Oct 062018
 

A Very Merry Murder (A Professor Prather Mystery)
by Mary Angela

My Reading Schedule was full when this tour came in
but I will be reading and reviewing in the future. 

About the Book


A Very Merry Murder (A Professor Prather Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Camel Press (October 1, 2018)
Paperback: 258 pages
ISBN-10: 1603816550
ISBN-13: 978-1603816557
Digital ASIN: B07G2VLLCV

It’s December in Copper Bluff, and from hillside to hallowed hall, everyone is merry—or will be as soon as semester break arrives. Students are studying, professors are grading, and Emmeline Prather is anticipating the university-sponsored holiday concert. Friend and colleague Lenny Jenkins will be accompanying the visiting quartet, Jazz Underground, and Em can’t think of a better way to kick-start the holiday season.

But before she can say “Jingle Bell Rock,” trouble arrives at Candlelight Inn, the bed and breakfast where the quartet is staying. One of the band members dies unexpectedly, and suspicion falls on Em, whose altercation with the man ends with him on the floor. He never recovers, and now she’s worried her reputation might not either. When Emmeline starts to see parallels between an Agatha Christie novel she’s teaching and the victim, Lenny claims she’s read one too many mysteries.

As the clues unravel, so does the murderer’s patience. Em is close to finding the truth, but will the truth—or the murderer—push her over the edge? It will take a Christmas miracle to solve this case, but if there’s one thing in surplus this time of year, it’s faith.

Praise for A Very Merry Murder (A Professor Prather Mystery)
by Mary Angela

This book overflows with the sounds and smells and music of the winter holiday season.
I was carried away to Copper Bluff, South Dakota.
~Laura’s Interests

A VERY MERRY MURDER is a warm and endearing cozy mystery into which the reader slips, similar to slipping under a warm afghan near a glowing fire on a cold winter’s night, ready to wrap oneself in the story,
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

Lots of twists, turns, and surprises that you won’t see coming all leading to a great reveal scene that made me think of Sherlock as Em laid it all out for them.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

This book was definitely cute with the descriptions of Christmas and how the people celebrate the holidays. Along with solving a mystery and add an Agatha Christie novel to the mix and it’s bound to be a great adventure!
~Community Bookstop

About the Author

© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

Mary Angela is the author of the Professor Prather academic mystery series, which has been called “enjoyable” and “clever” by Publishers Weekly. She is also an educator and has taught English and humanities at South Dakota’s public and private universities for over ten years. When Mary isn’t writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Author Links

Webpage     Blog     GoodReads      Facebook     Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon   B&N  Kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

October 1 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW
October 1 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
October 2 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
October 2 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
October 3 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
October 3 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
October 4 – Babs Book Bistro -SPOTLIGHT
October 5 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
October 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
October 5 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
October 6 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
October 6 – Mysteries with Character – SPOTLIGHT
October 7 – Island Confidential – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 8 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  
October 8 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
October 9 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
October 9 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT  
October 10 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
October 11 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW
October 11 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
October 11 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
October 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 12 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
October 13 – Varietats – REVIEW
October 13 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 14 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
October 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Aug 312018
 

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Passport to Murder (A Professor Prather Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – South Dakota/Minneapolis
Camel Press (September 15, 2017)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1603816534
ISBN-13: 978-1603816533
Kindle – ASIN: B0746QGX9R

Start with an unlucky number. Throw in a romantic location. Include a dashing Frenchman and an uncompromising professor. And you have all the ingredients for a passport to murder. This semester, it seems that Professor Prather’s dreams are about to come true. Ever since she was a young girl, she’s imagined going to France, and her French colleague, André Duman, has finally made that trip possible. Over spring break, she and André are to lead a group of students and faculty to Paris to explore the City of Light. But before she can utter her first bonjour, a professor dies, and they are stuck is Minneapolis until they police allow them to go home. She returns to Copper Bluff with an unstamped passport and a mystery to solve. When André becomes the prime suspect, Emmeline puts her research skills to good use, determined to find out who really killed the professor and spoiled their spring break plans. With thirteen travelers assembled, the possibilities are varied and villainous. Luckily, her dear friend and sidekick, Lenny Jenkins, is close by. Together, they will sort through the conflicting clues even if it costs them time, trouble, or tenure.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A trip to Paris sounds delightful. Professor Emmeline Prather is chaperoning the trip with her French colleague, André Duman, for students and other faculty members to the City of Light over Spring Break. After the 13 travelers bus trip to Minnesota, they board the plan for Paris. But they don’t get far before one of the other professors dies and the plane turns around. They have to stay in Minneapolis until the police can rule on the cause of death. Soon, it is declared murder and  André Duman is on the top of the suspect list. Emmeline returns to Copper Bluff determined to do everything she can to find the real killer. She may never get to Paris but she can save her friend.

