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

Cozy Wednesday featuring On Spine of Death (By the Book Mysteries) by Tamara Berry #Review / #Giveaway @PPPress @Tamara_Morgan

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

Today I am delighted to share my thoughts about
On Spine of Death by Tamara Berry!


On Spine of Death (By the Book Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Washinton State
Poisoned Pen Press (November 29, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 408 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1728248639
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728248639
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09RTH1T7Q

Bestselling author Tess Harrow and her teenage daughter Gertrude have decided to make Winthrop their home. Their cabin is fixed up and now they’re turning to the family hardware store that Tess inherited from her late grandfather into the town’s first independent bookstore.

But when renovations unearth bones from a cold case and send them toppling—literally—onto Tess’s head, the work comes to a grinding halt. With the whole town convinced that her grandfather was a serial killer, Tess has to call in a fellow horror author for reinforcements. Together, they’ll come up with a perfect story to make all the clues fit…and solve a mystery more than thirty years in the making.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this second By the Book Mystery Tess and Gertrude Harrow have made themselves at home in their cabin so Tess is ready to start renovations to turn her grandfather’s hardware store into the bookstore of her dreams. That is until the demolition sends some bones literally falling down on her head. The bones are linked to a 30-year-old cold case. Tess is beside herself with worry when most of the town is sure her grandfather was a serial killer.  Tess needs help proving them wrong so she asks an author friend to come for a visit hoping together they can gather the intel and sort through the clues to explain what really happened and clear her grandfather’s name in the process.


Just like in the first book, Buried in a Good Book, Tess spends most of her time thinking about murder and turning her present-day situation into her next book. The story starts out with her testing a theory she wants to use in a book. Still, when bones start falling means, motive, and opportunity become her focus, not only for the actual bones that surround her but tasking her with the way to fictionalize it for her bestselling series successfully. Tess is an interesting protagonist because of this. Readers are treated to her writing process and where she gets her ideas, even though they are hitting very close to home.

Her teenage daughter Gertrude is very mature and understands what is happening around her. She is even willing to help her mom in any way she can. This character has grown a lot since the start of the previous book.

I really enjoyed that part of the mystery dug into Sheriff Boyd’s past and that the cold case affected him in a personal way. He really touched me in the last book and I am so appreciative that we got to know him better. With the subject matter, he understandably was a little more somber throughout the story but that made him even more real. Sheriff Boyd is joined by several other characters we met in the first book too. They all have continued to develop nicely. Tess does get an assistant to help with her renovations with a surprising background. He quickly becomes entangled in everything happening as does Tess’s author friend Peter. All the characters are well-defined and believable.

The mystery was pretty twisted up. Tess had her job cut out for her and she had to find people who remembered what happened all those years ago. I was surprised by a key piece of evidence that was driving her quest. It really drew me in and kept the pages flipping at a rapid pace. Even with that, I was taken aback when everything was revealed.

The thing I really love about Ms. Berry’s writing style is the way she uses humor. She gives us readers plenty to laugh about, sometimes out loud. The way the characters interact and some of the situations they find themselves in are just so darn funny. It starts from page one. Tess is doing something at first that is suspenseful until the author draws back the scene curtain. At first, I was just shaking my head but that led to a downright giggle. And of course, then there was a twist and things get serious.

I thoroughly enjoyed On Spine of Death and I am excited to see that the series continues with Murder Off the Books coming out on May 30, 2023. I am excited to see what happens next in the crazy town where there never seems to be a dull moment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent  

About the Author

Tamara Berry is a part-time author and part-time freelance copywriter/editor. She has a B.A. degree in English Literature from Eastern Washington University. In addition to books, she has mad love for all things TV, movies, and pop culture. Find out more and her website and sign up to be on her mailing list here.


Coming May 30, 2023

Also by Tamara Berry

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Follow Poisoned Pen Press on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!
https://www.facebook.com/PoisonedPenPress for 2 Bonus Entries.

 Sign up for the author’s mailing list for 5 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

The contest Will End December 7, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
The winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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 Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Guest Posts What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Special Guest – Leslie Budewitz – Author of Peppermint Barked: A Spice Shop Mystery #Review / #Giveaway @LeslieBudewitz

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am delighted to welcome Leslie back to Escape With Dollycas today!

A Spicy Christmas in Seattle’s Pike Place Market

by Leslie Budewitz

Delighted to beat the heat with you by pretending it’s Christmas and celebrating the launch of Peppermint Barked! This is my sixth Spice Shop mystery featuring Pepper Reece, owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market. I love writing and reading cozies, in part because of “the cozy covenant.” My interpretation: each book is a promise to introduce our readers to people they want to know in a place they’d like to visit, tempt them with delicious food, and show them something new about the world we live in, all wrapped in a solid mystery. (Thanks to my friend Barbara Ross, author of the Maine Clambake and Jane Darrowfield mysteries for the original concept of the “cozy covenant.”)

In each book, I aim to fulfill that covenant, along with a pair of challenges I set myself. The first: How can I make this book better than the last? What skill do I want to focus on? What plot twist have I not used that I’d like to try?

For Assault and Pepper, the series opener, I wanted to “explore how a ‘life begins at 40′ gal rebuilds after her life falls apart, in the heart of a city I still love. Explore caring vs. over-protection.” Others: “Investigate a cold case.” “Kill twice and get away with it.” “Deepen the relationships.” “Family on her own terms.” “No murder.”

And this time? My books always touch on a woman’s search for identity. Not that men don’t sometimes struggle with a sense of themselves and their purpose, but it has always seemed like the true heroine’s journey. In Peppermint Barked, I flipped that script to focus on the male search for identity. That led directly to decisions and actions by three men close to Pepper, as well as a few new characters. The combination, I think, is a fun story with a serious edge, and good food!

What’s that second challenge? When I started writing the series, I picked up a book of Market ghost stories. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the stories are a fascinating part of Market history. One reason, I came to understand, is the physical layout. There’s a main, L-shaped cobbled street, Pike Place. An alley runs through it, ending abruptly and picking up again thirty feet lower, connected by a cobbled passage and a hidden staircase carved into a retaining wall. More than a dozen buildings cropped up over fifty-some years, distinct but connected, some with several levels. Walls were moved, passages closed off, and windows boarded up, creating opportunities for people to seemingly appear and disappear.

In Assault and Pepper, a very real character uses those hidden passages to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading him to be wrongly accused of a crime, and later, to be at the right place just in time to help Pepper. How else, I wondered, could I use the idea of ghosts to add a layer of fun to the story, without actually adding ghosts themselves? Ghost peppers. Ghosting in relationships. Ghost nets. Ghost signs, those faded advertisements painted on old buildings that sometimes reappear when an adjacent building comes down. There may, or may not, be a ghost in one book—no spoilers! And often, the ghosts of our own pasts, our choices, our regrets.

I hope you’ll make the trip with me to Pike Place Market, a place where the past, present, and future are all very real.

Thank you Leslie so much for visiting today!

Now keep reading for my thoughts about Peppermint Barked.


Peppermint Barked: A Spice Shop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Washington
Seventh Street Books (July 19, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 236 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1645060543
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1645060543
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09JPHR9CH

A Dickens of a Christmas turns deadly…

As the holiday season lights up Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece’s beloved Spice Shop is brimming with cinnamon, nutmeg, and shoppers eager to stuff their stockings. Add to the mix a tasty staff competition—a peppermint bark-off—along with Victorian costumes for this year’s Dickensian Christmas theme, and Pepper almost forgets to be nervous about meeting her fisherman boyfriend’s brother for the first time.

But when a young woman working in her friend Vinny’s wine shop is brutally assaulted, costumed revelers and holiday cheer are the last things on Pepper’s mind. Who would want to hurt Beth? Or were they looking for Vinny instead?

The vicious attack upsets everyone at Pike Place, but none more than Pepper’s own employee, Matt Kemp. At first, Pepper is baffled by his reaction, but his clandestine connection to Beth could hold the key to the assailant’s motive. Or perhaps it’s Vinny’s ex-wife who knows more than she’s letting on . . . and what about the mysterious top-hatted man with whom Pepper saw Beth arguing that morning?

As the secrets of the market come to light, long-held grudges, family ties, and hidden plans only further obscure the truth. Is it a ghost of the past rattling its chains or a contemporary Scrooge with more earthly motives? As Pepper chases down a killer, someone is chasing her, and in the end, the storied market itself may hold the final, deadly clue.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pike Place Market in Seattle including Pepper Reece’s Spice Shop is all geared up for the holiday season. The theme this year is a Dickensian Christmas and many are donning Victorian costumes to give some authenticity to the season.

It should have been a fabulous time at the market but then a woman working for Pepper’s friend Vinny is attacked and assaulted. Beth is taken to the hospital and Matt Kemp who works at The Spice Shop with Pepper is taking the attack seriously hard. Not sure about any relationship the two may have Pepper thinks Matt may know why the young woman was attacked. Pepper is also interested in finding a man she witnesses arguing with Beth.

Pepper is uncovering things that don’t seem to meld together but she must be on to something because someone has started tailing her wherever she goes. Can she catch the killer before they catch her? It could be a real Bah! Humbug! Holiday if she doesn’t.


The cover of this book is gorgeous and will put everyone in the holiday mood and adding peppermint bark to their holiday treats.

Pepper Reece is a real Spice Queen, move over Maneet Chauhan. She is a great amateur sleuth as well. Her client list is growing and the holidays are sure to keep her and her employees very busy. I love that Ms. Budewitz has surrounded her protagonist with a fantastic group of employees and friends who care about each other like a great big family. Even the local law enforcement, including Pepper’s ex and detectives Spencer and Tracy, often make themselves right at home unless they are chasing down clues, and leads and trying to get Pepper to leave the investigation to them. Yeah, that is not happening. All the recurring characters are cleverly crafted and continue to grow over the course of the book/series.

This book is really a hands-on book for cozy mystery lovers. There are a lot of suspects and theories as to why Beth was attacked. Subsequent events will have you wondering if she was the real target. I worked hard to put the clues together in the right way only to have to back up and try again. I really enjoy a book that allows the reader to unwind a very complicated mystery. This story is so well plotted. I found myself highlighting what I thought were important passages. All my efforts were for naught though, There were some nice twists that tangled up my guesses and I was not even close when all was revealed, but I blame it on the pace which really sped up the closer we got to the end. Pages were really flying on my Kindle.

I really appreciate the way the author sets a scene and describes everything whether it be the food, the Spice Shop, the Market, and everything in between. I felt like I could see everything so clearly.

One little thing that pulled me up short while reading was that a group of characters had my last name. That was totally cool!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Leslie Budewitz

Leslie Budewitz blends her passion for food, great mysteries, and the Northwest in two cozy mystery series, the Spice Shop mysteries set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, and the Food Lovers’ Village mysteries, set in NW Montana, where she lives. As Alicia Beckman, she writes moody suspense, beginning with Bitterroot Lake in April 2021 and continuing with Blind Faith in October 2022. A three-time Agatha-Award winner, she is a board member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime.

Find her online at www.LeslieBudewitz.com and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LeslieBudewitzAuthor



Also by this Author

Leslie is giving away 1 Print Copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US 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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End on August 3, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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 Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Buried in a Good Book (By the Book Mysteries) by Tamara Berry #Review / #Giveaway @PPPress @Tamara_Morgan

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

It is my pleasure to share my thoughts with you 
today about Buried In A Good Book!
It will be released next Tuesday!


Buried in a Good Book (By the Book Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Washington State
Poisoned Pen Press (May 24, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1728248604
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728248608
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09CLLJN32

Bestselling thriller writer Tess Harrow is almost at the end of her rope when she arrives with her teenage daughter at her grandfather’s rustic cabin in the woods. She hopes this will be a time for them to heal and bond after Tess’s recent divorce, but they’ve barely made it through the door when an explosion shakes the cabin. Suddenly it’s raining fish guts and…is that a human arm?

Tess was hardly convincing Gertie that a summer without Wi-Fi and running water would be an adventure. Now she’s thrust into a murder investigation, neighbors are saying they’ve spotted Bigfoot in the woods near her cabin, and the local sheriff is the spitting image of her character Detective Gabriel Gonzales—something he’s less than thrilled about. With so much more than her daughter’s summer plans at stake, it’s up to Tess to solve this case before anyone else gets hurt.

Put your sleuthing hat on—Buried in a Good Book features:

  • A thriller writer who knows way more than anyone should about death and dismemberment
  • Her young daughter who’s more intrigued by dead bodies than she probably should be
  • An isolated cabin in the woods that’s probably—definitely—hiding something
  • The tiny mountain town that seems less than troubled by a sudden abundance of murders

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

A rustic cabin in the woods of Northern Washington, “they could probably reach out and touch the Canadian border”, with no electricity, phone service, or Wi-Fi, seemed like the perfect place for bestselling author Tess Harrow to bond with her daughter and finish her book following her divorce. Expecting a lot of peace and quiet they are jolted literally when an explosion occurs and then another and another. When Tess and Gertie turn to investigate they see a man running toward them shouting followed by another BOOM! Then came a shower of water, fish guts, and a HUMAN ARM! They hadn’t even gotten unpacked and they already had to call the cops.

Tess writes about murder all the time but solving one in real life could be really exciting especially when she meets the local sheriff who bears a striking resemblance to her lead character Detective Gabriel Gonzales. Of course, the sheriff doesn’t want her help but that is not going to stop her from solving the case before he does. Plus all this drama is going to be perfect for her new book!


Oh, my, this was a hilarious cozy mystery!

Tess was a strong protagonist but could be a bit aggravating at times. She is always thinking about scenes for her next book, basically, she has her mind on murder almost 100% of the time and sometimes drifts off into her own little world, but she pulls it off. Her daughter Gertie, is a typical teenager, dependent on technology, livid that they are out in the boonies with no cell towers. But then she comes around and sometimes is several steps ahead of her mother in figuring things out. She also finds herself lost in a book during this story and I LOVED THAT!

Readers are introduced to several characters including Sheriff Boyd and that man was so patient with Tess. He really surprised me which made him my favorite character. He had to deal with some really crazy things and he didn’t get shook. The supporting cast is rounded out by a bookmobile librarian who becomes fast friends with Tess and Gertie, a couple of deputies including a budding author, the Peabody brothers who own Peabody Timber, and other residents of Winthrop. Tess’s ex also makes an appearance. I felt all the characters were pretty well fleshed out for the first book in the series.

Ms. Berry has written a really unique mystery full of corkscrew twists and gritty turns. Tess’s years of writing thrillers help her envision several different scenarios of what could be happening in the woods by her grandfather’s cabin and she is happy to share all of them with Sheriff Boyd. Some are pretty out there but she soon was on the right track. It was a lot of fun to follow in her footsteps as all the clues started to fall into place but I was totally surprised by the super exciting ending.

As I said, this book is so funny, I had several laugh-out-loud moments. But there were a few scenes that if I were watching it as a movie I may have covered my eyes. That being said those scenes were true to the plot the author was building so it made total sense in this off-the-wall mystery.

Buried in a Good Book will keep readers on their toes while tickling their funny bones. Tess and Gertie’s relationship really evolved into something wonderful by the end of the story and I am anxious to see what the author has in store for them next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Tamara Berry is a part-time author and part-time freelance copywriter/editor. She has a B.A. degree in English Literature from Eastern Washington University. In addition to books, she has mad love for all things TV, movies, and pop culture. Find out more and her website and sign up to be on her mailing list here.


Coming November 29, 2022

Also by Tamara Berry

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

 Sign up for the author’s mailing list for 5 Bonus Entries!

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End June 1, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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 Author Edition Challenge Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Devil’s Chew Toy: A Hayden & Friends Mystery by Rob Osler #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks @RobOsler


Devil’s Chew Toy: A Novel
A Hayden & Friends Mystery
Contemporary Mystery/Humorous/LBBTQ+
1st in Series
Setting – Washigton State
Crooked Lane Books (February 8, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643859439
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643859439
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B094GP6P7M

Perfect for fans of Carl Hiaasen and Armistead Maupin, this light, LGBT mystery follows an unlucky in love—and life—teacher who unwittingly ends up the prime suspect in a disappearance.

Seattle teacher and part-time blogger Hayden McCall wakes sporting one hell of a shiner, with the police knocking at his door. It seems that his new crush, dancer Camilo Rodriguez, has gone missing and they suspect foul play. What happened the night before? And where is Camilo?

Determined to find answers, pint-sized, good-hearted Hayden seeks out two of Camilo’s friends—Hollister and Burley—both lesbians and both fiercely devoted to their friend. From them, Hayden learns that Camilo is a “Dreamer” whose parents had been deported years earlier, and whose sister, Daniela, is presumed to have returned to Venezuela with them. Convinced that the cops won’t take a brown boy’s disappearance seriously, the girls join Hayden’s hunt for Camilo.

The first clues turn up at Barkingham Palace, a pet store where Camilo had taken a part-time job. The store’s owner, Della Rupert, claims ignorance, but Hayden knows something is up. And then there’s Camilo’s ex-boyfriend, Ryan, who’s suddenly grown inexplicably wealthy. When Hayden and Hollister follow Ryan to a secure airport warehouse, they make a shocking connection between him and Della—and uncover the twisted scheme that’s made both of them rich.

The trail of clues leads them to the grounds of a magnificent estate on an island in Puget Sound, where they’ll finally learn the truth about Camilo’s disappearance—and the fate of his family.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A night out for Seattle teacher and part-time blogger Hayden McCall nets him a black eye and a date with a hot dancer. The next morning Camilo, the dancer, is gone when Hayden wakes up. Soon the police are knocking on the door saying Camilo’s truck was found running and empty. Camilo is missing and foul play is suspected. So, unsure what to do and worried about Camilo, Hayden takes temporary custody of Camilo’s bull terrier, Commander, and tries to find out what happened to his new “friend”. He connects with Hollister and Burley, two of Camilo’s friends, who are shocked to find out he is missing. They dive into Camilo’s life but it seems even his best friends are not sure what he has been getting himself involved in. They know his ex-boyfriend Ryan knows more than he is saying but never imagined where their little investigation would lead or how much danger they getting themselves in. Can they find Camilo and live to tell the tale? Only time will tell.


Mr. Osler has created some unique characters for his “Quozy” mystery. Hayden is 5’4″ “rounding up” weighing in at 125 “again rounding up” freckled with “a shock of red-orange hair”. Camilo is about 5 feet tall and “superhot and genuinely nice” according to Hayden. Hollister is a tall, curvy, broad-shouldered African American woman, and sports a 6-inch mohawk. She has a take-charge attitude and knows how to use it. She also drives a Porche. Her girlfriend Mysti is a petite Korean American with perfectly applied make-up and long hair with Auburn highlights. According to Hayden “they went together like a tiara and sweatpants”. Burley fits her name, She is six and a half feet tall and weighs in at 300 pounds. She wears her hair in waist-length gray pigtails. Hayden also has a crazy neighbor that is always up in his business. A real eclectic group that all develop nicely throughout the book. They come across as genuine and true to life.

The quest to find Camilo was a bit absurd but so much fun to read. Hayden and Hollister get themselves into some bizarre situations. Some had me laughing out loud. Others had me fearing for their safety. Sometimes I had both experiences on the same page, even in one paragraph.

The author does weave some hot-topic themes, immigration, deportation, and bullying into the text in interesting ways. The underlying crime was totally unexpected and I am not sure how they were even able to pull off what they were doing but I was fully engaged to see them brought down.

The author has coined the term “Quozy Mystery” as a subgenre of mystery blending LGBTQ+ with cozy mystery and he has done that very well in Devil’s Chew Toy. I was captivated by his characters and the situations they were involved in. I love that Hayden shared his thoughts on his blog MATES ON DATES with good messages and a little humor. The chapter titles were clever too.

Mr. Osler has found the perfect balance between humor and mystery. This book was entertaining, over the top in places, and absolutely delightful from beginning to end. I am crazy about this diverse set of characters. When I started reading this book I thought it was a stand-alone novel. I am so happy to learn it is the 1st book in a series because these are characters I want to visit again and again. If you enjoy a mystery filled with humor Devil’s Chew Toy is the book for you!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Rob Osler writes the Hayden & Friends contemporary mystery series featuring a rainbow of kick-ass characters. With Devil’s Chew Toy, Rob coined the term, “Quozy Mystery,” firmly establishing a new sub-sub-genre of mystery. Rob is proud to have created the literary love child of LGBTQ+ fiction and cozy mystery.

His short story “Analogue,” published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, won the 2022 ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD for best short story by a debut author as part of the Annual Edgar Awards presented by Mystery Writers of America.

Born and raised in Boise, Idaho, Rob attended college at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where he graduated with a degree in Philosophy. Years later, he earned a master’s degree in business from the University of Washington. Rob was a copywriter and brand strategist before turning to fiction writing. After many years of living in Chicago, Seattle (the setting for the Hayden & Friends series), and San Francisco (where he still spends time), Rob resides in southern California with his long-time partner and a tall, gray cat.

WebsiteFacebookTwitter – 

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 Following My Facebook Fan Page.

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

Follow Crooked Lane Books on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End April 7, 2022, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
The 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.”

Posted in 2022 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge What An Animal Reading Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring Death by the Finish Line (An Abby McCree Mystery) by Alexis Morgan #Review / #Giveaway @Alexis_Morgan @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am pleased to feature Death by the Finish Line by Alexis Morgan today!


Death by the Finish Line (An Abby McCree Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Washington State
Kensington Cozies (December 28, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496731271
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496731272
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B091M8HQ62

When a dead body turns up on a race route, Abby McCree hits the ground running to catch a killer . . .

Overcommitted Abby has once again been drafted to use her organizing superpowers—this time for a 5k charity run that’s part of the Founder’s Day Celebration in Snowberry Creek, Washington. At least she has help, albeit from an unlikely source: Gil Pratt, a member of her handsome tenant Tripp Blackston’s veterans group and co-owner of a motorcycle repair shop with his brother. Abby and Gil may seem like an odd couple, but they work great together.

The event seems to be running smoothly—until city council member James DiSalvo is found murdered in a ravine along the race route. Unfortunately, Gil’s brother Gary had a very public argument with DiSalvo minutes before the race, making him the prime suspect. Now the two race organizers must again team up to prove Gary’s innocence—before the real killer makes a run for it. But one wrong step and Abby may be the next one to come in dead last . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abby McCree’s special organizational skills have been called on again for an event in Snowberry Creek. The Founder’s Day Celebration will include a Salmon Scoot 5k charity run and Abby is happy to plan it as long as she gets help. She is surprised when Gil Pratt, co-owner of the local motorcycle repair shop volunteers. He is also a vet and a member of her hunky tenant Tripp Blackston’s veteran’s group. After a quick chat, they agree to work together and make a fine team.

The big day arrives and everything is in place for the run to be a huge success. They have plenty of volunteers along the route including a medical team in case of any injuries. The runners are soon off and running and crossing the finish line with Tripp as one of those coming in with the first group. Soon is it time to account for a few stragglers so Abby starts to make her way along the route. She comes across a couple of teenagers that tell her a man has fallen down a ravine just off the race path. By the time help arrives they find city councilman James DiSalvo dead and his death was no accident.

Shortly before the race, Gil’s brother Gary was seen having a very heated argument with the councilman so he immediately becomes the police’s main suspect.  Gil believes in his brother’s innocence so asks Abby to help him prove it. It’s a race to find the killer before they can run off and kill again.


I really enjoy the characters in this series. Abby is a wonderful protagonist who has settled nicely into the home she inherited from her aunt. She has made friends of all ages and is a trusted member of the community. She is developing a very comfortable relationship with her tenant Tripp Blackston. The handsome gentleman also has several admirers including one that loves delivering her “famous tuna casseroles” so the poor man will never go hungry. They both are in love with Abby’s mastiff Zeke, a big gentle giant that immediately stole my heart.

Ms. Morgan introduces us to a great new character in Gil Pratt. Abby wasn’t sure about him when they first met. In fact, he scared her a bit, but over the course of this story, they became good friends. His brother was a key suspect in this book but we didn’t really get to know too much about him. I hope both these characters appear in future books in this series. I do have a fear of an Abby, Tripp, Gil, romantic triangle and I am not sure how I feel about that when Abby and Tripp’s relationship is just starting to take off.

We also meet James DiSalvo and learn a lot about him after his death. He was an awful man and had plenty of enemies. Enemies equal suspects and he had a nice wide pool. The mystery really has that small-town twist. The police chief is friends with Gil and Gary and he really tried to give Gary the benefit of the doubt and didn’t just stop investigating when all the evidence was pointing right at him. The author really twisted the case up with plenty of red herrings to keep her readers guessing. I could say my guess was half right but it was not firmed up by any good theory until all the clues were spelled out for me. I had a lot of fun following along with Abby as she dished out baked goods and played a little pool while trying to root out a killer.

While this author can write one heck of a mystery it is the wonderful characters that bring me back for book after book in this series. They are believable and genuine. I love the veteran tie-in and all the good works Abby gets involved in. I would love to jump into the pages just so I could be her friend.

Death by the Finish Line is a winning addition to this series. I can’t wait to return to Snowberry Creek!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Alexis Morgan is the USA Today bestselling author of over forty-five novels, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; contemporary romances; and cozy mysteries. A RITA® Award-finalist, Alexis Morgan is a member of RWA and Sisters in Crime. She lives in Washington State and can be found online at AlexisMorgan.com.

Author Links –Website –  Facebook – Twitter –   Blog

You can read my review of Death by Committee here
and Death by Jack-o-Lantern here, Death by Auction here
and Death by Intermission here.


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!

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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 Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

Potluck and Poison (Spy Kitty in the City) by Bailey Booth #Spotlight / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour

Potluck and Poison (Spy Kitty in the City)
by Bailey Booth

I am delighted to shine my spotlights on Potluck and Poison today by Bailey Booth!

About Potluck and Poison

Potluck and Poison (Spy Kitty in the City)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Seattle
Independently Published (March 17, 2022)
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09G1QN9B9

I always dreamed of being a part of my favorite show, Parking Lot Potluck, but I never expected them to ask me to help solve a murder.

 

Someone poisoned a dish on the popular cooking competition. The host is dead and my favorite judge is in critical condition. The only one who witnessed the crime was Great Dane, Chloe.

 

Persephone and I are off to Seattle to solve the crime, but things are much different behind the scenes. Have the cast and crew been working on a recipe for deception, or was it a contestant with a case of sour grapes who’s brought production to a halt?

 

Whatever I do, I have to keep my inner fangirl in check, or my favorite show could get eliminated for good.

About Bailey Booth

Bailey Booth is an animal lover, travel enthusiast, and avid reader. She drinks way too many soy lattes and will probably laugh at your jokes.

She also likes long walks on the beach and candlelit dinners…oh wait.

Wrong profile.

Bailey’s been writing and amateur sleuthing since she was a kid. Fun fact: Spy Kitty in the City came to her in a dream. Follow your dreams!

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Posted in 2022 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Body and Soul Food (A Books & Biscuits Mystery) by Abby Collette #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @AbbyVandiver


Body and Soul Food (A Books & Biscuits Mystery)
by Abby Collette

About Body and Soul Food


Body and Soul Food (A Books & Biscuits Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Timber Lake, Washington (Near Seattle)
Berkley (November 9, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593336178
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593336175
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08YWW1DCH

In this page-turning new mystery series, fraternal twins Keaton and Koby will pull double duty when they take down a killer while preparing to open their new bookstore and soul-food café, Books & Biscuits.

When Koby Hill and Keaton Rutledge were orphaned at age two, they were separated, but their unbreakable connection lingered. Years later, they reunite and decide to make up for lost time and capitalize on their shared interests by opening up a well-stocked bookstore and cozy soul-food café in the quaint Pacific Northwest town of Timber Lake. But this new chapter of their lives could end on a cliffhanger after Koby’s foster brother is found murdered.

The murder, which occurred in public between light-rail stops, seems impossible for the police to solve. But as Keaton and Koby know, two heads are always better than one, especially when it comes to mysteries. With just a week to go before the grand opening of their new café, the twins will use their revitalized connection with each other to make sure this is the killer’s final page.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Separated at the age of two Koby Hill and Keaton Rutledge come back together to realize their dreams. For Koby, that means a soul food restaurant. For Keaton, it means a bookstore.  They find the perfect place in Timber Lake not far from Seattle. Keaton had been adopted and Koby lived his life in foster homes. Because of that Koby has an eclectic group he calls family. His “family” and Keaton’s “mom” are very supportive of their new venture.

Working long days to prepare for their grand opening Koby is concerned about Keaton taking public transportation home until his foster brother Reef offers to meet Keaton and see that she gets home safely. But when Keaton boards the train to meet Reef she finds that the man has been murdered. Someone on that train had to see something . . . or is one of them the killer? Koby and Keaton intend to find out, putting their lives in danger right before they are set to have their dreams come true.


What a fun theme for this new series!

Twins Koby and Keaton are wonderful characters, each with their own strengths. Strengths that seem a little backward to me but they seem to make it work. Koby is very detailed oriented and observant. Things I would usually associate with a well-read librarian like Keaton. Her strength is that she has a keen sense of smell. Something you would expect a chef to have. They both do love mysteries so they willingly become amateur sleuths to find a killer.

My favorite character though is Mama Jola. She raised both Reef and Koby and many others. She is also the one who taught Koby how to cook soul food. A stylish black woman who speaks her mind and cooks like a dream. She steps right in and almost takes over the chef position at the cafe. I think I gained weight just reading about the food she was cooking and baking. She doesn’t hit it off immediately with Keaton’s adoptive mom but soon they are fast friends encouraging their kids and helping in any way they can. While being brought up in totally different ways, these moms raised remarkable children.

The mystery was complicated because of the way the author twisted all the different characters together. A random event was not as random as originally thought. Also, people are not exactly as they seem. That all adds up to a good number of suspects. I did hone in on one individual immediately just because of their general attitude about everything but couldn’t figure out their motive so I was following all the clues right up to the end. That ending was very exciting and ended up being pretty heartwarming too.

Koby and Keaton are growing closer every day and they both would like to find their biological mom so that subplot is left open to continue into future books in the series.

Body and Soul Food has given this series a marvelous start and I am looking forward to October when Soul of a Killer is released to the masses.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Abby Collette

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Abby Collette loves a good mystery. She was born and raised in Cleveland, and it’s a mystery even to her why she hasn’t yet moved to a warmer place. As Abby Collette, she is the author of the Ice Cream Parlor mystery series, about a millennial MBA-holding granddaughter running a family-owned ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and the  Books & Biscuits mystery series, starring a set of fraternal twins who reunite and open a bookstore and soul food café. Writing as Abby L. Vandiver, she is the author of the Logan Dickerson Mysteries, featuring a second-generation archaeologist and a nonagenarian, as well as the Romaine Wilder Mysteries, pairing an East Texas medical examiner and her feisty, funeral-home-owning auntie as sleuths. Abby spends her time writing, facilitating writing workshops at local libraries and hanging out with her grandchildren, each of whom are her favorite.

Author Links – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram– Website – 

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Coming October 4, 2022

 

Also By Abby Collette

Writing As Abby L. Vandiver

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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 Giveaways Spotlights

The Body in the Beaver Pond: A Keri Isles Event Planner Mystery by Cathy Perkins #Spotlight / #Giveaway


The Body in the Beaver Pond: A Keri Isles Event Planner Mystery
by Cathy Perkins

Author Cathy Perkins brings the reader a fun plot and some great characters. I am a cover junkie and love covers that give a few clues.
~My Reading Journeys

The Body in the Beaver Pond was interesting, getting to know the characters and learn their depth. The story takes many twists and turns, and there are tangents not having to do with the mystery to be solved.
~JoAnne – Novels Alive

About The Body in the Beaver Pond

The Body in the Beaver Pond: A Keri Isles Event Planner Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Red Mountain Publishing (May 15, 2021)
Number of Pages: 325
Digital ASIN : B08ZYWWSY4

Even an event planner doesn’t plan on murder . . . 

 

Keri Isles desperately needs to sell the Christmas Tree farm her cheating, rotten ex convinced his buddy, the judge, to saddle her with in the divorce settlement. Stuck in the Cascade Mountains, she’s lost her Seattle-based job and local job prospects are as scarce as internet service. When she finds the arrogant professor in charge of the local archeology dig floating face down in her beaver pond, however, unloading the property becomes secondary to staying out of prison.

 

A savvy—and scheming—attorney may be able to keep her head above water, but the personal price of his retainer may be too high. It’s up to Keri to use her mad networking skills and deploy a team of archaeology students, a bad boy photographer, and assorted eccentric neighbors to find the killer and clear her name.

 

About Cathy Perkins

Cathy Perkins’s suspense writing lurks behind a financial day-job, where she learned firsthand the camouflage, hide-in-plain-sight skills employed by her villains. A member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers, she has coordinated conferences, contests and debut author programs, and is a contributing editor for The Big Thrill.

When not writing, she can be found doing battle with the beavers over the pond height or setting off on another travel adventure. Born and raised in South Carolina, she now lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.

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May 15 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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Posted in 2021 Reviews Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways Interviews New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Alexis Morgan – Author of Death by Intermission (An Abby McCree Mystery) #Interview / #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @Alexis_Morgan @KensingtonBooks

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so happy to welcome Alexis Morgan
to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Alexis,

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up near St. Louis and attended college there. My husband and I decided we would like to live near the mountains and jumped at the chance when a job offer made it possible for us to move to the Pacific Northwest. That where we’ve made our home for the past forty-plus years. I’ve published close to fifty

books, novellas, and short stories across different varieties of romances and most recently I’ve been writing cozy mysteries.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

I’ve always been interested in dinosaurs and once took my family all the way to Bozeman, Montana, to visit the paleontology museum there.

When I was in high school, I got to interview movie director Otto Preminger (Exodus, Anatomy of a Murder) for my school paper.

My favorite musical is The Lion King.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I’m sure I read other books before this one, but I loved BLACK BEAUTY and read it numerous times when I was a young reader.

What are you reading now?

Molly Harper’s ALWAYS BE MY BANSHEE.

What books have most inspired you?

I read across multiple genres and have learned a lot from a wide variety of authors. Early in my career, Linda Howard’s MIDNIGHT RAINBOW brought into sharp focus what kind of heroes I wanted to write in my own books. In WRITTEN IN RED, Anne Bishop amazes me with her complex world building. It makes me more conscious of how the setting in my books needs to be three dimensional and real enough to thoroughly ground the reader in the story.

What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?

I’ve always loved reading mysteries—Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Dick Francis, Ellis Peters, and so many more. I found myself wanting to create my own amateur sleuth and watch her adventures solving murders.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Yes, I love to write in my office especially since I need to have music on to concentrate. I go into my office close the door, and crank up the volume while I get lost in the flow of whatever story I’m working on.

 Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Most often, my stories start with a specific image and the story spins out from there. For example, my newest release, DEATH BY INTERMISSION, all started with me “seeing” someone sitting on a lawn chair just inside the tree line in a park. He appears to have simply dozed off, but he’s actually a murder victim. From that single image, I had to figure what he was doing there in the first place and who would have risked killing him in such a public place.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

I think threading in all the clues, red herrings, and possible suspects in just the right mix to draw the reader along for the ride without revealing too much too soon.

What do you think makes a good story?

For me, it’s all the elements in the story that come together to make me as the reader really care about the characters and what happens to them. I can always tell I’m reading a great book when I reach the end and I really wish I could spend more time in that world and with the people in it.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

I’d like to think there’s a little of me in Abby McCree, the amateur sleuth in my cozy series. While I don’t really want to solve murders myself, I like how she does her best to take care of the people she cares about. I also love her relationship with Zeke, her mastiff-mix roommate. He’s loosely based on the two bulldogs in my life.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Since moving to Snowberry Creek, Abby McCree gets drawn into serving on various committees and community projects around town. This allows me to have Abby encounter people from all different walks of life—the quilting guild, the veterans group, bikers, bar owners, local police, homicide detectives, etc.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

The fifth Abby McCree Mystery, DEATH BY THE FINISH LINE, will be out later this year. In the meantime, I’m working on possible new adventures for Abby to see what other kind of trouble she can get into.

More About Alexis Morgan

Alexis Morgan is the USA Today bestselling author of over forty-five novels, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; contemporary romances; and cozy mysteries. A RITA® Award-finalist, Alexis Morgan is a member of RWA and Sisters in Crime. She lives in Washington State and can be found online at AlexisMorgan.com.

Author Links –Website –  Facebook – Twitter –   Blog

About Death by Intermission 


Death by Intermission (An Abby McCree Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Kensington (January 26, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496731255
ISBN-13: 978-1496731258
Digital ASIN: B087Z9CVW8

Abby McCree spends a summer showing family films under the stars—only to end the season with an unexpected slasher flick . . .

 

Ushered once again onto another committee by the mayor of Snowberry Creek, Washington, Abby is tasked with keeping the box office receipts of the town’s Movies in the Park nights. Cut to the director’s chair from where she’s suddenly organizing the summer’s last feature. From the opening scene through the final credits, Abby feels she’s earned nominations for best volunteer, best movie date with her tenant Tripp Blackston—and best daughter for ignoring her mother Phoebe’s own movie date with Owen Quinn.

 

Unfortunately, Abby and the others are treated to a post-credits scene: the body of local insurance agent Mitchell Anders. This discovery is followed by a plot twist revealing that the murder weapon comes from Owen’s food truck. With her mother’s boyfriend suspected of murder, Abby starts her own investigation determined to shine a spotlight on the real killer . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Abby McCree finds herself in charge of another Snowberry Creek event. This time it’s a family film in the park. Everyone seems to have enjoyed the movie, especially Abby who took in the movie with Tripp Blackston, and Abby’s mother, Phoebe who attended the show with her new boyfriend, restauranteur, and food truck owner, Owen Quinn but they didn’t watch most of the movie because they were making out like teenagers and making Abby cringe.

When the movie was over and the park cleared out Abby, Phoebe, Tripp, and Owen took on the tasks of putting equipment and tables away and picking up any litter left behind. They also found a man who appears to have had too many adult beverages and is sleeping it off. But as Abby gets closer she realizes the man isn’t sleeping, he’s dead. He is identified as Mitchell Anders, the new insurance agent in town, and we quickly learn that he has been stabbed. Stabbed with a chef knife belonging to Owen.  Abby doesn’t know much about Owen but when her mother asks her to help clear his name she can’t say no. She also sees the tension between Phoebe and police chief Gage Logan so to keep the peace she needs to get involved. Hopefully, she isn’t making a huge mistake.


The characters I have come to love return, and they are joined by Abby’s mother Phoebe visiting from Seattle, Owen Quinn, who has come to town to open a restaurant and food truck, and his employee, Jada. Abby and Tripp’s relationship is moving along nicely. I love the two of them together but her mother doesn’t. In fact, her mother found issue with almost everything Abby did and all of her friends. She was a cantankerous woman throughout most of the story and Abby really did try to keep her cool but finally blew. I found Abby’s reactions to be very realistic. Her mother’s attitude and actions were a little over the top but the relationship challenges did add a unique slant to the book. Again the lovable mastiff Zeke stole my heart.

The mystery was very well constructed. Owen is holding something back and there are a wide variety of clues that open up the suspect pool. One glaring clue was found in an intriguing place and when discovered broke the case wide open. I really enjoyed this twist and the manner in which it was handled. The way all the subplots entwined with the main plot really kept those pages turning.

Death by Intermission is a superb addition to this series. Ms. Morgan knows how to give her readers a stellar mystery to solve laced with a nice amount of humor and the perfect amount of romance. She has placed her characters in an interesting small town that always has an event or two for them to get believably involved in.

I was smiling as the book drew to a close. I can’t wait to see what these characters are up to next.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Committee here
and Death by Jack-o-Lantern here and Death by Auction here


Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N –  Kobo – GooglePlay  –  IndieBound 

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Great Escapes Parise for Death by Intermission (An Abby McCree Mystery)
by Alexis Morgan

The combination of the murder mystery, the family dynamics, and small town interactions keep the story moving and the reader engaged. Cozy mystery fans will not be disappointed with this one.
~Christa Reads and Writes

I liked the protagonist and her approach to the crime. Dialogue felt realistic. Her motivation for investigating was also believable.
~Mysteries With Character

Intelligent, well-developed characters, a smart well-plotted mystery, a spark of romance, a sweet big dog, and laugh out loud moments make DEATH BY INTERMISSION a fantastic book that shouldn’t be missed.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

This was a fun, fast-paced cozy mystery. I liked the small-town setting, the characters (especially Abby and her boyfriend/tenant, Tripp), and her lovable, protective Mastiff dog, Zeke.
~View from the Birdhouse

TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
February 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
February 1 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 2 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 2 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
February 2 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 3 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST
February 4 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
February 4 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
February 5 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW
February 5 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
February 5 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 6 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 7 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 8 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 8 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
February 9 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
February 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
February 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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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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#FlashbackFriday – Death by Auction (An Abby McCree Mystery) by Alexis Morgan #Review / #Giveaway @Alexis_Morgan @KensingtonBooks

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.


Death by Auction (An Abby McCree Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Washington State
Publisher: Kensington (May 26, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496719557
ISBN-13: 978-1496719553
Kindle ASIN: B07W7WKTBQ

Not only did Abby McCree inherit her aunt’s house in Snowberry Creek, Washington, she inherited a handsome tenant and a whole lot of trouble . . .

It’s hard to say no to Tripp Blackston. That’s how Abby found herself on yet another committee, organizing a bachelors’ auction to raise money for Tripp’s veteran’s group. The former Special Forces soldier is mortified when Abby enlists him to be one of the prizes, but she has a covert plan to bid on him herself. Before she can, she’s foiled by a sniper bid from a gorgeous stranger, who turns out to be Tripp’s ex-wife, Valerie.

Still reeling from the shock that Tripp was married and wondering what his ex is suddenly doing in town, Abby goes looking to pay the auction’s emcee, radio personality Bryce Cadigan. She finds him in the parking lot, dead in his car. Valerie appears to be the last one to have seen Bryce alive, so she’s the cops’ best bid for suspect. When she asks Tripp for help—and lodgings—it’s Abby’s turn to block by inviting Val to stay with her. But did she just open her home to a murderer?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Abby McCree’s new project is organizing a fundraiser for Tripp Blackston’s veteran’s group. She has planned a bachelors’ auction to followed by a dinner event 2 weeks later. It took a bit of convincing but Tripp will be one of the bachelors up for auction and Abby hopes to win with her bid. Her plan goes awry when a beautiful woman takes the prize with a astounding bid of her own. Afterward, she learns the woman is Tripp’s ex-wife Valerie. Say What!?

Okay, Tripp has some explaining to do but she needs to focus on her event. She needs to pay the emcee, Bryce Cadigan, a radio personality that grew up in Snowberry Creek. He has been spending time catching up with people he knows and the last time she saw him he was going outside with Tripp’s ex. She is back glued to Tripp’s side but Bryce is nowhere to be found. She heads to the parking lot hoping he hasn’t left without his check. She finds him in his car and he is going anywhere. He is dead and she has to tell the police she saw him go outside with Valerie. Is Tripp’s ex-wife a killer? Valerie begs Tripp for help and a place to stay now that she can’t leave town. His place is too small for overnight guests so he asks Abby “his landlord” to put Valerie up in one of her guest rooms while they try to track down the real killer. The scary thing is the real killer may be the person moving into her house.


Abby is much more comfortable in Snowberry Creek as she has gotten to know more and more people. Most were friends of her now-deceased aunt but she is finding her place in town in her own right. This time she meets some of Tripp’s military friends as she is working on a veteran’s fundraiser. They come in handy as she tries to find out who killed Bryce Cadigan. Her budding romance with Tripp hits a bump or two with his ex in town. Her friendship with Chief of Police Gage Logan gets stretched as she keeps butting into his case. Jean, Louise, and Glenda, friends of her Aunt Sybil are still pushing and shoving Abby around but she has learned how to deal with them. Jean’s infatuation with Tripp has tamed a bit, again, the ex, but she still is baking him her “famous tuna casseroles. And of course, the lovable mastiff Zeke is around to steal our hearts. I really am a fan of the way these characters continue to evolve. We learn new things about them in every book and I get further invested in their lives as this series continues.

Ms. Morgan has crafted another strong mystery with several suspects. Abby had to really dig deep to find all the connections and press people to reveal secrets or remember past events that would give people reasons to kill off Bryce. Her sleuthing took her to some interesting places. I had a great time following along with her. I had winnowed my list down to two as we headed into the home stretch.

Again the author focuses on helping veterans. I love that the theme continues from the last book which shows it is an important cause for her.

Death by Auction is another great addition to this series. I loved the abundance of humor included throughout the story. I had planned on reading this book when it came out but my breast cancer treatments were wreaking hell in my life last May. Now I am ready for book number 4 Death by Intermission. I will be reviewing it on February 10. I am very excited to visit these characters again so soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Committee here
and Death by Jack-o-Lantern here

About the Author

USA Today Best-selling author Alexis Morgan has always loved reading and now spends her days imagining worlds filled with strong alpha heroes and gutsy heroines. She is the author of over forty-five novels, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; and contemporary romances. She is excited to say that next year will also see the release of her first cozy mystery series. Alexis has been nominated for several industry awards, including the RITA, the top award in the romance genre.

Author Links 

Website  Facebook Twitter   Blog  

The first three books are on sale for 99 cents right now.
1/29/2021


I am giving away 1 Kindle copy!
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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.”