on the job and realizes she is darn good at it. The one thing she couldn’t control though was the double murder that took place at the souvenir store next door. She had become good friends with Isabelle Yeoh who spent the day running the shop while her husband Brandon was off “running errands”.

Lana is in a new relationship with Detective Adam Trudeau and knows he can handle the case but she still finds herself investigating. So with a busy restaurant, especially with the Chinese New Year only days away, Lana loads up her plate to find out who killed her friend and why.

____

I am not a fan of Chinese food but I am a fan of this author and these characters.

Ho Lee Noodle House is open for breakfast when the Mahjong Matrons arrive through the evening. It is a family-run restaurant supplemented by long term employees. Lana usually works as a waitress/hostess daily while her sister attends college and works around her classes. Their mother is very intense and their father is pretty laid back. I think Lana did an excellent job stepping in as manager and her sister came across as petty and demanding, upset that her sister was left in charge. They did have a view arguments in front of customers and growing up around a family-run restaurant know that is a big no-no, but it happens. The restaurant is in a mall full of Asian shops and that adds its own stress and drama as Lana has to deal with management and the murder site right next door. Lana’s relationship with Detective Adam Trudeau is new and moving at a snail’s pace but it evolving. I feel all the characters are realistically written and loved where the humor was added.

The mystery itself was very interesting. At first, thought to be a murder/suicide which was quickly disproven. When classified as murders people came out of the woodwork to land on the suspect list each with motive and opportunity. The author served up a nice contingent of red herrings. Lana was a fun amateur sleuth the follow around. People really opened up to her, some even asking for her help. My thinking was twisted up several times. I enjoyed the part Lana’s roommate/best friend Megan Riley played both in helping in the investigation and pushing the romance between Lana and Adam.

Again, an animal stole my heart, Lana has a black pug named Kikko. So lovable and the perfect pet to come home to.

Dim Sum of All Fears was a marvelous cozy mystery. I was discouraged at first that Lana’s plans were all messed up by her parent’s sudden trip but by the middle of the story, I was happy to see she excelled at her tasks and was where she was meant to be.

The next book in this series, Murder Lo Mein is on my To-Be-Read shelf and I will be reading and reviewing it soon! 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dumpling 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)

I do not have a copy of this book to give away
so I am giving away a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card!

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 St. Martin’s Press on Twitter 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 February 21, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Turkey Basted to Death (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series) by Jodi Rath #Review / #AuthorInterview / #Giveaway @jodirath

Turkey Basted to Death (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
by Jodi Rath

About Turkey Basted to Death


Turkey Basted to Death (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2.5 in the Series –  A Holiday Book
Setting – Ohio
MYS ED LLC (November 15, 2019)
Number of Pages 133 pages
Digital ASIN: B07WRJXBLX

Thanksgiving is here, and Jolie Tucker has had quite the year! She is ready to sit back and relax with family and friends. But this is Leavensport, OH—so get ready for intense therapy sessions, dysfunctional family holiday gatherings, uninvited guests, and an inner-city teen advocate found DEAD—stabbed in the ear with the turkey baster!

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

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Leavensport Ohio is planning a Thanksgiving event to celebrate Thanksgiving together. Jolie is working on turkey recipes to serve the masses when she is approached by the mayor about a problem that has come up. He needs to add a group of inner-city teens to the guest list. She handles the additions with ease until the big day arrives. Before dinner is even served the woman, a teen advocate working with the kids is found dead in the kitchen. The sight was gruesome, a turkey baster shoved in her ear.  Jolie is heartbroken as she really believed in what the woman was doing and knows they would have become good friends. She wants to be sure the killer is caught and will only be thankful when they are behind bars.

___

Again, Jodi Rath has packed these pages full of great characters and intrigue. At 133 pages Turkey Basted to Death sets a fast pace full of twists that can be read all in one sitting. She is excellent at working with a large cast of characters. The recurring characters continue to grow and the new characters are diverse and very well written. It is very easy to connect with all of them. The dialogue is believable and rings true.

