May 292019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to have Dana Dratch stop by for a visit today
as part of her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour!

Guest Post

Life Lessons from Murder Mysteries
by Dana Dratch

I have to confess a certain weakness for mystery stories.

I blame Nancy Drew. With her cool car, absent but well-heeled father and coterie of willing friends, she was always getting herself in and out of trouble and solving whatever mysteries life threw her way.

Not a bad motto for life.

As I grew up, I added the Sherlock Holmes stories to my bookshelf, along with Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey, and Dorothy Sayers. And they were joined by the likes of Gregory Mcdonald, Robert B. Parker, M.C. Beaton, G.K. Chesterton, and Louise Penny.

Turns out, there’s a lot of very valuable information in mystery stories. And I’m not just talking untraceable poisons and where to hide the body. They also contain, in the words of one of my former editors, “news you can use.”

Here are a few life lessons I’ve picked up after years of reading mysteries — and writing a few along the way:

1. Be open and skeptical. Miss Marple was famous for this. Sure, she’d sit there and enjoy whatever tea and scones were placed in front of her. Along with a nice helping of gossip. But she never took any of it at face value. She watched, listened and learned. Then filed it away for later.She’d have made a great reporter.

2. Societal politeness is highly overrated. Golden Age mystery writers were diabolical. They managed to glamorize polite society and manners, while simultaneously roasting them. Why didn’t the Countess spit out the wine when she noticed it tasted off? Too déclassé. How come Harold didn’t call out for help when the murder suspect followed him into the darkened garden? But he wasn’t certain, you see. It wouldn’t have been quite cricket.

Sometimes, it pays to act on instinct. Scream like a girl, Harold.

3,. Stop for a good meal now and then. Robert B. Parker’s Spenser is no stranger to fine dining. And M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth may live in a tiny hamlet in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, but the place is wired for great food.

Once in a while you have to stop, take time out and refuel. The villains can wait.

4. Stick with what you love. How many detectives are warned not to pursue the case? Pretty much all of them. Do they listen? Not on your life.

They just keep following those clues (and the trail of dead bodies), until they finally catch the bad guys. Lucky for us.

~Dana

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Dana! 

Keep reading for my thoughts on Dana’s new book, Seeing Red.

 

About the Book


Seeing Red (A Red Herring Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington D.C. / Virginia
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716582
ISBN-13: 978-1496716583
Digital ASIN: B07H1VFL64

If it wasn’t for art thieves, spies and killers, Alex Vlodnachek’s life would be bliss.

Her freelance career is catching fire. Her relationship with B&B owner Ian Sterling is flirty and fun. She’s even attending a glittering cocktail party at his sprawling Victorian inn.

But, to this ex-reporter, something seems “off.” And it’s not the canapés. When Ian’s father vanishes, the enigmatic innkeeper asks for her discretion. And her assistance.

Meanwhile, Alex is having the opposite problem at her tiny bungalow: People keep piling in uninvited. Including a mysterious intruder found sleeping in her kitchen. Her grandmother, Baba, who shows up “to help”—with Alex’s own mother hot on her heels.

When the intrepid redhead discovers a body in the B&B’s basement and a “reproduction” Renoir in the library, she begins to suspect that Ian is more than just a simple hotel owner.

With editor pal Trip, brother Nick, and rescue-pup Lucy riding shotgun, Alex scrambles to stay one step ahead of disaster—and some very nasty characters.

Can she find the missing man before it’s too late? Or will Alex be the next one to disappear?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

OMG, hold on to your funny bones! Dana Dratch has penned another fantastic mystery filled with humor that you will be unable to put down.

First, Ian’s father goes missing in the middle of a party. Then, unusual discovery is made in Alex’s kitchen, followed by an unusual discovery in the inn’s basement freezer, which quickly goes missing. Then while Alex is trying to find a clue about where the innkeeper’s father may have gone she makes yet another unusual discovery and it doesn’t stop there. She arrives home to find that her brother has brought Baba back to help with the kitchen discovery and it isn’t long before there another visitor camped out in her living room. As if her house is already bursting at the seams her mother arrives starting a rant as soon as she walks in the door.

Needing to get out of the house she calls her friend Trip and they along with her dog Lucy embark on a journey to get a whole list of answers. She hopes to find them all before finding any more bodies or someone finding hers.

These characters are fun and created with depth. Again Baba stole my heart. The woman still can’t cook but she whips Alex’s house and everyone in it into shape within minutes. The rest of the characters I came to love in the first book, Confessions of a Red Herring, all return making me love them even more. Alex is a strong protagonist with a huge heart. Nick, Alex’s brother is getting his new business off the ground and a big help to Alex. Ian is hiding something so Alex starts to waiver in her trust of him, especially with all the dead bodies. Trip is the perfect best friend for Alex especially because she truly has her hands full this time.

Ms. Dratch gives readers a perplexing mystery to try to solve. Twists on top of twists had me spinning. I figured out only one very minuscule part before everything was revealed. The pace is quick and the suspense and humor are blended together in a very entertaining way.

Great characters, laugh out loud moments, and a complex mystery make for a wonderful read. Another Perfect Escape from Dana Dratch.

If you haven’t read the first book in the series, don’t miss any of the fun. Read that one first.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

Dana Dratch is a personal finance writer and the author of CONFESSIONS OF A RED HERRING and SEEING RED. She’s currently working on the third Alex Vlodnachek mystery adventure, RED HOT. Get updates at ConfessionsofaRedHerring.com.

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May 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
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May 29 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 30 – I’m All About Books – 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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May 222019
 


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to feature Ellery Adams’ new book today!


Murder in the Reading Room (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Virginia – Travels to North Carolina
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496715659
ISBN-13: 978-1496715654
Kindle ASIN: B07G6NJK5W

Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a paradise for book lovers who come from all over for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renowned resort—in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery . . .

Jane’s boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina’s historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she’s there to learn about luxury hotel management, but she’s also prowling around the breathtaking buildings and grounds looking for secret passageways and clues. One of the staff gardeners promises to be helpful . . . that is, until his body turns up in the reading room of his cottage, a book on his lap.

