Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money (The Poppy Fields Adventures) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense
6th in Series
Setting – Cayman Islands
Publisher: Independently published (September 24, 2020)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8690016531
Kindle ASIN: B0867JSW64

Poppy Fields, social influencer and secret spy, is on Grand Cayman. Her mission? Maid of honor at her mother’s wedding to Russian billionaire Yurgi Prokorhov. No surprise, Chariss Carlton is a difficult and demanding bride.

 

When Poppy witnesses a murder, her days change from irritating to dangerous. She and her partner Thor (real name Mark Stone—but a dead-ringer for a Norse god) are tasked with catching a killer and shuttering a billion dollar money laundering scheme.

 

Between bombs, bridal showers, high-speed car chases, a missing wedding planner, and a femme fatale with her eye on Thor, it will be a miracle if Poppy makes it to the church on time.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bombs, bullets, a famous bridezilla, and more! Can Poppy handle it all?

Set on Grand Cayman, Poppy, and Thor, I mean Mark, have arrived for her mom’s wedding and all the pre-wedding festivities. But it isn’t long before Poppy finds herself in hot water. Soon Mr. Brown is involved and in addition to all her bridal duties, she and Mark are on a case chasing down a huge money-laundering scheme and trying to catch a murderer. Oh, and the wedding planner has been abducted. You know, just a normal week in the life of Poppy Fields.


I have loved this entire series but Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money has to be my favorite.

Chariss and Yurgi are getting married and guests are arriving from Hollywood and Russia to celebrate the big event. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones arriving on Grand Cayman Island.  Drug dealers, money launderers, and a murderer have joined the party.

The author has continued the fantastic character development of the core characters while introducing great characters readers love to hate.  Poppy is getting more confident and the powers that be, start to notice. Her relationship with her Thor is heating up. I just hope they get some real alone time together soon. Yurgi was my favorite character this time. An incredibly wealthy, strong, patient man, that truly loves Chariss and all her drama while becoming a true friend to Poppy. He covers for her with her mother and spares no expense to keep her safe.

Again, the story is action-packed and impossible to put down. It is a roller coaster ride from start to finish.

Set in the idyllic Cayman Islands, this story made for a wonderful virtual vacation as the weather here gets brisk and windy. I curled up with a blanket and took off on another entertaining adventure with Poppy and her family, friends, and enemies.

Julie Mulhern is a terrific storyteller. Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money and this whole series are must-reads for me. Each book can be read on its own but I recommend you read the series from the start in order for maximum enjoyment.

Look for this book on my Best Reads of 2020. It receives my Paradise Rating, just like every other book in this series. You truly can’t go wrong with a book by this author.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

Read my reviews of  Fields’ Guide to Assassins
here,  
Fields’ Guide to Voodoo here,
Fields’ Guide to Fog hereFields’ Guide to Abduction here,
and Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs here.

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 

Book 1 – Fields’ Guide to Abduction – Is available for FREE!!!

Also by Julie Mulhern


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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs (The Poppy Fields Adventures) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense
5th in Series
Setting – Egypt
Publisher: J & M Press (March 31, 2020)
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8632308649
Kindle ASIN: B082Z9FLFX

Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl and super-secret spy, travels to Egypt looking for answers.

 

But amidst assassination attempts, money launderers, and missing treasure, answers are hard to come by.

 

Poppy must trust new allies, forgive old wrongs, and find a forgotten pharaoh or the next tomb she enters may be her own.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Usually, trouble finds Poppy Fields but this time she goes looking for trouble. To get the answers she needs she flies off to Egypt by herself. Mark aka Thor can’t go with her but he hooks her up with Ethan Alexander from the C.I.A. Poppy isn’t sure if she can trust him but when bullets start to she realizes she doesn’t have a choice.


This story is a little different because all the normal supporting characters, Mark, Mia, Chariss, Yurgi, and even Consuela are not around to assist Poppy through all her trials and tribulations. Okay, some do show up in the nick of time near the end of the book, but Poppy really had to hold her own before that with just a couple of surprising assists.

She was there on her own private personal mission but she runs into someone that her boss, Mr. Brown is very interested in. He puts her on the case of surveilling his target until he can send another agent to help.  This adds a nice twist but also puts a huge target on her back. The action is truly non-stop with the perfect amount of Julie Mulhern’s signature humor.

I really enjoyed the way the author describes everywhere Poppy travels, from the hotels, the ship on the Nile, the desert, the temples, the tombs, the marketplace, and everywhere in between. Of course, Poppy wasn’t on your typical vacay but it was an incredibly fun virtual trip to the home of the Pharaohs.

Like every other book in this series, the book was just impossible to put down. I would have read the entire thing in one evening but my breast cancer therapy had my eyes slamming sooner than I would have liked.

I absolutely loved this Poppy Fields adventure. Julie Mulhern never disappoints. Like the 4 previous books, Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs receives my Paradise rating. To get know Poppy and all the other characters I recommend reading them all in order and enjoy all their adventures! You can thank me later 😀

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

I am reading Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money right now.
Watch for my review next week!

Read my reviews of  Fields’ Guide to Assassins
here, 
Fields’ Guide to Voodoo here,
Fields’ Guide to Fog here. Field’s Guide to Abduction here

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 

Also by Julie Mulhern



*This book is in my private collection, purchased from Amazon.
Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cake Popped Off (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series) by Kim Davis #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @Kookiesandbooks


Cake Popped Off (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series)
by Kim Davis

About Cake Popped Off


Cake Popped Off (Cupcake Catering Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Cinnamon & Sugar Press (September 22, 2020)
Print Length: 295 pages
Digital ASIN: B08DZ7Z96H

Cupcake caterer Emory Martinez is hosting a Halloween bash alongside her octogenarian employer, Tillie. With guests dressed in elaborate costumes, the band is rocking, the cocktails are flowing, and tempers are flaring when the hired Bavarian Barmaid tries to hook a rich, hapless husband. Except one of her targets happens to be Emory’s brother-in-law, which bodes ill for his pregnant wife. When Emory tracks down the distraught barmaid, instead of finding the young woman in tears, she finds her dead. Can she explain to the new detective on the scene why the Bavarian Barmaid was murdered in Emory’s bathtub with Emory’s Poison Apple Cake Pops stuffed into her mouth?

 

With an angry pregnant sister to contend with, she promises to clear her brother-in-law’s name. As Emory starts asking questions and tracking down the identity of the costumed guests, she finds reasons to suspect her brother-in-law has been hiding a guilty secret. Her search leads her to a web of blackmail and betrayal amongst the posh setting of the local country club crowd. Can Emory sift through the lies she’s being told and find the killer? She’ll need to step up her investigation before another victim is sent to the great pumpkin patch in the sky.

 

Includes spooky Halloween recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a fabulous story!

Emory Martinez and her loveable Goldendoodle Piper are settling in with Tillie and they are throwing a Halloween party with Emory providing cupcakes and cake pops while her sister Carrie caters all the rest of the food. The party is rocking until a server dressed as a Bavarian Barmaid starts hitting on many of the wealthy men in attendance. She even sets her sights on Emory’s brother-in-law, Thomas. Confused, Emory thought the bartender and the barmaid were an item. Emory decides to cool tempers she needs to talk to the woman but when she tracks her down she is dead in Emory’s own bathtub. Worse she has a Poison Apple Cake Pops, made by Emory, stuffed in her mouth.

The victim and her little tete-a-tete with Thomas was witnessed by many so he has landed at the top of the suspect list. Carrie begs Emory to investigate and some secrets are revealed. More suspects come to light but Thomas is not immediately cleared. Hang on tight, the twists are epic!


I absolutely love Tillie, in her 80’s and still going strong, even though her family doesn’t think so. They think she is suffering from dementia and belongs in a senior home, leaving them to manage her fortune and inherit it when she dies. Enter Emory to keep an eye on her. Emory quickly learns Tillie is fine and dandy, with more energy and ideas than a woman half her age.

Then Tillie’s son surprises everyone by introducing his new wife. His fourth! after losing his last wife in a tragic accident. The new wife proceeds to change the entire family dynamic by taking charge of everything she can. Thankfully Emory and Tillie have built a bond that can’t be broken, and shockingly the new wife’s days are numbered.

We also meet Detective Gabe O’Neill. Gabe just happens to be Emory’s BFF Brad’s significant other but she doubts that is going to help clear Thomas’s name.   All the characters Ms. Davis has created are strong. Some are very engaging, others bring the drama.

The plot of this mystery is complex and twisted. Emory and Tillie make a great sleuthing team, especially with all of Tillie’s social circle. The subplots blend seamlessly and believe me these are not just daily life interludes, they have some intense moments too. I really enjoyed following along but let me tell you when the killer was revealed the word surprised doesn’t cover it! Blown away! Astonished! Thunderstruck! And this is not the first time Kim Davis has done this to me!  Dang!  she is an incredible storyteller!!

