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Monday, November 12, 2018




Murder in Her Stocking (A Granny Reid Mystery)
by G. A. McKevett

About the Book


Murder in Her Stocking (A Granny Reid Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Kensington (October 30, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716264
ISBN-13: 978-1496716262
Digital ASIN: B079KTKPH2

As the Moonlight Magnolia Agency revisits old memories on Christmas Eve, Granny Reid takes the reins back thirty years to the 1980s—back when she went by Stella, everyone’s hair was bigger, and sweaters were colorful disasters. But murder never went out of style . . .
Christmas has arrived in sleepy McGill, Georgia, but holiday cheer can’t keep temperamental Stella Reid from swinging a rolling pin at anyone who cdrosses her bad side—and this season, there are plenty. First an anonymous grinch vandalizes a celebrated nativity display. Far worse, the scandalous Prissy Carr is found dead in an alley behind a tavern. With police puzzled over the murder, Stella decides to stir the local gossip pot for clues on the culprit’s identity . . .
Turns out Prissy held a prominent spot on the naughty list, and suspects pile up like presents on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, the more progress Stella makes, the more fears she must confront. With a neighbor in peril and the futures of her beloved grandchildren at risk, Stella must somehow set everything straight and bring a cunning criminal to justice before December 25th . . .

What I Thought:

This is a prequel to the Savannah Reid Mysteries and was a very wonderful holiday read.  In this one, it is the 1980s, and close to Christmas.  We meet Granny Reid (Stella), Savannah and her six siblings. The town of McGill's Nativity is vandalized, by someone close to Granny, and a local woman, Prissy Carr, is found dead behind the tavern.  Granny decides to help the police out by digging up some local gossip about Prissy. This was a very well written novel and it was endearing the way Granny takes her seven impoverished grandchildren under her wing.  The author did a good job developing a young Savannah and her siblings.  The family dynamic in this novel was excellent.  The mystery was also well thought out with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing till the end.  Granny is a wonderful character and just as good a sleuth as Savannah herself.  I hope there are more Granny Reid mysteries in the future.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

About the Author


G.A. McKevett is the author of the acclaimed Savannah Reid mystery series. Also writing under the name Sonja Massie, she has authored over 60 books ranging from cozy mysteries to historical romances, to nonfiction works on the history of Ireland. Her earthy humor and fast-paced plots delight her fans, while critics applaud her offbeat characterizations and incisive observations on human nature. Irish by ancestry, she has lived in Toronto, Ireland, and Los Angeles, but now resides in New York.
Author Links

Website: www.SonjaMassie.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GAMcKevett

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gwendolynnarden.mckevett

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2xQwQKz

Purchase Links

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

House of Ashes




House of Ashes: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery
by Loretta Marion

About the Author


House of Ashes: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery
Supernatural Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)
Hardcover, 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318439
ISBN-13: 978-1683318439
Digital Details Coming Soon

A family patriarch’s dying proclamation, an enigmatic disappearance, and a century-old curse converge in the shadows of a majestic home on Cape Cod’s craggy coast.
Thirty-seven-year-old painter Cassandra Mitchell is fourth-generation to live in the majestic Battersea Bluffs, a brooding Queen Anne home originally built by her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, and still standing despite tragedies that have swept the generations. Local lore has it that there was a curse placed on the family and the house is haunted, though opinions are divided on whether it's by malicious or benevolent spirits. Cassie believes the latter―but now she stands to lose her beloved home to mounting debt and the machinations of her dream-weaving ex-husband.
Salvation seems to arrive when a nomadic young couple wanders onto the property with the promise of companionship and much-needed help―until they vanish without a trace, leaving behind no clue to their identities. Cassie is devastated, but determined to discover what's happened to the young couple...even as digging into their disappearance starts to uncover family secrets of her own. Despite warnings from her childhood friend, now the local Chief of Police―as well as an FBI agent who pushes the boundaries of professionalism―Cassie can't help following the trail of clues (and eerie signals from the old house itself) to unravel the mystery. But can she do so before her family's dark curse destroys everything in its path?




What I Thought:


This was a little different that what I normally read, and it kind of reminded me of some of the gothic, suspense books I used to read.  This one was very well written, and I really enjoyed the authors writing style.  In this one, Cassie lives in a fourth-generation home and is on the verge of losing her majestic home to debt.  Some say there is a curse on the home and that it is haunted.  When a young couple wanders onto the property and then vanishes, with no clue to there identity. As Cassie starts looking for the young couple she starts uncovering many family secrets.  This one had many twists and turns that left me guessing.  The characters were compelling and well developed.  I also enjoyed the family dynamic of this one.  Even though this wasn't what I am used to reading it was an excellent read.  I look forward to reading more from this author.


I received a complimentary copy of this book.

About the Author


An author of fiction, Loretta Marion’s writing bridges the genres of mystery and suspense and women’s fiction, always with hints of romance and humor, sometimes delving into the psychological and paranormal. She creates strong but flawed and struggling characters as appealing as the rich atmospheric settings in which the stories take place.
Loretta is a true bibliophile and has loved reading and creating with words since she was a young girl. And that affection for the written word followed her like a shadow throughout her life as she put pen to paper crafting marketing and advertising copy, educational brochures, and newsletters. But her passion for writing fiction evolved from the unlikely world of hospice. As a volunteer, she set out to establish a Legacy Story program to honor and preserve the rich heritage of the fascinating people who were soon to leave this world. The meaningful experience inspired her to create her own interesting characters and stories. Her debut novel, The Fool's Truth, was a twisty and suspenseful mystery with whispers of romance. Her newest novel, HOUSE OF ASHES – A Haunted Bluffs Mystery, is the first in a series published by Crooked Lane Books.
Though born and raised in the Midwest, Loretta fell in love with New England and has made it the setting for much of her writing. When not whipping out words on her laptop, she is traveling, enjoying outdoor pursuits, or is curled up with a delicious new book. Loretta lives in Rhode Island with her husband, Geoffrey, and their beloved Mr. Peabody, a sweet, devoted and amusing “Corgador” (Corgi-Labrador cross). (www.LorettaMarion.com)
Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N

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HOUSE OF ASHES EXCERPTS


 


EXCERPT 1:


Eighty years ago ~ Whale Rock, Massachusetts ~ Cape Cod Bay Friday, December 13th


 


     Percival Mitchell balled up the tele gram and threw it into the blazing tavern fire. It had arrived that morning, but he’d yet to share the devastating news with his wife. He needed some Dutch courage before he found the words to tell Celeste that now the last of their three boys had been killed. “A shot of Old Crow, Lloyd,” he said to the barkeep, then downed it, glad for the punishing burn in his throat. He’d loved all his sons, but the youngest, Ambrose, had been most like him, with a love of the sea and a desire to see the world.  They’d struck a deal: Ambrose would enlist in the Navy, but after three years’ time he would return to Whale Rock and assume his rightful place at the helm of the family business. Yet only weeks later, while Ambrose was stationed in China on the USS Panay, there’d been a surprise attack by the Japanese on his ship. The attack was allegedly a mistake, and the USS Panay just an unfortunate target— but what consolation would that be to Celeste, who had already lost her other two sons?


     Lloyd poured Percy a second shot, but before the glass was touched, a commotion broke out in the main street of Whale Rock. The fire bell was ringing, and someone yelled in through the tavern door, “There’s a fire up on the north end! Battersea Bluffs. We need all the hands we can get!”


     “No, it can’t be,” Percy whispered. The Bluffs was his home. He leapt from the barstool and ran for the street, bumping into a stranger as he passed through the tavern door. The man’s eyes were ominously familiar to him, but with more pressing concerns, there was no time to bring to memory why. He had to get home to Celeste. It sickened him to see the flames as his Ford pickup rounded the top of Lavender Hill. How hard he and Celeste had worked to build this house, a grand Victorian with a widow’s walk and a proud front porch facing out to sea. Fire trucks were already there, and men he’d known these many years were working hard to contain the blaze to the southwest corner— Celeste’s beloved kitchen and keeping room.  Others had the presence of mind to remove some treasured possessions, which he saw scattered on the lawn.


     As he ran toward the house, it came to him who the stranger in the tavern had been, and later one of the firefighters would recount that Percy had screamed: “Damn that lighterman’s curse. Damn you to hell, Robert Toomey!” Nobody was quick enough to keep Percy Mitchell from entering the inferno. Moments later he emerged, his clothing and hair afire, carrying a charred human form. Any man would have been delirious from the pain, but as the firefighters looked on in shocked disbelief, Percy walked with a purposeful bearing and a swift gait toward the bluffs. A few men chased after their friend, but before anyone could stop him, Percy reached the ledge and cried out, “I am not finished!”


     And then, with his already dead wife in his arms, he hurled them both into Cape Cod Bay.




Sunday, November 4, 2018

Drop Dead Ornaments




Drop Dead Ornaments (An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery)
by Lois Winston


About the Book


Drop Dead Ornaments (An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Self Published
Print Length: 209 pages
ASIN: B07GMZ2H4B

Anastasia Pollack’s son Alex is dating Sophie Lambert, the new kid in town. For their community service project, the high school seniors have chosen to raise money for the county food bank. Anastasia taps her craft industry contacts to donate materials for the students to make Christmas ornaments they’ll sell at the town’s annual Holiday Crafts Fair.
At the fair Anastasia meets Sophie’s father, Shane Lambert, who strikes her as a man with secrets. She also notices a woman eavesdropping on their conversation. Later that evening when the woman turns up dead, Sophie’s father is arrested for her murder.
Alex and Sophie beg Anastasia to find the real killer, but Anastasia has had her fill of dead bodies. She’s also not convinced of Shane’s innocence. Besides, she’s promised younger son Nick she’ll stop risking her life. But how can she say no to Alex?



What I Thought:

This is the first book I have read in the Anastasia Polk Crafting Mystery Series.  While this one can be read as a stand-alone, I wish I would have read others in the series, especially as this on leaves off where the last in the series finished.  In this one, Anastasia is helping her older son, Alex and his girlfriend Sophie with a community service project for their senior class.  Anastasia meets Sophie's father, Shane, whom she is skeptical about and feels he is hiding something.  When a lady that Anastasia notices was spying on a conversation between her and Shane turns up dead, Shane is the main suspect is arrested for the murder, Sophie and Alex beg Anastasia to find the real killer, but she doesn't want to because she promised her younger son and she has had enough of murder, but she also doesn't want to let down her older son.  I enjoyed this story and was not really that lost as I haven't read others the series.  I thought the plot was well thought out and the story flowed well.  There were many twists and turns in this story, and I enjoyed all the quirky characters in the story as well.  I was totally baffled as to who the killer was and was left guessing to the very end.  While this the first I have read in this series, I hope it is not my last.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

About the Author


About the Author
USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.
Author Links

Website: www.loiswinston.com

Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/anasleuth

Twitter at https://twitter.com/Anasleuth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/722763.Lois_Winston

Newsletter sign-up: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/z1z1u5

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Killed on Blueberry Hill




ISBN9781496704900
Publish Date10/30/2018
Format Paperback



*Cover pic and blurbs from Kensington.com

It’s peak tourist season in Oriole Point, Michigan—the blueberry buckle of the fruit belt. Nothing draws the crowds quite like their annual carnival. And nothing turns it sour faster than murder . . .

The Blueberry Blow Out festival has begun and it’s time for Marlee Jacob, owner of The Berry Basket, to shine. Unfortunately it’s also bringing out the worst in her fiancé Ryan Zeller. Ryan’s rivalry with Porter Gale, owner of Blueberry Hill Farm, spills over into a very public and very ugly fight. And after they compete in the pie-eating contest and a raucous tug of war, their orchard blood feud takes a deadly turn . . .

The death of the king of Blueberry Hill is a shock but not too surprising—he was a diabetic whose last pig out meal was deliciously fatal. But when authorities discover that someone tampered with Porter’s insulin, a tragic accident is looking like murder—and Ryan is the key ingredient. Now Marlee’s investigation to clear his name is taking her deep into the Gale family secrets, and she’s being shadowed every step of the way by a killer whose sweet revenge is just beginning . . .

Includes Berry Recipes!


What I Thought:


This is the third installment in the Betty Basket Mystery Series by Sharon Farrow and it is the second that I have read in the series.  I read the first Dying for Strawberries and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I enjoyed this one even more.  In this book, the town of Oriole Point is celebrating the Blueberry Blowout.  During the tug of war between the fruit growers in the area, Marlee's fiancé, Ryan, gets into an altercation with another local grower, Porter.  Porter is a diabetic and later that night, Porter is on the ride that his family’s farm has sponsored, when he passes away, from what everyone thinks it was just a result of his drinking and being diabetic, but it turns out his insulin had been tampered with.  Ryan becomes the prime suspect.  Marlee wants to believe in Ryan, but she is finding out more and more lies that Ryan is telling her and things he is keeping from her. 

 

This was a very well written book that kept my attention from the start of the book to the last page.  I really like Marlee and she is a very well-rounded character.  Her fiancé, on the other hand is a little hard to like.  The setting of this series is charming and seems like a place I would like to visit.  I enjoyed the relationship elements in this book.  There were several returning townsfolk to this story and we are also introduced to many new characters in this story.  It was hard to figure out who the killer was, there were some suspects but there were many twists and turns that made me guess as to who the culprit was.  Marlee wants to stay out of the investigation, but when all clues point to Ryan and makes her reassess their relationship, she can't help but become involved.  She also learns more secrets that Ryan has been keeping, that make her question his innocence even more.  She also has a possible new love interest that also muddies the waters for her and Ryan.  The ending of this book was pretty explosive with many things happening and I was honestly shocked by the reveal of the killer. I highly recommend this series.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book.



            

About:

Sharon Farrow is also the co-author of the Agatha nominated Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mysteries written under the joint pseudonym D.E. Ireland. A freelance writer since her twenties, she has been published in mystery, fantasy, and romance; one of her short stories has been optioned for film. Sharon currently lives along the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline where the Berry Basket series is set. Visit her online at sharonfarrowauthor.com, on Facebook @SharonFarrowAuthor, or Twitter @SharonFarrowBB.
 
        









 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

A Crafter Knits a Clue



A Crafter Knits a Clue: A Handcrafted Mystery
by Holly Quinn


About the Book


A Crafter Knits a Clue: A Handcrafted Mystery
NEW COZY MYSTERY SERIES
SET IN WISCONSIN
Crooked Lane Books (October 9, 2018)
Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1683317718
ISBN-13: 978-1683317715
Digital ASIN: B078LZ5ZM5

For fans of Betty Hechtman and Maggie Sefton, the latest craft frenzy is Holly Quinn’s Handcrafted series debut.
Sammy Kane just moved back to her hometown to run a craft store. But when the owner of a nearby yarn shop is murdered, Sammy will needle little help finding the killer.
When a heartbroken Samantha “Sammy” Kane returns to her hometown of Heartsford, WI, for her best friend Kate’s funeral, she learns that Kate’s much-loved craft store is in danger of perishing with its owner. Confounding all her expectations of the life she would live, Sammy moves back home with her golden retriever and takes over Community Craft. A few doors down Main Street, fellow new arrival Ingrid Wilson has just opened the Yarn Barn, a real “purl” of a shop. But when Sammy strolls over to see if Ingrid could use a little help, she finds Ingrid’s dead body—with a green aluminum knitting needle lodged in her throat.
Detective Liam Nash is thrown for a loop as every single citizen of Heartsford seems to have a theory about Ingrid’s murder. And nearly everyone in town seems to be a suspect. But the last time Sammy did any sleuthing was as a little moppet. And this is not fun and games. Sammy is eager to help the handsome Liam—who seems to be endlessly inventive in finding reasons to talk with her—and when Liam arrests affable woodworker Miles Danbury, Sammy puts everything on the line to help clear Miles.
As the case comes dangerously close to unraveling, Sammy must stitch the clues together. But the killer has other plans—and if Sammy’s not careful, she may wind up in a perilous knot in A Crafter Knits a Clue, the first warm and woolly yarn of Holly Quinn’s new Handcrafted mysteries.

What I Thought :

I enjoyed this book which is the first in the Handcrafted Mystery series.  Holly Quinn is a new to me author and I enjoyed her writing style.  In this one, Samantha "Sammy" has come returned home to attend the funeral of her best friend.  She then takes over her friend's craft store.  One day, she goes to a rival craft shop and finds the owner murdered with a knitting needle.  Sammy then becomes a sleuth to solve the murder.  I thought the plot of this book was well thought.  Like I mentioned earlier, the writing style of the author was good and I felt it helped the book to flow well.  The setting was also charming and the authors descriptions of it made me feel that I was very familiar with the town.  The mystery was enhanced by the romantic tension between Sammy and the lead detective in the case, Liam.  There were a lot of twists and turns in this mystery that kept me guessing.  The story finished with a cliffhanger, which makes me really want to read the next book in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

About the Author



Holly Quinn is both an avid reader and crafter. Holly sells her artistic creations locally and dreamed of one day opening a gift shop to sell local artist’s handiwork. Instead, she began writing about it and thus her journey of the Handcrafted Mystery series was born. Visit her @ www.authorhollyquinn.com

Author Links -

Website - www.authorhollyquinn.com

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

GoodReads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7940795.Holly_Quinn

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Very Merry Murder




A Very Merry Murder (A Professor Prather Mystery)
by Mary Angela

About the Book


A Very Merry Murder (A Professor Prather Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Camel Press (October 1, 2018)
Paperback: 258 pages
ISBN-10: 1603816550
ISBN-13: 978-1603816557
Digital ASIN: B07G2VLLCV

It’s December in Copper Bluff, and from hillside to hallowed hall, everyone is merry—or will be as soon as semester break arrives. Students are studying, professors are grading, and Emmeline Prather is anticipating the university-sponsored holiday concert. Friend and colleague Lenny Jenkins will be accompanying the visiting quartet, Jazz Underground, and Em can’t think of a better way to kick-start the holiday season.
But before she can say “Jingle Bell Rock,” trouble arrives at Candlelight Inn, the bed and breakfast where the quartet is staying. One of the band members dies unexpectedly, and suspicion falls on Em, whose altercation with the man ends with him on the floor. He never recovers, and now she’s worried her reputation might not either. When Emmeline starts to see parallels between an Agatha Christie novel she’s teaching and the victim, Lenny claims she’s read one too many mysteries.
As the clues unravel, so does the murderer’s patience. Em is close to finding the truth, but will the truth—or the murderer—push her over the edge? It will take a Christmas miracle to solve this case, but if there’s one thing in surplus this time of year, it’s faith.


What I Thought:

This is the third book in the Professor Prather series that I have read.  While it can be read as a stand-alone, I wish I had read the other two in the series.  Emmeline Prather is a professor of a local university and is looking forward to a holiday concert by the Jazz Underground.  One of the band members makes a pass at Emmeline and she pushes him away, he falls to the floor dead.  Emmeline is the prime suspect and needs to clear her name before the holidays.  I thought this was a well written story that kept my attention through-out.  I liked the protagonist and found myself rooting for her all through the book.  I was surprised by the ending, which is what I like in a cozy mystery.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

About the Author

[caption id="attachment_102470" align="aligncenter" width="200"] © Julie Prairie Photography 2016[/caption]
Mary Angela is the author of the Professor Prather academic mystery series, which has been called “enjoyable” and “clever” by Publishers Weekly. She is also an educator and has taught English and humanities at South Dakota’s public and private universities for over ten years. When Mary isn’t writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Author Links

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Friday, October 5, 2018

Threads of Grace




Grace’s beauty almost cost her everything. This new start is all she has left.
When Grace Beiler was only a girl, she was married off to an older Amish man in order to save her family’s farm. Years later, she finds herself newly widowed and a mother to a young son. She has finally fled her sad past and plans to settle into a quiet life in Pennsylvania.
As soon as she arrives, she captures the attention of Seth Wyse, the most eligible bachelor in Pine Creek. Seth is candid about his feelings for her, and for her son Abel, but Grace is determined to protect her heart. Her determination falters when her brother-in-law reveals the troubling contents of her late husband’s will.
Seth offers Grace his hand in marriage, and thus a means of escape. But despite his having saved her from another loveless marriage, Grace is slow to trust her new husband. And as the months wear on, Seth wonders if he has made a mistake. But God is quietly at work in their hearts, and Seth and Grace soon discover that threads of grace bind them together in a tapestry rich in hope and love.


What I Thought:




I enjoyed reading the story of Grace and her son Abel who is autistic.  Grace was married off to save her family farm to a much older man.  He was not good to her, so when he passes, she moves to a small Pennsylvania town.  When her widow’s brother shows up trying to force Grace to marry him, her neighbor Seth, offers to marry her.  This is a story of a marriage of convenience turning into a story of love.  It was well written and the author did a very good job making your help melt over Abel.  The plot was good, but the conflict between the two men in the story ended kind of weirdly.  Overall this was a good read. 


I received a complimentary copy of this book.