When she finally locates the kidnapped Edwin, his captor insists that she lead him back to Storyton Hall, convinced that it houses Ernest Hemingway’s lost suitcase, stolen from a Paris train station in 1922. But before they can turn up the treasure, the bell may toll for another victim . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Storyton Hall’s manager Jane Steward along with Landon Lachlan travel to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina for a Luxury Lodging Seminar, but they have an ulterior motive, Jane’s boyfriend,  Edwin Alcott is missing and they believe he is being held prisoner on the estate. Landon befriends one of the estate’s gardeners and he believes the man will help in their quest to find Edwin. They were interrupted on their visit, so they arrive at his cottage the next day to continue their conversation and for Jane to give the gardener a gift from Storyton Hall. Sadly, they find the man dead in his reading room with a book on his lap. They are crushed by the man’s death but they can’t give up on finding Edwin. Following certain clues, they do find Edwin but they then learn the find was a setup and are faced with a stunning surprise. They then realize the captor holds the cards and they must take him back to Storyton Hall. Jane just hopes on her home turf she can bring the captor down without anyone else losing their lives.

This book is a wonderful addition to this series and puts in motion some pivotal actions. For that reason, I want to state upfront that you need to read this series from the start in order. If you don’t I don’t think you will feel the full impact of this book.

The setting of the book/series, Storyton and Storyton Hall are things that truly sets this series apart from others. Storyton Hall is an extraordinary place, a book lover’s dream.

Great Gatsby Ballroom
Madame Bovary Dining Room
Isak Dinesen Safari Room
Daphne Du Maurier Morning Room
Jane Austen Parlor
Shakespeare’s Theater
Kipling Cafe
Milton’s Gardens
Lewis Carroll Croquet Lawn
Beatrix Potter Playroom
William Faulker Conference Room
Henry James Library
Ian Fleming Lounge
Robin Hood Archery Range
Green Gables Gazebo
Jules Verne Pool

The author describes each room, its artifacts, furniture, and books so expertly that they come alive and are so easy to visualize. In this story, she takes us to the Biltmore Estate and uses her talents to bring that setting to life as well.

Ms. Adams has crafted spectacular characters. Jane Steward is a strong protagonist. She is smart and can think on her feet. Thanks to Fins, she is also well trained in several ways. The Fins and all the residents and employees are so genuine and each has a role to play. Their relationships and dialogues are believable. They are engaging and memorable.

Within these pages is a complex mystery, one that has not only twists but surprises and secrets revealed.  Certain events really jerked at my heart, others had me thrilled and excited.  Pivotal actions that I mentioned above truly caught me off guard. More than once I thought that things were being wrapped up to end the series, but then I thought that maybe the author is taking the series in a different direction. I have enjoyed this series from the start and I certainly don’t want it to end so my fingers are crossed there will be more visits to Storyton Hall in the future. I think the author has more mysteries and surprises in store for us.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

My reviews of previous books in this series.

Murder in the Mystery Suite 

Murder in the Paperback Parlor

Murder in the Secret Garden

Murder in the Locked Library 

 To find out more about Ellery and all her books visit her webpage here.





GIVEAWAY
Thanks to the people at Kensington 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.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Follow Kensington Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

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Subscribe to Ellery’s Newsletter and receive 5 Bonus Giveaway 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 June 5, 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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Apr 232019
 

This book releases a week from today!
April 30, 2019


The Diva Sweetens the Pie (A Domestic Diva Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
12th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496714717
ISBN-13: 978-1496714718
Kindle ASIN: B07G6PNC2L

In New York Times bestselling author Krista Davis’s new Domestic Diva mystery, Old Town’s annual Pie Festival crumbles into chaos after a celebrity judge is murdered, leaving it up to entertaining maven and sometime-sleuth Sophie Winston to dole out justice . . .

Nothing heats up Old Town quite like the annual Pie Festival, and this year is no exception, especially since Sophie’s professional rival, Natasha Smith, is barred from participating. Sophie, meanwhile, has been asked to oversee the pie eating contest. But the drama really rolls out when celebrity judge, Patsy Lee Presley, host of television’s most popular cooking show, bites the crust during the competition, and Sophie’s friends are suspected of the crime.

As the folks of Old Town dish, the tough truth about Patsy’s meteoric rise to domestic stardom begins to leak. It turns out that Patsy’s sweet exterior hid a secret sour side, which alienated many of her closest allies, including a jilted ex-husband, a bitter ex-mentor, and a jaded ex-best friend. With the festival falling apart, and her friends in danger of being boxed up for murder, Sophie must cobble together the clues and stop a flakey fiend from serving up any more deadly desserts.

Includes delicious recipes and entertaining tips!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

What a sweet mystery!!

Hometown foodie celebrity Patsy Lee Presley has come back to Old Town to be a judge for the annual Pie Festival. A festival diva Natasha Smith has been banned from participating in and that Sophie has been a key assistant to the organizer. As the pies are about to be judged Patsy tumbles right into a pie and dies. The police secure the scene quickly and many of Sophie’s friends are pieces of interest in the investigation’s pie. Patsy’s ex-husband also makes the list. As Sophie starts to sift through the clues she learns that Patsy isn’t the sweetheart she thought and that most of the people suspected of her death have the big three ingredients – Motive – Means – Opportunity. Sophie just needs to break through their crusts and find which one has baked their last pie.

Sophie is also approached by a 12-year-old girl asking for help for her mom. Her mother had been convicted of a murder that according to her daughter she didn’t commit. Nellie Stokes has been in prison for 5 years, 3 months and 4 days. Daughter Aly marks each day on the calendar to keep track. Sophie looked at a picture of the woman and decided she had to help.

What I really love about this series is the friendships. The way the people of Old Town come together to help and support each other but also to have a lot of fun. There seems to always be something happening, sadly some of the times a murder breaks up the fun. When that happens Sophie is usually drawn right in the middle of the case. This time a subsequent event makes things personal for Sophie even drawing attention to her in an unexpected way. Thankfully, her stellar friends, Nina Reid Norwood, Bernie Frei, and her ex-husband, Mars Winston always have her back.

