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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Maggie Dove

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Maggie Dove: A Mystery
Publisher: Alibi (June 14, 2016)


Susan Breen introduces a charming new series heroine in this poignant and absorbing cozy mystery with a bite. Maggie Dove thinks everyone in her small Westchester County community knows everyone else’s secrets. Then murder comes to town.
When Sunday School teacher Maggie Dove finds her hateful next-door neighbor Marcus Bender lying dead under her beloved oak tree—the one he demanded she cut down—she figures the man dropped dead of a mean heart. But Marcus was murdered, and the prime suspect is a young man Maggie loves like a son. Peter Nelson was the worst of Maggie’s Sunday School students; he was also her late daughter’s fiancé, and he’s been a devoted friend to Maggie in the years since her daughter’s death.
Maggie can’t lose Peter, too. So she sets out to find the real murderer. To do that, she must move past the grief that has immobilized her all these years. She must probe the hidden corners of her little village on the Hudson River. And, when another death strikes even closer to home, Maggie must find the courage to defend the people and the town she loves—even if it kills her.

What I Thought:

This was a well written book with a great plot that kept my attention.  Maggie is a likable character who used to write mystery novels and is a Sunday School Teacher.  Her neighbor demands that she cut down a beloved oak tree and he is later found dead under that same oak tree.  Of course, Maggie is a suspect, she must investigate.  Things get a little dicey and there is another murder, but Maggie is tenacious.  This book flowed well and was a quick read.

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

About The Author –

Susan Breen is the author of The Fiction Class, her debut novel that won the Washington Irving Book Award. Her stories and articles have appeared in many magazines, among them The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Compose, Writer’s Digest, and The Writer. She teaches at Gotham Writers in Manhattan; is on the faculty of the New York Pitch Conference, South Carolina Writers Workshop, and the Women’s National Book Association; and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters-in-Crime. Breen lives in a small village on the Hudson River with her husband, two dogs, and one cat. Her three children are flourishing elsewhere.
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Friday, June 17, 2016

The Calamity Cafe by Gayle Leeson

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The Calamity Cafe
The Calamity Café: A Down South Café Mystery
Cozy Mystery
Series: A Down South Café Mystery (Book 1)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: NAL (June 7, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1101990780
First in a new cozy mystery series featuring Southern cooking that is to die for.
Aspiring chef and small-town Virginia native Amy Flowers is ready to open her own café offering old-fashioned Southern food. But her dream may go up in smoke when someone kills the competition…
Tired of waiting tables at Lou’s Joint, Amy Flowers doesn’t just quit—she offers to buy the place from her bully of a boss, so she can finally open the café of her dreams. Amy can’t wait to serve the kind of Southern, down-home treats and dishes that her grandmother always loved to the kooky cast of regulars at the restaurant. She knows her comfort food will be the talk of the sweet, small town of Winter Garden, Virginia.
At first Lou Lou refuses to sell, but when she seems ready to make a deal, she tells Amy to come see her.  Showing up at the eatery ready to negotiate, Amy is shocked to find her former employer murdered. As the prime suspect, Amy will have to clear her name by serving up the real killer—and with Lou Lou’s stack of enemies, that’s a tall order.

Includes delicious Southern recipes

What I Thought:

This was one of the best books that I have read in a while. It caught my attention from the beginning and kept it till the very end.  I really liked the plot of this story and the characters.  I thought it was a great mystery and it kept me guessing till the very end.  There was more going on in this story than just the murder of Lou Lou, there is also a decades old mystery involving a bank robbery.  I enjoyed getting to know the residents of Winter Garden, VA.  Amy is a strong protagonist and she was bound and determined to figure out who killed Lou Lou so she could clear her name.  I am so looking forward to the next installment in this series.

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


About The Author –
Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!
Authors Links:
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Gayle Trent Webpage –
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Purchase Links
Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Books-a-Million – Kobo  

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Mrs. Oddbody, Hometown Patriot

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Mrs. Odboddy, Hometown Patriot:
A WWII tale of chicks and chicanery, suspicion and spies.
(Mrs. Odboddy Mysteries Book 1)
Publisher: Elk Grove Publications (January 21, 2016)
Paperback: 258 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940781136

Since the onset of WWII, Agnes Agatha Odboddy, hometown patriot and self-appointed scourge of the underworld, suspects conspiracies around every corner…stolen ration books, German spies running amuck, and a possible Japanese invasion off the California coast. This seventy-year-old, model citizen would set the world aright if she could get Chief Waddlemucker to pay attention to the town’s nefarious deeds on any given Meatless Monday.
Mrs. Odboddy vows to bring the villains, both foreign and domestic, to justice, all while keeping chickens in her bathroom, working at the Ration Stamp Office, and knitting argyles for the boys on the front lines.
Imagine the chaos when Agnes’s long-lost WWI lover returns, hoping to find a million dollars in missing Hawaiian money and rekindle their ancient romance. In the thrilling conclusion, Agnes’s predictions become all too real when Mrs. Roosevelt unexpectedly comes to town to attend a funeral and Agnes must prove that she is, indeed, a warrior on the home front.

