Posted in Giveaways Reviews 2013

Review & Giveaway: Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club by Liz Stauffer

thursday 2
Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club
Cozy Mystery
Sartoris Literary Group (June 28, 2013)
Paperback: 244 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0989318600
E-Book File Size: 515 KB
ASIN: B00DRN5EJ4
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The Thursday Morning Breakfast Club ladies meet each week to catch up on each other’s lives and the local happenings. This week is definitely a little different that most. They worry that Clare’s husband is abusing her, Hester’s grandson just got arrested and the leader of the group, Lillie Mae Harris, has discovered a dead body while on her daily hike. The primary suspect is Clare’s husband but then his body is found dead in his backyard.  The whole group is in shock when his wife confesses to killing him. They know she could not have killed him and wonder if she is protecting someone. With the blessing of local police the ladies do a little investigating on their own to catch the real culprit.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This is a fun little mystery that takes place in a little town of Mount Penn. Murder turns the normally quiet place on it’s ear.

I was really taken with the way the characters all live within walking distance of each other and hike the local trails. They were always visiting each other and were a very close knit group. It was just unfathomable that there could be a killer in their midst.

The author plotted a fine mystery and created and introduced some really interesting characters. Charlie Warren, the town’s homegrown policeman, was the one that really intrigued me as he sought out help from Lillie Mae and even took her along to question suspects to add her observations as a backup to his own. Usually in stories like this local law enforcement wants the civilians to butt out and stay out of the way. A unique twist that I really enjoyed.

At less than 250 pages this is a very quick read. It is very well written and full of the tiny details cozy lovers will appreciate.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbout Liz Stauffer

Liz Stauffer wrote stories in high school, but transferred her writing skills to the corporate world after her divorce from an Air Force pilot, as a means of supporting her two young sons. Moving between educational research and the computer world, she wrote everything from political encyclopedias and travel articles, to marketing literature and software manuals. But it wasn’t until she found herself stranded in a South Dakota winter, that she returned to writing fiction.
After a successful corporate career, Liz gave up that world to travel and to write, and in some cases, to combine her two loves. Having lived in some fourteen states during her early adult years, she’s traveled to all fifty states, and to some fifty countries on four continents. When not traveling, she lives with her two dogs in Hollywood, Florida.

For several years after retiring, Liz lived six months a year in Pen Mar, Maryland, a small community nestled into the foothills of the Appalachians, straddling the Maryland/Pennsylvania border, her house just feet from the Appalachian Trail. Pen Mar, once the site of a grand summer resort built by the railroad in the late nineteenth century, is the inspiration for the site of her Thursday Morning Breakfast and Murder Club mysteries. Her protagonist, Lillie Mae Harris, shares some of her own interests. Both women love to talk, love their friends and family but also love to meet new people, love to be outside, and love to hike. Lillie Mae would bike as much as Liz does, if the country roads she cruises were supportive to biking. Liz also has a great love of the beach, which Lillie Mae finds hot and tedious.

Currently Liz is working on the third Thursday morning breakfast club mystery and is planning a grand epic that features the Pen Mar Park and Resort.

Check out her webpage here. Be sure to sign up for her newsletter.

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Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
U.S. Residents can choose Print or E-book
International entries will be for e-book only.

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Contest Will End October 8, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

 

Excerpt from book provided by author:

“Clare’s dead!”

When she spoke the words, her voice was so low it was barely above a whisper. With the phone still ringing on the other end of the line, the sturdy woman with short, curly red hair dropped the handset back into its cradle and began to pace.
Continue reading “Review & Giveaway: Thursday Morning Breakfast (and Murder) Club by Liz Stauffer”

Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2013 Virtual Book Tour

Going Through The Notions with Cate Price Virtual Book Tour

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I am wrapping up Cate’s Tour today!!

