Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Flashback Friday Giveaways Reviews 2016 TBR Pile Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting

Flashback Friday – Bean There, Done That by Sandra Balzo #Review / #Giveaway

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I first found out about Sandra Balzo back when I started blogging years ago when I was contacted to review Running on Empty, the 1st book in her Main Street Mysteries. I loved that whole series. It was then I found out she was from Wisconsin and wrote the Maggie Thorsen Mysteries and that they are set in Wisconsin. I started collecting them and read the first 2 right away. Then my blog took off and I had so many books to read and review. The book below and book 4 – Brewed, Crude and Tattooed and book 5 – From The Grounds Up have been waiting on my TBR shelves. The final 3 are on my wish list 🙂

The copy I have personally that I will be giving away was published in 2012 by Worldwide Library. It was originally released by Severn House first in hardcover in 2008 and then in paperback in 2009 and published as an e-book in 2011.

bean-there-done-thatBean There, Done That (A Maggy Thorsen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Mass Market Paperback: 251 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0373267903



Here’s a tip: if your ex-husband’s mistress-cum-missus. asks for your help in proving that he cheated on her while he was married to you, just say no.

And you most certainly should not invite this new missus., Mrs. Rachel Thorsen, in for a cup of coffee. But big-hearted Maggy can’t seem to help her own hospitality.

Unfortunately, most unfortunately, this mistress-cum-missus disappears shortly after her coffeehouse confab with Maggy and is later found murdered…making Maggy’s ex, Ted, the chief suspect.

Despite the tempting satisfaction of seeing her ex go down, Maggy knows Ted is innocent. Cheater? Most definitely. Murderer? Most definitely not. So Maggy reluctantly agrees to help him. Rachel’s wealthy family, however, disagrees and spares no expense in trying to put Ted behind bars.

Now it’s up to Maggy to discover the truth…even if it upsets her on-again, off-again relationship with the handsome Sheriff Jake Pavlik…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Maggie has a huge heart and it gets her in trouble. Her ex’s new wife, Rachel asks for help because she believes Ted is cheating on her just like he cheated on Maggie with Rachel when they were married. She agrees even though she knows she shouldn’t. Then suddenly Rachel is missing and when her body is found all the evidence points directly at her cheating spouse. Now Ted may cheat on his wives but killing one of them, no way. Suddenly Maggie is in investigation mode up to her eyeballs and her “boyfriend”,  Sheriff Jake Pavlik is not happy about it. Maggie believes she can get someone to spill the beans and prove Ted innocent but she never imagined in her wildest dreams what she would truly find.

The author brews up a fast and fun mystery for readers to enjoy. It is filled with humor and a solid mystery and ends with a shocking twist.

I love this book is set in a Milwaukee coffeehouse, the characters all have a quirkiness quality about them, and no that doesn’t mean all Wisconsin people are quirky. There is also just the right amount of romantic tension that every cozy needs.  I enjoyed reading about places I have been and know. The dialogue was familiar and comfortable.

For me this was  a “perfect escape”, just an hour down the road. I hope to read more books in this series soon.

perfect 2016

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Sandra Balzo and her books on her webpage here.


I am giving away my copy!

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.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

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

Contest Will End September 23, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in Giveaways

Follower Love Giveaway Hop!!!

Click Here To Travel To Over 300 More Great Blogs Hosting Giveaways!!

This is a very special giveaway to show my followers how much I


I am sharing 2 Advanced Reader Copies “I Loved”!
You know what that means.

These Advanced Reader Copy books can be shared but never sold.

Love Escape #1

Running on Empty

Sandra is one of my favorite Wisconsin Authors!

My review of this book!

AnnaLise left Sutherton, North Carolina to go to college in Wisconsin and really never looked back. That was until she received the phone call that told her “…Daisy (her mother),she went and drained all of the blood out of Mrs. Bradenham.” “Don’t you worry, I didn’t let the chief’s police boys take your mother away.” AnnaLise threw a few things in her car and headed home to North Carolina. To clarify, Daisy was helping at the local blood drive and she didn’t drain all of Mrs. Bradenham’s blood, just a couple of extra pints and Mrs. Bradenham was fine, well as fine as she was before the incident.

AnnaLise arrives home just in time for the Labor Day celebration but after getting the whole story on her mother, AnnaLise finds this is going to be more than just a little trip home. Bodies are turning up everywhere and she fears Daisy may be next. Using her training as a journalist she sets out to investigate what the heck is going on in Sutherton and is going get to the bottom of it, if she doesn’t die trying.


I know, I rarely say I love the first book of any series because I believe it takes more than one story to get to know the characters, the setting and the a journey the author has planned for both, but I absolutely, positively, genuinely loved this book!!!

I want to visit Sutherton as soon as possible. There is a cafe like in every small town where the news and gossip travels at the speed of light. AnnaLise is surrounded by a great group of friends and even an old boyfriend or two. The story flows naturally, the mystery unfolds with ease, the humor level is spot-on, and most of the characters are offbeat but all of them are lovable.

I have always stated that being a true storyteller is a gift. Sandra Balzo has that gift. I can’t believe it took me so long to find this wonderful author. I have read the first book in the Maggy Thorsen Mystery Series too and cannot wait to get caught up on the rest of that series. I know the first three are now available on Kindle at the bargain price of just $2.99, so be sure to check those out as soon as possible and pre-order Running On Empty today. You can thank me later because I know you will love it too!!!

Love Escape #2

Missing Persons: A Kate Conway Mystery

Another Favorite Author

My review of this book:

Kate Conway’s soon to be ex-husband Frank is dead and the cops always think the spouse did it so Kate becomes the number one suspect. Strange too is that his new girlfriend wants to be her new best friend.

She decides to bury herself in work to get her mind off his death and give the police time to find the real killer. She is offered a new assignment for a brand new series, Missing Persons.

Kate starts researching the story of Theresa Moretti, a young woman who has been missing for a year. Her family is still holding out hope Theresa is alive and believes Kate will find her. Kate just wants to get enough footage to tell the missing girl’s story and move on but Theresa’s family has really touched her which causes her to dig a little deeper and the more she digs she finds the death of her ex may be related to this Missing Person story. She also finds the deeper she digs she may be putting her own life in danger.


This is an edgy story that not only draws you in but educates on how these True Crime shows are made and with an author that has a background in television all the jargon rings true, especially how long it takes, how much film is needed, and how much is cut to tell a story in about 22 minutes.

The unexpected is that as each clue is uncovered you feel you are actually right on the scene. This can happen with a lot of stories but this one actually played in my mind’s eye like a television program. It made you almost forget this is a work of fiction and that you were actually reading a book. It really is hard to believe the same author who wrote the Someday Quilts series in the same person who wrote this book. Clare you have a wonderful imagination and I LOVE IT!!!

I am sure readers of the previous series will love this book but I see it bringing in a whole new group of readers, those who love true crime. This story fits the description of a cozy mystery in the way that the crime solver in an intelligent female amateur sleuth, but this series seems to go further just because of Kate’s job and takes place in the big city of Chicago.

This series has a wealth of information available as people go missing and crimes are committed everyday. I look forward to being on the scene of the next Kate Conway Mystery.

Both packages will include some bookish swag!!

Contest rules say 1 mandatory entry with a limit of 4 bonus entries.


Winners will be chosen using

***Remember GFC is going away March 1, 2012
so be sure you are following in a different way if you want to
continue to follow Escape With Dollycas.