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Choir Loft Murder: Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas by Karen Randau #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @klrandau


Choir Loft Murder: Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas
by Karen Randau

About Choir Loft Murder


Choir Loft Murder: Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas
Mystery/Thriller
3rd in Series
Setting – Wyoming
Independently Published – June 22 (print) and August 24 (ebook)
Print Length – 134 Pages
Digital ASIN: B08XY8HW26

Her fiance a murderer? As she digs for the truth, she must fight to survive a plot to frame the man she loves.

 

Frankie Shep has endured too many tragedies in her life. When she finally dares to love again, a revengeful plot threatens to cancel her wedding plans and send her fiance to death row. But this feisty modern-day rancher won’t stand for it.

 

A member of the church choir dies from a blowgun dart to a vital artery, and the murder weapon implicates Quint. Frankie is shocked to discover Quint was a champion blowgun competitor but quit the sport after a family disaster. And now he’s refusing to talk about his fate.

 

So she takes it on herself to track down the killer before Quint accepts a life-altering plea deal. She’s devastated when she unearths his motive for the crime. But someone else lurks in the shadows, and that’s who she’s determined to find. Little does she know the killer follows her every move, ready to strike her down when she gets too close.

Can she unravel the vindictive plot before she becomes a crazed killer’s next victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This third book in the series has Frankie and Pastor Quint planning their life together when a choir rehearsal goes horribly wrong. A new member of the choir with an angelic voice that can hit those amazing high notes is struck down by a dart from a blowgun. The murderer opens the door just wide enough to do the deed and disappears as the resulting chaos ensues.

Frankie is stunned when her fiance is arrested for the crime. She had no idea the man had mad skills with a blowgun and could have easily made the precise shot. He seems to accept his fate but Frankie knows the man she loves is no killer and she is going to prove it. She knows he is being set up but she learns he did have a viable motive.

The trouble is the real killer is watching her every move and is never going to let her find the truth and if she does what’s one more body. Can Frankie free her fiance? Or will she be the next person the kills blows away?


I was on the edge of my seat for most of this story. At just 134 pages the pace is brisk and revenge is on the songchart.

Frankie works tirelessly to follow every clue even if it means traveling miles before she sleeps. She does not give up even when things she uncovers do not make sense. She battled on through each twist and turn. I admired the way she kept investigating even when Quint was about to give up and take a plea. I was a little disappointed in Quint’s behavior but don’t want to say too much and ruin the book for anyone.

Ms. Randau plotted an excellent mystery which led up to a very suspenseful reveal. I was totally blindsided when the killer was revealed. I am embarrassed because I fell into a trap I shouldn’t have and that led me astray.

The author knows how to pack the pages full of intrigue and excitement. I read this story incredibly fast and I never had a moment when I wanted to put it down.

Choir Loft Murder was a true Perfect Escape. I am looking forward to visiting these characters again soon.

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About Karen Randau

Karen Randau authors fast-paced mystery, suspense, and thriller books featuring intricate plots, told from the point of view of strong female protagonists. In addition to the Frankie Shep Suspense series set on a fictional ranch in Wyoming, her Rim Country Mystery Series are set in the quaint fictional mountain town of Rim Vista, Arizona. She is also one of seven authors of novellas in the Tawnee Mountain Mystery Series. She lives in the mountains of Arizona with her multigenerational family.

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Also by Karen Randau

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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.”

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Bitterroot Lake: A Novel by Alicia Beckman #Review @LeslieBudewitz


Bitterroot Lake: A Novel
Mystery/Suspense
Setting – Montana
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (April 13, 2021)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1643855808
ISBN-13: 978-1643855806
Kindle ASIN: B08D8J49DP

When four women separated by tragedy reunite at a lakeside Montana lodge, murder forces them to confront everything they thought they knew about the terrifying accident that tore them apart, in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman’s suspense debut

Twenty-five years ago, during a celebratory weekend at historic Whitetail Lodge, Sarah McCaskill had a vision. A dream. A nightmare. When a young man was killed, Sarah’s guilt over having ignored the warning in her dreams devastated her. Her friendships with her closest friends, and her sister, fell apart as she worked to build a new life in a new city. But she never stopped loving Whitetail Lodge on the shores of Bitterroot Lake.

Now that she’s a young widow, her mother urges her to return to the lodge for healing. But when she arrives, she’s greeted by an old friend–and by news of a murder that’s clearly tied to that tragic day she’ll never forget.

And the dreams are back, too. What dangers are they warning of this time? As Sarah and her friends dig into the history of the lodge and the McCaskill family, they uncover a legacy of secrets and make a discovery that gives a chilling new meaning to the dreams. Now, they can no longer ignore the ominous portents from the past that point to a danger more present than any of them could know.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sarah lost her husband to cancer and her mother encourages her to come home to the lodge to help her make some decisions. The lodge holds a lot of heartbreaking history. Twenty-five years ago a weekend turned deadly and ripped Sarah and her closest friends including her sister apart. The fact that Sarah had a dream that could have changed the weekend’s outcome still haunts her today.

