Posted in Read The Printed Word Challenge Reviews 2019

#Review – Life After Suicide: Finding Courage, Comfort & Community After Unthinkable Loss by Jennifer Ashton M.D.

Life After Suicide: Finding Courage, Comfort & Community After Unthinkable Loss
Happiness Self-Help/Suicide/Love & Loss
William Morrow (May 7, 2019)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0062906038
ISBN-13: 978-0062906038
Kindle ASIN: B07FSQ42H1

From the chief medical correspondent of ABC News, an eloquent, heartbreaking, yet hopeful memoir of surviving the suicide of a loved one, examining this dangerous epidemic and offering first-hand knowledge and advice to help family and friends find peace.

Jennifer Ashton, M.D., has witnessed firsthand the impact of a loved one’s suicide. When her ex-husband killed himself soon after their divorce, her world—and that of her children—was shattered. Though she held a very public position with one of the world’s largest media companies, she was hesitant to speak about the personal trauma that she and her family experienced following his death. A woman who addresses the public regularly on intimate health topics, she was uncertain of revealing her devastating loss—the most painful thing she’d ever experienced. But with the high-profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, Dr. Ashton recognized the importance of talking about her experience and the power of giving voice to her grief. She shared her story with her Good Morning America family on air—an honest, heartbreaking revelation that provided comfort and solace to others, like her and her family, who have been left behind.

In Life After Suicide, she opens up completely for the first time, hoping that her experience and words can inspire those faced with the unthinkable to persevere. Part memoir and part comforting guide that incorporates the latest insights from researchers and health professionals, Life After Suicide is both a call to arms against this dangerous, devastating epidemic, and an affecting story of personal grief and loss. In addition, Dr. Ashton includes stories from others who have survived the death of a loved one by their own hand, showing how they survived the unthinkable and demonstrating the vital roles that conversation and community play in recovering from the suicide of a loved one. The end result is a raw and revealing exploration of a subject that’s been taboo for far too long, providing support, information, and comfort for those attempting to make sense of their loss and find a way to heal.

*After seeing Dr. Ashton on several television programs I wrote to the publishers and requested a copy of this book to review. 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Losing my eldest son to suicide on March 15, 2015, has been devastating for me, our family, and everyone that loved him. I thought enough time had passed that I could read this book to help me on my grief journey and help me see things more clearly with the help of a woman dealing with grief herself. It took me longer to finish this book than I had originally thought.  I found that I was not going to be able to read this book like any other book I have read. So, I challenged myself to read 1 chapter each day. Sometimes I needed more than 1 day in between. It actually took me 21 days to complete the book.

I could see right away that my experience was totally different than Dr. Ashton’s. First, because she lost a husband not a child, but it was more than that. Dr. Ashton had resources I never had and most people don’t. She is a wealthy woman and a celebrity for her work as an ABC News medical correspondent. She was easily able to find therapists for herself and her children. A therapist she could call at any time day or night. Where I live, grief therapists are few and you can wait weeks or months to even get an appointment if you find one accepting new patients. My family physician did his best. Being disabled and being unable to drive added roadblocks for me. Thankfully I found an online group that helped me so much.

A few chapters into the book I started to see things from a different point of view. My son’s ex-wife had much more in common with Dr. Ashton than I did. Divorced, was finally working out the co-parenting necessary to raise a happy and healthy child, and the devastation she now faces as the only parent in their child’s life. She has the added burden of finding the right balance of how to explain to her daughter her father’s death because she was just under 3 years old when her dad died. Each year explaining just so much and answering her daughter’s questions. My granddaughter is now 7 and the explanations get harder and harder. I plan to share this book with my daughter-in-law because while Dr. Ashton’s children were older she may glean some knowledge to help her with my granddaughter.

