Search This Blog

Friday, August 28, 2015

Code Grey by Clea Simon





Code Grey: A feline-filled academic mystery (A Dulcie Schwartz Mystery)
Series: A Dulcie Schwartz Mystery (Book 9)
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Severn House Publishers; First World Publication edition (August 1, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0727885067
E-Book ASIN: B010SWRCLE
goodreads-badge-add-plus

Synopsis
Did a down on his luck former student steal a priceless book? Grad student and cat lover Dulcie Schwartz thinks not and she sets out to prove it”
It s spring break, and Dulcie Schwartz has stayed behind in almost-deserted Cambridge, Massachusetts to concentrate on her thesis. But when a former student turned vagrant, Jeremy Mumbles, is found injured, with a valuable missing book clutched in his arms, Dulcie can t seem to let it go. What was he doing with the book? And why has it turned up after all these years?
With Jeremy now the prime suspect for a series of break-ins in the area, Dulcie is determined to clear the unfortunate former scholar s name. But when she finds a connection between the book he was carrying and her own research into an anonymous Gothic author, the search for clues takes on a new intensity and a new menace.
 
What I Thought:
 
This was the first Dulcie Schwartz novel by Clea Simon that I have read.  I enjoyed and look forward to reading more.  I do feel, though, that I should have started at the beginning of the series.  Dulcie is a student trying to finish her dissertation, so the book was a little intellectual.  It was still entertaining and kept me guessing. 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
 
About The Author
Clea Simon is the author of 18 mysteries in the Theda Krakow, DulcieSchwartz, and Pru Marlowe pet noir series. The latter two are ongoingand include her most recent books, Code Grey (Severn House) and Kittens Can Kill (Poisoned Pen Press). A former journalist and nonfiction author, she lives in Somerville, Mass., with her husband, the writer Jon Garelick, and their cat Musetta. She can be reached at http://www.cleasimon.com

Author Links:
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clea.simon.author
My blog: http://cleasimon.blogspot.com
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/Clea_Simon or @Clea_Simon
On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/49559.Clea_Simon
Publisher: http://severnhouse.com/author/Clea+Simon/9497
Purchase Links: 
Amazon B&N Book Depository
 
 
Writing with a Cat (guest blog for Melina’s Book Blog)
 
Sometimes, my muse gets in the way.
 
I write mysteries with cats in them. In three separate series, my heroines commune with their kitties – some of which talk (in the Pru Marlowe pet noir books and the Dulcie Schwartz feline-filled academic mysteries, the latest of which, “Code Grey” was published by Severn House on Aug. 1). Some of which don’t (my first series, the Theda Krakow mysteries).  But in all 18 of my mysteries, my protagonists are aided, guided, cajoled, and at times comforted by their feline friends. It stands to reason, then, that you’d think that I – the author – have the same experience.
 
Only writing with a cat is not so easy.
 
To start with, my own little muse – a black-and-white tuxedo cat named Musetta – doesn’t always approve of my writing. When she chooses to nap on the chair in my office, then it’s fine that I’m spending hours at my desk, tapping away at the keyboard. But when she wants to play, she has no patience for my work. She doesn’t scratch exactly – she’s too good a friend for that – but she will reach up as if stretching, delicately place her paws on my thigh, and flex her claws just enough to make her point.
 
And then there are revisions. Musetta tries to help with those. She really does. But the feline method of editing – as expressed through a sincere love of paper – can run counter to my very human technique of printing out and then marking up the pages of a work in progress. Say I have a scene spread out, wanting to compare the description of some bad guy to how I discuss him in the following scene. Are those pages an open invitation for someone to loll about? Will her spreading out on those pages and rolling around a little make them better, clearer, more exciting for the reader? I hadn’t thought so, but clearly I am wrong. And those few pages that she bites – marking the corners with her teeth: are those especially good pages, or are those the ones she thinks I should go back to work on?
 
As I’ve said, working with a feline editor can be challenging. But when I’m done for the day and have a purring warm friend lying next to (or even on) my feet…. Those times where I glance over and see her eyes half-closed in sleepy contentment… The slight sigh as she jumps up on the sofa next to me and settles in to read… They make it all worthwhile.
 
 The Rafflecopter is for one Hardcover copy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Killer Run by Lynn Cahoon








Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (August 18, 2015)
ASIN: B00TNBLXX0
goodreads-badge-add-plus


Synopsis:
Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—has somehow been talked into sponsoring a 5k race along the beautiful California coast. The race is a fundraiser for the local preservation society—but not everyone is feeling so charitable…
The day of the race, everyone hits the ground running…until a local business owner stumbles over a very stationary body. The deceased is the vicious wife of the husband-and-wife team hired to promote the event—and the husband turns to Jill for help in clearing his name. But did he do it? Jill will have to be very careful, because this killer is ready to put her out of the running…forever!
 
 
What I Thought:
 
This book was pretty good, though it had too much detail and not enough mystery.  This is a good series and it is set in a great location.  Jill is a very likable character and so are the supporting cast, like her eccentric aunt.  Jill just can't seem to quit finding dead bodies.  This story was well written but was kind of predictable.  This is a series in which you don't have to read all the books.  This book especially could be a stand alone because Lynn gives enough detail and background that a person starting with this book would not be lost.  Keep up the good work Lynn.
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. 
 
 
About The Author
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and two fur babies.



Author Links
Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5857424.Lynn_Cahoon
Twitter – https://twitter.com/LynnCahoon
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/LynnCahoonAuthor
Website – http://lynncahoon.com/
Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Cahoon/e/B0082PWOAO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Purchase Links:
Amazon B&N
Shop Indie Bookstores


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Crushed Velvet by Diane Vallere, Review and Guest Post

 
 
 

Crushed Velvet (A Material Witness Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Series: A Material Witness Mystery (Book 2)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (August 4, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0425270585
E-Book ASIN: B00QH832E0
goodreads-badge-add-plus

“Diane Vallere has stitched up an engaging new series.”—Sofie Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of the Magical Cats Mysteries
Synopsis
Fabric shop owner Polyester Monroe is back in business—this time getting wrapped up in a diabolical but crafty case of murder.
With opening day of Material Girl approaching, Poly is stocking up on lush fabrics, colorful notions, and best of all, a proprietary weave of velvet. But upon delivery, it’s not quite the blend she expected, being ninety-percent silk and ten-percent corpse. Crushed under a dozen bolts of fabric is Phil Girard. His wife, Genevieve, local tea shop owner and close friend of Poly, is the prime suspect.
Granted, Phil may not have been the perfect husband, but surely Genevieve had no reason to kill him! There’s just the small matter of Genevieve’s own incriminating confession: I’m afraid I killed my husband. Now, as Material Girl’s grand opening looms, Poly is torn between a friendship pulling apart at the seams—and finding a smooth killer with a velvet touch…
INCLUDES A CRAFT PROJECT
 
What I Thought:
Well, Poly is at it again.  When her friends husband is found dead in his delivery van under the special order velvet/polyester fabric that Poly ordered, she has to find out what happened to him so she can get her fabric back for the grand opening of her store.  Poly is no stranger to danger and murder, but she is tenacious as finding who the culprit is.  This story was fast-paced and kept me on the edge of my seat.  I liked the first book in this series and this installment was just as good.  I look forward to more of Poly's adventures. 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
 
About the Author
After two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. SUEDE TO REST, the first book in the bestselling Material Witness Cozy Mystery Series, was a Lefty/ Best Humorous Mystery nominee. CRUSHED VELVET, book two, comes out August 4. Diane is the current president of Sisters in Crime Los Angeles, and was co-chair of the 2015 California Crime Writers Conference. She also writes the Madison Night and Style & Error Mystery Series. Diane started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since.
Author Links
FB: https://www.facebook.com/DianeVallereAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dianevallere
GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4739022.Diane_Vallere
Purchase Links
Amazon B&N
Shop Indie Bookstores
Powells
 
Guest Post:
 
The Frugal Life
There are two kinds of people in the world: frugal, and everybody else. Frugal people are not necessarily cheap. They know that often times you get what you pay for, and they spend accordingly. For them, it’s worth spending more for an item they expect to last while pinching pennies on something disposable. But frugal people often get a bad rap. They are not given to whimsical spending and often need a moment to consider the cost-to-value relationship of a purchase prior to handing over money. 
Consider this: a $100 sterling silver necklace will last forever. It may tarnish, but it can be brought back to life with toothpaste from the dollar store. It can be worn with a T-shirt, a business suit, or a cocktail dress. Conversely, a $10 necklace will look nice when it’s new, but the metal may leave a transfer on your skin or clothing. In time, the chain may break. In order to accessorize for more than one event, you might need several different necklaces. A cheap person would go for the $10 necklace—it’s a tenth of the price and will work for now. A frugal person will invest in the $100 necklace and wear it off and on for the rest of their life.
Poly Monroe is one such frugal person. Raised by parents who had enough to get by but never so much that they lost touch with reality, she went on to work for a cheap boss who required her to cut corners on fabric and embellishments for the inexpensive pageant dresses that they produced. She longed to work with luscious fabrics like the ones in her aunt and uncle’s fabric store. She’s inspired by the kinds of dresses she sees in Mae West and Jean Harlow movies. Her first instincts toward moving into the apartment above the fabric store aren’t about renovating the place. Those thoughts are about cherishing the antiques that have existed there for half a century.
But the thing about frugal people is that they don’t expect the rest of the world to view spending the way they do. They are often uncomfortable when the subject of spending comes up, because, while they’re careful with their money, they secretly fear being perceived as cheap.
One of the biggest issues at the core of Poly and Vaughn’s relationship is that she sees him as different than her because his family is wealthy. Should that matter? Does it mean that Vaughn will think less of Poly because her family is not? Maybe bank balances aren’t the definition of compatibility.
True confessions: I’m as frugal as Poly. What about you? Spend or save, replace or repair? I’d love to know!
 
 
Giveaway:
 



 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Dish Best Served Cold by Rosie Genova



A Dish Best Served Cold:
An Italian Kitchen Mystery (Italian Kitchen Mystery, An)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: NAL (August 4, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0451415165
goodreads-badge-add-plus


Synopsis
The national bestselling author of The Wedding Soup Murder returns to the Jersey Shore where a killer is stirring up trouble during a hurricane…
At the Casa Lido, the end of summer means a party, and hit whodunit writer Victoria “Vic” Rienzi and her family are cooking like crazy for the restaurant’s seventieth anniversary celebration. As they chop onions and garlic, old family friend Pete Petrocelli stops by, saying he knows something that would make for a good mystery novel. Curious, Vic asks Nonna to elaborate on Pete’s claim and learns of a relative who mysteriously disappeared back in Italy…
The night of the party brings a crowd—and a full throttle hurricane. When the storm finally passes, everyone thinks they’re in the clear—until the first casualty is found, and it’s Pete. Remembering his visit, Vic isn’t certain Pete’s death was an accident and decides to dig deeper into his story. What she finds is meatier than Nonna’s sauce…

What I Thought:

I enjoyed going back to Oceanside Park and visiting with Vic and her eccentric Italian family, especially her Nonna.  Vic always seems to get herself in some sticky situations. She is a mystery writer, but she loves to solve mysteries/murders herself.  This cozy was great because it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through.  It was very interesting because Vic is trying to find out what happened to her long, lost Zio Roberto besides trying to find out how Stinky Pete really died, she has to wonder if the two mysteries are intertwined.  This leads Vic on a journey and she suspects a lot of people of doing the deed.  Throw in a hurricane and a power outage, which makes for a very interesting read.  I look forward to visiting Vic and Oceanside Park again, it is always a wild ride.

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

About The Author –
A Jersey girl born and bred, national bestselling author Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for much of her work. Her new series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, is informed by her appreciation for good food, her pride in her heritage, and her love of classic mysteries from Nancy Drew to Miss Marple. Her debut novel, Murder and Marinara, was named a 2013 Best Cozy by Suspense Magazine and is a finalist for a 2014 Daphne Award. An English teacher by day and novelist by night, Rosie also writes women’s fiction as Rosemary DiBattista. She still lives in her home state with her husband and the youngest of her three Jersey boys.
Author Links
Website: www.rosiegenova.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/RosieGenova
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6462450.Rosie_Genova
Purchase Links
Amazon      B&N      INDIE BOUND


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Give 'Em Pumpkin to Talk About by Jim and Joyce Lavene

 






Give Em Pumpkin To Talk About
(Pumpkin Patch Mysteries Book 1)

Cozy Mystery
Print Length: 199 pages
Publisher: J. Lavene (August 4, 2015)
ASIN: B00Z7LUVZQ
Synopsis:
Richmond attorney Sarah Tucker returns to sell her family’s abandoned farm in Misty River, Virginia despite unanswered questions about her grandparents’ disappearance sixteen years earlier. Sarah was only twelve when she went to visit and found her grandparents had vanished. No amount of searching has brought answers.
Now Sarah is faced with other issues when a man is killed who claimed to have information about what happened to her grandparents. She learns of a Confederate chest of gold that is said to be buried on the property, and treasure hunters who are willing to do anything to get their hands on it.
Were her grandparents murdered for the gold? Sarah can’t sell the land and go back to her life until she has answers. But the cost of the answers may be her life.
Includes farm-fresh recipes!
 
What I Thought:
 
This book was totally enthralling. From the time I picked it up I kept turning pages because I wanted to find out what happened next.  This was a very well written book that flowed really well.  Sarah is a great character who was a young girl when her grandparents mysteriously disappeared. When she goes back to Misty River to sell their home, she decides she wants to know more.  While there she encounters a lot of problems.  There is talk aliens abductions, Confederate Gold, and of course, murder.  This is a great cozy that will keep you turning pages and keep you guessing.  It will also leave you wanting more from this series.
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
 
 

About these Authors
Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.
Author Links
www.joyceandjimlavene.com 
www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene 
http://amazon.com/author/jlavene 
https://twitter.com/AuthorJLavene
Purchase Link
Amazon



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Gilded Grave by Shelley Freydont





A Gilded Grave (NEWPORT GILDED AGE)
First in Series
Cozy Mystery
Series: NEWPORT GILDED AGE
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Berkley (August 4, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0425275849
goodreads-badge-add-plus


Synopsis:
In 1895, the height of the Gilded Age, the social elite spend their summers in Newport, Rhode Island. Within the walls of their fabulous “cottages,” competition for superiority is ruthless … and so are the players.
During her first Newport season, Deanna Randolph attends a ball given in honor of Lord David Manchester, a Barbadian sugar magnate, and his sister, Madeline. The Manchesters are an immediate success—along with their exotic manservant and his fortune-telling talents.
But on the nearby cliffs, a young maid lies dead—and suspicion falls on Joseph Ballard, a member of one of the town’s most prestigious families.
Joe humiliated Deanna when he rebuffed an engagement to her, but while he may be a cad, she knows he isn’t a killer. Now the reluctant allies must navigate a world of parties, tennis matches, and séances to find the real murderer. But a misstep among the glittering upper classes could leave them exposed to something far more dangerous than malicious gossip…
 
What I Thought:
 
Shelley did a great job transition from writing contemporary cozy mysteries to writing an historical cozy mystery.  This was an engaging book that got my attention from the start and kept it till I finished.  It was well written and was true to the era.  The characters were well developed and thoroughly engaging.  If you are looking for a good historical mystery, then this is the book for you.
 
I received a complementary copy of this book for my honest review. 
 
About The Author –
Shelley Freydont is the author of the Liv Montgomery Celebration Bay Mysteries, Foul Play at the Fair, Silent Knife, Independence Slay as well as the Kate MacDonald Sudoku Mysteries and the Lindy Haggerty dance company mysteries, and the upcoming Newport Gilded Age Mysteries, beginning with A Gilded Grave (6/15)
As Shelley Noble, she is the NYTimes Best selling author of women’s fiction (Beach Colors, Stargazey Point, Breakwater Bay, and Whisper Beach as well as several novellas. A former professional dancer and choreographer, Shelley lives at the Jersey shore and loves puzzles, light houses and antique carousels. She also loves to hear from readers.
For more about Shelley, please visit her website www.shelleyfreydont.com.
*Author Links
Website www.shelleyfreydont.com
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ShelleyFreydont
Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Shelley-Freydont/e/B001HCUVP4
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ShelleyFreydont


top pick
Purchase Links
Amazon
B&N Indie Bound

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway