Posted in 5 paws, mystery, Review on February 23, 2017

Murder by the Book: A Mystery Mini
Print Length: 27 pages
Publisher: Mike Byrnes and Associates, Inc. (February 27, 2016)
Publication Date: February 27, 2016
ASIN: B01CC3NJQO

Synopsis

 

An ordinary work day at the western Massachusetts Sugarloaf Inn turns more chilling than the winter weather when staff member Candy Wadsen makes a gruesome discovery. Her day goes from bad to worse when Candy realizes that Detective Sergeant Dan Petrowski suspects her of committing the crime.

Review

This is a very short book (27 pages) but it packs a lot into the murder and solving the crime.

I liked that because it is short it was very fast paced and the reveal of the killer surprised me. I like how they figured out who the killer was – using a play on words, very unique.

I don’t know if there will be more with these characters but I could see a possible romance brewing between Candy the the police detective Dan.

We give it 5 paws up

About the Author

“What if?” Those two words all too easily send Devorah Fox spinning into flights of fancy. Best-selling author of an award-winning literary historical fantasy series and several thrillers, she also penned Mystery Mini Short Reads and contributed short stories to popular fantasy anthologies. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with rescued tabby cats … and a dragon named Inky. 

 

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Posted in Giveaway, Interview, Monday, mystery on February 20, 2017

Synopsis

After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?

Trailer

Interview with Lauren

What’s your favorite thing about the writing process?

Oh, it’s the creative process—coming up with the plotline and figuring out how the murder is committed, who done it, how they are caught—all of that! For me, it is as close to being an amateur detective as you can get. They have the committed crime and work backwards toward the beginning. I am at the beginning and working forward, through the crime, and right up to where the culprit is caught.

How long have you been a writer?

Let’s just say my whole life. I believe writers are born. If you’re a writer, even if you aren’t writing books, you’re a writer. You’re thinking up storylines in the shower instead of singing. If you’re late for work, you can’t just say traffic was terrible, you have to tell a whole story about it being a dark and stormy morning …

I remember rewriting The Bobbsey Twins when I was in grade school to make it more suspenseful. That’s what writers do.

For what would you like to be remembered?

For making everyone around me smile.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Introvert. Most writers are introverts—that’s what makes personal appearances hard for many writers. That’s why I love virtual book tours. I can do the whole tour naked!

What is the most daring thing you’ve done?

Skydiving. I was nineteen years old and dating a great guy who had scheduled parachuting lessons for him and his buddy. Well, his friend backed out, so I asked to go. Thing is—I had never even been up in a plane before! When I told my mother, she said it was okay, but not to tell her what day I was doing it—instead, tell her that I was going on a picnic. So, a couple of days before the jump I asked her for eighty dollars for my picnic on Saturday.

On the day of the lessons, we have six hours of instruction before going up in the plane. Two hours was on how to jump and how to land. The next four hours was on what to do if something went wrong. One of the things they stressed was that when you hit the ground to stand up quickly so that they could see you were okay. If you don’t stand up, they’ll send out the ambulance.

So then, we went up in the plane for our jump. We were suited up with our parachutes and our reserve chutes and all of this equipment. Back then, I weighed about a hundred and ten pounds and I was wearing close to sixty pounds of chutes.

Then, we went up. Remember, I have never been in a plane before. I was more excited about that than the jump. Jon, my boyfriend, jumped out first. Then I jumped.

It was fabulous! I loved it. I could see Jon down on the ground waving and jumping up and down and I was waving back.

Then, I hit the ground beautifully and rolled just like they told us to do. And then … I couldn’t stand up because I was wearing sixty pounds of chutes and equipment. I remembered them saying that I needed to stand up. So, I’m rolling on the ground in the field like a giant turtle on her back trying to get to my feet. In the distance, I hear the ambulance racing across the field and Jon yelling.

By the time I stood up I saw about a dozen people and an ambulance racing across the field toward me.

Jon told me that the whole time he was running across the field he was trying to think of how to tell my mother that I did great … until I hit the ground.

It was five years later before I went up in a plane and actually landed in it.

What is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?

Recently or over the course of my life? This morning I ate two bags of chocolate truffles while answering questions for interviews. Now I have a stomach ache.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

Telling my husband that I couldn’t meet him for lunch because I have a stomach ache from eating two bags of chocolate truffles.

What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?

Deciding between eating a nutritious breakfast and two bags of chocolate truffles.

What would your main characters say about you?

There are two main characters in A Fine Year for Murder, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton. An heiress, Jessica is Mac Faraday’s daughter. She would say that I was obsessive about my writing to the point of being a workaholic. The solution would be spend a weekend at a spa without any Internet or technology.

On the other hand, Murphy Thornton would say that I had a brilliant mind—after all, I am the creator of three mystery series. However, it would do me some good to work on becoming more disciplined—especially when it comes to health and fitness. Cut out the chocolate truffles and go to the gym more.

How long is your to-do list?

I don’t know. You need to ask my husband. He’s the one who makes it up and keeps track of it.

What are you working on now?

Twofer Murder will be a treat for mystery lovers because it will be two mysteries in one novel. This book will contain all of the characters from the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose mysteries. The guys go fishing and get embroiled in a murder mystery. Meanwhile, the ladies go off to a murder mystery writers conference and end up wrapped up in their own mystery when an up and coming mystery writer ends up dead! Can’t beat that! Two mysteries for the price of one!

As for Murphy and Jessica of the Thorny Rose, sorry, readers, but the next Thorny Rose Mystery is at least a year away. I’m now working on three series! The working title for the next Thorny Rose Mystery is From Rags to Riches to Dead. In this mystery, Jessica’s best friend Amy receives news that her leech of a husband was killed in a freak accident at an expensive resort, where he had spent the last several days living it up. Amy, and Jessica are still trying to sort out this news when Dean walks in—alive and well. Upon investigation, they discover that a killer has been stealing the identity of deadbeat husbands who have been living off their rich wives, and then luring them to expensive resorts to murder them.

Lightning round:

Cake or frosting? Frosting!

Laptop or desktop? Laptop because I’ll write anywhere. Desktops are just too awkward to carry in a case with a shoulder strap.

Chevy Chase or Bill Murray? Bill Murray. Ghostbusters is one of my favorite movies.

Emailing or texting? Emails. I tend to send long wordy messages (the writer in me) and the keys for texting are just too tiny.

Indoors or outdoors? Indoors with central air conditioning. I have seasonal allergies with every change of season.

Tea: sweet or unsweet? Sweet, of course!

Plane, train, or automobile? Automobile—with me driving. My husband and son claim I’m a backseat driver.

About the Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

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Giveaway

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Ends April 22

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Posted in 4 paws, excerpt, mystery, Review on February 13, 2017

Synopsis

Luke McWhorter is one strange dude. He is America’s only sheriff with a Yale divinity school degree. That means he is able to use everything from existential philosophy to holistic psychology to old-time religion to cow-country street smarts as he deals with law and order issues in the obscure “West of Fort Worth” Texas county where he grew up.

During the dreadful autumn week recounted in Dudley Lynch’s debut mystery, McWhorter starts to wonder if even this will be enough. Four religion professors in Flagler’s three small church colleges are murdered on successive days. Sheriff Luke begins to understand that he is dealing with mayhem driven by one of America’s richest men, by Armenian cyber-revolutionaries, by Flagler’s own homegrown power-hungry provocateurs and by back-country caprice itself.

The jolts in Dudley Lynch’s ever-shifting, ever-surprising debut mystery don’t end there. To his near-disbelief, Sheriff Luke eventually realizes that Flagler’s religious colleges have been turned into killing fields by events connected to an astonishing discovery on Mt. Ararat in Turkey (no, it’s not Noah’s Ark).

It will be the rare reader who guesses the final shoe to fall in the autumn week that changes Sheriff McWhorter’s future and the legacy of Abbot County, Texas, forever.

Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter One of Beliefs Can Be Murder
by Dudley Lynch

I leaned in for a better view. I’d seen photos like this before. Usually, they were taken by an x-ray scanner mounted on a truck. Border patrol agents referred to the vans as “ice cream trucks.” They used them to spot illegals hiding in truckers’ sleeper berths or crouched between cargo shipments back in their trailers. In this x-ray, there didn’t seem to be any humans visible. Only one very large, longish, waist-high crate-looking object with indeterminate contents, if any. A cylinder that looked like a giant thermos bottle. An assortment of smaller boxes. And a jumble of what I took to be tanks, wires, hoses and other items although their vagueness made them hard to identify.

I cleared my throat. “What is it?”

“That’s certainly one of the questions.” Kane continued to gaze at me.

“What’s another one?”

Where is it?”

As was the case with many conference rooms, ours was like an aquarium. Lots of glass in the wall fronting the hallway. If the blinds weren’t lowered, passers-by could see in and the occupying fishes could see out.

As was my habit, I’d taken a seat that put my back toward the windowless inner wall. This allowed me to monitor activity in the hallway. That was why I was able to notice my long-legged, big-bellied chief deputy, Sawyers Tanner, as he strode by.

On an ordinary day, being briefed about what he found on his trip to a remote corner of Abbot County that morning would have been a priority. He and our C.S.I. team had been dispatched to investigate a gristly scene near a makeshift stone altar that contained the charred leftovers of a rancher’s most prized Angora goat buck. Well, most of the leftovers. The rancher had said the creature’s severed head was lying close by, abandoned in the dirt like a butcher’s bad habit. But my chief deputy’s briefing would have to wait. On this day, priorities were getting juggled.

Then, they got juggled again.

Shortly after Sawyers walked by, he reappeared from the opposite direction. This time, he was running. Hard. Another of my deputies was right on his heels. Both were clutching a Colt AR-15 Tactical Carbine in each hand. Usually, these light-weight, rapid-fire, military-styled rifles were locked up in a gun case. Four of them represented half of our department’s total supply. Our deputies liked them because, as one had once explained it to me, “they can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.” They were never unchained without good reason. Usually, the reason was that some of my people somewhere feared that the guns were going to be needed.

The burly F.B.I. agent hadn’t seen my deputies race by. But the concerned look on my face was all the tip-off he required to the new weather conditions in the room. Getting to his feet abruptly, he headed toward the end of the room where we had a large highway map of West Texas mounted on the wall. He took his brief case with him because he was still attached to it.

That was the precise moment that Helen charged back into the picture. The collision with the startled F.B.I. agent was a hard one, but it only slowed her. She shoved around him like he was a linebacker arriving a step too late and thrust a sheet of paper into my hands. The handwriting on it betrayed no urgency. I hadn’t expected it to. But the same was not to be said for her message. In her usual letter-perfect, schoolmarmish cursive, she had written: “Shooting in Bible Building at Hills U. Sawyers, deputies, paramedics en route. No other details.”

I read the note again—not for meaning but for its implications. Campus shootings were one thing that our department drilled for often with the university security departments in Flagler. A smart, pro-active thing to do, I’d always thought, when you have not one but three institutions of fairly decent size in your otherwise thinly populated, isolated, back-prairie-ish shallow West Texas county. One of the incidents we’d studied exhaustively was the one in Blacksburg. This was the one where a lone gunman had murdered 32 students and wounded 17 more at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. But we’d also combed through law enforcement analyses of the mass shootings at Columbine High, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, the movie theater in Aurora, Umpqua Community College in Oregon and a number of others. There was no reason why such shootings couldn’t happen in Abbot County—the Good Lord knew there were enough guns in the county. Now, it appeared one had.

Getting to my feet, I raised an index finger in the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick Kane. Told him that I didn’t mean to be rude, but he had 90 seconds. That was how much time he was being alloted to explain to me exactly why he was here. If he failed to do so, he and his compañeros would be promptly escorted to the parking lot and shown the way to the street. They’d each need a special pass before they’d be allowed to reenter our parking lot, much less our courthouse. Because this was still my conference room, my department, my county and my show.

To his credit, Special Agent Kane didn’t need 90 seconds. He finished in less than a minute.

For added emphasis, he tucked the X-ray photo of the cargo container under his chin with his free hand in his most earnest show-and-tell stance.

“We believe—or rather, we fear—this container is filled with weapons of mass destruction originating with terrorists in the Middle East. We lost track of it in Istanbul 22 days ago. Didn’t know where it was until today. We think it’s in Flagler or close by. The shipping industry’s computerized tracking system shows it was off-loaded in your rail yard about nine this morning by somebody, identity unknown. If we are right, there may be enough destructive power hidden away in your county right now to blow half this place to kingdom come. If not that, to poison nearly everything that breathes for miles around it.”

