Sep 052019
 

Bark If It’s Murder
(A Dog Club Mystery)
by V.M. Burns

About Bark If It’s Murder 


Bark If It’s Murder (A Dog Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Lyrical Underground (August 27, 2019)
Paperback: 162 pages
ISBN-10: 1516107926
ISBN-13: 978-1516107926
Digital ASIN: B07L2G3DJ1

Lilly Echosby just witnessed a murder on a pet cam. Or did she?

When a last-minute opportunity arises to accompany her boss to an art auction in Atlanta, Lilly throws some money at the problem of where to board her toy poodle Aggie (short for Agatha Christie). Posh Pet Haven offers the most luxurious canine accommodations in all of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The place even provides pet cams so anxious owners can check in on their pampered pooches.

But when Lilly tries to take a peek at her poodle, she gets a terrible shock—she witnesses what she’s sure is a murder. She thinks the victim may be the wealthy co-owner of Pet Haven. The police follow her lead but find no body, no evidence of a crime, and no video record. Starting to feel like the dog owner who cried wolf, Lilly decides to go undercover to catch a killer who may be hiding in plain sight …

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lilly Echosby has been enjoying her temporary accounting job at the art museum. She jumps at the chance to go with her boss to Atlanta for an art auction. She just needs to find someone to care for Aggie, her toy poodle. After a friend recommends Pet Haven Lilly decides to give the place a try. On arrival, she sees it is an elite pet care facility with themed rooms and pet cams that can be accessed by the pet’s families.

Relaxing in her hotel room, almost as nice as Aggie’s accommodations, Lily decides to check up on her pooch. Instead what she sees is something that looks like murder. She places a call to “Red” Olson, a Tennessee Bureau of Investigations Officer, a man she has been spending quite a bit of time with, to report what she saw. When he arrives at her hotel the next morning he informs her there was no body or evidence that anything bad had happened at the post pet hotel. She can’t believe it. With her boss’ blessing, she returns to Chattanooga to find the truth. Offering her accounting services she goes undercover to do just that.

This was an extremely fast read, more novella length than a full-length mystery and Ms. Burns packs those pages full. In addition to the murder, Lilly’s son, David, the actor comes to visit, her daughter’s boyfriend also drops in for a day, Aggie continues her puppy training, Lilly volunteers at a dog show for the job no one really wants, her co-worker Jacob is suffering from a broken ankle and is at his mom’s mercy, and Lilly is finally moving out of the residential hotel and into a home of her own.

I really enjoyed this story. As always the characters are well developed and pulled me right into the story. The friendship between Dixie and Lilly continues to shine. We meet some new characters this time and get to know some recurring characters better. I was very happy to have Lilly’s son come to town. It is great that we have now got to know both her children. Of course, the canine characters always steal my heart.

The author blends the mystery with all the happenings in Lilly’s daily life very well and Lilly’s life is very complicated even before you throw a probable murder into the mix. Thankfully she is a strong independent woman and knows just who to call for help when needed.  For me, part of the whodunit was clear very early, but as the story continued to play out there was a huge twist I didn’t see coming. Excellently played Ms. Burns!

Bark If It’s Murder is a great addition to this series. V.M. Burns gives readers a page-turning mystery full of wonderful characters, humor, Southern charm, and just a little bit of romance. I highly recommend the entire series and can’t wait for the next installment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Check out my review of In The Dog House here and The Puppy Who Knew Too Much here.

More Praise forBark If It’s Murder
(A Dog Club Mystery)
by V.M. Burns

The mystery was well plotted and had enough clues to sift through and suspects to consider. There was enough intrigue to keep me engaged and the mystery was not easily solved. That’s my kind of mystery.
~MJB Reviewers

The friendly character dynamics and relationships are also a delight to follow, “cozy” vibe was definitely oozing off the pages throughout.
~Diary of a Book Fiend

A mystery with a surprising outcome, BARK IF IT’S MURDER is the perfect installment into the Dog Club Mysteries. Once you’ve read it, you’ll be begging for more!
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews

I so love this series!! . . . Full of fascinating details that will keep you guessing about what is going on all mixed up with some of the most fun dogs ever throughout the whole book.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

About V.M. Burns

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:  Website   Facebook  Twitter:  @vmburns

Purchase Links – Amazon –  Barnes & Noble  – Kobo



Also by V.M. Burns

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August 27 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 27 – Mythical Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – no post
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August 28 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
August 29 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
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August 30 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
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August 31 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
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September 1 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW*
September 1 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 2 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST
September 3 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
September 3 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 4 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 4 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST
September 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
September 5 – StoreyBook 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.”

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Feb 132019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

V.M. Burns has become one of my favorite authors.
I am so excited to share with you this second Dog Club Mystery today
as part of her Great Escapes Tour!

 

About the Book


The Puppy Who Knew Too Much (A Dog Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (February 12, 2019)
Paperback: 190 pages
ISBN-10: 1516107918
ISBN-13: 978-1516107919
Digital ASIN: B07D233MVK

Lilly Echosby and her toy poodle Aggie find a fresh start in Chattanooga, Tennessee, spoiled by the scent of murder . . .

