Posted in Reviews 2011

The Girl In The Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman

This book caught my eye some time ago on Staci’s blog Life In The Thumb. At first when I learned that it was book 11 in the series I was a little hesitant as I am one of those people that has to read series in order, but after seeing Staci’s review and hearing more about it I moved it to the top of my To-Be-Read pile last week. Thank You Staci!!!

The Girl in the Green Raincoat: A Tess Monaghan Novel
Published by HarperCollins
Cover Design by Emin Mancheril
Cover Photo by Charles Gullung/Corbis
11th in the series

Tess Monaghan is a private investigator in Baltimore, but unfortunately as she enters the third trimester of her pregnancy she is put on complete bed rest. This is especially hard for a woman who uses her keen observations to solve crimes. Now all she gets to observe is what she can see out her window. Pretty boring stuff, the same people walk by every day, some walking dogs or kids. A young woman wearing a green raincoat walking a dog goes by every day without fail. Tess is intrigued by her and tries to figure out her story just by what she can see from her bed.

Then one day the dog goes flying by Tess’s window and the girl in the green raincoat is nowhere in sight. Certain that something is really wrong. Tess decides she must solve the mystery. What happened to the girl in the green raincoat? Little does she know she is putting herself and her baby in danger as she delves into her quest to find the answers she needs.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The book reads quite easy as a stand alone. I have not read any of the books in this series and totally enjoyed it. The whole Rear Windowesque theme was thoroughly entertaining.

Some of Tess’s superstitions added quite a bit of humor along with the zany actions of Dempsey. It is easy to feel for the character of Tess as she not only deals with being bedridden but deals with questions about her future, the normal pregnancy hormones and the fears of a high risk pregnancy. Her boyfriend is a gem, her best friend Whitney is a stitch and her dad is the typical dad, there when you need him.

This story is short, well paced and gives us a peek into the world of Tess Monaghan. This may be the first story I have read in this series but it won’t be the last. I also want to check out some of Laura Lippman’s stand alone novels.

If you want to find out more about Laura Lippman check out her web page.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

This book came from my own person collection.

Posted in Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2011 Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting

Cozy Wednesday Special Addition with Author Kathleen Ernst (Giveaway too!)

Welcome to the special edition of Cozy Wednesday on Thursday. This is an extra special day for me. Kathleen Ernst is a Wisconsin Author and her Chloe Ellefson Mystery Series is set at the historic site of Old World Wisconsin and the surrounding area. All four of our kids had school field trips to Old World Wisconsin and my husband and I took turns being chaperones. We love that place and can’t wait until our grandson is just a little older so we can take him there too.

Please help me Welcome Kathleen Ernst to Escape With Dollycas!!!

Hi Kathleen!!

Hi Everyone! I am happy to be here! I am glad Dollycas and I connected so I could take a moment to tell you about…

Murder, Past and Present
by Kathleen Ernst

Novelist William Faulkner once said, “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past.” If Faulkner hadn’t said that, Chloe Ellefson—the protagonist of my Historic Sites mysteries—might have.

Chloe is a curator at large historic site called Old World Wisconsin. She is not an amateur sleuth in the traditional sense. She isn’t nosey or particularly observant. She takes no pleasure in being involved with crimes. If it were up to her, all detection would be left to local cop Roelke McKenna.

Alas, events conspire against her. In Old World Murder, Chloe’s first day on the job comes to a troubling end when an elderly donor comes looking for a family antique that she’d donated to Old World Wisconsin years earlier. Moments later, the woman dies in a car crash. When Chloe realizes that the antique in question is missing, she tries to find it. As curator, it’s her job; she also wants to honor the donor’s memory. Chloe begins to suspect that someone else is after the artifact, but authorities initially take no interest. What’s a curator to do?

In my new release, The Heirloom Murders, Chloe is dragged into the middle of a complicated set of crimes. Roelke McKenna takes the investigative lead, and tries hard to keep Chloe uninvolved in police matters. Just one problem with that plan—the motivation for murder is rooted in historical events. In the end, Chloe’s knowledge helps Roelke understand the situation he’s confronting.

Readers often ask writers where they get their ideas. For me, it’s pretty simple: I used to work as a curator at Old World Wisconsin, and I’ve always been fascinated by the past. While traveling or doing research I look for a spark—some compelling bit of information or lore that makes me want to plunge into a new novel. I like to find stories that haven’t been widely told. I love shining my tiny bit of lantern light on those events in fictional form.

And I love devising ways to illustrate how history can tangle lives in the here-and-now. After all, aren’t all communities and families the sum of everything that has gone on before? We’re all shaped by past events.

I think William Faulkner had it right. How about you? Have you considered how long-gone events affect your life today?

I’m grateful to Dollycas for allowing me to celebrate publication of The Heirloom Murders (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery) by guest-posting here. And I’m grateful to readers! I love my work, and I’d be nowhere without you.

Fill out the form at the bottom of this page and your name will go into a drawing for a free book. The winner can choose any of my seventeen titles. The Heirloom Murders, one of my American Girl mysteries, a Civil War novel—the choice will be yours! To learn more, please visit my website,


**Book blurb, The Heirloom Murders:
Working for Old World Wisconsin, Chloe Ellefson delights in losing herself in antiques and folk traditions–and forgetting her messy love life. Then the outdoor ethnic museum becomes a murder scene. Does the missing Eagle diamond, a legendary gemstone unearthed in 1876, have anything to do with it? Could Simon Sabatola, a rich AgriFutures executive who possibly drove his wife to suicide, be responsible? Chloe learns that some things never change in this compelling mystery of old-fashioned greed, Swiss green cheese, and a nearly-extinct heirloom flower.

The books are both published my Midnight Ink and are available now anywhere books are sold.
Dollycas’s Thoughts
I loved both of these books. First because they were a mini trip down memory lane, but Kathleen describes the settings so well you won’t have had to visit the historic site to feel like you are right there in the farmhouses, the barns, or even Chloe’s trailer office. Chloe also travels around the area and the author’s words take us right along with her.

I also enjoyed that Chloe really doesn’t want to being the middle of any of the investigations, she would rather be doing her job as Curator of Collections, keep her boss off her back and spending time with her new friends.

The best part though are the mysteries. They are so well plotted and intelligently written, with plenty of spins and spills, twists and turns. The characters take some turns and spills themselves.

These stories also educate us about the cultures of old Wisconsin in a subtle way. I especially liked the peek we had when a older couple told the story of coming to Wisconsin and making a special type of cheese. The back stories are as rich as the mysteries that unfold in each book. The way historical and modern times mesh together in these stories is truly delightful. You can feel Kathleen’s passion for Old World Wisconsin in her words. She understands the history and the extra research she does for ideas is going to give her a wide range of things to shine a light on in future stories.

This isn’t your ordinary cozy, it is so much more!!! It earns the rating of

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Midnight Ink and 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.”

Now for the giveaway!!!
Kathleen is giving away your choice of one of her books. The winner can choose any of her seventeen titles. The Heirloom Murders, one of her American Girl mysteries, a Civil War novel—the choice will be yours! To learn more, please visit her website,

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

Contest Will End November 3 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.