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

Author website    Facebook     Goodreads 

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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October 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
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October 7 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
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October 12 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
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October 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
October 15 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
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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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September 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
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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

 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

September 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
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September 13 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
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Sep 082017
 


Death Distilled: A Whisky Business Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Scotland
Alibi (September 5, 2017)
Print Length 240 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01N6FSSUX

Photojournalist by trade, distillery owner by blood, and amateur sleuth by necessity, Abigail Logan learns that murder can’t stay bottled up forever in this charming Whisky Business Mystery.

It’s been three months since Abi Logan last checked in on Abbey Glen, the celebrated whisky distillery she inherited. With her oversize wheaten terrier, Liam, by her side, Abi returns to the quaint Scottish village of Balfour. But her relaxing Highland homecoming takes a stressful turn when she unearths an unseemly bit of village history, welcomes a group of Japanese whisky enthusiasts, and becomes shepherdess to an unexpected flock of sheep—all within the first twenty-four hours. Still, nothing’s more stressful than murder. . . .

Local celebrity Rory Hendricks is the hotheaded, hard-rocking former frontman of the Rebels—and Abi’s girlhood crush. After meeting him in person, Abi can’t say no to anything he asks, like photographing his upcoming show . . . or figuring out who’s trying to kill him. Turns out someone’s been bumping off his old bandmates, with the drummer dead under mysterious circumstances and the keyboardist in a coma following a hit-and-run. Now a series of threatening messages leads Rory to think he’s next on the chopping block. And the band has a devil’s share of broken hearts and bitter disputes in their past, leaving Abi a huge batch of suspects to sift through—all before the killer takes another shot.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The first book in this series, Single Malt Murder, had already made my list of Best Reads 2017 so I have been anxiously waiting this one. At the end of the first story Abi took off on another photo assignment, this one picks up with her returning to Abbey Glen with her lovable canine companion, Liam. She isn’t back for long when Liam makes a grim discovery, Patrick sets up an event at the Glen without receiving permission from her or her manager Grant, and she finds herself caretaker of a flock of sheep. Plus when she left her romantic relationship with Grant was up in the air and now she has met her teenage crush, rocker Rory Hendricks, so who knows what that means for the two of them. She then learns that the members of his old group the Rebels have been targeted and one killed and he wants her help before he is next. Grant is not pleased when she agrees to follow him to a concert that could be putting them both in danger. Abi has her hands full in this story, definitely not the relaxing homecoming she expected.

Abi Logan is a strong woman. Her career as a photojournalist has taken her to some dark and dangerous places. She jumps right in to help her new “friend” Rory Hendricks knowing the dire circumstances that could arise. But she doesn’t trust her heart, every time she and Grant start to get close she runs away. Abi is a complex character and a great protagonist.

I liked her friend Patrick a lot in the first story but not so much this time. For me, he overstepped his bounds by involving Abi, Grant, and Abbey Glen in his latest scheme to better himself. He really was taking advantage of his friendship with Abi.

Grant stole my heart in the first book and my love for him is still strong. I feel bad that Abi can’t give him what he wants. He remains at Abbey Glen, doing his job and making the distillery thrive. I hope with time Abi will return his love without fear of messing up both their lives.

I absolutely love the setting for this series. The Scottish Village of Balfour is rich in history and that history is part of this story. The village, distillery and the home she inherited are so wonderfully described. I could even visualize the sheep in their new pen. I enjoyed how quickly Liam became a canine shepherd.

The plot to the mystery was again complex, lots of moving parts and pieces. Many suspects but their motives were a bit murky. The way an old mystery was blended with the new gave the story a depth I wasn’t expecting. As more clues drop into place the suspense starts to build. I had my “aha moment” right along with the characters as they climax was playing right out for me to read. I was totally surprised.

Ms. Mullet packs so much into 240 pages. Murder, dysfunctional families, romance, a rock concert, drama, suspense, whisky, Japanese businessmen, and even a flock of sheep. This book will join the first as one of my Best Reads this year. I can’t wait for book #3.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Melinda Mullet was born in Dallas and attended school in Texas, Washington D.C., England, and Austria. She spent many years as a practicing attorney before pursuing a career as a writer. Author of the Whisky Business Mystery series, Mullet is a passionate supporter of childhood literacy. She works with numerous domestic and international charities striving to promote functional literacy for all children. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

Author Links – Webpage – Facebook – Twitter 

 

Purchase Links

Melinda Mullet’s delightful Whisky Business mysteries can be read together or separately. Enjoy responsibly:
SINGLE MALT MURDER | DEATH DISTILLED

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September 5 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
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September 6 – Laura’s Interests – 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.”

Aug 242017
 

Deadly Choices
by Karen Randau

Deadly Choices (Rim Country Mysteries)
3rd in Series
Setting – Arizona
Suspense Thriller
3rd in Series
Short on Time Books (July 17, 2017)
Kindle – ASIN: B074187YT7

 

An elderly woman with an arrow in her chest. A murdered journalist. A decades-old cover-up. In Deadly Choices (Rim Country Mysteries Volume 3), Rita and Cliff Avery team up again to solve a spate of murders in their picturesque Arizona mountain town of Rim Vista. Rita’s mother Willow delivers gun-wrenching news while falling for the man who could be responsible for four deaths. And Rita must escape a string of life-threatening predicaments thrown at her by an assailant willing to do anything to scare Cliff off the case.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Karen Rabdau is a new author to me but with stories like this one we are going to become fast friends. I was skeptical about jumping into this series with book three but by the end of the first chapter I was totally tuned in and reading at a rapid pace. The mentions of things that happened in previous books only made me realize that I needed to add both books to my wish list right away.

Deadly Choices starts out with Rita and Cliff camping with her mother, Willow, a woman Rita has not seen for 25 years, when they hear a shot and soon after a woman they had met earlier stumbles into their campsite with an arrow in her chest. She was teaching a student and he is missing. Had he been shot? Rita and her detective husband Cliff are quickly brought into the case. As more deaths occur, a man they have known for years becomes a prime suspect. As they investigate surprising things are uncovered tying back into the past.

This story is a wild adventure for Cliff and Rita. There were so many edge of the seat moments I lost count. Explosions, kidnapping, and twists and turns galore.

Ms. Randau is a wonderful storyteller. She packs as much punch into these pages as humanly possible and makes it impossible to put this book down. I love the way she describes a scene. I felt like I was right there whether it be a dangerous situation or if she was just describing the beauty of Rim County.  The dialogue was on point and I was totally invested in these characters. The plot was complex and so well written.

Drama, danger, mystery and suspense with well crafted characters, this story has them all. I am excited for the next adventure.

The story deserves more than 5 stars! Paradise Rating.

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Karen Randau is the author of the Rim Country Mystery series. Her fast-paced novels include Deadly Deceit, Deadly Inheritance, and Deadly Choices, each with intricate plots and lots of action and told from the point of view of protagonist Rita Avery.

 

Author Links

Website Facebook  Amazon Author Page 

Purchase Link – Amazon

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

August 14 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
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August 20 – The Book’s the Thing – SPOTLIGHT
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Jul 192017
 


Kate Parker is touring with Great Escapes right now and is visiting several blogs with guest posts. Check out the schedule below my review to visit them.

The Detecting Duchess (Victorian Bookshop Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – London, England
JDP Press (May 18, 2017)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0996483162
E-Book ASIN: B071J129MG

 

 

The only thing standing between Georgia and her fairy-tale wedding is a murder. Or two.

When a young woman pleads for help from Georgia Fenchurch in locating a missing Crown investigator, Georgia resists. Her wedding is only a week away. Before she can say no, she’s knocked to the ground by an assailant attempting to kill the young woman.

Georgia now feels she must help. She soon finds herself up to her wedding veil in stolen treasure and coded letters. With the Duke of Blackford’s help, Georgia follows a trail of missing men and dead bodies. Every victim had one thing in common – a desire to possess a fortune in gold.

In between the society balls and social calls of late Victorian London, Georgia works on her last case before the big day. Will she stop a ruthless killer in time? Or will Georgia find getting to the altar on time is going to be murder?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When I reviewed The Conspiring Woman at the end of 2015 I thought that was the final book in this fantastic series but author Kate Parker wasn’t quite done with these characters. As a reader I was thrilled to receive this book and visit these characters one last time.

Georgia Fenchurch should be concentrating on her wedding plans as it is just 8 days away but when a young woman is attacked right before her eyes she can’t say no to one last investigation before she says “I Do”.