One thing I loved was the way Dr. Ashton’s daughter Chloe, 17 at the time of her father’s death saw signs of her father’s presence in her life. Once, a song that randomly played at one of her hockey games as the players took the ice to battle in overtime, a song they always played when he was taking her to hockey games. She knew it was a sign her dad was watching over her. Chloe’s team won the game. I have had a few things that most people would call coincidences, I just know it’s my son sending me a message.

The author does share 2 stories of women she has met that had lost their children. I identified with a lot of things one of the moms went through.  Knowing your child is struggling, happy when they reach out and agree to get help, thinking the help is working, and then getting that call or in my case the knock on the door and hearing that your child took his own life and was gone forever. The pain, the numbness, the tears, the darkness.

Like the mom in the book, I was moved by the funeral service and all the people that came, that loved Kris, were his friends, his classmates, his workmates and all the people that came that knew me, my husband, my 3 other children. If only our son’s had realized that while being released from their current pain they were leaving so much pain behind. Since my son’s death, I have used this quote often “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”.

Dr, Ashton is in a good place when the book ends but points out continued communication is necessary. Because of her status, she was able to write this book. She was able to give me more hope. While everyone’s grieving process is different, she understands what suicide survivors feel and think because she has been there. The important take away is YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I really learned this through my online support group, but it is something that needs to be reinforced every day. Some days are good, some are even great, but sometimes that grief raises up and smacks you in the face, even years after your loved one’s death. Together we can go on.

“Together we can put an end to the mental illness and suicide stigmas that have caused an obscene amount of undeserved pain. Together we can make a difference, in honor of those we have loved and lost.”

Myself, I use my online presence to try to raise awareness. People have told me my messages have helped them. I want to stop any other family for sharing the pain that suicide leaves behind. I have struggled and had dark days myself. I know I am not alone in those feelings either. Support from friends, family, and other moms who understand help me more than words can say.

If you are struggling with the loss of a loved one to suicide you may find comfort in reading this book. Just prepare head and your heart. I recommend reading it slowly as I did. Have a tissue handy and reach out to friends if you need to talk.

None of our stories are exactly the same. It is hard to share our stories with people we have known forever. I applaud Dr. Ashton for sharing hers and those of others she knew with the public. I am sure she will help a vast number of people.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

About the Author

Dr. Jennifer Ashton is the two-time Emmy Award Winning Chief Medical Correspondent for ABC News and Good Morning America. A popular guest speaker and moderator, she is among the leading voices in the country on Women’s Health, and the only doctor with a national television platform who is also a nutritionist and double board certified in Ob-GYN and Obesity Medicine. Dr. Ashton received the prestigious Columbia Alfred I. Dupont Award for Excellence in Journalism, is the author of three books: Eat This Not That When Expecting, The Body Scoop for Girls, and Your Body Beautiful, in addition to a monthly column in Cosmopolitan Magazine and has finished her fourth book due out in early May. Dr. Ashton is a graduate of Columbia College, Columbia University, She received her medical degree from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons and her Master of Science in Nutrition from Columbia’s Institute of Human Nutrition. Her private medical practice is located in Englewood, NJ. Dr. Ashton is committed to improving the lives of girls and women by increasing health literacy and busting myths that have spread through folklore with little medical or scientific basis.

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 My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #24 2019 – Check Out My Escapes

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I will on the East Coast this week!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed

Those People
by Louise Candlish
Release Date – June 11, 2019
Setting – South London, England
My Review will be up tomorrow. 

Dead Big Dawg (A Loon Lake Mystery)
by Victoria Houston
Release Date – June 11, 2019
Setting – Wisconsin
I will feature this book this week for Cozy Wednesday!

A Crafter Hooks a Killer: A Handcrafted Mystery
by Holly Quinn
Release Date – June 11, 2019
Setting – Wisconsin
The Great Escapes Book Tour stops here this Thursday!

Game of Scones (A Sugar & Spice Mystery)
by Mary Lee Ashford
Release Date – December 4, 2018
Setting – Iowa
My Flashback Friday Read!