All the series regulars have continued to evolve realistically. Natasha is still the prickly and sometimes clueless diva and Sophie is usually the voice of calm and reason. Mars now divorced from Natasha is around even more and still a great friend for Sophie. Boyfriend Alex is nervous about Sophie’s involvement in all the murder queries but tries to understand her need to be involved. We do meet Patsy Lee Presley who had she lived could have really given Natasha a run for her money. Patsy had the life of Natasha dreams.

I really enjoy the way Ms. Davis twists things up. Characters new and old are all involved. Clues are deliberately sprinkled throughout and red herring are mixed right in. Stirred within the mysteries to solve, the daily life of Old Town residents soldiers on. All blended together with a dollop of humor and a dash of romance. Krista Davis is an excellent storyteller. So well-written and well-plotted. I was kept guessing right up to the end.

I highly recommend this whole series! It is best to read them in order but there is plenty of background in this story so don’t hesitate to jump in with this book.

Bonus – Scrumptious recipes and baking and entertaining tips!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries, the Paws & Claws Mysteries, and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Several of her books have been nominated for the Agatha Award. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two cats and a brood of dogs. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices they keep coming back for more.

Author Links:
Website   Facebook   Pinterest Mystery Lovers Kitchen    Twitter    Killer Characters


GIVEAWAY
 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.
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.

Sign Up for Krista’s Newsletter 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 May 7, 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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Feb 142019
 

Back in 2013 LynDee Walker released the first Nichelle Clarke Mystery, Front Page Fatality, and I loved it. She went on to release 5 more books in this series.

In July of 2018, she unveiled brand new covers that fit the stories so much better, with a new publisher. They will also be available soon as audio books.

In January she released a novella that takes place between books five and six, Cover Shot and Lethal Lifestyles as we wait for the next book to be released. Last week, she revealed the cover of the new book on Facebook and told us it was “coming soon”. 

Today I am not only going to share my review of the novella Fatal Features but my reviews of the first six books in the series too. Note they are no longer classified as “cozies with an edge”. They are hard boiled with a fantastic female amateur sleuth. If you haven’t started this series or are behind, there is no better time than now to get caught up. 

Front Page Fatality: A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller
Severn River Publishing (June 17, 2018)
1st in Series
Print Length: 276 pages
ASIN: B07DV4PLKF


Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke’s days can flip from macabre to comical with a beep of her police scanner. Then an ordinary accident story turns extraordinary when evidence goes missing, a prosecutor vanishes, and a sexy Mafia boss shows up with the headline tip of a lifetime. As Nichelle gets closer to the truth, her story gets more dangerous. Armed with a notebook, a hunch, and her favorite stilettos, Nichelle races to splash these shady dealings across the front page before this deadline becomes her last.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Exciting from the first page to the last!!

This story is packed with drama and strong vibrant characters. Nichelle is a powerful, feisty woman. Her boss, Bob, is her father figure and the interplay between them is just heartwarming. The other supporting characters just leap off the pages and part of the mystery is which of them are the “good guys” and which are the “bad guys”.

The dialogue is terrific, the pace is perfect, and the humor is well placed. Then there are those moments that rival a scary movie and you can’t seem to read fast enough. And don’t forget the shoes….heels to be exact… Carrie Bradford look out!!

This is a wonderful debut. Buried Leads is on deck. I can’t wait! If you like your cozies with just a bit of an edge pick this one up today!!


Buried Leads: A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller
Severn River Publishing (June 19, 2018)
2nd in Series
Print Length: 272 pages
ASIN: B07DWDF5WC

When an Armani-clad corpse turns up in the woods, crime reporter Nichelle Clarke smells a scoop. A little digging, and Nichelle uncovers a web of corruption that stretches all the way to Washington, D.C. Politics. Murder. And a dead lobbyist. It’s everything Nichelle’s ever dreamed of.

The cops are playing it close, the feds even closer, and Nichelle’s afraid her boss will assign the story to the political desk any day. Richmond’s new ATF SuperCop makes an arrest before she can say “Louboutin,” but Nichelle’s gut says he’s got the wrong guy.

Her sexy Mafia boss friend warns her off the case, her TV rival is hot on her designer heels, an ambitious copy editor wants her beat, and victims are piling up faster than she can track them down. As Nichelle zeroes in on the truth, it’ll take some fancy footwork to nab this headline before the killer nabs her.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
She did it again. I started reading and just couldn’t stop. The rest of the world just fell away as I chased down the clues with Nichelle.

She is juggling at least 4 headlines for the Richmond Telegraph while trying to keep a co-worker who is sleeping with the managing editor from stealing her job and still scoop a television reporter. Her ex has shown up in town as the area’s newest ATF agent and wants them to give their relationship another chance. But her new “friend” Joey has plans of his own romantically speaking and his contacts in the criminal world have him doing everything he can to keep her safe. Nichelle’s police contacts are telling her nothing. Then her investigation shows a couple of her stories seem to be connected, it is time for her inner Lois Lane to shine as she plans to scoop everyone unless someone scoops her up first.

This is fast paced with fantastic characters, the supporting ones are really growing too! There is political corruption, murder, mayhem, bullets flying, romantic tension, and a tough heroine in high heels.  Hang on tight! Lyndee Walker takes us on us a wild ride with a few surprises and even a couple laugh out loud moments. She is definitely an author to keeps our eyes on!


Small Town Spin: A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller
Severn River Publishing (June 19, 2018)
3rd in Series
Print Length: 314 pages
ASIN: B07DWGQZRZ

When a superstar athlete’s son turns up dead in a tiny town on the Virginia coast, crime reporter Nichelle Clarke gets the inside scoop. But she quickly spies a gaping hole her inner Lois Lane cannot ignore.

Determined to unravel the mystery, Nichelle fights off paparazzi cameras and an unexpected rival. She uncovers an illegal moonshine operation, a string of copycat suicides, and a slew of closets stacked with more skeletons than slingbacks. Chasing a killer who’s a breath from getting away with murder, Nichelle realizes too late the culprit has her number—and it might be up.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

LynDee Walker is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and Nichelle Clarke one of my favorite protagonists. I started this story and just couldn’t put it down.