Sarah does return to the lodge and the dreams along with her friends are back too. Another person connected to that weekend is killed and one of the friends becomes a prime suspect. While trying to prove her innocence the group of women delve into the history of the lodge and the family that owns it. What they uncover changes everything. Danger lurks nearby as they try to make sense of everything they learn.


What a fabulous cover, it drew me to the book before I ever read the synopsis of the story. Learning that the author was one of my cozy mystery faves made my desire to read it even stronger.

This is a very complex mystery with a lot of threads that entwine in and out with each other. I enjoyed the bit of paranormal included within the pages as it really enhanced the story and gave it some new depth. I liked the lodge setting and all the treasures found within.

Sarah is dealing with so much and this reunion truly tests her but she needs answers. She is grieving, counting the days since her husband’s death but her visions need to be explained along with learning what she may have missed all those years ago. I was drawn to Sarah, she was very relatable and felt genuine to me. All the characters she interacted with developed nicely over the course of the story too. They all have their flaws which make them believable.

This is a story you can not just plow through to find the killer, in fact, that turns out to be a minor part of the story. There is a lot of nuance in these pages. There are situations that could be called chilling and there are situations that really drive the story forward. I found the way the author blended history with modern-day incredible and the part secrets play through both periods very intriguing. From an attempted rape to the loss of a loved one and broken friendships this book will hit readers on many levels. There were a couple of areas where I thought the text needed to be tightened up because the flow seemed a little off but these instances were few and far between.

Bitterroot Lake lets the author explore a darker mystery than she can in the cozy realm and she excelled at it. As this is a stand-alone title we will not meet these characters again but I am very interested in where Ms. Beckman takes us in the future.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Alicia Beckman adored living in Seattle as a college student and young lawyer, but is happiest back home in her native Montana, where she lives with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their full-figured gray tuxedo cat. As Leslie Budewitz, she’s the bestselling author of the Seattle Spice Shop and Food Lovers’ Village mysteries. A three-time Agatha Award winner, for Best Short Story (2018), Best First Novel (2013), and Best Nonfiction (2011), she is a past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America.


Written as Leslie Budewitz

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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Win by Harlan Coben #Review


Win
Suspense Thriller
Setting – New York
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 16, 2021)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1538748215
ISBN-13: 978-1538748213
Kindle ASIN: B089Q37QPL

Over twenty years ago, the heiress Patricia Lockwood was abducted during a robbery of her family’s estate, then locked inside an isolated cabin for months. Patricia escaped, but so did her captors — and the items stolen from her family were never recovered.

Until now. On the Upper West Side, a recluse is found murdered in his penthouse apartment, alongside two objects of note: a stolen Vermeer painting and a leather suitcase bearing the initials WHL3. For the first time in years, the authorities have a lead — not only on Patricia’s kidnapping but also on another FBI cold case — with the suitcase and painting both pointing them toward one man.

Windsor Horne Lockwood III — or Win, as his few friends call him — doesn’t know how his suitcase and his family’s stolen painting ended up with a dead man. But his interest is piqued, especially when the FBI tells him that the man who kidnapped his cousin was also behind an act of domestic terrorism — and that the conspirators may still be at large. The two cases have baffled the FBI for decades, but Win has three things the FBI doesn’t: a personal connection to the case; an ungodly fortune; and his own unique brand of justice.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We originally met Windsor Horne Lockwood III as a character in Coben’s Myron Boltar series. “Win”, Bolitar’s best friend now stars in his own story and what looks to be his own series if he survives to the end of this thriller.

A murder has occurred on the Upper West Side and the FBI picks up Win because there is evidence in the recluse’s penthouse that points directly at Mr. Windsor Horne Lockwood III. The death may also be connected to a cold case close to Win. His cousin, Patricia was kidnapped over 20 years ago. She escaped but her captors were never caught. Now, with these new clues, Win decides it is time he starts his own investigation. It is past time to dole out a bit of justice and Win is just the man to deliver it.


“Articulate”. Windsor Horne Lockwood III is a flawed character with way too much money and a sense of privilege because of it. He gets away with everything because he has the money and connections to insolate him from any repercussions for things he has done. He has a full-time assistant, a private plane, a keen sense to right wrongs as he sees them in any way he can. An expert fighter he believes he is invincible. His money also gains him membership in an exclusive dating/sex club which enables him to take part in “no strings attached” one-night stands. The man is clearly driven to get to the truth in a case that goes back to the 1970s but there are people out there whose mission it is to make sure he doesn’t get it. But Win likes violence and isn’t afraid to use it. He does have a softer side brought out by only one person and his love and admiration for Myron Bolitar shines within these pages. He also has a troubled soul and some insecurities to deal with. Win is a complicated character and exactly the kind of character I expect to find from this author.

