Posted in 2022 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Special Guest – Patrick Kelly – Author of The Overlook Murder: A Wintergreen Mystery #AuthorInterview #Review / #Giveaway @pkfiction Great Escapes Book Tour


The Overlook Murder: A Wintergreen Mystery
by Patrick Kelly


It is my pleasure to welcome Patrick Kelly
to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Patrick! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in Virginia and wrote my first short story in the second grade. After a long career in finance, I began writing popular fiction in my fifties. My wife and I live in Austin, Texas, but spend our summers in Wintergreen, Virginia. Wintergreen is the setting for The Overlook Murder. We have a terrier-mix rescue dog named Sebastian who often appears in my Instagram posts.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Before sitting down to write a new book, I’ll ruminate on the basic plot idea for six months or longer. During that time, I will take notes now and again and also do some casual background research. When constructing the outline for the story, I’ll keep a list of open items that need further research. The actual research process—which happens largely online—will take two or three days. For my current work-in-progress—Murder in White—I’ve learned a lot about drones and the hiking trails around Wintergreen, Virginia.

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

Not yet. On days when I don’t feel like writing, I force myself to sit at the computer and construct sentences until I’ve reached my daily word target. This works well for me. Occasionally, I’ll hit a stretch where I crank out page after page of entertaining prose, but I can never forecast when that will happen. If I skip the days where I start off feeling blah, I’ll lose unexpected spurts of productivity.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

Spend some time thinking about your goal for writing and publishing a book. Is this a bucket list item? Are you one and done? If so, read some books and blog posts about writing a novel and have at it. Be prepared to invest a thousand hours, and perhaps many more, to finish a novel you are proud to share with your friends and family.

However, if you want to write a book that makes money, spend a lot of time studying the business of publishing before you write your novel. This could take six months or longer. As a part of that process, carefully select your sub-genre (preferably a hot one with tons of voracious readers), read the most popular books in that sub-genre, and plan how you will write a novel that is similar to the others but better.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

Travel. My wife and I have driven across the continental US twice in the last ten years. We take the dog with us. The US is a beautiful country and best enjoyed on foot or from a car. If I’m at home in Wintergreen, I enjoy nature hikes and visiting local antique stores and wineries. Nelson County, Virginia, is absolutely gorgeous.

Did the COVID pandemic affect you and your writing?

We stopped traveling during the first year of COVID, which led to an increase in my productivity; however, once things began to open up again, we wanted to go out all the time, which reduced my daily word count. All in all, the pandemic has not had a significant impact on the number of books I’ve published. We’ve been lucky so far in not contracting the virus. Some folks say we’ll all get it sooner or later. I’ll take later, thank you.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Paris. I went through a Hemingway phase in college and visited the City of Lights soon thereafter. Now, many years older, I would love to return. My dream is to live in Paris for four months and write a mystery featuring an American sleuth. Perhaps Bill O’Shea should win the lottery and move to Paris to take a French immersion course.

What is next on the horizon for you?

I’ve begun writing the third novel in the Wintergreen Mystery Series. In Murder in White, Bill O’Shea and his friends must try to solve a mystery in the middle of a raging snowstorm. The release date is scheduled for November 15, 2022.

Oh! That sounds like it is going to be a great read! 

Thank you Patrick for stopping by today!

Now keep reading for my thoughts about The Overlook Murder.

About The Overlook Murder 

The Overlook Murder: A Wintergreen Mystery
Cozy Mystery/Police Procedural 
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Chaparral Press LLC (May 14, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1734239247
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1734239249
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09ZSTSWCD

It’s a short walk to the overlook but a long way down.

The rich entrepreneur Damian Susskind has recently survived a heart attack and quintuple bypass surgery. Suddenly aware of his own mortality, Damian summons his family and friends to Wintergreen to share the latest plans for his will. Unfortunately for Damian, one of those in attendance bears him malicious intent, and by the end of the day, Damian is dead.

Retired police detective Bill O’Shea is asked to help the short-staffed Wintergreen police department investigate an accidental death. Forensic evidence soon convinces Bill that this was no accident. There is plenty of motive to go around and more than a few suspects–the difficulty is tying a single killer to the crime. Will Bill and his friends solve the case, or will a Wintergreen murderer go free?

If you love beautiful mountain settings, a charming cast, and intriguing plot twists, you’re going to love the Wintergreen Mystery Series!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Wintergreen, Virginia where retired police detective Bill O’Shea is called in to assist in another investigation. Did the owner of the Fair Game sporting goods Damian Susskind fall to his death at the overlook on the Old Appalachian Trail? Or was he pushed? Is there more to the story? The rich entrepreneur had ticked several people off when he gathered his family and friends for a day-long retreat to convey his plan for the company and a big change to his will.

Following the evidence, Bill believes the man’s death was no accident. Working with the team he will have to work hard to catch the killer, especially because everyone including the caterers could have means, motive, and opportunity. Oh, and Cindy, Bill’s girlfriend’s company is the caterer for the retreat and Bill was assisting her that day.


As in the first book of this series, The Mountain View Murder, Bill O’Shea is a strong protagonist. He has the skills needed to solve a murder case, but he is also such a nice man. He never has an agenda and genuinely wants to help by following the evidence to get to the truth. Alex Sharp, the interim chief of police really has to lean on Bill because he is a real estate guy with no police experience. The small force includes Wintergreen Police Officer Mitch Gentry who is new to the force and Krista Jackson, the communications officer is new as well. Bill is a great mentor for these young people. Bill also helps his girlfriend Cindy with her catering crew. Cindy’s son Justin also is helping out until he leaves to join the Coast Guard and Cindy has recently hired an assistant Maddie Katz. Maddie and Justin may be starting a relationship. Again, Bill gets along with everyone. All these characters feel true to life.

We are also introduced the Damian Susskind and his staff. Prior to suffering a heart attack and recovering from quintuple bypass surgery the man was very involved in his business and his staff’s business including their personal lives. He only had one living relative, his stepdaughter, Lacey. She attended the retreat but she works for the Charlotte Department of Social Services.  So he felt she and his staff were his family. He butted into their lives whenever he wished and he lauded his money over them. Threatening to change his will at any time. These characters had a real edge. They are smart and out for themselves.

There was one character though that really turned me off this time. I know Cindy was dealing with some things in this story with her son leaving and her staff being questioned about their client’s death but she came off as a first-class witch and mean. She was extremely short with Bill several times and was degrading to him and the Coast Guard in one instance so much that I was absolutely shocked. She was then surprised that Bill walked out. I wanted him to run and never look back. She is not the right woman for him and never will be. I hope she is absent from any future books in this series.

The mystery put forth was handled very methodically but in an interesting way. Waiting for word from the medical examiner and several test results, Bill talked to everyone involved in the case, some tangentially. Some several times. He even sent up a reenactment to work through what the suspects had said. He let Mitch and Krista do their part with gentle guidance. Because of this, the story had a very even pace. The author plotted out this story so well. I was totally entertained by the pursuit of the truth and everything it took to get there. His descriptive writing style is excellent for this type of book. I enjoyed the way his words take us right out on the trails and inside the investigation.