Life After Suicide: Finding Courage, Comfort & Community After Unthinkable Loss
by Jennifer Ashton
Release Date – May 7, 2019
Setting – New York
I will post my review soon.

Scheduled Escapes

Clause & Effect (Deadly Edits)
by Kaitlyn Dunnett
Release Date – June 25, 2019
Setting – New York
For Review

Murder with Cucumber Sandwiches (A Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery)
by Karen Rose Smith
Release Date – May 28, 2019
Setting – Pennsylvania
I will feature this book next week for Cozy Wednesday!

Little Beach Bungalow
by Joanne DeMaio
Release Date – May 14, 2019
Setting – Connecticut
For Review

Future Escapes

June 10 – 16, 2019

Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in My Reading Itinerary Monday

My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #21 2019

Welcome to My Reading Itinerary Monday!

Where are your books taking you this week?

I did a lot more traveling last week that I thought I would.
David Burnsworth’s book took me all the way to Malaysia and across the U.S.!
This week I visit Georgia, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

Escapes Completed

Caught Up In It (A Blu Carraway Mystery)
by David Burnsworth
Release Date – April 23, 2019
Setting – South Carolina
The Great Escapes Tour stops here tomorrow!

Murder in the Reading Room (A Book Retreat Mystery)
by Ellery Adams
Release Date – April 30, 2019
Setting – North Carolina
I will feature this book this week for Cozy Wednesday!

Drowning Lessons (A Red Frog Beach Mystery)
by Rachel Neuburger Reynolds
Release Date – May 21, 2019
Setting – Bocas del Toro, a remote chain of islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama
The Great Escapes Tour stops here Thursday!

Killing Thyme (A Spice Shop Mystery)
by Leslie Budewitz
Release Date – October 4, 2016
Setting – Washington State
My Flashback Friday Read!

Current Escape

Life After Suicide: Finding Courage, Comfort & Community After Unthinkable Loss
by Jennifer Ashton
Release Date – May 7, 2019
I will be reading this book over the next several days.

Scheduled Escapes

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings (Marygene Brown Mysteries)
by Kate Young
Release Date – May 28, 2019
Setting – Georgia
For Review

Seeing Red (A Red Herring Mystery)
by Dana Dratch
Release Date – May 28, 2018
Setting – Washington D.C. / Virginia
The Great Escapes Tour stops here next Wednesday!

A Daughter’s Truth
by Laura Bradford
Release Date – May 28, 2019
Setting – Pennsylvania
For Review

Future Escapes

May 20 – 26, 2019

Click Here to check out my Current Giveaways!

Please Share Your Reading Itinerary in the Comments below!
Happy Reading!!
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

#Spotlight – After The Funeral Podcast Promotion – Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah – Great Escapes Book Tour

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Listen to After the Funeral by Agatha Christie

A Free Serialization of the Complete Audiobook in Eight Parts

Presented by Sophie Hannah

Throughout the serialization, Sophie informs listeners on the crucial distinction between the truly impossible and the deeply unlikely, points out the magic of a very personal motive, and explains her belief that “the best stories are the ones that would only ever happen once.”

after the funeral

Hercule Poirot is called on to investigate the murder of a brother and sister, in this classic Agatha Christie mystery now available in an updated edition with a foreword Sophie Hannah.

 “He was murdered, wasn’t he?”

When Cora Lansquenet is savagely murdered, the extraordinary remark she had made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say, “It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it. But he was murdered, wasn’t he?”

Did Cora’s accusation a dark truth that sealed her own fate? Or are the siblings’ deaths just tragic coincidences?

Desperate to know the truth, the Lansquenet’s solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery. For even after the funeral, death isn’t finished yet .


monogram murdersIn 2014 Sophie Hannah received wide-spread acclaim for penning an all-new mystery featuring Agatha Christie’s legendary hero Hercule Poirot, The Monogram Murders, an instant bestseller.  Reviews were outstanding, praising Hannah for her command of the character and voice.  So when the time came to write a new story, Sophie knew there was only one way she would write another book—even though she enjoyed writing the first so much—she knew she would need to have an idea that was clever and compelling enough to think, ‘This feels very Agatha-ish. Poirot MUST solve this case.’