I studied him for a moment. “Do what you gotta do.” And bolted for the door.

Review

This was quite an interesting book and the concept of a small west Texas town being home to several bible colleges. There isn’t much in west Texas so I thought this was quite intriguing.

Luke may be the sheriff but he never planned to take that position, in face he wanted to be a minister and has a degree in divinity. It makes for an interesting back story for Luke and his dreams and education and I’m not sure it really fits in with being the sheriff…..but he was born into a family of law enforcement so it is hard to escape it at times.

The mystery was not easy to figure out, in fact I didn’t know who the killer was or why. It made sense as the story was winding down and the pieces all came together.

I did enjoy the story and the various story lines that intersected. And of course, the story line with Fresca (a dog) because I love dogs and there are some “oh no” moments when it comes to Fresca.

Overall we give it 4 paws up.

About the Author

Author/journalist/thinking skills expert Dudley Lynch says the abiding themes of all our lives are transition and breakout, which are two very different things.

Mr. Lynch grew up in small towns in the American southern Great Plains and southwestern U.S. He was the son of a fundamentalist Christian minister who moved his family, on average, about as often as military families move.

Dudley’s dad intended to be a transition for his son, expecting him to follow in his footsteps in the church. Instead, the son choose breakout and got (two) degrees in mass communication (with an extra major in religion) and moved into American journalism. For a time, he worked for newspapers, including The Dallas News and the Arizona Republic.

Again, break-out took over. Dudley decided he’d rather write for himself, so he chose to free-lance. In the next ten years, his by-lined articles were published in about 250 periodicals on six continents—Reader’s Digest, Business Week, Newsweek, Fortune Magazine (special sections), The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, The Economist and many others.

In the late 1970s, Reader’s Digest assigned him a story on creativity. Shortly after the story’s publication, a major Manhattan insurance company invited Dudley to stage a half-day seminar in thinking skills improvement for fifteen of its senior executives, and he suddenly found himself at the helm of a management consulting business that he called Brain Technologies Corporation.

Then, more breakout! A voracious life-long consumer of mysteries, Dudley decided to write one about the all-encompassing themes of his life, transition and breakout, and about the mindsets and geographical trappings he knows best: churchy people in the red-dirt prairies and hills of shallow West Texas.

He sees a lot of himself in his POV character, Sheriff Luke McWhorter. Like his creator, McWhorter also trained to be a minister but in making the transition, one break-out after another got in his way. The latest, the murders of four Bible department professors at Flagler, Texas’ three church universities, requires McWhorter to use everything in his experience about transitions and break-outs—and religion—to restore order and a sense of calm to an excessively churchy community that never dreamed its citizens could commit such acts of self-destruction or that it would find itself the target of such mayhem from the outside.

Dudley now lives in Gainesville, Florida, where he and his wife, Sherry, continue to operate their company, Brain Technologies Corporation. He has written his acclaimed LEAP!psych blog for years.

Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on February 6, 2017

Death in Advertising (A Tobi Tobias Mystery)
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (February 7, 2017)
Approximately 300 PAGES
ASIN: B01FBZXSFW

Synopsis

When Tobi Tobias decided to open her own ad agency, having to moonlight in a pet shop wasn’t part of her vision . . . of course, neither was murder.

Sometimes when opportunity knocks, the door you open leads to a closet. That’s certainly the case for Tobi, whose weekends spent cleaning cages in her best friend’s pet shop may soon be over. She’s just landed her first big break—Zander Closet Company needs a catchy campaign slogan ASAP, and Tobi thinks she’s got the right hook to knock ’em dead: “When we’re done, even your skeletons will have a place.”

But when a real dead body topples out of a showcase closet, she’s about to discover there is such a thing as bad publicity. To save her fledgling business and not get killed by the competition, Tobi takes on a new pet project: solving the murder. But with a stressed-out parrot as the only witness to the crime, Tobi will really have to wing it to put the cagey killer behind bars.

Review

A fun start to a new cozy series! It combines mystery, a variety of character personalities and even a budding romance.

For me this book was a fast read, it hooked it and kept me wondering how the story was going to end and would I figure out who the killer was before he/she was revealed? The answer to that last question is no BUT I think there was a clue that I read and didn’t tie to the murder. I will say it was quite the shocker but not too surprising considering how everything unfolded. I did figure out part of the story line and how Tobi was going to figure it out.

I liked that Tobi didn’t put herself in harms way getting the killer to reveal themselves (or being in the wrong place at the wrong time). Sometimes I wonder about cozy protagonists and why they put themselves in harms way!

I like the budding romance of Tobi and Andy. He seems like a really down to earth guy and just what Tobi needs right now.

Grandpa Stu is a hoot, hope to see him often in future books!

We give this 5 paws up.

About the Author

While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend’s house more than thirty years ago, Laura Bradford (a.k.a. Elizabeth Lynn Casey) fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do anything else.

Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, and the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey). A new cozy mystery series will be added to the mix in 2016 with the release of The Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries. Laura is a former Agatha nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, traveling, baking, and visiting the sea lions at the Central Park Zoo.

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check out the other blogs on this tour

February 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

February 6 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

February 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

February 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

February 8 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

February 8 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

February 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

February 9 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

February 10 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

February 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 11 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

February 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

February 12 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

February 13 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 13 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW

February 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

February 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

February 15 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, GUEST POST

February 15 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

February 16 – Varietats – REVIEW

February 16 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT

February 17 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

February 17 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 17 – deal sharing aunt – REVIEW

February 18 – Book Babble – REVIEW

February 18 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

February 19 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 19 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on February 5, 2017

A Palette for Murder (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Henery Press (January 31, 2017)
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635111415
E-Book ASIN: B01M74ZIL3

Synopsis

A killer heat wave settles over Seagull Lane…

Summer’s sizzling in Vista Beach, the home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The abnormally high temperatures are hard on everyone in the quiet Los Angeles county beach community, especially the city’s homeless population. Residents are doing everything they can to stay cool, including leaving windows open to catch the faintest breeze. Not the best idea when a string of burglaries is plaguing nearby towns.

Still, Rory doesn’t expect to find her neighbor’s body just a few doors down. When suspicion falls on a friend and fellow painter, Rory must discover the truth before the police paint the wrong picture and send her friend away permanently.

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About The Author

Sybil JohnsonSybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.

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check out the other blogs on the tour

January 30 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

January 31 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

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

February 2 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

February 2 – Bibliophile Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 3 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

February 4 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

February 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

February 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 7 – Varietats – REVIEW

February 7 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

February 8 – Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT

February 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

Posted in 3 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on February 2, 2017

A Fatal Romance (A Twin Sisters Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
Paperback – ISBN13: 9781516100958
E-Book ASIN: B01F0YVQEE

Synopsis

Fixing up homes can be tricky.
Finding true love can be even trickier.
But finding a killer can be plain old deadly . . .

Twin sister divorcees Sunny Taylor and Eve Vaughn have had their fill of both heartaches and headaches. So when they settle down in the small Louisiana town of Sugar Ledge and open a remodeling and repair company, they think they’ve finally found some peace—even though Eve is still open for romance while Sunny considers her own heart out-of-business.

Then their newest customer ends up face-down in a pond, and his widow is found dead soon after. Unfortunately, Sunny was witnessed having an unpleasant moment with the distraught woman, and suspicion falls on the twins. And when an attempt is made on Eve’s life, they find themselves pulled into a murder mystery neither knows how to navigate.

With a town of prying eyes on them, and an unknown culprit out to stop them, Sunny and Eve will have to depend on each other like never before if they’re going to clip a killer in the bud.

Review

I was intrigued by the concept of this book because I don’t recall there ever being twins in a cozy series. There may be, but I’ve not read one!

The characters were quirky and annoying and the twin sisters were very different (as most twins usually are). Sunny has some issues and I felt like she was all over the place with her peculiarities. At first it was amusing that she sang Christmas carols when nervous (and we find out why about halfway through the book) but then it became a little annoying. Sunny is also overprotective of her twin, Eve, so much that at times I think she alienates her sister. Eve seems to be a bit self absorbed but a bit more normal and down to earth.

There isn’t a huge pool of suspects but i didn’t figure it out until the story line lead you down that path. Looking back, there were not a lot of clues to really point you in any one direction. The story moved slowly along but did pick up near the end.

We give this 3 paws up.

About the author

june shaw

June Shaw serves her third term as Louisiana’s representative on the board of Mystery Writers of America’s Southwest Chapter. For Romance Writers of America’s South Louisiana Chapter, she is the Published Author Liaison.

She’s written for numerous periodicals and created highly-praised novels, including this first in her cozy mystery series, which Deadly Ink nominated for Best Mystery of the Year.

 

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January 23 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

January 24 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

January 25 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

January 26 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

January 27 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

January 28 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

January 29 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

January 30 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

January 30 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

January 31 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

February 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

February 2 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

February 3 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

February 4 – Book Babble – REVIEW

February 5 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Monday, mystery, Review on January 30, 2017

Scheduled to Death (A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (January 17, 2017)
Paperback: 236 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601836663
Digital Ebook – ASIN: B01EQ2N1QM

Synopsis

Professional organizer Maggie McDonald has a knack for cleaning up other people’s messes. So when the fiancée of her latest client turns up dead, it’s up to her to sort through the untidy list of suspects and identify the real killer.

Maggie McDonald is hoping to raise the profile of her new Orchard View organizing business via her first high-profile client. Professor Lincoln Sinclair may be up for a Nobel Prize, but he’s hopeless when it comes to organizing anything other than his thoughts. For an academic, he’s also amassed more than his share of enemies. When Sinclair’s fiancée is found dead on the floor of his home laboratory—electrocuted in a puddle of water—Maggie takes on the added task of finding the woman’s murderer. To do so, she’ll have to outmaneuver the suspicious, obnoxious police investigator she’s nicknamed “Detective Awful” before a shadowy figure can check off the first item on their personal to-do list—Kill Maggie McDonald.

Review

This is the second in a series about a home organizer, Maggie, in a small town in CA. She manages to stumble across murders and gets caught up in solving the crime.

I love all the tips at the beginning of each chapter on organization, some are very useful and I need to put a few of them into practice.

I love the cast of characters and they all play a significant role in progressing the story line. There is a new character in this book (pretty sure this book only), a incompetent police detective named George Apsel. They have given him a most appropriate nickname of detective awful because he is truly awful and does not care about solving the crime. Heck, he can’t even get Maggie’s name right. He is filling in for Jason (another police detective) that broke his leg and is laid up…but we still get to see him some in this book.

The mystery itself was not easy to figure out…I think I suspected the killer just because he seemed suspicious but there was not anything I could put my finger on. The reason for the killings was a bit surprising to me, but it made some sense if you understand where the killer was coming from (not that it is justifiable!).

Outside of the main story line there was a minor line about a couple of homeless young women. I liked how Maggie and a few others gained their trust and helped them out. There were some surprises regarding these two women that just made it more intriguing and interesting.

I really enjoy this series and can’t wait to read more.  We give it 5 paws up.

 

About the Author

Mary FelizMary Feliz has lived in five states and two countries but calls Silicon Valley home. Traveling to other areas of the United States, she’s frequently reminded that what seems normal in the high-tech heartland can seem decidedly odd to the rest of the country. A big fan of irony, serendipity, diversity, and quirky intelligence tempered with gentle humor, Mary strives to bring these elements into her writing, although her characters tend to take these elements to a whole new level. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and National Association of Professional Organizers. Mary is a Smith College graduate with a degree in Sociology. She lives in Northern California with her husband, near the homes of their two adult offspring.

Website * Twitter

Giveaway

On February 10, the author will be giving away five ebook editions of both books to randomly selected names on her newsletter list. Sign up here to win!

 

check out the other blogs on the tour

January 17 – Book Babble – REVIEW

January 18 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

January 19 – Sleuth Cafe – REVIEW, EXCERPT

January 19 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

January 20 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW

January 21 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

January 22 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

January 23 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

January 24 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

January 25 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

January 25 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

January 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

January 26 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

January 27 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

January 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

January 29 – Lori’s Reading Corner – SPOTLIGHT

January 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

January 30 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

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Posted in Book Blast, Cozy, mystery on January 28, 2017

The Blessed Event (The Professor Molly Mysteries)
Publisher: Hawaiian Heritage Press (June 10, 2016)
Paperback: 344 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1943476251
Kindle ASIN: B01GW5WUAE

Synopsis

“You may wonder what my least-favorite student was doing in my living room. In a twist of fate that might seem hilarious if it happened to someone else, he was now my stepson.”

Professor Molly Barda is looking forward to a quiet summer in Mahina, Hawaii working on her research and adjusting to married life. But when a visit from her new husband’s relatives coincides with a murder, Molly wonders what she’s married into–and realizes she might have a killer under her roof.

Just $0.99 during January and Free on Kindle Unlimited

About the Author

frankie bowLike Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.

In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on January 27, 2017

15 Minutes: A Maizie Albright Star Detective Humorous Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Past Perfect Press (January 24, 2017)
Paperback: 341 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997885323
E-Book ASIN: B01N77ZK94

Synopsis

#10days #findthewoman #getthejob #doNOTfallinlove

When ex-teen star Maizie Albright returns to her Southern hometown of Black Pine, Georgia, she hoped to rid herself of Hollywood tabloid and reality show hell for a new career as a private investigator. Instead, Hollyweird follows her home. Maizie’s costar crushing, but now for her gumshoe boss. Her stage-monster mother still demands screen time. Her latest rival wants her kicked off the set, preferably back to a California prison.

By entangling herself in a missing person’s case, she must reprise her most famous role. The job will demand a performance of a lifetime. But this time, the stakes are real and may prove deadly.

Praise

“I was already a huge fan of Larissa Reinhart’s “Cherry Tucker” series, but in her new mystery series, FIFTEEN MINUTES, she had me at the end of the first line: “Donuts.” Maizie Albright is the kind of fresh, fun, and feisty “star detective” I love spending time with, a kind of Nancy Drew meets Lucy Ricardo. Move over, Janet Evanovich. Reinhart is my new “star mystery writer!” — Penny Warner, Author of DEATH OF A CHOCOLATE CHEATER and THE CODE BUSTERS CLUB

“Hollywood glitz meets backwoods grit in this fast-paced ride on D-list celeb Maizie Albright’s waning star—even as it’s reborn in a spectacular collision with her nightmarish stage mother, her deer-pee-scented-apparel-inventing daddy…and a murderer. Sassy, sexy, and fun, 15 Minutes is hours of enjoyment—and a wonderful start to a fun new series from the charmingly Southern-fried Reinhart.” — Phoebe Fox, author of THE BREAKUP DOCTOR series

“Larissa Reinhart’s newest heroine, Maizie Albright, is at once naïve and worldly. As a former child star, she craves life in the real world by becoming a PI, just like the TV character that made her famous. Armed with humor, charm, and stubborn determination, Maizie is a breath of fresh air. I adored every second of 15 Minutes. Viva la Maizie!” — Terri L. Austin, bestselling author of the ROSE STRICKLAND MYSTERIES and the NULL FOR HIRE series.

Guest Post

Today we welcome Maizie Albright to StoreyBook Reviews.  I loved hearing what she had to say about being a detective!

Recently I’ve been aware of a certain black Sprinter van following me. I’m used to being followed, so I’ve gotten pretty good at noticing this sort of thing. Before you start to think I’m paranoid, let me explain. I’m Maizie Albright, once known for the starring role in hit kid shows like Kung Fu Kate and more famously, Julia Pinkerton, Teen Detective. You might recognize my adult self from All is Albright.

Sorry about All is Albright. It was Vicki’s project. She thought it a great idea spinning my bad press—those unfortunate club busts resulting in my rehab stints—into a reality show. Celebrity voyeurism is not my thing, I understand why it wouldn’t be yours.

But back to the van. Paparazzi stalking is just a regular Tuesday for a celebrity in LA. But in Black Pine, Georgia—where I’ve gone back to live with my father to prove I’ve given up my “celebrity lifestyle” (Judge Ellis’s words, not mine)—I don’t expect there to be paparazzi. I’m not celebrity lifestyling in Black Pine. I don’t even own a car anymore. I’m driving the dirt bike I got for my fifteenth birthday. But I’m following my dream of becoming a private investigator by working for Wyatt Nash of Nash Security Solutions.

While riding a dirt bike to surveillance assignments. But a dream’s a dream.

However, something’s up with this black van. I have a feeling it’s one of two terrible things.

It turns out that Mr. Nash’s latest client, Mr. Waverly, works for the financial company, Black Pine Group. Mr. Waverly wanted Nash to watch his wife for cheating. That’s just a Tuesday for a private investigator in Black Pine, by the way. No biggie. Except Nash just found out that his partner, Jolene Sweeney, wants to sell Nash Security Solutions and is using Black Pine Group to handle the sale.

That’s what we call a conflict of interest.

After a month of surveillance, where Mrs. Waverly kept to the same schedule every single day, Mr. Waverly’s wife disappeared. On my watch. First day on the job. A job in which I had no training.

And I sort of really wasn’t on the job either. The day before I lost her, I kind of forced my way into spying on Mrs. Waverly after Nash announced he wanted to quit the job for Mr. Waverly. Up to that point, Mr. Nash couldn’t find any evidence of Mrs. Waverly straying and told Mr. Waverly there wasn’t any point to it.

Yep, the day before she disappeared, Mr. Nash tried to quit working for the man who’s a partner in the company that wants to sell Mr. Nash’s business. Mr. Nash calls that “hinky.” And now Mr. Waverly’s doing his own PR spin on it, using not just the local Black Pine paper, but all Atlanta media outlets. And that spitball of news has grown into a giant media storm thanks to my notoriety. Hence the black van following me around and taking pictures. Which has not helped Nash from saving his company. Kind of does the opposite.

However, there could be one other reason for the van. And this one is even worse than the PR campaign against Nash Security Solutions. Vicki has come to Black Pine to convince me to sign on for another season of All is Albright, even though she knows that would breaking my probation requirements. Vicki never takes no for an answer. So much so that she dragged the crew and cast of All is Albright to Black Pine. So not only do I need to find Mr. Waverly’s wife to save Nash’s company, I’m dealing with Vicki machinations.

Machinations that could involve a black Sprinter van filming my investigation. Which sounds even more paranoid than telling you that there’s a black van following me.

But that’s just a Tuesday in the life of Maizie Albright.

About the Author

larissaAfter seeing Paper Moon as a child, Larissa Reinhart fell in love with stories about confidence capers. QUICK SKETCH is the Cherry Tucker prequel to PORTRAIT in the mystery anthology THE HEARTACHE MOTEL. HIJACK IN ABSTRACT is the third in the Cherry Tucker Mystery Series from Henery Press, following STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW (#2) and PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY (#1), a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist. She lives near Atlanta with her minions and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit.

 Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest * Facebook Street team * Amazon

 

 

Giveaway

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check out the other blogs on this tour

January 24 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

January 24 – Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

January 25 – The Broke Book Bank – REVIEW

January 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 26 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

January 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

January 28 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

January 29 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

January 30 – Book Babble – REVIEW

January 31 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

February 1 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

February 2 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

February 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

February 4 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

February 5 – Varietats – REVIEW

February 5 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 6 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

February 6 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

February 6 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on January 26, 2017

Time Out (A Dodie O’Dell Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (January 17, 2017)
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601837226
E-Book ASIN: B01EQ2N1W6

Synopsis

The amateur actors at the Etonville Little Theatre may be known for chewing the scenery, but restaurant manager Dodie O’Dell has something more appetizing for them to sink their teeth into. She’s been taking bows in her small New Jersey town for her theme menus, designed to complement the local productions. This fall, the community theatre is staging Arsenic and Old Lace, set in 1940s Brooklyn, so Dodie is serving up hot dogs, Italian ices, egg creams, and knishes at the weekend food festival.

All is going well until Antonio Digenza, the ex-Off-Off-Broadway director of the show, dies dramatically while noshing on a knish. As rumors of food poisoning quickly spread, Dodie scrambles to rescue the Windjammer restaurant’s reputation. But when clues point to foul play, she’s faced with a cast of suspects all auditioning for the part of DiGenza’s murderer. She’ll need to act fast to shine a spotlight on the killer—before it’s curtains for another victim . . .

About the Author

Suzanne Trauth is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and a former university theatre professor. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Dramatists Guild. When she is not writing, Suzanne coaches actors and serves as a celebrant performing wedding ceremonies. She lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey.

Website * Twitter

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


check out the other blogs on the tour

January 17 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

January 17 – The Editing Pen – INTERVIEW

January 18 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW

January 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 20 – Varietats – REVIEW

January 21 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

January 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

January 23 – Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT

January 24 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

January 25 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

January 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 27 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 28 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

January 29 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

January 30 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW