Jan 232019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am excited to share with you the 1st book
in this new cozy series from Sarah Fox today!


Wine and Punishment (A Literary Pub Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Vermont
Kensington (December 18, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718682
ISBN-13: 978-1496718686
Kindle ASIN: B07BVDVNT8

In the first in an engaging new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox, the owner of a charming literary pub finds her fresh start on the rocks thanks to a case of murder.

Booklover Sadie Coleman knows that in life, as in fiction, the right setting can make a world of difference. The small town of Shady Creek, Vermont, seems like the perfect place to start over after losing her Boston job to a merger and her relationship to her ex’s gambling addiction. She’s bought and redecorated the old grist mill pub, transforming the Inkwell into a cozy spot where tourists and regulars alike can enjoy a pint or a literary-themed cocktail, or join one of several book clubs.

Little by little, Sadie is adjusting to the rhythms of her new home. Fall in Shady Creek is bookmarked by the much-anticipated Autumn Festival, complete with a pumpkin catapult competition and pie bake-off. Unfortunately, the season also brings an unwelcome visitor—Sadie’s ex, Eric, who’s angling for a second chance . . .

Before Sadie can tell Eric to leave, he’s found dead near the Inkwell. When the local antique shop catches fire on the same night, it’s clear the town is harboring at least one unsavory character. Now, with her Aunt Gilda, her friend Shontelle, and the pub’s patrons all in the mix, Sadie must uncover the truth . . . before a killer declares last call.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s Autumn in Shady Creek, Vermont and Sadie Coleman is excited to take part in the yearly festival. You see, she is new in town and has turned the old grist mill pub into a book lover’s delight. The Inkwell is the perfect place to relax with friends or hold your book club meeting. Sadie pushed out by a merger in her old job and moving on after breaking up with her gambling lying ex is ready to make herself at home in this wonderful little town. Her literary-themed cocktails have been well received and she is anxious to feature them in her booth at the festival.

Happily shelving her past she has made herself at home. Then she is shocked to learn Eric, he ex, is in town. She avoids him the first night and goes to a birthday party for her Aunt Gilda. On the way home, she is diverted by a huge fire at the local antique shop. She almost forgets about Eric being in town. But before they can meet he is found dead in a culvert near the pub. Is his death connected to the fire? What would he come all this way to see her now? With more questions than answers, she decides to keep her ears open and her eyes peeled in hopes of catching the killer and throwing the book at them.

I absolutely love the setting of this book. A pub full of books in Vermont. The pub is unique, its little footbridge charming and Shady Creek sounds absolutely delightful. Sans the fire and the murder, of course.

I really like Sadie. She has a great vision and the determination to see it through. She is surrounded by a great cast. Her Aunt Gilda is totally supportive and willing to help Sadie in any way she can. The same with her friend Shontelle. Her two employees, Damien and Melanie, are familiar with the area and the festival and want Sadie to succeed. Then there is Grayson Blake, owner of the Spirit Hill Brewery. He and Sadie get off to a very rocky start. Everyone thinks he is a wonderful man, Sadie just doesn’t see it. In fact, she believes he is responsible for some dastardly deeds like slashing her tires and egging the pub. Sadie also has a frisky feline named Wimsey. I feel Ms. Fox has barely opened the books on these characters. She has left them plenty of room to grow.

I enjoyed the way the author penned this mystery. Twists galore. I loved that the lead detective was a woman and that while she questioned Sadie thoroughly, she didn’t zero in on Sadie as her main suspect. I will say the killer was so far off my radar they were never even considered. BAM, I was right there with Sadie, completely surprised and scared for our new protagonist. Great job, Sarah Fox!

This series is off to an excellent start. I want to get to know these characters better and I definitely want to spend more time at the book filled Inkwell pub. I know there is a mystery book club starting there soon and I can’t wait to see if that plays into this author’s next mystery.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Sarah Fox is the author of the Music Lover’s Mystery series and the USA Today bestselling Pancake House Mystery series. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she can often be found reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel. Sarah lives in British Columbia and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada. Visit her online at AuthorSarahFox.com.

Also by Sarah Fox


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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LIKE Kensington Publishing on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Sign Up for Sarah Fox’s Newsletter for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End February 6, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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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Mar 172018
 

Marinating in Murder (A Dinner Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Vermont
Berkley (March 6, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425278246
Kindle ASIN: B071GJBJXW

 

 

The third in a delicious series featuring a dinner club that tries out new recipes–while trying to catch a killer

The Culinary Capers Dinner Club is planning a fall picnic for their next meeting. What could be better than sharing delicious food with friends under a beautiful autumn sky? But when club member Alison Malkovich opens the back of her SUV to load in the picnic supplies, she finds a dead body. To make things worse, it’s the body of her ex-husband, and now she’s the prime suspect. Because Alison is a police officer, she is suspended and warned not to do any investigating of her own. That’s not about to stop J.J. and the Culinary Capers gang though. They know that Alison is innocent, and after all, they do have some experience solving crimes.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Nothing can ruin a picnic quicker than a dead body, especially when it is an estranged husband found in his wife’s SUV. Police officer Alison Malkovich just wanted to load the coolers but now instead investigating a murder, she is the prime suspect. Will her fellow officers have her back or will she need her Culinary Caper Club members to prove her innocence?

Having recently read Roux the Day it was fun to revisit these characters so soon.  Alison had been pretty quiet about her personal life and her friends were pretty surprised when she had to fill them in on everything. They focused quickly on the new suspect that was brought to light, but she seemed to have an alibi. Private Eye Ty Devine has agreed to work with J.J. on the case both because he wants to help Alison but he also wants to spend time with J.J. He is not happy when she agrees to go on a date to get information, especially when it is followed by another date. J.J. is also confused about her feelings for both men.

