May 172018
 

Murder in the Locked Library (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496715630
Kindle ASIN: B074DH6HD3

 

 

Welcome to Storyton Hall, Virginia, where book lovers travel from near and far to enjoy the singular comforts of the Agatha Christie Tea Room, where they can discuss the merits of their favorite authors no matter how deadly the topic . . . 

With her twins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, back in school, Jane Steward can finally focus on her work again—managing Storyton Hall, and breaking ground on the resort’s latest attraction: a luxurious, relaxing spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. But when the earth is dug up to start laying the spa’s foundation, something else comes to the surface—a collection of unusual bones and the ragged remnants of a very old book. The attendees of the Rare Book Conference are eager to assist Jane with this unexpected historical mystery—until a visitor meets an untimely end in the Henry James Library. As the questions—and suspects—start stacking up, Jane will have to uncover a killer before more unhappy endings ensue . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Storyton Hall is expanding and building a wonderful spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. Construction begins by digging the hole for the foundation. Jane Steward’s twins Fitzgerald and Hemingway are very excited to watch the big excavation. Imagine their surprise when a skull, bones and a very old book are uncovered. Storyton Hall just happens to be hosting the Rare Book Conference and those attending love a mystery as much as Jane so they offer up their assistance to find out as much as they can about the book. The police are calling in an anthropologist to help with the bones. Storyton Hall also has its own experts to investigate all the findings. But when one of the Hall’s guests suddenly dies in the Henry James Library just as he starts to share information about the book the police and staff of Storyton Hall realize they now have two murders to solve and they are probably connected.

I love this series so much. I am also thrilled that this series has found a new home at Kensington Books. These characters stories were far from over after the first three installments.

All my favorite characters are back. Jane Steward is the manager of Storyton Hall. It is a huge job and a privilege to be its caretaker, its guardian. She has twin sons, Hemi and Fitz, who are as curious as can be. Jane has her book club, the “Cover Girls” and they always have her back. The staff of the hall have a variety of jobs and some are quite surprising. If you are new to the series you will have to discover what I mean when you read the story.

The setting is magnificent, Ellery Adams has created an amazing place that all book lovers would enjoy.  Secret stairways, secrets passages, secret rooms and most important of all a secret library. If I could I would pack my bags and move to Storyton Hall and probably never leave.

The author has crafted an amazing story with more than one mystery. An old murder, a new murder, an old book, all entangled together in the most delightful way. She keeps the pace brisk and throws in some dynamic twists. A cozy mystery with the perfect amount of action and suspense. She draws the reader in and holds us captive until the final page.

With the publisher change, the book has been written to give enough background for new readers to jump right in but this series is so fantastic I recommend you read the series in order. If you do decide to start with this one I guarantee you are going to want to read the first three.

This is definitely one of my favorite cozy series!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

Check out my reviews of the first 3 books in the series.

Murder in the Mystery Suite

Murder in the Paperback Parlor

Murder in the Secret Garden

 To find out more about Ellery and all her books visit her webpage here.





GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Kensington I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
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.

Subscribe to Ellery’s Newsletter and receive 5 Bonus Giveaway 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 publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End May 31, 2018, 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.”

May 082018
 

Flowers and Foul Play: A Magic Garden Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Settings – Scotland
Crooked Lane Books (May 8, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315629
Kindle ASIN: B075QJ6C76

 

 

Fiona Knox lost her fiancé and her flower shop—but when she flies to Scotland to inherit her godfather’s cottage and possibly magical walled garden, she may lose her life as well when she’s swept into a murder investigation.

Florist Fiona Knox’s life isn’t smelling so sweet these days. Her fiancé left her for their cake decorator. Then, her flower shop wilted after a chain florist opened next door. So when her godfather, Ian MacCallister, leaves her a cottage in Scotland, Fiona jumps on the next plane to Edinburgh. Ian, after all, is the one who taught her to love flowers. But when Ian’s elderly caretaker Hamish MacGregor shows her to the cottage upon her arrival, she finds the once resplendent grounds of Duncreigan in a dreadful shambles—with a dead body in the garden.

Minutes into her arrival, Fiona is already being questioned by the handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig and getting her passport seized. But it’s Craig’s fixation on Uncle Ian’s loyal caretaker, Hamish, as a prime suspect, that really makes her worried. As Fiona strolls the town, she quickly realizes there is a whole bouquet of suspects much more likely to have killed Alastair Croft, the dead lawyer who seems to have had more enemies than friends.

Now it’s up to Fiona to clear Hamish’s name before it’s too late.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A cozy cottage with a magical garden and a couple of very interesting furry creatures is what Fiona Fox finds when she arrives in Scotland. Oh, she also finds a dead body in the garden. Her godfather, Ian MacCallister, the man that shared her love of flowers has died and he has bequeathed the place to her. The garden has not flourished since Ian’s was killed in Afghanistan, but his caretaker Hamish MacGregor assures her that now that she has arrived the garden will start to bloom again. But first, she needs to deal with the body. He is identified as Alastair Croft, Ian’s lawyer and while  Chief Inspector Neil Craig has taken her passport, he believes Hamish is the killer. Fiona quickly decides to get to know her neighbors and try to find the handsome detective some additional, more viable suspects. It wasn’t hard, most of the town couldn’t stand the man.

There are so many things I loved about this story.

Fiona Knox is nursing a broken heart. Her fiance left her for their cake decorator, a chain florist drove her little flower shop out of business, and she is mourning the death of a very important man in her life, her godfather. A man she shared her love of flowers with, a man she and her family had visited several times over the years. After all that she is using her trip to Scotland to heal her heart and make a new plan for her life. Her inner strength shines through as she sets out to find the killer. She travels to the nearby village to meet and question everyone she can. She is an intelligent woman determined to get the answers she needs.