Mr. Coben has written such a complex suspense-filled story. He introduces readers to several diverse characters and entangles them in a multitude of ways throughout the book. At first, I thought I was going to have trouble keeping them all straight but they are dynamically crafted to stand out as the two mysteries evolve. The story is very fast-paced but it is not a book to rush through. There are twists on top of twists and surprises almost around every corner. The final twist brought me to a full stop. It was classic Coben and I should have been prepared. I know to expect the unexpected when I pick up any Harlan Coben book. There is a reason he is my favorite suspense author and I look forward to each new title.

As a fan, I have been waiting for Windsor Horne Lockwood III to have his own story for years and was absolutely giddy when the book went up for pre-order. I have been counting down the days to today, its release date to share my thoughts with you. Don’t panic if you have not read the Bolitar series because this book works perfectly as a stand-alone. If this is your first experience with this author I encourage you to read any and all of his previous titles as they are all excellent.

WIN has set this series off to a fantastic start. Definitely a must-read for suspense lovers.  I can’t wait to see what Harlan Coben has in store for Windsor Horne Lockwood III next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Harlan Coben and his book on his 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.”

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Gone Astray by Terry Korth Fischer #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @terryiswriting


Gone Astray
by Terry Korth Fischer

About Gone Astray

Gone Astray
Mystery/Suspense
Setting – Nebraska
Publisher: Wild Rose Press (February 15, 2021)
Paperback: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 1509235256
ISBN-13: 978-1509235254
Digital ASIN: B08SQCWXBG

A heart attack sends detective Rory Naysmith reeling. Too young to retire, he accepts a position in small-town Winterset, Nebraska. Handed an unsolved truck hijacking case, with the assistance of a rookie, Rory sets out to prove he is still able to go toe-to-toe with younger men. When the body of a Vietnam veteran turns up, he dons his fedora and spit-shines his shoes. But before he can solve the murder, an older woman disappears, followed closely by a second hijacking. He doggedly works the cases, following a thread that ties the two crimes together. But can Rory find the mental and physical strength to up his game and bring the criminals to justice before disaster strikes and he loses his job?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Leaving a job in the city following a heart attack, Rory Naysmith settles in Winterset, Nebraska, a small town in need of a detective. The chief expects big things like clearing a cold case involving a truck hijacking. Not familiar with people and places in his new home he requests a little help and the chief assigns a young rookie. The cold case gets pushed aside when a Vietnam Vet is murdered quickly followed by a missing person. Then there is another truck hijacked.  A crime wave has hit the little midwest town and the chief expects his new detective to handle it all. While working hard he starts to believe at least two of the crimes could be connected, could the third be connected as well? In an effort to prove himself he needs answers.


Rory Naysmith is a very interesting character with a fascinating new hobby trying to reduce stress while still keeping his presence vital. A complicated character that I immediately found intriguing. I enjoyed his keen sense of humor and that he grew over the course of the story.  The author surrounds him with an eclectic supporting cast including a rookie that is eager to please so much so it could get him in a lot of trouble, the daughters of the missing woman, the chief of police, and other residents of Winterset. All are cleverly written and feel true to small-town life.

Solving the cases was not easy and I really enjoyed Rory’s process. As the plot started to come together the suspense ratcheted up nicely. The detective’s decisions were a little iffy in places but felt true to his nature. What I loved what the surprising reveal. My heart took a hit too before the book drew to a close.

Gone Astray piqued my interest from the first page. Quality characters with an exciting whodunit held on tight to the very end. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Rory Naysmith and the fine people of Winterset.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Terry Korth Fischer

Terry Korth Fischer writes mystery and memoir. Her memoir, Omaha to Ogallala, was released in 2019, S&H Publishing, Inc. Her short stories have appeared in The Write Place at the Write Time, Spies & Heroes, Voices from the Plains, and numerous anthologies. Transplanted from the Midwest, Terry lives in Houston with her husband and their two guard cats. She enjoys a good mystery, the heat and humidity, and long summer days.

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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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Leave No Stone: A Faith McClellan Novel by LynDee Walker #Review / #Giveaway @LynDeeWalker

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.


Leave No Stone: A Faith McClellan Novel
Suspense/Thriller/Women Sleuths
2nd in Series
Setting – Texas
Publisher: Severn River Publishing (November 19, 2019)
Hardcover: 284 pages
ISBN-10: 195124902X
ISBN-13: 978-1951249021
Paperback: 334 pages
ISBN-10: 1951249062
ISBN-13: 978-1951249069
Kindle ASIN: B07WW17LG9

A MISSING WOMAN.

A SADISTIC SERIAL KILLER.

AND A TEXAS RANGER RUNNING OUT OF TIME…

Shortly after a young mother mysteriously disappears, a serial killer begins leaving corpses and clues across the Texas Hill Country. Texas Ranger Faith McClellan and her mentor, veteran Ranger Archie Baxter, are assigned to the case.

This killer is more clever—and sadistic—than any they’ve ever encountered, and the list of seemingly unrelated female victims is growing by the day—an attorney, a pastor, a stay-at-home mom. The murders feature similar injuries, with a cryptic message carved into each corpse. But these gruesome calling cards provide more questions than answers, and with the best coroner in the state unable to identify the murder weapon, investigators are flying blind.

With the young mother still missing and a mounting body count, it’s up to Faith and Archie to solve the mystery. Before the killer strikes again…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Faith McClellan is used to dealing with murder investigations but this time she is assigned to a missing person case. When she hits a dead-end she teams up again with her mentor, veteran Ranger Archie Baxter to assist on a serial killer investigation as bodies start to pile up. Female victims all with similar injuries and messages carved right into their skin. They have a lot of speculation but are unable to come up with a true suspect. Faith also can’t keep her mind off her missing person, could she somehow be connected to the serial case. It’s going to take some hard detective work to catch the killer, a killer who appears to be escalating. Are Faith and Archie up for the task?


Faith Mc Clellan is a tough-as-nails Texas Ranger with some unique talents that in this installment are finally being recognized. I was cheering for her to quickly solve her missing person case just to show some people in her sphere her true abilities. Unfortunately, that wasn’t meant to be. Instead, she starts to work on another case and she does it with a furor. The woman does not give up or back down. She faces fear with her eyes wide open and a brain busy calculating every option. She also has some flaws that can hold her back but that makes her human. This character has grown since book one but still has room to evolve. The author has surrounded her with a group of interesting characters most with major flaws themselves. I hope they continue to evolve as well.

The missing woman mystery really tugged at my heartstrings, just as it did Faith. The serial murder case was intense, gripping, and scary. The author includes a few chapters from the point of view of an unknown person. Those chapters really drew me in and made me think as to how everything was going to connect. I want to say the book had a fast pace but I tried hard to slow it down so I didn’t miss a clue or an aside that would prove to be important down the road. “Down the road” takes on an eerie sense within this story.

Ms. Walker does not write stories with easy mysteries for her characters or readers to solve. Faith tries so hard but there are twists upon twists and a few surprises thrown in working up to an exciting big reveal. The big reveal that was also a huge surprise.

Faith McCellen literally Leave(s) No Stone – Unturned. LynDee Walker takes her readers on a gritty ride. Full of suspense and complex characters this is a story that will stick with you.

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About the Author

LynDee Walker is the national bestselling author of two crime fiction series featuring strong heroines and twisty, absorbing mysteries. Her first Nichelle Clarke crime thriller, FRONT PAGE FATALITY, was nominated for the Agatha Award for best first novel, and in 2018, she introduced readers to Texas Ranger Faith McClellan in FEAR NO TRUTH. Reviews have praised her work as well-crafted, compelling, and fast-paced, and an edge-of-your-seat ride with a spider web of twists and turns that will keep you reading until the end. Before she started writing fiction, LynDee was an award-winning journalist who covered everything from ribbon cuttings to high-level police corruption and worked closely with the various law enforcement agencies that she reported on. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the U.S. Aside from books, LynDee loves her family, her readers, travel, and coffee. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is working on her next novel when she’s not juggling laundry and children’s sports schedules.

 

You can find her online at www.lyndeewalker.com, and connect with her on Facebook at lyndeewalkerbooks or Twitter @LynDeeWalker.


Also by LynDee Walker


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#FlashbackFriday – The Cupid Caper (A Finley Goodhart Crime Caper) by Larissa Reinhart #Review / #Giveaway

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.


The Cupid Caper (A Finley Goodhart Crime Caper)
Sassy Southern Suspense
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: Past Perfect Press (April 16, 2018)
Paperback: 286 pages
ISBN-10: 0998548499
ISBN-13: 978-0998548494
Kindle ASIN: B07C12W8WB

She uses her criminal past to catch crooks. He wants her back. In the grift. And in his life. Can Finley Goodhart convince Lex that doing good is the greatest hustle of all?

Ex-grifter Finley Goodhart may try to stay on the straight and narrow, but walking that thin line becomes wobbly when she believes her friend Penny was murdered. The last thing she wants is to work with her ex-partner (and ex-boyfriend), the brilliant (brilliantly frustrating) British con artist, Lex Leopold. However, when it appears Penny’s demise might be related to an exclusive matchmaking service for millionaires, Fin needs Lex’s help to pull a long con to get the goods on Penny.

Romance is in the air for hustlers, gangsters, and their marks. Unfortunately for Fin and Lex, infiltrating the racket doesn’t make for a match made in heaven. This Valentine swindle could stop their hearts for good.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Finley Goodhart has lived an interesting life as a con artist/hustler who really wants to leave that life behind but when she learns her fellow con artist/friend Penny Forbes has died she knows there is much more to the story. There is no way her death went down as reported. Fin knows Penny was murdered and she is going to find out who did it and why. Teaming up with her ex-partner/boyfriend Lex Leopold and all the entourage he brings may be the only way to get Penny justice. Her first lead ties Penny to an exclusive matchmaking service and she is hoping she and Lex can figure out the scheme they were running to get Penny killed and just maybe avenge her death.

_____

The Cupid Caper is a complicated story with a lot of moving parts and players. At times I thought a scorecard would be helpful to keep everyone straight. Fin and Lex donned different personas throughout the book to access different groups and places and traveled the entire Atlanta Georgia area as they tried to piece together what happened to Penny and who was responsible for her death. An elaborate sting is constructed to take down the believed responsible party/s but nothing is straight forward and there are several epic twists before we reach the final page. Not everything is nicely wrapped by the end leaving an opening for future books featuring Finley Goodhart.

Ms. Reinhart has created unique and interesting characters. Finley really has no idea who she can trust.  Lex wants Finley back in his life in a permanent meaningful way and he is hard to resist. Through them, readers are introduced to the elite and members of the Atlanta underworld. Some were downright creepy, all were flawed and all were compelling.

The Cupid Caper is a gritty suspense-filled story with several cat and mouse escapades taking readers on a wild ride. I enjoyed reading it very much. I am surprised the author hasn’t released more books with these intriguing characters but it looks there may be sequels in the works.

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Visit Larissa’s website to join her VIP Readers email group and get the free prequel to The Cupid Caper plus other exclusive bonus content! www.larissareinhart.com

A Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Larissa writes the award-winning Cherry Tucker Mystery, Maizie Albright Star Detective, and Finley Goodhart Crime Caper series. She loves to tell funny stories about women, looking for love (and dead bodies) in all the wrong places.

Larissa, her family, and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, lived in Nagoya, Japan, but have returned to Peachtree City, Georgia. You can see them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Larissa loves books, food, and traveling with her family. You can often see her adventures on Instagram (and her little dog, too).

Social Media Links:

Website    VIP Readers:     Official Facebook    Facebook    Fan group     Bookbub    Goodreads    Pinterest


Finley Goodhart Crime Caper series:
Pig’N a Poke (for newsletter subscribers only)
THE CUPID CAPER
THE PONY PREDICAMENT
THE HEIR AFFAIR

The Cherry Tucker Mystery Series in reading order:

A CHRISTMAS QUICK SKETCH (prequel novella)
PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY
STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW
HIJACK IN ABSTRACT
THE VIGILANTE VIGNETTE (Halloween novella)
DEATH IN PERSPECTIVE
THE BODY IN THE LANDSCAPE
A VIEW TO A CHILL
A COMPOSITION IN MURDER
A MOTHERLODE OF TROUBLE (in YEAR-LONG TROUBLE anthology)

The Maizie Albright Star Detective series in reading order:

15 MINUTES –First in series (15 MINUTES) is free during COVID. 

16 MILLIMETERS
NC-17
A VIEW TO A CHILL
17.5 CARTRIDGES IN A PEAR TREE
18 CALIBER (2020)
19 CRIMINALS (2021)

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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 2021 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Mystery Bones Murders (Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas) by Karen Randau #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour


Mystery Bones Murders:
A gripping story of love, deceit, and redemption
(Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas) by Karen Randau

 

My Positive Change From COVID-19
by Karen Randau

When I was a kid and visited my dad’s parents, I never could figure out who were all those ginger-haired people who hung out there all the time. Sure, I knew their names, and their last name didn’t match mine or my grandparents. The whole family of five had a carrot top, and young me thought it was really strange.

After I joined a genealogy website, I learned those were relatives on my grandmother’s side—a tiny bit of Viking in me to explain how someone with a quiet, gentle spirit can write murder mysteries and thrillers. Or maybe it explains why I love Celtic music so much. Who knows?

But as a result of my new discovery (and the explanation of why my dark hair had a red tint until recently), I’ve wanted to go to Ireland. I had heritage to discover, after all. I wanted to witness the country’s green rolling hills, rugged seaside cliffs, and windswept rock formations. Experience the lively culture. Visit some of the 30,000 castles. Sip some Irish whiskey (did you know only whisky from Scotland, Canada, and Japan isn’t spelled with an “e” in it?).

The Emerald Isle (made up of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom) is known for its friendly people, lively atmosphere, and lots of festivals. I wanted to go to one of their world-famous festivals.

Since the days of the Celts, Ireland has had a strong tradition of storytelling, and I hear the people love to chat for hours on end. It’s no wonder there are so many famous writers from Ireland. In fact, there’s a whole museum in Dublin dedicated to Irish writers!