This mystery starts out at a good clip and doesn’t let up. I read the whole thing in one evening. The mystery is like a closed room mystery a la Agatha Christie. Someone on that plane is the killer. Some of the suspects can be eliminated quickly, but others are hiding things and were sitting close enough to do the deed. The police and FBI zeroed in on one person and tried to make the evidence fit. Emmeline took the correct approach or following the evidence. When a second person dies the case really gets interesting.

Professor Emmeline Prather has a good level head on her shoulders. When she teams up with her friend Lenny, they are unstoppable. She follows the clues, does a little research and presents what she finds to Lenny and they talk it through. He is also around to ask questions she can’t. I enjoy how they work together and that they seem to be getting closer.

I liked the supporting cast, students, and faculty. They are a diverse group in age and backgrounds. They were believable and relatable.

I have read several cozy series set at a college and the author finds a way to make her setting unique. South Dakota is not a typical locale for a cozy mystery and having to travel to nearby Minneapolis opens up a bunch of new places to discover.

The author has given readers a well plotted and well-written story. She has created engaging characters that we can become invested in. I hope to visit Copper Bluff again soon!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

 

About The Author

Like her protagonist in the Professor Prather mystery series, Mary Angela lives on the Great Plains and teaches college writing and literature. When she’s not grading papers (when is she not grading papers?), she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She and her husband have two amazing daughters, one adorable dog, and a cat who would rather not be limited by an adjective. For more information, go to www.maryangelabooks.com.

Author Links

Webpage     Blog     GoodReads      Facebook     Twitter

You can find my review of Book #1 – An Act of Murder here.

I am giving 1 Kindle Copy away!
Book will be sent directly from Amazon.

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

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.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will End September 14, 2018, 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.”

 

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Oct 252016
 

I am so happy to be part of this tour!

an-act-of-murder-large-banner640II An Act of Murder
by Mary Angela

 

AN ACT OF MURDER

An Act of Murder (Professor Prather Mystery)
Series: Professor Prather Mystery (Book 1)
Cozy Mystery
Setting – South Dakota
Publisher: Camel Press (October 15, 2016)
Paperback: 236 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603813754
E-Book ASIN: B01M622C3B

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Synopsis

In the sleepy college town of Copper Bluff, South Dakota, English professor Emmeline Prather is enjoying the start of a new semester. But when one of her students dies working on the fall musical, it disrupts life on the small, quiet campus. Although the police rule the death accidental, Prof. Prather has good reason to suspect foul play.

Unmasking the murderer proves much more challenging than finding dangling participles, so Em recruits fellow English professor Lenny Jenkins for assistance. Together, they comb the campus and vicinity for clues, risking their reputations and possibly their jobs. After an intruder breaks into Em’s house, Lenny advises caution–and perhaps a change of address. Em, on the other hand, is all the more determined to forge ahead, convinced they’re on the brink of an important breakthrough.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Set in South Dakota in a small college town, big city drama arrives with a murder of a freshmen in the theater. Emmeline Prather was his English professor and she felt like she was just getting to know this young man but can’t imagine why anyone would  want him dead. With the help of another professor, Lenny Jenkins, she is determined to find the killer while putting herself in danger.

I had sympathy for the victim, his life had been the family farm and his small high school. Away from home and at college is a huge change for everyone, but he was having trouble finding his place. Em knew he was trying to join a fraternity and her first thought was a hazing incident gone wrong may have been how the student met his demise. The more she and Lenny dug into the case more possibilities and suspects came to light.

As for Em, she impressed me as an amateur sleuth. She is a smart woman and doesn’t back down. She followed the clues through several twists very realistically. I was totally surprised where the clues led and the drama that ensued in pursuit of justice.

I like her relationship with Lenny, it brings a little levity to the story. They work well together and exchange a few barbs along the way. I am excited to see where the author takes these characters in the future.

