Dec 062019
 


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.


A Batter of Life and Death: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Oregon
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 30, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250054249
ISBN-13: 978-1250054241
Kindle ASIN: B00QQ1GKRE

Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the coffee is hot, the muffins are fresh, and the cakes are definitely to die for…

It’s autumn in Ashland, Oregon-’tis the season for a spiced hot apple cider with a serving (or two) of Torte’s famous peach cobbler. It’s also the perfect time for Jules Capshaw to promote her family’s beloved bake shop by competing in The Pastry Channel’s reality show, Take the Cake. The prize is $25,000. But as Jules quickly learns, some people would kill for that kind of dough. Literally.

Then, just as Jules dusts off her Bavarian Chocolate Cake recipe and cinches up her apron, the corpse of a fellow contestant is discovered-death by buttercream. What began as a fun, tasteful televised adventure has morphed into something of a true-crime detective show for Jules and everybody else on set. Who could have killed Chef Marco, and why? Can Jules sift out the killer before someone else gets burned?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Can Jules Capshaw Take the Cake? The Pastry Channel’s show has come to Ashland, Oregon and she is representing the family’s bakeshop, Torte, as a contestant against four other pastry chefs. Her family sure could use the $25000 prize to continue their improvements to their business.

Jules has baked a Bavarian Chocolate Cake for the day’s challenge but when she arrives on the set she finds one of the competing chefs dead. The powers that be commit to continuing the show as soon as the police release the set, but Jules wants to know – Who killed the chef? Are the rest of the chefs in danger? and most importantly – Is one of the chefs the killer? She starts doing a little snooping on her own to find answers before another chef gets frosted.

___

Ms. Alexander’s characters are so likable. Jules, her mom, their employees, Thomas, the Professor, and more all make me wish I could visit Torte and meet them all. All are genuine and believable. They are joined this time by a group of pastry chefs that are diverse in their specialties along with the small crew from The Pastry Channel who each have something to prove. All these new visitors are viable suspects and seem to have secrets. I liked that some of the chefs ended using Torte’s kitchen to create their show entries. It allowed both Jules and us readers to get to know them better. It also made clear how patient  Jules and mom, Helen could be with strangers in their kitchen. They also handled a little strife between two employees with time and patience.

Readers are treated to a little romance too, as relationships evolve through normal everyday life. Jules is still trying to sort things through will Carlos as the clock ticks down on their break.

I love watching shows like Take the Cake so I was thrilled with this theme. The author created a marvelous whodunit around that theme giving Jules plenty of opportunity to sift through the clues and follow them as need be. Several twists spin to keep everyone guessing. With Helen and Jules’ tight connection to the chief of police, aka, The Professor and Detective-In-Training, Thomas, they keep them informed in everything they find and don’t hesitate to call for help when needed. I like that.

I can’t forget to mention the food. Most of the luscious pastries and desserts. I say most because there are a couple that clearly were not baked by the chef that presented them. Daily life at the bakeshop also adds more delightful treats and morning breakfast ideas. The schedule and the workings of the shop are also interesting. The realistic fact it is a hard business on a tight budget is also appreciated and grounds the whole series in reality.

Awesome characters, a fantastic setting, and a wonderful mystery all make A Batter of Life and Death a delectable cozy mystery and A Perfect Escape. The sample taste of On Thin Icing included at the end of the story has whet my appetite to read more of this series soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Meet Your Baker here. 

About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving my copy away!
The 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.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 20, 2019, 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

*This book was from my personal collection. 

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Dec 022019
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I am traveling to Colorado, Michigan, and New York this week!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Keeping Secrets (Glen Falls Mystery)
by Zanna Mackenzie
Release Date January 30, 2017
Setting – Scotland
Amazon Purchase for Author Edition of Alphabet Soup Challenge.
My review will be up tomorrow!


Brewed Awakening (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
by Cleo Coyle
Release Date – December 3, 2019
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Book Tour stop here this week for Cozy Wednesday!


A Fatal Fondness (Mary MacDougall Mysteries)
by Richard Audry
Release Date – November 6, 2019
Setting – ???
The Great Escapes Tour stops here Thursday!


A Batter of Life and Death: A Bakeshop Mystery
by Ellie Alexander
Release Date – June 30, 2015
Setting – Oregon
My Flashback Friday Read & for my What’s In A Name Challenge

Scheduled Escapes


Secrets and Lies: a Claire Callahan Mystery
by P.H. Turner
Release Date – September 22, 2019
Setting – Colorado
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!

Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns
Release Date – November 26, 2019
Setting – Michigan
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next week for Cozy Wednesday!


Sauvigone for Good (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
by J.C. Eaton
Release Date – December 10, 2019
Setting – New York
For Review

Future Escapes

December 2 – 8, 2019


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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Aug 302019
 


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.

I have really enjoyed the books by this author written at Kate Dyer-Seeley
but I am late to the party with this series, but I hope to rectify that soon.


Meet Your Baker: A Bakeshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Oregon
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 30, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1250054230
ISBN-13: 978-1250054234
Kindle ASIN: B00JI0RSFS

Welcome to Torte-a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the treats are so good that, sometimes, it’s criminal…

After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte’s customers turns up dead, there’s much ado about murder…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Juliet Capshaw has been working on a cruise ship for years, but when she finds her Chef husband kept a huge secret from her she flees home to Ashland, Oregon, and her family’s bakery, Torte. Working beside her mother they find their rhythm and Jules knows she made the right decision even though she is not sure how long she will stay.

She arrives for her second day at Torte to find one of their customers dead. A woman that was very involved with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival who has accumulated her fair share of enemies. When one of the bakery’s employees is pegged for the crime, She decides to “Go wisely and slowly,” because “Those who rush stumble and fall” and do her best find the real killer.

Typical of the first book in a series that author has jam-packed these pages. Jules is a likable character with a lot going on. Her mother is a wonderful woman and excellent baker but she is hiding something. Jules is not sure what to make of her mother’s young employees but one can sure make a great cup of coffee or any derivative of the caffeine drink. The other seems to have her own issues. All these characters develop well within these pages, but I feel we have much to learn about our protagonist, Juliet Montague Capshaw.

Torte seems to be a popular gathering place especially because of its connection with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival which made it the perfect place for a murder. It was easy to come up with a list of suspects and the secondary characters really came alive. Secrets, falsehoods, and just their general demeanor made it hard to eliminate anyone outright. I followed right along and didn’t put all the clues together until shortly before the villain reveal.

I did enjoy reading about the day to day life of running a bakery and the delectable descriptions of the treats had my stomach growling. There is more than one recipe at the end of the story I can’t wait to try. I have a weakness for anything wrapped in puff pastry 🙂

I have some catching up to do on this series, but with a debut like this, I am looking forward to the next book, A Batter of Life and Death and more!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Ellie Alexander (aka Kate Dyer-Seeley), author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links –  Facebook     Twitter      Instagram    GoodReads

Written as Kate Dyer-Seeley

I am giving my copy away!
The 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.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End September 13, 2019, 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

*This book was from my personal collection. 

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Aug 262019
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be visiting New York, Norway, and Tennessee!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Jealousy Filled Donuts (A Deputy Donut Mystery)
by Ginger Bolton
Release Date – August 27, 2019
Setting – Wisconsin
My Review will be up tomorrow! 


Apples and Alibis (A Down South Cafe Mystery Book)
by Gayle Leeson
Release Date – August 13, 2019
Setting – Virginia
I will be featuring this book this week for Cozy Wednesday!


Singapore Sapphire (A Harriet Gordon Mystery)
by A. M. Stuart
Release Date – August 6, 2019
Setting – Singapore
My Review will be up on Thursday! 


Meet Your Baker: A Bakeshop Mystery
by Ellie Alexander
Release Date – December 30, 2014
Setting – Oregon
My Flashback Friday Read!

Scheduled Escapes


Silent Night, Deadly Night (A Year-Round Christmas Mystery)
by Vicki Delany
Release Date – August 27, 2019
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Fiddling with Fate (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
by Kathleen Ernst
Release Date – September 8, 2019
Setting – Norway


Bark If It’s Murder (A Dog Club Mystery)
by V.M. Burns
Release Date – August 27, 2019
Setting – Tennessee
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Thursday!

Future Escapes

Books Being Released – August 26 – September 1, 2019


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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Apr 292019
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I am traveling to New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Georgia!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Wed, Read & Dead (Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns
Release Date – April 30, 2019
Setting – Michigan
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!


Flower Power Trip (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney
Release Date – March 30, 2019
Setting – Pennsylvania
My review will be up tomorrow! 


The Scent of Murder: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery)
by Kylie Logan
Release Date – May 7, 2019
Setting – Ohio
My review will be up on Thursday! 

Scheduled Escapes


Died in the Wool (A Knit & Nibble Mystery)
Release Date – August 28, 2018
Setting – New Jersey
My Flashback Friday Read!