Ms. Rath’s entire story embodies the theme of Thanksgiving too. Be grateful for what you have and be open to welcoming new people into your life at all times. She brought together people who may have never met if not for this event and the people of Leavensport didn’t disappoint.

I have enjoyed all three books in this series. Don’t be fooled by the novella length, they are all well-written and well-plotted with surprising reveals. They also have some great recipes to try.

The next book in the series, Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail is set to be released February 28, 2020, with Cast Iron Stake Through the Heart to follow at the end of May. I can’t wait!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Author Interview

I am so excited to have Jodi stop by today!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m an odd duck in that I am creative, but I’m also logical as well. So, I work from both my right and left brain. It can get chaotic in there at times—conflict and all! This is why I have a business that incorporates working in higher education as an online adjunct, writing on deadline for educational blogs, affiliations, and publishers, while also writing a culinary cozy mystery series—The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series.

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

  1. I practice Kenpo, which is a combination of kickboxing and martial arts.
  2. I have eight cats now, and over 17-years we’ve had 16 cats. All 16 will be on the cover of my books.
  3. I’ve been in race cars in CA at Laguna Seca.

What is the first book you remember reading?

A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book.

What are you reading now?

Bailey Cates Cookies and Clairvoyance

What books have most inspired you?

In terms of mystery: Sara Paretsky, Agatha Christie, Amanda Flower, Heather Blake, Bailey Cates, Elaine Viets—these are all authors I love reading any and all their books. They help me in my writing.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I love puzzles, and I feel all of life is a mystery.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I write everywhere—on my deck, on my screened-in porch, in my family room, kitchen, bed, office, restaurant, at a family gathering—the oddest place I’ve ever written was one time I went to take recycling and the trucks were there dumping out the bins—so I parked and got my laptop out and wrote while they finished. I take journals and laptops everywhere. One time I wrote in a movie theater during the previews.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Life, I taught high school for twenty years. I take themes from everyday life—I taught that way as well. It’s important to me to create a world that has diversity in it where people struggle and are constantly trying to find ways to be better and find ways to effectively communicate.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

I said earlier I have cats—I use all my cats in my series. The ones that have passed away, remain alive in the series—it is difficult to write about them at times.

What do you think makes a good story?

I think it’s important as an author to be sure what you are writing allows for an escape—while still addressing universal topics that we all go through. As a reader, I read to escape from my life—but I find that part of that means being able to relate to topics and characters as well. It sounds like a contradiction but it’s really not.

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

My protagonist, Jolie Tucker, is based off me. She’s not completely me, but a lot of her history and internal struggles come from my life.

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

There aren’t many cast iron skillet mystery series out there. Also, I do a two-minute mystery a month for those that subscribe to my newsletter for an opportunity to win things—I use my characters in those mysteries. I hit on topics like urban sprawl, gentrification, cultures, transgender, homosexuality, and I incorporate diversity into my series—with the hope that as the series progresses the people in the city/village of the series will continue to find solutions and ways to effectively communicate and make things work within their communities.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

In 2020, I have four more books in this series coming out. February 28th, Jolie and Ava head to Santa Domingo in Blueberry Cobbler Blackmail.

Thank you Jodi for visiting today! 

More About the Author

 

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The 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 seven cats.

Author Links:  Webpage FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath Twitter @jodirathGoodreads   Bookbub    Pinterest

  • Monthly Newsletter Link: http://eepurl.com/dIfXdb Get  Short Story “Sweet Retreat” for free by subscribing to my monthly newsletter. Subscribe to my newsletter to receive free flash fiction, A Mystery a Month, serial scenes from series, and deleted scenes).

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
November 14 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
November 14 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY 
November 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 15 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW. CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 16 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 17 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT
November 18 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 19 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW  
November 20 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 20 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
November 21 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 22 – fundinmental – RECIPE
November 23 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
November 24 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
November 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
November 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 26 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
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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 Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

The House on Xenia (A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series) by Rita Moreau – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

The House on Xenia
(A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
by Rita Moreau

 

About the Book 


The House on Xenia (A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
Paranormal Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Independently Published (May 8, 2019)
Paperback: 332 pages
ISBN-10: 1096120712
ISBN-13: 978-1096120711
Digital Print Length: 209 pages
ASIN: B07R9Q682Y

A government conspiracy. A life-threatening secret. Can a psychic accountant balance the books of justice?

Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney prefers numbers to her supernatural powers. But when a cold-case corpse shows up under her cousin’s family home, the only calculations that add up are paranormal. And deep within the floorboards of the house on Xenia, MC and her madcap Greek family uncover evidence pointing to visitors from another planet…

Pursued by military agents intent on keeping the secrets buried, MC will have to play by the house’s rules to expose the alien mystery. And there’s only one member of the family who can get to the hidden truth…

Can MC reveal the cover-up, or will a dangerous hush job close her books forever?

The House on Xenia is a standalone novel in the Mary Catherine Mahoney cozy mystery series. If you like psychic female sleuths, crazy family antics, and long lost aliens, then you’ll love Rita Moreau’s quirky tale.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

While there are recurring characters the author states each book in this series can be read on its own. Intrigued by the synopsis I decided to read this book without reading the prior books. What I found was a very bizarre mystery. You see for me the main character was not Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney or any of the other human characters. For me, the main character was the House on Xenia. Generations of Mary Catherine “MC” Mahoney’s family have lived in the House. A House that vowed to protect the family from anything. In the book, it is described as a YaYa (Greek grandmother), nurturing, caring, with a huge heart and protective qualities. Also, unusual is that no one is living in the house and keeping up with the maintenance. The house is said to be dying, but it still holds some important secrets.

Several characters have psychic abilities, some are in Ohio where the house is and others are in Florida. When a body is found under the family home everyone’s focus is the House. Not just the family but the military too and talk turns to aliens and secrets that need to be kept. But the House wants to talk and to only one person. MC is caught in the middle. Does she reveal all or does she keep her mouth shut and move on?

The author has presented a very interesting mystery. One that kept my attention even though it was very unique from most mysteries I read. The House has answers so the investigation evolves in an unconventional way. Several people gave input and there were those acting in an underhanded way to keep people from finding out the truth. That deception put people in danger.

Using a real place in this fictional story added extra credence. The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is where UFO investigations dating from the 1940s to the 1960s with all the conspiracy theories. Theories that people still talk about today like Area 51.

This story was not what I had expected it to be but I was entertained from the first page to the last. I found The House on Xenia to be an enjoyable read and a nice escape.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Rita Moreau is the author of the Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery series.

A workaholic by nature, upon retirement, Rita Moreau began work on her bucket list, writing a book. Traveling the national parks with her husband George in a vintage Bluebird motor home, (on George’s list), Rita completed her first novel Bribing Saint Anthony. Back home she completed Nuns! Psychics! & Gypsies! OH! NO, Feisty Nuns, The Russian & Aunt Sophia and The House on Xenia. Rita and her husband live in a postcard called Florida where he has fun telling everyone he is the author’s husband. When not writing she joins PatZi Gil on the Joy on Paper radio program with Book Buzz Mysteries or you can find her teaching fitness classes and doing her best to keep busy. She loves connecting with readers.

Praise for The House on Xenia
(A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Series)
by Rita Moreau

The House on Xenia, a full-sized YaYa (Greek grandmother). It’s also very much extraordinary . . .
~INTO THE ABYSS

This was just so much fun to read. There are fun, zany characters, house included, and more than one mystery to figure out. Made me grin enough my face hurt.
~ fuonlyknew

Author Links

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Purchase Links – Amazon 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
July 18 – Into the Abyss Reviews – REVIEW
July 19 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 20 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
July 20 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
July 21 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
July 22 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
July 23 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
July 24 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST
July 25 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
July 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 27 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 28 – Brooke Blogs – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 29 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – CHARACTER GUEST POST  
July 31 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews– REVIEW

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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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Purrfect Reading Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Toxic Toffee (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery) by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @aflowerwriter


Toxic Toffee (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Ohio
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496722027
ISBN-13: 978-1496722027
Kindle ASIN: B07HVYLW18

A sweet tooth for murder . . .