In addition to a marvelous mystery, the story is filled with cupcakes. Emory is always baking and testing new flavor combinations. Some savory dishes are included too. My mouth was watering from the descriptions and I will be copying all the recipes at the back of the book.

Long story short, I am shouting from the rooftops! This Is A Must-Read Mystery! Fun, entertaining, and oh-so-wonderful. If you haven’t read Sprinkles of Suspicion start with that one, because series are always better from the beginning, but it is also a great whodunit. Cake Popped Off will be on my Best Reads of 2020. I am excited to see what the author has in store for her characters next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Kim Davis

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband. When she’s not spending time with her granddaughters she can be found either writing stories or working on her blog, Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder, or in the kitchen baking up yummy treats.  She has published the suspense novel, A GAME OF DECEIT, and cozy mystery, SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION. She also has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Author Links – Website  – Facebook Twitter: – Goodreads  – Pinterest

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Also by this Author

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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 New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Key Lime Crime: A Key West Food Critic Mystery by Lucy Burdette #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour – Paradise Rating

The Key Lime Crime: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
by Lucy Burdette

About The Key Lime Crime


The Key Lime Crime: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Florida
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 11, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1643853082
ISBN-13: 978-1643853086
ASIN: B07Z2TR2Z2

National bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s tenth Key West Food Critic mystery is piping hot with pie-enthusiasts and murder suspects.

 

When a fierce rivalry between key lime pie bakers leads to a pastry chef’s murder, food critic Hayley Snow is fit to be pied.

 

During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, the year-round population of Key West, Florida, faces a tsunami of tourists and snowbirds. It doesn’t help that outrageously wealthy key lime pie aficionado David Sloan has persuaded the city to host his pie-baking contest. Every pie purveyor on the island is out to win the coveted Key Lime Key to the City and Key Zest food critic Hayley Snow is on the scene to report it.

 

Meanwhile, Hayley’s home life is turning more tart than sweet. Hayley’s new hubby, police detective Nathan Bransford, announces that her intimidating mother-in-law is bearing down on the island for a surprise visit. Hayley offers to escort Nathan’s crusty mom on the iconic Conch Train Tour of the island’s holiday lights, but it becomes a recipe for disaster when they find a corpse among the glittering palm trees and fantastic flamingos. The victim–Au Citron Vert’s controversial new pastry chef–was a frontrunner in Sloan’s contest.

 

It’s bad enough that Hayley’s too-curious mother-in-law is cooking up trouble. Now, the murderer is out to take a slice out of Hayley. Can she handle the heat of a killer’s kitchen?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is crazy in  Key West, Florida when tourists take over the area. One enterprising chef thought it was the perfect time to hold a contest to find the place serving the best Key Lime Pie. The first event to introduce the chefs participating ends with tempers flaring and pies flying. Key Zest food critic Hayley Snow was there to witness it all.

Hayley and Nathan are starting their life together. They are living with Miss Gloria waiting for their houseboat renovation to happen, Nathan is working overtime with the influx of people on the island, while Hayley is working on several articles for Key Zest. Then Nathan announces his mother is coming for a visit. With every hotel and B&B booked solid, they need to find a place for her to stay because there is no way she will appreciate sleeping on the houseboat. Nathan also explains that he is not going to have time to entertain her and apologies for putting something else on Hayley’s plate. She decides to take the woman on the Conch Train Tour to see the houses all decorated on the island and Gloria goes along for the ride. Eagle-eyed Gloria is sure she saw something at one of the houses and they went to check it out but they found much more than they bargained for . . . a dead pastry chef in a Santa suit.  Her mother-in-law is intrigued and has her own ideas for investigating the death. Hayley is worried because Nathan is not going to be happy and she is afraid they may be the killer’s next victims.


I loved this story! Christmastime in Key West! What could be better?

Lucy Burdette has created such wonderful characters for this series and now she has added Helen Bransford, Nathan’s mother, and she is more than first meets the eye. She is a force no matter what character she is interacting with. I hope to see more of her in future installments because she is unique and savvy. Hayley is one busy lady but she finds time to entertain a woman she had never met, Helen didn’t attend the wedding, and who really loved Nathan’s first wife. Hayley was eager to impress and she did all she could. Miss Gloria never fails to crack me up throughout the story. Her relationship with Hayley continues to grow. They depend on each other. Thankfully, Hayley and Nathan’s houseboat is right next to Gloria. All the characters in this story are well developed and their dialogues are crisp and true to life.