Having solved the shooting death of her cheating husband, Lilly’s left behind the drama of Lighthouse Dunes, Indiana, to start over in the hometown of her best friend, Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson. As she gets settled in her new rented house, Lilly gives Aggie, short for Agatha Christie, her own fresh start by enrolling her in the Eastern Tennessee Dog Club, where Dixie is a trainer.

But drama seems to hound Lilly like a persistent stray. Her cranky new neighbor appears unfamiliar with Southern hospitality and complains that Aggie barks too much and digs up his prized tulips. But what the poodle actually unearths is the buried body of a mysterious man who claimed ownership of the lost golden retriever Lilly recently rescued. Now it’s up to Lilly and Dixie to try to muzzle another murderer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lilly Echosby has left Indiana behind and followed her best friend Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson to Tennessee. It took a while but a chance encounter helped Lilly finds not only a job but a house to rent that was in her budget and allowed her adorable toy poodle, Aggie. She is excited her daughter Stephanie is coming to visit to help her get settled. Lilly finds it refreshing how friendly everyone is until she meets her new neighbor. He is not happy about having another dog in the neighborhood. Her daughter also falls hard for a golden retriever found under Lilly’s deck. After rushing it to the vet and getting its injuries cared for she declares she won’t be giving it up without a fight.

When dear sweet Aggie digs up a body instead of a bone the neighbor is apoplectic and Lilly finds herself back on a suspect list. Stephanie calls in the cavalry, aka Joe, her new boyfriend, the one that helped clear her mom in Lighthouse Dunes. He, in turn, calls in a friend and they along with Dixie are all determined to find the real killer, especially after another body is found.

First, the cover is a little deceiving. The two standard poodles owned by Dixie and Lilly’s Aggie return in this story where they all make a new friend. Aggie does start obedience classes with Dixie where a variety of dogs come together.

Lilly can’t catch a break but she has the perseverance to keep moving forward. New house, new job, new people in her life, and another murderer on the loose. She quickly finds new friends at her job and they are so supportive. I loved her new boss, Linda Kay, and love that we have something in common. The author does such an excellent job with all the characters. They have depth and something about them that draws the reader in and pushes us to want to know them better. Even the cantankerous neighbor and the man that used to have Lilly’s job.

Moving Lilly to Tennessee adds a very interesting twist. She was used to the flatlands of Indiana and Dixie lives on a mountain top with a fantastic view. The road to get there was winding and narrow and made Lily very nervous with its huge dropoffs. She is also very unfamiliar with the area and dependent on her GPS. Each place was nicely described as we readers saw it through Lilly’s eyes for the first time right along with her.

The mystery was not easy to solve with the requisite twists and turns. What I love and what makes this story unique in the part the canines play in solving it all. The motives were very unclear and the clues weren’t falling into place either until the wonderful, surprising, and exciting ending.

Well-plotted and written this story was hard to put down. A complex mystery with its share of Southern charm and humor. Right in Chapter 1 Lilly experiences her first “Bless Your Heart” which she learned was “Southern-speak for “You’re an idiot.” I really enjoy the way V.M. Burns tells a story. The care she takes with her characters is commendable and her love of dogs glows within the pages.

I highly recommend this series. I can’t wait for book #3!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Check out my review of In The Dog House here.

 

About the Author

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

Author Links:  Website   Facebook  Twitter:  @vmburns

Purchase Links – Amazon –  Barnes & Noble – IndieBound:  – Books-A-Million – Kobo


Also by V.M. Burns

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February 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
February 11 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
February 12 – Mythical Books – GUEST POST
February 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 13 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
February 14 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
February 15 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
February 15 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – GUEST POST
February 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
February 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 18 – Carla Loves to Read – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 19 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW
February 19 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST
February 20 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
February 20 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
February 21 – RUFF DRAFTS – GUEST POST  
February 21 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
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February 24 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

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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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Jun 222018
 

Hightail It to Kinsey Falls (Kinsey Falls Series)
Women’s Fiction
1st in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Grace Abraham Publishing (May 22, 2018)
Print Length: 139 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07C46H3WH

Hightail It to Kinsey Falls

All work and no play make Jade a dull girl.

Jade Burt can do without her grandmother’s meddling in her love life. But when Millie finds an abandoned baby possum, it leads her to Caleb Young. Caleb would be perfect for Jade! When Jade meets Caleb, it’s hard to argue with her grandmother’s choice. Still, Jade is determined to push Caleb away, but his friendship with Millie concerns her. What if he’s a slick con man trying to take advantage of a sweet old lady? Jade needs to figure Caleb out before he breaks her grandmother’s heart…and Jade’s too!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

If you need a break in your day from the stress and strife this is a perfect story for you.