As a side note, there is a cute little subplot involving Bill and Mr. Chips, the neighborhood groundhog that I absolutely loved. It also involved an encounter with another animal that was scary but so funny too!

The Overlook Murder was a fine addition to this series. I hope to travel to Wintergreen again in November and catch up with Bill O’Shea in Murder in White.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Patrick Kelly

Pat Kelly was raised in Yorktown, Virginia, graduated from UVA, and left the state to pursue a corporate career. After settling in Texas, Pat married Susie, and together they raised two daughters in the awesome city of Austin. With the girls now grown and gone, Pat has pursued a lifelong love of writing stories.

Pat has written eight novels–books one and two in the Wintergreen Mystery Series, the Joe Robbins Series of five suspense thrillers, and one standalone novel of historical fiction (The Sheila Stories)

Pat is the winner of a Beverly Hills Book Award and a silver medalist for the Wishing Shelf Book Awards for adult fiction. He serves as Membership Chair of the Heart of Texas Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Author Links

Webpage      Facebook    Twitter     Goodreads   Instagram

Purchase Links –

AmazonKoboB&N 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
June 15 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 15 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 16 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 16 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT
June 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
June 17 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
June 18 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
June 18 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
June 20 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
June 21 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
June 22 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 23 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
June 24 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

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Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders: A Cozy Mystery Anthology – Pickled to Death by Gayle Leeson #Review #CharacterGuestPost #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders: A Cozy Mystery Anthology
by Hillary Avis, Benedict Brown, Catherine Coles, Paula Darnell, Connie B. Dowell, Ellen Jacobson, Joann Keder, Patti Larsen, Cate Lawley, Gayle Leeson, Daisy Linh, Rimmy London, R.B. Marshall, Megan Mayfair, Wendy Meadows, Phillipa Nefri Clark, Michele Pariza Wacek, Erin Scoggins, Cathy Tully, Victoria LK Williams and Carly Winter

About Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders


Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders: A Cozy Mystery Anthology
Aye Alba Publishing (June 21, 2022)
Number of Pages ~1600
Digital B09K9NN64X

Poisonous picnics, burgled barbeques, deadly deckchairs… and midsummer mayhem!

From a brilliant bunch of amazing authors, including multiple prizewinners and USA Today best sellers, comes this wonderful collection of 21 summer-themed cozy mysteries.

Featuring peril at the pool, blood on the beach, and felony at the festival, these fabulous stories—21 brand new and exclusive tales—will keep you entertained until long after the sun has set.

With stories from Hillary Avis, Benedict Brown, Catherine Coles, Paula Darnell, Connie B. Dowell, Ellen Jacobson, Joann Keder, Patti Larsen, Cate Lawley, Gayle Leeson, Daisy Linh, Rimmy London, R.B. Marshall, Megan Mayfair, Wendy Meadows, Phillipa Nefri Clark, Michele Pariza Wacek, Erin Scoggins, Cathy Tully, Victoria LK Williams and Carly Winter, you’ll surely find some of your favourite authors and discover some great new writers within the ~1600 pages of this set.

This collection will only be available for a limited time so don’t miss out – grab yourself a bargain today!

Today I am focusing on Pickled to Death by Gayle Leeson.

The fair would have been a lot more fun had Aunt Bess not been accused of murder – – and if the streaker hadn’t been such a disappointment.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Aunt Bess had decided to oust the local pickle queen, Mabel Hobbs, by entering her own jar of pickles at the fair but while a streaker distracts everyone someone takes out the queen permanently using a jar of her own pickles. A witness says she saw Aunt Bess taking aim with the jar just before she turned away but no one believes Aunt Bess could kill anyone. But without evidence to prove otherwise, Aunt Bess is in the hot seat. Jackie is doing her best to protect her grandmother while Amy tries to find the real killer. Her first order of business – find that streaker!


This was a fun read. I really enjoy checking in with the gang at the Down South Cafe. I was pleasantly surprised that even in this shorter format so many members of the cast were able to be included. While Amy and her cousin Jackie are the stars, Homer with his daily heroes continues to be my favorite. The fair brings a blast from Amy’s mom’s past to town and that upset Amy a bunch. It gives readers a little snippet of Amy and her mom’s history and how it had affected their lives moving forward.

Mabel Hobbs was a woman with a plan and that plan may have been what had gotten her killed. There are some clear suspects besides Aunt Bess and a corkscrew twist adds even more. Ms. Leeson does an excellent job of giving her readers an interesting mystery with enough meat to sink our teeth into with a very exciting ending. That is not easy to do in less than 100 pages. The streaker was a nice touch too, but now that song is in my head. “Boogity Boogity!!!”

Pickled to Death was a Perfect little mini Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Now a Special Treat!

CHARACTER GUEST POST WITH PRINCESS ELOISE
By Gayle Leeson

 

Don’t be intimidated because I’m royalty. I don’t think my lineage sets me on a pedestal. Being a cat does that.

I live with Amy Flowers, who owns the Down South Café. Amy is a sweet girl, and I like her okay. She makes sure I get all the attention I want and plenty to eat and drink. But she’s not my favorite. My favorite human in the world is Amy’s mother, Jenna. But when Jenna’s mom died, Jenna moved into the house on the hill above Amy’s place to live with her aunt. Since Aunt Bess is allergic to cats—huge eye roll here because really…am I right?—I had to stay here at Amy’s house. I guess the aunt was too old to rehome because, honestly, I don’t know who else would have her at this point. She’s quite the handful. At least, Jenna is close by, and I get to see her all the time.

Amy has been dating a great guy lately, and I like him a lot. His name is Ryan, and he’s a police officer. Whenever he comes to visit, I hop onto his lap. It’s funny because it makes Amy a little jealous because she wishes I liked her that much. Between you and me, that’s one of the reasons I do it. Also, he has strong, muscular thighs. I knead and knead and knead, and then I curl up into a ball and doze. Purrfection.

I enjoy lying on the windowsill, lying on the chair by the living room window, lying on the kitchen chair that’s closest to the wall, and lying on my bed—although I spend the least amount of time there. I’d rather be up a little higher, especially when I want to avoid pats and licks and doggie breath, if you know what I mean. I like Rory, the terrier, okay. Or, at least, I do now. When he was a puppy, I referred to him as Rory, the terror. In fact, I thought that’s what the humans were saying when someone would ask what type of dog he was. But I came to realize they were saying terrier, and he’s grown up to the point where he’s tolerable. And he’s good for Amy. She needs someone willing to be picked up and cuddled at her whim—that’s not me.

Admittedly, though, I’ve been staying a little closer to her lately. There has been some trouble involving her cousin, Jackie. Jackie is the granddaughter of Aunt Bess—who I’ve already told you about. I’m not terribly keen on Jackie and her boyfriend, Roger, but I’d allow them to feed me if Amy happened to be out of town and Jenna wasn’t available. Amy loves them, though, especially Jackie. So, since Amy has been worried and sad about whatever is going on with Jackie, I’ve been staying close in case Amy needs me. She’s a good kid, and I appreciate her more than I let on. I have to say, though, I hope this ordeal gets put behind us soon. A girl needs her beauty rest, especially when that girl is a princess.

About Gayle Leeson 

Gayle Leeson is an author living in Virginia with a beautiful family and quite a few pets. She also writes–or has written–as Gayle Trent, Amanda Lee, and G. Leeson. As Gayle Trent, she writes the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, she wrote the Embroidery Mystery series. As Gayle Leeson, she writes the Down South Cafe Mystery series and the Ghostly Fashionista mystery series. And as G. Leeson, she is writing the Literatia mystery series. Website

Release Date – June 21, 2022

Also by Gayle Leeson


Writing as Gayle Trent




Writing as Amanda Lee



Just click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.

Check out stories from the rest of these authors!

About Ellen Jacobson

Ellen Jacobson is a writer, cat lover & obsessed with chocolate. She writes cozy mysteries and romantic comedies including the Mollie McGhie Mysteries and the Smitten with Travel Rom-Coms.

You can find out more on her website (ellenjacobsonauthor.com), sign up for her newsletter (https://www.subscribepage.com/m4g9m4).

About Patti Larsen

I’m a multiple award-winning writer with a passion for the voices in my head. With many (many!) titles across many (many!) genres, all in happy publication, there’s no end in sight…

That being said, I’m short (permanent), happy (I have the best life ever) and blonde (forever and ever). I love to talk one on one about the deepest topics and can’t seem to stop seeing the big picture. I happily live on Prince Edward Island, Canada, home to Anne of Green Gables and the most beautiful red beaches in the world, with my multiple cats, pug overlord and lady and Gypsy Vanner gelding, Fynn.

About R.B. Marshall

Like my amateur sleuth, Izzy, I’m a dressage-riding computer geek who loves coffee – but there the similarity ends. She is far smarter than me, and a lot younger! I hope you’ll join me in discovering where her curiosity leads to next…

Pretty much all my books are set in my native Scotland, and my mystery stories are no exception. You’ll meet colourful characters solving perplexing puzzles in the most glorious landscape imaginable. Throw in a castle or two, the occasional royal, and maybe even a delicious cake shop, and you’ll have the recipe for my new series.

I also write fantasy and clean romance/women’s fiction, as Roz Marshall: http://viewAuthor.at/RozMarshall

and Historical Romance telling the story of Mary Queen of Scots, as Belle McInnes: http://viewauthor.at/BelleMcInnes

About Hillary Avis

Hillary Avis writes cozy mysteries about smart women who persist until they uncover the truth—about themselves, about their communities, and of course about any unsolved murders.

She grew up in a small town on the west coast, went to college in a small town on the east coast, and now lives in beautiful Eugene, Oregon. She has two charming children, three fluffy dogs, and two practically perfect felines named Mystery and Intrigue. She also has too many chickens and one very patient husband.

When Hillary’s not reading, writing, or editing, she bakes bread, makes pottery, drinks coffee, and streams The Great British Bake-Off, but not all at the same time.

About Cate Lawley

Cate Lawley writes humorous, action-filled mysteries that frequently contain a paranormal twist.

When Cate’s not tapping away at her keyboard or in deep contemplation of her next fanciful writing project, she’s sweeping up hairy dust bunnies and watching British mysteries.

Cate is from Austin, Texas (where many of her stories take place) but has recently migrated north to Boise, Idaho, where soup season (her favorite time of year) lasts more than two weeks.

She’s worked as an attorney, a dog trainer, and in various other positions, but writer is the hands-down winner. She’s thankful readers keep reading, so she can keep writing!

Paranormal cozy mystery series:

Vegan Vamp Mysteries

Night Shift Witch Mysteries

Death Retired Mysteries

Cursed Candy Mysteries

Cozy mystery series:

Fairmont Finds Canine Cozy Mysteries

Cate’s sweet romance series:

Love Ever After

Lucky Magic

For bonus materials and updates, visit her website to join her mailing list: www.CateLawley.com

About Rimmy London

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Diva Says Cheesecake! (A Domestic Diva Mystery) by Krista Davis #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @KristaDavis

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am thrilled to feature The Diva Says Cheesecake! by Krista Davis today!


The Diva Says Cheesecake! (A Domestic Diva Mystery)
A Delicious Culinary Cozy Mystery with Recipes
Cozy Mystery
15th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Kensington Cozies (May 31, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496732766
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496732767
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09FFXSHP4

Old Town’s midsummer festivities are getting a tasty addition this year. To coincide with a public performance of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Bobbie Sue Bodoin, the Queen of Cheesecake, has hired Sophie to organize a dinner with a dessert buffet on the waterfront. Bobbie Sue’s homegrown company is thriving, and since her baking dish overfloweth, she wants to reward her employees.

Bobbie Sue has only one menu demand: no cheesecake! But her specialty isn’t the only thing missing from the evening—Tate, Bobbie Sue’s husband, is too, much to her annoyance. The next morning, however, Tate’s dead body is discovered. Bobbie Sue insists she didn’t kick her spouse to the curb and begs for Sophie’s help finding the real killer. Digging in, Sophie discovers an assortment of Old Town locals who all had reason to want a piece of Tate. Can she gather together the crumbs the killer left behind in time to prevent a second helping of murder?

Includes delectable recipes and fabulous DIY decorating tips!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Midsummer in Old Town means some fun. In addition to Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,”  performance this year the “Queen of Cheesecake” Bobbie Sue Bodoin is hosting a dinner for her employees down by the waterfront. She has hired Sofie to organize the affair with one strict demand – No Cheesecake on the dessert buffet!

The dinner goes off fabulously with only one hitch. Bobbie Sue’s restauranteur husband Tate failed to show up at the event. Bobbie Sue shrugs it off until about 4 A.M. when she calls Sophie for help. Tate has still not come home. Sophie grabs Nina and they meet Bobbie Sue at his restaurant. While doing a thorough search Sophie finds Tate’s body. Bobbie Sue swears she had nothing to do with the man’s death and begs Sophie to help her find the killer. Can she come up with the right recipe to catch a murderer? You’ll have to read the book to find out!


I look forward to every book in this series as soon as I finish the last one because these characters are so fantastic. They are realistic, engaging, and fun. I would definitely be friends with Sophie and Nina if I could jump into the book. Francie is a hoot and doesn’t hold back. Mars may not have been the right man for Sophie but he is a great friend. Bernie finds himself needing his friends in this story and they all really step up. Natasha is  . . . well Natasha and every good group of friends seems to have a Natasha. It is such a joy to tag along with these characters. No matter what is happening in their world they always pull together and I love that!

Catching the killer was not an easy task and Sophie doesn’t give up even after she is threatened and hurt. Ms. Davis filled this story with some wild twists and turns. All the misdirection did exactly what she planned, I was drawn completely into the story. It grabbed me so tight that was unable to put the book down which means Krista Davis is responsible for my latest book hangover finishing the book just before 3 a.m.

Ms. Davis is an amazing storyteller. Her descriptive details flow so effortlessly, easily taking her readers to Old Town Virginia, and all it has to offer. She mixes up the characters’ daily lives with a marvelous mystery throwing in an ample amount of humor and a dash of romance. She also includes mouth-watering descriptions of food and not just the cheesecake, but Oh! My! The Cheesecake!!! I cheated and purchased one for the grocery store the next day to curb the cravings caused by this book. I am sure it wasn’t as good as Bobbie Sue’s Bodoin’s but it did the trick at least until I wrote this review. I think my husband may need to make a stop on his way home. She does include 12 “delectable” recipes at the end of the book. I can already feel my waistline expanding.

The Diva Says Cheesecake is my new favorite book in this series! I LOVED IT! It is so good it deserves more than 5 stars! You will find this book on my Best Reads of 2022 and it receives my Paradise Rating!!

Your Escape Into 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  Kensington Cozies






Coming August 30, 2022


Coming September 6, 2022
I am giving away my review copy! (ARC)

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Contest Will End June 15, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For The Entry Form

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

Posted in 2022 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Guest Posts Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Maggie King Author of Laughing Can Kill You: A Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery #Guest Post / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @MaggieKingAuthr


Laughing Can Kill You: A Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery
by Maggie King

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to have Maggie stop by today!!

Hi Maggie, 

The blog is yours!

This One’s for the Writers
By Maggie King

When Laughing Can Kill You opens, romance author Hazel Rose has been dropped by her publisher. Good thing she signed up for a mystery-writing class—perhaps writing crime fiction will jumpstart her career. But what’s a mystery-writing class without a mystery? So when Randy Zimmerman, an obnoxious classmate given to laughing at others’ expense, is murdered, Hazel recruits her book group pals to help with the investigation. Trouble is, there are more suspects than they bargained for. And they unearth secrets that a killer would go to any lengths to keep hidden.

Besides being a murder mystery, Laughing Can Kill You is a story about writers, where they are on their writing paths, and the ups and downs they experience throughout their careers. How do writers cope with the vagaries of the publishing industry? How do some writers stay on top, continuing to publish bestsellers year after year? Do writers really need to spend copious amounts of time on social media?

Hazel Rose has published eight bestselling baby boomer romances. Sales for the ninth were disappointing and her publisher dropped her. To make matters worse, her agent planned to retire soon.

Hazel may have seen the proverbial writing on the wall, as she had already signed up for a mystery-writing class. She was a founding member of the Murder on Tour book group, so transitioning into crime writing seemed like a natural next step in her writing career. Her cousin Lucy quips, “You could always kill off a publisher.”

But Hazel already has an idea: she will pen romantic mysteries, a la The Thin Man.

Hazel understands that publishing’s a tough business with no room for slack. Still, she’s crushed by this setback. The next day she meets fellow classmate Randy Zimmerman at a book signing. Randy thoroughly enjoys giving Hazel his thumbs-way-down review of her writing. Needless to say, her altercation with him didn’t lift her spirits.

When Randy is murdered, a number of motives drive Hazel’s decision to investigate his murder—one being that solving a real-life murder will surely lend authenticity to her creative writing.

Claudia Marlowe is a best-selling author of twenty-three police procedurals and continues to enjoy success. Her fans happily stand in line for hours at her book signings. She teaches the mystery-writing class Hazel takes (and that the victim planned to take).

Lorraine Popp is also signed up for the mystery-writing class. She has published one mystery, Murder at the Quilting Bee. It hasn’t done well, partly due to Lorraine’s lack of enthusiasm, ignorance of promotion, and reluctance to embrace social media. She won’t write any more quilting mysteries (she knows nothing about the craft, anyway), and no one is asking her to do so. She also has to endure Randy Zimmerman’s ribbing about her writing.

Hazel Rose fancies herself as Lorraine’s mentor and tries coaxing her to take a pro-active role in her own career. It’s tough-going, but Hazel persists. Lorraine has helped her mother with their family tree, and they found criminals on a couple of the branches. Her great, great uncle was a bank robber, and her great aunt embezzled a fortune from her employer. Her response to Hazel’s encouragement to work these findings into a murder mystery: “I’ll think about it.”

Apparently, she did. At the next mystery-writing class, Lorraine enthuses about the genealogy idea and thanks Hazel for encouraging her. And she tells another student that she’s going to use genealogy to hunt down Randy’s killer.

How will that work out for her?

Randy Zimmerman has finished his first manuscript. When he meets Hazel and Lorraine at the book signing, he immediately boasts about his legal thriller, predicting that he’ll give John Grisham a run for his money.

Matt Rowan, Randy’s long-time friend, also has a completed manuscript for a legal thriller, his set in the 19th century. Unlike Randy, Matt is modest about his writing.

Lucy Hooper and Eileen Thompson complete the small writing class. They are starting on their writing paths. Brings back memories of my first writing efforts at a class I took at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. No dead bodies, though.

***

Considering a writing career? Wonderful choice. Just keep your eyes wide open and be prepared for ANYTHING!

Thank you Maggie for being my guest today.

Now keep reading for my thoughts about Laughing Can Kill You

 

About Laughing Can Kill You

Laughing Can Kill You: A Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery
Edgy Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Olive Lane Press (December 6, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8985231816
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09MMHLSSJ

He who laughs last, laughs longest.

Unless he’s dead.

When romance author Hazel Rose is dropped by her publisher, she sees herself heading down a path strewn with has-been authors. While disappointed, Hazel won’t give up without a fight—she signs up for a mystery-writing class, thinking that crime fiction will jumpstart her career.

But what’s a mystery-writing class without a mystery? So when Randy Zimmerman, an obnoxious classmate given to laughing at others’ expense, is murdered, Hazel tackles the case. Solving a real-life murder will surely lend authenticity to her creative writing.

She recruits her book group pals to help with the investigation. Trouble is, there are more suspects than they bargained for—even Hazel herself, who endured Randy’s thumbs-way-down review of her writing, had a motive.

A second body drives the stakes higher, and Hazel doubles her efforts to find who’s behind the murders, unearthing secrets that a killer would go to any lengths to keep hidden.

Will Hazel succeed? Or will this be “The End” for her?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Hazel Rose is back and her writing career is in peril. Dropped by her publisher she decides combining mystery with her usual romance themes may just save her from being a has-been. She signs up for a class being taught by successful best-selling mystery author Claudia Marlowe. Prior to the class, the authors meet at a book signing where future classmate and author hopeful Randy Zimmerman brags his book will rival the works of John Grisham. He also seems to find humor in everything and spews some hurtful words. Shortly thereafter the man is found dead, by Hazel no less, and she and her book club have another murder to solve. One where she and other authors find themselves prominent on the suspect list.

Can Hazel find the killer or has she written her last word?


While part of a series this book easily stands on its own. The author provides plenty of background information so readers new to the series will not feel lost at all.

Hazel Rose is an excellent protagonist. She is a genuinely nice person. Her natural curiosity suits her well both in her storytelling and sleuthing. I love that she is an author dealing with all the hurdles in the publishing world and gives readers a look behind the scenes. She is surrounded by the required set of quirky characters that are unique and each intriguing in their own ways.  Randy Zimmerman was a real piece of work who left a lot of enemies in his wake. The suspect pool is large but manageable.

The story is very well-written with Hazel meeting with the suspects one by one trying to determine who could have done Randy in. There is plenty of humor layered throughout and the dialogues are top-notch. The story moves along at a very comfortable pace. I was very entertained by Hazel’s process and the final confrontation was very exciting when things almost went horribly wrong.

I did enjoy the way Ms. King sets a scene. I can tell how much she loves where she lives. Her descriptions gave a great vision of the time and place.

Laughing Can Kill You has an interesting amateur sleuth, a nice cast of supporting characters, a wonderful setting, and a captivating mystery. I hope to visit Hazel Rose again soon, I want to know how her writing career is faring. I am sure a dead body or two will give her plenty of ideas.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Maggie King

 

Maggie King is the author of the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries. Her short stories appear in various anthologies, including the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, Murder by the Glass, and Death by Cupcake.

She is a member of James River Writers, International Thriller Writers, Short Mystery Fiction Society, and is a founding member of Sisters in Crime Central Virginia, where she manages the chapter’s Instagram account.

Maggie graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Business Administration and has worked as a software developer and a retail sales manager. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and two indulged cats. When Maggie isn’t writing she enjoys reading, walking, cooking, traveling, movies, British TV shows, and the theatre. Visit Maggie at www.maggieking.com

Author Links:

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Instagram    Goodreads

 Purchase Links:

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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Your Eight O’Clock is Dead (The River City Mysteries) by Kat Jorgensen #Review / #Giveaway #AlphabetSoupChallenge


Your Eight O’Clock is Dead (The River City Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Virginia
Maralan Press (August 14, 2020)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 404 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1952659051
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1952659058
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0892V43P5

Becca Reynolds is having a bad day. Her grandfather’s lecture (#405: Eat a Healthy Diet or Die Not Trying) makes her late for her job at Daley & Palmer, the psychiatric group where she works as office manager – her title not theirs. But she knows her day has taken a really bad turn when she finds the firm’s eight o’clock patient dead with Dr. Daley’s letter opener opening the patient instead of the mail.

With the fledgling firm in danger of an early demise, Becca appoints herself the unofficial investigator since the police seem to be looking in all the wrong places.

The case takes Becca from the sordid depths of the Russian mafia to the upscale West End of Richmond, Virginia (known locally as River City) and even to her own backyard. In the course of the investigation, she finds herself in hot water, hot danger, and with dreams of hot men.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Finding a dead body is no way to start your day but that is just what happens to Becca Reynolds when she arrives albeit late for her job at Daley & Palmer. She is still in her probationary period as “office manager” at the psychiatric firm so she is very unsettled when she sees the murder weapon is Dr. Daley’s letter opener. The doctor’s “clients” also don’t take the news well. All the cancellations could close the business and put Becca out of a much-needed job. In Becca’s opinion the police are not investigating the right people so she decides it is up to her to find the killer, save the business and save her job. But Becca has no idea what she is getting herself into . . . she may not just lose her job . . . she could lose her life.


It took me a chapter or three to start to understand this author’s humor. At first, Becca was driving me crazy but then I got that the author really meant to give as a protagonist with all the TSTL (too stupid to live) qualities. Becca is a nice as can be and has a huge heart and truly wants to help but she is young, gullible, naive, clumsy, and has absolutely no sleuthing skills whatsoever. Truthfully I am surprised she survived past chapter 12.

Ms. Jorgensen surrounded her mumbling sleuth with a variety of interesting characters. Her grandfather with his daily lectures on how she should be living her life and who l think may love his cat more than his granddaughter at times. Two hunky men who were potential love interests at least in Becca’s mind. Her bosses, Dr. Daley and Dr. Palmer, psychiatrists with issues of their own. An apparently shy young woman who stops into the office several times for no reason but tugs on Becca’s heart. All dysfunctional and all suspects. Becca also has some other suspects in mind as well. None of them are compellingly likable but all are cleverly written and have a purpose within the story.

The murder mystery itself was truly a twisted-up mess. I had a scenario worked out in my mind about part of the mystery but I was nowhere close to pinning the murder on anyone. I think I suspected everyone at one time or another. After all the twists and turns the author plotted out an exciting edge of your seat reveal that had me totally surprised. I was also surprised by our girl Becca as the reveal played out.

Your Eight O’Clock is Dead is a lighthearted story with a complicated mystery and a protagonist that grew on me eventually. I just hope Becca’s learned a few things in her first excursion into the world of amateur sleuths. Maybe her grandfather can give her a few more life lessons or introduce her to Nancy Drew.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Kat Jorgensen
A notorious daydreamer, Kat knew it was only a matter of time before she became a writer. She learned to read by age four and had her first library card before her fifth birthday. To this day, she can lose herself for hours among the books at her local library or neighborhood bookstore. We won’t even talk about the time she spends online browsing and buying books.

Making the leap from reading to making up stories, Kat has entertained friends and family almost all of her life with the stories and characters that play in her mind.

For over a decade Kat worked in mental health in various capacities including office manager, crisis interventionist, and public relations liaison.

Her passion is writing and telling stories to entertain and make people laugh. For relaxation, she loves to knit and can be found on Ravelry as KatJ when she’s not writing.

Kat lives in Richmond, VA with her two handsome black cats, Sam and Milo.

<

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Where the Light Shines Through: An Olivia Penn Mystery by Kathleen Bailey #GuestPost


Where the Light Shines Through: An Olivia Penn Mystery
by Kathleen Bailey

I am delighted to welcome Kathleen Bailey to Escape to Dollycas today!

Embracing the Seasons

Greetings from a seasonably cool, autumnal day in beautiful Virginia! Where I live, fall is in full swing. The vibrantly colored leaves that once fluttered high now lie low, waiting to be raked, stomped through, and scattered about by spirited kiddos. Fireplaces are being prepped for chilly days ahead, and there’s anticipation of winter’s arrival with warming thoughts of sipping cocoa, wearing cozy fleece, and curling up on the couch with a book in hand. As seasons change, the old gives way to the new. We take what is best from the past, leaving the rest behind.

Where the Light Shines Through is a contemporary, cozy mystery that takes place in late spring in Olivia Penn’s hometown of Apple Station, Virginia. Olivia is a syndicated advice columnist living and working in Washington, D.C. She is moving to New York to accept a promotion and pursue her publishing dreams. Before doing so, though, she makes a trip back home to visit her dad and spend a week of rest and relaxation, catching up with her friends and enjoying the town’s spring festival.

Changes are in the air. Refreshing breezes are about to give way to oppressive humidity. Pleasant bluebird, cloudless skies soon will be replaced by summer haze. Spring showers have given rise to the growing season, and now, Olivia has come home to help plant her dad’s vegetable garden as the conditions are just right for their tomato, cucumber, and sweet potato seedlings to flourish.

Changes are in store for Olivia as well. A new season is about to begin for her, but not in the way she expects. Her visit home will leave her with difficult decisions. She’ll have to look to the past, taking from it what’s needed to bring a murderer to justice. She’ll have to leave behind what she thought she knew about those close to her if she is to save both herself and an unlikely ally.

As the temperature continues to dip here in Virginia, and I eye my fleece casually draped over the sofa’s arm, I think of the many changing seasons in my life. I remember being in first grade, sitting on our classroom’s oval, braided rug during story time, and musing to myself, “I want to be a writer.” Oddly, I didn’t have a publishable manuscript by second or even third grade. In fact, as life goes, the decades that followed were full of seasons with many plot twists and red herrings along the way, some seemingly leading me very far from that intention.

I settled along a path of working with children with special needs as a pediatric physical therapist for over twenty years, and I thoroughly loved what I did, quite content to remain in that season. But then I was injured, and the season changed, regardless of if I was ready or wanted it to do so. As sure, though, as the cool, wintry days ahead will eventually give way to the warming, spring sun, that first grade season of my life came back around, and I once again said, “I want to be a writer.”

May we all accept the changing seasons in our lives, embracing what is best from the past and leaving the rest behind.

Happy reading!

About Where the Lights Shines Through


Where the Light Shines Through: An Olivia Penn Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rhino Publishing LLC (November 30, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 330 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1956270027
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1956270020
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 330 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1956270019
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1956270013
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09H9G1ZWF

Castle meets Clue in this fun, fast-paced, fresh take on the cozy mystery.

Olivia’s syndicated advice column is about solving problems … not murders. But when she returns to her hometown of Apple Station in Virginia to visit her dad, she has five days to expose a killer or fall prey as the next victim.

Olivia had planned for a week of rest and relaxation before her move to New York for a promotion and a chance to pursue her publishing dreams. Within hours of arriving home, her world changes forever with the death of someone dear. A promise to a grieving mother leads her to uncover secrets from the past that put her life in danger, leaving her at a crossroads. Does she risk investigating further or settle for the security of the life that awaits? Will she chase after what she thinks she wants or listen to what her heart needs?

With the support of friends and family, a tenuous alliance with the lead police detective, and the bravery of an intrepid beagle, she races to protect her dad, rescue an unlikely ally, and bring a murderer to justice.

When all seems lost, will Olivia summon the strength and courage she needs to see where the light shines through?

Join the journey in the first novel of The Olivia Penn Mystery Series. If you grew up reading Nancy Drew, you’ll love this cozy mystery that entertains with heart and humor amid a charming cast of characters set in a small Southern town.

Escape to enjoy a captivating, heartwarming story that will inspire you to be the hero of your own life.

 

About Kathleen Bailey 

Kathleen Bailey is the author of Where the Light Shines Through, the first novel in The Olivia Penn Mystery Series. She writes mysteries with heart and humor that keep to the traditional and cozy sides of crime. Kathleen has degrees in English, psychology, and physical therapy. She previously worked as a pediatric physical therapist for over twenty years with children who have special needs. She now spends her days obsessively plotting and sleuthing in Virginia. When she is not incognito, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and the James River Writers.

Author Links – Webpage    Newsletter Signup    Good Reads    BookBub

Purchase Links

Amazon  Apple Books   Barnes & Noble    Kobo

Great Escapes Praise for Where the Light Shines Through: An Olivia Penn Mystery
by Kathleen Bailey

Where the Light Shines Through is a cozy mystery with genuine characters and a small-town setting. However, it really shines as a mystery. Despite having clues seen in hindsight, I did not suspect the killer at all. Any other armchair detectives will also enjoy this invigorating challenge. 4 stars!
~Diane Reviews Books

Bottom Line: Where the Light Shines Through by Kathleen Bailey is charming from beginning to end. Make sure this one is on your TBR list!
~Reading Is My Super Power

Though all in all, I didn’t mind it enough to stop reading. This is a series starter and I’m not sure I’d feel compelled to continue along with the characters, but I found this book entertaining and would tell most people to give it a try!
~Nellie’s Book Nook

Where the Light Shines Through is an amazing cozy mystery. The first in a new series, this novel pulled me in with excellently written characters and continued development. The book kept me engaged with a wonderful plot, fitting side stories, and world-building that had me visualizing everything. The small-town setting, petty rivalries, and secrecy bring realism to the story.
~Sapphyria’s Books

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Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Mountain View Murder (A Wintergreen Mystery) by Patrick Kelly #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @pkfiction


The Mountain View Murder (A Wintergreen Mystery)
by Patrick Kelly

About The Mountain View Murder

The Mountain View Murder (A Wintergreen Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Chaparral Press LLC
Paperback: 270 pages
ISBN-10: 1734239220
ISBN-13: 978-1734239225
Digital – ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0977C7WVL

Guess who cried at Lou Thorpe’s funeral

 

No one. His wife, grown children, and best friends all attended the service, but no one shed a single tear. Poor Lou. He was out for his morning walk when a crazed driver knocked him out of life. Crazed? With no car, no driver, and no witnesses, it’s difficult to say. Was it an accident or intentional?

 

Until that morning, Bill O’Shea was living the dream. After a career of fighting crime in the big city, Bill bought a condo in the beautiful mountain resort community of Wintergreen, Virginia. When he met his attractive new neighbor, Bill knew his retirement was off to a great start. But then the short-staffed police department asked Bill to help them investigate Thorpe’s death.

 

Soon, Bill fell into an old routine. Interviewing suspects. Checking alibis. Everyone had a secret to hide, but Bill lacked evidence to tie any of the suspects to the crime. He was missing something–like he had an itch he couldn’t reach to scratch.

 

Will Bill and his new friends solve the case, or will the murder of Lou Thorpe remain a mystery forever?

 

If you love beautiful mountain settings, a charming cast, and intriguing plot twists, you’re going to love this new series!

 

Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

“In the dead of the summer night, harsh winds blow from the north into the Shenandoah Valley.” Plagued by insomnia Lou Thorpe heads out for his usual early morning walk never to return home again. The apparent victim of a hit and run the police have no witnesses to say if it was an accident or intentional. The local force is short-handed and the temporary man in charge has no clue where to start his investigation. Enter Bill O’Shea, a retired cop from the big city who has recently moved to the resort community of Wintergreen. He quickly starts checking alibis and talking to suspects but there is nothing to pin anyone with the crime. Frustrated that he is missing an important piece of the puzzle. Maybe his new neighbor can help him uncover something to get the investigation moving again but no one really seems distraught that the man is dead. Bill could be looking at a case he just may not be able to solve.


I really enjoyed Mr. Kelly’s descriptive writing style. From the first line, he whisked me away to the beautiful area of Wintergreen, Virginia. The mountains and their trails are traversed throughout the story and I could easily picture every step along the way. This added so much to the story.

The victim, Lou Thorpe was a longtime resident of the community and he had a clear routine that everyone was aware of, but he wasn’t a nice man. I was a little shocked by the number of suspects that were revealed as the retired Bill O’Shea digs into Thorpe’s life. Bill is an excellent protagonist. He is a smart man and his heart is in the right place. He was asked to assist on this case and he truly gave it his all. He interacts with a wide variety of people and at times he truly had the patience of a saint. Everyone seems to have a secret and some are pretty big. He does have an instant connection with his new neighbor Cindy but she worries me a bit after some of her reactions. I am interested to see how this relationship plays out. All the other characters we meet have issues that make them unique and memorable. It is a very interesting community.

The mystery is very well-plotted with a lot of moving parts. I really enjoyed following along with Bill and witnessing his thought process. The ending did surprise me and played out in an unusual way. The characters were believable for the most part the ending was not. I was not left with that satisfied feeling I usually have when finishing books in this genre. I can only assume the author had a very good reason for writing it the way he did.

While the ending felt off I found The Mountain View Murder to be an entertaining read. I really like Bill O’Shea and would definitely read more stories featuring him. I also really like the Shenandoah Valley and the Appalachian Trail setting and the way the author brought the area to life. I am curious to see where the author takes these characters.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Patrick Kelly

Pat Kelly was raised in the idyllic suburb of Yorktown, Virginia, where children ran barefoot through the grass and fished in the York River. After graduating from UVA, he left the state to pursue a career in finance. He settled in Texas, married a wonderful woman (Susie), and together they raised two daughters in Austin.

With the girls now grown and gone, Pat has pursued a lifelong love of writing stories. Countless hours at the keyboard have produced the Joe Robbins Thriller Series, two book awards, and four standalone novels.

A few years ago, Pat and Susie bought a summer home in the bucolic mountaintop resort of Wintergreen, Virginia. The beautiful vistas there inspired Pat to write a cozy mystery series featuring the reluctant detective Bill O’Shea. Join Pat’s newsletter to follow Bill’s adventures as he dodges irrepressible bears, pursues romance, and solves mysteries.

Author Links

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Also by Patrick Kelly


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

Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit (A Domestic Diva Mystery) by Krista Davis #Review / #Giveaway @KensingtonBooks @KristaDavis

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so happy to share my thoughts about The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit today!


The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit (A Domestic Diva Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Kensington (May 25, 2021)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496732731
ISBN-13: 978-1496732736
Kindle ASIN: B08GYF9WLN

In the latest Domestic Diva mystery from New York Times bestselling author, Krista Davis, entertaining maven Sophie Winston must cut to the core of another murder investigation when members of an international tour group begin dropping like flies all over Old Town, Virginia . . .

With Old Town’s DIY Home Decorating Festival in full swing, Sophie’s swamped, juggling a bumper crop of artisans, antique dealers, and decorators for the busy street fair. Still, when her best friend Nina suddenly needs a ride from the airport, Sophie is happy to help . . . until she sees Nina disembarking in a state of disarray. It’s obvious the trip to Portugal soured somewhere along the way. But after one of Nina’s traveling companions turns up murdered the following day, Sophie knows something is truly rotten . . .

Though the crime scene is staged to look like an accident, Sophie isn’t fooled and peels off to conduct her own investigation. Her only clue is a strange image the victim scratched into the soil before dying. Could it point to a cryptic killer in Old Town? A bitter travel adversary? Or a cursed artifact smuggled back from the trip? As the mystery grows, so does the body count, and if Sophie doesn’t pluck the murderer soon, her best friend may be the next to fall . . .

Includes delicious recipes and fabulous DIY decorating tips!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sophie Winston has organized a DIY Home Decorating Street Fair and it looks to be a rousing success until a dead body is found in one of the backyards. Lark Bickford had just returned from a trip to Portugal. Sophie’s best friend Nina was on the same trip so she knew the trip did not go totally smoothly but could it have led to Lark’s murder? The victim did leave a clue to the killer’s identity but Sophie just can’t figure it out. When another woman from the trip is killed Sophie knows she has to step up her investigation or Nina could be next.


This series is so much fun. I love the way the characters have grown over the course of this series. In this story, Natasha is still dealing with the aftermath of her divorce from Mars but she does have some family around for support. Sophie is really on firm footing and happy with her life which is a good thing because Nina really needs her best friend right now. I love the way Mars and Bernie jump on board to help too. Sophie’s home again becomes the gathering spot to compare notes while noshing on whatever food she has whipped together. Sophie’s dog Daisy again steals my heart as does Mochie, her cat.

We are introduced to a new family, Paisley and Frank Eames, and their 6, yes 6! rambunctious boys. Paisley has some beautiful painted furniture for sale and was hoping her husband and her mother Lark would help with her tent and the boys but her mother’s death throws a real monkey wrench into her plans. Officer Wong and Detective Wolf Fleishman are on the case along with the new medical examiner Dr. Peter Chryssos who was also on the Portugal trip. These characters really came to life over the span of the story both for the good and for the bad. All the characters are very realistic. A certain little boy really tugged on my heartstrings while one of his brothers was just a little devil.

The mystery was complicated with a variety of subplots weaving in and out of the main plot. Several suspects came to light with different motives. I had several theories of my own and by the end, I learned I was partially right in one aspect and totally wrong in every other. I loved the twists that started to unfold from almost the beginning of the book. The author is a real expert in dropping clues while misdirecting her readers at the same time.

Krista Davis is an excellent storyteller. She has kept this series fresh and by the time I flipped the last page I was already excited for book 15. These characters are like old friends that I can’t wait to meet up with again. There is always a top-notch mystery that I can escape right into. I love the question/answers at the beginning of each chapter. Sophie’s answers are more my style but Natasha’s answers always crack me up.

The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit is an entertaining whodunit that can be read all on its own but I strongly suggest the series be read in order to really get to know Sophie, Natasha, and all their friends.

Your Escape Into 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:
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The publisher is unable to give a book away at this time due to Covid 19
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Big Little Spies (A Paws & Claws Mystery) by Krista Davis Early #Review @BerkleyMystery


Big Little Spies (A Paws & Claws Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th In Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Berkley (April 6, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 045149170X
ISBN-13: 978-0451491701
Kindle ASIN: B0838KLBG1

A pet detective on the hunt for a prominent pooch is found dead, and inn owner Holly Miller has to sort through her guest list for suspects in this all new Paws & Claws mystery in the New York Times bestselling series.

The ladies of the Wagtail Animal Guardians, WAG for short, are in town for a pet adoption charity ball, and Holly is making sure to roll out the red carpet for her special guests. She and her furry best friend Trixie are busy keeping the WAG ladies happy and preparing for the ball when they learn that a retired judge has lost his prized pup.

The venerable citizen has hired a pet detective who has some personal ties to Holly’s new guests. His presence ruffles some feathers, and when the PI is found DOA not long before the ball, Holly wonders if one of the WAG ladies had a motive for murder. To make matters worse, some pet-loving guests of the ball nearly suffer the same deadly fate. Holly and Trixie will have to sniff out the clues and leash a callous killer before they strike again….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return to Wagtail, Virginia just in time for the  ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ Pet Adoption Ball being thrown by the Wagtail Animal Guardians or WAG for short. The ladies and their pets have all checked in at the Sugar Maple Inn and Holly, Oma Liesel, Zelda, Mr. Huckle, Gingersnap, Twinkletoes, and Trixie are making them all feel welcome. But they are concerned about another precious pup. The Geman Shepherd of a local retired recently widowed judge is missing. His housekeeper has called in a pet detective but before he can return the dog to the judge, Trixie, Holly’s rescue dog who has a habit of finding dead bodies, finds a dead pet detective. It seems the detective has connections to several WAG members.  There are also several strange things happening that put other lives in peril. It’s time for Holly and Trixie to find out what the heck is going on including who killed the pet detective.


I absolutely love the pet-friendly town of Wagtail. With a new puppy in the house, who we love to take everywhere with us, Wagtail would be a perfect vacation spot. Even a dead body or two is an issue because I love a good mystery and would do anything I could to help Holly crate a killer.

The core group of characters, human, canine, and feline, are so cleverly crafted. They all have huge hearts and love catering to their guest’s needs and having Wagtail become a great tourist destination. They are all engaging and genuine. I get such a kick of Holly jumping on a golf cart and being quickly followed by Trixie and sometimes Twinkletoes. The pets are not just window dressing they are vital to the story.

We are introduced to several new characters and their pets. I love that Ms. Davis knows this may be confusing at first so she graciously includes a complete list of characters before the story begins. The WAG ladies are a diverse group with their own issues and secrets. They spend a lot of time together and know each other’s quirks and how to work best together but even they don’t know all of each other’s secrets. The judge and his housekeeper also play prominent roles. They also have issues and secrets.

The story unfolds at a very fast pace with subplots tightly tangled with the main mystery/s. There is truly a plethora of suspects with a variety of motives. Twists and turns muddied my thinking several times and just when I thought I had the killer leashed another twist sent me off in another direction and still I was barking up the wrong tree. I was gobsmacked when everything was revealed. The author plotted out a fantastic mystery.

In addition to the marvelous characters and the mysteries they were wrapped in the Sugar Maple Inn serves up a menu of delicious food for its guests. The pet-friendly versions are really interesting and thought-provoking. We don’t prepare special meals for our pooch but there are some great easy-to-make options included in this book. I just may have to try some of them out. A pet cookbook with the recipes from this series would be fun.

Big Little Spies is a delightful addition to this series. The title truly fits. I do get a little melancholy when I reach the final page of books in this series because I really enjoy spending time with these characters. I can’t wait to return to Wagtail. This visit ended much too soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author 

New York Times Bestselling author Krista Davis writes the Paws and Claws Mysteries set on fictional Wagtail Mountain, a resort where people vacation with their pets. The first book in the series is the New York Times Bestselling Murder, She Barked. Krista also writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and sweets. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with dogs, cats, and a hidden stash of chocolate.

Webpage  Facebook   Pinterest   Twitter



Coming May 25, 2021

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

Posted in Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Truffles and Tragedy: A Down South Cafe Mystery by Gayle Leeson #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @GayleTrent

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to be part of Gayle’s tour today!


Truffles and Tragedy: A Down South Cafe Mystery Book
by Gayle Leeson

About Truffles and Tragedy


Truffles and Tragedy: A Down South Cafe Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Grace Abraham Publishing (March 16, 2021)
Number of Pages: 295 (approximately)
Digital ASIN: B08VMM8F27

Down South Cafe owner Amy Flowers learns her chocolate truffles might not be the only things her patrons find “out of this world.”

 

When her cousin, Jackie, asks her to give a presentation to her online class, Amy thinks all she has to worry about is speaking before a group. But then the nitpicky professor collapses. He has been murdered, and hot-tempered Jackie is the prime suspect. Some online forums are even speculating that the professor was an extra-terrestrial, so Amy must sort out fact from fiction to get to the truth.

 

Certain the real killer is setting Jackie up, will Amy be able to outwit the killer and save her cousin?

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Amy and Jackie work side by side day in and day out and Amy is thrilled that Jackie has gone back to school. Jackie has been known to get her hackles up when she has been wronged which is why she was overheard arguing with her professor over a grade. The prof did not back down so Jackie hopes that her presentation with Amy in the next class boosts her grades.

Amy just begins her talk to the online class when the professor keels over dead with the whole class watching on their screens. Because of their argument, Jackie finds herself topping the suspect list. The professor seems to have a sketchy background, heck an online forum taunts that he just may be an extra-terrestrial. Jackie was clearly set up, Amy just has to find the killer or alternative suspects with motive, means, and opportunity. How hard can that be?


Another gorgeous cover for this book!

I do love these characters. Amy has a huge heart and with her cousin in trouble, she is pulling out all the stops to help her. It’s hard when the evidence is stacking up and her deputy sheriff boyfriend is caught between a rock and a hard place. Everyone is trying hard to not let Aunt Bess know what is going on with Jackie because her reaction could be volatile. You never know what that lady will do, but she always makes me giggle.  There’s also a surprise wedding reception in the works for two of the cafe’s regulars so Amy’s hands are full. All the characters are so relatable. They play well off each other and even with all the tragedy, there is time for truffles and humor. Some courtesy of a little bandit. Homer is still my favorite. His Heroes of the Day are always inspiring and uplifting.

The author introduces several new characters for this story. One is downright snooty. Poor Amy did her level best to hold her tongue as long as possible. Most of them played into the mystery. It was not an easy one to solve. There were some epic twists. I chased each clue right along with Amy and was still surprised as all was revealed. I did really enjoy the elopement subplot and what it entailed for Amy.

Of course, there was plenty of food talk.  It is A Down South Cafe Mystery and they serve up delicious faire all day long.

Truffles and Tragedy checks every cozy mystery box for me. It is an excellent addition to this series. I can’t wait to see what the gang at the Down South Cafe gets mixed up in next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Gayle Leeson

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. Gayle has also written as Amanda Lee and Gayle Trent. Going forward, Gayle intends to keep her writing under the Gayle Leeson name. She lives with her beautiful family in the hills of Southwest Virginia.

Author Links 

Facebook    Amazon Author Page    BookBub    Goodreads    Twitter     Newsletter sign-up form

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Also by Gayle Leeson


Writing as Gayle Trent




Writing as Amanda Lee



Just click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.

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Great Escapes Praise for Truffles and Tragedy: A Down South Cafe Mystery Book
by Gayle Leeson

Author Gayle Leeson gives the reader some great characters and a great plot/storyline. I enjoyed meeting Amy. I love a book with likable characters and Amy is one.
~My Reading Journeys

Gayle Leeson grabs your imagination and whisks you away to the Down South Cafe before you can blink!
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

The author does a great job disguising the murderer and the motive along with everything else related to the mystery.
~Sapphyria’s Books

Full of tension and devious twists, maybe even some alien intervention, the whole story mixes into a delicious concoction.
~Laura’s Interests

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
March 16 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
March 16 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 16 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 17 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
March 17 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
March 18 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
March 18 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 19 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 19 – Maureen’s Musings -SPOTLIGHT
March 20 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
March 20 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
March 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT
March 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 22 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
March 22 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
March 23 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 23 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 24 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
March 25 – Lisa Ks Book Review – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 25 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
March 26 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
March 26 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 27 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 27 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 27 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

 

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