Her friends are not happy but her groom, the Duke of Blackford, offers his assistance in hopes to wrap the investigation as quickly as possible. Instead people go missing and more bodies pile up.  A missing treasure trove of gold seems to be what all the victims have in common. Can Georgia stay safe and find the killer and gold and still make it to the church on time??

As expected the author has given us quite an intriguing mystery. It starts in Egypt with a trunk that was supposed to be filled with gold coins, payment owed by Egyptian government to various European banks, turns out to be filled with nails. The gold had been stolen, Eugenie Munroe’s uncle has been killed, the man she traveled to London with, Mr. Burke, has gone missing, and another man has been murdered. Eugenie wants the man who killed her uncle brought to justice and it seems all the suspects have left Egypt for the cooler Summer of England. So Georgia and The Archivist Society are on the case.

Ms. Parker takes us back in time as only she can. Her words paint wonderful pictures in your mind of Victorian England as we follow Georgia as she goes to society balls and social calls and investigates. I totally escaped into this one. I felt like I was on Georgia’s shoulder from the first page to the last.

In addition to the characters we have come to love from the previous stories we are introduced a whole new contingent that arrives from Egypt, all the suspects. Some are eliminated because they are killed and Georgia is warned to stop asking questions. She doesn’t give up and as the story continues the tension ramps up to a scary and surprising conclusion.

Do Georgia and Blackford tie the knot?? You are going to have to read the story yourself to find out.

I have loved every book in this series.  I recommend reading this series in order to follow the progression but they each can be read on their own. Kudos Kate, this is my favorite book in the series!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Kate began reading Agatha Christie mysteries and the Nancy Drew books while her classmates were reading Dick and Jane. She particularly likes historical mysteries and the feeling of time travel a good historical book can give the reader. Combined with her love of late Victorian to World War II architecture and fashions, she found an outlet for the stories and characters that fill her head by writing The Victorian Bookshop Mysteries and The Deadly series, as well as taking part in the Christmas Revels anthologies.

 

Author Links:

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Also by Kate Parker


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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.”

Jun 092017
 

No Turning Back: A Novel
Women Sleuths/Suspense Thriller
Setting – United Kingdom
Crooked Lane Books (June 13, 2017)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683311638
E-Book ASIN: B01N4FP1AR

 
 
 
 
 

Anna Graves’s whole life has recently been turned upside down. A new mother, she’s just gone back to her job as a radio presenter and is busy navigating a new schedule of late night feeding and early morning wake ups while also dealing with her newly separated husband. Then the worst happens. While Anna is walking on the beach with her daughter, she’s attacked by a crazed teenager. Terrified, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her baby.

But her life falls apart when the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister. A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt. Her precarious mental state is further threatened when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the “Ophelia Killer,” a serial killer who preyed on the town twenty years ago—and who abruptly stopped when Anna’s father committed suicide.

Is Anna as innocent as she claims? And is murder forgivable, if committed to save your child’s life? Internationally bestselling author Tracy Buchanan takes readers on an emotional roller coaster ride filled with heart-stopping secrets and hairpin turns in No Turning Back, her US debut.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Can you say TWISTS? – This book is full of them.

Anna Graves’s finishes up her 8 month maternity leave to return to work as a radio talk show host. Separated from her husband she is trying to find the balance between work and home. While taking her daughter for a walk on the beach a young man attacks her with a knife. She does everything she can to protect her child and herself, fatally injuring her assailant. She is cleared by the police, it was clearly self defense. Until the autopsy shows there is more to the story. They bring her back in for more questions. The press hounds her everywhere she goes. She is forced to take another leave from work. Then she receives a terrifying email from the “Ophelia Killer”.  A serial killer that has been heard from for 20 years…since her father took his own life. Hang on tight this is just the start of the story…

The story is told alternatively between Anna and the killer making for a spine chilling read. When Anna receives emails from the killer she tries to stave off another killing but she ends up finding the body which makes her even more of a suspect. The police were mind blowing in the way they twisted logic to focus more on her and disregard any thing she tried to tell them. She puts herself at risk from the first page to almost the very last.

The characters in this story are very unique. Anna and her grandmother are close because her mother had an emotional breakdown after her father’s suicide.  Her brother is strange in his behavior and manner. He and Anna are not close. We see the darker side of the area, the docks, and those who live in the area. The young man who attacked Anna lived there. Anna’s work at the radio station brings in some notable characters too.

The plot was very complex and full of red herrings. Each chapter seemed to have a new twist pointing at another person who could be the killer. It was impossible to put this book down. I stayed up late trying finish but my body shut me down at about 70%. I couldn’t wait to get back to it and rushed to it as soon as the work day was done. At the end I just said WOW! This book took my breathe away.

The only thing in the story that gave me pause was the implement Anna used to defend herself and kill the teenager. The story calls it a comb. I went to a British dictionary to see if it was different from what we Americans call a comb. I didn’t find any difference but I am thinking it was the type of comb used to hold hair in place not one used to get out snarls. I think had it been made of metal those tines could be quite sharp.

This book marks the author’s US debut and is an author to watch. No Turning Back is a compelling psychological thriller and I give it more than 5 stars! My Paradise Rating! It kept me up the first night reading it and the second night thinking about the story I read.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent



About The Author

Tracy Buchanan lives in the UK with her husband, their little girl and their one-eyed Jack Russell. Buchanan traveled extensively while working as a travel magazine editor and has always been drawn to the sea after spending her childhood holidays on the coast visiting family–a fascination that inspires her writing. She now dedicates her time to writing and procrastinating on Twitter.

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June 5 – Books Direct  – INTERVIEW
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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.”

May 232017
 

The Simplicity of Cider: A Novel
Women’s Fiction
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (May 16, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1501179723
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1501154928
Kindle ASIN: B01HMXRVKO

 

 

Fall in love with The Simplicity of Cider, the charming new novel about a prickly but gifted cider-maker whose quiet life is interrupted by the arrival of a handsome man and his young son at her family’s careworn orchard by the author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.

Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family’s apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother’s attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land.

Single dad Isaac Banks has spent years trying to shield his son Sebastian from his troubled mother. Fleeing heartbreak at home, Isaac packed up their lives and the two headed out on an adventure, driving across the country. Chance—or fate—led them straight to Sanna’s orchard.

Isaac’s helping hands are much appreciated at the apple farm, even more when Sanna’s father is injured in an accident. As Sanna’s formerly simple life becomes increasingly complicated, she finds solace in unexpected places—friendship with young Sebastian and something more deliciously complex with Isaac—until an outside threat infiltrates the farm.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

After read Luck, Love & Lemon Pie last year I knew this was an author I would keep me eye on. When I heard about this new book I couldn’t wait to read it.

Isaac Banks and his son Bass, short for Sebastian, are on a cross country adventure. Isaac is trying to protect his son from the realities at home. They soon find themselves in Wisconsin’s Door County. A beautiful place full of cherries, a restaurant where goats graze on the roof, Green Bay (not the town where the Packers play), lighthouses and apple orchards. Isaac and Bass soon find themselves at Idun’s, an apple orchard that has been owned by the Lund family for five generations. Sanna Lund and her father now run the place and Sanna has a special talent for making cider. Her father has mortgaged the farm to purchase all the equipment she needs to produce on a large scale. Her brother has nothing to do with the orchard anymore but thinks it needs to be sold to take care of the debt because they have received a huge offer.

Issac and Bass agree to help with the chores. It is like fate brought them to this place. Sanna really doesn’t like kids but after a couple of days that changes as Bass finds a way into her heart. She and Isaac also feel a connection neither of them understand. When someone’s actions threaten Sanna’s precious trees and the entire orchard things get complicated.

This is such a beautiful story and so well written. The author has a way of writing that pictures of people, time, and place just come alive with such detailed imagery. Maybe it is because I have traveled to Door County several times that I had a crystal clear picture of everything she described but I truly believe it was her words that took me right along with Sanna, Issac and Bass.

She gives us a story of family, love, loss, and a little touch of something that “just is” and can only be explained by the belief that love carries through the generations and appears in unexpected ways.

These are such special characters. Their hearts are heavy with secrets and vulnerability that ebbs and flows through the entire series, even after some trust has been earned. The relationships built are so unique.

The Simplicity of Cider flows at a nice and easy pace. It was a relaxing read. I usually read a book like this in one or two nights but I didn’t want the story to end. I took time to savor every page and word. This book will make my list of Best Reads for 2017.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Amy and her books here

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
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Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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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.”

Apr 272017
 

Of Books and Bagpipes: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – Scotland
Minotaur Books (April 4, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250057495
Kindle ASIN: B01LZ3VIQ9

 

 

Delaney Nichols has settled so comfortably into her new life in Edinburgh that she truly feels it’s become more home than her once beloved Kansas. Her job at the Cracked Spine, a bookshop that specializes in rare manuscripts as well as other sundry valuable historical objects, is everything she had dreamed, with her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, entrusting her more and more with bigger jobs. Her latest task includes a trip to Castle Doune, a castle not far out of Edinburgh, to retrieve a hard-to-find edition of an old Scottish comic, an “Oor Wullie,” in a cloak and dagger transaction that Edwin has orchestrated.

While taking in the sights of the distant Highlands from the castle’s ramparts, Delaney is startled when she spots a sandal-clad foot at the other end of the roof. Unfortunately, the foot’s owner is very much dead and, based on the William Wallace costume he’s wearing, perfectly matches the description of the man who was supposed to bring the Oor Wullie. As Delaney rushes to call off some approaching tourists and find the police, she comes across the Oor Wullie, its pages torn and fluttering around a side wall of the castle. Instinct tells her to take the pages and hide them under her jacket. It’s not until she returns to the Cracked Spine that she realizes just how complicated this story is and endeavors to untangle the tricky plot of why someone wanted this man dead, all before getting herself booked for murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Paige Shelton has wrapped our protagonist, Delaney Nichols in quite an amazing tale in this follow up to The Cracked Spine.

Now that Delaney has become more at home in Edinburgh her new boss has asked her to visit a nearby castle to retrieve a rare old Scottish comic, an “Oor Wullie.” Her landlord, Elias agrees to take her in his taxi. She is looking forward to handling the task and doing a little sightseeing. When they arrive they appear to be the only ones there. But while she is taking in the view she sees a very unexpected sight, a human foot. She quickly finds out the owner of the foot is dead but sees no apparent cause for his death. While waiting for the police she does stumble across the old comic. She doesn’t know if it is evidence but hides under her coat and takes it with her when they are allowed to leave. She never imagined the web of secrets, lies, and half truths this book was going to uncover. Now if she can just find out the whole truth before she or anyone else ends up dead. Hopefully the bookish voices that speak to her will keep her safe and help her to quickly solve this very complex mystery.

I really do not know much Scottish history of folklore but I was all in as soon as I knew Delaney was headed to a castle. The drafty rooms, the narrow staircases, the battle ramparts, maybe a ghost or two. I was even excited about the dead body and the mystery of his death and finding out who he truly was.

Paige Shelton takes us on a true adventure. This is a complicated mystery that takes many tangents as we follow Delaney on her quest. We meet a bagpipe player, some reenactors putting on plays and a few fishmongers. We also met several people from Edwin MacAlister’s past. The rainy weather of winter played right into to a darker mystery feel. The detailed description of time and place were exquisite. The words invoked such vivid images in my mind.

After finding the body the pace of the story stays steady until some of the clues start to fall into place or are close to Delaney’s grasp. Then the story starts to build to the final exciting reveal that took me totally by surprise.

Another thing that I truly enjoyed was the way the core group of characters has accepted Delaney into their lives. Through her they have become family. Her landlords, the bookstore staff, pub owner/man of her affections, Tom, and his father. Yes, Delaney misses her real family back in Kansas but this new adopted family keeps her as safe as they can in a mystery novel and the relationships she has forged with them will last a lifetime.

This is not your typical cozy mystery, it is so much more. The bits of Scottish history, the Scottish and Gaelic accents, words, and phrases, and the landscapes added to a well plotted mystery make it more than Of Books and Bagpipes. I loved every minute of it and can’t wait to return to Edinburgh to continue Delaney’s journey. This book is headed directly to my “keeper shelf”. Be sure to read The Cracked Spine before you read this one for maximum enjoyment. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

paigeAbout The Author

Paige Shelton is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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.”

 

Murder on the Toy Town Express: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery by Barbara Early Get Your Copy Today!
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