We also meet Hamish MacGregor. An elderly man, caretaker of Ian’s property. A position he takes very seriously. He also has a pet squirrel named Duncan, that rides around on his shoulder and comes indoors, and doesn’t like cats at all, especially Ivanhoe, a cat Fiona has brought home.

Fiona finds herself being questioned by Chief Inspector Neil Craig within minutes of her arrival. The man is easy on the eyes and the two learn to work together. He sees instantly that Fiona is not a woman that will give up her own investigation so he decides that to keep her safe he needs to remain close.

The Scotland setting, the nearby sea, and the magical garden drew me into this enchanting story. Only a few seeds have been sown about this garden that Fiona is now the keeper of. I am excited to learn more right along with Fiona.

The story has many turns as the mystery of Alastair Croft and his death is solved. The author sets a nice pace as the story evolves. I really enjoyed the way the whole village was involved. It gives readers the chance to know a lot of characters without feeling overwhelmed. They are distinct individuals with their own stories. Some become viable suspects and some will become great friends for Fiona. Like all great cozies – be ready for that final outstanding twist. . . I LOVED IT!

Amanda Flower is an outstanding storyteller. She mixes paranormal and cozy like a master. The characters she creates jump off the pages. The setting is idyllic and the mystery is marvelous. She has written a story that was virtually impossible for me to put down.

I am thrilled about this series!! I can’t wait for the next book!! Death and Daisies will be released November 13.

Your Great Escapes 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




Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Series (writing as Isabella Alan)

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
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.

Subscribe to Amanda’s Newsletter for 5 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 publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End May 22, 2018, 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.”

Mar 282018
 

 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to welcome Krista Davis to Escape With Dollycas today to
tell us about her new book/series!

I love starting a new series. There’s nothing that’s more fun than imagining the location and bringing new characters to life.

When I started working on Color Me Murder, I knew that Florrie Fox would be an adult coloring book artist. I borrowed the name Florrie, which I heard recently and loved immediately. Doesn’t a Florrie sound like a kind and quiet person? But also someone who is fun! Then I gave her the day job of managing a bookstore. Originally, I thought she might own it with her grandfather, but when I started writing, that was just plain wrong. I scrapped the first thirty pages and started over!

Once I had a handle on her boss, the owner of the bookstore, things fell into place. John Maxwell is the ultimate absent-minded professor. He loathes confrontation and is a lousy manager but a great guy. He’s always searching for answers to historic mysteries. And he’s a well-known adventurer with an office full of interesting artifacts from his exotic travels.

Of course, Florrie had to have a boyfriend. But wait, maybe she wasn’t crazy about him. Maybe he would be a pain in the neck. As it turned out, he got her into some hot water with her mom. Not to worry, though, someone much more interesting would turn up soon.

But where to set this story? I seriously considered a small university town. Those still exist, don’t they? But the more I thought about it, the more I saw the bookstore in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC. It’s quaint, it’s very cool and chic, and the streets have that lovely neighborly feeling. Plus it’s full of diplomats and intellectuals who would provide fodder for future books.

The character of Mr. DuBois popped up out of nowhere. He’s a wizened old fellow and very proper. As John Maxwell’s butler, he takes care of the mansion and keeps track of the details that John forgets—like breakfast. Mr. DuBois is a bit agoraphobic, and he watches entirely too many true crime programs on TV. He’s an armchair amateur sleuth. Once in a while, he does something that is completely out of character and delights in it.

One of the things I love about the Pen & Ink Mysteries is that some of the clues are on the cover. If you look at the center of the cover, you’ll notice a cat, a plume, martini glasses, a stunning necklace, and more in an oval around the title. Every one of those is a clue to the mystery!

Oh! Did I mention that the front and back covers can be colored? I can’t wait to see how readers color the covers. In fact, I’m having a contest with prizes for the top three colored covers, to be chosen by a panel of your favorite authors! Stay tuned to my Facebook page and website for more information on the contest.

~Krista

Thank you, Krista, for being my guest today! This book is fantastic! 

Now, let me tell you all about it.


Color Me Murder (Pen & Ink)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Washington
Kensington (February 27, 2018)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496716408
Kindle ASIN: B0719VDGJ6

 

 

Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color!
 
By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There’s plenty of inspiration in her new apartment—a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition—she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.

When the professor’s nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It’s not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery—there’s a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn’t so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.

Digital edition contains a link to the downloadable color-it-yourself cover art!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a unique cover idea. Adult coloring books are huge right now. I gave away quite a few to my family for Christmas with sets of colored pencils. This book brings two favorite things together, a fantastic cozy mystery and color-it-yourself cover art.

When you venture beyond the cover you do find a fantastic mystery. We meet Florrie Fox, manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. The cool thing, she doesn’t just sell adult coloring books in the store, she has also published several herself. Florrie is quite a doodler and the pictures she creates are truly art. Professor John Maxwell owns the store. He is a traveler, his adventures take him all around the world. His office is full of treasures from his travels. He lives on a huge estate with a butler, Mr. DuBois, who runs the household and keep his friend Maxwell on track. There is a guest house on the estate and Professor Maxwell offers the place to Florrie. She is unhappy in her small apartment and Maxwell would rather have her for a tenant than his unsavory nephew Delbert.

Delbert shows up at the bookstore and Florrie dislikes him instantly. She understands why his uncle doesn’t want him around. When she arrives that next day a wrinkle in the carpet catches her attention, she discovers the carpeting in covering a trap door, but when she lifts it she is shocked to find a very dead Delbert. There is no way to color this picture any other way but tragic and gruesome.

I want to shout about this book from the rooftops!

Krista Davis is a great writer, but she has topped herself with this series debut!

The characters are so smart, engaging, witty, charming, interesting and fun. I love them already and want to know them better. Heck, I want to move into Professor Maxwell’s guest house so I can be a part of their lives every day.