A Deadly Feast: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
by Lucy Burdette
Release Date – May 7, 2019
Setting – Florida
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Tuesday!


Fair Game (A Zoe Chambers Mystery)
by Annette Dashofy
Release Date – May 14, 2019
Setting – Pennsylvania
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next week for Cozy Wednesday!


The Good Detective
by John McMahon
Release Date – March 19, 2019
Setting – Georgia
For Review

Future Escapes

April 29 – May 5, 2019 – In addition to those above, these books are being released this week!


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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Apr 012019
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I am heading back across the pond this week then back to New Jersey! 

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Deadly Deception (The Deadly Series)
by Kate Parker
Release Date – March 22, 2019
Setting – England
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!


The Hidden Corpse (A Food Blogger Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder
Release Date – March 26, 2019
Setting – Connecticut
The Great Escapes Tour stops her this week for Cozy Wednesday!


The Loch Ness Papers (A Scottish Bookshop Mystery)
by Paige Shelton
Release Date – April 2, 2019
Setting – Scotland
My Review will be up Thursday! 


A Witch to Remember: A Wishcraft Mystery
by Heather Blake
Release Date – April 9, 2019
Setting – Massachusetts
My Review will be up on Friday.


Dakota Dream (Dakota Series)
by Lauraine Snelling
Rereleased (November 26, 2018)
Setting – North Dakota
My Flashback Friday Read

Scheduled Escapes


An Artless Demise (A Lady Darby Mystery)
by Anna Lee Huber
Release Date – April 2, 2019
Setting – England
For Review


Murder in Tranquility Park (A Ferrara Family Mystery)
by J.D. Griffo
Release Date – March 26, 2019
Setting – New Jersey
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next week for Cozy Wednesday!


The Don Con
by Richard Armstrong
Release Date – April 1, 2019
For Review

Future Escapes

April 1 – 7, 2019


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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Mar 252019
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I am heading across the pond this week! 

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Leave No Scone Unturned (Chef-to-Go Mysteries)
by Denise Swanson
Release Date – March 26, 2019
Setting – Illinois
My Review will be up tomorrow!


Pinot Red or Dead? (The Wine Trail Mysteries)
by J.C. Eaton
Release Date – March 26, 2019
Setting – New York
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Wednesday!


Trouble on the Books: A Castle Bookshop Mystery
by Essie Lang
Release Date – March 13, 2019
Setting – New York
My Review will be up Thursday!

Current Escape


A Literal Mess (An Allie Cobb Mystery)
by J.C. Kenney
Release Date – January 8, 2019
Setting – Indiana
My Flashback Friday Read!

Scheduled Escapes


Deadly Deception (The Deadly Series)
by Kate Parker
Release Date – March 22, 2019
Setting – England


The Hidden Corpse (A Food Blogger Mystery)
by Debra Sennefelder
Release Date – March 26, 2019
Setting – Connecticut
The Great Escapes Tour stops her next week for Cozy Wednesday!


The Loch Ness Papers (A Scottish Bookshop Mystery)
by Paige Shelton
Release Date – April 2, 2019
Setting – Scotland
For Review

Future Escapes

March 25 – 31, 2019


Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

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New Release Tuesday – Cozy Mysteries – MAY – Week #1 – 2018

 New Release Tuesday  Comments Off on New Release Tuesday – Cozy Mysteries – MAY – Week #1 – 2018
May 012018
 

Welcome to New Release Tuesday! 

These books are available today at booksellers everywhere! 


Murder, She Wrote: A Date with Murder
by Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain, Jon Land


Down the Aisle with Murder: An Otter Lake Mystery
by Auralee Wallace


Dressed for Death in Burgundy: A French Village Mystery
by Susan C. Shea


Lethal Literature (A Book Barn Mystery)
by Kym Roberts


Magick Run Amok (An Abracadabra Mystery)
by Sharon Pape


Murder on Union Square (A Gaslight Mystery)
by Victoria Thompson

These 3 titles are being re-released by Henery Press!


I Scream, You Scream (A Mystery A-la-mode)
by Wendy Lyn Watson


Scoop To Kill (A Mystery A-la-mode)
by Wendy Lyn Watson


A Parfait Murder (A Mystery A-la-mode)
by Wendy Lyn Watson

Want to see all the mysteries – cozy to thriller
released in May.
Just click here.
 
Can’t afford to buy or pre-order all the books you want to at this time.
Bookmark this page in your browser so you can reference it at any time.
Be sure to share your wish lists with your local librarians too!

HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Apr 242018
 


Death by Dumpling: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Ohio
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (March 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250129154
Kindle ASIN: B075DGHHQK

 

 

Welcome to the Ho-Lee Noodle House, where the Chinese food is to die for. . .

The last place Lana Lee thought she would ever end up is back at her family’s restaurant. But after a brutal break-up and a dramatic workplace walk-out, she figures that helping wait tables is her best option for putting her life back together. Even if that means having to put up with her mother, who is dead-set on finding her a husband.

Lana’s love life soon becomes yesterday’s news once the restaurant’s property manager, Mr. Feng, turns up dead—after a delivery of shrimp dumplings from Ho-Lee. But how could this have happened when everyone on staff knew about Mr. Feng’s severe, life-threatening shellfish allergy? Now, with the whole restaurant under suspicion for murder and the local media in a feeding frenzy—to say nothing of the gorgeous police detective who keeps turning up for take-out—it’s up to Lana to find out who is behind Feng’s killer order. . . before her own number is up.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

While not a fan of Chinese food, this cover caught my attention, plus it was the first book in a new series so I added to my Kindle immediately.

Lana Lee has grown up working in her mother’s restaurant but never expected to back working there now. Her mother is quite pleased because having her close means she can work on finding Lana a husband. That is the last thing on Lana’s mind.

The restaurant is part of the Asia Village. A plaza that is part of the original Chinatown area on the east side of Cleveland. It is managed by Mr. Feng, who orders lunch from the Ho-Lee Noodle House all the time. The staff knows his dietary restrictions by heart. So when the man is found dead in his office right after finishing his Ho-Lee dumplings everyone is in shock. The chef becomes the #1 suspect and Lana decides she needs to be the one to serve up the real killer. That is if they don’t kill her first.

Ms. Chien has cooked up a great start for this Noodle Mystery Series. A fresh new idea bringing the Asian culture to cozy readers.

The staff at Ho-Lee Noodle House are family. They have known and worked together for years. The same can be said of most of the store owners in the plaza. The author does an excellent job of introducing the cast and the connections to each other. She also introduces Lana’s roommate/friend, Megan Riley, Detective Trudeau and Lana’s dog Kikko. They are an eclectic cast of characters and very well developed for the first book in a series.

The book had a good pace, my finger was swiping the pages rapidly. Twists and turns, and drama that took us to some unexpected places. Lana was a determined sleuth, no matter how many times Detective Trudeau told her to leave the investigation to him. The author took us on a delightful journey to catch the killer with some hard to figure out clues.

I found the setting very interesting and enjoyed learning how the plaza had evolved over the years and how it was the heart of this community.

An entertaining cozy. Mystery, humor and just a bit of romance served up with noodles and dumplings on the side. Vivien Chien has brought a fresh voice to this genre and I am hungry for more. I have marked my calendar, Dim Sum of All Fears will be released August 28. 

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

About the Author

Vivien Chien was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up in a mixed-race home, making for some very interesting cultural experiences. She found her love of books and the written word at an early age while writing short stories about her classmates in elementary school. Currently, she writes side-by-side with her toy fox terrier who refuses to sit anywhere else. When she’s not writing the Noodle Shop mysteries, Vivien enjoys frequenting local Asian restaurants, frolicking in the bookstore, and searching for her next donut. (From Amazon)


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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Apr 232018
 

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will be starting in Michigan, then on to California and Connecticut.

Here’s what I read and what
I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed


Death by Dumpling: A Noodle Shop Mystery
Release Date – March 27, 2018
Setting – Ohio
My Review will post tomorrow!


Shot in the Dark (A Coffeehouse Mystery)
Release Date – April 17, 2018
Setting – New York
Cleo Coyle will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week
and she is touring with Great Escapes Book Tours!


Wedding Cake Crumble (Cupcake Bakery Mystery)
Release Date – April 3, 2018
Setting – Arizona
The review will be up on Thursday!


Unnatural Causes: A Dr. Katie LeClair Mystery
Release Date – December 12, 2017
Setting – Michigan
My Flashback Friday Read

Scheduled Escapes


Read Herring Hunt (Mystery Bookshop Mysteries)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – Michigan
For Review


Murder Most Fermented (Rose Avenue Wine Club Mystery)
Release Date – April 24, 2018
Setting – California
Christine E. Blum will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!


Beach Bliss
Release Date – March 6, 2018
Setting – Connecticut
For Review

Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Remembering the Dead: A Penny Brannigan Mystery by Elizabeth J. DuncanGet Your Copy Today!
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