This series is off to a great start. The mystery is complicated and believable.  The characters are real with plenty of room to evolve. The setting is intriguing with a huge pool of people to draw into future stories. Mary Angela is an author to watch. I am excited about upcoming installments to this story.

enjoyable 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

mary angela

About The Author

Like her protagonist in the Professor Prather mystery series, Mary Angela lives on the Great Plains and teaches college writing and literature. When she’s not grading papers (when is she not grading papers?), she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She and her husband have two amazing daughters, one adorable dog, and a cat who would rather not be limited by an adjective. For more information, go to www.maryangelabooks.com.

Author Links

Webpage     Blog     GoodReads      Facebook     Twitter

 

 

Praise for An Act of Murder

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was filled with mystery. I was guessing till the end a few twists and turns. A very well written book.
~Books, Dreams, Life

I got a kick out of quirky English professor Emmeline Prather, who is just bloody-minded enough to continue to investigate a mysterious death on campus, against the advice of…well, just about everyone.
~Island Confidential

There are numerous interesting angles and twists and turns in An Act of Murder that make it a most enjoyable read.
~Back Porchervations

The ending was explosive with secrets that will leave you hanging on the edge of your seat.
~Texas Book-aholic

Purchase Links

Amazon    B&N

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

October 15 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
October 16 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
October 17 – Island Confidential – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
October 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 19 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
October 20 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW
October 21 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
October 22 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
October 23 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
October 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
October 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
October 26 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
October 26 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
October 27 – Jane Reads – REVIEW
October 28 – Varietats – 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.”

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Oct 072015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

It my pleasure to welcome Kathleen Ernst back to Escape With Dollycas today! 

The new Chloe Ellefson Mystery, Death on the Prairie, comes out tomorrow! 

Kathleen Ernst

 

Choosing a Setting

When I began conceptualizing the Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites mystery series, I knew I wanted my protagonist to be a collections curator at Old World Wisconsin. OWW is a large living history museum where I once worked, so I had that setting locked in my mind.

I also thought it would be fun to get Chloe out and about at times as the series progressed. I loved the early Anna Pigeon books from Nevada Barr, and eagerly anticipated each as a chance to vicariously experience a new national park. I wanted my series to introduce special historic sites and museums to readers.

DeathOnThePrairieCoverWebThe new Chloe mystery, Death on the Prairie, is the sixth. As the series has grown I’ve been delighted to receive readers’ suggestions for future settings. Equally delightful are invitations from staff at various historic sites and museums.

But choosing a setting for each new book is a complicated thing—especially since it’s not the first element I consider.

The most important factor is where my main characters are, emotionally speaking, at the end of the last book. Chloe usually takes center stage, but police officer Roelke McKenna is also a recurring character. In each book Chloe and Roelke discover things about themselves, and about each other. They grow emotionally. I want their journey to be reflected in the mystery plot, which has to do with setting.

In Death on the Prairie, Chloe embarks on a road trip to visit all of the homesites dedicated to Laura Ingalls Wilder, her favorite author. If you’ve read Laura’s books you know that the struggle to find a home is a strong recurring theme. I’ve wanted to write about the Laura sites for years, but I needed to wait until Chloe and Roelke were at a point where the issue of finding a home had resonance for them.

I also need a site or museum that has enough landscape, if you will, to support a mystery with lots of twists and turns. Old World Wisconsin is spread on 576 acres of land within a state  forest—the largest outdoor museum of rural life in the United States. Over sixty structures have been moved and fully restored, including ten working farms and a crossroads village. All that provides plenty of room for Chloe to get into trouble.

the light keeper's legacy

The other sites Chloe visits are equally rich. The Light Keeper’s Legacy was largely set on an uninhabited island in Lake Michigan. Heritage of Darkness was set at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, housed in a big historic structure with an outdoor division of old buildings too. Tradition of Deceit was partly set in an abandoned industrial flour mill in Minneapolis, which historians were planning to turn into the Mill City Museum. Now that setting provided ample opportunity for excitement!

As much as I love one-room log cabins—and the people who have preserved them—I need more real estate to support a book. That doesn’t mean I can’t include such a cabin in a story, but it won’t work as a primary setting.

I also avoid historic structures that are, for one reason or another, a source of current conflict within a community. Is a town board divided on whether to keep funding the local museum? Is the debate causing hurt feelings and animosity among neighbors? I might one day fictionalize the kernel of dissent, but I don’t want to wade into a real debate about a real town and historic site.

The series starts in 1982 (when my museum career started), and my general plan is to write four books for each calendar year. The 7th Chloe mystery, which I’m writing now, is set in the summer of 1983. After beginning it I got an intriguing invitation that will likely lead to a mystery, but I think that particular book will also work best if it’s set in the summer. That means I have to wait several years before settling in on that.

Finally, I have to care about a place to choose it for a setting. I will spend a year or more “living” in that space while I explore its history and write the book. Loving the environment and local stories is a definite plus!

And I have to feel confident that readers will enjoy visiting a particular setting as much as I do. I love hearing from readers who visited the setting after reading a particular Chloe Ellefson mystery. Each book has a dedicated page on my website that includes maps and photos and, in some cases, tour guides to make site visits easy and armchair travel vivid.

My files of possible future locations are ever-growing. Do you have a favorite museum or historic site? I’d love to hear about it!

About Kathleen Ernst

Death on the Prairie is the 6th Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites mystery. In addition to the Chloe series, Kathleen has written many books for American Girl, including nine about the historical character she created, Caroline Abbott. She also writes nonfiction, including A Settler’s Year: Pioneer Life Through The Seasons. Over 1.5 million copies of Kathleen’s titles have been sold. The Chloe series has earned a LOVEY Award for Best Traditional Mystery, and several of her mysteries for young readers have been finalists for Edgar or Agatha awards.

Author Links:

www.kathleenernst.com

www.sitesandstories.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/kathleenernst.author

 



DeathOnThePrairieCoverWebDeath on the Prairie
(A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
6th in the Series
Midnight Ink (October 8, 2015)
Paperback: 360 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738744704
E-Book – ASIN: B015CZD162
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

Chloe Ellefson and her sister, Kari, have long dreamed of visiting each historic site dedicated to Laura Ingalls Wilder. When Chloe takes custody of a quilt once owned by the beloved author, the sisters set out on the trip of a lifetime, hoping to prove that Wilder stitched it herself.

But death strikes as the journey begins, and trouble stalks their fellow travelers. Among the “Little House” devotees are academic critics, greedy collectors, and obsessive fans. Kari is distracted by family problems, and unexpected news from Chloe’s boyfriend jeopardizes her own future. As the sisters travel deeper into Wilder territory, Chloe races to discover the truth about a precious artifact—and her own heart—before a killer can strike again.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

If you are a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder you know there subsets to the fan base. The group that loves both the books and the television show, those that love the books but not the television show, those that loved the show but probably never read the books. Chloe Ellefson and her sister, Kari are in the book loving group. A friend has just given Chloe a quilt that supposedly made by Little House author to authenticate. The timing is perfect because Chloe has been asked to speak during a tour around the Midwest visiting all the places Laura and her family lived. Chloe invites her sister along and they embark on the journey of there dreams.  Both are so excited as they reach their first destination but one of the traveler has some sort of attack and dies before the event even gets started. Chloe tries to help and she soon realizes this death was no accident. The tour continues but trouble follows them. Soon Chloe is looking for more than provenance for her quilt. She is on the trail of a killer.

I am a  fan of both the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and the television show. I loved the Olesons, especially when the Mr. stood up to the Mrs. 🙂 I am also a fan of Chloe Ellefson Mysteries. It started because they are set in Wisconsin but grew because I love Chloe and all the drama she gets involved in. I also like how real her relational with Roelke is, they take one step forward and sometimes two steps back, but you know they truly love and support each other. This time he is dealing with something back in Wisconsin while she is traveling and since the book is set in 1983 there are no cell phones so communication isn’t easy. Kari is also dealing with something and even in the same room she and Chloe are not communicating.

What makes this story interesting is that that the group is traveling from state to state, so the crimes of murder and vandalism fall into different police jurisdictions so it is hard for law enforcement to bring all the clues together, but Chloe is putting them together and putting herself in danger.

Kathleen Ernst always blends history with fiction in a very entertaining way. The other travelers and those guiding the tours were very detailed and unique. I could picture them easily. The mystery is thoughtfully plotted and I was surprised by the ending.

 I did not realize that all of these historic sites existed. Now I want to take the tour myself, no dead bodies please.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

The author is giving 1 copy of this book away!!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US 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.

Leave a comment for Kathleen for 5 Bonus Entries.

Do you have a favorite museum or historic site? I’d love to hear about it!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End October 21, 2015 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.”

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