And then it came to her, “…as if by magic (that really is how it felt!) an idea landed in my head. A motive for murder. It was incredibly simple—so simple, it almost seemed too obvious—and yet I didn’t think it had been done before.”

The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery

Series: Hercule Poirot Mystery

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 9, 2015)

ISBN-13: 978-0062297228


“I’m a dead woman, or I shall be soon . . .”

Hercule Poirot’s quiet supper in a London coffeehouse is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. Though terrified, she begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done. Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a London Hotel have been murdered, and a monogrammed cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim.

CLOSED CASKETSo now Sophie Hannah returns with an all new Poirot story, CLOSED CASKET on sale September 6, 2016!

Closed Casket: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery

Series: Hercule Poirot Mysteries

Hardcover: 320 pages

Publisher: William Morrow (September 6, 2016)

ISBN-13: 978-0062458827




Lady Athelinda Playford has planned a house party at her mansion Clonakilty, County Cork, but it is no ordinary gathering. As guests arrive, Lady Playford summons her lawyer to make an urgent change to her will – one she intends to announce at dinner that night. She has decided to cut off her two children without a penny and leave her fortune to someone who has only weeks to live…

Among Lady Playford’s guests are two men she has never met—the famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Neither knows why he has been invited…until Poirot starts to wonder if Lady Playford expects a murderer to strike. But why does she seem so determined to provoke, in the presence of a possible killer? When the crime is committed in spite of Poirot’s best efforts to stop it, will he be able to unveil the true reason behind Lady Playford’s drastic change of heart, and ultimately, identify the killer?

Sophie Hannah

About the Author: 

Sophie Hannah is the internationally bestselling author of 10 psychological thrillers, which have been published in more than 20 countries and adapted for television. Her novel The Carrier won the 2013 Specsavers National Book Awards Crime Thriller of the Year. Sophie is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, and as a poet has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize.

Author Links

WebpageBlogFacebook – Twitter 

Purchase Closed Casket – Amazon  – B&N – HarperCollins – Books-A-Million – IndieBound

Purchase The Monogram Murders – Amazon  – B&N – HarperCollins Publishers – Books-A-Million –IndieBound

Tour Participants – Spotlight Tour

September 1 – The Book’s the Thing
September 1 – The Cozy Mystery Journal
September 2 – Shelley’s Book Case
September 2 – Celticlady’s Reviews
September 3 – A Holland Reads
September 3 – The Broke Book Bank
September 4 – Brooke Blogs
September 4 – 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!
September 5 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard
September 5 – Readsalot
September 6 – Queen of All She Reads
September 6 – Carole’s Book Corner
September 7 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf
September 7 – Socrates’ Book Reviews
September 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book
September 8 – Island Confidential
September 9 – StoreyBook Reviews
September 9 – Bea’s Book Nook
September 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews
September 10 – The Power of Words
September 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy
September 11 – LibriAmoriMiei
September 12 – Jemima Pett, Author
September 12 – The Girl with Book Lungs

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Posted in Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Spotlights

#Spotlight / #Giveaway – The Shattered Tree by Charles Todd @WmMorrowBks @HarperCollins

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The Shattered Tree
by Charles Todd


ShatteredTree hc rv

The Shattered Tree: A Bess Crawford Mystery
8th in Series
Historical Cozy Mystery
William Morrow (August 30, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0062386274
E-Book ASIN: B0191FR6JW


World War I battlefield nurse Bess Crawford goes to dangerous lengths to investigate a wounded soldier’s background—and uncover his true loyalties—in this thrilling and atmospheric entry in the bestselling “vivid period mystery series” (New York Times Book Review).