Ms.  Burdette was cooked up a fabulous mystery too. Plenty of suspects, plenty of twists, and plenty of turns, all leading to some great surprises. I was already totally captivated by the story when a very suspenseful part had me truly on the edge of my seat. I was also totally wrong on the guilty party too.

The setting for this series is a delight, I have loved each and every visit. I understand why snowbirds leave the cold weather as we have in Wisconsin behind to spend time at such a happening place. Hopefully without the dead bodies.

I can’t leave without the food mentioned. This time Key Lime Pie was the star and I quickly found out I didn’t know the different ways Key Lime Pie can be made. Learning something new is always a bonus.

Lucy Burdette is a fantastic storyteller who seems to keep topping herself with each book in this series. I highly recommend all 10 books. In fact, this book is one of the best cozies I have read this year earning my Paradise Rating!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Lucy Burdette

Courtesy Carol Tedesco

Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) has published 16 mysteries, including the latest in the Key West food critic series, DEATH ON THE MENU (Crooked Lane Books, August 2018.) Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writersand shares her love for food with the culinary writers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen She lives in Madison CT and Key West FL. Read more at www.lucyburdette.com.

Author Links:
Facebook    Twitter      GoodReads
Pinterest     Website    Instagram

 

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound

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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

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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 Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs

About Lavender Blue Murder 


Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
21th in Series
Setting – South Carolina
Publisher: Berkley (March 3, 2020)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489667
ISBN-13: 978-0451489661
Digital ASIN: B07SSQ1X4R

Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

 

Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede.

 

But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor’s lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.

 

His wife, Meredith, is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Meredith again pleads with Theodosia for help.

 

As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Reginald’s daughter-in-law goes missing presumed drowned, and Meredith is determined to find answers via a séance. All the while Theodosia worries if she’s made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea.

 

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are on a hunt, a bird hunt. They are guests at an English shooting party. Theo is having a great time and even bagged a quail. Drayton is mostly just along for her company. As they are sojourning across the field they hear shots ring out. Shots very close to them. Theo takes off to check things out and she finds their host Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death in the neighbor’s lavender field. By the time the ambulance arrives there is nothing they can do to save the man.

Reginald’s wife Meredith is distraught and begs Theo and Dayton to stay the night and they can’t refuse. In the middle of the night, Theo wakes up to find the mansion on fire and rushes to clear everyone out of the house. Not trusting the local Sheriff Meredith asks Theodosia to investigate too.

Shortly thereafter, Theo surprising meets Reginald’s daughter-in-law not far from Drayton’s house and she is clearly not herself. She then learns the young woman went missing shortly after their meeting. She was out on her husband’s sailboat and is thought to have drowned and the Coast Guard is searching for her body. Theo starts pressing harder in her investigation ruffling more than a few feathers.


What an awesome story! It starts with a bang and ends with a crash!! Loved it!

All the characters we love are back. Theo, Drayton, Haley, Riley, Miss Dimple, Detective Tidwell and of course Earl Grey fill these pages with drama, laughter, Southern charm, and some exciting action too. This is the 21st book in this series and these characters still are fresh and continue to evolve in fantastic ways. Theo never disappoints as she gets down and dirty smack dab in the middle of another murder investigation. Riley tries to reel her in but that is near impossible. Haley and Mrs. Dimple take care of the Indigo Tea Shop while Theo and Drayton chase down leads. But Theo is still front and center for all the special tea events put on at the shop, like the Lavender Lady Tea. She keeps her ears wide open because you never know who will provide a clue that catapults the case forward.

Ms. Childs has not only created a great group of core characters but she introduces a stellar group of new characters to fit this story. Most are suspects but they are all interesting in their own way. She describes them so vividly they are so easy to visualize.

The author’s vivid descriptions also bring each scene clearly into focus, from the field of lavender, the Doyle Mansion, Drayton’s home and Theo’s, which is undergoing a kitchen renovation, to the tea shop itself with each type of china, silverware, and candlestick used. The descriptions of the scones, soups, and sandwiches will make your mouth water. Ms. Childs has perfected the way to bring each scene alive, never going overboard or getting too wordy.

The mystery builds to a fast-pace with a plethora of suspects. Twists, turns, red herrings, this story has it all. Theo is so smart and thinks on her feet. She has so much experience she knows a crime scene must be protected. I was afraid this time she may have had to get physical to protect that scene. Talk about physical the ending had me breathing hard, my blood pressure rising and me sitting right up at the end of my seat.