Writers like James Joyce (best known for his book, Ulysses, but also the author of a collection of short stories about life in Dublin), the witty and fun Oscar Wilde, the poet W.B Yeats, Bram Stoker (famous for Dracula), Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels), and many more.

In that tradition, there’s an annual international writers’ festival in Dublin that I’ve wanted to attend, but the cost of both the festival and travel was prohibitive. That is, until COVID-19 took everything virtual. While I didn’t get hands-on experience with a tiny bit of my heritage, I went to Ireland virtually to attend the excellent 2020 writers’ festival.

In fact, I attended several writers’ conferences virtually—so many that I never would have been able to afford it if everything hadn’t been locked down. And as an introvert, there was less stress attending virtually than trying to network amongst strangers (I’m so not into that).

So, there you go. I like to find the positive in every negative, and attending the Dublin International Writers’ Festival virtually was my positive that happened because of the COVID-19 lockdowns.

I hope you’ve experienced at least one positive from this negative pandemic. If not, I hope you’ll look for one.

And if you’re still hunkering down (or not), I hope you’ll enjoy my new novella about a feisty ginger-haired woman named Frankie who in Mystery Bones Murders digs deep down inside to finally overcome unimaginable heartbreak through love and redemption.

 

About Mystery Bones Murders


Mystery Bones Murders (Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas)
Mystery – Thriller
1st in Series
Setting – Wyoming
Independently Published (November 30, 2020)
Print length: 131 pages
ASIN: B08PDGPJT6

Frankie Shep is still mourning the deaths of her husband and young son when she finds a bone in the far corner of her Wyoming cattle ranch.

 

Excited to think she may have discovered an ancient Native American village, she takes the bone to a lifelong friend who is now a forensic anthropologist on contract with her county.

 

After a cursory inspection, he turns a blood-chilling stare at Frankie. The bone isn’t ancient. Worse, the victim could be the remains of Frankie’s mother. She disappeared from her own bed more than a decade ago.

 

And now her retired father is missing.

 

As Frankie digs deeper, she discovers the terrifying truth that a serial killer is using her land to bury his victims, all members of her family and inner circle.

 

And now he’s watching her.

 

Mystery Bones Murders is a story of love, heart-wrenching deception, and finding redemption.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Frankie Shep has isolated herself following the recent deaths of her husband and son and her mother’s disappearance several years ago.. She is only close to the family that helps her work the ranch.

There were several Native American villages in the area and when she finds a human bone by a tree in a corner of the ranch she thinks she thinks she may have found evidence of one. But a forensic anthropologist friend tells her the bone is not old enough to have come from a Native American. He believes it could belong to her mother. With that revelation, she knows she needs to contact her father but he is not answering his cell phone and is not where he was supposed to be. She then learns that there were 3 bodies buried under that tree. She also feels like she is being watched. Could a serial killer still be in the area?

______

Something unusual happened when I started this book. A few pages into the story I started to hear background music in my head. It ebbed and flowed with what was happening on the page, reached a high crescendo when the killer was revealed and the story wrapped up with a classic Law & Order, dun-dun. The story had a real movie or episodic television feel.

Ms. Randau introduces her readers to a relatively small cast of characters but with plenty of options for suspects. I really felt for Frankie as she had an overload of sorrow before the story even started. To deal with it all and things she encountered within these pages we know she is a strong woman. The other characters play important parts in her life. There may even be a little romance in her future.

At just 131 pages this was a fast read made even faster by the author’s writing style and the suspense that unfolded. It was impossible to put down.

Mystery Bones Murder is an entertaining novella with an engaging protagonist you want to root for. As this is just book one in this series I am very interested to see where she takes Frankie next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent 

About Karen Randau

Karen Randau authors fast-paced stories with intricate plots, lots of action, and a dash of romance told from the point of view of a female amateur sleuth. Mystery Bones Murders is her sixth book and the first book in a new series of novellas. She lives in the mountains of Arizona with her multi-generational family.

Author Links – 

Webpage  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads  BookBub

Purchase Links – Amazon 

Also by Karen Randau

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Escapes Praise for Mystery Bones Murders:
A gripping story of love, deceit, and redemption
(Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas) by Karen Randau

The pace of the story is perfect, with just enough suspense from page to page that you don’t want to put the book down. I liked that Frankie searched for clues but was smart enough to call in the police when things were out of her depth.
~Storeybook Reviews

Although the fast-paced tale does feature an abundance of corpses, it’s (thankfully) not the stuff that nightmares are made of – making for a short, lightweight thriller with many a twist along the way.
~Cassidy’s Bookshelves

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
January 18 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 19 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
January 22 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 23 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 24 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
January 25 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 27 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 28 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
January 29 – I Read What You Write – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 29 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
January 30 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 31 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

 

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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.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Ladies of the Lake by Ken Corday #Review / #Giveaway

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.