Linda Wiken has given us such strong characters. I love the way they are still getting to know each other and have each other’s back no matter what. The club has a nice variety of cooks and bakers from expert to novice and the cookbooks and recipes never fail to make my stomach growl. Like J.J. I love the cookbooks with all the beautiful pictures. Skye and J.J. have many events coming up at “Make It Happen” but it is the perfect job for J.J. because she sets her own hours and has a boss/friend that understands her sleuthing on the side. The whole group are fun and very engaging.

I really enjoyed the way the author had J.J. seeing both men while trying to find the killer. It added not only romantic tension but excitement to the story. It did seem though at times J.J. was rehashing the same thing over and over again. She kept meeting with people to try to get them to answer questions I thought they had already answered. Sometimes it revealed a new tidbit, but other times she was just seemed to be spinning her wheels. Maybe she was just trying to sort out her feelings about this new man in her life. I felt I had a clear picture of the guilty party early on but was truly surprised by the way the story ended.

Another fine culinary cozy from this author. I hope we get to visit this group of characters again very soon.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

 

About The Author

Linda Wiken is a former mystery bookstore owner and a short story writer. The first in her new Dinner Club Mystery series, TOASTING UP TROUBLE, debuted in July 2016. In a parallel life writes the Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries, as Erika Chase. She is a member of those dangerous dames, The Ladies’ Killing Circle. She has been short-listed for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel, and an Arthur Ellis Award, Best Short Story, from Crime Writers of Canada. She admits to a passion for choral singing, chocolate, and Siamese cats!

Written as Erika Chase

GIVEAWAY

I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End March 31, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Feb 232018
 

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.


Roux the Day (A Dinner Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Vermont
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date – March 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425278222
Kindle ASIN: B01KGZVQK6

 

 

Event planner Jennifer “J.J.” Tanner is planning a cruise ship casino night—and she’s really going overboard. She even arranged for radio DJ Connor Mac and TV personality Miranda Myers to help the good times roll. But the party comes to a screeching halt when Miranda is found dead on the main deck…

With a boatload of suspects, the police focus in on J.J., who, though recently linked with Connor, never knew he was once engaged—to Miranda. With Half Moon Bay’s gossip mill running full tilt, J.J. turns to her fellow dinner club members to help fish for clues and keep herself out of hot water…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jennifer “J.J.” Tanner and Skye Drake do their best to “Make It Happen”. They are event planners that can handle anything. Even finding a dead body at your event. J.J.’s latest event, a casino night aboard a cruise ship was sailing right along until one of the emcees is found dead on the main deck. The D.J., Connor Mac appears to be the prime suspect but it could have been anyone on the boat, including J.J. She gets the Culinary Capers Dinner Club right on the case.  They need to clear both Connor and J. J. Hopefully, they can Make It Happen!

I love the idea of the Culinary Capers Dinner Club. Each month a member chooses a cookbook for that month’s dinner. Everyone picks a dish from the book and they get together to discuss food and every other topic you can imagine. This month’s cookbook was The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For and each member was asked to read a book by the author whose dish they had chosen for the dinner.  That sound like so much fun to me. Like J.J. I am not much of a cook but would love to belong to a group like this. 

The characters in this story are so well written. They are fun and very engaging. I like the way they take on a mystery. Each seems to have their own strength and insight. They share the information and talk through their theories. With a police officer as part of the group and a detective that wants to get to know J.J. a whole lot better, the police are kept in the loop about almost everything they find too.

Ms. Wiken wraps her characters in a fantastic mystery. Dropping clues like breadcrumbs for her readers to follow right along with them. The murder happens right away and I was tuned right in, only putting the book down because my eyes refused to stay open. Thankfully it was the weekend so I could get right back into it almost a soon as I woke up. The author does have a writing style that will have you saying “just one chapter”, “okay, just one more chapter”, “really, just one more chapter” late into the night.

Oh, and those dishes that had my mouth watering while reading about them. . . yes, the recipes are in the back of the book!

This culinary cozy was absolutely delicious and highly recommended.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

 

About The Author

Linda Wiken is a former mystery bookstore owner and a short story writer. The first in her new Dinner Club Mystery series, TOASTING UP TROUBLE, debuts in July, 2016. In a parallel life writes the Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries, as Erika Chase. She is a member of those dangerous dames, The Ladies’ Killing Circle. She has been short-listed for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel, and an Arthur Ellis Award, Best Short Story, from Crime Writers of Canada. She admits to a passion for choral singing, chocolate, and Siamese cats!

Coming March 6, 2018

Written as Erika Chase

GIVEAWAY

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 9, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Mar 112017
 


I am so happy to have Linda here for a visit today!

I love this picture of Linda!

 

Roux the Day
By Linda Wiken

(Post provided by publicist.)

Ask me how much fun it is to kill people and to eat fab food! But believe me, it is not for the feint of heart. We can all handle the murder part because what’s a cozy mystery without some (off screen) bloodshed?  But writing a culinary mystery adds another ingredient – food stress. Believe me.

It’s great fun plotting a new book. By the time I started this second one in the Dinner Club Mysteries, Roux the Day, the characters were my old friends. The task is finding ways to make sure readers feel that way too, while knowing these characters must face challenges that will in some way change them or the way they look at the world. Without losing the friendship of readers.

The setting, Half Moon Bay, a quaint village-like community in Burlington, VT remains the same for each book. Although this time the body is found at a fundraising Casino Boat event, miles from shore, cruising on Champlain Lake. The victim is TV personality Miranda Myers and her co-emcee, Connor Mac, shares a past and an argument with her. Now he’s disappeared and tops the suspect list, with J.J. a close second. It’s up to J.J. and fellow foodies, the Culinary Capers Dinner Club, to find him, and the real killer.

Nothing goes better with a mystery than a touch of romance and I find that Private Investigator Ty Devine is just the guy to provide it.  The friction between Ty and J.J. is as much attraction as contrariness. Of course, other characters need some of this, too…so stay tuned.

Now, back to that other ingredient. Unless the writer of culinary mysteries possesses a high metabolism, weight gain is assured. How could it not be, with all those tempting cookbooks filled with enticing photos; those recipes that need to be tested and which appear at the end of each book; and, don’t forget the occasional snacking while thinking up food descriptions. Yum.

For an added treat, the cookbook chosen by the Culinary Capers Dinner Club in Roux the Day is the Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. And, three of the recipes – from Sara Paretsky, Lisa King, and Cathy Pickens — are reprinted, with permission, at the back of Roux the Day.

So, grab your favorite comfort food and curl up with Roux the Day. Food and a mystery – an unbeatable recipe for pleasure.

~Linda

Thank you Linda for stopping by today!


Roux the Day (A Dinner Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Vermont
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Release Date – March 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425278222
Kindle ASIN: B01KGZVQK6

In the latest mystery from the author of Toasting Up Trouble, the Culinary Capers dinner club is back in business when a charity casino event makes a real killing…

Event planner Jennifer “J.J.” Tanner is planning a cruise ship casino night—and she’s really going overboard. She even arranged for radio DJ Connor Mac and TV personality Miranda Myers to help the good times roll. But the party comes to a screeching halt when Miranda is found dead on the main deck…

With a boatload of suspects, the police focus in on J.J., who, though recently linked with Connor, never knew he was once engaged—to Miranda. With Half Moon Bay’s gossip mill running full tilt, J.J. turns to her fellow dinner club members to help fish for clues and keep herself out of hot water…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES

I will be reviewing this one soon! 

About The Author

Linda Wiken is a former mystery bookstore owner and a short story writer. The first in her new Dinner Club Mystery series, TOASTING UP TROUBLE, debuts in July, 2016. In a parallel life writes the Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries, as Erika Chase. She is a member of those dangerous dames, The Ladies’ Killing Circle. She has been short-listed for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel, and an Arthur Ellis Award, Best Short Story, from Crime Writers of Canada. She admits to a passion for choral singing, chocolate and Siamese cats!

Written  as Erika Chase


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Leave a comment for Linda for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 25, 2017 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

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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Mar 012017
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to welcome Fran back to Escape with Dollycas!

 

Playing with Words by Fran Stewart 
Guest Post Provided By Publicist

What do I do and where do I go when I want to escape any sort of humdrum? Not that my life is humdrum at all. I can always find something to intrigue me, amuse me, or inspire me. But there are those times when I want to veg out, and I find myself playing with words. Writers do that sort of thing. A lot. At least, this writer does.

Several years ago, for instance, I meant to type the word centimeter, but it came out sentimeter. That made me think about sentiment, sensation, sensible, and so on. At the time I was planning to drive 150 miles to pick up my first beehive.

But anyway, sent words led to scent words, which led to the following list, which I put together later while I sat outside one morning on the back deck next to my two hives, sipping tea, and listening to the songs of my 42,000 tiny yellow and brown-striped girlfriends. Talk about escaping somewhere? I was in heaven, even while I gleefully misspelled each one of these key words:

Scentence: the bedrock of a writer, the way odors are the bedrock of a beehive;

Scentient: really, really smart about figuring things out by paying attention to what they smell like;

Scentillate: the action of making bees curious by wearing a particular perfume;

Scentiment: the warm feeling I get when I recall my dad’s Old Spice aftershave, hoping the bees would have liked it if they could have met him;

Scentimeter: what a worker bee uses to distinguish her hive mates from outsiders;

Scentinal: the guard bee who uses that scentimeter to decide whether or not an incoming bee can be admitted to the hive;

Scentry: another name for the guard bee I just mentioned;

Scentsation: the excitement in the hive when an incoming forager proclaims a new abundant source of nectar and pollen;

Scentsibility: what inspired Jane Austen to write as she sat among the beehives in her family’s garden;

Scententious: what bees and writers shouldn’t “bee.”

Two Scents Worth: what I enjoy putting into conversations and enjoy hearing from others as well. Feel free to put your two scents’ worth into a comment below!

Then I went onto other bee-related words and came up with:

Nectar-grination: flying all around the place to find some flowers that have enough nectar to be interesting.

Queenification: the process of eliminating a weak queen and producing a new one.

Beebreadify: To bring bee bread (a rich mixture of pollen and various liquids) down from the storage cells and feed it to the baby bees.

Cleansi-depoopifi-dumpification: Taking the queen’s waste products away from her and depositing them outside the hive.

Scrubba-dubba-da-deck: What Frannie will have to do next summer after a lot of cleansidepoopifidumpification has been going on.

I ended up using some of the words in both of these lists in the beekeeping blog I wrote for a couple of years, so if you’ve seen them before, please understand I thought they were too good not to be recycled. In the meantime, I continue to play with words every chance I get.

~Fran

Thank you Fran for dropping by today! 

 

A Wee Homicide in the Hotel
(A ScotShop Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Vermont
A Berkley Prime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Release Date – February 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270332
ASIN: B01E4WAGIU
Shop Indie Bookstores

 

The national bestselling author of A Wee Dose of Death returns to Hamelin, Vermont, where Peggy Winn, owner of a Scottish-themed shop, is spectator to caber tossing, sword dancing, and just a spot of murder…
 
Hamelin is overflowing with tourists enjoying the Scottish-themed games—and most of them are donning tartans from Peggy Winn’s ScotShop. And her fourteenth-century ghostly companion, Dirk, has been indispensable, keeping an eye out for shoplifters and matching customers’ family names to their clan plaid.

Adding to the chaos is Big Willie, a longtime champion of the games, but not everyone is happy to have him in town. So when he misses the first event of the weekend, Peggy senses something is awry. After Willie is discovered dead in his hotel room, the victim of a bagpipe-related crime, Peggy decides it’s up to her and Dirk to suss out a murderer.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Nothing puts a damper on a festival quicker that a murder especially when  it is a long time champion of the Hamelin Highland Festival that is found dead in his hotel room. Peggy was just getting to know the man and finding his body was so traumatic. She starts her own investigation with her handsome ghost’s assistance. To add to the excitement the town in crawling  with Secret Service. It appears the President wants drop in for a visit.

This story has a slow build as we get to know some new characters, especially Big Willie, the former champion who is killed and his Scottie Silla. Big Willie’s body is found about halfway into the story and the pace picks up considerably. There are two plots that converge along with another subplot to keep us turning those pages.

Ms. Stewart brings humor to this story with Peggy still explaining current time expressions and things to Dirk as he struggles with the ways of modern times. She does trust him more to go off by himself and they are learning to work together. She keeps his speech and its patterns true to his Scottish 14th century time. This was a bit frustrating for me in the first book but now it is natural for me to read. I can even hear the lilt in his voice. The author also tells a bit of the story from Scottie Silla’s point of view. Touched my heart as a pet mourned the lost of her companion.

As always the majority of the story takes place in or close by to out protag’s ScotShop. I can picture the store very clearly in my mind. Peggy also has a tent selling ties and scarves at the festival. I need to give a little shout out to Jessie Reisch for the amazing cover art for this book. Those two adorable Scotties with the festival grounds take me right into the story.

These characters have warmed my heart. Cozy lovers will love Peggy and Dirk. I suggest reading the series in order though so you don’t miss a minute.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Fran is the author of fourteen books, including the Biscuit McKee mystery series and the ScotShop mysteries, as well as A SLAYING SONG TONIGHT and FROM THE TIP OF MY PEN: a workbook for writers. When she isn’t writing or otherwise playing/working with words, she loves to read, sing, knit, garden, put jigsaw puzzles together, and volunteer in her grandchildren’s school library. She lives and writes quietly beside a creek on the other side of Hog Mountain, Georgia, after having moved repeatedly from her birth through her fourth decade. The small fictional towns she writes about embody the hometown she always wanted—except for the murders.

To find out more about Fran Stewart and her books on her webpage here

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave A Comment for Fran Stewart for 5 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 March 15, 2017 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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Feb 102017
 


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


A Wee Dose of Death (A ScotShop Mystery Book)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Vermont
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (January 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270325
Kindle ASIN: B00W2ZKSLC

While business is booming at the ScotShop in Hamelin, Vermont, proprietor Peggy Winn doesn’t have time to toast her good fortune thanks to her hot-tempered, fourteenth-century Scottish companion. Being thrust into the modern world hasn’t been easy for Dirk, but Peggy is at her wit’s end trying to keep the ghostie galoot in line.

But when the local police chief finds the body of Peggy’s friend Karaline’s college professor in a deserted mountain cabin, everyone is thrown for a loop. It seems the secretive professor may have been killed over his ecological work, an idea that’s only reinforced when Karaline herself is shot. Now Peggy and Dirk must set aside their differences to put the cold-blooded killer under loch and key…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Peggy and Dirk are back and have their hands full, well as much as a ghost can have his hands full.  If you haven’t read the previous story you need to know that Dirk came home to Vermont after a trip Peggy took to England. She purchased a shawl and never knew it came with a ghost as a bonus item.

Cross country skiing is a big thing in Hamelin, Vermont, even the chief of police straps on his skis and grabs his poles every once in a while. His first trip of the season goes horribly wrong when he falls and breaks his leg. With no way to call for help and no one around, he uses his ski to splint his leg and crawls to a nearby cabin. He never expected to find a dead body there. Sadly the guy isn’t missed right away but when he is found he tries to wrap the case before he has all the information. Peggy and her friend Karaline along with a certain cranky 14th century Scotsman try to find out what really happened. When Karaline gets shot things get more than a wee bit serious but Peggy isn’t giving up.

I love that Dirk and Peggy are at odds through most of the story. It has to be hard having him around all the time and answering all his questions. The author keeps the Dirk’s way of speaking genuine to his time period and his reactions to modern day things may me laugh out loud several times.  When he gets on her nerves Peggy just folds up the shawl and he disappears. We don’t know where he goes but he doesn’t appreciate being dismissed in that way at all, but it gives Peggy a bit of a breather.

The rest of the characters are fleshed out well and each holds their own in a twisted mystery that will keep the readers on their toes. We also meet a wonderful Scottish terrier named Scamp who seems to make himself right at home in the ScotShop. We are provided with plenty of suspects and several red herrings. I was kept guessing the whole way and figured it all out right along with Peggy.

Fran Stewart has given us a captivating cozy, with witty characters and top notch mystery. I look forward to the next installment,  A Wee Homicide in the Hotel was released this month and I will be reading it soon. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Fran Stewart and her books on her webpage here

I am giving away my review copy! 
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End February 24, 2017 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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Jul 062016
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to welcome Linda to Escape With Dollycas today!
Linda’s new book, Toasting Up Trouble was released yesterday. 

I love this picture of Linda!

I love this picture of Linda!

 

ESCAPE WITH DOLLYCAS INTO A GOOD BOOK
By Linda Wiken

Yesterday was release day for my sixth book but actually, it’s the first book of my new series, the Dinner Club Mysteries. You’d think that with each book it becomes less of an ‘event’. But let me tell you, each time is like Christmas! It’s that exciting.

Now that I’m writing as my real self, rather than as Erika Chase, the Dinner Club Mysteries have given me an entirely new focus, food. Along with a healthy dose of murder, too. But I’ll let you in on a spoiler – poison is never the murder weapon. Why? Because the cookbooks I mention, the ones the members of the Culinary Capers Dinner Club use, are real cookbooks. You can find them on the shelves in your local bookstore, or at least on line.

toasting up troubleThe way it works, is the club meets monthly and as each of the five members hosts a dinner, it’s that person’s choice of cookbook. All dishes have to be out of that book. In Toasting Up Trouble, book number one, the evening is Italian themed. Wonder if you can guess which cookbook they’re using.

J.J. Tanner is my event planner, dinner club foodie, and super sleuth. She’s hooked on cookbooks with lots of pictures, and justice when murder happens. In this she’s ably aided by her club cohorts and a mysterious but very handsome and sexy private eye. Okay, maybe he’s not helping her so much as trying to keep her out of his way, and out of trouble.

The setting is Burlington, VT, in a fictitious village in the city’s North end, on the shores of beautiful Lake Champlain. I’ve had a lot of fun building this cozy location and filling it with some of my favorite kinds of shops. And, of course, many restaurants.

I enjoy spending time with J.J. – we have a lot in common seeing as we’re both cookbook junkies. And I am in awe of her determination to get at the truth. She’s quite a bit more spunky than I, braver in fact, and no pushover. Who says cozy chicks can’t save the world!

Toasting Up Trouble also includes some recipes. Again, no poison involved whatsoever!

~Linda

toasting up trouble

Toasting Up Trouble (A Dinner Club Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Vermont
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (July 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Anne Wertheim
Cover Design by Katie Anderson
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425278215
E-Book ASIN: B016VRFUA0
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

Event planner Jennifer “J.J.” Tanner has a full plate, but that’s the way she likes it. First, it’s her turn to choose the recipe for the next meeting of the Culinary Capers Dinner Club, a gathering of foodie friends who experiment with entrées for their creative and gastronomical pleasure. Second, she’s organizing an Italian princess party for the twenty-one-year-old daughter of a high-tech millionaire.

But one thing J.J. didn’t plan on is that the caterer for the event—hotshot chef Antonio Marcotti—would end up murdered the night of the party. Or that she’d end up being a prime suspect after having had a heated argument with the unscrupulous chef. Now it’s up to J.J.—with help from her fellow Club members and a handsome if mysterious private eye—to turn the tables on the real killer…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jennifer “J.J.” Tanner works for her friend, Skye Drake, at Make It Happen, a party planning business. After the first caterer for a birthday party for the daughter of a high-tech millionaire backs out J.J. gets chef Antonio Marcotti to cater the affair. Things go well until he makes an unauthorized addition to the menu that could cost Make It Happen a lot of money. She confronts him about it and the matter is still not settled when she heads home. When she returns to the home the next day to clean up, there are police everywhere. She learns the esteemed chef never made it home. He is dead, murdered…and the police think J.J. killed him.

J.J. is a fine protagonist, independent, persistent, and gutsy. A girl after my own heart, buying cookbooks more for the beautiful pictures than for the recipes. Hoping to change that she joins the Culinary Capers Dinner Club. A group of people who have now become her friends. Each month they choose a cookbook and create a dinner with recipes from the book. They also are great helpers in her quest to find the real killer of Antonio Marcotti.

All the characters we meet fun and engaging, well except for the victim he was quite a “Divo”, the male version of a diva. J.J. is quite a sleuth,  I enjoyed the way she talked her theories through, even with her police officer friend, Allison. Allison walks a fine line of “helping” J.J. while not releasing any confidential information. Private Investigator Ty Devine starts out tailing J.J. but soon they end up sharing information and almost working together. This relationship is just starting but it has a lot of potential.

There are two mysteries in this book, the murder of Antonio Marcotti and the investigation into who is stealing J.J.’s party ideas. She was working on a party plan with a client only to find out another party planner proposed the exact same idea, almost word for word. Skye was a little more helpful with the second investigation. She wasn’t too involved in the first, which was surprising to me. She did stay on top of things at Make It Happen so J.J. could leave to follow up on clues.

I enjoyed the introduction of the Culinary Capers Dinner Club. What a fantastic idea! I love that real cookbooks are used by the characters. This time J.J. chose Nigellissima: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes by Nigella Lawson. I just took a peek at the pages Amazon previews from this book and can see why it drew J.J. ‘s attention. Of course there are recipes in the back of the book too! 

Linda Wiken is off to a fabulous start for this series! I want to get to know these characters better. I want to see what the author dreams up for them next. I hope this becomes a long running series because this first tasty treat was absolutely delicious.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Linda Wiken is a former mystery bookstore owner and a short story writer. The first in her new Dinner Club Mystery series, TOASTING UP TROUBLE, debuts in July, 2016. In a parallel life writes the Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries, as Erika Chase. She is a member of those dangerous dames, The Ladies’ Killing Circle. She has been short-listed for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel, and an Arthur Ellis Award, Best Short Story, from Crime Writers of Canada. She admits to a passion for choral singing, chocolate and Siamese cats!
Written  as Erika Chase

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Linda for 5 Bonus Entries.

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End July 20, 2016 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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Apr 212016
 

a clue in the stew
A Clue in the Stew (A Soup Lover’s Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Vermont
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Cathy Gendron
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425273128
E-Book ASIN: B011IVPB9Y
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Soup shop owner Lucky Jamieson stirs up more trouble in the latest mystery from the national bestselling author of Ladle to the Grave

When Lucky Jamieson opens up By the Spoonful to host an event with a famous author, she’s not expecting a bunch of nuts to descend on her small-town soup shop. But the author’s exasperating entourage—from a prickly publicist to a snippy son and his tipsy wife—give fresh meaning to the phrase, too many cooks spoil the broth.

The evening is more than spoiled, however, when it ends with a homicide. When the manner of the murder—as well as another recent unsolved crime—echoes the author’s fiction, Police Chief Nate Edgerton realizes he has a copycat killer on his hands. And Lucky hopes that one of her regular customers who has mysteriously gone missing isn’t involved. Once again, the soup shop owner will need to stir up some clues to find her friend and catch a cunning killer—before things really take a tureen for the worse…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a stew Lucky finds herself in the middle of this time.

The quiet little town of Snowflake, Vermont is all atwitter. A famous author, Hilary Stone, is coming to town and a big signing event is being planned. The original venue has been hit with a leaky roof so By the Spoonful has been asked to host the event. When the author’s people show up Lucky realizes she may have bite off more than she can chew. But the night goes well even though it ended before everyone was able to meet the author and get their book signed.

By the next morning Police Chief Nate Edgerton has 2 murders to solve. Hilary Stone was found dead in her room and other woman was found in the woods, killed in the same manner. Eerily the same way as Hilary wrote about in her book. When one of the By the Spoonful regulars goes missing Lucky wonders if he is involved or another victim. Could a disgruntled fan be the killer? With a little help from her friends and much to Nate’s dismay Lucky finds herself mixed up in another investigation.

The author drew me into this story right away. I felt like I had pulled up a chair in By The Spoonful, ordered soup and and a sandwich, and stayed for a show. Everything was so easy to visualize, I could almost smell the Tomato Pepper Soup. (recipe in the book)

These characters are some of my favorites, they are so relate-able. The relationship Lucky has with her grandfather always warms my heart but in this story that relationship could be ripped apart when a new waitress sets her sights on Jack. She had my blood boiling so it is easy to imagine what Lucky was feeling. Sage and Sophie are adjusting to their life together and both are such good friends to Lucky.  Meg is felling overwhelmed being the only waitress and gives Lucky an ultimatum. In addition to the new waitress we also meet Hilary Stone for a very short time and her entourage. The Big City people weren’t too impressed with the small town of Snowflake.

Connie Archer has whipped up a fabulous mystery. Small town life and all its trial and tribulation with plenty of skillful plot twists.  When everything revealed I was totally surprised.

My favorite thing in the story was the Murder Investigation Club. Lucky, her friends and regulars banded together to try to figure out whodunit. They talked about the suspects and their theories of motive and opportunity. They helped Lucky by being a great sounding board too. I hope the club gets together in future stories.

I love this series and this is an excellent addition. I look forward to visiting again soon!

 perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Connie and her books visit her webpage here

GIVEAWAYThanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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 May 5,, 2016 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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Jun 032015
 

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am excited to welcome Fran Stewart to Escape With Dollycas today!
Her book A Wee Murder in My Shop was released in March. The next ScotShop Mystery, A Wee Dose of Death, will be out January 5, 2016.

fran stewart

Shadow-Play by Fran Stewart

Let’s look at shadows. They play an important role in my life. You see, I’m not a beach kind of person. I’m more a mountain gal. A sit-under-a-tree kind of woman. A shadow crone.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. Beaches are lovely places. I have two children and five grandchildren who revel in the sunshine. And maybe you do, too.

But I prefer beaches at pre-dawn, while a few stars are still accessible, before the sun bursts above the pulsing sea. Or right around sunset, while the shadows of the clouds play with the last rays of daylight.

I escape to the beach at Sapelo Island (http://GAstateparks.org/lodges/reynolds/about/) twice a year with a group of artists—I’m the only writer in the group—for a creative retreat. For a week, the artists all disperse during the day to paint the marshes, paint the dunes at the edge of Nanny Goat Beach, pain the groves of spreading pecan trees and ancient live oaks hung with Spanish moss.

22668799While they’re outside painting in the bright sun, I’m in the shadows, writing. Or reading. I sit on the tree-shaded terrace or upstairs in the shadow-cool circus room, decorated many years ago by Athos Menaboni, one of the foremost muralists of the early 20th century. His lion graces my favorite corner, tucked into a shadowed corner between tall windows.

And, quite often, I write about shadows. Did you ever think about the shadows in the books you read? We hardly ever notice them, but they can set a tone most effectively.

I recall years ago sketching the face of a woman who sat across from me in an airport lounge. I’ve never claimed to be an artist, but sometimes I like to try. Seldom do I share the results with anyone except my cats—they promised long ago not to laugh at me. On this occasion, though, I showed the drawing to my sister, who is an artist. “You drew the shadows,” she said, “and left out the lines along the side of her face.” That was because the woman had sat in a shaft of sunlight that erased any distinction between the curve of her cheek and the wall behind her. I couldn’t see a line there, so I didn’t draw one.

Instead I drew the shadows beneath her angular cheekbone, the jut of her chin, around her eye, and beside her nose. My sister was impressed. It’s the only time she’s ever been impressed by one of my sketches. I wish I’d saved the sketch, just as I wish I’d saved a lot of my early essays and stories, but the memory of those shadows on that woman’s face still haunts me. I may have managed the shadows, but I didn’t draw her well enough. I didn’t capture her essence. My art lies in words, and while the pencil drawing may have been technically interesting, it stopped short of capturing who that woman truly was.

My inexpert shadows turned her into an enigma. Did the sunlight that day come from a bright spring morning or a harsh mid-summer? Was the woman an undercover agent, a jilted lover, a harried executive, a wilted mom (or stepmom)? Was she headed out or headed home? Was she someone’s best friend, or a harpy-like harridan who had just sent the emotionally unstable protagonist spinning back into an alcoholic dead end? Had she inherited those deep-set eyes from her paternal grandmother or were they a reflection of her inner turmoil? Was her angular cheekbone the result of ethnicity or anorexia? If she had raised her hand, would it have blocked the light and created a dark slash of shadow, or would the light have penetrated between her fingers and outlined each one in an unearthly red glow, like a flashlight beneath a blanket in the middle of the night?

Shadows. Sometimes they ask more questions than they answer. Unless we know how to sketch them with a deft pen.

Shadows. A great place to escape to. Especially if I have a book with me. Either one I’m reading, or one I’m writing. What do you do when faced with shadows?

~Fran

fran stewartAbout This Author

Fran Stewart is the author of the Biscuit McKee Mysteries – GRAY AS ASHES is the seventh book in that series – as well as a standalone mystery – A SLAYING SONG TONIGHT. Her non-fiction work includes FROM THE TIP OF MY PEN: A WORKBOOK FOR WRITERS. Her new ScotShop Mystery Series from Berkley Press begins with A WEE MURDER IN MY SHOP.

Part of today’s guest blogpost was taken from a chapter in FROM THE TIP OF MY PEN.

Fran lives quietly with various rescued cats beside a creek on the other side of Hog Mountain, Georgia, northeast of Atlanta.  She is a member of the National League of American Pen Women, Sisters in Crime, and Mystery Writers of America.

Photo Credit: Mozelle Funderburk

22668799A Wee Murder in My Shop (A ScotShop Mystery)
First in New Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Vermont/Scotland
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (March 3, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illusteation by Jesse Reisch
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270318
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK41Q
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Hamelin, Vermont, isn’t the most likely place for bagpipes and tartan, but at Peggy Winn’s ScotShop, business is booming…

While on a transatlantic hunt for some authentic wares to sell at her shop, Peggy is looking to forget her troubles by digging through the hidden treasures of the Scottish Highlands. With so many enchanting items on sale, Peggy can’t resist buying a beautiful old tartan shawl. But once she wraps it around her shoulders, she discovers that her purchase comes with a hidden fee: the specter of a fourteenth-century Scotsman.

Unsure if her Highland fling was real or a product of an overactive imagination, Peggy returns home to Vermont—only to find the dead body of her ex-boyfriend on the floor of her shop. When the police chief arrests Peggy’s cousin based on some incriminating evidence, Peggy decides to ask her haunting Scottish companion to help figure out who really committed the crime—before anyone else gets kilt…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Peggy Winn’s ScotShop is in Vermont but each year she travels to Scotland in search of new vendors with new and unique items to sell. On her recent trip to the Highlands she comes home with much more than new connections and a new shawl.  She discovers a 14th century Scotsman has traveled home with her, well his ghost has. Not quite sure what to do with her new Scottish “friend” she decides to make the best of it. When a dead body is found in her shop she quickly realizes this specter may be able to help her catch the culprit that left her ex-boyfriend buried under her Scottish wares.

This was a fun read. It reminded me of J.J. Cook’s Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries in that ghosts are great once you figure out how to handle them. In Peggy’s case all her friends think she is losing it because she keeps talking to herself as her ghost, Dirk, has so many questions. She sometimes gets very tongue tied as she tries to discreetly answer him only to find her friends looking at her strangely.

The author gives us a small cast of quirky characters and a even smaller suspect pool.  There were several interesting twists to the mystery too. The story was brimming with humor as well. Trying to explain modern things to an old ghost can be quite funny. See the excerpt below when Peggy tries to have a private talk with her new friend:

I opened the blue door. “Inside, you,” I whispered with my teeth clenched.

We were fairly cramped. These things were designed for one person at a time. His head brushed the top. Damn, he was tall. I thought people had been short in the fourteenth century. As close as we were standing, I had to tilt my head back. I got an unexpectedly good look at his upper incisors. They were big, strong, and very white. This would be a great place for him to turn into a vampire. Stop it, Peggy.

“What is this place?” He sounded a bit awed. Maybe that was why his mouth had been hanging open.

“It’s a porta potty.” When he looked blank, I added, “A loo.” Still blank. “A privy.”

Understanding dawned. “A necessary?”

I nodded.

“Why did ye bring me in here? I dinna have to pass water.”

“We’re here because it’s the only place I can speak to you in private. Now, you listen. We’re about to get into a car—”

“A what?”

“Hush. A car. It’s like a little house on wheels.”

“Why would we get into—?”

“No, wait, it’s more like a wagon that’s all closed up.”

“And how d’ye open it?”

“That’s not the point!” It’s hard to shout when you’re whispering. “The point I’m trying to make is that you have to be absolutely quiet. You cannot ask a single question while we’re in the car. Do you understand?”

“Why not?”

“Because I won’t be able to answer you. Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair are already looking at me funny. I don’t want them to think I’ve gone barmy.”

“What is barmy?”

“Mad. Crazy.” I threw up my hands. “Now, will you keep your mouth closed until we’re alone again.” It wasn’t a question.

“Ye tell me I have been deid for more than six hundred years. In all that time I have not said a word, and now ye want me to keep my mouth closed?”

“Yes. That’s right.” I almost felt sorry for him. Almost.

I was quite taken with Peggy and Dirk and am excited to see what kind of mystery they get wrapped into next. Fran is off to a great start with this series!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAYI am giving away my review copy and the author is giving away a copy too!

Plus Fran is giving away a copy of

gray as ashes

Martinsville Georgia has always been a sleepy little town, where nothing much ever happens, except a few murders…

There’s a firebug in Martinsville. Town librarian Biscuit McKee isn’t too worried when a garbage bin at the grocery store is set on fire. But when it’s her beloved garden shed that goes up in flames, the fur begins to fly.

Biscuit’s feline companion Marmalade comments frequently, …
Yes, I do.
… (even though her humans think she’s only purring …
Mouse droppings!
… or sneezing). She’s as baffled by all this as her humans.
We could have some tuna. That would solve a lot.

Distracted by a visit from Peachie, an old college friend, Biscuit pays only scant attention to a third fire, but it’s hard to ignore the fourth fire and the dead body found in the charred remains of Connie Cartwright’s studio, where glass-blowing may have turned into homicide.

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US address or Canadian mailing address (for my review book).

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.

Following the new Google+ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book Fan Page
will earn you 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for Fran 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 June 17, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners 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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Apr 112015
 

special guest blue
My apologies to Connie Archer. I missed the day she was originally supposed to be here. I am thrilled to welcome here today!

Connie.Archer.2

Ladle to the Grave

When a local woman is poisoned at a pagan ritual in the woods, Lucky Jamieson’s grandfather, Jack, who provided the herbs for the gathering, is suspected of making a terrible mistake. The following day, a dead man is found floating in a creek just outside of town, his face unrecognizable. Is he a stranger or Lucky’s best friend’s estranged brother? Lucky is certain both deaths are murder. Can she find the connection and clear her grandfather’s name before more victims fall prey to a killer?

Crime fiction comes in many different packages – hard-boiled, noir, police procedural, thriller, cozy, even humorous. And fans of crime fiction are truly devoted fans who enjoy nothing else. I include myself in this category. I couldn’t imagine reading a book without one or more bodies. Oh, I admit I occasionally pick up a non-fiction book, but generally it’s crime-related non-fiction.

I’ve been asked a few times if I write anything else. I never know what to say because if that anything else means a story that doesn’t involve suspense, mystery, thrills and dead bodies – the answer is no. I’ve never even given it a thought. But that got me to thinking . . . why is that? Do I (and other crime fiction authors) have darkly suspicious minds that perceive something nefarious in the most innocent of situations? That could be. Yes, I’ll admit to that. Is it the puzzle of unraveling clues that fascinates us? Or the curiosity of following a police investigation and finally watching light dawn (figuratively) in the detective’s eyes. Yes, there’s that too.

LadleOr is it a desire for justice? Possibly. Maybe. Although I have noticed in reading foreign (non-U.S.) authors the same imperative to tie up every story in a nice neat bow doesn’t exist quite as much. Perhaps, I’ve thought, it’s only Americans who want everything nicely nailed down at the end.

Years ago, I read what the Italians call a gialli. So named, because giallo, the word for yellow, is the color publishers use for popular crime fiction. The Thursdays of Senora Giulia (I Giovedi della Senora Julia) is a crime story in which the fictional Senora Giulia disappears. I struggled with the advanced vocabulary but couldn’t wait to finish the story. I reached the final chapters only to discover the murderer was not only not brought to justice, but was not even revealed. I was extremely upset. I asked my teacher WHY???? Why write the book and not solve the crime? He said, “Allora, (I’m translating here) Who do you think killed her?” (I’ll spare you, dear reader, the following discussion about past participles having to agree with the gender of the victim). I was convinced Senora Giulia was killed by her ne’er do well son-in-law, but of course I wasn’t allowed to investigate. And I imagine my teacher’s comment implied that the end result was not as important as the exploration of possibilities. It was very frustrating! So, no, I can’t even say unequivocally that the fascination with crime fiction is a desire for justice or for order in our chaotic andviolent world.

Now, I’m not such a great fan of serial killer stories. I enjoy reading about the investigation, I enjoy the attempt to infiltrate the mind of the killer, but after all, serial killers are just plain bonkers. Maybe there’s a reason for their behavior, but it’s not nearly as interesting as the psychological underpinnings of the average person who is driven to commit that most heinous of crimes. The kind of person who’s spoken of (after the act) by neighbors and friends as “Such a nice man . . . who would have thought?”

What neuronal or emotional pathways have become twisted in the mind of a killer provoking him or her to that final desperate act? And what is the connection between the victim and the killer? As any cop will tell you, an investigation starts with the victim – because therein lies the solution.

So, no, I have to admit. Literary fiction isn’t nearly as interesting — not if there aren’t any bodies when all is said and done. Whether it’s the puzzle of a cozy, the hunt for a serial killer, or a desire for order in a chaotic world, I have no answers. I just know I love to read it and I love to write it.

~Connie

About This Author

Connie Archer is the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.

A Spoonful of Murder, A Broth of Betrayal, A Roux of Revenge, and Ladle to the Grave,  are set in the imaginary village of Snowflake, Vermont.

Links:

Website: www.conniearchermysteries.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/ConnieArcherMysteries

Twitter: @SnowflakeVT

LadleLadle to the Grave
(A Soup Lover’s Mystery)

4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Vermont
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (March 3, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Cathy Gendron
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425273111
E-Book ISBN-13: 978-0425273111
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

By the Spoonful is Snowflake, Vermont’s most popular soup shop, but owner Lucky Jamieson doesn’t have any time to enjoy her success—she’s too busy trying to keep a lid on false accusations against her loved ones…

It’s almost May, and some of the local ladies have organized a pagan celebration in the woods to welcome spring. But the evening goes terribly wrong when one of the attendees winds up dead, apparently poisoned by an herbal concoction prepared by Lucky’s grandfather, Jack.

Lucky’s sure her grandfather could not have made such a tragic mistake. But before she can clear him of suspicion, her best friend, Sophie, is diverted from planning her wedding to By the Spoonful chef Sage DuBois when she finds a dead man floating in the creek on her property. Now it’s up to Lucky to get both Sophie and Jack out of hot water before a killer stirs up more trouble…

Recipes included!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another tasty mystery from Connie Archer.

Snowflake Vermont is a small town where everyone knows everyone and most likely everybody knows your business too.

First Sage and Sophie are trying to plan a small wedding but the whole town seems to plan on attending, well not everyone, but definitely more than the couple had originally planned. Then we end up with not just one body but two. A group of ladies decide to welcome Spring in a whole new way. The fun quickly comes to a halt when one of the women falls over dead after drinking some special brew. The concoction was enhanced by herbs Lucky’s grandfather, Jack, had gathered, which lands him in the soup. Then the next body is found in some chilly water. Sophie finds a man in a bubbling brook on the property where she grew up. She also learns that property may hold other secrets as the neighboring Ski Resort wants to pay big bucks to buy it.

This was one of those stories that once you started reading you just couldn’t stop. I really felt bad for Jack. He was really questioning himself. Did he make a mistake and pick something that killed someone? I liked the large part Sage and Sophie played in this story. It was great to get to know more about each of them and their relationship. As always I love checking in on the the recurring characters that drop in at By The Spoonful.

Archer has given us two mysteries to solve and she weaves them together throughout the entire story. Readers follow the clues right along with Lucky, a spoonful at a time. The characters remind me so much of the people that used to drop by my mother’s restaurant. I have a picture of each of them in my mind.

Same time, next year, Connie. My next trip to Snowflake is all planned.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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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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