At the foot of a tree shattered by shelling and gunfire, stretcher-bearers find an exhausted officer, shivering with cold and a loss of blood from several wounds. The soldier is brought to battlefield nurse Bess Crawford’s aid station, where she stabilizes him and treats his injuries before he is sent to a rear hospital. The odd thing is, the officer isn’t British—he’s French. But in a moment of anger and stress, he shouts at Bess in German.

When Bess reports the incident to Matron, her superior offers a ready explanation. The soldier is from Alsace-Lorraine, a province in the west where the tenuous border between France and Germany has continually shifted through history, most recently in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, won by the Germans. But is the wounded man Alsatian? And if he is, on which side of the war do his sympathies really lie?

Of course, Matron could be right, but Bess remains uneasy—and unconvinced. If he was a French soldier, what was he doing so far from his own lines . . . and so close to where the Germans are putting up a fierce, last-ditch fight?

When the French officer disappears in Paris, it’s up to Bess—a soldier’s daughter as well as a nurse—to find out why, even at the risk of her own life.

charles and caroline todd

About The Authors

Charles and Caroline Todd are a mother-and-son writing team who live on the east coast of the United States. Caroline has a BA in English Literature and History, and a Masters in International Relations. Charles has a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Business Management, and a culinary arts degree that means he can boil more than water. Caroline has been married (to the same man) for umpteen years, and Charles is divorced.

Charles and Caroline have a rich storytelling heritage. Both spent many evenings on the porch listening to their fathers and grandfathers reminisce. And a maternal grandmother told marvelous ghost stories. This tradition allows them to write with passion about events before their own time. And an uncle/great-uncle who served as a flyer in WWI aroused an early interest in the Great War.

Charles learned the rich history of Britain, including the legends of King Arthur, William Wallace, and other heroes, as a child. Books on Nelson and by Winston Churchill were always at hand. Their many trips to England gave them the opportunity to spend time in villages and the countryside, where there’a different viewpoint from that of the large cities. Their travels are at the heart of the series they began ten years ago.

Charles’s love of history led him to a study of some of the wars that shape it: the American Civil War, WWI and WWII. He enjoys all things nautical, has an international collection of seashells, and has sailed most of his life. Golf is still a hobby that can be both friend and foe. And sports in general are enthusiasms. Charles had a career as a business consultant. This experience gave him an understanding of going to troubled places where no one was glad to see him arrive. This was excellent training for Rutledge’s reception as he tries to find a killer in spite of local resistance.

Caroline has always been a great reader and enjoyed reading aloud, especially poetry that told a story. The Highwayman was one of her early favorites. Her wars are WWI, the Boer War, and the English Civil War, with a sneaking appreciation of the Wars of the Roses as well. When she’s not writing, she’s traveling the world, gardening, or painting in oils. Her background in international affairs backs up her interest in world events, and she’s also a sports fan, an enthusiastic follower of her favorite teams in baseball and pro football. She loves the sea, but is a poor sailor. (Charles inherited his iron stomach from his father.) Still, she has never met a beach she didn’t like.

Both Caroline and Charles share a love of animals, and family pets have always been rescues. There was once a lizard named Schnickelfritz. Don’t ask.

Writing together is a challenge, and both enjoy giving the other a hard time. The famous quote is that in revenge, Charles crashes Caroline’s computer, and Caroline crashes his parties. Will they survive to write more novels together? Stay tuned! Their father/husband is holding the bets.

Author Links

Webpage – FacebookGoodReads

Purchase Links

HarperCollins     Amazon    B&N

Find all the books in this series here. 

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Tour Participants – Visit all the stops for Giveaway Bonus Entries

September 1 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
September 2 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
September 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
September 4 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
September 5 – The Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
September 6 – Reading Reality – REVIEW
September 7 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 8 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
September 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 10 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
September 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 12 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW
September 13 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
September 14 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

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Posted in It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2016 Week #21

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Hosted by Book Date

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Happy Monday Everyone!! 

I had a marvelous weekend with my grandchildren. Didn’t get much reading done, but played catch up last night to reach my goal.
zoo day 5212016

Are you ready to Escape into some Good Books?

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.


Dying for a Taste: A Sally Solari Mystery
Release Date – April 12, 2016
Review will be up tomorrow! 

Hearse and Gardens (Hamptons Home & Garden Mystery)
Release Date May 3, 2016
Kathleen will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday this week!

The Girl From Home: A Thriller
Release Date – April 5, 2016
Review will be up Thursday! 

Beyond a Doubt (A Carol Childs Mystery)
Release Date – July 14, 2015
I just realized I had not read this book so it quickly became my Flashback Friday read!


Forever Beach: A Novel
Release Day – June 7, 2016
For Review

The Penderghast Puzzle Protectors: A Brilliant Minnesota Mystery
Release Date – February 1, 2016
Julie will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week.

The Calamity Café (A Down South Café Mystery)
Release Date – June, 7, 2016
For Review

Happy Reading!


Click Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Reviews 2015 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Review/Giveaway – The Body in the Birches by Katherine Hall Page Great Escapes Book Tour

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The Body in the Birches
by Katherine Hall Page

My turn on this fantastic tour today!!

BODY IN THE BIRCHESThe Body in the Birches: A Faith Fairchild Mystery
22nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting – Maine
Publisher: William Morrow (May 12, 2015)
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0062310828


At home on Sanpere Island, Maine, caterer and amateur sleuth Faith Fairchild discovers that real estate can be murder, especially when it’s all in the family, in this twenty-third book in the popular mystery series.

The Fourth of July is one of the hottest on record and even the breeze off Penobscot Bay can’t seem to cool things down for Faith Fairchild and the rest of the folks on Sanpere Island. But the fireworks are just beginning. After the celebrations are over, Faith discovers a body in the woods near The Birches, an early twentieth-century “cottage.”

The body is identified as The Birches’ housekeeper, who seems to have succumbed to a heart attack. The death is only one of the dramatic events upending the historic house. A family gathering has been called to decide who will inherit the much loved, and very valuable, estate that has been in the Proctor family for generations. With this much money involved, it’s just a matter of time before trouble arises.

Faith is juggling her own family problems. Her teenage son, Ben, has started a new job as a dishwasher at The Laughing Gull Lodge—learning things that could land him in very hot water. And her daughter Amy is worried about her new friend, Daisy Proctor. Daisy is terrified—convinced that someone is trying to eliminate her mother from getting a share of The Birches. To protect her children, Faith has to find a possible murderer—before he strikes too close to her own home.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is the kind of story I expect from Katherine Hall Page, a murder mystery with tons of family drama!

This is one of my favorite cozy series. When a series lasts this long the characters are like old friends. Faith and Tom’s children have grown up right before our eyes. It is hard to believe Ben is a teenager, but Tom and Faith seem exactly the same. I would love to have them as neighbors!

We again travel to Maine with the Fairchilds and it is not your typical family vacation. The Proctor family has a home there too, The Birches, and a death in the family means a decision must be made on who will inherit the property. All interested parties have been called to spend the month of July there and then a decision will be made by the family’s oldest member. All the family has gathered to curry favor with Uncle Paul hoping they will be his choice. It isn’t long before the housekeeper is found dead and other “accidents” take place and somehow Faith finds herself right in the middle of the drama.

Faith is also facing some things on her own. Her kids are growing up and she is having a hard time with that plus Tom had to head back home when his mother is rushed to the hospital, leaving Faith on her own on Sanpere Island.

I really enjoyed this story because it focuses on two families but blends them together perfectly. There are several characters and new readers to this series may have a problem keeping them all straight. Many reside in Aleford or have an Aleford connection so they have appeared in previous stories.  All these characters give us plenty of suspects too and I was a bit surprised by the ending.

It is hard to keep things fresh in a long running series like this and I truly thought the series had ended with The Body in the Piazza. I was thrilled when I found out about this latest installment. I hope we have many more stories featuring the Fairchild family ahead.

If you are new to this series you really should start at the beginning for maximum reading pleasure.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

kathy083About This Author

Katherine Hall Page is the author of twenty-two previous Faith Fairchild mysteries, the first of which received the Agatha Award for best first mystery. The Body in the Snowdrift was honored with the Agatha Award for best novel of 2006. Page also won an Agatha for her short story “The Would-Be Widower.” In addition, she has been nominated for the Edgar Award, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the Macavity Award. She lives in Massachusetts and Maine with her husband.



Author Links:

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Tour Participants

May 12 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway

May 13 – Bea’s Book Nook – Review

May 14 – fundinmental – Review, Giveaway

May 15 – Laura’s Interests – Review

May 16 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review

May 17 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Guest Post, Giveaway

May 18 – readalot – Review

May 19 – Community Bookstop – Review

May 20 – Tea and A Book – Review

May 21 – Brooke Blogs – Interview, Giveaway

May 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review

May 23 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Giveaway

May 25 – Back Porchervations – 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.”

Posted in Giveaways Reviews 2012 Virtual Book Tour

and when she was good Virtual Blog Tour with Giveaway

“One of the best novelists around, period.”
Washington Post

“Lippman has enriched literature as a whole.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“Lippman is a writing powerhouse. ”
USA Today

“What an amazing writer!!”
~Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

And When She Was Good: A Novel
William Morrow (August 14, 2012)
An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0061706875

In the burbs she is a single soccer mom with a forgettable job. In Washington she is a redheaded lobbyist with a pretty mediocre record. But in fact if you can afford her hourly fee she will be the woman of your dreams.

She has gone from what he father called a girl with a “nothing face” to a woman with a very secret life. She has no real friends, keeps her life highly compartmentalized, trusts very few, all while trying to shelter her son from what really pays for their upper class lifestyle.

Then her accountant starts asking questions. Her longtime protector is hinting at new mysterious dangers. Her employees can’t be trusted. Her son’s father may be getting out of jail. Oh and another suburban madam has been found dead.

Nothing is what it seems and the stakes are higher than ever.

With no formal education, no real family, and no friends, it is time to remake her life yet again. The disappearing is the easy part. The hard part is staying alive long enough to get to the easy part.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
What an amazing writer! And When She Was Good is oh so good!!

The character of Helen/Heloise just jumps off the page. We see the why and the how her life made this journey. Terrible circumstances and poor choices made to escape those circumstances put her on this path. A believable path, easy to understand, leads her to this dangerous situation.

I was afraid at first that this was going to be a pretty stereotypical story, abused child grows up to become a prostitute, etc. But Lippman took the story in another direction. She brought out the mother’s love for her son. A son with a life so very different from her own. She had two parents in a harmful environment with a mother who put her husband’s needs and her safety ahead of the needs and safety of her daughter. Heloise is doing everything for her son to protect him and give him the life she never had. She is making her decisions putting him first. Most of the people around her don’t even know she has a son. She lives to keep him safe. Aside from the danger she now faces she knew there would come a time that her life would need to take a new direction. As her son matured it would be much more difficult to hide or explain the truth about how she makes a living. The present situation just moved up her timetable and she needs to make the right choices this time.

The story travels back and forth through time and that kept the pages turning at a very rapid pace. It is a story of survival. A small reminder of nature versus nurture. With different parents Helen would have traveled down a very different path. There would have been no Heloise. This is one of those books that will make you want to hug your kids tight after reading it.

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About This Author
Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor’s Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association.

Ms. Lippman grew up in Baltimore and attended city schools through ninth grade. After graduating from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., Ms. Lippman attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her other newspaper jobs included the Waco Tribune-Herald and the San Antonio Light.

Ms. Lippman returned to Baltimore in 1989 and has lived there since. She is the daughter of Theo Lippman Jr., a Sun editorial writer who retired in 1995 but continues to freelance for several newspapers, and Madeline Mabry Lippman, a former Baltimore City school librarian.

Check out her website at
Like her Fan Page on Facebook.





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 Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Review: Following Atticus by Tom Ryan

Following Atticus:
Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship

William Morrow
An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Available Now

Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship


Tom Ryan describes himself as middle-aged, overweight and an acrophobic newspaperman. He and his canine companion, miniature schnauzer, Atticus M. Finch, are an unlikely pair of mountaineers. Tom was drawn to the New Hampshire peaks by some childhood memories. When a close friend dies of cancer he decides to climb all 48 four thousand foot peaks twice in one winter as a tribute to her and to raise money for charity. It is an adventure of a lifetime and will test both the man and the dog’s endurance. They trek miles on the dangerous trails covered in snow and ice. The weather becomes an enemy as snow and cold can keep them off the trails as they try to complete this difficult challenge.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
What an inspiring story!!! An incredible journey, just a man and his dog. Perseverance, determination, strength of mind and body. This 5 pound little puppy worked its way into Tom Ryan’s heart and they will both work their way into yours.

I found several interesting things in the book. The first was the breeder’s advice to Tom to carry the pup wherever he went for the first month to bond with the pup. I had never heard that before but Tom and Atticus’s relationship proves how well it works.


The second was the education of The White Mountains. Living in Wisconsin I didn’t know much about them at all except that they were there 🙂 After reading the book I checked out some sources online and there is a lot of information about hiking and the The Appalachian Mountain Club. After reading this book I wish I was able to hike the mountains myself.

Tom Ryan changed his life and his story could change yours. Whether it be climbing actual mountains or the mountains we all face in every day life. Attitcus was like “The Little Engine That Could”, he didn’t know he was so small and he led Tom up those mountains like an animal 100 times his size.

This is not a story you will soon forget. You will want to share the wonder of it with your friends and family. It receives my highest recommendation!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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 Reviews 2012

Review: Dollhouse by Kourtney, Kim & Khloe Kardashian


William Morrow
An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Meet the Romeros, Mom Kat, sisters, Kassidy, Kamille and Kyle.  The Romero’s life is turned upside down when husband/dad David Romero dies suddenly and they have to sell their house for something more modest. A life insurance policy allows Kat to buy a defunct restaurant in West Hollywood. Then she marries Beau, a retired Dodger pitcher,  and he add his kids, Benjy and Bree, to the family.

Then one of the sisters is “discovered” and becomes a model which forces the entire family into the spotlight. It doesn’t take them long to realize that being a celebrity in L.A.’s  “gilded dollhouse” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I know what you are thinking, this is just another spin-off from the Kardashian television series and you are right, but don’t we always say authors write about what they know. This is what these girls know.

Seriously, I do enjoy their t.v. show, one of my little guilty pleasures, but I really hadn’t planned on reading this book until my twenty year old daughter said “Mom, you have to read this book!” She loved it!!!! So I read it. It is a very fast read and at first I thought I was wasting my time until the dialogue started sounding just the way they talk to each other on the show and the way my daughter talks to her friends.  Then I started to realize that if the authors were not the famous Kardashians with all the hype, the story wasn’t bad. A Young Adult novel about a dysfunctional family trying to function in the Hollywood spotlight.

Yes, Kassidy is based on Kourtney, Kamille is based on Kim, Kyle is based on Khloe, Kat is based on Kris Jenner but this is a fiction story. Perfect and fun for those older teens and twenties girls to read and enjoy. Like my daughter they would love it. So my daughter would give it five stars, an old lady like me would give it a three so I’ll average that out.

**One small gripe but this is the publisher’s fault not the authors. The book jacket shows the family name as the Rameros and the book has the name as Romeros. This should have been caught before it hit the shelves.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.”