GoingThroughTheNotions (2)
Going Through the Notions
(A Deadly Notions Mystery)

Brand New Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (September 3, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ben Perini
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425258798
E-Book File Size: 712 KB
ASIN: B00BDQ3ANE

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Daisy Buchanan and her husband Joe have retired to Millbury, Pennsylvania. Daisy has opened Sometimes a Great Notion, a unique shop the sells vintage sewing notions, toys and jewelry. You will find her and Joe at every auction and estate sale in the area looking for merchandise to sell in her store and add to his vast antique collection. They quickly became friends with Angus Baskstead, a local auctioneer. Angus takes Daisy under his wing and they are soon traveling all over searching for treasures in other people’s trash. Sometimes searching through barns full of junk and finding amazing things.

When Daisy and Joe arrive for one of Angus’s auctions they are shocked to see him being led away in handcuffs. One of his drinking buddies has been found dead and Angus is not only the prime suspect, he has already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion. The police believe they have their man and that’s that. Daisy just can’t believe this man is a murderer. She gets a notion all her own. She is going to stitch the clues together and catch the real culprit.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Cate Price is off to a great start with this series. First books in a series are hard because you have to introduce the characters and give them enough depth so that the reader is engaged but not too much because there are more installments to come. They also have to give the reader a mystery with substance to keep those pages turning. Price has done both in this book.

Daisy is a retired schoolteacher who is definitely not ready to slow down. She is probably busier now than in all the years prior to retiring. Joe is more laid back and easy going but he wishes his wife was around more and spent more time with him. Any couple that retires knows there are compromises and adjustments to be made to reach a perfect personal balance. Their daughter arriving home with a furry friend adds just what the story needed to draw me right in. Too funny how Jasper seemed to live at our house a few years ago so I could truly relate.

The plot of the mystery was very clever with many more suspects than just poor Angus. I was so glad when Detective Tony Serrano came to town but I don’t want to ruin the story so I will say no more.

Cozy fans there’s new author in print and you are going to love her stories. Small town charm, quirky characters, a dose of humor a bit of romance and murder. Just the way we love them!!

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About Cate Price
Cate Price was born in England and came to the U.S. when she was sixteen. She is a regular sight on the streets of her home town walking her two amazing rescue dogs, and enjoys gardening, yard sales, and cooking with friends. Her previous (unpublished) books span the genres of romantic comedy, romantic suspense and murder mysteries, and have finaled in numerous contests, including the prestigious Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America.

Writing the first book in the Deadly Notions mystery series proved to be rather an expensive project, because while researching auction houses, she also became addicted to bidding on box lots. She is currently hard at work on the next book in the series, A DOLLHOUSE TO DIE FOR.

Links:
Cate loves to connect with readers at her website, http://cateprice.com/ on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/catepriceauthor or Goodreads at: www.goodreads.com/cateprice

Purchase Links:
Amazon              B & N                   Powell’s Books                   Book Depository

The author is giving away 1 print copy of the book
and I am adding my review copy so 2 copies are up for grabs!

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Contest Will End September 21, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Plus be sure to enter the Special Rafflecopter Giveaway 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.”

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Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Giveaways Reviews 2013

Review & Giveaway: You Can Only Die Once by Shelley Costa

YOU CANNOLI DIE ONCEYou Cannoli Die Once
(Miracolo Mysteries)

New Series
Cozy Mystery
Pocket Books (May 28, 2013)
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1476709352
E-Book File Size: 890 KB
ASIN: B00A6CM4YC
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From Back Cover

At Miracolo Northern Italian restaurant, one can savor brilliantly seasoned veal saltimbocca, or luscious risotto alla milanese, but no cannoli. Never cannoli. Maria Pia Angelotta, the spirited seventy-six-year-old owner of the Philadelphia-area eatery that’s been in her family for four generations, has butted heads with her head chef over the cannoli ban more than once. And when the head chef is your own granddaughter, things can get a little heated.

Fortunately, Eve Angelotta knows how to handle what her nonna dishes out. But when Maria Pia’s boyfriend is found dead in Miracolo’s kitchen, bludgeoned by a marble mortar, the question arises: Can a woman this fiery and stubborn over cream-filled pastry be capable of murder?

The police seem to think so, and they put the elder Angelotta behind bars, while Eve, sexy neighborhood attorney Joe Beck, and the entire Miracolo family— parenti di sangue and otherwise—try every trick in the cookbook to unravel a tangle of lies and expose a killer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
What a tasty debut!!  Eve and her Nonna don’t agree with what’s on and not on the menu but she knows her grandmother didn’t kill anyone. Eve pulls her friends and family together to do whatever they have to so she is cleared of the crime and back at the restaurant where she belongs. Even if it means breaking and entering!

When you pick up this book be prepared to laugh and laugh a lot. This is a true group of quirky characters and I was surprised at their depth for this being the first book in the series. This is a big Italian family so there are many characters to keep straight but as the story progresses they each come into their own and are very easily pictured in the reader’s mind. Don’t be scared off by the hard to pronounce or long Italian names, soon you will feel right at home at Miracolo’s.

The story unfolds slowly with delectable dialogue, a few bites of tongue in cheek moments,  some crumbs of sarcasm, and references of some great operas.  Then it picks up steam as the clues start to come together. There is also a little romantic tension we all love too.  All together a yummy cozy mystery.  I can hardly wait for my next reservation at this wonderful Italian eatery.

just you and a friend

4 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Shelley Costa on her webpage here.

I would love to share my review copy with one lucky winner!!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Contest Will End September 5, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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

Posted in Reviews 2013

Review: The Smart One by Jennifer Close

the smart oneThe Smart One
(Vintage Contemporaries)

Contemporary Fiction
Vintage Books (July 16, 2013)
A Division of Random House, Inc.
Paperback: 432 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0307743701
E-Book File Size: 1100 KB
ASIN: B009MYAQHM
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The Coffey siblings are having a rough year. Martha is thirty and working at J. Crew after a spectacular career flameout; Claire has broken up with her fiancé and locked herself in her New York apartment until her bank account looks as grim as her mood; and the baby of the family, Max, is dating a knockout classmate named Cleo and keeping a very big, very life-altering secret. The only solution—for all of them—is to move back home.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
As a parent of adult children who have not left home or moved back home and then back out I was so looking forward to this book. Sadly I felt like “The Not Smart One”. This one just fell flat for me.

The characters just laid there on the page. One sister was whiny, one sister was in denial, the brother was young and had to grow up quickly, but still has to find out about real life out on his own. The mother was an enabler when it came to one child, distant from what the other two were going through and struggling to find herself outside of being just a mom. The father was totally disconnected from everyone.

I guess I just was waiting for something earth shattering to happen and it didn’t. I was hoping something was going to happen on the annual trip to the shore but two trips there were two trips too many.

I thought I maybe would see some of myself in the mom, but boy she did things like “spoiler alert” continue to plan her daughter’s wedding for months after it was cancelled! She continued to choose the flowers, go to food tastings and other “meetings” just for something to do. This women needs a job or a hobby or to volunteer for a good cause.

Her husband seems to live in his den. He teaches at the local college but never seems to leave the house.

I won’t even get started on the kids. I am just so glad they are not related to me!

I am wavering between 2 or 3 starfish on this one. I did finish it. Read it to the very last page and enjoyed a few excerpts so I will give it 3 but if it you to try it is is definitely one to pick up from the library.
3 STARFISH
still at the beach but not as tranquil

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author
Jennifer Close was born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago. She is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in Fiction Writing from The New School in 2005. She worked in New York in magazines for many years and then in Washington, D.C., as a bookseller. Girls in White Dresses is her first book.

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.”

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Posted in Reviews 2013

Review: Monument To The Dead by Sheila Connolly

Monument to the deadMonument to the Dead
(A Museum Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery  (June 4, 2013)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ross Jones
Cover Design by Rita Frangie
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425257128
E-Book File Size: 657 KB
ASIN: B009NY87RW

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As president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society in Philadelphia, Nell Pratt relies on the generosity of philanthropists. But when someone starts killing benefactors, it’s Nell’s turn to come to their aid…

The fourth book in the Museum Mystery series has FBI Agent James Morrison asking Nell for some help. Some local members of the cultural community have been dying of “natural causes,” but with the recent death of Adeline Harrison James has started to see a pattern that makes him believe the causes were definitely not “natural” . So with James’ blessing she starts to pull clues together and finds even more deaths for him to add to his list. Someone is killing elderly philanthropists, but who and why? If she can figure out the motive, hopefully it will lead her to the killer before another benefactor finds themselves gone before their time.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Sheila Connolly has topped herself with this one. This is one of the best stories I have read this year.