An old shopping mall has been converted to a retail/residential facility. Stores on the lower floor with micro-apartments on the upper floor split into 2 sections. One side for senior citizens and the other side for young professionals. There is a community center were residents and shop owners can gather or hold events too.  Jade Burt owns Nothin’ But Knit, one of the retail shops and her grandmother, Millicent Fairchild, lives in one of the apartments upstairs.

Millie on her way to visit Jade notices an animal near her path. She quickly realizes it is a baby possum and scoops it into her now empty makeup bag and rushes into the pet store next to her granddaughter’s store. Hightail It Pet Supply and Grooming. There she meets Caleb, one of the young professional residents who is working at the store while he gets his graduate degree. Millie decides then and there that she needs to bring Jade and Caleb together. They are perfect for each other.

The characters in the story are fabulous. I love the whole idea of blending these two age groups together. The YPs are so welcoming and willing to help the seniors and the seniors feel the need to bake and cook for the YPs. Having them get together for a welcoming event was delightful. The Kinsey Falls Living and Retail Community Center is a great idea and something I would love to see everywhere. The animal that brought everyone together gave the author the opportunity to shine a light on Wynnwood Wildlife Rehabilitation, a non-profit taking care of animals in need. She also shines a light on an illness and it’s side effects that usually effects seniors.

This author usually writes cozy mysteries. I am so happy she has now brought her wonderful writing style to Women’s Fiction. I am excited about this series and am anxiously awaiting book #2.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

 

 

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.

I live in Virginia with my family, which includes my own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series! But, never fear, I’m also working on a new cozy mystery series as well.

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Pinterest     Instagram

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Writing as Gayle Trent



Writing as Amanda Lee


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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Feb 242018
 

Six Dogs ’til Sunday (A Mae December Mystery)
by Lia Farrell


Six Dogs ’til Sunday (A Mae December Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Camel Press
Paperback Release (March 1, 2018)
Digital Release (February 15, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603812504
Digital ASIN: B077KFFH52

It’s January in Rosedale, Tennessee, and Mae December is preparing for her March wedding to Sheriff Ben Bradley. Mae, who boards dogs for a living, is also busy tending to her pregnant dog and scouting locations for the movie featuring the music of her former fiancé Noah West, who died in a car accident four years earlier. Fortunately, the picturesque old house at the end of Little Chapel Road is for rent.

Just as filming is about to begin, a man is shot on the set, but manages to drive himself to the hospital, where he dies before he can ID his killer. He was a member of the film crew, but also a local, and circumstances point to his being a confidential informant for Ben’s predecessor, Sheriff Trey Cantrell, also the owner of the house turned movie set. At the time of the shooting, the victim had been stealing a large sum of money from a safe on the premises. Whose money is it, and where does it come from?

The Rosedale Sheriff’s Office not only has another murder case on its hands, but one that will dredge up a past long buried. How far will the guilty parties go to protect their secrets?

About the Authors

Lia Farrell is the nom de plume for a mother/daughter duo of writers. Mom Lyn Farquhar and Daughter Lisa Fitzsimmons have been collaborating on the Mae December mystery series for four years.
lyn
ABOUT LYN
Lyn Farquhar taught herself to read before starting school and honed her storytelling abilities by reading to her little sister. Ultimately, her mother ended the reading sessions because Lyn’s sister decided she preferred being read to over learning to read herself. She fell in love with library books at the age of six when a Bookmobile came to her one-room rural elementary school. The day the Bookmobile arrived, Lyn decided she would rather live in the bookmobile than at home and was only ousted following sustained efforts by her teacher and the bookmobile driver.

Lyn graduated from Okemos High School in Michigan and got her college and graduate degrees from Michigan State University. She has a master’s degree in English literature and a Ph.D. in Education, but has always maintained that she remained a student for such a long time only because it gave her an excuse to read. Lyn holds the rank of Professor of Medical Education at Michigan State University and has authored many journal articles, abstracts and research grants. Since her retirement from MSU to become a full-time writer, she has completed a Young Adult Fantasy trilogy called Tales of the Skygrass Kingdom. Volume I from the trilogy is entitled Journey to Maidenstone and is available on amazon.com. Lyn has two daughters and six stepchildren, nine granddaughters and three grandsons. She also has two extremely spoiled Welsh Corgi’s. Her hobby is interior design and she claims she has the equivalent of a master’s degree from watching way too many decorating shows.

ABOUT LISA
lisa
Lisa Fitzsimmons grew up in Michigan and was always encouraged to read, write and express herself artistically. She was read aloud to frequently. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, she was seldom seen without a book in hand. After becoming a mom at a young age, she attended Michigan State University in a tri-emphasis program with concentrations in Fine Art, Art History an Interior Design.

Lisa, with her husband and their two children, moved to North Carolina for three exciting years and then on to Tennessee, which she now calls home. She has enjoyed an eighteen-year career as a Muralist and Interior Designer in middle Tennessee but has always been interested in writing. Almost five years ago, Lisa and her mom, Lyn, began working on a writing project inspired by local events. The Mae December Mystery series was born.