Bailey King’s in New York wrapping up a six-week shoot on her first cable TV show, Bailey’s Amish Sweets, when she gets a call from her Ohio town’s resident busybody. With Easter around the corner, Bailey’s been recruited to create a giant toffee bunny for the weeklong springtime festival that will also feature live white rabbits. But back home in Harvest, death becomes the main attraction when Stephen Raber keels over from an apparent heart attack—with Bailey and Raber’s pet bunny as witnesses.
.
Except it wasn’t Raber’s heart that suddenly gave out—a lethal dose of lily of the valley was mixed into a tasty piece of toffee. Who’d want to poison a jovial rabbit farmer who reminded Bailey of an Amish Santa Claus? To solve the murder, she and her sheriff deputy boyfriend Aiden must uncover a twenty-year-old secret. She’ll need to pull a rabbit out of a hat to keep a healthy distance from toxic people, including one venomous killer . . .

Recipe Included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Rabbits! Rabbits! Rabbits!

Bailey King returns from New York just in time for “Easter Days”. A new festival created to bring more tourists to Harvest, Ohio. While there will be plenty of live rabbits hopping around, Bailey has been asked to make a huge sweet bunny featuring tons of toffee. While trying to get all the details Bailey meets rabbit keeper Stephen Raber and his special bunny, Puff. In the middle of the conversation, Mr. Raber falls to the ground. Bailey shouts for help, but the man is dead. Everyone assumes he had a heart attack, but the coroner finds evidence Stephen Raber was poisoned.

Bailey finds Mr. Raber was very well-liked in the community, why would anyone want to kill him? The victim’s son begged Bailey to find the killer as she had before for others. Then when she learns the murder weapon was a piece of toffee she feels she has no choice and pushes Aiden, her boyfriend/Deputy Sheriff to let her in on his investigation. He knows the Amish will open up with her more than they would with him so he agrees. They may go down a few rabbit holes to solve the case of the Toxic Toffee, but as long as they solve the case, it’s worth it.

I love these characters. Even with a murderer in their midst, they still know what’s important. Keeping a special bunny safe, constructing a giant toffee rabbit, keeping the sweet shop’s shelves full for customers, and in Juliet Brody’s case, getting Aidan and Bailey hitched in a summer wedding. (They have barely started dating and are definitely not engaged.) 🙂 All the characters are fleshed out and believable. The interactions and dialogues are true to life. The animals are absolutely delightful too. The author also sweetens the story with plenty of humor in all the right places.

The mystery is a real puzzler. Stephen Raber’s is new to us readers but has been a resident of the Harvest area for a long time as part of the Amish community. Bailey and Aiden could ask almost anyone in town about his life and how it has changed since he lost his wife. The fact that Bailey has become the caretaker of the victim’s pet rabbit named Puff is an interesting twist and felt like it gave Bailey an added push to solve the crime. Unfortunately she also on the killer’s radar and she finds herself in some very dangerous situations. Ms. Flower plotted out this story so well. There is always something happening and there are some fantastic twists. I had no idea “whodunit” until Bailey did.

I really enjoy the way Amanda Flower uses her Amish knowledge to build stories that show the two cultures coming together in so many ways. Bailey and her Amish grandmother have such a wonderful relationship. She also has an amazing relationship with Charlotte who has not yet been baptized into the faith. It is truly heartwarming the way the entire community comes together in good times and in bad.

Each visit the Harvest is unique and they always end too soon. I can’t wait to return in December for the premiere of Amish Matchmaker Mystery Series.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of Assaulted Caramel here and Lethal Licorice here
Premeditated Peppermint here, and Criminally Cocoa here.

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 December 31, 2019!
A New Series Also Set in Harvest, Ohio.

Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

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.

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Contest Will End August 8, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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Click Here For Entry Form

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