I have only visited Washington D.C. once, but with the author’s descriptions of the area and the bookstore, I could transport myself so easily. All the little details were wonderful. I would love to get lost in all the Color Me Read bookstore has to offer.

The plot was rich and flowed at the perfect pace. I found myself so immersed in the story that I realized I didn’t highlight any parts or make any little notes like I do with most books to help me solve the mystery and write my reviews. I sat down and started reading and didn’t put it down until I reached the final word. Well written and well plotted this book has everything I look for in a story and more.

A charming and compelling read with an ending that surprised me. A perfect escape, no this one was a trip to Paradise. It deserves more than 5 stars!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About The Author 

New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries set on fictional Wagtail Mountain, a resort where people vacation with their pets. Her 4th Paws and Claws Mystery is MISSION IMPAWSIBLE, which releases on February 7th. Krista also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs and two cats.

Webpage  Facebook   Pinterest

Mystery Lovers Kitchen    Twitter    Killer Characters


Coming November 27

Coming May 29, 2018

GIVEAWAY
 Thanks to the people at Kensington I have 4 ARC copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US  mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
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.

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

Leave a comment for Krista for 5 Bonus Entries!

Sign Up for Krista’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 11, 2017, 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.”

Mar 082018
 

Lethal in Old Lace: A Consignment Shop Mystery
by Duffy Brown


Lethal in Old Lace: A Consignment Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
1st with this publisher.
Setting – Georgia
Crooked Lane Books (March 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315353
Digital ASIN: B074MB9R6J

 

 

Reagan Summerside returns in national bestselling author Duffy Brown’s fifth Consignment Shop mystery, now for the first time in hardcover.

There are two social functions in Savannah guaranteed to get people talking: weddings and funerals. And just as consignment shop owner Reagan Summerside agrees to marry the hunky Walker Boone, her neighbors, sisters Annie Fritz and Elsie Abbot, step up their business as professional mourners. They are so successful that the Sleepy Pines Retirement Center has hired them as a part of their retirement package. But the celebration over good business is cut short when the residents at Pines suddenly begin dying at an alarming rate. And the sisters are the first suspects.

Reagan has her doubts, however, and begins to look into the strange phenomenon. But then something even stranger happens: a body winds up in the sisters’ pink Caddy. The evidence begins to pile up and the suspicious case of Willie Fishbine, who swindled the sisters out of a fortune and coincidentally died prior to the Pines case, is reopened.

Not wanting Willie to be buried until they can find the killer responsible for the murders, Reagan must catch the culprit in time to walk down the aisle.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was over the moon when I heard this series had found a new home. This is one of my favorite series and I sure wasn’t done with these wonderful characters.

Something I have been waiting for is moving forward in this book. Boone pops the question and Reagan says yes. They are moving forward in their life together with some major decisions like where they will live and the renovations that may be needed. Due to some crazy circumstances, their wedding party is going to be filled with some people I never suspected. That’s the good news. The bad news is a dead body is found in sisters Annie Fritz and Elsie Abbot garden and another body with casket is hidden in Aunt Kiki’s garage. Both are connected to the Sleepy Pines Retirement Center and the sisters are prime suspects for what could be two murders. Aunt Kiki decides to go undercover in the retirement home to help Reagan solve the case.

Reagan Summerside owns the Prissy Fox Consignment Shop and her neighbors Annie Fritz and Elsie Abbot’s help out at the shop while Reagan is out trying to plan her wedding or catch a killer. Her mother, Judge Gloria and her Aunt Kiki are usually along for both. Her new fiancee Walker Boone does his best to keep all of them out of trouble. With two murders to solve his task is far from easy. I had so much fun following along with their antics. Ms. Brown’s Savannah, Georgia has its hands full with this gang,

Southern charm, snappy dialogue, genuine, unique characters, laugh out loud moments, and a top-notch whodunit grace the pages of Lethal and Old Lace. From the very first word until the last this story completely entertains.

I love the way Duffy Brown writes. Each new story quickly becomes my favorite. It was a bit of a wait for this book, but it was so worth the wait. It surpasses a perfect escape by quite a bit. Yes, this book gets my Paradise Rating. Thank you, Duffy Brown, for this marvelous story!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy Brown longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. Today she conjures up who-done-it stories for Berkley Prime Crime and has two series, the national bestselling Consignment Shop Mysteries set in Savannah and the Cycle Path Mysteries on Mackinac Island.

Author Links:

Website Facebook  Twitter Pinterest

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N Kobo BookBub

Also by Duffy Brown

 


Duffy Brown is giving away a tote bag at most of the stops on this tour.
Be sure to visit each stop to enter.

For my giveaway leave a comment below telling me if you shop at
consignment stores and if you do what was your greatest find.

I will randomly select a winner on March 22.
U.S. Only

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
March 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
March 9 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW, GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
March 10 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
March 10 – Mysteries with Character – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
March 11 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 12 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
March 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 14 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
March 15 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 16 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
March 17 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
March 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 18 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
March 18 – Readeropolis – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
March 19 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
March 20 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
March 21 – La libreria di Beppe – SPOTLIGHT, 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.”

Feb 012018
 

Class Reunions Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – New Jersey
Kensington (January 30, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496713032
E-Book ASIN: B072HS2JGM

 

 

For fortysomething Poppy McAllister, taking a stroll down memory lane in Cape May, New Jersey, isn’t just awkward—it’s deadly.

Newly widowed and stuck in a middle-aged funk, Poppy has been running on cookies, infomercials, and one-sided chats with her cat for months. There’s no way on earth she’s attending her twenty-five-year class reunion—especially after receiving a very bizarre letter from Barbie, the popular cheerleader who taunted her all through high school. At least, not until Poppy’s best friend practically drags her to the event . . .

