Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Cozy, mystery, Review on August 2, 2017

Synopsis

Gertrude has been called a lot of things: a hoarder, an odd duck, and a crazy cat lady—but she’s never been called a gumshoe. Until now. When her neighbor goes missing, she can’t help but get involved, no matter how many people ask her not to.

Review

A shorter book but quite a quirky main character. Gertrude doesn’t seem to be the brightest bulb but manages to solve who murdered her neighbor…but not without putting herself in danger!

I like that Gertrude, while I don’t think she is a senior citizen, is older and uses a walker. This does make it little harder for her to get around. At one point she decides to climb a lattice trellis. I really don’t know what was going through her brain that she could do that if she has issues walking without a walker! But it just adds to the humor of the book.

This will be a funny cozy series for sure.  We give it 3 1/2 paws

About the Author

Robin Merrill is an award-winning writer and performance poet from rural central Maine where she lives with her husband, their two children, and several furry friends. She is the author of several books, and her individual poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in hundreds of publications.

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on July 29, 2017

Cat About Town
Minotaur Books (August 1, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250072061
E-Book ASIN: B01N0Z4ZDP

Synopsis

The first novel in a frisky new mystery series set in a small New England town, where an unlikely citizen is called in to solve the purrfect crime. . .

Maddie James has arrived in Daybreak Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts, eager to settle down and start her own business—and maybe even fall in love. When a stray orange tabby pounces into her life, she’s inspired to open a cat café. But little does Maddie know that she’s in for something a lot more catastrophic when her new furry companion finds the dead body of the town bully. Now all eyes are on Maddie: Who is this crazy cat-whisperer lady who’s come to town? If pet-hair-maintenance and crime-fighting weren’t keeping her busy enough, Maddie now has not one but two eligible bachelors who think she’s the cat’s pajamas . . . and will do anything to win her heart. But how can she even think about happily-ever-after while a killer remains on the loose—and on her path?

 

About the Author

Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.

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July 26 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

July 26 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

July 26 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – INTERVIEW

July 27 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

July 27 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 27 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

July 28 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

July 28 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW

July 28 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 29 – Jane Reads – REVIEW

July 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 29 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

July 30 – Mystery Playground – GUEST POST

July 30 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

July 30 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

July 31 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 31 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

August 1 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

August 1 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 1 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

August 2 – Socrates’ Book Review – REVIEW

August 2 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

August 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

August 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

August 3 – Book Babble – REVIEW

August 3 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 4 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

August 4 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

August 4 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on July 24, 2017

Calamity at the Continental Club (Washington Whodunit)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Camel Press (July 1, 2017)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603813358

Synopsis

The Mayflower Society is about to hold its annual meeting at Washington D.C.’s swanky gathering place for the elite, the Continental Club. That means Kit Marshall’s upper-crust future in-laws, Buffy and Winston Hollingsworth, are coming for a visit. Annoyed that Kit has not set a date to marry Doug, Buffy wants her to commit to a high society wedding at the club. Kit, though chief of staff for a congresswoman, feels uncomfortable with Buffy and Winston’s crowd.

Kit receives an unexpected reprieve in the form of murder. En route to her morning jog, she encounters the corpse of the leader of the Mayflower Society, conservative multimedia tycoon Grayson Bancroft. On the security cameras, no one was seen entering or leaving the club, which means the culprit had to be an overnight guest. Little love was lost on Bancroft, but the police have their prime suspect: Doug’s father.

Buffy and Winston, formerly disdainful of Kit’s sleuthing, urge her to investigate. With her future in-laws’ freedom and reputations at stake, Kit sets out once again to solve a murder mystery, this time aided by her fiancé Doug in addition to her friends Meg and Trevor and her dog Clarence. Her search for clues will take her from the club to the Smithsonian Museum, the National Archives, and Mount Vernon.

Book 3 of the Washington Whodunit series, which began with Stabbing in the Senate and continued with Homicide in the House.

Guest Post

Museums, Archives, and Historical Homes:  Oh My!

The third installment of the Washington Whodunit series finds our amateur sleuth extraordinaire, Kit Marshall, in unfamiliar territory. Kit is a congressional staffer who deeply understands the haunts and characters of Capitol Hill. In Calamity at the Continental Club, Kit solves the murder of a billionaire Washington, D.C. cultural philanthropist. Consequently, her chase to find the killer takes her to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, the National Archives, and Mount Vernon. The cast of characters couldn’t be more different from the politicians she’s used to dealing with – but that doesn’t mean they’re less deadly.

I wrote this book at a time when I was making a transition in my own career. From 2005 until 2015, my “day job” revolved around providing policy analysis and support to Members of Congress. I worked in the United States Senate for almost three years and seven more at the Congressional Research Service. But then I switched gears and accepted a senior leadership position at the Library of Congress, focusing on the consolidation and promotion of the Library’s successful public programs. The new gig enabled me to learn about the challenges of cultural institution management, including exhibit design, visitor services, development, and educational/scholarly support. There’s still a lot to learn, and most days offer opportunities for growth and creativity. Above all, I like that my job is focused on finding ways that Americans of diverse backgrounds can interact with the Library’s tremendous collections and resources.

When I began to sketch the plot of my next mystery, it made a lot of sense to incorporate several of my favorite local cultural institutions. As part of the preparation for writing the book, I scoured each of the locations as a typical tourist, absorbing the sights and experiencing the crowds. Each site provides Kit with one or more clues about the identity of the killer, so be sure to pay special attention when she visits these historic Washington, D.C. gems.  I hope you like reading Calamity at the Continental Club as much as I enjoyed the on-the-ground research!

About the Author

colleen shoganColleen J. Shogan is a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is the former deputy director of the Congressional Research Service and previously served as a staffer in the United States Senate. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American government at Georgetown University, Penn, and George Mason. Colleen is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received her BA from Boston College and her doctorate from Yale. A member of Sisters in Crime, she lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband Rob Raffety and their rescue mutt, Conan. Her first book, Stabbing in the Senate, won the Next Generation Indie Award for Best Mystery in 2016.

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July 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

July 16 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

July 17 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

July 18 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 19 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

July 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

July 21 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

July 22 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

July 23 – Off

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July 24 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

July 25 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

July 26 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

July 27 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

July 28 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on July 21, 2017

Killer Party (A Tourist Trap Mystery) 
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series
Lyrical Underground (July 18, 2017)
Paperback: 188 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601836366
E-Book ASIN: B01M9EM56U

Synopsis

After a few months of living with her boyfriend Greg, Jill is still getting used to sharing such close quarters, but she’s got no hesitation about joining him for a weekend at South Cove’s most luxurious resort. While Greg and his college pals celebrate their buddy’s upcoming wedding, Jill intends to pamper herself in style. But when the groom is found floating facedown in the pool, Jill must find the killer fast, or she might not have a boyfriend to come home to any more . . .

Review

I’m not sure what it is with mysteries that I have read lately…but I never see the killer coming! (and yes I have said this several times lately!) With this book I’m trying to figure out who was involved and why, however I never figured this one out. The author does a great job of hiding clues (and there are some looking back) and throwing many red herrings in your path.

And of course I love seeing Jill and Greg’s relationship grow now that they have moved in together. There are a few moments where Jill continues to question the relationship, but she is coming along and accepting it more and more.

And it looks like there will be some new residents to South Cove.  Exciting!

We give this book 5 paws up.

About the Author

CahoonUSA Today and New York Times, best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.

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July 17 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW

July 17 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

July 18 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

July 18 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

July 19 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 19 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

July 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 20 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

July 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

July 22 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW

July 22 – Brooke Blogs  SPOTLIGHT

July 23 – deal sharing aunt – SPOTLIGHT

July 24 – Varietats – REVIEW

July 24 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 25 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

July 25 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

July 26 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

July 27 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

July 27 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

July 28 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT

July 29 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, mystery, Spotlight on July 18, 2017

The Detecting Duchess (Victorian Bookshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
JDP Press (May 18, 2017)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0996483162
E-Book ASIN: B071J129MG

Synopsis

The only thing standing between Georgia and her fairy-tale wedding is a murder. Or two.

When a young woman pleads for help from Georgia Fenchurch in locating a missing Crown investigator, Georgia resists. Her wedding is only a week away. Before she can say no, she’s knocked to the ground by an assailant attempting to kill the young woman.

Georgia now feels she must help. She soon finds herself up to her wedding veil in stolen treasure and coded letters. With the Duke of Blackford’s help, Georgia follows a trail of missing men and dead bodies. Every victim had one thing in common – a desire to possess a fortune in gold.

In between the society balls and social calls of late Victorian London, Georgia works on her last case before the big day. Will she stop a ruthless killer in time? Or will Georgia find getting to the altar on time is going to be murder?

About the Author

Kate began reading Agatha Christie mysteries and the Nancy Drew books while her classmates were reading Dick and Jane. She particularly likes historical mysteries and the feeling of time travel a good historical book can give the reader. Combined with her love of late Victorian to World War II architecture and fashions, she found an outlet for the stories and characters that fill her head by writing The Victorian Bookshop Mysteries and The Deadly series, as well as taking part in the Christmas Revels anthologies.

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July 12 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

July 13 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

July 14 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

July 15 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

July 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

July 17 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

July 17 – Student of Opinions – REVIEW

July 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 19 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW

July 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

July 20 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

July 21 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

July 21 – Teresa Trent Author Site – SPOTLIGHT

July 22 – Varietats – REVIEW

July 23 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

July 24 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

July 24 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

July 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 25 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

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Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Monday, mystery, Review on July 17, 2017

Engaged in Trouble (An Enchanted Events Mystery Book 1)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Sweet Pea Productions (March 30, 2017)
Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0998109800
E-Book ASIN: B06XX5VT7J

Synopsis

When a washed-up pop star inherits a wedding planning business, it’s all bouquets and bliss until a bride turns up dead.

Paisley Sutton shot to stardom as a teenage rock sensation, but ten years later that star has fizzled out, just like her bank account. When she unexpectedly inherits her aunt’s wedding planning business, Paisley leaves the glamour of Los Angeles for a charming small town in Arkansas. Thinking she’ll arrive in Sugar Creek and liquidate the moldly property, Paisley’s shocked to find Enchanted Events has experienced a major makeover and is now the place for brides. She’s got two months to keep Enchanted Events afloat if she wants to sell and rekindle her music career with the profits.

Paisley’s tossed into a world of vows and venues, but her most difficult challenge comes in the form of one demanding bride. When this Bridezilla’s found facedown in her cake, all fingers point to Paisley as the prime murder suspect. And she does not look good in prison orange.

This former pop princess will need the help of her gun-toting, ex-CIA grandmother and her handsome neighbor, Beau Hudson, to unravel the mystery and clear her good name. As she and her unruly posse dig into Bridezilla’s life, she discovers the woman had a long list of enemies. The closer Paisley gets to the truth, the more her own life is in danger.

Love is in the air this wedding season, but before Paisley can help the ladies of Sugar Creek say, “I do,” she’s got to unveil a killer. Or find herself the next target.

Engaged in Trouble is the first book in the long-awaited Enchanted Events cozy mystery series by award-winning author Jenny B. Jones. If you like laugh-out-loud adventures, small-town romance, unforgettable, sassy characters, and a mystery to keep you guessing, then you’ll love this new page-turning series.

Review

I really enjoyed the first book in this new series! It made me laugh a lot and I can only imagine what future books will hold.

A washed up singer comes home to run a wedding business she has inherited…nothing could go wrong with that and it should be a walk in the park. That is until Paisley walks into the shop and realizes this is going to be a tough 8 weeks until she can sell the business to the guy running the shop. But barely a week into working at the business (stipulation of the will), a bride ends of dead and of course Paisley is the prime suspect. Thankfully she has her former CIA Grandmother to help her figure out who the real killer is before Paisley ends up in jail.

I have to say I think Grandma really makes the book – she is funny with her spy mentality and what she is willing to do (or has done in the past) to take care of a situation. If you don’t laugh out loud at her antics…well then I don’t know what to say because it is funny!

There is a bit of romance in the book between Paisley and Beau. He is a childhood friend and they shared their first kiss together. But neither wants to be in a relationship – but the chemistry is pulling them together so it will be hard to not give in to it all.

And of course there is the mystery. I did sort of figure out who was involved but not until close to the end and not really sure why. There are some clues to guide you to the character but you will have to be a super sleuth to decipher the clues.

We give it 5 paws up

About the Author

Award-winning, best-selling author Jenny B. Jones writes romance, cozies, and YA with sass and Southern charm. Since she has very little free time, Jenny believes in spending her spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits, such as eating ice cream, watching puppy videos, and reading celebrity gossip. She lives in the beautiful state of Arkansas and has worked in public education for half of forever.  She loves bluegrass, a good laugh, and strong tea. She adores hearing from readers.

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July 10 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

July 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 11 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

July 12 – Bubble Bath Books – REVIEW

July 12 – Readsalot – GUEST POST

July 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 13 – Bookworm Mom –  REVIEW, GUEST POST

July 14 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

July 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

July 15 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

July 16 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

July 18 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 18 – Carole’s Book Corner – GUEST POST

July 19 – The Montana Bookaholic  – REVIEW, GUEST POST

July 19 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 20 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW

July 21 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

July 23 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW, GUEST POST

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, Monday, mystery on July 10, 2017

Too Many Women in the Room (A Gilda Greco Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
The Wild Rose Press, Inc (May 19, 2017)
252 Pages
E-Book ASIN: B06XXNPRXS

Synopsis

When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture—Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario.

Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.

Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?

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Guest Post

10 Interesting Facts About Chief Detective Carlo Fantin

As the love interest in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series, Carlo Fantin is torn between his growing feelings for Gilda and dedication to duty. Here’s a look at his back story.

  1. Born and raised in Sudbury—a mid-sized city in Northern Ontario—Carlo embraced the sports culture of the community. During the warmer months, he swam, water-skied, and fished in the lakes that surrounded the area. In the winter, he enjoyed playing hockey, downhill skiing, and snowmobiling.
  2. Carlo was the resident “hunk” during his years at Sudbury Secondary. A natural athlete, he excelled on the basketball court.
  3. Gilda was first captivated by his arresting blue eyes. She came up with thirty-seven descriptions of Carlo’s eyes when Mrs. Gillespie assigned one of her Monday morning English composition exercises: bluer than blue, sky blue, cornflower blue, robin’s egg blue…
  4. During his senior year, Carlo fell in love with Melly Grace Godfrey, a visiting beauty from Tennessee. But Melly Grace couldn’t fathom the idea of living in such a cold climate. She issued an ultimatum: Relocate to Tennessee or end the relationship.
  5. Carlo went directly from high school to the Police Academy. Passionate and committed to keeping Sudbury crime free, he rose quickly through the ranks and became Chief Detective.
  6. When Carlo met Sandra Costanza at her cousin’s wedding in Hamilton, he was smitten. Within a year they were married and went on to have two children: Steve and Tania.
  7. Carlo was devastated by Sandra’s diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer at age forty-eight. Helpless, he watched as she grew weaker and eventually succumbed to the disease.
  8. Resigned to living alone, Carlo focused on his career and growing family. When time permitted, he hopped on a plane and visited his children and five grandchildren in western Canada.
  9. Carlo was surprised by his initial reaction to Gilda. Interested but wary about the divorced lottery millionaire who enjoyed her single life, he maintained his distance.
  10. Their on/off relationship frustrated both Gilda and Carlo. But he couldn’t risk getting too close to a woman who attracted dead bodies and became embroiled in his murder investigations.

About the Author

In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

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July 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 13 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

July 14 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – INTERVIEW

July 15 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

July 16 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST

July 17 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 18 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST

July 19 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT

July 20 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

July 21 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW, GUEST POST

July 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

July 23 – Valerie’s Musings – INTERVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on July 8, 2017

A Crime of Passion Fruit (A Bakeshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 27, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250088079
E-Book ASIN: B01MRU56AS

Synopsis

Torte―everybody’s favorite small-town family bakeshop―is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash. . .

Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary café to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules’s estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can’t resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that adead body would find its way onto the itinerary . .
“A warm and inviting atmosphere, friendly and likable main characters, and a nasty murder mystery to solve!” ―Fresh Fiction

Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambéing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can’t anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she’s ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?

“A perfect mix for fans of Jenn McKinlay, Leslie Budewitz, or Jessica Beck.”  ―Library Journal

Amazon * B&N * IndieBound

Guest Post

Today StoreyBook Reviews welcomes Juliet….I have to say I agree with her belief of food and love!  Take it away Juliet!

Many thanks for inviting me today! I’m so happy to be here. Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Juliet Montague Capshaw, but I prefer to go by Jules. I’m a trained pastry chef who believes that food is a love language. This could be due in part to my upbringing. Food was always an expression of my parents’ love when I was young. They opened our family bakeshop, Torte, not only because they shared a common interest in creating delectable sweets and pastries, but also because they held a deep commitment to our community in my hometown of Ashland, Oregon. Torte has become more than a bakeshop. It’s a gathering place for friends and neighbors to linger over a steaming espresso while noshing on homemade bread and chatting about the latest gossip.

My memories of growing up in the bakeshop are filled with fragrant scents of cinnamon and nutmeg, steaming coffee, and lots of happy laughter around the giant kitchen island. Torte was my second home, so naturally when it came time for me to venture out into the world I decided to attend culinary school. I had figured that after graduating I would return to Ashland, but instead I landed a job on a boutique cruise ship, The Amour of the Seas, and ended up spending the next ten years traveling to exotic ports and sailing on azure waters.

Life on the ship was full of adventure. I spent every spare minute perfecting my craft under the watchful eye of the head pastry chef and eventually worked my way into the role. I also used my time at port to taste a variety of new flavors that have infused my cooking and baking with texture and sparked my creativity. I don’t regret any of the time that I spent on the ship, however when I learned that my husband had been keeping a secret from me I left in a hurry and thought I might never return.

Ashland welcomed me home and became a cozy escape for me to figure out what was next. I had forgotten how much I had missed its charming Elizabethan streets, the eclectic mix of actors, musicians, and writers who are drawn to the town for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and what it was like to work in a small bakeshop. At Torte, my hands are always coated in flour and my apron splattered with sauces and or fresh berry preserves. I’ve been able to return to my roots. I love spending an afternoon pipping buttercream icing onto a layered dark chocolate cake, or pressing pie crust by hand. Baking is the best way to heal a broken heart. I’ve literally worked out my personal problems in the dough.

Knowing all of this, it might surprise you to hear that I decided on a whim to return to the ship. Don’t worry it’s only temporary. You see my estranged husband, Carlos, called and begged me to help fill in. I would have said no, but he sweetened the deal by offering to give my mom and her beau an all-inclusive getaway. When I mentioned the idea of a week in the tropics, her eyes lit up. She’s poured her heart and soul into Torte and I couldn’t remember the last time she’d had a vacation. So, I agreed. We packed our bags, and I thought we would be off on a sunny adventure. Only from the moment we stepped onboard, I knew that this wasn’t going to be a stress-free holiday for me. Running a commercial kitchen, managing a huge staff, and trying to keep my emotions in-check around Carlos was going to be a serious challenge. If that wasn’t enough, I stumbled upon a body floating face down in the pool.

Now I’m mixed up in a murder investigation and responsible for assembling hundreds and hundreds of show-stopping pastries. I have a feeling that as soon as I return to Ashland, I’m going to need a vacation from my vacation.

About The Author

Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

 

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June 27 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

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June 28 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

June 29 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

June 29 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – GUEST POST

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on July 5, 2017

All Signs Point to Murder (A Zodiac Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Midnight Ink (August 8, 2017)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738751078
E-Book ASIN: B01M14L2YK

Synopsis

The stars predict a wedding-day disaster, but San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never expected murder

Julia Bonatti is alarmed by the astrological signs looming over Geneva Leary’s wedding day, but nobody asked Julia’s opinion and being a bridesmaid means supporting the bride no matter what. Even with the foreboding Moon-Mars-Pluto lineup in the heavens, no one’s prepared for the catastrophes that strike: a no-show sister, a passed-out wedding planner, and a lethal shooting in the dead of night.

With anger and grief threatening to tear the Leary family part, Julia is determined to understand how such a terrible tragedy could occur. As she digs deeper into the family’s secrets, her astrological insights will lead her to the truth about a criminal enterprise that stretches far beyond the California coast.

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Review

This is the second in the series and I have always been fascinated by astrology and houses and all that, but I still don’t understand how they read the charts with what planet is in what house and if it is ascending or descending, but it is really intriguing to read how they read those charts.

I feel like a broken record when I say that I had no clue who the killer was…because it seems like I say that a lot lately! Either the authors are getting better at hiding those clues and throwing out red herrings, or my deductive skills aren’t up to snuff. I truly did not suspect this person at all and it was a huge surprise to me.

I think there Julia’s character is growing and her circle of friends is increasing so that there are more characters for her to interact with and have the personal side. I thought it was interesting that her deceased fiance’s mother played a small role that helped her decipher who the killer was…but the woman is not likable and hopefully we don’t see her much in future books.

Overall a very enjoyable cozy and we give it 4 paws up.

About the Author

Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink.  She was fascinated by astrology at an early age and this was the inspiration that gave birth to Julia Bonatti, San Francisco astrologer and her newspaper column Ask Zodia.  Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.  Connie lives in Los Angeles with her family and a constantly talking cat.

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on July 1, 2017

Dead Air and Double Dares
by Janis Thornton

Cup of Tea Books, an imprint of PageSpring Publishing (June 18, 2017)
Number of Pages 310
E-BOOK ASIN: B071L28F34

Synopsis

Crystal Cropper, editor of the Elmwood Gazette, has added incentive in finding out who killed Horace Q. Ogilvie, owner of the local radio station and the most reviled man in town. Horace turns up dead minutes before he is supposed to broadcast his next malicious editorial, designed to destroy yet another Elmwood luminary. Fortunately for the police department, Horace’s list of future targets provides an abundant pool of suspects. Unfortunately for Crystal, her name is at the top!

Guest Post

Crystal and Janis … Inseparable!

By Crystal Cropper

Once again, my old chum, Janis Thornton, has immortalized me on the pages of yet another outstanding, cozy mystery. But, while Janis may tell you “Dead Air & Double Dares” is a work of fiction, there’s more to this story than meets the eye.

“Dead Air & Double Dares,” just like “Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies” before it, is a slice-of-life tale, adapted entirely from my life. Thus, every sidekick, every villain, every victim, every suspect, every poke, every punch line, every wisecrack, every red herring, every MacGuffin, every cheeseburger and vanilla shake … They’re all true facts. They’re all mine! I lived them!

There’s no denying my good friend Janis is a superb scribe. However, had it not been for me standing beside her, whispering in her ear, telling her what happened to who, how and when, her career as a cozy mystery novelist might well be nonexistent.

Our alliance began some 10 years ago, after I returned to Elmwood. I was a seasoned journalist, having spent many years working as a crime-beat reporter at a West Coast daily newspaper. One day out of the blue, the Elmwood Gazette recruited me as its editor. I had thrived on big city chaos and wasn’t sure I could handle the no-drama predictability of a small-town newspaper, covering church bazaars, county fairs, and annual festivals. But what the heck? I figured a change of pace might do me good, so I said “yes.”

I had only been in my new gig a couple of weeks when Janis came in looking for a story. Although she didn’t know squat about crafting a decent cozy mystery, her writing samples were promising. But she definitely needed work.

Who better to take her hand and lead her into the world of Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, and Joan Hess than me, Crystal Cropper? As Janis’ mentor, I’ve been schooling her for years on the correct way to craft a hard-hitting story by following her instincts, piecing together clues, keeping her mouth shut, her eyes open, and pulling it all together in a compelling way that keeps readers up at night.

To tell you the truth, I’m a little concerned about her cozy mysteries. Even though I willingly opened myself up to her like a … well, like a book, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with her telling the world my secrets, fears, and inner thoughts. This latest book of hers — “Dead Air and Double Dares” — hits a little too close to home. It makes me a tad uncomfortable.

Once she discovered I was one of the suspects in Horace Q. Ogilvie’s murder, she did her homework. She quickly learned the true identity of the radio station’s new manager, and why Elmwood’s interim mayor had spent time in Florida. But I have no idea where she dug up my deepest, darkest secrets involving that bogus plagiarism charge or my long-lost granddaughter. But if you want to know, you only have to read the book.

All in all, Janis has been an exceptionally good student — possibly my best, and I think “Dead Air & Double Dares” is a sterling testament to how far she’s come as an author. In the process, some might say we’ve become inseparable … two peas in a pod … yin and yang … bookends … birds of a feather … doppelgangers! And they might be right.

Simply put, Janis Thornton is nothing without Crystal Cropper.

And vice versa!

And now you know the rest of the story. •

About the Author

Janis Thornton is a freelance writer, personal historian, and award-winning journalist. She is the author of two local history books, Images of America: Tipton County and Images of America: Frankfort. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Indiana Writers Center, Association of Personal Historians, and the Midwest Writers Workshop Planning Committee. She lives in a small Indiana town not unlike Elmwood. Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies is her debut cozy mystery.

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June 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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