Amongst this cozy mystery is all kinds of tidbits of information. I love lavender and have a spray I use on my pillow each night that helps me sleep like a baby. I loved all the lavender facts scattered through this book, I would love to live near a field of lavender. Readers are also treated to tea time tips, Drayton is a very knowledgeable tea sommelier and very creative with his blends. There are more tea tips at the end of the book along with several recipes for food served in the story.

I loved everything about this story. It is one of the best books I have read this year! It is so worth a Paradise Rating.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Laura Childs

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop MysteriesScrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links: Website – Facebook – 

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  Kobo   Google Play  IndieBound

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs

Lavender Blue Murder is an enchanting cozy mystery with a weeping widow, a surplus of suspects, tasty tea, loads of lavender, blaring bagpipes, and a spooky séance.
~The Avid Reader

The mystery was engaging and fun, oh and the teas and recipes! Oh my! I think I look forward to the recipes as much as I do the mysteries.
~A Chick Who Reads

Phew this was a humdinger of a story with a plethora of potential suspects for Theo and Drayton to deal with!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

. . . a fun mystery that will have you guessing who did it mixed in between the tea and goodies. Makes for a great read. I totally loved it so I give it 5/5 stars.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

As always Laura does a good job of making you feel a part of the story. She also likes to put in just enough twists to keep you guessing until the end.
~A. Holland Reads

Lavender Blue Murder starts out with a bang, quite literally! . . . The mystery was intriguing and well planned, and there are lots of suspects to keep you second-guessing if you think you have it all figured out.
~The Book’s the Thing

LAVENDER BLUE MURDER is an intricately plotted mystery imbued with Southern grace, exemplary food, and fine tea. Sit back with a lavender scone and a cup of steaming Asaam and prepare for a delightful read.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

The writing pace is calming (in spite of the murder lol) and engaging, and you just want to immerse yourself into this world for a while. Especially if it involves lunch at the tea shop (hold the tea… sorry, Drayton) and the yummy food there!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

As I neared the end of this delightful collection of locale, character, and tastiness, I realized that I didn’t expect something different in this release. I expected my Indigo friends, familiar shop chatter, local characters, comfortable teatime, and an all-around good story. Just like all the others in this series. So settle in​ and expect both​.
~The Editing Pen

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops.
March 2 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
March 2 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
March 3 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
March 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 4 – My Journey Back – REVIEW (Coming Soon)
March 5 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST
March 5 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
March 6 – I’m All About Books-SPOTLIGHT
March 6 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
March 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
March 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 10 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW
March 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
March 11 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
March 12 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 13 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – The Book Diva’s Reads – GUEST POST
March 14 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
March 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 15 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
March 16 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
March 16 – This Is My Truth Now – SPOTLIGHT
March 17 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 18 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 19 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
March 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 20 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW
March 21 – 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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben – Early Review

Release Date – March 17, 2020


The Boy from the Woods
Suspense Thriller
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 17, 2020)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1538748142
ISBN-13: 978-1538748145
Kindle ASIN: B07TYBQJBM

A man with a mysterious past must find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away.

 

Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.

 

No one seems to take Naomi Pine’s disappearance seriously, not even her father-with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school. Hester asks Wilde-with whom she shares a tragic connection-to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.

 

Wilde can’t ignore an outcast in trouble, but in order to find Naomi he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions . . . secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I find out the release date for a new Harlan Coben book I rush to my reading calendar and make sure I keep a date open to review it. Then I anxiously wait for the book to pop up for review. Coben is my favorite author when it comes to suspense and he never disappoints.

The story starts out with Naomi Pine being bullied and soon after the teenager disappears. No one seems to care that the girl is missing except a classmate who feels guilty for not stepping up to defend her and even played along with some of the pranks played on her. He is worried so he reaches out to his grandmother, Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney. Hester then reaches out to Wilde, a man who was found in the woods near her home 30 years ago and was befriended by her son. Wilde feels he has things in common with Naomi and immediately begins his search. A search that could cost him. A search that could hurt others. A search that will reveal secrets that could destroy lives.


This story is absolutely fabulous!

If you have read other Coben thrillers the name Hester Crimstein may be familiar. She is a woman who is tough as nails but we now see she has a soft spot for her grandson. Until now she has been a supporting character that pops up here and there. Through this story, we finally get to know more about this sassy broad who comes to town to see what her grandson Matthew really knows about a girl he says is missing.

We also meet Wilde, a boy found living in the woods about 30 years ago when he was between 6-8 years old. He spoke English but didn’t know his name or anything about where he came from. He soon became known as Wilde. No family ever claimed him so he was placed in foster care and he excelled in school. Upon graduation, he joined the military excelling there as well.  That led to a post-military career in security and investigation.  But the man is clearly a loner and is happiest living in the woods that will always be his home.

The thing Mr. Coben really does well is create characters with many layers. Some like Hester’s are revealed over time. Other’s like Wilde, Naomi, and Matthew are peeled back over the course of the story but I always feel like he holds just a bit back in case he wants to revisit them again in the future. All the characters are interesting and held my attention and I wanted to know more.

He has wrapped these characters into a story that starts as a missing person case and quickly becomes so much more. Wilde truly was all in when it came to finding Naomi and went to great lengths to get answers. He runs into roadblocks but pushes through, literally at times, to get in people’s faces to find out what the know or what they did. A surprising twist changes the game and ratchets up the suspense and takes us in new directions.

Coben blends social and political themes, really highlighting how far the rich will go to keep their secrets. We are immersed in the dark side seeing people who have created a great public facade but who truly have no morals or ethics. It made my cringe in places.

Mr. Coben also shows us a softer side as characters deal with loss and grief while trying to move forward. Grieving the loss of a loved one is something I am very familiar with and he captured and told this part of the story in a heartwarming and believable way.  It was a nice little subplot alongside all the action and suspense.

As I said, this story is fabulous, it is filled with twists and thrills. I totally escaped into every aspect of the story. Well-plotted and written, with a perfect pace. The ending was a complete surprise, The Boy From The Woods is a complex story that was so compelling.  I loved it! My world completely stopped when I started reading. In fact, Harlan Coben is responsible for my latest book hangover because I stayed up until the early morning hours to finish this book.

The Boy From The Woods deserves more than 5 stars. It earns my Paradise Rating and a place on my Best Reads of 2020.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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



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

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

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Book of Candlelight (Secret, Book, & Scone Society) by Ellery Adams #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today I am featuring The Book of Candlelight by Ellery Adams!


The Book of Candlelight (Secret, Book, & Scone Society)
3rd in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Publisher: Kensington (January 28, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496712439
ISBN-13: 978-1496712431
Kindle ASIN: B07R4K4DMR

In the new Secret, Book, and Scone Society novel from New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams, the rain in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, has been relentless—and a flood of trouble is about to be unleashed . . .

 

As the owner of Miracle Books, Nora Pennington figures all the wet weather this spring is at least good for business. The local inns are packed with stranded travelers, and among them Nora finds both new customers and a new friend, the sixtysomething Sheldon, who starts helping out at the store.

 

Since a little rain never hurt anyone, Nora rides her bike over to the flea market one sodden day and buys a bowl from Danny, a Cherokee potter. It’ll make a great present for Nora’s EMT boyfriend, but the next day, a little rain turns into a lot of rain, and the Miracle River overflows it banks. Amid the wreckage of a collapsed footbridge, a body lies within the churning water.

 

Nora and the sheriff both doubt the ruling of accidental drowning, and Nora decides it’s time for the Secret, Book, and Scone Society to spring into action. When another body turns up, it becomes clearer that Danny’s death can’t be blamed on a natural disaster. A crucial clue may lie within the stone walls of the Inn of Mist and Roses: a diary, over a century old and spattered with candle wax, that leads Nora and her friends through a maze of intrigue—and onto the trail of a murderer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Secret, Book, and Scone Society Members

Nora, the owner of Miracle Books, tries to heal people woes with a unique set of books she personally selects for them.

Hester runs the Gingerbread House bakery. Customers tell her a little bit about their lives and what brought them to Miracle Springs. Then she bakes them up a “comfort scone”.

June works at the hot springs spa where people come to rejuvenate themselves.

Estella is a beautician who tries to help her clients find their true selves.

The rain keeps falling in Miracle Springs and it is putting a damper on everything, but customers are searching for refuge in the shops, like Miracle Books.

Nora tries to keep up with her errands but the weather sure isn’t conducive to someone with only a bicycle to get her around. I really have to give Nora props through. She dons her rain gear and heads to the local flea market to purchase shelf enhancers. The current crush of buyers is clearing them as well as books from her shelves. There she meets Cherokee Danny, a phenomenal potter and snaps up a bowl that will make a fine present for her boyfriend. She also fills her backpack with a few shelf enhancers too.  Sadly she takes a tumble on the way home and the bowl gets chipped. She heads back to the flea market the next day but the potter is absent. On her way home, she travels near a footbridge that has collapsed due to the heavy rains. She peers over the side and finds the missing potter among the footbridge wreckage.

Accident or murder? The Secret, Book, and Scone Society decides to find out. When another body is found there is no doubt the deaths are connected and definitely not accidental. Then an interesting clue is found in a surprising place and the Society steps up their game to solve the mystery before any more bodies spring up.

____

The woman of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society all have their own strengths and come together not only to support each other but to help others too. Ms. Adams has given these women so much depth while allowing the room to grow not only within the book but over the series. They are flawed and realistic. Their friendship and compassion are things to envy. Readers, like me, quickly get invested in their lives and cheer and hope their trials can be conquered. The way they take on trying to find a killer at that same time just shows all the strengths.

I do have to mention a new character, Sheldon Silverstein Vega. He just kinda popped up in this story and stole my heart. He has his own trials, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, but he is a jovial man and a perfect addition to this series. I hope we see much more of him in future stories.

In The Book of Candlelight, Native American lore plays a huge part and part of that folklore has become part of my everyday life not knowing where it originated. Cardinals have always been my favorite bird and that is quite evident to anyone looking around our home. I have collected prints, plates, figurines, magnets, etc. my entire adult life. We even had a live pair nest in a tree in the backyard of one of our homes and we have always put out seed to welcome them to our yard wherever that may be. When my son died I was told that the red cardinal is believed to bring messages from our loved one in the spirit world, so I always watch for them. Now I know that belief came from Native American folklore.

The red bird is very important to potter, Cherokee Danny and it plays a significant part in finding his killer. The clues are placed liberally throughout the book but there are also many red herrings too. Like Nora and her friends, I was spinning my wheels for most of the story. There are many events that need to fit into a theory and it wasn’t until an important clue is revealed that things started to fall into place. I really enjoyed the way the author plotted this story in a way that kept me guessing until the very end. Her vivid descriptions really brought the people, times, and places to life.

I loved everything about The Book of Candlelight. Engaging characters and a marvelous mystery. I was anxious to get to the end to find out the guilty party but at the same time didn’t want the story to end. Even with the rain Miracle Springs, North Carolina is a fantastic place to visit.

This is the first book of 2020 to receive my Paradise Rating because I think it deserves more than 5 stars!

Read my review of The Secret, Book & Scone Society here and The Whispered Word here.

About the Author

 

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Woman of Two Minds by Bourne Morris #Review / #Giveaway @BourneMorris

To Be Released Tuesday, November 9, 2019

A Woman of Two Minds
Medical Thriller/Suspense
Setting – Nevada
Black Opal Books (November 9, 2019)
Paperback: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 1644371677
ISBN-13: 978-1644371671
Kindle ASIN: B07WDD56PL

Kit Mackenzie, a brilliant young CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation, is on trial for the murder of her mother. Was it self-defense or homicide? After the prosecutor discovers a secret brain operation in her past, he believes Kit has a strong motive for murder. His discovery begins one of the most unusual trials in American history. Media from all over the world descend on the courtroom to cover a story they find too astonishing to believe. Mackenzie must depend on her renowned attorney and the insights of a skilled neuro-scientist in the fight to prove her innocence and gain the acceptance of a man she has always wanted.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a powerful read. I am going to try to write this review carefully not to give too much away because to enjoy this story you need to read and discover all the bits and pieces on your own.

Kit Mackenzie was in a dark place, dark enough that she tried to take her own life. She did survive but her life is dramatically changed forever. A change the prosecutor believes led her to kill her mother. Her fate plays out over the pages of this story.

When I accepted this book for review I was not aware of the suicide element to the story, but I became so engrossed in Kit’s story there was no way I was going to put this book down. For this gripping story, I pushed down the uncomfortable moments.

The trial takes place in 2018 but we travel back in time to follow Kit’s journey before she tried to take her life and then through the trial date to get her perspective and the perspective of those around her.

The medical aspect of this story was profound and very interesting. New medical discoveries are made every day but it takes some true bravery and sacrifice to submit to the operation in this story.

The author set a perfect pace. As it got later into the evening I was saying to myself, just one more chapter and continued to read two or three more and then repeated the process. I finally had to stop because my eyes just wouldn’t stay open. Speaking of eyes, I went to the optometrist the next morning and my Kindle went with me. Even after my eyes were dilated for the exam, I just increased the font size so I could keep reading while my husband had his exam. I quickly finished the book after we got home.

Ms. Morris does keep her readers on their toes too, right up until the very last page . . . what a moment!

Well-written and plotted, this story blew me away. If medical thrillers or bold thought-provoking stories are your thing you will enjoy A Woman of Two Minds.  This book has earned a place on my Best Reads of 2019 list!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

  Bourne Morris is also the author of the Red Solaris Mysteries. You can read my review of The Red Queen’s Run here, The Rise of the Red Queen here, and The Red Queen Rules here

Find out more about Bourne Morris and her books on her website here, Facebook and Twitter too.



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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 Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Skeleton Stuffs a Stocking (A Family Skeleton Mystery) by Leigh Perry #Review @DiversionBooks @Family_Skeleton


The Skeleton Stuffs a Stocking (A Family Skeleton Mystery)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Diversion Books (September 24, 2019)
Paperback: 280 pages
ISBN-10: 1635766478
ISBN-13: 978-1635766479
Kindle ASIN: B07V1YFW55

Sid is back with a murder that’s sure to send a chill down your spine in Leigh Perry’s festive new mystery.

Dr. Georgia Thackery is back at home with her parents after finding a new adjunct position at Bostock College. Everyone is excited for their first family Christmas with nothing to hide. Why? Because Georgia’s daughter Madison is now in the know about Sid, their walking, talking family skeleton.

But their Christmas cheer is interrupted when the Thackerys’ dog Byron goes missing on a cold December night. When he’s finally found, he has a femur clutched between his jaws, and Georgia and Madison race to apologize to Sid for letting the dog gnaw on him yet again.

Except that all of Sid’s bones are present and accounted for.

This bone is from somebody else, and when they trace Byron’s trail to an overgrown lot nearby, they find the rest of the skeleton. It’s the normal kind, not moving or telling jokes, and when the police come to take charge, they’re sure it was murder.

And one of Georgia’s adjunct friends could be implicated.

With tensions stirring at the college and everyone hiding a secret or two, Sid and Georgia must uncover the truth before the ghost of a Christmas past strikes again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We meet many wonderful characters in most of the books we read, and in cozy mysteries, we meet their canine, feline and bovine friends too. But hands down Sid is my favorite character of all. This smart, savvy, witty, wonderful skeleton stole my heart back in book #1 – A Skeleton in the Family. Sid is a walking – talking – dancing skeleton that is Dr. Georgia Thackery’s best friend. Sid’s phalanges fly over the computer keyboard in his attic room, where he does his research to help Georgia solve murder mysteries. He is also quite portable in a special bag where he can stealthy see what is happening and text on his cell phone faster than I will ever be able to do with one hand. It is also not unheard of for him to don a disguise or two to help Georgia out.  Sid is a character I will never forget and wish I had a Sid of my own.

This time Georgia is working at Bostock College and living with her daughter back at home with her parents.  Christmas is right around the corner and it should be merry because the family is back together. But when the family dog, Byron brings home a prize bone that turns out to be a human femur (that does not belong to Sid) the merriment hits a bump in the road.  Bryon becomes the star of the hour and they follow his trail to find the rest of the body. A body that may have ties to Bostock College. Hoping to wrap the case up before Christmas, Sid and Georgia use all their talents to catch a killer.

Georgia Thackery who I believe is in her early 40’s is an adjunct English professor so she goes where the job is around the New England area. Her parents are tenured professors at the local college and you can usually find a student or two at their dinner table. Georgia’s sister Deborah is a security expert and can open almost every lock. Georgia also has a teenage daughter, Madison. Sid has been a part of this household for years and is the family’s secret.

The mystery starts when the body that is found but then twists and turns with connections between the present and the past. I felt the story was very unique and was totally delighted to go along for the ride. I had completely escaped into the story excited for the big killer reveal which was great but that was surpassed by a whiplash-like twist Ms. Perry throws at us at the end. Nicely played Ms. Perry! Nicely played.

As you can imagine with a skeleton being a lead character, this story is full of humor. Readers will experience tittering, giggling, a chortle or two, and even laugh out loud moments. Ms. Perry also adds a little romance to Georgia’s life with a former character returning too. The Skeleton Stuffs a Stocking excels at everything I look for in a cozy mystery.

“Oh, my spine and femur!” This is such a fantastic book! Leigh Perry has penned a marvelous cozy mystery. With winter/Christmas as a background, readers get to follow Georgia and Sid ever step of the way.  This book is classified as a paranormal or supernatural cozy mystery. I really don’t think of it that way. For me Sid just is Sid, nothing spooky or supernatural about it 🙂 Coccyx, You just have to read it! Read the whole series!! You will come to love Sid as much as I do!

This book will be on my Best Reads of 2019 list!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

You can find out more about Leigh Perry and her books on her website here.

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