Using the dreaded homecoming as an excuse to visit her eccentric Aunt Ginny, Poppy vows to leave Cape May with pride and Spanx intact. Too bad Barbie is still the queen of mean at the reunion. And worse, that her dead body is lying right in front of Poppy’s old locker. Singled out as the killer, it’s up to Poppy to confront her past and clear her name. But between protecting her aunt from disaster and tackling a gluten-free diet, can Poppy crack the case before she’s voted “Most Likely to Die” by the murderer?

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a fresh, fun, and very entertaining read!

Poppy McAllister has been dealing with the grief of her husband’s death. She hardly leaves her house and is in no hurry do so. She and her cat are just fine. Then she receives an invite to her class reunion including a letter from Barbie, one of the popular crowd of which Poppy was never ever part of. She has no desire to attend but her best friend begs her to come.

“Friday afternoon dawned bright and early and my alarm clock let out a loud meow, letting me know I had overslept and his belly was a quart low.”

Poppy really does need to visit her Aunt Ginny so she packs herself and her cat Figaro “Fig” in the car and heads to Cape May. What could go wrong? She arrives at the reunion and Barbie is in rare form, insulting almost everyone she sees. When Poppy finds her dead body and right in front of her old locker she is found guilty by her peers even before the investigation even begins. She can’t leave town, plus she has to help her aunt out of a huge mess, so she might as well work to find the real killer.

I loved this book! Poppy is a great protagonist. I identified with her on so many levels. Her Aunt Ginny is a spitfire too, so I know where Poppy gets it. Both women are dealing with personal crisis’ in addition to trying to catch a killer. I have also fallen hard for Fig. They all cracked me up several times.

The plot really has two mysteries, Barbie’s murder and Aunt Ginny’s fight to remain in her home. They flow nicely side by side and together. The murder has so many suspects, almost anyone at the reunion could have put the cheerleader out of their misery. 🙂  Ginny’s problem is puzzling because someone has decided she is unable to care for herself and Poppy, a murder suspect, is not viewed as a good guardian. Both mysteries are complex, I had a hint as to what was happening to Ginny because something similar happened to someone I know. Barbie’s murder was a doozy to solve and I was completely surprised when the killer was revealed.

I also enjoyed the fact that a high school boyfriend was still sweet on Poppy and a handsome barista was interested in her too. I am looking forward to seeing which of these romances Poppy pursues in the future.

Everything about this book appealed to me. I love it when stories make me laugh out loud and the characters seem like people I would want to be friends with. Ms. Klein has written a superb story and scores my first Paradise Rating, (deserves more than 5 stars) of 2018.

Midnight Snacks Are Murder comes out July 31 and I already have it scheduled on my reading calendar!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Libby Klein dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets, and taking out the trash. She writes culinary cozy mysteries from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard.
Author Links

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

January 30 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
January 31 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
January 31 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
February 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 2 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 2 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
February 3 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
February 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 5 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
February 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – Maureen’s Musing – SPOTLIGHT
February 7 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 8 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
February 9 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
February 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW  
February 11 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
February 12 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
February 12 – Socrates 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.”

Nov 292017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to have Vicki Delany stop by for a visit today! 

The Fun of Creating a Whole New Town

By Vicki Delany
(Post provided by Publicist)

What power we writers have. We can create whole towns, populate them with only the people we want, we can play with their minds, and think: What’s the worst thing that could happen to this person at this time.

And then do it!

Case in point: my Year Round Christmas Series from Berkley. When I was tossing around the idea of a Christmas-theme-shop book, the first thing I had to consider was if it would be a shop in a nice, typical town. Or in a town totally dedicated to Christmas.

It didn’t take long to decide on the latter, and Rudolph, New York was born. In Rudolph, they love Christmas so much they celebrate it all year round.

Now, I had my town, so I had to fill it with something.  Mrs. Claus’s Treasures sells everything you need for decorating your home, as well as toys and jewelry, and many of the goods are locally made.  Victoria’s Bake Shoppe is famous for its gingerbread.  There’s Candy Cane Sweets, the North Pole Ice Cream Parlour, The Elves Lunchbox, Cranberries Coffee Bar, Touch of Holly Restaurant, The Yuletide Inn, the Carolers Motel. The possibilities are endless.  (Looking at this list it seems as though the residents and visitors to Rudolph like to eat a lot.)

Then we need people.  Merry Wilkinson is the owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures.  Merry’s father, Noel, is the town’s, Santa Claus. Merry knows her dad isn’t really Santa, but sometimes she does wonder how he knows what people want before they so much as say so.  Merry’s best friend, Vicky, owns the bakery.

The fondest wish of the residents of Rudolph is to be known officially as America’s Christmas Town. But they have tough competition from the likes of Snowflake, Arizona or North Pole, Alaska.  In the first book of the series, Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen, they’re delighted when a reporter from an international travel magazine arrives to do a feature he is going to title “America’s Christmas Town”.

Delight changes to something else when the reporter dies from eating a poisoned gingerbread cookie baked at Victoria’s Bake Shoppe. And rivals from a nearby town begin to whisper the worst: Christmas Town or Horrorville?

Can Merry Wilkinson and the residents of Rudolph solve the murder and save the reputation of their town as the place to find that real Christmas magic?

In the third book, Hark the Herald Angels Slay, it’s July and time for Santa’s annual vacation at the lake, and the town organizes a boat parade to greet him. But Merry Wilkinson, playing Mrs. Claus, has forgotten the basket of candy canes at the shop and hurries back to get them. Where she finds that someone has used a Christmas tree decoration with evil intent.

I’ve had great fun creating Rudolph and it’s inhabitants, and I hope you enjoy reading about their adventures.

~Vicki

Thank you so much for being my guest today, Vicki! 

