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Monday, August 13, 2018

Midnight Snacks are Murder



Midnight Snacks are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
by Libby Klein


About the Book


Midnight Snacks are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (July 31, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496713056
Digital ASIN: B0776HFC8V

When her sleepwalking aunt is accused of committing murder, Poppy McAllister finds out there's no rest for the weary . . .
Between trying to get her gluten-free baking business off the ground and helping her aunt remodel her old Victorian into the Butterfly House Bed and Breakfast in Cape May, New Jersey, Poppy is ready to call, “Mayday!” And now Aunt Ginny—who's a handful wide-awake—is sleepwalking on her new sleeping pill prescription and helping herself to neighbors’ snacks and knickknacks.
Even more alarming, a local humanitarian who worked with troubled teens is found murdered, and the police suspect the “Snack Bandit.” Other than a bad case of midnight munchies and some mild knickknack kleptomania, Aunt Ginny is harmless. Someone’s trying to frame her. Poppy will need to work tirelessly to uncover the killer and put the case to rest—before Aunt Ginny has to trade in her B & B for a bunk bed behind bars . . .
Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

What I Thought:

I absolutely loved the first book in this series, and this one was just as good.  I love Poppy, she is so relatable to me, as I am in my 40s and also overweight.  She is a character that I have come to love.  I enjoyed returning to Cape May and visiting with Poppy and Aunt Ginny again, and of course, there is trouble on the horizon again. This time Aunt Ginny is the one accused of murder and Poppy, of course, has to find the real culprit.  Aunt Ginny is a little eccentric and with her now sleepwalking, and walking off with neighbors knick-knacks, Poppy has her hands full trying to prove that Ginny is innocent of murder.  Along with all that, Poppy and Ginny are trying to get their new Bed-and-Breakfast up and running and Poppy is also trying to start her gluten-free baking business.  This one was just as laugh-out-loud as the first in the series and was a pure delight for me.  The mystery was well thought out and plotted really well, and I was left guessing till the very end.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

About the Author


Libby Klein dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets, and taking out the trash. She writes culinary cozy mysteries from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard.
Author Links
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Melina’s book blog Character Guest Post by Sir Figaro Newton      



 Living with two single ladies is every cat’s dream. You’d think double the back scratches, double the tuna, double the catnip - but you’d be very wrong my friend. What it is, is double the drama.



I had it pretty sweet back in Virginia. Poppy was low maintenance as long as we didn’t run out of Haagen-Dazs or Pepperidge Farm. There were plenty of good napping spots. And Georgina hardly ever visited so that kept the number of hairballs down to a minimum. Then one day I was shoved into my prison cell and the torture-mobile brought us to a place Poppy calls “South Jersey.” It smells like pretzels rolled in coconut oil and seagulls here. I don’t like it.



Well apparently, we live here now. Either that or we’re being held hostage. I’m not sure, they are very similar. I just know that I’ve been more than fair about the change even though my vote counted for nothing. I did very little complaining when I had to listen to Poppy’s melodramatic ramblings about “killing a cheerleader” and “going to prison.” I’ve tried to make our surroundings more hospitable by carving my familiar artistic flair into each piece.  And my very generous contribution of moonlight serenades has gone completely unappreciated. I know that pillow was hurled by you Aunt Ginny!



I thought we’d put all that unpleasantness behind us and I was finally settling in when crazy number two started acting up. First Aunt Ginny let a bunch of strangers into my house and they started ripping apart my eating room and my other eating room. We had to take control and give everyone what for. Aunt Ginny and I disagreed about tactics, I felt we should hide the valuables like the can opener, but she insisted on splitting hairs over less important things that had nothing to do with eating. Like “don’t smash that family heirloom!” and “stop scratching my credenza, it’s an antique!” and other such nonsense.



At least we were a united front against a common enemy, the little hairless man. Every time I turned around, he’d track his saw-dusty paw prints into my napping place or leave one of his smelly tools in my other napping place. Enough was enough. A cat can only take so much. Just as I was about to suggest a conflab with Aunt Ginny, I catch her flopping down in front of the door in my loitering room. We get it. You want to be friends. Don’t be so dramatic about it!



Poppy rather overreacted, like she does, and Aunt Ginny was forced into the torture-mobile. They didn’t return for hours. I knew I was going to have a tough time calming them both down that night. I had to go from one lap to the other through half of Wheel and two episodes of Matlock. I like him. I bet he’s a cat person.



Things eventually settled down to a reasonable purr and life got back to normal. If your idea of normal is someone breaking into the neighborhood houses and stealing their most precious possessions. I told Aunt Ginny we needed to hide the can opener! If this so called “Snack Bandit” breaks in here and steals my can of Caribbean Beach Friskies I might just lose one of my lives.

Hmm. I hear the sound of Judge Judy in the sunbeam room. That means Aunt Ginny needs me to lie on top of the television, so she gets better reception. I like trying to swat Judy just as she rolls her eyes. I gotta go. If you live in the neighborhood, be sure to lock your door and hide your tuna. Something’s going on here and I haven’t quite figured it out yet. I’ve got a strange feeling in my whiskers…  But no. It couldn’t be…


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Vanished Child









The Vanished Child
What would you do if you discovered you had a brother you never knew existed?
On her deathbed, Freda Duckworth confesses to giving birth to an illegitimate child in 1944 and temporarily placing him in a children's home. She returned later but he had vanished. 
What happened to the child? Why did he disappear? Where did he go? 
Jayne Sinclair, genealogical investigator, is faced with lies, secrets, and one of the most shameful episodes in recent history as she attempts to uncover the truth.
Can she find the vanished child?
This book is the fourth in the Jayne Sinclair Genealogical Mystery series, but can be read as a standalone
Every childhood lasts a lifetime.
Purchase Link - myBook.to/

What I Thought:
The plot of this story was very intriguing, but I found he writing style very hard to follow. The author is a very good author but as he is British, he wrote using British terms and sayings that I am not really familiar with. As for the story itself, it was very intriguing. Jayne is a genealogical investigator, something I am not familiar with at all, and she is approached by her step mother to help locate a long lost brother. This story was based on true events of British orphans being relocated to Australia and the brutal treatments the endured. I thought this was a fascinating read and was not what I am used to reading. There are more stories int his series, but this book can be read as a stand alone and even though it is a series, I was not lost. The author did a very good job describing the characters and the locations. If not for the writing language this would have been a fast-paced page turner.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.




Author Bio Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, tv commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
When he's not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, researching his family history, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.
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Friday, July 20, 2018

Shelved Under Murder





Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery

by Victoria Gilbert


About the Book




Shelved Under Murder: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery

Cozy Mystery

2nd in Series

Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018)

Hardcover: 300 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1683315957

Digital: ASIN: B075QJHPR9




Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.

October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.

That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder.

What I Thought:

This is the second book in the Blue Ridge Library mystery series and this series just got a little better.  It is the time of year for the Heritage Festival and when a renowned artist is killed with her own pallet knife, the Sheriff's department recruit's Amy to help investigate. Another murder shakes the town of Taylorsford to the core and leaves everyone on the edge, so Amy has to work fast to solve the crimes. This book was very well written and flowed really well.  I enjoyed reading about this town as I live close to the Blue Ridge Mountains of VA.  I thought the plot was well thought out and very believable.  There were enough suspects to keep the story interesting but not too many to make the story overwhelming.  I look forward to visiting Amy and Taylorsford again soon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

About the Author



Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director.

When not writing or reading, Victoria likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers, and is represented by Frances Black at Literary Council, NY, NY.

Victoria lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. This is her first Blue Ridge Library mystery.

Author Links:


Website/blog: http://victoriagilbertmysteries.com/


Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaGilbertMysteryAuthor/


Twitter: https://twitter.com/VGilbertauthor


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/VictoriaGilbert


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/victoriagilbertauthor/





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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Souffle of Suspicion





A Soufflé of Suspicion: A French Bistro Mystery

by Daryl Wood Gerber


About the Book




A Soufflé of Suspicion: A French Bistro Mystery

Cozy Mystery

2nd in Series

Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018)

Hardcover 296 Pages

ISBN-13: 978-1683315865

Digital ASIN: B075QMR44B




The buoyant mood at Bistro Rousseau deflates when Chef Camille’s sister, Renee, turns up dead in the chef’s kitchen, and Mimi Rousseau must tease the real killer out of a mélange of menacing characters.

Crush Week in Nouvelle Vie is a madhouse—in a good way. Tourists pour into town for the pressing of the Napa Valley’s world-renowned grapes and all the town’s businesses get a nice lift, including Bistro and Maison Rousseau. Mimi is raising the ante this year with a Sweet Treats Festival, a wonderland of croissants, cakes, tarts, and soufflés crafted with expert care by the area’s top talents.

Chef Camille’s sister Renee is managing the festival with a cast-iron fist, upsetting everyone, including her sister. Which is bad for Camille when Renee turns up dead in the chef’s kitchen. Mimi is still building her business, so her first course of action is to whip up answers and catch the unsavory perpetrator before Camille takes a dusting and gets burned.
What I Thought:


 This is the second in A French Bistro Mystery and it was just as good or better than the first.  Like in the first novel, there were a lot of characters to try to keep straight, therefore, making for a lot of suspects.  It is the time of year for the pressing of Napa Valley's grapes and Mimi has decided to have a Sweet Treats Festival which is being managed by Renee, Mimi's chef, Camille's sister.  Renee makes some enemies and turns up dead in the kitchen of the Bistro.  This was a fast-paced read that kept my attention from the beginning.  Like I mentioned, there were a lot of characters to keep straight, therefore making it hard to pinpoint who the killer was.  The writing was superb and the plot well thought out.  I enjoyed revisiting the town and characters of this well-written series and I look forward to more in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

About the Author


Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES, which she pens as Avery Aames. She will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAYS OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links


Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.


Daryl’s Blog Avery’s Blog Mystery Lover’s Kitchen Killer Characters


Facebook: Daryl Avery


Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber


Goodreads: Daryl Wood Gerber Avery Aames


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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Murder Made to Order





Murder Made to Order (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)

by Lena Gregory


About the Book




Murder Made to Order (All-Day Breakfast Cafe

Mystery)


Cozy Mystery

2nd in Series

Lyrical Underground (June 19, 2018)

Paperback: 196 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1516104666

Digital ASIN: B075WBZH6L



To save her cozy Florida diner, Gia Morelli must choke down a heaping helping of murder . . .


New York native Gia Morelli is just getting used to life in Florida when she gets word that the town government wants to shut down her pride and joy: the charming little diner known as the All-Day Breakfast Café. A forgotten zoning regulation means that the café was opened illegally, and hardboiled council president Marcia Steers refuses to budge. Gia is considering hanging up her apron and going back to New York, but before she gives up on her dream, she discovers something shocking in the local swamp: Marcia Steers, dead in the water. There’s a secret buried in the books at town hall, and someone killed to keep it hidden. To save her café and bring a killer to justice, Gia and her friends will have to figure out a killer’s recipe for murder . . .

What I Thought:

The was the second installment in the All-day Breakfast Cafe Mystery Series and it was just as good as the first in the series.  It was nice visiting with Gia and her friends again.  In this one, Gia is out for a walk and stumbles upon the body of a woman who wanted to talk to her the day before about a zoning regulation.  So Gia has to prove that she did not kill the council president and also find out what secrets are at the Town Hall.  I really enjoyed the read the writing was superb and made the story flow very well.  The plot was very well thought-out and believable and I was left guessing up to the very end.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

About the Author





Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.


When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.


Author Links:


Website: http://www.lenagregory.com/


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lena.gregory.986


Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts


Twitter: https://twitter.com/LenaGregory03


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14956514.Lena_Gregory?from_search=true


Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lenagregoryauth/


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Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Spook in the Stacks





The Spook in the Stacks: A Lighthouse Library Mystery

by Eva Gates



About the Book




The Spook in the Stacks: A Lighthouse Library Mystery

Cozy Mystery

4th in Series

Crooked Lane Books (June 12, 2018)

Hardcover: 250 Pages

ISBN-13: 978-1683315803

Digital ASIN: B075QJ59PX




Halloween in North Carolina’s Outer Banks becomes seriously tricky when librarian Lucy Richardson stumbles across something extra unusual in the rare books section: a dead body.

Wealthy businessman Jay Ruddle is considering donating his extensive collection of North Carolina historical documents to the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, but the competition for the collection is fierce. Unfortunately, while the library is hosting a lecture on ghostly legends, Jay becomes one of the dearly departed in the rare books section. Now, it’s up to Lucy Richardson and her fellow librarians to bone up on their detective skills and discover who is responsible for this wicked Halloween homicide.

Meanwhile, very strange things are happening at the library―haunted horses are materializing in the marsh, the lights seem to have an eerie life of their own, and the tiny crew of a model ship appears to move around when no one is watching. Is Lucy at her wit’s end? Or can it be that the Bodie Island Lighthouse really is haunted?
With The Legend of Sleepy Hollow on everyone’s minds and ghoulish gossip on everyone’s lips, Lucy will need to separate the clues from the boos if she wants to crack this case without losing her head in The Spook in the Stacks, the delightful fourth in national bestseller Eva Gates’ Lighthouse Library mysteries.

What I Thought:

This is the fourth book in the Lighthouse Library mystery series and the second of the series I have read.    I have read the first book in the series and really enjoyed it so I knew I would enjoy this one, and I did.  It had similarities to the first book, but was is it's own unique story.  Halloween has come to the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library and Lucy and the staff are getting ready with spooky book club selections and also with spooky talks.  Wealthy businessman, Jay Ruddle, is preparing to find a new home for some of his historical North Carolina History papers and the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library is a possible choice.  During a talk by Louise Jane, Mr. Ruddle is found dead in the rare books room.  Lucy and the staff have to, once again, put on their sleuth hats to solve the mystery.  I thought this book was well written and flowed really well.  I loved how the author incorporated Halloween themes into the book.  There were a lot of twists and turns that kept me guessing.  I look forward to more in this series. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About the Author




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. She is currently writing three cozy mystery series: the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House and, under the pen name of Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series, for Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. She 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.




Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com. On Facebook at www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor. Twitter @vickidelany @evagatesauthor


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Guest Post:

Charles the Library Cat
By Eva Gates,
May 2018


Allow me to introduce myself. I am Charles, the resident cat at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library and star of the Lighthouse Library mysteries by Eva Gates.

I was named for Mr. Charles Dickens, a great man of letters, as I am a great cat of books. I don’t actually read books mind, but I find they are very comfortable to settle down on when left open on a table top.

I currently live with Lucy in our apartment on the fourth floor of the Lighthouse, which Lucy calls her Lighthouse Aerie. Before Lucy arrived, I lived on the ground floor. I love the library at night, but it can be a bit lonely after everyone has gone home at the end of the day. So, when Lucy got the job of assistant librarian at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, which came with an apartment on the fourth floor, I naturally decided that Lucy needed me to move into the apartment with her. So now I am a library cat by day and a house cat by night.

I am kept hopping all day. My duties are to greet patrons when they arrive, join the children for children’s activities, allow lonely old women to fuss over me, keep mice out of the cupboards, and advise Lucy NOT to wear that hideous dress for her date with Connor. Or is it Butch this time? I get confused.

Right now, we’re particularly busy at the library getting ready for Halloween. I don’t know why humans think it’s fun to be frightened. I certainly do not. But the decorations are up, the parties are planned.

Nothing I love more than a party at the library. All those laps to curl up in and all that food, waiting to be snatched up.

I just hope no one gets killed this time. I try to help Lucy when she has a mystery to solve. I can tell her who can be trusted and who cannot. But does she pay any mind to me? No. Humans, they think they know it all.

But I… oh, wait, is that a mouse I see? Excuse me.



Wednesday, June 20, 2018

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles








As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles (A Food Lovers' Village Mystery)

by Leslie Budewitz


About the Book




As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles (A Food Lovers' Village Mystery)

Cozy Mystery

5th in Series

Midnight Ink (June 8, 2018)

Paperback: 288 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0738752419

Digital ASIN: B075W25FNF




Erin is one smart cookie, but can she keep the holiday spirit—and herself—alive till Christmas?

In Jewel Bay, all is merry and bright. At Murphy's Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily has turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he's been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she's found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Includes delicious recipes!

What I Thought:

This is my second visit to Jewel Bay and the Merc and this visit was even better than my first visit.  This story captured my attention from the beginning and kept it throughout, maybe because it was about Christmas.  This book was very well written with great dialogue and banter between the characters.  The setting was great, and because it is set during Christmas, even though it is June, that made the book even better.  Erin is getting ready to marry the man of her dreams when bad girl turned good, Merrily comes to town.  She has been shunned by her parents and is suspected of stealing from her boss, but she is found dead with a string of lights around her neck.  Erin has to solve he murder to save the Christmas holiday and also because her wedding nuptials are coming up.  I look forward to reading more in this series, and am definitely going to go back and read the others in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.



About the Author




Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural

medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model, and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


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