The tables being turned so Nell is asked to investigate is pure genius! James asking for her help and then working with her, Marty, and Shelby to find enough evidence to open an FBI case made this a book I could not put down. It is a very complex mystery and the characters even had to use spreadsheets to help figure it out but I found myself immersed right into the story following each little tidbit as everything started to come together.

In addition to a wonderful mystery, Connolly has away of educating readers in a fun and entertaining way. This time it was a behind the scenes of the boards and benefactors of a historical museum. I was amazed at the snippets of information staff collects to match the right person to the right project and how much is gleaned from conversations at fundraisers. There were also a pieces of Philadelphia’s little known history wrapped into this mystery. Very interesting.

Watch for this one to hit my Best of 2013 list! Kudos Sheila!!!
a perfect escape
5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
About This Author

sheilaSheila Connolly has taught art history, structured and marketed municipal bonds for major cities, worked as a staff member on two statewide political campaigns, and served as a fundraiser for several non-profit organizations. She also managed her own consulting company providing genealogical research services. Now a full-time writer, she thinks writing mysteries is a lot more fun than any of her previous occupations.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime-New England (president 2011), the national Sisters in Crime, and the fabulous on-line SinC chapter, the Guppies. She also belongs to Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America.

Sheila is Regent of her local DAR chapter, and a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants. She’s also the grandchild of Irish immigrants (in case you’re worried that she’s a snob). In addition to genealogy, Sheila loves restoring old houses, visiting cemeteries, and traveling. She is married, and has one daughter and two cats.

She blogs with Poe’s Deadly Daughters and Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen on Fridays, and Killer Characters the 25th of each month.
Check out her webpage: www.sheilaconnolly.com

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

Posted in Literary Escapes Reviews 2013

Review: Assaulted Pretzel by Laura Bradford

ASSAULTED PRETZEL - MARCH

Assaulted Pretzel
(An Amish Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (March 5, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252000
E-Book File Size: 680 KB
ASIN: B0099CUEH4

Assaulted Pretzel (An Amish Mystery, #2)

Claire Weatherly found the simple life she always wanted when she opened a gift shop in Heavenly, Pennsylvania—a small town in the heart of Amish country.

It is time for the Amish Food Festival and Sleep Heavenly has some very special guests. Rob and Ann Karble have come to town not just enjoy the delightful Amish food creations but to add their own excitement to the quiet little town. Rob is the president of Karble Toys and he has plans to add a line of toys designed and created by the Amish. Daniel Lapp and Issac Schrock have been making toys and selling them through a catalog and out of their shop to tourists so this news means they will be able to employ more Amish as their sales catapult.

Then a memo is passed around at the festival from Karble Toys. It states the new line will no longer be made in Heavenly but at one of their factories. This drives someone to commit murder. Rob Karble has been sent to his final reward. No one wants to believe anyone from the Amish community would kill someone but Detective Fisher and Claire have learned the no one is above sin or suspicion. They need to track down the killer before anyone else becomes heaven bound.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Amazing! Laura Bradford in an amazing author!

Heavenly, Pennsylvania is right in the heart of an Amish Community. Tourists come to the little town for a glimpse of their simpler way of life and stop into the shops along Lighted Way owned by both English and Amish residents.

Clare Weatherly has come to Heavenly to get away from the rushed life she was living and a man she realized was completely wrong for her. She has opened up Heavenly Treasures where she sells items crafted by her Amish neighbors. She has quickly made herself at home in Heavenly.

Bradford blends a clever mystery with a little romance to captivate cozy readers. There are two men that make Clare “tingle” but one is totally off limits and the other has his mind on other things, like solving a murder.