Even when she is sick Nichelle keeps going. Those darn allergies have to take a back seat when her co-worker asks her to check out a story. His friend’s son is dead and the cops say it’s suicide. The boy’s parents just don’t believe it and want Nichelle to investigate and find out what really happened. Let me say Nichelle works better sick than most of us work healthy. She puts on Manolos, channels her inner Lois Lane, and starts digging and following clues. She is bound and determined to get her exclusive story and leave TV reporter Charlie in the dust. She also wants to give the boy’s parents some kind of closure.

Walker has written quite a mystery with some corkscrew turns and twists and fabulous characters. She also adds the perfect amount of romance and humor. I really love “bad guy” Joey. He has it Nicey bad and he is always there just when he needs her most.  But Kyle is still fighting to have her give their relationship another chance. Stay tuned I think things will heat up even more in the next installment.


Devil in the Deadline: A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller
Severn River Publishing (June 21, 2018)
4th in Series
Print Length: 332 pages
ASIN: B07DY7VJJP

When the Richmond police offer an exclusive in exchange for help with a case, nothing—not even a costume party—stops crime reporter Nichelle Clarke from making Manolo tracks to the crime scene. The hunt leads her to a televangelist’s compound in the Virginia countryside where the Reverend may be more interested in fat stacks of cash than he is saving wayward souls.

With two sexy guys tangled up in Nichelle’s story—and in her heart—work and love are on a crash course for disaster. Pressure pours in from every corner, including a faceless new competitor that means the deadline is always five minutes ago. As secrets threaten and the truth becomes her lifeline, Nichelle must unmask the killer and nail down the story before she’s snared in the carefully-constructed web.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Nichelle Clarke is a crime reporter with excellent taste in fine footwear and she doesn’t let those high heels hold her back when she needs to climb to the latest crime scene. The scene she finds is just ghastly and almost beyond words. But her new competition, a blogger, has no problem putting all the gruesome details out there. The big question is where is she getting her information. Nichelle is supposed to have an exclusive agreement with the cops! for her help in the investigation. That investigation puts Nichelle’s life in danger but she will do anything to get the story and catch a killer. It doesn’t hurt that she has her old high school boyfriend, now ATF Agent Kyle and a hunk like Joey with his questionable underworld ties watching her back, but can they keep her safe this time?

This entire series is absolutely awesome. Each story is just full of action, thrills, romance and humor too! LynDee Walker just keeps topping herself!

I love the characters! Nicey is such a strong woman and she is always on a deadline. This time she receives help from a very unlikely person. She also never knows when bad-boy Joey (no last name) will appear but his kisses never fail to curl her toes. Kyle is still interested in rekindling their romance and while she knows his last name and he would offer her a more stable life there is just no toe curling. But he isn’t giving up. I also like her editor at the paper. He seems like a man with common sense in an industry that is changing on a daily basis. He fights hard for his job and for Nichelle and makes an excellent sounding board for her.

The plot is fantastic. The crime seems to be pure evil and the twists really add to the suspense. We also learn more about Nichelle and the story ends with quite a cliffhanger. LynDee Walker’s journalist’s skills shine and have made her an excellent mystery writer.


Cover Shot: A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller
Severn River Publishing (June 23, 2018)
5th in Series
Print Length: 360 pages
ASIN: B07DZKP2D6

It’s been a slow news month in Richmond, and crime reporter Nichelle Clarke is enjoying the downtime when ominous messages and a dead body kick things into high gear. And that’s before the guy with the rifle takes a hospital full of people hostage.

Up to the top of her knee-high Prada boots in leads, Nichelle finds her favorite detectives under pressure to make an arrest, but it doesn’t add up—and ignoring the “why” of this story could cost Nichelle the most important person in her life.

With too much to lose, a shot at the story of a lifetime, and a missing bullet that might be the key, landing this headline could save the day, but can Nichelle dig up the truth before the killer buries her with it?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Book #5 in this series starts out with Nicey lamenting about no news to her rushing in her high heels to a hospital on lockdown because a man has a gun. It makes the strange text messages she has been receiving pretty mundane. She knows she needs to investigate them but they will have to wait because a gun trumps a text every time. LynDee Walker has us on the edge of seats with this one.

It’s all about the “WHY”. Why would a man bring a loaded rifle into a hospital? Nichelle Clarke needs to find the “Why” to this story and in doing so investigates the medical treatments and research, the test trials, and the money. The money made by drug companies, insurance companies, and health professionals. The scary question  – Would cures be held back because more money is made treating the disease instead of curing it? Walker puts a personal face to this and puts her protagonist in danger as she tries to find the truth.

I love this series. Nicey is a top-notch reporter that gets to the heart of the matter. She also cares about the people she works with including her editor who is trying to be forced into retirement. There is no way she is going to let that happen. She also loves Joey even though she knows nothing of his past and isn’t sure she wants to. Her ex, Kyle, thinks Joey is trouble and does all he can to shake Nicey’s confidence.

This is such a good story. The characters continue to impress me and the plot has a true ripped from the headlines feel. So well written.

Each of the stories in this series has been fantastic but this is the best one yet. I hope we are chasing down another story in our virtual high heels with Nicey soon. Oh, and a little more Joey would be awfully nice too!


Lethal Lifestyles: A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller
Severn River Publishing (June 26, 2018)
6th in Series
Print Length: 290 pages
ASIN: B07F2PQPGJ

Wedding bells are ringing at the Richmond Telegraph, and maid of honor Nichelle Clarke is determined to give her friends the perfect fairytale beginning to their happily ever after. So when a corpse crashes rehearsal weekend, Nichelle ditches her wedding coordinator shoes for her crime reporter ones, and a little poking around turns up a big problem: the victim and the groom have a history, and it’s not a pretty one.

Evidence against groom Grant Parker piles up, leaving Nichelle wishing a hostile bridesmaid was still her biggest worry as she tries to fend off Richmond’s favorite TV reporter—and her own scheming publisher. At odds with the cops, her beloved editor, and the ticking clock, Nichelle races to uncover the truth and save the day before this perfect wedding turns into a funeral.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Our star reporter has been bustin’ her tail to give Grant and Mel the wedding of their dreams. We are just one week from the big day when a dead guy is found at the wedding venue right before the rehearsal festivities are about to start, and the dead guy has a connection to the groom. HOLY MANOLOS!! Nicey’s heels hit the ground running as she tries to save the wedding, keep Charlie, her arch nemesis, off the trail, keep her and her boss employed and pull off this wedding on time. Hold on tight, this is one story that will knock your high heels right off.