 

 


Hark the Herald Angels Slay (A Year-Round Christmas Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – New York
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (November 28, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280829
Kindle ASIN: B06XFFNS2M

 

The town of Rudolph, New York, has the Christmas spirit all year long—but when homicide heats up a summer holiday, it’s up to shop owner Merry Wilkinson to wrap up the case.

In Rudolph, Christmas in July heralds Santa’s arrival by boat to begin his summer vacation at the lake, and Merry Wilkinson, the owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, is looking forward to a busy weekend. But she’s caught off guard when her ex-fiancé, Max Folger, unexpectedly arrives with a team from a lifestyle magazine wanting to do a feature on the July festivities.

It’s clear that Max’s visit has less to do with business and more to do with winning back Merry’s heart. Merry has too much on her plate to deal with an old flame, but when Max is found strangled to death in Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, she must find out who wanted him dead—and stop a killer from ruining the summer holiday cheer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love this series sooooo much!

This time Santa is on his summer holiday at the beach in Rudolph. It’s Christmas in July and the town celebrates it up big. A magazine has even sent a crew to cover the event, the publication Merry used to work for, meaning her ex Max Folger is in Rudolph. She quickly sees he is there to try to win her back and using the promotion of the celebration to do it. When his current fiancé arrives in Rudolph she is not happy. Her mind should be on finalizing their wedding plans not him on a date with Merry.

Merry has too much on her plate to worry about the sparing couple. Santa is due to arrive by boat soon and she is his Mrs.Claus. She never expected the scene she found back at Mrs. Claus’s Treasures after the parade. Max dead and her assistant missing. The last thing Rudolph needs is another murder! Could Jackie have killed Max and gone into hiding? Things will not be merry until the killer is caught.

Rudolph is full of Christmas spirit in December, in July, and all the other months of the year too. It is also the perfect setting for this cozy mystery series. The author takes us on a real journey around town with her words. There may not be any snow this time but the town is decked out in all it’s holiday trimmings. Just stepping into Mrs. Claus’s Treasures is so much fun. I enjoy the way Merry’s dad, Noel, rearranges the stock every time he comes into the store. I had a vivid picture in my mind as he moves the table settings from a focal point in the store to showcase more Christmas ornaments instead. Merry tries to get him to leave things alone but lets him do whatever he wants. He is Santa after all.

As you can see the setting feeds right in me telling you about these extraordinary characters. The relationship Merry has with her father is absolutely joyous, and they both know how to handle her mother. Jackie is unique in that she is so good with the customers but she has what I would call a strained relationship with her boss, Merry. Woodworker Alan Anderson is back too, working as Santa’s elf and trying to find time to actually go on a real date with Merry. All the characters we meet in Rudolph are entertaining but some are not entirely likable. The crew from the magazine brings all the drama to the story. It starts and ends with them.

I think the mystery in this story was the best one in this series. A murder and a missing person and a bunch of out of towners that had their own agendas. It was complex and Merry seemed to be drawn right into it no matter how hard she tried to leave it to the police. The pace of the story had a slow build that leads to a surprising conclusion that did make sense but the actual killer was never on my radar.

This is a fabulous series, book 1, Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen, was a perfect escape, and book 2, We Wish You a Murderous Christmas, made my Best Reads List in 2016, This one will find a place on my Best Rests of 2017. For maximum enjoyment, I suggest to start at the beginning, but if you are feeling ready for some warmer temps this Christmas season, escape to Christmas in July in Rudolph. It will warm you right up!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers. Most recently, she is the author of the Year Round Christmas cozy mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime and (writing under the pen name of Eva Gates) the Lighthouse Library mysteries also from Berkley and the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries for Crooked Lane Books. Find out more about Vicki Delany on her webpage here.

 

From Crooked Lane Books
Written as Eva Gates

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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.”

Nov 152017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to have Wendy Tyson here to visit today!
Her latest book Seeds of Revenge was released yesterday!

Escape with Dollycas

By Wendy Tyson

 

One of my earliest memories as a child involved a trip to the Pennsylvania countryside. I was about three or four years old, and my parents took me and my brother to visit friends in the mountains. We drove to their farmhouse in the evening, and when we arrived it was late. I remember a collage of sensations: cold air against my skin, an endless sky, a cozy bedroom, the soft fur of their cat, and a warm bed with a thick quilt and coverlet. I can’t tell you much else about that visit beyond how it made me feel, but for some reason the experience stayed with me.

It was only recently that I realized I’d recreated some of that feeling in our new home, a chalet in Vermont’s Green Mountains. The house is tiny by today’s standards, but cozy, and the living room looks out on a deck and the mountains beyond. We keep the house cool, but I’ve dressed the beds with heavy quilts—the weight of the blankets is somehow a comfort. At night when I walk the dogs, my senses are assaulted by the scents and sounds of the surrounding woods.

In the spring, the peeper frogs chirp in an amphibian chorus, and coyotes, owls, turkeys, and bullfrogs are often heard in the summer and fall through our open windows. Winter is dead quiet, except for the wind and occasional freezing rain/sleet pelting the metal roof—but the view of the snow carpeting the countryside? Breathtaking. The biggest delight of all may be the night sky. We’re treated to a blanket of stars on clear nights, and sometimes my family and I will spend hours outside, identifying constellations and enjoying the peace.

The house is a favorite place to write. When it’s cold outside (or buggy), I pull the table in front of the window and write on my laptop, but in the summer (once the black flies are gone), I write outside, either on the deck or at a table under a tree in the woods. I prefer a view when I write. Maybe it’s the series I’m working on, but the connection to nature helps me think.