Lisa, her husband, and their three dogs currently divide their time between beautiful Northern Michigan in the summertime and middle Tennessee the rest of the year. She and her husband feel very blessed that their “empty nest” in Tennessee is just a short distance from their oldest, who has a beautiful family of her own. Their youngest child has settled in Northern Michigan, close to their cabin there. Life is good.

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February 21 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
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Dec 012017
 

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.


Laced With Poison (Sweet Nothings)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Tennessee
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (July 2, 2013)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425252147
Kindle ASIN: B009NY45P0

 

 

You’re invited to the Sweet Nothings trunk show. See what the shop has to offer, taste some wonderful food, catch up with friends, and solve a murder…

Emma Taylor is happy to be drawing in customers at her aunt Arabella’s lingerie shop, Sweet Nothings, but replacing the store’s broken window is going to cost a small fortune. Hoping to hoist up their sagging profits, Arabella arranges to have a trunk show at the home of a local socialite who will invite all of her friends and take care of the catering. All Emma and Arabella have to do is show up and show off their wares. Seems simple enough…

A gorgeous spread is prepared for the event, including delicious cupcakes topped with edible flowers. But after one of the partygoers takes a bite and winds up dead, the guest list becomes a suspect list. Now Emma must separate facts from idle gossip before the killer gives the cops the slip…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Looking for ways to increase their revenue stream Arabella suggests holding a trunk show at the home of one her well to do friends. The party is a wonderful success until one of the guests becomes sick after eating a cupcake. She later dies at the hospital and the baker and the woman who provides the edible flowers she decorates with both end up suspects in her murder. Emma and Arabella are close friends with both women and know there is no way they would kill anyone. With a room full of suspects Emma is going to do her best to uncover the real killer.

I love the three main characters in this story.  The bond Emma has with her aunt Arabella is strong and they make a terrific team running Sweet Nothings, but the character that grabbed me this time, just like in the first book was Sylvia. In this story, she is forced by her children to move to Sunny Days, the nearby senior living facility. She doesn’t let it slow her down, she still comes to work to do her bra fittings every day at Sweet Nothings, dragging her oxygen tank behind. She is a spitfire and to know her is to love her, just ask Emma or Arabella. She doesn’t like the welcome she has been receiving at Sunny Days, so Emma signs up to be a volunteer. It is also a great place for gossip, so she just may hear something to solve the murder too.

Ms. London has penned a funny mystery. She has Emma all over the place following one clue after another and I really enjoyed following along. I thought I had it all figured out but one twist after another had me completely stumped until Emma had everything fall into place.

Great characters, great mystery, great setting – A Perfect Escape!

It took me way too long to read this second book in the series.  The third and last book in the series is screaming at me from the shelf so I will be grabbing that one soon.

Dollycas

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About This Author
Meg London is the alter ego of author Peg Cochran.
Check out her webpage here.

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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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Jun 162016
 

rogues rascals large banner640

ROGUES & RASCALS IN GOOSE PIMPLE JUNCTION
By AMY METZ

GPJ4Cover

Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction
(Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries Book 4)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Publisher: Southern Ink Press, A Division of Blue Productions (May 15, 2016)
Paperback: 244 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0989714082
E-Book ASIN: B01EGOZKSW
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Like any good Southern belle, Caledonia Culpepper was raised by her mama to be gracious, charming, witty, and above all, a devoted mother and loving wife, so she’s baffled when her marriage falls apart.

Wynona Baxter is a master of disguise but is often a ditzy airhead. A hit woman wannabe, when she’s hired for her first job in Goose Pimple Junction and things don’t go as planned, she’s forced to resort to Plan B. She’ll also need Plan C and D.

Crooked lawyers, restless husbands, a teenaged hoodlum – it seems there are rogues and rascals everywhere you look in Goose Pimple Junction.

When Caledonia and Wynona’s paths cross, they prove there isn’t a rogue or a rascal who can keep a good woman down. Mama always said there would be days like this . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Goose Pimple Junction where there never is a dull moment. You will be laughing out loud at times and on the edge of your seat at others.

Caledonia Culpepper thinks she is doing everything right in her marriage but her husband has completely lost interest in her.

Wynona Baxter has come to Goose Pimple Junction for a job. A job to kill someone!

Plus the town seems to be overflowing with Rogues and Rascals.

Amy Metz takes us on hilarious and sometimes dangerous adventure.  Nothing seems to go as planned for either Wynona or Caledonia, but Caledonia isn’t taking her lumps lying down. She decides to get the upper hand with a little help from her friends. Wynona is in over her head and things just keep going wrong, but she just keeps plowing ahead trying to do the job she was hired to do.

There is a wonderful cast of characters throughout the whole book. The are a eclectic bunch full of Southern charm, at least that is how they try to appear. Some of them are lower than low and as shifty as can be. Some of them you would want to be friends with if they could jump off the page and into the real world.

The story flows at a perfect pace with several unexpected twists.

I love the way each chapter starts with a quote from Mama:

Mama always said – …  “Beware, some people will sell you a dream and deliver a nightmare.”

Mama always said – …. “If it’s got tires or testicles, you’re gonna have trouble. . .”

Mama always said – … “Age is like underwear, it creeps up on you.”

This was such a fun read I really hated for it to end and just FYI it has one heck of an ending.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Here’s an excerpt to get you started!

From Chapter 1
A Unicorn And A Hit Woman

Early June, Atlanta, Georgia

Sipping sweet tea and browsing Facebook on her iPhone, Wynona Baxter sat with her partner, Zeke, at a table outside a coffee shop. With her toned and tanned bare legs crossed, her left foot—clad in Jimmy Choo black four-inch-heeled sandals—bobbed up and down to a silent beat known only to her.

“Here he comes.” Zeke adjusted his sunglasses and inclined his head toward the street.

There he was—their mark—right on time, wearing his JC Penny ugly tan blazer and brown polyester pants set right underneath his paunch. He ran a hand through his thinning red hair, but demonstrating the man’s definite need for a haircut, a long patch in the front dropped right back down over his right eye.

Wynona muttered, “Get a haircut.” Then to her partner, she said, “His confidence has to be ill-gotten.

Zeke harrumphed. “Just like everything he has in life.”

Over the rim of her glass of sweet tea, she casually watched as he crossed the street, speaking to a few people along the way. His gut preceded the rest of him by a good ten inches. Why on earth a man with no outwardly redeeming qualities—and from what she’d heard inwardly too—could strut like a rooster was beyond her.

Wynona put her glass down and ran her finger along the condensation. “I’ll tell you one thing. It’s obvious from the way he carries himself that there isn’t any conceit in his family: he got it all.
Zeke sat back and propped a leg over a knee. “Yeah, but brains are another question.”

“You reckon he has any of those?” Wynona’s foot continued to bob up and down.

The duo had been watching him, and after a week, they knew his routine. Wynona looked at her iPhone. “He’s right on time and headed for the Dizzy Duck as usual.”

Zeke nodded. “If he hadn’t made someone very angry, this wouldn’t have to be his last visit there.”

“Okay. So he’ll spend thirty to forty minutes in the bar and then head for home.” Wynona put the phone in her purse.

Zeke stood. “Where we’ll be waiting for him.”

She took one more gulp of tea, shook the ice in the glass, and set it down hard on the table, shooting a look that would put frost on a snowman to the guy a few tables away who’d been leering at her for the better part of an hour. Leisurely standing, she smoothed the front of her short linen skirt. As she left the coffee shop, she was aware of the eyes on her . . . well, she could only guess which body part his eyes were on. Wynona preferred to be unobtrusive, but that was nearly impossible with her looks. But no matter, by tomorrow she’d appear totally different anyway. She thought she might enjoy being a redhead next.

The hot Atlanta sun beat down on them as Wynona and Zeke walked across the street in the opposite direction from the person they’d tailed for almost a week: Mr. Sleazy, as she’d come to think of him. They had been sitting at the outdoor table for over an hour waiting for their mark to leave his office building. Feeling like she was melting, bored half out of her skull, and glad to be on the move again, she got into their rented Lexus ES300 and turned the ignition key. She set the air conditioning to full blast and leaned her head against the headrest. The cool air blew across her face, which glowed with perspiration.

She glanced at the dashboard and groaned. “Is it really 104 degrees out there?”

Zeke adjusted the vents. “Considering the humidity is at least in the eighty percent range, it feels more like 150.”

Taking a lace hankie from her purse on the passenger seat, she blotted her face so as not to ruin her makeup. She fluffed the bangs of her brown wig and slipped on her oversized sunglasses before adjusting the air conditioning vents to point straight at her. After putting the car into drive, she eased out onto the road and secretly offered Mr. Googly Eyes an unladylike hand signal.

Wynona maneuvered the Lexus down the curvy shade-dappled country lane while singing along to Garth Brooks’s “Friends in Low Places” on the radio. She pulled off to the side of the road, stopping just in front of a black mailbox with white lettering that spelled “Reid.” The box stood to the right of a long driveway leading to a large colonial two-story house. This wasn’t Mr. Sleazy’s house but one just down the road from his ticky-tacky run-of-the-mill ranch house. After a few minutes, she was impatient. “Come on, you know this road has hardly any traffic. We’ve only seen a handful of cars in the six days we’ve been tailing Polyster Man.

Zeke cracked the car door, waited, and listened. The only sound was the rat-a-tat of a woodpecker. Convinced no cars were near, he hurried to the rear of the car as she popped the trunk. He pulled out a duffle bag and slid back into the car, laying the bag on the floor in front of the passenger seat.

“Now watch, Wynona. You might need to know how to do this some day. Pay attention.” Reaching under the clothing inside the bag, he pulled out the pieces of a Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic. Grabbing the slide, he took the barrel and slid it in, put in the guide rod and spring, keeping his thumb over it. With the weapon in his other hand, he said, “Make sure there are no obstructions, match the male/female grooves, slide it on, lock it to the rear, and put down the takedown lever at three o’clock.” He quickly snapped the pieces into place and screwed the silencer on.

Wynona recoiled a little when he opened his bag of tricks, as he liked to call his knife set. Her mind went over the different ways she’d seen him use each one in the past. A slow and torturous death was his specialty and why people asked for him.

Wynona glanced at the time on the dashboard. “I reckon we’ve spent five minutes cooling off after leaving the coffee shop and fifteen driving here. It should also take Sleazy fifteen minutes to get here—after his usual thirty minutes in the bar.” Wy reached in the bag, pulled out a CD, and popped it into the player. “If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To, I’d Be Out By Now” came over the speakers, and she tapped her fingers on the steering wheel as she sang along.

Zeke watched and said, “I love a girl with a sense of humor in this line of work.”

Twenty-five minutes later, she turned off the engine. They got out of the car, and he raised the hood. Zeke crouched in front of the car, while she leaned against the Lexus to wait.
She heard it before she saw it. “Showtime,” Wynona said.

“Do your stuff, Wy.” Zeke shifted slightly in the gravel.

She leaned in under the hood from the side of the Lexus that faced the oncoming car so that her long thoroughbred legs would have a chance to work their full magic. She heard the pop of gravel and an engine slowing as he eased his car to the side of the road.

“What’s the problem?” Mr. Sleazy asked as he approached her.

Holding the gun in his right hand, Zeke rose to his full height, walked past her, and pointed the weapon at Sleazy.

“Honey, you’re the problem.“ Wynona cocked her head. “But we’ve got the solution.” She noticed his Adam’s apple bob up and down; hers did too.

Walking toward him with the gun aimed at his chest, Zeke said, “You’ve made someone awfully mad with your low quantity of moral fiber. You pretended to be someone you’re not. You took advantage of people. You stole money from them. They said to make it a . . .” he stretched out his words, “. . . slow, painful end to your time here on earth.”

Zeke’s smile reflected his intentions.

Amy Metz

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

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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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Jan 262016
 

sweet peppet heroSweet Pepper Hero: A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mystery
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Tennessee
4th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by Penguin Random House, LLC.
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425279236
E-Book ASIN: B00W2ZKNZ8
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Old rivalries heat up in the fourth Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade mystery from the national bestselling author of In Hot Water.

Fire chief Stella Griffin has been put in charge of judging the annual recipe contest, but Eric—her resident ghost and true culinary genius—has vanished. Before she can track down his latest haunt, she’s called in to investigate a local moonshine distillery that was set ablaze, making her realize there’s more than pies and cakes cooking in Sweet Pepper.

As rumors of a revived whiskey war ignite, Stella turns to the town’s elders to help her find answers. The past might have some clues as to what has sparked the present fires. But when following a lead lands her in buried rubble, Stella realizes she must extinguish this case fast or she might be going down in flames.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Is that a beautiful cover or what? Kudos to Mary Ann Lasher and George Long!

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. The authors left us with a cliffhanger at the end of In Hot Water and these characters are some of my all-time favorites. Chief Eric or his ghost is near and dear to my heart because he reminds me so much of my dad. The cliffhanger was resolved but not in a way I ever expected. Pretty dramatic but it had me laughing too.

Aside from the cliffhanger, in this installment, the police have orders from the ATF to investigate stills in the area. It seems that even today people are brewing moonshine illegally. When a still explodes and a man dies it is time for Stella to step in. Then when another still starts on fire along with the house it is hidden in, Stella starts to think it is not a coincidence so she starts her on investigation. But before she can even sort through the evidence she finds herself in peril.

I love the way Stella and Eric work together to solve the mystery. This story is filled with fires, explosions, whiskey wars and other drama. We also meet a few more ghosts that are nothing like Chief Eric. They have their own issues. More members of the community are joining the fire department and the fires and training sessions are quite interesting as all the personnel kinks are worked out.  But in my opinion fire dog Hero, lives up to his name and is the star of the story as the title implies. He is such a smart dog. with keen instincts. The people of Sweet Pepper are fortunate to have him as part of the brigade.

These authors continue to give us absolutely awesome stories time and time again. They can have us on the edge of our seat one moment, laughing out loud the next and even occasionally reaching for a tissue. So much happens in these pages that it truly boggles my mind and everything just flows right together perfectly. The ending was a real surprise and the teaser for the next book has me so anxious that waiting a year is just plain mean 🙂

Sweet Pepper, Tennessee is know for its peppers so of course there are recipes in the back of the book.

This is a great addition to this wonderful series! Start a fire (in your fireplace) and curl up with it as soon as you can.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Authors

J. J. Cook is a pseudonym for a married couple who writes mysteries, mostly set in the South, with a touch of paranormal and romance.

Author Links:

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Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

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Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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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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Dec 042015
 

There really are no words to express how much I miss Joyce. Her picture continues to pop up all over the blogosphere with her wonderful smile. Each time I see it I stop and think how blessed I was to call her my friend. Last weekend I had the pleasure of escaping into the pages of Murder Fir Christmas. I am so thrilled that her voice will live on and touch us forever with stories like this. 

murder fir christmas large banner640

Murder Fir Christmas
by Joyce and Jim Lavene

MURDER FIR CHRISTMASMurder Fir Christmas
(Christmas Tree Valley Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Tennessee
Print Length: 208 pages
Publisher: J. Lavene (December 1, 2015)
ASIN: B016APS2PI
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Synopsis:

Down the mountain from Sweet Pepper, Tennessee is Christmas Tree Valley, a place filled with hundreds of Christmas tree farms where generations of growers have made people’s lives brighter. Yet even here in this quiet, postcard-perfect corner of the world, darkness and murder can still stalk the night.

Federal Wildlife Agent Bonnie Tuttle has always had a special gift with wild animals. It was one of the reasons she decided to train with the wildlife agency. She’s spent the last ten years in Alabama working, but her mother needs her home and she’s back despite all the bad parts of her life she hoped to leave behind.

Her first day home begins with a fire on the island in Sweet Pepper Lake and the death of Harvey Shelton, the wildlife agent she’s supposed to replace. Bonnie manages to rescue dozens of animals from the fire – including a wolf pup that was shot with the same bullet that killed Harvey.

Now she’s hot on the trail of Harvey’s killer and trying to reintegrate the wolf back into the wild even though he seems to want to stay with her. Yet old memories persist in the small community where she grew up, and the killer now seems to believe that she has what he killed Harvey for. All she has to do is figure out what that is before it’s too late.

Christmas Recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am a huge fan of the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries by J.J. Cook, aka Joyce and Jim Lavene, so when I heard they were spinning off another series set nearby in Christmas Tree Valley I was over the moon!

We first met Bonnie Tuttle in the Biscuit Bowl Mystery Series. Now the Federal Wildlife Agent comes home to the valley after being away in Alabama for years. Her mother is starting to show signs of Alzheimers and her brother has taken a new job in Germany. Bonnie is taking Harvey Shelton’s place as wildlife agent and will also be running the family’s Christmas tree farm. Maybe everyone has forgotten why she left or she will be too busy to care if they do remember.

She is thrust right into her new job when there is a fire and several animals need to be rescued. She heads to the scene with Harvey. Shorty after they arrive gunshots ring out and Harvey is hit and killed. A wolf pup is also shot and Bonnie finds herself with a new friend as she takes care of him. Who would want to kill Harvey? Bonnie tries to see the forest through the trees to catch the killer before she or anyone else is fired upon.

What an amazing story!

All our favorite characters from Sweet Pepper welcome Bonnie to the area.  Fire Chief, Stella Griffin, the ghost of former Fire Chief Eric Gamlyn and Police Chief Don Rogers throw out the welcome mat and then chaos erupts as the fire call comes in and the mayhem continues. These characters are already near and dear to my heart. They are wonderfully written and spring right from the pages.

Winter in Christmas Tree Valley is dangerous because the road can snow shut or be covered with ice or both. The road was closed before Bonnie could even get home the first day. The Lavene’s paint pictures of the scenery so clear with their words. The blustery wind, the frigid cold, I was almost shivering myself. They also brought the valley to life. I could envision the tree farms, Harvey’s cabin office, and all the beautiful sites as we traveled down the hill from Sweet Pepper.

The mystery itself played out in a way I never suspected. Such good twists and turns. I can’t say more because I am afraid I will say too much.

An awesome cozy story! Mystery with just a flake of folklore and a touch of paranormal and a little romance too. These authors have imaginations that are truly off the charts. They have blended these series together is a wondrous way yet given them the footings to stand on their own. I really like Bonnie and I truly hope Jim and the family keep this series going. I want to visit this area as often as possible.

Note – You do not need to read any of the other books to enjoy this story. It stands alone perfectly.paradise

5 STARFISH5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim

I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim

 

About The Authors –

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

 

Author Links

Webpage    Facebook   Amazon  Twitter

 



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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 292015
 

SHORT AND TALL TALES large banner640

Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction
by Amy Metz

GPJ3Cover
Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction
Genre – Cozy Mystery
Setting – Tennessee
Paperback: 128 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0989714068
Publisher: Southern Ink Press
An imprint of Blue Publications
Publication Date: September 4, 2015
E-Book ASIN: B014XIMXOK
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Synopsis:

This is not your average Southern town. With a hint of mystery, a lot of laughs, and unique charm, you’ll catch a glimpse of everyday life in Goose Pimple Junction in this short story compilation. Short & Tall Tales occurs chronologically between Murder & Mayhem, book 1, and Heroes & Hooligans, book 2, in the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. Book 1.5 is a fun escape that will answer questions readers may have about the residents of this quirky small town.

How did Johnny Butterfield become police chief?
How did Tess and Jack get engaged?
How did Ima Jean come to live with Louetta?
How do you celebrate an Apple Day?

These questions and more are answered in Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction. Five short stories, one novella, and three recipes will give you more of life in Goose Pimple Junction, make you laugh, and have your mouth watering. If you want a feel-good read, you’ve come to the right place. Grab some sweet tea and escape to Goose Pimple Junction.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Amy Metz is answering questions about things in Goose Pimple Junction. Questions I had myself like How did Johnny Butterfield become police chief? and How did Ima Jean come to live with Louetta? and more in this very fast read. Perfect to hold us over until Rogues And Rascals In Goose Pimple Junction is released.

I really liked the “tall tale” where we learn about Johnny Butterfield’s arrival in Goose Pimple Junction.  The quote at the top of chapter one was “I was born at night, but not last night.” attributed to Johnny himself. Each chapter starts with a quote from a GPJ resident,  that made me start each one with a smile on my face. The tale had all the drama of a full length novel. Loved it!

There are 5 “short tales” as well to give readers a little more insight into the some of the people we have met in the other two books. The story about Jack and Tess really touched my heart.

Do you like pie? Goose Pimple Junction celebrates Apple Day! The descriptions of the pies will have your mouth watering. I was so grateful to find the recipes at the end of the stories.

If Amy Metz is a new author to you this little book will introduce to her wonderful characters. Technically the events fall between Murder & Mayhem, and Heroes & Hooligans, but they truly can all read as stand alone. I just know that once you have read one you will want to read all three.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH
Dollycas

AmyMetz

About This Author

 

Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Author Links

Website     Blog     Facebook      Twitter    Goodreads

 

GIVEAWAY

The author is giving away 1 e-copy of
Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction!

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 Amy for 5 Bonus Entries.

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 November 12, 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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Oct 202015
 

heroes and hooligansHeroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction
(Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries) (Volume 2)

Cozy Mystery
Setting – Tennessee
Blue Publications  (December 17, 2014)
Paperback: 298 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0989714044
E-Book ASIN: B00R6CWTYU
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Goose Pimple Junction is just recovering from a kidnapping and a murder, its first major crimes in years, when trouble begins anew. Life is turned upside down in the quirky little southern town with the arrival of several shifty hooligans: A philandering husband intent on getting his wife back, another murderer loose in town, a stalker intent on frightening Martha Maye, and a thief who’s stealing the town blind of their pumpkins, pies, and peace. Together, they’re scaring the living daylights out of the residents and keeping the new police chief busier than a set of jumper cables at a redneck picnic. Suddenly, he has his hands full trying to apprehend a killer, stop a stalker, and fight his feelings for the damsel in distress.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Fall in in the air in Goose Pimple Junction and the residents are getting ready for Oktoberfest. But there is a lot of tomfoolery goin’ on.  Someone is stealing pumpkins, pies, and even stuff from people’s pantries. Martha Maye has come home to Goose Pimple Junction and her no good husband, Lenny, isn’t far behind. She has also started receiving some unusual gifts from a secret admirer. The new police chief, Johnny Butterfield, who is a little sweet on Martha Maye himself, it trying to catch the thief and is doing all he can to keep Lenny away from Martha Maye.  When Lenny is found dead in Martha Maye’s front yard he has to let his officers take over the case but that doesn’t stop him from doing a little investigating on his own.

This is another marvelous story from Amy Metz. Fantastic characters like Martha Maye, Butterbean, Johnny, Ima Jean, Honey, Maddy Mack, Pickle and more.  I loved Pickle’s t-shirts with sayings like “Hard Work Must Have Killed Someone” and Ima Jean’s commercial jingles input like “Gentlemen prefer Hanes” and “Leggo My Eggo“.  Characters from Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction like Jack and Tess are back too. Tess is catching on to more of the Southern dialect. Some of the phasing made me smile and laugh out loud. “Hirey’all tonight?” “We’re hanging in there like loose teeth, Junebug, hireyew.” Each chapter also starts with a Southern Proverb too like “When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.” This book is just overflowing with Southern charm.

We get into the book a bit before Lenny ends up dead so we have plenty of time to get to know the characters before they become suspects. It was hard to really think of any of them as a killer. I really didn’t like Lenny so I wasn’t broken up that he was the victim.  One of the officers is even questioning the chief’s innocence, so I did as well.  Metz plots things out brilliantly with those wonderful twists that we cozy lovers crave.

 A perfect escape for this time of year.  I highly recommend a virtual trip as soon as possible.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

AmyMetzAbout This Author

Amy Metz is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two grown sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Amy is now touring Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction with Great Escapes Book Tours.  Short & Tall Tales occurs chronologically between Murder & Mayhem, book 1, and Heroes & Hooligans, book 2, in the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series.  I will be hosting a stop on October 30.

Author Links

Website: http://amymetz.com
Blog: http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyMetz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoramymetz
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6436458.Amy_Metz


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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