Why do I love this series so much? The author writes a fantastic mystery filled with drama but filled with humor too. She always tops herself and leaves me wanting more.

Nicey is an unforgettable heroine not only because she is independent, smart, and wears some of the best footwear in the world but because she is a true friend. She will fight for her friends until she gets to the whole truth and she refuses to publish anything sketchy even when the publisher is holding her beautiful feet to the fire. She also tries to hold her temper in the toughest of times. She has integrity and in today’s world, it is sometimes hard to find reporters like her. She has the right connections and because of the woman, she is they will step up to help her whenever they can. Even her ex. She also is learning to listen to her heart just a bit more in this installment too and they made this reader very happy.

LynDee Walker gives us a story the flows quickly with plenty of twists to keep us on our heels. The mystery is complex, the characters continue to evolve and the new characters are memorable and all seem to be hiding something.

This series is best if you start with Front Page Fatality and read the series in order to understand the characters and their history. Also for me each one is better than the last and becomes my new favorite in the series.

_______________________________________________________

Keep reading for my new review of Fatal Features.


Fatal Features: A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller Novella
Crime Thriller
5.5 in Series
Setting – Virginia
Severn River Publishing (January 18, 2019)
Print Length: 76 pages
ASIN: B07MQ6QHRJ

Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke prefers chasing headlines to relaxing.

Even injured and on doctor-ordered bed rest.

When her editor offers her a feature assignment thinking that will silence her requests to return to work early, Nichelle jumps at it. Her editor sends reinforcements to keep Nichelle from overdoing it, venturing to an abandoned renaissance fairground to interview a ghost-hunting reality TV show’s producers and staff.

But a fresh dead body and a nearby tragedy leave Nichelle and her friends on their own to figure out who they can trust on the set—and who might be a killer.

Can Nichelle uncover the truth before someone she loves becomes the next victim?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

You can’t keep Nichelle Clarke down. Settling for a feature story until she is cleared to return to work and her crime beat, Nichelle thought it would be an easy day. She has Parker & Mel tagging along, her editors idea not hers. But soon after she arrives at the isolated set for a ghost-hunting reality show she finds a dead body. She doesn’t know who on the crew to trust but fears that if she doesn’t catch the killer she and her friends could be the next victims.

Even limited to just 76 pages LynDee Walker writes a story that packs a punch. The pages flew with twists and turns. It wasn’t long until we reached the exciting climax and I was stunned by the culprit and sad because I wanted more Nichelle.

A wonderful short story to whet our appetites as we wait for the next full-length feature with Nichelle Clarke, our high heeled heroine.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

LynDee Walker is the author of six national bestselling novels of suspense, beginning with the Agatha Award-nominated FRONT PAGE FATALITY. Reviews have praised her work as “well-crafted, compelling, and fast-paced,” and “an edge-of-your-seat ride” with “a spider web of twists and turns that will keep you reading until the end.”

Before she started writing fiction, LynDee was an award-winning journalist who covered everything from ribbon cuttings to high-level police corruption. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the U.S.

Aside from books, LynDee loves her family, her readers, travel, and coffee. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is working on her next novel when she’s not juggling laundry and children’s sports schedules.

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

The full-length books are also available in Paperback and Boxed Sets.

Now we wait 🙂

From LynDee Walker’s Facebook Page

Be sure to check out LynDee’s new Faith McClellan Series.
Click here to read my review of Fear No Truth.

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 122019
 


Past Due for Murder:
A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

About the Book 


Past Due for Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Crooked Lane Books (February 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318749
ISBN-13: 978-1683318743
Digital ASIN: B07D2GYM25

Has a curse fallen on the small town of Taylorsford, Virginia? After a young woman goes missing during a spring bonfire, library director Amy Webber must wade through the web of lies only to find a truth that she may not want to untangle.

Spring has sprung in quaint Taylorsford, Virginia, and the mayor has revived the town’s long-defunct May Day celebration to boost tourism. As part of the festivities, library director Amy Webber is helping to organize a research project and presentation by a local folklore expert. All seems well at first—but spring takes on a sudden chill when a university student inexplicably vanishes during a bonfire.

The local police cast a wide net to find the missing woman, but in a shocking turn of events, Amy’s swoon-worthy neighbor Richard Muir becomes a person of interest in the case. Not only is Richard the woman’s dance instructor, he also doesn’t have an alibi for the night the student vanished—or at least not one he’ll divulge, even to Amy.

When the missing student is finally discovered lost in the mountains, with no memory of recent events—and a dead body lying nearby—an already disturbing mystery takes on a sinister new hue. Blessed with her innate curiosity and a librarian’s gift for research, Amy may be the only one who can learn the truth.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Past Due for Murder takes us to Taylorsford, Virginia just in time for Spring and the town’s May Day celebration. Our protagonist Amy Webber has opened up the library archives for a professor and her students to research the local folklore. The will be making a presentation at the celebration. One of these students disappears during a bonfire event and police have organized a search. They also question the man in Amy’s life, Richard Muir. He was the woman’s dance instructor and may have been the last person to see her before she went missing. The student is later found, next to a dead body. She is dazed and confused. Amy has been trying to use her talents first to find the student and now the murderer. She meets an elderly woman with stories to tell of the area that just may point her in the direction of the killer. It also could make her their next victim.

Ms. Gilbert has written a story that links the present to the past in a very interesting way. The area folklore includes a story of two missing women, but what parts of the story are true and which are pure fabrication and how does it pertain to the current event of a missing woman and a murder? It is a twisted journey that captivated me right away.

I loved the way the author brought in a woman who is basically a hermit now. I found this woman to be genuine and heartwarming. Having Amy visit to record her stories for the library’s archives was a brilliant idea. Many towns and libraries are doing this now. It makes me wish I had done the same with my parents and grandparents. Our history, our stories, fade due to poor memories and these records would be priceless. If these options are available to you jump on them while you can.

The author also brings a man into the story, a neighbor to the woman, also someone who shuns society for his own reasons. He has a wonderful gift that he has mostly kept to himself but could he be a murderer?

