Posted in 4 paws, Blog tour, Cozy, mystery, Review on April 12, 2014

ORANIZED FOR MURDERlarge banner314

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00001]

Release Date: February 24
Approximately 250 pages

Synopsis

The right business hook is the most important criteria for success, and Kate McKenzie thinks she’s found a perfect one.  As an organizational expert, Kate knows Americans are running out of space and money, and renting more storage units is usually not the best solution. Starting an organizational business, Stacked in Your Favor, in her new hometown of Hazelton, Vermont seems like an answer to her family’s budget problems and an answer to southern Vermonters’ prayers.  Business looks good when she snags collector, Amelia Nethercutt, as her first client, signing on to organize the wealthy woman’s eccentrically-filled mansion.  But things take a turn beyond chaos when Amelia is murdered and Kate’s fingerprints are found on the poison that killed her.

Review

I have such mixed feelings about this book. Kate grated on my nerves – primarily it was her OCD compulsions (at least that is how I interpret the actions) and being wishy washy at times. However, outside of that the writing was good and I really had no clue who the killer was and was quite surprised when it was revealed who the person was….NEVER saw that one coming but maybe should have based on some earlier parts of the book.

Great organizational tips at the beginning of most chapters and at the end in the appendix, I’m sure my husband would appreciate them!

We give this book 4 paws and it could become a good new cozy series.

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About This Author

Ritter Ames lives in a small town in the middle of America, but spends each day globe trotting the art world from her laptop, with her cat riding shotgun and Pandora blasting from the speakers. COUNTERFEIT CONSPIRACIES is her first full-length fiction. A second cozy mystery series, starting with ORGANIZED FOR MURDER will be released by Gemma Halliday Publishing in January 2014. She tries to blog regularly at http://ritterames.wordpress.com/ and uses her Pinterest boards at http://www.pinterest.com/ritterames/ to capture great places and ideas she wants to use in both series. Follow her blog and boards to learn more about Ritter and her upcoming books.

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Giveaway

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Tour Participants

March 31 – Chloe Gets A Clue – Interview
April 1 – A Year of Jubilee Reviews – Review
April 2 – i blog 4 books – Review
April 3 – Book Club Librarian – Review
April 5 – Mysteries Etc – Review
April 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
April 7 – Bea’s Book Nook – Review
April 7 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Guest Post
April 8 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post
April 9 – Thoughts in Progress – Review, Interview
April 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post
April 11- I’d Rather Be At The Beach – Review
April 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
April 13 – Socrates’ Book Review Blog – Review

Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Cozy, Monday, mystery, Review on April 7, 2014

This week I’m featuring the first book in the Claire Rawlings series by author Carole Bugge’ (aka C.E. Lawrence) who recently obtained the rights to publish these books digitally…so they are now available for your e-reader!  This is an older series, cell phones weren’t really around and it talks about the OJ Simpson trial and the movie Forrest Gump.  There are 3 books in this series and the other two are Who Killed Dorian Grey? and Who Killed Mona Lisa?.

blanche

 

Synopsis

New York mystery editor Claire Rawlings spends her days scrutinizing the motives and methods of fictitious criminals—but her precocious 13 year-old friend Meredith Lawrence has a keen eye for the cold, hard facts of crime. So when Meredith comes to visit, the two mystery buffs put their heads together to sleuth out the truth about a real-life murder.

Claire’s star author, the ferociously flirtatious Blanche Dubois, is found dead after eating a poisoned apple and there’s no shortage of suspects. Many were jealous of her success, and many put off by her haughty, demanding demeanor. With the help of a detective, Claire and Meredith question Blanche’s friends, colleagues, and relatives—and discover that even in the Big Apple, the world of murder is a very small world indeed.

Review

I felt like the book had a rocky start.  The segue between the first two chapters didn’t flow well but after that it seemed to gain a rhythm.  It seemed like there was a lot of talk about Claire and Meridith and not a whole lot on the murder, even though Meridith was keen to solve the murder.  The book started getting interested when another character dies.  I had a few suspicions on who the killer might be but nothing I could put my finger on.

This story is set in 1995 since there are references to the OJ Simpson trial…and looking back, that was about 20 years ago.