Fantastic characters, a delightful setting, and a whodunit that will keep you guessing until the very end. The first book in this series, Hearse and Buggy, was one of my favorite cozies in 2012 and this one is even better. Both books are Heavenly Treasures and get my highest recommendation. I can’t wait for the next installment of this wonderful series!

a perfect escape 5 STARFISH 5 STARFISH

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find Out More About Laura And Her Books Visit Her 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.”

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d085941mystery challenge2013where are you reading

Posted in Reviews 2012

Review: Threaded For Trouble by Janet Bolin

Threaded for Trouble
(A Threadville Mystery)

Book 2 in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group (June 5, 2012)
Cover Illustration by Robin Moline
Cover Design by Annette Fiore Defex
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251324

Threaded for Trouble

Threadville Pennsylvania is a street of craft shops the feature everything from Quilting to Yarn Crafts. Willow Vanderling owns In Stitches, the embroidery shop. Today is a special day at In Stitches as Darlene Coddlefield will be presented with her new top of the line sewing machine. She has won a national competition sponsored by The Chandler Company. The company representative has arrived to award the prize and she is driving Willow crazy with her demands.

Poor Darlene never gets to do more with her new machine but test it out for a few minutes. She is found dead under her sewing table that looks to have collapsed from the weight of the extremely heavy machine. It soon becomes apparent that this way no accident and the suspects are many including Darlene’s fire chief husband, “Plug” . Willow and her best friend Haylee even become volunteer firefighters to see if they can uncover the true culprit. Hopefully they can do it without getting burned.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 
I was excited for another trip to Threadville. It is a place I would love to live.

The characters are so well defined, they are already a group of literary friends. The high-jinks of “The Three Weird Mothers”, Opal, Naomi and Edna actually has me “in stitches”. I was laughing so hard I was crying.

As a formerly addicted crafter who had been knitting, quilting and sewing since I was 8 years old until my accident in 2001, I can identify with each and every shop owner in Threadville and this story has given me a new respect for my sewing machine. My father was also the fire chief of our small town so the firefighters in this story made me smile even the cantankerous one. With the drought this year we can all understand the fire outbreaks and the sirens at all hours usually at night.

Filled with all the elements a perfect cozy and a perfect escape!

I loved the first book in this series and this one is even better. Kudos to the author! Do we really have to wait until June for the next installment?

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Be sure to check out Janet’s webpage here.
Find her here on Facebook.
Here on Twitter.

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 E-Book Challenge Reviews 2012

Review: Wicked Wives By Gus Pelagatti

The Wicked Wives: A novel based on a true story Mill City Press, Inc. Paperback and E-book

The Wicked Wives

This novel is based on a true story. In 1938, 17 wives and their accomplices were arrested in Philadelphia for murdering their husbands. Behind the whole plot was Giorgio DiSipio, a true lothario. He was a local tailor with a revolving door of women. He would seduce them, help them to insure their husbands, then teach them how to kill them, all for his share of the insurance money.

It was extremely successful until a single assistant district attorney discovers the plot and does everything he can to hold the guilty parties accountable.

Dollycas’s Thoughts It is easy to forget this novel is based on a true story as it reads like a good piece of juicy fiction.

A bored housewife is never a good thing. These wives first have an affair with the tailor, then let him lead them down a wicked path of murder, all thinking they are in love with this guy. A guys whose sick wife is right upstairs. I wonder how he even had time to make any clothes with all the women coming and going. Sound like a plot for a soap opera doesn’t it.

They made some mistakes and one man brought them down. The author takes us inside the investigation. The deceit, the corruption, the conspiracy. Plus the lust and sex. These women were no shrinking violets. There are the twists and turns to this story as well. The story is written by a trial lawyer that has done his research. Once you start reading you will have a very hard time putting this book down so plan accordingly. 🙂

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author He is a practicing trial lawyer with over 47 years of experience trying civil and criminal cases, including homicide.

He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, limited to attorneys who have been recognized as achieving a standard of excellence as a trial expert.

He has spent years researching the true story of the 1938 insurance scam murders, interviewing judges, lawyers, police and neighbors involved in the trials.

