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

#FlashbackFriday – In the Drink (Mack’s Bar Mysteries) by Allyson K. Abbott #Review / #Giveaway

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.


In the Drink (Mack’s Bar Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington (July 28, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 075828019X
ISBN-13: 978-0758280190
Kindle ASIN: B00P53BX30

Mack’s Bar and its crime-solving clientele are quickly gaining notoriety for helping solve some high-profile cases. But Mack is learning the hard way that not all press is good press . . .

By day, Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton is the proprietress of a popular Milwaukee watering hole. But after last call, she uses her unique cocktail of extra perceptive senses to help solve some of the city’s most grisly homicides. Now, Mack and her barstool detectives are happy to help when Tiny, one of the bar’s newest patrons, asks them to look into his sister’s murder. Though the case has gone cold, Mack’s heightened senses quickly put her on the killer’s trail. But when a throng of reporters intrigued by her talents descends on Mack’s Bar, her efforts are muddled as a real-life Moriarty begins putting her infamous skills to the test, leaving Mack feeling shaken and stirred . . .

Includes drink recipes!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Mack and Detective Duncan Albright’s relationship hits a huge bump in the road just when Mack needs him most. But he comes up with a plan to keep her safe as they try to figure out who is tormenting her with a mindboggling game of cat and mouse with deadly consequences.

The Capone Club is working on the cold case for one member of the group, Tiny. His sister was murdered and the cops never caught the killer. A few members are helping with Mack’s case too on the down-low. Both cases keep Mack and her friends busy while the bar is crowded with many new customers loving the new expansion. Hopefully soon Mack will get to enjoy the fruits of her labor too.


“Fail it and I will leave a body for you somewhere here in the city…It will be someone you know, someone who is close to you…”

This author knows how to grab her readers and hold on tight. Again there are two mysteries within the book, this time running concurrently. They are twisted together the entire way but only one is solved by the final page. At first, I was like NOOOO! Then I was thankful that I am reading this series now when the next book and each book in the rest of the series is in my TBR stacks, so I don’t have to wait months or a year for the next book to be released.

I really enjoy Mack’s unique gift of Synaesthesia and the way she deals with it. The fact that she now what to really use it to help others so much that she is having her reactions cataloged says so much about her as a person. She is still learning and understanding about her extra perceptive senses but is opening up more about them to people she trusts. She is an amazing character.

Ms. Abbott surrounds Mack with a great cast of supporting characters, regulars, and employees of the bar. This time she introduces us to Mal, an undercover cop who steps in to help Mack when Duncan can’t. This sets up a nice romantic triangle. It is too early to choose sides but Mal has definitely drawn my attention. M & M – Mack & Mal just may become a real thing.

Ms. Abbott is an interesting storyteller. She writes her mysteries in a fascinating way. In The Drink is a fine example of that. She has me hooked with engaging characters that I want to know more about and she has set her stories not far from where I live which adds an extra measure of delight. I am so excited for the next book in this series, Shots in the Dark. I will be grabbing a seat at Mack’s Bar again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Allyson K. Abbott is a pseudonym used by suspense writer Beth Amos. Beth has enjoyed a varied writing career that included a stint as a book reviewer and several years of nonfiction freelancing. Now she writes only fiction, and in stark contrast to her “day job” as an ER nurse, where she gets to save lives, the one common factor in her fiction, no matter what name it’s written under, is that someone always dies. Allyson K. Abbott is my little insider joke at having to pick yet another pseudonym. It’s not a coincidence the initials are what they are.  Check out her webpage here and on Facebook here.

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 26, 2021, 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

This book was from my private collection.

Posted in 2021 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Murder with a Twist (Mack’s Bar Mysteries) by Allyson K. Abbott #Review / #Giveaway

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.


Murder with a Twist (Mack’s Bar Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington (August 5, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 9780758280176
Kindle ASIN: B00IKOTTYG

The regulars at Mack’s Bar love putting their heads together to solve a good mystery. But Mack is learning there’s a big difference between barroom brain teasers and real-life murder. . .

Milwaukee bar owner Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton has a unique neurological condition that gives her extra perceptive senses, and police detective Duncan Albright is convinced Mack’s abilities can be used to help catch crooks. Mack may be a pro at mixing drinks, but she’s still an amateur when it comes to solving crimes–and she’s not sure she should mix business with pleasure by working with a man who stirs up such strong feelings in her. At her first crime scene–a suspicious suicide–she experiences a heady cocktail of mixed sensations and emotions that make her question whether police work is right for her. But when Duncan asks her to help find a kidnapped child, she knows she has to give it a shot. . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I found this series a few years ago and loved the first book in the series Murder on the Rocks. Then I picked up this book, Murder with a Twist but I immediately had to stop reading. I knew from reading the synopsis there was a suicide element but I hadn’t expected it to be so similar to the way my son took his life back in March of 2015. I put the book back on my To-Be-Read bookshelf but I kept passing over it until last week when I decided I should be able to handle the subject matter by now. Well, I was partly right. I still had to skip or skim some triggering passages but soon the suicide part of the book wrapped up and I was able to enjoy the rest of the story. I am glad I waited and didn’t just skip the book or forget about the series. 