What I Thought:

This was a quirky cozy that was filled with quirky characters, Mrs. Oddbody being the quirkiest of all.  She was hilarious at times.  The setting is Northern CA after WWII so she thinks she sees Nazi spies everywhere.  If you are looking for a light-hearted read that makes you laugh-out-loud, then this is the story for you.

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


About The Author –
Elaine is a member of Sisters in Crime, Inspire Christian Writers and Cat Writers Association. She lives in No. Calif with her husband and four house cats (the inspiration for her three humorous cozy cat mysteries, Black Cat’s Legacy, Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer, and Black Cat and the Accidental Angel).
Mrs. Odboddys character is based in no way on Elaines quirky personality. Two more Mrs. Odboddy adventures will publish in the near future. Many of Elaines short stories have appeared in magazines and multiple anthologies.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Golden Cage

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A Golden Cage: A Newport Gilded Age Mystery
2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Berkley (June 7, 2016)
Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425275856


The author of A Gilded Grave returns to Newport, Rhode Island, at the close of the nineteenth century, where headstrong heiress Deanna Randolph must solve another murder among the social elite.
With her mother in Europe, Deanna is staying with the Ballard family, who agree to chaperone her through the summer season and guide her toward an advantageous marriage proposal—or so her mother hopes. Relishing her new freedom, Deanna is more interested in buying one of the fashionable new bathing costumes, joining a ladies’ bicycling club, and befriending an actress named Amabelle Deeks, all of which would scandalize her mother.
Far more scandalous is the discovery of a young man bludgeoned to death on the conservatory floor at Bonheur, the Ballards’ sumptuous “cottage.” Deanna recognizes him as an actor who performed at the birthday fete for a prominent judge the night before. But why was he at Bonheur? And where is Amabelle?
Concerned her new friend may be in danger—or worse—Deanna enlists the help of her intrepid maid, Elspeth, and her former beau, Joe Ballard, to find Amabelle before the villain of this drama demands an encore.

What I Thought:

This is the second installment of the Newport Gilded Age Mystery series, and it was just as interesting as the first.  In this installment Deanna's mother is in Europe where she has taken Deanna's sister to find relief for her headaches.  Deanna is staying with the Ballard family while she is gone.  She has a little more freedom by staying with them.  They go to a birthday party in which there is a play, Mrs Ballard knows one of the actresses and early the next morning, that actress, Amabelle,  shows up on the Ballard's doorstep, and then a dead body is found in the conservatory and Amabeller has disappeared.  Of course, Deanna can't keep her nose out of the situation, much to the chagrin of Joe, the Ballard's son.  This story was well written and historically accurate.  I loved reading about this ear of Newport society and all the opulence.  It was well plotted and kept me guessing until the very end. 

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

ShelleyNoble FinalV3 copy

About The Author –

Shelley Freydont is the author of the Liv Montgomery, Celebration Bay Festival Mysteries, (Silent Knife, Trick or Deceit),the Katie McDonald Sudoku Mysteries and the Lindy Haggerty dance company mystery series. Her Newport Gilded Age Mystery seires began in June 2015 with A Gilded Grave, followed in June 2016 with A Golden Cage.
Shelley loves puzzles of all kinds and when not writing or reading mysteries, she’s most likely working on a jigsaw, Sudoku, or crossword.
As Shelley Noble, she’s the author of the women’s fiction novels, Beach ColorsStargazey Point, and Breakwater Bay as well as several novellas.
She lives at New Jersey Shore and loves to hear from readers.
* Author Links
Website www.shelleyfreydont.comm
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Purchase Links
Amazon –  B & N 

Guest Post:

            Let’s talk about bicycles. A strange topic for  a historical mystery?  Not at all.

 In A Golden Cage which takes place in 1895 Newport Rhode Island, my eighteen year old heroine, Deanna Randolph, purchases her first bicycle.  It was scandalous to many of the staid families of Newport.  It was also a huge fad. Men had already formed cycling clubs, now women did too.  New fashions arose because of cycling needs. Bicycles could suddenly be seen everywhere.

            Susan B. Anthony told the New York World’s Nellie Bly that bicycling had “done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world

But not eveyone was so enthusiastic. They were railed against from newspapers to pulpits.   Injurious to women’s health , over stimulation, a step above promiscuity. That the new dress was an abomination and welcomed advances from gentlemen. The bloomers and shorter skirts (above the ankle Oh my) were considered immoral.

It didn’t prevent women cyclists from taking to the streets in droves. Deanna’s bicycle features prominently in the investigation and capture of the murderer  in A Golden Gage.

Deanna cycles to find a missing actress.

            Deanna went down the steps and took her bicycle from the footman.

            “Do you think she needs help getting on?” Lionel asked.

            “If you suggest it, you’ll get your head bit off,” Joe said.

            The three of them watched wordlessly as Deanna maneuvered the bicycle onto the drive, glanced back at the three men, scowling like only Deanna could scowl.

            “Maybe she’d prefer to get started without an audience,” Lionel suggested. 

            The three of them turned back toward the house,  but quickly looked back over their shoulders in time to see Deanna peddling down the drive wobbling slightly at first but steadying and gaining speed as she reached the Avenue.

And what did her friends and family think of Deanna’s bicycle?

Her mother in a letter from Switzerland

            Remember what I say. And remember what I told your father.  You are absolutely not to have a bicycle, or borrow a bicycle, or ride someone else’s bicycle.  That is for the lower classes, not for my daughters.

An old sailor at the wharf

            The old man pushed away from the crate. He peered over Joe’s shoulder and his mouth dropped open.  “Well, did you ever, now? What’s the world a coming to? Women on bicycles, pure craziness, next they’ll want the vote.  You mark my words.”

Joe’s mother

            “She’s enjoying her new found freedom; what’s the harm? Riding a bicycle is practically di rigger among the younger set, they’re golfing, swimming, and traveling the world.”

            “But they don’t do detective work, even in an amateurish way.  If she gets a reputation for unladylike behavior . . .”

            “Joseph,” His mother threw her napkin on the table.  “I never thought to hear a son of mine—”

Elspeth , her maid

            Elspeth looked incredulous. “Me, Miss? Be careful?  I’m not the one going off on that bicycle contraption. I didn’t go visiting those actor people and putting myself in harm’s way. I’m not the one got locked in a closet ‘cause I was being too nosy.”

And what is the villain’s  feelings about Deanna’s bicycle?  Well, let’s just say I’ll leave him to tell you that himself once he’s in custody.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Eclair and Present Danger by Laura Bradford


ECLAIR AND PRSENT DANGERÉclair and Present Danger (An Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery) New Cozy Mystery Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (June 7, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425280898


The first book in the delicious new Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery series from national bestselling author Laura Bradford.
With her rent rising faster than her pie crust, bakery owner Winnie Johnson had hoped to be rescued by an inheritance from her wealthy friend and neighbor Gertrude Redenbacher. Instead all she inherits is the widow’s hostile hissing tabby, Lovey, and a vintage ambulance, restored by Gertrude’s late husband. As her dream crumbles, Winnie makes her final delivery—a peach pie to an elderly widower. But she finds Bart Wagner lying on his kitchen floor, smothered by a pillow.
To comfort her frightened and grieving neighbors, Winnie comes to the rescue with her baked goods—and an idea is born: dessert delivery via her ambulance and a new business called the Emergency Dessert Squad. When she’s not speeding to the scenes of dessert emergencies, Winnie is also racing to track down Bart’s killer—before she needs to call a real ambulance for the next victim…

What I Thought:
This one grabbed my attention from the start and didn't let it go till I finished it.  It was very well written and had such a unique and interesting plot.  Winnie inherits a vintage ambulance from her elderly friend the same day that she has to close her bakery.  Along with the ambulance, she also inherits, Lovey, a cat who can't stand her.  When she goes to deliver her weekly peach pie to her neighbor, Bart, she finds him smothered with a pillow.  Winnie loses a lot of sleep in the days ahead from trying to start up her new venture, The Emergency Dessert Squad, trying to figure out who killed Bart, and gaining the attention of two hunky men.  Winnie has a lot on her plate.  I really enjoyed this story because I loved the characters and how they had such good relationships with each other.  This book was so much more than just a great cozy that kept me guessing to the very end, which was a total surprise.  Great job, Laura, I look forward to more in the Emergency Dessert Squad series, and what a great idea having an emergency dessert squad really is, it is so unique. 

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

laura bradford

About The Author –
Laura Bradford (aka Elizabeth Lynn Casey) is the author of several mystery series and a handful of romance novels. She is a former Agatha Award nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award.  In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, playing games, and catching up with friends. In addition to the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, Laura writes The Amish Mysteries and The Jenkins & Burns mysteries, as well as The Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (as Elizabeth Lynn Casey).
For more information, visit Laura’s website:  or get to know her even better on Facebook at, and on Twitter:  @bradfordauthor
Twitter:  @bradfordauthor
  Purchase Links:
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