In some way I’ve created a similar retreat with my Greenhouse mysteries—Washington Acres Farm. Megan and her grandmother Bibi—along with two dogs, two goats, a barn cat, and a brood of chickens—live in the Pennsylvania countryside, in an old farmhouse, surrounded by woods. The kitchen is an amalgamation of the kitchens I grew up in, especially those of my grandmothers. It’s not modern or flashy. The cabinets are old, built by Megan’s grandfather in his workshop. There’s no island or high-end appliances. Instead, a beat-up farm table functions as workspace and an eating area. The gas stove is old but reliable, and the double farmhouse sink is often filled with fresh vegetables from the farm waiting to be simmered or stewed or steamed.

The Washington Acres farm kitchen is a place to congregate and talk. Tough discussions are had there. And often it’s the place the pieces of a mystery come together.

Megan, a military widow and former Chicago environmental lawyer, returns to the fictional town of Winsome and her grandmother’s farm when in her early thirties, at the behest of her father, who needed Megan to stay with her grandmother. But as with many homecomings, Megan’s return to Winsome is as much a salve to her own emotional wounds as it is a help to Bibi. Megan finds healing in that kitchen, in the drafty bedrooms, within the walls of the old barn, and along the forest trails.

My mother and I discussed my early childhood memory recently. She was surprised the trip made such an impression. We only stayed at the farmhouse for one night, and by the time we arrived it was late, so she and my father put my baby brother and me to bed. It was cold outside, she said, and the house was drafty and large. She didn’t recall a cat. I slept in a room with a handmade quilt, and the next morning we had pancakes in the big working kitchen.

“You may be transferring some of your experiences from your grandmothers’ houses onto that trip,” my mom suggested. “You always like to spend time with your grandparents.”

Maybe she’s right. Maybe it was the elusive nature of such an early memory that had an indelible effect on me. Or maybe it was reinforced by the trips I would take later in life. Regardless of the why, now that I’m older and have lost so many people who were dear to me, I’m grateful I could recreate that sense of cozy in my Vermont home, and equally grateful to spend time in Washington Acres with Megan and Bibi.

I hope readers enjoy it there, too.

~Wendy

Thanks for visiting Wendy, I love this post! 

Now let me tell you what I think of her new book. It is a Fantastic Escape!


Seeds of Revenge (A Greenhouse Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Henery Press (November 14, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635112757
Kindle ASIN: B07519T827

 

 

 

It’s time to cuddle up with a holiday whodunit. Smell the crisp pines and baking cranberries as you sip your hot apple cider. It may be the season, but the mood in Winsome is anything but jolly.

Megan Sawyer is determined to farm year-round. So much so that she braves a December snowstorm to pitch her fresh greenhouse greens to Philadelphia chefs.

And then she sees a stranger stranded on the side of the road.

But this woman is no stranger to Winsome. It’s Becca Fox. A love chemist (you read that right). She’s headed to her aunt’s house to sell her love potions at holiday events.

Or so Becca thinks.

Her sneaky aunt only invited Becca home to reunite her with her estranged father. It sounds noble and kind-hearted, until the man ends up dead.

Megan soon finds herself in the middle. She realizes Becca’s not the only one getting iced over. Megan’s own aunt, the famous mystery author, is dragged into the drama. Her novels implicate her and she’s in trouble.

Now it’s personal. Our Megan must follow a cryptic trail of literary clues, all while sifting through the victim’s sordid past. She gets closer to the truth as the murderer gets closer to her.

How’s that for a ho ho ho? Don’t let your fresh apple crisp burn in the oven because you’re lost in this holiday homicide.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The “seeds of revenge” are planted deep within this mystery. Megan Sawyer, being the good person she is rescues a stranded motorist in the middle of a blizzard. She delivers Becca Fox right to her aunt’s door. Becca plans to sell her “love potions” at her aunt’s nursery over the holidays. Things are frosty upon her arrival as she meets her father, the man she holds responsible for her mother’s death, on her aunt’s front porch. Becca is upset about the collusion between the two. Megan finds herself in icy straights when the man is found dead. Not only is Becca a suspect but in a remarkable twist so is her own aunt, the famous mystery author. Megan has no choice but the dig in to the investigation putting herself on the killer’s hit list. It doesn’t matter if she has been naughty or nice, this could be her last Christmas in Winsome.

I have heard of love potions including the famous Love Potion #9, but I had never heard of a Love Chemist. Becca Fox has an interesting little business but she has hasn’t had it easy since her mother died. She believes her father killed her mother and she has not had anything to do with him since. She has a brother but he does not hold the same beliefs about their father. Megan is drawn to her and so was I. Becca is a complicated character and Ms. Tyson has really brought her to life in this story.

Bibi, Megan’s grandmother, reminds me so much of my own grandmother and mother. A hard working woman determined to get to the truth no matter what. She is also one to not hold her tongue. She will tell you her opinions and thoughts on virtually any subject as woman of that generation tends to do. She warms my heart.

I also love Scottish vet, Daniel “Denver” Finn and the direction of his relationship with Megan. It is fun to see this relationship grow.

The pacing of this book is different. I felt the story was unfolding at a comfortable pace, the clues were being uncovered and I was right there with Megan the entire way, engaged and captivated. The ending was a total surprise. Then I looked up and realized I had read the entire book in one sitting and faster than I had read a book in a very long time. Truly is was a fast pace story but not once did anything feel rushed or glossed over. The author delivered a truly fantastic read.  I never once looked for a stopping place or even thought about putting the book down.

The characters are well defined and the mystery was exceptional. A cozy mystery with a bit of an edge and I loved it!! It was a trip to Paradise, a chilly escape in the winter but Paradise nonetheless.

You will want to start this series from the beginning and get to know the characters from the start. I am anxiously awaiting and excited for my next trip to Winsome.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

wendy

About The Author

Wendy Tyson is an author, lawyer and former therapist whose background has inspired her mysteries and thrillers. Wendy’s latest novel, DYING BRAND, the third Allison Campbell mystery, was released in May 2015. The first Campbell novel, KILLER IMAGE, was named a best mystery for book clubs in 2014 by Examiner.com. Wendy is also the author of The Greenhouse Mystery Series, the first, A MUDDIED MURDER, was released last year, Bitter Harvest was released today. Wendy and her husband are passionate organic gardeners. They live with their three boys and three dogs on a micro-farm just outside of Philadelphia.

 

Author Links

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Twitter: @WendyTyson    Pinterest: Greenhouse Mystery Series


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Oct 122017
 


Mining for Justice (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Midnight Ink (October 8, 2017)
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738753348
E-Book ASIN: B01N7UGNZB

Chloe Ellefson is excited to be learning about Wisconsin’s Cornish immigrants and mining history while on temporary assignment at Pendarvis, a historic site in charming Mineral Point. But when her boyfriend, police officer Roelke McKenna, discovers long-buried human remains in the root cellar of an old Cornish cottage, Chloe reluctantly agrees to mine the historical record for answers.

She soon finds herself in the center of a heated and deadly controversy that threatens to close Pendarvis. While struggling to help the historic site, Chloe must unearth dark secrets, past and present . . . before a killer comes to bury her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This time Chloe Ellefson takes us along on a trip to Mineral Point as she goes there to help out for a week. Roelke drives her there and plans to spend the weekend helping a friend update a family home. Chloe is hoping for a quiet week away from the drama brought on by her boss at Old World Wisconsin but when Roelke uncovers human bones in the root cellar Chloe knows her week in going to be far from quiet. She agrees to do some research to try to determine who the remains belong to and who buried them. This is all before she sets foot in Pendarvis, the historic location of her temporary assignment. A recent newspaper article has the employees there up in arms and Chloe finds herself the person to blame for a state funding problem. She also find another body.

I have lived in Wisconsin my whole life but I always learn something new when reading a Kathleen Ernst mystery. Pendarvis is one of 12 historic sites owned and operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society. “Tucked away in historic Mineral Point, Pendarvis celebrates the restoration and preservation efforts of Robert Neal and Edgar Hellum, who saved a significant part of Wisconsin’s past.”* Sadly, I have never visited there, but using the author’s descriptions I feel like I have. With all the main buildings, land and nearby cottages it makes a wonderful setting for a murder mystery or two. Roelke back in Eagle has a mystery to solve as well.

The  brilliance of this book is the way the author blends history with life in Wisconsin in the 1980’s. We get the story of a Cornish family coming to America and then to Wisconsin in search of a life provided by the mines. Pendarvis recreates and celebrates this time in history but has problems of the current day which for this series is the 1980’s.

Both time periods have very strong females. The woman in the story that immigrated in the 19th century had  to be strong to live among the men working the mines, she even worked at the mines herself before she came to America. She was a trailblazer is protecting children at a time when most were forced to work in the mines. Chloe is the strong woman of current time. She searches for the truth and doesn’t give up even when she is putting herself in danger. She has a resilience that I truly admire.

Many issues are faced within the story, an abusive husband, drug dealers, financial worries, and of course, murder. It is also a story with a nice romance. Chloe and Roelke relationship has grown at a very comfortable place over this series. Set before cell phones, I really enjoy their nightly calls to check-in with each other when they are apart. The way they work together is heartwarming.

Kathleen Ernst is a real treasure. She researches these stories intensely and creates fictional drama based on facts that keep the reader fascinated from the first page to the last. She is an excellent storyteller whose words come alive. Her love of Wisconsin history shines brightly in this and all of her books in this series.  The characters are believable with great dialogues.  The setting always plays a key part and she always leaves me wanting to visit the location as soon as possible.

Each of the books in this series can be read all on their own, but to enjoy the character development you really should read them all. Mining for Justice has become my favorite book in this series and will be included in my Bests Reads of 2017.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*Quote from the Pendarvis website.



About The Author

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and author. Her Chloe Ellefson mysteries reflect the decade she spent as a curator at a large outdoor museum, and feature historic sites in the Upper Midwest.  Library Journal says, “Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series.” Kathleen has also written many mysteries for young readers.  Honors for her work include a LOVEY Award and Agatha and Edgar nominations.  Kathleen lives and writes in Wisconsin.

Webpage Facebook – Blog 

Purchase Links
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Praise For Mining for Justice (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
by Kathleen Ernst

Have no fear as this author weaves a masterful tale. She never drops the ball. Being in Wisconsin I am naturally drawn to the series but anyone who appreciates history and a well written mystery will not want to miss Kathleen’s books.
~Laura’s Interests

This is one of my favorite cozy mystery series. I love that the author mixes history in her mysteries and that you can learn while reading a fun book.
~A. Holland Reads

Wow, this book grabbed my historian heart and held my sleuthing mind to the last page.
~Bibliophile Reviews

Mining for Justice is an outstanding story in an equally outstanding series, one that has quickly become a favorite of mine.
~The Power of Words

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Check out all the stops 🙂

October 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 5 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
October 6 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
October 6 – Girl with Book Lungs – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 7 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
October 8 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
October 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
October 10 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
October 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
October 11 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
October 12 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
October 13 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
October 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
October 15 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
October 16 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
October 16 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
October 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 18 – Celticlady’s 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.”

Sep 152017
 


Hair Brained (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Setting – Florida
Orange Grove Press (September 12, 2017)
Paperback: 278 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997003888

E-Book ASIN: B072XVHPPH

 

 

Was the car crash an accident or a deliberate attempt to run Marla’s friends off the road?

When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend is hurt in a suspicious car accident, Marla assumes guardianship of her infant son. No sooner does Marla say, “Baby want a bottle?” than she’s embroiled in another murder investigation. Her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, determines the crash may not have been an accident after all. But then, who would want Tally–or Ken in the car with her–out of the way? As Marla digs deeper into her friends’ lives, she realizes she didn’t know them as well as she’d thought. Nonetheless, it’s her duty as their son’s guardian to ensure his safety, even if it means putting her own life at risk. Can she protect the baby and find the culprit before someone else ends up as roadkill?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Talk about a whirlwind of emotions, I had to get a box of Kleenex for this amazing cozy story. I read this story while Hurricane Irma was hitting Florida too. I am keeping everyone affected  by the storms in my prayers.

The story begins with Dalton and Marla learning that their friends Tally and Ken are missing when they receive a call from the babysitter. They quickly go to pick up the baby and Dalton reports the parents as missing. Then Marla receives a call from the hospital. Ken and Tally were in a car accident. Marla takes over care off their young son, Luke, and Dalton determines the crash may have been intentional. Marla starts to help Dalton with the investigation and finds she may not have know her BFF as well as she thought. But Tally legally designated Marla as the baby’s guardian if anything should happen to her so while not wanting a child of her own she will do anything to keep that little boy safe until his mom comes home.

Back in 2001 I was in an automobile accident so similar to the one in this story, but I was by myself. Like Tally my injuries keep me in the hospital, unconscious or sedated for a long time. It was so easy to visualize Tally in that hospital bed with Marla reading and talking to her. Letting her know her son was o.k. It mirrors exactly what happened to me. Tally has been a key character in this series and her being hurt in a situation like mine really rocked my emotions.

The way Marla took on not only the care of Tally’s child but trying to handle both Ken and Tally’s businesses as well as her own, and helped with the investigation also tugged at my heart.  Her entire family stepped to help and it gave a little picture of what life would be like if she did decide to have a child of her own.

All of this would have made great women’s fiction but it’s a mystery and the author has plotted out a great one. There are suspects galore and motive for days. It is all about clipping all the clues together while trying not to tip the wrong person off. Cohen has written a very complex mystery that could have ended up several ways. I had a lot of fun following along trying to solve it myself but another murder late in the story really turned the whole thing on its ear for me.  There were so many unexpected twists and the final one was excellent.

This is the 14th book in this series. It is the absolute best one so far, and they are all pretty darn good. It is fresh, believable and timely. I enjoyed going beyond the hair salon and seeing Marl’s evolution over the story. Nancy J. Cohen has brought together family and friendship and paired it with murder, insurance fraud, and false identities.  I stayed up late, well early into the morning, to finish this one. This book is a must read for cozy lovers whether you are already a fan of this series or not. The book can stand on its own, you can catch up on previous titles later 🙂

I have read so many top notch books the past couple of weeks and Hair Brained will be joining them on my Best Reads list for 2017! I am beyond excited for the next installment in this series!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About The Author

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

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Sep 142017
 

Protocol (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
Medical Thriller/Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Midwest U.S.
Henery Press (September 5, 2017)
Paperback: 276 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635112399
E-Book ASIN: B072JZK43D

 

 

Freshly minted college graduate Maggie O’Malley embarks on a career fueled by professional ambition and a desire to escape the past. As a pharmaceutical researcher, she’s determined to save lives from the shelter of her lab. But on her very first day she’s pulled into a world of uncertainty. Reminders appear on her phone for meetings she’s never scheduled with people she’s never met. People who end up dead.

With help from her best friend, Maggie discovers the victims on her phone are connected to each other and her new employer. She soon unearths a treacherous plot that threatens her mission—and her life. Maggie must unlock deadly secrets to stop horrific abuses of power before death comes calling for her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is one of those stories that sucks you right in and holds on tight.

Maggie O’Malley has landed a dream job as a pharmaceutical researcher. She wants to save lives and work on a team that could cure cancer or any of the other diseases the world faces. Her first day starts off well until she receives an alert on her cell phone about a meeting she didn’t set up with a person she doesn’t know. She later learns the person was killed at the time she was supposed to meet them. The alerts keep coming and people keep dying. The friend who gave her the phone tries to help her find out why she is receiving the messages but what they find puts them both in danger.

As if Big Pharma isn’t scary enough this book turns it inside out. Full of twists and turns our protagonist, Maggie O’Malley, has no idea who she can trust. Excited about her job and the fine salary she is thrilled to be able to subsidize her father’s business keeping him from filing bankruptcy. When the messages keep coming and her job starts to fall apart her close friend, Constantine tries to help. Neither one knew the enormity of the situation.  We also see that Gus (Constantine) has feelings for Maggie that are more than just friendship. If they live to the end of this maybe he will share those feelings.

The plot is full of drama and suspense. As the book continues we see the PROTOCOL appears to be murder but how is it connected to Maggie and her job at Rxcellance. The pages keep flying at an extreme pace to an ending that totally caught me by off-guard, surprised, and chilled to the bone.

I read this book all in one sitting. It was absolutely impossible to put down. It will be a long time before I will look at a cell phone alert and not think of this about this story.

Kathleen Valenti has written an excellent suspense novel combining greed and medicine and the lengths people will go to for that almighty dollar.  I am shocked this is her debut effort in the mystery realm. She hit it out of the park!

Just one question Ms. Valenti, where in the Midwest is Rxcellance? Hopefully not in my home state of Wisconsin……

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent


About the Author

When Kathleen Valenti isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. Protocol is her debut novel and the first of the Maggie O’Malley mystery series. Kathleen lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running.

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Praise for Protocol (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
by Kathleen Valenti

The plot was intriguing and twisty turny …You’ll be on the edge of your seat while your wondering who is behind all the mayhem.
~My Reading Journeys

Protocol by Kathleen Valenti will keep your pulse racing and keep you on the edge of your seat.
~Reading is my SuperPower

Protocol by Kathleen Valenti is definitely not a cozy, but a gripping medical thriller and suspense/thriller. Protocol is a fast-moving page-turner, with a complex, intriguing, and exciting plot.
~Jane Reads

 

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