Sticking with new characters, Richard’s parents come to visit and it was quite the experience. No spoiler here, but answers to some of the questions I had about the man are answered.

With great characters and plenty of twists and turns, this story takes us on quite a ride. The blend of folklore with a smidgen of fairies and magic was a delight. The ending was an ultimate surprise. This story is a wonderful addition to this series!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Murder for the Books here.

Read my review of Shelved Under Murder here.

About  the Author

Raised in a historic small town in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian.

Victoria’s first cozy mystery series, the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, garnered her a three-book deal with Crooked Lane Books, which has since been expanded to five books. The first two books in the series have been optioned by Sony Pictures Television, and the first three were or will be produced in audiobook by Tantor Media.

Victoria also just inked a 2-book deal with Crooked Lane for a new cozy series, the Booklovers B & B series, set in historic Beaufort, NC.

A member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime, Victoria is represented by Frances Black at Literary Counsel.

Author Links:

Website/blog   Facebook author page    Twitter   Goodreads   Instagram 

Purchase Links:

Amazon     B&N    Kobo    Indie Bound   GooglePlay

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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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Jul 192018
 

About the Book


Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018)
Hardcover: 300 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315957
Digital: ASIN: B075QJHPR9

Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.

October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.

That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Taylorsford just in time for the Heritage Festival. The library is hosting a yard sale fundraiser and a famous local artist has agreed to give some of her work to the sale. When Amy, her assistant Sunny, Richard, now her boyfriend arrive at the artist’s studio they make a horrible discovery. The artist dead on the floor. When police arrived on the scene, their search finds a hidden room filled with what appear to be forged paintings. With Amy’s background in art history research Chief Deputy Brad Tucker asks her to assist him by checking out the paintings. When the state’s art expert arrives Amy assists him too. Until he finds that her uncle, now deceased, may be connected to both the forgeries and the murder. When someone else is killed Amy knows she has to help find the killer, all the while hoping to clear her uncle of any wrongdoing.

Being a librarian means more that shelving and checking out books. That is why degree, usually a master’s in Library Science is required for head librarians. The ability to navigate and manage information is a huge part of the job. With Amy’s minor in Art History, she is the perfect person to assist the police in find provenance for these found paintings and any other information to help the police solve the case. The author has written a very complex mystery and Amy plays a key role in solving it. Not knowing much about paintings like those in the story it was so much fun following along with Amy and all the revelations that were found throughout the story. I always enjoy learning something new when reading. This time I highlighted quite a few items I plan to research further.

The main characters are continuing to develop nicely. The supporting cast, Zelda, Walt and Aunt Lydia are great too and have many humorous moments. There is one character that is hiding something. We got some major hints in this story and I am sure we will learn more in the next.

The romance between Amy and Richard played a big part in this story. She is still recovering from her break-up and her confidence is a little shaky. Richard is the perfect man for her. He understands her insecurities and he really loves her. They have quite a moment near the end of the story that was so heart-warming and genuine.

Again, Ms. Gilbert has written a mystery with great substance and allowed her characters to shine. She also brings the setting to life with her words. I enjoyed this book from the first page to the last.

Shelved Under Murder is a fantastic addition to this series. I think I loved it more than the first book in the series, A Murder for the Books. Book #3 Past Due for Murder comes out on February 12, 2019. I can hardly wait.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of A Murder for the Books here

About the Author

Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.

When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.

Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. This is her first Blue Ridge Library mystery.

Author Links:

Website/blog     Facebook Author Page        Twitter     Goodreads       Instagram

Praise for Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

This is a mystery with lots of twists, turns, and secrets. It isn’t just a cut and dry mystery. . .
~Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

The author does have a way of making you feel like you are right there in the midst of things and making you feel empathy for the characters . . .
~Curling Up By The Fire

Shelved Under Murder is an inviting cozy mystery with congenial characters, lovely setting and a stimulating whodunit.
~The Avid Reader

I really enjoyed this book and was so impressed with the details the author uses about art.
~Texas Book-aholic

SHELVED UNDER MURDER is a delightful mystery that held my interest and didn’t let go.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

This book is truly incredible at creating an elaborate mystery for us to follow.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I really enjoy reading about Amy’s time at the library (I think I am in the wrong profession!), and there’s a great cast of supporting characters in this series.
~The Book’s the Thing

Some great characters make Shelved Under Murder a really good read that kept me turning the pages.
~My Reading Journeys

Victoria Gilbert has done it again and I want more and more (please Ms. Gilbert!), the way local people and local history are combined to make a cohesive whole is wonderful.
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

A charming setting in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A cast of delightful (and layered) characters. An intriguing mystery and a taste of art. A swoony romance. All of these elements make up the entertaining Shelved Under Murder!
~Reading Is My SuperPower

The mystery was quite elaborate, while the additional storylines and well-developed characters added those subtle red herrings and remarkable twists necessary to keep readers guessing.
~That’s What She’s Reading

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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 052018
 

I am so thankful this series has found a new home at Kensington Books!


The Diva Cooks up a Storm (Domestic Diva)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
1st with this publisher
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496714688
Kindle ASIN: B075C66D4Z

 

 

Domestic diva Sophie Winston can whip up an elaborate event in her sleep, but as the hippest hostess, she rarely gets to enjoy the full guest treatment. Which is why her best friend Nina Reid Norwood loops her into the latest culinary craze: a pop-up gourmet dinner party. The celebrity chef, the epicurean menu, and the high-profile attendees are all a surprise, turning the decadent dining experience into the hottest ticket in Old Town. But Sophie’s just pleased as punch that she finally has an opportunity to join her fellow foodies in some fun.

The posh party proves to be a recipe for disaster when Hollis Haberman sours spirits by bringing his own hot new dish—his young trophy wife. With Hollis’s son and ex-wife in attendance, there may be more heat at the table than in the kitchen. But the next morning, Sophie discovers Hollis swallowing his last bits of air, and she must scramble to stop a killer before anyone else eats their last meal.

