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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Murder on the Toy Town Express




Murder on the Toy Town Express: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery
by Barbara Early


Murder on the Toy Town Express: A Vintage Toyshop Mystery
Cozy Mysterry
2nd in Series
Setting - New York
Crooked Lane Books (October 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683313090
E-Book ASIN: B06XWDQYJW

Liz McCall has come to love running her father’s vintage toyshop back home in East Aurora, NY, so when the Train and Toy Show comes to town, she’s all aboard for a fun toy-filled weekend. The only hitch is that her childhood bully Craig McFadden, now local business rival, has set up a booth next to hers. But the fun and games are over when Craig falls from the ceiling in a publicity stunt gone wrong.
What was initially thought to be a fatal accident proves much more sinister. Pulled into the case by her feelings for both Ken, the police chief, and Jack, her high school sweetheart whose brother is one the prime suspects, Liz dives headfirst into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she’s shocked to learn her father may have been the intended target.
The trouble train is barreling down and Liz may have just bought herself a first class ticket in Murder on the Toy Town Express, Barbara Early’s delightful second installment in her Vintage Toyshop mysteries.
What I Thought:

This is the second installment in the Vintage Toyshop Mystery series and this installment was just as good, or maybe, little better than the first installment.  Some of the same characters we met in the first installment are in this one as well, and we also meet some new characters. Some likable, some not so likable.  When Liz' childhood bully is killed, of course, Liz has to become involved and when it looks as if her father was the target, that makes her even more involved.  This story had a really well written, well thought out, believable plot. There were many suspects, which left me guessing until the end.  I really liked the setting of this book, a vintage toy shop and a train and toy show. This setting is a little different than most cozy mystery settings, making this series a little unique.  I definitely look forward to more in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.



About The Author
Barbara Early earned an engineering degree, but after four years of doing nothing but math, developed a sudden allergy to the subject and decided to choose another occupation. Before she settled on murdering fictional people, she was a secretary, a school teacher, a pastor’s wife, and an amateur puppeteer. After several years living elsewhere, she and her husband moved back to her native Western New York State, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, classic movies and campy seventies television, board games, and posting pictures of her four cats on Facebook. She writes the Vintage Toyshop series and the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries (as Beverly Allen).
Author Links

http://www.barbaraearly.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBarbaraEarly/

https://twitter.com/BarbEarly

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1671291.Barbara_Early

Author Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cUh3Wn

Cozy Café: https://www.facebook.com/CozyCafeMysteries/

Killer Characters: http://www.killercharacters.com/search/label/Barbara%20Early

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Room with a Brew


A Room with a Brew (A Brewing Trouble Mystery)
by Joyce Tremel


A Room with a Brew (A Brewing Trouble Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Berkley (October 3, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425277713
E-Book ASIN: B01NCUHX14

It's Oktoberfest in Pittsburgh, and brewpub owner Maxine "Max" O'Hara is prepping for a busy month at the Allegheny Brew House. To create the perfect atmosphere for the boozy celebration, Max hires an oompah band. But when one of the members from the band turns up dead, it's up to Max to solve the murder before the festivities are ruined.

Adding to the brewing trouble, Candy, Max's friend, is acting suspicious... Secrets from her past are fermenting under the surface, and Max must uncover the truth to prove her friend's innocence. To make matters worse, Jake's snooty ex-fiancée shows up in town for an art gallery opening, and she'll be nothing but a barrel of trouble for Max.
What I Thought:

Well, I really enjoy reading this series, even though I have only read one other in the series.  The setting is a little different, as it takes place in Pittsburgh, PA, and a brew house.  I am also not a Pittsburgh fan and one character is die hard Pittsburgh and only wears blank and gold,  but she is a really interesting character and the story centers around her being accused of murder.  Max is the main character, and Candy is her good friend so, of course, Max has to get involved.  I thought the writing was superb and the plot was well thought out.  I enjoyed the interaction between the characters, you could tell that they cared about each other.  I was left guessing until the very end, which is what I love in a cozy.  I look forward to more in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

JOYCE TREMEL

About The Author

Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. She is a native Pittsburgher and lives in a suburb of the city with her husband.
Her debut mystery, To Brew Or Not To Brew was nominated for the 2015 Reviewers' Choice award for Best Amateur Sleuth by RT Book Reviews. The second book in the series, Tangled Up In Brew was released in October 2016 and chosen as a "Top Pick" by RT Book Reviews. It was the winner of the 2016 Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Amateur Sleuth. It was also named one of the Best Books of 2016 by Kings River Life Magazine.

Author Links

Webpage - http://www.joycetremel.com/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/JoyceTremel/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/JoyceTremel

GoodReads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13746162.Joyce_Tremel

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Monday, October 9, 2017







A Tale of Two Kitties (Magical Cats)
Cozy Mystery
9th in Series – First in Hardcover
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (September 5, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399584572
E-Book ASIN: B01MSYJ8KU
In this charming mystery from the bestselling author of Paws and Effect, two magical cats have powers of detection that prove indispensable to librarian Kathleen Paulson…
With a well-placed paw on a keyboard or a pointed stare, Kathleen’s two cats, Hercules and Owen, have helped her to solve cases in the past—so she has learned to trust their instincts. But she will need to rely on them more than ever when a twenty-year-old scandal leads to murder…
The arrival of the Janes brothers has the little town of Mayville Heights buzzing. Everyone of a certain age remembers when Victor had an affair with Leo’s wife, who then died in a car accident.
Now it seems the brothers are trying to reconcile, until Kathleen finds Leo dead. The police set their sights on Leo’s son and Kathleen’s good friend Simon, who doesn’t have much of an alibi. To prove her friend innocent, Kathleen will have to dig deep into the town’s history—and into her sardine cracker supply, because Owen and Hercules don’t work for free…

What I Thought:

This has been a series that I have wanted to read for a very long time, but have just never gotten to it yet, but after this one, I am definitely going to go back and read the others in this series.  Owen and Hercules and two very special cats and they made this story very entertaining and humorous.  Kathleen, their owner, is the local librarian.  When two brothers return to town after many years and one winds up dead, Kathleen and her cats become involved in solving the crime.  This story was very well written and I found myself turning pages as fast as I could.  There were many twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end.  Again, this was a superb read and I am definitely going to read more in the Magical Cats Series. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. 
About the Author
Sofie Kelly is a New York Times bestselling author and mixed-media artist who lives on the East Coast with her husband and daughter. She writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Cats Mysteries (Paws and Effect, Faux Paw, A Midwinter’s Tail) and, as Sofie Ryan, writes the New York Times bestselling Second Chance Cat Mysteries (Telling Tails, A Whisker of Trouble, Buy a Whisker). Find out more at www.sofiekelly.com
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It’s a Cozy Life by Sofie Kelly

I read a lot of different types of books, everything from poetry to mysteries to books about the origin of the universe. I read cookbooks and dictionaries. Just about the only thing I don’t like to read is an instruction manual.  But no matter what book may have currently caught my fancy, I seem to always come back to cozy mysteries.

Why do I like them? Here are my 6 top reasons:

The setting: Cozies are usually set in a small town, or in one particular neighbourhood of a larger city. My Magical Cats series takes place in the small town of Mayville Heights, Minnesota. I grew up in a small town and every time I pick up a cozy mystery I’m reminded of the sense of community and connection that existed in that special place.

The amateur detective: Yes, I like books with world-weary police officers or lone-wolf antiheros, but I have a soft spot for an amateur sleuth. Probably because it plays into my fantasy that maybe I’m smart enough to unravel a mystery. (Please don’t burst my bubble.)

Friends and family: I don’t have a large extended family, so my friends fill that role. In cozy mysteries friends often become surrogate family for the main character. I like that.

Food—I enjoy cooking and I like to eat and I like to read about what other people are eating—even fictional people. Food tends to play a big role in cozies. Many authors even add recipes at the back of their books. Some of my favorite dishes have come from fellow authors.

Cats: Yes, I’m a cat person and I like to read books with cats in them, especially stories where the cats have a paw in solving the crime. No, I don’t think that’s unrealistic at all.

Happily ever after: In the real world sometimes the good guys don’t win. Sometimes the bad guys don’t get punished. In the cozy world the amateur sleuth always catches the killer. There’s a sense that life is fair. That makes my little control freak heart very happy.

So what about you? Are you a cozy mystery fan? What are your reasons for reading?




Saturday, October 7, 2017

Halloween Is Murder

Halloween is Murder (McKinley Mysteries)
by Carolyn Arnold

October 3 - 15, 2017

Halloween is Murder (McKinley Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
11th in the Series
Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc (October 3, 2017)
Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1988353616
E-Book ASIN: B073WJD6LY

Beware of all that goes bump in the night…
Sean and Sara McKinley are excited about the haunted house they’ve set up as a Halloween charity fund-raiser, but things take a ghoulish turn when the reporter covering their story is found dead. With the media keeping mum about how she died, Sara’s curiosity is piqued, and she convinces Sean to take on the investigation through their PI firm.
But this case is not without its challenges. The police are actively investigating it, as well, and it’s not even clear that the woman was murdered. It will take a little cloak-and-dagger, dress-up, and finesse for the McKinleys to get to the bottom of it, but they aren’t the kind to give up.
As they troll for leads and work through the skeletons in the reporter’s closet, they unearth a few suspects, but they’ll need to carve out the whole truth if they’re going to find her killer. If they do so fast enough, there might even be time for a little trick-or-treating.
What I Thought:

This is the first book I have read in the McKinley Mysteries by Carolyn Arnold.  This one really got me in the mood for Halloween.  Sean and Sara are non-profit investigators who set up a Halloween House for charity.  They are interviewed by TV reporter Chloe Parson, but Chloe is killed the same day.  Of course, Sara fears it is murder and begs Sean to investigate. They turn up many interesting things about Chloe and who may have wanted her dead.  Carolyn does a great job of writing and the book flowed really well making it an easy and very entertaining read.  There were many twists and turns that had me guessing, but I did not know who the killer was till the end.  There was also just enough humor in the is book to keep it light-hearted.  I look forward to more from this author in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Author Bio
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.
Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Website - http://carolynarnold.net/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

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Sunday, October 1, 2017







A Cajun Christmas Killing: A Cajun Country Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (October 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683313052
E-Book ASIN: B06XW23LPG
Maggie Crozat is back home in bayou country during the most magical time of the year. In Pelican, Louisiana, Christmastime is a season of giant bonfires on the levee, zydeco carols, and pots of gumbo. Except, this year, the Grinch has come to stay at the family-run Crozat Plantation B&B. When he floods travel websites with vicious reviews, Maggie thinks she’s identified him as rival businessman Donald Baxter. That is, until he’s found stabbed to death at Maggie’s workplace. And Maggie and her loved ones become top suspects.
The Crozats quickly establish alibis, but Maggie’s boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand, remains under suspicion. With Bo sidelined during the investigation, Maggie finds herself forced to work with an unlikely ally: longtime family enemy Rufus Durand. Her sleuthing uncovers more suspects than drummers drumming, and lands her in the crosshairs of the murderer.
The sleigh bells are jingling, and the clock is ticking for Maggie and Rufus, who must catch the killer or it will be the opposite of a Joyeux Noël in A Cajun Christmas Killing, the recipe-stuffed third installment of USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries.

What I Thought:

This is the third installment of the Cajun Country Mysteries, and it was my favorite so far.  I enjoy reading this series as I enjoy the descriptions of the culture.  I really liked reading about Cajun Christmas customs.  The plot of this one was well written and very believable and the mystery was superb and kept me guessing till the very end.  This book flowed so well, that it was over before I was ready for it to be over.  I really like the characters in this series, especially Maggie.  I look forward to more in this series. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. 



About The Author
Body on the Bayou, the second in Ellen’s Cajun Country Mystery series, won the Left Coast Crime Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, and was nominated for a Best Contemporary Novel Agatha Award. Her debut book in the series, Plantation Shudders, made the USA Today Bestsellers list, and was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Ellen is also a recipient of a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant from the Malice Domestic Convention. Her TV credits include Wings, Still Standing, and Just Shoot Me, as well as network and cable pilots. As a journalist, she’s written over 200 magazine articles for national publications. Her plays, published by Dramatists Play Service, include the popular Graceland and Asleep on the Wind. A native New Yorker and graduate of Tulane University, Ellen lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, daughter, and the family’s spoiled rescue dogs.
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HAPPY CAJUN CHRISTMAS!



That’s what the lit-up decoration read on the front lawn of a ranch house across from the Mississippi River in Gramercy, Louisiana. It was Christmas Eve and my husband, daughter and I were there at a party to watch the Bonfires on the Levee.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, families and friends come together to build giant thirty-foot high log pyramids on the river’s levees north of New Orleans. Some builders get adventurous and building their bonfires in unique shapes. The year we were there, one bonfire was built in the shape of a pirate ship. Some bonfires are simply stacks of cane reed covered with firecrackers. At 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the bonfires are lit, and flames reach high into the sky. There are a variety of theories about the tradition’s origin. The most popular explanation is that the bonfires guide Papa Noel’s way to the homes of Cajun children.

While the bonfires are probably Cajun Country’s best-known holiday tradition, there are others unique to the area as well. CAJUN NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS is Cajun Country’s own version of the famous tale. It’s written in the Cajun dialect; rather than reindeer and a sleigh, alligators pull “Papa Noel” along in a small boat. Christmas caroling in Cajun parishes includes traditional French songs as well as English and American. And no holiday in the region is complete without fantastic food. From Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve, a meal might include gumbo, oyster stuffing, a turducken – a turkey stuffed with a duck that’s stuffed with a chicken – and pralines for dessert. During the bonfire party we were lucky enough to attend, there were three kinds of jambalaya, three kinds of gumbo, and even alligator soup. (Confession: that’s the only one I skipped.)

When the bonfires were reduced to embers and the wonderful party was over, we waddled off to Christmas Eve Mass at the local church. The pews were full, which thrilled the priest, and we were warmly embraced by the parishioners, even though my family and I were strangers in town.

The bonfires, the food, the festivities… I have wonderful memories of our Christmas in Cajun Country. You’ll find many of these real-life moments translated into fictional ones in my new book, A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING.




Friday, September 22, 2017

The Body on Baker Street


Body on Baker Street: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
by Vicki Delany


Body on Baker Street: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683312994
E-Book ASIN: B06XW3K7F5

Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room in anticipation of the store’s upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock’s legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table―dead.

Donald insists he didn’t do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta’s depiction of the Great Detective. It’s up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Homes Bookshop mystery perfect for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle.
What I Thought:


This installment of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries was just as good as the first.  I really enjoy the setting, which is a bookshop with and attached tea shop.  Gemma runs the bookshop and Jayne the teashop.  In this installment, they are having a mystery author do a book signing and she collapse at her table.  Of course Gemma and Jayne become involved.  The characters in this series are very likable and believable.  The plot is well thought out and believable as well.  I enjoy the setting and just really like this series, it is very well written making it flow well and be an easy read.  I look forward to more in this series. 


I received a complimentary copy of this book.



Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. Under the name of Eva Gates, she writes the Lighthouse Library cozy series for Penguin Random House. Her latest book is Body on Baker Street, the second in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane.

Vicki is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

www.vickidelany.com Facebook: Vicki Delany & Eva Gates and twitter: @vickidelany and @evagatesauthor

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Christmas Peril


A Christmas Peril (A Theater Cop Mystery)
by J. A. Hennrikus


A Christmas Peril (A Theater Cop Mystery)\
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Midnight Ink (September 8, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738754154

When Edwina “Sully” Sullivan’s life imploded, she left behind her job on the police force and her unfaithful husband to start a new life as the general manager of her hometown theater, the Cliffside Theater Company. For five years, she focused on budgets instead of crimes and kept the Cliffside running alongside its mercurial artistic director.
But when her best friend is arrested for killing his father, the rich and powerful Peter Whitehall, no one is looking for another suspect. So, in between keeping A Christmas Carol on budget and Scrooge sober, Sully dusts off her investigative skills to find a killer. Her two lives collide when her ex-husband gets on the suspect list and she’s forced to confront her past in order to save her present.

What I Thought:

This one started a little slow for me, and I wondered if I was going to enjoy it, but all in all I did enjoy the story.  I enjoyed reading about behind the scenes of a theater company and the ins and outs.  The characters were all likable and well thought out.  Sully, the main character is very down-to-earth and likable.  She is a cop on medical leave, so the last thing he wants to do is be involved in a murder.  But when the towns leading citizen is killed, and her best friend, Eric, who is the deceased son is accused of the murder, Sully becomes involved.  She is thrown for another loop when Eric's lawyer turns out to be her ex-husband, Gus. There are lots of twists and turns in this story to keep it interesting and that left me guessing till the very end.  The writing was superb, which made it flow really well, even though it started out slow, it picked up pace and kept me turning pages.  I look forward to more in this series. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book.


About The Author

J. A. Hennrikus is the author of the Theater Cop Mystery series. As Julianne Holmes, she writes the Agatha-nominated Clock Shop Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. Hennrikus blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors, is on the board of Sisters in Crime, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America. She is also an arts administrator who lives in Massachusetts. Visit her online at www.JHAuthors.com.
Webpage - https://jahennrikus.com/

Wicked Cozy Authors Blog - https://wickedcozyauthors.com/

She tweets under @JulieHennrikus, and am on Pinterest and Instagram, and have a page on Facebook. I also blog on Live to Write/Write to Live, and I blog on Killer Characters on the 20th of each month.

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