Mack is such an interesting character. She has Synaesthesia which means she experiences everything differently. Over the years she has learned to control it or she would continually be suffering from an overload of her unique senses. While trying to help Detective Duncan Albright solve her father’s murder (in Murder on the Rocks) they realize her unique extra perceptive senses can be helpful in solving his cases. So this time Mack tags along as he investigates a suspicious suicide and a murder with a missing child.

What I really enjoyed was The Capone Club. A bunch of bar regulars that love to solve puzzles and mysteries, both real cases and those dreamed up by members of the group. Some have special talents that become very helpful in closing Duncan’s cases. The investigations take on a real community feel as they sort through clues and dig up new ones. I usually try to solve the mystery before the protagonist but this time I felt like I had a place at the Capone Club table and we were all working it out together. I did like that there were two completely separate mysteries within the book. One wrapped up and another began which is easy to believe for a city like Milwaukee.

There are a wide variety of characters, regulars, and employees of the bar. Even one from “up Nort'”. I love the way the author brings the uniqueness of Wisconsin to the story. It is so comfortable. I was drawn to this series because Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton and I have some things in common. We both grew up in Wisconsin living above and working in our family’s taverns. Walking into Mack’s Bar virtually brings back so many memories. Unlike Mack, thankfully I never had to deal with a dead body.

I have the next book in this series, In The Drink, waiting on my TBR shelf. I hope to visit Mack’s Bar again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

About The Author

Allyson K. Abbott is a pseudonym used by suspense writer Beth Amos. Beth has enjoyed a varied writing career that included a stint as a book reviewer and several years of nonfiction freelancing. Now she writes only fiction, and in stark contrast to her “day job” as an ER nurse, where she gets to save lives, the one common factor in her fiction, no matter what name it’s written under, is that someone always dies. Allyson K. Abbott is my little insider joke at having to pick yet another pseudonym. It’s not a coincidence the initials are what they are.  Check out her webpage here and on Facebook here.

I am giving away my 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.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End March 5, 2021, 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

This book was from my private collection.

Posted in 2021 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes Read The Printed Word Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday – Deep Dark Secrets (Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery Series) by Joy Ann Ribar #Review / #Giveaway

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am pleased to share my thoughts about Deep Dark Secrets today by Wisconsin Author Joy Ann Ribar today!

Deep Dark Secrets (Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Orange Hat Publishing (June 15, 2019)
Paperback: 328 pages
ISBN-10: 1645380343
ISBN-13: 978-1645380344
Kindle ASIN: B07YQ4CJM5

You’re invited to visit Deep Lakes, Wisconsin, and meet a new friend, Francine “Frankie” Champagne. The 40-something owner of Bubble and Bake — bakery by day, wine lounge by night — Frankie is a spitfire pastry maker, vintner, and budding journalist.

Frankie finds herself on the perimeter of a suspicious death that upends the peaceful winter slumber in Deep Lakes when the local pastor is found dead inside his fishing shanty on Lake Loki. Frankie sticks her curious nose into the investigation, despite warnings from the local sheriff to leave it alone. But she has something to prove, maybe to the newspaper editor who wouldn’t hire her as a reporter, maybe to herself as she searches for fulfillment. Regardless, her fierce independence won’t allow her to back down. Follow Frankie as she stumbles upon one discovery after another, trails potential suspects, and solves the case!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Welcome to the frozen tundra of Wisconsin where the lakes like Lake Loki are filled with ice fishing shanties and fundraisers, where cars are set on the ice and people guess when the lake will thaw enough to send the car to a watery grave. Unfortunately, a local pastor is the one being buried when he is found dead in his ice shanty covered in blood. Francine “Frankie” Champagne the owner of Bubble and Bake — bakery by day, wine lounge by night, inserts herself right in the middle of the investigation to get the scoop for a newspaper article she hopes to write. Short on clues, she just keeps digging until she breaks through the ice and uncovers some deep, dark, secrets and all the clues fall into place.


Frankie Champagne has a lot on her plate. Baking, wine-making, and bottling that wine, managing the Bubble and Bake, divorced with two daughters in college, a new romance or two on the horizon, all while trying to follow her dream of becoming a newspaper journalist.  Thankfully she has her best friend Carmen as a partner at the Bubble and Bake and a lot of good help, including her mother, because she is bound and determined to find out who killed the pastor and why. I liked Frankie but the woman is in non-stop motion. For me, it was almost too much as she traveled across a lot of Wisconsin and even to Iowa in her quest to solve the murder.  All the characters we meet, and there are a lot, are very fleshed out for the first book in a series.

The mystery itself was not quite as forthcoming. Yes, there are secrets and while the innuendo about the pastor was there, I wished the suspects had been more clearly spelled out. Frankie talks to several people but I never was able to form a real list or eliminate people as I usually do with a cozy mystery. It was a journey from having the method of death explained clearly to Frankie taking some risks until the final reveal. I did like that we did get to read Frankie’s article at the end, it wrapped the mystery up nicely.

Deep Dark Secrets has some good bones and is a nice start for this series. There are a few things I feel could have been omitted or pared down to help the story flow better. It had first in a series -itis, where the author has to introduce the characters and the setting along with a good mystery to hold our interest. The author does this satisfactorily but sometimes less detail is more conducive to a successful introduction.  As a Wisconite like the author, I can say she described the state very well and made Deep Lakes a place I would love to visit. The characters are engaging and I am looking forward to seeing where the author takes them next. Deep Bitter Roots us already downloaded to my Kindle. I hope to be reading and reviewing it soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author (from Amazon)

Joy Ann Ribar is a Wisconsin native who embraces her Scandinavian roots – wine-tasting and food-munching from every culture. A semi-retired English educator, Joy teaches writing classes at Madison College. She earned a Journalism degree from UW-Madison and a Master’s in Education from UW-Oshkosh. She and her husband, John, run a backyard buffet for winged creatures, plus the occasional furry critter. Someday, they plan to sell everything, buy an RV, and escape Wisconsin winters.

WebsiteFacebookInstagram 


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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End January 20, 2021, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Stiff Penalty (Mattie Winston Mysteries) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @ryan_annelise

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.


Stiff Penalty (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington Books (March 1, 2015)
Print Length: 417 pages
Kindle ASIN: B00M4ASUL0

Danger multiplies for a pregnant coroner investigating a math teacher’s murder in this hard-boiled mystery by a USA Today–bestselling author.

 

Deputy coroner Mattie Winston knows a thing or two about dead bodies. That’s why she’s on the case of Derrick Ames, a high school math teacher stabbed to death with a barbecue fork straight to the heart. Sure, she’s turned up some motives and a few suspects, but nothing adds up. Especially when the evidence points to Ames’s teenage son. Newly pregnant Mattie can’t believe it, even as her own long-estranged father may be following her. But one thing’s certain, she’d better start figuring things out fast, or a deadly perpetrator could be subtracting two more victims from the population of Sorenson, Wisconsin . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Stiff Penalty is the sixth book in this series and I want to state upfront that these books should be read in order to fully understand the characters and the relationships but also for the hilarity that ensues within the pages of each book.

Mattie Winston has had a hard life, her father left when she was young, she caught her husband in the act of cheating on her at the hospital where they both work, and now she is dealing with a stalker, an unexpected pregnancy, and of course, another murder or two.


It took me a few minutes to get into this story because most of it is told in flashbacks but after I got the rhythm down the pages flew.

Ms. Ryan really brings the drama this time. Maddie is seeing a therapist and all her insecurities come out. It was great to see the other side of Maddie. She tries to keep a brave face on for the world but her life is changing in ways that can be downright scary.

There is drama at work too. High School math teacher Derrick Ames was stabbed straight into his heart with a barbeque fork. There are suspects but Maddie can’t piece the clues together to pin down the killer. But again, there is that stalker and the baby on the way. And being shot at doesn’t help matters. The drama doesn’t stop there either.

I really enjoyed Stiff Penalty. I started reading this series because it is set in my home state of Wisconsin. I keep coming back and reading more because I have become invested in these characters and the craziness that comes along with them. A great mystery or two just adds to the fun.

I am bound and determined to get all caught up on this series in 2021.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

Contest Will End December 18, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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

Posted in 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting

Murder Most Sweet: A Bookish Baker Mystery by Laura Jensen Walker #Review


Murder Most Sweet: A Bookish Baker Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (September 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 289 pages
ISBN-10: 1643855026
ISBN-13: 978-1643855028
Kindle ASIN: B08272M182

In this series debut for fans of Jenn McKinlay, baker Teddie St. John spends her time away from the oven writing murder mysteries. But is she herself a murderer?

 

Everyone in Lake Potawatomi, Wisconsin, knows Teddie St. John. Tall, curly-haired Teddie is a superb baker, a bohemian bon vivant, and a mystery writer. Teddie is walking her American Eskimo dog, Gracie, when her four-legged friend finds Teddie’s missing silk scarf. Only problem: the scarf is tied tightly around the neck of a beautiful blond woman, the fiancée of a touring British author.

 

Before you can say “Wisconsin kringle,” Teddie becomes a murder suspect. Everyone in town knows all too well that the distinctive scarf was hers. But there are more layers to this case than there would have been on poor Kristi’s wedding cake. Tavish Bentley should be bereaved after his sweetheart’s strangling. Instead, the dashing Brit takes a shine to Teddie’s witty wisecracks and to-die-for cookies, and soon he’s mooning over her instead of mourning his bride. That is, when he’s not dodging the attentions of Annabelle, an obsessive fan who’s taken to stalking him.

 

And when a second murder shocks the community, the plot thickens to the consistency of fondant as Teddie stands accused of not one, but two, murders. With the help of her friends Sharon and Char, can Teddie clear her name and deliver a killer’s just desserts?

 

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I had planned to read and review this book closer to the release date but I was suffering from chemo side effects and preparing for surgery at that time. Now I have just a few radiation treatments left and am in a much better place to read this book that features a breast cancer survivor protagonist.

Teddie St. John loves to bake and she’s good at it. She also loves to write mysteries and she excels at that too.  A breast cancer survivor she has plotted her life around those two things, plus her friends, her mom, and her American Eskimo dog, Gracie.  She is excited to attend a book signing at her BFF Char’s bookstore. The author, Tavish Bentley, is a famous British suspense writer who ended up in Lake Potawatomi when his event in Milwaukee was canceled. Sadly just as the event is getting started Teddie suffers one of those dreaded side effects brought on by cancer treatments and ends up leaving the book signing early.

Later while out walking Gracie she makes a gruesome discovery. Behind her friend’s bookstore, she finds the famous author’s fiance dead with a significant clue that points directly at Teddie as the murderer.  Thankfully she is friends with the sheriff and he knows she didn’t kill anybody. The author does have a fan who is obsessed with him, and Teddie’s money is on her as the killer but then a second body is found and that really twists things up. Teddie enlists the help of her besties to help her find the real killer and serve them up on a silver platter.


I love Teddie St. John! It is always nice when you have something in common with the lead character in a cozy but this time it isn’t just a craft or an occupation, it is something neither would have chosen for ourselves. Surviving cancer is a battle and her road was much tougher than mine. I know the author drew from her own experiences and that makes the story even more special. Ms. Walker also surrounded Teddie with excellent friends, an overbearing mother, and a lovable pup. These characters all drew me in right away.

Setting the story in my home state, also the author’s, grabbed my attention too. The dialogue rang true, the descriptions of the people and places was like looking out my back door, and OMG the food/Kringles mentions brought me actual joy.

The mystery was top-notch, with actually two to solve. Teddie was an interesting sleuth to follow. If you are looking for quirky, somewhat creepy characters look no further than the people that land on Teddie’s suspect list. She takes some risks but none of the “too stupid to live” kind that some amateur sleuths do. I did hone in on a few things before she did but was very entertained by the way things played out.

The story had a great flow with one scene near the beginning of the book that had me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. There is also the start of a romance for Teddie. At first, I thought it was happening too quickly but who am I to judge. Teddie has been through a lot and deserves all the happiness she can get.

Murder Most Sweet is a terrific cozy mystery that has set this series off to a fine start. My appetite has been seriously whet, I can hardly wait for Deadly Delights that will be hitting shelves June 8, 2021.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Laura Jensen Walker has loved mysteries ever since she read Trixie Belden in the fourth grade in her Danish-founded hometown of Racine, Wisconsin–America’s kringle capital. A former journalist and the author of several novels and humorous non-fiction books, including Thanks for the Mammogram! Laura, like her main character, chose to go flat after her second mastectomy and is grateful to be a longtime breast cancer survivor. She lives in California with her Renaissance-man husband and their canine-daughter Mellie. (from Amazon)

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 2020 Reviews Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Board Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries) by Annelise Ryan #Review / #Giveaway @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.


Board Stiff (Mattie Winston Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Publisher: Kensington (March 4, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 0758272766
ISBN-13: 978-0758272768
Kindle ASIN: B00F8J6RG4

Sorenson, Wisconsin’s deputy coroner Mattie Winston is back on the job. . .in a nursing home examining the body of Bernie Chase—the now former president of the Twilight Home’s board of directors—who is covered in a powder used to turn liquids to solids. The home’s residents are certain Bernie was offing the patients who cost him too much. . .and the patient that found him can’t remember a thing.

 

Between her ongoing tug of war with Detective Hurley, fulfilling her new job requirement of seeing a shrink, and wrangling with the Twilight Home’s board of directors, Mattie’s got her scrubbed hands full. She’ll need all of her outside-the-box forensic skills to crack a case that’s turning out to be stranger—and more dangerous—than anything she’s seen before!

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The last book in this series was definitely not a fave but this time Mattie Winston is back in the coroner’s office and investigating a case at a local nursing home. The owner of the place died an unusual death and the place is full of suspects. Unfortunately, the man found with the body is dealing with dementia and can’t remember what happened.

As a condition of Mattie’s return to the job she has to meet with a shrink and she is not happy about that. She is also dealing with the demise of her relationship with Detective Hurley or is she? With them working together again are they going to be able to keep their hands off each other?

______

Okay, the author has got her groove back and it is stories like this I have have come to expect from her! Laugh out loud! Fun! Fun! Fun!

The mystery is well-plotted and full of twists. A plethora of suspects! A nursing home is a terrific setting because residents and staff all may have means, motive, and opportunity for wanting the guy in charge 6 feet under especially if the rumors floating around the place are true. The investigation was heady but handled correctly even with all the roadblocks the powers that be tried to throw up.

The characters in this series are great and the introduction of a special person in Hurley’s life adds a who adds a new element to his life and the series. Plus there is a cliffhanger that just blew me away.

I can’t wait to get started on the next book in this series as I continue my endeavor to catch up on the entire series. I love that it is set in my home state of Wisconsin and upset that it took me so long to find it.

This one was truly A Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Annelise Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Mattie Winston mystery series and a pseudonym for Beth Amos, who also writes the Mack’s Bar Mystery series under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott. Beth is a real-life emergency room RN living in Wisconsin. She believes laughter is the best medicine, and with the Mattie Winston series, she is hoping to “medicate” the masses.

For more Mattie Winston fun and to keep up with the latest news, visit www.mattiewinston.com

Also by this Author

Written as Allyson K. Abbott

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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

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

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

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

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*This was from my personal collection.

Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Alphabet Soup A -Z Author Edition Challenge Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday featuring A Crafter Quilts a Crime: A Handcrafted Mystery by Holly Quinn #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am thrilled to feature Holly Quinn’s A Crafter Quilts A Crime today! 

About A Crafter Quilts A Crime

quilter quilts a crime

A Crafter Quilts a Crime: A Handcrafted Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (February 11, 2020)
Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1643852906
ISBN-13: 978-1643852904
Kindle ASIN: B07RTMXRK8

Perfect for fans of Betty Hechtman and Maggie Sefton, Holly Quinn’s third Handcrafted mystery aspires to wrap you in its warmth.

Community Craft proprietor Sammy Kane must piece together a patchwork of clues when a “live” mannequin ends up stone-cold dead.

Snowcapped pines and glittery dusted sidewalks adorn tranquil Heartsford, Wisconsin, while residents cuddle beneath heirloom quilts in front of cozy wood fires. But come the next day, the below-zero temperatures won’t keep the locals away from Heartsford’s annual Fire & Ice event. To boost customer traffic at Community Craft’s one-night-only sale, Samantha “Sammy” Kane persuades a few of the craftspeople who sell their wares at the store to participate in a live mannequin window display contest.

Local quilter Wanda Wadsworth emerges as a favorite to win the contest, as she manages to not move a muscle for an unusual amount of time. Onlookers outside the window try everything to get her to crack–tapping on the glass and making funny faces–but nothing disrupts Wanda’s stillness. When the eagle-eyed spectators realize Wanda isn’t breathing, a blanket of grief and fear descends upon the wintry town.

Detective Liam Nash can’t seem to piece the clues together. Fortunately, Sammy’s cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie, are on hand to reconvene their detective team, S.H.E. They set out to solve Wanda’s untimely death before the case grows as icy as a sub-zero Wisconsin winter. But they are all too aware that the killer is too close for comfort.

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

Welcome to winter in Wisconsin and the fictional town of Heartford where the residents are celebrating with the annual Fire & Ice event. The shops are open late and the evening will conclude with a giant bonfire.  Sammy Kane wants her shop Community Craft to really stand out and bring in the customers so she has asked a few of her crafters to take part in a “live” mannequin contest. The front window is all decked out and ready for the crafters to take a starring role.

Wanda Wadsworth is ready to shine, she even brought one of her quilts to feature. She immediately captures the attention of the audience as she remains completely frozen in her pose as people do their darndest to disrupt her performance. When someone suddenly notices Wanda’s lips turning blue people jump into action but it is too late. Then when police try to notify the husband of her passing they find the man is missing.

Detective Liam Nash warns Sammy to stay out of the case but soon she, her cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie, the ladies of S.H.E. are bustling around in the cold and snow trying to find the killer. Things start to heat up as the killer is close on their tail.

_____

This is such a fun series. I have come to think of the main characters as friends and they have their share of strife this time as they don their Nancy Drew hats to try to find who killed their friend. These characters are relatable and believable and continue to evolve over the course of the story. I do like the way the girls work together and that they each have their own strengths. All the characters presented in the story are well crafted but again the four-legged one steals my heart.

The story is very fast-paced with plenty of twists. Sammy’s drive for the truth gets her in trouble making for some very tense moments. There is a nice blend of daily life with the mystery and a real community feel over the whole book. I liked the way the crafting group came together with an idea to remember and honor the friend they had lost. What I really enjoyed most was something people see all over the state of Wisconsin have a new purpose when it comes to solving the mystery.

As a Wisconsin resident, Holly Quinn really brought a real Wisconsin winter to this story. The frigid cold, the blowing, and drifting snow. Waiting for the roads to get plowed noting that for some it can be a long wait. Also showing that snow is not the be-all and end-all. After being cooped up with kids after a snow day, moms will plow through the snow themselves to get to a craft meeting to converse with adults, drink hot chocolate that may include alcohol, and nosh on homemade treats for a few hours before heading back to fray at home ready for anything.

I do love the way this author tells a story. A Crafter Quilts a Crime is quite entertaining and checks all my cozy boxes. I truly can’t for the next book!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Crafter Knits A Clue – Here

Read my review of A Crafter Hooks A KillerHere

 

About Holly Quinn

holly quinn

Holly Quinn has published two stand-alone fiction novels in another persona. She graduated from Carroll University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in business and a minor in marketing. This is her second Handcrafted mystery. Visit her @ www.authorhollyquinn.com

Author Links – Website – Facebook – GoodReads 

Purchase Links –

Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – BAM – IndieBound – Powell’s Books – Walmart 

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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 E-Book Challenge Reviews 2019 Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Versions of Her by Andrea Lochen – #Review


Versions of Her
Women’s Fiction (Fantasy)
Setting – Wisconsin
Red Adept Publishing (July 1, 2019)
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1948051346
ISBN-13: 978-1948051347
Kindle ASIN: B07TF4YBBH

On the surface, Melanie Kingstad-Keyes’s life is the picture of success. She’s a tenure track professor at a prestigious university and has a perfect husband. But a recent miscarriage has left her reeling and her marriage tenuous. Selling her family’s Lake Indigo summer home, which she hasn’t visited in fifteen years, feels like the perfect distraction from her problems. Now, she only needs to persuade her younger sister, Kelsey, to go along with her plan.

Stuck in a dead-end job, Kelsey Kingstad bounces from one doomed relationship to the next as she struggles to jumpstart her adult life. Carrying the guilt of her mother’s untimely death, Kelsey is reluctant to let go of the Victorian house filled with memories of her mom and their childhood.

When the sisters find a mysterious hidden door, Melanie and Kelsey discover that they can directly view their mother’s younger years and learn all the secrets she never shared with them. Delving into her memories is fun at first, but Melanie and Kelsey quickly uncover difficult truths, throwing their own life choices into question and making them wonder if they ever truly knew their mother. Visiting the past may help them find closure, but the cost could be steeper than they realize.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Sisters can be as different as night and day and that is the case with Melanie Kingstad-Keyes and Kelsey Kingstad. Melanie has always been driven and Kelsey is more laid back. But Melanie has recently suffered a miscarriage and the life she has planned so carefully may not come to fruition. Kelsey is having trouble dealing with her mother’s death and it is affecting her life. Their father has remarried and left the area. They try to get together for the holidays.

Melanie has decided it is time to sell the family’s summer home on Indigo Lake. She has the blessing of her father but Kelsey isn’t so sure she is ready to let go. But Melanie goes ahead and sets up a meeting with a realtor and tells Kelsey to meet with her. They find the home in worse shape than expected, but Melanie is sure they can get everything ship-shape and ready to sell quickly. She decides that after her miscarriage some time away from her husband at Indigo Lake is just what she needs.  It will give her a chance to think while overseeing the repairs the house needs.

Soon after she arrives Melanie makes a surprising discovery and can’t wait to share it with Kelsey. She has found a hidden door that opens into a hidden room. That room enables some amazing things to happen. Things that give the girls pause. Things that shock them and things that make them rethink their lives.

____

I just skimmed the synopsis provided by the publisher before I started reading and I think it gives too much away. That being said, I hesitate to say too much because I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone. But I really enjoyed discovering the treasure of the story and what it encompassed right along with the Kingstad sisters instead of expecting it and knowing what it entailed. I really got caught up in the mystery room and wish so much for one of my own.

This story was incredibility well-written. The characters were all introduced well and depth was built over the course of the book. I feel the sister dynamic was realistically portrayed. Being the younger sister in my family I did identify with Kelsey and could see some of Melanie’s traits in my sister. It is clear the sisters have a strained relationship and they needed this time together. Kelsey’s dog, Sprocket was a great unifier and brought some humor into the story. The other characters we meet all have a purpose and are fleshed out as time passes.

I love that the story is set in my home state of Wisconsin. There are a lot of lakes throughout the state with plenty of homes surrounding them. The author did a great job of describing the area and bringing it to life. I could easily imagine all the activities that happened there over the years.

Versions of Her is a heartwarming story filled with memories. It also a clear message. I found the story to be filled with emotions and growth. Melanie and Kelsey took a journey within these pages and I was happy to go along for the ride.

This is not the type of story I would typically read but I found it to be entertaining and memorable and a Perfect Escape!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About Andrea Lochen

Though Andrea Lochen had dreamed of being an author since the third grade, she didn’t realize creative writing was “an actual thing” until she stumbled upon the program at the University of Wisconsin as a college freshman.  After graduating from college, she earned her Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Michigan and later achieved her dream of becoming a published author.

 

Andrea is now the author of three novels: The Repeat YearImaginary Things, and Versions of Her.  She teaches creative writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha, encouraging young writers to learn the craft and pursue their own writing dreams.  She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two small children, and their adorably fluffy dog, Maddy.  In her free time, she likes to bake cupcakes and cakes, see musicals and plays, and read as much as humanly possible.

Author Links – Author Website – Facebook – Twitter  –  Goodreads –  BookBub  –  Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

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 Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Reviews 2019 Wisconsin Author You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Curio Killing (A Keepsake Cove Mystery) by Mary Ellen Hughes – #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @mehughesauthor

A Curio Killing
(A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
by Mary Ellen Hughes

 

About A Curio Killing

A Curio Killing (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Maryland
Midnight Ink (September 8, 2019)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 0738752266
ISBN-13: 978-0738752266
Digital ASIN: B07KMX5QY4

Callie finds treble in Keepsake Cove when her ex-boyfriend is framed for murder . . . 

Callie Reed is looking forward to her first Keepsake Cove spring festival. But her excitement dims considerably when she learns that her ex-boyfriend, Hank, will be performing with one of the hired country-western bands. Callie vows to keep her distance, but that changes when the band’s manager, Bobby Linville, is found dead, killed with the music box Hank bought at Callie’s shop.

Hank is soon singing a sad tune in a detention center with Callie his only lifeline. Though thoroughly aware of his many faults, she knows violence and murder aren’t in his blood. But that means one of her fellow Keepsake Cove residents must be hiding a dark secret—something Callie desperately needs to uncover.

Dollycas’s  Thoughts

In this 3rd Keepsake Cove Mystery House of Melody owner Callie Reed is excited about the upcoming Spring Festival. She is totally caught off guard when her ex-boyfriend Hank walks into her shop and informs her his band will be headlining the entertainment for the festival. She is even more shocked when he purchases a pricey music box. She plans to enjoy the festival with new boyfriend Brian, keeping any contact with Hank to a minimum.

Then the band’s manager is murdered and the murder weapon happens to be the music box Hank purchased the day before. Like a familiar country song, Hank finds himself behind bars pleading his innocence and begging a woman (Callie) for her help. She believes he didn’t do it but she has no idea who would have killed the man. It could be someone who calls Keepsake Cove home.

__

The core characters in this series are an eclectic group and they are joined this time some great new characters, some who make very good suspects. Keepsake Cove residents, Hank and the members of his band. Delia’s costume photographer friend Jill, and Callie’s mom who is reaching out by phone for Callie’s help too. I am glad Brian is such a fantastic boyfriend. He was patient and didn’t get too freaked out by Callie’s determination to help her ex, but it was easy to see he was not happy. She also leaves the music box shop in her assistant’s hands a lot while she is “investigating”. She is blessed by the people in her life that stood by her side as she helped a man that had really hurt her in the past.

The mystery had its share of twists and turns. There turned out to be more suspects than originally perceived. Secrets revealed really took the case in a different direction. I was surprised by the way everything played out.

Keepsake Cove, a collector shopper’s dream come true, is an ideal place for cozy mysteries to take place. I would love to visit all the unique shops at any time of year. The author’s words also bring another area to life. She does an excellent job laying out the festival grounds too, making it very easy for readers to visualize.

There was something missing from this book that I loved about the others. That being Tabitha’s surprising over-the-top clothing and accessory choices that would surprise Callie and visitors to House of Melody, i.e. a new character each day. This time she was so focused on building her jewelry business and filling in for Callie, her uniqueness took a backseat. With a more serious Tabitha, some of the humor found in previous books was lost.

That being said A Curio Killing is a fine addition to this series. With the publisher closing its doors I hope the author finds a way to continue it because I sure would love to visit Keepsake Cove and these characters again soon.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of A Fatal Collection here, and A Vintage Death here.

About Mary Ellen Hughes

Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries, the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. The Keepsake Cove series begins with A Fatal Collection and continues with A VINTAGE DEATH and A CURIO KILLING.

Visit her at www.MaryEllenHughes.com.

Author Links – Facebook – Pinterest – Twitter  – GoodReads

Purchase Links 

 
Amazon    B&N  Midnight Ink     Mystery Love Company Booksellers    BAM    IndieBound

Also by Mary Ellen Hughes



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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 6 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
September 7 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 7 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
September 7 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 8 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
September 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 9 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
September 9 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
September 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 11 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 12 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
September 12 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
September 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 13 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW, RECIPE
September 14 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
September 16 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
September 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 18 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
September 19 – View from the Birdhouse – 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 Cozy Wednesday Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Guest Posts Literary Escapes Reviews 2019 Wisconsin Author Wisconsin Setting You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cozy Wednesday with Kathleen Ernst – Author of Fiddling with Fate (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway


Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am delighted to welcome Kathleen Ernst back to Escape with Dollycas!

Reaching a Milestone

By Kathleen Ernst

 

As Chloe Ellefson walked from 1982 into 1870s Wisconsin, a white frame church emerged from the trees, prettily framed against a cloud-studded blue sky. The view alone was enough to make most visitors pause, appreciate the simple elegance of the restored church, perhaps even wonder about the lives of those women and men and children who had first worshiped within its walls. For Chloe, the historic site’s newest employee, the scene represented a fresh start.

I wrote those words seventeen years ago, hoping they might one day become the beginning of an adult mystery novel.

At the time I was busy writing historical fiction for young readers and working as a project director and scriptwriter for instructional videos broadcast on Wisconsin Public Television. I had little spare time.

Still, writing a series about an outdoor museum curator was something I truly wanted to do. I had once worked for a large historic site myself, and I missed that world. Writing “on spec,” with no promise of publication, I began work on the first Chloe Ellefson mystery, Old World Murder.

Because I had to fit writing Chloe’s story around contract work, it took me seven years to finish that first book. The delays actually served me well, I think, for they gave me lots of time to think about not only the first mystery, but my goals for the series.

Old World Murder was published by Midnight Ink in 2010. Astonishingly, I’m now celebrating publication of the 10th book in the series, Fiddling With Fate.

My goals for the series haven’t changed. First, I strive to give readers a satisfying armchair adventure and complex characters to root for. In addition, I want to feature real historic sites and museums in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest. I want to celebrate this region’s diverse ethnic heritage by focusing on different groups. And I want to spotlight the stories that artifacts and old buildings can tell.

I’m writing about stories and places I feel passionately about, and I hope it shows. I love hearing that the mysteries have inspired readers to visit a museum, try a traditional craft, or delve deeper into their own family history.

The very best part of writing ten Chloe Ellefson mysteries? Making so many friends along the way—sites staff and volunteers, folk artists, reenactors, bloggers, and other authors, and most especially the many readers who care about Chloe (and her fiancé, Roelke McKenna) as much as I do.

To celebrate this milestone, Chloe and Roelke travel a bit farther afield in Fiddling With Fate. Chloe accepts a grant that sends them to Norway to research folk dance and fiddle music. While there, she hopes to unravel the mystery of her own ancestry. Of course, all does not go smoothly! Nonetheless, Chloe and Roelke manage to celebrate a milestone of their own.

Heartfelt thanks to Dollycas for her years of support, and to the wonderful readers who have made it possible for me to hold the 10th Chloe Ellefson Mystery in my hand. Happy reading!

Thank you, Kathleen, for visiting and writing such wonderful stories!

Keep reading for my thoughts on Fiddling with Fate.


Fiddling with Fate (A Chloe Ellefson Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
10th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin/Norway
Midnight Ink (September 8, 2019)
Paperback: 360 pages
ISBN-10: 0738760900
ISBN-13: 978-0738760902
Kindle ASIN: B07KN76WMH

Chloe has a devil of a time unraveling the mysteries of Norway’s fiddle and dance traditions

After her mother’s unexpected death, curator Chloe Ellefson discovers hidden antiques that hint at family secrets. Determined to find answers, Chloe accepts a consultant job in Norway, her ancestors’ homeland. She’s thrilled with the opportunity to explore Hardanger fiddle and dance traditions . . . and her own heritage.

Once their plane lands, however, Chloe and her fiancé, cop Roelke McKenna, encounter only disharmony. Chloe’s research reveals strong women and the importance of fiddle music in their lives. But folklore warns against “the devil’s instrument” and old evils may yet linger among the fjords and mountains. As Chloe fine-tunes her search for the truth, a killer’s desire to stop her builds to a deadly crescendo.

 Dollycas’s Thoughts

Chloe was dealing with some information she found out about her mother when her mother unexpectedly passed away. While going through her mother’s belongings she finds some unique heirlooms hidden away. These objects raise more questions than providing answers. Her mother was getting ready to travel to Norway to study Hardanger fiddle and dance traditions. With her death, Chloe is given the opportunity to take her place and her fiancé Roelke McKenna agrees to go along.

Their trip gets off to a rocky start when someone tries to steal the backpack Chloe is carrying at the airport soon after they landed. Able to hang on to her belongs, they try to concentrate on Chloe’s research with the added opportunity to research her mother’s background. The fiddle has a rich heritage, both good and bad and Chloe is anxious to learn all she can. But when a young woman is murdered Chloe enlists Roelke police instincts to help her solve all the mysteries. When they realize Chloe is the killer’s target things get really intense.

___

What I have loved about every book in this series is the way Kathleen Ernst melds her character’s lives with an extraordinary mystery while tying in a historic story too. This time she takes us to Norway to learn about immigrants that had migrated to Wisconsin in the 1920s. She takes her readers along with lead character Chloe on an adventure to learn about Norwegian history and the many facets like music and fiddling played in that history. The author’s research shines but it is all fictionalized in a way that is a pure joy to read.

Her words also permit readers to visualize clearly every place her characters travel. The outside museum, the trails, the hotel, the waterfalls, and to a spectacular place where Chloe learns so much. All the people they meet too are richly described and developed.

Chloe’s life takes place in the 1980s, no cell phones, no GPS, no Wikipedia, no internet, but she does have what I call “spidey sense”, certain places and things affect her physically. She learns much through her travels and experiences. I found myself fully immersed in this story wanting the learn right along with her. Both the present time and historic period had its own suspenseful mystery and some terrifying moments building to an unexpected ending.

Ms. Ernst is an amazing storyteller. Her imagination weaves a story filled with real history to take her readers on a delightful literary trip. The main characters are genuine, real and very engaging. It seems each book in this series becomes my new favorite because the author continues to top herself.

Fiddling with Fate takes two characters I care about on quite a journey. I loved every minute of it! Look for this book on my Best Reads List of 2019.

Each story is written to stand on its own but for maximum enjoyment, you should read them all.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Kathleen Ernst is a social historian, educator, and author. Her Chloe Ellefson mysteries reflect the decade she spent as a curator at a large outdoor museum, and feature historic sites in the Upper Midwest. Library Journal says, “Ernst keeps getting better with each entry in this fascinating series.” Kathleen has also written many mysteries for young readers. Honors for her work include a LOVEY Award and Agatha and Edgar nominations. Kathleen lives and writes in Wisconsin.

 Author Links – Website    Blog       Facebook

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

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Contest Will End September 18, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

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