Includes delicious recipes and entertaining tips!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sophie and Nina had planned a mini vacay to the beach, but an impending hurricane has changed their plans. A pop-up dinner party is just what they need. An event planned by someone else where they can sit back and enjoy the food with their friends. But not everyone is enjoying the event, Hollis Haberman and his young new wife are in attendance as are his ex-wife and their son. Most of the town has shunned the new bride while remaining friendly with the ex.

The next morning the storm is coming closer to Old Town so Sophie heads out for a quick walk but finds Hollis Haberman having some kind of attack in front of his house. EMTs are called and he is rushed to the hospital but he doesn’t survive. It is an unusual death. He has asked for Sophie’s help because he thought he was been poisoned and the police seem to concur but they’re not sure how. Could it have been in the food at the party? or has it built up over time? His young bride is so upset and she is sure she is going to be arrested. Sophie agrees to look into the case herself hoping she doesn’t end up in a storm of trouble herself.

I really enjoy these characters, even Natasha. I love the way they come together when someone is in need or when they get together to celebrate. A heavy storm hits Old Town leaving the community without electricity. What does this gang do? The organize a street party so people can cook up or grill the food that would have been ruined by the lack of power to keep it cold. The party also gives the crew to do a little covert investigating. Friendship really blooms within the pages.

Poison is a common method of murder in cozy mysteries, but this time the author gives it a unique twist and they added some distinct turns that really opened up the pool of suspects. She kept me guessing right up to her grand reveal. I love when a story diverts my thinking so much that I and the protagonist have our “aha moment” together.

The author packs so much into these pages. The pacing and plotting are excellent. The characters are very real and most are very down to earth. The story contains the exact right amount of humor in relation to the drama. Krista Davis is a skilled storyteller with the perfect recipe for her cozy mysteries.

I highly recommend this entire series, but if you are new to it, don’t worry, there is plenty of background provided to dive right into this one. Then you can go back and start at the beginning to see all the world building and character development.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author 

Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries, the Paws & Claws Mysteries, and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Several of her books have been nominated for the Agatha Award. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two cats and a brood of dogs. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices they keep coming back for more.

Author Links:
Website   Facebook   Pinterest Mystery Lovers Kitchen    Twitter    Killer Characters


GIVEAWAY
 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.

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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 012018
 

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.

This is the last book in this series released by Berkley/Penguin Random House.
The series has now found a new home at Kensington Books.
The Diva Cooks up a Storm was released on Tuesday and I will be reviewing it here next Tuesday.


The Diva Serves High Tea (A Domestic Diva Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Virginia
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date – June 7, 2016
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282656
Kindle ASIN: B016JPTQCW

 

 

When The Parlour opens up in town, domestic diva Sophie Winston finally has a place to satisfy her cravings for all things tea and crumpet related. And the shop serves as the perfect place for the ladies of the town to gather and gossip, especially since it’s conveniently located right across the street from the new antique store run by the handsome and charming Robert Johnson.

But speculation around Robert really boils over when he’s found dead—a victim of poisoning after attending a literacy fundraiser at The Parlour the night before. What Sophie learns about the man leaves a bitter taste in her mouth, and she’ll have to strain out a killer from a strange brew of suspects…

Includes delicious recipes and entertaining tips!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Time for tea! The Parlour is open and is hosting a literacy fundraiser, an auction. Our domestic diva, Sophie Winston, and her friends are there and bidding up a storm while enjoying the delightful fare the tea shop has provided.

The next morning Robert Johnson, the owner of the antique shop across the street from The Parlor is found dead. The police believe he was poisoned by something he ate at the fundraiser. The Parlor is shut down until all the food can be checked. No one else that attended the event got sick. There has to be another explanation. Sophie starts doing a little sleuthing of her own and she learns some very interesting things about the victim. She was right, there was a lot more brewing that anyone thought at first.

Spending time with Sophie and Natasha is always entertaining but this time there was a shocking development that made my heart soar!! These two have spatted back and forth for years but things may be about to change 🙂 Can’t say more because I do not want to spoil anything, but I did do a little chair dancing when I reached page 19.

Krista Davis is a cozy mystery master. She skillfully weaves everyday life with a well-plotted mystery. A mystery that is never easy to solve. Twists, turns, and tea abound within these pages making it almost impossible to put down. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of all teacups and the explanations of all the different types of tea.  The author also knows how to add the precise amount of comedy in relation to the drama giving readers the total cozy package.

The helpful hints that start each chapter are fun and unique. I tend to find myself agreeing with or more taken with the Dear Sophie columns that the Dear Natasha ones. I feel Natasha is a DIVA while Sophie is a more Diva for us common folk. 🙂

This was a positively delightful story. Brew up a pot of tea, sit back, relax and enjoy!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author 

Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries, the Paws & Claws Mysteries, and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Several of her books have been nominated for the Agatha Award. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two cats and a brood of dogs. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices they keep coming back for more.

Author Links:
Website   Facebook   Pinterest Mystery Lovers Kitchen    Twitter    Killer Characters


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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Contest Will End June 15, 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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May 172018
 

Murder in the Locked Library (A Book Retreat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496715630
Kindle ASIN: B074DH6HD3

 

 

Welcome to Storyton Hall, Virginia, where book lovers travel from near and far to enjoy the singular comforts of the Agatha Christie Tea Room, where they can discuss the merits of their favorite authors no matter how deadly the topic . . . 

With her twins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, back in school, Jane Steward can finally focus on her work again—managing Storyton Hall, and breaking ground on the resort’s latest attraction: a luxurious, relaxing spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. But when the earth is dug up to start laying the spa’s foundation, something else comes to the surface—a collection of unusual bones and the ragged remnants of a very old book. The attendees of the Rare Book Conference are eager to assist Jane with this unexpected historical mystery—until a visitor meets an untimely end in the Henry James Library. As the questions—and suspects—start stacking up, Jane will have to uncover a killer before more unhappy endings ensue . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Storyton Hall is expanding and building a wonderful spa named in honor of Walt Whitman. Construction begins by digging the hole for the foundation. Jane Steward’s twins Fitzgerald and Hemingway are very excited to watch the big excavation. Imagine their surprise when a skull, bones and a very old book are uncovered. Storyton Hall just happens to be hosting the Rare Book Conference and those attending love a mystery as much as Jane so they offer up their assistance to find out as much as they can about the book. The police are calling in an anthropologist to help with the bones. Storyton Hall also has its own experts to investigate all the findings. But when one of the Hall’s guests suddenly dies in the Henry James Library just as he starts to share information about the book the police and staff of Storyton Hall realize they now have two murders to solve and they are probably connected.