He was born and raised within blocks of the main conspirator’s tailor shop and the homes of many of the wives convicted of murdering their husbands.

    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.”

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2012

Cozy Wednesday With Laura Bradford (Giveaway too!)

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

Today’s guest is one of my favorite authors! She creates rich characters and friendships in her stories that draw you in and make you care for each of them. She is a truly gifted writer and I am so excited to welcome her here today. The first book in her new Amish Mystery series was released yesterday. Hearse and Buggy is an awesome story. She is here to give us a little insight on how the new series was born. Ruth from the Shoo Fly Bake Shoppe in Heavenly, Pennsylvania has sent us some virtual sweets to eat, so relax, help yourself and help me welcome Laura Bradford.

Welcome Laura!!

Thanks Lori! Hi Everyone!

For as far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved the smell of all things new—new cars, the first few drops of a spring rain, new erasers, new babies…

If I stop and think about it though, it’s not the smell of new that appeals to me as much as the new beginning part…

New car = new places to travel.

First few drops of a spring rain = new flowers to smell and new puddles to splash in.

New erasers = fixing mistakes that come from having the courage to try.

New babies = vast potential and the comfort of hope.

So I guess it’s really no surprise that I’ve been beside myself with excitement over the launch of my brand new endeavor, the Amish Mysteries. Hearse and Buggy, the first title in the series, released this week and I couldn’t be any happier.

Fantastic Cover!

As a little girl, I remember being fascinated by the rare sighting of an Amish child—their clothes, their shoes, their life so different that mine. But unlike the momentary gawking you’d expect from most kids when faced with someone or something so different than their norm, my fascination was one I was eager to explore. Why did they wear those hats? Why didn’t they wear a pretty necklace? I mean, they look just like us, but they dress, they behave, they live so differently.

Little did I know, at that time, that one day I’d not only be in a position to find those answers, but also live that life…at least by way of my writing.

My work on the Amish Mysteries allows me both opportunities.

Two different times over the past year, I’ve traveled down to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to learn everything I can about the old world Amish in that area. I’ve toured homes, read books, observed their comings and goings, and listened as those far more knowledgeable than me share their wisdom. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot. And I want to learn more.

My series’ protagonist, Claire Weatherly, enables me to live alongside the Amish just as she does—learning their ways, and drawing them close as I do.

I’ve been excited about every book I’ve ever written for one reason or another—a particular plot, a favorite character, a picturesque setting. But Hearse and Buggy (and all of the Amish Mysteries) have jettisoned that first-book excitement into a different stratosphere altogether.

I love the world I’ve created inside Heavenly, PA. I want to work in Claire’s gift shop. I want to be nearby when she and her Amish employee, Esther, are talking. I want to catch my breath along with Claire when Detective Jakob Fisher (former Amish) and his long ago childhood friend, Benjamin Miller, walk by. I want to try Ruth Miller’s Shoo Fly Pie.

And I want to see where these characters take me—and my readers—in the books to come.

I hope you’ll take the journey with me.

~Laura

About This Author
Laura Bradford is the author of the new Amish Mysteries (Berkley/Penguin). Hearse and Buggy, the first book in the series, is now available. For more information about Laura (and her work on this series as well as the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries as Elizabeth Lynn Casey), visit her website:  www.laurabradford.com. There, you can read chapter one of  Hearse and Buggy and stay apprised of Laura’s events and all news pertinent to the series (including some fun Amish facts on the “extras” page).

2012 best new cozy series

Hearse and Buggy
(An Amish Mystery)

Brand New Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Mary Ann Lasher
Cover Design by Sarah Oberrender

Hearse and Buggy

 

Heavenly, Pennsylvania has become home to Claire Weatherly. She lives with her aunt Diane who runs Sleep Heavenly Bed & Breakfast. She has left behind her old life in Manhattan and find herself the owner of Heavenly Treasures on Lighted Way where she sells Amish crafted items.  Her store is right next to the Shoo Fly Bake Shoppe where Ruth Miller bakes up and sells her tasty treats.

Ruth is a Amish woman with two very protective brothers, Eli and Benjamin. They try to keep a close eye on both her and her business and they are very upset when she seems to be the target of someone doing their best to frighten her by leaving notes and breaking milk bottles on her porch.

The town is shocked when the former owner of Claire’s shop is found murdered in the alley between the two stores. He was not liked by many and had been accused cheating the Amish artists who consigned their works with him to sell. The accusation was made loudly and heard by many. The accuser was none other than Ruth’s brother Eli.

The detective on the case is Jakob Fisher. Jakob was brought up Amish and after his Rumspringa returned and was baptized.  Then he decided her really wanted to work in law enforcement so he left his Amish roots behind. Because he was baptized and then left he was shunned by his family. The family that is part of the Heavenly Amish Community. He hits several roadblocks as he tries to investigate the murder because the Amish won’t talk to him. Clare has made friends with many in the Amish Community and offers to be his go-between.

The peaceful town of Heavenly is not very peaceful as Clare finds out much more than she wanted about her neighbors. There is much more going on here than just a few bottles of spilled milk and she is determined to get to the bottom of it!

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Laura Bradford is an amazing author! She has created captivating characters in an unique setting that I just know you will love. The Simple Life of the Amish is fascinating to many as we wonder how these people who look just like us live the way we do. Laura is giving us a chance to see how the Amish and the English live and work side by side.

Clare has a young Amish woman working for her and she sells the treasures crafted by her Amish neighbors. The Amish have shops up and down the way. Lighted Way connects the two ways of life. Tourists come to Heavenly to learn about the Amish culture and purchased their goods. Heavenly, Pennsylvania sounds like a little slice of heaven, well except for the dead body and a bit of vandalism.  

A wonderful complex mystery with a variety of suspects!!

The author has also laid the groundwork for a little romance. The men that send tingles through Claire and Esther has a crush. 

We also need to see what happens between Jakob and his family. Sixteen years have past and there is a great divide.

Think is now my favorite cozy so far this year! If you love cozies like I do you will love this book and like me you will eagerly waiting for the next book in the Amish Mystery Series as soon as you finish this one. Hearse and Buggy is a Heavenly Treasure!!!


Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Berkley Prime Crime
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Laura for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted 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 Reviews 2012

Fire Engine Dead by Sheila Connolly

Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery)
A Museum Mystery
3rd in the Series

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Ross Jones
Cover Design by Rita Frangie

Release Date: March 6, 2012

Nell Pratt, the new president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society, is busy trying to hire staff and keep The Society running in these hard economic times, but when The Fireman’s Museum loses most of it’s collections to a fire she realizes things could be much worse. She tries to help by gathering all the information The Society has about local fire history to help them tally their losses and file an insurance claim. It is a picture that makes Nell understand there is much more to the story that meets the eye. When the smoke clears she knows she has to help find the truth. Hopefully she will not go down in a blaze all her own.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Being a daughter of a firefighter this story really touched by heart. The fire department where I grew up has many treasures from the past including an antique engine that travels around to nearby parades and events throughout the summer. My father was the chief for many years before he passed away. The department was an integral part of my life. There is even a Fire Training Facility dedicated to my dad at a nearby college. So growing up you could say fire fighting and all that goes with it was the family business.

Because of that I know Sheila Connolly has created a very accurate picture of the dedication of the men and women in this dangerous profession. Arson is a horrible crime and the reactions of all the characters are realistic and true. She also takes the saying of “a picture is worth a thousand words” to a very practical level, the key to the mystery.

I enjoy this series because Nell takes us into a museum full of paper and books that unless you are doing research could be quite boring but all the interplay with the characters and where their lives take us is anything but boring. It’s exciting, entertaining, and fun. It’s amazing what can happen in rooms full of ledgers, letters and legal documents. Connolly has created a complex and complicated mystery that will keep your feet to the fire as you follow the clues that will slam the door shut on those who ignited the flames. Sit back and enjoy this one, just stay back from the fire, we don’t want any readers to get injured during the reading of this book 🙂


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.”