Ladies of the Lake
Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Beaufort Books (July 22, 2015)
Hardcover: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 0825307848
ISBN-13: 978-0825307843
Kindle ASIN: B084JLGJSP

Getting away with murder. Seems unlikely, but in the gated community of Avalon it’s what’s in style.

 

It all starts with Hudson’s accidental decapitation. It was a terrible accident. He was drunk and in the middle of a fight with his second wife. They both pressed the garage door button at the same time. The LAPD didn’t give it a second thought. Instead of grieving, his wife breathes free air again. She is a rich woman with freedom. The other wives secretly envy her.

 

From the outside, Avalon seems like the ideal place to live; full of rich men and beautiful women. Six couples form a close-knit friendship; the men all golf together, the women all shop together, and their six children all skip school together. But the wives begin to resent feeling like possessions and realize that the men become crueler every day.

 

When more husbands start dying, the so-called “Ladies of the Lake” find themselves under suspicion from the LAPD and their own children.

 

The six children try to uncover their parents’ secrets before the handsome Detective Daniels can discover what is truly going on behind closed gates.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I watch Days of Our Lives every day but I just recently found this book on my Kindle. I can’t believe I didn’t read it sooner. It has a real soap opera feel which should be no surprise based on the author.

The rich and beautiful people of Los Angeles have their own set of issues but the “Ladies of the Lake” take things to the extreme as their husbands start to die off one by one. Granted the husbands weren’t real prizes beyond their money but how many freak accidents are the police going to believe. Even the “Ladies” children are asking questions.

_____________

Told from multiple points of view this story introduces six elite women and the detective trying to get to the bottom of their husband’s deaths. Like a true soap opera, he even gets involved with one of them. This method allows readers to meet all the characters and enables them to get to know the woman enough to see their tormented sides behind their socialite facades.

I found this book to be a fun escape filled with drama and some romance too. The author’s soapy writing style is very apparent as he twists murder up with some humor. There isn’t really a mystery because the readers know most of what is going on. It is just the community, the good detective, and the children who are in the dark. I did like the surprise ending.

The book was made into a short 4 episode series with some of my favorite Days of Our Lives stars. I hope to watch it soon.

Ladies of the Lake is a great read for soap opera fans and those who like a fast, entertaining read with some twists.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Ken Corday was only a teenager when his parents, Ted and Betty Corday, first created NBC’s daytime drama Days of our Lives in 1965. A year after the show’s inception, Ted passed away, and it was up to Betty to carry on the show. Ken became his mother’s support system as she taught him everything he would need to know to continue the family legacy.

Ken received his bachelor of arts in music from the University of California, Santa Cruz, before receiving a master’s degree in music from San Jose State University.

Prior to taking over Days of our Lives as executive producer in 1985, Ken worked on the show for almost ten years, first as a composer, then as an assistant producer, and finally as a producer.

He has received two Emmy Awards for Music. He has also received eight nominations for an Emmy Award for Best Daytime Drama. Days of our Lives won the Emmy Award for Best Daytime Drama in 1978 and 2013, and Ted and Betty Corday received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award in 1995.

Ken Corday lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.

I am giving 1 Kindle copy away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
Book will be sent from Amazon.

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

Contest Will End December 11, 2020, 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 private collection.

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cold Wind: A Mystery (Alaska Wild Series) by Paige Shelton #Review@MinotaurBooks

This book will be released on December 8, 2020.


Cold Wind: A Mystery (Alaska Wild Series)
Suspense/Mystery – Some Explicit Language
2nd in Series
Setting – Alaska
Publisher: Minotaur Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250295319
ISBN-13: 978-1250295316
Kindle ASIN: B084M26ST6

Beth Rivers is still in Alaska. The unidentified man who kidnapped her in her home of St. Louis hasn’t been found yet, so she’s not ready to go back.

 

But as October comes to a close, Benedict is feeling more and more like her new home. Beth has been working on herself: She’s managed to get back to writing, and she’s enjoying these beautiful months between summer and winter in Alaska.

 

Then, everything in Benedict changes after a mudslide exposes a world that had been hidden for years. Two mud-covered, silent girls appear, and a secret trapper’s house is found in the woods. The biggest surprise, though, is a dead and frozen woman’s body in the trapper’s shed. No one knows who she is, but the man who runs the mercantile, Randy, seems to be in the middle of all the mysteries.

 

Unable to escape her journalistic roots, Beth is determined to answer the questions that keep arising: Are the mysterious girls and the frozen body connected? Can Randy possibly be involved? And―most importantly―can she solve this mystery before the cold wind sweeping over the town and the townspeople descends for good?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Beth Rivers is still hiding out in Alaska because the man who kidnapped her has yet to be apprehended. She is getting more comfortable in her surroundings and is writing again.

There was a recent mudslide that has shaken the town up a bit. Two young girls are found. They can hear but they don’t talk. Their mud-covered state leads everyone to believe they have been out in the elements awhile. The mudslide also opened up a path to reveal a house in the woods and a shack with a dead body. The woman is frozen stiff and while it is chilly in Alaska it is not cold enough to freeze a body solid and keep it frozen.

Is there a connection between the woman and the girls? or just crazy incidents happening at the same time? Beth is very drawn to the girls and needs answers, so she inserts herself into another investigation that could make living in the lower 48 staying a step ahead of a kidnapper safer than the wild winds blowing through Benedict Alaska.


I was thrilled to receive an early copy of the first book in this series, Thin Ice, and have been waiting somewhat impatiently for this book but let me tell you it was worth the wait.

Just like Thin Ice, Cold Wind grabbed me right away and the book was impossible to put down. Many authors have a descriptive writing style but Ms. Shelton’s is unique in that she takes us on the scene like we are watching a movie. She is able to paint pictures with her words without getting overly wordy. The scenes came alive in my mind in living color and the story just flowed. There are several suspenseful scenes intermixed with some milder ones but the pages seemed to fly at breakneck speed. I had to know what was going to happen next.

I was very impressed with the way Beth is evolving as she remembers more about the trauma she survived that had her landing in Alaska. She really is a strong woman because life in Alaska isn’t easy especially after all she has been through. She is surrounded by a very interesting group of supporting characters. We met several more in this story. Some who escaped to Alaska for their own reasons.

Cold Wind actually gave me shivers and chills. Beth Rivers is a powerful character and I am so enthusiastic about this series and to see her story continue.

To really appreciate this story you should read Thin Ice first to understand Beth’s journey, plus it is an awesome story too! Look for Cold Wind on my Best Reads of 2020 list.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Thin Ice here.

About The Author

PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood as her father’s job as a football coach took the family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City where she thought she’d only stay a few years, but she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After a couple of decades in Utah, she and her family recently moved to Arizona. She also writes the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series.

Paige Shelton is also the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived in lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.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 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money (The Poppy Fields Adventures) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense
6th in Series
Setting – Cayman Islands
Publisher: Independently published (September 24, 2020)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8690016531
Kindle ASIN: B0867JSW64

Poppy Fields, social influencer and secret spy, is on Grand Cayman. Her mission? Maid of honor at her mother’s wedding to Russian billionaire Yurgi Prokorhov. No surprise, Chariss Carlton is a difficult and demanding bride.

 

When Poppy witnesses a murder, her days change from irritating to dangerous. She and her partner Thor (real name Mark Stone—but a dead-ringer for a Norse god) are tasked with catching a killer and shuttering a billion dollar money laundering scheme.

 

Between bombs, bridal showers, high-speed car chases, a missing wedding planner, and a femme fatale with her eye on Thor, it will be a miracle if Poppy makes it to the church on time.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bombs, bullets, a famous bridezilla, and more! Can Poppy handle it all?

Set on Grand Cayman, Poppy, and Thor, I mean Mark, have arrived for her mom’s wedding and all the pre-wedding festivities. But it isn’t long before Poppy finds herself in hot water. Soon Mr. Brown is involved and in addition to all her bridal duties, she and Mark are on a case chasing down a huge money-laundering scheme and trying to catch a murderer. Oh, and the wedding planner has been abducted. You know, just a normal week in the life of Poppy Fields.


I have loved this entire series but Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money has to be my favorite.

Chariss and Yurgi are getting married and guests are arriving from Hollywood and Russia to celebrate the big event. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones arriving on Grand Cayman Island.  Drug dealers, money launderers, and a murderer have joined the party.

The author has continued the fantastic character development of the core characters while introducing great characters readers love to hate.  Poppy is getting more confident and the powers that be, start to notice. Her relationship with her Thor is heating up. I just hope they get some real alone time together soon. Yurgi was my favorite character this time. An incredibly wealthy, strong, patient man, that truly loves Chariss and all her drama while becoming a true friend to Poppy. He covers for her with her mother and spares no expense to keep her safe.

Again, the story is action-packed and impossible to put down. It is a roller coaster ride from start to finish.

Set in the idyllic Cayman Islands, this story made for a wonderful virtual vacation as the weather here gets brisk and windy. I curled up with a blanket and took off on another entertaining adventure with Poppy and her family, friends, and enemies.

Julie Mulhern is a terrific storyteller. Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money and this whole series are must-reads for me. Each book can be read on its own but I recommend you read the series from the start in order for maximum enjoyment.

Look for this book on my Best Reads of 2020. It receives my Paradise Rating, just like every other book in this series. You truly can’t go wrong with a book by this author.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

Read my reviews of  Fields’ Guide to Assassins
here,  
Fields’ Guide to Voodoo here,
Fields’ Guide to Fog hereFields’ Guide to Abduction here,
and Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs here.

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 

Book 1 – Fields’ Guide to Abduction – Is available for FREE!!!

Also by Julie Mulhern


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.”