I love this series so much. I am also thrilled that this series has found a new home at Kensington Books. These characters stories were far from over after the first three installments.

All my favorite characters are back. Jane Steward is the manager of Storyton Hall. It is a huge job and a privilege to be its caretaker, its guardian. She has twin sons, Hemi and Fitz, who are as curious as can be. Jane has her book club, the “Cover Girls” and they always have her back. The staff of the hall have a variety of jobs and some are quite surprising. If you are new to the series you will have to discover what I mean when you read the story.

The setting is magnificent, Ellery Adams has created an amazing place that all book lovers would enjoy.  Secret stairways, secrets passages, secret rooms and most important of all a secret library. If I could I would pack my bags and move to Storyton Hall and probably never leave.

The author has crafted an amazing story with more than one mystery. An old murder, a new murder, an old book, all entangled together in the most delightful way. She keeps the pace brisk and throws in some dynamic twists. A cozy mystery with the perfect amount of action and suspense. She draws the reader in and holds us captive until the final page.

With the publisher change, the book has been written to give enough background for new readers to jump right in but this series is so fantastic I recommend you read the series in order. If you do decide to start with this one I guarantee you are going to want to read the first three.

This is definitely one of my favorite cozy series!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

Check out my reviews of the first 3 books in the series.

Murder in the Mystery Suite

Murder in the Paperback Parlor

Murder in the Secret Garden

 To find out more about Ellery and all her books visit her webpage here.





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Contest Will End May 31, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
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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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Dec 192017
 


A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series

Setting – Virginia
Crooked Lane Books (December 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683314394
E-Book ASIN: B072396C2L

 

 

Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. She quickly busies herself with managing a charming public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and overabundance of eccentric patrons. The last thing she needs is a new, available neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.

Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door from his great-uncle, Paul Dassin. But town folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife, who was an outsider. It quickly became water under the bridge, until she vanished after her sensational 1925 murder trial. Determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, Richard implores Amy to help him investigate the case. Amy is skeptical until their research raises questions about the culpability of the town’s leading families… including her own.

When inexplicable murders plunge the quiet town into chaos, Amy and Richard must crack open the books to reveal a cruel conspiracy and lay a turbulent past to rest in A Murder for the Books, the first installment of Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library mysteries.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Oh, I am excited about this series. It is off to a wonderful start.

Amy Webber has left her job as a college librarian and moved to her aunt’s home in Taylorsford, Virginia. She manages the town’s library which is quite different from her previous job. The residents of Taylorsford are an eclectic bunch. She is thankful her predecessor left her plenty of notes about her new patrons. Sadly, one of those patrons is murdered early in the story. Found on library property Amy finds herself in the middle of the investigation. Some are even pointing their fingers at her.

She also meets her new neighbor Richard Muir, a dancer/teacher/choreographer. He has been renovating the house next door that he inherited from his uncle. He is very interested in his family’s history, especially a murder and a disappearance. He turns to Amy for help researching the archives to find answers. Maybe together they can solve the current case while finding answers in a cold one too.

Ms. Gilbert has created such rich main characters. I felt drawn to them immediately. I wanted to know their family histories and get to know them better as themselves. There is a romantic spark between Richard and Amy. Amy tries to stop or ignore her feelings because it was a broken romantic entanglement that made her quit her last job. Richard is a patient man and is not giving up. Their interplay is touching and real. Amy’s aunt also likes Richard very much and is not beyond a little matchmaking between the two.

There are two mysteries to solve in this story and they are seriously tangled up together.  I did have an inkling about the 1925 case early on in the book, but that did not deter my enjoyment of following each and every clue. The current mystery was total surprising from start to finish. Several suspects had means, motive, and opportunity. The climactic reveal stunned me. It was exciting and action-packed. The suspense was at a high level.

Victoria Gilbert walks that fine line keeping this cozy from jumping into the thriller lane. She has created a mystery story with great substance, tempered it with the beginnings of a romance and the exact right amount of humor. The characters are genuine and really shine throughout the entire book.

I loved this story and wish I had Shelved Under Murder in my hot little hands right now. My escape to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains ended much too soon. I have my virtual bags packed for a return trip mid-July 2018. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 


About the Author

Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.

When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.

Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. This is her first Blue Ridge Library mystery.

 

Author Links
Website/Blog    Facebook   Twitter  Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon     B&N         Books-A-Million      Indie Bound 

Praise for A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery
by Victoria Gilbert

What really got me about this one, was how different this book is from a normal cozy. Librarian, Amy, is trying to clear the name of a woman who went missing back in 1925 for her neighbor, Richard. (Is that a potential love interest I see?)

Right there you have something totally unique. It makes this a cold case cozy!
~A Chick Who Reads

Excellent writing with some great new characters all set to make you want to read some more.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

I found this to be a very entertaining mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat. The author does a really good job of keeping the action going throughout the telling of the story.
~Author Teresa Trent

I liked the multiple storylines in A Murder for the Books. Besides the modern day mystery, Amy and Richard are trying to solve a murder that happened years ago.
~The Book’s the Thing

Murder By The Books is a bit of a thriller in that it is about a cold case. And it fits all those things I and most people enjoy about a cozy.
~My Reading Journeys

Full of family history and drama, star-crossed lovers and would-be lovers, secrets, and conspiracies, mysterious deaths and murders, surprises and predictability, greed and hope, ignorance and bigotry, humor and quirkiness, “A Murder for the Books” delivers an entertaining story that began several generations ago and continues to this day.
~Bea’s Book Nook

There are several mysteries and multiple storylines going on as everything unfolds . . . I did enjoy the aspect of the town’s archives being used as a means of finding out information to help solve much of what is going on, especially in regards to a very cold case.
~That’s What She’s Reading

The mystery is well plotted and pairing the current murder with a mystery from the past, along with family secrets, provides an added depth.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

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December 11 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
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December 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
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December 15 – Jane Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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