We give this book 3 1/2 paws

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Historical, Monday, mystery on March 31, 2014

anything but civil

Synopsis

Traveling secretary Hattie Davish and her trusty typewriter alight on a small town in Illinois, where the Civil War may long be over, but certain mysteries refuse to be buried…

Hattie Davish is delighted to be ably assisting her wealthy employer, Sir Arthur Windom-Greene, an English scholar who is fluent in Civil War history and hard at work putting together a definitive biography of General Cornelius Starrett. Their research takes them to Galena, Illinois, where they quickly learn that time has done little to heal old battle wounds. Distrust and betrayal seem to linger in everyone’s minds, none more so than the General’s pompous son Henry. And Hattie is certain he has something to do with a string of bizarre incidents in town–especially when he turns up dead…

Between her work for Sir Arthur, preparing for Christmas, and unscheduled visitors from her past, Hattie hardly has time to investigate a murder, but soon she is lost in a labyrinth of secrets and deceit that leads to more questions than answers. Henry had a knack for finding trouble and making enemies, and there’s no shortage of suspects–including Sir Arthur. Now, Hattie must uncover the truth while maintaining her civility in a most uncivil situation.

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Review

What a great follow up to A Lack of Temperance! I still didn’t guess who did it, BUT I was closer than the first book. I knew something was up with the killer but wasn’t sure what.

I found the information about the Civil War interesting and the author does a great job with the details.

I’m not sure about Sir Arthur – he has no regard for the law and thinks he is above it all. Perhaps it was the time then? It was also more civilized when Hattie was sorting out who was the klller – no one rushed to leave the room or try and kill someone else to escape it all.

We give it 4 paws and can’t wait for the 3rd book to come out in a few months….I’m on a blog tour for that book so check back later.

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About the Author

Anna Loan-Wilsey I live in a Victorian farmhouse in the Iowa countryside with my patient husband, inquisitive four year old daughter and my old yellow dog. I was born and raised in Syracuse, NY but have lived in Finland, Canada and Texas. I have a BA in Biology from Wells College in Aurora, NY and a MLIS from McGill University in Montreal. I’m a biologist, librarian, information specialist and now with the Hattie Davish Mysteries Series, a novelist.

If you want to know some more quirky and personal tidbits about me and my life, such as the fact that I once trained monkeys and drink tea every afternoon from my 19th century china collection, check out the various Q&A’s I’ve done over the past year!

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The Giveaway

I’m giving away the ARC copies of A Lack of Temperance and Anything But Civil that the author sent me.  Open to US residents only (due to shipping costs)

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Posted in Book Blast, contest, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery on March 31, 2014

 

Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie

Sadie Hoffmiller has always liked things to be just so. A place for everything and everything in its place. Order over chaos. And of all things Sadie should be able to control, her own wedding is at the top of the list.

With the big day just three weeks away, Sadie is busily adding the final touches to her wedding plans but the arrival of a mysterious letter from San Francisco changes everything. The only person Sadie knows in San Francisco is her older sister, Wendy, whom she hasn’t seen since their mother’s funeral nearly fifteen years ago.

Sadie has faced off against murderers and criminals in recent years, yet the possibility of reconnecting with her sister is both overwhelming and frightening. Sadie soon discovers, however, that the letter is just the beginning when Wendy’s world turns out to be a place of unanswered questions, twisted truths, and more than one person with a motive for murder.

The more Sadie digs into her sister’s past, the more she places her own future at risk.

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Culinary Mysteries

Culinary Mystery Series

Fortune Cookie Tour

Tour Schedule

JosiAuthor Josi S. Kilpack

Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and accredits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Her novel, Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney Award 2007 for Mystery/Suspense. Lemon Tart, the first book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series was a finalist in 2009. Josi currently lives in Willard Utah with her husband, children and super-cute cat.

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Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/30/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, mystery, Review on March 25, 2014

dyed and gone banner

 

Synopsis

Hairstylist Azalea March is looking forward to a wild weekend in Las Vegas with her friends. Oh, sure, they’re supposed to be there on business, attending the biggest hair show on the west coast, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a little fun. But fun quickly turns to drama. On the first morning of the show, Dhane, the biggest celeb of the hair-styling world, is found dead. As it urns out Azalea’s friend, Vivian, not only knew Dhane, but the tale she weaves of how they met is faker than a showgirl’s uh… assets. When Vivian confesses to the murder and is arrested, Azalea knows there’s no way she could have done it and suspects Vivian may be trying to protect someone. But who?

Azalea now has to convince Alex, the sexy detective from her past, to help her prove Vivian’s innocence and comb through clues more twisted than a spiral perm. But the truth is stranger than anything found on the Las Vegas Strip, and proving Vivian’s innocence turns out to be more difficult than transforming a brunette into a blonde.

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Review

I really enjoyed this first book of what I hope will be a series! I’ve read all sorts of cozies but none where the amateur sleuth was a hair stylist. I loved reading the foray into the world of hair styling and technique. The characters are developed quite well and I found the romance between Azalea and Alex quite nice…..and of course there is Kennedy and does he like Azalea too?

And this is yet another book where I didn’t guess the killer….the killer was quite hidden and you don’t really figure it out until it is revealed…at least there were no overt clues that I could tell.

I look forward to more antics with Azalea, Vivian, Juan Carlos, Alex and Richard!

We give this book 5 paws

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About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABest selling author, Beth Yarnall, writes romantic suspense, mysteries and the occasional hilarious tweet. A storyteller since her playground days, Beth remembers her friends asking her to make up stories of how the person ‘died’ in the slumber party game Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, so it’s little wonder she prefers writing stories in which people meet unfortunate ends. In middle school she discovered romance novels, which inspired her to write a spoof of soap operas for the school’s newspaper. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

For a number of years, Beth made her living as a hairstylist and makeup artist and co-owned a salon. Somehow hairstylists and salons always seem to find their way into her stories. Beth lives in Orange County, California with her husband, two sons, and their rescue dog where she is hard at work on her next novel.

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Beth is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Inc.

The Giveaway

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2nd prize = $25 GC

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, mystery, Review on March 24, 2014

You know you have had a busy week when the post you have scheduled didn’t have the review yet and you didn’t have time to go back and add it in!  Sheesh!  I’m sure we have all had days like that…at least I hope I am not the only one.  I featured this book earlier today on my Mystery Monday segment and now for the review.
lack of temperance

 

Synopsis

From Anna Loan-Wilsey comes the first installment of a new historical mystery series featuring Hattie Davish, a traveling secretary who arrives in a small Ozark town only to discover her new employer has disappeared. . .

On the eve of the heated presidential election of 1892, Miss Hattie Davish arrives in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a scenic resort town where those without the scent of whiskey on their breath have the plight of temperance on their tongues.

Summoned for her services as a private secretary, Hattie is looking forward to exploring the hills, indulging her penchant for botany–and getting to know the town’s handsome doctor. But it’s hard to get her job done with her employer nowhere to be found. . .

An army of unassuming women wielding hatchets have descended on the quiet Ozark village, destroying every saloon in their path–and leaving more than a few enemies in their wake. So when their beloved leader, Mother Trevelyan, is murdered, it’s easy to point fingers. Now that she’s working for a dead woman, Hattie turns to her trusty typewriter to get to the truth. And as she follows a trail of cryptic death threats, she’ll come face to face with a killer far more dangerous than the Demon Rum. . .

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Review

I haven’t read too many historical cozies but really enjoyed this one. It is set in the early 1900’s when alcohol was taboo to some and others were trying to stop people from drinking by passing laws.  Pretty sure this was before prohibition!  I thought the background on the springs in Eureka Springs and the healing properties that people believed they held was interesting and well written.

I had a couple ideas of who might have been the killer but never guessed it correctly!  That is the sign of a good mystery to me.  I went back and forth but this person was never on my radar.

We give this book 4 paws and can’t wait to read the next 2 books in the series!

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Posted in Cozy, Monday, mystery on March 24, 2014

I’m highlighting a new series by author Anna Loan-Wilsey. She has kindly sent me the first two books and I’m going to be participating in a blog tour for book 3 in a few months. I can’t wait to dive into these books, but until then here is a sneak peek!

lack of temperance

 

Synopsis

From Anna Loan-Wilsey comes the first installment of a new historical mystery series featuring Hattie Davish, a traveling secretary who arrives in a small Ozark town only to discover her new employer has disappeared. . .

On the eve of the heated presidential election of 1892, Miss Hattie Davish arrives in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a scenic resort town where those without the scent of whiskey on their breath have the plight of temperance on their tongues.
Summoned for her services as a private secretary, Hattie is looking forward to exploring the hills, indulging her penchant for botany–and getting to know the town’s handsome doctor. But it’s hard to get her job done with her employer nowhere to be found. . .

An army of unassuming women wielding hatchets have descended on the quiet Ozark village, destroying every saloon in their path–and leaving more than a few enemies in their wake. So when their beloved leader, Mother Trevelyan, is murdered, it’s easy to point fingers. Now that she’s working for a dead woman, Hattie turns to her trusty typewriter to get to
the truth. And as she follows a trail of cryptic death threats, she’ll come face to face with a killer far more dangerous than the Demon Rum. . .

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amazon buybn buy

About the Author

Anna Loan-Wilsey I live in a Victorian farmhouse in the Iowa countryside with my patient husband, inquisitive four year old daughter and my old yellow dog.  I was born and raised in Syracuse, NY but have lived in Finland, Canada and Texas. I have a BA in Biology from Wells College in Aurora, NY and a MLIS from McGill University in Montreal.  I’m a biologist, librarian, information specialist and now with the Hattie Davish Mysteries Series, a novelist.

If you want to know some more quirky and personal tidbits about me and my life, such as the fact that I once trained monkeys and drink tea every afternoon from my 19th century china collection, check out the various Q&A’s I’ve done over the past year!

Website * Facebook * Goodreads

Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, mystery, Review on March 21, 2014

A Crusty Murder Button Post Size

 

Synopsis

Who said life was simple, complacent, and boring?

After the man of her dreams, Scotsman Aidan Sinclair, walks into her bread shop, Melina Cameron immediately realizes her life has taken a sharp left turn.

Finding her ill-tempered landlady murdered, only complicates matters.

Melina’s seventy year old grandmother has chosen to take a walk on the wild side of life, and Detective Graham, lead investigator from the Providence Police Department, has taken a fancy to Melina. Too many issues and too little time to adjust to the implications of them all, leaves Melina floundering to keep her business, The Hole in the Wall Bakery, open and running smoothly.

Excitement and danger ramp up when a fellow tenant, in the string of shops in Melina’s building, is found murdered in the same fashion as the landlady. Who would be cruel enough to incriminate Melina, along with her BFF and neighbor, BettyJo Seever, in the crimes? Who’s next on the killers list, and why?

The answers are beyond her reach. Melina finds she’s out of her depth and drowning ever so slowly in the deaths that surround her. Can she and BettyJo prove their innocence before Detective Graham charges them both with conspiracy to commit, murder resulting?   Will they reveal the culprit and find the proof needed to put these deaths to rest?

It’s only after Aidan joins the hunt, that Melina comes face to face with the person responsible for the killings. Fearful that she’s about to become victim number three, Melina takes the killer head on.

Chapter One

Crusty bread protruded for her mouth, a dreadful halo of dark red blood pooled around her head. But, it wasn’t a halo. It was a nightmare scene before me. I peered closer touching the bit of bread. My fingers brushed her skin. I gasped and jumped back. Mrs. Peterson was dead.

I stumbled back, tripping over my own feet in haste to escape the gruesome sight of my landlady. Somebody had dealt her a blow, more than one, judging by the amount of blood on the floor. I scanned the shadowy room for the instrument of death and wondered how to handle this disaster.

“Are you coming back soon? BettyJo has a problem with her bread dough,” a student called from the door of BettyJo’s shop. I’d gone to fetch her cell phone while she prepared her sour dough for baking.

Lost in thought, the words slowly penetrated my brain. “Uh, I’ll be right there,” I called. My voice sounded as wobbly as my knees felt. I grabbed BettyJo’s cell phone off the table and hurried out the door.

When I’d rejoined the class, five people stared at me. No one uttered a sound, at first. Then all hell broke loose.

Madeline, a realtor who needed something less stressful to deal with than real estate in a poor economy, appeared startled. “Are you all right? You’re very pale, Melina,” she remarked.

Aidan, the man of my dreams, stepped forward. He laid a flour covered hand on my arm and said with his Scottish accent, “Lass, you’d best sit down.”

BettyJo, not one to be easily excited, asked, “Was there a problem finding the phone?”

“N-no, it’s Mrs. Peterson. She’s over there,” I thumbed in the direction of her store. “And she’s dead.” That’s when I passed out cold.

Sometime later, I awoke on the floor, a cold, soggy cloth draped across my forehead. Students huddled, gaping, and a worried BettyJo was on the phone.

When I began to rise, Aidan grasped my arms and lifted me to my feet. He motioned to a chair. I gladly slumped into it.

“Lass,” Aidan said with a worried look. “Are ya fine, now?” He handed me a glass of water.

I nodded and tossed the wet cloth onto the table. I sucked in a deep breath and stared at the concerned faces around me.

“I’m fine, really. Just shocked at finding Mrs. Peterson dead.” I murmured, “Who could have done such a ghastly thing to her?”

Heads shook, shoulders shrugged, they hadn’t a clue who Mrs. Peterson was. After all, other than BettyJo, she wasn’t their landlady, was she?

Though shaken by my find, BettyJo insisted that she and I go to her shop. As reluctant as I was, I refused to allow her to go alone. The students hung about, waiting to see what would happen next. I asked that they return to working their dough and said we’d be right back.

As BettyJo and I reached the door, I found Aidan was hot on our heels.

I glanced at him. His concerned face told me he didn’t intend for us to go alone.

“I’ll be going with you on this,” he said.

The three of us strode toward BettyJo’s back door.

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Review

I really liked this mystery. I can say the killer is not someone I would have every figured out and the why is even crazier. I can’t wait to see what the 2nd book in this series is like and how it continues the story.

I just realized I have read another book by this author that I really enjoyed called Tangled to Death and I even another book on my Kindle to read. This is definitely an author to check out.

We give this book 4 paws.

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About the Author

J.M. Griffin/Dana Stone grew up in rural Maine. She relocated to Rhode Island and lives in the north western part of the state with her husband and two cats. J.M.’s first published novel For Love of Livvy, began a series of humorous mysteries featuring Lavinia “Vinnie” Esposito. J.M. has also written a romance under the pseudonym Dana Stone.

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The Giveaway

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Monday, mystery on March 17, 2014

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, are you wearing your green?!

Today’s issue of Mystery Monday features a new release from author Maddy Hunter, Fleur de Lies, which is the 9th book in the Passport to Peril series.

fleur de lies

Synopsis

Intrepid travel agency owner Emily Andrew-Miceli is taking her group of squabbling tech-savvy octogenarians to France for a Seine River cruise from Normandy to Paris. Joining the group are father and son funeral directors Woody and Cal Jolly, three beautiful but shallow Texans who sell Mona Michelle beauty products, and Emily’s ex-husband Jack, who after gender reassignment surgery is now Jackie, and one of the Mona Michelle company’s top sales reps.

Emily’s hopes for a fatality-free trip are dashed when a tour member meets an unfortunate end. Murder? Mishap? Between visiting the D-Day museum, spending time at Monet’s stomping grounds in Etretat, and partaking of delectable eclairs and macaroons from the magnifique bakeries of Vernon, Emily has another mystery to solve.

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Review

Emily finds herself in the middle of another mess, this time on a river cruise through France. It was good to see Jackie back in this book since we didn’t see her in the last one.  Etienne wasn’t present in this book, would love to see more of him!

I have to say that Maddy did a great job of leading me down the wrong path and who I thought the killer was….needless to say you don’t get all the info you need to guess until the end. This is ok, I like being surprised!  I loved the ditzy characters from Texas because while no all people from Texas are like this, we do have quite a few.

We give this book 4 paws and look forward to book 10.

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Posted in Cozy, Monday, mystery on February 24, 2014

good clean murder

Synopsis

Living on her own for her first time, Bible school student Jane cleans houses to make ends meet. But being independent brings big trials, like falling for a handsome professor, dealing with an obnoxious roommate, and then there’s the dead bodies…

Who knew being housekeeper to wealthy owners of a Roly Burger franchise would mean sweeping up clues to their death, while ministering to the needs of their heirs?

This is one big mess that Jane is intent on cleaning up before things get even worse.

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Get this for FREE on Amazon (as of 2/23)

Other Books in the series:

Dirty Little Murder

Bright New Murder

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